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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Wild Turkey and Weddings

No, this is not exactly a cautionary tale. Well, I suppose it could be after all - it's all in the interpretation.

Wild Turkey:

Friday night, around 5:45pm, I was still at work at a co-worker's cubicle, adding some email documents to a file. My co-worker looks up at me and exclaims, "Did you hear that? It sounded like glass breaking!" I of course had heard nothing, and thought she was pulling my leg. Then she said it again, as she'd heard it again. Again, I heard nothing. And then my boss called out from her office, "Oh my God! You guys come here! Oh my God!"

So we ran to her office and asked what was going on. My office building is loosely shaped like a V (from an aerial view, of course) and my department is near the inside of the V, so my boss's office has a view of the backside of the other wing. Well, she pointed out 2 sections of shattered window. She said she heard one crash/glass breaking, then heard it again and saw something drop down the side of the building.

She was freaked out (we all were, after seeing the window damage, and not knowing what was going on). By this time, the other employee that was still at work at that time had joined us. The boss told us all to stay put, and she was going to check it out. We watched from her window and saw when she was over by the damage, but noticed that she didn't go in.

Now, since we are all actually disobedient children (and free-willed adults), we headed over there to check it out ourselves. The broken windows belonged to two adjacent rooms - a VP's office and a small meeting room. The floor of the meeting room was covered in large (and tiny) shards of glass and a heck of a lot of dark grey feathers. The blinds were completely thrashed. Tiny glass shards covered the central table. There was a small trail of glass shards (and a very few tiny drops of blood) leading from the window out the door of the meeting room and immediately into the next door office, across the room, up onto the low cabinet under the window, ending in another broken window.

That's right - a wild turkey (they live out on the hill behind the office building) had flown through the 2nd story window of the meeting room, walked into the hallway and into the adjacent office, and hurled itself back OUT that window! Crazy kamikaze turkeys!

Don't be fooled. These suckers are strong!! (And suicidal.)


Saturday I helped my wedding coordinator friend with a wedding. I worked the reception set up (along with the catering staff) while she was covering the ceremony. It was a beautiful day, so the couple lucked out (you never know in the bay).
Anyway, all went pretty smoothly until about 10 minutes before everyone was going to be called inside the dining room for dinner. My part was done and I was getting ready to leave. I stopped to grab a highchair for a man sitting at a table with a baby right before I left. As soon as we had figured out the straps for the seat (at which point the man said I must have children, and I told him that no, I actually don't), the fire alarm started going off. Most of the guests were out on the back patio already, and didn't know that this was going on. But, those inside were all ushered out of the building, and I shut the doors to the banquet hall so they wouldn't go back in, just in case the building was really on fire. You can't be too safe, right? Of course...I didn't realize that the doors automatically locked from the outside. Oops!!

I stood by one set of doors, letting people know why they couldn't go in (as I said, most of the guests that were outside already didn't know the alarm was going off). This included the bride - who took it very well! Luckily, the fireman that inspected and cleared the building opened the back door to tell us all we could come back in. Luckily we could, as he'd opened the door for us! And the bride and groom had the fireman pose for pictures with them. The fireman was a good sport. He announced that it was actually a set up (which it wasn't), and was pretty good-natured about it all. When the groom said to everyone, "okay, now he's going to strip," the fireman first said no, that wasn't going to happen, and then did a little shimmy move. It was quite amusing.
No one will be forgetting that wedding day!

The Wait is Over

After years and years of wondering if I'd ever find a man to marry (always a bridesmaid, never a bride...), I have delightfully discovered the perfect solution:Thank you PetCo!

Who knew, men really are dogs! You can get them at pet stores on sale...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yeah, I Think I'll go to Boston...

