Saturday, March 31, 2007

17 in 30 - Bra Shopping

Cartoon courtesy of:

So, not to get into an indepth discussion about my breasts, but for those who don't know...I'm definitely well beyond what you would call "busty". I am also a petite person, at 5'2". I could stand to lose some weight, but am not exactly a large this leads to some interesting challenges when it comes to purchasing bras. See, they don't carry my size at Victoria's Secret. In fact, they don't carry my size at most department stores, discount stores, boutiques, whatever you want to call them. Up until today I had exactly TWO stores I could purchase bras at: Frederick's and Lady Grace.

About a week ago, one of my friends, who is also a member of the over DD club, heard something on the radio about a boutique that caters to all sizes of women in the undergarment department. Well, of course we had to check it out.

We went this morning. The name of the shop is "Night and Day Lingerie", and I'll tell you that right off the bat I was impressed by the customer service. They were happy to help, but not "all over us", and let us wander around and peruse the store. When we had a question, there was someone around to answer it, but they didn't hover. When we were ready for our fittings (and gasp, to be "measured") they were extremely helpful and very friendly. This sounds like a commercial, but I really was impressed by the service.

Anyway, long story short, I was measured...and learned what I feared, which was that yes, I had gone up YET ANOTHER cup size (this may sound like a dream come true for some, it is NOT a good thing for me...ENOUGH ALREADY!!!) and was also told that I was "tiny" when it came to my "band" size. That felt great to hear, let me tell least something about me is tiny! But of course, that is also what makes it so hard to find any bras in my size.

My assistant for the day was extremely helpful in bringing out several different styles for me to try on, and after trying on about 10 different bras, I settled on one to purchase today, and another to order in a different color, and purchase at a later date. Something else to note about bra shopping in the larger sizes...there is on such thing as a $10 bra...I bought a cheap one at $34..the one I ordered was $54...yep, not kidding. I even tried one on for $76...yikes!

So, the good news? I've found a new place to shop for bras. The bad news? I'll have to apply for a personal loan to replace all the ones I own in my now too small size! The even worse news? Now not even Frederick's carries my new size...I'm down to this boutique, and Lady Grace (and they don't carry that many in store, you have to order them, which is a pain if you need one in a hurry).

Well, I just figured I'd share my adventures in bra shopping, for those of you who may THINK you'd like bigger's not always a blessing. Don't get me wrong, I realize that women pay thousands of dollars for what I've just been uh...lucky (HAH) enough to acquire via weight gain over the years, but see, when I lose weight, I don't lose it there, so maybe a few cup sizes ago, I was even DAMN proud of them...but jeez...enough this rate, I'll be a prime candidate for a reduction surgery in a few years...and I'd really rather NOT have to go through that!

What I wouldn't give some days to just be able to button a shirt all the way up and not have to wear a tank underneath EVERYTHING! sigh...

Friday, March 30, 2007

16 in 30 - Pet Peeves

It’s Friday, and I’m at work minding my own business, trying to get some work done. But Friday is what I’ve dubbed “whisper day” here in the office, so in order to get my work done, I’ve got to close my door, and turn up my music, to avoid overhearing the gossipy whispers going on in the office next to mine. Long story short, I have one co-worker that only works on Fridays, for a few hours. Don’t ask me what she’s supposed to do in that short span of time, I don’t know, but I won’t even delve into the office politics that allow her to get paid to come in and chat for 4 hours a week…

The point is, that on Friday…EVERY Friday, this person comes into “work” and promptly sits her behind in a chair in my other co-worker’s office and the gab session begins. The fact that they chat all day Friday would be enough to rile me up, but NOT ONLY do they while the hours away with mindless chatter, but they CONSTANTLY whisper, low enough so that I can’t make out what they’re saying (as if I cared), but just loud enough that I can hear the bzzz bzzz bzzz.

There are VERY few things in this world that annoy me more than their whispering. VERY FEW.

