Thursday, March 31, 2011


It's not like I thought quitting smoking was going to be easy - I'm not a moron.  But I had absolutely NO IDEA just how hard it would be.  I'm on day 2 and I feel like a crazy emotional mess.  I can't use the patch, I can't chew the gum, so I'm left with the old-fashioned way.  Cold turkey.  And after smoking a pack a day for almost 17 years, that is not going to work.

So I called my doctor and am waiting for him to get back to me.  One thing is for sure - I am quitting smoking.  I'm even more determined now than I was before, due to the fact that I hate losing.  I refuse to allow this to get the better of me.  My method has to change, but the end goal is still the same.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tonight is my last night of smoking.  

My original plan was to just stop.  No patch, no gum.  Then I thought that seeing as the patch was available and would make it easier, why not?  So I googled all sorts of info about the patch.  There was a little blurb about how if you're taking medication for depression to call your doctor.  I'm not taking medication for depression, but I am taking medication for anxiety, which also happens to be used as an anti-depressant for some people.  So I went to CVS and it turns out that I can't use the patch without my doctor adjusting my meds or something.  So back to the original plan!  Of course I'm still worried that I'll blow it, but I'm kind of looking forward to the challenge of it.  And the extra money ($200 a month) I'll have as a result of not buying cigarettes.  

My dad smoked Lucky Strike non-filters like a chimney for close to 40 years.  One day he just stopped, cold turkey.  I pray to god that I inherited his willpower. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


This one is going to be short because I'm exhausted.  
It was a great weekend with Danny and BA in Li'l Rhody.  We ate, drank, and built a garden.  Hopefully the next time I get up there the peas we planted will be sprouting.  It should also be a little warmer, which will be nice.
For now I'm content with cuddling with the super sleepy pug (it was a very stressful weekend for her, being bullied by her sister) and enjoying my Monday off.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Day 2 started out with cinnamon buns from a tube.  We needed a good breakfast because we had a lot to accomplish today.  We were building a gardening bed for the backyard.  There's already one bed, so the method was already established, making things a little easier.  
While we were out shopping for lumber and seeds, we stopped at Christmas Tree Shoppes and Michael's to buy the makings of a very special project that will make an appearance in the summer.  All you need to know right now is that it's awesome, and you'll love it.
BA and I also picked up some yarn and knitting needles for me because she is going to teach me how to knit.  Since I'm quitting smoking on Wednesday, BA figured it would be good to find something to keep my hands and my mind busy.  The yarn is really pretty, we just have to hope I don't screw it up.
Last but not least, when we got here we found out (well Danny and I did, BA already knew) that it was Newport Restaurant Week.  We were very excited to try one of the crazy expensive restaurants that we would otherwise never go to that happened to be participating.  Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), all those restaurants were "fully committed" for tonight.  We ended up going to a place called the Speakeasy Bar and Grill.  We had Portuguese Mac and Cheese (with chorizo!), Lobster Fritters, and pizza with lobster and truffle cream for appetizers.  The mac and cheese and fritters were amazing but the pizza was a little too truffle-y.  Then there was Filet Mignon with Stilton Butter, Pork Chops with Mushroom Demi-Glace, and Shrimp and Scallop Scampi for entrees.  Again, 2 out of 3 were fantastic (the scampi was not).
I'm stuffed and exhausted, but we've had a great time and actually accomplished quite a bit this weekend.  I also learned that if you need something fixed, just give Danny some electrical tape and he'll take care of it for you.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This morning I hopped on the train for the first leg of the journey to Zuckerland North.  BA and Danny picked me up in Brooklyn, and off we went.  
The first thing I have to say is that it was very nice to not have to drive.  I lounged in the back with a couple of comfy pillows and even dozed off for a bit, which Danny apparently caught on film.  When I woke up, we were getting off the highway and driving through Kingston.  Not bad at all.

