12/28/06 09:39 - 38ºF - ID#24014
So... for your viewing (dis)pleasure, some pix from xmas in RI.
My mom's cookies put mine to shame. Check out those snowflakes!!
Christmas morning breakfast table- which mom said looks like a hotel. (?).
Mom made that gold thing- it's a bunch of walnuts. I think it looks neat.
The tree. Doesn't look so great in daylight, sorry. And that's a pineapple on the top- sign of hospitality. Not sure if it's a RI thing or a New England thing or what, but it's what we've always done.
Monster dogs. For some reason Gus (white) likes to lick Alice's (brown) ear.
Not sure Dad would like having this near crotch-shot online, but my brother gave him motorcycle gloves and so he was punching everything for a while.
One of the tiny helicopters in flight (you can see it in front of the windowshade).
My fake (and still nameless) puppy.
Oh and the new user pic is the bulldog-in-a-santa-hat that's on my new pajamas.
This year my parents had the fire company (or someone) come out to put lights on this huge (like 50ft) pine tree in the yard... it looks awesome, I need a pic.
Not a whole lot else to report. Flying back sat, unless I can convince my bro to drive me and avoid having to ship a bunch of xmas presents. Stupid of me not to drive. But I don't think he'll bite.
Went to Boston today to try on maid-of-honor dresses for my friend Betsy's wedding this summer. Oy. A bunch of Vera Wang monstrosities. Not good. And mom was grumpy and just kept telling me everything looked bad. Which it did, but she could have been nice about it. Brother pouting and whining the whole time about where to eat. Me cranky b/c I couldn't find a bathroom. And it was freezing out and I wasn't wearing a warm enough coat. So finally, the highlight of the day- Bodyworlds!!! So we get there... and it's sold out. Until after New Year's.
Dammit Dammit Dammit!!!
Ok, back to trauma center. I finally beat the stupid aneurysm level. [I like to think playing this game counts as studying/working.]
See you all soon!
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/27/06 11:19 - 38ºF - ID#24013
And while looking for that picture, I found this-
Which is the original of this:
So I told Mom I wanted to take her out, or do something, and she laughed at me and said don't be silly. She insisted. So I at least TOLD her that I was proud of her.
My brother invited me to go out with him tonight. Which is probably a momentous occasion. I have never drank with my brother. I probably should have gone. But he's 7yr younger than me, and I just couldn't imagine drinking with those kids I remember from grade school. Besides, I'm already in my (awesome) bulldogs-in-santa-hats pajamas.
Whenever I come home I have all these grand plans to see all my high school friends etc- but then find I would rather sit home with my parents.
Right now Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints is playing- I haven't heard this album in years- yet I find that I still know every single word to every single song. It reminds me of family vacations.
Off to Boston tomorrow. Going to see Bodyworks! I think I already posted that, oops. (I'm excited.)
But I just realized that it will make me miss my daily chat with Iraq...
Peeps I need you to keep from going off the deep end over this guy... I am trying to keep it all in check... I haven't even MET him... I don't know if I ever even WILL... But we've been 'talking' for at least an hour or two a day... I can't say it's flirty, I get no inkling that it's anything more than someone for him to chat with while stuck in the desert... And I have to not get ahead of myself... Ok? So don't let me be a freak and fuck this all up. Promise!!
Ok, time to get back to Trauma Center. (no, I did not get a Wii, but my dad got a DS.)
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/27/06 08:27 - 30ºF - ID#24012
My mom was four years sober yesterday. (and 3 years off cigarettes. I keep asking what she's going to give up next, food? Just to show us all how easy it is to give up vices?)
And we didn't do anything.
Christmas day she was talking about how she hadn't been to a meeting in a while [AA] but that she had to go the next day and wasn't really looking forward to it, because she had to chair the meeting. And I thought 'oh right, it's your anniversary'. She didn't know what she was going to say, hates it when everyone just talks about themselves, etc.
