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New England cops, for the most part, are pretty easygoing. Midwest cops are too. But New Jersey cops are mean.

When I was in college in New Hamphire, I used to get pulled over a lot when I'd go driving (way too fast) on the twisty backroads, radio blaring. The cops were always very nice, never issuing me a ticket but always warning me to be more careful. They seemed genuinely concerned with my wellbeing.

In Missouri, I once got pulled over for four (apparently) ticketable offenses: indecent attire (bikini), driving barefoot (no excuse really), not having my license on my person (it was in the trunk), and blowing through a stop sign (which I'd realized was a bad idea as soon as I did it). I got a warning that time too, and a lesson in small town law.

Since moving to Boston I've been pulled over a few times, usually for executing an illegal u-turn directly in front of a no u-turn sign (I seem to accidentally do that alot). I've always had positive interactions with very sympathetic and helpful officers.

Some people would say that these examples all relate to my being female. I don't really think that's true, though. They might relate to my being amusing, because it seems that if you can get a cop to crack a smile you're usually home free.

But New Jersey cops are a whole other breed. They don't smile, ever. And I do some very good work under pressure, so I really do believe it's them and not me. In my hometown, I once got pulled over because I had temporary plates on my (brand new) Volkeswagen Jetta. I still had another 4 or 5 days to register my car, so technically I wasn't even doing anything wrong. The cop made me get out of the car, searched it (for what I have no idea - do I look like trouble?), and then told me that I needed to bring my car to the station and show it to him when I got the new plates screwed on. What was that about? When I brought my car to the station, newly plated, he followed me outside into the parking lot just to make sure. Too much time on your hands, anyone?

But he wasn't the only mean cop I crossed paths with in the Garden State. I once got pulled over on Thanksgiving when I was going to visit my boyfriend in Maine, by an officer who pointed at me. He wasn't even in his squard car! He just hooked his thumb and gestured to the side of the road. I always wondered what he would have done if I'd kept on driving? I was all decked out for the holidays in a tight red sweater and a short black skirt with pattent leather heels. I have to admit, I felt I'd earned my way out of a ticket that day. But I got it anyway - a hundred and twenty dollars worth of 'I don't give a damn how cute you look' and a couple of points on my insurance.

So I'm glad I've settled in Massachusetts, where so far I've had good luck with our boys in blue. But tomorrow BF and I are driving to Jersey to see my family, and you'd better believe I'm going to keep my eyes on the speedometer once we hit the parkway.


Stepping on your own egg

So today I was talking to R, and the subject of her ex-husband came up. He's pretty much a bastard. But what surprises me is not how he treats R (okay, that surprises me a little, because she's sweet, accomplished, and drop dead gorgeous and he cheated on her - what could this man possibly want in a partner?), but how he treats his son. Despite his six-figure salary, he refuses to contribute to The Little Man's college fund. TLM's only five, so it's not exactly pressing, but it is, exactly, in the divorce agreement. Legal binding contract aside, how can he not want to provide for his child? I can see alimony being a little bit annoying. Relationships between adults can dissolve into apathy if not genuine mounted dislike over the course of a marriage. But the kid? It's his. His kid, his ticket to a little piece of genetic immortality. It seems unnatural to me that a man would do anything but fully provide for his offspring.

I have a headache. I think my ponytail is too tight.



It's ironic that our normally chilly office is inexplicably hot today because for the most part my entire day has, in a sense, felt like I've died and gone to hell. Facilities can't seem to find anything unusual with the system. I love it when the universe does the metaphorical equivalent of wearing a tie to match my cocktail dress.



This morning as I was walking into work, I saw a pizza box on the ground. It had an entire pizza in it, and was top-side down. Rotten luck for whoever dropped it. I imagined the scene in my head, with the dropper realizing as the cheese oozed over the sidewalk curb that today was just gonna be one of those days. Best to call time of death right then and there (of the day, not the pizza) (well actually, the day and the pizza), go home, hang a sign on the door, and crawl back into bed.


Standing on the outside looking in

So on Friday I finally snatched my opportunity: R brought me with her to the swank gym with floor-to-ceiling windows perched directly above the edge of the Boston Common. The gym I've been trying to weasel my way into for years. And it was all that I'd hoped it would be. A gazillion brand new machines, a view overlooking the brightly lit downtown hubbub, a private locker room with every amenity imaginable, and beautiful people everywhere. I was like a kid in a candy shop - I hardly knew what to do with myself. A gym whore in her natural element.

And now, it's all I can think about. I'm surprised I haven't dreamt about it. I desperately want to go back. J told me that she can get me in, since she works for the restaurant group that's connected, and R promised me that any week-long passes she accumulates are mine for the taking. I'd imagined that once I'd gotten my charity admission ticket the magic would wear off. But the allure of the SC has only grown since I stepped foot through the shiny glass doors and was welcomed into my own personal heaven. God would want me to have this. I know he would.


Girls just wanna have... eveningwear, really

At EC we have an event in April that is just shy of black-tie. I was telling my coworker R about it this morning, and saying how I was drooling over this dress in JCrew that would be perfect for the gala, but that sadly it isn't (or, okay, it shouldn't be) in my budget for next month. So R told me that she has several high couture dresses for black-tie fundraisers that would fit me perfectly - she said she'd worn most of them when she was my size and promised they would be glove snug. We agreed that we would have an after-work gal night at her house soon and I could try them all on. But, she couldn't wait, so on her lunch hour she ran home to get them. And we had a little fashion show here at the CHW. I went in the bathroom and instructed the NPs that anyone needing to give a urine sample would just have to wait - important projects were underway. All of the dresses I tried on were gorgeous, and, as promised, fit like second skin. I chose one for the EC event, and R promised to bring me shoes, a purse, and earrings to match it. What a fun day! I thanked R for all her trouble, but she shrugged it off. "It's like having my own Barbie doll," she said. I'm not a huge Barbie fan, but whatever - if someone wants to dress me up in fancy clothes I'm totally in.


