OK, so I had to follow up that last post with something that mattered.
I missed the speech because I was at the company picnic. So I found it on Youtube and have been enjoying it.
I loved particularly when he said ...
Questioning McCain's decisions, voting with Bush 90% of the time: "I don't want to count on a 10 percent change!"
Saying it's not that McCain doesn't care, it's that he just doesn't know. Exactly.
I liked where he talked about "affording a college education." I think this is such an important issue that is glazed over in politics. Jeff is swimming in debt, not because he went out and bought expensive clothes, cars, etc. It's because he wanted to go to college. How is this fair or beneficial to our country? The system (of calculating your parents income to determine how much you can pay to go to college, regardless if your parents will contribute or not) is flawed. So flawed. I want change here.
"I want my daughters to have the exact same opportunities of your sons."
He is looking forward to the debates with John McCain. So am I.
"All across America, something is stirring ... This election isn't about me, it's about you."
I like how he didn't stick to the teleprompter all the time. When you watch Bush's speeches, he doesn't leave that thing for a second. And while I'm sure Barack had prompters on all sides, his speech just seemed so much more natural.
On the other side of the spectrum, I think it's a pretty shrewd move of McCain to chose a female VP. However, I vote with my head and not my ovaries.
OK, as I was leaving my company summer picnic last night, my new boss Matt asked me, "So what did you think?"
I told him, "Uhhh ... at my last job we had a pot luck for a summer picnic which we held in the conference room."
Suffice to say, this was a bit better.
As you all know, I work for quite a large company that's owned by an even larger company. This obviously has it's pros and cons, but the pros so far seem to have the edge.
I had been pretty excited about it for a few months, and was stoked it fell on one of my off days. Jeff on the other hand was ECSTATIC, he was so so excited to come. (Side note: No family or friends invited to Jeff's company picnic, so I wasn't there to enjoy his watermelon eating contest victory in person).
He was mostly excited because the powers that be at my company had rented out an entire amusement park in Connecticut to host the party. On top of that, food, rides, games, etc were all free.
We went down a little bit early so Jeff could get the tour of "campus" by my boss. The compound my company has in Bristol is pretty impressive. While working from home is nice, I hope to get to work THERE some day -- even if it is in Connecticut.
By 2 we were pretty hungry so we decided to head over to the park.
As we walked to the gates we were greeted with some SWAG -- free bags that a lot of people ended up using during the day. The first thing we did was grab a little bit of food -- chicken fingers and fries. Since I knew the day could be a dangerous food fest I only had one finger and a few fries and a bottle of water.
(Side note: What an amazing experience it is to be able to go to an amusement park and not have to worry about money. The only downside is that it probably promoted a little more waste than usual. I tried not to do that.)
So after he was done eating, Jeff started in on me. I should say at this point, that I don't like amusement park rides that are aimed to "thrill." I don't like roller coasters, I don't like anything that goes fast or flips you upside down. I tried to reason with Jeff that I wouldn't care about waiting for him to ride rides if he wouldn't hassle me about not going on them. Well, it didn't really work. He went on the first ride by himself, begrudgingly.
(That's him in the second to top row, sitting by himself in the white long-sleeved shirt).
While he was on the ride, I tried to scan the park for a ride that didn't seem so bad. I saw one of those swinging ship rides that rocks back and forth. It seemed ok.
So we went on that next, and Jeff immediately jumped in the back (ie. worst) row. The ride started up and I freaked. I hate that feeling of "weightlessness" that so many people love. Really, I know that makes me a wimp in a lot of people's minds, but I can't help it. I was shaking, and Jeff was whispering to me, "OK. I won't make you go on any more rides."
Well. That's settled then.
So Jeff spent the next few hours riding the rides around the course while I waited for him. We had been given 6 "game tickets" each which basically meant we could play 6 games for free. Jeff decided to spend one of his on this golf game where you had to hit the green to win a prize.
Looks like good form right? Yikes. Let's just say at one point I yelled out "Didn't you play on the high school golf team?!"
Moving on, Jeff was able to convince me to go on the "Wild Rapids" ride. You know where they put you on one of those big tubes and you basically get soaked. I figured I had to do SOMETHING with him at this point, so I obliged.
