Monday, November 30, 2009

A Random Post Containing Complaints, Fueled by the New England Patriots playing the undefeated Saints on Monday Night Football

The Bad/Ugly
1. Advice Giving
OK so I belong to an online wedding community. Part of this community is a board organized by subject. I rarely start my own topics, but for some reason, am addicted to throwing in my two cents every once in a while. It's fun. Especially when it's stuff like "how did you meet your fiance" or long-distance relationship junk. Today I commented on an "emotional" post, a post where the author mentioned that she couldn't quite get past the feeling that her fiance's friends wondered whether she was "good enough" for him. Instead of giving constructive advice and support, people were like 'oh just breathe' (though they typed the egregious mispelling 'breath' ugh) or "be yourself" or "love yourself as much as your fiance loves you." Oh please. This girl didn't post to be told to inhale, people. I know what it's like to get the whole 'hope she's good enough for you' deal. It SUCKS. Then people on the board turned and were like "someone had to tell me to cut through my own bullsh*t and help me realize I'm a great person." While I did not reply to that, I thought, "oh honey, I know I am a good person, and plenty good enough for the man I am marrying. That I know this is all that matters. There are going to be people who judge you no matter what happens. You might be the nicest person in the world, and they'll still be people that hate you. The trick is learning to rise above and ignore them, not to take a breat, not to stare in the mirror and tell yourself you're fabulous, to IGNORE THE HATERS."
Ahem.
The end.

2. I get emails from my employer every once and a while informing me of new cancer drugs that have made it into the official treatment guideline. Without fail my data manager fowards them to me with a "FYI." I just never respond and delete them. But a big part of me wants to say to her "Don't you think I get these emails?! I'm in charge of submitting these new drugs for coding as well as concordance, don't you think I covered this already?!" Instead I just delete and go about my day, mildly annoyed that this woman thinks that I don't subscribe to company updates. A better person would say "oh thanks XYZ, I saw this just this morning in my inbox!" but I did not feel like taking the higher road this morning.

3. I am so sick of wedding plans and fighting about wedding plans I want to scream. Lately, I've kind of hated every second of it. Especially when they cause me to b8tch out my fiance. *sad shame face* The end.

4. I want to throw my stupidass Blackberry out the window. It's busted. I need to go to AT&T except the last time I went there after work I waited for 90 minutes in line and then another 30 while some barely-in-high-school teen messed with my phone, spending at least 20 of the 30 minutes staring at it till he realized it needed a new sim card. Annoying.

5. I overslept and got here late so I have to stay late. It's already dark as night. Thus, I am cranky.

The Good

1. Football is on tonight which simultaneously pleases and scares the sh*t out of me.
Example:
The Patriots will take on the Saints in prime time, allowing me to run on the treadmill whilst watching football. Hurrah!
The Patriots are taking on Drew Brees and his undefeated team..oh SH*T.

This is mostly good because I have faith in my Pats.

2. Thanksgiving. It was really really nice. Chill even. The food was delicious, two of the three pies came out really great and the other was totally decent and edible (just not my thing). The fam was on their best behavior and we managed to play a post-dinner game of Pictionary without murdering one another. Though everyone was made and my sister and me who have a nearly telepathic method of winning the game; we are so similar in the way we think that we dominated things from the beginning. For examply my sister drew something that resembled this :
/--/
I I
and I guessed electric chair. Sick, eh?

3. Free food. Jam and I earned a free dinner when we were up in Portsmouth. We had a 2 hour wait for din din which was made ok by drinks, crackers, conversation and a couple rounds of checkers, but once seated waited 30 minutes to even put in a drink order. I was pretty pissed but didn't say anything. Then the managers came over and were srlsy embarrassed. I actually started to feel bad for them! They comped our drinks. Then comped dinner. THEN gave us tea, two t-shirts and a 25$ gift card. Yikes! I have to add "send CM a note" to my to do list this week!

4. Peabody Essex Museum. Those three words sum it up. It's AWESOME and fun and I could seriously go back there tomorrow because it's not overwhelming and there's a lot to see. If you're over that way (thanks for the edit, R, especially after I talked smack about the breathe/breath people!) be sure to check out the Yin Yu Tang house. Fascinating.

5. Wedding planning. OK it's not all bad. I'll be ordering our invites tomorrow. Yay :)

6. Smith. I swear, it's the only organization that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when they hit me up for cash. As I type in my credit card information I can't help but hearken back to the good ol days when work study left me with a serious cash flow problem and I was typing the same credit card digits into amazon.com and other websites to buy random crap I didn't need....like wooden platform shoes....then in turn this makes me think of all the fun times I had in aforementioned wooden platform shoes....and remember how great college was! the friends! the camaraderie! the food!! the parties and drinking and the quaint New England campus. Glorious! Then I remember the academic pressure and struggle and think "glad I don't have to do it again...but I'll gladly give you money so some other poor, unknowing, idealistic, naive soul can try in my place." heh heh heh.

Well I think my six good things have officially outpaced my five bad and ugly things. I just had an impromptu meeting with a doc I'm working with and she is a total rockstar. She reminds me a ton of a friend from college who is in her fourth year of med school, maybe that's why we get along so well. So I guess maybe this day hasn't been a total bust after all. Hmmn.

Ok, off to cheer for the Patriots! If you've made it this far, thanks for reading about my complainin' :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Every year as we practically roll our overstuffed bodies down my grandparent's driveway post-Thanksgiving, it seems unfathomable that in less than 24 hours we'll all be heading back for leftovers...

Yet every year we do. Tommorow, despite my overstuffed-ness will be no exception.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thaanksgiving holiday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wedding Wednesday 9/54

We are 1/6th of the way there. And probably have about 1/6th of what we need done, done.

I don't have much to add in terms of wedding junk this week. Planning this soiree long distance is pretty irritating. Why? Because I have about a billion ideas a day and really just want to go home and say "hey, Jamaal, what do you think of xyz?" But that doesn't happen because I am an engaged 27-year old lady still shacking up with her parents. Oh yeah.

One thing he did ok without a second though were the stamps. Have I mentioned these before? I totally have, haven't I?

Well if not, here they are, in all of their splendiferous nerdiness:
I think the bottom is greyed out due to copyright shizz from the source. But you get the idea. These are from 1982 (the year of my birth!) and it will take four stamps per envelope to have enough postage sufficient for our wedding invites. Right now you are probably thinking or saying "WHY" or "WTF" Honestly, I don't know. Because I like birds. Birds are awesome. I am nerdily obsessed with them. I would like to rock a navy blue envelope for the invites, and think four bird stamps would look colorful and interesting against the dark blue backgroud. Of course, I would have loved to have done something vintage-y and chic like this:
But I am too dang lazy to go 'trolling for vintage matchy stamps when I could find some on ebay still in full-sheet format, rocking birds and state flowers, set to go. So that's what's happening for postage on the outside.

Our reply cards are going to be in postcard format, and for that little adventure, I have purchased (finished purchasing, I now have enough!) some tropical birds to go on the replies:
These are a little brighter and more flamboyant than their state bird/state flower counterparts, but that's ok, I like how they look! Of course this is about a nickel over the going rate for postcards (last I checked they cost .27 to mail) but since I bought these at face value, I only wasted about $5 on them. Not too shabby.

We will be sending out save the dates before the invitation suite finds it's way to the mail. I thought I could sneak these in with Christmas greetings, but the reality is that there is no way in HELL that is going to happen, LOL. Even though Printable Press has about a 7 day turnaround time, I'll still want to get envelopes and make liners and get special stamps blah blah blah blah blah. So yeah. Instead of searching high and low for more bird-themed vintage postage, I think I'll head on over to zazzle and design something cool.

I love zazzle and have had excellent luck designing postage there. I can't copy and paste the products, but here's a link if you're so inclined. I'll be making my holiday stamps over there too. Last year I used this image, and while I hate to repeat, Mr. Cardinal is very hard to resist:

Northern Cardinal

He is so red and delicious.

