Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tracking Points All over the Place

In this era of customer rewards, I find that I spend more time tracking points and analyzing the best time to redeem miles and points than many of the other more important chores in my life. I realized I was truly sick when I woke up at 3am today calculating how many miles I would be earning on my trip to DC today and how many points I could redeem toward Mike's new car.

The following is a short summary of the programs to which I belong, carry a card in my wallet and actively use/redeem. This list scares me due to content, length and that is not all encompassing:

1) Hertz Club Gold: Understandable because I travel for work
2) Delta SkyMiles: Same as above
3) Marriott: Same as above
4) Starwood Points: Depending boss travel companion, their hotel requests differ
5) American Express: I married into this reward system, but it has great awards.
6) AirTran: Most useful for flights to Buffalo
7) American Poker Invitational: Local poker league, earning points to other touranaments:
8) Credit Card 1: Earns regular points for redemption almost anywhere
9) Credit Card 2: Earns points toward Volkswagen service for my car
10) Credit Card 3: Earns points toward purchase of car
11) UPS Frequent Shipper: Earns points toward mailing packages (I got sucked in while sending Christmas presents)
12) Casual Corner Privileges: My company sponsors it, so it came in the mail and earns points toward clothes
13) RedEnvelope Frequent Shopper: Earns gift certificates at different purchase levels
14) Last Minute Tee Times: Book tee times at participating golf courses and earn points toward other tee times

I carry cards to all of these!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

New Addition to the Family

Last weekend, Mike and I had the pleasure of visiting Alison, Dave and baby Jacob. Alison and Dave were sleep-deprived and busy, but they were wonderful to us. Jacob is a perfect newborn--healthy, beautiful, gassy, eating alot and sleeping all the time. We had a great time and can't wait to come back.

2 of 3

I am happy to say that I have been able to keep 2 out of 3 of my New Year's Resolutions:

1. I had my wisdom teeth pulled on Friday, and fortuantely I don't look like too much of a chipmunk.
2. Mike and I just bought a manual car, so Mike promised to teach me to drive a stick shift.

Now if only the church would stop being so rule-driven, I would be a complete woman for 2006.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Daytona 500

No one that I know who reads this cares one iota about Nascar....but I'd like to toss out my congrats to this year's Daytona 500 winner....Jimmie Johnson. Last weekend he ran in qualifying and ended up with the 5th fastest run....only to be knocked to the back of the pack, punished for illiegal modifications made to his car. Then to add insult to "injury", his crew chief was banned for the rest of the week and most notably, today's race. He sat at home and watched his driver start at the very back of the line. And then watched him creep & creep up......until with 14 laps to go, he was in the lead. He kept that lead and ultimately won the race...a first for Jimmie.

Now he could still be tossed if Nascar officials find anything wrong with his car that goes against regularions.....but that is doubtful and I hope that it doesn't happen. Jimmie deserves this....he's a hard driver, but more so, he's clean. He drove his heart out today and it paid off.

Kudos to you Jimmie and your team!!!

PS....Scott - All 3 of your boys were enthralled with the end of the race :-) Especially Sammy...I'm bringing him over to the dark side, hehehehe

Friday, February 17, 2006

Smarty pants

Last weekend I brought Sam to see his first movie, Curious George. He has been one of my all-time favorites for as long as I can remember and Sam has taken to the complete works of Curious George that I was given as a gift from John a few years ago. I love this book! It has every single George story ever written, all in one's great!!

So Sam loves George too....a man after my own heart. When I heard the movie was coming out, it seemed only natural to take him on an adventure to see it. So I go and pick him up and we head out. We got our tickets and headed to the snack bar for some M's. He picked out a tube of mini-Ms and we headed into the theater. We find a seat - the first one he comes across - and wait for the movie to start. When it finally began even I was excited!! I asked Sam if he wanted to open his Ms and he said no. We watch George make his way from the jungles of Africa to the big city to find the man with the yellow hat (Ted). And George, ever curious, gets in loads of trouble. I ask Sam again....want me to open your Ms? No thank you is the reply. On we go.....George gets in more trouble, flying away w/ a bunch of balloons from the zoo. At this point, Sam is fiddling and playing around w/ the tube of Ms so I ask him again....did you want those open?

