Tuesday, December 31


December 31 seems to scream for declarations. For this is what I've done and this is what I'll be doing. I'm quite susceptible to this and every year dutifully make up a list of resolutions, most of which, of course, never pan out. But it doesn't stop me. Tomorrow I'll go over my list for the coming year. Looking over my resolutions from last year, I completed... not a one. And yet, why do I persist? Because they were still goals I had that I worked for, and while they changed over year, the idea was still there in the back of my head. And many of the resolutions weren't fulfilled for very good reasons.

Last year's resolutions and where I stand on them:
1. Get to the point where I can do three pull-ups in a row--Nope, not even close. However, I do still work out on average three days a week, and while I'm not as fierce about it as I was before the wedding, I still do ten weight-assisted pull ups (and dips) once a week. I can't do three in a row, and I probably won't by the end of this year either, but I'm doing better.
2. Revise my novel--Definitely fell by the wayside, especially given that I've started a new novel this year. But this one isn't escaping from my to-do list yet. I've got to think about how to deal with this one this year. I think I need a more concrete goal. However, I did take two writing classes with Hugo House that helped me think about things in a new way.
3. Learn to box--I started out well on this one--Adam and I were taking a boxing fitness class at Cappy's Gym in Seattle. But of course the move to Boston threw that one off. I hear there are many good boxing gyms here, however, given Adam's school schedule, I didn't find one that had the same great early morning Saturday class. Maybe this will be revived. Maybe not.
4. Eat more fiber--Absolutely no good reason for not living up to this one. This will definitely stay on the list for another year.
5. Submit at least a piece a month--I was most loyal to this resolution. Again, the move put a big crimp on this, but I'm trying to make up for lost time. I've got four pieces out there now, and I'm determined that as rejections come it, I just turn them around and send them right out again.

So, yes, my new year's resolutions didn't pan out, but looking back, I'd have to say the year was a rousing success. The things I did accomplish or were able to participate in were, in no specific order: I almost learned how to dance (enough to at least fake it at the wedding), got married to a dreamy boy, sold our house, found a new house across the country, drove across country twice, quit my job, found a new job that actually involves writing, moved across country, took my first trip to Italy, ate 45 chicken wings, won $750 on the best girl's trip to Vegas ever, got invited to dinner at the house of a billionaire CEO, watched two dear friends get married and one have an absolutely brilliant and beautiful baby who she lets me poke (on the nose, people!) whenever I'm in town, completed some new pieces, and I'm sure many more things that I've forgotten. It was an incredible year, but despite it all, I'm truly hoping for a much quieter and sedate year for 2003.

Would You Like a Little [Shrimp/Grits/Bread] With Your Bowl of Butter?

Our roly-poly selves are back in Boston after four glorious nights in New Orleans, where we did nothing but eat, eat, eat, with an occasional break to have a drink and listen to music. From the "original" barbecue shrimp at Pascal's Manale (where our server Louie, with the sweetest Southern drawl, was dead on that the pecan pie had to have ice cream on it and where we discovered, to my chagrin, that they will ship bbq shrimp anywhere in the country) to the beignets at Cafe Du Monde to the shrimp remoulade and crab sardou at Galatoire's (that's pronounced "Gala-twa" by everyone we met and where Reynard took good care of us, even as a brawl broke out at the table behind us) to the eggs and grits at Camellia Grill to the raw oysters and beer at Cooter Browns to the deep fried stuffed crab at R & O's to the shrimp and alligator sausage cheesecake at Jacques-Imo (where the wait was two hours and worth it--at least for us. Not so much for the table next to us who waited two hours, sat down and ate their melt-in-your-mouth cornbread, and then had to leave because the woman started throwing up all those pretty color drinks she'd had at the bar. That's some wait for cornbread!). We had hurricanes at Pat O'Briens, beers at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, the Columns, and Igors, and a Cajun martini at Olde N'awlins Cookery. For entertainment we went on a walking tour of the Garden District, where we learned how they reuse the plots in the cemeteries, wound our way through the French Quarter, stopping for hand-rolled cigars, and took a long walk along the antique shops on Magazine Street. We saw Kermit Ruffins play at midnight at Vaughn's and some unknown band at Cafe Brasil. We went with Adam's college roommate to a private party at Preservation Hall and managed to still have time to hang out with my cousins and my aunt and uncle. All in all, an action packed few days, and I'm now more then ready for a quiet new year.

Wednesday, December 25

Merry Christmas!

Santa did indeed come throught for my half-birthday. Yeah, Santa!

Proof positive that Adam is sleeping when we watch videos even when he vehemently denies it:
Adam: "Should I return all the videos?"
Me: "Yeah."
Adam: "Even 13 Conversations About One Thing?"
Me: "Yeah, why wouldn't you?"
Adam: "Because we didn't finish watching it."
Me: "Yes we did."
Adam: "No, we stopped it halfway through."
Me: "Um, no we didn't."
Adam: "Oh.... I guess that's just when I feel asleep."

Now, I'm off on a bit of a computer hiatus. You'll hear not a peep from me for the rest of the week. Enjoy your holiday and eat a lot!

