Friday, January 29, 2010

Are We Bored Yet?

I was not overly enthusiastic going into tonight's PR. For one thing, I was supposed to be at MAB's delicious new downtown flat, teaching her to cook halibut and enjoying the ambiance of her tres chic environs but alas, she has a terrible head cold and I sent her home from work early. And also because I knew this week was going to be a team challenge and I HATE team challenges.

But there was a smidge of promise. Heidi greeted the group with the question "How would you like to meet some of the most iconic designers of all time?" And all the little designers clapped their little hands and exclaimed, "Yes! Yes!" Of course, since most of the iconic designers of all time are dead, it was no surprise that they went off to meet Tim at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (and if you're not from NY make sure if you go to not make the mistake of referring to it as "The Met". That's what New Yorkers call the opera). He was standing in the newly reopened American wing, surrounded by 10 gowns from the likes of Yves St. Laurent and Dior. Beautiful things. The designers were told that they would have $500 (the largest PR budget ever for a single challenge) and 2 days to create a high end look that would be at home with the dresses amid which they stood. Pulling buttons from his little velvet bag, Tim chose the team leaders, who then got to pick their partners.

Jay, who has immunity, chose Maya. Jesus, who has been in the bottom 2 the last 2 weeks, got very lucky to be a leader and chose Amy, who has mad skillz (and should have won last week). Gay Ghetto smiled smugly and said, "I choose this day...Seth Aaron", who blissfully scampered over to him saying, "Where's my brown sugar". I now pronounce you man and wife. Janeane picked Ben, who is notable for being totally forgettable, Mila copped Jonathan because he has "excellent construction skills". Ping picked Jesse, who had told the camera earlier that there was no way he wanted to work with Ping and Emilio was left with Anna. The designers had time to commune with the dresses in the museum and they all, including Tim, are on the verge of weeping being so close to such mega designs.

After some sketching and jostling, they are off to Mood to select fabric and Ping is bouncing around like the airy fairy nutcase she is. She and Jesse have a mild disagreement about something and he is shown smacking his fist into his hand behind her back. He really doesn't want to work with her and is making no bones about it. The other designers are all happy and giggly, especially the newlyweds.

There is very little apparent drama in the beginning. Mila is thinking and Jonathan is constructing, which is niggling him a little. Jesse is being a complete bitch and questioning Ping's every decision, forcing her into a dithering place that she hadn't been in before he started nattering at her. "Your causing me to have doubts," she moans. "I'm not doubting the vision," he says ever so arrogantly, "I just want to know that there is a vision".

Work proceeds apace and toward the end of the day Tim comes in for a "gather 'round". Uh oh. Sure enough, the luxurious 2 day challenge just got ugly. Now the designers have to create a second "look for less", something more ready-to-wear. They will get an additional $50 for fabric and the look must pay homage to but not copy one of the high end looks created by another team. This situation raises the tensions that heretofore were only simmering. Ping and Jesse are now engaged in all out war (especially when Ping comes back with some fabric that he deems "cheap"), Jay is totally slacking because he has immunity and Maya is doing all the work because she knows his slacking + immunity can equal disaster for her, Jonathan is starting to resent the amount of work he's doing while Mila continues to obsess over her "vision" and the newlyweds have their first spat.

Tim's Walk Around is essentially uneventful, except to urge Jay & Maya to "keep it simple", confirm Jesse's judgement that Ping's LFL fabric is cheap and allow us some humor when Gay Ghetto scolds Seth Aaron, "Don't argue in front of company". (The Neighbor thinks he is hilarious. I can only tolerate him in very small doses).

The Runway
Joining the regular judges (I just love saying that) is British designer Matthew Williamson.

The show seemed to go in an uneventful blur until Emilio's look came down the runway. It was lovely and we also liked what Jay and Maya (mostly Maya) created. Anthony/Seth Aaron and Ping/Jesse receive the lowest scores, Jay/Maya and Mila/Jonathan the highest. (Poo. Can't believe Emilio is only "safe").

Jay & Maya are applauded for their high end look, which was "dramatic and striking" and told that their LFL "blows the $500 inspiration out of the water". Mila & Jonathan get kudos for doing something more futuristic. The set piece of the look is a very modern black and white jacket that garners much praise although their LFL look is mostly a "meh".

