Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Garden State of Mind

I saw Garden State the other night.

I'd heard some buzz about it, and tried to catch it when I was on vacation. Since then I've stumbled upon Zach Braff's Garden State blog and now I'm hooked. I've never been much of a Scrubs fan - I just didn't watch it regularly enough and (apparently because it is a smart comedy) there were some things I didn't "get" so I never really connected with the show. But I got Garden State.

This is not a feel good movie folks. It's not a comedy. It's not a love story. It's drama. It's real life. I think it's a good flick and I think you should catch it if you can.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Home Alone

I am home alone in the house I grew up in.

My parents have gone to a surprise birthday party. It's hot and humid outside, so I'm sitting indoors in the air conditioning instead of out by the pool. I bought some tan in a can, so why suffer and subject myself to possible skin cancer later on?

It's odd being here. In some ways it's comforting, but in other ways, totally disconcerting. Take the pool for example. My folks put it in 20 years ago. Twenty years! The concrete sidewalk around it has settled and I'm constantly stubbing my toe. They had to put in a new liner a few years back. On the one hand, it's the pool I remember. On the other hand, it's totally foreign to me.

My dad was watching CNN Headline News and there was a blurb about preparing for terrorist attacks in rural areas. This after reading in the local paper that the state police have been inspecting all trucks along the highway for the past few weeks, because the road eventually leads to NYC, and the republican convention is taking place next week. We are several hundred miles from NYC, but you've got to stop the terrorists when they least expect it. My dad asked me where I thought the terrorists would strike first. I told him I didn't think they would.

Naive? Maybe. I just can't be bothered to get worked up about it. My parents came of age during the Vietnam war. I remember them being really spooked during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. And upset during the Gulf War in the early 1990s. And I'm not. I grew up in the age of high tech war. All I know is what I see on television. I've never really confronted having people I know and love go to war and die.

We were in the pool last night and I was teasing my five year old nephew. He doesn't know how to swim but he's tall enough to walk in the shallow end. I was keeping his floating bar bells just out of reach. He got excited and slipped and went underwater. I froze for a split second and the reached down and scooped him out. He wasn't hurt but he did swallow a bit of water.

At first he didn't even know how to react. Initially he laughed, but then he started crying. Amazingly enough, he got back in the water although by that time he was shivering and shaking all over. I apologized to him later and he told me "I'm just a little kid." That got to me. Not having kids of my own, I'm not around them very often, and maybe I did have unrealistic expectations of him. Maybe I was being too hard on him. It's hard to know.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Audio Post Lost In Space Again

Okay, I'm totally not going to make any more audio posts from my cheapo pre-paid cell phone anymore. They always seem to get lost in space.

Last night I made an audio post at 1:40 a.m. Yes, that's a.m. I actually had slept fairly well Weds night thanks to the tea and honey and lemon and general care and concern (sometimes it pays to go diva once in a while) and yesterday I took the day off to attend a social event with the unemployed boy next door. I told him that I was feeling stuffy in the head and he gave me sudafed. And three hours later, he gave me another one. I thought "hey, it's been three hours, what can it hurt?"

Except now I'm starting to think he had given me what was supposed to be a 12 hour dose, and I took two of them within three hours. Went to bed at 10:30 and initially fell asleep but then I was awake at 11:15 ... and midnight ... and 1:00 ... and at 1:20 I got up. I just couldn't seem to go to sleep. I thought maybe it was the diet coke I'd had around 8:00, but looking back now, it must have been the sudafed. Made the audio post which is now lost in space and turned the television on with timer set to go off one hour later. Rifled through my stuff and found a few sleeping pills and took them. I remember being awake at 2:40 when the television turned itself off and then...nothing.

I woke up at 9:00 when I heard doors opening and closing downstairs. Good thing the plan was to take today off too, because otherwise I would have been seriously late for work! Took off on another weekend adventure with Trucklet and I do have internet access, so although I'd love to regale you with an audio post, you'll just have to make do with text posts for the next fews days.

Wide Awake

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Um, Brian?

