snooze.

if only it were this easy.
if only it were this easy.

I have never been a great sleeper.  Even when blessed with mono through high school and into college, I wasn’t a great sleeper.  If I nap, I wake up groggy- and can’t seem to get out of the dazed state.  If I am woken suddenly, then I am in a horrible mood (and might just let you know how much noise you are making through the old fashion way of yelling at you). I’m a light sleeper, so if even the smallest noise should grace my ears- I’m up.  When I wake up, I can NEVER fall back asleep right away, unless medicated. In college, I had a phase where I would fall asleep anytime and anywhere- this includes the following places: while in the front row of a lecture of a CEO from a major NYC ad agency, while studying in the library, during class, sitting straight up (while watching a movie), come to think of it- I fell asleep during every movie I ever tried to watch back then.

Funny story: The first time I saw Braveheart, my college friend Brandon was CONVINCED I was going to watch a movie, without falling asleep.  I was sitting on the floor and he was in his bed, an arms reach away.  Every time I would start to doze off, he would WHACK the top of my head and yell “WAKE UP, SCHMIDT!” Abusive? Perhaps. Effective? Definitely.  End result?  I have seen Braveheart. Thanks, Brandon.

it's all for nothing if you don't have freedom, err, and sleep.
it’s all for nothing if you don’t have freedom, err, and sleep.

I think too much, so my mind is never at rest.  I referenced my picky sleeping needs a while back, but needing the perfect comfort is only half my problem to a perfect sleep. Trust me, as annoying as it is to read this (I realize I sound high maintenance), it is more annoying to live through and experience personally.  I need the steady sound of my fan (even in sub zero temps outside), the perfect amount of blankets and my pillow just right: soft, but not flat, cold,  not rough to the touch and cushioned the back of my head into a perfect cup.  Good God, who the hell do I think I am?  It’s frustrating! 

Side note: before all you health nuts go crazy and judge my lifestyle (as I realize that affects sleep), know that I work out almost every day, do not drink coffee, and eat right (by whatever standards “eating right” are these days: no red meat, gluten free, organic, etc). I don’t eat sweets because I gave them up for lent (and slept this way even before giving them up), I haven’t been drinking since Brad gave up alcohol for lent (Okay, I have had some wine a couple of times, but a glass here and there does not make me an abuser of the stuff), and I go to bed reasonably early (8-9pm nightly). It’s probably stress related.  I digress.

Well, I have a new observation/frustration that I thought I would address: the snooze button. We’re all guilty of abusing it. We set our alarms for that perfect time, with our list of what we must accomplish in order to begin the day. However, come morning: birds chirping (don’t even get me started on nature sounds), cue soft music, and then it happens: the ALARM. Immediate response: snooze. You rest and relax as you realize you have more time to sleep, like finding a $20 in your ski parka, then just as your eyes shut again, ALARM. This process goes on and on for the next half-hour or so, completely debunking your original “get up and at ’em” plan from the previous evening. So I ask this: why not just set the alarm for when you know you will get up?  Why put yourself through the pain of the ups and downs of the snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm cycle?  The whole thing seems like torture to me. Then again, we are human and drama is in our nature.

I’m not going to name names, but a certain someone did it for a whole hour this morning. If he were not so damn cute, and if I wasn’t happy about the fact that he was staying in bed longer, I would have complained- or even yelled.

worst invention, indeed.
worst invention, indeed.

End result: an hour lost of sleep, is an hour of snuggling gained.  Either way, I’m smiling.

time travel thursday.

Okay, so I don’t have an ongoing theme for any particular day of the week, but the title seemed to fit what I wanted to write about, so I am sticking with it. Work with me on this one. Welcome to #timetravelthursday.

I work about an hour from where I live in Maine. I drive everyday up I-95, passing nothing, but trees, for most of the journey. Well, as luck would have it, it’s fall in New England. I don’t know that I remember paying attention as much as I do now, but damn; I have never seen such natural vivid colors in all my life. The trees are the brightest reds, oranges and yellows I can remember.  I tried taking a picture, but my iPhone didn’t do it justice, so I used Google for this post. Anyway (I’ll get to the point)- all these leaves reminded me of something from my youth: field trip day.

now imagine a highway straight up the middle.
now imagine a highway straight up the middle.

