Month: August 2009

Dog Days of Summer

‘Tis the season. Sunshine and warm temperatures can only mean one thing – off to the Dog park we go.  Wild, free and without any coordination whatsoever, 37 pounds of pure energy is released.

If you have ever had the pleasure of watching Mr. O play at his local dog parks, then you are familiar with the above sentence and the mental image will not soon leave you.  If you have not witnessed this sight, allow me to indulge you.

Oliver prefers to romp in the “largDSCF1621_0292_edited-1e” breed area. He doesn’t understand that many of them weigh at least twice what he does, nor does he desire this understanding.

Oliver prefers to be chased, but will not turn down an opportunity to do the chasing.  He is often left behind in this scenario.  Example:  Mr. O is the dog being chased, however,  due to physical challenges (see: short. furry. legs) he ends up being the chaser.  For this reason exactly, he has developed and employs a coping mechanism. He cuts corners.  Most dogs run in circles, mine runs in octagon like patterns.

Oliver prefers a proper introduction to all dog park incumbents.  He is the welcoming committee; never losing site of the entry gate and all who pass through.  Upon arrival,  sniffing procedures are completed and water bucket use policy is discussed.

Oliver prefers mud.  He will not hesitate to lie down smack dab in the middle of a swamp like mass, he might even start rolling around or digging in it.

Oliver prefers water. I’m just going to go ahead and say it; my dog has a drinking problem.  From a fountain, cup, gallon bucket or gutter puddle – it really doesn’t matter.

Oliver prefers the adopt-a-owner program.  At no time during his dog park session will he make it known that I am his mommy.  My incessant whistling, clapping and across-park hollers are met with his increased speed in the opposite direction.  Mr. O goes as far as to lay on the feet of other dog owners, soliciting their affectionate words and touch.

I  will not lie, it took time but ultimately I have accepted these preferences.  I realize that I am merely the transportation vessel to and from this hallowed playground and I am OK with that.  Whats not to embrace? Oliver is entertained for at least 60 minutes and I don’t have to do a thing.  He will be completely exhausted for the rest of the day and I don’t have to lift a finger to make that happen. I now look forward to the weekends where I can bring InStyle, an iced americano and cozy up in a corner lawn chair.  Winter will be here too soon, long live the dog days of summer!

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Are You Tough?

Scene:  Third story board room; myself and two recruiters oppositely nestled amongst a sea of black chairs meaningfully placed around a vast, but empty conference table. Here it comes ….. one of them asks, “Carrie, are you tough”?

I dutifully rattled off some muddled answer and got a nod in reply, however hours later, my Monday morning quarterback thought process just cannot shake that question out of my head.  Should I have been more witty? Should I have deflected my answer towards one of my less abrasive strengths? Wait…. AM I TOUGH?

Am I the lion or the lamb? With what level of commitment do I hold my ground?

My mind is breaking the speed limit.  Confidence, conscience and conviction my passengers along for the ride.

It is these thought provoking, self-reflection questions that any good HR person asks and that most candidates (now, me included) stumble over.  Why does it seem to bother so many to claim they’re “tough”?  I’ll admit that I wasn’t quick to jump at adding that word to my brand.  It seems too rough, almost rigid.  I want to diligently portray my commitment to my craft without sounding so abrasive, yet simultaneously protecting myself from sounding flighty and undeserving of a challenge.

So, am I Tough? No.

I am Firm. Passionate. Strong. Unwavering. Persistent.

Spin Class Survival …. and Etiquette

Now a gym novice I am not, but a studio exercise class rookie I am.  In my haste to sculpt what is left of my pre-college girlish figure I admit that I did not properly research the elements of such an endeavor and was to say the least, shocked by what my 60-minute experience entailed.  Following is my advisory list for spin class survival …. and etiquette:

  • You MUST sign up at the front desk to attend the class.  Know that you will physically have to interrupt the highly intellectual conversation that the 17 y/o blondes at the front counter are having to accomplish this, they will still not pay attention to you.
  • Arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the class start time.  This is the optimal time allowance for you to find a conspicuous spot in the far corner of the room.
  • Adjust your bike so that all components are adjusted properly for your physical needs.  This will require a feat of Hulk strength.  All levers and adjuster “thingys” have been adhered with a super glue cement-like substance. Admit defeat, leave conspicuous location,  scour for an available bike that is already set close to a level you can function with.
  • Let the instructor know if this is your first class or if you have any special limitations.   Everyone around you is now judging you, immediately! The instructor will make every attempt to audibly amplify your inability to the entire class, at least a dozen times.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Why is everyone “locking in” to their pedals? Pink and Silver New Balances will give you away!
  • Do not bring personal belongings into the class. It was a Coach Outlet in there! Apparently the two chicks next to me were going to a great happy hour after class….according to their text messages.
  • Keep your towel and water bottle on the bike at all times.  O, so that crackling sound of empty plastic hitting the hardwood isn’t normal? what about the guy in front of me waving his sweat rag around like “Terrible Towel”????
  • Know your limitations throughout the workout.  NEVER STOP PEDALING!
  • Participate in the warm-up/cool-down exercises. NEVER STOP PEDALING!