Yep, my trip is all planned out. My father offered some of his frequent flier miles after I'd already paid for my Atlanta tickets. After I mentioned that on my blog, a few of my friends started extending invitations. Caitlin was the first to mention a specific date - Memorial Day - so I requested the time off from work and actually got it. Yay! I haven't seen Cait in 2 years (coincidentally, during Memorial day that year), so I'm really looking forward to the trip. Our mutual friend Moriah will also be coming down that weekend from Ohio (coincidentally, the last time I saw her was also Memorial day two years ago, at her wedding in Ohio!) with her husband.

I haven't been to the Boston area since I was a little kid, and I don't remember a whole lot. Caitlin is going to take some time off from work and we'll run around having fun on our own for a few days before Eric and Moriah get there. We were thinking of visiting Salem, MA one day, Newport, RI another, and I'm not sure what else yet.

Luckily for me, Caitlin's husband Kyle is also obsessed with the supernatural, so I've convinced them to take a haunted tour of Boston one night. This is one that will re-route the tour to accomodate wheelchairs, which is great, because we'd hate to leave Cait stuck somewhere in a purportedly haunted location in the dark without us! (And we'd hate to be left like that as well!)

Time is flying, and the trip is coming up quite soon. This weekend I am helping Kristin out with a wedding, so I'll be making some vacation moola. I will need it. I also need to do a whole lot of laundry before I can pack, which I should be able to do this weekend. (I wrote it down for the world to see - that means I'm accountable and it might actually get done.) My apartment complex is replacing the faucets in my apartment while I am gone, so I also need to do some cleaning around here so they don't decide to evict me (again with the accountability here)...

Wish me luck on the cleaning!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

In Honor of Mother's Day

Well, I hope everyone had a good Mother's Day weekend. Mine was pretty good. I spent most of Saturday with my friend Kerri, who's birthday was last week. We went to see Spiderman 3 and did some shopping, and some eating.

Then Saturday night I headed out to my Mom's house. We all went to breakfast Sunday morning in Folsom. Mom and I headed to old town Folsom later. I haven't been down there in a while, and the parking situation (or lack thereof) is completely out of control. They're actually building a parking structure there now (to open in 2008).

Anyway, Mom and I stopped by the cemetary before I headed home. I hadn't been in a while. It looks like my sister has had some visitors. And a few of them stayed. (My brother says this has been here since Christmas Eve, when he first saw it all up.) So, I had to take some grave photos... Pardon my morbidity...

We (my family) are a bit curious as to who left the horses in the little corral. We have it narrowed down to 2 suspects - her last boyfriend or one of her high-school admirers from Gilroy. I know the latter still visits the grave site from time to time (since he responded to my blog last year and mentioned he sometimes brings her horses - which is why I think it's him). Anyway, it's good to know that others still remember and visit her too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~

And, in honor of Mother's Day, I took this quiz...even though I'm not sure I want kids anymore (sorry Mom, but if my social life continues on in its current state, the choice won't be mine anyway).

You Will Be a Cool Parent

You seem to naturally know a lot about parenting, and you know what kids need.
You can tell when it's time to let kids off the hook, and when it's time to lay down the law.
While your parenting is modern and hip, it's not over the top.
You know that there's nothing cool about a parent who acts like a teenager... or a drill sergeant!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Theresa Jane Alteri
7/28/73 - 5/10/92
Beloved daughter, sister and friend
You are missed

Today is the anniversary of my sister's death. She would have turned 34 this year. For the first time in 14 years, I didn't actually realize what today was right off. It hit me when my Aunt emailed me telling me that she had a Mass said for Terri today (she does every May 10th) and was happy that the priest pronounced our last name correctly (and surprised at how many people attend 10:30am mass on a weekday!). I had to check the calendar, because I had lost track of the date. Then I felt sad and guilty that I had not realized it was the anniversary of her death. I don't know if that is a sign of progress on my part or not (though I accepted a long time ago that she was gone, even though I still feel she's always with us - my family). Of course, last year I was all too acutely aware of it, as it already felt like my world was crashing down on me, and I was focusing on the negative.
I think I felt like I was being disrespectful to Terri's memory by not being aware of it. I don't ever want to forget. I truly don't think that I will. But, I think that since I still think of her often and wonder what she'd be like today, or if we'd get along, or what she'd think about things, that I keep the memory alive. I don't know. Does that make any sense? I know I tend to hold onto things forever (mentally), so maybe I have finally managed to let go of some of the grief while keeping the memories?
And the grief will never be completely gone. I will continue to stand in the "sister" aisle of card stores and hold back a tear or two. I will still have that distinct feeling of discomfort every time I pass a wreck on the road - I always greive just a bit for the families of the victims and resent the rubberneckers. Maybe I am too sensitive, but I can't help remembering what it was like for my family.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Free for Me

