Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun Food Friday

The lovely and all-together fabulous Desperately Seeking Seersucker tagged me in a Fun Food Tag and I think that sounds perfect for a Friday posting don't you?

What is your favorite dessert?
Cobbler...preferably cherry or apple. Served warm, in a bowl, with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. And yes, I need it to be vanilla bean, not just regular old vanilla.

Ever tried to cook something and fail miserably?
Yes -- and anyone who says they haven't is a big, big liar. In the first house I lived in after I moved down to the DC area, we used to do lots of fun family dinners. Thank GOD this was not an "official" family dinner, I think only one or two other roommates and maybe one of their girlfriends were witness to my sad cooking FAIL. I had seen someone cook pizza out on the grill on some Food Network Show and I thought it looked totally do-able. It did not turn out at ALL how it was supposed to, so much so that it never even made it to the sauce and toppings stage. Everyone acted like they were happy with their grilled breadstick dinners but I felt like the world's biggest failure. What is it about a cooking FAIL that make you feel so horribly embarrassed?

Is there a dish you haven't made yet that you would like to?
Hmm, you know I have never given this question any thought. I have yet to make pasta from scratch, so I think I'd like to try some truly delicious homemade raviolis. Ooooh.... or maybe gnocchi. I think I may need to make a date to get in touch with my Italian side very soon!

What is your favorite food?
Seafood...yeah, yeah I know that's cheating a bit to choose a whole GROUP of food, but deal with it :)

What is your least favorite food?
Sorry Philadelphians....I never, ever got on board with scrapple. It still totally grosses me out when Coach makes it when I am visiting at home.

Do you have any seasonal meals that you like?
Nothing says summer like a crab feast. Throw in some other goodies like corn on the cob, fried chicken, hush puppies...drool. SO good.

What is your comfort food?
I have to agree with DSS that there is nothing like a basket of chicken fingers and fries. Only thing that would be better than that is chicken fingers with a side of mac & cheese. Again, drool. But there is one thing that truly makes me feel comforted...a Philly soft pretzel with mustard. I would eat one of those every day if I could -- so good thing I don't have regular access to them!

Chocolate: milk, dark, or white?
If I am going candy, I tend to like the sugary stuff more than chocolate. Things like Starbursts and jelly beans. But if I HAD to pick a chocolate, it'd probably be dark. And I would prefer it come with some peanut butter inside of it :)

So know that I am so hungry I would eat my own hand, I am going to pass this Food Tag on to some other peeps

Ruth at This G.R.I.T.S. Tale
JD Racecar at It's Always Funny in Colum-Bubble
Preppy Pink Crocodile -- because I am seriously dying to see her answers to this Foodie questionnaire
Kelly at My Joy Project
Blythepoo -- since her hubby is always posting fab food photos on Facebook, she should have some good answers :)
Jess at Where are my Sunglasses
And my dear, sweet, fabulous friend IRL The Gastronomic Terp.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grown up paint-by-numbers

Last night I went with a friend to Blush-n-Brush in Georgetown. It's a painting class where you bring your own wine/beer and snacks -- pretty brilliant idea, right? I mean I have done many things while drinking wine -- shopped online and ordered things I didn't need, responded to work emails, cooked Thanksgiving dinner, texted people I shouldn't...about time I added painting to that list!

You start out with a blank 16x20 canvas. Seeing that white space was a little intimidating to me -- was I going to be able to get it to look like the example at the front of the class? Was I going to screw it up? Thanks goodness there was the wine there to take the edge off and help the creative juices start to flow.

Our teacher walked us through the different stages of this particular painting, but I was still nervous. Was that too much black? Did I need some more purple up in that corner?

Then I started to remember what I loved about things like this -- there is no "right" way. Becoming a grown up, playing by the rules, following plans and reports at work....all those things have made me forget what it's like to just do something and not worry about if it's right.

We moved on to putting in the outlines of our vase and flowers. I admit I was a little timid at first and outlined my vase in blue before perfecting it in black. Such a wuss. Then some of that wine kicked in and I threw all caution to the wind and started just going for it and painting those flower outlines in black.
Such a rebel, right? ;)

At this point my biggest concern was getting paint on me. I will happily embrace my inner artist, just as long as I don't get too messy. God I can't wait to screw up my future child by trying to keep them mess free at all times. I am happy to report the only thing that got paint on it other than the canvas was the wine bottle.

So after some coloring in and shading and quick-drying it with a hair dryer, I ended up with my very own work of art. Pretty nifty, right?

This was SUCH a fun time - the only downside of the whole evening was a group of friends who happened to be in our class. They all arrived at different times so they were sort of spread out all over the classroom. This didn't stop them from yelling things across the room to one another. We lucked out with the one girl sitting accross from me at our table -- and by lucked out I mean I thought I was going to drop my artistic-zen vibe to slap her upside of her head. She turned everything the teacher said into a "That's what she said..." joke. EVERYTHING. I think the teacher wanted to slap her as well.

Bad joke-girl aside, I totally loved this place and am already hoping I can convince some other people to go back with me. It would be fun for a birthday, girls' night, bachelorette party. Heck, I even think it would make for a really fun date. Much less creepy that trying to recreate the whole pottery thing from "Ghost"

Any DC peeps out there want to go?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30DBC - Day Four

Work...why oh why do you make me feel as if I have fun full force at a brick wall, gotten up and then repeated that same process 1,653 times in a row? sigh
Thought it was time to take a break and just do a post from the 30DBC to rest my mind a little bit. you know, before I start running into the brick wall again for a couple more hours.

Day 4 - Your parents
What are we supposed to report here...if we have them? If we like them?

My Dad (AKA Coach) and my Mom (AKA Alice B) are both high school teachers. Actually at the same high school -- have been there for maybe 35 years or so. Alice B teaches AP Calculus, Honors Geometry, Computer Science...basically super smart nerdy stuff. Coach teaches Health and Phys Ed and used to coach the baseball team. Couldn't be more different if they tried. I think if they had known each other in high school they would not have ran in the same circles -- Coach was a baseball player and Alice B was in the band. And even in college, Coach was a baseball player and Alice B was a math major with a physics minor. I didn't play a ton of sports nor am I mathematically inclined -- I spent a large part of my childhood convincing myself I was adopted.

Growing up with Coach and Alice B for parents, I knew I never wanted to BE a teacher because I saw all of the "back end" of things. The grading papers, the lesson planning, the calls and letters from angry parents, basically the total BS that comes with teaching that very few people talk about.

But it is truly amazing to see the impact they have had over the years on all of their students. the students who grow up, go to college and start careers and families and still take time to write a letter to my mom or dad saying how much it meant having them for a teacher or a coach.

It's probably also worth noting that they were(and still are) at the high school that was actually MY high school. I even had my Mom as my teacher for math sophomore year (so, so awkward....not a terrible experience but one that I don't think I would recommend) I would always hear about what a b*tch my mom was (usually by someone who failed one of her tests or got caught cheating) and how awesome my dad was (because he would have "movie weeks" where they just watched inspirational sports movies) But I always felt the need to be a good egg in high school, never really did anything to get in trouble because, well my parents would hear abut it right away. So you really couldn't get away with much of anything. Not that I was dying to be some high school hell raiser anyway.

