Sunday, December 27, 2009

So, You Thought You Could Decorate

I now have a new and deep insight into some of the neurosis that is my psyche. I enter the following into evidence:

I realize that driving around, taking in the holiday decorations and ooohing and awwwing is an American tradition. And, sure, we all have our own opinions on whether or not we like this or that display. I, personally, enjoy the more traditional looking homes but I also appreciate inventiveness and creativity. My brother, on the other hand, likes it loud, bright, gaudy and glittering. Think Clark W. Griswold in Christmas Vacation.

This year, my family was making our way to the annual trip to The Nutcracker. We see it every year, at the same theatre, performed by the same company, and eat a pre-theatre meal at the same restaurant. Because my family is NOTHING if not a slave to tradition. And, on our way from restaurant to theatre, we take the back roads.

Here's a snippet of the conversation during said drive through beautiful, picturesque neighborhoods.

Scene: Large house on a hill, lit by white candles and twinkly white lights.
Mom: "Isn't that lovely!"
Dad: "Big houses. Must cost a fortune."

Scene: Two story home, outlined in colored lights
Mom: I really don't like when people just line their houses like that. It seems so tacky.
Dad: Well, they have no imagination. It's low-effort decorating. Just a few strings of lights, some staples and you're done.

Scene: Trees in front of home draped in multi-colored lights in large, looping arcs.
Dad: Ugh. I hate that. It seems so willy-nilly.
Mom: It's almost like they just toss the strings up over the branches and who cares where they land. Really, they could put SOME effort into it.

Scene: Old oaks in front of a house wrapped, root to tips, in tiny white lights.
Dad: I really don't like that look.
Mom: I don't either. Why would you want to outline a bare tree? They probably leave the lights up all year anyway.

If you've been through even half the therapy I've been through (and here's hoping you haven't had to be!) you would also sit back and observe all of this with wonder and awe appropriate for this holiday season.

I could wax on with psychobabble and therapy language here, but that would just be overkill.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Out of the blue, about two years ago, GB popped up on my AOL messenger. A few hours later, we were sharing stories over a Bud Light and Jack Daniels in a bar. He's now probably the most important person in my life. A reality that should and must change, given all that is going on.

In a completely unrelated happenstance, I spent many hours a few nights ago exchanging stories with a long lost friend. Now, our last interaction wasn't exactly the most positive. And, to be frank, he's not re-finding me on my best footing. But, still, re-find each other we did.

So, here's where this gets complicated. Long lost friend (let's call him JeepBoy) used to live in Florida. And has friends down there. So, I said, hey, fly down and meet me down there while I spend NYE with GoodBuddy.

Then GoodBuddy tells me a friend of his might actually be there as well. And I get upset.

OK - here's the back story. Last night, GB passed out and didn't answer any of the gazillion phonecalls I put in to him. I called a mutual friend and told him, "I invited a friend down to FL to meet up. And now GB isn't answering my call. Is he passed out or is he pissed?" And mutual friend said, "Look, maybe he was really looking forward to spending time with you. Alone. Quality time." And I liked that. I hung onto that.

So, when I got upset that GB mentioned our time together might be shared, I was totally and utterly hippo critical. I have absolutely no right to be upset. Still, I can't help but be a little disappointed.

Because, the stark and nekkid reality is, I miss our long talks, our honest reality-bites discussions. And we're probably not going to get to have any of those now. And, while I'm glad he will have a lot of his friends surrounding him during the holiday, the part of me that wanted to be his one and only "special" friend is really, very sad.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Burnout (Or a trip to the drycleaners)

So, yes, I am officially and totally burned out. Two weeks' vacation cannot come soon enough. I cannot stress this adequately.

I made the executive decision to Fuck It and work from home today. Here's why.

When I started w/ this jobby job, I was informed that I would be the "super user" of our new CRM database system, which was just in the process of being spec'd out. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not what one would call analytically minded. Still, turns out my key contact is a wicked nice guy from MN, complete w/ the Fargo lilt and talking to him often doesn't suck.

So, okay, fast forward to now. We're trying to roll out enhancements to our system which, in his words, "give a whole new definition to scope creep." And indeed it does.

CBL has been completely hands off on this project, to the point where, when I bring it up, she rolls her eyes and I can practically hear her thinking "just deal with it, will you?" She doesn't seem to understand that every little whim she wants to indulge or change she wants to make means a chunk of my time laying it out and an even huger chunk of MN's time getting it done. It's a matter of respect. And then, of course, when she doesn't understand or like one of the changes, she goes into her "flurry mode." So, I really do need her sign off beforehand.

Yesterday, I made it quite clear that I needed to talk to her and if we were going to get these changes out, we needed to sign off TODAY. Response? "After my conference calls, I need to head into the FedEx dropoff and the drycleaners. We can talk after."

At 3, I got an email. "On the bus now. Do you need anything? A coffee? Snack?" Reply: "Don't need anything but the chance to discuss CRMSystem with you." Could I be any more clear?

When the shit hits the fan and she's getting yelled at by Prez (and then she turns around and yells at me) because the updates aren't made, know what I'm going to say?

"You know what? I'd love to talk, but I've gotta get to my drycleaners."

Monday, December 07, 2009

The importance of being Jack

Occasionally, GB and I like to play this social experiment. We go to a bar. Sit down. The bartender comes over for our order and he says, "Bud Light in a bottle and a Jack Daniels." Then we wait to see which drink the barkeep puts down in front of which person.

Yes, folks, I'm a woman. I drink Jack. Sometimes w/ a mixer. Sometimes w/ a chaser. In some extreme circumstances, straight out of the bottle with only a bit of a shiver at the finish.

This may seem hardcore. And, in truth, it's certainly not the best of vices. But, I have to say this, it wins me a LOT of friends on the road.

Of note: At dinner with ChirpBoy in SanFran, when the very cute bartender found out the Jack was my drink, she put my pour on the house. On the plane on the way home (eight hour flight!) when the flight attendant heard that I asked for a JD to help me sleep, she told her co-worker to "put it on my tab." Tonight, on the train, I made a joke about the 14 hour day with my boss. The female conducter leaned over and whispered, "what are you drinking?" Next trip I made to the cafe car, a nip was quietly deposited into my snack box.

The reality is, women appreciate in one another a sense of strength, a sense of identity, a sense of ownership. Maybe it's about time those of us who DON'T watch Sex In the City began reclaiming ourselves. I don't know. But whatever it is, I'm psyched about it. Because it's led me to talk to people I might never have had the nerve or incentive to approach.

A round of whatever you're drinking on me!

Saturday, December 05, 2009


So, here's a little amusing story.

When I was in college, I worked summers for a very upscale Country Club. It was poorly-kept secret that this club was mafia-owned and -operated but a very evident secret that only the creme de la creme were able to afford membership. I worked in events, first staffing banquets and later managing them. Oh the things I learned - about life, business, the importance of unbuttoning just one more button to earn that tip. Still, when functions start at $75 per person for the very basic of events, you quickly learn how things are done the right way, at the right time, for the important audience.

One of the lessons I learned early off is that, when one room is used for many functions (an awards ceremony at night, a golfers outing breakfast in the morning, a wedding cocktail reception at 2) said room is constantly in "changeover." Which means, it gets stripped of old settings and replaced with new in the blink of an eye.

And that's your background.

This week, I was on the West Coast to oversee a conference at which our business unit President, and CBL's boss, was presenting the Keynote Breakfast. It was a pretty big deal.

I've been in touch with the catering manager for weeks. The menu was set. The room set-up was set. The A/V was set. It was all good to go. The breakfast was Thursday morning, I was arriving at noon on Wednesday.

Scene: Plane touches down. I power up phone and BlackBerry. Almost immediately, BB starts buzzing.

Subject: Call me
Subject: Where are you?
Subject: are you here? worried about tomorrow's breakfast. boxes have arriv....
Subject: sent [Salesguy] off to look for catering manager. don't know how we...
Subject: have you landed yet? where are you? call me!

I do my best to take ten deep breaths after seeing these - and the rest! - of the messages and then call. I submit:

Me: Heya, how's it going? I just landed, I'm in the terminal waiting for my suitcase.
CBL: I was getting worried. We don't know how we're going to set up for the breakfast.
Me: Did the boxes arrive with all of the materials?
CBL: Yes. I have them stored here at the table. But I didn't know who to talk to about getting everything set up.
Me: Well, our banquet contact is []. But you really don't need to call her, because I'll be dropping off all the stuff in the morning.
CBL: But our breakfast starts at 7:30!
Me: Yep. But they're not setting the room until the morning, so it really won't make any sense to set up our materials on unlinened tables, would it? (subtle try at humor)
CBL: But how are they going to get it all done it time?
Me: They will. Trust me. They do this all the time. It will be fine.
CBL: Yeah. I've heard that before. But [Pres] is presenting at this one so I need to make sure it's flawless.
Me: It will be. I promise.
CBL: If you say so. I don't know. I'm worried. I'll get down there by six to make sure.
Me: Really, you don't have to be down there by six. I talked to [] today and as long as she knows where the boxes are, they'll have us all set up by 7 am. She knows I'm on my way and will stop up to see her. It's all good. I promise.
CBL: If you say so. I just really don't want this screwed up with [Pres] there.

