December 2009

Maybe this would be a good time to utilize an experienced gate agent to deal with the approximately one hundred unhappy people trying to get to LaGuardia instead of a brand new agent who is a freaking tortoise and seems to only get slower when she looks up and sees the massive line in front of her. Oh, and dude in the cordoroy jacket with the slicked back hair who clearly styles himself in the college-professor-as-invisioned-by-hollywood vein and whose name badge is cleverly obscured so all I can read is “Matt” and who is clearly some sort of higher management, it does NOT help when you tell us all to cut her some slack because she’s a newbie. (Also, it does not help when you try and hit on cute female stranded passengers, fyi). You might consider, oh I don’t know, actually doing something, instead of just wandering around with your two way pager looking special. Just a thought.


is courtsey of USAirways and the fact that I have spent the last four hours stuck at the Philly airport trying to get on another flight. Perhaps if they had held our original flight for ten minutes so that the ten of us could have made it, they wouldn’t be dealing with standby lists of thirty or more people. That would, of course, be far too logical for an airline though. HATE.

Or they could just offer to reimburse the costs of a train ticket to NYC (which it seems likely I will be paying out of pocket). But why do that when they could just profit from a bunch of unused tickets?

Happy New Years to you too, USAirways.

I know it’s been awhile, so forgive me. Work was crazy and I had a small bad patch there emotionally and just wasn’t able to muster up the energy to blog, even though I thought of things I wanted to talk about. I imagine after such a long absence, this wasn’t exactly what you were expecting me to talk about, (also, I’m sure you’re all, way to be behind the times fifi), but in the fifi house, much talk this time of year revolves around NCAA football because we love it so and in sad anticipation of it going away for the next few months, we gorge ourselves on bowl games to prepare for the empty months ahead.* Of course, we are beyond happy and excited about Ohio State and the Rose Bowl tomorrow, but that doesn’t not mean there aren’t other games that pique our interest (Penn State-LSU, I’m looking at you.) I come by this obsession naturally, of course: my dad has been known to make reference to what happened in the D-3 championship and look shocked that no one else caught the game. So how am I going to ring out 2009 in the blogging world? Not with top ten posts or what I’ve done this year or recaps, but by talking about college football. Obviously.

But anyway, I was going to let this go, but what with all the Urban Meyer fuss as of late (and, if you follow me on twitter, you know my thoughts on THAT**), the Cincy-Florida game has been a topic of conversation as well (I’m sure you know who I’m pulling for in that one but I’ll give you a hint anyway-it’s not Florida. I’m so not still bitter about that or anything). I find it interesting that both teams in this match up are going through some turmoil thanks to their head coaches.***

Now, I don’t think Brian Kelly is a sportsmanship antichrist in anywhere the same way that Rich “‘It’s all about the reasons for staying‘ – that $1.75 million per year he extracted in exchange for a promise to stay until 2014 – ‘this is my school’ – until something better comes along” Rodriguez is. And, to be fair, I get that Kelly overcame A LOT at Cincy to get the program where it is (having to buy your support staff cellphones is completely ridiculous for a D-1 school). I can see how working for Notre Dame would be tempting, what with its money and its boosters and its PRIVATE JET. Notre Dame is the big time and coaching there with all that support would be a lot easier than staying.

So I’m not even saying that Kelly shouldn’t have left Cincy. It’s all about the TIMING. As great as Kelly is, he didn’t get Cincy to where it is by himself. He’s there because of his players. His players who he told he wouldn’t leave, but abandoned before their really-quite-a-big-deal bowl game. And that is SO not cool.

I understand about that this is all about recruiting, but, seriously? Notre Dame wanted Kelly. He could have pushed back and set a precedent for coaches in this position. It’s already very likely that he is going to take some potential recruits from Cincy to ND with him. What kind of difference is an extra couple of weeks going to make really? There are factors other than just the coaching staff that make people pick schools. For one thing, Kelly is going to have to work with what talent ND already has-him recruiting doesn’t change the quality of the recruiting classes already at the school.