On the other hand, Nina tells Ping and Jesse that the high end look is "just a bunch of fabric". Kors says it looks like it would be worn by the Statue of Liberty. As for the LFL look, Kors says, "I don't think anyone designed anything". Jesse snarks that he spent most of his time teaching Ping to sew and their model complains that she was never fitted into the LFL dress. The newlyweds are dissed for creating a dress appropriate for "a cotillion party in the south from Hell" and for an LFL dress that was nothing more than "an acetate cocktail dress". Nina merely dismissed them both with a "They're both really ugly". Ouch.

The Neighb and I both pick Ping to go and the Jay and Maya combo to win. But it was Mila that was declared the winner for a look that was "exciting and modern" and which received the gratitude of the judges for doing something other than a gown.
Jonathan, too, is safe. While the newlyweds are reprimanded for not being fashion forward and creating "couture" that was "a mess" and a LFL that was "a major snooze", they were safe, along with Jesse. Ping's totally lack of design or apparent vision was her undoing. And while I believe this was largely brought on by Jesse constantly harping on her, the result was the same. She was auf and she cried very hard and Tim sweetly told her "I cannot imagine that work room without you". But Ping tearfully tells us that she "surprised" herself and that "the journey continues". Bless her little heart.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go wrestle fondant. Tomorrow is The Child's Sweet Sixteen party and she is operating under the delusion that her mother is the Ace of Cakes.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Smattering

Yesterday was much better than Monday. The Child and I had a talk about the hissy she'd thrown and cleared the air. We went out for a delicious dinner and watched "16 Candles" when we got home. She got lots of wonderful presents from wonderful people and went to bed happy. And so did I.

Small World Story:
We had dinner in a new sushi restaurant near our house. The woman who waited on us also owns one of my favorite little shops in the 'hood. (You may have heard that being a small business owner is currently not the easiest gig. So Shop Lady also takes some shifts at the sushi restaurant to keep body and soul together. She's amazing). Even though I've been shopping in her store for quite a while now, we'd never formally met so we took care of introductions over dinner. Then she pulled out her phone and friended me on Facebook. A little later she came back and asked, "How do you know Pat Briscoe?" Some of you may remember Pat from the early bloggy days. I told her about our virtual acquaintance and then she said she'd gone to high school with him. Six degrees of separation, baby. It's for real, I tell you.

Amazing Food:
Yesterday MAB brought me a little treat from a bakery near her new digs. It was a "pancakes and bacon" cupcake....delicious cake studded with little sugary bits of bacon, a creamy butter and maple frosting adorned with more bits o' bacon (as opposed to Baycun Bits, mind you). It was the best. thing. ever. I'm going to try and adapt it into a cake for our Carnevale feast. Fantastic.

Good Read
I've started reading "Just Kids" by Patti Smith. It is beautiful. She writes like she's from another century; dense, deliberate, poetic language where every word is clearly chosen with great care. Not at all what you'd expect from the Queen of Punk.

Good News:
The Child lost her cell phone in a train station yesterday. On the way to the car after dinner I got a call from a guy who'd found it. He's bringing it to my office today. He doesn't know this, but I'm giving him a reward. Dude just saved me $100 on the replacement phone. It's the least I can do.

Don't Forget:
The President's State of the Union address is tonight. I always watch the SOTU, even if I don't like the guy delivering it. This year will be a treat; not only do I very much like and support The President, I just adore listening to him speak. I just hope there aren't any arse Republicans planning to pull a Joe Wilson tonight. Idiots. I've really come to loathe the GOP.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sweet 16. (OK, Not So Much on the Sweet Right Now But I Guess That Goes with the Territory).

16 years ago, right this minute, I was wearing a very unflattering but serviceable hospital gown and cracking jokes. No, really. In between contractions, it was a big ol' laughfest in the delivery room. Months later I ran into my labor nurse at the hospital and she told me that in her entire career she'd never laughed as much as she had at The Child's delivery. I like to think that the fact that there was more laughter than pain at her birth has some sore of significance.

