Monday, November 19, 2012

Welcome to the Dark Side

It’s official…I’ve crossed over to the dark side.
I purchased an iPhone!
I still can’t believe that I did it. I have been a loyal Android user since they first came out. I was really looking forward to upgrading my current phone to the Samsumg Galaxy SIII, until I started experiencing some problems with it last week. When I went to the Sprint store the customer service representative explained that since the last system update people have been experiencing the same problems that I mentioned. The resolution was to do a hard reset which I wasn’t against doing. I just thought that since my phone was acting up and I was eligible for an upgrade that I would dive into the iPhone waters.
For anyone who has read my blog, you’ve probably sensed that I’m not a big fan of my iPad. I am hoping that as I slowly integrate over to mainly Apple products that my love for them will grow and blossom. I know that I will enjoy App sharing (my Android only had free Apps on it) and the ability to listed to my music library from my phone. And I'll be able to purchase really cute phone cases! (It is all about the phone case, isn't it?)
If any of you have any helpful hints and tips or Apps that I should check out, please let me know!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I'm Not in Kansas Anymore

A week or so ago I mentioned that I was being sent on a new work assignment. After being in Tarrytown, NY for almost a week, I was redeployed to another office located on Long Island. I’ll be the first to admit that my geography knowledge isn’t the best. Although I hadn’t given it much thought, I always thought that Long Island was a city, and not, well a long island with cities on it. (That’s fine, please go ahead and have a good laugh on that nugget of information)
Even though I live in a metropolitan area, I am quickly learning that I’m not in Kansas any longer. For instance, hotel rooms are very pricey without much in the way of amenities. I’m staying at a Days Inn and the rate is $179/night. And my room isn’t that big…there’s enough room for a queen sized bed and a small desk. And once I placed my two suitcases inside, there really wasn’t much room!

My Room
On a side note…I will say that this Days Inn is nice. (I don’t mean Four Seasons nice, but nice compared to other Days Inns that I have stayed at) The rooms were renovated this year and they look very contemporary, and above all they are CLEAN! The downside is the lack of space and that there isn’t a mini fridge and or microwave so I can keep some food items in my room. Fortunately when I return to this assignment after Thanksgiving I’ll be moving to an extended stay hotel which will offer more amenities for a long term stay.
The parking lot is also very interesting in that it only hold about 30 cars, if that. The street in front of the hotel is a closed street so there is parking there. Although if cars are parked on both sides of the small street, the street quickly becomes a one lane in or out on the street. I typically elect to park on the street so that way I am in front of the hotel and can get inside quickly.
I’ve quickly realized that these are minor inconveniences for me that will soon pass. I am fortunate to have a hotel room even if it means that I have a 40 minute drive each way to my office every day. There are many people who lost personal possessions and their homes due to Hurricane Sandy. I think I’ll survive having a small room and no refrigerator for a while longer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ask And You Shall Receive!

Imagine my surprise today when I received a Blogger Buzz update that A Blogger App had been made for iPad!

Although I can't figure out how to link back to my original post about blogging with an iPad (sigh), I am happy that things are moving in the direction to make it better for me to use my iPad for blogging.

I can add pictures....

Although I don't know where the picture is going to be positioned in my post. And I can't access my online Picasa web album to obtain pictures.

And it looks like I can't format my font either. So this new App might only be good for quick posts that lack my usual flair and creativity.

Guess I can't get everything I ask for...although it won't stop me from asking!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Time Is It?

And the other shoe drops…
This morning I noticed that the battery in my watch is now dead!
I can’t win for losing with this watch thing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's Today's Date?

