I always knew I was above average

Class average of test number one = 86.8%
Wendy's score on test number one = 95%

Operation back to school is off to a good start.

I'll tell you what is not above average. The temperatures. Brr! Baby it IS cold outside!


Good Travel Day

Tuesday, Jan. 29
American Airlines
Depart Omaha: On-time

Tuesday, Jan. 29
American Airlines
Depart DFW: ON-TIME EVEN IN 40 MPH WINDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I really did not think I was going to get out of there on-time. Oh me of little faith!


Clearly I am not a doctor because I have zero patience.

This blog post (well the text anyway, not the actual posting because of the lack of Internet access) comes to you from seat 10A of American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha. Let me tell you about my experience with American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha. I left a meeting early to make it to O’Hare in time to catch American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha which was departing at 4:55 p.m. Checked in, made it through security, grabbed a bottled water and yogurt parfait and sat down at my gate with about 20 minutes ‘til boarding time. I made a few phone calls, sent a handful of emails, and looked up at the screen expecting it to be time to board. Instead we were delayed five minutes. “No biggie,” I thought to myself. I people watch and hang out for a few more minutes. Then an announcement comes on the American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha had a change of gates and we would not be boarding downstairs at gate G14. Again – no biggie. I head downstairs and we’re delayed now until 5:15 p.m. Okay. Send a few more emails (blackberries are life-savers in boring situations like this) and then decide it’s time to crack into the yogurt parfait. I finish the yogurt parfait. I get up and walk around. I grab a new seat. I hear “this is a gate change notification for American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha. You will now be boarding out of Gwhatever upstairs.” Lots of people moan. I feel like moaning, but it could be worse I tell myself. This O’Hare AND American Airlines and we’re getting out of here with only a 20 minute delay. Not too bad.

Make that a 35 minute delay. Oh wait 40 minute delay. Oh, it’s been five more minutes? Time to update the departure time. Guess what; we’re now departing at 6 p.m.! I skim through a Cooking Light. I call Grandma. I go tinkle. I browse Hudson News. I come back and we’re now leaving at 6:30. I get mad.

I was supposed to LAND in Omaha at 6:25 p.m. I send a few more emails. They make an announcement that our plane has left Rochester, Minnesota and is en route. At this point, do I really care that the plane just left? I think it might add fuel to the annoyance fire.

We boarded American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha at 6:50 p.m. But not so fast says the captain – we need to get de-iced which will take 15 minutes. What he neglected to say was 15 minutes from the time they start de-icing OUR plane and since O’Hare apparently only has ONE de-icing machine, we’d be sitting there for about 30 more minutes.

Phew. There’s movement. Holy cow I think this plane is moving! “Ladies and gentleman, we’ve been cleared for take-off,” the captain says. “We’re fifth in line.”I looked at my watch and when we started ascending it was 7:45 p.m. Nearly three hours AFTER I was supposed to land in Omaha. I could have almost flown to Chicago and back to Omaha in the time I sat sitting in the damn airport and idle on American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha. I could have done almost five 30-minute sessions of cardio – more than I do in a week! – in the time I was sitting in the damn airport and idle on American Eagle Flight 3930 with service to Omaha.

And I think that’s the part that annoys me the most. I HATE sitting and doing nothing. I am happy and content and at peace when I am doing something. Anything. But not just sitting.

I realize there are a lot of factors that play into air traffic. I do. But riddle me this. There was slush on the ground in Chicago and apparently a quarter inch of snow in Omaha. Why the almost THREE hour delay? If I booked a flight to leave Chicago at 7:45 p.m., I would have been FINE. But this was out of my control and screwing up my schedule. And I do not like my schedule screwed with.

I do a decent amount of traveling for work and I enjoy it. I am not complaining about that at all (and I am not just saying that because there are Barkley peeps that read this). I really don’t mind it. But when three useless hours are tacked on to your day – I don’t care if you’re traveling for business or for pleasure – it’s frustrating.

Sidenote: the cabin attendant just came by with the drink cart and oh how a beer sounds good. I decided if I was a pilot and MY passengers were delayed, I’d buy them all a around. But that’s just me.

