Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Alive!!!!!!!!

I know, I know….there is NO excuse for my despicable behavior!!! It’s one thing to not write updates for a while, but it’s an entirely different thing when you just up and disappear without a word!!!

So, here’s the scoop….I’ve been away on vacation for the past week and a half, and the week leading up to my going away was so busy, that I never even got a chance to write so that y’all would know I was going away. :-)

As you can imagine, SO much has happened since you last heard from me……OH – and a big thank you goes out to all the folks who were concerned about my ‘disappearance’….you’re awesome and you made me feel loved. The rest of you can just piss off. :-)

Anyway….I’ll give a quick re-cap of what went down before my vacation:
On Friday we hosted a party with lots of amazing friends in attendance; on Sunday we volunteered for the day and had tons of fun at a local ‘park day’; on Thursday, Jim and I celebrated our FOURTH wedding anniversary; On Friday I spent the day with some college friends, visited my college campus (UNH) for the afternoon, and then went to dinner and a show in Portsmouth; Saturday was my softball banquet (I was voted MVP for my team!!!!) and on Sunday, we spent the day down the Cape with my parent’s, Jim, and Jim’s parents. It was VERY fun. Then we got home, packed, and left at 4am Monday morning for our week in NYC!!!

Jim was working at a conference all week, but I tagged along and spent the entire week in New York City staying at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
As you can imagine, it was pretty much a dream come true for me. There’s no way in hell that I would ever be able to afford to stay at the Marriott Marquis for one night, never mind for an entire week – so it was truly a one-in-a-lifetime experience….and it was an amazing trip.

I won’t go into a huge amount of detail, but I’ll give a quick overview of my week:

Monday: ate lunch with Jim, saw President Obama and his ‘crew’ drive by…he totally waved to me; I went to the taping of The Late Show with David Letterman (with Bill Clinton and Lebron James as the guests) which was a cramazing experience, then had dinner in the Presidential Suite of the hotel with Jim and his co-workers.
Tuesday: went to the Museum of Natural History, met up with some NYC friends, saw ‘Hair’ that night…..loved, loved, loved the show to bits….SO good.
Wednesday: went to the ‘Sirius Live on Broadway’ performance in Times Square with Seth Rudetsky and his guest Diana Degarmo (of American Idol fame), I chatted with them both afterwards, which was VERY fun. I’m a big fan of Seth’s, so that was an extra special treat. Diana sang a couple of songs and sounded amazing. I saw the matinee of ‘Shrek: The Musical’ (excellent sets and costumes, but NOT a good show. It was a little bit depressing to see so many amazing performers performing such crap 8 times a week. Yikes.) I then met up with a good college friend for dinner and then saw the evening performance of ‘The Toxic Avenger’ (such a fun and funny show….currently starring Diana Degarmo, who again sounded great, but isn’t the best actress on the planet. The rest of the cast was hysterical though…sooo funny) Went for drinks afterwards and met up with another college friend, who’s currently in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ – yes, I have famous friends.
Thursday: met a friend for lunch, met a different friend for coffee, had a ‘date’ with Jim that night to go see ‘In The Heights’ (which we both loved…..see it when the tour comes anywhere near you, or if you happen to visit NYC) and then we had a yummy post-show dinner
Friday: walked around for a bit, waited in line for discount tickets (the only time I really waited in line all week) and got tickets to see a preview performance of ‘Memphis’. I ran into a friend before the show, went to dinner and drinks with him and his boyfriend and then met up with Jim after the show. The show was quite good. It was the first time I’ve ever seen a show in previews, so I’m interested in seeing what changes they make before it’s officially ‘open’. My friend Brad is in the show, so it was fun seeing him up on stage and chatting with him afterwards.
Saturday: got up and packed, checked out of the room around 10 or 11, went with Jim to the World Trace Center memorial (sad, sad, sad) then went to lunch in the Village. We went to Madame Tussaud's (total tourists – but it was fun), had some AMAZING gelato, caught our train and arrived back home at 9:45pm. We picked up Scooter at my mother-in-law’s house around 10, and thought he was going to have a heart attack when he saw us. It was SO great to see him….we missed him a LOT.

