Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Today's show is brought to you by the letter...

My husband called the vet. The MA said the results are in and look good. She couldn’t tell us in detail what it may be but the vet should be calling us tonight to discuss.

That will be the best Christmas present.

My stepdad’s father passed away last week. The funeral mass was held on Saturday. The best thing I can say is that he didn’t suffer for long. Joe is bringing his mom back to the states for a few months. I’ve told him and his daughter if they need to stay back home do not come back to NYC on our account. It’s important to settle the estate and do what needs to be done.

Mutha came back from the family reunion rested and relaxed. Well, if you don’t count the crazy murmuring man in his connecting flight from Denver, the brake issue with his car and our mom being our mom.

My first cousin is out of the hospital again but may need to return if her sugar levels continue to sky rocket. They’re not sure if the corti-steriods used during the asthma attacks are causing the spike but she needs close monitoring.

My other cousin got engaged and my other cousins keep popping out babies.

I made enough cookies to feed my block and then some and for the first time in a long time, I made it under budget for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner. In fact, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners only had enough leftovers for one night.

New Year’s breakfast should be under as well.

Work has been awfully busy. Lrudlrick has been working non-stop, even during Christmas Eve and Day. Unfortunately we both have heightened deadlines with slow response times from vendors, clients and staff due to the holiday season. Still, we do what needs to be done.

I’m not a resolutions person as I find it’s too easy to break them before I can get them done on paper. I’m more introspective around this time.

What I’ve learned in 2006:

I’ve resigned myself to thinking differently than others around me.
I’ve resigned myself to never understanding how certain things work and tick.
I’ll never understand the darn 3 quart 5 quart riddle yet I’ll always ask for another explanation.
I need to spend time away from home with my husband this coming year.
I don’t need frequent trips to see family and friends to still feel in touch. I’ve realized that my dogs are my children in all seriousness.
I don’t want to live in New York forever.
I’m ok with being non-descript.
Custard is good.
You can do just about anything with cherries.
My husband really doesn’t like fish but tolerates it without whining.
I don’t want to work alone and the extra work needed to supervise a team is well worth it and much needed.
I’m happiest doing when a job is accomplished.
I really like argyle socks.
I want to do more in my church.
I fall into smit very easily.
I also fall out of smit just as quickly.
I really like kids and not just as little people I can return at the end of the day.
I learned the difference between sci-fi and fantasy.
Nothing makes my husband laugh harder than watching Match Game.
My husband likes to say, “brilliant,” but not in that sarcastic New York way but the London way.
Emmett Otter is boring.
My DVR allows me to search for 4 star movies.
All Mine to Give is a sad, sad movie. No matter how hard you wish, there is no happy ending.
Yes, you can have too much chocolate.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Words to Live By

If you have too much to do, with God's help you will find time to do it all.

-Peter Canisius

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Put one foot in front of the other.

The stress level is beyond high for me. I know this because of the nightmares I’ve been having. Some days it’s about work. Some days it’s about family.

I know there isn’t much I can do about illness in my family except pray. My mom and stepdad are now in Canada. Last rites were given this week. Joe sounds a bit better now that he’s physically there. Mom has promised to continue her physical therapy up in BC.

My cousin’s mom is in the hospital again. I know that sounds weird. She's technically my second cousin. Does that make her mom my second aunt? This time her asthma was so severe they had to intubate her. When I spoke to her she said she didn’t feel 100% but she doesn’t want to spend Christmas in a hospital. Who does? My cousin sounds tired and spent.

Z-girl had the lump removed and now we wait for the biopsy results. I saw the pre-op bloodwork and she does have an elevated white blood cell count and in the words of her doc, “She’s got something cooking in the pancreas. I’m not sure if she was just nauseous or nervous the day she had her blood drawn or if something else is happening.”

My brother is in Mexico with many of our cousins. I wish I was there. Since internet connection is $100 for 2 hours, I’m playing hit or miss text messaging. I miss him but I know he’s having a good time. He deserves it.

Lrudlrick has been working non-stop since Thanksgiving. He’s freaking out his timeline is less than two weeks away. I get home at eight, we eat something quick together and then he’s back to work.

Work for me has been nothing but craziness. I want results. I want resolutions. Unfortunately, my priorities are not others. Unfortunately, I’m the only one in my team. I have non existent team. I’m the interface analyst. I’m the training coordinator. I’m the hardware technician. I’m the data manager. I’m the implementation coordinator.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the challenge but at the expense of my loved ones and my own personal life.

Lrudlrick and I are both too stressed. We’re in this odd situation where we’re too tired, too stress and too overwhelmed. We’re in the same boat. We rarely talk about work to each other under normal circumstances, doubly so now. Why tell each other the same freaking’ problems?

Yesterday I had a nightmare no matter how hard I tried, my desk kept piling up with troubleshooting issues. Laugh. I know some of you can only imagine what my desk looks like. Well, even in times of stress and deadlines, my desk has 90% of it’s wood surface visible. I may be stressed, but anal retentiveness trumps all.

Today I had a nightmare my brother was 6 again and he was sick. For some reason I was my current age and married. Lrudlrick and I kept carrying him to different doctors for help. We kept running in circles throughout a non-descript hospital and no one would help us.

Both dreams made me wake up in a cold sweat.

Christmas spirit is in me but not as strong as normal. Sadly, in my workplace my office has one of the most spirit. I’m not tooting my horn either. I think the only consolation I have is that the stress I feel at work although unique is also universal. The only reason there are decorations in my office was for my own sanity.

The last few week’s I keep thinking about John the Baptist and how he had a mission. From day one, his life had a purpose. Did he know what his purpose was? Everyone has a purpose. When do we know our purpose? There are so many sad and bitter people out there. There is no need to have a bitter life. Everyone should jump out of their skins every now and then and say, “Am I happy?” If you’re truly not happy, why are you not happy? If you can change it and you’ll be pretty hard pressed to find something that you can’t change.

I’m probably deluding myself but I can’t see why anyone who is completely miserable would want to stay miserable. If you can change it, do it.

For all the stress and fear I have of late, I’m still in general happy. Crazy as it sounds, I love what I do. I wish I had staff to help me but I still love what I do. I wish my family was healthy but I also know that the circle of life is real. I wish I had more time for my family and to start a family but for now I muddle through looking forward some time off in the first quarter of next year.

I know there is a purpose to my life and even if it’s to spend it searching for my purpose, I’m here and I have my sneakers on. I’m just hoping it doesn't lead me to Oregon during the winter months.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The circle of life is beautiful yet sometimes tragic

I can’t concentrate today.

I have a ton of things to do but my mind is elsewhere.

The test came back inconclusive. We now have to take her for pre-surgery bloodwork this weekend. Then she will be scheduled for surgery to remove the entire mass which will then be sent for a biopsy.

I’m a bit worried about that but my pre-occupation is for my stepdad. His father, my step-grandfather, was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer. I’ve been through this before so I understand the impact this has on a family. Joe hasn’t and according to mom, this has been rough for him.

From my mother’s descriptions, which are hearsay, his father is experiencing the classic stages.

I’m not very close to my step-family. They live in Vancouver and the distance and age differences don’t help. Still, I really feel for them right now. Grandpa is a good man and it’s always hard to see the pillars of families move on.

Flights have been arranged so that my stepdad and mom can spend the holidays with him. My stepsister was kind enough to arrange this.

The only thing I can do now is pray.

It makes you remember that we can all get so buried in work and the here and now. Here I’ve been working my butt off for a project that means a lot to me. The sweat and the tears don’t mean anything to me right now. All I can do is think about my family miles away. We’re not close but we’re not distant. I hardly know them. Knowing the helplessness felt by all in this situation, I can do nothing.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas had a stealth suit on this year

I’ll be honest; Christmas snuck up on me. I’m woefully unprepared this year. Lrudlrick has been working day and night since Thanksgiving. He’s battling the same cold I have except he’s staying up until 3am programming.

I’m preparing for the pilot go live on Monday with no equipment. Can someone tell me how telling me how I’m supposed to understand someone telling me it takes 3 days to get the order means it takes 10 days to process the purchase order plus 3 days for shipment?

Have the staff is out sick not that that matters to me seeing as my staff is non-existent. Yet, my head is high and I’m standing by realistic optimist approach to life.

So hear I am on December 1st without a single gift. I’ve purchased only two gifts and both were for my canine companions. Sad. So sad. Usually by this time, I’ve created my design for the Christmas cards, prepared the wrapping table to start wrapping gifts, decided on my cookie collection and narrowed down my Christmas feast menu.

Strangely enough, I’m not freaking out this year. I’m rather calm for a woman who hasn’t done a lick of holiday preparations and mother-in-law visit prep.Well, I may deluding myself but hey, whatever keeps me from going postal. I purchased my Christmas stamps today and I’m planning to write out my Christmas cards this weekend. I went out and bought cards. Gasp.

I also plan to do some shopping in between taking my dog to the vet. Z-girl has a bump on her hind leg. I’m not sure what it is. I think it may be a cyst. I may meet up with my brother tomorrow which would be nice but he is working so we’re playing it by ear.

