Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Mayhem

15 minutes after I left my house this morning I arrived at my mother's house. By the time I had gotten there I had been cut off while driving three times. THREE times in a 10 mile drive. Later I went to get lunch with hubs (even though I was recovering from a migraine) and it took me 4 minutes to be able to back out of a parking space, backing out about 2 inches at a time before needing to slam the brakes back on for someone else to either ZOOM around me from no where, or take the right of way and back up behind me from another space after I was clearly already starting to back up. (Never mind the slew of shoppers wandering aimlessly around the parking lot, not looking, rude or all-important.) By the time I was home I was frustrated, annoyed and ready to join the foray of road rage. I declined to join today. I don't always decline to join but today I remembered something.

Friday is BLACK FRIDAY. And despite the stores beginning their "holiday sales" in July of this year, the true holiday shopping season begins in three days. (ZOMG!)

I am not always the nicest person when I am out of patience. I can get down-right biiiiiiitchy with people who push the limits of tolerance and stupidity. But I am usually much more patient during the holiday season. Why? Because I don't want to become part of the problem. You know, the awful-people-forgetting-the-holiday-spirit problem. When I go shopping, BEFORE I go shopping, at the holidays I tell myself "there are going to be more people. It's going to be crowded. I'm going to see people behaving badly. DO NOT BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE." And usually saying this is enough for me to shed the armor and beat the insanity. I park far away. I breathe deeper. I smile more. I wish more people would tell themselves this. (I need to be more like this ALL the time too!)

Plus? It's the holidays. And how can you truly get in to the giving and thankful spirit of the season if you are pushy, bitchy, rude and impatient?

This year we have even more to be thankful for: our health, our family, our friends, old and new, our jobs and home and unbelievable support system. And we have more people to remember and honor as friends and family leave us far too soon. So let's all take a collective deep breath together and make this a better season of generosity, tolerance and peace.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I talked to Jenn this morning and told her my Tassimo was supposed to be delivered today. Later this afternoon she sends me an IM that says "Hey your Tassimo was just delivered." Let's just say I almost dropped my laptop and scampered to the front door to find a BIG BOX JUST FOR ME on the front step.

So I manage not to squee too loud, lest I wake my boys and screw myself over in making a cup. I go back to my laptop, snap this shot, send it to Jenn, and then dive in.


And LOOK at what I found in the box?!

So I set about brewing a cup. Imagine me racing to open the machine, clean it, fill it, figure it out (I know it's not that hard people!) and try to brew it before the kids wake up. I decide to make a Latte first.

Do you see that steaming goodness?

And then? Then I go back outside to my porch, and sit, and enjoy my amazingly wonderful, delicious, perfect latte in the glorious 74 degree Florida weather and rejoice that I managed to drink one cup without the boys waking up first.

Hello Perfect Friday afternoon. Pleased to meet you!




Jenn darling? This mug is for you!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

All Over The Place

This week I am all over the place. I am high. I am low.

Monday morning I wake up to an email from my long time best friend Joyce telling me she's found her long lost older half-brother. The one her mother was forced to give up for adoption when he was 4. The one she has been searching for since 1998 or so. Me? I learned about this search the year her mom died, in 2001. Eight years. I cried and had goosbumps all day on my arms every time I thought of it. You know how she found him? She calls it "the message tree." Me? I call it social networking. Not Facebook (although now they're connected there and she is also to a niece she never knew she had), not through Twitter. Plain old email and phone calls and hard work. He's in Guam so it will be a while before they meet in person. I'll cry that day too. I feel like I've found a brother now too. It's that happy.

Tuesday we (the social media community) all find out that Anissa Mayhew is gravely ill. We all kind of sink down low together. It's a place we know well. It's a place no one needs to nor wants to go to again. Anissa is legendary. Iconic (in my opinion). Hilarious. And her family has been through ENOUGH for anyone in any number of lifetimes. Her story, to date, is strong, courageous, but gut-wrenching. For all her amazingness I still feel compelled to shake my fists in the air and rage at the universe. Her family is posting updates on a Caring Bridges site. I think I've refreshed that page eleventy-thousand times today. All I can do is sigh and hope.

Today is Moose's 1st birthday. I've known Moose's parents a long time and watching him grow up (with Chipmunk of course) is definitely a high on my list.

Today my freshman college roommate finally got a job after an exhausting search. A job that will very hard work but exactly the path I know she is made for. I'm SO proud and happy for her.

I miss Vivien. She's that friend who moved to Colorado who I want to go see like crazy.

Tomorrow is my Bear's 2nd birthday. SECOND BIRTHDAY. As exciting and joyous as this is, how is it possible already?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dude Response Friday - Fictional Five

After that great Girl Talk Thursday topic, we had to have another Dude Response Friday. And Hubs is playing along again!!

