Posts filed under 'Vermont'

A Photograph of You

This weekend was the kind of weekend that makes you remember why you had a family in the first place. Don’t get me wrong — I’m always glad for my little family, but every weekend isn’t wine and roses, you know what I’m saying? Saturday was lazy, but Sunday we went into Boston and hit the public garden and tooled around Beacon Hill, and oh, I love my city. Have you ever been to the public garden? You should go, because it’s one of my favorite places in the whole world, and it’s shockingly pristine and stunning for a park in the middle of a city, and looks like this, even right now, smack in mid-October:

Boston: Public Garden

{Photo from Flickr member Wallyg under Creative Commons}

Sam was in high spirits and loved every minute of it, including lunch, which consisted of … ketchup. For Jesus’ sake, I have to hide the ketchup around this kid, because if it’s present, she wants a plate of ketchup, and she basically wants to drink from the bottle. Fool me, I gave her some to dip in (kid loves to dip!) and HA HA, oh my God, here, kid, have a lunch of ketchup while my fellow diners call the department of social services.

I forgot to bring the camera, of course. Genius!

Monday, we hit the pumpkin patch, and you know, I might not remember my camera, like, EVER, but at least I don’t scream at my children to “Line up on top of the pumpkins! JESSE! GET YOUR ASS OVER THERE ON THE PUMPKINS! LOOK LIKE YOU’RE HAVING FUN! STOP POUTING! SHUT UP! JESSE! JUST HAVE FUN! HAVE FUN!”

Speaking of not bringing my camera, I was absent from this space last week because I went to Vermont to visit my good friend Kate, and oh! OH! It was so lovely. I love Kate so, along with her entire family, really. Did you know Kate’s husband COOKS? Like, Kate stays home with their son (and works her ass off doing so, I hastily add) and her husband works outside the home, and when he comes home, he MAKES HER AN ENTIRE MEAL. FROM SCRATCH. Like, GOOD MEALS. DELICIOUS MEALS! From recipes I have already appropriated and made, less than a week later!

I don’t know why I’m so flabbergasted by this — perhaps because while Adam has many fine domestic qualities (he vacuums! he does the dishes EVERY NIGHT!), cooking is not one of his special skills. He makes a great egg sandwich and sure, he can do the requisite stir-fry (and did I ever tell you that when he cooks, he narrates the whole thing in a Julia Child voice?), but that’s pretty much where it ends.

The point is, I spent three days in Vermont with one of my best friends and her beautiful son, who played beautifully with my daughter (chase! they played CHASE! AND GIGGLED!) and here are the photos I took while I was there:


It means so much to me that I get to spend time with Kate, even though I moved away. It’s the sign of a great friendship, I think, and we’ve consoled ourselves with the fact that though we are no longer minutes (as in, uh, 45 — it IS rural VT you know) away from one another, now we get to spend more concentrated, quality time in nice chunks. I feel very, very lucky and I mean that in the most earnest, uncool way possible.

Finally, I can’t thank you enough for your kind, thoughtful comments and emails on my post last week. I know it’s a touchy subject, but every single one of them was thoughtful, considerate and respectful. It was one of those weeks where I wished I could have sat down on the Internet all day, every day and talked about it at length with all of you. Thank you again.

Happy Tuesday!

*Depeche Mode

22 comments October 11th, 2010

Catch you on the flip, yo.

Movers come tomorrow morning (Tuesday). We arrive Wednesday and should maybe sort of have internet by Thursday night.

I hope against hope this settles things down a bit, and I’ll see you guys a little more often. I miss actually TALKING to you, rather than reading your comments and emails, smiling and moving on. I also think not responding makes me a tiny bit of a douche, and for that, I apologize. I’m not REALLY a douche, I’m just playing one lately.

See you at the end of the week!


38 comments May 3rd, 2010

Get ‘Em Out By Friday

First of all, it snowed several inches last night and this morning. Yesterday afternoon, I could handle, and it seemed almost quaint. How very Vermont, I thought. How … special, that just before we leave, it’s snowing! Just the kick in the ass we needed! See you later, Vermont! I love you!

Then, this morning, I woke up (at 5 a.m., thank you Sam, and also, what the hell? FIVE AM IS TOO EARLY) and it was an effing WINTER WONDERLAND out there. Sam’s little face was pressed against the window marveling at it. Tons and tons of heavy, wet snow — like, actual accumulation. Enough, if you can believe it, that schools were delayed and/or canceled all over and my friend Kate lost power (still doesn’t have it, in fact) and got more than a foot of snow.

A few days ago, I was wearing a T-shirt and capris. I mean, what IS this? I went to Syracuse, for chrissake! I know spring snow! It snowed the day before my college graduation! And yet six inches to a foot three days before May, really? REALLY, VERMONT?

I mean, come on, if you’re trying to push me out, this is the way to go. Fine, I’ll leave, if you’re going to be a cold, wet crankypants about it. FINE. Massachusetts is warmer, anyway, AND it’s a coastal state! Up yours, Vermont!

