Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Real Nail-Biter

I haven’t had a Christmas surprise in probably five years or so.  Sister and I have agreed to do something together rather than give gifts for the past couple years – so no surprises there.  My parents long ago gave up on the surprise idea and now we just get exactly what we asked for.  And last Christmas me and boyfriend were kind of new at being ‘me and boyfriend’ and I wasn’t expecting anything really.  But this year.  This year the anticipation is DRIVING ME NUTS. 

 I’ve been asking him every day for two weeks if he wants to let me open them today.  He says "no" every time.  And if I happen to forget to ask him, he teases me with a “want to open your presents today?”And then a “too bad – you have to wait.” 

He won’t even give me one clue – all I’ve got is that ‘part’ of it came from – which is like the least helpful clue ever.  I’m pretty sure you can purchase one of the pyramids on that website or a monkey or just about anything.  So that doesn’t narrow it down much for me. 

But we’re thinking we might do our Christmas on Christmas Eve – simply because we’d prefer to sleep in Christmas morning. So that means I only have to be tortured with anticipation for one more day.  I’m having visions of a nice fire in the fire place while we exchange gifts – but that could potentially be pretty smokey.  Guess we’ll see how it goes.  

Anyway - Merry Christmas to you.

Also - I am proud to announce that after twenty-five years I’ve given up my nail biting habit. Seriously, I’m pretty sure since I’ve had teeth – I’ve been destroying my nails.  And now.  I’m not.  I asked boyfriend if he wanted me to put his picture on my nails like Katy Perry did for Russell Brand.  He says that won't be necessary.  

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stocking Stuffers

                As I mentioned before, I’m not a HUGE Christmas fan, I just prefer Thanksgiving.  One of the reasons Christmas is not the top of my most favorite holiday list is wrapping presents.  I have never enjoyed wrapping presents - I believe there are a couple of reasons why I do not.  First, it always looks like a small child was responsible when I am done - and in my head the gift was going to look so pretty – so I end up disappointed.  Secondly, I’m not the most patient person in the world and it takes a lot of time for me to fight with the wrapping paper just so the gift is concealed – let alone looks decent enough to give away to the recipient, only to be torn to shreds moments later.  I realize they make gift bags for people who are wrapping-ly challenged like me.  But I accept that unwrapping a gift you’ve been trying to identify from under a tree – or in our case, on the coffee table – for a few days is more enjoyable than pulling something out of a bag.  Therefore, I decided to sit down yesterday and struggle through wrapping up the gifts I’ve purchased.

I think a lot of my issues begin because of my inability to cut wrapping paper in a straight line.  I recall purchasing more expensive wrapping paper in a rush for a birthday or something a year or two ago and finding Hallmark had so kindly printed a grid on the inside of their paper.  Outstanding.  The gift did not look as awesome as I had envisioned – but the stripes on the paper did match up so I was pleased.  

Anyway, I had not seen grid lined wrapping paper since.  You can imagine my joy yesterday when I unrolled my giant roll of candy cane wrapping paper from Target to find grid lines printed.  I was already concerned because I realized after I left the store that the longer the roll of paper is – the longer I had to try and keep my scissors straight and I knew I was bound to fail.  Also, this was my first year stuffing a stocking and it would appear I got a little carried away – nothing fits in the stocking.  I blame my mother for this – she’s notorious for stocking stuffers that don’t actually get stuffed into the stocking.  Which, actually, I’m fine with because the odd shaped presents are always impossible to get out of the stocking Christmas morning.

This actually looks very similar to my brother's stocking - and I was always jealous of it because it looks so cool - and because it looked different from everyone else's so there was never any debate who it belonged to.

So now boyfriend has some candy caned wrapped presents waiting for him – that look less like a small child was responsible and more like maybe a ten year old who was watching TV while half-heartedly wrapping gifts is to blame.  But he is admittedly not the best wrapper ever – so I think he just appreciates my effort.  Now I just have to hope he likes what’s inside.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GOOOOOOOOOD Morning Vietnam

                If you’re my friend on the book of face, or in real life too, you probably know that I went back to school this semester to start my MBA.  This is exciting because, well, who wants to be working entry level jobs for forever?  Not this girl.  Anyway, it’s a huge time commitment (obviously) and it also keeps me where I am geographically for at least another five years.  And I love it here so that wasn’t really an issue.  Just a little intimidating to say five years.  At least I finally changed the address on my license to say Buffalo.

                I took two classes this semester.  Perfectly manageable while working full time.  One class was excellent.  One class was agonizingly painful.  And that is what I’d like to discuss here.  I will do my best to explain to you how this professor turned a core marketing class into the worst class in the history of the world.  I’m not sure there are even enough words to articulate the ridiculousness that was this class.  And no, I do not think I’m being a bit over dramatic.

                Firstly, he introduced himself as “Prof Snyder.”  And he looks like James Cromwell.  Who, you may recall from prior entries about my lack of movie viewing, I only recognize from Babe.  

"That'll do pig.  That'll do." 

