Sunday, August 31, 2008

The First Wedding

A few weeks ago, my vacation started with a whirlwind of activity. Friday night was a wedding in New Jersey and Saturday night was a wedding in Puerto Rico. They both were fun, lively and very entertaining, but I was exhausted.

I was just sent the link to the photographer's of the first wedding blog. Todd Laffler's pictures are quite simply stunning. He shoots as a photojournalist and I love it.

My mom did a reading at the ceremony. That's her in the photo.

The pictures were so great, I had to look at his other stuff. Check them out. They're all amazing. And I know how great they are because I don't even know these people and the emotion in them is making me get all mushy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

How much is too much?

I have my Twitter account to automatically update my Facebook status. Usually, it's pretty funny and so what if it shows that I update my status about 5 times a day.

But yesterday I was so aggravated by people talking in an office behind me, that I just did what I normally did and Twittered about it.

Today, a coworker asked me about my Facebook status and asked what that was about. "Who were you listening to?" She wasn't being combative in asking, she was just humored and curious. I had to quickly think on my feet because I wasn't about to tell her that she was one half of the duo who I wanted to impale.

"That was for all the talking that was going on around me. I was trying to write something and I kept getting distracted."

It's crazy how I can lie with a straight face.

So the dilemma is, do I have to censor myself on Twitter? Should I disconnect Twitter from automatically updating Facebook? Should I de-friend her? (I already de-friended my manager because I didn't want him having that close of a peek into my personal life - especially if I like to rant about work every now and then.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to real life

I'm back from vacation. I arrived Sunday morning at JFK airport and was stuffed into an SUV with 6 other people and all our luggage wedged in between us for an hour ride home.

I wish I could be more enthusiastic about telling stories about my trip. But I'm too tired. My body aches, my stomach hurts and I just want to sleep. Funny that these symptoms didn't show up until I was home.

The ceremonial spoon-balancing act

I did have a good time, don't get me wrong. Hanging out in an apartment with my brother, my cousins and one of their boyfriends gave me a closeness with actual humans that I've been longing for for a while. Even our annoyances with each other became funny. We were the '5 Assholes' who were quick to pull away from the rest of the group to do our own thing.

I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't even write in my journal while I was there. I had no desire to remove myself from 'being in the moment' to stop what I was doing to write down the stories of the day. Now I might forget the drama that went on the whole week.


Being home, I have to concern myself with my homework again. I'm not motivated. I have to get back into work mode. I can't decide if I like my job today. I have to think about working on those home improvement projects that I've been letting slide. I don't feel like figuring out where the money is going to come from. I would rather just float on a raft in the warm waters of the Caribbean ocean letting the waves rock me to sleep.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Vacation: Day Five

I've been totally lame and not posting, but whatever. I'm on vacation. I am mad at myself for not even journaling because I am going to forget the ridiculous things that has happened so far.

Most of it has been stupid 'in the moment' things that us cousins will probably only find funny. There's been a lot of laughing, and drinking and swimming and more laughing. But there's also been plenty of drama. I attribute that to the merging of families and the stress that goes along with that.

But my Blackberry isn't working here and it's pissing me off. No phone service, no text message, no nothing.

Off to get some dinner.

More later.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vacation: Day One

I’ve been up since 5am. It’s now 7:42 am. I didn’t go to bed until 1am last night. Do you see where this is going?

I’m at JFK airport waiting to board my plane to Puerto Rico. There’s a family wedding there tonight. I was at a family wedding in NJ last night. I’m already all wedding’ed out.

I love to travel, but I hate… let me repeat. I HATE the whole check in process.

I arrive to the airport curbside, loaded up with luggage, backpack, dive bag, two parents, aunt & uncle and a million other clueless passengers. Already, there’s a line out on the curb for curbside checkin. Inside is another line weaved in and out among chaos.

Being in an airport changes you. It turns normally sensible, logical people into babbling idiots. It turns me, a normally sweet, thoughtful and caring person (Mike, stop laughing) into a raging, homicidal maniac. I want to kill every stupid person next to me, in front of me, behind me, who breathes the wrong way or asks a stupid question like, “What do you mean I have to show my boarding pass?”

