Saturday, February 18, 2012

taking stock - 4th decade

Milestone birthdays are natural benchmarks.  Today I completed my 40th year of life, and I am amazed every day by how lucky I've been.

Two weeks ago 11 people, amazing friends and family, travelled to New Orleans to celebrate my birthday.  If any of them had been less than extraordinary the trip would have been okay.  But these people, who all had not met each other before, made the trip legendary.  I don't know what I could have possibly done in my life to know such a rich variety of incredible people, but whatever I did must have been good.

Tonight is the New York party, the celebration on the day itself.  Again I get to see even more old friends, and I'm steeled against nostalgia and tears as people I have not seen in years will make an appearance.

What is my life at 40?  The stuff dreams are made of.  I live in the most amazing city on the planet.  I have a job I love.  I have my health.  I have this incredible stable of friends.   Heck, I'm even seeing someone I like.  (That in my world is a bonus.)

How can I not be grateful for this life?  Sure there have been obstacles to my health and happiness, but not enough to actually prevent me from getting where I needed to be with a little work.  And when taking it all in perspective a little effort was well worth it.

I could probably write more, but really it is simple.  At 40 I'm more successful than I ever could have dreamed as a little girl growing up outside of Detroit.  And life is good.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Working at the new job I've been trying to keep my age secret.  Which is kind of not my norm, I've never been the person to keep secrets.  (Filters, what?)

It bothers me, that I was doing this.  So I've started to leak the news.  Yes, I'm 39 and on the verge of an AMAZING 40TH BIRTHDAY PARTY.   (Oh, it will be epic. NOLA trip and then NYC party.  I don't do small)

As the younger folks are finding out my digits they come by, ask for confirmation, then get that look...and I get why I'm bothered.

The box.

In the study of psychology you learn people need to categorize and stereotype in order to better understand the world.  Everyone draws the borders differently based on their experience, but the brain works in certain ways.  So it is.

I love me.  I love my life.  I love my friends.  I love all the choices I've made.  I am one of the rare people you'll meet who's dreams come true.  Move and live in NYC?  Check.  Run the NYC marathon?  Check. Experience broadway shows?  Check.  Have the most amazing adventure of a life with amazing stories as a result?

Super duper check.

Yeah, even in high school I never was the girl who dreamed of big weddings and kids.  They've never been on my radar, it just isn't part of my story.  Which is awesome to me because I have all this free time to do amazing things.  The problem is that people judge.  They have these ideas of who you should be based on their visions of themselves.

One of the main reasons I moved to NYC was because I've never really been like anyone else, and here it is just easier to live that way.  Hell, often you are rewarded for standing out.

But for some reason the next decade seems to be putting me back in the box.  The walls are finite.  You seem so much younger.  You don't act that old.  I thought you were xx.

You can't be that age because you don't fit my idea of that age.   Therefore you are "that age but"

Absolutely maddening.  I refuse to be defined by anything, especially my age.  And that is the truth.

As always, I don't want to be defined by anything at all.  Age or anything.  Just me.  Is that still possible?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

good times and air supply

One of my favorite memories.

A million years ago I was still working as a waitress at the original National Coney Island on Garfield in Clinton Township.  At the time I may have been 22, my sister 18.

For some unknown reason a pair of tickets to see Air Supply at Pine Knob became available.  For free.

To be honest I'd heard of them, but kind of like a joke.  Tongue in cheek kind of band.  We all know the songs but it isn't rock or pop...its sappy.

Me being who I am I said "heck yeah" to free tix, and took my willing sister along for the ride.

We arrived at Pine Knob, and the seats were for the second to last row in the pavilion.

To an almost empty stadium.  Yeah, like we wouldn't move up.

So we did.  We just walked up to the 4th row.  Waited for the band to come on.  How bad could it be?  Air Supply.  Ha ha ha.

The band came on.  HOLY AMAZING!!  We knew all the songs!  And everyone there knew them all too!  We all joined together rejoicing in the pure brotherhood, living the joy of singing along with a band with songs you want to sing.

I left that concert realizing that 1) I love Air Supply 2) things people may mock are awesome so screw fitting in to give up that fun 3) never turn down free tickets to anything.

A real bonus is the fact my sister and I share this odd bond of loving a band no one from our generation really gets.  We walked out of there with an unashamed love of Air Supply in the time of Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

So for all you haters out there, just wait for the next kaeoke night.  And all of you who get it...awesomesauce.  :)

Oh, and I'm all out of love for making love out of nothing for all and even the nights are better because I'm lost in love.

That's right.

Bring it.

Monday, October 03, 2011

four months already?

This morning the weather outside felt like fall.  And all I could think was "Already?  Where was summer?"  Of course I then realized that my summer was consumed by my new job.  No fault but mine, I squandered all that glorious after work sunlight by working late.

Work is still crazy.  Too much work for just me.  The good news is I'm now able to know what I can push back on, as in defer to others, and what just falls at the bottom of the priority list.  Which are HUGE wins.

One interesting side effect is that people have gotten used to me being friendly and nice, they haven't seen me bring down the hammer.  Which since I'm not that much of a hard-ass just means I'm stern.  On Friday I sent out an email without emoticons and jokes and got an invitation to lunch and two offers for a coffee break.  Not in a mean way, a way to help relieve my frustration.

Okay maybe I was a little frustrated.  But that's probably because I've been slacking on my meditation.  Guess I can't blow that off anymore!

Fall really signals one big thing for me - my 40th rapidly approaches!!  I'm torn between doing something epic that no one but me could afford, or doing something less monumental but much more inclusive financially.  I'm leaning toward the latter at this point.  Ski weekend maybe?  Where do people go, Vail?

