Remember Operations Wardrobe Upgrade? Well, it has stalled just slightly, however I have made great progress towards having a much more professional wardrobe for work. I have found that I need a few more top options, but I think I’ve found the perfect formula for easy and quick morning dressing. Which believe me, when you are constantly wondering when your adorable child will wake from his sweet slumber and promptly take over whatever morning routine you thought you had, fast and easy dressing is what you want. At least that way it leaves more time for other things, oh such as showering, brushing your teeth, washing yesterday’s makeup off.. little insignificant things like that.

Here’s the little glitches that I’ve ran into. When I am in a rush and I don’t have the time, or just plain old don’t feel like putting a lot of effort into my wardrobe, I usually grab the old reliable. The polo and khakis. I know, not very fashionable, not very chic, but I have to admit it does rank the highest in my comfy scale. Also, I’ve noticed that I have a much better selection of bottoms (slacks, skirts, etc) than I do tops.

So here’s my plan. Let me light up my cigar…

I want to buy at least 3 more button down tops that can interchange between my slacks that I have. That will replace the three polo shirts that I still find myself wearing quite frequently, since I quite frequently decide that I’m too lazy to try to actually match. They will need to be three-quarter length sleeves as to get the most use out of them. See, I’m THE TATTOOED MOMMIE, if you didn’t notice, and well I have what is knows as a half-sleeve of tattoos on my right arm (left, if you’re looking at me, but hey, that’s just a technicality right?). Well, part of my new wardrobe upgrade is that I’d like to look a little more professional. Never mind that I sit at a desk, wrangling programming code and SQL statements and rarely see other individuals other than the neighboring fashion faux pas that reside in the offices around me. So, to help in the professional department, I think it’s time to cover the tattoos, or at least the ones that are coverable. Hence, the three-quarter length sleeves, and considering I can wear them 3 seasons out of the four (minus the skin melting, summer seasons), I think it’ll work out very nicely.

Next plan of action is to up my accessories. Because well, now that I’m not climbing up on ladders to run cabling through the ceilings of pre-historic buildings, hell, a nice earring or bracelet would work! I’m completely clueless when it comes to accessorizing I’m trying to take the easy way out. I like silver, so silver everything. Hey, at least then I don’t have to worry about matching! I currently have a few silver hoops, which honestly, I think will be the only type of earrings I will ever wear. So, I’ll try and find a few more that may have a slightly different appearance (seriously, how many different ways can the hoop be done?) and add a few more bracelets to the mix. I need to get my nicer watched sized and viola… I’m on my way to being an accessory vixen! Or something resembling someone who may have at least the start of a clue, or maybe not so much, but this isn’t the time to shatter my dreams.

Finally, shoes. I can hear my husband screaming already. I know I have a lot of shoes, but I need to get a little more variety. This may mean sidelining my old favorite Birkenstocks. Because, well, hippie sandals just don’t go with my new fashion diva image I’m trying to portray. So, I’m sure he’ll compromise knowing that I’ll actually be reducing some of the collection, which he has dubbed “the wall of shoes”. More isn’t better if I don’t wear half of them right? Right.

So, there we have it. The second phase of my wardrobe upgrade (on a budget!). So far the process has been fairly simple, once I realized what it was I wanted to portray at work. And well, network-junkie-in-khakis who hasn’t done her hair or seen the light of sun for at least 3 weeks is so last year.

I love it when a plan comes together.

You know the average business person (woman, in my case) gets the shaft when it comes to life vs. work balance. See, those of us who work the nine-to-five gig are really at a serious disadvantage when it comes to balancing work time and personal time. Yes, I know we choose to put big-fat-corporate-butts in our ergonomic chairs, rolling around in our cube-farms, but a girl’s got to pay the bills somehow! The average person who works nine-to-five is working the standard business hours, meaning the hours that businesses are open for business. There are no after hours special for other business people, like there are for service-industry workers. You know, like at the local bar where you show up in your bar/restaurant uniform and you get discounts on beers? Wouldn’t it be nice to get to go to the bank at 9 pm and show your little corporate badge and get in to do business while all the other bank-goers look on at your late-night-deposits with envy? Ok, so I’m sure the people who are hanging around outside a bank at 9 pm are probably not the type to be making deposits at any hour, but you get my drift, right?

Somehow, our companies expect us to juggle our own personal business (i.e., paying mortgages, making deposits, shopping for a new purse…) within these hours without of course, stepping on our companies toes by using company resources to pay our bills, reserve cabins in the Smokey Mountains (Oktoberfest in Helen, GA anyone?) or using the mailroom for receiving E-bay orders. I seriously never would have gotten busted if the damn seller didn’t ship their “Like New” Ralph Lauren purse that I won for a measly $45, in E-bay designed wrapping paper around the box!

