production maven

pro•duc'tion n. 1, act of bringing forward. 2, a product of physical or mental labor; esp., a theatrical presentation. ma'ven n. an expert. Also, ma'vin.

Friday, January 30, 2004

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

A little gratuitous self-love never hurt no-one, right?? Yes, it's the anniversary of the day of my birth, and Mr. G. did AWESOME with the presents! We're a little on the tight $$ side, so he couldn't go out and spend the thousands that I know he wanted to, but he did great! Remember when I said that I always have great ideas with what to write on the blog, and ideas for books, etc., usually when I'm in the car? Well, he listened to me and got me a little personal recorder so I plan on becoming the next Nixon when it comes to taping things. Watch out, I just might record you! He was so sneaky about it too, he told me that he spent some money at the "Flying Rinocerous" on my present the other day when he was in the "big" city. I had never heard of such a place in that town, so I was a little confused. I had to write Flying Rinoceros in the checkbook (we don't use credit cards, so everything we spend goes into our checkbook as a debit) and I was clueless. He is so smart! Thank you, Mr. G.!!! And my cousin (who has the same birthday as I do) got me a GREAT rubber stamp that says "I don't have time to read this CRAP" and a George Bush chew toy for the doggies and my mom and dad sent me a new bathing suit and a black skirt and some money and some oranges from Florida (no plane ticket though, oh well), and a woman at work gave me some cute gerbera daisies the other day and two other ladies from work chipped in and got me a gift certificate to a yarn store in Boston - they so rock! It's been a good day, I'm working but am going to stop soon and do my workout and then start to clean the house for our friend's arrival tonight. All good, all good.

And, on the technical front of things, you can now get some exciting (well, not really) pictures of me/us now! You can either go over to the little side bar over to the left there and click on "meet me" or you can just click on here. I will try and post pictures of everything that goes on in my exciting life. That photo is a little old.... almost 5 years ago! My god! And those cuties in the background are my parents.

For something pretty damn gross, go here (with thanks to Becca for that one). And for something pretty damn funny, go here (with thanks for this to Mimi Smartypants for cluing me in on this). I think I must have one! I really do! But not a smelly one. Ick.

See what happens when I learn to do links? They're all over the place! It's a good thing, dear reader, that I really don't know code. Or else this whole blog would be link-written. You've been warned.

Have a great weekend, you all. Thanks for being you. I plan on a certain amount of debauchery, so you'll be getting the full report on Monday.

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Thursday, January 29, 2004

REMEMBER, YOU MARRY YOUR PARTNER, NOT THEIR FAMILY!

OK, so I've tried to be nice about my family-in-law. I've tried. But honest to god, I think I got the last good one from that load. I have not told my sisters-in-law, we'll call them A and B, or my mother in law (we'll call her TC - for The Crazy) about this site. I doubt Mr. G. will either, since he rarely talks to them. And if they happen upon it, well that's that.

What you who are not in "the know" must know is that Mr. G. is the eldest of three, he was married before (and his wife at the time and mother could not stand each other) and that, two months after we got married, his father died in a single car accident after fighting with his mother about sister B's boyfriend. Mr. G. and I think it was suicide, but that's something we'll just keep under our proverbial hats (whoops, I just told all of you! Oh well). His mom is someone with a distinct personality disorder, and it's hard to have a relationship with her. She is very hot-cold. And when she flies into reaction, it's like a little crazy bomb went off between her ears. The Thanksgiving after Mr. G.'s dad died (and we really, really, really miss him - he was the logic amongst the craziness), TC and the entire family came to our brand new house, and I made a delicious dinner. I realize it was a hard time, and the anniversary of the death and all, but what TC did was somewhat unacceptable in my view. The day after Thanksgiving, she wanted to stay the weekend, even though she had come over with the sisters (they live about 4 hours away) and she wanted Mr. G. to take her home on Sunday. He declined. She got pissed at me, went up in her room, pouted for a while, then came down, accused ME of not being sensitive enough and not appreciating what she was going through, and stormed out of MY house! This wasn't the first incident (the first one was how she accused my dad of brainwashing Mr. G. while we were all at the place where we were going to get married, planning the last minute details - that was a lot of fun, let me tell ya). And there have been others. To see just how dillusional this woman is, go here. She told me she wanted to work on our relationship then posted this and I totally flamed her for it.

Well here's the latest. Sister B is going to get married next May and she and her husband have then decided to go to a college in TC's hometown. TC's step-father died last September, and TC's mother lives in an assisted living place. Well, the will of TC's step-father stated that the grandchildren were to get the estate and divide it three ways. So TC has been planning on selling it. But since Sister B wants to go to school there, TC is thinking about keeping it, fixing it up, and living there will Sister B (who will be 24 at that time) and her new husband. Better B than me, I guess! But honestly! Mr. G. didn't get any of his father's life insurance (it all went to the sisters), and I told him that his mother should buy him out if she's not going to sell that house. Whatever.

Sorry for that rant. It just pisses me off. A lot. I wish I had a mother in-law who was decent, the way my parents are MORE than decent to Mr. G. And I wish that my father-in-law hadn't died, because he was the logic against TC's madness. Anyway. Whatever. Whatever.