I've never been skiing.  Ever.  I think it would be a lot of fun, and I've found group trips that revolve around activities are way more fun for everyone.  That way we have common group stories and individual stories at the same time.  Exciting adventures and thrilling anecdotes.

So I think I may put off my next 'big' trip to my one year anniversary when I have three weeks of vacation instead of just two.  That and when I have hired another person and the workload is a little more manageable for me to leave behind with my peeps.

To tide me over I'm taking my first vacation since my 39th, road trip!!!  I'm helping my sister and her two dogs move from MI to FL, the panhandle.  We're splitting the trip into three leisurely days, only driving five hours in each day.  We're going to spend some time in Lexington and Nashville, neither of which I've ever gotten a chance to visit before.  So I guess that also makes me the first to visit the fam in their new space.  Score one for the Rockstar!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

stupid 10 year anniversary

Every year I dread the beginning of September.  I moved here in October of 2000, and landed a 9-5 gig in the west village with office windows that faced the Statue of Liberty.  And the World Trade Center.

Great view.

I have not written about my experiences previously because everyone I know was safe and sound.  So my experiences seem small.  Not that I'm saying my experiences don't matter, but that I know so many people whom were personally effected by the tragedy.

But I should write something.  And I think that the length of the document to come, and the level of detail even after all these years should speak to how much 9/11 has imprinted itself on my being, as well as every person who was in New York on that day.


I was a little bit late to work.  As per normal.  I tended to work long hours, so if I arrived to work in the west village after nine by a few minutes I never had it held against me.

One subway stop before my exit the train stopped.  The message on the speaker was vague, saying there was smoke ahead and the train would be held for a few minutes.  Being that I had to get to work the walk of the extra stop was worth taking.

It was odd, as I exited the subway.  Everyone was looking up.  Everyone.  Up and south.  See, the avenue I was exiting had a perfectly clear view of the world trade center, and there was a gaping flaming whole in one of the towers.

Really, it looked like a scene out of the movies.  It was so weird.  I wracked my brain for anyone who would be awake that early and possibly be willing to check the news, and thought of my parents.  I rarely call my parents.  (rarely being never)  I called home and my dad answered.  He mentioned that a plane had hit one of the twin towers before, that the news thought it was an accident of some similar experience.  I mentioned I could see everything but was safe and a good mile away.  (Which worked in all our favors later when cell phones went down.)

So I had time.  I stopped at my local deli for coffee and a muffin like any morning.

Then I walked the last block to work.  And everything changed.  A girl I knew met me and couldn't stop crying and saying "we're under attack!  oh my god!"  I mentioned the plane in the 70s and she told me she saw the second plane hit.  This was no accident.

We were all just confused.  In shock.  What do you do?  What was happening?

I went upstairs to work.  When in doubt, follow the routine.  We spent a lot of time in the conference room watching the news.  And then walking to the windows to see the towers burning without the commentary.  Some people just kept working, safer in the ritual than reality.

Then the first tower fell.  We all gasped, ran to the windows.  And it all became real.

The CEO of the company walked around and told us it was safer to stay put for now, until we knew what was going on.

One woman wouldn't stop crying, her fiance worked in the twin towers.  Younger employees desperately tried to call their parents for comfort.

And we waited.  Watched.

I was staring out the window at the spectacle with my friend Jane when the second tower fell.  One minute it was still burning.  Then it started to collapse.  You could see people jumping/falling.  It became dust and rubble.  The dust didn't just fall down, it travelled out.  It filled all the streets, it spread across the entire landscape in front of us.

We stood in shock.  It was just too much.

The fiance showed up. He was covered in dust, head to toe covered in grey.  Our co worker cried even louder in relief.

People started moving in slow motion.  No one was thinking logically.  I was ready to go home, it had been a couple hours since the planes hit and the attack seemed stalled.  My home was in walking distance and more sustainable for me than to stay at work.  I offered my home to those who lived further away.

About seven people left with me.  One friend tried to get me to wear a piece of fabric over my mouth to protect me from fumes or dust.  People moved slowly, it took a half hour to get everyone to leave and then we had to stop at a McDonalds so people could eat.  It was like everyone had stopped thinking.  I didn't need a big mac, I wanted to get where I had a store of water and food.  But people were not smart that day.

We passed people covered in ash and crying often.   There were exceptionally long lines of people donating blood.  As much as the city was in shock it was also calm and generous.  I thought there may be riots.  Quite the opposite.  People took care of each other.

At the time I lived around the corner from the United Nations, and had to show my ID to get to my apartment.  It wasn't an issue and some of my non-manhattan living friends got to hang with me.

Until I had to go to work.

Oddest side effect of 9/11 - travelers couldn't leave.  And they still had to eat.  And I lived 2 blocks from the restaurant I moonlighted at so they needed my help to feed the stranded people.

No one wanted to work.  But the people who were there knew they were all there was.  We didn't realize how busy we would be.

It was an odd struggle, to feel so scared and violated and have to wait tables.  You are used to smiling for a living, but who wanted to smile?!?  I specifically remembered one table accusing me of being too positive, and how dare I.  To which my response was "the only reason I'm here is because you are.  I don't want to be here.  I'm here for you."

That shut them up.  Jerks.

Working did get me out of the shock wormhole, and that was good.  The shock was hard to take.

The next morning I walked five avenues over to check out times square.  There was one other person.  That's it.  It was breathtaking and terrifying at the same time.  I've lived in NYC since through the blackout, earthquake, and hurricane, and never did the heart of manhattan freeze like on that day.

