Monday, December 29, 2008

Hold It, Partner

How does that holiday song go, something about traffic being terrific. If the traffic is terrific, then the air travel must be fantastic with an extra heaping portion of poking your eyes out. Off all the hassles of delayed flights, canceled flights, lost luggage, etc, there are always people having a worse day than you. Comforting thought, I know. Oh, there's no place like home/airports/rental cars for the holidays...

Last Saturday, we attempted to fly to Northern Michigan. After many delays, we finally boarded our plane in Chicago, then proceeded to sit at the gate for 30 minutes. The captain came on to say they were working the numbers (math is hard, after all) and would be taking off soon. All 36 people on our flight groaned but sat tight, just waiting to be sent away.

And then appeared our less than friendly gate agent. She wielded the microphone and announced due to bad weather, extra fuel was needed. Due to extra fuel, less passengers were needed. 11 people needed to give up their seat and the first 2 to do so would be able to fly to TC the next day. The other 9 would be SOL getting to TC but would have a free round trip voucher in their cold little hands. Oh and if 11 people don't volunteer, we'll be canceling the whole flight so all of you can hate us together. Merry Effing Christmas and thanks for flying United.

It was then that I noticed the family in front of me. Traveling in the rows in front were a mother and a father in their late 40's, a teenage son around15, a daughter around 12, and a happy youngest son around 7. The girl, Susie, hadn't looked all that great but it was late at night and no one was in the best mood. After the announcement of a possible total cancellation, Susie's face turned red and she started to cry.

Seriously, it's just a flight. You'll be fine.

The mom wasn't too worried - told her it'd be fine, we'll get there eventually. That's when Susie started complaining about how it hurt. Her mom gently reached over the isle and said "well then you need to take care of it." Susie: "but I caaaaaaaaaaaan't! you know I caaaaaan't!" Mom: "too bad, you're just going to have to sit down. You know you can't poop if you don't sit on the toilet." Susie: "nooooooooooooooo! You know I can't on a plane!!!!"

It seems Susie had a bit of a phobia of public restrooms. And airplane restrooms. And any restrooms not in her house or grandma's house. And so, she decided to hold it.

This was the exact moment when her older brother, seated right next to her, decided to start telling her about this guy he knew who used to hold in his poop until (DUH Duh Duuuuuuuuh) all the poop inside killed him. Susie started losing her mind, but not her poop.

I leaned over to Westley and suggested we get the heck off the anti-poop express. No one needed to be around for that.

We took the bump, the free hotel night, the food vouchers, and a rerouting (through Lansing of all places). Our luggage took a more exciting trip. More to that later...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Permission: Granted

Here's proof - I did (sorta) ask for permission first:
me: so I watched 30 rock last night after you left
and they kept mentioning Outback Steakhouse
Westley: new episodes?
me: yes
Westley: haha
me: so I did a quick search
and there is one less than a mile from IKEA
Westley: are you sayin yer hankerin for a steak?
me: well, it has been a whole week
I also wrote a very funny blog
but it kinda makes fun of you
a lot
so I wasn't going to post it
Westley: lol
me: but
Westley: you should just post it
unless you think I'd get upset
me: if steak can ease your pain....
I don't think you'd get upset
it's about your cooking
Westley: heh
yeah you should go ahead and post it

So here it goes...

Westley is trying to learn to cook. And I applaud him. Starting from near ground zero, he's come a long way in a few months. But.

he's driving me crazy.

I have watched him assemble entire pieces of furniture, with 100 different pieces, all from picture-only instructions, perfectly. I have watched him look at two different maps of the same area at the same time and figure out exactly where to go through a giant construction site and make it through to the other side while I'm still figuring out how he managed to get out of the parking lot.

And yet, this boy can't read basic cooking instructions without massive missteps and multiple do-overs.

After a (mildly frustrating) marathon cooking spree on Sunday, he asked for some constructive criticism afterward. My one piece of advice was - read all of the instructions first. He said yeah, yeah, I know. No really, read them alllllll first.

Now I understand that sometimes cooking instructions are a bit confusing. But it's not this hard, right? When a recipe calls for 1 onion halved, what do you think this means? He thought it meant half of an onion, chopped. No, I said calmly, if they want it chopped, it would say "one onion, chopped" - that says "one onion halved" 'I don't get it then WHY CAN'T THEY SAY WHAT THEY WANT??' " They did - they want one onion cut in half. End of story, just CUT IT IN HALF." This similar interchange was shared over garlic, carrots, butter, lemons, etc. And to top it off, he was frantic - you'd think we were being timed or something by how manic he was, darting here or there, stressing out over having redo the garlic (it called for 4 cloves peeled, which he thought meant peeled, crushed, and minced...and so I made him do it again). In the end, the food was delicious and we hadn't killed each other. I took over cooking Tuesday night, kicked him out of my kitchen so I could cook in peace (and made an amazing 3 course meal in 20 minutes, thank you very much).

Last night, it was his turn to cook for "New Recipe Thursday" and he selected a 30 minute or less recipe from Cooking light - pork chops with lemon caper sauce. I suggested the recipe because a) it's very easy b) there are only about 4 steps to the whole thing and c) all the side dishes would be made in the microwave, so easy-peasy.

Or so I thought.

I came home late and found him in the kitchen prepping. Things looked good, until I watched him dump 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the lemon caper sauce, which seemed...odd, but whatever. I looked at the counter at the rest of the prep. Egg white in one bowl - good. One giant heap of flour. Hmmm, looks like a lot for 2 pork chops, but I know he's good at measuring things so it's probably ok. I asked if he needed help - nope, all set, everything is prepped. Great! I'll set the table.

And then I heard a "uh oh."

K: what?
W: uh, I screwed up.
K: how bad?
W: well, THIS RECIPE IS SO CONFUSING! It calls for spray oil and olive oil, so I sprayed the pan and put the olive oil in the sauce.
K:....ok, is that what the recipe says to do?
W: um, no.
K: ............then........why........ ...... ok what were you supposed to do?
W: spray the pork chops and add oil to the frying pan.
K: ok, that.
W: but that's dumb - why do you spray the pork chops?
K: probably so the flour sticks to them.
W: oooooooooooooh

Then I watched him dredge the pork chops. Once into the flour, once in to the egg, then dropped into the pan.

K: are you supposed to re-dredge the pork chops after you put them in the egg?
W: no.
K: are you sure?
W: yes, but I'll check the recipe.
W: ......... oh, yeah. crap.
K: no biggie, here I'll help you
W: so, should I redo the sauce since I put the EVOO in it?
K: do you have enough ingredients to do it?
W: yes.
K: then yes. Unless you want to eat an oil-based sauce.
W: well, no.
K: ok then.