Anyways, that's my postage saga for now. There's still a ton of trolling to be done on ebay, as I realized I'm about 5 sheets short of my stamp goal for the state birds. Right now though, I have to go donate some platelets! I've been taking iron like a fiend to boost that hemoglobin, and I'd love to leave the blood bank with some "product" over the holiday...my neighbor fighting ALL is back in the hospital, and while he is just fighting a fever and some med-related side effects (as far as we know, no leukemia relapse) he might be in need of a boost tomorrow...even if my platelets aren't a good match for him, knowing that other people like me are willing to donate this week makes me feel great. I do it for people like my little neighbor and because I am grateful that I am healthy enough to be a donor - I'm so thankful that I am able.

SO that's that. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When in Doubt, DIY

I went to Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma last night at Derby Street.
Srsly, Derby St is glorious, rivaled now only by Legacy Place in Dedham (which has a Paper Store AND a Paper Source, a WFM, a Loft, and *sigh* Anthropologie). Because Dedham is a bit far of a post-work drive for me, my loyalty to Derby St remains secure...especially since they're putting a Chipotle in there.

Anyways, I picked the perfect time to hit up WFM, 6pm on the Monday before Thanksgiving. By Wednesday morning the parking lot there will be inpenetrable, and the store will be full of three types of people: foodies intent on making some sort of elaborate Martha Stewart-esque stuffing for their free range turkey, people who forgot an essential ingredient and are forced to WFM because Shaw's ran out of cinnamon (me, usually), and the truly desperate, looking for anything pre-made that will sufficiently impress the crowd at Aunt Mabels, or *gulp* their future mother-in-law's. Jamaal is smart and has decided he is brining wine to my grandma's.....but I digress.

So WFM was blissfully empty, and by empty I mean only about a dozen carts were 'trolling the produce section. I walked around and around, trying to decide what kinds of apples would be best for my pies. I wasn't going to use 100% granny smith as one recipe called for, but as a hater of pink lady and gala apples, my choices were limited. Then I had to choose pears. The usual bartlett and danjou were hard as a rock, and yes, I have been vanquished by rock-hard pears before. Because Whole Foods is awesome, I whipped out my iPod and connected to their free wi-fi and googled "pears for a pear pie." Well INTERNETS you FAILED me. Every recipe I found called for "pears." Um specifically please? I gave up after a few websites, as a small, impeccably dressed man kept sighing at me: I was blocking the pomegranates. I finally gave up and bought the ripest pear I could find, a comice pear, which come to find out, does not taste particularly good baked or poached. Crap.

After finishing up at WFM, where I left a mere $36 poorer (holiday specials WHAT?!) I decided to drive on over to Williams Sonoma. The people in that store are decidedly weird - they always always stare as I walk in, as if someone under the age of 45 could not possibly be using anything in their store - but it's the only place around I knew I could get a reliable pastry rolling pin and a fluted pie crust cutter. I picked up what I needed, having to crawl over an irritable employee to get the pie crust cutter, and made my way to the cash register where an urgent, hushed conversation was taking place between the cashier and a customer.

The customer wasa woman my age, maybe a little younger, short with long dark hair. The cashier was around my age also, tall and blond with an effeminate voice. "Ohmahgah I just don't know if we'll have any!" he exclaimed.
The woman said "You have too...come on it's Thanksgiving, you HAVE to have some."
Cashier "No, no I mean we WILL have some, it's just that it's kind of been reserved for weeks and I don't know if I can get you any."
What the hell were they talking about? Pie plates? Turkey roasters?
Woman: "I just don't know what I'm going to do then. Do they have any in Portland? Can you call the Portland Maine store, please??" Her tone was becoming desperate.
Cashier: "well I can see what time they close."
While he was on the phone, another store employee came over and said "We have dried. We always have that, I can sell you dried orange rind."
Woman: "No, no I NEED the fresh!"
Wait.
What?
This woman was freaking out about orange rind? SERIOUSLY?!
I started to open my mouth, ready to explain that for whatever she was willing to pay for freshly grated orange rind she could buy a microplane and some oranges, and with a little finesse and practice and very little effort, have a pile of her own freshly grated orange rind...
BUT
She left in to much of a flurry and huff for me to help her.
I will say though, she certainly entertained me while I was waiting to pay.
I'll be wondering about that lady on Thanksgiving...wondering if she really drove to Portland for her fresh orange rind....wondering what the hell she was making that needed it....wondering if anyone nice took pity on her and told her that she could totally do it herself...

Monday, November 23, 2009

So I failed to post this weekend

Whoops. Kind of let blogging fall by the wayside. I had material too dang it! I was going to write about how busted up I looked on Friday, that I felt old and worn down...then I was going to write about my surprising rejuvenation at a spa party I attended Saturday afternoon...and usually I have something to ramble about by Sunday....not the case this weekend.

Why do Mondays make me more cranky than any other day? On a work week as short as this, I should be happy to go into the office and get things done, right? Not so! I found myself as irritable as any other Monday. Maybe it's because I feel a little run down (sore throat, headache) or maybe because I feel like I have a ton to do (make pies, entertain friends over weekend, craft) but the smallest things have been setting me off. Like the girl who wedged herself between me and my seatmate on the bus (our bus has some seats that are parallel to the sides of the bus, not the traditional row seats) and then refused to put her hands on her lap and had her pointy elbows sticking into my sides.

Don't get me started on facebook. Why I even throw status updates on there is beyond me, but when I tried to be funny this morning, one of Jam's friends commented right away about how I shouldn't use a Kindle when my fiance is in publishing. This friend looooves giving advice and opinions, and since I've only met her once and feel like I shouldn't judge her, I try to be lighthearted about it. I don't get into with her, not even the time she told me that she knew Jamaal longer than any of his other friends (untrue) and that they talked about him proposing to me for a long time and she helped him weigh all the pros and cons and that I should know that it wasn't a decision he made lightly. Um ok, am I supposed to be grateful? Because honestly, that kind of makes it sound like he was simply capitalizing on what he thought may be his only opportunity to pin a lady down and marry her. UGH. So back to the Kindle, LOL. What annoyed me is 1. she doesn't even know Jam doesn't work in print publishing anymore, he works in E-PUBLISHING - oh yeah, and that's E for Electronic 2. by "Kindle app" I meant "Kindle application on my iPod 3. Jam told me he wanted to buy me a Kindle for Christmas (ok now typing this I am actually quite amused by the know it all friend) and 4. My mother is a damn librarian, I am NEVER EVER going to give up buying books, borrowing books from the library, reading a tangible book in my HAND for a soul-less piece of technology. Harumph. I only have the Kindle app because it makes reading in bed a lot easier, i.e. I don't have to put on my extraordinarily dorky camping headlamp to read a book.

I'm dying to say something to this girl, but it's so not worth it. I want to say "um I said nothing about you buying your 8 year old the juicy, coach, uggs and abercrombie products she put on her Christmas list, so you stay the eff off my facebook status and mind your own business when it comes to my ipod apps." Hor. LOL.

But see what I'm saying about the rage? On any other weekday, I probably wouldn't have even bothered responding!

Eh well.

I am off to get some soup and try and do something prodcutive today besides fight with adobe reader and drink tea. I get to go to Whole Foods today and buy pie supplies. It's kind of pathetic, the extent to which I am looking forward to going to Whole Foods, but there it is. I just hope they have the blackberries I'll need and that they're not 8.99/lb.

Happy Monday all :)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wedding Thursday 8/54


Good LORD these past two weeks have been KILLER!
I made it though - I made it through the meeting with my ArchEnemy.
It was actually kind of sad - today I realized that what she really is is not particularly evil or nasty or bitchy - she is totally and completely insecure. That's what makes her so unbearable. It's weird because she is actually smart, totally knowledgeable in her field, she scares the CRAP out of people, and hell, if her paycheck can buy some Donna Karan boots, she must being doing well for herself. Inside though, I think she might be scared as hell.
Of what I don't know, it's certainly not of me. Maybe she has a mean boss or maybe she lives in fear of losing her job. Whatever it is, it's making her a terrible person, and for that I only have pity.