               And no that is not the reason I think he's the worst professor ever.  I just want you to picture him holding a pig while 'teaching' our class like I did.

             I should reiterate.  This was a CORE Marketing class.  Like marketing for dummies.  You know, Price, Product, Placement, etc.  I don’t like marketing to begin with.  I think it’s a silly science to teach people.   Seems mostly like common sense to me.  (No offense to you marketing majors out there.)  
            But this guy only talked about Vietnam.  Seriously.  Oh, and his personal life.  Three hour class.  Two hours rambling incoherently about himself, fifteen minute break, forty-five minutes reading the power point slides.  Give or take a home video clip.  Really - he showed us a clip of his son Wesley, age 28, when he was 16 bungee jumping of a bridge in Tanzania.  Don’t worry, the rope looked frayed so he spent the extra $50 bucks and bought the insurance before sending his son headfirst off a bridge toward a raging river.

My ability to provide you with his son’s name, age and travel itinerary from over a decade ago would probably lead you to believe that I’ve met his kids and we’re good buddies.  We’re not.  I never want to meet his kids.  And I retained very little new marketing information but I do know too much about his two sons. (Ages 26 and 28.)  

I also know that Prof Snyder is dyslexic, has undiagnosed A.D.D., is a diabetic that he controls with diet and exercise, used to run marathons, now weighs 220ish lbs (up 20 from a year ago), is a baby boomer, owns an original VW Beetle that his wife inherited from her Aunt who died in 2000 and only drove the car thirty thousand miles while she owned it and they now get it tuned up in Wheatfield, NY – even though they currently reside in Brockport, NY (run on sentence was, indeed, intentional), and that he has an Vietnamese fetish.

The Asian thing – has lead me to the conclusion the man is more compulsive and less A.D.D., as he insists.  He references one of his ELEVEN trips to Vietnam somewhere between seventy-five and a billion times per class period.  He talks about his students that he taught there, is obsessed with the food, the culture to the point that we threw the Vietnamese into our group project as a target market.  Only to be upstaged by the Chinese girls who brought in sea weed.  

Needless to say, I am thrilled that I gave Canisius College – “where leaders are made” – thousands of dollars to sit through this class that he admittedly paralleled with his undergraduate course, only to discuss Vietnam and Burger King’s subservient-chicken.  Compound the nonsensical deviations from Marketing with his compulsive need to remain politically correct and the only redeeming part of Tuesdays this semester is that I am now AWESOME at Solitaire and FreeCell on the BlackBerry.

Thankfully this class is officially over and the only thing left for me to do is hit up to submit a "tweets" worth of a review.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


                I am obsessed with HGTV.  Love it.  It’s the only channel of the millions of choices (boyfriend has Direct TV) that I remember the number to type in and go to directly.  I watch all the House Hunter shows – they’re my fav.  And then there’s that dreamy, and (unfortunately) Canadian guy who hosts Income Property.  I can watch hours and hours of this station non-stop.  These shows give me so many ideas. And since boyfriend won’t even let me choose the paint color for his bathroom, I redecorated my blog. 

                This in and of itself was quite a process.  It took me a couple of hours.  First of all – I had to read all the directions.  I hate reading all the directions.  But after my last attempt I realized a couple of things.  Originally I chose the wrong format for my blog to support a pretty background.  Also, I chose the wrong format background to accommodate my blog.  So as I searched around to find a new background I made the appropriate formatting adjustments.  Who knew blogging was so complicated?

                Secondly - my friend Marianne, who is seemingly my biggest and definitely my most vocal fan, did not like any of my first hundred choices for a background.  And she text me to let me know.  Now considering her number one fan status, I figure I should keep her happy.  I mean she single handedly has marketed my blog all over Geneseo.  (Thanks Mare.)  

                We agreed on classic yet fun.  What do you think of my decorating skills?  Wouldn’t you trust me with choosing paint colors?
               Now - just as I clicked preview, my background that took me hours to settle on was GONE.  So I text Mare and we just wasted another hour of our lives and agreed on this one.  Got it from Blogs and BlingsNow what do you think???

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Where are you Christmas?

                I’m not exactly Scrooge – but I’m not exactly bringing the Christmas cheer to the table.  I don’t decorate my house.  I’m never here for the day – and no one else would see it.  Boyfriends said he has, some years, put up (a) string of lights in the window.  I haven’t seen any lights so far.  I only like the occasional Christmas song.  But I do love to buy gifts.  Especially when I think I have great ideas.  (I hope I have a great idea this year.) We’re not getting a tree.  But I am going to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra for their Christmas show.  And I am very much looking forward to that.

                I’ve always enjoyed a good candle-lit Christmas Eve service, but I don’t really have traditions.  Well until last year that is.  Last year, on the Monday after Christmas was the First Annual Pitekpalooza.  Now let me just tell you something about this family.  They are AWESOME.  I mean the kind of awesome where they plan an outdoor party in Buffalo in December.  The kind of awesome that Momma Pitek requests a bottle of Scotch for the family gift exchange.   The kind of awesome where Em tracks down retro one-piece snowsuits for this event.  (Think Dumb and Dumber ski scene.)  