Fortunately, I didn't get THAT wet. Jeff on the other hand ...
We played around in the park for a little while longer and Jeff won me a stuffed animal playing 'Whack-a-Mole" (Awww, my hero!) Then we found a ride I actually did like, a haunted house ride where you shot at the ghosts to gain points. Jeff beat me all three times we rode :(
We decided to head over to the dinner buffet around six. Again, I was trying to eat light, having a veggie burger, a piece of chicken and some green beans. Oh, and a glass of wine. (Did I mention the booze was free too?)
They also had games over by the food, including one game where they shot a football out of a machine, and you had to dive onto a big foam mat to catch it. Guess who wanted to play?
He caught it, thus winning us a free t-shirt. (You didn't have to play to win.)
At this point we met up with my boss to eat and chat for a while before going back into the park for more rides, games, etc. Remember how I've been saying I tried to eat well? Well, that kind of goes out the window when there's free fried dough. Yummmm....
Jeff absolutely hates when I make him take these pictures. He says his smile always seems fake and tries to get me to say something funny before we take it. I'm only posting this first one because he looks nice, and I'm trying to ignore how bad I look...
The night wrapped up with fireworks set to some questionable musical choices and Jeff and I headed home around 10 oclock, which should have had us home around 11:30. Unfortunately, we hit about 45 minutes of "night construction" traffic which put just a little damper on the day.
We were EXHAUSTED when we got home and fell right asleep. This morning, when Jeff stopped by to give me my morning kiss before he left for work he said, "I had so much fun yesterday, babe. Good job ... literally."
Yeah, I think I'll keep it ... at least until the Christmas party.
With the Summer Olympics over and still almost a month until new tv starts, I find myself bored with regular television and reverting to some series I've missed over time ...
The first is the TV show, "Intervention." It's on A&E, and you've probably heard about it considering it's one of the most 'talked about' shows on television (says Werschaible Monthly!) I got sucked into it one night at 1 a.m. It was an episode about a crack addict. He had once been a world-class bike rider, even making it onto the US Postal Service Team (of Lance Armstrong fame). Then, ironically, he got kicked off the team for acting unprofessional to King Lance, and there went the downfall ... At the beginning of the show, he's living on the street, doing crack 7 times a day. The show follows him, then stages an intervention with his friends and family. He initially refuses, but concedes to go to rehab, and turns up 3 months later much better.
It was a pretty emotional episode, I thought, then I watched some other ones. I feel like I have a lump in my throat through most of these shows. One of my personal mantras is that every person has an addiction -- it's not always drugs, or alcohol, or gambling. Sometimes it's food (me), cheating, lying, debt. I bet if you really thought about it, you have an addiction too, one that either is, or could be, destructive to you.
And while I don't have any drug addicts or alcoholics in my family/friends, I do have those addicted to food and gambling and cheating and spending money. And during their worst times, they remind me of these people. How hard it is to get through to them. Just makes you think ...
Anyways, it's good TV. I'm always rooting for the person to succeed, and not just for the cameras.
Jeff is a big fan of renting TV series and watching them on DVD. Past series have included: Arrested Development, Six Feet Under, Nip/Tuck, The Office (first season), etc. We also rented the last series of Dexter, which was a little disturbing, but good. We just rented the first disc of the second season tonight.
Concurrently, we just started watching Deadwood, aka a show my mom would hate. I'm not too high on it, although I think it's OK. I can't help but somewhat dislike shows where women are cast as secondary characters, even when the time period dictates it (in this case the late 1800s). Doesn't keep my interest all that much. As of the first 5 episodes we have three central female characters: One's a prostitute, one's a drug addict and one's a moron. Not exactly a lot to look upon.
Plus all the swearing is a little distracting. IMDB trivia states "The word "f***" and its derivatives are used 2,980 times throughout the series. There are 36 episodes total, which means the f-word is used about 82 an episode, or a little more than once a minute. I would say the word "c***sucker" is used just about as much, and they're pretty liberal with the other C word. (Hence why my mom would hate this show.)
