Sunday, November 28, 2010

My attempt at being Miss Manners

I have some ideas on how to be a good guest that I want to share.  Don't you just love it!
  • Don't make yourself too much at home.  If eating, ask your host before eating anywhere but the kitchen table or dining room table.  In fact, if there is a kitchen table, ask before eating even at the dining room table.
  • Don't change the channel on the TV without asking, even if your host is not in the room.
  • Don't be so attached to your electronic devices that they must always be plugged in and at your side.  And for sure, don't leave them plugged in, then abandon them on the seating or eating surfaces.
  • Your host should ask to take care of your outer garments, but if they don't, ask where you should put them.  If a dinner is imminent, sure as heck don't leave your coat sitting on the back of one of the chairs at the table.
  • If you are an overnight guest, be mindful of the bathroom situation.  If you have your own guest bath - you're cool.  Just keep it clean.  If the bathroom situation is limited, think about timing of your shower, etc.
  • If you are an overnight guest, when leaving you should ask what to do with soiled linens or you should remake the bed.  If you removed things from the bed, replace them after remaking it.
  • If you are a dinner guest and you offer to bring something, heed your host's instructions on what to bring.  Do not bring food/drink items that you weren't asked to bring and expect them to be served.  This is not to be confused with thoughtfully bringing food or drink items as a hostess gift that are intended to be consumed by your hosts at another time. 
  • Do not arrive early.  Arriving on time, in my opinion, includes arriving within 15 minutes of the requested arrival time.  Anything more than 30 minutes late is just plain rude.
  • Offer to help clean up.  Expect to be told no - in fact, you should be told no - but offer.
  • Don't expect to be given leftovers to take home.  Let the host offer.  Showing up with plastic containers is not advised.
  • If your host is falling asleep on the couch, it might be time to leave.  Of course, it's rude of your host to be falling asleep on the couch when guests are still present.
So, those are my thoughts.  Any one want to add to the list?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's not Friday but...I feel like posting pictures

I've been working on a project since January.  It's an afghan, knit a block at a time.  I'm almost done.  I have 16 blocks done, but I think I want 20 to make it a little bigger.  I've laid out all the completed ones below.  And featured a couple of them.  The last 4 will be relatively simple so that I can finish them fast and get them all sewn together with a border before Christmas.  Some of the blocks are very intricate with cables.  Some are relatively easy.  There is at least one with lace too.  I picked colors that reminded me of the ocean.  Tow of the blocks have ocean themes - a sailboat and a lighthouse.  This will be a gift for my sister, for her beach house.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I wish it were tomorrow already

