Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Poppin

Last night I found out that my friend, Armando, has passed away. I was in complete shock, but after going through an entire box of tissues and crying on CB’s shoulder, I decided that I was going to remember Armando for all that he was and try to quit my crying already (I’ve been somewhat successful).

You see, Armando was the first friend I ever made in my chosen profession. We started within the same week and instantly clicked over being from the Midwest, laughing at all of the same jokes, and, of course, our love for Beyonce.

We also bonded over our love for making CB feel uncomfortable with our many conversations about boys and pop music and pretty much anything else CB could not care less about.

I sat in between Armando and CB at work and it was the perfect set-up: Armando on one side, who’d pop up and make me stop stressing over whatever project I was doing and go for a walk to check out the cute boys on other floors. We’d scope out who looked good on the internal company webpage, take a casual walk through departments we had no business being in, and would then walk by and gawk like middle-schoolers.

And there was CB on the other side, who hated it every time we told him that we were doing any of this and begged us not to be his friend.

But Armando was more to me than just the guy who had the same taste as me in pretty much everything. He was the person I cried to when a past relationship fell apart; he was the one who distracted me when crying became exhausting; he was the one who got me into running, convincing me that we could “Totally run that Corporate Challenge, Becks. Plus, I bet we could buy cute new running clothes and look good if we suck at it!”; and he was the only person I could dance in an elevator with to “Lip Gloss.”


That’s right. And it was epic.

One day at work, in between obviously working really hard and checking out men, we were in the elevator alone heading down to the cafeteria. We’d just been talking about how we couldn’t get that Lil Mama song, “Lip Gloss” out of our heads – and we were not ashamed. Obviously.

But then, all of a sudden and without any words, Armando stomped his feet twice and I jumped in with the synchronized clapping. And for 5 floors we stomped and clapped and sang, laughing and jumping and somehow not getting walked out by security who most definitely saw us on the elevator cameras.

From that day forward, we’d randomly sing and dance and laugh, always circling back to that song and, years after we’d both moved on to other work places (probably much to the delight of every single person we worked with), would text each other and simply write “Hi! It’s poppin’!” to make the other person laugh in the middle of whatever kind of day they were having.

Armando brought light and laughter and friendship and love to pretty much everyone he met. And only in his death has it become clear to me that he had been fighting demons darker and stronger than most of us could have ever guessed. But true to form, he never let on – instead, choosing to live every single day to its fullest and making sure that whoever he was with was having the time of their lives.

So, to honor Armando in a way I know he’d find funny and fitting, let’s get it poppin’. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

I'm a Madwoman

I'm immersed in a pile of work I have to finish before taking off for the mitten on Thursday. (insert jumping up and down at the thought!)

So in the meantime, I'm sharing a poem that a co-worker wrote for me, which now hangs on my cubicle wall. Even though he'd only known me a few months at the time that he wrote it, apparently it quickly became clear that all things that sparkle are among my most very favorite things. Especially since my go-to fashion accessory in the winter is a scarf that sparkles. 

The merino wool filtered through the loom
amongst the dust of fairies, leaving a debris of sparkles
set to distract the eye from the grinning face of the 
Madwomaan encased in the garment. 

Happy Monday! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Wrapup

It's Friday and ohmygod Beyonce released an album while I was sleeping and I almost lost my mind when I woke up and was like "THIS IS THE BEST FRIDAY EVER."

Also, I may have gone into the bedroom to a still-waking CB to have this conversation:

Me: "In an unprecedented move, Beyonce released an album overnight without any publicity. I just downloaded it on iTunes for fifteen dollars. I'm so excited."
CB: "Oh yeah, I got an alert on my phone a little after midnight about it."
Me: "What?"
CB: "Yeah, a Twitter alert or something."
Me: "And you didn't wake me up?"
CB: "I thought about it but I figured that's news that could wait until morning, I knew how tired you were."
Me: "I appreciate it, but something to know for our marriage: when it comes to Beyonce, always wake me up."
CB: "Noted."