Watching the fourth episode I turned to Jeff and said, "Did they REALLY swear this much back then?" He paused, then said, "How would I know?"
I did not expect the dresses to be in the horrendous condition that some of them were. I understand that it was a huge sale, so some of the dresses would be slightly damaged and that a lot of them would be the samples from the stores. But some of them looked like they'd been used to wash a car. Grease stains, torn to shreds in some parts and overall WORN looking.
Before I bought my dress I made SURE to give it a thorough once over. If it's been worn, I couldn't tell. It's in great shape.
I still can't believe I chose the dress I chose. It was absolutely nothing like I'd ever thought or clipped out in the last few weeks. Every time I tried on a dress that was the silhouette or style I had imagined, I looked frumpy. It wasn't a tough choice. My dress was my dress.
If you're going to go to this, don't make it a half-hearted attempt. The women I went with were stoked to do it (and if they weren't I never noticed). You need people who are spirited to do this or they will get frustrated and annoyed at the mayhem. My 'team' was SO SO patient with me. Any moment though, towards the end, I expected them to look at me and say, "Emily will you just pick a )@%(* dress already!?!"
Kristin, the photographer who followed us around, was amazing and super nice. She even walked around at a few points to try and find a dress for me. I don't know who picked the dress I ended up with, although I wish I knew.
Early into the going, as I started trying on dresses, this man came up to me and started chatting. He was clearly from Filene's and was really nice, etc. etc. He gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek when he found out I was the winner of the contest. I didn't think too much of it until afterwards when Kristin said, "You know who that is, right? He's the owner of Filene's" Cool... can I get free bridesmaids dresses too? :)
First let me say this: I'm exhausted. Like legitimately in need of an ice bath and a full body Swedish. I feel like I just ran the Boston Marathon. Fortunately I didn't have to run that far ...
So running of the brides was this morning and if I were to summarize it quickly I would say it's probably the most unique experience one could purchase a wedding dress in. It's half chaos, half endurance, half wit and 100% patience. And I am so happy I did it ...
Rewind. Thursday night. I picked up my mom from her hotel near the airport and we drove to our hotel in the city, dropped off the car and had some lunch, some cannolis, while we waited for everyone else to arrive.
My cousin and beautiful bridesmaid Sarah came up from RI on the commuter rail as did my mom's two best friends Jan and Bev. Meg showed up from work a bit later, Katie and her mom met us at Maggiano's and Team Werschaible conducted their first business meeting over Italian.
I showed the group my "Hot vs. Heinous" folder, but I was most anxious to see the t-shirts Katie, my MOH, had been slaving on for the past few days.
After a little spiel, there was the great reveal ...
My mom was ... a little skeptical. Had she really agreed to wear ... this?!
Yup. It read "Team Werschaible" and Katie painted a skull and crossbones, with a tiara and a veil on it. Genius, I thought. Pure genius. I will be definitely wearing it again.
My mom's friends, sassy Jan and sweetie Bev, loved it. Boy, were they in the spirit. Having had only boys, they were totally excited when they heard a few months back that I wanted to do this. My mom had been on the fence -- she doesn't like crowds. Then came in her 'girls', three-fourths of my mom's Sex and the City-ish group of friends who have been tight since college, and they convinced my mom that just MAYBE ... this could be a blast.
After a super yummy dinner followed by dessert at Finale, we headed back to our respective sleeping quarters to get some rest. Or try. And try. And ... will you fall asleep @$(*$ you have to get up in 3, 2, 1 hours! (Needless to say ... it didn't happen. One hour, maybe).
At 3 on the dot I got up, took my shower, changed into my uniform and by 10 of 4 my mom and I were in line. I'd estimate we were in the first 125 people. Those at the front had been there from 5 p.m. Thursday. I felt confident that as long as I was in the first 150-200 people, I would be safe to grab a dress.
We chatted to the bride behind us in line for a while before the first member of the team -- Meg-- showed up at 5 a.m. An hour later they moved us inside Hynes which was our first glimpse of pandemonium. You would have thought, since this wasn't the actual OPENING, that people would have filed in reasonably, in the order which we had been in outside. And most did, but a few ran around my mom and I, which drew ire from the collective bridezillas. Whatever. I still thought I was in great shape to grab a dress -- my only concern.
