Thursday, April 28, 2005

Get down with your bad self in E-Ca, that being DL for East Cambridge... yeahhhh... This was at our trifle/housewarming party in October, i think. Posted by Hello
I Heart Huckabees

It's been a funny week -- somehow the threat of me leaving has worn off and people are dumping things on my lap again as if i might be able to fix them in the next 18 hours. I did some fixing, nothing that i'm proud of, but some solid jerry-riggin' 'til it breaks worser and someone gets the job done again (hopefully right next time).

Tomorrow is my last day. I secretly hope for a party, but i'm not expecting it. I'll be going out with all of them next Thursday for drinks and Mexican (the only day that worked for everyone happened to be Cinquo de Mayo), so that should be a blast. I'm looking forward to it. I love hanging out with Global Protection.

It's also been funny and rewarding telling my customers. I have a couple left to call still, but everyone i've talked with has been very congratulatory. I've told them that i'm pursuing the ultimate career goal of becoming an educator, which is certainly true, and they're all happy for me, and said to see me go. I have a couple addresses i'll be keeping for Christmas cards and stuff.

I'm gonna miss that place. I'm gonna miss those people. I'm gonna miss that industry. But i'm really looking forward to meeting new people. I'm really looking forward to working with PC's instead of Macs. I'm really looking foward to having a fax machine that isn't necessarily the primary photocopy machine for the entire company. I'm looking foward to working in the Prudential Center instead of Marine Industrial Park. I'm looking foward to learning the inner workings of the school loans, and i'm looking foward to working with the people i interviewed with. They were all good people.

All in all, i think i'm ending and beginning on the right feet. It feels good to be able to say that.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

No one ever said i was P.C.

...and if they did, they didn't know me terribly well.

It is a widely accepted postulate that there are good people and there are bad people. It is only a little less well-known that there are good New York Jews and bad New York Jews, just like there are good and bad other kinds of people (like good stubborn Mainers and bad stubborn Mainers. I'm the good kind). Well, last night i had a hippy-New York-Jew in my yoga class. And he was the bad kind.

He's usually in the "gentler class," which is why i was willing to accept his rather loud gruntings and groanings of release and discomfort. I wasn't willing to just consider him obnoxious for that. I was happy for his ability to proudly display his gut whenever we raised our hands over our heads. Seriously. Go him! But then he didn't fold up the blanket very well, saying in a nasally voice that i tried really hard not to be annoyed by, "what's the point of folding it up? The next class is just going to use them anyway." I replied as nicely as i could, "Because it's respectful." And left it at something like that. He was a real friendly fellow, and smiled a lot.

Upstairs where people were parttaking of the free tea and water available, i refilled my nalgene with the cold water and my travel mug with the hot water. He practically cornered me on my way out the door, asking if i had taken hot water, and then pleaded with me to only put hot water in stainless steel or glass. "There are chemicals that they use to treat the plastic, and some of those are released when you put hot water in it. Please at least consider getting a stainless steel one. I know, because i held onto my plastic Harvest Mug for years (hahaha), but really, i heard about it, and it's really not a good idea." He just kept talking at me about all this hippy health shit with his nasally voice and his chronic determinism to get his point across. I tried my best to be polite, despite the urge to say, "You know, shut up. We all die someday." So i interrupted with the only true thing i could think of, "I'm sorry, but i have to meet someone," as i fled the studio without looking back.

Maybe it's just that i'm PMSing (she writes as she eats chocolate bits out of a jar full of peanut butter with a spoon. Maybe PMSing.), but the bad kind of hippy New York Jew just really piss the fuck out of me.

Monday, April 25, 2005


In the event that any of you have been under the impression that i've been neglecting to update out of sheer laziness, guess again. Things have been crazy busy!

I started taking yoga last Monday at the Cambridge ...something. But it's really great, i found it for an incredible price, and theoretically, Denisse is going to be joining me for some of them. Previous to that event, some of you may know that daN and i threw a bit of a soiree on Saturday the....16th? It was fun. Lots of food, i made coffee, people socialized, and i felt like an adult. People drank beer and wine and Baileys in their coffee, and i got some people to meet each other, like Denisse and her boyfriend being introduced to the home crowd, etc. I had a great time, and was more than happy to escort people out at 2 in the morning so daN and i could clean :)

Last Tuesday, daN and i hung out with Q and her brother Matt who was down from Maine -- we went to the Burren and had beer and salad (well, that's what i had, anyway) and enjoyed the distinctly Irish atmosphere, including the accents.

