Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wrapping up 2009

Please don't talk too loud today, I have a little bit of a headache:-) Nothing I won't be able to rally from before tonight, but I think we may have taken "practice New Year's" a little too seriously...hee hee. It was super fun, though, and since there will be a lot more people around tonight, it was nice to be able to hang with just The Body, The Mouth and Smoking Hot Roommate last night. We were actually sort of anti-social for much of the night...we kinda sat by ourselves in a corner for a lot of it.

Tinkerbelle got home safely, and I cried a little bit when she left:-). I am glad that I got to see her more this year...and really glad that I got to spend some lengthy stretches with her. Now that she can travel on her own, it makes it that much easier to see her more often, too, so I have that to look forward to.

I was reminded by email yesterday (from two new readers...welcome to Katie in Atlanta and Becky in Charlotte:-)) that many of you are not totally up on the back story of all of the people that I refer to all of the time. Now that I have written over 600 posts, it is not really realistic to expect most of you to have read all of them. Which means that I periodically need to remind readers who everyone is:-). Tinkerbelle, for example, is my other little sister...the one that lives in Chicago with her mother and that I just met two years ago. All summarized nicely here, and in the posts in the couple of days after that.

(Incidentally...I look at the comments to that post, and see that Ally, Ella, e.b. Still Just Me and SoCal Sweetie have all been with me since then, although we have had a couple of blogger-name changes:-) Still pretty neat!)

At the end of the summer, she came to stay with me while her Mother had back surgery. Originally it was going to be about a week, but the recovery was complicated and she ended up staying for over two weeks. Ironically, if we had known it would be that long, she probably wouldn't have come...I think she would have stayed with family closer by. But, once she was here and comfortable, it didn't make sense to send her home. So, we had a great visit that will probably go down as the highlight of the year for me. Would I be totally nuts to offer to have her for the whole summer? Yea, probably... maybe next year.

OK, I am off track....

On a total other note, I am reconsidering graduate school. I am still going through with all of the applications and other stuff, which I have largely done, but I am not totally convinced that I want to go through with it. I dunno...more on this later on.

I guess that is just about gonna do it for this year. 232 posts, lots of memories, 1 special new piece of jewelry:-)

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More visitors

Good morning, everyone:-) I'm swimming in visitors, and I love it! The Body and The Mouth got in with no problems at all, within about half an hour of each other. Smoking Hot Roommate picked them up at the airport, and Tinkerbelle, The Boy and I went over to her place to meet them right after work.

It is really great to see them. I talk to each of them all the time, but it is still different to see them in person:-). The Body continues to get even more and more impossibly hot, and The Mouth has gone a little more Cali-girl and it looks very good on her:-). she has more blond highlights:-P.

We didn't really do much...just got some pizzas and hung out at SHR's place. The Body is staying at my place, so we got to stay up really late night chatting...which was really good. We used to do that literally all the time, and there was actually some stuff that we had to talk about, so it was sort of a neat throwback evening:-).

So, let's see...Tinkerbelle is with me at work again this morning. She will either stay all day, or hang with the girls this afternoon until I take her to the airport this evening. Yesterday she spent the afternoon with The Boy's Twin Sister and the baby and they had lots of fun:-). I'm gonna miss her:-(.

So, I guess that is about it. We will probably go out know, to practice for tomorrow;-). Then I can start working on my sappy yearly retrospective! Hint: it's been a good year!

Until then, stay warm!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Today marks the first day back from a five day weekend for a lot of you...and me:-). Isn't that such a pain? is really easy to get used to a life of leisure, isn't it? Maybe there is some merit to the idea of getting knocked up, quitting my job and being a stay at home Mom...

Munchkin got to St. Maarten safe and sound and on schedule...joke's on her, though, since it was like 65 degrees here yesterday! Somehow I think she is probably not that jealous... She seems to be having a wonderful time, which I guess is to be expected!

Meanwhile, Tinkerbelle and I are having a lovely visit:-) We went to the Museum of Science, and we went shopping and we did some sightseeing, and she got to meet a lot of my friends yesterday, too. A whole bunch of people got together to watch the Patriots game, so I brought her there to meet everyone.

She is at work with me today, too, which is always fun. I am not sure if she will make it the whole day, but for now she has some books and her PSP and she is doing just fine. Kind of a casual vibe at the office today, so she can wander around and make friends if she wants, too. I am hoping that she doesn't get too bored until at least which point I will either go home with her for the afternoon, or bring her to hang out with The Boy's sister and the baby for the afternoon (she offered to babysit, ain't she sweet?).

She leaves tomorrow, and I am sure I will miss her a lot (although I will appreciate having no children for a couple days:-D). I still feel a little bit like I am babysitting her whenever she is around, but I think we are getting closer to feeling like sisters. Part of it is just the age difference (she is only 3 1/2 years younger than Munchkin, but Munchkin is really "old for her age"...she is much more like a 16-17 year old), but part of it is just not really knowing her all that well. It gets better all the time, though:-)

Little secret...I am really hoping to take her to Florida over her February vacation:-). Twice I have taken Munchkin to Disney for a couple days and then to the beach for a couple of days over her spring break, and I am hoping I can do the same for Tinkerbelle this year. I really, really wish that her vacations lined up with Munchkin's but they don't...:-(

But more on that later. For now, The Body and The Mouth are arriving tonight, and I am super fired up! It has been way too long since I have seen them! Tonight will be really low key, since we still have the little one around and they will be tired from the flight, I'm sure. But after that...cue the New Year's debauchery.

Oh, and cue the wishful thinking from my single male friends:-P...hee hee...

Hope everyone's Holiday was as fun as mine!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Throwback Posts!

You wanna talk "old school"? How about me posting on a Friday night!!! THAT, my friends, is old school!!! I am not 100% sure, but this could be my first Friday Night post since my very very first post. OK, there has probably been another one in there somewhere, but I don't want to go back and, however, are welcome to.

Tinkerbelle has gone to bed and is sleeping soundly in Munchkin's bed. Munchkin is still awake, although she is going to be sorry when her friend's parents are here at 6:15 to pick her up tomorrow;-). Whatever...not like she would be getting any sleep anyway, she is way to excited about the trip.

And yes, we do have a third bedroom, but Munchkin and Tinkerbelle wanted to sleep together. Actually, they wanted me to sleep with them, which I haven't totally ruled out (The Boy ended up meeting some friends after we all had dinner, so I don't expect him home until really late...his sister is out with him while her wife is home babysitting, so she will probably make him live it up while she has the chance.)

Nothing else of note to report (you know, since I posted like 6 hours ago). Smoking Hot Roommate is coming over tomorrow and we are gonna take Tinkerbelle to the Museum of Science, which will be fun but a total zoo. Beyond that, I don't have a lot of plans.

Basically, life is good:-)

Kiddie Swap

Did I forget to mention that I am not working today? Yea...five day weekend for me:-) And pretty much another one next weekend, too:-) Yay for time off! Also, super yay for a totally awesome Christmas all around.

We went to Big Sis' house for Christmas Eve dinner and exchanged some presents. Smoking Hot Roommate and Big Sis traditionally give each other their presents from each other, and give their presents to their Dad on Christmas Eve. Since we joined the party, Munchkin and I are included in that now. Although Munchkin gets most of her stuff from SHR and Big Sis on Christmas Day, since they tend to buy her a LOT:-P

So that was fun...a pretty big crowd, since much of their mother's family was over for dinner. Big Sis is a natural hostess, and her house is really great for that...big enough to fit a table for 25 in her living room:-). We went to Smoking Hot Roommate's for breakfast on Christmas Day, and for Munchkin to do the bulk of her present opening. She totally cleaned up...a new computer, Wii games, clothes, clothes and more clothes, some books, jewelry, a couple bathing suits for her trip and some other stuff. Yes, she is spoiled rotten...

After breakfast we headed out to The Boy's parents house for some more family, some more food and some more present giving and getting:-). All in all, a wonderful way to spend the holiday.

But it gets better! Why is that? Because Tinkerbelle is here!!! She had some travel troubles, since there was a lot of ice in Chicago this morning and her flight was delayed. That and all the excitement and nerves of her first trip by herself meant that she was really tired when she got here. So, after getting settled in, she took a nap, and is now snoozing comfortably:-). Hopefully she is awake in time to go out to dinner.

As a side note...I would like you married people to think of the annoying or semi-painful things that you have to do with your in-laws...I think you will agree with me that The Boy is super awesome for hanging out with my two little sisters on a Friday night:-). I need to remember to tell him how cool he is more often:-D.

Anyway...I only have the two of them at once for one night, because Munchkin leaves early tomorrow morning for her trip. I think she is actually a little bit bummed that she is going to miss The Body and The Mouth later in the week, and I am sure that they will be upset to miss her, too. On the plus side...they get to meet Tinkerbelle:-)

That is kind of it, I guess. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope that none of you are working too hard today:-) It is Boxing Day, after all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Wishes

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone:-)

May you be safe, be thankful and be with the people you love.

