Friday, June 25, 2010

Going to the beach, and other odd tidbits

I'm going to the beach today!  Some lovely girls and I have rented a condo in Ocean City, Maryland for a long weekend.  Can you tell that I'm excited?

Normally at this point I'd log into Facebook and pull a picture from last year's girls weekend, but my network administrators have decided to block Facebook.  Yes, it's true.  I talked to my bosses and made sure that they didn't authorize the change, and then I called the network administrators and chewed them out.  At first the guy laughed at me, but I am legitimately pissed.  I use Facebook for work, training, research, and marketing. It's been enormously frustrating these past few days to not be able to do that work, and occasionally do my own status update and picture grab.  Supposedly it's SonicWall's fault ::shakes fist:: because they updated some setting to include Facebook as a banned site.  C'est la vie, I can't change anything about it right now.

Anyway, back to Ocean City... so soon!  I have a ton more work to do, then a stop at the grocery for beer and snacks, a stop at the bank, and then hitting the road!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I heart Hanson

Yes, it's true.  Once I left my "Middle of Nowhere" album out and friends laughed at me profusely.  I said it then and I'll say it again - they're sooooooooooo good!

And once again, NPR aligns with me: Hanson: Timeless Pop, Beyond 'MMMBop'

Can you believe it's been thirteen years since "Middle of Nowhere" was released???  Anyway, to get your Hanson fix these days go listen to "Thinking 'Bout Somethin' and start grooving!

PS - I was so right to have been in lust for Isaac all these years ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Her New Birthday

Saturday June 20, 2009 was my 23rd birthday. I went to work in the morning and then came home to have lunch with Boyfriend, and then we drove from Delaware to Virginia to spend the rest of the weekend with my family.

Sunday June 21, 2009 was Father's Day. We all ate breakfast together and enjoyed the last hours of a beautiful weekend. Dad's flight back to Texas had been canceled because of weather so he stayed another night. Mom revealed at the dinner table that she was thinking about getting a tattoo and she had always wanted an El Camino, and we all laughed because she's afraid of needles and those cars are silly. Boyfriend and I drove back to Delaware.

Monday June 22, 2009 at 1:02am I received a text message from Mom that said "Love you too."

Monday June 22, 2009 was the day Mom was helping people out - first she drove Dad to the airport and then she took the neighbor's daughter to a friend's house, and then to work.  

Monday June 22, 2009 started off as any other day in Delaware. Boyfriend went to work at 8am and I went to work for the 12-10 shift. I sat on the floor of my supervisor's office during a team meeting at 4:30pm, and then I got ready to drive over to Saladworks for dinner at 5pm. I grabbed my cell phone out of my bag as soon as I got to the building lobby and found five missed calls from my brother. I had always messed around with friends, saying that Tommy's calls were the only ones I never missed because if he was calling me something must be wrong. I quickly called him from the lobby, and his voice was shaky. Mom's in the hospital. Fairfax Hospital. Dad's with her. Sometime today. No he's home. Don't drive. Relatives from New York are driving down, wait for them. He has no idea what happened. Only Dad has seen her.

People passed and looked and stared and one beautiful girl stopped and prayed with me when they realised that I was standing there frozen. She asked Mom's name and we prayed to the Virgin Mary together as she clasped my hands between hers. I ran back to my supervisor's office to tell him I had to leave, I had to go. I ran out to my car because I thought that running made a difference over the many hundreds of miles between us. I called Boyfriend and he said that he knew, Tommy had called him. He was home waiting for me and please be safe driving. I got home and fell into his arms and sobbed about the possibilities.  I texted Tommy that I wanted to come home now, and could he please tell me what was wrong.

