Sunday, October 25, 2009

Modern Weddings

Whenever I attend a wedding, I'm always curious to see what, if any, new or different elements are included.

We attended a wedding last night. It was the wedding of Mike's cousin's stepson (I assume this is an example of a distant relative). The relatives on this side of the family (his mother's side) live in either Vermont or California, so we never see them and I'm not even sure how we got invited. It just happens that the groom was marrying a young lady from the Jersey Shore, so the wedding was local for us. Five of Mike's siblings and their spouses attended also, so we had our own table, which was great, being as I didn't know anyone else there. Mike's dad was there with his girlfriend, Barbara (Mike's mom is deceased). They were seated with the cousin. Barb & I are around the same age and she was very disappointed to not be at our table, which we were referring to as "the kids' table."

Two things about the reception stood out for me. First, the couples' song was The Beatles "In My Life," one of my favorite love songs. I guess The Beatles' music has officially transcended generations. Second, they had an artist there who was standing with her easel and paints, where I could watch to see what she was doing. When we first sat down, she had already painted the other side of the room, detailing the windows and their drapery, and a few tables. Once the bridal party arrived, she got really down to business. Eventually, the picture showed the bride, standing on the side of the dance floor, watching her groom, with tears in her eyes, dancing with her mother. I'm assuming the artist's job was to capture a moment at the reception, which she did. It was really lovely; I've never seen this done before.

The bride graduated from Harvard and Georgetown Law School, where she met her groom. During one of the FOUR toasts, someone mentioned that, in preparation for this toast, she went back through old e-mails between her and the bride. I smiled, realizing the days of saving meaningful letters tied together in an old shoebox, are gone.

One very humorous moment. The groom's younger brother, the best man, began his toast with the mike a bit too close to his mouth and the first word we heard, very loudly was "Fornication.' Everyone was laughing and I don't think he understood why. You could hear one of his nearby buddies say to him 'fornication?" Then the best man explained what he was really saying was "For an occasion" such as this....." Which had all of us laughing more. Of course, this was all captured on video, so that moment has been captured for eternity.

At each place-setting, there was a note from the newlyweds thanking everyone and explaining that, instead of wedding favors, they donated that money to the Leukemia Society. At the time, we were unaware, but learned later that the groom had been diagnosed with leukemia 3 years ago, but went i to remission after about 18 months of treatment. Sadly, the leukemia returned in June and he is currently undergoing some new, experimental treatment.

All in all, a lovely, though bittersweet, occasion.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Humbug

I do not enjoy Halloween. There. I said it out loud. I admit, it's surprising, considering my love for chocolate and things sweet. But, like with most things nowadays, I believe we've taken it a bit too far. Driving home last night, I passed numerous homes decked out like it was Christmas, with orange lights decorating the entire house. When did this all begin? And why? I know, some will say it's all harmless fun. I just don't understand why everything has to be an extravaganza now.
Another reason why my dislike for the day is odd (I don't even want to use the word "Holiday," because it's NOT a holiday! If it were, schools and post offices would be closed!) is that I LOVE scary things. The gorier, the better. (That's probably one of the reasons I became an EMT; I know. Sick, isn't it?) Nothing like a good, sick movie with flesh-eating zombies or chain-saw wielding maniacs, to keep me happy on a Saturday night.
Now, don't get me wrong. I have great memories of trick or treating from my childhood. We would go out with our friends for hours, without parents in tow, scouring all the nearby neighborhoods and getting tips from other kids on who was giving out the "good stuff." Sometimes, we'd have to make a trip home to drop off what we got so far because our bags (sometimes just a pillowcase) would become too heavy. I remember one neighbor, Mrs. Levine, who would make caramel apples for the neighborhood kids.
So, I'm really not sure when my dislike, or, at least, apathy, started. All I know is, Halloween is on a Saturday this year and, being the Halloween Scrooge I am, I hope it pours! BOO!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Random Randomness

What's this I'm hearing? Two NW pilots fell asleep in the cockpit last night and flew 150 miles past their destination??? I'm speechless.

I'm feeling very patriotic tonight. The LSH & I have decided to help stimulate our economy and go for broke; we just signed a contract to replace all our windows, doors and siding. What have you done today for your fellow American?

I heard something that disturbed me today; Waterford closed their factory in Ireland and now, all that beautiful, Irish crystal is be ing made in Czechoslovakia. Is there such a thing as a Czech leprechaun?

After the day i had at work today, I realize I don't like a lot of people.

Anyone planning on going to see the Michael Jackson movie? It's only going to be in theaters for only 2 weeks. Then, I'm betting it will be on the store shelves just in time for Christmas for, whaddaya think, $99.99?

After reading other folks' blogs and listening to co-workers, i realize I lead a pretty unexciting life. And, guess what? That's fine with me!

I resisted Facebook for the longest time. Finally, I created an account a few months ago, after being harassed by friends, but I rarely checked it. Then, when I finally checked it out, I was amazed that so many people I used to know, particularly from HS, had found me. Now, i admit, I enjoy it.