So yesterday morning she went to her meeting early, and I was up when she came back, and she said it went well. She just sort of started talking and before she knew it it was over.
Then her friend P (an old family friend of ours) presented her with her four year chip and her card.
So I admired her chip and read the card, full of nice messages like 'you're an inspiration' 'loved your talk, great message' etc. So I asked what she talked about, and she said Faith. Which surprises me a little, b/c the religious/spiritual side of AA is the part she doesn't like. But she said she talked about Faith in the broadest, most general sense- Faith that "everything will be all right". Not to sweat the details, but just to keep trying, and not to lose sight of the big picture, and to know that you can do it. A good message, indeed.
So she told me that story, and that was that. I think later dad asked "how was your meeting" and she said "good", the end. Doubt my brother even thought to ask.
Her friend came by later to say congratulations and give us christmas presents. [she gave my dad/brother this thing from a joke shop- a remote control fart machine. Oy. They love it and haven't stopped yet.] A few other friends/family called to say congratulations. And all the while we just sat there like it's any old day. Well not any old day- the day after christmas. We all sat there totally self-absorbed and like zombies, playing with our loot.
We wanted to see a movie, but she didn't feel up for it. So she stayed home, and my dad, brother and I went to dinner and a movie. (Night at the Museum. Very fun.) Then we came home and went to bed.
And I just woke up and was lying in bed, and all of the sudden thought "what a bunch of assholes we are. We should have done something." At least taken her out to dinner or gotten her a card or something. I mean, after 4 years this is kind of old hat, and I don't think she really cares, but still... it's a great milestone. We should at least let her know that we love her and support her and are proud of what she's done.
I think I'll go talk to my dad, maybe we can do something tonight.
P.s. totally unrelated- the Bodyworks exhibit is in Boston, FYI. I hear it's amazing, have always been meaning to go- we're going thurs. But in case anyone's interested, it's at least still on Buffalo's half of the country.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/25/06 05:26 - 46ºF - ID#24011
I was in the middle of geeking out and setting up some speakers, and all of the sudden my dad is like "hey are you busy? can you come over here for a second?" I was kind of annoyed, like "can't it wait?" and I look over, and my brother is standing on the other side of the dining room with the camera... looking like he wants to catch my reaction... I think "oh shit".
I walk closer, and they have a little plastic laundry basket with a red ribbon woven in it... and i look in and there's newspaper on one side with a little wet spot on it, and on the other side, the cutest little puppy curled up in a little bed. I mean it's really cute, all cuddled up. And I just thought "what the fuck are they thinking!!" They know how badly I want a dog, but also how I just totally can't have one right now.
So I think maybe it's a joke, and I look closer... it's making little snoring noises and I can see it breathing... And it's super cute.
So I touch it-
And it's totally fake.
It's a little mechanical dog that makes snoring noises and looks like it's breathing.
But it's super cute.
It's totally my new pet.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/25/06 09:14 - 34ºF - ID#24010
What am I, five?
Last night we ate another huge dinner, and then Dad drove us around town to ooh and ahh at the christmas lights. So a huge dinner combined with wine and a 40min drive and quiet music made me fall asleep in the car like a little kid. I told Dad he would have to carry me inside and put me to bed. (he refused).
So we skipped our christmas tradition of reading 'the night before christmas', but we did still open one present christmas eve- which is always pajamas to wear that night. And we went to bed. then mom and dad put the presents out while the 'kids' were in bed. We are much too old for this, but I love that they still sort of do the santa thing. Once they tried to get us to help, but it was too weird to be putting out my own presents.
But even though I was so tired last night, I woke up at like 7 this morning, and have been sitting in bed staring at the clock waiting for everyone else to wake up. Thank god for laptops! (and the time difference to Iraq allowed for a chat with my imaginary boyfriend- woohoo).
