Monday, October 31, 2005

Busy, but enjoyable weekend...

So busy, I only vaguely remember Friday night! That is when you know you did a lot of different things.

We had our first snow on Saturday! I was out with the kids shopping and as we were walking out of the store, there it was. Heavy, wet snow - the kind that when it lands on you, if you look really closely you can actually see the designs in the flakes. My son was thrilled - he had his head up, tongue out - and was catching snowflakes in his mouth. This was my daughter's first real sight of it. And, in true sibling fashion - she imitated him! Throwing her head back with her mouth open, not exactly sure why she was doing it - but laughing as she did. If people were watching us, they probably got chuckle, because I couldn't resist doing it myself. Something about reliving your childhood with your own kids is just magical.

My son is at an age where he is starting to procrastinate bedtime. Not often, but on nights that I'm on the phone and so I didn't sing him a song - he only got Daddy's stories - he'll creep downstairs and hide like a mouse until I find him. Then of course, I usher him back upstairs -but he got an extra 10 minutes out of me. Smart kid. Anyway, this happened a few nights ago. As I was tucking him into bed, I said to him "you know, Santa Claus is watching you, so it's really important that you go to bed when you're supposed to". And he says to me "he's watching me already?". "Of course he is! All year long....and, the Great Pumpkin and the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny - they're all watching too. If Santa sees something he doesn't like, he's going to tell all of them - because you know - they all know each other". He thinks about it for a second and says "they do?". To which I replied "of course they do! They all went to kindergarten together...." Aha....the manipulation of innocence for a mother's advantage. You've got to love it!

And - a postscript to Friday's post about the coincidence of the ex's: At the shower I went to on Sunday, one of the guests was my high school sweetheart's mom. She looks beautiful, she hasn't aged a bit! And she's thrilled because her son is expecting a baby; it seems his baby shower was last weekend. This was news I already knew - the grapevine where I grew up is really small - so I'd already digested this information. And - he's naming his daughter, ironically, the same name as my daughter.

Life is funny, isn't it.

Friday, October 28, 2005

I'm glad Friday is here....

Can I just tell you – it has been incredibly hectic, crazy for me lately – and I don’t see it slowing down any time soon. Between weddings, and birthday parties, and showers, and fundraisers, and wine parties – I barely have time to breathe. Normally, my life is relatively dull and I would welcome such distractions, but when they all come at once within a three or four week span – it’s a little overwhelming. And of course –there’s also Halloween. And my poor little kiddies are both sick at the moment. Again. I feel bad for my little chickies. They’re in great spirits, it’s just a simple change of season cold, but I hate when they’re under the weather. ‘Tis the season, I suppose.

All of this business has made it difficult for me to do the things I enjoy the most. Like hanging out with my girlfriends! Last night I missed one of our monthly get-togethers, which I hate doing… my husband got home sort of late last night – but early enough for me to go, but honestly – I couldn’t keep my eyes open! I was in bed at 9, and for those of you who know me, I don’t “crash” very often. So you can imagine how tired I’m feeling. (Did I mention that I "offered" to host a shower at my house for a girl at work? I didn't? Stay tuned, that story is coming....)

And most of all, I missed the karate tournament. Which I’m so disappointed about. However, on the upside – please feel free to visit Karla and congratulate her! The team that my girlfriends were on won 1st place in the group competition….and both her and Kathy did excellent in the individual competition, placing 3rd & 4th respectively. It doesn’t get much better than that first time out of the gate!

Well, all this excitement should give me some interesting things to blog about! So stay tuned, I'm sure I'll have some sort of rambling amusements to share.

Here's a fun little blogthing for Friday. Oh yeah, this one is all me:


Nutty and gooey - you always satisfy.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This is a "must see"...

“It's the sense of touch. In any real city, you walk, you know? You brush past people, people bump into you. In L.A., nobody touches you. We're always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something…”

I’ve been relatively disappointed with a lot of the movies that have been coming out of Hollywood lately. Even movies that have been hyped as being excellent are falling rather short. I tend to like the movies that you don’t hear much about, or that aren’t cinema darlings, so to speak. I happened to catch a movie this weekend that was fantastic. This is no chick flick – it’s a dark, thought provoking movie that challenges moral beliefs, and stereotypes that are unfortunately, very real in today’s society still. Pay attention to the dialogue…..all of it. It’s by far one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.

