Monday, August 31, 2009

Nice and beyond

I have been home for a day, I have barely even re-capped our trip to friends and family, let alone blogged it, and I am already way behind and pressed for time. How come? Well, school starts this week for me (really next, but I have some orientation things later this week), and I have to get Munchkin packed to move her back home from her fantabulous summer adventure.

Oh, and I am getting married in three weeks (less than three weeks). And some other stuff that I will keep for later. Other than that, though, there is not much going on:-)

So, where was I? Right...we took the train from Paris to Nice and stayed for the rest of the time there. Their house (again...gorgeous) was not actually in the city, but was right outside in a smaller, quieter, adorable little seaside town. I sort of wanted to go to Monaco just to see it (it is pretty close to there) but couldn't really find the motivation to go. I also never made it to a topless beach...I sort of wanted to go, but not by myself, and while she may have thought it was an awesome idea, definitely not with Munchkin.

Mostly I sat on the beach, or on the patio, gazing out into the Mediterranean;-). I did wander into the little town a couple times to hang out, but didn't do much of note. I "shopped" but bought almost nothing except a super cute beach dress. I read a lot, did some prep-work for school that I needed to get done, and basically just relaxed. Munchkin was busy with Frenchie and his friends a lot, but we had some time to ourselves, too, which was nice. There were all sorts of things that seemed like they may be a good the trip to Monaco or Saint Tropez or a boat ride or a day trip to some historic castles and things...but when it really got down to it, I just couldn't bring myself to be anything more than a beach bum:-). I felt pretty motivated while I was in Paris, but not so much when the ocean came into view!

OK...on to the real purpose of the trip. I find myself with a lot of somewhat confusing emotions on behalf of my sister. I guess there is a part of me that maybe thinks need to feel things for her to kind of share the emotional burden, as if I could either do that, or even need to. Obviously, sharing any of her heartache isn't possible...and really it is not necessary. She is much more equipped to deal with this sort of thing than I ever was, or even would be now.

First things first, she is totally and completely (as much as you can be when you are 14), head over heels, madly in love. Just positively nuts about him. And I can see why...he really is adorable, super sweet, and probably even more crazy about her. Given their limited actual time together, and the complexities of trying to have some sort of friendship/relationship with someone who is that far away, I was definitely worried that things would not go well.

My biggest actual fear was that they would have a huge fight on Day 2 and decide to never speak to each other again. Thankfully, that didn't happen, because I am not real sure what we would have done

So, nine straight days of being together all the time represented a pretty big test of their actual attraction. That is a whole lot of time to spend together when you have actually spent a total of maybe half of that together previously. But it all went swimmingly:-). As I noted when he was here last spring, they just get along really well...they laugh and joke with each other, and they have no problems being together with other people (like, you remember when you were that age...and there were always "couples" who were incapable of interacting with other people if they were around?).

They were also good about not wanting to spend too much time alone. I had a brief talk with her before we left about how I was not bringing her over there so they could sneak off and make out in the basement for four hours every night. I think that maybe his Mother had set some similar rules for him...or maybe he was just respecting Munchkin's wishes (either he obeys his mom or he obeys Munchkin...I am OK with either;-)). There was one night that they wanted to be by themselves and watch a movie, and that was would be a little hypocritical for me to tell her to act like a nun. I still think she feels comfortable talking to me about those things, so I believe her when she tells me that nothing too mischievous went on. Overall, both she and Frenchie were very respectful of each other and the other people around

She loved his Paris friends, and liked most of his Nice ones, too...although she definitely liked them less;-). I think it is maybe a little more pretentious crowd down there, although I was happy that she appreciated how neat it was to make so many friends from so many different places (it was a pretty broad mix of French, German, English, Italian, Spanish and probably some others). Not that she had any real issues...I just think she liked the kids she met in Paris much more right off the bat.

Leaving, of course, was tough on her. She managed (I actually thought this was less hard on her than when he left last spring...maybe because she knows with more certainty that she will see him again?), but she didn't really say a whole lot from the time they dropped us at the airport until we changed planes in Paris a couple hours later. She didn't cry a ton, but she definitely spent some time curled up in her seat (and a good portion of crying into her pillow.

