Friday, February 25, 2005

a new obsession

I signed up for a blog last year, back when people starting saying they had received gmail accounts because they had blogs. And by G-d, I desperately wanted a gmail account. I'm not sure why, but I was convinced that gmail would be the next wave of the future. I love google. We used to google everyone in our law school class and then whisper amongst ourselves in the library about what we found. That is a part of a story I have to tell a little later.

Anyway, I signed up for the blog and then couldn't think of anything to say. I love writing, much like most people with blogs, but I used my funny thoughts or stories in emails to my friends and it didn't occur to me to post them. So I did nothing with it, and I got gmail from another friend's brother, so the usefulness escaped me. But then my friend CRWatch and I decided that we would start blogs together. Hers has useful worthwhile issues, mine has silly thoughts.

But now I am back... and folks, I have discovered the power of the Internet. I have lost hours jumping from page to page to page of people's blogs and those they are connected to and those that other person is connected to. HOURS. I used to shun the Internet, I couldn't understand how people could waste so much time on it. Now I know. I am blog obsessed. For the last two nights I haven't been able to sleep because blog conversations or snippets keep running through my heads. It is like a sitcom almost, except real, and their stories are all the happier or heart-breaking because they are real.

One of my friends says this is the first sign of an obsession, she thinks, so maybe I should wean myself. Perhaps, but I love it!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

when the bee stings...

oh, Julie Andrews would be so proud. Here is a random list of my favorite things (in no particular order)...

1. Dunkin' Donuts hazelnut iced coffee (with extra extra milk and three splenda, yummmm)
2. Buffalo wings (please see ode to buffalo wings below)
3. Sunflowers (LOOK! This is how much I love sunflowers)
4. Fall in New England (if you question whether there is a G-d, come to Vermont in October)
5. Sex and the City (and NYC, I heart NYC, just not the ridiculous law firm hours that come along with it)
6. Sex (but I can't elaborate, my parents read this site)
7. Suprise mushy cards from the Hubs
8. Tango and Murray (all the time, but especially when they are sleepy and snuggly)
9. The Internet (Have I told you today about how the Internet is a glorious place? On President's Day I happened upon the Barefoot Contessa making carrot cake cupcakes and before I could wipe the drool away, check this out!)
10. Sitting in front of a fireplace
11. Halloween (please see post about my mother)
12. Reading a new book
13. Pottery Barn (no explanation needed, it is a legitimate sickness)
14. Going to the movies (especially with a wild cherry Pepsi and popcorn)
15. My Ipod mini- aka g mini sprout (g stands for gangsta)
16. Monday bagels and Friday pizza lunches at work (its a law firm, what do you expect?)
17. Law and Order (an obsession)
18. Shopping with my mom
19. Bacon (although I rarely have it now, I used to live off it in college)
20. Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
21. Traveling (anywhere, I love it)

By no means exhaustive, but it'll do for now.

So... What do you love?

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Originals

It has been brought to my attention that while the hubs may be the best thing that currently happened to me, my parents are the best thing that happened to me also. And yes, I suppose that the woman who was in labor for 50 hours with me, the folks who clothed me, fed me, changed my diapers, paid for 20 years of private school, supported me throughout my life, listened to all my crying and complaining and told me that I could do and be anything I wanted, do deserve a bit of recognition. So I would like to tell you, the Internet, about the ORIGINALS, the first loves of my life.

My parents came to the United States from Argentina seeking a better life. In part, my mother was trying to convince my father to get married since he was a notorious bachelor, but they also had the typical dreams of a safer and more secure life for themselves and their children. Two years later, I came along. I have years of childhood memories of talking about moving back to Argentina. My parents missed their family and friends, and raising a child away from all extended family was hard, but most importantly, sad. They wanted me to know my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. But as the years passed, Argentina's economy and prospects did not improve, so we stayed.

My father worked tremendously long hours to support my mother and I. I remember driving to pick him up after midnight on many nights, me bundled into the back seat and supposed to be asleep. I would crawl into bed with him in the mornings and watch Yan Can Cook (my father is an excellent cook), and soon after he would get up to head back to work. He often had only one day off a week, perhaps a Tuesday, and the three of us would take day trips to Napa, Eureka, Monterey, anywhere fun to spend the day. I think I have been to every vineyard, forest and beach in Northern California on those weekly trips. He never protested or complained about my mother's focus and insistence on the best schools in the area, even though they were often the most expensive. He supported the gymnastics, guitar, piano and tap lessons and I never heard him grumble. His long hours kept him from being present on a day to day basis, but I never lacked love and support from him.

