Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bah Humbug.

When I was a kid I once told my Mom that Halloween was my favorite holiday because it had my two favorite things:  Dressing Up and Candy.  That is pretty much still true today.  I don't go crazy with decorations or dressing up myself - although if invited to a party I would totally want to get a really cool costume.  Which I wouldn't be able to afford.  Anyhoots.  I sort of live vicariously through the kids now.  Carving pumpkins and getting them fun costumes makes me happy.  I'm not creative though - so we do store bought, but they can be fun too!

I can remember my Mom making me costumes as a kid.  The year I really remember though was when I was in 4th grade.  Someone had given my Mother a couple of old prom dresses, very lacy and full.  My friend Jessica and I got all decked out in them and thought we had the best costumes ever.  Years later, after Mom had passed away, my Aunt R collected together a bunch of  letters my Mom had written her over the years. In one she mentioned that Halloween and laughingly wrote how Jessica and I were going as "Ladies of the Night!"  That cracked me up.

But this year, I do not like Halloween.  Because, you see, both my husband and I work on weekends.  And this particular Saturday, we both have to work late.  So all these people who are psyched because it's Saturday and then can have fun parties all day and build up to going out trick-r-treating and yada, yada, yada can go suck it.  My In-Laws are taking our kids trick-r-treating.  (Which I'm extremely grateful for - don't get me wrong.)  But it's not me.  And that sucks.  I'm trying to get myself out of the funk and remember it's only ONE year.  But I'm not there.  And that sucks.  So I'm a bit of a Scrooge today.

Here is a picture of my front steps as I left the house this morning at 9am.

Considering how lame our neighborhood is, most or all of that candy will probably still be there when I finally get home with the kids at 9pm.  Which is the only silver lining I got going right now.  *sigh*

BUT - Halloween is still great, and I do hope all of you get to enjoy the day and night! Be safe and have fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Did It

But I would have totally chickened out if Susan from Trout Towers hadn't yelled at me.  About two weeks ago while I was over reading Brittany, she linked to another blog she is a part of, Aiming Low.  They were having a party. A blogger party. (Sponsored by HP no less.)  And it was in Boston, on the 26th.  I paused.  Boston? I could do Boston.  No plane fare, no hotel bill.  Sure, a bit of a drive - but nothing crazy.  I RSVP'd.  Then I panicked.  I dropped a note to Susan asking her if she wanted to come along.  She said yes!  I relaxed slightly.

Sunday afternoon I emailed Susan basically saying I was completely willing to wimp out on the whole thing.  Because, you see, going to something where I don't know people and have to introduce myself and make small talk?  Pretty much my version of hell.  Luckily, Susan wasn't having it.  She promptly responded saying, "WHAT? YOU ARE GOING!" 

So yesterday after work I found myself driving to Boston for a blog event.  And to my credit I only once thought, "What the hell am I doing?"  I got there fine and eventually found my way up to the ballroom where the event was being held.  I signed in and quickly went to get a drink.  OPEN BAR, people! These girls know how to do things right.  The food was also really good.  I actually introduced myself to a few people - all of whom were very nice.  Then Susan got there and I was really able to relax.

And she totally looks like that woman in her avatar. I'm serious.  Susan's husband Chris and friend Jacob were along for the free food interesting event, so we all hung out and got to know each other better.  Which is kind of funny since really, we know so much about each other's lives already.  There were some great give-aways from HP and Staples.  None of which I won, but Susan got some fly binders from Staples.  We also got to print a bunch of pictures on the variety of HP printers that were stationed around.  So that was fun.

Then Brittany came and sat with us!  (And not to sound to pathetically stalkerish, but that was really cool.)  No, I don't have photographic evidence of this, but you can picture it like this:

We talked blogs for awhile and by then it was 10:30 and the night was wrapping up.  I still can't believe I went.  Completely out of the box for me.  And I'm so glad I went!  Sure it was fun to print pictures using other people's ink and photo paper, but the best part was getting to meet some people that I really admire face to face.  Thanks again, Susan for not letting me chicken out!  (And thanks to Aiming Low for making it happen!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Conversations with the Wonderboy

This past Saturday I had to stay at work late and our sitter had to work in the evening so she ended up dropping the kids at my work at 5pm for them to hang out until I was finished.  Luckily, not only is this okay with the powers that be, my kids are also pretty used to hanging out there.  They were incredibly good. Especially considering we didn't get out of there until 7pm.  By the time we were rolling out, the evening wedding's cocktail reception was in full swing.  That is not something the kids are used to since when I do have to bring them with me it's usually midweek and daytime.