I've talked at great length in previous posts about getting a love of baseball from Coach. I am still trying to figure out what I got from my Mom. I don't mean that in a bad way....just that it is not apparent to me yet. Maybe one day it will be. Or maybe it is to others and I am just too blind to it, haha. I think maybe I get a certain amount of snarkiness/b*tchiness from her. (HI MOM! in case you are reading this)

It probably goes without saying that having two teachers for parents, we weren't living the high life in a big house or driving nice cars or taking flashy vacations. I still remember summers when their contracts were to be up for negotiation in the fall and that meant no vacation or frivolous things at all over the summer. But they always made sure my brother and I were taken care of. That we always had the "must have" toy under the Christmas tree - often that meant offering "extra credit points" to the first student who could bring them a Pound Puppy or Cabbage Patch Kid. I remember always getting to be whatever I wanted for Halloween, even if that was a "punk rocker" for 3 years in a row. And while other kids may have tales from vacations to tropical destination or even Europe, can many say they have been to every stinking civil war battlefield and president's home within a 300 mile (give or take) radius of Philadelphia?? I can. It comes in handy sometimes when I am watching Jeopardy, so thanks Coach and Alice B!

One big thing I did get from both of them is a very solid work ethic -- which is likely why I put up with so much at work. So with that, I will leave you all and get back to it for a few more hours.

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday - pass

At the risk of being a horrible disappointment, I need to take a "pass" on this week's post. If you are really and truly disappointed, take a number and get in line. I should be able to get to your gripe request in about two weeks or so, that's how many people are in front of you in THAT line right now :)

I have so many other things going on at the moment and just don't have the mental capacity or good-natured humor to drudge one of these up today. I may write about something else and still post some things this week (because the writing and the posting are actually so enjoyable for me and often help me to find some quiet time that is just for me) but for this week, no Tales from the Trenches.

Sorry to disappoint, folks. I promise I will try and rally for next week!

Friday, October 22, 2010

30DBC - Day Three

My previous post today probably makes it clear that I am not in a frame of mind to really do a lot of WORK at work today (which I know I will pay for come Monday morning), so maybe I should take some time to catch up on the 30 Day Blog Challenge (30DBC). Day Three is supposed to be your first love. Well as honest as I have been about all of my bad dating experiences and the creeps/losers/weirdos I have met over the years, my first love - that kind of love - is something that's pretty personal to me and I don't know if I am up for sharing that right now. Maybe another day?

But really, the list just says "first love." It doesn't say romantic love. So hold on to your seats people, my first love is really going to shock you......

Reinventing yourself

While there are lots and lots of ways I would like to reinvent myself, there is nothing I would like more than to do that in the area of my job. I have sadly watched myself go from someone who was dedicated, diligent and passionate about their work to someone who was a loyal and dutiful employee, putting in how ever many hours and sacrificing parts of my life to get the job done. And know I am just someone who shows up and tries to survive the day with as little scarring and mental fatigue as possible.

Sometimes I wonder if people sort of "get it" when I tell them about my concerns or stresses about my jobs. The reporting to 86 different people. The difficulty of rarely seeing if ever speaking to your bosses. The constant criticism. The loud and often harsh complaints from lawyers. The lack of having actual coworkers. Well, with the exception of Fabulous Assistant B, but I know she will fly the coop soon (and I would be so, so happy for her!) but then I really will be all alone.

I used to be a highly creative person. Well, I guess I would still consider myself one, but I don't get to be that person at work anymore. I haven't ever since I came to the world of law firms. And while I am a Marketing and Communications person by trade and by experience, little of that sort of Mark/Comm comes into play in the world of law firms.

I know that it's very rare for people to love their actual jobs. That one in a million people bound out of bed in the morning and are just raring to get into their office. But I know it's possible to like your work -- to like and respect your coworkers, to work on a team, to take pride in your company. I know all of that is possible. I just wish it were possible for me.

I am scared that while I have only been in firm life for 3 years now, that I may be stuck here forever. And I would be lying if I didn't say that thought simply terrifies me.

For better or worse, I have always been someone who has needed to be engaged with my work. Not in some crazy sense of "my work is my life" or "my work is all I have"....but in some ways, yes I do feel that way to an extent. My work has always been a big part in defining me. Gives me something to improve upon, to devote myself to. Something to be proud of, something to build on. As someone who has never been certain I would take the married with a family route, dedicating myself, working hard, doing good work and building a successful career became increasingly more important to me. Because I am doing the work for me. Not as a means to provide for my family.

But now all I feel is scared. And maybe a little sad and regretful. Maybe I got myself into a field that I won't ever be able to break out of. Has anyone else ever experienced this sort of work panic attack? Experienced this deep seated need to reinvent themselves job-wise? If there is anyone reading this who has been able to do this successfully I would love to hear from you. Hell, even if you haven't but you have felt this very same way, I would love to hear from you! Sometimes it makes you feel just a little bit better to know someone else has had the same experiences. And feeling just a little bit better would be pretty darn great right about now.

Bonus? I just hit spellcheck and it said "No misspellings found." Is it sad that that might be the highlight of my whole week?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Totally Irritating Thursday

Work has gone out of its way to annoy, irritate and frustrate me today. Which happens often, I just try to roll with the punches. Which I often CAN do very successfully...until you add in all this crap.

1. To the woman in the office next door - there is no more yogurt in your cup. For the love of cheese and crackers, stop scrape-scrape-scraping your spoon around in the cup trying to get every little last bit of it out. Seriously, that noise is like nails on a chalboard to me. Or almost as bad as...

2. Your fake nails tap-tap-tapping on the top of your desk. I think she does it out of habit when she is thinking about something. And from the endless annoying sounds of her nails all damn day long, I would think there was enough thinking going on next door to fix the national economy or stop global warming.

3. People need to PICK THEIR DAMN FEET UP when they walk. You are not Frankenstien so stop clomp-clomp-clomping around in the hallway outside of your office. This goes triple for the woman who makes 72 trips to the ice machine and then crunches it with such force, I am surprised she still has teeth in her head.

4. To add to this cacophony of craptastic noise, there is a woman in the cube outside who sings all day. Out loud. And she isn't that good. We work at a law firm, not a karaoke bar, so please shut the f up. Unless you decide to start singing Glee or which case I may come out and join you.

5. Endless conference calls -- if I circulated an agenda to all of you prior to the call, that means that is what we are going to talk about. And not one thing more. If people have to start leaving the call becuase they have clients waiting on them, it means we should wrap it up!

6. Improper or uneccesary use of the reply all function on emails. People should need to pass a course before given permission to use this feature.

7. Replying all wouldn't be as much of a problem if some people in my department did not feel the need to cc the entire f-ing department on every damn email. You better hope you never send me somthing important, because I am deleting about 98% of your emails.

8. And on top of ALL of this today, I had to attend a lunch meeting (lukewarm veggies.....yum)with about 45 people. And who sits down next to me? This guy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Voice of the Phillies

Disclaimer, I wrote this a looooooong time ago and thought I had posted it. Oddly just today, I found this still in my drafts folder...maybe that's a sign that I needed to post it today. Hoping it brings my Phillies better luck (and better BATS!) tonight.

On April 13, 2009, Harry Kalas died. And so did a big piece of my childhood. I watched it start fall away as I stood in a bar in DC; I worried and waited. His death was confirmed as I made my way to the stadium - he was here in DC to call the Nats home opener against the Phils. He was my personal voice of baseball that I had known growing up; I stood in silent disbelief watching as a stadium of people honored a moment of silence for someone who was a fundamental part of my childhood and beyond.

