Friday, December 31, 2010

Dancing Tulips

I stand here every morning . . .

and make coffee before I sit down to read blogs. I was particularly happy the other morning when I noticed that the tulips were doing the mambo.

Have a safe and lovely New Year's Eve. I feel good things coming.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Airplane Airplane

Last month we had one of my son's friends over to play. We did this because his mother asked us to. His father was at home with terminal cancer and the boy enjoyed breaks from all that was going on at his home.

I watched my son and his friend play outside. They were purposefully lodging paper airplanes onto my roof. My son thought this was hysterical. His friend was about as happy as a ten year old could be with a father that was at home dying.

I wanted to stop time for this kid. His days were only going to get harder, and then there would be the day that would change his life forever. This sweet little ten year old would forever have a missing piece that nobody else could fill. Over time, he'll grow to be a beautiful, successful man (you can just tell that about kids from certain families) - who lost his dad when he was 10.

The next morning I saw paper airplanes all over my yard. I decided not to pick them up, not then, not the next day, not ever. It was the only thing I could do to stop time for him.

The boy's dad passed away the day after Christmas. And the paper airplanes are gone from the yard.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slowly Melting

That was a lovely picture of George Harrison yesterday, no?

Anyway, the first phone interview went . . . well. It was so very normal. Unlike past interviews, the interviewer didn't spend 2 hours talking about himself and asking nothing about me (true story). You could tell that the guy was really trying to get to know my personality and what I liked to do and what I didn't like to do. We spoke for half an hour and I actually enjoyed our talk.

Now I wait to see if I get called back for an interview at their offices.

Until then, solutions for the Lego builder on the go . . .
That's right. This t-shirt comes with that ever elusive flat foundation piece attached right to the front.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Alright Doo Doo Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo, Doo.

My husband and I spent yesterday evening's dinner discussing tattoos with my 17 year old stepdaughter. She hasn't decided yet what she is going to get. I thought my husband's head was going to explode. Given that her mother and her older sister are tattooed ladies, I think my husband gets that he actually has very little control over the ultimate outcome of this. I am also not sure why my husband's head didn't explode when she said that her 21 year old boyfriend has U.S.D.A. Prime tattooed on his ass. I am sure she knows this because he told her.

Anyway, the summer that I spent in California during university I was entirely convinced that I wanted a tattoo around my ankle that said, "Here Comes the Sun." That is, and always has been, my favorite song. One day that summer I walked the entire length of San Francisco looking for a tattoo parlor. It is only by the odd circumstance that I did not find a tattoo place in the Haight (and that smartphones had yet to be invented) that I am tattoo free today. And thank God. As much as I adore that song, what was I thinking?! A tattoo anklet? I blame the marine layer for even having the thought. My stepmother wears anklets. I am a stepmother. Let's leave it at that.

There have been so many times during the last year that I have heard that song and wanted to feel it. It did not yet feel like the ice was slowly melting, for me, for anyone. Every time some expert proclaimed the recession over, there was a parallel story about more jobless and benefits running out. The job boards were slow. Nobody I knew that was laid-off with me had found a job.

This Christmas, I started to hear stories on the news about people coming back to the stores. My practice groups website was posting new jobs daily, and my state bar's employment page was expanding daily as well. I have three (3), tres, drie, phone interviews next week. THREE.

Doo Doo Doo Doo, Doo Doo Doo, Doo.
Picture from thecurvature.com.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Returno to Rancho Pescadero

My husband, the one that does floors, gave me the ultimate Christmas present - a trip for us back to Rancho Pescadero. I know. I know.

If you can't do Bora Bora on a regular basis, (and, unless you are Adrienne Maloof or Barbara Streisand and can afford $25 lattes, Bora Bora is a once in a lifetime thing) Rancho Pescadero is the best place on earth.

In the time since we were at the Rancho last March, it has been written up on more "best of" lists than I can remember, and it has also expanded the number of rooms available. Nevertheless, knowing what I know about the staff and the philosophy of the whole place, I am confident that it will be the same place - and this time we are going early enough in the year to catch the whale migrations through Baja.

Baja, baby! Were going to Baja. Rancho Pescadero is remote yet accessible, decadent yet unpretentious, decorated yet rustic - perfect. It is an escape form reality, yet you feel more connected to what is real than ever before. The rooms are laid out so that you can keep one of your walls completely open to the ocean but still feel like you are at your own private resort. Last time the only other guest we noticed from our room was the guy that played his guitar every afternoon on his patio - but even that was lovely! Should you desire company, there are always lots of friendly guests at the bar by the pool happy to chat, as is the bartender (who makes killer margaritas).

We go in mid-January and this time I have my own camera and I will make sure my husband doesn't leave his at the airline check-in (snaps to American Airlines for keeping it safe for us until our return). I will try to post on other things between now and then, but did I mention - RANCHO PESCADERO.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Colors of the Season

Merry Christmas from
the pink and orange tree . . .

the red and white tree . . .

and the black and white dog with the blue eyes.

Thanks for sharing with me this year! Love, Associate Girl

Normally I Don't Care for Feet

For all but the very first part of my son's life, he has gone back and forth between two houses. Entirely convinced that my divorce from his father was the best thing for us all, I have never wallowed in missing him when he is not around. This is our life.

However . . .

I just dropped him off at his dad's and will now not see him until Christmas Day. I read a lot about children of divorce when I was going through the divorce (including one popular article promising that my son was going to be a drug addicted sexual deviant as a result of the divorce, destined to make it no further than high school and middle management at Whataburger). One of the prevailing themes was that kids generally adjusted, but that they always felt stress about forced schedules and being shuffled around on holiday days. Accordingly, my ex and I don't set a schedule for that day. We switch Christmas Eve/morning every year, but our son can decide when he is ready to come over to the other house that day. So far it has worked out brilliantly.

This year though, when I dropped him off at his dad's, it hurt my heart a little. I'm going to miss him these next couple of days. Because my husband was out of town, my son slept with me last night. At some point during the night, he reached out his foot to find me, and he threw his ankle over mine. This happened at some point very early in the morning, but I stayed awake until the alarm went off. No matter how he twisted and turned for the rest of the night, he made sure his foot was touching mine. Then he woke up and started jumping on the bed because he couldn't wait to get over to his dad's because there are so many presents there. That's okay. I got the foot.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Over It!

I'm Done.

No more.

If I have one more sip of pumpkin spice latte, I'll gag.

Looking back at this month, it's really rather revolting: I also tried the brulee latte (ew), peppermint brownies, caramel popcorn, white chocolate popcorn, chocolate haystacks, yogurt with caramel ice cream topping, the Baby Ruths out of my son's Halloween candy, coconut M&Ms (yum), mint M&M, cherry MandMs, candy cane kisses, Pamela's gluten free shortbread, Pamela's gluten free chocolate chip cookies, Glutina chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered craisins and macaroons.

I can literally feel the sugar rotting my body and burning my cheeks.

So that's it. It's back to the salt.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Run!

My husband is really allergic to dogs. Like, really. He gets all itchy and stuff just being in the vicinity of them (Which is rough when you live in the State of Dog. People take their dogs everywhere here - Home Depot, Starbucks, restaurants. I'm not even kidding.)

Because my husband wasn't going to be around for a little while, I asked my ex if I could pick up my ex dog when I picked up my son to take him for a walk. It's important to walk him around this time of year because he has so much extra excited energy to burn off on account of Christmas.

The three of us ran up and down the parkway, up and down the parkway. It was lovely and chilly and we had a blast just running. There is nothing better than a boy being run by his dog and the laughing due to the pure joy of being run by the dog.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Classics

Over the weekend, we watched Elf. It's one of those movies that I enjoy more every time I watch it. There are really three lessons to be learned from Elf:

1. Zooey Deschanel should not be blonde.
2. Zooey Deschanel used to be all angsty before she became quirky.
3. Zooey Deschanel can sing.

She has an excellent version of "Baby It's Cold Out Side." As do many singers.

Now, I love me some Willie Nelson. "Always On My Mind" is just achingly sad and beautiful, much like the movie The Way We Were. Although, if there was a song that was reminiscent of the movie The Way We Were, it would probably be the song "The Way We Were."

Anyway, even thought I am a tax attorney sworn to uphold the rules and regulations of the tax code, or something to that effect, I love me some Willie Nelson. But he's what, like 100? He's got a version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Norah Jones, who is what, like 25? I am just driving along in my little car enjoying all the classic Christmas music and on comes Willie, sounding like he wants to eat up Norah Jones and violate her in ten different ways. I'm all, "Run Norah, RUN! It's cold outside but for goodness bundle up and get the hell out of there!"

So, what's your favorite Christmas movie?
Also, it's kind of distracting that I used italics for movies and quotes for songs, no? What can I tell you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Funny, Fantastic and Fabulous

These three thing from around the web made me extremely happy this week.

