Friday, November 30, 2007

Raises, Orgasms and Chicken Fingers, all in one day

I have a little more time today, so I can tell you all about my new favorite subject... my new, larger salary! It is review time around here, which means we all had to write our 360 reviews over the last couple of weeks (yes, I wrote 25 reviews, every one of which was for someone senior to me.) Then yesterday at 9:30 I had to appear before the partners to discuss my review.

I think I wrote this last year, but it is kind of intimidating. The conference room they do these in is intended to be kind of intimidating...big heavy granite table, dark wood, it really says "power". And the partners all sit on one side of the table, and the employee...sits across from them. They have a binder for each person with all of their reviews, along with a summary page, and that is the first time that you get to see your reviews.

It could be worse...I am fortunate that Papa Bear and Boss Foxy make up 40% of the partners (really more...he counts extra:-P) and they would clearly let me know if anything bad was gonna happen. Plus, they just basically like me:-)

So anyway, the reviews were all basically good (even the guy that hates me was nicer this year, although I could still tell which one was his:-P). We have a very, very thorough process with all kinds of back and forth, and I will spare you the ugly details. But basically they have some suggestions on specific things to do and learn. But this year, they also asked that I write something about "interviewing techniques" for our giant library, which is good. It is nice to be thought of as good at something:-) (Well, other than not being yelled at by the boss:-P).

And then they gave me a big fat raise that they said "reflects my growing ability to add value to a variety of initiatives". Shwing! I got a big raise last year, so I wasn't quite expecting another one, but I am certainly not going to give it back:-P This will go a long way towards helping me to flesh out my still-small "house fund". Yay for me!

To celebrate: chicken fingers:-) It was kind of weird, we sort of got kicked out. I guess there was a big football game last night that was only on TV in some places...? So the place (which is kind of a sports bar) was expecting a big crowd, and they were going 21+ almost all night. We go there enough and know the people well enough that they let Munchkin in, but told us that we would have to leave before it got too late. That was fine...we weren't gonna stay long past 7:30 anyway, so it wasn't really an issue.

Smoking Hot Roommate, The Boy, The Rocket Scientist and Big Sis all joined us, which made it all the better:-) The Boy came back and stayed over, which was good...I hadn't gotten any since last Friday, damnit, and I have needs! Between his being away a bit, me being sick and some work things, I had gone WAY too long without getting some quality naked time. He sufficiently filled his boyfriendly duties, though, so I am better:-P (Seriously, his sister reads do you suppose I embarrass most?)

Should be a sort of busy weekend. Party tonight with SHR and some friends, and then the first of like a trillion Christmas parties tomorrow night. Munchkin probably has friend things to do, but she could come to either party if she wants:-) Mix in some Christmas shopping tomorrow and maybe Sunday, and my regular Sunday afternoon date and it is a pretty full slate. Anyone else have anything? This time of year gets really busy...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What goes up?

I have been super busy all day, and therefore didn't post this morning. But I had my annual salary review and I got a big fat raise:-) So I don't mind being busy!!! I didn't get promoted like last year (I didn't expect to) but the raise was actually a little bigger in dollars, and just a little smaller in percentage terms (like 14%!).

That is actually about it...sorry for the super short post. But I really wanted to shout it to the blogosphere:-D Yippee for me!

Chicken fingers tonight, looking very forward to it! That is the last medicine I need to feel all the way better, I think.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A very late Thanksgiving Recap

I am feeling moderately better least semi-functional. Still kind of fuzzy and tired, but I feel like I have turned the corner. I know some people believe in taking as little medication as possible...I however, am not one of them. At least not when I am really sick. When I am sick, I believe in taking full advantage of the advances made by modern medicine. And so, after lots and lots and lots of Tylenol cold and flu, I am feeling a little better. Big pharma gets a bad name...

This means I am WAY behind on my blog reading and commenting. I actually read about 100 blogs last night when I woke up from my (five hour) afternoon nap. I commented on very few however, because some were a couple days old already and I wanted to read as many as I could. Sounds like most people had pleasant Thanksgiving weekends, although a couple of people seem a little bit down these days for various reasons (like OC, Still Just Me and Kristin).

My Thanksgiving was really nice, complete with lots and lots of eating:-) The Boy's brother and sister and families were up for the weekend, so Munchkin and I went to his parents' house on Thursday to see all of them and some other assorted aunts and uncles and cousins. Twin Sister has like the nicest, least difficult baby in history. Seriously, if they were all that easy, I would have several (so basically, before I have a baby, I want some guarantee that it will sleep all the time, never cry and that I will look like Heidi Klum a month later. Never mind that I don't look a thing like Heidi Klum now... Am I being unrealistic?)

We left The Boy there so he could leave early on Friday with his father and brother and brother-in law and headed to meet Smoking Hot Roommate and family. They were at her cousin's house, which actually used to be theirs. They lived in a big old farmhouse in Brookline until Papa Bear moved into the city a couple of years ago (actually, it was a deal...when Big Sis got back from London, she originally intended to move to New York, but agreed to stay in Boston if he agreed to sell the big old house and move in town. The house has a lot of memories, but one person does not need 8 bedrooms...)

Anyway, that is where they lived when I spent the summer here before senior year and I still love the house. It is old, big and has tons of character. Some member of their family has lived there for like 100 years, and I know Papa Bear was really glad to keep it in the family. And I am glad that we get to go visit:-) Munchkin actually spends a lot of time there, as that cousin has a daughter in her class that is one of her best friends.

So, that was way off Whatever, I am still sick, I can't be expected to make sense all the time:-P

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kill me now, it will ache less

Still sick, still can't concentrate. I slept forever last night, but I still feel exhausted. It is kind of warm out, but I am freezing. It hurts to talk, I have a huge fever and a my head feels like there is a brick in it.

My diet of chicken noodle soup, ice cream, vitamin C and Tylenol Flu doesn't seem to be doing it. Maybe I should up the Tylenol...

Many thanks to the wonderful Smoking Hot Roommate for taking care of Munchkin for dinner last night:-) And for offering to get her after her music lesson tonight so I can sleep. Seriously, how do single parents do this shit?

Luckily, I have something I have to do this morning and then I can go home for the day.