My family is a baseball family, plain and simple. My Dad played ball his whole life and got lucky enough to play in college (Go Temple Owls.) He went on to be a great high school baseball coach in the Philadelphia area for more than 20 years. My mom kept game for him his first years of coaching. His son grew up to follow in his footsteps and also play ball in college. My Dad has a love of the game that I know I won't ever completely understand. To see him talk about baseball is to see him literally light up. He could be sick as a dog or be having the worst day, but get him talking about ball and he is a new man. He instilled that love of the game in our family, and very much in me. My very first Halloween, I was just over a month old and I was dressed up as a Phillies player. Long before the days of "knowing what you were having" my dad had gone wishful shopping for the future kid's Halloween costume. While he may have been hoping for a boy, the costume fit and the Phillies stuck. Enough said.

My dad gave me baseball as my lasting gift and it's amazing to me right now to type that. Because it's not complacent --- he emails (and texts in his new-found technological advancements) me daily with his thoughts about the Phillies and about baseball and I laugh and I love it. Friends even ask me what my dad has been texting me lately or I will share I love that my dad can talk ball with me and forgive the fact that I hung my softball cleats up when I was in 8th grade. I love that no matter where life may take me, we will always have this common ground to connect on.

I remember my Dad waking me and taking me to go out into the street when the Phils won in 1980 (thank you for that Dad!!!) and I loved calling my Dad when it happened again in 2008. I actually emailed with my Dad that day of game 5 [take 2] asking his opinion on what shirt I should wear. He thought the green "Irish" phillies shirt from my brother was the best choice -- I took Dad's advice and the rest is history.

The sound of Harry's voice just makes my chest tighten up now that summers of listening to the Phillies on the radio will be different from what I grew up with, knew and loved. His was like you were visiting with an old friend, or having a beer with a guy at the neighborhood bar and a game just happened to be on. Wherever I was, I could hear just the sound of his voice and be back on the front step of my parent's house in PA with my dad listening to the game. The sound of his voice makes me think of water ice and fireflies. I think of being huddled into the hallway in the Fall of 1993 at a school dance, some kids were still in the cafeteria dancing but most were crowded around a TV set in hallway watching that mulleted team of 1993 light the city on fire and then let us down again. I'm glad Harry got to see another team rocket up and then take it all.

I love that on Halloween 2008, I played hooky from work with my friend, took the Amtrak up for the day and got to see first hand the happiness that was in Philly that day. I think I could have a fabulous life ahead of me and that will still be one of my happiest days of my life. That's what the Phillies mean to me.

Harry was, is, and always will be a part of the Phillies. And he meant more to me than I know what to write.

30 DBC - Day 2

So for Day 2 of the 30 DBC (30 Day Blog challenge for those of you not currently on the bandwagon) is the meaning behind your blog name.

Hmmm....well I can't say there is a bunch of meaning behind it. It was more of using my marketing background to come up with something catchy that could be easily (or more easily) branded. Am I saying I see Deviled Megs tshirts and coffee mugs in my future? Hardly. But you never want to rule that option out, right?

I wanted something clever that would really allow me to create a character here on this blog. Things that may be inspired by my own real life experiences but also sprinkled with some thoughts or observations that "the real me" might not share or necessarily verbalize in my real life. I would like to protect my identity for the most part, although there are some that read this from time to time that do know me IRL. I only ask that they not use my real name. I know, I know....sounds a bit convoluded. But very early on in this blogging project I had people from my past find this blog that I had no idea how they found me here. Like seriously, no idea. I take care that co-workers don't know about this and am doubtful my family would even realize that I write here. Just trying to keep a few shreds of anonymity and hide behind an internet curtain just a smidge. A little ridiculous? Possibly, but if you can't make the rules on your own blog, then where can you right??

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

I was trying all this morning to think of which funny tale I could share with you all today. Sadly, I wasn’t able to come up with much because my mind has not really been on the losers, creeps and weirdos that I have dated. It’s been occupied with so many other things lately…things so unfun they make me LONG for occupying my mind with thinking of loser, creep and weirdo stories. Which is why I knew it was still important for me to take a break from my unfun thoughts and come here to at least post something today. I’m just sayin’…the bar is set a little low today, my apologies folks.

R and I had been dating for a few weeks and I think we were at the point that it was becoming clear to both of us that we were heading towards being exclusive. I honestly remember that time really fondly because we really were “dating” – we both put efforts into planning fun things to do, made plans with each other in advance, emailed each other articles or other funny things that made us think of the other, called one another on the phone, etc. We didn't play games or act too casual or aloof. There were no 10pm texts on a Friday night asking what each other were up to. No late night plans to meet up at someone's house afterhours. Sigh…the good old days of dating and people actually courting one another.

So this particular night, R had made plans for us to see a comedian we both liked at the Improv. I met him at his apartment first and we had a cozy dinner before heading over to the show. I can’t remember now if we went out for drinks after the show or not, but I do remember that we had wine with dinner, and then drinks at the show and then got back to his apt pretty late.

For the ladies reading this, some of you may be of the camp that pre-determines which night will be “the night” – and I don’t think I need to spell out for anyone what I mean by “the night.” And while I am generally a planner by nature, that particular decision is sometimes sort of up in the air to me. So I can’t say that I had made a decision one way or the other before the date started, but I had later that evening when we got back to his place.

And as an obligatory side note, isn’t that always a little exciting when you make that decison? Maybe it’s because it is one of the few times you feel kind of in control of a new relationship since 99.99% of the time it is the girl who gets to make thatparticular decision.

Anyway, decision was made. Game on .

But the game was not on…it was delayed at best. Things were clearly not , shall we say working as they should be. I don’t know if R had had one too many drinks, or if that really had “never happened before” but he looked at me and in all seriousness said:

“Sorry about this…can I get a Raincheck?”

A what now? My only rememberance of rainchecks was when I was little and we would go to Kmart and they would be out of some super cheap sale item, and you got a raincheck for when more stock came in. Now I was supposed to be giving out rainchecks for people who were (for whatever reasons) unable to perform when the situation arose?

Ugh, raincheck. To this day, the word still makes me shudder.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Someone else's shoes

Ever have a day where you wish you could be wearing someone else's shoes? And not because they were cuter or snazzier than your own. But simply because walking around in yours is just not where you want to be right now. Maybe you have lost a loved one. Maybe you are worried about something at work or with your family. Maybe you are nursing a broken heart. Maybe you are upset about Justin Beiber's scuffle at that Laser Tag place this weekend...really it could be anything. You are just walking around with something - or maybe too many things - in your head or on your heart.

At the risk of sounding overly cheesy, it's always a personal goal of mine to keep that thought in mind with me every single day. When I come across the lawyer who yells at me, or the guy who pushes past me on the Metro, or the woman who is rude to me at the grocery store. Maybe there's a reason....maybe they are going through something difficult or there is something too big on their plate at the moment and carrying that all around AND being a nice person at the same time is just too much for them right now.

Sometimes that is what is so comforting or reassuring about coming here and reading other people's postings. You get a feeling that you aren't alone. Even if right now you don't want to write about or talk about whatever is troubling you at the can walk in someone else's shoes for a few minutes. And maybe those are happy shoes that can let you forget about your troubles for a bit. Or maybe they are sad shoes that give you a little more perspective on your own worries and where they fit in the bigger picture of it all.

So today is just a day where I don't have anything funny or special to post. Just thankful I can come here and walk in some other pairs of shoes for a bit.

Friday, October 15, 2010


As I was in the midst of writing another blog posting (because I have been absent for a few edays...sorry bout that!) I checked my dashboard and saw that out of nowhere, I have reached FIFTY followers. Thank you oh thank you, folks. You have no idea how much this girl needed that pick-me-up today!

