Good news, international style. Very glad to hear about this. I hope she doesn't write a book, I hope she just goes back to being a journalist. When Gene and I lived for a short while in northern Virginia, we visited the Newseum and it was almost as delightful as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The most moving part, though, was the Journalist's Memorial, a memorial to journalists dying in the pursuit of the news (sometimes, but not always, in warzones). I know that the work of soldiers is the greater work in the pursuit of peace, but I still feel so moved by journalists who responsibly try to report from warzones. In 2002, when Daniel Pearl was killed the first thing I thought about was that he'd be in this memorial. I am so pleased that Jill Carroll won't be joining him.

Work, lately

I made it to work about 45 minutes early yesterday because I had to take the dogs to the kennel. Since I had that time banked, I got the hell out of dodge 30 minutes early today. (So much for saving it for Friday!). I came into work in a fucking exuberant mood. I'd just heard They Might Be Giants' song Birdhouse in Your Soul. It is 100% impossible to not be in an awesome mood after rocking down the road to this song. I mean, I was ready to do cartwheels and high 5 the boss.

That was at 9 AM.

9:05 AM: Found fax from restaurant re: payroll problem they didn't reveal to me yesterday.

9:20 AM: Manager in Training comes to visit re: paycheck being too light. As if that's my fault. Totally 100% the fault of the training director. I tell him to speak to that person and to let me know what to do.

Before lunch, I was still clinging to the good mood. C'mon, Elaine, remember! "Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch, who watches over you? Make a little birdhouse in your soul!"

At lunch, I bought a soda and read the end of a dorky chicklit book. It was so nice to be alone I didn't want to go back in. I practically was in a panic state, realizing that the 60 minutes of a lunch break sooner or later ends. I sat in the car, visualizing outcomes – handing in a resignation letter, calling D and making her come get my ass, calling Gene and telling him I just could not make it back there ever.

I talk once in awhile about how something was a Triumph of the Will-sized effort. This was one of those times. I wanted so badly to turn left out of that parking lot onto the street, turn right onto the street at the intersection and go the fuck on home. Maybe if I crawled into bed and cast all the telephones into the back yard I wouldn't have to answer the phone and be responsible for my actions and just be quiet.

So, endgame: Went back to the office. Ate 4 bowls of salad. (We had leftover training buffet at the office and there was this huge tray of cobb salad that I just could not leave well enough alone).

Oh, and: job interview, 4/14. Actually, calling it a job interview is a bit much. It's really just a meeting with a temp agency.

Nothing New

Still no stupid dress. Ugh. Maybe one more trip to Kohl’s. I almost went tonight but just couldn’t force myself out of my chair.

Is today Monday or Tuesday? I think it is Tuesday because I think I deposited my paycheck yesterday (yea, paycheck!). After work yesterday (now I know it’s Tuesday) I went to the less pretty people mall. No doings. Well, I spent the Borders gift card from my aunt (technically, the card was for all 3 of us but the way the boys glom onto Blockbuster and Best Buy g/c, I don’t feel too bad).

On the bright side: my friend Julie emailed me a ton of links to a ton of very pretty dresses. There are a few that I really like. I will hopefully get my ass in gear and get ordering. I don’t know what I’m hoping for.

Elaine’s Spring Break 2006

So, did I tell you all that Gene left me?

For a week, people. Geez. He's gone to Colorado for a class. He's driving so it takes 3 days to get there. So, I have been left ALONE and UNCHAPERONED for 1 week and TWO weekends. It boggles the mind.

It is literally like having spring break at the ripe old age of 28 29. I am so loving this. I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a post that Gene would reference when he asks me…oh, sorry. Censored.

Anyway. Friday, I cleaned a lot of the house. Living room, dining room, kitchen. Yesterday I continued the cleaning and organized a little in the kitchen and made the dining room look like it's used by someone other than D&D players. Today was to have been devoted to grocery shopping, garbage, etc, but I am planning on hitting the new Borders, the less pretty people mall. Oh, and laundry in there somewhere.

I have also watched a ton of movies:

Little Black Book (cute, surprising twist at the end)

High Society (musical version of the Philadephia Story, starring the love of Gene's life, Princess Grace)

Magnificient Obsession (terrible, awful, watched the last 50 or so minutes on 16 times speed so I could get to the end of it already)

My Life So Far (Colin Firth looking all yummy as the dad, mmm, glasses…)

American Graffiti (sorry, the only George Lucas movie I've ever enjoyed was Howard the Duck)

and now I'm watching The Last Waltz, the filmed version of the Band's last concert. It is so far the best thing I've watched all weekend. They had a ton of guest musicians, including Eric Clapton and Joni Mitchell. Loving it!