So…..that’s a brief re-cap of my vacation. I saw 5 shows in 6 days, and will probably never have the chance to do THAT again….so I’m grateful that I got the chance. Even though Jim was working all week, we got to spend some time together, and he was really happy to have me there….at least that’s what he said!!!
I’ll post some pictures when I can.

Yesterday we spent the day getting back into the swing of things (laundry, laundry, laundry) and here I am today… work. I’m happy to report that while I was gone, I only received 50 emails. Of those 50 emails, only a handful were work-related, and none of them were specifically addressed to me (they were all generic work announcements) so I CLEARLY didn’t miss anything here.
Now I have to get caught up on all your blogs!!!!

As much as I loved being away, it’s nice to be home.

PS – today is our 3rd anniversary of home-ownership!!!! My, how time does fly……

Friday, September 11, 2009

Short and Sweet

There's no question that today brings back LOTS of memories for most Americans. We all have our "Where were you on 9/11?" stories that will undoubtedly stay with us and be passed on for years to come.

I just want to give a quick mention to my college friend Jen, who was working in the South Tower, 92nd floor on that Tuesday morning and was never heard from again.

She was a sorority sister of one of my roommates, so she was pretty much a fixture at our house. I'll always remember her as an intelligent, super-friendly, hysterically funny person with an amazing sense of humor. And she could drink with the best of them!!! :-)

I'll be sure to keep Jen and everyone else we lost that day in my thoughts.

Have a good weekend everyone!!!!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

If you can't say something nice...

Can I just bitch for one second?

As I've mentioned before, I was recently assigned to a new project here at work. It's the first project I've been working on that requires me to test the 'new' company's systems. Well, I still have no way to access any of the systems I need to use. I have no user ids or passwords and neither of the applications are able to be put onto my machine.
So, I'm absolutely, one-hundred percent useless. It's very frustrating.
I have been able to sit with someone and they've been kind enough to go through some of the set-up with me and they've even run some of the tests so that I can at least verify the results. However, in trying to do that, we ran into a few problems and need to work with the developer to figure out what's wrong. That totally normal, but the problem is, I can't expect someone who's helping me out to stop everything they're doing in order to help me fix my issues.

SO, as a result, I sit around waiting and waiting for a 'good time' to bother them again. It's not fair (to them or me) and it's really annoying.

My boss is out this week and the last I heard, they were 'closer' to getting my access approved. Meanwhile, there are consultants here that walk in the door and are able to work on the systems right away. Sure....THAT makes sense.

Sorry about complaining....but it's REALLY irritating.

Anyway....I went to see a show last night!!!!
That's all I have to say about that.
(see the title of today's entry)

Speaking of shows...I'm 99% sure that I'm going to be helping out with the SpeakEasy Stage Company's production of (my beloved) [title of show]!!!!!
I approached Paul (the director) and told him that I couldn't commit to working on the show every night of its run, but if he needed someone to help him out during the rehearsal process, I could make myself available. It would be like a 3 1/2 week commitment as opposed to 6 weeks or so - which is much more 'do-able' for me.
He replied and said that he would love to have me help out, although he's not sure exactly what he wants me to do just yet. Maybe I'll just be the go-fer, or maybe I'll be more involved in the 'dramaturgy' for the show. For those of you not in the theatre biz, in simple terms, the dramaturg is pretty much the one who does all the research for a show. For example, if there's some random reference made in a show, the dramaturg will do the necessary research in order to figure out what the reference actually means, so the actor isn't clueless as to what they're talking about...stuff like that.
Since I'm such a [title of show] fan (OK - I'm obsessed) it would be a lot of fun to research all the stuff they mention in the show in addition to researching the history of the show itself.
Whatever I'm asked to do, I'm willing to be that I'll enjoy it. :-)

In other news, I heard on the radio this morning that Ellen Degeneres is going to fill Paula Abdul's spot on 'American Idol'?!?!? I think that's gonna be fun and I'm VERY interested in seeing how that all works out.
I love Ellen and I can't wait to see her. I'm guessing that she will make things quite interesting.

That's all for now.....have a very happy Thursday and thanks again for letting me vent.

I feel much better already.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A rare occasion...

I'm writing from home!!!

Wow...isn't it odd? Actually, it's only because I wanted to add pictures from our 'bog visit' the other night, and it's a lot easier to do it from home, as opposed to sending them to my Flickr account and then add them at work....

So - here are some pictures from the other night. :-)

This picture was taken while I was standing on one of the bogs.....that's their brand-spankin' new house on the left, the chicken coop in the middle, and the aforementioned teepee on the right.

This too was taken from one of the bogs, looking out over their property, towards the main road (where the telephone poles are) those are all bogs!!!

Here's a close-up shot of a cranberry on the vine....

Ain't they pretty?!?!?

This is one of their sheep....who's name escapes me at the moment....

This is their entire, bleating herd. They were very loud.

This is another view of their land...I was close to the house for this one, so you can see how much they have....and that's not even close to the entire thing....

These are their two boys, playing with two of the three kittens....

Good Night!!!!!

Fall has fallen.

Hey y'all!

Labor Day has come and gone, and I'm back to work.
However, I have my vacation coming up in 9 short days, which is VERY exciting.
More on that later!!

Let's see.....Jim and I met up with our friends C & J on Friday night for dinner. They own a hair salon in the next town over, so we met them there. They recently relocated, so this was our first time seeing the new place. We never actually saw the old place, but that's not important.
The new salon is's SO pretty and they did a really great job decorating. Jim and I decided that we need them to come over and help us decorate our house. :-) While we were waiting for the massage therapist to finish up with her last massage of the day (she was joining us for dinner) we had a cocktail. Once she was done, she joined us for a drink (or two?) and then we headed off to dinner. We were going 'cheap' - so we went to the local Chili's, but still had a lot of fun....and a lot of yummy food. After dinner, we said our goodbyes and headed home.

On Saturday, Jim and I got up, hung around for a bit and headed to the mall....which I hadn't been to in soooooo long. We were going there to look for a suit for Jim, and to buy his mom a birthday present (today's her birthday.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARYANN!!!!).
We had NO luck finding Jim a suit, but we did get his mom and nice birthday gift...and I got myself 3 CDs.
I was very excited. FYE is having a CD sale, so I took full advantage. Since most people have apparently stopped buying CDs and are now mostly downloading music, it would seem that the demand for CDs is fading. I'm not at all anywhere near that advanced (I don't even own an iPod) so I was thrilled to see that they were selling CDs for $9.99 or less. I ended up buying 3 CDs for $31.80. Without the sale, they would have cost me $63.57!!!! Sweet.

I know you're dying to know what I bought, so I'll tell you. The Original Cast Recordings of 'Spring Awakening', and the current revival recordings of 'West Side Story' and 'Hair'.
I'm very excited....and I'm sure you're shocked that I bought something Broadway related.

Anyhoo....after our shopping extravaganza, we headed to our friend Kevin's house for a BBQ, which was very fun. It was a nice mix of people, some I knew, some I didn't - so, I got to meet some new people and have fun with some of the old gang. After the BBQ died down, a few of us headed into Boston and went to The Alley for 'Bear 411' night. It was fairly crowded and quite fun. Since I'm a huge fan of 'people watching', it was a really good time. There was a lot to watch. :-)

Sunday morning, Jim and I slept in (P.S. - we haven't been to church in WEEKS) and then spent the day down the Cape with Jim's family. A few of his mother's cousins and their families were up visiting, so it was kind of a mini-family reunion. It was quite fun...but a little bit tiring. That may have been due to our previous night's activities, but either way, we left the Cape around 4, came home, ate dinner, lounged on the couch and went to bed early.

Monday morning we got up, cleaned the entire house, threw in some laundry, Jim mowed the lawn, we went grocery shopping and by the time we were done with all that, it was dinner time. After dinner, we went over to C & J's house to sit around their fire pit and have a few drinks.
After seeing the salon and their house, we are DEFINITELY having them over to help us decorate our house. They clearly have an 'eye' for it and Jim and I don't.

It was fun chatting with them, hearing all about their adoption experiences (they have 3 year old twins, a boy and a girl) and getting the inside scoop on parenting from their perspective. At this point, any and all advice is greatly appreciated. We're always willing to learn from other people's mistakes!!!! :-)

I hope you all had a great weekend as, get to work!!!!

Happy Tuesday!!!


Friday, September 4, 2009

False Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!!! OK, it's not actually Labor Day (hence, today's blog title) but since I'm not going to be working on Monday, I figured I'd get it out of the way now.

Can I just ask why the HELL Michael Jackson was just 'buried' last night? What in heaven's name took them so long? They managed to get Ted Kennedy buried in a normal amount of time, yet Michael Jackson couldn't be? I had no idea...I didn't give it a second thought, and then I turned on the news last night and they were - showing us live shots from his funeral. I was very confused at first...and let's not even begin discussing his $30,000 casket.

Jim and I went to go visit my college friend Iain and his family last night. They live SO close to us, yet we've never been down to visit. Granted, they've only been living in their house for a year and before that, the 4 of them were living with Iain's mom, so it wasn't an ideal situation for visiting.
Anyway, they live on THIRTY + acres and own/run/manage 9 cranberry bogs. I was completely amazed at their set-up. I've never felt more like a 'city boy' in my life. They have a pond (20 acres of water) that is theirs and the rest is all divided up between the bogs and a their farm/house. They have 6 sheep, 12 hens, 3 kittens and a dog....oh - and two boys ages 4 and 3. They raise the sheep for wool (Christine actually spins her own yarn - I was fascinated.) and the hens for eggs. None of their animals are raised for slaughter.
They have a beautiful home that they just finished building a year ago and also have a teepee that they have set-up in their, I'm talking a real teepee that Iain actually lived in for a time when he was in Montana. We sat in it, had a fire and a few drinks. I was amazed at how incredibly warm it got in there and how smoke-free it was. Talk about a brilliant design.
I asked about 5 million questions about everything and was just amazed at everything they do. Not to mention the fact that they were possibly the most laid-back couple I've ever met. I can't even imagine being responsible for that much property and not being a stress case about it.
We got to walk through the bogs, saw the cranberries growing, the bee hives they own to pollinate the bogs, and got the full scoop on how they're grown, harvested, etc. etc....I was fascinated. They provide cranberries for Ocean Spray and are due to harvest them all over Columbus Day weekend. Jim and I may take a ride down to see them in action.
I'm SO angry that I don't have pictures to share, but the camera's battery died while we were there and we got home too late to deal with it last night. I will definitely post pictures though, assuming they came out OK.
It's so weird, because I still think of Iain as an 18 year old kid, which is how old he was when I first met him (I was a senior when he was a freshman) but he's all growed up and certainly has done quite well for himself.

That was our exciting night. I know I probably sound like Encino Man the way I'm talking about this stuff, but spending so much of my life living in cities....I'm obviously easily impressed. :-)

Tonight we're going to dinner with a couple of friends, then tomorrow we're going to a cookout with a gang of softball players. THAT should be fun.

Have a great, LONG weekend!!!

This isn't their teepee, but this is exactly what it looked like....crazy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

"I am not a cook...."

Last night I made dinner.
Like, a real dinner.

Granted, it wasn't a fancy-pants, totally impossible-to-make dinner, but it was certainly more advanced than my usual dinner attempts.

I made chicken fajitas, rice, and beans, AND it came out quite yummy, if I may say so myself. Jim threw together the marinade for the chicken, but other than that, I did the rest. It was certainly stressful, but it was fun.
My biggest issue when it comes to cooking is the timing of everything. I had to take a few minutes and really think about what my plan was before I to do anything. I don't know whether that's what everyone does, but I really had to think about it first.

In the end, everything came out quite yummy, even though at one point I was stressed because the rice was almost done, the peppers and onions were almost done, and I was running in and out between the house and the pool area, trying to make sure that the chicken wasn't burning on the grill.
Good times!

After dinner, I had to rush out because I was meeting my friend (I'll just call him 'B') and a couple of his friends for drinks.

Quick side story: 'B' and I dated for a quick minute back in the summer/fall of 1995. I was working at a theatre in MA, and he was an actor. We dated for the month that he was performing there, he went back to New York and then we continued dating for a couple more months until he dumped me in early September (I think that's when it was). I remember being sad about the breakup, but I quickly realized that it was the best thing....we were both quite young and the long distance thing really made NO sense. We have remained good friends since then, and it was great to see him and catch up.

One of his friends who joined us was an actress who recently married a local guy and they're now living in MA. As it turns out, she and I know about a million of the same people, and it was so much fun talking about all the random connections we have.
We'll be friends on facebook before the day is through.

As the night went on, we were chatting and 'B' was telling me all about a difficult breakup that he just went through. I know his ex, but I and had NO idea what had gone on between them. Even though there was a lot of really awful stuff that went on between them, 'B' said that he had no ill feelings towards his ex. He only said that he wished him well and hoped that he would get some help in dealing with his many 'issues'.
This led to a discussion about karma and the idea of "what goes around comes around" (I'm a believer in this as well) which was his reason for not wishing his ex any ill-will. While we were talking about karma, 'B' mentioned that by his going through this break up he was paying his 'karmic debt' for the way that he'd treated past boyfriends.

Now - when he was saying this to me, it was clear that I was one of those past boyfriends that he was referring to. The really odd thing is that I have never once considered our break up as a 'bad' break up. From my point of view, it was just one of those things where the timing was wrong, and we were really just meant to be good friends and not anything else. Of course, the paranoid loon that I am is now thinking that there was something going on at the time that I didn't know about (was he cheating? did he think I was dumb? was I too needy?) but honestly, I don't think that's the case. He insists that I acted like more of a grown up back then (in a good way) and that's the reason that I've ended up with all the great things I have in my life today.

Speaking of great things that I have in my life husband, Jim finally came out of 'blog retirement' and wrote something on his blog.
It's such a great entry, it made me C-R-Y when I read it.
As one of my dear friends often says.... "Lucky, Lucky Me!!!"

That's all I've got for today.....what do you think about karma?

Happy Thursday. :-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!!

Today would have been my mother's 70th birthday.

(for the 'newbies', here's a little background)

I would imagine that we would have thrown a big, old crazy surprise birthday party for her....and I'm sure she would have LOVED it.
Whenever we were at any sort of function that had music and dancing, she was on the dance floor for just about the entire night. (with either a 7 & 7 or a CC & Ginger close by) :-)
She was especially fond of the line dances of her time - she could Hully-Gully with the best of them, and loved teaching them to people who'd never done them before.
Had the Electric Slide been popular 'back in the day', I know that she would have been a BIG fan.

I don't want to get all sad and emotional, but wanted to dedicate today's entry to her and wish her a happy 70th!!!

This is ME, circa 1977 or so....nice.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Morn

Happy September First!!!

Back when I was in college, I had a friend who was totally fun and a little bit crazy, named Andrea. One night we were at a party and she was introducing herself to everyone and telling them that her name was September Morn. She kept it up all night long and acted like it was totally normal.
So much fun.'s September, and as is typical for New England, we went from 100 degrees, humid and sweating your face off all day long to 60 degrees, dry, and searching for a sweater all day long.
Seriously, it is chilly out.
Last night I had to close some windows it was so dang cold. I LOVE this type of weather though. As much as I live for warm weather and sunshine, there is nothing like Fall in New England. It's great. I look forward to all the fall festivals, fairs, apple picking, and going outside in jeans and a sweatshirt....that's my all-time favorite outfit for the fall.

Bring it on, I say!!!

In other news, I'm supposed to start testing for my first project at my 'new' company (up to this point, I've been supporting the 'old' company's system) and I still don't have ANY access to the systems I need. Hooray for productivity!!!!

Have a delightful Tuesday.....