Fuck this.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Sorry to have been non-blogging for a couple days...I know how important my daily rambling are to your lives:-P I also opened my Reader this morning to 111 new posts. So symmetrical. Apologies in advance for not commenting on them.

I'm sick, and have been since Friday. And not just a little bit "oh, I will curl up and eat soup" really sick. I mean like fever, sleep all the time, throw up a lot, can barely eat sick. I am actually a little better today, but I still feel really week and kind of light-headed. So, I am at work, but I don't know how long. I can't imagine I will be too productive.

Thanksgiving was really nice:-) We had a great meal at The Boy's parents' house, which, it dawns on me, is likely to be my standard go-to Holiday location from here on out. Kind of a daunting thought... Then Munchkin and I left The Boy there and went to meet up with our pretend family, and that was awesome as well.

Friday started out fine. We went for a walk, avoided all stores of any kind, and then I dropped Munchkin at her friends' house and went home. It all went downhill pretty quickly from there. I think the sore throat came on first, and then the congestion. And then lunch made its reappearance...

From about 2:00 on Friday afternoon until this morning, I didn't leave the house. Not once. And I slept. A lot. Munchkin and The Boy and Smoking Hot Roommate all played nurse, and it was much appreciated:-) Munchkin was like an old Italian mother...convinced that all of my problems could be solved by eating more (that is not totally unfounded, my weight borders on dangerously low, so a couple days without eating right can be an issue. Thankfully, she made me eat a lot of ice cream:-))

And really, that is about it. My head is so scattered that these three paragraphs took about two hours to write...and I don't see it getting much better. So, tomorrow I will try and get back to the stuff I missed. Until then...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for so much, and not just today. But today is a good day to say it without seeming too cheesy.

Mostly, I am thankful for the people I love. For a beautiful, brilliant little sister who makes me smile everyday. The truth is that she has made my life much more fulfilling, not harder. And for another one that is still the best Christmas present I have ever gotten.

For a best friend who is a friend, a role model, a supporter and so very much more. For a "father" and a "sister" who give all the love and support of even the best families. For the immense love and support that they all provide to much of her is a reflection of all of the time, the love and the support that they give her. They write checks on her behalf, but much more than that, they spend time with her and shower her with the attention and love and support and guidance that she has lost.

For a boyfriend who makes me feel beautiful and special and still makes me tingle when I hear his voice. For his being selfless and patient and for being more than I could ever expect him to be. And for being the luckiest girl in the world because I make him happy. For the chance to make him happy for many more years.

For my family. As much as I beat them up here sometimes, they are still my family, and there are some of them that owe enormous debts of gratitude to. I wish I met my father's family sooner, but I am very grateful to know them now.

For a great job that keeps me interested and challenged and teaches me something new ever single day (oh, and dramatically overpays me:-)). For my work-mom, who advises and comforts both professionally and personally. For my wonderful colleagues who tolerate my inexperience and teach and coach and guide. And occasionally give me great clothes.

For my friends, both near and far. For our tragedies. For our memories. For the love. For the laughter. For the history and for the future. For your sacrifices and mine and the wonderful, wonderful things that have come from knowing you all.

I have kind of an odd life, I am aware of that. It hasn't always been easy. But I think it is looking pretty good from here on out. And for that, and for all of the people that make that true, I am extraordinarily thankful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Uh, oh...look who is feeling sappy again

The weather is really weird around here. It was really cold, and yesterday it snowed a little bit, and now today is a little warmer and tomorrow is supposed to be like 60. This is why everyone gets sick at this time of year...the constant temperature change!

I assume that everyone has their Thanksgiving plans all ironed out. This is my favorite holiday, and I also think it is really kind of a quintessentially American day. It is my favorite holiday because it is all about family and being together and being grateful, and it doesn't include any of the pressures of Christmas...there is no three week buildup. It is just a reason to get together, eat and enjoy each other.

I guess there is a part of me that always wished I could spend Thanksgiving with my own healthy and functional family, but that was just never to be. But that's OK...there are people I love that treat me better than my own family ever did, and I get to spend time with them, thinking about how fortunate I am. And I am not totally without family, either...I am incredibly lucky to be able to spend the day with my little sister, who really is my most favorite person:-) I am lucky to spend every day with her!

OK, that is a little bit sappy, I know. And if I write tomorrow morning, it will be much sappier! I am leaving work early of the teachers at Munchkin's school is taking some of the kids to a homeless shelter to help serve Thanksgiving dinner, and I offered to help. I think it is a really neat thing for the kids to do, and I am glad that Munchkin is excited to participate. To be really honest, the kids she goes to school with can probably benefit from seeing the other end of the social spectrum. Not that most of them are really snotty or entitled, but they definitely live in a very abnormal slice of the social is good for them to know what else is out there.

So we are gonna do that this afternoon, and then maybe we will move chicken fingers up a day and do that tonight:-)

A very, very Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Total Score!

I got a really early start this morning, and I have no idea why. Normally I get out of bed at about 7:00, shower, look at the paper and eat something and leave at about 7:45. Munchkin gets to school at about 7:50 and I get to work at 7:55 (I told you it was a short walk!). Then I spend an hour or so checking some emails and maybe following up on stuff from yesterday.

At 9:00 or so, I take a quick break to blog and to read everyone else's blogs:-) When I am done with that, I start in on the real work for the day.

But today, I was awake at about 6:00, so I did all the email checking and whatnot from home before I came to work. Which means I have now already read everyone's blogs for the day, left a few comments and am writing this one. Could this lead to a tremendously productive day? Or maybe it will just mean that I have lots of time I feel like wasting...we shall see!

I also scored a killer new coat, which I am pretty happy about. It used to belong to the 15 year old daughter of a guy I work with...I apparently told her at a work-thing last winter that I really liked it (I don't remember this, but it probably so since she outgrew it, she told her dad to bring it in and see if I wanted it. Never mind that I am getting hand-me-downs that teenagers have is a gorgeous cashmere topcoat that she didn't wear much and that I intend to thoroughly enjoy! Total score.