So, new year’s resolution number four is to keep track of my travel for 2008. (This is the first trip which makes me a little nervous if this is any indication of my air travel adventures for the next 323 days.) On this blog, this very blog you are reading, I am going to keep track of my trips. I’m going to record the airports, the airlines and the departure times and we’ll get something out of this. We’ll see just how much time was wasted in one year sitting in airports unplanned. We’ll see if there is any correlation between airlines with delays (cough cough American) and others. We’ll just see. I really wish I could import Excel into a blog but I don’t think I can. So, here goes – my first entry for the year:

Wednesday, Jan. 23
American (Eagle) Airlines
Depart Omaha: On-Time

Wednesday, Jan. 23
American (Eagle) Airlines
Depart Chicago O’Hare: 2 hours 50 minutes late

So, there you have it folks. And I know everyone gets delayed. My colleague traveling with me today had her flight cancelled and she was mysteriously put on another one, thank goodness. She was delayed, too. I’m just fed up and it is therapeutic for me to share my frustrations.

Woo. I feel better. And no I did not buy a drink. I just vented. And now, I have a few other things I’d like to touch on in this post.

1. My desire to build even more parking lots. Guess where I parked this morning at Eppley? In a snow bank. I drove around the garage for 20 minutes and started panicking that I was going to be late so I just parked in what should have been a stall but wasn’t thanks to the wonderful snow plowing, so I rammed my Jeep into the snow bank as far as I could and called it good. I’m sure if I would have put it in 4-Wheel Drive it would have helped but I was also slightly concerned about driving OVER the side of the parking garage. A six-story fall in my Jeep was not in today’s agenda. So, the airport charges $12 a day to park. So, even if I lowered the rate (gotta be competitive you know) to $10 a day and had 100 stalls (to keep it in line with the parking lot I am building near UNO) I’d make $1,000 a day or $365,000 a year. You can add a grand to leap years. With that disposable income (cause of course I’d still work at Barkley; the parking lots would just be a side gig), I’d buy a plane and I think you know why.

2. Lastly, I just wanted to give you an update on my resolutions for this year (not including the one I just established today).

a. Church: We’re one for three (Sundays). The first Sunday we were in Lincoln so that doesn’t really count. The second Sunday we went. Last Sunday I drank too many Coronas the night before and didn’t eat enough dinner and just couldn’t quite make it. I have faith (ha!) we’ll go this Sunday though

b. Fruit or veggies with every meal. I’m definitely working on it and am doing okay. Last night my dinner was Blue Bunny Premium Light Double Strawberry ice cream cause I was a little stressed. Does that count as a fruit? Okay, okay – I need to work on that one.

c. Be financially responsible. I am doing very well on this one! I don’t even look at JCrew.com’s sale or go close to the mall. I’m making this budget work!

And with that, it’s time for me to turn off my approved electronic device and enjoy the ride. Hope you enjoyed the read.


If next time you talk to me I don't answer, it's because my ears froze off while walking to class.

Tonight was my first class. I admit I considered briefly logging into my ebrUNO account yesterday and just withdrawing. That sure would make life a heck of a lot easier than life with class. I'm so glad I didn't, although I have to admit the first ten minutes of my school adventure did not get off to the best start.

All I have to say is I am going to buy land, pave it, paint some stripes on it and charge people to park on it. I figure if I am in a high traffic area, maybe 100 cars will park there a day. If I charge each even $5, that's $500 a day or $183,000.000 this year (it will be $500 less in non-leap year years). Now, this may come as a huge shock to you, but$183K is a little more than I am making at Barkley. And think about it. Paying for parking is the NORM. You can't park freaking ANYWHERE without having a permit or paying. It is so annoying! Plus, owning a parking lot comes with minimum expenses and low liability.

So, yeah. As you can likely imagine I drove around for quite a while before I finally parked in the visitor, non-permit parking garage. Only a visual will do justice as to where the parking garage was in relation to my class:

Which, will be nice when I am wearing flip flops and a tank top, trying to sun my arms. However, current conditions in the 68116 zip code are:


Anyway, class was good. My professor seems great. He's an adjunct professor, which I love. They always seem more laid back. He's actually the math supervisor for Omaha Public Schools and used to teach at Central High School, where Trevor went. I was a little nervous because page one of the syllabus screamed in bold type, "ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY" and that the key to success in the class was being in class. However, after sitting in the front row, participating in class and wearing a sweater vest, I introduced myself to professor Harrington, explained my situation to him and that I had some previously planned business travel. I offered him my typed list of dates I would be missing and he eagerly took it saying it was helpful and that he would keep it in his attendance files. I am much less stressed about that.

So, after purchasing a $90 USED text book, I ventured back to my frozen car.

It's official. I am in school and school is COOL.


I keep thinking of things to blog about

1. I have a crush on Juno and Ellen Page. Have you seen the movie? It's my new favorite and I am pretty sure it will be best picture. I sure hope it is.

