Director Jewels: August 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

will it never end?

The video project goes on. and on. and on. The weekend was definitely productive as far as the project goes...no surprise, considering I put in probably 15 solid hours of work. My best guess is that I have another 5-6 hours of icky sound check and menu creation before rendering. I'm hoping to get it done in less time than that, so that it can be done TODAY. I doubt things will go quite that smoothly, but I can always dream.

Who would've guessed that I would still be dealing with Little Princess / Secret Garden in SEPTEMBER? Wow...we're coming up on a year of work on this project. Pretty sad.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I hate insurance!!!

I ran out of contacts yesterday. Frantic, I tried to order more. Of course I couldn't, because of course it's been far longer than a year since I've had an eye exam. So I scheduled one, at the first place I called, because I don't have vision insurance, and who cares, right?

Ha. So the new eye doctor tells me the brand of contacts I've been wearing for 7 years are only supposed to be 2-week contacts (I've always been told they were for a month's wear - and I never actually abide by THAT), and gives me new, stronger ones that a) hurt my eyes, b) give me a nice little headache and c) are actually -.25 stronger than what he prescribed, so I'm wondering how my poor eyes are feeling about that. All of this nonsense for the low, low price of $95! yay!

Then I get back to work and discover - oh, guess what - I actually DO have vision insurance, and of course I didn't pick a doctor on the plan, so YES, I will be paying for the full visit when I could have just paid the $20 copay. And I will be buying contacts on top of that as well. Can you tell that I am thrilled.

I shudder to think of how much time I will spend in my future trying to understand this insurance nonsense. I can't even process insurance information correctly for myself. What in the world will I do when I have kids?!!

I just want new contacts. Someone help me, please.

Monday, August 24, 2009

there are some things...

...that I truly enjoy.

  • ...the 5 hours I spend off work on Monday afternoons (during the very short break between AGDT classes - this semester it's 4 weeks, 2 of which are now gone, and 1 of which is Labor Day and doesn't really count). It's the one time of the week when I feel that my house is not a lost cause, I might eventually catch up on the laundry, and there is hope for all of the never-ending projects.
  • ...finding that there is a new specialty scrapbooking store in downtown Lees Summit, less than 5 miles from my house. It was especially nice to find that they carry a lot of specialty papers that I previously had to drive to Archiver's to acquire. I hope that someday I can have my own little business in a quaint little shop on a downtown street. Such fun!
  • ...Date Night with Andrew. Sure, I might accidentally leave my delicious leftover Zio's on the table (along with the picture that he drew me with crayons on the tablecloth), and I might be horrified that some Hollywood genius picked Eric Bana to play Henry de Tamble in The Time Traveler's Wife movie adaptation, but... Gap's 40th birthday party meant piano music, free cake, bottled water, and M&M's at the checkout counter, PLUS $20 off delightful new jeans and an additional 15% off my total purchase. Eric Bana may be a crummy actor, but the story was still beautiful and I cried through the last half hour of the movie. Plus I spent time with my amazing man, without worrying about any of the silly projects waiting in my house. Yes, date night is a good thing.
  • ...the feeling of accomplishment when I finally finish - or even start - a project. I put together the preliminary stuff on the AGDT Spring 09 DVD today in about an hour. That's a really good feeling.
  • ...having my iPod at work. Really, what's better than being able to tune out the world around you and surround yourself in Josh Groban, fantastic Broadway (Little Mermaid, Shrek, Young Frankenstein and more), Coldplay, Owl City, and random old favorites from Straylight Run, Snow Patrol, Augustana, and Sarah Brightman. It really makes life much more bearable.
  • ...eBay. There's something remarkable about online shopping, but eBay really takes the cake. I mean, you can find some amazing deals, interesting and exciting things that are either not available in America or out of print altogether, or just about anything. There's really nothing quite like the thrill of winning an auction in the last 5 seconds of bidding. And on top of all these good things, when it's all said and done, you get a surprise package in your mailbox containing these amazing purchases a few days later! It's all around just a good thing. And hey, if you have time and inclination, you can even make money selling things on eBay too. :)

That's it for now. What do YOU truly enjoy? Make time for one of those things...it's always worth it.

a true dining "experience"...