So, this got me thinking about Pet Peeves…things that just bug me, regardless of the circumstances. Here are some of the biggies, not necessarily in order:

1. Of course, the whispering, gossiping, secretive crap. Not just with afore-mentioned co-workers, but in general. If I’m not supposed to know what it is that you are talking about, DON’T talk about it in front of me. Whispering only makes me aware of the fact that you don’t want me to know what it is that you are saying, and really, how freakin’ rude is that?
2. Cashiers who don’t even look at you when you go up to the counter to pay. Look, I realize working retail pretty much sucks all the time. I know, I did it for YEARS. I understand that generally customers can be real jerks, and you’re getting paid minimum wage to deal with cranky people all day long. I get it; it’s not fun. But you know what? It’s not supposed to be fun, that’s why they call it work. Once upon a time, the customer was “always right”, and while I thought that mentality was a bit over the top even in my days in retail, they had the right idea. Because as long as a customer isn’t being disrespectful to you, you have an obligation to provide some customer service. Say hello. Ask if I found everything all right. Comment on the weather. Or at least PRETEND to smile. But for God’s sake, make eye contact; acknowledge my existence. I’m giving you my hard earned money; the LEAST you can do is look at me.
3. Lack of phone manners. For example, people who call and talk over you while you are trying to answer the phone. Here’s what I mean, I work in a law firm, and answer the phone as such: “Good Morning, (insert name of firm), this is Sonia”, this tells you, the caller, who you are speaking with, and therefore can eliminate the need to ask if I’m there, as I’m actually ON THE PHONE already. If you begin talking AT ME while I’m still trying to deliver my hello, well, then you won’t hear my name, now will you? Not to mention the fact that I’m still talking, so therefore, whatever you say at that time, I’m not hearing. And look, it’s rude! You have the two extra milliseconds it takes to let me finish before you mumble my boss’ name. Oh, and that’s another thing, how about we try a “Is so-and-so available?” as opposed to “John Doe”. And when I ask who’s calling, don’t just give me a first name. Do you have any idea how many David’s are in our client list? Am I a mind reader? And when I ask what you are calling in regards to “He’ll know” is just not a good enough answer. He’s not an FBI agent; he’s a lawyer. I’m his paralegal, which should explain to you that I OBVIOUSLY know about his caseload. This is not a national security secret. Just tell me, because you’re just wasting my time, and yours, by trying to be all spy like. Then I have to go and tell the boss “this guy won’t tell me what he’s calling about” and inevitably I’ll get the “Well, I don’t know who the hell he is, take a message”. See what I’m saying?
4. People who drive miles and mile with their turn signals/blinkers on. Are you turning up ahead, how far ahead? A mile, ten? The next TOWN over?
5. And on this note, people who never learned how to use a blinker. You use it BEFORE you take a turn. You do NOT turn it on DURING the turn; you turn it on PRIOR to approaching your turn. Seriously is that so hard?
6. People who assume I must be unhappy and lonely and bored because I’m in my 30’s and single. Oh, but this is a story for another entry all of it’s own, is it not?
7. Parents who let their children holler and screech in their strollers while they shop nearby, completely unaware of the high pitches that could shatter glass. Your child can only scream “mommy” so many times before I practically adopt them, just to shut them up.
8. Socks with sandals. ‘Nuff said! No, I lied, I must elaborate. Look, it’s simple. If the fashion gods wanted your toes to be covered, they would have closed the front of your sandals…in fact, we have those. We call them SHOES. Easy peasy…open toed shoes, NO SOCKS (and this goes for nylons, tights or stockings as well), closed toe shoes or boots, wear whatever socks you please. (In turn, that whole loafers with no socks thing? GROSS).
This is by no means an extensive list. There are plenty of other things that bug me, but it’s Friday, which means tomorrow is Saturday, and that always makes me just a little bit happier than normal, so I’ll stop here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

15 in 30 - Still a writer

I’m halfway through this 30 in 30 project, and although I haven’t posted every day, I have written every day. I have taken a little time out of my work day, during lunch, or when I need a break from the craziness, and put my thoughts to paper (or computer to be more accurate). Anyway, here’s what I’ve realized through this project. I am a writer after all. So much time passes when I’m not able to be creative that I begin to wonder if I have the right to call myself a writer, but then I start and can’t seem to stop.

I take great pleasure in creating these entries, and short, or insignificant as they may seem, at the moment, they mean a lot to me. Even though I don’t think anyone is reading them, it still feels great to get them out. Then I can go back and re-read what I wrote and be impressed by the fact that I can still string words together into a coherent thought…most days.

I’ve been writing a long time now. In fact, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write. From the time I learned to do so, I would create stories and then read them back to my mom with great pride. And I honestly cannot tell you when I wrote my first poem, but I do know it was early enough that it was written in colored markers or crayons, probably as part of some mother’s day card. It was definitely before we left Portugal, and written in Portuguese, way before visions of moving to America had filled my head.

Once in the United States, I learned a whole new language with which to create. How amazing to be able to express myself in a whole new way. Through Junior High and High School I wrote constantly; short stories, poems, even the random school paper article. I was going to be a writer, this was my craft, and I had to constantly work at it. And it came so naturally then. I look back now on some of the work I did at such a young age, and am amazed at the power in those words. I had a lot to say, and so many different ways to say it.