So, to humor CBL, I showed up at six. We (the banquet servers and I) had the room set and pressed by 6:30. The AV was set and checked by 6:45. When CBL showed up at 7:15, I was trading WC Fields stories with the banquet captain.

So, all's well that end well, eh?

Well, yeah. Except we were presenting at the next day's breakfast too. And you'd like to think that CBL took lessons from this experience. But you'd be wrong...

It really sucks when you succeed and succeed and someone still doesn't trust you.

Brutal Realizations

I had an amazing dinner/conversation with an amazing friend last night. I can't remember if he yet has an alias on this blog (I'll have to investigate, but for now I will call him ChirpBoy (see about 5 minutes into the vid for the reference.). But, it was wonderful to see him - he is thoughtful and insightful and generous and caring. We talked for hours and it was really wonderful to know that there are people out there that I can talk with and neither of us is "waiting for a chance to talk." We're just there, hearing the other person, taking it in, caring about what's said and being honest in our response. ChirpBoy is a stellar friend and there aren't enough words in this world to thank him for his friendship. But the outlying theme of the evening, despite all the back and forth was: He's worried about me and with good reason.

I have pretty much come to terms with the fact that I'm working myself into the ground. I have said - and without pretense or exaggeration - that I'm probably going to keep on working until I have a nervous breakdown. And I'm not really that far off. Witness the drama of the Turkey Day Holiday Visit. (I didn't post about that - some things are actually private.) I am fully aware that I am teetering on a ledge and it's only a matter of time before I fall off. Here's hoping I fall in the right direction. (I'll post some examples soon - promise!)

Still, during our conversation, ChirpBoy said something along the lines of the following: "Maybe you should think about taking a vacation and going to see GoodBuddy. I'm still not sure that he's a good influence on you, but it's clear that this separation is hard on you. You need to be able to talk to someone who will validate your feelings, unlike [I purposefully leave this out as it could come to no good to anyone]. And, it's clear that you care about him a lot. And it sounds like he cares about you, too. So, take some time, have some fun and figure out how you're going to handle this new situation with the two of you."

It's a thought.

I have to take a serious hard look at the finances. And my travel schedule. I'm on the road more these days than off. And the new year doesn't look much slower. Still, as much as I miss my home and my kitties when I travel, I miss curling up into GB's shoulder and drifting off to sleep.

So even if the finances look tight, I might seriously consider the trip. And here's why:

I do not want to sacrifice my sanity at the altar of CBL. I know that I have to do my job and - in this economy - I have to do it extremely well every day and every way. But I am also not responsible for keeping her afloat. The reality is, CBL relies on me to manage her own anxieties and her own personal boundaries. And that is not something that I should be, nor - any longer - can be responsible for. Because she is so insecure, she desperately wants to outperform what can reasonably expected. And, because everyone else on the team has a life and a family, they either can't or won't give in to her outrageous demands. But not me. I'm continually picking up the slack of others who drop the ball or take their qualified and legitimate days off. I have about 17 personal days coming to me and I still feel bad about taking them. But it's becoming increasingly clear that I need to take time to "sharpen the saw."

And, yes, the reality is this: I miss the days when GB and I would spend hours bantering back and forth. We usually hung out in my bathroom, which seems weird until you realize I was (in vain) trying to minimize the residue his smoking habit left in my home. But I cannot tell you how many memories I have of him, sitting on my bathroom floor, hand lifted, lit Newport Light pointed out the open window. Me sitting on the bathtub ledge or perched onto the vanity. Both of us talking miles an hour. Arguing. Laughing. Competing. Agreeing. Challenging one another. Enlightening one another. Hitting high fives and fist bumps when we hit upon the A-Ha statement.

Phonecalls just don't cut it. He's tired, I'm tired, we don't translate, we can't really hear each other or its just not a good time. We can give lip service as much as we want to staying in touch across the miles. But nothing will ever make up for in person communique.

So, yes, I desperately miss him. In a very physical way, but of course, also in a very tangible way (and they are different things). I want to kiss him and smell him and, hey, let's be honest, he's not that difficult to look at (fill in the blanks here as you wish.) But I am also distinctly and very massively feeling the need to re-establish our connection. Because, as much as we argue and as many times as I want to tell him to go to hell, no one on this planet understands me the way GB does. And sometimes there are just too many things to say to get them all out in a phonecall.

I do realize that I need to make a serious and concerted effort to establish real and grounded connections here at home. And that once I do, my reliance on these distant relations will lesson, over time.

But I cannot imagine, after all we've been through - the losing one another and seeking out each other again - that GB and I will ever NOT be in one another's life. I cannot imagine it and I will not imagine it. It's just too painful a thought.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Miles and miles

I honestly didn't know the novel Up In The Air was coming out as a George Clooney movie. I saw it in the airport the other day and had to pick it up. (I'm still avoiding reading Winter's Tale after three unsuccessful starts...) I have to say that I am really enjoying it. I find the writing crisp and intriguing. And, yes, the dialogue was pretty much written for George Clooney's wry, sarcastic persona. But, again, I didn't know that when I bought it. I jut thought it would be a fitting read given that:

I came home from NJ on Sunday.

I left on Wednesday for San Francisco

I return home late Saturday night.

Tuesday night I either train or plane down to New York.

Wednesday night or Thursday morning, I fly to Chicago.

Thursday night or Friday morning I return home.

I'm home from Thursday/Friday through until the following Monday!

Monday the 21st head to NJ for the whole week.

I return home December 26th.

January 4th I fly to Dallas, TX.

January 7th I fly to Minneapolis.

January 9th I return home.

January 30th I fly to London.

February 4th I fly home.

I'm not sure what happens then. We haven't planned it out that far. Haven't exactly had time.

So much for setting down roots.

Monday, November 30, 2009

And, finally

For the hat-trick posting victory ...

Why don't coffee shops/breakfast places ever put a veggie breakfast sandwich onto the menu? I understand (in theory) the need for the baconeggncheese and the sausageeggncheese, but HOW HARD is it to slice a tomato or put some peppers and onions into the mix? For crying out loud, if EggBeaters can do it, so can you!

Not For Nothing

I was leaving my cousin's funeral on Saturday - fun family Thanksgiving that was! - and approached a red light. There, in the crosswalk ... a couple of 'Mo's. Seriously, what is this about??????!!!!!!

My Own Neil Simon Play

So, anyone who reads this blog for any length of time knows that one of my all-time favorite movies is Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl. And not that shitty remake - the original Marsha Mason/Richard Dreyfuss classic.

It never fails. At the end of the movie, when Marsha Mason declares, "Well, look at me, I'm all grown up. A man is walking out that door and for the first time I am not falling to pieces," I feel a surge of pride. And then when Elliot Garfield calls from their leaky phone booth and asks Paula, "Do me a favor, will you? Have my guitar restrung?" I cry like a child.

It's because, for the first time, Paula has her own sense of self. And it is that sense of self that allows her to experience a true love with Elliot. And whether or not he actually comes back, she'll be okay.

Or something.

Anyway, I know that real life is not a Neil Simon play. ("You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.") But, I did have a brief Goddbye Girl moment.

You see, today, GoodBuddy officially hit the road. He's in NJ in some Bates Motel as we speak. And I didn't cry. Not once. Not at all. Yes, granted, I cried a boat load last week, but to my credit, I did have a bunch of massive traumatic events hit me at once. Despite that meltdown, I do feel like my time with GB, for better or worse, has helped me to understand myself at a deeper level. To know that I at times have conflicting needs and desires and that there are more facets to my identity - both light and dark - than I had previously been ready to acknowledge. And, so, I have been feeling a bit a if I've had my own awakening. Which makes this fact a bit more poignant...

He left seven Bud Lights in my fridge.

Long ago, I used to joke that I knew he was officially mad at me if he took all his beer in the morning, leaving none for the next time he came 'round. As a result, he would often leave one or two as a "starter kit" for the next visit.

I'm sure GB isn't the romantic I would love him to be. I'm quite certain he's never seen The Goodbye Girl. I'm also pretty sure that he left the beer more as an oversight than as a gesture.

Still ... you have to admit that the irony and the situation is a bit uncanny.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Follow the bouncing budget

To anyone who thinks that the current healthcare debate is actually about treatment and not about policies and processes and redtape and bureaucracy, I offer the following example from corporate America.

First off, I want to put this caveat out there -- I love the company I work for. By all evidence, it truly does care about its employees and the greater good. The CEO legitimately cares about the mission of the corporation - to spread learning and education around the world - and, while being a shrewd business woman is also a philanthropist -- and a truly decent human being -- at heart. But, still...

When the recession hit, we were informed of a "Non-Overnight Delivery" policy for any shipping. Anything we wanted to ship overnight had to be authorized at the VP or above level. If you know anything about me and my job, you realize that this has a HUGE impact on my life. Welcome to marketing lackey 101.

I have a vendor in England who kicks butt. Unfortunately, due to some mitigating circumstances, they have outstanding invoices over A YEAR old. Obviously I want to get them paid.