At this point I grab the recipe to read again, just to make sure everything else is ok. It's not.
K: did you find my breadcrumbs ok?
W: yeah
K: so.....did you decide not to use them?
W: No, I did - it's in the flour.
K:'s not supposed to be in the flour.
W: WHAT?????
W: well then why don't they say that.
K: well, they never say "mix all together" so that means don't mix all together.
W: crap.
K: it will still taste great, don't worry.
W: ...........crap.

Cooking tip of the night: next time, maybe you should READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Maybe even out loud. Two times.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Surprise! No updates

Heyyyyyyy. So I moved. And there are stories to tell. But not tonight because that requires a) creativity, b) time, and c) more sobriety than I currently have. Case in point - just finished a blog at this other sight, on schedule, and had this chat with my lil sis:

me: dude
did you see?
Kristin: Yeah I just read it!
me: I wrote my Wednesday blog! (drunk)
Kristin: hahaha
me: not really drunk
Kristin: I about to tuck into some ben & jerrys
me: my office chair is now my exercise ball
so with all the bouncing and drinking, who knows
ooooooh ice cream
Kristin: haha
I just read your blog
and am now tempted to pair my tasty costco cabernet with some cheetos
Kristin: hahaha
me: Kate=Class
Kristin: naturally

Yup. That's it. Now about those cheetos...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Lean To

There are some finds that are forwarded. There are some finds that are immediately sent out to the innerwebs on twitter. And then there are finds like this. Share. Now.

The Best MasterCard Commercial Ever

And also...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

None for you.

Rather than blog about the recent Beatles news blip and how dumb it is that a) anyone still cares about Ringo Star or that b) he's had to ask all 5 of his fans to stop mailing him their underwear, I instead submit to you an interview with a Beatles fan:

me: and also, wtf
he still has fans?
Jennifer: I LOVE RINGO STARRRRR hahaha

me: oh, so he has 1 fan

and uh, yeah
I guess I would be that fan lol

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Your Ad Here

A few months ago, an ad showed up on the metro for a local software development firm. Like most people, when I hear 'software developer' the mental image immediately coming to mind is a Tri Lambda grad with flood water pants, pocket protecor, and full size poster of Laura Croft hanging in their bedroom. Smart guys but not always the definition of cool.

Advertising on the metro for local jobs seems like a brilliant idea, especially in the current economy. Anyone with open doors and money to spend on talent has a huge base to draw from right now and even people with a steady job might be tempted to try for something new just in case current gig doesn't ride the current waves of the financial riptide.

And yet...this is the image they choose. So I guess they aren't hoping for a whole lot of diversity...

Friday, October 3, 2008

And Fail.

One day in and I fail. Awesome.

For my penance, I shall post twice today. First, a story from my commute yesterday.

My metro ride to work each day is about 30 minutes. I've tried my best to make this time useful, either by reading, making shopping lists, listening to pod casts, etc. Part of this is because I like to feel like I've accomplished something and not just sitting idly on the metro, and partly because if I don't have something to do, I tend to stare. A lot. And on public transit in this fair city, there's usually a lot to gawk at, which is entertaining but rude.

Yesterday, I packed up my book, but underestimated how close I was to the end. I finished it early after my transfer to work, read the interview at the end, and put it away. No biggie. It was on my way home that it became a bit of an issue.

Metro delays hit me hard. No book, no iPod with me, no lists to make, what to do??? I eavesdropped a bit on the conversation behind me (two 50 something women were talking about what an idiot Sarah Palin is - was highly entertaining), then watched as an older couple visiting their 30 something son (who was sitting with them) started harassing a nice looking girl on the metro, trying to convince her to date their son (he has a good job and he's not too bad to look at right? Honey? Don't you think she's nice? Would you like to come to dinner with us? You seem so sweet...)

Then I noticed a guy half way down the car. At first glance, he seemed pretty average. Mid-to-late 20's, nice grey suit, ear buds firmly in place. And then the show started. At first, he was just nodding his head a bit, enjoying his music. Then the right hand started tapping the wall a bit. And then, much to all our enjoyment, he whipped out the air guitar in all its glory. The head started banging, both hands were very involved in playing MetroGuitarHero-Red Line edition. This went on for a good 20-30 seconds before he looked up and saw everyone enjoying the concert. Oops.

He exited immediately at the next stop. I stopped laughing 2 stops later.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And it begins

October is a fan-damn-tastic month any year, but this year it is chock full-o-nuts and all sorts of excitement. Let's hit some highlights:
Angie and Jason Visiting!
Swing lessons begin!
Another Andy Zipf concert!
A trip to Richmond!
Meeting Westley's parents!
Birthdays, Birthdays, Birthdays!
Finally owning a real bed!

Apparently, October is also "blog something every day" month. Looking at my calendar, this shouldn't be too hard. Stay tuned.

This is gonna be a big month.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Ever wonder what procrastination looks like? Here it is:

I would also include the picture of the 100+ files with tabs on the wrong flipping end that I have to fix and file before I can file any of the above papers, which still need to be sorted and alphabetized, but why would I broadcast that little nugget of evidence of K8IsAFlake on the innerwebs? Oh wait...

Excuse me, I need to start singing the alphabet song now.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Growing Pains

About a year ago, a friend bought a Wii. To celebrate, we stayed up until 5 am playing bowling and golf, decided we should sleep a bit, then started up again around 9 am. At some point the next morning, Jen was out in the hallway when a little boy walked past, wanting to know what all the screams and giggles were about. "We're playing video games alllll day!" replied Jen, "this is what you get to do when you're a grown up - whatever you want!"

Heck yes I can do what ever I want. I is a grownup now. If I feel like staying up until 3 am on a school night to watch infomercials, I can. If I want to buy "The Office" DVDs rather than groceries, I can. If what I want for dinner really is macaroni and cheese with a side of cookie dough, I swear it will be done (side note:dinner last night was *awesome*). 99% of the time, being a grownup rocks.

And then there is that other pesky 1%. Today's 1% was the trip to the eye doctor. No change - still blind as a bat. Not a whole lot more blind, however, so that's a nice change (or I guess a nice non-change? yay status quo remaining the same (which is status quo by definition?) whatever), but still can't see more than 8 inches in front of my face without anti-evolutionary aides. I asked the doc to please please please change my contact prescription - these buggers cost over $700 a year and my glasses are in sad sad shape, not to mention way behind on the prescription. No problem he said, here's a free pair of cheaper contacts to try, then he whisked me out to pick out some new sexy specs.

