Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sisters are weird...

While emailing with SJ about her squirrel versus car versus cement pillar accident (if you are one of our bosses, you should know that we spend very little time doing this!), we found ourselves on the topic of sisters and childhood nicknames. I know, it's a strange leap from the accident to our sisters and we're not sure how we got there either...
But the topic was raised and we both had some contributions. I used to hate when my sister mocked my middle name by calling me "Anna-Banana." We also used to call each other "Sa-sa," which came about when one or the other of us was unable to pronounce "sister." (As a kid, pancakes were called "beep-bees" in my family-- Sa-sa probably doesn't seem so strange next to that!) We also used to feminize my brother's name and call him our sister-- and we sometimes still do it to annoy him.
At varying times, I was known as "Mother" (for my apparent overprotectiveness of my high school friends) and "R.F." (short for right fullback, my position on the soccer team). Nothing as creative as what SJ brought to the table!
According to SJ, "My sister used to call me a variety of things, and one of them was "sara-licious." It sounds somewhat odd now, and I don't know why she called me that. She also used to call me 'Monkey.' And I also had the nicknames 'Pilgrim' and 'Poundcake' at varying points in my childhood. So, I think now, I'd like to go by "Monkey Poundpilgrim." It can be my native American moniker."
OK, so our sisters aren't the only weird ones...

oops. *crack*. boom.

I was all set to write my next entry about how I cooked for my parents on Friday when this morning’s course of events changed my mind. I had an accident.

in the parking garage. with my car (just in case you were thinking I had suffered from incontinence). it was a momentary lapse of judgement that makes you ask: how much is a squirrel’s life worth? more than the cost of a $40 side mirror?

my parking garage is strange and curvy and an obstacle course every morning. but I have the curves down pat and I can navigate carefully through the concrete pillars and the expensive cars parked haphazardly without qualms. but this morning, as I was navigating through the pillars, a squirrel distracted me by running in my path. I swerved to the right. right. into. the pillar. only I was still moving, so my car suffered no dents, but my side mirror was lost to the cause.

it does not pay to be early, I’ve decided. so now I’m left with half a mirror. my plan is to try and fix it with some duct tape until I can get it into the shop, hopefully on Friday.

here’s to February being a bit brighter.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Going bald...

Fasten your seatbelts, kids, we’re going to be talking about a pretty hairy subject. Actually, we’re going to talk about a formerly hairy subject- my bikini area. Some people would be embarrassed to discuss such a personal subject on the Internet, but not me… In the interest of saving other women from what I went through, I’m willing to share my story.
I decided a few weeks ago to get my bikini area waxed. I did it partially out of my desire to resemble a porn star (not really, but I’m trying to keep our male readers interested in this story!) and partly because my friend MM (she who will be married soon), had mentioned possibly getting it done before her wedding. So I decided to help out with the research.
I’ve had my eyebrows waxed a few times and although it’s not the most pleasant experience in the world, I survived it. I’d say it’s a little worse than going to the dentist, but still not as bad as some of the blind dates I’ve been on! So I figured, how much worse could it be?
I won’t go into minute detail about this, but it involved discussing a very private part of my anatomy with a complete stranger. Actually, she wasn’t a complete stranger because she’s also my manicurist (a multi-talented manicurist, apparently). It also involved one of us taking our pants off, but I’ll leave the rest to your imagination (if the number of males reading our blog doesn’t go up after this, I’m out of ideas!)
To illustrate what it was like, I will tell you what the conversation with MM was after I left the place.
Me: “Oh my god! Don’t do it!”
MM: “Is it that bad?”
Me: “Oh my god! Don’t do it!”
MM: “Are you OK?”
Me: “Oh my god! Don’t do it!”
To be serious for a second, it wasn’t completely unbearable, but it definitely wasn’t pleasant. I recommended to MM that she get her eyebrows waxed first so she has an idea of what the pain is like before going for the gusto. And truthfully, I’m not saying I would never get it done again because a few hours of pain is better than having to balance on the slippery ledge of the shower while trying to shave every few days.
All that being said, I would need at least a million dollars to even *think* about the idea of a Brazilian wax. The manicurist said a tough biker chick who got one done started crying and claimed the pain was worse than childbirth.
Just some things to consider… Now, excuse me while I go ice my crotch.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Things that boggle my mind