Tuesday, December 24

I Want to Lick the Stamps!

A conversation over lunch at work yesterday took an odd turn as we began reminiscing about S&H Green Stamps, which apparently has remade itself into greenpoints. Not everyone remembered them, but I do. The grocery store cashier at Publix ("Where shopping is a pleasure!") would put the amount of purchase on this dispenser (it looked like a bunch of phone dials, with the cents wheel nestled inside the dollar wheel) next to the cash register. Out they'd slide and they'd rip them off, only sometimes you'd get a torn stamp, because they didn't dispense smoothly. My mom would stick them in a can and then once in a while put them in a book (which you got for free from the supermarket). Melissa and I enjoyed doing that, because it was fun to lick the stamps, and we didn't understand why mom used a sponge. Of course, they often didn't stick well, and you had to wait until they dried before turning the page. The filled pages would become stiff from the glue (one of the women in my office who had never seen them asked, "Were they self-adhesive?" Made me feel old). My mother gave me my own book and I got to keep all the $1 stamps. The best was going to the S&H Redemption Center and picking out all the cool things you could get with your books of stamps. I remember I got a nail kit with a pretty light blue case, which is odd because I turned out to be so not-a-nail person (the only time in the past year my nails have been painted was for my wedding). Cecil Adams goes into greater green stamp detail in his column.

Christmas Presents You Can Live Without

Adam seemed to think I was kidding when I told him that I wanted a present on 12/25. Not, mind you, to celebrate Christmas, which we obviously don't do. But to commemorate my half birthday. I think that's present worthy, don't you? Anyway, here's what I don't want for my half birthday:

What's worse than an 'N Sync doll? An 'N Sync #1 Fan Teresa doll. Yikes.

To replace the mouth guard I sleep with?

I wouldn't be adverse to something that would help me steer my eating in the right direction, to counteract that bloated after-the-holidays feeling? However, I'll skip this diet.

Since I can't have the pine smell, I can have this.

Can you handle the egg-citement?

Monday, December 23

Small-Screen Delight

I think the busier I get the less I have to say. And that's what I mean: it's not that I don't have time to say it, I just have less to say. Perhaps it's because Adam's done with finals so I have someone to talk to full-time instead of this blog (and isn't human interaction supposed to be better than computers? Hey, hey, not trying to rile anyone up! Just posing an idea) or maybe it's because I'm processing, processing. We've been catching up on our movies big time, which is heaven for me. Normally, we just watch TV shows we've Replayed because Adam has to go off and study, but now we can sit down for a couple of hours to enjoy both smart and mindless entertainment. Of course, Adam still will fall asleep during the first five minutes of a movie, but at least he's there to keep me company.

Under the mindless category, I went with Kara to see Two Weeks Notice (I'd like the point out the lack of possessive on "Weeks" is the movie's style, not mine) and Adam and I watched the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Remember those Florence Henderson ads with the fried chicken and the grease? How dated is that? Like 1) anyone has time to make fried chicken any more and 2) people still eat those fat-laden foods in public (I truly believe that while folks are bragging about their fiber content and low-fatness they are secretly scarfing down French fries, cheese, and chocolate chip cookies). (And if that seemed to come out of nowhere for you then either a) you obviously don't understand the way my mind words or b) don't remember the commercial.) Notice was predictable, cheesy, and somewhat bland--in other words the perfect flick for an afternoon of chicken and ribs (oops, I mean garden burgers) at Redbones and serious girl talk with Kara. (Driving down to meet Kara I thought, "Wow, is traffic unbelievably bad today or what?" before I remembered that this is the final weekend before Christmas. Hurry people! Finish your shopping! You've only had the previous eleven and a half months to get this all done!) Monte Cristo I truly enjoyed--I haven't read the book, so while I could still guess what was going on, it captivated me. I thought the cinematography was quite nice and who doesn't love any movie with Guy Pearce.

In the more thoughtful category, we also watched The Princess and the Warrior and Charade, both of which I highly recommend. I think Franka Potente and Audrey Hepburn are about as far removed from each other as you can get (can you imagine Franka playing they helpless Reggie anymore than you could imagine Audrey playing such a strong character as Sissi [or Lola]?), and yet, I think they are among my favorite actresses. I don't have favorite actors and actresses, as I do favorite movies and directors, but if I did, I rank them both up there with Cate Blanchett, Humphrey Bogart, and Toni Collette (the Marx Brothers and Woody Allen don't count because they are so much more than just actors). The problem with actors and actresses is that there's no consistency between the types of films they do. I adore Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity (hey, look who wrote the Amazon review of that!), which is one of my top ten films (although I've often said that if you count all the films I say are in my top ten, you'll find you have about twenty-five films), but that doesn't mean I was devoted to The Absent-Minded Professor or Son of Flubber. Not like I can say, "Oh, Eric Rohmer is one of my favorite directors" because his movies have simliar themes and I can know what to expect without feeling like I've seen it before. (Digression: Am I the only one here who didn't like the book The Hours and is so not looking forward to the movie?) We've got until January 13 to see how many films we can cram in. And good news for us, Hollywood Video is open until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Friday, December 20

