Yesterday Mr. P & I took mental health days.  The thought of trudging to work in 6 in of snow and/or digging the car out was too much for us to bear so we just didn’t go.  Instead, we slept in and drank Starbucks liqueur in our coffee and made a life changing decision.  A big, huge, decision.  We joined Costco.

We were against Costco in that everyone loves it and both of us tend to shy away from uber popular things.   This tendency explains why my husband cannot read a book if he sees anyone on the subway reading it or why I revel in the fact that I have never seen “The Godfather” or any of the new Star Wars. We’re weirdos- I know.   However, we are having a “Thank god Im done with Student Teaching” holiday party on Saturday and we needed to stock up on easy bake items.  And toilet paper. So we decided to join.

Neither of us had ever been before (a fact that astounded the lady who signed us up- What do you mean you’ve never been here before?  Ever?  Never ever?  I then proceeded to really rock her world by telling her we don’t have cable.  I think she is still recovering from meeting such freaks)

Seeing that this was our first time, Costco virgins if you will, neither of us was prepared for the sheer enormity of the store.  We wandered up and down each aisle awe-struck, shouting out our discoveries to one another. “Wow- they have DVD players that record! or “Honey- we could get an IPod that plays movies!” or “Maybe we should buy the coffeepot that can grind AND brew!  Imagine!”  I felt like I was a caveman who had stumbled upon futureland, ala Encino Man.

$483 dollars later, we left with a car chocked full of economy sized crap  because how could we afford not to buy 4 packages of bacon (it was only $6!) or 4lbs of butter!  Apparently now we have the fixins to make bacon wrapped butter.

In retrospect, we bought a lot of stuff we don’t really need (25 razor cartridges and 8lbs of popcorn come to mind).  However, I can’t wait to go back.  There is a 12lb bag of cheddar cheese with my name on it.

Behold, my first meme. A bit outdated, but I thought it was appropriate that it’s about books. I also would love any book recommendations you may have, especially non fiction.  I cannot think of anything to add to my Christmas list (seriously what is wrong with me! The only thing on the list as of now is candlesticks. CANDLESTICKS! Who under the age of 70 asks for wax products for Christmas?)

Instructions: Look at the list of books below.

  • Bold the ones you’ve read.
  • Italicize the ones you’re planning to read.
  • Cross out the ones you won’t read / aren’t interested in.
  • Star the ones on your book shelves.
  • Place parentheses around the ones you’ve never even heard of.
  • Do nothing to the ones that you may or may not read.

*1984 – George Orwell

*The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho- My sister read a passage from this at our wedding.

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt– Read it when I was 14 and was traumatized by it. So sad.

Angels and Demons – Dan Brown : Don’t judge! It’s entertaining although terribly written.

*Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell

Anna Karenina – Tolstoy-

Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery– One of my favorite books from Childhood. Loved when they drank the blackberry wine.

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

*Atonement – Ian McEwan- Cannot express my love for this book- not to mention the hotness of the library scene.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

*The Bible (I always tried to read it as a kid but fell asleep.)

(Blindness – Jose Saramago)

The Bourne Identity – Robert Ludlum

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

*Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding Read it in college at my cubicle while everyone else was at a conference. May have peed in pants a wee bit from laughing so hard.

*The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger

The Celestine Prophecy – James Redfield

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel (Never read it but I do know that my brother taped over my favorite movie at the time, Adventures in Babysitting, with this lame movie. I think I still hold a grudge)

*A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

(Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell)

Confessions of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

(Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson)

*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon My husband loves teaching this book to his students. Still crack up that Brits call it “maths”

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

(The Diviners – Margaret Laurence)

Dune – Frank Herbert

East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Emma – Jane Austen- My favorite Austen is Mansfield Park

(Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card)

The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje– loved the book, HATED the movie

(Fall on Your Knees – Ann-Marie MacDonald)

(Fifth Business – Robertson Davies)

Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

(A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry)

The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom Cannot tolerate his dribble. Don’t even get me started on Tuesdays with Morrie.

The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand

Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – Could never understand how she had a 17 in waist.

The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck

(Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman)

*The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

*The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

*The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret AtwoodTop three favorite books. This book helped me begin to identify myself as a feminist. I saw her speak a few years ago at the humanities festival and I love her even more now.

*Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling
*Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
*Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
*Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

*The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb So sad. Ugh- makes me get a lump in my throat just thinking of it.

Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice

(In The Skin Of A Lion – Ondaatje)

*Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

(Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer)

*The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

*Life of Pi – Yann Martel

*The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

*The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

*Little Women – Louisa May Alcott My grandmother gave me the edition she read as a girl- one of my most prized possessions.