I think I'm coming down with your cold. I'm already sitting down so hurry up and put the kettle on, please.

The Vacation: Part IV - The BAY-BEE !!

So I told you the basics of what I did during my vacation, but I TOTALLY skipped over the group dynamics of it all. Here goes.

The whole idea of going to Martha's Vineyard on vacation wasn't mine or Susan's. We were invited by our friend Mary to fill a room in a rented house.

The Castaways

Couple # 1: our friend Mary, her husband Peter and 12 year old son Zach (3 people)

Couple # 2: their friends, let's call them Tom and Tina (2 people)

Couple # 3: Peter's ex-girlfriend Sylvia, her husband Steve and 8 year old daughter Stephanie (3 people - and their dog)

Couple # 4: Tom and Tina's friends, let's call them Mickey and Minnie, and their two daughters Molly (age 8) and Mia (nearly 1) (4 people)

The Interlopers: the final room was filled by two different sets of people, a family of four for the first two nights and a couple of two the last three nights. No significant interactions with them so this is all you shall hear about them.

So, for a day or two, there were as many as 18 people in this house. Six bedrooms, two kitchens, three bathrooms, two outdoor showers and a pool. The true core consists of Couples # 1 and # 2 - they've been vacationing together like this for 13 years. Couple #4 has been along for the ride for the past three years, and the rest of us knew either Couple #1 or Couple #2. Got that straight?

Okay. So. Basically I would say that everyone got along really well with one exception which I'll detail here.

There is a good chance that Couple # 4 may get voted off the island.

Poor Minnie. You know, she just gave birth a year ago. And her BAY-BEE is so precious! Can you believe how beautiful this child is? Yes, it was one of those - the Mom from hell. She was so concerned about the rest of us being quite when her BAY-BEE was sleeping, but whose voice did I hear after I'd gone to bed at night?

Maybe I shouldn't go into all the details because it's just too easy. It's too easy to pick on this woman. She got pregnant as a teenager and her mother sued her for custody of her first child. She later married and had her second child, the eight year old daughter (who, by the way, seemed to be a perfectly lovely child when I tucked her into bed five out of the seven nights we were there) but you would think that she'd never given birth before - that her life did not start until she bore this infant not quite one year ago. At one point I mused - "should we read anything into the fact that she named this child Mia?" Might as well have officially named her Mini-Me.

I suppose it's classic - the woman just turned 37 years old and she's competing with/living through her children. Maybe if she would stop drinking so damn much tequila she'd be able to see straight. She really didn't do much to contribute around the household, and we were constantly stepping over her/her family's clutter.

Toward the end of the week she started putting on a big show of "helping" and on the final night, as we were all enjoying our farewell lobster dinner, she proclaimed that it would be wonderful if we were to take our lobster scraps and make lobster bisque. And then we could all take some bisque home with us and continue to relish our vacation! Wouldn't that be a great idea? Who's with me? I can't wait to do this for all of you wonderful people.

Sylvia managed to squeak out a positive affirmation and the rest of us just tried to ignore the nonsense. So around the table Minnie went, collecting all of our lobster carcasses. The pot was put on to boil, and the leftover corn was shaved from the cob to go into the soup, and Minnie promised she'd get up early in the morning to go to the store to get the cream and won't it be wonderful?

Susan and I snuck away to our room to do some packing and Susan said "There's no way we're ever going to see any lobster bisque unless Sylvia steps in and takes over. And I hope she doesn't." Barely an hour later as we were crashing on the sofa and the rest of the gang was starting a game of Scrabble it happened.

"I'm not sure I'm going to be able to finish the bisque."

No one acknowledges the uncharacteristically soft statement.

In a slightly louder voice: "Would anyone be upset if I didn't make the lobster bisque?"

Susan is trying desperately to catch my eye. I was zoning off somewhere and just gave her this "over my head" sign to signal that I'd missed what was happening.

"I'm so tired. I don't think I'll be able to finish the bisque. I'm sorry."

At which point Tina, the one who has known Minnie the longest and who took care of Molly when Minnie was giving birth to the BAY-BEE Mia spoke up and said, "I never thought you were going to do it in the first place."

