Wednesday, December 29, 2004


So it's almost a new year. Sadly, Dick Clark won't be able to ring in a new year of human tragedy, war and loneliness with snappy lip-synched pop performances to help us all forget the shit that's happened this year. He'll be in the hospital, and instead I think we get Carson fucking Daly. Ew. I will be avoiding the television.
I always get to thinking about what I've learned in the past year, and how the past year has been in comparison to other years. It's kind of a mind-boggling task, so I am writing it all here, for you great internet viewers to assess. Think of it as a barometer when considering your own year past.

*I got to repay some of my "I changed your diapers when you took huge shits as a baby" karma by taking care of my mother after her hip replacement surgery. It wasn't an easy task, and it took a lot of patience, which I am not very long in. But I'm not sorry, because my Mom got to get better in her home instead of some horrible rehabilitation center. I also learned that despite my talent with taking care of kids, who require about the same amount of attention as a woman who's had her bones taken out, there is no way I am ready to have one because I am too easily frustrated. Pharmesutical companies, you will continue to get my money for the 28 pills that keep the babies away for the foreseeable future.

*I lost some weight. It's shallow, but it's awesome because the kids I babysit don't pat my stomach and ask "Amy, when is the baby going to come out of your stomach?" Also, I am fit, so I can kick your ass if you call my svelte new frame chubby.

*I've had more mojo with the men. I don't think it's a product of losing the weight, although I'm sure it helped. From the bulky and muscular to the tall and gangly, I have enjoyed you all as you pass by on the train, saunter around parties and make my days much better.

*I have my job, still. Which is a miracle since I send dirty emails all damn day long. But, to be fair, I also helped make a big ol' history book, keep the production editor happy/sane (hi Karen! you rule!) and be complimented by my bosses in front of the company president.

*I have awesome friends. I think this is the first year in quite a while that I've ended up with more friends at the end of the year than at the beginning. To Heather, Amy Hurd, Kristen, Alicia, Ehrin, Annette, Butchie, Carolyn, Jen and Kerri, welcome to the fold. To all of you who've been around for longer, thanks for continuing to put up with my antics, histrionics and off-key singing of "All by Myself."

*Two words: Red Sox. Another two: Fucking rule. Another two (for the Yankee fans): Ha ha.

*I am glad to have all the good people in my life be safe. The tsunami in Asia has reminded me that we're all just walking around in these fragile little shells that can be broken at any second by any freak thing, and I am glad that you are all safe. Also, I am tempted to ship myself to Asia to help all these people. Instead, I sent $35, and I highly reccomend you do the same.

*To the people who have passed away this year that I've known: you'll be missed.

*I saw two Indigo Girls shows this year! Awesome! (Shut up. I love them.)

*The people I babysit for had another baby. Which is awesome, because they are great parents and are raising wonderful children.

*Kendra is preggers!

*It's okay to like cheesy pop music. See also, Ashlee Simpson.

*I got to see the midwest when Stephanie and I went to Colorado. I'm glad I saw it, but even more glad that I don't live there.

Monday, December 27, 2004

To Wed and Settle or to be a Cat Lady?

Every year right around Christmas, we visit my 3rd cousin, Janie. Janie isn't a close relative. We only see her around Christmas, or my Mom will see her at a wake if some distant relative I've never met dies. Janie is damn near seventy years old, if not in her seventies, and gets around better than my mother, who is fifty with a bad case of arthritis. When you think of the prototypical "old lady" the odds are good that you would envision this woman. She lives alone in a little rasied ranch in Coventry with the two cats she adopted from a woman who was about to send them to the pound. Her eyeglasses take up most of her face. Janie doesn't drive her Buick after dark. She feeds birds and even leaves corn cobs out on the porch for the squirrels.
In this woman's life, I see where I could possibly end up in my own life. I joke about being an old lady who lives with cats, but as I get older, pickier and it seems that I am going to spend my entire life without bringing a boyfriend home for the family to meet. I don't pity Janie at all. She's done so much in her life that I'm probably never going to catch up. Janie was a teacher and got to travel the world. Even now, in her damn near seventies, she voulenteers three days a week at the hospital gift shop and just got back from a safari in Africa. Yes, this woman took a photo safari to Africa with her sister and neice. In her seventies.
My grandfather's explanation for the extensive travels Janie's had is that "educated people" want to travel more. I don't think it's bad to want to get out, get away and see something you could never experience where you live. It makes you appreciate other places more and love the place you're in more.
My Mom always thinks of Janie as the cool older cousin that she'd see around the holidays and would give her Nancy Drew mysteries to read at Christmas. I think my Mom puts such a large value on our little family that she can't imagine living a life without the experience of being married and having kids. My Mom's eyes lit up at the mention of a safari, of having no fear of going someplace you've only read about. But I can see myself following in Janie's footsteps. "Nobody was good enough for Janie to marry," my Mom tells me. "Her sister had the professor, and Janie could never get a catch that good for herself." My own family seems to think that I'm going to spend the majority of my life alone. My grandmother says she doesn't see me being married until I'm 40. Maybe I won't get married. What's the point of settling for someone you don't want? As long as you have a life outside of yourself and people to love you, does it matter if you're married or not? Janie always has someone to watch her cats when she travels, someone to visit with during Christmas and is always has stories about what she does all year.
But I wonder if Janie wonders what it would be like to be like my Mom. To have two kids and to have at least known being in love with a man enough to marry him and bear his children. I wonder if she would trade in all the pictures of lions and zebras to have a house full of pictures of a family of her own, with kids who have her blue eyes behind glasses and a man good enough for her to love. Which is the better way? And will I know before it's too late to have it both ways?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Beer (an Ode)

