Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've Got Four Minutes to Write Something for You

I doubt I'll make it. So I'll sum up. Using numbers! How thrilling for you!

1. Work, work, work. 7 to 7, later on Thursdays, GAH!
2. Kids, obnoxious! Stoppit!
3. Visitors! Then another visitor! Then Jarod!
4. Only two minutes late to bed last night, should get medal or trophy or at least fancy patch to sew on backpack.
5. SHOOOOOOOES.
6. Self medication via bag of chocolate chips plus StairMaster equals balance.
7. Weddings are kind of a pain in the ass, perhaps we should have eloped?
8. I really want to go to Target, but doubt I'll have the time. Drat.
9. Oops, I used seven minutes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Tidiness Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

The trains that do stop here are the following:

The Drop It and Run Back Out Train

The Sort But Don't Wash Your Laundry Train

The Toss It On the Floor Because It Makes My Bag Way Heavy Train

The Empty Plastic Bottle Train

The Trader Joe's Chocolate Peanut Butter Malt Ball Train

The Clean But Not Folded Sheet Train


All trains will continue to run according to no particular schedule until summer is done kicking me to the curb.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Devil is in the Details

Or perhaps I should say: The BRIDEZILLA is in the details.

One of my favorite guilty pleasure shows these days is Bridezillas. These women are so ridiculous they make most brides look tame. And yet, I'm beginning to see how they'd get there, especially if they're detail-oriented people. And if they're tired. Like, um, somebody who might be me.

Back when we first decided to get married, I did a lot of planning for our wedding. I reasoned that if I did all that stuff ahead of time, I'd have less to worry about when the summer hit. And that was absolutely true. What I didn't count on in that line of reasoning was that all the time stretching before me would lull me into the ubiquitous "false sense of security," prompting me to be less than diligent with some of my plans. So here I am, in the summertime, working 65 hours a week, not sleeping enough, ever, with wedding stuff (which I could have done earlier) still yet to do. Also many things I needed other people to do are still left undone. Because I didn't remind people about things that I needed done. Because I thought I had time! Lots and lots of time!

Right.

So now I am tired and busy and I can't do it all. So I have asked for help. I am delegating! It should be great! But it's not! The truth is that anytime you delegate something to someone else, you have to accept that, because they are not you, and also probably cannot read your mind, they will not do it just like you would do it. So I'm having some things done for me, but they're not getting done exactly the way I would do them. And that's okay, right? It is! No really! It IS! Say it with me! IT'S OKAY IF IT'S NOT DONE JUST THE WAY MARY THE BRIDEZILLA WOULD DO IT HERSELF!

I was hoping that would make me feel better, but I think what I really need is a cookie and a nap.

It's going to be a long summer, especially for my poor fiance. Sorry in advance, babe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I'm the bad cop. Er, wait, maybe I'm the good cop. What would you call the person who looks out for someone else's best interests but makes that person hoppin' mad? Oh, wait, you call her a nanny.

Frank has always been a fairly compliant child, which is probably what makes what's happening now, which is that fun thing we call adolescence, more difficult for everyone. She is not used to being punished much, and we are not used to the hormones. Oh, the hormones! DEAR HEAVEN, HELP SAVE US FROM THE HORMONES!

Frank has taken a pointedly disrespectful tone with adults lately when she is asked to do something she doesn't want to do. Up until last night, we rode out the storm, and she eventually apologized, and all was well, except for one thing, that thing being that she'd put everyone through a lot of stress and not had any negative consequences besides possibly feeling a tiny bit bad about it until she apologized. Which is when the slate was wiped clean! How handy for her! However, now it's become clear that it's not just a once in awhile thing when she is too tired or stressed out, and the axe must fall. This is classic adolescent boundary testing, and it's time to make the line she's not allowed to cross perfectly clear.