Jan, Bev and Sarah showed up next followed by Katie and her mom. I should say up until this point I hadn't eaten anything, and had only a banana after Katie arrived. I was too nervous/anxious to eat. I wanted them to open the doors! But in the meantime, we hammed it up for the cameras.
And then I hammed it up even more, because, well, I'm a ham. (But I look like I've been eating less ham in this pic, I think it's facebook material.)
Like I said, we were in the first 120-150 people in line. But by 7:30, the line had grown to I'd estimate 1000 people. (All the way to this back wall, and then back down again, and then around another corner..
I would say 95% of the groups at ROTB made their own t-shirts/costumes/headresses. Some of them were so funny and creative.
Katie's mom snuck a peek into the room and nabbed this great shot of the layout of the dresses.
Five minutes to eight there was this big SURGE forward in the group, as if the doors were opened. (They weren't). Two minutes later, the same thing. (They still weren't.) Clearly, danger was looming...
After the second surge, our group was cut in half, with Katie, my mom and I ending up in a great spot: at the back of the barricade, right in front of the door. We wouldn't have to turn a corner, we'd just have to run straight in.
Three, two, one... bam. I took a few stutter steps forward, got a little bit jostled as I headed to the door. As we entered the frame my mom got a little sandwiched sideways against the door and I hesitated for a second, but saw she was ok and broke left with Katie. (Sidenote: Katie said she heard someone yell, "Slow Down!!" Ummm ... it's running of the brides.) PLENTY of dresses. I went to a rack threw open my arms and grabbed a stack, which my back instantly hated me for. I had accomplished my mission.
I had five gowns, now I just had to go back to Katie's mom, the official "Guardian of the Mirror." But first I snagged on a fellow runner, hooking our hangers ... then three seconds after that I nabbed a passer-by in the shirt.
Getting back to our position was no easy task. As I said, the line was long and people were still surging in well after I grabbed my stack. I had to cross back over the door to get where I was going.
I estimate the racks (2,000 dresses) were cleared in about a minute and a half. I was the first back to our meeting point, and my team slowly filtered in -- uninjured, thankfully :). Katie was the big winner with EIGHT dresses snagged (she was so proud.) I think all told we grabbed 37 dresses between 7 people. NOT BAD.
Then it was time to sort. Zeroes-twos-fours-sixes-eights were OUT, so were 18+ (I wasn't exactly sure where I'd land). Those were our first trading dresses.
It took a while to get a hang of the whole trading thing, because people without any dresses were immediately coming onto us like beggars on the street. Bev, who had two dresses in her hands, handed over two of our discards to a beggar. I yelled, "Bev! You have to trade, don't let them take anything without giving something in return!" In the days funniest moment, Bev, as the girls were walking away, said, "Oh no, you can't have those," and took the two dresses back.
Then it was rapid fire trying-on. I had dubbed Katie my official dresser because, well, there was no one else I'd think would be up to the task. She was a master, "Hands up!" on a dress would go, once it was on, Katie was under, pulling down crinoline, satin, well, sometimes my shorts. (We're close like that.) She would either say, "This might work," or bluntly tell me, "Not gonna happen." While I tried on, everyone else was either sorting or trading. A special gold star goes to Bev for following a girl for 15 minutes with a dress I thought I might like, offering her 1, 2 then THREE dresses for that one. Finally, the girl gave in. It wasn't 'the one' but it was one of my favorites.
There were some heinous selections... like this piece, for the Bride who is a Star Trek the next generation enthusiast...
To some ones that were OK but just not 'the one.''
Finally, I found it. I think I knew instantly, which is surprising considering it was NOT AT ALL (really) what I wanted. Katie fought hard to get it on me initially, considering I was wearing a tank top, bra and shorts. She poked and prodded and fit me inside. I loved it. I tried on what would be the second runner up ... I didn't love it as much. I put the other one BACK on without the undergarments. I teared up. I felt PRETTY. Everybody knew. I got six enthusiastic thumbs up and a look of distress from my mom, who had loved the other one more. She'll grow to love it.
