Monthly Archives: November 2012

On Winning the Lottery…

I made my Powerball picks, although I have no intention of actually buying a ticket. Adam said he’d run out and buy a ticket with my numbers, but didn’t have any cash, so I told him I had a few dollars in my wallet.

Me: I’ll even split my winnings with you.

Him: I think you have to. We’re married.

Me: Hm, well.

Him: If you win, would you dump me and find someone hotter than me?

Me: No. He probably wouldn’t do the dishes.

Him: You could pay someone to do the dishes.

Me: Oh yeah!

Him: You would not be very good at being a lottery winner.


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The Blathering: I Went, I Saw, I… Well… I Survived.

So, the Blathering. I’m still, on the other side of the event, shocked that I not only signed up, but actually found a roommate, booked a flight, and went to New Orleans to spend the weekend with so many women I’d never met before. I’ve never been to any sort of blogging conference. The very thought of BlogHer gives me hives. (Well, if I got hives, which I don’t. So, metaphorical hives.) I will sometimes even get anxious about going to my friends’ Halloween party or our Superbowl Weekend/college reunion trip each year, because there are So! Many! People!, even though I know most of them.

Not gonna lie, the big group events were pretty difficult for me. I was anxious and uncomfortable and doubting this whole “find your people” thing. Actually, I was doubting that had any people.  My natural instinct was to go find a corner of the room in hide. Not because anyone wasn’t nice or welcoming…  everyone was nice and welcoming…  but because I just didn’t know how to go up to a group and insert myself into the conversation without feeling like an intruder. No one made me feel like I didn’t belong, except myself. It was really tough and I spent most of my time just hovering around other people’s conversations awkwardly or walking around and between groups aimlessly trying to look like I wasn’t completely terrified. If you’d asked me while I was at these big group events if I’d go back next year, I’d probably say no, simply because being with so many people was so exhausting and stressful I couldn’t imagine doing that again. Sixty people is a lot of people, more than I realized, especially since I’d only met two in person before and only known about 1/3 of the group before signing up. (Again, amazing that I signed up in the first place.) I spent much of the weekend feeling very overwhelmed and had to take some breaks from all the activities for some alone time just to regroup.
But then, there were these moments throughout the weekend that I keep thinking back on and smiling. Moments where it wasn’t me vs. a huge group of strangers, but where it was me and a couple of friends (old and new) just hanging out.

There was the Friday brunch, where Emily and I ended up at a table full of women I didn’t know and it turns out our table was THE best. (Sorry people at other tables, it’s true.) I swear, we laughed the most and the loudest and it was awesome.

There was Cafe Du Monde, where the delicious beignets and coffee were second to hanging out with fantastic group of ladies who were sweet enough to track me down and invite me to join them.

There were drinks at the Carousel bar, where I easily could have spent an entire afternoon sipping fabulous cocktails and chatting with these amazing and fun women.

There was Saturday night dinner where Kristie and Jess and I commiserated over the lackluster vegetarian offerings, but the conversation more than made up for it. (Not to mention Jess’s face when she realized she just bit into banana bread pudding. Hilarious.)

There was grabbing lunch and recapping the weekend with Caitlin at a small restaurant in a little alley on Sunday before heading to the airport together.

There was finally getting to meet in person (and hug!) women that I’ve “known” for years and confirming that they really are just that awesome.

I think I would go again, if only to be able to have more of those small moments. There were so many people I wanted to spend more time with (both those I already knew and those I’d met that weekend), but didn’t… partly because of the size of the group, partly because of our limited time there, but mostly because I was so anxious during the larger events. I don’t know that the big events would get easier for me the next time around, but I’m pretty sure they’d be worth it.


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Reflections on an Election…

The following is an excerpt from a post I wrote on my old blog just days after the 2004 election.  I wrote it from the prospective of someone who had voted for Kerry/Edwards (Edwards, you guys! How was he not better vetted?), but I think much of it is just as fitting, if not more so, today.  Just substitute “Republican” with “Democrat,” etc.

Remember we all voted for what we thought was the best for our country, we all voted for someone who wanted to serve his country and thought he was the best one for the job.  Remember it is an incredible privilege that we have as United States citizens to even have the opportunity to make the choices we do. And if you are a Democrat, remember how you felt that day in November 2004.

