Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gypsies Tramps & Thieves

One of the perks of having no children is that we can just pick up and go and do stuff whenever we feel like it.

Last summer I didn't have a job so we didn't do jack shit or go anywhere (except Comfest, of course). But this summer I am sort of gainfully employed so we can afford a few adventures here and there, and for some reason we seem to have squeezed a great many of them into the next three weeks.

Tomorrow MDH and I are taking off for a long weekend in Philadelphia with my best friend Amy and her husband Ted. I've always wanted to do this kind of thing, you know, the grown up couples holiday, but it has never worked out for me and Ames. I was single for a long time and then she was married to Assface and he never wanted to go on any trips except to visit his family. When I finally hooked up with MDH, he and Amy didn't get along very well (they do now), so it just never seemed to be in the cards.

I'm beside myself with glee. Plus Amy and Ted have totally laid back and allowed MDH and I to plan pretty much everything, which is what we like to do.

The weekend after next MDH and I are packing the car for Columbus because it's Comfest weekend and we never miss that. Well, since we've moved away to the Tundra I pretty much drop MDH off at the entrance to the park on Friday morning and never see him again until Sunday night.

If you don't feel like clicking on the link above, Comfest is a community festival in our old neighborhood in Columbus that has been going on since the early 70's. It's totally free and there are no corporate sponsors allowed - the whole thing is funded by beer sales and volunteers. Basically it's 3 days (from 11am to 11pm) with 5 stages of bands all day long. At any given time there is a band playing on every stage. It can cause some serious conundrums for my poor darling when two or three great bands are playing at the same time on different stages. What is a man who has been drunk on draft beer for 2 days straight to do?

Comfest is special to us for a lot of reasons. For me it's a tradition, but a freakin' kick ass tradition. For MDH it's the entire reason that he decided that Columbus didn't totally blow when he moved there from Boston and ended up staying long enough to meet me. He stumbled upon Comfest quite by accident one afternoon while going for a stroll through the neighborhood and fell instantly in love with my city.

Frankly, I liked Comfest a lot better when we lived down the street from it and I could come and go as I pleased. These days it's a bit of a cluster-fuck and I get a little claustrophobic in a crowd. (I also think I have mentioned before that I'm not a huge fan of the port-a-john.) I pretty much go and hang out for an hour or two and see one or two bands that are old friends of mine and then take off for the suburbs to hang with my peeps like Dan, Steph, Amy, Frenchie and Nature Boy.

It is understood among our friends that if you want to spend any time with MDH during the last weekend of June - go to Comfest and you're likely to run into him. I suggest going very early as his state of intoxication intensifies later in the afternoon and early evening and he is highly likely to already be reduced to a wet, incoherent mess, rolling around on a picnic blanket with the remnants of a broccoli burger all over the front of his shirt.

I'll be at Amy's. Or at our hotel. Where there is running water and air conditioning.

I recently discovered that my company will be closed for Friday July 4th and also the following Monday. God I love that place! So fuck yeah - a four day holiday weekend and what better place to celebrate our country's independence from England than Canada? Yes. We are spending July 4th in Toronto. MDH has a big boner because I finally agreed to take the train into the city.

My baby loves the choo-choos.

I, of course have big issues with the train toilets, but I've got to throw him a bone sometimes. Besides gas prices are outrageous and it's easier to enjoy all the city has to offer without being encumbered with a car.

Anyhoo... What I'm trying to say here is that I won't be blogging for awhile. Not to worry, I'm sure wherever I am, I am having a marvelous time and I hope that you are too!

Meanwhile I will leave you with some random photos of summer travels passed.

My first (and last) Red Sox game in 2004

My first (and last) NASCAR race in 2003
(I am silently mocking everyone within a 20 foot radius of me)

Chatham Bars Resort Cape Cod in 2003 - Swanky!

Waiting in line at the beer tent at Comfest 2005

The Main stage at Comfest 2006 - like I said - clusterfuck

By the way the photo at the top is of me at Comfest in 1999 - my first Comfest with MDH. Ahhh. He asked me to crop him out of the picture - party pooper.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Million Movie Meme

I wrote this post late Saturday afternoon and didn't have time to finish it before I had to get ready for my night out with the girls. Then I didn't get home until past midnight by which time we had had a terrible storm and lost power for the next 16 hours or so. It took me freakin' forever to write this hog because of all the pictures and links and by this point I'm just bloody sick of looking at it, so I apologize here in advance for any weird grammar or spelling errors.