1. When Parents Text.
Contrived? Perhpas. Hysterical? Absolutely.
http://whenparentstext.com

2. Juliet's Tree.
You have to check out her discription of the Elf.
http://www.neverbeenlivedbefore.blogspot.com/

3. Winona Ryder's Vintage Pink Bathroom
This makes me want to get a tatoo that says Winona Forever.
http://retrorenovation.com/?s=winona+ryder

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For Juliet


There's no place like home . . .

There's no place like home . . .

Free Christmas Gifts

I am working the tail end of a migraine, so this is going to be short . . .

Today I have a challenge for you - spend a little extra time chatting with someone today. It will make their day, I promise. It could be your assistant, your barista, the slightly slow guy that bags the groceries, or your boss. (It won't be my boss. It could have been my boss but then she sent me an email saying that we need to talk about my 2011 goals, thereby causing me to want to avoid her at all costs.)

Anyway, I did this recently with a new assistant at work whose group doesn't seem to talk to her much. I learned that, like me, she likes to mix her major Target wardrobe scores with her Tory Burch shoes. However, unlike me, she likes the Tory Burch logo reva flats. I do not care for the Tory Burch logo and I do not wear flats.

P.S. I wore my yellow kitten heels twice so far this week. Yellow is the new neutral.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The One Question

The question I was referring to yesterday is from the article, "Could this one simple question be the key to greatness?" by Russell Bishop . . .

What could I do that would make a difference in my life that requires no one's permission other than my own?

This seemed a bit tough at first. It would really, really make a difference if I could work near a window, but I can't just decide to move into one of the empty offices (although my therapist tells me that I should). It would really make a difference if I could practice law again; unable to practice in my area quite yet without a partner, I need someone to agree to take me on. It would really make a difference if I could pick a space for The Franchise and someone would give it to me, but that requires a landlord. Well, you get the picture. This all seemed a bit hopeless at first.

But then it became easy. And downright fun.

I don't have a window, but I can skip the Starbucks and put fresh flowers on my desk every week. With January's first paycheck - hello Jonathan Adler vase. And I can choose to run outside at lunch time. I don't just get light, I get fit. I can harass my headhunter. I have the power to do that. (I note that she has the power not to respond, but I'm working on that. Squeaky wheel thing and all.) And I have the power to look for another space for The Franchise other than the malls, and find a broker that knows what she's doing.

It's actually inspiring to think about how much control you do have. As the article went on to provide, even if you can't control the event, you can control your reaction to the event. That you have control of your reactions isn't an original idea, of course. But sometimes you need reminding of it. Consider yourself reminded.

What about you - what is a situation in your life that has been imposed and what can you do to make the best of it? An interesting question, no?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Way She Is

I quite like The Huffington Post. That is where I learned about Hungover Owls. Also, from time to time, movie star types will write opinion pieces. It is fun to see who can think and who should just look pretty.

Speaking of which - sidebar - I really liked Barbra Streisand. The Way We Were. Not only did she and Robert Redford have an orange wall at their beach house in Malibu, but - oh - the love that could just never be even though they really loved each other. And that final scene (spoiler alert) where Robert comes back with his new little blonde wife and sees Babs on the street and you just hate him for giving in to all the things that came too easy (i.e, not Babs) just like he foreshadowed in his creative writing class so many years earlier. Perhaps he knew where all this was going . . .

. . . a Main Street created in the basement of her home. Like, in real life (not her communist supporting Way We Were life), in her real home, she has a fake street with fake little shops, including an antique doll shop. No. For the love of God no. If you have that much money you buy art. You don't build a fake Main Street in your own damn home. Or, like Adrienne Maloof, you dress like a drag queen rodeo clown for charity functions. But a fake main street in your basement and a hardcover book dedicated to your decorating prowess? No.

So, anyway, I was reading The Huffington Post today and came across this article by Russell Bishop: "Could this one simple question be the key to greatness?" I guess since you can't have bright green blogs up at work for an extended amount of time, I'll tackle that one tomorrow.
(picture of bab's book from amazon.com)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Provided, However

The champagne below was not in celebration of anything specific. Although . . . we love our new commercial real estate broker and I love my new headhunter and after 3 seasons of looking I finally found yellow kitten heels for a steal. (Provided, however, that now that I have them I wonder if I look like I a duck when I am wearing them.) Anyway, I have a lot of black and gray in my wardrobe, but I love shoes in colors.

This weekend we set out purposefully to enjoy the hustle and bustle. We went to Crate and Barrel (how suburban of us) to buy this year's reindeer ornament, to Talbots where we found the perfect hat and glove set for the 97 year old grandma, and to the Avalanche game to enjoy some hockey. My dear sweet husband who has been working way, way too hard misread the tickets and our hockey game is next week.

We traveled around to the spots suggested by the real estate broker, one in suburbia by a Corner Bakery, and one right smack in the middle of downtown, also next to a Corner Bakery. I note that the Corner Bakery sells Whoopie Pies. This is brilliant. Despite the fact that I do not eat wheat, I felt the need to buy Whoopie Pies. There is a lot of flotsam and jetsam in our downtown; provided, however, I really am a city girl. There are a lot of Talbots sweaters on the old ladies in suburbia; provided, however, it felt very safe. I could take down an old lady should I need to.

Today I shall wear the yellow kitten heels and see if I feel like quacking.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Come On!

When I was growing up, my parents used to shoot the champagne corks into the pool. Being a stickler for tradition but lacking a pool, my husband and I aim our champagne corks for the Parkway.

Yes, yes, its littering. But trust me. Compared to some of the other things that we have seen on the Parkway, the corks are downright pleasing. Also, I know of no city ordinance stating that if one does not have a pool then one is prohibited form shooting ones champagne corks into the Parkway.

Celebrate good times, come on! Need a reason? It's Friday.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Marble Track Tree

I'm pretty happy.
I have this new habit of focusing on the the joy in every day - not so much what was yesterday, or what could happen tomorrow, but what is great about today. Like the scene above. My son decided that we shold have a marble track around the tree. Yes please!

This carpe diem thing hasn't even been a terribly hard exercise when I am in my cubicle. For one thing, I love the fact that the Starbucks cups are red at this time of the year. (In addition to the red, I enjoy the fact that I don't have to look at a big picture on my cup of that mermaid thing with the split tail. Why the cleft tail? Is she an evil mermaid? Thinking about it makes me all confused like when I think too hard about why tall buildings don't fall over or how wireless data gets to where it needs to be. Where was I? Oh yeah, happy.) For another, I found a legal headhunter that is actually making calls on my behalf. For a third thing, I found a new commercial real estate broker for The Franchise that so clearly knows what she is doing.

For a fourth thing, the world seems to be spinning around a different axis these days rather than my career/lack thereof. Like, for example, my home and friends. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be an attorney or I am going to run a franchise because daytime t.v. sucks. I'm just saying, it all spins around my family and friends these days. And they make me incredibly happy.


Jesus and Peanut Butter

I am aware of this person that has two things on his desk. A statue of Jesus and a jar of peanut butter. Now, I am not here to make any sort of statement regarding nuts or religion. Rather, I offer the following points:

1. I worry greatly about people that don't have stuff all over their work desk - papers, books, Starbucks cups, pens, lunch, butterfly clips, keys (somewhere), etc. etc. etc. Do these people really work?

2. If all I had on my desk was a statue of Jesus and a jar of peanut butter, you can bet that at some point Jesus would end up in the peanut butter. Nothing against Jesus, of course. I'm just saying, if there are two things and two things only to attend to on a desk, and one of those things is a jar of peanut butter, the other thing is going to end up in the peanut butter.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why I Shouldn't Be Left Alone

I have to wear a dental guard because a clench my jaw so tightly while I am sleeping that I crack my teeth. My husband was out of town and my dental guard is currently blue. These two facts will now be connected.

Much like Anthony Michael Hall in Sixteen Candles, fresh breath is the priority of my life. Nevertheless, the first thing I do every morning before all else is hit "brew" on the coffee maker. My husband gets my coffee breath all morning. Accordingly, because the first thing I like to do when I come home from work is crunch something, I try to find unoffending things to crunch like carrots or plain chips.

However, when he is out of town, its cool ranch or sour cream and onion all the way. Sour cream and onion is the worst. I don't even like those chips. The sour cream and onion powder gives me a headache and makes me feel dirty. But once you have the powder, it controls you. One chip becomes a whole bag and before you know it you've got the bag ripped apart and you are licking the powder remnants off the smooth cool interior and wondering if you could leave your sleeping child in his bed while you run to the 7-11.

The other thing I do when my husband is out of town is fall asleep on the couch while watching t.v. So, the other night, after eating sour cream and onion potato chips, I fell asleep on the couch. I was all disoriented when I woke up around 3 a.m. to move to bed but I saw my dental guard and popped it in because my dentist has convinced me that I am a bad person if I don't sleep with my dental guard. He's in my mouth for 10 seconds and he's all, "you haven't been wearing your guard, HAVE YOU? You have made God angry and now I walk away in despair and shame. I cannot even finish this exam. Why do you waste my time?"