And then later as Susan and I were heading up to bed we had to pass Minnie on the deck. Her eyes were bloodshot and she gave us a heavy sigh as she puffed on her cigarette. "I'm sorry we won't have the bisque, but I'm just so tired."

Yes, so are we. Tired of your trying to be the center of attention, whether it's through your BAY-BEE or your loud voice or your wearing of hip huggers that showed way more hip than we ever wanted to see. Yes, it's easy to pick on Minnie. So on the way home we tried to think of one redeeming quality, because you have to find something nice to say about someone, don't you? And then we came up with it.

Minnie never made us suffer through the changing of the diaper.

Not once did we see her change the BAY-BEE's diaper. Not once did we see or smell a dirty diaper in the trash. Not once did she lay her BAY-BEE down on the dining room table and change her diaper.

Yes, we did indeed find something positive to say about dear Minnie.


Noticed a few strange referral links lately, and I think I figured it out. It's the "Next Blog" button. People are pushing it and occasionally ending up here. Welcome strangers! Next time, stay awhile, leave a comment. We're all friends here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Some Enchanted Evening

this is an audio post - click to play

The Vacation: Part III

Now, where was I? Oh yes, we were up to Thursday.

Lazed around most of the day nursing my headache. Friday dawned much as the day before - overcast and gloomy. But on that day's itinerary was a visit with my friend Barbara, so I put on the new dress and off we went.

Barbara hired me for my first job out of college back in 1987. It seemed like we worked together for YEARS, but looking back, it was only five or six years. Barbara was separated when I met her, and in 1993 (1994?) she took a vacation to Martha's Vineyard with a friend of hers. On the ferry on the way over, they spotted a man with his dog and a cooler of beer. Barbara asked for a beer. A year or so later, he asked her to marry him. And the rest, they say, is history.

Yes, it's true - she met him on the ferry and within a year she had finalized her divorce, quit her job, moved, married, and had a new job more fabulous than the one she left. And now, they've been married for nearly ten years and then have two adorable children, a 4 year old and a two year old. Of course, I'm sure there have been bumps along the way (like the miscarriage with twins) but it does have the makings of "fairy tale" written all over it. Now they split their time between NJ and the summer cottage on the vineyard. Barbara recently quit her job so she could be a stay-at-home Mom. Of course, she has a live-in nanny for those times when she wants to go out to lunch with her girlfriends. Yes, life is rough.

But it was a fun visit with Barbara. We did some shopping and I got not one but TWO Brighton belts. I'm not much of a label hound, but my friend Sandie is totally into Brighton leathers so she'll appreciate my purchase. How could I not - they were 50% off so I got two for the price of one. And I needed a new belt. And a spare. Mary got the belt I really wanted - reversible black and red - but they didn't have it in my size.

So, what did we do for dinner Friday night ... I forget. Saturday was more of the same. I took a walk to the general store (2 miles roundtrip) which was when I made that audio post. We all enjoyed lobster for our farewell dinner (remind me to tell you about the lobster bisque in my next post) and then it was Sunday and we bolted out of there to catch our 10:45 a.m. ferry. Spent the better part of the day driving back but made it safe and sound.

And now - I'm off to a networking thing. Coming tomorrow - The Vacation: Part IV - The BAY-BEE !!

Monday, August 23, 2004

The Vacation: Part II

I hate to say it, but I think you may have already heard about the best part of the vacation.

Sunday morning we wake up in the hotel and it is POURING. Buckets and buckets of rain. We drive to Woods Hole to catch the ferry and arrive way ahead of schedule because we were the only flipping fools on the road. So we actually managed to catch an earlier ferry. Got to the island and believe it or not, the rain was beginning to subside. Hooked up with our friends and drove to the other harbor to catch the third arrival before doing a scenic drive to delay our arrival at lunch. Met up with the rest of the crew at a restaurant for lunch, and by the time we emerged ... could it be? The sun was shining!