I'm a sucker for the trendy plastic Clark-Kent-ish/hot librarian glasses, as is someone else I know. I told the helpful/bleeds-you-dry assistant what I wanted and she whipped out some pairs no one else had even seen yet - they're so new, even I haven't tried them on yet - you should get these now before someone else does. Holy Molten Lava Batman, these glasses were h-a-w-t. I asked how much they were, then held on to the counter as she told me. Ouch. She was nice enough to tell me all about how the easy care plan will save me money, then spit out the most complicated word problem I have ever heard - something like 15% off the price of a year supply of contacts less $65 plus the glasses, lenses, and coats divided by 2 plus the difference times emc squared. Or something. Huh? Can you maybe write that down? In a table? Or put this into Excel so I can run a goal seek scenario on how to make this cheaper? No, but she will start all over, using smaller words. And it kinda, sorta made sense, in a I can draw meiosis and mitosis but please don't give me an essay question on why this happens in the first place kind of way. She offered to let me pay half now and half later (something divided by 2! There's some math I can handle!!!) and I said ok.

My first pair of glasses were chosen because they were the cheapest ones available. They also happened to be the ugliest ones available. Remember those plastic frames your granny used to wear? With the blue on the top and pink on the bottom? Yeah, those were my glasses. Cheap, ugly, and I haaaaated them. Now that I get to pick my own, I understand why my parents headed straight for the cheap-os. But I just can't quite seem to do that myself. I want to look good and I'm (mostly) willing to pay for that, right? And, after all, I am getting these infinitely hotter ones at a Pythagorean discount. Or something like that. In 1 week, I will be the proud owner of some hott-damn!-sexy-specs. And if they break in the next 10 years, I'll just have to deal with being blind.

In the meantime, I will be running a cost-risk analysis on draining part of my 'wedding fund' to pay for laaaaasers to be shot into my eyes. How much does one really need for future wedding? I asked Jen about this - because really, how much can the Chapel of Love in Vegas possibly cost?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Over a delicious breakfast with my high school Sunday School teacher, I admitted some fall concert plans. Marie literally put down her fork to take it all in. "Really? Hanson?" I took a deep breath and said yes, Hanson, my adolescent love. She thought for a moment and said, "you know, if Donny Osmond came within 300 miles here on tour, I'd be first in line to get those tickets, even though I know he's horrible. So go for it - and ENJOY IT."

I finally bought my tickets today and words cannot express how freakin' excited I am about this. I know, it's ridiculous and juvenile and quite possibly a colossal waste of money. But I care not. This was middle school soundtrack, a fixture of my youth and against my better judgement, I am still completely psyched to Mmmbop along with them all night long.

I contemplated writing up a (semi-nonbiased) review of their last two albums. Maybe if I could plead my case, show how they have grown up, expanded their sound, matured, etc, the innerwebs wouldn't judge me as harshly for my indulgence in 90's pop music. In the end, I thought better of that - it is probably pointless. For most people Hanson is to Mmmbop like, for me, Jack Nicholson is to the Joker. Some connections can never be broken.

So instead, I present to you a new song to enjoy, a la the Chipmunks. And now, just Get Up and Go.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Say "Photobooth!"

When I broke the news to my parental units about a certain boy in my life, my mother hit me up with a plethora of questions. There are the standard ones:
What does he do?
Where is he from?
Does he go to a good church?

Then there are the "oh mother" questions:
What's his favorite food?
What three things do you like about him?
How much does he drink?

And then there are the request-type questions:
When do we get to meet him?
Can I have his email?
Are you going to leave us his number incase we need to get a hold of you and you don't answer your phone? You know, safety first.

And finally, she asks for a picture. I delay this for as long as humanly possible. Not for any horrible reason - Westley's a good looking guy, very photogenic, we have a picture on facebook together. The real reason is my my mother (oh heavens) and her mustinsertpictureintoemailandsendtoentireinbox fetish. It just does not need to happen if I can help it. She's been hounding me for weeks for a picture. She's reached the point of me wanting to pacify her just to make it stop, DEAR LORD MAKE IT STOP.

So I sent her this picture. Forward it like it's hot people.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's Just a Man on a Horse

I've lived in the DC area for over two and half years now and I'd like to think I've seen to most of the big touristy items on the list - the museums, the Mall, the White House, Ben's Chili Bowl, etc. I've seen a play in Ford's Theatre, I've snuck my way through the Spy Museum. And yet, in nearly three years, I hadn't been out to visit Manassas and the Civil War Battle ground there.

To be fair, I've wanted to see where the Battles of Bull Run happened. Until last weekend, I had no idea it was the same place. Oops. Yay Yankee education! Turns out, pretty much all battles have two names. Really this shouldn't be a surprise...we couldn't agree on how to treat 20% of our people - do you really think we could have agreed on a name?

Saturday morning, Westley and I trekked out to the Battle grounds, paid our $3, and quite frankly, had a ball. Two very informative (and vastly different) walking tours and a rousing musket demonstration later, we marveled at the landscape and the pivotal battles that occurred right in his backyard a mere 140+ years ago.

Of all the amazing information gleaned from our day (how far a cannon can shoot [1800 yds] and how insanely hot the Union Army uniforms were [great Hades they're hot!]) the biggest trivia nugget I learned that day was the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run is where this guy earned his nickname. Colonel Thomas J. Jackson joined the fight here and when told the enemy was over running his Confederate comrades, Jackson responded "then we will give them the bayonet." On the top of that hill, his troops hunkered down and stopped the Union advance, helping the Confederates to win the battle. At the top of the hill (just 50 yards from a very cool visitors center) this huge statue is there in his honor, Col. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

(sidebar- inside the visitor's center is one of the coolest battle displays ever -- it's a giant sculpted replica of the fields with little LED lights that not only show where each regiment was fighting but also whenever the narrator said a battle started, you could see the firefight in the little lights. Seriously cool and so worth the visit)

3 hours, two sunburns, and one perfect morning spent learning about our area's history later, we left the battle field filled with knowledge and so incredibly hungry. Want to know the next best thing I learned about Manassas that day? The location of Okras. Yum-o. And also, completely worth the trip. Nothing says 'hello perfect weekend' like state parks, jambalaya, and great company.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweet, sweet success, errr...I mean failure.

Oh the plans and goals I had for myself far I'm 0-4.

I stayed up late last night finishing a few projects and then was properly and completely sucked in to the Gold medal women's beach volleyball final. The announcer explained that China had called a time out due to "equipment issues." The "equipment" with the "issues" was a freaking hat. The 'issue' itself was the Olympian from China was having problems putting her pony tail thru the opening in the back of the hat. I kid you not, the male announcer said "you may not realize just how hard it is to get a ponytail through the back of a hat." Really? That's the difficulty of the match? Does this mean the US team deserves an additional medal for getting dressed alllll by themselves? Please.

I intended to get up early today, hoping to be leaving the house around 7:45 to a) actually be early for work and b) make it easier to leave early today. Instead, I woke up at 7:40. Awesome. I'm not sure why I'm so tired - I didn't go to bed that much later but I guess I was pretty out of it. I think I may have fallen asleep in the shower.