There is one scene in the movie - right in the heart of it – that will take your breath away. But don’t turn away…watch. You’ll be glad that you did.

The movie is called Crash, and it stars an ensemble cast including Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris, Larenz Tate, Matt Dillon, Tony Danza, Terrence Howard (love, love, love him!), and many more.

Let me know what you think…

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Words and Music...

I’ve mentioned many times before, music is a huge part of my life. I appreciate artists, and their gifts. I love to hear the violin – when played properly – it can move me to tears. I’ve developed an appreciation for opera, because the human voice is another instrument that can move evoke emotion from within me. When it comes to “songs”, such as you hear on the radio, well, then I’m all about the lyrics. I am drawn towards story tellers, lyrical geniuses who can express what I’m thinking or feeling without even knowing who I am. I look for passion in their words. That’s partly why I’ve always been interested in folk singers and indie style musicians. There’s a hunger in that style of writing because it is real….it’s pure. It hasn’t been commercialized, or influenced by market trends.

One of my favorite, simple songs is by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. It contains a phrase that I have used as a tag line in my emails ever since email has been around. And prior to that – since I first heard the song at 18 – it could be seen written on a dry erase board, hanging behind me. Or printed on a piece of paper, tacked up on a corkboard. I’ve borrowed this phrase and used it as my own for 17 years now. I suppose in someway, it truly is mine now.

That is the magic of music. It can be a mirror of sorts... you can identify with it – it has the ability to reflect piece of who you really are. Those of you who know me personally, will know exactly which phrase in the song it is. And those of you who don’t know me personally – well, you just may figure it out anyway:

People pointing

Finger-painting the world
Leaving me the silhouette of my life
And I'm filling in the negative space with positively everything
I do, I do
And it's all because of you
I do, I do
And it's all because of you

It's not emotion that I feel for you
It's not devotion that I want from you
I want someone to follow who doesn't lead the way
I want someone to listen who won't repeat what I say
And I'm filling in the negative space with positively everything
I do, I do
And it's all because of you
I do, I do
And it's all because of you

Monday, October 24, 2005

What's worse than writing your own resume?

Writing your own review.

Today, my review was due to be turned in. It's such a fine line you have to walk; promote yourself as best as possible, without sounding like you're the greatest thing since sliced bread. I tend to understate my accomplishments...partly because I just can't keep up with everything I do. And partly because, I don't like to brag. I think the whole concept of writing your own review is ridiculous. I understand that more often than not, a person's manager doesn't understand the whole realm of what a person does within any given year. But, it would be nice to have the Manager understand a little! Maybe make it a collaborative effort? But this, would be Utopia - especially in my field as a contractor, where my boss doesn't really know exactly what I do. So, sell...sell...sell is important.

Honestly? This was probably the strongest review of myself I've ever written.

And you know what? I'll probably still only get the same $1.00/hour increase that I would've gotten had I not written a strong review. The corporate office in Ohio already knows well in advance who's getting what for their yearly increase. That's what they have accountants, and budgets for. It's all part of their yearly "big picture". Sure, there may be some flexibility for those who physically work in the corporate office, or on the base at Wright Pat that corporate knows by sight. But for us working folk in Massachusetts whom they barely know - they already have that figured out.

And with that being the case - what's the point of even having a review process?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Ultimate "Meme"...

I have to say....Cheryl's Top 100 inspired me. I'm having some difficulty thinking of things that one might not already know since I think my blog reveals alot about my personality. But I'll give it a try! Here's my "100 Things":