Close your eyes and remember this with me, as it was an awesome trip down memory lane this morning. You remember those days: It’s back to school. You have new clothes, new school supplies, new shoes, new haircut, and that feeling of “it’s a whole new year” ambition. Can’t you smell fall in the air? I realize some people had different experiences of this, but this was mine. 

my mother use to sing to me "school days, school days, deal oh golden rule days..." to get me out of bed in the morning. best alarm clock i've ever known to date.
my mother use to sing to me “school days, school days, dear oh golden rule days…” to get me out of bed in the morning. best alarm clock i’ve ever known to date.

Well, having been raised in New Hampshire, fall is something we NHites have come to look forward to, as do the school districts. Whether it’s apple picking, visiting a local farm, or going for some sort of a nature hike up the White Mountains– we visited it at some point.

Remember? Your mom packs you a lunch. You’re excited to be able to bring a brown paper bag lunch vs. eating the gruel in the cafe. Mine was usually PB&J  (that will end up smooshed), an apple, Fritos in a little plastic baggie (not the cool ones with the zip-lock, the ones that you tuck into itself that usually opens), chicken noodle soup in a thermos (whatever happened to those?) that would stay warm all day, and a Twix bar.  Side note: I often forget how much I love Twix until I see them. I remember when peanut butter Twix came out it was a revelation, but then a super problem because I could never decide which one I wanted more- and I wasn’t allowed to have both! Oh, how I LOVED Twix.

i still can't decide to this day!
i still can’t decide to this day!

Once you’re at school- you don’t have to actually go in school, which was awesome.  School buses would be lined up out front. There was usually a list telling you which bus you would be on- which would be your group for the day. In this group you would either be without your friends, or with them in an odd number. The odd number is important to remember because it would mean that someone would be without a “buddy” or someone to sit with on the bus. On top of that- WHERE you sat on the bus was just as important as who was next to you. I look back now and recall the sheer panic I would feel, as I was looking for my best friend and a seat in the back of the bus. I guess it helped strengthen my independence, but GOSH did it suck at the time.  I could talk about as I got older, when boys and bullies were a factor, but I will keep it innocent.

i'm thankful we didn't have social media.
i’m thankful we didn’t have social media. could you imagine how much worse this experience would have been for us?

the feeling of relief when you find a place to sit.

Once you were on the bus your journey began. Sometimes there were parents on board, but mostly it was just your teachers and the bus driver. A half hour drive felt like a lifetime- and it didn’t really matter where you were going, the excitement of going somewhere was enough to make a little girl smile.

Do you miss those days of new and unknown? What was your favorite field trip?

 

tidesmarticles

My agency created a new blog called TideSmarticles. It’s a play on words with the company name + articles.  Get it? We like it.  Anyway, I wrote one of our first posts and I thought I would share. Mild brag: I not only won this business for the agency, but I was the account lead on the event I am about to describe! We have a full schedule of events for many of their labels for 2014, but this first event for The Seeker Wines was the kickoff to a beautiful relationship.

How Experiential Marketing Made A Simple Tasting Event An Event They’d Never Forget

Recently EMG3 was posed with the task of assisting our new client, The Seeker Wines of Kobrand Corporation, with an event they were previously scheduled to attend: The Aspen Food and Wine Festival.

Seeker Food Wine Marketing

Usually what happens at events of this nature: The participating brands will set up a table, within a tent.  Attendees of the event will stand in a line to sample a taste, then move on to the next. Done and done.

The Seeker Wines wanted to increase their presence within the event, aside from the tasting table.  Their goal was to build brand recognition, but potentially grow their customer base within the small Colorado city– and overall make the most of the weekend marketing dollars.  Larger advertising options were presented, such as branding the Silver Queen Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain, but didn’t seem like a fit for the desired goal.  EMG3 was eager to the task.

Seeker Food Wine MarketingOur solution: hire a team of brand ambassadors to spread the fun and worldly experience of The Seeker Wines all over the city outside of the event.  The Seeker Wines have done an amazing job of building their brand’s identity with Steampunk décor, so we used this to our advantage within the costuming and event set elements. The “Seekers” saturated the market place with sweepstakes contest entries and free glasses of wine. Word of mouth spread quickly about the “Seekers” and soon they were the talk of the town, with increased popularity and brand recognition.  The “experience” also increased the distribution of the brand in many local establishments.

Overall the experience was one Aspen, the patrons, and The Seeker Wines would never forget!  (See for yourself) The Seeker Aspen (video)

How could your brand increase its presence and brand recognition with an experience?

when in doubt: consult with laura.

Okay, so since my horrible dining experience, it has been a while since something struck my fancy enough to post about- until today.  I’ll start.