College changed that a bit. I still wrote, but now most of my writing was centered on school assignments, papers, and briefs. Creatively, I still wrote some, but mostly, I was experiencing the first bouts of writer’s block. I can vividly remember a few pieces I wrote during college, because the good ones were so few, that they stand out.

Straight out of college I began working in a law firm, but in a position where I had a lot of free time sitting at my computer, with nothing to do, and at the time, no Internet. This is when I began “the novel”. In this job, I actually completed the framework for “the novel”. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you really look at it), I got another job, one that actually required my time an attention, and “the novel” was put on the back burner, where, with the exception of a few outings here and there, it has remained to date. And truly, besides the odd poem inspired by events such as 9/11, or major life events, that novel marked the last time I was truly free to be creative. Life got hectic, and writer’s block set in. I still write, but it doesn’t come as easily, and it certainly doesn’t happen as often.

But the blog helps. And who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll dig out the novel, dust if off, and see if I can’t fill in some of the blanks.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

14 in 30 - The Sanjaya Curse

I watch American Idol. There, I said it. And I watch American Idol for the SINGING! How about that?

This is why I'm constantly irritated by the fact that the judges, who pretend to be professionals in the music industry, inevitably allow the likes of Sanjaya or Kevin Covais or Scott Savol (shudder) to make it past the top 12...(And yes, I had to look the names of those other two up, as I've tried to block them from my memory banks) WHY? When you know they're not good enough. They can't sing. And even if they have a half-way decent voice, they just don't measure up to the rest of the group. SO WHY would you allow them to move on, when you know American will latch onto them like the plague that they are, and destroy any hope the better singers have of making the top 10 to make room for

Tell me Simon, because as much as you can be quite do we put this delicately...uh..."mean judge", you are actually almost always right. And yet, how did these guys get past you?

See, I almost get the Sanjaya thing...almost. Because the kid can actually sing, or at least, he sounded like he could in the auditions, and the whole Hollywood week and all that. He was obviously untrained, and young, but not horrible. So you were fooled, and then, when he suddenly was found to be WAY out of his league among the Melinda Doolittles...well, it was too late then, wasn't it? Because America was voting by then, and as we've learned by now, America is not to be trusted with their telephones. And I almost feel bad for the kid, because it's not his fault he's not fantastic, and it's certainly not his fault that the country has decided to turn him into the reason AI falls apart, and Simon quits the show. So, he's decided "Screw it, they're all having fun at my expense, I'm going to have fun too, and wear a faux-hawk and sing songs that I'm completely unprepared to sing".

And Kevin Covais? He annoyed the crap out of me, but I've mostly forgotten him, so I can't really elaborate on that one. Scott Savol (shudder) was a whole other story, because I actually had such a strong dislike for him that I stopped watching that season until someone called me to tell me he had finally been voted off. I couldn't stand to watch his self-satisfied smirk whenever someone else would be voted off before him, because he actually THOUGHT he belonged there. His look of shock when he was voted off (man I watched THAT BIT over and over again) only proved that he really believed he could sing. He could NOT...

But my rant isn't so much about the bad singers of past (and present) seasons as it is about the fact that unless something is done about this method of voting, AI is NOT, contrary to how much Simon wants to believe it, a singing competition. And it's a shame really. Because I watch it for the singing. And I own albums by at least 3 of the former idol contestants (winners or not), because good music has come out of this show.

The show does something right, after all, where would Daughtry be if he hadn't been unjustly voted off too soon? And this is why I continue to watch...but if Melinda Doolittle goes home before Sanjaya? I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

13 in 30 - City Mouse/Suburb Mouse

I work in a small town, in the suburbs north of Boston. Prior to taking this job, I spent a little over a decade going to school and then working in Boston. While I enjoy my job, and have absolutely NO nostalgia for the long commute, and in turn, the 13 hour days that working in the city entailed, I do miss Boston.

Today, as a result of my co-worker's inability to complete a task assigned to her, which then meant it was thrown onto my already overfilled plate (see yesterday's bitch session), I had to make a trip into the city to file some paperwork.

As cranky as I was about the fact that I was doing someone else's work while mine piled higher and higher on my desk, I have to admit that any excuse to go into the city, especially on a nice day like today, is fine by me.