I know there have been more movies. I have practically been chain-movie watching, if that makes any sense. My goal was 1 movie per day while Gene's gone. I've still got tons left, plus I was kind of hoping to hit Blockbuster for some movies that Gene won't want to watch.

The dogs go to the kennels tomorrow and will be picked up Friday after work. So, I get all week to myself. My plans are to keep the house clean, go to work, eat pizza and pizza derivitives (pizza rolls, etc), read, write, watch movies. I wish I had even 1 day of vacation saved up (stupid bronchitis) to just chill out at home even more. I love chilling out at home by myself.

I know that talking about loving alone time is a bad thing for a married woman to do. I am never alone, though. Most days, lunch hour and the drive to and from work is as close as I come. And the days where Gene takes the car = absolutely not an alone second or even a second not spent surrounded by people, phones, talking, noise noise noise.

Scoob's begging to get up on my lap. Gotta go.

Agggh, HELP ME

So, my baby brother Macaulay/Bill (they actually had it printed that way on the invites) is getting married in LESS THAN A MONTH. And guess who doesn't have something to wear yet?


I really thought I'd have an easy time of it. Waltz into Kohl's, find something in a size that works on me (Kohl's sells tents, right?) and get the hell out of there.

No go. No dresses at all at our Kohl's. Bastards. Don't they know that Easter is coming up? Do the women of Cheesecake City not get Easter dresses? (The mother of the bride is wearing a dress that I hear is appropriate for Easter services, so I don't want to go fancier than that.)

Frankly, there are a lot of clothing issues with this whole event for me anyway. I don't want to look too fancy. I don't want anything that makes me look elderly (and apparently the only people who are plus size who need to dress up are the mother of the bride at a wedding or perhaps a corpse). I can't wear black because then tongues will wag. And if I can avoid the color the bridesmaids are wearing that's a bonus too. (For the record, I am so relieved my FSIL didn't ask me to stand up for her. I would rather fuel my ugly dress cash into a bigger present).

(Hey, Mom, what color are they wearing?)

So, here's what I've found that I really like. Is it too elderly? Frankly, I've never really dressed my age so it doesn't bother me to add on a year or two but I don't want to look like someone's mother. (And by "someone", I mean "an average 40 year old".)

I have perused fucking SCOURED the pretty people mall. Did you know that when it comes to plus size dresses, even Nordstrom has the same old shit?? The pretty people mall has 4 anchor stores (will have 5 in September when Neiman-Marcus joins the mall). I left Nordstrom for last because of course I thought anything they had would cost like $10,000 and why bother when I was looking to spend $100 or (much) less. So color me shocked when the salesgirl showed me the exact same Jessica Howard dress and cardigan combo I'd seen in at least one other anchor store. Sure, they had it in "petite plus size" but the other store had it 30% off. Yeah. I'm going to hit the less pretty people mall today and hope for better things.

And if I don't find better things, I'm buying the damned Coldwater Creek dress because I GIVE UP.

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, today’s my birthday. I’m 29. This is my first crack at 29. I intend to repeat a year, possibly more than once. This year, Gene was the first person to wish me a happy birthday. Then, New Boss and assorted BFAs. Then D. There were others, of course, but those were the early ones. D, being a good friend, gave me 2 22 oz. bags of Cadbury Mini Eggs. Today was the first of two payroll days so the chocolate came in very super handy!

Gene picked me up from work and we went to dinner, then to the mall to pick up something (no luck), then HOME. Gene gave me an awesome gift: gift cards to 5 nearby salons. Since Patty retired from nails, I haven’t regularly had them done (the pedicure was merely a safety measure – if my toenails were any longer I’d be able to use them to pick stuff off the floor). So, he gave me a Tour of Nail Salons (good ones, not questionable ones!). So, I will have awesome nails for all of my coming up stuff!!

I also spoke to just about my entire family: SIL, BIL, MIL, Mother, Grandfather. Yes, the same grandpa from the whole conversation re: MIL. It went OK.

Everyone knows this, but I’m going to say it again

I love my dogs. They are so much fun to play with. They are more fun than the movies or most shopping trips. Coming up in the next few months, we’ll have owned them for two years now. We have saved so much money not going places, I think it’s nearly even with what we pay in dog food, grooming, vet bills, treats, doggie daycare. Oh, and shoe replacement.