Thursday, December 30, 2004

oh theo, you shouldn't have!

The Boston Globe Magazine gave the title of "Bostonian of the Year" to Theo Epstein, the boy-wonder GM who created a Red Sox team that was finally able to break the 1918 no World Series title curse. I suppose that you could say he's somewhat a piece of forbidden fruit, especially since I am a Yankees fan. But I must say that Theo has definitely caught my eye. He has a nice combination of nerdy intelligence and good looks that I tend to fall for (for those of you unfamiliar with him, take a look here).

Among many other things, the Globe magazine article announcing the coronation revealed the following:

"His family says Theo's girlfriend is a critical presence in his life. Though he zealously guards his privacy around this relationship, he will say this much: She is a 26-year-old who worked in the biotech world and is now in graduate school for healthcare policy."
Now what I thought was really funny about this is that it is a pretty good description of me, professionally anyway. (I'm actually a proud 30 years old, but hey, close enough.) Who would expect that the person I was fantasizing about actually may have been fantasizing about someone like me?

The article goes on with this:
"He's also happy to point out that they began dating before he became GM, having met in the spring of 2002 at the Back Bay restaurant Vox Populi. She's only a casual fan of baseball, so he loves the fact that they can go weeks at a time without discussing the game."
Now I've never really been one to hang out at Vox, and I do play fantasy baseball. So...maybe I am Theo's fantasy, and he's just trying to keep me a secret. Yeah, that's it.

Way to keep me under wraps, Theo. :)

slow week at the office

I'm at work, drinking some tea and reliving moments of fantasy football glory with a colleague, when I decided that now would be as good a time as any to add another post. (Both he and I played the guy in our league with Priest Holmes during week 5, when Kansas City was on a bye week, and then again when he was injured. Sweet.)

Coming into work on a slow day is always good in some ways. You can do things that you never have time to do normally, like post to your blog. Although I'll probably be getting out of here a little early today. I still need to figure out what I'm doing for New Year's, but I'm not worried about it. I realized yesterday that what I really need right now is some time to rest. Basically, I'm tired, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It's not that I want to just sit around and dwell on things, but it's more that I want to turn off for a while. Disconnect. Feel nothing.

Maybe I'll go to one of those places where they have those sensory deprivation tanks, so I can kick into the new year all embryonic like. Nah...I'm not sure that I could ever see myself paying good money for something like that. A massage, a pedicure maybe. But not to float in a tub. Anyway I feel like I'm moving in that direction now on my own. The last two weeks had been so stressful for me with work and my personal life that I was walking around with this persistent knot of anxiety in my stomach. I was sleeping and eating, but not really. I would have brief moments of escape (buying a rosemary tree and some frogs with a friend being one of them), but then it would return. The past few days have been easier for me though, and I think I just want to keep riding that train until I feel a bit more rested.

Although getting rest would be greatly assisted if the guy who lives above me would stop blasting Stevie Ray Vaughan every night.'s gotten so bad, Crossfire was in one of my dreams last night.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

it's the little things

Has anyone else noticed that some packaging innovator has changed the slot and tab closures on most cereal boxes to a tab/no tab configuration? So now, you don't have to worry about the slot tearing, which it did for me about 9 out of 10 times. I wonder how no one thought of it sooner? What a great idea!

God I love noticing small things like that. The things that are kind of silly in the big picture, but are cool in their own way when focused on, especially by engineering nerds like me. They are what make life worth living.

Does anyone want to share any small strokes of genius that they've noticed lately?


Pretty please? :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cut that meat! Cut that meat!

Oh lord...the cold I stayed home from work with has been loads of fun for me so far. (I consider it a bonus Christmas present from my mother, especially when I gave her the news that I was returning to Boston after staying with her for only four days this holiday.) So far today I've slept, worked out some details with my insurance company, slept some more, called into work to pick up my messages, slept again, wrote a really long post to my blog, slept some more, then finally got up about an hour ago for real (i.e. put on clothes). My day's been action-packed, as you can see.

The news of the continually increasing numbers of people who were killed as a result of the massive tidal waves has been very sobering. Especially in the face of me writing long posts about the state of my love life, the images of these people whom I don't know and their suffering have made me feel small in some ways. And lucky. I can take pleasure in the small things, like Peyton Manning's latest commercials for VISA, and not have to worry about where my next meal will come from, or how I will economically rebuild my life.