With the 'one' chosen, we let out our circle of applause and paused for picture and video as part of my chattybrides prize (More on that in a future post). Kristin, my photographer (AMAZING) took the dress and stood in line to pay for it. I never even had to think about it. It was a $1000-$1500 dress marked down to $250 at ROTB. Of course I can't post it here, but it's actually on the chattybrides website for inquiring minds. Let me know what you think. (Keep in mind my hair was a little tousled from 70+ dresses and 48 straight hours of consciousness).
Overall, I'd highly recommend this. It was so much fun. It was an EXPERIENCE, and overwhelming at times but a memory on par with the wedding itself. I took it in and enjoyed every minute. As Jeff said when I get home, "Well, it's the last time you'll ever do that."
(Special thanks to Gracie O for all the fantastical pics.)
OK. So I think I have everything set for my Running of the Brides adventure.
I've just spent the last hour sorting through 5 pounds of wedding magazines to tear out dresses labeled either "Hot" or "Heinous" (I'm looking at you, Mary's Bridal). I'll pass them out to my ladies tomorrow night so they have a good idea what I'm after.
Confirmed to Katie, my Maid of Honor who is graciously making our t-shirts, that yes, it's spelled 'Werschaible' She told me the shirts are green, will read "Team Werschaible" on them (if she can spell it right) and will either have boxing gloves or a skull and crossbones with a veil on it. Love it.
Confirmed with the Chatty Brides folks my obligations (show up, sign a few forms) and talked to the photographer about what she'll be doing. Oh by the way, they're sending RI's best photog to follow me, Kristin Spencer. Check out her pics and try not to be blown away: www.kristinspencer.com/blog
Confirmed with my team on travel arrangements, hotels and dinner in Boston Thursday night. I am so lucky to have a group of people going through so much trouble for me.
Talked with my good buddy Justin (not coming) who told me I'd probably looked washed out in a stark white, so that's good to know ;)
Not done list:
My laundry. For the last month. Jeff and I don't have a washer and dryer in our apartment, so we bought one over the weekend, taking advantage of the tax free holiday. However, through a series of mix-ups by the store, I now have a washer/dryer unit sitting in the middle of my living room, without a cord and unable to be used. My frustration with this is catastrophic. My mother is coming and I am down to my last pairs of ... well everything. They will probably have it fixed tomorrow, which will do me no good. Oh well.
I have to pack up my stuff for my trip to Boston. Things needed for 'day of': A backpack filled with shorty shorts (I'll put those on once I get inside), a camera, a blanket to sit on outside, some snacks, water bottles, playing cards (to pass the time). I'm debating on whether I should bring my mini-DVD player or if we will be too amped to sit and watch a movie. I'm having Meg bring heels for me (I have none). Also, bringing a full-length mirror. My mom has fought me on this a little (she's afraid it might get broken), but from what I hear they don't have mirrors there so ... um, what are my options? I mean, I'll wrap it in a towel and put it in a garbage bag, but if someone has to get cut so I get my perfect wedding dress, so be it!
Katie and I have to make the signs for trading, something like "Size 10-16 needed, tank top, overlay or lace."
That's about it I think. I'm so excited and will have a full report when I get back!
I found this on Jezebel -- apparently there's this girl, Sarah Haskins, who does these funny videos. Any by funny videos, I mean videos that are only funny to women. I would attempt to show this video to Jeff, but he'd probably give me a half-smile through the whole thing while I'd be coaxing, "You really don't think this is funny? I think it's hilarious."
Should I mention it's about periods? Oh, well, watch if you like.
Sorry for the lack of blogging in recent days, but I wanted to make sure the contest graphic was at the top of my blog (yes, I know there's probably a way I could have set that, but oh well...)
Either way... it worked.... I won!!!! Now, not only will I be having a blast at Running of the Brides with Team Werschaible (Me, My mom, Katie, Sarah, Meg, Katie's Mom, Jan and Bev) I will be able to leave the checkbook at home!
This makes something I was already looking forward to even more fun. My mom flies in on Thursday and we'll be up at 3 a.m. on Friday morning to go wait in line. I'm so stoked.
