Friday, October 31, 2008

I Sense a Theme

Countdown 4 days.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Nightmare on My Street

A friend sent this to me to ensure I was just scared enough to go vote. There was never any doubt - I'll be there!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

For Chelle on her 42nd Birthday

Once upon a time, Wenderina shared a homeroom with Chelle and became BFFs (before there even was such an acronym)...

They were inseparable really. In fact, the idea that Chelle's parents might send her to Catholic school for high school reduced both of them to tears (and created a small earthquake at Wenderina's home when her mom read a note between Chelle and Wenderina and thought that the word Mooney - the name of the school - was Money - and wondered what mischief these two thirteen year olds were up to!)

Wenderina thought she was SO COOL at 13 (not) and was amazed that Chelle was interested in being her friend.

The Catholic school crisis averted, together Chelle and Wenderina navigated the dangerous waters of public high school, experiencing embarrassing moments, minor flirtations, a few devastating crushes, sweet sixteen birthdays, some camping trips and vacations, Young Life (what we think of as a pre-internet social network), Pat Benatar!!!, Journey!!!!, proms, first loves, and - oh yeah - a few classes here or there.

Not the least of their friendship was Wenderina's admiration in Chelle's ability to look like Gene Simmons - complete with natural widow's peak and earily long lizard-like tongue.

Wenderina and Chelle spent many hours rocking to Pat Benatar, Journey, REO Speedwagon, and other great 80's bands. They agreed there was nothing better than "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" sung at top volume into hairbrush/microphones.

They worked together as editors on the Senior Class yearbook. Which makes looking back on those yellowed pages filled with meaningless notes from friends about "friends 4-ever" etc. that much funnier and more nostalgic.

"Who ARE these people???", they both proclaim..."Why don't we remember them???"

The last year of high school was different for these two fast friends. Chelle had fallen in love - real love - and Wenderina was unattached. Chelle fell in love with her BLIND DATE to the Junior Prom. Wenderina thought that was unbelievable.

At the time Wenderina was jealous, but looking back, what else would be expected of a first love?
When the college years came, they were convinced nothing could keep them apart. But, alas, those years broke the habit of daily contact, which started the inevitable breach.
Chelle married right after college - that first love became her only love - and moved to Florida. Wenderina was engaged herself, and married one year later and settled in New York. They even selected the same song for their first dance as married women - Taylor Dane's I'll Always Love You. But, the distance took its toll, and the everyday friendship became christmas cards and rare phone calls.

A few years ago, Chelle and her hubby were in New York City for a short vacation and Wenderina took the train in to spend the day hanging out. It was a chance for them to re-connect and amazingly, they picked up right where they left off - no awkward silences, no difficult moments - just easygoing hanging out buddies all over again.

But still...the connection was fragile and didn't really penetrate the miles.
Last year, Chelle suffered a loss no one should have to deal with - the loss of her younger sister in a tragic accident. But, as happens in the worst situations, something good may have come from it. Chelle and Wenderina found the bond again. Finally, the friendship grew out of the christmas card club. Separated by many miles and many state borders, they are slowly finding their way back to a time when neither goes a day without thought of the other.

This October, Chelle celebrates her 42nd birthday and to mark the occasion, the two enjoyed a weekend of bliss and blisters walking many a city block in NYC. Together again, they chatted and giggled and sighed and smiled and compared wrinkles and gray hairs that were never there before.

"Where did that line in the middle of our foreheads come from, anyway?"

They found their friendship again while the NY Public Library, the International Center for Photography, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rockafeller Center, 5th Avenue, Time Square, the Pig & Whistle, NY Penn Station, the #6 train, Starbucks, NY Pizza joints, Grand Central Station, and Broadway all served as backdrop.
Little did Chelle and Wenderina picture they would journey from the suburbs of Upstate NY to hanging out on the streets of Manhattan.

Wenderina personally has trouble remembering many of the details of high school. Chelle does a good job filling in the blanks, with a few gaps herself. But all in all, what matters most, is they both remember that they couldn't have survived it without the other.

Love you Chelle - through thick (a.k.a. thunder) thighs and thin, through loves and losses, through home life and work strife, and everything in between.

