Friday, October 28, 2005

drat! foiled again

i had written a post. i swear i had, but the evil server ate it. i wrote..a fair amount all about my fave halloween costumes, and the 404 Monster ate my post.

So i'll have to try and recap.

I have a cold. and my nose wants to run away.... you guessed it... with the circus. and my stomach contents want to follow because of the evil post nasal drip factor. ickies, i know.

so while i sit under my blankie, typing, I'm recuperating by recalling my favorite costumes of years past, since apparently no one had any to share. (0 comments?! really?!)

favorite all time costumes really mostly are from adult life where i had the ability to make or purchase my own. except for one instance where my mom hooked me up with this awesome handmade costume, mostly my costumes were.... a tad... uh... strange. like the year tricia and i went as Swiss Miss and a Marshmallow. Despite my all white outfit and the pillows tucked around me, everyone thought I was a mummy. After the third or so house, I got tired of explaining that I was the marshmallow and she was... oh, forget it.

so. without further ado

1) the chicken. mom made this costume- and it was awesome. all fabric. i wore it for a costume contest at school, and somehow, incomprehensibly, i got voted most beautiful costume. we were in third grade, and theresa was very upset that her ballerina didn't get most beautiful. i think it got scariest. kids are cruel.

2) the tooth fairy. last year, to a party, j and i decided to do something easy for him, and fun for me. so we headed off to walmart to get some scrubs, and i altered an old costume, some tooth-shaped stress balls from United and wahla. the tooth fairy. makeup glitter and crazy hair complete with tooth antennae. so fun.

3) Homecoming Queen 1984. One year, a friend's band was playing at Murphy's, and was 80s themed. So, KAT, our friend Erin and I all went along as 80s homecoming queens. So much fun trying on the dresses at the Salvation Army. Even more fun- showing up at the bar on halloween and meeting another dressed ensemble: the nerds. We were a John Hughes' film come to life.

4) Glinda. I was such a convincing good witch that my parent's friend's grand child still thinks I am the real thing. for years after, she dressed as a pink princess to emulate me. imitation truly is the best form of flattery.

5) Zelda Fitzgerald. Some people just go as flappers. I chose to be more specific. It helped my costume to drink heavily that night.

so that's the best of the best -- at least, those that i remember. i'm sure i've had other great ones... but nothing jumps out at me just yet.

this year? well. i'll dress up at *least* once. but with my big red nose right now, only one costume comes to mind. that's right. bill clinton.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Anyone remember how to fold those little football notes?

I have a crush. Not an Orange Crush and definitely not a Grape Crush (although that wouldn’t be so bad because that stuff is good!). Just an old fashioned, he makes my stomach flutter and I already have the names of our kids picked out kind of crush.
It feels kind of weird, if I’m honest about it. I should think that I’m getting a little old for this kind of thing. I mean, I’m almost 29 (not that you needed that update, but I feel like I need to practice saying it a bit so it’s not a complete shock when it happens a little over a month from now).
Anyway, crushes are for schoolgirls who have friends they can pass notes to that guess whether the boy even knows they’re alive. Then they can talk on the phone and analyze everything he’s ever said to them. And when they do get the chance to talk to him, they can bat their eyelashes and say silly things, maybe flirt a little to pique his interest.
Come to think of it, there’s little difference between a schoolgirl crush and one by a woman who should be old enough to know better! I haven’t passed a note to a friend yet, but I’m thinking the email I wrote about him is the same thing, just a lot more technologically advanced than when we were in middle school. I’ve spent time on the phone with SJ telling her about our last conversation and trying to figure out what it all meant. And I hate to admit it, but I was batting my eyelashes and saying silly things the last time I talked to him (the batting the eyelashes was on purpose, the silly things weren’t!) For the record, I did try to flirt, but I’m not sure whether he picked up on that (I’m a little out of practice).
So, that’s my crush.
If you kept reading with the intent of figuring out who it is I’m “crushing” on, you’re not going to find out just yet (or perhaps even ever, depending on how it goes). I’ve purposefully left out his name and all identifying details while I figure out if this is something that could go somewhere or just a passing thing. Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I last had a crush… I’m trying to remember how these things go. I will tell you this, though. If you’re reading this blog, it’s not you. He knows I’m alive, for sure, but I’m not ready for him to find out all the intimate details of my psyche (those are reserved for you lucky folks!) so he doesn’t know about this little forum… yet.
Stay tuned…

Thursday, October 20, 2005

When the bee stings... when I can't find any strudel...