(Also, damn if I did not write a hell of a lot better back then when I wasn’t so self-censored.)

* * * * *

Generally, the mood in my various circles (friends, work, clinic) is depressed, with the exception of a few Republican friends, who, thankfully, are much too diplomatic to even mention their victory, let alone rub it in our faces. Not all Republicans are bad guys, believe it or not. Of course they attend a very liberal school in a very liberal city with very liberal friends, so they are (sadly in many ways) used to having to keep their views to themselves. But at a time when they have the votes to back up their gloating, they know how much this one hurts. Maybe it’s just that I’m too young (or new to politics) to remember, but this is the first presidential election I can think of where people really are afraid about what is going to happen to our country. In the past, people were of course disappointed when their candidate lost, but it seemed as though they were happy enough to think “We’ll get ’em next time,” and move on. Now, it’s almost as if we’re worried there won’t be a next time. Not so much in the sense that we’re not going to be around in 4 years (although, I’m thinking that’s much more a possibility now than ever before, regardless of who won on Tuesday), but that the country, driven by fear, is just becoming more and more conservative on all counts. The melting pot, the land of the free, the American dream… these phrases start to mean less and less when the parties becomes more divisive and casts out, literally and figuratively, those who don’t look, think, or believe the same as themselves.

But while I am concerned about what path our country will be taken down over the next four years, I’m also optimistic. The sheer number of people who came out to vote on Tuesday is astounding. People were willing to wait on line for hours on end, to stand up for their rights if they were initially turned away, to go out and drive voters to the polls. Voting became a family activity – parents brought young children to the polls to show them just how democracy works. First time voters showed up in droves, and walked out of the polls with huge smiles on their faces. In the swing states, this may have been driven by the knowledge that every vote really could make all the difference. But in the vast majority of states, where at least for the national elections their vote probably would not be the deciding one, people were still doing all they could to make their voices heard. This year, America realized that the right to vote, the right to choose those who govern us – to elect those we think will best represent us and remove from office those we believe are failing us – is the most fundamental right of all. Without the right to choose our representatives in government, we would have no way to protect those other rights to which we believe ourselves entitled.

We need to make sure this enthusiasm, this dedication, is alive next year. And the year after that, and the year after that. Even though next year is not a year of national elections, our votes still matter on the local level… change starts at home. Maybe we have a conservative, Republican president for the next four years, but in two years we can try to shift Congress back. We need to maintain the momentum of this year’s election and run with it. We cannot get bogged down by the fact that we lost this round, but we must start at the ground level, getting more Americans registered to vote, getting young people excited about the process and seeing that it is their future at stake, making sure people remember that change starts with them, and realizing just how far we really have come in the past four years. Without grassroots movements around the country, this year’s election would never have been as close as it was. The number of voters would have been the same as always, if not lower, because people would not have felt that their vote was important and their rights would be protected. The number of disenfranchised voters would have been even greater than in 2000. There would be nowhere near as much accountability as there was this year. We cannot take this election as a failure, but must take it for what it was worth – this year’s election was the most fair, and most representative of America, than any election in recent history. Maybe the result was not what we hoped and worked for, but the process was. Now we need to continue to ensure that the process only becomes more legitimate, and also work towards changing the future.

My call to you is this: Use your disappointment and anger, not to become disenchanted with the system or give up all hope, but to work towards a common goal of changing this country for the better. Keep up all that great energy and momentum that had been swelling through November 2 and foster it even more. We cannot become complacent. We cannot roll over and take it. We must go out in the world and make a difference – find a cause (or two, or several) you can get excited about and get others excited about it. Encourage others to do the same. Don’t just bitch about the current state of affairs; go out and make a difference.

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Blathering 2012 Vlog

I’m headed to New Orleans for the Blathering on Thursday and a few of the other attendees put together this questionnaire so those of us who haven’t met in person before can get to know each other a little better. The questions and my written answers follow after the video, for those of you who can’t or don’t want to watch the video. (It’s not a transcript, just a written version of the Q&A.)