So that was a pretty good start to the day:-) One more reason to love the people I work with:-)

Speaking of that...I need to go through all of Munchkin's (and my) stuff and send a lot of it to Goodwill. She outgrows stuff really fast, and with the move coming up, I would like to get rid of the stuff she doesn't need any more. Of course, that is just going to highlight more stuff she does need...ahh well, no one ever said kids were free...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Psycho-analyzing The Boy

I forgot to mention in my last post that Chatham is a town on Cape Cod, and I think that is where the name comes from. It is sort of a snooty place, hence my feelings on the pretentiousness of the name.

Anywho, I have all of my peeps back, so I don't need to worry about scary monsters and boogeymen anymore (Ella points out that we have a doorman, but not all night!). Smoking Hot Roommate is finally back for a bit from the various work and leisure travels that have kept her away from us for what seems like forever.

The Boy survived his day of playing "Flip That House" with only some minor damage (a couple of bruises and some scrapes). Not that I don't totally trust him, his father and his brother with lots of power tools, but...well, they all have a lot of little boy in them. If they could renovate with dynamite, they probably would. They are likely going back for at least one more day next weekend, and maybe more...pray for him.

On a more serious, amateur-psychologist note, I think he wishes he was closer with his brother and likes the chance to do stuff with him. Not that there is any fact they get along very well. But his brother is older and I think for a lot of their lives they had different priorities and just never had a whole lot in common. I wouldn't say that he wishes that they had the relationship that their sisters have had (which has been much rockier) but I think maybe he envies the intensity of that just a little bit.

But now maybe they are a little more alike, The Boy has sort of caught up to the life stages...I dunno, I am hypothesizing. His brother is a really good guy, I like him a lot. They are both a lot like their father, but in very different ways.

Anyway, short week, and hopefully a Happy Thanksgiving for all! Munchkin and I are going up to The Boy's parents' house for dinner on Thursday, and then back to meet up with SHR and family (I have to get back to calling them The Rocks, it is easier) later on. Not sure if The Boy will come with us, or if he will stay with his parents and then go with his father and brother the next day...depends on what day they want to do it.

Their brother-in-law is going with them this time, too, which is just one more ingredient for a total And in a sign of BLATANT sexism, not one single woman has been invited to help. Not Mom, nor either sister, nor either daughter-in-law nor me. Not that any of us would go...but still.

Not a terribly exciting week. Bonuses are gonna be announced in the next couple of weeks, so the speculation and excitement is starting to build:-) Despite it not being a great year for most people who do what we do, it has been pretty good here. But next year likely won't be as good, so they may go easy on the bonuses in anticipation of that...we will have to see. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lonely. So Lonely.

OK, I am a big baby...I'm not gonna lie. I have sort of admitted this before, but I should really just get it out on the table. I also need a dog, but that is another story:-D

Munchkin went over to her friend's house after dinner, and then called to ask if she could sleep over. This, theoretically, should mean that I get myself a lot of alone time with The Boy, which I really tend to enjoy. (Side note, her friend's name is Chatham, which I go back and forth times I think it is incredibly cute, and at others I think it is way overly-pretentious...thoughts?)

Anyway...that plan was foiled. The Boy's brother just bought a house on a lake in New Hampshire and is doing some work on it. The Boy, his father and his uncle were all planning to head up to help him out all day Sunday, and were leaving at like 5:00am. Which means he stayed at his parents' house last night.

Smoking Hot Roommate is away (she should be back in a couple hours), which means that I was all alone in the apartment last night. And yes, I am a super big baby that gets scared by being alone:-P

But first, I went out with some friends, which was really fun. I don't do that nearly enough! I can't say that I am jealous of the idea of trying to meet people in that environment, but it is fun to get all dressed, have a couple drinks and let loose a bit. I also have some super-hot friends, so we tend to get hit on a lot:-P That sometimes gets annoying, but I am not gonna argue with not having to buy drinks!

I actually met a hilarious girl who was out with four guy friends playing wing-woman. She was the girlfriend of one of the guys' friends (that guy was not with them) and had sort of completed her work for the So we stole her for the rest of the night:-) Her boyfriend lived really near one of my friends (in Southie, for the locals), so she came with us to the last bar of the night, and then she and my friend took a cab home. I don't know what it is, but I tend to make friends whenever I am Now I know where Munchkin gets it from:-D

So I got home on the late side (and of course answered texts from both The Boy and Munchkin demanding that I let them know I was home safely). Then I checked all the doors and windows to make sure they were locked, checked under the bed and in the closets for monsters and boogeymen and put a baseball bat in my know, just in case:-D Thankfully, I didn't need to use it...

That's about it. It's a really beautiful Sunday, so we will likely go for a walk and maybe some Open House visiting. I have to go get Munchkin in a bit, and SHR will be home around lunchtime. Since The Boy is gone all day, I may join the girls for their Sunday afternoon football watching. Not usually my first choice, but a pretty nice afternoon anyway:-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Very little to say:-)

I have very little to say today:-) The Boy and I had a date last night, which was nice...I am happy to report that he is back to feeling 100%. We met up with a couple of my friends, who were hanging at one of their apartments, which happened to be not too far from where I had to pick up Munchkin from. She was at a friend's house, hopefully not working on the corresponding list to Fridays;-)

By the way, I have noticed that I use the phrase "pick up" Munchkin a lot, which implies that I drive somewhere and get here. In reality, 90% of the time, I am "picking her up" simply by walking to meet her somewhere. I love being able to walk everywhere, and I like that she walks most places, too. Walking is good for you:-D An enormous part of our lives takes place in a relatively small radius (for the locals, basically Beacon Hill and The Back Bay). That's where we live, where her school is and where many of her friends live. Not sure why that is relevant, but I felt like saying it.

Anyway, we had a really nice dinner and hung with my friends for a bit, and then were home by like 11:00. Munchkin went straight to bed, and so did we (I had to have him make up for his illness-related inability to put out last weekend:-P).