Yet everything is dependent on your own experiences. Just because I probably will never have to worry about having enough to take care of myself with doesn't mean that my life's emotional troubles shouldn't cause me pain. We deal with the pains associated with the life we do know, and I would argue that no matter how good any one of us may have it, there will always be things we will struggle with.

the waning days of 2004

So I find myself at the end of another year, and life being different in many ways and not in others. I am living in a new apartment and I've completed my first triathlon, so I can say that I've satisfied some of this year's new year resolutions. But I still find myself struggling with the same things that I had hoped would be a little different by now - my job, my family, my love life. So basically, I'm still at the same job, my family woes are no different, and I'm still single, despite my best efforts.

Although...that isn't really fair. While those three things may not be in a place where I want them, I think that in the past year I've developed a better sense of the kind of career that I want, and finally have a support system around me to help me find and achieve it. I've also figured out how to be not only honest and direct with my feelings, but realistic as well. The people in my life who are important to me will always have their flaws, as I have mine. I think perhaps I have gotten better at accepting those flaws for what they are, and not allowing their flaws to detract from my own feelings of self-esteem.

As far as my love life is concerned, I think that it is one of those things that really irks me because love isn't necessarily something that you can make happen out of nowhere. (Witness the experience of the emotionally brave Blaire Allison who tried to do just that.) I don't think that you improve your chances of falling in love by dating more - you just improve your chances of meeting more people and either having fun or sharing more awkward moments. Maybe you learn more about yourself and what you want, but I think that there are people who can date their whole lives and never find love. I also think that there are others who want to be in love so badly that they will compromise in order to have a relationship that looks and smells like love, but isn't.

Perhaps it isn't so much about trying to fall in love as much as it is about letting yourself have faith in someone. That's a lesson that I am re-learning, I think. I know that I haven't allowed myself to have faith in someone for a long time, especially someone that I feel strongly about. I have become more cautious in my older age. Someone whom I care about deeply once told me that love is kind of like financial investments, that past performance is not always a good indicator of future behavior. But, like any investment, you only see a big payoff if you take a risk and put yourself on the line.

Next year, while I have many other small things I'd like to work on, like taking more yoga classes, getting more sleep and running in more races, I think the biggest resolution that I will make is to push my fears away and invest in someone that I care about. "'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," says Alfred Lord Tennyson. I'd say for me it's more that making personal investments makes life worth living. And, to quote the lesser-known poet Lee Adams, "I've got a lot of living to do."

Monday, December 20, 2004

going, moving, never stopping

The last couple of weeks have been so busy for me. I feel like I haven't been able to pause for a breath, nevermind relax. Work is busy and my personal life has been filled with either strife or stress. My sleeping has become almost dreamless of late.

Last week my family's dog died. This was harder for me than I had thought it would be. He was, in many ways, the last living tie to the later years of my childhood. The day he died, my family buried him in the backyard. As we stood around the grave, all crying, I looked at my two brothers and saw in them the children that they were when we first got him 15 years ago. We had changed, but in many ways we have not.

I am now 30 years old. I am no longer the child I was when I was carrying a tiny puppy home to my family for the first time. Time has moved on without pause, as it always does. Yet, I am not sad about this. I do not miss the person that I was, just the connection to it. And the warmth that a small dog can give you when leaning on your legs in bed.

I miss you Dusty.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

the careful meting of time

Well, I started this blog with good intentions, and, similar to my own personal efforts to keep a journal, it fell by the wayside for a while. That's not to say that I haven't been has kicked up in a new direction, and taking two classes at the same time has taken its toll.

Yet, I can't help but feel a little disappointed at my ability to keep up with my blog. I think that part of the reason that it is hard for me is that I am still a little nervous about writing and sharing that writing with others. In some ways, writing, like any art, lays one bare for all to see. Criticism of my writing can feel like a direct criticism of me. I suppose it's the closest I could get to imagining what it might be like for someone to criticize my own child, although I realize that is quite a leap.

Well, I think that for now and in the new year I need to do a better job of pushing myself to write in this blog. Although it may not seem like much, I really feel a good sense of accomplishment when I complete an entry. Especially so if others compliment it! So...well, I suppose that now's as good a time as any, and doubly so when I have other things I should be doing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Adam Vinatieri, super-shill

Well, as I noted in my first post, football season is underway. Which means one thing in New England - it's Adam Vinatieri commercial season! Since I've just caught the trendiest cold at work (everyone just has to get it!), I've been stuck at home, doing as little as possible. Which, in my case, means catching up on all of the craptacular tv that my antennae can pick up. For some reason, Adam Vinatieri easily has more commercial work than any other member of the Pats. He's been hawking Bernie and Phyl's furniture and Papa Gino's pizza for a while now (Grab a Free Kicker Meal - It's Good!), and now appears to have added Dunkin' Donuts to his list of advertising accounts.

