Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve...at work....

Yes, I'm at work...and even more annoying, I have a TON of stuff that needs to be done.


Just once, I'd like to have a Christmas Eve that doesn't stress me out. I know that once I leave here, I'll be stress-free and have a ton of fun - but I have a lot to do today and I'd much rather be somewhere else.
:-)


I probably won't be Blogging tomorrow, so I'll take this time now to wish you all a

Merry Christmas!!!


xoxo - John



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two more days!!!

First of all – a BIG thank you to all the folks who commented and/or emailed me in regard to yesterday’s Blog entry. It’s nice to be surrounded by so many wicked awesome folks.

Secondly, it’s day 21 people. That’s right - day TWENTY-ONE of the sweater. I’m completely amazed and disgusted.

Work has been so busy the past few days. There have been a bazillion emails going back and forth regarding the testing I’m doing, and it’s kind of making me crazy. Good thing I’m an organized person. There are a ton of people involved and they’re all asking about different things. It’s nutso.
Unfortunately, I have a meeting this morning (conference call) that’s scheduled from 11 until 12:30!
Say what?!?!? Bitch, please.
That DIRECTLY interferes with my lunch time plans.
Have they no shame?!?! What’s next? Meetings during my coffee break??
Hell to the no.
Speaking of Whitney....when exactly is her comeback going to happen???

Anyway….Jim and I had a snow-filled weekend. Thank God for Jim. We only have one shovel at the moment, and since I’m the one with back issues, (and I'm 3 months older) he did 99.8% of the shoveling on Saturday. I did a little bit of shoveling. I cleaned off the cars and re-shoveled all around them…and I shoveled a path in the backyard for Scooter. When all was said and done, we had over a foot of snow. It looks so nice, but Sweet Jesus….I’m done for the winter.
Scooter was THRILLED about the snow. He leaps through it grabbing mouthfuls all along the way…it’s hysterical. Jim took some great pictures, which I promise to post asap.
I know, I know…I’m full of empty promises. I hope that during my time off (between Christmas and New Year’s Eve) I can do some posting from home and have a few ‘picture days’ on the blog. Won’t THAT be exciting?!?!? I’m getting all tingly just thinking about it.
At least I think that’s why I’m getting all tingly….

I have to stop writing and get myself together before this 11 o’clock call. There’s nothing more terrifying than being asked a question by some super-important, vice-president-type person, and having no answer prepared….
Junior High, anyone??

Have a great Christmas Eve Eve....

Monday, December 22, 2008

23 Years Ago...

Twenty-three years ago today, my mom passed away.
I can't believe it's been that long. Well, that's not entirely true. Part of me feels like it was yesterday; but when I think about all the things she has 'missed' it seems even longer.

Just a quick synopsis: shortly after I was born, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She eventually had both breasts removed, underwent chemotherapy, radiation treatments, several extended hospital stays, etc...etc...and eventually passed away on December 22, 1985.
I was 13 at the time so I have plenty of great memories of my years with her, but unfortunately there's still a lot I don't remember. Thankfully I have an unending supply of stories from my dad, my sisters and countless friends of hers who can fill in the gaps. :-)
The fact that she lived as long as she did (this all began in 1972, don't forget) is a testament to her strength and courage. There wasn't a day that went by where she didn't live her life to the fullest. She never let the fact that she wasn't feeling well keep her from being happy and you never once heard her complain...beyond the everyday complaints that we all have. :-)
I have her to thank for my love for music, singing, (sorry, dad!) and making sure that I never take advantage of all that I have in my life.
I want to share with the Blog world the last letter I received from her. This was written in August of 1985 and she wrote it to me while I was at camp for two weeks. After this hospital stay (described in the letter), she returned home for a few months but eventually had to return to the hospital for the last time.

This letter is one of the most important things I own and yes, I was afraid to take it out of the house! Posting it here will not only share her words with the 'world', but now I'll have a permanent copy that I can't lose. Maybe I'll make a few copies while I'm at work...don't tell my boss. :-)

Tuesday Aug. 20, 1985


Dear John,
How are you doing? Hope you are having a great time. Well John, I did it again. Dad and I left for Cape Cod Saturday. I was feeling pretty good. It took us about 1 hr. and 1/2 to get there. We drove around for a while to see where everything was, stopped in to see the L*****s. They have a bigger trailer than the M***s. It was very nice. We got our place, unpacked, sat around for a while, and then went out for dinner. It was excellent. I had fish, and Dad had white clam sauce on pasta. Home we went, watched some TV, and went to bed.
We woke up Sunday morning and decided to go to 11:30 mass. I wasn't feeling too good. I was having trouble breathing. We left mass early and found a nice place to have breakfast. We sat around the rest of the day and relaxed & met some of our neighbors. When we woke up on Monday it was pouring. Dad went for a ride and said some of the roads you couldn't use they were so flooded. I really wasn't feeling that good - still having trouble breathing and felt lousy. We decided to go for a ride. We went to the post office and just rode around. we went back home, it was still raining. We sat around for a while, I still wasn't feeling any better, in fact I felt worse. We decided to call the doctor. He thought I should go to the local hospital and be checked. My doctor would call the hospital and tell them what to do. Now is where the fun begins. We decided there was too much traffic, so we called the ambulance. Of course the fire engines showed up too. Everyone was looking and watching, wondering what was wrong with me. They told me it would be a noisy ride. Was it ever. They has the sirens going all the way. As it turned out, it was the same thing as before - they had to take out the fluid from the chest cavity. I am feeling much better. The only thing is, Dr. L. decided he wanted me at the Brigham and Women's Hospital so back into the ambulance I go, this time to Boston. This time the ride wasn't quite as noisy. I got here at 8:00. I had no supper. I was starving. I got my supper at 10:30 last night, boy did it taste good. So here I am John, at the hospital. I haven't seen the doctor yet, he had a big surgery this morning so I don't know when I'll be home. Donna and Bill will be picking you and Scott up. I'm hoping I will be home when you get there. Have a great time John and please don't worry about me, I am doing just fine. Looking forward to seeing you and hearing all about your adventures.


Love ya,
Mom

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow....


As if I have any say in the matter...

According to the latest report, we're supposed to get up to a foot of snow between today and tomorrow. Yikes. Living in this area my entire life, I'm not at all surprised, but still....that is a LOT of snow.
At least it's happening today and not on a Monday morning or something extremely inconvenient like that. My biggest concern is my commute home. I'm sure it'll be fine, but that's the only thing that could screw me up. If my train is running late, I'll be pissed.

I know I've mentioned it on here before, but it is a GHOST TOWN in the city today. Crazy.
Apparently a lot of people are either working from home or have the day off. It's really quite strange. My train was very empty, and on the walk up to my office - there were hardly any people around.
It was nice. :-)

Last night Jim had his holiday party for work, so I was on my own. His company is usually very generous when it comes to parties, but for this one, there were no spouses invited. Boo!
I'm kidding, it's not a big deal.
I got home, fed the dog, ate a quick dinner (leftover pork chops, broccoli, roasted butternut squash., and stuffing - welcome to my delicious life!) and went out to complete my Christmas shopping.
I have a terrible cold (annoying) but in spite of that, I had fun traipsing around the south shore finishing things up. I wasn't really traipsing, but it was still fun.
As far as I know, I'm all set....I still have to double check everything to make sure that I didn't leave anyone out, but I think I'm done!! YAY!
This is totally a record for me. Now, I'm not a Christmas Eve shopper, that's out of control; but I'm totally a Christmas Eve wrapper...which stinks.

Speaking of stinks...there is something dead in our cellar. I know, I know...it's totally gross, but come on!!! We live in an antique farmhouse built in 1825...what do you expect? When it's freezing out, little critters are going to try and take shelter in our warm and cozy home - can you blame them? I certainly don't.
However, I do blame them for being dumb enough to get trapped in the house and die.
Hello, animals?!?! Did you not read 'Hansel and Gretel'?!?! Drop breadcrumbs or something, dummies. I don't care what you do, just don't get lost in my basement and die. Of course, they would probably rather EAT the breadcrumbs, wouldn't they? Whatever. The point is; something got in, couldn't get out, and now Jim and I are paying the stinky, decomposing price.
Gross.

This weekend is SUPER busy. Tomorrow we're going to a holiday open house starting at 1pm, then meeting Jim's family to celebrate the birthdays of K and D (a niece and nephew) then we're going to a 40th birthday party Saturday night. On Sunday we're going to a family 'get together' with my entire family and my entire step family. THAT will be interesting.

Everyone stay safe, and enjoy the snow!!!!!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Who's The Boss?

No, I'm not talking about this guy:





I'm talking about my current work situation. My co-worker (and 'partner in crime') is out until after Christmas, so in her absence - I'm in charge.


