we are going through another reorg at work.  I’m getting another team of about 10 people.  I need to do a bunch of work in the strategy space to further enable governed access to data.

My plate is already full.  Now… how can I find a replacement for my special project?

bad morning

I woke up this morning with another migraine. I forced myself to take some aspirin and eat some breakfast, which I immediately threw up.

I’ve never vomited from a migraine before.

I think it’s time to see a doctor.

Surprise giggles

i found myself chasing Harvey around the living room.   Not because he did something he shouldn’t have, but because he wanted to be chased.  We ran from the living room to the dining room, to the kitchen, where I dove a bit to catch him.  I did catch him… as I fell to the floor and uncontrollably broke out in little-school-girl giggles.  It was nice.


please stop

I am not well.
Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling great. I toughed it out and went to work. I should have left earlier. By the time I left my head was pounding and I felt nauseated.

I get what I think are migraines from time to time, but it has been awhile since I’ve gotten one this bad. Unfortunately for me, I was far from home and had to concentrate extra hard on not getting into an accident.

I was very relieved to get home. I walked in the door and told Matt that I think I might puke. I usually try to sleep off my migraines, so I went upstairs and crawled into bed. Matt got a cold wash cloth for my forehead. I tried to sleep, but I was not successful. After a couple hours, the pounding had not improved so I knew we needed to try something else. Water. Maybe I’m dehydrated? Food. I forced myself to eat even though I was not hungry. More pills. Why didn’t they work the first time? Nothing seemed to be working. I tried putting an ice pack on the back of my neck. Cold. Very cold. I had Matt put pressure on the acupressure points in my hand. Maybe I need to go to the doctor? Just think of all the lights and movement required to do that.

I sat as still as I could… hydrated, fed, iced, and pressured. Eventually, the pain dulled and I was able to get some sleep.

This morning, I could still feel it. Dull, but there. Just waiting to ramp back up if I start moving around or look at something bright. There is no way I’m leaving this house today until I know it is gone.

Go away migraine. Go away.

Life and Death

I don’t have a great memory, but certain moments stick in my mind.  The year was 1989. I was enjoying the company of my cousins in what I think must have been a break room in a funeral home.  Our grandmother had just died from cancer.  Even as a child, the break room seemed small, just large enough to house a small table and a few chairs.  One wall was covered in wallpaper while the other wall, a half wall, sported wood spindles separating this room from the hallway.  My cousins and I were crowded inside while the grown ups mourned with each member of the visitation line in the next room.  We were playing that wooden peg game…do you know what I’m taking about?  The one where you jump pegs until only one is left.

I hadn’t thought about that moment in years, until yesterday.  Yesterday, I met up with the same cousins for the same reason.  Only this time we were burying someone from the next generation, one of our parents.  This time, it was my mom’s sister.   I am not sure where the time went. It seems too soon.  While all the cousins are grown, there are no grandkids to play games in the next room.  There is no sudden feeling of adulthood that tells you how to deal with things or what to say.  I suppose it is like everything else in life that you never feel ready for.


For some reason the world thinks I’m guilty.  I guess I am.  But I don’t care.

I’ve had several occasions lately where people in my life assume I need their advice whether or not I ask for it. 

Awhile back I went out to dinner with some former coworkers. We had a nice evening of catching up and chatting.  On the way out, one of them had to comment out of the blue, “Take care if yourself Anna. You know there is more to life than work…”  What? Ok… you probably didn’t mean to be incredibly offensive, but what the hell? Just because I don’t spend my evenings exactly like you do, you think you should lecture me? What part of our one hour dinner made it safe to assume you know everything about my life?

Then over the weekend, I was at a barbecue with extended family.  Any conversation is immediately driven to “burning out” or “wasting my life”.  I apparently missed the part when I said I was miserable.

Who the hell gave you the permission to judge me? You see me once every 6 months and that makes you some expert?

Alright, I admit it.  I work hard. Since when is working hard a bad thing?  All my life I was taught that it pays off and now you want me to stop?  Maybe… just maybe I don’t want to do anything half-ass. Maybe I want to know that I give 100% to whatever I do. If you want to give less than that, you don’t see me judging you.

Or is it that you oppose what I’m working on?  Well if that is the case, it is still none of your business. Get over it.

I’m going to keep working my ass off. I won’t apologize for it.


