Thursday, September 30, 2010

This & That Thursday

• Because of all the rain here in DC today, traffic was more of a pain in the butt than usual. My assistant sent an email to me and two others letting them know her bus was still on the toll road. I responded to everyone letting them know that I too was held up in traffic. Not like no one can get a hold of me on blackberry but just being a good egg and letting them know. Someone then thought it necessary to email the ENTIRE DC OFFICE to let them know both of us would be late. They didn't even send that email out until 45 minutes AFTER I had gotten in. I really don't know what was accomplished there but I felt like I was getting called out for not having a hall pass or something.

• When I did arrive to the office, soaked from head to toe, someone asked me if it was still raining outside. "Nah....I just got confused this morning and dressed first and THEN showered." I hate stupid weather related office chit-chat more than anything. If someone else has a good way of getting out of those conversations, please be sure to share your secret with me.

• Maybe I just have a face where people want to ask me stupid questions? Earlier this morning as I was waiting at the bus stop in the rain, someone walks up and asks me if the bus has come by yet. "Oh yeah, it did. But I am enjoying standing out here in the pouring rain shivering that I thought I'd wait a few more before getting on a bus. You know...have some quality 'me time' out here" Again, any suggestions to get people to avoid asking me these idiotic questions would be really appreciated.

• Finally, some people have pics of their family/kids on their desk. Not me....can't figure out how long it'll be before someone raises an eyebrow at this. My money's on it happening by COB next Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Birthday Weekend Recap

I had such a fantastic weekend spent with great friends, family, and then an NL East championship to cap it all off. I think I may have successfully reversed my birthday curse! Or at the very least, fought it off this year.

Saturday was a great time at Nissan Pavilion (I refuse to call it by its new name) complete with a champagne tailgate, glow bracelets, a birthday sash, and hugs from two little boys passing by with their mom who wanted to stop and wish me a happy birthday. I so wish someone had gotten a photo because me being sweet and nice and accepting hugs is such a rare, rare occurrence. Actually I do accept hugs from little kids. It’s hugs from adults that usually creep me out.

Everyone loved their birthday gift bags (yes I give away gift bags at my Birthday….more incentive to show up next year people!) especially the personalized Koozies that we made good use of at the tailgate and later in the concert.

We even got a free “upgrade” from lawn seats to actual seats in the Pavilion. An employee was walking around the lawn offering tickets. L did get a little pushy asking him “Well how close are these seats exactly” before we took the perfectly great free seats. But I guess she was right, “It doesn’t hurt to ask!”

After we were seated (i.e. after one tumble from me attempting to climb over seats), 3 of us then proceeded to reeeeeeally alter the concert-going experience for those around us as we sang all the songs at the top of our lungs. Whoopsies – sorry bout that folks! After the concert, we returned back to the car to find that someone had STOLEN one of L’s hubcaps. Who does that?? At a concert in the middle of Nowheresville VA, who really thinks to steal one hubcap off a car? The only upshot is now L can get some sick spinners like she wanted and really pimp out her ride. (kidding…..)

The next day after a long sleep we headed out for some Sunday Funday. Got to see lots of great friends, one of whom I had not seen since college and we have recently caught back up through Facebook and then emailing back and forth all day long. Was SO wonderful to see her after all these years and meet her husband.

One of my friends requested a mimosa from our waiter who informed her that unfortunately you could only buy champagne by the bottle…

Friend: Ok then, how much is your cheapest bottle.

Waiter: We have one that is $16 and one that is $17

Friend: A dollar difference between the two bottles?

Waiter: Yes.

Friend: Seventeen? Like 1-7? Just one dollar? (holds up one finger)

Waiter: Yes. (shaking his head in agreement)

Friend: Alright, then we’ll take the $17 dollar one.

And THAT is what showed up. Oh yes, that is a bottle of Veuve Clicquot - not an over the top champagne but clearly that bottle was not $17 (who paid for it??? I owe you money so please email me!) It also looks much classier sitting on a covered pool table next to my swanky grilled chicken sandwich that had cheese on it after I had requested the sandwich just be plain. So obviously we had the world's best and brightest waiter that day. You can also see my own Terps personalized Koozie that I decided I wanted to bring with me to the bar next to my huge bottle of Excedrin. Classy.

The next day, my parents were in town – well technically, they were in town on Sunday afternoon, but as you can see I was pretty busy with champagne and chicken sandwiches. We had hoped to head to the zoo for the day (YES I wanted to go to the Zoo for my birthday and NO I am not eight years old - I just really like the Zoo) but the rain kind of ruined that plan. So we just headed to lunch and did a little shopping – nice, dry indoor activities.

After a nap back at the hotel for Mom and Dad (and catching up on some DVR back at my apartment for me!), we headed into DC for dinner and then to Nats Park to cheer on the Phillies. I always get a kick out of my Dad riding the metro. He always keep asking “How many more stops?? You’re gonna let me know when I need to get off the train right??” Like I would just bolt of the train without telling him and leave him to ride the rails of Metro and fend for himself, haha. The look of panic when I tell him we have to transfer lines is pretty comical too. It’s based on colors, Dad. It’s seriously not all that complicated.

My Phillies did not disappoint. We sat through all the rain and watched them beat the Nats and win their 4th straight NL East title. What a special birthday treat just for me, thanks fellas!

It was such a great birthday I kind of feel a little sad that it’s over. Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated, made me wear a birthday sash, bought me drinks, gave me thoughtful presents, sent me cards, called, emailed, texted, left me Facebook messages, and left me comments here at You have no idea how much it meant to me and you were all an integral part of reversing the birthday curse!

And finally, a very special HAPPY BIRTHDAY today to my dear friend and former sorority house roomie, AB. I am so glad we got to have our own pre-birthday celebrations together last month and I am wishing you a wonderful day filled with pony bottles of Rolling Rock, “Wild Things” and hopefully no black eyes. Cheers to you -- love you much!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Since I was out of the office yesterday, I have literally forgotten it is Tuesday about 12 times today. And after I was all “OMG, it’s BRITNEY on GLEE tonight!!!” it hit me this afternoon that it also means another installment of Tales from the Trenches. And I have rallied and posted for you so I wouldn't let you all down. You're welcome, folks.

