Category Archives: Friends

Subject to Interpretation

What, exactly, do you think it means when your doctor leaves you a message on your machine that goes as follows:

Hi, this is Doctor X calling from X Medical Office. Please call back regarding the results of your MRI exam. Uh, everything was essentially normal. But, uh, we just need to have a quick conversation.

WHAT  THE HELL???

What really gets me is the word essentially. Essentially normal? Is that the same as normal? Or does that mean almost normal, kind of sort of normal, except for that giant hole where your frontal lobe should be???

I repeat: WHAT THE HELL???

And, gee, wouldn’t you know that despite the fact that Doctor X has both my work AND cell numbers (both of which I would have answered at the time of his call) he chose to call the house phone, which I have repeatedly told the office not the use, because we check our messages approximately once a week, and it is only by coincidence that I got his message today and not a week from now. So now I have until tomorrow at 9 to wonder what ‘essentially normal’ is. And that’s really awesome, because it’s not like I’m a total worrywart or anything. (Heavy sarcasm, OBVIOUSLY.)

So, anyway, let’s focus on something that is totally, 100% good news. (Not essentially good news. Just plain old good, nay, GREAT news.) My BFF Liz, who is a chemist, got some kind of super duper results with her lab work. There is no chance of me explaining more than that, but it has something to do with polymers, and it is awesome, and she has worked really (REALLY) hard to make such awesomeness. Go Liz! And if you are feeling particularly sweet and wonderful, might you consider leaving a comment here letting her know how awesome she is? Because everyone deserves to know how awesome they are are sometimes, especially when it is true!

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Filed under Friends, Migraines Suck

Daily Affirmation

I’ve never been someone who can be perfectly content with the here and now. My whole life I’ve been wanting to be older, smarter, thinner, richer, and I always feel like (excuse the cliche) I’m never quite good enough, never quite there yet. Life has always been a competition and a race, both of which I’m never winning.

I think that Liz will agree with me when I say that we both have this same philosophy about life. Both of us are worriers, both of us are overachievers. Despite our inherent differences (she is getting her PhD in chemistry; I work in marketing and routinely use phrases like ‘the creative just doesn’t quite flow‘) we share the same basic ideas, hopes, and concerns about life. We were lucky enough to find each other and build an undying friendship on this, because hey, if you can’t build a friendship on neuroses, what can you build it on?

I’ve always associated my time growing up in New Jersey with even further magnified worry and failure… partly because of some of the family problems I’ve experienced and mostly, I’m sure, because of general teenage angst and awkwardness. But on Saturday afternoon, I found myself back at my old high school with Liz,  a place we haven’t visited since the day we received our diplomas in June of 2000.

My brother is a senior at that high school, and he wanted me to come to his performance in the marching band. And before you start ragging on the marching band, you should know that I was on the drill team and Liz played the flute, and if you make fun of us I will cut you.

As Liz and I sat in the stands watching the rather pathetic football game and waiting for the half-time band performance, I suddenly felt incredibly proud of how far we’ve come. Sure, high school wasn’t the best time in our lives, but we did have some good times. Besides, I believe rather vehemently that if high school IS the best time of your life? Well, that’s just sad.

For once, instead of thinking ‘if only’ – if only I could get a promotion, lose 10 pounds, remodel the bathroom, and stop killing my houseplants – I was proud and happy of who I was in that moment. Actually, I was proud of both of us. Liz will be embarrassed to read this, but I really do think she’s just an incredible person. She worries so much over her research and time in lab without remembering how hard we struggled just to get through Biology in our freshman year of high school. She has completely shed her shyness and now gets up in front of a room of people to teach exercise classes. She knows who she is and she isn’t afraid to do what she loves. She is a rich in a way that has nothing to do with money, although I don’t doubt that she’ll have plenty of that someday, too (the better to buy fine wine with, I think).

And as for me, well, I think I turned out pretty well, too. I am pretty lucky to have found a career that I not only love, but that I am pretty damn good at. I live in a place that is not just my house, but also a warm and cozy home, and I live there with the guy that is the love of my life. I have hobbies like reading and dancing, and I know that life will only go up from here. But even if it doesn’t – even if it takes me a while to get that promotion, or if my bathroom stays hideous and my houseplants stay dead – I’ve still come a long way from that gawky girl in high school who was horribly self-conscious and felt bad about herself all the time.