Of course, CBL has been travelling. So, I filled out the forms electronically, emailed them, CC'd CBL and asked for permission. I was told by the AP department - in no uncertain terms - that that was not good enough. So, to expedite the process, I walked the envelope down to the Post Office, overnighted the form, had CBL sign it and then overnight it back. I signed and then I walked again back down to the PO (all this to avoid filling out the Overnight Shipping Approval Form) and sent off the form to Accounts Payable.

So, to pay an invoice for 1200 GBP (Sterling) I just spent about $50 in shipping. Because electronic approval is not good enough. Because we're in a recession and need to closely monitor our expenditure.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Unfortunate photos

Back in the day, I worked at a small daily in PA. To amuse ourselves during the high-stress days, we used to play a game we called "now, that's unfortunate." Being the "Features" section, we had access to all SORTS of photos - engagement, wedding, baby, golden anniversary, graduation and - my personal favorite - general interest.

Aside from the usual bad hairdos, closed eyes or smirkysmiles, there are lots of other fun things to look for. Things people don't realize when they're taking their own pictures - it's very easy to have a garden gnome look like he's peeking up your wedding gown when you're posing in a backyard. If Grandpa's hands aren't positioned correctly, yes, it can look like he's feeling Grandma up. And no one wants to think about that.

And, then, there's the picture that was posted to Twitter today by the founder of Anusara yoga. Now, I love and respect John Friend. And I know his intention in posing for and having this picture taken. I also know that he has a wonderful sense of humor. And so it is with respect and humility and a fair amount of levity that I re-post the below TwitPic. Now, that's unfortunate.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Day That Was


Meant to leave work early to go to yoga.

Massive headache. Massive muscle aches. Skipped yoga.

Tried to 'pop into the Post Office" on my way to the train. Post Office had moved.

First day in new Post Office meant a line out the door of people trying to get their new boxes.

I missed my train.

Somewhere around here my chest started hurting. Maybe from the 30 pound laptop/backpack slung over my shoulder?

I stopped at WholePaycheck for a healthy dinner. Cashier (Devin) was too busy chatting w/ his friend to bag the food from the salad bar that actually constituted my dinner. There's $10 down the drain.

CBL calls me while I'm hoofing it to the train. "Can I call you back?" She gets annoyed. Then, when I do call her back, she spends 20 minutes of my trainride bitching about her boss. Inappropriate much?

The train I wound up catching had a transfer at Beverly Station. My connecting train was late.

On my way home, I called Yangs for some chow foon, the wheaty, thick warm pasta being the only thing I could contemplate soothing my nerves and my rough throat. (I'm worried I'm getting swine flu but I realize I'm being a hypochondriac and manifesting symptoms). They're out of chow foon.

BUT - I got home. In one piece. GB called to "tuck me in." And now, all I need is two kittens to jump up on the beddy and it will all be okay. Because tomorrow's anotherday.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So, I feel I owe it to you, my readers, to explain a little bit of the BS I've been going through lately. Because, although I am quite sure some of it IS biological, some of it is circumstantial. And here's the rub.

GoodBuddy is leaving. Granted, it's not forever and it's not like it's (whatever the fuck it IS between us) is over. So, it's like a breakup but I don't get to go through the anger or even the real heartbreak.

I know that he is doing the absolutely right thing. And I wicked admire how he has pulled his shit together and gotten it right. In fact, I'm quite envious. And we all know how well I handle envy.

As the only person who truly knows the ENTIRE me. I know that he worries about me (and I quote) "being obsessed with him", but the obsession is really this: sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself. Because, as he said tonight, sometimes you get to a point where you look in a mirror and you wonder "who the hell is that person?" I am there right now. And I have been putting all the right pieces in place to figure out who I want to be and how to get there. (And, yes, GB, if you don't like my new haircut, FU. I tried something new and it will grow out.) But, in the meantime, not having someone there who knows me, respects me and adores my potential is going to be tough.

So, folks, here it is - the explanation. I am losing my best friend, my closest confidante, my lover and my "always will be there guy." And while I am putting in place the stepping stones for a wicked amazing life ahead, the path just ahead may just be a bit uphill.

I realize this post is a bit scattered, but that's how I've been feeling lately. Manic depressive much? Bi polar often? Who knows. I just know that I'm finally facing up to his leaving and it's leaving me not the better for the wear.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


When depressed, I cannot be trusted with Pop Tarts.

That is all.

I'm no Lance

I've got a pretty severe case of the Fuckitz right now, a result, I'm sure of far too many 70 hour work weeks. It's been tough for me to even get out of bed right now, much less showered and productive. My roommate must think I actually AM a vampire.

I admitted to YogaChick how down I was and she talked me through it, ending with "I still trust you with your shoelaces." When I asked her if she was certain of that she laughed and said, "Yes. While we were talking you were also scooping out the kitty litter. Someone who is actually suicidal would not clean up cat shit."

She has a point.

I remember reading It's Not About the Bike, the inspirational Lance Armstrong autobiography, a few years ago. At his sickest, Lance still rode 10 miles every day, convincing himself that if he could still ride he couldn't be dying.

Lance rode 10 miles a day. I scoop cat litter. Whatever it takes, I guess.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Several weeks ago, my iPod was stolen. Annoying, but not a huge deal, as I am not a huge iPod user.

In an effort to save some cash, I replaced my old "regular" iPod w/ an iPod Shuffle. I copied over my top playlists and then supplemented with some select favorites.

I have now been using the Shuffle for a week.

I hate it.

I have no control over what I want to listen to. It shouts at me whatever it decides I want to hear. I realize that this is the point of the Shuffle. I still hate it.

Draw your own metaphorical meaning from this. I simply observe.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Going to attempt to be gentle with myself

I was supposed to have a brand new year, a brand new me, with the start of a Celtic new year, Samhain, November 1. Didn't happen. I worked until 6:45 tonight and barely made the 7:40 train to Beverly. And then had to drive 30 mins...

I, of course, have no one to blame but myself. No one is holding a gun to my head making me work 13 hours. No one is telling me that "sorry, I couldn't get to it" isn't a legitimate excuse when you're clearly working more than 10 hours a day. Still...

But tonight I called YogaChick, who gave me a bit of perspective:

"You ARE being really hard on yourself. Just take a step back and stop looking at what you haven't done and look at what you can do. So, your new year didn't happen Nov 1. Maybe it happens Nov 3. And people know how great you are. What you do this week, or next, won't really matter in the long run.

I know she's right. And so I shall try to begin this year's new year from here on in. A video I found on YouTube can only help.

I have a plot and some character ideas this year as it is, so the rest should be gravy. Plus, here's anticipating I actually succeed in doing something for me .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Enormouse Sense of Accomplishment

We're LIVE!

The test that I have been slavishly toiling away at promoting and publicizing and touting and recommending -- because it IS the coolest thing since sliced bread (well, as far as language psychometrics go...) -- is now fully functional. Our first test taker will sit the exam on Friday in New York City.

It has been a long, tough slog. It has been challenging, it has been life-sucking, but it has also been amazing, inspiring and a fair amount of fun.

And when we had our team call this morning and the Ops Lead over in London said, "well, folks, we're live!" I found myself clapping and grinning from ear to ear.

So, to all of my readers who have put up with the tales of CBL and the moaning and wailing and gnashing of teeth, I say thanks. Seriously. Thank You. Because this moment of satisfaction is really -- REALLY -- worthwhile.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another List

Here's a list of things I've learned this week from GoodBuddy:

If you cut yourself shaving, a band-aid is the best first plan of attack

If your cellphone gets wet, popping it into the microwave for "a second or two" will not help

If you reference Molliere and Office Space together and/or more than once in a single conversation, stop talking.

And the hits just keep on comin.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Imagine that

GoodBuddy and I went to see Paranormal Activity over the weekend. Not great. Not bad but I could have predicted the ending about 20 mins in and I think they missed the opportunity for a lot of character and plot development that would have made it much more compelling. But what do I know?

But here's a real horror story for you.

Before we left, GB decided (well, I decided for him) that he would look less grubby if he shaved. And because he's GoodBuddy, he cut himself shaving. And instead of putting a band-aid on, he proceeded to bleed -- all over himself, his clothes, my clothes, my furniture, my floor...

He didn't have any other clothes to change into, so he left the bloody sweatshirt on for the trip. We get to the theater and he goes to throw some stuff into the trunk. (You can't leave anything to chance in Danvers.)

"Ooooh, that woulda been hard to explain if we'd gotten pulled over."

"What's that?"

Trunk of the car held exactly the following:
1 pick axe
1 shovel

You can't make this shit up.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

They're just so ... French...

I have never really had a problem with the French. I took French in high school, although I was never very talented at foreign languages (ironic that). I love Eddie Izzard who is a big fan of "doing it in French." I love baguettes and wine and perfume and Les Miz.

Still ...

Today, it was raining and cold in the Big Apple. After 10 full hours of CBL, I had a long walk down 7th Ave. with heels on, holding an umbrella and dodging tourists. I can't tell you how many puddles soaked me up to the ankles.

