Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Your blog-goddess regrets her unexpected absence. We will return to our regularly-scheduled blogging tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Yuppie Wars

Blah blah blah been travelin' blah blee.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way: hello, Internet! Miss me?

Things have been v. hectic in the HomeValley world, though lovely. I have been on the road a lot. I have been trying to get organized with the wedding. I have been attempting to study for the damn GMATs. And also, an actual writer's conference! In New York! In which I took a personal day from my ever-demanding role in Corporate America, and indulged my creative sensibilities.

(And swooned for Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End, the best book in the history of the fucking world if a certain panel is to be believed.)

(Then I bought the book. And I'm only a few chapters in, but yes, fine, Panel, it is awesome. It's about Corporate America, and it's biting and hilarious. Go read it, and then, for the love of God, can we please have our book club finally? Man, you guys are killing me.)

And... next topic.

I have noticed an alarming new trend in the things that J and bicker about.

It all started with the reusable grocery bags.

"I am telling you, Melis!" J says definitively. "I will not use them! I take my lunch to work every day in a plastic bag. I need the plastic bags."

"My God! I will get you a lunch bag!" I huff.

"I am not using a lunch bag! I won't!" J growls, disgusted.

The indignity of a lunch bag. Egregious!

Then, it was the white bread.

"What the hell is this in the cupboard, J? Is this white bread? You had no right! There is no nutritional value in this shit! My God, are you crazy? Where is the fiber, J? The fiber!"

Then, I did the grocery shopping (with resuable, environmentally-friendly canvas bags).

Via text message: "Fiber and flax seed bread? This means war, HV!"

Then, we went bike riding on Saturday, on a trail, donning our practical helmets and tiny back-pack full of provisions.

Eight miles in: "J! It is only another 7.5 miles to Valley Forge! We can do this, babe. Man up! We are strong!"

Thirty miles and three hours later, we wanted to die.




Monday, April 14, 2008

The Depths of Despair

Holy God - I am in hell.

I am sitting in an office in Dublin, Ohio, with two phones beeping angrily at me. I am on hold at H & R Block, desperately trying to get an appointment there for this evening. Oh, I had an appointment there last week, and I went, and I had my state taxes done.

Seventy-five dollars later, my taxes are completely, utterly WRONG.

So, New York? This is how you want to play it? $500 for speeding, and then this horrendous tax situation. (In which, my company kept me as a New York employee after I relocated to Philadelphia. My state taxes were taken out incorrectly, and nothing was taken out for Philadelphia's egregious city wage tax. Then, hilarity ensued.)

The End.

P.S. I hate everyone. And if you think I am not drinking heavily tonight, you'd be wrong. Cheers.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Toots and Big Guy

So J calls me "Toots" when he is exasperated with my antics. You know, when I've done a bad thing. Like, I don't know, $500 speeding ticket?

There is a lot of "Toots" going around these days at the HomeValley Ranch.

In this hell of my own making, I am investigating "Points Reduction" classes in Manhattan. And... e-mail:

From: J
To: Toots

Summarize the deal here. Will the points and the added $300 fine go away if you go to a one day class?

From: Toots
To: J

No... "up to" 4 points would go away, and you get a certificate that allows for 10% off your car insurance. It may help me/us if I switch insurance, so I am willing to go.

I have to pay the $300 no matter what... and the class costs $70 and 6 hours of my life.

From: J
To: Toots

How can you get 6 points for one violation? Were you going 120?

From: Toots
To: J

You would think, wouldn't you??? I was going 86.

From: J
To: Toots

Who drives at 86 miles per hour. You made it sound like I did what you did all the time. I don’t drive at 86 mph there toots. This is a big mess you got yourself into.

From: Toots
To: J

That just cost you any love I was going to give you when you get home. Boo.

From: J
To: Toots

Is that how you spell toots?

From: Toots
To: J


From: J
To: Toots

Well then how do you spell it?

From: Toots
To: J

I think that is close enough.


From: Toots
To: Big Guy

Well, [my co-worker who's identity must be protected], thought all rental cars just automatically had EZ Pass... And she got a million dollars in tickets. That is a mess. This was one silly violation! Which you will have to get over, "big guy" (that is the new "toots")... Because this may affect our insurance and I can't marry you if you are going to make me feel guilty for the rest of our lives.

Fondly, your-once-excited-to-see-you-wife-who-is-now-on-the-defensive-because-you-gave- her-an-undue-lecture-when-she-was-only-trying-to-do-things-to-ameliorate-the-situation-but-you-couldn't-just-bite-your-tongue-and-now-you-will-pay-later,


Edited to add:

J just arrived home and commenced hugging me. Then, he gave me a kiss and said, "Babe, I couldn't get home fast enough to see you. I drove, like, 86 miles per hour to get here."

It's going to be a long life.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

All Zen-Like

You should know that whilst I am busy trying to be all serene and relaxed and optimistic, things really aren't going my way this week.

I picked up a little piece of mail from the New York State DMV at my mama's house the other night, with a little love note, saying that I now owe them $300 based on the number of points I incurred for my speeding violation. This $300 is in addition to any fines applied by Brutus Township.

So, a $500 speeding ticket.

I'm not gonna lie to you, Internet: I cried. Who else gets $500 speeding tickets? On big empty highways in Upstate New York?

