Monthly Archives: December 2011

Friends, Forever?

During college we make friends with people who we never would have met in any other circumstance.  And personally, I feel that these are the people who end up shaping you the most.  You wouldn’t be who you are without these people.  This week my friend from California is visiting, and I haven’t seen her in about 2 years.  I’ve been so excited for the past 3 weeks, telling everyone I work with that Miss Cali is visiting and how much fun I’ll have going out with her.  But then I quit Hell’s Enigma and I’m still waiting to hear back from Chi Chi and as I reviewed my finances I realized that going out was going to be very difficult.  I also told her I’d drive her to see a friend of her’s from college, but when I realized that person lived 60 miles outside of Boston, not 30 it just didn’t seem plausible (not to add my maintenance required light is on and the engine is roaring like a vintage car).  She told me if I was visiting her in California that she’d take me anywhere I want to go, and then eluded to me being a bad friend (actually she just said I was a bad friend, no elusion).  So that made me wonder, am I a bad friend, or is it just that outside of college these types of friendships may not last forever?

Not what I want my friends to look like.

With distance and the crappy economy it seems to be harder and harder to maintain long distance friendships.  It’s easy to hop on the T and go visit your friend across the city, but it’s pretty difficult to get in a plane and plan a trip to visit a friend across the country.  The fact that Miss Cali came out to visit is a feat in and of itself and I’m so happy she had the means and the time to come see me and my other friend from college, who we’ll call The Lawful Poet.  She’s been settled into her job in California for over a year now and it seems like her financial and professional life are both in order.  I’d like to think I’m in the exact opposite situation as her.  While my social and academic life are finally falling into place, my financial and professional life are unsteady and unstable.  This makes it very difficult for her and I to see eye to eye on everything.

Am I being a dick because I said “No” to driving her 120 miles to see one person from college?  I don’t think so.  If she’s coming to visit Boston then he should come to her.  And besides, I lent her my car throughout college, so I do think I’m allowed to say no every once in awhile.  But more importantly, because our life situations are so drastically different, can we still remain friends through the thick and thin of it all?  I feel like had she visited 5 months from now, I’d be more able to spend time (and money) with her.  I don’t think temporary life differences should alter the basic nature of a friendship, but all of us graduates must worry about the friends we’ll loose to time, distance, and differences in lifestyles.  In talking to a friend of mine last night, she revealed to me that sometimes the people we were closest with in college drift away, while the periphery friends end up becoming some of your closest friends.  I’ve noticed this happening and I have to wonder if it’s because I’m changing or the people around me are changing, or are we all changing.  I’m a vastly different person than I was 2 years ago; much more of a homebody now.  Is my new tendency to stay in and not spend money going to cost me friends?  But aren’t most freshly graduated graduates trying to pinch their pennies?  I would think that would put us all in the same boat.  I don’t really know if I have a real point to make with this posting, it’s more a bunch of questions but it does feel better getting them out there.  And I know I can’t be the only one that is noticing this change in friendships.  Ah, what is a Nefarious Graduate to do?

On a brighter note, my interview with Chi Chi went well.  I looked pretty spiffy for the interview, wearing a one shoulder blouse under a black blazer that could best be described as couture cotton candy.

Don't you just want to eat my shirt? Num Num Num

The manager of the store loved what I was wearing (which is always a good sign in retail) and she said she heard good things from my previous interview and she’s going to insist the District Manager meet with me.  She did mention that my classes may be problematic, as the company doesn’t love hiring people who don’t have 100% open availability.  But since I’m only in class 9 hours a week and the rest is flexible, it seems like that shouldn’t be a problem.

On a side note, I was on Newbury Street with Miss Cali and The Lawful Poet and I finally bought a Johnny Cupcakes T-Shirt.  I now consider myself a proper bostonian with this in my possession (AND it was only $20).  I’ll explain more about Johnny Cupcakes later, but here’s what the glorious t-shirt looks like:

You're not officially a young Bostonian until you own a Johnny Cupcakes shirt

Checking Account: $693.23

Money Added to Savings: $425 (yay holidays!)