On my way to work this morning, I had an inkling that I was supposed to attend traffic court today for a speeding ticket I was given back in January of this year.  I was positive the time was 1pm, so I went to work as usual for 8:30am.  Well, that little feeling in my stomach (I guess it was more my head because that would be strange if my stomach was talking to me) told me it might be in the morning.  So while driving, I waited until the court house was open (8am) and called. I didn’t get through until about 16 minutes later.

(8:16am) me: Hi! I think I have court today, but have no idea what time it is for, do you mind checking?  My name is Katherine Schmidt.

lady who answered the phone: “Katherine Schmidt? Please hold. Yes, I see your name on the list for 8:30am.”

me: Um. I’m in Scarborough at this point (40 minutes from the courthouse) can you tell them I am running late, or like bump me to the next time? (only I would say something like that) Or does it not work like that?

lady: Doesn’t work like that. Do your best to get here.

I walked in the door at 8:45 (yes I understand I probably sped to get to traffic court on time for a speeding ticket, but it was necessary and not ironic at all).  They had not called my name yet.  phew.  I will note- to the rather large guy who made the “great timing” sarcastic comment as I was standing in the hallway- mind your own business.  I digress.

Back story: I started working in Maine while still living in NH, so the hour and a half drive was killing me.  I decided to up my MPH to 85-90 and cut the drive by 30 minutes. I had not received a speeding ticket since I was 20 years old, so it never occurred to me that it was possible.  I mean, I’m driving to work- not trying to break the law.  Well, I got one.  Then another one a week later.  SERIOUSLY?! I decided to slow down, and seek guidance from my brilliant lawyer friend in DC, who HAPPENED to work with traffic related issues.  Can’t hurt to see legal counsel, right?  Laura (my brilliant lawyer friend) proceeded to construct a letter for me to mail to the state of Maine, defending my case. What I received back in my email inbox was nothing short of Pulitzer Prize winning legal jargon!  I immediately put it on my letterhead, and with and stamp and a smile it was in the mail! Ho-ray! I would be saved from the land of increased insurance and silly points on my license!

Fast forward to today. When they called my name, I was to meet with the citing officer. I walked over and immediately remembered how nice he was when he first pulled me over.  Well, as he was reviewing the ticket I see paperwork attached to my name.  I scanned the materials in his hand- until I saw it.  The letter.  OMG.  He has it. I froze.  He was reviewing it with a huge smile on his face.  When he was complete he gives me a look and says, “What would you like me to do?”  I told him I would gladly pay the fine, as long as my record could stay clean.  He agreed (as long as I don’t speed for 6 months). Success! I immediately want to call Laura at this point and express my love for her.

So, as I am waiting to get my final paperwork, I look up.  The officer is reading the letter again off in a corner.  Smiling. I’m telling you- it was an AWESOME letter.  I mean I didn’t even understand half of it to be honest. 🙂

You want to see the letter, don’t you?  Okay, okay- and you’re welcome.

January 4, 2013

To the Great State of Maine:

Please accept this letter as a proclamation of my protest to the moving violation citation #XXXXXX issued to me on the morning of Friday, January 4, 2013.  Setting aside issues of appropriate calibration of the speed detection device used by the citing office, I believe the illustrious and exalted State of Maine should release me from liability associated with the alleged violation of exceeding the posted speed limit on the basis that (i) I was operating my vehicle during rush hour traffic at the rate of speed considered by leading researchers to be optimal for improved highway safety and (ii) I have no history of prior moving violations.

First, Dr. Stephen Johnson of the University of Arkansas Transportation Research Center is the nation’s leading research expert on highway safety, particularly in the area of speed differentials.  Dr. Johnson’s research indicates that the vehicle interaction rate (aka accidents) increases by 227% for every 10 miles per hour speed differential present on rural highways.  Allegedly, (again I am phrasing this in the hypothetical as I do not accept that the citing officer had a properly functioning and calibrated speed detection device) my vehicle was traveling 14 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. Considering this was during heavy rush hour traffic, I was simply operating my vehicle at the rate of speed which was the safest for the conditions at that moment and that was with the flow of traffic.  Should I have slowed the vehicle down to the rate of speed where the officers “gun” would have registered compliance with the posted rate of speed, my chances of being involved in an accident would have exceeded 227%.  Surely, the State of Maine has a history of making exceptions for law violations where common sense are safety are so obvious to reasonably minded folk that it far exceeds the impetus of the underlying law so much so that compliance with the underlying law becomes non-sensical and in fact jeopardizes our collective well-being.  For example, do we support the issuing of citations during a blizzard where the motor vehicle operator has slowed the vehicle far below the minimum speed compliance rules?  Certainly not.  The State recognizes that conditions demand safety to surmount pre-determined speed limitations which are designed to be in operation during usual conditions.  On the morning of January 4, I respectfully submit to you that I was simply operating my vehicle under conditions that any reasonable person would have deemed to be the safest which was the rate of speed with the rest of the heavy flow of traffic.

