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Looking Forward

17 Nov

Its been a long couple of weeks at our house.  In retrospect, we probably should have stayed in FL like J suggested.  In the spirit of optimism, I’m not going to talk about the issues here, but instead, tell you about the things we’re looking forward to!

I have tomorrow off, and I’m going to Boston to visit my old office at BAC.  More importantly, I’ll be having lunch and extra strong margaritas with Joe during the day, and J is coming up at night to join the fun.  I’m actually looking forward to the train ride!

Sunday we’ll be running the Mews Gear N Beer 5K, my first race since July.  (Wow, that’s pathetic).  I made the mistake of running with J a couple of times in the last few weeks, so I’m mentally prepared for him to beat me.  Again.  It doesn’t really matter though, since the important thing is that there is free beer at the end, and pizza and cookies later!  And turkey hats!

Because I’m obsessed with pinterest, I’m also obsessed with organizing.  My current dream day is a trip to the Container Store with no budget, to get all sorts of jars and racks and shelves.  My kitchen is giving me anxiety.

Next week, we’re hosting our first big holiday, and I’m super excited.  I have my menu planned, lots of help from my family & J, and am looking forward to having everyone over to celebrate.  I’m also hoping that the smell of turkeys frying will keep this guy (and his buddy) away!

If you’ve been in a store in the past 3 months, you know that Christmas is coming!  I love the holiday season, and I’m not afraid to admit it.  I can’t wait for a tree, and cookies, and presents, and food, and family.

Looking even further ahead, I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my BFF’s twins.  She is too, as she is on bed rest, and March can’t come soon enough!  In the meantime, I look forward to visiting with her, making her food, and planning how I’m going to spoil my future niece & nephew.  They will, obviously, each be getting something like this, along with every stupid onesie and loud toy I can find.

So, yay!  Good things!

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!


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.


17 Feb

I had a whole blog in my head about Valentine’s Day pros and cons, but kind of forgot to finish it.  Instead, I’ll just tell you about the cupcakes I made.

We had a Valentine’s Day sweet exchange at BAC last week.  I was led to believe this was a contest and I could win a prize.  Since I won the last bake-off (two years ago), I felt like I needed to hold on to my crown, so I turned up the heat on my competition, and looked to my new favorite cupcake site for inspiration.

If you haven’t been to bake it in a cake, you should go now.  I made the cupcakes with mini pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving, and they were a big hit.  So, for Valentine’s Day, I made Red Velvet cupcakes with mini chocolate pies baked inside, topped with cream cheese buttercream.  They sound hard, look awesome, and taste great.  They’re not that hard, just time consuming.  Here is the photographic evidence:

This is my favorite kitchen appliance, the reason I got married (kidding).  J’s fryer is in the background.  It doesn’t belong there, but its been there for 2 weeks.

Here are 1/2 of the cupcakes, with the pies dropped in.  They just need to be topped with more cupcake batter and baked.  I am not a neat baker.

Here is the finished product!  I ran out of red food coloring, so they’re more like pink velvet cupcakes.

And here is J enjoying the final product.  I think he’s had at least 5 of them.


So, after all this work (and a batch of peanut butter bars), I had to drag 48 cupcakes into work, on the train, with a bad arm from bowling (don’t ask).  I put them in the fridge, and then lovingly placed them on the table with the other sweets, anxious for the judging and voting to begin.  Then I realized no one was voting, they were just eating.  So I read the little sign above the heart shaped entry forms and was horrified.

There was no bake-off.

There was a prize, but it was done as a simple drawing, nothing as recognition for slaving away for hours in the kitchen.  Did I mention my bowling arm?  And the fact I spent an hour at the gym with nothing to eat but toast & batter?  For nothing.  Sure, maybe my cupcake made someone’s day a little nicer, but if there was no prize, was it really worth it?

Kids vs. Pets: The Ultimate Showdown

2 Jan

As promised, here’s Part Two of Pets.  I’m sure there are more reasons that I can’t currently recall, but this should get you thinking for now.  I began this particular rant on the long walk to the BAC caf for horrible (but free!) coffee, and finally wrote it down like I said I would.