I’ll admit that I can be a bit obsessive about some things. Watches are one of them. I really don’t know where my watch fascination came from, although I can always remembering wearing one since when I was in high school. My very first watch is one that my Dad purchased for me. It had a brown leather band with a mother of pearl face and roman numerals for the numbers. (And believe it or not I still have the watch in my jewelry box)
Well, I believe my watch fascination has turned into a ‘problem’…
Earlier today when I glanced down at my watch, I noticed that the date was set to the 18th. Even though I didn’t have any idea what today’s date was, I didn’t think it was the 18th. So, I proceed to look at my cell phone and realized that today is the 13th. The 13th?!?!
Hard to see, although it does say the 18th
So, this means I haven’t worn this particular watch in several months since the date has skipped ahead by 5 days!
And truth be told, I have 5 watches. (And you might be wondering why anyone needs five watches) Each one has a different function…dressy, casual, gold versus silver.
I know, probably not real justifiable reasons, huh?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Fresh Market

A few years ago when I worked in Virginia Beach I was introduced to The Fresh Market and it quickly became one of my all-time favorite grocery stores! To be honest I probably like it better than Whole Foods, Central Market and Trader Joe’s. I mean, each of those specialty stores have unique things that I like, but all around The Fresh Market is AWESOME!
Lucky for me I realized there is The Fresh Market where I am currently on assignment at! I happened to find it trying to locate a store that carries Noosa yoghurt (one of my recent favorite food finds!). And while there, I found all types of goodies….
Of course, Noosa yoghurt …
 Some wonderful prepared salads that I can eat for dinner….
How could I pass up granola brittle? Since there’s granola in it, it has to be good for me, right?
Not the best looking picture but the granola brittle is wonderful!
And then finally one of my favorite tea drinks (and if you're lucky enough to have an Argo Tea Cafe in your area I am so jealous!) …
So if you ever see The Fresh Market I highly recommend that you check it out…you won’t be disappointed!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Blogging With an iPad

I've been trying for awhile to wean myself from my laptop to my iPad. So I decided not to bring my laptop with me for my current work assignment. And here I am now trying to create a post to see what I like and don't like about using my iPad for blogging.

So far I've found that it's not the easiest to type a post. And I don't know how many times a word I don't want appears on my screen. I think my biggest complaint will be adding pictures to a post. Looks like my problem was averted as I can access pictures that I've uploaded from my phone to Google and from my Picasa web albums. Score! Although....I can't move the picture to where I really wanted it. (Hence why it is dead smack in the middle if the post for no apparent reason.

And I just realized that I can't scroll back to the top of this post to edit it. Hopefully there aren't any misspellings or completely wrong words.

Yeah, this is definitely one of those real random posts. Although seriously, does anyone have any suggestions on how to create posts with pictures to upload to Blogger via the iPad?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Awkward and Awesome

Here are my awkward and awesome moments for the week (Inspired by E from E is Random who was inspired by Sydney at The Daybook): (All and all I have to say is that I had a GREAT week!)

·         Having maintenance in my apartment while I gone and someone taking the liberty to use my bathroom!
·         Being able to be a Walker Stalker for the Dallas 3 Day Walk.
·         Being able to meet some of my social media friends at the Dallas 3 Day Walk.
·         Finally being able to get a pedicure after months of 3 Day training and my walk. Believe me, it looks like I have new feet!
·         Getting a First Class upgrade on a three hour flight this week.
·         Receiving an email that American Airlines has a special promotion until the end of the year for double elite qualifying miles and points for every flight until the end of the year. Hopefully I’ll make Platinum status for next year!
·         Receiving a poor quality product from an online vendor. When they called to see if my order met my expectations and I told them that it didn’t, they offered me a merchandise credit for a future order. Love when I receive good customer service and it's initiated by the company and not me.

Friday, November 9, 2012


I mentioned yesterday that my bat phone rang and that I was headed to a new work assignment. Well, my travels have landed me in New York! The last time that I worked here I was in Buffalo, NY in 2006. Now I am working about 25 minutes outside of New York City. Hopefully I’ll be able to take in some of the sights and visit some people that I know once things get settled for me.
This morning I awoke to gas rationing being the main topic of conversation. Beginning this morning gas is being rationed based on the license plate numbers on the vehicle: if it is an odd numbered date (like today, November 9th) license plate numbers that end in an odd number (and cars with vanity plates) can get gas; on even numbered dates vehicles with license plate numbers that end in an even number can get gas. The exceptions to this are people who have portable containers to secure gas and commercial vehicles.
Of course, according to the local news, no one feels this is fair. There are lots of different situations and scenarios: What if a person doesn’t get paid until a certain date and they can’t get gas when they need it? What about people who are in sales and drive a lot? Talk about the need to plan your trips wisely!
And what’s really unbelievable is that hundreds of thousands of people still do not have power! It’s my understanding that one of the power companies on Long Island is the biggest problem as to why people don’t have power. And at this point it has been a week and a half since the storm occurred.
It’s at times like these that I realize just how much I take for granted being able to fuel up when I need to or being able to have electricity. Let’s hope that all of these problems are resolved quickly!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