I will be at Big Sis's house for dinner tonight and at The Boy's parents house tomorrow if you need me:-P

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

32 may be old, but...

Blog trivia...who knows what today is?

If you guessed "Big Sis's 32nd birthday", then YOU WIN!!!

You have all heard me gush about my pretend family at enormous length, so my feelings should be pretty clear by now. That, however, is not really gonna stop me:-P. I can't help it...she is just very gushable:-).

The big change this year, obviously, is that I now work with Big Sis, which has gone really well so far. I haven't worked a lot with her directly (kind of intentionally). Remarkably, she and Papa Bear have not killed each other yet, and haven't really even had any (OK, more than two;-)) blowups with each other. I have yet to be called upon to mediate, but I am pretty sure that is now in my job description if need be;-)

As seems fitting on her birthday, I am going to tell you a sort of flattering story about her. Well, really it is kind of about her and Smoking Hot Roommate both, and when I saw Big Sis at her absolute best. In the late summer of 2006, right before I started blogging, the things that caused me to say "I have seen it" in this post happened (and yes, I am making you read it if you want to follow along).

That was when I really saw Big Sis take control of things. More than her father, and more than me or anyone else involved, she spotted the warning signs very early on and took charge of making sure that SHR did what she needed to. For me, it was the first time that I ever saw shades of the relationship that they had when they were younger...with Big Sis being much more of an authority figure as opposed to just a best friend.

She was the one who made her get out of the house when she said she wasn't feeling well. She was the one who wouldn't accept "No, I just feel a little sick." She was the one who scheduled her doctor's appointments when she wouldn't do it herself. She was the one who almost physically put her on a plane and brought her to the place she needed to go to. And the one who made her do all of the things that her doctors told her that she had to do afterwards when she really didn't want to.

And then, she went right back to being best friend when she didn't have to be Mom anymore:-)

I know that is sort of a cryptic description of what happened, but a lot of the details are just not really blog-appropriate. I'll happily go into some more detail through email or chat, since some of you know a little more already. The basic point of the story is that Big Sis totally rocks:-)

I would love to be more like. I wish I had her confidence, and her intelligence and her wit. I wish I had her beauty and her sense of self. And maybe her car:-P.

Mostly, I am just glad that I have her. She makes the best pretend older sister you could ever hope for!

Happy Birthday Love;-) May you get everything you wish for!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What a mess!

As I mentioned in my brief update last night, we managed to get back in pretty good time. We were a little delayed in taking off because of the weather-related issues in Boston, but it was nothing catastrophic. I think I saw where the average arrival at Logan was like an hour and a half behind schedule, which isn't the end of the world. We were less late than that.

What a mess we found when we got here, though! The roads are actually pretty well cleared, it seems, but the little bit of slush and snow froze up overnight because it got really cold. So there is a lot of ice on the roads and especially the sidewalks. School is cancelled in Boston, and since Munchkin's school generally observes whatever the city decides, she is home for the day. Who's jealous? I mean besides me... Public schools are already cancelled for tomorrow, too, which means that they are out until January 5, but I don't know whether or not she will be out tomorrow or not. They haven't cancelled yet.

It dawns on me that I haven't told you about her Christmas break travel plans yet. This is the time of year when I get really jealous because one of her friends' family takes her on a super awesome winter vacation. Three years ago it was the Bahamas. Two years ago it was a sailing trip in the Caribbean. Last year it was Aruba. That doesn't count the month-long trek across Europe two summers ago...basically, she is a spoiled brat!

As I have mentioned a whole bunch of times, the school parents have been extremely good to her, and to me as well. Her class is very small, so everyone knew who she was before she even started in school. A large number of the parents made a point of calling me ahead of time or flagging me down at early school events to say hello. They invited me to their regular "parent social occasions" and were just basically really, really helpful. I didn't get the chance to learn how to be a Mom to a 10 year just kind of fell on my doorstep...and I will always be appreciative of the help that I got from her friends and their parents.

One really random thing that has come out of this is that a couple of her friends' parents LOVE to take her on vacation with them. There are a couple of reasons for this...first, her two best friends are the youngest of several children and are much, much younger than their older siblings. One has twin college-age sisters, another has brothers that are like 24 and 22. When traveling, it is actually easier to have a second kid that age than to only have one...they are easier to entertain in pairs;-). The second reason is that Munchkin is just so freaking easy to have around. She is always in a good mood, cleans up after herself, makes everyone laugh and just basically makes vacations more, once they brought her once, they really look forward to having her again.

This year: St. Maarten. Yes, that's right...while I shuffle through frozen slush and suffer biting winds, she gets to spend a week taking the bathing suits out of storage. Bitch:-P.

It's OK to be jealous...I am! I think I will start planning a March vacation to make myself feel better.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

You know...My last name is descriptive of the weather...

***Update, 10:30 pm: Home safe and sound:-)***

Well, we made it to Chicago:-) It is below zero, so I am rethinking that

I guess it never really stopped snowing in Boston, but sort of flurried all day and night. It was light enough in the morning that flights were getting out, though. We were delayed a bit but still made it to Chicago early enough that Munchkin got to have lunch with her brand new niece:-). Her sister-in-law had a relatively routine labor (as routine as those things can be!) and had a super adorable little girl on Friday. 10 fingers, 10 toes, mother and daughter are both doing very well, and Auntie Munchkin is on cloud nine.

I know I have sort of an ambivalent relationship with Munchkin's brother (my stepbrother, you have to be adopted by your married parents to be steps? Maybe we are not...I don't know. I need a ruling), but I have to give him credit for really getting his shit together. He had his issues when he was younger, but since the time he got out of jail, he has really been on the straight and narrow. Not really in touch with his old friends, has had a good consistent job for over four years now, moved to a new neighborhood and has a great wife that I absolutely adore. He can still get under my skin, but he loves his sister as much as I do, so I can't say all bad things about him.

Munchkin stayed at the hospital when we left and The Boy and I went to go see Tinkerbelle. I was hoping to take her downtown to go shopping and have dinner and look at the lights and stuff, but since we were late and the weather was not great, we had to nix that idea. That's OK, though...she is coming to visit next week, so I didn't feel the need to have to spoil her with attention this time:-D.

Since Munchkin's brother was staying at the hospital, she stayed at he BFF's place with The Boy and I. That required some logistics, since she also went to a birthday party for one of her old friends that she was also super excited about. There are two girls that she still talks to regularly and sees when we are out there...and it sort of lets her keep in touch with her old life. I have no idea how long that will keep up, but hopefully for a while. So, one of her friends' mother picked her up at the hospital, and then we picked her up from the bowling alley that the party was at when it was over.

That also ruled out really going out last night, which was fine...we did go out for dinner with the BFF's and BFFg's boyfriend. BFFb and Munchkin were dates:-) It would have been nice to see some more friends, but that's OK.

Now we are headed to my aunt's house for a little Christmas party, and Munchkin is headed back to the hospital to help them get ready to pack up and take the little one home! Exciting! And then...we are crossing our fingers that the weather is on our side:-). We are still scheduled to fly out tonight, which could be a problem. When we switched Friday's flight, I toyed with the idea of trying to switch today's to tomorrow because the forecast called for a lot of snow in Boston. The Boy wasn't really able to take all of tomorrow off, so we decided to leave it as is and hope for the best.

So...wish me luck!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Travel Plans

Thanks for all of the advice on travel...I think you all helped to convince me that we should try as hard as we can to get there, even if it is a pain to get there. And that got even more important, as Munchkin's brother called this morning to tell her that her sister-in-law is in labor as we speak. I have to admit to being sort of excited about the whole thing. I am still no huge fan of her brother, but we get along well enough and he really is not a bad guy, I guess. And his wife is a complete doll:-) So, preliminary congrats to then!

I toyed with trying to get a flight out this morning, but that got nixed for a couple of reasons. First, The Boy wouldn't have been able to make it, and I would miss him:-) Second, Munchkin has a big test today that she wanted to get out of the way while she is ready for it. Otherwise it would have sort of hung over her head all weekend, and I can understand why she wanted to take it first. I am certainly not going to do anything to discourage her being a diligent student. Finally, I am not sure that we really would have been able to travel this morning anyway. Going from here to Chicago is really going into the weather, and it easily could have turned into a disaster of a trip.

So, it doesn't look like there will be a lot of flights getting out tonight...unless the weather is not nearly as bad as they say it will be (which is always a possibility). Tomorrow morning looks pretty good, though. Hopefully we can get out super, super early and get into Chicago in time for a full day.

Then, of course, we can worry about getting home...whole other issue!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here comes the snow

I can't believe that no one is going to offer a defense of Twilight! How did they sell six trillion books if no one really likes it that much? The best I got was "Yea, you are right...but I like the story anyway". Me thinks that maybe the fans are biting their can yell at me, I can take it!

