Monday, July 31, 2006

No Car

I am still without a car. It wasn't available for pick up on Saturday, as I had hoped. My husband better start praying that this dealership we decided on gets the CR-V in Pewter really, really quick. Because we already had the car in that color at another dealership, but to save $300 or so, he decided to go with this other dealer. So the Pewter colored car better arrive soon.

Because if I have to drive an ugly car in an ugly color to boot, I'm not going to be pleased.

It's Getting Hot In Herre

Yeah, that typo was on purpose. It's a Nelly song. Get with the program. Misspelling things is cool, right?

Anyway, it's supposed to be 102 freaking degrees tomorrow. What the hell? This isn't Santa Fe, people!

Friday, July 28, 2006


I originally read this article because I am one of those people who doesn't particularly care for breastfeeding in public. I really just don't need to see someone's boobs. I can even tolerate it if someone is being discreet and using a blanket. But some women just let it all hang out there while feeding. Some would say they are empowered and confident. I say they're crazy.

Anyway, I stopped in the middle of the article when I read the part about the woman who is still breast feeding her 3 year old. Yikes. Three? I mean I didn't think three year olds were supposed to really take bottles anymore. Don't they graduate to drinking juice sometimes and using a sippy cup? Aside from the fact that breastfeeding your preschooler is TOTALLY FREAKING WEIRD, doesn't it stunt their using of a cup?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

I sort of bought a car. Last night I put a deposit on the CR-V in Pewter Pearl. The CR-V drives better and is less expensive than the RAV 4. But I love the RAV 4. Well, I mean, if money were no object, I wouldn't get either of these. But since it is and after extensive research, it's down to these two. They have great safety ratings and fuel economy. The CR-V is ugly as sin inside (the outside isn't so bad) and the thought of buying a Honda is giving me a rash.

Anyway, we got a pretty good deal last night and honestly, I would have bought it right then, having resigned myself to buying a car that looks like a Greyhound bus on the inside. But Ron insisted we only put a deposit and he blamed me for that decision, "My wife is really indecisive, blah, blah, blah." So today, we were able to negotiate a better deal with two other Honda dealers. Seriously, it's AMAZING how much room these people have to play with. The dealer we spoke to from Toyota is off today so tomorrow, we'll try him. I don't think he'll be able to go as low as the Honda guys but we'll see what magic he can do. Because I like the RAV 4 better.

Stars Are Blind and So Am I

People, something very disturbing occured today. I watched the Paris Hilton video. No, not that one, I mean her music video. Okay so the video doesn't make much sense. One second she's some model being photographed and the next minute it's a rip off of the Chris Isaak "Wicked Game" video. But that aside, overall, it was more well done than I would have thought.

Here's the disturbing part: the song's not so bad. I mean it's not great. The lyrics are a little strange in some places. But it's kind of catchy. I spite of myself, I think I actually enjoyed it.

Clearly, I need help.


Well big, freakin' surprise.

Some Days I Like My Job Best

Today is a day I really wouldn't want Condoleezza Rice's job.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Stinky Poo

So yesterday I wrote a whole long post about how I was going to buy a car and it included the "buy American" schpeel that you would expect from me. Only guess what? I'm probably not buying American. So take that.

Anyway, Blogger decided to throw a hissy fit and not publish my post and then I could log on the rest of the day. So the post is lost.

My obsession this morning is the smell of the city. It smells like ass, people. It's always stinky in the summer and the humidity doesn't help matters. Usually, it's more like urine roasting on city sidewalks. But today, on my walk to work it was literally as if someone took a dump on every corner. I had to hold my breath for most of the walk.

Considering it's a 10 minute walk, I'm lucky to be alive.

Friday, July 21, 2006


I haven't found shelter for 2400 Lebanese refugees, in case you were wondering. As an aside, the other day CNN featured a clip of a Lebonese man who was clearly irate. He was speaking in his native language, spitting out words with venom but the only words I could understand were "George Bush". Ron and I looked at each other and laughed. When in doubt, blame George Bush. Okay, I know technically, one could say that because the United States has financially helped out Israel, those bombs being dropped on Lebanon are our fault. But come on, we didn't start this one. Finally.

I'm off for a busy weekend of shopping and partying. The fun never ends.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I'll post more later about my completely uneducated, rambling view of the crisis in the Middle East.

In the meantime, I just got a call asking to help find shelter for 2400 expatriates from Lebanon who are arriving in Philadelphia on Saturday. Seriously, who gets a call like that?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I find it odd for some reason that Dooce and I are the same age.

Unfortunate Fashion

On the way to work yesterday, I was walking behind a woman who was wearing a white jersey-knit skirt. My eyeballs were screaming. Overall, the outfit was cute. The skirt was an appropriate knee length and it seemed that she was wearing the proper size. However the fabric did cling a bit around her hips and rear area.