                What better way to pretend you have no responsibilities and can booze on a Monday than to spend it shivering around the fire pit with a near frozen beer, playing Kan Jam (still undecided I hear) – and I don’t play kan jam.  I’m embarrassingly horrible at Frisbee throwing.   Or maybe a game of bags?  Sounds super cool right?  Well if you’re around the Monday after Christmas this year, grab yourself some winter lager (or whatever it is that you drink) and consider this your official unofficial invite to come experience a Pitekpalooza for yourself.*

*Em said I could issue this press release. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

On A More Serious Note…

                My office does all these Jeans Days for $5 a pop once or twice a month – generally for some charity or organization that I’m not familiar with and don’t really care much about.  (Horrible thing to say. I know.)  And sometimes I get really annoyed – people asking me for money all the time.  As my dear friend Marianne says “I’m not a magician.”  (I’m totally adopting that from you Mare - if you don’t mind.)  

However, this past summer as I became oriented with the whole blogging world I came across one written by this guy Matt Logelin.  Being a sucker for a human interest story I literally started at the beginning and cried my way through a couple years of this guy’s life.  He lost his wife to a pulmonary embolism hours  after she delivered their first baby.  Raw emotion and real life. I even began researching my company’s matching gift program to see how I can best contribute to the foundation he created in memory of his wife. 

                Fast forward a few weeks to today.  Reading Schenectady’s newspaper online as I do from time to time, I saw a headline with a name I recognized as a high school friend of my sister’s.  He’s currently trying to raise money for the same foundation I’ve taken an interest to.  The Liz Logelin Foundation.  Matt created this foundation to provide grants to those who have lost a spouse and have children to support.  He was blessed by many people, through the popularity of his blog, to have been generously gifted with every baby item imaginable as he tried to figure out life on his own with a newborn.  And because this kind of thing can happen to anyone, at any time, it’s truly touched me.

                Anyway – if you’re feeling generous this holiday season.  Or want to get in some donations for tax write-offs.  Maybe look at chipping in and giving to Eric Maughn’s campaign – or even straight to the Liz Logelin Foundation.   And if you love creeping blogs, can tolerate a bit of cussing, have a lot of free time and a box of tissues - you should totally read Matt’s blog. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Office

                Who doesn’t love a little office drama?  I hate to admit it – but sometimes I get a kick out of it.  I’ve never been an avid follower of “The Office.”  Caught an episode or three from time to time but for the most part I find Steve Carrel’s character too irritating.  I know, I know – how could I say such a thing?  Can’t be sure really.  (I also don’t prefer Will Ferrell.)   But the episodes I have seen are masterful really.  And yes, I do realize that by definition, sit coms are situational humor, making them identifiable to the majority of the viewing audience but just roll with me on this for a bit.  

                If any of you do or ever have worked in an office building you understand the conversations have, topically, really not changed much since high school.  It’s a regular gossip mill.  And if you were to just so happen to be lucky enough, as I am, to work with 90% women – well you can imagine the chaos.  Now, what happens when you introduce a new character to this cast?  And suppose they were to provide you with a abundance of material for everyone to – I’ll go with ‘chat’- about?  And let’s just say any hints made to encourage behavioral adjustments to help assimilate with the office culture go disregarded? And he’s male? Well I’m sure you get the idea.

                Anyway, these past few weeks have been downright hilarious.  It amazes me how clueless some people (read New Guy*) can be.  And it’s super annoying.  And deliciously entertaining.  And I feel like Jim from “The Office” sitting there contributing commentary as I observe those around me - except I'm way less clever than Jim.  But hey, would work be horribly boring if all we did there was – work?

*Names have been changed to protect people’s identities.  That and I honestly can’t remember the kid’s name since I’ve only referred to him as New Guy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pet Peeves

                When I got home from my travels over Thanksgiving, after being gone for five days, I found a mangled tube of toothpaste in the cabinet.   Apparently if I leave boyfriend to manage the toothpaste by himself for an extended period of time this is what happens?  I have a thing.  And if you read the back of the tube it clearly states “best if squeezed from the bottom and flatten as you work your way up.”  Or something to that effect.  And personally, I couldn’t agree more.  I mean it just makes sense to me.  Squeeze toothpaste from the bottom.  Like replacing the empty toilet paper roll.  And replacing it correctly so the flap is on the top.  Common sense. Right?

                (Side note – every time I’ve typed out ‘toothpaste’ so far I’ve left off the last ‘e.’  Weird.)

                What happens when I don’t go away for any extended period of time is that boyfriend squeezes from the middle- every time.  And I correct his mistake when I brush my teeth – every time.  Hope he knows how much I love him to be putting up with such nonsense. ; ) 

                I also don’t prefer open cabinet doors or touching pens in the supermarket.  But I’m not sure if that’s less ‘pet peeve’ and more OCD – but whatever.