I wanted to take refuge. I wanted to grab a hot pretzel, a cold Diet Coke and put my woolies on. I wanted to curl up on an uber soft mattress and rent a couple of chick flicks.

Instead, I walked into the hotel amidst what can only be described as a Flock of Frenchies. A whole crowd of them, completely taking over the lobby. I wove my way through them to the elevator, desperate to get to my room on the 25th floor. Along the way, I lost half the hot pretzel I'd gotten. Salt littered the way like I was Gretel hinting to my trailing Hansel. (mixing cultural metaphors, I realize.) An up arrow lit up, a door opened, and I jumped into the waiting car.

And then...

In piled the French. Men and women, all for some reason stinking like grilled meat. Five, six, eight, ten people crowded in. I squealed quietly and shoved myself further into the corner. Fur coats and leather jackets pressed in against me. Slowly, the car elevated, stopping floor by floor by floor.

People spilled out, but still no one moved to grant me some breathing room in my corner. I still stayed squashed, staring at the back of a coat with the words "Pont Neuf" emblazoned upon them.

Finally, I heard, "Qu'est-qui vingt cinq?'

"Vingt-cinq c'est moi!" I exclaimed.

You shoul have seen how fast they moved out of my way! Maybe they really didn't know I was there. Maybe they just didn't care.

C'est si bon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Following the rules?

Another Amtrak trip - yippee for Guest Rewards Double Miles! At this rate, the trip home for Turkey Day will be free.

Of course, leave it to me to set up shop in the Quiet Car without realizing it. And so, I whip out my phone and proceed to conduct business.

Well, it hadn't been a full minute before some woman marched herself right up to me to inform me, there are NO cellphones to be used. No Cellphones! (You can yell and whisper at the same time, I now know.) Well, I apologized effusively and hung up promptly. I've been quiet the entire remainder of the trip. (Mark the date!)

This, of course, does not seem to disturb the woman behind me who has prattled on incessantly the entire journey about work, life, love, college, drinking, sluts, bimbos, dinner plans,...

No one is yelling at her. Is it because she's not on the phone? Does talking on the phone break the quiet car rules more than having inane conversations with your seatmate? Sheesh!

To be fair, the lovely woman sitting across from me (she likes my Eat More Kale t-shirt!) keeps rolling her eyes at our audible companion as well.

On the way home, I'll make sure I sit in the Loud Car. All this silence i driving me crazy...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mixed Signals

It may be possible - I'm just sayin' - that I have projected a lot of the crazy onto CBL. I mean, granted, I get dozens (not a dozen, but dozens) of emails on a regular basis. But then, she does send me an email saying "I haven't forgotten - let's get you promoted." That's pretty cool, no?

Of course, I know part of it is kissing my a** because there's no way she's holding it together without me. But part of it is also probably honest-to-goodness gratitude and do-right-eousness.

It's very complicated, I guess, my relationhip to CBL. I'm trying to figure it all out. I HAVE decided that come Samhain, our new year, our high holiday, I will begin a new me. And that includes a new attitude toward work, CBL, and other assorted stresses.

So, yes, I will continue to give myself some latitude during this, the launch month. And then, world beware! Muhwahaha!!!

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Bit of Perspective

I haven't posted a lot because, to be perfectly honest, I can't stand to look at a computer screen for one superfluous second. Given that launch of my product is -gasp!- 16 days away, I'm working mornings, nights, weekends, you name it. So, yea, extraneous computer usage? Not so much.

But I've been thinking a lot about my approach to all of this work time. I've been dragging myself down because, due to the work hours, I am not going to yoga, going for runs or bikerides, I'm out of touch with friends, I'm not blogging ... you get the idea. This week, I started getting really grumpy about all the stuff that this increase in work has taken from me.

But then ... full stop.

I'm on the ground floor of something amazing. Something really innovative and exciting. And it really does have the stuff to change lives. (Story to come.) So, yea, I'm working long hours. But I've got a pretty cool friggin reason why.

I stress myself out a lot about what people think and how my life stacks up against the Joneses. And sometimes I worry about how my life appears to others. Single woman. Works 70 hour work weeks. How pathetic and sad. But 1) I should NOT care so much about what other people think. And 2) would someone say anything negative about a Doctor volunteering his entire life for six months to do a Doctors Without Borders or similar? Of course not.

Almost a full year ago, I attended a workshop with John Friend. He spoke at length about sacrifices we make in the pursuit of our own "higher paths." There is no goal, he explained, that can be attained without losing something you may desire. You can't have your cake and eat it too. But the sacrifices, while maybe painful in the short term, are more than worth the pursuit of the goal.

I am supporting a product that is important and exciting and can give hundreds - thousands - millions - of people the opportunity to improve their lives. I should be proud of that. I should relish these days. Cuz, yea, they're exhausting. But, damn!, do I have a story to tell when it's all said and done!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Conflagration of Expectations

I've been pretty bad about posting, but I blame that on the 12 hour work days I've been pulling. Less then one month until product launch and we're still trying to get our ducks in a row. A bit crazy, methinks...

There's a lot of venting and grief that can and probably should happen around the job, CBL and the workload. But I won't go into that right now. Primarily because I worked solid through until 8 pm tonight. Instead, I will dwell on the debaucle that is the Love Live. Or lack thereof...

So, I've mentioned that there might be a New Guy. Let's call him NewYorkBoy. Safe Enough. He's great. He's smart. He's funny. He's informed. He's passionate. He's also got about 20 different Red Alarms flashing above his head....

Here's the deal: We meet. We hang out and things go farther than should have, as I was in a "compromised" situation. We have dinner. I take him out for his birthday. deny him "a present" and he wigs out. Cut to a week later where he's moaning about being in a "bad mood" for a full week and how he doesn't know what's going on his future....

I was feeling really hopeful about this but, frankly, I just don't think I have the energy to deal with this level of insecurty or low self-esteem. I know that sounds terrible, but it's a reality. I'm having enough fun getting my own shit together. I mean, I'm finally able to laugh at CBL and the shit she throws at me. (SERIOUSLY - if I was a VP, I would be ashamed at the number of emails she sends me asking "can you fill em in on this...?") But that doesn't mean I'm ready to take on yet another head case. So, I'll have to have a think about this deal. Do I want to pursue this friendship and/or relationhip? Or do I want to nip this in the bud and lose the possibility of a rewarding friendship? I just don't know....

Have to sleep on it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Not for nothing

But is it at all ironic that Good Buddy and the new guy have the same birthday? I'm just saying. I don't care who you are, that's funny shit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mercury is retrograde

For those who do not believe that astrology actually affect our daily lives, I offer this evidence:

I woke up late.

Conference call went 2 1/2 hours instead of 1/2 hour

I missed my train

I lost the ticket for the parking garage. Moments after I pulled into a parking spot.

My Kombucha tea fizzed all over the shirt I was wearing. First time I wore it.

Waiting for GoodBuddy to call and (maybe?) suggest he'd be free for the weekend, I heard from the new guy. Friday is his birthday. Would I spend it with him? (WAHOO!!!)

I missed yoga - too much to do -- and instead drove home at 7:45 at night.

Yea It's been a complicated kind of emotional day. But - really - if you ever doubt the effect of Mercury Retrograde on humanity - doubt no more!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gaffney South Carolina

I submit this picture for your review. All I can say is: Wow. Seriously dudes?

When Good Things Happen to Good People


Sorry, folks. I said I'd post a lot and, well, I just didn't. Lot's of things have contributed to this - the cracked rib, travel, 60 hour work weeks, etc etc. But still, no excuse.

I have lots to report. In fact, I just hung up the phone with a good friend where I made him LOL not once, not twice, but many many times. Most regarding the pretty awesome roadtrip I took with GoodBuddy last weekend. I'm hoping to recreate some of those stories here. But, as they all involve GoodBuddy (and often some not-so-legal activities...) I'll try to space them out.

But above and beyond all that - I need to share the following information: I might have a new boyfriend.

Several weeks ago, I met someone at a local coffee shop. We had good chats and good laughs and exchanged phone numbers. A week later, I hadn't gotten a phonecal. Damn. But then, Saturday morning during a random coffee shop encounter, in again he walks.

He's nice. He's smart. He's funny. I laugh. I think. I really enjoy his company. He's thoughtful and considerate and gentlemanly.


I guess the jury is still out on whether the tummy flip is there. Whether the heart flutters are fluttering or the brain is dreaming. Maybe it's because of all the junk going on with GoodBuddy. Maybe it's because of all the junk going on with ME. Maybe I reallyreally like him and am just scared to put myself out there again.

My life is very full right now. Which is rocking, since before I felt like it was pretty empty and alone. But to go from zero to sixty in three point five, well, it's not always easy.

There will be many, many more stories in the days to come. Whether or not CBL cares, I'll do my best to spend my lunch hour posting - not working excess hours....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Decisions Decisions Decisions

This morning I got up when the alarm went off. I was still ridiculously tired and practically fell asleep on the way to the gym. But to the gym I made it -- and worked out I did. The Group Power instructor informed me in no way was I welcome in her class -- probably a wise decision -- but I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, a few reps of moderate weights and some stretching.

On the train ride into Boston I fell asleep.