And now we are just hanging out at home. Munchkin has a project to do that I would like her to get done this morning so she doesn't have to worry about it tomorrow. The Boy has gone home and I am gonna do a little work, too. Not real sure beyond that:-) We will probably go out for a bit this afternoon, although not for any reason other than to just get out and wander around a bit.'s it, I guess. Kind of a boring Saturday:-)

Friday, November 16, 2007

You should have known by now, you were on my list

The Boy was supposed to join us for chicken fingers last night, but I had to un-invite him at the last minute. Munchkin was kind of upset and we had some girl-talk issues to cover. He was OK with it...he understands:-) In his stead, Big Sis made an unscheduled appearance to lend support. Because she is just that awesome:-D

The issue is kind of a sixth-grade thing, but I can also understand why it had her really upset. It turns out that the boys in her class made a "list" whereby they ranked all of the girls in the class in order of hotness. (Ironically, almost the same thing happened on a South Park episode last night...not sure if maybe that was the impetus for the idea. If the episode wasn't new, that would make sense.) It started at a sleepover at someone's house last weekend between like four or five of them, and then expanded to all of the boys voting and all of their votes being compiled into a master list.

Kids that age don't keep secrets really well, so word got out to the girls and the teachers. And some drama ensued...they told me about it when I went to get her. Part of the problem was that I couldn't quite put my finger on what upset her about it most, and she couldn't quite articulate it.

I think the basic issue was that she just felt like it was kind of demeaning, and that it was insulting that the boys kept saying that it should be flattering. After all, she said, if it was really intended to be flattering, there would have been funniest, smartest and nicest lists, too. But she also felt like it was really mean to some girls. It wasn't like they just had a "three hottest" list, but that they had a score for all of the girls in the class, and one of two of the girls got really, really low scores that were quite mean.

I think she just felt like a bunch of boys that she considered good friends had felt the need to judge them all purely on their physical appearance, and to essentially treat them as simply pretty things. I think she just felt a little betrayed by that, and she was just really kind of down about it all. She can be really sensitive, and this bothered her a lot.

So she needed to talk about it, and needed to have some chicken fingers with her big sister:-) I am prety sure that there are people that are better parents than me, but I am pretty good at this kind of stuff...I can read her pretty well and she feels good about talking with me about stuff. Big Sis helped a lot, too...Munchkin idolizes her, and she really cheered her up. Her first suggestion was that the girls create a list of their own, but give much more critical scores. Maybe not the best

The other thing that helped was a phone call she got when we got home. The boy in her class that is probably her best boy friend (and who I secretly keep wishing she will announce as her boyfriend some day...he is adorable and super nice!) called her to apologize for being a part of it. I don't know if his parents made him or if he did it on his own, but Munchkin appreciated the gesture.

So, I think she is OK today. She is definitely hurt by the whole thing, and the other girls in the class that she talked to last night are as well. Sure, they may be over-reacting a bit (this is hardly the greatest insult in world history) but I do think they have a right to be disappointed. Hopefully the whole thing sort of blows over and they all earn their lessons and whatnot.

Other than that, a pretty normal weekend with some Boy time, some Munchkin time, some SHR time and some Fantasy Football:-D

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Papa Bear on a rampage

Yesterday was kind of a funny day at work...Papa Bear was in really rare form, and he was NOT happy.

Some background for the newbies...Papa Bear is the big boss here. There are five partners (Boss Foxy is one of the others) who are mutually in charge, but he is the Managing Partner, so he is technically the #1 person at the firm. He is unquestionably brilliant, and everyone here loves working for him, and loves whatever chance we get to work with him.

However, he sometimes has a bit of a temper, and when he is irritated by something, he can be very, very sharp-tongued, and somewhat frightening (in the professional sense). So much so that, when he is in a state, word passes pretty quickly that we should all do our best to avoid him for a while. Except for me...who he never yells at. This is, in a nutshell, the actual value that I bring to the workplace: the ability to deal with Papa Bear when no one else can. I am not sure what else I really do that

Yesterday was one of those days. There is a pretty big deal that we have been working on (for those that technically understand what we do, it wasn't our deal, but we have been consulting...the target has a pretty big government business, which makes things tricky, and required a little bit of outside help to get it done). Well, it fell apart yesterday, mostly because the buyer (that is who we were working for) just basically changed its mind on how much the target was worth. Things have changed since the deal was first put together, and they just don't wanna do it any more.

Now, this really doesn't have any effect on us. Our fees in this were all simply hourly-billed consulting fees (actually probably just a fixed fee, I am not privy to that stuff) and don't change based on the deal falling apart. We probably would have done some additional implementation consulting if it went through, but that is not really a huge deal. Mostly, he just doesn't like to get involved in things and have them fall apart. He takes great pride in being able to put together even the trickiest of deals, no matter the obstacles.

Which means that the news yesterday that the deal was being killed really set him off. I am not really sure who he was mad at, to be honest...I don't think he really blamed the buyer for changing its mind. He was just kinda ticked at the whole thing, and was just on a rampage all day. Usually that is OK...he has a big office with a heavy door and privacy glass, so he can shutter himself away and we can all avoid him.

However, there was something else he really needed to do yesterday. There was a proposal on a totally separate deal that needed a good solid hour or two of his time to review. So at about 1:00, the two people who put most of this together came by my desk and said "AM, we really need you to bring this to Papa Bear and get him to review it, we promised it by 4:00 pm today." This wasn't really what I wanted to do, but I understand the issue, so I took it in, which lead to this conversation.

Papa Bear: What?
Me: You need to review this so we can send it to XYZ, we promised it by 4:00.
PB: You have been working on this?
Me: Well, no, but they wanted you to review it more than they wanted to sit here for an hour while you yelled.
PB: You mean they sent you in because they are scared of me?
Me: Kind of.

(His mood lightened at this point as he found it kind of funny. So he called Boss Foxy in her office)

Boss Foxy: Yes?
PB: VP1 and VP2 just sent AM in here with the XYZ proposal. Because they are scared of me.
BF: I probably would have done the same thing.
PB: What?
BF: Yea, we do that all the time, you never realized this? She is our go between when you are in a rage.
PB: Um, no, I guess I didn't know that.
BF: Well, yes. Now you know.

So there you example of the value that I bring to the firm...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Holiday Plans '07

Project Runway tonight...and I am giddy!!! Does anyone know of a good website where they do Runway games, like where you pick winners and losers and get points for it and can compete against friends? That's right...I am looking for a Fantasy Runway League...