I'll be giving you all the blow-by-blow when I get back on Friday (after a nap). Thanks for any of you who voted for me!!
My mom (via IM) on last night's exciting 4x100 men's relay:
"i was thinking today, in light of the comment by the French that they would crush the usa, i think someone should create a new drink called the French Crush. Make it a concoction using red, white and blue and serve it over crushed ice"
Friday night, I drove into the city to see my girl Meg and celebrate a mini-bachelorette party in Beantown. Before I left, I met Jeff at work for a late lunch/snack and he surprised me with a new mix-CD which was much appreciated, as I was a little over the one I had in rotation at the moment. This was one of his best CDs yet -- I'll have him send me the track list and I'll post later.
Anyway, I managed to get into the city in good time, and found a parking spot right near my old apartment, which gave me time to reminisce on the way to the T. Every time I go back to Boston, since I've left, I can't help but feel a bit of heartache -- I really loved living there. I loved how I could walk, and did walk, to everything, food, entertainment, friends. While my current living situation has its benefits (it's, well, a 2-bedroom house and costs less $500 less a month than our 2.5 rat-infested crap hole in Boston did), I was still a little bit jealous of Meg's living situation.
Well, who wouldn't? She and her fiancee (1 month!) own a condo right next to Faneuil Hall. It's brand new and marbled up ... the only thing ruining it is a f-in cat. (Side note: All my close friends own cats or are cat enthusiasts -- even the guys. What gives? Am I the only one with a grievance against furballs?)
So I chatted with Meg and Troy a bit about their upcoming nuptials (in style at the Sheraton in Boston), before Kara and Katie got there and it was time to party! While this b-party was going to be tame in a lot of ways, we couldn't help but sneak in one mandatory humiliation: making Meg wear a fakey veil.
Made by Katie (and her mom.)
She was THRILLED. (No we didn't make her wear the blusher.)
So after pushing Meg out the door, we headed over to Finale where we had reservations. They were very accommodating to us (see Meg, the veil works!) We ordered a round of fancy drinks (erg, $12 for a mixed drink?), two appetizers (truffle mac and cheese and roasted vegetable quesadillas -- yum) and three desserts (molten chocolate cake, creme brulee and tiramasu) but they threw in an extra Boston Cream pie for our occasion. Desserts were yum! and we waddled out of the restaurant down the street to the Rattlesnake where they had a Sublime CD on and we mellowed out.
For the most part, we weren't approached by guys, but there were a group that came up to us when we first walked in -- they seemed jovial until Katie told one of the guys that his ring looked like a thimble, to which he responded "Dis cost me like $200 bucks!" and stormed off. Oh well ;)
We decided to liven things up a bit with some shots (Red Headed Sl-ts), which Meg was wary of.
Before and ...
... after. Note Meg's happy look ;)
After a while we left the Rattlesnake (putting our bar tab on Troy's credit card... hehe) and headed over to Vox where we found a darkened table and let loose some girl talk, which I think all of us had been severely lacking recently. (I know I have!!) By the time we got out, my feet could no longer take the shoes I was wearing and we hailed a cab. We went back to Meg's condo for more girl talk before we retired to our sleeping quarters.
However, I couldn't sleep at all (street noise, uncomfortable pull-out, cat? who knows), and I stared at the ceiling until the morning when Troy offered to drive me to my car and I took off home at about 7 a.m.
About 5 minutes from my house, considering a stop at D&D, I realized I had forgotten my debit card at Rattlesnake, and spent the next few minutes cursing myself. I had to work at 10 a.m., and was hoping I could sneak into the apartment, cuddle up with my guy, and grab a catnap before I started. I was successful, but beyond tired when I woke up to start working at 10. Longest. Shift. Ever.
I left Jeff to his own devices to pick out a movie to rent and to my horror he chose Cape Fear, which is good in theory (Scorcese movie, DeNiro stars) but I told him right upfront, "You will hate this movie."
He did. We did. We didn't finish, and went to bed early because I was EXHAUSTED and had to work AGAIN this morning at 10 a.m. I did not want to wake up. Fortunately it has been slow so I've been able to catch up on some Olympics watching (badminton anyone?). We'll head to the gym tonight (a MUST considering the amount of crappy food I ate this weekend.)
