Saturday, December 10, 2005

snow day!

Yesterday I woke up at 6AM, anticipating a snow storm had already started. I jumped out of bed and ran to the window, the way I have since I was a child, but saw no snow. Sadly, I then started going through all of the small routines I go through to start my day - made a cup of tea for myself, checked the news on the New York Times website, started breakfast. As I was stirring ginger clusters into my yogurt, I was surpised to hear a little chrip come from my cell phone, indicating that I had a new text message. I looked down and saw a message from my friend Marcia, asking me if I was going to work or not, since she heard there was a lot of snow near work. I then looked out my window again and was surprised to see lots of snow, with some accumulation already. "Damn!" I said, more shocked than angry, realizing that the show had fallen only within about an hour or so since I'd last looked out.

Considering I have a 30 mile drive to make in order to get to work these days, I made the decision, or the "executive decision" as people on The Apprentice would call it, to stay home and work from there. Marcia stayed home as well, although we later learned we were among the few. Apparently several people went through the trouble of getting out there, only to be sent home early, so I think we made the better decision.

I was able to get some work done, although that was offset slightly by the excitement of the snow day itself. I love the way a snow day can come along and disrupt your normal routine. All plans are off, and as a kid I think that's what I loved the most about it. We had nothing else to do but play in the snow, then go inside and eat all of those great cold weather foods like grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and (the ultimate!!) hot chocolate with marshmallows. Of course, as we got older, there was more work involved that made things a little less fun, like shovelling and clearing snow, but overall you still ended up with a break from your everyday activities, a mini-vacation of sorts.

Since I live in the city, I don't have quite as much shovelling to do these days. So between work assignments I found myself instead doing other things I don't normally give myself enough time for, like catching up on personal emails, cleaning off my kitchen table and making use of it to organize holiday presents, going through clothes and getting rid of old ones, finding time to read one of the many books I've started of late but haven't finished. I ended up being more productive than I usually am on any given day these days, and I felt happier and calmer at the end of my day than I've felt in ages. (Of course part of that was from relief associated with completion of the final project for my Managerial Finance course, but I digress.)

So as a result of this, I've decided that from time to time I need to try to take figurative snow days. Just take a day off for no particular reason and use the time in whatever direction the day steers. I think we all need random breaks from our current realities, as if we are pinching ourselves to make sure we are still awake.

Now if there was only a way that I could figure out to get this style of living into my everyday life. *Sigh* Well, I suppose I'll consider that still a work in progress. But that's good in a way, because if I had life all figured out by now, where would the fun be going forward?

Friday, December 09, 2005

the web once again brings me somewhere I never expected to be

I just found this quote, thanks to Google's personalized start page (apologies to my Microsoft friends - I just love Google!):

The quickest way to a man's heart really is through his stomach, because then you don't have to chop through that pesky rib cage.
- J. Jacques

So then I was wondering, who exactly is this J. Jacques fellow? After using the aforementioned Google, I learned that he is a comic artist. The quote came from one of his strips, Questionable Content. Which, after a brief review, I would highly recommend checking out. I love the graphics, and it has some great dialogue in it, full of little witty asides such as the one above. Although I have yet to come across that exact quote, I have been entertained by others. Such as:

"I realize this is like interrupting an intricate waltz with a sledgehammer to the knee."

"Really? Well there goes my excuse for dancing topless on the coffee table and making out with some random girl then."

And, my personal favorite:

"I'm snottier than a 13-year old girl and more dehydrated than Joan River's hoo-haa."

Friday, August 12, 2005

the brother p-touch line of products

They're the best. I think I love them so much I'll just label everything today at work.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

post espy-award spoiler and other observations

I'm in the process of relocating my office from a fairly convenient 8 miles away to an extremely pain-in-the-ass 32 miles away. This week I'll be visiting our facility in NJ, and when I get back up here next week - pouf! - I'll be in a new office. And honestly, in case you haven't figured this out, I'm really not excited about it. Dealing with this has become a flashing neon sign that tells me to make a change in my life, and make it soon. In case any of the struggles I'm going through that I outlined in my previous post weren't enough of a hint.

Other than that, I've had a fairly action-packed past couple of weeks. I went to see Bronson Arroyo at his record album debut party. It was fun, although I certainly wasn't impressed enough with Bronson's talents to purchase his album. The event was being taped for the ESPY awards, which were also being taped the same night as the concert. (What - you thought that was broadcast live?) Since we were in Boston, we became the screaming throng of people that they would cut to whenever a Boston team (i.e. the Red Sox) won an award. As you might imagine, this was an especially fun experience for a Yankee fan, although I can't imagine it was much more fun for Bernie Williams, who was also in attendance. (No, he did not get up on stage and play.) The other thing about the event that was really strange was that for some reason every time ESPN cut to us, they would post that we were at Game On Cafe, when we were actually at Avalon. I'm sure that there was some sponsorship reason why that was, but it was still a little strange.

Finally, I think that I have figured out my way in the relationship arena. My boyfriend just spent the last week and a half up here visting me, and I'll be spending time with him this coming week and weekend. I think what I've figured out over that time is that we just need to keep doing what feels good for both of us, and the other pieces will fall into place after that. That doesn't mean that we don't need to talk about where the other pieces need to fall, but the journey of discussion has so far been really interesting and engaging, and I'm learning a lot about someone I love. So...while I'm not quite sure where the journey will take me, it's been a good time so far and I'm looking forward to more.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

becoming rational about my fears

Have you ever wondered to what extent you can overcome any fears you have in your life? I have always been a fearful person, and I've recently figured out that in many ways I'm probably a lot more fearful than most. When I think about the things I've accomplished in my life, I've always connected overcoming fear to them, no matter what. Learning to drive? Had to overcome some fears. Earning a black belt? Dealt with other fears. Reassembling my life after my then-boyfriend realized that he was gay? Major fears were conquered there. Stayed in Mexico by myself for two weeks with a family that didn't speak much English? Yup, you got it...more fears resolved.