By the time we had lunch and got onto the home-bound plane, though she was in better spirits. We talked a lot about him on the way home, and she was able to rationally articulate her feelings pretty well. I know she will miss him, and I know that she wishes he lived closer and that she could see him more often, but I still like the way the whole thing is going. There was no need for an all-out girl power intervention to cheer her up when we got hom (but thanks to Smoking Hot Roommate and Big Sis for being available in case it was needed:-D).

Not totally sure where it goes from here. They have definitely reached a status that they are both happy with...for now, at least. The French have a similar school calendar to us, so the next lengthy break they both have is around Christmas. Will she want to go back to France? Will he want to come here? Maybe he has a family vacation to go on? Maybe she will go away with one of her friends again? I don't really know at this point. But, I don't think I have seen the last of the French Boy with the Girl's name;-)

At one point on the plane ride, she summed up her feelings (I am paraphrasing) thusly: "It hurts that he is so far away, but I would still rather have to deal with this than never have met him." Very profound, that Munchkin:-)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Oh very much to catch you up on...

For starters, we are back on time (well, after adding two days to our trip) and without any travel incidents. Apparently we missed two hurricanes, both of which turned out to be much-ado-about-nothing.

The trip was absolutely awesome on a whole bunch of levels. Frenchie's family was super great to us, and his mother and sister could possibly have bigger crushes on Munchkin than he does:-). His mother is super-sweet, his little sister is cute as a button and they both hung out and kept me company plenty over the course of our visit.

First, Paris, which seems so remarkably long ago! I spent most of an entire day at the Louvre, which made me feel really artsy and sophisticated. I went on Monday to avoid the weekend crowds, and because it is closed on Tuesdays, I am told;-). Mostly I just wandered around kinda aimlessly and looked at all the pretty pictures and sculptures and things. Did not see the Mona Lisa, already know what that looks like! I actually liked the sculpture rooms best...for some reason, that just strikes me as more amazing than painting. I can't do either, but the three-dimensional nature of sculpture just seems harder to Of course, those crazy cats like DaVinci would just whip out a painting on Monday, sculpt some marble on Wednesday, and then invent a flying machine on the weekend.

Missed the Musee d'Orsay because it is closed on Mondays, but I did get to see the other big things like the Arch de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower (the trip to the top is, not surprisingly, cooler than the top of the one in Las Vegas:-P). Notre Dame is ridiculously beautiful, and the 7 Euro to go up into the tower was well worth it. Actually did that stuff with Munchkin, Frenchie and his parents, which was a very nice day.

I feel like I am leaving all sorts of stuff out, but I am sure that a lot of you have been, and other than having the locals pick out all of the restaurants, it was probably a pretty standard tourist trip.

Oh, except I found out that sports bars, it turns out, are fact, this was probably the most unique part of my trip. On our first Saturday there, Frenchie had a thing for him and Munchkin to do with a bunch of his friends...which was a good chance for her to meet them all, which she was very much looking forward to. His sister had something else to do, and the original plan was for the father to take her, and the mother was gonna either entertain me or take me wherever I felt like going.

That made me feel sort of like a burden, which I definitely didn't want. And some further conversation uncovered that, on Saturday afternoons, Frenchie's father (and usually Frenchie, too) very often meets his friends to watch the soccer team that they are all unhealthily attached to. So, they were all sort of changing their plans to accommodate me.

Hey...I like bars. And I like making new friends. And I am guessing that old guys like American girls, right? Well, that gives me an idea! So yes, I hung out with a bunch of liquored up French soccer fans (it dawned on me later that I had no idea who we were rooting for). I also observed that people's second language skills deteriorate rapidly as the excitement level and blood alcohol level Overall, though, they made a pretty big effort to speak a lot of English, which was appreciated:-).

One more observation...I was told before I left that the easiest way to find Americans in any foreign country is to wear something that says New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. I can add my own bit of supportive evidence to that, as my #15 Red Sox T-Shirt definitely flushed out the two students (one from Virginia, one from St. Louis) in the place very quickly!

OK...I am way off track already.

After Paris, we took the train to Nice, which was really cool. I have never actually been on a passenger train for any distance, so that was kinda fun. OK, it would have been just as fun if it took about three hours less;-), but it still made me feel very European. I think that the train (as opposed to flying or driving) was picked partially because it is sort of a French-thing, and they thought it would be fun for me and Munchkin. Definitely was:-)

I am going to have to leave this for tomorrow, because I am tired, and this is already long:-). Anyway, we are back, the trip was fantastic, and I will report further when I wake up tomorrow:-D

Thursday, August 27, 2009



Remember when I said that I was bringing my laptop with me? I lied:-) I decided that was just not gonna support my mission of an ultra-relaxing, agenda-less week. And I think I made the right choice.

