brief snapshots in time. memories and thoughts. disorganized and random.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

more white stuff

It's snowing again. It may keep snowing until Sunday.

I love snow. But maybe next time, we could spread it out a little.

Maybe enough so the trash can get picked up out of the alleys. Enough so that the sidestreets don't have foot high ruts of snow on them when it starts dumping again. Enough so that the stores get food in before they run out again.

I'm not really complaining. I do love the snow. And who could complain about two snow days in as many weeks. I just wish snow days were like they used to be. Playing in the snow instead of working inside.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

holiday emotions

I thought I'd hear from him on Christmas. I was certain of it. I didn't. I picked up his dog for him today. But he didn't even bother to call to check on her.

It's probably that he's just busy. But this time of year is when I'm never certain about those I'm dating. I get nervous.

People's emotions are all over the place. Mine included. So, all bets are off this time of year.

Besides, I'm always afraid that history may repeat itself, again. The holidays have been the beginning of the end for three of my longest relationships.

Add to that the run-ins, calls and cards from past loves. It's a confusing time of year. People trying to reconnect. To evaluate where they want to be at this time next year.

Dreams. Wishes. Resolutions.

I have mine. He has his. I was beginning to believe they might include each other. Perhaps the silence should be telling.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

a little empty

Friends and family gathering together should be what the holidays are about. Celebrating Christmas and the miracle it signifies. Ringing in the New Year with people you love.

This year, many parties with friends helped to make the mood festive despite the snow keeping some away.

My family's Christmas was bittersweet. The table wasn't as full as it usually is. My grandma isn't up to flying, so she wasn't able to join us. My aunt also wasn't feeling up to the trip this year. And for the first time ever, one of my siblings was missing from the Christmas merriment.

We talked to my brother several times on the phone. He seemed sad. A little lonely. It must have been hard for him to spend Christmas with another family. No matter how wonderful they are, it's not the same as being with your own family on Christmas.

My mom and I talked about how lucky we are that we are all close, and this year was the first one of us was not home. Two of us married families that just aren't as close as ours. The third is about to marry one that is.

It's tough for my mom. I tried to help her realize that my brother's fiance's family is just as close as ours. And they'll miss their daughter next year, when they spend Christmas with us.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

snowy aftermath

The aftermath of the blizzard is still affecting everything. The snow everywhere is magical. Except for when it causes very unmagical moods.

I spent 3 hours in my car yesterday on what should have been a thirty minute trip. I met one of my good friends for lunch and a movie for her birthday.

We tried to go see Good Shepard, but they hadn't gotten the movie in, because of the storm. We saw The Holiday, instead.

I'm no movie reviewer, but I thought it was cute. But it also worried me. There are many tear-jerking relationship moments in the movie. The only time I cried was when the old guy was honored.* Am I really that cynical?

On my way home I simply needed to stop at the store to get food for the party.

Simple. Ha.

It took me an hour to get to and from the grocery store which is less than a mile from my house. Everyone was trying to get places to finish up holiday shopping postponed by the blizzard, which closed nearly every store.

Once I got to the store, I had to completely reinvent the menu. Most of the shelves were empty and there was very little produce. I hurried around the store, gathering things, and tried to hurry home.

I quickly got ready and started setting the food out as the boy arrived with the wine and beer he had graciously picked up for me.

I was stressed that people would begin arriving and I wouldn't be ready. an hour later I was leisurely drinking in the kitchen with the boy, when the doorbell rang for the first time.

The snow kept at least half of my guests away, but extras showed up who had not made it out of town because of the storm.

It was wonderful to relax with close friends who braved the elements to celebrate the holidays. Now if I can just get my cards written, last few gifts purchased, all of them wrapped and get "home," it will feel like Chrismas.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!! Be safe, stay warm!

* Hopefully that was vague enough so as not to give anything away.

Friday, December 22, 2006

digging out

There was a knock on my door yesterday. I opened the door to find S standing there, with my walk completely shoveled behind her.

She asked me if I wanted to go grab coffee. The coffee shop in the neighborhood was open. I said sure, and asked if she had shoveled my walk.

She grinned and said that she had to or she couldn't get to me to drag me out for coffee.

I took a break from my work, bundled up, and grabbed TheDog and her leash.

We walked in the middle of the street along with the rest of our neigbors. Everyone milling about, as there was nowhere else to go.

There were people snowshoeing and cross-country skiing down the middle of the street. The only time we see so many of our neighbors is during crazy blizzards.

And I love that one of my neighbors is also one of my best friends. It makes being snowed in so much more fun.

I bought her coffee as a thanks for shoveling my walk, and I kept thanking her. She said she was happy to, as she knew I shouldn't be shoveling, and with friends coming over the next night, it needed to be done before everyone walked on it and it turned to ice.

