Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Learning to tie the Eastland knot again...

I happened to catch the fashion segment on the “Today” show the other day and learned to my horror that leggings are back in style! One of the anchors was actually wearing black leggings under her suit (and to think SJ gave me a hard time for wearing black nylons!)
I’m still recovering from the idea that leggings are cool, but it got me thinking about all the other fashions we had in middle school and high school.
First of all, the leggings on “Today” were plain– no lace at the bottom. Remember the lace? I always borrowed my sister’s leggings because she had them in hot pink, black and some other color. I had the boring white ones, but I remember all of them always having the coordinating lace at the bottom (to those faceless people who determine what’s “in style,” all I have to say is, you’re not fooling anyone. You can take the lace off the bottom, but we all realize you’re just bringing back something from 15 years ago).
When it wasn’t leggings, it was those tiers of socks under “pegged” jeans. An older girl I knew showed me how to peg my pants and had me convinced that she invented the style… until I went to college years later and discovered that my friends from different parts of the country were doing the same thing at the same time. I doubt Laura Johnson’s influence reached that far! But remember the scrunched socks? It was cool to get two different colors and layer them… under a pair of white Keds, of course.
And no memory of growing up is complete without talking about the bangs. I can’t imagine there are many girls who missed out on the hairsprayed roll of hair over the bangs that hung down over the forehead. That style probably did more to ruin the ozone layer than all the big factories combined!
I’m still shocked at the realization that leggings are back “in.” And I’m just praying that those bangs don’t come back… but just in case, I’m buying stock in hairspray companies.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day Musings...

*Memorial Day weekend… the unofficial start of summer, as radio DJs everywhere (including myself) have announced this week. It’s so cliché, but it feels true, especially with the warm weather FINALLY arriving in the Northeast (complaining about weather in New England is also cliché. It’s amazing how many people live here their entire lives, yet still seem shocked by the heat, the snow, the amount of rainfall, etc.)
*Remember that old rule about only being able to wear white between Memorial Day and Labor Day? I have a feeling that rule has gone by the wayside (otherwise, you’d never be able to wear “winter white,” right?)
*I read somewhere that Memorial Day is the holiday with the largest amount of beef consumption. I gave up red meat more than 10 years ago (want to join the list of the hundreds of people who demand to know why I did it? Make sure you’re eating a burger or steak while I explain in graphic detail how it seems more like human flesh to me than chicken does). Therefore, I don’t understand the appeal of a grilled burger, but I can get behind mustard being the favored condiment on hot dogs (actually, turkey dogs).
*Speaking of turkey dogs, I went to buy some brand name ones last night in the grocery store. They were $3.59 for 10 of them. But then I found some chicken dogs by a brand I had never heard of– eight for 99 cents! Being my father’s daughter, I went for the cheaper option. Then the PH left them out on the table all night. I may try one anyway (luckily, I didn’t inherit my dad’s penchant for food poisoning, so I should be OK).
*SJ is in Vermont this weekend fishing with her family. Understandably (at least if you’re a regular reader of this blog), it’s the most physically demanding activity her husband allows her to participate in! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for no snagged body parts, no hypothermia from falling out of the boat or any other creative ways SJ manages to find to injure herself!
I wish you all a long weekend of fun, relaxation, time with friends and family (which may nullify the relaxation) sunshine, burgers (don’t get me started…) and room temperature, cut-price chicken dogs. Have a great holiday!

Monday, May 22, 2006

shower the people.

in keeping with the bridal theme, i thought i'd blog my adventures in bridal showers this weekend.

it was a bridal shower for -- okay, now follow the dots, because this is tricky -- my husband's sister's husband's brother's fiance. or, if you prefer, the fiance of my husband's brother-in-law's brother.

the slightly wacky thing about this is that my husband's in-laws have their own gravitational pull. they expect us to celebrate holidays with them (like- not even necessarily the major ones, but things like Father's Day), which is kind of odd because that would mean that we'd be spending it with neither of our families. but anyway, it's nice to be that loved.

so yeah- bridal shower. lots of oohing and aahing over towels and a bride that clearly didn't want to be the center of attention.