Last night I made the general announcement that summer is here, and thus we will be applying sunscreen every day, so please be ready for it, thank you very much, continue eating, please. But Frank didn't care to just continue eating. She decided she'd rather argue about having to wear sunscreen and then assert that she wouldn't be wearing it because (oh, this reason just kills me) she doesn't like it! I know! The humanity! I told her that she would be wearing it, that it's not negotiable, that skin cancer is not something we just pretend doesn't exist. I told her that she would have to wear it at the club with her friend today, and she refused, again, because she doesn't like it. Her dad told her that if she wouldn't wear the sunscreen, she couldn't go, and still she asserted that she wasn't going to wear it because, newsflash, she doesn't like it. Her dad gave her a time limit for changing her mind, she didn't change it, and so I called her friend's mom and told her that something had come up, so we wouldn't be going to the club today after all. Consequence threatened and brought to pass.

Later she did what she always does, which is to apologize sincerely for being mean earlier. I told her that it was forgiven. And then I braced myself in my sleep last night for what I knew what would come today when she realized that, even though she'd apologized later, she was still reaping the consequences of her choice. So here we are in the house today, enduring each other's company. I refuse to let her treat me with disrespect because her actions had a consequence, and she refuses to be nice. Really, I think it will be a wonderful day.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I've Become Completely Ridiculous

I've found a hair product that seems to work brilliantly for keeping the frizz at bay on humid summer days, but at $26 a pop, it seems a little much for me at the moment. While I may eventually cry uncle and go ahead and buy it, for now I am hitting the Sephora near Grand Central as soon as I exit the train and smoothing some into my hair from the tester bottle. I go to the same Sephora and apply it at the same mirror every single time, as if that weren't completely obvious, yet I still try to act all nonchalant about it in hopes that no one will catch on.

...

While in Sephora, I meandered over to the beauty implements section in search of a nail buffer, which I found without any trouble. Of course, I also found a small, soft, round brush designed for washing one's face. It said on the little card above its bin that it encourages cell turnover, and that sounded pretty good to me. So I bought one, thereby committing to using a brush to wash my face for however long it takes to figure out that my fingers work just as well.

...

I have decided that pedicures are definitely the way to go for foot care and toenail beauty. I could never get everything quite right, what with the awkward angles of knees and elbows between me and my lower digits, so I'm just letting professionals take care of it from now on. They do a marvelous job, plus they seem to like me, and always give me little extras, like longer foot/leg massages and even a shoulder massage while my nails are drying. However, all the good service in the world cannot override my tendency to be myself, and today I ruined both big toenails by shoving my feet into shoes too soon in the name of fashion. I ended up in the Grand Central Rite Aid, opening at least thirty bottles of polish in order to find the one shade that matched closely enough that no one would notice my at home touch-up.

...

I may have more for you later tonight if I can manage to connect a USB cable to the camera and the computer at the same time, but there's also a chance I'll be too busy pursuing my destiny as the proprietor of a vast bulk-mailing empire to do anything else. (In other words, somebody has to stuff all those wedding invitations into envelopes, and there's nobody else here but me.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Doing That Thing Again Where I Just Tell You a Whole Lot of Nothing

What with all the excitement of posting about the altercation on Sunday's train ride, including actual photos that I took with my phone (which was the most exciting part for me, really), I neglected to say anything about the intended destination of my trip. My main purpose on Sunday, besides grabbing another box labeled ACNE in huge letters from a Sephora that is not in Greenwich Pain-in-the-Ass Connecticut, was to visit The Frick. It had been recommended to me by several people, more than one of them a stranger in line for the Grand Central restrooms, which should perhaps have been an indication that it might not be my thing. Still, I was quite interested in seeing some of their pieces (Vermeer, Whistler, the odd Monet), so I pushed it to the top of the list and made the trip.

The Frick Collection is housed in a mansion once owned by the Frick family. As is true of many old, high society dwellings, the building is ornate, furnished with stiff yet lavish pieces, embellished in every nook and cranny. The art is hung on walls heavy with architectural detail. Everywhere I looked, there was yet another thing to look at, something else to take up visual space. Had I just been visiting an ornate mansion or viewing great art on its own, it would have been lovely. But the combination of the two left me overwhelmed. I found myself anxious to leave; it was simply too much for me.