I still have very little idea what to get anyone for Christmas. I did find something for Munchkin, although it is really more for me. Remember when I told you that I make her call me while she is walking alone so that I can talk to her the whole time? Well, I got a comment on that post that makes a lot of sense...that having her on the phone is not a good idea because it just makes it obvious that she isn't paying attention to her surroundings.

So, I figured that a really tiny wireless headset would maybe do the trick. That way I could talk to her, but she wouldn't have to fumble with the phone and it wouldn't be as obvious that she was on the phone. I guess she would still be distracted, but I am worried about that less than the appearance of being distracted. As a reminder, when she walks home from school, it is in a well populated area that is very safe...and I have instructed her to stay near lots of people and scream her little head off if anyone tries anything:-)

Beyond that, though, I am hoping to find things for people tomorrow. I don't know how realistic that really is, but I am crossing my fingers. I have the whole day to myself, so hopefully I can get a lot done.

Now, as for the trip to Chicago...that could be an issue. It is supposed to start snowing at noon and then keep snowing all afternoon and evening. That does not bode well for flying out at 6:00. Which means that I have several options:
1) Hope it is OK
2) Skip my shopping, keep Munchkin out of school and try to leave in the morning. The Boy would likely not be able to skip work tomorrow, so it would just be the two of us.
3) Try to leave early Saturday morning, hoping the storm has passed
4) Cancel the trip entirely

Not sure where I am leaning right now...any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


OK, I have some more thoughts on Twilight...and, I will apologize ahead of time, because they are NOT good. It is a nice enough story. It reads fast, has an interesting plot and is pretty well written.

That said...I really, really hate it. And what's worse, I think it is a terrible, terrible idea that young girls love it so much. This is possibly the WORST BOOK EVER!!! Not the lowest-quality writing or story telling...but the worst book.

First of all, the whole thing is about a love story involving a 17 year old girl. Am I really supposed to take this "intense, undying love" seriously? She is a CHILD! And after a single date with this creepy guy (who, by the way, hated her at first) she is all of a sudden in this epic romance? I just could never get past the absurdity of the whole thing...if your daughter or niece told you that she was "in love" at 17, you would giggle to yourself and find the whole thing maybe a little charming.

But that is not nearly my biggest issue. My biggest issue is that no teenage girl should aspire to act like Bella. She is an amalgamation of all of the things that we try to get girls that age NOT to be. She clearly has horrible self esteem...guys love her and girls are very friendly towards her, but she thinks she is ugly and uncool.

So what does she do? She becomes attracted to a guy who treats her like dirt at first. Then he starts to be kind of nice, but still erratic and weird. Then she finds out that he is incredibly dangerous and could physically harm her or kill her at any second. Then she finds out that he sneaks into her house to watch her sleep, and listens to her every conversation. But every one of these revelations just makes her "love him more".

All of this is OK, though, because he is really, really ridiculously good looking!

Am I the only one who sees all kinds of domestic violence overtones in here? How is "he hits be because he loves me" any different that "he spies on me while I am sleeping because he loves me". She is so infatuated with the idea of a good looking guy liking her, that she is willing to put herself into mortal danger regularly just to validate her own prettiness. "Oh, sure he might kill me, either on purpose or by accident...but I love him! I can change him! He may be dangerous, but he won't be mean to me, because we are in loooove!"

I know that I will get yelled at for this, and that I am probably overreacting. And I know that it is only a fantasy book...but it's not entirely. It is set in a realistic town with realistic kids, and Bella's actions are way too realistic for my taste. How about writing a leading girl character who wants nothing to do with the super hot boy because...I dunno...he is an asshole! This is why women get stuck in miserable relationships with miserable men. This whole "he can change" idea is evil, dangerous, and it should be insulting.

OK...rant ended. Fire away.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Munchkin, Smoking Hot Roommate and I had a little decorating party last night that was super fun:-). Big Sis needs her house decorated for a couple of Christmas parties, but she took an unexpected trip for a few days (she and The Brain Surgeon went to the funeral for Lily, the girl I wrote about on Friday) and wasn't gonna have time. So, we offered to go over and deck the place out:-)

Yes, we put on Christmas music, sang too loud and made a mess...what are you gonna do about it?!?!? Bottom line, the house looks awesome, and Christmas is saved!!!

The Boy's company Christmas party is tonight, which will be fun. I really like the people he works with, and I don't see them very often, so it is always a good time to catch up. He works in a VERY small office, so everyone knows everyone, and I know all of them, too.

I guess that is kinda it. Sort of a slow day in the office, which is OK by me:-) My best skill is looking cute, and I don't need any actual work to do having nothing to do is totally fine by me...

Three days 'til Tinkerbelle:-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nothing Says Christmas like Lobster

I guess that like 100,000 people still have no power out in Central Mass and Southern New Hampshire. It has been like three days now, and I can't imagine how miserable that must be. We never got anything but rain here, so I was really surprised to hear that so many people are still without power when I got to work this morning. That would have been a LONG weekend.

My weekend was nice...kinda of relaxing. The Boy and I went to a Christmas party with the school parents on Saturday night outside of the city. There were actually a lot of people my age there, since they opened the invite to "adult children". As I have mentioned before, a lot of Munchkin's school mates have much older brothers and sisters, usually as a result of second marriages. There are at least a half dozen school siblings that I know of that are older than I am.

So it was a little different...I am used to being kind of out of place at those things, although I always have a good time. It was nice to feel a little more in place:-). Oh, and the parents drink WAY more with their adult kids around...interesting phenomenon.

Other than that, I was kind of a lazy bum all weekend. I did some reading...I finally read Twilight...and, um...I don't get the attraction. I just couldn't get into it, please don't yell at me. I cooked a lot yesterday...I made an impromptu lobster dinner because lobsters are basically like free these days. I'm serious...check next time you are at the store, they are cheaper than hamburger.

I have a lovely four day week this week:-D. The Boy's company Christmas party is tomorrow (I think...maybe Wednesday?) I am taking Friday off to do all of my Christmas shopping (ideas, anyone?). I figure it will be less crowded during a week day, and since I have left it all until this late, that is my best bet to get it done. Then, Munchkin, The Boy and I are headed to Chicago on Friday night for the weekend.

I would be OK with skipping it this year since Tinkerbelle is coming out here the day after Christmas, but I would get skewered if I didn't get Munchkin out to see the family at Christmas time. Also, her new niece or nephew is due to arrive any moment now, so hopefully she will be able to visit the little nugget right after it is born...she would love that:-).

And I guess that is about it...hope everyone had a good weekend:-) Hope my Mass and NH readers have power:-)

Friday, December 12, 2008

I can't possibly think of a title for this

Very busy this morning, so only a little post. The single most embarrassing moment of my entire life (from a girl that does not embarrass at all easily...)

I met Munchkin at school yesterday, just like every day. We had to get home to get changed for my work Christmas party (which she is invited to every year, usually as Papa Bear's date:-)).

So, I met her at school, and she had the biggest shit-eating grin I have ever seen on her face. I asked her what was up and she just laughed at me and said...

"I know why you have Altoids on your nightstand!!!"

There was no available rock to crawl under, which is very unfortunate...

Happy weekend everyone:-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A story

Boston is known for a lot of things. Colonial and Revolutionary War History, Irish and Italian immigrants, scrod and clam chowder (by the way, Manhattanites, chowder is NOT a tomato-based soup!). It is also known for its modern industries: financial services, high tech and biotech. Cold weather, Yankee sensibilities, Brahmins, Cabots, Winthrops, Ayers, Harrimans, Saltenstahls, Forbes and Kennedys.

More than anything, though, Boston is probably known for its Universities and its Hospitals. People come from all over the world to research, study and live. And people come from all over the world to be treated.

This is a story about The Brain Surgeon. And it is a story about one of his patients, a (now) 17 year old girl from very far away who came to Boston four years ago. I am going to call her Lily (because I want to!). She came because she was suffering from severe, crippling headaches, and her brain scans and other tests revealed a totally inexplicable brain condition. Her local doctors were unable to help her, and referred her to a specialist in Boston. That specialist happens to have a very close associate that is married to my favorite Big Sister:-)

So, since age 13, Lily has basically spent half of her time in a hospital in Boston, away from her friends and her family and in a horribly scary situation where the very best doctors in the world told her "We have no idea what is wrong, and we have no idea how to treat it." As time has passed, they have figured out little bits and pieces of what is wrong, and have made little bits and pieces of progress in treating it. Early on, they figured out how to minimize her physical pain and at times they slowed the deterioration of her brain.

Every doctor who ever met Lily speaks of her inimitable spirit. She never cried once. Not ONCE. She never complained about anything. She thanked every doctor and nurse after every single meeting she had with any of them. She constantly brought little cards and presents to other patients that were having bad days. She wrote a card to Big Sis and The Brain Surgeon for their wedding that would make you bawl uncontrollably. She came to terms with her own mortality a long time ago, but she never stopped trying to live.