We went in through Newport this time because we wanted to stop for chowder at the Black Pearl.  Conveniently, the Aquidneck Lobster Company is right there also, so we picked up Pinchy for dinner.  After the world's best chowder and grabbing some wine and other dinner fixins, we decided to take the traditional drive down the Esplanade.  For those of you in attendance at the Zuckerland nuptials, this may look familiar to you.

Then we took Danny to see the Purgatory Chasm (ask him about it, the word "crevasse" will most likely be used) and headed to the house.  We watched some TV and had some snacks and then the main course was served.

All in all, it was a very good first day.  Stay tuned for more briny adventures tomorrow!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tomorrow morning, Sister Sassy, Lugo Lounge, and myself are heading to Zuckerland North!  It's just a weekend trip, but I'm really looking forward to it.  Chowder!  Ocean!  Donuts!
I took a half day today so I could get packed up and drop off the wonderpug at my parents' house for the weekend.  Just because they don't have any grandchildren doesn't mean they are exempt from babysitting while I go away.  I miss the little pugger already, because I'm a crazy dog person.  There's worse things to be.
Hopefully the Forced Marchers will be blogging a play-by-play of our wonderful weekend.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It's official. 
I've run out of things to blog about.
22 days is a pretty good run though, right?  So I'm not feeling too bad about posting some cute Sadie pics to get through today.

Before dinner:

After dinner:

Monday, March 21, 2011


There's a new guy downstairs who is apparently a lawyer.  He's quiet and friendly, but he has a few strange habits.  The only reason I know of these habits is because despite the fact that we live in a pre-war building, the walls are pretty thin.  You can hear pretty much everything. 
In his short time here I have learned that he loves to sing (badly) in his bedroom around 11 o'clock at night.  He also has a keyboard that he sometimes plays when he sings.  We're talking an old school Casio kind of keyboard, at least that's what it sounds like.  

The other thing that he loves?  JESUS.
When he moved in my super came to me immediately to tell me he thought that he was scary because he had some kind of makeshift pulpit set up with the Bible displayed proudly.  And then when the singing started, I realized they were hymns.  
Like I said, he's a nice guy.  And I don't know what it says about me (and my super) that we are both so freaked out by the ultra-religious dude downstairs.  It's not like he's a serial killer or anything.  Maybe if I lived in the south this wouldn't be so weird to me?

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I really do.  St. Patrick's Day parades, specifically.  Bagpipes, fifes, and drums?  LOVE them.  I may have missed the Newport parade, but I went to the lovely hamlet of Pearl River, NY for the Rockland County parade today.  After NYC's, this is the second largest parade in NY.  It was quite impressive for such a small town.  But this small town is overflowing with Irish people.  And men in skirts!

The bagpipes were followed by corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, and Rockland Bakery rolls.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


I'd like to think that I spent today resting up for giant-moon watching.  But in reality, I just sat around doing nothing, unless you count watching Miami Vice season 1 as doing something.  Crockett and Tubbs really are just as awesome now as they were 25 years ago.  I was worried it might not hold up, but boy did it ever.  Michael Mann was good.  Now I just have to wait for Netflix to send me the next disc and no one will see me for a few days again.
The weekend wasn't a total nothing-fest.  Last night I watched the Devils play miserably and eventually lose to the Capitals.  It was good to see Ovechkin* skate and the Devils did wear their old red and green (affectionately known as "Christmas uni's) uniforms, which I loved.  And tomorrow is a Larkin Fest.  My Aunt Kathy has a St. Patrick's Day party every year on the day of the Rockland county parade, which is the second biggest after the NYC parade.  When she invited me this year, she told me it was a tradition.  I'm 34 years old and this is the first I'm hearing of it.  Such is the plight of being part of the NJ branch of the family.

* for those who don't know (or care), Ovechkin is a ridiculously good hockey player.  Ridiculously good.  He's the closest thing to Gretzky the game has these days.