Now Mr. G. and I are off to a friend's house, where we are going to plan our Gourmet Club dinner (I know, very chi-chi), and tomorrow is my birthday! So happy birthday to me! We have some friends coming up and we're having dinner with 3 other couples on Saturday, which will be fun. And my great brother has given me a workout plan (he's an athletic trainer dude) so that's exciting. And we have a couple of really big jobs coming up soon. It's all good. Really good. Other than the in-law thing, and I am trying (!) not to let that bother me too much.

Wish me happiness this year! I'm wishing for that for me too!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Greetings from the land of self-centered drivers

So, I'm here in Boston, since it's Wednesday and all, and I'm at the publishers. As you know, it's been a rough couple of days. I don't know why, exactly. It just has. I had a delightful dinner with my cousin last night. We went to an old favorite restaurant of mine and shared a delicious ensalte of smoked mozerella, roasted peppers, and greens, had lots of good bread, and I had a pasta dish with brocolli rape (not rape, it's pronounced rap-ay) and chicken. She had lamb with potatoes. It was all good. Then we went to a pastry shop and shared some treats and had a cup of decaf cappucinno. It was great to catch up with her, and to celebrate our birthday together. Unfortunately the waitress, who was cute and had a nose like W.C. Fields and was so short that, when I was sitting, we saw eye-to-eye, switched our doggy-bags so I get to have lamb and potatoes for lunch.

Then, on our way back to the cars, we happened into the land of self-centered drivers. Let me first explain that I do love Boston. It's a great city, with lots of fun things to do, people to see, etc. But for some reason, the people down here drive like shit. I don't quite know if it's the water, or the crazy way the streets are laid out (and, until recently, the way the streets kept changing daily due to the Big Dig) or what. But people are just butt-ass crazy behind their steering wheels. And not just reckless. Let me explain further: We were walking home and we across the street from a 7-11 convenience store. This woman screeches her car to a stop, almost in the middle of the intersection (she kind of pulled over to the side of the road, but not really), puts the car in park, leaves it running, and goes into the store. And, there's already a ticket on her windshield. I wouldn't leave my car running in the middle of the road at night in the small town that I live in! Let alone in the middle of BOSTON! And this was a nice car, too. I think it was a BMW or something. This, people, this is why people's cars get carjacked and they cry on the news and say they don't know why this terrible thing has happened to them, blah blah blah poor me. This is why your insurance premiums are so high! Because these rich people leave their cars running, go inside, get their cars stolen (because, of course, the keys are in them), file a claim with insurance, etc. Or they don't park right, and another car slams into their $50,000 Lexus or whatever it is and totals it and they file a claim. And now, don't you justify this by saying it's because it's been cold outside. I know it's been cold. But how cold is your car going to get in the 4 minutes that you're in buying your cigarettes and beer? Not very. My cousin commented that the woman must be loaded, why else would she leave the parking ticket on her windshield? Maybe she doesn't care if she ever pays the ticket, because she's got so much money. Who knows. I wouldn't want to tangle with the ticket patrol though, especially when you don't pay the tickets. Those things add up! Then we were going to look into a Hummer that was parked further down the road and my cousin was rapidly approaching and I noticed there was someone inside it. It was very creepy. I wonder if he was going to abduct someone or something. He was just sitting there, in the dark, in his custom $250,000+ über-stupid, SUV on steroids car - excuse me, truck - with the lights out.

And another report from the planet of self-absorbed drivers:
This morning, while driving to work (and I must predicate this by saying that when I lived in Boston, I NEVER drove to work - EVER. No place to park, etc. I had a car down here for 5 years and put a total of about 20,000 miles on it. When I'm here now I drive because I drive into the city, work, drive to wherever I'm staying, sleep, drive to work, work, drive home - no time to park and take the T in) I came across someone from the super planet Volvo. They must have been from another planet because of how they were driving, like no one else's safety was as important as this person getting to where they need to get to. No turn signals, naturally. Getting in the right lane to pass right in front of someone who is going really slow, then cutting that car off when zipping back in front of them. Getting in the left lane, at a light, when the cars and a school bus in front of them is turning left, and then laying on the horn and trying to inch by the school bus in front of them, therefore cutting off traffic in the middle lane, when the bus in front is yielding to turn left. Basic driving skills. Zipping around other cars in the road then slamming a left, cutting off the oncoming traffic. No other person or car exists other than this gem from the Planet Volvo.

And my final example from the planet of self-absorbed drivers:
I experienced, yesterday, once again the thing I like to call the "Boston Left Hand Turn". I see this almost every week that I come down here. I was in the left lane at a red light. There was a van in the right lane, next to me. The driver of the van decides that red lights are optional for people like him, and bangs a left hand turn, in FRONT of me, from the RIGHT lane, at a red light. I don't get it. I've never done a Boston left hand turn, but I do know that they piss me right off.

It was supposed to snow down here today. They were predicting 5-10 inches yesterday on Boston.com. Can I ask you - do you think it has snowed one little flake, at least in the city? Hell no! They did, however, close a bunch of schools this morning. Ha ha. I'm just hoping it will hold off until I get home. Not likely, but I can ask.

Finally, have you heard the commercial for this product? It is most annoying. Some bad poetry slam-rap kind of dude with a wailing "hot mama" in the background. And it looks rather disgusting, this product, to me at least.