I am feeling much more sentimental today than I expected. Probably because last night The Child, with much weeping and gnashing of teeth, delivered the "you don't believe in me, you never support me, blah blah blah" speech. I really hate that speech. Especially delivered on the eve of an occasion. Like her 16th birthday. A moment which, let's face it, I had something to do with. And yes, I am well aware that this goes with the territory and yes, certainly, I would much prefer The Attitude, born as it is of strong will and spunk, to the alternative. Like sex and drugs and alcohol and smoking and truancy and running with the wrong crowd or dating someone menacing with a name like Butch and a motorcycle. There is a lot about my 16 year old that I will put up against any other 16 year old and I'll do so with a whole lotta pride.

But when your baby turns on you, especially when you know that nothing you were saying to her remotely smacks of a lack of support, especially when you know what you've done to get her to this moment, smarts a little.

And I was going to say, "but enough about me" and try to conjure up some sentimental crap about motherhood and the milestone of a daughter turning 16 and then I remembered, "This is my bloody blog and if I want to write about how I was, once again, told that I truly am 'the worst mother in the world', on the eve of my child's 16th birthday no less, and how it smarted and how it still does and how truly annoying that is, well then, that's what I'm going to do". So there. Pft.

So a happy birthday to my rotten, ungrateful child. I love her very much. I know she was put on this earth to do great things. And that's true whether she believes it or not.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Farmville Fashion

We begin in the apartments and on the boys' side, the Bottom Three are all waxing philosophical about how they need to "step it up". Then we go over to the girls' apartment and I'm basically looking at The Neighbor with a "who are these people"? The early weeks are sooooo difficult. (In fact, here's a thought...start the show with 10 designers. Maybe give 'em a few weeks of challenges with no aufing so much as point accumulation...just so we can really get to know them. Then start aufing away).

Heidi and her Seal Pup bump remind the the designers that Emil has immunity and then says that in an effort to "see what you are made of" they're going to be sent somewhere "a little out there". And one of the designers wonders if it could be the moon. Sure. Because Lifetime has that kind of budget.

Next shot is Tim, outstanding in his field (tee), surrounded by the models wearing potato sacks and Wellies. Oh, this is delightful. The designers are to demonstrate the age old adage about a woman being so beautiful she can even make a potato sack look good. The garment is going to be worn to an "industry event", the models are the clients and they get to pick their designers. (And then we have the obligatory hypocrisy where the last one chosen is all "what am I, chopped liver" to the camera and all "oooh, goody, I really wanted to work with you" to the model who chose her). The designers get to "shop" at a "farm stand" full of embellishments and then it is off to the work room.

This next bit is hard to express without audio but I'll try. Ping tells us in staccato: "I. want. to. play. with. the. texture. of. the. potatosack". It made us laugh.

Tim admonishes the designers to not lose sight of who they are even as they endeavor to please their clients. Mila (that's her name), who was chosen last and looks like a Vulcan, is talking trash to Gay Ghetto. Ping is confident, Anne Marie (I think) is doing potato prints on the potato sack, which is cute. and Pamela is engaged is a dying technique called ombre that is giving the burlap the vibe of denim.

Tim's Walkaround
Mila the Vulcan is fussing with some tulle embellishments and Tim believes it compromises the dress. And I ask, how in the world can tulle compromise anything?

Tim is "flabbergasted" by Jay's ambition and while he finds Ping's work "always intriguing" he explains to her the mechanics of the runway and how the very short skirt she has conceived will essentially provide a peep show for the judges. Jesus is admonished for obscuring the sack with embellishment. "You have, pardon the pun, skirted the challenge," says The Gunn. But Jesus plugs ahead, just like he did last week, because I guess when you have the same name as the Son of God it makes you think you too can walk on water.

The Runway
Guest judge this week was the inimitable Lauren Hutton. Bow down before her greatness.

Still too many looks to comment on them all however we loved Jay's dress and Amy's was a confection composed in burlap. Truly impressive and one of the few garments that was clearly made of burlap...but burlap transposed from itchy scratchy shapelessness into a soft, feminine blossom of a dress. Brilliant. And I know something of this. Growing up on a farm, I was well acquainted with the versatility of a potato sack. It upholstered the "furniture" in our tree forts, composed our Batman and Robin capes and yes, served as clothing for other playful endeavors - uncomfortable, unshapely clothing, but still. So Jay and Amy's work were triumphs of ingenuity and design.