(I’m sorry, Vermont! I’m just kidding! I love yoooooooouuuu!)

So! In Mashed Potato Watch, in case you weren’t following along on Twitter, we had a plumber come. A plumber who was almost cocky in the beginning and found the whole thing mildly amusing when he squeezed our supposedly-tiny job in between several OTHER jobs and was all, this shouldn’t take but a moment folks! Oh, mashed potatoes! How adorable, he almost tittered.

An hour and a half and not one, but two different snakes later, he was singing a different tune. I heard him on the phone with his colleagues, “Well it ain’t working, because there’s a whole goddamn box of mashed potatoes down there.” Pause pause pause. “Yes, I TRIED that … No. No. I don’t think you heard me: A WHOLE BOX OF INSTANT MASHED POTATOES … Fine. Fine yes fine. I’ll get the bigger snake. This is ridiculous… FINE. Fine. I’m TRYING. FINE.”

And so on. For more than three hours, to the tune of $300. At one point Adam asked him to put it on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst. “Well, we just moved from 7 to 8,” was his reply. By hour three? He said we were at a NINE POINT FIVE. We were one half-point away from him having to bring in some kind of JET thing into the house — something he’d never had to use in a kitchen and, he explained, something we most definitely do not want.

“The pressure has to go somewhere, and if it doesn’t push out the clog, it usually ends up all over the walls and stuff. It just shoots everywhere, and we have to line the house with plastic. Like a giant fire hose of nasty plumbing stuff, you know?”

Oh boy, did I know. Or rather, I did not want to know. And when he left, it seemed I wouldn’t have to know, for things were moving freely.

But you know what? IT SEEMS I AM GOING TO HAVE TO KNOW. Because hours after he left, we cleaned up after dinner and VOILA! THE SINK DID NOT DRAIN. And then Adam got all excited, like HE is a plumber (“I watched what he did, and I can totally do it, Jonna”), and he put our snake down there, and a few hours (!) into it, he came over with a snake that smelled like … well, vomit, actually, and waved it in my face excitedly, “LOOK I GOT POTATOES! POTATOES ARE ON THIS THING! I GOT POTATOES!” And behold, yes, there were chunks of mashed potato at the end of the 30-foot snake he was noodling around with there, and … oh whatever.

It was to no avail. The plumber is coming back tomorrow, and people, I am never eating mashed potatoes again. Or any potato product. French fries, you’re dead to me.

(I’m also going to whisper that after the plumber left, Adam used the garbage disposal. “What’d you put in there?” I asked, tentatively. And it turned out, he’d put in some PORK LOIN down there, and now I’m like, FOR GOD’S SAKE, YOU ARE BANNED FROM THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL. BECAUSE SERIOUSLY, ADAM, PORK LOIN, ARE YOU SERIOUS OH MY GOD.)


The movers arrive Tuesday. Tuesday! Tentatively, that is. I mean, they’re coming tomorrow to do an estimate and … yeah. Our lease is signed, sealed, delivered, deposits made and now it’s all like, DUDE. We’re moving! How did this happen? I’m currently making the final plans with local friends (MEG WE NEED TO PICK A TIME), and I’ve got big girl evening plans at a big girl place with big girl drinks with my friend Kate, and what kills me is that it will be the first and likely last time we do this, and what took us so long? BAH.

The house is packed, mostly (see also: silverware, no coffee spoon and oh, it’s probably for the best because we can’t wash anything anyway) and yet, it doesn’t seem real. But you know, having done this twice before, I know that nothing seems real until you get there, and the first few weeks are almost vacation-like, as you wait for your two weeks to be up before returning to your real life. Your real life, which is still going on in the state you just left. And then one day, without even realizing it, you notice that this is your real life, and it’s pretty good.

Wow, that was … deep, right? OMFG, please punch me in the face.

It’s weird, in a way, to think we might not ever do this again. Nice, and a little comforting, now that the emotional rawness of it all has worn off. Missing my friends is the last remaining heartache, and that won’t ever go away, honestly, but we’ll email and talk, and I’ll see them again. I will! (SNIFFLE)

Finally, I spent some quality time reading my own archives recently — it always happens when a family member or longtime friend is combing through them. I wonder what’s in there, and what I was like back then. And wow, was I insufferable and depressed and HELLO INTROSPECTIVE. HELLO JONNA, PLEASE GROW UP AND THANK YOU.

I’m sorry, Dad. Also, to the rest of you out there, reading through your own archives is a spectacularly bad idea, because all you want to do is hit DELETE DELETE ANNOYING DELETE, SHUT UP WHINY GIRL, DELETE.

I hope you guys have a great Thursday! Obviously I won’t be around much the next few days, because, um, moving. You know. (OMFG)

*Genesis, from 1972.

