Saturday, January 31, 2009

Open House Tomorrow

We had another showing today and an open house tomorrow on Sunday.

It's widely known that open houses are a good opportunity for your neighbors to see your house, and that is about all they are good for. Yet, I am hopeful.

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Things

This is a fun thing I stole from Facebook...I listed 25 random things about me because someone else had 'tagged' me to do it....and also sorry for the repeat for those that are on F-book and also read here (but I didn't KNOW you read, so thank you thank you thank you Joni and Anne!!!).

1. I am doing this because I have been tagged about 10 times.
2. I knew by junior year in college that I probably didn't want to be a traditional chemical engineer.
3. I really, really like to read. Mostly fiction (but not smut novels). Don't judge me.
4. I wish I had infinite money and time so I could get both an MBA and Ph.D in music. Don't know how that would work out professionally either, but I know I would enjoy both.
5. I respect my sister a lot. I don't think she knows that.
6. I tend to share a lot of frivolous personal information but not a lot of deep soul-knowledge. It's hard for me to make NEW life-long friends because I am guarded.
7. I think my blog is sweet and wish more people would read it.
8. I secretly wish I could have a dog.
9. I think my parents are awesome and at the same time cherish every moment with them because when I see them, they look older and remind me of their mortality.
10. In my head, I think I would like to move back to SD. In reality, it's unlikely a job will present itself.
11. I firmly believe an Ivy League / East Coast / Big School degree is not needed to succeed in Corporate America. You make your own opportunities.
12. I almost always vote Democrat and was a Hilary supporter.
13. Just because we haven't had kids yet does not mean we will never have kids. Lots of people wait until well into their 30s. And, for the record, it's inappropriate to ask.
14. I have never push mowed a lawn. If Jeff didn't do it, I would hire a neighbor kid. Same goes for snow shoveling.
15. I have chewed my nails since, like, age 8.
16. I abhor tanning beds and look down on those who use one. Half because it's unhealthy and half because I have no business putting my light skin through that torture, it just doesn't work.
17. I judge people poorly when they use incorrect grammar or spell something wrong.
18. I always plan on giving 10% away to charity but rarely succeed. I am solidly at the American average.
19. I would like to live abroad. Jeff would not.
20. My favorite place to vacation is the Black Hills, and always will be, no matter how many other crazy places we go.
21. It rarely ever feels like I have been married for 4 years. But I can't imagine my life without my hubs.
22. I am terrified of drowning, in a car that I cannot escape from. Also, snakes.
23. This I have learned: mergers are difficult and messy.
24. I really like peanut butter rice krispie bars.
25. I got a pearl necklace for Christmas!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Straight A's are Overrated

Gee whiz, I am glad I was a solidly B-student in college...Jon Morrow makes the case for why he regrets getting straight A's in college...

PS - we have our 2nd showing tonight, and another scheduled for tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Atlanta Trip #2

Ok folks, today I left for the airport at 4:30am and arrived at home just after 10pm. So this is the only post you get.

All in all, it was a successful day - immediately upon arrival, we launched into the 2009 goals and direction session, complete with a networking get-to-know-you lunch in the middle. After the close of the meeting, there was also about an hour long Q&A with the HR Relo people - and after hearing everyone else, I got the feeling that I am on the front side of the process. A lot of others didn't even know where to start, and I already have my house listed!! Hopefully this helps me out...After the Q&A, I had a one-on-0ne meeting with my director regarding a project I am working on. It was my first 'work' with him, and I feel it went pretty well. I anticipated all of his questions and had data and numbers handy (he's a former finance guy) to back up my recommendations and address any of his thoughts/concerns.

After that it was time to hang at the airport, waiting for my flight...and then another 2 hour trip home!!! A full work day, plus 4 hours of air time, plus airport waiting time, makes for a tired Jessie.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our house is listed

Well, after much turmoil with the relo company, and a heck of a lot of work, our house is finally listed For Sale!!

Click here to view the listing and photos:

I was soooo excited yesterday - it was listed in the afternoon, and by the end of the day we had two showings scheduled already.