So hopefully I can keep that momentum going. I have been in a tiny bit of a funk lately, and am hoping to shake myself out of it this weekend. But I do know that I feel a bit better when I come here more regularly, so I will hop on the bloggy bandwagon that has been making the rounds lately, and take part in the 30 Day Blog Challenge. Now, I know for damn sure I will not be able to post 30 days in a row, so I can't promise how often I will post these, I mean let's all note that it is not called the 30 CONSECUTIVE Day Blog challenge. So, let's do this, shall we?

Day One - Introduction and 15 interesting facts
Deviled Megs lives and works in the DC Metro area. She isn't keen on using her real name on this blog -- and for that fact will not be posting any recent picture. She likes to think that when bad things happen, and they often do, she can at least try and make a funny story out of it and get a few laughs. Deviled Megs can be a little b*tchy sometimes but it's usually when provoked by stupid people. Or when she's hungry. It may also be the result of working with lawyers all week long who can sometimes be mean, rude and generally awful towards her. While she has met some great guys in her life, she usually tends to date losers, creeps and weirdos and writes weekly about them in a post called Tales from the Trenches Tuesday. Sometimes she wishes her friends would pick some fake names for themselves so she could write about them more easily in blog postings. She doubts her mother (Alice B) reads any of this and is SURE her father(Coach) doesn't. She needs to stop writing about herself in the third person.

Fifteen interesting facts:
1. I was a dancer growing up and even started college as a Dance Major, before switching to English. I did earn enough credits in the field to finish with a Dance Minor. I do not list this on my resume.
2. I do not dance at weddings, parties, bars, or anywhere else for that matter.
3. In high school I won the superlative of "Prettiest Eyes"
4. My parents were both teachers at my high school. Maybe people felt bad about that, thus throwing me a bone by voting me "Prettiest Eyes"
5. When I was about 8, my parents volunteered to chaperone the Junior Prom and I got to go with them. I told everyone I was bringing Ricky Schroeder as my date. I still don't know why my 8-year-old self thought I needed to make that sh*t up but imagine everyone had a good laugh at my expense. If given the option now, I would totally bring Jason Bateman instead.
6. I grew up outside of Philadelphia and am a Philly Sports Fan
7. While I have lost it for the most part, I can easily pick up my Philadelphia accent after (a) a few drinks or (b) spending time with other Philadelphians.
8. When (a) and (b) happen concurrently, it usually leads to trouble.
9. When I graduated college, I was hired by my national sorority to be a consultant. I spent the following year travelling to chapters at campuses all over the country and even got to recolonize a chapter at one school. The whole experience is still one of the hardest and most amazing things I have ever done.
10. I once met Charles Barkley in a bar in Atlanta. He bought me a woo-woo shooter and a Coors Lite.
11. I have a Master's degree in Film and Media Communications that I still hope I will use someday.
12. The movie "Gremlins" scared the begeezus out of me when I was little and I haven't watched it ever again.
13. I don't think I have ever eaten a nectarine.
14. I was in a bunch of plays and musicals in high school, but only ever once was cast in a role with actual lines. I played the bratty younger sister, Rebecca, in "Our Town"
15. I make my bed every single day no matter what.

So thanks to my 50 followers for making me feel so fabulous on this fine Friday! Here's hoping for 50 more :)

I may not be a mother

But I have a mother’s heart. That’s what I have come to realize. I have been stressed and upset about a great number of things recently. And it wasn’t until last night that I started to see that some of my stresses and worries were not necessarily my own. They are worries and thoughts I have been carrying for friends and loved ones. Because their pain is my pain too. Their worry and stress is my genuine concern. What they feel…well pretty much that is what I feel too right along with them.

I have heard it often said that a mother is only as happy as her happiest child. That is exactly how I feel about the people who matter to me. When they are happy I am over the moon happy for/with them. And when they are hurting, I am truly hurting for/with them and trying to find a way to make things easier, better, or at least a little brighter for them. Part of me figured maybe this is how all women are with their friends. But I also have come to learn (often the the hard way – my specialty!) that sometimes I am blissfully unaware or out of touch with what may or may not be the norm for people.

I know some of them read this here little blog, so to my friends IRL, please know that every joy you have experienced, I have been beyond happy for you. For every heart that has been broken, my heart has often broken with it. For every tear that has been cried, I can guarantee you that I have cried too, whether or not I have done it in front of you (and sometimes I haven’t been wearing waterproof mascara, so be HAPPY you didn’t see that mess!) For every goal you have achieved, I have cheered from the sidelines. I have cried at your weddings, cried when parents have fallen ill, cried when you have given birth. I brag about you to others. I stay up some nights worrying for things you are going through. People who will never even meet you likely know you by name - I talk about you all because you are like family to me.

Something I have come to really enjoy about this whole blogging thing is that it has allowed me to make new friends. Amazing, interesting, funny, brave people whose stories I get to read each day. People I will likely never meet. And I still find myself cheering from the sidelines for them, crying when they cry, and laughing when they laugh. I talk about you about your postings to others. I stay up some nights reading about all of the things you are going through. Just another thing that has made me realize that while I may not be a mother, I do have a mother's heart.

I know it is cliche, but often we don't let people know just how much they mean to us, usually because we assume they already know. How strong we think they are, how proud we are of them, how thankful we are to have them in our lives. I hope you will take the time today or this weekend to call/email/text a friend and let her know what she means to you. Because we can all use that kind of lovely news in our lives, no matter how good or bad of a day we are having.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Does "Intervention" offer interventions for people who watch too much TV?

As has been mentioned in countless earlier posts, I tend to think and worry far too much. I am convinced I inherited this from my father who is a huge worrywart (and who I will now just refer to as Coach because I know my friends and family get a big kick out of that.) Coach isn't just a worrywart, he's got a small sprinkling of OCD on top just to make life interesting. I remember countless hours spent sitting in the car waiting for him as he went back into the house to make sure things were unplugged and turned off. My awful sense of humor has often delighted in saying "Wait, I think I left my hair straightener plugged in...." on the way to a family function just to see that look of panic flash over his face. Coach never finds that joke funny, yet he falls for it every damn time. Yet I find myself with touches of this same affliction, often sending frantic texts to roommates asking them to "double check" that I had turned something off or put something away before leaving the house that morning.

I have realized recently that I have truly turned this ability to think and worry too much into a total stressfest in my life. I stress about the usual suspects -- work, money, getting older, etc. I stress about the weather and how it will affect my commute or my choice of clothing. I stress about remembering to get all my errands run.

But I have truly hit a new level of stress. I have become so completely overwhelmed and stressed out by television. Oh yes, you read that correctly. TELEVISION.

It started over the summer, when Entertainment Weekly and the like start getting people pumped for the return of your favorite TV shows and letting you know what new programs to add to your TV viewing line up. I was simply overwhelmed by all the choices. How would I watch it all?? What if I missed a show that everyone else was watching -- would I be able to catch up??

L and I tried to get tactical as the show premiers drew closer. We had a chart mapped out to show what shows we could record and when. But most of you out there know the rules with the DVR -- you can only record two things at once. ONLY TWO!!! I was beyond stressed. I had to make important life altering decisions about what shows to record and what ones I would have to leave behind. I was living in my own weird version of "Sophie's Choice" and I knew it wasn't normal and/or healthy.

So the natural thing to do is realize this problem and set myself straight right? Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

A few weeks ago, L and I finally broke down and made the trip to Comcast to pick up two new DVR boxes. So now in addition to the DVR in the living room, we would now each have one for our bedrooms. Now the recording possibilities were going to be endless. I could have my own special shows recording in my room. Things that I don't even want L to know I am recording. Things like Real Housewives of Atlanta and those damn Kardashians -- trust me, I have tried to quit them but I just keep getting sucked back in!