My mother made up for any time that my father was unable to spend at home. She had more energy and creativity than anyone I've ever known, thinking up different projects, games and crafts to fill my days. My name for this site, halloweenlover, is a tribute to the years we spent making fake tombstones and hanging ghosts from the ceiling. That was just one of a million examples of the things she did with me and for me. I am sure that all children feel that their parents love them unconditionally, but my mother showed me each and every second of my days that I was the center of her universe, the love of her life, her heart living outside of her body. She was always available, always paying attention to my interests at the time, always anxious to know what I was thinking or feeling.

I am a happy person today because she taught me how to love life. Even in my darkest of days, I find beauty and happiness in a flower or a leaf, things we just take for granted. I believe that this ability to be happy no matter the circumstance is now an integral part of my being- it gives vibrancy to my personality and a purpose to my life. I will forever be grateful to her for this gift. It has led me to marry a wonderful man, find terrific friends, and follow whatever hopes and dreams I discover along the way. Of course, I have bad days or sad days, but she showed me how to find peace and joy even in those times.

These two people will always be my first loves and they are the reason behind any of my accomplishments. I will always be grateful, and I think I will never know how grateful until I am blessed enough to have a child of my own.

Thanks Ma and Pa.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

and he still stopped to take a picture...

My wonderful mother works at an elementary school in California as a "Drop-Out Prevention Specialist". This means that she keeps her eyes peeled for kids in elementary school who have the kinds of problems that may lead to their dropping out of high school. If she finds kids like that, then she intervenes with teachers, therapists, whoever else is needed. Cool, huh?

Anyway, she has a friend she met through her school, let's call him Mr. C. Mr. C was working in his office from home today, when little daughter Aubrey came into the house to tell him that her brother, Justin, was stuck. Since he is used to children playing these kinds of games with him and he was engaged in his work, he didn't feel the need to rush out and check. He told Aubrey to tell Justin to get himself unstuck. 20 minutes later (!!), Aubrey returns to tell Mr. C that Justin could not get himself unstuck and that he was very sad. Mr. C (annoyed at this point) finally decides to check it out, and to his surprise, discovers Justin as shown above. He managed to slide himself between the two mailboxes and wedge himself in there quite tightly.

But here is the great part, people. He apparently took the time to get a camera and take a picture of his stuck child rather than rush to his immediate aid.

He actually had to climb up on top of the mailboxes and pull Justin out, and according to him, it was a struggle at that.

Mr. C's moral of this story is that sometimes kids are actually telling the truth. My moral of the story is that we should all take notes as children, so we remember things like this when it comes time to pick a nursing home for our parents.
Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

A tribute to love, in honor of this infernal holiday

In a tribute to Valentine's day, an infernal holiday, as far as I am concerned, one of my friends sent me this article from the Boston Globe about the first year of marriage. She said that now it is confirmation of what I have been telling anyone who will listen since I got married- the first year of marriage is VERY hard.

I was excited and happy to get married, but certainly not desperate. We had been dating for three and a half years, but I wasn't out of law school yet and we were still young (24 and 25) so there seemed to be no rush. But once he proposed we were both so excited that we decided to get married after my second year of law school. Our engagement was a year and a half and that gave us more than enough time to get sick of all the planning and to be happy that our wedding day had finally arrived.

Our wedding day was the happiest day of my life. Without a doubt. I was not one of these must-have-a-perfect-day brides, but it was perfect beyond my wildest dreams. It didn't matter that I lost my gloves, my mom lost her shoes, the florist made mistakes with the flowers, my sister-in-law's kiddush cup got broken, the band didn't know our song, the vests were the wrong color, I spilled dressing on my dress, and the list goes on and on. I try to remember all of these things so that I can remind all my to-be-bride friends that despite mistakes, your wedding day is great. My honeymoon was also relaxing and fantastic. We had a blast.

