Saturday, July 29, 2006

Because I'm getting really sad when I get online and see everyone's at BlogHer and I'm not

I'll unload this meme on you that I horked from Badger:

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops? Not my person, but once in the fall/winter of 1984 I was hanging out in a parking lot late at night talking to Rusty Bates and some local cops came and started harassing us and searched our vehicles. They found some roaches in the ashtray of Rusty's truck but nothing in my car. Then they told us to go home.
2. What color are your eyes? Brown
3. When was the last time you went sledding? When I was a kid in Virginia - probably around 1975.
4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone? I definitely sleep better alone.
5. Do you believe in ghosts? I think it's presumptuous for us to think there's not spirits as well as extraterrestrials sharing our space in the world.
6. Do you consider yourself creative? I do.
7. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie? That's a tough one. I think Jolie is the more attractive of the two, but I think Jenn is more likeable. I don't think either of them are all that talented, really.
8. Who was your first crush? Andy Crisp, 2nd Grade, Nottingham Elementary School
9. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you? Nope, I spilled it all to my AA sponsor.
10. Have you ever been ice skating? Yes but I suck at it.
11. How often do you remember your dreams? Nearly always.
12. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? On vacation last week when My Kid made fun of the hotel security guards like a Discovery Channel show, outlining their mating habits.
13. Can you name 4 songs by The Beatles? Of course.
14. What's the one thing always on your mind? Wow. That's a tough one. This week, probably sleep.
15. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I played the guitar.
16. Do you know anyone in jail? I've heard my senior class "Most Humorous" is serving time for trying to kill her husband with a hammer.
17. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? I don't think so.
18. Have you ever been punched in the face? God, no.
19. Do you own any stuffed animals? An entire set of The Muppets.
20. Do you have a major crush on someone? Josh Lucas
21. Do you miss someone right now? I regularly miss my dad, who's passed away
22. What are you listening to right now? "Grease 2" on ABC Family
23. Has the death of a celebrity ever made you cry? I don't think so. Maybe Princess Di.
24. What color underwear are you wearing? pale pink
25. Where do you work? At my old job
26. What ended your last relationship? my drinking
27. What food do you crave right now? none really
28. What was the last TV show you watched? The Office
29. What is the last thing you ate? A double cheeseburger from McDonald's. I know, gross.
30. Are you on any medication? Oh yeah.
31. What side of the bed do you sleep on? The right side (if you're facing the head of the bed.)
32. What color shirt are you wearing? White
33. What is your favorite frozen treat? Mint chocolate chip ice cream w/ hot fudge sauce.
34. How many tattoos/piercing do you have? Just one hole in each ear.
35. Can you imagine yourself ever getting married? I could see us having a big ceremonial renewing of our vows, since our wedding was a pretty low-key affair.
36. Have you ever done something to instigate trouble? Oh probably.
37. Do you like your nose? Not especially
38. What color is your bedroom? butter yellow
39. Where do you live? Memphis
40. Are you an aggressive driver? Not as much as I used to be
41. What color is your car? Silver-blue
42. What do you smell like right now? I have no idea. Hopefully nothing gross.
43. What is your favorite color? I kind of like sage green.
44. What character from a movie/TV most reminds you of yourself? Siddalee Walker from "The Ya-Ya Sisterhood"
45. Do you enjoy giving hugs? I do, actually - to people I know.
46. Do you own a digital camera? Yes. Well, my husband does.
47. What books, if any, have made you cry? Can't think of any off-hand. "Marley and Me" by John Grogan
48. Are you a jealous person? Not as bad as I used to be when I was younger.
49. 69? Ugh. No thanks.
50. What shoes are you wearing right now? None
51. What is your major weakness? Baked goods - brownies, pie, cookies, chocolate cake!
52. Do you suffer motion sickness? If I read in the car.
53. What's the best pizza? Alternative from Memphis Pizza Cafe is the only pizza I like.
54. Longest relationship? 15 years with Big Daddy and going strong.
55. Are you afraid of thunderstorms? I was as a kid, but I kind of like them now.
56. What do you want to be when you grow up? 5-foot-10
57. Have you ever given or been given an engagement ring? Actually no. Big Daddy gave me a family ring with diamonds when we got married. A couple years ago he gave me a "set" to wear with it but we were already married so I don't think it qualifies as an "engagement" ring.
58. What was the last gift someone gave you? My Kid gave me a bottle of Benefit "Maybe Baby" cologne for Xmas which I LOVE
59. Who would you call first if you won the lottery? my accountant
60. Can you cook? ehh, so-so
61. What is your favorite jelly/jam? grape jelly and strawberry jam
62. Can you swim? Not like laps, but I can move myself around the deep end of a pool
63. What is your first memory? Singing a solo in church. I'm guessing I was around 4?
64. What item would you like to have buried with you? I prefer to be cremated
65. What are three things you're dying to have right now that would make everything just about perfect? A massage, a pain killer, a night's sleep on one of those new fluffy Marriot hotel beds.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Rethinking the overdressed thing

