Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Have a nice day

On my way to the grocery store this morning, my plan was to get a coffee at Dunkin Donuts (I had no cream, hence the trip to the grocery store - me without my morning coffee can get ugly). The traffic was pretty bad on the street where Dunkin D's was. Normally I get a coffee very early in the morning on my way to work. (I'm on vacation this week, don't even get me started on the weather)

So I'm waiting in traffic to turn right into Dunkin Donuts. There was a woman in a white Toyota, waiting patiently to turn left into the parking lot. The cars just kept going by her, no one was letting her in. So I stopped and let her in. The car behind me honked his horn, I guess he was in a rush and the 2 seconds it took to let that woman go ahead of me was going to make him late. Jerk.

So the woman is in front of me in this massively long line at the drive through, the inside line was no better. Finally, I order my coffee and when I pull up to the window I have my money in hand ready to pay the girl at the window.

She smiles at me and says, "you're coffee is paid for".

Me: (totally confused) "excuse me?"

DD chick: "the woman in the white car before you paid for your coffee and said to have a nice day"

Me: "Wow really?"

DD chick: "yes"

Me: "What did the person behind me order?"

DD chick: "a coffee and a muffin"

Me (handing her a five) "This is for her order, tell her to have a nice day and you keep the change"

I think it is going to be a very nice day today, even without the sun

Monday, June 29, 2009

What's the opposite of a rain dance?

We're not having torrential rains, flooded basements or streets, loss of power or anything to the extreme. Instead what we have is dismal, dreary weather, rotted grass and plants dead from over watering along with high water tables in lakes and rivers. And most importantly, bad weather always brings with it bad attitudes. I have to admit I'm in a bit of a funk and it's all about the weather - my skin is pale, my energy level is low and my hair has lost its sun-kissed sparkle. Plus I think I've gained a few pounds, and I'm ok blaming that on the weather too.

I have a theory, of course, and while I have been watching the weather reports diligently (10 day forecast? MORE rain. I kid you not) surprisingly not one meteorologist has even hinted at what may be at the core of all this dreariness.

It's Doreen. Again, just a theory here but I believe that Doreen is a descendant of the great Cherokee tribe and is a high priestess of Rain. The Cherokees performed ritual rain dances to both induce precipitation and to ward off evil spirits. So in her efforts to dance away the creeps of online dating, instead she summoned the great rain gods forth.

Good going D. Now quit it. Put your dancing shoes away, stop twirling and chanting because quite frankly if you keep this up I'm not sure we can stay friends much longer.

But even if she stopped now, right now, today (yes, STOP NOW Doreen. Now, now, not later now) it's already on for the next 10 days unless we do something about it. So my bloggie friends, we have 2 options as I see it.

Number One - From the wisdom of the internet, this is all I could find on how to reverse a rain dance:

How to do a rain dance, or reverse it -

  • Never do a rain dance on a hill.
    Make sure you have a lot of room so you don't run into anything.
  • Spin around in clockwise circles.
  • Make up your own rain chant. It should be rhythmical and easy to say fast.
  • Yell your rain chant while spinning around in circles.
  • If you are trying to get rid of rain, spin in counterclockwise circles and say your chant backwards.
Number Two - Build an ark.

I vote for Number One - what do you think?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our Wet Test Adventure (minds out of the gutter people)

As some of our followers may recall, about a week ago TK (Sharon's husband) put us in charge of the "Jacuzzi Project". Our mission was to decide where to put the jacuzzi, hire a builder to build a deck, hire an electrician and of course purchase the jacuzzi. Our goal was to have the jacuzzi installed and ready for him to enjoy when he came back from his business trip on July 12th.

So far both the builder and the electrician have been to the house to get quotes and we have done our jacuzzi research. We picked out a couple of models that we were interested in. The next step was to give them a "wet test".

A wet test is when the store is closed, we get to try out a hot tub. At first Sharon wasn't sure about hanging out in some show room's jacuzzi even if the store was closed. But I pointed out the fact that she was making a major (we're talking $6,000) purchase. Would she buy a car and not test drive it? Would she buy a sofa and not sit on it?
I mean after all I was NOT thrilled about being seen in a bathing suit by some sales dude either, but I was willing to take one for the BECK team. Oh, the sacrifices I do make for my friends. Yeah, sometimes I do actually make sense...so for the sake of the project, we both agreed to get wet in the middle of a showroom floor. Wednesday night was our first "wet test".

We arrive at the show room about 8:00 PM. It's completely dark, obviously closed. Chris, the 20-something sales guy meets us at the door and lets us in. We chat for a few minutes and he walks us over to the steaming, bubbling jacuzzi. I do have to admit I was a little disappointed that there were no candles or wine waiting for us - I mean really Chris, a little ambiance would have been nice (never send a boy to do a man's job). So Chris tells us he'll be in the back room, to t
ake our time and give him a shout when we're done. So, in the middle of the show room, we drop our clothes (uh, yes all of you pervs we had bathing suits on under our clothes)

Sharon got in first, than I followed. The water was warm and felt gre
at after 2 weeks of cold, damp rainy weather. We went from seat to seat and joked about claiming the seat that we thought would give us the most .. umm... pleasure. Next thing we know, we morphed into the two hot chicks in the photo and then Chris shows up in his bathing suit with a bottle of champagne and a tray of strawberries. Without even asking, he hops into the hot tub and settles in and I swear I could hear porn music in the back ground. Okay, that didn't happen but how funny would that have been?

