Archive for May, 2007

Tough Week

BoatThis has been professionally a very discouraging week for me, and I am completely drained. It’s my general blog philosophy not to complain, nor to speak ill of my job, my colleagues, my family or my friends… but I do want to say, for the record, I am sad and frustrated.

I need to dredge up the creative energy to practice some good self-care – to go for some walks, work on a project or two, catch up on things around the house and cuddle my puppies.

Monday, weather permitting, we’ll take the boat out for the first outing of the year. If nothing else, that should lift my spirits. Unfortunately, at the price of gas, it’s a recreational activity I think we’ll be cutting back on a bit this year.

Have a great long weekend!

Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: work | 4 Comments »

Brutally Honest Personality Test


Your Score: Dictator- ENTJ
53% Extroversion, 60% Intuition, 86% Thinking, 80% Judging

Have you no soul? It’s clear you have no heart and that your blood runs cold, but really, do you have even one redeeming factor?

Sure. You’re a natural born leader. So was Hitler. You just don’t like people, do you?

You don’t play games. You take charge. And there’s very little room for mistakes in your world. You’re forceful, intimidating and overbearing.

Heard of the word “patience?” Trust me, it’s a word and it’s something you’re sorely lacking. Believe it or not, you’re not always right. Learn to have some patience for those who think differently from you, knobflap.

From the way people’s knees knock when they see you, you should have realised by now that you’re not exactly a “people-person.” You’re more of a “people-eater.” You just ain’t tuned into people’s feelings and probably couldn’t care less whether you were anyway. Maybe you’re not from this planet but the rest of us are.

Sure, you’re intelligent. So what? You have some semblance of power. Big deal.

At least people LIKE the rest of us.

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If you want to learn more about this Myers-Briggs”Field Marshal” personality type in a slightly less negative way, check out this.

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The other personality types are as follows…


LonerIntroverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

PushoverIntroverted Sensing Feeling Judging

CriminalIntroverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

BorefestIntroverted Sensing Thinking Judging

Almost PerfectIntroverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

FreakIntroverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

LoserIntroverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving

CrackpotIntroverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

ClownExtraverted Sensing Feeling Perceiving

SapExtraverted Sensing Feeling Judging

CommanderExtraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving

Do GooderExtraverted Sensing Thinking Judging

ScumbagExtraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving

BusybodyExtraverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging

PrickExtraverted iNtuitive Thinking Perceiving


Link: The Brutally Honest Personality Test written by UltimateMaster

Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: blog meme, communication | 7 Comments »

The Myth of Traditional Romance

Promise RingMy 18 year old elder son and I were talking, Sunday night, and he confessed to me that he had decided to call his birthday gift to his girlfriend a promise ring. He reads this blog from time to time – hi Ben! Please bear with me, I’m using your personal life to make a point here. ;)

Ben was not even remotely straightforward with this information. The conversation started out with, “Hey mom, how much does it cost to get a ring resized?”, and went downhill from there. It was like prying nails to get each successive detail from him.

Nonetheless, she’s wearing a promise ring, at 17. And I’m not entirely sure it was Ben’s idea, but who knows?

Ben has always tended to have intense, monogamous, serious relationships. I was never that way in school, and my sister was always in a relationship. All teens are different.

I didn’t freak out at the news. It will either last, or it won’t, and any histrionics on my part will have not the slightest effect. What I did bring up was college. I also mentioned medical and auto insurance. We talked about this with both of our children.

We have some college savings, and intend to help our children through college – at minimum, 4 years of tuition, books & fees at a state college. Under some circumstances, we may help with living expenses if they live away from home for school, but they’ll need to get a job and help. The plan we’ve hit on is similar to an employer’s tuition reimbursement plan – the kids have to come up with their first semester’s tuition, and front that money – and upon successful completion, we’ll reimburse it and they can then use it to enroll in the second semester. We feel this will help give them a personal stake in their progress.

BUT… if they get married during college, that’s it. Nada, nothing, the money well dries up. College is for learning. Marriage should wait until after they finish college, and establish an adult life that starts with being self supporting. In addition, should either boy choose to get married during college, he will no longer be eligible for medical or auto insurance on our plans.

The boys were surprised by this. They didn’t quite get it. They felt that a personal choice on their part to alter their marital status should in no way impact the parental subsidy. We explained that as long as a parental subsidy exists, they have no business getting married and committing to financially partner with another person.

They still didn’t like it, but the line has been drawn.

