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The last leg of my commute is a stretch of I-95. I don’t usually think too much about it as I’m almost at work and the drive is pretty straight forward.

The other day I was on this stretch and got in the left lane to pass a tractor trailer.  As I moved over, I slowed down slightly since there was a Volvo in front of me and we were going around a curve.

Thank goodness I slowed down.

All of the sudden there was a huge BANG! as the truck’s rear tire exploded. In between the cloud of smoke and flying rubber (part of which slammed into my mirror), I was able to make out the rear of the truck veering into my lane.

Oh my God.

Instinctively, the Volvo in front of me slammed on their brakes, which left me with three options: get hit by truck, slam into the Volvo while getting hit by the truck, or move over as far to the left as I could without hitting the guard rail.

I chose option three.

As my car rode precariously along the shoulder, my side mirror just inches from the guard rail, the truck’s tail end wove in and out of the space between me and the Volvo before the driver was able to regain control and pull over. If I hadn’t slowed down during my initial pass, I probably wouldn’t be here.

It all happened so quickly that I didn’t even have time to do anything but react. It wasn’t until I got off my exit that I noticed my hands were shaking.

This morning as I drove by that very spot, I noticed a set of tread marks veering off to the left. A set of tread marks that are dangerously close to leading a car head-first into a tree.

Those are my tread marks.

I am truly thankful that I am able to drive by those marks today, as a reminder to be careful, to be cautious and to not take anything for granted.

Thank goodness I slowed down.

The wedding was beautiful. The church was sweltering, but I completely forgot how hot I was as the bride and groom began their vows. Even the non-criers in the crowd were blinking back tears and when Michael reached out and squeezed my hand, I knew it had hit him too.

I don’t really remember much about the singing. It was almost an out of body experience  because my heart was pounding and before I knew it the song was over. But, I got lots of compliments so I guess it went well.

And now, picture time! Yay! Here’s the first dance. I have never seen her look as happy or as beautiful as she did that day. They are so cute!

When we got to the reception, we all decided to take a lot of “before” pictures. Before we were all tipsy and sweaty from dancing. It was probably a good idea.

Me and Michael before:

Little Black Dress ladies and the bride:

Dancing:

Blue drinks…

…make blue tongues.

Me and Michael After:

Definitely time to call it a night!

There are three dresses hanging in the front of my closet. Each one was bought specifically to wear to the wedding. The wedding that in 28 hours from now I will be singing at. Yikes!

Each dress that I bought had issues. The first one is so cute (green and white) but in the end, too casual. The second fits me perfectly, accents my figure and is sleeveless, but not strapless, so finding a bra was not an issue. The problem is that while the top part is black, the skirt part is white. Even after talking to the bride about it (who gave me a thumbs up), I didn’t feel comfortable wearing that much white to the wedding if I wasn’t the bride.

So, dress number three. Which is the perfect little black dress. With the perfect little black (patent leather, open-toe, slingback) shoes. I feel beautiful in it. I am hoping the feeling will carry over and give me the confidence I need when I’m singing in front of 220 people.

I will also be wearing waterproof mascara, because I’m sure I will tear up as they say their vows, both happy for them and picturing the day I will be saying them to Michael.

Have a wonderful long weekend…I’ll post pictures on Tuesday! 

Last night my office attended a banquet at Foxwoods. This was my second one and I couldn’t help but to enjoy the open bar and great food. This banquet was better than last year’s because this time around I actually knew people. Last year I had been on the job for almost a month and knew no one.

But last night was fun. All the food stations had miniature servings that while cute (and delicious–macaroni and cheese with lobster and truffles!) were deceiving. You brain definitely thinks you can eat more when everything is tiny.

But perhaps my favorite part of the night was bonding with fellow coworkers over some of the really weird things.

Cowboy hats. On a man and woman couple. In Connecticut. At a banquet. And the woman, who had hair down to her butt and was wearing an outfit comprised completely of shades of lilac, had a matching lilac scrunchy and cowboy hat. Lilac Cowboy Hat. Matching scrunchy. Wow.

Before the dinner there was a presentation in which two men accepted gifts. The first man handed over his gift to the other and then shook hands. After the handshake, one man pulled the other in for a typical man hug, you know, the one arm pat on the back kind. The pull-er was obviously into it, but the pull-y? Not so much. It was brief…and then it was time for the pull-y to present the pull-er with his gift.

One would think that a handshake would be sufficient for accepting this gift, but no! The pull-er was at it again! This time the pull-y was obviously thinking, “dude! Seriously?” but because he was in front of such a large group he had to go in for the hug. Awkward man hug #2, as he was most definitely not digging it.