Anyway, I'm listening to it right now so can't really talk.


Getting into the holiday spirit (and how do I always miss this stuff in NYC? Darn it, normal working hours.)

Also, I can't stop laughing when he runs away from the baby named "Arrow."


So, this week's book review is actually yet another book I read a while ago, but it's being reviewed now because I'm reading another Chuck Klosterman book currently but I'm too slow of a reader and so I'm not done with it. Hence, I can't blog about it. Hence, I'm blogging about a book I read 10 years ago.

Anyway, this is one that I think most all of you would like if you are around my age or slightly younger/older (i.e. grew up in the 80s/90s).

Click here to check out "Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs" and browse around for some other reading inspiration as well!


So, "Love Actually" was on tv last night. But I was being a b-word to CB and flipping between it (not his favorite movie) and "The Millionnaire Matchmaker" because he's the nicest man on the planet.

Anyway, I was in bed by the time this scene came on, so I'm reliving it here with all of you. Also, I love this movie so much and it makes me happy every Christmas when it comes on. Oh, and I always say "just in cases" instead of "just in case" because sometimes I pretend like I'm in the movie and CB is like "You just said it wrong."

Plus, I want her sparkle outfit in adult size.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Conversations from Cohabitation

Example that CB completely gets me.

CB: “I have good news to brighten your week.”
Me: “Oooh what is it?”
CB: “It’s supposed to snow 3-7 inches tomorrow.”
Me, skeptical: “Wait…like, real snow or that stupid winter-y mix stuff that actually is just really aggressive rain?”
CB: “No! No winter-y mix, complete snow!”
Me: “Oh my God I’m so happy.” And then I high fived him.
CB: “I knew you’d like that. Crazy woman.”


Last night we were sitting in the dark, lit only by the lights on our Christmas tree. We were both looking up at it when I admired the glitter bulbs we have scattered throughout.

Me: “I love our glitter bulbs.”
CB: “Yes you do.”
Me: “Did you ever think you’d have a tree with glitter bulbs on it?”
CB: “Not in a million years. If you’d told me back in college that I’d spend my future Christmases with a tree decorated with glitter bulbs, I’d tell you you were crazy.”
Me: “Yeah, I would imagine 22 year old CB wouldn’t picture this future.”
CB: “I mean, maybe if you also told me that Pamela Anderson was decorating my tree with glitter bulbs I’d be like ‘yeah, ok, that works.’”
Me: “A big Pamela Anderson fan, are you?”
CB: “She had her moment.”
Me: “So basically what you’re saying is that I’m like your real life Pamela Anderson.”
CB: “Something like that.”
Me: “I should’ve worn a red bathing suit and run around the apartment in slow motion while I decorated this weekend.”
CB: “I would’ve videotaped it and put it on my own blog.”
Me: “What would your blog be called?”
CB: “My Sparkle Christmas Tree Decorated by Pamela Anderson.”
Me: “That’s a terrible name for a blog.”
CB: “But it paints a picture.”
Me: “That it does.”


So, I texted CB a picture of a store I walked by and said "How have I lived here 12 years and have never seen this place?" He wrote me back and I said that it was my long lost house. 

And then, inexplicably, the entire text chain went blank! 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Everything I Ever Needed to Know About my Relationship I Learned while Decorating for Christmas

This weekend, CB and I went Christmas tree shopping and got into the holiday spirit by allowing glitter and lights and jingle bells to throw up all over our apartment. It was magical.

However, there were several moments throughout the weekend where I realized that, when it really comes down to it, we can all pretty much get an inside look at the health status of the relationship based upon whether or not you break up over decorating your home. I mean, it’s not a completely scientific study or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’d hold up in peer review.