At 5:51pm he finally replied, "she's had a brain anarism, you shouldn't be driving. wait for them. she's in surgery, there's no rush. I haven't even seen her, only dad has"

Boyfriend held me as I wailed. Then we Googled "aneurysm" on his iPhone. The very first line I read in Wikipedia was "Aneurysms most commonly occur in arteries at the base of the brain (the circle of Willis) and in the aorta (the main artery coming out of the heart, a so-called aortic aneurysm). As the size of an aneurysm increases, there is an increased risk of rupture, which can result in severe hemorrhage, other complications or even death." I wailed again and Boyfriend took away his phone. We talked and I said that I was leaving, I was driving, I had to get down there even if I was just going to be in the hospital waiting room. He said no way and he drove me. We listened to The Killers's "Day & Age" album and I lost it on track 10, "Goodnight, Travel Well" so Boyfriend put Metallica on instead. We hit traffic and found alternate routes and he walked up to the waiting room with me. I ran down the hallway to Dad. 

There in the dingy waiting room, with a view of the helipad, Dad explained that it was a brain aneurysm. Right between her eyes. It happened in the late morning, around 10 or 11. She was dizzy and vomiting and the girls from her office called the ambulance and she was in the ER for hours before they figured out what it was. Dad was still at the airport after his flight had been canceled again. Dad called Tommy at work and asked him to come to the hospital. Mom had been in surgery for a while and she was still in the ICU and we could see her soon.

I took my bag out of Boyfriend's car and gave him my EZPass and he headed back to Delaware. My grandma and aunt arrived soon thereafter. I saw her later that night with Dad and choked on the sterile smell of the room. She looked so tired and her skin was cold and limp. They had shaved off part of her newly grown-out hair and there were bandages and tubes everywhere. We quietly went home and rested.

We were all in shock. It was God's blessing that we had spent such a wonderful weekend together as a family, celebrating my birthday and Father's Day. It was God's hand that canceled my Dad's flights back to Texas, and told Mom's coworkers to pick up the phone and call 911. 

For days we didn't know what would happen. Had she had a stroke? Could she still? Would she be able to talk, walk, eat, think, write, drive? Could she work? Would she remember our names, dates, memories, jokes? The aneurysm had ruptured, and it was coiled but there were more procedures, and tests every few hours. The first week was important, the first month, six months, year. She pulled a drainage tube out of the back of her head. Her lung collapsed after a surgery. She barely ate and threw up often. She wasn't sure who we were and she didn't make much sense.

She was released from the hospital on July 16, 2009. She was walking with pain, talking but forgetting words. Within a month she was reattached to her Blackberry. Within two months she was back in the office sometimes. Within three months she was comfortable driving again.

She fought and worked and she's alive and with us today. This morning she had her follow-up angiogram and Dad told me it was normal, she is fine. June 22 is her "new birthday."  Happy New Birthday, Mommy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Favorite Photos

One of my recent obsessions, Young House Love, does a weekly giveaway on their blog -- this week it's a 16x20 canvas print from Canvas On Demand.  The bonus question for entering is to say what you'd have printed.  At first I thought I had an answer, but the more I thought about it, the more I was undecided.  I popped on over to my Facebook account to look through old photographs I'd taken.  My affairs are in such a sad state that Facebook is the most organized display of photography that I have :(

I stumbled across these favorites from a family trip out West many, many years ago...
Kepler Falls

Lake Tahoe

Yellowstone Park

Yosemite Park

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

ten things // 12

This week's Ten Things Thursdays has been inspired by yesterday's weird moment and the deluge of memories that it spurred.  I've worked in many different places, in many different states, with many different kinds of people, and I've seen a hell of a lot.  Holler, thematic lists!