24 comments April 28th, 2010

Future Reflections

Last week was awesome! Yes, awesome. Just awesome. We were in Boston from Sunday to Tuesday, I think? I don’t even know. What I DO know is that I shall never — and folks, I mean NEVER — sleep in the same room as my beloved child again. She did not sleep. Oh, you think I’m exaggerating! Oh ho ho HO! Ask Adam, who had a breakfast meeting on Monday morning and did not get a second of sleep the evening prior! No, really, not one second, as he suffers from insomnia and was awake still when she woke up for the day! She was mysteriously awake awake AWAKE! from 1-3 a.m., rising for the day no later than (NO LATER THAN) 4:45 a.m. It was a horror show. I cried more than she did, of that I am sure.

And yet. We’re moving there for real this time. Longtime readers may remember that five years ago (OMFG five), we left Boston for Florida, then Vermont and now … well, now, we go home, I guess. For good. For good! We’re done moving around, done tripping around the country to see where the next job takes us, and it’s just … well, it’s weird, to me, I don’t know why. On the one hand, I’m excited, because our families are there. Friends! Friends I’ve had for multiple decades! Hell, Megan is there! TwoBusy is there! Many of you are there!

Emotionally, though, I’m having a hard time with it. In part — well, majority — it’s that I love it here. Oh sure, I moved here knowing it was but a temporary stop, but I really did grow to love it here. Sam was born here. I won’t get to have her sibling at the same hospital. Hell, Sam’s sibling will be born in a different state. My friends! Oh, my friends. I love them so, and leaving them kills me.

And, as I’ve mentioned, when I left there, I was a very different person and to be honest, I’m afraid of turning back into her. I was stressed all the time — and I mean, all the time, from I’m not even sure what. I worked constantly, and had this irrational fear that if I quit and/or lost my job, or fell even one tiny rung on the ladder of my not-so-illustrious career, the world would come crashing down and my life would be ruined. Oh, you think I’m exaggerating, but oh, I am not. I suppose it was infinitely more complicated than that — no, I know it is — but that’s how it manifested itself. By the time we arrived in Florida, I was a twitchy mess in need of a spa treatment and some intensive therapy (which I got — well, the therapy, anyway).

(Side note: this, in part, but my no means all, is why I freelance and stay home with Sam. I am much better suited to a flexible work arrangement that allows me to focus on my family and we are lucky that we can do it. I know, I know, it sounds like a cop out, and believe me, I know how lucky I am — I do. But you must trust me: my anxiety was something to behold, and though I am greatly improved, I don’t think I’m cured enough to go back to it while my kid(s) are small. At least not in the Boston area, where the whole thing began. It was like, disability-level crippling and I … I’m embarrassed writing this, because it sounds so inane and full of shit, but dudes, I went to therapy and medication to deal with it, and again, SUPAH COMPLEX.)

And that’s a pile of shit that has me in some kind of strange PTSD purgatory that I have to work through while mourning the loss of a life that I built here, and look forward to a building a bright future back home.

In short, on top of the logistics of potentially finding a place to live, packing up our entire house and moving to a new place, did I mention this is all happening IN TWO WEEKS? Oh, didn’t I? Sorry about that.

It’s happening in two weeks.

Bottom line: I am having a hard time. A very hard time. Emotionally, stress-wise and every way imaginable.

I am having a hard time.

In other piles of shit (wow, this is joyful, isn’t it?), there is finding a place to live in a metro area where houses and apartments disappear before the listing has been active for more than an hour, and ergo, we may find ourselves in some kind of extended stay hotel arrangement for a month before we find a permanent place and doesn’t THAT sound like a spectacular situation for a learning-to-walk toddler? And ho ho HO! We return sometime this week to look for housing while simultaneously finding out if that situation will work out! I’m sorry MetroWest. I am well and truly sorry about the late-night screaming my child is about to release upon you like the tentacles of the kraken.

I missed you guys last week. I hope to see you more this week.

Happy Monday!


47 comments April 18th, 2010

Down to Earth

I took the dog to get her anal glands squeezed and get a rabies shot today, and if THAT doesn’t set the tone for a day filled with unprecedented awesomeness, I’m not sure what does. No, wait, let me back up: the day started with me cleaning my daughter’s, um, STUFF, out of her armpits after a blowout, which is something that hasn’t happened in MONTHS and happened because … oh God, I don’t even KNOW why (her diaper is the right size, I assure you), but I am sure my future holds a day where I don’t have to wonder if today is going to be the day that I have to clean someone else’s poop out of their armpits, you know?

ARMPITS. This is not unlike the time she was a wee, wee infant and somehow did her business with such force it landed on her FACE.

This was followed up by a rather strongly worded lecture of gibberish as she stood naked at the end of the coffee table this evening, full on SCREAMING at us, complete with arm gestures. Aaaand moments later … more poop. While naked. On the floor. Just after a bath. How delightful!

Internet, I’m sorry for those back-to-back gross stories, but honestly, it’s like I never believed this shit (HA) actually happened until it did, and worse, I’m actually shocked at how unfazed I am by it all. Sure, no one likes to be living with their very own miniature version of Tubgirl, but … well. This is what you sign up for, I suppose.

My nonchalance probably ties back to the fact that frankly, I would rather change an entire preschool full of diapers than clean up one (1) yard of dog poop. Anything but dog poop, folks. ANYTHING.