New York City had stopped.

We all broke a bit, that day.  New Yorkers are a tough breed, unflappable. That day we were more than  humbled.  We were heartbroken.  The amazing thing is that since we as a city are such scrappy people  and so bent of the idea of being the best that we actually became a stronger community.  We started to take better care of each other, united against some mysterious invisible foe.

And how it changed me?  I started to run, as in jogging.  Because for the first time in my life I realized that being healthy enough to be able to run away could save my life.

Stope and think about that for a moment.  Really.  Are you healthy enough to save yourself?  I wasn't. Not then.

So as much as running has become my hobby it really is so much more.  It is a genuine survival strategy.  Because I saw how the towers fell and the dust spread.  And in the story of my life, in my narrative I'm the one who gets out.  But now I get that it takes a little practice.

And that is my story.  I avoid ground zero, if i can I avoid the stories.  I still tear up way too easily when the news brings up that day, even my beloved tasteful NPR.  If I can I will avoid the entire media blitz this Sunday.  All I would do is cry, and there is no use for that.

God bless to those who died or lost loved ones on that day.  I can't imagine what you've been through, and am so sorry for your pain.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Holy moly.  Wow.  Yikes.  Eek.

So you know how when you start a new job you kind of have a lull before you get the gist of it?  You sort of have to search out what you have to do?

Yeah, I thought I jumped right into the fray.  Ha.  Ha ha.  More like what I thought was busy was just a taste of what was to come.

In order to just barely keep up with my workload I have discovered that it is necessary to leave work at 7:00 pm and most nights continue to work at home for an hour or two.  For instance, I have just now turned off my work laptop to blog on my fun laptop.  (PC vs Mac, of course.)  I could actually still do a couple of things..but have decided that what is left can be done in the morning and I need some down time.

Don't take me the wrong way, I'm not complaining.  Nothing gets me inspired like a challenge and this sure is it!  Also I'm in the process of hiring two people, which also sucks my time currently but will end up saving me muchos minutos in the future.  So while I'll still have plenty of work to do eventually I'll be able to leave at 6:30 and stop working.

You're just wishing you could be me, right?  Ha.

Monday, June 13, 2011

spirit fingers

One fantastic side effect of having re-discovered my lust for life would be an increased sense of adventure. As in I'm gunning for excitement and willing to try new things.

Offhand one night I mentioned my my friend Jarv that I had read in the times about classes where you learn actual broadway musical dance routines.  Which being such a huge bway fan totally geeks me out.  Well guess what?  Jarv has been longing to get back to some dance classes as she used to take them when she was younger.

Well what's to stop us then?  Ha.

Turns out this place the Broadway Dance Center is a REAL dance school.  You know, for people who go to Juilliard or are gainfully employed on the great white way.  In order for me to take the musical class I apparently need to get some basic experience under my belt.  Because I may have a sense of rhythm, but I'll be damned if I know a thing about choreography.

The first five minutes of the Intro to Jazz class told the tale.  The teacher asked if there was anyone new to the class.  Two strangers, Jarv, and I raised our hands.  Then the question "has anyone never taken a dance class before?" was presented.

I raised my hand.  All by my lonesome.

The teacher focused in on me.  "You've never taken a dance class?"





Now I'm feeling paranoid.  So I shrug and mumble "Well, maybe I have".  Which is true.  I did take exactly two ballet lessons when I was five years old.  And you know, that was, like, yesterday.  (ha ha)

She then asks me to demonstrate a plie'.  Which I knew and performed.  Then she asked me to show the class a releve'.  And I just stood there staring at her blankly.

Luckily she said I could learn in the class and report back at the end.  And I did.  Whew.

Overall it was an interesting experience.  And kind of fun.  I was able to follow along 75% of the dance routine and actually feel like I was dancing for most of it.  Which was great.  I've even downloaded the song from itunes to practice.  Because I DO need practice.

In the second class I attended there was someone else who was new to the center, and she was presented with the same quiz on the two moves.  Which put my mind at ease as I hadn't been singled out, it was her generic way of determining skill levels.  She did remember me when I went back.  I most definitely stood out not only because of my apparent inexperience , but because I also happen to share the same first name as her dog.  What are the odds.

Anyhoo I've committed to keep attending class until I either get better or decide that learning how to dance to grease lightning is beyond my grasp.  Because how cool would I be if I could do actual dances from Grease??

Cool.  Right.  That's totally what you were thinking.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011


This week I was flown out to Seattle to meet a whole bunch of people with whom I work with every day.  It was kind of awesome.

My employer just built a whole new CAMPUS, not just a building.  And it is glorious.  Totally green (as in environmentally conscious.), shiny, progressive.  I passed a ping pong table in use.  They have vitamin water in the vending machines.  They don't need whiteboards on the walls because all the wall ARE whiteboards.

So pretty.

So that was fun.  On top of that it was so great to meet the people with whom I work with every day, albeit on the phone or via email.  Face to face always helps.  Especially once they see I'm friendly and am non-threatening.

Also great?  Catching up with my friends jane and vicki who live in the area.  They are such wonderful people to be around, and always make an evening spectacular.

Interestingly enough my work association got my hotel room upgraded.  I got a jr suite with a spectacular city view.   It was sick how awesome it was.  Although when I ended up having to work east coast morning hours on the west coast the extra room kind of made a lot more sense.  Every day I started work at 6:30 am and then worked until 7:00 pm.

Traveling was luxurious, flattering, exciting, and challenging.  Thus I am very glad to be home.