As we started on the drive home I mentioned to the Wonderboy if he liked getting a chance to see all the people enjoying themselves - since it's usually so quiet when he's been there.  And if I had know where that was going to lead, I probably would have just turned up the radio.

Me:  "So, that was cool, huh? Seeing all those people at the wedding?  Now you know what it's like when it's really busy."
WB:  "Yeah! Why can't you marry your sister again?"
Me: "......Um. It's against the law."
WB: "But why?"
Me:  "......" In my head I am trying to figure out how I can talk about genetics and blood relations and birth defects with a six year old and then - oh, that would mean talking about where babies come from and....
"It's against the law."

WB: "Well, I'm going to marry Elizabeth." (Girl in his grade he has liked for the past two years)
Me:  "You have lots of time to decide who you are going to marry."
WB:  " I HAVE decided already." 
Me:  "Well you can't GET married for a long time."
WB:  "I know that Mama.  Wouldn't it be cool, if you were still working where you work now, I could get married there!"
Me:  "Yeah, honey. That would be neat."  (Please kill me if I am still working there in 20 years!!)
WB:  "I would be really proud, to get married there, where you work."
Me:  "Aw, that's nice hon."
WB:  " And then, I could come back to your office and visit you!"
Me:  ".....Um, I think I would probably be at the wedding, Sweetie.  I probably wouldn't be working..."
WB:  "Oh. Yeah, I guess so."

Love you too, kiddo.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bright lights,

I love grocery stores.  Ever since I was a kid going to the local Almacs with my Mom, I have been drawn to them.  I vividly remember that Almacs too.  The first aisle had all the canned goods on the left.  Slanted shelves so the cans could be loaded from the back and move up when one was taken from the front.  Making that sshhh-klank! sound as they all rolled forward.

I always wanted to go when shopping day rolled around.  Even for the little in-between trips.  I would actually get upset as a kid if one of my parents went without me.  Once I learned to drive - although I didn't do the Big Shop - I could be relied upon for the quick trips.  When I was in college my dorm was two blocks away from a Star Market.  Sometimes I would go and just walk around the aisles.  Not a dime in my pocket, just window shopping at the grocery store.  I would inevitably feel cheered up when I left.

I can't explain the love, exactly.  I mean, I do love food - but it's more than that.  Grocery stores are always bright.  They are orderly and clean.  For the most part, the people are friendly. And you can find some interesting things on those shelves.   There's just something about crossing items off my list as I wander the aisles that satisfies me.  Looking at rows of colored fruit and vegetables appeals to me.  Seeing a good deal on a frequent purchase gives me a little joy bubble.  (Okay, that's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I'm leaving it in here.)

Has some of the happiness effect of grocery stores worn off over the years?  Well, I wouldn't be honest if I didn't make note of the fact that it's not as much fun with one, or two whining kids in tow.  And it was definitely better when it was my parents paying for it all!  But overall, I still love going.  Want me to pick anything up for you?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


You know what's awesome?  Well, I'll tell you.  What is awesome is pulling off an amazingly epic surprise birthday party.  It's especially excellent when the party is for your (and I say this with love) very Type A personality sister who is *ahem* the one who usually calls the shots.

For the past six weeks my younger sister, Step-Mom and myself have been scheming and wheeling and dealing in order to make this happen.  I practically felt like I was planning a wedding!  Not only do you have the usual party plans: tables, chairs, linens, flowers, cake, food - you also have the added pressure of the secrecy of everything. 

Because it had to be great.  This was a milestone birthday for Type A, the big four-oh, so we really wanted to do it in style.  Once the plans were set in motion that both my parents would come up from Florida, they furthered the craziness by flying my two brothers in from across the country.  Oh, yeah.  We figured, even if she did suspect there was some kind of party or event happening - having the far-off brothers appear would never enter her mind.

Turns out the toughest part was getting her OVER to my house where we were all waiting!  I will say one thing - I don't think it's good for my blood pressure to plan too many of these things.  As the time neared, every car that came around the bend of our road was a sign for me to yell, "Quiet! they're coming!"  Only to turn out not to be them.  Like three times.  FINALLY, they arrived. 

And as the surprisee later said, "I almost had a heart attack!"  We got her SO GOOD!  Man, that is satisfying.  Almost worth all the stress before hand.  She freaked and flipped out at seeing everyone and generally felt as special as she should.  Because she deserved every minute of it, being the awesome person that she is.  Type A and all.

It was, in her words, "Off the charts."  And I really couldn't have asked for more then that.  Of course, I think we were all a little sorry the next day when "off the charts" became "epically hung-over". To say I was useless at work is the understatement of the year!  But what the hey, it only happens once.  Boy, did we make the most of it! 

(Which is also part of the reason I haven't been around much this past week, looking forward to catching up with everyone!)