So, where does that leave us nine-to-fivers?
That leaves us on our lunch break, running around like mad people trying to plunge 18 pounds of “to-do” crap in the toilet of a one hour lunch break that we are allotted. Seriously, one hour? I can’t even get properly dressed for work in one hour, let alone get most of my daily errands ran. The post office usually takes up 15 minutes of time and that’s just dealing with the counter person and trying to explain to them that, “yes, I know I’m mailing a book however, I do not wish to mail it media mail, I wish to mail it first class mail as it is cheaper and usually arrives sooner regardless if you can’t get past the fact that I am mailing media at the non-media rate.” And that’s not even factoring in the wait in line or the drive over there!

How do we find that time to do those small but important tasks without having to rush ourselves through lunch, eating while driving back to the office or having to skip lunch all together (since that’s really bad for your metabolism) without getting fired?
I haven’t found that answer yet. However, I have figured this much out. It feels really good to make my car payment online while at work, and I justify it by the fact that I must use my car every day to travel to and from work. Which in any other business would be considered a business expenditure, which would mean paying said bill online during business hours would be totally acceptable.

Look, being slightly delusional may be a pathological disorder, but it lowers my stress and at least I’m not road-raging around town trying to run the rest of the corporate world over while heading to the post office to ship my E-bay box, which by the way I made a killer of a profit on that Ralph Lauren purse I just sold.

The catch 22 with exercise is that it makes you feel really great, only after you do it. So, all day yesterday when I was sitting my relatively-fat-ass (since Chris gets mad at me for calling myself a fat ass, I figured this would be a good compromise) on the couch wondering why I didn't feel as energized as I did the day before? Well, that would be because I was sitting my relatively-fat-ass on the cough instead of burning calories on the elliptical. However, the feeling I get after sweating for 30 minutes on the damn thing, it's like crack. Let's just hope I can stay addicted.So, I'm starting my weight loss spark again. My diet is kind of uncontrollable right now because my father-in-law has taken back over the dinner duties. Which, I happen to love his cooking, however his cooking isn't really conducive to losing weight. So, I'll just have to compensate by portion control and really suggesting other meal options, besides fried potatoes (chris' favorite) and pasta (my favorite).18 lbs to go. That will put me at 133. I don't want to lose more than that. I'm not trying to be the size 0. I just want to get into a healthy size that I can start working on toning up.On this note, I have a confession to make. It's pretty embarrassing in a funny sort of way, so feel free to make fun of me all you want, as I'm sure it's only going to get worse. In my decision to try and lose weight, I decided I was going to walk at work during my lunch break. Well, a few months ago, the old detective's area here in the building was wide open and a perfect place for me to walk laps around. However, now it's being cleaned out for the remodel that's starting to take place so I've lost my walking room. I could walk the halls, which now since people don't have offices on the main hallway wouldn't be so bad, but instead I opted to sign up for a yearly membership with Leslie Sansone, who just so happens to put out the best walk-at-home DVDs ever. This membership gives me access to her site which hosts "deskside fitness" videos. Which, while my boss was out, and my co-worker was at lunch I was easily able to do. However, now that my boss is back I have to make a decision. Do I do the deskside fitness walks and just tell them to all eff-off. Or do I shut my door and tell them that I'm taking a "moment to myself" (even though I'm sure they'd think I was doing something pervy instead) and do my walk then? The walks in the deskside fitness are so much more beneficial, I get a better rhythm and speed and I actually stretch, whereas otherwise I don't.I know. This is a most retarded thing to worry about, but I'm only 1 of 3 girls in a department of ball-swinging men and frankly, I despise letting any of my girlie traits out (such as walking, like the 50-something old women upstairs do) to give them ammunition against me. And believe me, it is ammo.

The last time I sat in line, or online, waiting to buy tickets for a concert was for Kid Rock in Nashville, TN. Before then, I’m pretty sure I was hoping to win tickets to Ozzfest. Before then, I pretty much went to see at least a handful of concerts every year, but that changed after getting married, a mortgage and a kid.

Until today.

And yes, The Wiggles count as a concert. And yes, I’m probably just as excited today as I was when waiting on my tickets for Kid Rock. Yes, I know I’m a hopelessly domestic dork. Don’t be jealous.

