Monday, April 28, 2008

And now we return to your regular programming, already in progress.

First of all, I apologize for the hiatus. I always keep intending on adding an entry, and often my head is filled with ideas, but by the time I work and then go to the gym and complete my day, my brain just doesn't function like it should. One should not attempt creativity on an empty tank of fuel. The results can be horrendous, or even worse, cheesy.
My job is starting to burn me out. On top of that, I don't feel safe there anymore. It was a halfway decent property when I began working there, but I can see it sinking. So can many of the residents. I don't like to admit it, but it's because we have been accepting Section Eight vouchers. I'll be the first one to tell you that there are many good people receiving assistance from the Housing Authority, people that truly need the help, and I'm glad my tax dollars are going towards helping them out. But at the same time, with many of these individuals comes the environment of the projects. More and more I go to show an apartment to a potential applicant, and have to walk past people outside working on their rims, booming the bass out of their cars, and spitting on the sidewalks. Just today I was showing our model two bedroom apartment to a client, and sitting outside on the stairs were several residents smoking, with their children running around barefoot, as one woman talked loudly and emphatically about her recent trip to jail. There is trash laying around, and not even the threat of being fined $25 per violation, or even eviction, catches their attention. There are many ideas that my coworkers and I have to snap things into shape, but it's not easy getting the necessary support. I just don't feel safe. I'm a pretty tough chick, but this is different. Therefore, I'm researching my options, and I'm open to suggestions.
Aside from all that, I'm actually learning to trust again. It's not so much about searching for honesty, it's accepting that it's actually there, regardless of what other people may have shown you in the past. It's a sort of "innocent until proven guilty" kind of philosophy, and believe it or not, it works! I don't mean you should trust someone blindly; there's always a certain amount of "guard" that needs to be put up. I was so scared that I'd be a bitter person after what I went through with my ex, but I think I may be seeing a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Outsider's Report: Par Three - Excuse Me, Ma'am, Your Age Is Showing...

On the Wednesday of Masters Week, the traditional Par Three Shootout is held. This year, Rory Sabbatini won. I don't know exactly what it is that he won, but he won. Well done! Even more inportantly, Wednesday night is the Par Three Party. I have never been before, even though I have gone out quite a bit in years past. But last night I did, since I hope this will be my last Masters Week in Augusta for quite some time. And last year, my friend Rachael and I had such a good time, we couldn't pass it up. We met so many interesting men, and hardly paid for any of our own drinks to boot! So, why not? Last night, however, I realized something. I'm old. Well, not necessarily old, but too old for the whole bar/club scene. It's one thing if I'm there with a bunch of people, but last night, Rachael and I figured out that we've just matured. Sigh. And today I was exhausted. That being said, I'm ending this entry early and going to bed. More to come tomorrow, and more photos.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Outsider's Report: Day Two - The Epic Journey Home

Since I was off yesterday, this is technically Day Two of the Masters Practice Rounds, but it's really Day One for me. As I sit here and type, I have my TV tuned to Channel 4, the local cable access channel that, during Masters Week, broadcasts the schedule and groupings for the players, and the Rules and Regulations of the National. I can't tell right now who is doing the best; all I see are alot of names I've never heard of. The rules are pretty interesting though. Apparently no large bags or purses allowed. Ladies, no sneaking in your own pimiento cheese sandwiches! Also, chairs with arms (I know what they are talking about; it just sounds funny) and periscopes are also verboten. No rigid chairs, either, or weapons of any kind, "regardless of permit!"
Before I begin to tell you about what I saw today, I must say: IT TOOK ME NINETY MINUTES TO GET HOME TODAY. NINETY. It usually takes thirty. I spent forty-five minutes trying to get from my office to Alexander Drive, which is a mile, maybe a mile and a half distance. "But, Kathleen," you may ask, "You know Augusta roads backwards and forwards. You could have thought of at least five alternate routes to get home. Why would you deliberately choose to drive right past the gates?" Because I wanted to. I wanted to see what it was like, to watch all the people flooding the sidewalks of an area of Augusta that's usually pretty empty (and slightly trashy!).
It was fascinating. Everyone is out to try and profit from the crowds. People selling water and sodas from their trucks, all kinds of golf memorabilia, and parking, parking, parking. The field in front of my office was jammed full. The Augusta National Committee bought up tons of area land within the last few years in order to have space just for this week. There are Guesthouses, mostly for corporate tourists, built just for the Masters. It's amazing how this city comes alive for a few days. And I know this is going to sound incredibly elitist, but I love that golf is a money sport. Why? There are tons of good looking, well-dressed international businessmen, crawling all over Augusta. So will I be going out and partying this week? Oh you bet your booties I will! Last year was so much fun, I simply must repeat it, or try at least.
Keeping you fully aware and up-to-date, I'm signing off for tonight.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Outsider's Report: Pregaming It