So hey, um, here’s a pop culture observation a day late and millions of dollars short: There are a PLETHORA of magazine covers dedicated to how Vienna “deceived” Jake (the latest Bachelor, if you were wondering), and honestly, I never really had a problem with Vienna, but that’s not even what I’m about to talk about. What I’m wondering is, why has no one bothered to dissect the fact that this guy is GROSS. JUST GROSS. And … ugh, the guy is just a walking bottle of MASSENGILL and they’re worried about whether VIENNA deceived him? Oh COME ON. They should be worried about the fact that she is YOUNG and IMPRESSIONABLE and is now chained to a DOUCHE.

Hey, you know what sucked? Big Love. The whole season. Sucked. And the finale? SUUUUCKED. I think I’m done. I have no interest in this new world order of theirs. Sorry, Big Love. I quit you. Not even using Peter Gabriel’s cover of “Heroes” in the final scene could redeem you. NOT EVEN PETER GABRIEL CAN SAVE BIG LOVE.

So! Relocating, Or the Potential Thereof. There are so many parts to this story — many moving parts, including jobs that have been left, job offers received and turned down, my years-long strict adherence to Suze Orman that put us in the position to be able to be OK no matter what happens — but the simple emotional part is this: UGGGGHHH. We always knew that Vermont would likely be a temporary stop on our, um, journey (ON THE WINGS OF LOVE), and before that there was Florida, and before THAT was the place I consider home, given that our families are there, and I lived there for ages and ages, which is Boston.

Boston, by the way, is very likely where we’re going to end up, um, eventually. But as it turns out, I like it here — quite a bit, as it turns out, and I wouldn’t mind staying (it’s not off the table entirely). I’m surprised, however, by the emotional response I’m having by thinking of being back home, which is that when I left, I was one person, and when I return, I will be a completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, different one. When I left, I was in my twenties, relatively newly married and way into my career and living a completely stressed-out competitive existence. Now, I’m in my thirties, have a child (and want more), and am neither stressed, nor competitive. And I know you don’t have to be who you were just because of where you are, but, well, I challenge anyone not to make the same comparisons, when you think about it.

It makes me wonder if you really can go home again without some serious emotional turmoil, and the answer appears to be no. The truth is that I am having a hard time with both the uncertainty and with what seems to be the inevitable certainty. (Is this making any sense? It’s just that DETAILS ARE BORING.)

We’ll see. At the moment, it’s the most likely possibility, but in some ways, the country is our oyster. But you know what else? I’m over the nomadic existence. So there’s that, too.

Unexpected introspection! It’s what’s for your Tuesday.

PS, the book has been picked. Get ready for Joan Didion, y’all.

*Peter Gabriel. Yes, from Wall*E. It’s one of my favorite songs. What of it?

30 comments March 15th, 2010

Aaaaand, we’re back


Well, ermm, where have I been? God, EVERYWHERE. We went to Boston for a day trip that turned into … a week, because things just kept going ON and ON (Adam job search stuff, yes, we may be relocating again, and just … oh whatever, it’s all long and boring), and then … well, we finally came home, but NOT BEFORE Sam and I got thrush! THRUUUUSSSSH! Have you ever had thrush? No? Let me enlighten you as to what it feels like!

First, take a chip clip or a clothespin, and pin it over your nipple — or, if you’re a gentleman, your scrotum. (This tip from Marie.) Actually, wait — first, what you do is grab some of that fiberglass insulation from your attic. The pink kind. Grind that up (with gloves on!) and smear it all over your boobs (or balls), THEN put the chip clip on. Squeeze repeatedly. Yes, again. Nope, not over yet! AGAIN.

Yessss, that is thrush. And it was complicated by the fact that my kid always sleeps like shit when we’re in the same room, so she wants to SNUGGLE and that includes being all up in my THRUSHY PARTS and … oh, man you guys. And we got rid of it! HAPPY DAY.


But not before my baby — my teeny, tiny, screaming baby girl — turned one.

My baby is ONE, you guys. She went from this:

She's here!

To this:


Oh man, you guys. She’s such a big, pretty, smart girl. It’s insane, how it happens, isn’t it? Insane.

I’ll be back next week in full force, I promise. I missed you guys terribly.

(In the meantime, the new poll is up for next month’s book at the Book Lushes. I’m behind AGAIN, but am doing MAY next week, so, ah, will fix this! AH SWEAR.)

(Edited to add: JOIN US! It is never too late, even if you can’t read a specific month’s book, you can join the forums anytime.)

24 comments March 11th, 2010

20 Years of Snow

I went to Costco today with Julie, and frankly, either one of those things on their own (a visit to Costco OR a visit with Julie) is swoon-worthy and enough entertainment for an entire week, but in combination, hoo boy, it was practically the perfect storm of wonder and delight. Witty banter! Towering 80-packs of K-cups! Giant packages of pregnancy tests placed strategically next to the condoms! A remarkably funny woman to give me a tour! A four-pound container of brownies that my husband has been complaining about all night! (“I wanted ONE brownie, Jonna, not NINETY.”)