After our coffee outing I got back to work. An hour and a half later S called. She had just returned to her house, all of a block and a half away. She had stopped along the way to help other neighbors shovel out cars and walks. That's just the kind of person S is.

Later that night the boy was able to dig his way out to celebrate early Christmas. He brought his shovel to help me dig out, and was surprised to find the entire sidewalk already done. I finished decorating my tree, finally, while he cooked dinner.

After exchanging gifts, he said he'd be back tomorrow to help me get ready for the party. It's looking as though I may have found a good one.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Be careful what you wish for. It's still snowing. It will be for a little while, yet. My friends who were supposed to be on a plane right now, can't fly in until Christmas night.

It's beautiful. But as they (whoever they are) say, there can be too much of a good thing.

There's about two feet of snow on the ground. (That's a 6 foot fence. Yes, the drifts are that high, just in my tiny backyard.)

No one is going much of anywhere. I can't get out to pick up my last few gifts for people. And I can't even shovel my walk. My shovel was stolen off my porch.

And on top of it all, my furnace is being persnickety.

I was supposed to have a few friends over tomorrow. If they can get here. If I can get out to get any food or drink for anyone. May have to make it a bring your own food, beverage, and warmth party.

There are a few silver linings.

We will have a white Christmas. There's no way all this snow can melt by then.

I get to work at home today. Which means, I can take a break and decorate my tree.

TheDog loves playing in the snow. That's her little path beside the table.

I have an excuse not to shovel my walk.

I do love the snow. I love being stuck in my house. It just seems the timing is really bad for people, particularly holiday travelers just trying to get home who are stuck here or not able to get here.

I hope everyone stays warm and gets to their destinations quickly and safely.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I'm giddy with holiday cheer. Despite having to work through the weekend. Despite not even having my tree decorated, yet. Despite still having to buy a couple of gifts.

I haven't slept much lately. I've been working far too much. And that won't end anytime soon.

But it's snowing. Really, really snowing.

And the white flakes falling from the sky make me happy. Anytime of year. And particularly if it means we may have a white Christmas.

Just what I've been dreaming of.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

as it should be

she almost bailed on their plans. she told herself he wouldn’t care. he’d done the same to her before. but when she told him she might not be able to see him, he protested. helped her to see that she had to make the time to see him. she wasn’t too difficult to persuade.

his friends found her and took her over to him. he insisted she sit close to him. they both seemed comfortable. happy with the non-verbal agreement that had been reached.

the drinks seemed stronger, the food seemed more satisfying, even the music seemed more melodious. everything seemed just right. as if destiny had finally showed them what they were meant to mean to each other.

when he dropped her off later, he gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. she couldn’t stop smiling. everything was just as it should be.

Friday, December 15, 2006

gather near to us

Sometimes insistent friends are the best ones.

Despite my complaining that I had too much to do. Despite my insistence that my grinchyness would not make for good company. Despite my desire to sleep for two days instead of going out. He knew the perfect amount of harrassment that would make me reconsider.

It was more than fun. It was exactly what I needed.

Listening to incredible music, surrounded by good friends. Easy-going friends who decide breakfast at midnight is time better spent than sleep. Friends who make you laugh and remind you that life is not about work and caving pipes. Friends who make your troubles seem miles away.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa Baby

Just slip a 90 foot PVC pipe under my tree. Wait. That may not be taken quite right.

What I mean is, can your elves lay some pipe for me? No, that's worse.

Could you leave a good line in my stocking? Please?

Otherwise, it looks like all of my savings and any hope for a vacation from my work nightmare are going to disappear more quickly than holiday treats at my office.

At this point, saying my holiday spirit is down the drain is just too literal and too easy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

in need of a Christmas miracle

It wasn't the inexpensive solution. My hoping hadn't worked.

And now I'm imagining the worst. Although I realize it could just be the slightly pricier solution, what has me worried is that it could also be the expensive, price-of-a-new-car solution.

Realizing this really upset me. More than it should have. So I made phone calls to calm me down.

My sister said she was sorry, then said she had to get back to eating her dinner. My parents weren't home. He talked to me for a while, then drove over, and took me to dinner. Just because he thought I sounded like I needed cheering up.

It worked.

Now I'm hoping again. Hoping it's just the slightly pricier solution. Can I be so bold as to request some more crossed fingers?

Monday, December 11, 2006

he's a mean one

I know. I sound Grinchy. I'm not. Really.

Everything has just been crazy. Work and everything else.

My weekend was filled with everything from cookie baking to a play, gift shopping to a musical. I even fit in a relaxing chat with some friends over tea. I know it sounds fun. It was, for the most part.

The grumpiness started to sneak in because I'm sleep-deprived. The boring, too-long play, hours of shopping with my grumpy sister, and feeling guilty for not working didn't help.