Reasons why kids are better than pets:*

Bodily Functions:

Sure, kids need diapers, and those pull-up things, but dogs need to be walked, and cats need a litter box you have to clean out.  All will have accidents on your carpet at one point or another.  But kids become potty trained by 2 or 3.  A dog will never pick up its own poop, and a cat will never clean its own litter box.  Please spare me the cats who use the toilet stories, I don’t buy it.

Winner: Kids


Yes, you have to feed both kids & pets.  But kids eventually learn to feed themselves, and ever better, may feed you too.  I doubt your pooch will become a gourmet chef like your son might.

Winner: Kids


Yes, kids need clothes and animals do not, unless you have one of those ultra sensitive dogs that can’t get cold or get their paws wet.  In which case, I ask, “really?  Tell your dog to grow a pair,” but that’s a whole other story.  On a semi-related side note, you should never have a dog whose hairdresser (fur-dresser?) bill is larger than yours.  Like a poodle with a perm.  I guess you could credit the pets with this one, but, while I understand children can be hard to dress, try putting a Christmas sweater on a puggle and tell me what’s harder?  Further, you can’t send your kids out in public naked, but no one blinks an eye at a cockapoo sans pants.  Lastly, since this is my blog and I do what I want, I declare

Winner: kids

Old age:

Cats & dogs don’t last much longer than 15 years.  Kids should be out of the house at 18, but you might have to give half your paycheck to their Fancy private college.  And, you might have to give them your basement until they’re 30 (not that I know anyone like that…).  However, when you’re old & incapable of living on your own, who’s going to pay for your nursing home?  Not Fido or Fluffy, but Junior now has that fancy college degree you helped pay for and we all know payback’s a bitch, so fork it over, Junior.  Mommy needs a nice home more than you need that house in the Hampton’s.

On the other side of things, odds are good you’ll outlive your pet, and have to go through the pain of their death.  Your kids will most likely outlive you, so maybe there’s some sadness you won’t have to deal with.  Also, not that you would really care at this point, but funeral homes don’t take credit cards from canines either.

Winner: Kids


If I invite you over my house for dinner and you bring your baby, no big.  If you bring your puppy (or worse, the dreaded cat), we’re going to have issues.  Malls?  Kids ok, pets not so much.  Restaurants?  While there are some where neither belong, I expect to see you at the nines with a toddler, but not with a dog.  And I don’t care what you (Joe) say, dogs on the train are not cute at all (service animals excluded, of course).  I guess you could run errands with your dog and leave him in the car on a comfortable day, where if you left a kid in a car seat you’d have the cops on you faster than the new Speaker of the House cries, but neither are really advisable.

Winner: Kids

So, clearly, kids are better than pets.  However, as referenced by the asterisk (*) above, none of this means I’ll be having either any time soon.  This is for purely hypothetical reasoning only, so do not call and ask when I’m having a kid (please refer to Pets: Part 1).

*Oh, yay, this is post #200!!!!*


8 Feb

I’ve had a heck of a couple of weeks.  Work has been crazy – I put in 145 hours in two weeks.  I slept at work on a Friday night.  I ate a ton of bad food.  I’m now trying to regain my life back, and have learned that I don’t adjust to change all that well, which was made clear by the fact I forgot to pay my bills due 2/1.  Ooops.

Anyways, I’ve been dying to blog, but too fried to complete long thoughts, so I give you my favorite: a bulleted list of nothingness!

  • I asked J last night if he would get one of those giant window decals on the truck in remembrance of me if I died.  He said he’d get a tattoo instead.  When I asked him what it would be of, he said “You initials.  And a double-decker taco.”  I was flattered.
  • I ran a really cold, really windy 10k yesterday in 57:30.   I was happy with my time, not so happy with the blisters I got on my blisters.  So, I marched over to City Sports today and bought Vibram Five Fingers.  It was quite a sight to see me trying to get my tiny baby toe in them.  Trying them out tomorrow.  By the way, the salesman said they sell more VFFs than any other shoe, so I’m not the only one with ugly shoes!
  • Did I tell you we got a Wii?  I love it, although Super Mario Brothers is hard.  Particularly with four drunk people playing and pushing each other off of ledges.
  • I’m going to Vegas with J and some friends.  I’m also running a half marathon with a lot of hills, which my brother says is a perfectly good way to ruin a trip to Vegas.
  • I made these wonderful cookies this weekend.  They were awesome.
  • Dear fellow MBTA commuters:  The correct side to walk on is the right.  Always.  Try it, and we’ll all be a little more happy.
  • And, while we’re at it:  Dear fellow runners:  Taking corners so tightly that you almost take out a race official and the runner next to you will not really improve your 9 minute mile that much.  You’re not going to win – get over yourself.