There were also some decided misses, most notably yet another abomination from Jesus and a disturbing effort by Ping....some inexplicably wide shapes at the hip, a too short skirt and oh, what's this? The model's bum hanging out for all to see through an unfortunately gap in the back. Oy. "Thank goodness for the Brazilian wax," exclaimed MAB.

The Top Three
  • Jay for creating a "really impressive" dress that Hutton said "made burlap look expensive".
  • Mila, giving credence to my Vulcan theory, created a futuristic dress that was a hit with Heidi although she and Kors disagreed over the success of what he called "gapping" on the bodice. Nina praised her for taking burlap "from the farm to the future".
  • Amy's dress was described as "just beautiful" and praised by Kors for really using the fabric and not disguising it. Hutton declared, enthusiastically but perhaps inappropriately "You made it!"

The Bottom Three
  • Pam got snaps for her dye job, "it did look like denim" but Nina found the overall piece "too short, too tight and not sophisticated" while Kors lamented that a plain potato sack would have been more flattering. ("I think I had that dress," mused MAB. "It looks like something skanky I'd have worn to a disco in the 80s").
  • Heidi conceded that Ping had an "edgy" eye but wondered if that was enough and Ping herself was reduced to tears over her model's skin tone and how it matched the fabric too much. I'm not sure she understood the real problem...which was the form defying shape of the skirt and the eewww factor of bare model bum.
  • Jesus was questioned as to the percentage of burlap to other stuff and Heidi frankly told him that she "didn't see the challenge" anywhere in his garment while Hutton dismissed it as "a confused assault on the eye".
The Judging
Both The Neighbor and I picked Amy for the win, both because of the beauty of her dress and the successful transformation of what was still obviously burlap and Jesus to be out for yet again not heeding The Gunn and making something ugly.

Amy was, however, only safely in...which disappointed...and Mila the Vulcan, too, was safe. It was Jay who was declared the winner (beautiful dress, no question, but it was, we felt, farther away from the essence of burlap than Amy's dress).

Ping got lucky and she was grateful. And while Jesus' dress was deemed a disappointment for the way he covered up the burlap and turned it into something matronly, it was Pam who got the auf for a questionable taste level and the judges' concern that she didn't have the ability to be fashion forward.

While we were disappointed with the outcome, it was refreshing to have a show that was much more about the fashion than annoying personalities. (Gay Ghetto was a nominal presence compared to last week and Portland appears to still be on her meds). And perhaps best of all, "make it work" is back. The Gunn must have said it a half a dozen times last night.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Note from the Maintenance Department

I'm sorry for those of you who hate it, but Mommy had to reinstitute word verification on her bloggy. The "high yield interest" spammer and the spammer whose first language is clearly not English were getting on her nerves. And as annoying as typing the word veri may be, it's more annoying to have spam in the middle of an otherwise interesting thread or to have to go in and delete it after the fact. So there. Word verification: it's like a screen door for the front portal of your blog home.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Moroccan meatball tagine in the oven and the couscous needs to be started.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Caroline Laughs and It's Raining All Day, She Loves to Be One of the Girls

I have begun planning The Child's Sweet 16 party. (Yes, I'll give you a minute to digest that. She was 11 when I started this blog).

She wanted "Pretty in Pink" as the theme. So the invitations were pink and the cake is going to be pink (with chocolate brown polka dots) and she wants pink balloons and pink streamers and pink food. (There'll be ham and maybe some pink punch but I'm not going to do anything crazy, like dye the deviled eggs. I have my limits). Some of the guests are, I know, wearing pink to the fete and so will the fetee. (She doesn't know that yet...I'm taking her shopping this weekend. Shhhh. It's a surprise).

At the moment I am not capable of making deep observations about this milestone. Frankly, I still haven't quite wrapped my head around it. Or my heart. Or maybe my failure to wrap my mind around it is a mechanism for protecting my heart. I can tell you that lately I have been noticing mommies with little tow headed toddler babies and something tugs inside. Because the truest words that were ever spoken is that it goes fast. It goes really, really fast.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Some Things I Don't Understand

Why is it that I can have a dream wherein I am desperately trying to pursuade my mom to call the police while I desperately try to convince my brother that he should NOT go into the house next door because someone is breaking in but I'm barely able to get the words out and yet The Spouse pokes me because I'm talking in my sleep?

