Friday, December 2, 2016

At the Movies

I’ve been at my new job for a year now
One of the biggest adjustments for me, aside from getting used to all the accents and cultures, has been dealing with people (work colleagues and customers) strictly via email
I mean I am hard enough to love and appreciate in person and now, now the only way to do it is through the written word with people who have never met me and therefore, do not know “my voice”
And, to boot, I am in contact it with more non Americans than Americans
Which means they do not always pick up on my pop culture references (much like my poor husband)
And sometimes, things get lost in translation (literally and figuratively)
The majority of my work colleagues I interact with on a daily basis are in Sweden, China, and the UK
And though most of my customer are here in the US (with in Canada and Brazil) they are concentrated on the West Coast
So we are in no fewer than 4 time zones….makes it hard to get anything done in a day
Emails are not answered within an hour of hitting someone’s inbox
Transactions usually occur over a 48 period and an email is typically answered anywhere from 8-24 hours after it’s been sent
As someone who is all about instant gratification, you can imagine my frustration
Sometimes, I have days like today where I walk in and spend the first two to three hours of my day doing nothing but writing
And by writing I of course mean emails
Sometimes, just for fun and to pass the time, because writing emails like this for hours at a time gets really boring as no one answers you back, I make up games
One time, I wrote song lyrics into my emails
Another time, I threw in some movie lines
Sometimes I write in idioms
Today, I decided to incorporate movie titles in all my emails
All in context
And all with the proper capitalization
Like this:
The two cathodes we had in stock were literally Gone in 60 Seconds as I received back to back requests
I sent that pump out a couple weeks ago for The Italian Job
We were thisclose to closing the sale and just like that (insert snap of the fingers for dramatic effect here), it was Gone with the Wind
The HV Unit finally arrived after apparently traveling the world via Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Please make sure the information provided is accurate….I’d hate to be caught Telling Lies in America
In my follow up email about the HV Unit above: Well, could have been worse, it could have gone Around the World in 80 Days
I’ve sent out at least a dozen emails like this
My last email was sent to my favorite work colleague ever
I interact with him multiple times a day
And in “talking” to him over the past year, we’ve learned quite a bit about each other – we talk about our kids, spouses, sports, politics, music, books, movies – you know, all the usual stuff
What’s great is he gets me – he understands my humor and totally hears my voice in email
And, he usually figures out what I’m doing....then starts to play along
One of the things I have learned about him is he is a huge American football fan
I also recently learned he has taken to printing some of my emails and hanging them up in the break room
Earlier today, I sent him an email with the following passage (we’re trying to wrap up and resolve a customer issue):
Well, it seems to me we have made All the Right Moves and provided him with enough options to choose from – now it’s up to him
But, I do believe this can wait until Monday; it’s getting late there and I don’t want you burning the Friday Night Lights
So how about we give it the weekend and come up with The Game Plan Monday?
Hopefully it won’t be Two for The Money of one cathode because the 675 hours it ran was well within the parameter of expected performance
Once we get “so and so” to realize that, maybe he’ll get with The Program and stop asking for The Replacements every 400 hours
Thanks again for all your help - your protection of The Blind Side relieved the pressure I was starting to feel from “so and so”
Have a good time with your Little Giants this weekend
Talk to you Monday
Until then, I remain Everybody’s Favorite All American
And I signed my name
Within five minutes,
He responded:
You win
I’ve printed this and hung it up in the break room with some of your other emails…. this is definitely in the top 5
And you are indeed my favorite American