You are the best.

Have a wonderful 42nd year!

Apparently, I'm a Jackie

I took one of those personality quizzes. There was only two questions, so take from it what you will. It's kind of like reading your horoscope - which is so all encompassing it captures the majority of any person of any sign. was an interesting lunchtime game.

You are a Jackie. "I do everything the right way."

Jackies are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals.

How to Get Along with Me

* Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work.

* Acknowledge my achievements.

* I'm hard on myself. Reassure me that I'm fine the way I am. (TOO TRUE!)

* Tell me that you value my advice.

* Be fair and considerate, as I am.

* Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.

* Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first. (AMEN!)

What I Like About Being a Jackie

* Being self-disciplined and able to accomplish a great deal

* Working hard to make the world a better place

* Having high standards and ethics; not compromising myself

* Being reasonable, responsible, and dedicated in everything I do

* Being able to put facts together, coming to good understandings, and figuring out wise solutions

* Being the best I can be and bringing out the best in other people

What's Hard About Being a Jackie

* Being disappointed with myself or others when my expectations are not met (TOO TRUE!)

* Feeling burdened by too much responsibility

* Thinking that what I do is never good enough (TOO TRUE!)

* Not being appreciated for what I do for people

* Being upset because others aren't trying as hard as I am

* Obsessing about what I did or what I should do (TOO TRUE!)

* Being tense, anxious, and taking things too seriously (Hello - have you seen the title of my blog?!)

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Word of the Day

dis·in·gen·u·ous /dis-in-jen-yoo-uhs/ adjective: lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere

Her comments were rather disingenuous.




Sunday, October 19, 2008

1-2-3 My Name is Sarah Palin...

Can I get a What-What from the Senior Section?

P.S. on Tunafish & Tissues

Thanks to Juicy Judy...I've managed to come down with a humdinger of a cold, which put a small damper on our weekend with Lula...but I've been zincing and vitamin c-ing and nyquiling, and dayquiling, and I see the end of the tunnel already.

But this just reinforces my feelings about those boundaries...damn cubicles...and now here I am at meet and greet central - a conference with 20,000 attendees. Germs for everyone.

You Get What You Pay For...Chicago Edition

DISCLAIMER: This is a totally boring post, but I'm just getting out a little aggravation about budget at your own risk...

Hello from the Windy City. I'm looking out of my hotel room right now at the grand majesty of Lake Michigan. I can see a portion of it between other buildings and construction sites, and past a major highway.

I grew up on a Great Lake (Ontario) so I'm used to lake being too big to be able to see the other side. When I moved downstate to Rockland County, their lakes were pretty, but they were what we called ponds. Seriously, Long Pond was bigger than the lakes in my new hometown.

Anyway - now that you have the context that I'm traveling, let me tell you about rental car agencies here. When you find a rate on expedia that is HALF all other going rates, be suspicious. And if you've never heard of the agency before, be even more suspicious. But in today's economy, we're all trying to save a little dough, right? So when I saw most agencies wanted $200 for a weekend car rental and one wanted only $73.75...I jumped on it.

To be fair, the car was fine - clean, well maintained, low mileage, hyundai. Finding the car was another matter. We stood on the sidewalk outside the airport for 20 minutes and watched the rental car shuttles go by, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz, Enterprise, National, then Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz, Enterprise, National again...then Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz..."Excuse Me...," I finally asked, "is this where Advantage picks up as well?"

"Well...yes...eventually...but you may have to flag him down."

Um. Ok.

Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Hertz.....

I get on the phone and get Advantage Rentals on the line..."oh yeah, look for the Fast Trak blue and yellow shuttle, that's ours." (how the hell was I supposed to know that??)

Finally we spot the blue and yellow shuttle barrelling by and not even dreaming of looking for a stranded rental client on the sidewalk. We wave madly and the cop feels sorry enough for us to stop traffic and allow us to get on the shuttle in an illegal loading zone.

Once on, we meet other customers who had been waiting for over an I guess 25-30 minutes wasn't so bad.

