Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jumping and hopping and changing.

I've pretty much abadoned ship here.

Mostly because the MBA is finished and I'm still a lunch lady. I'm working at changing my status, but really that's who I am.

Regardless, if you'd like to see where I've gone, you can follow me to my other blog.

It started as a means to tell people about a monthly brunch project but it's turning into my food and life blog.

Hop on over. Thanks for reading me here. I'll be keeping this one up for a bit longer until I can file the content somewhere else.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer where have you gone?


I've been basking in the low stress glow of the summer.

Well I don't really bask, I fret when there's no stress. So I suppose I get wound up about the lack of directed stress in my life when I've got little to do. Some would say that is certainly not basking. But it's been nice on some level.

And it's not like I have little to do. I've lists, but they are complicated and created by me so there's a certain amount that goes unenforceable. Like without outside pressures of say a boss or a teacher I can happily put off doing what is unpleasant in exchange for something more pleasant, say reading a book or playing brain numbing computer games. That's such a confession. But as a virulent anti-TV type I keep the "Things you Should have Learned in History" pod cast going in the background. Keeps me from feeling like I'm wasting too many brain cells making groups of three or four gems come together.
On my list was get a new job this summer, which I haven't done. I've applied for some and interviewed many times for one, but they didn't want me. I didn't want them either, but I wanted the experience of the process, which I got.

Write a book was on the list too. I've got started on it, but it's stymied. I did train and run/ride the Muddy Buddy. I did start Egg Day, the Brunch Project. It was wildly successful. I'm still all a titter about the experience. I want to create Egg Day The Musical. I kid. Who'd watch a musical about food? Food movies are rare enough.

I am very excited about "Julie and Julia". I read the book a few years ago.
And I'm thrilled about the trajectory of Julie's life. I'm also heartened by the renewed acclaimed Julia is receiving. And mostly what I love about Julia's story is that she was in her late 30's before she discovered her passion for cooking. She was even older when she discovered her personal niche. There is hope for me yet. Also, my name is Juli and still now when I go to country stores, truck stops, or even the little boutiques that sell trinkets if there is a rack with key chains or pencils or cups that are personalized I always look for my name. Of course I pretend to be looking for the daughter's name. If I ever found one with out the "E" I'd snatch it up in a minute. I never do, and I'm saved the embarrassment.

However, this is about summer and it's nearly over. I know, really we have until the end of September to call it official, but stores are selling back to school items and I'm making plans to start another fall where I am-at a school-as a lunch lady. And I'm not really as disappointed as I thought I would be at the prospect.

I am self starting a proposed state community garden on our grounds. I am restructuring our department to reduce spending. I am being considered for a promotion here. And I am learning all kinds of interesting things about the Turks, Cleopatra, Thomas Jefferson and the Golem of Prague.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So the book query thing is making my head swim.

Actually the query is good. I found a title. You see it up there 350. There's more to it...but yeah for that.

I was tasked with creating the pitch-what's the 3 minute version of my book. Why would someone want to buy it? For inspiration? To see where apathy, misogyny, and an overstocked pantry will give your child while your dropping acid or swilling Pabst Blue Ribbon?

I'm also tasked with finding other memoirs to read to find some comparisons. That's not too arduous as I'm reading tons these days and loving it!

The problem is my timeline. I thought I'd be further in the process than I am right now. And then I recalled reading somewhere that everything is possible if you have a long enough timeline. To me that means stretching this out a bit longer than a few months and that is okay.

BTW, 350 is the typical temperature for baking/cooking in an oven. The book is about a cook's way out of the kitchen and away from obesity. Managing my tumultuous relationship with food while getting a grip on my personal value and finding surprising amounts of joy in the process is part of the synopsis.

There you go, a not so well thought out posting, just some ramblings.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leadership and Professional Development

PHOTO BY: heretakis

I think I took a class once with that same title. Actually probably I didn't, but it's catchy.

Today I was talking to my boss.
He's a nice guy. I know the kiss of death for a man to be called nice. They liked to be called funny, btw. That's what all the magazines say. Any way, I asked boss man if there were any special projects he'd like for me to take on in July seeing as it's a slow month at the school. He thought about this financial database thingy that the state uses and suggested that I get comfortable with it. Kind of like a back up to his brain for tapping the resource.

That's all well and good and this girl can poke around databases and do that kind of thing, and she will but it's not my thang. While boss man was talking he mentioned others in his business office area (he's over operations, and I'm still the lunch lady, so read that as SO not in the business office) would have less of learning curve than me with getting intimate with the database.

I retreated to what I know best.
I asked him what the professional development plans looked liked for those folks and if he couldn't align his desire with a backup brain with someone else's desire to garner more responsibility. We of course got massively side tracked talking about performance evaluations and other such things, but really that's my sweet spot and all in all it was an awesome conversation.
I will learn the database thing, well because July is boring and it's learning and it will look good on the resume but really, snooze.