Secondarily, the State must consider my stellar driving record while operating within its boundaries.  As a frequent, if not daily, traveler of the great state for nearly seventeen years, I am immensely proud of my prior safety record, which fails to include not only any history of moving violations, but any trace of criminal activity whatsoever.  Surely, upstanding citizens with such a dedication to safety, so much so that they are willing to read and cite leading research from one of the most reputable transportation research centers in the world, should be encouraged to continue to travel on the State’s highways and not discouraged.  If I may be so bold I am, in fact, the sort of safe operator the State wishes to embrace.  Therefore, should the State wish to not outright dismiss the citation, I would suggest that we reduce the violation to a warning so that I may reflect upon this as a learning experience and we may all move forward…safely.

I would also like to note that the ticket issuing officer was very professional and kindhearted about the ticket and alerting me to the safety of the cold and its effects on the roads.  I was appreciative and, in return, I would hope the State would provide him with a properly functioning radar gun. It is a shame to have such a nice fellow be continuously wrong on how fast vehicles are traveling.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Katherine Dawn Schmidt.

My advice to anyone reading this that gets a speeding ticket: fight it with facts, wit and have an attorney (you know, if Laura is unavailable) construct it for you.  A smile won’t get you everywhere (trust me, I tried that first), but a brilliant retort just might.

maine.

It’s official.  I work and live in the state of Maine.  Given the tax-free nature of NH, I’m shocked I decided to make the jump, but now that I am here- I’m glad I did it.  This marks the sixth state I have ever lived in, my first grown-up-looking-and-feeling house, my first HOUSE in general, a shorter commute to work (47 miles vs. 73), a shorter trek to the beach (2.5 miles), my second official residence with my Brad, and the first time I do not live in walking distance to a store.  As I pulled out of my driveway this morning  I could smell the ocean. I love it.

the house. cape neddick, maine.
the house. cape neddick, maine.
fun fact about maine: maine is the only state in the United States whose name has one syllable. neat.
fun fact about maine: maine is the only state in the united states whose name has one syllable. neat.
fun fact about maine: the honeybee is the official state insect. bzzzzz
fun fact about maine: the honeybee is the official state insect. bzzzzz
fun fact about maine: eastport is the most eastern city in the united states. the city is considered the first place in the united states to receive the rays of the morning sun. obviously.
fun fact about maine: maine is the most eastern state in the united states. the city is considered the first place in the united states to receive the rays of the morning sun. obviously.
fun fact about maine: 90% of the country's toothpick supply is produced in maine. I will live longer knowing that information.
fun fact about maine: 90% of the country’s toothpick supply is produced in maine. I will live longer knowing that information.

Bragging aside (as you know my love of a good bragger), I’m going to share another secret recipe.  I have no idea why I have been giving so many recipes lately, but I feel you all like them. Why? Also, MAINE-ly (see how I did that?) because it is the first thing I baked in my new kitchen! Caveat: this is not one of the “super healthy” ones.

It was my SVP‘s birthday on Cinco de Mayo, and I thought I would bring some of my baked-goodness into the wonderful world of TideSmart Global for Monday morning.  I was going to go with a bundt cake, but I felt that Gunnar and Brad should be able to taste-test, so I went with cupcakes.  SVP’s favorite? Vanilla with chocolate frosting.

My grandmother Lois was the founding artist of this recipe, but it has been tweaked over the years.  The best part of what I am about to explain to you? You can create this melt-in-your-mouth-goodness with ANY flavor.

Grocery list: flavor of choice cake in a boxed mix (chocolate, carrot  devil’s food, vanilla, red velvet,  etc), corresponding flavor instant pudding mix (so if you buy chocolate cake, get chocolate pudding, for red velvet- I suggest dark chocolate if available and carrot, go with vanilla), frosting flavor of your choice, PURE vanilla extract, REAL butter in sticks, and eggs.  Extra goodies: white/dark/milk/chocolate or butterscotch chips.

