Thursday, October 27, 2005

My "Charlies Angels" Lunch Hour

I had an interesting lunch hour this past Monday.
On my lunch hour I went to the bank to make my car payment. The bank is on a corner and has a little alley-like driveway that runs behind the bank and is a driveway to the parking lot from the side street as well as bank employee parking. On my walking into the bank I saw a man walking out of the alley way towards the front of the bank, and he was acting a little crazy mumbling to himself and as I got closer it looked like he was carrying a knife but I wasnt really sure. I just kept an eye on him, not sure if he was crazy or planning on robbing someone at the ATM, and intended to tell the security guard inside the bank.
I get inside the bank, and the security guard thats normally inside the entrance isn't there so I thought I would tell the teller. There was no one in line so I was able to go straight to the teller, when I got up there EVERYONE was at the window facing the alley and one woman was CRYING "he's beating up my car!" and someone else was on the phone calling 911 and was telling them that he had a knife, so I took care of my car payment and the teller told me that he was back there just beating on one of the employees car. As I left another customer was walking out at the same time I was, so I felt a bit more comfortable leaving just in case the crazy guy was no longer in the alley and was now in the parking lot.
But, this was no ordinary customer I was walking out with. This was an absolute idiot. He goes over to the alley way and yells at the guy "Hey, theyre calling the cops on you in there" because the last thing we want to do is get a violent crazy person off the streets. We want to give them warning so that they can get away. I get in my car and leave and as Im pulling out of the parking lot I see crazy guy cross the street and run down another side stret. For some reason I decide that I CAN NOT let this guy get away and that I should follow him so I turn around so I can go down the side street that he's now running down. After I turn around I see one of the tellers from the bank crossing the street to run after him. She was a small woman and he could run fast and I just didnt think that it was a good idea for her to be following him on foot in case he decided to turn around and come after her, so I rolled down my window and told her where he was and to meet me on the corner and we'd follow him. Once she got in the car she used my cell phone to call back to the bank and tell them that we were following the crazy guy and where we were so that they could tell the police once they showed up. We stayed within eyesight of crazy guy, but not sol close that we couldnt get away quickly if he decided to come towards us. He was in a small shopping center, opening the door to a bar and then kicking it over and over again. As soon as he heard the police siren he took off running. As he started to take off, I was able to grab a pic with my camera phone....

Yes, he is shirtless in red track pants with a backwards ball cap.
There were 2 police cars as well as 2 officers onn foot who chased him down the street about a block, under the overpass for a major street, Howe Avenue, up the embankment and when the bank teller and I drove down the street and turned around we saw that the police had stopped traffic on Howe Avenue and were arresting him in the middle of the street. As I took the teller back to the bank she told me that the womans car he was beating on was a good friend of hers who was also one of the branch managers and that shed just gone through a bad divorce and as a gift to herself once the divorce was finalized she bought a brand new Mercedes just a couple of weeks prior and now it had been vandalized by a crazy shirtless man. I gave the teller all of my contact info in the event that the police needed to talk to me for any reason. I havent heard anything yet from the police or from the woman who's car was vandalized, but will update you if I do.
I got back to work a little late and when I told my boss why she said, "Nessa, you're like Charlies Angels, chasing down bad guys on your lunch break!" She said that in her version of the story, I'm tossing my hair like Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith.

In other news - one week from today I will be in Oregon visiting the grandparents. I am looking forward to this trip like you wouldnt believe. Five days to relax on my grandparents property. Their house sits on top of a small mountain (technically, I think its just a really big hill, but my ears pop going up the driveway, so I call it a mountain), 50 acres of which is theirs. The nearest town is about 10 miles away and I think its population is about 2,500. While there, I'm hoping grandma will help me perfect my ability to make butterballs. Butterball soup is a recipe that my great grandmother, and probably her mother before her, used to make. As the name suggests, it definitely is not the healthiest of soups, but it is so yummy. I'll post the recipe after I get it from her. I don't know the exact quantities, but you mix together bread crumbs, melted butter, egg, salt, and I believe either a tad of cinnamon or clove and make little walnut sized dumplings out of them, then cook them in chicken broth. The original recipe had them in a chicken noodle soup and included the recipe for home made egg noodles, but grandma generally leaves out the noodles. Somewhere between now and next Wednesday night I have to find the time to do laundry for the trip as well as decide which crochet projects I'll be taking with me. I have quite a few going right now - some Ugg-like baby booties from Candy Babies by Candi Jensen and a baby afghan for an expectant friend, an afghan for my friend in Salt Lake City (I don't think I'll be taking that with me - theres 6 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun), the Crazy Aunt Purl Poncho (it's the pink and black one) by The Crochet Dude as well as another Crochet Dude design... Do Your Vest, just to name a few. Seriously, The Crochet Dude, his designs are amazing. I strongly recommend them. I'm thinking that to save on space in the suitcase I'll just take the booties or the baby ghan, or something small like that, and if I finish them while I'm there I guess I'll just have to explore the greater Portland area's LYS's. Although granny isn't into the fiber arts I know that she does like craft stores and she told me that she plans on resting up the days prior to my visit so that she feels well enough to do some serious shopping. Now that I think about it, since she's lost her hair from the chemotherapy, I may need to make a hat and matching scarf to take to her as a gift. I saw, and fondled, some GORGEOUS baby alpaca yarn the other day.....

