Monday, February 25, 2008

Tidbit Tagged!

Tidbit taking over here! It seems I've been tagged!

My friend Lola has asked me to answer the following question:

What three things would you do that you have never done before, if you knew you wouldn’t get caught, get in trouble, or suffer any consequences?

I don't know what to say. This question implies I have a secret desire to get up to some kind of trouble, which I can assure my friends I do not!

Nevertheless, if in theory I were to behave in an uncharacteristic way, I might do one of the following:

  • Eat the male human's tortilla chips. I tried this once long ago when he left the bag on the sofa. He thought I didn't know what they were. Boy, did I prove him wrong!
  • Find where the humans are keeping my hay and help myself. I know the nice man from UPS brings a big box every month or so, stuffed full of sweet green timmy hay from the Oxbow company. But my dumb humans hide it from me and only dole it out in little bits. Unacceptable.
  • Finish tunneling under the bed, either through the storage boxes they keep under there or via the mattress, which I was making a very nice hole in before the humans made me stop. I don't know why under-bed is off-limits, but I think it would make a fantastic bunny hideout, if only I could gain access.

So there you have it. Three things I would never, ever do, except hypothetically, of course. I'm a good bunny. Just check out this classic picture of me!

Innocent and adorable, aren't I?

I'm supposed to tag someone who hasn't played yet, but I think all my furbuddies are tagged by now. Maybe the buns at A Houseful of Rabbits haven't done this yet and would like to play? Otherwise, here's the obligatory link back to petspics and anyone who wants to play can hop on in!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Office Space

This week’s theme at my office was how to juggle people around to accommodate the space needs of an interim director and his secretary. Space is always at a premium at our university and even though the people moving into our area are from a different part of IT and we won’t report to them, they’re still going to be housed with us, for lack of other options.

Fortuitously (for the space issue, not for the employee who left us) we had a resignation that freed up an office. For at least Round One of the office moves, this made everything work out. It’s been a big job, though, getting offices cleaned out, furniture moved and phones moved and installed on short notice. The director moves in Monday!

The employee who resigned had been out for medical reasons and was unable to return, leaving my staff to pack her personal belongings, go through her files, etc. That left me handling things I might have otherwise delegated, and I had one day where it seemed everyone was determined to keep tasking me things without ever giving me a chance to work on them. I finally got frustrated and told my boss she couldn’t give me anything else to do unless she took something else away. She laughed, but left me alone after that. I got caught up. Funny how that works.

On today’s run I stopped at my office to get water and because I saw a co-worker’s car outside and wanted to see how the office moves were going. My co-worker was busily going through files, and when I went to my own office I noticed that a lateral file had been moved in there, so I can only assume our space management guy showed up in the wee hours as promised to do a little heavy lifting. In addition to the lateral file, I also acquired a printer out of this deal, so I’m happy. I work on a lot of confidential documents and it’s a pain to have to run down the hall and wait for stuff to print so I can grab it before anyone else does. Now if only I could get a proper desk chair, I think I’d be set!

I’m hoping that having the interim director and his secretary in our suite will set a more serious tone for our business office. My own team are usually quiet and professional, but there’s another group that seem to spend a lot of time ordering take-out and giggling over popcorn shrimp or whatever it is they buy. As far as I know they do good work, but appearances mean something and they don’t always give the people we serve a good impression. I have a feeling things are about to change.

Recent Workouts
Monday: 30 minute elliptical, weights
Tuesday: 5.5 mile run
Wednesday: 45 minute spin, weights
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical, 10 minute row
Friday: scheduled rest day
Saturday: 19 mile run

Classic Tidbit

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fun Links!

Since I have nothing interesting of my own to share tonight, how about some links?

My Strange New Mexico: Not updated nearly as often as I would like, but just what it says. If you think the imagined New Mexico of my speculative fiction is weird, just take a look at what the real New Mexico of today is like!

Paleo-Future: Hilarious and fascinating look at what we thought the future would be like.

The Victorian Peeper: Fun historical tidbits from Victorian England.

Scandalous Women: Great little articles about women who broke boundaries and got people talking in their day!


