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Mary Kate
When not managing the CLIF BAR office like the proverbial iron hand in a velvet glove, (read: Mommie Dearest), Mary Kate enjoys worm composting, spreading mulch around in her garden, dreaming of the day when she can remodel her kitchen then bathroom, or maybe the bathroom first because of it’s hideous 70's style light fixtures, and mismatched tub, toilet and sink.

She is a fabulous and adventurous cook, choosing organic food over the other brand, loves French wine (so sue me, California), reading stuff, especially novels and home decorating magazines; writing stuff, (yep, there is a novel in that bottom desk drawer), and hanging at the beach with her dogs, Toby and Sadie.

She is a massage therapist in her spare (hah!) time, and her favorite LUNA bar is Toasted Nuts 'n Cranberry. She is looking for Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now, depending on the circumstances, and has a weakness for red shoes. In the meantime, she thinks hiking and biking are cool, and that dogs rule!


Apr. 4, 2007
While the cat’s away…

I was away for a week on a much needed vacation. I didn’t really go far, just stayed in town, went to the beach, and hung out with my friends who are visiting from England. It was nice to sleep in, and great not having to deal with phones, clogged toilets, or dirty dishes. Which leads me here: the dirty dishes, I mean. Some kind soul took this fun picture of one of the break room sinks, (which isn’t a big surprise, really) and it looks like there was more than the usual amount of slacking off going on while…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Dec. 14, 2006
One busy little blogger

As we careen towards Christmas….sounds pretty dramatic doesn’t it?...I find myself busier than ever trying to finish up everything before our nice, long break. You’ve heard that dumb expression, the hurrier I go, the behinder I get! Well, that would be me right now. And I find myself pondering some interesting questions, such as why are VIN numbers 17 digits/letters long? Is there really a Santa Claus? (you’d think by now I would know, but I don’t want to blow it for everyone else), and what I should get for Aunt Millie, the aunt who has everything? I’m also taking…

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Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Oct. 5, 2006
Stay warm, be cool

Today the sun is shining, but yesterday the first rain of the season inspired my annual e-mail about heating our “warehouse” style office. The high ceilings make it really hard to get the temperature just right for each person’s individual thermostat. Hi Everyone: I’m looking out the window today, and noticing that the colder, rainy weather is coming our way. Boo hoo! But, there are some things to look forward to: Skiing! Wearing your favorite Winter beanies, sweaters and scarves! Yay! I saw Jeff H. just yesterday with his favorite CLIFbeanie, logo backwards of course. So, okay, where am…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Aug. 8, 2006
CAUTION: construction zone

It’s finally happened. We’ve taken over the last 10,000 square feet of the building we lease. What this means is that we're growing like “gangbusters" and we need the space to fit more new people in here. It also means that I'm crazy busy, but it’s the kind of busy that I like. I love this part of my job when I get to pick out paint colors, furniture, and accessories. It takes a lot of planning and organizing, and of course it’s 40% nerve-wracking and 60% FUN.  Envisioning how the new space will come together is really exciting and…

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Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Jun. 7, 2006
Harvest time for the worm bin

The Friday before Memorial Day weekend, some kind soul here chucked 2 huge tortillas, a half of a moldy sandwich and a still-wrapped tamale into the worm bin. It was a well meaning act, but unless each worm was the size of an anaconda, they could not have possibly consumed all that food before it began to putrefy. Feeding worms is pretty simple—a pound or so of chopped food will usually suffice. Fruit and veggies, coffee grounds with the filter, tea bags, eggshells, and yes, on occasion, bread or tortillas—as long as they're chopped up a bit. I have it…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

May. 16, 2006
Water filter blues

Most of the time, things run pretty smoothly with the machines in the office. But like anything, sometimes a bunch of them break down at once, which leads to a flurry of “did you know such and such a machine isn’t working” e-mails. Don’t get me wrong, I’m only one person, and even though I have eyes in the back of my head, like my first grade teacher Mrs. Pempsal, it would be impossible to be aware of everything at all times—I’d go crazy. Last week, the two water filters in the 5th-Street kitchen were both out of whack. One…

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Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Apr. 12, 2006
Dragnet in CLIF BAR parking lot

I arrived at work today to find the streets around our building blocked off by police cars. As I drove around the corner and into our parking lot, I saw armored SWAT teams, more police cars, and the Mobile Task Force busses in the back of the lot. Even though I was in bike shorts and flip-flops, anticipating joining my spin class, I was very concerned and curious about what was going on. It seems that there was an armed man, holding some people hostage at knife point in an apartment about a half block down the street. Not your…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Mar. 21, 2006
My Lil’ Mutant Grow a Pony

Okay, well you might not know this, but I sit near Cassie—my co-worker and fellow blogger. If you read Cassie's bio, you'll gather that she's a "horseaholic"—no, that word is not in spell check. She's not completely obnoxious about horses, just really into them in that girl-who-loves-them sort of way. She likes riding them (one in particular), grooming them and talking about them. It's her love of horses that makes me think of her every time I see some plaque, t-shirt or welcome mat with a horse on it. So by default, or maybe because of the proverbial “don't think…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Jan. 17, 2006
Bikes in the Warehouse