My sick patients are all back to 100%, and I seem to have avoided catching anything, so that's good. I really don't feel like getting the flu right now, it just doesn't fit into my schedule at all!

The time has come, once again, to go through what has become a new holiday tradition for me ... scheduling. The number of families with which I either want, or feel obligated, to spend time with or to arrange for Munchkin to spend time with during the holidays, has ballooned to somewhere near 7. That's right, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I would like to somehow manage to see (or get Munchkin to see) our mother's family, my father's family, Munchkin's father's family, my two pretend families (Smoking Hot Roommate's mother's and father's families) and now The Boy's two families (mother's and father's).

That equals an enormous amount of Turkey and other assorted holiday goodness...

I think I will do the same thing I did last year, which is to stick around here for Thanksgiving, and then try and get to Chicago for a long weekend sometime right before Christmas to see all of them. Christmas is kind of a four day weekend this year, so maybe we could go like Friday-Sunday out there, and be back here for the next couple of days. Or, I suppose we could do it the other way around and go there like Sunday-Tuesday. (It is also not quite as important that she see her father's family a ton, since we will have a whole long weekend with them after the New Year for her brother's wedding...everyone follow this?)

The downside to that is that, if we are out there on Christmas, I doubt that The Boy would come...I imagine he would want to see him parents and sisters and brother. Also, Munchkin is leaving the day after Christmas again, and I would rather she not be on that many planes in that short a tends to make people sick.

I am sure I will get some shit from my Aunts (mother's sisters and sisters-in-law) over this. They are gonna yell at me for not wanting to be around my real family and keeping Munchkin away, too. And I guess in some sense, they are right. But in another sense, they can blow it out their collective ass;-) I dunno...I could change my mind.

Or, I could have a couple of them come out to visit us...that might really be nice:-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Personal chefs

I'm late in posting today, stupid meetings all morning...blech.

The sick ward is finally getting a little better. The Boy is back at work today and feeling at least moderately better. The good thing about having him home yesterday was that he was able to go over and get Munchkin at school at lunchtime and save me the trip. Then they had some quality time on the couches watching Days of Our Lives, Tyra, Oprah and whatever other junk was on TV in the afternoon.

They are actually really cute together...totally buddies. To be honest, Munchkin is kind of buddies with everyone, but she and The Boy get along really well, and make each other laugh a lot. Obviously that is pretty important to me...she and I are a package deal. If you want me, you get her, too, and I would never be with someone she didn't like. She gets veto power (which she exercised once, much to the dismay of the guy who had a date cancelled with "Sorry, my little sister says I can't go.")

They made dinner and baked a cake yesterday, which was very nice of them. Kind of a baked ziti with zucchini, sausage, tomatoes and cheese. Not sure where the recipe came from (I think he probably called his mother, but he is trying to pass it off as his own) but it was pretty fucking good! I have some leftovers for lunch...:-)

Since this is kind of a short post, I am going to cheat and pose the following question for everyone to discuss. It's not really a question, so much as a subject...and the subject is:

Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Ikea, or other...please discuss.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This is gonna make you cry;-)

Happy Monday everyone:-) That is a total oxymoron, no one likes Mondays, and if they do, then there is something wrong with them. I don't trust anyone who likes Mondays.

The weekend was fun, and include a lot of being Nurse. The Boy is really much so that he is taking today off, which he never does. He stayed at our place all weekend, and has basically been asleep and/or watching football in my bed since Friday night...I had to go to his apartment to get him some stuff yesterday:-( Normally I encourage him to spend as much time as possible in my bed, but I am also kind of paranoid about getting sick, so I haven't spend much time in that bed. What a buzzkil!

I slept in Munchkin's room both Saturday and Sunday, and of course she woke up kind of sick this morning, so I may need to revisit that now, too. She is at school, but I told her she can come home at lunch if she doesn't feel well. They have a science class outside this afternoon, and I would rather she skip being outside all day if she doesn't feel well.

I wanted to write a bit about Saturday night, which was awesome. I guess some of you never got the original story, but every once in a while, Smoking Hot Roommate takes a handful of girls who are being treated at the Dana Farber Cancer hospital out for a "Girls Night Out." It stems from a teenage leukemia patient telling her a couple years back that what she really missed out on most was the regular stuff that teenagers do...the really normal, everyday girly stuff.

So SHR talked to a couple of doctors that she has met during her various charitable endeavors who identify the girls that they think would really benefit. And then she hit up a bunch of businesses to donate things to these girls. Usually a limo or two comes to pick up the girls and drive them to a spa for some pampering...mani's and pedi's and facials and the girls that have hair can get their hair done. Again, just silly girly stuff.

The girls also can bring a friend if they want...and the girls that live around here almost always do. The friends either pay their own way, or the sick girl's parents sometimes pay, or SHR will pay for her if need be...but she doesn't usually want to ask for donations for the friends. Either way, the overall cost is not that steep considering how much good it can do.

Then they go shopping, either somewhere on Newbury St. or at the Copley mall or someplace like that. Ella W asked yesterday who picks up the tab for the shopping, and the answer is that kind of a couple different parties do. Generally stores are pretty willing to give like a $50 gift card to a teenage girl with cancer, especially if it is part of a larger group. Some other donations go to help pay for some of it, too.

And finally they have a fancy dinner somewhere downtown. Again, SHR usually asks that the restaurant pick up the tab for the sick girls and she or someone else pays for the friends and anyone else that is there. Generally the restaurants are more than willing, especially if you have an early reservation (they don't care about donating the food so much as tying up a really big table...but if you sit at 6:00 and they can still book the table at 8:00, that is just fine).

I have gone a couple of times, and it amazes me how positive these girls can remain despite being very ill. It can also be a little depressing...they usually get extremely tired towards the end just because they don't have the strength. And one girl that went on the earliest ventures has since died:-( Another left the hospital, but is back two years later because she has relapsed:-(

I have just always thought it was a really, really nice thing to do. It doesn't make these girls cancer any less serious, and it doesn't do anything to cure the disease. But for these girls, for at least one day, they get to do some of the things that the rest of us take for granted but that they get completely deprived of.