After parking my car in a ridiculously overpriced garage, and realizing that I was wearing the wrong shoes for a walk up Beacon Hill, I strolled through the city enjoying the spring like weather. I'd forgotten how, on these very first days of spring, Boston is a flurry of activity. From the students outside Suffolk University (my alma matter) having conversations outside until the very last minute before class starts, to the groups in business suits, sitting on a curb or a stairway, eating their lunch, enjoying the first rays of sunshine after a long winter locked away under fluorescent lights, Boston is a different city in the spring and summer. I used to love sitting out in Post Office Square, watching as all variety of people would enjoy their lunch, being part of the group of young professionals, part of the rat race.

Now, I enjoy my short commute home, and the freedom of working in a small town allows me to have a life outside of work, not trapped so far from home, and imprisoned by train schedules. I can stop at any of the four grocery stores along my route home and do my shopping. Need an oil change? Stop on the way and get that done as well. An appointment in the morning or evening no longer requires a half day off work, as I can be there much quicker, just jumping in my car. It is even easier to put in a few extra hours at work, because I'll still be home in time for prime time television. And the small town feeling has allowed me to foster relationships with town clerks, registry clerks, and other locals, which makes doing my job that much easier.

And yet, I'm a city girl. In an enviroment where business casual is more casual than business, I still wear stilletos to work. Where after dinner drinks are beers at a pub, I'm ordering martinis. Where coworkers rush home to be with their husbands/wives and children, I'm still single, searching for my next night out with my other single girlfriends. I'm a city girl, stuck in the suburbs. It's as if Carrie Bradshaw had moved next door to Ray Romano. Okay, I'm not Carrie Bradshaw (though I'd take her shoe collection any day), and my neighbors...well...not quite the Romanos either.

But it is on days like today, when I make it into the city in the middle of a workday that I realize how much I miss working in the big city. The suburbs work for me in a lot of ways, and I don't think I'd ever want to work in Boston unless I lived there as well...but I'm a city girl...I miss it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

12 in 30 - Moody Mondays

It's not that I don't like my job. I actually do. For the first time in my adult life, (and possibly for the first time in my entire working life) I have a job that I feel a sense of purpose in. I enjoy the work I do, and I have a boss that, idiosyncrasies aside, is one of the best you could ask for. He actually not only says please and thank you, but is quick to point out a job well done. Some of my coworkers leave a lot to be desired in terms of efficiency, but are easy enough to work with. And my workload is that of 3 people, at least I'm busy, and the day goes by quicker that way.

That said, there are just days when everyone pisses you off, and you really wish you could tell them all to shove it, you don't "need this job". Today has been one of those days. Alas, I do "need this job", so instead of telling them to shove it, I just smile, and say "sure, I'd love to help you". @%$@#$%@$%!!!!

I won't elaborate on the many reasons why today was a "I hate my job" kind of day, but lets just say that a certain co-worker is lucky she didn't get smacked. I'm already doing the job of AT LEAST three people, and when she can't carry her own weight...doing...well...I'm not really sure what it is that she does all day long anyway, besides take personal phone calls from one of her sons or her husband or whatever...then I have to add HER work to my list of things, and well...that's just downright annoying. To put it mildly.

And why is it that these sorts of days always happen on Mondays, when I'm already moody anyway, because I had a nice weekend, doing whatever I pleased and was rudely shaken out of my sleep by man's worst invention (the alarm clock) to begin a week that belongs to "the man"?

Moody mopey and cranky...that was me today.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

11 in 30 - The travel bug

Going to the travel show yesterday, got me thinking about how much I love to travel. I was probably bitten by the travel bug when I was a mere 8 months old, and was infected for life. As a baby, my parents moved me continents, so I began my travels of the world, from Africa to Portugal before I could even speak. In Portugal, we moved 9 times in the first 9 years of my life...we lived in several different regions of the country, and although we didn't travel much during that time, just the moving introduced me to the wonder of new places.

When I was 10 years old, we, once again, moved the good old U.S. of A. Yet another brand new place to explore. During my pre-teen and teen years, due to the financial strain of starting over in a brand new country, the traveling we did was limited to anywhere we could get by car. But we still traveled. We'd spend summers at the White Mountains in New Hampshire, and take day trips into Maine or Cape Cod. We were always exploring the area.

Once in college, I decided it was time to take it upon myself, and see the world. One spring break entailed a drive to Florida with my cousin. A debate team competition took me all the way to Arizona. There were several trips to New York City. And the family even managed to make a trip back to Portugal one year.

But it was after college, once I had a steady income coming in that the travelling really took off. There was the cruise to the Caribbean with two on-line friends. My somewhat regular visits via car and ferry to Long Island to visit a friend. A trip with my brother to visit my cousin in California. Flying out to St. Louis to stay with a friend. A few other trips to Florida, weekends in Montreal and Portland Maine, and I was well on my way to wanting to see the whole world.