I sent this email last week: Well folks: It's time once again to revisit the issue of bikes on the warehouse bike rack! Yes! But before you glaze over, and chuck this e-mail, please read it through because this year, there is a new twist. If you are storing your bike on the rack in the warehouse, and haven't ridden it in awhile, or maybe even forgotten that you left it out there (horrors!), please take it home before January 13th. Yes, that would be Friday the 13th! Food for thought, if these bikes were cars on the street, you…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Nov. 4, 2005
T.G.I. Almost Monday

Fridays are so quiet here at work, it’s like being in church, or the library. Especially in the morning. The reason for this is that we work a 9/80 schedule where alternating groups of employees have every other Friday off (having worked 80 hours over the previous 9 days). We work in an open (meaning kinda noisy, but non-cubicle) environment. I always get a lot done on Fridays, but at first the quiet is "deafening." The other four days of the week there is a buzz here, the wheels of industry turning, printers and copiers clicking and clacking, voices rising,…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Oct. 10, 2005
Whatever It Takes

I just finished my Monday morning spin class in the gym. It seemed harder than it actually was, because everything seems harder first thing on a Monday. But while I was slogging it out through 8 or so intervals, a couple of 10-minute hill climbs on my spin bike, I was thinking about two of my co-workers who finished the Furnace Creek 508 this weekend. This is a race across 508 rugged desert miles from Santa Clarita to Twenty Nine Palms in the allotted 48 hours, (46 for teams). Kenny finished the race in 27 hours, Paul in 32. That's…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Aug. 25, 2005
You Want Fries With That?

Yesterday morning, as I’m stopping and going on the freeway parking lot from hell, I had to close the window because I was behind a pick-up truck that had no muffler on it. I was fiddling with the radio, drinking my tea, and wondering why the freeway is always so jam-packed on Wednesday mornings. Is it because all those deadbeats who work at home part-time finally decide that Wednesday would be a good day to come into the office? So, I turned on the air-conditioner, but still the fumes came in, cooled at least, but still fumes. I switched lanes…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Aug. 11, 2005
Goodbye, Stanky Vann!

It’s hard to say goodbye to old friends, even those that are inanimate. Yesterday, I had to break the bad news to everyone here that the Stinky Van was being sent back to the leasing company. This van has about 80,000 miles of hard road on it, and the  transmission is a bit wobbly. But you might be wondering how Stinky Van got its somewhat unjust name. I mean, it didn’t start out “stinky”, it was an acquired “stankiness stigma”, that transported it from being just another van in the company fleet. Speculation is that during cyclocross season one year,…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Jul. 18, 2005
Vermicomposting

I held a vermicomposting workshop here at work recently. What’s that you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. We set up an office worm bin to eat some of the food waste we produce here. That’s right, banana peels, coffee grounds, old salad (without a lot of goopy dressing though) can all be fed to our newest office pets, 1,000 Red Wigglers that get to live in our warehouse in a bin called a Wriggly Ranch. I love talking about compost. Teaching about it is great because it spurs people into thinking about what we (more often than not) just chuck…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Jul. 6, 2005
No Glass Slipper

Today I walked around the building and collected abandoned water glasses. People just put them down like at home, but don’t come back to put them in the dishwasher. I know some people think my job is a breeze, after all, look at all the varied things I get to do during any given day: putting toner in the copiers, loading the dishwasher, throwing out moldy food from the fridges, plural. Yep, I feel like Cinderella, only after midnight.

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

May. 10, 2005
Worm composting

I held a vermicomposting workshop here last Thursday. What's that you ask? Well, I'll tell you. We set up an office worm bin to eat some of the food waste we produce here in the office. That's right, banana peels, coffee grounds, old salad (without a lot of goopy dressing though) can all be fed to our newest office pets, 1,000 Red Wigglers that get to live in our warehouse in a bin called a Wriggly Ranch. I love talking about compost, and teaching about it is great because it spurs people into thinking about what we more often than…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

May. 10, 2005
Toby’s got issues

I'm waiting for Marianne, the dog walker, to show up, and can't wait for her to get here. (Dog walker, another fine example of the CLIF concierge service for employees here.) Toby and Scrubby (my dog and a co-worker's that is staying with me) are getting closer and closer to me, crowding my desk, so pretty soon I won' t be able to pull back my chair. But here's the deal, when she does come, Scrubby goes running up to her, while Toby crouches behind my chair, not wanting to go with her. He's so neurotic, and, of course, loyal…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Apr. 21, 2005
Need Glasses?

Today I walked around the building and collected abandoned water glasses. People just put them down, just like at home, but don’t come back to put them in the dishwasher. I know some people think my job is a breeze, after all, look at all the varied things I get to do during any given day: • putting toner in the copiers, • loading the dishwasher, • throwing out moldy food from the fridges, all four of them. Yep, I feel like Cinderella, only after midnight.

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

Apr. 21, 2005
Sweet Monday

I’m not usually so happy to come to work on Monday morning, but after 5 days of houseguests, one of them a child (whose first waking moments consisted of either banging on the piano on the way through the dining room, or turning on the T.V. to raucous cartoons), work seems like a sanctuary. The familiar click and hum of copiers and keyboards, even someone’s jauntily tuned ringing cell phone left out on their desk isn’t as obnoxious as having to entertain out of towners, and be ON, ON, ON. I’d like to think of myself as a calm, and patient…

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Posted by:
Mary Kate
Category:
Office Life

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About this Blog

We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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