Basically you follow the directions on the box, adding the powdered (not prepared) pudding mix, a healthy pour of vanilla extract (I find it cuts the battery/egg flavor), subbing butter for the oil portion, and only 2 eggs.  Some boxes will ask for 3.  You don’t ever need 3 eggs.  I don’t know why it went to 3, but don’t listen to them.  For the topic of the office-birthday cupcakes, I added white chocolate chips as well.  Don’t forget to let them cool for a while before you add the frosting (you don’t want the melted mess of frosting everywhere).

Aside from a colleague spoiling the surprise in the Monday morning meeting (by announcing that cupcakes were in the building), the cupcakes went over without a hitch and were inhaled by each member of the TSG team with the joy of anyone who is eating a cupcake made from a recipe inspired by a grandmother.

enjoy.
enjoy.

I wonder what I will make next.

the year to date.

It’s been quite a busy year thus far- and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon.  I’m not complaining.  It’s been wonderful, but have you ever taken a step outside your self and realized you are spreading yourself too thin?  I did that just now.

i wish.
i wish.

 

 

So, if you have read any of my blog posts before this, you’ll know I am in a healthy adult relationship with an amazing man.  He works too much and too hard, but I have never respected someone for such an amazing work ethic- and that isn’t even his best quality.  What’s also great is he is actually doing what he says he is doing…which has caused me to TRUST someone for the first time (applause).  It’s fantastic and does wonders for your stress levels.

Relationship aside, I am in grad school for my masters.  This would be fine if it weren’t for the 3 hour class every Wednesday after a full day of working 72 miles from where I live.  I know that the end result will be worth it- but for now I am going to be a little grouchy at this self-inflicted commitment.

I am the marketing chair for Catapult Seacoast– a networking group for young professionals in NH/ME/MA.  This requires many emails, meetings and the added energy to get a bunch of people motivated.  I would be lying if I wasn’t honest with the fact that our events seem to be without purpose (aside from alcohol and networking banter), but the team is working hard to change this- and I am here for the ride- and leading my part best I can.  We’ll see.  I’m moderately hopeful.

My boyfriend’s son is a freshman at my alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas.  It’s really cool because most of the teachers from my time are still teaching there- and I’m fortunate they remember me and my “one hit wonder” musical, Guys and Dolls (I played Adelaide).   It’s exciting to be an adult and get to mingle with people who probably put you in detention every single day of high school (hey, I cannot help it if they do not make skirts that go to my knees!  I am 5’9!).  However- I refuse to call Mr. Collins, Kevin, or Mr. Holtz, Ron.  Sorry, not going to happen. That being said, I have joined the “parent” committee!  I even made the Facebook page! So far, I helped plan a parent social and am currently on the board for the upcoming fashion show.  It’s exciting, but I would be lying if the looks I get when I walk into a meeting form the other “moms” didn’t bother me.  Hey- I may not be officially a mom, but this is my school…back off.  🙂  Besides, I am a VOLUNTEER!  The coordinator, Sarah, makes it fun to be a part of it all- she’s awesome.  I have got in the habit of calling her on my ride to work to vent.  Sometimes she does the same- so all in all a friendship was formed, which is nice.

alas, the one hit wonder- me.
alas, the one hit wonder- me.

The house we live in is a 250 year old colonial.  I will not tell you how much money we have spent on heating this house- and I will not tell you how many times the oil thingy (technical term) has broken, but as of last night it is fixed.  Sigh.  I hope it is fixed.  This house drives me nuts.  The warm water is so temperamental I have not successfully taken ONE bath since we moved in (MY FAVORITE THING), and if you use the water downstairs in the morning while someone is in the shower, the water immediately goes to downstairs and you’re left with ice.  The fireplace, while romantic and very aesthetically pleasing, only seems to heat 1′ of space in front of it.  So if you want to get warm while the oil thingy isn’t working- you have to sit your ass directly in front of the fire- causing you to smell exactly like you think you would smell sitting in a fire pit.  The pipes freeze and break.  The cabinets don’t close.  Not one window was properly installed, so there is a constant breeze.  There is a train.  OMG I can’t believe that isn’t the first thing I mentioned.  The train.  This train has a wonderful schedule that goes all night long.  It shakes the house so much that when we had a mild earthquake- it had nothing on the train.  Did I mention I am a light sleeper?  We are moving to a nice, big 3 BR house on April 1st in York, Maine.  Needless to say, April cannot come soon enough for us!

Of all the tasks my schedule is filled with, of all the commitments I say “yes” to on a daily basis- it’s the phone call I just received that makes it all seem like white noise.  Nothing could possibly bother me when I hear his voice.