With an intro like that I'm sure you are bursting at the seams to read this now.

I'm going to refrain from air kissing myself to avoid adding any extra strain to my already overtaxed neck. Yes. I've tagged myself for a meme, since nobody else would. I don't want to name any names here Tara.

Anyhoo... it's a movie meme and I couldn't resist because I love movies almost as much as I love eating and breathing.

There are just too many movie answers for me to choose from, so I have blatantly stolen an idea from New York Magazines weekly feature The Approval Matrix, where they section off Brilliant and Despicable things by labeling them either Highbrow or Lowbrow. I adore this feature. You can click on the image on the left to see the full size version of this weeks Approval Matrix. (I'm not sure how Rachel Ray and Dunkin' Donuts ended up on the Highbrow side.)

My movie meme will answer each question in the meme with the (Lowbrow) title of a mainstream, big name studio movie and with the (Highbrow) title of a lesser known or possibly totally unknown independent or foreign film or any combination of these things. This is my blog so I get to stand in judgment on what's Lowbrow and what's Highbrow - if you disagree leave it in the comments.

1. One that made you laugh:
Movie: Blazing Saddles (1974) - Because I can never resist a fart joke or anything with Madeline Kahn (RIP).

Film: Flirting with Disaster (1996) - I laughed throughout the entire thing and had to watch it again because I missed so much from laughing the first time.

2. One that made you cry:
Movie: Beaches (1988) - the whole thing with the dying and the daughter. It's just too much and I'm a huge Bette Midler fan. The music gets me every time.

Film: Hilary & Jackie (1998) - based on a true story, the whole thing with the success and the madness and the love of two sisters, plus it stars two actors I adore: Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths. Also has great music.

3. One movie you loved when you were a child (I will eliminate the Highbrow/Lowbrow element here because as kid I didn't know the difference or really care. I'm going to list a few that I still love to this day and you may also notice that they are all pretty old. We didn't have a lot of money for going to the movies when I was a kid so I watched old movies on TV all the time):

Gigi (1958) - In retrospect the premise is probably a bit racy because it's about a little girl who is being groomed to become a courtesan, but I loved the songs, the costumes, and the fancy manners.

Harvey (1950) - What little kid wouldn't want to hang around with a guy who had an invisible 7 foot rabbit wearing a waistcoat and pocket watch for a best friend?

We can also include here anything with Cary Grant, Doris Day and Fred Astaire.

4. One you’ve seen more than once (I'll lean this one more toward movies that I will watch whenever I notice that they are on TV. There could be 15 minutes left and I will watch them anyway.):

Movie: When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Film: Cold Comfort Farm (1995) tied with Amelie (2001)

5. One you loved, but were embarrassed to admit it I'm going to dispense withe Highbrow/Lowbrow here too. I'm not embarrassed, but these are a couple that I didn't expect to love:
There's Something About Mary (1998) - I could not help myself.

Stuart Saves His Family (1995) - Yes. Starring Al Franken as Stuart Smalley, that 12-step program guy from SNL. I do not remember why I rented this stupid thing. I watched it in secret and then laughed so hard that I made all of my friends watch it with me. Trust me. It's really good.

6. One you hated:
Movie - Mr. Hollands Opus - I'm not going to put the year or a link because that would require an IMDB search and that might cause someone at IMDB to think that I give a shit about this movie - what a turd this was. It doesn't even deserve bold font. Forever known to me as Mr. Hollands Anus.

Film - The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989) - I actually walked out of this film - crying. I had had enough cringing, gasping and covering my eyes in my friend Dan's armpit in the middle of a fully packed theater. It was in a word; awful.

7. One that scared you:
Movie: 28 Days Later (2002) - I don't watch a lot of scary movies, but I gave this one a shot because I like the director, Danny Boyle.

Film: El Orphanito (2007) - Scary, Spanish, ghostie goodness. Make sure you have already had a good crap before watching.

8. One that bored you: I think I can safely exempt myself from this one. I'm pretty careful with my movie selections, especially if I'm shelling out full price to see it in a theater. If I'm watching it on DVD I simply stop watching. Besides I rarely ever get bored.