I was thinking that I should go back to another college story, since I don’t know if that well will ever run dry. And also in honor of my friend who came down to help celebrate my birthday this weekend, since it was her fault I got into this particular situation.

My senior year of college, one of my very best friends and pledge sisters was dating a guy in the fraternity across the street from our sorority house. I think we all had our phases of wondering how well they were going to fare as a couple. He was a fun guy, but to me they were just so different from one another. But hey, we all date people that aren’t necessarily a good "fit" for us. She was just smart enough to get most of it out of her system in college. While some geniouses like myself continue to date enough losers, creeps and weirdos to write a blog posting about it once a week.

Anywho, as sorority sisters often do, they always want to set up other girls from the chapter with the other guys from that fraternity. Maybe so we could all do the walk of shame home together in the morning and count it as a “sisterhood event”, I don’t know. It just always seems like such a novel idea. And my friend was no exception.

She kept dragging me out when she knew her guy would be out and kept talking up his roommate, MNINM. There was nothing wrong with this guy. I just don’t think I was particularly interested in MNINM. It was close to graduation and I was honestly more focused on just having as much fun as possible in the shortest span of time.

But one night we all ended up back in their room at the fraternity house after the bar closed. As a side note, thank GOD I rarely saw a fraternity house on my campus (a) sober or (b) in the light of day. Because they are dark, dirty and seriously scary places to be in the (a) or (b) scenario. So we are back in the room and I am sure someone thought it a bright idea to keep drinking. At some point my friend and her guy retired to the bottom bunk (I am pretty sure it was tented off with a sheet for ultra-privacy) and I was left chatting it up with MNINM.

I don’t recall all of the specifics (because that was many years ago) but I do remember I thought maybe I could talk this guy to sleep and then I could just go home and it would all be a non-issue.

"So, M – where are you from originally?"

"Oh cool, M. How many brothers and sisters do you have?"

"Interesting – what classes are you taking this semester, M?"

On and on, I kept asking questions. Surely this dude had to be sick of me now, right? No, he wasn’t. Not only was he not deterred by my incessant questioning, he would pre-empt each of his responses by saying

“um…My Name Is Not Matt.”

I kept calling him by THE WRONG NAME. And he let me. He kept correcting me, but I paid no mind at all and just kept on calling him by the wrong name. Frustrated, I went to my last possible move of suddenly remembering, “Oh wait I have a boyfriend!” and hightailing it out of there. God I was so slick in college, making up fake boyfriends. Lesson learned that even if you call someone by the wrong name, you can still fall back on that failsafe line about an imaginary boyfriend to get your ass out of almost any situation.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Instructions for Birthday Weekend: Champagne-Cupcake-Repeat

Hooray! That picture is the most accurate description of how I feel right now because this crazy work week is (just about) O-V-E-R and I have so much fun to look forward to this weekend because …. It’s my Birthday!

I am usually a big birthday hater. Not other people’s birthdays, those I love. It’s my own that I never like. It’s not about the getting older part of it (okay, yeah that became a teensy bit of a reason after birthday #25) but more it is just because I have awful, horrible birthday luck. So many of mine have been so unfun, forgotten, disastrous, traumatizing, or some combination of all of those. To the point where I have come to just dread the day and hold really low expectations for it.

A few examples:
• My very first sleepover birthday party was cancelled due to the weather (F*ck you Hurricane Gloria – and YES I am still holding a grudge)
• When the party was rescheduled a few weeks later, someone’s Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag got caught in a box fan causing some legit sparks to fly out of the fan. The almost-fire and lots of smoke caused my Dad to come running downstairs in SUCH a panic that he neglected to realize he was only in his underwear. Traumatizing.
• One year was supposed to celebrate with kiddie friends for a little birthday lunch at a Friendly’s type of place. Then the restaurant caught on fire and burned down the the day before my birthday. Birthday lunch was moved to Burger King. Swanky.
• An attempt made by my parent’s to have a “surprise” birthday dinner for me at a restaurant was ruined by my protesting going out to dinner because I had too much homework. My mom angrily spilled the beans about my friends waiting to surprise me at the restaurant and told me to get my ass in the car. Surprise!!
• This was a few years after my parents had totally forgotten my birthday. See, it’s not just a humorous John Hughes’ movie plot!
• Being a year older than most of my closest friends in college, none of them could legally go out with me for my 21st birthday. I was at the mercy of older sisters in my sorority who I recall being a bit relentless with the whole idea of doing 21 shots. I threw many of those shots out the front windows of Bentley’s (a bar at my school) and will never forget the one that sent my ass running back to the ladies room with a wave of sickness. (Deviled Megs was never again to do a Lemon Drop. No lie, have NEVER done one again.)
• A few years ago I was taking me and boyfriend-at-the-time out for dinner. Yes I was taking HIM out, don't ask as it's not even worth explaining. He then came up with some complication about going to dinner so I said screw it and just cancelled the reservations. He thought it would be funny to then send me an e-card that wished me a “Happy Pancake Day” Let me tell you, that was just hilarious. Haven’t eaten a pancake since.

And while there have been a few fun birthdays (particularly the Vegas/San Diego bash), by and large you get a little taste above of why I just try to avoid my birthday all together.

But I am changing that this year. This year I have fun things to look forward to and would be just as excited for all of it if it all wasn’t tied to my birthday. L even helped me make a birthday mix CD. Because every fun event needs its very own special soundtrack, right?

Tomorrow kicks off with a trip to the Farmer’s Market, then awaiting the arrival of V so a few of us girls can head out to the Sugarland concert. There may also be a very special appearance made my Hair Stylist P…wishes really may come true, haha. There will be tailgating (with champagne) food, good music and good friends. Can’t get any better. (As a side note, how much do you just love Jennifer Nettles? One of my birthday wishes might be to be her.)

Wait, yes it can get better! Sunday (which is the actual b-day) will be spent as a low key Football Sunday Funday watching games. Some more fun friends will be joining the cast for the day with hopefully a few very special guest appearances. Then that night there is not only the premiere of “The Amazing Race” but also the Season 2 premiere of “Eastbound and Down.” It’s like special tv presents just for me.