Friday, March 18, 2011


What follows is a typical conversation at my office.  All you really need to know is that it's pretty casual, and no bosses get here until at least ten.  

Me: I'm gonna go paint my toenails.


Me: No, it's open-toe shoe season!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I feel like I'm shaming my Irish heritage today.  With the exception of wearing green, I have done nothing that would be considered traditional today.
I'm not going out drinking (it's a school night, and I'm old!) and I did not cook corned beef and cabbage, even though I love it.  I don't have a crock pot big enough to fit everything in and if I started when I got home from work, I wouldn't eat until 10 o'clock.  Basically, I'm not feeling very festive.  Maybe this weekend I'll get loaded and eat corned beef?  
Also, I have chosen a NO MORE SMOKING!!! deadline.  March 30th is it.  In the meantime, I've started trying to cut down to maybe make it a little easier when the time comes.  Of course this doesn't mean that I won't still be an awful bitch to be around for a while.  I wouldn't want anyone to get their hopes up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


When I woke up this morning, I had a moment of clarity.  I don't want to smoke anymore.  

So I'm going to quit.  

I need to pick a day over the next 2 weeks and that'll be that.  It's going to be hard (I've smoked for 16 years), but it's time.  It's expensive, it's bad for me, it makes me and my apartment smell, and it can't be good for the wonder-pug to be around.  I'm going to need a lot of help and encouragement, as well as patience, from my friends.  I'm worried that I won't be able to do it. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'd like to start this post off with a self-congratulatory pat on the back.  I have now blogged for 15 straight days.  Yay me!  And let me tell you, it has not been easy.  The fact that I am a crazy competitive weirdo is the main reason that I have been so diligent about this.  I might not win (it's a competition, right?), but I will not lose.  
I'd like to think that Forced March will lead to me blogging with more frequency, but something tells me that I might need some time off after 31 days of talking about me (and my dog).  Anyone who's been reading this will probably want some time off from hearing about me.

Random thought for today: Man on Fire is such a good movie.  If I ever get kidnapped, somebody call Denzel.


Monday, March 14, 2011


It's amazing how an extra hour of daylight can affect me (and many others).  The prospect of winter ending and spring/summer beginning has put me in an unusually good mood.  Yes, it's pitch black when I wake up, but who cares?  I'm not doing anything but going to work then anyway. 
My good mood might also be due to the fact that my kitchen clock is right for the first time since September.
To celebrate, here is a picture of the wonder-pug, staring into the sun:

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The weekend started out looking pretty grim.  I hadn't eaten food since Tuesday and it wasn't looking like I was going to any time soon.  But then, a miracle!
I was in Upper Montclair returning a pair of jeans (they were too big, huzzah!) when I was overcome by the smell of burger.  Having not eaten anything other than a bagel in 4 days, I think I may have actually started to drool a little.  And I decided fuck it.  I wanted a burger, consequences be damned.  And there were no consequences!  Despite not being able to even eat a plain bagel without getting sick, I somehow managed to stomach a grease-bomb from Five Guys.
So the weekend ended up being better than I thought.  All because of a cheeseburger. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011


One of the main reasons I moved to Montclair (and my apartment specifically) was it's proximity to the train.  Even though I'm only 12 miles from the city, that 12 miles can often take an hour with traffic and cost a lot of money with bridges and tunnels.  As it is now, I walk across the street and pay 11 bucks, and I'm in the city in a half hour without any hassle.  One thing I never expected was how much I would grow to love the sound of the train, it's rumbling and vibration and the train horn itself.
When I moved here, there was already an ordinance in place that prohibited any train horns between 7 pm and 7 am.  Recently, the town adopted an ordinance making it a "Quiet Zone".  This means any train horns at any time are not allowed.  Ignoring the obvious safety issues that may come with this, it bothers me because I miss that sound.  There was something oddly comforting about it.  
I moved here knowing full well that there was no shortage of snooty, entitled a-holes.  But this is what they decided to focus time and energy on?  If you don't want to hear trains, why move to a place that has had them for years?
Every now and again some rogue conductor comes through, blasting the horn with reckless abandon.  I love that guy for two reasons.  First, because I miss the hell out of that sound.  Second, because you know some uptight jackass is furious about their peace and quiet being disturbed.  I just can't figure which reason makes me smile more.

