I just got back from a trip to Phoenix with Galen and his family to catch some Spring Training action. Thus, I bring you my top five favorite things about Spring Training:
Visiting Jess in her new city:
Hanging out with Galen:
Playing with the kiddos:
Soaking up the sun:
Umm… and “base-ball” or whatever this is:
My top five favorite books (that I can think of right now) in no particular order:
– The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
– Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
– The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
– The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Rebecca Wells
– A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, Norman MacLean
Tom is coming!
That’s right – my dad is coming to visit this weekend. And I am no small amount of stoked.
Top Five Things I Want to do with my Dad this Weekend:
- Go to Hippo Hardware. It is the Tom in me that appreciates that place.
- Go to the Japanese Gardens. I’ve never been there except one time when my dad came to visit me in college and we tried to get in 15 minutes before closing time. When they said no, we tried to climb up on a park bench to see over the walls. I think this time we might buy tickets.
- Go to a brew pub… Can’t decide… Hopworks? Rogue? Ack!
- Go to the ReBuilding Center. He may find something he didn’t even know he needed (highly likely).
- Catch up, have fun and laugh. You know… the usual.
Any other suggestions? These probably all won’t happen, but they seem like good ideas!
Six months ago today, Galen and I went on our first date. As I mentioned previously, I realize the fact that we have been together 6 months may not sound like anything big to you, but it is to me. And you choose to read my blog. So hmphf.
The Top Five Things I Admire About Galen:
- His patience. For those of you who aren’t aware, I am the slowest person alive. I can’t leave the house in under ten minutes, even if the clock starts when I’ve already got my shoes and jacket on, with keys, cell phone, and purse in hand. What takes me so long is anyone’s guess. Probably the same thing that makes it hard for me to get out of the car after it’s parked, or makes me late for absolutely everything. I just can’t seem to move any faster. And sometimes, even after all that dawdling, I still manage to do something stupid like leave my straightener on or lock myself out of my apartment. And you know what? He never complains. He just silently walks right to the kitchen window he knows is unlocked and gives me a lift so I can crawl through it to get in.
- He thinks before he speaks. I joked one time that no matter what you ask him, Galen always hesitates and answers as if he’d never really thought about it before that exact moment. You could say, “Your last name isn’t Jones, is it?” and he would pause, pause, pause, and then say “I don’t think so…” Like he had to make sure. One time I asked him if he wanted to have kids when he grows up (FYI, it was a totally normal thing to ask in the conversation and was NOT attached to ANY strings… NOR was I involved in any sort of entrapment scheme…), and he paused, paused, paused, before saying “Yeah, I think so.” Then our conversation continued and upon further discussion it became apparent that he HAD thought so, perhaps even MULTIPLE TIMES before that moment. This is in stark contrast to my method of answering questions (or statements, for that matter) which involves blurting out the first thing that comes to mind, be it truth, lies, or complete nonsense. ‘Cause it’s a race, obviously.
- His love for his family. One of my friends at work has the In-Laws From Hell. Her husband moved as far away from them as he could possibly get, and only sees them when absolutely necessary. I always thought this was sort of the ideal situation for someone like me who loves spending time with her family, because then my significant other and I wouldn’t have to battle over holidays and such. However, I’ve realized that Galen values family over just about anything else, and THAT is important to me. He wants to go to his family reunions and family birthday parties and holiday gatherings, and he wants to share them with me. Similarly, when I invited him to come spend time with my family in Montana even though we’d only been dating a couple months, he agreed. Come to think of it, I should start prepping him for Waterton now…
- He never complains. I mean, like, never. The guy lives in the middle of nowhere and is responsible for covering what amounts to about three full-time positions at work, two of which he didn’t sign up for. He drives to Portland almost every weekend for one thing or another (usually, ahem, me), totaling at least 6 hours in the car per weekend. He lives in a city with a population smaller than the average crowd at a University of Montana football game and he may be the only member of the city’s 24-30 age group who isn’t married or currently serving in the military. And he lives there because it’s the biggest town around – he works in an even SMALLER town a half an hour away. But you know what? He likes the company he works for, he likes being within driving distance of his friends and family, and he says he doesn’t mind all the time alone. Hard to believe he chooses to hang out with me, isn’t it?
- He had the guts to ask me out in the first place.
Top Five reasons I know it’s the holiday season:
- I had my first Peppermint Mocha today. In a red holiday cup, no less. (I also tasted an Egg Nog latte for the first time and hated it.)
- My coworker from Colorado has already started talking to me about how happy she is NOT to be living in a snowy place (and scraping her windshield and wearing long underwear and..)
- I went to Ikea and they already are selling holiday decorations. I didn’t even know Ikea SOLD holiday decorations.
- I pulled out my box of winter clothes because I wanted to wear my puffy vests and boots with the fur.
- Burgerville has cranberries. (Fun fact: If it weren’t for Burgerville, I wouldn’t know when most fruits and vegetables are in season. Please don’t tell Michael Pollan).
1. Fire and Rain, by Mat Kearney.
Thanks to Kevin and Jen for introducing me.
2. Free Falling, by John Mayer
Overheard while shopping. Downloaded almost immediately. It’s like the original, only for a different mood.
3. Battlefield, by Jordin Sparks
Yeah, it’s terrible pop music and she was on American Idol. But did you see Jeanine and Brandon’s dance on SYTYCD?
4. Love Story meets Viva La Vida, by Jon Schmidt
Peaceful. That’s the only word I can come up with that seems appropriate.
5. Daylight, by Matt & Kim
Yeah, I download songs from Bacardi commercials. So what?
I haven’t talked about work much recently… Partly because whatever you put on the internet can be read by anyone, and partly because I try not to be a blog-downer.
But today is a little bit different. Today I finally figured out how to put a lot of my frustrations and feelings into words. So I’ve decided to make the following List of Differences Between the Corporate and Nonprofit Worlds (from an employee’s perspective):
In countdown order…
5. You get all those funny holidays off (like Presidents’ Day) that you haven’t “celebrated” since you were in high school. You also get lots of vacation days and people don’t look at you with jealous or angry or disapproving eyes when you put them to good use.
4. Your salary no longer means anything. Your title may be worthless as well. As long as you can pay your bills, consider yourself lucky. Don’t expect things like raises and bonuses – if you get a raise it will be a small percentage and probably won’t add up to much. (Although, of course, you will be thrilled).
3. Regardless of their background, the people you work with will come from the same place you do. They will have similar values and make similar life choices. They may not look like you or want to do the same things on a Saturday night, but when it comes to the things that really matter, they’ll understand you.
2. Working long hours suddenly feels different. It’s still hard. It still isn’t fun. But when you’re working for something that matters to you, it’s not the same as doing something because someone told you to. And even if your superiors don’t recognize your efforts (publicly or privately), you know you did something good for someone. And that can be enough.
1. There will come a time where you are fed up with a situation at work. I don’t mean frustrated – I mean fed up. This is normal in life. If you work in a corporate environment, it’s easy to mentally check out or quit, thinking I don’t need to put up with this. At a nonprofit, however, you might realize that you care more about the organization than you do about your own position. It’s the most baffling thing. Almost any issue I’ve had at work in the last year has ended with me realizing that I love my job and I care about the cause more than I dislike the situation/person/problem. So I’m working to try to make it better.