Filled to the brim, the shuttle lumbers into a dark parking lot with "Avi-Star" signs. I spot a tiny blue placard for Advantage rentals in the corner. We head into the building passing a bunch of lounging strange looking young men, under a blinking (think Joe Vs. Volcano) fluorescent lights, and up to the line at to the counter where two very nice but fairly slow people are handing out keys to forward 45 minutes and we finally have our vehicle.

Returning the car wasn't much better - and once again the shuttle bus was the big sticking point. After taking about 35 minutes to return the car (which consists of handing in keys and having them check gas guage and mileage - should take about 3 minutes flat) we then walked out of the dingy little shack to see the shuttle pulling away...

We had to wait another 15 minutes for the next shuttle bus to arrive and although we had been left in the dust, this next driver seemed determined to wait for every possible person who was just pulling in to get checked out and get on the bus. Hubby and I were plenty early for our connection, so we weren't too bad off, but I thought the woman in the Chanel knockoff sunglasses was going to have a full out hissy fit at one point while her husband made snide remarks about this aggravation not being worth th $100 they saved not going with Avis. (He took the words out of my mouth.) While we waited, we dug out $2 for a tip for the driver for hauling our suitcases...but by the time we left a new driver had taken his place.

After the driver missed the United stop off (until screaming bus passengers made him pull over) we diligently reminded him of our Continental stop. Hubby, who is always quieter in his complaints, mumbled as we disembarked, "I'm keeping my 2 dollars."

I left Hubby at airport for him to fly on home, while I stayed on in Chicago for my conference. My taxi to the hotel cost $40 but the door to door service was totally worth it. Of course, the company is paying for this part, so it is easier to let the dollars flow.

I'm now ensconced in my room with a view, chomping on pretzel and diet pepsi from the Mini-bar - yeah - that should run me another $20...but you get what you pay for, right?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tunafish and Tissues

My cubicle neighbor has an issue with boundaries.

By that I mean, she has none - I have many.

At a lunch meeting yesterday, she managed somehow to drop tunafish down the front of her shirt and into her bra. She announced at the table, "Oh shit - I just dropped tunafish in my bra." and then proceeded to try and extract it there at the table. She shook her shirt out, she reached into under the collar, she reached up from the waist, she pulled at the bra, etc. Finally, she left the table and headed to the ladies room.

Today she arrived with a full blown cold and she has been blowing her nose like a trumpet all day and sneezing really juicy sneezes all over her space. She has a pile of tissues on her desk that looks like it needs a ritual burning to rid us of the germs. She picked up the phone to call someone and then sneezed and blew her nose in the middle of leaving a voice mail. Really! She said, "Hi X, this is Judy (sneeze, blow) I'm calling to tell you I'll bring cake (blow) to the meeting tonight."

This same woman has a phone that looks like toxic waste, an ant problem that looks like an ant farm on her carpet, and enough crumbs in her keyboard to build a whole new baked good.

There are days I really really really wish I had walls and a door. That foam/fabric wall is just not enough boundary for me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

#@$#*&#!!! Traffic

One of my earliest posts on this blog was about road rage. Today had to be one of the all time blood pressure raising, road raging days of my commuting life. It took me nearly 3 hours to get to work this morning. AND I didn't have my cell phone with me. So here I was, stuck in never ending traffic, no way to reach anyone, knowing there were several deadlines waiting on my desk.

I tried CDs - I removed all my favorites from the car when I was loading up my laptop itunes.

I tried Book on CD - all I had were CDs I'd already finished.

I tried the radio - no good - annoying AM DJs, and highly stressful financial reports.

I tried watching the other people - that just made me more frustrated as all of THEM were on their phones!

In the end, there was nothing I could do. For TEN MILES. I went about 5 miles/hour. But it was more like 7 miles per hour. STOP. 5 miles per hour. STOP. 3 miles per hour. STOP.


And for the last hour at work, I've had 3 phone calls from friends telling me how backed up the highway is going home.

