We Should Have Such Problems!

On occasion, Jason and I will catch each other arguing or worrying over some dilemma.

And then we realize that's it the kind of problem we won't remember having in three months. It's hardly really fair to define it as a "problem."

How many days should we stay in Cabo? (Something *still* TBD, Nancy.)

Why can't we find a good night for dinner with Joel and his wife?

Are the housecleaners going to be able to come before our expected house guests arrive?

Does Piper's eye look funny again? (No, she's just creepy like that sometimes.)

My co-workers never push in their chairs!

What is her problem with putting meat in a recipe once in a while? Why so many vegetables?

When is he going to get those clothes out of the dryer! I have laundry to do!For a chance to laugh at yourself and your problems, Jason introduced me to reddit.com's "First World Problems" thread.

No Pepsi is not okay.

I can't eat out of the vending machine because I only have 20's.

I'd like to shop at the farmer's market, but I never feel like getting up early on the weekend. (Guilty!)

Every day someone at work brings in donuts or cake and it's making me fat.A good dose of perspective. Not stuff like 'the village well has run dry' or 'they are bombing the rebels, but it's close to my house.'

If our biggest problems are laundry and scheduling, we are far more than good.


Sometimes it is about the smallest of graces. A touch of thoughtfulness that shows you paid mind to others.

It's about pushing in a chair!

I can't say it at work, but I'll say it here, my manager never pushes in their chair. Ever. And of course, they sit at the head of the table, closest to the door, in most of our meetings. When the meeting adjourns they stand up, the chair goes out, and they walk away. The team wrestles past the chair in our way to exit the room.

My manager is smart, seems to be of generally good breeding...but this chair thing is persistent. How do you teach someone a basic good manner when they are already 30+ years into life? And your boss. (Answer: You say nothing, but sometimes when you're in a mood, make a minor show of pushing in every chair as you exit, hoping they might notice.)

A corollary I'll also volunteer for meeting room kindness is that if you arrive first, take a chair farthest from the door, leaving the closer chairs open for those that arrive after you. It's simple and makes so much sense once you notice the later-comers awkwardly squeezing past four seated peers to get to the farthest seat in the room.

Just simple graces, makes everyone's life a little easier. And it doesn't even cost a thing.

A Problem I Didn't Know I Had

Thank you Hefty bags. I have been living with an undiagnosed problem, and I had no idea. White trash bags, how could I have accepted this mess?

I'm going to guess that the "Blackout bag" was based on some consumer research where people volunteered that they had this issue. I think those people have too much time on their hands.

They must live in pristine homes where there is not a speck of dust anywhere, and therefore they begin to obsess about what's in the trash can and its unacceptable appearance.

Why not just use a garden trash bag?

If There's One Thing...

If there's one thing that comes with marrying a prince, you'd kinda think it would be a big fancy wedding where someone else picks up the tab.

The whole marrying royal thing suddenly seemed a lot less appealing when I read that Kate Middleton's family is making a six figure donation to the wedding to Prince William. (Six figures of British pounds no less!)

Of course, that might just cover the flowers, or maybe the dress? (Designers sketch ideas for the dress here!)

The cost of our wedding might not even cover the tips for the valets.

Guest Room Ideas

After spending some time noodling and putting pictures together on my powerpoint idea board, I am circling around a final idea for the guest room!

It's getting time to tell the current guests that they may need to find another resting spot for a little while. The paint options are on the wall and it's not going to yellow. Although the name is adorable, "Little Dipper," the color just glows in a crazy kind of way. Instead, it's going to be "Sweet Pear" a bright but calming green. After bringing home the paint chip Jason pointed out I'd picked pretty nearly the same color that is already in our kitchen and guest bathroom. I know I can live with it already!

Here's the whole plan, anchored by the cream bedspread and curtains that are already in the room.I'm excited to order the FLOR carpet tiles, in faux bois.Those fabrics will be going on big European pillows to disguise the headboard Jason hates, and I admit I don't love, but don't see the point in paying lots to replace. The West Elm bedding reminds me of my favorite sheets growing up too. I wonder if I'll be sleeping there since I'm thinking I'll love it so much!

Better than Old 30 Rock Re-runs

I'm used to half-heartedly plugging my earphones into the armrest on flights to watch a 30 Rock episode I've already seen. It's just the inflight routine.

I had to curiously search out the pages of the airline magazine that offer descriptions on the movies when American Airlines announced the inflight movie would be "Waiting for Superman." What a terrific surprise, a documentary!

"Waiting for Superman" focuses on public schools in America and the tension between union rights and striving to improve the curriculum quality and teacher talent. And ultimately the students who work hard, want more, but face slim chances of getting into the best schools because it's a lottery. It's enough to make a liberal conservative as it points out how ridiculously poor performing teachers maintain their jobs, thanks to tenure. But it's balanced in spotlighting educators who maintain their idealism that education can improve.

I recommend it. It's topical with the controversy over unions in states like Wisconsin. My ticket to the movie cost over a hundred dollars, since it was my airfare, but for you it's out on DVD. (And kudos to American Airlines for considering documentary content for the in-flight entertainment. For once I didn't feel like that time in the air was time lost into thin air!)

Home Sweet Home

After two, long, tiring weeks of travel crashing on the couch at home and catching up on Tivo never felt so good. Funny though it may sound, the last ten days of business travel were far more exhausting than our whole trip to India.

Vegas gave me a headache, with the smoke in the casino (people still smoke?!) and realizing that I hadn't been outside once in four days. This sounds very crankypants, but I didn't sleep well all week. The perk of the trip, however, was getting to connect for dinner with friend, Sura. When we'd earlier been lamenting how much business travel we each had coming up, it was Sura who was smart enough to ask, "Where are you going? Maybe we'll be in the same place at the same time." And we were!

I realized I'm more of a New England person than a Vegas showgirl, since it was Boston I liked better. I saved an extra day by going straight from Vegas to Boston, instead of pit-stopping in Chicago for 24 hours to frantically do laundry and re-pack. With two of my oldest friends in Boston, it was a chance to see both: Aaron and Leah.

To give you a sense of how far Aaron and I go back, here's the comparison of us back then, and us now. I'm on the right in both photos, and very glad that I grew into those cheeks. Yikes. I can also later do a separate commentary on the hats my mother put me in as a baby. This look is very colonial scullery maid. (Click to enlarge.) The stroller in the middle is now filled with Aaron's son, which gives this a very "circle of life" feeling.

With Leah, it was a realization not only that we'd known each other now for 20 years, but that it'd probably been 10 since we'd last seen each other. But like the experience of catching up with my fifth grade best friend, Andra, as many years later I've realized that some friends are just like old shoes. Your slip right back in completely comfortably. The ironic part is that Leah and I spent about ten minutes talking about how much we both like Andra (someone Leah's never actually met!) which makes me wonder if Andra and Leah aren't part of the same pair of shoes. (And that would probably be a Jessica Simpson pair.)

These visits made the trip more entertaining, but I am soooooo glad to be home.

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