Again, the answer is no.......and then he says to me "Gina, that is the third time you have asked me that and it is the third time I have said no..." Um, ok...nevermind...I just got a talking to from my 3 1/2 year old nephew. I've been put in my place

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

BINGO is my name-o

Often times my weekend consists of laundry, running errands, drinking coffee and just general hanging out and relaxing. I like those weekends...they're nice. Last weekend I was presented with an rare go play BINGO. Now, I can't tell you the last time I played the game but it brings to mind many thoughts. Not the least of which is, "At 28, I'm going to be one of the youngest people in this room." So, off I go, pick up my friend Erika and Kristen and we go and meet Kristi, her husband and another couple - friends of Kristi and her husband. After we get the low down on how it all works (it is not as easy as it might sound....) we sit w/ our friends and get the rules of the game....when we can and can't say "BINGO!!", etc. I notice that the girls have easily, 20 bingo blotters...these are no average everyday bingo blotters either. There is a website, where you can get all sorts of bingo playing paraphanalia, bags, novelty bingo blotter (3 Stooges for example). And then we get started and I see that these girls do not mess around. More so that the blue haireds.

To quote Indigo Montoya..."Let me start from the, no, there is too much. Let me sum up..." When you get there, you pay $3 admission and for your money you get a pack of sheets with 3 playing boards on each page. Each page has a different color, green, yellow, etc.

So we begin play....and we get through the first win, oh well. Next game, new page...tear off the first and go to the next. And I look over and see that Kristi and her friend have changed the color of their Fun, I can see that......and then I notice that they are using the matching color bingo blotter to the color of the border of each particular game, even the "specials". These girls are lifers......

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl Debrief--Who Cares about the Steelers?

The teams were of no interest to me this year (same as last year), but the commercials were funny, for the most part:

-Shaq and hottie Matt Lienart talking about "Desperate Housewives" was hilarious, especially with Hugh Hefner at the end.'s Monkeys were great--how can you go wrong with monkeys?
-Bud Light--funny and classic, especially the first one, hiding beers around the office.
-I can't remember the company (obviously not an advertising homerun then), but I liked the commercial when the doctor/nurse killed the fly with the electroshock paddles and the wife walked in.
-Diet Pepsi--Dumb, dumb commercials

-Half Time Show: I love the Rolling Stones, so it was good for me, but the funniest part was the interviews earlier in the week where some moron reporter asked Mick if they were nervous playing the SuperBowl, and he said, "Um, no. Why would we be?" And then she asked, "What are you going to play?" to which he responded, "Not sure. We haven't talked about it yet." The whole show I felt like the band was looking at the audience and thinking, "Why do you guys make such a big deal about this game?"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Why Cheat?

Mike and I have started playing in some local Texas Hold 'Em touranaments. Various bars around Atlanta hold them each night, and we usually go to play on Thursdays and Saturdays. It's been a good way to meet people, and it's a fun, free thing to do.

The bar which holds the Thursday touranament is a really nice sports bar and about 70 people come, so it's a lot of fun with one exception: there is a cheater.

Everyday I read newspaper articles about corporate officers and CEOs who cooked the books and acted unethically, not to mention the general criminal population, and while I obviously do not condone the criminal acts, I choose to believe that these people are arrogant and desperate, and they should be punished accordingly.

This guy that comes to this tournament cheats at free poker. Free poker!!!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

First Date

3 years ago yesterday I had my first date with my husband. I was an hour and a half late because I am not very good with directions (large, large understatement). The restuarant was in a no cell zone, so I had to find the number to the restaurant while lost and call him there. Fortunately he waited...

Then I was so nervous that I drank 2 gin and tonics before dinner. Then when we sat down, Mike said, "I want an exclusive relationship," or something to that effect, so instead of saying, "How about we get to know each other a little better before we make that decision" or "Do you think it's a good idea to wait until we don't work in the same office," I proceeded to drink the bottle of wine he ordered--I didn't want to be confrontational that early in the relationship. Also I did not eat due to nerves, so I was saying lots of pretty things after dinner.

The only smart things I did were making Mike hold my hand and having him take my keys.

But we were unseparable after that.

New Year's Resolutions

For years there have been 3 tasks that I have wanted to complete but have always been pushed back due for whatever reason. This year my New Year's Resolution was to finally complete these tasks, whatever it took, and little did I know that it would be so complicated:

1. Have wisdom teeth pulled. My appointment is scheduled for tomorrow, but my husband has been choosen as a juror for a rape, incest, battery and terrorism trial, so I have no one to take me. I have already rescheduled once due to a work commitment. These suckers apparently don't want to go.

2. Become a confirmed Catholic. I do go to church regularly and find comfort in the faith, so I should make myself an honest woman. Oops--I'm married outside of the church which is a mortal sin. And did I mentioned that my husband is divorced, so another sin. I'm not sure exactly what kind of time and penance it will take to even begin to qualify to start the confirmation process, but it probably won't be until 2007.

3. Learn to drive a car with a manual transmission. Mike is probably getting a new car this year, and he wants a manual, so I'm hopeful that this one might happen.