Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dance Fever

I may dislike Fall, but it certainly is not because of days like this! It is bright and sunny and just a little bit cool out and is a really, really nice day to go to a soccer game:-) Smoking Hot Roommate came with, so we had a nice morning chat. [If someone could remind me, I have a post about a brief conversation with one of the girls' Mom...Monday maybe?]

Anyway, I am sure you all wanna know what went on at the big school dance last night;-) It was actually really fun. I like that I can go to stuff like this and hang out with the little one as much as I can. They have trouble finding people to chaperon the dances sometimes, mostly because kids don't want their parents to do is embarrassing. So this is another place where not being Mom helps me out here, and Munchkin always asks me because I think she likes having me there (and I think her friends do, too.) Actually, a lot of her friends at school have much older siblings (some quite a bit older than me...second marriages;-)) and I feel like it has become the cool thing to get your older brothers and sisters instead of your parents. I am such a trendsetter;-)

Anyway, I mostly stayed in the corner and chatted with a couple of her old teachers that I know pretty well (Munchkin was the only student invited to their wedding, so we went to that last summer.) They also filled me in on the teacher's version of all the school gossip, which they hear. There was a bit of a boy issue, but as usual, she handled it with remarkable tact and skill. There is a seventh grade boy who is completely smitten with her. She likes him enough, but isn't really interested...and all of that sort of came to a head. Per her usual tactics, she addressed it really early on in the night, and very directly with a simple "I'm sorry, but I don't think I really like you in that way. But I hope you have time to dance with me tonight at least once." Breaking hearts left and right...

Afterwards, we had something of an impromptu party. Two girls were coming to sleep over afterwards, and there were five or six other kids that were going to go out for pizza. One girl's father was coming in to pick some of them up, and another girl's father was also at the dance and was going to bring the other's home. So, I suggested that we pick up the pizzas and take it all back to our place instead. Then I talked to SHR, and she and The Rocket Scientist were sort of on their way back and had run into some other friends. So they came back, too...which led to a really odd collection of 11-12 year olds, us, and some old people.

After everyone left (SHR went to the RS's place for the night) the girls pretty much crashed. I was worried they would be up giggling all night, but they were worn out. And that was about it...SHR got home this morning after her run, the two girls went home and we went to soccer. Not sure what is up for the rest of the day, we will have to see...Munchkin is going out with her friends tonight, so I am off the leash until probably 11:00 or so.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekends:-)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Chaperon...such a funny word

Sorry to be late in the day today, but I have been super busy all morning. I hate when work gets in the way of me enjoying my time in the office and view of the harbor...:-)

Yesterday's post is already one of my favorites:-) It works on a number of levels, whether you actually know what is going on or not (well, ok...everyone knows what is going on, but there is more to it than the obvious.) In addition, the person who requested that I write that was most pleased with the result, and reacted in a way even better than I had hoped:-D [Read: The Boy requested the story, which he apparently much so that the phrase "All I have wanted to do all day is get you into a really hot shower" greeted me in a really private whisper during dinner.]

Last night was chicken finger night, as usual, which is always a treat. One of Munchkin's friends came with us (there may be a new boyfriend in the works...stay tuned), along with Smoking Hot Roommate, The Rocket Scientist and The Boy. SHR took the kids home so that The Boy and I could sneak off to his place for a bit. And that turned out really well (see previous paragraph;-)).

I had thought that I was in a bit of a time crunch; The Office was on, after all. But it was on at 9:00, not 8:00, so I actually had a whole extra hour before I needed to get home for previously scheduled TV watching time. The Boy had a super early conference call, so he bailed on coming over and went to bed.

And now the weekend is almost upon us! The Boy is out with some friends tonight, and SHR and the RS have a date. That leaves me to chaperon Munchkin's school dance:-) Because I am such a responsible adult who should be charged with the care of many I think two of her friends are sleeping over, which will mean lots of giggling and not much sleeping.

Soccer in the morning, which means I have to roust all three sleeping beauties, get one ready for her father to get her, walk one home, and get the other one to her game. After stopping at Dunkin Donuts. Fortunately, the game is not until 9:00, so we don't have to get up that early. My guess is the little one will need a nap after that, since I doubt she will sleep much.

I am not sure about tomorrow night yet. We are all (Big Sis, SHR, me and all assorted males) supposed to go to a party, but I don't have anything to do with Munchkin at the moment. I could always bring her...that is an option. Likely she will have something to do with her friends, so as long as I can work that into our plan, we will go there.

And then Sunday...well that is gonna be the return of Fantasy Football...and we all know how I feel about that!!! Just thinking about it makes me all tingly...

I guess that's it...back to work...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The First Time

I got a special request for this particular story, in this particular format...

Not my first time, nor yours. Not even the last first time. But it was our first time, and it was different than all the others, and I knew it then. And I think you knew it then, too.

The weekend had been a long one...a ski trip full of good friends and good food and too much drink. The tension had been building for a long time, but was clearly accelerating all weekend. The looks lasted a little longer, the touches lingered just a moment longer, and the casual contact was just a moment longer than would truly be casual. Other relationships with other people in the house were clearly becoming nuisance obstacles to what was to come.

And then there was a long, tired ride home and take-out Mexican food and several margaritas and then finally we were alone. It wasn't weird. It wasn't awkward. But it was definitely different. Almost like you wore a sign announcing your new attitude. Towards me. Towards us. Towards everything.

The shower was necessary, both because we had been up too long, and because of the surreal effect of steam and pounding water. This was a surreal moment, a long time in the making, the continuation of something big, and the start of something really huge. Warm water on tired muscles, hands and bodies entwined and slick with soap, searching for the means to please. The buildup should have made for a sense of urgency, but time was standing still. We had nowhere to go, no one to see, and no place we would rather be.

