A Few Weeks Off…
May 20, 2008, 9:40 am
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Hey everyone!

I’m just posting to apologize for my recent absence and to let you all know that I probably won’t be posting for a week or two after this…I’m getting married on Saturday, and things are starting to get pretty hectic around here!  After that, Tim and I will be spending six days in Jamaica (yay!!) so I won’t even be in the country or have Internet access at all, for that matter…  =P

I just wanted to thank everyone, including everyone from WordPress, for making my blog so popular over the past few weeks…especially since I just started blogging two weeks ago!  I don’t think I really have that many interesting things to say, but seeing how many people view my page and comment on my posts really motivates me to post.  So, thanks!

And I’ll see you all in 2 weeks…with a different name, and (hopefully!) a whole lot tanner!  =)

~Laura



Finally!…Q&A Response. =)
May 15, 2008, 11:59 am
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So I’ve waited long enough on this post…it had to happen.

I posted this a few weeks ago, hoping that someone would respond with similar feelings about what it had to say…and I finally got a response.  If you’re too lazy to actually click the link (which I probably would be — don’t feel too bad,) this is the general gist of what I said:

I had been searching around on TheNest.com, as brides-to-be are often wont to do, and found an interesting Q&A article on handling vacation time with your job.  It basically just said that you should work late nights and weekends to make up for the time you’ll be missing, just to show everyone that you know work comes first.  Also, give out your cell number so that coworkers can contact you while you’re on vacation, and email the office halfway through the week.  It also states that “you don’t have to take all of your vacation days, but then again a Pina Colada is a terrible thing to waste.”

Here we go:  Why I Hate This Answer.

I can’t believe that we’ve actually reached a point where people actually believe that work is more important than…well, life.  If you’re one of those people to whom your career is your entire life, this article probably works out just fine for you.  Maybe you get bored on vacations.  I know a few people like that.  I’m not friends with any of them, but I know they exist.

I, however, will take my vacations.  Here’s my take on things; I go to work to make money.  If I didn’t need money, I wouldn’t be working.  I show up to work every day with the brightest face possible on, and the company reaps the benefits of my labor and pays me for it.  They also offer me benefits, which I take advantage of because I earn them every day by being a good employee. It’s a give-and-take; I don’t owe the company anything besides my time, skills, and efforts, and they don’t owe me anything besides fair pay and benefits.

I live to be a good person, and to find out what living is all about.  I’m not old enough to know — perhaps I never will — but I do know for certain that living is not all about the place where you punch the time clock.  It didn’t take me too long to figure that out.  I live for my family and friends.  I live to experience happiness, elation, shock, disappointment, sorrow, love and peace.  I live to taste Velveeta macaroni and cheese…again and again and again.

Whether the company I work for believes it or not, work is a very minimal part of my existence.  It’s the five minutes of previews that I have to sit through to get to the full-length feature film that is life.  I’ll always work as hard as I possibly can while I’m there, but only because they pay me to.  If I didn’t work hard I wouldn’t be properly earning the money and benefits they’re giving me, and that’s just wrong.

So, yes — my vacation time is mine.  I don’t need to stay at the office nights and weekends to accommodate for the time off that is rightfully mine.  I refuse to hand out my cell number so people can bug me with work problems while I’m out enjoying my family…I won’t even have my cell phone on me.  Ha.  Take that.

So when I’m out for the next two weeks — you know, getting married — you can bet I won’t be anywhere near a computer or a cell phone!  And while I’m in Jamaica on our honeymoon, I’ll be helping the person who is the newest and greatest part of my life down all the Pina Coladas we want — but not because we’re on vacation.  Just because we can.  And believe you me, if the opportunity to have a Pina Colada comes up on a workday weeknight I’ll be grabbing the bull by the horns and sucking that thing down.

But I won’t let it effect work the next day — the same way I won’t let work effect my taste for Pina Coladas.



Guilty Pleasures
May 9, 2008, 11:03 am
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I really am fascinated by the things that people enjoy in their spare time, even though they’d never admit it. I think it tells a lot about a person — not everything, of course, but I don’t think you can ever really know someone unless you know what they secretly long to do when no one else is around.

The part I find especially interesting, though, is why people feel the need to hide certain things about themselves. Take my list for example; here are ten things I like that I tend to hide from most people.