Health Check:

While shopping for our Christmas tree, I got to the lot a few minutes early and had a chance to walk around and check out our options. I immediately gravitated towards a perfectly plump tree towards the back that I just knew would be a perfect fit. I also named him “Plumpy” and then told Carlos, the tree lot manager, that I had to wait to see if my other half was on board. He was like “From the looks of things, you’re bringing this tree home whether he likes it or not. You named it.”

Um, excuse me Carlos¸ but I’m a team player and can totally let Plumpy go if CB finds one he loves. I name everything. (Have you met our toaster, Poppy, and our Pigeon that left three weeks ago, Harold?)

Also, this is why CB should really just not take me to do things like this because I get attached to inanimate objects quite quickly and project feelings onto them that perhaps the dead pine isn’t experiencing. But you don’t know that, so let’s just be on the safe side and assume Plumpy understood me when I promised him I wouldn’t leave him alone in the lot that day.

Anyway, after 30 minutes of CB looking at every tree except Plumpy, he circled back.

CB: “I think it’s a great tree, I’m just not sure if it’s tall enough.”
Me: “He’s perfect.”
CB: “It’s a he?”
Me: “Yes. This is Plumpy. But I mean, if you see something else you like, I’m totally open to that. This is a joint decision.” (or the conversation went something like that)
CB: “Jeez, you already named it….”
Carlos: “Sorry, man, you’re definitely going home with this tree.”
CB: “Yeah, that’s becoming pretty clear.”
Me: “No! I’m totally flexible! Which one do you like?”
CB, looking around: “Well…..”
Me, whispering to Plumpy: “Don’t worry, we’ll be right back.”

Cut to 15 minutes later when Carlos was tying Plumpy to the top of the car.

CB: “You were right. It really is a great tree.”
Me: “Thanks! I’m glad you’re happy with him, too.”
CB: “I’m doing this alone next year.”
Me: “Agreed.”

Health Grade: B+ (we get points knocked off for my mental health clearly not being top notch, but the plus is because at one point I was like “Sure, we can take this other tree I haven’t named.” But then CB realized it wasn’t plump enough and I secretly did a dance of joy over my ability to be compromising AND still winning. If this was a contest, which obviously it’s not.)


This is what compromise
looks like, people! 
While Carlos and CB were getting the tree secured on the roof, I started looking at the dozens of wreath options they had on display. As we all know, my affinity for glitter is strong and proud. However, when presented with a wreath that was literally covered in glitter ribbons, glitter fake fruit, and a bird with a glitter bowtie (festive!), I looked around at the other more classic wreaths and said “You know what? This is overkill. Also, I live with a man who puts up with a lot. So let’s go with the wreath that just has a splash of sparkle and make everyone happy.  

Health Grade:  A. This was a growing moment.


While getting the tree in place, CB needed my help making sure it was straight. Now, I’m not sure how many of you have done this with just two people, but it’s quite hard to be sure it’s straight when you’re holding the thing up while your partner is screwing it into the tree stand in what appears to be an upright, not-at-all-leaning fashion from the ground position.

But then when you back up you’re like “Ooooh, it’s leaning to the right.” And so he gets back down on the ground, moves it “Just a half an inch or so to the left” and then you stand back again. “Yeah, it’s leaning too far forward now.”

Cut to 25 minutes later when CB started to have an allergic reaction to the pine and was like “Really? Are you sure you’re not just leaning to the left?” and he made the face he makes when I can tell he’s holding in frustration specifically directed at me.

To which I saved our pending marriage by calling our friend Matt, who lives down the hall, to come hold the tree while CB adjusted it and I stood back making sure it was straight. Also, Matt kept agreeing with CB, which makes CB not feel so alone in this world.

Matt: “It looks really straight to me.”
Me: “You don’t think it’s leaning a little to the left?”
Matt, taking it from another angle: “Well maybe a little, but when it falls a bit it’ll even out.”
Me: “I’m not sure……”
CB: “Alright, I’ll move it a little to the right.”

Cut to: 5 minutes later when Matt and I were like “Yeah, it was better the way it was before.”