i understand that showers, many times, are beyond the control of the bride. they are much more about the family. so i have a lot of sympathy for those brides that sit there, red-faced over the nighties and the implications of the honeymoon.

but man. they may be the most boring, most time-wasting activities ever.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Love is in the air… proposing is in the water

Five days ago, my focus was on the trip I had planned with the PH. We had booked a flight to Fort Lauderdale and were looking forward to four days of sun, sleeping late and romantic dinners.
The night before the trip, my friend Amy called to report that her boyfriend Andrew (they go together as well as their names do!) had popped the question. The two have been together for nine months and as much as Amy knew he was “the one,” I was surprised by how quickly the proposal came. I’m incredibly happy for them and know they will have a wonderful life together… but I was still shocked.
Nonetheless, we packed up and headed off to Florida on Saturday. There were a few jokes made about a surprise proposal on the beach (by me) and some threats to never propose (by the PH) but, other than that, it was a normal vacation… until 8:30 on Sunday morning.
That’s when my phone rang and my younger sister shared the news that her boyfriend, Mat, had proposed just a few minutes before! The engagement wasn’t entirely unexpected– they’ve been talking about marriage for most of the eight months they’ve been dating– but the timing was ironic. It was a rough way for the PH to greet the day and his congratulations to the happy couple sounded a lot like, “Gee, thanks, Mat.”
Seeing how pale the PH had gotten with the news, I assured him that I didn’t know anyone else who was expected to get engaged and told him the rest of the vacation would be spent not talking about engagements or weddings or anything similar.
Well, God had the last laugh when my phone rang while we were at breakfast on Monday morning. My best friend from high school, Lisa, was calling to announce her engagement to her boyfriend of more than three years, Jeremy. He had popped the question on their vacation in Mexico.
I couldn’t stop laughing at the irony. I haven’t had a friend announce an engagement in more than a year and suddenly, I got three calls in one weekend. Two of the weddings may actually take place this fall (for those keeping track, that makes five weddings for the PH and I this year) and Lisa will probably do the honors in Las Vegas in the spring (how fun is that wedding going to be?!?)
The PH, for his part, was able to get the rest of his breakfast down, but he did look a little green around the gills, as they say. I figured the best approach was to just ignore all the news for the rest of the day and have a good time on our vacation. Which is why I was shocked half an hour later as we walked toward CVS to buy suntan lotion and the PH pointed out the jewelry store next door and asked if I wanted to check out engagement rings! So that’s how we spent our morning… trying on diamond rings.
While the PH and I have had plenty of discussions about getting married, and we know we have found the person to spend the rest of our lives with, we both feel it’s too soon in our relationship to get hitched. He has always joked about having a year (until our lease is up) to propose and even said he thinks he’ll be ready in “two or three years.” But he gave himself away by suggesting the ring shopping.
Don’t get too excited… we agreed to put the issue on the back burner for awhile. We’ll let the excitement from the eight bajillion engagements from this past weekend die down before anything happens. Besides, who can afford a ring with all the wedding presents we have to buy?!?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

you've got to be kidding me.

i work for a small company. let me just put that out there. a small "firm" like company. and oh my lanta do i have days that make me laugh.

(of course, my previous entries also show you that i have days that make me want to quit, but i digress...)

in the course of my small company becoming a bigger company, i've somehow become the number one hr person. this is in no way reflected in my title, job description or day to day operations. but yeah. i do the interviews and resume searching.

so the other day when during the first five minutes of the interview, the interviewee used the word "shitty." i'm not even kidding. and today, i encountered a hand bruiser. i'm not exactly a strong and burly looking woman, so when this former college football player shook my hand, you'd think he'd be a little more gentle.

but no.

he actually bruised my fingers as one of my fingers was crushed against the ring i was wearing. and he proceeded to do this THREE TIMES. first when he was introduced. second when i rejoined him in the conference room to interview him on my own and a third time when i said goodbye.

maybe he thought my tears were somehow unrelated to the vice grip he held me hostage with.

i'm not a fan of the limp fish handshake, but surely we all agree that there is a line. the two handed grip of death should NOT be used during an interview. or at least, not in an interview with a pale reddishhead who looks like a kindergarten teacher.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

shoes and big hair

i can't explain it, but i seem to have entered a really out-of-character mental phase.

