Archive | August, 2011

Sunny Days…I Swear There Must be Sunny Days Up Ahead…

29 Aug

I’ve been neglecting the blog for various reasons, but since we’re in the middle of a tropical storm and I have no power, but a fully charged MacBook, its become my number one priority for the day (to be posted when the Interwebs are available again, which best be before the Jersey Shore/VMA combo night I’ve been looking forward to for weeks).

I started my new job two weeks ago.  So far, so good.  I love love love the commute.  Thirty minutes from my driveway to my cube (and the longest part is from my car in the garage to my cube).  The people are very nice, and I’m learning my way around.  I don’t have any friends yet, but I keep busy by IM’ing Joe and it’s almost like I’m still in Boston, until I have to go to the caf alone and start talking to myself.  It’s amazing that I haven’t made friends, huh?

On the plus side, I have been getting up and joining my buddy Tony Horton for a little P90X each morning.  In the past two weeks, I’ve worked out for 12 days, and gained 2 pounds.  Go me.  I’ve also been sound asleep by 10pm most nights.  J is up later than I am, which almost never happens.

Last week was one of those weeks where everything went wrong.  Nothing major, just stuff, and stuff I don’t want to blog about.  How’s that for vague?  It’s all fixable, and partially inspired the blog title (which is, of course, a song by OAR called “Over and Over”).

The week did end with a happy note.  My best friend in the world got married Friday night, to a guy who is super sweet (despite the fact he’s from Smithfield), loves her very much, and has passed the test with her crazy family and friends, so he’s a keeper.  It was a beautiful, simple wedding, and we had a great time being a part of growing their favorite tree.

Yesterday we had a lovely day eating munchkins and watching Man v. Food, then hanging on the beach until we got kicked off.  Next, we waited two hours for a table at a restaurant on the water while drinking $2 ‘Gansetts.  Thankfully, our food came before the surf kicked up and we were kicked out.  This little piggy would have lost it if she had not gotten her burrito.  It was the first time I’ve been to this place, and I’m hoping it doesn’t get washed away so I can go again.  That was a good burrito.

That brings us to today, and Hurricane Tropical Storm Irene.  Here’s a little tip: if you ever want to know when a bad storm is coming, just call me and ask for J’s schedule, because he’ll be at work during every storm we have.  Luckily, he went in for 7 this morning and missed the worst of it on his ride in, and I’m hoping he won’t leave until the worst is over.

I, on the other hand, am home alone with no power, waiting for a tree to come down on my house, and bored out of my mind.  I got up at 6 and brought the plants in during a downpour, so now I have a table full of wet, dead, plants.  We lost power around 9:30, so I folded laundry, changed the sheets and unpacked from our night away.  I’m trying not to go in the fridge to conserve the food, and I didn’t work out this morning to conserve electricity.  (I’m a do gooder like that).  I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do next, but I believe it will involve wine of some sort.  I wish I could sleep until it was over, but that’s doubtful.  Did I mention that I had to shut all the windows because the rain kept coming in, and it will soon be 88 degrees in here?  My biggest fear is that my iPhone will die, but plan B is to sit in the car in the driveway charging it with the AC on.  Someone come look for me soon, okay?

Update: going on five hours without power, but J brought home some AA batteries that fit in my iPod dock, so I can listen to music all day and charge my iPhone as needed.  I’m on OAR song 28 of 90.  I may have heard “That was a Crazy Game of Poker” 5 times already.  I’m on my 3rd glass of wine and my second meal of lukewarm dip & chips/crackers.

Update #2: I’m posting this on Monday night, from my brother’s apartment, waiting to eat my first hot meal since yesterday morning.  Obviously, we still don’t have power, and I’m not happy.  I drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of crap yesterday, so much so that my body was begging for a vegetable.  We came here to shower, do laundry & eat.  We might not have power for a week, and I’m not pleased about the four bags of food we had to throw away.  Note to self: next time, actually prepare for the storm like “they” tell you to.

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Saying Goodbye to Boston

14 Aug

When I first started at BAC, in March of 2008, I did not like it.  I was in a group where I was the only one who did what I did.  Frankly, I wasn’t even sure what I did.  I thought I was taking a different job than what I ended up with.  I couldn’t relate to the other people on my team.  I sat through meetings with them like they were speaking Greek, and I spent most of the meetings trying to figure out who these people were.  On day one, my boss walked me around the office.  Not only did I not remember anyone’s names or what they did, I had no idea where they sat.  Heck, I had no idea where I sat.  I found an old seating plan the other day and still don’t know who half those people were.

Slowly but surely, I started to figure out my place: I was the Ad Bitch.  When I told people I was working on the ads, they gave me the sympathetic head tilt, and said “Oh!  I don’t know anything about ads, except that they’re different and really high-profile.”  Awesome.  Then they hired another Ad Bitch, who was the only person who knew my pain.  We sat in a row far away from the rest of our group, and commiserated with each other and with anyone else who knew anything about ads.