See? Perfection. Delight! A BLT for lunch marred only by a briefly choking infant! And then I got in the car, where all hell proceeded to break loose, for it started snowing rather, uh, heavily, shall we say, and just as suddenly, to the point where I couldn’t see the road and my eyes were going all buggy from trying to focus on anything but the snowflakes hurtling toward the windshield. In fact, my eyes are quite literally crossing at the memory, and my heart rate has now elevated to 30-Day Shred levels (speaking of, my right knee is about to stage a coup). I pulled my trembling self to a gas station, where I had a serious conversation with Adam about whether I should stay in the Ho-Hum Motel (note: actual name) until the following day, because I was certain that death! destruction! torment! were all that lay ahead, and we’d NEVER MAKE IT HOME.

And apparently I was RIGHT, for before I knew what was happening, traffic (three cars, whatever) came to a total standstill amid the terrifying whiteout (the LAST THING YOU WANT, as no one can see your stopped car), because there were at LEAST seven cars all skidding off the road, and the next thing I knew there were sirens! stretchers! People ON the stretchers! Crunched cars! Three ambulances! Two fire trucks! POLICE.

(None of the cars were ours. Beebs and I were fine, although one of us was more fine than the other, perhaps because she slept through it.)

And then: sunshine. No snow. Smooth sailing. Whatthefuck. I mean, thank GAWD I didn’t stay in the Ho-Hum, because … HO HUM, you know what I’m saying?

(That line was genius, that. It’s a real shocker that I didn’t make it on Jeopardy, isn’t it?)

Occasionally, like, say, driving in a blinding snow squall, I look back on our years in Florida with a warm, golden affection, and imagine raising Sam near the Gulf of Mexico in a land where it never snows and sixty degrees is considered “cold.” The fantasy is fun for a few minutes, until I am slapped back to the reality that while yes, there is warm sunshine, there are also torrential downpours and lightning close enough to singe your face off. And the grass! Sam would never be able to sit in the grass, because it’s hard as a pile of razor-laden straw AND it is fraught with fire ants that would gladly eat your face off faster than a Fatburger.

And the ocean is great, right? Great, yes, great. It is also teeming with sharks — real ones — and wearing silver is inadvisable during the warmer months, lest you be mistaken for a mackerel. It is also true that shuffling your feet is a necessity from May through October because, oh ho ho HO! it’s stingray season, oh happy day! And what Floridian fantasy is complete without elderly drivers being wheeled away on gurneys as they got in yet another traffic accident at a six-way stop as you sit in traffic, your face melting directly into the pavement? And GAWD, we haven’t even talked about the threat of hurricanes, which is a constant source of anxiety throughout the season, because even if you aren’t hit with one, the weathermen are perpetually full of doomsday predictions about whatever clouds are swirling in the Caribbean on any given day.

Yes, I will take snow squalls and warm fireplaces, thank you very much. Frankly, if not for the driving, I am a winter person. I love winter, so long as I’m properly dressed for it, and have no problem throwing Sam in her snowsuit, packing her into the Ergo, and heading out for a tour of downtown and some errands, no matter how cold it is. Mmmm, cold weather. Snuggly!

To close the loop on the Costco excitement, I walked out with 168 Kirkland diapers, and have high hopes, despite their lack of whatever that little comfort flex thing was on the side of the Pampers that made them seem … comfortable and flexible. (See? Am marketer’s wet dream!)

And in housekeeping news, I will likely be a little on the sparse side next week and the week after, as I finish several LOOOOOOMING deadlines on projects that are due at or near the middle of February. Most of them are not thrilling at all, but one is VERY THRILLING, at least to me, and involves something that people! like you! and my parents! can buy! in a place called a BOOKSTORE! And you can read all about it HERE.

Have a wonderful, fabulous weekend.

*Regina Spektor

26 comments January 29th, 2010

The Finish Line

I tell you, one of the biggest cruel jokes is that when your baby starts sleeping through the night, you are more tired than you were than when she was getting up twice a night. Well, I am, anyway. What IS that? It’s like your body suddenly decides to break down and become a weak shell of its sleep-deprived self.

And. AND! When your kid DOES get up in the middle of the night, someone might as well have set off a gun over your bed, because WHAT THE EFF IS THAT NOISE?! WHAT IS THAT? A teething Sam woke up shrieking at 4 a.m. today, and both Adam and I jerked bolt upright, staring at each other through the foggy veil of sleep wondering WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? Did someone BREAK IN? Oh Christ, it’s the BABY. And I was so ridiculously out of it that I pumped a big ole money shot of Motrin directly into her hair, requiring multiple trips to the living room and dragging out the entire process in a manner that my more-efficient sleep-deprived self would have SCOFFED AT.

I know. World’s tiniest violin, what with my sleeping baby, I know. I don’t blame you.

