Monday, February 27, 2006

I'm turning myself in to the fashion police.

So do you ever look in the mirror in the ladies room at work and wonder what happened to you that makes you wear clothes that your mom bought you for Christmas two years ago and you had sworn you would return because it’s so not you?

I hate, hate, hate getting ready for work in the morning.

I have the best of intentions the night before, and think “I’m going to wear my contacts, and a skirt, with my fabulous black anne klein pumps” but then show up wearing camel wool pants that should have been pressed with a grey cable knit sweater so big and bulky that you can’t hide the fact that it was once your husband’s?

I absolutely realize that I am such a prime candidate for a makeover that I live in constant fear of seeing the crew from “What Not to Wear” showing up at my workplace. I’d promise them I have suits, fashionable pointy-toed shoes and lots of smart button down silk shirts and bright colors, and I do have skirts that go above the knee, tastefully.

But despite my frequent Avon orders, I don’t wear lots of makeup, the clothing I do choose to wear is best described as “casual and quick and usually matching,” as opposed to “just stepped out of j. crew’s career section,” and wear the same comfy steve madden loafers almost every day. It just doesn’t matter to me that they don’t always match.

I’d say, that it’s possible that I’m fashionably depressed. is that possible?

white space

um. the internet took a break? i have no idea as to what happened to our blog, and why a big white spot was left in its place.

but we're still here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A conversation with a dog.

This is a Friday ritual between me and Bailey.

Bailey: Whimper, whimper.

Me: Bales! Mommy wants to sleep until 7:30. Will you let mommy sleep until 7:30 please? It's Friday and you know mommy wants to get sleep on Fridays.

Bailey: Whimper. *smash. (He's swatted at his food bowl for the extra metallic clang to emphasize his point: Let me out of the crate, now, or you won't sleep tonight either.)

Bailey: Whimper!

Me: FINE. I'll be down in five minutes. (I rearrange the covers over my ears.) You know, Bales, it's not like you didn't just leave the bed. You've been down there for a half hour. Chill out

Bailey: Whimper, yawn, stretch.

Bailey: Whimper, whimper.

Me: I'm ignoring you until it's at least 7:15.

Bailey: Whimper. BARK!!!!

Me: FINE! (I trudge downstairs. Open his crate door, whereupon he jumps on me and shoves his tongue up my nose.)

Bailey: YAWWN. (He settles down on the couch.)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

All I do is dream...

The other day I mentioned I have weird dreams. As an example, here's one I had this morning…
I dreamt my friend Renee was getting married, as she did last summer. After the wedding, we went to my dad’s house to take pictures. That’s when Renee and I decided to wade into the pond in all our wedding finery (I was a bridesmaid, as I was last summer). We got a few feet into the pond when the bottom suddenly dropped out and we were completely submerged.
My first thought was, “Oh no, Renee’s hair is going to be ruined!” But she was just floating peacefully underwater (she was very, very calm at her wedding, which may be where that part came from). Anyway, I grabbed her arm and pulled her to the surface.
As we got out of the pond, I noticed that the water had wrinkled her dress, but didn’t ruin it. In her usual calm demeanor, Renee said that the rumpled dress actually looked good. (For some reason, she wasn’t worried about her hair or make-up and I can’t recall how they looked because we were so concerned with her dress in the dream).
We went into a bedroom and I began to fool around with a television, trying to turn it on. Renee mentioned that her mom was getting her another dress to wear, but she thought she would leave on the rumpled one because she liked how it looked.
But I noticed parts of the skirts on her dress and on mine were falling off. It turns out the skirts were covered with popcorn that had been painted gold. (I know, I’m a classy dresser even in my dreams!) I woke up while watching the gold popcorn fall to the ground.
Any dream interpreters out there? Or any weird dreams people care to share?

I pulled an ABC News.

I confess, if you’re a regular blog watcher of ours, then you may have noticed some small changes made to the previous entry. This was for one reason, and one reason only: my sister told my mom about our blog.

Clearly, my entry was written in the comedic stylings of my snarky sense of humor. However, after the damage control I had to run after writing the bridal column for the local paper (“I can’t believe you wrote about the ciocis!”), I’ve decided to self-edit just a wee bit.

