November 24, 2008
As I have mentioned, I am fortunate enough to work at a non profit organization. For those of you who have spent your whole lives working in lovely for profit companies receiving good benefits and being let out of work a few hours early the day before a holiday…here are five things you probably never wanted to know about NPO’s.
1. In addition to having a boss and a bosses boss, I report to an illusive group of well connected people we call “THE BOARD”. Once a month THE BOARD gets together to talk about fascinating things like the budget and the staff and oil contracts.
2. You know THE BOARD is in the vicinity because people are running around in heals with piles of paper and screaming things like ‘PACKETS’ and ‘POWER POINT PRESENTATION’ before slamming into other well intended employees trying to get coffee or use the bathroom.
3. Every once in a while, if you are working on a particularly sexy or lucrative project, you are asked to present it to THE BOARD. When this happens you too run around in heals with piles of paper and you keep a little travel deodorant in your pocket in an effort to convince yourself you can prevent large circles of perspiration from forming under your arms.
4. When you present to THE BOARD, you lul yourself into a false sense of security by preparing loads of information and statistics and highlighting key phrases and tid bits of information you believe will make you sound smart or at least competent enough to cash your next paycheck.
5. Regardless of how well prepared you are, how many color coded highlighted packets you have carried with you, inevitably you are asked a question to which you have NO clue of the answer. This never fails. They must have a training camp for smelling the subject area you are least familiar with and then moving in for the question kill.
Can anyone guess how I spent my Friday?????
November 12, 2008
Typically I don’t even remember my dreams so I seldom obsess over them. If something is particularly disturbing I might recall it first thing in the morning, but by the time I try to tell anyone, I have totally forgotten the relevant details. However, last week I had by far one of the most disturbing dreams…ever. I dreamed that somehow a baby bat became embedded underneath the skin of my right calf. And after seeing a doctor about the BAT IN MY LEG, he told me that there was nothing he could do and I had to wait for it to dissolve. So, lets recap… there is a bat living in the flesh under my skin and I have to wait for it to dissolve. And in the dream no one is freaking out about this. I cam see the bones and the veins and the wings of the bat moving around under the skin and I can feel the creature and it itches and it is not good. I have been racking my brain to try to figure out what this could possibly mean and I have come up with the following five options (with a little help from Google).
one: there is actually a bat living in m leg. It is moving around and spreading it’s little bat wings and my dream was a premonition of the day I see a dr and he/she is totally unconcerned about it. This is by far my least favorite option.
two: to dream of a bat symbolizes demons and uncleanliness. To dream of a white bat signifies the death of a family member. To dream of a black bat signifies personal disaster. So my demon filled dirty life is going to meet personal disaster when a family member kicks the bucket? Great. Option #1 is looking better and better.
three: to dream of your legs indicates that you have regained your confidence and can stand on your own. What happens if you can’t stand at all do to a bat-in-the-leg infestation? Still, better than one or two.
four: to dream of a doctor indicates your need for emotional and spiritual healing. Not emotional OR spiritual healing, emotional AND spiritual healing. Well of course I need healing, I have a BAT living in my leg!
five: to dream that you are injured indicates that you need to work on healing old wounds. Is this in addition to the new wounds?
What do you think? Does anyone have special dream interpretation skills? Have I totally lost my mind?
THIS is living in my leg?
October 20, 2008
Here are 5 ways you can very easily waste an entire weekend, with out really accomplishing anything.
1) Watching Lifetime TV- Even worse than Lifetime is that Lifetime movie network. Have you seen the one where all the 14 year old’s get syphilis? It sure makes the “gee mom, I smoked a cigarette, we should really talk about it” after school specials we grew up on seem rather lame.
2) Thinking about packing but not actually packing – At the end of the week I am heading to Alaska for a few days for work and I have NO idea what to pack.* I have a formal reception to go to plus lots of meeting-ish stuff and the only thing I can think of that sounds Alaska appropriate is a fur coat and muff. And as fate would have it… both my fur coat and muff are at the cleaners. Maybe Sarah Palin can take a brief break from her political career and SNL obligations to give me some advice? Also, does anyone know where I get on of those blow up neck pillow things for the plane? The non-blow up ones are easy to find but I can’t find the inflatable ones anywhere and since I will be spending apx 18 hrs in airplane seats, I am thinking regardless of the cost…it will be worth the investment.
3) Baby worship – My friend H, whose baby shower I attended last month, had her beautiful little girl two weeks ago. I spent a good portion of Sunday gazing into her sapphire blue eyes (when they were open) and being in total wonder of this little girl who turned my friend into a mother. (I spent an equal portion of Sunday hearing all about the horrible birth she had, vowing never to go to the hospital where she delivered and making a mental note to research adoption agencies when I got home)
4) Gem week on HSN- As aforementioned, I am a sucker for home shopping networks, and gem week is my favorite. But, for anyone who is feeling judgemental about home shopping I must inform you that as of this morning, the design store for Museum of Modern Art was on HSN. And if it is good enough for the MOMA, it is good enough for all of us. Don’t judge.