Someone came by at 4:30pm on Monday and another scheduled for 9:00am this morning. HOWEVER, I think the agent and clients who came by yesterday were looking for a foreclosure 'good deal' (not happening here), and then this morning was cancelled (we don't know why).

So now I am back to hand-wringing and anxious....I hope SO MUCH we have priced the house appropriately and can sell it at or near the listed price. But now, with half a day gone and no more calls to schedule showings I fear we are not reaching the right demographic...

PS - Shout out to Marne, who indeed did post on the favorite songs/podcasts comments. THANKS!!!! It's the little things that I am cherishing right now in the midst of all this other upheavalness.


My Mom and Dad 'won' (or received, I'm not sure) a 4-day cruise from some chemical or seed company as a thank you for their business. They decided to set sail on Monday and will return on Friday this week, and in order to get there, exercised the flight benefits from my company. To do this, they came from ABR and stayed overnight with us on Friday night, and I woke up really early (5:30am) to take them to the airport on Saturday morning.

I hope they are having a good time. I think they were ready to get the heck out of the negative and single digit temperatures - we went out for dinner at our favorite local Mexican restaurant, and I heard my dad say, "This sucks.". And my mom said, "What sucks?". Answered, "The cold.".

And they were having a great time at the condo in Naples on Saturday and Sunday before the cruise left...BTW, my mom is terrified of the water...but they are going!!! And I assume they will have a wonderful time and not fall off the boat!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Motivational Speaker

I wish I had something thoughtful and intriguing to say today, or at least a thoughful and intriguing article to link you to in lieu of my own original thoughts. I don't. Sorry.

Instead I have bags under my eyes (lack of sleep) and itchy skin (stupid cold weather). And I don't think the relocation company is EVER going to call back so we can put our house on the market. And I am not sure my parents are going to get on the flights they want - they are going on a cruise next week, leaving port on Monday and returning Friday but are flying down to FL a couple days early.

I feel like singing that song...."nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms...."

I am allowed to have a bad attitude one day, and today is my day. GRR, stupid cranky-headedness.

PS - lameness ensues from you, my faithful readers, by directly Ignoring my plea to talk about your favorite podcasts /slash/ music from earlier this week. LAME-O. Double GRR.

PPS - Just because we found out last night that Dead Denny was trying to tell Izzy that she was sick does NOT excuse the fact it was still a lame-o story line.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Atlanta Trip #1

Spent the day in Atlanta yesterday (sorry for no post, but no computer). Had a big pow-wow with the groups which will be reporting to our director, and then a break out session with our smaller group.

Overall, it was really great! We discussed our 2009 goals for the team, talked about some ideas to achieve them, and worked on furthering the integration process. I am really excited and energized to get started...I can't wait...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Inauguration for History

A historic day, by any measure. The inauguration of a new president is always exciting - there have been only 43 Americans who undertook this same task. I just spent the last 45 minutes listening to NPR, capturing the excitement of the crowd, the oath of Joe Biden and then Barack Obama, and listening to Obama's Inaugural Address.

I truly believe the time has come for America to reclaim its place of leadership to the world. My favorite idea from the speech - that America is a friend of your nation.

The time is now, and the opportunities ripe, for the United States to be a friend to the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, as well as a friend to those who choose freedom and democracy in the place of tyranny and terror.

We have an obligation, as a people, to take care of each other. Nothing lasts forever - not you, not me, not a nation, not the Earth. The only way to survive is to reach out and beyond, stretching for something greater than yourself. President Obama has shown us the first step - we are facing tough situations, but responsible actions begin with the guiding principle that we are to take care of one another.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My new toy

WOOT! Check this out ~ it's my new "thang", in congratulations to myself of taking the job with Delta. Actually, Jeff surprised me with it as a congratulations...anyway, I have gifted the old ugly black Zune to charity (Jeff). Now we both have entertainment during our plane trips!!!!!

Mine is already full of podcasts - including Midmorning with Kerri Miller, Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett, A Prairie Home Companion, Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Guide to Finances, Fresh Air, NPR's The Color of Money, and This American Life.

