Monthly Archives: June 2012

Quick Trip: Boston

Last weekend Jason and I traveled to Boston for my college friend Sarah’s wedding. We arrived Friday night and left Sunday morning, and didn’t really sit still in between.

Friday night we met the happy couple and all their friends at the Meadhall next to the hotel. The Meadhall featured about a bajillion types of beer and mead, and also specialty cocktails like “the Commonwealth,” a mixture of gin, bitters, and lemon juice. This got two thumbs up from me and my Texan friend Adriane.

Saturday morning we hit the ground running with a quick breakfast and then the Freedom Trail.

First stop: Boston Common and the Massachusetts State House. I previously got a wonderful tour of the State House from my friend Tory’s boyfriend, during which I personally saw both the Sacred Cod and the Holy Mackerel.

After that we wandered up to the Granary Burial Grounds, where we saw the grave of the Boston Massacre victims.

By then it was almost lunchtime, and we met more college friends for a picnic lunch on Boston Common, at the Frog Pond. The Frog Pond is an artificial pond that is quite big, but very shallow, and extremely popular with the 4-foot-and-under set.

Steve and Molly brought an outstanding variety of sandwiches from Cutty’s in Brookline, including such creations as a “spuckie,” (regular and eggplant), a roast pork and broccoli rabe, and a roast beef. Everything was very tasty, and they also let us play with their baby. This is what is known as a “win-win situation.”

When naptime loomed for the baby and their 2-year-old, we continued along the Freedom Trail towards the Old North Church…. with one Very Important Stop along the way.

Mike’s Pastry makes cannoli that are 1) almost as big as your head and 2) life-alteringly good. I had my first one in May, at Reunion, and could not wait to let Jason experience the pastry-cream-goodness of it all.

Last time I had the Hazelnut, and this time I tried Pistachio. Jason went with a plain one, just to establish a baseline for future trips. And lo, he was impressed, and lo, we were happy campers.

But we didn’t go to Boston for cannoli. We went for a wedding! So at 3:00 we returned to the hotel so I could “help” Sarah get ready. Since I am mostly worthless at hair and makeup, my “helping” consisted of cheering and refilling champagne glasses.

I do love being helpful.

From left: Sarah (the bride! so pretty!), Amy (the officiant! so pretty!), and Tory (she made that dress! so pretty!).

The wedding was moved indoors at the last minute due to Apocalypic-level thunderstorms, but Sarah and Randy were unruffled. Amy’s ceremony lasted a record-setting seven minutes, yet felt complete and lovely and perfectly appropriate.

Then it was time for cocktails and cheese before the dinner and dancing. And then a bit of sleep before heading out to the airport Sunday morning.

We had a fantastic time, and I am so, so happy for Sarah and Randy. Congratulations, guys!

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WIWW: I Dream of Bob Costas

One month to the Olympics!!!!

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If you’re looking for a handy guide as to what sports will be competing on what days, look no further than this chart from

But that’s not why we’re here, is it?

Alas, no.

Thursday I recovered from last Wednesday’s Epic Outfit Fail by going with something safe and classic:

Friday I worked half a day, then drove to Jacksonville to catch a flight to Boston for a college friend’s wedding. This involved jeans and a t-shirt.

Saturday involved a LOT of walking around Boston. It also involved embarrassing my friends by threatening to put them on the internet.

Muahahahaha. Aren’t they cute?

As we flew back on Sunday, Tropical Storm Debby was hanging out in the Gulf, drenching the entire northern half of Florida. It did not stop raining until yesterday late afternoon. Ugh.


And this morning I woke up to sunshine. It’s supposed to be hot for the rest of the week, which should suck up all the puddles in time for the weekend.

Ron may not look excited about the sunshine, but he told me later that he’s glad it’s not raining any more, because rain makes the dogs smell even worse than normal.

Have a lovely week!

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WIWW: This week’s theme is pirates.

I wish.

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Friday was most definitely a purple Converse kind of day.

I spent most of the weekend by the pool, and you are NOT getting pictures of that. Save your whale watching for some other time.

Monday I busted out the red pants again, but used a different white top (tee v. button-down) and different accessories. Oh and the Vulcan salute, because we got “Star Trek” on Netflix and the kids watched it SEVERAL times.

Live long and prosper, y’all.

Tuesday I was a gray lady:

And today I tried something a bit different. I’m not sure I love the results, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway.

I think somewhere between the shoes and the cropped cardigan, I went astray. Ah, well. It’s just clothes.