All Good Things Must Come To An End

My bat phone rang yesterday and I'm headed back to work today. Between scheduled time off and being in an 'on call status' I've been home for right at 30 days which isn't too bad. Although I'll have to admit that the past 30 days have been a whirlwind for me! Between my  DC 3 Day walk, Walker Stalking at the Dallas 3 Day, and just trying to catch up on regular life things in between.

And I'm thinking that my next work assignment is going to be a whirlwind too! Especially since Superstorm Sandy did enough damage to the East Coast and now there is a Nor'easter happening too!

Stay tuned to see where I wind up...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My PINK Family

Hopefully you've enjoyed my past several posts about the Dallas 3 Day. (Maybe even enough to sign up to walk or volunteer one day?) As I bring things to a close I want to write a little bit about friendships.

Prior to me joining my 3 Day team, Angels for the Cure, I had never been a part of an organized team before. I didn't play sports in high school or college and my team participation has been limited to corporate America. When I joined the Angels in 2009, I never imagined the genuine friendships that I would make. And I never thought about the PINK family that I would be joining with other 3 Day participants.

I’m sure you've all heard about Superstorm Sandy that made landfall last week. I work for an insurance company with their catastrophe response division and my scheduled time off for the Dallas 3 Day was in jeopardy of being cancelled. In the end everything worked to my advantage and I was able to keep my scheduled time off. Although it’s probably hard to understand, I know that I would have been heartbroken had I not been able to be at the 3 Day this past weekend. I really wanted to be there for my team mates knowing how hard they had trained for the event, and to be able to give them the support that they needed.

Over the past few years, I have been able to meet more of my PINK family through Facebook and Twitter. I’ll be the first to admit that I was a bit hesitant to ‘friend’ people who I didn’t actually know. But the commonality that we all share is our passion to find a cure for breast cancer (which will lead to a cure for other cancers).

While at the event I had the chance to finally meet the following people:
      Mark – Mark and I first connected on Facebook through pictures that he took during the Dallas 3 Day a year or two ago. Over the past year we started following one another on Twitter. And we were finally able to meet on Day 1 of the walk! Mark's wife is also a Survivor.
Me and Mark at Opening Ceremony
·         D’Lyn – D’Lyn and I first connected over Twitter. She is a member of Team Tiara and they were promoting a website called The focus is that breast cancer isn't just the month of October and that it is every day of the year. D'Lyn also lost her mother to breast cancer. I ended up submitting my PINK story which lead me to be connected to…

Me and D'Lyn
·         Mike – Mike and I are very recent Twitter followers. Although Mike read my story on Pinktober365 and made a donation to my 3 Day account earlier this year. It wasn’t until we connected on Twitter that I put two and two together. (And on a side note, Mike made a commitment to donate to 100 walkers this year…WOW!!!)

·         Betsy – Betsy and I are also Twitter followers. And at the last minute I realized that she was in Dallas as a crew member for the 3 Day. So on the final day of the event I stopped by the pit stop she was crewing at so we could meet face to face.

·         Jay – Jay and I are Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare friends.To be honest, I can’t remember which came first or how any of it came to be. Jay and I first met face to face in DC about a month ago when I walked there. He wasn’t hard to find since he wears a pink construction hat. What I didn’t realize is that he was going to be at the Dallas 3 Day….in disguise! Jay a.k.a. Pink Man Walking walked the event in a motorcycle helmet and didn’t unveil himself until he walked into holding at the end of the walk. If I had been a bit smarter I should have figured all of this out when he took my picture at Camp on Friday night and posted it to my Facebook page!
Jay a.k.. Pink Man Walking
Believe me, I have definitely come out of my social media shell. And since I took a lot of pictures during the 3 Day and posted them to the Dallas 3 Day Facebook page, I have made some more new friends!