Weeks ago, I mentioned I wanted to re-design my blog. I still haven't done anything. And, would you believe, I've had my Blackberry for almost 3 months and i haven't programmed one name or number yet? I couldn't transfer anything from my old phone because it just crashed. I would pay someone to do it for me; hmmm, maybe I'll call up one of the nieces/nephews.

For the last two weeks, I've taken advantage of one of my local supermarkets' delivery services and must admit, I'm enjoying it. They sucked me in with free delivery for 60 days. Even if I have to pay for delivery, it might be worth it. That's how much I despise food shopping.

Got another wedding to attend this weekend. It's being held at quite a nice, luxury hotel nearby. I hope I'm feeling well so I can enjoy myself Saturday night.

It was just announced that Bonjovi is set to be the first concert at the new Giants Stadium in the spring. Maybe I'll finally get to see the local Jersey boys live in concert.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Have We Lost Our Minds???

I'm sure you've all heard stories like this before, but it finally happened to someone I know.
My friend got a message the other day from her 10-year old son's school, saying that they had heard that her son had been seen with drugs in school and they were going to check this out immediately. My friend didn't believe it for a minute and actually was quite curious as to what the school was going to tell her. Sure enough. She got in touch with the vice-principal, who told her that, indeed, they found drugs in his possession, Milk of Magnesia. That day happened to be her son's first day back to school after being out for 2 days with, what her doctor called "a nervous stomach" (which the teacher knew about) and had told her to give him MOM. She just didn't know he had taken it to school, but the poor kid was afraid he was going to get sick in school, so he brought it "just in case." Because of their "zero tolerance policy" and because this school district doesn't suspend students, he, instead, was put in a class for kids with "chronic" behavior problems. Of course, this has done nothing for his "nervous" stomach. He's scared to death of some of these kids, the school bullies and "tough" guys, that make up this class.
When did school administrators give up their authority to discipline on a case by case basis? And why? Don't these school boards trust the people they put in these positions to be able to identify between a student with illegal drugs and a poor kid afraid he's going to get sick in school? God only knows what this experience has done to the boy.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chillin' On The Weekend

It seems like I'm becoming a weekend blogger. This was not the plan. But, I have to confess, by the time I get home from work, with all the extra demands and stress that comes with it, plus the symptoms of my still un-diagnosed malady (more tests coming end of month) and I come home from work and go immediately to bed. Sometimes, if I wake up around 8PM, I'll get up a have a bowl of cereal, maybe check out a few blogs, and head back to bed. Not much of a life, I admit.
Speaking of work, did anyone consider, when they decided to hand me all the responsibilities of a full-time position that was eliminated during the cutbacks while keeping all the responsibilities of the full-time position I've held for 3+ years, that not everything is going to get done in a timely manner and, eventually something's gonna give (mainly me). I mean, they paid someone for over 10 years to do a job that they now say I should be able to handle, along with my other duties. I feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place because, if I say I can't handle it, the powers that be, who have no idea who I am, let alone what my job entails, will just say "If she can't handle it, we'll get someone who can." And they may go through 2 or 3 new hires before someone realizes "Hey, maybe one person can't do all this." Meanwhile, I'll be long gone. And the guy I report too, although sympathetic, loses that sympathy when it's something HE wants that doesn't get done immediately. And he would never speak up for me. He's a wimp and hates conflict or confrontation. So, I don't see this getting any better.
I love a weekend when there's nothing on the calendar. I'm not anti-social. I'm looking forward to next weekend's wedding and my upcoming class reunion, but not having anything scheduled is very free-ing, if that's a word.
As I've been going to bed early during the week, I'm glad I've found many of the new shows can be found online (I don't even remember when they're on most of the time, so forget the tivo).

MADMEN - Is there anyone who has seen this show who hasn't been drawn in by these characters and their lives? What is it about this show that interests us (besides Mr. Draper-hubba! hubba!)? I mean, all the characters are miserable. Look at Don & Betty. A beautiful couple to see. But Don can't keep his pants on and Betty is miserable and looking elsewhere for what she misses. They never act playfully together or make each other laugh. When I think about it, my parents, who were of this generation, were the same, at least in front of us kids. It IS fun to see everyone drinking and smoking, at work, at home , in labor. Really.

FLASH FORWARD = I got caught up in the concept from the minute this show began. Everyone in the world loses consciousness at the same time for 137 seconds, where they "flash forward" in their minds, seeing what they'll be doing at that time in exactly 6 months. Knowing the future will affect how we behave in the present. Definitely interesting to me. Plus Joseph Fiennes is mighty fine.

MERCY - I've always had a thing for medical dramas, probably going back to Dr. Kildare (I even remember the title of my favorite Kildare episode,"Tyger, Tyger" with Yvette Mimieux). This is another one of those hospital-based dramas filled with doctors & nurses with huge character flaws, similar to "Grey's Anatomy", an older show I still follow.