These are a few of my favorite things today:

- The smell of the air on cool fall nights (unless it's close to chalk night, in which case, spare me the smell of rotting pumpkin and eggs).
- Getting a note in the mail from an old friend.
- a really good baked potato
- Diana Krall's voice in my car stereo on my long winding road home.
- The fact that my husband does the laundry.

Some more lists because they're fun and thought provoking.... or well kind of. I mean, my thoughts were provoked. I'm in a romantic mood... so let's go with...

Top Three Love Scenes EVER in a Movie.
1) Rhett and Scarlett, dining room scene.
2) loveactually - The doorbell scene at Christmas. (with kiera and the cute gallery guy)
3) Tom and Renee - you complete me, jerry mcguire, even with your Cruis-azy leading man psychosis that you carry into real life.

Top Three Best love-makin' songs.
1) kd lang's "all i need" on the drag cd
2) harry connick jr's to see you cd -- most of the songs (it's possible i've never heard the entire cd)
3) paula cole "feelin' good"

So I was invited to a Halloween party next week, costumes required. Leave your comment for the costume you'd most like to see KAT or me in, and maybe we'll wear them, and maybe we'll post a picture.

Oh- and the best joke of the week:
What did the zero say to the eight?

(wait for it)

"nice belt."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

who *are* these people?

So like I mentioned, our class reunion is coming up. I volunteered to meet up with the organizer and go through some ideas and help find some people.

Well, because the anal project manager in me makes it so, I went through and put our class in a spreadsheet from our yearbook. As I'm looking through the pictures, very little came rushing back.

Honestly? who ARE these people? many i remember, i do. but i had to flip back through the sports and club pages to see if maybe a few jogged my memory. not so much. and i was pretty involved in high school. but it really is a blur. it's been a long 10 years.

stacey- who on earth was clifford hosaflook and how have we never picked on that name?! he looks big, however. and possibly footballesque. which might be why we left him alone. or maybe he picked on me? if so, i'm sorely disappointed in 1995 sj.

looking at other pictures, and reading quotes, i'm wondering what they turned out to be like. did the 'roids catch up with a few of these guys? were the pretty and popular girls still beautiful and living a glamorous life? did any of the unpopular and not so pretty turn into lovely swans with or without plastic surgery?

and of course, it makes you wonder what kind of impression you'll make. i mean, i haven't seen 95 percent of these people in 10 years. what do they expect me to look like? will I be easily recognized? will no one know who I am? will someone say -- ooh- the years were not so kind to her? (if so, i don't want to know about it)

i am sad to say that i recognized at least three divorces that i personally know of, which seems so ... well, sad. a lot can happen in 10 years. i'm looking forward to the event with mixed trepidatious feelings and excited feelings. i'm mostly looking at this as a chance to reconnect with people with the person i am now. maybe i'll come away with a whole batch of new friends, or maybe it will make me appreciate my friends that i have now all the more. and js and i have vowed that shopping and new outfits are definitely in order.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Why I’m Glad I’m Not Katie Holmes…

Being beautiful is such a burden. (At least, that’s what my hot friends tell me). Let’s see, do I want to spend six hours having every hair plucked or waxed from my body then three hours having make-up put on and my hair dried out with styling products before squeezing into the latest haute couture or do I want to throw on the latest TJ Maxx buy, slap on some purple eye shadow, pull my hair into a ponytail and go? I think my Calvin Klane jeans answer that question!
Scientologists practice silent births so as not to traumatize the baby. To quote SJ, “Seriously?!?” As someone who tears up when squeezing particularly painful zits, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell I’m going to be able to shoot an object bigger than a bowling ball out of my nether regions without sharing a couple of thoughts about the experience with those around me.
Tom Cruise is kind of weird. I know none of you Maverick fans want to admit it, but c’mon! Personally, I think the tightie whities in “Risky Business” should have been the tip-off, but he seems to have been able to fool everyone for a long time. I’m sorry, but being one of the hottest men in the world does not excuse making a fool of yourself on Oprah’s couch or the fact that your two front teeth are closer to one of your ears than your nose. Buddy, you’re rich— invest in some braces already!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I am so technically challenged.

