"Your biting sarcasm wounds me, Madam..."

Thursday, April 01, 2010

After the silence

I never got to put together my year end meme at the end of last year, and I sort of regret abandoning this place and not doing that.  Occasionally I like going back and reading those things just to see what kind of a state I have been in over the course of the past couple of years.  I just did that now, re-read some old stuff that I've written, and wow.  I am one sad-sack.  It looks like most of what I have written here is just sad, depressing crap about how everything is sucking.
Well, I think I ought to lighten it up a little bit and say SOMETHING just so no one out there thinks I've off-ed myself, because if i didn't know me, I would certainly think that.
Some updates:
I am still engaged.  I had planned to get married this coming October, but at this point, I'm not sure if that's really going to be good timing.  While I've been window-shopping catering halls and party favors and other assorted wedding crap, I have not actually booked or bought anything.  The Boy was laid off in October of 2008.  He just started a job 2 weeks ago.  He had been home for over a year collecting unemployment and there was just no way that I could afford to book anything without knowing what the future was going to hold.  I've been waiting a year to start planning or booking anything and it's been, well, it's been a real drag if you want it plainly.
The Boy has a job.  This is great news.  The money is not great, but just having him leave the house and go to work has made a vast improvement on his sense of purpose, as I'm sure you could imagine.  Also, he really likes it, which is a bonus.
In turn, I got laid off. 
My company, which I would have been with for 10 years this past February, cut an entire department, and subsequently downsized all of the supporting departments.  In my last incarnation at the place, I reported to a woman in Cincinnati, which I'm pretty sure I never talked about here.  That was intentional, and you know, maybe I stopped writing here all together because all I would want to talk about is how much I hated this woman.  But I'm a professional.  So I'll bash her after I've left. 
I reported to a woman in Cincinnati after my (wonderful, supportive, smart and lovely) department got reorganized.  The VP decided that since he had such a magnificent hard-on for this woman, that he would make her a manager of a brand new "global" department in which she has direct reports in both NY and the mid-west.  This was maybe not such a good idea.  But my opinion didn't really matter.  She was not a fan of mine.  In turn, I had the good sense to hate her.  The truth is, I don't actually know why she didn't like me, but I sensed it when I literally wouldn't hear from her for 4-6 months at a time. No really.  No phone calls, no e-mails, nothing.  That's not the best way to run a department, I'm sure you could imagine.
Bitch laid me off.  I knew she would, I knew it was coming (not that she warned me), and I really wanted to get out of there anyway. What I'm not going to detail is how she tried to screw me each and every way possible after my pink slip notification, in the last month that I was there.  Cause that would be petty.  What really kills me is that I used to work for a real company and I didn't know it. 
I was extremely fortunate to land a new job within 2 weeks of my last day at the old place.  Extremely fortunate, I know that, and it was such a load off my mind, I may have been a little cavalier in accepting the job offer.  Like, maybe I should have looked a little longer before taking the first offer that hit me in the head.
I've been at the new place for close to two months now, and I can honestly say that I had no idea that a place could be so adverse to following federal regulations.  It's almost like they WANT to be shutdown!  Amazing.  And I keep thinking, "holy crap, I used to work for a real company.  I had no idea!  They actually knew what they were doing.  How is that possible?"  I DON'T KNOW.
So, I think I might throw my name back into the hat of job searching again, because this place kind of scares the crap out of me.  In the meantime, I'm really excited about getting paid, and the idea that I can start planning a wedding.  Though probably not until next year since neither of us will have any vacation time until then.
This has turned out to be kind of a downer of a post, too, so I'm not sure if I really accomplished anything here today. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Elvis is sounding pretty great right now.