Also I have these music albums - Lonestar's 16 Biggest Hits, Carrie Underwood, Britney (Circus = awesome), The Corrs Unplugged, Daughtry, David Cook, Delta Goodrem, Fergie, Dixie Chicks' Essentials, Taylor Swift, Pink, JT (OF COURSE), Rihanna, Beyonce, Joss Stone, Jordin Sparks, Death Cab for Cutie, TI, Natasha Bedingfield, Paramore, Duffy, Maroon 5, Leona Lewis, Coldplay, Jason Mraz...

What do you-all listen to for podcasts and music? Any new tunes that are MUST HAVES for you?

BSG Rules

Ok, nerd out ~

Seriously, did anyone else see Friday night's new episode of Battlestar Galactica?? If you recall, at the end of last season, the uneasy alliance between the Humans and the Cylons resulted in a trek to Earth, home of the 13th colony.

Upon arrival, it is a nuclear wasteland, littered with the bones and metal of its inhabitants - who ALL turn out to be Cylon. Additionally, the four who have been revealed have memories of living on Earth.......


My prediction is that the entire fleet are Cylons and Humans are really mythical creatures....

Ok, the nerd is put away until next week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dead Denny, WHY?

Will someone PLEASE tell the Grey's Anatomy writers to stop punishing Katherine Heigl for her comments about pulling out of the Emmy pool last year??????? It's making the rest of us fast forward our Tivo through any parts involving Denny.

On the upside, hopefully the ending to last night's show, where Denny sits on the bed with Alex and says, "We need to talk." is the beginning of the end.

Or maybe a ghost (who is having sweaty sex with Izzy.) (I know.) will kill Alex so they really can talk. That would be a totally sensible trajectory for the storyline. UGH.

Anywho, had discussion #2 with my new boss, and our director, this morning. I realized that my concerns around travel - and wanting clarification and boundaries (and pushing for them) - might have been a bit off-putting. (It was.) Turns out, they thought I was going to stroll in and say, take this job and shove it.

I didn't. Although it is different than what I previously thought, I think it is still a great opportunity - lots of $$ to save, good experience, should be a FUN job. I am confident we can work through my travel concerns if and when they come up, but seriously, in the meantime this is a fantastic way did I say, no way.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What a Rollercoaster

OK, without going into too many details, I just have to let you all know - my new job, not exactly what I thought it was going to be.

Here are the differences~
- Travel. Possibly required 30-50% of the time. I thought it was more like 20-30%.
- Availability. Possibly required to be available 24/7 via Blackberry for operational emergencies. I was not aware this was part of it, I thought it was handled by an outside group...
- Job scope. Possibly little to no process improvement at first, with a minimum increase in activity after a few months. I thought it was more like 50/50 or 60/40.

So, hm. Still going to Atlanta, but it is not quite as rosy.

Turmoil and anxiety rules in the Hartman household tonight.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Ok, seriously. This morning on MPR (whom I l.o.v.e.) here was the debate:

"Up north it's cold. Do you know how cold it is?

No, how cold is it?

Well, you can take your pick. In X it is 40 below air temperature, but in Y it is 46 below wind chill. Which one do you think is colder?

I think that the 40 below would feel warmer, you know, because with the wind, it just rips through you. That 46 below would sure feel colder, I think."

UMMMMM- no, people. It is DAMN cold no matter how you look at it. I will take my -11 and dream of the south today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cold weather, be gone

The Jeep is full. The garbage is full. I thought we got rid of stuff before we moved into this house...somehow we have a lot more to go through than I thought.

We have emptied out our 2 extra bedroom closets pretty well, enough so hopefully a homebuyer can imagine how well their own clothes and stuff would fit.

On its way to Goodwill tomorrow are extra coats, sweatshirts, jackets, and blankets. We kept only what we are using now when it is -6, and the lighter favorites for spring and fall. Other than that, we won't be needing them in Georgia! And I bet somebody else could really use them this week.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Back on the Wagon

OK, so I have been hesitant to post anything about our pending future until we made a few decisions.

And of course, MAKING the decisions have been about the only thing on our minds, so I have not been able to think of clever post topics this past week.

BUT, never fear, I am baaa-aaack.

We have decided to accept the job offer in Atlanta. And all decisions forthcoming stem from there!