Hooray for 80's TV!!!!

Anyway...I'm the only one here supporting a specific application, so I'm the contact person for the next week or so. It makes me a little nervous, but I'm not afraid to ask questions, so if I get into any hot water, I know there are plenty of people around to help me out. The only thing that's making me a little nervous is that I'm dealing with a lot of people who I've never worked with before, which means I'll have to turn on the charm.



Can you tell that I'm in a 'picture posting' mood??

OK, well I have a lot to do and it isn't going to get done if I'm writing this.

OH!!! The 'sweater' has consistently been showing up to work every day!! If the trend continues, today will be day 18....amazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sleepy man

I am tired.

Last night was The Company Theatre Christmas party and it was V-E-R-Y fun. There were a whole lot of people there, many of whom I haven’t seen in a very long time. It was such a great mix of people. There were people there that I’ve known for only a few months, yet there were also people there who have known me since I was eleven years old. That's a long time ago.
Craziness.
So, I'm sending out a BIG thank you to all the people at The Company Theatre for throwing a super, duper, and fun party. I was thrilled to be there and had a great time.
Granted, I’m completely exhausted this morning, but whatever….it's totally worth it.

Speaking of this morning…what a dismal day it is here in Beantown. It’s cold and rainy. Actually, it’s cold and freezing rainy. If you’ve been reading my blog, you may recall that I’m not a fan of the rain. I particularly despise when it can’t make up its mind whether it wants to rain or snow, which results in a lovely mix of the two. Yuck.

It’s supposed to snow again up here starting on Friday, continuing into Saturday and they’re saying that we could expect 6-10 inches. Believe it or not, that wouldn’t bother me that much. I don’t mind the snow, as long as it’s not during the week. I despise having to adjust my morning commute around snow. Having to rush around, heating up the car, cleaning off the car…blah, blah, blah….it’s irritating.
I have to say that one of the neatest things I’ve seen in a while was a video that Brettcajun (I’m a big fan of his blog) posted last week when it snowed in Louisiana. Clearly, snow in Louisiana is a rare occurrence, so he made a video in order to document the event. Up here, we’re so used to people bitching and complaining non-stop about the snow. (I’ll admit, I do my share of complaining!!) It was so nice to see someone that truly enjoyed the fact that it was snowing.
It was adorable.

I got some GREAT presents for Jim yesterday!!! I’m very happy with what I’ve purchased so far. Of course, I can’t share it with ya’ll because a ‘certain person’ reads this blog and Christmas would be RUINED if I shared that information with the public. You’ll have to be patient and wait….or email me.
Tonight I’m getting all my receipts together and figuring out who’s ‘done’ and how much I’ve spent so far. Once that’s figured out, I can determine who I still need to shop for and how much I can spend on them. I’ve been really good so far in sticking to my budget, so I’m hopeful that everything works out.

Have a great day....I’m going to grab some MUCH needed coffee and get to work.

Here are a few pictures (from the 2007 Christmas card ‘photo shoot’) for your holiday enjoyment.
Getting restless....

Union break.....


'Post photo-shoot' celebration.....


Angelic Scooter.....




Smiley Scooter.....




Santa Scooter.......




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Come on in, little boy....

First of all....HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELISSA!!!!! YAY!!!!

Now that I got that off my chest.....

I had an experience Sunday evening that made me feel like a dirty old man. Yikes.
Jim and I were in the middle of the Christmas card process (I was stuffing envelopes as he was printing labels) and there was a knock at the door.
It was clearly someone with a sense of humor, since they knocked in rhythm, (shave and a haircut, two bits! - if you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it.) so I figured it was one of Jim's family members stopping by. Upon hearing the knock on the door, Scooter completely lost his mind. He started barking and came RUNNING in from the other room to see who was visiting. So now there's Scooter running around like a loon, and Jim yelling from the other room asking who it is.....it went a little like this:



(Knock on the door)
Scooter begins barking and runs into the kitchen


Jim: Is someone at the door?
John: Yup, it must be one of your family members....


(John gets up from the table, walks into the kitchen, and opens the door to reveal a young man, wearing a winter jacket, winter hat and gloves.
Scooter is still barking his face off.)


Young Stranger: Hi. I'm from CM and I'm selling raffle tickets for our winter fundraiser, would you be interested in buying a ticket?
John: How much?
Young Stranger: Five dollars.
John: OK, what can I win?


(Jim enters the kitchen)


Jim: What's going on? Who is it?

(He grabs Scooter and puts him in the crate to the left of the door.....Scooter is still barking.
It's a chaotic scene.)


Young Stranger: The top prize is 2 grand.
John: Wow, OK. - (to Scooter) - Scooter! Be quiet. (to Jim) It's someone selling raffle tickets for Catholic Memorial. - (to Young Stranger) Sure, I'll buy one (he hands the Young Stranger a 5 dollar bill)
Scooter: (as he tries to escape from the crate) Bark, bark bark, cry, cry, cry....
Young Stranger: (handing John the packet of tickets and a pen) You just have to fill out the top part.
John: Do you want to come in?
Young Stranger: Um....no thanks.
John: (realizing he just asked a complete stranger, who happens to be alone, who also happens to be a teenage boy, to come into his house) Oh....right.....ummm....of course not. Well....(as he's closing the door) I'll be right back then...one second.


Jim: Wait, what is this for?
John: (flustered) Huh? What? Oh...It's a Catholic Memorial fundraiser...it's a raffle...the top prize is two thousand dollars.
Jim: You're giving money to the Catholics?
John: Please....it's not for the church, it's for the school....the kid's walking around outside in the freezing cold going door to door... (he pauses as he heads back to the door) I can't believe I totally asked him to come in....I was just being polite, it's freezing out. (as he opens the door)
All set!!


Young Stranger: Great....did you take the bottom part?
John: Huh? Oh...yes, I have it.
Young Stranger: Excellent, thank you.
John: No problem, have a good night. (as he lets Scooter out of the crate, yelling to Jim in the other room) I can't remember the last time someone went around door to door selling stuff....so odd. I was just being polite...I can't believe I asked him to come in....I feel dirty.


I bet we won't get anymore teenagers coming by the house selling stuff!


Seriously though, I know it's not a huge deal, but I did feel kind of odd about the whole thing. I only asked him to come in because I felt weird just shutting the door in his face and leaving him standing out in the cold. Yikes...I've gone on long enough. I'm feeling dirty again.


On another note, Jim and I did a TON of Christmas shopping last night. It was very fun and not at all painful.
Besides, two excellent things came out of it.

1. We ended the night with yummy frappes at Brigham's, (I got coffee and he got chocolate) which we needed like a hole in the head....shut up, it's the holidays.

2. We saw Santa smoking a butt out in the parking lot.


I assume that he was done with his shift for the night, because when went into the mall, he wasn't in his designated 'Santa area'. It seems a little risky to me, especially since he was still in his full Santa outfit at the time. Maybe he assumed that all the 'kiddies' would be in bed at that hour (it was sometime around 8 or 8:30)? Who knows? Either way, it still seems pretty risky.
It made me laugh - and I waved to him.


Happy Tuesday everyone...have a great day!!!




Monday, December 15, 2008

Vacation - Enough is Enough

I'm getting tired of writing about my vacation. :-) Not that the rest of the trip wasn't fun, but I feel like I'm boring my readers to tears with my rambling.

Here's the Reader's Digest version of the rest of the trip: On Sunday night, we returned to Twist (after my friend had us over for dinner) and had a GREAT time there. We went back to Fort Myers on Monday morning and spent the rest of the week lounging by the pool or the beach, shopping and going out to eat with my parents. One day we went to Sanibel Island, and on Tuesday night we explored the gay 'scene' in Fort Myers. It consisted of three bars...none of which were too exciting. In their defense, it was a Tuesday night - not a big night for going out on the town. Everyone we met at the bars was super friendly, and actually struck up a conversation with you, which is more than I can say for the majority of the places in Boston. One place (The Bottom Line) had $5 pitchers. Needless to say, it was the best of the three (and busiest) and we spent the majority of the evening there....very fun. One of the highlights of the trip was getting to see the City of Palms park, up close and personal. Not only did it give us the chance to see every nook and cranny of the park, but it was great seeing my dad doing his 'job' - something that he LOVES to do and is so good at it. Again, there are some great pictures that I will post soon...I promise. If you're impatient, you can check them out on my facebook profile....Jim created an album, and I linked it to my profile last night. So check it out, impatient pants.

