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!!!