More Annoyed than Amused

Archive for the ‘Navel Gazing’ Category

Staying Home

Posted by parsingtime on May 6, 2013

I went to this 50 Years of Women at the Business School a couple of days ago for a panel discussion about women in the work place.  The panelists were Famous (one of the first female grads of the b-school), MD of very large investment bank, Endowment (who runs an endowment of a very large prestigious university) and Entrepreneur.

They all had a lot of interesting things to say. Talking about how they got where they are, how the balance family life, how they have been treated by the male population and how that has changed in the years since they all graduated (almost 50 years ago, 1980, and 2000).

I wish I could write about some of the stuff they said, but it was strongly discouraged. So I will just stick with the issue most relevant to me. Two of them had young children. They outsource childcare to two nannies. MD said, “I’m an MD at Blankey Blank I can’t just walk out of a meeting for a sick child call from my school, which is why I have a nanny. She is a 50 year old retiree with a four year degree.” The nanny manages her day-to-day life from car maintenance, to cooking, to kids. MD also has a husband you would have all heard about and so she doesn’t have a lot of help there due to his job. She also said women have their kids to young and should wait until they have established careers.

I understand that not everyone is cut out for or can afford stay-at-home parenthood. So her comments didn’t make me feel one way or the other about her.  She made a choice and it works for her. But at the end of the panel another B-school grad stood up to ask a random question and when they asked her what she did right now she said, “nothing. I stay at home with my kids.”

I felt sorry for her. She was definitely tipsy and this panel made her feel what she does day-to-day is nothing.  As husband and I were talking over dinner after the panel I told him I don’t feel that way and she sort of hammered that home to me. I am busy, productive and I enjoy being with my kid.  It isn’t nothing. Sure sometimes I wish I was have a bigger impact in the working world and there are days when being a SAHM gets on my last nerve but overall I’m happy to report that I like my life.

I’m hope one day tipsy lady realizes that panels like the one we saw are empowering and impressive and don’t have to make you feel like a failure or like you do nothing. There is value in being with your kids.


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Cleaning Out

Posted by parsingtime on October 16, 2011

I spent two hours cleaning out my closet tonight instead of reading US Weekly, Food and Wine and The Economist (I like mixing the high brow with a side of hunger and celebrity ridiculousness – also forced use of miles for mags).

I discovered my fat jeans are way too big and have been relegated to the top of the closet waiting until we decide on that second kid or not.  My skinny purchased in college jeans (when clearly low rise jeans meant hi, here are the goods, take a good look (also when did I become such a fuddy duddy old lady?))  have also been moved to the top of the closet. Waiting for the day when I decide not eating works for me.

One ginormous black trash bag later and a gazillion extra hangers my closet is organized (until I next do laundry). Also, I have several new pairs of jeans/pants because seemingly the bootamp lady was right. I’ve lost inches even if I haven’t lost pounds. So yay for clothes that haven’t been worn since we moved into this house.

Now if only I could convince Husband that his TX/OU t-shirt from 2000 with 6 holes should be trashed.

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Things I Hate Love

Posted by parsingtime on April 29, 2010

Things I don’t like so much:

  • People who write checks at the grocery store
  • When my jeans touch the ground while using a public restroom
  • Sleeping on my side
  • Anything Twilight
  • The home loan process
  • Houston Drivers
  • Stupid people at the airport
  • The fact that there is a corner in Houston with two stand alone Starbucks and a Starbucks in the Barnes & Noble behind one of them. Three Starbucks on two corners is wrong
  • Bananas
  • Unpacking
  • Not being able to run

Things I love

  • Bowls of Oatmeal as big as my head sweetened with Agave topped with granola and strawberries
  • Grapefruit. I love this in an unnatural way. I would marry grapefruit
  • My neighborhood
  • Guava Candy, thanks to Mags and the Plano gang for trekking through Chinatown with me
  • Music. As I’ve been unpacking I’ve had my iPod or Pandora on at all times
  • Weather in Houston in April
  • Events that force all my favorite people together for one weekend (I may not love the actual event especially if there are games, ahem, Kelly, Emilia and Random I’m looking at you)
  • Feeling Baby Time move (when it’s not the middle of the night), it confirms things are as well as can be in there
  • Sweeping our garage (help! I’ve become a crazy homeowner)
  • Clean sheets
  • Cheap manicures

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Not Without a Fight

Posted by parsingtime on December 2, 2009

I’ve mentioned that Astrology Zone is my monthly guilty pleasure. This month the fact that my 2009 has been a bit of a suck fest was confirmed by the stars. After having been the most beleaguered of all signs, you are about to see a complete turnabout from all you’ve suffered. It’s about damn time.