I felt all smug because I got the dental guard in that night. Until I woke up and I realized - Fckty fck fk fk. I fell asleep after having sour cream and onion potato chips and without brushing my teeth and now the flavor has compounded logarithmically such that I could awaken the dead by whispering at their tombs. And the flavor embedded itself in my dental guard. Now I have a sour cream and onion dental guard. So I soaked in Listerine. Now it is blue and tastes like mint sour cream and onion. This is why I should not be left alone.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Adomestic Dive Strikes AGAIN.

Okay, really, this was my son's idea. But I take the credit for birthing him.


Neither one of us has a long attention span for crafts. Nevertheless, I felt like it was my obligation to do some sort of Christmas craft and/or baking with him. I patted myself on the back when I realized I could do a craft and baking in one swell foop with dough ornaments.

We both had a blast mixing and cutting them, but knowing what I know about both of us, I suspected that they would sit baked and unpainted until March when I finally threw them out. Until . . . Until my son got out the colored sugar before we put them in to bake.

So pretty, eh? We haven't even put the glaze on yet. They are going to look even more purty with glaze. Yes. Yes. I know. We forgot the holes for the hooks. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Just Advice

I don't keep a stock of food in the house. We are screwed those few times every three years or so that we get snowed in. You would think I would learn, and that when I caught wind of an impending snow storm, I would go to the grocery store and stock up. But do you know what? On the eve of impending storms it usually very chilly out and the grocery stores are usually very busy and I convince myself that I could come up with something to make from what is in the house. Which is usually only rice and nutmeg. And wine.

And this is also why I am usually the first neighbor out in the middle of the street with my shovel trying to make it passable for cars.

Anyway, the point is, today when I became very hungry, there was nothing in the house to eat. After being sick, I wanted something simple. I thought and I thought and I thought. Ginger Ale and . . . Twizzlers? No. Ginger Ale and . . . pho without the funny stuff? No. Ginger Ale and . . . ah ha! Ginger Ale and Just Fruit or Just Vegetables.

Have you ever had these delights? If not, they are very easy to explain. You get them at the vitamin store and it's just dried produce. Nothing else. You can get Just Tomatoes, Just Cherries, Just Carrots, Just Strawberries, etc., etc., etc. So I slowly hauled my ass to the organic grocers to purchase some Just. However, I always love to stop at the natural makeup section. That day I tried the Burt's Bees tester gloss in red. Love it! (And then I felt slightly guilty because there is a possibility I am still contagious. But you can't buy the tester, so what was I to do? I should probably go back and throw it out today.)

After finding this perfect red gloss, I went over to the Just section whereupon I found a new flavor - Just Pomegranates. Brilliant. One tub equals 8 fresh large pomegranates.
But here's my advice. One should not eat 8 large pomegranates in a row, dried or otherwise.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mental Health Day

Mental Health Day! Mental Health Day!

Well, actually, my son threw-up from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. and while this is very sad indeed, it did necessitate me staying home today. The first few hours of this scenario were fantastic. My son was dopey and willing to just play his iTouch. I did laundry (because he managed to sleep in three different beds last night and throw-up on or around all of them), cleaned the fridge, and put out the rest of the Christmas decorations.

Then he perked up a bit and wanted to build his model truck. So I built a model truck while he watched. And, damn! I love building model trucks. Where has this useless hobby been all my life.

However, shortly after noon we both started to go a little crazy. I decided he had enough iTouch game playing and that he should switch to watching t.v., whereupon he picked Pumpkin Chuckin. Normally I would ask him to watch that in the sink in the kitchen (it's a galley kitchen with no furniture). But because he was sick, I decided I couldn't ask him to watch t.v. in the sink. Do you know what Pumpkin Chuckin is? It is a t.v. show where the flotsam and jetsam of people who are underdressed for a NASCAR race go to a field and see how far they can chuck pumpkins. Only, this day, there was a Pumpkin Chuckin marathon. Hours upon hours upon hours of pumpkins being chucked.

Then, because he was feeling all better and 9 year old little boys only get more active on lack of sleep, he was all, "how about we go outside and build a rocket or do jumping jacks or climb the roof or chase squirrels and can I have something to eat and we can throw snowballs and then how about we have sushi for dinner and I want to do crafts and I really want to get dad a cookbook for Christmas and speaking of cookbooks didn't I just ask for something to eat . . ."

I has been up since 1 a.m. All I wanted was my faux fur blankie, control of the remote and some quiet time, cause guess who felt like they were about to throw up . . .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ruler of the Block

I used to make fancy-dancy things for Thanksgiving, like an acorn squash soup, a spinach-salmon roll, and a butternut squash souffle. Well F that. Do you know what people like best? Not spinach-salmon roll. Also, butternut squishes are a pain.

So we just had a simple and basic holiday dinner - save for cakelettes as an alternatives to rolls.

My mom started a wonderful tradition of having different plate settings at every seat, which you can sort of see here, except I had two lady bug plates because I have learned that when your friend has twins, its best not to give one something and the other something that is a different version of the first thing. Mayhem ensues.

Also, see on the right my new faux fur throw. I am not sure how I managed to live this long without a faux fur throw. I got mine at Cost Plus for about half the price it is at other "home decor retail chains." When I brought it home I noted that it had shed onto my purple coat like crazy and I was cursing myself for my cheapness. Nevertheless, there has been very little (if any) shedding since. I like to wrap myself in my faux fur throw, open the curtains in the morning and say, "Good morning kingdom," because, while wrapped in my faux fur cape, I feel like the block is mine to rule.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Free Parking

On Friday we went to a lovely dinner downtown. We were pleased to see that our usual parking garage had its gates up for the holiday. Score. Free Parking.

Later that evening, we were behind another car leaving the garage. It stopped at the ticket kiosk. The driver kept trying to get the machine to take his credit card - EVEN THOUGH THE GATE RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM WAS OPEN.

Now, how many times would you try to get a machine to take your money when the GATE IN FRONT OF YOU IS ALREADY OPEN. But he kept trying to insert his card in every possible combination of front and back and left and right. He even pushed the big red button for help.

We were laughing so hard we were crying (because we are nice like that). Just when we realized that we should be filming this for youtube, the guy decided to just drive along. THROUGH THE OPEN GATE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Back at My Job

So, from time to time at my job, I surf the web.

And, currently at my job, since they have turned on the heat and the system is right next to my cube, I hear RRRURRRURRRURURRRURRRURRRRURRRURRRURURURUR all friggin day long. (It's okay - I can complain about my job again because I am doing something about it.)

Accordingly, when I saw on the web that there is a new mini-microwave that you can use at your desk by plugging it into your USB port, I had a fantastic idea. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that smells worse than an Amy's All Natural frozen meal.

You see where I am going with this, no? Tis the season for giving back.

Monday, November 22, 2010

From Dark Circles to Hummel in Under a Minute

I HATE IT when people tell me I look tired. I inherited it, much like the Calico Corners chairs. The females in my family have been blessed with bags and dark circles much the same way Linda Gray was. (I fear that so many of my dear younger readers will not get that reference, so perhaps this will help . . . her, from the t.v. show Dallas.)

I just don't think its fair that people at work can tell me that I look tired, but if I was to tell them what they look like, I would get fired.

Do you know when I started this blog I never once imagined we would be talking about the t.v. show Dallas. But while we're here . . . My mom had a signed picture of Larry Hagman. I have no idea why. That makes it sound like we also collected stuff like commemorative plates and the crap they sell in the back of Parade magazine, but I can assure you we did not.

There was a lot of Lladro though. But no Hummel. That would be tacky.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I've Got a New Attitude. And Cakelettes.

Ms. LaBelle has got nothing on me. I've got a new attitude. Okay, so maybe it's brought to us by Lexapro. All hail modern medicine.

Last week was rough - started out rough - which is why I was relatively absent form the blogging world. Something nasty happened at work, and I just have to leave it at that. I'm still employed (oh joy), but things got bad and I got sad. I was not happy, feeling glad, with sunshine in a bag.

At first, I hit a wall. My heart literally hurt. I felt the same way I did last spring when I wanted to live on the couch or drive around slowly listening to my singer/songwriter collection from the 70's. So I did that for one night last week. And then I was all, screw that. I have got to do something.

As The Franchise space is looking like it will take well into spring, I decided to resume my legal job search full force. I got burned out after a year of looking. But all of a sudden looking felt like the right thing to do again. It will either net me a job or keep me busy until The Franchise space opens up.

I applied to two on-line headhunters (useless, I fear, but too easy not to do), and three jobs through my practice group's web page. One in Los Angeles, one in Pheonix, and one in Tennessee. Nope. I wouldn't move. I would commute for the part of the week that my son is at his dads.

I don't know if it is even realistic to think that could work. But we're moving forward people. Moving forward. And while I was on a roll, I baked cakelettes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Saturday At This Time

Whereas we were at Treasure Island with a view of the HVAC, my aunt and uncle were at the Encore with this view. They booked the suite for a week but left a day early, so they let us stay there on the Friday night. We were the high rollers, no?

