Friday Open Thread

I had THE BEST Valentine’s day. My boyfriend is currently in Washington, D.C., however he arranged for a romantic night out, including a four-course dinner right on the beach, with my sister. That was my surprise. It was perfect. All that was missing was him. How was your Valentine’s?

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68 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. That was uber sweet of him! What a great guy.

    DH sent me about 50 texts throughout the day. All of them started with “Things that remind me of you” and then he used the emoticons on his phone to walk back through the last 20+ years we’ve been together. I spent 3 hours trying to be crafty and ended up with the ugliest card ever, but he was impressed by the effort at least. I’m sick, so we didn’t do much in the evening (ordered Chinese and watched Big Bang) plus M had dance and there was a homework issue, but it was a really great night. No birdies, but I have high hopes for the weekend.

  2. We had mashed potatoes, shrimp, salad and birthday cake. Yum! It was a nice evening.

    DH received a couple of boxes from Amazon that were items from his wish list, but they don’t send a packing slip like they used to to say who sent them. Not convenient. I know my mother sent at least some of it but I don’t know if someone else is failing to be thanked.

        • Or, actually, it’s YOUR punishment! I think if you check “it’s a gift” you can not have it wrapped, but they do enclose a slip. Sometimes it gets screwed up if they do an order with several items and they end up getting sent separately for whatever reason.

          • Yeah, and even though the instructions to send a gift note say “Make sure to include the To: and From:, they will not be printed automatically” most people don’t. Only downside to an Amazon baby registry–I’m entirely sure there’s at least 1 person who never got thanked for something!

  3. My day started with a traffic stop (I made a left turn at a “no left turn” sign…told the officer that I was new in the neighborhood, but he wrote me up anyway – $130!!), so it was only uphill from there.

    I gave DH and DS piles of chocolate and cards.

    DH made dinner while I was at OT with DS – the house smelled awesome when we got home and the Chicken Parm was delish. DH said “It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day – red and white” lol. He also walked over to the mall near us (about a mile) and bought me a card and a Chico’s gift cert. For him, this is HUGE! so – a good night!

    DD is coming home tonight for a long weekend – i’m so excited – she hasn’t been in NYC in a year – we’ve seen her, of course, when we’re in RI, but she hasn’t been here in ages! she’s going to a TedX conference on food tomorrow, and has already been called to set up a job interview during the day (yipeee). Dinner with my girlie, and maybe some lounging around time on Sunday with her, will be the perfect weekend!

  4. Dull Valentine’s here – #1 had a project that kept her up late into the night…

    Company for the weekend – brother in law & his two kids, mother in law & her boyfriend. Good thing the wine store gives us 15% off when we buy by the case.

  5. Dull Valentine’s here – #1 had a project that kept her up late into the night…

    Company for the weekend – brother in law & his two kids, mother in law & her boyfriend. Good thing the wine store gives us 15% off when we buy by the case.

  6. We had a rough night putting M to bed, so we enjoyed our cupcakes together much later than I had wanted to. That’s okay, though, because we have a date on Sunday. I have some hopes I’ll get flowers (he’s done that every year we’ve been together), but money is REALLY tight and we agreed to postpone any V-Day plans until after I got paid (today). Even without flowers, just his love and smiles will really be enough.

  7. Sounds lovely, Gloria. What a thoughtful guy!

    Our V Day was nice — cooked at home, DH gave me roses, I gave him a card and chocolate.

    I spent the morning delivering cupcakes and other sweet treats to the staff at the three alternative schools in our District — one is disciplinary, one is the alternative high school and last one is the one for kids who’s emotional issues or mental illness prevents them from being in a traditional setting. It was fun to see the staff and teachers’ appreciation for such a small effort.

    • So cool that you did that. All teachers need treats, and I’m betting that the ones at those schools may not have quite as many students/parents who bring teacher gifts on holidays.

    • I love that you did this- great idea. I may have to steal it and share it with our teacher appreciation/ hospitality crew.
      Years ago, one school we attended asked each parent to bake 6-12 dozen Christmas cookies. It seemed to be part of the culture, so they had great participation. The frame was “please double or triple your recipe”. All of the cookies were brought into the school library, along with coffee/hot cocoa for a small holiday gathering (just nibbles throughout the day). But the best part was that they offered beautiful boxes so teachers could take home dozens of homemade cookies. That district worked teachers (and kids) until the 23rd, so it really brightened the holiday and took a load off. I know it sounds onerous, but it was much easier than it sounds.

      • That is a really great idea. The lead up to the holidays can be stressful for teachers and how nice would it be to select a few dozen xmas cookies to take home?

