Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happiness

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It amazes me sometimes, that after all these years here on Earth I could still have so much to learn. Like how to whistle, how to cross my eyes, how to be happy. It seems like such a simple thing, and you say it as if it is so, "Happiness is a choice" and the conviction in your voice, the nonchalant shrug of your shoulders makes me ache, and believe you. But it makes me hurt and wish I was better at it, too. I see the way my childish hands fumble along the seems of love, and sew them crooked. Making a mess out of such beautiful fabric that was just given to me, handed over so freely. Something I wasn't sure I ever deserved. And as much as I adore it, hold it to my cheek to feel it's softness, brag about it all day long to those who possess nothing nearly as lovely, I tear it in the same breath. Fray it's silky edges and leave it tired, ragged. 
I wish I knew how to simply believe that what's golden doesn't always fade, and what's good doesn't always die, and what's soft and gentle and loving in every essence of the word, doesn't always disappear. 
I wish I knew how to believe that people don't always leave. 
But so far, you're the only proof I have. 
And my fear only pushes you away. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Then and Now



Then: I was 18, reckless, wild, foul mouthed, and thought life would always be the way it was then. 

Now: I am 24 and 1/2, mother of two, foul mouthed, and continuously surprised by how life can change in such a short period of time. 

Then on a Saturday night: I would get drunk, smoke too many cigarettes and hang out with dangerous people who made me feel exciting. Who satisfied my need for attention, adventure, and the belief that we never had to grow up. 

Now on a Saturday night: I hang out with my boyfriend after spending a whole day playing with my kids and cleaning my house. He makes me feel exciting, but safe and loved, and we fall asleep tangled up in each other's arms, after a long night of laughs, dinner, a couple drinks and some time on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a bag of iced circus cookies.

Then I lived: in a one bedroom apartment with three rooms total and a balcony where I spent most of my time partying.

Now I live: in the 'burbs, in a big house with high ceilings and a washer and dryer that I own. I take the trash out to the curb on Sunday night and drive a minivan.

Then I drank: Vodka. A lot and often.

Now I drink: Rum or Patron. Seldom and in much more moderation.

Then I was working: at American Express, coming into work at 12:30 in the afternoon in jeans and a concert tshirt, waiting for the day to end and my night to begin. 

Now for work: I get up at 6 in the morning, shower, do my hair and makeup, dress up in corporate clothes and sky high heels, and think about all the things I have to do that day. I start my day at work by checking emails and sipping a cup of scalding hot coffee.

Then I dated: selfish boys, who were handsome and dark, with narrow waists and loose hipped walks who would lie to me, buy me booze and tell me fairy tales about a future that was never to be.

Now I date: an unbelievably gorgeous MAN who kisses me hello, and tucks me in at night, and is always there for me, no matter what tries to come between us. 

Then I thought: that I would be 18 forever. That I would always maintain a wrinkle free face, the same metabolism and an invincible attitude. 

Now I think: that if I could succeed in loving one man for the rest of my life with all my heart, and raise two kids to be giving, loving, adventurous people, I will have succeeded in a way that so many people have wished to, but did not. And my life will have been lead with purpose. I will have lived a life uncommon, a life worth living. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Friday Diary-On Saturday

Hello world!
First off, I would like to say, ohholyfuck I missed blogging. Seriously. 
Next time I move, internet WILL be on in the new place before I move in. 
Lesson learned. Modern conveniences: 1 Sarah: 0

Anyway. 

What have I missed since I've been gone?!
Someone please clue me in on the goings on of the universe. 

Also, and probably more importantly, what have YOU missed in my life?! 
See how important I think I am?

You missed this:

We haven't brought out TV over yet, and we didn't have cable or internet anyway, so I've been listening to a TON of music. Right now this song has creeped into my bloodstream and won't get out:

Tiny Little Fractures by Snow Patrol on Grooveshark

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Thanks to Bill, and the fact that my new house is strategically located just down the street from Culvers, I now have a new addiction:
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Culvers, bitch. It beats In and Out burger, hands freaking down, especially if you add grilled onions and Thousand Island to it.
Although they don't call that Animal style, which makes it slightly less fun.