1. All my life, I've been drawn to helping stray animals...and stray people.
2. I tend to want to "fix" every one's problems
3. Of all my friends growing up, I was the only one who didn't have divorced parents.
4. I'm thankful for that.
5. I also think it hindered me in a way, since all the men I dated seriously (and the one I married) came from dysfunctional families. ( and I mean serious things far worse than divorce!)
6. Music was my life as a teenager.
7. I was very much involved in the local music scene here in Boston in the 80's and 90's
8. I was just as interested in sports, predominantly hockey and boxing
9. I was my school's "star thespian", and a cheerleader...and a rocker chick
10. In my senior year, I auditioned for a Fox TV show, "Angels 88" from a cattle call
11. You had to be 18, so I was 18 on the paperwork; I was only 17
12. I never expected to make the first round - I made it to the top 5 in Boston after three rounds
13. When asked directly how old I was, I couldn't lie...
14. I lost to Tea Leone
15. I went to college for broadcast journalism
16. To be a hockey play-by- play commentator
17. I didn't finish college because I wanted my own apartment
18. Back then, I wasn't mature enough to stay in school and work full time
19. I don't regret any decisions I've made in my life....none.
20. I've been surrounded by the Boston SWAT team before...funny story to be told later!
21. My parents taught me to read at an incredibly young age
22. Don't like chocolate or sweets that much
23. Love, love, love FOOD
24. I love to cook
25. Entertaining is one of my favorite ways to spend time
26. My husband and I own a wine shop in a beautiful neighborhood in Boston
27. I fell in love with him on our first date
28. I try to be kind to everyone
29. I can always find something beautiful in everyone
30. I never say anything behind someone's back that I don't have the courage to say to them in person
31. It scares me to show anyone they've hurt me emotionally
32. There is one person in the world who makes me anxious
33. They have no idea they have this effect on me, and they never will
34. When I was pregnant and found out I was having a boy, I was surprised
35. I was sure I was having a girl...
36. When I was pregnant and found out I was having a girl, I was surprised
37. I was sure I was having another boy...
38. I believe in dreams
39. And that it's never "too late...."
40. I am an eternal optomist
41. But still, very much a realist
42. It bothers me that my children don't have grandparents to see more than a few times a year
43. My children are my heart and soul
44. I love my husband
45. My girlfriends are my extended family
46. I would like to pursue amateur boxing
42. I always feel proud when everyone in class says I "hit like a man".
43. I'm an aggressive business woman
44. I wrote a letter recently to a woman who had a strong influence in my life when I was young; she was the first woman in upper management I ever encountered in the workforce, and she totally helped me realize my potential
45. I think it's important to let people know when they have made a positive impact on you
46. She wrote back...and I think I made her day :)
47. I believe that God helps those that help themselves
48. I'm addicted to Reeses Peanut Butter cups
49. And Dunkin' Donuts "keeping it real but high maintenance" coffee
50. I can nurse a cup of that from 7a.m. - 11 a.m.
51. Gotta love the microwave for that!
52. I'm a romantic by nature
53. And exceptionally sentimental...and sensitive of others
54. When I see someone who is severely handicapped or disfigured, I look them in the eyes and say hello with a smile; I'm afraid they don't get that often, and I couldn't imagine what life must be like to have people be afraid to look at you.
55. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan is one of my favorite movies!
56. I'm a vast wasteland of useless information, I retain the oddest details
57. But it really helps when playing any kind of trivia game!
58. ...Especially music or entertainment trivia
59. I'm 5'1
60. I'm almost always freezing!
61. I have very low blood pressure - it's the same as my 4 year old: 80/50
62. Prior to last year - I hadn't taken an antibiotic since I had my last ear infection when I was 10
63. I've never had a cavity!
64. I'm very "Monica-ish" (from Friends)
65. I still remember a word from a spelling bee in the 5th grade, my friend won with the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Who can forget that??!?
66. However, I'm horrible with math
67. I never took anything other than basic math
68. Because I withdrew from algebra
69. I love French style...the French language....French decor
70. But yet, I took Italian in high school
71. I love Ballads Designs catalog
72. Need to get to France someday!
73. I don't shop much for myself
74. Except for boots!
75. And house decor "stuff" ala Homegoods, etc...
76. It makes me happier to buy for my family
77. Never mistakes made, only lessons learned - I truly believe that
78. I think Forrest Gump is one of the best movies, ever.
79. Love love love to read!
80. Don't have any time to do it though
81. I love the smell of the air this time of year
82. While I'm good at cooking, I'm terrible at baking!
83. My chinese zodiac is the dog
84. I'd like to think it's an accurate description
85. My favorite animal is the Wolf
86. Before I was married, I volunteered at a Wolf education center...with real live ones!
87. I was supposed to take a week's class at Wolf Park in Indiana for a Wolf Behaviour seminar
88. But I found out I was pregnant - and due a month after the class start date - and withdrew
89. Someday, I'll take it.
90. I truly believe that when our children are small, it's such a short time in life to sacrifice our own dreams for the nurturing of theirs
91. I'm the only one in my family with green eyes

92. My signature scent is Amarige
93. Of all the family members I've lost, I miss my Auntie Saralee the most - she was too young
94. I named my daughter for her...but didn't use Saralee - just used the S
95. I tend to write like I speak
96. I love to take my children on adventures
97. I'm addicted to HBO programming
98. And Lip Fusion!
99. I believe in magic and miracles, love and hope
100. Most important, I feel good about who I am - where I've been - and where I'm going. I wouldn't change any of it, not for anything in the world.