You washed my hair. You told me so much with so few words. You closed your eyes and stretched your arms while I cleaned you, and kissed you, and told you things I had already said, but now meant so much more. Never an ounce of shame, never an ounce of regret. This was right and it was good, and it erupted up from deep inside of you when you threw your head back and tensed and shook and gasped, immersed in the enjoyment, in the love of the moment. In us.

And for me, I just wanted to hold you. None of the usual writhing; the back arching; the pushing forward in search for more. All I wanted was to wrap you as tightly as I could with every ounce of my strength...almost as if, just my sheer force of embrace, you could share in the bliss that started from my loins and exploded outwards through my whole body. So good, I just wanted to share.

This made everything different. It made everything better. From there to the bed, which you shared that night and many others. When we told them, there was no surprise, really...others had seen this coming at least as long as you and I. And when you finally told her, I wondered why you had never told her sooner.

First times are always special, but not like this. Special not for the excitement of a new lover. Not for the thrill of the hunt or the joy of the conquest. Not for the sheer intensity of it. Special because of who you are, and who I am, and who we are. Special because of the place you already own in my heart. Special because of the place I hold in yours.

It wasn't my first time, nor was it yours. But it was ours. And that makes it what it is.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Date Night

I sort of forgot how long it has been since the two of us just went out on a plain old, unencumbered "date". What a treat! Between weekends away all summer, and busy schedules, and various other things (like...ahem...the two weeks where we didn't speak:-)) we haven't had a night where just the two of us went out without any other plans to meet someone or go somewhere with someone.

We didn't really do anything special, but I guess that is what makes it special:-) We walked over to the North End for dinner, and took a really long time to eat. We also might have polished off two bottles of wine, which is not making me terribly productive today, but so be it. Then we stopped for dessert (seriously, do I ever skip dessert? How can I not keep weight on when I eat all the fatty, sugary foods I can get my hands on? Tapeworm? Maybe...) and just kind of strolled around for a while.

It felt good to not be going anywhere; to just hold his hand and enjoy another gorgeous, warm late summer night. The weather is so beautiful for this time of year, it almost feels like stealing. We walked from the North End, through Fanueil Hall to Boston Common and into the Back Bay

(This handy dandy map shows all of the places...we started near the "1A" in the upper right, walked through Fanueil Hall, around the south side of the Common, and then he lives right near the northwest corner of the Public Gardens...near the "2" on the corner. Actually, my entire life is on this map. We currently live a little bit northwest or the red star, and Munchkin and I are moving a little closer to it at year end. Her school is a little bit south of the star, and I work east of the star near Route 93. Big Sis lives near us, and Papa Bear lives near where we work. So there you whole life, in one easy to use map:-))

When we got back to his place, we hung out on the deck for a little bit, talking about nothing and everything. The night was beautiful, the food was outstanding, the sex was great and the company, as always, was top-notch. I felt like it was all too nice to end, so it didn't. Extra special thanks to Smoking Hot Roommate for watching Munchkin and giving me permission to stay Thanks, Mom:-)

And so herein lies today's make time for more date nights:-) Write it is now on the books!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More TV

Looks like Munchkin will remain Munchkin for the time being. There doesn't seem to be much sentiment to change it, and I don't really want to anyway. She had a soccer game last night (well, 4:00) so I took the liberty of leaving work early to go and watch:-) I brought a beach chair, a book (The Last Templar... sort of OK-ish) and an iced coffee, so I was pretty much in heaven! It was a beautiful afternoon, and she scored two goals, so she was super happy.

I find myself wanting to cook a lot lately. I think maybe it is because I go hooked on Top Chef two weeks ago, but it could also just be that the cooling weather makes me want to eat more, and not so opposed to turning on the oven. I made a really tasty pasta thing last night...found the recipe at Shrimp in a tomato/garlic/basil/Worcestershire sauce over whole wheat linguine. It was really yummy! And I always feel like a much better parent when I really cook dinner like

Also the season premier of Heroes and that new show starring the guy who played Lucius Vorenus on Rome. Heroes was pretty good, and I will likely watch the whole season. I hear that Katie Bell is on this season, which gets me totally fired up. I loved Veronica Mars, and I love her. She could totally play me in the movie about my life:-) (She would be the movie-star version of the blond me:-))

That new show (Journeyman) was OK, although I don't know that I am sold yet. I really like the lead actor, but his wife annoys me. And I think the show will require the suspension of a lot of belief and the suppression of a lot of "Wait, that can't happen if he already did something else" questions. Plus, Quantum Leap is still on in re-runs on some

The Boy and I have a date tonight:-) We don't have many weeknight "nights out" but he has something planned...I am all atwitter with anticipation:-) I will let you know tomorrow! Unless it is REALLY good, and then I may keep it to myself:-P

Monday, September 24, 2007

Goodbye Summer

The weekend was absolutely awesome...a great way to say goodbye to summer. As I have covered, I have some issues with letting go of summer, so knowing that this would definitively be the last weekend of the summer at the beach house carried some mixed emotions for me.

It is always a little weird to be down there after Labor Day. The weather may be spectacular, but the sun seems a little lower in the sky, the air isn't quite the same, and the whole place seems oddly kind of abandoned. And all that was in effect, but I still had a great weekend. We sat on the beach, rode the jet skis, drank a bunch, ate too much, grilled, built a fire at night...just basically hung out and enjoyed the very summery weather. We had a pretty full crowd, too. The Boy, Munchkin, Smoking Hot Roommate, The Rocket Scientist, Big Sis, The Brain Surgeon and a couple of assorted friends. Really, only Papa Bear was missing.

I have had a request from an IM buddy to rename Munchkin, but I don't think I can do it. The argument is that "Munchkin" is really a name for a little kid, and since she is no longer a little kid, and will soon be a teenager, it is not an appropriate name. Also, she is at least as tall as me, so it is kind of silly for me to call her by a name that implies otherwise. However, I actually call her Munchkin in real life a lot, so I am sort of attached to the name, and would rather keep it. Thoughts? Do you think of her as being really little because I call her Munchkin? I am willing to entertain the idea...

