I'm doing swell, thanks; you?

On Saturday I installed our new Bat House. Hung it on the chimney, after only three trips up on the roof and two trips to the hardware store. Now we’re just waiting for the little critters to move in.

On Sunday we (me, wife, two teenagers) drove to a tiny town four hours away, spent three hours at a graduation party (my cousin’s kid), and then drove four hours home. We had a great time - the drive, the party, and the drive were all fun, and we enjoyed ourselves, each other, and everyone around us. And while we were doing that, the Pistons won the first game in the NBA Finals - more than a lot of folks thought they accomplish in seven.

Last night, the wife and I test-drove a Mini Cooper S. It was great fun, and we’ll probably buy one.

Tonight, we start to learn a new weapon in Kung Fu class. We are incredibly geeked about it. The weather is perfect for practicing outside - warm, sunny, with a little wind. People driving by on the very busy street our Dojo is located on can be counted on to honk their horns, hoot out the window, and generally join in the fun.

Life, lately, has been an uninterupted string of cool, fun things happening. I’m storing these moments up to haul out when the inevitable not-cool times come around (you know they always do).

So, how are **you ** doing?

Well, last week I found out that my project group is up for an award at work. I’ve been there since last Halloween.

I had to answer a long list of questions based on my seller’s disclosure statement, so I might have finally found a buyer for my house.

I did a killer technology demo at work this morning.

I’m really enjoying bicycle commuting.

How’s everyone else doing?

Very cool. I remember you posting about that last month. Won’t be long and that house will be full!

My two neices (9 and 7 years old) had a sleepover at our house with my kids (daughter is 6 1/2 and son is 4 1/2) and we had a blast. It reminded me of the sleepovers I went to as a child and I loved it. My husband and I took the kids bowling where we drank lots of pop, ate lots of nachos, and played video games in addition to the bowling. At home we watched movies and ate junk food and the kids camped out in the living room and finally fell asleep about 12:30 - 1:00. It was a blast!

I recently started playing golf with my husband. He’s been playing for years and I decided I wanted to learn. We bought me a set of clubs (I’m a lefty… couldn’t use his) and all the appropriate equipment and I’ve been playing and actually improving my game!

Well, school let out so the kids (6 and 8) and I filmed our first movie- “Jack and Jill and the Giant Beanstalk” written by the 8 year-old. Our sets and introductions were beautiful, but the acting was a little wooden. All-in-all, it is a treasure.

Also, the new library opened today. We went to the grand opening and were fabulously impressed. We’ve got leap pads, 17 inch flat screens for look-ups and on-line access, quiet rooms, giant stuffed animal chairs, and a large selection of books on CD, U-Scan check out, plus a ton of new books, and more- all in the kids section!

Finally , I’m planning a road trip. I usually wake the kids up and holler “Road Trip” which fills them with both fear and excitement, and make 'em pack. You should see how fast they can fill a backpack with toys (they always forget stuff like clothes and toothbrushes)!

Pictsiekid #2 is getting married and I love the guy.

Pictsiekid #1 just passed Phd quals.

MrPict is on vacation until mid-sept.

I am on vacation until mid-aug.

Life is good and wait… what is that; I hear the beach calling my name.

Well, since you asked…

Between work (and a boss who’s been out sick and won’t delegate), a three-week vacation (out of the country and out of contact) starting in a couple of weeks, and entering contract on having a house built (and I’m not sure how the timing of the dollars is going to work)…

I’m feeling rather overwhelmed at the moment!

Alla you “doing well, thanks!” folks help remind me that I’ll probably come out the other side in one piece – and I appreciate the reminder!

quilter;

We built a house 4 years ago. My advice; get as much as possible in writing, enjoy the process (we drew hearts and stuff all over the place), go to the job as often as possible and recognize that no matter what you do; the house will be imperfect (this was really, really hard for me).

And though I love my house, I think you would have to beat me with sticks to ever get me to build a house again.

I tell Mr. Pict he can build his next house with the next Mrs.Pict.

Well, I just got a job. I start training tomorrow at 9 in the morning and it’s at least an hour and a half in traffic so I’m depriving myself of caffiene in order to get to bed early tonight, but if I go to bed now I’ll get too much sleep and be useless. I’m tired.

I’m pretty anxious about it, because although the pay is not that great it’s something I think I’ll enjoy doing. It may even get my foot in the door for future opportunities later on in that company. Now I’ll have money to keep my car filled with gas and get my dad a Father’s Day gift and my brother his birthday present (they’re on the same weekend). The bad part is that the company is hiring over a hundred people for this department at once, and so our training time is being cut from a week to two and a half days; I’m really nervous that I’ll fuck up somehow and get the boot because they won’t bother to teach me what I’m supposed to be doing. On top of that, I’m one of the last hires this round so I’ll likely get the least popular work shift (6 pm to 3 am); I’m okay with that because I’m already a night owl, and the drive and parking will be infinitely better than the other way, but we were told up front that scheduling could be a complete bastard and is infamously inflexible. If they’re telling us this, how bad is it in action? Can they seriously expect us to work to 3 in the morning one day and show up at 9 the next?

I was worried that it would affect my (non-paying) freelance writing gig elsewhere, but today the editor told me to slow down my submissions because she’s buried in work. I don’t have to put as much time into that as I thought I would now, just the one column a month, and I’ve already finished this month’s.

I’m just feeling really jittery at the moment. How about you?

Vunderbob, it has long been a fantasy of mine to be able to ride my bike to work. Of course, then I wouldn’t get to play with my Cooper when it arrives, but life is full of trade-offs like that.

Quilter, I’ll second **PictsiePat’s ** advice on getting everything in writing on your house project. And watch ‘em like a hawk – visit the site daily, if you can, to catch any mis-communications before they run away from you. Do not assume the contractor’s “project manager” actually knows how to manage a project! (The good news? When the job is done and you’re in your new house, all the pain and trauma of construction will fade away – kind of like childbirth, or so I’m told).

BraheSilver, it’s been my experience that the best way to really learn a job well is to have something go wrong, and have to dig in to find out how to fix it. Formal training is great, but there’s nothing like gut-level familiarity with fixing broken stuff (or broken processes, etc.) for building confidence in your position. Just remember to *breath * every once in a while, and you’ll be fine.