Oh don't worry, I still intensely dislike her ;)

For now I have a few weeks that stretch ahead of me with nothing stressful scheduled beyond my usual inane conference calls and the occasional donation of platelets. Oh, and I have to bring a snack to book club on December 3rd. Don't let me forget that! I just seriously paused blogging to envision my snack - who does that? I was thinking about pie bites and Christmas cookies and maybe cake pops for about a minute there, when I realized I had stopped typing. WOW.

Of course there's Thanksgiving too. If there is one thing I love about the holidays, it's the visiting. Jamaal is coming up to visit and we've made plans to catch up with some friends we haven't seen in a while. So nice. Love having an excuse to get together with people. I also love any excuse to make a pie, so I will definitely be recreating last year's Grandma Ople's Apple Pie,
My First Apple Pie
sans overdone crust, hopefully a new and improved pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream and no cracking on the top,

My First Pumpkin Pie

AND I really want to make this apple blackberry pie, though maybe substitute the apples for pears...or probably some of the apples for pears, as pears can get mushy. Of course I am doing this almost solely for the purpose of using my leaf and turkey cookie cutters on the crust. Yes lame, but also DELICIOUS!
Ok enough about food. Wedding stuff. I don't have much to add this week since things are moving at a snails pace lately.

We finally had a wedding success: the photographer. Did I mention meeting with him already? If not, he's a family friend who first photographed my sister and I in 1987...then I landscaped for him in high school and did some work for him in the production room, stuff like putting together, in order, stacks of hundreds of bridal proofs, putting proofs in album order, etc. We're pretty tight and he would impart little bits of photographic wisdom upon me from time to time. I can't believe that I've remembered it all these years (9? 10 years?) later, but for some reason, it still occupies a part of my brain. This will make working with James so easy - why? OK for example, I know that lighting is important and that the best light of the day is either morning or later afternoon light. So I didn't even make a tentative schedule of the day until I talked to James. He was like 'wait. what? you waited to make a timeline?' I'm sure most brides go in and tell him how things are going to go, but I knew it's best to wait for his OK, especially since the photographs are so important to me.

Besides helping me with all things photography, he also perused the Barns brochure to help us come up with a decorative scheme. Last week I was bitching about the paper lantern thing, how we'd need our own ladder etc (still mildly irritated about this) He flipped through the pages, came to the last photo and said "This. This right here. This is what you need to do. I LOVE IT." Luckily Jam and I totally loved the setup too - it's just that an outside opinion confirming the awesomeness of a decorating scheme is kind of nice...we need the validation.
So here it is:
I am not so sure how the orange-y thing will look with navy....but I think I kind of love the orange. The bridesmaid dresses will be navy, my dress is ivory, and the bouquets are going to be a bright mix of fall dahlias. It works, right? The centerpieces are totally neutral. I notice these are green - ours will be glass jars with ivory votives and fall colored details. I like the idea of sparkly/embossed mini pumpkins as our centerpieces...so basically, I am getting comfortable with this set up. I wish we were rich and could rent the chiavari because they are gorgeous, but alas, I'd rather put the $1200 we'd have to spend on chair rental towards a honeymoon on the beach and a spa treatment a day because I am selfish like that!

Anyways, this will save us some time and effort, and I think some cash, with which I can't exactly argue! So here's what we'll have to do to decorate this:

String lights, wrap poles in chiffon, set up centerpieces, set up just married banner (so cute), set up guest book/card/escort card table, set up candy bar. I really love how this sounds as opposed to "make 50 LED throwies, string up 50 paper lanterns from barn rafters" Sooo much better. This also means that I can sneak over to the Barns to help with the initial chores and be back in my hotel room around 10 am or so. Here's how the day should go:

ass-early: wake up and do the sh*t that I will have inevitably left to the last minute
8:30 am: head to Barns
9 am: help with initial set up...of course I will have a team of 20 people to do this. LOL.
10 am: get kicked out of Barns by Jam/family
10:15 am: get back to hotel room, pop bottle of champagne, shower (with champagne in shower with me ha ha ha)
11 am: hair done
12 pm: drinking. makeup.
1 pm: mill around. drink.
1:15 pm: put on dress, start to head out
1:40 pm: leave for church
2 pm: music starts
2:15-2:30pm: head down aisle, try not to faint
3pm: ceremony ends
3:30pm: receiving line ends
4:00pm: get to Barns after church pics
4:45pm: photog promises formal shots will be done, catch the last 15 mins of cocktail hour with bridal party
5pm: get the party started
You get it!

So yeah, very good stuff this week. As for this coming week (THANKSGIVING! YAY!) Jam promises to have his guest list modifications complete and to help me pick out an invitations suite. I am still heavily leaning towards this one, though I told Jam that he obviously has a say and that you really can't go wrong with Printable Press:
I am falling in love with this one too though, so a change is entirely possible:
Jam also loved my favorite invite format from the DIY Wedding Invite class I went to at the Paper Source over the summer, so that works too. It's nice when we just agree.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Make that Wedding Thursday

I have a meeting with the previously blogged about ArchEnemy tomorrow.
I am dreading it.
I spent most of the day trying to catch up on a pile of paperwork I determined that she might find possible "impressive" and failed.
I've spent the last five hours at home (HOME! Even during ANTM AND Glee) on this stupid excel file.

Yes, I'm that scared about my meeting with her.

You think I can get away with throwing some Captain Morgan in my DD mediumcreamnosugah tomorrow??!

Needless to say, Wedding Wednesday is way the hell out of my mind til tomorrow at 10:30. For now, it's back to excel....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

An Actual Conversation

Allison: I love "Empire State of Mind." I know I shouldn't love a NYC song that hard...but I do. And it's Jay-Z, sooo yeah.

Jam: Oh yeah, that IS a great song.

Allison: I love the part about the cabs.

Jam: What part's that?

Allison: "Yellow cab, gypsy cab, dollar cab, holla back."

Jam: *silence, then* "HEY!! We've been in all THREE!!"

I can't believe I'm admitting this...but yeah, I really will miss our adventures in New York.
Not that we won't still have them when we pop down for a visit, but somehow, it won't be the same....

IMG_7767

Jam and I and the Statue

Ladies World

Who are these people?

Lovin'

Monday, November 16, 2009

Etiquette Talk

First of all
*let us never again speak of the devastating loss the NE Patriots suffered during Sunday night football*

Ooook now that that is out of the way.

ETIQUETTE.

I posed a question on weddingbee today: should we lie about our ceremony time?
We've decided to get married at 2:30. Jam insists on putting "2 PM" on our invites.
I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I want everyone to be there, butts in pews, and not walking in whenever. Then again, I want to start on time, because I LIKE being on time, and I like to stick to a schedule. But we have friends we love who are always late....and friends who are always early and may be frustrated to wait 45 minutes. The wedding bees had mixed reactions to this. A good many said to lie. Some said that they would be totally annoyed waiting 45 minutes for a bride to walk down the aisle. Most said to print 2pm on the invite, and walk down the aisle at 2:15pm. I think I like this the most. It's a compromise for everyone. And the powers above forbid, if someone important is super-late (his mom, my grandma, etc) we will wait. And blame them when the guests complain. ha ha ha.

So that being solved, I trolled weddingbee a bit more and stumbled upon a photography blog. Naturally I am interested by interracial couples, so I was drawn to one of their weddings in particular, so I clicked to open their entire wedding photo gallery. The bride was so beautiful and everyone looked so happy. Then I saw this picture:
You might be like "what? I don't get it?!" Look just to the left of the bride, at the guy in the gray jacket. What is in his ear? A FRICKIN' BLUETOOTH. O em gee.
If I were the bride and I saw that (she probably didn't notice because, hey, she did just get married) I would flick it out of his ear. Those people who wear bluetooths 24-7 irritate me NO END. Why would you ever presume you were SO important that you had to wear a bluetooth to a friend's/family member's wedding? No idea. So any guests reading this, if you wear a bluetooth to my wedding, you'd better have a damn good reason, like you're waiting for the hospital to call you about your kidney transplant or your wife is in labor (though why you'd show at the wedding if you had that going on in your life is beyond me!) Otherwise, you will TOTALLY get flicked!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Night

Gah, how do these weekends fly by?? Insanity.