Friday, October 21, 2005

How to have a Fabulous Friday...

Listen to some music you love. Today, I’m listening to Jane Monheit’s “Taking a Chance on Love” cd. I plan on also listening to some Diana Krall, and Linda Rondstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. I’m feeling romantically classic today.

Wear something you love. Friday, being casual day – I’m definitely dressed comfortable. Of course, my accessories always include a pair of fun boots – and a fuzzy, colorful scarf.

Don’t let things affect you. Friday is the end of the week – the portal to the weekend. Nothing, can be so “mission critical” at work that it interferes with your mood for today. Make your mantra for today be: “I’m so out of here come 3pm….” For me – I’m out of here at 1:15pm today. I get to take my littlest one to the pediatricians for her 15 month appointment – and I’m looking forward to it.

Do something fun. Whether you’re married, single – or otherwise occupied, do something fun tonight. Go out with your friends, stay at home and snuggle…or be completely alone, read a book and take a bath (with a glass of wine, of course…). I’ll be having dinner with two of my girlfriends (the Amy’s) and having some always, well deserved laughs.

(If you have a chance, please visit my girlfriend Karla and wish her luck. She and my girlfriend Kathy are competing in Michigan this weekend at a karate tournament that I was supposed to be at, but I was unable to go due to a scheduling conflict. Thanks!)

Celebrate, enjoy – and have a Fabulous Friday!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Why I haven't been watching the news lately...

I've been doing my best to avoid watching the evening news. There is far too much abuse against children and animals in there lately, and it really just turns my stomach. I've been limiting my exposure to political affairs - and the weather. (Speaking of which, my parents who live in the Tampa area should strongly consider catching a flight to NE before they can't....I know my Dad, and he'll be determined to "ride it out". Not a great idea..) But I digress....

As I was in Dunkin Donut's this morning, getting my "high maintenance but keeping it real" coffee, I was reading the ticker tape running at the bottom of the screen that CNN was running. I see this: "Police in San Fransico searching for bodies of 2 children. Mother threw children over bridge into water. One body already found after passerby witnessed the mother throwing the children and called authorities" . The feeling in my stomach was nauseating.

What is wrong with this woman!?!?!??! She could've left those children on a street corner, as did the man in NYC recently. It doesn't make it right - but it gives those kids a chance.

I have very strong views on this particular subject of women who do this to their children, and I'll save that rant for another time, another day.

I know this type of crime happens, and I am not trying to bury my head in the sand over it by any stretch. But my time is precious, and how I choose to spend it - is not by being disgusted by stories such as this. And this story that caught my attention as I was innocently standing in line to buy a cup of coffee is exactly the reason why I stopped watching the news as of late.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

These boots are made for walking...

So let me tell you first and foremost, I'm not a big clothes shopper. I tend to buy a few classic items that I can coordinate with each year, but although I adore Ann Taylor and many other shops - I'm not your typical clotheshorse kind of girl. Where I DO have an "addiction" if you will - is with boots. I love sexy, fun, flirty boots. They dress up a pair of jeans...they can add flair to the right business pantsuit...or can give you just enough height with a pair of dress pants so that they fall perfectly. I love them. I have them in varying styles - predominantly black - but also cream, hot pink, brown, and now... eggplant! I scored a pair (on clearance, which is even better!) over the weekend in eggplant. Seeing that my favorite colors are generally chocolate and plum...eggplant fit right in!

So, as I was planning to write a fun frivolous post on what color nail polish I felt like I was today - I found this fun blogthing. I took it - and would you believe my results???? See below!

You Are Skinny Heel Boots

You always look great - from your styled hair to your sleek boots.

Those are what most of my boots look like! Yet another blogthing that fit my personality perfectly. Who'da thunk it?
As Shania would say....Man, I feel like a woman!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Do you believe in Magic?