Oh no, it's only Thursday....

Saturday, June 04, 2011

back to normal

Yep, I have not felt this good in years.  Screw the last job, I hated it in the first six months and told everyone who asked.  Sure it got better, and I being super positive believed it was okay.

Nope.  Nope.  My employees were fantastic and totally made my job palatable.  And some of the corporate changes made my life manageable.  My latest boss was great and I really enjoyed quite a few of the people who I saw every day.

But that place made me miserable.  It could have been the top few people who never recognized my potential.  It could have been the corporate culture of the place.  Quite possibly it could be because it has been the ONLY company that I've ever worked at that never produced real friends, and a social life.

A mere two weeks into my new gig and I feel like myself again.  The self I had almost forgotten.  Suddenly I have energy, joy, vigor.  I remember this person.  It seems I fooled myself into believing I lost this self to aging  Bah, humbug.

Wow.  I have not felt this fantastic in forever.  Health.  Outlook.  Hopes. Dreams.   Thank the goddess for my new job!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Tonight I played my first beach volleyball game in a social sports league.  We only had six of our own players, so seven more people were assigned to us.

It.  Was.  Awesome.  I was in rare form, making sure I knew everyone's name and cheering them all on.  We won one out of three sets, and I did okay enough.  I even got to dig a few times, which was wicked fun.  It was so much fun to actively play on and cheer on a team!

Another terrific thing?  The ENTIRE team, and a hell a lot of the league, all go to the bar afterwards!  Discounts and socializing galore.  How sweet is that?

Bump, set, spike!

Monday, May 23, 2011

first day!

My walk to work took ten minutes, my computer was installed at about 11:00 am, and the two women I share my office with were very nice.

As my boss is out until Wednesday I'm kind of treading water.  From what I gather the role I'm filling is really needed and people are really excited I'm there.  Now if I could only find out what I'm doing, I'll be all set!

On a less happy note I was reminded that I've been spoiled the last couple of years.  When I started at S&S often I worked until seven or eight pm.  But the last couple of years my schedule was much more manageable, often I left between five and six.  At the new gig the corporate culture is all about the nine to ten hour workdays.  AND people bring their laptops home to work more.

Granted I won't even notice the long hours as long as I am busy.  And don't forget how much I love to work hard on a problem.   Then I'd be working late anyhoo.

Now I don't know what this will do to my running.  Since historically I run after work, but outside before the sun goes down.  Guess we'll see soon enough!

Friday, May 20, 2011

last day!!

It is totally wrong of me to be this excited about leaving my job.  There are plenty of people who are sad that I'm going, and more than one person has said to me "remember - it's always hardest on the ones left behind"

That being said, I am literally counting down the minutes until I'm out of here.  Chomping at the bit. 

As for drinks last night - they didn't suck!  Actually it turned out to be pretty fun.  More people showed up than I anticipated which was good for the ole ego.  There really are so many nice people at this gig, it was nice to chat with them before I'm gone.

Now I'm just tying up some loose ends.  Cleaned out my office (since I know who's going to sit there next), attended a surprise goodbye donut party, will wander around for more farewells, then a meeting at 1:00 and an exit interview at 2:30.  Done and done.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

new job!!

Well I totally can't say nothing new is going on now.  I received an offer to work at and I have accepted it! 

Not only is it EXCELLENT money, but I still get to walk to work (bonus), the company is famous for job advancement/change every two years (extra bonus), and it seems to be staffed with people who I will really enjoy working with (super duper bonus if true)!!!

Being flown out to Seattle for a job interview was flattering and daunting. There are moments in your professional life where you feel like a real career woman, and being sent across country for a meeting is right now is at the top. As awesome as it was to go out there it was also that difficult to go through seven interviews in the one day. I left feeling like I bombed the interview, and that didn't feel so great. Even though they would call every week or so to say they were interested in me, my hopes were waning.

Until the Thursday of course when they made the offer.  Since then I've been flying high, on top of the world.  There are few more validating moments in any life than when you give notice at your job.  You get to hear how much people like you, will miss you, or will miss your work ethic. 

The only downside is that one of my three direct reports gave her notice two days after I did, with the same last day.  (under two weeks notice, what the heck is that?  guess not everyone I worked with respected me...)  Which is a drag because that means the two people left will have to pull double duty to keep everything running smoothly.  They can handle it, and I think that the pressure it will put on my successor will actually help him grow as a manager.  Good experience to have.

So all in all great news.  My last day at S&S is this Friday 5/20, and my first day at the new gig is the following Monday 5/23.  I don't take time off, I like getting paid. 

My goodbye bar night is tomorrow night.  Sad to say, but I'm kind of dreading it.  I never broke thru with the fun crowd at this company, never got invited for drinks by my peers.  So at first I wasn't going to make it a big thing, was just going to grab a couple of peeps I have hung out with at work parties.  But then a couple people asked so I figured what the heck, I'll make it official.

But I dread the turnout.  It will be haphazard and possibly only semi-fun.  Worst of all, I have a sneaking suspicion someone will ask my jerk sexist racist ex-boss to come, and he'll show up.  He's still unemployed, so he already called me when he heard the news of my new gig.

See why I haven't had fun at this job?  If I dread the bar nights what kind of place is that for me to work?  Right?

Friday, March 04, 2011


Yes, I know I haven't posted in FOREVER. But what can I say, I just haven't felt like there was anything to write about.

The job has settled down. My new boss has been treating me and mine well, and people at work have been friendly and respectful. Heck, I even had a celebrity moment. A couple of weeks ago I agreed to be in a video for "new hire orientation", had to say what I liked about my employer. was played for the entire sales force and set of upper management. I've never been asked (in jest) for my autograph so much in my life. But I can't lie, I loved the attention.

