Monday, March 31, 2008

The Other Way to Mark the Seasons

While cleaning out my work bag the other day, I came across a tube of lipstick that I had forgotten I had tucked into it months ago.

Me: Hey! I found some lipstick in my work bag. I always liked this lipstick!
Patto: That's nice, dear.

Later, as we are going out to dinner:

Patto: Are you going to wear your new lipstick?
Me: What new lipstick?
Patto: The lipstick you found in your bag today.
Me: Oh, no. That's a fall lipstick.
Patto: A fall lipstick?
Me: Yeah.
Patto: What does that mean?
Me: It's for fall.
Patto: Fall?
Me: Yeah. Fall. It's the wrong season lipstick.
Patto: Lipsticks have seasons?
--Pause while we just stare at each other in confusion.--
Both: Never mind.

Silly Patto. Doesn't he know it could set us back WEEKS in my attempt to force Spring upon Boston if I put on fall lipstick? It's like giving up the high ground! Is he MAD?!?!

Boys. No strategy.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


I finally get to graduate from the Law School! My third batch of announcements arrived today, and they are both beautiful and correct. I am promoting slightly-less-fair-than-Theresa Customer Service Rep Sarah to just-as-fair-as-Theresa Customer Service Rep Sarah.

Here's to you, just-as-fair-as-Theresa Customer Service Rep Sarah! Keep up your stunning competence! And try not to sound so annoyed on the phone!

Friday, March 28, 2008


We have new arrivals in the smc household. Behold!

Adorable red leather and suede heeled loafers with shoe-lace detail, by Franco Sarto. Tres Adorable! And since they are fall/winter shoes, I got them on clearance for 40% off.

My shoe collection is not quite back at balance since the loss of my "go-with-everything" black pumps, but these make a great addition on their own. Besides, it's better this way; you don't want to raise a pair of shoes to feel like they have to make up for an earlier loss. It's too much pressure.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ANOTHER joint degree? For me?

I couldn't make this stuff up.

My new graduation announcements arrived today. The Harvard Law School seal on the front looked promising, but no. The inside STILL says I am graduating from the business school. I called customer service (I'm thinking of adding them to my speed dial) and this time talked to the slightly-less-fair-than-Theresa Customer Service rep, Sarah. Sarah sounded annoyed that the re-order hadn't worked. Tell me about it, Sarah. You're not the one with 50 useless announcements and only 2 months until graduation (good thing I ordered them obscenely early).

There must be something I can do with these beautiful, but wrong, announcements. Perhaps I can cut out their embossed seals and use them for scrap-booking (I'll save you some, Mel, in case a page on my graduation makes it into your 2008 book). Maybe I'll turn them into confetti to toss around at the graduation bbq. Maybe I'll sew them into a charming little hat. A beret, perhaps?

Anyway, your suggestions are welcome. The paper isn't thick enough for custom, uber-preppy pogs, but I'm willing to try anything once.

You need UTI

Okay, quick hit: I just saw a technical training program commercial and I am laughing my head off. So I must share.

The spot opens with cars dashing around and a "tough-guy" voice-over:
"Are you thinking, 'New Year, New Career?' Then you need UTI."

That's as far as I got before I fell over. Because every gal knows what a UTI is, and we know that you do NOT, in fact, need one. Especially if you are starting a new career that day.

Back to your regularly scheduled program.

*UTI apparently ALSO means Universal Technical Institute. I'm willing to bet there isn't a woman on their board of overseers.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Willing it to be Spring

It's Spring Break time at Harvard, but it doesn't feel like Spring to me. Today the high is 40, and it's supposed to snow tomorrow. No matter, I am willing it to be Spring, and I am convinced that it will miraculously hit 60 degrees this week if I just want it hard enough.

In an attempt to make it Spring, I went out and got a Spring-y haircut yesterday. No drastic changes, I just had the lady add some long, side-swept pieces to the front and take some weight out of the ends (this is done by a special pair of scissors that apparently only cut every third hair or something. Hair-cutting black magic). Anyway, my hair is in a ponytail today because I have spent the morning making breakfast and writing a paper, but as soon as I get put together (maybe even later today!) I will snap a picture for you.

For those of you without any sense of delayed gratification, it looks about like this (the first picture on the page, modeled by Rachel Stevens). My hair is a little thicker and longer than hers, but that gives you an idea of those front pieces.

Anyway, I really like the cut, especially since it comes with its own soundtrack. I stepped out onto the sidewalk after leaving the salon, and strutted myself all the way back to my car with Justin Timberlake's "Damn, Girl" playing in my head. Of course it's vain, but I'm willing to do that in order to single-handedly turn the season from winter to Spring. You can thank me later.