Then the real issue came up. I'm not as eloquent about it as Pete, but I'm hoping the solution will be of the inexpensive variety. Tomorrow I'll know. Cross your fingers for me.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

clone me, please

Sorry for being cryptic and vague and not answering comments. I haven't had time for anything lately.

I can't talk about it. Because I don't really talk about work here. But it feels as if I'm trying to tread water with my legs and arms bound.

I'll just tell you I'm annoyed and beyond swamped.

So, if anyone can send me a clone. One who will do my work so I can go decorate my poor bare tree, write holiday cards, send out my holiday mix cd, and just relax and enjoy the season, I'd really appreciate it. Really.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

hunting in the snow

I was first to get out of the Jeep. The rough road had made them anxious. The new tunes hadn't even calmed them down. I hurried to open the door for them.

They bounded out of the car. They love the snow. Running. Making snow angels. Eating the snow.

I was worried she might not make it this year. She doesn't get around as well as she used to. But TheDog acted more her friend's age than her own. And she picked the (nearly) perfect tree.

We carried it back, and threw it on top. My sister and her husband did the same with theirs. I dried off the dogs and we headed home.

It was a short excursion this year. But with our increasingly busy lives, that's all we had time for.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

worth waiting in the cold for

As we hurried to get in line, I slipped and fell on the ice. Nothing hurt, except my pride.

I was only hurrying because he was. And he was only hurrying becuase I had made him anxious, by telling him I'm usually in line earlier.

I tried to be cool, but I was a little concerned about being late. I have all of the others. And I couldn't miss one. The tradition had to continue.

My worrying was for nothing. We were plenty early. And the prize at the end of the line was well worth the cold wait we had to endure.

We warmed up after gathering our spoils over breakfast with some fellow cold-braving friends. Then we hurried to meet my sister and her husband for the annual "hunting" adventure in the snow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

finding what you're not looking for

I was looking for something specific. I searched and searched. But what I found wasn't at all what I was looking for.

I read the entire thing anyway. Every back and forth banter about the "truth." Every admission. Every joke. And I laughed. And I sighed.

Yes, I admit, I save old e-mails. Not all of them. I'm not that neurotic. But most of the possibly important ones. And those from guys I have liked, or might possibly like in the future. (Wait, did I just say something about not being neurotic?)

I have to admit it scared me in a way. The back and forth. The memory of how things were, of how they turned out.

We were really great friends. I had hoped for more. It wasn't to be. We're still good friends. I don't want anything more anymore.

But I do. Just not with him. The exchange of heartfelt words. The banter. It reminded me of what might be missing now.

I just wish I knew if it might really be out there. All of it. The friendship, the laughter, and more.

It's not missing, completely. It's just completely different. More in some ways. Less in others.

Perhaps the important thing is it's enough. Right now.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

glitter and glue

Every seat at the table was filled. And then some. After catching up on recent tales, filling our wine glasses, and sampling the snacks, we settled in.

One of the girls new to the group asked how it all started. I told the tale of our roller-blading and dinner group. Three of us, each taking a turn cooking dinner after our roller-blading excursion.

After my car accident, we moved on from roller-blading to other adventures. Movie nights, new locales for dinner and wine tastings. And the group grew.

The core of the group has since spread around the country, but others have joined. Friends and friends of friends. Each with their interesting tales and talents.

The pretty bows, the painted trees, the disco balls. Some were coveted, some were copied. Some were sent to be auctioned off for a good cause.

As my last friend left, she said she was sorry about the glitter everywhere. I told her I don’t mind.

Finding a random piece of glitter a few months from now just reminds me of the night. Of all of us gathered around a table, laughing and smiling, with glitter on our noses and eyebrows. A reminder of the glue that is our friendship.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

snowflakes and twinkling lights

Watching the snowflakes fall, watching the lights twinkle always helps to get me into the holiday spirit. Relaxes me.

On cold, snowy nights like tonight, I would prefer the twinkling lights were those on my own tree. But since the tree-cutting adventure hasn't happened yet this year, I'll have to be content with the lights twinkling outside the coffee shop window.

But the feeling of relaxation isn't coming. I'm already over-extended and stressed-out, yet, have barely finished up the leftover turkey.

The holiday season has only really been in full swing for less than a week. But since I'm one of those crazy people who thrives on stress, I'm trying to pack even more things into my too-busy schedule.

Around the craziness that will be my job until Spring, I'm fitting in various parties, shows, and friend time.

And of course there are the traditions. The tree-cutting and decorating. The line-waiting for the cd* in the frosty early morning air. The cookie decorating and exchange. The required shopping trip with my mom and sister.

And on, and on.

Yet this year, I should be less stressed. I'm nearly done with my gift gathering. I have all of my cards, I just need to start writing them. I even had the icicle lights hung before the snow fell.

But, I'm more stressed. Work is much crazier than most years. There are even more holiday parties, because of the boy. Plus my mom is insisting on "pre-Christmas" dinner, since my brother won't be home for Christmas.