A pic of the girls (from left): Kara, me, Meg and Katie ... the latter two my beautiful bridesmaids!
Sorry loyalists, for the lack of blog updates of any worth, but it's been busy at work and sometimes during my "off" time my brain feels like mush and it's hard for me to put together a decent thought. I also try, and often fail, to redirect attention off the computer and mindless TV towards my guy, otherwise it feels like we're just passing each other by during the day ...
But that's been a little harder as of recently, somewhat because of my awkward scheduling, and somewhat because my guy's new temporary hobby has been reading. Like, books. Who knew? I normally encourage any activity that Jeff participates in that provides a physical or mental challenge, like playing basketball or writing a blog. Anything. I should say, anything ASIDE from video games. (How I loathe video games. Sure, I've been known to play once in a while, but I've also seen them devour lives of the people I love. I'm no one to tell people, 'Get out and see the world' but I can't think of anything of less consequence in this life than how you 'perform' in your virtual world. End of rant.)
So after Jeff's conquering of the watermelon eating contest at work, he was the proud owner of a $50 Amex gift card, and me, ever the CFO, told him he could spend half on whatever he wanted, then save the rest for help with groceries, etc. I was extremely pleased when he chose to spend the money on a book -- two books actually, 'World War Z' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'
He read through 'Z' first, and when he finished, passed it along to me. I can't tell you how long it's been since I've read a book. Actually, I probably could tell you, but I'd be embarrassed. It's not that I don't like to read, I spend most of my day doing it, actually. But people don't respect web reading like they do novels ... I digress. Often times I avoid jumping into a book because I'm the kind of person who will let a book take over their life. If it's a good book, I won't eat, sleep or drink til it's over. How can I put it down?! What happens at the end!?! One too many 4 a.m. nights in a few months in college, exhausted me on books for a while.
But Jeff said the book was good, and I was intrigued. The book calls itself "An Oral history of the Zombie Wars." It was a NYT best seller and is currently being made into a movie by Brad Pitt's production company.
Can someone explain this to me? Here I am, a girl paralyzed by fear of scary movies. I HATE them. I don't enjoy them a lick -- why is it fun to be scared? I remember accidentally stumbling on Friday the 13th as a child, not sleeping for days. Even movies not considered 'scary' terrify me.
But show me a scary book -- about vampires (holla at the Last Vampire series when I was a teenager!), zombies, people pushed to homicidal madness, I'm hooked. That's weird right? My favorite book -- Lord of the Flies, is scary in movie form. I read a 600-page book about a group of Asian 8th graders forced to kill each other (Battle Royale) in two days. And while Chuck Pahlinuk books (read most of them) aren't SCARY per se, they are disturbing. I eat them up. The notable exception: American Psycho. How I HATED this book. It was so awful, so disturbing, so lackluster in it's resolution. I hated it so much I gave it away rather than look at the cover. Just reminded me how much I disliked reading it.
The same 'it's OK if it's just a book' theory applied to World War Z. It's not one of my favorites of all time, but it's real, real good. The difference between this book, and say, your run-of-the-mill zombie book, is that it aims to deal with the social, economic and ecological aftermath of a zombie takeover. It's a fun, fast read, that progresses, not through a singular narrative, but through a series of vignettes from 'survivors.' Really good.
I don't know if this will set of a reading spell, as what usually happens when I read a book I like. But I'm open to suggestions?
Well, this weekend in review will be kind of boring, considering I worked all weekend. Saturday, I worked 10-6, officially, but was called back on for an 'emergency' involving the live blogging on the Hall of Fame ceremony. The online fates of literally tens of Redskins fans hung in the balance. Thankfully, I was there to add the requisite pictures of Art Monk and his likeness in bronze to the tool.
Unfortunately, this sort of wreaked havoc on my Saturday night ... I had just returned with some ice cream and two movies for my darling, when I was called back on. I told Jeff to pop in a movie -- he fell asleep 1/2 hour in. Between posts, I was able to catch most of the movie -- Lars and the Real Girl -- and I really loved it. Not knowing much about the movie going in, other than it was about a man who has a blow-up doll as a girlfriend and that Ryan Gosling supposedly got rave reviews -- I thought it was really fantastic. Despite that one-line synopsis I gave you, it's not a movie about a pervert and sex isn't even a topic, really, in the movie. It's a really touching film. Two Werchadlos up.