The thing about jersey knits is that they are just so many ways to go wrong. While they're comfortable, versatile and travel well, they can be disappointing transparent in sunlight. The fabric is usually fairly thin and the spandex involved sometimes clings to all the things you'd rather not highlight.

So was the case with my friend in the white skirt. Fearful of the dreaded pantyline, I presume, she chose to wear a thong. I know that not because she chose some darkly colored undergarment; in fact it seems she chose some sort of tan (which is ALWAYS the way to go under white). But the outline of that thong was clearly visible. And frankly, it was obvious that there was no other fabric between that skirt and this woman's ass.

I seriously wanted pull her aside and ask, "Are you on your way to work? Because, really, you can't go to work like that. You need to change."

But I didn't.

Monday, July 17, 2006


I've already documented how I feel about September 11th movies. And the World Trade Center movie is no exception. I'll say this: I'm deeply disappointed in the choice of Nicholas Cage because 1. he makes me feel like I need to take a shower and 2. because I am so distracted by my distaste for him that I don't think I'd ever be able to watch a move with him in it without feeling that need to shower.

That being said, I accidently saw the first commercial for this movie this morning. I saw something involving the words "September 11th" cross the screen and I froze in place in my living room, because those words really still have that effect. I quickly realized it was a commercial for a movie I vaguely remembered hearing about, but I still watched. And started to tear up.

Yeah, there's no way I'm going to see this. And it actually has nothing to do with Nicholas Cage.

Hanging Around

I woke up Saturday morning thinking that I probably wasn't going to be making it to my yoga class with Norah. I'm sure that the 7 hours I spent drinking wine with my friend Meg the night before had nothing to do with it. I was sad that I'd miss yoga--I've missed so many classes this summer--but Ron and I made the impromptu decision to go down to Maryland overnight. We had been planning on going to dinner and a movie, but the city has been getting on our nerves and frankly isn't a pleasant place to be when it's 100 degrees outside. We realized no one else was going to the trailer down by the river and that we still had a set of keys from last weekend. Ron's in full throttle study mode, it would be quiet down there and a slightly more pleasant atmosphere in which to hit the books.

On Friday the Weather Channel called for blue skies on Saturday with widely scattered showers. Well, it poured cats and dogs just about all day in Maryland. Still, it was nice to have nothing to do. When I'm home, I find that I almost never really relax--I start doing laundry or dusting or cleaning the bathroom. But down there, there's nothing to be done. So I did just relax, took a nap, watched some TV while Ron studied. When the skies finally cleared up, we grilled ribs and burgers. We watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie on TV. It was lovely.

The weather yesterday was lovely as well. It was hot, but low humidity and a nice breeze off the water. I laid out on the beach with a book, Ron studied and all was right with the world.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

All of Me

I spent some time yesterday afternoon at the Social Security Office, otherwise known as the inner depths of hell. There's a U.S. Marshall, who they use as a receptionist to give out numbers to people waiting for service and he looks like he's ready to DIE from boredom. At the very least, he's probably reflecting on what exactly he did wrong to deserve such an assignment. As an aside, it's interesting that the person distributing numbers needs to be a law enforcement officer carrying a semi-automatic weapon. As you might expect, there's an interesting collection of people waiting in the Social Security Office and I was probably the only person there because of a name change due to marriage.

Actually, that's not true. There was one couple trying to get the woman's name changed, but they weren't yet married. They seemed surprised that you actually needed to be married and have a certified marriage license to change your name because you got married.

I spent the first couple of minutes looking at my form, convinced that they weren't going to let me change my last name to two last names without a hyphen. I resolved if that was the case I would just go with the married last name, even though the thought of losing my maiden name entirely made me feel like I was abandoning some part of myself on the street. But then I became totally distracted by a young woman who had the shinest red hair I had ever seen. And it was a red I've never, ever seen before. Certainly not in nature anyway, but it wasn't one of those purplish reds or fire engine reds. This was...well, it was actually orange. Almost like neon orange. It seemed to radiate. Only it didn't seem dyed. I think it was actually her natural color.

It'll be a couple of weeks until I get a card reflecting this, but officially, the new version of my name is : FirstName MiddleInitial MaidenName MarriedName. No hyphen. I walked out seeing my name, my whole name printed out on my receipt and I felt a strange sense of relief. I managed to keep my middle initial--which I wanted to do, since I was given my middle name for both my grandmothers--plus have two last names. It'll be a bitch to sign, but I'll only need to sign legal documents that way. And I think because of the lack of hyphen, I can actually just move to signing my married last name when I'm ready.