Thank goodness for that though I’m doubtful about the rest of the horoscope, especially since yesterday was supposed to be a banner day for me and it sucked sweaty goat balls. This happened again and I’m Smad again. And while I’m being as cryptic as possible let me just say, that I take things personally, so if you say something disparaging to Husband about me, I’m probably going to end up Smad at you but in reality you’ll never know because I know what social norms are required of me.  I think it’s the “you’ll never know” part that gets to me because I like to have my arguments out in the open.

In happier news I’m almost done with my work holiday cards.  And even though 2009 broke my space heater (my second favorite appliance after the tea kettle because who doesn’t love toasty feet?) and my favorite pair of jeans I’ve found an awesome place (Denim Therapy) that will reweave the hole for $7. Score!

2009 is not going to win. Well it might win but I’m not going down without a fight.

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Amazing Race

Posted by parsingtime on September 4, 2009

Since we moved to Charlotte Husband and I have been watching The Amazing Race. I fully recognize that we have too much free time here and we fill it with mindless television (Whale Wars, Flipping Out — I’ve joined the reality television bandwagon ten years late) .  I tried going to the gym more than once a day but Husband decided that was crazy so TV was the next best option.

They had the season finale in May and two lawyers won! Nerdy lawyers! Asian lawyers! From Harvard!  Which is not my alma mater but nevertheless has a special place in my heart.  I would LOVE to be on this show.  Not to be on TV but just to travel around the world doing crazy stuff.  It is like a ginormous scavenger hunt in cool locales.

I was telling Husband about how I want to be on the show and he of course responded that he would never be on the Amazing Race. Not because he doesn’t like it but there is no way he is going to carry a 200 lb dead pig across a Hawaiian beach or run two miles in his underwear in 20 degree weather in Russia.  He would pay someone to do those things for him.  Husband delegates.

I wouldn’t want him on my team anyway.  I like being married to him. Married couples never fair well on this show. In fact, married couples should never be on or do a reality show (Jon and Kate and Jessica and Nick have proven that point nicely).

Anyway, so if I was going to be on Amazing Race my dream partners would be, in no particular order:

  • Tiger Woods – he’s strong, seems smart, is competitive. He seems like he would be a good team member. My only fear would be he wouldn’t do some of the more daring tasks for fear of injury. I’m sure there are clauses in his Nike contracts saying, “no bungy jumping” etc. He seems bossy though. I’m not basing that on anything except I think he seems bossy. LeBron James would fit this category and seems less bossy. I’ve changed my mind and I pick LeBron. Anyone who Warren likes, I like. Oooh, or Rafael Nadal because if you are going to pick a sports star, why not pick one with an accent.
  • My sister. She is a doctor and regularly looks at and removes female reproductive parts. If you can do that day in and day out without puking you could eat some Scorpions in China.   I would also feel comfortable yelling at her without worrying about how it is damaging our relationship. This comes from having shared a tiny bathroom all through high school…do that without killing each other and nothing can break you apart. The only issue with M being my partner is no female team has ever won. And I would want to win.
  • Ricky Gervais. Who wouldn’t want to be on the team of someone hilarious? I bet he would be willing to try something crazy for a laugh.
  • James Carville. He is bald, acerbic, sharp, hates Dick Cheney as much as I do and he seems strong in a wiry old man way.  He would be good at strategy.
  • Singers. When I was originally thinking of people I would want on my team I immediately thought of singers/bands that I would love to meet (mostly because of my delusional rock star dreams). It has nothing to do with their Amazing Race abilities….though don’t you think Pink would be bad ass at the game?

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Like Water for Chocolate

Posted by parsingtime on August 19, 2009

Back in 11th grade I was taking a Spanish class with Senora Thallasinos. I don’t remember where she was from but she spoke with broken english and introduced me to two pieces of film awesomeness. The first one was Corazon Salvaje a Spanish telenovela where the lead character’s name was Juan Del Diablo. He had long hair. I totally have a thing for guys with long  hair.  I’m not saying I have good taste, just that I have a thing.