9. One that made you happy:
Movie - Pee Wee's Big Adventure (1985) - Never was the tale of a weirdo who lost his bike more delightful.

Film - Juno (2007) - Never was a tale of teen pregnancy more delightful.

10. One that made you miserable:
Movie - Leaving Las Vegas (1995) - a jolly little fable about a dude who wants to literally drink himself to death. 100% Charm Free.

Film - Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006) - My bad. I didn't pay close enough attention to the title of this piece of shit and take the word Imaginary to heart. I mean, I know that she was known for being really weird and that she eventually killed herself, but I had hoped for more insight into what made her tick and instead I was treated to middle aged nudists and gargantuan hair clogs. It made me itchy.

11. One movie you weren’t brave enough to see:
Movie - Any of those Police Academy things.

Film - Cloverfield (2008) - OK - I doubt that this is highbrow, but I can't think of anything else at the moment, and I know for certain that I do not want to see this thing. Not because it's too scary, but because I heard the camera work was not dissimilar to The Blair Witch Project, which caused me to get motion sickness and spend the second half of the film in the ladies room puking my guts up. No film is good enough for me to go through that again.

One movie character you’ve fallen in love with (oddly both of these characters appear naked in their respective stories):
Movie - Jason Segel's cleverly named character, Jason in the movie Knocked Up (2007).

Film - Julian Sands as George Emerson from the Ivory Merchant A Room with a View (1985). Upon deep reflection I have just realized that Julian Sands was the first man I ever saw naked. Of course in the same scene in which Julian Sands is naked you also see Simon Callow's penis bouncing around as well. Some of you may remember Mr. Callow as the chubby bearded guy that keels over from a heart attack and dies in Four Weddings and a Funeral. I choose Julian Sands as my happy memory even though he went on to totally bum me out by making that horrible Warlock movie.

Just to qualify I did not fall in love with George Emerson because I saw Julian Sands naked. George was a romantic guy (and not bad to look at either) who knew exactly what he wanted with Lucy Honeychurch and by the end of the story completely transforms her. In the movie George lives and that is how I like to remember him. I read the book about 5 years after I first saw that movie and was devastated to learn that his character dies in the war and that Ivory/Merchant kind of butchered EM Forrester's book, but I really don't care. I like it better when I think of George and Lucy living forever in love in that damn window.

13. The last one you saw (I'll qualify this with - in a theater):
Movie - Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) - S'ok.

Film - Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) - I wrote about this already.

The next movie you hope to see:
How about the next movie I'm going to see? Because I don't just dream it baby - I live it. It's Sex & the City and I'm going to do the whole cliche all the way and see it with my girlfriends after dinner and drinks this very evening. Minus the expensive heels. Fuck that - I'm wearing flip-flops.

15. Tag Five People:
I'm only going to tag one person. The only person I can think of that loves movies more than me, and whose opinion of movies I value more than any other - yes my friend Dan - I mean you Dan G.

C'mon! Write us up a little something. It's about movies, you know you want to. Don't make me beg. Write!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Child Abuse: Exhibit A*

Why haircuts should be included as a household expense in the family budget.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nuro-seez. I Haz Some.

Maybe I'm being a big giant baby, but I stayed home from work again today. This will be my third "sick" day from work since I started my job in the middle of February. I hadn't noticed before, but now it seems a bit excessive. Especially given that I'm still a temp and don't get sick pay. But what can I say? I feel like crap.

Don't worry it's not the same horrifying, pissing-blood thing that I had before. This time my neck and shoulders hurt. It had kind of been hurting all weekend, and I was doing a really good job of ignoring it and carrying on doing all my weekend chores, laundry, mopping, etc... Then yesterday morning as I turned my head to look behind me as I was backing out of the driveway to go to work, so as not to accidentally crash into the decorative boulders at the end of the driveway or run over the neighbor's dogs or errant toddlers - something bad happened to my neck.

It didn't make a cracking noise or anything but the pain was so excruciating that I screamed and sat there for a minute or two trying to remember how to breathe.

I blame this and all of the other joint and back pain that I typically experience on my fucked up ankle. Yes, those are both of my feet in the picture. I've got one adorable and normal looking foot and one constantly swollen and nasty frankenfoot. My right ankle has been fused and as a result I walk super funky which can cause all kinds of back, hip and knee weirdness.