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I desperately needed a distraction from all the stress and anxiety of law school. I missed my high school and college friends terribly, so it started as a way I could keep in touch with them now that we lived all over the place.  I used to blog several times a week, sometimes even multiple times a DAY, back then.  I didn’t keep all those posts when I moved my blog over to WordPress last year, but I did save them on my computer.

2. What’s your favorite TV show, now and of all-time?

Now: Parks and Recreation, Parenthood
All-time: Friends (I am fluent in speaking in Friends dialogue), West Wing

3. What’s your favorite adult beverage?

Margaritas! They are like grown-up lemonade, which is my favorite non-alcoholic beverage. (I really should have gone to the Blathering in Austin last year.)

 4. Who are you leaving at home? (Husband, kids, etc.)

My husband, Adam. But I don’t feel bad about it because he’s left me home while he’s traveled to: a baseball trip with friends to California, a baseball trip with his dad and brother to Florida, a bachelor party in Vegas, a work conference (that I swear is less work, more play) in San Francisco, and a four day concert event in NYC. All of these trips were THIS YEAR, people.

Okay, I feel a little bad, because it will be our anniversary weekend, but we’re going out to fancy dinner the Monday after I get back, which is our actual anniversary anyway.

5. What are your holiday plans? 

We’re having some college friends in the area over for Friendsgiving the weekend before Thanksgiving. We then drive up to Adam’s family in Connecticut early Thanksgiving morning and say there until Saturday morning. Then on Saturday morning, we drive to my parents in NY until Sunday. Then we drive home (which will suuuuuuuck with all the holiday traffic).

Adam’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so we do that with my family. Christmas Eve, my mom’s side of the family comes to my parents’  house for dinner.  My immediate family then does Christmas morning at my parents’ house, late morning/lunch at my dad’s parents’ house, and dinner at my mom’s sister’s house. I basically see everyone I’m related to in that 24 hours span and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. Where were you born?

Louisiana, actually. But we moved when I was really young and I’ve never been back.

My old firm’s website used to list where were born in our bios and I once got a call from a recruiter for a firm in Louisiana asking if I was interested in “coming back home.” Sorry, home is and always will be New York. (State, not city.)

7. Best vacation you’ve ever taken?

Vieques, PR. It is the best beach vacation you will ever take.  We went with a group of friends and it was just after a particular stressful period of my life and I NEEDED that trip. I just let everyone else plan everything and went along for the ride. (I also plan to do that in New Orleans… I’m just going to let others make the decisions and I’ll tag along.)

 8. Are you better in larger or small groups?

Smaller groups.  But not too small… one-on-one is much more intimidating than a group of four or five, where I can sort of ease my way into conversation. Too small, and I’m forced to show my awkwardness really early.

9. Three things the attendees might not know about you…

One: I made gift baskets during my Christmas breaks from college and can make a mean three-tiered fruit tower. My boss had very high standards and expectations, so I will point out all of the flaws in the sub-par ones you see in the standard grocery store.  (Also, don’t give fruit baskets as a holiday gift. Maybe a get-well-soon, but for the holidays? CHOCOLATE.)

Two: I am awesomely good at Tetris. I beat the game on a Nintendo DS while waiting to vote back in 2008. (30 levels, in case you’re wondering.) (Also, the Game Boy version didn’t actually have a top level to beat and I got to level 33 on that one as a teenager.)

Three: I’ve slipped on a banana peel not once, but twice, in my life. Both times, in school hallways. But I now have the ability to spot a banana peel on a sidewalk from far away. Once you’re on the lookout for them, you’d be surprised how often you come across them.

10. What book are you going to read on the plane to the Blathering?

I currently have The Art of Fielding out from the library, but it is a huge hardcover, so if I don’t have room I’ll just end up bringing a couple of magazines.  I also tend to just pass out on planes, so I probably won’t get much reading done anyway.

11. Share anything else you’d like to!

My twitter name (stefcia) is pronounced: steph-cha. It’s the Polish diminutive for Stephanie, which my great-grandmother used to call me as a kid. Completelyirrelevant was too long for twitter, so that’s what I came up with. I go by Steph or Stephanie interchangeably. I will introduce myself as “Stephanie,” but really have no preference between being called Steph or Stephanie… just not Stephie. *shudder*

And here’s a link to the accent vlog I did last year.

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