Here's what really happened. We spent about a half hour in the jacuzzi not really talking about the jacuzzi at all; we talked about what was up for the weekend, we talked about what was going on with a few people we know, who was going to be around for the fourth of July... you know, stuff you'd talk about if you were just hanging out in a jacuzzi in your back yard. There was this little pool toy in the jacuzzi which when squeezed sprays out a stream of water. At one point I shot a stream of water right at her face, and said a very inappropriate comment that I can not repeat on our PG13 blog. We bantered back and forth I think TK was mentioned at one point...you get the idea. Yes, we can be immature - but only with each other and never in mixed company because no one gets us, and rarely do they find us funny. But that's okay, we do! :)

At one point Chris came out to "check on us" (code for when are you leaving?) So we got the hint and got out. In front of us was this really cool towel rack,and I said to Sharon "what a cool rack huh? and look, he left towels for us" as I grabbed one off the rack. She followed suit and then we took turns going into the bathroom to put on dry clothes. It was at this point, that I realized the towel I took off the rack was for display because it still had the tag on it.. oops!

So as Sharon and Chris are negotiating price. I check my phone and there is a text message from TK "take pictures". Chris agreed to discuss pricing with his boss and Sharon and I left. I tell her about TK's text message. So in the car, she unzips her sweat shirt and takes a photo of her cleavage to send him. Then we decide that it would be even funnier if we sent him a picture of my hand on her chest. It took a couple of snaps of the camera because we were laughing so hard at what his reaction was going to be. Finally the picture was sent. TK's text message response? "you guys really suck". We laughed all the way home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Playing Tourist

I promised I'd post about this but since our fun-filled weekend with the Ruters so many other things have come up. For example, the Creature, the Beast, Sociopaths... anyway, to remind you - Jenn's the friend from Indiana that we met in St Thomas. TK had gone to the bar while us ladies were still dressing for dinner. We came into the lobby, Ziggy and Miss Thang well ahead of me. Ziggy comes bolting back, exclaiming breathlessly "Mom! TK's sitting at the bar with two women!!!" *disclaimer: no my child was not actually in a bar, it was an open lobby with a bar in it, what kind of mother do you think I am? *disclaimer 2: no, my husband was not chatting up women in the bar, puh-leez!

Jenn and I hit it off right away and stayed in touch since then. Luckily her husband turned out to be as much fun as she is! (What a dull weekend it would have been if he was a drip, huh?)
So here's the highlights of our fun-filled, crazy weekend with the Ruters - thanks for allowing us to play tourist with you in Boston!

Sun barely shining
North End dining
Souvenirs found
Faneuil Hall
Had a ball!
Blue moon beers
Drank at Cheers
Prescott guide
Run and hide!
Gardens walk
Late night talk
Swan boat ride
Groom and bride
Crashed a tour
Feet were sore!
Hancock's grave
Did the wave
Red Sox game
Glad they came!
Sharon and Jen
Laughing when
Tom and Doug
Donkey hug

Tell me this picture's not awesome!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Liars and Sociopaths and Creeps, Oh My!

When you're a single mom, with a full time job and a very active social life, meeting new people is not always easy. Now I know, one would think that the term "active social life" means you're out there moving and shaking. That really isn't the case. I have a variety of friends, several different circles, all with one thing in common. We all spend time with the same people. So meeting "new" people just isn't happening. What's a girl to do? Online dating of course. I didn't want to, I fought it every step of the way but Sharon pointed out two things to me. One, I'm not going to meet anyone new at her house. Two, it will be good blog material.

She was right, so let me tell you about my latest "online dating" experiences...here's what I've got so far.

The thing with online dating that I've come to realize and sadly accept is that men (not all but most) seem to think that email is an open forum for them to just throw away normal social rules of propriety. For example:

No,it is not okay to ask me what my favorite sexual position is.

I will not, ever, in any situation send you pictures of my boobs.

Thank you for the unsolicited photo of your penis, apparently it is the brains behind your whole operation.

Is sending me pictures of your boat, the view from your front row first base line Red Sox seats and your Mercedes Benz (when all I asked for was a picture of you)supposed to impress me? I mean seriously, pretentious much?

When I ask you your name, and you say Greg and then three days later I called you back and your voice mail says your name is Gary, were you truly expecting me to be okay with that lie? Really? You actually thought I'd still meet you?

Okay, so it's been two weeks that I've been doing the online dating thing and so far I've dealt with liars and sociopaths and creeps. How's that for fun? I feel like I've entered a world that I just don't recognize.

Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Busy much?