So I think i finally figured out how to seperate myself from KAT, in the technical sense at least. I had to create my own blog (don't bother looking it up- although I'm flattered -- I haven't figured out what to do with it yet). But now I'm officially just SJ. Actually, legally, I'm actually SLZ. eww. i know.

But hey! In honor of finally figuring out what those who have been blogging for years already knew- I'm going to celebrate with some lists.

Five people to be stuck on a desert island with:
1. my dad (he's so handy.)
2) jason. it's possible he's the one that got us there.
3) jimmy houston. professional fisherman. i don't want to starve.
4) KAT, because i have to laugh.
5) a doctor. not one in particular, but i'm thinking general practice, or possibly an ER doc.

Five celebrity crushes:
1) colin firth.
2) harry connick jr.
3) julian mcmahon
4) did i mention colin firth?
5) christian bale (esp.if he wears the batman suit).

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Spared by Buckets of Rain Only to be Sunk by Buckets of Rain

So I got up at 6:40 today in order to put on make up, put my contacts in and put on my five layers of costume. There's something very unsettling about putting on fishnet stockings before 7 a.m. In fact, I don't regularly get up that early and put make up on -- unless we're talking my burt's bees colored (and refreshingly minty) chapstick, and if i'm feeling fancy, some mascara.

However, I was spared from being mocked, ridiculed and groped unabashedly by near-strangers because of the astronimical amount of rain that has fallen from the heavens. Apparently, the fairgrounds washed out, and the organizers called it off for the weekend. It's just as well, because as I returned home to find J curled up on the couch, video game controller in hand, we decided to check our basement for the fifth time in 10 hours before heading off to brekkie.

For the record, I've never really understood what a sump pump is. In fact, for years I thought it was a sub pump. Because, you know, it goes under things. Like the ground. Well our sump pump sits in a concrete hole, about 10 inches below the floor of our basement. It's not really the best system, but we've had other things to worry about in our quest to revive our 1950s cape.

Well, before we headed out to grab some coffee (which turned out to be a good thing, as my local DnD was afloat in the coppermine brook. Or well, you know, underwater at least. I don't think the building was floating), we headed to my parents house to grab some hose in order to extend the drain pipe on our.. sub/under/sump (what is a sump anyway?). My dad, in true Dad fashion, thought that along with the hose, we should also take some Naval Jelly (of which he has 10 containers) -- you know, to clean the stern of our... uh... house, some dry gas, and some fuel injector cleaner (I guess in case our house goes under water and we need to make a fast get away?). And a video camera. Because, you know... somewhere in all of that, there are some serious America's Funniest Home Video moments to be had.

So we go back to our house, and alas, more water has come in the basement, and we officially have to make efforts to drain the 1 inch of water seeping everywhere quickly. It's just as well - I had to clean eventually. I was just hoping to have a nice rainy day in, put on some Diana Krall, bake a pecan pie... play some monopoly.... read a book....

Oh well. Hopefully tomorrow it will be a) too windy to do any work outside and b) not flood-like. And c) Windy, but not enough to knock down trees. I'd like power, because I have a well, and it's icky to not have running water. And d) you can't have movie day without power. And e) I really need to deep condition my hair tomorrow, so water must be clean, running and not too prevalent.


Friday, October 14, 2005

i'm all over the randomness today

mostly because it's friday, and fridays are for fun!

just some random funny thoughts to counteract our seriousness in the last few posts:

my class of 95 Bristol Eastern High School reunion is coming up soon, providing of course, it's planned. I haven't been invited, which could be a telling sign that I wasn't nearly as well-liked as I thought I was.