It’s a nice feeling, being content with who you are. I hope that from now on when I get overwhelmed by all of life’s little failures, I can remember to take a moment to step back and marvel at the successes I’ve made for myself.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Friends

N to the J, part 2

Dear Top Seekrit Diary,

This weekend I hung out with my friend Liz. We are like total BFF’s!!! We stayed up late and talked about boys and we went shopping and OMG we tried on the prettiest dresses!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was great cuz she is just really cool and we had a cool time and the only thing that wasn’t cool was when I had to leave. I hope that I get to hang out with my BFF again real soon.

Got 2 go,

ME

***

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this weekend was amazing. I now know why people think it is OK to live in boring-as-hell suburbs in New Jersey – because when you have great friends, it doesn’t matter where you live. You don’t need cool places to go, because the only place you want to be is wherever you can be hanging out with your friends.

And geez, if you’ll permit me to get a little sappy here for a minute, was it ever surreal to go wedding dress shopping with Liz. That’s wedding dress. Like the thing that you wear when you are getting married. When you become a Mrs. Holy crap. [Um, that’s Mrs. (End sentence.) Holy crap. (A sentence all its own.) Liz’s name will not be Mrs. Holy Crap, although that would be pretty darn cool.]

On another holy crap kind of note, our dresses are pretty awesome. Liz is absolutely stunning in her wedding gown – it is just perfect for her and I bet her dude will feel pretty lucky that he is getting such a hot babe for a wife. I love my dress and am very excited to wear it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the dress is size that starts with F and ends with OUR. This is more because it just happens to hit at a part of my body that is skinny and flow gently over the part of my body that is, ahem, filled with the doughnuts of years past, but still. FOUR. I know the size on the tag doesn’t matter, but isn’t that just what you say when you’re wearing one that’s bigger than you wanted? When you’re wearing an unexpectedly small number what you really want to do with the tag is FRAME IT. Or wear it like a pendant around your neck. Yessss. Anyway, pretty dresses. That was the point.

In all seriousness, I’m struggling to find the words here to express how good this weekend really was. Spending time with Liz made me awestruck that I’ve managed to go for over 7 years without living in the same state as my confidant, my sounding board, my shopping partner. My only hope is that she gets over her burning hatred of winter and moves to Boston after grad school. (Move here. Do it. I will shovel your snow. I will knit you sweaters. I will make you hot cocoa. JUST MOVE HERE. Pretty please?)

There’s more to say – more about growing up and about friendship and about a sudden appreciation for really good road maps that help you find a way to avoid a 14 mile back-up on your long drive home – but it will have to wait until tomorrow, when my Inbox is no longer full and I am not missing my BFF quite as much as I am today.

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Filed under Friends

Gleeful

Yesterday I got an e-mail from Liz saying that she had this ‘crazy idea’ that we could meet up in NJ on Columbus Day weekend.

Crazy idea?

I say – freaking spectacularly awesome idea!

Less than 4 hours later, her plane tickets were booked and I was hoping that maybe it could hurry up and be October 4th already.

We’re going to have some nice girl-time, which promises to be full of gossip, shopping, and bitching about, well, everything. (We are incredibly good at being bitchy. It’s a talent.) The main purpose of the trip is to do some wedding dress shopping for Liz, now that she has a wedding date and all. I think that this is going to be pretty fun, especially when I make her try on a dress that looks like this.

Heh.

I have a feeling that she might retaliate though so I better be prepared to try on some butt-ugly bridesmaid dresses.

Like, say, this one

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Filed under Friends

N to the J

Oh boy, I have so much to tell you all about my trip to New Jersey. But first, can I tell you what I just did? As in just did less than 10 minutes ago and my face is still red from the embarrassment? (And also from sunburn from the previously mentioned NJ trip, but more about that later.)

So, my responsibilites at work changed recently and now I am working on a new (huge) project (with lots of responsibility and visibility and other business sounding words) which means that I work with this guy who is both incredibly smart and incredibly nice, while also being  incredibly intimidating to me (probably because of the smart and the nice). So I walk into his office with Co-worker and we notice that he has a new lamp, one of those ones that is tall with the bowl-like shade, like this one. Co-worker comments that the lamp should be turned ON, as lamps usually are, and Very Smart Man says that it takes a special bulb and he doesn’t have any of that kind of light bulb.

So I, trying to be nice, say that I have a lamp that takes special light bulbs, and I happen to have some at my desk, and let me just check to see what kind of bulb it is, and because the lamp is tall I have to lean it down so that I can peer into the top and that is when the (heavy) (glass) cover falls off. And shatters. On me.