Since I have much to catch you up on, and not much time to do so (borrowing Frenchie's little sister's computer), I will be brief.

First of all, the trip has been awesome. Great hosts, beautiful country, a very happy Munchkin and a whole lot of fun. Paris was fantastic, and leaves me wanting to go back and spend more time there. I saw a lot more of it than I did the first time I was here, but still feel like I have a lot left to see...and would like do visit during the non-summer months, too.

And Nice? Yikes...spectacularly beautiful. I haven't been everywhere in the world, but there can't be a whole lot of places more beautiful than this...

So beautiful, in fact, that we are staying a little longer. Originally we were going to go back to Paris today and fly home tomorrow, but that seemed like a lot of unnecessary traveling if we could leave from here. Before I called to change our flight, Frenchie's Mom suggested we stay an extra day or two...and who am I to argue with that?

So, for a surprisingly minimal ticket-change fee...we are here until Sunday morning and get back to Boston Sunday evening. I guess you will all have to do without me for just a little bit longer;-)

Aur revoir!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let the Lunacy Begin

It was great to have chicken fingers last night for the first time since May! It was also great that Munchkin wanted to visit with her friends for a bit, so The Boy and I had plenty of opportunity to re-acquaint and to prepare for another week apart;-). Oh orgasm, how I treasure thee...

But none of that is all that interesting because, as we are all aware, in about four hours, I am leaving for the airport to catch a flight to Paris in order that I may bring my 14 year-old sister to see her boyfriend.

And yes, I am aware of how ludicrous that

That said, I think it will be a really good time, and I am looking forward to it! As of last night, the plan is to stay at the family's house in Paris until Monday or Tuesday and then to travel to their summer home for the next few days. However, I should note that I have virtually no say in the actual agenda, nor do I really care to exert any influence;-).

I definitely want to do some tourist things in Paris, but I am totally flexible beyond that! I know that Munchkin wants to meet Frenchie's friends and hang out with him as much as she can, I may end up spending some time wandering around by myself and making friends in bars:-). I am sort of looking forward to having no schedule at all, and I hear that Paris kind of empties out in the summer, so hopefully it won't be too crowded anywhere.

Their summer home is actually a lot further away than I thought. I guess I was assuming that it was kind of a short drive from Paris, and that they bounce back and forth...but it turns out that it is much further away, and they pretty much move there for the summer every year. So, coming back to Paris is sort of unusual for them... I am not even sure if the whole family is coming back or just him, or just him and his Mom (his Dad stays in Paris all summer...make sense?).

I guess that is about it, then! I am very much going with the flow for the whole week (what do you think...topless beach?) and seeing where it takes me.

Try no to miss me too much;-) I can't promise to blog, but I am bringing my laptop, so you never know...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last set of answers, and a winner!!!

OK, the last four questions from SHR's quiz (which is now like a month

17) Where is the beach house that AM is so fond of? I have actually been less obvious on this than I thought. A bunch of guesses were "Cape Cod" or "Somewhere in New England"...and several of you said "I know it is one of the islands, but I am not sure which one". Well, the house is on Nantucket, which is the smaller and less populated of the two islands. When I made reference to the Obamas here, it was when Munchkin and I took a day trip to the other island (Martha's Vineyard), where they will be vacationing in a couple of weeks.
18) What kind of dog does Papa Bear have? He has a golden retriever:-) She is tiny and she loves donuts:-)
19) Munchkin has a winter hat that AM has referenced several times. What does the hat say? This is an easy one, too! It is a blue hat with a picture of a cartoon chicken saying "Chicks rule!" I borrow it often... As you can see, once upon a time, it was my hat;-)
20) What term of affection have Munchkin and Tinkerbelle coined to describe their relationship (they share a half-sister, but are not actually related)? They, in all of their adorableness, call each other Sislings:-). Love it.

OK, so let's get some results before the bonus questions!

