Posted by: raesalley | November 12, 2014

D12: Split personality

In my morning surfing, I came across this post from a theater colleague and good friend. Her daughter is a few years older than mine, and one of my earliest memories of working with her was not the production we were on together but the juggling done by her to arrange cupcakes for her daughter’s birthday during opening weekend where she was both prop mistress and house manager. I got to go celebrate the then two year old with the family and other close friends. In that simple act, my friend highlighted it is possible – hard, but possible – to be a good parent and a good theater artist. It all depends on the concessions you’re willing to make.

I miss theater. I miss working on a show, getting the timing just right, heck – even line notes. I don’t miss coming home after bathtime, handoffs in the parking lot as the Bald One goes to work or not hearing about that day’s adventures over dinner. I tell (lie?) to myself about the fact that I’ll be back. After Gummi Bear was born, it was slightly easier. For the first year or so of her life, the Bald One was full time dad and job searcher. After he went back to work, we started juggling. I didn’t do as many full productions and there were nights where Gummi Bear was handed off in her pajamas in a parking lot. Once Buddy Roo came into the picture, combined with my changing role at the day job, things got more difficult to carve time for theater work. It doesn’t help that my chosen path in the theater is one that requires more hands-on scheduled time* than any of the other disciplines.

All that being said…I’m happy making trade offs. I tell myself that the project management I do in my day job is close enough to the work I was doing in the theater that I feel like I’m getting what I want on a daily basis. I get to travel, I get paid decently, I get to work with a variety of people in numerous disciplines to produce products and just like in theater when things go well nobody knows what I do. I get to have dinner with my family. I put my kids to bed. I bought a new car this year. But there are days, where I sit in yet another meeting filled with marketing speak and big ideas without action that I wonder if I would have been happier fighting my way through salad days to sit in the back of a room and press buttons hoping everything goes right so that nobody knows I’m even there.

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Posted by: raesalley | November 5, 2014

D5: Eat, drink & be Merry

For tomorrow, we have meetings.

One of the nice things about traveling to new places is getting to discover new foods. After discovering the hole-in-the-wall via recommendation, I’m pleased to report that the pre-selected restaurants have also been fabulous. For our whole team dinner, we went to Antoines to enjoy a bit of culture and baked Alaska

#AdventureswOwl have dinner somewhere awesome

A photo posted by @rszalley on

This evening were the regional team dinners. The first manager to ask me had his team at Olivier’s Creole Restaurant. We had the entire upstairs to ourselves, which was probably a good thing given the range of topics covered throughout our dining experience

#AdventureswOwl dinner Creole style

A photo posted by @rszalley on

I’ve also been out to experience Pat O’Brien’s famous hurricanes and dueling piano bar and tonight called for Gordon Biersch’s root beer. And while I was only drinking root beer, I’m the one who managed to turn around into our waitress and breaking a full glass on the floor. I rock.

One more day, then one more night and then home.

Posted by: raesalley | November 4, 2014

D4: Tech Support

It’s our first official day for the national meeting…and I’m spending the day doing tech support until I present in the afternoon.

#AdventureswOwl does tech support

A photo posted by @rszalley on

I’m the tool manager for a certain software package. Said software package is a pain in the butt at times. There was a software upgrade that was released that I told folks what to do with it. Then, just to be on the safe side, I sent an email out three weeks ago asking people to double check that they had done the update and if not here’s the three steps to do.

First three systems I booted up did not have the updated software. My fault, I didn’t remind them *smh* Overall result for the day, 64% managed to have the software already installed. Wonder if I’ll have better odds tomorrow.

My presentation went well, I think. My boss approved it anyway and that’s what matters. I have follow up items and will have email to distribute, but another thing on the list crossed off that generates more things on the list.

Posted by: raesalley | November 3, 2014

Traveling Fair

Today I hit the road for a national meeting in New Orleans. Lots of updating, planning and strategy discussions. I purposely hit the road early enough to get in by midday just in case folks needed me to talk at the afternoon pre-meetings. Once the schedules were solidified, I was off the hook. Instead of hiding in my room, I hopped a trolley to check out the town.

#AdventureswOwl on a streetcar. St. Charles, not Desire.

A photo posted by @rszalley on

The first trip on the trolley was completely for the Bald One – Anne Rice did a book signing at Garden District Books on Sunday. Unfortunately, every single copy of that novel was sold before I got there. I’m not shocked, but it was a neat little trip. Plus, streetcar! After a bit of a stop over in my room, I got on a different streetcar to go down river from the hotel to check out Cafe du Monde. I did, as expected, end up with powdered sugar on everything.

When in Rome… #AdventureswOwl

A photo posted by @rszalley on

While drinking delicious coffee, I set up dinner plans with a coworker which bought me time to wander around before she caught up with me. At the suggestion of a friend, we stood in line patiently for Coop’s Place. It was a tiny dive of a place, but the food was phenomenal. I highly recommend it, if you find yourself in the area.

Then it was off to bed, since I know that I’m running tech support tomorrow.

Posted by: raesalley | November 2, 2014

D2: sleep drunk & accident prone

I have often described to people that Buddy Roo’s walking ability is at the “drunk midget” stage. This rather descriptive turn of phrase is never more accurate than when he is tired and fighting sleep.

Between a cold that went through the kids and daylight savings time, the little man is exhausted and does not want to be so. He knows he is almost fully recovered and wants to keep up with everything and everyone. But instead, he is falling over his own feet and bouncing off walls. It is borderline hilarious to watch, if I wasn’t worried he was about to injure himself. Luckily, he’s off to bed now and hopefully by the time I get back from my trip, everyone will be healthy and on the right sleep schedule.