Fa La La La La

Office parties. Anyone who's worked in retail remember those? Apparently they are alive and well and living in relative comfort in offices all over the country. Who knew? My office, to my delight, had not one, not two, but three spankin' holiday parties. I'm in a department of nine within a larger department. So we had our small department holiday party on Monday, in which we all brought in yummies and the bosses handed out gifts and we were festive and played games (most notable two lies and a truth, which has always been a favorite of mine). Champagne flowed freely. Then on Tuesday, a second two-hour party for the department at large, but this time in the swank conference room downstairs with waiters carrying around trays of food, platters of snacks set out, and a dessert table that could put the Cookie Monster into a sugar coma. Beer and wine flowed freely and an office a cappella group did a beautiful rendition of, hmmm, what was it? Well, it was very pretty, but it was a Christmas Carol I was only somewhat familiar with (which means it wasn't "Silent Night" or "Jingle Bells"). Then, on Thursday, yet another two-hour affair for all of BU staff over at the student union, that had a dessert table that made the Tuesday one look like scraps set out for the dogs. I was fine at all the parties until the final one, when I discovered the strawberry petit fours with marzipan topping. Mmmmm. I didn't budge from that table. Oh, the rest of the food was lovely, and many drinks flowed there, but those petit fours. Mmmmm. Did I say that already? Let me say it again. Mmmmmm. I thought for a school that the afternoon was pretty swank (all parties took place during work hours, from 3 to 5).

After having the holidays ignored save for my "I survived CS/McDonough/Fernley this holiday season" T-shirts for the past bunch of years, it was cool to see people actually excited about Christmas. (And I'm not sure why they bother to bill these as "holiday" parties. They're Christmas parties, plain and simple. Hanukah ended ages ago and there wasn't a single dreidel in all the Christmas trees, so why not call it as it is. Although, at the BU party, in all fairness, there was a sign by the bacon-wrapped scallops that read "Kosher Food Available Upon Request." Of course, we could nitpick that and say, what about those who are Hallal, but really, let's just call this all Christmas and be done with it.)

There's also a genuine feeling of giving here, I think. Everyone had some sort of Toys for Tots program. A collection was taken up in the office to buy a gift for the women who clean our office. I'm sure if the folks at Amazon were consolidated at the holiday time, they'd be generous as well, but it was so easy to let the entire season slip by with little notice. But they do give in their own ways at different times. Which may even be nicer--all those people who are benefitting from people's holiday generosity still need things come January, February, March... You get the idea.

Thursday, December 19

Movies, Boston Style

Sigh. So now I have to wait an entire year for The Return of the King. And when that one's over, it's done, and all I'm left with is an empty feeling. Two Towers was fantastic. Really. (Hey, check it out: you can search for all Elvish films on the IMDb.)

What a contrast, though, between seeing The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring last year and seeing Two Towers this year. Last year, opening night, Eugene got tickets for a whole mess of us, and even though I had just gotten back from doing my time on the night shift in Fernley, I was determined to stay up to watch it. KJ and I trooped down first to the Cinerama to wait in line for seats. We weren't too far back, and the line wrapped around the block. I had brought my peanut-butter surprise cookies (recipe by Martha). KJ and I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of us and she convinced him to try the cookies, even though he obviously had no interest in taking sweets from strangers. He then asked for more, and when his wife showed, forced cookies on her. His wife and I both confessed our Martha devotion, bonding immediately, which would only happen in a LOTR line in Seattle. I remember is was cold, or rather, what I used to think of as cold, probably in the mid-40s, and so Adam stopped by Ann Taylor and bought me a cute pink and lavender hat. Eventually everyone showed, and I believe there were twelve or fifteen of us, and we rushed into the theater to grab seats, but we had to separate, because we couldn't get enough seats together. Seeing a movie at the Cinerama is magic. Paul Allen renovated the old theater and the lush seats, the huge screen, incredible sound, and the plush surroundings make it the place to see any film. The crowds at this theater get so excited, and there's plenty of cheering and clapping and laughing (but in a good, not-interfering-with-the-movie way). This morning, Eugene took 39 folks with him to see the 7:45 a.m. showing of Two Towers (which I keep wanting to call Twin Towers. I can't be alone on this one).

And here? Well, for starters, there are no 7:45 a.m. showings. I was able to get tickets for tonight as of last Friday at a theater in a 'burb not too far from here. I found one friend who wanted to see the film. We had two extra tickets, which we were able to sell easily, but everyone I spoke to said, "Oh, I never even saw the first one," or "Just not into it." At the theater, we all waited in an orderly fashion inside the theater about 40 minutes before the show started. When they let people in, everyone calmly walked to find a seat. No chatting with strangers (although I did inject myself into a conversation I was eavesdropping on [what? me eavesdrop? never!] behind me about which trailers go on which films). The theater was your average theater, and once the movie started, I was sucked right in, but it wasn't the same.