– How teenage girls get out of the house in some of the outfits they wear. My mom would have killed me before letting me go to school in a cropped, low cut shirt, a short skirt and hooker boots.
– People who don’t wear seatbelts. Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself that extra chance in an accident?
– Why anyone cares who or what Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith or Angelina Jolie are doing.
– Those who spend their entire lives in one place. It’s one thing to spend a lifetime living in the same town, but another thing entirely if you don’t take the time to go out and explore this huge, wonderful world we live in.
– Paying $800 for car maintenance. It’s worth it to keep my vehicle going, but you’d think some of the $20,000 you dropped to buy the vehicle could be used to make parts that last for the life of the car.
– The lines that form at supermarkets every time snow is predicted. We live in New England and go through the same weather every winter. When was the last time you were stranded for more than a day? Do you really not have a one-day supply of food on hand?!?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Colin McEnroe vs. My Mom

I’m a huge fan of Colin McEnroe, radio talk show host, author, playwright, personality. Always have been – at least, since I first listened to his show in high school. Part of what endeared me to him was the fact that my mom hated him. I used to listen to his show when I was home from school during the day, and my mom would walk in and say:

“ugh. This guy. Turn him off.”

I’m not sure if it was because of his somewhat erudite diatribes about things that my mom never understood or even wanted to understand. Or maybe he did say something one day to spark my mom’s ire.

She thought he was smug. And maybe she wasn’t completely wrong.

My mom is a late-50s suburban Connecticut mom who stayed home with her three daughters and taught them all to sew and how to tend to a garden and who encouraged us to be respectful, taught us about traditions and the value of family. My mom did not repress us into domestic tranquility, but she also didn’t raise us to be hellions who won’t go gently into the good night.

My admiration of Colin McEnroe started in my teen rebellious phase, and then grew into a deeper appreciation for a writer who made his life doing what he loved. Besides all of this – the man is truly talented and he makes his way in life following his bliss – and maybe that can make a person come across as smug.

So it comes down to this: if I score tickets to the CT forum that he’s moderating, I may not mention it to her. It’s just easier than standing by and listening to my mom’s erudite diatribes about why he’s a jerk and why I should favor Ray Dunaway.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Letting loose...

If you’ll allow me to be a little girly– and definitely catty– for this post, I promise to go back to my mature and serene ways in future entries. Here’s the deal… before we began dating, the PH had a crush on a friend of his, with whom he spent a lot of time and with whom nothing ever developed.
Said friend (who I will “Candi” mainly out of spite and because it’s a name I can’t take seriously– kind of like this girl!) has become quite distraught upon hearing about various aspects of our relationship through other people. She has sent the PH emails and left phone messages telling him she is concerned about how fast our relationship is developing and sharing her worries about the situation.
Her first email after she heard about us dating stated, “I hope that she is not one of those girls, and we can still be friends and even hang out from time to time.” For the record, I am NOT one of “those girls” and never have been. I have told the PH for as long as we’ve been together that he is welcome to hang out with Candi or even with me and Candi along with a group of people. He said he doesn’t have a lot of free time as it is and what little time he does have, he prefers to spend it with me (now, THAT was the right answer!)
Well, Candi upped the ante with an email that implied I’m going to put the PH “in 24/7 lockdown” and they will not be allowed to talk anymore. I don’t know what 24/7 lockdown is, but I’m pretty sure it’s not what someone in a mature, loving relationship tries to do to the other person.
Keep in mind that Candi has never met me. I know that some of you have never met me either, but I’m sure SJ is willing to back me up that I am not some psycho with a crazy hold over the PH who is out to ruin his friendships so he’ll be forced to focus all his time and attention on me. It’s just not my style.
I would say that Candi continues to insinuate that I’m a mean witch, but I’m not sure she would know the meaning of “insinuate” since she emailed the PH that she doesn’t want to “loose” him as a friend. (I told you this was going to be catty! As someone who makes her living writing and editing, I’m more offended by her grammatical mistakes than I am by her attitude!)
Anyway, I’ve decided to spend my energy laughing about the pure silliness of this situation rather than being bothered by the inane ramblings of some 19-year-old who doesn’t know how to get over losing the attentions of a guy she wasn’t interested in in the first place. Oh, and a little energy writing about it so you can laugh too.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

on the annoyingness of abbrevi-speak

I work with someone who uses expressions like “in parens” for “in paretheses” and “do you have any heartburn about it?” when he means do you have any reservations or problems with his plan.