Anyway, I am sorry for the negative tone in my posts lately. I am not feeling sad or depressed, just outraged. And, like one of my favorite bumper stickers used to say, "If You're Not Outraged, You're Not Paying Attention". I guess I'm paying too much attention! Some time I am going to figure out how to post pictures to this, so that you can see me, my cats, my dogs, etc... Some time.....

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Blogged

It's been a couple of those days right in a row. I mean, I enjoy working hard. Truly. I do. In fact, I search it out when I have nothing to do... just ask Mr. G. If I have some idle time, I get a little kooky and start looking for something to do. Or a fight to pick. But the last couple of days.... MAN.....

After a lovely, do whatever you want, kind of weekend, this week has been madness. Friday was fun, we watched a couple of movies — one was Gone with the Wind, which Mr. G. had never seen. It's great. A little (a lot) cheesy, but remember this moview was made before computer animation was *hip*. You try to reenact the Civil War and the destruction of Atlanta in real life! I dare you! Get all those wounded soldiers out in that pittiless sun! Go on!

Saturday was great. We slept in, I made muffins (that were more like blueberry stones, but hey, whatever, right? They tasted fine with a little - ok, a lot - of butter thrown on) and then we read, worked a little (see? can't stop!), and went to see a hockey game where my brother was the coach of one of the teams. His team happened to be the away team, and we fortunately parked ourselves in the midst of the "away" parents. So that worked out. His team won. We froze our asses off. It was one of those rinks that has a "pay for heating" kind of arrangement. Luckily, the heat is *free* if you are attending a high school game. Thank god we were. But they accidentally shut it off. Whatever. Then we went to dinner with my brother and his business partner, and that was fun too. Froze our asses off getting back to the car. Got home. Sleep.

Sunday we slept until 10:30 (!), lazed around the house, did some work, I cleaned a little, I knitted a lot. It was great.

Then Monday rolled around. I had to go to the DMV to get my license renewed - it expires on my birthday which is this Friday, thank you for asking. I had to go to Staples (where they sold me a battery that - get this - needs to be CHARGED before it can be USED. Go figure. I thought batteries came already charged. That's the new thing I learned today!). Mr. G. took my car to the mechanic to get it looked at - it was making a terrible noise when I hit the brakes. Turns out I needed new brake pads and new rotors. Happy birthday to me!!!! Then we came home, worked some more, took the dogs to class (where they were both completely scattered and then the teacher made a more advanced student show off her dog and I hate when they do that and make everyone else look stupid) and had to go meet with a client.

Pooped.

Today I drove from Vermont to New Hampshire to Maine to Massachusetts. Worked some. Drove a lot. Now they're saying Boston could get 5-10 inches of snow. In this city, when a single flake falls, the city goes into panic. So I'm debating bringing my computer and stuff home with me, in case of snow, so that I don't have to come into the office tomorrow. I probably will come in anyway. Just to collect it.

And I had a client ask me what the benefits of having me pay the printer are when I broker a job. I couldn't very well tell him that it's beneficial to ME, because then I can mark the price up a bit. Sometimes I hate what I do. You don't ask a lawyer what the benefit of having them do your legal shit for you is, do you? (Well, bad example, but you get my drift). You don't ask a doctor what the benefit of you going to them is, do you? And rarely do people question them.... they just pay their bills and don't ask why. I am GOOD at what I do! So friggin' pay me already, and stop asking stupid questions! At our client meeting last night, my client told me I should mark up my prices more.... that might happen!!

Got to go. Time to go and eat copious amounts of sugar with my cousin, who has the same birthday as me, 5 years younger. We're going to the North End (which is Little Italy in Boston-speak) and eat CARBS. I need 'em!

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Saturday, January 24, 2004

HUMBLE THANKS

Even though it's far from November and the great day of thanks, I need to send a huge thank you to Mo. I am an instant gratification type of gal, and she not only answered a question that smacked of desperate wanting to "fit in", she gave me a lot of good advice about taking it slow and developing my blog. I don't know that I'll do a story like this one (it's very interesting and quite well written, but I am not sure what's real and what's BS), and I like the day-in-the-life flavors of Mo, Belle, and Secret Agent Josephine. I love the trials and tribulations of wedding planning and marathon running from EJShea, and the wisdom of the first blog I ever read, Poundy. And, of course, Myküll is always great to check out. I especially love the flying cats. These are just a smattering of blogs that I check whenever my computer is on, and there are many many more that are great for so many reasons.

So thank you all for my inspiration, and especially to Mo for answering (!) my question so throughly. I will continue to write, and I look forward to your comments and to growing this site.

Mr. G. is wondering, now, where he can get a fishing pole to hook his wife and get her away from the internet, especially on a Saturday morning at almost 11 o'clock in the morning and we haven't eaten yet (not to suggest that he's incapable of cooking his own breakfast, only that we like to eat together - he's a liberated man).

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Thursday, January 22, 2004

Dur.