We returned home with the cable boxes and setting them up falls under L's apt responsibilities. I am not really sure what I bring to the table, but anything to do with electronics or hanging pictures is L's territory. She reported back that we had gotten the wrong kind of cable box...or the wrong cord...I really don't remember. I think I just blacked out at the thought of having to go back to the friggin Comcast office. can we avoid going back to that dreaded Comcast office? Whatever could we do....

BUY NEW TVS!!!!!!!!!

So instead of going back to Comcast we got in the car and went to Costco and bought beautiful new HD TVs for our bedrooms. I am so in love with mine I think I need to name it...suggestions welcome :)

I know how sad and unhealthy all this TV has become, but here's the thing... I still read books, use big words (correctly) in my daily meetings and emails, keep active, get out and enjoy the fresh air, have dinner with friends. So is it really that bad if some nights I would rather stay home and catch up with my DVR than head out to a BAR?

Or do I have to take a hard look in the mirror and say:
My Name is Deviled Megs...and I'm a TVaholic

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Once again, I *almost* forgot it was Tuesday then thankfully remembered and dropped everything I was doing. Well, not really…but the projects I need to get done today are just pretty mind numbing, so writing this up real quick won that contest hands-down.

On a weekend night out a couple summers ago, I randomly ran into some friends that I hadn’t seen in a while, maybe about a year or even two. The person that I had originally gone out with that evening came over to say she was thinking of calling it a night and heading home. It was then that the group of friends I had run into, including my friend RBEHU, convinced me to stay out. They had just gotten a couple more pitchers of beer…it wasn’t that late (around 11)…so I stayed. I am always so easily convinced to do things I shoulnd’t sometimes that it is unreal.

So the group of us stayed on at the bar, having a few more drinks and catching up. Until RBEHU suggested the group head back to his apartment to play Rock Band.

Because Rock Band is always a great idea when it's close to closing time and no one really wants to go home yet. And I personally would have dropped any and everything for Rock Band at any time of the day because deep down, I tam convinced I would make an amazing drummer. I wish I had anything credible to back that claim up with other than the fact that I am an excellent tap dancer and I figure drumming is the same thing, except with sticks in my hands. I have little daydreams of being at a concert or something and the band's drummer falls ill and someone’s all, “Is there a drummer in the house???” and I get up on stage and drum my little hands off and save the day. Or maybe Animal on “The Muppets” just made it look easy to me at an impressionable young age?

Ok, sidetracked by my drumming daydreams…sorry about that. Lets get this story back on track.

So our group leaves the bar and heads back to RBEHU’s apartment. Rock Band fun ensues. And then after awhile people start to filter out one by one…until it’s just me and RBEHU. It’s quite late and after a few calls to the cab company that fail to produce an actual cab to pick me up, I am offered a spot sleeping on the couch. Not a big deal to me, we are friends, seems all fine and good.

Until RBEHU tries to make a move. I am a little freaked out by this and honestly didn’t see it coming. But I also am so dense when it comes to these kinds of things that I wouldn’t see a Mack Truck coming at me until it ran me over. However, even with my total stupidity to all things guy-related, I really and truly was not thinking anything like this was going to happen and said as much to him.

“Well,” he said, “you DID come back here to play Rock Band, so…”

Whoah, whoah, WHOAH. Hold the damn phone – since when does Rock Band Equal Hooking Up? I could see maybe if I had gone back alone but there were other people. Then when all the bandmates peaced out it immediately took a turn for the romantical.

I slept on that couch with one eye opened and endured a painfully awkward ride home the next morning (I got caught trying to sneak out, how embarrassing!) Needless to say I was so traumatized by this whole episode, that I have not played Rock Band since. I wonder if my faux-drumming skills have suffered?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Woeful Weekend, now what?

It’s Monday. If you live/work in DC chances are you won’t be reading this because it is a Federal Holiday and you have the day off from work. So hopefully you are out and about enjoying the great weather today. Reason #1,653 to hate my law firm life – no observance of Federal Holidays.

To make this day just that much more enjoyable, WMATA planned major track work on the Blue/Orange lines that would keep all the stations near my office out of commission over the weekend (no big deal) and then also today (uh…how am I going to get to work?) My normal bus route also doesn’t run on Holidays (seriously Columbus, you are really screwing with my day today) so I had to plan a complicated alternate route into work today. The little 4.5 mile distance between my apartment and my office ended up taking roughly 2 hours. Really, I should have just walked.

So all this free time on my hands this morning gave me too much time to do what I am a gold medalist at -- thinking too much and worrying.

I emailed two close friends recently, not really to discuss anything in particular let alone anything that I have on my plate right now (because sometimes you know better than to burden other people) but I referenced this sort of funk I go through every year – Birthday Hangover. The BH has nothing to do with if there were any real fun celebrations or activities that one would need to actually recover from (although I was so very happy that this year there were.) I think I tend to view all my adult birthdays as my own annual performance review for my life – what progress has been made, what goals have been accomplished, what are the areas for improvement, where might there be cause for concern. And someone else should really start doing these reviews for me because I am way too harsh on myself for my own good. (And as a side note, no, I was not as harsh on Temp Assistant!)

Saturday was kind of a sad day. I can’t say that it was any one thing. Probably more of a culmination of the feeling of too many things going on or too many worries lately. So I just spent the day alone. Like all alone, did not leave my apt, alone. I can be a bit of a hermit sometimes, usually it passes just as quickly as it happens. I was supposed to go out that night, but the plans fell through and I guess it was just as well. I probably wasn’t great company for anyone anyway.

Yesterday I tried for a better day. I forced myself up early and out of the apartment to run errands. Between groceries and other bags there was too much stuff to take up in one trip. First trip done and I thought “Oh it would be smart to take the trash out when I go for the rest of the bags!” So I did, feeling pretty darn proud of my being so effective and efficient. And I guess to balance out all that smart thinking, I realized on the way back from the car to the apartment that I my apt keys were back IN the apartment. That’s right, I had managed to lock myself out.

Yes, I keep my car and apartment keys separate (because I only ever drive on the weekends.) Yesterday I was just grateful I at least had my key card to get into the apt building. I am guessing from the crack on it that it had managed to break OFF of my apt key ring – awesome.

“Ok,” I thought quite calmly, “I will just go to the Property Manager’s apartment and pay the fine and get let back in. Sh*t happens, what can you do.” So I went to their apt (located in my own building thankfully) and knocked. I saw their one car outside which was a good sign, and I could hear the television on through the door. So I knocked again. I knocked LOUDER. I used the actual Door Knocker (maybe they were being a stickler about that?) and NOTHING. No response. I was knocking at all sorts of levels in various patterns and with varying amounts of force for a good 30-40 minutes. I tried knocking on other people’s doors and no one answered. Probably just as well because what was I going to ask them to do for me?

Now I panicked. What was I going to do? I had no phone to call anyone and didn't even have my wallet, it was all locked up safe and sound in the apt. Roommate was not going to be home for another couple days. I had the car key, the key card for the building, the shopping bags and that’s it. So I hauled my shopping bags back OUT to my car, got in and drove to my friend K’s apt. Literally praying Hail Marys out loud in the car to both calm myself down and ask God to please do me a solid and have her be at her apt.

I parked the car and ran up to the door…and could not for the LIFE OF ME remember her apartment number. So I just started dialing the different numbers on her floor – hey, at least I knew the right floor. And sometimes people would pick up, and sometimes they wouldn’t. Sometimes they spoke English, most times they didn’t. A few people got very nasty with me. One told me to leave before they called the police -- in hindsight, maybe I should have let them as my next thoughts involved going to a police station cause I didn’t know what else to do at that point. So after yelling her name a few times on the verrrrrryyyyyyy off chance she could hear me, I gave up and went back to my car. I got in and shut the door and just cried.