I don't doubt that there are some who revel in a museum such as The Frick. In fact, looking back on those who recommended it to me and what they were wearing or carrying, it makes perfect sense that they would enjoy it. I, however, would not go back. Honestly, I much prefer The Whitney.

...

I am learning how to do summer all over again. The busy days when all that makes sense is to just not stop moving until every last thing is done, the rainy days which thwart all outdoor plans and drive my young charges to utter boredom, the in between days that vacillate between the two. I am counting months first, but soon I'll start counting weeks, and then eventually days. When I feel a little overwhelmed, I simply remind myself that it wasn't long ago that the month count was six, and now I'm at a mere two. I measure time by events and visitors. I note that there is just one more plane ride I'll take.

...

One thing I do enjoy about the summer schedule is that the regularly scheduled activities the kids are involved in (tennis lessons in particular) do not require intense supervision, yet there is no task I can easily do while waiting for them. There is not enough time to grocery shop, it is too bright outdoors to work processing photos on my laptop, and the wedding invitations I'm in the thick of assembling would blow away in the wind coming off the shore. Whereas the activities of other seasons require reading material that can be dropped at a moment's notice (magazines mostly), summertime activities allow for delving into something deeper. I'm already enjoying reading this, so much so that I'm nearly finished, and I've got this up next, thanks to an informal long distance book club a friend set up. It's blissful, really.

...

As much as it's been fantastic exploring New York City, I find that the city's charms are beginning to wear thin compared to the charms of hanging out on the sofa with the man I love and a couple of cats. I will surely use these final months well, seeing and doing and seeing and doing some more, but I very much look forward to a much more boring life in the near future.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Altercation!

The morning started off well enough. I did my usual pre-train Starbucks run, and the barista accidentally made me a venti instead of a grande iced mocha. When he asked if this was all right, I wanted to ask if he was crazy. Because, um, free coffee? As in, more than I ordered? Which is free? Hello, sir, not a problem. It's what we in the super-sized USA call a bonus. He then also stressed that there were three shots of espresso in it instead of two and I was all, "This would be a problem because....why?" And then I said thank you because I was, truly, thankful. And would become more thankful as the day went on. Because...

Dun, dun, DUUUUUUUNNNNNN.....

ALTERCATION ON THE TRAIN! RED ALERT! CALL THE POLICE! ALSO MAYBE AN AMBULANCE!

BLOOD!
BLOOD! (Also my shoe and the hem of my skirt. Please note how careful I was not to disturb the BLOOD!)

About halfway through the train ride, a group of young-ish kids came into my car from the car behind, and one of them was bleeding from his elbow. In fact, it looked like a chunk of it had been gouged right out. And he stood there, dabbing at it with a dirty t-shirt, dropping the f-bomb from time to time, probably to alleviate the pain. I considered volunteering that I knew first aid, but then a girl stepped up and told him to tie the shirt around his arm above the injury and elevate the arm to help stop the bleeding, which is what I was going to recommend. I had thought about also telling him to put pressure on the wound, but what with the lack of skin and the dirty t-shirt factor, I decided tourniquet/elevation was a good call. I sat in my seat and said nothing, trying to figure out what had happened.

Have you ever tried to figure out what is going on when two out of three words in the conversation about the incident happen to be the F word? Level of Difficulty: Way Hard. At first I thought something had gone amiss with one of the heavy doors between the train cars, as I imagine that, were you to be standing the wrong way, you could get an elbow caught just so and have a chunk of flesh ripped off. Also, Injured Dude kept saying (between F words), "I TOLD you we shouldn't have been going into another car." But then when we stopped at the next station so Injured Dude could be met by an ambulance, the police also showed up.

i think dude's wearing a bullet proof vest
Ooh, that guy's wearing a bullet-proof vest!

And proceeded to walk through the train, billy clubs out, looking for the other parties involved. At first the conductor just thanked us for our patience while "a situation" was taken care of so we could get on our way, but later they announced that there had been "an altercation" and they would keep us apprised of what was required to get us on our way into the city.