Ten Workplace Don'ts
  1. Don't come to work high (or drunk, or any other form of anything-less-than sober).  Seriously, just don't do it.  I know it's the way you wake up in the morning or a fun thing to do on your lunch break with your friends.  Your sober, hard-working friends at your job do not think it's funny.  You will get caught, and then you'll get fired on the spot if you're lucky OR searched and arrested and then fired.
  2. Don't set a naked picture as a caller ID.  I don't care if it's your super-hot trophy wife or your oh-so-sexy boyfriend.  Someone will see your phone.  It's disgusting.
  3. Don't encourage your significant other to come to your office constantly.  It doesn't matter if they're off of work or they were in the neighborhood or they thought it would be so sweet to bring you lunch every week or whatever.  Keep your personal and professional lives separate.  
  4. Don't try to live an adult life working in an office in a sociable business if you don't have any people skills.  Your coworkers do not appreciate that your weirdness makes our lives harder.
  5. Don't get all weird and creepy and sexual-harassment-y on your coworkers or employees. 
  6. Don't call your boyfriend on the company phone in the middle of the day and talk for thirty minutes about how you're going to meet in the parking lot to have sex in his car.  Someone will overhear your conversation.  It's disgusting.  And please for the sake of all that is holy, especially don't do this if you work at a place where phone calls are recorded.
  7. Don't treat the administrative assistant/office help/filing clerk as your personal assistant.  Your office assistant is not there to pick up your dry-cleaning, edit your manuscript, or give you advice on what kind of jewelery to gift the large-chested woman you just started seeing.  Your office assistant is not your sounding board.  Also, your office assistant probably secretly hates you if you do any of these things.
  8. Don't come into work talking about your latest sexual conquests, who you dated, who you saw, your divorce, or what motel you spent Saturday night in with that hot guy from that bar.  This is not a way of connecting with your coworkers.  Your friends at your job are not amused and want you to keep that kind of talk out of the office because it makes us throw up in our mouths. 
  9. Don't use your, eHarmony, PlentyofFish, Nerve, or any other dating website account on your work computer.  Don't share the profile, your pictures, or your messages with your coworkers.  This also encourages in-mouth vomiting.
  10. Don't throw a fit when you get demoted or your pay is docked or you're fired.  Your coworkers already feel bad for the sorry state you're in.  You don't need to add to the drama by interrupting our workdays. 
Seriously.  I'll come after you. xoxo

Birthday Flowers

Emily sent me flowers for my birthday, how sweet is that?  I brought them into the office this morning to brighten up my workspace because it tends to be rather dull.  This did the trick perfectly :)


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Gulf - How you can help

In this morning's browsing I've come across something I really like --  "CraftHope is a love inspired project designed to share handmade crafts with those who need them.  It is our hope to combine our love for crafting and desire to help others into a project to make a difference around the world."

How cool!  On top of just generally being cool, CraftHope's latest project is organizing donations of rags to be used for cleanup in the Gulf. You can read more about the project and the FAQs here at the CraftHope website.

Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time

I'm in the middle of a huge cleanout project at home so I know I have tons of old t-shirts (plain is best), towels, oven mitts, washcloths, and sheets that I can neatly cut up, sew the edges, bundle, and mail out to Pensacola.  Again, for all the details visit the project 8 detail page here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Carnival Winnings

As a New York Italian, I grew up going to "feasts" every summer with my family.  To my child eyes it seemed like my grandmother and great-uncles knew everyone at the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and I always found the giglio fascinating.  My college friends and I would always go to the Feast of San Gennaro and wander aimlessly, picking up sweets and teasing each other about our pronunciations of Italian words.  Last autumn I went to New York and met up with some of those old friends for the Feast and ate and drank more than I ever thought I could.  So I hold Italian festivals and feasts to a very high standard.

The St Anthony's Italian Festival did not disappoint. 

After many texts and deafening phone calls we met up with Michele and George (the newlyweds) and their friends Chris and Tara.  We all drank and ate and chatted and joked and wandered around, eventually ending up in the festival area.  It was noisy and crowded, filled with carneys with British accents, carnival games I hadn't seen in years, nauseating rides, and a generally fun, laid-back Saturday night vibe.  Chris won an elephant for Tara at one of the games..  A photographer from Spark came around and asked to take a picture of the girls so we posed a few times. 

It was an early night, because despite the fun environment and awesome people I wasn't feeling well.  We stopped off and picked up some cannolis and began the walk back home.  What a night :)


I really ought to have something to write about the weekend.  My brain is having difficulty converting thought to text and this stomachache and headache just seems to be getting worse.  More vivid descriptions and details will have to wait, but for now -- what a wonderful weekend!!

