Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Famous Secretaries

Here, read this article from the Wall Street Journal: The Most Powerful Person in the Office

Secretaries are fascinating to me, so here's a few I want to share with you:

"Scottie" Stephenson, 1921-2002
Worked at Capitol Broadcasting Company longer than any other employee. She had no college degree. After her death, her parking space was permanently affixed with her name. Her story is incredible and you can read it here: Scottie Stephenson

Freda Kelly 
 Secretary to the Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein, starting at age 17.
I loved the Netflix documentary "Good Ol' Freda." I admire this lady so much and she has so many great stories to share. For instance, she would stand behind the barber and collect hair on the ground when the Beatles were getting haircuts, so that she could put it in envelopes to send to the fans who requested locks of hair. 


Last but not least...

Pepper Potts :)

There are so many more I would love to recognize, but I don't want to bore you.

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Hit Publish Too Soon.

I started typing incomplete thoughts yesterday and I accidentally hit publish. If you visited my blog, you were probably confused. That's the danger of the internet- sometimes you just don't know what you're putting out there. Like the time back in 2010 when I didn't realize Instagram was a form of social media and that my pictures had "followers." If I haven't told you that story, just use your imagination.

I don't talk about it much here on this blog, but my job is one of my top priorities in life. I figured I'd blog a little bit about some work-related topics.

- My thoughts on working hard.
- My expert advice (without giving away all of my secrets).
- Famous secretaries

Some Random Thoughts on Working Hard
Hard-working professionals have a certain air about them. They are confident and secure. They don't care about petty nonsense because they're too busy getting shit done.

Take my mom for instance.

Ask her about any hot-button topic like gay marriage or legalizing marijuana. Ask her about Miley Cyrus' twerking or Kim Kardashian's recent butt photo. Ask her about anything that's "trending" on Facebook. I can already predict her response.  "Sorry, but is this relevant to me? I'm too busy right now to care."

More people should keep busy.

I downloaded the book #GIRLBOSS on a whim last week. I had never heard of it and I didn't know what it was about, but it ended up being my favorite book of the year. It's written by a girl in her 20's that is the CEO of a hundred million dollar company. I highly recommend it.

You have a vision of what you want your life to look like, so go do that. If you're like me, you may be a little bummed that it requires getting off the couch and wearing something other than yoga pants, but it will be worth it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I Need A Substitute Husband.

Brian refuses to take professional pictures with me.

Brian, here's what you're missing:


The only semi-professional photos we have are the ones that were taken by the owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn where we eloped. 

I know this sounds weird coming from me, since I'm not basic, but it's a tradition that I send out Christmas cards with our face on it.


Two years strong, so that means it's tradition. 

I hate this kind of stuff.

When buying these cards, I've discovered that the Shutterfly package prices are something like this:

1 card - $35
99 cards - $36

Are you friggin' kidding me? I'm only in the market for five!

So, I need a picture for this year. 

Recently, a family friend who is an amazing photographer agreed to do a fall photo session with me, Brian, and the dogs for FREE. Any other photographer would charge a minimum of $300 for something like this and then they would bump up the price to $500 after meeting our stubborn bulldogs.

I jumped all over this opportunity. 

I chose not to tell Brian.

When we finally got closer to the day of the free photo sesh, I tried to sneak it into the weekend itinerary when discussing plans. Oh, you know, the baby shower I'm hosting, the shopping trip with my sister, the photo shoot with us and the dogs, dinner at California Pizza Kitchen, and there's that movie I want to see.

And he was like "I'm not doing a photo shoot with you and the dogs."

Curses! 
Foiled again.

After talking it over for a little bit, I could tell this was a battle I was not going to win. We will never have professional family photos. This is my life now.

So, I've been working on some other options. 

(My most "liked" photo ever on Facebook. A selfie. Go figure.)


My best idea yet?
Find a substitute husband.

(You just need brown hair, a t-shirt, and really baggy khakis.)

I'll pay you with 94 leftover Christmas cards.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Terror in Virginia Woods - Part 2

Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, I remember.

We're back at the cabin now, taking out our food, pouring some wine, and getting ready to settle in beside a cozy fire.

I was so proud of myself because I remembered to bring fire starters.

So Brian's like "firewood."
And I hand him some firewood.
Then he's like "fire starter."
And I hand him a fire starter.
Then he's like "matches."
And I.....

WTF. I forgot matches.

Thinking there has got to be matches or a lighter somewhere, we tear apart the entire cabin looking for them, which takes approximately two minutes in a cabin this size:

(Actual cabin and there's our car to prove it.)
(Also, our Volkswagen Touareg is for sale. $8K. Message me.)

There are no matches anywhere and I flat out REFUSE not to have a fire. Remember the three perks of this cabin? Privacy. Hot Tub. Wood Burning Fireplace.

So I'm like "Well, Brian, maybe you can drive back to Grocery."
And he's like "hell to the no."
So I ventured outside of the house to check the fire pit area. Maybe someone left some behind.

Nothing.

So I go back inside and tell Brian that I'm going to walk to the nearest cabin and ask if they have matches. When I was outside, I could see another cabin off in the distance with lights on and smoke coming out of the chimney. Surely they'd give us some matches.

At first Brian doesn't think it's a good idea. He's like "It's 10 o'clock at night. I don't think it's a good idea."

But then, after thinking it over, he's like...


So out I went, small flashlight in hand.

Right as I was shutting the door to the cabin, I see something that wasn't there before - headlights in the distance, near the neighboring cabin. I'm thinking I've timed this perfectly - they are probably leaving their cabin to go somewhere, so I can wave them down with my flashlight and ask them for matches.

As I'm walking down the dirt path towards the headlights, I realize the car is not moving. I start waving my hands and my flashlight trying to get their attention, thinking they will open a door and say something like "You need help?" but nothing happens.

At this point, I'm directly in front of the car that's not moving and I'm starting to question if there's even anyone in the car at all. Why aren't they helping me? I mean, this is literally their view and I'm a few feet in front of the car flailing my arms:


The uneasy feeling from earlier in the night returns, so I decide to just go back to our cabin. Screw the matches. But then I hear someone moving around in front of the neighboring cabin in the distance and I can see his shadow. I can tell it's a large man with his back towards me, about 15 feet away, like so:


Assuming it's one of the people staying at that cabin, I shine my flashlight on him and say "Excuse me, sir? We have no matches in our cabin and I was hoping you could help me."

Words will never be able to articulate the absolute terror of the next thirty seconds.

Startled, he slowly turns and looks at me, but says nothing.
(In hindsight, he was probably wondering why the heck there is now a young girl in the woods, shining a small flashlight at him.)

Still saying nothing, he starts stumbling towards me, like he's trying to run but can't keep his footing. I start backing up.

He continues to say nothing as he's coming towards me, so I shout "Actually, nevermind!" and I start hightailing it back to our cabin. As I'm getting away, I hear him mumble "Wait, come back. I can help you."

I look behind and he's still following me. I yell over my shoulder "No, go away!" and he says - slurring his words - "I'm looking for my dog. Come back. I'm looking for my dog. Have you seen my dog?"

I'm almost to our cabin door and I can feel him still behind me. He watches me go inside.

My heart is racing so fast I can barely breathe. I'm inside now, staring at the back door, and all I keep whispering to Brian is "lock the door. lock the door. lock the door. lock the door. lock the door."

This is Brian:

He's thinking "What the heck did you get us into now?"

I'm thinking "What the heck did I get us into now, but more importantly, HOW THE HECK DO WE NOW HAVE A FIRE?!"

(While I was outside dying, Brian used a toaster to start a fire.)

In the end, this never happened:


Nothing really happened after that except for mass consumption of wine. Without an alcohol-induced coma, ain't no way I was falling asleep that night.

I know you were hoping for a more dramatic ending to the story, but here's the kicker - this is an unsolved mystery. 

Who was that guy stumbling around outside late at night? What were his intentions? And don't say he was looking for his dog.

The truth is, we'll never know.

But I do know one thing...


Next time I'm staying at a Motel 6.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Terror in Virginia Woods - Part 1

It's very rare that Brian and I go on vacation, so I suggested we take a couple days off for our anniversary this year. We were planning to be in Annapolis for the weekend, so I thought it would be nice to stop somewhere overnight on our way home.

A romantic little getaway, if you will.

I found a rustic cabin in the Shenandoah Valley, which was off the beaten path, not too far from Charlottesville.
(Actual cabin)

This cabin seemed perfect for our needs, offering privacy, a hot tub, and a wood burning fireplace.  I knew there wouldn't be much to do once we got there, but I figured Brian would be ecstatic to spend some one-on-one time with yours truly.

Between the Scrabble and Connect Four, he could barely contain his excitement.

After we arrived, the first few hours were great.
But then things went south and they went south fast.

The cabin provided the address of the nearest restaurant, so we're driving down the mountain on our way to dinner around 8:30 and I'm realizing there is absolutely no civilization within a thirty mile radius. In fact, I think this is where they filmed Deliverance.

When we arrive at the address, it's an abandoned strip mall. There's a grocery store called "Grocery" - the neon sign flickering with a dull buzzing sound. Two cars in the far end of the parking lot. And the restaurant. Completely dark, blinds closed, a sign that says "OPEN."

(This might be it. I'm not too sure. It was dark out.)

So, Brian's all like "it says open," so we decided to go in. 

The lady inside seemed surprised to see customers. (Maybe it had something to do with the late 8:30 hour). 
She looked at me. 
She looked at Brian. 
She said "how many?" 
"Uh, two."
She then walked away to consult with a man in the back of the restaurant, then came back over to us and announced "take out only."

So then Brian asked "Um, are there any other places to eat in this town?"

And she was like

So we ordered take out.

As I waited for the food, Brian went over to Grocery to get a bottle of wine. Not surprisingly, he reported back saying he was the only one in the whole place except for the cashier. As we got in the car to leave, a random guy casually walked across the parking lot and went behind the abandoned building. Like that's normal.

Something just seemed off about this town. It was one of those feelings you get in your gut and you're like "this ain't right."

It didn't feel right.

So we headed back to the cabin, thinking we've put that uneasy feeling behind us. 

(That's us leaving. I'm not sure who took that picture.)

To be continued....

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Story Leading Up to the Story

I've gotten behind on my blogging lately. I'm not even sure where to begin.

Here's a definition for you:


back·fire/ˈbakˌfī(ə)r/

verb
  1. (of a plan or action) rebound adversely on the originator; have the opposite effect to what was intended.


So let me start with early October. I had planned what I thought would be a really fun date for me and Brian - a trip down to Charlotte to go to Carowinds Halloween Haunt. I was really looking forward to doing something fun together,  something like we would do in the earlier days of dating. To be quite honest, we haven't been having much fun together lately, so I wanted to get back that spark.

Well, we get to Carowinds and, two rides in, I was throwing up in the grass beside the concession stand. Brian, showing no sympathy over my motion sickness plight, was annoyed he had to ride the roller coasters by himself the rest of the day. At one point, I'm waiting for him on a bench and I see him on the front row of a roller coaster overhead. He's sitting beside a cute girl and waving at me. I obviously can't hear what he's saying to the girl, but it was probably something like "That lady over there is my boring wife. She's so lame - she puked after the Intimidator!"

So, yeah. We didn't get back any spark. In fact, I think it actually made things worse.

When planning this date, I knew we would be leaving the park around 1AM and I knew Brian wouldn't want to spend too much money on a hotel, so I booked us a room at a Motel 6.

I don't know how to best describe this particular Motel 6 1 AM crowd without being offensive, so I'll just use a picture I found on the internet:


I would say that I'm fearless. Brian would say that I make poor choices. Either way, we've recently been finding ourselves in dicey situations and I'm definitely the one to blame.

At one point around 1:30 in the morning, I exit the room to get a bucket of ice and I'm...surrounded. One of the guys looks at me and says "All these niggas and a little white girl. Are you scared?"

(Mind you, Brian can hear this encounter through the paper thin wall of our luxurious Motel 6 hotel room, but he chose not to come to my rescue. I think he saw an opportunity - he could find himself a more fun wife that doesn't puke on roller coasters).

So, I told them I wasn't scared (I wasn't) and then pushed my way through the crowd to go get my ice. Much to Brian's chagrin, I made it back alive, and we cuddled in bed listening to other people's conversations the rest of the night.