Wednesday, June 30


Hi all,
Just for the record, I seem to be having trouble accessing the badguys site :P
So: Mother's party will be at the Jones's on Monday, when it is assumed that many will not have to work. Apologies to any and all that do. If you are interested in helping with the gift I envision, please let me know asap. Thanks to those who already have contributed to the cause.
In other news - please let me or UPB know if you are planning on attending the TMBG concert on Sunday so we can start to plan rides, etc.
As for my own life separate from bad guys event coordinator, work has been a little rough, though the product that I worked on for spring has come much easier to me for summer, I now have an entirely different product to jazz things up. It's never boring, one can always rely on that.
In volleyball tonight we got spanked. Apparently the team (penguin/nacho) fairs much better when I'm not around. Makes you wonder...

Sunday, June 27

I ain't got no car-hole

Which is to say... I am very fancy. I had dinner at a country club last night with Mr. Plinko, up in the Green Bay area. I was menaced by deer on our round-about way there (we got a little lost - mostly my fault), so the trip took a little longer than expected (me, white-knuckled and driving 25 in a 35 cuz there were trees and turns and twists and man, I should have known better than to drive out in the sticks during twilight).
Anyway, Plinko, Vyv and I arrived unscathed, and I had a nice big piece of beef. Technically, it was a very nice, small piece of beef, but that doesn't sound very Brak-y. The place was pretty - the kind of place that makes you want to brush up on your Ms. Manners etiquette - but really not stuffy or anything. We got there awfully late, so by the time we left we were the only table left. (There was only one other when we got there, to be fair.) I don't expect that's the norm, though.
We drove past some incredible homes on our way there... mini mansions, really. It begs the questions: who the hell can afford all of these? and when do I see my piece of this money-pie? Somehow I'm not convinced my current career path has me on-track to be moving up to that neighborhood ever, let alone any time soon.
Oh well... back to my poverty. I'm going to try to get some things organized for the garage sale. *sigh*

Saturday, June 26

I love power boat noise

Ok... that's a lie. But it is good to be home. Really, really good.
For those of you who've missed the story, I nearly didn't make it (home, that is). You see... I was detained in Chicago by immigration. Despite the fact that I wasn't wearing jeans, I still say that I look pretty damn American. Way more than all of the other people that were sitting in the holding pen with me. Ok, it was more of a waiting room, only with bleacher-type benches instead of comfy chairs, but there weren't bars or anything. Just the cast of Reno 911 to keep us all in check. After answering a ridiculous amount of questions regarding my lack of personal ink, I was eventually freed to go by Captain Gomer Pile... the guy looked not unlike a taller version of Anthony Edwards from his Revenge of the Nerds days. He referred to a Chinese gentleman and I as "the peeps" when chatting with Dumb (I'm assigning my guy the title of Dumber) on his very fancy walkie-talkie. Seriously, they were like those damn mall security guards who got the job because they really, really wanted to be cops, but somehow never made it through 10th grade. Except that these guys actually have a significant amount of power, especially in this post 9-11 world, and I was terrified. Or mortified. One of the two. More freaked out than I was when I was stranded on the Chinese boarder, and I feel like that's saying a lot. Anywho, it was eventually determined that I was not a hardened criminal or enemy of the state, and I was free to leave. I figured I had better make my way toward the gate to catch the flight to Appleton, but that was just silly cuz, of course, the flight was delayed. As the flight attendant said as we finally touched down in "beautiful Appleton" (she actually said that, I shit you not): When you have time to spare, fly O'Hare! You gotta love that kind of wit.
It is now Saturday, as you no doubt inferred by the time/date stamp, and I am home and recovering from having my internal clock all messed up. Major headache, tummy isn't right, and the sleeping isn't quite on, yet, but I'm doing ok. Have I mentioned that I'm freezing? I just turned on the space heater. FREEZING. Isn't summer supposed to be kicking in soon?? WTF? In other news... I haven't got any. I'm tired. I finished Lyda's newest book. It's on my must-read list, as are her three previous books. Excellent, all. And I'm not just saying that cuz she's a fan of the dummo.