All comedic humiliation aside, it was a GREAT workout. I followed the spin class with a 15-minute ab blasting session and high-fived myself as I chalked up another 600 calorie burn!

Suburban Schlep Mobile

Living in Midtown Sacramento spoiled me just a little bit.  Whenever I chose to leave my quaint (sounds better than minutely sized) apartment, I had several options for how to mill about town.

  • On foot.  However, my unrequited podiatric love for ridiculously high heels often thwarted this, and sneakers did not properly accessorize the majority of my ensembles.
  • My bicycle – Yes, I like to get my Lance Armstrong on once in awhile. However, having to haul the over-sized mountain bike up and down a stair case resembling the Notre Dame locker room proved too great an endeavor for a group of less than 4 people.
  • TAXI! However, yellow isn’t a good color for me and let’s be real…$/mile really can add up and eat away at the cocktail fund!
  • Hitch a ride.  However, my friends who could have come and picked me up don’t seem to suffer from the 3 items listed above.

Now, I told you that, to tell you this:

I moved to Folsom 6 weeks ago, L-O-V-E it! However, my North East migration into suburbia has seemingly caused me to further develop a new mode of transportation; a 2004 Honda Accord.  I have officially dubbed it my “Suburban Schlep Mobile”.

Gone are the restaurants, grocery stores, vintage boutiques and questionable dive bars within a 1 mile radius of my Midtown abode. I live in the land of the foreign luxury SUV commute and 50 mph speed limits.  Crosswalks are now intersections.   One way only signs have been replaced with merging lane arrows.  Parking is free, not $.25/12 minutes. $3/gallon gasoline is pumped into tanks like it was going out of style; I used to fill up nearly once a month!

While I occasionally muster the energy to complete the 1 mile saunter down to Old Folsom for the Thursday night street fair or Sunday morning Farmers’ Market, that’s about as far as the self-reliant transportation goes.  How am I supposed to simultaneously reduce my carbon footprint and buy dog food if the closest pet store is 8.6 miles away (that’s not round trip mileage either)? The ultimate irony/tragedy…. I have to drive to the gym!

The known facts that I have no sense of direction, lack an internal compass and get lost going around the corner are not my sole complaints for having to turn to vehicular means of mobility.  I also find it utterly appalling that Mr. O shows no contempt for the “Suburban Schlep Mobile”.  Quite contrarily, he seems to overtly embrace it; mounting his front paws securely on the center console while whimpering his requests for rolled down windows, open sunroof and the wind blown look.

Am I imagining this?! Thirty minutes to get across town?!

My investigation continues into alternate routes and mediums, till then….I am happily green light hunting in the 95630!

Oliver v. Fly

Ok, so I know it is nOliver The Amazing!ew to some of you, so I’ll reiterate…..I am completely obsessed with my dog, Oliver!

He is a Basset Hound/Bichon Frise HYBRID and his daily antics often leave me somewhere in between debilitating fits of frustration and hysterical laughter. Not to discount Mr. O’s intelligence, but the guy often commits acts of curiosity that could befuddle even Captain Obvious, the defender of all things common sense.  Only recently have I turned my sheer wonder and amazement with my four-legged canine companion into valuable life lessons.  I have begun this practice mostly because I refuse to believe that Mr. O is anything other than genius!

Here is where I would insert a colorful commentary outlining O’s first encounter with a sliding glass door (the antagonistic dual pane barrier) or perhaps his venture into the fine art of detailing IKEA furniture (may the cushion stuffing rest in peace), but today I have something new….. Oliver v. Fly.

Monday, August 10, 2009  – 5:06-5:08pm

Mommy (me) goes out to the back patio to retrieve a fresh pile of laundry from the dryer.  In my haste, I decide “eh, why close the screen, I’ll only be a moment” (poor decision making skills example #1). Enter common house fly into apartment. Mommy returns into apartment, sealing in the winged intruder.

Monday, August 10, 2009  – 5:09pm

Oliver spots winged intruder.

Monday, August 10, 2009  – 5:09:21pm

Oliver sits, stays (good boy), and barks incessantly at winged intruder.

Monday, August 10, 2009  – 5:09:43pm

Fly, feeling advantageous, begins buzzing about Oliver’s furry little face (Poor decision making skills example #2). Oliver counters this attack with an act just short of a Cirque Du Soliel performance. Leap, twist, snap muzzle, grunt…repeat, repeat, repeat…..

Monday, August 10, 2009  – 5:12pm

Despite being visually amazed at his performance, after 3 incessant minutes, Mommy intervenes on Oliver’s behalf, mostly due to the audible assault this was no doubt causing the neighbors.

Monday, August 10, 2009  – 5:13pm

Fly meets untimely demise via red 4″ stiletto.

Moral of the story – No matter the effort or intent of our protective display, some enemies are only warded off by recruitment of available resources.

Cherry Popping!

Hello and welcome to my first EVER blog!

This just in…stay tuned!