Friday, March 11, 2011


So I went to the doctor on Tuesday feeling as if a sinus infection or bronchitis was coming.  They told me I had a fever of 101 and gave me some antibiotics.  I walked out thinking this was good, the beginning of feeling better.  The best part was I didn't even feel that bad - I only went to the doctor because I have a pregnant co-worker and an 82 year old boss with basically no immunity.  I didn't want to be responsible for anyone else getting sick.
Tuesday night was the first dose of the antibiotics.  I haven't been able to eat food without getting sick since then.  And I still have to take this poison for one more day.  


Thursday, March 10, 2011


My mom always said if I didn't have bad luck I'd have none at all.  Once again, though it pains me to say, my mother was right.  

After making it through the height of winter and avoiding being sick, my immune system finally betrayed me.  Unfortunately, it chose a really shitty time to do so.  The 4th Annual Sisters St. Patrick's Day Spectacular has been canceled because I'm too sick!  It sucks and it pisses me off.  But my sister is being super understanding about it and we've rescheduled for next weekend.  Sure we'll miss the parade, but I bet there will still be sales.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Because I'm sick, and the medicine is making me feel worse, I feel like today is the perfect day to use my get out of blogging free card.  So please enjoy these pictures of Sadie while I go sleep some more.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I started to feel a little icky this morning at work - a cough and tight breathing and slightly feverish.  As you know, this coming weekend is very exciting (and tradition!!) for me, so I immediately made an appointment with the doctor.  Turns out I had a fever of 101 and swollen lymph nodes and my ear looked on its way to infected.  It seems I have the beginning of an upper respiratory or sinus infection.  So the doc gave me my Z-Pack and off I went to buy fluids.  Lots and lots of fluids.  I need to feel better, and it needs to be before Friday.

My hatred for icky co-worker has grown, immensely.  Because I am sick.  And it's her fault.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Random thoughts of the day:

If you're gonna sell tuna and you put relish in it, some goddamn signage indicating that would be super.  It's a bit of a shock when you bite into it expecting one thing and getting another.
My boss can't use his EZ Pass on the windshield because his Mercedes (la ti da) glass is bulletproof or something.  Poor rich people and their problems.
The Villanova basketball team is breaking my heart.
My co-worker announced today that she's pregnant.  Yay, other people's babies!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


My back hurts, I had to do laundry, and it's raining.  I'm basically just a bitchy bitch today.  The only thing that is making this day salvageable is the non-stop flow of Dexter.  Netflix saves the day!

And also, as to not be one-upped by Sassy:

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Saturday!  Finally, the weekend. And exactly one week until the 4th Annual Sisters St. Patrick's Day Spectacular.
You see, it all began 4 years ago when Sassy and I decided to go to Newport for the weekend and check out their annual parade.  Newport is full of Irish folk, so we figured it would be pretty bitchin', as Carlos Estevez would say.  We also intended to look for dresses for Sassy, for her upcoming Zuckerland nuptials.  While on the hunt for dresses, we discovered something that would make this a trip we would take every year - SALES.  Lots and lots of sales.
In Newport, they sort of consider the parade weekend as the official end of winter.  So all the stores get rid of their winter stock to make room for summer gear.  And they do this by marking everything down, drastically.  Most stores had 70% off, while one store we went to was selling everything in the place for $10.  Sassy picked up a dress there and we joked about how funny it would be if she wore a $10 wedding gown.  She didn't wear it, but who cares?  It was ten dollars!
We're both really looking forward to this weekend, and there may a special guest this year, depending on how brave (or stupid) I feel. 