How do you and your family keep track of your busy lives? In this age of technology there are so many helpful devices and methods out there to track those all-important dates and deadlines. But what's the best method?

Don't ask me.

Friends will tell you I have a busy schedule, and they would be right. Not by design of course, I just, well, I like to stay busy. We love entertaining, to be entertained and there's just so much to see and do and so little time to see and do it in. So how do we keep track of our lives? I'm happy to share. Follow along now...
TK and I work together, so we use our online CRM system to keep track of meetings and appointments as they relate to business.

Since we both have access to it, we also fill it in with our personal appointments as well as social activities. That way if either one of us wants to schedule something with a quick peek at the calendar we know if the other one is free. And we can see it from any computer, anytime, anywhere.Easy right? Yup. Let's keep going...

We also have another online calendar for work, this one is simple and also web-based and tracks things for the company as a whole. Vacations, staff meetings, etc. but not anything for any one individual. User friendly and you don't need to be trained on it, like you do for the CRM. Makes sense for the employees who aren't all that fond of technology but can get to a website easy enough. Got it?

Then there's the great family calendar on the wall in the kitchen, one of those cool ones that sections off each person so you can add specific activities for each person or even for several people. We use an old fashioned marker to update this bad boy. This one is really helpful for letting the kids know when we'll be out - dinners, weekend activities, etc. Know what else would be helpful? If they looked at it. It's also where Moose, our oldest one, is supposed to write his schedule if anything out of the ordinary comes up. Note use of the word "supposed". He manages to get his vacations with the boys on there but that's about it. This calendar is helpful because it's big, bright and we are all in one place there on the wall. I refer to it frequently "Check the calendar, your next doctor's appointment is on there." And the handy-dandy pen makes it easy to update. Still with me? Or are you starting to think I'm a little crazy?

Oh, join me back at the computer now, won't you? Several summers ago, as Ziggy started to attend summer camps and had commitments to various activities all over town I started a calendar just for her. Remember, folks, I'm a working mom who relies on others for car-pooling and child tending. I needed a visual reminder of who had her when and where they would be as well as what they would be doing. Excel has a great template for a calendar (thanks Lisa for showing me this) that allowed me to color code - oooohhh!! - her activities. I even colored who had her when. For example Meagan was purple and was here three days a week. I then print it out and hang it on the bulletin board in the kitchen so we all know who does what when and why. Sometimes I even know how much, but not always. It's great, huh?

I can't tell you which one is the best method but here's how I look at it. You don't have just one pair of shoes do you? No, you don't. Every pair you have serves a different purpose but all provide the same basic service - to cover and protect your feet. Same with calendars, for me anyway. I don't sound so crazy now, do I?

So, how do you keep track of your life?

Friday, June 19, 2009

DAD - Position open immediately, applications now being accepted

Is there any other job in the world where you get the title before earning it? Whether it's Secretary, President, Lunch Lady or Officer, there's an interview process. Your qualifications are evaluated and you are chosen based on them. Even titles such as Girlfriend and Spouse have interview processes; we call it dating. If you have any of these titles attached to your name it's because you worked for it and have earned it.

And hopefully we take those title seriously and strive to be the best fill-in-the-blank we can be.

Father's Day is Sunday - have you earned your title?

Some interesting facts about Father's Day: First celebrated in a small church in Virginia in 1908 to complement Mother's Day, it was many years before it was accepted or acknowledged as a "real" holiday (as opposed to some of the Hallmark holidays that fill the calendar). In fact, despite a bill being drafted in 1914 and support of President Coolidge in 1924, it was not a recognized federal holiday until 1966.

From its humble beginnings 100 years ago, this relatively new holiday has evolved, or perhaps devolved would be a more accurate description. A day that was created for one simple reason - to honor men for one of the greatest contributions they could ever make in their lifetime, to be a father to their children. And yet more often than not lately, confusion reigns supreme on the third Sunday of June.

Sunday afternoon Chuck E Cheese's everywhere will be swarming with men between the hours of 12 and 3, watching the clock and wondering if they're going to be done in time to catch the last few innings of the game. Have those men earned their titles? Umm, no.

Grandpas across the country will be manning the grill as teenagers stare moodily at tvs or ipods, remote controls in hand while their mothers smugly count how many father's days they've spent with their children. Where's dad? He's at someone else's family gathering, cell phone in hand, waiting anxiously for a call, a text, something from his children since the card he keeps telling himself they sent seems to have been lost in the mail. To those moms - YOU are not the Dad. Stop being martyrs. Seriously. He left YOU, not your children. If raising children that are bitter and jaded who have an unhealthy view of marriage and adult relationships was your goal here, well, congratulations, you win the prize, mission accomplished. (And by the way, all the bitterness shows on your face and it's so not attractive. Your alimony check can't buy enough Botox to hide it.)

Don't get me wrong, I know there are many homes where Dad will be woken up by burnt toast, a mug of coffee and adoring faces. That man has earned the right to be called Dad. He's a Dad with a capital D. Wear that "I'm a Dad" shirt proudly (even though it stretches a bit uncomfortably across your belly and there's jelly on the sleeve). You have earned it.