Neat!

detained for questioning

After finally finding someone who had witnessed what had happened, it was decided that our train must be kept in New Rochelle for investigative purposes, and we were all asked to step off the train and proceed up and over the tracks to the next waiting train, to which they had added two whole cars for the eight cars' worth of passengers that had to get off our train.

Again, neat!

on our way to another train

I managed to find a seat by high-tailing it to the end of the platform and choosing to sit next to a man who was wearing incredibly dark sunglasses and looking terribly annoyed at the state of affairs. At first he made a few snarky remarks, to which I replied with a positive air, but once I pulled out my copy of Us Weekly, he was totally through with me. In fact, he physically turned his body away from me as if to shield himself from the repulsiveness of a girl who really just likes the shiny shiny pictures.

Which was just fine with me, really, because I was moving on to better things. Like my venti iced mocha, which would have been long gone had it just been a grande.

See how nicely that whole deal worked out?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Does It Make Me Seem Old to Admit That My Favorite Part of the Weekend is Sleeping

Remember that thing I said about needing more hours in the day? Well, I found some. You can get some, too, by simply not sleeping enough. I got nearly two extra hours every day!

Of course, then when you go to a Bridgeport Bluefish game, you might end up accidentally cheering for a batter who's on the other team.

Not that I would know anything about that. Um, at all. Or about, say, how cheese fries just don't taste right when made with nacho pasteurized processed cheese food product instead of plain pasteurized processed cheese food product. Not. At. All.

Right.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

This Just In

A list of the sports I am willing to play:

1. Badminton

...

The problem with little league baseball is that if neither team is any good, the games stretch on forever. No one pitches well enough to strike anyone out, and walking in five people in order to get the five runs that each team is allowed in an inning can take pretty much forever. Should you find yourself having to attend a game of this, um, caliber, I recommend bringing several magazines and a dozen catalogs to help get you through it. A Nintendo DS and a half-read copy of New York won't do, even if you go through said magazine twice, dog-earing all the pages that list things that seem interesting to do or see or eat. Trust me on this one. I know.

...

I need more hours in my day. One would do, but ultimately I'd like about five.

...

Summer has descended upon me. Frank has two hours of school tomorrow, but other than that, she's done. Al will be done on the 20th, which I think is way late, but I guess that's what it's like for most of the public schools in this area. Al asked me yesterday if today was the 20th, and I had to answer in the negative. Poor kid.

...

As much as I was not looking forward to our summer days, I will admit that I am more than ready for our regular summer schedule to commence. Right now we are in a state of limbo with random activities popping up all over the place, and it makes it very hard for me to keep to a routine. There are a lot of things I have to remember for this job, and one way I remember to do everything is by doing it all in a certain order every day. With the schedule as it is now, I'm always missing something I'd normally do as a matter of course, which I find to be endlessly frustrating. I guess it's back to extensive lists for me...

...

I have begun packing up my things to ship back to Kansas City. With the summer keeping me so busy, I find that I need very little here aside from some summer reading material and my clothing. There are four boxes ready to go now, and suddenly the year seems as if it's been short. I'm sure the summer will fly, and that will be nice.

...

Greenwich Pain-in-the-Ass Connecticut continues to live up to its full name. It's almost as ridiculous as White Plains or (shudder) I-95.

...

Alton Brown is not exciting enough to keep me awake. On the SLEEPY[---------------]NOT SLEEPY continuum, the arrow indicating my current state of alertness is rapidly sliding to the left.

Goodnight, all.

Friday, June 01, 2007

This Message Brought to You From Reclinerville USA

Still sick. Meh. Whatever, there are worse things. For example:

Plastics make this possible.

I have been as guilty as the next person of both using plastics when not necessary (ahem*individualwaterbottles*ahem) as well as throwing out my plastics in regular garbage cans when a recycling bin was not readily available. But guess what? I can drink tap water from a glass and if I do get a bottled something or other in recyclable plastic from time to time, I can pop it in my bag and deliver it to a recycling receptacle. So can you. Let's get right on that.