Anyway, that is about it. The Boy is feeling much better, as is Smoking Hot Roommate, so the bug seems to have cleared without effecting either me or the little one. Bullet dodged:-)

Friday, September 21, 2007


This is really post #300, and I am horribly disappointed that I don't have something really interesting to write. I have three un-published posts that I have kept because they are important, but don't want to publish for various reasons. Any one of them would be a good post, but I don't feel like posting any of them yet. One of them is about The Boy and is from last February and is sort of apropos, given the doings around here lately. But the timing on it is not great...I would rather it not seem forced.

So that leaves this is just a regular old recap of what I did yesterday and what I think is going on for the weekend. But maybe that makes sense...most of what I write is a cross between a running diary and a series of random reminiscences. The major theme of this blog is just my day-to-day doings, with a healthy dose of the same for Munchkin. This is at least partially by design.

I think I am lucky in at least one sense. We are not always able to spot the major, significant moments in our lives when they happen. With the exception of having children, the rest of life kind of sneaks up on never know when you will meet the people that matter most, or find the job that will make your life complete, or the house you will live in for 30 years. Only in hindsight are the truly monumental events really clear.

That's not the case for me. In May of 2005, my mother told me she was dying, and shortly after that I made the decision to take in my little sister, and then shortly after that to move her to Boston. There was no mistaking...when I got in the car on that blistering hot August day to drive from Boston to Chicago to pick her up for good, I knew completely and totally that this would be the biggest, most important thing I ever did. In some sense, even bigger than having my own kids.

So, the day-to-day of it is important to me, and I want to document it. For myself. Because I intend to go back and read all of this moderately communal, quasi-shared diary. Clearly, that is not all I do here...there is some fun blog stuff, and I love the little peeks I get into the lives of my regular reads. But the bulk of what I write is just a daily snapshot of what I am doing and thinking.

I guess in hindsight I really wish I had started blogging a year earlier, because there is so much that I wish I had written down from that first year. There are a lot more ups than there are downs these days, but that wasn't always the case, and there were definitely days when I stopped, asked myself what the fuck I thought I was doing and cried for a while. I wish I had more than just memories of that.

And look at I started to write about what I was doing, and got way, way off track. I do that a lot, too:-) To complete what I started: chicken fingers last night were awesome! And we went to another bar and hung out on the patio for a bit afterwards to enjoy the remaining nice weather. Munchkin is on a field trip today, so she didn't have any homework she needed to get home to do, so we stayed out until about 9:00 or so. Managed to see a TON of friends, who were all out and about and stopped by to visit:-)

We may go to the beach for the weekend. The house is open, and well...there just won't be a whole lot of other chances, so we need to take advantage while we can. If we do, then my streak of weekend posts will end at 1:-) But a girl has to get all the sun she can while she still can;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Who needs reality when we have reality TV?

Well, now Smoking Hot Roommate is sick, too. Although she has magical healing powers of her own and was well enough at 5:30 this morning to go for her usual morning run. Yea, she is weird...we have established that.

It did justify more Chinese Food, though:-) And since The Boy's Twin Sister came with me to Munchkin's soccer game and we ate chicken parm subs while we watched, I think I qualify as a certified "Fat Kid". Because I totally ate Chinese Food, too. Whatever...I need to gain weight, Doctor's orders;-) Very nice visit with Twin Sister:-)

I watched a ton of cheesy reality TV last night, and I really feel the need to discuss it in detail. So, here, by series, are my thoughts (other than "I just got dumber for watching this.")

America's Next Top Model - I am starting with this because I am pretty sure I used to babysit for this girl. I babysat a little girl that was a friend of hers and she was around a lot, so I saw for her by least I am like 99% sure of that. I remember her being really a hideously evil child...even when she was like 10 or 11.

This show should be renamed "Tyra! Tyra! Tyra!" because it is totally all about her. Remember the first season when the house had rooms dedicated to famous models, so there was like the Twiggy Room and the Cheryl Tiegs room with tons of old pictures of them. And now the whole house is all Tyra, all the time. I feel like The Soup does a good job of capturing Tyra's complete self-absorption, if you ever watch that...

Finally, I can't believe they threw off the girl from Walpole, MA just for the sheer brilliance of her accent. "I'm a bah-tendah" were like the first words out of her mouth. And she was pretty enough that I would have put her in the top five just for that.

Rock of Love with Bret Michaels - Love it. Totally love it. Not quite the train wreck that you get from the Flavor Flav related shows, but just as trashy. It amazes me that there is such an ample supply of completely crazy, fame-obsessed people in the world to keep staffing these shows, but the well seems far from dry.

So we are down to two finalists...Jes and Heather. Jes is the clearly superior choice (and not just because she is from suburban Chicago:-)). She is gorgeous, and really funny and genuinely nice. Obviously a little bit nuts...she is on the show after all, and clearly has a guys name tattooed on her shoulder that has been inked over...but seems like a neat person. But he should pick Heather, because she is much more like him. Both she and Bret are trashy and way past their prime (yea, if she is 32 then I am like 14) and seem like a better match. Jes can do better.

Top Chef - I am kind of new to this one. I have seen bits in previous seasons (and eaten at a restaurant where the Season 1(?) second place girl works) but never really watched. But I saw a bunch last week and now I am hooked through the end of the season. And who doesn't love Padma? Can someone explain to me how she was married to this guy? That is weird!!! I am rooting for Casey, but I don't really dislike any of the people that are left.

Project Runway - I know this isn't on yet, but I am so fired up for this that I can barely contain myself! This is like my favorite show on TV, and I love every second of it. If Tim Gunn were just not so gay I would move to New York and throw myself at him...I worship that man! And who can argue with Heidi Klum, who manages to get pregnant every season, and look like she could model underwear at like 7 1/2 months. In fact, she did a Victoria's Secret fashion show like three weeks after having her last baby. How is that possible?!?!?