Saturday Post

It was supposed to be a rainy morning, so I did a three-hour spin, only for the morning to remain clear. I was a little annoyed, but the weather was so warm and soup-like that I probably did myself a favor by not running. And the rain finally did move in this evening with some brief but gusty storms.

My plan for tomorrow is to go to Memorial Park and run about twelve miles, then hit Central Market for a few items (and food samples), and spend the afternoon cooking and resting up for the week ahead. We don't have any old bananas for banana bread this weekend, but we do have all the fixin's for bread pudding, so there won't be a shortage of treats around here!

It's been a quiet weekend so far and I'm happy about it.

Recent Workouts
Tuesday: 35 minute elliptical, abs and weights
Wednesday: 5 mile run
Thursday: 45 minute spin, abs and weights
Friday: scheduled rest day
Saturday: 3 hour spin (Lake Placid Spinerval video)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

If you're in the mood for a little romantic (or not-so-romantic) reading, drop by the Flash Fiction Carnival website for links to short stories and outtakes, all around 1,000 words or less-- perfect for some light reading on your lunch break!

And since getting the Carnival post put together tonight precludes my writing a new post here for the occasion, here's an oldie but a goodie from a few years ago: Roses. True story. Strange things sometimes happen, even to me.

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Monday, February 11, 2008


After dropping hints for several weeks, the good folks in our HR department finally came right out and said it today: they want to make me an offer.

This is interesting on a lot of different levels. They can’t offer me much more money than I make now, but they can offer a lot less stress. They might be able to offer a better career path too, since I’m very close to being as high as I would ever want to go on my current trajectory. There's one more level up from here, and after that I'd be looking at responsibility for an entire college or division and I don’t think the extra hours and headaches would be worth the money.

But (there’s always a “but”) I'm overdue for that next bump up on my current path and I’ve been busily arranging matters so that my case won’t be denied. Having a competing offer from HR would pretty much nail my next promotion with my current department and the pay would be better than anything HR could offer.

Thankfully, no action is needed at this time. I’m having lunch with one of my HR contacts on Friday and we’ll see how that goes. I have a lot of questions and a lot of thinking to do. No matter which way this thing goes, though, I have a feeling I’ll be making more money very soon.*

*Note: In university administration, “very soon” means sometime in the next six months. It's not time to hit the mall just yet, as if I ever would.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tidbit Escapes!

I've figured out how to get out of my room!

I like it out here in the hall. The better to check up on the humans!


Ha! Got your attention, didn't I?

Central Market was a regular House o' Chocolate today and boy did I have a great time sampling the wares! Truffles, chocolate bar samples, cookies, chocolate fountain with goodies for dipping-- they had the works! Of course the crowds were horrendous at times. What is it with people who park their huge shopping carts in such a way that no one can get past and then dawdle over the samples, trying several of each kind, oblivious to the fact that twenty people on each side are waiting to get by?

I suggest a new rule: No chocolate for inconsiderate idiots!

After coming home, I did some cooking: sauteed spinach with garlic, steamed carrots with dill, brown rice, spicy black beans, and fried rice (made with last week's leftover rice). An hour in the kitchen; a week's worth of meals!

Next it was time for a spin workout. I did two hours on the bike followed by some abs and weights. I can barely raise my arms enough to type now, but I'm hoping a nap will fix that. A nap at 6:00 pm? Uh...yeah. I'm weird that way.

There will probably be bunny pics later if the ones I took of Tid posing in the hall this afternoon turn out. But for now, it's time to catch some Z's.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

De Regieur Saturday Post

I’ve been tired again this week, I’m not sure why. Maybe my metabolism has shifted and my body wants more sleep. Maybe it’s the kava-kava I’m taking to ward off a case of monthly bitchiness. Maybe it’s my body adjusting to my shift toward more interval and weight training work now that the marathon is over. Whatever it is, I hope I get back on track soon. I don’t like feeling this way.

I never realized how busy my campus was until I moved a block away. Today the rec center was open early for a regional swim meet and there were swimwear hawkers and proud parents everywhere. There was also something soccer-related going on because while I was using the new jogging trail outside the rec center, a bus pulled up and a bunch of young Asian men in matching warmup suits piled out and were directed by their coaches to the soccer field in the bowl encircled by the track. And there were other things happening on campus too, that I wasn’t entirely clear about. There were children in karate uniforms, little girls in track suits but with their hair in buns like ballerinas, and of course there were the usual campus tours and Saturday classes happening.