Does this tell me something? Probably. Is it a lesson I will learn? Probably not.

GoodBuddy told me today, "This is not a case where more pain = more gain". He's right I should know that; should embody that. I'm having a hard time.I do know that twists hurt, that lunging = not so good but that standing forward bend (uttanasan) felt REALLY good, as long as I took it slow.

I also know that I am on the brink of ordering tickets (one way) to Clemson for Family Week to hang out w/ GoodBuddy and son. There are so many emotional issues with this that I cannot begin to list them all. It's probably wise that I don't go. But I probably will. What does that tell you?

Details, I guess, at 11.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Limping Along

I should subtitle this post "Another reason I'm not a good yogini".

Still healing from the rib. This will take awhile, I know. But it's driving me crazy. It's autumn in New England - I want to be out and about, enjoying the weather and nature. I want to be riding my new bike and taking huge gulps of crisp, cool air. Instead, I'm sitting around like a slug.

It's making me fairly angry and bitter. As you can see :-)

What's worse is that I'm over analyzing every bite of food I put into my mouth. Now that I am not exercising regularly, can I afford to have a bite of brownie, an extra slice of toast?

Logic and old wisdom tells me that my body needs lots and lots of energy to heal itself. It needs protein and calories and, yes, even some healthy fats. Vanity and low self esteem tells me that my butt is spreading and my thighs becoming thunderous.

It irks me that I am not above this petty argument in my head. That, as someone who follows @AnusaraFriend on Twitter and in life, that I can't rejoice in the things my body can do and respect the lessons my injuries can teach me. But, I guess my soul is not yet that enlightened. And so The Work continues...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Special Levels of Cluelessness

It's true that CBL has been getting less crazy. Although, that might be only because I worked from home all last week with the fractured rib. Still, she does seem to be on a more even keel.

But never fear. CBL remains an apt and appropriate name. C for crazy. C for clueless. You be the judge.

Today, she came by my cube round about 4:30. I was typing away. She informed me she'd be "dashing out early" to get a "ManiPedi." Great, I said. Have fun.

"Hey," she asked me. "Is somthing wrong? You seem kind of quiet today."

"Yeah, well, I'm in pain."

"Why? What happened?"

"Um, I broke my rib. (???)"

"Oh, that still hurts?"

Like I said, a whol special level of cluelessness.

Monday, August 31, 2009


In typical Only Me fashion - I have cracked a rib. So much for getting back onto the healthy horse - I can't breathe much less work out right now.

I think this is what pain feels like. Mommy! Someone maternal!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

It Sounded Better in My Head

I was sitting on the beach the other day, enjoying a good book in the warm sunshine. All was well until the seagulls discovered that the gentleman behind me had left a plastic bag filled with snacks peaking out of his duffle bag. Cacophony ensued, the gulls fighting one another - and the Glad Plasticware corporation - to get at the tasty cashews and pecans. I decided to intervene.

Of course, the guilty Catholic conscience in me realized that I couldn't just go up and fiddle with another person's stuff. So, I looked over to a group of ladies sitting nearby and called out.

"You're my witnesses. I'm just tucking his nuts back into his sack."

Like I said, sounded better in my head.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not ALL Fluffy Bunnies

And, just in case you go thinkin' I've gotten all fluffy bunny on you...

Another CBL story.

I do NOT know how this woman has made it to 4X years old - a VP no less - without me telling her how and when to breathe in and out.

I had mentioned, in passing, that there is a yoga studio just down the street from our office that has some classes I think she would like. The studio is literally across the street and down a block and half. You can Google it.

She called me today at 5:51. I was well on my way to catch the 6:10 train to Glostah. I did not answer. (Part of my newfound sanity is knowing when to call it a day.)

Transcript of Voicemail:

"Hi. CBL here. I've been trying to find Yoga Studio. I must have gone the wrong way. I've been walking for about 20 minutes. I'm up toward ... where am I? ... I don't know, but I don't see it. Maybe I'll just walk another block and then turn around. If you get this message, give me a call and tell me where I should be going. Okay. Um. Thanks. Bye."


All Hail Pharmacology!

You know the phrase "Lip Service?" Well, I have officially been giving lip to biological-based mental/emotional illness. I have enough family members and friends who have suffered at one point or another or forever from this and I have always agreed that sometimes medicine is a good thing, a useful thing. That sometimes you can't just "get over it" or that these things can and ofter are, biologically based. I said it, but the girl raised by a marine, who was brought up to believe you had to push yourself as far as you could go and then go ten steps further, didn't really believe it. Or, as I often say to the amazing Therapist, "I get it here (points to head) but not here (points to chest).

Now, I get it. I. Get. It.

No, this blog is not about to become all about my battle with depression or bi-polor or whatever the hell I've been diagnosed with. We can all read Dooce thankyouverymuch. But I do have to say, Universe bless the meds.

I went onto my new SSRI on Friday. And although it is supposed to take two to four weeks, I felt the switch flip on Friday night.

"It's a placebo effect, babe," says GoodBuddy.

I don't care if it's the poop in Glosta's pipes. I feel great.

I even had a two hour meeting with CBL and only gritted my teeth once.

That, my dear readers, is what I consider a victory.

Note to readers: for those wondering what an SSRI is - a selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor. Think of it this way. Seratonin is HappySerum for your body. Imagine it like happygas for your car. When you're under stress - constantly - all the gas in your car is getting diverted into a tank that keeps getting heavier and heavier. So now, your car has to keep working harder to go just as far and with less happygas. If this cycle keeps up, eventually, your car just ... stalls. SSRI's re-route the happygas back to your engine, so VroomVroom. So, no, it's not a perfect analogy, but you get the idea....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yet again, only me

It's been a rough few weeks. I should have been posting but I just haven't had the energy or motivation...

I am going to be very honest with you, my readers. Here's the deal. I am depressed.

I don't mean that I have the blues or that I've been in the dumps or that things haven't been going according to plan. I mean depressed. Clinical. Biological.

I have enough family medical history to know the difference between having a bad couple of days and having your brain chemistry be off. And as much as I hate to admit it or give in to it, I think my brain chemistry is off.

I went 10 days with no booze, nine yoga classes, lots of meditation, beaucoup de journalling and a fair amount of energy work. And I still wound up laying in bed wondering if my generous life insurance policy was still effectiive in cases of suicide. Not that I want to kill myself. I'm just checking, is all...

Today, the amazing wonderful therapist confirmed that maybe looking into meds wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Conveniently, I have a doctor's appt tomorrow.

The ironic thing about all of this is - I had an AMAZING day with Good Buddy today. We went to the beach. We played in the water. We were goofy and fun and didn't dwell on the painful shit in either of our lives. We just enjoyed each other. Also, a friend from Philly visited and we had a great night. Not the best conversation of all time (Ralph, take note, you still win!) but good. A balanced, happy, centered human being would feel good about this. Point made.

So, yes, only me. I see all of the things that are happening that should make me happy. And I want to be happy. So desperately. So vigilantly.. But, right now I am afraid it just ain't happening.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Me and the Mo's

I seem to attrack Mormons like moths to a flame.

What? you ask? How random!

I offer the following evidence:

My first boyfriend - you know, the boy you "married" when you're four and playing kickball or flashlight tag out in the suburban neighborhood that is your great big world before you enter school? - was a morman. His mother thought I was a bad influence because I took ballet classes. Clearly, she knew of my demonic tendencies to plie and releve. (Tendu, anyone?)

One of my favorite movies, Latter Days, is about a gay Mormon boy.

I lived in Belmont just during the time the LDS temple was getting built. Can you imagine how many Mormons there were running around Belmont when that thing opened?

Earlier this spring, I was randomly in Harvard Square (I'm NEVER in Hvd Sq these days...), enjoying a slice of pizza at The Garage, when three Elders walked in and sat down at the table next to me.

On my way to Baltimore a few weeks ago, there was an entire HERD of them waiting at the baggage carousel.

And now, there's a cluster in Gloucester.

I kid you not. I saw two of them walking while I was bicycling to the Cape Ann Farmers Market last Thursday. I nearly bowled them over as the wandered along the side of the street without sidewlak.

"On your left. ON YOUR LEFT! ON! YOUR! LEFT!"
I should have added, "So far on your left you'll get whiplash if you even try to catch my eye."

But I didn't.

So, is this enough "Mo" to convince you of the random connection? No? How about this?


Oy vey!

Northeast Corrider

Once again, it's been way too long since my last post. I don't even know where I would begin to fill you in, if I wanted to. I've been doing a lot of "inside work" lately - trying to hold onto the really good energy I'd cultivated while on vacation even as many things around me shift and shudder.

I've decided I am going to get a roommate. And it looks like it's down to two. In fact, if one of them calls me back this afternoon and answers some of my questions satisfactorily, it'll be down to one. This is going to be a major upheaval in my life, but I think the net/net will be for the overall good.

Speaking of good - GoodBuddy is falling apart at the seams but quick. Things in his life have been fairly out of kilter. After all the times he's been there for me - held me up and held me together - I really want to be there for him. It's just that I have no idea how. I'll say something thinking I'm being compassionate and he'll want me to make a joke. Or, I'll change the subject and he'll want to linger. As I said to my friend (forthwith to be called ChirpChirp), I know I can't make it any better. I just don't want to make it any worse.