Survivor should be on soon, and I still like that. And Idol has to be back soon, too. And The Amazing do I ever have any free time?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chinese Food: Nature's Medicine

I just realized that this is my 300th post. That seems like an awful lot. I can't imagine how many smileys I have typed in that time, or how many times I have started a paragraph with "So, " or typed "..." (all things I am aware that I do much too often.) I am proud of myself for writing basically everyday...I wasn't sure when I started how long I would want to stick with it. But, it turns out to be really fun:-) I will get more retrospective next month on my one-year date, I am sure.

I wish I had something really exciting for such a monumental post, but I don't...sorry:-) Actually, I wrote two posts that are still in Blogger but never published, so really the 300th was two days ago, and that was kind of a maybe I will mentally count that one.

On to the day's business. I met up with the girls for a couple of drinks last night. Munchkin was somewhat affronted that she wasn't I think sometimes she forgets that she is not 25... But we had some girl-talking to do that is a little bit over her head. Also, I sort of forgot how little I had seen of these people all summer, so it was good to see them all together. It's weird how different my life gets from Memorial Day through Labor Day...

The Boy is sick:-( I think the changing weather and an overly-stressful work environment of late have worn him down and he has come down with something. At least work was stressful because good things were happening, which probably helps. He was a sneezing, achy, coughing mess last night (but still adorable!) I tried to convince him to stay home today, but he went to work anyway...hopefully we can get him to rest up soon. I did stop over to see him and to bring him Chinese food for dinner, which has amazing healing powers for him sometimes...:-)

His sister did not make it out, so I owe her a visit, too. Munchkin has a soccer game this evening, and since the weather is nice, maybe she would like to get some sandwiches and sit out and watch the game with me:-) (That should be taken as a warning that I am going to call you in like an hour, Twin Sister!) It is getting down to crunch time, and I think she is pretty ready to be done with this whole pregnancy thing already! Very soon!

Everyone remember to congratulate Brandy on her new job:-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rule #1 of Optometry

Many thanks for the kind wishes from everyone:-) Well, except for Billy, who seems to be upset that things worked out well...apparently only the misery of others will do. Or, he is just hurt because his massive crush on me will go unrequited for a little while longer;-) A couple of you asked for the specific details, which I wrote out in an email and sent to those who is not that exciting, but there is nothing secretive about it.

I got Buffalo sauce in my eye last night...and no, that is not a euphemism for anything. I mean I was eating a chicken wing and the sauce splashed into my eye. And holy shit does that hurt like a fucker! I would strongly suggest that you never, ever, ever do that. I couldn't open my eye for like two minutes and I was crying like someone just stole my puppy. It was awful. I was seriously worried that my eye was going to swell up and I would have to go to the hospital to get it flushed out.

I never really covered it, but I decided to skip the NASCAR Race in New Hampshire last weekend. I would have liked to have gone, but it was going to require an all-day commitment (they were leaving at like 6:00am to go an tailgate, and didn't get back until like 8:00pm) that I just didn't want to make. Good thing, was pretty cold in the morning, and the BFF's ended up coming in to visit as well. Also, MFND didn't do real well, so I would have been kinda pissed about that. Maybe the summer race next year when it will be warmer...I still think it would be fun to do at least once.

I am going to try and meet some of The Boy's friends for drinks tonight (all of the girls meet up every once in a while). I guess I can probably call them my friends at this I don't really know if any of them have any idea of what has gone on recently. I didn't tell any of them, but he may have told them (or his friends that some of them are married to or dating). I don't know if Twin Sister is coming...I sure hope so. I really miss her! (Yes, she reads this, and yes, sugar, that is a request!) She is as big as a house now, but it will be a short walk:-D

So now everyone can lobby her to come out tonight:-)

Monday, September 17, 2007


Much, much to talk about today...most of it good:-) First off, the BFF's are the best...that is just a general observation:-) We had a really nice visit and it made me wish even more that they lived out here. I sort of had them decided to move out here last year, but that seems to have been back-burnered...I have to get back to work on that.

Now, on to my cryptic and depressed posts from a couple weeks ago. A couple of you figured out what I was talking about, but I didn't really feel up to broadcasting the specifics, so I didn't publish your comments (Sorry about that Nicole D, Ys and EAW, I usually don't do that, and don't like to). Some of you may have also noticed that there has been one person conspicuously absent from the proceedings here for the last two weeks.

The truth is that The Boy has not really been the biggest fan of yours truly lately. And I can't really blame him...I fucked up and it was really my fault. Without going into the specific details, I changed my mind on something that I know is important to him, and that I knew he would be unhappy about. And rather than tell him in a prepared, rational manner, I let it slip in a random conversation as kind of a throwaway. (I am not withholding details for any reason other than the interest of brevity; it is not all that exciting. If you are that interested, email me and I will give you the whole story.)

So, that really irritated him, and it turned into a larger discussion about priorities and there was some "You take me for granted" stuff involved. The net result was him questioning whether or not we wanted the same things, and really whether or not he wanted to be with me anymore. And us both taking some time away from each other to think about what it was that we really each wanted.

I was kind of a mess over that. Part of it was because I don't blame him for thinking that I take him for granted...the truth is that I probably don't say or show him how much I appreciate him nearly as much as I should. And I can understand why he thought that I was, once again, re-assigning him further down my priority list. And not talking to him for a bit didn't help, although in hindsight it was a very good idea (memo to everyone: taking some time to get some distance, formulate your thoughts and calm down can be really helpful.)

The good news was that he sent me an email a couple of days later saying basically that he was really pissed, and he wanted both of us to take some time, but that he really did want to try and work this out. Which made me feel a million times better because I was kind of thinking the exact same thing. But I still didn't see or talk to him for almost two weeks, which was really no fun.