And Notre Dame is Notre Dame. Even though they suck right now, recruits go there because it is Notre Dame. Maybe some recruits need a phone call or personal handholding, but does it really have to be from Kelly? If you could release the information that Kelly were going to ND after the bowl, why do you need the man himself? ND hired him because of his reputation and his record- that’s why recruits are coming as well. Wouldn’t it be better for all parties involved-including the NCAA-for Kelly to look like a man of integrity who has concern for his players (students! Remember them, NCAA? That whole big difference between this level of athletics and the pros? The people whose best interest you’re supposed to be looking out for?) instead of one who bailed on his kids when a big new shiny supposedly better deal came along?

As an aside, isn’t there something to be said for loyalty? I understand making the move to a D-1 school from a lesser school, but once you’re at the D-1 school, shouldn’t that be enough? I always thought the goal was to have a career at a school, not to bounce around in pursuit of the best deal and the most toys.

All that said, perhaps Kelly might have looked to RichRod’s example before bailing on his players. (Not, actually, that I mind this. For obviously reasons, I hate Michigan and ND and ND fans are incredibly annoying,**** so if both teams continue to suck they way have in recent years, I will be a happy fifi.*****) because karma, it is a bitch. And I think that what we’ve all learned from the RichRod incident, the higher powers of college football don’t like this kind of abandoning-your-players behavior and will rain down the hellfire of losses and embarrassment on those who violate the unspoken gospel of good sportsmanship and sticking by the players who got you to where you are. As discussed above, Kelly really hasn’t quite reached RichRod-levels of skeevitude, so I’m predicting another Ty Willingham. Enjoy ND. Enjoy.

As another aside in all this, I will also miss the Charlie Weiss kitteh on FOTP. A Brian Kelly kitteh will just not be as entertaining.

*At this point, you may be asking, “but, fifi, does even have a football team? (Yes and they are about as good and play as interesting teams as you might imagine). Isn’t a basketball school? (Again, yes.) Even if you do heart college football with all the fibers of your being, should bball at least tide you over? (No, and it’s not for lack of trying. I mean, I love March Madness and the Big East tourney as much as the next Hoya Blue blooded girl, but in general, even with King James is playing, I just don’t find bball as interesting to watch as football. This is in part because there are just so many games and therefore the individual games don’t matter like football games do and therefore, I don’t feel compelled to watch every game. Also, for this very same reason, there just aren’t as many “big” games in college bball as there are in college football. Find a way to justify me watching every single game on a Saturday and then maybe I’ll be more on board.

But I digress.

**I am sure this was an incredibly difficult decision for Meyer and his family to make and the reasons behind it are personal and should remain so. Meyer owes nothing to anyone in the public in terms of an explanation and he certainly doesn’t owe it to the public to keep coaching at the expense of his health. It’s not like he’s leaving his players to go coach another team(ahem RichRodBrianKelly).

But that said, when you make the choice to publicly announce something like this (which I would HOPE was well-thought out and factored in the possibility of some regret) and then immediately back pedal the next day after you’ve been praised to the high heavens by the media and called a genius for 24 hours, I’m not going to say it was a publicity stunt or something to explain away your big SEC loss, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Also, if I were his wife and daughters, obvs. I would be supportive, but I also might be just a wee bit annoyed right now.

***Again, I am not judging Meyer for his decision to stop coaching – if that is, in fact, what he decides to do. I think sometimes, hard as it is, you do have to put your health before everything else, if not just for yourself, but for your family. And I know of what I speak when I say that heart issues are scary, scary stuff.

HOWEVER, I absolutely blame Meyer for creating this media firestorm right now. There really was no reason to announce this before the bowl game – even if there were leak threats, I still think it could have waited. Make the game about the players who worked so hard to get there – all those kids, esp. the seniors, were already going to be overshadowed in the media tonguebath that will be Tebow’s last game and now it’s going to be all about that AND Urban Meyer’s maybe-kinda-sorta-possibly last game. Not cool. And also, of course, see above.