Here's how my days have been back at the job:

8 a.m. - arrive at office
9 a.m. - attend first meeting; acquire 4 "to do" items
10 a.m. - attend second meeting; acquire 3 more items for Task list
11 a.m. - attend extended lunch meeting; enjoy food bought by someone who is not me; add 7 items to Task list
1:30 p.m. - attend fourth meeting; learn of 2 new Tasks under my jurisdiction
2:30 - try to remember where my desk is located; pee; check voicemails
3 p.m. - attend really long, really loud conference call; contract headache from everyone trying to talk over everyone else; 8 additional Task items assigned to me
4:30 p.m. - Return to desk; notice everyone is just leaving, catch up on multiple emails; flag 17 that require some follow-up task for me; consolidate all task lists from meetings and emails into one To Do list
4:45 p.m. - begin to whittle away list by attacking highest priority items first
6 p.m. - print out tomorrow's calendar since it appears I will not be at my desk at all tomorrow either; call it a day; give thanks for being paid hourly.

As one lady on the team told me, "These are the meetingest bunch of people I've ever worked with." Sheesh. I can't figure out when the heck they expect me to actually accomplish all these tasks I've been assigned!

But on to more important things.... like clothes.

Here is my dilemma: CASUAL FRIDAY.

Which, I believe at one time, back in the late 80s, when it was first born, may have actually been "Jeans Day." Which is a much more accurate description, if you think about it. Because really, are we supposed to dress "casually" or are we merely allowed to wear jeans? Let's get this clear, can we?

Because if you say it's the same thing, then I say you must be a man. Because that's who Jeans Day was really created to benefit, wasn't it? It was saying, "Look, forget the tie. In fact, leave the loafers at home too, and wear tennis shoes if you want. Even those pleated Dockers can have a rest - throw caution into the wind and wear JEANS! Yea! Aren't we great employers??"

'Cause listen, any girl worth her weight in Manolos can tell you that wearing jeans in this day and age constitutes a pair of low rise, tight-fitting, skinny jeans and high-heeled platform shoes. AM I RIGHT?? So telling me I can wear jeans on Friday isn't really doing me any favors on the comfort scale.

Anyway, I am extremely anti-denim in the summertime.

So if it really is "casual day," would it be all right for me to wear a casual little summer skirt and flip-flops? I'm thinking "NO." You put jeans on with a button-up blouse and maybe heels and a suit jacket and you can still look relatively professional. Just because it's 100 degrees and Friday doesn't mean you can come to work dressed like you're making a pit stop on your way to the beach.

Or to wash your car (hello, sweat pants), but that's a whole other post....


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I'm sorry, do I know you?

The weirdest part about going back to work at my old place of employment is all the people who do double takes and then say, "Oh! I hardly recognized you with the dark hair!"