There's another kind of dad I know of. The kind that picks up Ziggy from school, knows her friends by name, attends her chorus concerts and makes her pick up her socks. Takes her to doctor's appointments when I can't, knows why she shouldn't wear Red Sox shirts and remembers that she prefers m&m McFlurries over oreo. The kind of dad who, when her biological father won't pay for music lessons and summer camps insists that she won't miss out, insists she participate in every activity that will contribute to her becoming a well-rounded young woman. The dad who will walk her down the aisle. The dad who doesn't get the title, but still does the job.

Happy Father's Day to all you men who have earned it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bringing down the beast

I have a unique talent, passed onto me by my mother (I think it's an Italian thing). In the middle of a conversation, without missing a beat, I can insult you and bring you down a few pegs while smiling and continuing the conversation. (think Italian version of Jewish mother guilt, you know a little dig here, a little dig there) You usually don't know what hit you until it's too late. I rarely use this gift because I have rarely come across anyone who deserved it. But last night I did.

Sharon founded and organizes the Rally at the Alley charity event. The event raises money for a local beneficiary in our industry who has been through a hardship. Sharon has been running this event for five years now. A lot of work goes into planning something of this magnitude from securing venue, to marketing the event, to organizing the bowlers and teams, to signs and food, to managing the donations and I could go on and on - trust me, the list is endless. It is a lot of hard work.

There is a woman in the industry, I will call her the Beast, who has trashed this event in the past and Sharon's efforts because, well...that's what spineless, miserable and jealous people do. When people in the industry ignored her rantings (they've seen first hand what a worthwhile event this is), she decided that if you can't beat them, join them and she put on her resume that she was on the committee for the Rally at the Ally for five years.

Last night I was at an event, and the Beast was there. Sharon had a prior commitment and could not attend, but TK pointed her out to me. Now I am not one for making a scene, and certainly not at a public event. But I knew that the Beast had to be knocked down a peg or two.

Since I had never met this woman, I introduced myself to her. She is looking for a job, so she was hungry to make contacts...so she was eager to engage in conversation with me. While sitting at a table with about 10 other people I said to the person sitting next to her "You look familiar, did I meet you at the Rally this year?" The woman replied "No, but I wanted to go" and I said "Oh it is a great event and so much fun"

The bait was set and the Beast took it. Here is where I put my mad skills to good use:

Beast(smiling): I go to the Rally every year

Me(smiling back): Oh really? I didn't see you there last year.

Beast(back peddling): Oh, well I didn't go last year but I've gone every year prior

Me:(still smiling) No you haven't, I've been there every year.

Now half the table is listening to our conversation

Beast(eyes darting): You must have missed me

Me(still smiling): No, you weren't there. I think I've seen you there once.

Beast(smiling broadly): Right, I helped out that year at the registration desk

Me:(still smiling) That's right, you were the person who let people in for free, which increased the cost of the event and took money away from the beneficiary. That was you.


Me(addressing the woman next to her): It really is a great event I hope to see you there next year.

Girl to my left: I definitely want to go!

Me: I'll make sure you get an invite,(making eye contact with the Beast) the woman who runs the event is my best friend

The Beast got up and walked away towards another group of people.

Mama would have been proud.

Sharon, I've got your back sister - always

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Creature Double Feature

I have never posted about the same subject twice in one month but well, there's a first for everything. I hadn't seen the ex in over a year (to catch you up, we've been divorced for a delightful decade now) and when I have seen him in the past it was always brief, little or no conversation necessary. Now I have had to suffer through his presence twice this month. How could I not share? It would've been wrong not to. Friends don't let friends suffer alone.

I thought about what I would say, how to sum in my day in a witty, succinct way without coming across as a bitter ex-wife. (Because I'm not. Seriously.) I'm a writer, I should be able to eloquently convey my feelings so that you, my friends the readers, not only understand but empathize. I should be able to descriptively flesh out our day in the court room, draw you into our eight hour drama as we sat on hard wooden benches, inhaling the musty air of a hundred year old courtroom, tinged with the smell of a dead-beat dad's cocky nervousness, the sadness of a man who lost custody of his daughter and a newly divorced woman's freedom.

And yet I can only come up with one word for my time with the Creature. Blecchhh. Yeah, that's it. It feels so right I need to say it again. Bleccch.

To all you women out there, whether you're a single, a dater, a OMG- I-just-met-the-greatest-guy-in-the-whole-world, engaged, or "coupled but not married" please, please listen to me. Think carefully before you cohabitate, marry and reproduce with that man.

Never marry a man you wouldn't want to be divorced from. Seriously.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TK's big mistake

Sharon & TK had a small dinner party over the weekend, good friends, great food, delicious martinis and lots of laughter. A great night was had by all, but TK made a big mistake that he may regret...