The security check in line is the worst. Security is a stupid name to call it, because the yahoos who work there look like they just got off their night shift at McDonald’s.

There was one woman who had to keep going through the metal detector because she kept setting it off. I wanted to smack her. First off with the shoes, then the belt, then the change in the pocket. “Your earrings!!” I yelled to her as she went through the third time, holding up everyone waiting behind her – like me. Finally she made it through without setting it off and I clapped.

I can see my stuff already through the x-ray machine, laptop sitting on the conveyor belt vulnerable. I just want to get through so I can claim it before someone else does.

Now that I’m through and on the other side of the gate I can breathe a little easier. I’m starving and dehydrated, but the first thing I spot is a free internet hot-spot and the addicted cyber-geek in me practically drools and my first instinct is to blog rather than find some sustenance. Sad, I know.

I’ll be on my plane in about an hour. I’m still waiting for my cousin Christine and her family to arrive. Her parents are already here and waiting for her at check in. Me, I just have to keep my cool, read some cheesy magazines and listen to my iPod. It will be a long week. I’ll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Do we look like 80's groupies?

Poison Groupies
Last night Viv and I went to see Poison play at the PNC Arts Center in Homdel, NJ. The people watching there was awesome. We saw plenty of aged rockers who looked like they partied hard in the 80's. Women who might have been hot once, now were victims of gravity, cheese steaks and hair dye. But that didn't stop one woman from pouring herself into a red leather strapless dress that barely held her in.

Sebastian Bach from Skid Row and Dokken both opened up for Poison. Neither of them were anywhere near their vocal range from their heyday. I was in the food court while Sebastian was on stage. All I heard was screaming. We went up on the lawn to watch Dokken, but I was pretty disappointed when Don didn't hit the high notes/screams that he was known for.

Finally the lights went down and Poison took the stage at around 9:00. Musically, and lyrically the are not Grammy contenders. Even time had taken a toll on Brett's good looks. He was looking a little haggard and bloated. Poor, Brett.

CC Deville was a silly, little maniac. He pranced around on stage with his glittery guitar, checked his hair in his mirror, and egged on the audience for more cheering. That clown is all ego, but he held up the best out of all the band mates.

The show itself was pretty short. Only an hour, fifteen minutes in total. CC Deville had a guitar solo and Rikki Rocket had his drum solo which took about 10 to 15 minutes out of actual band play time.

But what they did play was fun, eternal adolescent stuff. I was brought back to junior high when my jeans were tight, my hair was high and I would be caught dead without my studded belt and feather earrings on.

It was a naive time then. Singing about "in the old man's Ford; behind the bushes; till I'm screaming for more-more-more" was just that. Just singing. Love only lasted as long as a hook up in the closet at a party and the only worries were who was going to win MTV's Friday Night Video Fights and making sure that Billy Warner didn't get my note where I told my best friend that he was cute.

Sometimes I wish I was fourteen again.
Me and my boyfriend, Jon Bon Jovi

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a typical conversation: part 6

I was looking for the seat height adjuster on Mike's chair to make his seat go down.

Mike: My thing is broken. It doesn't work anymore.

Me: That's what she said...

(as I was walking away)

Thank you, goodnight! Try the veal...

Monday, August 11, 2008

80's Flashback

Rock Stars
In preparation for tomorrow's Poison concert, here's a picture of me when I sang Dokken's "In My Dreams" during my 8th grade talent show in 1987.

You gotta love the feathered hair and fringe jeans.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Internet Meme Timeline

Dipity created this awesome Meme timeline. Normally songs and smells bring me back to a specific memory, but now you can think about where you were when the first South Park Spirit of Christmas cartoon circulated the web in 1996. Ah... such good times.

a typical IM conversation

Steve: ok, enough office bashing for today

Steve: I feel like a jerk!

me: you should. i'm telling

Steve: now I will punch YOU

me: no. because i have on my protective cloak with a shield charm

Steve: a shield charm

Steve: I would punch the shield charm RIGHT THROUGH YOU!

me: no, my pet unicorn will trample you and impale you with its horn

Steve: I would break the horn of the uni-horn and stab it to death with it

Steve: stumped you didn't i

Steve: (totally)

Steve: ha!