Once again, I thought of a million clever things to write in this blog last night when I was driving home. Things like: how I hate the sound that my car has been making lately when I brake, and
politics (and how I truly hate and am embarassed by our president simultaneously), and
top 10 things that the president should NOT be allowed to do while in office and
top 10 things for something else (I can't remember what it was - I think I had 2 or 3 lists that I wanted to make).
And I forgot most of it, because (a) I can't drive and write notes down (even though I do sometimes make lists of things to do on the backs of business cards that I have strewn about the car - it's dangerous to do this, so I don't recommend it) and (b) I don't have one of those mini tape recorders to record my great ideas. I swear, if I had one of those things, I would be so clever and almost probably a genius. I would also have a jillion ideas for a billion best-seller books that I would write that would immediately land on the New York Times bestseller list. Alas, I don't have one, and whenever I am faced with purchasing one, I table the idea. And, it would probably come with a thick little manual that I would have to read in order to operate the damn thing, and I hate doing that. Mr. G. is always ALWAYS yelling at me to read the manual because I am always asking him how to do thus and such. He's very patient with me.

I also came up with a pro-Dean website that, if I knew much about HTML, I would create it and become his new best buddy. It would be called (and I am serious about this): "Primal Screams for Dean". Somehow I would organize it so that at a certain time, on a certain day, all of the Dean supporters would get together and let out a primal scream in support for him. Honestly, I am proud of his little outburst. Sure, it might have set him back a *little* (ahem!) in this stupid race but I like to see people with passion, especially politicians with passion. It makes them more human. I know I would have screamed or peed in my pants or done something equally as socially "unacceptable" if I were feeling what I'm sure he was feeling on Monday night. Emotion, people. Passion. Fire in the belly. I don't know about you all, but I am damn sick and tired of these stupid, puppet politicians that act like they are machines and who are incapable of registering any kind of facial expression at all. I couldn't even watch the State of the Union address, I was afraid I would trash my boss's (sp? I don't have spell check on this...) apartment where I stayed on Tuesday night if I watched it. The man infuriates me. I can't even listen to his weasel voice on the radio. I turn it off when he comes on. I saw the little clip on the Today show Wednesday morning about how we need to provide people with the ability to preserve the sanctity of marriage. DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED!

Anyway.
More tomorrow. Time for Mr. G. to read what I have written. My masterpiece.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Still dull...

Sorry I haven't written in a while. My life is rather boring lately. Treadmill, work, work, sleep, work, treadmill, work. And I haven't wanted to bore the rest of you with it.

We had *fun* at agility class Monday. The pooches are LOVING it. They got to jump over stuff, and do the weave poles, and do the tall dog walk, and the tunnel with a curve in it, and (dum da da DUM!!) the A-frame. They love it. Mr. G. and I were exhausted at the end of the hour. We were both sweating and pooped. Ha ha! I think we were more tired than the dogs were. Whee! and we have 4 more weeks. Something to get us through the winter doldrums.

And now I'm in Boston, I came down yesterday and spent the night. I had a great dinner with a friend of mine last night. I haven't seen her in over a year, and it was a lot of fun to catch up, just the two of us. We were roommates in college our senior year - which, incidentally, was almost TEN years ago!!!! - and we also knew each other well in our freshman year, in England. So, it was fun to hear about her life and what's going on. She's going to start a pet portrait business, and she is a dog trainer. So she's going to do both things at one store front. Smart! She's a tough, smart, intelligent woman who has done a bunch of stuff in her life.... and she's my age. She's great. Got to stay at my boss' house, and she's travelling, so it's like having my own apartment while I'm here. Not to say that I am doing anything devious, I just get my own room while I'm there and that's fun. I just go there and watch cable.

Ms. G. has been working his tail off, to get a bunch of things out to vendors, etc. I am proud of him. He's doing a really good job, and hopefully we'll start to get paid for all of this work soon!

I'm kind of rambling on today. Not much to do, and it's only 9 am. *Sigh*. I get to go have a swanky lunch though today with a vendor, AND I am having a good hair day. Does it get much better than that?

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Monday, January 19, 2004

JANUARY BLAH

So, up here in the north, we usually have something we like to call the "January Thaw". We haven't had one yet this month though, in fact, I think maybe we've spent more time below zero than above it.

Therefore, I have the Blahs. I used to be a depressed person - depressed i.e. medicated, under the supervision of a psychiatrist, etc. I'm not embarassed. I come from a line of strong but depressed women. I knew that I had to seek help or else I might just wind up under a train or something. So I did, I'm glad I did, and, happily, I am no longer in need of that kind of care. Lately, though, I've been bummed out. It could be for a variety of reasons, and here are a couple:

1. We haven't gotten paid in a while from our clients and the checkbook is getting rather lean. That Q4 tax payment to your friend and mine Uncle Sam didn't help matters much. I had to do some dialing for dollars today and I hate that. I hate sales work too. And I feel like I should be doing some, even though I hate it so much. And I drove 120 miles to show a proof to a client who is pushing a job through (even though they were late in getting copy to me) and found out that they had another piece printed elsewhere. I wonder why we're not doing that for them.... when I asked, I got a bullshit answer "hem, haw..."

2. Mr. G. and I have fallen into a weird daily pattern of: work, then news, dinner, read for a while, bed. It's kind of like a "is that all there is" feeling. I'm only 30.

3. I'll be 31 soon. Really soon. Almost 40.

and finally:
4. Found out another friend is with child #2. Now, I am very happy for her and her husband, REALLY!!!! I just wish I could join that club NOW. A good friend who is coming for a visit soon told me that she and her husband are going to start trying to get pregnant in June. And I spoke to my cousin this weekend, who is 4-5 months gone right now. It was nice to catch up with her, and I wish I could relate to what she's feeling. I am just feeling left out. I wish I could say that we were trying now, or whatever. As it stands, we aren't going to start *trying* officially until late summer. And I feel like everyone has a new bike and I only have skates or something not as good as a bike and I can't keep up. It's a club I want to join soon, but we have to wait until the money situation is a little better. Of course, people have told me that the money situation is never better, and that you just have to take the leap. Whatever. I do go off the pill the day after my birthday, so that will be nice. The next step, I guess. For some reason lately, all things point to baby. I'm obsessed. And I have 2 other fears: one is, that we won't get pregnant and I'll have to do fertility treatments or something. and the last fear is, that we will. There's no turning back!!!

So I sat around all weekend pretty much. I did finish blanket #1, so that's nice. At least something got accomplished. And we also cleaned the house really well. So I'm feeling depressed a little. Unmotivated. Oh well. Hopefully it will pass soon.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004

REVIEW-O-RAMA

Well, it's done, and the good news is that I'm still employed! Always a good thing. It was a very nice review, and I can't go into details because of confidentiality issues, but basically they said keep doing what you're doing. So, that's good.

Got home safely too. It's great to be back home. Even though it is, literally, colder than a witch's teat. Seriously. I think if I went outside unprotected, then my teats would fall off. Bad. Cold.

I didn't report back the other day, but we ended up enrolling Darwin in the Agility class too. And believe it or not, he did better than Riley! She was too busy being the alpha and wanting to explore everything, even though she had a fun time with it too. He was just a prince! Jumpin and tunnelin' and dog-walkin'. It was great. They both enjoyed it and, even though Mr. G. isn't so sure about it because of the long-term "how does this help matters" we both agree it's a good idea. I said to him: "Imagine in 8 or 10 years that we have a child, and they want to play an instrument. They only do it for a year, or 6 months, but we make the investment for them to enrich their lives. That is what we're doing with the dogs right now." It's a bit of a stretch, but it is good for them to think.

Anyway, time to go and shower then get a deliverable to a client and then get some groceries. We've reached that critical mass point where there are a bunch of jobs ready to go out, but we're waiting for final approval, blah blah blah. Mr. G. got to learn what it's like to be a production manager by kicking a vendor's ass and holding a flame under them. Now he knows how the other half lives!

still cravin' those cupcakes!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Good Vibrations

Not only is that title funny because it's about negative a million outside right now (think: Beach Boys), I also have a request for all of you. And when faced with a request, as I was taught by my parents, you can accept it, reject it, or counteroffer it. I hope you'll all accept it! What I need from you all is good vibes around the noon-o'clock hour. Why? Because I am going to be having my review at that time, at a lunch meeting with my bosses at the Boston job. I've been here a year and a half, love the job (hate the drive though), and I'm sure it's all going to be fine. I just ask for your good vibe because if you collectively send it, then perhaps I will be blessed financially too, and that would be ducky. Anyway. Thanks in advance.

I did a nice thing yesterday, in this sometimes-mean-people city of Boston. I went and gassed up my car and went in to pay. The guy in front of me was scrambling for some change. He said to the cashier, 'I don't have it' and I asked him what he needed. He needed a dime. So I gave one to him. And he said, which absolutely warmed my heart: 'thanks, I hope I can return the favor to someone else' and I said, 'that's what it's all about, good karma comes around and goes around'. It just felt so good! And it's not even the holidays! I think I'm going to start to pay for the person behind me when I go through the tolls, too. If I can cheer up someone's day, then I want to do that. Isn't it weird?

However, I must bitch. You won't get off that easily!
What the F is wrong with people? I work in Boston 2 days a week. I lived in Boston for 5 years. Throughout that entire time, and for some time before and after I lived here, there has been a little construction project called (and you may have heard of this, maybe) The Big Dig. Well, it is finished - they are now doing the demo work on the out-of-service bridges, etc. The tunnels and new bridges and highways are very well done, as well as can be expected. It does help with traffic, once one gets used to the new traffic patterns. However, I read a column in the Globe yesterday that gave me quite a bit of pause. Apparently, when it is cold and snowy (and in case you haven't noticed, the northeast has been enjoying quite a bit of arctic blast for the last 10 days or so), something called ICE develops and shuts the entire tunnel down because it becomes quite slippery.
Now I ask you.
If you lived in, or were at all familiar with, the northeast, and Boston in particular, would you not take caution, from an engineering standpoint, to be sure that all the elements are taken into account when planning and executing these tunnels? I just don't get it. Especially because it took them more than 15 YEARS to build these things! I'm sure at some point over those years it got cold enough to freeze and some ice formed in the tunnels where all the construction vehicles were winging back and forth and maybe they slipped or something.

Anyway.
I guess hindsight is 20/20. I read once that our country makes policy by autopsy, not by past example. You would think that people would want to evolve or something.

And, this morning after waking up from a dream that made me CRY, I was lying there trying to fall back asleep and was making up lists of 100 things that you never knew about me to post here. Of course I can't remember them. I'll try and make it a point to work on them during waking hours, so I don't forget.

OK. So, thanks in advance for thinking of me around lunchtime (eastern) today. Hopefully we'll be avoiding the squalls tonight on the way home.

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Monday, January 12, 2004

SHE'S GETTING MARRIED IN THE MORNIN' (or sometime)

I'm telling the world! A very dear friend of mine just told me today that she and her long-time boyfriend have just gotten engaged! I am going to keep her anonymous, because even though her nickname is very good at hiding who she is, a lot of my readers would know who she was if I referred to her as her nickname. And she hasn't told a lot of people yet, and so it's not my place to tell them. It's her time! Her day! She's the bride! And I am so excited for her. I love it when my friends find a wonderful partner and live as happily-ever-after as you can get in this day and age. I never thought it would happen to me, and it did, so I hope it happens for all of my dear friends. She and he haven't yet set a date or anything, but it's just so exciting and grand. I wish both of them, and all of you, every happiness. Not to say marriage is easy. There are plenty of times where I'd want to wrestle Mr. G. to the ground and beat him up. And he to me.

Here is what I want to say to all of my friends and family who are not yet married, or who are thinking about getting married, or are dating, or are married (so this is for ALL of you!). These are things that I have learned in 4-1/2 years of marriage. I know there will be more as I go forward:
1. Marriage is not easy, but it is rewarding.
2. There are lots of arguments. The key here is to finish the argument.
3. Never go to bed angry.
4. Learn where your middle ground is. What are you willing to sacrifice?
5. Learn to communicate with each other.
6. Learn to LISTEN to one another. Don't just hear. Let it sink in. Listen to what your partner is saying.
7. Appreciate your partner for who s/he is. Don't go into a relationship trying to change someone. This is not to say that people will never change. Just acknowledge who they are. Fall in love with who they are, not with who they might become if they lose 50 lbs and get a better job/haircut/car/outlook. There is always room for improvement. They will flourish and grow with the love that comes from the relationship that the two of your build.
8. When the other person has something to say - like in an argument - don't interrupt. Give them the same consideration you would want if there is something important that you're trying to get across.
9. Love each other daily. Tell each other that.
10. Go out on dates.

That's all I can think of for now. And, I am so excited for my friend!!!! You know who you are!
This is also exciting because, as of now, we don't have any weekends to reserve for weddings so far this year. Last year we had 4 weddings. That was a lot of fun. I think there are going to be a bunch of baby showers this year, but to date, no weddings. I love all of it - wedding showers, weddings, baby showers. I'm such a girl inside.

It's been a cold weekend up here. My poor parents are fighting off sunburn while we're trying to keep all of our fingers when we go outside. Yesterday I got manic and tried to rearrange the furniture. Seemed like a good idea when I was half asleep, but it didn't work out as well as expected when we were in the throes of it. I screwed up my knitting and got all kinds of crazy trying to fix it, watch a movie, and keep the cats from walking over my screwed up knitting. Then I was running late for book club and didn't have a chance to take a shower. Today I have stringy hair. it's a good look for me. Brings out the eyes. And Saturday we had fun with some friends from NY who are moving here soon. And I made the cupcakes that I've been fanticizing about - white cake with white icing and red sugar. Mr. G. wishes there were more. And so do I! I also made my favorite salad. Mescalun greens with toasted pecans, pears, goat cheese and balsamic vinagrette (my own, not from a bottle). I am wishing for more of that today as well.

Tonight we're off to Agility class. I wonder how agile I'll be? And I'm off to Boston tomorrow. But now, it's time to do the treadmill before the fix-it guy gets here. Until later!

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Friday, January 09, 2004

WHAT GOES DOWN MUST COME UP / WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN

Ok, normally not at all a religious person. At ALL. Spiritual, yes. Going to church and tithing and all of that crap? Not so much. But this week has challenged that. No, Mr. G., don't worry. I'm not about to go all religious on your ass. I just think that this week, with its near death experiences and sickness and money angst and all, has been challenging. And today? We picked up three and a half new jobs (I say a half because it's not going to be a money maker; instead it's another blop of cement sealing our relationship to this client which is a good thing). We're willing to do the crappy work, in order to get to the good work. I think that's an important thing to remember when you're in business for yourself.
So I'm feeling more optimistic about $$ and stuff. I don't know if it's divine intervention or not. My mom would say, yes, it is. But she's very into religion, which is fine with me for her. Anyway, shouting out a thanks to whoever or whatever turned the wheel of fortune (not THAT one) back in the upward direction for us.

AND we watched The Apprentice last night. Now, usually, Mr. G. and I avoid the reality shows like the plague. They are getting dumber and more predictable, IMHO. However, this was a good one. There is no love involved, just people busting their balls (or ovaries, as the case may be) to become The Donald's right hand wo/man. It is a tad silly, but it makes going to a client meeting in Vermont a hell of a lot easier! A little less stress involved there.