Lily's doctors and nurses became very attached to her. In addition to their great empathy, they just plain like her. She just makes people happy to be around her. Doctors and nurses regularly brought her to their homes for dinner, or for holidays when she couldn't get home. To baseball games and to the beach and even (in the case of the son of her primary doctor) to their junior proms:-). She had Christmas dinner with us two years ago, and Thanksgiving just two weeks ago.

During that Thanksgiving dinner, it was clear that she had lost a lot of her spark. She seemed smaller and weaker. She still had the same electric smile she always had, and her infectious giggle surfaced a couple of times...but it was obvious that her health was failing her. What started in her brain had spread throughout her body and she couldn't fight it much longer.

Lily died yesterday. She simply couldn't fight anymore. Her family was never able to spend much time with her in Boston, certainly not as much as I am sure they hoped, but they were all by her side for her last days. I see the way that she touched the hearts of all of the people that worked with her, and I can't imagine the loss that her family feels today. Or the helplessness that they have felt for the last four years.

Doctors don't cry over patients very much. It is a job that comes with a certain amount of built-in tragedy, and the emotional distance is a necessary tool of the job. But this one seems to be a little bit different. The Brain Surgeon has been very affected by this, more than I have ever seen him with another patient, and I have to imagine that all of the other doctors and nurses feel the same. I don't think that this is someone that they will forget very soon.

Lily may have never cried once during her entire treatment. But her doctors cried a lot when she died.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Emptying out my mind

First things first, thanks to Nilsa for tagging me, and I will get to it at some point. But not today...although I really don't have a good excuse other than laziness... Well, since I can't use Diet Coke or Cape Cod, since she did, I will have to come up with some new ones...

I am very proud of myself for being a non-Facebooker. It makes me feel kinda stalky, and if I ever really started, I would NEVER stop. I am vaguely aware of what I am missing, and I am OK with it.

"I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"? Best Song Ever! How have I never heard this before?

Elvis Presley's "Here Comes Santa Claus"? Maybe the worst...although he redeemed himself on "Blue Christmas".

Crab Rangoon is possibly the best Chinese Food. Why has no one ever noticed that it is named after a city that is not in, nor has ever been in, China? It would be like if French restaurants all sold this great appetizer called Moscow Shrimp.

Yay Illinois! And here I thought I had moved to the corrupt state. This may prove that I am actually the one spreading political corruption all over America...hmm...

Speaking of IL, I will be there in a week and a half for some familial Christmas visiting. Tinkerbelle is coming to see me for a couple days after Christmas, too:-)

The Boy gave me the best back rub ever last night:-) And I don't mean that in any kind of sexual way! I mean just a totally awesome, long back rub! He's nice, I like him:-)

It is 60 degrees outside, and very humid. Two days ago it was 12. Tomorrow we are getting a nasty ice storm. If that makes sense to anyone, please explain.

Christmas concert at school this evening. Fun, fun! Munchkin can show off her flute skills:-)

Some people are trying to re-sell me on Gossip Girl. Sorry, not buying it...the show is AWFUL. I am off the bandwagon for good, and there is no going back.

I am thinking maybe I will stop dyeing my hair for the new year. Can "be blond again" be a New Year's Resolution?

I wish this stupid cough could go away...argh!!!

Um....that's all folks:-)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Me being kinda touchy

So, I think I am probably being petty, but I am gonna tell you a story anyway. Someone said something to me yesterday that is really bothering me. I should note that I am 100% sure that, when they said it, there was nothing malicious intended. And, at the time I didn't even think about it that way. But now, well, I feel like it was very unintentionally judgemental, and it kinda bothers me. As much as I would like to tell the person that it came across that way, I'm not gonna say anything about it because I am probably overreacting. At a minimum, I shouldn't care...I will make my own judgements on myself.

Anyway, on to less cryptic topics. Actually, I don't have any other topics today, other than my horrible negligence in Christmas shopping. I am WAAY behind, and I don't know when I am going to catch up. I may have to take a day off from work to do some weekday shopping to get it all done. I can't bear the thought of spending this whole weekend in stores. Also, I have no idea what to get anyone. At all. Still open to ideas...

Munchkin wants and needs surprisingly little. That doesn't make her any easier to shop for, though...because I want to get her meaningful things. I know that her two pretend sisters will spoil her rotten like they always do, because they enjoy it and she is totally worth it:-). So, I want to make sure that I have something special for her just to remind her how much I love having her around:-) She's cool.

I guess that is sort of all that I have for you today. Oh wait...did anyone happen to catch a show on National Geographic last night about Whitey Bulger and the Irish Mob? A lot of that was all new to me, and it is all super interesting Boston stuff. And, does it say anything about me that I flipped between that and A Charlie Brown Christmas?

Monday, December 08, 2008


I am using yesterday's post as an excuse to not write much today. The Boy got home safely, tired from a weekend of manly physical labor (and possibly getting drunk with his father and his brother). Sexy:-)

I think Munchkin has made up with most of her friends, and has a permanently diminished view of some others. I am not sure that I really have all of the details, partly because she spilled a huge amount of it on Big Sis last week, and partly because she just may not feel the need to share everything. I do appreciate that, even when she gets mad at people, she never "trashes" people just for the sake of it.

Let's see...I have a couple of Christmas Parties this work, and school parents. The Boy's work is next week, so I have all of those to look forward to.

Also, it is 13 degrees outside. It will be 60 on Wednesday. Can someone explain this to me?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

What is this...a Sunday post?

I know I haven't posted on a Sunday in...oh, forever, but today feels like a good day to break the string:-) Count yourself blessed! It snowed just a little bit today, making everything really pretty and festive. And here I sit, tucked warmly under a blanket, all by myself with my newly decorated Christmas tree lighting the room, a cup of green tea and Forrest Gump playing on TV. Yes, I will cry at the end, even though I have seen it like 100 times.

"You ain't got no legs Lieutenant Dan!"
"I know that Forrest."

Anyway, I am actually kinda hung over, so I have been super sluggish all day. I went out on Friday and Saturday and had maybe a couple too many on Friday, and stayed up way too late last night. We put the tree up and the lights on on Friday night, and then after The Boy left for the weekend, I met up with some girlfriends for a drink that turned into maybe 4 or 5 (and seriously, I weigh 98 pounds...4 martinis is WAY too many). Munchkin actually bagged on her dance because she was still irritated with a bunch of her friends, but she was cool just staying home. I think she just wanted some alone time, which is totally acceptable.

So, I ended up staying out kinda late (lol...I slept in Munchkin's bed when I got home, and her first words on Saturday morning were "Ew, you smell like booze." Yea, you smell like snotty teenager!)

We spent much of Saturday bumming around the house and decorating the tree, which was really fun. It came out really cute:-) I added some colored lights this year...I usually just like white ones, but was feeling adventurous this year. I am really wild, aren't I?

Smoking Hot Roommate and I went out on Saturday, had dinner and met up with some other friends. First, we dropped Munchkin at her friend's house for a sleepover, which I was glad about...I don't want her hating all of her We ended up staying out until closing time, and then got late night pizza and were up until super late being stupid giggly girls:-D. We don't get to do that nearly as often as we should!

Didn't wake up until about 10:00 today, and even that was only because Munchkin called to come home. Didn't do much all day, then SHR took her out to watch the Patriots with their fantasy football friends and I am enjoying the peace and quiet and waiting for her and The Boy to get home:-) All in all, not a bad weekend at all!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Friday Fun

Happy Friday, everyone! This whole five day week thing is totally BS, right? I like the short ones much better:-)

So, Munchkin had another not-great day at school yesterday. Nothing totally catastrophic, but I think she feels kinda disappointed and let down by some of her friends. Honestly, it is all just stuff that falls into the category of "They are all 13 years old", and it will pass. Again, though...she is emotionally and psychologically a lot older than most of her friends, and it shows up on occasion. Ahh, well, chicken fingers seemed to solve everything. She was a little up in the air as to whether or not she would go to the dance tonight...we'll see.

Christmasy weekend coming up! We are getting a tree efforts to bribe The Boy into getting the tree have thus far proved futile (and I made a pretty compelling offer!)...he has been a little sick, :-(. So we are gonna go after work and get the tree, and then get it up tonight. He is actually leaving for the weekend to go with his father and brother up to work on his brother's lake house. Which means that me and Munchkin will decorate it tomorrow:-) It will be fun...we can drink cocoa, listen to Christmas music and giggle a lot:-).

I have a date with Smoking Hot Roommate tomorrow night, which will be super fun. Munchkin is sleeping over at a friend's (maybe), so we are hanging old times! We are probably gonna meet up with some friends, too, which will be fun. It is, unfortunately, gonna be ASS cold...but I guess I will have to deal.

So, I guess that is about it...not much else going on. Still out of the office, hoping to be done with all of this today so that I can avoid having to come back here next week at all. Which means, I guess, that I need to get back to work!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yay for Big Sis!