Wednesday, I had not one, but two events to go to: my Hampshire Alumni event at the Harvard Faculty Club, where i bumped into someone i met at yoga 2 days earlier, as well as a couple of new potential hang-out people who live in Inman Sq. Judging from how crazy things are, you never know if i'll have time, but meeting new people is always cool. So i was pretty tanked on all the free wine (there was good food, too, but free wine is always worth mentioning) and headed over to Cafe Paradiso for my monthly Frenchy-talk. It was great fun. I smiled a lot and left early because i was exhausted.

Home. Sleep. Thursday, daN and i went to have dinner with Annie and Ivan. It was also fantastic. We talked about the virtues of cheaper but tasty wine, ate fresh ravioli with garlic sauce, and had a good time catching up and talking about apartments, making jokes, etc. It was great to have them at the party, and it was even better to catch up with them at a smaller occassion.

Friday, daN's brother and sister-in-law Nate and Tara came down for the weekend. We went to the Improv Asylum (which i remember being funnier, but that time i was completely trashed. Hmmm...noticing as theme...), had dinner at Rabia's in the North End, and ate canolies from Mike's. Mmm. All delicious and fun. Saturday, we played Karaoke Revolution (a spin-off of Dance Dance Revolution, but COOLER because it's singing, and you sing into a mike that guages your pitch and stuff, and i got top score!)...then to the aquarium... not as cool as i was hoping. Basically, the 15 bucks wasn't worth the small size, but we still all had a great time. The turtles and the penguins were the best.

Saturday night i totally switched gears and went to work as a caterer for the night at a party on the South Shore. Holy shit, it's a different world down there, let me tell you. My HR manager's cousin was having an engagement party, and she wanted him to manage it for him. He had me and Denisse come on for help, and we got 15/hr cash. Not too shabby! I served seafood, schmoozed, everyone was very friendly, then got a ride home with Rob's parents. More Karaoke Revolution, followed by cheezecake that Nate, Tara, and daN had picked out for me from the Cheezecake Factory. Also mmm.

Sunday. See Nate and Tara off. DaN and i went for lots of strolls. I think i did some laundry and didn't notice about 2 hours pass. It was nice.

Monday, yoga. Yep. I'm pretty tired, and it was nice to have Q over and hang out in the kitchen while i made dinner and we drank a little wine. It was chill. I think tomorrow night, i just might not plan anything.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Details and the Bigger Picture

Well, things have been odd around the office lately. I've been given the time to finish my projects for inventory and item management, because they won't get done at all otherwise. People have been making more of an effort to talk with me because they know i won't be there forever. I had a hunch it would be the best two weeks there, the ones after my notice.

Today, there was another hard piece of news: Steve is leaving. Now, he's the one other than Denisse that i'm going to miss the most. He's also a good 14 years older than i am, married with a baby, and will generally be difficult to maintain a real friendship with given the way things are.

But aside from the me-oriented sadness, he's been at Global Protection for a long time (9 years) and that makes for an extremely difficult transition for the company. I know i haven't been there for 9 years or anything, but i've been there for a year and a half (more than that, actually), and as large of a hole as i'm going to leave (which will be sizeable, the pres poor Davin has finally realized -- too little too late), Steve is going to leave a HUGE hole. I'm overwhelmed, and i'm not even going to be there when he leaves! There were tears. He wasn't there today (it was an optional floating holiday), so the pres brought people other than me and Denisse out to lunch to deliver the sad news.

In addition to him leaving, he's going to Atlanta to work for Durex (members of the competition). So yeah, i feel really bad for everyone there, particularly Davin since Davin and Steve are close friends and have been since before Steve started working for Davin. Losing one of your best friends to the competition has gotta hurt. But as Denisse said, "if you leaving wasn't enough to make him realize he has to start changing the way he treats his employees, losing Steve had better push him over the edge."
Well, things are kinda funny around the office these days. In some ways it's nice because Davin will meet with me at the drop of a hat to get my inventory project completed, and people are taking the time to "hang out" or chat with me a little more before i leave. It's been pretty relaxing, actually, and i've been thinking that this is going to be the best two weeks i've had there.

Making things odd are that Steve gave his notice the day after i did. Now, many of you may or may not remember, but he's what i'd consider one of my closest friends at Global Protection, and i've been wondering how we'd be able to maintain a friendship, realistically, when i leave, given the age and general culture difference. That sort of thing clearly doesn't bother me, but it makes things harder when someone isn't already a part of your life outside of work. It's been a huge conscious effort to hang out with Denisse more often, and i'm really glad we've made that effort. You get so used to seeing people at work. But it's been hard, and Denisse and i are essentially the same age. Steve, on the other hand, wife and child.

