Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Thursday

Monday, March 25, 2013

Well, that got out of hand...

It started pretty innocently...

I didn't really feel like working on Friday, so the invitation from the boys in the office to knock off early and go watch basketball seemed like a great idea. I should note that they were planning a trip to Vegas for this weekend (that is what they were being nice to us about last month...they were planning on abandoning the office en masse for three days) that never materialized...that isn't really material to this story, it is just background...

So, we ate lunch, had a couple beers and enjoyed some rare day-drinking. Around about 3:30, I got a text from Smoking Hot Roommate asking if I was around, because she and the guys she works with were knocking off to do the same, I convinced her to bring them to come and meet us.

Another unimportant note: she works in an office full of almost entirely super-smart, incredibly driven guys. I also work in an office full of super-smart, incredibly driven guys (the three women I work with are actually more than the one that she works with). However, they are remarkably different...mine are alpha male investment banker types...lots of former athletes. Hers are much super-science-geeks... Basically, she works at an office of MIT and CalTech alums, and I work at an office of Wharton and HBS alums.

Back to my story, some point, SHR and her workmates convinced me that I should go to Foxwoods with them on Saturday. I am not sure that there was any sort of an occasion, I think they were just headed down to gamble a bit, drink to much and try to cause some trouble. The Boy is going away in a couple of weeks for a few days, so he was happy to let me go (not that there is an official scorecard of "nights you abandoned me with the children", but, well, there is probably an unofficial scorecard...)

With that, SHR and I packed up on Saturday morning and made for scenic, historic rural Connecticut (seriously, some day I will tell you all about Connecticut;-)). Frankly, this was probably not my best idea ever...the massages were a great idea, but the amount of drinking, eating, gambling and dancing that we did was probably more than was really necessary. And the not sleeping...

I am, as it turns out, not as young as I used to be!

Good news, I won a couple hundred bucks playing craps, so that was good. I am not really sure that I know how to play craps, but I was sure good at it on Saturday...

Bad news, I slept for maybe three hours, so I am dragging pretty badly still. I am gonna need a couple of weeks off before I do that again...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two weeks

Does anyone know what is exactly two weeks from today? It's kinda of a big deal...I will likely have much to say.

Winter's back, which is sort of weird. We had some nice weather about two weeks ago, but this week has been cold, snowy, icy and just very wintery. Today may be the first day of spring, but that isn't going to help anyone who had to de-ice the locks on their car this morning, or who slipped on the sidewalk and fell.

For the record, I did neither of those things, but I have already heard stories.

I don't think I mentioned it, but Munchkin is conveniently away for all of this, doing her oh-so-normal week in Paris. Ho hum. I remember when that seemed like kind of a big deal three years ago... 

Then she gets back and begins her last two months of high school. She is basically on cruise control now...the real academic heavy-lifting is over, everyone knows where they are going to college and they are just really enjoying being at a totally carefree stage of life. There seem to be a million proms, parties, banquets and other events going on, along with the lacrosse season and a few other things. I'm not totally sure that I have my head around this just yet. There will be much crying...

Her summer plans are a little bit more fluid than they have been in years past...I think she is planning on being back and forth a little bit more than she has previously. She wants to be at the beach, and wants to work there and see all of her summer friends, but she is also aware that this is a very special time for her and her city friends, too, and she doesn't want to be totally out of touch all summer. As a result, I think she will spend a lot of time commuting, but she is long past the point where she needs to clear all of that with me ahead of time;-)

The girls are doing great, and I can't believe how fast they keep growing. They're gonna be three next month!!! Yikes...I think we are going to have a birthday party for them and their school friends, since they all seem to be getting to an age when they appreciate those things. But nothing terribly fancy...I am generally not a huge fan of little kid birthday parties.

They will be happy when they can spend more time outside again, for sure. They ask to go to the park whenever I ask them what they want to do! Or they ask to go to the grocery store, which is kinda weird...

My favorite thing about them now is that they can talk about what they did all day at day care. They can recount who they played with, where they went, what their teachers talked about, what they had for lunch and what they want to do tomorrow. And they very often wake up in the morning with the very same thought that they went to bed "You need to go to bed now, but you can finish coloring in the morning," and then the very first groggy words after she lifts her head off the pillow are "Mommy, I can finish coloring now?"

Also, MA refers to herself in the third person. For reals. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Terrible Television

I have a painful confession to make, and it may alarm some of you.

I absolutely hate Girls.

I hate it because it purports to be "gritty and raw and realistic" despite being about a group of entirely white twenty-somethings in Brooklyn, none of whom has a job that looks anything like the very real group of people that I actually know.

And because I would never associate with a single person in that show for more than ten minutes. Whiny, entitled Hannah, with her sely-pitying faux self-esteem issues? Or sniveling Marnie, the "art gallery assistant" who has no ability to identify herself by anything other than who she is dating? Or the anti-social hermit boyfriend of Hannah's? The others..."bohemian" Jessa and idiotic Shoshanna, and a bunch of personality-less guys in suits are the kinds of shallow stereotypes that an 8th grader could write.

Oh, and let's add a black Republican for Hannah to date. Oh my God, that will be like, so diversity!

Mostly, I dislike it because the people bear no resemblance to the real people of that age, despite purporting to do exactly that. You know what most 25 year olds are like? Most of them are happy most of the time. Sure, they have issues and concerns and worries, but the vast majority of their interactions with friends involve laughing. Why else would they be your friends?Most people choose to hang around people who make them feel good.