Then came a mortage, and suddenly, it wasn't so easy to just pick up and get away. Still, even with the mortgage, I've managed to celebrate my 30th birthday in Vegas, and take a family vacation to Mexico.

The travel has certainly slowed down, but I am by no means done. I want to head back to Portugal again, now that I'm older, and can better appreciate the history of such a beautiful country. There are still give or take 45 American states I haven't been to. And I've yet to visit anywhere in Asia, Thailand is beckoning me. I've always wanted to stay in one of those "white" homes on a Greek Isle, and what girl doesn't have fantasies of shopping in Paris?

Unfortunately, for now, the travel bug is in a jar...but she's got airholes, and one of these days, I'll let her out again.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

10 in 30 - Grand Finale

Today I went to a "Travel Show" in Boston with my friend Christina. Lots of walking around and looking at beautiful pictures of tropical beaches and far-off places I can't quite afford to go to just now. We still had fun anyway.

We then went out for dinner, and then dessert. Finale is a "dessert" restaurant in the Copley area in Boston. They have the most killer desserts...but really, since a picture paints a thousand words...INDULGE (and be jealous):

Yes, that is a cylinder of chocolate on top of...cake, chocolate mousse, a raspberry sorbet, and I forget all what else was in this DELICIOUS concoction. The cappuccino was pretty good too!

Friday, March 23, 2007

9 in 30 - Portuguese Friends

I received this as a forward the other day, from a friend who wanted to know if it was true (as I am, in fact, both Portuguese, and a friend)...I present it here with my comments (in parantheses):

FRIENDS: Move out when they're 18 with the full support of their Parents.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Move out when they're 28, having saved for that nice house and are a week away from getting married...unless there's room in the basement for the newlyweds. (probably true, true for me minus the getting married part, Portuguese parents NEVER want you to move out)

FRIENDS: When their Mom visits them she brings anice bunt cake and you sip coffee and chat.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: When their Mom visits them she brings 3 days worth of food and begins to immediately tidy up, dust, do the laundry or rearrange the furniture. (my mom IS NOT your typical Portuguese mom, but yes, this is true of most of the other Portuguese moms I've known)

FRIENDS: Their dads always call before they comeover to visit them and its usually only on special occasions.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Are not at all fazed when their dads come over, unannounced, on a Saturday morning at 8:00 AM and start pruning the trees or renovating the garage. (yep, this would probably be true of most Portuguese dads...even mine)

FRIENDS: You can leave your kids with them and you always worry if everything is going to be OK plus you have to feedthem after you pick them up.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: No problem, leave the kids there and if they get out of line the Portuguese friend can set them they get fed. (true)

FRIENDS: Always pay retail and look in the yellow pages when they need something done.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Just call their dad or uncle and ask for another dad's or uncle's phone number to get it deal, know what I mean. ( freakin' true)

FRIENDS: Will come over for cake and coffee and expect cake and coffee, no more.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Will come over for cake andcoffee and expect an antipasto, a few bottles of wine, a pasta dish, a choice of two meats, salad, bread, potatoes, a nice dessert cake, fruit, coffee and a few after dinner drinks...time permitting there will be a late lunch as well. (true, but we'll also bring most of the food and/or drinks with us when we arrive)

FRIENDS: Think that being Portuguese is a great thing.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Know that being Portuguese is a great thing (eh,

FRIENDS: Never ask for food.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Are the reason you have no food. (I don't know about this one...)

FRIENDS: Will say "hello"

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss. (very very true)

FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Call your parents Mom and dad. (yep)

FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.(well, that's not always true now)

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Cry with you. (oh yeah, we're big softies)

FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing and just being together. (very true, food is just the excuse to get together)

FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours. (HA! GUILTY!!!!)

FRIENDS: know a few things about you.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you. (true)

FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' ass that left you. (SO SO SO true)

FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Walk right in an d say, "I'm home!" (yep)

FRIENDS: Are for a while.

PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Are for life. (I try to be anyway)

FRIENDS: Will ignore this.PORTUGUESE FRIENDS: Will FORWARD this (yep, but only after we have our say about it)

THE END. ;-)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

8 in 30 - Worst headline EVER

So, I’m minding my own business, browsing the internet today, when I come across this headline:

World Chocolate Shortage Ahead

WHAT??????????????????????? Okay, breathe…deep breaths…count to five…inhale, exhale…it’ll be okay…take a moment, read the article.