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As you may know, last September Jason lost his job. He scrambled for almost a month to find another one, and ended up finding a new position quickly – but with a 25% pay cut.

He promptly filed a petition to lower his child support to the correct amount for his income. Fast-forward eight months, and his ex-wife has now presented him with her “settlement proposal.”

Are you ready? Because this is hilarious.

Her “offer” is for him to pay her more money than before he lost his job! Plus an additional two grand for “arrearage,” which I’m pretty sure she thinks means “pain and suffering.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I just blew coffee out my nose!

Did I mention that she’s unemployed?

She’s not just unemployed – she’s stubbornly, willfully unemployed. Early on, she told Jason snidely that “Windy works so I don’t have to.” She has filed bankruptcy, rather than get a job. She has moved back in with her parents, rather than get a job. She takes classes at a community college (despite having a bachelor’s degree), rather than get a job.

And Jason? Jason busted his tail to keep his period of unemployment as brief as possible, and he has never missed an alimony or child support payment. He’s never even been late.

As I read and re-read the piece I linked to yesterday, I found myself thinking, “Where do you even start with someone as heinous as Allison?” Allison, who refuses to speak to Jason, who takes and takes, whose parents pay her legal bills so she can continue to harass Jason with her constant unreasonable demands.

Three snapshots to illustrate my point:

1. In August, Hollyn will start middle school. Because Jason and I both work (apparently a novel concept), Hollyn will be riding the bus in the afternoons. If she went to the middle school we were zoned for, the bus stop would be literally in our front yard. But since Allison insisted on using her parents’ address to register the girls for school, the bus stop will be further away. Hollyn’s afternoon walk will be less than a mile, through an upper-middle-class neighborhood, all sidewalks. Jason has already taken her to practice the trip several times.

Allison sent Jason an e-mail, informing him that she’d taken it upon herself to contact the middle school about “the bus situation,” because “Hollyn’s safety is my only concern.” First off, it’s NOT. HER. TIME. If she wants to pick Hollyn up in a horse-drawn carriage on her days, FINE. Second off, this entire situation has resulted from her insistence on controlling the girls’ school zones. Just wait until we suggest that we change Hollyn’s school so that she can be “safely” delivered to our doorstep. Watch her concern for Hollyn’s safety evaporate, consumed like dry paper by Allison’s need to be in control.

2. Every other Wednesday, Allison picks the girls up from school at 2:50 and is supposed to drop them off at a local church at 5:00. She insisted on this additional time at the last round of negotiations, and of course is almost always late. The majority of the time, I pick them up. I get them from Allison in the front parking lot, drive around the back of the church complex to pick Tyler up from his after-school program, drive back around to the road, and go home.

And what does Allison do? She lurks. She waits while I drive around back, waits while I pick up Tyler, waits while I drive back to the front, and then she pulls out directly behind my vehicle and follows me to my house. She does not wave, or otherwise attempt to get the girls’ attention. She just follows.

3. Because she has a ton of free time, Allison intrudes on the girls when they’re at after-school care, or at summer camp, or any other time they’re not physically with Jason (again, because of that pesky JOB he has to go to). But because we send all the kids to the same after-school and summer camps, Tyler is there too. Tyler has told me, on more than one occasion, that Allison glares at him when she’s visiting the girls, and it makes him uncomfortable. In the past, she has been overtly nasty to him, but now she contents herself with intentionally upsetting my eight-year-old son. We’ve finally told the summer camp directors that if Allison insists on making Tyler upset with her childish actions, or if she interrupts their programs in any way, they are more than welcome to ask her to leave and not return. She’s not supposed to be there. She’s not paying for the camps, and she’s not volunteering to help. Quite frankly, I think it’s getting to be embarrassing for the girls. I mean, if you were an almost-middle-schooler, would you want your mommy coming to hang out every day at your summer camp?

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You guys! You guys!

(waves hands furiously)

Go read this piece by Jennifer Gilbert. Right now.

This is the most wonderful, honest, refreshingly smart thing I’ve read about divorce in a long time, and yes, I’m counting my own blog in that tally.

“I haven’t witnessed much of a cultural response to that notorious [divorce] statistic beyond a lot of pearl-clutching and insisting that you guys, we all like, REALLY need to start staying married. These people repeatedly remind us that marriage requires a lot of hard work and commitment, in case we’re all imbeciles who have foolishly assumed it’s cool to treat our marriages with the same lax approach we took toward the goldfish we won at the carnival when we were six.”