My first impression of the people was basically, “Oh my God, I will never fit in here.”  After week one I threw any thought of making friends right out the window.  All the girls were perfectly dressed and manicured, while I tried to deal with not being able to wear jeans every day.  For that matter, most of the guys dressed better than me as well.  It wasn’t that people weren’t nice to me, but I was intimidated by them and I was the new kid, so I kept my distance.  I tried, but not really hard.

After a few months, we moved offices, and I grew more & more comfortable with my surroundings.  At least in the new building, no one else knew where they sat either!  I learned a little more every day, and I met more people.  Shortly after that, the layoffs began.  And I started to talk to people.  I figured out what everyone did.  I realized that the people I thought were superficial were really super nice and down to Earth.  We started meeting at Dunks on Friday mornings.  We started going out to bars after work, and chatting in each others cubes.  And as my group got smaller and smaller, we got closer and closer.  I probably know way more about some people’s husbands than needed, and some of them know more about me that my closest friends do.  But this is what happens when you spend 40+ hours a week together – like it or not, your co-workers become a second family.

Despite the fact my work husband believes he deserves his own post, he’s not going to get one, but he will get his own paragraph.   He’s my very first email of the day, and its usually something like “hurry up and get here, I need coffee before I die.”  He’s responsible for numerous nights out, every bit of gossip I know, hours upon hours of my venting, many snide comments and texts across the table,  and hundreds of trips to the caf.  He knew we got the house and I got the new job before J did.  In addition, I sometimes worry that J likes his partner more than he likes me.  In fact, when I told people I was leaving, they had two questions: “What will you be doing?” and “What will Joe do with out you?”  Even though he insists I will (someday) make new friends, I think the better question is, “what will I do without Joe?”  (For the record, I would not have cried on Friday had it not been for the lunch margaritas).

Thursday night was my going away drink night, and I had a great time.  Lots of my favorite people came out to say goodbye, lots of nachos covered with creepy Irish hot dogs were consumed, and no one fell asleep or jumped in the harbor.  I walked to South Station from the bar, which might not have been my brightest move ever.  But I enjoyed walking alone, music on, thinking about what I would miss about the city, and BAC.  I took this picture:

And I realized that I might not have a ton of memories in my short time at BAC, but a lot of them were awesome.  In no particular order: Birthday night at Luckys.  Bar bites at Mortons.  Getting attacked by bugs at Tamo.  Buying 20 bottles of wine at 7-11.  The weekend of Elvis (ok, not necessarily a great memory, but still something to remember).  The Corporate Challenge.  Our last day on Summer Street.  Almost food fights at the Christmas party, fueled by lots of free booze that somehow disappeared after the event.  Fat bastards at the Pride Party.  Cosmo fountain at Joe’s birthday.  Sitting on the floor to work at DM Day in RI.  Hour long MRC meetings that accomplished nothing.

Friday was my last day, and it started with a mild hangover, included a three-hour lunch and some baby holding, and ended with me leaving two hours later than I wanted to and carrying my box of shame full of cube goods and a smuggled office supply or two to the car.  I’m sad to be leaving a great group of talented, fun, interesting people, but excited to be moving on.  I’m sure it will hit me most on Monday morning, when I see the nasty peach cobbler ice coffee in the caf and turn to express my disgust to a stranger.  Hey, maybe that’s how I can make new friends!

 

O.A.R. Does Boston, Julie Does the Hippie Dance

13 Aug

I’ve been looking forward to the O.A.R. show in Boston since last summer, right after I missed them.  The Mount Sunapee show just made me more excited to see a “real” show (you know, one you could drink at and not be corralled in a drunk tank).  The show was on a Wednesday night, and since I was somehow talked into giving 4 weeks notice at BAC, I was still in Boston, which worked out well.

The show was at Bank of America Pavilion, which was awesome.  I had never been there before, but it was by far the best place I’ve ever seen a show.  Outside, on the water, small venue, not a bad seat.  It was only about 2/3 full, and no one was in front of me, so I could play the bongos on the seat back.  There were little tables & chairs that we sat at before the show, the beers weren’t that expensive ($12 for 24 oz Harpoon), and the best part is: I never waited in line for the bathroom.  Not once.  Not even when I went after the opening act, when everyone else goes to the bathroom.  It was so easy to run to the bathroom and back, and not miss entire portions of the concert.  I’m still amazed by this fact.

The show itself was awesome.  I thought they would play more songs from their new album, but they played all of the best old songs, plus a few new ones.  They also did a cover of “Downeaster Alexa” by Billy Joel, which was pretty cool.  From the way back time machine came “Program Director,” along with one of the guys from the opening act (SOJA), and also awesome.  The encore was their new single, “Heaven” and, of course, “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker,” with a freestyle rap by Kelley James about Boston in the middle.  I felt like the song was cut a little short, and I think it was because the noise curfew is 11pm.  Still, awesome as always (how many times can I use that word in one post?)