My knee is still slowly getting better. I've started running again - three times to be exact. And my gimp run gets markedly better each time I go out. At this rate I'll be running races by the end of March. (hooray!!)

The hair still looks fantastic. Same stylist, still blond.

My 39th bday just passed, I went with two friends to New Orleans. Which was great. The trip was way awesome! I guess I could post on that. But meh.

What can I say, I just haven't inspired to write. I never was a diary girl growing up, maybe the blog was just a phase. Either that or I just ran out of things to complain about. Good living must breed artistic complacency after all!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

under pressure

It has been a stressful couple of weeks.

Two and a half weeks ago my boss walked into my office and let me know his job had been eliminated. Likewise for the whole department. All of his direct reports are spread out across the company. Even the group that has the exact same function of mine is reporting to an entirely different area than I am.

I won't lie, the layoff and reorg totally stressed me out. Since I've been at this job I've dealt with: two employees quitting in the first year, an employee having a breakdown and eventually dying in the second year, one boss getting fired in the third year and now another boss given the boot in the fourth year.

Seriously, WTF??

Luckily for me there is a lot going on for me that is good, thank heaven. My employees rock. Seriously; they get along with each other as well as other departments and follow my direction to a "T" with a smile, and because of this I have been told that we made our division more profitable than it has been in the past several years despite sales being down. That's right - we sold less books and our group made more money.

(And when I heard that I asked that my employees get a raise. C'mon, right?)

Also my new boss and direct superiors are really great to work with. They are positive and support our initiatives. Finally since I've been at this company every meeting is fun and conflict free. Teamwork in the best sense.

But all this positivity is superficial, the company still is run by the people who keep cutting out employees when they are done with them. My boss was here 25 years. Granted he sucked as a boss in every way, but it is more the fact that the culture of the people at the top is ruthless. A couple years where you don't produce at a certain level and out you go. And that causes a lot of angst for me.

As much as my group has done to help the company it is very clear to me that the jobs I and my parallel director have should be combined to one. Which means I'll have to either fight to take on more responsibility, proving myself to these awful politicos - or get the heck out of dodge. Ugh.

So yeah, stressed.

On another fun note I've been off the crutches for a week. Lord, I was SO looking forward to getting off the darn things. Little did I know how much it would hurt to walk. Oh. My. God. I still took a cab to work a couple days. My walking speed and posture is that of a one hundred year old woman. No lie.

My physical therapist is helping a lot. Every day it hurts a little less, and by resting yet more this weekend I almost have a stride that is unlike a zombie. Almost.

On the bright side I just got quite possibly the best haircut of my life. It has always been a struggle for me to find someone who can give me a decent trim. All my years I've been looking for a good stylist. After finding Rosemary at Timothy John's Salon not only have I gotten crazy amounts of compliments on my hair, but the cut was executed so well that it even looks good when I wake up. That's right - a head of hair that looks just as good the second day after washing!! A dream come true.

Which of course means that at despite zombie-lurching around the city muttering under my breath about the corporate least I look good. Ha.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

strong as bull

Since I'm barely able to go a block on crutches I've been taking a taxi to and from work every day.

In the morning this is exceptionally easy. I've never had to stand in front of my apartment more than 30 seconds waiting for a free cab to drive by. Even in the rain.

After work a bit more challenging. Rock center, smack dab in the middle of corporate central, is not an easy place to find a cab after 5:00.

The first week I lucked out, was able to get a cab relatively quickly. In under 15 minutes or so. This week? More of a struggle. I've found myself limping west on 48th street to find a free taxi before anyone else snatches it.

Which worked. Until yesterday.

That's right, yesterday I made it from 6th ave to Broadway without a yellow car to be found. So I kept going. And going. With stops every 40 heaves or so. Yes I did count, as a motivational tool.

Half an hour later I was home. I thought I lived maybe a quarter of a mile from work. Which I was proud of being able to navigate. Out of curiosity I just checked the distance on gmap pedometer. And wow.


Half a mile. I used my arms to propel me home half a mile. That's right, I rock. Strong like bull.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

gimp life

Here I am, two and a half weeks on crutches after my surgery.

The cutting went well, and the incision went even better. I lucked out with a resident who decided to use internal stitches which equals almost no scar on my knee at all. Woot!

First week after the cut it was painful. But there are drugs for that, so I took my pills and stayed home from work.

Second week after surgery I was back to the daily grind. Turns out walking on crutches was MUCH more challenging than I expected. Kind of crazy hard. I was out of breath just going a few yards. I even worked up a sweat leaving my apartment, taking the elevator, and then leaving my lobby. My muscles were tired and stiff every evening.

So much so that the weekend after the first week back on the job I rested and was so stiff I pulled a shoulder muscle. Which then of course meant I was out of work two more days because my shoulder hurt too much to use crutches.


Job-wise it all was fine. I have the paid time off available and my staff kicks ass. So no harm no foul.

Home-wise I was fine too. New York City...the place where everything is delivered. They do it all the time anytime, so it kind of seems normal.

There have been a lot of people on a daily basis who ask me if I need anything. My friends have been amazing. Seriously, I feel almost guilty turning down all the offers of assistance. "Can I get you anything?", "What do you need?", "Do you need help?" I've said this before, being the girl who somehow ends up in the hospital too often, but you learn who you can count on when you are actually down for the count. Its the people who show up. I can be there for any number of people on their worst days, but those aren't necessarily the people who come around when I'm on the skids.