I had a dream last night that I was on a crowded airplane sitting with my parents. My husband wasn't with me, as he was on another plane going to Vegas, but on it with me were four of my ex-boyfriends. I learned that my parents really liked one and hated the rest. And they were also trying to convince me that I should be wearing more makeup and needed to have a baby. And they were like 10 years older than they are now. totally odd.

also, if it rains any more, i'm hoping that the norwalk river will rise and reclaim the banks -- which would include my building. how much flooding do you think our office building would need to sustain in order to close?

my rabbit - who should be named Humper - thinks I am the devil. i walked into his room twice today -and each time, he reacted by levitating, much to the dismay of my dog, who thought for sure he was being mocked and teased.

and lastly, i'm in the Connecticut Rennaissance Faire this weekend. let's not all laugh at me at once.

I need a vacation from my vacation.

Ah domestic tranquility. I wish so much that I had you more than one day a week.

I am back from my vacation. Thanks to two of the best house/dog/menagerie sitters ever, everyone is safe and happy and things are right back on schedule.

As KAT alluded to, I have just celebrated my 1 year anniversary. Fittingly, the paper anniversary. We had a quick year. There was so much that we experienced from October 8 2004 to October 8 2005 that it skipped by so quickly that we both nearly forgot all of the craziness in the weeks before our wedding.

In the past year, we've gone through family drama and tragedy, babies being born, the idea of babies being born, work stress and changes, quarterlife crises and the regular stress of homeownership. It's a lot to ask of any one person to bear all of these burdens, so it's nice to have a rock to lean on, or in my case, a husband.

J is a blessing to me. We are so uniquely opposite each other in personality that you'd think we'd clash more than we do. But underneath it all, we've somehow found some common cord thicker than thread to weave our lives together. When we were traveling to our resort, I heard my thoughts voiced. I looked over, and it occurred to me that he regularly voices the things in my head. It's one thing to say -- "I was just thinking that" - but when it starts to happen regularly, you know there's something bigger there.

Sure we squabble. He's a horribly sore loser at setback and gin rummy. But I'm also a terrible whiner and feel the need to voice my opinion more times than would probably be welcome in any other household.

It's a big world. There's so much discord, mistrust, harsh things and violence in it. But I sleep at night knowing that no matter what comes my way -- be it a burgular or a heartbreak, my husband sleeps with a bat next to him so that he can swing at whatever comes our way. It's just up to me to wake him up.


Do you know where your friends are?

Although I’m huge on quotes, I’m not going to share any this time (OK, maybe one, but you’re going to have to keep reading to get it). But have you ever noticed how many quotations there are about friends? In case you’re not a big dork like me and you don’t keep a quote book, I’ll tell you that there are a lot. I’ve found plenty more quotes about friends than I have about family.
Perhaps there’s something about friendship that inspires people to say poetic things about it. Family is just kind of there… but friends are the people you’ve found worth the time and effort to have in your life.
Of course there’s a reason for this rant… I spent some time with my sister recently and we drove each other crazy. Although we shared a room until I left for college and obviously shared a similar history for all those years, we have become very different people. Not bad different, but definitely different.
I had a friend who was a big advocate of not getting sucked into the whole family commitment thing. He believed that no one should feel obligated to spend time with their parents, siblings or other relatives simply because of the titles. I’ve often preached this to friends, telling them that it’s OK to choose to spend the holidays with their friends instead of their families if that’s what will make the days more enjoyable.
But it’s easier said than done.
I’m not writing off my family. We’ve learned what works for us in terms of spending time together—we know what our limits are. I’ve never gotten together with them without laughing my butt off so it’s not like I’m having a bad time.
But there’s something to be said for friends. They are the people you choose to be with, rather than those who are chosen for you. There’s a quote that says a friendship is (don’t worry, this isn’t the official friend quote you’ll be getting) is the recognition of one’s soul in another person and the delight in that recognition.
I spend hours emailing my friends, talking on the phone with them and sitting around their dining room tables playing cards because I want to. I spend way too much money on cell phone bills and often give up sleep for the promise of a better time, but it’s worth it.
And now, time for the official quote (much better than I ever could have said it…):
“Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never, ever the same.”
Now, go find a friend and give them a hug.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Domestic Bliss… or at least Domestic Satisfaction

