Monthly Archives: March 2013

These Boots Are NOT Made for Walking

As you know the kid is an irish dancer.  “Worlds” were held in Boston this year.  Our hotel was exactly 0.8 miles from the Hynes Convention Center.  Don’t ask me why, but I made that trip at least 6 times each way the first two days.  On the third day, I did the trip both ways twice plus one way back to the hotel to check out and head for home.  All the time walking it.  If you add in miscellaneous strolls, I walked at least 15 miles in a three day span.  Probably more.

Photo from the Fairmont Copley Hotel Website

Photo from the Fairmont Copley Hotel Website

At the hotel we stayed in, there was a rooftop gym.  The woman in the picture online looked like she was enjoying her workout so much while gazing out at the city.  I felt like I wanted to do that too.  So, as I was packing, I contemplated throwing in some workout clothes.  I said “contemplated.”  I didn’t actually do it.  The only footwear I packed were a pair of black riding boots and a pair of brown riding boots.

Warning:  Boots are not made for walking.  I don’t care what Nancy Sinatra says.  If I had just brought my workout clothes, I would have had my sneakers.  My nice, comfy, kooshie sneakers. And my feet would not have been battered, bruised and yes…bleeding.  On Day One I was the hare on a caffeine overdose.  By Day Three I was a 5″ stiletto wearing tortoise.   My feet were hating me and my brain was conjuring up images of my Nikes sitting on the floor of my closet crying for attention.

These are Lady Gaga's feet, not mine.  But you get the point.

These are Lady Gaga’s feet, not mine. But you get the point.

I am down 6.8 pounds since the start of my weight loss challenge.  After returning from my three day jaunt I didn’t gain an ounce.  Not one ounce.  I don’t need to say why I didn’t lose an ounce either.  I don’t care how much salmon and tuna I chose to eat for dinner.  I’m pretty sure the sauces weren’t made without their fair share of butter.  It also didn’t help that we stopped in a chocolate restaurant for a little treat.  Nothing like a white chocolate martini to end the day.  So, thank you Boston.  Thank you hotel.  Thank you convention center.  Thank you for the opportunity to walk off my sauces and chocolates.  My feet were sacrificed during the process, but I can live with that.

Responsibility Is Not for the Faint of Heart

1321319808301-outputSmall

It was my first real job.  I was 19 and I was the Admin (in those days I was called a Secretary) for the Accounting Department of a large corporation in White Plains.  It was a great job.  I loved it.

One of the responsibilities I had was to collect money from the department for a group gift if someone was getting married, having a baby or retiring.  In this case, a woman I worked with was having a baby.

I collected that damn money for over a week.  On my way to lunch one afternoon, I stopped by some cubicles to collect more money.  With my wallet and money envelope in hand, I continued on to the cafeteria to meet a friend.  I don’t remember what I had for lunch that day.  What I do remember is when I got back to my desk an hour later (yes, lunch hour used to actually be a full 60 minutes), I felt like something was missing.

My appetite?  Yes, because I just satisfied it.  But that wasn’t it.  My wallet?  No, I had that.  Oh, maybe I needed to apply more lipstick.  So that’s what I did.  Applied more lipstick.  But that nagging “something is missing” feeling wouldn’t quit.  As soon as I realized it, the blood ran from my face.  The money envelope.  That is what was missing.  The damn money envelope.

I knew it really wasn’t in my purse.  Or in my desk.  Or in the copy room.  But I checked anyway.  Then I ran my young ass as fast as I could in my 3.5″ heels back to the cafeteria.   I searched the entire dining room and found nothing.  Then it dawned on me that the envelope must have been left on my tray.  Where did I put my tray?  On the conveyer belt.  Where my uneaten food and dirty dishes were led into the kitchen.  And the money was led to its’ next life.  A life it was not originally intended to have.

After being interrogated by the manager, not one person working in the kitchen saw it.  In my heart of hearts, I wanted to believe everyone was as honest as I was.  My large white envelope that said “GIFT MONEY” in big black marker and contained $150 inside must have surely been overlooked and dumped right into the trash.  Surely.