Or in this case, since I'm an outpatient, the people who ask me on any random day if I need something. These are good people.

Not that I've needed anything. (Or let anyone help me) You all know me, the independent Rockstar. I take care of myself. And I am proud of that.

So much so that I have not taken anyone up on the random daily offers. Not a one. In my mind not so much because I'm proving myself, but the monologue in my head says because heck, I'm fine. Some things are a little harder, but ain't no thag.

Yes, I do think that way.

Then the weirdest thing happened at work today. I was in the pantry to get my coffee (of course I had purchased a travel mug I could use with my crutches to maneuver all the way across the building to fill it up myself. Who am I to ask someone to get me coffee? That would be elitist.) and I run into the girl who had been on crutches in france while on a college exchange program. Crutches in french? That had to be a bitch.

We seem to have the same coffee schedule, we've seen each other several of my gimp days. But for some reason today she insisted on brewing my coffee. Taking my mug, putting in sweetener, milk, the coffee. AND IT DROVE ME CRAZY.

Seriously, she practically had to take all the elements of my coffee out of my hands. Not practically, she actually did take things out of my hands. It was the smallest thing, but I couldn't just let her make me coffee if I could do it myself.

Is it a control thing? An independence thing? A proving myself thing? I dunno. I just don't know. All I know is that so far since I've been disabled the only things that I have let people do for me have been the things people haven't given me a choice on.

Like the guy who ran across 6th Ave after work to flag me a cab. Or the lady in the basement of the building who tore the garbage bag out of my crutched hand to throw it in the trash. Or the guy who entered the revolving door before me then after exiting slowly kept turning it so I could navigate through. Or the random person who came and closed my cab door after I struggled my crutches and myself into the backseat.

Weird right? But I have to say these were random moments where I really did need help, that I couldn't plan on or schedule. Things that you can't really call a friend (or a new york delivery guy) to help you with, because it is a surprise that you need that help at all. At least a surprise to me. Most days I get that cab, can manage my garbage, navigate the revolving door, and get my cab door closed. But those are the random gifts I'm happy to receive.

Those and the offers for help. Come to think of it, knowing someone would help if you needed it kind of takes a lot of pressure off. Maybe it isn't so much that I need to prove myself as much as I just see how far I go before I need to call out a favor.

Kind of like riding a bike on training wheels. You keep going because knowing that those little rickety wheels on the side of your bike are there gives you the confidence you'll stay up.

That or like Dumbo's feather. That one I don't need to explain as much. But the idea holds.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

human guinea pig

Well it didn't last, my knee went bonkers on me again. Pretty much right after writing the last post. Go figure. Jinx.

It was pretty swollen and nasty for the wedding trip, despite consistent ice, NSAIDs, and compression. Not too painful, but not exactly uber comfy either.

Unfortunately it also started clicking, hitching and catching when I walk, so I acquiesced and made an appt to see my super knee doc. The appointment was today.

And a funny thing happened.

After having waited a few minutes in the examination room, the Dr Stein entered. Stopped. Looked at me oddly. And then asked me my name to double check his charts.

He then reentered the room and said "Same knee? Same problem?" Both of which I responded the affirmative.

He then sat next to me and with some kind of astonishment looked me right in the eye, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've got a cure."

It was odd how shocked he seemed. Feeling hopeful I said "What, do you have some kind of epoxy now?"

Still seeming rather blown away he replied "Yes"

Turns out just two months ago this new thing was put on the market - it is organic mushed up bone goo called DeNovo Cartilage Graft that they caulk into the gaping chunk missing from the articular cartilage of a joint, such as my knee. It takes on my own DNA and solidifies to become my bone. In effect totally fixing me.

His shock was because it is so new that I'll be the second person he personally uses it on. The first guy's surgery was just scheduled yesterday for Oct 4th. So my timing was just crazy. He told me that my condition is fairly rare and totally perfect for this procedure. So go me and my luck!

There are a few downsides. One - I'm on crutches six weeks. Two - real surgery not arthroscopic (I was totally knocked out for my last scope so what's the big diff?). Three - it is new, so long term effects aren't solid.

Which ironically isn't a new thing for me. Back in 2004 when I had my hernia repair the doc used Alloderm, a human tissue patch that melded into my own fascia. Also brand spanking new and at the time still part of studies. And I continue to rock the stuff.

So this will be the second set of dead person matter being put inside me. The benefits totally outweigh the risks, me having a completely fixed knee! No more risk of degenerative bone that will continue to crumble until I end up with my joint being replaced.

Can I say how glad I am to be in NYC? The docs here are on their game! Go modern science!!

(Date set for October 18th! Woot!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

on the road

No, I did not go to my reunion. And from the pics I saw on facebook I'm glad I didn't, the only faces I recognized were those that I've already friended on the great online social big brother.

And now for the happy update, I'm running again!! Taking three weeks off of all physical activity (and I do mean all) did the trick! I went for a run Saturday which felt odd on the ole' knee, but afterwards experienced no swelling or pain. Went for a jog again two days ago, and nary a tinge or a gaff.

Now it is just a matter of seeing if I can safely, without injury, build up mileage to get myself to the marathon this year. No isn't worth me hurting my knee again. But a girl's gotta try!

Best news - vacation is here!! Friday my cousin is getting married in Portland, and after a few days in that beautiful burb my sis and I are going to head up and spend a couple days in Seattle. Pacific Northwest here we come!