I'm going to get coffee, but I'll probably write later...things have been so busy, and I haven't done a lick of shopping yet.
What?!? I have 10 days, get off my case.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Vacation - Part Four


Saturday, 11/29

Jim and I woke up, threw together a suitcase full of clothes, said goodbye to my folks, brought Jill out to the car, and began our trip across the state.
The ride was fairly uneventful (if you've driven 'Alligator Alley' you CERTAINLY understand what I mean). We drove for just about 2 1/2 hours, arriving at our hotel at about 1pm and found out it was a tad too early for check in. Even though we were early, they were kind enough to park our car and held onto our luggage until our room was ready. The hotel was VERY nice.
I love a good lobby. Since we had about an hour to kill, we decided to have lunch out at the bar by the pool. By the time we were done, (it took our amazingly slow waitress forever to bring us the check) it was time to check in. We went up to the room and were very happy with it. The hotel was right on the ocean, and we had a room with a great view which also overlooked the pool area. We were happy. :-)
You'll see pictures of all this when I get around to posting them...settle down.
We weren't unpacked for 2 minutes and we were already in our bathing suits and headed to the beach!

By the way - I forgot to pack t-shirts for the weekend excursion. Thankfully, I remembered to pack some short-sleeved button down shirts, but the only t-shirt I had was the one I was wearing at the time. I was PISSED. That is so unlike me. I'm usually a total freak about packing and remembering everything because I'm constantly checking and re-checking what I've packed. Apparently I'm slipping. Anyway...Jim assured me it wasn't a big deal, which was true, so we were able to continue the vacation. . :-)

From the beach, we called my best friend from growing up (who lives 5 minutes from the hotel we were staying at) and told him we had arrived. He said he'd give us a call later and we'd meet up at some point.
Jim and I swam for a while, taking great pleasure in the fact that the water was very nice and there lots of fun waves to play in, when all of a sudden (cue: dramatic music) I was stung by a jellyfish!


Say what?!?! Yes, it's true. Clearly I'm fine, but it was a tad scary.

I was standing in a shallow area, waiting for a big wave to come in (yay for riding waves!!), and I felt something slimy on my leg. I thought I was imagining it, but then I saw the little bugger floating by me and I could feel a slimy patch of grossness on my bathing suit.
Get your minds out of the gutter.
It kind of felt like I'd been slimed by that gross thing in Ghostbusters. Yuck.
I didn't feel any pain at all, but I was kind of concerned. I wasn't sure if it just 'bumped into me' or it had stung me. What the hell do I know about jellyfish?!?!? I have NO idea what happens when you get a jellyfish sting. Do they always sting? Can you just bump into one without being stung?

Anywhoo...I casually mentioned the incident to Jim and he asked me if I was OK. I said I was feeling totally fine, (which I was) but I was still a little freaked out. After a minute or so, I started feeling a weird 'irritating' feeling on the back of my right knee. It felt like a scratch, but since we were in the water, I couldn't really see what was going on. We decided to get out of the water and take a peek. Once we were out, I started to notice it a bit more and we could see that it was getting red. After a brief discussion about what to do, ("I am NOT going to the emergency room! How embarrassing.") we decided to ask the lifeguard about it. I explained the situation to him and he pretty much said I was fine. If anything really bad was going to happen to me as a result of the sting, it would have happened right away...you know, chest pains, shortness of breath, or collapsing. Excellent.
Hearing that news was a relief. At this point, however, it felt like I'd been stung by a bee and it looked similar to a bee sting as well. It wasn't painful, but it was irritating. Kind of how it felt when I got my tattoo. Anyway...within five minutes of chatting with Mr. Baywatch (no, he wasn't cute) the pain was gone and even though it looked red and puffy, I had survived my first jellyfish sting.

We decided to hang on the beach for a while, (one the sand, not the water) then we went back to the room, showered, changed, and went exploring. We walked all over South Beach and eventually heard from my friend at about 6pm. (3 1/2 hours after our initial call, letting him know we'd arrived). We made arrangements to meet him at 7pm at Score, a gay bar on Lincoln Road, for a drink and then grab some dinner. He arrived at about 7:30 and it was SO nice to see him. We haven't seen him since last Christmas and he looked great. We had a couple of drinks there with him, then we headed to Jerry's Famous Deli on Collins Ave. We were looking for something quick, cheap and yummy (much like myself) and this place turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. Even though it was diner-type food, it was SOOO good. I highly recommend it if you're ever in South Beach looking for great food without having to pay a ton of money. We finished dinner, and then went to a bar called Palace on Ocean Drive (I didn't love this place, but it was right on the main strip and was fairly decent). We had a few drinks there and them moved onto a bar/dance club called Twist (located on Washington Ave). Twist was my favorite of all the places we went. It had several bars, spread over two stories and a bunch of different places you could dance, if you were so inclined. It had a great mix of people (and a great mix of music) and it was a friendly and fun looking crowd. One of the bars was outside and that area also was home to several attractive men dancing around in their scanties...for a price, of course. When we arrived, the upstairs and the outside area weren't open yet, but they shortly opened after we got there (which was around 11pm). My friend brought us there, but then quickly departed because he was meeting someone for a 'date' at midnight.

Really?!?!?!? Really.

Jim and I walked around for a bit, but didn't stay too long. After an hour or so (if that) we hopped into a cab and headed back to the hotel and called it a day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for 'South Beach: Day Two'.

And yes, I'm not lying...the sweater has officially arrived...this is day 15 people.
Day 15.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

A vacation from my vacation....


A few random things


The sweater has returned…day 14. Excellent.

A performer in Vienna slashed his own throat during a show when the prop knife he usually uses, was replaced with a real one.
You can view the story here: http://www.playbill.com/news/article/124230.html
And THAT is why you always ‘check your props’!!! Thanks Jordie! No one will ever slash their own throat with you at the helm, that’s for damn sure.

I just found out this afternoon that the all male a Cappella group I sang with in college has been suspended because of hazing. Now, this isn’t hazing in the ‘traditional’ sense, I mean it’s an a Cappella group for Pete’s sake, but I understand the University’s position. They can't adjust the rules based on how severe the hazing is.
What happened is; after the spring concert last year, each of the new members was dunked (one at a time) into a big trash barrel filled with (alcoholic) punch. They’re held upside down by their feet, dunked into the punch and then immediately pulled out.
Picture a yummy Oreo being dunked into a tall glass of milk…but no new guys are eaten after being dunked. At least when I was in the group no one was. :-)
I understand that the administration has to punish for all hazing, but I hope that the group isn’t going to suffer any long term damages because of this. I think it’s a far cry from those groups that force their members to drink in excess, or put people in dangerous situations.
I know, I know…it’s hazing, no matter how harmless it seems and they have to enforce the rules…it just makes me a little sad.

The good thing is, that after 30 years on the campus there's a ton of alumni (we're a very active and involved alumni group) that still care about what's going on with the current group. I'm sure they'll be fine.

This is my friend's daughter....I talked about her a few weeks ago.

It's WAY too cute not to share.




Vacation - Part Three

While I was showering this morning (watch it, perverts) I came to the realization that at the rate I'm going, I'll be finished talking about my vacation sometime around Groundhog Day.
Unacceptable.
So, in an effort to keep things moving along and keep things interesting, I'm changing it up a bit. Also, the pictures from the trip are on the computer at home, so I'll be posting those at some point - which is VERY exciting. There are some really great pictures that I can't wait for you all to see!

Thursday, 11/27 - Thanksgiving Day

Jim and I woke up, had a little breakfast with the folks and watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (not all that impressed, especially with the Broadway performances - pretty damn boring, if you ask me). After the parade, Jim and I drove Betty to the Super Wal-Mart down the road. First of all, who the hell knew it would be open? Second of all, who could ever have guessed that it would be PACKED. It was insane and I just couldn't get over the fact that people were out and about in droves on Thanksgiving Day. I realize that we were out shopping as well, but STILL....we just ran out for a few things and we were looking to kill some time before lunch. From the looks of it, most of these folks were out doing their weekly shopping. Crazy.

After dealing with that insanity, we arrived back at home, changed, and drove to the restaurant where we were having lunch with my parent's friends. Lunch was VERY good. I was a little hesitant about it at first, but we were pleasantly surprised. They were having a 'Thanksgiving Feast' - which consisted of turkey and all the trimmings, plus dessert. We all decided to take part in the feast, and it was a great choice. Everything was so good, and even though I'm not usually a fan of pumpkin pie, I decided to give it a try and was SOOOO happy I did. Yum-O!!! (Shout out to Rachael Ray, who's about to go under the knife and get a benign cyst removed which is affecting her speech. Apparently that's the reason she sounds like a 75 year-old, chain-smoking, trucker most of the time).
After the meal, we headed home and hung out for a while (turkey coma) and relaxed. Later that night (around 8-ish) we decided to head out in search of some light nourishment (evidently retired people not only stop working full time, but they also stop cooking full time). We ended up at UNO's of all places, and had a little pizza, which was both yummy and just what the doctor ordered. If doctors prescribed food.