The other aspect of this that makes me sad is that Ben, Mr. Monogamy that he is, has swallowed the myth of the traditional romance, hook, line and sinker. It goes something like this:

  • I like this person, therefore I should ask him/her out
  • I really like this person, therefore I should see him/her exclusively
  • I really like this person, therefore I should fall in love with this person
  • I love this person, therefore I should marry him/her

WHY???? Why is it an automatic escalation model? It’s a lie, young girls are programmed with it, and boys often buy into it too. Why can’t we:

  • Become great friends with people of the opposite sex without needing to date?
  • Date and have a great time without needing to be exclusive?
  • Date for enjoyment and personal growth without it having to lead to something serious?
  • Date someone you really care about without having to be “in love”?
  • Love someone and experience an independent relationship without having to get married?

There are plenty of times that the next step is not at all appropriate. How many of us have talked yourselves into being in love? How many of us have loved someone entirely inappropriate, and got married because, well, marriage was what came next after love?

I’m sad that Ben is going through the rote motions of the traditional romance so early and so earnestly. I’m sad that either he or his girlfriend are pretty likely to be hurt by it. I wish that they could just date, have fun and grow together. I wish they had a relationship that would allow the independence they both need at this stage of their lives – to go to college, to have independent friends, their own lives, and the faith and dreams that will shape them into the adult they need to be.

Ben isn’t thinking about this from an idealistic or long-term perspective, he’s young and impulsive. Nonetheless, if he gets married while he’s in college, it’s going to be a painful lesson for us all.

Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007 by Jeri
Under: family | 6 Comments »

Road Warrior or Idiot?

Alaska AirlinesThere’s a fine line between road warrior and idiot. Sometimes I wonder if I cross it from time to time.

Because I had the family weekend trip to the beach, I flew to Alaska this morning, rather than my usual Sunday night flight. I wanted a relaxing evening at home to unpack, repack, sleep in my own bed and play with the dogs.

Our company’s culture is pretty hard core about travel. It’s typically done on the employee’s own time, although occasionally folks will take part of the business day for travel. So, for this trip, I decided to take that exception, and booked an 8am flight that would arrive in Anchorage late morning. (That I, if all went as scheduled, and it did this time.)

What that means, in airline commuter time, is this:

4:15am – get up
4:50am – leave for ferry – just for extra anxiety, highway closed due to accident!
5:30am – ferry departs Bainbridge Island – and it left 10 minutes late
6:10am – disembark ferry for airport
6:35am – arrive at airport and line up at security
7:10am – get through long MVP gold security line
7:25am – board my flight
8:15am – flight takes off, 15 min late
10:35am (after one hour time change) – land in AK
10:50am – pick up car
11:15am – arrive at lunch meeting in Anchorage

On the return, I’m flying out Thursday on a 4:30pm flight that gets in to SEA at about 9:30 – and if the flight schedule, stars and ferry schedules align, I’m home at either 11 or midnight.

I do this once a month, earning my MVP gold mileage award every year – and I’m a slacker by comparison. Some of my colleagues do it every other week, and are far more willing than me to fly red-eye flights for cheaper rates (I won’t do it.)

I do this because it’s my job; it’s what I signed on for when I decided to work remotely for an Alaskan company. When friends and family are surprised by my back-to-back trips – and this is not an infrequent occurrence – I have to ask myself: is my definition of normal skewed?

I do have to say this – my husband and son are very, very supportive. They’re willing to let me go when I have to go, and take good care of me when I’m home. Thanks, guys!

Normal aside, it’s probably not healthy at all. I certainly get overtired and end up more likely to become sick after trips. I’ve gotten more sedentary, gained weight I definitely didn’t need, become more routine-bound and chained to my desk in any work location.

I don’t know that there are any easy answers or solutions, but it’s certainly worth taking a look at whether it makes sense and what changes I can make within that framework to make it a little healthier for all of us.

Posted on Monday, May 21st, 2007 by Jeri
Under: travel | 1 Comment »

More Iris

When we got home, more of our iris were blooming in the rain.

It’s Magic Iris
It’s Magic – ruffled,
fragrant yellow.
Over Alaska Iris
Over Alaska – huge
blue on blue.

I don’t like how the word iris is used as a plural – seems like it should be “irises” – but “iris” all by itself is actually correct.

I’m repacking so I can fly to Alaska in the morning. Poor lonely doggies!

Posted on Sunday, May 20th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: garden | 3 Comments »