Archive | January, 2011

Facebook Rants

30 Jan

Yes, it’s snowing.  We know.  It’s New England, it sucks.  Also, I have a tv and don’t need you to post the forecast, but thanks.

Bodily function posts = not cool.  Ever.

I know your commute sucks as much as the snow.  I know because you post a gripe about the train, or other commuters, every other day.

If you leave Facebook, there’s no need to announce it so you can get 20 comments saying “Please don’t go!”  Nor should you announce when you come back 2 days later.

You don’t have to post everything you think or do.  Really.  Think to yourself, “Will anyone care if I post this?”  If not, don’t.

Posting the same thing over and over again from multiple names associated with you is wicked annoying.

By the way, if you haven’t checked out Lamebook yet, do it now.  I bet you know people just like the ones on there.

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Three Things Thursday!

27 Jan

Technically, since I missed last week, I should give you six, but I don’t have it in me

1 – Snow shoveling is good exercise.  Since it’s the only exercise I get lately, I’ll take it.

2 – Teen Mom 2

3 – Flannel polar bear pajama pants

Here’s to you…

22 Jan

Last night, I went to dinner with some of my best friends.  I met them 14 years ago, when I was a scared 17-year-old away from home for the first time at college two hours from my family and friends.  We were all assigned to “Second Street,” a strange little dorm with quads on two floors of the administration building on campus.  No one really knew where we lived, we weren’t in the Virgin Vault at the bottom of the hill, or the Slut Hut in between the boy’s dorms.  We all met that first week, became the “Street Girls,” and the ten of us pretty much stuck to each other like glue for four years of college.

Since the day we met, we’ve been through a lot together, good and bad.  First loves and first heartbreaks (“We’ll have one of everything on the menu; we’ve had a breakup”), marriages & divorces, fights (some involving wrestling & potato chips) and some of the best nights of our lives.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve danced to “Like a Prayer” or held up beer bottles to sing “Living on a Prayer.”  We’ve had random conversations with boys (“Oh, you’re Irish?” “si”), and nights when I’ve been in pain from laughing so much.  We’ve eaten & drank more together than I care to admit, but may have danced enough to burn some of it off.

Now, we all have our own lives, not crammed together in a smelly dorm room.  We almost all live within an hour of Boston, with one in Chicago who we’ve been lobbying to get back here.  Some of us get together more than others, but we always make an effort to have a Christmas gathering of some sort.  We’ve had sleepovers & house parties involving booze soup, and more recently, have settled on a big meal out, lots of wine, and re-telling of old stories (“How old is Nik’s baby now?”)

Last night we met at an Italian restaurant, and 8 of 10 of us were there, which may be a record.  We raised our glasses to toast the only toast we seem to know: “Here’s to you and here’s to me, the best of friends we’ll always be.  But if by chance we disagree, well, fuck you, and here’s to me.”

I hate that toast, and I was feeling sentimental and a little mushy, so I said so.  But, of course, I couldn’t come up with a better one, so we compromised by changing the last “me” to “we.”  And it made me feel better, because the original toast just isn’t true.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve disagreed about things: boys, money, child rearing, dual citizenship, careers, how much to tip, what to order for dinner.  And you know what?  It doesn’t matter how much we disagree, I can’t imagine a single Street Girl ever saying “screw you, I’m done.”

That’s what defines a true friendship: not the years we’ve spent together, not the trips we’ve taken or number of kegs we’ve consumed.  True friendship is sticking together through the disagreements, being there for each other through the hard times, and knowing that even though we can’t turn the clock back to trekking to the caf in the snow wearing pajamas, and we might not see each other enough now that we’re “grown ups”, we’re still the best of friends, no matter what.

Here’s to we.

Unloved

17 Jan

Last week, I took a personal day, to do personal things, so don’t ask what they were.  I met my BFF at a shopping plaza near my hometown (but in a town not nearly as cool), and called my dad on the way.  He said that my mom was at the same plaza, and he was meeting her at Panera at 1.  I told him I would meet them there, but didn’t bother to call my mom because she never answers her phone.