Last week Matt and I decided to give this little guy a home.  After seeing his adorable photo online, I convinced Matt to come to the city shelter and meet him.  The lady at the shelter said he likes to play but isn’t much of a lap cat.  It was no sooner that those words left her mouth that this guy curled up on Matt’s lap and started purring.

He is a 6 month old black cat (cause we love black cats).  He has the cutest stubby little nose.  I really didn’t expect to bring him home, especially that day, but I guess he won us over.

Now the real trick is integrating him with our house and Tina. If you have cats you know how important introductions and confidence can be.  We set him up in the hall bathroom to start with. Later that evening I think we tried to go too fast.  We put Tina in our bedroom and let him roam the rest of the house.  He seemed ok, maybe a bit skiddish… until the anxiety caught up to him.  I think he must have had a bug, or maybe it was just the fear and unknown of a new home, but for some reason he immediately “had to go”.  I looked over to see his hind legs in the water bowl.  I wondered what in the world he was doing.  And then I saw it.  He was taking a shit in the water bowl!  But this was not just any shit, this was full on diarrhea. 

What in the world did we just get ourselves into?

Well after a vet visit and a few nights to get him more comfortable, I’m hopeful. The diarrhea seemed to have passed, I’m hoping just due to stress of a new home.  Vet reported good health, and he has successfully been using the litter box provided.  

The next step will be to start letting him roam the house more without Tina and then eventually to attempt an introduction.

Wish us luck. 

When it backfires

We have this project at work… It is one of those ginormous projects that involves not just technology but also people and process (and politics) across multiple parts of the company.

Anyway, I have some of my resources working on it because there are business intelligence impacts. The project… let’s just call it “Everest”, has not been going well because the team has been trying to boil the ocean.

We were talking as a leadership team about how we need someone dedicated to go drive it and get things back on track. We all suggested names of our best people. The big boss still seemed unconvinced. Then in one of those hallway conversations he dropped a hint. “Or…maybe you could go do it and we find someone else to run your team for awhile,” he says to me. Hmmmm. Not exactly what I had in mind, but my absence would stretch my senior folks in ways they need to be stretched. But then I have to tackle climbing Everest, and that is pretty terrifying.

So now I’m figuring out how I can delegate more responsibility of managing my 28 people, so I can go focus on this.

This was the first week. I can already tell it is going to be a challenge to stick to scope. But I’m finding it refreshing to dig deep into something. When you are managing a big team, your time gets spread pretty thin in 20 different directions.

Anyway, here is to digging deep and hopefully getting something done.


On this trip, we saw our share of temples. Some had incredibly detailed carvings while others were more modest. Ironically, while 80% of India practices Hinduism, our informal tour guides (our work associates) did not provide much religious detail. Debasis is not practicing and tries to avoid going to temple (he was being a good sport), and Albert very much appreciates the history, but is a Catholic. This almost sounds like a joke…A Jew (Traci is jewish), Hindu, and two Catholics walk into a temple…

Here are some pictures from my favorite temple. It is one of the most ornate temples in the state (Karnataka). It was built in 810 AD. You could almost feel the history and the power in this place.

Carvings were everywhere…Even in places you couldn’t see.


Each temple had an exterior stone wall that was separate from the inner structure or building.
But the inside of this temple was just as ornate…

This is me with a Hindu priest. He had been setting up incense and providing some red chalky stuff for everyone’s third eye. He was very welcoming and was kind enough to stop for a picture.

This is one of the interior structures where they had incense lit for religious rituals.

We ran into a LOT of school children on field trips.

Most of them had never seen a caucasian before so Traci and I reached extreme celebrity status. When they grew brave enough, they came up to us and asked, “What is your name?” or “What country are you from?” Or “How are you?”

They giggled and shook our hands. When we replied with something like, “I’m good. How are you?” They stared at us with blank looks. Their english was limited and scripted. They didn’t know how to respond.

We got a kick out of being found so interesting.

At one point though, they bombarded us a little too much at once. Suddenly I found myself surrounded. They all wanted to shake my hand and ask me my name. It became overwhelming. My paranoia knew that I was now in a compromising situation, and they could go for my purse at any point in time. Luckily these were just school kids, but it did kinda freak me out. So I jumped down from the platform where we were standing.

Here is a picture of them mobbing Traci. You can’t see her, but she is back there.

Traci and the very inquisitive school children…

At each temple, we had to take our shoes off and walk through the temple in a clockwise direction. Outside the temple, there was always a shoe rack and a woman monitoring the rack.