Enter: Monday morning. I race drive the speed limit the entire way to the airport (um, I am not kidding. I am never driving over the speed limit again in this lifetime EVER), bound for Boston. When I arrive at B Terminal parking, both entrances are closed. Assuming the lot is full, I bear right into what I think is the A Terminal, but is actual super short-term parking, which costs more than double the normal rate.

Annoyed, I leave the lot and make my way back around the airport once again, only to find that B Terminal Parking is now open, but the line is waaayyy long. I sneak into C Terminal parking and make my way to ticketing.

Confusion! I am booked on a United flight to Boston, operated by US Airways. I have to ask two attendants what the protocol is for ticketing, and I finally make it into the check-in line.

Alas, I have missed the 45-minute window and cannot check my bag for my 7:15 AM flight. I either throw away all of my Fekkai hair products, or take the 8:15 flight.

Naturally, I book the 8:15. Do I look like a girl who can (a) afford to be without quality hair products, or (b) afford to buy any more quality hair products because hell, I just got a $500 speeding ticket?!?!

All of this breathtaking stupidity on my part is exhausting. I pass out on the plane, and am roughly shaken awake by the flight attendant to put my damn seat back up already! We are landing!

Once in Boston, I buy a fully caffeinated cup of joe. You get it.

The caffeine works. I am fully productive, presenting at meetings at getting things accomplished. I even order sushi from the restaurant across the street from my hotel and pick it up on my way to the Springhill Suites.

"Hi, Melissa," says the front desk clerk when I arrive, as I stay here quite often. Then she looks at my oddly.

"We don't have you booked here until April 28th."

Oh. Fuck.

I am actually booked at the Marriott. Yes, I went to the wrong hotel. Luckily the doll at Springhill has a room for me, and calls the Marriott to explain the situation. I retreat to my suite and gorge myself on vegetable maki. Then I drag myself to the gym; and for the first time ever, the pool.

Ten-year old Janella joins me as I am jogging back and forth in the three-foot section.

"What are you doing?" She asks.

"Im exercising. I've got a wedding coming up in July, and I need to get in shape."

"Oh," she says. "Well, I'll do it with you."

That is how Janella and I become fast friends, jogging back and forth in the three-foot section of the indoor pool. She even makes up some exercises of her own ("let's hop!") and tells me all about her family, her travels, and how her fourteen year-old sister never wants to play with her.

A little after nine, I tell her I must get back upstairs.

"OK. Well, are you gonna be here tomorrow night?"

Ah, new friends.

Friday, April 04, 2008

At Wit's End

"Better to just say yes than to piss anyone off."
-J, future loving husband

Remember the days when we were planning a small wedding? Remember after that, when it all spiraled out of control?

I just hope the resort can accommodate 894997 people at our reception.

This morning I am dangerously close to emailing Miss Manners. I know it is destination. Dudes, I know. But then I think, why did I bother sending out invitations? As everyone just invites whomever they want to come along?


Paybacks are a bitch, mah people. From now on, you'll get me, J, Grace or possibly the Real JC if you dare invite me to a wedding. What, it isn't okay if Grace comes? Pardon? If you wanted the Real JC there, you would have invited him? Oh! Well, too bad.

Possibly you will have more balls than me, and can tell me NO in no uncertain terms. Maybe you will ascribe to the J philosophy.

In any event: RIP, Decorum. RIP.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Ode to Howser

Yesterday, I was quite dejected.

It was raining. I was working. I was bored. During lunch, I finished a most decidedly not-at-all funny "humorous" novel, which made me irrationally angry. Then I traveled to the grocery store and forgot the new canvas grocery bags I had bought just days prior. Because I, Melissa P. HomeValley, am a friend to the environment. And also: a moron.

I realized I had forgotten the bags when I rolled through the check-out line, and then I proceeded to berate myself, because LO - HV, you are dumb! And then all of the dumb things I have done lately came spewing from my memory:
  • Like, the time in December I got that damn traffic ticket for gliding through a yellow light! Then went to traffic court, and paid $117.50 to the city of Philadelphia!
  • Or, that time in February when I was coming out of the White Plains parking garage, and hanging up my mobile phone, and subsequently crashing my driver's side mirror into the speaker by the exit! Then I paid what felt like 89893 dollars to the Nissan dealership, and still haven't gotten the damn mirror cap replaced, because I can't quite face the total cost of the repair. I'm too raw.
  • But wait! In March, when I was cruising down I-90 in Rochester, New York? And then I thought it might be nice to get back to my Syracuse hotel a bit early? So maybe I will just speed up a little, here in good old Brutus Township? Brutus Township to HomeValley: No, moron. No, you actually won't speed in our town without a hefty fine.

And that brings us to "dejected." I returned home. I found J in the office.

"What's wrong?" He asked, upon seeing my expression.

"I forgot the grocery bags! And the Stouffer's Mac and Cheese now has 20 grams of fat and 480 calories, and I know it used to be 380 calories, and now we can never eat it again and that's probably why I am chubby!"

(What reasons are there to go on without the Stouffer's?!?!)

Well, there is CBS.

And How I Met Your Mother.

And Neil Patrick Harris.

The blue computer screen?

The blinking cursor?

The strains of a familiar theme song?

The contemplative head tilt?

Bravo, HIMYM. Bravo.

I shan't recap here; just know that Harris's character, Barney Stinson, goes through an existential crisis, then concludes - in the most brilliant fashion ever - that he is awesome.

And so am I, mostly. Though I probably shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.