I love my parents -- and my sisters -- dearly (although T is totally out of the will)... but sometimes, they don't exactly get my humor.

the great thing about moving.

KAT is packing up for her big move, so I’ve taken over temporarily in the goal to blog everyday for our viewing public.

So, I thought, in honor of her attempt at packing her life into boxes, I’d share my thoughts on moving.

The great thing about moving is that it gives you the opportunity to get rid of junk. Except, this is mostly just theory.

Because in practicality, you get tired and run out of time shortly before the move and all of your intentions to weed out half-melted candles, ripped socks and shoeboxes filled with old letters from the stuff you need for everyday life are gone, just like all of the boxes you put aside for weeks before the move when you still have at least seven boxes worth of stuff waiting patiently in a haphazard pile.

When I moved into my house, I was lucky in that my mom did most of my packing. Well kind of lucky. Really, she dumped my stuff into boxes with really no order to them whatsoever, which is pretty much fine because that's how my room was organized anyway. Just the other day I opened a box in my basement and was amazed to find one single cd in a pile of winter socks (none matched). Well not really amazed, because chances are, that cd was in my sock drawer for no explicable reason. But that’s the kind of thing that if I put some effort into moving, I’d totally eliminate.

And before you think I’m totally spoiled, I should also point out that I was busy knocking down a wall at the time that my mom was empyting my drawers into boxes. And really, I think she was eager for the storage space.

I think once you get to a certain saturation point with your stuff – whether that point is “can’t fit in an 18 wheeler” or “can’t fit into my civic” – it’s time to reflect on what you need to get through life and what’s better left behind.

Sure, you might not need that old copy of the stories of Winnie the Pooh, but really, if that’s turns that frown upside down on a rainy day, I say save it for a blustery day. And while you might have totally thought that IKEA coffee table was just what you needed last year, it may be time to unload it on someone else trying to furnish their first apartment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fever! In the morning.. fever all through the... work day.

I have a fever right now of 101.2 go ahead. ask me how I know. it’s because I have a thermometer in my car. so that’s a big “HA!” to all of you who criticize me for driving around like the equivalent of a bag lady.

I knew I was sick! Only, I feel badly asking to go home. I wish work were like school, so that when you could show a fever, they automatically send you home.

Instead, I have to manage through another two teleconferences.

One hour, three miles later

Last night I left work at 5 p.m., hoping against anything to get home around 6:30 and take a nap. I’m fighting something over the past couple of days and all I want to do is sleep. and take Tylenol.

So naturally, one of the lightest traffic days of the year, I sat in the no-exit zone on the parkway for an hour, alternating between blasting the heat in my car so little flora didn’t overheat and flipping through bereft traffic guides who all had the same thing to say:
“Ooo.. the parkway is a parking lot. Don’t take it.”

There were also a plethora of the old “why do you park in a driveway and drive in a parkway” jokes thrown around at the expense of those of us waiting for them to clear the accident.

So instead, I sat there, listening to one of the few benefits to working 70 miles south: Wendy Williams. I love her absolute honesty, her crazy moments where she hops off the subject at least five times and her very personal stories about things that you know everyone does but no one admits to. She’s fantabulous.

I also played my favorite Fairfield county driving game: count the luxury cars. You have to pick just one kind, because without a pen and paper, you just can’t keep track. Like last time, I counted Audis. I got to 56. So last night, I counted BMWs, which are like the Honda civics of Fairfield. After 76, I stopped counting. I thought it be a more interesting game to count actual Honda Civics, but once you get north of the Sikorski bridge, it’s just not fun anymore.

I got home at 7:35. J heated up my dinner, poured me a glass of wine and by 8:05, drool was starting to form. I managed to watch one female ice skater before carrying my carcass upstairs to bed.

so naturally, my dreams were full of ice skater costumes, with over-the-top narration and like 12,235 luxury cars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