Cried because I was frustrated with myself and the situation. Cried because I seriously had nowhere to go and didn’t know what else to do. Sadly we have NO friendly neighbors in our apt. building. Not one. We have 2 groups that are always outside smoking so I thought maybe I could ask one of them if I could use their phone. But who would I call? The only number I know by heart anymore is my Pop-Pop’s. And he lives in New Jersey, so I don’t know what he could do to help me.

I was driving back to my apt, still crying because I felt so very alone. I didn’t have anyone who might try and text/call me and get concerned if I didn’t respond. I had no one expecting me somewhere on a lovely Sunday evening. I had nowhere to go and no one to worry about me.

Rational Deviled Megs was trying to think:
“Well couldn’t I just sleep in my car if I have to?”
“Hopefully the Prop Mgr will be better about answering their door during normal business hours tomorrow.”
“What if I sleep in the hallway outside my apt - will one of my crappy neighbors have a heart and realize something is wrong and offer to call the Prop Mgr for me?”

But she was getting wayyyyyyyyy overshadowed by Anxious & Worrisome Deviled Megs:
“Wait, is the Prop Mgr office going to be closed for Columbus day?!?”
“I can’t believe I know no one’s phone number that could help in a time like this.”
“Where can I go? I have a car but do I seriously have no place to go??”
“I can’t remember when I have ever felt this alone and helpless.”

And that last statement is a doozy. Because I do just about everything on my own and have for a loooooong time. I had a thought a while back that I was getting worried that just because I have gotten so adept at being self sufficient and independent that people just expect me to be okay that way, or worse, think that I really enjoy it. I do enjoy that I have the capability to do it. I don’t enjoy that yesterday I realized I could be in trouble or need help and have no one to worry about me or come looking for me.

Then Rational Deviled Megs took over and said, “This is bullsh*t. Someone is HOME in the Prop Mgr’s apt. So I will go back there and bang on that door until someone answers dammit!”

Which is what I did. Banged and pounded on the door for about 20-25 more minutes until I then started shouting AT the door. I had even found a pen and paper in my car and scribbled a PLEASE HELP note that I was ready to slide under their door until the Prop Mgr’s husband finally answered the door. And gave me such an angry “Why are you interrupting my watching football look” that I started to cry again. As I explained my situation I think he genuinely felt bad for me and gave me the keys to go upstairs and let myself back in to my apt.

I have never run up those stairs so fast in my life. When I got inside the door I felt such a wash of relief I almost needed to sit down. I collected myself and went back downstairs to return the keys. I thanked him profusely and returned back upstairs to my apartment.

And like that, I was alone again. I was still kind of upset about the whole ordeal and called my Mom. No answer. She regularly screens calls and sometimes I don’t make the cut so I didn’t even feel like trying to call her other line. And calling my Dad (if he even answered) would have gotten me a long lecture about how to NOT lock myself out of the apt.

I tried convincing a friend to come have drinks with me, watch some football/baseball. As usual, I got a “No.” Another friend was off on a date, so…back to being alone. At least now I was INSIDE my apartment, so it was definitely an improvement over crying in my car, don’t get me wrong. But you know when you have something bad happen, or even just a crap awful day, and the last thing you want or really even need is to be left all alone. That was me last night.

I don’t really know how to wrap this up and give it all some positive uplifting ending. I don’t feel horrible about the getting locked out (I mean, sh*t happens) and I don’t feel like “woe is me” that I didn't have anyone to turn to at the time. But I do feel….something. I wish I knew how to describe it so maybe I could start to UNfeel it.

Is there anyone else out there who has felt something like this before with some words of wisdom? And don’t tell me how to NOT lock myself out of the apt. in the future, my Dad’s got that one covered.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I feel so very special!

It finally happened….the day I have been waiting for. I got tagged in someone else’s blog! Go ahead and roll your eyes, I really don’t care if that makes me a total nerd but I am bouncing up and down excited about it. I have been trying to come back here almost every day, writing a little something. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s ranty. But I have felt like a little kid on the sidelines watching the bigger kids play. Or like a total loser outsider who hears all the kids talking about the super-awesome party this weekend that I wasn’t invited to. But now I feel like I got picked for the team – like I got an invite to that party!

This whole little blogging thing started on a whim, but I feel like I may have found my stride a bit. And it has been really remarkable to me at not only how much I actually enjoy just writing about anything that strikes me, but that some people are actually reading it. The people I don’t know and the people I do know, it’s beyond words how much fun I have had with this in the past couple months.

So clearly you can see it doesn’t take a whole lot to make me happy. But, thank you so much Jess @ Where’s My Sunglasses. Instead of my intended post of “For the love of god if you don’t turn that cell phone ringer off or answer your g@dd@mn phone right I am going to throw your phone out the window”, I am going to take a deep breath, try not to get into an office-place confrontation, and participate in this blog-tag instead. Thanks again, Jess!

1. What was the last thing you ate?
Greek Yogurt

2. What is one of your best childhood memories?
Summers down the shore I think. I was lucky that my grandparents had a house there and I got to basically move to the shore each summer from the day after school let out until the day before school started back up in September. The one big drawback though was that there were no little kids that lived down there all summer, so I didn’t have any friends. Ever the inventive and imaginative child, I used to take my Gram’s plastic lawn ornaments out of the ground (she had some plastic ducks and other birds in the front and some fake crabs and lobsters in the back) and pretend I was an animal expert and give interviews on pretend talk shows I held on the back deck. Ah, my earliest memories of basically talking to myself.

3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you were older?
I wrote about this a while back, my earliest remembrances are of wanting to be a princess and later on when I became quite the little nerd, I wanted to be a paleontologist.

4. Do you paint your toenails in the winter?
Always. Some moms may harp on clean underwear. When I'm a mom I will likely be harping on my daughter to always have her nails painted.

5. Do you watch any reality television? If so, what show is your favorite?
Yes...too much of it. I am a sucker for all of the Real Housewives series, any time those Real World and Road Rules kids throw down in some sort of challenge/competition show, and I could watch The Soup all day long.

6. What were some of the "trends" when you were a kid?
I think one of the reasons I am ok with these Silly Bands today is that they remind me so much of jelly bracelets from when I was little. I also remember getting my first cabbage patch kid like it was the biggest thing and the best day that would EVER happen in my whole life.

7. What is your favorite time of the year? Why?
Right now basically…very end of summer and the beginning of fall. I liked the whole “Back to School” thing (clearly this posting is outing me as a real super-nerd) and I feel like even though I haven’t been in a classroom in, oh 8 years, I always think of the beginning of the school year as the beginning of my year too.

8. Do you have any hobbies?
Some…I have this little writing thing I tinker around with. I also enjoy cooking but am pretty flat-out serious about my baking.

So as with being tagged, you are supposed to then go and tag other people so I am going to select some of my newer blog followers:

Sailboats & Seersucker
Kerri @ Confessions of a Shoeaholic
SLD @ Sissy Unplugged
JD @ It's always FUNNY in Colum-bubble
Ryan @ Ryan's Pearl

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Better off Well

Yesterday I got taken down by some stomach bug. I was in the office and trying to soldier through the day until I started running a fever, then got the chills, and then got, well, sick. Getting sick is never a fun thing, but having it happen at work is always such an ordeal. I let my bosses know that I was going to need to leave early -- I left about 3:30. Things were under control, Asst. was fine and could cover anything that may come up. I mean really in the big picture, I was technically just leaving an hour and a half early.

