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 Amazon.com 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. Yeah...it 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!