An alarming way to wake up

To qualify the following story, I should probably share the fact that I have very wacky (sometimes very vivid) dreams and that I am not a very good “waker upper.” I’m often groggy in the morning and will sometimes remember speaking to a person, but have no idea what I said to them. It’s always entertaining to talk to the same person later to see what I said when I had no way to self-edit my end of the conversation!
Anyway, I stayed at the PH’s place last night. His alarm went off before 7 a.m. and he got up to shower. I was sleepy and dozed off again. I thought I woke up a few minutes later, but it was actually 8:20 a.m.– 20 minutes after the PH was supposed to be in the office.
Thinking he was still in the bathroom getting ready and not wanting him to get in trouble for being late, I jumped out of bed to go rush him along. Still not very awake, I noticed the clothes he slept in on the floor. In my stupor, my first thought was that he had melted like the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz.” I now realize how silly that sounds, but it seemed to make sense in the state I was in at the time.
It turns out the PH returned from the bathroom shortly after getting up, got dressed, kissed me on the forehead and left for work without my waking up. It makes much more sense than him melting in the middle of the bedroom. I’d like to think I would have woken up for that!

the good girl's gonna go bad.

warning, this is a rant.

I’m recovering today after a random stomach virus that had me up all night for no reason other than to make me miserable this morning. and in order to compound my feelings of dread this morning, I got an email that made me scream so loud and so long in my head that I’ve given myself a headache.

Have you ever had a drama queen for a friend?

I have. I’ve had one for a while and I’ve always tried to be patient, but I think I’m just about at the end of the rope. When things seem totally normal to me, things are horrifically awful to her. She just wrote me a doozey of a long letter telling me that because I haven’t seen her and barely talked to her in six months that I clearly don’t value our friendship and that I am the worst friend in the world. I am, actually, a bad, bad person. (“think about it, sj, would a good person make her friends feel bad?” there’s a healthy dose of irony in that)

Truthfully, I tuned out after the third paragraph. The gist of it was: you are a bad person for making me feel badly about myself. You don’t value our friendship, you never call me, you never want to talk to me, you see your other friends more than you see me and I only live 30 minutes away (really, at this point, can you blame me?), etc, etc. it went on and on. My favorite was that I apparently am not allowed to spend too much time with my family since: "You're not as close to your family as I am to mine."

I think that if it was possible to include a wav file so that dramatic music played in the background, she would have done it.

I had tried to take the high road explaining that I don’t have the ability to talk to everyone all the time, and I spread myself thin amongst my friends etc.

I still love my friends and consider them all wonderful people who don’t make me check in with them all the time because, truly, they understand that just because I don’t call them back within a day or two, it doesn’t mean I don’t love them any less and won’t call them.

I don’t think I’ll bother responding to the email.

There are enough stresses in everyday life that I don’t need to deal with toxic people. If you think i am evil, do not be my friend. i think that's a general rule for everyone to follow.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

my funny valentines.

some women are lucky enough to have a valentine on that special day.
and some of us are lucky enough to have three.

I woke up Tuesday morning to the most clich├ęd box of chocolates you’d ever see. There it was. a red satin covered heartshape box with a big fake rose on the top. I thought I would have gone my days never actually receiving such a gift, but there it was. beckoning me with all of the kitsch and sought after valentine splendor a box of chocolates could muster.

along with that box, there was a card. it was thoroughly romantic and sweet and had, as my husband described it “lots of words.” I read through it, hand over heart, stumbling a little when I got to the end.

“Love always, J, Bailey and Crispix.”

Now, it’s true that Crispix does have an oedipal thing going on with me when I wear his favorite red sweater. But does Bailey really get a tingle in his toes when I kiss him? He doesn’t even really have toes. I mean, it’s true that the first kiss I received on Tuesday morning was indeed from my 50 pound springer, sprawled along side me, wedged between us like a six year old, head resting on my pillow, waiting for me to open my eyes.

Inevitably, the first thing I see when I open my eyes is Bailey’s pink tongue, and I’m just barely awake enough to know not to open my mouth. J and I have both noticed that he seems to sense when we are awake, or at least, about to be awake. Every time one of us wakes in the morning or in the middle of the night, he takes it as a sign to move up from the foot of our bed to cuddle up to our faces.

Maybe he wants to reassure us of his love and devotion? Or maybe he feels that the pillow would offer him better neck support so he could deliver early morning kisses far more efficiently and with little stress to his muscles.

I questioned J about the card. He told me, “Bailey and Crispix forgot to go out and get you a card, so they asked if they could go in on mine.”