This day started out with some promise.  A worked last night, but he was supposed to be home tonight.  I was looking forward to that.  He's now paying back a tour he owed.  Part of life.  Not so bad.  He has to work Saturday, so he'll be missing the final UCONN home game.  I'm going to go.  Friends sit right in front of us, so it's not like I'll be alone. But still - that's where the day started turning.
So, I go for my annual ob/gyn visit.  The receptionist was a little unhelpful.  She tells me if nothing has changed on my information sheet, to initial and date at the bottom under my signature.  Well - two signatures, one for release of information to insurers and one for something else.  I ask - which one do I have to initial.  She just repeats "initial and date under your signature" me "but there are two, which one do I need to initial"  again she just repeats "initial and date under your signature" me "but there are two" her "it doesn't matter" okay fine.  Bitch. Then I wait.  and wait. and wait.  My appointment was for 10:40.  I know never to expect the doctor to be on time, but still - didn't get taken in the back for the mammogram until after 11.  Finally see the doctor at 11:40.  One hour after my scheduled appointment.  Oh wait.  He was up in Labor & Delivery.  I need to find a Gyn who doesn't do OB.
Okay - I'm out of there, heading to pick up my car.  (They do valet parking.) As I'm approaching the door, people come out of the elevator, one lady - looked like a drug sales lady - and a mom, dad & brand new baby.  The sales lady preceded me out the door, so when the valet arrived and asked who was next - I pointed to her.  New dad has now come out and is clearly going to attempt to jump the line.  I make sure he doesn't by quickly handing my ticket to the valet.  But, wait.  New dad is important, me not so much in new dad's mine.  As the valet is starting to go get my car - new dad shoves his ticket at the valet and says "my car is right here".  Okay - logic says yeah, won't take long to take care of new day - but  FUCK that.  I was here first.  Yeah well, I'm not important.  I'm not a new parent.  Even though my forehead is not stamped "INFERTILE" it felt like one of those times where I'm made to feel less worthy since I am not a parent.  New dad kind of tried to make a sort of apology "I thought it would be easy my car is right here" I just stared right through him.  Mother fucker.
So, I'm not a happy camper.  Get in my car and really, just want to cry.  I want something to make me feel better.  Getting back to work, I stop by the vending machine hoping for some sympathetic chocolate bar to be calling my name.  Nothing spoke to me.
So, now I'm back at my desk, plotting what I can get on my way home that will be "feel good" food.  And I'm thinking about Thanksgiving.  It's not the dinner that I"m worried about - it's when the discussion of "no two Christmases" comes up.  A thinks his mother gets it, which I'll believe when I see it.  The problem now seems to be his brother.  He wants us to come have dinner at their parents sometime while he's up over Christmas.  Um hello.  You are going to see us at Thanksgiving.  You go months without seeing us during the year and now you have to see us twice within a month?  I'm not having it.  And you're telling me that this is not a second Christmas celebration?  I'm really not having it.  I'll be driving back from the Cape on Christmas Day.  I am not getting back in a car to drive 2 hours back towards the Cape the day after - and then home again.  And I'm certainly not doing it on a week night after work.  No two Christmases means just that.  Some years we won't be able to see one family or the other for Christmas or Thanksgiving.  That's life.  I recognize that as my mother ages, she's less willing to make the trip from the Cape to our home for a holiday.  So some years, I won't see her and/or my sisters for one or the other holiday.  My mother gets it.  I get it.  This is not the first Thanksgiving where I have not been with my family.  I don't think that I've had a Christmas where I didn't at least see my mother - but I know it's coming.  I guess what pisses me off about the whole thing is the selfishness of it.  Two years ago we were spending Christmas with my family.  A's family (read his mom) had to have some kind of  Christmas gathering with everyone together, so they told us they would come to our house Christmas Day before we went to my cousin's home.  Note that I said told, not asked or suggested.  We weren't given the option.  We agreed, said that they needed to be there by a certain time because we would need to leave by a certain time.  Well, they showed up an hour late and then lingered, to the point where we had to say "we need to leave."  Pissed me off.  And now, I'm a little stressed about our edict of "no two Christmases" this year.  I could be borrowing trouble where there is none.  I've done it before.  BIL may drop it, but I'm not counting on it.
So, anyway.  I'm thinking some pizza - and not weight watchers.  Some kind of cake - maybe those little yellow cupcakes with yummy frosting.  And wine.  That could very well be my feel good dinner tonight.  Or - on the healthier side, a nice spinach souffle if I can find a frozen one.  But still the cupcakes and the wine.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Photos

It's been a while since I posted photos!  So - we have a collection here of knitting, nature & Boomer of course.  First off are the things I knitted for my cousin's baby momma's shower - a little hat, booties and a kimono. 

Here we have my UCONN ear flap hat that I knit.  It went to the Pitt game - it's a winner!
A nature shot - just a tree in our neighborhood.
Some shots of Boomer engaging in one of his favorite activities - lazing in the sun.  I wish I had done a better job with these shots - used the camera thingie that prevents the sun from washing out the shot.
 The grass isn't really that high, the yard just slopes down to the garden and he's basically laying in the edge of the garden.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November 18, 1981

Twenty-nine years ago today, my father suffered a heart attack and died.  It's hard to believe that it has been so long.  He was too good to die that young.  At the time, people tried to make sense of it.  They tried to see some positive in how he wouldn't have wanted to see some of the things that happened in our hometown after he passed.  But there are no positives when someone so good dies so young.  I miss you Daddy.  I love you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good company, a little wine, it's all good

So, I went to my cousin's baby momma's shower this weekend.  I'm not a big fan of baby showers - aside from them being boring, they can make me mournful as I will never be having one.  This one wasn't so bad, thanks to the company I was in and the wine I drank.  I sat with my sister, our cousin's wife L. and a couple of cousins of our cousin the baby daddy.  We had some really good laughs and some good chocolate.  We had to play this game where they read a clue about babies and you had to pick the candy bar that went with it.  First clue - a baby girl's name.  L's answer "Chunky".  And you had to hear the way she said it.  Another clue was "things you cover your baby's face with".  My sister's answer "Mounds" thinking breasts when you breastfeed?  Oh the laughter.  Then I pointed out that one of the candy bars listed was Skor.  I figured the clue would be something like "what got you in this position in the first place."  I wasn't far off - clue was "what happened the night of conception" and "what daddy said".  In between laughing at the answers, sneaking red velvet cake truffles from the dessert table and another cousin's snarky comments via text messaging, I survived.
The situation itself is still a little awkward.  This was not a planned pregnancy - at least not by the baby daddy - we're thinking the baby momma did some planning.  They were engaged two years ago, but my cousin broke it off because she was not interested in getting a real job.  She's content to babysit here and there, make her jewelry which she sells at craft fairs, etc.  Wasting a college degree in education mind you!  At some point, he let her move in with him.  Not smart if you ask me - not if you hope to find someone else to marry eventually.  And as for not wanting a child with her - well shoot - don't leave it up to her.  Keep your pecker in your pocket or at least under wraps.  Don't leave it up to her - who has a couple of sisters who have taken this route to motherhood in the past!  What really seems off about the whole thing to me is that her family does not seem in the least bit to be treating this as anything other than a planned, welcome pregnancy.  And we know it's not. 
Anyway, I survived the shower.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Father Bernie Dolan