A few of you only answered some questions, but did really well on the ones you answered, including Carree and Katia. And a whole bunch of people got like 5-8 right and get mad props from me for playing our little game:-)

I am awarding fourth place to Laurwilk. She technically didn't get any answers in until the third round of questions, so she is not really eligible to win, but she got most all of them right without having to read the archives, and I know that she would have gotten the rest if she had the chance. She also figured out Smoking Hot Roommate's name a long time ago (um, partially because SHR told her by sending her an

Third place is going to go to Nicole D from Canada...she got 14.5 right, and she was one of only a few people that also figured out Smoking Hot Roommate's last name.

Irene from Germany is our second place winner, getting 16 right and getting both bonus questions as well. In fact, she may get extra credit because she found an answer to the first bonus question that was completely valid, but was not the one that SHR was talking about.

The winner, though, is the artist formerly known as I'm not Carrie Bradshaw, who now resides over here. I have long noted that she is the most perceptive blog reader that I have, and she definitely proved as much during this exercise. She managed to figure out a couple of my blog-secrets without me even telling her (I share a lot more via email and gchat), and now she has ripped off 19 out of 20 answers. Absolutely brilliant! The only question she missed was the one about Munchkin's favorite soccer player, which was something of a trick question.

So, let's all give her a mighty round of applause. I will send an email and figure out how you want to collect your prize:-)

As for the bonus questions...I am unfortunately not going to publish answers here, since it crosses whatever anonymity lines I have left;-). I will, however, respond to you in private if you want to submit guesses.


OK, on to other things...Munchkin had yesterday off, so we took a little day trip to Chatham to poke around, shop a little and just enjoy the day. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous down here for the last two weeks...which seems extra sweet since it has been like 95 and humid in the city:-). We had lunch, wandered through downtown, bought a few gifts to bring with us to France, and then had a relatively early dinner outside. Then we saw Harry, really an awfully nice day!

She is working today, and once she is done, we are headed back home so that we can spend tomorrow packing up for our trip. I have also seen shockingly little of The Boy in the last two weeks, so I need to get my fill of him before I leave him again for another week. And, since it is Thursday, I am wondering if maybe some chicken fingers are in order:-D

I will try and blog again tomorrow morning before we leave, but for now I have some school stuff to work on, and then a beach to sit on:-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Well, the girls managed to pull one over on me...and did a right fine job with it, too!

On Friday, I packed up Tinkerbelle to drive her back to Boston to get her on her plane home. Or so I thought;-). I should have known something was up when Munchkin offered to ride up and back with me because she inexplicably had the day off. So, what did I find when I got back to Boston?

Surprise! Bachelorette party...

Turns out that Tinkerbelle was not actually leaving on Friday, she was leaving Saturday morning, which gave her the chance to hang out with us on Friday night (and Munchkin, too) in Boston. Smoking Hot Roommate and The Boy did some behind-the-scenes chicanery to fool me:-).

Friday was pretty low-key. Dinner and drinks and totally PG-rated activities with some local friends...we went out in the North End and then hung out at SHR's place for the night. Boss Foxy came with her daughter, and one of Munchkin's best friends came over, too (and slept over at our place). All in all, it was really fun, and I was obviously really happy to include Munchkin and Tinkerbelle in the festivities. We have sort of done the same kind of thing for Big Sis and SHR's bachelorette parties to get Munchkin involved, and it is a fun tradition.

Saturday morning started with getting Tinkerbelle to the airport, getting Munchkin's friend back home and getting her back to the beach (Papa Bear stuck around until Saturday morning so he could drive her back). All went smoothly, and then it was off to...

Las Vegas, NV...

No one would tell me where we were going until we got to the airport...although I had my suspicions once I knew that Munchkin wasn't coming. If it had just been a beach place, she probably would have come with us and just stayed in the hotel while we went out. So, Big Sis, SHR, both of The Boy's sisters, four other friends and I headed out, got there with no trouble and got checked in and settled in time to sit by the pool for afternoon cocktails;-).

BFFg was already there, along with two of my cousins and Munchkin's sister-in-law (they all flew out from Chicago together). I was actually really happy that Munchkin's SIL came...I hadn't expected her to at all, but I like her very much, she has been incredibly good for Munchkin's Brother, and I definitely don't think she has nearly enough fun!!! So, I was happy that she was willing to leave the baby at home and take a few days to come out to celebrate with me.

The Body, The Mouth and another college friend arrived as we were sitting by the pool, and the fun was started! I should actually note that our trips to Vegas in college were WAAY crazier, but we still caused a little bit of trouble. Drank too much, ate too much, gambled a little bit (at least I only gambled a bit...I can't speak for my compulsive gambler friends), danced a lot, met tons of new friends, and just basically had a grand old time.