My preliminary plan is to take care of the tree and decorations next weekend, cookies and dinner the following weekend and worrying about New Year’s brunch later. In between, I figure out the menu and prepare the house for my MIL and FIL’s visit.

It will all be fine.

Mother had her surgery and she’s home refusing to live on the first floor until her knee heels. I believe she has a strong separation anxiety about the house that is unfortunate. I sent her information on receiving a pass for transit rides. I’m surprised she hasn’t done so yet but I think she’s also reluctant to apply for any assistance for those temporarily disabled. I don’t blame her; it’s human nature but there is nothing wrong with taking help if it’s offered.

Right now, my biggest concern is the health of my brother and my husband. They both are under stress and have had little time to rest or decompress. Lrudlrick apologized early this morning for his harried schedule. It’s not his fault and I understand even though I occasionally pout about it. My schedule can be and currently is just as insane.

Is it our field or is this prevalent elsewhere? Here’s hoping January will start a more leisurely year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Words to Live By

“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice." – John 18:37

Who knew monkeys and bunnies would be so much fun.

Lrudlrick got his 360 and this weekend he got my Wii.

This is my Mii, sort of. I didn’t save it to my .jpegs to post here so I created a sketch of it at the Joystiq.


Lrudlrick made one too. You use your Mii as your character for the sports game.

My lower arms are killing me now. I’m just too embarrassed to tell my co-workers my lower arms are sore from playing video game baseball.

As soon as I played baseball I knew I had to show this to my brother. When we were kids, we used to play two players games all the time. Of course, I sucked but he was a good sport and played with me nonetheless.

Same goes here with the games for Wii. Many of them are short party games which are fun to play but I’m totally bombing. The only thing I’m good at is boxing and anything that involves throwing things long distance. Need someone to hit a ball with a bat? I’m your gal. Need someone to hurl a cow like a shot-put, give me a call. Need to pummel a monkey’s face in, help me lace up my gloves.

For the love of Pete, I can’t get the damn controls for driving the hover boats. I know in my mind, pull the wiimote down makes it turn right and pulling the nunchuk down makes it turn left. Still, I can’t seem to get my boat to move.

Lrudlrick is great at the dancing games. He’s also pretty good with the every other game I suck badly at.

When I finally had more than 5 bunnies on the dance floor dancing to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, he ran up to me and hugged me. I think the hug was less congratulatory and more, ‘Thank God I don’t have to hear that song again.’

When I play, I need to be extremely animated to get my electronic Mii to do what I want. Lrudlrick could be lying on the floor and his Mii could slap doors closed to prevent pooping bunnies from hitting him with a plunger. Because I’m so animated, Lrudlrick has learned to give me a 100 meter clearance when it’s my turn to play.

Lrudlrick has been nice about my playing style but I’m pretty sure the newlyweds that moved across the courtyard from us are wetting their pants watching me try to launch the Super Bunny over the broken railroad track.

If you haven’t checked out the Wii and how absolutely goofy you can look playing this check out this site.

I will say when you get a home run, you get pretty excited and you better use the strap to ensure you don’t chuck it at your TV.

Telepathy would be a cool super power.

I’m going to break from my family and work adventures and talk about the two shows I’ve tried to be faithful and watch every week, ‘Heroes’ & ‘Doctor Who’. Yes, I’m trying to keep up with the entire season. Ok, I watched Meerkat Manor too but that’s over now.

I so dislike the politician Petrelli. He’s got this face you want to smack with a ten pound sack of rocks. It makes me want to give the actor an award because I hate him that much.

Hiro is still my favorite although his sidekick Ando is left in limbo as he tries to do something with all that sci-fi knowledge he collected through his youth.

The interactions between, Peter and Claire and Hiro and Charlie are great but I still don’t understand how saving the cheerleader saved the world.

I’m liking Peter more and more. Without hesitating he went to Texas knowing he may die. Even without his Japanese sidekick, Hiro, he went into that school to save the cheerleader. Peter apparently has the balls in the family. Guess he got that from his dad seeing that he’s the only Petrelli we haven’t seen yet.

Simone is annoying and looks sicklier and sicklier every episode she’s in. Niki and her doppelganger are just crazy. I’m beginning to like evil Niki over good girl Niki.

I love Micah though. He’s the kid all parents want. Smart, Cute and able to fix electronics without going to Apex Technical Institute. The kid probably performed his own ultrasound.

Mohinder and his sister Shanti have some big shoes to fill. I wonder if we’ll get to see what’s so special about Shanti.

I heard the Ninth Doctor will be in Heroes starting in January. I’m not sure if he’s good or evil but I’m looking forward to it.

Speaking of ‘Doctor Who’, at first I wasn’t sure if I liked the dandy tenth doctor but I’m really liking him. I’m a deep smit now. However, what the heck is happening to Rose? Her face looks different. She dresses differently and she used a whole jar of Stila smudge pot on her eyes. Enough with the black eyeliner! You look like a raccoon!

The doctor is battling Satan while being sucked into a black hole. It should be interesting.

Is it just me of is the doctor just a little too skinny? I mean I understand manorexia is back but the doctor should not be two dimensional.

Some of the things I’d do if I were the Doctor’s companion or could tour the TARDIS:

-locate the bathroom and showers
-try every costume on twice
-use the pass card to get into exclusive eateries
-scrapbook
-ask the doctor what his favorite reincarnation is
-ask to view the birth and death of a planet
-ask if they ever nap or get hungry

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm very lucky too to have a MIL like you.

Lines I’ll remember from my MIL’s trip:

-They don’t use tokens anymore? How do people pay? --On the subject of Metrocards

-I paid $0.15 last time! –On how much a single ride on the subway costs now.

-Do you want to sleep on the bed? –MIL to Lrudlrick

-I’m like Lucy Ricardo. –On her many schemes.

-There are people like that in the workforce. Yes, that’s why it’s funny. --On the subject of Dwight and Michael in ‘The Office’

-Why is he so mean? He should give her a second chance. If it was you, would you give him a second chance? No. –On the subject of Jim’s coldness to Pam in ‘The Office’

-I’m bad with directions. So is your son. Why?

-New Yorkers are so nice. When you watch movies and read the newspapers they don’t say that. Do you know I’m not from around here? Where I’m from we don’t hear the good stories about New York. Where are you from? I live in Buffalo, NY. –MIL to gentleman who gave his seat up for her on the ‘A’ train.

-You know, I’m very lucky that my son didn’t marry one of the horror story daughter-in-laws I read about. She loves me. --Chatting with tourist from Alabama

If I had kids, I'd probably dress them like pilgrims.

I know it’s probably just a coincidence but my mother has a tendency to get injured prior to family events. My wedding, her husband’s nephew’s wedding, visits from family, Thanksgivings, Christmases plans have had to be altered due to last minute accidents.

I’m completely exhausted with work my mother-in-law, worrying about my mother, brother, my stepdad and Lrudlrick. Yet I ponder whether I should attempt to cook a mini-Thanksgiving dinner and drive it over to my mom’s for Thanksgiving.

Originally, I had hoped to have a small Turkey day at my house. I planned to volunteer in the morning like last year and then come home and cook a few breasts instead of a whole bird.

After 'The Fall 3', my mom can’t make it to my home. I initially thought it was a sign that I should just take the day to rest and catch up on much needed downtime. But my desires for family gatherings on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter tell me that I shouldn’t just let the day pass.

Holiday gatherings are big to me. I really want that Norman Rockwell picture during the holidays. I think sitting down and breaking bread is important. That’s why hubby and I eat at least one meal together every day. That’s why I dislike eating in front of the telly. That’s why I dislike eating anywhere other than a dining room or breakfast nook.

My husband said if my mother doesn’t make a big deal out of the holidays, maybe I shouldn’t subject herself to it. “Just because it’s important to you doesn’t mean it’s a special day for you. I mean the holidays clearly mean more to you than her.”

I guess they do mean more to me. Mom’s not a holiday or birthday type of person. Maybe I should keep my Thanksgiving meal as planned and call her to see how she is doing.

It’s such a fine line.

“Have you ever stopped and thought whether or not these events right before the holidays is a way of drawing attention?” a doctor friend inquired today. “Or maybe she has seasonal depression.”

Is my mom a drama queen? My mother’s side has a long line of drama queens but I never really thought these events could be related in that manner.

Here I was thinking of how the accidents effect my personal desires when I should be thinking about why they happen when they do. These accidents don’t just effect me and my brother. There’s something underlying that I need to explore.

She’s scheduled for an MRI today and I plan on calling her and my brother tonight to see how it went. Her orthopaedic surgery consult is scheduled for Wednesday. I’m sure we’ll know more then.

No matter what I decide for the holidays, the fine line is there. Is being a good daughter continuing the enabling or doing the hard but right thing and nipping it in the bud? Do you stay true to your ideals or become a passivist? Either way I’m going to need alcohol, antiseptic wipes and gauze.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Chillin' at 30 Rock in my PJS

I just came back from a day at Rockefeller Plaza with the hubby. It was great spending the entire day with him doing nothing grown-up, no household errands and no work chores.

We dropped off Lrudlrick’s mom at Penn Station and just let the day take us. Everyone is preparing for the parade so Christmas decorations are everywhere.