Gilbert advocates “living with divorce” instead of sticking our collective fingers in our collective ears and screaming LA LA LA LA LA and hoping it goes away.

This isn’t just some hippie notion that I cobbled together out of idealism, naivete, and unicorns. I have personally seen how ill-equipped we are as a society to cope with divorce and how damaging that is. I worked as a legal assistant and spent my days watching people do horrible things each other. Divorcing someone who hates your guts can cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. It can trap you geographically. It can consume your schedule. It can drain you in every way possible.

Absolutely. Especially if you have children, you will be tied to your ex for the rest of your life. Say it with me again. The rest of your life. If you do not attempt to make the best of it, it will eat you alive.

Please go read the whole thing. Even if you’re not married. Even if you’ve convinced yourself that your relationship is a special, special snowflake. Even if you just have a friend who needs to hear some good advice.

Go. Read.





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What I Wore Wednesday

A terrible, horrible, no good very bad week.

And it’s only Wednesday!

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Thursday, I looked for my yacht. Still can’t seem to find it.

Friday I bundled up for the office:

Monday I wore something only slightly different, with the same shoes, HOW EMBARRASSING.

And yesterday I added a red necklace to my grayscale ensemble:

And that was that.


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WIWW: So, I caved.

Welcome back to What I Wore Wednesday from sunny Florida, where less is more all summer long.

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YOU GUYS. I am embarassed/excited to tell you that, for the first time ever, I ventured into Forever 21. At the mall. On a Saturday.


It was… kind of frazzling. The loud music, the whippersnappers, the total lack of organization. However, I did find a pair of pants that I LOVE, a t-shirt, and a ring, (for less than $33!) so that’s something.

Friday I used my assistants to make me look good:


I think Hollyn is showing us a variation of bunny ears known as “moose antlers.” Maybe they’re jazz hands. I don’t know.

Monday I wore my new pants:

So sassy!

Have a lovely week.


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First Day of Summer

Today is the first day of summer for kids here in Leon County. Which means it’s one of the hardest days of the year for working parents.

On the one hand, our kids want to do what they feel most kids do – sleep in, watch cartoons with a bowl of cereal, and make a bonfire out of leftover pencils and papers.

On the other hand, I have to go to work, and there are no “official” child care options. Every working parent I know is scrambling to find babysitters or taking the day off.

Last Saturday, at Reunion, I had the honor of being invited to be part of a panel discussion on juggling work and motherhood. And I said that when people hear the phrase “work-life balance” they imagine a zen-like state where everything flows like a gentle stream and the transition from work to home is seamless and everyone does yoga.

In reality, work-life balance is more like the old vaudeville plate-spinning act, where the plates are up on sticks and the performer below scrambles to keep them all in the air.

Finding work-life balance is really just deciding the absolute maximum number of plates you can manage before the whole thing comes crashing down.

This is one of those days when there seem to be too many plates. I found a babysitter from 8-12, but for the afternoon Tyler will be sitting in my office with a laptop and some DVDs. And I feel horribly, horribly guilty – it’s the first day of summer, we have a pool in our backyard, we should both be in it.

When I was a child, my parents worked, but both my grandmothers lived in town and watched us in the summers, on holidays, and when we were sick. Now, none of Tyler’s grandparents live in-town, and all of them still work.

And so this summer, like every other summer, Tyler will be shipped off to day camps every week between now and August. This is a feat which requires a lot of coordination and planning, inter-parental cooperation, and a large chunk of change. But all my careful planning can’t conceal the fact that it’s still day care.

“The summer is just like school,” Tyler remarked. “I still have to get up at the same time, I still have to take a backpack, I still have to eat lunch from a lunchbox every day.”

Ouch. Because it’s true.

It blows my mind that Tyler would rather be at home with me than at camp with other kids his age; he still prefers my company. That might not be true for much longer. I fear I am missing these last few golden months when he’s my little boy.

I have made many choices, many trade-offs, to be in my position. I have a job, rather than a career, but I work close to home, close to Tyler’s school, and I leave work every day at 5:00. If Tyler gets sick, I can go get him. If he forgets his lunch, I can take it to him. My bosses never bother me after hours, or on the weekend.

The downside, of course, is that I make just enough money to turn around and spend it on child care.

And I realize that I am lucky, that some working mothers have long commutes and longer hours. But on days like today, my choices still seem insufficient.

I just want to go home.






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