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Great Pumpkin

We love Halloween
Not really for the ghouls and gore
More for the candy and the carved pumpkins
Sean spends hours carving intricate designs
I'm in charge of scooping out the pumpkin guts
I am also in charge of carving the obligatory and traditional Jack-o-Lantern
Sean is then in charge of fixing at least one eye and the mouth on said pumpkin
Sean and Lucy will spend hours talking about and deciding what the design on the pumpkins should be
They search for the perfect picture whilst I scoop out pumpkin guts readying their canvas
This year though, Lucy had other plans
Recently, Lucy introduced us to Kung Fo (Fu) Kitty
Maybe you saw his picture I shared a couple weeks ago
He's a black cat
He wears a red face mask
His paws are always raised and at the ready as is one of his back legs
He comes from the mountains of Japan which he has spent his whole life protecting
Kung Fo Kitty can kick your ass
But not for no reason, he's actually here to protect us from bullies and evil
This afternoon, Lucy informed her Dad she'd like Kung Fo Kitty on her pumpkin
Sketch him out for me said Sean as he handed her a pencil and piece of paper
Lucy drew Kung Fo Kitty's head complete with mask 

Then Sean took the pencil and sketched out Kung Fo Kitty as a template, on paper first

Then, he turned that into a "drawing" on his computer
Which he then printed as a template

He laid the template on the pumpkin and went to work
and 2.5 hours later..........

The Great Kung Fo Kitty Pumpkin

Friday, October 28, 2016

An Ode to my Old Friends

This article made me think of and miss some old friends

Friends I had some of the best times with....

Bob Dover - I seem to remember doing shots of this with you and Kirk......but I recall flames......
Brandon - I'm pretty sure you were there too...pretty sure you were driving...pretty sure you should not have been...but then again, none of us should have been
If I make it to 90, I'm going to start drinking again....and someday, I shall be Dorothy
Paul Sikora -
My Ted Williams jersey is still one of my favorite, most prized possessions
As is the Cubs hat I bought with you the first time I ever went to Wrigley
I have a vague recollection of tearing up
Still gives me goosebumps
My memories of watching Ken Burns's Baseball with you are some of my favorite
I miss your Seinfeld like musings and now and then, have a thought or idea that I know only you would appreciate and understand
Harry Carey still has a special place in my heart
Someone asked me the other day who I was cheering for
As a self proclaimed and defined purist, I replied:
I only have one AL team, the Red Sox
Never would I cheer for another .. even one managed by Tito
In 1990 something, I met this guy Paul - he loved baseball and smoking as much as I did
He introduced me to the Cubs
Because of him, because of his love of the game, the Chicago Cubs became my NL team
They have my support
I follow them all season with little fanfare, but they are my NL team
Mark Grace is still my favorite
And Kerry Wood was a dream to watch
He then asked me if we were in touch now watching the Series
I told him I'm living and dying every pitch with Paul in solidarity, in hope, in silence...but no, no talking....don't want to mess with anything
He shook his head and said baseball and its fans are way too superstitious for him
I guffawed
No we're not I declared while I poured a circle of salt around myself, said Ernie Banks's name 14 times,
Ted Williams's name 9 times,
shoved three pieces of Wrigley's gum in my mouth
all whilst genuflecting with some of the Holy Water I keep in my bag for just such an occasion
We most certainly are not!