Instead, we get a bunch of perma-angry self-loathers, and a wave of middle-aged media critics telling us that this is the voice of a new generation.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


When I sit at my desk in the morning, checking my Google Reader is on of my first takes a couple of minutes, keeps me updated on my blog-friends, and allows me to prepare to start working (other activities...checking personal email, the news and the stock market). Often, I am spurred to respond and leave Reader to leave a comment on a post somewhere.

(Occasionally, I will leave a witty, sarcastic comment that badly misses the mark on the sarcasm and requires some explaining;-) Like this one.)

So, this morning, I read this from Alana Margaret at Runaway Bunny. I'm not entirely sure how I found her blog, but I added it maybe four months ago and have been reading ever since, even after a change in address. She is, by any measure, a very thoughtful blogger, but I don't know her at all beyond what she has written publicly.  (Let's be honest...the fact that she is a baker/ice cream maker/pastry chef makes me want to be best friends with her). This morning's post made me go back and read some of the archives, which has revealed that we have somewhat similar backgrounds...or at least some key life events that are similar.

Then a weird thing happened, though...I couldn't respond. I just didn't know exactly what to say or how to say it. I kinda knew what I felt, but it wasn't coming out of my head and onto the screen at all. At least not in a way that didn't make me look like a colossal bitch. Which is actually making me think that maybe I am a colossal bitch (keep reading...there is more evidence to support this).

On and off for about four hours, I tried to formulate my thoughts into a coherent response...which seemed to be turning into a twelve paragraph ramble of inconsistent thoughts and somewhat counter-productive anger. Whatever I wrote, I just felt really small and bitter, and I felt like I wasn't getting out what I wanted to say.

I was struck by how differently we viewed a subject, in this case addiction, that we seem to have had similar exposure to. She starts (I am paraphrasing...and hope I am not mis-characterizing) by almost apologizing for having such a deep empathy for people suffering from addiction, for being blessed to not be afflicted with addiction herself, and for not having more time to volunteer with those that are afflicted.

It is, to me, a remarkable sentiment that indicates a humanity that we should all aspire to. And a level of humanity that I, for one, am not remotely close to.

She once wrote, of her mother's long-ago addiction "It never occurred to me that I needed to forgive my mother." That breaks my heart a little bit...not because it is sad - her magnanimity is, in fact, incredibly uplifting - but because it makes me sad that I am so far from being in that place. I don't know that I have forgiven my mother entirely, or if I ever will, and I can't even imagine being in a place where I don't think that what she did to me endowed me with the right to grant or withhold that forgiveness.

Is that petty of me? Yes, it probably is. But that just sounds "fair" to me, despite fair having nothing to do with anything. I never got any say in whether or not to live with a raging alcoholic, and she never chose to listen to my pleas to stop...and as compensation for that, I get the sole and unimpeachable right to decide when, and if, to grant forgiveness. This is not, I know, my most endearing side...

It's a weakness that I am aware of: I am not a very empathetic person (that extends to subjects far beyond substance abuse). If the subject is something that I, maybe arbitrarily, find to be unimportant whining, then I am a terrible listener. I have a frighteningly low tolerance for complaints that I deem to be trivial, or for problems that I think are self-inflicted. For much of my life, I have had very real problems that took up all of my attention, and there was often little help in solving those problems.

I don't have nearly the same kinds of problems these days, but I don't feel like I have ever emotionally opened up the space to care about other peoples' problems in a way that is balanced and healthy. Often, I am unreasonably cynical and dismissive of personal "sob stories," and my snap judgements go to the things that the affected could have done to make his or her life better instead of the unfairness that caused their troubles.

It probably doesn't take a genius to figure out how I got here, or even to figure out some of the reasons that Alana and I may think about this particular subject differently. That, however, is neither here nor there, really. The relevant point is that she seems to see this through a much more humane lens than I do.

And I wish I was more like her.

Monday, March 04, 2013

A weekend summary in food form

On Saturday, Munchkin and I made brownies and cookies. There were two batches of brownies - one that she brought to a friend's house that night, and one that we ate. And by "ate", I mean "ate entirely on Saturday afternoon." The girls had one each, but Munchkin and I were wholly responsible for the rest of the batch. It was one of my better ideas...

There was also a batch of M&M cookies and a batch of chocolate chip cookies. Those play an important role later in the story...

I went out with some girlfriends on Saturday night, and not in a tame, "early drinks" kind of way. More of a "super tight, shiny silver dress, huge heels, show up at 11:15" kind of way. You'd think that, after having done almost the same thing a month ago, I would remember that the toddler alarm goes off at 7:00 every morning, regardless of how much Mommy has to drink the night before...but I am not quite that bright. Not that I was particularly drunk, but I had more to drink than I should have, and didn't roll into bed until probably 3:00 or so. The Boy did his best to let me sleep in, but MA was having none of it and wanted to watch Little Einsteins in our bed...

In addition to all of that, Munchkin didn't have a great night, and was in kind of low spirits on Sunday morning, so I was trying to have a serious conversation with her while I was also being pestered to help with puzzles (which they do by themselves all the time, I don't know why they ask for my help, they don't need it!) Frankly, my head was pounding...

The good news? Well, if you go back to paragraph 2, there were a whole bunch of cookies in the refrigerator. So, breakfast (and lunch) on Sunday? About 18 cookies, give or take.

I'm not saying that my eating habits are the best, but, well, yes...actually, that is what I am saying.