Monday, July 31, 2006

Small World Story #114

I've taken a bit of a (an?) hiatus -- I've been busy at work as the semester is just around the corner and a big web initiative is in its final weeks, we've begun interviewing (again) for Swee's position. Phone interviews last week that were promising, one more tomorrow. My boss is hoping to make an offer by the end of the month, optimistically speaking, of course.

So there's the quick update, here's the small world story:

When I was in my senior year of high school and my first year of college, I worked in the County Comptroller's Office during the summer. Answered the phone, ran errands, did some filing, etc. Your basic summer job in an office. Worked with really nice people.

So I'm at my friend Erica's wedding yesterday and I see this older woman who looks very familiar. I can't place it. And she's introduced as the grandmother of the bride, and before they say "Marilyn...", I'm thinking "Marilyn." And then I figure it out. She was the executive secretary to the comptroller! I asked Erica if that's what her grandmother did, and explained the coincidence and then went over to Marilyn and introduced myself.

She said, "I've been staring at you since the ceremony trying to place you. I'm glad you figured it out!"

And now 18 years after I worked summers with this woman, I am good friends with her granddaughter. Small world, indeed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Princess of Aruba

When my friend Sidney was knighted -- like really knighted, by a real queen -- I asked him what I would be called if we ever got married. He would be Sir Sidney...and his wife would be a Lady.

Hmmm...I didn't like that. First, I've never been accused of being a lady -- I'm too much of a tomboy. I told him I wanted to be a princess. He said I couldn't. I gave him a look and said, "are we ever really going to get married?"

"Probably not."

"Then humor me....let me be a princess."

And so I became HRH Ellie, the princess of Aruba. Even some of the people in the front office at the Orioles called me that (when they weren't calling me Mrs. Jeter).

Tonight, after having lots of problems in Baltimore, after starting strong and then stinking strong in St. Louis, Sidney is pitching for the Yankees. At Yankee Stadium. Wearing Tino's number 24.

I wonder what song they'll play for him when he heads in from the bullpen before the game. In Baltimore, it was "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. Anyone who knows anything about the Yankees knows that that is Mariano's song (and it really does mean so much more when it's Mariano coming out of the bullpen, not Sidney).

Hopefully Sidney can start the second half of the season the way he started the first half -- 4-0 with a respectable 4-something ERA. I hope so, not just for my teams' sake, but for my friend's career and getting himself back on track. So that he can finally live up to the potential that always seemed to be within reach...

"Don't think....just throw."

Monday, July 17, 2006


Things are progressing. I can report soon.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The weekend in review, part 1

Friday...out of work at 3:00pm (I love higher ed), drove to Syracuse for a family picnic at my great-uncle's rtirement community. It was fun -- hot -- but fun. When I got there, I was about three minutes ahead of my brother, sister-in-law and nephew. They yelled to me from the parking lot. As we were walking in, my sister-in-law said, "I don't even know why we're here. Uncle Henry doesn't want to go to the picnic. This is all about Fran."

I found that very strange. Maybe my uncle didn't want to be outside, under the tent, listening to the live music -- but I find it hard to believe that he would give up the chance to have his family, all at once, in one place. So Bob, Sally and Zak only stayed about 20 minutes. Good riddance if they were going to be downers.

And so with my sister and brother-in-law, niece and the baby, and my parents, my sweet almost 92-year-old uncle thanked us all for coming and told us that he loved us. He's so sweet and easy to please. I hate to see him getting older and frailer -- because his mind is still sharp, he has so much spirit, even if it tends to tire easily. When it was just my parents and me there, we were talking baseball. And Uncle Henry asked me who that pitcher was for Boston that the Yankees never liked to face. "Curt Schilling?"


"Give me a decade, Uncle Henry." I'm wracking my brain trying to think of any pitcher for the Red Sox. "Roger Clemens."


"Who would have been hitting for the Yankees?" He could have have said Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle, given his age.

"Oh, it was like in '96."


"Yea, I don't like him."