When we got back, we moved in together in New Haven. I believe that there were things about our first year of marriage that made it particularly hard, such as the fact that he moved to where I was in school, he had no friends there, he had to get up at 3:30AM to drive an hour to the airport to take a flight to get to work, we got our first dog, we had no money, etc. But man, it was hard. Our first fight was over closet space. I sobbed when he said I had too much stuff and was taking up the whole closet and I threatened to sleep on the couch from the injustice of it all. I was devastated that now I had nowhere to go, no apartment of my own. I was stuck, FOREVER, with this rude mean closet hogger. We fought over how to train the dog and whether I was spoiling him. We fought over money because he is a saver and I am a spender. And we fought over him hating New Haven and me being unsympathetic. But I also adored being married to him, because by G-d, I do adore this man. He is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

I believe that no matter the circumstances, though, the first year of marriage is tremendously hard. You are adjusting your life from being a me to being a we, and even if you live fairly independent lives, there will come points in your new married life where you will have to run things by your spouse, or compromise on things that you don't want to compromise about, or you will disagree about something important to you, or your families will piss each other off. It is inevitable. I mean, have you seen Nick and Jessica? (I actually haven't, but I am hoping their first year is an example of this)

With time, though, I learned that the hubs didn't really respond to the sobs, silent treatment and threats to sleep on the couch. I learned to laugh at some of the things that made me mad. We both learned that we would never insult each other, no matter how mad we got. And in the end, we both want to be happy and harmonious the majority of the time, so we are united in that quest. Our second year was better than our first, and now our third year is far better than our second. Although we are incredibly blessed, it hasn't always been easy. In two and a half years we have graduated from law school, moved four times, hated my job, worked 100 hour weeks, gotten two dogs, done a job hunt, applied to business school, traveled four days a week, bought a car, bought a house, lived in the sublet from hell, wallpapered and painted and done other stressful household work. We have been spared from tragedies, but we have endured the typical family chaos and drama.

My lesson in all of this, is that despite the compromises, fighting and adjustments, it is totally worth it. Of course, you take risks by opening yourself up to another person, but by doing so you allow yourself to feel the kind of love, support and joy that can only be found when your best friend is also your partner in life. My future is intertwined in this other person, and my hopes and dreams are tied up in his existence in a way I never imagined. The first year IS incredibly hard and there are moments when you want to throw the bag of dog food at your husband, but there is also this wonderful feeling of being able to do anything because your best friend will do it with you.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Zachary!

Happy Birthday to our dear sweet nephew Zachary! He is 5 years old today!

Please note: no griffs were harmed in the taking of this picture.Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

Enjoying his duties as bun protector.

my little gremlin.

I challenge you to grow a beard like that! It takes real skill.Posted by Hello

Murray's cuteness has no bounds...

Murray has been totally frisky lately and the hubs taught him how to play tag. Totally serious- tag.

So lately he spends most of his time peeking at you from around corners and as soon as you look at him he throws himself down into play stance and then he takes off into the other room. If you don't follow him, he comes back to peek at you and tries again. He seems to LOVE this game and will play it for a full hour (or at least that is the longest I would play it with him). He devises new ways to run away from us each time we play (under the tables, around corners, etc.) and if we turn around and run away from him he chases us throughout the house. Then we turn around, play stance begins and he runs away again. You get the picture.

If you don't know what play stance is, it consists of butt in the air, front legs splayed out in front, tail high in the air. Terribly cute.

So yesterday I was ignoring him doing the peeking around corners thing as I watched television on the floor and I had my hair pulled back into a bun. Murray apparently decided that my hair bun was a toxic murderous hair bun, so he started attacking it by standing on the couch above me and pouncing on it. Each pounce entailed him biting it and running away. It was so funny that I grabbed the camera and would whip around to take a picture of him after he had attacked the killer bun. I took lots, but these two seem to exemplify his mood last night.

Please note the bushy tail and play stance. Do you see how Tango looks completely bored with this whole thing?

Murray's cuteness has no bounds. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

carrots and masturbators

I live in a nice, sweet, sleepy little town that uses up pages of its newspaper to argue over whether the police cars should be blue or white (pages and pages) and whether road construction should begin on this street or that street and what that will do to parking and neighborhood shopping. We are talking about exciting stuff here, folks.