I’m in my BFF’s car, and she’s pulling into a spot, and I see my mom standing by her car.  So I roll down my window and say “What are you doing?”  She gave me a weird look and said, “I’m waiting for someone.”  And I said, “Mom, its me.” Her reply:  “I’m not your mother.”

Ouch.

Obviously, she didn’t realize it was me, didn’t think I’d be there, didn’t recognize my BFF’s car.  And we had a good laugh about it after, especially when my dad, who was just pulling in to a parking spot, said “I’ve been trying to tell you she’s not your mother for years.”

My family is warped, and a little wacky, but its all good.  And the unloved feeling only lasted until my parents bought me lunch.  It doesn’t take much to make me happy, broccoli cheddar soup usually does the trick.

My Dutiful Day

13 Jan

Today, the day after the BIGGEST STORM OF THE YEAR, I had jury duty.  I had postponed it from September, when BAC had gone through a re-org and I didn’t think they could survive a day without me, so I had to suck it up and go.  I called the hotline last night, and was told I had to come in.  Bummer.

Here’s how my day went:

6:15 am: roll out of bed, cranky beyond belief

7:00: scrape the ice off the car, head to Honey Dew.  Why not use my fancy new Keurig?  Because we are the only people in New England who run out of milk before a blizzard (and the two month old egg nog creamer was more than questionable)

7:30: am blinded by the sun radiating off the snow on 195 East.  Did I mention I was summoned to jury duty 45 minutes away?  And that my GPS does not recognize 195 East and thinks I’m in the river?  Awesome.

7:50: enter New Bedford, which apparently has no plow budget.  The side roads are awful, and I am lost, sliding every time I turn in my trusty Mitsubishi Gallant.

8:00: see the courthouse, see no parking.  Drive around more bad side roads, dodging plows and snow banks.  Can’t find a lot, on street parking is out of the question.

8:15: consult my handy 2″ x 2″ MA Jury map, and locate the miniscule “P” for parking.  Should have checked that sooner, I guess.

8:30: finally find a garage, which is incredibly icy inside.  Walk 1/2 mile, UPHILL, IN THE SNOW, to courthouse.

8:40: now 40 minutes late for jury duty, set off metal detector, get handed #4o, no time to sit before we’re called down to courthouse

8:45: sweating profusely, watch video I clearly remember from 3 years ago.  Again annoyed by lawyer on video who thinks hooking his thumbs in his vest and putting on his glasses before he speaks makes him cooler than his feathered hair lady lawyer counterpart

9:10: back in jury room, with my iPod and Mockingjay.  Thinking about how the judge said they only need 3 more jurors.  There’s no way #40 can be called and sat, right?

9:30: back to courtroom.  Case is introduced.  It’s a malpractice suit and the plaintiff is a woman with breast cancer who feels her doctors were negligent in their diagnosis and should have caught it earlier.  The trial will last 9-14 days.  The questions start.  I hold up my card when asked if a family member had cancer.  I can see why this trial was hard to find a jury for.

9:45: jury selection begins.  Sidebars for almost everyone.

10:00: yay, we have a jury!

10:02: nope.  You two, out.  More sidebars.

10:20: yay, we have a jury!

10:22: nope.

(later, rinse, repeat)

10:45: Okay, now we have a jury.  For real.  Phew.  The judge asks if anyone on the jury feels they weren’t heard before being sat.  Juror #6 raises his hand.  Sidebar.  Juror #6 is out.

10:50: More sidebars.  We’re now on #35.  I am not happy with Juror #6 for messing up my day.  I’m secretly willing #35-39 to take one for the team (me) and sit on the jury.

11:00: No such luck.  #40 is called, and I approach the sidebar.

The sidebar is intimidating.  Six lawyers, the judge, a clerk, a stenographer (repeating what I say into a little microphone thing), and a judge-in-training, all staring at me.  The judge very nicely asks me about why I held up my card, and I explain that my grandfather died of lung cancer, and my grandmother had breast cancer and bladder cancer.  I’m honest when I say I don’t remember her breast cancer treatment, since I was young.  He then asks if I feel the trial may be emotional for me because of my connection to the disease, and I am released when I say yes.