I actually dropped a day of NaBloPoMo without even realizing it, probably because whenever Jamaal is here for the weekend, we try and pack as much as possible into 48 hours or so...plus this weekend, Jam was departing at 6 am Sunday morning to get to New Jersey for some pre-Jets game tailgating.

You know, it's totally cheesy and part of me cringes to admit it, but through my slightly tipsy stupor on Friday night, as I watched Jamaal laugh at something stupid along with my parents, I felt this incredible contentment deep down inside. Then I start thinking about "the powers above that brought us together" blah blah blah even though I am not particularly religious and am often quite cynical about things like "faith," "fate," and "meant to be." Know that I am rolling my eyes at myself as I type this, oh gag...I am not "that" girl. But seriously, I just felt so happy knowing that this is the guy I'm ending up with. I'm lucky. Of course I tend to get intensely emotional when intoxicated...though I always tell the truth...

Ok back to regular Allison.

So we had a productive weekend and had a fantastic meeting with our wedding photographer, a long-time family friend. Photography is probably the most important aspect of the wedding in terms of vendors. The DJ, musicians, video guy, etc, don't tend to get me so excited, but the photographer? Definitely a priority - maybe it's because I'm a scrapbooker. Anyway, it's great that I used to work with James a bit. I mostly landscaped for him but on occasion he would have me come into the production room and work on family reprint orders and bridal proof books. I didn't know at 17 that this would later give me a huge advantage when working with a photographer at my own wedding. We click well - I had already made certain plans about particular aspects of the day that would make James' job easier, and he was happy to hear that I was a bit ahead of the game. I guess looking through pictures and coordinating the timing of the day made everything sink it - in 11 or so months, this is really happening.

We rewarded our two hours of planning with McDonald's. Twice in one week for me, so bad, but oh so delicious.

The rest of Saturday was totally lazy. Jam knocked off two cover letters and I watched way too much HGTV. We tried to decide on a movie to catch whilst watching a papa lion kill a hyena on Animal Planet - and of course could not decide. In the end we skipped the proposed "2012" because neither one of us could bear the thought of sitting through it for 2 hours and 4o minutes and headed to the Olive Garden for some cheap eats disguised as Italian food. Because we are a classy couple like that. And yes, we avoided the seawall in Hull as the hurrican remnants caused an ocean surge that would've been lapping at the hubcaps of the subaru!

My Sunday has been equally lazy, though my sister and I were totally entertained by two kids in our church's jr. high fellowship group. We only had the two show this week, and we weren't sure if that would make our scripture scavenger hunt fun or totally lame, but we pulled it off fairly well. For boys that usually only want to play dodge ball, they were forced to invest some serious time in Bible verses (I was impressed with their navigation of the Bible, to tell you the truth) and have some fun finding stuff we hid around the church hall. I think the associate pastor will be proud to see what we did all by ourselves.

Funny moment of the weekend: The boys were doing their scavenger hunt, looking for the one item that really stumped them "rings." One says to my sister and I "Are you two married?" Because it's 1. Massachusetts and 2. a UCC Congregational Church (i.e. we marry same-sex couples) and 3. I don't get what he's actually getting at I say "Um....to each other?" The poor kid. He was like 'NO no, oh NO NO!!" Amy says "Yeah cause we're sisters...." He's like "no no no I know that, I mean, do you have rings on your fingers, that's what I meant!"
Bwahahahahah poor kid. Totally embarrassed. We're bringing the two guys that showed Dunkin Donuts gift cards next week, so I think they'll forgive us.

Also, I mentioned I "graduated" from middle school in 1996. One said "Oh!! The year I was born!"

Ha ha ha HILARIOUS. Thanks. Old lady signing off to go watch the Patriots kick some Manning ASSSSSS.

Friday, November 13, 2009

All blogged out.

Wow, we haven't even hit the midpoint of NaBloPoMo and I am blogged out. Whew.
I'm not sure what I can even write about today

*pauses to let all three readers of my blog brace for ranting, raving, or worse, WEDDING posts*

Nah. Don't worry. I'm so over all of that.

I think I'll try and write a bit about the craftasticness that is building up on my "To Do" list.

Foremost in my mind at the moment is all the baby crafting I have to do.
I really think that hearing baby news is the best thing EVER. Why?
Hmmm....because having babies is awesome (as long as it's not me!) and I get to craft teeny little sweet things for the babies, play with the little tiny humans, and then hand them back and go back to my sans-children life. It's kind of fantastic. I know someday Jamaal and I will work on kids, but right now it's so much better to get to celebrate pending baby news with family and friends, enjoy their kids, and leave :)

Back to my point: baby crafting!
A friend from college just answered my congratulatory email I sent three months ago when I found out she was expecting. I was starting to worry! The thing is that this is how we are pretty much - I see her at a party, we chat, have a good time, and then don't see each other/talk til the next party. Most people would probably question the fact that I even call this woman a "friend" BUT she was my "Big Sister" in college, and for some reason that makes seeing each other only twice a year still OK. When I found out she was having a baby boy I freaked out with the excitement. I've been knitting a ton of girl stuff, so I am ready for a boy challenge, and this friend is craft-worthy x 10 because not only is she my college Big Sister, but she is also incredibly artsy and will appreciate handmade goodness. Hurrah! Plus being the first close Smith-friend to have a baby, we-ell. It warrants a special effort (though my '04 Smith ladies, if you ever have kids, watch out. I will give myself arthritis crafting for your progeny!).

Today I bought this fabric bundle:
It's definitely going to be a car/car seat quilt. I know there are other crafty people in this lady's life, so I really would NOT want to steal anyone's thunder by making a big quilt. It'll probably be 24" x 36" or so.

Next up, I have to find something to knit. So far there are some frontrunners on Ravelry:
Five Hour Boy Baby Sweater. Gah, the red is so cuuuute
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Too cool for school brimmed hat
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Baby Mittens. Thumbless!
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Wee "vest"
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Overlap Pullover
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Hex Hat
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Wee socks!
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Is that way too much? I thought that if I packaged it all together and the stuff coordinated, it wouldn't be too much. Of course what it will come down to is time. So I should probably prioritize or at least figure out what I want to coordinate and start knitting in a specific order, so if I don't finish half the stuff it doesn't look super-random. The nice thing is that the hats, mittens, and quilt can be done in a single day. The five hour sweater is truly five hours, so I guess the only hurdles would be the baby vest and pullover. We'll see.

This kind of makes me want to give myself a Christmas vacation. Tee hee. Just crafting.

OK - next.
My second cousin is having a baby right before Christmas. She asked for a quilt. A bird quilt. Since she was all request-y and demanding and we are not that tight AND she has one kid already, she's pretty much only getting a quilt.
Ha.
Ok a quilt and a five-hour baby sweater with a matching hat.

Here's the quilt fabric I bought:
But of course I have no earthly idea of how I'm going to arrange this quilt. Usually I do log cabins as they are beyond ridiculously easy, but for some reason, I don't think that style is going to capture the full impact of the bird pattern. I'll probably just do some squares, which is a bit boring, but practical. I'll probably make this sweater, maybe even in this color.
5 Hour Baby Sweater
It's the most popular thing in my ravelry queue for some strange reason. It's easy though, so that's good. Maybe I'll be nice and get some Old Navy baby tees to throw under it, but since she has one girl already, she probably has a lot of girly clothes....

Next up, my friend from childhood requested a hat and mitten set for her nearly two-year old. Plus it will be Alexa's birthday at the end of January, and usually I get her a little something crafty. I have been obsessing over hats and mittens. I want to be cute but also practical. Some faves from Ravelry so far:
How cute is this Golden Compass inspired hat?
Alexa's coat is bubblegum pink, and this would match really nicely. I am worried about sizing, as this is meant to fit a preschooler. I think I can manage to adapt it though.
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Miss Lady loooves ladybugs. These wouldn't match her jacket, but they'd make a great gift at her 2-year bday party. I might have to save these for that.
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These would be most practical, plus I can make them to match the hat.
So that's settled I guess!
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What else?
Oh yeah, there's all the stuff I've promised/owe people.

