Sporty Sport Sportin’

I am so relieved because normal temperatures have returned to Sacramento for the week with highs in the nineties and lows in the fifties. I didn’t think I was going to make it last week. Our campus hosted the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championship over the weekend and I don’t know how those athletes survived. On Friday, the temperature of the track registered at 152 degrees. THAT IS INSANE. I spent Friday afternoon at the meet on a balcony overlooking the track while feeling like I was going to die. I was in the shade and chugging water and it felt like THE END. I really don’t know how anyone managed to run in that.

Our view wasn’t great because of these big VIP decks (to the left and right in the pictures), so that was a bit of a bummer. Thankfully, our wonderful photographer, Jessica Vernone was on the field and took some amazing photos of the athletes.

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I stayed until just before sunset then went home because I felt like I was going to vomit from the heat. I just can’t handle it. On Saturday, I went to Orange Theory early that morning, then cleaned up and went to the office for a while. I made it back to the track for the afternoon and evening events, but sat in the grandstands for a better view (and also because I was wearing shorts and a tank top, so didn’t want to run into coworkers on the deck). I got to see both Allyson Felix and Justin Gatlin run which was SO COOL. I had a a special pass that would allow me on the track and it took all of my self-control to not go down there and be a creepy fan.

(image by Jeff Cohen)

Gatlin got first in the 100m and qualified for world championships in London in August, but didn’t compete in the 200m. Felix scratched the 200m finals, but has a wildcard bye in the 400m from winning 2015 world championships. You can see the full list of world championship qualifiers here. It was super cool to watch all of these incredible athletes in person, and I REALLY hope that Sacramento gets the 2020 Olympic Trials (we are a finalist). Our city holds the top two attendance records for for the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials (in 2000 and 2004). GIVE IT TO US AGAIN.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor(image by Jessica Vernone)

I originally planned to go back on Sunday, but I was sunburned and didn’t know if I could face another day in the blistering sun, so I stayed home and took care of some stuff for work. I did get to watch the first few episodes of GLOW on Netflix and I LOVE IT. It is so fun and a total delight. I would watch a show about Alison Brie watching paint dry, so I’m super biased toward her anyway, but I totally loved it and cackled with glee throughout each episode.

 

We spent a lot of time watching wrestling as kids because the children of my parent’s friends were mostly boys and they were obsessed, so when we were together it was all wrestling all the time (followed by “lets all beat each other up and pretend it’s wrestling”). Watching the series made me SO THANKFUL to live in the age of workout gear that isn’t a thong over spandex shorts.

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I remember girls in my gymnastics classes wearing those and I was horrified (how can you exercise with what is essentially a wedgie!). And I also spent a lot of time noting how much time these girls spent readjusting said wedgie (I have always been a very judgy lady). Also, we were in third and fourth grade and the thought of ten year olds wearing thongs really grosses me out even more as an adult. WHY DOES YOU CHILD NEED A THONG ON IN PUBLIC???

Magnificent Men of Monday

Special Agent Dale Cooper IS BACK IN ACTION. I was Agent Cooper for Halloween my sophomore year of high school and again in college. Both times it did not go over as planned because no one got it, no one thought it was funny at all (I even brought coffee and donuts!), and the more I tried to explain it the more it uncool it became. I guess walking around giving people a thumbs up didn’t really help my case. I eventually took my donuts and went home. As Confucius once said, “Always take a tasty prop in case your party plans fall apart.” (I’m sure he at least thought that at some point even if he never actually said it. It’s just wise advice.)

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The greatest bromance of our time:

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My work and life motto:

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Fake News

I had such a low-key weekend that I’m not really sure what there is to write about. Nevertheless, I shall persist, and write on about nothing. I really have no idea what I did on Friday. Not a clue. I know I drank beer at one point and I had some cheese for dinner, but other than that I really don’t remember. Must have been a very exciting evening!
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I am feeling a bit more brain dead than usual because we the end of last week frantically trying to answer questions from a reporter for a story about us that will not be good. I’ve always had empathy for famous people because you can’t control what people write and say about you. And, yes, many of them are very rich and with fame comes criticism, but I know it sucks. I’ve had a bigger dose of how it can suck since I took on this role because I’m more involved in media inquiries and responses.

It is so frustrating to spend a lot of time giving someone very detailed information and documentation only to see that it’s completely inaccurate in the story. Then, it’s further frustrating to submit a request for a correction and the person is like “nope.” We are dealing with a few things now where the timeline is very central to the story, and one outlet reported it incorrectly (which made us look unresponsive to a serious issue) and now everyone uses that incorrect time line. So, we look like jerks despite having a pile of emails and meeting confirmations that show we responded quickly, but what can you do? You win some and you lose some.

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Trump’s incessant whining about the media makes me batty because what did he think would happen? They’re hard on Presidents – as they should be. You can’t do that job with thin skin because you have no control. I would have a level of empathy for the office (not for him as a person) if he wasn’t complaining ALL THE TIME. We get it. The media gets it wrong sometimes. Some of the media is biased against him (FOR GOOD REASON). Welcome to being President! It sucks to see misinformation out there and to know details were left out for the sake of a certain slant, but that is their right. I still respect and appreciate the role and importance of journalism in our democracy and lives. It doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated, but I am at least smart enough to understand the difference between bias and fake news.