Here’s a fairly awful video of “Poker,” by some dude on the internet with a bad voice who sang along.  It’s a good video of some hippie dancing though.

I don’t have any of my own videos because the tickets said no cameras and I am a rule follower.  I went to a show at the Orpheum once and they made me throw away my disposable camera, so I didn’t want to take that chance with my real camera.  I just have some awful, blurry pictures from my iPhone that are not blog worthy.

Overall, it was a great night.  A lot of beer, a lot of singing, a lot of hippie dancing.  I was tempted to drive to Hartford for last night’s show too.  Like I said, it was awesome.

Best Worst Week Ever!

9 Aug

This is my last week working in the city, and I’m celebrating by not taking the rush hour train!  I had an appointment yesterday, so I drove in.  I worked from home today, which was bittersweet, as I won’t get to do that in my new role.  I have another appointment tomorrow, so I’m taking a later train, and, since tomorrow night is the OAR concert, I’m sure I will not be rolling out of bed on time for the 7:22 train.  Oh, and I have to drive in Friday because I still have approximately one million pairs of shoes at my desk to bring home.

I kicked off the week with the perfect way to spend a Sunday: doing nothing.  I mean, I did work out, and made a gravy with meatballs, and caught up on work, but it poured all day and I didn’t get out of my pajamas.  And J was home with me, so it was even better.

The rest of the week will be spent handing over projects, cleaning out my email, eating my way through the Seaport District, and drinking at every bar I can get to.  Who knows when I’ll be able to eat nachos for lunch again?  And what if my new caf doesn’t have ice cream sundae Thursdays, or buffalo chicken Wednesdays?  I was informed this weekend that there is a bar near my new job that serves Fried Oreos, so there’s always that to look forward to.

And, of course, OAR tomorrow night, which I have been looking forward to for a year.  And, no, I won’t shut up about it, sorry.

The worst part of the week is the fact that it is my last week in Boston.  As excited as I am to move on, and move closer to home, I’m sad to leave the city and the people I work with now.  But you’ll hear more about that (and a concert review) when I sober up!

Shipping Out of Boston

4 Aug

I have six days of work at BAC in the big city, before I move down to suburbia, which is in the middle of nowhere, according to my work friends.  Since I’m an old married fart approaching my mid thirties, I guess that’s where I belong.  Working in Boston is something I’m glad I did, though.  It was fun while it lasted (and it was funner when it was a 25 minute commute rather than a 90 minute one), but its time to move on.

I started thinking about the things I would and wouldn’t miss about my commute and my sometimes crazy job.  (This isn’t about the people, they get their own post, much like TAC did).

What I won’t miss:

  • Train cliques – good Lord, its like high school lunch time all over again.  Saving seats, laughing loudly, flirting with the conductors.  If I really cared enough, I’m sure I could pick out all sorts of stereotypes: the geek, the cheerleader, the jock.  But I don’t care, and I’m truly not jealous.  Really.
  • Close sitters – I’m not very big.  You don’t need to be on my lap.  And, men, you know you need your ticket in your wallet, take it out before you sit on it and elbow me trying to get it.
  • Working too late and missing the train – this has resulted in spending way too long at the office, in South Station, one $120 cab ride, and one awkward & uncomfortable night sleeping in a conference room.  None were enjoyable.
  • The crazies in the train station parking lot – its like taking your life into your own hands every morning & every night.  People everywhere, cutting off cars, cars on the wrong side of the road.  When I take the 5:40 train home, I need to sit in my car for 10 minutes to work up the nerve to leave.
  • The elements – my best friend doesn’t like rain boots, and doesn’t see the need.  When you’re out in the rain (or cold, or snow) waiting for a train, and walking to and from a train, you buy whatever keeps you warm and dry.

What I’ll miss:

  • Train time – yes, it sucks to be in transit for three hours a day, but I’ve read more books in 3-1/2 years than you can imagine.  I’ve listened to more OAR than I care to admit.  And, for someone who doesn’t typically nap, I sure can nap well on the 6:44!
  • The characters – literally.  Just this week I saw Wally the Green Monster and Little Bo Peep at South Station.  (In all fairness, Little Bo Peep could have just been a weirdo.  And she may have been a man).
  • The city – I love Boston.  Don’t tell RI, but I love it more than Providence.  I love being able to try new restaurants during Restaurant Week.  I love running on Castle Island or on the Common with Michelle.  I love Morton’s bar bites and the disgustingness of the Barking Crab on a 90 degree day.  I know I’ll still go into town and do all of these things, but schlepping in on the train won’t be the same as popping over to LTK for a $40 2 hour lunch on a Friday.
  • The hot conductor eye candy – what?  I’m married, not dead.
Coming this week, hopefully between happy hours: the big goodbye to big city BAC.