Friday, 11/28

On Friday, we went to see the place where the Boston Red Sox practice when they're in Ft. Myers for Spring Training. For those of you who don't know, my dad works for the Red Sox down in Ft. Myers. On non-game days he gives tours and on game days, he's running around either selling merchandise or making sure all the merchandise booths are stocked. This will be his third year working for them and he LOVES it. You'll see pictures of him on here eventually, and if you're ever down there at a game, be sure and say hi. He'll be THRILLED....and probably talk to you for 7 hours. Anyway, we went to see the practice fields and we ended up getting a tour of the entire facility. Pictures and details to follow. Yes, I have a picture of Jason Varitek's locker....and the showers. What?!?! Don't judge. You would have done the same thing.

After the tour, we went to a Flea Market, which is something that my parents said we HAD to experience. It was kind of insane. Picture endless booths, full of people selling lots and lots of junk. I'm sure there were some great deals to be had, but I guess we just weren't looking in the right places. Jim and I felt like we were wandering through a giant yard sale. I will say that everyone was SUPER nice and seemed to enjoy being there. They also seemed to enjoy the fact that we were tourists. One guy immediately knew we were tourists because we "were still white (as in pale) and were wearing shorts and t-shirts." Excellent.
Oh - and one of the many food places there was serving Fried Gator Tail. Yikes.
After the Flea Market, we went home and swam for a while at one of the pools in the 'community'. That night, we went to Naples for a quick tour of the downtown area (the main 'strip' there is BEAUTIFUL - full of great looking fancy restaurants and shops) and then went to visit a friend of my dad's from high school. My dad's friend had spent years working as a secret service agent and protected a ton of presidents and their families. He told us some amazing stories. His favorite president to work for was Reagan (which kind of made me puke a bit, but I said nothing) and he also said that Hillary was a complete and utter bitch, who dropped f-bombs like it was her job (which made me love her even more that I did before). Talking to him was fascinating, and we had a great time.

Saturday morning we began the trek to South Beach.....more on that tomorrow.....or later, we'll see how the day goes. :-)

PS - I realize that my attempts to condense my story telling didn't exactly work as I'd intended, but I'm trying....bear with me. We Italians like to talk. :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vacation - Part Two

You would think that sitting at a gate in the airport for close to 4 hours would be sheer torture…and you would be right. However, for some inexplicable reason, Jim and I did that very thing without going insane or killing one another. I think that certainly says something about us!!! I had a book to read** and Jim had his crossword puzzle book, so between those two things, a few walks to get food and snacks, accompanied by loads of people watching (one of my favorite sports), the wait went by SUPER fast.

**The book I was reading at the time was Rant by Chuck Palahniuk and I do not recommend it. I thought the story and the characters were quite interesting, but good GOD was it a difficult read. I found it very confusing, and way too long. I generally have no issue with reading long books, but it bugs me to no end when I realize that the story could have been told in half the time. If you’re interested in reading it, I suggest going to the Rant Wikipedia page. It’ll save you a lot of time and aggravation.

Once it was time for boarding, we waited our turn and found our seats with no problem. The plane was fairly average sized, with three seats on either side of the aisle. We were in the second row (extra leg room!!) with me sitting on the aisle and Jim in the middle. When our third ‘row mate’ arrived, (looking totally pretentious in his dress pants, buttoned down shirt, fancy shoes and snotty expression) he climbed over us and got situated in his window seat. He seemed friendly enough…he said hello and proceeded to ask us if we knew whether or not the flight was full. Neither Jim nor I knew (Hello??? Do we look like the ticket counter?!?!?) so he then asked the flight attendant, who pretty much said the same thing as us. Once all the cabin doors were shut, he started chatting again.

Mr. Irritating: So, do you want to ask about whether or not the flight is full and if we can move to other seats?

(really long pause, while we both tried to figure out where the HELL that came from)

Jim/John: (speaking at the same time) Ummm, well we’re fine with these seats….we’re fine here….we weren’t really planning on moving…..

Thankfully, he then got up and moved to the row in front of us. I’m not sure why it bugged me so much, but it did. I mean, he clearly didn’t want to sit in a full row (which is totally fine) but I found it really annoying that he was trying to get Jim and I to join his little ‘lets move to different seats’ campaign. As if we had expressed even the slightest interest in moving as well. I know I’m overreacting, but it annoyed me.

We had a great flight (we were flying Jetblue, by the way) and I love that we were able to watch TV on our own little, personal screens! I will say that I missed the in-flight trivia competition that I played (and won, thank you very much) the last time I flew Jetblue. Since we were flying on the night before Thanksgiving, I was sad and irritated that I was going to be missing the Rosie O’Donnell live variety show. However, thanks to modern technology, I was able to watch it at 36,000 feet!! Unfortunately, I didn’t love it, but it certainly wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I also got to watch ‘Law and Order’ which turned out to be super exciting because I ended up knowing two people that were featured in that night’s episode. Very cool!

After an excellent landing (complete with applause….something that continues to mystify me…no one claps for me when I finish a test case?!?! but whatever) we quickly got our bags and headed over to the rental car place. By the way…it was about 11:30pm at this point. We picked up our car, which was a DELIGHTFUL, white, Chevy Cobalt and began the trip to my parent’s place. Although the car was very basic, (Manual locks and windows? What?) it certainly served its purpose. We got a GPS with it (from here on in referred to as ‘Jill’) so that made it feel kind of fancy. It's the little things people.
After a failed attempt at locating my parents ‘community’ (they live in one of the 5,000 gated communities in Fort Myers) we finally got to the right place. Through no fault of her own, Jill led us to one of the back gates, as opposed to the main gate where we were meeting my dad. I called my dad, explained where we were, and he was more than happy to come fetch us and lead us to the correct entrance. We followed him to their building, unloaded the car and went up to their place. Betty (my step-mother) was still awake and they were THRILLED that we were there. My dad gave us the grand tour; we had a drink (Yay Miller Lite!), chatted with them for a bit and then went to bed.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventure……”Thanksgiving in Florida”

PS – There is someone at work who has been wearing the same sweater every day for the past 2 weeks. Today is day 13 (although I have no idea what he wears on the weekends).
You can bet your bottom dollar (thank you, Annie) that I’ll be giving you daily updates.
N-A-S-T-Y.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vacation - Part One

Let's start at the very beginning. Apparently, it's a very good place to start....according to Rodgers and Hammerstein at least. (Let's hear it for the nuns!!!)

Anyway...since this vacation was fairly long and eventful, I'm not even going to TRY to capture it all in one entry. That means you are all in for a TREAT! Well, at least you're in for several entries that describe my vacation.

In my last post, before jetting off to Florida, I was writing from home having recently completed a TON of yard work and was about to begin cleaning the house. Well, I cleaned the house from top to bottom, and it looked FABULOUS. I took a 'cleaning break' in order to meet Jim (and Scooter) at Jim's office for lunch. They had a 'bring your dog to work day' which turned out to be a big success. Scooter was a hit, and everyone fell in love with him. Of COURSE! Thankfully, all the excitement exhausted him, so once we got home he collapsed on the couch, which allowed me to finish cleaning without a little canine constantly begging me for attention.
When Jim got home from work he was VERY excited about the house being cleaned.
I'm a good cleaner, what can I say?
We had dinner, (I'm pretty sure we went to the Grille, since we weren't going to be there on Friday night) came home and watched a bit of TV before going to bed.
On Wednesday morning we got up, ate breakfast, and started packing. Once we were all packed we loaded up the car, including Scooter and all his stuff (which was a lot of stuff) and brought him over to Jim's parent's house. He was THRILLED to be in a new place and Jim's parents were very excited to have him there. We said goodbye (totes sad) and then began phase two of our travel for the day. When we were leaving, Scooter followed us to the door and stood there with a very confused look on his face. When we talked to Jim's mom the next day, she informed us that he sat at the door crying for 10 minutes after we left, but after that brief period of mourning, he was totally fine. Nice.
From Jim's parent's house, we drove to my sister's house (where we were going to be leaving my car for the week) and then she drove us to the train. Since we were travelling on the day before Thanksgiving (not to mention the fact that we were depending on the train to get us to the airport) we allowed ourselves PLENTY of time. Long story short ("Too late!" - Oh, that never gets old. Wait...yes it does.) we ended up sitting at our gate, all ready to board with 4 hours to spare.
Awesome.