Today, we took the kids to Salem for part of the October Halloween festivities. They had so many fun things to do and see...we didn't get to stay as long as I would've liked, partly because it was cold and blustery; partly because our daughter is only 15 months and cutting molars, so her attention span just wasn't there. That's okay though - I think we're planning on having a "date night" there before the end of the month. Candlelit Cemetary Tours, Haunted Houses, Witch Museums... fun!

This was actually the first time I'd ever gone there at this time of year - which is shocking because: 1) I grew up not even 7 miles from there; and 2) as a kid I was interested in Wicca and the supernatural. It just absolutely fascinated me. I would read books and do research papers, but never spent any time in the town for the Halloween festivities. There's something to be said when you grow up in an area so engrossed with history and culture. Unfortunately, you almost are jaded to it - it's part of the wallpaper of your life. And unless you take the time to be a "tourist" where you live, you always think "I'll do it another time". And then sometimes, that time never comes.

There are many places around me that I plan on being a "tourist" and visiting; Salem is definitely one of them. It was fun browsing the different magic shops, and seeing some of the beautiful goddess and "girly girly" items that they had inside. It reminded me of one of my favorite chick flicks, "Practical Magic". Not everything we think about magic has to be dark and ominous. Magic can be found in the feeling you get when a new baby is born, when you see a butterfly on a beautiful summer day, seeing your children gaze in wonder, or the warm glow you feel sitting around the fire on a winter's night.

"There are some things, though, I know for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can."

And I do believe in Magic.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hsaw Aknow...

"Is that Japanese? No, that's Wonka Wash spelled backwards."

Last night, as promised - I snuggled with the kiddies and watched one of my all time, most favorite movies: "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". This was my daughter's first time watching it, and my son's millionth! It has become one of his favorites as well. We talk about our favorite parts...laugh at the goofy things the children do, and sing the Oompa Loompa songs.

My husband took my son to see the remake by Tim Burton a few months back. When they came home, I asked how it was. Out of the mouth of babes, my 4 year old son said it was "Boring. Just ok. The first one was better".

It really irritates me that Hollywood feels that they have to take a classic like this - and redo it. Why? Because someone thinks they can make it more magical? I doubt it. With all the technology that we have today, it can not replace the magic of a concept being revealed for the first time. And no one can play an eccentric candy mogul better than Gene Wilder. No one. Johnny Depp just played a weird guy that no one would want their children around! And while the children in the original Willie Wonka were odd, they weren't distorted. It seems to me that all the people in Tim Burton's movies are just so distorted, both in personality and appearance.

The original, while containing plenty of adult humor - taught children lessons about behaviour, rule following, punishments and rewards - and was a generally "feel good" movie. What does Tim Burton's movie add? I think nothing.

Just like some movies really don't need sequels....some movies truly don't need remaking.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

Today is the 8th day of rain we’ve seen here in Boston. This is the part of fall that is my least favorite. It’s cold, it’s damp…just sort of dreary. A stay in bed, sleepy eyed – “let’s just wear cozy clothes” kind of a day. These are the days that remind you that winter is not that far away. I used my fireplace for the first time this season last night, and it was beautiful! Nothing takes that chill out of your bones like sitting in front of the fire and unwinding. Well, maybe a warm bath – but who has the time for that?

As I drove onto the base this morning, the guard said to me “Remember, it’s not raining…it’s not raining”, as he’s being completely rained upon - with no rain gear on. Give this guy a rainjacket! I said to him, “Come in to my world…the sun shines every day here!” I’m all for the power of positive thinking.

So, in an effort to keep the sun in my otherwise cold and rainy world today, I am going to do a little “feel good for me”. I’m going to leave work early and do a little shopping with one of my girlfriends at Ann Taylor and Sephora. Then, I’ll be home early and I’ll light a fire and snuggle with the kiddies …have some cheap Chinese takeout - and look forward to a quiet, relaxing night. A great way to end the week… and a great way to enjoy the weather.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

She's blonde, perky and presumably dumb.

I work in a predominantly male environment. As a result, I have always worked extra hard to ensure that I'm respected in the work place. And I have had no difficulties doing that. I've got a solid reputation in our community, and I'm looked upon as a "go to" person to get things done. It is with the women, on a purely social level - that I have had difficulties with. One reason being that I'm one of the youngest women in the Squadron, so it's hard to find someone to bond with; I'm also one of the few women in the office that's in a management role - so I think it's difficult since I'm not on the administrative level to be looked upon as a peer. I'm outgoing, and friendly to everyone, and I make small talk here and there - but I know how they feel. It's quite clear.