Steve: sucker!

me: no because my doppelganger will throw things at you for ever until you die

Steve: I will dangle your doppelganger from the roof by her toenails while I bludgeon you with your own dog.... then I will do it again to your doppelganger and say "this was so much fun. Why didn't I think of this before!?"

me: no because i will punch you

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I came across this post about finding ways to reclaim your time from the barrage of things that suck up hours of the day. I was most interested in the first item on the list.

Take a time out. Freeing up your time starts with taking a step back to take a good look at your life. You need to block off at least an hour. Several hours or half a day is better. A whole day would be awesome. A weekend would be even more ideal, though not necessary practical for many folks. With this block of time, take a look at your life with some perspective. Is it what you’ve always wanted? How would you get to where you’ve always wanted to be? What do you enjoy doing, but don’t have enough time to do? What things actually fill up your day? Are there things you could drop or minimize to make more time? We’ll look at some of these things in the following items, but it starts with taking a time out to think and plan.
Let's look at the things that occupy my day:
  • Let Barry out, then go back to sleep for 30 minutes. As Barry eats breakfast, I either lounge in bed for those last precious minutes, watch tv or lately, do some pilates.
  • Take Barry for his morning walk.
  • Shower and get ready for work.
  • Drive 30 minutes to work.
  • Eat breakfast, read personal emails, comics, news, blogs, links, and gossip with coworkers. By 9:00 - 9:15 ish the work day begins.
  • For the next 8 hours I hop between reading/writing emails, updating content in courses, editing graphics, chatting with Mike and Steve, internet surfing, eating, phone calls, meetings...
  • 30 minute drive home.
  • Let Barry out and feed him.
  • Make dinner, eat and watch the news on tv.
  • 7:00pm take Barry for his hour long walk.
  • From 8 to 10 I'm online again either doing homework or blogging/surfing/reading.
  • By 10 pm I'm in bed reading a book until I fall asleep.
Hmm... not a very exciting life now that I'm taking a closer look at it. Maybe instead of school, I should take up juggling.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Stony Brook Farm

DSCN0247This past Saturday, my family converged in upstate New York at my cousin's country home, Stony Brook Farm. It's a beautiful home that's perfect for hosting and entertaining plenty of guests.

I drove up there with my brother and Barry through a crazy rain that I thought would never let up. Finally we arrived and was amazed at all the new construction and landscaping that was done since last year. The most fun additions were a pond and a pool on their 42 acres of land.

DSCN2031The pond was warm and soon it was full of kids and adults and even my dog as we enjoyed the rare opportunity for some cooling off in the waterin' hole. The mud squished between my toes along the bottom. There were diving contests off the rocks. Frogs croaked along the banks. All I needed was an inner tube raft and a beer.

There was also some excitement. Ryan locked his keys in the trunk of his car and had to call AAA to unlock the car. It was quite an event as we all cheered on the porch as the rescue truck drove down the driveway. Poor Ryan, he's not even in the family yet but he gets as much crap as anyone else. He had to put up with being the butt of the jokes for the rest of the day. But at least he's the star of his own video.

DSCN2056Family gatherings are always special. They don't need to be fancy, just as long as there's food, everyone's happy. What's really wonderful is how the cousins have grown up so close and now the new generation of cousins get to experience the same closeness that we have. They will always know that their family will be there to turn to for laughs and for comfort.

I feel very lucky to have the family that I do. I know I don't tell them that often enough.

See the photo slideshow.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Big Read

I completely lifted this post from another blog, but right now I can't remember where from.
The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed (though the list seems to be missing #44 and #51, and I couldn't find it at the website). How do you rank? I read 24 books on the list.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo