Monday, December 31, 2007

Gansta, Burglar or Abu Ghraib Prisoner?

A quiz to start your new year: What is Jillian in these pictures?

a) A gansta (with the name Rank Dirty Rappa, See Gangsta Name Generator)
b) A burglar in pink overalls
c) A prisoner at Abu Ghraib (is that crossing the line? It is just what the picture reminded me of)
d) My date for New Year's Eve

The answer is (d) of course. We started our celebration by rockin' out to St. Scobie's kid's mix, 2006, hitting repeat on "Me and Julio Down by the School Yard" and "Hey Ya." Then we went out to dinner by ourselves (she was very well behaved even though I denied her a beer) and finished up with a Starbucks trip - peppermint mocha for me, cookie for her. Now we are home and she is in bed and I am entering night 10 (in a row) of sitting on my ass in my apartment alone.

So cheers is to 2008 being better than 2007 and 2006.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"I Can't Find the Bon Jovi Shot Glasses!"

Christmas is over, and as it will just be me and Jillian this New Year's, my "holiday season" is also over. I have no problem with that, the baby takes the pressure off of finding something to do for New Year's Eve.

Since I have deemed the holidays over, I find myself reminiscing about holidays gone by. Some good some bad. Let's take a walk down memory lane, shall we? A meandering walk, as I am not going in any particular order. Rather, this is a stream of conscious stroll.

I went to law school in the South. Where people like to put Christmas decorations on their car grills. Like a wreath tied on to the jeep, etc. Justsomeguy didn't exactly "get" this practice, or if he did, he thought it was bizarre. I am not sure how, or if, I got involved in the car decorating debate but I somehow was involved in justsomeguys dealing with the decorations. One night after classes and studying I walked to my car to find a GIANT plastic Santa tied on to the grill of my car. This Santa was just a head and his finger was supposed to be pointing to his chin in a contemplative manner. Except, as I later found out, he was from the dollar store and thus cheap. So his finger was more picking his nose.

It being late and cold, I just left the Santa on the car. Mind you, I had no idea who had put it there, given my indifference to the whole car decorating controversy. Anyway, the next morning, I forgot about the Santa and went back to school with it still on my car and still not knowing who had put it there. Eventually justsomeguy came clean and a few days later he helped me take it off my car. We hid it in TFry's carrell I think, or B-Rich's, neither of whom had any idea where it came from. Anyway, I drove around for way too long with a nose picking Santa on my car.

In college, the holiday season was synonymous with greek semi-formal season. When I was a junior, I was going to a fraternity semi-formal as was my roommate and soon-to-be acclaimed author, J-Bux. Apparently, I had a bit to drink at the pre-dance dinner, and continued boozing at the party. Lucking, when I went to the bathroom, J-Bux decided to accompany me. I went into a stall, did my business, and could not get the lining of my fairly tight, short dress, to pull down. I thought I got the outside part down and thus was decent so I gave up on the lining. Coming out of the stall, I hear J-Bux saying "wait, let me help you..." I insisted that I didn't need help and it was all good. Thankfully, she forced her help on me, because absolutely NO PART of my dress was pulled down below my waist. I am a classy date.

My parents' friends have a Christmas party each year, with the location rotating among their houses. This party involves a trip to Italian delis, bakeries, pasta shops, lots of wine, no guest with a last name that does not end in a vowel, overuse of the phrases "lemme tell you...." and "I'm not gonna lie, this is the best (fill in the blank with some kind of food)..."

One year, my parents were hosting and there was not enough room in the fridge for all the beer. My mom instructed me to put the beer on the porch. I was home for law school and bored, so before actually doing so, I took a couple cans of Coors light and dressed them as players in the nativity scene. Yup, construction paper robes and cotton ball beards. I carefully arranged them on the porch as a welcome to our guests.

Well, given the guest list, you can imagine that these people are Catholic and it is not just a religion, but a culture. While some people found it funny (including my mom, to her credit), others found it a bit out of bounds. I guess using a chocolate Santa as the Baby Jesus could be viewed as sacreligious but I didn't mean it that way and I am at peace with it. I think Jesus is too, and maybe even found it funny. My God has a sense of humor.

Also at this very party, I decided to drink a bottle of Jack Daniels by myself. I shared with my littlest sister, who was maybe 18 or 19, and got wasted. To the point where my dad told my sister to get me out of the party. He said to take me anywhere. Only my sister was drunk too, due to me feeding her booze. We did finally find someone who could drive and they took me to my local diner, which was our high school hang out. It was so weird, almost trippy, to be back, watching people I gave tennis lessons to when they were 10 smoke cigarettes and drink coffee - black.

Now to the title of this post....this year I finally got to attend my cousins' ridiculous Christmas Eve party. I got there and one of the first things I heard was that no one could find the Bon Jovi shot glasses. These shot glasses are apparently the lynchpin of the operation. I haven't seen my cousin as distraught about the holidays since the year when Vinnie Testiverde did not want us to have a good Christmas. Anyway, the shot glasses where eventually found, after a false alarm of thinking some fancy mustard was them (don't ask), and mine was the New Jersey album. Many shots later, and my uncle's rendition of "Man I feel like a woman" on the karioke machine, we stumbled home at 2:30 a.m. I am already looking forward to next year's party.

And don't worry, here are some pictures of J - they speak for themselves. I would imagine that my next walk down the holiday memory lane will involve more Jillian-centric stories, less booze, and hopefully no decorations from the dollar store.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Advice to Young Professionals re: Email Spell Check

"Busty" is a word, therefore your email spell check will not catch it as a mis-spelled word. This occurs even though it is a rare, rare time that you want to use the word busty in a work email.

You probably, however, will use the word "busy" many times in work emails. Therefore, if you are emailing a partner to tell them that you are busy with certain work, make sure you have not accidently written that you are "busty."

Spell check will let you down and not catch it before you hit send.

And yes, I did learn this the hard way, as I emailed a case team informing them that I was, in fact, busty.

Sigh. Between this, my Phillies attire social miscalculation, family obligations, and undying work ethic, I am on the fast track to partnership.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Garbage Cake - YUM!

Today at work someone put out these little holiday cakes that reminded me of one of my favorite holiday foods, the Little Debbie Christmas Tree Snack Cake, pictured above. I love these cakes so much that I once ate one out of a garbage can. This is a true story, and goes alittle something like this.

During finals in law school different groups had to provide snacks each night. Oh and we liked to go to a gas station to load up on further snacks, such as hot chocolate from a machine (which I love), Mr. Pibb, scratch off lottery tickets, and the occasional cigarette. I am not sure where bizarley, justsomeguy and I got our snacks on this fateful night,* but bizarley wound up with a Christmas Tree Snack Cake and I didn't. Not sure how. Some of you may know this, but bizarley hates baked goods (noting of course that donuts are fried), which also lends itself to the absurdity of this story.

So she takes one bite of the snack cake, says "gross" and throws it in the trash, in fairness not knowing my love of the snack cake. I think about it for a second or two, discuss it with them, and decide that I am going to take that snack cake out of the trash and eat it. Which I did. I think they were slightly mortified. I didn't care - it was delicious. And I would do it again.

Oh and if you were wondering what kind of student does this, I graduated magna cum laude. Crazy, I know.

You may also be wondering why I am back posting almost on back to back days. I had a big case settle and with the holidays looming I am not in a rush to get more work. Somehow though, I think the work will find me.

Since I know the pull of this blog is cute baby pictures, here is a random one of a cold, yet still cute, baby. She has her first cold, at age 14 months. That is a pretty hardy baby. She has also learned to jump and say bracelet. She has quite a hodgepodge, to quote JEOPARDY!, of tricks.

*TFry may have been there too, but she may also have been in the hall practicing her gymnastics moves. She can do a split y'all!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jillian Hates Santa

Last weekend, my mom insisted that we go to a children's Christmas party at my parents' country club.* It was a nightmare. I forgot that Santa can start a riot among children and that I have no patience for rioting kids. We have all already agreed that we will not be going back next year or any year after that.

Anyway, Jillian hated Santa. She didn't want to be on his lap and almost pulled off his beard. By the way - how were we EVER fooled by a guy dressed as Santa? I mean this guy was so clearly a dude in a beard. I guess being young and stupid helped. Instead of old, jaded, and the only single mom at a family event.

So, here is a picture of Jillian hating on Santa. And one of her in a shirt that states she ate his cookies. Perhaps that is why they don't get along. Or perhaps my mom just loves novelty baby t-shirts (see e.g. "its not a tantrum, I am just expressing myself" onesie; "I am having a bad hair day" shirt).

* Note: this is not a country club like most. It is in Northern NJ. Most members are large Italians who enjoy pinky rings and ginormous white Cadillacs. I once was on the buffet line there and someone (ok it was my dad) came up to me to tell me not to fill up on the salad because there was shrimp cocktail further down the line. That is high class. He didn't want me to miss out. At this Christmas event, if you shouted "Anthony" about 400 people turned around. Plus, all the little girls were in outfits that involved sequins, sparkly things, and/or the word "Princess" in sequins/sparky things. My mom put a gold bracelet on J to help her fit in. I felt out of place because I forgot to get large fake french manicured nails put on before going.