Image result for fake news gifSo, that’s been going on. I worked on Saturday writing graduation speeches (a different one for each of our seven ceremonies) and that has been struggle city. I am not a speechwriter. I am not a creative writer. I write to convey information in a direct, succinct, and clear manner. My boss writes to tell a story because he believes that stories are what give people a chance to “see into a soul.” And that’s totally great and he’s wonderful at it, but it’s a huge challenge for me because that is just not how my brain works. For instance, I wrote a one page story about a student that I thought was a bit too long (in 14 point double-spaced type), and when he returned it the story was four pages.

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So, that was an all day struggle. We are also having to cut his speech from 14 minutes to five, which, for a storytelling former English professor it is an actual nightmare. I honestly think his heart is broken. We are down to about nine minutes, but it hasn’t been easy.

Thankfully, despite all of that speech writing strum und drang, I had something fun to look forward to on Saturday night – beer with Tracy and Matt! We met in Midtown at Rubicon Brewery where we enjoyed a tasty dinner and good beer.

I had the “Hangover Burger” which was tomato jam, bacon, arugula, a fried egg, and black pepper aioli. IT WAS AWESOME. I will definitely eat there again. After dinner we walked around Midtown a bit and came across a fashion show which was a fun surprise. Everyone is SO SERIOUS about fashion. MOST SERIOUS SKIRT IN  A CENTURY. Anyway, we eventually made our way to Fieldwork Brewing Company which was founded in Berkeley. We all tried their Galaxy Juice IPA, but it wasn’t my favorite. It was too much like flowers in my mouth, but I would like to go back and try the others.

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On Sunday I went to Orange Theory for the first time in about a month. So, that still hurts. It was a challenging partner workout (NIGHTMARE) and I got 37 splat points. I have never had over 20 before, so yikes on that. I thought I was just working super hard, but when I looked around most everyone else had about 15. One super fit little thing had three. THREE. Why is it so easy to be totally out of shape?? I felt like a train wreck the entire time, but I survived!

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I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the speeches again. The fun never ends around here. By this time next week commencement will be over and hopefully we will all still be alive.

 

Interim Nightmare

As referenced last week, my job changed recently and I have not yet accepted my fate with dignity. Warning: Lots of dramatic reactions ahead. A month ago, one of our vice presidents announced that he was leaving for a sweet new job in wine country. Lucky fool! A week or so later, my boss called me into his office and told me that he was going to appoint Lisa (our Chief of Staff) to serve as the interim vice president until the search for a replacement is completed (SIX TO EIGHT MONTHS). I was horrified.

Image result for you can't gifTo say that Lisa is my other half professionally is an incredible understatement. We are in constant contact bouncing ideas off of each other, getting advice, and trying to figure out who was supposed to do that thing that he randomly mentioned on his way to speak at a Rotary Club that one time. We sink and swim together (mostly by taking turns dragging the other one along). Also, she’s just an amazing person and I absolutely love working with her. We laugh a lot (and occasionally have a breakdown together) and she has become one of my closest friends. Naturally, I was not a fan of his idea and I might have had a wee bit of a total and complete meltdown over it. It might not have been my finest moment professionally.Image result for crying gif

Things then got worse when he stated that I would be the Interim Chief of Staff (Lisa’s job) in her absence. And do my current job.

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I had to leave his office so I could collect myself before continuing the conversation because THIS IS MY NIGHTMARE. I had to keep it to myself until he could talk to Lisa in person (she was traveling), but I totally flipped out (behind the closed door of my office of course). And, of course, Lisa accepted the opportunity because she’s amazing and can handle anything. It’s a good move professionally because we are both learning new skills and roles, but it already absolutely sucks with how much more we will both be working (and not even together!). I am still HIGHLY DISPLEASED inside my head about the whole thing.

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I already felt like my work was not as high quality as I would like it to be because I am in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. Despite that, we had a good rhythm with our team and mostly stayed on top of it usually. Additionally, my boss prefers to have one of us in most of his meetings so that someone else is hearing the same information and can offer him different perspectives on what transpired during the conversation. Lisa does the heavy lifting on that which leaves me to manage most of the work of projects, research, and reports. It works out well because it leaves me at my desk for more hours of the day to actually get things done while she is gone attending meetings.

We had a workable balance between us, but I don’t know how to do both jobs. I don’t know what meetings I will be pulled into or when, so it’s impossible to plan my day to tackle projects which is VERY STRESSFUL FOR ME. As of now, the only time I can get work done is from 6 am -7 am, or after 6 pm, so my desk chair is really getting a lot of quality evening time with me lately. We are both being appropriately compensated (and were both ready to say no if the number didn’t meet what we each wanted because LADIES STICK TOGETHER) and I’m sure I’ll eventually get it figured out, but I feel like I’m losing it a bit right now.

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To make matters worse, my boss made me move into Lisa’s office which has a magenta wall that actually emits a pink glow for most of the day. It’s WAY too cheery in here. So, anyway, I’m just going to be a bitter bitter bear for the indefinite future. Between this and the Prednisone it is going to be a FANTASTIC time.

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