In case your curious: I’m picking up vegetables on the way home for dinner- and he loves me.  🙂

thank you, mr. benson.

Sometimes in life a person provides an act of kindness so great, that words can only mildly express the gratitude the recipient feels.  “Thank you” seems small, but those two words are, in my opinion, the most meaningful one can express.  Yet, I imagine this post isn’t about just gratitude, its about respecting someone with integrity and selflessness.  Qualities so rare, that when they shows themselves- are neon bright.  I’ll explain.

Recently, our dog buddy acted his age (1 yr) and dismembered a dog treat, meant to be everlasting.   We were shocked to come home and find him covered in vomit and refusing to eat or go outside.  It was horrible.  When we took him to the vet, we found that a piece of the treat had been lodged in his esophagus.  The vet originally thought it was in his stomach (even after an X Ray that CLEARLY showed it was in his esophagus), so he unnecessarily cut open Buddy- to find (as I just told you)- nothing in his stomach.  Buddy came home and was still horribly ill- and getting worse by the day.  Buddy was losing weight by the minute, throwing up, uncontrolled bladder, restless and just plain miserable.  The bills were piling up and the end was no where in sight.

Side note: one thing I will say made me laugh is that when we sat in the “specialist’s” office, the first comment out of the vet’s mouth was, “we treat every animal as our own pet.”  Followed almost immediately by, “we cannot do a payment plan for the $2500+ surgery your dog needs to live, sorry.”

It was at that moment that I decided to let the treat company know just what they were putting us through.   So, I wrote a letter.

A letter that was answered within ten minutes of me sending it, by the president and COO of the company.  My mouth dropped.

It was at that moment that my opinion of people changed.  Well, two people in particular, Mr. Keith Benson and his wife, Emily.  They actually cared.  Mr. Benson called my home, on a Saturday morning, to express his concern for Buddy.  That call alone made my eyes water and my heart melt. He let me know that his wife received the email, and immediately called it to his attention.  They have dogs, train dogs, run a company saturated with dogs, but most of all- they love dogs.  I explained what exactly the vet said, and he explained that the treat was created to dissolve in the stomach gasses, not in the esophagus.  He was concerned for how uncomfortable Buddy must be feeling, as his own dogs have had a bone caught in their throat before.  He understood.  He insisted that I immediately take Buddy back to the vet- and that he would cover the costs.   It was an act of kindness so unbelievable that I started crying right there on the phone with him.   I felt like I was on an episode of Ellen!

Buddy is now out of the first of three corrective surgeries.  He is eating kibble already, putting weight back on, and scheduled for his last two follow-up procedures next week.  Buddy is going to be okay.  Buddy is going to wiggle his butt, lick our faces, make noises that make us laugh, snuggle, run around and chase everything that moves because of you, Mr. Benson and your wife Emily.

Thank you, so very much, not only for your tremendously generous gift, but for having the integrity to respond, the wisdom to understand and most of all, the heart to really care about our puppy.   You forever have loyal customers, confident testimonials, and most of all respect, from a small family in Exeter, New Hampshire.

snuggle.
thank you.

pet peeves.

It has come to my attention that I get irritated by things most people don’t notice. I decided to get it out on “paper” to see if anyone agrees, or can add to it. The following list are some of my pet peeves. I’ll only do 10:

1. Incorrect usage of ellipsis. I receive more emails, texts and messages that will read “okay…” or something of that nature with the damn ellipsis. If there is more to add, just say it, if not- just use a damn period! Here is a little definition for those of you who abuse those three most annoying little dots:

Ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, “omission” or “falling short“) is a series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word, sentence or whole section from the original text being quoted. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate an unfinished thought or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence (aposiopesis), example: “But I thought he was . . .” When placed at the beginning or end of a sentence, the ellipsis can also inspire a feeling of melancholy or longing. The ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech or any other form of text, but it is incorrect to use ellipses solely to indicate a pause in speech.

yes, please.

2. Open cabinet doors. I have no idea why this bothers the shit out of me, but it does. Maybe I have hit my head too many times on the open cabinet door above me- but on sight my skin crawls.

3. People who forget to say those simple words we learned as toddlers, “please” and “thank you.” To omit them from human vernacular is rude. A friend of mine once dated a girl who REFUSED to say “thank you.” At first, we thought she didn’t mean it- she’s just aloof and doesn’t realize it. Then it became a game to see if we could force her to say it. Nothing worked. I believe after their separation, a libation-induced text message was sent in an effort to make her aware. Outcome: her sense of entitlement was SO grandiose, that she didn’t have a clue what he was talking about because “why should she say thank you? she deserved it all.” Okay then, princess.