So last night I get home from work to find the newest edition of our town newspaper on our front stoop. I am happy to report that due to our warmer temperatures I was able to open my front door without pushing aside piles of snow. Its the little things that count.

I settled down onto the couch with my copy that is only slightly soggy due to sitting in melting snow puddles and begin reviewing budget forecasts, complaints about snow removal, more on the road construction and parking issues and settle on the police blog (yippee!). Last week's edition had some traffic violations and drunk teens and compared to our life in New York City, this is pretty serious stuff. I know I shouldn't laugh because these poor individual's mistakes are aired in such a public forum, but just 'cause I shouldn't, doesn't mean its not funny.

I really liked the one where the 22 year old gets to his car and hears a hissing sound, which is the air escaping from his slashed tires and then someone drives up and they get into a fight. The police are called, the guy who drove up flees, and the 22 year old goes to wait inside his brother's house. When the police arrive the smell of marijuana is so strong that they arrest both guys, even though one of them is the tire-slashing victim. Ahhh, college students.

There are a couple of reports of cabbies being stiffed after taking their passengers somewhere, and even a kid who brought a pellet gun to school. Blah blah blah. These are a little sad, but nothing serious.

And then, we get to one of the final ones. I won't dare paraphrase, because I would surely ruin the integrity of the log...

Pervert reported
For the second time in as many weeks, police received complaints of a man masturbating in public.
A little before midnight on Jan. 25, a 29-year-old woman reported seeing from her window a white male of average height in his 20s, wearing a dark-colored winter hat with ear flaps, a dark ski jacket and dark jeans standing on her street near the town center. The woman said the man had pulled his pants to his ankles and made eye contact with her while masturbating.
As she called to her roommate to call the police, the woman said the man pulled up his pants and began walking back towards the town center. Police searched the area, but did not find a man matching the suspect's description.

That is the entire entry. And this is what follows. I sloooooowly slid down my couch onto the floor so as not to have to actually look out the window. It must also be noted that dear sweet hubbie removed all curtains from the house because he thought the previous owner's frilly white curtains were ugly. This results in perverts standing on the street being able to look into our house while masturbating, if they so choose. I was home alone, so I had no one to check for me whether said pervert was outside, so I proceeded to crawl around the house on my hands and knees to peek through the windows and make sure no one was out there. Then I spent the rest of the night sitting on the floor because from that angle no one could see me, and I couldn't see them.

Of course I UNDERSTAND that the odds that pervert would choose my house are slim, and I'm SURE the police are on the look out, and we DO live in a very safe neighborhood, but just in case pervert is standing outside, I'd rather not know.

This morning I email my friend, CRWatch, to ask her what I should do, besides get curtains, of course. Her response? " I think you should run to the store tonight and pick up some carrots. if the guy comes to your window, start cutting them in the window. See if he sticks around."

What would I do without her?

Monday, February 07, 2005

The People's Wil' Out Award

One of my law school girrrrrrrls has an incredibly enlightening blog called CRWatch. Click here to visit her page- you won't be disappointed.

CRWatch presents a Wil' Out Award every so often when people or organizations go beyond simple discrimination and malice into outrageous, inexcusable behavior. As CRWatch explains, the phrase “wilding” became known to the greater American public in the wake of the Central Park Jogger attack. Her attack was initially blamed on a group of young black boys from Harlem who were “wilding,” the news reports tell us, through Central Park, yelling, cavorting and intentionally frightening other park goers. (Note: No one says “wilding” but news reporters. All of us who use this phrase in our daily vocabulary pronounce it without the audible ‘d’. Therefore, one does not “wild out”, one “wiles out.”)

Now, CRWatch generally presents the Wil' Out Award to groups of people or organizations who are committing atrocities against civil rights. This blog, since we concern ourselves with nonsense, will present the Wil' Out Award to those everyday people who go beyond normal and acceptable behavior and run around the room screaming and shitting in the corners.

Today's Wil' Out Award is awarded on top of the recently awarded Stella Awards.
The Stella's are named after 81 year old Stella Liebeck who spilled coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's. That case inspired the Stella Awards for the most frivolous successful lawsuits in the United States.


5th Place (Tied)
Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving toddler was Ms. Robertson's son.

5th Place (Tied)
19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently did not notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal the hubcaps.