I went to a wonderful playdate today at my friend Kate’s house (hi, Kate!) for the first time, and though I got there with relative ease, I made a wrong turn on the way back and ended up in some ENDLESS LOOP of Green Mountains, which sounds idyllic and charming, but really felt like some sort of awful blend of Groundhog Day and Deliverance, because — as is typical in Vermont — there was no cell service for most of the drive. As I said to Kate later, I was POSITIVE I ended up in a wormhole and if I tried to go BACK to Kate’s to figure out where I went wrong, her house wouldn’t even be there anymore, and I would be forced to figure out how Sam and I could survive living in an apartment above a store named Jaques, which is mysteriously pronounced JAKE’S, and what IS THAT? JAQUES = JAKES? WHO IS JAQUE? And I didn’t even notice an APOSTROPHE.

This, along with macaroni and cheese loaf (LOAF. IN THE DELI CASE. SLICED FOR SANDWICHES. WITH CREEPY GROUND MEAT IN IT) will remain one of Vermont’s most enduring mysteries.

At any rate, because I mentioned them the other day, and a few people asked and because I like accountability, here are my 2010 goals to date. This seems terribly self-serving and obnoxiously narcissistic, so just please know that I’m self-conscious about it, and don’t blame you one whit if you don’t care. I PROMISE.

Oh, I want to add more, but it’s a start. Some, however, are shamelessly stolen from Jennie. And if I may say so, number one on this list is so far making me SO EFFING HAPPY! You guys simply rule, and the discussions people are having, and the fact that people are reading the books and talking about OTHER BOOKS and I love you, man. There’s no other way to say it.

1. Organize and launch an online book club (CHECK CHECK CHECK BOOK LUSHES CHECK)
2. Read at least 30 books
3. Submit for-fun, non-blog, non-paid (yet!) writing to at least three new places (one down!)
4. Get my fingers thin enough to wear my wedding rings again (yes, seriously, it’s been A YEAR)
5. Buy a really great pair of expensive jeans
6. Find a decent babysitter and leave Sam with someone other than a relative
7. Attend BlogHer ’10
8. Take Samantha to the beach
9. Plan a real family vacation
10. Buy a really great piece of original art.
11. Find a financial planner
12. Take Samantha to meet her great-grandfather and extended family she hasn’t met yet
13. Donate my time and/or items (food, clothing, money) to at least one charity every month
14. Have a piece of clothing custom-made
15. Become strong enough to do a real push-up
16. Make Adam’s birthday as special as he made mine
17. Go away for the weekend with just Adam
18. Call my brother every two weeks
19. Get a decent calendar and write every birthday in it
20. Come up with one signature dinner dish and one baked good to cook for guests/bring places
21. Frame all of the unframed pictures and art in our home
22. Take one picture every day (already failed, but tomorrow is a NEW DAY)
23. Make salted caramels
24. Redesign my blog
25. Wear makeup at least once a week
26. Introduce Sam to her Auntie Meredith and meet her little peanut when she arrives
27. Learn to make bastilla

And with that, I hope you have a fantastic Wednesday.

*Snow Patrol

68 comments January 12th, 2010


Adam and I have been hellbound and determined to get all the sleeping, slothing and general do-nothingness we can in these last few weekends, to the point of not even LOOKING at what’s happening around us, because all we have planned — nay, all we WANT — to do is watch Weeds and The West Wing or whatever show we missed the first time around and are now catching up on. I think this went to the extreme when we went out for dinner last night and didn’t even notice the GIANT BONFIRE that could be seen from all points in town, which was apparently wrapping up some kind of town-wide winter carnival that had been happening all weekend long. And yet, when we finally did notice the fire, we almost called 9-1-1, because OMG FIRE WTF.

We’re involved in our community, is what I’m saying. ACTIVELY INVOLVED. I imagine this will change, however, when I am able to do anything for more than three minutes at a time, and I’ll have a baby who would probably like to do something other than watch Weeds (well, eventually anyway). By “anything,” by the way, I mean really mean all things that normal people do. I can’t eat more than an ounce at a clip because my stomach’s in my boob, I can’t walk for any distance because oh my God, my aching back, and for chrissake, I can’t even LAY ON ONE SIDE for more than three minutes, because the sheer heft of my own body makes my whole side go numb.

So! In light of the fact that we’re in a holding pattern here and did little else other than lay about like bumps in pickles, mail thank-you notes and other sundry sloth-like activities, how about a painful meme? I KNOW! I hate them, too! But my brain needs to do something, and I already did the cursed 25 things on Facebook (no, really, IT MADE ME).

This, too, is the worst of all, as it is the COUPLES MEME. HA HA HA. Oh, poor Adam.

What are your middle names?

Mine is Kay; Adam’s is Lewis. I really despise mine (sorry, Mom!), as it seems so … country western song, to me. Blech.

How long have you been together?

Ten years. We started dating in 1999; married in 2003.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?