4. Uncomfortable sleeping conditions. Hey- I am the first to admit I am MILDLY unreasonable when it comes to this item. But fact of the matter is- I love my sleep. I think it stems from having mono all of high school and the beginning of college. I’m talking the basics here: clean sheets, fluffy pillows, enough blankets so that if I get cold I am in a cocoon- but I can take them off if I get hot. I am a light sleeper, so I need it DARK. I could go on and on with this one, but I’m gonna stop because I can feel my blood pressure boiling up even THINKING about it. haha.

sweet dreams? I wish.

5. People who break promises. Enough said.

6. People who lie.

7. People who treat others poorly, are inconsiderate, or judge others based on first impressions. (I kinda cheated on that one and shmushed three into one)

I asked my friend Maureen (pictured below) what her pet peeves are and she replied the following:

“My pet peeves? I strongly dislike it when people always have to be the hero. Come into a situation and heroically solve a problem or dramatically help out to be the center of attention and have everyone thank them just so they can feel good.”

look at that face. would you want to upset him?

8. The fact that I take everything personally. I HATE this quality about myself. It actually drives me insane. So, if you are a friend of mine and I take something personally and it irritates you- it irritates me more.

9. PEOPLE WHO TYPE IN ALL CAPS. DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU APPEAR TO BE YELLING AT ME? THIS ONE ESPECIALLY ANNOYS MY BOYFRIEND. NOW THAT I AM DOING IT, IT’S ACTUALLY KINDA FUNNY, BUT I KNOW ITS NOT FUNNY WHEN THAT IS HOW YOU RECEIVE EVERY POSSIBLE MESSAGE FROM SOMEONE.

10. When someone is in a back and forth communication and they leave you hanging at the most sensitive point in the conversation. I realize that your boss just walked in the room, your child is screaming, your oven is on fire or the dog is trying to go outside, but do you really find it necessary to leave me hanging for 3 hours when I ask if you think I am retarded/shallow/a bitch?

I shall conclude with a more “upbeat” tone. Regardless if I have these peeves in my mind, currently I have never been happier in my life. I’m in love, have a great job that I LOVE (including all colleagues) and its the start of summer. Life is pretty freaking great right now, I must say…

serendipity.

idea.

In the midst of what turned out to be one of the best weekends I have had since my move home- I got an idea. I will give a little bit of background before I tell you what it is:

I have found that I have been asked to be in an unusual amount of wedding parties. I am not comparing myself to Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses, but I’m close. Now- whether I have been IN every wedding party I have been asked is a whole other story (and I am not even going to talk about the dress choices of some of those events), but let’s just say I am VERY familiar with the process. Many times, I am asked to take lead in some of the activities and planning beforehand. I am able to make the time and get things accomplished with little to no effort, so I find it’s actually kinda fun to do it. For instance: I planned an entire bachelorette party (dinner reservations, hotel, surprise for bride and details of the dates) the day I was moving from Chicago to NH, my last day at my former job- and while moving an entire apartment worth of crap (which I can thank my boyfriend for because he is selfless and wonderful). How did I do it? I just made the time. Didn’t take long, and I already kinda had the idea in my head. I knew what to do.

i am convinced bridesmaids dresses are designed to make us look ridiculous.

I have also been asked by my male friends on occasion to give some ideas for bachelor party locations, gift ideas for engagements- you know- the details the wedding planner isn’t involved in, as they are busy picking location, flowers and dealing with the bride (and her mother/mother-in-law-to-be).

It got me thinking: If there is a profession for the person planning the wedding details, why wouldn’t it make sense to give the bridal party a little backup too? A “consultant” for what do to in the supporting role. It could involve a pre-service interview from the bride, groom, and each member of the group in order to get a feel for personalities and comfort level of the events, reservations for the fun night (airfare, hotel, restaurants, entertainment), details of the shower, gift ideas, hair appointments for day of event, advice for when bride is acting insane- or when groom is getting cold feet, etc. You get the idea. I have a friend who considers it cruel and unusual punishment to be asked to be in weddings, yet he always does it- and always feels the same way after each event. Unfortunately- he has a lot of male friends and they ALL seem to be the marrying type. Don’t you think the process would be more enjoyable if all the effort was done for you? You don’t need to constantly think up all the details because someone is handing you the script. You can sit back, relax- and actually be excited for your friend’s happiness.

congrats.