Now. I’ve worked in the corporate world. And I’ve never encountered someone who was so important and pressed for time that he couldn’t just say “in parentheses”. Really.

Maybe it’s a pr/ad thing or something else to that effect, but it annoys me almost as much as the proliferation of the expression “the hell.” REALLY. How hard is it to say “what” in front of “the hell”?

Has it become a coolness factor to try and contaminate the world’s vocab with abbrevi-speak? (that’s me being a hypocrite, because “abbrevi-speak” is the word that I use to label other people’s offenses).

Now. Some expressions are so funny and so catchy that they totally deserve to be repeated.

A clear example of this is the expression “ofa.” as used by the dj stylings of Michael Maze on KC101. j started using it and then I started using it and now it’s been adopted into our regular vocab.

But my coworker – as much as I do really like this guy – does not merit his own slang glossary.

Monday, January 16, 2006

weekend warriors

Not everyone is as lucky as we are to have such weekend adventures, so I thought I’d share. Friday night was a late night cards night, which worked to our advantage: the flaming v’s won three games out of four. The overall score is 31 to 17.

Saturday morning was a leisurely one. Bales slept until 10 a.m. Just a few months ago, our puppy was up and ready to start the day – weekend or weekday at 6:30. Now, he’s become accustomed to our bad influence. To be fair, we weren’t sleeping the entire time. We laid there talking about how we should get up, and Bales laid there between us, head resting on the pillow, licking our faces when we ask him if he wants to get up yet – we took that to mean: “No, thanks. I’m content to continue in this leisurely manner of stretching out on your pillowtop queensized mattress and resting my head on your pillow.”

By the time we were ready to get up, we got a call from KAT and the PH to see if we were up for a double date breakfast. So thus began our exciting adventures.
J had promised me two things if I was willing to drive all the way up to Cracker Barrel: puppies and unfinished furniture.

So off we went to find a buffet for the kitchen, and then to look at puppies.

The best quote of the day came from KAT when we were waiting at a light near a freight liner sales lot. You know – the big 18-wheeler rigs as seen in the movies Convoy and Maximum Overdrive.

“Wow. That truck’s only $30,000? What a bargain!”

The next few minutes were filled with comments about KAT driving around the neighborhood in her big-rig, and the solid investment it would be in a truck-driving career. You could totally freelance, driving… well, things… all over New England and even the entire country.

Also, let me just say one more thing about my weekend: my parents seem to have an uncanny ability to stop by for an unannounced visit in such a manner that would preclude another grandchild.

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's about time...

A coworker paid me a big compliment today. When I first began dating the PH, the fact that he was shorter than me was an issue. In fact, my three requirements for the man in my life were that he was ambitious, he made me laugh and he was taller than me. I can honestly say that I no longer have any issue with being a couple inches taller than the PH-- all of his awesome qualities more than outweigh his height. So, my coworker told me I'm a grown-up. She said the fact that the height difference doesn't bother me is a sign that I've matured. And it took me only 29 years to get here!