  8. I made a nice dinner at home with my three sweeties, complete with heart shaped radishes and cucumbers on the salad. Yes, I am a geek. DH gave me a cool necklace (fair trade sold by the org where he works, predictably, but thankfully they have a lot of stuff that’s my style). And he and the kids loved their loot. But the best thing about my day was helping with Lucy’s class vday party. My teaching schedule has never allowed me to participate in her class parties since she started public school last year, so it was fun to do! She was proud to have me there leading a craft and games, and it was awesome for me to see her among her peers. It was pretty reassuring to see that her behaviors that drive me nuts (i.e. not staying in her chair for all of dinner) is 1st grade age-appropriate!

    • My elder son never stayed in his chair at that age – he had to keep jumping up for karate moves between bites.

      BTW I’m typing this while sitting in front of a hotel, waiting for Suzanne77 to join me for lunch!

    • Wait, the never staying in her chair thing continues beyond toddlerhood? I’m doomed. M usually is pretty good in her booster seat (except, naturally, when we’re in public), but occasionally she has those meals where she acts like a hummingbird, running about, coming for a bite to eat or a sip to drink, rinse and repeat about 40 times….. I had hoped that would end sometime.

          • The funny thing is, really my 12 year old is the much more active one, who really has a need to move (although less than he used to but still), but he also likes to eat. He is basically starving 24/7, and is generally a good eater, so he is happy to sit at the table and eat. The other one doesn’t believe in eating anything and is actively bothered by foods he doesn’t like being near him, so he is always wanting to get up and down and get away from the table. So I think it really does depend on the kid.

  9. Spent much of the day fighting by phone with my X which somehow seemed appropriate for us. Then the day got better sinceI had the kids who don’t have school today so we had a fun night of watching some TV on Hulu and then going in my apartment complex’s hot tub. We love that thing.

    AND tonight I get on a plane to arrive in Iowa tomorrow morning where I will be picked up by my old flame now new again. (I guess since we decided during our last time together that we are exclusive and not seeing other people I could call him my boyfriend, but it just sounds weird to me – not when other people do it Gloria – just for me. Maybe it is just because I had a husband for quite a long time so it sounds kind of like I’m 18 not 42.) ANYWAY we are then driving to stay with my sister and her boys age 4 & 2 in Wisconsin and i just CAN NOT wait. Long distance definitely has a lot of draw backs, but it sure is exciting when you get to see each other. :-)

    Happy Friday Everyone!

      • Thanks for the yay. After being married to someone who drank (drinks) too much (He can not drink now when he has the kids which is a very good thing and means he is a good dad when he has them. Something he agreed to only after kicking and screaming since he “doesn’t have a problem!” but I won’t go into that now.) and was pretty controlling and tended to be pretty mean spirited it is nice to be with someone who respects me and most importantly LISTENS to me. Oh and the smooching is pretty good too.

        • In the year after I got divorced and began seeing Kelly I had three different people from three different walks of my life (who did not know each other) ask me if I had had “work done” because all my frown and worry lines were gone. It’s amazing how life can change … ;-) good for you!

          • I have had almost the exact thing happen! Over the last couple months 3 people – also from different walks of life – have commented that I seem different – calmer, more centered and just less frantic. Its amazing how you can feel like you just ARE a certain way until all of a sudden you are not.

  10. I should be doing things directly affecting my job, but instead I am working my way through this:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/13/fact-sheet-president-obama-s-plan-early-education-all-americans
    (don’t know how to embed a link and no time to figure it out, ;-) )

    Interestingly, NYC already has universal Pre-K (although I”m sure there are not enough slots for all the children) and full-day Kindergarten. I know there are lots of national studies on the impact of these policies, but I wonder if anyone is studying it in New York

  11. My V Day was jam packed! Volunteered at DD’s class party, got one last massage as part of my Bell’s Palsy therapy, had a Thai lunch with DH, picked up DD, picked up DS, ran a few errands, picked up heart-shaped pizza, then baked brownies and sugar cookies with DD in our new, matching Valentiney aprons :)

    DH was totally sidetracked by a work emergency that he had to deal with late into the night. I love the flexibility afforded him because he works from home, but the downside is that he is basically ALWAYS on call.

    But here is the cool thing: while DD and I baked she went off on this tangent and basically told me all her dreams for the future. She said she wants to go to Stanford, but then she will come back and live close to me. She will have three daughters. She will take them to the park. She will take them to ballet lessons so they can perform in the Nutcracker. She will take them to New York so they can ride the ferris wheel at the Toys R Us in Times Square. They will be named Lily, Lydia and Emily. And I will be a part of every thing. Yes, she wants Grandma to be there always. And she also wants to design clothes and own a fashion boutique, but she will only work on Mondays so she can take care of her daughters the rest of the week. Ah, sweet naivete.