Somehow, it’s not hard to imagine this conversation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Girls just wanna have fun… and food right in front of them, and milked down martinis and a smaller, comfortable crowd….

on Friday night, I had a long-awaited girls night, where I learned these lessons:
girls do not eat. unless it’s right in front of them.
people who refer to themselves in conversation amongst friends as Christians, generally speaking, prefer weakened martinis.
it’s more fun in groups of five or six.
digital catchphrase is more fun when other people are drunk too. not just you.
I really miss spending time with a few of these gals.

So far, I’ve held a few small soirees at our house, and my normal set up is to have food in the dining room, buffet style, and entertain in the living room. it’s usually worked fine. except this time, I had mountains of food, and there was very little traffic into the
food room. there were still mountains of food at 9:30. the mountains dwindled by 11, but there were still some hefty leftovers. (thank goodness there was a blizzard on Sunday.)

they eventually congregated, and ate, but sheesh. I never would have labeled my girlfriends as dainty eaters. what do I know, apparently?

it was an interesting mix. there were a handful of whom I would refer to as my close friends: joy, KAT and stac. and then there were those that I really see like once a year. and then there were those that I see once every two or three years, but feel bad for them, and want to include them. and they bring their friends, whom I haven’t seen in 10 years.

but all in all, I think it went well. the diehards stayed until 1:30 or so and despite my protests, helped me clean up the food. there were a few cathartic laughs, and it was a chance for a lot of women to get reacquainted with each other.

it was probably more delicate than most of my girl nights. I was concerned we were off to a rough start when two women complained that my martinis were too strong (*really?! do you not know me at all?!*), but at the end of the night, chocolate was eaten, laughs were loud and three of us killed a huge bottle of yellow tail.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Stir crazy

What is it with men and directions? After spending four days with the PH (one of them snowed into my apartment), I feel I have a special insight into what makes men tick.
Yesterday was the perfect day to continue to pack up my apartment for my impending move. Other than having to unbury our cars and move them for the plow, there wasn’t much else on the agenda. I learned in a very short time that the PH is a worse procrastinator than I am as he came up with something new to do every time I mentioned packing… but that’s another story.
In the evening, when I finally settled into my packing, sorting and organizing, the PH decided to help me use up some of the food in the cabinets by baking chocolate chip cookies (I will pause for everyone to think, “Aww, how sweet.” OK? Great.) I gave him all of the ingredients, the measuring cups and a recipe. They were all accepted graciously… except for the recipe, which received an “I’ll just throw a bunch of stuff together. I’ll figure it out.”
Keep in mind, this is from a guy who managed to kill not one, but two batches of those Hershey’s kiss peanut butter cookies at Christmastime. Don’t those have, like, three ingredients?
Anyway, he set to work and did well until I noticed the sound of the mixer straining to combine all the ingredients. For some reason (he says I told him to do it!), the PH combined all of the dry ingredients without adding the eggs. When he did add them, they did little to break up the massive ball of dough, but the recipe still seemed salvageable.
The kicker came a few minutes later when I heard him say, “Oops.” Not a word I wanted to hear when he was using my kitchen and I was trying to finish my packing project! It turned out that he didn’t have enough chocolate chips and decided to improvise by adding cocoa to the recipe. I give him big points for the idea, but he didn’t realize that a little cocoa goes a long way and added more than necessary (I finally got him to admit to an entire cup, but I suspect it may have been double that).
We ended up tossing another egg into the mix (at that point, I figured the only place we had to go was up… besides, how bad can it be if it’s made of chocolate?) The “cookie” mix had more of a brownie or cake texture and, in the end, we cooked up a bunch of little brownie bites that looked a little funny, but were delicious with ice cream.
The Blizzard of ’06 will hold two lessons for me: the PH and I can spend four days together without anyone getting killed or maimed, and when in doubt, add ice cream.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Time Space Distortion. or Brangelina.

cnn posted a story yesterday on their web site about the media frenzy about Angelina jolie. Maybe I’ve been out of the newsprint media for too long, but doesn’t it sound to you like when the news covers a story about what others are covering, there’s going to be a rip in the fabric of the universe and soon space and time will no longer exist?

or maybe it’s just me.

at first I thought I was going to be all out of sorts yesterday morning in the office by not watching the super bowl. I was afraid that people would be talking about it and the commercials and I was going to be hopelessly lost among current culture allusions.