So, on November 14th at 3:00pm (actually 2:00 since the doors open early) I will be at the Bi-Lo Center, ready to jam out with my kid to some Wiggles. Will I be the dorky mom that’s singing along? Yup. Will I be the dorky mom that is making her kid dance around all the while he’s just wanting to drink out of his cuppa (Nikkos’ word for cup)? Yup. And I’ll be loving every “Hot Potato” minute of it! Frankly, I’m a huge fan of The Wiggles. Anything that is that catchy and can hold my son’s attention for longer than a 10 second span, I’m a big damn fan.
I will be the most Captain Feathersword lovin’, Big Red Car ridin’, Wake up Jeff, singing tattooed mommie in the whole damn place.

And poor Nikkos will forever have to live with the memory (or at least the pictures) from it all.

I work well under pressure. I’m not sure why, as I don’t think any of my jobs have really been an extremely stressful or pressure-driven type of gig. Sure, as a programmer I have deadlines and “gotchas” that come up and can make my life crazy for a week or so, but nothing so dramatic as a job-on-the-line type event. Just the typical deadline is due, program is not working, database has mysteriously been truncated, I goofed off just a few days too long type pressures, which I handle with grace.

Pressure such as sinus pressure, the throbbing pressure in my ear, and the threat of a sore-throat? Not so good.

But seriously, who could really focus on work when you have more important matters such as your health to worry about. I can not afford to get sick! Well, okay, I can afford it monetarily, but time wise, it’s just not do-able right now. Maybe next week, okay? I don’t have to release a re-write of a program, do my boss’s duties because he’s out, or reload a server next week. However, this week, I do. All the while, handling the fly balls (the random “can you look at this” or the “so-and-so just emailed and no one is here” type things that just pops up) from our director and basically doing a bunch of things that I typically don’t do, however now has been lumped under the “other duties” category of my job description. I know, I asked my director and that’s how she explained it to me.

So, as you can well see (or read), my day is going rather badly.

However, I’d like to amend to this, that Leslie Sansone is now my new hero as I just finished a short “Desk side Walk” video and I am in fact feeling better about life right now and I did get a boost of energy.

And skipping right over Halloween and Thanksgiving and going straight to Christmas. Okay, I guess I should be a little more accurate. Wal-Mart doesn’t really skip Halloween, they just line the next aisle over with the Christmas garb in case you happen to push your squeaky-wheeled-out-of-alignment-death-cart in the wrong aisle by mistake.

But I digress.

The reason I’m talking about Christmas when it’s still not even midway through September is because I made a vow. I vowed that I would be organized this year. I will mail my cards out early. I will have my gifts purchased before December hits the calendar and I will not let this year freak me out until I drink every bottle of wine in the house (again).

Another reason I’m talking about Christmas is because I’m thinking of going a different route this year, present wise. In my family, we buy gifts for everyone, which consists of at a minimum 21 people, give or take a few more depending on who brings girl/boyfriends. That’s a lot of people to shop for and to make matters worse, we’ve been buying gifts for one another so long that it’s really difficult to figure out what the hell you’ve given them in past years as to not buy the same thing you did 5 years ago because you think they will love it. Furthermore, we are all living kind of out of touch with each other so we aren’t all really up on each other’s new “fav” thing. Long story short (kind of) it’s really difficult to shop for my family members outside of my immediate family (meaning Chris & Nikk).

So, my different route? Well, I’m thinking of kind of “going green” with my gifts. Instead of giving the random piece of crap that will usually end up either left in the box or in the next garage sale, I was thinking of giving eatables or maybe customized recycled stationary or maybe a tote full of little things they could use or eat. But it would be stuff that could honestly be used by each person. Or better yet, the eating side of it all. Some chocolates, coffees, teas (although no one on that side of the family drinks any type of tea unless it’s prefaced with “sweet”), something along those lines seemed kind of nice, or rather, I wouldn’t mind receiving them. At least then I’ll feel like they could actually use the damn things instead of wondering where the hell they’ll store this present until they can “regift” it again. As if we haven’t all done that!

I’m starting my planning now. Let’s see if I can actually make it this year without putting myself through Holiday Season Therapy.

Yes, I know that it's 9/12 today, but I really kind of wanted to hold off talking about 9/11 until it was over with so I'd have a little better view of what the day was going to be like as a whole.

I think 9/11 should be remembered and I'm glad that a few places like PMSNBC aired original 9/11 footage. I think it's like showing WWII videos and pictures, it's like showing Tsunami and Hurricane footage. It needs to be remembered. It needs to be memorialized for those who lost loved ones and have no where to really morn. For those who need to know that our nation still remembers that their lives were taken unjustly.

What we don't need is all the political mumbo-jumbo ass kissing that seems to go on during times like these that only make me further want to kick every Senator or Congressman out of office and start all over again.

9/11 should be like Memorial Day, a day for the heroes to be thanked, the lost souls be remembered and people to stop for one moment and realize there are seriously bigger issues out there than just what's in our own little bubble.