2. A new New Year's resolution I have is to eat fruits or veggies with every meal. I used to do it well, but I slacked.

3. My sister-in-law is studying abroad in Europe (I just got a g-chat from her; she's in Florence the lucky duck). Anyway, she has a blog if you want to keep up on her adventure: www.katiegoestoeurope.blogspot.com.



Tasty Treats

Feline friend of Macy's, Sophie Neal, baked homemade doggie treats and Macy is just in love with them! Thanks, Sophie! (And your mom, Annie, who I am sure helped you an awful lot :-)).


Dinner Club

A few other couples and the Fitches have a "dinner club." We get together every other month for good food, good friends and good times. The host chooses the menu and assigns recipes. We've had a lot of delicious meals, from steaks to beef tenderloin to tuna steaks to homemade pasta. Dinner club is super. Anyway, our Christmas dinner club was supposed to be Dec. 1 at the Neals but because of the weather it was postponed until yesterday. We still did our holiday theme, had tur-duk-hen and had a gift exchange. It was a super night. I just love getting together with all my friends!
These are the pickled eggs Trevor likes to make for Sam. Trevor, you're a good cook, but these were nasty.


A new list for the new year

In keeping with my list theme, here's a great article I wanted to share. Trevor actually found this on CNN.com on Monday. Gotta love that the company payin' my bills leads the list!

Great work perks


Some employers are offering lavish perks like posh vacations
Employers want perks that offer a way to make life easier for their employees
Perks can create a stronger tie between the employee and the company

By Rachel Zupek

Editor's note: CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.

Where can you grab a cold beer from the company keg when the clock strikes four? Where can you take in a yoga class during your lunch hour? And where can you do laundry for free?

At work, that's where.

Years ago, such generous benefits were better fit for a utopian dream than real workplaces.Nowadays, while competitive salaries and advancement opportunities still rank high on the list of job priorities, lavish perks like posh vacations, gourmet cafeterias and concierge services are inching their way up the importance scale.

Employers want perks that offer a way to make life easier for their employees, says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.com.

By taking care of chores employees either dislike or don't have time for, employers create a stronger emotional tie between the employee and the company, as well as increase productivity and retention.

"Employers realize the best way to retain prized employees among the current talent crunch is to make them want to stay, often through first-rate perks," Haefner says. "In addition to the standard comprehensive benefits package, some companies are taking things a step further, offering unique perks to keep current employees happy and new employees eager to stick around."

The company perks we came across ran the gamut from widespread to unique to downright unfair.

Check out how companies, big and small, across the country are keeping their employees happy.

1. Barkley; Kansas City, Missouri- Great perks: This advertising agency has an annual "Kidnap Day," when the company shuts down for the day and workers are taken to an undisclosed location, like an arcade.Additionally, there are break-time activities, like pool and ping-pong tournaments, and free Boulevard beer on tap after 4 p.m. To top it off, employees are given birthdays off (with $25 spending money); on-site yoga; and a rooftop observation deck with gardens, Wi-Fi access and barbecue grills.

2. SAS; Cary, North CarolinaGreat perks: Along with amenities like an on-site hair salon, massage therapy and car detailing, this software company also features subsidized day care centers and a free on-site healthcare center, complete with doctors, nurse practitioners and nutritionists.

3. Homestead Technologies; Menlo Park, CaliforniaGreat perks: Talk about time off: Employees earn paid winter breaks from Christmas to New Year's Day; paid days off for birthdays; unlimited paid sick leave; and after five years with the company, a four-week sabbatical earning two-thirds of their salary.They also receive $100 gift cards for their birthdays, an all-expenses-paid retreat each year and use of a cabin in Lake Tahoe during the ski season (for a small fee to rent).

4. VistaPrint; Lexington, MassachusettsGreat perks: Employees who have been with this graphic design and custom-printing company for five years have the chance to take a one month, paid sabbatical -- to do whatever they please.

5. Creative Business Resources (CBR); Phoenix, ArizonaGreat perks: In addition to regular holiday bonuses in 2006, employees at CBR, a human resource outsourcing company, got a surprise bonus: a $150 shopping spree after the holiday team lunch.Employees received cash and were told to return with receipts showing how they spent the money on themselves.

6. Goldman Sachs; New York, New YorkGreat perks: Employees who get married or register a domestic partnership get an extra week of vacation at this global investment banking, securities and investment management firm.

7. Google Inc.; Mountain View, CaliforniaGreat perks: To name a few: Employees receive up to $8,000 per year in tuition reimbursement; unlimited sick leave; 27 days of paid time off after one year; on-site conveniences like medical and dental facilities, oil changes, car washes, haircuts, free washers and dryers, and three (free) gourmet meals a day.No wonder this search engine firm was voted No.1 in Fortune's 2007 "100 Best Companies to Work For."