And then CB tried to take the ring off of my finger but I am quicker than him in the morningtime.

Health Grade: B- (CB is very patient and I have a good eye for design so the time and energy spent making sure was well worth it – and I’m pretty sure that’s a unified position we both mentally took while never having to say it out loud. However, I probably could’ve listened to him about 15 minutes sooner than I did, and so there’s some work to do in the next few decades.)


CB was in charge of lights and I was in charge of decorating the rest of the apartment and helping put bulbs on the tree. This went swimmingly and we high fived over our awesomeness as a Christmas-decorating team several times.

Health Grade: A

Happy Monday, everyone! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Wrapup

Let's get to it!

This was the best thing to happen to me all week.


This week's book is in memory of Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95. I read his autobiography after taking a course in college that opened my eyes to some of the struggles the people of South Africa had faced, and it's stayed with me all of these years.

Actually, a few weeks ago I was looking through my books and added it to my list to re-read in the coming year. So, what better time to blog about it and share a great story with all of you!

Click here to read the post and feel free to browse around the others for some reading inspiration!


To get you into the holiday spirit....


And now, the video of the week! It's like one million (ish) videos in one! Best of 2013. Well, best pop of 2013, which is a start. Plus, there are shots of Justin Timberlake looking dapper. You're welcome. 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Underpants Intervention

So I need to thank everyone who commented, emailed, and texted me your thoughts about my underpants situation. This is perfectly normal and not at all weird to share with strangers and future in-laws.

Also, and unrelated, CB sometimes has conversations with me about boundaries and I’m like "not now, I’m busying blogging about my underpants." He’s so sensitive.

Below, a sampling of the last few days since my post:

Conversation with my dad:

Dad: “So, is all of that stuff you’ve been writing about your underpants true, or an exaggeration?”
Me: “Um, totally true. It’s one of my biggest life issues.”
Dad: “That seems….odd.”
Me: “I know! But it’s real.”
Dad: “Good luck with that.”


Text between my sister and me yesterday: 


Over the weekend, Cousin Nikki had my back as well:

(also, after the underpants intervention, perhaps I need to have a "hahahahaha" intervention as well?)


And last night, we went over to a friend's place for dinner and she gave me two pairs of underpants that she's never worn so she wanted me to see if they'd not fall down (they're size small). 

It's nice to be thought of. 

Happy Wednesday, everyone! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wait, you didn't talk about your underpants at Thanksgiving dinner?

I love Thanksgiving. It’s the one day a year where you can wear elastic pants in public and people are like “Oooh, good thinking.” It’s also the one day a year where you can continuously eat for 12-48 hours and nobody judges you while you pile carbohydrates and gelatinous berries onto a makeshift trough and eat until your elastic stretches. And then one hour later you get up and are like “I could definitely use more stuffing up in here. And just go ahead and hand me a buttered roll for good measure.”  

However, while it is normally a judgment-free holiday, I did not get so lucky this year. But I sort of brought it upon myself, which I’m guessing will shock no one? And so I will not hold it against Thanksgiving in permanence and will, instead, send apology notes via telepathy to CB that I sometimes don’t know how to act in mixed company of my soon-to-be extended family.

You see, as stated here in the past, I have issues with my underpants. And while the underpants suspenders idea is patent-pending, I need to come up with a different, more timely solution because it’s starting to interfere with my day-to-day activities. Which I think is the first sign in the 5 point steps that you have a problem?  

Anyway, a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner, while thirty-plus people milled around sipping wine and watching football, I was experiencing an undergarment emergency that I couldn’t suffer alone.

So, I grabbed Cousin Nikki and was like “I have to show you something” and walked into the dining room and over to the corner.

CN: “What’s wrong?”
Me: “I need you to feel my underpants.”
CN: “Um, what?”
Me, placing her hand on my side-thigh in a not-at-all-weird way: “Here, feel.”
CN: “What the hell is that?”
Me: “It’s my underpants!”
CN, laughing: “Why are they on your thigh?”
Me: “See??? I’m not making this up! They fall down ALL THE TIME.”