October 27, 2004

October 27, 2004
Still rocks me to my core
I watched the win with my kid sister
Neither of us said a word when it was over
We were in stunned silence for minutes
One of us finally blurted out
Holy shit! Did we just win?
Yeah, we just won
Fuck - we just won
We let out a whoop, a single whoop, hugged
And then I went home
I think we were in shock
Drove with a goofy grin on my face, windows rolled down, WEEI turned up
From Watertown to Medford, people were on the streets, spilling out of house cheering, laughing, screaming, crying
When I got home, my landlady and I shared a class of champagne together
Which turned into three (ok fine, the bottle)
Then we drank beer
We sat on the front stoop in silence for about 20 minutes
The people across the street were screaming and yelling enough for the whole street
I never thought I'd see it she said
I know
I just saw it she said
You did I replied
I wish my Mom could have seen it
I know I said
Is your grandfather a fan? she asked
He is I said, though he has a soft spot for the Braves
I bet he is losing it about now she said
Probably...not as much as my Uncle John Demaso...but I'm sure Grampy is pretty excited
Grampy died a little over a month later at the age of 91
But he saw them win
For the first time in 86 years
I went to the Parade with my youngest sister, her roommate and Karen Smith
Karen, by the way, almost did not come because she had laundry to do
The Red Sox win for the first time in 86 years and Karen says she may not come to the Parade because she has no clean clothes
WTF Karen Smith?!?!
I have a washer Karen
I know but....
Karen! The Red Sox just won! for the first time in 86 years...
I know but.....
KAREN! You will put your dirty laundry in a basket, you will put the basket in the car, you will come to Boston....WE HAVE TO GO TO THE PARADE!!! THEY WON
OK OK I'll come
It literally took that long to convince her
Karen drove 6+ hours on Friday night from Baltimore after work for the Parade...dirty laundry in tow
We did her laundry and stocked up on snacks for the next day
I remember wandering through the grocery store at 11pm that night giggling and giddy because we were going to a Parade
A Parade because the Red Sox won the World Fucking Series
We met my sister and Katie at Back Bay and headed towards the Library
The crowds were overwhelming
The vibe was amazing
And even though it was cold and a bit windy, no one cared
The Curse was broken
Our backpacks were filled with food and know, to keep us going throughout the day because we were not taking breaks for food or drink
No way were we going to miss a moment of this
We took nips out of a flask
We jumped up and down to stay warm
Every once in awhile, one of use would say I can't believe we won!
I don't think we ate a thing
For some reason, Karen and I felt the need to purchase the biggest container of hummus we could find....
Because nothing says Fuck you Curse of the Bambino like an 18oz Party Size Container of hummus
I don't even think we opened the hummus
But we had it just in case
To this day, hummus makes me think of the Parade.....
....Of the Duck Boats Boats filled with the players, their families, the team owners, the coaches, the management
The players were taking pictures and video of us just as we were taking pictures and video of them as they rolled by
I am not sure any person on the streets that day, player, fan, or coach, had fully processed what had happened
But we were all there celebrating
Laughing, crying, cheering, yelling, drinking. still crying, screaming, dancing, whooping...
It was the best party I have ever been to in my life
Those last two have yet to sink in
And though I relish those wins, nothing will ever be like 2004.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Election 2018

I loved Curt Schilling when he was wearing a Red Sox uniform
I loved him even more when his actual sock turned red
My love peaked for him in 2007
I noticed him again in maybe 2010/2011
I don't really remember when it was...whenever he returned as a baseball analyst
I truly enjoyed listening to him talk about baseball
He loves the game
He knows the game
And he respects the game
But, I do not like listening to him talk about anything else
I did not like listening to him talk about 38 Studios
Maybe because I don't understand the whole gaming world culture
Or maybe because he seemed to take advantage of some folks and his status here in New England
I did not like listening to him about politics
He started to get rabid and sometimes, said things that I just had no idea how to process or interpret
He started to make Glen Beck look placid
I especially did not like when he took to posting on Twitter and Facebook some taunts and twits about things that were just so out of line they made even me cringe
I say even me because not only do I lack a social filter I am also admittedly prejudice....which by the way I think we all are to some degree its just that I own mine
I mean really, being prejudice is, by definition, a feeling of like or dislike for someone or something especially when it is not reasonable or logical
So one can be prejudice not just against something or someone but for something or someone.....we seem to also forget that last part there...
Anyway, I digress and that is a conversation for another time and another place
Today, what caught my eye was the headline Curt Schilling to run for Senate seat against Elizabeth Warren (if his wife says it's okay...not part of the headline but certainly part of the sub title)
I'm not an Elizabeth Warren fan
Though I respect some of the stances she has taken (suck it Wall Street), I am not a Warren fan/supporter
But when I read that headline (and I swear, we've read it before in year's gone by) my blood ran cold, I got a little dizzy and I may or may not have laid my head down on my desk for five solid minutes trying to regroup
Its because I love voting
I love the polling place
I might be the only person who even looks forward to the off year elections
But this Presidential Election Cycle (and there is nothing presidential about this cycle given all the shenanigans going on) has been ruined for me
And now there prospect of the off year election being ruined has me even more distraught than I already am
Schilling v Warren would be, in my head, so similar to Trump v Clinton that my head and heart would potentially explode
Our forefather must be spinning in their graves
Or perhaps laughing at us
Maybe both
I sort of wish Jack Bauer were real...he'd know how to fix this