Kind of a quick post, since I am sort of busy here today. And the whole point is gonna be to tell you how super awesome I think my pretend Big Sister is:-) may have noticed that she left me a comment offering to go and get Munchkin at school if I couldn't. She was actually a little more proactive than that. Since she is on the list of people at the school that can pick Munchkin up, she just texted her and told her that she would meet her at 5:00 yesterday.

Well, Munchkin did not have a real good day at school. Remember yesterday when I mentioned that she had a "date" and that it was with a boy who may have wanted to be more than she wanted to be? Turns out that I was right about that, and that there were some problems at school as a result. And Munchkin was really upset and felt like some people were sort of ganging up on her and piling on a bit.

So, that is what Big Sis ended up signing up for by offering to meet her at school. But being the super awesome pretend Big Sister that she is, she was more than willing to help. Rather than take her home, they went out for some girl-talking over dinner, and actually sat and chatted for quite a while. School ended at 5:00, and they didn't get home until about 7:00, so there was quite a bit of talking. Munchkin ended up feeling much better (so much so that I never even got the whole story, which is fine with me:-)).

I don't think I need to really tell you how nice it makes me feel to know that there are so many people who care so much about her and are willing to do shit like this. She doesn't have the same sort of family that most kids do, but it makes my heart feel warm to know that she does have the kind of support than any kid needs.

So, super giant mega shout out to Big Sis today for just being a totally super awesome big sister. She's the best:-)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Raises and Visits and Dates and stuff

So, turns out that I have Internet access when I am at this client company, so I am not nearly as abandoned from the reservation as I was worried about. Which is good...I am gonna be here for a while! Actually, it is kind of nice to get out of the office and dive into some operational stuff (of which I know nothing!) for a change. I am sure I will be singing a different tune after I spend three straight weeks here, but for now it is OK.

It also means that I am probably going to have to let Munchkin walk herself home from school, since it will be hard for me to consistently get there to meet her everyday at 5:00. I guess someone may be available to meet her on the days that I can't get there, but I don't want Smoking Hot Roommate or Big Sis or The Boy to feel like they are obligated to change their schedules that much. It is a short walk, and I can talk to her the whole way home via phone:-). A couple of times she has had to go home during the day, and that is what I have done...talked to her the whole way until she was in the apartment.

So, I haven't had my formal review, but I did get my raise letter yesterday, and was definitely pleased. I got very large raises in each of the last two years (like 10 grand each year), and since this year was not great for the firm, I figured it would be a small raise or none at all. But it was about 5% of my salary, which I was really pleased with...that was more than I was expecting. So, yay for me! I think that maybe since bonuses were kinda thin all year, that they didn't want to be too stingy on salary adjustments...not real sure.

Munchkin has a date on Friday. Kind of...they have another dance at school, and two of her friends have a triple date with three boys to have pizza before the dance. Kinda cute, I think:-). Her "date" is a boy in her class that is super cute, but is really just a friend of hers. I don't think she wants to be any more than that, and he may...but I am sure she will handle that as deftly as she always does.

The Body is coming to visit for New Year's, which I am super excited about. The Mouth is like 90% sure that she is coming, too, pending some work commitments. Obviously, I am really fired up about this! I haven't seen them since July and we have some trouble making to catch up on! It looks like Munchkin will be out of town (another globe trotting vacation adventure...ho hum), so I will be off the leash to tear some shit up! Hide the women and children, we are getting the band back together!!!

I guess that's it for today...back to work!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Two blogs in one day? You should hear what I did three times at lunch!!!

Sorry about my super-negative post this morning...I was a seriously grumpy bear. But, I convinced The Boy to meet me at home for "lunch", and that put me in a much better mood:-). And then Munchkin made me laugh a lot on the way home from school, and that got me into an even better mood.

Also, I forgot to mention that it is Papa Bear's birthday today! How could I forget to mention that? At least I remembered to wish him a Happy Birthday, and I bought him a card, too. Not quite to the big six-oh yet, so he still fancies himself as young;-). Usually we would take him to dinner, but his (real) girls had some stuff they needed to talk to him about, so the three of them had a "No Boys and No Pretend Siblings" dinner together:-). Actually kinda cute...there is not a present you could buy him that he would like as much as the chance to spend time with his girls.

Also, news of Ally's four hour marathon make-out session brightened my day, know, since I was telling her to go ahead and kiss him like a day after she met him:-D. Not that I am getting ahead of myself, but I will wager $20 to anyone that wants the action that she is engaged before I am married! Which, by the way, is seven months and 24 days from, I have never actually written that down...

Anyway, I am going to be out of the office tomorrow, and maybe for much of the rest of the week, and I don't know how much Internet access I will have, so I am pre-emptively blogging. I was supposed to have my annual review tomorrow (should I count on a raise? hmm...not sure...not the best year ever...) but that looks like it will have to wait until at least Wednesday. Wish me luck!

And, I have officially quit Gossip Girl. I mostly quit a while ago, but I have watched a couple of times in the last few weeks and it is...AWFUL!!! Like, I can't even describe how stupid it has gotten. Nutshell? Chuck and Blair seem to have hired look-a-likes to make out with each other as a form of flirting. Huh? Say what?

Can anyone give me a reason not to give up on it?

Post Holiday Grumpiness

Ok...I am in a really foul mood today. Maybe it is the weather, or maybe it is coming back to work after a four day weekend, or maybe it is just basic Mondayness. But I definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. And the dark, rainy morning isn't helping at all.

This doesn't really make sense, since I had a completely wonderful weekend. There was lots of turkey and stuffing and pie and cookies and booze and family and football and friends and maybe a Rock Band tournament thrown in as well. So, the weekend was a 10 out of 10...but man am I ever sour today. Maybe it will shake off as the day goes along...someone should give me presents to solve all of this!!!

Let's see...I sort of apologize for taking five days off from blogging. There were a couple of times over the weekend that I was going to sit down and write, but then I always got distracted by something or another. Which I guess is a sign of a good weekend:-). There was going out with Smoking Hot Roommate's High School friends on Wednesday, and then Thanksgiving on Thursday, and then a party for the school kids and parents with Munchkin on Friday and then some errands on Saturday and a party with The Boy and his friends on Saturday night (where the Rock Bank tournament broke out) and then a very lazy Sunday that included a whole lot of time in bed:-)

Maybe that is why I am so grumpy today...because work is so much less fun than stealing The Boy home for the afternoon and locking ourselves in the bedroom.

Time to start thinking about Christmas:-) I think we will get a tree next weekend, and will decorate the house, too. And, of course, I haven't spent five minutes thinking about presents for I am way behind the 8 ball on that. Who has some suggestions? Preferably things that an impossibly perfect 13 year old girl would want, since that will be the bulk of my shopping...

Well, time to get to work, I guess. And time to stop being such a miserable, grumpy bitch! Seriously, I don't know anyone who has less to be grumpy about than me!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Long Weekend? How About a Nice Discussion of Human Sexuality?

Hope everyone is ready for the Holiday! I have to bake a pie later on...we will have to see how that goes;-) Short day for me, I think. Munchkin is out of school at 1:30, after their big Thanksgiving celebration, and my motherly intuition says that that makes a good time for me to knock off for the week. We can bake together all afternoon:-)

So, kind of a random subject, but I have a "Woman's Physiology" question today. This may fall into the category of TMI, and if it does, I apologize;-). But let's be honest...I have written much worse...

I had a super weird orgasm last night. There was nothing really unusual about the circumstances...we were in bed having regular old sex like we do just about every night before we go to sleep. But, for some reason, I had a really short, really acute orgasm that was totally different than my usual orgasms (and...I I am really familiar with them;-)). It didn't have the slow build that they usually do, but rather hit me like a ton of bricks really fast and really intensely.

The really noteworthy part was that the accompanying vaginal muscle contractions were like totally out of this world. Strong enough to cause The Boy to stop and say "whoa, what was that?!" (In a really good It was so strong that he thought I was doing something intentional...but it was all completely involuntary.

And I don't mean that this was just a normal orgasm that was a little more intense. I mean that it was a totally and completely different kind of orgasm than I ever have. Obviously, they are all a little different...some last longer or hit harder, but this one was like a whole different species.

I would sort of like to know what caused it, because I would kinda like to bring it back But for the life of me I have no idea. I didn't do anything unusual yesterday, didn't eat anything weird or take any medication. It hadn't been longer than usual since we had sex last (um...actually it had only been like 16 hours...hee hee). And we weren't doing anything different than we usually do, either.

So...I am calling upon the deep medical knowledge of my readers...anyone have any thoughts on this or any experiences like this?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gobble Gobble Gobble

I have been blogging for over two years now, and have written nearly 600 posts. My unhealthy love of comments has been well documented (I literally smile when they come into my inbox...yea, I am a dork that needs the validation of the attention of have a problem with that?).

