Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Angel

We spent an evening recently with Aaron, Melinda, Junior, & their adorable daughter 19-month old Melia.

Isn't she cute?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Food Poisoned Christmas

I woke up at 5am to a rumbling in my stomach. "I must need to poop," I thought. And I did. Went back to bed. 5:12am, "I must need to go to the bathroom again." By 5:33am I am cuddling the base of the toilet begging my stomach to hurl and remove the painful rock right below my xiphoid process.

At 6:52am I finally got my wish. I woke Ron up and he was a fantastic caretaker. He bounced out of bed and immediately threw our queen-sized airbed in the bathroom and began inflating it. I hurled 6 more times while sitting on my own rubber raft. Hurl is the right word - my whole body would seize up and attempt to throw me into the toilet. Not comfortable. Ron brought me the TV & DVD player so I could watch shows to distract me from the pain, he sat with me, held my hair back when I was hurling, offered to read to me, and just laid next to me to comfort me. I felt very loved.

By noon I was finished expelling poison. I began the slow trek to wellness via gatorade. Thankfully when I moved into my apartment (3.5 years ago) my mom and I had purchased a 64 oz. gatorade for just such a time as this. Clear, watermelon gatorade. It's amazing how fast you can be reduced to sincere excitement about consuming "a whole saltine in less than an hour!"

4pm, we got in the car to make the trek to Seattle. We were determined not to let this ruin Christmas. Sitting on a yellow raincoat (in case of unstoppable surprises), bowl, gatorade and saltines in hand, Ron drove through ceaselessly pouring rain.

7:52pm, we arrived at my Uncle Scott's house. Just in time for dessert. You've got to understand, this side of the family is 100% Danish. We do dessert. Like two separate rooms with tables full. There's the sugar cookies, the fudge, the creme de menthe brownies, the molasses parallelograms (fluff up bars), the rum balls, the pecan bars, the spritz. Not to mention the apple, pumpkin, pecan pies and the queen of all desserts - marzipan cake. For the first time in my life, I could not imagine eating dessert.

10:16pm we left the party and headed to my parents house. Ron & my dad headed to candlelight service and I was thrilled to lay flat on my back on a heating pad. Stomach & back muscles had the workout of their life earlier in the day.

1:05pm my brother & his wife had arrived, Ron & dad were home from church and I was ready for bed. We were standing in the kitchen and I turned to Ron and said, "I think I'm going to pass out." He said, "No, you're not." And then I did.

Ron caught me, so I didn't hurt my head. Next thing I know, I'm on the floor, propped up between my dad and Ron. Apparently I turned quite the cornucopia of colors - from white to green to red. Just getting in the Christmas spirit.

The lesson is, when you're dehydrated, hypoglycemic and lay on a heating pad for a few hours with a bathrobe, new fleece and down comforter - you pass out. At least if you're Trina.

I woke up the next morning feeling brand new.

All in all an unusual Christmas, but I experienced the love of my family in large doses. Plus, I didn't have to worry about eating too much at the holidays!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Man and His Lights

Thanks to the talent (obsession) of my husband, our house is well illumined inside and out! I love that he gets so into the Christmas spirit.




















































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Bragging.

This is pure, unadulterated, shameless bragging. I just got three emails from students that meant the world to me:

"Thanks Trina! You were honestly a wonderful teacher. They should get you back as often as possible. Great job for your first college class! Have a great holiday."

"You did an amazing job; it was by far my favorite class. I was worried at first on how I was going to motivate myself to come to such a late class, but I didn't have to motivate myself because the class was so interesting. You are a natural at teaching. You should come back in the fall and teach again."

"Thanks again for being such an awesome prof. I learned a lot, and its kinda funny, but when I'm at work (or any other store for that matter), I'm always thinking, "Why (from a marketing perspective) did they do that?" Merry Christmas. "
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blog Updated!

Thanks to the proddings of my devoted friend Christie, I have updated the blog. Go back to November 6th and read up through today!

Class is over!

This is my first Tuesday evening since August that I am not teaching. Finals was last week. I submitted final grades yesterday. The whole experience is completed. I can't believe it. It has gone so fast.