I am gonna finish with one quick note that made me of the girls this weekend is from Pennsylvania. She is 15, she is a sophomore in High School and she has a rare kind of lymphoma that required her to come to Boston for treatment. Her mother gets here as much as she can, but she has no father and three younger siblings, so her mother can't be here all the time. So, for a large chunk of the month and a half that she has been here, she has been kind of alone.

She was a pretty natural fit to come on this outing, and they had arranged for her best friend to come up to spend the weekend visiting and come out with everyone. Her friend made an appointment to get her hair done while we were at the salon, and then asked the hairdresser to shave her head completely bald so she could look like her friend:-) I think that is a pretty ballsy thing for a 15 year old cheerleader, who is clearly one of the "pretty girls" to do...

Yes, I am crying again...

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Good morning all:-) I fee like I haven't done much Saturday posting of late, but in the spirit of NaBloPoMo, I guess I will. Although I missed last weekend, so I guess I already lost out on that...phooey. There are prizes, you know...

I have little to report. The Boy is sick:-( Not sure what the problem is, but he woke up in the middle of the night really sick and is still really banged up. Throwing up, fever, just not doing real well. Silly me, when he woke up at 4:00 am, I figured he had something mischievous in mind...:-D

So he is still sleeping, and doesn't look like he will be up anytime soon. Truth be told, I think he is a little overworked. I think maybe what he needs is a day to just lay in bed and catch up on sleep, and I am willing to be his super cute nurse for the day:-) It was a REALLY long week for anyone who makes their living associated with the stock market, him included. Sometimes I think he would be better off if he worked a little less, but it is part of his personality...I don't think he would be happy otherwise.

Munchkin made breakfast...pancakes...not too bad:-) She loves cooking, and I am not going to discourage her in the least, especially if she cooks for me!!! There is a new boyfriend as of last night, which she is pretty excited about. I only know him in passing, so I don't have an opinion yet. She has excellent judgement though, do I imagine he is a nice kid.

We are just kind of bumming around all morning, and she is off to her friend's house after lunch. Smoking Hot Roommate and I are headed over to the hospital at 2:00 to meet all of the girls that are coming out tonight. The limos arrive at 2:30, and hopefully they will all have a good time:-) Six girls, and each of the has a friend as stuff first, then some shopping and then dinner downtown. Should have them all dropped off and be home on the early side (10:00 maybe?) before Munchkin:-)

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend:-)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Random Friday Thoughts

Chicken fingers last night, per usual:-) Smoking Hot Roommate was with us for the first time in a while, and some other friends dropped in before they went out for the night. That is pretty much my favorite two hours of the week:-)

Can someone explain Kim Kardashian to me? As far as I can tell, she sucked some random guy's dick on that all we need to do to get famous these days? Is it possible to have even less tangible reason to be famous than Paris Hilton? I think she has accomplished it.

And what's up with Dog the Bounty Hunter? Are we really all that surprised that he uses dirty words? I mean...just look at him...he has a three foot mullet!!! He hunts down the most derelict people on earth, and we are somehow surprised that he said "Nigger" in a private phone call? What exactly were we expecting? And can someone just give him his show back so that I can go back not watching him on TV!!! He is everywhere, and I just want to go back to avoiding him.

Five days until Project Runway. Is Heidi pregnant again? If I were as hot as her when I was pregnant, I would have like 13 children...

I will say it again: if you lose your kids to Kevin Federline, you have a legitimate claim to be THE WORST MOTHER EVER!

Jessica Simpson says she wants a Boston boy, which has made every guy I know extremely hopeful. Here is the from Boston bear absolutely no resemblance to Southern men. I suppose that her Forrest Gumpish IQ should come as no surprise, but she really is a moron...

Amy Winehouse's husband has been arrested again. In other important news...there is tension in the Middle East and it's raining in Seattle. There are some headlines that don't need to be headlines.

Anyone watch Hotel Babylon on BBC America? It is my new replacement for Footballers Wives...and even has at last one actress from Coupling, another BBC favorite. It's not quite as outrageously brilliant as Footballers Wives, but it is still good.

Not too much up for the weekend...Munchkin is busy with school and friend stuff. The Boy and I have a date tonight and on Sunday Papa Bear wants to have dinner with all of his kids, even the fake ones:-D SHR is doing another "Girls Night Out" tomorrow for some of the girls at the Dana Farber center, and I am gonna go with her for that. It is always fun, even if it is emotionally a little draining at the end of the night. A very worthy cause...I am amazed at how those girls can remain so positive:-)

That's about all...hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

From Groceries to Junior Bridesmaids

I had no idea that so many people love grocery shopping as much as I do! I can only hope that I have somehow helped everyone to more openly acknowledge their love of the supermarket in a positive and healthy manner. I feel like I am really contributing:-P

One thing I left out is that I actually have another favorite form of shopping: imaginary home shopping. I have a terrible time not walking into open houses on Sundays if I am out and see one. I especially love the ones that are absurdly long as it is imaginary, you might as well make it fun:-) Check out this is open this Sunday, and I may have to wander by:-P Actually...two bedrooms for $4 million? How stupid is that?

Anyway, totally changing subjects...on to a bunch of random things...

I have pretty openly acknowledged that I am "not a real tough nut to crack", so to speak...but this chick has me beat. 200 orgasms a day? My god...I just...I dunno...I have nothing to say...

Munchkin continues to be the most in-demand person I know. Much like last year, one of her friends' families has invited her on a super-awesome tropical winter vacation after Christmas. This is the family that she went to Europe with, not the one she went to the Caribbean with last year. It is very difficult being as connected as she is:-)

So, I have to confirm dates to make sure it fits, but as long as she can fit it into her busy schedule, she is off on another trip that will make me super jealous. How come they never invite ME on these trips?!?!?

And what, you ask, does she have to do that would cause her to miss a trip to Aruba? Why, that would be her second go-round as a bridesmaid...this time for her brother's wedding. It is actually a very small, relatively casual affair, and I think she is the only bridesmaid, and the bride's brother is the only groomsman. I also think it is only family and a couple very close friends. And she is wearing the same dress she wore for Big Sis' wedding in July, with a shoulder throw to keep her warm:-) Actually, she is gonna wear mine because it is slightly bigger and she has grown a bit...details.