In case you are not getting the picture, let me reiterate that not only have I now broken this man’s new lamp, but the glass shattered because of the force with which it hit my body. (Um, ouch.) It did not merely fall to the floor and shatter. And there is now glass EVERYWHERE. And I am so freaking embarrassed. Luckily, other than deep shame, I experienced no further injury, and hopefully the glass shards will come out of his carpet. Oops.

So anyway. New Jersey. Was awesome. The end.

Oh, but I kid. It was awesome though. We left on Wednesday night and made very good time getting to Liz’s house. We hung out for a while before giving in to exhaustion and calling it a night.

On Saturday, we went to the Philly Zoo, where we saw:

lion.jpeg

 Lions!

tigers.jpeg

 Tigers! (And even tiger cubs, which are pretty darn cute.)

elephant.jpeg

And… well, I didn’t get a picture of any bears. But here’s one of an elephant.

It was fun and a great day to see the animals, since apparently they are happy when it is overcast and drizzly. Actually, we were too, because when the sun actually did come out, it was hot as balls. Luckily we were pretty much ready to leave at that point.

On Friday, we went to the beach.

beach.jpeg

Guess what color I am now! I’ll give you a hint: it’s not tan. It’s my own fault though, for being a jackass about reapplying. We walked really far down the beach, far away from where the sunblock was, and while I could have stopped and shelled out 20 bucks for some new, overpriced sunblock, I remained stubborn and frugal. And now I am paying for it. With PAIN.

On Saturday, Matt and I stuffed ourselves in a local Jersey diner, and then we hung out with Liz and Matt a little more before they had to head for the airport. We hit the road at that point, and remember when I said that we made really good time on the way down? Yeah, no so much on the way back. Let’s just say that the GW bridge can officially bite me and our original prediction of getting home at 6:45 became 9:45 which equals OMG GET ME OUT OF THIS CAR NOW. But we made it, and we spent Sunday relaxing and doing various chores and now it is Monday and I am back at this hellhole my place of employment.

The trip was awesome. If I had one complaint though (besides the traffic on the way home, and the sunburn, and the fact that I cut the bottom of my foot at the beach) it would be that Matt wasn’t exactly as social as I would have liked him to be. I feel like Liz and her Matt didn’t really get to know him, which dissapoints me because I really wanted them to know him and like him and see what I see in him. I certainly don’t think that they disliked him, and I should know by now that he does not deal well with new people, and it takes him a while to warm up to people, and I’m not trying to change him, but… but… it made me a little bit sad. Especially because he has thrown me in a million situations with his family and friends where I have fended for myself and been social and ended up having a good time and getting to know people – I wish he could have done the same. But like I said, I’m not going to change him, so I need to accept it and hope that Liz and Matt saw that he really is nice and smart and funny underneath an initially antisocial attitude.

If there was one high point of the trip, it was when Liz and I had a few minutes to sneak upstairs and read old notes from high school. We were champion note passers and we found some real gems. It was especially interesting to decipher the codes and nicknames that we used – I remember thinking that I would never forget all of our nicknames for people but wouldn’t you know it took me a good 5 minutes to remember who “The Commie” was. Oh, we were so mature. But clearly I haven’t grown up at all since I found it to be freaking hilarious.

Good times. Good times.

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Filed under Friends, My Sweet Babboo

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! (Must sing title, Annie-style.)

Today I am at work and it is boring and I stubbed my toe getting out the tub and now I have a bruise on my toe which is weird and then later I am getting a haircut and then going home to play Wii and work out and watch some crappy TV and maybe read too but none of that matters because today is boring but tomorrow! Tomorrow I get to see Liz.

Tomorrow Matt and I are driving down to New Jersey, to the town that Liz and I grew up in. She will be there visiting her family and I took this as a sign that I should go pretend that I am part of their family like I did in high school. Luckily Liz thinks that this is a good idea too and so she won’t mind when I show up and demand that we play board games and braid each other’s hair just like we did in high school (except that now we are old enough to drink wine).

This will also be the first time that we meet each other Matts. (Yes, her fiance’s name is Matt, too.) I kind of feel like I already know her Matt from the descriptions that she has given, and I bet she feels like she knows my Matt both from talking to me and from reading this blog. But that won’t stop me from giving him the hairy eyed once over to make sure that he is good enough for my Liz.