My face felt tight this morning after my shower so I thought to myself 'self, remember to moisturize.' Next thing I know, I've got a hand full of tooth paste and I'm about to rub those hands together for application. Hmmm, not sure that's going to help.

I decided to dress up a bit for work today, mostly because my most favorite purple work top (with polka dots and ruffles! it's cute, I swear) was clean and would give me an excuse to wear my super hot black pencil skirt. As I looked in the mirror once my outfit was complete, I realized my skirt had lint alllllll over it. Ick. I grabbed my lint roller and made a swipe. Equipment failure extreme - the roller pushed all the lint it had collected in swipes previous and deposited them on my skirt. The paper was completely un-sticky (non-sticky? stickiless? whatever). I lifted up the corner of the sans-sticky sheet to go to the next, gave a little pull, and ....... the entire roll unraveled like a 2 year old with Charmin. Aparently lint rollers expire. I was unaware. And now covered in lint.

Metro was running with *h*u*g*e* delays today, so I quickly fired off some emails before crossing the bridge so hopefully I won't get nailed for turning in some docs late. I arrived at Chinatown, my transfer point, and proceeded to go to the wrong platform. I looked around thinking, "hmmm, that train should be going the other waaaaaa- fudge." Walked back over to the correct side and caught my train.

When I finally made it to my stop, late as usual, I decided what I needed more than anything was coffee. Good coffee. I sent a quick email to a couple other people with the "hitting up starbucks - who wants some" message. Within 3.4 seconds, a new world record, Dorothy responded with her order. One Big Big Latte coming up. I decided to treat myself to a venti as well - I have the feeling I could use the extra caffination today.

I headed into work, managed to open the massive door in front while balancing two venti cups against my chin and dropped Dorothy's off. No trips, no falls, no spillage. Thank the LORD.

Within 2 minutes of sitting at my desk, 1/4 of my latte ended up in my little basket of binder clips. yay me. go team. rah freakin' rah.

So now the question is do a) I go and wash all 50 of my little binder clips now dripping with my skinny vanilla latte, b) just put them back sticky and covered in milk - that will teach people to steal my clips, c) throw them away and start from scratch, or d) abort mission - just go home.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why didn't you tell me baby?

It came to my attention that not everyone in the world has been notified about the epidemic hitting playgrounds and McDonalds everywhere. Please, for the love lunchables, talk to your kids about this, before someone else does...

Monday, August 18, 2008

From a Me to a We

I headed home last week, eager for some time off, armed with some fun news, and just a tad (ok quite a bit more than a tad) reluctant to be gone at this exact moment. I should say something grown up and professional, such as it's my uber busy career in finance giving me the hesitation to be gone for a while, but really it was something so much more fun than that.

A few select people knew my news in advance, but I was a little apprehensive to say anything to the parental units because that makes it so...real. A name. With the adjective 'boyfriend' in front of it. Big. Screaming. Deal.

My first morning at home, mom and I were wandering around downtown on search of post cards. I found one that was just right and got in line to buy it. My mom looked at me and said, "A postcard? Only one?" 'Yes, mother. One postcard.' "Well...whooooo...are...yousendingitto?"

I could have made something up, said Jen or Jess or anyone, but at the moment I realized I was ready for it to be real. I took a deep breath and said 'it's for my boyfriend, mom - Westley.'

My mother is one of the most prim and proper women you will ever meet - she could put Emily Post to shame. But at that moment, she could not hold it in - her emotion, for one of the first times in my presence, got the best of her and she started jumping up and down.

I suppose I could write a novel about how utterly embarrassing and horrifying it was to watch my 50+ year old mother act like the 3 year old finding the perfect toy in the cereal box but instead I smiled and laughed at my ridiculously cute mom finding joy in my crazy mixed up life. And when it came down to it, I couldn't find any fault in her response - I've been jumping up and down on the inside for quite some time now.

It's an amazing moment, to go from a me to a we. It's a small accomplishment, really, to say on a Monday "we just saw the most amazing show" instead of "I went to see a great band" but somehow that one little word changes the story completely. It's a fun place to be right now, in the early stages and its so wonderful to know, resolutely and definitively, that he's enjoying this crazy ride as much as I.

Speaking of a great show, WOW. Pretty much amazing. Obviously the company played a huge part in the enjoyment but the breathtaking skill of Dr. Lonnie Smith only further highlighted how amazing the guy sitting next to me is. Turns out Westley's not a huge jazz fan like me but had the foresight to pick this show, knowing I would enjoy it, in the amazing Blues Alley venue, starting off one of the best weekends of record in my world. I could keep going, but the gushing needs to be kept to a minimum. I don't want anyone to vomit on their keyboards and send me bills.

In short, my cheeks hurt from the smiling, my heart is light as a feather, and I'm as corny as Kansas in August. Dr. Smith's rendition of "Someday My Prince Will Come" just came on. Let's change that to did. La vita รจ bella.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And I'm telling you, I'm SO leaving

On a jet plane...tomorrow.

I should be packing right now. And finding my toothbrush. And filling up my shampoo bottle. And trying to figure out if I can survive on a five day trip with 6 pairs of shoes and 2 pairs of socks (let's keep those priorities in line kids...)

But instead I'm not. I'm checking my latest obsession... oh my heavens is it fun. You should join. Right now. Then, tomorrow at precisely 3 pm, you'll get the update that I have heartburn. Just what you've always wanted, I know...

I am leaving tomorrow though- back to Northern Michigan. On purpose. I checked the weather forecast for my time at home - highs of 75. Max. In full sun. This is the way summer should be people. It's a little odd to pack for a summer vacation and be more worried about sweatshirts and jeans than shorts and tank tops, but not when you head up north. Thankfully Klue is still at home with a closet she is happy to share (I suitcase is running out of room).

In my absence, enjoy my top 5 accomplishments from the weekend:
1. Went to a Nationals game with some awesome people and not only scored free tickets but managed to get free food too.
2. Stayed up till 4 am (fun), forgot to turn my alarm clock off (not fun) and was wide awake at 6:45 am (pure genius).
3. Took a nap by the pool (awesome) but didn't turn arms, body, or head - thus one side of my face is burned (not awesome).
4. Hooked someone new on The Office; was repaid in full by a new addiction to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I think this guy's a keeper...
5. Found the best Sunday night activity combination - pedicures, Tater Tot Casserole, and Fight Club. hot, Hot and HOT.

Quite the weekend. Only one more day of work, then a 5 day weekend. Huzzah.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Kill Her With Kindness

I'd like to think overall I'm pretty good at not sweating the small stuff. I try to be that calm duck on top of the water while my feet are kicking madly beneath the surface. My job has helped me develop a thick skin I a) needed and b) appreciate daily. But there are a few people who still manage get my goat, one of whom was staying over last night.