I love cities. I am a city girl. Love skylines. Love hustle and bustle. There, on the bottom right, under the orb - The Fashion Show Mall. Therein - the Kate Spade store. Ah civilization.

At the airport I found a book about Steve Wynn. I am now aware that the mob controls EVERYTHING.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Red


Starting with a blank slate, I would have never picked red as an accent color. (To translate for the Canadian readers, colour.) Yet here we are.

I inherited my mom's 80's Calico Corners chairs, purchased a house with a red hallway, and bought red dining room chairs. Accordingly, when I saw those red candlesticks at Sur la Table, I had to have them because, well, because red is our color. I am quite pleased with my purchase. They make me very happy. They come in all sorts of colors so, spoiler alert, this is what everybody is getting as a Christmas present from me this year.

Oh, below. My mom. (To translate for the Canadian readers, my mum.) Hi mum. She bought me that mirror when I moved into my first apartment. The chairs, the mirror - quite the choices for someone whose favorite style is midcentury modern. But they were all from my mum so there we are.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Book Review - Zeitoun

Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, is a must read.

Although the media covered Hurricane Katrina extensively, it neglected this story - or, at least, despite my relentless attachment to the t.v. during that time, I never heard of Zeitoun.

Yet Zeitoun is perhaps one of the most important stories to come out of that tragedy. It is one of the most frightening stories I have read. It's non-fiction and I fear that it's a story that is still repeated in different forms over and over again.

Also, however, you will be deeply touched by the beauty amidst all the horror.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Gambler

This isn't another post about Vegas. Still, herein, we shall discuss a big gamble.

I have several offers on the table right now for space for The Franchise. Decent offers. In good spaces. Yet, YET, there is the possibility, the mere possibility, that a most excellent spot will become available in a few long weeks. This possible space is being offered by the same guy who gave away our very first potential space to a competitor.

You know what George W says. Fool me once - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again. Or something to that effect. The point is, my gut is telling me to turn down two offers for the mere potential of a space from a guy that would go ahead and give that space to someone else at the drop of a hat.

My gut also once told me to purchase a black and white polka-dot feathered headband from J.Crew because I could totally pull it off in all situations.

I think I am going to wear that headband today. I believe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What Hokies Do In Vegas

This is one of my favorite pictures of Vegas . . .


Kind of like in Mean Girls where Gretchen keeps trying to make "fetch" happen, I don't think Fremont East is going to take off any time soon. It's old and seedy, but also kind of retro and trying.

We ended up there because what do you do on a Saturday in Vegas? Track down the head of the Virginia Tech Hokies Club Las Vegas Chapter so you can watch the VT game with your people. I actually find this trait of my husband endearing and the Vegas Hokies are a very nice bunch. One fan's mother made cookies for everyone and another fan bought drinks and snacks for the group.

When I meet up with other SMU Mustangs we ask, "Are we winning any games this season?" "I don't know." "We should keep up with it though because last year the Mustangs ended up at the Aloha Bowl and nobody knew." "Ooooooh Hawaii in January. I love football!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love the Gold Fishies

Oh Gold Fishies you will be mine. Or, perhaps, vica versa.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When in Vegas

When in Vegas, go straight to this place . . .

and then head to Bouchon for macaroons. I hear there is gaming, drinking and all kinds of debauchery to be had here. But we come for the macaroons.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Return

My first week on Lexapro has been nothing short of a miracle. Don't get me wrong - I haven't gone all the way over to loopy. I'm not about to start volunteering at my son's school or alphabetizing the spices. I just feel normal.

That is to say, for the first time in a very long time, I feel like a human being with the full range of emotions. There is hope and there is joy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Squirrel, Interrupted

Our neighbor in Texas used to sit on his porch and shoot squirrels. I know this not only because of the sound of the gun shots, but also because one afternoon one of his successes (sorry PETA) fell from a tree right onto the arced glass dome of my sun room. The dying rodent slowly slid down the glass, spread eagle, leaving a trail of blood in his path.

I carefully stuck my head out of my door and heard, "I'll clean that up."

Now that we live in Colorado with no neighbor so thoroughly invested in the sport of urban squirrel removal, our neighborhood is overrun with the little beasts. They are large and mean.

One evening my son said he saw a squirrel running across our fence with a jar of peanut butter. Being the excellent mother that I am, I told him to stop telling tall tales. The next morning I found a jar of peanut butter in our yard.

Later, my husband came in rubbing his head. I asked him what had happened and he said a squirrel had chucked a bagel at him. "You mean a piece of bagel?"
"No. A whole bagel"
"Was it chocolate chip?"
Eye roll.

We glare at the squirrels because they are evil and they have had peanut butter. And you know what happens when you eat peanut butter. It is only a short amount of time before they are banging down the door for some juice.

Here's where I need to tell you about our fence. Under ordinance of our little district, we cannot have a solid fence facing the park. Accordingly, every other wood plank is removed. This morning when I was leaving for work, there was a squirrel right at my door. When I opened the door he looked at me like, well, like a squirrel in headlights. I yelled "SCAT" and he scurried like mad right over to the fence where he dove into an open space between two planks and promptly got his fat furry little squirrel ass stuck.

All I could see was squirrel butt and fat little squirrel paws air running to nowhere. Again, if you're a PETA member or supporter, then you don't see the humor in that. However, if your family has ever been stalked and/or mocked by squirrels, you may have cracked a smile. If he's still there when I get home from work I'll get out the butter.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Confidentail Farmville Report

It was a very busy weekend . . .


A. I would have told you that there wasn't anything to observe about Sixteen Candles that I hadn't already observed. But do you know what? Yesterday morning I caught Sixteen Candles on TBS and I noticed for the first time that the Confidential Survey is misspelled as "Confidentail." I was about to get all proud of myself because, as discussed herein, I once won the Worst Speller Award at the Fourth Grade April Fool's Spelling Bee, only I wasn't aware of the joke until after the Bee. I was gloating when I made the confidentail observation, finally overcoming the stigma of that terrible award. Then I realized that in the twenty-six years since the movie came out I have probably seen it close to forty times, and I just now caught the typo. I am typo catching adverse. See It takes me 26 years to catch a typo.

2. I also saw The Social Network. In the theaters - it's not yet on TBS. Mark Zuckerberg was worried about advertising making Facebook uncool. Uh huh. I can see how it would detract from all those cows that have escaped from Farmville.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Good Kids Abound

There has been a lot of talk lately about bullying in schools. Accordingly, a little vignette that made me smile . . .

At my son's school, the kids get to pick a topic that they want to study for the year. Last year one kid did the human brain, and he brought in a human brain. Query how you source that. Another kid studied pot. Right on. He did not bring in any samples. This year my son is studying cancer. He decided to do a bake sale so that he could raise money to buy art supplies for children with cancer staying at the hospital.

This was his deal, he arranged it all himself and he didn't ask for any help. Here is the best part . . . you would not believe how many other kids unexpectedly brought cookies and donuts in to him to add to the sale. Good kids, them.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ah, Okay. I'll Stop Complaining Now.

Okay, I'll stop complaining about being trapped in my cube now . . .

This is a quote from an Assosiated Press story about Edison Pena, one of the trapped miners who decided to train for a marathon while he was down there:

"What I thought about as I ran in the mine was that I was going to beat destiny," Pena said through a translator at a packed news conference Thursday, hours after flying into New York. "I was going to turn the tables on destiny. I was saying to that mine, 'I can outrun you. I'm going to run until you're just tired and bored of me.'

I'm fairly certain there's a lesson in there somewhere.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fried Okra, Covered Wagons and Lexapro

Today I was at my doctor's office because last month I had two migraines within a week of each other. While I was fine with just moaning on the floor, my husband was all, "You know, I am a global supply chain manager. I cannot fix this. Perhaps you should see a doctor." But he was wrong, so wrong; he suggested that when I felt like eating we should go get some fried okra. That was pretty much the best idea EVER. No amount of medical training could come up with a solution so brilliant. Yet he still made me promise to go see a doctor.

There I was with said doctor discussing my head and the pain therein and thereon and how if four Advil and a Starbucks can't cure a headache then fried okra will. Bet they didn't teach that at his fancy-schmancy medical college.

Then he started asking me all these questions. Am I snoring at night? Another thing they didn't teach him at his fancy-schmancy medical college is that the women who come to the office wearing cardigans and pearls do not snore. Duh. Am I having trouble sleeping? Well, my husband is very competitive and he likes to end up with all the covers at the end of every night, but I didn't think that was the issue. Am I anxious?

I just didn't know what do to with the question, "Are you anxious?"

So I started to cry. And I couldn't stop. I kept pulling Kleenexes from the box and trying to talk but nothing would come out and I was bawling and shaking my head and waiving Kleenex.

But he was so good. He really wanted to know what was going on. He sat there and listened. And then when I stopped, he would ask more questions. Like, this guy was gooooood. It may have all been a dream because I cannot believe the comforting, proactive discussion I had with the man.

