According to the HR gal at work, I’m off the charts nice. I had to take a million-question personality test, and according to the results, I’m a very nice, gentle and supportive gal who hates confrontation, is not assertive enough and doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body. I knew all of that already.

I’m not feeling chatty. Haven’t felt chatty for a little while. I wonder if I’m getting sick again, or if I was still sick when I stopped taking medication. I’m waiting it out to see what happens, and if I don’t start to feel better, I’ll have to suck it up and go back to the doctor. But I don’t want that to be the case because I’m stubborn, and I feel like I should just be able to snap my fingers and will myself well.

This illness is worse than anything I’ve ever had. Worse than the stomach virus or months of bronchitis. And I don’t want it to be back. But if it is, maybe my parents will make another sudden trip to Raleigh to take care of their sick kid.

I’m being vague, and I’m sorry, but there are some things I keep offline, my illness being one of them. But I got a reminder that my blog hadn’t been updated in a while, and that’s why. Just not feeling chatty. Sorry if anyone else noticed, although the idea that more than two people read this continually blows my mind. For the most part, I don’t know who reads this, and I like that. I get something like 2,000 visits a month, which is insane. A bunch of my friends read this, I have some unwanted readers, and the rest are a mystery.

My allergies are finally cooperating. I still sound funny when I talk – maybe a bit less like a 12-year-old – but other than that, I’m much better. I had to push my visit to Frankie’s back by a day. Mike TI was lovely and suggested I go home and get some rest rather than race go karts. Maybe he had a premonition that I was going to beat him on the track (which is what happened), so that’s why. But who knows.

What’s something fun to do in Cary? Is there anything fun to do in Cary? Other than Target, I mean.

I got my RBC schedule and it seemed to come out of the blue. I almost forgot about Job #2. I was like, “Oh yeah, that.”

I took two garbage bags full of clothes to Goodwill, and I could probably send a ton more. If I ever get my closet clean, I’ll take a picture. It’s so full of clothes, it’ll make you ill. My wardrobe is big enough to clothe three people – easy. Allan used to tease me about my closet always being such a scary disaster, and he’s right. Thing is, it’s really big, and it’s really easy to shove stuff in there. And then it turns into a scary disaster. Once Kristen came over to help me clean it. Progress was made, but alas. I couldn’t keep up with it.

Yesterday was Gregory’s birthday. Happy birthday to Gregory! Love him, love him, love him. It sounds really silly, but I call him all the time now just because I can. I can pick up my James Bond phone, find his name and hear his voice. I couldn’t do that while he was in Iraq, and it broke my heart. Being able to talk to someone whenever you please, especially someone you love, is the best thing. And I didn’t realize how great it was until I couldn’t do it anymore.

Speaking of birthdays, the picture below is of two of Abby’s birthday gifts. She’ll be two on the 19th. Seeing her grow is one of the most special experiences I’ve ever had. She’s an amazing little creature. If only she could say Auntie Allie instead of Chee-i… Once we were in a store, and I went down another aisle looking for something, and I heard her calling, “Chee-i, Chee-i-, Chee-i!” trying to find me. It made me dissolve into a puddle of goo. She’s just so adorable inside and out.

And I have the other picture below because I was laying on my couch the other evening and I thought, “Wow. I really like my apartment.” It was clean, you see.



So, looks like this theme is here to stay for a while. For whatever reason, the new design I picked has decided to be uncooperative. But that’s okay. This one is nice. I like the colors and tiny font. I just need to figure out how to make the pictures work. This is the third time in the six-year history of my blog that I’m changing my design, and with each change the picture issue has been a huge pain in the ass. Your patience is appreciated.

I changed my picture page. I like it better this way.

I’m still sick. I left work early to come and be a space cadet at home rather than at the office. But I have my lappy with me, so I’ll be able to VPN in and get stuff done. I only left 30 mins early, but I’m Catholic, and we Catholics feel guilty about nearly everything, so I’ll be laying in bed doing some work in a few hours.

Oh! I got a new laptop bag. It’s snazzy and feminine and stuff.

I have to feel better by tomorrow because tomorrow I’m going to Frankie’s to ride go-karts and play some mini-golf! Although I will be crushed at both, I’m excited. I’m not athletic, you see. I wish I was, but I’m not.