I was dreading going home all day. Anxiety levels were unbelievably high and I hadn't even seen her yet. Thankfully I had to work late, then I met up with a friend for dinner hoping to minimize the possible contact time. On my metro ride home it struck me how ridiculous I'm being. Since when do I back down from a fight? Why am I fighting passive aggressive behavior with passive aggressive behavior? This is going nowhere. I started analyzing the situation, asking myself what the root of the issue really is. Is she a fairly miserable person? Yes. Is she amazingly talented at getting under my skin? Yes. Does this mean I don't have to be nice to her? Yes.....well, no.

I remembered something I read written by a woman who worked at a coffee house. Dee was frustrated people didn't treat her with the same respect and attention she was giving them. She remembered tens or even hundreds of individual orders, preferences, kids names, etc, and yet so few could remember just one name, or even bother to look at her name tag and call her by her name. My brief time as a restaurant employee gave me the same frustrations - I'd greet someone with "Hello! How are ya?" and the response invariably would be "Yes, I'd like a...." After a while, I stopped expecting people to answer my question and generally stopped asking all together. Dee's response was different - she decided instead to 'kill them with kindness.' Over time, she started noticing a difference. There would always be those people who would view her as just an extension of the espresso machine but others stopped and saw she was more than an excellent frother. She had a name, she had a daughter, she had a great sense of humor. She was a kind and generous person who deserved kindness in return.

I decided to give it a whirl last night. I didn't rush home after dinner but as I got home, I psyched myself up for battle before going in. She was there and was not in a good mood. I greeted her, she returned it with a heavy sigh but with a hello. I couldn't tell if she was just tired or annoyed that I was home later than I said I would be. I asked her if she was psyched up for her daughter's move this weekend. She was not. Ok then. Well it will be fun to see her new place! She does not like it. Well then...

I took a five minute break from the action to recompose myself. She was not going to make this easy. I went back out and asked if she'd like me to set up our extra bed in the living room for her. She looked at it and said "it doesn't look comfortable." Well, it's just a twin I replied, but it's more comfy than the carpet! "Oh. I don't think so. But I might put the mattress on the floor." Sure! I said. I have sheets to fit it! And blankets! I can grab them for you in a minute. "No, I brought my OWN sheets. I don't want yours." Ok, I said, but if you'd rather, I also have an air mattress - it might be better than the green thing -- just let me know, I'm happy to get it out for you. "No, I'm sleeping on that tomorrow. (big sigh) At Marie's. Air mattress (mutter mutter mutter)..." And then she gave me the full body turn away to face the TV.

I wanted to run over to her, give her a hug, and scream in her ear 'I'M BEING NICE TO YOU DAMMIT AND I DON'T HAVE TO! BE NICE TO ME - YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GROWN UP HERE' but I didn't. She clearly needs more hugs and compliments and sunshine and puppies, etc, but not from me, and not tonight. I don't want to make one of those sweeping statements of "thank God I'm me and not her" so instead I made more of a "thank God I am me. Period. Dot." Who knows why she is the way she is. Freud probably has some ideas, therapy might not be a bad idea, but in the mean time, even if it kills me, I will be nice. Nicer than nice. A friend just sent me an email forward with a bunch of pink fru fru crap but at the end it said "Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." I don't know what she's fighting, but from the looks of it, she could use all the help she can get.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Now I Understand Why Daddy Blocked MTV...

Last weekend was Projekt Revolution Tour Weekend. I do not have a single picture that does it justice. Enjoy my blurry taken-whlie-jumping-up-and-down pictures from my camera phone. You are welcome.

Linkin Park was awesome -- no surprise there. The one song I wanted to hear (One Step Closer) they played right at the end. I did momma proud; not only was I shakin' it and screaming right along with everyone else, but I totally took out the massive guy next to me with my not-so-straight-up-and-down jumping. He probably thought I was seizing or no this is just Kate having a good time.

But I digress... the Big WooptyWho was a very saucy man named Chris Cornell. This is a better representation of what I saw on stage...the picture to the right is all I came away with...except the memories. Sweet, sweet, sweaty memories.
Mmm...wait what? Where am I? Oh yes.

When my family first moved to Michigan, my dad signed us up for cable. Awesome. We hadn't ever had full cable before and now, a solid 50-60 channels were at our disposal, keeping us in doors and up late every day of the year. Who missed the swimming pool when suddenly we had TBS and TNT and holy crap there's a channel all about food???

There was also a little channel called MTV. This channel didn't go over well when mom caught us watching something called 'reality tv' and a show called 'The Real World' which as far as we could tell had nothing to do with the real world and everything to do with Pedro just wanting love and not to die of AIDS. Mom didn't like us watching this but one show wasn't enough to pay the cable guy to come allllllllll the way back out to do anything about it.

Then, a little program playing 'music videos' started showing a band called Sound Garden. The band's new hit, "Black Hole Sun" was on hourly rotation for weeks. Dad saw this one time and before all the faces had finished melting, the cable guy had been summoned to our house to block MTV once and for all. After realizing Chris Cornell = Audioslave and also Chris Cornell = Sound Garden, I agreed to go to this concert just to hear "Black Hole Sun" one time.

Before Chris and crew even came on stage, they played the most beautiful string version of the song -- prompting me to think they weren't going to play it on stage since, duh, we all just heard it.

Oooooooh no. They played it. They played the crap out of it. It was amazing. It was unbeatable. It made the concert and pit ticket price completely worth it. After he finished his set, as he walked off the stage, a jazz version started playing as well. Seriously, a Chris Botti-esque version of "Black Hole Sun." 10 points for who ever can find these versions for me and send them asap.

I'm not sure if dad canceled MTV because of the video or maybe because he saw a glimpse of the man behind the baggy clothes and was worried about his three daughters lusting after this fine specimen of man (uh, yeah, my daughters won't be watching this either until they're much, much older) but I know I appreciated it a lot more now, seeing him live and in living color on stage. Or maybe it's because of what the song is actually about...oh yeah, that. Hmm. Good move, Dad.

Monday, June 30, 2008

5 Steps to Emotional Health

Step One: Beef.

Step Two: New Gadgets

a) a baby gas grill b) a fancy schmancy 2 probe digital meat thermometer with a 120 foot range beeper!

Step Three: Find someone smaller than you to pick on.

Step Four: Buy Yourself Something Special - shop with a friend!

A) The Tobacco Company B) Sine C) Galaxy Diner

Step Five: Enjoy a Late Night Snack to Chat About your Feelings Regarding:

a) Superior Drink choices!
b)Inferior Drink choices!

d) Fried Pickles!

e) More beef!

Congrats. You are healed. Good luck with those arteries.