Husband tells me frequently when I complain about his crazy long eyebrows that his goal in life is to have all his body hair so long that it all connects.  So just to clarify I do not have a thing for some sort of crazed grizzly, hairy Indian yeti.

The other piece of film awesomeness was Like Water for Chocolate. We watched it in class. If you have ever seen this movie you understand that it is totally inappropriate for a classroom. There is a part where one of the characters Gertrudis runs out of the shower naked (which she is taking to get rid of the rose scent she is emitting because she ate an aphrodisiacal (I’m pretty sure that is not a word) meal) because the shower has evaporated and her sensuality has caused it to catch on fire. She is picked up by a revolutionary on a horse and she rides away with him, still naked. 

The chafing alone makes me shudder.

There is a decent amount of nudity and full of magical realism that you see in books by Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (whose 80th birthday was being held at the same hotel we stayed at in Cartagena) which made it totally inappropriate for a bunch of 16-17 year olds lacking in maturity.  I of course decided that Random, Emilia and Kelly had to see this movie. 

At the end the two star crossed lovers, Tita and Pedro come together finally and their passion is so heated that Pedro dies (in the midst of the passionate sex) and Tita starts to eat matches (because she is distraught and that’s what distraught people do, they eat matches) which catch fire because of the heat of Pedro’s memory and she dies and the lovers are together in death.

Anyway, the point of all this is to tell you that I recently caught this video while at the gym and while I like Paolo Nutini fine this video/song really reminds me of Like Water for Chocolate.  The old school Mexican wedding, the scene at the end where the bride and groom are consummating the marriage, the fire in the background and even the groom, who looks a bit like Pedro.

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Posted by parsingtime on April 18, 2009

The stitches are out but my hand isn’t completely healed so now I have some sort of special medical strips holding my skin together. It looks as lovely as it sounds. Also, getting stitches out? Hurts because your skin grows on to it, like the woman who got stuck on that toilet.

Husband is out of town. So I’m a little lonely…and by a little lonely, I mean bored out of my ever loving mind. I do of course get to eat as much grapefruit as I want without anyone looking at me like I’m insane. I go through food phases. It is well documented.  The grapefruit phase will pass,  eventually.  My latest condiment love? Wasabi Mayo. It tastes great on everything. Except cookies.

Husband and I are heading to SF. My parents stellar real estate agent set the closing on their new condo out there for when they are in Europe. So they gave me power of attorney, the password to their bank account and I’m closing on their house.  My parents being the nice folks they are also said I could bring  Husband to California so that we could just make a weekend of the closing disaster.  We bought plane tickets, made hotel reservations and then the awesome so smart real estate agent told me she could just fed ex the documents to me and then I could fed ex them back.  Gah. I hate her so much. The list of things she has managed to screw up is unbelievable. We are still going since we have more friends in SF than we do in Charlotte (no really by a lot) and because who passes up a trip to SF where good food and friends reside.

Also, to all of you worried Texas is going to secede from the United States….don’t.  Rick Perry is just trying to reelected.

I’m bored.

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Almost Perfect Weekend

Posted by parsingtime on March 8, 2009

Husband and I had a great weekend which included:  The Noda Art Walk, dinner with our favorite Charlotte friends, pineapple mango mojitos, mani/pedi (for me), new chairs for our balcony, 70 degree weather, Arnold Palmers while lounging in our new patio chairs in 70 degree weather, successful recreation of a Wolfgang Puck salad, two excellent walks on a nearby hiking trail, sushi, a movie, 16 hours of sleep and chocolate cake.

If it hadn’t been day light savings weekend it would have been the perfect relaxing weekend. I dislike daylight savings intensely.  But overall a great way to relax after angsting over Lucius all week.

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Posted by parsingtime on February 22, 2009

The vegetarian experiment has been going on for two weeks now and except for some Valentines sushi I’ve been a complete vegetarian. Husband, did not last as long. He was traveling and went to a steak place with the Hog (short for Hedgehog, not pig) and his lunches at work are never meatless.  But he was a vegetarian at home so I guess that counts…sort of.