Actually, it all worked out so well it was really odd. We had to take 3 different trains (Red Line to the Green Line to the Blue Line) and we didn't wait more than 10 minutes at any place...unheard of. When we arrived at the airport terminal, it was practically deserted. We tried to do the self check-in, but we were too early. Say WHAT?!? Rather than stand there waiting for the self check-in to work, we decided to just stand in line. We stood in line, (behind about 5 people) checked our bags and went to the security check point. That part always makes me really nervous. I have no reason to be nervous, but I find it all so odd and uncomfortable. There you are, standing in the middle of the airport and you're asked to take off your shoes, belt, watch, and everything else that could possibly be considered 'suspicious', leaving you standing there in your socks praying that you don't make the metal detectors flip out when you walk through them. And don't even get me started on the body cavity search!! Yowch.
Kidding.
Jim and I made it through security without incident but for some unknown reason, our carry on bag was too suspicious to get through and needed to be thoroughly searched. I think it's because it's black - but that's just my opinion.
Some security guy took it to a table, went through it looking at every item, and even swabbing some of Jim's lip balm to be sure it didn't contain explosives. What?!?!? Better safe than sorry, I suppose.
Once our bag was cleared, we made our way to the gate and began the long, long, wait.

More tomorrow......

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm baaaaaack!!!

Hello to one and all!!!

OK - I have a TON to catch up on, but let it be said that my vacation was AWESOME and I survived the first round of layoffs. Phew.

I'll be sure and write more once I'm all caught up. I have a ton of work to do, no to mention all the BLOG reading I have to catch up on.

I missed you all so much, it hurts. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blogging from home....say what!?!?!?

Hello from my home office!

Crazy, huh? Usually I'm as my desk at work when I'm blogging, but because I'm on vacation - I decided to take a little time out of my crazy ass, busy day to Blog for y'all!!
Instead of sitting in my cube in a pair of dress slacks (love that word) and a collared shirt, I'm at my desk in the home office, wearing nothing at all!

I'm kidding...I'm not naked!! But I am wearing a t-shirt, running pants, and sneakers!
Yay for comfy clothes!

We had a super fun, but busy weekend followed by a non-stop, yard-work filled Monday.

On Saturday, Jim and I met up with some college friends for our yearly trip to the Yankee Candle flagship store in South Deerfield, MA. It has been a yearly tradition for a number of years now and we LOVE it. For those of you who don't know, it's a H-U-G-E building full of all things Yankee Candle. They also have places to get snacks, food, AMAZING fudge, Department 56 village stuff, make your own candles, get your picture taken with Santa, etc..etc....it's a blast. We go every year, spend a ton of money, laugh and have a great time. That took up all of Saturday (day and night) so we pretty much got home and went to bed.

Sunday morning we got up, went grocery shopping and while Jim made meatballs, sausages and sauce, I lounged on the couch watching TV. Since we aren't going to seen any of Jim's family for Thanksgiving, we invited them all over for dinner that night. We ate a lot of food, picked names for both a 'stocking person' and a 'big gift person' and then they were on their way.
Since there are so many people involved (9 adults, 4 kids), we now pick names so you end up filling a stocking for one person and buying a 'big' gift for one person - as opposed to buying 13 big gifts. We still buy smaller, less expensive gifts for everyone else and buy the kids 'regular' gifts, but not having to buy 13 'big' gifts is a very nice thing.
Yesterday, Jim took Scooter to daycare and I did a ton of yard work. Jim is usually the one who does all the yard work, but since he was at work and it needed to be done, I did it. I'm glad that I did too. Jim was very happy that it was done.
I took all the pool furniture and everything from the back (screened in) porch and put it in the cellar, then I raked out the entire pool area and let me tell you, there were a LOT of leaves out there. It was really annoying. Once that was all raked, I swept the whole area, rearranged and vacuumed the porch and then did one last raking of the backyard. I really wanted to get it done not only before we leave for Florida, but because I knew it was going to POUR today and I wouldn't be able to do it when it was raining. As it turns out, it was a good thing because sure enough, it is torrential out there.
Yay me!

OK -I have GOT to get a move on....I'm going to clean the house today, meet Jim and Scooter for lunch - yes, it's 'bring your dog to work day' today at Jim's job, God help us....then I have to continue cleaning.

I'll try and write while I'm away, but if I'm not writing for a while, please don't forget about me...I'll miss you all terribly while I'm basking on a Florida beach. :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

One day more....

Another day, another destiny....

Les Mis anyone?
I can't wait for the next revival in 2011. I'm kidding.
I'm planning on avoiding that musical for while. You can bet your bottom dollar (Annie anyone?) that once the rights become available for community theatres to start producing it, there are going to be more productions of Les Miserables going on at one time than there are Dunkin' Donuts on Route 18.
For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll explain:
When the time comes that community theatres are allowed to produce Les Mis, every theatre on the planet will be doing it.
I can't wait until I see a 42 year old, 350 pound Eponine singing 'On My Own', completely in her head voice. Come on...you know it will happen.
There's only one community theatre in the greater Boston area that should be allowed to produce it...and you know who you are. Only THEN will I see it, so get crackin'.

I apologize for that completely random, musical theatre blog-jacking....crazy.
And did you notice that there were TWO separate musical theatre references thrown in there? Les Mis AND Annie?
Clearly, I'm a man obsessed.

So - today is Friday and the last day of work before my vacation begins. I'm wicked excited.

Note: in this case, the use of wicked is a Boston area slang reference, not a musical theatre reference.

I'm excited not only because I seriously need a break from work, but because I get to see my dad, step-mother and one of my best friends while I'm away. I haven't seen my friend in SO long, and I've never been down to visit him in the time that he's lived in Florida...the same goes for my parents place. They've had it for years now, and I've never been down to see it. I see them often (when they're home for the summers) but I've never visited them in Florida.
It's all VERY exciting.

OK ya'll....I'm signing off for now, but you'll certainly hear from me before we take off on Wednesday night.

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This just in...


The oil man is coming to fill up the tank and get the furnace going!



In other news....our computer at home is possibly dead to the world.

That would really suck....but at least we have heat. :-)


Lucky, lucky me

Remember that time I woke up and there was no heat or hot water in my house?
That was nice.

Yes folks....I woke up this morning to no heat and no hot water.
This calls for a celebration!!!!





Seriously though....it was C-O-L-D in our house this morning. It was around 58-60 degrees but it felt a lot colder. I gently woke Jim up to let him know, and then went downstairs to get ready for work....as best I could. I'm pretty sure it's just that we're out of oil...apparently it was a tad lower than we though. Ooops. Jim will call them when he gets up and hopefully they'll be able to come by today, fill us up, and re-start the furnace. I'll keep you posted.

I decided that taking an ice cold shower was NOT an option, so I did my best to 'wash up' in the sink...all the while trying not to scream because the water was SO incredibly cold. My biggest concern was that poor Scooter was going to be stuck in a freezing cold house all day. However, Jim reminded me (in his dreamlike state) that today is a daycare day - so thankfully Scooter will be all toasty and warm. Of course, we could have just thrown a sweater on him and called it a day, but knowing him, he would have eaten half of it by the time we got home from work.




Can I just say that I'm in LOVE with facebook? Sure, it's totally overwhelming at times - and I know....you run the risk of getting 'friend requests' from people that you want nothing to do with, but I love that it allows you to reconnect with people from your past. I think it's a great way to get a quick update from people you haven't seen in a long time without having to commit to anything 'long term'. :-) As a fun example, I just reconnected with someone from high school who I haven't heard from in years and as it turns out, she lives about 10 minutes away from me and we've been taking the same train as one another for about a year. I saw her this morning and we had a brief chat...she looks great and is doing well. Yay facebook!!

OK....time to get busy. I only have to get through today and tomorrow, and then the fun begins!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A little perspective?

First thing - A BIG congrats to Dustin Pedroia for being named the American League MVP. He's an amazing player and had an outstanding season...and I have to say it - I think he's a cutie.



Beginning this week, the daily parking rates increased by $2 at all MBTA affiliated parking lots. In my case, I went from paying $2 a day, to paying $4 a day. In some places, it now costs $7 a day to park your car. I'm already paying $223 a month for my commuter rail pass, and now I'm being asked to pay $4 a day to leave my car in an unattended lot while I toil away at work? Excellent.

Clearly I'm going to pay it, because I really have no other options. Parking in Boston is WAY too expensive (not to mention paying for gas) and I'm not about to walk 45 minutes (if not longer) to the train station each morning.

So, my question is this. What's it like in other cities? Am I paying very little in comparison to other places? Keep in mind I live 45 minutes outside of Boston, and my current commute is just about 1 1/2 hours, door to door...so I'm wondering what a similar commute would cost in other cities. It would be nice to know that we're not alone in this situation and who knows? Maybe we have it good. That would make me feel better.

