Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alaska take #2

Also in February was my second trip to Alaska for the year. Nothing really notable about this trip this time other than the fact that it was FREEZING. I mean, I guess it IS Alaska, but WOW. I like going to Alaska in February because it actually seems like a bit of a reprieve from busy season, surprisingly enough. You're only really focused on one client and you aren't in the office 24-7.

See, freezing. That says 8 degrees. And that morning the windchill was in the sub-zero temps. BRR.

 But it was clear the whole time- gorgeous shot flying in.

And an even better shot. I've said it before and I'll say it again- the beauty that is Alaska never ceases to amaze me.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

More of that day of love...

On the actual day of Valentines day, I walked into my office to a couple of incredible surprises:

A bag full of my favorite things....

And a bouquet of gorgeous flowers. I have the best guy! We laid low that night and made dinner at home but went out later in the week to one of our favorite wine bars, as a sort of belated celebration.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The day of love

For Valentine's Day this year, I surprised Justin with a night out...and it was truly that- a surprise. It wasn't on the actual day OF Valentine's Day but it was the Friday before (the 11th or something). Anyone who knows me realizes that this is HUGE as I typically have an aversion to doing a whole lot for that day of love. I know, I know, I should just revel in it but it just seems so cheesy. Well, this year I bought into it and decided to do something special for this boy I love. On Friday night, I told him what to wear and told him he could drive and I'd tell him where to go. It was kind of fun being able to tease him with a surprise night out. Once we finally headed out, he knew at this point we were doing something at a winery, he just didn't know what.

SO, slight tangent, let me just say. Men and directions? WHAT is up with this? ME, I am the one who knows where we are going. THE DRIVER, Justin, he does not know where we are going. Pretty simple, right? He should listen to ME. So when I am telling him which way to turn on the way there and he is a stubborn man and does not turn that way because the wineries he is thinking of aren't that way? Yeah, awesome (meaning the person who KNOWS where we are going wants to pull every little hair on her head out one by one...) Eventually we made it and laughed about our ride there.

So, what were we doing? We did a Valentine's Day progressive dinner at 3 local wineries. AWESOME. We started out at Columbia Winery for appetizers and their wines. Then after an hour or so we were transported to DeLille winery (one of our absolute favorites) for the main course. It was AMAZING. If I never had to do anything but drink their wine, I would die so happy. The food was just outstanding too. We had a great time there and got to talk with a lot of other neat couples during the dinner. The last course took us to Novelty Hill-Januik winery where we had dessert as well as their wines. Also quite tasty. And needless to say by the end of that stop, it was definitely time to head home. It was about a 4-5 hour event and I'd definitely do it again next year. We both had such a great time... and I LOVE living so close to such amazing wineries. And, I also have started to love this day of love... but I owe that to the special guy who makes these memories with me.


At DeLille, the place of the main course.
And another shot of the fireplace at DeLille. Not a great shot- iphone photos are not always awesome.
Our plate set up at DeLille.
A picture of my boy talking to our new friends.
And a picture of us! Again, not the best picture on here but oh well.
Our last stop- Novelty- for dessert. Mmmm.
And Justin getting dessert for us. The worst part of the night? Stupidity on my part. I decided that I was ready to wear not just two normal shoes but HEELS. Yeah, the broken foot was not too excited about that. All in all? Amazing company, fabulous food, outstanding wine, and mostly, a celebration full of laughter and love. It doesn't get much better.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The sweet 16

February 15 Bailey (Justin's oldest son) turned 16. Seriously. I am old. The end. It seems like just yesterday, ok, maybe not yesterday but really not that long ago, I was BEGGING my mom to take her gray dodge caravan out because on my 16th birthday I managed to (baaarely) pass my driving test and earned myself a driver's license. I don't know that I've ever been happier. Ok, I take that back. I have been happier but that was one of those transforming moments in the life of a 16 year old where you have just a glimpse of freedom. True, I didn't have a car but still I HAD A LICENSE. Nevermind that I only passed by one point because I flunked parallel parking (come ON  I took the test in a minivan!) and because the lady felt sorry for me because it was my birthday. THAT DOESN'T MATTER. Why? Because at 16, I was definitely a rockstar (or at least not in tune with the word humility yet) and I had my driver's license, which, of course, was the epitome of cool. My bubble was quickly burst when my parents told me that I would not be driving alone until I drove SEVEN HUNDRED miles with them. Do you know how long it takes to drive 700 miles when you live in the midwest and are only going about 10 miles to get ANYWHERE? Oh, yeah, and when we went on a road trip to Iowa (500 miles RIGHT THERE!), they wouldn't let me drive. I don't even know if I ever ended up driving those 700 miles. Shoot, maybe I still shouldn't be driving by myself. Or at least not when there are tanker trucks around? If only I'd driven those 700 miles, maybe I would have avoided that little situation.....

Anyway, this is not about me. It's about Bailey. And his 16th birthday. We celebrated early as we didn't have him on his actual birthday. So we bought a few little presents, and cake. Of course. And naturally, given my camera taking abilities (ahem, sporadic) only cake pictures were taken: 

Bailey and Justin showing off the cake. I think at this point, someone had already decided it looked good enough to eat. And the progression of events follows:

At the end of the day, I think that Bailey had a great birthday. A small family party with us and a bigger party with his friends at home. It was pretty cool to share part of this day with him. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The day of client hell

February 8th.