Thankfully, the girls did not request that I wear any stupid "Bride" clothing...or any tiaras...and just basically wanted to let loose, tear some shit up and have a good time. We hit a whole mess of clubs, ran up some astronomical bar tabs (not to mention the damage that the girls did to the tabs of the hopeless men trying to hit on them...) and then wore very dark sunglasses during the day to ease the pain of the headaches:-).

All in all, a really great time. Highlights included a totally priceless monologue from The Mouth on Saturday night about men that try too hard (complete with lots of examples pointed out in the crowd), Big Sis winning and then immediately losing a sum of money that nearly made me choke during three hours of blackjack, a random meathead losing track of his location while trying to talk to us at the pool and falling backwards into said pool, my cousin breaking a heel, tripping and totally feeling up a random old woman when she fell, and a couple other things that I will keep to myself;-)

One thing we did not do a lot of was sleep! So by the time we got back last night, I was totally beat. I took The Boy pretty much straight to bed...hee hee...and then slept pretty straight from about 10:30 until 9:00 this morning. And once I finish this blog entry, I am headed back to the beach for a couple of days and then on to the great Parisian Love Adventure of 2009:-)

More on that later...for now...I am off to the beach!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Last questions, and more answers promised, the next set of answers and the last set of questions:

13) During her years in London, who did Big Sis work for? In my first post about Boss Foxy, I mentioned that they used to work for a firm that rhymes with "Old Can Schnapps". I am pretty sure that I have mentioned the firm name since then, but I can't find it. Anyway, both Big Sis and Boss Foxy were employed by the venerable Goldman Sachs while in London.
14) Where, specifically, did The Boy propose? On the bridge over the swan pond in the public garden. Which, as it turns out, is the World's Smallest Suspension Bridge:-)
15) AM wears a pair of diamond earrings on most days. Where did they come from? Turns out that there are a lot of answers in this one post... They belonged to SHR and Big Sis's mother, and they were a gift from the two of them and Papa Bear. I wear them for two reasons...1) They are gorgeous:-D. 2) They mean a lot to me:-)
16) With what friend does AM share the distinction of having a last name that belongs to no one else that she is related to? We all learned this when we met The Body was back in my first couple days of blogging. I should note that this is actually no longer technically correct, since she has changed her name officially to her father's full last name. But you get the point...

Nothing terribly tricky about those four, pretty much everyone who answered got them right. The final four are not terribly tricky, either, although there may need to be a little bit of guesswork on your part. Respond fast and I will answer fast and get on to the bonus questions...

17) Where is the beach house that AM is so fond of?
18) What kind of dog does Papa Bear have?
19) Munchkin has a winter hat that AM has referenced several times. What does the hat say?
20) What term of affection have Munchkin and Tinkerbelle coined to describe their relationship (they share a half-sister, but are not actually related)?

Watermelon: The Super Food!

Happy Wednesday, everyone...hope that you haven't missed my witty musings too much over the last several blog-less days. I have been busy thoroughly enjoying the time with my two little sisters, and just haven't got around to blogging.

So let's see...Tinkerbelle and I have been here since last Thursday, the rest of the regular crew was around for the weekend (including The Boy's Twin Sister, her wife and the kid) and Munchkin got back from camp on Saturday. Since Sunday night, it has been just me and the two girls and it has been super fun:-). You'd think, with a dozen-or-so bedrooms, that we wouldn't all sleep in the same bed, but you'd be wrong about that...

Tinkerbelle and I challenged ourselves to eat an entire watermelon for lunch yesterday between us. We didn't quite finish, but I actually have to admit that I felt pretty good for most of the afternoon...I am thinking that I should maybe publish an "All you can eat Watermelon Miracle Diet" book. Right?

A friend of Munchkin's from school is down for the week with her family, and they are having a cookout tonight, so we are headed over there in a little bit. This friend's Mom and Dad are two of my favorite school parents, so I am actually really looking forward to seeing them. Very, very nice people, and I am sure they will be in an even better mood than usual, it is vacation after all!

Turns out that, in the week Munchkin was away, the local boys suffered from a horrific and intense case of missing her. She got flowers when she got back from one boy, a borderline-epic poem (seriously, like four pages long...but honestly, like really good!) from another one and had two dates this week. I dunno what it is...there's a lot of pretty girls in the world, but this one has an effect on boys that is pretty hard to explain...