I'm finding it kind of hard to focus right now.  There's a lot going on and then all at the same time, nothing is really happening at all.  I've been engaged for over two months now, and i think i've done all of the necessary first-step stuff that apparently you're supposed to do when you get engaged.  Here, let's take a look at what the last month or so has been like in time-to-plan-your-wedding-land:

  • I've told most everyone i know.  At least, i think so.  There are some people who have been left off of that list, but it's not for lack of trying.  Although, it is a lack of trying in some people's cases.  I just don't know how they're going to react, so i've let Facebook or my Gmail status message tell them.  I'm sure this will come to bite me in the ass.
  • I've picked my Maid of Honor, Cousin G.  However, i haven't picked the rest of the bridal party because i just have no idea what i'm going to do with that.  Though TheBoy has picked his Best Man - but i'm not so sure he's actually told him yet.
  • I've put together a preliminary guest list just to see what kind of nightmare this is going to be - so far it looks like 115 people, but that's without consulting our parents or inviting everyone i would like to from work.
  • I've decided to scrap the 115 people guest list and have a destination wedding to the Caribbean with our closest family - at most 20 people - and have a nice casual wedding on the beach.
  • I took into account the fact that my grandmother is going to have a hard time on the beach or on the plane for that long, and also that Holy Crap, that's going to be kind of expensive for everyone flying down and maybe we'll just keep it within the continental United States.
  • We're getting married in Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island, Maine.  Because it's gorgeous up there and we love it.  And if we're doing it up in Maine, we're getting married in October (2010) when the leaves are at their peak colors and it's going to be absolutely stunning.  I've always wanted to get married in October, and wouldn't it be perfect in the mountains in Maine?  Absolutely.  Small ceremony in the park and then maybe dinner at the restaurant on the grounds or at a restaurant in Bar Harbor.  It will be wonderful.
  • They don't allow chairs to be set up for a ceremony in the park.
  • There wouldn't be any bathrooms nearby for the elderly, less-continent people.
  • Wedding will be in Bar Harbor-proper where there are buildings and bathrooms and cutesy, small-towny kitch - but most importantly, the bathrooms.
  • If wedding is going to be away from home, then i'll have a great, big backyard party back at home for the rest of my family and friends and whoever isn't invited to the actual ceremony.
  • Probably won't be possible to have a backyard party in the middle of October, what with it being cold and all, so i'll have to have the party at a restaurant or catering hall or something.
  • Which brings us right back to just having the damn thing here at home in the first place.
The idea of having a destination wedding was that it was going to be cheaper since i would be inviting less people.  Small ceremony, followed by an easy dinner at a local restaurant would have been perfect for our immediate family and good for me, the one who does not like to be the center of attention.  Also, for me, the person who will not know when to cut people off the invitation list.  Because i will feel bad for not inviting Judy from Accounting, who i went out to lunch with that one time.

However, I cannot get my Great-Aunt Louise out of my head.  She is one of many, many old people in my family that would be seriously miffed about not getting invited to a proper New York Italian wedding.  I know this.  And it makes me feel guilty.

My mother has told me not to think about the Aunt Louises and not to feel guilty about anything i choose to do.  I'm not going to make everyone happy, no matter what i do.  And she's right.  Those people are really hard to please.  Easter dinner was a good reminder of that...

On the other hand, it'll just be so much EASIER to have the whole thing here, where I am and i KNOW of places and people that do this stuff.  I won't have to think about trying to plan for something in a place that i can't just drive to whenever i need to.  I won't have to think that i'm inconveniencing anyone and, let's face it: more invitees equals more presents.  That's why people have weddings in the first place, right?  Or else, we'd all just elope. 

I'm just kidding about that presents thing.  Sorta. (Hi!  I'm broke!)

So, to sum up:  I've registered.  And that's about all i've gotten accomplished.  My bathroom towels will be blue.  There.  I'm giving up on everything else for a few weeks.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here's the story about the ring

Take a little ride on the way-back machine with me, ok? This may be a long one:

Some time in the late 80's, our house was robbed. It was Mother's Day and my family had been out all day visiting both grandmothers for most of the day. We came through the front door and something was wrong... it's hard to put your finger on what exactly it was, since there was little evidence that anything had happened from just stepping through the front door. The best i can say is that there was a "feeling" of things not being as we had left it? My father bounded through to the kitchen and found that the window on the back door had been smashed and the door unlocked from the inside. He called the police.