****Example in two words: Brady Quinn. Thirteen words: Brady Quinn’s sister and her stupid split jersey at the 2006 fiesta bowl. And, on behalf of Browns fans everywhere who have to look at you: cut your hair Brady. It looks stupid particularly in those after game interviews when they catch you right out of the shower.

*****And really, if I’m being honest, I would rather see Michigan good than ND, so as to give some teeth to the rivalry, make the Big 10 stronger, and shut up all those SEC-is-the-only-real-football annoying people (you come play in the snow, then we talk, m’kay?).

I don’t give gifts because I expect thanks. I do it because I genuinely enjoy picking things out for the people that I care about as an expression of how much I do in fact care about them.

I have a complicated relationship with Godson baby (I can’t call him that any more – he’s almost two!) Z’s parents. This is through no fault of any of us; it’s just a really weird situation that I don’t have time to get into tonight because I really should be working and instead am blogging anyway. But as we are actually bearing down on the one year anniversary of when things changed, you will be getting that story at some point in the near future.

But anyway, I mailed baby Godson Z’s Christmas present and birthday card (with a check for his college fund) last week and tracked the package because I trust the USPS about as far as I can throw which is to say, VERY LITTLE (I have my reasons and you will get them in another post. Interestingly enough, it all comes full circle to baby Godson Z. Now, because of the tracking, I know the package got there on Friday. But have I heard anything? Nope.

And I know Z’s parents are probably very busy what with having an almost 2 year old and the holidays and all and that it’s nothing personal, but would it have killed them to take 5 minutes and shoot me an email to let me know it got there? I think no. Especially because the Divine Miss E and Baby’s mom (who is awesome and has become a good friend of mine) emailed me the second my package for them arrived. And she has a 5 year old and a 1 1/2 year old and works. So I think it’s doable. And the lack of response kind of hurts my feelings.

Now I am not saying what you should get your family, I’m just telling you what I got mine.

Dad: Season 2 of Deadwood because he finally finished Season 1 2 years after I got it for him and has been hinting strongly that Season 2 would not go unappreciated.

The Madre: She has these in other patterns and says they are the most comfortable shoes she’s ever worn. I love the pattern and the fact that they have brown and black so they can be worn with lots of different outfits. And they are HOT. (Also an excellent deal with the $10 off and free shipping deals on DSW).

The Bro: The Bro has decided he wants to start wearing a watch. He really likes the military style with canvas bands. This was a little bit of a splurge, (but still on sale!) but I thought about it a lot and realized I’d rather spend a little bit more and get him a watch that he could have for a long time, than just get him a cheap timex and be done with it. I also got him a 2 of these in different colors so he can play around with styling the watch.

The boyfriend: The boyfriend has been wanting cufflinks for awhile now. Since this was so personal, we looked at a bunch together, but he ended up liking these from Red Envelope best (this is likely in part because the boyfriend’s sister has him convinced that Red Envelope is SO COOL right now). I do think they are attractive and a bit more modern than a traditional monogram.

Since these were so reasonable, I wanted to get the boyfriend a little something else to go with them. Lately when we’ve had bad weather he’s been trying to steal my ginourmous golf umbrella because, really, when you walk to work every day, there’s bound to be some nasty weather and the little fold up umbrellas do NOT keep you dry (I speak from experience). I may have mentioned this on here before, but the boyfriend LOVES his undergrad school because he had such a great experience there (like loves to the point where, if he had $10, he would give Princeton at least $1). So I thought this would be perfect.

I don’t have a huge family, so those were the big presents. For my cousin and his wife and my aunt and uncle, I got steaks from Omaha Steakmmmm…bacon

and the Bro and I are splitting something from the OSU bookstore for baby T. I suggested something like this:

but it’s ultimately his call. My two best girlfriends in the entire world both got this:

which I love for my skin. Baby and Godson Z got this and this respectively:

while the Divine Miss E got this:I think she will make an awesome doctor. The boyfriend’s niece got this:

(She’s not sure how she feels about me. She recognizes I am responsible for sending awesome gifts, but she also ADORES the boyfriend right now and thinks I’m treading on her territory). Her new baby brother got two outfits:

because who could resist those feet? Not me. Even the boyfriend was a little charmed.