Of course, this is probably the last time a big gang is going to a flick in Seattle, too. Eugene is definitely the driving force behind that one, and he's taking a leave from Amazon (good for you, Eugene!), most likely to climb the very LOTR mountains in New Zealand; Scott is midway on his biking trip from Key West to Sand Diego (last I heard from him, he was nearing Big Bend in Texas); others are preparing to depart and even though I've only been gone for a handful of months, I probably wouldn't recognize most of the people at the company anymore. It seems as if almost every day I get more and more e-mails from folks saying good-bye to Amazon and sending out their new contact info. Almost all the Amazonians I started with are gone, scattered about Seattle and the country. So even Seattle isn't Seattle anymore (and while some may quibble that Amazon is not Seattle, for many years, for better or for worse, it did seem to be my life). And while I miss Seattle, I'm certainly growing accustomed to Boston's face. I am quite surprised that I really like all the cold weather and snow. Makes for cozy evenings. My only true complaint about Boston (although I reserve the right to come up with others) is I haven't met enough folks with spunk. Oh, there are a couple (hi Wendy and Shannon!), but not nearly enough. Know any spunky Bostonians? Send them my way.

And, in the meantime, go see Two Towers. And until you get to the theater, you can listen to the rap. That movie rocked! Go. NOW!

Tuesday, December 17

A blog that actually has something to say (thanks to Simon for the link).

Sunday, December 15

Read a Book

If you haven't read today's Book Review section in today's New York Times, then hop to it! Miss Mary has written a lovely review in the "Books in Brief" section and you should all read it and give her your kudos. It's a banner day for my writing friends. My coworker Jennifer had an article in the BostonWorks section of today's Globe. If you're in Boston, go read that one, too!

The Goose Is Getting Fat

I'm not sure if Boston is just that different from Seattle during the holiday season or if I'm merely feeling a holiday overload because for the past three years I've spent the majority of the holiday season working in a windowless warehouse or sleeping in a hotel, but wow. The holidays are here. Part of me suspects that Seattle just doesn't play the holiday game like they do here in the Northeast. After all, the weather is never wintery this time of year. Here, the wreaths and bows are a startling contrast to the bare trees and the lights look beautiful on a snowy night. So few trees lose their leaves in Seattle that the holiday foliage blends in. Walking into Wilson Farms this afternoon, the smell of pine was overwhelming, and the wreaths, trees, ornaments, centerpieces, poinsettia dominated the store, making it difficult to find what I was looking for, mainly parsnip and jalapenos (for two separate recipes, thank you). (You know, I just tried to work obfuscate into that previous sentence just because I'm digging that word today, but I realized it wouldn't work there. Just wanted to mention that.) Christmas is here with a bang. The strange thing is, the Boston area has such a larger Jewish population than Seattle, but it feels like an unusually gentile town. Maybe because Seattle's was smaller we banded together more so our presence seemed stronger. It's too diffuse in Boston. The smell of pine trees is the only think I'm jealous of the Christmas-celebrating folks about. I love the smell of pine. I've tried pine scented candles, but it's just not the same, and there's no way I'd hang a wreath or anything in our house. I've thought about secretly hiding boughs of pine somewhere in the house, but it just seems a little to weird. And I guess the other bad thing about being a Jew at Christmastime is it's one less event that I can be Martha about. In retaliation for the Christmas overload, I went to the other extreme. I had homemade chicken soup simmering all day, so now the house smells even less Christmas and even more Lower East Side. And that's a good thing.

Saturday, December 14

The Anti-Partners Club

The CWITs are looking for partners to work admit weekend. Hmmm, this may be the job for me. I could tell the wives what it's really like. Maybe I should form my own partners club for disaffected wives who are trying--and failing--to fight the Stepford-wife-like domination of the CWITs. We could do things like cigar and martini nights, write newsletters that don't have egregious typos, and not spam the members on a thrice-daily basis. While the partners do their case night ("just like what they do in a class!!"), we could get stoned and see if we can still pick up men. During mommy and me events we can rally for NARAL. We'll be just as crafty: while the partners are scrapbooking, we can make "Pussy Power" t-shirts. Our events could actually be fun, stuff like "pedicures and politics," an evening of debate and pink passion nail polish. I think I'm on to something here. Who's with me on this!

Friday, December 13

Click a Little

Everyone is making a daily visit to the Hunger Site and clicking away on all the links, aren't they? Every click you make donates food, saves the rainforest, funds a mammogram, helps a child, or saves an animal (visit all their sites) on this advertising-supported Web site. It's the easiest donation you can make!

Thursday, December 12

Tick Tock

Has anyone else noticed that it's way past my bedtime and yet here I am, still futzing on the computer? That's what happens when Adam isn't here to remind me it's way past my bedtime. And where, you might ask, is Adam? Why off at a bachelor party. At midnight. On a Thursday. Yes, folks, this is what HBS is all about. Good night and sweet dreams. Or, as the Tweedle Twirp would say, Sweet gerbils.


