Almost within reach

June 3, 2009

As some of you know, D and I purchased a house a few months ago and have been fixing it up little by little.  We are hoping to move in some time next month and are starting to look at what new furniture we will need.  I had hatched a moderately evil plan to take my grandmothers dinning room set but as she told my mother last week, she is not dead yet, and that plan failed miserably.  Appalled by the prices of decent looking dinning sets I started to look on Craig’s list and other places to find a table we could live with until we could afford the table we wanted.  Then, yesterday, at approximately 3pm est, I hit the craigs list jack pot.  In  the pages of hideousness and crap, nestled between an Ikea coffee table and a used mattress* there is was… a Design Within Reach 6 person dining room table for $200.  The moments that followed were a little hazy but I am pretty sure the discovery was followed by the following five things.

1) Freak.  Assume that my eyes have failed me and there is no WAY the DWR in the description really  means it is from Design Within Reach.

2) E-mail D to see what he thinks.  Sit at wait for his response with all the calm and patience of a Labrador puppy.  Receive confirmation that D loves the table.  Become obsessed with hearing back from the owner to see if table is still available.

3) Continue to act like a Labrador puppy.  Check my e-mail 18 times in the next 10 minutes to see if he has responded.   Hear that the table is still available and do a victory dance at my desk. 

4) Do not even try to keep my cards close to my chest. Confess to the owner that I really want that table and am happy to come by in 2.5 hours to get it. 

5) Realize that there is no way the table is going to fit in or on my car under any circumstances.  Call D freaking out.  Develop a strategy to borrow an SUV from anyone who will lend it to us.  Make a plan to go get the table after work the next day.  Spend the next 12 hrs obsessing over the table. 

We are planning on getting it today after work.  Is it way too much to ask for it to still be there and to be as sturdy and heavy as I have hoped?  I am serious about that table. 

* Who buys a used mattress?  I am all about vintage and recycling and being green but there are just some things in this world you want new.  A mattress has got to be one of them.

Lets play ball…

June 1, 2009

Last week D and I visited our good friend B&C in Chicago.  Among the many awesome activities they planned for us (whirly ball anyone) we went to watch a Cubs game at Wrigly.  Here were five highlights.

1) Our seats.  Yup, we sat here: (and this photo was taken with a crappy iphone camera)

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2) Our neighbors.  When you sit 8 rows behind home plate you get to meet a lot of interesting people.  That guy in the tan hat and jacket was just one of the many scouts* at the game keeping stats and measuring fast balls with one of those guns you see in movies like Major League.**

3) Our entertainment.  Strait from ESPN, and courtesy of YouTube, here is Mr. T throwing out the first pitch and singing Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

4) Our favorite good Samaritan.  There was this adorable little kid with his dad a row in front of us who must have spent the first 5 innings begging for an enormous bag of cotton candy.  By the 7th inning stretch his dad relented and he got it.  Five bites into the bag the kid realizes that much sugar may in fact kill him, so he decides to share.  He opens his bag and walks up and down the row asking perfect strangers if they want any.  His kindness and general awesomeness was rewarded my Mr. T who happily signed his glove and took lots of pictures.

5) Our dinner:  beer and popcorn and peanuts and ice cream and beer.  Life just does not get any better. 

*I was shocked to see how friendly and cool the scouts were.  After they got their first few readings they pretty much passed around the gun and let their whole row give it a try.  How cool is that?

** I happen to think Major League was a good move.  Judge away.

Yesterday on my way home from work I heard this story on NPR.  If you don’t have the time or energy to read it, I will sum it up by saying that there is a Dr who believes any spiritual connection or feeling that a person experiences can be attributed to a specific part of the brain.  People who have religions visions or feel a presences of a spirit around them are simply experiencing a deformity or irregularity in this part of their temporal lobe.  Now, I am not going to claim to be an overly religious person.  I don’t attend religious services with any regularity and quite frankly I could use a good review of those ‘Thou Shall Not’s’ every once in a while.  But I firmly believe that faith should be taken for what it is…faith.  The blind belief in something not because you have evidence or proof but because you choose to believe.  Anyway, the whole story kind of ticked me off and got me thinking about other things I really do not care to know more information about.  Here are five.