5) Listening to the Bills game on the radio – I have not had time to really look into it this morning but apparently, someone released some balloons outside of the Bills stadium, they got caught in a transformer and the entire stadium was with out power for most of the game. No lights, no score board, no timing system, no communication between players, and commentators who were calling in the game via cell phone as ref’s kept the clock on watches. I love this stuff! I just hope the balloons did not belong to some dude who was hoping to propose to his girlfriend on the score board at half time. Not only did he fuck up the game for everyone else; he was with out balloons to give her when he popped the question on a score board that was not working. Tough day MR. Stadium Scoreboard Proposal Guy.
* Some of you have GOT to be wondering what I do for a living that requires me to go to Mississippi and Alaska in the same month.
October 9, 2008
I just returned from a four day symposium at the Silver Star Convention Center in Choctaw, Mississippi. For anyone who has not been to Mississippi or spent four solid days at a casino there, here are five things you should know.
1) Nothing is ‘non-smoking’. It this had occurred to me before, I would have packed strictly disposable clothes as everything from my shirt to my ballet flats smells like an old astray at a Bingo table. They smoke in the casino and at the cafe, they smoke in the bathroom and in the hotel rooms, through the shops and on the street. They smoke everywhere.
2) Rooms come complete with reading material like “Garden & Gun”. I would have loved to have been in on the R&D when this idea was presented. “Well, ya see, we got magazines about gardens and we got magazines about guns. But what the market is really lacking is a magazine about gardens and guns”. Brilliant.
3) They take their fire alarms very seriously. It strikes me as ironic that in a facility that allows and encourages smoking in every possible venue my hair dryer is what sets off the fire alarm. It does not strike me as ironic that even after I assured security that there was not a fire in my room they could not disengage the fire alarm system. Instead, I waited 25 minutes with the blaring weehh, weehh, in my ear for 2 police men, 1 security rep and 3 firemen to come in my room, look around and confirm I was not engulfed in flames. They did not radio in that the alarm could be disengaged before looking around the room at my wet towels (dropped on the floor for clothes ASAP when I heard the fire brigade at the door), discarded PJ’s and offending blow dryer and judge me. I could feel them judging me. This is in a state that produces a magazine called “Garden & Gun”.
4) The breakfast buffet (the only way to get food before the lunch buffet opens at 11:00) consists of eggs, biscuits, gravy (both brown and white), grits, cheese sauce, chicken fried steak, hash, sausage, ham steak and bacon. It does not include yogurt, cereal, plain toast or fresh fruit. It does, if asked, come with fruit cocktail which may even be edible if you cover it in the cheese sauce or white gravy.
5) In addition to your typical hand soap and hand towels, each of the public restrooms includes a sharps disposable receptacle. I understand that diabetes is rampant in the United States, even more in the middle of the country and even more so among ‘Native’ populations. But, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that perhaps this could be related to the all you can eat beige buffet and the chicken fried steak they serve in lieu of cold cereal and fresh fruit for breakfast.
To keep me honest, and to satisfy all of your Garden & Gun curiosity I have brought back the September/October issue of “Garden & Gun” magazine. It includes fascinating articles about the Lost Condfederados, the Best of the New South and secrets of Charming Atlanta. If you are interested in entering my little contest to win the magazine, just leave a comment and tell me why you want it or what you plan to do with it and it can be yours. It is a fine publication suitable for coffee tables and retails for $4.00 an issue.
September 15, 2008
Saturday I spent five loving hours at a good friends baby shower. After hour three of ohhing and ahhing over little socks and crib sheets I looked over at my friends loot and it occurred to me…I had no idea what half of this stuff was, or what it was used for. Call me crazy, but I assumed all a kid really needed was a place to sleep, something to eat, a whole mess of diapers and a few sets of feetsy pajamas. Here are five things I discovered all new mothers and infant babies apparently have to have.
A Hooter Hider- this is essentially a big old bib for moms to cover themselves with so they can breast feed in public. Apparently, a blanket will not do. I don’t know why. On the website they boast they they are the Nursing Covers for Chic Mothers. So, if you want to blow $40 on something that will make you look chic, this is the place for you.
A Swaddleme Adjustable Infant Fleece Wrap - Do not think that you can just wrap your infant up in a plain blanket. You must have specialized item for turning you baby into a burrito so it will sleep comfortably. You must have the Swaddleme Adjustable Infant Fleece Wrap! You must have two!