Friday, October 21, 2005

So much to look forward to in November.....

As I mentioned a week or two ago, I LOVE MY NEW JOB!!!
The department I work in now? So wonderful
My new boss? LOVE HER!
My new coworkers? So welcoming!

Overall my week has SUCKED because Ive been sick all week. My daily routine has been this:
1. Wake up & go to work
2. Come home & take Nyquil
3. pass out
repeat 5 times

Monday morning I went into the office and as soon as my boss saw me she said "Nessa, you don't look like you're feeling very well today" then she felt my forehead and cheeks and then said "oh honey, you're a smidge warm. I think you should go home" I finished a few things up and left by lunchtime, went home and began the Nyquil/pass out process.

One of the best features of the department I work in now? They actually let me take vacation days! I am so excited.
In the department I worked in previoiusly I could never take any time off because there was always someone else who had child care issues, or a kids field trip that day and since I am without child I could never get time off. Not for lack of trying though, this is an actual conversation I had with my previous boss and another manager one time:

Me: I'd like to schedule a vacation day next friday
Boss Lady 1: I'm sorry, coworker 1 has that day off for their kids field trip
Me: what about the next friday
Boss lady 2: cant do that either, coworker 2 has child care issues
Me: but I have childcare issues too
BL 2: um, Vanessa, you don't have children.
Me: my inner child. she's not being taken care of. she wants a day off.
BL 1 & 2: hahahahahahahahahahahaha. answer the phone.

Scheduling vacation days in my new position? EASY AS PIE!

Me: Hi Boss Lady! Can I schedule November 3, 4, and 7 off for a 5 day weekend?
Nice Boss Lady: No problem Nessa!

later that night calling my Grandma in Portland:
Me:Guess what Grams, Nice Boss Lady gave me 3 days off so I can come visit you for a F-I-V-E day weekend!
sidenote: Grams is so happy because she has inoperable lung cancer & has been going through chemo for over a year now and isnt feeling well enough to travel all the way to Sacramento.

And for ONCE, my great skills in procrastination have actually worked in my favor.
Before I requested the time off to go to Portland I looked at Southwests website & flights from Sacramento to Portland were $50 each way but I didnt purchase them right away in case I wasnt able to schedule the time off. Once the time off was approved, i kept forgetting to purchase my tickets. UNTIL I got an email from Southwest saying that they had gone on sale for $34 each way. I AM NEVER THIS LUCKY!

Right at the same time that I was able to schedule the time off to go visit my grandparents in Portland I was emailing back and forth with my friend Shauna who moved to Salt Lake City 6 months ago. She was telling me about the house that her and her husband were looking at buying and saying how much she wants me to come out to visit and I was saying how much it sucks that we can't go Halloween costume shopping together anymore (we've been costume shopping buddies for the past 5 years in addition to working with each other every day for the same length of time), then she was mentioning how her cousin is trying to move to SLC also but doesnt have a car and would I be willing to drive her to SLC for $200 in gas money? I SO WOULD! But, cousin was wanting to move to SLC the weekend that I'm going to be in Portland.
This past Wednesday Shauna tells me that their offer on the house was approved, and escrow should close on November 14 so they should be able to start moving in shortly afterwards. I told her that if her cousin still needed a ride out there and was still willing to pitch in for the gas that I would drive out there that weekend and bring along some of the stuff that Shauna had to leave in storage at her parents out here when she moved while I'm at it. Sure enough, cousin still needs to get out to SLC. Now all I had to do was get the time off.

