Monday, November 29, 2010

Flying Pig Training Week 2

I ran 6.5 miles on Saturday! It felt really great to cross that 6 mile threshold. I've also decided that my MP3 player needs to consist exclusively of punk rock - Goldfinger, to be specific.

The information meeting for the group I plan to join is tomorrow night. I'm really looking forward to it! I'm not really enjoying running in the cold, but it is what it is. I think I just need better pants and some gloves that aren't puffy. And a handkerchief. No one told me how much snot was involved in running!

Monday Blahs

Back to work today, after a stressful but glorious five days off. Stressful because of the stove issue and some family stuff, but glorious because I got to spend so much time with my sweet boy and husband, visit with two good friends, and stay up late into the night playing Kinect and Final Fantasy. Yes, I'm a geek. No, I'm not ashamed.

Yesterday I had a reunion with my close friend from my old job. I still miss having her across the aisle from me. We had good times together making mischief. We watched the Sex and the City movie, and while it wasn't a cinematic masterpiece, it did remind me how lucky I am to have a job that I love. About this time last year I was having a nervous breakdown about going back to work. It was just past Christmas and I had enjoyed a full 11 days off. I HATED my job. HATED. I was probably good at it, but I hated it with every fiber of my being. Coming from a social science, do-gooder background, market research just wasn't the place for me. But I toughed it out. And I hated every second of it (minus, of course, the fabulous people I worked with). My stomach used to start hurting on Sunday afternoons just thinking about having to go back the next day. It was awful.

No more stomachaches these days. I took a leap of faith (am I allowed to say that? Just kidding!) and came to where I am now, working with my old mentor on a project I helped get started 6 years ago. I love it here, and I am so happy to be doing something I love. Most people aren't lucky enough to be able to say that, but most of the time it's not even like work, at all. And I know that I'm so, so lucky to be able to say that with 100% honesty.

Now, if only the salespeople at HH.Gregg had been as honest, then maybe we'd have our stove. But that's a post for another day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Because no holiday celebration is complete without a visit from the neighborhood fire department...

So around 10:00 this morning I preheated the oven to bake the pan de mie. I had already baked the pie, so I raised the temperature a little bit and then waited for the beep to tell me it was tie to put the bread in. It finally reached temperature, so I grabbed the pan and opened the oven door and OMFG! It was like the fourth of july in there - sparks flying and flames shooting all over the place. I slammed the door, started herding Toddler Charlie and Grandma out of the house, and called to Charlie to help me assess the situation. He grabbed the baking soda and poured it over the mess, yelled at me to call 911, and then ran to the basement to cut the power. His quick thinking probably saved our house. The fire department came, and of course they had the siren on, so the nosy subdivision neighbors up and down the street had to come out and see what was going on. They took a look around, checked the wires, checked the wall, and condemned our stove.

So there we were, 6 hours away from thanksgiving dinner and no stove. Visions of thanksgiving dinner at IHOP started to spin in my head. But no fear, I married a brilliant engineer who has all kinds of tools and tricks up his sleeve. So we made the best of it, prepping and cooking on his ceramic hot plate from the basement workshop, borrowing our neighbors' oven for 45 minutes, and grilling the roast. In the rain. Good thing we weren't planning on a big turkey.

I'm just sorry that I didn't get a good picture of the roast or the pie. Pie was amazing. We tried to grill the pan de mie, but it just tasted like smoke. Thanksgiving is not the time to experiment with new cooking techniques.

All in all, it was an exciting day, and of course today I'm thankful that we didn't lose our house in a fire. Does this story sound familiar? If so, it's because we narrowly avoided another electrical fire just last December.

Today I'm thankful for my amazing husband and sweet toddler boy. I'm also thankful for a loving family and great friends, one of whom I'm looking forward to de-stressing with tomorrow over an adult beverage (or two... or three). It was great to see my dad and grandma this holiday, but I'm really, really, really missing my brother and sister right now, so badly that it makes my heart hurt and my eyes sting with tears. Can't wait for christmas when we'll all be together again!