(If this baby could talk he/she would be saying “I can’t believe you just paid $9.99 for this weird origami blanket. Are you saving for my college education?” )
The Babybearshop All the Better to Kiss You With Lip Balm - Do not think you can kiss my baby un balmed! Want to hold the baby, wash your hands. Want to kiss the baby, apply lip balm. NO, not your lip balm, my super all natural lavender better to kiss you with lip balm.
Baby Leg Warmers - These are perfect for those times when your baby’s legs are cold, and you have no pants. Or, if you have named your child Jennifer Beals and want her to get started young. Do they make cut sweatshirts for babies too?
The Boon Snack Ball Container - Because everything is better if you have snacks, and snacks are just better in balls.
August 6, 2008
The other night, while sitting down to a lovely dinner at a local restaurant with D, my sister-in law, her husband and their two sons, I was confronted with a Ghost of Sara Past. I would like to consider myself the type of person who can handle bumping into an ex with Jacqueline Kennedy like grace; calmly walking over in my perfectly pressed linen suit, smiling with my fresh looking acne free skin and reaching out my perfectly manicured hand for a polite shake of the hand to engage in appropriate conversation. I did not do any of these things. But, for your reading pleasure, here are the five things I did do.
1- Panic. Immediately start to sweat. Really, sweat. Noticeable rings under the arm pits and river running through my bra type of sweat.
2- Turn bright red and stumble over my chair as I attempt to run interception and make contact BEFORE the haunting ghost reaches the table.
3- Make instant decision that I will NOT be introducing ghost to my lovely family for the following reasons. 3.a. - Ghosts are scary, I love my nephews and do not want them to have ‘ghost of Sara past’ type nightmares for the rest of their lives. 3.b – Do not want D’s family to think I am the type of person who associates or once associated with the big mean ghost.
4- Loose all abilities to participate in meaningful conversation and find myself asking “so, how are you?” three times while nodding my head emphatically and not listening to one of the responses. Begin to hate ghost all over again for making me feel EXACTLY the same way I did while we dated, a decade ago.
5- Scurry back to table and quickly order a beer while burying my head in the menu. Respond to D’s question of “who was that” with “someone I used to know” and silently pray he lets it go. Spend the next few minutes calming down and thinking how lucky I am that D did in fact let it go. Not because he did not know something was up, but because he could see how uncomfortable I was and did not want to push me. I adore D. I might be afraid of ghosts.
July 24, 2008
Will you hold my hand, when I loose someone or something I love?
Will you be there for me, regardless of the bad choices I make or how many times I make them?
Will you tell me, when my clothes are unflattering, my hair needs to be dyed or I have something in my teeth?
Will you forgive me, if at times I am not as good of a friend to you as you have been to me or if my needs overwhelm you?
Will you believe me, when I tell you I love you and I need you and my life would not be the same without you?
July 22, 2008
D and I are house hunting. Actually, we have been in the market for a new house for over a year now. But, with my new job and a better understanding of where we want to be, and what we can afford… the hunt is in full swing. D is totally game. I am not. So, here are the five reasons, I don’t think I want to move.*
1) Location – As I have mentioned numerous times before, we live in a coastal tourist town. Granted, the freaks REALLY DO come out at night, but it is also a wonderful place to live. I can walk to delicious restaurants, fun bars and adorable coffee shops. It is home to wonderful shopping, beautiful beaches and reliably spectacular sunsets. At times, its irritating, but its hard to leave a place everyone else is paying to come two.
2) The neighbors – I mean this both figuratively and literally. A year ago a fabulous couple moved in across the street. They are fun, kind, easy going and they watch the cat any time we are out of town. We also live a few streets over from one of my college friends and a short drive away from another. We are surrounded by great people and the thought of having to travel to see the people I like to spend time with, stinks.
3) The Ick Factor- The thought of moving into someone else’s house with their dirt all tucked in the floor boards and in the bathroom grout grosses me out. I don’t know if it the houses we have been looking at or if I am just overly sensitive to it, but people are gross. The idea of living in a house that someone else just moved out of sceeves me, and the thought of moving into one that no one has lived in for months is even worse. no people = critter’s
4) The Amenities- I will admit this now: I am spoiled rotten when it comes to our house. We are living in a place custom designed and executed by D and it is truly beautiful. I have radiant heat, a book shelf designed just for me, a spa-like slate shower and hand made ceramic bowl sinks. It is sad to think about leaving the little things I love and my feet get cold just thinking about traditional heat.
5) The MOVE – There was a two year stretch around 2001 where I did not live in the same place for more than 6 months, and I lived in most for even less than that. I thought moving around then was a pain in the rear and that was before I acquired the book collection necessary to actually finish my graduate degree. Since that time, I have added a lot more furniture, a vintage textile collection (including, but not limited to, table linens, aprons, and gowns) and all of the stuff you think you just HAVE to have when you register, only to discover later that you were obviously high on store fumes because 82% of it stays in the box. I know that this is pathetic but I just don’t think I have the energy to pack all that crap back up again. And I really don’t want to unpack it in a critter house.