A reversal: after a life-time of pseudo-early-adapterness, I'm taking a step back. Why pseudo-early adapter? Because my parents held me back. I wanted my MTV in 1981 (ah, 1981. When ketchup was a vegetable, HBO didn't go on until 5 p.m., and Nutra-Sweet was new. I remember that year well. The Reaganites wore gray, I wore blue... leg warmers, that is. They went well with my feathered hair), only my parents didn't deign to give it to me until 1985. I wanted an Atari when they were still cool, but didn't get one until I was practically shipped off to college. I wanted a CD player the moment I heard of its joy and saw the pretty shiny discs, but didn't get one until I bought one with my own money when I went to college. You get the picture.

Now, a brief history of my on-again, off-again relationship with technology. As a child, my family had one of the first computers on the block. Granted, at the time, my family lived in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado, and technically speaking, we were the only family on the block, but I think you understand what I mean. Have I blogged about this before? I'm having blog-a-vu. Oh well, can you ever blog enough about your first computer? Our first was a cassette-loading TRS-80 Model III that we got because my father asked me, the twelve year old, "Should be get the Model III, which we can get RIGHT NOW or should we order an Apple III, which could take up to two months to get here? What do you think? Model III, RIGHT NOW? or Apple III, at some point in the future?" Does anyone else here think he was using his wee children to justify making the less logical and yet more instantly gratifying decision? So, we had a computer before anyone else. And I was a wiz, writing programs such as:
10 CLS
20 PRINT "Jenny the Greatestestestestestestestestestestest"
30 GOTO 20

"Jenny the Greatestestestestestestestestestestest," of course, being the only name I would answer to in those days.

Digression from the digression: Does anyone else miss the orange button of death on those old Trash 80s? I think my life could use one. When I don't like something, boom! Orange button of death. You would walk by big gaping holes in the earth, and if someone mused, "Wow, wonder what happened here?" you could tell them, "Ah, that was just Jenny and her orange button of death. Must have been another CWIT-related fatality."

Okay, so we had the computer early on. I had a CD player and a DVD player the minute I could afford one. My father gave me an MP-3 player before most of my friends knew what they were. And then I became a true early adapter by marriage, when the Replay-owning, Mac-worshipping, "Why can't I have the tablet laptop" boy moved into my house.

Is anyone else here besides me wondering what the point of all this was? Oh, yes, it comes back to me. I'm giving up my PDA and returning to the land of the handwritten calendar. I'm bringing my Day Runner out of retirement. Only this is for keeps and not some Michael Jordan "I'm out, I'm in, I'm out, I'm in" kind of return from retirement. The Visor is just too much of a pain to use, so I end up ignoring to-do lists, forgetting birthdays, and losing my notes. I mean, for goodness sake, I can't even remember to turn the stupid thing on every day, so when I finally do break down to look up a phone number or something, I get five minutes of "reminders" of events that happened months ago. Sheesh. So I am no longer PDA compatible. My one concession is I've gotten a Day Runner case that has a spot to hold the Visor, so if I'm ever jonesing for a round of Minesweeper, it will be there for me.

Make Yourself Useful, MBAs

Question for all the marketing MBAs out there: Why does every appeal letter (and we are getting tons of them this holiday season. Give! Give! Give more!) repeat the request in a P.S.? I mean, if you've made it that far, you've already got the point. Do they think that most of us will read the letter and lose our stream of thought halfway through, get to the P.S. at the bottom and then say, "Oh, yeah! They wanted money! I totally forgot. Let me go find my checkbook."

My Two Cents

Does anyone else miss the cents key? Are we really so far gone that if it's less than a dollar, it just doesn't count?

Wednesday, December 11


I was going to write a long entry about how unmotivated I feel of late, but then I realized I really wasn't motivated to do it. So I won't.

Monday, December 9

Thirty Is Such a Happy Place to Be

I'm feeling bad because my sweetie is the only one not to get a shout out on his birthday. But yesterday, Adam finally hit thirty (as my father said, "This is distressing. Now there are no more children in this family in their twenties).

I want to make note of just one thing from yesterday: We had breakfast at Renee's Cafe in Somerville, where I got this look--an actual sneer of horror and disdain--when I asked for low-fat milk for my coffee instead of cream (regular milk only; no low-fat milk) and if I could get low-fat sour cream on my omelette (regular sour cream only; no low-fat sour cream). I've never seen a look like that--that low-fat face. As Adam pointed out, you would never have gotten a look like that in Seattle. They would have had full-fat, low-fat, non-fat, tofu, you name it. Boston isn't quite as, um, open-minded, I'm finding. But despite that breakfast was good and we ran into Adam's brother, which made me feel like I actually live here.