But on a less me-oriented scale, this makes things really hard for Global Protection. I mean, OK, so i haven't been there for 9 years like Steve has, but it will still be very hard for them to adjust to me just not being there. Davin practically died when he really read the list of my daily stuff for the first time, let alone the list of what i cover for when people are out. But Steve has been there for 9 years.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Confrontation

It's funny -- there's what you think about while you're lying awake in bed at night, as i have done many times, reconfiguring the scene in your head, just what you're going to tell them, just how you're going to say it, just how you're going to answer the questions of why and when -- and then there's what actually comes out of your mouth when you're sitting face to face with them in the moment.

Today, i gave my notice. And the conversation with the pres was great. They always are. I went in to his office, and we looked at each other for a couple seconds, waiting for the first person to say something. And then i said, matter of factly, "well, you know that company that i met with last week? I'm taking their offer. It was amazing. I'll be able to start taking classes this fall. And that's what i've been wanting for the past year, is to get my life on the road this fall, however i do it." He said, "Congratulations. That's really great. I'll really miss you, but i'm happy for you." And that's pretty much how it went. I didn't have to answer any of the hard questions, because he already knew all of them. He said things like, "well, it's going to be hard," and i said things like, "Please let me know how i can be helpful because i want to help wrap things up as cleanly as possible," and i didn't even have to address anything about how i don't want to end up like Sally or Kim whose lives have been taken over by Global, because he already knew all of those things. And he didn't try to talk me out of it. Our conversation ended with, "Well, it's ok. It'll be hard because everyone loves you, and everyone will still love you, we'll just have to learn how to deal in a different way than we were planning on. But i understand that you're young and you need to get your life in a forward-moving direction, and you can't do that here." We were both very sympathetic to one another. And the rest of the day was much less tense after that.

These kinds of conversations are exactly what made it so hard for me to think about leaving that place. But at least i know that i always have friends there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Well, i won't be wiping my ass with fifty's or anything, but i will be living how i'm living now, only in extreme comfort. First Marblehead offered me quite a lot of money, and has an incredible benefits. But you already knew that. And they offered me more than i asked for! That's practically unheard of!

I will be telling Global tomorrow, and needless to say, i'm nervous about it, but confident. The pres wasn't in today for me to tell him, but that's alright. I know that i am ready to move on, and that feels good. And i know i'm doing it for the right reasons for me.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Be at Peace

This has been a very centering weekend for me. daN and i went up to Maine where we visisted Kate and Allin. It was wonderful. First of all, it was great to see them. I would hazard to say we haven't seen the two of them together since sometime around Thanksgiving. We got to see their wonderful house! And stay in it in one of their TWO guests rooms! It was very cool. We were busy but weren't too crazy about it. We ate at China Coast with the Bogs, we walked the breakwater, we went out to Union where daN got a haircut next door while the rest of us visited with me Mum and Yukon, Mum and Rick's wolf. (He's 92% and very wonderful.) We had a fantastically fun time. Mum was in her prime, and she was just hillarious. She talks about things in the funniest way, and has a real Mainer way of summing up a story. Like talking about being on a motor boat with the floatation devices trailing behind her, practically acting as parachutes because the boat's going so fast that she looks like she just got a facelift! She summed it all up by saying, "It was a terrible uncomfortable ride." Kate and Allin liked her a lot, i think.

We also went to the Second Read and got some coffee and cookies and sat down. I didn't get to browse around for books, but there wasn't time for that AND for walking the breakwater, and i REALLY wanted to walk the breakwater. We retired to bed later last night after daN and i took a long walk around residential Rockland with all the pretty old houses. It was really nice.
This morning, i skipped out to visit my Nana who lives not too far off from Kate and Allin now! I was lucky to find the house, because Mum gave me the wrong road name, but i had an idea. It was also a bit further of a walk than i had planned for, so the visit was a bit shorter, but Nana drove me home. She also LOVED the book i got for her, and i was so glad! I got her a copy of Joyce Tennyson's photography book called "Intimacy," which is a book of the most gorgeous color photos of flowers i have ever seen. Wow. It really is true to its name. The author shared a booksigning with Matt at Sherman's over Thanksgiving, and that's how i found out about her. I didn't have much money at the time, but i thought of Nana immediately when i saw that book, because she paints watercolors primarily of flowers, and i know she has an appreciation for photography as well. She loved it, and she also loved that i stopped to say hello.
It was a good weekend. The busride was also nice. I sat on the bus and stared out the window at the beautiful trees and lakes and rivers. Mmm.