Is it just me or does the holiday shopping season start earlier and earlier? I have my holiday shopping list created but I am not ready to go shopping just yet. Usually by this time I start panicking about holiday dinners, cookies, cards and gifts.

Right now, all I can think about is making it through the week.

Lrudlrick and I realize this year will be a quieter Christmas. His job and my job have projects running simultaneously pulling us away from our usual plans. His mother is coming down though so I suppose I will put a bit more effort than I originally planned. I still would like a tree and Lrudlrick’s train to be put up but all other incidentals will just have to wait until next year.

I’m dropping my holiday cookie assortment to just one type this year to keep things simple. I also think I may forgo making my own cards this year. I just don’t have the time.

Going back to Rockefeller Center and my day with hubby, it truly was a treat. We both had work to do but it had been so long since we spent time together that once his mom was on her train back, we took advantage of the ‘empty nest’.

“Let’s go,” Lrudlrick said. “Now? I thought we’d go home. I’m in my pjs underneath this coat.” “Keep your coat on, no one will know.”

Santa was already out and about. He looked slimmer though. “Santa went South Beach on us,” said Lrudlrick.

We went to Toys ‘R Us. Someone needs to tell Home Depot that they are one of the few toys that has bilingual packaging. I applaud them but it’s a joke waiting to happen. Why does the leaf blower have Spanish and English packaging but the Barbie Dream House doesn’t?




How to tire your mother in law out in NYC.

I spent yesterday tiring my MIL out like a child. She had a hair cut appointment at Bergdorf Goodman. Afterwards, I crossed town to pick her up and the we walked from E59th and 5th avenue to W14th street and 9th avenue.

One of my favorite diners was closed between lunch and dinner so I took her to Chipotle’s. We went shopping and I gave her a tour of the neighborhood. Then I took her on her first subway ride since the 70’s/80’s and the woman makes friends with a tourist from Alabama. When a gentlemen gave her his seat she went on and on about how New Yorkers were much nicer than she read.

Three days looking after my MIL has taught me she’s reckless. For a woman is super paranoid and neurotic, she seems to not follow her own advice. From the first day I saw her I kept pulling her out of traffic, away from the curb, pulling my arms down to push her back from crowds and carrying her items that she’d leave behind.

She was so scared that she’d be pick pocketed in Times Square, she pulled everything out to put in a pouch that she wanted to safety pin to her pants.

She put her cell phone in her carpet bag so that she didn’t have to carry it in a purse that could be snatched. However, when she needed to pull it out, she had to unpack most of her items on the floor of Penn Station.

I felt like a safety guard on patrol. The entire time she didn’t stop talking. You ever see the commercial where the dad is strapping in his daughter into the car and she doesn’t stop talking? He doesn’t know when to close the door because she doesn’t stop her story. That was me and my MIL. In the streets of Manhattan, if you saw a red head talking non-stop to an Asian woman using her arms and legs as toll barriers while carrying several bags, that was me and my MIL.

By the time I got her home, she was falling asleep on my love seat. By 8pm, she was ready to crash but she requested coffee. I think she wanted to stay up but by 9pm she resigned her fight and went to the bedroom and slept through the night.

Success!

All in all, I was happy to see her and was glad she got to take a break from her hubby.

I’ll see them both for Christmas.

I’ll end this with a funny story. Friday night, hubby woke up in the middle of the night, went to the bathroom and groggily shuffled into the bedroom. He sat on the bed and was about to lie down when his mother said, “You want to sleep in the bed?” “Huh? Oh. Oh! Oh God, no! Sorry. Night.”

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I still don't know what a Snoball is

My MIL arrived two and half hours late due to wind conditions. She was exhausted. We had dinner. Turns out she may be allergic to shrimp. Lrudlrick says she isn’t but I can’t be too sure. When I asked him what are some of her favorite meals that he can recall from his childhood, he said, “Snoballs.” “Sno-what?” “Snoballs. There these white pastry things you can buy at the store.” “You consider that a meal?”

She spent Friday morning at my house alone and walking around our neighborhood. She apparently wanted to find pictures of her ex-husband so she snooped in our drawers and closets. At least she admitted it and well, I expected it.

Then I took her to get a manicure and then we headed home to get dressed for the wedding. It was a nice reception and my MIL got a chance to catch up with her family she rarely sees.

I love Sandy but she’s a bit too much of a worry wart. She’s worried about a disposable camera she left at the reception. She’s worried about getting sick. She’s worried she’s going to be sucked up by a tornado.

Lrudlrick is exhausted. I can see it. We’re all exhausted, my brother, my husband and me. We all need a break. I feel like we’re on a conveyor belt and if we don’t keep moving, we’re going to fall.

I hope he gets to rest a little tomorrow after we drop his mom off at the train station.

Money for the nothing

Ok, since November 8th, we’ve had a newspaper delivery problem. I’ve been receiving the NYTimes but the Daily News has been MIA since November 7th.

We’ve been receiving the deliveries for years and without a hiccup. Could someone be stealing my paper? Should I be putting a camera on my doorstep?

I called the News to speak to the local carrier to see what the deal was. They called me back and said they’d put a monitor on my delivery. Then they had the nerve to try to sell me an additional subscription. “We have a special right now. 52 weeks for 99 cents per issue.”

“You’re kidding right?” I said, “Nothing against you. I’m pretty sure your asked to promote your specials with every call but I haven’t received a paper in nearly 2 weeks and your asking me to give you more money without service and product?”

Customer Service at the News needs to review their policy on promoting specials.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

You say meniscus, I say meniscus

I feel drained but not depressed or sad. I'm drained because today was our rescheduled day for go live on part I of the system roll out. There were wrinkles here and there and there are still wrinkles to be ironed out but all in all it could have been worse. I have a great set of people who are positive and enthusiastic who are helping me cheerlead this through.

I'm drained because just when I let out a sigh of relief that a large part of my gargantuan project has been implemented, I get a call. My mother fell and can’t stand on her leg. Now my brother is rushing her to the doctor's/hospital.

As of 5:55pm, I still don't have a full story of what happened and I doubt I ever will.

I went to see my mom and have dinner with my uncle. My brother looks tired and I hope he takes care of himself. He’s grown so much the last half of this year. I’m so proud of him.

I’m sorry if I’m skipping but exhaustion will do that.

Tomorrow is my last day to wash the dogs, put stuff in storage and do the bedding laundry before my MIL comes. Oh, and I just found out that she’s coming back the week of Christmas. “Have you told her yet?” “No, I thought I’d tell her when I get there.” Lrudlrick gave me a heads up.

Oh and thankfully I didn’t buy everything for Thanksgiving dinner yet as my mom will most likely be unable to travel as it looks like she may have a torn meniscus that will have her out of commission for at least 6 weeks.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stability and the routine sounds heavenly right now

I'm fried. The only thing keeping me going is the belief this product
will do good and that I am not the only in the boat.

Most of my colleagues feel the pain in some form. Misery I guess
loves company.

Personally, I just one thing to go smoothly.

I wrote to my uncle to get info on his trip to NYC. Things are still
up in the air. I don't know what's worse, being in limbo at work or
at home. I guess work trickles into home.

I really am more flexible with home stuff. However when work becomes
a constant set of reschedules and missed timelines, I just want
stability.

My husband is in a similar boat. He has a major data move and system
install scheduled this winter.

He's spending all week in training with his staff.

I guess Christmas will be quiet this year.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Mental note: Talk to therapist about fascination with all things prairie

I ran into a door Saturday. Actually, the door ran into me. That's the story and I'm sticking to it.

I really don't know what happened except I was getting ready to take the dogs for a walk when out of left field a hard pre-war solid wood door came out and slammed me right in the noggin.

I fell back and landed on the floor. Lrudlrick heard the commotion and came in to find me covered in tears and mascara murmuring, "The door attacked me. The door attacked me."

I now have a small welt on my left side of my forehead. Thankfully it didn't turn purple but it's jaundice in color.

My uncle is coming this week. My mother-in-law is coming next week. My go live was pushed back a week and people don't realize how short a week can be because I still have yet to finalize the test plan and live conversion.

However, due to the near concussion, I was able to catch up on all my Law and Orders and CSIs.

For those interested, Scrubs will be returning in the New Year on Thursdays. Yes, this means Earl, The Office, 30 Rock and Scrubs are the new must see Thursday line up.

For Halloween, I was a princess. Yes, it was lame but I was at work until 10pm the night before. Give me 'A' for effort.

By 10am, chaos had consumed the princess and I was seen running down the hall fighting fires. Of course, my years in New York City have lead to inadvertent, 'Oys', which although appropriate at times didn't seem right when you're dressed as a princess. For the rest of the day, people called me the Jewish princess.

Why do I mention Halloween weeks after the event? I sort of missed out of checking out the ghosts and goblins knocking at my door and I'm realizing now that I'm not going to see that again for another year.

I like Halloween. I like seeing all the costumes and the imagination of the kids who actually try to make a costume rather than buy a pre-bought power ranger costume. Do power rangers ever go out of style?

My first Halloween costume was Holly Hobbie. God I loved Holly Hobbie. She was so much cooler than Raggedy Ann. I wore my Holly Hobbie costume for 3 years straight before my mother said I'd have to pick a new costume.