So is there a limit to what you can overcome? Or do new fears crop up later in life that are just harder to deal with? Or both? I find myself thinking about this as I consider how to pursue a career change and as I enter into a romantic relationship that is more serious. For both there are recurring fears that I keep running into, and right now I'm having trouble being able to tell whether or not those fears are good things or whether they are just blocking and limiting me. It kind of feels like I'm in a room, but I can't tell where the ceiling and floor are, everything is just spinning around me. I'm discombobulated.

And in this state I'd appreciate any good suggestions for reorienting myself that anyone out there might have.

Monday, July 11, 2005

oh elliptical trainer, how i hate thee...

I will never understand what people see in elliptical trainers. I've heard many people tell me about feeling so good after riding one, how they have such low impact, etc. However, when I use them my feet are numb after the first mile. What gives? I've asked trainers about this, and no one has given me a good explanation as to why this happens to me and not to others. The only relief I can get from the numbness, besides stopping, is if I change direction and start running backwards on the damn thing. So I end up having to alternate going forwards and backwards every mile or so until my feet just can't take it anymore (usually about 5 miles) and I have to get off. Which always sucks because I never feel like I got a good workout in. I usually feel like I have a lot left in me at that point.

If only I hadn't signed up for this ultra-athlete challenge at work, I wouldn't even be on the thing. But I did, and I have this requirement of completing 17 miles on an elliptical trainer within the month. I have four days left and 11 miles to go. I've completed almost everything else that I need to complete except elliptical, using the logical progression of saving the worst for last. Good plan there, Erin.

If being involved with these athlete challenges requires using the elliptical, I think next time I'll pass on being formally involved. I am not looking forward to those last 11 miles.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

In desparate need of Bob Mould

You know, the world can be so exhausting and disappointing sometimes. As I woke on July 7, happy to be finally freed from my final paper for my summer class, I heard about London and the bombings and...ugh. I've read the disapppointment and sadness that so many others have expressed in their blogs, and while I identified with it, I also found myself feeling numb and without too much to say. The news coverage I heard throughout the day was at times was a bit disturbing, but not just because of the atrocious nature of the crimes themselves, but because of the extreme short term memory when it came to discussing London's history with terrorism. I actually heard one person say that these were the first attacks on London since World War II. Excuse me? Have we forgotten in our eagerness to connect Al Quaeda with all things evil that there were Irish terrorists not ten years ago who were also performing similar acts? I'm all for giving those who committed these acts what they deserve, but let's at least wait until we know who those people are before coming to any conclusions.

In more personal and semi-tragic news, it appears that I have lost a couple of my newer guy friends, or guys that I thought were my friends. Both of them fell victim to my terrible habit of being very late with responses, which tends to happen during periods in which I am very busy. (The month of June falls into this category.) One of them, after I had not gotten back to him in two weeks, sent me an email demanding to know why I had not told him my true feelings, since it was so "obvious" that I didn't like him since he hadn't heard from me. The second one attacked last night, sending me text messages over one of those friend-connecting websites that I'm a member of (Friendster in this case). Because I had fallen asleep early and left my computer logged into the site, I didn't respond. He chose to interpret that as my being offended by him, wished me luck and signed off (in more ways than one).

Although I realize that not getting back to people quickly can annoy them, I've been on the receiving end of that from some of my friends and I don't usually jump to the conclusion that the problem is me. I mean, I may think it could be a reason, but I usually deal with things like that by either waiting to hear from the person or sending them a note simply asking what's up. So my quesiton is this: Why does it seem that so many guys seem to take this personally? Is there something about these guys in particular that would make them more likely to take offense than others? And why does it seem like I have this problem more with guy friends than girl friends?

Sigh. I found myself this morning, after receiving the instant messages, yearning for the lyrics of Bob Mould. He always had this way of looking at the world that would make me realize that things aren't so bad. I was happy to discover that he will be coming on tour in Boston this fall, so hopefully I will be able to finally see him live after trying and failing for so many years. But, that's another story for another post, another time.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

But did he ever return, no he never returned...

So I flew back from Seattle on July 4 and had just gotten off of the T shuttle bus with my token-filled hand extended only to discover that the newly installed turnstiles (which are acutally more gates than turnstiles) no longer accepted tokens. I was shunted over to a machine on the side that, once I plunked my token into it, spit out what is called a "Charlie Card". (Ten points if you know why they are calling it a Charlie Card.) Apparently the MBTA has finally gotten around to eliminating what it admits is an outdated token system in favor of paper passes. I think in the long run the intention is to load these passes up with different amounts of money, but for now they only have one and two trip passes.

Anyway, while I'm excited to see the MBTA embracing the latest in 20th century technology, their method of implementation leaves me a little stymied. Why elect to implement this system only on the Airport T stop, as opposed to over an entire line at the same time? The confusion associated with the rerouting of pedestrian traffic to use these new machines was enough, but now that I own a Charlie Card I can't use it for anything else, as far as I know. So...I'm not sure I get what the implementation of this system on one stop accomplishes, especially at a stop where there are bound to be many out-of-towners. They will still have to get tokens - why not allow them to buy them there?

OK enough ranting. In better news, I have officially finished my summer coursework. I am home free! Until September, that is.

But really, I *like* school, really!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

After Kieran's wedding, in full bridesmaid glory. Posted by Picasa