Close only counts in Horseshoes, Hand Grenades, and Narrow Escapes of Death in Richmond

My life is full of adventures and tales of glory - fighting the good fight, taking on the enemy, risking it all for knowledge of standing on the side of righteousness. And then there is the portion of my life I like to refer to as 'dumb luck' or this week as '#7 of my 9 lives' -- or to put it plainly, 'Kate Goes to Richmond and Tries to Stay Alive.'

Somehow each time I make the trek a mere 90 miles south, I enter the CZ - the Catastrophe Zone. Once there was the mystery monster flying bug in the bathroom that waited until you otherwise occupied to jump out and help nature along by literally scaring the crap out of you. Next time, while out on a Zombie walk, I was attacked by a giant (I think) flesh eating spider (or at least one with a wicked bite), had my arm swell up and ended up with a fever. I almost died, I swear. And then there was the time we were racing to catch a 6 am train and....oh wait, I didn't die...but someone almost did. (Hi Jen!)

Life with Jen is never boring - there's the endless adventures of hikes around Belle Isle, the never ending search for lost keys, wild exploits in parallel parking, and always going where ever the wind takes us - I always have a fan-damn-tastic time in the south with her. This past weekend, however, was nearly my last.

Jen needed to have her oil changed (and needed a good excuse to drive the other car that has A/C during the hot hot weather) and asked if I'd mind following her to the shop in one of the cars. I lept at the chance to drive a car! oooooh emmmmmm geeeee! A Car! And I was secretly hoping we could take the long way to the shop so I could spend just a few more minutes behind the wheel. Without even having to ask, Jen read my mind. But we didn't just take a spin around the block....ooooooh no, we took a trip down Old Gun Road.

Old Gun Road is a back road at its best. I'm sure the speed limit is about 15 miles an hour, but with all the curves and dips and turns and ups and downs, you really can't appreciate it going less than 40. And appreciate it we did. I was doing a pretty good job in my car keeping up with the Lead Foot Leader when we started up an incline. A poor sap on a bike training for the Tour De Richmond was huffing and puffing up the hill when Jen zoomzoomed around him and took off. I, naturally did the same, as safely as I could when I looked ahead of me and saw a Jeep. Coming towards me. And I swear to God, accelerating towards me. The biker was next to me and I thought I had enough time to increase my speed just a bit more and squeak in. barely. I was so focused on a) not pushing the biker down the 4 foot drop off the side of the road and b) not hitting the Jeep head on in a car that didn't belong to me, that I missed Jen seeing my life flash before her eyes. After I very expertly (and almost too late) maneuvered back into my lane, Jen called and texted me to let me know we were done with this little road trip. Apparently killing your house guest is against southern custom.

Sunday night, with not a whole lot to do, Jen decided to take me to her happy place. It's a lovely farm about 20 minutes from her house with lots of horses, donkeys, llamas, and the lone pig (who looked more tasty than friendly). We thought we'd take Jen's horse, Topper, and the other, very gentle and mild mannered and well trained horse, Snoopy, could be my trusty stead for the night. Walking down toward the pasture, Jen pointed out her adopted horse and at the exact moment we watched her mild mannered boy bite the horse next door. Hard. Hmmmm...he might not be the one to ride today. Ok, instead we decide to say hey to Snoopy and maybe just ride him around the indoor ring for a little while instead. Harmless, docile little Snoopy. Jen gave me the leader line as we walked towards the ring while she carried the tack. She tied him up to a 12 foot section of heavy metal fencing in a easy release knot and said "now, if anything happens and I'm not here, just pull this end of the rope to let him go." But why would I need to know that? He's so sweet and gentle!

I went to work, brushing him down, prepping him for his saddle. I finished one side and moved to the other while telling him just how handsome he is and he's not so scary even though he's fricken huge... Next, I don't know what happened but something spooked him.

Snoopy reared up a foot from me and started thrashing around. There was no grabbing the rope - I was getting the heck outta dodge. The moment I turned around to get back, he dislodged the entire piece of fencing and hurled it around, still attached to his bridle, right behind my back close enough for me to feel the breeze. Still bucking and thrashing, he turned and took off for the pasture. About 30 feet into his escape, the leader line broke, dropping the fence just outside the building entrance, with the quick release knot still firmly in place. He didn't run far and seemed to be completely calmed down. Jen grabbed a fist full of grass, offered it up as a peace offering and grabbed a hold of his bridal to lead him calmly back to his pasture.

There would be no riding today.

Thank heavens no one was hurt - even Snoopy with his wild outburst of gentility didn't have so much as a scratch to show for the tantrum. An hour later or so, after my heart had returned to a more steady and less frantic pace, and realized I'd dodged death or at least a severe maiming a second time in two days, I wondered if it was really worth it to put my life on the line to spend time with Jen. That's an easy question - of course it's worth it - but next time I head down for a weekend, I think I'll wear a helmet.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ponder Me This

On a scale of 0-50 pounds, how bad would it be to own this?

Is it wrong to pull my hair out while listening to coworkers wax poetic about the amazing acting prowess of Russel Crow in "Captain Ron"?

What is the statue of limitations on (still) being horrified when I run into I coworker whom I pulled on to the dance floor at last year's Holiday Party to show him my amazing sweeping abilities?

Is stealing and hording free food a bad thing or just good planning?

My boss just said "You and Kate are quite the dynamic duo" - does this mean my alter ego should expect to start receiving a pay check as well?

If someone offered to give you money if you donated your body to science upon death, who gets to spend your two dollars?

If I an employee is due in to work at 9 am, usually shows up around 9:30 am, but this day came in at 8:40 am, does this mean she can leave 50 minutes early? (Please?)

If someone tells you that you are the best grandma alive, but all of their personal grandmothers are currently alive, are you still the best?

Let's imagine your friend dates a boy whose name starts with the letter M, who turned out to be a Moron (an M word!), with Many Major Malfunctions (triple word score!) who you'd kinda like to Murder (yet another M word!) is ok to substitute his name in all conversations with Midiot?

Is it at all shocking to find the entire reason someone dumped you in a comic strip?

Should I be surprised that my life can be defined by a three frame comic strip?

Monday, June 23, 2008

There's No Crying in Baseball

Friday afternoon, a guy from Portfolio was roaming around the office with 2 tickets to that evening's National's game. I've been trying to figure out how to score some free tickets because although I really want to see the new stadium, I don't really want to pay to see the new stadium. And TADA! Just like that, I had two tickets in really decent seats for the game. Hello peanuts and cracker jacks! Ok more like beer and a Ben's Half Smoke, but details, details.