1) The fat and/or calorie content in my favorite She Crab Soup at a local restaurant.  They only serve it when the season is right and I only order it when I can spend time sitting at the bar on a dock watching the sun slowly fall into the Atlantic and am preferably alone.  I can only imagine the rich broth they pour over the delicate crab right in front of you consists of butter, heavy cream and something magic and I just don’t care. 

2) The number of sexual partners anyone I have slept with has had.  I went to college during the late 90’s and trust me and I KNOW how important it is to talk about ones sexual health and use protection but I have never been a numbers girl.  I honestly don’t want to know and quite frankly, I don’t want to tell.

3) What happened to all the members of the US Olympic  Hockey Team of 1980.  After that movie Miracle came out a few years ago a whole bunch of documentaries started popping up on where they all are now.  Frankly, I found it a little depressing.  Sure some are doctors and hockey coaches, but some work at gas stations and are presently unemployed.  I prefer to think of them perpetually in 1980, as the greatest underdogs of all time, fighting for an Olympic medal, the Cold War and kids everywhere who blindly believe hard work pays off .

4) Any information about how, when or where I was conceived.  Actually, any information about how, when or where anyone was conceived.  I just really think some things are better left private. 

5) The inter-workings or any explanation about what makes my car go.  Through years of reminders and pestering by my father I religiously get my oil changed and I ask them to ‘check the fluids’ while they are there.  And when something specific breaks I listen long enough to relay the information to a more qualified person but ultimately…I just don’t care.  I am not a car person, I have never been a car person and as long as it starts when I need it to, I am a happy camper.

So it has officially been ages since I have posted.  I wish I had a really good reason why I have been missing from the interwebs* but the fact is, life has just been insane.  Since the truth about where I have been is no where near as exciting as it should be, I am going to post five really good excuses and let you pick which one is your favorite, and you can go with that. 

1) An oldie, but a goodie; I was abducted by aliens.  I was driving my car along I95 between Hartford and Bridgeport, CT (the WORST stretch of highway in the world) and I beganto think that nothing in the world could be more aggravating than this. Then SLAM  a bright light appeared form the sky and I, my 2004 Mazda 3 and all the crap I keep inside were beamed up into the sky.  Three weeks later, I returned to earth.

2) I briefly joined the Obama administration to try to talk him through his pick for supreme court justice.  We all know that the Obama team has had trouble with their choices and taxes and I thought that I could help out.  I went through his lists of Hispanics and Chicks and personally checked their tax returns for the last 22 years.  Step off GOP, I have this one covered.

3) I ran away from home.  I decided that work and laundry and the never ending job of vacuuming up cat hair were too much for my feeble mind to handle any more.  So I tossed some things in a back pack grabbed a sleeping bag and headed to North Hampton, MA to join all the spoiled-little-rich-kids engaging in political homelessness and trivializing the real problem of mental health issues and people living on the street.  Then I realized I could not stand those people but I sold my phone for a Venti non fat no whip latte and had to hitch hike home.

4) I went to a meditation retreat and spent three weeks removing myself from people, noise and technology to focus on my breath and the sounds of nature.  I Ohm’d morning, noon and night and slept on a board to insure my soul was grounded and close to mother earth.  This worked out exceedingly well for me until I realized that I don’t like my breath and the noise of technology is no where near as frightening as the things that run through my mind when giving the opportunity to take over. 

5) I have just been insanely busy.  Work has been both really good and really stressful and D and I are trying like the dickens to move into our new home in June.  This is the new home that currently has no bathroom tile, no kitchen floor and is still waiting for the gas company to find the time to hook up our gas line so we can have luxuries like hot water…and a stove. 

I hope you have all been well and I look forward to catching up on your blogs this week. 

PS:  If you ever google “hello, yeah its been a while” to double check the lyrics (something I always do before I post) you will find pages of people starting posts about why they have been away for.  It is pretty funny even it is is most obviously unoriginal. 

*I stole this term from FB.  Consider this a footnote please.