Then he said he wanted me to try Lexapro, which also might help with the headaches (the daily ones, not the migraine ones). At first I was against it because my family is a firm believer that all depression and anxiety can be cured with bucking up, going shopping and/or Scotch. Furthermore, if you take anxiety medication it means that you are anxious and we are not anxious people. We are hearty Canadian people whose forefathers travelled across Canada in covered wagons, joyous and pleasant and mellow the whole time. But me? Not so much. The doctor was just so good that I trusted him completely. We agreed for me to try it. So here we go.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Love Me! (Question 2 of the 30 Truths)

Question 2 from the 30 Truths is, "What do you love about yourself?"

(My friend and fellow blogger over at 32 Entropy Lane has all of the questions listed out. http://www.32entropylane.blogspot.com/)

I love that . . .
I handled my divorce with dignity. When I looked my husband in the eye and told him that I wanted a divorce, he told me that I would never see my son again. Then, throughout the process, he pushed every single button he knew to push. In spite of this, I looked out for all three of us at every turn.

When my divorce attorney asked if I would like for him to arrange for me to move back to Texas with my son, I said no. As much as moving back to Texas appealed because of my friends and my job options, I declined. My ex hated Texas (there's a country song in there somewhere), and I didn't know whether he would follow us or not. If he ended up not following us, I didn't want my son to grow up without a father. In other words, I saved my ex from his own potential bad choices and made it as easy as possible for my son and my ex to maintain their relationship.

Another example of this was our parenting agreement. While my attorney wanted to get me the typical agreement that allows the mother to have the majority of the time, I didn't want my son to get the impression that either parent was more important than the other. I demanded a schedule that was 50/50.

I walked away with my head held high. I did right by everybody, as right as possibly can be done in a divorce and for our situation. I credit this with the reason that all three of us are happier today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Rose Giving the Finger to Fall

I love this last, determined rose in the rose garden at the side of our house. It's as if it is saying, "FU frost and wind and rain. I'll say when it's over." Or, perhaps, it does not speak in the vernacular of a Real Housewife and is instead simply saying, "I'm here."



Speaking of saying things, I love this quote below. I love that it is about writing, and I love that it is about not getting angry, an emotion I so rarely access, even when it would be appropriate.

"It wasn't so much cathartic, but in putting it out there and reading it, instead of being so angry, I really missed everyone. I wished they were here."

Ivana Lowell Why Not Say What Happened? (excerpted from an article in the November Elle, Little Girl Lost and Found by A.M. Homes),

Less iPad, More Stuff to Throw

My husband has been hinting around that we need an iPad. When my stepmother was driving us to the airport to come home from Dallas, my husband picked up her iPad and started to play around with it.

After a little while, he turned to me in the backseat and handed me the iPad. Do you know what he had used it for? He used the iPad to find a web browser, went to Youtube, and called up a video of David Hasselhoff singing Rhinestone Cowboy.

You should have seen how proud he was of himself.

He also thereby negated any argument to be made for us needing an iPad.

On a related note, to the extent that the next story also involves my husband, I love having a husband and a son. I went on a walk with my son and we had a lovely chat. Later, my husband caught up with us. Thereupon said husband and said son proceeded to pick up berries and nuts from the ground and throw them at each other. This lasted for the entirety of the walk, involved running ahead to hide behind trees for covert attacks and, upon realizing that the red nuts could be stepped on to produce a juicy interior, involved the tossing of pulp. My son giggled the whole time. Note to self: throw more stuff at son as he finds this very pleasing.

Friday, October 29, 2010

And It Was Good . . .

I have to start by saying, yes, Faux Trixie, the other truth about Texas is that everyone carries a concealed weapon. When I lived there, my coworker kept a gun under the seat of her truck. True Story. She was a little unstable too.

The meeting of the franchisees was exactly what I needed to put some spark back into, well, my spark - not because it was all rah rah go sell sell. It wasn't like that at all really. Rather, it was a gathering of some really cool, personable, happy people, people who were enjoying their life and having fun. Everyone was pretty chill, but bubbly and happy just the same. Dare I say, it rubbed off on me. I felt like I was . . . living. I was having a great time and I was building a business. It was way cool.

Except for this one guy; We'll call him Dick the Downer. He was telling me that I offered too much for my space and that someone should have stopped me and that I need to get out of the deal and that there was no way I was going to break even on my business plan. I thought I was going to throw up. He wouldn't let it go and he kept telling me that he just felt like someone needed to be honest with me. I realized that I had two choices. I could freak the hell out or I could take deep breaths and walk away. So walk away I did. I walked away to go hang with the cool kids.

I love my (other) new business associates. Everyone was so gracious about calling them if I needed anything and offering to help with my first orders and my opening. Even the other franchisees in my one state were gracious even though my opening could impact their business. They we're all, "Yay, you're here! Welcome!"

I am way way WAY too happy to go back to Cube World. I have a taste of the difference now. But rather than dread that which is inevitable for the next little while at least, I'll try to remember what is coming.

Things are feeling better all the time.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nuts and Nutrition in Texas

I am currently in Texas and can now confirm why everything is bigger here. This morning I saw a real live Texan elect to have a Dr. Pepper and a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. Right on. The way they eat here it's like the entire state has given the finger to the food guide pyramid and decided that nutritional advice is a conspiracy, much like global warming.

It is also true that everyone here is very friendly. I had to take Super Shuttle from the airport and by the time we were 15 minutes into the ride everybody was good friends and chatting about how listening to Christian radio is no substitute for going to church on Sunday. They convinced the van driver to turn it to the Christian rock station. If you think that half of everything that R.E.M ever did sounds like Night Swimming, that's nothing compared to the fact that every Christian rock song is actually the same song. I went to bed with "Holy! Holy! Holy!" ringing in my ears. I love telling people that I am Anglican. I mean, I am. By birth or something. It just sounds so official that saying so can trump the righteousness of a van full of Southern Baptists. Which is damn near next to impossible.

But I love me some Texas. I am here for the franchisees' annual meeting. Although they are not all Texan, the were all absolutely delightful. Not since I worked in a law office have I seen so many people that look like they need a good night's sleep, but here everyone was also friendly and happy. Yay for dessert! One of the desserts was cucumber based - I'm not kidding. And it was fantastic. Generally I am not one for vegetables masquerading as dessert. Pumpkin pie is to dessert what Christian radio is to church. But this cucumber based dessert? Holy! Holy! Holy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On the Other Hand

HEY. WAIT A MINUTE -
In re yesterday's post. . .

1. According to the Human League, I am only human, allowed to make mistakes.
2. I have my own business. I am the President/CEO of my family's LLC and I just declared a company wide coffee break for the rest of the week.
3. I lost my career and my husband bought me a franchise. I wanted a puppy, but I'll take the franchise!
4. My kid is really cool.
5. Right now my house is in a little bit of disrepair, but it is remarkably lovely and one day we are going to pop the top for an unobstructed view of the mountains.
6. My husband looks like Ralph Fiennes and, even though he is fundamentally opposed to Starbucks expansion in Europe (oh don't get him started) and he doesn't even drink coffee, he asks me every weekend morning if I want to stay in bed while he gets me coffee.
7. I had the most lovely mother in the whole world. I miss her, but she was mine.
8. I am a lawyer. I am not currently practicing, but this has given me an incredible leg up in The Franchise space negotiations. I can't imagine going through this without that background.
9. Next month I am going to Vegas and I am going to eat macaroons from Bouchon every single morning.
10. I am travelling and typing on a wee little keyboard.

The Post Wherein You Learn I Have a Few Issues

I was a tool this weekend, just when I blogged that I so rarely am.


When I am stressed, I don't eat. Also, for the first time since my twenties, and despite the fact that I read Stefanie Wilder Taylor's blog, I went out on Saturday and drank too much. Yay for me that I never do it and drive. Boo for me that this time my son was with me. I am not proud. (And, no, he wasn't the one that was driving. My husband was taking care of both of us.)

Every single night my son is with me and not at his dad's I tuck him into bed and we cuddle and chat. However, on Saturday, I had 5 pieces of asparagus for dinner. Because, you know, you gotta eat if you're drinking and I was at a pasta joint and I don't eat wheat and, also, I have this little anorexia issue when I feel my life is out of control. But I couldn't cuddle with him that night because the room wasn't just spinning, it was spiraling out of control like that carnival ride that pins you against the wall.

Just in case you ever plan on having 5 pieces of asparagus for dinner and a bottle of wine to yourself while dining at high altitude, you should know that the hangovers are a nightmare. I spent the next day on the couch while my son played around me and prayed to God for his mother to feel better. See. Tool.