Monday is a day off from work (I think everyone should observe a day off from work in honor of their birthday) and some time with Mom and Dad who are making a trip down to visit. The birthday train pulls up to its final stop on Monday night, into DC to see my Phillies take on the Nats. Oh and of course, my boyfriend. (Bonus points if you have realized that my birthday is the 26th...and his number is 26)

So for once, I am going to go against type and get excited about this birthday. Excited about this weekend and seeing friends, having fun, and putting all my worries and stresses on hold for a few days. And looking forward to a year that is full of potential and possibilities. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too, whatever your plans may hold for you.

Follow Me Friday

So I am still getting the hang of all this and don't really know what the hell I am doing yet. Like one of those baby giraffes stumbling around on legs that don't quite work yet. But I love that there are people that I follow out here in Bloggyville that participate in Follow Fridays. So maybe I should hop on the train and give it a try too!

Thanks so much to all of you who have actually been reading my rants, raves, thoughts, and silly stories. Thanks to friends who have sent me words of encouragement and let me know they enjoy reading. And thanks to the people I don't even know who come here and leave me comments and feedback. I am enjoying this all so very much and hope to continue to have fun with this and make some more friends.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's just BE old. We don't even have to grow.

For some reason lately, I feel like quite a few people have been having conversations with me, or at me, or just near me about their finding someone to grow old with. People who have found their people, others who think that *maybe* they may have found their people, some others that are still looking for their people, and a few who might be getting a little ticked because they feel like their people are LATE in showing up!

And then there’s me. Someone who more or less has never pictured myself growing old with anybody. I wasn’t a girl who thought incessantly about my wedding one day or obsessed about starting a family. I didn’t even place a high amount of importance on dating and relationships (and I know there are going to be critics of that game plan – hell even I have questioned it myself from time to time.) I have some different thoughts and perspectives from a lot of other girls when it comes to all that stuff and I know not everyone can understand them, but I think I am fortunate enough to have a couple people in my life who “get” that part of me more so than others. You know, so I can rest easy knowing I am not a total weirdo.

I also feel like I have always just been older or more mature. It wasn't some destination to grow towards or get to -- I was already there! And seriously, I don’t mean that in some snotty way or something. For those that know me IRL, now is NOT the time to start posting comments reminding me of all the dumb/stupid/childish shenanigans I may have gotten myself into over the years. Why don’t you go ahead and save them for the next time we all get together, mkay? What I mean is that ever since I was really little, I have always acted older, projected myself to be older, felt a little older. Maybe because I was too much of a thinker and worrier as a child (and to some extent, still am.) And maybe at times I have had to deal with too much on my own at points in my life already. I can’t really say. But to me, truth was spoken when someone said “I never thought I’d feel so tired at 22.” (now who will be the first to ring in with the correct info on that quote?!?)

Maybe I do want someone to grow old with. Or maybe I will eventually. But right now I would really like someone to just BE old with. That’s what I have been thinking about lately. Screw this “growing old together” talk. The future is going to happen and growing old is going to be a part of that, no matter what/who/when. But I can’t get too involved in thinking about the future that I stop being present in my present. Because “Life moves pretty fast, If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (C’mon folks…that’s an easy one…)

So for right now, I would be super happy and feel very fortunate to find someone to just relax, spend some time together, enjoy each other's company and just be old with right now. What sorts of things does being old entail? Well for me, I have been thinking about:
• Cooking a fantastic meal on some random weekday and maybe opening a really nice bottle of wine.
• Getting excited when you remember you have some DVR shows to catch up on and are stoked to stay in on a Friday night and watch them.
• A drive up to Gettysburg to enjoy a day trip in the car with some fall foliage.
• Swapping funny youtube clips to get through a workday.
• Sleeping in on a Sunday morning in a bed with a great down comforter and high thread count sheets.
• Going to see something at the Kennedy center and maybe getting a little dressed up. Not because you have to but because you want to.
• Going out on a limb and trying an ICED Pumpkin latte at SBux.
• Caring about the food you are going to bring to the tailgate.

What are things that are NOT old? Like things I think I have no interest in doing. Like, ever again.
• Meticulously planning meals or the ability to even talk to someone around a particular team’s schedule (Seriously I am a big fan of a few teams myself, but some people take it to unhealthy extremes. And I have been just so lucky as to date some of those people.)
• Getting excited when you remember you have a co-worker's going away Happy Hour, followed by post HH drinks with the people you *really* like from work, then off to drinks with a different group of friends, then meeting up with other people at some party, then out to try a new bar nearby that just opened up, then to some bar that someone heard is “open really late” followed by a Jumbo Slice for dinner on a Friday night. I think I got tired and queasy just typing that.
• A drive up to anywhere that may involve stopping at a fraternity house.
• Swapping absurd postings from Texts from Last Night because they sound eerily like your own lives.
• Passing out early Sunday morning on a bed with no fitted sheet, a threadbare flat sheet and a comforter that is in desperate need of a wash.
• Just going to see something at the Movies. Not because you want to but because you just don’t have anything to talk about with the other person.
• Going out on a limb and trying a Bear Fight.
• Stressing about running out of liquor and then having to drink beer at the tailgate.

I think it also goes without saying that I feel very much past the point in my life where I am okay with people who get naked and eat hotpockets in my kitchen, need to pass a breathalyzer to start their car, or who are actually married already.

What about you? What's an "old" activity that you enjoy doing with your person or look forward to doing with a potential person?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Good Man is Hard to Find

ESPECIALLY when you are going to trust that man with something as important as your hair. I mean I may date some real losers, but I am much, much pickier when it comes to my hair.

When I first moved to DC, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of salons and stylists. Then I was in complete and total sticker shock over the cost of these places. I went to one place recommended by someone who I thought had good hair. When all was said and done sure my hair looked alright (nothing special), but I also couldn’t afford to eat for the next 6 weeks.

So I asked around and had one salon in DC recommended by a lot of different people. And this time I made sure to poll people like me that were working for next-to-nothing salaries at low level jobs and for who “super sizing that value meal” was an expensive treat reserved for very special occasions.

The first guy I saw at the salon was nice enough. Really eerily quiet but hey, I am not much of a talker myself, so I kind of liked not having to make chit-chat. Hair turned out ok, didn’t kill my wallet, so off I went. Looking back at some photos of me taken at a wedding a few weeks later, I realized that I was far too blond and bobbed for my own damn good. I looked like I should be giving the weather report somewhere or passing out free keychains at a bar, it was just not a look I could pull off.