And just in case any of you are interested in even more random things from me, you can find me on Facebook (Shannon Underwood), Twitter (indygirl_1997) or Foursquare (indygirl_1997).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Walker Stalking

If you’ve been following my posts for the past several days, you already know that I was at the Susan G. Komen Dallas 3 Day Walk. And yes, it was AMAZING! There’s so much to talk about that I am going to try to devote the next few days to different elements of my experience. Today is about Walker Stalking (and the only time that it is acceptable to stalk another person!).

Since I started walking the 3 Day in 2009, this was the first year that I haven’t walked in my home city of Dallas. I decided early on that I wanted to be a Walker Stalker for my team, Angels for the Cure. In case you’re wondering what a ‘Walker Stalker’ is it’s a person who’s out during the walk to cheer on the walkers as they continue on their 60 mile journey. And I had a blast! 
My official duties started early on Friday morning meeting the majority of the walkers at our team captain’s home. From there we left in a small convey to the Opening Ceremony were the official walk would begin. The energy was high while walkers were reunited with other walkers and waited for Open Ceremony to begin.

Summa and Debra on the bus

Before I knew it the walkers were off and we were cheering them out from the Opening Ceremony! On my team we had a lot of first time walkers which made me think back to my very first walk and the combination of anxiousness, fear, and happiness that I felt as I took my first steps.
My team, Angels for the Cure, before the walk started
Throughout the three days of the walk, there are seven official cheering stations for spectators to come cheer the walkers on (and countless unofficial places where people just come out to cheer on the walkers). My personal goal was to be at all of the official cheering stations from the time they started until they closed to cheer on all of the walkers. All of my team mates knew that there would be a group of team Walkers Stalkers at every cheering station in case they needed to drop off anything or pick up anything. My group of Walker Stalkers had water, Gatorade, chips, and candy for the walkers to stop by to get if they needed it. And Friday turned out to have temperatures in the high 80’s which was unseasonably warm for Dallas!

The great thing about being at the cheering stations was that by the end of the first day, I was seeing some of the same walkers over and over and they were noticing me too. It was nice because it gave me people to look forward to see (other than my team mates) and to check to see how they were doing or if they needed anything.
This is Dali supporting Angels for the Cure at a cheering station

This is Molly a.k.a. Pink Stuff. The walkers LOVED stopping by and taking pictures with her!
Before I knew it Day 1 of the walk was over and I was cheering walkers into Camp. I ended up going into Camp to see my team mates and have dinner with them too. By time I left camp, it was 9 p.m. And by time I was able to stop at the store to get more Gatorade, rearrange my car, and get myself something to eat it was around midnight before I went to bed. Whew! Talk about a long, yet exciting day!
On Days 2 (and 3) I got up early to cheer the walkers out of camp. It was great to see the walkers first thing and wish them a strong day of walking. Especially since Day 2 is typically a longer route and the hardest day for the walkers. I was also able to get some great shots of them as they started their day and give out lots of hugs!
Day 2 was probably as hot as Day 1 of the walk. My group of team Walker Stalkers had even more water and Gatorade to pass out, and we were making a point to let the walkers know we had it. Thankfully the 3 Day is one big family and we share things with all walkers, not just our team mates.
On day 2 I did have a chance to drive the route a bit to cheer on walkers form my car. I ended up stopping about a mile from the camp site to cheer walkers in for their final mile of the day. Remembering how tough Day 2 has been for me, I knew the extra cheer would go a long way. There was a small group of us cheering, and you could see the walkers spirits lift when they saw us.
A Mother and Daughter Team that I met on Day 1. Here they are gettin ready for their last mile on Day 2 of the walk.
Finally Day 3 was here! Day 3 is great since its shorter route miles and the walkers know that the end of their journey is near. My team had a private cheering station along the route, and we had a pretty good turnout of family and friends for it. My former manager even came out, and I think she might have been bitten with the 3 Day bug as she is talking about actually walking next year!
I went to the very end of the route to cheer my team in to the Holding Area. I was beyond proud when I saw them all walk in together and the big smiles on their faces. As I started to cheer them in and hug them, the tears started out of happiness for them. Believe me, it’s hard not to get emotional watching the entire group of walkers walk in knowing how much they have gone through with training for the walk, actually walking 60 miles, walking through blisters and other injuries, and whatever their personal connection to breast cancer might be.

