Sunday, March 25, 2012

How sweet!

I spent the weekend in Atlanta.

I left Matt and Lola here to fend for themselves, which meant that I could leave a few minutes early for work, and I was at my parents' house by about 10PM.  We stayed up late, then got up and had breakfast at one of my favorite spots in my hometown - Douceur de France - a French Bakery/Cafe.

After breakfast, Mom and I got dressed up and went to a baby shower for an old classmate and friend of mine.  We came home, I put on some grungy clothes and planted tomatoes for Dad, then cleaned the koi pond.

After a quick breather on the porch, Mom and I made our way out to pick up a few little fun things for Henry for Easter.  As we were pulling up to the house, I noticed my parents' neighbors were out across the street with their son, Jim his wife, Melissa and their two daughters, Maggie and Katherine.  I went to school with Jim - we are a month and a half apart in age  - and I've known him as long as my own family.

We walked across and visited for a few minutes.  Katherine sang a few songs for us - she's four.  She's really, really cute.  Maggie was also cute, but a little shy.

We came back to the house, got ready to go out for dinner and went to Rhea's - which, if you're ever in Roswell, GA - you need to get there and get there fast.  The best burgers a money can buy.  They're on grilled Texas toast, and they're just perfect.  Perfect.  The fries are just crinkle cut and deep fried, but oh, those burgers!

We did a few little errands, then came home and snuggled pugs.  After a good night's sleep, we got up, had a leisurely breakfast and I packed up and came home.

It was quick, but I have plans to go back in a month.

I need to go more often.  Dad isn't getting any younger, Mom enjoys spending time with me - and the pugs love me.  Plus, I have to check on the koi and my tomatoes.

It's funny.  I lived in Roswell or within 20 minutes thereof for 30 years, but if you were to ask - Nashville is most definitely home.  Or at least, one of my homes.

It's good to go home, and it's good to come home.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The benefits of clever colleagues

This is an actual Google Chat that transpired between me and one of my colleagues at work today.  He's one of those 'good kids' that is going to be just fine in the long term.

I've changed names to protect the innocent and the guilty.  I'm Allison, of course - my colleague is Wendell - everyone else are people we work with:

Allison: Any thoughts on how I can tune out my new guy like you've learned to tune out Earl?

Wendell: I've noticed he's quite the chatter
does he follow the Earl model of telling a lot of stories?

Allison: Oh yes. And I can only Pandora so much.
He apparently lives alone and just needs someone to talk to.
I may need to buy him a parrot.

Wendell: that'd be perfect

Allison: Or, what were those things... a Furby.

Wendell: one that just says "what?! no way!" to everything he says

Allison: Perfect.
You may be too young to remember Furbys.

Wendell: that, or invest in a bottle of chloroform
oh, I remember Furbys

Allison: OK, I like where you're going,
and I approve.
I am getting on craigslist tonight.
And after meeting up with a casual encounter, I'll make a missed connection with a chloroform dealer.

Wendell: sounds like an air tight plan

Allison: Thanks, I'm excited.

Wendell: you can just douse some paper work with it and be like "here you go, work on this"
shoving it particularly close to his face

Allison: I like it.
I like it a lot.

Wendell: then when everyone asks why he fainted, you can say "he must just be intimidated by the workload."

Allison: Ok, why haven't we promoted you yet?

Wendell: right?

Allison: I'm getting you a meeting with Crusher,
and we're going to work through this.

Wendell: I'd be the perfect office prankster/security for annoying team members

Allison: I'm thinking more of a think tank guy, but yeah - that also works.
I'll get right on that.

Wendell: perfect. just draw up the contract and I'll sign on the dotted line
just use a non-chloroformed contract, if you will

Allison: Ok - I'll get sales to work that - they write perfect contracts every day.
No chemicals...

Wendell: sounds like a deal. all I ask for is a cool million dollar raise and a lamborgihini (sp)

Allison: It's going to be $0, but that's a small detail.
We can work through that.

Wendell: 0 sounds like a good middle man

Allison: I can give you an extra course or two.
You need hand wrist and finger safety, right? You're a young man - you guys need that training...
save 'em when you're young -they don't grow back.

Wendell: haha. touche
I'm going to depart for the day

Allison: Have fun.

Wendell: you do the same. hope your "casual" rendezvous goes as planned

Allison: Well, I always wear evening gowns -throws 'em off.
The element of surprise is key.