Given the state of Wall Street and its fallen heroes, think I can pick up a helicopter on the cheap?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dizzy Gillespie No More

I'm happy to report that my dizzy husband is not so dizzy anymore. At least, no more than usual. In as strange and mysterious of a way as it entered, the Vertigo exited. Within the space of one hour, he was complaining of pain and rushing in his ear and was so frustrated that he was still suffering (this was now Monday night and he'd been out of commission and stuck in the house since Friday AM) and then boom...he suddenly was fine.

Really, boom.

Just that quick.

So he stayed home one more day to be sure, but within an hour after I left he was already out driving and running errands and pushing limits to see how things went.

They went fine.

He was fine.

He is fine.

And can I just say, it's damn fine to have him back.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Too funny not to share

I am NOT a fan of email chain letters, forwards, or other spam of this type. However, I got one yesterday that is too good not to share. Hope everyone can read this flow diagram of Sarah Palin's debate strategy.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Round and Round it Goes

So this morning I awoke to find hubby slumped and seated at side of the bed.

"Something wrong Babe?"

"Yeah, I can't stand up."


"I can't stand up. Every time I do I feel like I'm gonna fall over - I'm so dizzy and nauseous."

"OK, lay back down. What can I do? Should we go to the Doctor?"

(laying down) "mmmmmmm"


"mmmmm"..."Get me my laptop and blackberry - I need to check into work and cancel some stuff."

(10 minutes later - all work notices done)



"I'm gonna take a shower...ok?"


(10 minutes later)



"I want to take you to the Doctor or ER - you pick"

"mmm"..."I just want to lay here"..."you can take me tonight if I don't feel better"

"Um, no, we should go now."

"mumble mumble mumble" (I believe I heard bitch in there somewhere)

"What would you do if it were me?"

"grumble grumble - I would do what YOU want to do. I ALWAYS do what YOU want to do."


"So I guess we're going huh?"


End result.
Diagnosis: Peripheral vertigo from fluid in the ear.
Treatment: travel sickness meds and antihistamines
Followup: See a neurologist and they will recommend exercises.
Current Status: Patient is drugged and dozing on couch while I rock out on i-tunes and work on the computer.

Sidenote: Patient is happy to have A's Mom's favorite companion - Maggie Dog - visiting and sleeping at his feet (I think this is winning him over to getting another pet). Nothing like the comfort of a sweet and fuzzy animal when you don't feel well.

VP Beat Down

We gathered last night in our living room, me, hubby, my sister Jude, her hubby, and her youngest son (28) to watch the VP debate. I don't remember this ever being an event for us before. In fact, I remember skipping to a cable movie channel in the past to avoid the coverage. But this year it seemed so important, so relevant, the VP is not an empty position anymore. Especially with the current VP showing every day how influential that position can be.

Mrs. G's post capture the easy way to mock the Governor of Alaska so well, I won't attempt to top it. So instead, I'll talk about the top 3 moments I groaned and covered my face.

Moment 1: When Governor Palin entered and while shaking Senator Bidon's hand asked, with the microphone clearly picking up her "charming" twang, "Mind if I call ya Joe?" She asked that purely so she could use that hackneyed "Say it ain't so Joe" later on.

Crazy bitch.

Moment 2: When Governor Palin actually acknowledged she wouldn't answer questions the way that the moderator or her opponent would like. Really? And I thought this was a debate? Aren't the rules of the debate to, like, um, debate the issue posed? My mistake.

Crazy bitch.

Moment 3: The last 3 times she talked...which made no sense (like a wind up doll winding down). It was like she was skipping words: "Maverick...American People...middle class...god bless...patriot..maverick...maverick...maverick."

Crazy bitch.

To be truthful - I think she's kind of funny, kind of pretty, kind of entertaining.

To be truthful - the idea of her holding high executive office scares the be-jesus out of me.

To be truthful - I might very well have to move to Canada if she is our VP.

Maverick my ass.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Next Great Depression?

Normally I live my life with the understanding that the media loves a good drama and to take everything they offer with a grain of salt. But the economic news the last couple of weeks has been truly alarming. (See my blog I need more things to worry about!)

What happens to a family who works very hard, ties up their assets in things like a house and property and retirement investment accounts, if the bottom of everything they trust falls out?

Maybe this...(I apologize for the embedded ad, but the news item was powerful)