A busy day for them, but for me it was just an ordinary Saturday: running, Indian food, and a nice long nap.

Wildlife Update: Dan found an owl in our backyard a couple nights ago. We had heard it for awhile, but this was the first time either of us had seen it. He said it swooped right past him and landed on the ground underneath our ginormous oak tree. He watched it for awhile, then came to get me. Although I went outside immediately in bathrobe and slippers, the owl was gone. I did get to see a raccoon on my run this morning, though. It slipped out of a neighbor’s back fence, wearing its mask and thinking it was incognito. Then it saw me and ran away. Am I that scary? And finally, there are some new water birds hanging around the bayou. I’m not sure what they are, so if I have time I’ll go out there with the binoculars and take a look.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is cooking day. I’ve already made banana bread and bowtie pasta casserole, and I have some old naan for bread pudding when the banana bread is gone. Tomorrow I’ll be cooking spinach, potatoes, rice, and either a bean or lentil dish. In spite of my culinary frugality, though, Friday’s grocery bill was a hefty one. I was low on some of my more expensive ingredients, like hazelnut flour and almonds, and those kinds of things really add up fast! Luckily they also last quite awhile.

And that’s about it for the week, except for writerly stuff which I’ll post on my other blog tonight or tomorrow. I hope to have a new Tid Pic sometime this weekend, too. These days it’s hard to get her to stay still for the camera because photos so often feature bribes that she wiggles all around, sniffing for raisins!

Recent Workouts
Monday: 30 minute elliptical (intervals), weights and abs
Tuesday: 45 minute spin + weights and abs
Wednesday: 5 mile run, with fartlek intervals
Thursday: 45 minute elliptical (steady pace), weights and abs
Friday: scheduled rest day
Saturday: 16.5 mile run (campus and bayou)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Gravity and Weekend Update

I had a little trouble with gravity this past week. No, I didn’t fall or anything like that. Thankfully, my klutzy moves are rare (thanks for putting me in ballet class, Mom and Dad!). But by the latter part of the week I really found myself dragging, as if I had somehow become much more susceptible to gravity than usual. Several of my co-workers felt the same way, so maybe it really was a gravity problem. It’s as good an excuse as any, I suppose.

I was worried that my gravity problem would affect this morning’s long run so I was careful to plot a route that would take me through some areas I hadn’t been in awhile, to keep my focus on something other than being tired. This trick worked and I had a very pleasant run that went mostly through Montrose with a stop at my favorite cemetery to visit the grave of the girls killed in the hurricane of 1900.

There’s another grave at this cemetery that I find interesting. It looks like a tallish tree stump, and in addition to the name and dates of the deceased, it bears the seal of the International Woodmen of the World. But what I found more thought-provoking was the plaque added much later by the Houston Police Department. It stated that the deceased, who was 31 at the time of his death, was a police officer killed in the line of duty. We tend to think of our own time as the only one filled with random social violence, so it was an interesting reminder that there’s really no such thing as a more innocent time. Here’s a little info on Officer Cain, if anyone is interested.

This evening I’m still feeling full after all the Indian food I ate for lunch. I’m being tempted by the banana bread I made last night, though, and I might succumb pretty soon. I’ve been perfecting my recipe and this time I added ground hazelnuts, which was a good move.

I don’t have much planned for Sunday, other than the usual round of cooking, errands and working out. I hope I don’t have to contend with a lot of pre-Superbowl crowds at Central Market, stocking up on deli food and such.

And finally, in other weekly wrap-up news, I have a story published in the February issue of Flash Fiction Online. Go check it out if you have the time, and read the other fine stories there, too!

That’s all for now. The husband is home and destroying my concentration. Is it any wonder I have trouble writing until after he’s gone to bed?

This Week's Workouts
Monday: none; too much going on at work
Tuesday: 5 mile run
Wednesday: 30 minute elliptical followed by weights and abs
Thursday: 60 minute spin followed by weights and abs
Friday: scheduled rest day
Saturday: 15.5 mile run