I had a lengthy IM chat with Povosgirl last week where she explained to me all of the rules around bridesmaids, junior bridesmaids and flower girls. I, for one, have never heard of junior bridesmaids...but apparently girls between like 10 and 16 are supposed to be junior bridesmaids, who get dresses that are not the same as the bridesmaids, but less childish than the flower girl's. Is this a regional thing? Or is it just something I have never heard of?

Unfortunately, Munchkin is in serious violation of that rule. She was a bridesmaid at Big Sis' wedding, and will be at Smoking Hot Roommate's next summer. And, not to get ahead of ourselves, but she will likely be a bridesmaid at my wedding before she turns 16, too. Throw in this trip, and she will be a four-time bridesmaid before she is eligible by the age rules:-) I wonder if there is a penalty for this:-D

Anyway, I have to check the date of the wedding, and the dates of the vacation to make sure that Munchkin can do both...that was the point of this long-winded story. Sorry to have wasted two minutes of your lives that you can never, ever get back...:-D

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I love it. More than actually buying stuff, I love wandering around amongst all the shiny new things and thinking of all the fantastic possibilities. This likely comes as no surprise...I am, after all, a girl, and girls pretty much love shopping.

But here is the thing: I am talking only about a specific kind of shopping, and it makes me sort of weird.

I don't love shoe shopping. Ella W and Brandy and Brookem and e.b. and some others have all talked about their love of shoes. Me? Well, I just don't get that excited over shoes, and there is nothing that could entice me to spend the exorbitant sums that Minolo and Jimmy Choo charge. I buy my shoes at super fancy places like DSW and Marshalls and from Delia's, Alloy and Vicky's Secret. I just don't care that much about shoes.

And I don't love clothes shopping. This is not to say that I don't like it, just that I generally only go if there is something I need. I rarely find it interesting to just wander around for the sake of looking if I don't at least sort of have a purpose. Maybe the one exception would be coats, which I do truly love and which I could try on all day while imagining myself skipping ever-so adorably down a cobblestone Parisian street...I digress.

I don't really even love jewelry shopping. Sure, I like sparkly things and shiny things very much, but I find the whole thing kind of stuffy and intimidating. And the special lighting intended to make everything look so extra-perfect is almost a little too misleading for me.

So what kind of shopping is it that I love most? Why, that would be grocery shopping. That's right, I could wander around the supermarket for hours. This, I know, is totally bizarre, as most people loathe this more than going to the Dentist or cleaning the toilet. I however, love it. I get all kinds of crazy inspiration and ridiculous delusions of my own culinary skill.

That's right, I find the grocery store to be inspiring. I get all kinds of ambition about wonderfully delicious things that I will cook. I imagine fancy dinner parties where all of the beautiful guests rave about my wizardry in the kitchen (no, I have never, ever actually gone through with that...). I dream up lovely casual gatherings full of brilliantly perfect comfort foods...

I love the produce department with its fresh fruits and vegetables, just begging to be whipped up into light, fresh, healthy meals that evoke Italian countrysides and post-polo match snacks. I love the meat department, provider of the exquisite cuts of meat and fish that can stand as the centerpiece of an extravagant meal. And the bakery, with its fresh breads and wonderful yummy confections...I love them all.

So yes, this makes me kinda odd, and I am OK with that. Munchkin is willing to basically go anywhere with me and will find a way to have fun, but I think even she is starting to find my love of the supermarket a little bit disturbing.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Puzzle Pieces

OK, here is my continuation of yesterday's recap of the weekend. I should warn you that this may interest no one but

The focus of this post is one of my very favorite people on earth, BFFb (the male half of my two oldest and dearest friends). For a variety of reasons, some of which I have detailed here at length, he holds a very special place in my heart, and I think I do in his as well.

Now, there is one other thing about him that is relevant here...chicks dig him. Not only is he really kinda hot, but he just has that certain something that makes women swoon. It kind of engenders man-crushes, too (think George Costanza and Dan Cortese) but that is a whole other story. Basically, he is super cool in addition to being super it?

Anyway, he has gone through a lot of girlfriends (other than me and BFFg, he has pretty much dated everyone I know. On another note, she is the female version...maybe they should just get married and be done with it...). And he has had a lot of girlfriends that have been really promising to start with, but that lose steam or otherwise fizzle pretty quickly. Either he loses interest, or she doesn't think he is that into her and bails, or whatever.

[Offline, you can feel free to ask me about "Erin #1", but it is a long story that is horribly embarrassing to him and BFFg so I won't write it here. But it is a REALLY good story!!!]

About three months ago, he started dating someone new, and seemed to really like her. And BFFg liked her as well, which is a pretty big hurdle. This weekend was my first chance to meet her, and I was looking forward to it. I love to see him happy, and I basically like anyone that he does:-) I met her Friday night, and thought she was lovely...gorgeous, funny, smart and really nice. However, I didn't really get the sense that he was totally digging her, so it was no huge surprise when he told me later that he didn't think it was gonna work.

So we had a lengthy discussion about this, and about his relationships with women and what caused them all to fall apart after starting so promisingly. He told me "The first time I met The Boy, I could tell that you two just fit together like puzzle pieces, and I wanna feel the same way about a girl." I thought that was sweet and kinda profound, but that is another story:-P

Then, however, he confessed something that is music to my ears and fits in well with my super-secret long-term devious plan:-) He said something along the lines of "You know, I always felt differently about The Mouth. I think I coulda really dug her." Well...duh!!! I have only been saying that for like five years (and they have figured it out on their own)!!!

This coincides were her telling me a couple of weeks ago that she is kinda bored with California, and without The Body there with her, she is not sure she wants to stay. All of this gets the gears in my little head grinding with my master plan...which is to get all of my closest friends to move here:-D.

So here is my plan...convince BFFg and BFFb to move out here. She is a nurse, so she would find a job in like seven minutes, and he has a degree in civil engineering, so he is pretty employable, too. Then I can get to work on The Body and The Mouth and get them out here, too. Given Papa Bear's stated goals of bringing more women to the firm, the high regard he holds her in (he helped her get her job in LA) and her outstanding resume (she finance lingo...a "Hedgie"), I think he and the other partners would probably jump at the chance to bring her on board. Truth be told, she is more cut out for this than me...