We did a very very D.I.N.K.y (since we're not urban professionals any more, we have to be double income no kids folk) thing today. We registered Riley in an agility class. What?? you may say. But I'll tell you something. This dog challenges kid-level boredom for being annoying when she is bored. Most dogs, like The Señor here, Mr. Office Manager, does NOTHING when he is bored. He sleeps. Has dreams where he twitches and whines a little and wags his tail. Much fun to watch. Then he gets up, looks out the window, sneezes, burps a couple of times, and finds a fresh spot of carpet to crash on. Riley? No sir. She barks at everything - a truck going down the road, the birds at the bird feeder, a cat sneezing. We walk into the kitchen? She goes to the door and whines - for HOURS. She is ON all the time. We're not complaining. Living in the country, it's great to have a decent watchdog. She tells us when a delivery man is here (the office is on the other side of the house from the driveway, so we don't see or hear them drive up). Yesterday there was a deer in the yard. There was almost some serious hurt going on in here. She wanted to GO and CHASE and then who knows what. I don't think she would know how to kill it, though. She's really quite nice. So on Monday, we're taking them both, Darwin to cheer, Riley to run and play and jump over things etc, to Agility class. Try to burn off some of her energy.

Am getting better, slowly. Still full of congestion though. And finally the headache has stopped.
No plans for the weekend. Lots o' knittin though. And dinner with some friends Saturday. And book club Sunday. Wow, I have a lot planned for this weekend. Didn't even realize it
Now it's time to take my keyboard apart and clean it. I think I have enough hair down there for another cat!

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Thursday, January 08, 2004

Money just sucks.
And I don't feel like working.
What is up with the lack of motivation?

Mr. G. and I have our own company and we have quite a bit of money out there that people owe us and we're just in a dry season. Plus we just paid our Q4 taxes, and that just sucked. Being in a new tax bracket is no good. As my dad says, "You either have an income problem or you have a tax problem". And he wasn't kidding. I am having a wicked hard time motivating and working. This damn cold doesn't help, either. All I want to do is lounge, and that's just not a viable option at this point in my life.

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and I had the WORST abdominal pain I've ever experienced. Seriously. I was sweating and feeling sick to my stomach. I almost fell over getting from the bathroom back to bed. I felt light headed. So, naturally, I had all kinds of crazy thoughts: did my appendix burst? Is it about to? And then I remembered this thing that was on Oprah yesterday, about forensics and researching people who just *die* for no reason. This one woman was on, telling her story about how she's a forensic pathologist and she was doing this research on a woman who went to bed and just didn't get up - a 34 year old woman. Her husband didn't recall her complaining about being uncomfortable or feeling bad. Turns out she had just started to take birth control pills, and they caused a blood clot in her small intestine or something, and it just created so much bacteria in her system that it lowered her blood pressure enough to stop her HEART. HI! I'm in my early 30s! I've been on the pill for quite a while! Holy crap! You can guess, then, dear reader, that I did not sleep well at all last night. I even kept checking my pulse. It was really the most uncomfortable experience in my life. Even going to the lady doctor isn't that bad.

I think it was just the hot dogs that I had for lunch that filled me up so much that I didn't have dinner last night. Poor Mr. G. had to have leftovers again.

Anyway. So now I've had two close to death experiences in two days. I'm done with them, thanks so much! I wonder what today has in store for me?

Let me know what you all are up to. I am bored today.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

(with apologies to Maddy, who read this in an e-mail this morning).
Boy, did I have an adventure last night... I decided to come home from work in the big city because I am feeling increasingly like a truck has run me over and so I'm driving, driving, and then I get to Hanover (NH) and into White River Jct (VT) and there starts to be snow squalls - like whiteouts? Couldn't see a goddamn thing. Then I get off the highway and am driving slowly because the plows hadn't been out yet and get to the road that goes over the mountain (in Vermont those are known as gap roads). First of all I slide across the intersection to turn onto the gap road and there is some dumbass on my butt. Literally tailing me, in a snowstorm. Then I'm going up the mountain and I get almost to the top (driving in 2nd gear, with my flashers on, slowly slowly) and I realize I can't see a damn thing. Seriously. I could not see the road or the lines in the road, the barriers protecting me from the cliffs, etc. Could only see the swirling snow, and it was blinding. So scary. I pull over and the guy who's been tailing me all the way up the mountain goes screaming past me into the storm. I made a mental note to look for his tire tracks going over the cliff when I get to the other side. I get to the top and think, I can't do this. I can't. I can't see where I'm going. I was in first gear, my ABS was locking the entire way down, at one point I was fishtailing and going sideways. I was in tears. All bad. I am so glad to be home. I was talking myself down the mountain "Ok, you can do this, Calm down, take a deep breath, pump those brakes, calm down, it's ok, Mr. G. is home waiting for you". It was an exercise in not losing it. I don't recommend them unless you are really into adrenaline rushes and feeling like you're about to die.

So now I'm home and doing a little work, but I'm really going to take it easy and go back to bed soon. I just have one package to prepare and Mr. G. is going to be so kind as to take it to FedEx for me.

Hope you all can see the roads! It's important!

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Monday, January 05, 2004

There's just something ultra-sucky about the first Monday of the new year. I had finally gotten used to sleeping in, and lounging around the house (although there was always something to do) and going to bed late and now I have to go back to how life is for the rest of the year. Bleh.

Had a nice weekend. Saw some friends that are going to be moving back up here (they live near NYC now but have a house up here) and that was fun. Met a friend of theirs who was hilarious but who also kind of stiffed us on dinner Saturday night. Knitted a LOT. Commented to Mr. G that "Wasn't it great that we didn't get sick over all the holidays". Guess who woke up with a sore throat this morning? And I have a splitting headache too... and the radio station that we like in Seattle is playing a bunch of Smiths tributes so of course we're blasting it. Darn the hard luck! Damn It! Now they're playing "Take the Skinheads Bowling"!!! BLAST IT, MR. G!!