Allow me to explain. Sharon & TK have been talking about getting a Jacuzzi for over a year now. What size? Lounger or no lounger? How many jets? Where do we put it? Does it need a deck? Should it sink into the deck? Should it have a Stereo? TV? DVD Player? Some thin
gs they agreed upon, others they could not. So a year has gone by and still no Jacuzzi. I for one, was not happy with the way the negotiations were going. I mean seriously, how much longer must I suffer? So...as we all discussed the various locations for the Jacuzzi Tom (probably out of frustration and a few too many drinks) made his crucial mistake. He said "Honestly, I'd rather just come home and have Sharon tell me the builders are coming today to start work on the deck for the Jacuzzi". He had done it, he had given her full control.

She of course solicited my help. We (Sharon & I) immediately sprung into action on the "Jacuzzi Project". We are on a mission to have the deck built, the Jacuzzi purchased and installed by the second week of July. Sharon is in charge of hiring the builder to get the deck done. My assignment is to do research on jacuzzi options/pricing.

We are now three days in, and Sharon already has a builder. I've done some research and now know what hydrotherapy is, I know the benefits of a "hot seat" and a "cool down" seat. I know the difference between an "air injector" and a "jet". Did you know that some places offer a "wet testing" of their spas? Basically you get to try out a jacuzzi before you buy it.

So, we are well on our way to meeting our deadline. TK has been taken out of the loop, which he is probably grateful for. We might let him wet test with us though, just because we're givers. Although I'm not sure I want to jacuzzi hop in a store where there a people lingering about. Maybe we'll take pictures and blog about it.

So TK, we've got the situation all under control. When you come back from your CA trip be prepared to christen the new jacuzzi. Yeah, you can take that any way you want :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Husband is 7 feet tall

... when he's on his soap box that is.

And lately he's stepping up onto it more and more, but of course I only have my self to blame. How, you ask? Let me explain.

One of the many things that attracted me to him (aside from his rugged good looks, sense of humor, tolerance of my friends and appreciation of my wit) was his ability to talk politics. He's very well read on the subject, frequently impressing me with his vast knowledge of current and historical events. We share many of the same views and opinions and while I do enjoy a spirited debate, when it comes to politics we are almost always in agreement.

During the last election, and even during the primary leading up to it, we were both frustrated by the mainstream media. I began watching Fox News just to get a different version of the truth. -- I'll interrupt myself here to state that, in my opinion, every news broadcast reports their own unique versions of the truth. Aside from the colorful commentary that has become a sideline of most news programs, even the ones that are supposedly reporting "just the facts, ma'am" are still choosing which facts to report. -- As the November election approached I tired of both left and right wing broadcasts. I tuned out more than I tuned in.

But it was too late. I had created the monster. A seven foot tall monster, high upon his soap box, remote control in one hand while the other one salutes whatever Republican Senator is chatting it up on Morning Joe, head nodding in agreement as another government handout is dissected. You see he had never watched Fox News before I did. Now he tunes in faithfully every morning, then listens to it on his way to work, thanks to satellite radio. And while I can't be entirely sure, the other day I swear I saw an envelope from the Bill O'Reilly Fan Club addressed to "Number One Fan". Frequently during Papa Bear's broadcasts TK will shout out "Amen, Brother Bill", eyes glazed over, smiling that creepy smile you see on those deep in religious fervor. I'm exaggerating of course. No I'm not. Maybe a little.

Recently some new friends were visiting from the great state of Indiana. We met Jenn while on vacation last February, in a bar on St Thomas. We were on a family vacation, she was traveling with girlfriends. Needless to say we never did discuss political leanings. So when her and her husband Doug visited us in Boston for a Red Sox game and some general merrymaking (wait til you see the blog about that weekend!) I felt it necessary to remind my husband that not everyone is a Republican nor do they all share his views on the current political, economic and social issues. Not everyone believes our current leadership is paving a path to socialism with the tax dollars of hard-working Americans. So please, for the sake of an enjoyable evening, no politics. Within an hour the men were knee-deep in FDR vs Obama, New Deal vs Raw Deal. Luckily Doug and Jenn were not only fun to hang out with, they were also Republicans.

Don't get me wrong, we have many friends from the other side (Democrats, that is). He welcomes them all, embracing them with open arms. Of course they can only hug him around his knees, since he is seven feet tall.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Love is in the air

All around me my friends are sharing their "new relationship" stories, people are meeting people...love is in the air....I must be breathing from a different air supply. Obviously I am happy for my friends and their new found loves, but as a single 42 year old with zero prospects in sight I have to admit I started to feel a tiny bit bitter. I really felt like if I heard one more person tell me how they "met someone" I was going to kick them in the shin, hard. Okay, I wouldn't really do that.

One night at dinner this week with friends, the subject of flowers came up. I tried to remember the last time I had received flowers from anyone. They were from Sharon, not too long ago she gave me beautiful pot of Daisies (one of my favorite flowers), just because she was thinking of me. Now, as previously stated in past blogs, I have a non-sexual crush on her. I have several circles of friends who mean a lot to me - but Sharon is my best friend. She gets me, I get her...if she were a dude I'd probably marry her.
I mean can you blame me? She gives me flowers, writes me poems, she makes me laugh and knows exactly what to say when I'm feeling down. But she's a girl, with girl parts and I have no intention of switching teams.