The three of us that were sitting together, perhaps a little light headed from our drink on an empty stomach, found this hilarious.

Good times.

Remember yesterday how I told you I make piles of things? It’s not an lie, I really do. It’s bad. Up until yesterday there was a pile of dishes waiting to go in the dishwasher, there is a pile of catalogs and magazines on the ottoman, and quite possibly the worst pile ever known to man is currently residing on top of the dresser in our bedroom.

The first thing I do when I get home is change out of my work clothes. And usually the pants or skirt or sweater I’m wearing can be worn again before having to be washed. While I know I should just go hang it up, I procrastinate and lay it on the dresser for later. I have the best intentions of “later” being before I go to bed, but that never happens.

What happens instead is an enormous pile of clothes (both mine and Michael’s, but really mostly mine) mixed with bras, necklaces and whatever else has been tossed aside for the day. It’s a mess. A huge mess.

Michael HATES the mess. And while he’s mostly tolerant of my “I’ll get to it, I swear!” promises, he’s been bugging me about it lately because it really has taken over the entire dresser, making it impossible to find anything.

This morning his tolerance ran out.

He had to work at six, and had probably over slept as he was rushing around trying to get ready. I woke up to the sounds of him moving things around and grumbling under his breath. I stayed still and pretended to still be sleeping because I knew The Pile was the cause of his angst.

And when his attempt to get into his sock drawer caused The Pile to begin to fall, he’d had enough.

He dumped an entire laundry basket’s worth of clean laundry onto my sleeping body. And went to work.

After he left (and I managed to burrow out from beneath the mountain of laundry) I actually laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation. Then I vowed I would clean up the pile.

I’ll get to it. I swear!