We both went to Syracuse and ultimately, had all of the same friends, but I’d only ever heard of this mysterious Adam that everyone knew but I’d never met. He’d graduated the year prior, but had to finish up a credit or two while he worked a full-time job, so understandably, his schedule wasn’t really that of a college student anymore. However, finally, about a week before graduation, we met at a bar and I chatted his ear off drunkenly, and boy howdy, I liked him a whole lot, but we were both involved with other people at the time.

Eventually, after we’d both moved back to Boston a year later, I ran into him on the street on my way to the T and hugged him, we all started hanging out together and … that was kind of it.

Who asked whom out?

Uh, neither of us, I guess. It was an organic kind of thing that happened kind of shortly after we re-met. Although I did have a (bad, irrelevant and superboring) boyfriend at the time that we realized we were getting together and Adam basically demanded that I break up with him because there was sort of no point stopping the train we were on. (I’m making this sound like the Thornbirds or something, but it wasn’t really like that.) And I did exactly that the very next day, and we’ve been together ever since.

How old are each of you?

He was a year ahead of me in school and everything else, but we’re both 33.

Whose siblings do you see the most?

We each have more than one sibling, but we see my sister and his brother the most, probably equally these days, as they’re the closest to us (Boston and Syracuse, respectively).

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?

I’m going to go with impending parenthood, preemptively.

Did you go to the same school?

Yes. But again, we didn’t really know each other, and while I’d heard of him, I highly doubt he’d ever heard of me.

Are you from the same home town?

Nope. I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, and he grew up in Boston’s MetroWest.

Who is smarter?

I’m no slouch, but he’s much smarter than me in every useful category imaginable.

Who is the most sensitive?

Neither one of us are super-sensitive types, but he’s not at all, while I am currently experiencing a pregnancy-induced bout of X-TREME SENSITIVITY 2009. I’m even embarrassed at some of the things that come out of my mouth, seriously, because I’m this wee little shrinking violet who is weirdly, hormonally needy. I believe I’ve said, “Will you still love me if/when [insert event here]” more times than I EVER imagined saying it before. I am an awful, miserable, needy sap which, you’re just going to have to trust me, is nothing like me normally.

If I had to guess, I’d say he’s not thrilled with it, because who IS this suddenly weird, needy woman who’s all, “WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?” I mean, where is his WIFE, is probably what he’s thinking.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?

HA. Well, considering we live in a wee town with very little of anything decent to speak of, I’d say the diner up the street for lunch, which has the best reubens in town.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?

It’s sad to say we’ve both traveled far and wide separately, but we haven’t traveled that far as a couple. Pre-baby, when we took couple-y type vacations, we both worked so much that all we wanted to do was lay on a beach somewhere, so that’s what we did. So, uh, the Caribbean was frequented A LOT.

Who has the craziest exes?

That would be me. All of his exes are lovely, and the kind of women I’d be friends with if they lived closer. And there’s really only one of mine that went crazy, but he seems just fine now. I think.

Who has the worst temper?

Hm. I’m quick to anger, quick to cool. I will yell and rant for five to fifteen minutes, and then it’s over forever. Adam is one of those slow-burn types who takes a while to get angry, but takes just as long to cool down. This works out just as well as you can imagine, although we don’t fight much.

Who does the cooking?

I do, except when Adam makes his Asian stir-fry, which is delicious. He always cooks chicken perfectly.

Who is the neat-freak?

Adam. I thrive in chaos.

Who is more stubborn?

Oh God, it’s like living with two MULES.

Who hogs the bed?

HA HA. I do. Am miserable, bed-hogging cow these days, and now there are pretty much two of me, given the giant body pillow I require to get comfortable. Rolling over is a HILARIOUS ENDEAVOR that often results in thwapping Adam directly in the face with the zipper end of the pillowcase. God.

Who wakes up earlier?

Me, almost always, under normal circumstances. But lately, with my general preggo morning exhaustion, he’s up and at ’em, while I’m prone and sloth-like, considering stabbing my own eyes out for a second more of actual sleep that lasts more than thirty minutes.

Where was your first date?

We had our first “date” by making the impromptu decision to stay up all night and watch the sunrise over Boston Harbor after a night out with friends. My best friend (and roommate at the time), Eve, was also with us, which she now remembers with painful awkwardness (“You guys were GETTING TOGETHER, what the FUCK was I DOING THERE?”), but truly, it was actually perfect that she was there and not at all awkward at the time, because it’s not like it was PLANNED and there was no kissing or hand-holding or anything date-y about it.

Besides, the two of them were better friends than Adam and I were then. They’d known each other for years at that point.

Our first alone-date was when we both opted to play hooky from work and randomly take a boat ride in the Boston Harbor on a gorgeous sunny day.

It’s worth noting that four years later, Adam proposed at that very spot, just behind the aquarium, right before we went out to dinner and drinks with all of our friends in Faneuil Hall.

Who is more jealous?

Neither of us are jealous. I don’t know any married people who are, or is that just me? It would be weird for us. I mean, we’re happily married, so there’s really nothing to be jealous of. It’s not like some appealing person of the opposite sex is going to come in and make any difference in our relationship whatsoever.

How long did it take to get serious?