He called me on Saturday afternoon suggesting that I come over on Sunday after the BFF's left for the airport. Which means I was kinda nervous and on edge all day on Sunday...even though I felt pretty good about it, I was still really worried that we just wouldn't get anything resolved and that would be the end of it. I really wanted to call his Twin Sister to find out what he was thinking, but I really didn't want her to get in the middle of it, so I didn't.

When I finally got to his place, it was actually a little bit weird and maybe kind of awkward. And he definitely had to say all of the things that were bothering him again. Which hurt, partially because some of it was unfair, but partially because some of it is very true and I know that it is true. The good news was that I had re-re-thought about the source of the original argument (I had some help from Smoking Hot Roommate, who kindly pointed out the things that I was being a big giant baby about;-)).

That really wasn't the whole thing, though. More than any individual event, it just had to do with basic priorities and wants. I really needed to tell him how much he means to me, and how much I want to be with him, and how willing I am to start making very long term plans with him (like, permanent ones). And I was willing, I just never really told him or showed him that, and he deserved some affirmation of it.

So, we talked for a long time, and I feel really, really good about it. We talked about what we want out of each other and ourselves, about moving in together, about marriage, about school and really just about us and about life. There was plenty of middle ground for us to meet in, and I think we are both really happy with where things are now. I know I am.

And that doesn't even start to cover the makeup sex!!! Don't think the two weeks without him was easy on that level, either;-)

Anyway, that is my story for today. The upshot is that I have had some Boy issues, but after some trauma, things are likely on better footing than they were before. And hopefully this is a building block for bigger and better things.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Weekend Post!

This is my first weekend post in a really, really long time...aren't you all excited? You should be!!! I am like 12% smarter, 14% more interesting, 9% funnier and nearly 20% sexier on weekends. Those are scientific measurements;-)

Had a fun night last night with my two oldest friends. I have finally sort of gotten used to not seeing them all the time (only took me six, but I still wish they lived closer. It is always great to see them, and I always feel great when they are around. We didn't do a whole lot last night...headed over near Fenway to watch the Red Sox game in a bar. We were gonna meet some people that went to the game afterwards, but the fucking game took forever and I had to go and get Munchkin. After that we just hung out at our place and shot the shit all night...which is always a good time!

Speaking of Munchkin (I know...I have a story about her, can you beleive it?:-P)... I have another note about her ridiculously advanced "social maturity", and by that I mean she thinks about interpersonal relationships like someone MUCH older. This starts with three of her friends having a triple date with three boys from school to go bowling last night. So, she was talking to a boy that is a good friend of hers at school and decided that they should go, too. Because they are all friends and they thought it would be fun. Not on a date, just because they are buddies and wanted to go.

The problem is that this boy has a girlfriend at another school (they are 12...I don't really know what "girlfriend" means...) Kids at that age overblow everything, so him going out in a group of 8 on anything that could be close to a date would likely count as "cheating" in the sixth grade rulebook. So she wanted to call and talk to the girlfriend before they went. She just wanted to tell her "nothing to worry about, just wanna go bowling with our friends." She says she has met the girl, likes her, will probably see her in the future and doesn't see any need for things to be weird, and just wanted to nip it in the bud. Throwing out how much kids that age take everything way too seriously, I am amazed at her ability to look at the situation, see who might take what the wrong way, and deal with it before it happens. And to do so in a really reasoned and mature way. I dunno...I am just rambling again, I guess:-)

Soccer got rained out this morning, which was a bummer...Munchkin was really excited about BFFg seeing one of her games (she taught her to play soccer way back when:-)) I think we are just gonna wander around a some shopping, grab lunch and see what happens. Smoking Hot Roommate and Big Sis are around all day, so I think we will have a good time. Not real sure what the plan for tonight is...I think we may go out, but if we do I have to figure out something to do with Munchkin. Or we could go out early and come home early and she could come with...not sure.

And that is about it:-) Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Surprise Visitors:-)

I only have a little bit of time during lunch today since I am in meetings all day, but I have a super special story to tell:-) I haven't quite been 100% myself for the last week and a half due to some stuff I have alluded to but not written about. I am OK, just not quite totally and completely OK.

Last night was supposed to be just me and Munchkin for chicken fingers because everyone else was busy elsewhere. That is fine, I never argue about dinner with her:-) Then about halfway through, Smoking Hot Roommate dropped by. My first guess was that she bailed or got done with what she was doing and stopped to meet us. But trailing right behind her were the BFFs, in for a totally sneaky and surprise visit:-) Which Munchkin knew about and kept a secret, that shady little twerp!!!

SHR felt like I needed some cheering up, so she talked with both of them and snuck them in for the weekend as a surprise. Who is better than that? No one, I say:-)

So, even more special thanks than normal to SHR for being just about the best friend that a very, very lucky girl could have:-) And to BFFb and BFFg for coming out at the drop of a hat to make sure that I am OK:-)

Hope everyone has a nice weekend, I think I will try and get back into the habit of posting at least once over the weekends if I have something to say...otherwise, ta ta!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back to School, Back to School

You have to sing the title like Adam Sandler from Billy Madison to really get the effect...

Excellent comments yesterday:-) I love long, well-thought-out comments, and there were a bunch yesterday! I also think there was a lot of sound advice in there, especially from some people who have gone through the same decision.

I basically agree with everyone who says "Don't worry about the schedule problems, you will work it out." That was kind of my feeling, but it is always good to hear it from other people, even if I only know you in your virtual-selves:-)

Some people raised the issue of the cost and the idea of employer reimbursement. The company I work for doesn't have any kind of reimbursement program for the simple reason that virtually everyone who works here already has all the degrees they need. While it is not a hard and fast rule, it is really unlikely anyone would ever get hired who would need another degree at some point. Except, of course, for me:-) But that is kind of the issue, having an MBA is really sort of a pre-requisite for what would be my next job.