DAMN those reporters, they just about killed me, and all for naught! A quick perusal through the above linked article and I learned little more than we’re producing more dark chocolate, therefore requiring more cocoa, and the drought in Africa is causing some concerns with the higher demand. Yet, they’ve been expecting it, and don’t really see any issues. Some analyst with the quite appropriate last name of “Cruel” says that “markets have already factored in the supply issue”.

In other words, there’s no story here folks, we just thought we’d give a bunch of women (and okay, maybe some men too) small heart attacks by suggesting they won’t be able to get their Hershey’s fix in a few years.

NOT COOL people, not cool. You don’t mess with a woman and her chocolate, ESPECIALLY when she’s PMSing, as I happen to be this very moment.

I’m going to go eat some chocolate now…goodbye!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

7 in 30 - And then there's Calla Lilly

It's only fair that if I'm going to devote an entry to Blueberry, that Calla Lilly gets her turn too.

Calla is the psycho kitty I've had for a little over 2 years now. Calla came to me at a time when I was debating whether I was ready for another cat, after my not so pleasant experience with her predecessor Pandora. Pandora is a story for another day, but lets just say that she probably should have been named after one of the evils let out of Pandora’s box, instead of Pandora herself. Poor cat, it wasn’t her fault.

Anyway, back to Calla. One of my friends called me one day to tell me a co-worker of hers was giving away kittens, and did I want one. Well, I couldn’t resist and finally gave in. I happened to be going away that weekend, so my friend picked my kitty up for me, and after a short visit to her house to meet my new cat, who I instantly fell in love with, I left her in my friend’s care and took off for my weekend away. This is important, because a bond was established between this particular friend and my cat, and this has come into play as Calla has grown up.

So, I brought Calla home, and knew right away that I’d made the right choice. I mean, look at the picture on the right, how cute was she? (The picture with this entry is recent one; she’s all grown up) All white with just the two gray marks on her head, she was just a sweet cat. She loved to be held, and was a total lap cat, something I had missed with Pandora. Very affectionate and extremely playful, we got along great.

To date, Calla and I still get along famously, and as long as I don’t have visitors, all is well in Calla’s world. But this is where it turns a bit tricky. See, Calla is alone all day, and for the most part, when I am home, I’m home alone. It’s just the two of us, and she likes it just fine that way. Whenever anyone else invades our space, she’s not so thrilled about that. “You don’t belong here stranger, be gone”. She says with a hiss. “And don’t even think about touching me” says the swat of the paw. The only friend who is allowed to visit, and can be in the same room with Calla, is her first mommy, the one who picked her up and kept her that first weekend. I like to think it’s because she remembers her, and the bond is still strong, but it’s probably because this particular friend is the one who spends the most time at my house, and therefore, Calla has accepted her as an acceptable extension of our family.

Unfortunately, I really do have to isolate her in one of the bedrooms when I have guests over, mostly because she’ll scare people, or they’ll scare her. It’s just not worth the stress. But once it’s just the two of us again, Calla will run right up to me and purr away, ready for some love. We don’t ever fight; as long as she has me all to herself Calla has no complaints.

But, despite her anti-social behavior, Calla is a fabulous pet. She is always at the door to greet me when I get home from work, and she will follow me from room to room, never wanting me to be alone. Every night as I sit down to watch television and relax for the night, she’ll jump up on the couch next to me, with one of her many treasures (a paperclip, one of the plastic round things from a gallon of milk, a hairclip, some random object or other), and drop it next to me. As so begins our nightly game of “fetch”. I’ll throw the object, she’ll run to grab it and bring it back to me. Some nights we’ll play this game for 20 to 30 minutes, no joke. I know dogs that don’t fetch, but Calla?
As long as it’s ON HER TERMS, when she’s good and ready, she can play for hours.
She’s also a completely cuddly cat, sitting on my lap, laying next to me, and purring way, just happy to be loved. Always entertaining, she’s a great pet, and I’m happy I decided to get her.

So there you have it, now you know all about my pets. I really need to find something more exciting to write about tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

6 in 30 - The Adventures of Blueberry

I don’t talk about him much, but I have a fish at work. He is a blue beta (Siamese Fighting Fish). Hence the name Blueberry.

Now, Blueberry is just a fish, and in the grand scheme of pets, fish sort of tend to be overlooked, and just not highly appreciated. I mean, seriously, you can’t cuddle with them, they don’t “speak”, fetch, run, or get the paper. They don’t curl into a ball next to you on the couch and purr to let you know they love you. They don’t learn words to tell you they “want a cracker” or do special tricks.