So while I wanted to go back to that same salon, I wasn’t really wedded to seeing that guy again (such a hair floozy I was!) The next time I let them schedule me an appointment with P. It was one of those occurrences where I truly believe there is something out there bigger than me, because some force stepped in and made a match up for me (and my hair!)that I will be forever grateful for.

I know there are all the lame jokes and stereotypes about women and their hair stylists. But this isn’t some wannabe therapy session. I look forward to our time together the way most girls look forward to a date with Prince Charming. We like the same things – like music that is far too young for us and making fun of other people. We talk about important things – things that MATTER. Like who’s going home that week on American Idol or if Jillian Michaels would beat Jackie Warner in a cage match (I totes agree with him that Jillian would knock the stuffing out of Jackie)

P has saved my hair and my sanity so many times I have lost track. I will never forget (because I don’t know if he would ever stop reminding me) of the fateful day I walked into the salon literally in tears. I had spent the course of that day discovering my identity had been compromised and had to go through the long process of shutting down all my credit cards, bank accounts, even my damn Blockbuster card as some @sshole went on a spending spree. My boyfriend-at-the-time’s reaction? "That sucks, babe. I will do an extra shot for you later." P’s reaction? "You can come back and pay me whenever it all gets straightened out but you need your hair done today more than ever." THAT is love people.

P has even met my mother. I brought her down here for her birthday one year and surprised her by bringing her to P and letting him fix the whole situation she had going on on top of her head at the time. My mom probably felt like she woke up on an episode of the Tyra show or something. But she STILL talks about that appointment with P to this day and wishes she could go see him all the time.

My relationship with P has lasted longer than any other relationship with a guy. And I’m fine with that. When I finally find a guy who makes me laugh half as much as P does, I will know I’ve found a keeper. Oh and straight too. Sorry, as long as I’m throwing wishes out there, I should be specific. Straight and can sing showtunes with me?? Well that would be like finding a leprechaun riding a unicorn, but maybe it exists. I mean, someone like Mr. Shuster could exist in real life, right?

So I will sit here at my desk watching the minutes tick by and looking forward to my date with P later. I should be making use of this time by deciding what I’d like him to do to my hair later on, but it’s so much more fun to see his pissed off expression when I tell him “I don’t know….just something different” P, if you read this, I hope you are always the Ken Paves to my Jessica Simpson. Unless you let me out of the house in mom jeans. Then we may need to break up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

I have almost always been able to maintain some sort of friendly relationship with guys I have dated after the dating part has ended. Now, how successfully that happens usually depends on the number of dates and/or length and seriousness of the relationship for sure. But on the whole, there is really only 1 (ok maybe 2) that I just really never wanted to speak to again. To be fair, I am not saying that is a good thing or a bad thing. And I sure as heck am not saying it is normal. It is just how things have always worked for me.

But every now and again I have some interesting experience with a guy from my past that makes me rethink my pretty liberal “we can still be friends” policy. IM is just that sort of person and I had just that kind of experience recently.

IM and I dated for a few months. Nothing super serious, but there was a small amount of time and interest invested. Things did not end very well (more on his end than mine) but that was about 2 years ago. Until he randomly got back in touch with me this past February. I received a LinkedIn Request from him to which I responded “Are you joking?” He then wrote me an email explaining how he had signed up for the site and accidentally emailed all his contacts with a request to connect. Whatever, honest mistake, could happen to anyone.

Then he writes me again saying he has always felt badly about how he handled things with us and wanted to apologize. I immediately thought he was either (a) dying or (b) on whichever of the 12 steps it is that requires you to make amends with people you have wronged. Apparently it was (c) neither and he was just genuinely really sorry and wanted to apologize.

That’s fine, no worries, apology accepted. He emails every now and again over the following months, nothing really major, just friendly banter. Then the emails took a turn for the “I was driving in your old neighborhood and was thinking we should get together sometime.” Um…well that made me a little bit leery but again, I will usually give people the benefit of the doubt.

We eventually meet up for a drink recently – nice enough time, a lot of laughs and generally good to catch up. I had come straight from work by Metro, so he offered to give me a ride home. As we pull up in front of my apartment he says “so do you wanna do it upstairs or I have a blanket in the backseat?” I had a momentary look of “UM…WTF?!?!” (because again I have NO pokerface outside of the game of poker) and he laughed so I just thought to myself “oh WHEW, thank god he was joking”

But then he points at my chest and says with no hint of humor, “Seriously, were they always that big? Cause I hadn’t remembered them being that big.”

So. Very. Classy.

I just wished him a good night, got out of that car and went upstairs thinking “This kind of sh*t seriously only happens to me.” Then, about two weeks ago, I get a text from him at 10 pm on a Monday night “Hey what r u up to?”

I didn’t respond. I get a gchat message from him the next day “Too good to answer my text? I was in the mood to make some questionable decisions last night.”

Ok seriously…enough. I have learned my lesson and it’s clear you cannot be friends with everyone. Hopefully he will fade away again and go bother some other girl with his inability to keep his Inner Monologue to himself.

It might not shock you that I probably won’t be keeping in touch with IM. Or IN. Or F. But some of the people you may read about in Tales From The Trenches, well yeah, we do still keep in touch. And oh boy I hope they don’t ever find this blog.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Seriously, who DOES that?!?

A quick brief rant. Since clearly I haven't vented enough on here for this one Monday. I have had it up to HERE with people at work stealing my snacks out of the fridge. You can insert some lame-ass comedian's bit about co-workers stealing yogurt here if you want to but I am serious. So help me god, I will set some sort of a trap and bring your snack-stealing @ss to justice.

I don't have crazy-delicious snacks in there that are just calling out to you. There's no ice cream treat. No cupcake. Hell, I am not even trying to sneak a chilled snickers by you. I have cut up apples. A-P-P-L-E-S. Has anyone looked at apple slices and thought "Oh what the hell...I'll splurge!" No, right?? That's because they are not a special treat that is worth STEALING. Besides, I think we average at least 2 firm-wide emails per day about leftover sandwiches/cookies/treats in some conference room or the other. Plus we'll probably be having a party for something or other next week. So please just leave my apples alone, mkay?