"I don't like him, either." And that's one of the reasons Uncle Henry rocks.

After leaving him, Jenny and I went over to my mom's to illegally scan in Ryan's 2-year-old pictures. Now, I'm not a big fan of AC -- but I also close up my house so that when it's 95 degrees out, it stays kind of cool. Not my father. Windows, shades, blinds -- wide open. It was literally cooler outside than in their apartment.

Even Ryan -- at 2 -- looked at my niece. "Hot. Hot."

We stayed long enough to scan and then left, stopping at the Byrne Dairy for some ice cream on the way home. Ryan summed it up best..."yummy, yummy."

Saturday morning...we went to Ryan's kid's gym and then to visit my niece's college roommate, who is expecting triplets this fall. She looked great and happy -- and just a few pangs of jealousy as the whole world has kids and I don't.

We had left my car at the mall and decided to go in after our visit with Cory. We just walked around. A trip to BBW (I did have a coupon, afterall) for me, and some curtains for Jenny -- and we were on our way. Her north, me south.

I listened to the end of the game in the car, not really paying attention to the driving. The route from Syracuse to Homer to Ithaca has become -- after two years -- as familiar as the thruway between Rochester and Syracuse used to be. I have specific trees or houses that flag how far along my journey I am.

The highlight of the trip, by far, was Ryan saying my name more clearly, wanting me to help him do things, play with him and read to him before bed. :)

To be continued...the rest of the weekend, including playing hooky on Monday.

Friday, July 14, 2006


My relationship with food, and my subsequent relationship with my body, is a difficult one to define. I've always thought of myself as fat. Even when I wasn't. Even when I was nothing more than a stocky, solid 10-year-old. I look back at pictures and see a normal, healthy girl -- with long, strong legs. No pudge, no chubbiness. Solid -- yes. Fat -- not even close. But what I felt, what I saw when I looked in the mirror, was anything but normal and healthy.

When I was 10, I was on a diet. I had probably been on several even before then. I read The Scarsdale Diet, went to Weight Watches meetings, worked out at Kelly Lyn, watched Richard Simmons, did Jane Fonda workouts (before Beta and VHS, the work-out was on a record with diagrams to collow along with) -- all before the age of 13. I remember getting incentives from well-meaning siblings. "For every pound you lose, I'll give you a quarter." And when my sister moved away from Syracuse with her boyfriend, and she would call home, one of the first questions she always asked was, "how's your diet?"

I can only imagine the effects all of that had on me. In fact, I can do more than imagine, because for the past 25 years, I have struggled with my own body image. I have tortured myself with diet after diet -- sometimes to fail from the start, sometimes to succeed and then fail. Even with success, I only see the failures, the not-quite-reaching goal.

At this point in my life, it bothers me the most. Even though, I am the healthiest I've ever been. I guess because I always thought of my weight as the hindurance in relationships, the reason I was alone was because I was unattractive. To put it more bluntly -- I was fat. if I was no longer fat, I would have a boyfriend. I would be attractive to other people. Logically, I know that that couldn't be farther from the truth. Logic isn't always my strong-suit, especially when it comes to me.

As for this weekend, I'm off to the 'Cuse to see my great-uncle, and spend the night at my niece's and play with the little guy. I'm excited. If nothing else, there is nothing like life's perspective from the mind of a two-year-old.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

All balls, no strikes

I talked to Bubbles tonight -- about our choices in men, about our patterns in choices in men, and what drives us to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. We didn't come up with any answers.

We're not gluttons, just two simple girls looking for what every little girl dreams of -- the house, the man, the white picket fence. I want the fairy tale wedding, she wants Vegas. We each want a man who would enjoy drinking a beer with us tonight -- yes, a Tuesday...a work night -- but not just any Tuesday, All-Star Game Tuesday. So there she sits in her home in Baltimore, with peanuts and beer (Yeungling, I'm guessing). I overdosed on cashews and skipped the beer (though it would have been LaBatt's Blue Light).