The Body would be a tougher sell...her family is all in Phoenix, and I think she would like to try the acting/modeling thing again, and now she has a boyfriend in AZ, too. So I don't know that Boston would hold a lot of pull for her. Of course, her BF could come, too...he is another of my favorites:-)

And that would clear the way for The Mouth and BFFb to finally start dating. Sure, I suppose they could go on two dates and decide it is a dumb idea, ruining all of this work I have done...but that is a risk I am willing to take! Mostly, I would just like them to all be near me, because I am selfish!!!

And after that? Hmm...I bet Tinkerbelle's Mom would love to move, too:-D

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Missing by 'Belle

We got back safely a little while ago, and I am going to start my weekend recap tonight rather than wait until tomorrow. Munchkin is totally beat (she slept on the plane, and in the car, and then went right to bed:-)). The Boy went home a little while ago, which means that once I get done with this and Smoking Hot Roommate finishes the work she is doing, we can chill for a she mentioned the other day, we have done far too little of that lately!

As usual, the trip back to Chicago is gonna take a lot of time to recap...most all of it good, I promise:-)

Let's start with the best part, spending Saturday with Tinkerbelle:-) For those who have joined me kind of recently and never read the story, Tinkerbelle is my "other" half-sister. I think she is just the cutest thing ever, and I love every second I get to spend with her! I wish she was closer, and I wish I had known her from the beginning. I feel like I have an enormous amount of catching up to do with her, and I worry that I will never really be able to do that.

That, however, is a problem for another day. For now, I just want to tell you how much fun we had on Saturday! We had breakfast, and she showed me some stuff she has done for school, and then we went shopping and bought some earrings (she got her ears pierced a month ago). Her two best friends came over and I got to meet them, and then we went to a party at our uncle's house so I could see the rest of my father's family. I may not get to see her as much as I would like, but the rest of our family sees her and her mom all the time...and that makes me feel good.

Now I miss her again:-( But that is OK...I will see her again and that makes me feel good, too:-)

I had a really good visit with that family, too. It is still kind of weird to try and assimilate into the family after not ever having met them for 22 years, but they are super sweet and could not possibly be more welcoming. I guess there is no sense in pining over lost time.

Munchkin got to see a lot of her old friends, too, which was good. There are two girls that she still stays in touch with (and who will hopefully come out to visit us soon) but this was her first chance to see a lot of other kids. One of those girls had a birthday party, so she got to catch up. She said it was "kinda weird" but didn't elaborate...she also said a really cute boy she used to have a crush on said "I wish you still lived here so you could be my girlfriend." Awfully presumptuous of the kid, but she was flattered.

And I got to see a lot of friends, too. Unfortunately, I feel a little less in touch with most of my friends every time I go back, but it is still nice to see them. When you don't see people all the time, you lose track of the people that you don't make a point of talking to regularly. So every time I feel like I know them all a little bit less...cest la vie (this is kind of a depressingly introspective post...sorry about that).

On the friends front, my main goal of this trip was meeting BFFb's new girlfriend. That, however, will need to wait until tomorrow because it is a longer story than I would have guessed. And it is late, this post is long, and I am tired:-) So, I will leave that until Tuesday morning...and in the meantime I hope everyone had a nice weekend and isn't too ticked to be back at work!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Gone for the weekend

Hopefully I can leave work early this afternoon, get The Boy out early (unlikely if the fucking stock market drops by 300 points again today...but for now it looks OK) and get Munchkin all packed and ready to go. I would like to get going as early as possible...

I am looking forward to going back to Chicago, although I find myself thinking about this trip a little differently than maybe the past couple of them. This feels more like going away to visit than it does like going home. I guess that makes sense...I haven't lived there full time in six years now, and have lived here and been settled for going on two and a half. This is definitlely home for me and for Munchkin, too.

It will be nice to see family and friends, has been too long. I haven't seen Tinkerbelle and the rest of my father's family since they were out here to visit this summer, and it has been even longer than that for my Mother's family. Munchkin was out there in July after Big Sis' wedding, but I haven't been since last spring.

The Boy and I are staying with the BFF's, and Munchkin is staying with her brother and it will be a pretty action-packed weekend. Hopefully we can get in early enough that we can go out and meet some of my old friends for a bit (Munchkin is getting picked up at the airport, so we don't have to drop her anywhere, which saves time.) She is with her brother all day tomorrow, and has a birthday part for an old friend, too. And I have a date with Tinkerbelle:-) Then a party at my father's sister's house to see the whole fam.

Sunday we should get to hang out with our Mother's family for a bit (except for the ones I have disowned). And if I am lucky, it won't be too late when we get back home on Sunday:-)

One final note: congratulations to Billy on passing the bar...good work! Hope everyone has an excellent weekend!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

May and December

Munchkin let me know yesterday afternoon that she was going to stay at her friend's house last night, and ride into school with them this morning. So once I got a bag packed for her after school last night, I had the whole night to myself...treat! Smoking Hot Roommate is away again this week, so I actually had the whole apartment to myself, too...grrr...

I met some girlfriends for drinks and munchies after Munchkin left. Does anyone remember this story from last May? If you don't feel like reading, it is about a friend of mine and her older boyfriend. Well, they got engaged a couple days ago and are getting married sometime next spring or summer, so I guess everything worked out well and none of my (or anyone else's) fears were realized.

But there is still something weird about it. She was not at dinner last night, so we all talked about her...and I just feel like no one is totally and completely happy for them like people usually are. I can't quite put my finger on it...we all like him, but there is just still something that sits a little bit wrong with all of us. I am not sure anyone can really identify exactly what it is, but I just get the sense that we all have some kind of reservation about this.

I am not really sure what the point of that story

Anyway, The Boy met me at the restaurant and then he came back for some jacuzzi time, and some footrubs and backrubs and all around awesomely fantastic nakedness:-)

Chicago tomorrow:-) Hopefully I can get out of work a little early so that we can get going on the early side...