Yet another work of genius from Amy and Kristen. Who are bored to death at work and about to lose our minds (well, at least I am). Enjoy!

You spring from the loins of amber waves of grain
Oh bringer of joy and banisher of inhibitions, usher forth your bounty!
In 30-racks and kegs you come
To aid in merriment and assist in exiling fear
At parties, bar mitzvahs, family gatherings and holidays
You bring joy while obscuring foresight and driving away regrets
When I wake with temples pounding, I do not mind
Because the sweet release floweth from your bottle and chases away the pain
Who does not love you, in drunkness and sobriety
As you never neglect to call and are always there for comfort
Unlike the men you give us confidence to catch
But you know we shall always return to you, arms outstretched, lusting for your seasonal brews
Your pilsners, your stouts, your black and tans,
Whether Ice, cold-brewed or frosty
You render our fine motor skills useless
And bubble delightfully as we stumble and trip
Into beds, futons, soft spots on the floor
With books for pillows and coats for blankets we tumble into the arms of ill-gotten men
Who, upon waking, mumble and stumble out the door
And never return, leaving us, once again, basking in your warm, amber glow.
O beer! You cause and cure so many ills, the line is blurred between your good and evil
And yet your intoxicating scent and your malted barley and hops have a hold on us, never to be relinquished!
You go with baseball, football, basketball and hockey
And make even election-night coverage bearable as we sleep into the sweet release of a drunken sleep and forget our problems.
Oh beer! My one true love!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Temptation at the Holiday Party

The holiday office party is kind of like the Tree of Knowledge in the Bible. There's all these temptations, and you've been warned by many entities (God, corporate counselors, "How to get (and keep) a job for Dummies" books) but the pull of temptation is far too great ("Open bar? Whoop whoop!"). This is my second holiday party at Bedford. Last year, I had only been a "technical" employee for about two months, so I was still afraid I'd be fired for the most minor of infractions ("You slurred your speech! Fired!"). This year, I have been of great service to the company, so I figured if I had a *few* extra drinks, it wouldn't be so bad.
During these company functions I have only one aim: consume as much food/booze/cake as possible to increase the amount of money the company spends on me. They certainly don't pay me enough to make me say, "Oh, food. Pish posh." Instead, I think, "My paycheck doesn't clear until midnight and I don't have any money until then, so I'd best fill up now."
And, oh, did I fill up on both food and drink. Time flew by, since I was drinking 2 drinks an hour for about four hours. I drank a Sam Adams as I watched my coworker's son knock down bowling pins with his stomach. I had a Cape Codder as I caught up with Amy Hurd and Heather who left Bedford about six months ago. I had a glass of white wine as I met Arthur's wife. I had a glass of white wine in my hand when I stumbled on the steps (it was the heels, people!) and spilled wine on Kristen and Arthur. Somewhere in there I had two egg salad sandwiches and a cookie.
Let me say this to those nay-sayers who advocate for teetotalism during office functions: ha ha. I was as drunk as Johnny Damon when he got into Fenway after the World Series, but about four people knew it. I didn't fall flat on my face in front of the company president. I didn't shout obsenities at the recently-promoted associate editor who implied I was underdressed. I took my drunk ass home and puked in the privacy of my own apartment as a young woman should.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

How to Dismantle my Heart

This just in: U2 freakin' rocks.
I love U2. I have always appreciated them, but never to the level of fervent that I have achieved since How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb came out. I can't stop singing the songs. From the fungus-like (it just keeps growing on me!) "Vertigo" to the very Depeche-Mode-esque "Love and Peace or Else," I am hooked. I love them all. Especially Bono and the Edge. I may even love them more than Sting. Is U2 on the freakin' Bridget Jones soundtrack? Or on The Emperor's New Groove? Nope. (I did hear a rumor that U2 will be contributing a song to the OC, which I can't say I'm wild about, but whatever.)
That is all. Soon I will write something good again (probably about the holidays).