Not so much, it turns out. only an email from my sister in the morning, and a review of the ads in slate made me conscious of the fact that I missed out on good television. We don’t have cable, or good bunny ears. We only get fox, pbs and nbc. So instead of watching small Clydesdale ponies, we watched a three hour Simpsons/Family Guy marathon. Fantastique.

It was in fact, the beginning of the treehouse of horror episode that made me think of the whole media/mind/space fabric vortex dilemma. I give all credit to bat groening.

so did I miss out? I read the recap of commercials, and I didn’t eat any wings, so does that make me a counter-culture loser? Should I gorge myself on French onion dip in order to catch up with the rest of society?

I’m sad I missed some great commercials, but that’s it.

In other news, I’m wearing a dress to work today, which is the opposite as to how I usually dress for work (steve madden loafers, pants, sweater, another sweater on top of that, no make up, minimal hair effort, glasses). today’s fun game is going to be counting the number of people who comment on today’s shift from the norm. there are only 29 people in my office, and at least a couple of those are out today.

so far the score is: 4. the number of people I’ve actually talked to today: 5.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I have an entire month to commit a felony.

okay- first off, I'm not going to commit a crime. Let me just say that right off the bat. I was being facetious.

But, I did get a summons for jury duty. Now, I did see that episode of 7th Heaven (which was one of two episodes I've ever seen, for the record), but I didn't walk away from the uberschmaltz feeling that I must perform my patriotic duty.

Because let's face it. 7th Heaven does not take place in New Britain. Yeah. Exactly. So I told my boss about my summons, and he laughed at me (well, over email). It's not that it is going to intrude on my all important life. It's more that I'm deathly afraid of getting on a jury for a gang-related shooting and fear retaliation.

I'm sure the chances of this are small. But I have watched entirely too much television in my life to think that it can't happen.

The first thing I did was scroll down the list of excuses, but I'm not over 70 or the lieutenant governor, or an alien (in the non-us citizen way).

I used to work with a womn who got a note from her doctor that said she suffered from "severe mental problems" so she wouldn't have to serve on a jury. Having worked with this woman, I can safely say her doctor wasn't wrong in writing such a note. (Seriously. And she thought I was odd for sorting my M&Ms by color. She once called my co-workers to tell them about her anal fissures.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

i may have broken my hand. or chipped something.

this is something i could only do.

in driving home a particular point that i am passionate about: "our name is on these releases -- it's important we don't send out crap." i punched my hand with my other fist.

and it *hurt*. and still does a little. is it possible to punch yourself and hurt yourself? fight club teaches us that yes, this is possible. but to do it accidentally?

it takes a special kind of clutz to do that, folks. and that's me.

Husbands are great. Focuses are not.

Wednesday I just wanted to get home. I had gotten into work early (which is good because I was on a spree for a while when I could not get in before 9:15) and had a quiet meeting-free day and could easily sneak out by 5:15. so I tried that. and I got to my car, and I opened the door, sat in, put my key in the ignition and nothing.

it’s not that my car wouldn’t start. it’s that the key just wouldn’t turn. I tried, for 20 minutes straight, twisting the wheel, hitting the break, everything I could think of. I had graphite in my car, so I went back up to my office, opened the tube and went back down to my car. nothing. except that now I was covered in black stuff and my key wouldn’t turn.

at 6:15, my co-worker who parked a few cars over from me came out to go home. I asked him to try, figuring maybe if he really jammed it in, it may work. plus, this guy is totally mr. fix-it, so I thought if anyone that I work with might be able to help me, it’s him.


somewhere around 5:45 I called j to tell him my plight. he sighed. did I try turning the wheel? yes. did I try the lubricant? yes. did I try everything else? yes. so he came down to rescue me.

at 7 pm, he pulled into the parking lot with my other key and a hammer. something was going to work.

sure enough, after trying for maybe 5 minutes, the majestic purr of the focus growled, ready to hit the 70 miles to home.

I could tell that while he was putting on the face of annoyance, he was pleased with himself. sure he might jokingly refer to himself as the man behind the woman, but there are times when I think he likes being my knight in shining armor. like when I can’t open the sauce jar, turn my key or face the day – he’s always there to get me through it.

this has been a hellacious week. tgithe-day-i-work-from-home.