I'm also thankful for a J-E-T-S win tonight, because if they had lost to the bengals I would never live it down ;)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Flying Pig Training Week 1

This week is the real beginning of my Flying Pig training program. I combed the interwebs and found a 17-week schedule that I'm going to use as the basis of my training. I'm also signing up for a training group that starts in January, so my calendar is only penciled in right now, as it's all subject to change. I hate pencil.

So yesterday was my first "long run." Technically it's supposed to be next weekend, but since I'm feeling intimidated and it was a beautiful 65 degrees out, I decided to go for it. I made it 5.25 miles, which is officially the farthest I've ever run in my entire life. I did walk for 20 seconds somewhere in the middle while I drank water, but I didn't bother to subtract that distance :)

I almost felt like I could keep going, but since I don't really know my limits I decided to quit while I was ahead rather than risk damaging myself. That, and I really wanted to play with Kinect, so I didn't want to be too sore. I'm ridiculously proud of myself. Even if I get to the end of the training program and don't feel like I can run the whole 26.2 miles, I can at least plan for the half. But I'd still like to do the full. So I'm going to do it. Just keep saying it in my head and it will happen, right?

Speaking of the Kinect, here's a little PSA: Don't wear socks on wood floors while you're playing. I did a spectacular backflip when my legs went out from under me. Other than that, it's the most fun I've had in a long time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

I've been a sucky blogger lately, and an even suckier blog reader. Next week will be better. VERY exciting things going on at work, but VERY busy.

Tonight is Harry Potter night! I feel like I've been waiting forever.

I speed-read Book 7 this week and finished it up late last night. I also decided to celebrate with some Dunkin this morning :)

Sometimes I wish that I hadn't shared this blog with family members. I originally started it to keep them in the loop while I was pregnant, but now it's become so much more of an outlet for me. There are things that I would like to talk about but can't.

Did you ever have a really yucky dream? Like maybe a dream where you accidentally saw someone else naked? Someone who you don't find very attractive? And you wake up and feel all kinds of icky and can't get the image out of your head, even though it was just a dream?

I was rather disappointed with last night's episode of The Office. It's gotten really bad lately, but at the same time I can't stop watching it.

If you aren't already a regular reader of Hyperbole and a Half, then you should be. Few blogs make me cry with laughter. This is one of them.

I wish that my brother and sister were coming for thanksgiving. Sister was never able to make it thanks to her d-bag boss, and brother just canceled his plans to drive out here due to a series of unfortunate events. I miss them dearly. On the bright side, the sign that I pass on the road to Dunkin reminded me that there are only 36 days left until Christmas, which means 35 until we get to visit again, anyway.

There is nowhere else I'd rather be than NYC at christmas.

Here are the shoes.

I'm pulling a Mr. Rogers and changing into them when I get to work. So far, so good, although I also feel really self-conscious about the noise they make on the floors. The shoes I had before were silent, and now I sound like an actual grown-up when I walk.

Happy Friday!

Charlie Meets Chipotle

Happy Harry Potter Eve! I can't freaking wait to see the movie, and I'm sad that I'm old and boring now and can't possibly stay awake to go to the midnight showing and still function normally at work tomorrow. I've been re-reading book 7 this week to prepare myself - 75ish pages left to go before we're in our seats at 7:30 tomorrow night.

Of course, things don't always go as planned, so the lovely evening that we had planned with some friends of ours has completely fallen apart, thanks to babysitting issues. Could have REALLY used that drink and company, after some major dramaz with a "friend" of mine who can't mind her own business. Oh well, at least we'll still get to enjoy the movie together.

Since I have about zero time for blogging this week, here's a cute picture, instead :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How the Hell Do you Drive in These?

Over the last month or so, I've been slowly trying to assimilate into the culture of the corporate world. Market research is generally as corporate as they come, but I was lucky enough to be able to wear jeans and t-shirts to work. Not so much anymore. Since I started working in my new position, I've been faking my way through with black pants that I bought the week before I started college in 1999, a pair of khakis from about 2002 with the rivets missing from the back pocket, and a second pair of black pants that I bought in 2004 before my MA thesis defense. To go with that sad collection of pants, I have quite a few decent-looking shirts that are too small for my post-baby chest, so I've been wearing what amounts to a girdle under them and a sweater jacket over them. Oh, and I haven't even gotten to the shoes - my $10 special that I found the night before I started at the new place when I realized that I had no shoes that weren't sneakers or flip flops.