It's really not so important what people call me, or what they put on envelopes addressed to me. I really don't care about all that. I just wanted that little card to reflect all of me, with all of my many names.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

And All That Jazz

We're taking a couple of trips in the foreseeable future. I just booked our visit to Chicago. Unfortunately, it's really just a trip for me since Ron's going there to take his boards (because the "boards" people apparently live in 1983 before tests could be taken on a computer). That test is all day for two days. We'll be able to go out to dinner at night, which will be nice, but for the most part I'll be wandering around the city alone. The hotel we're staying out is right near the Magnificent Mile. I have no idea really what the Magnificent Mile is, but with a name like that, I'm expecting big things.

In October we're planning on going up north somewhere to see all the lovely fall foliage. I've been bugging Ron to take such a trip for years and he's finally caved. I'm not sure where we'll go, but Cooperstown NY, Mystic CT and Boothbay ME are all in the running. I'd like to go back to Vermont one day too but I don't think for this trip. Although I would love to go to Cooperstown every year of my life (it's just so cute), I was just there 5 years ago and there are other places I'd like to see too. I haven't been to Mystic since I was a kid. I've really never been to Maine, so that's one place Ron and I could go to for the first time together. It's also a 9 hour drive. I'd like to visit New Hamsphire too, but I'm not really sure where in New Hampshire. All I know is I love the Northeast in the fall. I could just eat up all the colors of the leaves.

In January we're going to....get ready for it....Disney World. With Ron's whole family. With three children. Possibly 4 if one of Ron's cousins brings her baby. I'm going on the condition that I can be drunk every night.

We've tossed around going to Key West next May as a quick, belated one year anniversary trip. I'm not sure we'll actually do that, but when we got engaged we said we'd go to Key West every two years. And 2007 is two years.

And then, if we don't have enough planned, Ron's sisters called last night to see if we want to go to Cape May for a long weekend in this September. Minus the kids, I think.

Since I can't have a house, apparently, taking short trips is going to be the way to go over the next year.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Name Game

While I may have (somewhat) started using my married name socially, my legal name is still my maiden one. I've been in no hurry to change it. It's crossed my mind more than once that I don't actually have to change it--that I could just continue to socially use my married name.

Even that, though, presents some problems. I've semi-adopted using my maiden and married name together (minus the hyphen). That's what my outgoing emails say. My business cards, however, still have my maiden name. If you ask me what my name is, I tend to fluctuate and give any combination of my maiden and/or married name. It's a bit ridiculous and I'm beginning to feel like I have an identity crisis.

Ron is beginning to lose his patience about the whole thing. He says that he's fine with me keeping my maiden name, but since I've been saying all along that I would change it, he's wondering why I'm dragging my feet. He says it's a pain to have to explain that his wife's got a different name and that our bank accounts don't have a shared name. But really, the issue is that like most red-blooded males he wants his wife to take his name--he just won't admit that. Men are funny sometimes. I asked him if he would ever change his name to my name and he looked at me like I had suddenly started speaking Swahili. See? I said to him. The thought of changing your name seems ludicrious to you. Why should I feel any differently?

People, I am lazy. If changing my name was something I could do online, I may have done it by now. But I've got to start by getting a new social security card, which means standing in line at the Social Security Office...and why do I have a feeling like that won't be a particularly steamlined process? And then, once I have that, I need to change my license, which means a trip to the DMV--and that's NEVER a good time. Then once I have a new social security card and a new license, I have change the, oh, FOUR HUNDRED OTHER DOCUMENTS THAT HAVE MY NAME ON THEM. Credit cards, loans, leases, bank accounts, you name it.

And he thinks it's a pain for me not to have his name? For who exactly? Him? I think it just MIGHT be a bigger pain for me to change it.

At any rate, I'm off to the damned Social Security Office today at lunch. Wish me luck.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Fifteen Days

I spent every day between June 12th and June 26th at the hospital. There were days I didn't go to work at all, sometimes getting to the hospital around 7 am, and usually not leaving until the following 2am or so. For the days I did go to work, I would come home afterward, change my clothes, then go to the hospital and stay there until wee hours of the morning. It was exhausting. Fifteen days doesn't sound like a long time, but it felt like forever. I didn't sleep, I didn't eat much, I didn't really have a husband (he literally lived at the hospital), all household chores and visits to the gym were virtually suspended. Actually, I usually counted the walk to the hospital, which I did at least twice a day, but sometimes 3 or 4 times a day, as a workout. The only real time I spent at home was cooking meals to bring back to the hospital. Exhausting as it was, I would do the same thing all over again.