Phew, that felt better.  Hopefully I’ll be blogging a bit more and working a bit less soon.

Commuter People

1 Apr

One of the biggest adjustments my new job at BAC has brought (aside from the lack of personal Internet use and people who like me) is the commute.  At TAC, I could roll out of bed at 8, get ready, and hop in the car for the thirty minute commute against traffic, while I laughed at the suckers driving to Boston stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.  Now, I’m one of those suckers.

After the trauma of the Red Line on Day One, I braved the commuter rail, which is actually fairly easy and way less painless than the regular train.   My biggest problem so far is having two one dollar bills to shove in the little parking box, and not ripping them to shreds trying to shove them in there.

I think I take the Snobville Line, because no wants you to sit with them.  I get on at the next to last stop, and there’s someone in every row when I step on the train.  But they’re all two or three seat rows.  The people in the two seaters throw their stuff or legs over the second seat and make no attempt to let you in.  The ones in the three seaters will let you sit on the end, if there are any left.  I walked through two cars to find a three seater with two empty seats the other day.  On Friday I stood at a two seater with stuff on the second seat, and said “Excuse Me?” twice, before the guy said, “Oh, do you want to sit here?”  No buddy, I just want to hang out standing in the aisle so your briefcase has a place to rest instead.

The commute home is way more entertaining.  I leave work right at 5 and join the masses heading to South Station.  Trying to go the opposite direction or even cross in front of the swarms of people would be like a salmon swimming upstream, and could cause bodily harm.  So I just go with the flow.  I ignore the people trying to shove a paper in my hands or get me to save the Earth, walk past the flower stand and promise to buy myself some one day soon, and head into the station to wait.

Everyone rushes into the station to sit and wait.  They stare at the black board with the train times and track numbers like bookies waiting for the horse race results to be posted.  And when their train comes up — off they go!  Even though the tracks are posted a good ten minutes before the train departs, people walk or run, like the train will leave any second.  Or maybe they’re just trying to score a good seat. 

I usually end up at the window in a three seater, but make sure my crap only takes up seat #2, in case someone else needs a seat, which they never go.  Sometimes I feel frisky and go to the top level of the train car.  And I always put my ticket in the hole on the seat in front of me, like Hilary taught me so I’d look cool.   I need to look cool at all times, you know.

So, non-driving commuting is, overall, decent.  I get to relax and read, or listen to my iPod (they frown on the former when you’re driving, or so I’ve heard).  Its also a great way to watch people and realize that you’re really not that crazy. 

Got a Good Job in the City

25 Mar

So, today was day 2 of my new career at BAC.  I know you’re all dying to know the specifics, so here goes:

The benefits are so good that  it took 4-1/2 hours to go through them.  But, I was fed and appeased with chocolate, so I didn’t complain.

There appears to be no personal Internet use allowed.  I learned this by attempting to check my personal e-mail, and getting a big red X instead.  Ooopsie.

I found the kitchen & bathroom, but it took me 10 minutes to find my cube this morning.  I haven’t yet had lunch in the kitchen, so I don’t know the details.  (Such as, do they have an adequate salt supply?)  I think there is a toaster, because someone in my row o’cubes made a waffle this morning. 

Oh yeah, I have a cube.  This is a toughie.  I’ve had an office for four of the past 5-1/2 years.  I feel like someone is going to sneak up on me, and I can hear everything.  I wonder if I can listen to my iPod on my headphones? 

The people seem nice, but I met about a million of them and can’t remember who I met, let alone their names or what they do.  I know 5 people I will work with on a daily basis, and I know where their cubes are on the farm, so that’s good for now.  Oh, and I know the help desk phone #, even though I don’t know my own.