One of the dates turned out to be really bad, and I should probably be angrier about it than I am (short version...he wanted to make out a lot, she did not). But she seems kind of unfazed by the whole thing, didn't have a whole lot of trouble handling it, and can very much see the humor in it. I don't really worry about her feeling pressured into doing things she doesn't feel comfortable with...but I guess I am not 100% comfortable with these little hornballs even trying. I guess I am gonna have to get used to certainly isn't going to get any less concerning as she gets older...

Fortunately, the second one was better and she had more fun. As I have written before, in light of the French Boyfriend, I actually like the idea of her dating (again, a "date" is like pizza and ice cream and home by 9:00)...certainly much more than I would like the idea of her ignoring the normal kinds of interactions that kids her age have because she is hung up on an absurd idea of an overseas love. I feel like she has a really healthy attitude about the whole thing, and I like to see her continue to grow, meet new people and form new kinds of relationships. Not to keep beating on the same issue, but she already has a lot of practice in maintaining friendships with boys who have professed crushes on her that she doesn't care to reciprocate...

Anyway, enough about that, we will see how the forthcoming trip changes all of this.

I will post answers to the most recent questions, and the next set tomorrow, so if you want to get yours better hurry! Until then...

Friday, August 07, 2009

More A, and More Q

Answers to Monday's questions, and then the next four for next week. I think I will probably blog at least a couple of times next week, but I ain't promising;-)

9) Where did we go to college? I have been lying to you all since day one. I have always claimed that I went to college in Phoenix, which is patently false ( is almost entirely true;-) Just not quite technically)...I went to school in Tempe;-). And we attended what, according to Wikipedia, is The Second Largest University Campus in America.
10) From what country is Munchkin's favorite soccer player? This has turned out to be the toughest question in the whole quiz, and no one got it right. As noted here, Munchkin's favorite soccer player is Michael Essien, #5 for the Chelsea Football Club. While he plays for a team in London, you will note from his profile there, that he is in fact from Ghana. one other famous Ghanian...
11) What kind of car does AM have? Easy...a Tan Jeep Cherokee. Everyone got this.
12) Munchkin once did a wine tasting. Where was it? This was in Italy, specifically Tuscany. During the summer of 2006, she went to Europe for a month with one of her friends' family. They did all kinds of things, one of which was a wine tasting...and yes, the parents asked me ahead of time if it would be OK;-)

The same folks continue to lead...Laurwilk has jumped in and she knows most of them without even searching the archives;-). And since some of you have answered all of them at once, and some are doing them four at a time, it is hard to say who is really winning. Which just adds to the suspense!

Anyway, the next four, and we should have all of this wrapped up before I leave for France:

13) During her years in London, who did Big Sis work for?
14) Where, specifically, did The Boy propose?
15) AM wears a pair of diamond earrings on most days. Where did they come from?
16) With what friend does AM share the distinction of having a last name that belongs to no one else that she is related to?

That's all I have for you now:-) The beach is lovely and I am going to do my best to enjoy it!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Last Day of the Most Recent Part of My Life

Much to catch up on today...starting with my special guest visitor:-). Tinkerbelle got in safely, and on tome...which is a minor miracle on a hot, humid summer evening. She seems to have grown substantially since I last saw her a couple months ago (they always do!), but at least I am still taller than her, and will be for at least another few years, I hope:-D

We dropped her stuff off at home and headed straight over to my work party, which was very nice:-) I was surprised that a handful of my co-workers spouses came as means a lot to think that they feel like they will miss me, too. I think that we, as an office, probably see and interact with each other's spouses and kids more than most offices do. So, it was really nice that a handful of the guys' wives (and Boss Foxy's husband) came by to say good-bye.

The boys in the office also gave me a super-gorgeous Coach bag to make my studies oh-so-much easier. I have to admit that I am not really a huge handbag aficionado, but I am definitely a fan of this one. Kinda simple and basic and I likey very muchy (I can't get the link to the exact bag work, but it is on this page, about 2/3 of the way down on the right...the Addison Business Bag). And yes, I have reason to believe that none of the boys were responsible for picking that out...all signs point to one of their wives as the gift-picker in charge. Very generous of them, and I appreciate it a bunch:-).