I've finished flipping through the latest (I think?) issue of InStyle so now I'm going to let the rain beating on the tin roof of the bay window slowly lull me into a nap while I cuddle with my new Ugly Monkey. 

(Yes, you'll hear more on that later!)

Music Monday

Here's some music!

Norah Jones - Come Away With Me
Scott Matthews - Passing Stranger
The Alternate Routes - Ordinary
needtobreathe - Something Beautiful
Hockey - Song Away
The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition
Sia - Breathe Me
Jason Mraz - Make It Mine
Paolo Nutini - Last Request
Mat Kearney - All I have
Coldplay - Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love
Missy Higgins - Where I Stood

Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup Kick-Off Concert

This is pretty neat -- Mashable just pushed out the message that you can watch the World Cup Kick-Off Concert live online at 11am PST on the VEVO live stream

I love technology.

ten things // 11

This week's TEN THINGS is all about podcasts.  I've gotten into podcasts pretty recently and listening to them has made my workday so much better.  (Now all I need is to get a car adapter so I can listen to my iPod in the car!)  All of these podcasts are available in iTunes but I've linked each podcast below to their respective website :)  Anyway, in no particular order, here is...

ten podcasts I'm loving
And a recent recommendation: HowStuffWorks' Car Stuff

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The countdown is on...

Birthday Tickers

Looking ahead

Ocean City, MD... a beautiful condo... some of my favorite friends... sexy bikins... the always-fun Seacrets... the hottest girls on the beach... I can't wait!! <3

Monday, June 7, 2010

Music Monday

True life: I used to be addicted to music.

I lived in NYC for four years, and my good old red Sony cd player was my best friend, until I got my bright white first generation (!) iPod.  I asked my friends for recommendations and always listened to ten different tracks before making a decision.  I met people on trains and in bars and poured through their iPods.  I listened to WFUV for at least two hours a night and poured through their daily playlists.  I traded mix-cds with friends. 

Then I moved to the suburbs and became sedated.

I listen to WFUV and Yahoo! music radio during the day at work, so I at least have a few new inspirations but I certainly don't research the new artists the way I used to.  One thing I'm happy to report that I still do (even though it drives my family crazy) is scribbling artists and songs down on little notes.  I keep a neat pile of notes in my desk drawer to pull some recommendations...

Here's some music!

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Buster Voodoo
Broken Bells - The High Road
Ray LaMontagne - Let It Be Me
One eskimO - Kandi
Phil Roy - Melt
We The Kings - Heaven Can Wait
Luce - Buy A Dog
Dave Barnes - Until You
BOB - Airplanes
Suzanne Vega - Caramel
Beck - Lonesome Tears

Chris Cornell - Sunshower

Thursday, June 3, 2010

This kind of morning

Despite oversleeping (darn leaving that cell phone on vibrate and not neighbor-waking-loud volume!) this morning has actually turned out quite well.  I've gotten a lot done in the last two hours, my brainstorming seems to be strong, I ate one of my delicious cheesy biscuits, and I even remembered to take my vitamin.

Then I put my mug in the microwave for two minutes to boil water for tea.  Then I dropped off a recently printed something-or-other at my desk.  Then I continued working.  That was about 40 minutes ago.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Gmail is amazing.  Actually, with the exception of the Buzz debacle, everything Google touches is amazing.  I keep forgetting that it can get more amazing than it already is... then I come across stuff like this:

Under your Gmail account, go to Settings and then to Labs to check out this gem... and so many other cool things.  I <3 Gmail!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bikini Bod

Memorial Day Weekend was nothing short of perfect!  Taking the time out to throw on a bikini and swim in the pool has definitely gotten me in the mood for the girlcation at the end of June this month! to Ocean City, MD.  I'm putting myself on a pretty strict exercise routine because I want to be able to rock one of those really hot bikinis for my long weekend with the girls.  It's kind of a double-reward situation, which I looooove  :)  These are the hot swimsuits and cover-ups that I'm looking toward...

(All are from Victoria's Secret)

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