The commute is another toughie.  I took the Red Line yesterday.  That was a mistake.  The morning was okay, because I get on at the second stop, so I got a seat (I also got a large woman practically sitting in my lap, but whatever).  The ride home was awful.  Then the traffic was awful.  Then I got off a different exit and got lost, eventually ending up right where I started (its a longer story than that, but it makes me look really stupid, so I’ll spare you).

Today I ventured on to the commuter rail.  It was much nicer, but pricier.  Well worth it.  I had a seat, I knew what time it got in and left, and I even bought a twelve ride ticket until I order a monthly pass through BAC.  Luckily, I was not on this train.  That could have soured my train experience.

All in all, BAC is a good experience so far.  As much as I miss my martini guzzling, fried mac and cheese eating, ugly chair picking outing, TAC coworkers, I think I’ll be happy at BAC.  As soon as I figure out how to get in with my key card and without causing a security breach.  That’s my goal for tomorrow!

Never Say Goodbye

19 Mar

(You’re very welcome for the cheesy ear-worm!) 

As you know, I’m leaving TAC (tiny ass corporation for you blog newbies).  And, as excited as I am to begin this new stage of my life (with my new Mandy Moore haircut and freshly waxed brows), I am sad to be leaving the company I’ve been with for 5-1/2 years.  I’ve been thinking about what it will be like when I leave, of course, but it really hit me the other day.

We took a trip to visit a vendor in CT.  On the way home, we asked the limo driver to stop at the packie so we could get Powerball tickets.  And beer for the ride home.  Then, of course, we had to stop and pee.  And the token male of the group fetched us more beer, and, more importantly, Doritos (he’s a smart one, that Token Male.)  We went into the office when we returned, to pee again and photocopy the Powerball tickets so there would be no confusion and/or people fleeing with our cash if we won.  Then someone had the brilliant idea that we should switch around all of the nameplates on everyone’s doors.  Immature, yes, but we found it hilarious.  We ran around for ten minutes deciding who would be best as replacements for everyone.  Driving home later, I thought about it and started giggling like a loon for a good 20 minutes.  (In retrospect, that could have had something to do with the wine I had just tasted guzzled).

So I started thinking about these people I had spent 5-1/2 years with.  And I realized they truly are like my family.  In such a small group, its easy to get to know everyone really well (which isn’t always a good thing).  We’ve all been through a lot of happy stuff together, along with some really sad stuff.

The best way to describe our group is “quirky” — but in a good way!  We have cake for everybody’s birthday.  Everyone knows this.  In fact, we secretly try to hire based on birthdays so we can have a cake a month.  Yet, every time there is a birthday, we have to conspicuously gather in the conference room and call the person to a “meeting.”  And the birthday person is required to act surprised and try not to cringe as we wail away thought Happy Birthday.

Most of the group eats lunch together (Token Male hides in his cube due to the abundance of estrogen).  We pop popcorn and argue over if its cooked best at 2:40 or 2:50.  We read horoscopes, cheat on crosswords, and discuss TV shows and life in general.

We don’t go out a lot after work, but we can somehow convince the boss to take us out to lunch for the smallest occasions (like the snow pile melting in the parking lot).  We go on fabulous summer outings that often involve drinking before noon, and sometimes involve boats and invasions of personal space. 

The bottom line is, we work hard and play hard.  The company has been very successful in the years I’ve been there, and I’m sure will continue to grow.  And the main reason for that is the people.

Sure, we don’t always get along, and not everyone loves each other every day of the week.  This is the same group of people that had a two day debate over where to put the paper towels in the bathroom, and almost requires a spreadsheet to pick out pizzas for lunch.  But the bottom line is that its a great group of people, and an excellent group of workers.  I’ve made some very good friends there that I will be very sad to leave.  I’ll miss our coffee time and shopping trips, our sushi lunches and Subway runs, our baseball chats and baby talk.  Not that we won’t keep in touch, but it won’t be the same. 

One day I’ll just be a vague remembrance: “Remember Julie that used to work here?  The one who overcooked the popcorn and cheated on crossword puzzles?  She had a weird obsession with Friends and went running at lunch and stunk for the rest of the day?  I wonder what she’s doing now?  Coincidentally, we haven’t had to refill the salt shaker since she’s been gone!”

 Goodbye, TAC.  I’ll miss you!