Tennis and cars represent the sweet spots in my life and here is my journey incorporating the two.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roll With the Punches

Sometimes it’s best to roll with the punches.  Occasionally, things will work out for the best.  I should have known the weekend was going to be slightly offbeat when the skies opened up and poured sleet instead of rain, late Friday afternoon.  I saw the storm clouds rolling into the eastern part of Dekalb County, but I was expecting rain, not sleet.  That’s pretty extreme for a place where the first frost doesn’t fall until the month of November.  I wish I had photographically chronicled the event and the look of sheer disbelief that had to be present on my face.  I’m sure it was some crazy wild-eyed look.  The sleet eventually gave way to rain and most of Dekalb County was soaked.  If you noticed, I said “most”.  It was unfortunate for us that the entire county didn’t experience rain.  Quite possibly, a rain out would have been a better outcome than the loss my 7.0 USTA Mixed Doubles team suffered.  What looked like a promising chance for the team to make a city final appearance didn’t quite materialize, and I can’t say I contributed much to change that outcome.  I definitely had to roll with that punch because it was almost as unexpected as the sleet.  While there is a sting that comes along with every loss, it isn’t all for the bad.  Instead of juggling practice and matches for three different teams, I’m only obligated to two teams.

On Saturday an event I was scheduled to attend was canceled and I decided to pass on the company picnic because of the cold weather.  This opened the door for time at home.  Once again, I rolled with it and made the most of my time indoors by knocking out my seasonal wardrobe changeover and making a huge dent in the housework that had been staring me in the face for over a week.  Unlike the previous day, so much was accomplished, and everything achieved allowed me to get a little closer to being better organized.  Time rolled back one hour and Sunday rolled along at an even easier pace than the previous two days.  I took time out to attend church, spent a couple of hours at the courts watching friends, and wrapped up my weekend.  What started out as a wacky weekend ended up being a completely unplanned, yet productive weekend.  I don’t think I could have planned it better if I had tried.  It just goes to show that sometimes it’s best if you’re flexible and roll with whatever life throws your way.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I’m No Dummy

More and more, I believe those who work with me are catching on.  I’m no dummy when it comes to automotive.  Yeah, I’m new to government fleet, but I’m not new to fleet and I am fairly well versed in automotive lingo.  GVWR, axle capacity, torque, and horsepower don’t scare me.  Male dominance in the fleet arena doesn’t intimidate me.  Since I’m not intimidated, I won’t back down when I know what I know.  Sorry guys, but you can’t just tell me change option “x”, that’s it for the changes, and think I’ll just roll with it.  Men you can’t really believe that I’m not going to dig through the specifications and talk to my vendors until I find every change that needs to be made or discussed before I spec out a vehicle.  You can try it, but just know that I’m no dummy.  Maybe it’s all those years I spent searching the country for cars, trucks, and vans, or quite possibly it’s all those order seasons that I spent all day curled up with vehicle order guides; whatever the reason, I won’t be punked.  So commit this to memory - SweetSpot Is No Dummy.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

Driving in Atlanta can be frustrating.  The commutes can be time consuming, and the traffic can be outrageous, as well as unpredictable.  If I couple the traffic with some of the bad and reckless driving tactics I encounter daily, then it's almost enough to make me hate driving. I've seen it all when it comes to bad driving, well... maybe not, but I've definitely seen my fair share.  

While at work, I met with a gentleman who was explaining his need for more reflective markers, warning strobes and lights on his work vehicles.  We swapped driving war stories; his were work related, and mine were personal.  Since he works in an area responsible for ensuring our streets were properly striped with painted lines, I thought I would share my logical theory for why I encounter so many oncoming drivers who fail to maintain their lanes and attempt to share mine.

SweetSpot:  "The problem has to be the stripes on the road.  They aren't bright enough."

Gentleman:  "No, I think you have that mixed up.  It's the driver's on the road who aren't bright enough."

You know what?  I think I like his theory a lot more than I like my own.

Gaining wisdom!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do or Die

This week is all about results and making it happen.  Friday is my "do or die" day.  For me, it is a day of great importance.  A hard deadline is in place at work requiring all of my fleet orders to be completed by Friday.  This will be my first real test at the new job, and despite my reliance on others, I'm going to make it happen.

On that same Friday, my two teams will begin their journeys toward becoming Atlanta's USTA Mixed Doubles Champions.  If I make it on the court, then my mindset is "do or die".  This isn't a round robin format so both teams have to perform; I have to perform and my partner has to perform.  We have one shot at making it to the next round, and I'm ready to give my all to keep the team rolling.