And then, of course, there's work. As I type, I am sitting on the Acela Express to Philadelphia (or, as we called it growing up, FilthyDelphia.) I'll be there until Friday, then home for a weekend with the rents and my best friend, then home for a whopping 11 hours before I head to Boston for our "Team Meeting." (CBL - Fuck yea!). I've been putting in longlonglong hours at the office and logging back in when I get home. Still, I am able to approach the workload - and the interactions - with some semblance of peace and sanity.

These and various and sundry other things have kept me challenged over the last few weeks. But I am doing my best to keep the joys - small and large - in my mind for those times when it gets overwhelming. This week, we will celebrate my dad's birthday. A birthday we weren't sure he'd see. I saw the sunrise over the harbor this morning and smelled a thunderstorm rolling in. And, of course, the fact that yoga is available to me - to everyone - every day and every moment of our lives if we choose to practice it.

So, sorry for the ramble down randomness that this post has been. I will do my best to return to our regularly scheduled blogging. But, I felt it was important to get us all back on track. You know, since I'm on a train and all.... (ha ha ha ha I'm so damn funny.)

Monday, August 03, 2009


Noticing that, on this, my birthday occasion, I am posting a lot about children and parenting.

I'm not sure if this indicates that somehow, someway my subliminal karmic biological clock is ticking or what...

But, never fear. I will not breed anytime soon.

The world does not need any more MiniMe's.

Trying Not to Judge

On the train home tonight, I had the pleasure of sharing space with one of the most obnoxious mother/child pairs I have ever experienced.

I didn't want to judge. Not the child. Not the mother. I'm not a parent, nor will I ever be. So how can I possibly understand?

But I will tell you this. I am in a LOT of therapy.

At first, I thought "Is this child's name Damien? IS he the antichrist?"

But then I listened.

The mother did nothing but tell this child what he would NOT do. "You will NOT hit me." "You will NOT sit on my lap." "You will NOT scream."

She gave the child no other options. No explanations for what he was feeling or what she was instructing him to do. She used very limited vocabulary and very negative terminology.

She also took three calls from her BabyDaddy - on speakerphone - and instructed him to, "Hurry. I put up with this shit. I'm going to hit this kid."

No, I do not have childre n. I understand that I will never understand the mortification of having a child screaming at full-lung volume in a public place and not being able to do anything about it. Hell, I was one of those kids. (Which is why I wound up in a therapist's office at age 3.) But I do know enough about therapy, parenting, humanity, and psychological development to know that this woman should never, ever be allowed to have kids.

Remember that the next time you ask me if I don't feel like my life is valuable without children.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Moderately Dissapointing Response

Today, at Gloucester's "Sidewalk Days" - wherein Main St. and independant vendors alike hawk their wares - I spoke with someone who lives in my neighborhood and who's wife is running for School Committee. I listened patiently to her platform and even agreed to a certain extent on her views. The drawback here is, while I care desperately about how funds in the city are allocated to public education, I don't actually have children benefitting from the funding or lack thereof of schooling.

But, I have to admit, I was highly distraught by this actual and true exchange.

Vendor: Do you have children yourself?

Me: No. I'm childless." (see blank stare) "Um, by choice."

Vendor: Oh yes. My wife and I were childless by choice. Until we realized all our friends were having kids and didn't we figured we should have part in the fun. So we decided to have a family. I'm sure you know what I mean. I mean, eventually...?"

It is at this point that my definition of "childless by choice" seems to fall short. Because my answer is...


No not all.

I am childless and happy about it.

In fact, I often see my friends with kids and feel really bad that I'm flaunting my own life in their face.

OK - in all honestly, it's a LOT more complicated than that, but still... I'm really tired, on this my first full day of 34-year-old-ness, of being treated like I have a virus called Childlessitis. I don't. It's all good. I got the vaccine.

I think those of this world who have kids and are supportive parents are great, wonderful, admirable and amazing. It's just not for me. It's just that I realized I didn't want to be a mom -- before I became one. Which, in my humble opinion, is the right order to decide it in...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Happy Birthday. I am blessed.

I am one of those crazy adults who still think birthdays count for something. I don't know why. But every year I look forward to and try to make the most of my birthday.

July 29. Best little day of the whole year.

Last year, it was a bit of a dicey day. I'd fairly recently split from a relationship. I'd been laid off. I was up for a new job. I was living with a roommate. I was waitressing (again). I had no way of knowing how or what the Universe had planned for me. I remember wondering how, why and what. I remember feeling utterly lonely and - sadly - very sad.

This week I made the wonderous decision to take a vacation from work and just stay home. And how many ways it has paid off. I am fully and totally realizing how wonderfully blessed I am. And it's not even the Big Day yet.

To whit:

I spent a weekend with a wonderful woman and her son who are intelligent, insightful, centered, witty, kind, caring and thoughtful. She strategically hid a birthday card and present - which was sweet enough in itself. Even sweeter? She quoted my favorite line from my favorite book. She rocks.

My wonderously talented friend came up today and treated me to a decadent day at the beach. Champagne from plastic cups, lazy floating in the ocean and an indulgence of my rambling (okay, buzzy) tales.

At least three random people told me I was glowing. True, it might be the sunburn. But it might be the inner joy.

GoodBuddy called to tell me, "I wanted to, but am not gonna, be able to stay awake another hour and a half to be the first person to wish you a happy birthday."

I have three days left of peaceful vacationing bliss. Many of these will be spent surrounded by people who are becoming a valued and vital part of my life. Yes, life changes. And we never know what is around the corner. But if we trust in The Universe I do believe we will find out that It's All Good.

Monday, July 27, 2009


The term staycation means a little bit more to me...

I've been travelling so much this past year - officially a full year on 29 July - that having a week to not leave my island is heaven. In fact, the only reason I'm not currently dipping my toes in the sand is because the polish on them is currently drying. Green, in case you're wondering.

I am really going to challenge myself to not check the blackberry or stress out at all during the week. Yes, there are a few work projects I actually need to do. File expenses for one - which is partly about meeting month-end deadlines and partly about recouping the hundreds of dollars I front for good ole jobby job. But I really - really - am going to do my best not to get wrapped up in CBL's anxiety.

Because, while I was hanging out with wonderful friend YogaGirl this weekend, she said something so brilliant, so insightful - SO FRIGGIN SIMPLE - it stunned me. I made the mistake of checking the BB on Saturday night at 11 pm. Right before bed. And saw a bunch of emails that started, "I know you're on vacation, but..." And I cried. And YogaGirl's advice? "It's not your job to fix her. If she's stressing out on a Saturday night, that's her. It's not you. You're not her mom or her therapist or her boss or even her friend. Put the blackberry down and go to bed."

She's right.

So, this week, my job is to relax, make a permanent me-shaped dent in the sand, do some yoga, watch some waves, and just enjoy.

I'll post about the exhaustive weekend with amazing YogaGirl and son later. Stay tuned for pearls of wisdom from a six-year old.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today's Horoscope

No lie... This is too good to be true

Plans for working at home at least part of the time might be firming up for you. Your mind is very much right now on home and family, and so you might be thinking in terms of leaving the rat race of the city and creating your own office. Success is highly indicated, so it's well worth going for. If you start planning today, you might have it worked out in no time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How to make the front desk staff laugh uncomfortably

when checking into a hotel.

When they ask you, "How are you today, Ms. Smith?" just look at them for a really long minute. And then, very slowly, say this in reply.

"I'd be better if the book I'd picked up as 'light and fluffy airplane reading' didn't start off with 50 pages about dying of ovarian cancer. Thanks for asking though. Do you have a tissue I can use?"

It's a decent read, btw. Just not exactly light. Or fluffy. More like overwrought and melodramitic. But unfortunately, pushing all my right buttons. I do love this review of it though:

These reviews fill my shriveled, black heart with redemption and affirmation..., By Laurel F. Armar (Louisville, KY United States) - See all my reviews I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who thinks Radish is a tad melodramatic. Is she trying to write the Next Great Sentence? Katherine hasn't even finished her phone call to Laura and I want to chuck this book. And dude, just let the bra go. I am not against chick-lit. I am against really bad, poorly written, poorly edited, contrived, overwrought chick-lit. I am against this book.

Activate the technology blocker

I think that I am emitting some strange electromagnetic signal. Because last week, while I was in Baltimore 1) my hard drive ate itself 2) my Blackberry died 3) the wireless card (external, thank you very much) on my very ancient, very heavy personal laptop shit the bed.

It was a very technologically challenged week.

It was also a very exhausting week.

In addition to the 10 hour days I was pulling in the video studio working on film edits, I had the evenings full of requisite "normal" work - including the thousands of CBL mails.

I kid you not - I got this while I was on the plane:

"Subject: Need to know how to use your fax machine. Please call me ASAP."

Now, instead of reading the instruction book that is right next to the machine or asking the receptionist at the front desk how to use the main fax or asking any one of the 200 other employees in the building how to use any of the other of dozens of fax machines ... she waited for me to call her back. When I finally did - around 4:45 - I got an earful about how the form was due by five and she was really cutting it close now. Um, excuse, I thought cellphones were still against airplane policy....?