Over the last two weeks we have had grilled eggplant parmesan, Indian food, veggie enchiladas, pasta, Spanish tapas (basically lots of interestingly cooked vegetables, like garlic mushrooms and a hot green bean/shelled edamame  mint salad), calzones (we made donut holes with the leftover dough — which was fun and yummy), portabello mushroom burgers, pad thai and several different stir frys.

Overall it has been a good experiment. It forced me to learn to make some new things (tapas, which when made at home really can be an affordable filling meal! In Boston we went to a place called Dali with a big group of people and it cost $40 a person for tapas which is fine as long as you don’t go home and eat cereal because you are still hungry) and I unsurprisingly haven’t missed cooking meat (I hate touching raw chicken).

Are you amazed by the amount of parentheses I can fit into one post? Five times really seems excessive.  I really need to work on that plus my use of ellipses.

Anyway, we are taking a break from the vegetarian life tonight with some fish tacos, but overall I think  if I didn’t have to give up sushi I could totally be a vegetarian.

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Taking Stock?

Posted by parsingtime on January 15, 2009

I think Husband was disturbed by my last post so I thought I would put something else up.

1. There’s something you’ve always dreamed of doing, but you haven’t done it because you think you lack the time, money, or support to do so. What is that something? And what are the REAL roadblocks keeping you from it?

Write a book. I don’t lack time, money or support but rather talent and grammar skills. Plus I don’t have any original thoughts…I would want to write a book that’s emotive like The Namesake or creative like Harry Potter. And I think I would be disappointed in myself if all I could come up was chick lit fluff.  If I had even a shred of an idea I would probably try.

I’d also like to be a guitar playing leather pants wearing rock star…but that’s even more of a pipe dream than the book writing. 

2. Name something you would eat more of if health, cost, allergy, and caloric intake were of no concern.

Cupcakes from the Red Hen Bakery, Hot Fudge Sundaes, Sushi, white dinner rolls from Great Harvest Bakery, Sweet Potato fries and I have yet to meet a carb that I don’t love.

3. What is the one singer/band, book/author, painting/painter or author artist/work of art that “speaks to you” most? Why?

Atlas Shrugged and not for Ayn Rand’s objectivist leanings but more for the idea of a utopia where people really care about what they do and everyone works hard even if it means doing menial things to get where they really want to be. I’ve come to realize that one of my greatest strengths as a person/employee is that I work hard and really care about what I do.  I am mortified when I make mistakes and strive not to make the same ones again. I take ownership over my work.  Every single person I’ve ever worked with (except for Lucius who hates me for reasons that have nothing to do with my work ethic) would work with me again or recommend me to someone else.  I think for a lot of people a job is a job and while I’ve yet to find a career that I’m really passionate about, I am really passionate about doing a good job. When I think of Dagny Taggart or Hank Reardan or any of the folks in Galt’s Gulch I’m impressed by the fact that they do something to their absolute best ability without compromise. Whether that’s actually possible in the real world? Well that’s up for debate.

4. If your country’s government handed you a check for $10 billion and empowered you use that money to support a single program, cause, or organization, where would you send it?

I can’t just pick one. Education, seeking alternative fuel sources, the environment and health care would all top my list

5. What really, genuinely pisses you off?

That the US sends foreign aid to countries we know are run by dictators and who are squirreling away that aid money into Swiss banks. My favorite example (I really do love this example Random and Emilia have heard this example exactly 58 bajillion times) is of Democratic Republic of Congo (it was still Zaire at that point) and run by a man named Mobutu Sese Seko. He mismanaged the economy, raped the country of its natural resources, took aid money from the US and when he was ousted? He retired to his Swiss bank accounts and a palace in Morocco. Laurent Kabila then became the President and the US sent money to him as well and he ended up corrupt as well. I realize we can’t know who is good and who is power hungry but maybe we should figure out a way to actually get US foreign aid to the people who really need it verses giving it to corrupt governments.

6. Describe your current level of happiness and contentment in your life. Are you living the life you imagined for yourself when you were younger?

I’m not living the life I I thought I would when I was younger  but it’s all turned out much better than I could have imagined. I’m pretty happy — certainly there are things I feel some discontent over (I think I want a new job) but overall my life is good.  I’m not drowning in massive amounts of debt, my home is not being repossessed, I can afford groceries and gas. I have good friends. I live with someone who really cares about my well-being and wants me to do whatever makes me happy and my family is healthy. I complain a lot about a myriad of things but I don’t have any real reason to complain.

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