So if you are looking for advice from this post, I don't have it. Other than, don't tell your boss no, unless she or he's being ethically reprehensible but also know your limits. My biggest triumph really with this whole conversation is seeing that HR, training and development, really is where I want to invest my time. I've been making peace with that for a while now. Having it crystalline is helping.

Oh, as for the peace part, in business school, they say HR is where they stick the failures who can't directly contribute to the bottom line. I think that's a bit out of date, but it's biased my thinking for far too long. I want to be a coach. I want to help people realize their potential. I want businesses to flourish, and that will happen when brains are engaged and people are happy. I can do that.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sometimes I Cry

Photo by: Mike Ingalls, my step dad.

I had reason today to move the file which contained this picture. I hadn't looked at it up close recently. I mean this is the photo I use as my standard 'before' shot, so I show it once or twice a month to people. I don't really look at it much.

I sent it Gabbi, she's a weight loss surgery girl too with a statement, "Sometimes I forget".

I do.

I don't really forget, I hope I never do. But sometimes I just worry about daily stuff like money and childcare and what to make for dinner and the reality of my weight loss is floating around in the back of my head.
Then I saw this picture today and sent a note. Moments later I was lacing my shoes to go for a three mile run. I run.

That girl in that picture there, she runs.

That's monumental. So much so that I cried. Where else do you but emotions of relief and joy and sorrow and gratitude? I hope I can capture just mind blowing that is someday, because it is. To go from being there to here has been amazing.
It's not just about accomplishing the goal. It's about understanding that one can do whatever it is that they want to do. If one takes the long view and breaks things down into manageable pieces. Oh then not giving up. There's so much more to this.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What I spend my money on

PHOTO BY: Tribalious

So here's the thing. I'm living closer to the bone, as it were, since I've graduated and had plastic surgery than I did while I was a student.

There was a little cushion with the student loans when I was receiving them and I wasn't trying my hardest to pay off my debt like I am now. I could try less hard to pay it down, but I'm sure I'd just fitter away the extra hundred I keep back. So I pay and I worry.

I would like to not touch the $100 so I don't fret that I'll over draft my account, but I can't not touch it. I'm amazed how much I need something, be it a piece of pork loin-literally-on sale or a new set of markers for the kiddo, when I'm not down to my last penny.

I know this doesn't bode well for a debt free life. Or maybe it does.

I just need to budget every penny.

When I was too busy to take on new ideas I'd list them in my planner for a later date. Well that's now, this is the later date. I'm checking them off here and there and others are in the thinking stage. Perhaps that's what I need to do with my spending. Stuff I want to buy when I have the money needs to get put on a list for later so I can get it out of my head.

That list:

A bed and new frame that's not broken.

A refrigerator that doesn't leak copious amounts of water. I would not be surprised to find my refrigerator in the basement, haven fallen through the floor.

Flowers for the yard.

A new windshield for the car.

A host of home repairs.

An iPhone or the new Palm.

A pile of new make-up.

More clothing.

What I am spending money on that cost more than expected or was a splurge:

Dwarf hamsters and their accessories. Who knew that would cost me $135?!

A new laptop, the old one has lines through the screen and it viral infected. Sort of. It's going to the kiddo who put the lines through the screen by being mobile with the thing.

I suppose some of the clothing I've been buying is unnecessary. I really only need 5 pair of shorts and a few shirts, but that seems sparse even for me, the girl with out much wardrobe.

I can't say dinners out or unnecessary shoes. I'm not doing that at all these days.

And before I get crap for poor mouthing, I'm not saying I'm the working poor. Working 3 jobs and still unable to cover my bills. I'm saying that it stinks to worry about money.

I think this is a study in motivation toward getting that next job.

What do you spend your money on? Do you feel okay about your spending personality?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Eschew Obfuscation-or-Keep it Simple

PHOTO BY: emborg
Dear me, I hate it when people get wordy.

Don't get me wrong, I love the language, but when people drop a 10 point word in their conversation, I feel like I'm being tested.

I typically react with "you're a dumb ass". Well not out loud but in my head, then I've lost all respect for the person. It's over. I suppose they really don't care if I respect them or not, but that's how it works for me.
Respect is key.

If you don't have mine just go on with yourself. It's going to take a while for you to regain it, if ever. I was at a workshop of the lower levels management, the bottom feeders, where I reside, when the facilitator kept dropping the giant words, quietly. Then the custodian supervisor who is a bit long in the tooth, who couldn't really hear the the man and his big old words would say, "Excuse me" the man inserted a simpler, more humble word in it's place. This happened over and over again. I was insulted. I wrote a bad evaluation. Oh, the scandal. I'm writing about it now. It impacted me.

Then there's a flip side to this. Jeni, my dearest friend, and I play the 10 point word game where we drop a big word then the other person finds a simpler version and tosses that in for clarity.
Always gratifying, I mean, fun.

If you are self promoting when you should be promoting someone else, teaching, or lifting him up, stop it. They are disengaged and no one thinks you're awesome.