Friday Night Lights - I love this show! Although it won't air on network tv until Jan., DirectTV will start airing it next week, I'm not sure, if you've weren't a viewer before, that it will capture your interest now. But it's worth a shot. Other than the fact that the supposed high school students are played by actors who haven't seen the inside of a classroom in quite a few years (including Minka Kelly, who has gained some renown for her relationship with Derek Jeter), it's well-acted and beautifully written. And Kyle Chandler isn't hard on the eyes.

And, for laughs, I'm hooked onModern Family
a quirky comedy starring Ed O'Neil of "Married With Children" fame.

I'm going to end with a photo of two of my nephews I took at last week's wedding. Does the word "mischievious" come to mind?

Passionately Pink

Yesterday was "Passionately Pink Day" at the office, to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. Everyone was asked to wear something pink, the more, the better. I just don't understand people who don't participate in something like this. Now, I realize, some of us go a bit overboard (including me; see examples below) when it comes to things like this. How hard is it to wear something, anything, with a little pink on it? Of course, you'll always get the guys who feel emasculated if they come near anything pink. When I see or hear that, my opinion of them goes down a few degrees. I'm always tempted to comment that I bet they're not so averse to pink when they are near a gal's pink "private parts;" then pink ain't so bad, is it?
But I really don't understand the women who choose to not participate in this. I mean, statistics show that everyone knows someone who has/had breast cancer. I ran into a co-worker in the ladies' room dressed all in black and asked her where her pink was. I was expecting her to say she forgot about it when she was getting dressed that morning. But her reply was "I don't do pink." Even our company gave out pink pins to everyone. She wasn't even wearing that. I know it's just symbolic and wearing pink isn't going to cure anything, except maybe the mood around the office. Which it definitely did. Plus it brings people together and what's wrong with that?
Anyway, here are a couple of pix from yesterday (can you guess which gal is me?):

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Who Needs A Giggle?

Don't have much time (or energy) to post, but this lady is a pisser.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eight Years Ago Today.....

I finally got it right. I married my wonderful LSH, Michael. Happy Anniversary. I'd do it all over again.
The photo above is a bouquet Michael put together of wildflowers from our backyard. He actually made two, one for home and one for my office. We were going to go out to dinner, but I'm very tired. I'd rather go this weekend when I'll, hopefully, be more awake!
I'm very excited. My delivery of Holey Donuts arrived today! I haven't had any yet, but I hear they're spectacular. They're gourmet, low-fat donuts, handmade, nothing artificial. They're pretty expensive normally, but I got them on sale.
If you shop online, you just have to try You go on their site and link to any one of 100's of stores, from Walmart and Lowes to Kate Spade and Sephora. If you buy something, you get a rebate back, anywhere from 2% to 10%, and sometimes more. They send you a check every month. I was suspicious at first, but there really isn't any catch. When you link through the Ebates website, you go to the same website as if you didn't. Prices are the same. You get a rebate on whatever you buy, even clearance sale items. BTW, I'm not being paid by Ebates or anyone to promote them. Just wanted to share this great find. Check them out and tell me what you think. I don't shop any site without checking first if they're part of Ebates.
Thanks to everyone who commented, emailed or phoned with your thoughts and best wishes in regards to my health. It's greatly appreciated.
I hope to get back to posting on a somewhat more regular basis. Hope everyone is doing well.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Calling All Teachers

This is for all my teacher friends:

Cut & paste:

Kudos To A Family Member

Congratulations to my bro-in-law, Mike Siegel. Mike is a cartographer at Rutgers and, along with a few others, has published his second book, "Mapping New Jersey." Mike's part was to create new maps based on various facts, like the area code changes over the years in NJ. Even if you're not a "map person" (like me), it's full of lots of interesting info about NJ. Here's a recent book review:

This is the second book Mike has contributed to, his first being "The Encyclopedia of New Jersey."

Hey, fellow Jerseyites, it's never too early to start your Christmas shopping!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I've Got A Case Of The Pity-Mes

I'm sitting here looking at 2 tickets for the Springsteen concert at Giants stadium, Section 120, that I purchased on 6/1, that went unused last night. It's joining a growing collection of other tickets/invites that went unused because, when the day of the event finally arrived, I wasn't well enough to go. Whatever this thing I have is, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, MS, or the newest opinion, peripheral neuropathy, it's ruining my life and making it impossible to commit to anything ahead of time, not to mention the lost money spent on events never attended. Last night's tickets cost $235. Within the next month, I have two family weddings and my class reunion.
I saw a new specialist, a neurologist, last week and had some tests; still waiting for the results. Meanwhile, it looks like another weekend spent in bed, hoping I can accumulate enough rest to make it through the next work week, which is not really how this undiagnosed malady works because, no matter how much rest I get, I never feel rested. I'm in constant pain, from my toes, feet, hands, fingers to even my mouth and tongue. I'm down to eating only soft foods because anything else hurts my mouth. My head hurt so much the other day, I took one of my husband's migraine pills.
On the days this past week I worked a full day, I went directly to bed each night. This is no way to live. I'm praying that this new doctor will be able to help me.