I absolutely, wholeheartedly loved teaching this marketing class. I had fantastic students. I worked extremely hard to make the course interesting and relevant and I loved watching the students progress. At the beginning I was dang nervous. It's intimidating, feeling solely responsible for their education in this area. Now, to be at the end looking back is wonderful and strange. I would love the opportunity to do this again. I think the reason I liked it was the way it honored my strengths - I love to learn, not just knowing things, but the process of learning is fascinating and enjoyable to me...so the preparation/research that went into each class was a plus for me. I love to communicate (as most of you out there can attest to =). Not just talking, but taking on the challenge of how to most effectively transmit an idea, concept or example to another person...to give them the wonder-filled experience of learning.

A couple of memorable classes:

Market Research - Rather than hearing about all the virtues/vices of surveys & focus groups, I wanted them to interact with the concepts. So, they came in the room and the board read, "Thank you for agreeing to participate in today's product survey for my client. Please sample each of the beverages up front, fill out a survey and take your seat silently." Up front we had "Spicy Cinnamon Apple" "Sour Green Apple" and "Golden Delicious." After we collected the surveys a subset of the class aggregate the data, drew conclusions and determined what needed clarifying. Then we sent all the remaining men into the hallway. I moderated a focus group with the data folks "behind the one-way mirror" observing our study participants. Then, the women left and the men entered. Same questions, same observers - startlingly different responses. At the end, the observers reported to the class the conclusions. I conducted the entire thing without breaking character...right up until the end when I announced, "by the way, it's all the same stuff." It's amazing what food coloring and a name can do to people's perceptions. So, we all learned some important lessons. (Credit to my Dad for the origin of this idea)

Creativity Day - You walk in. All the desks are moved aside. The floor is covered with six different colored plastic tablecloths, each with a bag of candy, a list of names and an art medium in the middle. Music is playing - fun music, the kind of music that gets people dancing at wedding receptions. The goal was on the board - in the next 45 minutes, use your medium to communicate this message "Convince people to stop smoking." They had play-doh to scuplt or fingerpaints or props to create a play. The room is quickly filled with a lot of noise - laughter, yelling out ideas, etc. One of my goals for the semester was to convince the students that they are creative, whether majoring in finance, international relations, interior design, fashion merchandising, graphic design, etc. they are capable of and responsible for the rest of their lives to exercise creativity. Something about fingerpaints gets people less inhibited. It all seemed so silly. They produced some fantastic ideas.

Ok, now I'm just waxing nostalgic. I'm ridiculous. But, it was a ton of fun. Something I hope to do again in the future.

Am I an adult?

I remember as a kid being told, "someday, you'll love to give presents as much as you like to get them." That day has actually come to pass. I am retroactively sorry to all the adults I gave weird looks to as a kid. But, I still have some childishness in me...

I hate keeping secrets. It feels like a punishment. So, you can imagine Christmastime is a little rough on me. These are happy secrets...but, there are SO MANY of them. I get so excited about the various presents I've picked out or am creating for my loved ones...and there's stories that come from these adventures...and I have to keep them all bottled up inside. I might explode. Plus, by the time it is Christmas, I won't remember ALL of the stories. They'll be lost forever.

Oh, I wish I could just tell you what I'm getting Ron for Christmas...but! wait! I can't. On the random chance he might read the blog and/or post, he'll see it. And that will ruin it. I'll just have to let you know later. And, my parents and Ron's parents. And my grandparents. Ugh! I'll just go home, wrap and tell myself all about the presents I picked.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Getting in the spirit...

I woke up Saturday morning stressed. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to feel Christmasy. I just wasn't sure how to do it.

Ron came to the rescue. We spent the rest of the day in a series of blindfolded car trips (surprises just make everything more fun!) to various Christmas spots.