I feel like, well, a kid on christmas morning. We (3 kids) used to all wake up at like 4 and not be able to sleep so we'd meet in someone's room to wait til the designated hour, usually 7, and then we would explode into my parents' room. We would want to run downstairs and immediately open presents, but they would torture us and draw it out. mom would have to brush her teeth and put on red silk pajamas, jewelry and makeup. (dad on the other hand would look like a wild man with stick-up hair in a robe and slippers). finally when mom was ready, dad would go first- to 1: make sure santa had come, and 2: make sure he was gone. But really he would set up the camera, and put "Victory at Sea" on the stereo on full blast. (an odd family tradition, no idea where that came from). Then we would finally be allowed down, but we weren't allowed at the presents til after we did stockings. Then mom would try to convince us to 'take a break' and eat some breakfast [angel food cake french toast... mmmm] We would refuse.
So finally we would get to presents. Usually mom would start playing Santa, and would pick one present and give it to someone. We would watch that person open it. Then that person would pick the next, etc. But usually my little brother would get impatient and whiny, and we would want to give the presents we had bought, rather than pick randomly- so it would denerate into a free for all feeding frenzy.
Piles of wrapping paper carcasses everywhere, and this "what's next what's next" feeling. But I, being the geek that I am, often get gadget-y stuff. So I would spend forever with each gift. Reading the instruction book, playing with every little feature.... meanwhile my brother and sister tore through everything- it often ended in tears when they would go try to find presents for themselves, but all that was left were boxes labelled Alex, because I was so slow. haha.
Ah, family traditions. You would think I'm old enough to have outgrown it- but not at all. the only thing that has changed is that I sleep past 4am now. But not much. It's 9:10, and I am just starting to hear people move around...
Too bad there's no snow.
I wish you all a Merry, Merry Christmas!!!
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/24/06 11:17 - 37ºF - ID#24009
Fun with photobooth
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/24/06 08:01 - 38ºF - ID#24008
Ahh. Home. Randomness.
Greetings from Madhouse USA! (that's how my mom has been answering the phone lately.) My brother, who is 23, is acting like he is about 6. Bouncing of the walls and unable to shut up, he's so excited about christmas.
Well, I got my bag back. Unfortunately I think they let it sit on the runway in the rain for a few hours, since everything was wet. And, they obviously went through it, but didn't put the "we went through your bag" sign in there like they usually do- I felt so violated! Must have been that dangerous hair gel of mine that made them check.
When we were kids, we used to describe the countdown to christmas in how many times we had to "sleep and wake up". Like when he was four, my brother would go "all we have to do is sleep and wake up, sleep and wake up, sleep and wake up and it's CHRISTMAS!!" So I really can't believe that all we have to do is sleep and wake up.
Fortunately my brother's christmas present arrived. I bought him the "Atomic Chopper"- a super-tiny R/C helicopter that you can fly inside, "as advertised on tv". But I bought it from a spam email. And then got no confirmation, and they wouldn't answer my emails, so I thought they had ripped me off. I went so far as to order it again, to see if I got a confirmation, in case the first one didn't go through. (that's good thinking, right? "I got ripped off once, so let's do it again!") Well, ye of little faith, one arrived yesterday. (And apparently is called the Pico-Z, not the Atomic Chopper.) Now I'm wondering if I'll get another. Anyone need a mini-helicopter? I might have an extra.
So, I love being home, and I love seeing my family and the dogs, but MY GOD all we do is eat. No wonder I've never been skinny... The weight I lost last year has been creeping back up on me, and now I'm home- it is going to be time for a MAJOR diet when I get back.
We went to Ruth's Chris last night. They just opened one in Providence a few weeks ago. They haven't really worked out the kinks, service-wise, but it was still damn good. I don't eat steak that often, but this was a damn fine piece of meat. Cooked at 1800 degrees and served on 500 degree plates. (seriously). But I just can't get over how expensive it is!!! I had the cheapest steak, the petite filet, which was I think $37. And that is just a steak on a plate. Veggies/sides are like $8 each. Appetizers/salads are all >10. Desserts are like $15. And they talk you into buying bottled water instead of just tap water. And coffee etc. I don't even want to know what the bill was for the four of us.