I suppose you're all wondering about the job hunt. First Marblehead, the interview i had last week that i'd been hoping for for weeks; the one with the wonderful people and the one with the great benefits package, is about to make me an offer. I'm not certain what the offer will be, but i liked the people a lot, and the senior recruiter told me they're just waiting for someone else official before they can officially offer me something. So that's pending, and i've been hoping for it for a long time.

Then, on Friday, the president of the company i currently work for told me he'll do what he can to keep me there. Not only that, but we had a sincerely great conversation where he told me that he first of all feels really bad for me about not getting into school, and in general for the string of bad luck i've had. He also told me that the offer they made me to keep me there until August is lower than the offer they'll make me to keep me there for a couple of years. I was floored and confused. I told him the truth: i don't know what to think or what to do. I've had to do a lot of soul-searching that isn't done yet so i can re-evaluate my priorities, and i'm not sure whether Global fits into those new priorities or not, higher pay or no. Then again, the idea of leaving has made me really sad because i loved the people i work with so much. He asked me to think about what i could become an expert on there, and he told me he'd consider the same thing himself. Then he left and went to visit his family in Wisconsin until Wednesday. I was pretty confused and torn and tortured.

On the busride up to Maine the following afternoon, i delved into the shallow worlds of Legally Blonde 2 (loved it!) and Duplex and tried hard not to think too much about the job thing. As Kate wisely said, i'm lacking crucial information that would help me make a decision, like an offer from either company. And Judy wisely also said that no matter what i end up deciding, i have to decide on the job that i want to do. People come and go, and people change. I have to make my decision based on the job, because when all is said and done, that's why everyone is there.

Suffice it to say that this weekend has been good for me. I was with wonderful people, i got to see people and places that made me remember parts of who i am and where i came from, things and people who made me confident about my own voice in this situation. And while i haven't come to any conclusions yet, i feel more at peace about everything in my life than i did before this weekend, and i am now confident that whatever decision i make will be the right one.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


After a long week, there's nothing like kicking it back, relaxing, and getting pampered. And dealing with the thronging crowds at Downtown Crossing on a busy Boston Friday afternoon was totally worth the lap of luxury i stepped into for free at the Origins station at Filenes.

Let me back up: a few weeks ago, i had to go to the Clinique stand to pick up some more toner and get the free bag of goodies that goes along with it during their Gift Bonus time. I had some more time to kill, so i swung over to the Origins, which i LOVE, just to look around. I ended up getting a free facial and getting to know some of the women who work there a bit, and they told me about the free treatment that was happening April 1st. I made an appointment!

So i met Judy because she wanted to see me get all made up for free, and it turns out that some of their other 6:00's cancelled, so Judy got to have the treatment too! Step one, chair massage. Go to your happy place, relax, and let an expert work out some of your kinks. Step two, facial. Let me just say their products are amazing, and my skin gleamed when it was done. Not only that, but i was intensely aware of being able to feel my skin. Not just with my hands, but i felt like my skin was a living breathing organism that was able to feel on its own for the first time ever. Frankly, it was an incredible experience. Step three, make-up. They had this lovely make-up artist/Origins product specialist named Karen, and i loved her. (Actually, i loved all the women there and want to hang out with them. The lady who did my facial is a cosmetologist from Jamaica, and she just obviously loved doing what she was doing, and even though she'd been there for nine hours, she still had a smile on her face that was honest and she just loved making people feel good.) My make-up looks so incredible that i'm trying to go to bed, but i can't convince myself to wash it off because i don't want it to go away. Step four, hand warming lotion. It was so nice. Especially since my hands are in a constant state of chill.

So the experience wasn't completely free. Judy and I ended up getting our share of Origins products, which was, of course, the goal of the entire hoopla, but it was so worth it. I got the Perfect World Skin Guard, which is all white-tea based and loaded with anti-oxidents to help protect the skin from polution and that sort of thing... I had taken a sample of it home a couple weeks ago and decided it makes my skin so soft that i'd get it. I also got a bit of make-up. Judy, of course, insisted on treating me to half of what i purchased. Her reasoning was that if it weren't for me, she wouldn't' have had that whole wonderful pampering experience. And she wanted to. And even though we spent more than we might have wanted to, the whole spa experience you'd pay over $500 and walk away with nothing. This way, both sides benefited.

The other thing i like about Origins is the general product philosophy -- it's all natural oils and good for the environment AND your body, and the packaging materials are made out of recycled goods. And I must say, the products all SMELL INCREDIBLE. I mean, seriously. They smell so good. I was never under the impression that skin care products smelled good, but they proved me wrong. There is peppermint oil in their lip gloss! Who knows -- once i'm middle class, i might be able to support that endeavor a little more. It's nice to be pampered once in a while.