8. National Court Appointed Special Advocates Association; Seattle, WashingtonGreat perks: Workers enjoy a "bring your baby to work" policy, which allows employees to bring their newborns to work until they're 6 months old or for a total of three months.

9. Digitas Health; Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaGreat perks: Free gym memberships (including lunchtime yoga); "Beer Fridays" during the colder months to kick off the weekends; and summer hours on Fridays to get out and enjoy the weather.

10. San Francisco SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)Great perks: If dogs are well-behaved, employees can bring them to work; they're also allowed one day off when an animal companion dies.

11. KPMG; New York, New YorkGreat perks: Workers for this audit, tax and advisory firm earned a five-day weekend around the Fourth of July this year, with a "Barbecue Bonanza" gift of steaks, chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers.The firm also runs seasonal contests, like "Movie Madness" (around the Academy Awards) or the "Summer Vacation Photo Challenge." Prizes include big-screen TVs, iPods, Nintendos and travel vouchers.

12. Adams & Knight; Avon, ConnecticutGreat perks: Perks are in the environment at this advertising agency.The center of the building is a full-scale replica of a 1950s diner, complete with booths, a jukebox and a Coca-Cola machine (which spits out free bottles of Coke and Diet Coke). Halls are lined with original, restored ads from the '40s and '50s, and there's a 60-seat theater used as a meeting space for clients and staff.


So much to catch up on

Because there's so much to catch up on over the past few weeks, I just decided this post is going to be full of lists. Yeah buddy.

The list of lists in this blog:
1. The list of lists in this blog
2. What I did over Christmas break
3. Gifts I received for Christmas
4. Reasons I love the holidays
5. 2008 New Year's Resolutions
6. Christmas photos I love

What I did over Christmas break:
- Cleaned and organized my closet and took stuff to the Goodwill (twice)
- Cleaned and organized the storage room, kitchen cabinets, misc. drawers, etc.
- Took down all the Christmas decorations (except the outside lights) and the tree
- Hung a new light fixture in the kitchen
- Returned and exchanged Christmas gifts
- Accidentally exchanged a too-small belt Trevor got for Christmas for one that's too big so now we get to go back to Banana Republic for the third time in a week (not that I am complaining)
- Played wii. Kind of a lot.
- Organized my office and got rid of a chaise I'm been wanting to replace for a while
- Put stuff on eBay
- Got the Neal's baby shower planned
- Registered for class (Algebra baby)
- Met with a financial planner
- Started working on an '08 budget
- Laundry
- Ate at Cheesecake Factory, Hiro, Johnny's, Ruby Tuesday and more restaurants I am sure
- Partied at Barrett's (twice)
- Donated money to the United Way Von Maur Fund
- Scored a free cab ride to Amigos/Taco John's/home (thanks Hauptman O'Brien) with Shannon, invited our Jamaican cab driver (Muhamad) to Christmas with my family numerous times, gave him my phone number and hung up on him when he actually called
- Hosted a cookie and Christmas CD exchange party for some girls (and had hoot!)
- Went to Von Maur for the first time since the shootings and was kind of creeped out
- Went to Von Maur for the second time since the shootings and wasn't quite as creeped out as I was the first time
- Karaoked to "Baby Got Back" and shook my booty - believe it or not I was impressive and stayed on beat
- Slept in
- Had sushi. YUM!

Gifts I received for Christmas:
- New chair for my office
- Food processor
- Backpack
- Scrabble
- PhotoStamps.com gift certificate (Stamps of Macy should be arriving soon)
- US Weekly subscription
- Massage Envy Gift Certificate
- Radko ornaments
- Chef's coat
- Black North Face Puffy Vest
- Grey's Anatomy DVD's
- Cupcake carrier
- Adverteasing
- Donation to Goodwill in our name

Reasons I love the holidays:
- Seeing family
- Yummy, fatty food
- No work (sorry!)
- Little kids at church in their holiday duds
- Get togethers with friends
- Goodwill amongst everyone
- Giving presents you know the recipient will LOVE
- Getting presents you love :-)
- Christmas cookies and music!
- Sales

2008 New Year's Resolutions:
- Church more often (which would be three times vs. instead of just Christmas and Easter)
- Be financially responsible (i.e. no careless spending! Stop shopping, Wendy!)

Christmas photos I love:


Celebrating the New Year

Just downloaded some photos from New Year's Eve. We rang in 2008 at Barrett's. Thanks for organizing, Mike! It was a fun celebration, and even nicer to not have to clean up after a huge party the next day!