Next year, I'll try to put more effort into my costume. Next year, maybe I'll be a lion or a paper clip. Eh, who am I kidding, I'll probably go to my mom's attic, pull out the prairie dress and be Holly Hobbie again.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rippy had it right

Does anyone dress up anymore? I feel like I'm dressed up on the wrong
day. Kids are sparingly dressed up.

Work had me swamped and I missed the trick or treaters. Lrudlrick put
out his famous candy soup much to the children's delight.

When I got home he took me out for a drink which turned into a light
supper. It was exactly what I needed, a change from the monotony &
much desired quiet time with the hubby.

Today is Thursday and I'm beyond exhausted. We're scheduled for go
live on a module and the interface engineers are still building
filters. I haven't been able to sign off on testing b/c hiccups still
appear.

All in all I still am glad to be working with a good group on this
development.

Tried calling my mother again. Her voice mail popped up again. I ask
her why she pays for VM if she doesn't listen to them. She shrugs and
smiles at me as if she's too naïve to understand. Sometimes I feel
she is.

I have 2 weeks before my MIL arrives. I'm at a point where if all I
had was bologna and cheese to serve her, wrinkled sheets to give her
and a ragged towel to dry herself off with, I could give a rat's ass.

It's not that I want to embarrass myself or insult her. I'm just too
tired to worry or fret. I can barely get myself to eat. I get home,
attempt to pry my shoes off and drag my sorry butt to the couch and
pass out feebly petting my dogs who are desperately looking for
attention.

Oh, did I forget to tell you my uncle is arriving the week before my
MIL? My mom made me swear up & down that I take care of picking him
up or dropping him off at the airport. I had already planned to take
him out to dinner for his birthday. Now without any details on pick
up dates or drop off dates, I need to coordinate my work schedule that
has me working 12+ hours a day.

I so need to sleep. How did Rip Van Winkle do it? Could I sleep for
years? I'd sure like to try.

Friday, October 27, 2006

A weary mind & body heads home

Monday: It's 8:50pm and I just got out of work. I came in at 7:45am. I will
probably do this again tomorrow.

Tuesday: It's tomorrow today. After a 12 hour day, I did nothing at home
except watch Heroes and contemplate wearing black to an evening
wedding in the Fall.
For the first time in a long time I didn't wish to stay in bed this morning.

Just came back from running home from the bus stop. I accidentally
locked my husband in the bedroom. See honey, I admit when I do
doofy things too.

I'm running late now but I'm not panicking. I can't solve everything
in a day.
Going back to the waking up bit, I realize my day will probably be as
chaotic if not more so today yet the fact that I'm not alone in the
burden this week comforts me. Sure the eventual outcome is on me but
it's not as heavy a load when you have help.
Lrudlrick has to fly out tomorrow for a business meeting. My MIL has
decided to come down in November for a wedding. Normally this would
bring out Mothra but at this point I could care less if my dirty
knickers are strewn all over the bedroom. Ok, maybe a little.
The wedding is at 6:30 on a Friday. Both of us have to work that day
so I'm hoping my MIL does not think it rude of me to leave her in the
house all day.

Friday and I'm beat. I wore sneakers all week knowing I'd be running
around all week. I have plenty to work on tomorrow but tonight my
brain rests.

There were a lot of bumps during training but I remind myself
implementations that run smooth are not normal.

I have to say though that I have good friends and family that seem to
know when I need a laugh or a reprieve from work related thought and
banter.

Through the chaos, I'm still grateful and am blessed to be intrusted
to do what I do and have the love of family & friends. Man, I must be
a glutton for punishment.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Does the 40 hour work week still exist?

It's 7:30pm and neither of us has made it home yet.

Tonight I have a reprieve. We're copying dBs so I'm heading home to relax alittle before tomorrow.

I'm officially a grown up. It's my birthday tomorrow and all I care about is getting as much built into my dB as possible.

Times like these thrill and terrify me. I'm not bored at work but I barely have a chance to breathe.

This time next year will I feel the same? Will I be working or will I be starting a family? Will I be doing what I do or will I take the leap and change careers? Will I want a career?

It's actually scary; what will I be a year from now? Where will I be?

Most women my age are weighing the career vs family options. I 'm no longer wanting a career but am not hungering for a family.

I thought this indecisiveness left as you got older. I feel more muddled than ever.

The answer isn't appearing tonight. The best I can do tonight is rest.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's like I'm 15 again but without the guidette hairdo

The lack of self-confidence from my childhood has a way of rearing its ugly head. Although it is not as strong as it was during the teenage years, it does come by occaionally producing self doubt.

I'm pretty certain of my abilities but can I implement a system without staff? I've held many an advisory group meeting which has helped with design and development. The processes have been programmed in and now the real test happens, deployment.

I'm fairly certain my OCPD nature will get me through this and I've learned that staffing will be my next petition. Funny how a person who enjoys working independently knows she can't in the long run.

I have a great working group and hopefully a great front line team but my jitters are still there. Opening night is creeping in.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

No rest for the weary...

My rest has been pushed back until February/March. To allow for a month of feedback and modifications from the beta testers I've pushed back rollout to January.

I can hold out for my rest but I need to schedule time with my husband. In the last two weeks, we've had dinner nearly in silence. Between late hours at work and late hours working from home, we're too exhausted and pre-occupied with our job.

We pass out in front of our computers and stumble into bed around 5am. By 6, my anxiety attack wakes me and I leave to meditate in the living room to allow Lrudlrick an extra hour of sleep.

With the Fall, comes weekends filled with social engagements, obligations and housekeeping, many times we have multiple engagements requiring us to split up and meet back in the evening.

So far we've been doing well but I know it will take it's toll if we don't find time to be together.

The hard part isn't blocking the time though; it's not letting work responsiblities seep in.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Augustus, sweetheart. Save some room for later!

I judged a pie contest. 22 pies. 3 hours. 1 super sugar rush and a triple venti latte later I was in dire need of a bathroom. I made it home just in time. TMI ahead. I'm not embarrassed to tell you it was a leaner and a moaner.

The sugar rush turned me into a Japanese anime character. My eyes were as big as basketballs. My movements were quick and sharp but my math skills were for the birds. If I had known this job entailed math, I would have brought my abacus.

A fellow judge opted for the 8,9,10 method where he only voted in the high range. "You should have done the even odd approach." "Yeah, maybe next year."

One fellow judge took it a bit more seriously than necessary. "Excuse me! If you're discussing the pies you must do so quietly. I am a judge and cannot know who made which pie." "You know, you can move behind the curtain." That was the end of the cordialness.

By the end of my math test, 2 out of the 4 judges were bouncing around like 7 year olds. I don't know how the other 2 did it but I could hardly contain the sugar shakes.

The winner was a banana cream pie. Very tasty and well presented.

Honorable mention goes to my personal favorite, the coconut custard. I'm not a coconut fan but I gained appreciation.

Someone asked me about the worst. After 22, it's hard to tell but one stood out in the appearance category. After slicing a bubbling volcano of what looked like castor oil and applesauce spewed forth. It looked like it would come out in the same fashion.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

There's gotta be something better than this

I’m exhausted and there is no end in sight for my work.

In a nutshell the last two days have been spent working from 8am-12:30am and I’m spent. I’m nowhere near where I feel I should be in this implementation and I’ve been denied resources because of budgetary cuts.

I suffered from insomnia at 5am and ever since have been having anxiety attacks. I finally went into meditation around 7am and after a long shower, I made up my mind to plead my case to my boss for assistance. In short I am doing the job of an interface analyst, training coordinator, front line support and a project manager. The least they can do for me is give me a part time data entry person.

Of course my boss is out today, ill mostly likely from a suppressed immune system because I’m not the only department that was faced with cutbacks.

My entry today isn’t about my work though but the realization that there has got to be something better than this. I mean, I love my job. I love build things from scratch. I love long hours and hard work but one man can only do so much and although I believe in the power to move mountains, one man can not move obstinance alone, especially if obstinance comes en masse, and with all new things, there is always obstinance.

I’m an optimistic realist. I believe in what I do and that makes me good at what I do. So when I find myself giving up on things I like personally, like Thanksgiving Dinners and Christmas get togethers, I realize that my priorities are askew. I don’t care what anyone says, you shouldn’t have to give up your personal happiness for anyone or anything.

Mom came back from the wedding and I found out not from my own mother or my stepdad but my stepsister that she fell before the wedding. She hurt her knee. Sadly the first thing I wondered, while sitting at my office at 9pm reading an email from my stepsister was is this a psychological issue? Why does she fall before major family weddings?

Lrudlrick thinks I’m just stressed and said two weddings does not make a pattern. I spoke to her around 10pm and informed her I confirmed the pick ups for the car service. Then around 11:30pm, she calls me to tell me she called the cruise line and I was right 11am pick for a 4pm sail time is too early. I told my mother to look at the mailed information I sent her and to call the car service directly. “Now you know not to let her anxiety get to you. You and I well now that if you call a cab in the morning, they’d pick her up.” “I know Lrudlrick but I thought at the time if I helped her get the car service she’d stop panicking about it and telling me that she can’t even rely on her kids.” “Things don’t come easy for your mom because she makes them hard. If she came clean and told the whole truth it wouldn’t be so difficult for her and you and your brother. You can’t change her but you can avoid falling into the web.”