I laid low last night, tried to recoup, but this morning still felt under the weather. So I let all my bosses know, let Asst and HR in my DC office know, and updated an out of office message to direct people to contact Asst. in my absence. Should be okay, right? I mean people get sick and the world hasn't ended before, right?

Wrong. So. Very. Wrong.

As they are wont to do, some lawyer waited until the last minute for help with something very important and very time sensitive. One of the biggest stresses of the law firm environment is that EVERYthing is very important and time sensitive, so it all feels a bit like working for a million Chicken Littles.

So the email came in at 11 and I missed it because I had gone back to sleep for awhile because I was just not feeling so hot (I mean, people often sleep on their sick days, right?) When I finally saw it just before 1pm I immediately got the request out to the appropriate people to help him but was told I was just too damn late. I should have responded right away.

My out of office message was on with clear instructions on what to do if there was an immediate an urgent need. If they ignored that email and were still waiting for someone to get them what they needed, then pick up the phone and start calling people. There's a million things that could have been done to solve this issue. But they just let time pass and then got really angry with me for not being in the office.

I brought in one of my bosses (Because anyone with half a brain knows that good or bad, bring your boss in early on something like this. It's better for them to hear about it from you first.) and she sent a great email about the situation, that in times where something is time-critical to cc the marketing department in the office you are in so that we call all be on the same page and get done what needs to get done. She noted that unfortunately I was out sick today and had contact instructions on my out of office.

Then the two partners snapped back that they received no out of office. Oh give me a break. It was on, I even then emailed myself from my personal account to double check. I then had to go and CALL IT so that they could confirm it for me so that when the two partners continued to complain that I had not turned my OOO message on, I could get some technical back up.

So the long and short of it is I did everything I was supposed to. I notified the proper people about my need to use a sick day today. I have been working for the last three-plus hours on trying to do as much as I can since I am not physically in the office. And none of it has been good enough. In fact, I can't tell if the pains in my stomach now are illness related, or anxiety about going in to the office tomorrow to get yelled at some more.

Sorry this post wasn't very humorous or insightful -- it was really just me complaining. But I am having one of those days where I just feel so frustrated by, tired of, and basically OVER my job and am struggling to find a way to make peace with it. I guess at least tomorrow is Friday?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I'm a Philadelphia Sports Fan. Go f*ck off.

I mean, that’s the response you would expect me to have, right? That's the picture that's been painted of what a Philadelphia Sports fan should say, isn't it? Maybe it is just the amount of texts, emails, messages and general trash talk I got from people after the Redskins beat the Eagles in Philadelphia this past weekend, but I have had it up to HERE with people giving me a hard time about being a Philadelphia Sports Fan. So if this posting gets a little ranty or veers a bit off course, my apologies. And this post isn't for everyone, so I won't be offended if you decide to stop reading now.

This has just been brewing for a while now, so please don't think this is just some sour grapes over a football game. I am just sick of it. The bad image of Philly Sports Fans. It’s one of those things that just stuck and never went away. Yes, I get it everyone. We booed Santa Claus. I love when people come at me with that remark and I ask them to tell me about it and they just stare at me with a blank expression. Hey everyone, if that's gonna be your basis of argument, let's at least take the time to learn the damn story behind it all, shall we? Let’s set the record straight about what happened back in December 1968.

The Eagles were beyond TERRIBLE and the team owner was the most hated man in Philadelphia. The halftime show was supposed to be a Christmas pageant but because of bad weather, team officials scrapped the pageant and instead sent a guy onto the field in a Santa suit with the introduction of "The Philadelphia Eagles wish you a Merry Christmas." The fans were venting their frustration at the crap season and an owner they hated and started booing. Do I think it was okay? No, not really. Do I think we are all just a bunch of a-holes who hate Santa? No, not at all.

I think they were passionate fans who were beyond frustrated. The Eagles were ending the season with a 2-12 record. And that day they were more that 58,000 fans in attendance. 58,000 people showed up to see their crappy Iggles because Philadelphia fans are passionate about their teams. There are many teams today with winning records that can't get that many butts in the seats. And I do agree with a lot of you out there, sometimes that zeal and passion leads some people to do stupid things.

But I am so, SO tired of getting grief from everyone JUST for being a Philadelphia sports fan. People who are holding on to some Santa story from over 40 years ago that they don’t even know. I have seen some rude, degenerate and disrespectful fans from just about every team out there. If you want personal experience, one year I had two women physically threaten me in the ladies room at FedEx field when I went to an Eagles Redskins game. That very same game, I had a grown-ass man, probably in his late forties, shove me (and I fell to the ground) because I was wearing some of my Eagles gear. I did NOTHING to provoke him. Even if I had (and seriously that is not something I would ever do), would that make it ok for him to purposely push a female?

A few years ago, I scored some great seats right behind home plate for a Nationals game here in DC against the Phillies. I proceeded to be heckled by (again) GROWN MEN for the first 3 innings….started out with them telling me the Phillies sucked, Phillies fans were the worst, etc. Standard Philly-fan bashing. After I am assuming they got a few beers in them and wanted to get more creative, they then started throwing things at me – food, wadded up napkins, peanut shells. I was seriously considering leaving but boyfriend-at-the-time told me to just ignore them. They then kicked it up a few thousand notches by getting really lewd, vulgar and sexual in nature with the things they were yelling at me. The usher did nothing. I also think they always stick 85 year old senior citizen ushers in the "fancy seats" because they figure that is a safe zone. Not so sometimes. Not so.

Listen up, very few people really and truly CHOOSE their sports allegiances. Some of them they have had their whole life, and have been passed down to them just like their last name and their religion. I never had a choice. And I don't think I would have wanted one. Philly sports is home to me. Makes me think of growing up and my family. Makes me think of nights spent sitting on the porch eating a water ice and listening to Harry Kalas. Makes me thing of Autumn Sundays with Buddy Ryan and listening to my dad yell at the TV. It's a part of my growing up, it's a part of me.

My Mom-Mom is 98 years old. And listens to every single Phillies game each season. Every one. Part of my joy in seeing the Phillies win the World Series in 2008 was knowing she got to experience it too. It was stepping outside of the bar I was watching it at that night and calling my Dad and little brother. This wasn't a choice for me, it's where I came from, it's what I know. It's my family and my home. And I am very very lucky to have it.

So go ahead and tell me about booing Santa. Tell me about the idiots who run on the field. Tell me about the belligerent and obnoxious teenager and what he did. Tell me about the jail at the Vet. Tell me all your stories about what horrible sports fans come from the city of Philadelphia.

And I will smile and tell you....I'm a Philadelphia Sports Fan. Now go f*ck off.

Tales from the Trenches Tuesday

Once again, I almost forgot it was Tuesday then thankfully remembered and dropped everything I was doing. Well, not really…I was quite productive this morning so I think a leisurely afternoon has been earned today.

I was honestly thinking about this when I was brushing my teeth this morning, wondering who I should dig up from my files. Then MDIYL started pestering me today by Gchat. And email. AND BY TEXT. Dude is clearly covering all his bases. So I am guessing it’s a sign from God that I should write about MDIYL today. Or that I should simply give up and head straight to a convent. Or maybe both.

I started dating MDIYL at a weird-ish time in my life. I had recently switched jobs and had gotten to a point where I realized I pretty much hated the new job. I also wasn’t crazy about my living situation at the time and had some of those other sorts of stresses going on. So dating MDIYL was a fun distraction. The equivalent of dangling some shiny, jangly keys in front of a crying baby to distract and temporarily soothe them.