This was me then. (With dark roots)
This is me now.
(I lie. This was me about nine months ago when I first went dark, but the color's the same and it's the only photo I could find.)
I change my hair color like I change my shoes, so I didn't really think anything of it. But I forget that I was blonde for my last couple years there so that's how most people remember me. Luckily, tons of them are kind enough to remind me daily.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Home again

My husband is completely insane. I don't know what it is that gets under his skin and insists on a change of plans, convincing him assuredly that driving all night is a good idea. We were supposed to leave the beach Saturday morning and get home Saturday afternoon (it's about an 8-hour drive). But at 8 Friday night, we were packing up our stuff and hitting the road. We got home at 5 a.m., which meant that no one got a decent night's sleep and everyone's sleep schedule is all screwed up now.

Things I've accomplished since returning from vacay:
1. Dropped off clothes at the cleaners
2. Dropped off books at the library
3. Picked up furry child from the vet where he was boarded
4. Washed same as he smelled like he'd been laying in his own urine all week
5. Grocery shopping (b/c of course there wasn't the first thing to eat in the house)
6. Got my nails done
7. Bought Kid new innertube for back bike tire
8. Cooked dinner (spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, Caesar salad)
9. Cleaned the kitchen
10. Laundry (3 suitcases of dirty, musty, slightly damp beach clothes)
11. Washed my hair (oh flat iron....I missed you so!!!)

Things I still need to do now that I'm back:
1. Get this tooth fixed
See how the root on my back molar goes down, then makes a ninety-degree turn?

Apparently that's a genetic thing and has nothing to do with my jaw being too small or anything. It doesn't usually cause a problem unless the tooth needs a root canal or to be pulled (you can see how that might be painful). When they did the root canal on this tooth some five years ago, they could only go down through the straight part (see where the filling stops?). Now, apparently, the little foot on the end of the root there is infected. I've been to the dentist (she gave me antibiotics and pain killers. Yea, painkillers) and referred me to an endodontist for a consult. Chances are he's going to send me on to an oral surgeon. The preferred treatment is to cut in from the side of the gum, clip off the end of that root and seal it up. Supposedly it's easier than a root canal. We'll see.

2. Get my hair colored. No since doing it before going to the beach as it will only fade.

3. Get this cyst on the bottom of my foot removed. There seems to be an unfair amount of minor surgery in my immediate future.

And now....sleep. 8:15 p.m. - sounds like bedtime to me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Check it out, ya'll!!

I got a troll. Dude, I didn't even know I was popular enough to have a troll! This is so exciting!

A quick update from the beautiful Florida gulf coast beaches, where I am on vacay with the familay. (It sounds like I'm speaking igpay atinlay doesn't it?) Upon return, it appears that I am in fact going back to work at my old job. I did some shopping at the outlet mall here and I bought some skirts at (*gasp*) Brooks Brothers. I KNOW!! But I have to dress conservatively this time round so as not to get myself into trouble again.

And I bought the cutest black & white dress at Ann Taylor (which I can not find online to show you). And a white Coach bag on sale for $74.

Otherwise, am enjoying the sun, the sand, the surf, the sea, the shore. Love to you all til my return. XOXO

Thursday, July 13, 2006

5 Things I Simply Can Not Believe

1. That anyone in Hollywood would still give M. Night Shyamalan money to make movies.
2. That I have a killer toothache two days before I'm scheduled to leave on vacation.
3. That Diane Lane let Ann Curry cut off all her beautiful hair on the Today show.
4. That the makers of my BCP have suddenly (after 20 years) stopped making them??? And I had to find out from the pharmacy when I called in my refill.
5. That Owen Wilson isn't stoned 95 percent of the time.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Interview update

Carmen reminded me that I hadn't let ya'll know how the meeting went with my old boss.

We met for lunch at the Peabody - me, the girl who replaced me, my old boss, and my current boss of the agency that I've been freelancing with. (Long convoluted story, but the contract is actually gping to be through her firm. B/c they've contracted with her agency before, it cuts down on the red tape and allows us to get started right away.)

My old boss was really nice to me. Really, really, overly nice, I thought. They updated me on the project and I was surprised to learn that they're now outsourcing ALL the materials (save for internet). So the job has become a glorified babysitter taking care of the agencies that are producing the printed pieces and television spots.

