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Highlights from St. Maarten

By employment, partying like a rock star, pineapples and palm trees, ruling at life, take me away, travel, tropical islands 11 Comments


Let me preface these photos by saying that it’s pretty amazing to actually work for a company that appreciates and recognizes employees for working hard. Most companies only invite sales reps who’ve met their goals for the year on club trips, but my company goes above and beyond to reward support staff, management and star performers by letting us join them on these trips. (Which is just one of the reasons we’re listed as one of the best companies to work for in Virginia this year).

Last summer, I received the “Big Mike” award for my dedication to a monstrosity of a proposal I managed that we had just submitted, plus my contribution to our becoming ISO 9001:2008 certified in the spring, and my willingness to help anyone with just about anything at work (like streamlining the way our sales reps communicate with our warehouse personnel. As a result, I won this trip for two to St. Maarten — all expenses paid at the beautiful Westin Dawn Beach resort with an amazing group of people.

We’ve come a long way from pointless work days at TranSystems, wasting away the time and waiting for something exciting to happen. But, that’s besides the point. Let’s get to the good stuff. ADS Club Trip 2011. St. Maarten. A hundred of my favorite co-workers and our guests. Go.


















































This crazy trip has got me feelin’: refreshed
And I’m singin’ along to: Mi Se La – Ralph Thamar

Beach Bound

By blogs, employment, ruling at life, the coastal chicster, weather No Comments

This whole jet stream phenomenon has got me shivering  in my boots, so I resorted to listening to Jimmy Buffett radio on Pandora today. I sat back in my chair at work, and got to formatting some presentations, and along the way (somewhere between “Coast of Carolina” and “One Particular Harbor”), I was inspired to start a travel segment on my other blog.

Did I mention that I won a trip to St. Maarten at work?

Well, I did. I’m that cool.

Actually, I worked pretty hard to earn the award that won me the trip — I was nominated by my co-workers and superiors, and apparently I got the most amount of nominations. I was flattered, and now I’m super excited to be spending five sun-soaked days in the Caribbean this February. I’m already day-dreaming about what to pack.

Anyway, the thing is…I don’t really know much about St. Maarten. People are all like, “Are you staying on the French side or the Dutch side?” And I have no clue, so I’m like, “Um, right near the border. Yeah!” (It appears, I wasn’t lying either. After some research, it looks like I really am staying right near the border…on the Dutch side.)

So, I’ve decided to start learning a little about St. Maarten before I go. And I figured what better time than to start a little travel segment on The Coastal Chicster. There’s not much “coastal” going on over there, and this is the perfect opportunity to delve into some topics other than my closet. I think I’d like to kick it off after the new year and do a six-week series on St. Maarten with one post about the island each week. Then I can keep going for a few weeks after that about my trip.

So, yeah. That’s the plan. If nothing else, it’s a plan that’s much more feasible than setting up a beach chair, an umbrella and a space heater at my desk in order to lean back and format presentations in my sunglasses while listening to the sound of relaxing ocean waves on Pandora. Much more feasible. Plus, I’m looking forward to writing some new material.

Stay warm!

Photo courtesy of Wikepedia.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: worldly
And I’m singin’ along to: Boat Drinks – Jimmy Buffett

Back to Work

By being a computer genius, employment, hazards to my well-being, lists, not ruling at life No Comments

Disclaimer: I know I don’t regularly update this blog anymore, so let this serve as a brief reminder (or an important note to those of you who are new) that this blog is meant to be sarcastic and funny. Most of these stories are exaggerated for entertainment purposes.  Please do not take anything written here literally. 🙂

Returning to work after five days off used to be much more relaxing when less people e-mailed. Imagine my dismay when I had to get through approximately 873895728987 e-mails before I could even do my actual work (much less peruse online stores to see if I could find something I would have rather bought with that $600 I blew in New Jersey).

I don’t go through my e-mails like most people. Most people start at the top with the most recent e-mails and work their way down to the old ones, inevitably replying to all with dumb responses that have already been said in later messages related to that same topic. Or they actually check their e-mails on vacation, which is a huge faux pas, in my opinion. No, neither of those options are very suitable.

Because I am a self-certified computer genius, I know that the correct way to handle e-mails is as follows:

1. Delete everything from except for the most recent coupon – that you should print ( is the only website that sends promotional discounts to my work e-mail. I have no idea why – although it could be because that’s the e-mail I gave them – but I like it.)
2. Delete everything else that looks like junk mail
3. Sort by “From” – read everything from boss to make sure nothing has gone drastically wrong while you were gone.
4. Read everything else in sequential order.
5. Do not respond to any e-mail chains before reading all messages in said chain.
6. Respond to quick, easy requests first.
7. Make a list of more time-consuming requests and tackle in order of your preference.
8. Once complete, check voicemails. (I hate voicemails. Who leaves voicemails anymore? Don’t call me.)
9. Respond to all important voicemails with phone calls.
10. Respond to all voicemails that should have been e-mails with e-mails.