The Christmas stuff is almost put away, with only a bare tree left to fanangle into the box. Fix-it lists have been made, ideas for downsizing our stuff have been proposed, and cleaning proposals have been argued.

Wish us luck! I will keep ya'll posted (that is Southern-speak for "you guys").

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Early to bed, early to rise

OK, so as most of you know, this week has been wrought with tough decisions and diagnoses. And my initial response is always to internalize stress...which results in super achy-ness and supreme tiredness.

So I decided to go to bed at 9pm, immediately following the all new What Not To Wear.

But that means that I am now up at 4:32am, checking the internet instead of sleeping. Arg.

Also, Jeff took new delivery of his computer Friday morning and I think stayed up really late last night playing with it (I think this because I am working on the new computer and noticing tons of our stuff has been transferred over!! Thanks honey.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I am glad it can be fixed with a pill! Thank goodness for preventative annual physicals (and that I take advantage of them)...this is still reversible.

Insulin resistance: the condition in which normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal insulin response from fat, muscle, and liver cells.

Symptoms of IR
Brain fogginess and inability to focus. Sometimes the fatigue is physical, but often it is mental.
High blood sugar.
Intestinal bloating. Most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet.
Sleepiness. Many people with insulin resistance get sleepy immediately after eating a meal containing more than 20% or 30% carbohydrates.
Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight. For most people, too much weight is too much fat. The fat in IR is generally stored in and around abdominal organs in both males and females. Increased blood triglyceride levels.
Increased blood pressure.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year's Eve

A shout out to our friends Mary and Dustin for hosting this year's NYE party! We had a blast hanging out, looking at fish tanks, watching their pet birds, and playing Texas Hold 'Em.

Jeff made it down to the last 2 people - and went all in at 1am (I think he was ready to turn in). He lost it all...but it was just for fun so it turned out ok!

Christmas with the Hartmans

After our vacation, Jeff and I traveled to Sioux Falls (by car) to spend Dec 24-28 with his family. It was very special - our nephews stayed overnight with grandma and grandpa (and mom and dad) so we got to see the wonder on a 2 year old's face when he opened his stocking, and saw what Santa brought him. Baby Ben of course loved the paper and the boxes.

We spent most of Christmas day opening gifts, laughing, and eating (what else do you do?). A ton of the rest of our vacation was spend just hanging out, and cat napping when appropriate (always).

The highlight of the holiday was the annual Who 'Da Man Tournament. This year it was expanded from a ping pong only tournament, and now ALSO included Wii Bowling, and Dunk the Duck (a super sweet carnival game Lois brought for the family). We had a Round Robin tournament, complete with loser's brackets and everything...and I am proud to say I won the Wii Bowling tournament after a tough double elimination battle with Lois!!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Orleans - Sun photos

New Orleans - Sun

Our last day :( and it was only 50 degrees, a far cry from the 80+ of the previous 3 days.

We met up with another hunter and his family and had a traditional New Orleans jazz brunch at Brennan's, including mimosas and bloody marys. And of course, how could you forget to put fish into breakfast and still make it delish? It WAS!

We listened to the live jazz in the beautifully restored building and were seated on the top floor. Our total experience lasted almost 2 hours, and it was totally worth it.

After that, our group walked in the French Quarter and sat down at the Royal Sonesta to take in the beautiful hotel, have some coffee and hot tea, and watch the football game on tv. We were enjoying our company, and killing time, before we had to head back to the airport.

We went back to the airport with the knowledge the flight was full and were just hoping that someone wouldn't show up. By some miracle, we all FIVE got on and back happy but tired on Sunday night!

New Orleans - Sat photos

New Orleans - Fri photos

New Orleans - Sat

On Saturday, we slept in a little (thank god). Breakfast at Starbucks at the hotel at 9am. Mom called over and when no one answered (showering and blow drying the hair made it noisy) she decided to go back to bed - as she assumed we had. Not so! We were ready to hit the town again.

We walked down to the end of Canal Street and hopped on the Trolley car and rode along the riverfront. It was beautiful! I wish we could have ridden the trolley more - you really got to see a lot as it was an old-school, open air type.

At the end of the trolley ride, we got out and went shopping at the French Market - an open air market hawking sunglasses, Mardi Gras masks, knockoff purses, jewelry, wallets, tons of stuff...Dad scored a new eel wallet and dickered a good deal for it.