About a minute. We were talking about getting married like, a week into it. I even told my mother I was going to marry this guy, to which she probably said something like, “Yes, sure, right, whatever.” But I was right.

Who eats more?

Oh God, probably me. But I’m pregnant and uh, Adam’s a snacker?

Who does the laundry?

I don’t let him, or anybody, near the laundry. It’s my weird little anal thing I have. I love doing laundry and it’s a chore I really don’t mind, although I will concede I should do it more often.

Who’s better with the computer?

Considering he’s always been a programmer, technology lead, VP of technology or CTO, I’m going to go with him. I always forget that most people don’t live with computer geniuses who can fix anything, anytime.

Who drives when you are together?

Adam. He claims I’m a bad driver, but WHATEVER. Am behind-the-wheel prodigy.


I’m off to scrounge up something for dinner and watch the Oscars. Oh and then MAYBE I’ll try to sleep, but trust me, no one is counting on this.

*Regina Spektor. She’s wicked hit or miss for me, but I love that song.

76 comments February 22nd, 2009


You know what they say about Vermont! If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!

I don’t know actually know if they say that about Vermont, but what I DO know is that they say it about the weather EVERYFREAKINGWHERE, and my did you know that? Did you know that saying is not just about where you live, and that, as it turns out, the weather is UNPREDICTABLE ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

Hmph. That sure does sound like I’m crabby, which I’m really not. It’s that I just read that statement about the Midwest/Pac Northwest/somewhere and I just about died, because I have lived many, many places up and down the eastern seaboard, and they say it about EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

Incidentally, it’s hard not to know what they say about Vermont, because it is likely along the lines of this: it’s cold. Like, colder than you’ve ever been. See also: snowy. Like, every day.

I know, too, that most of you throughout the country have been enduring similar weather, and while I hate to laugh, it has been a LITTLE funny watching everyone screech how they’re SO SICK OF SNOW, when we’ve been dealing with this since October and will likely be entrenched in it until May. So please, do not talk to me about being sick of snow, for while I am not yet sick of it (it’s pretty! and kind of quaint!), I know I will have endured much, much more than most of you by the time the winter — nay, SPRING — is out.

However, I will concede that Vermont, like Syracuse, is all over that shit when it comes to plowing, and despite getting the crap kicked out of us yesterday, by morning we were totally free and clear. There’s something to be said for being prepared, unlike, say, Seattle, where buses were driving off of highways because no one knew what to do, OMG PANIC SNOW WOOP WOOP WOOP.

So yeah. We have plows and salt trucks and EVERYONE has a four-wheel drive vehicle and/or snow tires and you guys who aren’t used to snow don’t. I get that. Whine away! But if you live in a snowy part of the country and are surprised? I … what? I AM MYSTIFIED BY YOU.

By the way, in light of all the snow we’re all getting, I am once again compelled to plug the world’s greatest boots: the Ugg Bandon which, while ugly, is the most functional, warm, comfortably waterproof boot I have ever worn in my life. It’s been FREEZING here, and we’ve had many, many feet of snow, and not once have my feets been anything but snuggled and dry. And while I hate to recommend anything overwhelmingly expensive (which these are, I know, especially for something hideous), they are worth it. But sadly, it appears to be … oh my God, in looking for a link for you, I discovered that the Bandon has been DISCONTINUED. WOE. So, uh, maybe the Summit?


Speaking of Vermont, we attended a party on Saturday night wherein the hosts — clearly of the, uh, well-off sort — commissioned a few clydesdales to take guests on sleigh ride tours of their expansive twinkly-lit property, not unlike the White Witch in the Chronicles of Narnia. Yes, CLYDESDALES.

Vermont continues to amaze and befuddle me with its delightfully incongruous juxtaposition of simple living and glaring excess.

We’re in the final preparations for the holidays, which will be spent with my sister and parents, as we never have to juggle Adam’s family and mine which is, as I’ve mentioned, one of the many benefits of a mixed-faith marriage. I always get Christmas, even if it coincides with Hanukkah, as his family celebrates the holiday at Thanksgiving. Which is odd, I know, but … it’s their tradition.

My other parents are coming to visit us the weekend of New Year’s, and although Adam loves my family, you can bet by Sunday, Jan. 4, he will have reached Maximum In Law Capacity and will have made a significant dent in our now-meager alcohol cabinet. And he doesn’t drink, like, ever.

And with that, I hope you have a happy holiday. My Larry Bird birthday is on Thursday I mean SATURDAY, and it promises to be a good one, if only because it will be my last, if all goes well, before I have a wee sprout to help celebrate it with me. Hooray! And also, HOLY SHIT.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!

PS, if you’re still interested in getting free offsets for the holidays, I did get several more after my first batch ran out — there’s a little doohicky on my sidebar for the One Day campaign. Just click on it and huzzah! Free offsets for you!

*Snow Patrol. Again, killing myself over here with the pathetic, pathetic puns. Or whatever they are. Too tired and pregnant to think.

27 comments December 22nd, 2008

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