Monday, June 21

A whole old world

Possibly it's because our host in Singapore had Disney tunes blasting on his car stereo, but when I tried to come up with a title for this post, all I could think of was the Little Mermaid song "A Whole New World", but that isn't a very apt description, so... this is what you get.
Yesterday I went into China. Eventually. I actually got through the boarder crossing, no problem. My ride, however, did not. Which I had no real way of knowing, because I go through on foot alone, and come out the other side, where I'm supposed to meet up with her. And then she didn't come. And didn't come. And actually, never came. Their computer systems were down and she wasn't the registered driver on paper record for the car and I don't even know what all else, but she ended up calling the van of employees that was already half-way to the factory to have them turn around to come get me. At this point, I've been standing outside for probably 45 minutes, freaking out, without my bag (which was in the car), holding only my passport and plane tickets. No money. No smokes. No phone. No idea that anyone was coming for me (though of course my hosts wouldn't just strand me at the border, but...) And it was HOT. So... eventually I got picked up. My buddy bought me a nice refreshing beverage. (Sunkist orange soda..mmmm...) and I got on a van. With one person who speaks lots of English, one who speaks a moderate amount, and 4 Mandarin-only guys. It was something. We got to the factory, my host and bag show up almost immediately (and she had had to go back to Hong Kong for the paperwork... I may have been waiting longer than I want to realize), and we go to lunch. Italian food at the Sheraton. It was really pretty good. Then back to work, a factory tour (it was roasting.. I was sweating like the American pig I am) and then back towards Hong Kong for shopping. We stopped before the boarder and shopped in China (sorry Shaft... no Rolexs, but I would have had my pick of about a million other brands). I'll tell you all more about that experience when I get home. It was INSANE. I think I was offered manicures from about 100 different Chinese girls, following me around this very strange, very cramped mall of rip-off goods. Craziness. "Watches... handbags..." was shouted at me at all times from all directions. Ate dinner, crossed the boarder, took first a train and then a taxi to the hotel and crashed hard. It was almost midnight. And now I'm up and have a meeting in an hour, so I better get myself ready. I'm praying for the chance to take a nap this afternoon. Oh, also there's the fruit - remind me to tell you all about the fruit!

Thursday, June 17


I am so tired. I guess it runs in the family. I am sleeping like shit, and today I think it's going to be an extra bad thing. That's all for now... I posted yesterday but as far as I could tell it never showed up, so I'm not going to waste precious time if it isn't going to work now anyway. Plus, I'm too tired to be interesting. This lady needs more than four hours sleep a night, that's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, June 16

where am I? what day is it?

I'm blogging from work. In Singapore. It's been a whirl-wind, folks. Here's a blog I wanted to post on the day I was on the way to Istanbul:
Heaven help me…
It’s 20 to 6. I’m still in Chicago. My flight was supposed to leave at 3:45. It’s now scheduled for 7. If it doesn’t leave then, I’ll probably not get out of here tonight. And then I won’t be going to Turkey at all. I love to travel. I hate sitting in airports. At least having the traveling companion I do allows me access to the fancy lounges, one of which has a smoking area (where I currently am) getting ash all over my laptop because of the strange air currents.
I’m totally spent. I’ve been back and forth through the trippy neon-lit walkway 4 times so far, and it’ll be at least once more before all is said and done.
I’m writing this in word, and I’m going to attempt to connect and cut and paste it into blogger for all to enjoy. If I fail, I may just leave well enough alone and start a journal that I’ll post in one fell swoop at some point in the future.
I so hate being so close to home and yet not. Somehow being actually far away is much easier.

