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Showing posts from 2013

Quick update

According to NJ.com the note to the waitress may have been a hoax.

What a sad world we live in. Making up hate? Isn't there more than enough to go around?!!!

Sweating small stuff

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Ho Ho NOOOO!!!!!!! Holiday's off to their usual start I love a good holiday tradition. But why is my most faithful tradition to stress? Thanksgiving always includes "a difference of opinion." Some years it is something someone said at my cousin's beautiful table (discussed on the ride home, not at the table), or what time we should arrive/leave, or what I could possibly contribute to such a perfect dinner? This year we were just us with Dad in 08807. We nearly made it the whole day squabble-free, but alas Thanksgiving traditions are safely in tact. C can't text during thanksgiving dinner, and I should ask for help, not bark commands.  When will I ever learn? Another key to a successful holiday? Sending "the perfect" holiday card. Since the kids were infants, it's been the same "joy". Maybe this sounds familiar? I take 2000 pictures hoping that one image focuses with 2 smiles and the dog facing forward.  Then I make the same decision: save…

Loving thy neighbor in 08807

"I feel a blog coming on" Hateful acts in 08807 make national news  Whenever anything interesting happens my girlfriend says to me, "I feel a blog coming on." And while I haven't seen her lately, I wonder if that's what she was thinking when she saw that once again Bridgewater made the news for its ability to spew hate.  Keep your stupid tip! Diners in Bridgewater refused to leave a tip to a waitress because they assumed she was a lesbian.  Even the foreign press knows about it. NIMBY is alive and well here!
It's one thing not to leave the tip - but the note? We don't tip gay people??? Did they think their note would make her re-think her hairstyle, and "lifestyle"?  Mosque update kept quiet I understand that I haven't been at the forefront of Bridgewater politics this year, but I assume I would have heard about this ruling earlier. In 2011 Bridgewater made the New York Times when this first came up: see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09…

Finding TLC in Somerset County

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It Was a Week Unlike Any Other (and thank God for that!) A rough start by calm seas** Last Sunday I went to a wake. It was "down the shore" so I took the rare opportunity to visit the Atlantic Ocean. I felt so alone. Normally I feel at peace near any substantial body of water, but this time my demons haunted me and stayed. Maybe that's what happens when you go to a wake? I've never been a big fan and am eternally grateful that wakes aren't my family's way of saying good-bye. It was so ironic: a gorgeous Sunday, unseasonably warm, calm ocean. New boardwalk and I wallowed in self-doubt and unhappiness. Office jitters abound at Halloween-time (but not because of any goblins) Everyone in my office started the workweek knowing about 200 people had lost their jobs and Halloween was the final day. So it seemed that my Atlantic demons followed me to the office and spread their wings.  Real-life drama at every turn. A colleague's brother was diagnosed with very n…

Welcome, Fall

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Last week TV began it's fall season. And much like when I reread my blog, I found myself trying to remember what was going on last May.

Why was Jax's wife (doctor-what'shername) in jail? (Sons of Anarchy) Were Juliana Margulese and Will getting together or was she sticking with Mr. Big? (The Good Wife) Did the oldest kid actually go off to college? (The Middle). 
Modern Family is so funny that the plot doesn't really matter. I can just turn on the TV and watch.
If only life were like that.
May seems about 5 years ago. N was struggling in school. C was busy with lacrosse and T spent many weekends chopping wood. I worked 45-50 hour weeks, but really loved my job and laughed every day at work.
Fast forward through a chaotic summer. The highlights:   a disappointing vacation I chaired my high school reunion - aka the world's most thankless job only spent 1 day at the Jersey Shore (another day we left after two hours when it started to rain)  Our big news came at the end.…

Monday

It was one of those Monday mornings. I woke up tired, forced myself out of bed, into the shower and by the time I had gotten out, my son had gone. My daughter and I spent precisely three minutes together in the kitchen. She drank half a cup of very sweet coffee and off she went into the world of high school.

I faced the traffic, which wasn't as bad as I had imagined, and came into an office filled with stress. Or perhaps it wasn't filled with stress as much as my little bubble was surrounded by it? I opened my work e-mail which I intentionally left alone for the weekend and I felt like I'd been bitten by something. Have you ever opened a credit card bill and taken a double take at the amount due? "That can't be right?" you think, and as you survey the damages outlined by Chase, you see that it is, of course, accurate. You charged every single item.

Such was my e-mail. Copy went to a client that I had tried to improve, but actually made worse in my haste. Toda…

While the world was spinning

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Hello readers,

It's been more than two months since I updated my blog. I often wish I could drive and blog. My time in the car is when my thoughts are most gathered and mental blogs form. But after a recent incident with a crash related to cell phone use (wasn't me - I wasn't even in the same state) I am "on the wagon" so to speak and have nearly cut out cell phone use completely while driving.