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of celebrating the much anticipated arrival of my good friend A’s first son at her baby shower*.  As some of you may remember from my last baby shower experience…finding yourself among hooter hiders and baby leggings and all sorts of necessities can be a little overwhelming.  So, for those of you who are going to be going to baby showers in the next few years, or for those of you who are just curious, here is my second instillation of “Things you just had no idea a baby needed until you went to a baby shower”

1) Cloth Diapers – Don’t get me worng…I am all for going green.  I recycle and take those little canvas bags to the grocery store on the days that I remember but I draw the line at cloth diapers.  Modern technology helped us to many life easing milestones like washing machines and swifer wet jets and disposable diapers.  Modern technology did this for us because no one should have to clean poop out of a white cloth 27 times a day.**

2) A bottle sanitizer- Silly me…I thought they called this soap and water.  I did not get close enough to this product to see what it promised, but it had a lot of bells and whistles for a product that could be duplicated in a dishwasher.

3) A sleep sack – I am all over a sack for sleeping.  I am actually all over a sack for anything.  How about a work sack or a car sack?  Has someone developed an eating sack?  Does it replace the need for a bib?

leon_minky_yellow_100

(Baby: Look, it is my own personal sack for sleeping)

4)A sleep positioner- this is apparently for the child who is failed by the sleep sack and needs to step it up.  Personally, I like to sleep laying down but I guess any other position will do.

5) A boppy-  I would LOVE to meet the dude or chick who came up with this idea.  Like the non-parent that I am…I took one look at it and said “who convinced someone they needed to buy that, it is just a big neck pillow”  I was later informed that it is a device that helps kids sit up when they are not big enough to sit up yet.  Now, I think it is brilliant.  Do they have other products that help kids do the stuff that they are not big enough for?  A magic diaper that makes you kid toilet trained?  A pair of sneakers that can teach them to walk?  A spoon that shows them how to feed themselves, prepare dinner and do the dishes?  No?  Looks like a new product line to me.

6a00e54efec758883301156eedfdd9970c-800wi1(You tell me that this thing does not look like a big neck pillow)

*As a side note:  A’s sister J (one of my favorite non commenting readers) threw quite possibly the nicest baby shower with the cutest ideas I have ever seen or heard of.  Everything was perfect and if she ever decides she is ready to do this sort of a thing for a living…she is going to be loaded.

**I have no confirmation that babies poop 27 times a day but from what I understand…they go a lot.

Dear members of our board of trustees,

Five thoughts about our relationship

-I know it may feel like it, but I don’t actually report to you.  I have a boss, and she has a boss and he reports to you.  If you think I should be making a phone call, or wearing a different suit…take it up with one of them.

-Just because you are rich does not mean that you are smart.  Sure it may mean that you are smart and that is how you became rich but it may also mean that you married someone rich or came out of the birth canal of someone rich or someone who married someone rich.  This wealth does not make you an expert on everything.

-You may be retired with not a care in the world and all the time you want to spend your money but I have a full time job.  This means I can not meet you for meetings hours away from work in the middle of the work day and still DO MY JOB.

-Speaking of my job…believe it or not, I might know a little something about it.  While I appreciate your helpful suggestions, thoughtful advice and ideas that I will be forced to implement and explain while you sit in your chair and pen a check, how about you give me a little credit and assume I might know something about the work I do?

-You may ask me a lot of questions and I may be forced to give you a lot of answers but my age will not now, nor ever be one of them.  I don’t care when you were born, you should not care when I was.  Got it? 

Sincerely, your humble servant.

We are family…

April 21, 2009

When it comes to family, how is it….

-That you can offend or hurt someone by literally doing nothing*.

-That you can be ridiculed or called overly sensitive for getting upset about an actual something.

-That when nothing good is going on with your life, they call or question constantly wanting to hear updates on things that have not changed.

-That when you do have something to share, good news or bad, no one asks and no one seems to be around to answer your calls.  

-That you are stuck with these people, regardless of choice or circumstance and you love them and they love you in spite of who you are, rather than because of it.

The other day, FB over at The Change I wish to See had a wonderful post about the sweeping feeling of depression that is crashing over people.  As usual, his words stuck with me and for the rest of the week I thought about ways to make myself and the people around me feel better…if only for a minute.  I have come up with this 5 suggestions for putting a smile on your, or someone elses face.