Up until recently, I've had no friends in the office. And that's fine - I'm not at work to make friends, I have plenty of friends - I'm there to work. But it would be nice to have someone to chit chat with about television the night before, or funny things. (Outside of my development team, I mean. They're great guys - but they're guys!!!) Not too long ago, two of the women in the office befriended me. I felt like one of the "cool kids", you know? So, one night as we were sitting around my dining room table, we were talking "shop". And, they were gossiping. I knew nothing; I never hear anything about anybody because I'm not involved on that level. They thought for sure that I knew all of the stories they were sharing; and they also didn't realize that my existance at work was a relatively lonely one. They thought because I'm very friendly, outgoing and nice to everyone - that everyone bent over backwards to hang out with me, and that they were the last to "come around" and warm up to me. So when I explained that wasn't the case - they opened up and admitted that they didn't like me previously. And it was purely based on my appearance, and my personality.

My personality? They just got through telling me that I'm incredibly nice to everyone...that I'm always upbeat, and complimentary towards others. And that they thought I dressed "cool".

But - put that aside for a moment. They told me that they thought I was a "typical dumb blonde" because of all those "niceties" about me. It wasn't until they actually took the time and spoke to me - that they realized that was the furthest thing from the truth.

I'm aware of this perception, and although I know it exists - I hate it just the same. Women don't face inequality in the work place because of men - we face it because of other women. We aren't judged nearly as harshly by men as we are by women. We don't dress to impress men. We dress to impress women.

But I pick myself up, brush myself off - put my rose colored glasses on - and go on. Because in reality, who does or doesn't "like" a person in the workplace doesn't matter. I don't think about these people the minute I walk out the door. I have a beautiful family that means the world to me; a wonderful circle of friends that I'm blessed to have, a successful business that my husband and I have really groomed and nurtured - and you know what, I'm actually okay with being me.

What more could a girl want? :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A rose by any other name....

I found this fun little game over at Glitter's site!
Fun for a dreary, rainy Wednesday.

1. YOUR PORN STAR NAME: (name of first pet + street you live on): Tara Emerald
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandmother's/father's first name + favorite snack): Eleanor Ida Chips
3. YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME: (first word you see on your left + favorite restaurant): Photo Venetian Moon
4. YOUR SOCIALITE NAME: (silliest childhood nickname + first place where you partied): Becca Duffs
5. YOUR "FLY GIRL/GUY" NAME: (first initial + first three letters of your last name): R-Ber
6. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite animal + name of high school): Wolf Malden
7. YOUR BAR-FLY NAME: (last snack food you ate + your favorite drink): Pretzel Water
8. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name + street where you first lived): E. Durso
9. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (favorite candy + favorite musicians last name): Reeses Bon Jovi
10. YOUR OPPOSITE SEX NAME: (name of [opposite sex] last friend that you commented + cell phone company you use): Big White Hat Verizon
11. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name+ last 3 letters of mothers middle name /+/ first 3 letters of your pets name + first 3 letters of the town you live): Berbrawilm

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I'm an exceptionally nostalgic and sentimental person. I never, ever return a gift that someone gives to me - even if it's something that isn't exactly my style. I'm always just touched at the thought that someone put into trying to find something that they think that I'd enjoy. And that in of itself - makes a gift that isn't necessarily something that I thought I'd like - become something that I love.

My favorite gifts are ones that have been made for me. One Christmas, an aunt made a photo album - filled with pictures of family members of generations previous. Relatives I had never met before, but heard stories have an album full of memories of times gone by means more to me than it does to most people I'm sure. One year, I got a phone book - filled with everyone in the family's addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, birthdays, etc... I loved it.

One of my other most memorable and treasured gifts was from my parents. You know how growing up, there are certain foods that your parents made that you just looked forward to? They're part of your sense of what "home" is... Well, about 6 years ago, my parents put together a cookbook for me. I LOVE to cook and entertain, so my parents took on this challenge of collecting hundreds of recipes from the internet, printing them out and placing them in plastic coverings, held in a loose leaf binder. Included amongst these recipes are the recipes of family favorites - the foods that really symbolize my parents. For them to have taken the time to write them out, (complete with funny anecdotes)and type them up - and include them in this collection of recipes just thrilled me. I love this cookbook, and I refer to it as often as I possibly can. Most of these family recipes I now know by heart - but reading them is just as enjoyable as actually making them.