I’m very happy to be released.  While I understand its my civic duty, and I would never, ever lie or skip out on jury duty, I’m happy to not have to report to court every day for two weeks.  Court is only in session half days for most of those days, so I would probably work after.  In 2007, I sat on a jury for 6 days, and worked after, while tapering for the marathon.  It was stressful, to say the least.

Also, while I think this case would have been far more interesting than the last one (a subrogation case involving a machine fire), I really do think it would have been too emotional for me.  In all fairness, Hallmark commercials are often too emotional for me.  And don’t get me started on those Christmas Folgers commercials.  But I really don’t know how or if I could make a decision that would not give a cancer patient money she may deserve, or may cost a doctor her reputation.  I think I’d have a hard time taking the emotion out of it and just looking at the facts of the case.  I would have done it if I had to, but I know it would have been hard.

Even though I grumbled and complaining about having jury duty, I truly do think its a good system, and I’m happy the US has it.  I’m also happy I don’t have to do it again for at least another three years.

Three Things Thursday!

13 Jan

1 – J has the whole weekend off!

2 – Our new Keurig

3 – Not getting sat on a jury today (more on that later!)

My Love/Hate Relationship with Tony Horton

9 Jan

Last summer, in between vacations, I decided to buy P90X.  P90X is a twelve DVD exercise program that focuses on “muscle confusion.”  You work out 1-1-1/2 hours a day, six days a week, with one rest day.  Each week you usually do three lifting workouts that you combine with a 15 minute ab workout, two cardio workouts, and one, torturous, hour and a half long yoga workout.   The “recovery” weeks are yoga, core work, and cardio only.

All of these workouts are led by Tony Horton, a man with a small head and a giant body.  He’s not bad-looking for someone almost as old as my father, and he has the added bonus of being from the greatest state in the nation (RI).  But he’s a monster.  The man is nuts.  The DVDs are crazy hard, and then he takes it up a notch.  At one point he would do a push-up, launch his whole body off the ground, clap, and come back down into a push-up.  I just stared, and cried  a little inside.

I had dreams of losing 20 pounds, being able to do pull ups, and wearing a bikini in St Lucia.  I got up almost every morning at 5:15 am to work out with Tony & his crew before catching the 7:22 train.  I transformed my basement into a gym: I bought weights and a yoga mat, and strung up a band on top of the lolly columns that hold our entertainment center to do a modified pull up.

I sweated through the summer.  I couldn’t move the first week of the program, but I still stuck to the workouts, even when I was fairly certain my ab muscles were going to rip apart.  I wanted to cry during the hour and a half yoga DVD, especially when the dude in the dreadlocks tied himself into a pretzel with no effort.  The only pose I could master was the corpse pose at the end – where you lie silently on your for a minute.  I love that pose.  I grew to strongly dislike some of Tony’s minions on the DVD alongside him.  Don’t even get me started on Dreya and her stupid “World Famous Dreya Roll” on Core Synergistics.

I faithfully weighed myself every week.  I think I lost two pounds all summer.  I took “before” and “during” pictures.  They looked exactly the same.  In all fairness, I wasn’t eating well.  I sure as heck wasn’t following the P90X diet.  I was all set with cooking up 10 egg whites for breakfast & paying Tony for his “recovery drinks.”  I was also clearly unwilling to give up alcohol.

Despite the lack of the perfect beach body, I felt good.  I felt stronger than ever, and, even though I despised getting out of bed at 5:15am (I despise getting out of bed at 8am too), I had more energy and just felt good about myself.  But then we went away, and the resort didn’t have a gym, but they did have lots of fruity drinks, and, you know how it goes.

Along with every other person on the planet, my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.  And I’ve learned the hard way that means eating well and exercising.  I’m not ready to make a full committment to Tony yet, I may cheat on him with his Beach Body buddy Shaun T of Insanity, but I did do Core Synergistics this morning.  And remembered how much I love and hate Tony Horton.  It’s a good thing I have tomorrow off, because I will definitely be hating on him when I can’t use my ab muscles to get out of bed in the morning.