Big news: my Steelers tickets are now also in my brothers’ names. Alicia A., Jason W. and Gregory M. are now the proud owners of season tickets that have been in my family for nearly 50 years. I’m still the official owner, everything is sent to me and through me, but the boys are on the license now, too. In the words of Jerry Garcia, “What a long, strange trip it’s been…”

Did you know that when writing a sentence with a quote, the period or comma is inside the quotes, while all other punctuation marks are outside? There’s a grammar tip for ya. Here’s another one that drives me insane. As far as I know, ‘I’ never has an apostrophe. Don’t ever say something like, “This is Tiffany and I’s favorite song.”

You’re welcome.

I’m big on grammar. Mine isn’t always perfect – far from it – but I think everyone should own a grammar guide, writer’s guide or something. Everyone should at least have decent grammar. When I see poor grammar, I see stupidity. And I think if you’re forced to go to school for 12 years in this country (and you ARE), you may as well learn something. Especially language skills. I mean, you communicate every day, right? I get that in my line of work, and with my degree, I’m more sensitive to the issue than most, but sill. Speak well, people! Oh, and I love that when people seem surprised that one can have a BS in journalism (like ME), I try to make a joke and be like, “Yeah, I write good.” Which is actually really bad form, but most people don’t get it. They don’t realize that I’ve just said something grammatically incorrect, and they think I think I write good.

I don’t know where that little rant came from. I was sitting here thinking of quotes and next thing you know… Scary that I think of grammar in my free time, isn’t it?

In other news, I’m having waffles and ice cream for dinner.

I’m really sick and tired. Stupid allergies!

As you can see, I’ve changed the layout of my blog. I sort of accidentally stumbled across this theme, and although it’s not what I had intended it to be, it’s okay for now. My oh-so-fabulous webmaster is dragging his feet in the implementation of the design I really want. (yes, it’s Shel) I hope it’ll be up tomorrow. We shall see.

I’m going to get a shower and go to bed now. As mentioned previously, I’m really sick and tired.

I’m so tired. It’s 1:00 on a Saturday, and I’m ready for a nap. Do you know how often I take naps? NEVER.

And I’m sad. And disappointed. And frustrated. But more on that another time. Maybe in a week or so.

The festivities at work are over, and they were really great. Great and exhausting. Yesterday we went to Lake Wheeler and played games and had lunch. At one point, some folks were dancing by the DJ, others were ‘jousting’ on the big, inflatable toys, some of us were playing volleyball (ME) and others were under the shelter drinking from the keg. Then we had two hours to come home, get gussied up, and head to the State Club for a fancy dinner. You may not believe this, but it’s true: I took no pictures. What? Yes, I took no pictures. I was so busy BSing and hobbling along on my killer heels, I didn’t get a chance to take any. Crazy, I know. Then after the State Club, Mike T.I. and I went to Sammy’s dressed in our cocktail attire. If you haven’t been to Sammy’s in a while, holy crap, they redid the whole thing. It’s really nice and not nearly as ghetto as it used to be.

And today were meetings. I had to be at the Umstead at 8am to give a presentation to what my boss calls, “20 trained assassins.” You see, I work for a consulting firm, and they get paid to tell you what you’re doing wrong, and then tell you how to do it better. I’m still a newbie and I had to present the marketing plan for the next year. And I’m a newbie. And it was scary. But it went really well. I talked for about 45 minutes, there was a lot of healthy and positive discussion, then they made fun of me (in a good natured way). The making fun of me part is a sign of success. Yay!

Oh, there are more than 20 people in my company. But there are 20 bankers, who have never actually worked at a bank. They do mergers and acquisitions stuff. Have a company you want to sell or buy? You call my guys. If you’re in the construction industry, that is. And they’re whip smart. Everyone at that company is. It’s a little unnerving, but it keeps me on my toes. And I like to be kept on my toes. They go through a very rigorous hiring process (five interviews for me) and they’re very selective about who they hire. Dumb people are out.

I think I’m going to start working on my Master’s very soon.

Ummm… it’s birthday week in my life. Erich, Quri and Gregory. I still have to get Gregory’s gift, but I have no idea what to get him. And when I ask, he says, “nothing.” Dude, I’m not getting my brother nothing.