The television, fancy new VCR and stereo were all still there (1986 was good to my family - it was the only year that i remember there being money and my parents bought all new...well, everything). In fact everything on the first floor was in tact. It was when my parents went upstairs, that they found what the thieves were after.

All of my mother's jewelry was gone. Her walk-in closet had been completely ransacked, all of the clothes that had been hung neatly, were all in piles on the floor. On top of the clothes, everything that had been stacked up on the shelves - shoes, quilts, sweaters all on the floor. All of the drawers from her dresser and their contents were strewn about on the bed, on the floor, the furniture. They had found her jewelry box and seemingly picked their way through it and only took what was real, leaving behind whatever costume jewelry she had. Heirlooms, antiques, sentimental pieces were all gone. All of the jewelry my father had given her; all gone. Including her engagement ring. Mom was crushed.

Happy Mother's Day.

As is expected, the next day my parents had an alarm system installed in the house, and since then, my mother has kept all of her new jewelry in a closet "where no one will think to look". However, my mother no longer had her engagement ring and my parents did not have the means to replace it. (This really is not important anymore since they haven't been together since 1996, but whatever).

Aunt Sue was my Great-Grandmother's (my mother's grandmother) youngest and last remaining sibling. She had died earlier that year and it had been left up to her niece, my Great Aunt Mary, to settle her estate. Aunt Sue never had any children, so her valuables were left to Aunt Mary - including her engagement and wedding rings.

Aunt Sue was a wonderful, sweet woman – a little wacky in that old-world Italian way – but a sweet lady whom I enjoyed visiting when I was little. She loved having us kids in the house since she was unable to have her own, and I fondly remember playing in her yard around some flowering fruit tree… memories are strange that way, I guess.

In any event, Aunt Mary gave my mom Aunt Sue's engagement ring as a replacement and I have always, always loved that ring. I admired it when my mother would occasionally wear it, but mostly, I would take it out of her jewelry hiding spot and try it on without disturbing the contents of the hiding spot so mom wouldn’t know I was in there.

I had asked my mother years ago, if she would be opposed to giving me the ring if or when I ever got engaged and she was hesitant. In our family (and I would assume in many cultures), it is not traditional to pass a ring like this to a daughter for her engagement. If it was going to go to anyone, it would be to my older brother to give to his girlfriend, should he ever propose to her. And of course, my always-fair mother, “I don’t have two rings. What would I give to your brother if I gave this one to you?” Right. So, I talked to Brother M. His reaction was basically, “It's not like I’m going to wear it – you can have it if you want”.

TheBoy knew all about this. I’ve been talking about this ring for years. (Not obsessively, mind you.. I realize how this is starting to sound). So he called my mother last Wednesday and asked if he could come over. He asked her for her blessing and asked to use the ring that I wanted. And she very easily gave it to him, (but not before making him promised to make sure I took care of it, because apparently I’m not careful with my things. THANKS, MOM. So not true, by the way).

When he opened the little black velvet box for me on Thursday night, I was shocked to see it. I was shocked by the whole ordeal, but seeing that ring was such a nice surprise.

I have my Great-Great Aunt Sue’s 1930-something platinum engagement ring. I feel so lucky.

However, after telling other people about it, I’ve gotten mixed reactions. I had a short e-mail conversation with -R- about this when she mentioned in a post that her engagement ring was from her side of the family and she said that her family saw nothing wrong with that. People I know have either thought that the sentimentality of it all was so much more important to me than it would ever be to my brother’s girlfriend if he were to have gotten it and that it was wonderful that i was given this ring. Yet others have expressed surprise (sometimes confusion) that a girl would have gotten a ring from her own family.