Again...I'm not totally complaining, I'm just curious. At least I have a job to commute to! :-)

Last night was fun...Jim and I had dinner and then pretty much didn't do a damn thing but watch TV (one load of laundry doesn't really count). After watching some Family Guy re-runs I watched House and Fringe. House is a long-time favorite of mine and it was a pretty good episode last night. Fringe is growing on me (don't I WISH!!) but I'm still not totally in love with it. It certainly has it's moments, but it also has it's flaws...don't we all. :-) Jim spent HOURS upstairs scanning old photos, so I'm sure his facebook profile with be chock full of memories within the next few days. I have to do that as well. I've got a lot of great pictures that I'm sure all my friends would LOVE to see, and my facebook profile is seriously lacking in the photo department.

OK....enough blabbering. I'm getting some coffee and getting back to work.

Have a lovely day!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh my nerves....

Work is making me lose my mind this morning. I'm generally a VERY patient person, but today this place is driving me out of my mind.

Maybe it's because I'm hangry* and therefore extra-sensitive.

*hungry + angry....thank you Hunter Bell, book writer for Broadway's [title of show] for coming up with this ever-so-fitting and useful word. :-)

Or maybe it's because I haven't enough coffee?
Or maybe it's because I work with a lot of irritating people.
Yes, that's it.

Incidentally...if you're reading this blog and I work with you...you can pretty much bet that I'm not talking about you.

Anyway...I'm not going to let them bring me down.

It looks like it's a BEAUTIFUL day outside. Yes, it was wicked cold out this morning but it looks so nice out. The sky is blue, it's sunny out, and it's about 500 degrees at my desk. Good thing I wore that sweater! Sweet Jesus...I'm losing weight as I type. Apparently I'm going to have to shed a layer or two...

I think I'm going to sneak out and run to the bank...yes...since I started writing this entry I've been going back and forth between typing and testing, and I've found yet another problem.
While they fix it (or try to) I'm going to take advantage of this free moment and run an errand.

Sorry to leave you all hanging...but I have to strike while the iron is hot!

And speaking of hot....


Monday, November 17, 2008

Let the countdown begin!

Five more days (including today) and I'm on vacation for two weeks!!!
BRILLIANT!
I can't tell you how excited I am.


That being said, I had a delightful, relaxing weekend.

After having dinner and running into just about all of my in-laws at the Grille on Friday night, Jim and I went home and played cards for a while, (not real cards, but Skip-Bo and UNO) had some more drinks :-) and then went to bed.


Saturday morning we slept in, had breakfast and finished up cleaning the cellar.
It looks GREAT. It's so nice to have it organized and clean...and no more spiders!
For now at least. The next step is to get all the patio furniture/summer stuff down there and make an attempt to keep it clean and neat. It will be a challenge, but I think we can do it.
Once the cellar was cleaned, we lounged around for a bit and then I got ready for the benefit, which was SO much fun.
Not only did I get to sit with and play catch-up with a group of my hometown friends, but one of the girls at the table was someone who was in my Kindergarten class. CRAZY. I don't think I've talked to her since then. Awesome. The food was yummy, the cake they had was awesome (I was kind of obsessed with the frosting) and to top it all off, I won a fleece as a door prize. Seriously.
The best part about winning it was that I quickly realized that a group of people at my table are clearly faithful blog readers. As soon as they saw what I won, they were JUST as excited as I was, knowing the serious TRAUMA I went though when I had my fleece stolen from the work coat closet earlier this year.
YAY for blog readers with excellent blog entry recall!!! And yay for me not having to freeze at my desk this winter!!
I do have pictures from the benefit, but I have to either send them to myself at work and post them on here - or write an entry from home and post them at that time. You think it's easy to be me? Well, it ain't.


I got home fairly early on Saturday night and Jim was still awake, so we watched Saturday Night Live together. I still laugh at the show, even though it's really inconsistent. I laugh hysterically at some things, but others just make me cringe. Here are a few things that I'm going to share with ya'll. I love Beyonce...she's so talented and really fun to watch. Kristin Wiig makes me laugh, even when she's stuck in a not-so-funny skit (which happens quite often). Justin Timberlake is totally gay. I (obviously) don't think it's a bad thing at all....I think he's super cute and talented and funny and g-a-y.


Sunday morning Jim and I got up and went grocery shopping early which was nice (not to mention necessary - the cupboards were BARE) and then had some time to relax on the couch, watch TV, and play with the pooch. Jim made chicken salad for lunch (yum!) while I took Scooter for a walk. After lunch we took showers, met up with a few softball friends (K, J, and Dr. S) at Fritz (yay Fritz!) and headed up to go visit Kevin (our second baseman), who just had ACL surgery (just like pretty-boy Patriot, Tom Brady). He's staying at his mom's house and is pretty much house-bound, so we all got together to visit him. We drank beer, watched football and ate pizza. It was very fun.
The description of his surgery was totally cringe-inducing, but it didn't look bad at all. He's getting around ok on one crutch, but he still can't drive which is making him crazy...but he's healing well...and looks fabulous. We all wish him a speedy recovery!
Hopefully he'll be back to his old self soon and on the field with us in fine form next season....if not slightly better (we can only hope).
KIDDING!!! He's a great player, and so much fun...and he likes to drink with me. :-)


Well, it's Monday - and I'm going to keep myself busy in an attempt to make this week FLY by!!!


HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY to M's little girl Ava!!!
One of the cutest - and possibly the most photographed :-) little girls I know.


Here's a team picture from this past season for your enjoyment...one of our 'fun' shots.




Friday, November 14, 2008

Book 'em Dan-O!

Jim and I have booked our hotel! Very exciting.
Like I said, this is the first 'real' vacation we've taken since our honeymoon (three years ago!) so we're extremely excited and very deserving of a vacation.


This is where we're staying (the building in the middle):






And here's a view from one of the balconies:



I've seen some other pictures as well, and it looks quite nice. I'm not all that picky when it comes to hotel rooms, so I'm sure I'll be THRILLED!

It's Friday, and although it's a bit 'drizzly' out it's not cold at all, and I'm in a very good mood. :-)

Here I sit, in my flannel shirt and jeans ready to start the day. I started reading a really good book on the train this morning. It's called 'the curious incident of the dog in the night-time' written by Mark Haddon. One of my co-workers suggested it to me a while ago, and after MANY failed attempts at locating it in the liberry (don't you love that?), it was finally in when I went over there yesterday. One of the times I looked for it before, I came across another book by the same author called 'A Spot of Bother' which I just finished last night. It was pretty good. I like his writing style a lot and it was a fun and funny novel. As I was reading it, I kept thinking that it would make a very funny movie. Something along the lines of 'Meet the Parents' or 'Sixteen Candles'. You know the type...a 'crazy' family trying to plan a wedding and all sorts of wacky things happen to everyone....fun.

Anywhoo....the book I'm reading now is a 'murder mystery' but the murder victim is a poodle, and the entire story is being told from the point of view of a 15 year old autistic boy who had decided to solve the crime. He's the one who discovered the dead dog, and at the suggestion of one of his teachers, is writing a novel about the whole experience. So far (I'm only on page 78) it's VERY good. I'll keep you posted.

My cold is getting better (although I'm a tad headache-y this morning) so I'm hoping that the worst of my cold is over with. It seems that a lot of people at work are going through the same thing. At certain times of the day you'd think that I was sitting in the TB ward...coughing and hacking as far as the ear can hear. Lovely.

Well peeps (I love Peeps) it's time for me to grab a cup of coffee and get to work...I have a fairly laid-back weekend coming up. Jim and I are going to finish up the cellar cleaning tomorrow (we got half of it done last night, and it looks wicked pissa so fah) and then tomorrow night I'm heading to a benefit dinner/dancing/silent auction event that a friend of mine is organizing for her nephew. THAT should be fun...and I'll be sure to bring my camera!!! I have no idea what we're doing on Sunday - but I'm sure it'll be fun and exciting. :-)

Have a GREAT weekend and don't do anything I wouldn't do...such as:





Or this:








Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rain irritates me...


It's raining out and I'm annoyed. It would be one thing if I were cuddled up on the couch watching TV, or lounging in front of the fireplace, but come on people!!!
I have things to do, and I don't need to be wet when I do them.
Thankfully, I can get from work to the train without getting wet (thanks to that nifty underground tunnel that runs under the road) and then I can still stay dry when I switch trains (both times) but there is no way for me to get from the train to my car without getting wet, and that annoys me. I suppose I'll just have to get over it, but I'm not going to pretend that I'm at all happy about it.

It could be worse. I could be going to the Patriots game tonight. THAT would be a nightmare.
Sitting in the stadium in the wet and cold? No thank you. I'd much rather sit on the couch and watch the game in the comfort of my living room.

Have I mentioned that horrible, HORRIBLE performer on the train platform lately? I don't think I have. Well, he's still there just about every morning and he's still absolutely horrendous.