This is besides the point that stealing is just wrong. Who doesn't know that? I don't care what religion you subscribe to, it is just not cool to take what is not yours. Who forgets that they brought a little bag of sliced apples to work with them that morning. NO ONE. So if you don't remember putting them there then guess what? They ain't your apples. Paws off. Please oh PLEASE don't make me go all label-maker over the contents of my lunch every day. Cause as sad as it is, I will do it.

If anyone in the DC area turns on the news and hears about some wack-a-doo being carted out of an office because she went crazy over stolen snacks...well that would be me. And could someone come bail me out? Please and thank you.

Alone but not lonely...BUT

What do you do when someone makes a comment to you and you just can't seem to let it go. After some time you realize that comment has crawled under your skin and sort of set up shop there…coming out to bother you when you least expect it to. How do you get rid of it or how do you get past it?

Maybe within the last 3-4 months I had a friend comment to me “Yeah but you prefer being alone.” And I remember the comment immediately stinging at the time, but I said nothing. I didn’t know if I wasn’t “taking it the right/wrong way” or something along those lines. Perhaps the person meant it as a compliment? I don’t really know. All I do know at this point is it has grown to irk the hell outta me and I don’t know how to shake it.

I am worried that perhaps there has been a misconception of me. And maybe it isn’t just by this person, but by more people who know me. Or (uh-oh) maybe also people who only sort-of know me. Or (gasp!) everyone thinks this of me. This is the runaway thought train I have been riding on this one for the past couple months.

So now I am truly worried that people think I L-O-V-E being alone. No, I am not lonely but I do spend a good chunk of time alone. I think maybe because I have always been so independent and capable and flat out GOOD at being able to handle so much on my own, people may now think I love it to pieces. I will go ahead and admit to anyone reading this that no, I don’t love it. As I get older, I enjoy it less and less. But am I stuck here now? I have always been a pretty private person when it comes to sharing relationship details with friends (i.e., just because I have a great date, I don’t run around telling anyone who will listen) but has that now led people in my life to think I like being alone most of my time?

Just because someone is skilled at cooking doesn’t mean they wouldn’t appreciate the offer to help them set up/clean up or at least bring a bottle of wine. Just because someone is good with kids doesn’t necessarily mean they want to babysit someone else’s on a whim. Just because someone is great at organizing and planning parties doesn’t mean I think they would get a great kick out of planning my own party or event. Just because someone is good at doing their own taxes doesn’t mean they want to do everyone else's. So why then just because I seem to be really good at being alone is it just assumed I like to be left that way?

I work in a really tough field and day-to-day working environment. I am not looking for any sort of blue ribbon or kudos for that. But maybe no one knows that I get more harsh words than kind ones throughout the days/weeks. Maybe they don’t really know what is really and truly involved with me doing it all on my own. Am I grateful I have the ability to do it successfully? You betcha. Does it mean I love it? No flipping way.

I can’t explain why, but that friend’s comment from a few months back has been bothering the crap out of me now and again for the past few months…and over the last week or two I think I may have thought of it every day. And worried that just because you are good at something, that everyone thinks you like it that way.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Frazzled Friday

Work has been stressing me out beyond belief lately and today took that to a new level of suck. And as much as I wish I could scream or yell or stomp my feet, none of those actions is workplace appropriate. So I excused myself for a quick walk around the block to clear my head and get some sun, and now I am going to just use a teensy bit of typing here to vent. And hopefully (please, God, please) feel a little better.

I hate that as best I try, I have no semblance of control over my days here at the firm. I hate trying to decide which "due by COB" project is really going to have a shot of getting done by COB. I often hesitate about making plans for after work and then at about 2 o'clock sit wondering if I need to send the I may be late/not able to make it at all email because you just don't know how the rest of the day is going to play out. Granted, I think that in today's case, these are plans I shouldn't have made anyway, so maybe this whole stressful scenario at work is some kind of karma or bigger force at work. Who knows. If that's the case then touche, karma. Touche.

I hate when people tell me "Well I would just leave. I wouldn't put up with that kind of sh*t at work." Really? REALLY?? So you would just say, "I'm sorry that the project was not complete, but it is 5pm and that is my quitting time. Best of luck to you and I hope this doesn't permanently scar our existing relationship with that client. Later!" Please tell me where the money tree is located in your backyard or the endless stash of jobs you have lined up for after the one you walk out on at 5pm because "that's when you are supposed to leave" promptly fires your @ss.

I hate when people at work expect me to be even more flexible in my ability to stay late/come in early/work weekends because I am not married and/or have kids. No, I am not a wife or a mom but I do HAVE A LIFE. One that doesn't involve the firm, goes on during evenings and weekends, and is outside of this office. And it is of no less value because there isn't a husband or children in it at the moment, thank you very much.

Well surprisingly I feel the tiniest bit better. Hoping and praying I can get through the rest of the day and not end up screaming or yelling or stomping my feet.

And then my Dad sent me a text letting me know my Mom Mom loved the wreath I made her and they hung it up on the door to her room at the home she lives at. Now that definitely made me smile forget some of my stress of today.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A quick poll of the peanut gallery

For the past 2 months or so, I have been researching designers to help give this little site a much needed makeover. I was going good in my research for awhile, and then got derailed by something. But now that I am back on track and full steam ahead, I am totally overwhelmed with all the choices out there. I mean, I stare at the nail polish wall for a good 15 minutes before selecting my polish for a mani/pedi (and more often than not I end up going with a color I brought from home!) so too many choices can really set me spinning.

So I though hey, why not ask the people "out there" for some reccomendations or words of wisdom when making such an important decision.

And by "out there" I mean you. Yes you, little old YOU reading this. Please share with me your thoughs and reccomendations!

Who doesn't love a good Giveaway?

So a few weeks back, I posted about a Lilly P print bag I was kind of crushing on (update: it's been purchased, arrived, and I am pretty much in love with it) Today I was really stoked to come across this fab giveaway on College Prepster.