Merit Scholarship Awarded to Yours Truly: $3000

Days Until Rent is Due: 2

Money Owed to Me: $250 for my supreme papers

Things to Do:

Meet with professor on Tuesday to schedule classes

Sit by phone and pray for an interview with District Manager of Chi Chi

Get car repaired

Clean room, bathroom, and kitchen


Enough is Enough

We all know what it’s like to go into a thankless job day after day, where you must do menial tasks and have to carry the lazy people all around you with no praise or even a nod of approval.  All jobs suck.  Hence the title of “job”.  But there’s something about busting your bum in retail that makes everything a hundred times worse.  I hypothesize it’s because you have to stand for 4-12 hours straight, and if you try to rest against the nearest table your boss will suddenly be right in front of you snapping at you to stand up straight and not to look so sloppy, and by the way, those shoes are against the dress code.  Or maybe it’s because customers treat you like a halfwit, telling you how you don’t understand their unique and truly incomprehensible problem of an ill fitting bra, or a bra with the wire sticking out (stop putting them in the washing machines!!).  I especially love when a customer blames me, and ONLY me, because we do not have an item in stock.  Especially around the holidays.  It’s like, listen lady, if you loved your little pookie bear so much, then perhaps you should have hauled your fat ass over to the store a month ago when the item had just come out and we had all the sizes.  Don’t show up two days before Christmas, when you and all your clones have been digging through panty drawer after panty drawer, trying to find a small.

Anyway, I’m drifting away from my main point.  As I drove two hours back from my parents’ house in CT to Boston, where I work, I began to get irked.  I was angry at the mall, the store, and most of all, at the customers for wasting my time off.  I don’t understand why people go shopping the day before and after Christmas.  Don’t they have better things to do?  Don’t they want to watch movies, eat leftovers, and sit on their butts all day?  That’s what my family does and it’s lovely.  Who the hell wants to sit in traffic, find parking, jostle through crowds, just to exchange a shirt in a store they don’t even like?  That does not sound too brilliant of a time to me.  When I finally got to Hell’s Enigma I had made a decision.  It was my soul or the store, and there was no way I was giving my soul to this place.

As I entered the back room to put away my things and gear up, I ran into my favourite co-worker.  She and I always have some good laughs at the expense of Hell’s Enigma.  She was just finishing her shift and I was arriving.  We made serious faces at each other and I broke the pathetic staring contest by blurting out “This store is sucking out my soul!”

“I know, right?  I’ve been here since we opened and people were lined up at the door.  Why would anyone be at the mall that early after Christmas?”

“Mhmmm, girl, you’re preaching to the choir”, I said as I raised my hands to praise the retail gods for the truth coming out of her mouth.

Suddenly from behind my back I hear a high pitched, nail on chalkboard voice and it sends a shiver of disgust, fear, and nausea up my spine, “Aw, I’m so sorry to hear you feel this place is sucking your soul away.  Why’s that?”

I spin around and am confronted by a truly horrifying site.  Standing about 4 inches below me is a very round woman, no more like rolly polly; she’d make the perfect Ms Pacman for Halloween.  Her face in scrunched in, yet somehow her features are still large.  Stringy strands of platinum blonde hair are slumping their way down her face and end at her shoudlers (or what I thought was her neck).  Encircling her neck, or maybe slowly asphyxiating her, was a tacky purple scarf, with the print that Yasser Arafat would have approved of.  Essentially she looked like this:

Blondie McTroll

It took all my strength not to scream “How did you get here?  This mall isn’t under any bridges!”  After surpressing my shock I decided to answer her question honestly, though at this point I had deduced a few things.  A) This was not a new manager, but she had stepped out of the manager’s office, therefore making her my District Manager.  B) Goddamn, this woman is ugly!  C) There was no answer I could give that would sate this beast’s thirst for low level associate blood.  I had weighed the options in my head, and knew that with grad school around the corner, one of my jobs would have to be sacrificed.  I was now ready to lay out the sacrificial lamb, and I was going to do it with some panache .