First stop, picking up one of my presents. Before he went in he said, "I'll come to your window and knock 9 times, so you'll know it is me and to unlock the door." While waiting in the car blindfolded, Mele Kalikimaka came on the radio...if any of you have met my Grandma Mom, you can imagine what came next...I had to dance. I was seatbelted in...but I managed to sing, do some wild hand motions and bounce my head. Long about now, Ron starts knocking on the window. But it's hard to hear knocks when you're absorbed in singing and dancing. I finally noticed something, but wasn't sure I'd heard NINE knocks. So, I asked him to repeat himself, and give me the password (I'm blindfolded & vulnerable, shouldn't be opening the door to just anyone). When Ron (finally) got in the car he was cracking up - he'd apparently parked us in a highly visible spot - there were many people enjoying my song/dance =).


Next stop, the Nordstrom Cafe (see I love turkey post) with a view of decorated downtown. Then, onto Powells for what turned into a few hours. Another blindfolded drive to Peacock Lane to see Christmas lights, followed by dinner at the Montage. We finished off the night reading the latest chapter in Brothers Karamazov and eating ice cream. It was a good day.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some of the more creative Radio Ads by my students...

Narrator: Little Big Horn, June of 1876.
Scout: General Custer, I've scouted out the Indian forces and I came up with a rough estimate of 3000, nearly 5 times our own force.
Custer: Yeah, ok thanks, get me some coffee.
Narrator: One week later...
Custer: My scout has reporeted on our opposition's strength and they only have, um...about 300 men, we outnumber them 4 to 1. Let's go win us a battle.
Narrator: We all know how that turned out. If only General Custer would have used a SnipSnap to record all his important information, the massacre at Little Big Horn would never have happened. Don't make the same mistake Custer did. You can find the SnipSnap at your local electronics retail store, or visit snipsnapelectronics.com. It remembers so you don't have to

My name is Steve and this is my story. One day my girlfriend wanted to go bungy jumping in an attempt to fly like a bird, to be free from the mundane worries of life. So, being the good boyfriend that I am, I took her to the bridge. The only problem was, to ensure complete freedom, I cut the bungy cord. Ensuring her freedom resultedi n the loss of mine as I am living out a life sentence for bungy manslaughter in the state penitentiary. I have learned my lesson: freedom from cords is only a good thing in the context of electronics. That is why I use WavePower to wirelessly recharge devices such as my electronic toothbrush shank...visit wavepower.com for details.

Death is bad. Hence, people ask the question: Will wireless electronic charging fry my brain like an omelette? No. But the real question is: how safe are your current cords? Let's ponder: You need your laptop. You forgot to plug it in. Getting down on your hands and knees, you crawl under your desk. You lean forward to plug in the cord. But, Oh no! You lose your balance and plugne headlong into a tangled mass of wires! Gasping for air, being strangled to death by your printer/copier/fax cable, you'll wish you'd invested in a WavePower system of wireless charging. WavePower, the next step in wireless freedom and an excellent way to avoid strangulation.

If only I had a SnipSnap...I could have remembered what my boss told me and kept my job. My ex-wife would not have yelled at me as much. I could have been popular, hanging out with Bob Barker, and other famous people. Instead, I am homeless, living with the cows and llamas, trying to get sleep as people in their cars pass by playing loud gangster rap. If only I had a SnipSnap. It recoreds waht you say so that you can remember important things that will change your life. The SnipSnap.

(In dramatic voice:) Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to unwind. First, locate your current pair of earbuds. Stretch the cord out as long and as straight as possible. Now, prepare a small wooden box, one able to encase said earbuds. Dig a hole in the yard, window box, gaden or sandbox slightly larger than newly constructed box. Next, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut the cord to said earbuds. Place earbuds in box and bury said boxi n newly created hole. Your last instruction is to get the new Chio wireless earbuds...and unwind.

From their event write-ups (had to attend a professional event during the semester)
"I would liken the experience to a high school dance. It's fun when you get to dance with someone, but the rest of the time you are just standing there feeling weird..." (regarding a networking event)

(These are the property of the author. All rights are reserved. Please do not use without express written permission).

Saturday, December 09, 2006

What a party!

Ron's company Christmas party was this weekend at Resort at the Mountain up towards Mt. Hood. It was a blast. We stayed the night and enjoyed the company of his co-workers, the dancing and the beautiful setting.