I have an uncontrollable desire to go shoe-shopping. and not just shoe shopping, but bright patent leather red heels with bows on them kind of shoes. i'm not a shoe girl. i regular wear the same ol' brown leather steve madden loafers. but, as you've probably noticed, sometimes, i am struck my random desires to give myself a fashion makeover. i'm about to skip past my jane austen phase and into my retro fashion phase.

i blame claire daines.

you know that game, that people like to play when they meet you for the first time -- the who do you look like game? more than once i've heard claire daines. i told this to j, and he thinks i'm a little nutty. until we rented shopgirl.

and as soon as he saw her, in her plain, retro clothes, with her simple, plain look, he laughed.

"wow. you *are* claire daines."

between that comment, and the comment from my old boss who once referred to me as the cat lady at work -- he meant it in a nice way to describe the way the people in the office follow me around looking for answers, but, the cat lady?

man. i'm the plain cat lady. i need to do something. and right now, red high heels seem to be the thing to fix it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Every attorney needs a battleship tattoo

Me: “Can I draw a tattoo on your leg?”
The Pretend Husband: “No.”
Me: “Why not?”
PH: “Because I don’t want a tattoo.”
Me: “What if I want you to have a tattoo?”
PH: “Then we’ll go to a tattoo shop.”
Me: “I don’t want you to have a real one. Can I just draw one?”
PH: “No.”

It’s unfortunate, but this is an example of the stunningly intellectual conversations that go on in our house. Don’t get me wrong– we sometimes talk about national events (“I heard Chris Daughtry got offered a job as the lead singer of Fuel after he got kicked off ‘American Idol.’”) and our future together (Me: “I want six kids.” PH: “Who’s the lucky guy?”). But more often than not, our conversations border on the inane.
Living together does weird things to people. I had a friend in high school who had no problem joking about various bodily functions while I sat next to her mortified by the topic. But you move in with a person and there’s no limit to what you’ll share. We’ve stopped short of calling the other person into the bathroom to show off our “accomplishments,” but there’s no end to the colorful descriptions about what goes on in there.
I could get all girly and talk about how nice it is to be able to share every little thing with each other and be so comfortable that we can talk about literally anything. But I won’t. I’m too busy designing the fake tattoo the PH will be sporting when he wakes up tomorrow.

Monday, May 08, 2006

SJ can't watch insurance commercials without crying. This may do her in.

With Mother’s Day around the corner (how could anyone “forget” to buy a card or gift? The advertising is everywhere!), it’s made me pretty contemplative. I’ve recently decided that one of the things I miss most about my mom is the fact that she doesn’t get to see her parenting pay off.
At a bridal shower the other day (don’t ask me which one… I went to three in a week!), the bride-to-be and her mom were reminiscing about the awesome parties they used to have. MM talked about the Miss America party that included an “evening gown” competition (even a fancy nightgown seems glamorous to a pre-teen) and judging by a panel of parents. Mrs. MM recalled having to come up with crazy categories so each “contestant” could win a title and a prize.
We spent time at Easter with the PH’s family. Having met some of the relatives only that day, even I was laughing as the PH’s cousins kidded their parents about some of the things they said and did while raising their children. I’ve learned that the best impressions are done by kids with a lifetime of watching their parents.
It stinks that I won’t get to kid my mom about how she used to get this certain scowl on her face when she wasn’t happy with me. Or how she would try punish me with a swat on the butt as I sprinted up the stairs… even when I was approaching my high school graduation! She planned awesome birthday parties for us. When I was seven or eight and the movie “Annie” was a hit, I went downstairs on the morning of my birthday to find an “Annie”-themed party. “Tomorrow” was blasting on the stereo, I think the balloons had Lil’ Orphan Annie’s face on them and she had even created a cake (from scratch) in the shape of Annie’s face, complete with miniature characters from the movie.
We also could always look forward to homemade cards on our birthdays. My mom, a passionate shutterbug, was known for creating little scrapbooks full of photos of the birthday person. It was fun to watch ourselves grow up (and go through some pretty goofy stages) as we flipped through the pages.
I wish I had the opportunity to make my mom laugh by imitating that scowl or bringing up the time she broke her toes by slipping in my brother’s vomit as he made a mad dash for the bathroom. She worked hard to raise three pretty decent kids (if I do say so myself) and it would have been fun to be able to have an adult relationship with her. For now, the memories have to be enough.
Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, May 06, 2006


so, in honor cinco de mayo, we had a fiesta at the office.