I told Amy I'd make us both a pair of Bella's Mittens:


There's the gay quilt I promised to make EE for her 25th bday (um she will be 28 in March. Go me). I'm not putting it's picture here because I want it to be a surprise!

There's the pink explosion quilt I told Amy I'd make.
There's the pink and purple quilt I told Jen's sister Libs I'd make. Two years ago.
Ummm there's the NY sports quilt I wanted to make Jamaal for Christmas....
There's the inevitable Christmas gift crafting I will take one.

OH.
And of course...I joined an ornament swap.
I'll be making these again this year:

I need to make 20 of them. I feel strangely up to the challenge!

So yes. We won't even discuss the fact that I am supposed to have finished 6 of my bridesmaid shawls (self-imposed goal) by the end of 2009. Ha ha.

I'll pause so you can all tell me that I am NEUROTIC.
Remember though, I thrive under pressure.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Negativity WHAT?

Oh goodness.

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like the world is conspiring against you?

I'm not talking about one of those horrible weeks, where something truly horrible has happened, like your house burns down or your pet dies or you find out a friend is sick...no that's different.

What I'm talking about is a collection of highly irritating things that add up to push you to point break. Taken alone or one per week, you probably would just shake it off, but adding them up together makes them see irrationally big and looming - as if the world is conspiring against you.

I'm having one of those weeks.
First off, it never helps when your calendar looks like this:
Yes, those are many crossed off things in fluorescent pink.

So there's my calendar, setting the tone.
Monday - infamous board meeting, where I discover I am trapped on the board for the next seven months and not given options. Left my ATM card in the ATM machine. Drowned sorrows in double quarter pounder. Felt regret.
Tuesday - multitude of calls giving me crap about the meeting I've scheduled. Demanding admin assistants. Rude admin assistants. Want to bang my head against the keyboard.
Wednesday - bank closed, cannot get my ATM card back. Wore new red patent leather shoes that seemed like a great idea till they started giving my big toes blisters. Field more calls from admin assistants accusing me of scheduling exec board call "behind our back." Dinner with irrational Republicans who actually said "What Massachusetts needs is Sarah Palin" If she comes here, I sh*t you not, I will move to Alaska. Spend rest of night looking at clock, calculating my escape. Missed Glee.
Thursday - Internet at work royally f*cked. Bank does not have ATM card. Got peppermint mocha at Starbucks instead of what I ordered, a pumpkin spice latte. May have to bail dad out of jail later tonight...ok that's kind of funny. And it won't happen, as our state leaders seem to be doing all they can to quash a protest, so probably no acting up and rage and rock-throwing...at least I don't think....though I have to say if it did, it would be justified, because thanks to this guy and his band of brothers, I almost grew up fatherless and siblingless soooooo...yeah. This week, for lack of a better phrase, has been super f*cked up.
SUPER.
I can hardly bear to see what Friday will bring.

Though because I try and see the glass half full, here are some very nice things that have happened this week:
-Three - yes THREE people have asked me if I have lost weight because I look skinny. I lied and told them I have been exercising really hard and it's paying off. hahahahahaha. Maybe McDonald's will be my new weightloss strategy.
-My awesome eyebrown lady was even more awesome last night and gave me some free microdermabrasion. It rocks and sucks the impurities right out of your pores. I felt pretty for about 4 hours, lol.
-I got some validations from my bosses.
-One of the admins actually emailed me to say "Thank You"
-I had a bunch of good and hilarious phone calls with the Jamonster
-My college friend who I've kept in casual touch with finally returned my email (the congratulatory email I sent her when I found out she is pregnant) and she is doing well and happy and having a boy. That kind of made my week.
-My other college friend texted me that she was wearing the shoes we bought together (we bought the same pair of shoes in college for interviews. Nine west extended toe slingbacks) and that she was thinking of me. Aw, sweet.

So ok, it's not been all crappy. And I will really laugh if I have to drive out to Western Mass to get my dad out of SP Northampton. Though I doubt cops would arrest other cops unless things got really shady and bad LOL. AND
JAMAAL COMES TO VISIT TOMORROW!
YAYAYAYAYYAYAYAY. His visit may consist of going to Asian C, getting slightly tipsy on scorpion bowls, eating enough sushi to sober up again (I never drive intoxicated, just to assure all you readers!) and then driving to Hull to make out by the seawall. Because we are not 27 and 32 but rather 17 year olds who just exchanged a learner's permit for a real license and have raging hormones. LOL.

My pregnant friend was funny in her email when she asked how the wedding planning was going. She said "I remember the whole thing as being kind of a horrible experience..." She kind of hit the nail on the head for me. The whole thing has been kind of nightmarish. The one thing that went beautifully though was the dress shopping. That was a dream. I told Jamaal that of all the superficial junk involved in a wedding, the thing I am looking forward to most is putting on that dress.

So for those of you who don't know me from a hole in the wall or know me and have yet to see it, here's the dress:



I love it. It's beautiful. Can't wait to wear it.
Now I'm going to try and accomplish something today. And you know, try and not be so negative :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wedding Wednesday 7/54 aka A Post of Fails

ETA: I would like to step out of my self-indulgent skin to think of all the veterans who have served this country and continue to defend it today. I so admire the sacrifices servicemen and servicewomen make for this country, so I can go about my stupid life without thinking about my safety and freedoms. Thank you.

*************************************************************************************

Oh the fails this week.
Unbelievable.
Mostly work fails.
An ATM fail, where I left my ATM card in the machine yet again. At least this time I was distracted and on my cell, but still. When I went to the bank in hopes of retrieving the card before it met its death in the shredder I found the bank closed for Veteran's Day. Fail.

Now the wedding fails.

I emailed our point person at the reception venue with a list of questions.
Some I liked the answers to very much, like "yes candles are allowed" and "yes you can use the property the day of the wedding, even if it's before the official reception begins"

Others, not so much.

So we can't get in to decorate before 9am on Saturday morning. This makes me queasy. Since we're not blowing $50,000 on this affair, it is very DIY-oriented, but because I am NEUROTIC I have an elaborate scheme in my head as far as decor. Unfortunately, it does not like this will be a possibility because 1. we do not have a crew of laborers to help us 2. I will NOT let my nearly 60 year old dad, Jam's dad, Jam's brother or my cousin Andrew or uncle who has fallen off a ladder twice climb a ladder on my wedding day (I would never get over the guilt of someone getting hurt decorating for our wedding) and 3. we simply won't have the time or the ladder, which we have to provide, to pull it off:


Though if we keep our numbers down, and don't have to use the balcony for seating, maybe we could pull this off by not having to climb up and down a ladder too many times. I don't know. I am just feeling discouraged today I guess.

The good thing is that I have concrete answers. Now I can go over timing with the photographer and we can tighten the timeline for the day. Jam's response to this time constraint is to severly limit decorations. While I agree we may have to limit decorations, I kid you not, we are going to have a sign-up sheet or something and recruit as many people as possible to help us out. I am so grateful to know that there are a couple of people in particular who are hardcore into aesthetics and will work with us to make the barns beautiful.

So while I can admit to being sad about changing our decorating plans, I'm happy when I think of the great people who have our back...and I'm grateful that the one thing that worked flawlessly (or has worked flawlessly so far) has been the hotel. There may be a wedding at our venue on Friday and Sunday, but as far as I know, I beat everyone to the hotel block! AND I HAVE THE BRIDAL SUITE B*TCHES! Which up until wedding night will be called "the factory of craftiness, flowers and decorating." I can imagine the scene 11 months from now, the bridal suite full of ladies on Friday afternoon gettin' stuff done, and it makes me happy. I always thought I'd want to have a room to myself and enjoy the peace and quiet leading up to the "big day" (blech) but now I am so grateful I reserved that room. I want it full of people :) drinking champagne and hot gluing sh*t. ha ha ha.