  1. Laurana Kanan

    I read the original Dragonlance series when I was in 7th grade. I think this elven warrior princess was my first real fantasy crush. She also stands opposite Colleen's Legolas entry as my own long-blond-haired elvish fighter. At least I don't remember Laurana having a shield-surfing scene during the siege of the High Clerist's Tower.

  2. Inara Serra

    Who better to counter my wife's Captain Mal entry than his own classic (and hawwwt) foil Inara? Oh, the things she could teach me... please... I can haz companion?

  3. Cameron

    I wouldn't normally put Summer Glau in a Top X list, but, I will make an exception here. Sexbot from the future that has to obey my commands? Sign me up, I'll take two. And if Sarah happens to wander in while I'm examining the full feature set of Cameron's chassis? ... ... ... Sorry, my mind was wandering a bit there.

  4. Yuna

    Definitely the pre-X-2 Yuna, before she chopped her hair (and skirt) and started playing gunslinging dress-up like a John Woo ninny. Yuna's story was really touching, and I wanted to be the spirit of the dead city (or whatever the hell Tidus was supposed to be) that gave her comfort (oh I want to put air quotes around that word). She definitely appeals to me in the strong-but-vulnerable category. And hearing the Final Summoning song still gives me chills.

  5. Cersei Lannister

    The ultimate bad girl of the Seven Kingdoms, Cersei is definitely a nasty, naughty chick. She's conniving, bitchy, incestuous, and uses sex as the currency that pays for her position of power. But I would still totally tap that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fictional Five

Back when we opened up Girl Talk Thursday in its own space and place we started the conversation with our Top Five, hosted by the awesome (and hilarious) Diane. That topic made a big splash (or perhaps inspired a few cold showers?) but it was also hard because we sometimes got tied in to the characters (*cough*Edward Cullen*cough*(gag!)) so we decided to revisit the topic and talk "Fictional Five." Now we're doing (hee hee) the characters, not the actors. So here are my Top 5 Fictionals.

  1. Aragorn, Lord of the Rings

    I love it when he talks Elvish. And rides a horse. And swings a sword. And broods. And... Oh? I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought daydreaming...

  2. Legolas, Lord of the Rings

    It must be the tights... or the long bow... or the Elvish... Call me crazy but the long blond hair is the only way I find Orlando Bloom attractive.

  3. Captain Mal, Firefly

    Oh how I wish this show was still on air. Captain Mal was an easy on the eyes, witty, gun-slinging space-cowboy.

  4. Zorro

    There is this one part of the movie when he's training and doing pushups over candles I think and his stomach "sags" for a moment and his teacher whips him. Uh huh. Mkay. Washboard abs much? Plus? He wears a mask and brandishes a sword and has a cape.

    Apparently I have a thing for fighters.

  5. Jim Halpert, The Office

    I just think Jim is goofy and sweet. He is my only one in this Top Five that doesn't brandish a bladed weapon. I'll just say the paper airplane here coupled with his sharp wit is what helps him make the grade in my book.

So? What's your Top Fictional Five??

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For Maddie


Maddie Spohr would have been 2 years old today. An age near and dear to my heart since my Bear will be 2 next Thursday. I met Maddie through Maria and I have been heartbroken and inspired by the little girl with amazing blue eyes and huge bright smile. Today, like every day, I am sending my love and support to Heather and Mike and their families.

When I first joined Twitter it was like 2 days after she passed away and I saw so many tweets going out with #Maddie and had no clue what a hashtag was or a RT or anything. (Special thanks to Maria (again) for answering EVERY question I ever had about Twitter!) Tonight on Twitter we had a party for Maddie's birthday. And I get it now. That little girl taught me about the good there is in this community.

Today I wore purple for a little girl I never met in person. Tonight I made an M for Maddie. I have never known another little girl to unite a community so swiftly, so fiercely, with so much love.


Little girl you are so very loved.

Please consider donating to Friends of Maddie and helping families in the NICU as they sit and watch, and wait, and hurt, and wonder, and hope as their little babies fight to remain with them. Every little bit helps. Every little bit matters.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Workplace Griping

Has it really been almost two weeks since I posted last? What's wrong with me?

But it's Thursday! Girl Talk Thursday. I missed last week too and that makes me sad.

Today we're venting about jobs. Goodness I have stories.

  1. I worked at Office Depot my Freshman through Junior years of college. I actually loved this job until we got a new manager at our store who thought he was the bomb. You know, the type that goes all power trippy in a management position? One night I was closing and part of my responsibilities was to clean the bathrooms. Well I got a migraine, complete with loss of vision and vomitting. I asked to leave early, like 30 minutes before the store closed. He asked me to stay in case someone needed to make a damn copy in the copy center. (Isn't he supposed to know how to do that?) So I agreed to stay (no one came in, which was good because I was curled over the counter trying to die.) At 9pm when the store closed I got my stuff and started to head out and he said "Oh, you have to clean the bathrooms still." Yup. He saw me barf but made me clean the bathrooms. I quit the next week.