I'm focused and I'm putting in the time to make everything fall into place on Friday to achieve my desired results.  I'm going to make it do what it'll do, or damn near die trying.

Getting it done!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Rolling Along Just Fine

Today marked a big day for me in both my career progression and my tennis world.  I'm finally starting to feel like things are back on track and beginning to roll along just fine.  

In regards to my career progression, today I completed two months on my new job and thus far I’ve received promising feedback on all of my efforts.  Many of you are not aware, but I'm back in the fleet world.  I've moved from corporate fleet to government fleet, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but there is a huge difference, and for me, a huge learning curve.  Now instead of just cars, trucks, SUV's, and vans, my fleet world has expanded to included just about anything with a motor or anything that can be pulled or hauled by something with a motor. I learned a lot about fleet operations while working in corporate fleet, but that only represents a fraction of what I will be required to learn for government fleet operations.  Corporate fleet allowed me to deal with an automotive mix - everything from the not-so-sexy cargo van to the oh-so-sexy luxury vehicle.  In government fleet, sexy doesn't exist, especially when you're dealing with taxpayer’s dollars and refuse vehicles (that’s garbage trucks, in laymen terms).  It's not sexy, but I'm enjoying the new challenge, the environment, the people, and let's not forget get the checks.

While my professional endeavors have been slowly improving and gaining speed, my tennis endeavors have been more like a roller coaster ride until tonight.  This evening both of the mixed doubles teams I play on clinched division titles.  It felt good to have a season in which I am a part of not one, but two winning teams.  This feeling of success and elation comes less than a week after the end of my most disappointing women's season since I began playing.  Two regular season division champion bag tags are just the beginning of what I am anticipating on the courts.  I have city playoffs, and hopefully, city finals for both teams in the upcoming weeks, as well as the start of my women’s winter season.  It may be getting cold outside, but I think it’s about to heat up on the courts, well, at least on the courts where I play.

Things really are starting to look up in my world and I think I’ll just allow the momentum of it all to carrying me for a while.



Friday, August 27, 2010

I Wouldn't Be Caught Dead in This Ride... Literally

I love Chevy Silverados, but I'm not too keen on the one I spotted tonight.

This evening, while I was riding through the city, I ran across the vehicle pictured above.  This is a customized Silverado that has been morphed into a biggie sized hearse.  This oversized hearse is at least one of the transportation options being mobilized by a local funeral home to address its need to transport those who would have been classified as morbidly obese.  Just seeing this processional bohemoth provided me with all the weight loss motivation I will ever need for the next 50 years.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Blame It on the La-La-La-La-La-La-LaCrosse

If the old GM is dead, then someone might want to share that information with my great-aunt Zelma, or as we call her, Sister. While I can't tell you her exact age, I can tell you she is older than her sister, my grandmother, who just celebrated her 80th birthday. Regardless, in her mind, age must only be a number because at 80+ years of age she has declared she is going to get her license (for the 1st time) and she is going to buy herself a "brand new" Buick. Look out world, and I do mean look out world! Be on the lookout for an octogenarian 1st time driver in a shiny, new Buick.

I'm almost certain Sister can't name a single Buick model, past or present, I'm sure in her mind there are still images of some Buick Electra 225 she held in high esteem, that represented success.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette thought at least one Buick model was "unmistakably modern and sure to challenge the stereotypes of consumers who still think a Buick is a dull car for the geriatric set," and I'm sure that is what Buick intended. Well, that image won't change if America catches a glimpse of Sister in the driver's seat of any Buick currently available.

Just wait 'til she gets a load of the new Buick lineup. Hmmm… Maybe she was paying attention when I picked her up in the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse GM let me demo for a week. I'm sure the combination of her ride with me and her agitation with her current source of transportation, my bossy, control-freak grandmother in her old Ford Taurus, is what drove her to seek a new Buick as a means of asserting her independence, and even a little one-upmanship.

In said case, I should apologize to both GM and Buick. I'm sorry. Truly, I am. I had no idea her ride with me in that LaCrosse would contribute to feeding a storm that was brooding. Obviously, that one ride in the new 2010 LaCrosse evoked old memories and made her remember why she used to love a Buick. I know I'm apologizing, but I should also say we (all of pre-retirement age family members) have absolutely zero belief that Sister will ever pass the driver's examination. Therefore, she'll have no need to purchase your shiny, new Buick. So Buick executives, you can breathe a sigh of relief, you don't have to worry about negative media images of any of your new awarding winning Buicks' being splattered across news channels in the form of a crumpled heap of metal. It ain't gonna happen, but if it did, then you might want to blame it on the LaCrosse.