I have a new exercise strategy. I tend to have ADHD when it comes to focusing on exercising - my tolerance level is about 20-30 minutes. Anything longer and I drift and lose my motivation. So, instead of toiling through 2 miles on the treadmill all at once, I am going to attempt to do the treadmill 2-3 times a day for about 20 minutes a pop. AND I am running for one full minute of those 20. 60 seconds may not sound like much, but it's huge for me. Now if I could just stay away from the cookies....

I had a very strange dream last night. I dreamed I was the fiancee of Prince William, and that we were all out on the balcony at Buckingham Palace and waving to the rabble. It was raining. Price Charles was telling me secrets. I kept wondering where Fergie was, and her daughters. Then we went inside and Kate Winslet was also there and she was showing me how everyone in the Palace decorated their own rooms but everything looked like 50s prison-ware: no soft cushions or anything, it was all metal and futuristic and very ugly. Aqua and yellow and orange and white. And I was looking at a rack of framed pictures to decorate my area and they were all really lovely but they had price tags on them - one had to pay the Queen in order to use these decorative items, which is why everything was so ugly- no one wanted to pay for the nicer stuff.
Don't you wish you could get a mini-cam in your brain and film your dreams? I would be amused for DAYS for each one. I dream a lot.

Anyway, back to work. And it's almost time for me versus the treadmill round 2. I called to get the damn thing serviced before the warrenty runs out (which happens tomorrow) and instead of an easy phone call, it took me almost a half hour before I got the appointment set up! And we're off to pay our taxes today. Being self-employed is great in some ways and sucky in other ways—paying estimated taxes is one of the lesser desireable aspects to it. At least we have a great accountant. Am off to Boston tomorrow. My review is Wednesday. I am a little terrified. These things always make me feel a little sick.

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Friday, January 02, 2004

New Year, New Me!

Survived a very nice new year's eve. We first went to a friends house, where she was serving fondue and other hors d'oeuvres. We get there, and we are one of five couples. The other four had at least one child under the age of two - the children were there too. One couple had a 3 month old baby. And two of the other couples are having baby #2 in the first part of this year. We had fun, but we also felt really left out of pretty much every conversation that was happening. We can't compare notes on diapers, spit up, late nights, or what to do if they won't stop crying. We can't keep one eye on the kid and the other eye on the conversation. We couldn't discuss Braxton-Hicks contractions or breast-feeding versus not, or any of that shit. Mr. G. and I were feeling pretty lonely there in a house filled with more than ten other people. Well, hopefully next New Years, I'll at least be able to talk about being pregnant, and sharing my experiences. All these weathered moms will be telling me what to do and what not to do. It will be like having a bunch of big sisters.

We left at about 8:30 (and the party was breaking up, it was, after all, bedtime) and went to dinner in Midd with some other friends, at a great steak and seafood restaurant. I drove; there were rumors of a sobriety checkpoint and I was more sober than Mr. G. These friends that we had dinner with were the polar opposite of the party we had just left. They are newly-weds, but have no intension of procreating. So we got to tell them all about the kiddie new year we had just left. Nice dinner, but we were both so full. And our friend's friends (is this confusing yet?) who were visiting from Pennsylvania were so funny and nice. He's studying to be a mortician. How cool is that??? VERY! Everyone at the dinner has dogs. Everyone at the party before wants to get rid of their dogs (because they are so busy with their kids).

It's funny, because we're stuck exactly in the middle between these two groups of friends. We have dogs, we love our dogs. We want to have kids. We are waiting for a little while before we have kids. It was very strange. I guess you had to experience it, but take my word for it. It was like seeing my past and my future, in one night. I guess you can call me Ebineezer Scrooge!

Then yesterday, Mr. G. and I had something we like to call: ZPD/HVD: Zero Production Day/High Value Day. We slept in, watched mindless television for a while (and Dr. Phil has clued me into a new term that both Mr. G. and I agree is well-suited for my MIL: "Secondary Narcissist") then went to see the new Lord of the Rings. It was a great movie. I haven't read the books yet - the names intimidate me, but I have enjoyed all of the movies. Then we came home and had a nice dinner comprised of leftovers.

All in all, it was a great day. Low-key, do what you want to do kind of day. My personal belief is that people do not have enough days like that in their year. They do not make time to have a day like that.

And today, the 2nd, I am working. It seems so weird to be working for one day, and it's pretty quiet out there. Not much work is crossing my computer desktop. I am wrestling with the idea of only working a half day, and go up to Burlington to do some shopping for the rest of the day. We'll see.

My resolutions are as follows (short-list):
-to kick up my exercise levels (I would like to lose at least 25 lbs this year)
-to keep our company and my work with the publisher going strong
-to save enough money to go on two vacations this year - to Amsterdam in June and to San Francisco in October
-to save enough money to do our kitchen countertops (we did the floors this year, they look great!)
-to continue to work toward being healthy and get off the sugar addiction
I don't usually make new years resolutions, but they are more like goals to me. If I don't write them down or put them out there, then they don't happen.

At any rate, hope you all had a nice new years and that you had enough sense to take today off as well! See you next time...

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