Ok, this is so unlike me, but I think I’m going to pop my contacts out and try to take a nap. I’m so damn tired.

Well, hello.

I’m back from a day of festivities at the Umstead. Tomorrow is a day of festivities at the Umstead, Lake Wheeler and the State Club. I’m tired, but am having so much fun. My company rocks.

At tonight’s dinner this guy, Mr. Double Talk, was our guest. We were told that he was a PhD and would talk about construction. Yawn. But, sike! It was hilarious. My abdomen is still sore from laughing, and I had to use my inhaler. (When I laugh a lot, my asthma acts up.) The guy next to me was wiping away tears, he was laughing so hard.

Weird things people said to me about me this evening:
You’re so sane!
You have very soft hands!
I just met you and I feel like you’re my best friend
You’re definitely an ‘Allie,’ not an ‘Alicia’
Your hair looks so pretty! Did you get it cut? (no, I actually did it rather than straightening it)

And Vonnie ran over the cones at valet parking. I thought I was going to pee my pants. I’m laughing now just thinking about it.

My inboxes are out of control. Both personal email addresses have gone crazy, as well as the one at work. I apologize if I haven’t written you back. I’ve been very busy, yo.

I had a good weekend. I slept a lot. And spent time with friends and kittens. And slept a lot. I was tired from my trip. I slept very little in Chicago, what with all the shopping and touring and ‘learning’ and working and stuff.

Umm… I still haven’t unpacked from Chicago. I keep meaning to, I just haven’t. I keep telling myself that when I come home for lunch, I’ll unpack. But when I come home, I make lunch, chat and watch What Not to Wear. There is no time for unpacking. And when I come home at the end of the day, I watch tv and sometimes make dinner and sometimes go to the gym and sometimes go out with friends, so again, there is no time for unpacking.

And tonight Mike is being introduced to the goodness that is Flying Saucer and Raleigh’s Mellow Mushroom. He’s going to become a beer knurd. So there is no time for unpacking.

Meeting of the Firm is this week, and all the ladies in the office are freaking out about what to wear. A cocktail dress for work is different than a cocktail dress for non-work. And what exactly does ‘sporty casual’ mean? And a cocktail hour when you don’t need to wear cocktail attire…? Huh? Ugh. But it’s fun bonding with everyone over clothing stress. I’ll give you the lowdown on all my outfit changes when they’re finalized, because I know how much you care.

My other job, the RBC job, is basically done for the summer, but I’m still in regular contact with several RBCers and oh how I love them. I’ve made such good friends there. I’m a lucky girl. If you’re wondering what brought this love-fest on, I got a really sweet email from one of them yesterday. I think getting trashed with all of them at the wine tasting event forged solid bonds. If there is another mandatory wine tasting again this year, I’m going to have Kristen on stand-by. She had to pick my drunk ass up last year.

Ok. I’m doing a mid-day straightening of the hair. The waves are getting out of control.

This is such a great song.

On the corner of main street
Just tryin’ to keep it in line
You say you wanna move on and
You say I’m falling behind

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

I never really gave up on
Breakin’ out of this two-star town
I got the green light
I got a little fight
I’m gonna turn this thing around

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

The good old days, the honest man;
The restless heart, the Promised Land
A subtle kiss that no one sees;
A broken wrist and a big trapeze

Oh well I don’t mind, if you don’t mind
‘Cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine
Before you go, can you read my mind?

It’s funny how you just break down
Waitin’ on some sign
I pull up to the front of your driveway
With magic soakin’ my spine

Can you read my mind?
Can you read my mind?

The teenage queen, the loaded gun;
The drop dead dream, the Chosen One
A southern drawl, a world unseen;
A city wall and a trampoline

Oh well I don’t mind, if you don’t mind
‘Cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine
Before you jump
Tell me what you find when you read my mind

Slippin’ in my faith until I fall
You never returned that call
Woman, open the door, don’t let it sting
I wanna breathe that fire again

She said I don’t mind, if you don’t mind
‘Cause I don’t shine if you don’t shine

Put your back on me
Put your back on me
Put your back on me

The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
Can you read my mind