  1. I was born on New Year’s Eve. I was three weeks early and weighed just over five pounds.
  2. I started playing piano when I was five and the violin when I was in fourth grade.
  3. I don’t currently have a piano and I miss it every single day. I would watch far less TV if I had a piano.
  4. In high school I was part of a touring orchestra. We visited Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
  5. I had my first beer on the trip. My friend and I bought a Fosters and split it. Well, what was left of it. After being carried in her backpack all day it basically exploded when we opened it.
  6. In addition to that trip, I’ve been to 12 other countries.
  7. I started dancing when I was three and was in toe shoes by nine.
  8. I switched from classical ballet to modern dance when I was 14. It completely changed my life.
  9. My first boyfriend was in preschool. His name was Andrew and he wore Burt and Ernie slippers.
  10. He came to my birthday party and brought me a Jem rocker Barbie.
  11. I am awesome at Friend’s trivia. My friends will never play with me because I always win.
  12. Two coworkers have challenged me to a game, but we’ve yet to play.
  13. If I never had to worry about weight, I would eat grilled cheese sandwiches every day.
  14. Washed down by a milkshake.
  15. My first real kiss was in the 8th grade. He kissed me in the hallway after last period and a few seconds into it I felt a tap on my shoulder. I opened my eyes and was face to face with the vice principal. He threatened us with detention if we didn’t leave right away. It took me almost a whole week to kiss him again.
  16. Incidentally, he broke up with me the day of our 8th grade picnic.
  17. No matter how hard I try, I can’t control clutter. I make piles of thing…clothes, dishes, magazines…but it takes me forever to actually put them away.
  18. Once in elementary school my friend and I decided to play “moving to California”. We moved every single thing in my room (except the bed) to one side of the room.
  19. Then we sprinkled baby powder over everything to pretend it had snowed.
  20. When we got in trouble, she threw a tantrum and didn’t help me clean up.
  21. On average I buy a pair of shoes a month. Sometimes two.
  22. If I’m not wearing heels I don’t feel put together.
  23. If I could keep up on it, I would always have a french manicure.
  24. I don’t mind if Michael works late on Fridays. Yummy food + What Not To Wear = happy me.
  25. The only bones I’ve ever broken were toes.
  26. The worst was when someone wearing motorcycle boots stepped on my bare foot.
  27. In high school I worked at CVS. I started as a cashier and moved up to a photo tech.
  28. Much like in a hospital, those who wore the white coats (photo techs) were respected more.
  29. I accidentally stole an eyeliner when I worked there. I was stocking and put it in my smock while I did something else. I didn’t realize until I got home that I had left the store with it.
  30. I kept it and used it.
  31. I secretly wish I could rap.
  32. It all started with a Jay-Z CD a friend gave me in high school.
  33. I know all the lyrics to Ludacris’ “Money Maker”. I’m oddly proud of that.
  34. When I was 18 I was prepared to go to college as a dance major.
  35. Even though I got in, I couldn’t afford my first choice school. The school I went to didn’t have a dance major so I chose journalism instead.
  36. Now I’m a publicist. I think it was a wise choice.
  37. My mom is a breast cancer survivor. She’s been cancer free for nearly five years, but I still worry every day it will return.
  38. As cliche as it sounds, she is my hero and the strongest woman I know.
  39. I’ve always been a long-term relationship person. I dated my high school boyfriend for four years and just passed the five year mark with Michael.
  40. Sometimes I wish Michael and I will have a big family just so we can have picnics.
  41. People always tell me I look like Cate Blanchett. I don’t see it at all.
  42. I have a tiny scar next to my eye from when I was bit by a dog as a child.
  43. Her collar got tangled in my overalls and she got scared. If she had bit just an eight of an inch over, she would have gotten my eyeball.
  44. I started coloring my hair in 6th grade. It’s been all shades of red, brown and blonde.
  45. Including an awful self-coloring mistake that left it a weird shade of gold.
  46. My first concert was Matchbox 20.
  47. I caught the guitar pick that was thrown into the audience, but a big girl stole it from me.
  48. My friend jumped on her back and yelled at her to give it back to me.
  49. She didn’t.
  50. I can’t get on board with Amy Winehouse. I’m sorry, I just can’t.
  51. Growing up, both my mom and dad and hair down to their waists. I was a hippy baby that wore tie-dye and bandannas.
  52. My family can’t understand how I grew up so “straight” and girly.
  53. They don’t wear tie-dye anymore either.
  54. I make up songs and sing them to the dog.
  55. His favorite is the Beef Song.
  56. I was team Aniston.
  57. I rowed crew for two years in high school.
  58. I was in the best shape of my life, but hated 5 a.m. practices.
  59. Especially when it was sleeting.
  60. I want to visit Ireland, Greece and Asia.
  61. I drive a Honda, but my dream car is an Audi.
  62. I will never drive a minivan.
  63. If I ever got plastic surgery it would be liposuction on my thighs.
  64. Reading chic lit is a guilty pleasure.
  65. My freshman  year roommate and I bonded over watching a Discovery Channel show on the U.S. Mint.
  66. When I was 17 my friend and I were paid to be go-go dancers for a 50th birthday party.
  67. We wore vinyl dresses, wigs and fake eyelashes.
  68. It wasn’t creepy, we just danced on stage all night.
  69. I have a serious sweet tooth.
  70. My indulgences are chocolate and ice cream.
  71. My emotions read all over my face. I have to be careful, I’ve been known to give some really dirty looks.
  72. I have small eyes and a big mouth.
  73. I always wear eyeliner.
  74. I never wear lipstick.
  75. My sister has big eyes and a small mouth.
  76. I hate that commercial for anti-fungus medication where the fungus lifts up the toenail.
  77. I think it’s absolutely repulsive.
  78. In 10th grade I chopped off my hair and dyed it platinum blonde.
  79. It was because Claire Danes did it and I thought it looked cool.
  80. Mine looked nothing like that.
  81. Then in college my hair was super long.
  82. It was mostly because I was a poor college student and couldn’t afford haircuts.
  83. Michael likes my hair long.
  84. My favorite drink is vodka.
  85. I cannot drink tequila.
  86. I hate vacuuming.
  87. Especially since the dog is always shedding.
  88. Actually, I don’t like doing laundry either.
  89. I think I would like a maid.
  90. My closest friends are some from my childhood and some from college.
  91. It’s strange how the ones in between seemed to have slipped away.
  92. If I won the lottery, among other things, I would have a walk-in closet just for shoes.
  93. I have made some good friends through blogging.
  94. One in particular that I talk to every day.
  95. And some others that if we meet in person, I know it will be awesome.
  96. My grandparents used to live in a condo complex that had a pool. When you opened the door to the women’s locker room there was a life-sized poster of Bon Jovi.
  97. I think that was my first celebrity crush.
  98. It didn’t last very long.
  99. I’m not sure why the numbers are messed up.
  100. But I don’t feel like messing around with it.

Yesterday we had brunch with our friends who just had their second baby. When we got there, the older son (21-months) was attached to his dad’s hip like a monkey. He was putting on the shy act and smooshing his face into his dad’s neck, then peeking around him to make sure we were still there.

As he warmed up his monkey qualities really came out and he climbed his father like a jungle gym and flipped and flopped all over the place. He’d reach out for me to hold him, which would be great for a few minutes, until he realized daddy wasn’t holding him and then he had to go back immediately. The interaction between the two of them was adorable.