Tomorrow morning I'm going back - into the building this time - to meet the Executive Director of the program that the project is for. She came on just this year and while I've worked with her on a couple photo shoots previously she probably won't remember me. Back then she was a consultant and I was just the peon staff.

It seems a little weird that they want to hire me as a consultant and I have to "interview" with this woman, but I think it's just a formality really. So she can meet me. She is the one paying the invoice, afterall.

The other thing I learned is that I'm going to be located up on the sixth floor, with the program team, not on the first floor with the Communications team. That's going to be a little weird. It comes down to "We're paying her; we want her up here with our team." OK by me.

So I guess tomorrow we'll finalize all the details and when I get back from vacay next week I'll start me, old....job. The $$ part of it will be negotiated between my current boss and the ED of the program. But I gave my boss and dollar figure - I said, "I won't do it for less than $XX an hour." - and she said she'd get it for me. Actually, she'll get that, plus a few for her, too. Everybody wins!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Conversation between me & My Kid about the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie

My Kid: You know who the bad guy in the movie is?

Me: The guy with the snakes coming out of this face?

Kid: Davy Jones.

Me: DAVY JONES?? DAVY JONES is the bad guy?!

Me (singing) (in a British accent): Girrrl - look what you've done to me.

Kid: ....

Me: Me - and my whole worrrld.

Kid: ....

Me: Davy Jones was the lead singer of The Monkees.

Kid: ....

Me: Sang at Marcia's prom?

Kid: You know, Davy Jones' chest.

Me: ....

Kid: The Flying Dutchman?

Me: Ahh, from Spongebob.

Kid: Well, yeah, he's on there, too. But you know how the first movie was based on Blackbeard? This one is based on Davy Jones.

Me: I'm sorry, but I can't take seriously a movie where the bad guy is DAVY JONES.

Me: Girrrl - look what you've done to me....

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It's KARMA, baby

I have a meeting Monday about a new contract freelance job. Anybody want to take a guess what it is?

It's my old job. The one at the hospital, where I worked for 8 years and was unceremoniously told I didn't need to work out my two-weeks notice? Yeah. That one. I KNOW!!! The girl who replaced me turned in her resignation today and there is quite literally no one in the city qualified to manage that project on this short of notice but ME.

So they want to pay me to handle the project one more time.

I am stunned.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

God Bless Ben Franklin

Since I've been out of work, one of the cut-backs I've had to make is in buying books. I'd avoided the public library for years because I knew I had an ungodly fine due there. The last book I borrowed was a biography of Zelda Fitzgerald that I kept out for like two years. I'm sure they were shocked to finally have it returned. But since a paperback is $15, I figured it was worth the effort to stop in one of the many convenient branches and just see.

Well of course they max out your fine eventually, and maybe they even knocked some of mine off since my balance due was a mere 5 bucks. I paid that sucker and started checking out. When I came home with an armload of books, My Kid said, "YOU RENTED ALL THOSE??" I'm like....dude, it's a lending library. They let you borrow them for free.

Here's a rundown of the books I read in the last two weeks:

We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg is the story of a women who contracted polio while she was pregnant and delivered her baby daughter in an iron lung. Her husband left her, and she raised the child on her own - the first two or three years in the lung in the hospital, and later at home, able to move only her head. Berg wrote the story because a women wrote to her and suggested she write this book about her mother. Berg agreed to do it, but only if it could be completely fiction. The result is a story set in Tupelo, Mississippi in the 1960s that deals with accepting people for who they are and not judging them on outward appearances. I liked this book. It was easy to read and taught a good life lesson without being preachy.

Veronica by Mary Gaitskill came very highly recommended. It was on a lot of "best of" lists and I'd actually had it on my list of "To Read" for a while. This was the only book that I couldn't finish and that is a real dilemma for me. When I'm not enjoying a book at all, I never know whether to quit or keep going. If I don't like it early on, I feel like I owe it to at least give it a chance, and keep reading. Eventually I'm half-way through and even if I still don't like it, I'm like, "Well, I'm half-way through now...." But this one I finally just put down. It's the story of a women who had been a model in Europe, fell from grace, contracted Hepatitis, and met an older, slightly crazier woman named Veronica in NYC, who died from AIDS. The story wasn't really about Veronica, though, it was about the infected former-model. I think eventually, further toward the end, we would have learned more about how Veronica influenced the other girl's life, or something. Reviews praise the writing as "poetic" but I thought it was flowery and weird and hard to follow. I found myself skipping over whole paragraphs, which is why I eventually decided, "What's the point?"