One interesting thing of note, as I've gotten older I've started making more and more lists for my trips. I used to just make the one. You know. The one that had "toothbrush" and "deodorant" on it. And I was suck at that...once forgetting my swimsuit for a white water rafting trip. Like I wasn't going to get wet??

At this moment I'm up to five lists for this adventure.

- what activities on what day, so I can figure out what I need

- the great packing list, things I absolutely cannot forget

- clothing list. specifics on what items to pack, trying to minimize qty while covering all activity needs. while of course looking fabulous.

- timeline before vacation. as in what the hell I still need to do in the 30 hours before I leave my apartment.

- wedding playlist. the computer savvy have been asked to monitor the macbook dj, so my sis and I decided to throw together our own playlists to supplement anything that could have been missed. it will be a dance dance wedding for sure!!

Here I thought it would be hard to have more than two lists. Who knew??

Monday, August 09, 2010

20 years

It is the stuff of legend. Some dread its arrival, others look forward to the day with glee. Books, movies, plays...all written about this iconic meeting. It is a pinnacle event, the one great test of time the majority of Americans look upon.

The high school reunion.

Frankly I don't recall getting any notice of my 10 year reunion. But with the creation of facebook there has been no way to avoid the repeated reminders that my 20 year anniversary approaches.

Roughly the year of my graduation was the half point of my life right now. Just shy of an even distribution between childhood and adulthood. This helps spark some am I different than I was at 18? Who am I now as compared to then? Would my high school self like my grown up self?

But the main question on my mind at this time is much simpler. To go or not to go. Do I bother to attend my 20 year high school reunion?

My graduating class was 222 strong, entirely female as I attended an all girls catholic high school. As a freshman I played softball and volleyball, then quit sports and became backstage crew for the drama club.

The culture in my school wasn't like the John Hughes movies where everyone was in a defined clique. Yes there were jocks and nerds, but we kind of focused less on naming a group than just paying attention to your own circle of friends. (And circle of drama, being all girls.)

Overall my group of friends was approximately 4-5 strong, specific girls entering and exiting the group at different times but always staying about the same number. There was an extended group of people of probably 10 more that I was friendly with but didn't really hang with outside of school.

So out of the 222 girls that means there are about 15-25 that I remember interacting with. Most of whom are on facebook.

Do I fly back to Michigan just to see these women? Is it worth the airfare and car rental to end up also seeing 100 women I don't remember at all?

I dunno, I just don't think I get the point. From what I can tell the people who want to attend in general are the ones who are either satisfied with their lives or want to brag about their lives. Or maybe a little of both.

Me? I know I'm high on the success scale for my class. Thing is most of my core high school friends are just scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck struggling to keep their jobs. Detroit has been hit really hard by the recession after all. It almost seems nicer for me not to attend so it doesn't seem like I'm rubbing their noses in my accomplishments.

Oh, what to do. Inaction alone may make up my mind for me as the party is this Saturday. I could catch a last minute deal airfare to Detroit...or I could wait for my 30 year reunion...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

gimp city

Did you know my body hates me? Have I mentioned that before?

My knee has gone wonky again.

Good news: Feels the same as post surgery, so I know what is wrong and how to fix it.

Bad news: How to fix it involves not doing anything for a while, and definitely not running a little longer than that.


What I find fascinating is that this injury occurred almost exactly a year after I started back running. My first race last year was July 18th. Which goes to show you that running alone did not do this to me. Something I did out of the norm did.

How I wish that I could say that it was something as simple as increasing my miles to quickly or old shoes that caused this. Or that I felt exactly when my knee went bonkers. But none of that happened. It felt rather odd just before, but not during, a Tuesday speed training class and then was swollen as hell Wednesday.

So here I am again. Hoping for the best - that I don't have to wait five months to recover. But then again not exactly minding the time off in this crazy heat.

As for the marathon this year...who knows. If I can get back on the road in the next month maybe I can still run it. But it is far easier to defer to run next year than to get a knee replacement. Just sayin.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

date stories

So I've been on quite a few dates over the past several months.

A lot of first dates.

Some are fine, nice enough guys. But I may find them boring. Or self-centered. Or unattractive. Or any combination of the three.

Every now and then I get a real peach, someone to write home about. Oh yeah, the bad date stories.

This one is a doozy, if you've seen me in the past couple of months I've told you about it.

This fine gentleman, who we'll call IT (pronounced eye-tea, as in Information Technology) was introduced to me by There was only one (bad) picture of him, but hey his profile summary was fun and entertaining. What's a girl got to lose?

As I walked into the bar it was fairly simple to identify IT. He looked more attractive than his profile pic. Good. His size however, was not on the profile. Six foot four inches and 350 pounds.

Seriously, this man was two or three of me. I couldn't even reach past his stomach and touch the top of his head standing on tippy toe.

Not being one to judge a book by its cover I brushed off the size difference and we proceeded to the bar. We commenced to the talking and as per norm we broached the topic of employment. You may have guessed by now that this gent works in IT, and he recently started working from home.

The concept of working from home always confounds me. So many distractions, how does anyone get things done? Do you make a schedule? Do you work in your pajamas? Is showering even necessary? Recently two different authors came into the office for a meet and greet, and each of them has a separate cabin/shed that they physically would 'travel' to in order to write. Kind of the setting up a ritual work space.

So I inquired of my above dilemma to IT. How does he approach his day? Does he work all day in his pajamas?

He squirmed. Hesitated. Then said, "Well, erm...less than that."

Confused, I inquired "What do you mean? How much less?" I'm thinking shorts, boxers.

Again he stalls for a minute. Reluctantly he eventually says "A lot less. Nothing."