*Yes, I am fully aware that a lot of my reason’s make me sound childish, petty and spoiled and I should be grateful that we are lucky enough to have a roof over our head. But, this is my blog and I will be childish, petty and spoiled if I want to. Please try not to judge.
From the moment I started this blog (a whopping 19 posts ago) I have struggled with the concept of how much I wanted to share about my personal life, what I wanted to say about my friends and my family. What stories were mine to tell and what stories belonged to someone else, to be told in their own way, with their own voice. Then this evening (while still on vacation) I received three phone calls in rapid succession from my family. Yesterday, my brothers college roommate and close friend, committed suicide. The details are horrific, and are not mine to share, but, I would like to share with all of you, the five things I hope to help my brother understand as he buries his friend.
1- Grief comes in waves. There are moments when the pain encapsulates your being with such force, you wonder if you will ever be able to exhale again. Then, there are moments when the hurt seems to subside. Moments when you believe you are moving through the dark could and then the pain rushes in and washes over you again. Don’t fight the grief any more than you would fight the tide, both are futile.
2- It is ok to be angry. it is ok to be frustrated or pissed. It is ok to yell and scream and go for a run because you can’t think of any other way to expel the emotion from your body. It is also ok to laugh, to think about the funny things he said or the way he always wore his hair to the right side.
3- It is not your fault, and there is nothing you could have done. I know people will be telling you this a lot over the next few days and I hope with all of my heart that you hear them. Please do not over think every conversation you had, every word you heard, every rise and fall to the tone of his voice.
4- It is going to get worse before it gets better. The days ahead of you will be long. The hugs will be endless and the tears will flow. We have already spoken about the role you want to take in his memorial and I applaud you for your strength, but it will not be easy. Know that it will be hard and know that I believe you can do it.
5- I love you brother. I love you more today than I did yesterday and I will love you more tomorrow than I did today. I love you unconditionally in a way only siblings can. When the grief swallows you like a tsunami wave, remember how many people love you and feel our arms supporting you under the deep and painful sea.
June 23, 2008
Ok, so it is not really MY party. But I (and someone who shall remain nameless) are planing a retirement party for my mother. It is by no means an overly difficult task, but here are the five people are making it far from simple.
1) My co-planner - She is great. Really, she is. However, she seems to have trouble remembering that in addition to living two states away from the party location I have a FULL TIME JOB. And, that job does not include party planning. I don’t really have time to discuss every minute detail of the invitation ribbon, the font size or if the forever stamps are just too ugly to use on a festive occasion. In addition, after my day of full time work, I don’t really want to spend an average of 45 minutes discussing why it is that people no longer RSVP and have no sense of decorum. Which brings me to #2….
2) People who do not RSVP – I don’t know what it is about picking up the phone or jotting a quick e-mail that is so unbearably difficult, but if you are invited to an open bar, four course, sit down dinner, the least you can do is pick up the phone and say, “sure, we would love to come” or “actually, we have better things to do”. The only thing worse than #2, is #3….
3) People who RSVP with more guests than were invited – I am sure that your child is the best behaved child in the whole wide world. And yes, I am sure that the 53 other guests of the event would be just CRUSHED if you little angelic looking demon spawn were not in attendance. However, if you will take a moment to consult the envelope, the hosts or general common sense it might occur to you that your child was NOT invited to this adults only event. We do however, appreciate your self centered ridiculousness, out right sense of entitlement and basic hissy fit since it has given me something other than the needy nature of my co-planner to be ticked about.
4) The loudmouth – the one who felt the need to call a mutual friend to find out what they were wearing to the party only to discover that they were not invited to the party and then send me an e-mail saying ” oops, sorry I goofed, but you are going to need to do something about this”. Why, WHY do I need to do something about this? I did not call her to consult on the type of hose to wear with a beige dress? I did not need positive re-enforcement on the choice of my footwear for a given occasion. I actually manage to keep my mouth shut when invited to an event that others may or may not have been included in. We now have 54 people attending a party only 50 were invited to. Classic.
5) My brother- now, I love my brother. As far as siblings go, we are pretty close. But every once in a blue moon I seriously wish he had been born a girl and I had a lovely party literate sister. Here is a typical conversation between me and brother.
ME: so, are you bringing your girlfriend to the mom’s party or not?
BROTHER: mom already had a party.
ME: No, that was her work party. This is a family & friends party.
ME: so, are you bringing your girlfriend?
BROTHER: I don’t know. Why?
ME: I need a count for the tables.
ME: So I can figure out how many we need and order the centerpieces.
BROTHER: Why do we need centerpieces?
ME: So there is something on the table.
BROTHER: Sa, isn’t there going to be food on the table?