However, in all of those 600 posts and, oh...maybe 4,000-5,000 comments, never has one made me stop and say "Oh, my God, how did I not think of that?" Which is not to say that there haven't been loads of them that made me stop and think, or that gave really useful and helpful advice. But, yesterday, Nilsa left me a comment that I think was probably the most insightful one I have ever gotten. And that go me to can someone who never met me beyond a handful of emails back and forth and a week's worth of blog reading be able to figure out something out me before I did? She may be in a tie with I'm Not Carrie Bradshaw for "most perceptive blog reader"...

I don't have an answer for that, I was just wondering...kinda makes my head hurt. is a really, really foul day outside. It is warmer than the last couple of days, but it is probably 45 degrees and pouring like a motherfucker outside. I had a strong urge to curl up under a blanket and watch TV all day rather than go to work. It took a lot of willpower not to...

Not sure I have filled you in on Thanksgiving plans yet. As Aaron has written about today, the merging of families makes it kind of hard to accommodate everyone on holidays. I know that my local "family" is not really a family in the strictest sense, but for this purpose, it certainly is...i.e., I wanna spend Thanksgiving with them! For this year, at least, The Boy's parents and Twin Sister's family are coming to have dinner with us at Big Sis' house, so everything is gonna work out really well.

Normally, The Boy's parents have Thanksgiving at their house. The two older kids usually come up from New York, and some other family members usually come over as well. His brother and sister are staying in New York this year, though, and since his mother isn't feeling really festive, they took up Big Sis on her offer to come into the city for dinner. So, that should be fun...and I can get a little tipsy and not worry about having to drive anywhere:-) Hee, hee.

Who's working tomorrow? Friday? I am probably gonna put in a half day tomorrow, and none on Friday. Not sure if I will blog, so if I don't get a chance to...Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Good morning everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend and is loving that this is a short week:-) I know I am!

Right down to business...The Boy fell asleep the second we sat down on the plane, which gave Munchkin and I quite a while to chat. I suppose he could have been pretending to sleep because he knew I wanted to talk to her, but he has been NUTS with work lately, so I imagine that he was super tired.

I brought it up, pretty straightforward. This is, in fact, something that I am not ashamed to say that I have learned from her. It could be the best of her many admirable traits...a willingness and ability to discuss everything head-on, before it is allowed to fester and create bad feelings. So, I started very simply with "Hey, I want to talk about what you said last night about Mom being an alcoholic." I don't think she was specifically waiting for me to bring it up, but she was more than willing to talk.

First of all, the answer to the question of how she knows this really made me furious. She knows because my one of my whore-bag aunts told her last year. I have no idea what possessed her to do that, other than just basically being an evil bitch. Munchkin didn't really remember what context it came up in. I probably won't ask her...although it does seem like maybe a good reason to speak to her again after like three years of ignoring her...yell at her, drop a few C-bombs, and then go back to ignoring her...plan?

She had some pretty extensive thoughts about it beyond that. She said that she figured that this was a lot of the reason that our mother and I struggled to get along. She seems to be very aware that our Mom was a very different person with her than she was with me...and that, to me, is an extraordinarily complex idea for a 13 year old to have. She seems to have a pretty good grasp on some complex relationships without really affixing blame to one party or another. I am no psychiatrist, but that strikes me as some pretty advanced social thinking.

One thing that she said that I hadn't even thought about...she is definitely aware that our Mother's drinking played a part in her death. I don't know if our Aunt told her that, too, or if she just connected the dots...but she knows how our Mom died, and at this point she is smart enough and has had enough health education to know that liver and kidney failures are not independent of being a complete booze bag for 15 years.

All in all, it was a very productive discussion. I actually got kind of emotional over the whole thing, and I am not sure that I can really explain why. I think maybe it is a recognition that she has a little better idea of who I am, and that makes me feel good. She is a sister and sort of a daughter, but she is also one of my very best friends and I think this was a really important moment in our relationship. As time goes on, she will become much more of an equal and less of a little pipsqueak, and I think it is neat to sort of be able to mark those moments so clearly. I dunno...I guess I feel like I can say that I felt differently about our relationship when I got off the plane than I had when we got on it. And that's cool.

The rest of the weekend was a lot of fun. Munchkin spent most of it with her brother and his very pregnant wife. She is a super adorable pregnant girl...all belly! In fact, she has put on very little weight in her legs and arms and neck and face, but she has this giant baby belly! Super cute...and Munchkin is quite excited to become an Auntie:-)

So let's see...The Boy and I had breakfast on Saturday with an old friend. Lunch with Tinkerbelle and dinner with BFFg and her new boyfriend (that I set her up with:-)). We met up with BFFb and a couple of his friends...including Sam. I still get a little anxious before I see him, because things are unlikely to ever be relaxed and normal, but I do look forward to it, and I am glad to be speaking again.

Saw my Father's family for brunch on Sunday, which is always a treat. I got to see Tinkerbelle again and a whole bunch of our aunts and uncles and cousins and such. Then we picked up Munchkin and went to our (non Whore-Bag) aunt's house to see some of our Mom's family. That was nice, too...although it was hard to bite my tongue about the people that weren't there that I have some choice words for...

Got home without incident and back to the condo at about 8:00, just in time for some Chinese food and bed time:-)

I slept very soundly!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh, the things kids say...

The auto industry bailout will have to wait...because I have an interesting little ditty for you...

First, Munchkin went home early and took a nap, so by the time The Boy and I got home from work, she was feeling better and was up for chicken fingers. Yay!!! Just the three of us, and it was as good as ever:-)

We got home, and after she did some homework, we were watching TV and a preview for Celebrity Rehab came on (still love that show) where Steven Adler was fighting with his mother about what a terrible mother she was, blah blah blah. And The Boy and I had a brief conversation about how all of these people like to blame their drug problems on their mothers. And how a couple of them actually share drug problems with their mothers.

To which Munchkin said, "That's not always true, though. Mom was an alcoholic when you were young, and you don't have any problems."


Until then, I was unaware that she knew anything about our Mother's alcohol history before she was born. As I have written a couple times, she and I had very different relationships with our Mother, and view her very differently because of it. At least I thought that we did. Now I am not so sure...

I probably should have asked her about it further, but it caught me so off guard that I just sort of said "Yea, that's true", and we moved on. But now I want to know how she knows about this. Did our Mother tell her? Someone else in the family? Outside of the family? And I wanna know how she feels about this, or if she even thinks about it at all. And why has it never come up before? She knows that our Mother and I didn't get along real well...she was old enough to realize that I was banned from the house for almost two years. And she saw us fight on a bunch of occasions. Did she always know that things were rockier before she was around? Did she always know why? Or did she find out recently?

So, once again, I seem to have underestimated her perceptiveness. And, I also seem to have an awful lot of questions, but I am not sure if I should bring it up again or if I should wait and let her bring it up. Seeing as we are gonna be on a plane together this evening for a couple hours, it seems like maybe a good chance to do it...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Catching up on trashy TV

Did I forget to mention that it is super fucking cold outside? Yea...I think I did. And Yea, it is. We had a nice warm fall, and then all of a sudden...BAM...winter hit us like a motherfucker!

I am in the mood to talk Reality TV today, so that is what you are getting. First up, Top Chef, which I caught up on last night. It is always hard to tell who is gonna be around for a while just from the first episode, but it looks like the two European guys (who mentioned that at least 50 times) and the lesbian are the strongest thus far. There is some serious dead weight...

Anyone else notice how sun burned they all got in the first challenge? They had them outside for what seems like it was probably the whole day, and by the end, every one of them was red like a beet! Even Padma's feet were all red. Did no one think to bring any sunscreen?

Top Model. I didn't watch much of this season, but the girl that one seemed like she was the strongest the whole time. I was surprised that the runner-up made it as far as she did, since she seemed to be sort of...I dunno...uninspiring? But again, I didn't watch a whole lot.

Real Chance at Love? Absolutely phenomenal. VH1 continues to top themselves in their constant quest to produce the most embarrassing television around. This show literally kills brain cells. Charm School? Same story.

I think Munchkin will be well enough to go to Chicago tomorrow. She came home at 3:00 yesterday, but she seemed to be pretty much herself this morning. I actually wouldn't mind if she came home early again today to rest up, but I will leave that up to her. She has play practice this afternoon, which is not going to wear her out as much as, say, basketball would have;-) Chicken fingers are up in the air at the moment...

I guess that is about it. I sort of feel like writing about the Auto industry bailout, but I don't have the energy at the moment, so maybe I will cover that tomorrow. I, not surprisingly, have some thoughts...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Default Position

I want to send a little shout out to everyone that did Blog Secret yesterday, it was really fun! And, I imagine a lot of people feel better about things that they wrote just because they got to say it, and a friendly audience got to read it. Also, it seems like Nilsa was the brains and the organization behind it, so she gets a special shout out. Great job!