"You got me thinkin', Daaaaaaaaamn, Girl! You're so fiiiiiiinnne...."

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Dating Meme

I was tagged by my sis for this meme, so I thought I'd be a good sport and get to work on it.

1. What is one life lesson you've learned while dating?
Never settle. You deserve to be with someone who makes you deliriously happy. Don't settle for second-best. You will know the right person for you when you find them. Don't try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Or a second-rate boyfriend into a great gal's life.

2. What was your best date ever?
This is a tough one, because my favorite memories are not ones where I was on any formal date. One day a couple of years ago, Patrick and I went out to a park on a sunny afternoon, right at the end of summer, and laid on a blanket and read for a few hours. Kids were flying kites around us, and I had such a serene feeling. Certain sunny days still remind me of going to that park and just hanging out together.

3. Worst date ever?
It was my second date with a seemingly really nice guy from one of my psychology classes in undergrad. He was clean-cut, polite, funny, and a neo-Nazi. For reals. He used those words. When I asked him what he meant, he said "Well, I don't go around killing people, but I think Anglo-Europeans are genetically superior to every other race of people. Is that a problem?"
Check, please.

4. What is the longest you've ever dated someone?
I dated Patto for just over two years before I married him, if being engaged counts as dating. As for the longest I've dated anyone without later marrying him, the winner is one year and 8 months.

5. Breaking up is hard to do... what was your hardest break-up?
Breaking up with my first love. It was like wrenching my own heart out. We had several relapses over the next couple of months- I had the worst time breaking it off completely (I wish I could quit you!) even though I had good reasons to. I still hate how I handled it. We really did a number on each other.

6. Are you friends with anyone you've ever dated?
Yep. One of the guys I dated when I was 16 and I are still good friends. We sent each other Happy Easter text messages just yesterday. He just got married last fall to a girl I really like, proof that I don't destroy every guy I date. :) Before I moved to Boston, I also kept up with two other guys I had dated, but I haven't talked to either of them since we moved.

That's it! Let's hear about your dating history. Leave a comment if you're going to do one yourself, and I'll pop over and read it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A joint degree? For me?

My graduation announcements arrived today, and they are beautiful. The Harvard seal is so crisp and bright. The textured ecru paper says I paid over a hundred grand for this degree. The text says I'm graduating from the Business school with a Juris Doctor degree...

That's right. My beautiful announcements are all wrong wrong wrong. The card enclosed with my lovely announcements directed me to a customer care website that would allow me to correct my order in just a few clicks. Except I needed more than a few clicks, because the website would only allow me to choose between graduating from the Business school and the Divinity school. (???) It suggested I call customer service if I was having difficulty, and offered me what turned out to be a wrong number.

After I searched el internet at large for the correct number, I called the real customer service and after listening to a billion options (because their menu has changed) I was directed to the customer care website and promptly hung up on.

So I called back. And punched zero as soon as I heard the automated message, because I knew their menu had not changed in the 30 intervening seconds between when I was last hung up on (snooty machine) and my second call. Luckily, I got the fair Theresa on the phone, who was polite and helpful and sorry for my inconvenience. She had the same troubles with the whole Business school/Divinity school option, but in the end assured me that I would get to graduate from the Law School by the time this was all said and done.

So, in 5-6 business days I hope to gave once more of beautiful graduation announcements. As for my almost joint degree, it was fun while it lasted.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Feel the burn

After the Parody ended, I looked down at my tummy (which was happily eating a fudge sundae) and realized that I hadn't been to the gym in a month. Giving the ol' tums an affectionate pat, I vowed to get right back into fighting shape starting the very next day.

Oddly, I made good on my promise, and NOW I CAN'T WALK BECAUSE I AM SO SORE. I went back to the gym last Wednesday and Thurs, and then again this Monday, Thurs and today. I've been pushing really hard (formal event in two weeks) and while I swear I can already see improvement, it might only be because my stomach sucks itself in every time I glance in the mirror so it can trick me into giving it a break from the grueling workouts. Nice try, tums, but I'm on to your game. Two-a-days!

Anyway, if you see me walking very slowly around campus, or being that kid in class who holds up one arm with the other, please know that it is not because I am an insufferable gunner, but because if I don't hold up my arm it will not hold up itself, and I HAVE to ask this question or I will have missed the entire point of the lecture and will fail the class. And then Mobius will not want me. And I will have to live in a van down by the river. All because the Parody ate my life and prevented me from working out for a month.