I was completely panic stricken.  What the hell was I going to do?  Well, the only thing any smart young woman in this situation would do.  Go dumpster diving.  Yup.  Heels, lipstick and all.  The head of maintenance was kind enough to lend me a yellow rain suit.  Along with matching boots and shower cap.  I looked more like a Hazmat worker.  At this point, I was wishing I was one.  Sitting in a room with hazardous waste sounded much more appealing than throwing myself into a dumpster containing people’s uneaten food and God knows what else.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture.  But I’m pretty sure I can paint one for you.  I jumped into that dumpster in my yellow, over-sized attire feet first and ripped through every single black garbage bag.  All the way to the bottom.  After about thirty minutes, I came up empty.

With my tail between my legs, I had to go back to every one of my coworkers and ask for another donation.  The funny thing is, not one person minded.  At all.  I could have saved myself some humiliation.  I guess I wasn’t as smart as I thought.

As for the money?  All I can say is some cafeteria worker woke up to some luck that day.   And one Lesson learned for me.  I removed myself from the collection duties and assigned it to someone else.  There was no way I was going back in that dumpster.  Ever.

 

Every Day I’m Shuffling

ae450b06ba2a35ccf161288f43662f92b2

In keeping with the “music” theme, I want to discuss iPods, MP3 players and smart phones. Specifically the shuffle feature.  As you all know (because I’ve made it perfectly clear) I love music.  Not only do I like to sing to it, but I like to listen to it.  While exercising, cleaning the house, driving the car, shopping.  (Shop Rite has some great music.  It does make the act of grocery shopping a bit less painful.  But just a bit.)

I would love to love the shuffle option but I don’t.  The concept is awesome on paper.  I have about 450 songs on my iPhone.  Yet somehow the device plays the same 50 or so.  Actually, I think it’s less than that.  With a random one thrown in there to keep me from bitching.  But mostly the same songs over and over and over again.  I often have to resort to hitting the “next” button a million times before I land on one I haven’t heard in a while.  And when I say “a while” I mean in the last 2 weeks.  When I peruse my playlist there are some great songs that I haven’t heard in ages.  But who wants to sit there and handpick every song?  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So anyway, I thought it was my phone.  But then the same thing happens on my iPod and MP3 players.  Sometimes I even hear the same song two or three times in one listening session.  So my nice relaxing walk turns into a walk of frustration.  I may love it, but I don’t need to hear “These Boots Are Made for Walking” every 10 minutes.  What it should be is “these boots are made for smashing you to smithereens if you don’t play a damn different song.”  And one I haven’t heard within the last 14 days would be simply divine.  Thank you very much.

So, hear this all you digital music gadgets — you better shape up.  Please don’t make me resort to pulling out my Walkman.  Because I will dig up my old cassette tapes.  And it won’t be pretty. Unless you like Purple Rain.  Damn, Prince sure could rock those heels!

Call Me….Maybe?

1345164518046_4410900

My mom went to a Catholic school as a chid (even though she wasn’t Catholic at the time but that’s a story for another day).  Their priest, Old Monsignor Pierce said that Elvis Presley was evil and ordered the children to go home and smash all of their Elvis records.  I can only pray that some old priest will demand the same for Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen and Nicki Minaj.  Where’s Monsignor Pierce when you need him?

I know I’m being a little over-dramatic, but every single time I have to listen to this shit when the kid gets in the car with her girlfriends I want to throw myself out of the vehicle — while it’s moving.  I swear the radio plays the same 12 songs.

It’s my opinion that most of the music of today has no substance.  In 20, 30 or even 40 years from now I can guarantee that you won’t hear much of it anywhere.  I can’t see how it will have staying power.  Not like the great music of the past.  (Although I have to admit I have a bit of a crush on Justin Timberlake and Usher but there is an exception to every rule.)

While I’m at it, I have to make a comment about Nicki Manaj.  I cannot understand how someone whose speaking voice sounds like 2 tons of cotton swabs were shoved up her nose can have a good singing voice.  I’m not really an “American Idol” groupie anymore, but if it’s the only thing on, I may watch it for a few minutes.  All I want to do is jump through the TV screen with a box of tissues.  Surely she’s got snot up there from 1994.