We didn’t have a ton in common but I guess since he was just shiny, jangly keys, that didn’t really matter. We talked a lot about baseball (that’s usually on my list of stupid things I always fall for) and had somewhat-similar senses of humor. And we had good chemistry. So that was all well and good enough for a couple months worth of distraction, right?

Well yes….but then the cracks and caveats started to show. First in small ways...he used to use wayyyyyy too many emoticons in emails. For anyone older than 12 anyway. And he used to leave drunk voicemails, sometimes on my work phone so I didn't even get them right away.

Then the cracks and caveats started showing in a major way. Once we made plans to meet up after a baseball game he was going to with one of his friends. He had called to say he was tired and would just stop to pick me up on his way home. After I had gotten in the car and he pulled away from the curb I realized that “tired” was actually “drunk.” We managed to make it to his house before he then hit a car in the parking lot. Not a wreck (thank God!) but enough scratching and denting that I felt he should leave a note.

I was then told that he did not need to leave a note because his car was better than the other car, something about Mercedes vs. BMWs….not a plausible argument to me but what do I know, I was dating someone who left me drunk voicemails at work. This then escalated into a fight where I was told I was being too dramatic (as a side note, if there are any guys reading this never, I repeat NEVER, tell a female they are being too dramatic, even if they are.) Things were somehow resolved and a note was left, although I don’t think I asked to see what was actually scribbled on the note, so who even knows if it was about the car damage. Or if the note was even legible at that point. Perhaps it was just the proper emoticon that conveys the message of "I drunk hit your car and I don't care."

A few weeks later we went to see a comedian at the Improv and afterwards I stayed over at his house. (And as another side note, I had about a 5 year stretch where I lived with guy roommates. So to avoid the fratastic heckling that went along with having a guy sleep over at my house, I rarely let anyone I dated stay over at my place.) The next morning, we decided to go out for breakfast and when the bill came, he made me pay for half because we hadn’t had sex that morning. I guess I hadn’t earned my breakfast? I don’t really know... I wish I was making that up but sadly I am not.

So obviously, I let things start to fade after that. It was one of those situations where I didn’t think there needed to be some formal “We need to talk….” conversation. A gradual fade would do juuuuuuust fine. And it was working. We were spending less time together. Calls and texts got farther apart. The fade out was working just as it should.

Until one night. He texted me and it was a little pushy. I couldn’t tell if he was being mean or joking or really what he was trying to say. I do remember I was bored so I took the bait and texted back. After a few back-and-forths, he sent me a text that made it clear to all concerned that we would not be seeing each other any more. It also made me die laughing (not the effect I think he was going for) and show my phone to anyone and everyone around me.

On the screen of my phone was a simple text – My Dick Is Your Loss. Does it get much classier than that? If someone has something better, trust me I would LOVE to hear it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monogram Monday

Some folks that know me IRL may already be aware, but I monogram or initial just about everything. Like, as many things as I can possibly slap a monogram on, I do. I have one on my Blackberry (well that just makes good sense so I know which one is mine!) I have a monogrammed shower curtain. I have my initials framed above my bed. I even have a monogram on my car. Hell, I even went to college at a school that has my same initials (subconsciously chose that I swear!) I wouldn't ever consider myself a total "prep" of a person but gosh darn it if I am not a sucker for a monogram.

So I wanted to share this great monogram giveaway over at Maryland Pink & Green. If I can't win hopefully at least one of you will!

Maryland Pink and Green: Monogramming 101: "It's been a while since a giveaway, so I decided to start Monday with a fun contest to brighten the start of your week! Since 2005, The Sil..."

Friday, October 1, 2010

So long, Temp Assistant. I will not miss you.

I can hardly believe that a little over three months have gone by since my Temp Assistant arrived to help hold down the fort while my Assistant was out on maternity leave. I may have aged about three years in that time frame. I have gotten countless gray hairs. I have bitten my tongue so many times I think it may be permanently swollen.

But here we are. Her very last day in the office. Is it wrong that I have as much excitement and enthusiasm as kids do on the last day of school? Like when the day is over I want to run out into the street and throw a bunch of files and pens in the air and twirl around?? Ok calm down, I am not going to actually do that (although I really want to) but I don’t know what to say to her on her last day here. “So glad you’re leaving!” doesn’t seem entirely appropriate to say to her face. And I’m sure they don’t make a cute card that says “Sorry to see you go but I won’t miss your complete incompetence and total lack of common sense.”

If nothing else, she has provided loads of people I know with a lot of laughs via my facebook status updates. People actually have written to me on facebook asking for me to update MORE about her. I guess they didn’t realize I was a little short on free time because I was using what other spare minutes I had cleaning up her mistakes. So I thought I would take the occasion of her last day to list some of the favorite highlights from this summer and perhaps some lessons we can all learn from them.

• One day, Temp Asst. addressed me as Heather. TWICE. My name isn’t even close to being Heather, I don’t look like any famous Heather….I don’t really know why she did it once, let alone twice. Perhaps she was trying to get rid of me, but that doesn’t really work in an office place setting.
• Temp Asst. also liked to email me at 8:59am saying “she might be a little late.” Well, work starts at 9am. So unless you are writing that email from the lobby of our building, you ARE going to be late, there is no might. Or perhaps you have mastered time travel. And if so, I would imagine if you applied yourself you could land a MUCH better job than temping with that kind of skill.
• Unfortunately, it’s often expected that you work late. Especially in law firms. I rarely asked you to (mostly because I spend more time fixing your mistakes than it is worth having you “help out”) but when I did, you were really vague about why you couldn’t. You need to have a list of prepared excuses on hand to let me know why you can’t stay a minute past 5pm. Trust me, I would have rather been at happy hour myself than working on a proposal late on a Friday.
• When you do come up with excuses, the key is to keep some variety and change them up a bit. You had far too many doctor’s appointments that you had either “forgotten” or came up very last minute for a seemingly healthy 23 year old.
• You have such poor attention to detail it frightens me. Some days I am amazed you made it into the office with your shoes on the right feet. But when typing and proofing documents, you need to really buckle down and not rely on spell-check. Because the word ship can be something TOTALLY different if you change that last letter. And I have too much work of my own to do and can't deal with proofing your ship.

• I don’t know what goes on in college these days, but I imagine at some point you still need to do some actual reading. I apologize that work emails aren’t all LOLs and OMGs, but if you actually take a few moments to read things thoroughly (and comprehend what you have read), you would avoid sounding like a total fool. You noted the other day that you would walk the materials to the lawyer's office and I surely didn’t jump in to correct you. I actually wanted to see how you were going to walk them to his office. In Philadelphia.
• Work ends at 5pm. I know there may not be anything for you to do between 4:50 and 5 but you are getting paid for those ten minutes so go back to your desk and get on facebook or read Perez Hilton for the last ten minutes like the rest of us.
• If you are going to sneak out early, have the decency to do some actual sneaking. Strolling right by my open office door to head to the elevators is just ballsy. And not in a good way.

I know I may not have always been the best boss to you, but I really have tried. I thought back to my first jobs out of school where I just sat making copies and stuffing folders and what that feels like. I tried to give you some understanding of where your work was fitting into the bigger picture and the integral role you were playing. I tried to joke around with you and get to know you as a person and who you are “outside the office.” I complimented you on your shoes (and how I thought they were cute, not marveling at how you managed to get them on the right feet all by yourself.) I played good cop. I played bad cop. One day I shut my door and cried because I was just so exhausted by you and your inability to do anything. And through it all, you just looked at me with a big, blank stare.

So good luck out there, Temp Asst. You are gonna need it.