Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Thanks to my cousin, Joanna over at Tales From the Ground ( I have discovered blogging from my iPhone. I am officially happy.

- From my iPhone

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Work Story

One of my bosses, whom I don’t have a particular liking for and, who (unfortunately) I spend the most time with has this tendency to like to stay home. She works from home, she goes home early, she comes in late, she calls in sick (but then participates in conference calls so she can call it a work day). It’s so frustrating, because it’s so obvious she’s A) faking it or B) not as sick as she says she is. I have much more respect for a person who is quiet about being sick - who tells me once, and then goes home. Because if they're lying, at least they're not trying to play it up.

Yesterday, she left with a “migraine.” It’s her favorite thing to do. She complains of a migraine for about twenty minutes, tells me over and over that she’s “going to throw up,” and never does, then leaves at 2:00. This morning, she came inside my personal bubble, sat her coffee down right next to me (for a second I thought she had brought me coffee and I was very confused) and says, “I don’t know how long I’m going to last today – I’ve already been to the bathroom three times this morning.”

My response came out, “Oh?” but what I was really thinking was, “Okay, number 1 – I don’t need to know that. Number 2 – if that’s the case, I don’t want you anywhere near me. And number 3 – even if you were feeling perfectly fine, I still don’t want you sitting on my desk, ten inches from my elbow.”

There’s something about being an assistant that makes everyone think they can invade your personal workspace with no problem. It bugs me. I hate people coming up behind me and watching what I’m doing. And this particular person is notorious for that. In fact, the other day, she came into my desk space, saw something that needed approval and signed it. I just saw as she was going to sign a second one and said, “Woah! Those aren’t yours!” Then, I got to spend a few minutes whiting out her signature so I could take it to the right person.

Oh what joys I get to experience every day.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Year, Around the Corner

In less than a month, Greg and I will be celebrating our first anniversary. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the last few weeks, remembering this time last year. I was stressed, but thrilled. I couldn’t believe that I was about to embark on an entire life with a man, and that I was planning this crazy party for my family and friends to watch me commit to that. I was spending nearly every evening working on some aspect of the wedding – making a ring pillow, putting together programs, worrying about whether it would rain or be too cold. I was taking painstaking care of myself – manicures, highlights, workouts and nightly skin routines ruled my life. I wanted to glow on my wedding day. I wanted to look exactly how I felt – beautiful and radiant. And quietly, I was reflecting on the end of my single life.

It was only a tiny death. Like watching one tea light among thousands quietly sputter out. Greg and I had been living together for more than a year. We had been together for two years. Our lives had melded in such a way that I hadn’t felt single in a very long time, despite my distinct ability to be able to walk away with no legal ties holding me back. I wasn’t worried that the piece of paper we signed and the vows we made would be too much for me, but rather the fact that I would be forever worrying about this man. The idea of sharing his name, bearing his children brought forth worries of what I would do if he ever died, how I would live if he was ever severely injured. Morbid thoughts for a new bride, I knew, but somehow I couldn’t escape them.

But now we’re here – one year later. It’s been a crazy year in which we have:
1. Been to Costa Rica (our honeymoon)
2. Bought a house
3. Had a car stolen
4. Got the car back
5. Contemplated a second dog for our family
6. Fought dog hair every day from invading our wardrobes, and thus reconsidered the second dog
7. Traded sleeping schedules (he gets up earlier than me for the first time since we’ve known each other)
8. Stayed in Frank Lloyd Wright’s one and only skyscraper
9. Acquired a pop-up camper
10. Made hundreds of dinners together
11. Drank countless bottles of wine
12. Learned how to share a house with a single bathroom without ever watching the other person pee (except when under the influence and impatient)
13. Gained approximately 100 pounds (or maybe closer to 20 between the two of us)
14. Started sewing/gardening/baking/woodworking
15. Played hide and seek with our dog
16. Began to discover the “joys” of owning an old home
17. Loved, loved, and loved some more

It’s my responsibility to plan the first anniversary – took the odds and he has the evens. It’s going to be quiet and simple, as I have class on our anniversary, and we’re planning a big anniversary trip for the Spring. But I’ll make it special and important, and will give us time to properly thank one another for the first year of our wonderful, beautiful, splendid marriage.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Image via i'mjustsayin on flickr

Eight years ago today, I was woken by my roommate.