My life has revolved around these deadlines:

Bedtime - the amount of time I have to get stuff done at homeEnd of month - work's fast deadline (my stuff is usually due beforehand, but when there are mistakes/changes, end of the month is crunch time)The 15th - a newly implemented 2nd deadline. The idea is to relieve stress at the end of the month, while increasing productivity. 6:45 am/7:00 am the time when the children leave the house indicating I should be on my way to work. These deadlines have not meshed as well as I would have liked with the ever-fluctuating to do li…

The Sound of Music

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One of my parental disappointments is that my children aren't particularly interested in music. Both tried and both quit playing instruments in 5th grade, and my son enjoys singing but not enough to spend a lot of time practicing and not enough to try out for choirs and such. They do plenty of other things, especially C, so I can't take it too hard. After all - it's their lives. I lived my childhood and it was full of music.


To me music was my identity. I was a pianist, I was a singer, I was a cellist. I wasn't particularly good, or competitive, at any of them, but I really loved to sing. I loved harmonies and melodies. I hated soloists - probably because I never really got any big solos - but mostly I just loved the act of singing. And first cello? HA!

This week there were several articles about a teacher who leads the marching band. He is currently suspended with pay, but the public isn't exactly sure why. (It is a personnel matter, I understand this). The debate…

I'll have my coffee, with a side of moderation

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Another Friday, another deep breath. Where does the time actually go? My job is hectic but I am really enjoying my co-workers and our nascent friendships.

That said, I am not sure how many more weeks I can work 50 hours and not burn out. How do people physically manage even more? What did I do before kids? I remember that in the summer before C was born I regularly worked over sixty hours each week. I rarely cooked and getting home at eight was an early night. Both yesterday and the day before I put in twelve hours.

Needless to say I haven't cooked a single meal since Monday.

But why? Am I so eager to please my new employers by my display of loyalty? Am I afraid of failing? Am I enjoying the feeling of accomplishment? Or is it my inability to say no? Maybe a bit of all of the above.

The truth is, I'm really happy. Even as I stress out about not meeting expectation or not making deadlines. I think this might be just the job for me.

Let's hope they feel the same way.

Have a …

Overtime

It's official. I have a job with responsibilities. So many that I can't even come close to finishing in an 8-hour day. So I've been bringing work home. Which has meant I haven't cooked dinner once this whole week and have spent an incredible amount of time updating spreadsheets and writing "Creative Briefs". Even more than that, I've spent many hours just trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. It's like joining a complicated dance troupe, I think I know the moves, but I can't get in step with everyone else... yet.

I also haven't been reading - and barely know what's been going on in the world. What's that? A cruise ship stuck without power in the Gulf of Mexico with 3000 people and no toilets? The President gave a State of the Union address? And a Republican challenger to Christie? That's the extent of what I've picked up from this week's news.

On the inside, however, I'm a sad girl. My Uncle died on Mo…

Monday confessional

After another good day at the office (Gotta love the honeymoon phase!) I took in the lovely sunset and thought to myself, I love Mondays!

Not in an anti-Garfield sense. This morning felt like MONDAY with its dark cloud. My beloved son hadn't finished his homework, which I only discovered it as a fluke a few minutes before he was supposed to leave. Gone are the days when he can get away with half-finished work. His e-Science teacher means business. Requesting forgiveness is futile.

So I did what my at-home-self would have done, I said, "Finish it up, I'll drive you." He protested, but resistance was futile. He finished while I showered and off I drove him to school. I love a flexible work schedule.

What I meant about loving Mondays is the double-guilty pleasure. Now that Jersey Shore is no more (and I don't watch the spin offs) I watch the trashiest TV of my week: The Bachelor. If I had ever thought about it as a career option, I would have run a match making serv…

Peaceful, easy feeling

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Last night we celebrated LLD's 50th birthday with a night of high-calorie binging at The Melting Pot followed by near-binge drinking at an Irish pub just a few steps away. It was sooooooo fun! Hard laughter began with LL's opening her requisite inappropriate gifts, and continued through the night. Mannions (the pub) had two options: a laid-back acoustic guitar singer downstairs and a DJ playing loud dance music upstairs. After about an hour we couldn't take this generation's music and sought refuge with 70s and 80s music downstairs.

If there were dancing it would have been perfect. The ceiling looked like it would fall apart at any moment (apparently parking ticket enforcement pays better attention than building enforcement). And, to the guys at the bar: yes, you smell like fart!

This morning I managed to be at Father Ron's 8am service. The lessons of reminding ourselves that we live in a world we cannot control resonate strongly. Then, foolishly (especially in li…

Hump Day

I know that writing about a place of employment can open the author up to all sorts of troubles. Lawsuits and bad vibes at work are more than enough to keep me from making this a regular topic of blogging.