What do you think? Would you have wanted a ring from your own family? His family? Preferred a new one that was all yours? Does it matter to you at all? Really, I’m curious (*and really will not be offended! I’ve heard it all this week! Promise!)


Monday, February 09, 2009

Thursday Night

Last Thursday night was our 5 year anniversary.

He proposed.

I said "yes".


Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 Year End Meme thing. And hello, there. Don't you look nice today?

So you may have noticed that the last time i posted, it was regarding Facebook.  And that may be all the explanation you need for why i haven't been posting since September.

Well, it's obviously more complicated than that, but that's a pretty good first clue as to what I've been doing since the end of September... being a voyeur.  No, it's true.  I am "friends" with more ex-boyfriends than i can shake a stick at and it's kind of entrtaining to see what they're doing with their lives.  Whether they've gone and gotten married or are actually STILL SINGLE since I've  broken up with them.  It's truly fascinating to watch from afar.

There's also been some awful stuff going on in my life, which of course is usually my number one reason for steering clear of this place - there doesn't seem to have ever been a real break from the awful stuff over the course of me having this blog, but hey - what the hell.  Welcome to the story of my life.  It's a real barn-burner.

Numero Uno is, of course, that The Boy was laid off in at the end of October.  This is not the first time that I've been the only working member of our little family, but this time, it does seem to be a more unfortunate time to be unemployed.  The market sucks, which i don't think is breaking news, but it sucks SO BAD that there has only been one company interested in his resume since OCTOBER.  He started talking to them in early December and then the company realized that it was holiday time and told him that they're not going to hire anyone until January.  So now we wait.  I'M SO GOOD AT WAITING IT'S LIKE THIS MONTH JUST FLEW BY! 

It sucks, is what.

The Boy has perfected his Unemployment Beard, and has taken over the children's new XBox 360, so you know, he's doing fine with all this time off.

And, now that you've been properly updated, i think it's time to do Sundry's New Year's Quiz:

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?

Did the Dim Sum thing in Chinatown (NY) with a group of strangers, asserted myself to the boyfriend's mother, joined Facebook and reconnected with some really good friends that I'd lost touch with.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I'm so predictable.  Last year it was lose weight, just as it was the year before.  I think i can safely say that i really tried harder this year than i had before, but of course, i fell off the wagon once my school semester started back up again in the fall.  Stupid school ruins everything.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


4. Did anyone close to you die?

Not exactly "close" in a friends and family way, but proximity-wise, yes.  Our next-door neighbor's teenage son was killed in a car accident in August and it was awful and tragic and there must have been 300 people at the wake.  I'm still not sure how to interact with my neighbors because it was all just so awful and i don't know what to say.  He was such a great kid and it was the last thing i was expecting to hear when his mother rang my doorbell that day.  Ugh.  Awful, awful, awful.

5. What countries did you visit?

None.  It's been kind of a lean year..

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

More money, please.  I would like TheBoy to have a good job that he loves, that doesn't expect him to work like a crazy person 60-80 hours a week for very little money, with an hour-long commute like this last job did.  I would like to continue to clean up my credit card debt because it feels really good to stop getting a bill from WaMu (whom i hate, btw, with a fiery passion.  I'll give you a 34.89% APR.  Right up your stupid, unhelpful asses, WaMu).

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Unfortunately, i don't know if there are any.  This wasn't such a great year.  Seriously.  I'd just like to forget it ever happened, please.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Cleaning up that credit card, i think.  It's been killing me for the past 2 years or so, and i'm really glad to be done with it.  I hate credit cards, i really, really do.  Oh, also getting straight A's.  That's pretty awesome, too.

9. What was your biggest failure?

That day that i didn't go to the gym.  Because it was the first day in a long series of days that i didn't go to the gym.  It's sort of still going on right now.  I suck.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

No, thank goodness..