Anyway, the massive hours of work combined with the 30 minute hike each way with the aforementioned ancient laptop on my back and I was exhausted. That coupled with my EMP superpowers disabling all technology, meant no posting.

Please accept my humble apologies.

If you'd like to submit a complaint, I can show you how to use a fax machine.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Only Me

I can't go in to details here, for reasons that are abundantly clear to the very select few and far between individuals in my life that know the whole and all of all of my stories.

But I will say this --- only me.

If you ever think you have a story inside of you, just wait. Cuz the shit that happens to me just can't be written and believed.

All of that said, I am so on the side of The Universe right now, it's ridonkulous. Just like Sisyphus, I am happy.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I have a confession to make.

I am evil.

What makes me, veghead, kitty adorer, tree hugger, self-proclaimed Goddess-Universe-Energy lover, admit such a thing?

1. I have a "coffee" meeting in the morning. It's with a vendor/friend who is trying to get me to sign on for some "branding" work. It' s not a meeting I'm taking seriously but it's also not a meeting I've invited CBL to. I know she's curious. And so I honestly, seriously and diabolically thought about wearing a suit to work tomorrow. Just so CBL might maybe, just kindasorta, think I'd been on an interview.

2. On Sunday, in a moment of weakness, desperation, depression and overall stupidity, I called my parents looking for a little love and support. I asked them, apropos of nothing, to say an extra few prayers for me. They poo-poo'd me off and hung up, off to watch Jaws yet again in July 4th celebration. So, I'm contemplating not taking or returning any of their calls for at least a week. See how quickly their "poo poo" turns to worry. Just to see.

3. I have a temp in working for me. She's very nice. She's also very chatty. I get the feeling she's been unemployed too long and just not used to it. Which is great. But I AM FLAT OUT!!! I've worked at least 10 hours a day for two weeks. I have way too many irons in the fire and that's not even including the irons I'm choosing to ignore. But still, I am employed. And she is not. And she's older ... and lonely. Still, when she started chit-chatting with me tonight as I was - seriously - 10 minutes away from "leave or miss your train" point, I cut her off. "I'm really sorry, but I'm trying to seriously get out of here." The look on her face was devastating.

So, yes. I am evil. The first two make me grin mischeivously. The last one? Well, it just makes me feel really really bad.

PS - My train was 40 minutes late.

Things I Saw/Realized on my BIke Ride This Morning

A Doe (a deer, a female deer).
A robin redbreast.
There are more old people than young people out in the morning. And they smile more.
Two lobster boats passing each other off Bearskin Neck.
Seeing the sun glisten on the still water is worth almost missing your train to work.
Gatorade is far too tamper-proof.
Having your chain seize in the middle of an uphill, major intersection is bad news.
Having a cop car parked there, trying to rescue a "damsel in distress" is worth countless bike mechanics classes.
Cars drive faster the later in the morning it gets.
Enjoy the sunshine because the thunderstorms roll in faster than a girl on a 12-speed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poetic Reflection on Last Post

Venus Just Asked Me

For just one minute a day,
It might be of value to torture yourself
With thoughts like,
"I should be doing
A hell of a lot more with my life than I am
- Cause I'm so damned talented."

But remember:
For just one minute out of the day.

With all the rest of your time,
It would be best
To try
Looking upon your self more as God does.
For He knows
Your true nature.

God is never confused
And can see
Only Himself in you.

My dear,
Venus just leaned down and asked me
To tell you a secret, to confess
She's just a mirror who has been stealing
Your light and music for centuries.

She knows as does Hafiz,
You are the sole heir
to The King.

-Hafiz, Tonight the Subject is Love

Going Deep for Just a Moment

Maybe it's the lack of sleep. Or maybe it's all the incense and sage I've been burning. (My bedroom smells like a ganja factory. (We grow copious amounts of ganja here, and you're carrying a wasted girl and a bag of fertilizer. You don't look like your average horti-fucking-culturalist. Sorry, I digress.) But anyway.

After last night's stress factory, I woke up with a start at 4 am. Terrible dreams filled with CBL, USB interfaces, misfired emails, collateral pieces that don't exist and budgets gone awry. Sure, I probably could have TRIED to go back to sleep, but let's be honest with ourselves...

Anyway, I made it up and in to the office. I made it through the day. I conspicously did NOT go into CBL's office until our 1:30 call with a colleague. And then I was conspicuously ... reserved. I wanted to shout at her, scream at her, tell her that she had no right to infringe on my life, on my psyche. But that's not how the good little employee acts. The good little employee smiles and nods. She does her work. She gets stuff done. She does not ask for recognition or reward. Stifling all this, I got through a three hour meeting. Stifling all this, I made it through the day. Until 5 pm. At which point I planned to head to yoga.

NOW - before you get mad at me for skipping yoga yet again for CBL, let me say I DID go to yoga. And it rocked my world. More in a moment. But first.
I stopped into her office to say goodbye. At which point I mentioned I was heading to a new-to-me yoga studio and did she want me to pick her up a schedule. After which brief conversation, I mentioned, hesitantly "And I think at some point I'd like to talk about the expectation of email responses on nights, weekends, vacations, you know..."

And we did. We talked about it. And it was awkward. She knew I was upset. But I wasn't giving in. I had a stand and I was taking it. Ms. Insecurity that she is, she stumbled all over herself. I wasn't that smooth myownself, veteran of confrontation that I am. But the conversation was had, a truce was called and I left for yoga.

And then, yoga. It was a Forrest class, a style I'm not usually fond of. Far too much ab work for my taste. It reminds me a little too much of those classes the hot young things take solely to look good in a bikini. Thanks but no thanks. But this one was different.

The instructor was amazing. She talked about going deep within to your core. She talked about staying with your feelings as they arose. She talked about how good people are at "faking it" - to themselves or others. Don't pretend you have an injury or weakness to take a modification because you're tired or weak. Don't come out of a pose and rub your wrist, ankle, knee because you were really about to fall. At the same time, if you have an injury. Listen to it. Don't fake that you're fine or you're strong because you want to push yourself.

Every moment and every sensation has something to teach you.

And that's when I had another one of my friggin A-ha moments. (God, I love yoga).

So often in my days, I pretend there's something wrong. I imagine myself tainted, shameful, needing to detox or cleanse or heal or harmonize or balance or ... on and on. And, here's the thing. I don't really need to do any of these things. I am perfect the exact and precise way I am. Every moment, every sensation, I'm learning something. When I'm happy or proud or accomplished, I should not hide these things. When I'm achy or sweaty or puffy, I should not hide these things.

Every moment the Universe brings to me (and you and you and mostly me and you) the exact lessons we need.

We just need to stop faking and start listening. We need to start owning our truths, using our voices, being open to exactly who we are.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Channelling My Inner Elliot Garfield

One of my favorite all time quotes from one of my favorite all-time movies:

Elliot Garfield: OMmmmmmm
Paula McFadden: Is that it? Is that the last chorus?
Elliot Garfield: I am in a blissful state so don't bug me.
Paula McFadden: Is this going to be a regular routine? I mean, guitars at night. Humming in the morning. I've been in musicals that didn't have this much music.
Elliot Garfield: Miss McFadden, this morning I start rehearsals for my very first New York play. Probably the most important day of my life. Am I nervous? No, I am not nervous. Because I have meditated I am relaxed, I am calm, I am confident. You, on the other hand, have not meditated. Therefore you are a pain in the ass.

I quote this tonight, because, unfortunately, I have NOT meditated. I am NOT calm, not confident.

Someone earlier this weekend asked me, "When you get home at night, what do you do?" How sad is it that the answer to that question is often, "spend the night freaking out and screaming inside my head about CBL's email."

You see, when I'm telling CBL stories I mean them to be funny. They're amusing - to readers, to friends and, often, to me. But sometimes they're really not funny at all. Because, sometimes I don't have control of my life. She does.

Tonight, she was in all-out freak out mode. I can tell this by the way she structures her emails, the way she flurries multiple (like eight or ten) emails on one subject. The way she starts emails off with my name, like she's my mother scolding me as a toddler. "Miss Priz Mary Jane, do your homework right now!" She had a report to turn in, she's been "on vacation" for four days and she'd thought a database report I'd run on Friday contained the data she needed. Except she opened it at 7:15 and it wasn't in the format she needed. Hysteria ensued.

When she couldn't get ahold of me, she emailed just about every other person on my team. None of whom, by the way, have access to the data I do, since I am the only non-VP master user. I watched all of this happen, of course, via Blackberry, as my name got spammed around the Carbon Copy universe.

What is the right response in this situation? Do I just ignore her, stick my proverbial fingers in my ears and say, "na na na I can't heeeeear youuuuuuuu. It's past my bedtime"? Do I respond with my own flurry of emails, apologizing left right and center and proving myself to be the good little employee that I am? Do I hold my ground and respond and say "Now, CBL, relax. The report will get run in the morning and no one will die and no one will bleed out on the OR table"?

Yes, of course, that would be the centered, calm, meditative response.