Sunday morning I didn't have to work until 3 p.m., so Jeff and I went out to lunch and then took a walk to a flower stand up the road. That is literally the only thing we can walk to together in a reasonable distance. It's kinda depressing sometimes, especially considering how things were in Boston. They're building a mini-plaza a mile up the road to go along with this mansion-development. It has a bank already, but I am praying for a cafe, or a deli, or a bookstore, or SOMETHING. Somewhere I can go and resurrect my daily routine of some lunch and the sports section. (In San Diego, my coworkers would make fun of me for my lunch-time routine. A local fastish-food place -- Panera, Chipolte, Daphnes -- and the U-T Sports Section and the NC Times Sports section. It was my 'unwind' time and sometimes they'd ask, "Is it ok if we go with you to lunch today, we know you like to be alone.") So here's hoping.
Then it was work... and work... and work. I got off at 12:45 a.m. Yay.
Jeff made me another mix, and popped this song, 'Returning to the Fold' from The Thermals on it. I've listened to it non-stop. For all I know, this song was popular 6 months ago, but since I don't listen to the radio, I wouldn't know. The video is cheesy but I love the song.
Welcome to my Friday, now otherwise known as "Sunday." Tomorrow, Saturday, is Monday. Keeping up?
Anyway, on the last day of my weekend, I had naught to do, so I woke up late and recreated my dinner from the night before. Inspired by my date twin and diet buddy, Sabrina, I made a zucchini and mozzarella wheat bread sandwich, with some spicy mustard on my George Forman. With some whole wheat pretzels on the side, my sources tell me this is a healthy meal.
Here it is pictured last night with a glass of wine -- which I downed to drown my sorrows about my fair Manny being traded to the worst fan base in sports. Whatever. I drank another one and watched two movies (Be Kind Rewind and Lost in Translation) with my babe. BKR was "Eh... OK" and I've seen LIT before ... with Jeff... and he gave up on it 25 minutes in because he was bored. Then ScarJo becomes a hottie, Jeff figures himself an intellectual, and suddenly we're watching it again. Whatever, still good.
Anyway, back today. After my sandwich, I loafed (ha!) for a while before heading off to the gym. I did 30 minutes on the elip and 30 on the bike, partly because I had a sense my dinner would not be health conscious. I was right.
Jeff called me to tell me his company picnic (where family was NOT invited -- lame) was ending and people were heading down to a TexMex place to get margaritas. I was off before he said "mar --" I have a weakness.
When I got there, I saw Jeff at a picnic table surrounded by middle-aged women. And let me tell you a secret about my fiance -- the middle aged women LOVE him. I don't know what it is. For some reason he's uber-outgoing around them and they lap it up. So when I got there, everyone was raving at Jeff's job planning the picnic (Yeah, Jeff is on the Thermo-Scientific party planning committee -- he has a ribbon and everything. Yes, a ribbon. Hanging in his cubicle. I'm pretty sure this provides him no authority at all).
Anyway, Jeff was responsible for both the music, the trivia contest and the watermelon eating contest -- which he won. He told me this gleefully on the phone, and I was prepared to hang my head in embarrassment for him but then he dropped the bomb that he won a $50 AmExgiftcards for eating 12 slices in 60 seconds. If I had known this, we would have gone into heavy training, but Jeff told me he won by nearly a double margin ... I'm so proud.
So I got to hang with his bosses, one of whom dropped that she hung out with Colin Powell for 20 minutes before and knows the president of the Miami Dolphins (I can has tickets?) then Jeff and I headed off to get some eats. Jeff wanted to hang out more and not go home because it was the last day of my weekend, but we were stumped because Central Mass isn't really a hub. So ... we went to see Dark Knight again. I don't usually do that but I don't regret it -- it was awesome again and I'm prepared to say it: I think it's one of my top 15 of all time. And Heath Ledger is really, really amazing.