These days, it seems all of the businesses in the world are trying to make sure that when you visit them, you don't just buy something, or browse, or simply eat your food quickly and then leave. No, they want you to have a complete experience. (This is a huge push at the library right now...which is why I get to host a scrapbook club on work time starting in September. HA!)

So, our latest "experience" took place yesterday afternoon at 54th Street Bar and Grill. We met Andrew's parents there for lunch after church. Our server brought us drinks quickly, and we decided what to eat.

The waiter came back to take our order and we asked if we could use 2 different coupons (a free appetizer with entree purchase; and a free entree from the 54th punch card). He said no - if everything was on one ticket. So we asked him to split the ticket so that each couple could use a coupon. He said that was fine.

Now, those of you who know us, know that Andrew and I are incredibly picky eaters. It's very rare that we go somewhere and can order food without making exceptions such as "no tomatoes, no onions, no peppers, and the sauce on the side." So Andrew's order went something like this --

"We want an appetizer - potato skins, but we don't want the ranch dressing ON the skins, we'd like it on the side. And the 7-oz Sirloin, Medium-rare (...."um sir, we can't do medium-rare, just medium...") - okay, Medium is fine. And the fresh vegetables for the side instead of potatoes."

Well, the poor waiter was just SO confused about this. It took him about 2 minutes to write it down. Then I ordered my Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad. He paused, then asked me... "and what kind of dressing?" I blinked, thought "um..." and said "well, Caesar." He goes, "oh, okay!" and off he goes.

After about 15 minutes, we realize that a) we do not have our appetizer and b) we also have not been given any bread. He finally comes back to refill our drinks and we ask about this. He assures us everything is on the way.

The appetizer arrived, finally (5 small potato skins. Literally 5. It was over $1 per skin), and we ate it pretty quickly. The waiter came back and took our appetizer plates, though we still had not been given any bread. When the bread finally came, he had to get more plates, and then had to get regular butter as some of our party didn't like the honey butter. We devoured the bread in about 3 minutes. Then we waited again. We finally asked him where our salads were, and he rushed off, supposedly to get them. He came back sheepishly after a few minutes and said "um...I'm really sorry, but I just put in your order. I forgot to do it before. So, we'll get it out really soon."

Then we waited...and waited...and waited...and realized after awhile that we had been sitting at the table for close to an hour with no sign of our meal. Eventually (!) a team of people brought out some plates of food for us - a steak for Andrew's dad, a salad for his mom. Their orders were correct. Andrew was given a small side dish of steamed veggies. I was offered a regular chicken salad (way different than Caesar - it contains lots of icky things I won't eat!), with a small dish of Caesar dressing to put on it. I said, "I ordered the Caesar salad." He said, "oh - I thought you wanted this?" I said, "no." So they took the salad away and I was left without food.

It's always amusing to see how quickly food can actually be put together in a restaurant. I had my new (correct) salad within about 5 minutes. However, Andrew still had only a dish of vegetables. About this time, the manager came out to console us - though we had not really caused a fuss. He asked what was going on and when he heard about the missing steak, he said he would get it out immediately and would also remove it from our bill.

The steak finally arrived, on a plate with another set of steaming veggies. Andrew's salad also arrived about this time, with blue cheese dressing instead of ranch. We ended up boxing it and taking it home, as we were all pretty amazed at how poorly our meal had been handled!

The icing on the cake, of course, was when we had to settle up. The waiter had forgotten that we were supposed to have two separate checks, so he had to go back and have the manager take care of that. The receipt was confusing, but we ended up paying for 2 entrees, Andrew's parent's coffees.........and a $1.99 side of steamed veggies - the original "meal" they delivered to Andrew. His mom just paid for it. Who knows what would have happened if we had asked for yet more service.