I went to work anyway and continued on as if it were a just any old normal work day - for a robot. It hurt when I lifted my arms, it hurt when I turned my head in any direction, it hurt when I typed - it just hurt.

I did the most important things I needed to do and then took off early for home where I could arrange my bed pillows just so and swallow a muscle relaxer (or seven) and not move for awhile.

Now... here is the thing and I've written about this before; I feel like a big giant baby girl liar-head baby. Could I have gone to work today? Technically? Yes. Without a doubt. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday, but I do still hurt. I intended to go to work and even showered and put on make-up and everything. But when I started to fasten the hooks on my bra - I knew I was in trouble.

I think the reason that staying home feels wrong is because for the last 5 years or so I didn't really have a job that I could call in sick for. I was on the road. You can't call in sick from the road, so I used to suck it up and work when I was sick or in pain and I did this no matter what. The clients I was working with had been waiting (most typically) several months for me to be there. Most of them had closed their business for the day (or week) in order for me to do my thing. I would have felt terrible to have not shown up and then been sick all day in a hotel room in a strange town.

So I worked no matter what.

When I wasn't traveling I worked from home - and how do you call in sick when you are already home? On one occasion I did actually call my boss and ask her to cancel all of my appointments for the day, but mostly I just worked anyway and then whined about it later.

I think a lot of my failure to enjoy the indulgence of a sick day is due to previous corporate culture that frowned upon sick days to the point where people were boasting about coming to work while ill. In a not dissimilar fashion to what I have just done in the above paragraphs.

Now that I have a more normal type job, where I go to an office every day and I'm not star attraction (it's marvelous - my phone hardly rings at all) I think I just feel a little more free to indulge myself in a sick day or three. Plus the corporate culture is one where it is not only NOT frowned upon to take a sick day - people seem happy that you have stayed away and are not spreading your ick all over the place.

Are you still reading this piece of shit blog post whereby I try to convince myself that I'm justified in staying home from work today? Well I hope I'm happy because my neck has begun to hurt again while I've been typing this.

In conclusion, hey Me, leave me alone and stop judging me! Oh, wait!! Could you hand me the remote before you storm out? Oh, and fluff my pillow - pretty pleeese?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ill Communication

Buon giorno! It's quarter to 10 on Sunday morning, MDH is still sleeping and I've got a little bit of time for blogging before the beast awakens.

Well, he's not a beast just yet, but he will be. Trust me. He's got a job interview in Chicago on Tuesday which means that he will begin preparations today - trying on every suit he owns, laundering every pair of underwear, researching the company, chanting, anointing himself with oils, and beating himself with willow branches until he bleeds - and begin to transform into a total asshole for the rest of the day. When this man, who under normal conditions is a marshmallow, gets nervous he displays a form of grumpitude equal to no other.

When he wakes up I'm getting the fuck out of here for the rest of the afternoon and early evening.

I woke up refreshed and perky and if I'm around Sir-Gripe-A-Lot for very long my lovely mood and graceful disposition will be crushed like a grape and since shit always rolls downhill - I will have no one else to take it out on but the cat. It's always the innocents who suffer the most.

I have some shopping to do anyway. I'd take the cat with me if I could.

So, since I don't have much time before the bear comes out of his den I'm going to hit you with a quick and dirty recap of recent events, conversations and observations, in no particular order.

1. A clerk with a name tag that said Cecil above the word Turkey, at the check in desk of a hotel we stayed in recently handed us our room key and asked MDH if he would like to have the password to the Virus. MDH and the clerk proceeded to have a verbal volley that lasted for far too long and consisted of my husband saying things like, "I'm sorry, what?" and "Could you repeat that again?" while Cecil responded back with "The Virus!, The Virus!" in the kind of increasingly frenzied tones one experiences when not being understood. Poor Cecil. Poor MDH.

I put an end to the escalating heated exchange when I realized that putting the country of origin on the name tags was the hotels clever way of keeping us aware of the ethnic diversity of their staff. Later that day I was to meet Clara, Hong-Kong and Rosalee, Trinadad. Cecil, Turkey was an indication of where Cecil was from, not a personality trait or strange job title.