I spent the next
3 hours trying to find someone, anyone, who wanted to go to the game. Everybody and their mother had plans - dinners with dads and family members, colds/flus/plagues, birthday parties, weddings, etc. As a last ditch effort, I emailed my old roommate Favre, who had previously scored and shared free Piston/Wizard tickets, and I offered to return the favor with free baseball tickets. Favre works crazy long hours alllllllll the time and thus if plans are ever made with him, whatever it is we're doing needs to start no earlier than 9 pm if he has a chance of making it. So when I asked him to a 7:35 pm game, I was pretty sure he'd say no. But he surprized me - instead (at 3:15 pm) he said "shit shit shit shit shit... i'm swamped, but let me see if i can pull it off." At 7:15 I left a ticket at Will Call and he sent a text saying he thought he would make it by 8 pm - not too shabby. In the mean time, let's work on some snacks.

I double fisted some tasty
cervezas, finally got my hands on a deliciously sinful Half Smoke from Ben's Chili Bowl and headed down to my seat. And what a seat it was - right over home plate with a great view of the field. Next to me was a guy very very involved in Nat's baseball - and not at all pleased with tonight's pitcher.

Before the start of the bottom of the second inning, a special video montage started - and with it, the waterworks. The National's Baseball Franchise honored Tim Russert, who is not only a Washington and Political Icon but also a huge supporter of bringing baseball back to DC. From watching part of his speech during the inauguration of the team returning to the District to seeing clips of him on his various shows and in his various duties, I felt the tears starting to flow. As we all in the stadium waved our caps to celebrate the life and passion that was Tim Russert, all I could do to compose myself was think - "There's no crying in baseball, THERE IS NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!"

But really, the best solution to the waterworks is the Presidential Race - no not Obama kicking some old man tail, but the Racing of the Presidents. I, in true midwestern fashion, picked Abe to win it all. And did he ever - BOTH races, and by a lot. Farve, with all his polling experience, picked Teddy, who during the first race, spent his time at the bar rather than running his race. Good choice man, better luck next time.

In the end, the game was fantastic - tied in the bottom of the 9th, we ended up going extra innings - 14 total innings before the Nats finally pulled away with a win. Bottom of the 14th, with one out and bases loaded, you better win or we've got bigger issues than an alcoholic mascot to deal with. But they did end up being able to score the all important run to win 4-3. No more tears were shed and I was on my way home around midnight.

But finally,
for 10 points can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture?

Monday, June 9, 2008

From a trickle to an all out Waterfall

Back in April, I read Peter Sagal's blog about what makes a manly man like him tear up. I thought for a little while about what my list would be, casually thought about ripping off his idea and making my own list of "How to Make Kate Cry" then realized it would be an unbelievably short list, especially for a girl. Do I need to advertise my lack of emotion on the internet? Clearly, I do.

I'm not a big crier. Movies, music, good books, it takes a lot to get me worked up enough to really let loose. Once, in high school, I was hanging out with a friend who was introducing me to some new music. He decided to play a song called "Kentucky Rose" but before hitting play, he introduced it with "I never cry, but this song makes everyone I know cry. If it doesn't, there's clearly something wrong with you." I cannot tell you how hard I tried to cry during that song - but it just didn't do it for me. Joel was not impressed.

We're all affected in different ways and differently as time moves on. Movies that seemed so amazing and touching to me in college have much less effect on me now, but now I cry watching TV shows, something I never imagined I would do 5 years ago. My first year in DC, after my dad was diagnosed with Cancer, I lost it every week during "Grey's Anatomy" when the 'Meredith's Mother is Dying' story line was dragging out. And yet, I would re-watch the episodes, bawling right along with Mere in the supply closet, much to the exasperation of my ex ('if you KNOW you're going to be upset, why do you keep watching it???' "I don't know, I just DO!!!"). Watching "Rent" during that same year, I had to pause the movie to compose myself as Collins was singing goodbye to his love, Angel ("with a thousand sweet kisses, I'll cover you; when your heart has expired, oh lover, I'll cover you"). Seriously, snot, gushing tears, total mess until that song is over, and yet, I keep watching it and I c a n n o t f a s t f o r w a r d through the funeral scene.

Dad is on the mend now and everyone is healthy and happy, so thankfully my crying has definitely decreased to a more acceptable level. Kate the Emotional Rock is back. Even watching the "Sex and the City" movie this weekend, I teared up a couple times, but no Niagra effect on me, even while staring down all my worst fears and nightmares about single living/marriage/motherhood/etc.

Right when I'm thinking I'm back to being myself, TBS and all it's 'let's play a movie 4 times in a row and run it into the ground' glory happened this weekend with the killer of all tear duct movies - "The Family Stone."

"The Family Stone" is not a great movie by any stretch, but is solidly in the 'better than average' category. It has decent writing, a great cast, and an interesting (but overdone) plot. There was more political content thrown in than I expected, and good amount of eye candy, and then there's the last 30 minutes of the movie. Quick rundown of the plot: oldest darling child in well off New England family wants family diamond to give to girlfriend no one likes. Girlfriend pisses off every family member with her socially awkward/uncomfortable ways, mother of darling boy not only hates her but (surprise!) is dying and this is her last Christmas, which is only known by her husband until the very end of the movie. Let's just evaluate all the issues Kate identifies with here to understand her unnatural obsession with this movie: awkward girl faced with being alone forever, death of family member by cancer, perfect Christmas with SNOW, sister being constantly measured up (and found wanting) to her more adorable/well rounded/poised sister, being the outcast by trying to be helpful, and generally over reacting to everything/reading into everything/constantly playing worst case scenario/ etc. I could go on and on and on about why I identify with this movie, as painful as it is, but I think you get the idea. This is exactly the type of movie I should never watch. Certainly I should never re-watch it. And yet, I cannot turn away.

I saw on the On Demand menu the movie only had 30 minutes left before it was restarting. I remembered what happens in the last 30 minutes, and still turned to TBS to watch the end. Maybe I was testing myself a little to see if I could handle it now, or maybe I am just a glutton for punishment. As it turns out, I still can't handle it. As the final scene was starting when the family minus one was gathering around the tree, there I was, unleashing a torrent of tears onto my sofa, promptly turned from a strongly confident, emotionally grounded, independent woman into a blubbering mess of sobs and hiccups. Thank you, Sarah Jessica Parker, for opening up those flood gates.