We're pretty sure the waiter was new. At least...that's what we're hoping. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

whew

So, in the last couple of weeks, life has been a combination of blurred, insane, ludicrous, and exhausting. Apologies for the lack of posting, but 1) no one reads this and 2) I have so many things to do, I'm actually starting to forget things and make mistakes. This doesn't happen with me, so I'm pretty upset. I've started using my Outlook calendar at work, but all that's doing is giving me angry messages when something is overdue. :(

Sometimes I think to myself, I really need to start saying "no" to every new idea. I really need to reduce the level of stress in my life. I really need to remove some of the projects I have taken on so that I have time to stop and enjoy life, rather than rushing through it at the speed of light. Unfortunately, of all my various activities, the only one I'm willing to give up (at least part time) is work, and more unfortunately, that's the one I have to keep because it pays the most. *sigh*

Lousiana was hot and humid, and it took us most of forever to get there and back...but it was lots of fun. We stayed in a sweet little bed and breakfast called Susan's Cottages and it was very nice. I'll try to post pictures sometime. We attended the wedding of Andrew's college roommate and helped to fill the getaway car with balloons and streamers. The drive home was remarkably long, and our GPS friend Jane took us a ways out of the way. But eventually we returned to Missouri and when we finally got home around midnight, I discovered a beautiful PIANO waiting for me!!! It needs to be tuned, but it's wonderful. My husband is amazing. Happy Anniversary to us! :)

The following weekend (Aug 6-8) we traveled to Jefferson City, MO so that Andrew could attend the Missouri State Genealogy Association Conference. We stayed in the hotel where the conference was being held, ate some pretty bad hotel restaurant food, and went on a pretty boring tour of the Missouri State Archives. I also managed to forget my toothbrush, toothpaste, snacks, and tweezers, so I journeyed out to Walgreens to save myself from certain doom during the trip. I found a Goodwill store and had fun just browsing for a little while...the problem with my life right now is that I never get to just BROWSE! :) The rest of my time was spent in our hotel room, where I set up a mini scrapbooking studio and watched the entire first season of Grey's Anatomy on DVD. Creative freedom + Dr. McDreamy = a very good weekend. :)

When we returned on Saturday, we had to rush to Blue Springs for the first annual BSCT picnic! Sadly, only about a quarter of those who RSVP'd showed up, but hey, we had some fun times.

The following week was wild and crazy, as I spent every evening trying to prepare for the AGDT performance, which was on August 15. I got the AGDT scrapbook completely caught up (aside from Little Women and Ms. Scrooge, which are going in a separate TEEN book), the night before the play. So yes. It was up to date for less than a day. Oh well. I'm determined to stay on top of it so that it can't take me 2 years to complete again. And maybe now that that's out of the way, I'll have time to actually finish my honeymoon book! *fingers crossed*

Anyway, the AGDT performance was great! I have to admit, the classes drain me, but when we get to that performance and I see all those little girls beaming at curtain call, it's all worth it and I want to do it all over again. I love teaching.

And...that's about it. I've spent a good majority of my time since Saturday sleeping, watching TV with my hubby, and feeling guilty because I'm too exhausted to clean my house. But oh well. The house is getting there. Sorta.

Less than 4 weeks until fall classes start, so I'm trying to coordinate all of that. Fun times will be had by all!...if I can get the schedule worked out and fill up the classes. Of course I do all of this by email on my work time. Someday I will have more time. I know this is true. I know it, I know it, I know it.

Oh, random call from the Murder Mystery folks means a quick job this Friday evening, plus a weekend later in September! Yay for getting paid for something I actually enjoy - PLUS a completely free weekend getaway! :)

Well, there's a brief wrap on my life the past month or so. I'm off to accomplish more things. Date night tomorrow! I'm excited. :)
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