I looked into her face (her eyes were difficult to locate, though I saw some beady little dots mashed up in there) and responded to her inquiry “Well, this place is sucking my soul away for a couple reasons, the first being that the majority of our customers are thankless and they don’t give two damns about us.  They treat us like robots or even worse.  I can’t tell you how many times customers elbowed me in the ribs and then turned and glared at me like it was my fault for existing.  And that’s not to say we don’t get great customers, because we do, but they are few and far between, and they need to be in here more often.  Secondly, we are paid very little money to work like dogs.  Management closes the gates at closing and won’t reopen the doors until the entire store is neat.  That can sometimes mean you physically are incapable of leaving until 6am, even if you were scheduled to midnight.  And let’s not forget how all AC or heat is turned off at close, so you either sit there and freeze your bum off or sweat through your clothes.”

That whole time I refused to look at her, as I was getting ready to go out on the floor.  When I looked up, she was shocked.  I mentally patted myself on the back.  I wanted to ice the cake I just masterfully created so I added that frosting on.  “And finally, sometimes I feel like I’m too smart for this job.  I mean, anyone with a heartbeat could be a sales associate, and personally I feel like everyone working here is worth more than they earn.  I check my brain at the door daily, because if I didn’t I’d get frustrated with clients and just walk away from them.  It’s really difficult to try and act peppy all the time when someone is yelling at me because they had to wait in line for 5 minutes or a different sales associate was rude to them.  Maybe I’m just too dry and sarcastic for this job, but it pays the bills and that’s all I ask for”.  I raised my eyebrow at her, waiting for a response.  Receiving no immediate reaction, I stepped past her and went to the bathroom.

When I emerged, my store manager was there, towering over the troll and she had a sincerely concerned look on her face.  She bombarded me with the same series of questions the troll had asked me.  I decided to answer them honestly as well.  Finally my store manager rocked back in her chair and rubbed her giant stomach (she’s uber pregnant, due any day).  She was mulling over her options.  Clearly when I was in the bathroom they had made a decision.  But I wasn’t letting this end on her terms, or that troll beast of a woman’s terms.  I stood up and looked way down at the seated troll.

“You know, with graduate school approaching, perhaps this job just isn’t for me, especially because I’m often here until 2am.  It might be worth it if I could find a job better suited to my skills.  (I really wanted to add ‘Like writing about how awful you people are on my blog’)  I’m going to clock out and go home.  I hope my conversation didn’t suck any soul out of your day.”  I beamed down at them, punched my number into the computer, grabbed my stuff and flounced out the front door.  I felt lighter and happier.

On my way out of the mall I listened to my voice messages and will be interviewing for an assistant manager’s position at Chi Chi on Wednesday.  There’s that saying about shutting a window and opening a door, but this afternoon I felt like I had slammed one door on my hand and turned around to a first aid kit.  But I really wish I had made an exit like this:

Checking Account: $502.63

Cable Bill: $50

Purchases: None

Things to Do:

Prepare like a motha’ for that interview

Go to the gym tomorrow and stop being a lazy ass (troll woman inspired me to hit the gym)

Famous Faces

Every once in a while being a retail slave pays off.  Over the past week, while working 50+ hours between my two retail jobs, I got to meet some celebrities.  Or at least 2 certified celebrities and 1 piece of sports trivia gold.  And of course when I met them I was looking harried, had been sleeping a total of 3 hours a night, and had a seriously rock star case of bed head.  Russell Brand couldn’t compete with my hair.