Remembering from experience my old boss who was Turkish and had a strange accent that always reminded me of Count Dracula, with the endearing way that he pronounced his W's as V's and was always swallowing his L's, I had the epiphany that Cecil was trying to say "Wireless" - not "Virus". Thank god.

MDH and I wondered on our way up to our room how many people never bothered to investigate Cecil's offer of a Virus and lived out the rest of their hotel stay with no internets.
(My gracious - #1 has turned out quite long!)

It is very hot an humid here this week and we have been peppered with Thunderstorms. It's the kind of weather that causes my normally smooth and shiny hair to frizz out like a fright wig. In an effort to go with it, I decided to style my hair in such a way as to work with the frizz rather than try to smooth it all out like I normally do.

At first I was pleased with the results, but after working a full 9 hour day when I finally plopped down in my steaming hot car to drive home and viewed my head in the rear view mirror and the combination of heat and humidity throughout the day had caused all my make-up to melt off too. I looked like Phyllis Diller.

3. Late yesterday afternoon MDH shocked me by asking if I'd like to get out of the house and go out to dinner. Although I'm pretty sure he only did this to get out of going to the grocery store to pick up hamburger buns like I'd asked him to do earlier in the day, it worked and we drove to the beach to have dinner in a lovely spot right on the water.

We had been to this restaurant a year or so ago with some friends of ours that have since moved away to Oregon. The night we ate there our friends drove, so MDH and I didn't remember where it was exactly, except that it was next to the water. We couldn't remember the name of the place either.

Needless to say when we got to the beachy town where the restaurant was located we drove around in circles, arguing and bickering like a couple of spider monkeys over the last banana chunk, until we remembered that MDH's new crackberry has a GPS feature. I typed in the word "restaurant" and zoomed in on locales that were on the water and we (I) finally found the place, reaffirming my earlier statements on this blog that I would make an excellent contestant on that show The Amazing Race.

4. Just as we were polishing off a lovely dessert of strawberry shortcake with strawberry ice cream, the sky started to get very stormy with lots of lightening strikes. The storm was heading toward our house so we decided to leave the restaurant right away and try to get home before it hit. We made it, but along the way we passed a giant RV sales lot with big balloons and banners desperately displayed in an attempt to get some poor dumbass to buy a camper with gas prices at $4.09 a gallon.

Anyhoo... it was at this moment that MDH surprised me yet again, twice in the same day, and expressed his lifelong desire to someday travel the country in an RV - the following conversation ensued (those of you married for any length of time will relate):

Me: Really? I will miss you while you are away.

MDH: I thought it would be something the two of us would do together in our old age.

Me: Have you learned nothing about me, 'lo these past 9 years? Maybe we can work something out where you sleep in the RV in the parking lot after you drop me off at a hotel. I've never pooped in a camper and that's a record I'm not planning to break in my lifetime if I can help it.

MDH: I've always wanted to sleep in one of those camper beds (grabbing my knee)

Me: Oh, I get it now... if this camper's a'rockin...

MDH: It's probably out of alignment.

PS: I chose the tag "electrocution by coat hanger" because it popped up when I tried to type something else and then I was interested to see what the original post was that caused me to create that tag. It'll be a total surprise.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Break Up

My job is getting very intense these days. The projects I'm currently working on include three new product launches this month which require a great deal of my time and attention. Mostly I'm nagging the crap out of people via voice mail, email and occasionally, because I'm a huge proponent of building personal relationships as a management strategy, storming over to the other side of the building in a huff to blow a tirade* in the faces of some of my ne'er do well project team mates in person.

I suppose I should edit my capacity planning chart to factor in all the time it takes me to bitch about how much of my time the other people on my project teams are wasting.

These are exciting times for me as I rarely get to do anything in a huff and I am after all, a people person.

Meanwhile I have not only been woefully neglecting my blog this week I also forgot to write my post on Burt Reynolds Mustache. I'm so ashamed.

Sometimes a gal simply must choose between career and guest blogging and I think you know the path I had to go. Yes. That's right. The one that pays for all my shoes and make-up. I'm busy making the world safe for data management. I think this decision will be the best thing for all involved.

*There are no tirades, I'm far too polite and ladylike to ever really do that. But in my imagination I'm ripping everyone a new one.