Note: If this service does exist, I have never heard of it- so I am sorry. I did find THIS website for reference just now when I did a Google search. There appear to be a couple of sites, actually. Interesting, but a website doesn’t guide you with your frustration or do the planning for you.

Here is a picture of me and the bride for the wedding I am currently honored to have the MOH role. This picture was taken 17 years ago:

water country circa 1995

Her bachelorette party is August 11th on Cape Cod. I am pretty sure she will have a blast. As for the other details, she will just have to wait and see. 🙂

Just an idea I had over some wine this weekend.

fifty shades of intrigued.

I’m a romantic, a dreamer, idealist and apparently a pervert.

I get things in my head of how they should be- and I get utterly frustrated if they don’t turn out exactly as the script says in my head. I watch way too many movies- and whats worse: I have always been a sucker for a chick-flick or a chick-read. Something my best friend, Courtney, knows about me. From time to time she will suggest something for me to get my eyes on- and of course I blindly obey (as she has known me my whole life, I seldom argue when I know I will enjoy it). I always end up loving whatever it is. Darn you, Courtney.

some would say I'm mildly affectionate.

She use to work for Alloy Entertainment (years ago) and suggested I read this series “Gossip Girl.” I comply…and before I know it, it’s a series on the CW and I can’t have people call/FB/text/communicate with me on Mondays during the hour it is on. I have since been able to pry myself away from the show (there are just so many times you can listen to the annoying voice of Kristen Bell narrate the lives of over-privileged 17 year olds who have a better knowledge of scotch than some 60 year old men I know), but it took years and I have always blamed her for my obsession.

and they think Lindsay Lohan looks old for her age?

That should give you a little bit of back history- there are many other examples of books she has had me read in the past, but I felt only one story was necessary to get my point across: She knows my weaknesses too well. It’s not that I think she has a secret deal with Amazon to profit on the books she recommends- because most of the time she will actually send me the book after she has read it, but its scary to think someone knows you that well. That, or I am just easy.

It’s this depth of knowing me that put a mild fright into my subconscious when the most recent addition to my library was introduced. “You have to read Fifty Shades of Grey, you just have to. You’ll love it.” So I bought it…and it took me less than 2 days to finish a 512 page book. Truth is, I couldn’t put it down. I had not heard of it, but I guess it has been all over the news lately. “Mommy porn” is the most frequent terminology I have seen in my research, post read. Gee, thanks, Court.

you have no idea.

 

Holy hell is this book dirty. I felt like a pervert with every turn of the page. I felt even dirtier going into the Barnes and Noble and asking for the other two books in the series! It was worse than when I went to get the remaining Harry Potter books (another suggestion by my dear friend) and they sent me to the children’s department with a look of disappointment. I didn’t know they were kids books, guy! I did have a funny exchange while in the B&N this most recent time that I felt was worth sharing.

Setting: I see the one nerdy looking dude in the store who is away from everyone else. Surely I can ask him where the books are and he won’t judge me- and he will be quiet about it.

me: (as quiet as my voice can go) Hello…do you know where the Fifty Shades Trilogy books are kept?

B&N guy: (YELLING) Oh! We sold out out the Fifty Shades of Grey book and the other two are not out yet, but you can order them!

(thank you for your discretion…I am beat red)

“psssst….hey…” I see a goth B&N employee chick to the right signaling for me to go over to her. I’m intrigued.

me: “yes?”

B&N chick: Have you read the principals office yet?

me: UM NO! (at this point I feel like I am a first time attendee at a swinger function)

B&N chick: You should. It’s REAL good. Now, I can order those books for you…do you prefer a phone call or an email. (she then whispers) the phone call is quicker…

me: phone call please. (and I thank her and scurry out of there…the whole time the guy is smirking and she is giving me a “you’re dirty too HAHAHAHHAHA” glare)

Moral of experience: I shall now order things off Amazon and I really should not listen to Courtney anymore.

My friend Stacey just messaged me about it – and her quotes puts it so perfectly…(Sorry, Stacey, I had to…)

“Also feel a little strange going on vacation and holding (read: visible to people) this book on a beach… with my parents around, knowing that my mom started reding it on her Kindle because a friend of hers told her about it. I know like EVERY woman in the country is pretty much reading it… but still kinda weird to read in front of my family! But I don’t know how I can stay away from reading books 2 and 3 over vaca!!!”

But then she adds: “I’m super intrigued to see where this story goes.”

Apparently, there is a little pervert in all of us. 🙂 te he he…