Father Bernie Dolan was one of a kind.  He was my high school religion teacher.  He also resided at my parish for a number of years, so I went to many Masses said by him.  He would tell his students to call him Bernie.  He had a wicked sense of humor.  The class he taught juniors was officially something like "Comparative Religions" but I recall calling it something like "201 standard brands of religion".  He was really a very good teacher, but not above teasing.  Once, he overheard me talking about another teacher and saying how picky she was.  I said "Picky, PICKY, picky."  Well - I heard that one over and over again.  For one test, our instructions were to write a "very picky" essay on something and a "not picky" essay on another topic.  (BTW he shared my negative opinion of that picky teacher.)  When he would say Mass, his sermons were great.  He actually told you what the author was trying to teach you in the readings.  At a certain point, he started giving a sermon before he would read the Gospel.  He would tell you what to be listening for.  He really was a student of the Bible and a fabulous teacher of the Bible as well.  After my high school years, I sometimes turned to Bernie for advice dealing with family issues or relationship issues.  He was a good counselor.  Bernie was a priest who was human and who knew it.  He didn't not take on airs.  He never acted as though his position in the Church made him special.  He's one of the few priests that I think could truly have understood the issues of marriage without having been married.  Bernie was real.  He had vices - smoke, drank.  You could relate to him and that made him a more effective priest.  He's the kind of priest we all should have gotten an opportunity to experience. 

Bernie passed away on Saturday.  I know that he is with God now.  It is his just reward.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Questions I would like my dog to answer

  • Considering that you love to go for walks so much, why do you run away when I try to put the leash on you?
  • Why do you think that going outside to do business is worthy of a treat everytime?
  • What do you do when we're at work?
  • When we go for walks, do you somehow think that this is your last chance to poop ever?
  • When you sniff the trees, hydrants, etc, do you recognize the scent?  If you saw one of the dogs that peed there before you later, do you think "I know you, you use the hydrant at the corner of Elm and Main all the time."
  • What would you do if you ever actually caught a squirrel?
  • Or a bird?
  • Why do you like to walk through leaf piles?
  • What do you dream about?
  • What is it about the garbage men that makes you do nutso?

Friday, November 05, 2010

PSA - Smoke Detectors

This weekend is the time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.  And if you don't have a smoke detector, for God's sake, go get one.  There was a house fire Wednesday night in the town I work for.  The couple had no smoke detectors.  They are lucky they made it out.  Don't take that kind of chance.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Not in a bathroom, please

I know - strange title for a post - but it's what I'm thinking today.  A co-worker collapsed and died at work yesterday.  He was found in the bathroom.  I don't want to die in the bathroom.  How awful must it have been for him.  DId he know he was dying?  Was it over quickly?  I hope so.  I'm assuming he had a heart attack.  I just can't imagine that happening and being alone in a bathroom, no one to reach out to for help.  So please God, when the time comes, not in a bathroom. 

Godspeed P.  You were a good man, a pleasure to work with and you will be missed.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Happiness is....

....the end - at least for another year - of political ads.  I am so sick of them.  On the radio, on the TV - endless it seemed.  Unfortunately, I live in the tri-state area, so I get NY ads, CT ads and NJ ads.  The worst to me were the Linda McMahon ads.  Not only did I not like her and was totally embarrassed that my home state was considering electing her, but her voice just grates.  As for the results - I'm kind of "eh" about it.  I'm happy with some, not so happy with others.  I'm glad, despite being a good and true Democrat, to see Nancy Pelosi out as Speaker of the House.  I'm not so thrilled that the Orange Man is in - but what can you do.  My biggest concerns were that Carl Paladino and Linda McMahon not get elected - so in those results, I'm happy.