Was further stoked to read the details and find out that the designer the of Tipsy Skipper interned for Lilly and helped design the new sorority prints. Coming across this fun new designer is not going to help the upcoming shopping diet (post on that to come because I def need some help and insights from peeps)

So head on over and try to win some free fabulousness. Cause if I can't win, I at least want it to be someone I know!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

I was giving today's posting some thought after yesterday’s semi-somber posting... then something happened as I was leaving work yesterday that let me know exactly what tale I should tell you all today.

As you may know from some of those commercials that seem to be everywhere, online dating is pretty mainstream these days. I have done my fair share of it, as has just about any single person you know, whether they admit to it or not. I have met (a few) great guys, (a bunch of) fun guys that turned into friends of mine, and (a lot of) crazies, creeps, *ssholes and weirdos. One site touts some data point that today 1 in 5 relationships start online. I believe it, I have met that 1 a couple times. But more often I have found myself seated across the table from one of the other 4.

Even with online dating being much more out in the open these days, I am still a HUGE proponent of withholding some of your personal information from the get-go, until you see if this is person you may want to get to know better and not just one that is going to end up in the crazy/creep/*sshole/weirdo bucket. So I actually have a separate email account that I use for that purpose. It’s good because then they can’t google search you or find you on facebook (trust me, it happens and it’s creepy) but they also don’t have your full name. I once had somoene give me a bit of a hard time about that when I eventually gave him my “real” email address after things had progressed for a bit. But seriously, TRUST me on this one. ALWAYS start out with an email address that is something other than your actual name or the email address you use for regular correspondance, facebook, twitter, etc.

I had gotten an email from MC who didn’t have a photo posted on his profile. While this should usually be a little red flag, if the email is a good enough one (i.e. something funny that makes me laugh), I will often respond. In DC, it is not uncommon for people not to post a profile pic because of a job (CIA, FBI…you get the drift.) So we eventually began corresponding through direct email, albeit my “other” email account. When MC would find me online at the same time as him, he sent me chat messages. The little red flags became a little bigger when he was really vague about some topics – what area of DC he worked in or what he did for a living. But again, I tried to just overlook them a bit - could be another DC job-related reason for that.

Then MC finally sent me a chat message that had some more detailed information. He was at a conference in Vegas. Standard enough, who hasn’t been to a conference in Vegas? But it was going on at the exact same time as another conference I knew that was talking place in Vegas. One my assistant happened to have helped plan a very pricey and lavish reception at for a group of attorneys I work with. After asking a few clever fact-gathering questions (Nancy Drew ain’t got nothing on me!) I realized that this person who had found me online was one of my attorneys.

Whose office is on the same floor as me.

And who is MARRIED.

Oh yes, you read that right. Dude is married. I immediately blocked him from chat and email and had a strong urge to take a shower with all of my clothes on, that’s how gross and skeezed out I felt after this horrible realization. So while I don’t think online dating is the worst thing going out there, I do think that ladies should be careful because there are some Married Creepers out there on those sites.

Oh and yesterday? I was running for the elevator trying to get out of work at a decent time. I was bent over trying to dig my Metro card out of my bag before the elevator arrived when I heard someone else walk up to the elevators. And when I looked up, there was MC totally looking down my shirt as I was leaned over rifling through my bag. And again I had that overwhelming urge to take a shower with all my clothes on.

Most. Awkward. Elevator. Ride. Ever.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend trip to the Jersey Shore (no not THAT one, a much classier one)

I took a drive up to the Jersey Shore this weekend. My Pop-Pop lives there and while where he lives is really quaint and nice and worlds away from the trainwreck that is the MTV show (it's ok...I watch it too), I will tell you that I went to the location they shoot the show at almost every single week in the summers when I was younger to see fireworks. I used to be scared sh*tless of fireworks, but I think that weekly "facing my fears" therapy I endured must have paid off because fireworks might be one of my top 5 favorite things. Like ever.

Ok, let's get this posting back on up to the shore to see Pop-Pop. He went into the hospital last week and I was worried about him, so having no plans I couldn't get out of this past weekend, trekked up to see him. A big BOO to work for not letting me leave early like I had gotten approval to do (really, it was my temp assistant's fault....I cannot wait until her last day here) but a big HOORAY that there was only very light traffic in spots, and I finally found one friend home on a Friday night to take my call and keep me company on the drive. Thanks, J!

Pop-Pop came home from the hospital on Friday -- apparently just really dehydrated and in need of some rest. Sometimes I worry that he was always so good at taking care of my Gram but never remembered to take care of himself. And now that she's gone he still sometimes forgets to make sure to take care of himself. But he just raved about the wreath that I made him. I felt like I was a 4-year old with a finger painting up on the fridge for all to admire. Except I had taken down the faux-foliage fall thing that was already up on the front door (sorry bout that Mom!) and hung up my wreath and admired my work. I think mostly I just wanted to have a little piece of me there with Pop-Pop every day.

I had also brought my crafty-crafting supplies up with me thinking I might get some time to work on some other projects. I stayed up late on Saturday night making a really pretty wreath for my Godmother. She is a breast-cancer survivor and I had gotten some pink ribbon-printed fabrics to make a wreath for her to hang next month for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

That following morning, while I was still asleep, my mom got an email from her cousin with not-good news about my Godmother. She is back in the hospital after becoming very sick as a reaction to radiation she began last week; her cancer has returned and she has tumors in her brain and her spine.

So I am hoping my wreath makes its way to her or to her house waiting for her to be able to go home. So a little piece of me can be there with her letting her know she is in my thoughts and prayers. And sending some pretty pink fireworks her way too becuase, well you know how I feel about fireworks :)

And I hope you won't think me selfish to ask for those of you that come here and read my postings, if you might keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Every little bit helps, I think.

Ok, sorry for that bit of a somber Monday posting. Just weighing on my mind right now. I'll try and think of something especially hilarious for tomorrow's Tales from the Trenches. Good thing that well never seems to run dry of tragically comical stories :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

She's crafty...

...and she used to get around but now she is a grown up and actually does crafts. That pretty much sums up me over the last couple months. Inspired by reading (way too much of) The Grosgrain Garage, I have gotten into the habit of focusing my creative energies into some crafty projects outside the office. You know, since very few law firms are lauded for their creative crafty skills.

