Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Tomorrow is my birthday; tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I've spent a lot of this past year grieving and trying to figure out how to move forward, which undoubtedly, is of more interest to me than to anyone out there in cyberland. But there are a lot of things that I am grateful for, even though I probably don't say it often enough or loud enough to compete with all the other noise.

Here are some of the major things that come to mind:

  • My friends and family, old and new, near and far. It's been a tough year, and I cherish the love and support. I don't know how I could possibly have made it through the past year -- or at least the past 10 months -- without you. You are, collectively and individually, the best.

  • My job. I really like what I do and where I do it.

  • Nana. The past year-and-a-half has been really tough for you -- probably more so than anyone else -- but you teach by example that, no matter what, it's important to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward.

  • My sister. Even though we disagree about things -- a lot of things -- I am so grateful for having spent the last 30-some-odd years trying to make each other giggle. I can't wait to be an aunt and tell your kid (or kids) about how wonderful it was to grow up having a best friend/partner-in-crime who lived in the same house.

  • My brother. Thanks for making me laugh harder than anyone has a right to, for crying with me when we both needed it, and, in general, for being a good, good man. I am so proud of you.

  • My dad. You are a rock. A crazy, weird rock, but a rock nonetheless.

Clearly, there's a lot more -- good food and wine, vodka, baseball, Entourage, cashmere, high threadcount sheets, homeownership, my Kitchen-aid stand mixer, naps, hugs, Robert Downey Jr. -- but the list keeps getting longer, and I keep thinking of more and more things. So I'll stop for now, count my blessings, and hope that this next year is better than the last.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday musings

I miss my mother. I don't say it aloud very often, but it's there, all the time -- a constant subtext lingering just below the surface of everything I say and everything I do. Even when I am completely happy, it's not without a sense of profound loss.

Don't get me wrong -- I am happy. Things are good. In those minutes, the sense of loss strikes when I wish I could pick up the phone and tell my mother.

But I think that next few weeks will be a challenge of another sort. It'll start with my birthday and Thanksgiving, the first of both without my mother, and on the same day, no less. And then the rest of the holidays, which seem like they're off in the distance now, but will soon be rolling in like the tide. And even though I'm trying not to be sad or to dwell -- to keep things light and in perspective -- there's a part of me that wants to crawl into bed -- preferably with pie -- and not come out until after New Year's.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Interrogation, Dad style

My father called this afternoon. He's not a great conversationalist, to say the least, which is one of the main reasons we're down to talking about once a week. Generally, his conversations are pretty much, "Hi, how are you? Just wanted to check in. Have anything important to report? Heard anything interesting from anyone else? Okay, love you. Bye."

Today, though, he was trying to get information out of me. I was talking to him while wandering around the grocery store, and he said something that made me stop walking and ask, sequentially, "Why?" What have you heard?" and the kicker, "Are you trying to pry?"

He quickly backed off, saying, "I don't pry. Your mother would pry, if she was here. But I don't do that -- I just ask questions."

I laughed, because ordinarily, he doesn't even do that. And clearly, if he's going to get information out of me, he's going to need to refine his interrogation technique.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dog Days

So this dog fostering thing? Let's just say that it hasn't gone swimmingly. Or, to be more precise, it has.

On Tuesday (gotta love federal holidays!) I took the dog to the dog park. Actually two dog parks. At the first one, there were three giant dogs that wanted to chase him, and he did not really like that. After seeing if the little guy could hold his own for a couple minutes -- he did surprisingly well -- my friend and I packed him back up into the car and drove to a different park. And PJ was really really good with the other dogs for a few minutes, until one little brown puppy (about half his size) drove PJ to run away -- into the creek.

So yeah, I spent my Veterans' Day fishing the dog out of the creek. And then giving him a bath. (He liked the bath a lot, but did not like being dried off. He growled and snapped at me like you wouldn't believe!)

Of course there's the other thing. The thing where he tries to jump up into my bed over and over again and keeps missing. Eventually he succeeds, but it is really really annoying when I'm trying to sleep. Combine that with the having to get up before the crack of dawn to walk him and let's just say that I am the most tired I've been in months.

Still, I wanted to tough it out with him -- but my neighbors are not in agreement. The dog apparently barks at every single noise that he hears, which, in a mid-rise building in a quasi-downtown area, is a lot. When I'm there and I tell him to calm down, he gets quieter, but when I'm not . . . . And the neighbors have been complaining. So, as a result, as of tonight, the dog is going to another foster home.

Ultimately this dog experiment has been an abysmal failure -- but at least I've learned that maybe it's not the right time or place for me to have a dog and maybe that'll help abate the puppy envy for a while. In the meantime, I'm pretty sure that the agency will find PJ a suitable permanent home, and, as an extra added bonus, I will always have the memory of a tiny little dog humping a giant orange cat-shaped pillow.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Puppy pictures!

So, here's PJ. He's a Maltese.

Right now, he's alternating between standing at the door barking at my neighbors, and lying in front of the door gearing up for more barking.

As if he's big enough to protect either of us.

Monday, November 03, 2008


So after telling off the girl who cut in front of me in line Friday night, I spent the rest of my Halloween at the Coldplay concert -- which was very good -- and then eventually went home and went to sleep, gearing up for a big excursion to Ikea the next morning.

At about 3 am, I woke up when someone started pounding on my door.

Disoriented at first, I initially thought it was part of a particularly peculiar dream. But then they pounded again.

So I got up and went to the door -- without my glasses. I tried to look out the peephole, but I didn't see anyone, so I said, "Who is it?"


I didn't want to open the door, especially since I couldn't see anything. So I said "What do you want?"

They asked for some girl named Emily Carroll. I told them that they must have the wrong apartment. They then said the right apartment number, and I told him that no one by that name lived there. So they left. I never even had to open the door.

I went back to sleep, annoyed and confused. Why would the police be knocking on my door at 3 am unless it was an emergency, and if so, why would they go away that easily? The whole thing makes no sense.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Out of Character

I'm not sure whether it's because of my profession or in spite of it, but for some reason, I have evolved into a particularly non-confrontational person. Unless it's of dire importance, I generally let things go -- or, at worst, passive-aggressively complain after the fact.

So, if, for example, someone cuts in front of me in a line, my general reaction is to let them do it. Sometimes I'll turn to the person behind me and say something loud enough for others to hear like "I don't understand why people think they're too important to wait in line," but more often than not, I'll just let it happen and quietly stew.

On Friday, however, I stood up for myself. I was on line to put my name on the list for a table at a busy (and somewhat overrated) restaurant about 90 minutes before the Coldplay concert. Some girl pushed in front of me to get to the hostess stand. Initially I thought that they had called her name for a table, but when she got up to the front, she was putting her name on the list -- the same thing I had been waiting to do, the same thing the girl in front of me had been waiting to do.

It only took me a second to decide to put an end to it. I took a step over to the side and said "Did you actually just push me out of the way to put your name on the list?"

She said, "Oh, I didn't know I did that."

I said "How did you not realize it when you physically pushed me out of the way?"

The hostess had no choice. She took the name of the girl that was really in line in front of me, and then my name. The girl who cut in front? Well, she didn't get her name on the list, and left in a huff, clearly embarrassed.

And I felt vindicated. Maybe I should stand up for myself more often.