    It was fascinating and touching and heartbreaking all at the same time. At her age, I had zero maternal instinct, so it’s odd for me to listen to her dreams of becoming a mother. But all the stuff she plans to do with her kids is basically stuff she does with us, so it’s gratifying to know it means something to her! Oh, she has so much love to give and such a rich imagination. It’s amazing to get a glimpse into what is going on in that little head of hers.

  12. Oy. One of the hard things here has been learning to work with an administrative assistant (I’ve never had one). The good news: I have one! (Well, I share one with 2 other people.) She’s also got a ton of institutional memory and is very precise, which helps with proofreading things and the other kinds of projects I need administrative support on. It feels like such a luxury to have an administrative assistant and I’m still trying to figure out how to use her most effectively. I’m also trying to figure out how to play to her strengths (attention to detail, very practical questions, extremely logical) and utilize her knowledge and experience appropriately. I feel like I’m asking her to be my copy-woman and proofreader, which is part of the job but certainly not the limit of what she’s capable of.

    The bad news: She always talks about how much stuff she’s got on her plate. For a project I’m working on, I specifically told her that it wouldn’t need to be done all at once, though I do have a deadline for it (for the record, this is scanning book chapters for a class I’ll be teaching in time for the sponsoring organization to secure copyright permissions). Now that I’ve said, “We need to get going on this,” she’s getting very anxious, even though we’ve got more than a week to get it done, and she made a point of telling me all the other things she’s got going on. (Which kind of makes me feel like I’m not a priority, but whatever.)

    I also have to be extremely precise in my instructions and must factor in explaining things at least 2-3 times because our brains process information very differently and we have a hard time communicating. I’m sure if she were telling this story, she’d also note that I seem to always be asking her questions as she’s getting ready to leave. (Probably true – I have a habit of seeing her move and think, “Oh! I have to tell her this is coming up!” I never ask her to do stuff when she’s getting ready to leave.) She is also incredibly precise about her hours at work – she’s cut me off more than once to say, “I’ve got to leave work NOW” even if I’m in mid-sentence. (She drives to work, so she’s not missing a bus/train.)

    Still, she’s quite competent, so it’s hard to complain. We just don’t mesh well. It’s possible I’ll be changing admins when our final staff person comes on, and I have to say I’m starting to hope this happens.

    #firstworldproblems Thanks for letting me vent.

    • What about getting out of the office to have a kind of “big picture” conversation – lunch maybe? Sometimes we do that here at work and I think it helps. I like working with people whose strengths are very different than mine, but yeah it often takes some tweaking. good luck.

    • Sorry it is not going well.

      My office is having something similar … actually they are letting the admin go right now. In general it seems to be a high turnover type position. It’s just not a job that people really enjoy doing, for the most part (and I did that job right out of college so I can relate!).

      • Yeah, I did it for two years, loved working with my boss, and I know it isn’t easy. I worry I’m underutilizing her but I also worry if I give her too much it will overwhelm her.

        She is a very hard worker and has been there for 13 years.

    • i have a similar thing going with one of my Assistant Directors. OTOH, I have TWO ADs…..both very knowledgeable and competent!! I’ve talked about them before, here, briefly. One is also sorta new here, she and I have similar personalities, and she’s happy to be helpful. The other has amazing attention to detail, organizational skills, and institutional knowledge. Some days it seems like I work for *her*. She’s respectful and helpful, but sometimes touchy.

      Slowly, we are getting to a good working relationship, but it’s hard.

      • Yeah, the other admin on our team and I are like two peas in a pod. Good rapport, she never makes me feel I’m asking too much and she just knows what I mean. Also, she’s fun.

  13. We exchanged cards (and each got each other one from Stormy) and a bit of chocolate. Other than that, business as usual—dinner was leftover vegetarian meatballs, transformed into meatball subs with smoked mozzarella, and wine.

        • PS Sue- my friend Bob whose status i was commenting on – has very advanced ALS and i’ve connected him to my bestie who got him into a clinical trial in Massachusetts but I’ve also connected him to our May Moms friend “J” who lost her husband to ALS and has some amazing connections wth nationally known specialists.. and now THEY’RE friends! the internet is an amazing place isn’t it?

      • my friend Bob is a gay comedian and writer- he was the first openly gay comedian to appear on the Tonight show as a matter of fact. he and his friend Eddie (also a comic) and Eddie’s partner Court are all friends with Maupin. (they move in pretty cool circles). So Bob posted about how he and his partner are staying at a gay hotel in Buenos Aries right now.. all sorts of jokes about the pool being anatomically shaped and how “even the mini bars have strippers..” so I said:

        “The lesbian equivalent of this hotel comes with complimentary couples counseling on the concierge level… so you can work out your issues with your girlfriend… who you just met…downstairs at the welcoming drum circle.”

        ;-)

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