Saturday, December 7

A Dazzling Holidazzle

Helloooo, dahlings. Hah-vahd Jennifer here today. Jenny, it would appear, is still in bed nursing a cheap red wine hangover (not very CWIT of her, I declare), so I am here to report on the events of Holidazzle, otherwise known as the HBS holiday ball. 'Tis a lovely, lovely event. A wee bit early in the evening, which necessitated rushing home from work so that meticulous care could be used in putting on make-up and curling hair. Of course, since Jenny is not one to plan ahead, she didn't actually own a curling iron, and she frantically sent Adam to the drugstore to get one, because it was infinitely easier than getting her hair cut, which she should have done weeks ago, I tell you! Anyhoo, despite Jenny's insistence on a dress from the clearance rack (can you believe she was bragging that it only cost $16.99 marked down from $140. I tried to intervene--no need for anyone to think it cost a penny less than $200, but she stepped on my toes to shut me up), we arrived looking splendiforous. Adam was quite dashing in his tuxedo. Such a low CWIT moment--Adam owns his own tuxedo, but I, I do not even have a curling iron. How am I ever supposed to be up to snuff as a CWIT? But where was I? The cocktail hour was brief, as we were a bit late and the coat check line was horribly long. When we entered, our ids were checked and our hands were stamped, and can you believe it? They insisted on stamping me with red ink, even thought I told them it wouldn't go with my blue dress. Horrifying!

Then we had dinner. While the party was for all of HBS, dinner was just for the first years and we all divided up by section (remember our section? Absolut A! Absolut Heaven, is what they should really call themselves). Sat at a lovely table. I truly tried to enjoy the evening's festivities, but it was quite hard when Jenny was so hell bent on (oooh, pardon my language), as she kept muttering, "dulling the pain." I believe she also said something about the darling couple next to her who didn't drink and that she "would dull the pain for them too" as she reached yet again for the bottle. My theory is nurse one drink throughout the evening so you can be on hand when your husband needs you. You know, to laugh at his jokes, to help make witty conversation, and to assist him when he's had one too many. I'm afraid Adam may be doing well at HBS, but Jenny is going to be put back a year in CWIT training. To continue, dinner was a tempting chicken meal--and for once there were no annoying choices to clutter my brain. Thank goodness! Chicken or nothing! I don't know what those silly vegetarians have to complain about. So, as we battled--I mean, ate--our chickens, we were cleverly entertained by the section. Once again an outstanding medley, although, I'm afraid, the acoustics made it a wee bit difficult to hear the lyrics. Of course, us CWITs wouldn't understand all of the references, but then, we don't have to. As long as our husbands understand. There's nothing like seeing a room of elegantly dressed adults standing on their chairs and hooting to bawdy songs. So refreshing! Brought me right back to my college days. Sigh. How I miss those fraternity parties. After the music, each table was encouraged to write a limerick. Oh, you know limericks, don't you? Those oh-so-clever five lined poems? Many of them were quite smart, and I didn't understand one bit why Jenny got so huffy when one of the poems made mention of a female classmate's "fine rack" or another referred to a woman classmate's ass. (Again, pardon the language, but limericks can get a wee bit off color.) And the fun didn't stop there! Next came a Section A version of Family Feud! The section had been polled before the event for the answers, so you just know how witty the questions were going to be! I know, I know, you're thinking this is simply too much fun for one night, but it's so refreshing when the entertainment just goes on and on and on. We didn't mind one bit that just behind the closed door of our section dinner, we could hear the music of the dance floor or the tittering of people enjoying the open bar. I just couldn't stop Jenny, when during the Family Feud question about who's significant others really were the "better half," she hissed to Adam, "This is so demeaning," especially as women were named and then given the great big Family Feud X. Personally, I think she should be so grateful to have made the list. And I was even more grateful that when they gave her name as an answer, they said, "Jenny, Mrs. Tech Rep," which apparently she is okay with. Can you imagine the fuss she would have made in there if they had called her Mrs. Medros? Oh, I shudder to even think of it! Of course, Jenny sat fuming at the whole thing for five minutes before it occurred to her to lean over and whisper to Adam--I swear I tried to stop her--"Did you put me down for that answer?" I'm just praying to the good lord above that no one saw her slug him when he said, "No." He insists he left that question blank because he knew it would annoy her. And then she fumed for a good 'nother hour because she wasn't sure if she should be pleased or angry that he didn't answer the question.

Anyhoo, the games, sadly, ended, and we joined the rest of HBS. We joined some darling friends, only I was humiliated--humiliated, I tell you--when I saw I was the only one without a manicure, never mind a pedicure. Terrible, dahlings, simply terrible! One dear friend, who Jenny rudely promised to mock mercilessly as a CWIT, actually went and had her hair and make-up professionally done. Oh, how I wanted to cry in embarrassment at my utter lack of CWIT behavior. Really, in the future, I'm going to have to lock Jenny away when I get ready for these events. The bar at this time was out of red wine and they had no water--after all Hah-vahd boys are too good for water--so to my embarrassment, Jenny began drinking from a Bud bottle. Please! Beer is only for Fourth of July picnics and then only from a glass and never domestic. This girl will never learn. By this time, Adam wanted to dance, and as the dutiful wife, I tried, oh, how I tried, but Jenny drunkenly began insisting that she didn't feel so well. So after one trip to the ice cream bar, we departed for home. True, it was a tad early--not even midnight--although it was late enough that couples were beginning to snog on the dance floor and a few CWITs were whisking off their overly drunk husbands. So we made it home, where Jenny crumpled her chi-chi clearance dress formal on the floor, climbing into bed with a resounding, "Ugh," leaving poor Adam to hang the clothes and bring her water and aspirin. That girl is never going to make it in the real world. Well, the fun is over for the moment, and dahlings, I'm afraid I must dash off and take care of some womanly duties (laundry, cleaning, you know. The things the housekeeper will do once we get a live-in). Ta ta!