The fun follow-up to that was: we made it Frankfurt, went back and forth between terminals 5 times (that involved getting on a train), and eventually made it to Istanbul. My bag did not. My bag was still in Chicago when I landed in Turkey. The very helpful airport people wanted to send my bag to Turkey to meet me, however, by the time it would have arrived, I would have already been on my way here, to Singapore. Good fun. In the end, they shipped my bag to Frankfurt so it could ride on my plane here to Singapore, and the crazy scheme worked and I actually have all my stuff now. Plus one top that I bought in Istanbul (we made our hosts' driver take us to a mall!) so that I would not be sporting a 3-day stank by the time we had to meet.
Istanbul is incredibly lovely. Ancient and modern, Asia and Europe - I can't wait to go back and just have a minute or two to explore. As it was, we were there for 26 hours. I managed to do a tiny bit of shopping in the airport, but apart from that and the shirt purchase, that's it.
Right now I'm sitting in our agent's office, waiting for it to be my turn to do something. Anything. I'm actually bored out of my gourd, which sucks cuz this is such a great city, if I'm not working I'd like to be doing something else, thanks.
Anyway.... I really don't feel like I know what day it is - that was no lie. It's my turn, now, though, so I suppose I had better get going!!
I'll try to post more soon, and I'll try to actually take some pics to post as well.
Miss you!

Friday, June 11

early to bed, early to rise

It's early. Just barely the am, even. And I'm home from work, and done with three days of working 2nd-ish shift. Unlike the last time this happened, the last three days have been markedly uneventful for me, because despite the fact that we talked to several of my makers, I did no negotiations, saving those up for the next week and a half I'm traveling. So I got to sit, and listen. And sometimes mumble under my breath. And basically get nothing accomplished on anything that I need to do to get ready to be gone. I'm a bit unnerved by the daunting list of things I feel I need to do between now and Sunday around 1 pm. Both at work and at home, I feel completely unprepared. And let me tell you, with the traveling buddies I have, that is going to come back to bite me in the ass in a big, big way - well, the work part, anyway. Tonight I came to the realization that I don't even exactly know my own agenda for the trip. A little scary, really.
I'm sure that despite a mandatory hour-long meeting, and the fact that I'm awake now and need to be back to work in about 8 hours, tomorrow will be very, very productive. Uh-huh... sure it will. *sigh*

Saturday, June 5


Blogger seems to be acting a bit odd...
I've been thinking about switching back to blogspot hosting, mostly cuz now they'll host your images that you upload using the Hello program for free. And I just went out today and splurged and bought a loverly digital camera, so... there may be many more photos on my site in the future, and what would be better than free hosting? Seems like a good deal to me.
If you're curious, and I'm sure a couple of you are, I did not splurge 100% and buy that Sony I had my eye on, though it was quite pretty (and so small!)
Instead I spent about $250 less (after the additional memory chip) and got an Olympus, which is also small, though not quite as small, and I think will serve all my needs for the foreseeable future. It actually weighs less than my current camera, which I still love but has no zoom, and with our scanner not working so well (or, at all really), it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the photo sharing online idea. So... there you have it. I intend to install the software on my laptop so I can share some photos with y'all while I'm on the trip, or at least so I can dump the pics I take somewhere once in awhile.
All that said, expect that if you are one of the people I know who knows stuff about digital picture taking, I will be asking you advice in the near future.
Also, I worked some today. Probably should've worked a little more, but damn it... next week will be long enough without going into it having no weekend.
And tomorrow... the ZOO! Rahr! (That's the noise a lion makes)

Thursday, June 3

Hmmm.... so this is supposed to work, huh? Let's give it a try. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 2

Thank you thank you thank you

to all bad guys and associates that helped me celebrate one more spin 'round the sun.
I adore the gifts - all very thoughtful and sweet, and I adore you all much more than that.
I have to apologize, though, as I felt like kind of a party-pooper, being under the weather, and a bit down from the weather, I was not in the most proper of spirits. I hope it did not take away from anyone else's enjoyment of good grilling, good friends, and the brief glimpses of the sun.
I'm feeling better already, so I expect that the next time I see most of you I'll be back to my old chipper self. If you're interested, there are plans to go to the Milwaukee Zoo on Sunday, with maybe a little shopping and certainly some dining thrown in. Let me know if that sounds like something that's up your alley, and we'll figure out the carpooling. I'll be trying to see everyone as much as possible during the next week and 1/2, as I leave next Sunday for the big trip. Gotta stock up on that Bad Guy love!