Looking for my lost shaker of salt

In mid-January I did a training for a group of students. Over the course of this two-day training, I bought them breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. After the training was over I submitted those costs for reimbursement. Today I got the reimbursement check, for $30 less than I'd requested. So I called AP, asking where the rest of my money had got off to.

"We only reimbursed you the $49 because we don't reimburse for alcohol."

"Wha?"

"We can't reimburse you for alcohol purchases."

"I didn't purchase any alcohol."

"It says on this receipt that you purchased two large margheritas."

"They're referring to pizzas."

Now, what gets me here is the assumption that I purchased alcohol during a training on alcohol abuse. Hmmmm. Do other people really do against-policy stuff on the job? Because why would anyone assume I did that, rather than consider the possibility that it would be really strange if I had provided alcohol to my underage students, and perhaps there is another explanation?

 

You've got to B kidding

Last week I dropped off a dress and some skinny jeans at J's tailor in Brookline. She swears by him, so he seemed like a safe bet as I don't yet have a tailor in Boston. To get to him from work I have to take the green line B train. Now, I've heard talk of this train before. Invariably when students are late to their appointments with me they'll blame the infamous B line for holding them up. For about three years I thought this was just crap, but it turns out those might have been some very valid excuses. When I dropped my clothes off at the tailor I figured maybe it was just a fluke. But yesterday I went to pick them up and discovered that in fact the B line is so ridiculously slow that I could beat it on foot. If it weren't so damn cold out I totally would. It crawls. It's above ground for most of the route so it actually stops at traffic lights. What kind of train stops for a red light? The B line train, that's what kind.

 

You raise a good point

Not it.

"I think we should put together a recipe book for the CHW staff! With recipes from each of us!"

"Who is the 'we' who's going to head up this project?"

"Oh. Yeah. I see what you're sayin'."

 

My doppelganger's doppelganger

The evil me has an even eviler twin. This is sad news for everyone else. I first discovered the eviler twin this morning when I went to distribute table tents in the campus dining hall and the staff wouldn't let me. I'd gotten prior approval from as high up that chain as you can go (because I don't mess around), but the staff standing in between me and the tables still wouldn't budge.

Every year I co-chair this 7-day long event, and every year I end up the worse for wear by the end of it. I'm not even an event planner by training, so maybe that's why it's so taxing for me. But I think even event planners cringe at the start of a 7-day long event. That's a week of troubleshooting, essentially. And no one likes to be waiting for the shoe to drop (and as any event planner will tell you, inevitably it drops at some point) for a week.

So my eviler twin rears its ugly head. I've tried to do everything I can to keep it caged but it's only Tuesday and it's already unleashed. This lays to rest the commonly held belief around the workplace that I'm 'sweet'. Although, oddly enough, even when I confess to or apologize for being a total bitch people just laugh and tell me I could never be bitchy. Is that a blessing or a curse? It's like no one can see my eviler twin because they can't get past the shiny fa├žade I maintain 99% of the time. Except for the dining hall staff. I'm pretty sure they caught a glimpse. It's the opposite of Shallow Hal - everyone sees me as Gwyneth Paltrow except for the dining hall staff. I'm pretty sure they've seen me in the fat suit, and it wasn't pretty.

 

Shower me happy

So my new favorite thing? Philosophy 3-in-1 shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath concoctions. They're fabulous. The flavor I have now is Waffle Cone, but you can get Cinnamon Bun, Double Rich Hot Chocolate, Vanilla Birthday Cake, Frosted Sugar Cookie, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Coconut Frosting, and more. This is aromatherapy at its best - the smell just floats around you in the steam while you lather up. If you haven't hopped on this train, I suggest you come aboard. Bath time has never been this yummy. Seriously.