Being me I don't react much, kind of just take the info in stride. We continue talking about work and such. Or actually I should say he kept talking, the guy went on and on about himself for the entire date. He didn't ask me a question until after I paid the bill. (Yes, you read that correctly. More on that in a bit.)

All this listening afforded me the opportunity to let the newly acquired work wardrobe info sink in. This guy spends all day, every day naked. At home. No clothes, hanging around his apartment.

Did I mention the size of this guy? Someone with that kinda girth is bound to sweat easily. Especially when sitting. So I start to get a visual in my head.

He's still talking, and all I can think of is nasty ball sweat all over his apartment. His couch, any chairs, god forbid a desk chair because you know how those are shaped and there might even be accumulation....


You can very easily tell if I had a good date vs. a bad one by the number of drinks I consume. Two is a bad date. Three is a kinda good date, and more is a guaranteed great time.

My second beer was gone and I asked for the check. It came. And sat there while IT continued to talk.

The bill untouched.

Looking forward to my exit I finally picked up the bill, gave it a once over. Still nodding my head to the conversation I slowly worked my way through my purse for my wallet. Found it. Pulled out cash.

IT still talks on about himself.

Placing the cash in the bill I set it down on the bar. FINALLY at this point IT says "Oh! Was that check just for you?"

I'm thinking "Seriously? C'mon!" But out loud I reply "No. It is for both of us."

To which he replies. "Okay. Did you want some money for that?"

"Nah" I say, dreading the idea of having to wait for him to get out his wallet and figure his share, get my change back, etc etc. "It's all set."

"All right" he says "But that means we'll have to go out again so I can pay."

Now I'm a proud strong feminist. I have no problem splitting a bill, and I've come to accept the cultural norm that a guy pays on the first date. But for the roles to literally reverse??? Me to pay for listening to him go on and on while being tortured with the visual of him lounging naked at home?

No. Hell no.

There was no date two. But I will say that bar bill was worth me being able to tell this story. Right?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Last night over a couple of beers I got into a heated discussion as to the nature of faith. When you fight about a word like that it always ends up coming down to semantics.

Mr Wizard insisted that he only has faith in things that he can empirically prove. I suggested that based on that statement science was his religion, since there is no way he's personally empirically proven every theory or law that is out there. At some point you rely on the demonstration of others.

To this he disagreed. No, he only believes in proof. So I suggested that most likely then he doesn't believe in love. To which he disagreed, as he had experienced love and therefore knew it was real.

But isn't every love different? When do you actually know vs trust that love is there? What empirical demonstration of love is there?

It was a very frustrating conversation. And now after looking up the definition of faith I know why.

There are a few interpretations...but essentially all revolve around confidence, trust, belief, and fidelity. And btw all demonstrate a complete lack of proof. As in the whole point of the word is to be devoid of testimony.

This just makes me sad. The idea of not having faith in anything seems kind of tragic. Where is the sense of wonder, surprise, mystery?

So to cheer myself up I decided to list the things that I have faith in.

- the innate goodness of people

- beer

- losing socks in the laundry (where do they go??)

- murphy's law

- the power of positive thinking

- Kermit the Frog

- my ability to succeed if I try

- last year's monster attack in Central Park

- crazy romantic love

- without pain there is no growth, the light at the end of the tunnel is worth the struggle

- Elvis lives!!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

TV knowledge

There isn't much about reality TV I like. Frankly I'm appalled by most of it. Appalled.

But today, I gleamed some knowledge.

Often in the storyline a parent or loved one will say how proud they are of a character. Reality TV loves these moments, and I suspect coach many of them.

Tonight I realized the tell. And I know this will serve me well in life in general.

If someone is told often and well that they are loved and that they do their people proud... they react by laughing, waving, shaking their head, and saying something like "aw mom", or "thanks dad" or "stop it, love you too sis"

On the flip side if the kid doesn't get positive reinforcement? Silence. Maybe a nod or a tear. If praise is rare the person will be quiet for fear of ending the moment - or the praise flipping over to criticism.

This realization blew my mind. Because we see this every day. Between married couples, friends, coworkers, families. The single best way to know if a group is as supportive behind closed doors as in public.

Good to know.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Well, I guess it had to happen sometime. New York City has gotten impressively safer over the years, but there still is crime in the big city.

The other night I was out on the town and my wallet was stolen. From right out of my purse.


What galls me is I know EXACTLY when it happened. I was at the bar and my purse was on the back of my chair behind me. At one point I could feel someone close behind me who kept bumping my bag. The bar was full enough that I thought it was either a) someone jostling for bar space to get a drink or b) a person who was in close quarters just accidentally bumping into my bag.

Nope. Time came for the bill to be settled and when I reached into my bag no wallet was to be found. Being the eternal optimist I grasped at the possibility that I had inadvertently left it at home. Not likely, but it could happen. I keep my metro card in a separate pocket in my purse, so I hadn't looked in my bag since I left my apartment.

My whole way home I had every finger crossed. To arrive at my apartment where no wallet was found. Immediately I started cancelling cards...and confirmed I hadn't just lost it. Yep, charges for about $500 were made against my Amex.

Fortunately I'm not responsible for the fraudulent charges, I gotta say Amex is great with the customer service. Overnighting a new card and whatnot.

But now I'm wondering how far am I from identity theft? What are the odds this person threw away my wallet as opposed to kept the information to do more damage?

To be honest I'm happy that my whole purse wasn't taken, having my keys and camera and phone. Those things I would have to pay for. So I'm left just having to replace a bunch of plastic. And have earned the knowledge to be a little more wary of my personal space.