We took a break and escaped the rain (yes it actually rained and was not just humid) by listening to a jazz band at the end of the market. Amy had her heart set on visiting where the locals hang out, on Frenchman street.

We walked through a bunch of housing apartments to get to someplace for lunch. We came across a place called The Praline Connection and it was WONDERFUL! It took a long time, but fried pickles, catfish, etouffe, and shrimp later it didn't matter. We also picked up some pralines for later.

We decided to walk back towards the hotel, browswing along the way. Mom and Amy wanted to go back to the voodoo priest and have their Tarot cards read, so they called to make an appointment in the afternoon. As we headed that way, we experienced some of the people watching, shopping, and snacks of the French Quarter.

While Amy and Mom were at the witch doctor, Jeff, Dad, and I decided to rest for a bit, and then go to a New Orleans Hornets basketball game. We waited in line for about 45 minutes. Actually, Jeff waited in line, while Dad and I took the tickets we bought off the street and went to the beer garden (2 free beers each, outside. You drink anywhere outside.). They also had dancing Christmas trees, a live band, and little pot shot games outside. It was so fun! What a nice change after the Timberwolves - a) the team actually played good BB and b) the entertainment was so great! Every timeout or break something was going on in the crowd, giveaways, music, competitions.

After the game, we met up with Mom and Amy and decided to go for a late dinner at a dive just off of Bourbon Street. The place was called Oceana's and oh my, all though it looked like nothing from the outside, the food was freaking fantastic (are you noticing a theme?). I had a salad - my first vegetable of the weekend - and oysters and shrimp were also on deck. A quick stroll down Bourbon Street and mom, dad, and Amy went to see Steamboat Willie play jazz. Jeff and I were tired and went back to the hotel to just hang.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Orleans - Fri

Ok, so armed with information for the Gray Line Bus Tour, we agreed to meet IN THE LOBBY at 8:30am. To ensure we can get on a bus tour by 9:30am. Let me assure you, New Orleans does not run on Randy time (aka party until the wee hours and still get up at 7am). We couldn't find a place for a quick breakfast. But no matter, turns out they have cancelled all the tours that day until 2pm. So we will find something else to do!...

- Breakfast at Cafe Du Monde, including cafe au lait and bignettes (which in my opnion taste a lot like funnel cake, but acceptable for breakfast)

- Shopping: Harley Davidson store (of course), tourist store for sunglasses for Dad, a ladies' store where I got a beautiful bejeweled compact, and other artsy stores

- Mule-drawn carriage tour through the French Quarter, narrated by a tough-talking lady who gave the finger to a car that honked at us

- Lunch at a diner where the burgers are cooked under hubcaps

- Finally, the BUS TOUR! We saw all the historical haunts in the French Quarter, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed, some Katrina areas still with damage, levees and canals, the above ground cemetaries (and walked around), the historic homes, the business district...a ton of things over the course of 2 hours (and about a 10 minute nap. I was Tired.)

- Shopping in the French Quarter, including a real perfumery (mmmmm), art galleries, drinking at the oldest bar in America, and meeting a witch doctor / vodoo priest

- Watching the cargo ships and barges on the mighty Mississippi; dad got his shoes shined by a transient

- Dinner at Deanies with one of Dad's hunters and his wife that are from Louisiana. Amy won the honor of ordering BBQ shrimp and having a bib placed on her by the waiter

- Bourbon St (again. of course.), most of it spend at Pat O'Brien's, home of the original Hurricane Drink. It is delicious, fruity, red. And 4 shots of rum. Let it be declared from now on "pulling a Jeff" is when you look at your drink, it is 7/8 gone. And everyone else has about 1/8 gone. And the nice waitress rubs your back gently and says, "you like that, don't you honey?".

- Stumble back from Bourbon St about midnight. Amy, Jeff, and I are not quite ready to turn in, so we go out to continue the party around 12:45am. Let me tell you, a different kind of folk appeared in those 45 minutes. We walked a couple blocks, decided we did NOT need a pimp or a ho, and thought it best to get back to the hotel. Sleepy time!