*Lord of the Flies – William Golding

* The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring – JRR Tolkien
*The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
*The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

*Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

*Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides– This was the first book my husband and I read together. We started a bookclub as friends and this was our first selection.

The Mists of Avalon – Marion Zimmer Bradley

(Neuromancer – William Gibson )

The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks

(Not Wanted On the Voyage – Timothy Findley)

Of Mice And Men – John Steinbeck

The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

*One Hundred Years Of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Classic. Confusing as hell at times but so enjoyable.

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

The Outsiders – S. E. Hinton

(The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett)

*The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver– Recently read this and was v. impressed. Beautifully written and powerful.

(The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay)

(A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving)

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

*Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier- My favorite Hitchcock movie.

*The Red Tent – Anita Diamant

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

*The Secret History – Donna Tartt- Lawyerish recommended this and I really enjoyed it.

*The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd

*The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zaffron- Oh the love I have for this book. If you love reading and have been to Barcelona, I highly recommend it.

She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb– A coworker recommended this because it’s her favorite. I thought it was a bit trite and soap opera-ish.

(Shogun – James Clavell)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – Ann Brashares – When I went to Honduras, publishing companies donated a bunch of books for the kiddos. This was among them- I read it on the beach in Hondo. Not bad!

*Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut

The Stand – Stephen King

(The Stone Angel – Margaret Laurence)

(The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields)

(The Summer Tree – Guy Gavriel Kay)

*A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough

*The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger – Top three book. I cry just thinking about it. A must read.

*To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom – I cannot stand this man!

*Ulysses – James Joyce

War and Peace – Tolstoy

*Watership Down – Richard Adams

White Oleander – Janet Fitch

Wizard’s First Rule – Terry Goodkind

(A Woman of Substance – Barbara Taylor Bradford)

The World According To Garp – John Irving

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

I never really thought I would get married.  Even as a little girl, I didn’t dream about “my special day” or my future prince charming.  Instead, I always thought I would live in some far off exotic place curing people of diseases while wearing white linen safari outfits.  And sipping Gin & Tonics to ward off malaria.

But then I met Mr. P and discovered that I couldn’t imagine not spending the rest of my life with him.  So we got hitched and thus far, I really like being married.  I like having the world take my commitment to my relationship seriously.  I like having a family (clearly I include four legged creatures under this familial umbrella).   I like that I’m in this for the long haul.

What I do not like, is being a wife.  By this, I mean the expectations that are heaped upon you because you are now a Mrs. (which, technically I am not because I didn’t change my name)  I don’t like having people assume that it is my responsibility to buy birthday cards and christmas presents because, well- I’m the wife!  I don’t like people sending me cleaning coupons and recipes because- I’m the wife!  I don’t like people disregarding my last name and reducing my identity to Mr. and Mrs. P.  I don’t like that is is my responsibility to worry about what to bring to a family gathering or holiday party because- I’m the wife!  I don’t like people assuming that just because I am married, I will want to spend hours discussing their wedding menu and bridesmaids dresses because- I’m the wife!

Now maybe I internalize some societal pressures on my own and my inlaws, relatives and friends don’t really expect me to morph into Martha Stewart just because I file a joint tax return.  However, I do believe that no matter how far we have come in achieving workplace equality and improved rights, we need to work on updating the definition of wife.

I spent the weekend visiting a friend in my college town. We stayed up late reminiscing and she drove me around visiting our old haunts. During our drive down memory lane, we talked about Scary Jerry, one of my earliest roommates. I thought I would share the tale with the interweb. Enjoy!

Sophomore year of college I shared a house with 4 guys and 2 girls. Even though I shared the dungeoness basement room with the other two girls (no windows= lots of uninterrupted sleeping after drinking way too many keg beers!) I thought this was going to be the best. year. ever because: a- it was my first year living away from home unsupervised (dorm life didn’t count as I was stuck in the all-girls’ dorm on campus aka- The Virgin Vault, Hymen Haven, Lesbian Lockdown- I heard them all) and b- I was living with my two best girl friends and 4 cool dudes. Until one of the dudes had to go to jail for the year instead (should’ve known to get out then)

So we needed a roommate and I was naive enough to think we would find someone perfect- fun, young and normal. Instead, the girls and I went away for the weekend and came home to find an old (he was 30, which to 19 yr old me was ANCIENT) creepy man who insisted on wearing white suits with white alligator boots, living in our house. Not only did he have a fashion sense more suited for Miami Vice than the Midwest, he also didn’t have a regular source of income. Instead, he was a human guinea pig who participated in medical studies for a living. But he was over 21 so could buy us booze. Apparently our guy roommates thought that this quality made him the perfect candidate to live with us.