We got the proposal from swanky mall. It's so very expensive. Our business plan went from a bottom line that provided a comfortable living to a bottom line that doesn't look much different than where we are right now, only I get to leave the cubicle. I am having a hard time with the following: (1) not wanting to be taken advantage of over rent while still presenting an offer that makes us competitive for a spot [the process is blind, so there's no bidding war - you just present an offer and hope it's better than the other proposals they received]; (2) making sure I am making a business decision, not a decision based on wanting to get the hell out of cube world; (3) I miss my mom and my career; and (4) there are certain members of my family that are bat shit crazy, and they don't even know who they are. If they read this blog, they would be all, "I wonder who that is, because it's not me."

Herein we learned that one can be a size 2 or a drinker, but not both. And, also, that I need to pull my shit together.

Picture of Betty With Issues - blogs.amctv.com

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Saw VII Puppet

This? Not scary. This makes me want to go to Target to buy a $24 boyfriend sweater and gum.

(Okay, maybe the eyes are a little scary.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Naughty Little Elves




















My son and I graze all day long and would not be upset if we never sat down to another meal. Accordingly, I love grazing plates. These plates from CB2 are cool. (It's a bit hard to see but on that top plate the little guy is hiding behind a mini-marshmallow snow fort.)

I suspect that I use the word "accordingly" more than any other blogger. I just love that word. It signals to the reader that I am making a logical and indisputable point.


Also from CB2, these elves doing obscene things to candles. I feel violated on behalf of the candles.

cb2.com

Friday, October 22, 2010

Safety in Nutmeg

I find it strange yet endearing that my husband often says and does things that remind me so vividly of my mother.

For example, my mom had this thing about kidney beans. She always kept a steady inventory of 15 cans of kidney beans.

"Mom, what's with the 15 cans of kidney beans?"
"I might make chili."
Which would account for 2 of the 15.

My dad was quite vocal about the fact that he didn't like her chili. But maybe that was the motive. Maybe she kept the kidney beans around for when he was being a tool and she could say, "I'll make chili. Don't think I can't do it."

The other day allrecipes.com sent me a recipe for "famous" pumpkin spice lattes. Considering how much I like "famous" pumpkin spice lattes, I thought I would give it a try. Because my husband will bake pies from time to time, I didn't doubt that we would have the cinnamon for it.

My search in the spice drawer went like this: nutmeg, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, more nutmeg, celery salt, more nutmeg, star anise, more nutmeg. My husband has been compulsively purchasing and hoarding nutmeg.

This will come in handy the first time we are snowed in this year. I can just picture the neighbors trudging through the snow drifts to our door: "Excuse me. We wouldn't ask this unless it was an emergency, but do you have an eighth of a teaspoon of nutmeg?"

Also, I just realized that I have mentioned to him before that nothing makes me angrier than somebody making a perfectly good dish of creamed spinach and ruining it by adding nutmeg. Perhaps he has purchased all this nutmeg in case I am ever acting like a tool. He'll say, "I'll make creamed spinach with nutmeg. Don't think I can't do it." However, I so very rarely act like a tool. It's everybody else around me that is off kilter. Clearly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm A Giver

I am a Pi Phi. I was hardcore for about 4 months and then I joined the ATOs. Fraternities are way WAY more fun and much less bitchy. Anyway, once a Pi Phi always a Pi Phi, unless you do something really, really and I mean REALLY slutty on the hood of a car in front of a crowded bar. That's just not the type of philanthropy that we like to see from our sisters.

So, despite my relatively lackluster foray into all things sorority, one of my sorority sisters tracked me down when she moved to town. I remember thinking, wow, who really uses their alumni roster for stuff like that? She does. And I love her for it. She introduced me to my bestie of book club fame, who was also at the same university and now lives here too. So in the end, I got more than I gave. Which is more that can be said for the hood ornament girl.

When my friend put me on the alumni list, something got screwed up somewhere and the sorority home office thinks that I am a person that has the same name from a chapter in Indiana. But here's the best part - my double is a big giver. And I don't mean a giver like the ex-sister from hood of car fame. I mean she sends beaucoup denaro to the sorority foundation. I get these lovely emails all the time thanking me for my generous support. So for an afternoon I get to feel like I am a big philanthropist. You are so welcome! Everybody wins!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Microwave Done Broke

Things have been a little disconcerting lately for no identifiable reason. I wouldn't say I am in a funk. I'm just feeling edgy. And not in a good way like I am about to put together a really cool outfit using the clothes I already have in my closet. Edgy like I am the roadrunner and at any moment a piano, an anvil or a bag of Acme cement might fall on my head.

Accordingly, I am about to embark on the 30 Truths. I'm not going to do all 30 questions in a row. (Once a week. Maybe. Perhaps attached to a regular post.) I know it's all a bit narcissistic, but it just feels like something I need to do right now.

The first question: What do you hate about yourself.
That's a bit of a harsh way to start don't you think? However, the more I thought about that question, the more it helped me pinpoint why I am feeling on edge.

I hate that I am high strung.

I have heard it said that there will be an answer, let it be.

Are you kidding me? That's a terrible idea. If I don't have the next phase of my life planned out the world will spin off of its axis into a black abyss and we will all spontaneously combust. I have never ever not once allowed myself to just coast in a phase in my life without knowing exactly what the next phase will be.

Furthermore, when I have no control over getting to the next phase, it drives me crazy. I know that I am absolutely positively not meant to be doing the job I am doing right now. That's the next thing I hate about myself - I stay in a job that I HATE. It sucks the life out of me and I hate myself every single day that I don't quit. But I keep telling myself that I can stick it out because the next phase of my life is right around the corner and I know what it is. But do you realize that the first franchise space we were offered was last spring? Our broker has been identifying spaces since last spring and we have not been able to secure one yet. I know there is an end to Cube World, but it is in no identifiable time. Panic panic PANIC.

Which leads to the thing that I hate the most about myself. I worry way too much about money. I don't spend a lot. I just worry about it. A lot. Every single day I worry that I am not going to have enough to live comfortably, now or in the future. Every single day. Do other people do that? Is it debilitating to them? (My therapist links this to the time during my divorce that I had no money for food. I'm not there. But I never want to be there again.)

The reason I do not leave this job is because of the money. Even though I am now making one-third of what I made as an attorney, it's still enough for me to pay my bills. If I left this job, I would still need another job to pay bills. And Christmas is coming. And our microwave is broke. And my winter boots have holes in the soles. So here I am.

I wish that I had the guts and the chutzpah to walk away, to spend the winter in my holey shoes, to explain to my son why there are very few presents under the tree, to rely on my husband even if it impacts his own children and requires him to support mine - to just be friggin' happy for a few months just coasting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Friends That Feel Like Home

This is a post about my coolest friend. She followed her passion and opened a birthing center!!! Yeah. I know. Today all I did was froth milk.

I met her the first day of law school when we got put at the same table during orientation. And here is a hysterical story about that. The other people at the table were seriously debating the rationale for us all being put in certain spots. The conclusion? We were all at the same table because we were the smartest and the most likely to succeed. I crap you negative. These are the egos that you deal with at law school. I can also assure you that my friend was not a part of that discussion.

Anyway, more about my lovely friend - When everybody else in law school was having a freak out, or gloating, my friend sailed through the dean's list and law review with professionalism and grace. She's that girl. When my son was born and my mom died (you know, that week), she gave me a cuddly robe to wear before I went into the hospital and she was the first one to visit my son after he was born. Then she arranged a baby shower.

One of the hardest parts about leaving Dallas was leaving my friend. Then my life spiraled out of control. We ended up not moving to California, I got a divorce, I got an LL.M., I got remarried, I became a stepmom, etc., etc. etc. I didn't speak to my friend for a few years. Then I Googled her. She was doing securities litigation. I thought about emailing her, but where do you begin when you are not where anybody thought you were going and you have a whole new family? Then I got over myself and Googled her again a year later. I fell in love with her all over again.

We met in Arizona where she is now living. She accepted my new husband as if she had never known the first. I wanted to move to Arizona and move right in with her and accept all her hospitality and become a part of her family. I just adore her. But here's one of my favorite parts. She's passionate about women having alternatives to having babies in hospitals. So she opened a birthing center. How great is that? She wanted to do something, so she did it. Love that. Just love that.

When I talked to her this weekend she made me feel like I was brave and cool and exciting for setting forth on this franchised dessert endeavor. She's delivering babies and I'm delivering dessert. Babies. Dessert. Not the same. But she made me feel like we were on a grand adventure together. I so hope you have a friend like that; a friend that inspires you and that feels like home.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The October Issue

As I have expressed here and almost everywhere else that will let me comment, in my next life I am coming back as Carey Mulligan, Bond Girl to Daniel Craig's Bond.

Accordingly, I was very pleased to see that Carey Mulligan is on the cover of Vogue's October issue. I was pleased for Carey and for Vogue. After a lackluster September issue, Vogue really needed to come out swinging this month.

Well. FIRST OF ALL, I have always supported Anna Wintour while everybody else quips that she seems like an ice princess. (I get that too. We ice princesses are so misunderstood. We're just busy and thinking about important stuff, like how to bring our hairstyles into the new millennium now that it is 2010.) But no more. Here is what Mizz Anna said in the editor's letter about putting Carey Mulligan on the cover: "It is always somewhat risky to put a virtual unknown on the cover, but this is Mulligan's moment."