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I didn't buy much this year, i'll tell you that.  But probably my yoga membership.  That was really great for a long while, until my school schedule prevented me from going anymore.  I'd like to start that up again, too.  Because yoga?  It kicked my ass.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

MINE.  I didn't freak the fuck out when i got the "I've been laid off" phone call.  Sure, i sobbed into the phone a little bit, but i picked myself right back up and made sure he was ok and did what the hell ever else you're supposed to do when you're a "supportive girlfriend". 

Oh, and Barack Obama.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Sarah Palin.  COME ON people.  What were you thinking...

14. Where did most of your money go?

The mortgage, credit card bills, the usual.  We didn't go on any extravagant VACATIONS or anything, god no.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The election.  I was glued to the television.  It was like a soap opera and i loved every minute of the election coverage.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

No Sunlight - Death Cab for Cutie.  I had the album on heavy rotation for awhile this year... The first half of the record is really catchy.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Honestly?  I think i'm actually happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Probably fatter.
c) richer or poorer? And mystery of mysteries, probably a little bit richer.  I learned how to save this year.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

More saving.  I wish the nest egg were a little bigger for when the severance checks stop coming in...  Also, i wish i had had more fun.  I was in a really bad place at the beginning of the summer and I wish I had said, "fuck it," and done more of what i wanted to do.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Stressing out.  It doesn't help.  It just makes your hair fall out.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At mom's again, Christmas Eve and Day, with the family.  It was perfectly lovely.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Uh, no.  Well maybe "in love again", but that sounds cheesy as hell, and i wouldn't want to even suggest something that skin-crawly.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

I love "How I Met Your Mother".  LOVE IT.  That and "The Office". 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

My answer from last year still applies: I'm a little less dramatic than that. If i hate someone it's usually a bitter, resentful relationship forged over an extensive period of time. My hate takes a good long time to mature, like a fine wine.

24. What was the best book you read?

Oh, dear 35lb Accounting Textbook.  How I love thee; how your embrace kept me warm at night.  How I wished that our love was not forbidden....

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Pernice Brothers.  Not new, but new to me.  "Working Girls" is a great song (but the quality on that video sucks).

26. What did you want and get?

A new coffee pot that does not suddenly open up and spout hot coffee all over the kitchen floor while brewing.

27. What did you want and not get?

A decent raise.  Enh.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, i think.  I just love Judd Apatow.  Oh, and also Dark Knight because i got to see it in IMAX.  And you haven't seen a fast action movie until you've seen it up way too close and in your entire field of vision.  It hurt my neck and made me dizzy, but in a totally awesome way.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday is worth an entire post, but i'll just say that I was at TheBoy's family reunion and i was not pleased. It was a large event at a fancy-dancy catering hall and TheBoy's mother brought a cake so that her family (all 150 of them) could sing happy birthday to me.  I wanted to die, but instead I turned 28. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Money?  Hello?  Come visit!  Stay awhile, ok?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Heh.  I'm just a simple girl.  I wear business casual pants and turtlenecks.  But this year, i've gone a little crazy and started wearing some more noticeable jewelry.  Watch out, world.  Claire is accessorizing.

32. What kept you sane?

My friends.  I'm grateful that i've reconnected with my Cousin G.  She's been sort of my rock this year.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jim? I heart you. Call me.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

See #15.  I was ENTHRALLED by the election this year.  I was almost a little upset when the coverage stopped.  I was watching the news everyday all day long if i could.  I thought i may never see Sarah again and her expensive suits and lipstick-on-a-pitbull-ness.  And then Thanksgiving came.  Like a gift.

35. Who did you miss?

Some friends who i haven't seen in awhile. 

36. Who was the best new person you met?

New school friend, Tracey.  She was in both my classes, but now that she won't be in my classes next semester, i'm pretty sure we'll never speak again.  I need to be better at keeping in touch with people...

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Just when you think everything sucks, it gets better.  And then suddenly it gets way, way worse. 