Well, let’s just say that things with Scary Jerry were a bit rocky. When he was out of the hospital, remember- human guinea pig- he would lounge on the couch all day, watching countless movies and accost us with stories of how he had sex with over 1000 women while in the coast guard. The fact that he was 5’0, had spiky white hair and routinely injected his body with unapproved medications made this seem more than unlikely. He sorta looked like this.

In addition to life as a guinea pig, it turns out that Scary Jerry was also a screenwriter. I came home from class one day to find him pacing upstairs with a butcher knife, claiming he needed inspiration for his new movie, called “A Sum of Its Parts.” In this movie, the main character is a societal reject who kills women and takes their best feature to create a new perfect woman who in turns loves the weirdo. Ironically enough, all the characters had names eerily similar to my roommates and I. He then proceeded to list what body part he would harvest from me and each of my friends. Really great. (Incidentally, mine was my butt- even better!)

I wish I could say I had enough smarts to call the cops and turn this weirdo in for being a homicidal maniac. Nope- stupid 19 yr old self kept quiet, Scary Jerry pulled a gun on our neighbor and then skipped town, owing over $3000 in rent.

Moral of the story kids- never, ever trust people who wear white alligator boots. They are nothing but trouble.

I am not a picky eater.  Rarely do I come across food that I don’t like.  Sushi- yum.  Lutefisk- tasty. Guinea pig- not bad.   However, one food I cannot physically endure, can barely even look at, is Cheerios.  Specifically, the smell of Cheerios.  This is nothing new- I have never been able to eat that wretched cereal. In fact, when I was little I used to make my mom brush her teeth before waking me up if she had Cheerios for breakfast because the smell was so nauseating.

Well, by some karmic turn of events, a co-worker just spilled an entire box of Cheerios outside my office.  As they get crunched into the carpet, the smell is slowing wafting under my door.  I may have to file workers’ comp if I get sick.

I recently completed my student teaching (also known in my world as either “the time when my hair went on strike due to the insane amount of stress and decided to all fall out one day” (more on that later) or the “most rewarding yet difficult job every ohmygod teaching is so much work but i love it!” I use these label interchangably. Now I am done and can go find a teaching job. If anyone wants to hire me to teach their high school history classes, that would be fabulous.

No offers? Well, in the meantime, I have returned to the the law firm I worked at before student teaching. I’m a paralegal. Before you go thinking that I have a high profile and perhaps even exciting legal job, sorta like what they do on Boston Legal complete with sexy powersuits but with fewer pervy Denny Cranes running around, let me assure you that my job could be done by a less than intelligent monkey with a highlighter. And I definitely don’t dress as well as they do.

This job is one reason I have started this blog in that I have a ridiculous amount of time kill throughout the day. That and I want a place to share my random musings.

So anyhoo- one thing I have noticed upon my return to Corporate America, is that I think I work with a freakishly high percentage of Spiderpeople. Let me explain- let’s say I am walking down the hallway and another employee is walking towards me from the other direction. In the normal world, this is quite easy. You say “hi” as you pass and continue on your way. However, here in Spideyville, people are apparently so afraid of making eye contact, let along actually speaking to me (OMG THE HORROR!) that they literally try to climb the walls and press themselves into the hideous wallpaper in an attempt to get as far away as possible from me. The relief they feel when they pass without having to communicate with me is palpable.

This is frustrating for two reasons- #1- I like to think that I am not a scary person. In fact, I’m not even imposing- I’m little, only 5’2, and some may make the case that I can be quite nice. Why would people be so afraid of me that they have to climb the ways in avoidance? #2- I get lonely here. I used to work with my husband and he has now left to become a real teacher which leaves me with approximately 1 friend- the janitor. So I would like to be able to use my vocal chords at least once throughout the day. Would it kill them to let me emitting a solitary “Hi!” or maybe, if I get really crazy, a “How are you?”

Ah, but alas. Peter Parker and his gang of wallwalkers have decided that I am resigned to waste away my days as a mute. At least I now have this blog to talk to!

 

I hate being late.  I am the person who has to be on time or starts to panic and freak out and has to take really deep breaths if I think I may be even one minute late.  Weird- I know.  I arrive to interviews at least 30 minutes before and you can imagine how much time I spend in airports- good god, the mere thought of arriving for a flight that departs in less than an hour makes me itchy.  I blame my father as he suffers from the on-time sickness as well.  We abide by the rule that you are only on-time if you arrive at least 5 minutes before you are supposed to be there (and lets face it, 5 minutes is clearly not enough- better make it 10).  Anything later than that is just unacceptable.

As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time waiting for people.  It happens.

However, I am very late in starting a blog.  This fact makes me nervous and a bit overwhelmed as everyone else is so experienced and has pages of archives as testimony to their writing prowess.   But I guess you have to start somewhere.  So here I am.  A little late but arrived nonetheless.  Phew!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.