The boyfriend’s sister got this to go with her books because apparently she’s OD-ing on ruffley, frilly stuff right now (nothing wrong with ruffley, frilly stuff – in moderation. But that is ALL the boyfriend’s sister wears. It’s like frilly shirt with ruffley cardigan with headband with a big bow on it. Maybe someday I will show you what she wore to her rehearsal dinner and you will see). BONUS though – I got 25% off because the boyfriend did his shopping for his sister at the same time and so we qualified for the discount (I think this sale only ran through Sunday though).

The boyfriend’s mom is getting a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card because she loves their coffee

and the boyfriend’s dad is getting some fancy dark chocolate and some marzipan from here because he loves his chocolate. And his marzipan (he’s Sicilian).

Finally, I leave you with my go-to gift. I know it’s kind of cliche and if someone told me a few years ago that I’d be sending out Harry and David for the holidays, I’d probably ask: “what am I, some corporate drone sending out impersonal presents to clients?” HOWEVER, these are quite possibly the most delicious pears known to man and everyone I know who has gotten them adores them. If you need a good present for, say, a boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents, you really cannot go wrong with these:

Unless, of course, they were allergic to pears, in which case you might have a giant FAIL on your hands. Just check with your significant other before clicking send, is all I’m saying.

So I started this as a reply to Heather‘s comment, but thought I should just make it a general disclaimer so anyone reading the blog who doesn’t read the comments doesn’t think I’m too horrible:

See here’s the thing: I know I sound like an unmitigated brat bitching that she allegedly spent that much money on me. But a) I feel like it’s highly inappropriate given our relationship (not even considering the our personal non-relationship, just the boyfriend’s sister thing), b) over the last 4 years or so of gift exchanging, we have pretty much stayed in the same price range, so it is TOTALLY NOT COOL to suddenly drastically jump outside the established boundaries of our relationship and blindside me with a (have I mentioned inappropriately) expensive gift (I am not paranoid, but I swear she does things like this just to create a situation in which the boyfriend and I have to have a conversation where he tells me that my gift is suddenly just.not.good.enough), and c) (and this is kind of bratty), I kind of doubt she actually spent $80 on me – she’s just telling the boyfriend that. Let me explain. The boyfriend’s sister works for company X. Company X gets lots of freebies and samples and uses, but doesn’t keep, a lot of products. Company X, like other companies, also has unsold inventory. Following me? So Company X then has sales where all the employees can buy these things at a sharp discount. This is where the boyfriend’s sister does her holiday shopping. And that’s lovely because I am a full proponent of saving money and getting good deals, but she never ever ever takes into account what I might actually like or need. Let’s call the products “shower gel” (it’s not a bath products company, in case you think I’m slipping up here!). I have tons of “shower gel.” I have every possible type of “shower gel” I might ever want for every occasion. I even have all the specialty “shower gels.” I am well stocked. And I guarantee the boyfriend’s sister not only got me “shower gel” but got me like, what would be $80 worth on the open market of plumaria “shower gel” (remember that from bath & body works – boy did I love that in middle school) that I will never use because it makes me break out in hives now.

I do know this is a stupid example, but it’s the best I could think of.

So much for my great presents for the boyfriend’s sister. He just informed me that I should get her something else so I won’t feel uncomfortable because she spent around 80 dollars on me.

Which, is she insane? WTF. I wouldn’t spend that much on me if I were the boyfriend’s sister (see previous post on that very subject). And I guarantee you it’s going to be something I don’t want and don’t like. Guarantee. Whereas I now have to get her something off the list she sent the boyfriend to supplement my gift.

She is crafty, that one.

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