Posted by: raesalley | November 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 1: restarting, forgiving and reevaluating

Going through my blog makes me think I was a better mom to my first child, Gummi Bear, than to her younger brother. There is a lack of monthly status updates about Buddy Roo, while Gummi Bear had markers shared. As a mom, I’m having trouble remembering some markers – when did she start walking, what was her first word, what were her favorite books – even with it being recorded.

With Buddy Roo, I’m trying to be present for both kids. My time away from work is spent making sure they both have enough time with Mom. This means less time for me, less time to notice and remember, less time to write or be me instead of being Mom. As such, things are getting dropped. My intermittent blogging has gone down to barely present. My reading is snuck in at bedtime or lunch.

On the flip side, I know all the names of the ponies in Ponyville and all the members of the Octonaut. I’ve learned to balance blocks in the most insane towers. Buddy Roo has a crazy version of making elephant noises while Gummi Bear is teaching him how to properly knock over towers of blocks. The giggles are more fun than writing. I hope they’ll remember their childhood as fun, even if the details are sketchy.

Posted by: raesalley | October 1, 2014

Milestone: First ER Visit

Buddy Roo decided to hit the Milestone of “Baby’s first ER visit” slightly before his first birthday.

As the story goes, the little man figured out stair climbing pretty quickly. This is to our benefit, since our lovely 1970s house doesn’t have a square corner in the entire place and we can’t find a baby gate that will work. Safety first means we taught Gummi Bear how to master stairs quickly – she was crawling up the stairs before she started walking. Buddy Roo followed her footsteps and got the hang of going up pretty quickly. Going down is a work in progress.

What happens next, and reports vary, is Buddy Roo was on the stairs and was distracted. In his distraction, he lost his balance on the stairs and tumbled. There was a thunk, a scream and Gummi Bear ran over and got under him before he hit the bottom. Before you panic, this is our short staircase – only four steps – between the main level and the front door. He fell maybe three steps total. When the Bald One (brought running by the thunk & scream) arrived on the scene from the six steps away he was in the kitchen, there were tears from both parties and blood. He picks up the baby, who instantly buries his head in dad’s shoulder and resists being pulled away. As the Bald One manages to do so, he sees the blood and starts mopping up…only to pull out the washcloth and find a tooth in the washcloth amid all the blood. That’s when my phone rings with “get home, your son is bleeding and has lost a tooth.”

We forget that there’s an ER right around the corner and we plan to meet at the one halfway between home and my day job. Instead, I make it most of the way home, meet them, and we merge into one vehicle. By the time we get to the ER, he’s dozed off (concussion panic being held slightly at bay) and Gummi Bear is coming off her panic. Within an hour, we’re chilling in a small ER patient room waiting for the pediatric doc to get a reference for a pediatric dentist. Buddy Roo, meanwhile, has cheered up despite people repeatedly putting their fingers in his mouth and has started flirting with the nurses.

The after effects of this involve a morning visit to the pediatric dentist who declares the little man mostly fit, looking good and time to start brushing to avoid evil things in the cavities where four teeth once resided. Joy.

My coworker who has two boys a year apart has told me to start saving for the ER visits. One of her two has broken almost every major bone in his body and it isn’t the sports-inclined boy that has done this. I’m a little scared.

Posted by: raesalley | May 5, 2014

Demo & Delivery

When I went to visit family in February, my parents incentivized both my brother and myself to stop waiting on projects or trying to get their (willing but less physically able as years pass) help at major home projects. For us, it was our patio screening. We’ve been talking about getting it done, and maybe adding a deck or a patio to the yard along with a bunch of other little things that all add up. With their financial push, we’re finally getting things accomplished.
In three little weeks, these guys came out and transformed that mess of timbers and ripped screening to a lovely brick patio with screened enclosure. The space doubled and we were able to add a beer garden table and a smaller seating area. Our 4×4′ garden that got added to the patio design has plants and we may even be making salsa this fall. And the deck warming was fabulous. I’ll have to convince my phone to show you.

Posted by: raesalley | April 11, 2014

Buddy Roo at Nine Months

He’s got the boy gene of watching big trucks. And is a complete ham.

Posted by: raesalley | March 5, 2014

To maintain or replace, that is the question

Just when you think you have things organized, a monkey wrench gets tossed your way. My car, a 12yo Subi Forester, was overdue an oil change and had a warning light (brake) illuminated. Being responsible, I took it to the dealer and jokingly asked The Bald One “so, at what price point do we give in and replace this car?”

Don’t get me wrong – I love my Subi. She drives well, hauls stuff and generally a great car that got me through a rough spot when I suddenly had to replace my Focus after a run-in with a pizza delivery boy. The downside is that I didn’t get to research, debate or check things like “can it hold two car seats?” before buying it. Add to that my commute basically is a 50mi round trip fun fest and you are spending a bunch of money on gas in a car that is showing its age.
So yes, at what point do you replace a reliable car that can get you from point A to point B? To date, every time I’ve had to replace a car the decision has been made for me. The Topaz I drove for a year and a half was driven into by someone not paying attention to the fact I was not moving. This brought the Civic into my life, which got me to college before sitting in the driveway for a year and a half while I flirted with an eighteen year old Toyota minivan. The minivan died a glorious death trying to get me home from Syracuse to Cleveland through a rerouted I90 and topping out at 45mph. The Civic then made the trek back and forth to Syracuse for the next two years before having the windows jam in the up position and the A/C giving up the ghost, so for graduation I bought myself the Focus. That Focus got me through Cleveland, moved me to Raleigh and through my the first three years of marriage before I stupidly got it totalled. That got me to the Subaru and now. So it becomes an agonizing push-pull of what to do next.

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