Susan and I took our time walking around town and had the world's best ice cream before strolling back to our car and trying to follow the directions in reverse and upside down. Made one wrong turn and traveled down a country road (who am I kidding - they are all country roads!) before turning around and making our second attempt. Found the house no problem and unloaded Trucklet.

Dashed off to the grocery store just before it closed and $150 later we had hot dogs and hamburgers and potato salad and cole slaw and mustard and catsup and some paper goods and not much else. Boy are things expensive on the island! And the prices are fixed too - no matter where you go on Martha's Vineyard (or Nantucket for that matter) the prices are the same. Lobster roll? That will be $13.95. Six rolls of cheapo scratchy one-ply toilet paper? $6.99, please.

But damn if they weren't the best burgers we'd ever had.

Just when we thought the week was off to a good start after all, Monday morning brought rain. And it rained all day long. No matter. We broke out the "Sopranos" jigsaw puzzle and put in that old stand-by for the kids, "Ferris Bueller" Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? I actually napped a little and then picked up a really bad book. Unfortunately for me, I read the whole absurd thing. Bird children. Little boys and girls with wings. Yeah, right.

On Tuesday we day tripped over to Nantucket. Susan and I had promised to take Mary's husband since he'd lived in Massachusetts all his life and had never been. Nice way to spend what was basically a blah day, weatherwise. When we got back, we ditched the husband and hooked up with Mary for apps and drinks, some shopping, and more apps and drinks. A lovely day.

By Wednesday, the sun was out more than it was in and there was a mad dash to the beach. Except for me and Susan. We stayed home by the pool. By ourselves. And loved every minute of the solitude. People went different ways that evening and there were only five adults and one child in the house for dinner. We had awesome steak and swordfish. I'd been drinking rum and coke most of the afternoon, and Mary introduced me to Limoncella. You might as well have injected it straight into my veins. 32% alcohol. And a glass of wine. Or two? And an accidental sip of tequila. I thought I was fine, but by 3:30 a.m. I was wide awake and the hangover had begun. Susan encouraged me to drink water. I did. And then five minutes later I promptly threw up. I cannot tell you the last time I puked. (I know it's a harsh word, but there is nothing delicate about regurgitation.)

Thursday was overcast in the morning so we went to a craft fair and then dropped Mary at the beach to join the rest of the crowd. Dipped my toe in the surf so I could say that I did, and then off to lunch where Susan had the best fish sandwich of her life. I had a very bland cheese quesidilla which suited my stomach just fine, thank you very much.

[more to come; it's 5:40 and I really should go to the gym]

The Vacation: Part I

So I was determined to have a good time on vacation, rain and floods and hurricanes be damned. It started out innocently enough. I picked up Susan and we started on our way. Less than an hour into our trip we saw it high on a hilltop - the outlet center. We had to stop. Neither one of us was looking for anything in particular, but you know that's when you find it.

Scored in the L'Eggs/Haines/Bali/Jockey store - picked up two camisoles for $1.99 and two t-shirts for $4.99. Normally I would never buy a plain t-shirt, but these were good quality shirts and I liked the colors. And for $4.99 - well, I would have bought more if they had them in my size.

On the road again, and we haven't yet had lunch so we snack on some plumcots and wasabi pea snack mix as we make our way across the great state of Massachusetts. You know what they call Massachusetts drivers, don't you? Massholes. Just so you know.

Got off the Mass Pike and started heading down I-495. Food was in order. Pulled off and had our choice of Chili's vs. Outback. Outback won. Had a very late lunch/early dinner and then on the road again. Actually, we went across the street first to see if we could catch a movie, but nothing to our liking. We had been talking about "Garden State" but of course, not on the menu at Regal Cinemas. On the road again.

Checked into the hotel and we were offered two rooms with king sized beds instead of the one room we had booked with two double beds. The clerk on duty was concerned that they would have some families checking in who would want the room with two doubles. Fine by us. By the way - movie theatre nearby? The desk clerk was very friendly and gave us excellent directions to the shopping mall where they had - you guessed it - Regal Cinemas with exactly the same movies that we chose not to see an hour or two earlier.

