Monday, August 30, 2010

Melancholy Monday

So I am headed home from vacation and have been trying to kill the 4 hours of my layover...thanks free wifi for helping me pass this time a little more quickly. I know most people get that fleeting wash of melancholy when a vacation finally comes to an end. But I have found in the past couple years I get more than melancholy. I get flat out sad. Like I would like to walk up to one of these other gates and get on another plane headed anywhere but back home.

For the past few years, where I have lived hasn't really felt like "home" to me. It's been so long since I found myself looking forward to getting back to where I live. I think that's because that is all it feels like to me now, a place where I live.

Don't get me wrong, DC is a great city. There's lots to do and see and all of that. And I know there are people that love being there. Some people love it a little TOO much for my tastes, but that's another posting all together. I don't get wistful to see cherry blossoms blooming around the Tidal Basin. I don't get all lit up inside to go see the national Christmas Tree. Sometimes I think I only like the views of DC that I see from my window seat on the plane. And I like the one leaving a hell of a lot more than the one I see coming back. The one that I will see in another 7 hours or so.

I know one of the biggest reasons I applied for the job I have now is that I thought it might be able to be based out of one of the firms OTHER offices. But they decided they needed someone to be in the DC office and I was already there in DC so, that's how that all worked out. And as I have written before I took it because I couldn't bear to be at my other firm for very much longer.

I just find myself feeling more and more conflicted and can't tell if I am stuck in (one hell of) a rut that I will eventually get myself out of or if this gnawing feeling I get, this sad sickness in my stomach as I think about heading back there, is something I need to pay more attention to.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Two days late...I know, I know. Slacking after just one week. But Tuesday ended up being ridiculously crazy at work -- amazingly Temp Asst. did not screw up EVERYTHING yesterday, maybe just 40% of it. The it was home late to pack and get ready for the ride that would pick me up for the airport at an hour I do not think I have ever been physically awake at. Then yesterday was filled with travel, subsequent travel frustrations, and then capped off with a fantastic dinner with friends. I did draft this on the plane yesterday, hopefully that doesn't make me a TOTAL slacker. So sorry bout that everybody!

So let's see....why don't we go with I.N. for this week's installment. I met I.N. when I was living in Baltimore. My roommate at the time and I used to hang out a lot near our house in Canton Square. I think the Square may be the only think I miss about living in Baltimore -- it was a real cute little neighborhood with low key bars with good food, good times and cheap drinks, the trifecta. These were the days of youth and frivolity where you'd meet random cute guys out at a bar and then end up hosting a late night party back on our roof top deck. Okay, only OTHER thing I miss about Baltimore is my rooftop deck.

So I.N. and I started dating -- nothing serious, just fun. I feel like that happens more often in the summertime, you sort of both don't think it may get to be something serious, but both people are content to just have fun and enjoy each other's company for the summer months.

Anyway, I.N. lived just north of the city so it wouldn't be uncommon for us to be out in Baltimore and for him to stay at my house. He also played in some sports league...seriously I can't remember if it was softball or kickball or what, but lots of times he would come stay over when his game ran late.

Or when the "after the game" celebrations ran late, as was the case this one night. He showed up at the back of the house, banging on the door to be let in. This was not endearing or cute...this was annoying and irritating. I let him in, already knowing he was going to be Drunk with a capital D.

As most drunk people are wont to do, he started rummaging around the kitchen trying to find something to eat. I left him alone for just about 5 minutes, I think I ran upstairs for something. When I came back to the kitchen, he had fixed himself two hot pockets and was enjoying them standing up. With one foot hiked up on one of our kitchen stools (a la Captain Morgan). And he had stripped completely naked. Buck naked eating hot pockets in my kitchen.

A few thoughts should come to mind here.

One, while it may have looked sexy in 9 1/2 weeks, sometimes food ceases to be sexy when it is something that can be messy.

Two, drunk people rarely look good eating while they are CLOTHED let alone in the buff. I mean have you ever been sober at Jumbo Slice in DC at 2am? It's like feeding time at the zoo. Except all the animals are drunk out of their mind and smell like Red Bull and disappointment.

And three...the contents of hot pockets tend to, well ooze. And the insides can be hot, like lava hot. I don't think anyone would want that dripping on their skin, let alone their swimsuit area.