That, however, is not really a huge deal. Aaron raised the concept of return on investment, and under that lens, the decision is easy. I may not get a direct reimbursement, but if the degree is required for promotion, then that promotion would come with a very, very large raise that would more than offset the cost of the degree in a very short period of time. As I have mentioned before, the lowest paid person on the investment staff other than me probably makes three times what I do, or close to it. I am not really worried about the degree paying for itself.

And then the idea of part-time came up, and everyone I ask says the same thing "It is WAY harder than full-time, and you don't get as much out of it." (In addition, the industry can be really snobby about where you went to school, and most of the "acceptable" places don't have part time programs...I don't really care about that because I can't really see me ever working someplace other than here, but I guess you never know.) Basically, what I hear is that the real value of business school is the time you spend hanging out with really smart people, and that the part-time people are so busy with actual work that the same spirit isn't there. Plus it takes guy told me "You just have to decide that, for that period of time, you aren't really gonna do anything else."

Which leads to what I have kind of "decided". And I should stress that I haven't really decided anything, and have at least one more very important conversation to have before I can make a decision anyway (more on that later on, maybe.) Mostly, I just don't think I am really ready to go back...I still feel kinda young and inexperienced. I still feel like I am learning a ton and am no where near "stalled". Would I feel differently next fall? Maybe, but I doubt it. I don't see me really getting the entire hang of my current role for another year at least.

So, I think I am really looking at the fall of '09. I would be a year older and a little closer to having learned all I can in this current role. I would also have a little more money saved, and could well be in a very different life situation. Munchkin will be 14 by then and will be much more independent than she is now...I wouldn't feel bad about her coming home by herself after school some times, for example.

But I reserve the right to change my mind if I really want to go back next you:-P

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How many degrees is enough?

Kind of a busy day ahead...I am off site meeting with randoms all day to figure out who hates who and refuses to work for so-and-so at this one company. So that should be fun:-) But I have some time between meetings, so I will finish what I started yesterday.

Lunch on Friday, when Boss Foxy informed me that she had something of note to discuss. Turns out it was something of a career development thing...she wants me to go back to school. This didn't catch me totally off guard because I have discussed it with her and with other people before...but I wasn't thinking about it imminently. Her suggestion is that I get the applications together now for the fall/winter deadlines for admission for next fall ('08).

So basically, the arguments are as follows. I think that I do want to go back, I just don't know about next year yet. I really like what I do and there is sort of a practical ceiling above which I don't think I could rise without an MBA. And title-wise, I am sort of at that ceiling...I don't think I can get promoted without another degree (that is not to say that there isn't a lot more I could learn...). And she didn't seem to think I would have any trouble getting into some very good schools. The most important part of a business school application is your experience, and my resume looks great from working here for a couple years. I would have three years of work experience by the time classes started, which is on the low side, but should be enough.

The downside is that the programs I would want to go to are all full-time (and part-time is way harder five or six years long) and cost a lot of money. Essentially, I would have to quit my job and borrow at least $100,000 to go for two years and pay for living expenses. That, however, is not really something that would change this year or next or the year after (if anything, it would get worse.) It would likely take more time and effort, at least in the first year, than work does, and would therefore require me to work out Munchkin's schedule constantly. My guess is that there aren't many "single parents" in business school...which means that there are some other people that I would need to talk through this with (well, one in particular).

Boss Foxy went to the trouble of getting the admissions packets for me from the two most well-known schools around here (and it is absurd to me that I could conceivably attend either of them...who other story). So, I have those, and I am making a bit of a list of questions to ask the admissions people as I think about what I wanna do.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Obviously, people who have gone through intense graduate programs and can speak to it are particularly welcome to opine...

Not gonna lie, I am pretty sure I already know what I am gonna do, but I don't wanna skew anyone's views. I want to hear that I am crazy if you think I am:-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Day-Late Weekend Recap

Yesterday's exercise was fun, and I have passed it along to Claire, who can do it and pass it along to someone else. I feel like it is important to appreciate people who list Vodka and Elephants among their favorite things...

Anyway, I skipped the weekend, and owe you some catchup. Saturday morning was really fun...I love fall soccer games. We got up pretty early for a Saturday, hit Dunkin' Donuts per usual and wandered over to the game. It is weird to see some people that I only see at those games, and therefore haven't seen since last year. Now I will see them every Saturday for a couple of months and feel like I am very much in touch with them...and then they will disappear for another year.

After the game we went out for breakfast with Smoking Hot Roommate to celebrate the big victory (apparently they won the game, I didn't quite pay that much attention...). Saturday afternoon was really, really hot, so it was a very convenient day to have a pool party:-) It was sort of a back-to-school barbecue thing at the house of one of Munchkin's friends. I brought my bathing suit and played in the pool with the kids because it was so freaking hot. And then I was informed by one of the school Mom's that all the 12 and 13 year old boys think I am really hot;-) Must be the tattoos...the preppy private school kids dig the whole bad girl vibe:-)

Anyway, that was actually pretty fun. As I have mentioned before, the whole school community has been really warm and welcoming to Munchkin, and also to me, and it is always nice to see them. Obviously, I don't see them nearly as much during the summer (and in fact only see the ones that are parents of Munchkin's closest couple of friends, really.) After we went home and showered and changed, I took Munchkin over to another friend's house where she stayed for the night.

And then me, SHR and three of our friend went out and tore some shit up! I got way too drunk, but I had tons of fun...we drank a lot, danced and teased a lot of boys:-) One of my favorite past times! We didn't meet anyone that any of the girls thought of as dateable, so the night was not terribly eventful. I did, however, get a message from Munchkin that made me cry:-) She called at maybe 10:30 or so, at which point I was wasted and didn't want to answer the phone (see, this fiasco).