I’ll have to admit that I might be bitten by the Walker Stalker bug! I think that it’s a great way to show love and support to the other walkers. And I’m already thinking about doing it again next year. Instead of walking two cities every year, I think I’m going to focus on always cheering on the walkers in Dallas, and then walking in another city.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dallas/Ft. Worth SGK 3 Day Walk - Day 3

Here are some pictures from Day 3 of the walk...
Me and Smooch waiting for Day 3 to begin so we can cheer on the walkers!

Me and my Twitter friend Dy'Lyn, I was so happy to finally meet her at the walk!
Me and Kim a.k.a Pinky


Showing off our bras!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dallas/Ft. Worth SGK 3 Day Walk - Day 2

Just a few pictures from Day 2 of the walk....
Me and my Walker Stalker mobile are ready!
Maryiln, Dr. Sheri Phillips (National Spokesperson for the 3 Day) and me at one of the cheering stations
Tina, Smooch and Dayzee - three of my wonderful team mates ready to cheer on some walkers!
A mother and daughter team that I had the pleasure of meeting on Day 1, and cheered them all through Day 2. This picture was a mile from the end of the day for them. Fabulous ladies!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dallas/Ft. Worth SGK 3 Day Walk - Day 1

Just a few pictures that I took from Day 1 at the SGK Dallas/Ft. Worth Walk!
This picture sums up what the 3 Day Family is about....we have big hearts and we take the walk one step at a time. It's so cool how the walkers, crew, and spectatorsare brought together for three days of kindness and pinkness!
Me and my new friend Lollie. She's a beautiful Labordoodle who belongs to the family of one of my team mates. And yes, she LOVED posing for pictures with EVERYONE!

Two of my wonderful team mates Smooch and Cheryl! They were out cheering everyone on. Love these ladies!

 The pink sparkle bra makes its debut! And yes, there were a few photo opps involved too!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yay, The Big Day is Finally Here!


I know you clicked over to my page today to see what’s new. But guess what? I’m at the Dallas/Ft. Worth Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk! So come back next week so I can let you know how everything went. In the meantime I will check in every day and try to give you some highlights or pictures.

And surely you want to know how my pink sparkle bra went over with everyone! (And yes, those are owls on my bra. Hooters, get it?!)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wait For It...

A lot of people don’t know that I have limited (and I mean very limited!) patience. I don’t try to hide the fact, although people in my professional life always seem to comment that I am a very patient person. What I think they confuse it with is that I’m not easily excited and I remain pretty calm in most situations. Well yesterday was a day to try my patience…

As you probably know Susperstorm Sandy made landfall a couple of days ago. And since I work for an insurance company with their catastrophe response division this means that a work assignment is pretty imminent for me. Well, I also have vacation scheduled beginning today through next Tuesday for the Dallas 3-Day Walk. (And I’ll also mention that my time off has been scheduled since last fall) Just like clockwork my manager contacts me to inquire about my upcoming time off. And to make a long story short, he was going to contact me before the end of day to let me know if I would need to cancel my vacation request and if I would be sent on an assignment within the next couple of days.
Guess what?

Yep, he never called me back before the end of my typical business day. So, I did send him a message that I will make one last ditch effort to contact him this morning to see what my status is. So now do you see why my patience has been tried? Hopefully all will work out well so that I can be here for the 3-Day (or at least one day of it!) and leave at the beginning of the week. I’ll keep you posted…
On another note…

When I started writing about patience it made me think of another work related story. Several years ago I worked in a department where the department secretary would send out status updates when there was a hardware or software problem. She would end each email with ‘Thanks for your patients!’ After seeing this same sign off about a thousand times, one day I decided to tell her about improper word choice. I explained to her that ‘patients’ are people in the hospital and ‘patience’ is what she would like for all of us to have regarding the hardware or software problem (and what I had been demonstrating every time she sent an email). All I can say is that unfortunately (and sadly) she never understood the difference.
I know, real random right?