Anyway, this week's Tales from the Trenches Tuesday has been brought to you by the letters "I" and "N"...for Inappropriate Nakedness.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hooray...and then a set back

I was hoping to do something with a little more fanfare, but as with most things in life, after you make a plan some times you watch that plan get blown to bits.

On Friday I officially became a dot com. That's right, if you are reading this right now, go look up in your browser and take in that .com after my name. I wish I could really verbalize what it meant to me, but I think it would just be wasted words. I am really excited about this little project of mine and where it may go.

Yet as I have found with many other things in my life, every great "Hooray"
moment comes with some bad news. It's like some weird chaser that I can always count on to take the warm and fuzzy edge off of things and snap me out of a sweet daydream. So I had that on Saturday. Had some bad news that I was not prepared for and really took me down about 46 notches. The heady high I had from Friday was wiped away and I found myself really upset.

Two things got me through the day. The first was some great/funny/kind/heartfelt thoughts and words from a friend. A great friend that I have not seen in maybe 10+ years but have reconnected with lately and was so helpful and inspiring to me at a time when I truly needed it. Even though I was struggling to get through some things on Saturday, I was beyond blessed and thankful to have her virtual support.

The second was just driving. Plain and simple being behind the wheel and just going. True, part of that felt good because if I just kept moving, kept moving...then I didn't have to stop and deal with something difficult. But I often do some of my best thinking and sorting out of things from behind the wheel of my poor car that sits in the parking lot all week long, never getting driven anywhere. Seriously, the car will be 4 years old in September (should I buy a gift?) and is clocking in at just under 20K miles.

So I may be away for a bit while I try to sort through some things and process. In case the 4 of you reading this start wondering where I have gone off to :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Concert Notes

Last week I went to a concert at WolfTrap, one of my favorite venues in the DC area. Many people like it because a perk of getting lawn seats (besides them being cheaper) is that you can bring in your own food and drinks, including beer and wine. I know, so great, right? People bring in honest to god pic-a-nic baskets, brimming with fruit and cheese platters, pita chips and hummus, little stakes that go into the ground to hold your wine glass, the works. Usually you see these sort of spreads with a group of all ladies, or when the wives/girlfriends of the group were in charge of bringing the food. Otherwise it is a sure sign of a second/third date where the guy is trying hard to impress or a sprinkling of gay men.

Personally, I happen to like it because it is always a fabulous place for people-watching. Maybe it’s because with all that booze readily available in front of you and no need to go purchase it at a concession stand, people may tend to drink a little more than they normally would. The people watching last week was pretty great and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

• Sitting on a lawn is a little more quaint and cozy that being in the seated area. You can spread out your blanket, have your snacks and relax. But just because you’ve created a space that looks like your living room does not mean you are in your living room. So while the music may make you feel a bit amorous, please refrain from laying ON TOP of your concert companion. Ew. Maybe it had been awhile since they got some lovin’ but come on, for the love of god. Wait until you are home in your house/apt/condo, cocooned by all the Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel sh*t people bought you off your wedding registry. Cause I bet you ten bucks, looking at all those pots and pans and place settings and vases and matching cloth napkins gets your lady WAY more excited than any song could.

• Again, while it may feel like you are in your living room, you are actually out on a big lawn, so if you are speaking in a raised voice, everyone around you can hear your dorky/inappropriate/annoying conversations. And I promise you we don’t care about the new software at work/a weird rash you noticed/which Real Housewives are your favorites.

• For some reason, all old white people dancing look like they are stoned to me. Unless they are at a wedding. In which case I know they are dancing like that because they are smashed.

• You all look ridiculous in these so please stop wearing them. Seriously, we are in DC people, not an extras casting call for Season 3 of “Miami Vice.”

• There is no brandy snifter with dollar bills shoved in it on the stage. That means the band is not generally going to TAKE REQUESTS FROM THE AUDIENCE. So for the love of granola, please stop yelling out for them to “PLAY (insert obscure song name here)” They have a set list and generally stick to it. You are shouting from the lawn and they can’t hear you. And looking at you, I am sure you played all the band’s CDs on the drive here so go play that song on the way home and shut the hell up.

• Just because a tank top claims it has a “shelf bra” does not mean that is going to be sufficient support for you. Seriously, I was with a guy and we both agreed it didn’t look sexy…it looked borderline NatGeo Aborigine disgusting.