Now excuse me, I have to save the energy it takes to type for the papers I have been putting off.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You are good knees

Yesterday, the woman who usually teaches my Monday afternoon exercise class became ill, and the only person they could find to cover her class on short notice was a yoga instructor, who knows almost nothing about muscle conditioning. But she does know yoga, and so we did yoga.

This was my first yoga class, and immediately I jumped three spots on my skepto-meter. You remember those "how are you feeling today" fridge magnets that had the 20-odd faces you could choose from to display your mood? Yeah, move me to "cynical." My eyes sure did get stretched with all the rolling they did over "growing up like a flower" and "giving greetings to your inner sun." But right in the middle, she said something which resonated with me. During one difficult stretch, she said "if you cannot hold this stretch, do not be angry at your body. Your body is a good body. It supports you. Do not be ungrateful for it."

Lately, I have been ungrateful to my body, specifically my knees. They ache all the time, they pop and crack, they make me feel like an old person. But I should speak kindly to my knees. After all, they are only weak and aching because I pushed them too hard at an earlier point in my life. And they are still holding me up. And not only that, but they allow me to work-out hard, even if they might complain a bit about it the next couple of days.

Go speak nicely to and about your body. It is a temple. And it is holding you up.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May your glass be ever full
May your roof stay strong over your head
May you be in Heaven half an hour
before the Devil knows you're dead.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

One step forward, two steps back

This is a story about Vodka and Tupperware. And my friend Simon.

Patto and I like to host parties. We have a lot of space, and we like having people over, so our apartment is the natural gathering place. Last December, Patto and I hosted New Year's at our place. My friends Simon came, and brought with him a handle of the most horrible, cheap vodka I have ever tasted. Needless to say, it wasn't a big hit at the party, and when Patto and I cleaned up the next day, we found an almost full bottle. We tucked it into the freezer and said we would bring it to the next party we came across.

Two months later, we were at a large house party of more law school friends, and we placed the vodka on the counter with the other liquors. At the end of the night, we slipped away sans Vodka. High five!

Another month passes, and we are at a party at Simon's. On the table is the dreaded Vodka. The fruitcake of Vodkas. We laugh to ourselves. Simon's going to get stuck with this Vodka again! And it's still half full! Pass me the rum! Ah ha ha ha!

Until we threw a party at the end of April. And welcomed Simon through the door with that cursed bottle of Vodka. Just like the cat, the Vodka came back the very next party. With Simon. Determined that this vodka would not curse us for another party, we filled 8 shot glasses with the offending stuff and forced it upon the next 8 people we saw. Finally. Vodka finished. I haven't been so happy to throw away an empty bottle of alcohol in years.


It happened much the same way with some Tupperware. Last year, about this time, Simon brought brownies in a Tupperware container to a party at my house. And left it there. Over the course of the following year, we tried to give it back multiple times (some times at those parties with the evil vodka), but he always ended up leaving it in my car or at my house. Some times I forgot to bring it when I promised I would. It took a year, but finally, last Friday night, I returned the Tupperware and put it into his sink myself. And left it there.

Later that night we threw a party at my house. The next morning I found left-over cupcakes. Cupcakes housed in not one, but TWO of Simon's Tupperware containers.

I'm just going to keep them.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Have a good "day"

When I was an RA in college, the secretary of my dorm, Mary, was the sweetest elderly woman ever put upon the earth. She had not been raised in the era of computers, but since she had one at work, she loved it. She would type up every single message, no matter how short, and print it out for us. The best part about her notes, however, was her manner of emphasizing certain words with no discernible pattern. Mary liked to underline or bold or put in quotation marks random words, and it was the daily game of the RAs to read aloud her notes and collapse in the floor in laughter at their altered meanings.

For example, one day this note was put up next to the RA mailboxes:
I put brownies in the kitchen -- "enjoy"

Of course, our immediate response was to assume the brownies were poisoned or laced with chocolate laxatives. What else could be the meaning behind the ominous "enjoy"?

Another day, we saw:
RAs, many pedestrians don't LOOK before crossing the street in front of the staff lot. Please be "careful" when driving out.

Is it just me, or was she subtly asking us to run down the pedestrians so they wouldn't just walk in front of her car without LOOKing anymore?

Anyway, the reason I bring this up (besides the fact that it makes me laugh when I look back on it) is because I now have a professor who loves to put quotation marks around random words, just like Mary did. At first I thought he was just putting quotes around terms of art (like "reasonable care", which is a legal standard), but now I think he suffers from the same quotes-happy disease Mary did. Take, for example, this last email he sent my small group after we submitted our weekly assignment:

"This is terrific work, Group. You should be very proud of the time and effort so clearly displayed in this Assignment which "tops," I think, any prior Week's Assignment. Congrats on a job very well done indeed. You have grappled with the "core issues," in a way which fairly replicates the "real world" negotiation on which the Hypo is based. In other words, you are ready to be "welcomed into the legal dept." to prepare First Draft Agreements!
Congrats on "making the grade," and challenging each other to "raise the bar" each week.
I look forward to seeing you in Class tomorrow."