I'm not one of those women who "needs" a man in her life to make her feel complete. But just because I don't need one, doesn't mean I don't want one. I know I'm not alone in my single status, there are plenty of women who are in the same boat as I am. Sometimes it can be lonely, but as Sharon pointed out, I'm not one to settle...so I guess it's better to be alone then to be miserable because I settled just to be with someone.

The truth is I like my life, I am happy 98.9% of the time. I have a good job, a nice home, a great kid and wonderful friends. So instead of whining about what I don't have, I'm going to make an conscious effort to be thankful for the great things I do have in my life. I have faith that God has someone picked out just for me. (I'm sure that it's taking him so long to find me because his car probably broke down, so he's hitch hiking his way across the country, yeah that's it) I just have to remember all the awesome reasons when I start feeling the "why not me" blues.

So thanks Sharon for listening to me bitch and for talking me off the ledge the other day, you're the best non-boyfriend a girl could ask for.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Huh? What'd you say? I'm afraid I don't speak whinese

Ziggy's 13, need I say more?

In case you don't know, Whinese (rhymes with Chinese) is the official language of young females everywhere.

Zig mastered it at an early age and was fluent in it by, oh let's say around her 3rd birthday. Most of us are still learning English at that point by my Ziggy's a bright girl, she's been bilingual right from the start.

The funny thing is, they don't even realize they've reverted into their second language, it just happens. There's little cues that trigger it, causing them to speak in this foreign tongue.
Words and phrases like "Because I said so" and "I don't care if Susie's doing it". Or how about "The boy with the mohawk? Oh suuuuurrrre you can go out with him" and of course the simple but ever popular "NO!" In Ziggy's case, just tell her you won't run to McDonald's to get her a McFlurry at 9 p.m. on a school night and see what happens (ask my husband, he'll tell you all about it).

While this is a language of the sisterhood, there is a small percentage of the male population that is able to speak and understand it as well. The major difference? There is a valve connector in the male brain (or some other part of the male anatomy) that disconnects around the same time that their voices change. Amazingly, this causes them to lose all ability to speak Whinese. For some young men however, that very same connector sparks a new connection, one which allows them to not only understand Whinese but also to seek out young women who speak this language, particularly ones with large breasts and pouty lips.

Are you having trouble communicating with your children? Do they revert to Whinese more often than you blink your eyes? Here's a quick tip, an early form of Whinese communication that dates back to the Pilgrims - when your daughter launches headfirst into Whinese and you can no longer make heads or tails of what she's trying to say, gently insert one finger in each of your ears and repeat after me at the top of your lungs "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The mean gene

I've heard two different stories that were relayed to me this week and in both instances I wondered how anyone could be so cruel. I won't go into details because they were about people that were just so mean, thoughtless and hurtful that I won't dignify their behavior by repeating the story. But I will say this, there are some really mean people walking this earth.

We all have the mean gene and are capable of extreme cruelty. I get this. But just because we can, does it mean we have to? Children can be mean, sometimes they just don't know any better, sometimes they do. But adults have no excuse, so don't even try to justify it because you can't. I am by no means a saint, trust me. However, I do know this about myself. I would never ever go out of my way to make someone feel bad about themselves.

I guess for the most part I go through life with blinders on, I forget about the cruelty of the world or maybe I just choose to ignore it. Then there are times that I can't ignore it and I wonder how people can treat other people with such carelessness. I remember this email forward that I got a long time ago. It's a true story about a boy named Shaya. Please read it. It was a story that really touched me, if you can read this without tearing up you're a stronger person than I am. We could all learn a lesson from these kids.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Excuse me miss, are you for sale?

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money. - Moliere

I saw this quote recently and loved it. That Moliere, he's a pretty neat guy. Born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, he is more famously known by his stage name, sort of the Prince or Madonna of his day.

Here's some interesting comparisons between us and Moli, as we like to call him. Much like my friend Doreen and I, Moli was a writer, and a pretty funny guy (I will admit to having read some of his stuff, he really should think about blogging!) We all know how to accessorize, case in point, check out his hat. Imagine what he could have done with a be-dazzler? Also like me, the man had a chronic cough. Moli was also brilliant and adored. Yeah, you go ahead, draw the comparison there, my friends. Of course there are many, many ways in which we're different, including the fact that he was condemned by the church and was rumored to have married his own daughter (ewwww, actually it was his first wife's daughter with another man but still, ewww).

Who knew you'd actually learn something from this blog, huh? But here's my point. He was right. Good old Moli was right. I started writing for love, for self-expression and as an avenue for all the little ideas, people and thoughts that danced around in my brain. I had to let them out or go crazy and putting them down on paper, well it just made sense. But was it any good? I numbed my ego and thickened my skin oh-so-slightly then began sharing my writing with some close friends (who, by the way, have been incredibly positive, encouraging and flattering and if you're all lying I'd rather not know). Bolstered by their support, I've shared my work with strangers, aka agents, fellow writers and in NY's Penn station, tourists visiting the third stall on the left in the ladies room (some of my best work is on the back of that door). And that's been alright too.