I hate being sick. Mostly because it gets in the way of me getting things done. Not to mention the inconvenience of blowing my nose every two minutes and feeling tethered to my tissue box. Feh.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

the importance of previewing your posts

Well, that's the last time I will ever publish something to my blog without previewing it first. The layout of my last post is not one of my better ones. Although I really like the thoughtful comment I received on it - thanks bb!

I find that I am obsessed once again by The Apprentice. It's a show that, as an aspiring corporate weasel* myself, really speaks to me. I think it is so popular because a lot of other aspiring corporate weasels like me can watch it and see people get fired for generally good reasons, reasons that at times you have secretly wished others around you could be fired for. And there's some satisfaction in that, the idea that the business world generally culls the stronger from the weaker candidates, and that those who win really deserve it.

That said, I think that I can safely say that the only woman left with any chance of winning is Pamela. The rest have shown themselves to be a bunch of gossipy ninnies who just kicked off the one woman on their team who had any business sense. (I'm really surprised that Trump fell for their act, but everyone has their blind spots.) Now that Stacie is out of the way, I predict many more visits to the boardroom for these ladies, along with much more irrelevant infighting, to ensue in the upcoming weeks.

Which is sad to me. I know and work with many talented women, who know how to get down to business and get things done. They can also do it without being dragged into personality battles, or being overly concerned with hurting someone's feelings. The women of the Apprentice seem to be more interested in making everyone involved feel good than getting their shit together and staying focused on the task at hand. And I don't think that they are a good representation of what women can bring to the business world. I think that's why Carolyn seems to find this bunch almost personally insulting. If it were up to her, I think she'd fire them all.

Maybe I should try out for the inevitable Apprentice 3 and go kick some aspiring corporate weasel ass. For the good name of women in business, of course.

* credit to Television Without Pity for the application of the phrase

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

cat stevens, menace to society

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former pop star Cat Stevens (news)
was deported back to Britain from the United States on Wednesday by U.S.
Homeland Security officials who said his activities could be "linked to

Wow...I feel so much safer now that Cat Stevens isn't on American soil. Thank god for that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

the fox in the night, and other excuses...

Hello again.

Well, I started this blog up a week ago, and, before I added to it, decided to let myself marinade in the idea of having it a little more. What kind of things would I want to write here? I'm not really the kind of person that would want to air my personal life and its messy details. But I am someone who has always liked sharing small observations, just to find out if anyone else has noticed what I see. For some reason, I have a strong belief that the small things in life somehow tie together into some larger tapestry of deeper meaning. Or some shit like that.

Actually, a lot behind my not posting again until now was largely due to my having a really really busy week last week. I was also grappling with a personal disappointment that was a lot harder for me to deal with then I orginally thought it would be. So I wasn't really sleeping well either. But that's not really a good excuse...writing in the blog could have been a good distraction for me, like it is now.

Midweek I was driving home after having coffee with a friend and staying up until way too late when all of a sudden a fox came out onto the road. I slowed down as it paused in front of my car and turned its head towards me for a moment, before running off. It was a surreal moment, kind of like the moment in the movie Collateral when the taxi drives past the coyotes in the street. At the next traffic light, I was almost expecting a grey-haired man in a suit with pants that are too short to jump into my car. Thankfully (or not, if you're a Tom Cruise fan, which I am not), that did not occur. But if it had, well, it sure would have been a nice break from some of the unfun reality I've been experiencing lately.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

beginnings...and fantasy sports

Hello and welcome all!

I have been inspired by my friend Kieran to start my own blog. I am not certain that I will post here on the same level of frequency or thoroughness, but what the looks like fun anyway. I hope those of you who stumble across this will enjoy my random expressions and meanderings.

To start off, I want to share with you all how excited I was to witness the sheer dominance of my fantasy football team. First place in week 1! I realize I'll probably live to regret those words in the long run, but I have to enjoy it while I can. Especially after my disastrous fantasy baseball season this year. (Oy...the pain.)

I wouldn't say that I'm a typical fantasy sports person. First off, I'm a chick. Not that chicks shouldn't be into fantasy sports, but it's clearly a hobby dominated by men. Secondly, I actually was not as active a sports fan before getting involved with fantasy baseball and football. Having to keep on top of player situations has made me become a much more knowledgeable fan overall. A friend of mine at work told me that he talks sports with me more than anyone else at work. Considering I'm an engineer and I work with a lot of men, I was quite surprised. And flattered, I must say.