My, how far I've come. I'm still wearing the 1999 black pants, which are in good condition and way too comfy to give up, but today I also have a nice new purple sweater that I got for $9.99 at the outlet mall from a real grown-up store (thank you 30% off coupon). I also have make-up on and I've blow-dried my hair instead of throwing it in a sloppy ponytail. And the biggest shocker? I went and bought new shoes yesterday. They have a HEEL. Well, to be fair, they have a wedge heel, and it's only 2 inches, but still. It's a heel. Something I haven't attempted since senior prom in 1999.

Big thanks to the lovely women who helped point me in the right direction and responded to my desperate texts and emails from the shoe store. Yes, I lined up 4 pairs of shoes and sent pictures to anyone who I thought could help me. It was an agonizing decision.

Now how in the hell do you drive a standard in heels?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Slept on it

I did a lot of thinking about my religion post. Really, I did a lot of thinking and a lot of revising and a lot of debating before I even hit the "publish post" button to begin with. I still stand by what I said. My intent was to highlight the importance of mutual tolerance, but I guess that got lost in the rambling. Sometimes I do that. Sometimes thoughts don't translate well over the interwebs. Either way, I think everyone can agree that it's important to respect others' beliefs. We can talk about them, we can debate them, we can explain our viewpoints, but in the end, everyone deserves the same respect, regardless of their beliefs.

So now it's 5:00 in the morning and I've been up since 2:00, heading to DC for work again. Left the house at 2:45, learned the hard way that our Dunkin Donuts is not open 24 hours, but made great time getting to the airport. So now I sit. The good news is that there's a Ben & Jerry's down the street from the office. The bad news is that they probably aren't open for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On Religion, Again, Sooner than I Expected (edited for clarity)

This post started off as a comment in response to a post on FireWife's blog. I thought about it and thought about it and then started writing. I initially wrote it as a direct response to her post, but then I kept thinking and I kept writing and then it was too long to be a blog comment and I decided that it deserved a post of its own. It's been a long time since I've written about religion, and it's top of mind right now with my new reading material, so here we go.

First, I suggest you go and read the post that inspired my rambling. It's important background. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Back now? Ok. This was the sticker that inspired her post.

FireWife says that she felt that this sticker was disrespectful. I'm not going to say that her feelings are invalid, because they're not. We're all entitled to feel disrespected or slighted or sad or upset by whatever we want. And yes, maybe the word "stupid" was taking it too far.

However, FireWife and I have gone round the block a few times about religion and marriage and gay marriage and a whole host of other topics. The most recent topic was about the role of god in a marriage. I believe that legal/social marriage and religious marriage are two different things. You can have one without the other. FireWife disagrees, and that's ok.

"I think, generally speaking, that especially marriage & family are very personal things, and what you do is what you do, and I don't believe that it is my place to challenge anyone's marital or familial status. Period. I do believe that marriage is between husband and wife and God. Whether you acknowledge Him or not."

I'm actually on board with what she's saying, until she gets to the part where she says "...marriage is between husband and wife and God. Whether you acknowledge Him or not." Where is the allowance for my belief that there is no god in this statement? Where is the allowance for people who believe in a different god, or many gods? How is that sticker any more disrespectful to the religious among us than your claim is to the non-religious? I personally find it disrespectful that people insist on inserting their god into everyone’s life, regardless of their belief system.

(Edit: I don't mean that I'm offended by the general prevalence of christianity in our everyday world. I'm not offended by nativity scenes, I'm not offended by "merry christmas" greetings, I'm not offended by people professing their faith. I'm not even offended by the "in god we trust" text on our monies. What does bother me is when people take the approach that I'm just being silly and misguided, that "of course" there's a god, and I just don't know it yet. The idea that I'll "come around to their perspective" at some point. In my eyes, that's being disrespectful of my own beliefs. I hope that clarifies my thinking on the subject.)