Me: Hi Boss Lady! I was talking to Shauna this week...
Nice Boss Lady: Oh! How is she doing?
Me: Great, her & her husband are buying a house and should be moving in next month.
NBL: That fabulous, tell her I said Hi and Congratulations.
Me: Will do, in fact, I was wanting to know if I could 2 days off to drive her stuff out to her.
NBL: Sure!

HOT DAMN! I am getting TWO mini-vacations in November! A five day weekend to fly up to Portland to visit the grandparents and a 4 day weekend to hitch a trailer to my truck and drive out to SLC. On top of all this, Shauna asked if I would teach her how to crochet while I'm in SLC. Not only do I get to visit a close friend but I ALSO get to crochet... YAY! Shauna said that since she's married now, is buying a house, and will most likely will start trying for kids next spring or summer, she needs me to teach her how to be domestic. I've never taught anyone to crochet before and certainly hope that I do as well as my great-grandma did when she taught me. Shauna was asking me what she should start with as her first crochet project

Me: Hmm, I'd say something basic and easy like a scarf
Shauna: Wooo Hooo!!! Everyones getting scarves for Christmas this year!

So tonight I went to Barnes and Noble to look at crochet pattern books for some simple scarf patterns and ended up getting THREE Candi Jensen books. Candy Tots, Candy Blankies and Crochet Scarves! I already had the Candy Babies book so there was no need to buy that one, but I think I also want to get her Crochet Bags! book and as soon as I can knit quasi-decently I think I'll get her Knit Scarves! book.
But I digress.

My new job... I'm so much happier. Within a week of starting all of my friends and family were saying how much my demeanor has changed. How I'm so much happier and upbeat now. I feel the difference to. I no longer dread going in to work every morning, and that is such a wonderful feeling.

Monday, October 10, 2005

My weekend, part 1

It was a great weekend. But, then again, what weekend isn't a great one?
My friend Phyllis' birthday BBQ was Saturday evening, and I kicked off my weekend by trying to bake the birthday cake. However, I am not the best baker in the world, and it ended up going to cake heaven. Thankfully, theres always Costco with their yummy cheesecake mousse filling

Our hostess, Jeanette. Also known as "Virgo 1". She and I share the same birthday, August 26, born just a year apart AND at the exact same hospital. Since I'm a year younger, she calls me "Virgo 2".

The guest of honor, Phyllis, and her beau Charlie.

Erin & Jeremy came up for the weekend and joined me at the pub after the BBQ.

It was great to see them again. I haven't been able to get down to San Francisco to see them as much as I would like, and Erins course load at UC Hastings doesn't let her make it up to Sacramento very often. But, we did have a great time Saturday night consuming massive quantities of beer with a couple of our favorite bartenders..

and John...

and getting into arguments with a pompous windbag over whether or not a man deserves to be hit for grabbing a strange womans chest.
Meet Pompous Windbag.

Sunday, we enjoyed an early lunch at Paesanos and then visited a mutual friend in their new home before Erin & Jeremy had to leave to head back to San Francisco. Me? I spent the rest of the day recovering from Saturday nights festivities.

More photos coming, just as soon as Virgo 1 emails them to me.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Halloween's a coming.

I just realized how close Halloween is after reading Glitters blog. I still have no idea what I'll do for Halloween, I do know what my costume will be for work - my manager will be dressing as Snow White and my associates and I will be various dwarfs - not the standard Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, et al. We'll be dwarfs that are suited to each of us individually - because I am a coffee addict, I will be Jittery. Cute, but not what I want to dress as for any parties or other social functions outside of work.
To make picking my costume THAT much harder, I've lost my Halloween shopping buddy. Last April my dear friend Shauna got married and moved to Utah. For the past 5 years she and I have always gone costume shopping together. This year, I'm on my own. It's so sad. So, I was just looking online to get ideas of what I'll dress as for Halloween this year and these are what I have in mind so far.
I don't know which one I'll go with, I'll have to see what there is at the local costume shop. I was just looking for some ideas and suggestions.

Also, I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone here who has been so encouraging and supportive the last couple of weeks. It's been great to read everyones comments.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Long Week....

I've started my new job. Well, technically it's not a new job, I'm with the same company just a new position in a different department. I've completed the training and amm starting to get clients. So far, I like it. My new supervisor is awesome and the people I work with are all great - they have all made me feel very welcome in my new position. As much as I enjoy the position, it's a bit of an adjustment -- I've taken a few steps down the learning curve, but I think I'm doing alright.

Yesterday morning was Weight Watchers. I've lost another 2.8 lbs for a total of 11 lbs now. WOOOO HOOOOOO!