Boss Foxy says that she has something for me, too, but didn't want to give it to me at the party. The mystery has me intrigued...

We stayed until about 10:00, which I figured was about as late as I should keep Tinkerbelle out after traveling all afternoon. As expected, she crashed when we got home, and fell sound asleep right away. The Boy and I didn't last a whole lot longer, although much of that was related to me suddenly being in a super slutty mood (a martini and a half is maybe to blame...). You can ask me in private exactly what that means if you are curious, but since his sister reads this, I will leave it to your imagination:-P.

And that brings us to today, which is my last day at work. I will definitely miss seeing everyone on a daily basis, and will miss being involved in all of the stuff that we do...but it feels more like going on a super long vacation than it does really leaving. I will still see them, and fully anticipate coming back here to work again. And obviously I will see Papa Bear and Big Sis all the time, and Boss Foxy and I are going to continue our regular lunches once I figure out how it will fit into my schedule. So, it won't be the same, but I also don't feel like I will totally lose touch with the folks here.

Besides, who can be sad when there is a whole week of Tinkerbelle ahead!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Giant checks and other items

OK, so I am a big superstitious dork, and I didn't want to write about the impending condo closing until today because I didn't want to jinx it:-). But yesterday was the big day, and everything went according to plan. I left work around 3:30 to head over to a building nearby to meet The Boy, the attorney and the Smoking Hot Roommate ('cause she is the seller:-)).

I found myself getting really nervous as the moment approached, just about the magnitude of the commitment. But also, very, very excited and pretty proud of myself:-)

So, we forked over a check with a whole lot of digits. And the Attorney forked over a check from the Bank that had even more digits. Smoking Hot Roommate got the checks, while me and The Boy got a horrible looking thing from the Bank telling us exactly how much money we now owe them;-)

And then we signed. And signed. And signed some more. I had been warned about the massive amount of signing and initialing involved, but it really is ridiculous! I can't imagine that it is any different for anyone else who has ever bought a house, so many of you can probably sympathize. Anyway, after what seemed like 4,000 signatures and 2,000 initialings, we are officially homeowners!!!

And I am very, very happy about this:-) Quick question, we need to re-christen every room in the place now? I think maybe we do...

I have some other news as well. First, Munchkin had a minor health scare yesterday. She is at soccer camp for the week, and she got sick and a little dizzy yesterday afternoon and had to go to the infirmary. They diagnosed her with a case of "over-doing it" and treated her with lots of fluids, some air-conditioned rest and instructions to drink more water and take it a little easier on herself. The doctor deemed no need for an IV or anything more serious.

It is always a little concerning to start a daily phone call with "I am in the hospital," but all in all it seems like no big deal. I think I handled it without too much unnecesary panic;-) If it had been that serious, they would have called me during the day, right? Since it is super hot and humid today, I imagine they will cut all of the outdoor activities down a little bit in order to not kill any of the children:-)

Second piece of news...Tinkerbelle is coming tonight and staying through next week! Who else is excited? OK...I guess maybe just me:-D. She is coming to work with me for my last day tomorrow, and then we are heading to the beach after work for the rest of her stay. Munchkin will be back Saturday, too.

Finally, there is a going away party for me after work tonight, which is obviously very nice and generous of everyone around here. I am hoping that, since I will still be at work tomorrow, I won't feel the urge to cry at all...:-). Because I will definitely cry tomorrow!

I guess that's it! This was kind of a lot for one post, eh?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Not that I want to encourage fighting

Keep the answers coming on yesterday's far, it looks like this is going to come down to a photo finish between two Germans and a Seattleite...but there a bunch of you that are still doing really, really well!

I am going to give you a sort-of sappy retrospective on work later this week, as my approaching retirement has me thinking a lot about how much this place has meant to me. But you are safe for at least another day on that.

Story time, from last weekend:-). On Sunday morning, Munchkin, The Boy and I went to a coffee shop to have a little snack and pick up coffee for people. We decided to sit down for a minute rather that eat, drink and carry coffee home all at once. While sitting, Munchkin decided that she wanted a Biscotti, so she got back up and got back into line...which was, maybe 10 feet away from us. While she was standing in line, two guys...younger than me, maybe 21-22 or so...came in and took the spot in line behind Munchkin.