Wendell: of course

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Who do I have to f*** for a basket of assorted breads?

I love brunch.

I almost never get to go to brunch, but I do love it.

More bread, madame?

If I could plan a perfect day for tomorrow, here's exactly how it would play out:

8:30 - Wake up.  Walk and feed Lola.

9:00 - Hot shower with assorted soap, body washes and amazing exfoliants.

9:45 - Dress in loose, soft, beautiful clothing, Birkenstocks.

10:15 - Depart for Brunch.  Let Matt drive.

10:20 - Brunch with a crowd of my favorite people.  Coffee, pastries.  Bacon?  

11:45 - Leave brunch, drop Matt at home, head for spa.

12:15 - Arrive at spa.  Get a facial and a massage.  Drink lots of cucumber water, use their steam room and shower.

2:45 - Leave spa.  Go to Trader Joe's.

3:00 - Find Trader Joe's surprisingly uncrowded, free of dumb people and small, poorly-behaved kids.  Do some shopping.  Nothing perishable, so I can head to the mall afterward.

4:00 - Leave Trader Joe's and head to mall.

4:10 - Arrive at mall.  Stop and get a Christie Cookie and some milk (Vitamin D is a building block of life).

4:15 - Head to Charming Charlie's.  Shop for accessories.

5:15 - Found tons of great necklaces in the right length.  Bought them.  Leave mall.

5:30 - Arrive home.  Walk Lola.  Nap.

6:45 - Wake up.  Feed Lola.  Cook some pasta with pesto.

7:30 - Eat small plate of pasta.  Let Lola have a little pasta (no pesto).  She loves pasta.

8:00 - Watch romantic comedy with Matt and Lola.  For some reason, Matt actually enjoys it and doesn't make snarky comments.  Lola loves romantic comedies, so she's happy.

10:00 - Matt, Lola and I go to bed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fog, amphetamine and pearls

So, when I was in seventh and eighth grade, there were these classes offered by an local lady, whose name escapes me.  The class was called Promenade and was six or eight weeks where we learned to be mannerly and dance a few basic ballroom steps.  Sadly, the only thing I retained of the latter was The Charleston.  And don't you know I'm whipping that one out all the damn time at weddings?

Can I pencil you in for a delicious Redowa?

So the manners things were all good basic skills to have - how to introduce people, how to know what fork to use.

I remember though, that she had the boys in the class escort their girl partner from the last dance out of the class - which was held at the Roswell Mall in a room that would later serve as the site of my first blood donation to the Red Cross.

Mrs. Hutchinson!  That was her name!  Good to know I can still pry minutiae out of the gray matter as needed.

Anyway, so Mrs. H had the boys take our arm and walk us out into the general mall area.

And I hated that.  Not just because it was so clear that every guy looked like they'd rather be dead than walking out of class with me.  But because as a feminist, even at the age of twelve, I felt I didn't need to be escorted.  I opened my own doors, I asked both of my dates to prom, asked two guys to Homecoming (one consented, the other turned me down to go deer hunting - which was DEVASTATING).  I could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan...

It really was about a decade after Promenade that I realized that those little gestures, when they're sincere, are quite charming.  And that's a word I use without irony.

About a year out of college, I was in Athens visiting the guy I was dating.  He was at a baseball game with a friend, so another mutual friend of ours, Ted, invited me to go to dinner.  I liked Ted, and I liked his fiancee Maggie, too - they were a sweet couple, and I admired the way he courted her - they were a couple I would have wanted to emulate.  My boyfriend had other ideas, and ultimately, we broke up.  But that night, I was having dinner with Ted.  And he opened my car door for me.  And I kind of mentally swooned.  Now, I realize that's gone out of fashion, and it's fine.  But it was a tiny gesture that said, "I value you as a person and feel that you deserve to be shown that."  I dug it.

About two years ago, I met Matt for lunch with several of his co-workers, all male.  When I got to the table, they all stood.  I blushed.  Because even though I knew they'd planned it, and it was silly - I loved it.  I told Matt later that I knew it was an affectation, but it made me feel like a million bucks and that he should thank the guys for me.

The other night, my friend James dropped me off at the house and waited to see that I got in before driving off.  When I thanked him the next morning, he was surprised that I mentioned it - because that's just what you do, right?  