Munchkin is feeling much better, which makes me happy:-). She didn't quit make it all the way through school yesterday, but she got through all of her classes, and just bailed on her orchestra practice at like 4:00. (In case you never read that part, she is in school until 5:00 every day. They have classes in the mornings, and then "stuff" in the, drama, music, sports, field trips, etc.) She is supposed to play basketball from like 3:00-5:00 today, so I imagine she will want to skip that and go home at 3:00. And, maybe I will make her even if she doesn't want to!

So, I have a random question for everyone. I feel like everyone has a "default position" at home. It could be sitting in a certain chair, or on a certain couch with your feet on a certain table. Whatever it is...I feel like everyone has a place that they put themselves when they are relaxing at home. I have found that, at least recently, mine is laying head to toe with Munchkin on the sofa. She lays at one end, and I either sit or lay at the other, depending on whether I am working on my laptop or not. It's cozy:-)

Now, if she is not around, the default position totally changes. The Boy and I don't fit that way, so we need to work a totally different set-up! But, on a standard weeknight when we are all can find me and Munchkin all tucked in and cuddled on the sofa. you have a default position at home? If so, what about it makes it so comfortable?

p.s. We made chocolate chip cookies last night, and I intend to eat the entire rest of the batch tonight:-D

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let's hope the contagious phase is gone.

Sorry for being out of touch for a couple of days, I got sidetracked with some stuff. And I am WAY behind on reading blogs, which I hope to catch up on this week...

I am sort of wishing that I had done Blog Secret, because I think it sounds like a lot of fun. And I have PLENTY of secrets. But, alas, I sort of chickened out. The things that I would write, well, I am kind of certain that they would be easily traceable back to me, and, well...then it's not a secret anymore, is it?

Anyway, moving has been a crazy couple of days, and I am glad to be in the office with just my own notes from the last couple of days to go through and no pressing items. I guess I owe you some updates...

To start with, Munchkin really was sick...and not just a cold. We went to the doctor on Friday morning and found out that she had something of a virus tied to a respiratory infection that needed some drugs to get rid of. Also, later in the day I found out that two of her best friends had the same thing, so whatever it was, they caught it together, or one got it and passed it to the others.

Unfortunately, I had a bunch of stuff that I HAD to do out of the office on Friday, so I had to leave her home for pretty much the whole day. Just getting her to the doctor and back totally zonked her out, though, and she said she went back to be when she got home and didn't wake up until 3:00 in the afternoon. I stayed in with her on Friday night while The Boy went out with some friends. could they kill Jim on Ghost Whisperer? Seriously, that is total bullshit!!!

Anyway, Munchkin was still a mess on Saturday, but started to feel a little better by Sunday. She was still super tired and kind of foggy, but he color was back and she was up and around a little bit more. I kept her home yesterday to be safe, but she is back at school today and feeling most of the way back to herself. I am hoping that this little bout is completely gone in a couple of days or else I may have to rethink our plans to go to Chicago this weekend. If she is still fighting a lingering illness, traveling will only make it worse...we will have to see.

Despite all of this, I managed to get an enormous amount of little shit done this weekend...random errands and such. So I feel pretty good about all of that. That oil change and new watch battery are really improving my quality of life!

OK...back to work now, I guess. I have three days worth of interview notes to put together into a cohesive memo, and I am loving that I have a whole day of peace and quiet in my cube to do it. Well, except maybe for lunch:-D

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quick notes

Brief post today because I have no time, but I don't think I will post again until Tuesday, so I didn't want to just dissapear.

Munchkin is very sick still, so I have to take her to the Doctor this morning to make sure nothing is seriously wrong. Fingers crossed.

The Boy is the most awesomest boy ever for staying home with her yesterday. He was amply rewarded in ways that only I really know;-). And his condo sale went off without a hitch. Yay!

Work stuff today and Monday, so I have to get her home and back to bed and then skedaddle as fast as I can to get to more meetings all day long.

And kind of a busy weekend, lots of little things to do, all of which could be cancelled if my little nugget's health does not improve.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Catch ya on the flip side:-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On Romance

Oh my poor Munchkin is really sick, and she is not getting better:-(. She stayed on the couch pretty much all day, went through a trillion tissues, threw up a couple times and basically just felt miserable. She did keep her dinner down, which is a good sign...and I made her get up an shower, which made her feel better.

We also watched "The Game Plan", starring The Rock... Kinda cute, actually. And not just because it was filmed here! I know, it is campy and cheesy and predictable and blah blah blah. I thought it was cute!!!

Anyway, Munchkin is still in rough shape, so no school tomorrow. I was home with her all afternoon today, and I'd love to stay home with her tomorrow, but I have to go to an all day (or most day) meeting out of the office. This is also part of the reason that I am blogging tonight;-) So, this is tomorrow morning's post...

The Boy is being super awesome and staying home with her. He was only going to work half a day anyway, since he is closing on the sale of his condo in the morning (I am not supposed to jinx it until the papers are signed, but everything is in place...i.e., the loan is funded;-) I think it is safe.) But now he is gonna stay home except for a quick trip to the lawyers office to sign some stuff.

I have to be honest, this could as romantic as anything he has ever done for me:-)

Random Facts About My Father

I have one awfully sick little Munchkin at home:-(. The poor kid is really a mess, and I kept her home from school today. I am going to try and get out of here at lunchtime and work from home this afternoon. She has a fever and a runny nose and she is coughing and she couldn't keep her dinner down last night. Look like more soup for her today:-)

The Boy has already said that he can stay home with her tomorrow if she is still sweet is he? Best surrogate big brother ever! Hopefully she is feeling better, but I have a feeling she will be home again...she will have to make a pretty big recovery by this afternoon for me to let her go to school. I will know that she feels better if she gets mad at me for not letting her go out this weekend!!!

So...I found out something really interesting yesterday. I called my Aunt (father's sister) to talk about our visit in a couple of weeks. She told me that she had just gotten a really nice phone call from one of my father's friends. It was Veteran's Day, so he was calling some of his army buddies.

Say what? father was in the army? You wanna know a good way to tell that you didn't have a real close relationship with your father? When you find out two years after he died that he was in the army. So, I got the whole story from my Aunt.

Not surprisingly, this was related to one of his many brushes with the law. Several years after I was born (she thought it was maybe 1985), he enlisted as a means of diminishing or possibly eliminating some sentence for doing something. My Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents were all, understandably, pretty excited about this. They hoped it would clean him up, instill some discipline and get him onto the right track.

Of course, none of that worked out. He wasn't in the army very long, and in fact got kicked out after like six months for doing something that gets you kicked out of the army. That explains why there were no pictures of him in uniform at his funeral...the whole thing was pretty well forgotten. But, apparently he made at least one friend who wanted to call his baby sister on Veteran's Day to share I guess it wasn't all bad.

And that, friends, is the story of my father the (not so) Veteran.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

OK, maybe not potato chips, but how about ice cream?

First of all, this is the funniest picture I have ever seen, over at Snarky's place.

So, Tinkerbelle isn't coming for Thanksgiving, which is sort of a bummer. But she is coming around Christmas, which is super awesome:-). Munchkin and I are going to Chicago the weekend before Thanksgiving, and it seemed kind of silly to have Tinkerbelle then come back three days later. So we all decided to put it off for a bit, which will make for a very festive Christmas:-) I'll need another stocking!!!

Speaking of Munchkin, she is sick:-( She came down with a cold yesterday and it isn't any better today. Poor thing...she slept from about 7:00 last night until I left this morning. Fortunately she has no school today, so she can stay home and rest without missing anything. Hopefully I can sneak home at lunch to check on her.

I think maybe I need to reign her schedule in a bit...she tends to run herself sort of ragged between school and sports and friends and everything else. I will have to keep an eye on it. I should also do a better job of trying to make sure that she eats well...I find myself having fewer meals with her now, and I have to figure out some way to make sure that she is not eating total garbage when I am not with her. Potato chips are NOT one of the four major food groups;-)

Teenagers...what are you gonna do?

Totally on another subject...have you ever noticed that random situations tend to come in waves? This is true of the blog world, has come to my attention that at least three different female bloggers have found themselves in a very similar romantic situation in the last couple of weeks. Details and identities are unimportant, but the short version is "meeting someone at the tail end of another relationship."

What I find odd is that I actually think, based on what they have written, that I would have totally different advice for all three of them. Hmm...maybe I should work on my consistency;-)

Monday, November 10, 2008


I have two things today, unrelated to each other. First, I have seen a lot of blog outrage over the State of California's rejection of gay marriage last Tuesday. I can't say that I am super surprised...whenever given the chance, voters have resoundingly voted against gay marriage... but like a lot of people, I thought maybe California would have treated this a little differently than some other states.

And, in truth, it was different. Just not different enough. Several years ago, a ballot initiative in California turned down gay marriage by something like 70-30, and this time it was 52-48. My question much (if any) of the opposition was a reaction to the Supreme Court's "activism" of last year? I haven't really seen it discussed, so I don't know if it was a factor at all, but there is often a lot of resentment towards judges "overreaching" and making laws from the bench. So, maybe some of my California readers can chime in let me know if that was at all a factor...if some voters just didn't like the idea that the Court had thrown out a ballot initiative and this was just a way to get back at them.