Fish swim around and around, and as is the case with Blueberry, once in a while they burrow to the bottom of their fish tank and just hang out there…for hours…not doing anything…at all…not even moving so that you have to move the fish bowl to make sure they’re still alive.

But all that said, I love my fish. As I said above, I keep him at work, on my desk. I love coming in in the morning and waking him out of his slumber by turning on my desk lamp, and watching him swim around excitedly because he’s got light and company. And when I’m having an especially stressful day (when am I not?), I love sitting back in my chair and watching him swim around. Fish can be so relaxing and therapeutic.

Blueberry also gets very excited when I feed him. He goes all acrobatic on me, grabbing the food pellets and practically jumping out of the bowl to get at them. It’s quite a show.

Every once in a while, as I’m sitting here, working, typing way, he surprises me with a sudden burst of energy, even moving the little stones at the bottom of his tank. Strong little guy!

So, this is Blueberry, my beta…just thought you might like to meet him.

Monday, March 19, 2007

5 in 30 - My life in cartoon form

Picture this: 8:25AM, I have to leave for work in 5 minutes and have just realized I have yet to pack my lunch. I have leftovers from dinner out last night, so just need to quickly move them from the styrofoam container to some form of tupperware. I grab a tupperware and search aimlessly for the matching lid...a few minutes later, tupperwares and un-matching lids strewn all over the countertop, I finally GETTO "tape" a lit that semi-fits onto a tupperware, and leave for work...seriously...I need to clean out the tupperware cabinet.

So, fast foward to later that morning as I'm checking e-mail etc., and get my morning "cartoon" fix, and check out my "Cathy"...and this is what I see:

Gotta love it when art imitates life!
(original cartoon featured here:

4 in 30 - SHOES, so many shoes...

Yeah, yeah, I'm a day late, but I'll post twice today to make up for it. Moving on:

I want to talk about the beauty of the bargain.

Those who know me, know that I have a bit of a shopping habit, some might go so far as to call it an addiction. I wear the "shopaholic" badge with pride however, because, yes, I shop a lot, but you'd be hardpressed to find anyone as good at bargain hunting as I am. I challenge you to do so...that's right, you can't.

When it comes to clothing, shoes, accessories, my collections are larger than most people's. To be honest, I've run out of room in my bureaus, my closets, my cabinets, underbed storage bins...ALL are overflowing. I repeatedly fill bags for Goodwill, and yet, never deplete my wardrobe. Most weekends I can be found on shopping expeditions with one of my good friends, who is the ONLY person I know who can probably rival me in her bargain hunting skills.

I am often praised on my clothing, and take great pleasure out of the fact that the jacket you covet cost me a mere $ folks, that is not a typo...TWO dollars, I said.

I do NOT wear cheap clothing, I buy good clothing CHEAP. There is a huge difference in that.

And the shoes? OH, the's always about the shoes. As I've heard and/or read on several occasions, clothes may not always fit right, but shoes, they always look good. So I own lots of shoes. Can never have enough shoes, always plan on adding to my fabulous collection of shoes.

This brings me to this weekend's bargain. Four pairs of shoes...count reddish/wine pair of pumps, two: brown suede round toe platform heels, three: black high heeled leather boots, four: black, fur-lined, casual ugg type (but much cuter) comfy winter boots (originally priced at $60)...and the grand total, for ALL four pairs? $20. That is TWENTY total, not per in not even enough to cover the price of ONE shoe at regular retail price.

Thank you very much.

There is no high greater than that felt when walking out of a department store with a bag I could fit into, having spent $20. The beauty of a bargain...sigh.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

3 in 30 - Nor'Easter Photos

Well...this was last night as the snow was still falling. (Taken from the safety of my balcony). I'll try and post some "after the storm" photos later.
The one above might be my favorite, it just looks like I knew what I was doing.

Friday, March 16, 2007

2 in 30 - Writer's Block

I’ve been suffering from a severe case of writer’s block for years now. I attempt to mold words into phrases, phrases into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, but repeatedly, I fail. There’s an unfinished novel, poems started, but incomplete, and a blog that is visited more often by others, than it is by me. And that’s not saying much.

Once upon a time, I’d pen these epic poems, I had so much to say, the words trampled over each other trying to get from my brain to the paper. Even my shorter pieces were filled with emotion, direction, anger and consciousness. And all it took was a moment or two of purging the jumbled thoughts in my brain, to create these unique verses.

It is different now. Now my mind is filled with the routine. The daily trappings of function, responsibility and duty keep me from allowing my thoughts to wander far enough to be creative. And when I do sit down to write, too many years of composing legal and professional crap, keep me from just allowing the words to freely land where they may. So I don’t write. Because the constant over-analyzing of words that are meant to just BE destroys the very art.