I hope the Matts like each other but I’m really not even sure it will matter since they’ll both be too dazzled by the power that is the Liz and Rebecca combination to think of anything else. I’m sure we’ll all get along splendidly though, and anyone who looks as though he/she is not having a good time will be fixed right up with a glass of wine and possibly a new braid in his/her hair.

We are planning to go to the Philly Zoo at some point, which is very exciting to Matt because he grew up in Massachusetts where the only zoos are L.A.M.E. (Seriously – one lion? And some crappy birds?) We are also planning to go the Jersey shore – originally Matt balked at this because neither of us particularly love the beach, but then I explained to him that the Jersey shore is not like any other beach and it is entirely possible to amuse yourself for an entire day without ever setting foot in sand or water. There will be arcades! And mini-golf! And crappy little shops to go into and make fun of their crappy little merchandise!

I am so excited to see Liz, and to meet her Matt, and also to see Liz’s family, especially her mom. (She’s a really great lady and when I tell Liz that she is turning into her mother I always mean it as a really good compliment.) Basically, it will be 100% pure awesomeness.

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Many topics, none of them interesting.

I never know what to say after a weekend. Usually I say something like “this weekend was great” which is dumb because weekends are pretty much always great, what with the not being at work and all that. This weekend was no exception, although it was busier than most since we were both (gasp) social and (double gasp) productive.

On Friday a bunch of people from work went out for drinks. It was fun and a good way to relax after a loooong week. Most of them ended up heading out to another place in Boston, but I went home. That’s one of the bad things about living in the ‘burbs. I am closer to work, but it’s not so convenient to go into the city anymore. I debated going, but it would have meant paying a lot of money for parking, and I also wouldn’t have been able to drink because I didn’t have anyone to drive me home. Not that drinking is everything or key to having fun, but to drive to a bar, pay to park, and then not be able to drink at said bar seemed pretty stupid to me.

Then on Saturday Matt and I took care of some errands, cleaned up around the house, worked out, and then relaxed for a while before heading out to a friend’s birthday party. The party was really fun (remember, beach theme) – especially because I made some tropical punch for all to enjoy and it was Matt’s turn to ensure that we got home safely and soundly. Which meant that I may or may not have played a lot of card games, drank a lot of the punch, and was in a pretty happy place by the time we left.

On Sunday we got up, got ready, and headed to Matt’s parent’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day. We went out to lunch and then went back to their house where we sat outside in lawn chairs for a while just talking and hanging out.

Once we got home we started working on our yard. We have been slow to get started this – I think it has to do with the way Matt and I approach projects. We are both capable of looking at the big picture AND doing the little details when necessary. However, for some reason with this type of project he immediately starts thinking of the big picture (we’ll re-build the patio and create a rock path along the side of the house and ooh, wouldn’t a gazebo be fun) and all I can think about are the details (we need to rake and get grass seed and fertilizer and it all better be really cheap). This seems like a good thing, since we should balance each other out, but really what it means is that we end up stalled, neither of us willing to admit that we think the other one’s plan completely blows.

So yesterday we ventured out to begin some general clean-up in our backyard. Our backyard is pretty much the size of a postage stamp, because although our property goes farther back, it goes into the woods. We have a retaining wall around our yard before the property goes steeply down into woods – this is great for throwing leaves, etc over the fence where they can fertilize the woods. I am nothing if not an environmentalist. Also, too lazy for bagging that shit up.

Soon after we began, we discovered something. While most yards are made of things like plants and grass, ours is comprised of two things: Rocks and Weeds. Where the hell did all those rocks come from? We started ripping out weeds and digging our rocks and quickly came to the realization that this was less of a ‘take away the bad stuff in the yard’ type of project and more of a ‘screw it, we’re better off starting over than trying to salvage this mess’. By the time we finished yesterday, almost half of the yard had been completely ripped up. We’re trying to decide between throwing down grass seed or getting sod, but in either case we’re hoping to give some grass a fighting chance.

And finally, what started as a mild sore throat yesterday morning has morphed into a very painful sore throat complete with a bad cough (I sound like a seal) and a very hoarse/scratchy voice. Sexy. I have no other symptoms other than being damn irritable because in case you didn’t know, seal-like coughing is not conducive to sleep. Fanfreakingtastic.

Good god, this entry is boring. Why do you read this shit? Grass? Coughing? Bo-ring. You must have something better to do.

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Filed under Family, Friends, Holidays, Home Sweet Home