No answers, but a little resolve to better whatever fucked-up situations we are in. She needs to know what is going on one and for all, and I need to move on -- once and for all. He's my safety net and he's not doing me any good. It sounded good, as I sat on my deck and watched a couple of squirrels chase each other.

Whether it happens or not, who knows. Who knows -- next year, as we watch baseball from Pac-Bell, let's hope we're not in the same situation. Here's hoping that we're clinking beer bottles with someone else as we cheer on the American League.

Monday, July 10, 2006

My absolute favorite trivia question

And I always stump people. I think I've only had one person get the answer.

Of course, I never ask it this time of the year. Hold onto this one for the fall or winter.

Of the four major sports played in the United States (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL), there are only two days in the calendar year when a game in any of these sports is not played. Name them.

(Insert Jeopardy music here.)

Tonight and Wednesday -- the day before and the day after the Major League All-Star Game.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I Don't Get it

"I don't get it." The words uttered by Tom Hanks in Big, as he's in his first toy concept meeting, causing the dad from Home Alone to label him ruthless.

And today, I don't get it. I don't get why all week I look forward to the weekend, and then midday Saturday can't wait to go back to work.

I don't get why relationships change with the distance of miles between us, why as the number of miles shrink so does the enssence of the relationship.

I don't get why my mother can annoy me so one minute, and then in the next instance remind me why I love her so much.

I don't get how the ants can crawl into my hummingbird feeder and not drown. And how do they know the precise moment I've made new sugar water -- they're waiting for me on the hangar when I go to put it back up.

I don't get why it's so hard for adults to make friends, but kids on a playground can become BFF in an instant.

I don't get how I can work out seven days a week, and still be hovering between the same damned three pounds -- back and forth, up and down.

I don't get why I'm just now realizing that I had a social life in Baltimore.

I believe in everything for a reason. I don't get why Ithaca is the right place. I don't get why being single at 36 is the right thing.

I don't get a lot of things -- I guess if I did, if life were easy, then life would be boring.

I would really like that kind of boring, just once.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Happy birthday, Snip

Today is my niece's 19th birthday. I called her this morning on her cell phone, as she is traveling on what could be her last "family" trip to Florida. She sounded so grown up and mature as she asked me how work was, and if they had found someone to replace Swee (we haven't, and we're reopening the search -- heaven help me!).

I remember when she was born. She was the first niece that I felt like a real aunt to from the start, rather than a big sister. I was old enough to buy things for her with my own money, to take her places, etc. She was going to be Stephanie -- and at the last minute she became Tiffany, which really does suit her.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

There was dancing

...and lots of it.

A bar called Nasty D's, with a gay-pride flag in the window. Baskets of condoms on the bar like a dish of peanuts. And sweet, little ol' Ellie. Not my usual genre of bars, but this is where my friend's 40th birthday party was being held. It was lots of fun, lots of dancing. And let me tell you -- gay men can dance!

When I arrived, Michael was so excited to see me. "You drove up from Ithaca! Girl..." hugs and kisses. I introduced my friend Jenn, who I was staying with and who, along with a couple of her friends, accompanied me. My safety net. Then, as only Michael could do, I had to do the twirl, so he could give me the up and down. "You look amazing. And your hair -- I love it this short." And he looked amazing -- like the day I met him. He doesn't look 40. He looks amazing. And hot. And *sigh*

We didn't have a lot of time to chat -- he had lots of guests to visit with, but when we were on the dance floor, he asked about our favorite shared topic. Men. "Well? Anyone worth talking about it?"

"Not really...all the really good men are married. Or gay."

"He's out there -- there's someone for both of us out there."

"Yea, hopefully not the same guy."

"Are you getting your needs met, though."

"What do you think?"

"That's my girl."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Too soon?

Its is too soon to get my hopes up. Too soon to even tell you about it.

Let's just say there's something promising on the horizon.

I'm off to Rochester for a 40th birthday party at bar. I hope to be sufficiently naughty, showing off the girls and get a proper buzz.

Update on Monday.