Well, yeah - but here's the thing.  If someone is mannerly to you, shouldn't you be mannerly enough to be aware of it and thank them?

We have another friend named Brian.  I see out from time to time - he's from this area, about 5 years my junior, but his momma raised him right.  He's a gentleman  - always offers to bring me a drink from the bar,  is just aware of the people he is with and strives to put them at ease.  Example - today is his birthday, and for everyone who has offered a birthday greeting to him, he read and "liked" it.  The other night, we walked into the bar together from our cars and he admitted he was glad to not have to walk into the bar alone.  Now, this kid is nice looking and pulled together - he commands attention when he walks into the bar.  But even if he's aware of that, he's modest enough to not walk in like he owns the place.  If I had a son, that's the kind of man I'd want him to be.  

Now, here's the irony of it.  I'm definitely about as crass as they come.  I drop f bombs like some people say "um".  I tell dirty jokes, I laugh too loud and I drink too fast.  I'm not at all ladylike.  

Except when I am.  

I don't call adults by their first name until asked.   I am very polite to waiters, and I have excellent phone manners.  Really, Allison?  That's all you have?  Nice.  Good job.  I'm sure your parents are kvelling!

I wish I could really be more of a lady.  

Sometimes.  And then other times, I think men have it so much easier.

Plus, they have that whole pee standing up thing, and let's face it - that would be awesome.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Well, now that was creepy...

So, I went to lunch with a colleague/friend from work, with a mission of hitting up Clinique Bonus Time at Dillard's.

She asked if we could run by and tour a daycare center where she is considering putting her daughters, and I thought, why not?

But there's something a little weird about checking out a daycare if you are not in need of their services.  Mostly, it made me glad I don't have kids.

Best episode of the Simpsons, ever?  Top five, at least.

Kids are great, but they're just not for me.

On the other hand, I did get some excellent product at Clinique, with freebies to boot!  I love free stuff and I cannot lie.

I opted for violets, natch!

My other project of the moment is getting it together financially - I got paid today and already I owe, I owe.  It's all good.  I mean, I think that Vanderbilt needs to get a sense of humor about me paying them, but other than that...

I am getting my brakes fixed tomorrow.  I have no idea what that will run, but I'm hoping in the $300 range or less - because otherwise... sheesh, it's over before it starts.  My pay period, that is.

And that's really the sum and total of everything at the moment.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

But I get up again

As I was leaving my Zumba class at the Y last night, I misjudged the height of a curb and took a quick dive into the grassy knoll in the parking lot.  As my instructor was driving by.  So as not to look like a complete idiot, I popped right back up and struck a "ta-daaaaah!" kind of pose.

Go, me!

This morning, as I was coming downstairs to let the dog out, my heel slid out from under me and I took the last three stairs by ass.

I'm a little sore.

Ok, honestly?  I'm a lot sore.

Whatever.  I got up, brushed myself off and I'm back on my feet again.  

It's what I do.

Tonight, I went into full baking mode.  I made pies.  Tomorrow is Pi Day.  As in 3/14 or 3.14 etc.

We're selling pies at work to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.  I'm all for it.

And since I was at it, I made pies for Matt to take into work to thank the guy who constantly gives us hockey tickets.

Chocolate chess, thanks for asking.

So, I passed by this sign at the Universal Unitarian Church the other day, and I thought about it.  And then I passed it again.

It reads:

"Soften that within you that is ridged".

As I posted on Facebook, I felt sure they mean rigid - but that in proofreading a church sign, I may need to go ahead and heed that advice...

Look, I can't help but be critical of spelling, word choice and so on.  Since I can't ride a bike or do algebra, or even walk upright without incident all that effectively, I have to play to my strengths.

Pie, syntax, people nicknames, Googling stuff...

I'm a busy woman, people.  BUSY.


Monday, March 12, 2012

It's funny because it's true...ish.

I saw this strip by my favorite cartoonist, Hilary Price, the other day and wanted to share it with you:

And I love all ten of you big, big!

I know I don't have the readership of, say, Perez Hilton or The Pioneer Woman, and that's fine.  I assume it's still only a matter of time before I get discovered and I become famous.

I'd like to go ahead and pick a few possible people to play me in the movie of my life:

Casey Wilson, Joan Cusack and Caroline Rhea.  None of them are the right age, and they all have blue eyes, but that's fine.  I'm willing to take some creative liberties.