Maybe if Carey had been nominated for, say, an Oscar then she might not be a virtual unknown. I'm just saying. Some people need, say, an education.

SECOND OF ALL, in each and every picture in Vogue's photo spread of Carey, it looks like Carey is sucking on something overwhelmingly sour. How did that pass editorial muster?

Note to future self: Decline Vogue shoot and break up with Shia LaBeouf so calendar open when Daniel Craig calls.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Happy Place

In addition to the Ann Sacks Tile and Stone web page, my other happy place is now my own kitchen counter (which is obviously in need of some Ann Sacks tile and/or stone).

It has been 5 days since I visited Sbux. (Except for yesterday, but that doesn't count because that latte was for medicinal purposes. Seriously. I had a really bad headache.) Anyway, armed with my syrups and my immersion blender, I can now make most excellent lattes at home. And I cannot say "most excellent" without also saying, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."

The skull in the hurricane - We tell our son that was the last little boy that didn't pick up his Lego. What? Have you ever stepped on a Lego? It induces much swearing.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lay Off My Macaroons Dalai Lama

My husband is out of town.

Note to crazy people - he comes back TODAY.

Earlier this week he texted me that Sarah Palin was at his hotel. If instead it was Levi Johnston, I would have questions.

Then he sent me an email that said the Dalai Lama was staying at his hotel, and that he was staying on the same floor.

I should point out that my husband isn't a big rock star, dignitary or playa. He gets to stay on the concierge level of the Marriott for the sole sad reason that he simply travels that much.

This works out well when he brings my son and I along because we LOVE the concierge level. There is a room on said level - I probably am not even allowed to be telling you this - wherein, by the mere wave of your electronic key, you can enter and retrieve anything you want out of the mini-fridge. Free Diet Coke! Free Diet Coke! And my son is all, "Free Apple Juice!" And we're both screaming, "This is better than Disney Land!"

But the peace de resistance is that at night they put out little macaroons. Score! Is there anything better than free Diet Coke and macaroons. I think not. I asked my husband to promise me that he would bring me back macaroons.

So when my husband told me that the Dalai Lama was staying on his floor, I immediately started to panic (which probably isn't the reaction that most people have to the Dalai Lama). Don't almond flour macaroons sound exactly like something the Dalai Lama would want! Lay off Lama - those are mine! My macaroons.


Have a fantastic day fantastic readers. Juliet http//www.neverbeenlivedbefore.blogspot.com/
was in the mood to hear Fast Car yesterday, which put me in the mood to hear Fast Car, so I have started my weekend listening to Fast Car. Also, Phoenix http://yrphoenix.blogspot.com/pointed out that the salted caramel hot chocolate from Sbux (Sbux is how it appears on my bank statement - in its own column - I go there so much that my bank has made Sbux its own column on my statement) . . . she pointed out that the salted caramel hot chocolate is actually made with Toffee Nut syrup. I am so going to call them out on that this morning. I am going wink at the barista when I say "salted caramel" hot chocolate, thereby letting him or her know that I am in the know. What? It's better that actually putting salted caramel in air quotes. Speaking of quotes, I misused quotation marks over at Blue Truck Red State http://bluetruckredstate.blogspot.com/the other day and I feel like such a dork because I am loving that blog right now.

A Hilarious Happy Sad Day

I was riding down in the elevator with my supervisor and she asked me where I was going. I told her. Then, to feign interest, I asked her where she was going. She was going to the Target to pick up some supplies for the baby shower she is having tomorrow with some of the ladies in the office.

Oh where to begin where to begin.

Perhaps I'll just say that I think its hilarious that she didn't even bother to lie to me. The work ladies in my department are having an event and I wasn't invited. And I don't even care. And my supervisor doesn't even care.

Sometimes I wonder how I still have my job. And sometimes I also wonder if I should be nicer. But do you know what that would get me? Invitations to after-hours work related functions where there will be a great amount of punch with sherbet and a great lack of wine.

But this not getting invited to the party thing is more than just a win-win. It's a Michael Scott win-win-win situation when I don't have to go to events on a Thursday because I am relieved of the stress of having to figure out how to record the Real Housewives without deleting a Virginia Tech game. So my husband wins too.

I don't want you to think I have a heart of stone or anything. I teared up 33 times yesterday, each time cnn.com changed the counter to show that another miner had been rescued. And thank God for that story, eh? Because after reading the story about the little girl who had survived cancer only to be found missing under suspicious circumstances indicative of foul play at the hands of her family, I was frightened and disheartened by the depths of evil in the world.

Well, we covered a lot today.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Salty Sweet Thoughts

The point of this picture is not that my son has a friend and its name is Bowling Pin.


The point here is the ground. It's wet. After weeks upon weeks upon weeks of living in a dry heat that was turning everyone into human jerky, it finally rained. Hallelujah.

When it rains, the lines at Starbucks tend to be long. While I was waiting, I remembered that Faux Trixie http://fauxtrixie.blogspot.com/ had spoken of Starbucks salted caramel hot chocolate. I decided to give one a try because I love sugar and salt together. Remember when you were younger and people would ask you the hard questions about life like what you wanted to be when you grew up and whether you were a sugar or salt person? That last question was always so hard. I like to dip my Ruffles in Nutella. Am I a sugar or salt person? I just don't know.
Lately, thanks to the recent salted caramel culinary craze, you can be both. Last year, at about this time, I emailed the lady that owns the local cupcake shop and said that if she made salted caramel cupcakes, I would buy them. She emailed back and said that it was a great idea and that if I came in she would give me one on the house. That flavor ended up being a staple of the store and, according to one of their salespeople, one of their top selling flavors.

I have met cupcake lady several times before, including the day I went in to introduce myself as the person that wanted the salted caramel cupcakes. Yesterday she was in line right next to me at Starbucks. I said "Hi!," and she just looked away. I wonder if she is afraid that I want royalties. I don't. I just want her to be happier. She runs a cupcake store for goodness sake. Not incidentally, hers was one of the first blogs that I ever read and was part of the inspiration for this. Isn't it crazy when you finally meet someone you think that you are going to love and it turns out cold and weird? Anyway, that wasn't the case for my son and his bowling pin. When he finally got it, it was all that he hoped it would be.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Franchise Update (Handling Setbacks)

This was how Friday went . . .











The mall broker called to tell us that they weren't actually going to be able to give The Franchise the space that they had offered us - that is, the second space that they had offered us, as they had already declined to give us the first space that they had offered.

Accordingly, I did what any mature and respectable business woman would do. I made several phone calls wherein the word incompetent was used liberally, and then I headed out with the specific goal of drinking (responsibly - my husband watched and drove - oh and he also took that picture which he thought he was sending to my personal inbox but actually sent to my work).

Negotiations begin now with Mall B. More rent (1.3X the rent) and less traffic than Mall A, but 5 minutes from home. The company that owns Mall B has a reputation for being more professional, so I am looking forward to that.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

White Trash Surf and Turf

A few weeks ago, after a bottle of wine, I agreed to buy two lobsters from my best friend for her girls' school fundraiser. She called me on Saturday to say that they had arrived and she would be bringing them over.

Huh.

I thought about setting them free. Lobsters, however, are not indigenous to Colorado. The possibility of them living through a night in the hood was very remote. Have I mentioned before the foxes that live right in the city? Assuming they could survive the urban foxes, they would probably never make it across the busy street. It was becoming rapidly clear that the nicest thing to do was to eat them.

Both my gifted son and my Virginia Tech educated husband asked me where the lobsters were.

"In the fridge."
And both of them asked, "Loose?"

Yeah, they're loose in the fridge. Be careful when you open it in case they got into the wine.

When it was time to boil them, the first one didn't go down easy. He took one claw and grabbed the microwave that sits over the stove and hung on with all his might. The second one, knowing what was coming, just went in without a fight.

They don't scream. But they squirm. And squirm and squirm. For a really long time. You have to keep looking at them because you start the cooking time from when the water returns to a boil after putting them in. They're in there doing the hot potato dance. After what seems like an eternity (more so for them, I am sure), they finally stop.

Meanwhile, before I had remembered about the lobster arrival, I had promised my son that I would make him those little cocktail wiener things with the chili sauce and the grape jelly.

That's how we do surf and turf y'all - lobster and wienies.

When we were at the Target getting the 12 gallon pot in which to murder said crustaceans, we also picked up a copy of It's Complicated.

Huh. That's all I have to say. Huh. It's Complicated, lobster and wienies with grape jelly. The company, however? Fantastic!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Adomestic Diva Strikes Again (With Immersion Blender!)

First of all, thank you. You ladies rock and I feel very lucky to have you here. Thank you for being here.

Now on to our regularly scheduled programming . . .