 

The skinny

So I'll fess up - I've gone over to the dark side. I not only have grown to like, but have grown to LOVE, skinny jeans. I don't have any, so this is purely from a bystander's perspective. But they look so good tucked into boots! The two things holding me back? One, I think the only skinny jeans worth buying are probably the ridiculously expensive ones and I am a bit strapped this month, financially. And two, the only ones I've found that fit my waist size (a challenge if ever there was one) have a 35" inseam. Wha? I'm fairly leggy but give me a break. BF is 6'1" with long legs and even his inseam is shorter than that. I mean, the whole idea is that they don't bunch when you tuck them into your boots. But with a good 3-4" extra at the ankle I predict some serious bunching. Why? Who are the bizarre alien women for whom these jeans are constructed?

Still, come February I'll be on the hunt.

I know, I know. I'm a total turncoat.

 

Not quite the Psycho shower scene... but it stays with you

On Friday night BF, TD and I went to see Notes on a Scandal. It was a good movie, beautifully acted by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett (from whom we'd expect no less). But it was uncomfortable on so many levels. Which I'm sure the writers and directors were hoping we would pick up on, squirming in our seats one disconcerting scene after another. I won't give anything away, because I definitely suggest that you go see it for yourself. It just made me feel unsettled.

At one point in the film Judi Dench takes Cate Blanchett's hands, instructing her to close her eyes. She then begins to run her fingers up and down the inside of Cate's arms, saying it was something she and her friends used to do in boarding school when one of them was sad, because the sensation was comforting. I've often thrown my bare arm across BF's chest, the implication of that gesture being "tickle me, please." Now it gives me the heebie jeebies. I kept my sleeves rolled down all weekend.

The hallmark of a great film if ever there was one.

 

Zicam, I bow to you

People have been telling me about Zicam for ages. Mookie is a huge proponent, as is BF. But I'd enthusiastically hopped on the echinacea bandwagon before scientific evidence of its inefficacy emerged, and it still stings. Fool me once.

I started to feel sick on Friday. Since I've only just regained my strength after that god awful stomach bug, I was furious. Totally unfair. This past year has been a rough one for me - I've been knocked off my feet a few times.

So when BF suggested on Friday night that I start using Zicam, I agreed. I was desperate. But I didn't really think it would work.

And today I woke up cured!!! Okay, not really. But I woke up 80% better. It's crazy. The Zicam worked! It claims to shorten the length and severity of a cold, and it definitely did.

I'm a believer.

 

In their defense it doesn't come with an instruction manual

"Five... six... seven... eight... nine... ten! Ready or not, here I come!"

From inside the closet: "I'm right heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!"

Hide and seek with my nieces. Something about the nature of the game eludes them.

 

Warm fuzzies

After about five blissful days in NJ with my parents, I flew to Austin to see my sis C, her husband TO, and my two small nieces. It was a great trip. I got plenty of fresh air, plenty of kid time, and plenty of sis bonding time. BF flew to join me a few days into my trip, and we rang in the New Year dancing to an 80s cover band at a cute outside bar on 6th Street with C, TO and two other couples. New Years Day we went to a kitschy brunch place, had a rousing Wack-A-Mole tournament back at the house (I won), and then an afternoon of couch lounging. Today BF and I flew back to Boston.

C's old college roommate was one of the women we went out with on New Years. She told us that her sister, who has three small children, often admonishes her kids for having a poor attitude. She tells them, "I don't think you're doing that with a happy heart..." when they groan about chores. BF and I took to the phrase immediately, because it's a really funny phrase. Today I had a horrible travel day, and was tired and a little sick to boot. After catching a taxi from the airport to my car and heading home, I sat in 4pm traffic. I wasn't thrilled about that, but I texted BF to let him know that I was sitting in traffic with a happy heart. Which I was, because our trip was good enough to counteract the frustration of coming home to a little Boston bottleneck. Happy hearts are nice to have. Now I just hope my happy heart can counteract the misery of the Boston winter ahead. It would really have to be an ecstatic heart to manage that. But we'll see.