A very random thing happened to me this afternoon and totally made my day. As many of you may know, I am in a lunch-time rut and when I don't have plans I usually end up taking a book to Starbucks and relaxing with some much needed caffeine. (Funny how you can relax with a stimulant.)

Today, I took my current book, The Pilot's Wife, on over to the usual spot. The weather was great - a bit hot, but with a refreshing breeze - in stark contrast to the customary chill of the office. I headed inside and decided that it would be a nice day to read outside with an iced chai (yum!).

I get inside and there are a few people ahead of me. No biggie. One of the other Baristas comes around and opens the other register, looks at me and says, "Come on down, you're the next contestant on the price is...Starbucks!" No, I didn't make it up. Yes, it was dorky, but I played along, stepping up to the counter and asking, "What do I get if I win?" (I was happy to be away from my desk, can you tell?)

So, he actually asked me what I wanted, and had me guess the price (though he told me not to look at the board). I was a whole dollar off (I usually get the hot vs iced chai, when I get it), but he said I was a good sport, so it was on the house. I was actually a little stunned and thought he was kidding. I even offered to still pay, but he said no. Totally not the norm for me. I never get free stuff!!

Anyway, that's the extent of that excitement. But, like I said, it made my day. (And it was a dreary workday - except for a co-worker's birthday celebration, which also livened things up.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Jill's Mother Made Me Do It!

Indirectly anyway, I am blaming this post on Jill's mother Jolene, who tagged Jill, who tagged me, in the blog post that Jack built... Oh sorry, slight diversion. Now, I did one similar to this a while back, so sorry about any repetition. Here we go.

--List seven random facts/habits about yourself
--Choose another seven bloggers to tag and list their names in your blog
--Leave your seven tagged bloggers comments to notify them of their tagging along with directions.

1. I hardly ever wear makeup, but tend to buy a lot of it (impulse buys - mostly lipsticks and mascaras/eye products).

2. I am addicted to television - mostly mindless sitcoms, and some light dramas. Also love TCM and AMC.

3. I am constantly riddled with anxiety.

4. My nails have always been pretty strong and long. I was notorious at summer camp one year as "the girl with the long nails." Seriously - a girl I had never met sat next to me at one of the picnic tables and got all excited that it was me. (Very weird, and the extent of my short-lived fame...) Due to the length of my nails, people tend to give me manicure products as gifts. I hardly ever use them, and when I do, I compulsively pick at my polish after a few days and weaken the nails by peeling at it.

5. I grew 3/4" between the ages of 24 and 30 (yes, I had to wait that long for the growth spurt everyone always promised me when I was younger, and that was the extent of the growth).

6. I have fainted more than most people I know.

7. I hate clowns. I am not afraid of them. I just hate them and wouldn't mind if they were completely obliterated from the earth. Yes, even Ronald.

Okay, there you have it. I also wrote out 10 things, and got rid of the boring ones (or rather, those I know I've already shared).

I will tag these lucky people. You all can thank me later.

Calamity Jen

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fairy Tale Friday

Okay everyone. You can blame this post on, who was bored this afternoon and sending me emails while I was at work. It started off innocently enough...

Kristin: What's up?

Me: The usual. (Nothing.)

Kristin: Wrong answer. Make up a story or something.

And so I did...over the course of a few dorky emails. So here it is. The first installment (and possibly the last) of Fairy Tale Friday. And I apologize in advance for the mixing of eras...