But so then I thought, why am I such a fucking cheapskate? The whole dinner I was thinking/worrying about how much everything cost. Trying to pick cheap things off the menu. Mad at my brother when he said yes to another bottle of water, thinking "we can just drink tap water, that's fine". I mean really. Where did this come from? I wasn't paying for it. And if my dad couldn't afford it, he wouldn't offer. If he doesn't mind, why should I? I really don't understand where this cheap streak in me came from. I think I have some guilt issues about the fact that I grew up with money. Not tons and tons, but we never really worried about it, and we are all crazy-spoiled. (but hopefully not spoiled BRATS is what I say.)
So anyway, I think I'm still full from dinner last night. And tonight we're going out for another fancy dinner, and of course tomorrow will be snack-city all day long, and then Mom's big christmas dinner...
Well anyway. I hope you are all doing well. My phone has not rung once since I got home, which is a little funny, but I guess nice. But I kind of miss you guys.
Merry Christmas Eve everyone! (except Terry. Just pretend it's a regular day, man. It's almost over.)
P.s. Merry christmas to me!!! Got home from dinner at like midnight last night- only to find messages on AIM from my imaginary boyfriend (the neurosurgeon in Iraq) checking to see if I'd made it home ok. Woo-hoo!!! That boy is fine. I'm sure nothing will come of it, since things like that don't happen in my world, but it sure is a nice little daydream.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/23/06 02:29 - 52ºF - ID#24007
Air travel fucking sucks
You should probably all just stop reading now b/c I am cranky and don't even know where to start.
I left my house in Buffalo at about 430pm today. I got to my mansion (haha) in RI at 130am. WTF. Since you can't fly ANYWHERE direct from buffalo, I had to go through PHL- worst airport ever. I don't think I have ever flown through philly and had something not go wrong. So I always vow "I am never flying through philly again"- but then next time I need a ticket, all non-PHL flight to providence are like $500. But buffalo to philly is a 50min flight. Philly to providence is 40 min. So why the fuck does it take 9 hours to get home? I could have (and should have) driven, and gotten here HOURS earlier, and saved a few hundred bucks.
If the airlines' goal is to make people think "wow, flying is such a huge inconvenient, unfriendly, uncomfortable, miserable, pain in my ass that I am never going to fly again"- they have nearly succeeded. Seriously. As my brother put it tonight- all an airline has to do is two things. Get you there, and get your bag there, in a somewhat timely fashion. They can do neither. I can't remember the last time I flew that there was not a delay/cancellation and/or lost bag.
So I get to buffalo. Checking in is no problem. I get to the gate- well according to the alerts orbitz is sending my phone, my flight is an hour and half delayed. According to the unfriendly guy attending the gate intermittently- everything was on time. Gee, guess who was right. Now I know it's unfair to take it out on the airport people, it's not their fault, and I feel badly for them. But when they announced that half the people were going to miss their connections, and to go to the ticket counter to get rescheduled for tomorrow- you could sense the rage in the air. So I guess on that front I'm lucky. I made it out, just not on time. And they don't tell you "it's 2hr late". They just keep telling you "it's 15 min late" over and over and over. Then we got on the plane, and were told we were going to sit there for an hour. but that we had to wear our seatbelts, and keep all phones and electronics off. Gee, that's fun. And apparently they don't even serve drinks on the plane anymore. And- get this- there are ADS on the back of the tray tables! Like mini billboards!! And I like that there are two bathrooms for the 6 people in first class- and two for the other million in coach. (that came in to play later.)