Next step? Prostitution. Yes, I'm ok with it. I'm more than willing to sell myself to see my name in print (out of the gutter people, we're not talking about sex so keep those comments to yourselves!). Of course I'd prefer to see it on the big wooden display in B&N, 2 books lined up neatly below the sign that says "NY Times #1 Bestseller (only 2 books because they are having trouble keeping up with demand!) but honestly, I'd even settle for a spot on the "Paperbacks, Buy 2 get 1 Free" table. We all have to start somewhere, right?

It's a variation of that old joke where a man offers a woman an absurd amount of money to spend the night. She agrees, whereby he immediately tries to reduce the amount they've agreed to. The woman says "Sir, exactly what kind of woman do you think I am?" and the man replies "We've already established that, now we're just negotiating the price."

To all you agents and publishers out there - just so we're clear, I am for sale. Step right up and make me an offer.

So just out of curiosity, what would you sell yourself for?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ooops I did it again

I've now taken my rearranging furniture act on the road...

On Friday night the boy and I went over Sharon's house to hang out with Ziggy. TK and Sharon were spending the night in Boston. So we had a fabulous dinner (I got the kids McDonalds) and watched two episodes of "So you think you can dance". I am not a reality TV show person, but Ziggy was kind enough to explain what the show was about, who the good dancers were, who should make it to the next round etc. I love hanging with Ziggy, she cracks me up. So we decided to watch a movie next, but first - I had an idea (this is usually where I get myself into trouble)

The seating arrangements went like this, Ziggy was sort of laying on the sofa. The boy was sitting on the other end of the sofa and I was sitting on one of the chairs. I've been telling Sharon for months that she should swap one sofa with the two chairs (see diagram), mostly because I hate sitting on the chairs. Yes, it is all about me.

So Before we started the movie, I said to Ziggy - let's move the other sofa where these chairs are. She agreed that it was better for everyone and so we did a little rearranging. (we were laughing the whole time at what Sharon would say when she came home). So we watched our movie, and we were all very comfortable.

Sharon thought it was funny (she gets me). TK, I think was upset. He joked about me invading his personal space, but I think he was serious. It's hard to tell with him sometimes. He told me he's waiting for me to put the stuff back. Sorry TK, you've got a long wait my friend. Sometimes change is good, embrace it...you're welcome :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

I've Been Slimed

Yesterday I spent an hour of my day, correction, wasted an hour of my day, meeting with, oh let's call him "The Creature" and his attorney.

I'm not going to man bash here, I'm going to Creature bash. And not all Creatures are horrible, actually I think many Creatures are quite wonderful and pleasant to be around. Many Creatures are kind, generous, loving Creatures who make the world a better place every day that they're in it. So it's really just about this one particular Creature. Who always lights up a room. When he leaves it.
This Creature, who hasn't seen his child in over a year (amazing someone so grotesque could have offspring so beautiful and intelligent, isn't it?) wasted a good portion of my attorneys fees reminding us all what a loving, caring, involved dad, uh I mean Creature, he is.

Which of course wasn't the point of the meeting but he felt it was incredibly relevant and needed to reassure himself, I mean us, of what a great person he truly is.

I still am trying to figure out how we, 4 supposed adults, 2 of which are attorneys, sat across a table from each other and accomplished nothing more than making me feel slimed. Seriously, I left there and needed a shower. Ick, ick, icky.
Oh that picture up there? Not him. That creature is warmer and friendlier and far more loving to his Creature offspring than the one I sat across from yesterday.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I'm moving to Ohio

Ok, not really but I did have a dream last night that I was. I know what you're thinking, Ohio?? I was thinking the same thing. I mean seriously, Ohio is not even on my state radar. I have no idea where that came from. I have to admit that I wasn't sure where it was until I looked at a map. For those of you who aren't sure either, it is nestled nicely between Indiana, West Virgina and Pennsylvania. Who knew?

So in my dream, I was pregnant (which isn't even possible since I elected to have the baby factory closed two years ago)and I was also in the army reserves (as if). I got a letter from the reserves telling me that I had to move to Ohio. I was very upset and kept asking my friends if they could do this. "What about my job?" I asked them, "I've been at the same company for 13 years, how can they make me quit? It's the reserves, why are they making me move?" My friends just kept saying "you have to go, you can't fight this". Off I
went, one of my friends and her boyfriend came with me to help me settle in. So there I was in some strange house in Ohio still questioning my friends about the whole situation and they just kept telling me that "there is nothing you can do". Then I woke up.

I did notice that Sharon was not in my dream, which I found strange. But if she were there, I know what she would have said:

"First off, why are you pregnant? HOW are you pregnant?"