Usually this process takes me no more than three hours. Today it took freaking seven. How did I become so popular at work? Perhaps I should feel flattered that so many people need to talk to me while I’m away, but in all honesty? All I feel is tired. And kind of like I need another vacation.

This crazy trip has got me feelin’: drained
And I’m singin’ along to: Hammers and Strings (A Lullaby) – Jack’s Mannequin

Iced Tea, Vonnegut, and Cat Puke

By books, employment, kurt vonnegut is my hero, not ruling at life 2 Comments
It’s the first hot day of the year (a grappling 83 degrees out there, people), and — you won’t believe it – the air conditioning at work is broken. Since it’s still technically early spring, I am wearing jeans and a light, short-sleeve sweater. Don’t worry, though. I’m actually pretty comfortable temperature-wise. Fans have miraculously appeared throughout the office as if they were the new result of rabbits reproducing, and I’m pretty sure this whole place could take flight at any moment what with all of the air being propelled about. I’m staying cool (in more ways than one) by drinking some bright pink iced Bella Coola, which is potentially going to cause me to develop one of those second-grader drink-stain mustaches around my mouth. So it goes.
Speaking of Kurt Vonnegut (you either caught that or you didn’t) and my quest to read all of his novels in order, I finally finished God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater after skipping Cat’s Cradle because I already read it. It took me several months to read this one; I must admit it was a difficult one to get into, and I read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series while I was taking extended breaks from it. I think I had to start all over from the beginning about three times, which was surprising, especially considering that the main character mentioned in the first sentence of the first page was a large sum of money in the amount of $87,472,033.61 that was producing more than $10,000 daily in interest. I read the first two sentences and thought, "Hell yeah! Count me in!" But, in the end it wasn’t so much about the money as it was about Eliot Rosewater and his philanthropic insanity that was, to tell the truth, entertaining, but not as much so as Vonnegut’s four previous novels. The ending was pretty witty, but too little too late for me. On to the next one – a re-read of Slaughterhouse Five.

Since I actually wrote this blog post in an e-mail to myself this afternoon with the intent to post it tonight and backdate it to this time I actually wrote it (which I am currently doing), I would just like to say that I really, really, really look forward to getting home from work and finding a heaping pile of cat vomit on my carpet. Really.

Constant with a K

By concerts, employment, fabio the hamster, hot lead singers of bands, las vegas, little cousins, lj, memories, music, not ruling at life, top notch communication blunders 2 Comments

The other night I saw Jack’s Mannequin at the Norva. It made me think of my time in Las Vegas – sharing a bunk bed with my 10-year-old cousin, laying on the floor, idly tapping out some LJ entries to the tune of Andrew McMahon’s irresistible voice (still Something Corporate back then) while I casually sipped glass of wine. The window would be open, and the sounds of the little cousins chattering would echo through the house. It was funny, at first I hated how loud that house was, but when I left, I couldn’t stand the sound of silence for quite a few months. My idea of quiet became the muffled sounds of laughter and video games drifting up the stairs while the door was cracked and the cat kept trying to sneak in. The occasional witty comment I overheard was enough to keep me inspired and keep me writing whatever LJ work of art I was creating at the time. And Fabio the Hamster. He could keep me going all night long.

You know I used to keep a mini notebook in my purse? I used to write down interesting quotes and song lyrics and funny ideas all day long and then blog about them later. I concentrated so hard to writing these hysterically satirical posts that I usually forgot I was supposed to be figuring out what to do with my life. Those were the LJ’s golden days. I remember now.

You know what else I remember now? My favorite lyrics to "Konstantine" by Something Corporate.

"I had these dreams in them I learned to play guitar
Maybe cross the country
Become a rock star."

Before MySpace; before Facebook; before my vapid second blog about materialistic bullshit that requires zero creativity, the LJ was my constant source of inspiration. Sure, it made you laugh, but best of all? It made me laugh. Constantly.

There was no writer’s block, and there was no wasting all my silly thoughts in a one-sentence status update. Whatever happened to composing an entire thought? An entire anecdote? An entire story?

Maybe it’s because I spend my days at work writing proposals. It’s not the most creative writing, but it’s a lot of writing. Maybe I just get it all out of my system at work, and I don’t feel like writing for fun anymore. 

Speaking of writing proposals at work – today a person who was supposed to be feeding me some narrative for a program management plan sent me some text. As I read the first few sentences, I grew suspicious of the fact that it sounded extremely too general and nothing like the rest of his writing. Needless to say, I Googled "program management" and soon came to the realization that he copied the entire program mangement plan from freaking Wikipedia.

Anyway, maybe someday Something Corporate will get back together. And maybe someday, I’ll be inspired to bang out some hysterically satirical posts again. Maybe soon.