• While you aren't out at a bar, it doesn’t mean you still can’t be “that girl” so please let’s keep each other in check out there ladies. I’m looking at you laughing hyena girl…all of the guys and a few of the girls in your group looked like they were ready to punch you in the face. I was ready to let them pay me to do it so they didn’t have to live with the guilt of roughing up one of their own. In hindsight, I should have – it would have been a win-win for all of us.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

As promised! I was trying to think all morning of what story “note” I should start this out on…and then I got into the office and all hell was breaking loose and I haven’t had a moment of peace again until now. HR had to step in and give my assistant temp a little “talking to” so now she has done a complete 180 from being a useless bump on a log to being scared shitless and completely up my ass. Not sure this change is a good thing.

So anyway….let’s set the bar a medium-to-low for this posting and I will aim higher in the weeks to come. I will never use real names and even the initials used in lieu of their name may be made up. However, some of you reading this may be able to figure it out on their own, so you all can go ahead and pat yourselves on the back, you clever bunch, you!

I had gone on a few dates with “F” and things seemed pretty ok. Similar sense of humor (one of the most important things for me), Naval Academy Grad, good job, good head on his shoulders, tall AND Irish (he should have been put in a museum for that rare combination alone.) One night he met me and some friends out at a bar and I ended up going back to his apt with him. Minds out of the gutter all…I slept on the couch. But the next day was actually pretty fun – a lazy Sunday of watching movies on TV.

As it was starting to get later in the afternoon, I politely dropped enough hints that he eventually offered to drive me home. We walked out to his SUV and he even opens the door for me. As a side note, isn’t it so freaking sad that we now swoon over a guy that opens a car door for you when that used to be something everyone called just having good manners? Anyways, I hop into the car and notice something weird near the console. I am also the least tech/gadget savvy person alive (seriously, my roommate usually has to program the DVR for me, I am that pathetic) so I figure it must be something for an ipod/phone/GPS/etc.

“F” finally gets around to the drivers side and gets in. Then acting as if this is how it works for everyone, picks up said “weird thing”, brings it up to his lips and blows into it. That’s right…he has a breathalyzer on his car. I mean, how
is one to respond to that?? Those reading this that know me would not be surprised to learn that I could not contain my look of “WTF?!?” because outside of the actual game of poker, I have no poker face. Yes, this is just like that scene of “40 Year Old Virgin” only thankfully he was sober and didn’t need me to blow into the breathalyzer for him.

Now, I can’t say that I know exactly how he should have broached this subject because unlike him I have never decided to go drive a car after a night of heavy drinking. Let alone do it multiple times b/c doesn’t this need to be a repeated problem before they slap one of these devices on your car??? He sort of shrugged it off like it was some cool feature on newer car models or something. I don’t know if I was more off-put by his inability to let me know about this before we got in the car or his blasé attitude in explaining it when I asked “Um….so what’s up with that?”, but needles to say that was the last time I decided to see “F.”

This week's Tale from the Trenches has been brought to you by the letter “F” for Felon.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

No...I would not like to continue this conversation

I am super guilty of having my door closed way too much at work. I am fairly certain it'll come up in my annual review later this week, but nothing I can really change about that now. I'd like to pretend I often have the door shut because I am on a really important conference call or working on a project that requires my total focus. Usually it's because I am focused on watching a tv show online or having a really important gchat conversation. Also the the one secretary outside my office has waaaayyyy too many TMI personal phone calls that I don't want to hear all about. And if you don't know, I have the world's worst temp assistant and I'd like to keep my interaction with her to a minimum. Because she makes my brain hurt and a little piece of me dies every time I have to talk to her.

But another big reason for keeping the door shut is because I am located in a high traffic area of the floor -- where people can easily see me watching tv or gchatting -- and that means people can see me PERIOD. And when they see my sweet smiling face they remember things they want me to do for them. Annoying. I think in my perfect world I would never have to speak to anyone in person or on the phone, just email and text. On a related note, they just gave us an office IM program. Sooooo guess who is going to be making even less phone calls then I already do?? when these lawyers DO see me out and about from my office, they always want to chat. So when I got up to take a quick trip to the ladies room, I was ambushed by one. One who ALWAYS wants to talk about what more we (that means me) could be doing to promote the firm (she actually means just her.)

She had a coffee cup in her hand so I figure she's headed towards the kitchen. I'm like Nancy Drew the way I can figure these things out. So I figure I walk with her to the kitchen, feign interest/caring in what she is talking to me about, drop her off and keep on my merry way. Wrong. She is headed to the ladies too (I don't want to know why she was bringing a cup with her, ew) so we have to continue this conversation even longer.