That said, I know several of you are wondering how it is going in my new gig.

So far, I love it, and how grateful I am to have such a fun working environment. Everything is done in teams - I'll be working with some super creative people plus a very diverse clientele. After just two days I've been amazed at the different kinds of people I've come across (over the phone). I've already seen the pitfalls of this job - things will go wrong some days, and now I know what to expect.

But I have to admit: I love it. I wake up happy, and I drive home happy. The commute (so far - and it's only been six trips) hasn't been an issue. There's a coffee bar a few steps from my "cube" (which I enjoy having) where we can make as much keurig as we can consume (for …

Bees nest before breakfast

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Somehow in some strange universe I became popular enough at my 20th high school reunion to rub elbows with A-listers who would never have spoken to me for 5 minutes in High School except perhaps to ask for an answer on Mrs. White's Social Studies test or to borrow five bucks. Fast forward 20 years and I was getting complimented on everything from my looks (a surprised "wow you look great" really is a translation of "how come you look so great now when you looked like "that" at sixteen"). The popular girls were interested in what I'm doing, where I'm living and the boys all noticed the low-cut cami I wore to a cocktail party at the Country Club.

Somehow C, a popular football player from the "wrong side of the tracks" became the superstar who ran a world class 20th reunion. An act I'd rather not follow.

What's done is done. He's bowed out and I'm taking over. I can tell this is an honor I should have refused. Where were…

Life's luxuries

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I'm writing this from my warm bed, under my down comforter with red and white flannel sheets, my head supported by 3 fluffy pillows.  It's after 9am and I'm in no rush. My start date for the new job got moved to Monday. The sun is shining and under the covers I don't care about the temperature.  A modern Princess and the Pea. Last night I could have gone out in the cold to hear the school Superintendent present the draft 2013-2014 budget.  The lion's share is cast in stone: salaries, benefits, etc. The Superintendent is presenting a sliver of spending. But it matters. Yesterday I decided that since our elected representatives on the school board chose to take away the public's right to vote on a budget, I have no business worrying about it. The dye is cast. While I do have some friends on the board of ed, it would likely take and act of God to change the budget now that the public no longer approves or rejects it.  The budget matters. My opinion?  Not so much…

Another Masters Class

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It was big weekend for knitters in New York - Vogue Knitting Live (VKL) an annual expo and I was there each day from a volunteer orientation (which was a HUGE waste of time) on Thursday. This weekend it was at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. As I type this, I find myself reflecting about the weekend, and wonder what I learned.

A few months ago I signed up to volunteer. It was - as often the case - a much bigger commitment than I intended, but rewarding nonetheless- as volunteering usually is. I spent the better part of 10 hours (spread over three days) winding yarn. It is a tricky thing - if you haven't seen it before - yarn sometimes comes in a hank (not in a ball).  Strands get pulled around a "swift" then over to a "winder" to be wound into neat and manageable balls. If you think I'm doing a poor job explaining the process, it's OK. I felt like a fish out of water using these machines to do something that I have been doing by hand for many years.…

Blog 7.0?

I just counted SEVEN blogs posts started. 0 completed. That must be a new record. And I just published one that was nearly completed from Sunday. I only realized now that the title had nothing to do with the content. Oh well.

So much has happened that I don't even quite know where to begin - and looking back on the first three of the seven unfinished posts, I feel like I've lost my train of thought. Since I started them a couple of weeks ago, I guess that is normal. Most of us can't remember a conversation we had in the last few minutes. "What were we talking about?"

I started one entry about gun control - and schools. And guns in schools. And guns out of schools. If they arm teachers, we will have to create a plan B. But since it doesn't seem to be an option here (see this article) I am not worrying about it. In general I feel that my kids are safe here. If I didn't, we'd move. Unlike some parents, we let our kids go out on their own (generally with …

Travel Section

(Written 1/13/2013, published 1/17)

So much has happened already in 2013 that I am not sure where to start.

So let's start with the now. Today is Sunday morning and I woke up in my bedroom - by my bedroom I mean the room I had as a teenager in my parents' (now father's) house. The house is almost identical to when I lived here as a child. Some furniture changes through the years - but the livingroom walls are filled with bookshelves with hard-covered coffee table art books (Mexico, Ibiza, an entire shelf of Frank Lloyd Wright and classics of Western Art - Monet, DaVinci, Uffizi - and that's just what I car read from the middle of the room). On the top shelf, no, shelves, apparently my father has collected a Churchill section. Yesterday he opened our Christmas presents, and this section has a new book. A memoir written by Churchill's daughter. Truly my parents could have saved a fortune on college by having their kids simply read the books already in the home! (I…