Russell, your hair ain't got nothing on mine

Anyway, that said, the first celeb to stroll into Hell’s Enigma was Steven Tyler.  Now, I don’t know how many of you have met a celebrity, but it’s really weird and I was very uncomfortable.  Not because the immense presence of this person was shining in my face and making me feel like a mere mortal, but because I felt really bad for the celebrity.  Steven Tyler had one man helping him out with his shopping/guarding his little frail body and people were following him into the store and staring at him like he was a man dressed in a chicken suit.  I like to do my shopping fast and alone.  This is simply impossible for Mr. Tyler.  I also want to add that when I first saw him my reaction wasn’t “Holy Crap!  That’s Steven Tyler!”.  It was more of like a “I recognize that face…from somewhere”.  Then for some reason “Walk This Way” popped in my head and I realized it was the frontman of Aerosmith.

So, after he’d made his way through half the store he came up to me and asked me to help him pick out panties.  Being that I am specifically trained as an expert in this field I jumped to attention.  This was so much more fun that folding said panties for 8 hours on end.  So we walked between the two back rooms, discussing the merits of the many different types of panties and he nodded.  He constantly stopped to take pictures with fans, sign autographs, and sing out bars of songs to the mass of people pressed together in the store to watch this rock star shop.  Then he gunned for some silk pajamas that were hanging nearby and decided these were perfect as well.  We at Hell’s Enigma are still unsure as to whether or not they were for a lady friend or Steven himself.

An exchange of conversation that is worth repeating here:

Nefarious Graduate (NG): So, did you realize, Mr. Tyler, that we are hair twinsies?

Steven Tyler: Um, (laughs uncomfortably, clearly debating if I’m crazy or funny) now that you say it, I can dig it.

NG: No, you don’t understand.  Forget American Idol.  There needs to be a Hair Idol, because this ‘do is destined for rock star greatness.

Steven Tyler: Well, can your hair sing or play an instrument?

NG: No sadly it can’t, but it makes people scream.

Steven Tyler: Good enough.  (Genuinely laughs)

We call that rock star winning, ladies and gentlemen.  Anyway, to conclude, Mr. Tyler is a seriously nice dude and loves his fans and will never be a dick to them.  He also brightened the day of all the employees at Hell’s Enigma, which is a super hard task, so he gets props for that too!

Don't You See It?!

Moving on, it wouldn’t make sense to being living in Boston and working in a mall and go the whole holiday season without a Red Sox sighting.  Two days before Christmas, Jason Veritek strolled on in to buy some lingerie.  People went bizerk.  I glanced over from my never ending panty folding, saw an ugly man being treated like a movie star and realized what I was seeing.  “Athlete” was what my brain was telling me, but I couldn’t discern whether it was hockey or baseball (this being Boston and those sports being Boston’s pride and joy).  I turned to the girl next to me, also destined to the never ending panty folding and asked her who the dude was.  She replied in a thick Boston accent “Oh my Gahd!  That’s Jason Veratehk!  He’s one of the Soahwkes (Soxs)!”  Then she spun on her heels, ran to the back, and ran back by me screeching “I gotta get his autahgraph for my motha'”.  I shook my head and went back to panty folding.  I am not a Red Sox fan and no matter how good the player, I refuse to fawn over an overpaid jock.

Finally came my favourite encounter with my psuedo-celebrity.  He was by far one of the nicest men I helped over the holiday season and hands down the most grateful.  Picture the largest man you’ve ever met.  Now pretend that man was twice as large.  That’s basically the best way I can describe Kevin McBride.  I was facing a wall of sweatshirts that needed folding, and just as I was bracing myself for the task I heard an accented voice behind me ask for help.  I turned, looking up to the 6 foot level, as the voice belonged to a man, but I was only staring at a chest.  My eyes continued further upwards and I finally came to a smiling face.  “Kevin from Heaven”, the massive human being boomed and offered out the largest hand I had ever seen to shake.  I took it gingerly and knew this was going to be a rich experience.  So after asking the basic questions and trying to discern the answers through a thick Irish accent we were able to figure out a few things to get his wife.  But Kevin from Heaven was clearly hungry to spend some dough and just kept asking what else he could get for his woman.  The other girl working in the section with me exchanged glances and knew something was off about this guy.  I directed him to another room and after he left we decided to ignore our duties and gossip.