But all was not lost. We wandered around the mall and found a dress sale at Filene's. We both must have tried on at least a dozen dresses. At that point, we were shopping for sport. But like I said earlier, it's usually when you aren't looking that you find something.

I found two amazing dresses. One I call the "stepford wives" dress. It's very form fitting and has this piping which is reminiscent of a house wife's dress. When I plucked it off the rack, Susan made a face but said "try it on, you never know." Well, it fit like a glove. The other dress - I knew it was familiar but it's just now that I know why. Think "Pretty Woman" and the polo match scene. Julia Roberts is wearing a brown dress with white polka dots. That's the dress I bought - but red, not brown.

And the best part? Two dresses. 50% off. Plus another 20% with the coupon that we didn't have but which the clerk gave to us anyway. Less than $40. Sweet. I'm going stop referring to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as Massholes.

My New Favorite Song

It's "Love Song For No One" by John Mayer. I love the chorus:

I'm tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here
So tired of being alone
So hurry up and get here

I love it when I hear a song that just captures my feelings and mood.

Back On Company Time

I'm back in the office - just in time for what looks to be the best week of weather for the entire summer. Ugh. Can't complain too much - I had a wonderful vacation last week and I'm actually taking Thurs and Fri off this week.

I see that the audio post I made last Tuesday never found its way to my blog ... cell phone service was very spotty on the island so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Got back just in time to catch a call from my friend Vicki and enjoyed dinner (and several glasses of wine) with her and two of her friends last night. Sure beat take-out from across the street. And then when I got back to the apartment, I saw that the Ex had called. Just to say hello because he hadn't heard from me in a while. How nice.

I should get down to work here, but the only thing I'm working on is this mini hangover...

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Friday, August 13, 2004

Floating Away

You know that rain I mentioned? Well, the water is rising and I fear I may float away. The waves will likely carry me far, far away. It may take seven days and seven nights before I can find my way back home. Thanks to Al Roker and Weather Pixies everywhere, I did have fair warning and my bags are packed. As soon as I finish this post I'll unplug the computer and move everything to higher ground. I should be able to make audio posts which will keep you apprised of my situation. Stay warm and dry, and keep the kettle on for me, will you?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

If I Had A Weather Pixie ...

... I wouldn't have to tell you that it is raining. Again. Or rather, still. This does not bode well for the upcoming vacation. But fear not - I have resolved that I am going to enjoy this vacation no matter what the weather is like. I have books I can read, board games to play, and fascinating and interesting friends who won't let me drink alone.

And if you want a postcard - just email me your address.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Visitor # 5,500

Well, hello there ScooterDeb!

P.S. See below for the lost audio post.

Burned Again

I submitted a FABULOUS audio post last night upon my return. And it's just. Gone. Not there. And I have a staff meeting in 17 minutes and I'm not sure when/if I'll have a chance to re-post. One of those things - it was so good that trying to replicate it might not even be worth the effort. One of those "you had to be there" moments. Oh well.

UPDATE: My long-lost post has mysteriously appeared after all - see below.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Too Good To Be True

I should have known there would be a catch.

So there I am, totally awake and alive and greeting the dawn of a new day. I had plenty of time and I was in no hurry. I cruised along and without even planning it I realized that I would be passing by the outlet center around 9:00. A perfect one hour diversion. I could spend an hour shopping, drive to my uncle's place, visit with him for an hour, and then continue on to the family reunion.

Except the outlets don't open until 10:00.

What?!? It's Saturday in August - why is this place not opening until 10:00? So, I did a brisk 7/10 mile walk around the perimeter and then decided to do another audio post. I called. No answer, no busy signal -- just dead air. I look at my phone. Full strength, full battery. I dial again. Nothing. Well, the third time is the charm, right? Wrong. Three strikes and you're out.

At that point I really felt like just driving through the middle of that flock of seagulls that were congregated in the middle of the parking lot, but I didn't want Trucklet to get shat upon, and I'd already murdered a yellow chickadee that was trying to get away from an oncoming tractor trailer.