Into about the 3rd or 4th week of true "busy season madness." A staff and I are scheduled to start on a new client, thankfully not an audit client. But a new client, which always presents interesting challenges in and of itself. I'd met the client before and had seen their stuff and was SUPER excited to be working on the account.


LET ME JUST SAY. I did not quite anticipate the entertainment I as in for.

The day went sort of like this:

1) Day before we go to the client, I email asking if he's ready. No response. Ok. Well, I talked with him last week so we'll just go and see what happens.

2) On the car ride over- weird, never heard from said client, this could be just a fun road trip...

3) Get there... he's there! He was expecting us. Sweet. He leads us into the conference room and asks if we have questions.

4) Um, maybe getting YOUR INFORMATION to us would be helpful??

5) He comes in with information for 2011, not 2010. NOT helpful.

6)... and then proceeds to tell us to forgive him because he's SUPER hungover today. Ah, that would explained the slurred speech. Perhaps hungover in this case means still drunk?

7) My staff and I then look at each other like, oh shit.

8) He comes back with the 2010 information. With barf on his shirt. Not kidding. He hands us the information, looks down, says OOPS, giggles then walks out.

9) We've upgraded from "oh shit" to "seriously what the fuck?"

10) Information is completely wrong. Makes no sense. Shocking.

11) 2 hours later we are still trying to get correct information out of him. He cannot stop talking about his hangover. He's still slurring. Still swaying. At least he's wiped the barf off his shirt but I'm wondering if he has a flask in his pocket...

12) We have gotten no straight answers all morning...other than why he's hungover (too much wine). Nothing ties. It's wasting our time, to be honest, and we're getting annoyed, though quite amused.

13) In the meantime, the building sounds like it's going to collapse because they are redoing the docks nearby. It feels like a freaking earthquake about every 30 seconds.

14) Seriously starting to wonder if we're in some sort of ridculous reality show. "The life of a CPA..." although, this episode would be quite comical.

15) Oh good, we got something to tie within $200,000. Yes, I just said TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND. Most things were off by millions.

16) We ask him about it. He leaves in the middle of a sentence (that doesn't make much sense anyway). We stare at each other, probably both wondering if he went to yak again.

17) Oh good, 5 minutes later, he's back! Sweet. Ok, to those variances...

18) Just kidding, he needs to take a 20 minute lunch break.

19) Fine. We head out too.

20) We're back in 40 minutes, no sign of him. 2 hours later, still no sign. 2.5 hours later, he's back.

21) We ask how he's feeling after his [20 minute AKA THREE HOUR] lunch, and he said, GREAT! Feel like a CHAMP! A 3 beer lunch always cures the hangover. OH FABULOUS.

22) Did I mention he reeks of alcohol at this point?

23) We can't find agreements for anything, can't tie anything. We ask him about how things are done, you know, since he's 1) The freaking CFO 2) The sole person in control of this freaking multi-million dollar company (SERIOUSLY!!!!) 3) and a freaking owner!! I mean, shit, I am in the WRONG profession... I could do what he does without using .00001 of a brain cell. Oh, yeah, and so his response to how things are done/how things get paid, etc? "Oh, I just wing it." WHAT?!?!?!?

24) So after this, my staff and I are just dying. Trying so hard not to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

25) OH, and did I mention, that our work isn't even REQUIRED?! Usually it's required by a bank or owners or boards of directors. Nope, someone just got the random idea that they just want it, you know, just for the hell of it. Because people like to be audited? I DO NOT KNOW. It's especially fun when NOTHING TIES and you "JUST WING IT."

26) Oh, and right in the middle of F#*$ing busy season when WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO.

27) So we are laughing, or actually trying not to laugh. Keep in mind: We are going on about zero sleep and living breathing work for the past 3 weeks straight. Literally, I had not had a day off since we'd gone to Phoenix in mid-January. So we are feeling a little drunk ourselves, but not actually drunk... loopy from way too much work. Meaning: even the stupidest situation would have been funny. This was just flat out HYSTERICAL. So, anyway, still nothing ties. Did I mention that they don't need our services? They just "wing" their accounting (can we put that in our workpapers??) The CFO/majority member has been drunk most of the day and we've seen his barf. And at 2pm, he leaves. Gone. Out. Does he tell us? WHAT DO YOU THINK??

28) An hour after his disappearance, we ask another girl who works there where he went. She says, "who knows but he probably won't be back." NICE TO KNOW, hey, and thanks for the freaking heads up.

29) We leave.

30) Did I mention this was the most absurd client day I've EVER HAD? I mean, TRUST me, I've had some experiences including clients sleeping by my computer when I'm gone, a client talking about a baby shower for his babies (oh, which meant, his WORM FARM), and on and on...stories for another day. Anyway, those were more isolated moments. But this? This whole day was just flat out WEIRD. At multiple times, I had to pinch myself because I actually thought I was having a busy season dream again. NOPE.

After the fact that adds to the comedy, a bit: A) On that day, I got a $130 ticket for running a red light while at lunch. And no, not blatantly. Apparently when you turn right in Seattle you have to stop. STUPID. B) Our client went to a 28 day program shortly following this experience. Apparently he's had a problem for a long time (actually that part is both sad but good in the regard that he got help). And come to think of it, the ticket part was sad too... that SUCKED!

As an update, I've seen since him (since this is being written in March), he's out of the program, MUCH better, and VERY apologetic. Yeah, I would be too. I actually really feel bad for him but am glad that he got the help that he so obviously needed. We start the work again soon... cross your fingers for us that at least this time, things tie. And that there is no barf. You guys know my thing with barf.