Well I kind of talked myself out of that funk. It helps that I saw this tremendously gorgeous wedding today on weddingbee. Totally DIY and amazing. I just love it. I am totally poaching ideas. Really the only hurdle that comes with the time constraint is what to do with lighting...when I really think about it, centerpieces can be set up ready to go in boxes/crates. I can say to the bridesmaids "this is how it's supposed to look" and we can throw them on the tables. Escort cards will be premade and ready, menus, made and ready. Then the other details, pumpkins, gourds, guest books, etc, that will be easy. Just have to figure out the lighting and stuff.

So I am totally rambling and thinking out loud. Ugh sorry to the few that read my stupid blog ;)
It gets to be too much sometimes, and I shut my head off from all things wedding, then something comes up and it seems to be all I think about. I can't wait til we have some things in place and are making foward progress. I'll be super-relieved!

For now I have to get back to work. We're getting so close to figuring out this big lymphoma thing for a presentation at the American Society of Hematologists. Too bad I am too unimportant to be flown down to NOLA for the conference. Dang.

More later!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

OMG

Another assistant just called me on the phone.
SERIOUSLY?
WTF?
I said "I'm sending out the agenda tomorrow"
"Oh I guess I can wait til then" she says.
That's it, I'm sending out an irritated email to everyone right now.

A List of Thoughts

Reading the NY Times does NOT make you SMART

- I belong to a certain bridal site/blog where there is a discussion board. For the most part it's friendly banter, you know, like 'OMG we're date twins!' or "My colors are navy and I don't know what the accent color should be." There's other intense stuff and then there's additional completely non-wedding related things. I seem to like to comment most on the non-wedding things. Recently in a movie discussion, someone quoted the NYT. I was like "Just b/c the NYT says it's so, doesn't mean it is." Seriously though, it's a wedding site and was I going to get into it with this user? Oh hell no. Not worth it. Then I notice that this person is a serial poster/NYT-referencer. While there's nothing wrong with the NY Times or wrong with referencing it, I want to smack her upside the head and say "Get an original idea." C'mon woman, break away fromt the narrow opinion of a sole newspaper. Instead I just rage on this blog. Ha ha ha.

I hate an inflated sense of self

- I always tell Jam that I hate to have my time wasted. Then I usually go on to say that I don't have an inflated sense of self, I am perfectly aware of my own insignificance. I am finding that people I am working with are not getting their own insignificance and the extent to which they are wasting my time. Very frustrating. I keep getting emails from various physician's assistants asking for things that I told them I would send on November 11th. Now do not get me wrong, I respect these people. Their jobs are NOT easy, many of the doctors are divas in the extreme, but seriously, do not hound me for something I told you would be arriving in your inbox on X day. And if you MUST could you at least be polite? The most recent email I received said only this: "Send in the call-in info for this call"
Heh? No please? No thank you? Not even a greeting?
My reply: "Hello, It will be sent out November 11th. Thank you. Allison."
In other words "Incredibly rude tw@t, I told you to wait. Leave me alone. PS this is what a salutation and closing look like."
EH. At least this one was to the point. The last email I received from an assistant berated me for adding her as a "participant" in Friday's conference call when she will not be "participating." Then she goes on to say that she must be CC'd on ANYTHING sent to the doc for whom she works. Uhhh. Yeah, thus you listed as a participant. I know you won't be calling in, but if I don't enter you as a participant, your doctor will never get the proper info. Disaster!!

Emotional Eating

-I recently admitted to emotional shopping. I said that food didn't really do it for me in that post, and said that to fill an empty void after a bad day or a death or something I usually like to charge things on my credit card. Yesterday was a rare exception. I belong to an alumnae club board and I desperately want to leave. I am in charge of the South Shore area and participation in events and sheer interests is abysmal. A-B-Y-S-M-A-L. I get about a 2 % participation rate in my planned events....the club thinks this is great, but out of 400 alumnae? Not so much. Anyways, I decided at this month's board meeting I would prepare the club for my departure in February, which marks the end of my 2-year term. I came up with a bunch of solutions and offered to aid my replacement in any way possible. There was a low rumble in the room when I said "February" - the short version of the story is that at some point in the last almost 2-years, someone decided that all term limits would end in June. So even though I was actually elected in December 2007 (didn't attend meetings til Feb, so I decided to cut the board a break) I can't be finished til June 2010..."unless you move far away" one of the members clarified. California never sounded better. Misery, boredom, and apathy are not good enough excuses to leave. My college friend and fellow board member says that I am being manipulated to stay on the board - this may be quite true. Anyway, last night I bolted from the meeting so I didn't have to socialize with any of the weirdos in attendance (my friend had left already LOL) and I ran to the T. I was flustered and angered and stressing. My heart was pounding. Suddenly I realized that every heartbeat conveyed a message, "McDonald's, McDonald's, McDonald's." I knew right then that a quarter pounder with cheese, fries, and a diet coke would literally solve all my problems. I know feeling that gustatory satisfaction would erase my sorrows. Rarely would I find my solace in a hunk of x-grade meat, rarely am I possessed by a desire for food so strong that I actually don't remember my ride home on the foul MBTA - but last night proved to be the rarest of rare occasions. I sped out of the Braintree T to Five Corners, one of the MOST reliable McDonald's in eastern Massachusetts. I wanted to order a quarter pounder, but accidentally ordered a double quarter pounder. I threw care to the wind as I bit into it and found it still STEAMING HOT. So many of my fast food experiences have let me down with a lukewarm burger. This was so hot it was as if my father had just taken it off the grill...so freakin good. My stress melted away. My headache and hunger melted away. My thighs grew by an inch each and my cholesterol shot up to 250, but good LORD in that moment, life was perfect.

Monday, November 09, 2009

My Weekend and My Epically Unproductive Day

Wow. Today has been horribly unproductive. Of course what does blogging do to help my career? Yeah, nothing, but here I am blogging away nevertheless.

Anyways, last Thursday afternoon I left for the annual "shop at New Hampshire's tax-free outlets and shove the family in a condo and see how long they can go without killing each other" weekend. Jamaal did not join in the festivities and wondered aloud how he'd get on next year when we are a married couple and actually doing things together in the same state. "I don't think I'd like it" he says. "Oh it's not as bad as it sounds" I always reassure him. Tee hee.

I have to say Thursday started on a high as amidst the absolute madness of the day, in which I was blamed entirely for the delay of a huge data submission (BLOW ME IT DEPT) we received news that all hospital employees who had worked here for the past 1040 work hours would be receiving a $1,000 bonus in our Thanksgiving paycheck. Shut the front door! I do not work in the world of perks and bonuses (unless, GOD forbid, I get cancer. Then I'll be at one of the world's premiere cancer institutions for treatment. But that's sort of the bonus you never want to have to get/use), so an extra grand getting tossed my way = EPIC. I practically skipped to my parent's car, which was waiting for me at the door to my building, another epic bonus. After our requisite stop at the New Hampshire State Liquor store to buy cheap, tax-free booze, we went to the outlets in Tilton, where I bought red patent leather heels. Yum.

Finally, we headed to our favorite restaurant in the entire state: The Common Man Ashland. I swear to you, if I moved to New Hampshire, probably about 50% of the reason would be because I needed to be closer to The Common Man. We headed up to the lounge to wait for a table where we learned that they have an extensive grog menu. It seems as though the C-M's interpretation of "grog" is somewhat loose, but I will not fight that. NO way. I ordered the "Fever Reliever" grog - or as I said it "Fevah Relievah" - hot cider with maple whisky and a cinnamon and sugar rim. Oh tastiness. It burned going down but was an excellent base for the bread, salad, baked scallops and white chocolate bread pudding that would follow. I think I gained at least 6 pounds there.