So she left a message and it said "I just wanted to check and see how you are doing. I know you are with Smoking Hot Roommate so I think you are probably having fun. But since you felt so bad all week, I just wanted to make sure you are having fun. You can call if you want, I love you. See you tomorrow." And the girls got real concerned and were wondering why I was literally bawling in the bar. Then they listened and it made them cry,

So that was about it...I managed to avoid a hangover by drinking lots of water and taking some aspirin before bed. Sunday was a really raw, fallish day, and I got real sad having to put a sweater on in the morning:-( Then we basically bummed around all day...did a little shopping, watched some football, had dinner at Big Sis' house. Kind of a nice weekend:-)

I will leave my Friday lunch with Boss Foxy until tomorrow, since this is too long, you have that to look forward to:-)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tag, I'm it

Looks like I have been spared the task of telling you how my weekend was by OC in CT. I have ignored several tags in the past (which is bad blog-form, I know...but I also never really tag anyone, either. Although I am gonna do it at the end of this...)

Carrying on… THE RULES: This is simple. Elaborate on the words below.

A little bit of my Chicago roots (Chicawgo) comes through, but not much. I have also incorporated the word "wicked" into my vocabulary,which identifies you as a New Englander. I can not, yet, however, use the word "pissah" in conversation, which would finally make me a Bostonian.

I Don't Drink:
Miller Lite. But MFND sure does... Seriously? Gin. Whatever they ferment to make it, they should stop. Given my family history, I should probably avoid Vodka, but I don't.

Chore I Hate:
Laundry. I hate folding it. I don't mind the sorting and the cleaning. It is just the folding that I really hate. So tedious.

No, but Munchkin has been lobbying for two years to get a dog. Papa Bear has a dog that we "borrow" sometimes. If I had the time to walk it three times a day, I would get a Swissie. I think they are adorable:-) A little on the large side, maybe:-D

Essential Electronic:
I guess my cell, but I lose it all the time and am not nearly as attached as most people are. I kind of hate it, to be honest.

I don't wear a lot, but when I do, there is a Victoria's Secret one I wear a lot (Dream Angel or something?). And Smoking Hot Roommate has a Dior one that I like and borrow sometimes, too.

Gold Or Silver:

Only when I am worried about something. Like when I thought I had cancer two months ago;-)

Job Title:
Senior Analyst, Special Agent in Charge of Client Personnel Investigations, Liaison to the Boss When Angry, Chick Magnet for Male Co-Workers, Doer of Whatever My Superiors Tell Me.

Sort of:-) None I have given birth to, but one that I have to keep an eye on. No plans for any more anytime soon, and I have entrusted the fine makers of Triphasil to keep things as they are. I went into this a little bit a while back...even if I was kind of on the fence, I promised The Boy that I would have one because I know how much it means to him. Pending some other stuff and for what its worth, that promise still stands.

Catholic by birth. Non-practicing. Kind of ambivalent, kind of anti-organized religion. Not sure I have my thoughts totally sorted out on it.

Two, both younger. OK, somewhere between 1 and 4, depending on how you count. Definitely 2 half sisters (does that makes one whole one?). Munchkin is my half-sister by my mother, she is 12 and lives with me. Tinkerbelle is my half-sister by my father. She is 8 and lives in Chicago with her Mom. I just met her last Christmas and I think she is the coolest! I wish I saw more of her. Both Smoking Hot Roommate and Big Sis are very, very dear friends that I consider my "pretend sisters" and who sometimes introduce Munchkin and I as their sisters.

Time I Wake Up:
I take very little time to get ready in the morning. I can get up at 6:45, eat breakfast and scan the paper, shower and dress and be out the door by 7:45. That gets Munchkin to school by 7:50 and me to work by 7:55. This is part of what I love about living in the city:-)

Unusual Talent/Skill:
I have to think about this...I am not sure what qualifies. I think I am a really good dancer. And I am dynamite at oral sex:-D

Vegetable I Refuse To Eat:
Carrots. They make me throw up...bad experience as a child. Bananas make me throw up, too. It is the texture that does it.

Worst Habit:
Not answering the phone. I let most calls go to voice mail and call people back. I don't know why...weird phobia. Oh, and apparently I suck at sending pictures to people...sorry about that:-)

My Favorite Meal:
Chicken Fingers and French Fries, every Thursday:-) But I would never turn down a giant slab of red meat, especially if it comes from here, or here.

Now that that is over with...I am gonna tag...hmmm...Claire. You seem to have escaped the wave of taggings, surveys, chains, meme's, more!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Feeling Useful

I got a comment from Sri Lanka yesterday...that is a first;-) I wish there was something that would track comments on a map, not just readers. So, thanks more place crossed off my list;-) (Incidentally, my life will be complete when someone from Chad checks in...)

Maybe the best chicken finger Thursday ever:-) Munchkin was lobbying to leave school early so she could watch the Cubs game, but I don't want to be pulling her out for baseball game watching two days into the year. She pouted for about 10 seconds over that, which is about the limit of her tantrums.

So we headed over after work, and Smoking Hot Roommate and Big Sis joined us, as did their respective attachments. Even Papa Bear dropped in for a drink on his way to dinner elsewhere:-) A handful of other friends came by to say Hi, as well, so I got to see some people I haven't seen for a bit. That is always nice...I kind of lose track of people in the summer a bit because we are out of town so much, so now is the time of year to re-see people.

Boss Foxy says she has an important topic for me at lunch today, but I don't know what it is. I know I am not getting promoted nor getting a raise, so I wonder if maybe someone else is and I get to hear it first. I kinda like office gossip, even if it is evil and counterproductive:-D

Speaking of work...I got a super nice compliment that I don't think was even intended to be a compliment yesterday. It turns out that there is at least one part of what we do that I am really good at. I don't know 10% of the stuff that anyone else does about the mechanics and the details of doing a deal...or about the strategic development and restructuring and such that goes into one. But, what I do really well with is people, and that is a big part of everything we do.

Most buyouts involve some kind of restructuring, and that always inflames whatever internal politics is in place at the company. Coming from the outside, these things can be really hard to pick up sometimes until it is too late...things like "VP #1 and VP#2 hate each other and will do whatever they can to undercut the of them has to go." If you put them both into key roles and then find this out four months later, your whole plan is fucked.