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On Sunday, we spent out very first night in our new house. It was scary.
The house isn't old, but it talks, like all houses do. Settling and creaking in the night, and making all kinds of fantastic noises that make me nearly pee the bed.
But we made the best of it, eating celebratory steak and mac and cheese for dinner

And enjoying nice hot baths in my new amazing bath tub:


Lainie and Jack were so tuckered out from moving, they both passed out promptly by 5:45 at night. 
Success. 
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For those of you who remember our co-sleeping struggles, you should be happy to hear that Jackson has been sleeping {most of the night} in his new big boy bed!!
Those blankets glow in the dark. 
Fantastic.
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On Thursday, after a very long and exhausting week of moving and entertaining kids without the aid of a TV or internet, I decided I deserved a little break.
So I threw myself a one man party:
Yes. I dipped my Oreos in Nutella. Judge me, I dare you. 
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I've also been reading a great deal. I read two books in one week, in fact. Dancer with Bruised Knees by Lynn McFall, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. 
I absolutely loved the former, and was just OK with the latter. 

All in all, it's been a long and tiring but ultimately really good week. 








Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Momisms: On Feeling Insufficient

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I doubt myself a lot when it comes to my kids. 
Am I doing the right things? Am I spending enough time with them? Holding them enough, kissing them enough, reading to them enough, loving and affirming them enough?
The answer is always no.
Their short childhoods are passing by so damn fast, and I feel like every day goes faster than the last until I am in a perpetual fast forward like the movie Click, which made me cry.
I question myself, second guess myself, doubt myself, and generally beat myself up over little, stupid and probably insignificant Mom things.
"Maybe I should have made sure Lainie's socks matched before I sent her off to school instead of letting her wear mismatched ones... Maybe I should have let Jackson play in the tub five minutes longer... Maybe I should've re-read that story for the 10th time... Maybe I should've left them to be raised by gorillas in the jungle, wearing loin cloths and swinging from friggin trees.... I have no idea what I'm doing."
It's endless.
I think self doubt in general is just standard for moms, because we are charged with ensuring that the lives, the future, the mental and emotional stability of other human beings, turns out right.
That's pretty huge.
I really can't think of being asked to do anything huger.
And to think I complain about having to do my boss' job at work all the time. Shit, at least if he turns out to be a stripper or a serial killer in 20 years, no one will blame that on me.
I also think that the environment in which we become moms can make us more or less prone to self doubt. To the negative talk. 
I remember when Jackson was just a wee babe and we were staying with my older sister after I'd split up with Jack's dad, and she seemed to have a problem with the way I did everything with the kids. Jack wasn't on a proper schedule, Lainie shouldn't be required to take naps anymore, Jackson was drinking too many bottles during the day, his eczema was the result of improper care, I shouldn't be bathing the children together, blah blah blah. I remember feeling like I absolutely never did anything right.
At one point I lost it, and said "You know you're not fucking perfect!" to which she replied, in 100% seriousness "No, but I'm pretty damn close."
I cried every single day.
There are times when I do something in a way I wouldn't normally do it, because I feel my sister's judgment and criticism. Her scrutiny. I remember that failure.

My son's aunt recently had a baby, and I had breakfast with them at iHop one Sunday morning when he was only two weeks old. I sat there holding him and feeling like a very in love aunt {even though he isn't technically my nephew}. I looked up at his mom and said "There's nothing you could ever call and confess to me about being a mom to which I will say 'No I can't relate to that at all' or consider you a terrible mother for." 
Obviously I didn't mean she was encouraged to give her baby crack or leave him on a bus with a homeless guy, but I meant those words. 
Moms need love, support, understanding, and to have someone they can call on the bad days and be like
 "Dude, my kids won't stop fighting, my oldest just asked me about the day she was born and I said I stole her from some lady in Target and now she won't stop crying, I set the stove on fire twice and I have no idea where my pants are. I'm pretty sure me and Britney Spears would have a lot in common right now."
We shouldn't feel afraid of judgment and ridicule or someone else's falls sense of superiority just because we're human and we make mistakes.
Being a mother doesn't make you infallible. It makes you fat, tired and slightly more psychotic.
And if anything, it makes you a hell of a lot more human than you were before you took this job. I mean, if it was meant to make you perfect then I doubt it would start out with drooling, vomiting and the acquisition of hemorrhoids.

If there is one thing I can tell you honestly about being a mom, it's that you're going to fuck up. You're going to make huge mistakes, even if you don't think so now, you will find out at some point in your child's life that you in fact didn't know everything. You will have days, weeks or months where you feel like you are the most unqualified person for this job in the whole history of ever, and you can't believe anyone left you in charge of little kids.
But you will soldier on.
You will hike up the yoga pants you've been wearing for 3 days and roll up the sleeves on the boob-stainy sweater you got at Ross 10 + years ago, and you'll do the work. You won't give up, you will get through it, and even on your darkest mommy-ing days, your kids could switch gears at any moment and melt your heart like they know they can.