Neighbors by Thomas Berger is a satire about living in the suburbs. It's supposedly hilarious but I guess I don't really get satire, because I just thought it was weird. Every time I found it to be completely ridiculous and totally unbelievable, I just reminded myself that it was a satire but that still didn't make it funny to me. I found out after I'd read it that it was the basis for the movie by the same name starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, so maybe if you've seen that you get an understanding of the book.

Three Junes by Julia Glass is a charming book about a Scottish family over three eventful summers. It takes place in Greece, Scotland, and NYC and is told in three sections. In the first section, Paul, a recent widower, travels to Greece where he deals with loneliness and reminisces about meeting and marrying his wife. The second section is focused on Fenno, Paul's oldest son, who is gay and has left his homeland to live a quite life in Greenwich Village. He is dealing with the loss of the father, memories of his departed mother, relating to his younger twin brothers, and his own inability to form true relationships in his life. The final section is about a young girl in New York, whose husband died in a freak accident. Now pregnant, she goes to stay with a friend in the Hamptons to contemplate telling the father, where she encounters Fenno and his brother. A warm, easy read.

Oh the Glory of it All by Sean Wilsey is the memoir of a boy born to San Francisco socialites. And first of all, can we all just agree that this is the BEST TITLE EVER for a book!! His mother, Pat Montondan, was a manic-depressive "society butterfly turned globe-trotting peace promoter" who once tried to include Sean in a suicide pact. His father was a millionaire businessman looking to climb up the social ladder, so left his mother early in Sean's life, and married her best friend, Dede, who became the ultimate evil stepmother to Sean. Sometimes it was hard to read how unfairly he was treated at his father's house - his bedroom was in the unheated attic, while his step-brothers had luxurious suites; he was only allowed to snack while standing over the kitchen sink; he was forced to sit on the opposite side of the dining table from the rest of the family; the cooks were instructed to cook whatever the step-brothers ordered for breakfast, but Sean was allowed only cold cereal. His father, who was such an imposing character in Sean's life, was completely unwilling to stand up to Dede when Sean complained, saying, "Well those are her boys, I can't control her rules for them." It's no wonder Sean turned into a complete juvenile delinquent. This was by far my favorite book of the group. All 479 pages of it.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a book that I read - or was supposed to have read - my junior year of high school. I seem to remember only occasionally doing the assigned reading back then; this time I read it in one afternoon. I love the story, and I love the characters, flawed though they may be. When I read it now, I hear Mia Farrow's voice saying, "Mr. Gatsby, you always look cool as an ad-VER-tis-ment."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Freedom to SHOP

I love that retail establishments are the only things open on holidays.

I went out to Parisian to purchase some appropriate undergarments for this dress (which, in addition to the halter top, has a low, low back AND is totally see-through). The department store is pretty new to Memphis, although I once did an event at one in Birmingham, and this was the first time I've actually shopped there. I was pleased to see a very well-rounded shoe department including Donald J. Pliner, Ferragamo, Stuart Weizman....all the usual suspects. And great Independence Day sales.

$475 purple high-heeled Pucci clogs for $140. Which are going to look adorable with a pair of skinny jeans this fall.

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Monday, July 03, 2006


In memory of Lennie Weinrib, the voice of HR Pufnstuf, I give you this brush with celebrity, circa 1972:
That's me in the orange shirt, being squished between my little brother and my friend from school, Elizabeth. That's my sister in the sailor dress on the left, and her friend from church, Kristin, in the super-mini. Her mom was a semi-famous modern dancer named Maida Withers, so that's probably why she got to dress like Twiggy while I look like something out of a Dickens novel.