That concludes my train performer update for the week.

Jim and I are planning on cleaning the cellar tonight. If I may be perfectly honest, I'm not exactly looking forward to it. Mostly because it's messy (hence the reason it needs cleaning), and who the heck wants to clean the cellar??
Just like everything else I dread, I'm sure it'll be fine and not nearly as torturous as I'm building it up to be. I tend to do that....it's the drama queen in me.

What else???

Work is work....people are all worried about layoffs, and the latest rumor is that December 3rd is the date that the axe will swing. I'll be romping about on a Florida beach on December 3rd, so hopefully I'm not getting laid off. However, if I am being let go, apparently I'll be in for a very RUDE awakening upon my return. What can you do? No sense in worrying about it.
Of course, if I do get laid off, that means a LOT more reading for you folks - and a lot more bitching from me. :-)
I'm kidding...I'll keep thinking positive thoughts and hopefully it will all work out in my favor.

Is it me or do a lot of people walk really slowly? I think of this every morning as I try to get to work. I'm constantly stuck behind the slowest walkers in the city. This makes me think that maybe I'm a faster walker than most people. Although I don't notice it when I'm out for a leisurely walk with friends. It's not like I'm walking 20 feet in front of everyone else screaming behind me for them to 'catch up', but when I'm trying to walk to catch a train (for example) it's as if I'm being held back by a wall of people who are DETERMINED not to let me pass. It's as if they're all in cahoots with one another; creating some sort of human wall who's main goal is to annoy me. And it works very well. Add that to the talentless man 'singing' on the platform and you've got one hell of a commute. No WONDER I'm so cranky some mornings!!!

Did y'all hear about that poor, crazy-assed fan of Paula Abdul's that killed herself out in front of Paula's house? That is just nuts. Clearly she wasn't well. I mean, first of all, she's all ga-ga over Paula Abdul which is odd in and of itself, but then to commit suicide in front of Paula's house? Talk about the icing on the fruitcake. When stuff like that happens, I feel so badly for the poor girl's family. CLEARLY there was a lot going on with her and she wasn't getting the help she needed.
I'll have to check out the news tonight and see if there's anymore important info. I'm missing...but it's just sad, sad, sad.

Well, that's all for now....I have to take off soon and make an attempt to stay dry.

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm just as pleased as punch!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Suggestions welcome

OK, I admit it....I left work a little early yesterday. I ran into an issue, and since everyone who could help me was out of the office, there was really no point in me sticking around doing nothing.
I only left an hour early, so it's not like I took a half day or anything, so back off and stop judging!!!

I got home yesterday and Jim had done a TON of yard work. There was not a leaf to be seen in the front or side yard. It looked SO great. As it turns out, he spent about 6 hours doing it.
Thanks dear!!!

Not only that, but he then proceeded to make a chicken, spinach and butternut squash risotto for dinner that was 'simply delicioso' (Food Network anyone?). Lucky, lucky me.
After dinner, I cleaned up (it was the least I could do) and Jim went online to try and find us a hotel to stay in down in Florida.

Oh....did I not mention that we're going on VACATION?!?!?!?








Yes, it's true....we're actually going on a vacation.

The last time I went on an actual vacation (you know, where you fly somewhere and stay in a hotel) was our honeymoon over 3 years ago.
Needless to say, it's LONG overdue.

We're going to spend Thanksgiving with my dad and step-mother in Fort Myers (that's in Florida - just in case Miss Teen South Carolina is reading this) then after a couple of days we're driving down to Miami Beach to visit one of my best friends for a few days (we've been friends since before kindergarten) and then returning to Fort Myers to hang with the folks for a few more days. We're very excited.


This is where you - my faithful readers (assuming there are people actually reading) - come into play.

If any of you have any suggestions as to where we should stay in South Beach (or reasonably close to it) please let me know. Feel free to ask your friends and get back to us....but make it quick - we're trying to make our reservations as soon as possible. :-)

We're also interested if you know of any places that should be avoided as well...that's just as important. And yes, we're asking my friend's opinion as well, since he lives there and all, but I wanted to put it out there for all of you to think about. I'm sure some of you have either been there, or know people who have - so get crackin'!!!!


Florida, here we come!




Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Work Schmerk.....

OK, this work thing is really getting old. Could I BE busier?!?! I don't think so.
Not to mention the fact that it's CLEARLY affecting my Blogging schedule! :-)

Of course, I'm kidding. I'm totally grateful that I have a job....especially given the current economic conditions. I may be busy as all get out, but I'm no fool. I'd rather be busy at work than busy trying to find a job.
There are constant rumors here at work about layoffs, but I'm keeping everything crossed that I remain unaffected. Here's hoping!

Anyway...I owe you all a 'weekend update' so here it is.
It was a fairly uneventful weekend, and it went by WAY too fast, but we got a lot accomplished.
Friday night Jim and I met his parents for dinner at (say it with me....) Ye Olde Standish Grille, followed by a rousing game of YAHTZEE!! at his sister's house. That game is FUN. Thank God I enjoy spending time with my in-laws, or it could be hell on earth.
I'm still battling this hideous cold, so I was not up for a late night. We only played one game and then promptly headed home and went to bed.

Saturday we spent the day cleaning the house, doing laundry and then Jim did a little 'rearranging' of the guest room upstairs. It looks great and feels much bigger. I love that.
At around 3:30, Jim and I headed up to Billerica to visit a couple of friends from my softball team. YAY! We met at their house, hung around there for a bit and then headed to the Burlington Mall for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. Knowing that it would be a crazy wait, we checked in and then had PLENTY of time to wander around the mall.
Speaking of the mall....do I really need to see SANTA on November 8th? Really?
Whatever...he was there in all his glory and there were people in line with their kids getting their pictures taken with him, so clearly there's a need.
After wandering around and doing some window shopping, we returned to the waiting area at the restaurant and waited to be 'buzzed'. We ended up getting a booth, which was nice, and as usual the food (and cheesecake) were quite good.
Normally I would NEVER wait that long for a table, especially at a place like The Cheesecake Factory, but it was more about the company than anything else. The food isn't all that spectacular, and the atmosphere is crazy, crowded and loud, but it allowed us to spend time with our friends and enjoy a nice night away from home. It was very fun.
After dinner we went back to their house and played a couple of games. Pictionary (which I haven't played in a LONG time - KNAPSACK!!! KNAPSACK!!!!) and Taboo. Apparently all the time we spend playing games with the Sullivans really paid off, as Jim and I won both games (quite easily, I may add) :-) Since we had a while to drive, we didn't stay too late and returned home to a sleepy puppy who, as always, was very happy to see us.

Sunday morning I had to get up early and go to a meeting for softball, so I did that and then returned home to find Jim knee deep (literally) in leaves. I changed into my 'yard work clothing' to begin raking and hauling leaves. Thankfully, because of where we live, we can just rake them to the back of the yard and into the woods (Sondheim anyone?) behind our house. The amount of leaves in our backyard is really quite amazing. If I had to bag them, I'd probably lose my mind. It took us a while, but it's DONE.
No more shuffling through the leaves to take Scooter out back, and I think he's happy to not have to wade through the leaves to go out and do his 'business'.
After raking, we headed to the grocery store, did our weekly shopping (which included a brief rendezvous with a local musical theatre diva who met us in aisle 7 to pick up a copy of a cd I had made for an upcoming audition she has...fun) and we returned home where Jim proceeded to make his very own version of schnitzel with noodles (Rodgers and Hammerstein anyone?) for dinner. It was SOOOO good, and made an excellent dinner again last night.....and if there was any left, I'd have it again tonight. Seriously...it was that good.

Today is Veteran's Day and while it's not a holiday for me - there are lots of people it IS a holiday for. Jim is home and all my school teacher type friends are home as well.
I'm a little jealous....but I know I'll get a lot done today without all those pesky interruptions. :-)

If you see a vet today...thank them...I'm sure they'd appreciate it.
Just make sure it's the kind that went to war and not the kind that can diagnose kennel cough...that would be a little awkward.

In the spirit of my post...here are some pictures from last year's leaf raking extravaganza.




Oh....speaking of Scooter (really, when am I NOT speaking of Scooter?)....he's been wearing his new sweater on his walks the past few days.

It's been pretty darn cold around these parts, and I think he loves wearing it.

Really...he does.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Zzzzzzzz....

The good news is that Jim made it home safely. The bad news is, he got home at about 2am.

Being the AMAZING husband that I am :-) I waited up for him....or does that just make me an idiot?
Either way, he's home and I'm happy about it.

Work has been nuts-o, which is why I didn't write yesterday.
As of this moment, I'm doing some processing, which allows me to blog whilst I wait.
Lucky, lucky you!

