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

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 -

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.

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 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//
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 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 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 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 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.


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


I get an email each morning from 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

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.


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.