So anyway, I got on the plane, and as I was putting my stuff away, noticed the people across the aisle from me- DrChlorine and Allison!!! They COMPLETELY ignored me the whole flight. it was funny. She is SO eighteen. I was amused. So I took a picture of their backs as I walked to my gate in philly. Here you go:
And Paul, I thought you might get a kick out of this, in the buffalo airport.
But ok, so I get to philly. My flight is delayed, of course. So I'm waiting at the gate playing gameboy like a five year old. I noticed some jerky chippewa looking kids lingering around, didn't pay them much mind. Finally board the plane. Get to my row. Cute like 8 year old looking girl sitting alone in the window. And chippewa boy in the aise. "umm, i think you're in my seat" "which seat" "9D" "no I'm in 9D". I show him my ticket. He says "ok I'll move over" and goes to the middle. I sit next to him, and am overcome by the reek of booze and garlic belches. In an effort to be helpful he chucks my seatbelt buckle into my lap, and scratches my ipod. Thanks dude. Then all of the sudden he gets up and leaves. And is gone for a while. I think "oh good, maybe he changed seats." Then he comes back. Still all stanky. Climbs in his seat, and leans forward, leaning his head against the seat in front of him. I notice he's working his mouth, perhaps as if it's watering. I notice the whole row behind me is empty. I almost say "there's an empty row behind us, if you're not feeling well." Then decide to take the row myself. Almost feel the need to explain to him why I'm moving, then realize I need to explain nothing. So I settle into my own whole row.
Sure enough, as soon as we take off, he up and pukes all over what was my seat. In case he didn't stink enough. Then stumbles to the bathroom, where he remained for the entire rest of the flight, including landing.
The stewardesses helped the little girl into my row, and she was the sweetest wisest 10 year old I've ever met. Makisha, from St. Thomas. She said amazing things like "I don't feel bad for the sick man b/c he smelled like he was drinking" and then "but i hope the sick man is safe." And later "I had four friends. But then one of them was talking about me behind my back. So now I have three friends and it's better." All in her adorable St. Thomas accent. She was going to RI to visit her dad, while her mom was in the hospital in St. thomas having a baby. She is really hoping to see some snow, and wants an ipod for christmas. She offered me half her gum when her ears started hurting, in case mine were too. And at the end of the flight gave me a hug and wished me a merry christmas. I love her.
Then I saw drunk boy at baggage claim and gave him dirty looks.
Then I spent a long time at baggage claim because, you guessed it, they lost my bag. I guess 3 hour layovers aren't long enough to transfer luggage. So I went to file a claim. There was some girl there who had been waiting for her bag since 9am. (14 hours. Go home honey.) Showed them my barcode sticker. Assumed they would scan the barcode, which would match the scan on my bag, and they would know which plane my bag was on. Oh no. Of course not. They don't actually scan the bags, and have no idea what plane they're on. Gee, maybe they wouldn't lose so many bags if they DID scan them.
Saw a man in a santa hat and woman in reindeer horns and thought for a terrified second it was my parents, but it wasn't. Finally found dad and bro, and made it home. Sleepy mom woke up to say hi, and I roused the pups from the dead and ate some cookies.
The thing is, a few hours of sleep and waking up in my old house with my family around and nothing to do but soak up christmas spirit will be all it takes to make me good ole' Smily-Jenks again. :)
So, I think that's just about enough bitching for today, and I'm sure you all agree. ;)
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/22/06 04:11 - 47ºF - ID#24006
BUT- my flt home to see the fam (& the puppies!) leaves in 2hr. Yay! First xmas @ home in years.
AND I IM'd Dr McDreamy (in Iraq) for 2hr today- so i guess it's not all bad.
Location: Buffalo, NY
12/21/06 03:26 - 44ºF - ID#24005
A (very hot, if his pictures are to be believed) pediatric neurosurgeon (!!) on myspace just sent me a message because he is moving to buffalo next month.
Location: Buffalo, NY