With that, I told myself not to harp on the insanity and spent the rest of the night sleeping deeply for 3 hours and than hitting a brick wall of insomnia at 5am. Strange dreams of my grandmother not properly dressed in the winter and my father, brother and I trekking her to the doctor’s plagued me. There was a need for my brother to carry my grandmother sans socks through snow banks waist high to reach the doctor. After those flashes I woke up in a cold sweat and couldn’t go back to sleep. I wondered why after two horrendous days where burnout was creeping in, I would dream about helping someone rather than someone helping me. When your stressed and nervous and questioning your abilities, you naturally would seek comfort. A hug from your dog, a hand to hold, chocolate ice cream all would have made sense but since I got home all I did was close myself off. I zoned out. I watched television. I read the Gothamist entries. Then it hit me. I want comfort but fear comfort is a sign of weakness for this circumstance. I’m afraid if I wallow, I won’t get up in the morning, put on my 4 inch slides and keep trudging through the shit because what good would staying in bed and vegging do? I have to move on. I have keep going because if I give up, I’ll be for the worse. I need to set my personal gift. My original gift was a week at CIA in January/February but right now that’s cost prohibitive. My new gift is a complete spa package for the day, a head to toe package and a whole week off doing absolutely nothing but be Laura to Lrudlrick’s Rob.

Now, I have to get ready for a meeting, wait for the confirmation call from the car service for my mom’s pick up, load data builds, send test files, continue building a class schedule, finalize an agenda for tonight’s meeting, get home in time to let my husband in since he left his keys in the house, move the car, pick up much need clothing from the cleaners and walk the dogs……………… and I do it all wearing 4 inch slides.

“And when I find me some kind of life I can live
I'm gonna get up, get out and live it!”

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

I won't lie; I would have gladly taken an old man cane chair than stand for 4 hours.

Muthafunga reminded me;I forgot to mention the concert we went to together. We went to check out Jamie Cullum a few weeks back and I will say he puts on a good show. He’s also 2 inches taller than me but that’s just a bit of trivia. I didn’t bring a camera because, well, I didn’t really want to carry to much with me but in the end I should have. All my photos on my phone were very blurry.

The opening act was Josh Ritter, a folk singer, and although he didn’t sound awful, he’s goofy smile and the Beelzebot bassist was throwing me for a loop.

I had a great time and would love to see him again but I hope next time I won’t be near the Brazilian girl with the whipping scarf. Honestly, how do you whip your scarf around to ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’?

Thanks go to PianoMarn for posting a great video from the concert.


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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Look honey, I released a naked Storm Trooper into cyberspace

I’m not a social butterfly. I much rather keep to myself, especially at work. However, I do make it a point to go out to lunch with a colleague or two at least once a week. The problem with these lunches is that I usually leave a little disheartened. I learn more about my organization than I chose to, most of it negative.

True, many times I should chalk it up to gossip but when several people reiterate the message, you begin to question the validity.

Lrudlrick and I have talked awhile about how if circumstances move me in another direction, I will consider slowing down my life, moving away from the big city and focus on family.

It’s all together very tempting, especially when you are in a pressure cooker work place. In today’s workplace, more and more is placed on a single person. What’s worse is not the lack of recognition but the lack of support. When you give of yourself, you should have the support from the leaders to drive you to move on. Many of my friends and colleagues in the field say they do not. Loyalty and Confidence are leaving our workplace. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here do not reflect on a single institution. One should not imply these opinions are directed towards any particular work environment.

In my Betty Crocker world, I was asked to be a judge for a pie contest. I was going to enter but being asked I suppose is a privilege. I’ll enter next year. I still plan to make my first pie for the season this week. I plan to make a Cherry pie.

I also pulled out my crock-pot this morning. First crock-pot meal of the fall will be brisket. I decided on brisket because I’ve made an addict of my husband. I introduced him to the brisket sandwich at local restaurant I used to frequent a lot in the mid-90’s. Lately, I’ve been finding myself heading down to the West Village more and more. I’m not sure why but it’s like home base now. It’s comforting to know I’m not meandering around the upper Westside searching for a place to chill. I know pretty much any place I stop at in the West Village is a place I can hang my hat at and stay for a while.

On the television front, I’ve taped a lot but watched a little. I’m now obsessed with a new video game. Yes, it’s been awhile since a video game has enticed me but Legos Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is so much fun, I can’t help but look forward to playing a new level every chance I get.

For me the most fun is the multi-player option. A friend can jump in and out at anytime. It reminds me of the days of Contra. My brother and I would spend hours playing Contra. Sibling battles occurred often about how one of us kept killing each other by moving them to the ‘end of the screen’.

I started to relive that a little with Star Wars with Lrudlrick. The big difference is my husband has not learned the art of direction.

pg: You killed me again! If you’re going to move ahead, tell me to catch up or else I fall off the screen and die.

L: Pay attention then.

pg: I can’t keep an eye on you while fighting off storm troopers. Just holler out if you’re moving ahead. It’s not hard to say ‘left’ or ‘north’.

Minutes later………
L: This way! This way! This way! This way!

pg: Dude, I’m busy trying not to get stepped on by an AT-ST. To the left! To the left! There’s a heart. I need a health heart! Oh man, you missed all those coins and health! Quick before they disappear!

L: They’ll always be coins around.

pg: I’m not speaking to you. I need those coins to buy the Jawa.

Yes, you can shop in the game, at the cantina to be precise. While my husband is pretty good at the Jedi skills, I’m fairly decent with the shooting but awesome with the money collecting. I run my character over to the coins faster than I run myself to a Stuart Weitzman semi-annual sample sale.

The coins collected not only increase your True Jedi points but also allow you to buy extras and characters. See, I needed a Jawa to help me get into a secret area in the Jundland Wastes. It’s extremely addicting and I’m hoping to show my brother the game tonight in between innings.

Check out the trailer, if you’re interested. There’s also a free demo online at the Lucas arts site.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dignity has left the building

I’m not going to go into detail but Jeanine Pirro should learn from Kerik, know when to cut your losses.

Enough said about local politics. Ok, maybe not. I haven’t heard all the tapes but this woman is a scary woman. She sounds obsessed. When you have to resort to spying on your husband, maybe, just maybe you should reevaluate your relationship.

Jeanine is not making any friends with her attitude. Good grief, your husband is speeding and your daughter is shoplifting. Maybe you should take care of home business first. I won’t even bring up the embezzling indictments on your husband.

Ok, your husband had a love child. You got over it and now you think he’s having an affair so you enlist your friends to spy? Call me callous but obviously you guys need a time out.

Jeanine, I don’t know you but seriously, you have got to be better than this. Why let him demean you like this? No man is worthy breaking federal laws. What would you have accomplished if you had the tapes of an affair? Would it have made you feel better? Honestly, no good could have come from tapping your husband.

I was debating which to rant about today: Jeanine or the absurd story of multimillionare that married his daughter and figured there really isn't much more to say about the Bruce McMahan that wasn't said in 5 words.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Class of 2006-2007: The Candidates So Far

Since I was so particular with my shows last year, this year I decided to give my attention to many of the new shows debuting this fall season.

Of course, I didn’t calculate how much time this required of me. Still so far I’ve checked out the following shows:

The Class
Heroes
Smith
Standoff
Kidnapped
‘Til Death
Happy Hour
Shark
Justice

Some were planned; others accidental. I also planned to check out ‘Help Me Help You’ but alas DVR is tapping multi-shows and it had to sacrificed. If you’ve seen this show and say it’s worth an episode, I might check it out.

Now my rule is simple, I have too many standing shows I watch so if you don’t reach by episode #2, you drop off my DVR list. Tough breaks but you only get two shots with me.

The first casualty on my list was ‘Standoff’. In fact, it dropped off my list after one episode. There was too much focus on the individual employees and not on the actual hostage incident. Plus, there was Moonlighting vibe going on that left a bad taste in my mouth. If they started out with focus on the incident and eventually over time moved towards the personal life of the negotiators, I may have been more interested. To the writers of Standoff: Follow the CSI approach: less personal more about the case.

‘Til Death’ and ‘Happy Hour’ are the shows that popped on while I was figuring out when ‘My Name is Earl’ and ‘The Office’ would be returning. Since there wasn’t anything else premiering and my ‘Little House on the Prairie’ phase is waning, I decided to leave them on. By the way, I’m still at 67% complete with the LHotP episode watching. I’m slowly pushing away from my goal but I’m not causing it a lost cause yet. Still 67% is nothing to sneeze about. If you ever have a LHotP question in a trivia tourney, you can always depend on me as your lifeline.

I don’t love either show but I don’t hate them either. I predict at a better time slot, they may find an audience but they most likely won’t last the season.

‘Smith’ almost lost me after the first ep. I’m pretty certain it’s not going to make it past this season still my husband counts Ray Liotta as one of his ‘boys’ so I plan to continue to tape it. I gave it another chance last night which only confirmed my suspicion. If Smith’s accomplices don’t get him caught, ending the series or converting it to a Prison Break/The Fugitive drama, the ratings will. I just don’t feel any compassion or interest in any character. The blonde gal makes me want to smack her silly. The blonde guy makes me want to smack him silly. Nothing against blondes. I love blondes. My best friend was a blonde and I married a strawberry blonde.