Why is it that my back kills me when I'm sleeping, unless I'm on my side and in a semi-fetal position but it doesn't bother me a lick during the day?

Why can't you teach a dog to sweep?

How is it possible that anyone at all anywhere on the planet pays attention to certifiable nutjobs like Pat Robertson?


Friday, January 15, 2010

Meant to Be

The economy may still be stuttering, wars still raging and Haiti in a horrible mess (you're sending money to the Red Cross, right?) but last night, for an hour, all was right with the world again. Project Runway was back. And it was back in all the right ways: shooting again in NY, Nina and Kors back on the judges panel and Heidi Klum is cooking up yet another Seal Pup. It just felt right.

On the down side, it was the first episode, which is stuffed full of 412 contestants and little time to get a handle on any of 'em. But we'll make a cursory attempt.

Some of the folks who stood out, for good or for ill:

Seth Aaron, who looks a little like Bryan Ferry, sports hair that belongs in an '80s band and claims to be about "retro" looks.

Janene, heretofore to be referred to as Portland (where she's from and place of my birth), who spent 3/4 of the show moving herself to tears every damn time she spoke.

Ping, a physical therapist by day, who is all about how clothes move (since she knows how the body works) and who drapes herself instead of dress forms. She's a freak.

Anthony, who informed us that it is hell to be "black and gay in the ghetto". To which I reply, "Then perhaps you should lose the apricot tux shirt". His dream is to do pagent dresses. We all know what that means.

Pamela, who might be the sneaky bitch of the season. Or not.

Jonathan, who is exploring "where gritty meets pretty".

Jesse, whose day job is pretending to be Jack Sparrow at a theme park.

Mina and Maya, who are interchangable in looks and aesthetic.

Jesus, who is into evening wear and coutoure.

Emilo, who speaks Spanish and wants to do "real clothes".

We have champagne on the roof and next day the designers meet Tim in Central Park. The spot is littered with bolts of fabric and they all have a mere 3 minutes to grab what they want in order to create a look that "embodies who you are as a designer". Then The Gunn gives them 5 minutes to edit and select but a few of their fabric selections to take to the work room. These they must also unfurl and stuff into their Mood bags. This confounds Ping.

In the work room they all get a little tablet computer thingy to sketch upon and have until midnight to work. The models have been preselected for them and the winner will get immunity.
People sew.

The Gunn has a walk about. Ping is a freak. Portland weeps. Anthony annoys with his cliche "personality". Jesus is making something out of reptile and chiffon and The Gunn suggests it would work better as a short dress. But Jesus wants it to be a gown and smugly holds his own. Rainey applauds self-confidence. But The Gunn is always right and should be heeded. This is one of the immutable truths of the universe. Just sayin'. Emilio has constructed a nice bodice for a dress but The Gunn is worried that it is attached to nothing and notes that no one, in any prior season, has failed to send something down the runway. This week's Gunnism: "Recalibrate your ambitions to accommodate the time frame".

Panic. Sewing. Portland weeping again.

The day of the runway show arrives and thankfully, everyone has finished, everyone has thoughtfully used the Bluefly accessory wall and Portland has found her meds and is miraculously calm, cool and collected.

Nicole Ritchie (eeww) is the guest judge.

I tell The Neighbor that I can't possibly comment on the runway show as there are just too many designers. Then Pamela sends down a pink kite that she thinks is youthful and I throw up a little in my mouth. And when Emilio's dress comes down we chime in unison, "That is pretty cute!" We were mixed on Ping's look. The Neighbor claimed she'd wear it. "You would NOT!" I rebut. "I think I would," she asserts. "Not even," I say. The Neighbor still looks convinced and I try to imagine any scenario in which I've ever seen her where she might wear such a thing and then I think, "Oh, of course, to Gay Bingo. When the theme has something to do with blankets".

The Judging
Seth Aaron has done a plaid, zippered dress that reminds my friend, DC Karen, of the yellow plaid dress Jeffrey did a few seasons back. The judges think it is "fun" and Nicole Ritchie "appreciated the back". MAB says it is something I would totally wear.

Anthony has made a dress with an appendage on the side, which Kors notes would be good for stealing champagne bottles from a party.

Ping's design was declared "a show in itself".