Firewife also mentions in her post that

"it's troubling because someone whose mind is that closed to the possibility of a higher power, well... it's just frustrating to see anyone's mind closed that tightly."

That's where I have to say that as a non-believer, heck, as a social liberal, religious (non-)belief aside, it's frustrating to see people's minds closed tightly to women's rights issues or gay rights issues and other social issues like that because a religion tells them that a certain behavior or way of life is wrong. The agnostics and atheists I know are some of the most intelligent and socially-conscious people I've ever met, I'm sure in part because they aren't limited to a particular view on things because of their religious mythology.

That's all fine and good that you know there's a god. Good for you, and good for everyone else who believes in a god. However, my own personal knowledge tells me that there is no god. I'm not one to argue this point with people. We're all entitled to our own beliefs (or lack thereof), and who am I to say that my belief is better than yours? That's part of what makes America "special," we're all free to believe (or disbelieve) as we see fit. I would never try to talk someone out of their religious beliefs or try to show them that it’s better for them not to believe in god. Unfortunately, in our society non-believers are rarely afforded the same respect.

Telling a believer that you don't believe in god is not the same as someone trying to tell you that a physical person doesn’t exist. The scientific method can tell us that the person does. Simple observational methods and reasoning can tell us that yes, that person exists. They are a living and breathing being. Science can’t prove that god does (or does not!) exist. That’s where faith comes in. If you have faith that there is a god, I'm happy for you. I’m happy for you that you have faith that your god exists and that your god is always present and that your god guides your life. However, I don’t share your faith. People of other faiths don’t share your faith. Who is anyone to say that their god is the only one true god and that everyone else is wrong?

If you believe that god exists, I don’t think you’re crazy for your faith and beliefs. If you’re crazy, then so is 90+% of the rest of the world, including family and friends who are very dear to me. Religion and gods serve a very important purpose in society. They always have, even before the dawn of Christianity. They always will, because people always need a community, they always need a belief structure, they always need security, they always need to have a way to explain the natural world around us. Religion can provide you with all of that.

But for some of us, we’re ok without that fancy stuff. We’re cool with scientific explanations and the idea that the natural world is just simple matter, explainable and quantifiable by experiments and logic. I’m the first person to admit that I wish I could give my son the neatly-wrapped package that is Heaven when he starts asking questions about death and dying. It would certainly be more comforting than to tell him “I don’t know what happens when we die.” The idea that our loved ones are peeking out from behind a cloud and that one day we’ll be reunited is tempting, for sure. But I know that I don’t really believe that, so I won’t perpetuate the myth – what I see as a very nice story.

I'm always interested in open and honest discussions about the topic, so long as you don't try to change my mind. I promise that I won't try to change yours.

No, you're not imagining things

Yes, there used to be a post here. No, I didn't delete it. I got some feedback that made me think that what I was trying to say wasn't coming across right, and that instead I was preaching a message of intolerance. No worries, as the post will be re-published, along with the comments (which I greatly appreciate), as soon as I have a few minutes to make it a little bit more coherent.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments is brought to you by Mrs4444!

Mommy's Idea

Finally got a Brobee picture! Of course I couldn't manage to get him to look at me or smile, let alone both, but this will have to do.

Last night I went to a FACEing session, where I learned about makeup and how to apply it. I've never been a girly-girl and I've never really had much talent with makeup. I blame most of that on my childhood BFF who spent the summer of 1993 torturing me with eyeliner.

It was super freaking fun, and now I can't wait to go shopping. Of course, I stayed out way too late (and I left before the others!) and now I'm paying for it. Good thing I know how to apply undereye concealer now. Too bad I don't actually have any yet. Oh well, good thing for Dunkin.

Because I stayed out too late and didn't get home until after 11, I missed The Office. I'm very disappointed in myself :(

I had a pomegranate tootsie pop yesterday. Did you even know they made those? It was pretty tasty, but reminded me more of cotton candy than pomegranate. The website tells me that they also now come in banana flavor and green apple flavor. I have zero interest in a banana flavored lollipop.