Friday, March 4, 2011


I take competition very seriously.  It's not like I'm going to win a prize for blogging every day, but a challenge was presented, so I'm all in.  That being said, it's only day 4 and I am digging deep to find something to ramble on about.  If I'm flaming out now, you all are in for some serious garbage time for the next 27 days.
Now I know I'm going to lose some of you with the next sentence, but whatever.  I was telling Sassy last weekend that I finally stopped watching General Hospital* because it had gotten too ridiculous even for me (this is saying a lot).  James Franco's douchebaggery or not, I was done.  So now I just do what most crazy housewives in Texas do.  I read blogs about it to see just what kind of crap I'm missing.  And boy is there some serious crap.  Whether you watch or not, you must read this blog about GH.  It's hilarious, and the fact that a show that is this terrible is still on the air is mind-boggling.

* the only other person I know who even watched this crapfest was Heather.  She probably gave up too.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


So there's a new girl here at work.  She's only here twice a week for 10 hours total.  For the most part, I like new girl.  Except for a few things...
Since she started in October, I don't believe she's ever not been sick.  She has three young kids - I blame them.
She never covers her mouth when she coughs, which is all the damn time.
She doesn't wash her hands after using the bathroom (eew!  and don't ask how I know this.)
Now I don't consider myself to be some kind of Jack Nicholson when it comes to germs and neatness, but these things really freak me out.  It takes all I have in me not to yell "COVER YOUR MOUTH!!" every time I hear her cough.  I also need to buy stock in Airborne™ because I've been taking it like candy to try and not be infected by her.
Am I alone in being grossed out by these things?  Do I have some kind of low-level OCD?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


 I'm no media or pop culture expert (but she is!), but I have to talk about the crazy that is Charlie Sheen.
At first, I was disgusted that someone who is so obviously in the throes of some kind of mental breakdown was being exploited so gratuitously.  But then I thought, fuck it.  He's not being exploited, he's exploiting himself.  He is most certainly not a victim.  This is some crazy, hilarious (and yes, sometimes a little scary and disturbing) shit.  Is he serious?  Or is this some kind of joke he's playing on all of us with himself as the punchline? All I know is that the man is everywhere, and it seems that that's his choice.
Then this morning something happened that made me disgusted all over again.  I saw video of his children being taken away in the middle of the night.  His 23-month old sons, taken away in their little footie pajamas.  I'm not saying whether they should or shouldn't have been taken away from him; I just know that it's a horrible situation and that it's definitely not something that should have been immortalized by the paparazzi.  I forgot that this guy is not just some crazy d-bag who's impossible to look away from.  He's the father of 5 kids, 4 of whom are essentially babies.  I think we should all look away now.

On a lighter note, you might have noticed the blog looks a little different today.
Knowing absolutely nothing about html code or website building myself, sister sassy flew in to the rescue and jazzed this here blog up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have been instructed by my sister that I am required to blog every day for the entire month of March or spring will not come.  Thus begins Forced March.
I make no promises about the quality of these daily posts; my life just isn't that interesting.  It's pretty much a guarantee that at least one day will be an adorable pug pic and nothing more.  But I do appreciate the swift kick in my blogging (or non-blogging, as it seems) ass.  So let's start with my most recent foray into the world of Montclair food, shall we?
My father had spotted a restaurant named Saveur Creole the last time he was in town.  He decided that we must go immediately.  So following his afternoon movie date with my brother, he came to town for a dinner date with me.  We met at 5:30 (he's retired and old) and were of course the first people there.  I had never had Haitian food before so I was a little concerned about how spicy it would be.  I had the Chicken Etouffee, and it was amazing.

That only leaves about 50 other restaurants I need to try.  Maybe I could just eat my way through town and blog about that?  

*Update - I figured I should include a list of the Forced March participants, so here they are:
Nick (he has 2)