SJ took a much-deserved anniversary trip with her husband this week, leaving me in charge of her well-equipped kitchen, a rabbit with no talents other than the ability to hump any human body part that gets too close and a hyper dog named Bailey. Did I say hyper? I meant incredibly, perpetually, continuously, humongously, totally and insanely hyper. He’s cute, no doubt, but his year on earth has ceased to calm him in any ways detectable by the human eye. Although he’s mastered “sit,” “paw” and “lie down” (and can be commanded using only sign language, no less) he has yet to learn what “Go away while Aunt Busty watches her stories” means. Despite the yelling (by me) and scratching (by him) and the drooling (him and sometimes his Uncle Chris), he’s a fun dog to have around. I didn’t realize my life was missing a dog until this one came into it full-time this week.
While I valued my nights at home in my apartment with no dog walking duties and no responsibility to cook if I didn’t feel like it, I think I’ve found something better. The last two nights, I looked forward to going to my temporary home because I knew Bailey would be excited to see me (my spider plants probably enjoy having me around, but don’t do much to show it!) I’ve also loved doing some of the duties I shunned, such as cooking nutritious meals, dishes and not living in a pigsty. Knowing Bailey’s Uncle Chris was coming by, I cooked dinner both nights (hint: preparation goes much smoother when fueled by a glass– or three– of wine) and we enjoyed spending the evening watching a movie, talking and commanding Bailey to stop trying to nip at, smell, lick or torture us further.
I’ve been calling Chris my “pretend husband” this week and he’s really lived up to his duties. He called to change our plans the other day, making sure I wasn’t upset by having to delay our plans for lasagna. The next night, he called to say he would be late and dutifully picked up a missing ingredient on his way over. He also took Bailey out at the point where I wasn’t sure I could face another tromp through the wet grass in the dark while the monster picked out the perfect place to poop. It was nice to have a partner.
So, I’m no longer convinced that I’ll be a poor mate because I value my independence too much. While I will need some time to myself (I will never give up marathon shoe shopping trips and girls’ nights, no matter how old I get!), I think I can handle everything that comes with being in a relationship. Of course, it’s only been two days. You might want to check back with me next week and see what I have to say about it then…

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Happy Anniversary... uh.... KAT

KAT: The voicemail message I received from SJ the other day: “Happy Anniversary! It was three years ago today we accidentally became friends.”
As legend goes, SJ wore a loudly patterned shirt to her interview at the paper I worked for. I took one look at it and the black-framed glasses she wore and her general aura of artsiness and said to myself, “We'll never be friends.” Apparently, I don't know myself well because I fell for her after a night that included a restaurant opening, changing clothes in the car together, a haunted graveyard, changing clothes in the car together (Like Mom always said… there's no better way to get to know a person than to get naked with them!)
and a night out at a bar. I could get schmaltzy about what followed, such as the hours of listening to me cry or complain about one thing or another, the adventures we've had in Mystic, Boston and New York, how she showed up at my door with ice cream when I needed it most or myriad other times she was there for me… but that wouldn't be my style. (As Mom also said, “Sincerity is rarely funny.”) So I'd rather focus on the crazy, silly times (it's what we're both best at anyway!) Like the all-out pen fights we used to have in the newsroom, the times we skipped out of work for “Dairy Queen runs,” (yes, we know we had the best jobs ever!) watching people strain their necks trying to follow our storytelling style and all the times I've almost choked from laughing so hard. It's just unfortunate that SJ is married now and our time together has been cut back to only five emails a day, one daily phone call and a couple of card games here and there!