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Old Orchard Beach Airbrush Booth

My brother in law Jeff loves Old Orchard Beach

This was not something I knew about Jeff until about a month ago when he and my sister Felicia moved into their new house in Saco.... a mere 4.8 miles to Old Orchard Beach 

Old Orchard Beach (OOB) is, in Jeff's words, The Bangor State Fair with water, sand and Canadians in speedos

He could not wait to take us there

The water and sand are, well, beach like 
 Jeff and Felicia taught Lucy how to Boogie Board 
Luce had an absolute blast and laughed every time a wave knocked her over and gave a victory whoop when she caught a wave and rode it into shore 

The Fair element is located at one end of the beach 
It is a permanent board walk of rides run by carnies who are apparently imported from the Slavic countries 

And I totally forgot OOB is indeed a vacation destination for Canadians...and they do indeed sport speedos 

On top of that, as if the Fair and foreigners in speedos were not enough, the streets are lined with food booths, kitschy stores and, the ever present booth at which you can buy some of the classiest art ever created on a T-Shirt, a License plate, a hat, coffee mug, key ring.....

That's right 

I'm talking about the Airbrushing Art Booth
The booth you can't ever imagine purchasing anything from but you are so mesmerized by the process, you stand there for extended periods of time enthralled with the artistic process unfolding before your very eyes

I'm talking beach sunset scenes complete with the names of the two young loves
Unicorns, monster trucks, and/or cartoon charters personalized with your name in big bubble letters

At some point, when we decided we would make a trip to OOB, Jeff started talking about getting my sister just such a license plate.... maybe the orangey/yellow/brownish sunset beach scene with her name 
Or a rainbow and unicorn and hearts with her name and Summer 2016 
Or their names surrounded by hearts and the words Together Forever blazing across the airbrushed night sky

In any case, Jeff planted this seed of airbrushed wearable art in my head 

And by the time we arrived at the OOB Boardwalk, I had convinced myself that Lucy's summer would not be complete unless she had a personalized airbrushed something....

So we wandered through the Fair 
We spent $15 on games that we were a bit too cocky in thinking we could beat and walked away with a stuffed shark I'm pretty sure I saw in the dollar section of Target 

We decided to wander up the street to poke our heads in a couple shops
But before we hit the kitschy stores that lined the street boosting boogie boards and beach carts for $9 and hemp pullovers (2 for $15), we stopped at the Old Orchard Beach Airbrush Booth

I brazenly told Lucy she could pick out whatever she wanted 

She immediately honed in on a cat design

And though it was a tabby cat in the sample book with a yellow background, she convinced the guy she needed it to be a black cat like her Ziggy Boy with an orange background because orange is her favorite color 
Oh an if they didn't mind, could they do her name in cursive...she loves how her name looks in cursive 

Sure, we can do that the cranky balding guy with bad teeth told her 
For $28 he said to me with a snarky scowl on his face and a tone of indifferent impatience in his voice 

I gulped 


Then I saw Lucy's face 

And I saw his face peering at me out of his portable booth daring me to ruin my child's summer by denying her this one of a kind airbrushed T-shirt

So I pulled out my last two $20s and handed them over 

And Lucy's summer is complete

And Uncle Jeff, you owe me $28

Inner Peace

Lucy has a blue folder in her back pack
It goes back and forth to school with her everyday 
Her teacher places in it any notices we as parents need to review
Homework that needs to be completed 
And any packets or worksheets that were completed in the classroom 

Below is one which came home today 
Lucy walked me through it:

Bill and Deb are the characters

Bill likes be quiet and sit still  
Deb likes to be on the move and make noise

She is way more like Deb than Bill but sometimes she does like to sit still

The lines behind Deb are to illustrate she's running 

And Lucy informed me she tried to draw Bill sitting down with his legs crossed because that is the best way to achieve inner peace but her time was limited so he had to be standing up....