The healing power of Girlfriends

it's been a while since i had a good girls night, and i think i could use one.

not that there's anything wrong with male dominated life (even Bailey is a boy), but sometimes, you just need to sit back in your comfiest clothes with a nice big margarita and laugh about silly things and cry about stupid things.

i am blessed with some really great women in my life -- between two sisters and a swarm of close gal pals, i'm really very lucky and need to take advantage of my time with them more often. sometimes you just need a night off from the world, and what better way to do it than with some good friends, some chick flicks and some margaritas?

so open call for a girlie night: who's in?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Acing the boyfriend test

The PH (Pretend Husband) passed a critical test this weekend; he met my coworkers for the first time. I had filled him in on who was who, how half the company is related to one another, who I like and who he was supposed to avoid at all costs.
I was glad I took the time to give him the background because it was easy to lean over during the holiday party and whisper “that’s the one who spread rumors about me having an affair with a coworker and then actually had one herself” and “that’s the woman who’s nice, but a little loopy; remember I told you about her?”
Just to make sure the PH is up for a relationship with my crazy self, we sat at a table with a guy who is known all over the world as one of the foremost Michael Jackson impersonators. Yep, the best fake MJ works for me. He indulged us with all sorts of funny stories and I was happy to see that he doesn’t take the role too seriously.
Fake MJ told us about being hired to perform at a plumber’s convention and at a lumberjack convention (what do lumberjacks convene about- the latest technological advances in pruning?!?). Nervous about going out into the audience after his performance, he asked the organizer what he was thinking when booking the act for a bunch of the toughest guys in town. The organizer’s reasoning was, “I like Michael Jackson.”
Luckily, the holiday gathering was focused on food (and alcohol, of course) so we had to do little mingling and making small chat (I see these people for, like, 10 hours a week… what could I possibly have to say to them on the weekend?) But the little that the PH said apparently left a good impression. On Monday, my boss told me he seems like a nice guy. And another coworker said, “He has a nice face.”
I only hope I do as well on my test when we hang out with his parents later this week…

Monday, January 09, 2006

How I learned snow tubing is not for me.

Number of times Jason and I have sat in the ER together: five.
Number of years we’ve been together: four..

Not a good average.

First off, I should have known better than to even attempt it. My track record with doing things that require coordination – like walking, playing any kind of sport, etc. – is not so good. In fact, I’ve earned myself four pairs of crutches in my lifespan, and I’m not 29 yet.

So, the first thought in my head, when I laid there waiting to get my breath back and taking a mental check of my faculties (‘can I move?’ ‘ow. not yet’), was: “Jason is going to kill me. But, I do have disability insurance now.”

I lasted exactly 3 seconds on the track. not even, actually. On the third second, I had been air borne, and about to land squarely on the back of my head. The good news was, I was mentally aware of every second that had passed – I never blacked out, and there was no blood. But there was a sudden rush of nausea and double vision as I made my way – with the help of joy’s brother – down the hill sans tube and on foot.

Joy’s bro was funny – “do you want me to feel it and make sure it’s not broken?” he offered. I would have laughed if I hadn’t been concentrating very hard on not puking.

I wasn’t going to try it- mostly because my neck had already been bothering me -- but now at least I’m not favoring one side or the other – I’ll have limited mobility over the next few days waiting for the muscles to de-inflame.

We went to the ER just to get checked out. My noggin is already sensitive to migraines, so the headache wasn’t that bad. I’ve taken worse knocks to the back of the head, but my neck muscles are troublesome.

The first thing EVERYONE asked me: “are you pregnant?” Clearly these people don’t read our blog.

“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely sure?”
“Would you stake your next month’s mortgage payment on it?”
(Fraction of a pause as I looked at j) “Yes.”
For emphasis, J added, “You just had your period...”
I nodded.
“It could be first trimester bleeding….”

Doc, you’re freaking me out more than the head.

The good thing about this is that since I can’t lift my neck yet, I’ve been using my abs, which are sore today from all of the extra work. And shampooing is just painful. You don’t realize how badly you need your neck to work until it doesn’t.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ford Should Specialize in Fertility

For those of you paying attention to the sj womb watch, which for those that know me is only mildly more fascinating than the brangelina womb watch, we’ll be drinking prosecco with KAT tomorrow night for card night. (hey- which reminds me, KAT, are you in for card night?)

Mother nature is having her flirty little way with my reproductive system, which has hitherto been a normal 27 day set your clock kind of deal. This month, it was 32. Maybe that’s a sign. I should wait until I’m 32, since clearly, 27 no longer works for my body.

My reproductive organs and I have a long and fascinating history that hasn’t always been pleasant. I’m trying to be nice to them so I can count on them in the clutch – but it’s hard to rely on things that may or may not work when you want them to. Besides, they cause me physical pain and no one likes a bully.