What I am good at is getting people to talk. No, not by waterboarding them;-) People just, for some reason, open up to me and feel comfortable dishing all the dirt. Maybe it is because I am so non-threatening, or maybe just because I am so fucking charming:-D

Back to yesterday...we are consulting on a deal with another, bigger firm. There are some sticky points and some personnel issues with the biggest subsidiary of the target. So, I got called to sit in on a meeting yesterday to plan some stuff, and already knew that I would be spending some time on the HR issues next week. But when the VP who is running the day-to-day asked if he should go with me, the Partner (who is in charge of it) said "No, there are some tricky things, and I don't think we are getting the whole story. I think we need to send AM on her own or else we won't get to the bottom of it."

I kinda wanted to do a little dance on the table:-) I felt wicked cool!!! Yeah, fucking right the rest of you will only screw up and I should go on my own! You guys can just read my memo to find out what really happened!!! So, I am not sure he meant it that way, but to me it sounded like "AM is clearly the inter-personal issues expert here and we need to defer to her."

So, now I am oddly fired up about these meetings next week...I feel important:-)

Busy weekend game tomorrow morning, which will be fun, then a back-to-school party thing at one of the other kids' houses in the afternoon. Munchkin is sleeping over at a friend's Saturday night, so me and SHR and some other girls are gonna go out and tie one on. And that is about it:-) I will let you know what Boss Foxy has to say, too...I am intrigued.

Have a good weekend, everyone:-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Non Sequitors

Today's post is going to be horribly boring, sorry about that;-)

This story was on the front page of the Boston Globe yesterday...about school uniforms. There was probably a time when I felt like the idea of uniforms at a public school was moderately offensive. Shouldn't we encourage kids to be individuals? To express themselves how they see fit? Why force everyone into the same small box?

Well, I have come around...I am a strong believer in the value of school uniforms. Now, I don't mean shirts and ties for boys and those (incredibly sexy in a really dirty kinda way) plaid skirts and knee socks for girls. I mean khakis and button down shirts. Or polo shirts if the weather is nice. And khaki shorts or skirts in nice weather, too...feel free to set length rules... I dropped Munchkin for her first day of school yesterday in her mandated school uniform: a crisp new maroon polo shirt and a knee-length tan skirt.

There are several advantages. First of all, it is cheaper. I know people complain about having to buy uniforms, but you can buy a whole year's worth of those clothes at Old Navy for a couple hundred bucks (and by that I mean several pairs of pants and a bunch of shirts), and a district could probably get a better deal in bulk. But there is no need for a kid to have nearly as many clothes as they do now...I can't imagine that you couldn't cut twice that out of the clothing budget somewhere else.

Second, it makes teacher's jobs much easier. I know I have some teachers who read, so I hope there is someone who can chime in on the difficulties of dealing with the dress of teenage girls. There are a lot of girls who either want to look like sluts, or just don't understand their bodies enough yet to know how to dress. How do teachers deal with a kid who is dressed totally inappropriately for school? And who decides what is over the edge? Should you see a girls bra straps? Underwear? How much leg should she show? This is especially hard for a male teacher...he can't even tell the girl that her ass is hanging out, he has to go and find a female staffer to do it. Sometimes parents think their kids are dressed well, only to have them change or remove something when they get to school.

Third, it equalizes the kids in the "fashion game". There is enormous pressure in a lot of places to dress right, wear the right labels and have the coolest new stuff. That gets really expensive for parents and can be really humiliating for kids. Put everyone in the same clothes and it takes that part out of going to school. Let the kids make fashion statements when they are out socially, not when they should feel comfortable.

Finally, in some places, clothing is literally dangerous. My High School banned all sports-team gear during my Freshman year because it is so often used as a gang identifier. There are schools in some places where certain colors are banned for the same reason. This is a limited number of places, but in these places, uniforms can be a matter of life and death.

OK, so that is my boring post for the day. This is not exactly a "world peace" kinda issue, but the soapbox seemed a little dusty, so I figured I would break it out for a day.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I feel like shit today. I'm in a foul mood, and I barely slept again last night, so I am exhausted. I must look like shit, too, because two people have asked me if I am feeling OK. I made Munchkin sleep with me in hopes it would help me to sleep, but it didn't. And she was up because she was excited for the first day of school, so neither of us helped the other sleep at all.

The problem is that I lost something. Or rather, I 'misplaced' it, and may have really lost it, I don't know yet. I suppose I could tell you what it is, but I don't want to, and for the moment I would rather be intentionally vague and purposely mysterious. It's more fun that way. I also thought about writing one of those password-protected secret posts, but I don't feel like figuring out how, and I am not sure what I would write anyway.

It is something that means a great deal to me and which I will be miserable without. It carries no monetary value, or technically even any sentimental value, but it is an important part of me...a part that I don't want to lose. I kinda know where it is, but I don't know what I have to do to find it. I know what I could do, but I don't know if I can do that, or if I want to, of if I would be happy if I did.

I have to point out my own stupidity in losing it. I wasn't paying enough attention to it, and I guess I just lost track. Usually, I am very good about keeping track of the things that matter to me, but I guess I fucked up on this one. So it is my fault and that makes it all that much worse. Losing it is horrible, and thinking about not being able to find it is virtually unbearable.

I don't know when I will have a chance to look for it. I hope it's soon.And I don't know really what I plan on doing to find it anyway. I hope I think of something.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Quick hits

Sorry, not much of a post and it is late in the day. Busy day, but I can use a minute to breath, so I will blog:-)

The weekend was mostly good...great weather and great fun:-)

But it ended really shitty and I didn't sleep much last night.

Now I am tired and in a bad mood and buried in work and I don't feel like being here to do any of it.

I just wanna go take a nap.

I have had better days.