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Uh, no.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I need a Facebook coach

I decided to take the plunge and put together my Facebook page-profile thingy yesterday and put up some pictures and WORDS and accept friend invitations and stuff.

However, what does one do when they are invited to be friends with their first real boyfriend?  Someone who has not spoken to you in YEARS and, in fact, the last memory you have of seeing him was, how you say... curt.  He was not my biggest fan.  And that was at least 5 years after the breakup. I am confused.

Of course, i accepted his invitation like a lady does, but now i feel like i should say something. 
Something less bitchy than, "Wow, didn't expect that from YOU of all people" yet something warmer than, "...'sup" matched with a head nod.

What's the etiquette here?  I'm new; i don't know how you communicate with people like this yet. 

And does one write on their wall or send an email?  I am so un-cool.  Help me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Now hiring: New best friends. The old ones are too important to remember me.

It's almost like they want me to work here or something.  I'm not sure i get it.  They've Websensed the hell out of my innernets at work again, just after i got used to them totally disregarding the "Personal and Networking" filter that they had been so stringent on back in April.  After about a month, it's almost like they forgot that they cared about people reading blogs.  And then i was happy.  But now, the IT department sucks.  OH I'LL SAY IT IN PRINT.  I.T. SUCKS.

If you do not have a Typepad account, i am having trouble getting to your comments page.  For some reason, Typepad is not a threat to the IT security geek.  Thank god for Google Reader, is all i have to say.  I would be lost without it.


This morning on my way to work, I decided that today would be the day that i try to contact a few people via email that i've lost touch with.  It's been awhile since i've spoken to them, and dammit, i miss them.

The first was a girl that i met in my last semester before graduating from community college.  She was going to be coming to the same shitty school that i'm in now and we promised to keep in touch.  Yeah, not so much.  I thought it would be nice to get together and catch up.  We hit it off pretty well in ceramics class and i feel pretty crappy about dropping the ball.  Also, i want to know what classes she has taken and if she has any information about how to get what you want as this place.  Cause i haven't figured it out yet.

The second is the girl that i grew up with.  My first bestest friend in the whole wide world, mostly because she lived in the house next door to me for most of our childhood.  She and i kind of parted ways after the first year of college because neither of us are very good at long distance friendships.  It happens.  She moved back a few years ago, but I don't think i've actually seen her in 6 or 7 years.  And when i mean she moved back, i mean she was living in the house next to my mother.  Whom I go visit about once a week.  I probably could have done better with that.  But!  She decided to pack up and go to school in Arizona for her PhD.  Fucking good for her.  She sent out one of those mass-email messages you always get from people who are trying to rub it in about how well they're doing even though you haven't heard shit from them in 7 years, to let us know that she was moving and embarking on this bright, new dream.  So i responded to the mass-mail in August, congratulating her on getting herself to the next step and wow, you're moving across the country and aren't you special and so, so smart. 
She totally didn't write me back.

The third is a guy friend of mine whom i haven't spoken to since April.  Before that, i hadn't seen or spoken to him since he left the island and moved to Boston in August of 2007. We had lunch a week before he left and then i heard nothing from him for 8 months.  I thought i had pissed him off somehow, but i guess with moving, he had tried to really start a new life.  Whatever.  He's one of the funniest, most uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin, brilliant people i know. He is the friend that gave me the title to this blog as the subject of an email he wrote to me years ago. I tend to let him off the hook.  As it turned out, he had been in the middle of a love-triangle.  We all know; these things happen.

So far, it has been about 6 hours since i sent those emails out. 

As of 3:45pm, all I have received back is a friend-invite on Facebook from the second girl, my long-lost childhood bestfriend. 

She invited me to be her friend on Facebook.  I don't even have a real account.  I just set it up to see what it was all about, like a few months ago. 

I get the distinct feeling that she is telling me that all i really need to know about her life i can find on Facebook.  As in, "i'm not going to honor you with the joy of receiving a real email from me.  You can learn what everyone else learns about me from my online profile."

My friends suck.