I started with making wreaths after getting inspired by a posting on that blog. This is one I made for my Pop Pop's house down the shore.

That isn't even one of my favorites (I really liked the Hokie wreath I made for L) but some of the other ones are little gifties for a few peeps who may read this and I don't want to spoil any sort of surprise.

And I love making them, but c'mon. How many wreaths can I make before I get wreathed out? If anyone has any wreath-specific requests, send em my way and I am sure I can accommodate you.

So I have been going back to her blog looking for some more craftspiration (yes I made that up, but the word totally fits) and lately she has been posting about embroidery. Like she is monogramming clothing and towels and things at her house. And then she posted something that she embroidered a monogram on. Anyone who knows me IRL (that's in real life, people) knows that if there is a spare bit of space on just about anything, I will usually find a way to slap a monogram on it. Or at the very least, an initial.

So all throughout this off-the-charts crazy day at work (I am actually on a conference call as I type this posting....helloooooooo multitasking!) all I can think of is "How the hell do I teach myself embroidery??? And how quickly can I monogram everything in my apartment???" Hopefully L isn't reading this and if she is....just kidding!!! I would never be able to monogram everything in the apartment. I am short, and some things are out of my reach :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Office Observations -- why America is fat

Every month, my office holds a "monthly birthday party" to come together as a firm and celebrate everyone whose birthday is that month. These gatherings are complete with TWO kinds of cake and usually at least THREE kinds of ice cream. I rarely go because either (a) I am chained to my desk working on some project or (b) I owe someone a project and haven't finished it yet and don't want to run into them at the party.

Well today is the "September Birthdays Celebration" and even though I am actually on that list of honorees, I was not going to go up to the shindig. Mostly because of Reason A listed above but also because of Reason C - I don't feel like making mindless small talk with people I don't wanna talk to.

And I don't know why I just noticed it today - I am sure it happens every single month - but a staggering number of people from my floor (the tenth) have been pouring off the elevators with their HUGE bowls overflowing with cake and ice cream. No lie, most people get TWO BOWLS EACH. Because who needs the pressure of deciding between vanilla and chocolate cake??? Just get both. Unless you are on the bomb squad and have to pick which wire to cut, no one should be forced to make such challenging decisions.

Anywhoozle, so these office guys and gals are gorging themselves on cake and ice cream.

That they got from upstairs.

On the eleventh floor.

This sugar buffet was located up one flight of stairs.

Yet all these folks used the elevator.

I guess when you have a bowl in each hand, it's easier to press a button then open a door?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back to School...Back to School...

To prove to Dad that I'm no fool! Sorry, I couldn't stop myself from the obvious "Billy Madison" reference. True story -- I actually know every word to that movie AND the dance that Billy does to "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" (don't ask me why or how I have this knowledge...and NO I will not do the dance for you, so please don't ask)

All of the back to school ads coupled with this past weekend-o-football have had me thinking back to my favorite school years. When going "back to school" was something I could not wait to do -- I remember I was so excited to get back to campus I felt like I could have literally started running down I-95.

So I am going to borrow a great idea for a posting from some other blogs I read--check out Desperately Seeking Seersucker and Sweet Southern Prep--and take my own little (visual) stroll down memory lane.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Let’s head back to Baltimore for today's posting. For those that have only ever visited and never lived in Baltimore, you should know that it is really very BYOFbring your own friends. They are not too receptive to outsiders and it is tough to meet people and make friends there. When people ask you “Where did you go to school?” they mean high school, not college.

So it was a pleasant surprise to find 2 guys we knew from undergrad not only living in our neighborhood but actually living on the very same block, literally across the street from us. It was great fun to have more people we knew in the city to hang out with and having a sort of shared history and the college common denominator helped too.

Eventually, something sparked between me and PL. It was super casual, G-rated and totally innocent. I mean we might as well have been in grade school. In hindsight it was probably more of a good friendship at the time that maybe one or both of us tried to turn into something else…just to try it on for size and see if it worked. And while it didn’t really work, it didn’t exactly not work either. So it just kind of lingered on for awhile. Fall turned into winter and there were a couple snow storms making travel off of our street pretty tricky. So having someone to hang out with right across the street from you…well that was just logistically advantageous.

PL had also recently gotten a super cute puppy. Like so adorable it hurt. And like 98% of other females out there, I am a sucker for a cute dog. So between the harsher winter climate, the convenience of him living across the street, and the added bonus of a lovable little pup, can you blame me for just letting it drag on a bit without really giving it too much thought or attention that I basically didn’t have anything that was attracting me to PL specifically? I hope not (and also thank you for overlooking the shallowness of my youth!)

One day, we were holed up in my house watching movies with the snow and frigid temps howling away outside. And he was so nice and thoughtful and respectful. Made popcorn, fetched drinks, and shared the blanket. And I found myself sort of annoyed by him and just missing the puppy.

It was then that I knew I had to end things with PL. Because Puppy Love should be that early infatuation you feel with someone you have just started seeing. Not seeing someone only because you like spending time with his puppy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Am I all grown up? Or have I run out of time?

Labor Day unofficially signifies the end of summer and the start of football, school and all things Fall. I was kind of curious about the actual history behind it so I looked it up as I usually enjoy a good bit of history. Essentially , the first official federally recognized Labor Day has to do with President Cleveland rushing a national holiday through congress out of fear of further conflict after the deaths of union workers at the hands of the US Military during the Pullman Strike in 1894. Yeah, doesn't exactly make me want to eat a hot dog and light a sparkler either.

But this day is always supposed to be a working man's holiday, a day off from your day-to-day grind to relax and unwind a bit. I wish I was able to do either. I have had this nagging, growing unrest related to all things "work" lately. It's much different than my previous position where I just got exhausted even thinking about the work week ahead of me because I knew with unwavering certainty that it would be filled with running around, long days, late nights and constant pressure. Believe me, I am glad I am not faced with that each week.

Now it's more of a look ahead into....nothing. Nothing to excite me or motivate me. Nothing to set my sights on and set a plan in place to reach the goal. Just an expanse of basic humdrum everdays, with the occasional stressful proposal or asshole lawyer thrown in for good measure. And every Sunday night I have this thought over and over and over in my head as I try to get to sleep: this is not what I wanted to be when I grow up.