SJ: First thing’s first: It wasn’t a loudly patterned shirt. It was STRIPED. And small stripes at that. And black, tan, turquoise striped. It’s not like I walked in wearing a circus tent or anything.(I’m really stuck on this circus theme.) And also, we totally only changed clothes once that night in the car.
In honor of our friendship, I’m currently wearing my mystic sweatshirt.
My first impression of KAT was mingled. I recall a conversation happening around me while I was doing my “test” article. She certainly didn’t seem friendly (obviously, I'm a great judge of character). Or at least, not to me. Clearly, she was put off by my keen fashion sense. But, because I’m so nice, I decided to give her another shot. We were the only two in the newsroom most often, well, us and NaySayer Bob, so we might as well be friends. So our first adventure was the night out at the
short-lived Tiffany room, mingling among Bristol’s elite. One thing about KAT, she has limited variety in her wardrobe—let’s just say she knows what works and sticks to it. Her winter outfit of choice: black short skirt, black boots, red sweater. Summer outfit: pink or white tank top (or both layered) and pink cardigan with denim capris. And the skirt didn’t work for the rainy cold night of the Haunted Graveyard opening. So after a few drinks at the Tiffany room, and the aforementioned change, we went to Lake Compounce. Considering we had been lukewarm on the outset, it’s amazing what some dark narrow hallways, some ghosts and some freaky stalker monsters will do to you.

KAT: As Mom always said, a good way to get to know a person is to grope them in a dark room! (This “Mom” apparently talked a lot and said some dumb things… but in this case she was right). I’d like to think that SJ and I saw something in each other that we knew would work. More likely, we were both bored and thought it would be great fun to take advantage of some free food and a free walk through the Haunted Graveyard. But that doesn’t explain the hours of fun since.
Ours is an un-definable friendship— mostly because SJ won’t let me assign her any titles. We’ve agreed that we’re cohorts and comrades, and that I’ll miss her as much as I’ll miss the cottage when I move. Other than that, we’re still working on being able to hug without looking too awkward. What it comes down to is this: it’s been a fun three years and here’s to three more! Wait… I mean 30, or even more, or… you know what I mean.

SJ: I was once labeled elitist, so now I approach life with a Marxist dislike of titles and classifications. Or mostly because I fear it makes me sound hopelessly preteen to say she's my BFF. But face it, I totally Luv her - she rocks the cazbuh and if I had a half-heart necklace to give her, I would.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Love and marriage... and the perfect china pattern

Anytime you begin to feel sorry for yourself and feel like things just couldn’t get any worse, I invite you to attend a torturous little event called a department store bridal show. I went to one last week because I love my friend MM to death and she wanted to go in order to get some ideas for her wedding. I learned during the course of the two-hour event why she and I are such good friends—because she doesn’t take things too seriously either and is still my friend after listening to me giggle and whisper comments all night.
I just couldn’t help myself. It was like being transported to another dimension-- the one where money is not a consideration and brides are given permission to become the selfish, demanding “bridezillas” they sometimes turn into. The show included two presentations from representatives of companies that provide china, silver and other items to the store. I’d be hard pressed to choose which presentation was more obnoxious—the one that used every stereotype about men ever written (“Ladies, you know men won’t stop and ask for directions.”) or the one where the woman advised the brides, “Your mom, your friends, your mother-in-law and your husband will try to tell you what to do. But this is about you and what you want.” (I’m sorry, I thought this was about making a commitment to your spouse in front of your friends and family—not how much loot you can rake in!) She also advised the brides, “This is like a Christmas list. You should put everything on it you’ve ever wanted.” At that point, I was ready to sign up for a registry that included “A sense of perspective,” “True love” and “Smaller hips.” (Oops, that last one slipped in!)
Anyway, the night was capped off with a fashion show that included a male model with one move (“Walk to the front of the runway, stomp, stomp, turn head… walk to back and repeat.”) and one of the best narrators I’ve ever heard (in terms of material for my blog—not for anything she said). The woman—the manager of the bridal registry department at this store—was a short, squat, 65-year-old with a smoker’s voice. Which is what made it so funny to hear her say things like, “The luxurious fabrics against your skin” and hit on one of the male models.
Like I said, I’m glad I’m friends with MM and not with any of the woman trying to make the brides believe gifts equal true love. We had a ball filling in MM’s fiancĂ© about the evening and as we all laughed about it, I recognized what will make their marriage last—and it’s not a $200 silver charger to accent their dining room table. It’s not the amount of gifts they’ll get at their wedding, how expensive her dress is, what color the bridesmaids wear or when the invitations go out. It’s about two people who care about how the other spent the day, who can scoff at company reps who have no idea what creates happiness in a relationship, who are fun enough to have a chocolate fountain at their wedding and who are willing to put up with some girl from Connecticut who couldn’t help but laugh.