Being in Augusta, Georgia on the first full week of April means one thing and one thing only: idiot tourists behind the wheel. It's a phenomenon that begins the Saturday before the Masters Tournament begins, and doesn't end until the Monday after the Green Jacket is awarded. As I said in a previous blog entry, I've never been so close to the action before, and I plan on soaking it in.
Several months ago, the RVs started showing up. Not your average RVs, mind you, but the ticket seller RVs. Shortly after those arrived, the golf inspired billboards showed up. All along Washington Road, everything from Sergio Garcia hawking Michelob Ultra to the Club Glove ads graced the skies. Then, about a month out, you see the Preparations start. The Guesthouses are landscaped and maintained. Trash is picked up. The big green nets with the flags are seen high above the main gate, and then the satellite trailers are set up across the street to transmit the game. The tents go up, and mesh fences are set up in all parking lots within a two mile radius, including the one where I work. About two days before the tournament starts, THEY come. You Augustans know what I mean: the khaki-shorts-and-floppy-hat-clad middle aged men in their lawn chairs, begging for tickets. Their poster boards claiming the utmost in discretion and the highest prices paid for badges and tickets to the practice rounds.
I sat outside the Starbucks last night and watched it all start. I didn't realize what exactly was going on yesterday; I thought the practice rounds didn't start until today. My father informed me, though, that some of the players come and start playing on Sunday (and Tiger was there), which would explain the near-full parking field in front of my office. I sipped my cappuccino and watched as the polo shirts roamed up and down Washington Road, filling the restaurants. It was a refreshing change from the usual GIs walking around.
That's all I have to report thus far. I'm off today, but I am absolutely sure I'll have more as the days pass. Rest assured I'll keep you informed!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Day Off, Part Two

The Y proved to be good therapy. I've started using a weight loss workout plan provided by Bally's, which I got online. Today was abs day, and I also did some lower back extensions, which are more like reverse crunches. I want to get the most out of this as possible without overdoing it and nullifying my work.
I've had four more calls from the office. I don't know what is going on, but apparently one of my leases has not been properly processed, despite my efforts. And it's making me look like a real idiot, even though I know for a fact that I've done everything I was supposed to do. This is definitely just a job, and not a career.
Surprisingly, I'm looking forward to the Masters Tournament next week. I've never been so close to it before, and my office is right across the street. And I mean that - the entrance to the community is directly across from the press entrance to the National. It will be interesting to see what happens. I know I'll have to figure out how I'm going to get to work; my normal route goes right past the main gate. In the past, I've mostly been out of the way of the traffic, and the tourists, except when I'd go out at night (another thing I'm excited about!). Rest assured I'll blog about anything that happens.
I'm getting tired of Panera and I think I'll go home. There are annoying people behind me.
Maybe "Part Three" will come later. Who knows?

The Day Off, Part One

I awoke to the sound of rain on my window. Perfect. I've been looking forward to today all week. I was pretty sore from yesterday's workout (I took it up to two hours), but it's a *good* kind of sore. Then I got a call from my office. I thought I had covered all my bases from yesterday, and that anyone that would come in today for me would be taken care of. I was wrong, and I don't know if it's because of me or them. So far, I've been called twice. Maybe I should just switch my phone off.
Then I got a call from my insurance adjuster. I got sideswiped yesterday while pulling into a parking spot on my lunch break. I honestly don't know whose fault it is, but I didn't see the guy backing out of his spot. I may fib now and then, but when it comes to legal situations (in fact, in most situations) I take pride in being honest. I found out though, that the other person involved is saying that I swung too wide and hit him. I was hit! And the worst part is, they're saying that I admitted to taking a wide turn, and I never said anything of the kind. My concern is that this other person is a lawyer, and they know how the situation has to look in order not to look at fault. If I'm at fault, I'll accept it, but I just don't see how I am in this case.
I'm going back to the gym in about an hour. Maybe I can work out some of this stress. I still have to tell my dad.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Drugs! Give me drugs!

No gym for me tonight. Over the last two weeks, at least, the pine trees have been exploding with pollen. And thus far it hadn't really knocked me down. But now, everything else seems to be blooming. Aside from that, I live on 4.25 of mostly good ol' Georgia pines. With the occasional sniffle now turning into full blown leakage (yeah, I know, but I couldn't think of a better way to say it), and a migraine pinning me to a prone position, I took a night off of the gym. I know sometimes working out can make it better, but I really didn't feel like risking making it worse. However, I am NOT going to let this put me in a slump. That's my biggest fear: one night I'll stop and just feel so slack and not go back. I'm going tomorrow night, come hell or high water.
As for my classes, I'm supposed to have Zumba tomorrow night and then BellyRox on Thursday. It'll be my first time at BellyRox, so we'll see how that goes. And I'm definitely going salsa dancing Friday night, if there are any takers...?
I'm really wishing I hadn't bought the non-drowsy version of Claritin-D.