Friday consisted of shopping and my once-yearly dark ale consumption and once-yearly round-trip traverse across the Kanc. We drove from Lincoln to North Conway through the snow-dusted mountains - positively gorgeous. Unfortunately my father drove about 20 mph a majority of the trip as he relieved our traumatic but not too serious car accident. Even though this occured on a frozen overpass on Rt 93 above the Pemigewasset, apparently the Kanc brought back memories. Fortunately we arrived in NC in one piece with my mother promising to drive back. I hit up the usual JCrew and various shoe outlets, actually enjoyed the kitchen store this year and added to my dowry (ha ha ha), and suffered through the Talbots outlet. My parentals and I hit up the Muddy Moose for lunch. I figure this is my last year to live off their generosity so I ordered my Magic Hat and a huge-ass Rueben and enjoyed the scenery. Hells yeah. The victory of the day actually came at Old Navy. I wandered around the store buying reliable Old Navy yoga pants, a sparkle tank, long sleeved T's, a puffy vest and some stocking stuffers for Jamaal, not even looking at prices (this is the one weekend I through consumer caution to the wind and whip out that credit card!). I even grabbed some bag for .99 that said "get 10% off everytime you stuff this bag in December." Sounds good. I got to the register and the total came to $131. Yikes! "Hang on" said the girl at the register, "this doesn't take off for sale items till the end. She pressed a button and the total went to $85. I whipped out my Old Navy card "ooohhhh" said register chick "yeah you get an additional 30% off for using your card, so that's.....$60.50" My reaction went something like this "heeaaahhhnnnnnhhh?" "You spend $61 and saved $71!!!!" said register girl. I skipped out of the store and into the car after paying, then promptly fell asleep for our ride over the Kanc.

My sister and I had great plans for Saturday - we planned a several hundred mile loop through NH and Vermont to hit up our favorite crafting locations. We started in Meredith, where we had breakfast at a favorite local diner/restaurant. Next up was a bead store we discovered over the summer. While Amy chose clasps and beads for a necklace, I asked about stringing pearls. I wanted to make a necklace I had seen on Martha Stewart's website, and had chosen a strand of light grey freshwater pearls for my necklace. The owner of the bead shop pointed out the fact that making a single knot on either side of the pearl would be really hard. While I pondered this difficulty, she said "well what the insiders don't want you to know is that it's just as simple to use TWO silk cords to string pearls, that way you can knot the two strands together and have more control over knot placement." GENIUS! I decided to buy additional silk cord so I could repair three broken pearl strands from my cousin, great aunt and grandma kitty. Rockin'

After the bead store we were off to Grantham, a bit of a drive. We were pleased that the GPS was not sending us all the way south to Concord, only to pick up 89 to go north again. Backroad cutthrough! Our excitement was only heightened when we found ourselves thrust into very rural New Hampshire...which looks like very rural Massachusetts, only BETTER.
We stopped to take a picture of this:

Now some people who saw this were all up in arms, yelling "what's wrong with Mitt Romney?!" Of course Amy said "everything," and not that I disagree, but I explained our motivation for snapping the picture: had the news reached this outpost yet that we have a new president and it's not Mitt Romney? I DON'T KNOW. As Amy and I marveled at the seclusion of this "town" I mentioned that had I grown up there, I probably never would have left the woods. I would've hiked and made lean-to's and sh*t. I wasn't saying that that would've been a bad thing, but then Amy just comes out and says "Yeah. If I had grown up here, I would've been feral. I would be speaking in grunts right now."
So so so bad (and if anyone from NH is reading this I apologize. I love your state. Hard. And I am sure you make fun of us "flatlanders" all the time. ha ha).
Of course the word "feral" became this hilarious endless joke for the rest of the ride.

When we weren't joking about feral children, we were on the lookout for moose while enjoying the gorgeous scenery. We did not find any moose this last weekend, which was disappointing, though we did see a rather large Border Patrol checkpoint on the southbound side of 89 in NH/VT, deer carnage spread liberally across the road (it was grotesquely fresh), and many speeding drivers, leaving us in the dust, despite the precipitously placed highway (we got out of the car to admire the dropoff).

The crowning point of our journey was Chutter's in Littleton. It features the world's longest candy counter. I thank the heavens above or whatever producer at channel 5 decided to make Chutter's Chronicle-worthy. Anywho, I bought $30 worth of candy. While this is slightly embarrassing, how is a girl supposed to resist the world's largest candy counter featuring an entire section of gummy/sour things? Practically impossible! Of course I failed to bring my bag of loot to work this morning. Sadness.

So all in all the weekend was fab. We kind of rushed off on Sunday in order to be home in time for the football game. This was probably good because I think family time was getting to a few of us :)

Now I'm back at work trying to get sh*t done and it's practically impossible. I have a HUGE call on Friday, and I haven't prepared for it at all....and I should, since I am the one who is in charge of the agenda. Um. Yeah. Epic fail. I think I might have to show at work at like 7am tomorrow. Boo. It probably rules out a talk I wanted to go to also. This is why I should not be so bad at planning my day and productivity. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What Happened to the Weekend?

Ahhh the weekend is totally gone!
Sadness...
And it's kind of late to ramble on about my NH adventures...and I'm kind of only posting because of NaBloPoMo
I will do that tomorrow.
Tomorrow is another countdown milestone
AND
it's time to do some major major major M-A-J-O-R organizing
AAAND
it's my good friend and college roomie's birthday (you know who you are :)

So more tomorrow. Tonight. Sleep.
Night blogland.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NH

I have so many things about which I must write...
Like how every modern bar should serve grog...
How I DO just love a bargain...
My once annual ale consumption...
How my sister and I said "feral" a million times today...
And so much more: deer carnage, Mitt Romney signs, insider beading secrets, Border Patrol, snowy mountains and moose hunts...

But later...now I must sleep off my food coma, one of the hazards of spending my weekend with my grandmother and the world's largest candy counter.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Shoptastic

I am in the middle of a Talbots Outlet, where I am pirating the Internet from the outlet mall.
Some gracious spirit is truely looking over me, saving me from death by boredom.
Amen.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

iPod

I noticed last night that those little birdies are starting their eastward migration towards "0"
Freaky.

I know it's not wedding Wednesday and all...but am I allowed to admit that there are times I am so overwhelmed with this wedding junk that I don't even want to plan? It's true. I do it because in the end I *think* I will care. Some days I feel totally and ridiculously triumphant, especially when it comes to saving cash and reducing our budget. I mean I jumped around Jam's apartment over the weekend saying something to the effect of "Take that b*tches, I will NOT pay $100 for monogrammed cocktail napkins when I can make 500 of my own for $10!! mwahahahahahah!"
The nice thing is I think there will be friends around to help. I hope so. And if any of you single ladies reading this ever have a wedding, please feel free to ask me to be your paper/scissors/sewing/menial task slave. I get it now, how much work all this is - not that I wouldn't have helped before - but now, don't bother penciling me in for help, write that sh*t in ink.

I often cope with stress/boredom/sadness with shopping. It is akin to prozac to me. Which is kind of dangerous I know, but I tend to only use it as a last resort. I went on a several hundred $$ shopping spree at Ann Taylor Loft after my parakeet's drawn out death due to a mysterious illness that required me to medicate it with milk thistle drops. Have you ever tried to get a parakeet to take its medication? Yeah. STRESSFUL. Then the freakin' thing died anyways. Totally shopped for that one, though I was much more reserved when parakeet Lucy died. I think I bought myself a macchiato instead of a Dunkin Donuts coffee the next day. So that's just animals. Don't even get me started on what I do when a person I know dies. I get weird about "life being short" and "money is just money" and buy like, a laptop. Rational? NO.

Does it make me feel good? Yes. Even if it's temporary.

Call me materialistic. Go ahead. Some take solace in food or sex (both of which I enjoy) but for me, the endorphin-rush comes from shopping. Let's not even talk about how I get the warm fuzzies just from walking by Sephora. ha ha ha.

Anyways, Monday I felt FED UP with LIFE all scattered, stressed from work, stressed about moneyfitnessweddingcrafts. If it existed in life, it stressed me out. Suddenly, I just knew a new iPod would make me feel better. Oh yeah, I totally get that this sounds like THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING EVER. Because it is. But because I embrace the fact that I am a positively ridiculous person, I bought an iPod. Yep.