Let’s take flora for instance. My lovable six-year old focus has developed a bit of a bladder problem. Inside the car. She seems to collect water on the passenger side. I don’t get it – and the crack in my windshield is over the driver side and the water may or may not be there after a rainy day. And it seemed to start when they replaced the pillar trim. The mildew-y smell is a little icky, but I can get over it with some Yankee Candle car scents. I blast the heat on the floor boards and fantasize about my next car – a Volvo… or-or-or – a Chrysler Pacifica (I may be the only one who loves that car) or-or-or a Passat Wagon.

I deal with these little flora-quirks because she loves me back. she starts when I need her to start, she gets there with little gas and she sings to me beloved BNL and Diana Krall songs that get me through my commute.

I wish I could say the same for my ovaries. They don’t sing to me. They don’t warm my feet. And getting them to work would cost nearly as much as a Passat Wagon.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Remaining resolute

Ahh, the new year… a time to get those resolutions in order, make life changes and get a fresh start. I’ve thought about what I want to change for 2006 and I’m happy to say I haven’t come up with much. I’m pretty happy about how 2005 went so I think I will resolve to do more of what made it such a good year.
- I resolve to continue card nights, country line dance outings, drinks after soccer games, trips to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, more card nights, dinners out, girls nights and, of course, card nights. I’m lucky to have the friends I do and if I have to resolve anything concerning them, it’s to tell them how I feel more often.
- I resolve to keep things in perspective. I almost missed out on the best thing to happen to me in 2005 because of a silly issue. Luckily, the voice of reason (otherwise known as “Dad”) spoke up, saying, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re being pretty shallow.” Thanks to Dad and some wise words from friends, the pretend husband has become the very real boyfriend. I haven’t stopped smiling…
- I resolve to spend my free time being free. I spent most of my weekends this summer at my family’s cottage; it was quiet, sometimes solitary, mostly beautiful and always a good way to unwind. It was nice to keep the hectic pace to the weekdays and spend my weekends relaxing.
- Like the majority of the country, I resolve to stay healthy and lose a couple of pounds. But I refuse to drive myself crazy about it. Last year, I ate pretty well and exercised fairly regularly. But I also didn’t feel like I had to turn down trips for ice cream with friends, happy hour invitations or the occasional fried clam dinner. I’m resolving to be happy with who I am.
- I resolve to eat chocolate chip cookies for breakfast. Because SJ is planning to cut back, I think someone needs to pick up the slack. This ties in with the above resolution and although I don’t plan on adding more junk food to my diet, there’s nothing that says starting the day with a cookie (or ice cream) will kill me. And it makes me happy.
- I resolve to take chances. I completed some classes last year and fulfilled my dream to be on the radio. It took hard work and some sacrifices, but I’ve never regretted a moment of it. I will keep this lesson in mind as I face some new choices this year.
Whatever you resolve to do- or not do- this year, have fun with it. It’s a lot easier to stick to a plan you enjoy. Leave some time for solitude (I’ll give you directions to the cottage if you want…), take some risks... and think of me when opting for the Oreos over oatmeal!

it's a snow day

it's still snowing. it's been like this since about 7 yesterday night, and still the heavy wet snow falls.

i swapped my home day to today in order to avoid driving. it's not so much the roads in the morning as it is, the roads at the end of the day. but days like this bring me back to real snow days...

when we were younger, we'd troop out to build forts, go sledding on the smallest hill ever and have so much fun blasting each other with snow balls. but somewhere along the way, snow days turned into less fun and more trouble.

maybe it corresponded to when i started driving, since most of the trouble is car related. but i miss the days when it was bundle up into whatever clothes will keep you the warmest and dryest and lets go make snow angels.

now i have to worry about looking presentable when i leave the house, and whether or not my little car will make it up the hill.

so today, i'm drinking hot cocoa, eating pb and j for lunch and i still haven't changed out of my pjs. bring on the snow, i say. sure i'll have to clean off my car eventually, but right now, i'm considering what would make the best substitute for a corn cob pipe.