In no particular order:

1. lima beans

2. Dashboard Confessional

3. chick flicks

4. V8 and other forms of tomato juice

5. country music (when I’m in the mood, which is actually pretty rare)

6. One Tree Hill

7. Enrique Iglesias

8. seeing people get hurt

9. Battlestar Galactica (well, I don’t hide that so much…)

10.somewhat stale/mostly hard bread

Now, I think it’s pretty obvious why some of those things are on there — I have weird taste in food. I mean, who likes lima beans and tomato juice? Why would anyone in their right mind actually seek out stale bread? I have no idea, nor do I really know why I like them. All I know is that when I was a kid, my entire family used to dump their unwanted lima beans onto my plate and I would vacuum them up like a normal kid inhales Halloween candy. Whenever my parents have V8 in the house, it’s always gone in less than a day…and no one knows what happened to it. I also hate when soft, fresh bread gets stuck to the roof of my mouth. The solution? Only eat hard, crusty/stale bread! Or toasted. Toasted is usually better, actually.

Why would I ever tell anybody about these things? I would seem like a nerd! (Which is why, I suspect, I put Battlestar Galactica on there…I’m a girl. Other girls don’t approve of that show, to which I respond “give it a chance!”)

Other things on on there because they’re not good, and I know they’re not good. Dashboard Confessional is overly emo. The lyrics aren’t supposed to make you feel good; they are supposed to make whiny teens say “oh my gosh, I can totally relate to that!” Grownups don’t like Dashboard. Grownups also don’t like the music of Enrique Iglesias. It’s not good! It’s the musical equivalent of choosing Cheez Whiz over brie. I like to listen to it when the weather gets warm, though, because it makes me feel like I’m 15, carefree and at the beach. Go figure.

Same goes for country music. I’m not supposed to find it entertaining — people who like country music are pegged as rednecks. I’m not a redneck!

One Tree Hill and chick flicks…I guess I don’t like falling into the “typical girl” category. I don’t like the way guys talk about girl stuff, and I want to seem like one of those super cool chicks who’s extra fun for her boyfriend to hang out with. There is nothing I hate more than hearing “she made me watch one of her dumb girl movies,” or “my girlfriend watched the crappiest shows.” I don’t want to be that girl! I want to be Cameron Diaz in “There’s Something About Mary.” Admit it; you do, too.

Also, when someone gets hurt you’re not supposed to laugh. You’re supposed to be sympathetic and feel bad, like a good person should. I’m a good person, I swear! I just can’t help it, though; when a starchy businessman trips over his own tasseled loafers or a little kid plants her face into the Stop & Shop floor, I bust a gut. Call it schadenfreude or whatever else you’d like…I just find it amusing.

So I guess my guilty pleasures list shows that I am a semi-typical girl who wants to seem atypical, often enjoys bad music, likes weird food, is a little nerdy, and cares about people — but not enough to feel bad when they injure themselves, in many instances. I don’t like these qualities about myself but I just outed them — think of me what you will! …I just over analyzed that to death, didn’t I?

Distraction! Distraction! Over here!

To counter that dissertation-esque list, I now include a harmless list of ridiculously pointless pet peeves that I have. Now, forget about the whole first half of this post!

1. When restaurants only give you a thin little slice of lemon for your water — how are you supposed to squeeze it??

2. People who look at their cell phone to avoid saying “hi”

3. Pronouncing “hospital” like “huss-pital.” There’s an “o” for a reason.

4. Myspace people who try to seem quirky and original by writing their “About Me” section like this: “I can’t sit still for more than five minutes. People say I’m fun, but I think I’m crazy. I like peanut butter. Will Ferrell is my homeboy. My mom is the coolest. If you give me five minutes, I’ll give you all the time in the world. Lollipops make me happy.” It’s not original. Everybody is doing it.

5. While we’re on the subject, myspace girls who constantly write things like “Don’t hate me because I’m fabulous!” and “Don’t be jealous of me + my girlz.” Relax, nobody’s jealous of you.

6. When Fergie says “like a child misses their blanket” in that song “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Employ an editor.

7. When someone answers the question “How was your weekend?” with “Productive.”

8. That weird smell that some Pepsi bottles have under the cap. What IS that??

9. Coworkers who hum. You’re not in your kitchen.

10. Office humor-type jokes.

What about you guys? I’d love to see what YOU secretly love/can’t stand!