Co-worker: Was he drunk?

NG: Naw.  He’s just Irish.  Wait, maybe he was drunk.  But he doesn’t seem it and I can’t smell it.  Maybe he’s just off.

Co-worker: No, he was oversharing way too much information.  Plus he didn’t even know what he wanted to get her.  He just took everything you offered.

NG: I should have made him buy more.

At this point we heard “Girls!” in that thick booming Irish tongue and we spun around.  He had come back to say good-bye, a giant Hell’s Enigma bag swinging from his arm.  “Thanks so much for the help girls.  I’m just trying to do right by my lady”.  Then he proceeded to whip out his phone, show us pictures of his children, who were ADORABLE, and told us they were the reason for his sobriety these past years.  Apparently he was not drunk shopping.  I just couldn’t put my thumb on what was up here.  But Kevin from Heaven decided to put his massive thumb on it for me.  He shook our hands as he was leaving and perhaps I was gawking as his huge fists for too long, because he said to me, “These are the mitts that were the last ones to knock out Mike Tyson”.  He then patted me on the back, sending me tumbling forward, and rambled out of the store.

Then it all made so much more sense.  A man who had taken punches to the head from men like Mike Tyson was clearly not going to be right in the head.  He had brought a whole new meaning to the word “punch-drunk” for me.  But he was quite the character and my whole day was so much better after my encounter with him.  He just had the ability to put a smile on my face (a rare feat).  I ran into him as I was leaving work and managed to have a photo snapped with him, just so people could understand what I mean when I say massive.  Just look at his fist:

Yup.  So that’s that.  It can be interesting (occasionally) to work in retail, simply because one day is never the same as the next and once in awhile a famous face pops in and can make the day totally worth showing up for.  On a more boring note, I need to wear my retainer tonight.  My parents paid up the butt for my orthodontics and my baby gap tooth is coming back.  And I certainly can’t afford braces in the near future.  So here’s to looking 14 again while I plod around my house!  At least I still have my rock star Steven Tyler hair.

One Fine Wire

Life is a balancing act.  Some days are overwhelming blissful while others are downright crummy.  I can’t say I’ve been depressed for the last couple months, but I haven’t had one of those perfect days.  Then on Tuesday morning, I woke up to the best e-mail a Nefarious Graduate could hope to wake up to.  I, ladies and gentlemen, have been accepted into a Master’s program in Boston.  Cue epic exhale.

After getting rejected from seven Ph.D programs and then from many many jobs, it felt so wonderful to be accepted into something.  I made the usual round of calls (and texts) to close family and friends and let everyone in on the good news.  But after hanging up the phone, grabbing a hard cider (at 10am) and having a celebratory drink with myself,  it dawned on me that nothing is different.  I mean, it’s nice to be able to say I’m a grad student when asked by strangers and new acquaintances “What do you do?”, but truthfully that doesn’t mean jack shit.  I am still a retail slave and with the addition of school to my overflowing plate, I will have even fewer hours to work, essentially making me broker than I currently am.

But somehow I’m fine with all this.  I’m pursuing a master’s in education and the end result will (hopefully!) be a full time teaching position.  But I won’t graduate until spring ’13 and that means no real job until then.  It dawned on me that with the good comes the bad.  In the next year and a half I will be a student full time, with even less time than I currently have to see family and friends.  But I’m counting on being gainfully employed somewhat soon as worth it.   I’ve become a tightrope walker, with the hope that I’m able to balance being a full time student with working as a mindless retail slave.  The fine frayed wire that I am balancing on will have to support me for the next year and a half.  As excited as I am, I’m also frightened.  This is a huge step and one that make me nervous, for the first time in a very long time.  Remember that rush we used to get when a crush talked to us?  That’s how I’m feeling right now.  Like I’m on the verge of discovering a new relationship (with myself).  I’m just terrified that I’m going to wear myself down and spread myself too thin.  But only time will be able to tell with that worry.  Like my mom says “You want something done, ask the busiest person you know” and hopefully I’ll be so busy I’ll be scheduling when I can sleep.

On a somewhat twisted note, the same day I found out I’m now a real life graduate student, I also worked 18 hours straight.  Jealous?  I believe most of those hours were spent folding panties at Hell’s Enigma.   I worked from 11am-4pm at job #1, and then from 5pm-6am (no, that’s not a typo), I was helping last minute holiday shoppers pick out bra and panty sets.  I think my night would have ended horribly if I hadn’t been floating on my acceptance high, but that’s when it occurred to me that this is still going to be my life for the next year and a half.  Yes, I am a certified panty folder, and there’s nothing you can do to keep me from measuring you for your bra size.  But during my 15 minute breaks you’ll see me catching up on my child psychology.

And of course, none of this is complete without a sentimental memory.  This summer I was offered a job at a finance firm (where I’d have no salary and my entire paycheck would be based on commission) and the night before my final interview I was texting back and forth with a fraquaintance (more than a friend, but doesn’t truly know you, on like…an everyday level).  I confessed my fear that I wouldn’t get the job and he quickly replied to me that he was sure that no matter what I did, I’d be just fine.  He told me I was something different and if I put my mind to something, I’d get it done right.  Maybe in my own way, but eventually it would get done.  His faith in me made me turn down the job.  He didn’t (and still doesn’t) know me as well as other people, but something about the fact that someone outside of my close group of friends saw a spark in me made me realize that I should only do what I want to do and to make sure that I do that thing well.  I focused on what I wanted instead.  And  I’m happier for it.  Truth be told, I would have been 100% miserable in a sales job.  So I’d like to thank that person.  Just when I was about to stumble off my frayed wire, he propped me back up.  So, Mr. Tightrope (that’s your new name), thanks!

On an unrelated note, my dad (who is my facebook friend!) decided to dislike about ten things on my wall today.  He commented on about 5 pictures with the word “Dislike” and then proceeded to explain other things he didn’t like with whole sentences.  Apparently no matter how high you are on your accepted-into-a-graduate-program horse, your father can still dislike everything on your facebook, including a profile picture.  Thanks, Dad!

Apparently my father "dislikes" this...

Checking account: $499

Check to deposit: $44

Money to collect from paper writitng: $235

Today’s Expenses:

Sushi Lunch Special: $8.50

Gas (Filled up tank): $32

Good Night’s Sleep to Look Forward To: 1

Days Until Christmas (aka, no retail slave work): 3

P.S.  Happy Channukah to my Jewish Readers!!!  Challah!!! (get it!, it’s like holla’…*knee slap*)



Everyone tells you that your 20s are the best years of your life.  To those people, I say “Duh!”.  I’d like to think we are at our most fabulous, the world is our oyster, and many of those monumental moments are waiting to be shutter snapped.  At the same time, this is the time that our parents are getting older, friends are moving farther away, and disappointments seem to amplify.

My best friend, let’s call her The Artist, recently got engaged to her long time boyfriend, The Engineer,  I can’t remember exactly when they got engaged, but I want to say it was sometime in August…maybe July (yes, I’m a tad aloof).  Anyway, I have the immense honour of being the maid of honour and I can’t be more excited to help them plan, prepare, and manage this wedding.  These two people are the siblings I never had, taking me in when I was upset and showering me with the kind of love only a family member could give you.

And this weekend was supposed to be a very fun carefree weekend.  The Artist has already picked out her wedding dress, which I missed as she did it rather quickly.  So I took the whole weekend off to get together with her and our other best friend, who we’ll call Wubby (she’s my wife/hubby) and we were going to try on bridesmaid dresses, go out for drinks, and have a generally girlie weekend.

But tragedy struck.  The Engineer’s grandmother ended up in the hospital and Wubby got pretty sick.  I still went with The Artist and her younger sister to try on dresses, but it just wasn’t the same.  I could tell that The Artist’s mind was elsewhere, probably with her fiance and his grandmother at the hospital.  Since Friday, the grandmother has been transported to a hospice and it is only a matter of time before things take a turn for the worse(er).  That made me realize that this decade of youth, glamour, life, and experience, these “20s”, are also the most bittersweet point in our lives.  As we get older, so do our parents and grandparents and it’s only a matter of time before many of the people we love so dearly slip away from us.  The Engineer’s grandmother has lived a very long life, filled with family who adore her, but my heart goes out to my friend.  At a time when he should be the happiest (he’s marrying the love of his life and he gets to share that moment with all the people who love him) he is also dealing with the gloom of loosing a beloved grandmother.  There’s a high likelihood she won’t be there to see him get married and start out into the world on his own.  Or start a family.

I don’t really know what else to say.  I’m very bad with the idea of death.  And by bad I mean that I try to rationalize it and remove myself as much as possible.  I have two very elderly grandmothers (the oldest is 94) and I’ve sort of come to terms with the fact that they won’t be around forever.  I’m almost certain I won’t have any grandparents there to see me get married (I’m in a relationship, but it’s not as serious as marriage at this point) and I’m more than certain that neither of my grandparents will ever see my children.  I can only imagine how much harder it is for The Engineer being that the wedding is only 10 months away and his grandmother is so close to seeing it happen.

It’s bittersweet and at the same time breathtakingly beautiful.  Not the death, but how much The Engineer’s family loves the grandmother and how close they are.  So what are we to do, when we are so young, bursting to make our lives exciting and filled with joy, but we see our parents getting shorter, walking slower, taking more medication?  I know I hug my parents and my grandparents a little tighter each time I see them, thoroughly fearing this may be the last time I get a big warm hug and a smacking kiss on my cheek.  What I will suggest to The Artist and The Engineer is having a special day with the grandmother.  Maybe it’s possible to have a civil ceremony in the hospice, so she will be able to see a marriage before it’s too late.  Maybe just have it between her and the couple.  A special secret between the three of you.  Because let’s face it: old people love feeling special and they love secrets.  Secrets they can gossip to the rest of the family about.

To my artist and my engineer, I love you guys.  My heart goes out to you.

And to the rest of my readers: This holiday season give the old people a big hug.  You know you want to.

Num Nums for Your Tum Tums

Here’s that promised chocolate chip cookie recipe that I had promised you all.  I made some and am now plopped in front of my tv stuffing them into my face.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine (1 stick) softened

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) In a bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

2) In separate bowl, mix butter, brown and granulated sugar.

3) Beat in egg and vanilla, then add flour mixture to the bowl with the sugar mixture.

4) Add chocolate chips.  Mix well.

5a) (If you are not a perfectionist, like yours truly) Plop dough onto baking sheet haphazardly and hope for the best.  Then shove into the oven for 10-12 minutes.

5b) (If you are a perfectionist)  Put one tablespoon scoops of dough onto the baking sheet, placing the scoops 2 inches apart.  Then gently place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Check cookies at 8 minutes just to make sure nothing is going wrong.  Then check obsessively every 30 seconds after.

6) Take sheet out of oven and use metal spatula to remove from baking sheet.

7) Place on a cooking rack or shove directly into your mouth.  Feel the satisfaction of melty chocolate scalding your taste buds.

8) Wash down with giant glass of milk.  Or eggnog.  Or eggnog with brandy.  Whatever floats your boat.

Poor People Porn

I'm broke as shit, but I can still dream about warm, melty, chocolate cookies splayed out before me.