‘Shark’ and ‘Justice’ are one in the same show, smarmy lawyer thinks he’s the cherry. I’m giving ‘Shark’ another try because his relationship with his daughter and his career change from defense to prosecuting should humanize him a bit. I’ll be honest about ‘Justice’, I’m not a Victor Garber fan. I don’t know what it is about him but he gets under my skin and I don’t like that feeling. Maybe it’s his smarminess. Still, I’m watching ‘Justice’ because of one thing, the last 5 minutes where they show you what really happened. Sure I’ve predicted it three times but it’s still fun to watch.

‘Kidnapped’ was a last minute add on because I was high on Nyquil. I’m not sure why I taped it but I did and I plan to give it one more shot. I wasn’t in love with the show but I didn’t hate the show. I want to see the son kick some ass and I’d like to see how the FBI agent is related to the body guard. I have no compassion for the father and I hate to say this but I feel as if he’s part of the whole kidnapping. Then again, Dana Delany can pull a Manchurian Candidate and it still wouldn’t be shocking. It’s hard to feel bad for a rich, wealthy family especially when they keep talking about calling ‘Daddy’ to solve things and speaking in French.

‘The Class’ has potential but it’s not an absolutely keeper for me. There were great lines from the twin sister and the effeminate husband. I’m not sure if they’re trying to make it a Friend’s like story how a group of uniquely different people interact. I’m not sure how people will take to the suicidal redhead. I know he does it for laughs but he’s battling some serious depression. Still it has the carryover from ‘How I Met Your Mother’ so they should do fine.

Lastly is ‘Heroes’. I wanted to hate this show. I wanted to say, “I told you so” but I actually like the premise. Call me a geek. Call me a sci-fi head. Hiro and his friend are my favorites. Hiro is what geeks like me aspire to be, dorky but cool dorky in a dorky way. The cheerleader is annoying me a bit but have a dad that could be evil, the pressure of high school to be like everyone else, newly acquired hormonal angst and a mom that considers the Pomeranian your younger brother and you get pass. I hope people enjoy it enough to keep ratings up. I hope the hype doesn’t dwindle the audience as I predict it may. If it does though I hope the Sci-Fi network picks this up.

‘Heroes’ could find a nice home along side ‘Doctor Who’.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Words to Live By

Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice. James 3:16

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27 years to the date




Last Monday Lrudlrick and I went to see ‘The Who’. We’re not major fans but figure there are certain bands we should see live. This idea was also the reason why I saw the Rolling Stones in the early 90’s. Little did I know they’d be touring well into the new millennium.

Anyway, it was a pretty darn good show. I have no clue who the opening act was but neither did anyone else at MSG.

It was a bit odd to see them perform ‘Teenage Wasteland’ and ‘My Generation’ but Townsend looked good and no one was running out for oxygen tanks.

Lrudlrick went t-shirt happy and we went home with a bag full of tees all XXL. People who see me on a regular basis know I’m more of a babydoll tee girl but you get what you get.

My favorite, and the one I’ve claimed for myself, is a white with red striped target tee. Honestly, I could probably belt the sucker and wear it as a dress but I’m not 18, 86 lbs and Nicole Richie. I’ve been wearing it under my regulation fall blazers. I’ve been tying it in the back to avoid the tent look. Sadly, I think I’ve been ‘rocking’ it a bit much because some of my neighbors are probably questioning if I’ve laundered it yet. Yes I have, thank you very much.

I don’t really take to a clothing item as much as I used to but there is something about this shirt. I mean if I could I’d probably sleep in this shirt.

I have no idea why I’m attached to this shirt. It’s not like I’m ultimate Who fan. If I were to bound with any clothing article in my closet, I would think it would be a pair of shoes. Actually, I try to be an equal opportunist with my shoes. I don’t want one to feel superior. I know. I know. I’m one step closer to that rubber room but I have the perfect pair of shoes to match the white coat.


Set list:
I Can't Explain
The Seeker
Anyway Anyhow Anywhere
Fragments
Who Are You
Behind Blue Eyes
Real Good Looking Boy
Sound Round
Pick Up The Peace
Endless Wire
We Got A Hit
They Made My Dreams Come True
Mirror Door
Baba O'Riley
Eminence Front
Black Widow Eyes
Mike Post Theme
You Better You Bet
My Generation
Won't Get Fooled Again
Pinball Wizard
Amazing Journey
Sparks
See Me Feel Me
Tea And Theatre
-- Thanks to The Who Concert Guide

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This would have been easier if he studied Shaolin

I’m a bit cranky. I don’t like deadlines for silly things to consume me yet I feel surrounded by deadlines.

Anyway, last week, my husband swore up and down that he could fit Clyde in any parking spot. Well, he was put the test last Tuesday when we found a spot that was the exact fit for our car. I mean exact. Take a look.



That is Clyde sandwiched between another mini cooper and an Jeep SUV. As he parked the car, pedestrians stopped and commented, some positive, some negative. One Russian gentleman even went so far as to try to move the parked mini in front of us with brute force. He was unsuccessful.

In the end, Lrudlrick squeezed Clyde into this spot with more determination than sweat. Still it was a feat worthy of an SUV filled with Hispanic men stopping and taking snapshots of the tight squeeze. Two of the men rolled down their windows and gave us a thumbs up sign and then drove off.

With the days getting longer for me and my evening’s trips reduced, Clyde will be staying in the garage for a few days. Hopefully he’ll place nice with others.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

I wish it was a sabbatical but unfortunately it wasn't

A lot has been consuming my time and effecting me physically and emotionally. I apologize for the extended absence. Everytime I sat down to write an entry I found myself returning to my confusion and dismay over my relationship with my mother and the predicament that I know I will need to face and own up to.

Between that and looming deadlines, budgets constraints at work and a staff shortage with a freeze on hiring, I’ve been one big ball of hair losing and a 5 day delay in my period. Yes, I was 5 days late for the first time in over 5 years.

I will be honest. I took it rather in stride. If I was pregnant, I planned to take it as a sign that I should gear my life in a different direction. I was ready to drop my crazy hours and crazy job for something more focused on home and family.

What stressed me out wasn’t the possibility of being pregnant but being pregnant and having to support my baby and possibly my mom. That’s what freaked me out.

The last two weeks I spent a lot of time trying to be more focused on my mother. I try not to promote actions or decisions or ideas my mother and I disagree on but I also knew that I’d have to make an effort to not support the ideas but support the person.

But unfortunately through no fault of my mother’s things don’t come easy for her and by association, things I do for my mom take longer than they should. I’m still hashing things out for her and I really don’t want to go into detail about everything. It’s just been very hard for me to remember it’s not give an inch, take a mile but just the way things are. She’s not doing this on purpose.

When I told my husband I was late, he seemed to be taken a back. Five minutes later though, he seemed fine and supporting.

This afternoon while doing household errands she came and she brought friends, cramps. I’m feeling better now thanks to menthol rubs and hot tea.

It’s been a long time since my body has reacted to stress in an apparent way. No matter what, work, personal or family, my body is strangely resilient usually.

The bigger picture after all of this is that something needs to give and I swear it’s not going to be me and my health. I know this is little compared to other health issues, especially since a friend was admitted last week for chest pains and a colleague’s husband had a massive heart attack. Still, I take it as a sign.

I’m not dropping my responsibilities but I need to take care or priorities and realize in the end what is important isn’t the tangible.

I promise to take more time out this week to return to my daily crazy talk. I still need to tell you my take on several new premieres I’ve watched and share with you Lrudlrick’s birthday present, tickets to see The Who.

Tomorrow, I’ll share with you the parking spot that caused an SUV to back up and take photographs.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Trying to be supportive of the person not the actions

I have a pet peeve. My mother likes to make excuses. Like all of us, she has a tendency to make up excuses to hide from the truth. One excuse that peeves me is that we can’t do anything because my husband is a finicky eater. The number one excuse is something is the ‘Chinese way’.

I’m not going to lie and say my husband isn’t but in the last 10 years, I can honestly say he has made a concerted effort to try more foods. I mean honestly, the man ate sushi and didn’t flinch. He ate Louisiana cuisine for our wedding reception and didn’t leave a speck on his plate. The man now eats shrimp, lobster and fish without whining. Ok, he whines a little about fish. He swears I leave bones in fillet on purpose. Honey, I’ve seen the life insurance policy. You don’t need to worry.

Why do I bring this up? Well, because my mother told me last week that she wished we could go on a cruise as a family, sort of like the family reunion cruise that I’m not attending this year. The main reasons I’m not attending is work-related. It would not be in the best of interest for me to be outside of NYC during the fall and winter months as I am about to roll-out a brand new IS system to a group of what my co-worker has deemed, children over 40.

Have you ever been on a cruise? Have you seen the smorgasbord of food available and wasted? People should stop sending rations to the starving children and just send a few Carnival cruise ships to them.

Sure, my husband and I would dislike the buffet style meals but there are a few direct order places on cruise ships. I just hate that she makes the excuse my husband. It’s as if it her child could not be at fault. If she were then her parenting would be questioned. Instead, blame the ‘outsider’. I know she doesn’t mean it but it just seems that way.