After brunch I was snuggling the newborn (little feet! tiny hands! baby smell!) and Michael started playing with the older son. The kid was in heaven. He’d hide behind Michael and pull him backwards so Michael would “crush” him, then squeal and push him forward again. After that he was climbing all over him and couldn’t get enough of Michael flipping him over or tickling his feet. Michael was clearly having a great time and was laughing and smiling right along with the boy.

I was smitten all over again. I was completely blown away with how fantastic Michael was with him (not that I had any doubts), and once again my ovaries were doing a little happy dance. (Seriously, ovaries. NOT NOW.) Visions of our own little family flashed before my eyes and I had to look down at that tiny baby in my arms to hide the stupid grin that was spreading across my face.

He’s going to be a great dad. I cannot wait.

Michael’s birthday is tomorrow and he is so difficult. The man wants nothing. I went all out at Christmas and have pretty much exhausted my creative options, but I still managed to figure out something I know he will like. But I can’t tell you what it is because he reads this. I’m such a tease, I know.

I am taking him out for dinner tomorrow (he didn’t know that either, but he does now. Surprise, baby!) and later we will meet up with friends at one of our favorite bars. It should be a good time.

Sunday we are getting together with our friends who just had their second baby and I cannot wait to snack on some chubby baby thighs. And after that…to His Mother’s we go for a birthday dinner. This will be the first interaction we’ve had since the Talk and I’m not especially looking forward to it.

The grandmother is making an effort. She called me yesterday to tell me she had dropped a chocolate bar in the mail slot for me. I’ll take that as a peace offering.

Speaking of chocolate, a word to the wise: grocery shopping while hungry and hormonal will result in one thing. Brownies. Double chocolate chunk brownies, to be exact. They smelled so good while they were baking and I may have had a little piece with breakfast. I will completely ignore my thighs protests as I scarf it down during lunch.

As for the hair situation, I have decided to embrace it. When faced with rain, there is no winning. The half-poof plus headband look is actually working today. Yippee!

Let’s talk about hair. Specifically, my hair and what it is doing this week. Because this week? Has been humid. Very humid. Two days ago I was running late and didn’t have the time to blow dry and straighten, so I figured I would just let it air dry and pray that my waves looked nice.

They didn’t. So up in a ponytail it went. This morning I prepared to do my hair again and was faced with this: 

big hair

There’s probably a small child hidden in there somewhere, along with one of Kodiak’s toys and maybe a snack for later. My hair? Is big. And those pieces on the upper right? Are frizzy. Michael actually thinks it looks pretty, but he’s not the one that has to wrangle it into something I can actually leave the house with. Thank goodness for headbands.

Moving on…

Last night we attended our friend’s graduation from the fire academy. After everyone had arrived we noticed that nearly a third of the auditorium was filled with his friends. It was so nice to see everyone, especially friends who just over a week ago had their second baby.

After the ceremony I was playing with their 21-month old son. He’d stick out his leg for me to tickle, then laugh and laugh, then do it again. He was so adorable that my ovaries were jumping up and down singing “weeee!!!” until I told them to  be quiet, because no. Not now. (Incidentally, they are punishing me today with cramps. Owwwww.)

While wonderful, it was so strange to see this couple as parents of two children. The same couple we’d spend hours with laughing, drinking and being carefree. As they chased one son around the auditorium and held the other tiny peanut of a baby in their arms, I felt one of those defining grown-up moments.

Remember that Sex and the City episode where Carrie talks about her “secret single behavior”? (SSB) The things you do only by yourself and wouldn’t indulge in around a guy. I think Charlotte’s was staring at her pores and Carrie’s was eating peanut butter and crackers while standing up in the kitchen.

My SSB? I guess there’s some grooming, (because I’m sorry, but shaving your armpits is so not sexy…I’ll do that on my own time, thanks.) and the occasional Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza for dinner while I watch bad TV.

But I guess my true SSB would be two fold. First, when home alone, I sing. Loud. Lately it’s been practicing for my friend’s wedding (that’s in 10 days oh my God.) but often it’s singing along to the one and only Celine Dion. Yes, I admit it. I own her greatest hits CD. What of it? Love her or hate her, you’ve got to admit that woman can sing.

Secondly, and this should come as no surprise, I try on all my shoes. With various outfits. And stand in front of the full length mirror and stare at myself from every angle. I wouldn’t call it vanity, more like research. I store it all away in memory so I know which shoes look good with each pair of pants, skirt or dress.

I guess my secret is out now.

What’s your SSB?

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