"Second, YOU in the military? Seriously? No, really?? Wake up girl"

"Third, even if you were in the military, it's the reserves why would they make you move?"

I think Sharon was not there because she is the voice of reason in my life, the one who says it like it is - who wouldn't let me accept defeat on any level. She's that friend I can always count on. She's my go-to person when I sometimes need someone to make sense of the chaos that is my life. You know, the person who when you're in the throws of hysteria, slaps you across the face and says "snap-out of it". That's Sharon.

So no, I'm not really moving to Ohio. It was just a dream. Besides, Sharon would have talked me out of moving anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why won't you do the wave my friend???

I have a friend, for sake of argument let's call her, oh I don't know, how about Doreen? This friend, fictitiously named Doreen, won't do the wave at a Red Sox game.

Why? No clue. I asked once, as I was in the midst of raising my arms and chanting "wooo" with my fellow athletic supporters. I asked "Why won't you join us, my friend? What holds you back?" my face full of loving concern.

She muttered and mumbled, shifting uncomfortably in her seat. The good friend that I am, I dropped it. Well, eventually I did. Right after I needled her a bit, gave her a guilt trip and discussed her lack of enthusiasm with everyone in section 118.

After much discussion most of us in section 118 came to this conclusion - perhaps it's too painful for her to discuss (one perverted guy had a very different thought but I won't go there, this blog is rated PG. Well, PG-ish).

But you know what, the more I think about it, I bet that's exactly what it is - the painful thing, not the perverted thing. I bet once, when she was but a small child, on her first ever family outing to historic Fenway Park, gasp! she lost her parents.

Imagine this: it's the sixth inning, the Red Sox are at bat. Little Doreen is distracted by a man in a bright shirt shouting "crrrraaaacker jaaaaackkkks" as he tosses the red and blue bags to the crowd, pitching to the fans as if he were on the field down below. She looks at him, desire in her eyes, wishing she too had cracker jacks.

Dreaming of the prize buried deep at the bottom of that sticky goodness, her mouth watering as she envisions the first bite of sweet caramel covered popcorn she looks back to her parents questioningly, a wide smile on her face.
But oh wait, oh no, where are they?

Little Doreen can't see them in the fervor of the crowd! Their bodies have been swallowed whole, they've disappeared! She's surrounded by devils performing a medieval ritual, rising in succession, chanting "wooooo", arms raised above their heads as they sing praise to Satan, their red-horned leader. Surely these evil-doers haven't harmed her parents! "Woooooo", "wooooo", "wooooo", her little eyes widen in wonder and fear as the devil-worshipers around the stadium rise and fall. The game ends and she's alone. Her parents are gone, never to be seen again. Doreen escapes with her life, but just barely, fingers gripped tight around an empty bag of cracker jacks, the only memory she has of the parents who loved her.

Anyway, that's my version of why my friend, fictitiously named Doreen, won't do the wave. What's your take?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Why am I never satisfied?

I've always had this problem, no matter how I try to over come it I just can't seem to. I get bored easily, too easily.

When I go to get a manicure, I have a hard time committing to a color nail polish because I know after three days I am going to suddenly hate it and want to change it.

I've changed my bathroom color scheme three times in the past two years, my son's bathroom twice. I move my furniture around every six months (I really only have two moving options because of the size of the room but still I do it). I've changed my living curtains three times so far. I hang pictures up, then want to rearrange them after a couple of weeks. I'm forever covering up holes in my wall.

Does anyone else have this problem? I am so non committal about everything in my life because I know that eventually I will get bored and need a change. Maybe that's why I am still single? Well, that's one of the reasons. The fact that I am like fly-paper for psycho men doesn't really help the situation either.

Yes, clearly I need therapy, but for now I'm trying to decide on what colors to redo my bathroom in. I'm thinking yellow...but I guess it doesn't really matter, I'll hate in in a few months anyway...

Why I went to NYC...

See that window? It's my window at the Custom House from earlier this month, with the daily goals I set for myself. Every day I'd set a goal when I woke up and then filled in what I accomplished when I finally shut down.

I hit 100K words that week. FINALLY. I also finished the novel and rewrites (or so I thought!). And with that, a lot of anxiety and much encouragement, I knew I was ready to take the next step.

What's this have to do with NY? I took a giant leap, both feet, and plunged into the real world of writers by attending my first writers conference.

It was a great trip - thank you so much to Karen and Chris of Backspace (http://www.bksp.org/) for putting it all together, I can see why you've had so much success these past 5 years. I met some great people - agents, publishers, publicists, etc and while all that will definitely help in my career, I'm really most grateful for the new friends I've met, some of you whose books are already on the shelves of B&N, some of you who will be there soon (along with me, I hope!).

Thanks to Wendy (http://wendypinkstoncebula.blogspot.com/) for working out the details at the Algonquin, so glad we were able to make it happen! (not sure how all those empty glasses got there??!!)

And for the as-yet-to-be-named Arno dinner crew - I'm so psyched about co-authoring our sci-fi historical cat erotic/romance novel... that book is gonna rock! hee hee