So yesterday, after my parents left to go back home - I made my Dad's Famous Tuna Fish for lunch. I guess that was my way of extending the visit just a few minutes longer...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Lobster...and alot of wine....

So, I said I would give a description of the lobster dinner for Mr. Big White Hat...

Have you ever had lobster - Italian style?

It's lobster, cooked in a tomato sauce, slow simmered and spiced with red and black pepper. Oh yeah babe... good stuff. (Emeril!!!). Once you have had it this way, it's very difficult to go back to the steamed style.

My mom and dad were in from out of state, my aunt and uncle were joining us for dinner...and my cousin stopped in for a little nightcap. It was a great day - and my 6th wedding anniversary, by the way!

I'm sorry to see my parents leave - I would love to have Sunday dinners at my house every week...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Summer is officially.....over

Not because the date is October 8th, but because the Sox have ended their season. Summer in Boston only lasts as long as the baseball season does.

Swept by the Chicago White Sox is a tough pill to swallow - but everyone has their time - and Chicago now hasn't won a title since 1917 I think, so they're due. And they're a great team, it's far easier to lose to a team that deserves it, than one that doesn't....(no names mentioned!!!)

There is no shame in the loss of this playoff round; honestly, we don't have the pitching to carry us through, and we're missing some key players this year - so it's time to reflect on the past year, enjoy...and think ahead to next season.

Some of the faces will be different, but hopefully the core of the team will be the same...there's always next year. And when you're from Boston...

You always gotta believe.....

Friday, October 07, 2005

What's up with IPOD style radio?

Here in Boston, a radio station completely changed format. It used to be an 70's disco/80's disco station (think cheesy tanning salon/gym music) - and it was definitely fun to listen to for a good mix. My musical taste is very eclectic - I range from Classical and Opera, to Heavy Metal. So occasionally when I want a break from my cd's, I like to listen to the radio. And I have my stations programmed in genre order: FM1 - Rock, Heavy Metal & Alternative Rock; FM2 - Top 40, Country, Hip Hop - sort of a pot pourri of music. Then - I also have genre specific band that has stations that are pre-programmed so I can listen to folk, blues, etc... very cool.

The station that changed format is now using this "IPOD style" of music. Which means, they'll play Metallica one minute - Air Supply the next. As if it was music in someone's personal IPOD. I suppose that's sort of cool, and sometimes they play a run of two or three songs that are good to listen to; but I find the format so radical, I can't enjoy it! If I'm in a Jimmy Buffett kind of mood - then I sort of want to hang with format for longer than the 2 minutes that the song is played, you know what I mean? I'm not ready to switch gears and jump into "Baby got Back".

I think this format is now being used all over the country - so where we've got MIKE FM, other areas have BOB, or STEVE...I think I read somewhere that they're all using random men's names for their call letters. Interestingly enough - while I find it annoying to jump genres on the radio, back in the day when MTV actually played videos - I enjoyed the jumping of genres there. Is it that we're more conditioned to be visually stimulated in different directions, but not on an audible level? And now that I think about it, MTV didn't stay in that direction very long either, because eventually programmers decided to cordon off their videos into programming blocks such as "Yo MTV Raps", "Headbangers Ball", etc..

There is a hole in Boston radio now .... damnit - I want my cheesy music back! :)

That being said, here's a little musical selection for ya'll: Patty Griffin's "Living With Ghosts". It's the title track off of an older CD of hers, but I guarantee you'll love it. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Should it matter?

Question: Should a person's feelings be hurt when a fellow blogger "disses" you (for lack of a better term)?

I ventured into this world of blogging with no intentions of actually having anyone "find me"... and I'm thrilled that everyone has! :) That being said.... prior to making new blog friends, I reached out to one particular blogger local in my area, whom I adore. Strictly by blog, of course - since we've never met. She and I seem very similar in many ways, and I love reading her writing because she seems like she could be any one of my girlfriends... My girlfriends and I are lots of fun - and once a month we get together and have dinner parties - usually with a theme. And we go all out - it's a blast! We've done "80s Prom", where we all got dressed up like it was prom night, complete with a DJ; we've done clothes swaps, fondue parties, adult toy parties, spa parties, Marshvegas Gambling Nights - you get the picture. So, as we'd been chatting about this - I offered up an invitation to a recent one at my home. I told all the girls about this friend coming, and we were all looking forward to meeting them. But - this person never came. Now - I totally understand that it can be intimidating meeting new people, and we all have excitement and things going on in life - but I was a little surprised. No phone call to cancel....nothing until the next morning.