I try not to make a big deal of these because I know she gets sensitive and she’s a bit Humpty-Dumpty-ish. I didn’t even give it a second thought until today when I was busy trying to research cab companies that I can pre-pay trips for my parents.

Although my mother and I live on opposite planes when it comes to our beliefs, I’m trying hard to make her happy. This isn’t easy for a person that does not like to support or encourage her habits. She doesn’t make it easy though.

For example, she kept complaining to me that she couldn’t find a taxi to take four people plus luggage to the 55th street port. I finally took the queue and told her that I’d take care of it.

Then she proceeded to tell me that she has friends ask her why her kids don’t do what she tells them to like they were supposed to.

M: “My generation believes kids don’t question parents and just do what ever they are told.”
pg: “Mom, my generation believes in sticking their parents in nursing homes. Let’s try to break generational traditions.”

After she lost that battle, she waited a few minutes and then proceeded to complain about other issues.
pg: “Mom, if you need help, you need to ask people not complain about it.”
M: “Well, you know me. I have a hard time asking for help.”
pg: “You don’t have a hard time complaining about it.”
M: “What?”
pg: “Nothing, this is the knitting show I told you about.”

So back to my peeve. How do I tell my mother without upsetting her that I can’t stand when she uses my husband as an excuse? If she wants an excuse, she should blame me. Mom, I don’t want Lrudlrick trapped in a boat for 14 days with my family for fear of divorce.


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Monday, September 11, 2006

Numb

This is a weird day. In one word, I can describe it as surreal. I don’t want to linger but I can’t help but reflect on the days events. I don’t know if my mind is protecting me or if numerous specials and news coverage has pushed me from the reality.

I don’t want to minimize the day. I don’t want to see the coverage. I don’t want to remember yet it’s ever-present.

I wasn’t affected as most but in a way, we all were in a personal way. Things changed that day; for the better or for the worse, I don’t know.

For 5 years the area was apart of my life 5 days a week. The area was my second home yet my memories are no longer of those harried lunch hours or power walking ‘suits’ rushing to another meeting. The memories are clouded in white dust and debris lingering well past the month. The smells are engrained in my memories. The eerie silence as I stood on Broadway-Nassau waiting to do what little I could reside with the smells.

Relationships changed. Personalities changed. Life changed. Connections were made. Ties were broken. Some people retreated from society. Others realized the connectivity to one human family.

Some felt hurt. Some felt anger. I felt confusion and I still remember the emotion vividly. I was a child looking for an answer that couldn’t be given. I was an adult that knew the answer wasn’t available for the inquisitive child.

I don’t know anymore than I did then. I still feel the pain. I still feel the confusion. I don’t dwell on it. I don’t purposely think about it but every year, it returns and I’m always left with the same question, why?

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lines I love...

"Why would a company called Franco-American make Italian food?" -- Venture Bros. ep. Fallen Arches

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Damn you list and the horse you rode on

Most people strive for a thrilling life always filled with adventure or excitement. Although I enjoy getting the heart pumping, I’m a pretty low key person. I truly enjoy routine.

This scares the bejesus out of me because one of my biggest fears is complacency. I suppose though there is a difference between monotony and complacency.

Lrudlrick doesn’t believe this is a big issue but in a way, it is. I’m not an extreme case but I am enough so that it causes certain hindrances. I’ve lived with this long enough that it’s a part of my life and I’m fine with it but others may not. For one, I don’t like when certain things are out of order. I can’t explain what certain things are or the order that things need to be completed. It can be as simple as setting a table. Items needed to be where they should be. It’s not about etiquette either. If I notice a knife facing the wrong way, I fix it. I’ll move things around until it looks ‘right’ to me. When something is ‘off-kilter’, I’ll politely move it while holding a conversation.

I know these are small things and I try to remember that mantra you see in every self help book display at Barnes and Nobles, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, but to me it’s not that I’m sweating the small stuff. To me, it’s just the way things should be. This confuses my husband and he feels that I am running around filled with stress and tension when oddly enough I feel tenser when silly routines like putting the drinks out last aren’t performed.

The problem with living with this is that if you live within proximity of a ‘normal’ human being, you are bound to annoy and eventually stress them out.

It’s funny really. I’ve lived like this all my life and I see nothing wrong with it. I’ve gone to therapy for everything but this compulsion. Only now, I’m sad to say, do I realize how much I’ve hurt the people I love with my idiosyncrasies.

I suppose I should be grateful that I'm not an extreme or severe personality type. I believe I'm not letting these crazy ideals take over my life.

They used to be quirks but now I’m realizing that it leads me to the path where I’ll be in a rocker in Sunnyvale’s Home for the abandoned yammering about how my dentures are the last thing I need to put on before they wheel me to the dining hall.

How do people with more severe forms of this cope and protect their loved ones from the nuttiness? I just want to learn how not to drive people crazy. I’m fine with it. I’m just not fine hurting people because of it.

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Monday, September 04, 2006

R.I.P Steve Irwin

Sure he was a bit eccentric but I suppose when you have a passion for something you can't help but be.

A note to 24 hour news stations, please stop sensationalizing his lifestyle. He chose this lifestyle to educate others. He didn't have a death wish for him or his family. Move on to your next tabloid story.



Here is a little stop motion film Lrudlrick made with odds and ends found on his desk.
Yes, his toy collection has continued to grow.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Words to Live By

“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.

“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.” -- Mark 7:14-15, 21-23

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Words to Live By

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger – Ephesians 4:26

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hysterical [as] bump





"In a story reported by BBC News

The British government is taking measures to crack down on "cyber-bullying" or bullying that occurs via the internet or mobile phones.

WTF

Look:

What happened to the good old days of wedgies from the overweight kid who'd been kept back three grades and whose only life achievements included being able to belch as high as he could count, the peach fuzz he pretended was a moustache, and picking on anybody who was smaller / smarter than him / everyone? BULLYING ON THE INTERNET!?

Come on now! When we were kids you had to die or at least lose an arm before you got to cry. Our grandparents fought a World War. Our parents lived through segregation and Vietnam. Even our sad generation survived hair bands. Now the worst thing these lily assed fat crybaby pants bitch kids have to face is a damn text message. That's why this generation will grow up to be a bunch of whiney, self indulgent, apathetic, losers. These kids don't get beat. Apparently not even by their bullies. When we were kids you got beat four.... maybe even thirty-four times a day. Seriously, we don't even need to discuss all the benefits of frequent ass-whoopings. You see first there's the actual ass-whooping itself. They called this "negative reinforcement." Secondly, there's the shame of having had your asswhooped. Third would be the satisfaction experience by the person who gets to do the whooping.

And fourthly there are the positive externalities experienced by the whole community as a result of someone's whining misbehaving ass having been whooped. It's a science people. Spankings work. Just ask us, the people telling you this. Every single beatings we received instilled within us a set of real beliefs and values. Values like:
• Respect your elders
• Be kind to your siblings
• Don't ask Daddy questions when he's drinking
So parents, please, beat your kids. For all our sakes. We recommend using a stick. Not only is it worse, but then you can say I never laid a hand on you. And get your kids off the damned interweb. Let 'em read a book or play some football or lay some concrete. We've found that the small hands of a child are perfect for cleaning out gutters. Give 'em a ladder and a helmet and send their little behinds to the roof.
Whatever. Just get those overly fragile, thin skinned, ninnies outside and toughen them up for the crap filled future ahead of them.

By the way Standards we know you're reading this and thinking, "Whoa those guys are advocating spankings, and beatings and sticks. This is offensive." Come on people. It just jokes. Horribly bad jokes. Jokes that really aren't even funny. Really it's only for people with Tivo and a complete lack of anything else to do. But here:

WE DO NOT ADVOCATE BEATING CHILDREN

Because we do not advocate HAVING children. They're not in our demographic. We support the use of contraceptives, plastic wrap, and duct tape. But if you do have children, then by all means consider beating them. Because it might do them some good and you'll most certainly want to. Now, how about we stop all the bitching over who is offending who and try to suck it up and be a better role model for those poor little British bastards getting their butts kicked in. This opinion does not reflect the opinion of Turner Warner, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim or any of our advertisers. There. That ought to clear things up and make everyone happy so no one has to go suing anybody.
[adult swim]"

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I'm a hot toe picker





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Whatever happened to Carrie Ingalls?

Over the summer I developed a challenge to watch every Little House episode. As of today, I have past the halfway mark, 59% to be exact.

I didn’t really start out with the goal in mind. For some reason, I flipped to a Little House episode that led to a discussion on how Pa could do no wrong. He’d hold 3-4 jobs yet he was always home when the girls needed him. Heck, he could practically do anything you needed. Need to help a recovering addict? Ingalls could do it. Need a roof fixed? Ingalls could do it. Need someone to save a blind kid from a raging fire? Ingalls could do it. Need someone to befriend the town outcast? Ingalls could do it.

He did it all without questioning, except for the time Jason Bateman was shot by a bank robber.