I, on the other hand, spent two hours generating the report, screaming at the walls and generally getting my adrenaline and blood pressure up. It's now 10:30, my alarm goes at 5 am and I'm still hours away from relaxing enough to get a decent night's sleep.

Of course, there is ONE small thing that I am revelling in in the midst of all this chaos. It's childish, it's ridiculous, and GoodBuddy would yell at me and tell me I'm being an idiot. But that's not going to change it.

You see, CBL loves to labor under the impression that she and I have sooooo much in common. We're like so, totally, BFFs and so alike.

So, tomorrow, when she shows up to the office in her Ann Taylor suit and David Yurman jewelry, this is what I'll be wearing:
  • Purple pants with brightly colored yoga sutras embroidered on them
  • Purple toenail polish
  • A henna tattoo snaking (literally) around my upper arm

Maybe, just maybe, with all that outward expression of my inner self, I can actually find some inner self to center my universe around. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Local Food

It's been rainy and dreary for so many days now. I long for the afternoon I can sit on my porch and let the sun heat my skin while I sip tea and read a book.

But there is something to be said for the grey, cool days when you find yourself inside a cozy, warm restaurant. Lobsta Land has to have one of the better views of restaurants in this city, especially when the places on the Neck aren't yet open. They don't have too much to offer the veg-heads of this world, but their open-faced portobello sammich is a real gem. Look how beautiful that presentation is. Yum yum yum in my tum.

A Guy Named Eddy

Standing in line at the now infamous Serenity Now! event, I had the pleasure of standing next to A Guy Named Eddy. He took the below photo of me and my crew. And he's got some very cool art and photo work on his website. I especially like the Teople.

Thanks Eddy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Deed is Done

But now I'm going back to bed. Slept from 4:30 to 10 but it just wasn't enough. My body feels wrecked. Surrounded by kitties, I hope to pretty much waste the day away.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Serenity Now!

And, thus begins the allnighter.

Meeting the peeps - dorks that we are - down in Boston for a double-feature, midnight movie event: Can't Stop the Serenity. It's the fourth annual event in the Serenity Now / Equality Now fundraiser, to support the important and necessary work of Equality Now.

It's a really important cause and it's going to be a great night. I loved Firefly and Serenity is one of the best Sci-Fi fantasy movies, oh, pretty much evah. And it's opening with Dr. Horrible!

The problem is, I got about two hours of sleep last night. I've been under tremendous amounts of stress. And if I watch both movies, I'll get home, oh, around 5 am.

And, of course, Capt Joe wants me to swing by the docks for some French Press afterward.

I am realizing - in no uncertain terms - that I am NOT in college anymore.

Pulling an allnighter without the "assistance" of GoodBuddy? Can it be done?

We shall see!

Sweet Suite

I am a success. That feels obnoxious to type, but it appears to be true.

I just got back (yes, on a Saturday) from a very successful trip where our CEO gave a keynote address, our business unit President made a well-received presentation, CBL had a meltdown, and I got a commendation from not one, but TWO CEO's. Who rocks? I rock.

As mentioned before, I was in attendance to oversee a videotaping session for a social media "testimonial" project I proposed. It's a high price tag item but I think one that can be well worth the investment. We leveraged the fact that a lot of our clients would be in Baltimore for a conference and set up a makeshift filming studio in a suite in the same hotel. Upside to this is, I got to spend my entire stay in said suite. Sweet!

Here's a picture of the cool woodwork inlaid in the floor:

And here's the platter of AMAZING Berger's Cookies we got for our film subjects:

It was a much-needed upside to what was otherwise a very stressful, very intense trip. I worked about 20 extra hours last week to prepare for it and pulled three 12-hour days in a row while there. But I got a lovely note from our President (who I think is one of the smartest guys ever) and I was actually offered a bonus award by CBL.

Not only that, but when I had to share a cab with her to the airport (Universe, what up with that?) she said to me (and I quote): "So, you're taking Monday off? You know, you shouldn't even switch on your laptop or check your Blackberry. Really take the day off. You deserve it." (Which seems like kind of an obnoxious request (No, really, take the day off. No, I insist. No, I'm not thinking snarky thoughts about your work ethic. Really, I'm not.) But, I'm going to take her up on the offer.

So, for once, here's to getting the recognition I deserve.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do You Have DInner Plans?

It seems an innocent enough question. An innocuous enouugh question. But there are so many ways to answer it. What it right? What is wrong? What is technically fine but actually harmfully in many many ways?

Today was the culmination of a months-long project wherein we have been gathering testimonial videos of many people regarding my product. I was responsible for every aspect of the project - securing the video production company, confirming the interviews, crafting the scripts, scheduling the events, and - the most painful of all - "wrangling" the talent.

It would be a tough enough project as is, outlined above. Add to that we were interviewing my boss, my boss's boss, our CEO, our partner company CEO, and several major big wigs from overseas. So, yea, I've been a bit nervous.

Given the amount of work I've had in the last couple of weeks and given the amount of "grunt work" I have to do on any given basis and given the fact that beyond all of that I am trying to manage the anxiety of this project, well, I've been a bit of a mess......

Last night - not surprisingly - despite going to bed nice and early and nice and relaxed, I had a fair amount of nightmares. I didn't get a massive amount of sleep. I didn't get a good night's rest. So when the alarm went off at 4 am, I was a wee bit groggy.

Tonight, after all of this, CBL offered to take me out for a "casual" dinner. Now, maybe she was genuinely trying to be nice. Maybe she just worried about making me eat alone. But, really, after all this stress, worry and distress, the last thing I wanted to do at 8 pm was hang out with CBL. Not that she isn't a nice person. It's just that ...

I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. It's what Therapist calls my "serving my essential needs." I tend to give precendence to what CBL needs (hanging out with me for dinner) with what I need (R&R). Of course, the tough thing is that, if I lie, I can't exactly expense the dinner.

So, here's me. Rock (expense report) / Hard place (hang out with CBL). It really sucks that she has this much control over my life. I know, cry me a river. Story of my life. Yadda yadda.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CBL - Another Example

It's about five hours past my bedtime. Still....

I was all fired up when I got home. Positive social interaction and all that...

Then, I made the mistake of checking my Blackberry.

People want to know why I call her CBL. To whit. I sent my last email at 6:10 tonight. Nothing very major or pressing.

At 11:45, I had 27 new emails.

I have a conference call with her at 8 am. What couldn't possibly wait 9 hours?

Anonymity and Personality

Tonight, I went to a meeting for fellow CapeAnn Bloggers. It was begun by Capt. Joe and seems to be a great way for fellow writers and artists to reach out and meet one another. What struck me most about tonight's event is how, despite my amazing and seemingly innate love for this place, I do not truly belong here nor will I will for what I am sure is a long time. Gloucester has a long and deep history that is way beyond how gorgeous the sunrise looks from the backshore or the current political landscape. The town's history runs through bloods and bones, through stories and generations.

That being said, I had a really great time. I am sure I drank too much at the Cape Ann Brew Pub but the beer was very, very yummy. And it was great to chat with others who are involved with writing and the arts and exchanging thoughts and idea.

At one point, someone asked me, "If you're not creating, do you feel like you're dying?"


Yeah. I mean, yes. Yes, I do. Of course I do.

The thing is, sometimes, I'm too tired to realize that. Sometimes I am too focused on shipping boxes or faxing forms or filling out budget accruals to realize that I want/need/have to be creative. In some way shape or form.

What I guess I'm thankful for, is that there are others out there who share that need. That passion. Because when you're not being creative - and you feel that closeness to souldeath - you can feel like you're going insane.

But you're not. You're just drying up. Dessication.

I am glad I skipped the gym. I am glad I slathered on the makeup. I am glad Capt. Joey started the group. I'm glad I moved to Gloucester.

When the alarm goes off in exactly four hours, I might rethink all of this. But for now.

Tomorrow, folks, I promise, a more entertaining, amusing post. Or, back to the regularly scheduled programming. Cross my heart.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Only two weeks ago I was feeling like there was just absolutely nothing in my life to look forward to. I spend Saturdays and Sundays feeling lonely and then feeling like I have a million things to do to get ready for the draining a demoralizing week ahead. You can imagine that I wasn't happy in my existence.

And, while not all that much has ACTUALLY changed, I am doing my best to shift my outlook. Do my daily affirmations. Look for and find the positive.

Last weekend I had a lovely day with the ladies hanging out in Salem. We enjoyed the sunshine, the atmosphere, the amazing beverages at Jaho Coffee. They have some amazing artists on staff there. Witness:

But most importantly, the day out confirmed for me the things in this world that make me happy. Honest discourse. Reliance on Mother Earth for health and happiness. The belief that energy and attitude is what truly makes existence worthwhile.

And, sure enough, I had some amazing releases in yoga classes this week. I may have actually met someone. I might have made some friends. I've set myself up with a budget that, while restrictive, can provide me boundaries within which I can find true expression (that's a yoga thing...). And most importantly, I've discovered a new way to begin living on a day to day basis.

No, not all is happiness and light. Not all is fuzzy bunnies and fluffy lambies. But for the first time in a long time, I see the horizon of light and it looks like hope.