I know that is a thought shared by lots of other people out there. We find ourselves in jobs and careers you may have never even imagined doing. Never went to school and studied for. Life happens and sometimes you just sort of fall into things; that's certainly what happened to me.

When I was really little, I wanted to be a princess when I grew up. This was obviously before I knew you had to be born or marry into royalty, there wasn't a whole training program and application process.

Then I went through a phase where I wanted to be a paleontologist. I wish I could say I was making that up, but it's the honest to god truth. I have an obscene amount of dinosaur knowledge because I read countless books on the subject when I was around 10 or 11. Like encyclopedia-sized books. I am sure at some point I realized that wasn't going to work because a lifetime of khaki-colored outfits and limited ability to accessorize would probably drive me crazy. **Side note, while the movie "The Land Before Time" had nothing to do with my dinosaur infatuation and desire to be a paleontologist, I love, love, love that movie and dare you to watch it and not get choked up. I could watch it today with all of its sub-par animation and still cry like a baby like I haven't already seen the movie 1,653 times**

Later in life -- like way later, towards the middle of junior year of college -- I thought I wanted to work in higher education for the rest of my life as a univeristy administrator. There was something special to me about being on a college campus that made me want to work on them for the rest of my life, the familial feel that you got just being on the grounds of one drew me in and really seduced me. Then I spent a year after graduation actually working in the field as I studied for and took my GREs and applied and interviewed at schools noted for their Higher Ed Admin programs. And actually working in it made me question my desire to go back to school to learn how to do it.

So late in the game, I did my own sort of hail mary pass by applying to one school for its Film program. I thought if they accepted me without any portfolio of work from undergrad, it was a sign that it was what I was supposed to do. They did, so I said yes. Don't worry, I question my own decision making abilities too and so does anyone who has ever met me. But those two years I spent studying and learning and creating were some of the most exciting times in my life. My track of focus was writing and I spent two years telling stories and creating characters. I worked harder than I ever had at it, but knew I was good at it. And I was happy.

And that wasn't really a surprise to me because I had been writing and telling stories ever since I was very little. As early as second grade I was winning awards for my short stories (soooo.....between this admission and the paleontologist bit, I have pretty much admitted to being a HUGE childhood nerd, huh?) I excelled in my English classes and in any project where a creative eye and imaginative thinking was needed. Taking tests has always made me want to break out in hives. Oral presentations and lengthy papers? Easy peasy.

Writing and essentially telling stories is what I have always loved best. And just because I haven't made my profession in it, doesn't mean I should ever give it up. So what am I getting at with this LOOOONG winded Labor Day posting?

I wanted to say thanks to those of you who come here from time to time and read my little stories and musings. I know there are some that know me from "real life" but there are some I have never met and that is beyond cool to me. I hope that first and foremost I always manage to get a smile or laugh out of you, but second I hope I can make you think about something or show you a viewpoint that may be different from your own. I also hope that if you enjoy it that you keep coming back and maybe tell a friend. Because I know of so many people (famous and your average joe) that have been able to do the elusive and take something they love doing and turn it into something bigger. And for once I will go out on a limb and say "Why not me?" Only reason it can't happen is if I don't try.

So my Labor Day resolution (New Year's is overrated anyways) is that I am here on this little blog to keep writing and to keep trying. Because I don't feel like I have gone and completely grown up yet. I think there might just be some time left to try and be something that I wanted to be.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Ok, sorry for being tardy to this party once again. Finally got home from vacation yesterday and feel like I have been running around ever since the wheels touched down on the tarmac.

I recently had a request for some Tales from the Trenches: the College Years, so I thought I would take that as a cue and recount one of my more infamous stories. (Yes, I do take requests!)

As has been mentioned in some earlier posts, I was in a sorority in college. That only meant you had more access or opportunities to meet boys; it doesn’t guarantee that you actually did. And as I also mention in an earlier posting, I was classified as being not that cute by some other girls in the sorority. Let’s just say that didn’t give me a whole lot of self confidence when it came to talking to boys in college.

Now, I never want to give you the impression that being in the sorority was an entirely bad thing, because it wasn’t. One of the perks of having a hundred “sisters” was that at these parties/events, it meant you had a whole mess of other girls to try and help set you up with or talk to guys, which happened to be the case when I met C.

I saw him at a party (sorry, I refuse to call them “mixers” like other schools do because at my school that word was reserved for the splash of soda/juice that went into our drinks) and told one of my sisters (we didn’t use that word either, but I’ll use it now) that I thought he was cute. We had an upcoming event called “Screw Your Sister” where girls in the house were supposed to set each other up with their dates. The “screw” kind of gives the wrong impression as you were really supposed to set the girl up with someone she thought was cute. Or maybe it's because you hoped if you were set up with a cute guy that the "screw" would come after the event? Huh, maybe that was it -- show's you how naive I was in college. Anyway, C agreed to go with me but then realized he would be out of town that weekend. Then as it would happen….no one bothered to then set me up with someone else in C’s place. I remember sitting in the house’s study the night of the event as everyone else got ready to leave thinking I actually did end up getting screwed after all.

C felt bad about not being able to go to the event, so I asked him to go to my sorority's formal a few weeks later. I mean he said yes once so, I thought there would be a good shot that he would say yes again. I am a real risk-taker that way.

We had an ok time at formal – I mean you get to put on a fancy dress and drink, so really how bad is it going to be? So we continued to hang out with each other somewhat regularly after the formal. But it was really….well, boring. I mean it was also college, so of course eventually every evening/activity came around to going out, drinking and hooking up. But talking to him was borderline painful. I kept waiting for him to come out of his shell. I didn’t realize that that’s just who he was, yhere was no shell to come out of.

Yet I KEPT hanging out with him. Eventually someone asked me why (as well they should) and I told them it was like this - if you hadn’t eaten in a really long time, and someone came up and handed you a cracker, you aren’t really in a position to bitch that it's a stale saltine and you were really in the mood for a triscuit or a wheat thin. Or one of those fancy snooty water crackers. You take the damn saltine and are just happy anyone offered you a cracker at all.
Tales from the Trenches is brought to you today by the letter C for Cracker. Because sometimes a stale, boring saltine is better than nothing at all.