And as long as you don't go careening through the neighborhood in your minivan on a field trip to the park afterwards, no one said you can't have a little hard liquor at snack time.

Just kidding.

Sort of. 

Would it be fair to say that as a parent, you’ve felt confused from time to time, possibly overwhelmed on occasion, even though you’re a wonderful mother? I know there have been many moments as a parent where I’ve felt I’ve made huge mistakes - mistakes that are huge. And I’ve had to admit them to myself. My husband. Those moments that every parent I’ve ever spoken to has - moments when you’ve felt the task is so unbelievably challenging that you feel retarded, disabled in some way. Moments when you feel everyone has the key but you.” -I Am Sam




Friday, February 17, 2012

The Friday Diary pt. 7

Happy Friday everyone!!
This has by far been the best week I have had in quite a while. 
So let's all have some Chocolate Vodka peanut butter milkshakes, and bust a recap. 
Yep. I said that. 

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This week I've been loving this song:

Lonely Teardrops by Michael McDonald on Grooveshark

The guy's voice is just amazing.

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On Saturday of this week I went to look for a new house. I looked at five total, and found the perfect one. And, I GOT IT. Knowing that my kids and I could finally move out of....well, the hood, was probably one of the best feelings I've had in a long time. It was up there with finding out I got my new job and would no longer be struggling to feed my kids, and keep this ghetto ass roof over their heads. And when I got that call, I cried.

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Saturday night, The Mister and I celebrated our first Valentines day as an official couple. It was perfect. Everything I could've wanted in a Valentine, and more.

Oh, and we made these:


The aforementioned chocolate Vodka peanut butter milkshakes. 
How do you make them, you may ask?
Well, to be honest I'm not sure how you really make them, but this is how we made them:

Probably about 1 cup of Cupcake Vodka in the Devil's food flavor
A few scoops of peanut butter...honestly I have no idea how many we used...4 maybe?
A few more scoops of Vanilla Bean ice cream. Now this is important: it needs to be Vanilla Bean. Not French Vanilla, not Vanilla. Those kinds suck. Get the kind with the little specks in it. 
Ice....again not sure how much....just add some until it looks about right
Chocolate syrup if you fancy it. I did fancy it. 
Put all that shit in a blender and blend it. 
Pour it in two glasses and don't forget the bendy straws. 
Bill made sure he had a blue one and I had a pink one. He's sweet like that. 

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So, do you remember back when I was a doula?
Well, if not, I was, and it was awesome and terrible at the same time. I mean, I loved the work I did when I actually felt like I helped someone. But a lot of the time I just felt like I was spending way too much time away from my kids for way too little money, and I needed to be an activist when that wasn't where my heart was. {activism, not birth. I love birth, hate activism}
I digress. 
Anyway, I found out Monday that the guy renting my house to me is married to a woman I did a doula consultation with {but didn't end up working with} last year. She was so sweet, and I remember her talking about how sweet and big hearted her husband was at our consultation. 
She was right, because he rented us the best house in the history of ever. 
What a small world.

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All this week I have been packing...and procrastinating about really packing...and thinking about cleaning...and basically doing anything I can think of to get out of getting what I need to do done. It's bad. Seriously. 
There are just so many things I would rather do than pack. 
Like look at shit on Pinterest, or gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon. 
Either way.

...

Speaking of Pinterest, I have already gotten all day dreamy about how I want to decorate the new house, and Pinterest really isn't helping...or is....depending how you look at it. 

Do I want a light blue bedroom with deep, dark furniture colors and blue, white and brown bedding?
Blue bedroom, dark wood

Or maybe a dark blue room with white and black furniture?

Dark blue bedroom

So many choices. 

Oh, and what I absolutely wouldn't do to turn Lainie's bedroom into this:

fairy bedroom

I don't know who would love it more, her or me.

...

Well, I really should get back to packing. 
And just throwing this out there, I would make a delicious 4 course meal for anyone who wanted to pack all my shit for me. Not even move it, just pack it. 

Happy Friday!!!





Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Paleo Diet, Take 3

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Sweet mother of God I am tired. 
The past two nights in a row I have passed out - and I mean passed out: mouth open, shamelessly drooling but definitely not snoring because I don't do that, a BOMB could go off and it wouldn't wake me, deep asleep, no later than 9:45 p.m.
But I wake up just as tired in the morning. I stare at my phone, blaring it's awful alarm sounds at me through one half open eye, just wishing I could stay in bed a little longer. At some point during the day, I hit a freaking wall and all I want to do is crash and pass out under my desk. 
This is usually when you can find me getting my second cup of coffee or shoveling Girl Scout cookies in my face like a junky shovels coke up their nose, only to later be crouched behind my desk getting the sugar crash sweats and shakes. 
It's bad. 
What I concluded from all of this recently is that I desperately need to get back on the Paleo wagon. 
It's serious. 
I fell off in a big way earlier this month...or at the end of last month....See?! My whole concept of time is skewed!! When I got an ear infection that caused weird stabby head pain, which I was all too ready to blame on carb withdrawl. 
It was a desperate attempt to excuse myself for going face first into a loaf of garlic bread, I know that now. 
But alas the ear infection is gone, my muffin top is back and my face is breaking out like Chris Angel from a minimum security prison.

So, back on the Paleo wagon I go. 
One thing I know is I need to kind of ease into this shit, and I need to stop being so damn lazy about cooking at night when I get off work. 
Ok, that's two things I know, but still. 
This diet does not work if you eat out every night, or even twice a week. You might be able to squeak by with eating out once a week, if you go to a sit down restaurant that has good, meaty salads or you hit a fast food joint that will give you a double cheeseburger, protein style, but it's not quality food and the contents are suspect, and if you're me no matter how much you say you won't eat some all of your boyfriends fries, you know damn well that you will. 
So it's best just to eat at home. 

BUT the good news is you can still have dark chocolate, wine and tequila, and amazing salads like this:
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What more does a girl need?!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our New House

As you may remember, I posted recently about how much I hate moving. 
I may have left a small nugget of info out there. 
I hate moving, except one part: finding my new house, and unpacking all my shit. 
It's just the searching and the calling and the driving and looking and uncertainty that I hate. 
I would like to announce today that I FOUND A HOUSE. 
And we are moving. 
FINALLY. 
Out of the ghetto we go. 
The kids each have their own room, I finally have a kitchen bigger than a closet, and we have separate bathrooms and a garage.
If you saw the shoe box we're in now, and the ghetto parking lot where people always steal my spot, you'd be very happy for us. 
And just because you didn't ask, here are some pictures of our new place. 

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Front. Obviously.

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Kitchen. Obviously.

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Living room and part of the dining room.

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Master bedroom and part of the master bathroom.

Yes. It's very beige. 
Can't have everything, right?

I am just in love with my new house, and I can't wait for the kids to see it. 
Yeah, I looked for and chose a house without their input. If I hadn't, we'd still be looking when Lainie graduates high school. 



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 Photo Challenge Week Five: Romance


Romance is a hard thing to take a picture of, because it means something different all the time. 
Romance is so many different things to me.
It's the way he holds my hand in the car when he drives. 
It's the way he always offers to get up and get me water when I say I want some just as we're laying in bed for the night.
It's the way he always texts me good morning.
It's the handmade gifts he gives me for holidays.
It's the sweet cards, and the texts, and the way he looks at me from across the room that makes me want to kiss him so bad.

How do you photograph romance?
How do you take a picture of the way someone makes you feel?
How do you capture on film the butterflies in my stomach and the swoony feeling I get when we kiss, or the way the scent of his skin makes my heart ache, or the way I feel like the prettiest girl in the world when he leads me through a room by the hand, and I can't help but smile like a fool?

The tenderness, the consideration, the passion, the love, and the constant unwavering devotion.
I don't have a picture of that. But I have a picture of the man who gives that to me.




Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Valentines Day Weekend

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Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette on Grooveshark


This weekend, Bill and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day together as a couple. 
Sometimes I am randomly caught off guard by how completely different things are between us now that we're together, than they were in those two years we spent in limbo, being not quite together but not exactly just friends. 
Holidays are always one of those times where I can't help but look back at how the same holiday would've gone if we were still where we were for so long. 
When we were "complicated" on Valentine's Day last year, I sent Bill a cheery happy valentines day text in the morning, to which he said "You too!" and we didn't see each other at all. We didn't celebrate the day together even a little bit. 
This year, we spend an entire weekend celebrating how gay we are for each other. 
He made me a very sweet, heart felt gift that nearly made me cry {he's a pretty kick ass gift giver}, and we made dinner together. He helped me in the kitchen, and made the best steak I think I've ever had. For dessert we made chocolate vodka peanut butter milkshakes, and then laid in bed watching Reservoir Dogs as we both dozed off. 
And the last thing I heard before I fell asleep, was him whispering in my ear 
"Happy Valentine's Day, I love you."