One man's trash

I have to express my appreciation for all of the hand-me-downs I get. I get many. From friends, from my sister, from coworkers - and I love it. It's like having personal shoppers who just once in a while surprise you with a new sweater, a new pair of pants, a new dress. For some reason, wearing an entire hand-me-down-ed outfit is way more fun than wearing my own clothes. I've always had a thing about wearing other people's clothes. I steal sweatshirts and socks from Boyfriend, gladly accept my dad's old t-shirts, and live in my sister's clothing when I visit her, even though I've got a suitcase full of weather-and-outting-appropriate clothing in the guest room. I "borrow" my mom's pajamas and leggings, and even have a pair of exercise socks I snagged from my German cousin while he was staying at my place. I once read an article about how people who like to wear recycled clothes are searching for connectedness, and see clothing as a physical representation of closeness with the former item owner. That could be. As a second child, you'd think I'd have grown up to detest hand-me-downs. So maybe it's just that hand-me-downs are familiar, and remind me of life as I've always known it. Taking what someone has decided to throw away (or something that I've decided they ought to give away...) and loving it like my own.


Please, no more!

This guy is a freaky little shit. Not that many things totally gross me out (okay, there are a million things that totally gross me out), but this tops the list. I don't really like the cockroach commercials around dinner time, but I can handle it. But watching The Dermatophyte ("I'm a Dermatophyte, and I live under your nail!") pick up someone's toenail and climb underneath makes me feel like I've been violated. Whether I'm eating or not. Anytime. I can't handle him anytime.

They must be trying to scare us into asking our doctors for Lamisil. By making toenail fungus SO DISGUSTING that we can't bear to imagine having it, or if we have it, living with it for one second longer. And their strategy works. I don't have toenail fungus, but I am scared to death of it. I don't want that Dermatophyte. I live in fear of him.



I'm amazed at the things in my life that always seem to hold true: I'll only have a condition requiring a doctor's opinion at 5pm on Friday. If I put a loaf of bread in the freezer I'll go through it in a week, if I put it in the pantry it'll grow mold. I'll only forget gym socks on a day when I'm wearing pantyhose. And anytime I'm stuck in traffic or on a roadtrip, NPR will be having a fundraiser. This much I can count on.


Oops - did everyone see that?

Why does every mass email I send out always end up having one mistake in it? ALWAYS. How does that happen? What kind of Murphy's law of averages applies there? Because most regular emails I send out have no mistakes in them. So why is it that all my (really dumb) mistakes are concentrated in the few emails I send to ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE I work with?????

And I know my coworkers talk about it. I mean, I talk about it when it happens to someone else, so I know how these people operate.


All major limbs? Still accounted for

So during our cruise, we took a shore excursion while we were in Nassau where we sailed out to the middle of the ocean, snorkeled, and then drank rum punch as we sailed back to the ship.

I snorkeled. In the ocean. Me! In the middle of the shark infested ocean! I snorkeled in the middle of the shark infested Atlantic! It was fabulous. I am so brave.


My lover stands on golden sands

We're back from the Bahamas. Our trip was amazing. Umbrella drinks in the sun. Yummmmmmmmm :)


Boys will be boys, exes will be exes

So JY's not engaged. At least not yet. Nor is he moving, buying a new house, expecting a love child, or dying. His big news, that he absolutely had to tell me before I left for the Bahamas? He's going to the World Cup.


Baggage (real, not metaphorical)

For some reason I'm having a packing crisis. I don't really know what to bring on our cruise. I'm not sure what I'll want or need. Aside from valium and a bikini. But I'm guessing there's probably got to be more.


Degraded, legitimately

Once Boyfriend and I went to a seminar on sleep, and the speaker told us that the first 20 minutes after you wake up, you are legitimately degraded. Cognitively and physically impaired. That makes total sense to me. I think I'm legitimately degraded the entire morning spanning from 6-10am. My wake-up routine with BF goes something like this:

He wakes up at the crack of dawn, if not before. He tells me he's going to get up, and asks me if I want to keep sleeping. It's a rhetorical question really - he doesn't expect much of an answer, but for some reason he always asks. Then he comes back a little while later, and climbs into bed next to me. He gently and methodically rubs my back and says soothingly "Do you think you're ready to wake up now?" I usually shrug his hand away, mutter/growl something akin to the sound an animal makes when you encroach on its territory, roll over and go back to sleep. He comes back about half an hour later, and this time doesn't lay a hand on me. "Do you want to get up yet, honey?" he asks, still patient and calm. At this point I'm usually on my way towards waking up, so I'm alert enough to start the first round of the Five More Minutes game. Which is really good fun. BF comes in about six times, and each time I ask for five more minutes. He loves this game. We play it for hours sometimes. After my condoned five minutes are all used up, BF begins his final attack, and this time he comes in with reinforcements. Orange juice with grenadine added to make it look like a sunrise - a bribe: I can only have it if I sit up in bed and open both my eyes. He's a real stickler for the eyes thing. Smart man.

I've told BF that I'd wake up on the first try for Starbucks, but he doesn't want to reward me too much for acting out the equivalent of the dead dog maneuver for most of the morning.