We get to the ladies room door - still talking. Inside to get the little paper seat cover - still talking. Selection of which stall she'd prefer - still talking.

And then. She continues to talk. Through the stall door.

No, I am not kidding.

I joke all the time that we aren't exactly curing cancer here in the BigLaw world but I know that the lawyers do some high-level work for some important clients and everything. But I am sorry, nothing can be that important that you need to talk to me while you pee. It can wait...TRUST me. I would hope that the ladies room would be the ONE place in the office where it's okay for me to keep the door closed and not work for a few minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

I have been getting quite good at posting more often on here (and my thanks to the 3 of you that noticed!) So I figure it's time I kick it up a notch and add an actual, honest-to-goodness, recurring weekly post.

So Tales from the Trenches -- what is it and what can you expect? Well basically, just a place for me to recount for your reading pleasure all of the weirdos, creeps, and *ssholes I have had the pleasure of getting to meet over the course of my dating career. And no, they won't all be bad, but I will try and keep everything on the funny side. Sort of an "I date them so you don't have to" kind of thing.

I thought this could be fun for a few reasons:
1. I know there are other single girls out there going through similar experiences, and if my anecdotes can somehow make them feel better about their own, then that's a sacrifice I am willing to make.

2. I have a lot of married friends who think that being single and dating is like one big fun episode of Sex in the City. No, it isn't and you need to get out more often, that show has been off the air for a long time now. Sadly, I think dating looks more like a casting session for an episode of Dateline's "To Catch a Predator."

3. I have a lot of married friends who think that being single and dating sounds scary as all get out and they have no clue if they would be able to do it. You are right, sometimes it is scary as hell and no, there are many of you that I would not want to see give this a try. So please just go stay married and next time the husband does something truly repulsive, ponder what he actually may have saved you from.

A long, long time ago, I was considering going on a date with this one guy. Back and forth, I was nervous that I shouldn't go and maybe I should cancel. But a good friend who was just about to hang up her single girl hat after getting engaged told me this (paraphrasing...after all that was a long, long time ago), "Just please go on the date. Because he might turn out to be someone wonderful. And if not, I know you will turn it into a really funny story."

So here I am, too many funny stories later, with nothing to do but post them for your amusement. So starting NEXT TUESDAY, that will be the promise I try to make good on every week. My pain will be your gain. You're welcome.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Do you know how many different flavors of Combos there are?

Seven. There are seven different flavors. I know, I thought there would be more too. But I counted them, and out of curiosity checked on the website today, and there are seven. (Zesty Salsa Tortilla and Jalapeno Cheddar Tortilla not pictured)

Counted? Yup, I did. And wouldn't you know there's a funny story to go along with that.

I took a day trip with L out to her parents house so she could water the flowers while her mom was away. It was a great day for a drive, and the promise of a stop at the Outlets on the way home made it all too enticing to pass up. After the plant watering had wrapped up (L watered, I supervised) we made a stop at Sheetz to get a drink and a snack before heading to the outlets.

While standing in front of the fridges, pondering the drink selection, up walks my ex's Dad to say hello to L. (L is friends with ex's sister -- because THAT is how small my world is) And as that happened, I snapped my sunglasses down on my nose and took a sharp turn into the chips aisle and hid out. Trying to stifle my "is this really happening" laughter and focusing my gaze on the combos display. Those reading this that know me (a big HEY! to all 4 of you) know that this kind of sh*t happens to me all the time. But all I could do to keep from laughing out loud was staring at those combos and trying to just stay hidden.

Why did I hide? I don't know, first impulse I guess. But after the coast was clear, one of the first things L said to me was "When I saw him walking up, I was just hoping you would see him too and run away" Good to know that others have "flight" as their first response to that scenario too.

Other highlights from this Sheetz trip include:

A guy in line behind me buying four 24 oz. cans of PBR. I may be wrong, but I don't think it was even noon yet.

A mom in the line, a few away from the register, yelling "I NEED THE MILKSHAKE, COURTNEY!" to her child who was on the other side of the store. Again, it was not yet noon, but maybe milkshakes count as breakfast?

I know what many of you must be thinking and I wholeheartedly agree -- these things would NEVER have happened at a Wawa. Lesson learned.