1) Smile at people- smile at friends, smile at strangers, smile at the girl who is collecting your money for the 18th parking ticket you have receivedthis month.  It is not her fault the meter maids are pissed about layoffs and are taking it out on parkers everywhere and I grantee you…giving her the look of death will not make anyone feel better.  Smiling is contagious.  It is why we coo at babies, to teach them to me happy.

2) Bring donuts to work- I wanted to try to make these suggestions free (because lets face it, the economy is in the shitter and we are all worried about money) but for the few dollars it costs to bring in some deep friend carbohydrates and powered sugar…I promise you will see a return on your investment.

3)Open the door for people- personally, I think nothing is sexier than a man who opens doors for a woman, and a woman who smiles and walks right trough.  But, anyone can open a door.  Open it for a kid, hold it for a stranger, linger when you see someone elderly on the curb.  The smile and thank you is well worth your 17 seconds. 

4) Make faces at children in passing cars- yesterday, while on the way home from a long day at work and a 2 hour committee meeting I sat in traffic hungry, tired and a little cranky.  I looked to my left and there was a little boy in the back seat making a silly face at me while his sister watched eagerly to see my reaction.  With out thinking I stuck out my tongue and wiggled my hands behind my ears.  They looked at each other and died laughing, rolling around the back seat with glee.  I laughed and smiled and suddenly, I was not so hungry, so tired or so irritated anymore.

5) Look at the sunrise, the sunset, the ocean or a rainbow- regardless of what we pay in taxes, how much our in-come is shrinking in relation to our out-go or how expensive life seems to be…the wonders of nature are free and they are glorious. 

Happy Friday!

A life worth living…

April 13, 2009

Five signs you have lived a good life….

1) There is no parking at your wake.  Cars fill the lot, litter the street and swell into vacant  lots nearby.

2) The guest book has been filled two hours into the wake.  The funeral home scrambles to find more pages or another book.

3) Your mass cards have photographs of the natural world you loved on the front and a quote by Dr Seuss on the back.

4) The seats for your funeral are full 20 minutes before the service is scheduled to begin.  Ten minutes before a line forms at the door and by the time the service starts, bodies are pressed against walls, filling corridors and oozing out onto the street.

5) The sound of soft sobs, delicate sniffles and purses being rummaged for tissues provides a soothing back drop to the eulogy your daughters gave you.  People cry for you, for your children and for a sense of loss they can not quite put into words. 

For A&A, my deepest sympathies for the loss of your mother.  She most certainly led a life that was well worth living. 

“Don’t cry because it is over, Smile because it happened” Dr. Seuss.

I know you were all waiting for some sort of post about how amazing Hawaii was, and I hate to disappoint*.  BUT, this morning I was driving to work and I heard this story about the ShamWow guy getting arrested in Miami last month.  I know some of you are big fans of the ShamWow so I could not let this event go with out mentioning these five questions about this amazing story.

1) How is it that Mr. Schlomi was arrested a whole month ago and we are only hearing about it now?  You would think that the news had an international financial crisis or a migrant ship capsizing off Libya to report on.  Doesn’t the NY Times have room for this now that Blagojevich’s hair has gone away and Madoff has stopped smuggling jewelry out of his apartment?

2)It costs $1,000 to have ‘strait sex’ with a hooker?  Someone should tell these guys that for $40 worth of booze they could impress a girl at bar and get laid for free.  You would think for a grand she would toss in a little something extra.

3) What would possess anyone to bite someones tongue?  Didn’t people watch Real World San Francisco?  Have we learned nothing from the woes of Puck?

4) How did the police possibly keep a strait face while they brought this guy in?  Is there any possible way they made it to the station with out making a joke about cleaning up ones own mess?

5) Why am I so ridiculously interested in this story?  I went to not one, not two but three different web sites to verify its accuracy**.  I don’t think I have relied on that much media since the electoral college appeared on an ice map

* who am I kidding, no one really wants to hear that I spent 10 days in paradise where the weather was 81 and sunny every day and the balcony from my hotel room looked out over the ocean.

** if this story is not true, please don’t leave me a mean comment telling me to check my sources.  I am fully aware that my sources are absurd but lets face it, most of this blog is absurd.

PS:  I want to thank my husband D for doing an amazing and hilarious guest post for me while I was away.  He is literally that funny all the time.