Maybe I don't show enough range of emotion on a daily basis, but turn on a dying Diane Keaton and show me one scene of Coach and Rachel McAdams tearing up, and I'll produce enough tears for a year's worth of emotion. But now, it's time to go back to happy movies only. HAPPY. No death, certainly no CANCER. Time to rent Mary Poppins and The Incredibles and Fight Club to cheer me up. Yes, Fight Club. Nothing puts a smile on my face like Brad Pitt and Edward Norton with six packs beating the crap out of random guys and yelling "His Name Is Robert Paulson! His Name Is Robert Paulson!" Oooh yes. Happy, happy thoughts.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Politely placed it there

This Week's Ray of Sunshine in the PhotoFiles of Kate:
the "Get Blasted Rocket Ship Beer Dispenser"

I'm off on a rocketship

Prepared for something new

I'm off on a rocketship

Ecstatic with the view

I am scared of the things upcoming
And I want for the things I don't have

Cannot stand to be one of many
I'm not what they are

Monday, May 12, 2008

'hanks Mom

I've realized it's hard to really 'celebrate' Mother's Day when you aren't within shouting distance of your actual mother. Sure, you can send a card, or a gift, or a lanyard, but are you really celebrating? Somehow I think supporting Hallmark by sending a card is more of remembering. This year, I felt the need to celebrate.

While making lots of other amazing shopping decisions (there's a story for later...), I decided to celebrate my mom this past Sunday by cooking. Cooking a lot. Specifically, cooking things my mommy used to cook for me - chicken, beets, parsley potatoes, and homemade* biscuits.

First off, chicken - the Sunday Staple for most of my more formidable years. Although my absolute favorite chicken mommy used to make is actually flour chicken, I decided it was time to practice on the whole bird - something sure to make mom proud.

In honor of my little sister, I bought organic veggies AND hormone/drug free, range fed, hugged twice a day chicken. It was a little more pricey, and sadly came without the extra packet of goodies normal chickens come with, but the meat was unbelievably tender and amazing (although brining the chicken over night probably helped...)

Next, a vegetable, of course. Nothing makes me think of mom more than freshly boiled beets. I think I am the only other person in my family who would buy stock in Schrute Farms, I do love me some beets and these babies were HUGE. They also came with some amazing greens, so in honor of my dad (since he did help with the upbringing and all) I tried a new recipe - cooked beet greens. It was ... interesting. Dad would probably approve. They might have been a little funky, but they sure were pretty.

My absolute favorite side dish my mom has ever made is also the easiest - parsley red potatoes. It's not a very interesting process to see those made so sorry, no pictures. But they are sitting quite happily next to the chicken in the last picture.

In true Mom style, there is no dessert because don't you think you've had enough already? But really, I did have enough. I have 25 years of cooking lessons and observations locked away inside, I heard my mother tell me to stop adding butter to the veggies, even though I really wanted to, I had her lessons of setting the Sunday dining room telling me which side to put the fork and knife down on, and for heavens sake stop sitting on your feet at the table. I have enough memories, training sessions, and prep hours in the kitchen to really honor, respect, and celebrate my mom.

Nothing says I love you like a home cooked meal. In the end, the chicken was divine, the beets were perfect and sweet, the potatoes were almost as good as moms, and my little baby biscuits were taaaaaasty.

For all those lessons, 'hanks mom. You're the best.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

He Blinded Me With Science

Zach's conditions upon me staying with him was my willing participation in many, many science experiments. For your viewing pleasure, here is the first one.

Thank you, Chuck Norris.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


That pretty much sums it up. Just took my first ever business trip, spent the week working out of our New York City Midtown office, and am now trying to adjust to my life that is CubeLand. A few highlights:

1. My office. IN THE CORNER. I contemplated changing my name to Tess McGill all week.

2. Free Lunch every day – not a new thing, but this week, I could order what ever my little heart desired. And I did. Oh yes oh yes oh yes.

3. I took my turn being one of those nerdy people who stands outside the Today Show taping…and saw Matt Lauer.

He is quite dishy in person

4. Two Words: THE PALM.

5. I have great respect for the LIRR – not only do they have a very clean trains (other than the bathrooms – eeeeeeeew gross) and decent prices considering the distance you’re going, but they also allow food and drinks on board. Hellz yes.

6. One tid bit of knowledge for the week – there’s a very good reason beer doesn’t come with a straw.

7. Lunch at one of *the* places in NYC – Tao. Simply amazing. Nevermind how I dropped each and every dumpling in my soy sauce and splashed it all over. Clearly I need a little more remedial education re: chopsticks.

8. Did I mention my office? Oh, ok, then how about the VIEW.

9. After traveling all the way up to NYC to be very cosmopolitan and urban and city chic, I end up at a country bar. But this place had class, fried pickles, AND a mechanical bull.

10. Ending my week in a dive bar on Long Island, singing at the top of my lungs how I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE while I’m HANGING TOUGH with WHAT I GOT which includes someone that makes me say WHATTA MAN WHATTA MAN WHATTA MAN, all the while drinking too much ALCOHOL but knowing no matter what, I WILL SURVIVE.

I think I could get used to this business travel

Monday, April 7, 2008

Peaks and Valleys

Tuesday was rough but in the grand scheme of things, nothing bad actually happened to me. No one died. No one was hurt. No tragedy occurred. Maybe it’s the lack of actual drama that made it harder to bounce back. It’s like a sprained ankle: nothing is broken, you’ll be fine in a few days, but those days of dealing with the annoyance of the sprain and being limited to your everyday life seem to be the most miserable days of your life.

I suppose my last post could have been read as more of an SOS than I meant it to – really I wrote it 2 days later mostly because looking back at everything (especially the thug on the street) it really was starting to be pretty funny. I mean really, all of that in one day? The jerk from Brooklyn plus the thug on the street plus the many many many blisters on my poor toes from my anger management march around Chevy Chase plus living and reliving all the political crap of working in a DunderMiflinWorld – could be a hilarious part in a movie some day (although when I re-write it, I WILL turn around and kick that guy in the pants – geeeeze)

Wednesday morning, I made a conscience decision to a) get over myself and b) have a good day, no matter the cost. I thought I’d treat myself to some Starbucks and wear my new outfit to work – feel good on the inside, look good on the outside. Then I got an email from my boss, Heidi, to let us know she was at the hospital, in labor, about to become a mom for the first time. By mid morning, her very own bouncing baby boy had arrived. Little Markus Octaveous had joined the ranks of the world officially.

Wednesday night I lit Markus’ candle in my room, celebrating his very first birthday. I said a little prayer for him and his newbie parents, but rather than ask God to simply bless the family with health and happiness, I asked Him to give Markus the ability to bounce – to take all the peaks and valleys he’ll travel through and knowing he’ll have rough times, give him the strength of character to see through to the good times. I’ve learned this lesson hard this week – I’ve got to learn how to bounce better – not take things so seriously and shake it off. And I’m doing just fine.

I’ve bounced back in a big way now – I’m writing this on a train (the acela even!) on my way to New York City for a full week in the Big Apple. I’m working out of our NY office, and I’ll be working IN an ACTUAL office, looking out at St. Pat’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue (googlemap THAT thug boy). I’m pretty sure I have the ability now to jump tall buildings in a single bound. This is one big bounce back and I’m loving every second of it.