I'm going to do my best not to let the stress ruin my holiday spirit this year. If I could only take the falling snow and twinkling lights everywhere I go for the next month, I should be fine.

* If you know me or live nearby, you probably understand. If you don't, well, it probably wouldn't make sense even if I did explain.

Monday, November 27, 2006


Of course it was chaotic. Family dinners always are, at least in my family. Besides a couple of cracks from my brothers, which were sufficiently inside-joke-ish that he didn't even notice, it went fairly smoothly.

The gathering of fathers and brothers in the driveway frying turkeys as his greeting didn't make him turn around. He didn't run for the door after an hour, not during the gravy tensions, not even when he had the perfect opening, when my dad left shortly after dinner to check on the dogs.

He stayed until the end. He even helped me pack up the roasting pan and what little leftovers my brother allowed us to take and carried them out to my car.

And much to my brothers' astonishment, he even called the next day. They hadn't scared him off. Neither had the loud conversations all occurring at once, the screaming kids, nor the crazed pack of wild dogs. I wondered if anything would.

Last night, I had dinner with him and some of his friends from out of state. As we were saying our goodbyes, his friends asked that I keep the date of their wedding free this summer.

Wait. This summer. Isn't that months away? As I walked to my car, I couldn't quite get enough air.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

too much turkey

I'm nervous. And actually, half of my family is nervous. I'm bringing the boy "home" with me for Thanksgiving. Well, "home" to my brother's new house.

I usually don't care what anyone thinks of those I choose to spend my time with. This time I do. That, in and of itself, makes me nervous. And a little scared.

Should I be worried what my parents will think? What my brothers will?

I'm not. I'm worried that he will think my family is nuts. I know, I know, everyone thinks their family is nuts. Mine is very nuts. But they're also a very big part of my life.

And to make matters more, well, interesting, my brother's fiance's parents are coming. The first meeting between the soon-to-be in-laws.

My brother and parents are most worried about the "first meeting" and I'm hoping the boy doesn't make a run for the door after witnessing one of my family's "discussions."

Could be entertaining.

Whatever the outcome, I'm happy to be spending Thanksgiving with those I'm thankful are in my life.

Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

tears and smiles

I looked over at him as they finished singing the National Anthem, as the jets did their flyover. There was a tear in his eye. I gave him a hug. I was so happy to have this special time alone with him. Even if we had to share it with over 70,000 people.

Not many dad's would take only their daughter to a football game. But every game, he and my mom take my sister and I. My brothers rarely get to join them. That day, only he and I could go to the game. And it was nice to spend time with just him.

In some ways I'm way too much like my dad. In others, we're polar opposites. But whether we're agreeing or disagreeing, we always have interesting discussions. And we always laugh together.

When I left him at his car, so I could head over to the hockey game with the boy, he didn't make me feel bad for bailing on dinner with him after the game, as is our tradition. He just told me to have fun. I'm a very lucky daughter.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

planes, trains, and automobiles (Part 9)

East Coast Trip (Part 9) - Boston (tours)

We had a little of the red line left to follow. We had planned to do it after our Duck Tour, but they were sold out until later, so it became our morning filler.

Filler, until my birthday present. I was excited. J was a little apprehensive. (And you should probably be afraid, very afraid).

J and S gave me a photo walking tour for my birthday. We'd chosen to tour Beacon Hill. Our guide runs her own photo walking tour business, and our tour consisted of just the guide, J and I. And I took a few pictures. (A very few of those are below. Seriously, that's just a few.)

After our the walking tour we wandered back through the Public Garden, past the Mrs. Mallard and her little ducklings. Then hopped on our own Duck, the amphibious tour of Boston.

Our tour guide was awesome, we just wished we'd taken the tour when we first got to Boston instead of our last afternoon. There were so many things we would have liked to have seen, had we only known about them.

Our trip was great. We even got to see some changing leaves. And the sunset was satisfying that last evening. A painted sky for our farewell to Boston. Only eclipsed by our trip's finale. At Finale.


You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

planes, trains, and automobiles (Part 8)

East Coast Trip (Part 8) - Boston (Freedom Trail)

We found the red line easily enough. Just where she said we could find it.

I wanted to describe everything. I even bought the book to read about all of the historic stuff, so I could write about it. I just haven't had time. Perhaps I'll fill in the blanks after I do.

In the meantime, the only story you really need to know is we walked the Freedom Trail, then relaxed a bit over a cup of coffee.

Then we hopped a subway train so we could make it back in time for our tickets. To the Blue Man Group. It rocked. We finished the day with amazing Italian food in the North End and cannolis to go.

I'd keep being long winded but I'm as tired of writing about every detail as you are of reading. Besides, isn't a picture worth a thousand words?


You can see larger versions of the images by clicking on them.