As soon as I read that I thought of Mary and the brownies we should "enjoy" and started laughing all over again. I sure do "miss" her.

Now, I am leaving this prof. unnamed on purpose, so even if you know who it is, don't go spouting off about it in the comments. I don't want people to google his name and find this post and think I am making fun of him. I am making fun of him, of course, but I don't want people to think that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shoes of Blessed Memory

It's a sad day in the smc household. Well, not so much in the household as in my head. It's a sad day in my head. It's time to throw out one of my best pairs of shoes. They weren't the most stylish or my favorite pair, but they were practical and reliable. They went with everything. They were comfortable. Their name was "Transpose," and I will miss them.

Since I love me some shoes, the only fitting thing to do is write a brief obituary in honor of the recently trashed.

March 11, 2008
Transpose and her life-long mate passed away this Tuesday at 5:34pm at their Massachusetts home. They were 4 years old. The Tranposes were of black leather, rounded toe, ankle strap, and were three inches high. They had an extra-cushioned sole for added comfort. They are survived by the Spring Aerosoles catalogue, their 31 closest friends, and caretaker smc. Please send donations to the smc shoe-fund in lieu of flowers.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Director Drinking Game

Now that we are on the home stretch of Parody showings, I think the cast has gotten pretty used to my habits and quirks as Director. I also notice that they just love the post-show parties (the wilder the better). So I propose to combine the two with a new parody game: the Director Drinking Game!

Before warm-ups and pre-show announcements, grab your favorite beverage and get ready!
Take one drink for every time the Director says "heads up"
Take one drink for every time she says "come on, guys"
Take one drink for every time she mentions the importance of being on time
Take one drink for every time she says "Don't ad lib lines!"
Take one drink for every time she threatens bodily harm against her Assistant Director
Take two drinks if it was because he ad libbed his lines
Take one drink every time she invokes the "safe list"
Take one drink for every time she kicks Ken off the safe list
Take two drinks for every time she takes him back
Take two drinks for every time she helps Tina win the party

You can add your own triggers if you think of something else to add to the list, but this should get you started. It should also make the pre-show stuff a little more interesting. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Abused? Or just dancing in the Parody?

Recently, I switched places in a dance with another gal from the Parody who was having trouble with one particular lift. I learned her part of the dance, and now I see why she wanted out.

The dance is a waltz, with some cheerful lifts and jumps thrown in for good measure. The lift she was having trouble with involves the male partner effectively picking up the female partner by the ribs. And her partner (now my partner) squeezes hard! I am always having to tell Patto not to hug too hard lest he snap my wee ribs, so maybe I'm just sensitive to it. At any rate, I think I have partner-prints on my ribs. If they found my body today, they would probably think I was abused. In fact, I'm just in the Parody (You remember last year).

I've warned the partner once to be careful, but he tends to squeeze harder when he gets excited. It's ok, though- there is a pressure point between your shoulder and your neck, about where your hand would rest if you happen to be a woman waltzing with a man. The next time he crushes me on the lift, I'll drop him to his knees on the waltz.

Betcha that'll jog his memory for the next night.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Parody Cometh!

Tomorrow is opening night of the 2008 Harvard Law School Parody, "Harry Issue Spotter and the Goblet of Breyer." As you know, I am the Director, and I am thrilled with how things are turning out. My profile picture on Facebook is of me giving notes to the cast last night after a dress rehearsal. I was down to just one and a half pages of notes. Huzzah!

The show has really come together, and I'm so excited for it to go up that I almost can't sit still. It's terrifically funny, and I would know. I have read the script and blocked the scenes and watched the actors practice it and taken it apart and put it back together so many times that with any other script it would sound like a recipe for bean soup, but this script still makes me laugh. 2 months later of reading it every night, and it still makes me laugh. I predict it will knock the audience on its collective keister.

Today we members of the cast are wearing the Parody T-shirt and sporting scars on our foreheads to promote the show. Here's a picture of me today:

As you can see, it is not the traditional Harry Potter scar. It's the traditional Harry Issue Spotter scar. If a young wizard would get a lightning bolt scar, a young lawyer would get an LLP scar, no?

If you are in the Harvard area, tickets are still on sale in the Hark until the show sells out. Best get a move on, they're going fast.