Woah…
May 8, 2008, 4:06 pm
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I’d love to write something thought provoking and great, but I’ve got to tell the truth; I’ve been sitting around and doing practically nothing all day while waiting to get work from clients…which never came.  I can’t believe it’s only 4:00 right now…cannot believe it.  This is indubitably the longest four hours I have ever spent, and I have an inkling that the next hour isn’t going to be a picnic either. I did do one thing today, though — I discovered this gem of a website.

…I don’t think I have to tell you what my afternoon’s been like today.  =P



Something wrong with this picture?
May 7, 2008, 1:42 pm
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As a soon-to-be bride (in less than 3 weeks…woah!) I’ve naturally been heading toward the wedding Web pages lately, just to poke around and look for potential last-minute gems of information or ideas from their articles.

This one site that I’ve been frequenting, TheKnot.com, has a sister site called TheNest.com which is (you guessed it) an after-wedding site with resources for newlywed couples.  After browsing through for a few days and finding interesting tidbits here and there, I came upon this Q&A session and had to see if anyone felt the same way I did about their answer.  Here it is — does anyone find anything strange/off-putting about this clip?

Q: Should I use all of my vacation days, even though everyone else in my office seems not to?

A: Figuring out how to take all your vacation days while still looking dedicated to the team (and boss) is a good exercise in time management. Factor in some late nights or work on the weekends leading up to your vacation so you feel you can go away with a clear mind, and show everyone you know business and your workplace come first.

Ask a trusted coworker to be the point person on any important projects that might require attention in your absence. Let all the key coworkers and clients know who they should contact if they have any questions. And give top superiors your contact info and let them know that you’re available 24/7. If you manage other employees, create a list of priorities for them to work on while you’re out of town. Email the office midway through your vacation and elevate yourself to hero status.

Bottom line: You don’t need to use every last one of your vacation days, especially if you can roll them over or cash them in for some extra dough. But then again, a piña colada is a terrible thing to waste.



Slow down, you move too fast…
May 5, 2008, 12:40 pm
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Commuters on their way to work can be crazy sometimes!

Take one honking, Acura-riding, screaming nut job of a woman who decided to clamp onto my rear bumper this morning on Route 9D in Wappingers. I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m a pretty considerate driver, especially on the morning commute. All right, make that an extremely considerate driver — I’ve been out there and seen the way that these other commuters drive, and it isn’t pretty. Tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, neglecting to use signals and just plain not following the rules are the least of what goes on down in the wretched tangles of I-84 between the hours of 7 and 9 am.

I don’t buy into the game, though — I know where I’m going and (believe you me) I’m in no particular rush to get there. I like to leave on time, though, so that I don’t feel the slightest need to join the weaving hoards. If someone else is tailgating me or looking a little frustrated, though, I can sympathize with their plight and pull into the right lane to let them pass. For the most part, I don’t let angry commuters get to me. I’d rather not have my day spoiled by their ugly ‘tudes.

Which brings me back to 9D. I was driving down the road, minding my own business (while still maintaining traffic’s usual flow of a 10mph speed limit hike) when I decided to be a good neighbor and let a car get in front of me. That very moment, a car horn blared twice from behind me. I wrote it off, figuring that no one could possibly be that impatient, and kept on my merry way. Just to be sure that nothing crazy was going on behind me, I glanced in my rear view mirror to see what all the fuss was about.

What I saw was probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen out on the road before. A young woman, probably in her late 20’s to early 30’s, was sitting all the way forward in her car, banging on her windshield and screaming something that I couldn’t quite make out. It was pretty off putting, but I decided to try and ignore it as best I could. She made the move to lock onto my bumper for the next five miles, which I also chose to ignore, while periodically rearing at my car . . . as if there were any extra space that made it safe enough for her to do that. We ended up both needing to turn at the same point in the road, and we sat at the red light for a grand total of 20 seconds, after which the green turning arrow lit up.

Not less than half a second later, the horn began again — at least 5 loud, blaring honks that began to make me a little more twitchy with each one. I had to look in my rear view mirror again, and what I was was nothing short of terrifying!

The woman was literally screaming at the top of her lungs, shaking her head back and forth and smacking her steering wheel with a fervor that threatened to break the thing right off. I could swear that she morphed into this for a minute:

Hillary gone mad

This was unpleasant.