Can someone tell me please which is worse? A. The fact that at the winter formal (black tie, thank you very much), Adam's section would play a game such as Family Feud with such questions as "Who's significant other really is their 'better half'" or B. that complete strangers would put me on the list and yet MY OWN HUSBAND DIDN'T! It's a cruel, cruel world.

And then, to top it off, on the car ride home, the Waitresses' song "Christmas Wrapping" came on, Adam HAD NEVER HEARD IT!

I'm going to bury my head in the sand. Good night all.

Friday, December 6

Bad, Feminist, Bad!

Rant warning. If you're not in the mood for my complaints, then just keep surfing.

So, I went to a partner's event last night. And before you can say it, let me say it first: I'm a complete hypocrite. I mock the scrapbooking. I pshaw the cooking classes. I harrumph at the hoedowns. But the minute "paint your own pottery" hit the list, I was signed up before you could say, "Martha Stewart." I've always had a secret longing to find out if I could make those pretty Pottery-Barn-esque things (and the answer is, Nope. I can't). Although I confess I didn't actually confirm the event until Meg swore up and down that she would definitely show up. And all I can say is, thank goodness Meg was there.

Dinner first with Meg--a quiet martini and pizza dinner (for me; Meg is much healthier than I am) at Grafton Street. The snow was coming down pretty heavily, which turns out to be good for the Cambridge parking situation. Then the two of us headed over to Made by Me. We plopped ourselves down at the table while the other cliques formed around us. And I do mean cliques. You haven't seen groups like these since you were in high school. I pick a mug and Meg picks a mug and away we go with the painting (although thanks to Meg, I didn't waste too much time. She ever so kindly pointed out to me, "Will you be able to see the stencils you are so carefully drawing on the bare cup once you've painted the base color on?" Um...). I went with a green base and blue '60s design. I know, these are the important details you are dying to know. But sitting there, overhearing all of the CWITs talking, I felt my blood boil. Everything had to do with the husbands. "So will Alexander Jonathan the Third like what you're making?" "Has Zachariah Charles been interviewing?" "Oh, I'd like to live in Maui, but Spencer T. Johnson prefers Buffalo, so that is where we will be going." And I was infuriated. Do these women not have lives of their own? Do they not do their own interesting things and have their own interesting jobs other than that of appendage (and for the record, I fully support the stay-at-home mom as a full-time, interesting job because that's a tougher career than any of those b-school boys will have, but not even that was discussed)? What really got to me, though, what I was most annoyed at, what I was completely irritated by, what made me want to stand up and shake someone, was that I wasn't annoyed at the apparent chauvinism of the men (evident in their discussions). I was annoyed at these women. I think it's anti-feminist of me to be annoyed by other people's lack of feminism (that's not femininity, folks. Feminism. It's not such a dirty word. Come on, say it with me now. Feminism), but there it is: I am. I mean, hello? It's practically 2003. Our generation got to skip all the examining of vulvas in mirrors and what not because supposedly our mothers liberated themselves for us, but apparently, some moms were busy doing the laundry while the consciousness raising was going on. Am I wrongfully judging women because they choose not to be individuals? They should have the right to want to be '50s wives. I'm being anti-woman in not wanting to let them. Maybe, they are destined to be be blissfully happy forever and ever because they simply don't care, while I'm doomed to a life of questioning, questioning, questioning, and I can't just be open-minded and let things go. Maybe Socrates was full of shit. Maybe it's better to just float around in sequined tops and big honking diamond rings and let the hubby take care of life. After all, I'm just a girl. What could I possibly know?


Random aside: If you are going to use the windshield wipers to get the snow off the car windshield, while you're scraping the rest of the car, remember to close the car door first.

Thursday, December 5

Who Is John Galt?

Screw him. The question is, Who is Jenny Brown?

jenny brown is in her home directory and types
jenny brown is a senior developer at goamerica communications
jenny brown is feeling much better and after ‘taking the sea air’ is now feeling well
jenny brown is well on the way to planning our autumn production “a jubilee review” and details of auditions etc can be found elsewhere in the newsletter
jenny brown is 14 years old
jenny brown is the alachua county labor party co
jenny brown is a bass solo and they actually made it to ben's part of the song
jenny brown is keeping adam sane; tad is starting his application process as we speak
jenny brown is a melbourne freelance writer
jenny brown is to replace mr william mott in the 2002/2003 academic year
jenny brown is a video editor at amazon
jenny brown is leaving us
jenny brown is a consultant at flash creative management
jenny brown is a member of the national writers union uaw #1981 and gainesville women's liberation
jenny brown is selected for the england senior team for a meeting in dunkirk on 2nd december
jenny brown is the senior editor for dvd and video at amazon
jenny brown is the editor
jenny brown is in grade 8 and is also at longreach state high school
jenny brown is the activity and social director
jenny brown is the top seed among women
jenny brown is a writer for racingserver
jenny brown is having one at her house on birch street

Who are you?