There are reminders of those 15 days all over the place. Last week, I removed seven McDonald's receipts from my wallet. McDonald's is the only "restaurant" at the hospital. We went there nearly every day--in the beginning to eat dinner, but over time, it was just to grab coffee, or a large order of fries at 2a.m. I have visitor passes stuck to virtually every piece of outwear I own (the hospital was freezing). They have day passes and evening passes, and I inevitably wound up getting one of each everyday. Not only do I find them stuck to all my clothes, but they're also folded up in jean pockets and in backpacks. I hardly ever used my gray backpack before. But it was easier to carry everything--the changes of clothes for my husband, the snacks, the extra fleece, the rosary beads-- in that backpack to and from the hospital.

Those 15 days were, hands down, the worst in my life--I saw some awful, awful things. In the midst of overwhelming sadness, I believe that some good comes from it. I learned a tremendous amount about people, including myself, and relationships. In that time, I became a real part of my husband's family and I learned I could be a functioning part of a family. I was constantly reminded of strength and endurance. We came to know the other families at the hospital and you celebrated other babies' victories and cried with other families about the bad things. I learned about the power of prayer and faith. I learned that hope can be stronger than medicine but that it can also be deceiving. I learned I could be unselfish. I saw myself as someone compassionate and empathic. I saw all dimensions of a mother's love: hope, despair, desperation, dreams, plans and heartbreak. I learned you could learn from someone who's two weeks old and you could love him more than you could possibly imagine.

As trite as it may sound, that baby made me want to be a better person. And instinctively I already know I am becoming that better person.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I think today calls for a new handbag. Well, not a handbag exactly. But a new tote to carry things to work. I'm thinking Vera Bradley. The only question is whether to do boring but professional and very practical black or something fun.

I've also got a coupon for Douglas so I very well may stop there too.

I'm Not Buying It

I'll spend tomorrow at the trailer. Down by the river. It'll be nice to be out of the city. There'll be at least 6 other adults and 3 children there with me, so sleeping arrangements will be interesting. The real reason we're going down is so that Ron can help his dad and brother-in-law (the one I'm not going to kill) hang gutters. Now, doesn't that sound like fun? Me, I'm going to the pool. I'm going to try to coax my littlest niece to join me, but she's not really a fan of the water.

With any luck, the boys will finish the job early enough that said brother-in-law will take us out on his boat. The weather is supposed to be great. Baby M's mother will be coming (sans her husband I believe) and it'll be good for her to get out of the house.

In other news, we're not buying a house. I guess we're renters for the long haul. I'm very disappointed, but trying not to dwell on it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Buy-buy, Bye-bye

I'm not sure whether to buy a house. I'm not even talking about the house, the house I love. I'm talking about whether we should buy any house at all. In theory, we can afford to buy. But it'll mean sacrificing. Not as many happy hours, not as many clothes, more budgeting, less spending. If we don't buy, it'll mean we can pay off the wedding much sooner, rebuild an arsenol of savings. If we don't buy now it means we won't buy for another 3-4 years when Ron is done with his fellowship (more on that in a minute). It's questionable whether it's smart for us to buy now, knowing we'll only be in the house 3-4 years; it really wouldn't make sense for 2-3 years. With the housing market what it is right now, we don't want to risk losing money on a house. And many financial advisors say it's only worth buying if you'll be in a house for 5 years or more.

So what to do? Like most people my age, I want to own something. I've rented for 10 years and am over it. But is my desire to own something worth a significant financial risk? Is it worth taking longer to pay off that (damn) wedding? Is it worth wiping out the rest of my savings? They say the only "good" debt is a mortage, but is this worth it?

It's not so much that I don't want to rent for another year. It's that I just don't feel like signing myself up to rent for another 4 years. But we definitely save money that way--even if we move to a larger apartment in a year or so.

In other news, Ron started his fellowship this week. Yeah. This is definitely going to be a change. He's got an hour commute each way, plus he'll be working longer hours overall. And since he's a first year fellow (isn't that term "fellow" odd?), he's low man on the totem pole. Which means a crap schedule. To boot he's got to take boards in August in Chicago. August is also the month he has the crappiest of crappy schedules--for the service that he'll be on that month, they advise fellows to rent an apartment at the hospital for because it's just not safe to drive after working that many hours. Perfect. I'll be single for the month. As an aside, it's also the last month of our current lease and therefore the month we'd have to move if we were to buy the house I love. Not. Gonna. Happen.

So this new job is a great opportunity for him...but it's definitely going to be a lifestyle change for us.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I have the best in-laws ever. As a belated birthday present, they got me this. Nothing says "You're-family-and-we're-going-to-make-you-Italian" like your very own pizzelle iron. I'm very, very excited by this. Not only because I love pizzelles but because now I get to join in the extravaganza that is Christmas cookie baking.

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