I love my immersion blender. I don't generally go around gushing over small kitchen appliances. A large Viking Range - oh yes please. But little gadgets, meh. For example, I know everybody loves their Pampered Chef onion chopper thingy. I fail to see the excitement. A strawberry top remover - seriously? My friend had an orgasmic moment when she that at Sur la Table and I was all, dude, for the price of that you could buy a latte.

But an immersion blender - that, my friends, is a miracle. Because not only does it blend soups but - are you ready for this - it also froths milk nicely for lattes!

Considering the number of lattes I consume, it certainly makes sense that I should own a professional grade espresso and milk steamer machine. I am, however, about to purchase a restaurant grade espresso and steamer machine for The Franchise that will be worth more than both my and my husband's car put together, so I can't see myself buying a machine for the house also.

The other day the immersion blender was out for some black bean soup and I thought to myself, "Self, you could use that to froth milk." And so it was done. Some frothy milk, a little pumpkin spice syrup (the Monin brand is okay, not at all like Starbucks, so I am about to try Torani) and you are good to go! And all is right with the world. I now know how to make pumpkin spice lattes that are sufficient enough to tide me over on my way to get one from Starbucks.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Conscious Celebration

When we checked my mom into the hospital for the last time, she started off with a roommate that was being evaluated for cancer. The doctor came in one evening to discuss with us the possibility of taking my mom home so that she could pass away there. (Not an option.) He then went over to the roommate and reported to her that her test results came back negative. The roommate did not have cancer. The roommate then proceeded to call all of her friends and family and loudly celebrate, "I do not have the Big C! I do not have the Big C!"

And there we were, one bed over, with the Big C. It was no mystery. My mom was bald, pale, emaciated, and unable to take care of any of her basic needs by herself. I don't begrudge the roommate her celebrating, of course. It was just hard.

So I report here that when I received my test results yesterday that said I do not carry the BRCA mutation for breast cancer, I am fully aware that there is someone else who got a phone call with different results. And I do realize that being at increased risk for breast cancer is not the same as getting a phone call that you do have cancer.

I just report the results here because I took you on this journey.

Now we deal with the unknown - that is, we know I am at higher risk, but we don't know why. Enter tamoxifen, exit ovaries, schedule MRIs, ultrasounds and mammograms. I do it all gladly. The colonoscopy that they want me to take given the family history of colon cancer - not so gladly. [Of note, yesterday was Therapy Thursday (Thank God for Therapy Thursday). My counselor said I should wait 6 months until I make any decisions about the surgery or medication preventative measures. She said her instinct was that this was all a little extreme for someone my age.]

This does seem like a good time to remind everyone of this - for those of us that are on every two week payday schedules, this is a 3 paycheck month. I briefly contemplated using all of my third paycheck for bills. Instead, I'm taking a portion of it and going to Vegas next month. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Piquant

I get an email each morning from allrecipes.com. This morning the recipe for Anniversary Chicken had this description:

“This piquant, creamy chicken is a surprising combination of ranch dressing, bacon bits, teriyaki sauce, and cheese.”

This post is not about how that sounds like a terrible idea.
Rather, I cannot hear the word "piquant" without hearing this in my head:"Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness."
Picture from simplyxmas.wordpress.com

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Inbox Glancing Hangover

Last night I was driving carpool so I didn't answer my phone. (We would hate for the other mothers to see that. Plus, the 4 year old - she tells her mother everything. Yes, I did tell your daughter that she is rude because my garage does not smell. Every damn morning - ewww your garage smells. Well, if so, that's because that's where we keep all the rude little children. Take that Little Miss Bad Haircut.) So I missed the call saying that my BRCA (genetic testing) results are in. They won't leave a message with the outcome of the results, no matter what they are. I called back early this morning, but still haven't received a return phone call yet today.

Also, we submitted our proposal for the mall space on Monday morning. Having lost the first space, I am sitting on pins and needles worrying that no news means we lost this space too. (I do realize that it has been only 48 hours, but still. Don't they know that this is the information that stands between me and Escape from Cube World.)

Accordingly, rather than doing any work, I am glancing at phone, glancing at inbox, glancing at phone, glancing at inbox, glancing at phone, glancing at inbox. I have a waiting hangover.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can Also Be Used As . . .

Click . . .

Silence . . .

Click . . .

Silence . . .

Click . . .

This is what it sounds like to be in bed with someone who is reading using a Kindle, thereby causing the other person to contemplate whether said Kindle wouldn't be put to better use as a wine coaster.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Franchise Update

I think I have mentioned before that we decided to put The Franchise in a mall.

This made sense to us for several reasons.
(1) Most importantly, a mall provides a steady stream of traffic.
(2) The start-up costs are much less for a mall inline store or kiosk concept - you don't have to build out an eating area or put in bathrooms. In the long run, however, the rent is much, much, MUCH more for mall space. Did I mention the much?
(3) The Mother Ship presents four design concepts to choose from. The designs translate beautifully to a small space, whereas they can look more stark in a larger space.

I have spent a lot of time at the various malls in the area doing traffic counts at all hours of the day and night (while maintaining a very important cubicle job). I am probably listed as a suspicious person in the annals of mall security.

About three weeks ago, we were within a few dollars per square foot of a deal for an excellent location at a mall. Considering that we were talking beaucoup denaro, we were very close to an agreement. Then they gave the spot to a competitor. Not just another store - but a competitor.

Then they offered us an alternative which - are you ready for this - I like even better!!!! We are now in negotiations for that spot. People will have to walk by my beautiful store to get to the competitor. And this alternative is right in front of a big wall of windows (important to those of us that have been toiling away in cubicles when we have not been "at the doctor" doing traffic counts.)

Send blog karma our way regarding the spot. If you believe in The Secret, send us energy. If you believe in Santa, hope he sends us an early Christmas present. If you believe in Tony Robbins, this is not the blog for you. But I believe that if Lauren Conrad and Tori Spelling can run empires and write best selling books, I ought to be able to secure this spot. It's only right.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Crafty Crafty


Do you see that leopard print picture frame right there in my kitchen picture window? I made that. And I wasn't even on medication.
I am so not crafty. My third least favorite word after panties and whatever is scrapbooking. I get nervous in the Hobby Lobby. But dudes, I made that. I painted that. And then I put little beads on it. I painted and beaded.
I have been wanting something leopard this season, but felt that if I got some sort of leopard wearable, I was one step away from driving a pink Cadillac and pushing Mary Kay cosmetics on all of my friends.
That's the Intercontinental Tahiti in the picture. It's where John Travolta and I stay when we are in Tahiti. If I ever run into him there, I have questions.
And speaking of red tile, I have a love-hate relationship with that tile. The thick grouting makes it seem kind of country, and I am not country. By that I mean that I am not really farmy - as in, of the farm. At some point, sooner rather than later, I might have to retile; the other day I looked at some rooster plates and thought they would go nicely in my kitchen. Stop me before I purchase rooster plates. Have you ever looked at the Ann Sacks tile web page? It's the Chanel of tile. I go there to dream. It's my happy place.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October: It's What and Who You Know


I have a good feeling that my mother would be here today if she hadn't been afraid to know. I am not putting words into her mouth when I tell you that she would say she didn't want to go to the doctor because she was afraid he would find something; I know that because she once told me, "If I go to the doctor, he's going to find something."

Her breast cancer was fairly advanced when she finally went. She didn't like being poked and prodded and didn't like the indignity of it all. Accordingly, my beautiful and intelligent mother is not here. Intelligence wasn't the issue; she was simply very scared.

When my mammography doctor suggested that I get genetic testing because of my family history (both grandmothers as well), I didn't really give it a second thought. I knew if it was positive that a radical bilateral mastectomy was an option. If the test was negative, they would suggest yearly MRIs. I learned from my mother that the best thing to do is to know.

What I wasn't expecting was this - in either case, the preventative measures that are suggesting for me result in a forced, early menopause. I am way too young. If I am positive for the genetic mutation for breast cancer, they suggest having my ovaries removed due to the breast cancer/ovarian cancer link. That will put me into menopause. If I am negative for the genetic mutation for breat cancer, they suggest I consider a drug called tamoxifin, which will put me into menopause.

Faaaaaantastic.

But here's the thing (like, the thing in addition to forced menopause, drugs and the surgery), this all costs $$$$. It wasn't the idea of any of the other stuff that knocked me on my ass - the hardest part to swallow is that, on my own, I wouldn't be able to afford any of it. Of course, because I am married, I have someone to help me find a way.

One of the reasons that I became a lawyer was so that I would always be able to take care of me and my son. Yet here I am. I am not dwelling on the lay off. I am past that here. The point is, despite everything I did to secure my financial stability, and the health and safety of me and my son, it wasn't enough - you can only plan for so much. Everything can change in an instant.

On my own, on my current salary, I am most of America, living pay check to pay check, unable to afford the preventative measures that I need without a signifcant hardship.

I am not, however, on my own. Tonight I am having chocolate cake and champagne with my husband. On Sunday we will pick up my son from his dad's and take him to his last fall baseball game. We're all in this together.