I'd also accept Alia Shawkat, assuming that the movie of my life will come out at the precise right time that she'd be about perfect to play me.  Gotta think ahead.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do think quite a lot of myself.  But it's not like I said, I think I need to be played by Gisele Bundchen or Kate Moss.

Because that would be gross.  Plus, I don't think they can act. Have you seen the chops on Joan Cusack?  Exactly.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fine, but also dandy.

I think we may have escaped Winter mostly unscathed.  It's always touch and go mid March, but I'm feeling optimistic.

I went to Water Aerobics this morning and was surprised to find that Alena, the woman who normally teaches, remembered me and greeted me by name.  I must be getting popular.   Class itself was packed.  I got a good work out, I think.   As I was getting dressed in the locker room after class, we talked basketball.  I checked - yes, I was in the Women's.  Since UGA is out of the SEC tourney, I'll stick with Go 'Dores!

After I got home and ran a few little errands, I made some curried cauliflower soup - almost no Weight Watchers points for a large serving, which I ate with gusto.  I then went and took a nap.  A long one.

I kind of want to go out tonight, and while I've been told I can just invite myself whenever I want, I feel like I'd rather get an occasional invitation and not wear out my welcome.  I also figure a few weekends of not going out would be beneficial to wardrobe, wallet and waistline.  

As it happens, we've been invited to go to a party in Dalton next weekend, and I think it would behoove us to go.  The weekend after that, I'm paying a visit to the tribal elders down in the ATL.  I haven't been since Christmas, which is a sign of both what a terrible daughter I am, but more to the point, how awesome things are here.

So after three weeks off the party circuit, perhaps I'll ease back and be right welcome.  Of course, I believe that next weekend will be Easter.  So maybe it'll be a full month, but again - I went from zero to full throttle this past year - maybe I need a sabbatical.  

That said, I'm planning to make a butternut squash risotto for dinner, grill a few little chicken breasts...maybe I'll go to Redbox and get us a little something funny to watch.

I just realized over on the Facebook that this is the night we Spring Forward.  The weather certainly allows for it, and I'll admit, I've been waking up way too early this past week, so I suspect I'll adjust perfectly.

And since the risotto has to crock pot for two hours, it's time to get cooking.

Mine won't look like this.

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.


Thursday, March 8, 2012


I've been such a social butterfly this week that I'm basically at a point where I'm worn out.

There are worse problems to have, believe me.

Last night, I stayed out way too late, and by the time I got home, I was over the line.  I knew I'd have a hard time getting to sleep because I was too keyed up, and too aware of how little sleep I'd get.

As I was laying there, I had this overwhelming sense of gratitude wash over me as I thought of all the friends I'd spent time with over this last week.  And all the kindness that they had shown me, and all the joy that my friends add to my life.  I honestly teared up a little.

Suffice it to say, I'm lucky beyond lucky.

Tonight, we opted to stay in - Matt, who has also been burning a candle at both ends has already gone to bed.  It just hit 8PM.  I took two calls on the house line just after he crashed - the Firefighters, who want money... they're so tenacious I had to hang up.

Then the Red Cross wanted to know if they could have a pint of my finest - I told the nice lady I was deferred til August and she offered to put a note on my record.  Thanks Chelsey.

I went to the Clinique counter at Macy's today, to get outfitted with some foundation.  I don't always need it, but it does even out my tone a little.  The woman there was exceedingly nice - I'll be going back for Bonus Time at the end of the month.  Yaaaay - Dramatically Different Moisturizer!!

This weekend, I may go out for a bit to meet friends at the bar, because although I complain about being tired, it's better than being bored.  Or boring.

There have been some really good things going on at work  - I won't bore you with details, but I find that I have allies everywhere, and that I am headed in the right direction, and I'm getting good feedback.  I was thinking about my last company the other day, and describing it to someone, realizing how toxic it was.

Our new guy seems amazed at how open we all are at this office -if he only knew what I'd come from.

And really, that's kind of the main gist of things here.  I'm going to be getting into a Bracket for March Madness at the office.  Can you believe I graduated 15 years ago this month?  I can't, either.

Well, that's the long and short. 

Stay classy...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A little brains, a little talent...

It's only Tuesday, but I'm already stoked for the weekend.  Because I have nothing  - and I mean nothing  - planned.