Kors says Jesus' gown looks like a crocodile trunk exploded and the judges agree it might have been more successful as a short dress. Jesus concedes he had considered that and Heidi shouts, "AH HA!" (The Neighbor asks, "Do you think he will go home for the crocodile dress?" I reply that anyone who disregards The Gunn deserves punishment).

Emilio gets kudos for a dress that is "deceptively simple". (Also, it is adorable and the color is fantastic).

Bottom 3/Top 3
In the bottom:

Christiane, who the judges said had "no theme, no vibe". Perhaps because her dress looked like a refugee from the Easter collection in the 1972 Sears catalog.

Ghetto Anthony, whose work they just didn't love.

Jesus because even though Kors noted a "sense of the unexpected in his design" they were not thrilled with the croc gown.

Top attention getters:

Seth Aaron, whose design made Heidi "want to know more" and who Nina praised for creating a "head to toe" look.

Ping, for crafting something "unusual" which "transported" Kors.

Emilio, for a sexy, girly dress that employed a "smart" use of fabric and impeccable technique.

We vote. The Neighb picks Jesus for the auf and Seth Aaron to win. I choose Christiane to lose and Emilio to take the crown.

I was right. On both counts. Yay me.

There were some other tidbits of note. The phrase "hanger appeal" has been introduced and I'm telling you right now that if it becomes a watch word Mama is going to whack someone. "Hanger appeal"? I have known plenty of clothes that look sensational on the rack and suck once donned. Let's not embrace this criteria, people. Please. And also, Anthony did this big dramatic gasp-and-become-rigid-with-relief nonsense when Heidi told him he was safe. It was so over the top that Heidi even said something along the lines of "Get out of here before I change my mind". Some people do confusing being a personality with having a personality. Too much of his showboating is going to leave me in need of some of Portland's meds.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Appropos of Nothing

I just checked my site meter, which I never bother to do anymore because, well, for a lot of reasons. I'm averaging 43 hits a day. I can't believe there are that many people who still bother. Thank you.

Also, The Spouse stepped up and volunteered to make dinner which was really nice because I ran my arse off today. 6 bloody checkins, only 2 of them expected. And I was wearing boots. With heels.

4 Things

I had a theme going and yesterday was supposed to be about three things but it was one of those days so now we're up to 4. It was one of those days because we had some teenage angsty drama with our Aussie. Long story. Suffice to say that our Aussie was very homesick (her mum told me that she probably wasn't ready to make such a trip) and has moved to another house where there is another student from her school. There were bits about it all that were very annoying but the good news is that The Child took it all very well (and not at all personally, which is good, since it wasn't) and frankly, it's nice to know that there's a three day weekend ahead wherein I will not be required to entertain someone else and can just veg.

The Cat is weird. Every morning, very early, she comes into our room, jumps up on my nightstand and drinks from my water glass. The "clink" of her collar on the glass wakes me up and then I instantly get very thirsty, which requires me to get up and get fresh water because, while cats are not known for being a drooly animal, who wants to drink water that has potential cat spit in it? Not me. I've tried leaving out a decoy glass but she always goes to the one nearest me. Every night. The Spouse has suggested a sippy cup.

My little Wii Fit friend informed me today that I am only 10 pounds from my weight goal. I love my little Wii Fit friend.

Project Runway is back! New season premiers tonight. Yippee! And also, skippy! Not to mention, it means I get to start work late on Friday because, as you know, MAB insists that I have my recap up before I come in to the office. I love my job.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Two Things

I have faithfully played with my Wii Fitness Plus 20 days straight. I say "played with" because it sounds so much nicer and more fun than "worked out". But I have. And my center of balance is vastly improved and there has been some (minimal) weight loss but most important is I'm beginning to feel good things in my muscles. Like the glimmer of future toning. Which, as you may recall, is essential if I am to achieve my primary resolution for 2010, which is meeting Michelle Obama. Or, more to the point, not having my upper arms wobble when I shake Michelle Obama's hand upon meeting. (Because I'll bet that it would be a very bad thing if wobble arms whacked the First Lady in the face, causing Secret Service to dog pile on me and landing my wobbly arse on the 6 o'clock news. "Woman attacks First Lady with upper arm fat, after this commercial message". That is NOT how I want my 15 minutes of fame going down, people.