Once upon a time there was a little girl who toiled in an office all day, under the watchful eyes of two ogres. One morning, she traipsed into her office and headed to her little padded cell, um, I mean spacious office cubicle, and found that her desk was all out of order! Oh no! Who had been messing with her stuff?
She looked at her desk and saw the scene. Phone pushed willy-nilly away from the wall. Rolodex rolled towards the edge of the desktop. Headphones huddled in a pile on the side. Pens and pencils scattered about.
Observing the chaos, she suddenly knew who the culprits must be.
Office faeries!!
Now, these office faeries had quite a reputation for random acts of mischief. Their favorite game was rearranging the objects on people's desks, like they had done to our poor heroine. Sometimes though, they would stoop to other dastardly deeds, like switching the trash cans with the recycling cans under people's desks, or removing all of the food from the office refrigerators.
A few times they had even stolen bottles of water off of people's desks! The horror!
The deeds of the mischievous office faeries were well known and often discussed amongst the day-dwellers of the building. But no one had ever laid eyes on one.
Now, our heroine was a very curious girl, which had gotten her into trouble once or twice before. One day, she decided that she would linger around the office after hours to try to catch a glimpse of one of these fabled creatures and catch them in the act. Luckily for her, the fates were on her side and had provided her with an ample amount of work to keep her busy during her elongated stay.
So, as our herione toiled away, the sun began it's long descent. As the evening grew later, an odd thing happened. The lights flickered, and then went out. Our herione searched high and low for the light switch that she knew must be nearby. Had she looked in the middle, rather than high and low, she'd have found it much quicker, as it was actually located right there, at eye level.
Having conquered that dilemma, she lowered herself back into her padded desk chair in front of the glowing computer screen. Suddenly, she heard a noise. What was that?
"Oh no," thought our heroine. "Someone is coming!" Luckily, she had the presence of mind not to say this out loud, as she was a very intelligent girl and knew better than to startle a faerie.
The rumbling, rolling noise grew louder. Then there was the faint sound of something hitting the ground. It would stop for a short time, then the rumble continued, followed by the other noise, getting a little louder, and a little closer, each time.
Our heroine started to get a little worried. What if it wasn't a faerie? What if it was a ghost? A mean ghost of an unhappy deceased worker? What had she gotten herself into?
Just then, with visions of ghastly ghostly vapors, the noise came again. From right behind her!
Then it stopped, but there was no other noise. Our heroine, having scared the wits out of herself, did not dare to turn around and see what it was. Slowly, but surely, from the very edge of the corner of her eye, our heroine spotted something moving. Closer... Closer... Reaching underneath her desk, right by her own little knees...was a human hand!
Oh thank heavens! It was attached to a human arm. And the arm was attached to a human body! It was only the building's human janitor, come to empty out the trash cans and the recycling bins. Our heroine felt very foolish for having convinced herself that there were ghosts in the building, or even faeries, for that matter. How silly of her! She thanked the janitor for emptying her trash, and thought about returning to her home.
Then she had a thought. The janitor hadn't touched anything on top of her desk. And of course, as everyone knows, objects don't move themselves. So, she decided that some exploration was in order. Rising from her desk, she proceeded to inspect the desks of her fellow workers.
Everything was still in its rightful place.
How curious! If the janitor hadn't been the cleaning culprit, how could the order of desk items have become so disordered so often? Our heroine returned to her desk with a little frown wrinkling her overworked brow. She was right where she started!
"Oh well," she thought to herself and decided to stick around a little bit longer. Just in case.
After a short while, just when our heroine was starting to ponder how eerie the empty office was after dark, she heard another strange sound. Now, you know by this time our heroine had been in the office for quite some time, and had not eaten since her meager lunch hours and hours ago. Naturally, to her famished mind, she thought this new noise sounded much like the grumblings of a very large, very hungry tummy. What type of beast could possibly have such a loud hungry tummy?
As the growling got closer and louder, our heroine decided to peek over the top of her cell, I mean cubicle, wall. She glimpsed the top of a very small head, perched atop a very small body. In a pair of very small hands was a regular sized vacuum cleaner. And the very small body behind the machine was that very same janitor that had emptied the trash earlier.
"This is useless!" thought our heroine, at least happy that she was able to complete some of the endless tasks provided to her by the fates. For you know, if the tasks were not completed, the angry ogres got very upset.
By now, our heroine was very hungry and getting very tired. She decided to commence her long journey home. She took one more look around the office, realizing that she may never solve the mystery of the office faeries. Walking away from the building through the dark night, she headed towards her meager carriage, for the ogres did not pay their workforce too generously. Our heroine boarded her carriage and began driving away from the building. As she passed the entrance to the building, she took one last glimpse inside the darkened building.
Out of the very corner of her eye, in the window of the furthest office, she swore that she saw the flicker of faerie wings. They do exist!
*No faeries, janitors, ogres or heroines were harmed in the development of this tale.*