Just About There...

You're almost ready for your scotch and cigarettes. Happy birthday, plauer!

Monday, December 2


The Thanksgiving meal was truly fabulousness. Really. A turkey extravaganza at its best. And I'm not just saying that because I did 95% of the cooking. I'm saying it because it's fact (and those of who were there should now chime in and attest to the fabulosity of the meal). Right down to the Martha-inspired centerpieces and the pretty ribbon napkin rings. The only casualty of the evening--surprisingly enough--was the sweet potatoes, not that anyone was ever the wiser. Turns out putting marshmallows on mashed sweet potatoes is overdressing them--at least it is when you forget to pull said sweet potatoes out from under the broiler until the smoke alarm gently suggests that perhaps it is time. But a neat scoop of the knife and all incriminating evidence was down the garbage disposal, and we had lovely naked sweet potatoes. Oh, and the bean casserole didn't turn out well. I really wanted to do the white-trash thang and make green bean casserole with the mushroom soup and the fried onions (we were deprived of this American delicacy as children), but even though I cooked it the required length of time, the beans remained frozen. Luckily, I had a secondary green bean dish (with fresh green beans, garlic, and parmesan. Mmmm!) that was just fine. Plus the nuts, olives, and St. Andre cheese, the warm spinach dip, the hot apple cider, the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, the stuffing, the homemade rolls, the salad, the cranberry sauce, the apple pie, the pumpkin pie, the truffles, and the ice cream. And many thanks to Shannon who successfully wrangled the turkey wings into their full upright and locked position after I threw up my hands in frustration after that turkey just didn't want to play with me. But I got even with it. I smeared it with butter and thyme, shoved lemons and onions up its butt, and ate it for dinner. Oh yes I did!

Achilles' Ear

We learned a new thing about the Tweedle Twirp this weekend. And that is, despite the fact that she is the Smartest Brown, she becomes frozen with stupidity when there is music playing. I mean just stopped in her tracks. Like a deer in headlights. When music is on, that girl is Bambi.

Among the many lovely gifts I got, my parents gave me the C.D. Elvis 30 #1 Hits, which of course I had to play over and over again during the course of the weekend. I even have a special dance I do for "A Little Less Conversation." So, the album was playing for the nth time as Tweeds and I attempted to do the crossword puzzle sans our father's help. But the Tweedle Twirp just wasn't having it. "I can't think when there's music on," she said in voice that came awfully close to a whine. And whenever she was particularly stumped, she'd say, "I'm never going to get this if you keep that C.D. on." After a while, she would quit and amble away, only to come back to help out again until the music--again--infected her brain, once more rendering it worthless. And so we would lather rinse and repeat until, despite "In the Ghetto" and her constant defections, we did manage to complete the New York Times Saturday crossword puzzle (which any crossword aficionado knows is the hardest puzzle of the week). They almost had us at "A place you'll see a nun," but, finally, I got "dreidel" and we cheered our brilliance. Oh, those clever New York Times crossword people!.

To continue. Later in the day we decided the family needed to entertain itself in order to make sure we didn't kill each other (always a fear in the Brown family household). We'd already gone to a movie (Die Another Die, which everyone but the Mama Brown enjoyed) and we'd already watched two--count 'em, two--DVDs (Sullivan's Travels and Miracle at 34th Street, for those of you playing along at home. Somehow, both Tweeds and I had gone thirtyplus years never having seen Miracle. And yes, even the Littlest Brown is thirtyplus years). No one wanted to play Scrabble (ah, the mighty soul who is willing to take me on in Scrabble). So we played Trivial Pursuit. We played with different sets of cards--the Mama Brown had The '60s, the Papa Brown, the Vintage Years (1920s-1950s), and the three young 'uns played with the Know-It-All set, even though it quickly became apparent that we didn't. Each of us took our turn. But every time the Tweedle Twirp's turn comes up, she complains that it's too hard to concentrate with "Heartbreak Hotel" in the background. So instead of doing the logical thing and turning off the music, which would then have forced me into humming the "Jeopardy" tune every time someone took too long to answer, I had to get up to pause the C.D. for Tweeds before she rolled the dice. When her turn was over, I would get back up and turn the music back on. Who knew she was such a sensitive child? And no, the lack of music during her turn didn't help her win.

I'm sure she's going to protest this, saying I've used creative license or exaggerated the whole thing. Which is fine. She just lies is all. (No, you may not correct my grammar on that sentence. It was intentional. For effect. Ah, hell, these fine points are lost on you people anyway.)

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

The entire house reeks of oil. Oil, oil, oil. At the gym this morning, oil was oozing from my pores. Thanks to an evening of latke frying (that's potato pancakes for you goyim out there), my skin isn't losing that fresh I'm-16-years-old sheen. But people came and ate my latkes (and truffles and oatmeal-cranberry cookies and rugelah...), so I'm a happy Chanukaher.

And speaking of which, a happy Chanukah to all and to all a good night!