I just finished reading Faggots, a novel written by Larry Kramer. I'd never heard of it until I was reading And The Band Played On, and they mentioned it several times. It was written in 1978 and when it was published, it apparently caused a ruckus in the gay community. Lots of people thought that Mr. Kramer depicted the gays in a 'not so positive light' and they accused him of being a self-loathing homo who did more harm than good for the gays.
After reading it, I can see why they got a little upset, but honestly - I don't think he said anything that wasn't true. At least from what I've heard about gay life 'back then'. When it was written I was most definitely a homo in training, but at 6 years old, I was certainly not out on Fire Island celebrating the upcoming summer months. :-)
I enjoyed the book and if you're looking a little something to read, I suggest it.

OK - I'm going back to work....my stuff is almost done processing.

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mixed Emotions...


YAY OBAMA!!!!

I'm very excited that history was made last night and I'm happy to say that I was a part of it.
I'm also happy that the votes all went 'my way' as far as Questions 1, 2, and 3 are concerned.

Unfortunately, I'm not so thrilled with some of the results across the country.

Anti-gay laws were passed in Arizona, Arkansas, and Florida. Gross.
In addition, although it hasn't been confirmed by the press as of right now, it looks like the big one, Proposition 8 in California (the prop. to ban gay marriage) is going to pass as well.
Yuck.

It makes me very sad and yes, I cant help but take it personally.
I get VERY angry when I talk about it, so I'm not going to get into it.
I'm going to try and remain focused on the positive things going on around me and not allow those hate-filled people to get me down.
To those of you living in the affected states - keep fighting and stay positive!!!
Or move to Massachusetts. :-)

In other news, I'm going to see a show tonight!! YAY for live theatre!
I'm seeing the David Mamet play 'November' - which, as you could guess, is a political comedy.
My good friend Will is in it, and I'm SURE it'll be great.

Happy Wednesday...and keep smiling.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did you miss me??

So much to say.

I didn’t get a chance to Blog yesterday because I got to work late and it was non-stop excitement from the time I walked in the door. (That’s sarcasm, people)
Jim is once again traveling for work and will gone until Thursday.
This time he’s in San Francisco attending a conference…and I’m home, tending to the pooch and the other things that need tending.

Hmmmm, let’s see.
The weekend.

Friday was Halloween and we only had abut 14 kids come to the house lookin’ for treats. Included in that number was a group of four kids and three adults….the adults were in costumes and trick or treating as well. Really? At first, I wasn’t sure if they were adults or just really big teens, but as it turns out they were definitely trick or treating adults. Two witches and a Jason (of ‘Friday the 13th’ fame). Whatever….at least they were in costume and not just looking for handouts.
Around 8:30 or so, Jim and I ‘packed it in’ and headed to the Grille for dinner. At the Grille we ran into Jim’s sister, her husband and their oldest daughter who were there eating as well. I love that place. Have I mentioned it before? I‘m pretty sure I have, but it bears repeating. Love it.

Saturday morning we got up and I took my car to get an oil change while Jim stayed home and packed for his trip. When I got home, we threw together an overnight bag for the two of us (as well as one for Scooter), loaded up the car, dropped Scooter off at doggie daycare and started the trek to Connecticut.
If I hadn’t mentioned it before, Jim and I went to his cousin’s wedding in Connecticut Saturday night.
It was about a 2 1/2 hour ride and once we got there (around noon), we were pleased to find that we were able to check into the hotel right away, as opposed to waiting for the 3pm check in time. Happy days!
I loved the room we ended up with. We had a delightful sitting area, a refrigerator, a microwave and a big-ass bed…very comfy. Within a half hour of our arrival, the rest of Jim’s family arrived. We packed ourselves into a couple of cars and went in search of lunch. After a few unsuccessful stops (dive after dive), we found ourselves at the local mall, which was home to a Red Robin. I was especially excited, because I’ve never been to one and only know them from their commercials (Red Robinnnn!)
Aside from the fact that we had the DUMBEST waitress alive, it was a very pleasant experience…and the food was really good.
Don’t get me wrong, our waitress was very nice, but dumber than a box of hair...to the point that I was feeling bad for her. Anyway, we managed to survive the dim waitress and returned to the hotel (after stopping to grab some beers for the hotel room) to play a few games of ‘Left, Right, Center’ as well as ‘He Said, She Said’.
I’m not going to get into the Sullivan family and their game playing…that’s a blog for another day. Suffice it to say, that anywhere the Sullivans are, games will be played.
Once the games were finished, we split up and got ready for the wedding.

The wedding was BEAUTIFUL.
Not only was it a super-quick ceremony, (which I LOVED) but it was held in a quaint, little chapel on the grounds of the reception site which was beautiful.
Immediately following the ceremony, we walked over to the ballroom, ‘checked in’ and found our table. Jim and I were seated with his entire family (9 people all together) so it worked out great. Not that I don’t like sitting with ‘strangers’ at a wedding, but it’s always nice to sit with an entire table of people you already know. :-)
It was open bar all night (excellent) and there was more food than I’ve ever seen a wedding in my life. They had a TON of hot and cold appetizers, (passed, as well as three stations on the dance floor) and once they were done with that, the meal was served. We had a little bit of everything (there were three entrees to choose from) at the table, and by all accounts the food was delicious across the board. Good work, Mister Chef!!!
After eating more than any human being should, they came around asking if we wanted seconds, or if we wanted to wrap anything up and take it to-go.

Say WHAT?!?!? NEVER before have I seen this. Oh well…there’s a first time for everything.

After a group “We’re all set.” they proceeded to set up the MOST INCREDIBLE dessert tables I’ve ever seen in my life.
And by tables, I mean TABLES, this thing was about 5 buffet tables long. It was truly insane.
I’ll try and list off all the amazing things that they put out: there were tiny pastries of every kind imaginable, several varieties of cheesecakes, wedding cake, canollis (being filled right before your eyes), Belgian waffles, 3 different kinds of ice cream to have on the waffles (or as a sundae) hot fudge sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate mousse, chocolate dipped fruits, coffee royale, chocolate cups filled with whatever liqueurs you wanted, strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas…and I think that’s it. :-)
Yes, it was a little bit of heaven spread across the front of the room. About that cholesterol????

I was actually very good and kept myself under control. I only had a couple of chocolate covered strawberries, and a caramel sundae….and I tasted some of Jim’s chocolate mousse...and I tried the wedding cake. But that's IT!
Again…it was all sooooo yummy.
We danced for a while, drank for a while, took the shuttle back to the hotel and went to bed.

Jim and I got up fairly early on Sunday and headed back home. We made excellent time, so we were able to go and pick up Scooter together (who was very happy to see us) and then spend some time at home before the car service came to whisk Jim away to San Francisco.
Once Jim was gone, I caught up on all the laundry that needed doing and spent some quality time (on the couch) with Scooter.

As I said earlier, things were crazy at work yesterday, which has made for a very calm Tuesday….ELECTION DAY!!!
Go out and vote…every vote counts!!!

Oh – and I FINALLY heard back about ‘Jerry Springer: The Opera’. Unfortunately, I wasn’t cast. Cest la vie!
The director informed me that they were really looking for a more legit/operatic sound (as the title implies) which totally isn’t me, so they decided against casting me.
Whether or not I agree (or believe them) is irrelevant, but I do know that I’ll have PLENTY of free time this April and May. :-)

VOTE – VOTE – VOTE!!!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Update #1

I just got off the phone with my doctor, who happily reported that my cholesterol numbers were very good.

I was at 234 and now I'm at 192....that's 42 points down....YAY for me!!!

I'm going to have something fried and delicious for dinner tonight in celebration.

Maybe I can do one of those Quaker oatmeal commercials now?!?!?

Pump it up!!!!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

I'm in my orange sweater today....actually, it's Jim's orange sweater, but today it's mine. I'm pretty sure the only orange thing I own is a t-shirt, and I CERTAINLY can't wear that to work!!
What ever would my co-workers think of me?
Oh that's right...they wouldn't even care.
Don't get me started on my workplace dress code. Pointless!!

There was no rejection email in my in box this morning.
That's not to say it couldn't arrive at any moment, but it aint there yet!!!
I still haven't heard from my doctor, but I'm calling them later on this morning...the doctor I can call, the director I can't. ;-)

Jim and I carved our pumpkins last night....please excuse my glasses. My eyes were tired, so I took out my contacts. I try to NEVER be photographed in my glasses because I think they're hideous, but I keep putting off buying new ones...some day....some day.


This is Jim, preparing the pumpkin to be carved....




This is me....doing the same.....



This is Scooter....incredibly irritated that we're not paying attention to him.


Jim - displaying the finished product




Me, doing the same.




Don't forget to check back later this afternoon for the theatre and cholesterol updates!!!