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Random Acts of Appreciation

Yesterday, one of my coworkers randomly brought me flowers. It was so nice of her, and I was totally not expecting it. She said it was because I showed her how to concatenate (in Excel), and she's been trying to figure it out for over a year. Christyn and I have both tried to teach her in the past (and Christyn originally taught me. Twice...before I got it). Apparently, this time it took, and she was feeling appreciative when she was out shopping that day and came across these tulips: The vase is one of mine. I forgot I had it, and like the shape. It may be the vase I got from the only time my ex sent me flowers. I'm not sure though (and it doesn't matter). It reminds me of an old milk bottle, sort of. Anyway, you know how tulips tend to droop after they're cut? Another co-worker shared the penny trick with us (the flower giver and me). Put a penny in the water and the tulips perk up. It worked overnight on the white tulips, but the purple ones still looked a bit droopy when I left for work this morning. When I got back from work though, they were all standing at attention (as in the above photo). So, if you ever wondered...the penny trick really does work!

The invitations for my friend Christyn's baby shower have gone out. These are the ones I worked on a few weekends ago with her sister-in-law. (Did I blog about that?) I think they came out cute. They are all different, homemade cards. Maureen (Christyn's SIL) finished them all up last week, since she has Mondays off, and sent them all out last weekend. I got mine today (I asked her to send me one if we had enough to go around). Maureen made this one:

The Oh Baby! Stamped paper peeking out of the envelope has the directions and registry info on it. And the RSVPs have already started coming in. And still more planning to be done! (But the rest of the planning shouldn't be too bad.)

Now, since you all know how much I love my extreme close up photos, I'll leave you with this (I actually really like this picture!):

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

News Coverage

Hello everyone. Well, I had a busy weekend, volunteering at the playground build site for the "Matteo's Dream" project. Click here for a short video on the project. My friend Kristin has been putting in quite a bit of time at the build site, and is in 2 shots in here. (She's soaping screws and drilling. Yes, that's right...they gave her power tools!)

Here is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle from Saturday. There were lots of photographer's swarming around the place both days. One of them took a few shots of me up on a ladder, sanding away at one of the tower roofs. (It didn't make it into anything, as far as I know.)

Aside from the work on the ladder, I was mostly on painting duty on Saturday, covering little blocks of Trex in blue paint. I don't know where they're actually ending up though. I'm going to have to go back and visit the playground just to see. I also sanded some wooden shapes (stars and planets) and worked on priming and painting those as well. I got to work with my friend Kristin on that part of it, as well as little Matteo's grandmother LaVerne. She's a kick.

Sunday I was working on the tile mosaic, which is huge. That was kind of fun, and something I'd never done before. I laid a group of teal tile bits into a flower petal-like shape, and am curious how the whole thing (again, this is huge) will turn out. They are still working on it, and a few other parts of the park as well. So, if anyone still wants to volunteer at all, they can still use you! The grand opening is set for May 16th at 6:30pm.