Just a thought.


Totally separate subject.

I watched Juno twice this weekend. I had never seen it before, and while I always wanted to, I just never got around to it. But I saw it Saturday and then it was on again yesterday so I watched it again. Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts.

First off, I had no idea how complex the relationships were. Between Juno and Bleeker, and the three-side relationship between Juno and Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. But you know who my favorite character in the whole move is? Juno's Dad. Right, I know...deep psychological jealousies of girls and their fathers, blah blah blah.

I love him because he is kind of a simple character who is almost completely absorbed with the happiness of his daughter and the rest of his family. And, at the very end, he says something to her that I think is more perfect than anything that anyone could really ever say. She is laying in bed in he hospital, obviously exhausted from the delivery, and also probably overcome by the emotion of immediately giving up the baby. Her father says "Someday you will be back here. On your own terms." I just got me. Every girl should have parents like that.

Friday, November 07, 2008

One more week closer to retirement

Happy Friday everyone:-) Seriously, there is almost nothing bad about Fridays...they totally rule.

Yikes...the fire alarm just went off!!! LOUD!!! I just realized that, instead of sit here for a minute and a half while it went off, maybe I should have been evacuating? Are fire alarms really that effective if everyone assumes that they are always false alarms? Hmm...I will have to leave this for another day...

I don't really have a whole lot to talk about today. Pretty big crowd for chicken fingers last night...The Boy came, as did Smoking Hot Roommate and the Rocket Scientist. Big Sis met us there, as did The Boy's Twin Sister. When Munchkin is in college, am I going to make her meet me for dinner every week?

Not a whole lot up for the weekend. I have a whole bunch of little shit to do tomorrow...I have to get the battery in my watch replaced, pay some bills, go to the grocery store, buy some other shit...nothing terribly exciting. We are going out with some of The Boy's friends tomorrow night, which will be fun...we haven't seen them in a while. I think we are having Chinese food with SHR and The Rocket Scientist tonight, that is a little up in the air.

Oh, I know what I meant to cover...Celebrity Rehab. I think this is one of my favorite shows. It has some really funny parts, but it can also be really insightful into the mental, emotional and physical manifestations of substance abuse. I think much of the interest is to see people that are naturally self-absorbed and spoiled become sort of vulnerable and accountable. It shows you a more accurate picture of people, me thinks. Jeff Conway, for example, is just an asshole. And Gary Busey...yikes...

I think my favorite people are Rodney King, Steven Adler and Amber Smith. Although, Tawny Kitaen is sort of growing on me, she seems to be losing her facade a little bit. I thought I would hate Rod Stewart's son, but maybe he isn't so bad...we will have to see.

Capsizing the boat, though? That was one of the funniest things I have ever seen...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Election Recap

Sorry to not post had nothing to do with a post-election hangover, and everything to do with the boys at work convincing me to play hooky and go golfing with them:-) How could we not? It was like 70 degrees outside! It's November! We are morally obligated to take advantage of that.

I learned a valuable lesson about golfing in the Fall, lose the ball under leaves a lot! That was kind of super annoying:-)

OK...election. Very few surprises, really...things pretty much followed the final polls pretty closely. A pretty resounding win for Obama, obviously. I do, however, have some issues with the analysis of the event. Namely:

1) Obama went to great lengths to not be "The Black Candidate". He did an enormous amount of work and was hugely successful in being and standing for so much more than that. So, I was a little disappointed when, right when they called the race, the talking heads all of a sudden reverted exclusively to talking about his race. I don't want to say that it was insulting to him, but I really feel like it sort of belittles what he has accomplished. He deserved a more robust reading of what he had just accomplished.

2) I heard at least three different people refer to Obama as a "transformational figure." How absurd is that? Don't you kind of have to be President first before you can transform anything? Can we maybe let him actually govern first? George Washington was a transformational figure. So were both Roosevelts, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Heck, I would buy Andrew Jackson as a transformational figure. And Obama very well could be...but let's actually let him transform something first.

3) Can we please ignore this nonsense about whether the country is right-of-center or left-of-center or whether this is an acceptance of Obama's ideals and yada yada yada. This election was about exactly one issue: George Bush. Obama won because McCain was more identified with Bush than he was, and Bush is wildly unpopular. Everything else was basically a rounding error in the polls. When we try and take lessons from this election (as we always do) it is foolish to look much beyond that.

4) I sincerely hope that the worldwide love for Obama is not based on a feeling that he will consider the interests of other nations ahead of our own. Or, if it is, I hope that they are wrong. I am all for open communication, and for articulating and promoting our ideals. In fact, that could well be Bush's greatest failing: an inability (or unwillingness) to properly articulate why his actions were in our interest, why they are in others' interests and why we have to do things that others disagree with. But make no mistake...the President of the United States of America should be concerned with serving no constituency other than the citizens of the United States of America. I trust Obama to effectively articulate whatever message he is trying to get across...I simply hope that the message is appropriate.

So, there are my flash thoughts for the day. I didn't vote for him, but I am not really unhappy with his election. I am sure he will make mountains of mistakes...they all do...and will almost certainly struggle to meet the absurd expectations that every President starts with. But I know he is smart, and I trust him to work hard, and that seems like as good as start as any.

And honestly, he has to be cool... he is from Chicago after all;-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Ahh...the big day is here! There may be very little suspense left in the election (unless the pollsters are totally and completely wrong, which is possible, if unlikely) but it is still a great day. It is like the Super Bowl for civics geeks! I should warn you...this is gonna be a very long post, so beware (even though I cut out the parts about why I would rather we didn't encourage people to vote. Seriously, if you can't figure out why it is important on your own, then I would rather you not dilute my say.)

First, my election experiment nothing. I am not sure that I initially set out to be impartial, but I was never really strongly in favor about any of the candidates, so I think that my thoughts came off pretty much down the middle. I have been leaning for some time now, but as the election neared, I made a more conscious effort to focus on objective analysis of the candidates instead of opinions.

I assumed that there would be some correlation between people's leanings and their perceptions of my leanings. Either you would assume that I was voting for the other guy because the criticism of your guy would sting too much, or you would read the criticism of the other guy as evidence that I was on your side. In the end? It made little difference. I got 23 responses...11 thought that I agreed with you and 12 thought that I disagreed. It didn't matter which candidate you liked...pretty evenly mixed on both sides. grand experiment!!!

It did prove that there was little leaning apparent in my thoughts. A summary of results:

Who are you or would you vote for?
Obama 13
McCain 9
Other/Undecided 2

Who do you think I am voting for?
Obama 13
McCain 10
Other/Undecided 1

Where do you live?
Georgia (5)
California, Connecticut (3)
North Carolina, Virginia (2)

Oregon, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New York (1)

Germany (2)
Canada, Wales (1)

So, people maybe sensed a minor leaning, but not much...and there was very little correlation between who people are voting for and who they thought I would vote for. Also, Georgians love me... I should move!

So, anyway, my experiment was kind of a letdown...I didn't get the results I was really hoping for. But...I still have to vote! And I am sure that you are all dying to know who I am going to vote for! Or, maybe not...but you are gonna hear anyway:-P

I am, through somewhat gritted teeth, going to vote for McCain. I could give you like 40 reasons why I shouldn't, and why I don't really want to...but in the final analysis, I simply agree with his view of Government more than I do Obama's. For me, this involves prioritizing issues...I agree with Obama on abortion, and guns, and on parts of his education ideas, and some other stuff as well. I agree with McCain on taxes, spending and entitlements and immigration. I think McCain is more prepared and willing to do what is in the best interests of the country abroad...I feel like Obama would be much more concerned with being liked.

I find them both to be embarrassingly wrong on energy and (especially) health care. When I tally these things up, I agree with McCain on what I consider to be the more important issues. I think it is important to note here, that I firmly believe that energy will be THE defining issue of the next 40 years. I would have voted for either of them if he had put forth a coherent, reasonable energy plan, but neither did. Obama is more specific and environmentally conscious, but McCain's is more realistically effective ("throw everything at it...we shouldn't be eliminating any options right now").

Basically, I would like the next President to address our long-term solvency. We have a massive budget deficit and national debt that is a complete pox on my generation. There are basically two ways to try and close that: raise taxes and cut spending.

Actually, there is only one way...the structure of our entitlement programs is such that we can not pay for them, no matter what we set tax rates at. We HAVE to cut benefits, and the math is simple enough for everyone to understand. Which of these two do I think is more likely to control spending? That's actually an easy one...McCain, despite some recent lapses, has been a pretty avid controller of spending throughout his entire career in the Senate. Obama has no record on this, but his entire philosophy of government says that he will continue to grow the size of government.

So, there you have a nutshell, I am voting for McCain because I think he will spend less. How is that for summing up the longest, most expensive and most interesting political race in the history of the world...

By the way, I am going to vote tonight after work, so you can still try and change my mind;-)