“Hey, someone flew into the Empire State Building.”

“Wow; you think it’s bad?”

“Nah, I guess people do it a lot – probably a little biplane or something.”

I just nodded, groggily, pulled on some clothes and grabbed my books for my history class. On my way there, I noticed a weird trend – nearly everyone I saw was on their cell phone. What is a common sight now was, in those days, somewhat surprising. Cell phone minutes were scarcer, overages more expensive, and people often still used the phones in their rooms to make most calls. Seeing so many phones to ears piqued my interest, but I was already running late and had an entire campus to cover before I reached my 400-person history seminar.

When I walked into the huge, ampitheater-style classroom, I could see my professor – a small, athletic woman standing with uncharacteristically hunched shoulders at the podium.

“No class today. I don’t know how they would expect us to teach on a day like this.”

She continued mumbling, something that I couldn’t hear from 20 rows back, but she looked distraught. Confused (and, frankly, a little angry that I had gotten up to make a trek to a cancelled class), I turned around and left the building again. Still, people were walking briskly while talking excitedly on cell phones. I began to worry – had something happened on campus? The news from my roommate echoed in my head again. Surely this wasn’t all about a biplane running into the Empire State Building.

As I walked the long path back toward the dorms, I noticed an even more bizarre scene in front of me. More than twenty students were gathered around a television on a cart in the middle of the grass, connected by a very long extension cord to a nearby building. Hands covered mouths, eyes were wide. I hurried over and looked over the disheveled heads in front of me. To this day, I’m not sure what I saw. It was somewhere around 9:00 a.m., and on the TV, I could see the twin towers. Maybe I came just in time to see the second plane hit. Maybe I saw one of the towers fall. The recollection of weeks of replays and dissection of these videos have erased all memory of what I truly saw that day. Whatever it was, I realized that my roommate had misheard, but must have since discovered the tragedy that day.

Everything beyond that moment is blurry. I remember spending a lot of time in the student common rooms to watch the footage. I watched what little streaming video was available in those days – there was no YouTube then to guide me – to see the entire thing. I went home in a few weekends to my parents’ house, where I spent hours trying to understand what had befallen our country that day. Horror struck anew as the stories came out – the bravery of those who went down in Pennsylvania, the panicked phone calls family members received from their loved ones held hostage at 30,000 feet, the videos of the rescue efforts in the mangled wreckage of what used to be a major feature of the New York City skyline. I was sensitive to everything for months – the CD store I worked in pulled several albums which had cover art reminiscent of the attacks, and a few days after the attacks when the song “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” came on over the loudspeaker, I scrambled to find the “eject” button on the CD changer.

In the years to come, I’d occasionally meet someone who would tell me about a loved one who had lived through or died in that attack on our nation. But it was only months after the attacks of 9/11/2001 that I met a gentleman who brought the tragedy right in front of me. I was working at Walt Disney World in Florida, serving turkey legs to the masses, and he stopped to talk for a moment. He had taken his whole family to Disney World, because “it’s only money,” as he said. He had been on one of the higher floors of the second tower – 90 or more floors up. He had made it out just in time, had been caught in the wafting smoky debris on the streets of NYC. After that experience, he knew what mattered – to see his whole family laugh with delight at the wonders that only a family vacation can illicit. Scrimping and saving money and vacation time, staying at work all hours of the day had suddenly ceased to matter to this man. And there he was, buying a Budweiser and a turkey leg. Not wearing an American flag or spouting the “United We Stand” motto to me, but reminding me that – although patriotism is important – it’s not your country you think about when faced with the very real possibility of death, but, rather, all those moments that could have been shared with the ones you loved.

At the risk of sounding trite, I’d encourage you to hug someone you love today, and remember the ones we lost eight years ago.

Where were you eight years ago today?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Feeling Blah-zay

I’m feeling blah.

There’s the blah of feeling out of shape and overweight.

There’s the blah of feeling like I don’t have motivation to get everything done at work.

There’s the blah of feeling like I am letting things fall through the cracks with my friends.

There’s the blah of feeling like I have too many time commitments and not enough time.

Then there’s the blah of feeling that when I am at home, all I want to do is watch movies and listen to audiobooks – basically do anything but my schoolwork (and it’s only the second week of school).

I just feel blah. I could use something to get me out of this. Maybe a cattle prod?