and maybe hanging the pinata next to the glass wall of the conference room wasn't the best idea in the world -- and perhaps we shouldn't have filled it with hard candy that, when whacked repeatedly by a curtain rod, takes on the consistency of shards of very sticky glass.

the margaritas (sans tequila) and mexican food were a huge hit. it was part of the new and improved image of our company that recently took a hit with 35 percent of our staff leaving in the past quarter.

but if there was ever a panacea for workplace dissatisfaction, it certainly involves a blender, a pinata and watching the higherups choke down some taco bell.


Today was my nephew's first birthday party. he's the cutest thing imaginable, and my sister made this music video with all of his pictures during the first year of life. it was particularly poignant, and if weren't for the adorable toddler crawling all over my lap and using my hair as reins, i may have cried.

it's amazing how quickly time flies. why, it seems like it was just the other day i was outside on the lawn barefoot looking for nightcrawlers, squealing as they tucked their bodies quickly back into the earth. oh wait. it was. okay, so perhaps everyone else is "growing up" and I'm merely aging....

Friday, May 05, 2006

Almost 30 and writing about poop...

I’m a mom. Not in the traditional sense where I have little ones who say witty things and resemble me in personality and looks. Nope, I’ve got a yappy little girl who– I hope– looks nothing like me. While she doesn’t say a lot of witty things, my little one can still be counted on to get herself into some very cute situations.
Molly, she who is fearless of water, forded a brook yesterday in a local park. Having the brilliant idea to get her to walk across the brook, Chris and I tried to set an example by stepping into the freezing cold water first. Molly looked as though she was ready to try it… until she put one paw in and discovered how cold it was. Then she just looked at us as though we were crazy (riiiight… WE’RE the crazy ones. At least we’re sane enough not to step in our own poop after dropping it on the lawn. Oops, I don’t mean we poop on the lawn. But wherever we do poop, we’re careful not to step in it. Oh, never mind.) It wasn’t until a bigger dog came along that Molly gave it a try. Apparently, obeying her parents doesn’t rank as high on her list of priorities as developing a crush on a strange dog and following him across raging waters.
What followed involved lots of sand, dirt and mud sticking to the wet Peekapoo hair. As I got into the car to go home, I looked through the windshield to find the Pretend Husband standing quietly with Molly sniffing around at the end of the leash. Two second later, he shouted, “Molly!” as she took off across the grass toward a pit bull. I watched his shoes fly up into the air as he chased her, trying to step on the end of the leash dragging behind our surprisingly quick puppy. To give credit where it’s due, he only caught her because she decided to double back toward the car and not because he’s quicker than her.
That was enough excitement for the day. The PH elected that I should be the one to cuddle the wet dog on the way home (seeing as I was wearing white work clothes and he had on scruffy shorts and all…) Curled in a shirt on my lap, Molly decided to give us a break and promptly went to sleep. “What a cutie,” I thought. Which was quickly followed by, “She’s just saving her energy to torture me later.”

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The ups and downs.

My regular day has turned radically irregular. I call this "the cycle" because it's a daily struggle to figure out whether or not I'm happy. People say to me - if you don't like your job, then leave it. And I think that I've found a tipping point-- it's if 4 or more times a day I think about finding something better.

This is kind of how it goes now:
8:24 a.m. @#$%@ traffic. I need to find something better.

8:53 a.m. Ooh. Look. A deer. It's so beautiful down here. I like that I can chill for an hour and a half each morning and listen to music.

9:03 a.m. See? Work isn't that bad. I'm so needed.

10:53 a.m. Jerks. I hate it here. Why do i stay.

11:59 a.m. I'm leaving for lunch and not coming back.

3:04 p.m. Oh, look. A nice email from a client. They really like me.

5:49 p.m. Wow, my days really fly.

6:14 p.m. How do I get my boss out of my office so that I can go home?