Tuesday, April 10, 2012

don't knock it....

tonite - i made one of our most favorite things for dinner.  it's an old family recipe that my parents used to make for us when we were little.  it conjures up images of my childhood new years eve on the living room floor. 

everyone i have ever told about this secret family recipe has screwed up their face all funny like - as if we meis's were crazy folk.  but when i introduce them to it - they usually fall in love with it.

this secret that i speak of - is - hot dog pizza. 

you read that right.  hot.  dog.  pizza.

in order to make hot dog pizza - you don't just go putting hot dogs on a frozen tostinos party pizza.  no.  you need a very special secret ingredient:

that's right. a chef boyardee pizza kit.  this is the key to what makes hot dog pizza so good.  i think the secret is in the grated kraft parmesan cheese.  then you add a little more because the kit doesn't quite have enough. 

is it healthy?  probably not.  is it cheap?  as long as you don't buy expensive hot dogs.  is it good??  oh heck yeah!  and it makes us happy!  bonus!!!

don't knock it until you've tried it!

tell me that doesn't look awesome!!!  

Monday, April 9, 2012

this is my brain on dry erase....

THIS - is my brain - on dry erase......

i spend the better part of each day gazing at this dry erase calendar - especially when i'm on the phone with my coworker Alex - who travels here as much as i do there - and we are trying to coordinate meetings.  it has become the only way i can manage juggling my schedule.  it is highly complicated and color coded:

purple:  programs - that's how we spend our money - and what is suppose to be the bulk of my job
green:  fund-raising events and/or grant deadlines
blue:  important meetings - usually involving staff or the board
orange:  days that the office is closed OR planned travel to KC
brown:  personal schedules.  big V's are my vacation days.  little notes in the top right corner indicate other staff members vacation days.  other little notes in the corner might indicate something nina has that i need to be around for.
red:  partner events or collaborative efforts
pink:  council meetings

i CANNOT emphasize how crucial this system has become to me.  (and yet, somehow i double booked myself on the 22nd with both a work event and a personal event.  the personal event won because it is a sunday and way more important.)

but today i discovered that both of my red and my pink marker are MISSING.  now my whole color coding system is going to go to hell because i had to switch the pink to black because it was the only color i had left other than yellow which i can't see from across my desk.

i bet you i'm at office depot before the week is out buying more markers because i can't cope....   

Sunday, April 8, 2012

sharing my wisdom....

so while in KC the other day, the barista at the Starbucks shared a piece of knowledge that I am passing on to all of you.

the only difference between a venti and a grande is that the venti has one more pump of syrup and more milk. they both have the same amount of espresso. so if you get the larger one because you want more caffeine - like I have always done - you are only getting more calories. To get the biggest caffeine bang for your buck - go grande.

Use this knowledge wisely.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

home (away from) sweet home....

so if you haven't picked up on this by now, i've spent a lot of time in the last nine months on interstate 70 driving back and forth between STL and KC.  what?  you didn't notice??  i'll try and make it more obvious next time i come - which is in exactly 7 days....
KC is kinda becoming my home away from home, and my residence is usually in one of the rooms at the courtyard marriott on the country club plaza.  the weirdest thing about staying here is that - um - the staff have kinda started to know me.  and i know them.

jaime always answers when i call - and always makes jokes about how i'm an old pro at what's where.  kerrie is the sales manager - she's always very helpful.  there's the cute girl who had a baby four months ago and we always chat about how fast he's growing.  there's the crazy girl who works in the breakfast cafe that i can't stand because she doesn't juggle hustle and bustle very well and will take my breakfast voucher and then try to charge me anyway.  and the nice man who works in the breakfast cafe who i'm always relieved to see is on duty and doesn't think it's weird when i order both oj and a diet pepsi.  and the night guy with the accent.  yup.  i know them all.

sorry - hold on - the phone is ringing.....

oh.  that was my buddy jaime seeing if i needed a wake up call for tomorrow or a car arranged.  i'm a gold status marriott member now - it comes with the territory.  62 more nights and i get to go platinum....

where was i.  oh yes.  this whole "learning to travel on business" thing has been an experience.  i remember my days at WU when we would work on itineraries and appointment packets and such and we thought about how luxurious it must be to travel on business to exotic cities and eat on the company dime.  and you know what i've learned (other than the fact that i can now direct someone from our office in overland park back to their office in columbia without google maps?) - i've learned that it's really not all that it's cracked up to be.

i wake up earlier here (jeff is kinda shocked by this.  i also wake up to an alarm all on my own without rolling over and going back to sleep and telling someone to "go to hell" when they call to make sure i'm up in moving.  in fact - i don't even need a wake up call - sorry jaime.  jeff is also shocked that my showers aren't nearly as long and that i don't leave my pj's just thrown on the bed). 

figuring out dinner is always a chore (although at least once a trip i hit up the olive garden in overland park for some capellini pomadoro - the to go guy - who i am also starting to know - always gives me about 7 chocolate mints - but tonite he forgot my fork so he's on probation).

when i get back to the hotel i kinda don't know what to do with myself.  i work harder when i'm here, so thinking about work is not on my list of desires.  i'm on pretty much all day and i don't really want to be around people.  (introverts!  unite!!)  and half the time i'm in a hole that gets bad wireless reception so i have no internet.  and even though i always bring my tennis shoes with the intention of walking on the treadmill - i'm always too afraid that there will be someone else in the work out room who sees me trying to figure out how to turn the darn thing on and laugh at me so i don't ever go.... 

i can't just curl up and go to sleep - it's too hard.  so generally i fall asleep while dr. drew or nancy grace drones on about whatever hot button topic they have been obsessing on for a month.  then i wake up at 3 in the morning - and they are still on which is really creepy.

and frankly - i find it kinda weird that every time i open a thing of soap to wash my hands, the housekeeping staff throws it away.  i mean, isn't that just weird?  and wasteful???

more than anything though - i miss my family when i'm gone.  i miss making my own dinner.  i miss my own bed.  i miss decent cable channels. 

i get to go home tomorrow.  KC is nice (except for the whole chief's/royals fans) - but i'm always so excited when i get to go home.  and it's proven when one sees how antsy i get once i hit traffic at 270.....