And boy oh boy do I love that man right back.

The next day we got up and had breakfast, got our passport pictures taken, went for a short {extremely difficult for out of shape Sarah} hike, wandered around Ikea, and ended the day with an unbelievably delicious lunch at Culver's. 

I don't have any idea what more I could've asked for, or how it could've been a better, sweeter, more romantic weekend. 
Sometimes how good he is to me is just absolutely mind blowing, and that's not in the least bit an exaggeration. He get's me, in ways that I never expected to be understood by anyone. He knows exactly what would melt my heart on a day like Valentines day, and goes through the effort to make it happen. 
Without being asked, or forced, and without me expecting anything at all. 
As cheesy as it sounds, he treats me quite literally like a princess, and I've never had that before. 


This was by far the best Valentines day in the whole history of ever. 
I couldn't be happier, or more in love. 



Friday, February 10, 2012

The Friday Diary: The Love Addition

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Yep. I'm going there. 
This being the last Friday before Valentines Day, and me being one of those super cheesy jerks who just loves Valentines Day, I thought it appropriate to make this weeks diary all about love. 
This is my blog, so suck it.

Most Romantic by Carrot Cake on Grooveshark

A few of my favorite romantic songs. Perfect for slow dancing.

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One of my favorite love quotes of all time.

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A look back at my Valentines Day last year. Oh yeah. I went there.

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What everyone should eat on Valentines Day, single, taken or what the hell ever.

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A scent that smells good on every girl, in case you have no idea what to get for your girlfriend

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Be Delicious by DKNY

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What every girl secretly wishes for on Valentines Day

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A handwritten love letter.

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What every GUY wants for Valentines Day:

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Steak, and....

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Mouth love.

True story.

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And last but not least, in my humble opinion, why Valentines Day is great:

I know that everyone says it's a made up holiday, or it was invented by greeting card companies to make single people feel like shit, or whatever. But I love Valentines Day because it's one day, just one day out of the entire year where we all remind each other to show a little love. And what's so wrong with that? Christmas time is the "Season of giving", even though we should be giving all year long, but everyone accepts that, and loves Christmas. So what's so wrong with setting one day apart from the rest, to say hey, tell someone you love them today! It doesn't have to be your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you're single, that's ok. It's about love. And love comes in all different forms and places.
Sure, Valentines Day has become commercialized and some people have crazy, damn near unfair expectations for the day. And yes, we should tell each other we love each other every damn day, but the sad truth is, most of the time we don't. We don't take the time to do the little things that show we care. So we have a holiday that makes that a little easier. Of course romance is always better when it's unexpected and not forced, or just for the sake of a holiday, but isn't it also fun to make memories? And aren't holidays such good excuses to make a memory or two? Even if your memories are of the Valentines Day you spent locked in your house with your boyfriend and a pile of old movies, avoiding all the commercialism, quietly telling each other you love one another, isn't that what life is all about? Isn't it nice to have a day in the year that inspires you to do that, more than any other?

Life is short. Love is special. And rare.
And the people in our lives are often so temporary.
So what if it's a greeting card holiday.
Consider it "Love Awareness Day", and show a little sweetness to the people that matter most. Gifts are great, chocolate is awesome, jewelry is never turned down, but it isn't about that.
It's about love baby.


Happy Valentines Day. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Crash Course in Office Politics

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  • Be nice to everyone
  • Trust no one
  • Gossip with no one
  • Give no firm or official opinions regarding any and all gossip that is told to you
  • Remain neutral and ambiguous until you know everything
  • Neither agree nor decline when asked to take on a new task until you know how long it will take and why it's really being given to you
  • Never underestimate the power of the words "I'll look into it"
  • Save all your emails. They're the only proof you have sometimes. 
  • Take sides in no war
  • Be friendly to everyone
  • Be friends with no one until you've worked there at least 6 months
  • Don't repeat what's said behind closed doors
  • Remember what your mom said: Don't take candy from strangers- or in this case, overly friendly co-workers who are too determined to get in your good graces
  • You will eventually have two different people wanting you to support them in their opposite agendas. There's no easy solution to this.
  • Be nice to the intern.
  • Be helpful to the people in positions lower than yours.
  • It's one thing to help someone, it's another to do their job for them
  • Meetings are an ungodly waste of time. You'll have a lot of them. They make executives feel important and are an excellent opportunity to dump unwanted tasks on those in lower positions-like yours. 

Skate a clean program, and make more coffee if you take the last of it. 

The end.