So, should feelings be hurt if one reads that they've met other blog friends in the area?

My kneejerk reaction was "huh. Wow. Guess I'm not cool enough".

Then I realized: That is just so silly. It is ridiculous to take it personally - and while I'm always happy to have new friends with common interests, it doesn't mean that everyone else wants to make new friends. And I don't always have to be the one that they make friends with. Silly girl..... ;) And my general attitude about people in that type of scenario is "hmmm. Well, whatever... Moving on!"

But I have to say - this time, the kneejerk reaction still hangs out there..... just a little.

Here's Kim & I - the Birthday Girls - from our Mexicana Birthday Celebration a few weeks ago!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Why can't I just get what I want?

Okay, let me warn you - there's a whine coming up. And it's a girly girly thing, so be prepared.

I'm going for a haircut tonight. For those of you who have been reading this for a while, you'll remember that about a month ago - I got it cut. I never get it cut that frequently, because a good cut should last a while. I haven't been able to get a good cut, anywhere!!! I'm so frustrated, because what I want is pretty simple. It's a Jennifer Aniston knockoff. And yet, I'm having a bitch of a time finding a stylist who doesn't just "yes" me to death on understanding what I want, and then not delivering.

Whew. I'm glad I got that out....

My parents are coming in tomorrow; I haven't seen my mother since Thanksgiving, and my Dad since Christmas. They aren't divorced - but due to their schedules they can't always come together. Neither one of them have seen my daughter since she was an infant. They'll be in for quite a shock to see her walking and talking. It's rather sad when you think about it - so much of the "day to day" family life that they miss out on. But that's a rant for another day....

Today, 4pm EST - Red Sox v. White Sox: Game 1
I've got my Manny gear on!
I'm saving my Varitek get up for the Yankee's series...Cowboy Up!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

It smells like fall...

The air was so crisp this morning, I opened my windows - and suddenly it reminded me of when I was a young girl. It smelled like the first day of school. If you are from New England, then you know what I mean - there's a distinct smell to the fall air that is associated with walking to school in September and October.

Today is going to be nothing but a chili making, pie baking, baseball and football watching kind of day.

I love autumn.

Go Red Sox / Go Patriots....

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sunny Saturday after all...

This day didn't quite end up the way it was supposed to, but it turned out pretty nicely after all.

My husband was going to take my son to the fair that just opened this weekend. I opted not to come along, since I just still feel tired and I'm still coughing alot. So I was going to stay home, spend time with my daughter - and clean the house. Which to some, might sound crazy. But to those of you who know me - I love to clean. So it's rather theraputic.

We got a call as my husband was literally on his way out the door - that our store was flooded. Again. For the second time in a month - third time in a year. See, our store is on the street level of a mixed use brownstone; so if there's an issue with the p lumbing on the residential side of the house - it all comes down on us. It's been a nightmare. So, my husband flies down the store - of course, leaving my son home with me. Here we are thinking that our business can't survive another flood, we're going to have to close down....and my 4 year old son's heart is broken that Daddy can't take him to the fair. So, as devastating as the flood was - my number one priority was to make my son happy.

So I took a hot shower, packed the kids up - and we went apple picking! We went to a farm that's nearby us, that was having a family festival day as well. So not only did we pick apples - but pony rides for the kiddies, and ice cream after lunch...

The good news is that our store didn't flood after husband got there just in time to shut off the main before it started raining in the store; and a plumber ripped our landlord a new one telling him that the plumbing needs to be entirely replaced otherwise we can kiss our business goodbye (this is great ammunition for us because we're trying to buy the building)...I still cleaned my house...I've got two freshly bathed, clean smelling children...and lots of sweet tasting apples to eat and bake with.

And despite the fact that I'm tired and sore from overdoing it... I don't even mind. My children's smiles and laughter will be a memory of today that I will always cherish, and make it worth while - even if I am sick a little longer.

All's well, that ends well.