I got a government issued Blackberry today. Or actually, in the parlance - and I'm not making this up - a Blackberry was "deployed" in my name. Point is, I have it and now I'm trying to make sense of it. I did accidentally stumble on the place where one changes the ring tone and I set it to something sort 80s synth popp-y. And I figured out how to change the password. Because the one the phone tech dude gave me was lame. Point is, now I have something which enables me to keep work separate from private life and that's a good thing. Plus, I kinda look like one of the cool kids.


Monday, January 11, 2010

One Thing

We're having a very nice time with our new Aussie. She doesn't eat seafood (which I find ironic given that she comes from a country with lots of coastline and is visiting the seafood capital of America). She does eat vegemite. Which I tried. Which is, as you no doubt suspect, quite foul. Unless you enjoy licking car tires. In which case, I'll make you a plate of hot buttered toast and you can tuck in.


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Off Track Betting

I have 24 hours to remove Christmas, mop the floors, dust for prints, unstick the sticky, do laundry, take out 412 pounds of recycling and create a sleeping space for The Child during the period when she is displaced by the bright, shiny, new Australian we're getting tomorrow. During that same period I need to earn money, eat, sleep and work out because I've lost 2 pounds already and mommy really wants to keep that up.

Anyone want to give odds on how I'll do?

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Things I Have Already Learned This Year

Don't neglect to wear shoes when working out. Even if you're working out with a computer.

The Coke from Canada doesn't taste as sweet as the Coke from Mexico.

I've become much more of a hardass at work than I was a year ago. Some people are just trouble and when you know it you know it. And when they are trouble you keep 'em on a very short leash. It's not my job to tolerate bad behavior. (Exchange from yesterday with a very unpleasant woman: Her: "I don't have time for a tour. Just give me the papers to sign so I can get out of here". Me: (politely but oh so firmly): "M'am, if you'd like to go over to the hospital first and take care of your husband's business you're welcome to do that. But you have to take the tour before you sign the papers and you have to sign the papers before you get a key. What would you like to do?")

It may sound like a good idea (ala Ben and Jerry's) to make a milkshake out of cherry pie (crust and all) but it will not be a success and it is OK to tell the well-meaning person who made the attempt that it is gross and should never been done ever, ever again.


Monday, January 04, 2010

Obligatory First Blog Post of the Year

Lord knows I love the holidays but it's nice that a little window of normal is opening up before the not normal of the family being temporarily being increased by 1.

The Child will not get up happily this morning, of that I am quite sure. She went out on New Years Eve and had a sleep-over with BFF #2, came home around 5 on New Year's Day and then went to a birthday party on the 2nd which also included a sleep-over. She was veryvery tired last night and veryvery grumpy about my "forcing" her to finish the paper on Macbeth that she had all holiday to work on. (To be fair, it was mostly done but for the tidying up of editing but still). Point is, she will be suffering from the cummulative effects of her weekend.

The Spouse is just now leaving for his first day back at the office in 2 weeks. I think he's ok with it, so long as he can make coding seem like playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or Fallout.

On Saturday I was feeling a little resentful about my minimal amount of holiday time and about having to spend the weekend running errands, per usual, while The Family played and thinking about how I always have to spend the weekend running errands, per usual, while The Family plays and then it hit me. "Hey! I'm earning leave". So I decided that I'm going to take one Friday off every month. And those days are going to be just for me and whatever I feel like doing. (MAB won't like it. She hates it when I'm out of the office. But that's okay because I hate it when she is out of the office). The very thought of such a plan immediately brightened my mood and I finished all my errands quite happily.

So that's my number 1 resolution for 2010. The other is to keep using my wonderful little Wii Fit to get myself ready for meeting Michelle Obama in May. (Meeting Michelle Obama is resolution #3). I love playing with my Wii. I love that I've already lost a pound and am feeling more limber. I love that it is easy to stay committed because it's fun. Technology is a good, good thing.

So we're "back to normal" for a bit. Until Friday, when we receive our Australian exchange student for 2 weeks. The Child and I connected with her on Facebook and her mum friended me. We've had some delightful chats. I knew it was meant to be, though, when she referred to herself as "the worst mother in the world". "Oh, no you're not," I replied. "I am the worst mother in the world and I have the theme song to prove it!"

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