I won't lie. If I had known the "it's-like-heroin-the-first-time" high I would get from holding this thing in my hand, I probably would've bought it, um, forever ago. Totally.

I've spent the last couple days putting apps on it. The bubblewrap app, mah jong, the BIRD app, allrecipes, shazam, kindle app. It effing rules. I also have a couple thousand songs and 13 movies on there (granted one is a 45-minute pilates workout. *guffaws*). I told Jamaal that I practically wanted to bang my iPod, that's how sexy I found it. He suggested that I do just that and hang up the phone so he could watch the rest of the Yankees game. Oh, that Jamaal!

If anyone out there is looking for some serious retail therapy, I totally recommend the iPod touch. Some people have questioned why I didn't just buy an iPhone. There are a bunch of reasons, but here are some basics:
1. I have a blackberry I love. I have dropped that thing a million times. I'm hard on it and it still loves me. An iPhone would've divorced me by now.
2. space - I didn't even max out the memory available for the iPod touch - I got the 32gb because I am cheap (ok I know that's relative when you're talking about a couple hundred bucks). I wanted to put ALL of my music on there and most of my movies. It's mostly for commuting, so I wanted to max the activities/media I'm able to put on there.
3. having all my stuff in one machine - the hassle of switching to an iPhone was not worth it to me. I don't mind having two things to carrry.

I totally get the allure of the iPhone though, absolutely, I'm just sayin' - iPod Touch? WORTHY AND WORTH IT!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wedding Wednesday 6/54

Ironic that this wedding Wednesday should come in the wake of Maine's disappointing vote. My friend EE and I talked about this a bit today, and I won't go into the discussion from weddingbee and my following discussion with EE. Though I laughed when she said "Thanks for loving the gays Al" (oh she is of the lady-loving persuasion, thus her free and easy use of "the gays" lol)...I thought at the time "jeez. if only that were enough."

Well, because I am of the man-loving persuasion (anyone watch "Grey's"? Remember the episode when the Chief finds out about Joe the bartender? "Man Love! It's....it's beautiful..." ha ha ha) I get to continue with my wedding plans without any fear they will be squashed by people who think that equal marriage will make the core temperature of the earth rise and we will be flooded by the seas...oh wait...that's global warming, and those same people don't believe in that either...am I digressing? yes. Apologies to those who read my blog in which I sometimes sound completely illiterate. Ha ha.

So yes, continuing on with the wedding plans because unless we jump back about 70 years and move down South, Jam and I should be able to continue without a hitch.

First, a moment of silence for all the poor brides and grooms who had planned to get married in this barn. Oy.

I guess it's just proof that even the best laid plans can go terribly terribly wrong. Mother nature can intervene. But for now, we've got some things settled for sure.

Ceremony Venue: First Church of Christ Middletown.
I am ecstatic about finding this venue. They are UCC members, same as my current church, and open and affirming. Love it. It's a bit large for us, but we'll take it. The church is a bit pricier than we expected, but they have been great to work with and are even allowing us to bring in my pastor to marry us - solo, no "home team" preacher weighing in. They are just a chill group of people. I hope Jam and I get to visit the church during worship so we can thank everyone personally for their help thus far and for loaning us their church.


Reception Venue: The Barns (why I had extra extra pity for bee Miss Snowman)

This was love at first sight for me....not so for Jamaal, though he told me about a month ago that he was "falling in love with the Barns for the first time." yayayayayay. This barn set on a beautiful piece of property. Inside, it is a blank slate awaiting our decorating prowess. This simultaneously excites and stresses me. On the one hand, my control freak side loves that this venue is as is until it's decorated, ie no ugly carpet and tacky curtains. On the other hand, when will we have time to decorate? Um, we'll get to that.

My dress...ha ha no such luck, Jam would kill me if he saw it here!

The maids: Navy.



Good ol' David's Bridal. They may have sold my cell number to every vendor on the South Shore, but they make affordable and pretty dresses in a myriad of syles. We're going with navy and about a selection of 12-15 styles the maids can choose. Hopefully everyone will be happy.

That's some of the big stuff for now. There's lots more for later. I have to be up in 5 hours though, so I'm heading to bed!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Disjointed, Tumbling Aimlessly Through the Universe

I have felt super-scattered lately. AGAIN.

I totally go through these phases...I think with the changing of the seasons.

I get disorganized at work, SUPER-disorganized.

I eat junk food...don't exercise...pay bills at the last minute because I forget about them till their due date.

It's totally disastrous. The thing is that it's not caused by feeling happy or sad or depressed...it's almost entirely from being lazy. From being so scattered that I have to work double time to concentrate, then it's almost as if there's no room in my brain to fit in other junk. Like bills.

I so long to be one of those super-organized girls I knew in college - you know, the girls with very clean rooms, matching carpet and comforter, cool but organized art on the wall, desk accessories and color-coded folders for each of their classes? You know those girls, right? Ok I knew two. Maybe three. I wish I could channel them now.

I think with work, life, relationship, fitness, money, and wedding thoughts all swirly in my head, I can't keep things in order. It's so bad. I think if I could just make a schedule, make up my mind, I'd be on track. Argh!

I also kinda feel like I don't know what the heck I'm doing with myself half the time. I'm in this cycle of waking, going to work, going home and trying to get xyz accomplished, sleep, begin again. I feel like I need a kick in the rear to DO SOMETHING.

On the way home from NYC this weekend, someone was nice enough to leave an InTouch Magazine in the seat pocket of our Regional Service Amtrak train. I flipped through it, delighting particularly in the "Who Wore It Better" section I normally get to enjoy only at the nail salon. Then I noticed my horoscope. Under Aries it said something to the effect "You will (need to?) embark on a solo journey out of your comfort zone."

Hmmm. Suddenly it seemed so right. I feel this odd need to do something monumental by myself. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's because I haven't done anything like that in a while. I mean, to a certain degree, I am flying solo every day, but as far as monumental tasks go, I haven't done something like that in forever. Everything I do is with coworkers, friends, the fiance, family. I need to have a solo-experience where I can do some soul-searching I think.

See I love having secret experiences. When I was in Africa, I had tons - tons of these little moments that I only I witnessed. It was so easy - I would get up early and go for a long long walk on the edge of the property and see all kinds of things. One morning I saw an African Paradise Flycatcher, one of the most beautiful birds I'd ever seen. One night I got sick and had to stay up with one of our askaris, Frederick. I wasn't alone, but the two of us sat there under an enormous sky and listened to the night sounds of the Masai Mara. Nothing was common or mundane or routine.

Of course Kenya isn't exactly Massachusetts, and you have to search a little for mystery around here, but even when I came home, I was still privy to these kinds of things. As a plover monitor, I spent looong long days on a beach shut down by an oil spill. Long days alone, full of wonder. Even collecting mosquitoes - ok, far less romantic - but long days, alone, doing my own thing.

Now? Yup, I'm in a rut. I remind myself of that line (does that make sense?) in "Next Stop Wonderland" where the mother says to Erin "We're always alone!" and she says "No, we're never alone, you're always surrounded by all these people."
I so get that.

I find myself suddenly jealous of these solo journeys I read about. I just finished "A Pearl in the Storm" by fellow Smith alum Tori Murden. It was beyond fantastic, but I found myself envious of Murden. Despite all of the horrible things that happened during her first solo attempt to row solo across the Atlantic, she got to see so many secrets of the open ocean.

Um. Not that I want to row the Atlantic.
Still though.
I need some alone time.
OK, I need to get organized, then I need alone time.
Phew.

I was thinking of going to the women's lambing weekend at the Heifer Project Farm in Rutland MA. I really wanted to go with someone I knew, but maybe I need to do this on my own. Birth a little lambkin. See what it's like. Soul-search. All that crap. Maybe I will feel like I have my biz together? Hmm. Probably not. But it would be fun to birth a baby lamby-kin.

Ugh. Anyways. Wedding Wednesday Tomorrow. I will have some good stuff to post this week, no ranting and raving, I promise!

In The Road

Secret Zebra. LOL. I need my head examined. THE END.