5th Place (Tied)
Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up since the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He could not re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation and Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for 8 days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found and a large bag of dry dog food. He sued the homeowner's insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The Jury agreed to the tune of $500,000.

4th Place
Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's Beagle dog. The Beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been a little provoked at the time as Mr. Williams, who had climbed over the fence into the yard, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

3rd Place
A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx (tailbone). The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier, during an argument.

2nd Place
Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a Night Club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out two of her front teeth. This occurred whilst Ms. Walton was trying to sneak in the window of the Ladies Room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

1st Place!!!!!
This year's runaway winner was Mr. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Grazinski purchased a brand new Winnebago Motor home. On his trip home from an OU football game, having driven onto the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly, the RV left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he could not actually do this.

The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new Winnebago Motor home. The company actually changed their manuals on the basis of this suit just in case there were any other complete morons buying their recreational vehicles.

This kind of stuff makes me proud to be a lawyer. Congrats you crazy wilers!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ode to Buffalo Wings

I hate football. So you can imagine my dread as Superbowl Sunday approaches. I know that I will be locked in someone else's house with lots of people who want to watch football and actually enjoy it. And yes, I suppose I could stay home, but my sports-loving husband begs me to come with him every year. I feel guilty saying no (plus I love him), so I end up at the Superbowl party year after year.

My only consolation is that there are always buffalo wings at Superbowl parties, and man, I LUV buffalo wings. I don't just love them, I LUV them. I have a list of my most favorite things in the whole wide world, and buffalo wings are right up there (along with Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee, but I'll save that for another day).

I believe that buffalo wings are a great gift on this earth. They are delightfully tangy, spicy, delicious and satisfying. If I had to choose one food to take with me to a deserted island, it would be buffalo wings. I also think that buffalo sauce can be used on other dishes like mashed potatoes, vegetables, sandwiches, soups, pizza, the list goes on and on. I am even known downstairs in our building's cafeteria as the buffalo wing lover. If I come downstairs and the options don't look appetizing, they will make up a special order of buffalo wings.

So this blog entry is to you, my dear buffalo wings. May you be celebrated this weekend as the wondrous creation that you are.

Oh, and for hubby's benefit, GO PATS!!!

Tango and Murray sunbathing in their climate controlled luxury surroundings (its not really luxury, but they don't need much). Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Tango and Murray

I adore my dogs.

I adore them because they make the hubs and I laugh even when we are having the lousiest day ever, and because they throw a party every time we walk in the door (even if we were just in the bathroom), and because all they ever want is to be with us and be loved. They are the best companions. I am sure that most people who have dogs feel like this about their dogs, because if not we wouldn't have the millions of websites and stores devoted to dogs in this world.

Every day as I get ready to go to work, Tango starts doing his moping dance. He mopes up the hall and then back down the hall. He lays in his bed with his head hanging off the side while I'm putting on my shoes and socks and gives me the most pitiful look he can muster. We go through this every morning, so you think at some point he would get used to it. The alarm goes off, he is ecstatic that I am up. 2 minutes later I get in the shower and the puppy depression begins. Oh the sadness. If we could harness Tango's sadness onto the web, we could power the Internet for three days with it. I mean, if you think you have problems, they are nothing compared to Tango's.

Murray, on the other hand, will be happy as a clam during all this time. Apparently, even though we do this every day, he forgets the end result every day. So he bounds after me from room to room, licking my feet or bringing me toys. He occasionally heads back to check on the depressed dog, but for the most part he is by my side swishing away with his tail.

Even though I know its crazy, I feel a little guilty every day. I wish momentarily that I could stay home, or better yet, that I had a job that allowed me to bring them to work with me. Honestly, I'd never quit.

So the other day, in a moment of guilt, I closed the door and crept around the side of the house to peer in at them from the window and see how sad they looked.

I made it just in time to see Tango take one last longing look at the door, and then pop right up and happily prance over to Murray to initiate the day's games. Head high, tail wagging, looking totally happy.

People, THE DOG IS PLAYING ME. Lots of folks tell me that dogs aren't manipulative, but really, I think Tango might be. He knows I am likely to leave, but he has to give it the good old puppy try.

I am putting this down in writing to make sure I remember. I work hard each day so that my dogs can have their climate controlled luxury surroundings and new toys and treats and food. The guilt is over.