I think might sleep.  Like... a lot.

I'm having fun, but at the same time, we're onboarding a new employee, and that means that I'm ON all day.  And that, mes amis, is tiring.

Last night I couldn't turn my brain off and fall asleep.  Tonight, I'm taking matters seriously and I'm going to go take a benadryl and pass the hell out.

Are we getting the idea that I'm tired?


Tomorrow, I'll be alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic!


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Think of Siamese Twins...

I decided to reward myself for getting out attic cleaned out.  I bought myself about a dozen downloads on Amazon.  A ton of showtunes, some Zumba music and a few 80s numbers.

If there's a pattern, it's nostalgia - but it's also songs that put a spring in my step.

Epic weekend.   Tons of socializing, lots of good times, some great housework, and now, it's time to get ready for bed and call it a weekend.

Here's me late Saturday night/Sunday morning - after an evening at Tribe where a tall drink of water called me "fabulous".  A long way from matronly:

Pretty fabulous...  Just saying.

Ok, narcissist, go to bed.

Friday, March 2, 2012

It's all in how you say it...

I just remembered a second conversation today that could have irked me, but it's all about context.

My mentor/friend Jim and I were chatting via IM.  I mentioned I'd done a little shopping and he asked me if I'd bought something shiny.

I told him that big girls didn't need to wear shiny things because they're unforgiving.

He replied:

"You're not a big just laugh like one."

Now, I don't really know what to make of that, except that I love it.

I do have a big, fat laugh.

Point being, if I like you, you can get away with more.  That's all, really.



I had a conversation with Archibald today - during which he referred to me as "matronly" - because I had set up a desk for our new employee who is starting Monday.  I know he really meant more "motherly" - and I told him so - and he retracted his statement.

But because I cannot help but beat a dead horse...

I sent him the following email (name changed to protect him, God knows why):

From: ae
To:Archibald Stab
Subject:  My friend, the dictionary

Definition of MATRONLY

: having the character of or suitable to a matron
noun \ˈmā-trən\
Definition of MATRON
1a : a married woman usually marked by dignified maturity or social distinction
 b : a woman who supervises women or children (as in a school or police station)
 c : the chief officer in a women's organization

2: a female animal kept for breeding   < Really, Stab?

Examples of MATRONLY

  1. She feared she was becoming a matronly old woman.
  2. She wore a matronly blue dress.

I think we can agree l lack the dignity, maturity and social distinction to be matronly.  While I have a great many womanly, nurturing qualities, you’ll note that the example uses of the word are largely pejorative.

But you sure do know how to sweet talk a girl. 

Yep, I may have some lingering issues from Baltimore.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

In like a lamb?

We're in that weird time of year where the weather really makes getting dressed in the morning a real challenge.

Because it might be 70 and raining when you leave for work, but by the time you head home in the evening it's 40 and clear.

And sure, 30 degrees isn't severe or drastic - but it's inconvenient.

Of course, it doesn't really even matter what it's like outside, because of course, we have no idea whether the office will be set to "nipped out all day, even though you have on your most padded bra" or "sweat stains under your pits by 10AM".  And there's really no middle ground there.  It's inexplicable.

To top it of - I hate everything in my closet.  I mean, even the stuff I love, I hate because it's all I have.

And I'm heavier than I'd like to be, which means my clothes don't fit right, and I feel all bloaty and gross.

Today has been good from a diet standpoint.  I'd like to be eating my feelings, which would taste like Pinkberry peanut butter yogurt with a honey drizzle.

Or brownies that are undercooked by about six minutes.  And some coffee ice cream.  And maybe some hot fudge sauce.

Or some gnocchi with gorgonzola.  And a huge side of garlic bread.

A bowl of pimiento cheese - room temperature, with some saltines.

You get it - I want sugar, salt, fat and starch.   What I did instead is eat some grapes.

I may also have some rice crackers before bed.  You just never know.

What I can tell you is that bedtime will be soon - because you can't eat while you're asleep.  And dreaming about food is far less fattening.  Plus, I am flat worn out.

Don't worry, I know how lame it is to read this - try living it.

I'll have something interesting to say later.  Maybe tomorrow.

I have the chance to go to an Art Crawl Saturday.  I'm thinking I need to do that.

Because it would be foolish to hide my light under a basket.  Or something.



That's all.