This and that and looking ahead

I had a great for no reason weekend. Friday maybe not so much, but that's for another post. A very long and productive Saturday followed by one of the laziest Sundays I may have ever had. Like EVER. I'm talking accidentally falling asleep on the couch for two hours lazy. Changed out of my pajama pants twice and both times it was to leave the apartment to get food kind of lazy.

And now it's back to another mind-numbing soul-crushing week of the office. Just my luck, this one has already set off to be off the charts irrational and crazy, hooray for me. But for once in a long while, I don't find myself with that huge sense of "Prozac, take me away!" that can set in on one of these too busy for any sane person kind of weeks. I am feeling like there are some things just ahead on the road to look forward to, so maybe that's helping to brighten the outlook a bit. It's nothing that I can or even want to talk about right now -- cause I have tried to talk about it with a few people and they sort of gave me that "well bless your heart..." kind of expression. You know the one that means "oh you stupid, foolish girl...that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard." So thanks to those folks for their (lack of) encouragement and support...and I am going to keep my lip zipped for now.

So looking ahead...lord knows the stuff behind me is too dreadful to look at anymore. So life is a highway and all that jazz...focused on the road ahead.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

In my day, kids earned their treats...

I am sure a lot of other folks out there are like me, with special games and toys from their childhood that just make them nostalgic for being a kid. And nothing says summertime of my childhood like this bad boy:

Were you like me and had a serious love-hate relationship with the Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker? I loved it because of the delicious frozen treats it rewarded you with. Icy, brightly colored, sugary cups of deliciousness. I use the word rewarded because Snoopy made you work your ASS off to make those sno-cones. You had to put ice cubes in and then jam that little snoopy down to push the ice cubes towards the shaver, while simultaneously turning the little shaver tumbler. By the end of the summer, there were 7 year olds walking around with major guns. "Hey Timmy, you been lifting this summer?" "Nah, just hitting the Snoopy Sno-Cone maker every day"

I feel sad that kids today don't have that same experience. Maybe that little sno-cone maker was just a part of cultivating a generation's attitude and work ethic. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying my generation is amazing and everyone's a hard worker and a great citizen. But I can tell you this, we are better off than kids today because they are getting pampered with this nonsense:

Seriously? A Dairy Queen at-home Blizzard Maker? This is just another thing wrong with kids today and it is adding to their overwhelming sense of entitlement. When I was little DQ was a treat -- your parents took you after little league or soccer. It wasn't a kitchen gadget that spat out free treats for you anytime you wanted it.

Look how freaking happy those kids on the box are. No chance they had to go through the rigorous physical labor to produce those ice cream treats like we had to endure to end up with one little sno-cone. You saw a little kid passed out, with jacked up arms and a permanently blue-stained mouth, and you knew he had put in a hard day cranking out some Snoopy sno-cones for him and his pals.

Ah, I miss those days.

My latest obsession...

Because I seriously have not stopped thinking about this little guy for days. Those that know me know I have a serious weak spot for purses (and shoes...and jewelry...can't a girl have more than one weak spot?) Every year when holiday time rolls around, I toy with the idea of gathering up all my purses and posing in front of a crackling fire and use that snapshot as my christmas card. If it's okay for people with dogs and babies, I should be able to do it too!

But this little beauty is my latest obsession. This beautiful clutch that is fashioned to look like one of my favorite books. For the girl who wants to be chic but also stay true to her English major roots. It's a catch-22 really, because those with English majors usually work at jobs where they subsist on sandwiches leftover in the conference room after a meeting and couldn't afford this hefty price tag. Anyone want to start a collection for me? Or do I have a crafty friend out there who could make this? And if I do have that talented of a friend, why haven't you been making me more things, dammit!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So unnecessary...

But there is some small part of me that wants it because I think it is just too cute. Maybe I need to hurry up and adopt my little asian baby so I can buy girly things for someone other than myself.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Another installment of Office Observations

Why in the name of all that is good and holy, do trucks idling outside my office lay on their horns for MINUTES on end. I know that it may not seem that annoying or irritating to you reading this, but here in my office it sounds like I work at a wharf where tugboats come in and out every 20 minutes or so. It's McPherson Square, not a bay of loading docks around Baltimore's harbor. Maybe I should organize all the homeless at McP Square into some sort of militia and get this situation taken care of.

Just please, make the horns stop.