They then proceeded to begin checking her out. For some reason, they each felt like the other might miss the view, so they poked and elbowed each other while whispering very quietly and making what I assume to be not-fit-for-children comments. The checking-out very quickly became all-out ogling...which I guess just happens when you continue to stare at a girl up and down for several minutes (not sure why the counter was taking so long, now that I think about it.)

Now Boys, we understand that it is in your nature to check out girls. And, we wear much of the clothing that we wear because we try to facilitate that checking out as much as possible. We totally understand, and most girls spend at least a moment or two checking out most other girls, too...even if it is a cursory review of her clothing for things that might look cute. We get all that, and it is totally OK. However, there is a limit, and the time limit on scanning up and down at the back of a girl you find attractive in a coffee shop on a Sunday morning is just a few seconds (for the record, she was wearing a white tank top, very long cut-off almost knee-length...and flip flops).

The Boy and I saw this whole thing unfold, as we were sitting only a few feet away. It went from being sort of funny to being a little gross to being really, really creepy in the few minutes they were standing there. I started to think that maybe I should call out to her and ask her something so that they knew people were with her and likely watching them watch her. The Boy apparently felt like it required a little more direct tactic.

Now, The Boy is not a confrontational person. He can get very intense about things he is concentrating on, but it tends to manifest itself in an extreme focus much more than in a loud, aggressive rage. And when he is on vacation like that, he is really mellow and pretty well laid-back. So it was somewhat out-of-character for him to get out of his seat and join Munchkin at the counter while she paid for her biscotti, stopping to square up in front of the two guys with a very stern, clearly repulsed "She's 14!"

For a second, I sorta thought there was gonna be a fight. The immediate reaction from at least one of the meat heads was to kinda puff up at him (yes, guys, you all try and puff out your chests when your testosterone levels rise...) but he seemed to re-assess right away and realize that maybe getting into a physical altercation in a coffee shop was not how he wanted to start his day. He gave a sort of half-hearted grunt of apology and that was sorta that. They got whatever they were getting and left.

Munchkin, who had been pretty oblivious to the whole thing, figured out what had happened as they were on their way back to sitting down, and seemed comically impressed with The Boy's chivalry. She pronounced that he was "My hero," and that she was extremely happy that her honor was still intact. I think that The Boy was maybe a little embarrassed by it, but also kinda proud of himself.

And as the title of this post says...I don't want to encourage any fighting, and would actually be aghast if he ever got into an actual fight over me or anyone else. I find it hard to imagine an instance where he would get into a real fight and I wouldn't be incredibly angry about it.

But, at the same time, I am also glad he did it:-) It was very noble and protective of him:-)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Answers and the next questions

Okie Dokie, you have all had plenty of time on these questions, so it is time for some answers:

5) AM was promoted on her first day at her job. Why? This took some searching for some of you, but most everyone who submitted an answer got it right: my business cards were mis-printed, so my original role of Junior Analyst was immediately changed to Analyst on Day 1. Since no one else held either title, it was not a big deal.

6) AM has two unique roles in her office. One is client-related and one is more of an internal role. What are they? Most of you got this, too. I am the office liaison when Papa Bear is in a foul mood, since he won't yell at me like he yells at the other people in the office. This sort of includes Big Sis...he yells at her, but she yells back;-) The other role is as kind of an all-purpose snoop. People tend to tell me things, so I am often set loose to meet with people in our portfolio or target companies to try and get the "real story" when the higher-ups feel like their presence is hindering the work.

7) She once gave my Mom a nickname. What was it? [Clarification: I have actually called her a couple of things, one of which is Mama Bear. But there is another answer that SHR was looking for.] The name was Mrs. Rock, short for Rockefeller. In this post, here.

8) What magazine issue did AM once announce was required reading for any of her listeners with daughters? [I think we are looking for a specific issue, and I like the substitution of "listeners" for]. Fortune's Most Powerful Women in Business Issue...comes out every year;-). This was easy, since it is from a link over to the right as "My favorite Post"

The next four questions:

9) Where did we go to college? [The actual University]
10) From what country is Munchkin's favorite soccer player?
11) What kind of car does AM have?
12) Munchkin once did a wine tasting. Where was it?

One of these questions has actually stumped everyone who has submitted an answer...although I won't tell you which one until later. I will give you probably 3-4 days to answer, and then I will get to the next round of questions.

On the docket this week? My last week at work, Tinkerbelle's visit and a minor altercation in a coffee shop from last weekend;-) So you have that to look forward to!