Actually, it was more than unpleasant. I felt my annoyance turn into anger, and the anger into indignation. Basically, it was like a white hot rage that threatened to consume my very vitals if I did nothing to make her understand that she was being totally irrational — and looked ridiculous, on top of everything. My mind raced wildly, thoughts of the things I could do to express my distaste for her temper tantrum bouncing around in my skull. While all this was going on, she swiftly zoomed past me and the other people in the turning lane — and then she was gone.

Most of the time road rage doesn’t bother me at all, but this time it hit a special nerve. Why do people have to act like that? The worst part of it is, you can’t even let them know how jerky they’re being! (Well I guess you can, but giving the finger is pretty much like stooping down to their level, in my book. Plus, it’s illegal. Believe it — I’m THAT much of a goody-two-shoes.)

The point of my rant? I have found a device that is the answer for frustrated good drivers like myself everywhere! It’s the epitome of mastermind technology today: the very reason that I want to hug Nick Holonyak, LED-inventor extraordinaire. It’s actually an “LED Emoticon” that sticks to the back of your car and broadcasts your disgust or approval to other drivers out on the road. You can choose from one of five messages – a smiley face, frowney face, “Thanks”, “Back Off” or “Idiot.”

I personally would appreciate one that uses a few more choice words, maybe including the terms “ass-clown” and “beslubbering ill-nurtured varlot.” But this will have to do.

See it for yourself here — the catalogue of uses is simply mind-blowing!

…rant finished.



What is THIS, now???
May 1, 2008, 12:09 pm
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I was reluctant to post anything about this . . . I’m not really into exposing my political views.

Heh, that’s actually a pretty big lie. I feel pretty strongly about the things I believe in, and I don’t care who knows that I think. I also feel very strongly that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that my opinions are just that: opinions! I don’t think that my ideas are the only ones out there…

I just want to post this quick disclaimer before I go on to publish this post: Think what you want about it! Mull it over, send it around to your friends, discuss. I really want to know what you guys think about this, because I know it has me feeling a little extra special something stirring deep down in my Moderate-to-Conservative Republican heart.

Oops — did I just let that spill?? 😉

My good friend Eileen, who goes to Colgate College up near Hamilton, NY, just sent me this article entitled “Can a Liberal Date a Conservative?” from a Colgate publication, “The Colgate Voice.” I had to post it so others could see it, because I think it’s…special. Here are a few excerpts. (I didn’t correct any of the spelling/grammar mistakes, so don’t blame me if it’s hard to read!)

“Conservatives view the world, and more specifically, other in that world, as ‘out to get them’. People are naturally bad and they must be controlled (or punished) in order to be set right. We are selfish beings. Accordingly, what is needed in both families and governance is a strict father/patriarch model with a system that will set those who steer astray back on the right path.”

“Liberals, on the other hand, view the world and those in it as organically co-harmonious. People are naturally good and it is societal structures and constructs that steers us astray. We are naturally social and unselfish beings who thrive on mutual connection. Accordingly, what is needed in both families and governance is an egalitarian model that is based on cooperation and mutual trust between both the parents/rulers as well as their children/subjects.”

“Additional notes of precuation [before dating a conservative] must be made b/c of the tumultuous nature of 2008. My original article for this issue had the title “to be a young conservative in 2008 is to have no soul”. Some may consider this “overly-harsh”, I prefer the term “controversial”. My argument is as follows: as young people we are those most likely and best-positioned to politically and socially engage society — moviing it in a positive direction; if there’s one thing we seem to all agree on, it is that “America” is not currently headed in the right direction; thus, to resist change — especially as a young person — is to condemn all of society to a less than desirable future for the sake of personal, economic, religious, or aforementioned “worldview” concerns. In other words: “to be a young conservative in 2008 is to have no soul”. Dating selfish people without souls is never a good idea. (Trust me.)”

To me, this sounds like a liberal chick who just got dumped by a conservative and is fighting back…and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I personally don’t want change in our country right now. She’s saying that this is how a Conservative mind works. In fact, I’d love to see some change ’round these here parts — in a lot of ways. Bring on the change! I’m all for better health care and economic growth.

Although you might not want to consider my opinion, since I have no soul.

What do you guys think about this?  Comments?!?