  2. My first professional job outside of college lasted 5 years to the month when I was let go due to the economy (this was nearly 5 years ago, yikes!) There were times I hated it but now, looking back, I have only fond memories. I am still in regular contact with several people still working there too. There are too many crazy stories to tell about this place but here are a few to highlight the, well, interesting times.

    • My first boss there, another woman, and I didn't see eye-to-eye on a lot of ways to complete tasks. One day she cornered me in my office and told me that no one else liked me at the office and I should stop trying to be friends with everyone.
    • One co-worker blurted out in the middle of a meeting that I had an ugly face and skin problems. Later we found out he was diagnosed with a serious mental disorder which sort of excuses the outburst but nevertheless doesn't dispel the sheer mortification I felt when everyone turned to stare at me. I watched that same co-worker throw a mug of hot coffee on a wall, take relaxer pills, followed 1 hour later by 3 shots of expresso to pick himself back up for a presentation, take his captain's chair off the hinges in the company minivan and turn it around (while someone else was driving 70 mph down the Interstate) and then fall asleep and snore loudly, all on the same day. At the time no one knew he was sick so to say that day was uncomfortable is a gross understatement.
    • Another co-worker, and good friend, who happened to tell the best joke about a big black vibrator, killed himself on December 16, 2002 and I was the first one to the office (no it wasn't done at the office) to find the notes he left for me and several other people. I miss him. There was a lot of fallout from that, hatchets buried, friendships solidified, friendships lost - no one really had a good way to cope with that grief in the office. It was a really dark time.
    • We had a stapler policy which documented at exactly what point in the stapler clip you should extract the remaining staples and insert a brand new clip of staples, discarding the partially used clip.
    • We had a personal hygiene policy document that detailed how to wash your hands and when it was appropriate to do so.
    • A third party reseller who was attending a conference in our office asked my co-worker to rub ointment on some sores on his back. (this still makes me cringe to think about!)

    True Highlights though?

    • My husband and I started dating and got married while we worked there.
    • I made several life friends there who I miss dearly since we moved away.
    • I perfected my miniature golf game during our Friday morning sales meetings and hubs and I didn't pay to go to the movies for almost a year (going once or twice a month) because I won so many movie tickets.

  3. I then spent 6 months working in a hell hole with a boss who I believed was a stripper in a former life (maybe not former?) and whom everyone believed slept her way to the top. She was a complete bitch who once lambasted me for saying "Yup, no problem" as a response to her asking me to please close the door on my way out of her office. I was told that "Yup, no problem" was not a professional way to speak to someone superior to me. Read: TOTAL. BITCH. I spent my entire 6 months there mastering my Excel skills and making sure all my columns of sales forecasts added up to NINE in this bizarre system created by the founder of the company. (I still have nightmares about the nines.)

  4. In my last job another female co-worker was jealous that I got to do the "cool" administrative crap and she was "stuck" making copies and answering phones (hello? I did that too but yes, I made more per hour than her, by 50%!) She and I were really good friends but when I came back from maternity leave, leave where she got to do a lot of my tasks and then I took them back over, she got all weird. And the company was not doing well (read: Real Estate Broker who spent money he didn't have and didn't make any sales either.) which made for a lot of speculation on whether one or both of us would be let go. Do you see where this is going? She took it upon herself to run around to our boss and other co-workers to tell them things I had vented to her about previously (and privately). But the awesome thing? She HATED these people too. But it wasn't like I was dishing out her "secrets." No, I had her back even as she was knifing mine. One morning I walked in to work and got in to a particularly good snarking match with her. She FLIPPED out and started screaming at me that I was a paranoid freak bitch who didn't deserve any friends and she couldn't understand why anyone would ever want to be my friend either. Four months later we were both let go but she continued to work for that company for free because she "believed in" the boss. I never understood this given what she would tell me about him. WHAT.EVER. I don't truly hate anyone but this woman? She ranks pretty high up there on the dislike scale. (And if you read this sweetheart, if you find this blog somehow? I bailed you out countless times and let you and everyone else think you'd done it right to begin with. I had your back you bitch. I hope karma strikes back hard on your cold bitchy heart.)

Now? Now I work from home and despite being grossly underpaid for what I do, I do like my job so I don't have any other complaints. I don't have to deal with stupid, catty, insecure, bitchy women either. But I do miss the office chatter so I gravitate to Twitter and keeping the TV on to fill the silence. It's good now.

So I believe everyone who has held a job in some capacity has SOME story to vent about their workplace. Vent away! It's Girl Talk Thursday and we want to know!!