Mmmm, now I'm thinking of these.

Talk about the most underrated candy ever.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?

Countdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is at 14 days!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Oh my god, they're back again! And the Backstreet Boys reference is a clue to who they're touring with. That's right, none other than the runner-up in the late 90s boy-band competition - The Backstreet Boys. Now I have to say that I'm not a fan of the BSB. Yes, I had the CD, but I honestly don't remember where it came from or why I had it. I wouldn't say that I was a fan of NSYNC, either, but if I was held down and forced to choose between the two, NSYNC would have won out simply because of Justin Timberlake.

But I'll go see it anyway, in any venue within a 5-hour radius of my house. For NKOTB, not for BSB.

Here's the promotional graphic, in all its glory.

As a side note, I don't really like that Donnie had to share his letter in the lineup. Out of the entire Fab 5, if anyone deserves their own letter, it's him.

Danny could have shared the letter. What does he even do, anyway? He was never the best looking of the bunch, that's for sure.

I'm totally kidding, BTW. Or maybe I'm not. Not about Donnie, anyway. Give him his own damn letter.

(I also feel the need to mention that my excitement for going to another NKOTB show doesn't reflect my actual taste in music. I'm more of a Goldfinger / Rage Against the Machine / Beastie Boys kind of girl. Just saying....)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Random Parental Confessions

I love Yo Gabba Gabba! as much as Charlie does. Usually I don't mind listening to the CD in the car, because we have a great time singing along together. Unfortunately for Charlie, my morning drive to work is reserved for Mike & Mike. In fact, I'm so much of a Mike & Mike junkie that I insisted on watching all four hours of the show while I was in labor at the hospital. That's where I learned that Charlie's birthday present was likely to be brett favrererere. Talk about a crappy present (although, not nearly as crappy as the gift given to TTT's brand new son, Will.I.Am, who got Rand Paul for his birthday yesterday).

Anyway. Charlie asks to listen to "DJ Wance" and YGG! pretty much every time we get in the car. Every morning I tell him that they're still sleeping. Is that mean?

Charlie has had a bit of the sniffles since he woke up on Monday morning. He hasn't had much of an appetite, either. Last night I let him lay on the couch and eat string cheese and drink his orange juice while watching YGG!. I'm normally big on no TV during dinner and eating as a family, but he just looked so sad and pathetic.

Which brings me to this morning. I'm Super Mom and forgot to replenish the car supply of washcloths (we use them instead of tissues). On the way to school this morning he sneezed. One of those sneezes that you know is just baaaaad. I couldn't see his face because it was too dark, but I knew there had to be a giant glob of snot dripping down his face. There was, and he asked me for a tissue. I searched the front seat for a scrap of tissue, maybe a fragment of a napkin leftover from Friday's Dunkin run, but there was nothing. So I grabbed a pair of (clean!) underwear from his school bag and handed it to him. He didn't question me at all, and wiped his face with his undies. Poor kid, it's a good thing none of his friends saw him do it ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010


Well, Halloween has come and gone and I didn't get a single good picture of Charlie in his Brobee costume. There was just too much excitement at the party and parade and while we were out trick-or-treating. So, tonight we'll be shoving him into the costume one last time in the hopes of getting a decent picture. I guess I can only do one thing at a time.

This was the best I could do. Of course, the lighting is all wrong and he's not looking at the camera, he was too busy watching the other kids run around in their costumes.

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Group shot of the kids in the 'hood. Charlie wasn't into it, so this was a "run him in there real fast and then run back to snap before he runs back" deal. The girl holding his hand is Jessie from down the street, she was trying to make him feel better about standing there without his mommy.

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Our TOT brigade - Charlie and his BFFs, including future wife, Kady, as the pig.

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Charlie had a GREAT time "trickertreating!" He got quite a candy haul, including some Milk Duds that he definitely doesn't have the skill to eat. After much consideration I've decided that I'll step up to the plate and make sure they don't go to waste. Actually, they may have been my breakfast this morning....


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