Anyway, this one episode led to a long conversation about the townsfolk of Walnut Grove. Anyone else notice towards the end the Ingalls adopted every child that wasn’t still attached by the umbilical cord? Caroline probably had to cook her own breakfast on Mother’s Day. I know Mother’s Day did not come to exist until later on. Nels was a saint to put up with Harriet, Nellie, Willie and Nancy. The Reverend got married but we never saw his wife ever again. The Doc was old in the beginning and still old in the end. Kevin Hagen rest in peace.

With our programs on hiatus and a need for nostalgia, we started watching Little House again. Now, I’m not saying that every episode is award winning. The stories follow the same outline. Pa cries, Ma cooks, Mary screams, Half Pint runs, Carrie whines. It’s all good though. It’s predictable and wholesome. I’m surprised PAX hasn’t picked them up.

When I was younger I started reading the Little House series but dropped it for Nancy Drew and the Anne of Green Gables series. I still remember sitting there by the television watching Little House and The Waltons with my grandparents though.

Two weeks ago, I started wondering how many episodes had I seen already. I started a checklist and realized that I was nearing the 50% mark. Since I was able to see over 50% so quickly, I figured why not try for the whole kit and caboodle. It’s getting difficult now though. Work has been consuming my entire day. In addition and in all honesty, there is only so much wholesome goodness one can consume before they begin to feel too saccharine-like.

I also have an issue with the later episodes of Little House. Maybe it’s because I’m watching them all out of order but who the hell are all these new people and why are they so annoying? Why are their so many new people yet Doc and the Reverend still look the same age? Why does Manly annoy me? Is it the doe eyes that bother me or is it his straw blonde hair? Is it me or does everyone in the Wilder family look as if they were spawned from different parents?

Anyway here are a list of characters from Little House I enjoy the most:

1. Nels Oleson
2. Percival Dalton aka Isaac Cohen
3. Albert Ingalls (the street smart one pre-country bumpkin)
4. Lars Hanson (pre-stroke/heart attack)
5. Jack the dog
6. Black Jake aka Nels Oleson as an outlaw

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Hallelujah Blogger upgrades to come.

Ok, I'm probably slow on the take on this one. Forgive me but paying the bills has been the focus of late.

Blogger upgrades are coming guys. Praise the blogger beings!

Of interest to many, categories will be available for your entries.

If you're a beta tester, please give me the skinny.

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Steak, Yellow Rice and Peas

Yesterday I said I would explain why my husband chose August 29th to propose. The answer is simple, he wanted to propose to me 5 years to the day he asked me to be his girlfriend. Of course, the day he asked me to be his girlfriend was August 30th.

There is much debate on the exact date really. Lrudlrick took me to a rock in the park where he carved our names sometime near or after midnight. The details are sketchy but I do recall coming home that evening to see a newsflash on Princess Diana’s car crash. I suppose the date is either August 30th or August 31st.

Since he carved our names on the rock on the 30th, we use the 30th as the date. To complicate things, something happened with the plans with SeaWorld and the 29th was the only available day.

I know it is odd to celebrate the day we went steady but it honestly is a more significant day for me than my wedding day. I had never been asked by someone to be exclusive until Lrudlrick. There was something about how he explained or rationalized how we should be together that stuck in my mind. He was so confident and sure that we would be together forever. All I could do was trust him.

Every August 30th, we make plans to celebrate the date. We do not give each other gifts but share a special meal together, steak, yellow rice and peas.

I cooked this meal the night my husband first proposed to me. He first proposed to me in October, 2 months after he asked me to go steady. Nowadays, he remarks that if I just trusted him then we would be that much closer to the golden anniversary.

We were sitting at the table eating when he turned to me, dropped his knife and fork and asked me. He even wanted to go down on his knees. Of course being Pantrygirl, I laughed so hard, rice almost flew out of my mouth. It was not that he was proposing that made me laugh it was that he was proposing to me so soon. It seemed absurd. Again, he was so confident and sure that this was right.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t sure about us. Actually, the thought of marriage hadn’t come into my mind. I was enjoying being with someone that made me feel like I could do anything. I wasn’t ready to think about settling down and having a family. I’m still not.

After that night, I realized that this relationship meant more to him than me and although I loved him, I really had to think more seriously about us. Lrudlrick didn’t bring up marriage again for 5 more years. He once mentioned that he knew he’d have to pass the 4 year threshold of my last long term relationship before I knew he was here for the long haul.

How was my husband so certain that I was the one he wanted to spend the rest of his life with? How was he so sure when I wasn’t and why does it feel like it just hit him one day while brushing his teeth? It was very matter of fact.

I suppose I realized he was the one in a similar fashion. It’s not as if you sit there and pro/con it. It just is. You just realize. This is the person that you want to spend the rest of your days with. This is the person that you want to take this crazy ride of life with.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why my In-laws should retire in FL instead of PA

I had a dream last night I was laid off. According to the online dream interpretation site: “Fired: To dream that you are fired from your job indicates that you are wanting to end some relationship or situation in your waking life. It also suggests that you are repressing what you really desire most.”

I couldn’t find ‘laid off’ in the guide.

Personally, I think being ‘laid off’ is worse than getting fired. ‘Laid off’ to me means you’re doing your job, we like you but you’re the low man on the totem pole so we have to let you go. ‘Fired’ means you’re not doing your job so don’t expect a recommendation.

After yesterday’s post, Lrudlrick told me that he was willing to drop everything now and let me quit my job. “We’ll move and you can do your cooking and charity work. You like doing that stuff.” Coming from Lrudlrick it sounds like I’m a lady who likes to lunch. I guess there are worse things.

It felt really good to hear that he was willing and understanding. It's a big sacrifice and it was surprising but reassuring to hear I had support for whatever I decided to do. “Now is the time to do it. If you want to leave the rat race, do it now and figure out what you want in life before we finalize the kid or no kid thing.”

It made me realize how much we’ve grown and how much we will continue to grow together.

I’m not just ready to drop my career but it’s nice to know that I have the support if I decide to switch gears.

It’s actually appropriate as today is our 5th anniversary of our engagement. On this day at approximately 8:45pm, Lrudlrick proposed to me for the second time.

He had planned a long vacation to Orlando. The plan was to hit every amusement park while we were still young and without a brood to hold us back from acting like kids. We drove down in our CRV, C-3. We took shifts and made it there in less than 19 hours. I remember Lrudlrick had set up the back with Xbox, DVDs and Antenna TV. I kept laughing how unbelievably nutty it was for us to be playing Xbox games on a black and white television.

Lrudlrick booked us at the Hard Rock Hotel so we could get early admission passes to the Universal amusement parks. We spent less time at the hotel so in retrospect the money we spent on housing could have been saved and used on the souvenirs we bought but at least we could say we got to gondola between the park and our hotel.

We hit every amusement park and nearly every evening parade and show. We went on a helicopter ride around the parks and even went on the slingshot ride that nearly broke my finger.

The one thing I wanted to do was swim with the dolphins but of course reservations were booked nearly a year in advance so we spent our time petting dolphins instead at SeaWorld.

That night Lrudlrick kept making a point to get to the Shamu show early. He sighted the fact that we were late for the Disney Mickey Magic show and had to watch the show sitting apart from each other. We must have gotten to the stadium a good half hour before the show but I didn’t complain. I was tired. It was one the last parks we were to visit before heading home. I was hot, sweaty and looking forward to a nice swim at the hotel.

When the show finally started, they began showing faces in the audience and everyone cheered. Personally, I was thinking, Thank God no one is here that knows me because I look horrible. I’m a sticky mess and my makeup slide off my face 6 hours ago.

That’s when the damn camera swung to zoom in on my shiny forehead. Great. Ok. Smile, pg. Smile and wave and it will swing away. Shoot. Why isn’t it swinging away? Does my forehead look that big? God, I look like Sade.

Then a bubble popped up over Lrudlrick’s head, “Kiss me” it said. So I kissed him.

“Kiss me again.” Ok, someone is getting his kicks off of this but ok. So I kissed him.

“Kiss me again.” At this point I am now looking directly at the screen with a “WTF” face. Mind you, this was prior to the laser surgery so I was also squinting to read the bubbles. Imagine an Asian woman with a Sade forehead, shiny and sweaty from the humid Florida heat squinting. Ok, stop laughing.

“I was thinking…” I’m squinting even harder now.

“Pantrygirl……..” How the hell does the camera guy know my name?

“Will you marry me?” I’m squinting even harder now.

The reality of the question doesn’t hit me until the entire crowd started screaming and pointing at me.

My response and I’m not joking was, “What?” I turned into a complete blonde. When I finally realized what was going on, Lrudlrick was on his knees holding a ring in front of me and I totally flipped out.

Of course I had to say yes, the slick man knew that I couldn’t say no in front of all those people.

After the show, everyone came to congratulate us.

We went home, showered and planned our announcements to our parents. While we were discussing it Friends was on television. We weren’t fans of Friends but that night we were hooked. It was a repeat of the episode where Chandler and Monica are planning their wedding.

We had dinner and toasted to our engagement. The next day we went to Epcot and had our faces and names etched in their Leave a Legacy display to mark the occasion.

For the next two years we spent the time procrastinating and staving off crazy requests from our parents.

So that’s my engagement story. Tomorrow I’ll explain why Lrudlrick chose August 29th.

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