Then Cousin Dana walked over.

CD: “What are you guys doing?”
CN: “Oh my God, you have to feel this.”

And then Cousin Nikki placed Cousin Dana’s hand on my thigh, too.

CD: “What am I feeling?”
Me: “My underpants.”

CD glanced at CN.

CN: “Right? You can’t make this sh*t up.”
CD: “How on earth did that happen?”
Me: “I don’t know, but it happens almost weekly! I mean, this is extreme, but there are certain underpants I can’t wear with dresses in the summertime because of this.”
CN: “Ok, you’re wearing the wrong underwear.”
CD: “And nobody calls them underpants.”
Me: “Focus! What do I do?”
CN: “You have to take them off.”
Me: “What?? I can’t go commando at family Thanksgiving! I’m not even married yet!”

And then CN started laughing too hard to speak.

CD: “Seriously, what kind of underwear are you wearing? Do you wear granny panties or something? How does this happen?”
CN, between laughing: “Poor CB.”
Me: “NO! I swear to God I wear cute underpants!”
CN and CD in unison: “You’re going to have to show us.”

And so, because my shame left the building years ago, I looked around to make sure we didn’t have an audience and pulled the side part of my underpants up above my waistline.

Me: “See?”
CD: “Oh, those are cute.  I feel better for CB now.”
CN: “But you’re still clearly buying the wrong kind.”
CD: “Yeah, you need to invest in thongs or boy shorts.”
CN: “Get both.”
Me: “What?! I don’t think I can wear thongs.”
CN: “It’ll change your life.”
CD: “Yeah, and we won’t have to have this conversation in a month when your underpants fall down on New Year’s Eve.”
Me: “That would be nice.”
CN: “Please do it soon. And maybe go to the bathroom and pull up your underpants now before they’re around your ankles.”
Me: “Done and done. Thanks!”

And then I walked away to fix my underpants in peace while I’m guessing CD and CN immediately walked over to CB, begging him to reconsider.

While in the bathroom, I took a poll of two via text message to figure out if I was missing out on an obvious solution to this situation:

Text 1:
Me: “Happy Thanksgiving! Question: do you wear thongs?”
Friend #1: “Happy Thanksgiving! And I’d say that was a weird segue if it was coming from anyone but you. So, to answer your question, yes, sometimes. Why?”
Me: “Because I need to figure out if this is the solution to my underpants dilemma.”
F1: “Actually, it’ll probably help. Though, to be fair to you, I think you just need to get a smaller size. We’ve discussed this.”
Me: “I know! And I’ve tried. The ones I’m wearing now are a 6! I’m not a 6. But the 8’s fell down, and so did the 10’s.”
F1: “You seriously have issues like no one else in my life.”
Me: “Which is why we’re friends.”
F1: “Obviously. Anyway, go buy some thongs. Either way it’s win/win – your underpants won’t fall down and you’ll become a member of the 21st century.”

Text 2:
Me: “Happy Thanksgiving! Question: do you wear thongs?”
F2: “You too! Yep. And that’s not a weird holiday question at all, btw.”
Me: “Hmmm….so do you think that would solve my underpants dilemma?”
F2: “To be honest, I’m not sure I want that problem solved. It makes me laugh every time we talk about it.”
Me: “But they’re around my thighs and it’s Thanksgiving!”
F2: “Please tell me you showed CB.”
Me: “No, but I did show it to a few of his cousins.”
F2: “That’s perfectly normal.”
Me: “So thumbs up or thumbs down on the thong?”
F2: “Thumbs up because I feel like that will open up a whole new box of worms that will delight me to no end.”
Me: “Deal. You’re a good friend.”
F2: “I do what I can.”

And there you have it, folks. Cyber Monday, here I come!