I feel forced to rhyme, to make sense, to say SOMETHING, and in turn, I say NOTHING.

And this failure to let the stream of consciousness just flow has me at an impasse. Do I stop writing all together, because what I write doesn’t measure up, or do I just write, whatever it may be, in order to free the imprisoned inspiration, one chain link at a time?

I will write. And what’s more, I will share it, it is the only way that I will overcome this thing called Writer’s Block.

I will start here:

The words don’t flow as easily
As they did at times before
So I begin to doubt myself
Am I not a writer anymore?

The effort was invisible
The words I’d write so powerful
In mere seconds
I’d create

But now, I pause
I think, I judge
Erase, rewrite
I can’t think straight

Am I a poet
If the rhymes don’t flow
Is it still prose
I can’t make the words grow
Into stanzas

I’m blocked
Blocked by daily life
Blocked by the stress of trying to survive
In a world where creativity does not pay the bills

I give in
Give in to the mundane
Give in to suppressing the magic
Of words in a sequence that could once give me chills

And when I write
I no longer feel as though I was born
To effortlessly direct words and spaces so as
To change the world with my pen

But then I pause
Reread my words, and know with certainty
That although it may take me a bit longer than before
To create…I still can

Thursday, March 15, 2007

1 in 30 - Happy Nor'Easter

Yesterday it was 70 degrees out. Today is 50. Tonight we are getting 6 inches of snow. Welcome to New England folks, where if you don’t like the weather today…you know the drill.

Winter wasn’t even that horrible around here this year. We had a few snowstorms, but nothing compared to what we are used to, and even the bitter cold came in spurts, only lasting a week or two at most, with warmer breaks in between.

Even so, we’ve had enough. We’re all ready for spring, and give us a few days of 60-degree temps and we come down with a severe case of spring fever. Driving with the windows open, airing out the house, wearing shorts and sandals, not uncommon as soon as the thermometer reads 50. WE are New Englanders, we don’t need no stinkin’ 70’s…55 is practically beach weather!

So for the past few days everyone has been walking around coatless, with big grins on their face. “Nice day today huh?” “What a wonderful day for a picnic”…seriously, we’re on cloud 9.

And then the weatherman says, with a big excited smile on his face, “Folks, we’re expecting accumulations of up to 6 inches on Thursday night”. He starts talking about currents and cold fronts and teases “It’s going to be a messy commute to work Friday morning”. SHMUCK! Such pleasure you get out of tearing my heart out and stomping on it. Don’t you know you're breaking my heart? I thought we were friends, and then you go and do this. How could you?

So, we unearth the shovels and snowbrushes we optimistically put away (ha, we should SO know better), and buckle down and prepare to dig ourselves out ONCE AGAIN. We prepare to assume the position behind the wheel of our cars (you know the position, straight back, both hands on the steering wheel, eyes darting here to there expecting some moron to slam on the breaks and go skidding across town, radio turned down lower, wipers at full speed), for our commute to work. And we grumble and bitch. And then we suck it up. This is New England, we hate it here, but we wouldn’t live anywhere else. Well…okay, maybe Mexico, or the Caribbean…but only if we could live in a resort, as tourists, enjoying drinks with little umbrellas, all year round.

But really, we’re a tough bunch, us New Englanders, we can take it! Bring it on Mother Nature, show us what you’ve got! Just, please, could it be the last time?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

30 in 30 - I come out of hiding

Well, I've pretty much been MIA from this blog for close to a year...shame on me. But as I don't have, never really had an audience, when things got busy, I lost interest in keeping the blog going. However, for a while now, I've been thinking that I want to give this blogging thing one more shot. See if can't make a go of it, post regularly and maybe even gather myself some readers.

So, as I was debating on coming out of hiding, I was reading Wil Wheaton's blog, and he posted this entry, in which he talks about his friend Shane Nickerson, and a challenge he's issued to himself to post 30 blog entries in 30 days. So, I visited Mr. Nickerson's blog (which by the way I have now added to my list of daily must reads), and decided that I was going to join the challenge and try to do my 30 blogs in 30 days. So, I'm in...

Shane Nickerson has some rules for his 30 in 30, but I don't have any readers, so therefore, I don't need to have any rules, because who's going to police me HUH? Yeah, I thought not!

So, even if I continue to write for a non-existent audience, hey, at least I'm writing, right? Besides, I've always been really good at carrying on full conversations with myself, why should I stop now?