So I managed to kill half an hour, got back on the road, visited with my uncle and went to the reunion. More later.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Get 'Em While They're Hot

Shares in "Fear Not" that is.

Suddenly, I'm a hot commodity over at blogshares.com. My stock is trading at $52.28 - up from a low of $0.33 yesterday. You get $500 to use just for registering. Go ahead, invest in me. I'm rated as "a growing blog" and the stock has room to grow, so buy and hold.

Much To Do

It's pretty much under control, but I have a lot to do before I leave the office today. I'm going to be taking my Trucklet on a little vacation this weekend.

First, a four hour drive to the middle of nowhere to reune with the family. Then an hour long jaunt to get to my brother's house where I will then spend the remainder of the weekend.

On Monday, Trucklet and I will get back on the road and head to the right of the middle of nowhere for a meeting and then spend the night before returning to our home base on Tuesday afternoon.

I hadn't planned on going away this weekend, but I think it will do me good. I've been distracted most of this week, and maybe a little space and time away from the source of my worries will help me refocus. The source of my worries, you ask? A number of issues - my job situation, my living situation, my personal relationships (or lack thereof). I'm doing better today than I was earlier in the week thanks to that late night on Wednesday and a brief visit with "SusieWithATwist" last night. And the heartfelt and genuine concern of a certain friend who shall remain anonymous. You know who you are. Thank you.

Why Would You Want To Wallpaper Your Mercedes?

The longer I blog, the stranger the search terms get. Here's one from yesterday:

2005 white Mercedes Benz G500 wallpaper

I had no idea why this blog would come up in response to a google search for those words, but it did:

Fear Not: On Company Time... Legs are totally white, except for that big ole bruise on my right thigh. ... Mercedes-Benz G500. ... starting Fri 04/02/2004 and will not return until Fri 09/02/2005. ...

Must be a compilation of several posts. Giggle. Snort. Funny.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Hitting the Bottle Early

Uh-oh. It's only 9:30 and I'm already hitting the bottle. Really needed a caffeine jolt this morning, so I had to get an ice cold diet Pepsi from the vending machine. Was out/up late last night. It wasn't a pretty picture.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Do I Look Like A Local?

Apparently so, because I've been stopped by tourists three times today asking for directions.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


The height of laziness: utilizing the interoffice mail system to send something to the finance office on the third floor. The mail staff will pick up this envelope from the first floor, take it back to the mail sorting room which is located across town, sort it, and bring it back and deliver it to Audrey in accounting tomorrow. Wouldn't it have been easier to just walk it up to the third floor? You could even take the elevator!

Stall tales: How do you know when you've been here too long? When you feel comfortable enough to carry on conversations with your co-workers whilst one or both of you are in the bathroom stall.

From The Desk of Kenna Fearing

this is an audio post - click to play

Wilde About Oscar

"The truth is rarely pure and never simple."
- Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895, Act I

Monday, August 02, 2004

From The Desk of Kenna Fearing

We are experiencing technical difficulties with this post; please stand by.

I'm ^Not A Google-Whack!

If you enter these terms into Google, the only result you get is my blog:

+password +"read his email" +"sent flowers"

Nifty keen.

UPDATE: Okay, so I looked up the definition of googlewhacking and it turns out I'm not all that.

(from http://www.googlewhack.com/)

This distraction crossed my desk, so I coined a richly meaningful name: Googlewhacking.

Your goal: find that elusive query (two words - no quote marks) with a single, solitary result!

Wonderful Weekend

Despite the fact that it was hot and humid and rained at times, it was a wonderful weekend. I didn't do much except eat and drink and party. And go to the gym. And fight off a migraine. But good all around.

I thought about audioblogging over the weekend but I was going from one thing to the next and really didn't have a lot of unscheduled time. I'm very flattered by all of your positive feedback regarding my vocal skills, and I'm all a-flutter to think that some of you have fallen in love with my voice. Of course, now I feel just a little tiny bit of pressure, thinking that all of my audio posts have to be fabulous.

No news on the 'possum front - will keep you posted.