And the names?  Chiddy Bang.  I wonder what his favorite movie is.  Flo-Rida.  Let me guess.  He’s from Miami.  LMFOA.  I guess when people stop using text speak, this band will become obsolete as well?

I remember when the kid was into The Jonas Brothers a few years ago.  DH and I set up 3 computers so we could get her concert tickets for her birthday.  We were one of the lucky ones.  6 months later, if you so much as mentioned the name Jonas, she would gag.  And I never hear them on the radio.  Ever.  Where’d they go?  Into the graveyard of has-beens.  Pretty soon we’ll see them appear on a cheesy reality TV show with Cindy from The Brady Bunch.

I’ll tell you what is good music.  Anything by Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles and Joe Cocker.  And that’s just to name a few.  I could be here all night naming them all.  It’s a tough choice…Led Zeppelin or Miley Cyrus?  Miley!  Yeah right, when the Levee Breaks.

MoMo and the PaPa’s

photo

I love to sing.  I will sing to my heart’s content.  In the car, in the shower, at the store.  Out loud and proud.  All the time.  The older I get, the worse it is.  I just seem to sing more and more.  As if it were my last chance to do so.  My family hates it.  They claim that my voice “hurts their ears.”  Oh, such silliness.  I’m afraid they are just jealous because they don’t have the same God given talent.

I would really like to share my God given talent with you.  So, here’s a little treat.  A video of one of my favorite songs.  And aren’t we all doing a little California Dreamin’ by now anyway?

YouTube Preview Image

When I first saw the Screaming Goat, I was reminded of myself a bit.  So, I could not leave him out.  He’s my main back-up man (goat video courtesy of SickesTVids).  Besides, everyone else is doing it.  Why can’t I?

Now I’d like to talk about singing the lyrics incorrectly.  I know I’m not alone.  It makes the kid crazy when I do this.  And I do this often.  I’ll give you some examples.  See if you can guess the songs these lyrics are from:

  • I love that girlie water, oh Boston you’re my home
  • Take a load off granny, take a load for free, take a load off granny and put the load right on me
  • I belong with you, you belong with me, in my happy home (Happy Home.  You’re my Sweetheart.  Totally sounds the same, right?)
  • Wake up like a douche another runner in the night (how does a douche wake up exactly?)
  • I wish that we could get together and start a family (a cute little ditty by Melanie about a missing key and roller skates)

Here is one I mess up bad.  The following are the lines to another one of my favorite songs — “The Boxer.”  I have been inaccurately singing this song all my life.  And even though I now know the correct lyrics, I still sing them like this because it’s ingrained in my brain at this point.

  • In the quiet railway station where I’m running scared
  • Laying low, Seeking out the court reporters where the ragged people go
  • Just come on down from the war on 7th avenue
  • Where the New York City winters are a greeting me
  • Greeting me, going home

I know Paul would be proud of how peaceful this song makes me feel, but not so proud of how I slaughter the hell out of it.

Ok, so now I would love to hear what songs you murder?  I know you do it.  Everyone does.  Come on, share.  It’s fun.

This Little Piggy Went to the Dentist

Photo on 3-22-13 at 11.03 PM #3

Anyone who knows me, knows that I put a lot of effort into my smile.  I spent 6.5 years in braces.  Switching orthodontists on the way.  There was a crap load of frustration, disappointment and money involved.  And I am so incredibly happy it’s over.

Finally.  I’m at a good place orally.  Or so I thought.  I found out that I have severely receding gums.  Part of it is due to the fact that my teeth were in prison for so long.  It also doesn’t help that I brush my teeth like a four year old high on Sugar Daddy’s who has gotten her hands on a fine tooth comb and Barbie.

About 2 weeks ago I visited with a periodontal specialist to address this issue that I’ve been putting off for some time.  Basically my gums have receded so badly that I will most likely have to have grafting done.  If not, I am at risk of losing my six million dollar teeth.  They are not bionic, but they sure the hell should be.

I looked at him and asked what he meant.  If my gums don’t come down or up or rebuild or whatever it is that these people want my gums to do, I will have to either a) use my own gums from the back of my mouth or b) use donor gums.

Ok, say what?  Can you repeat that?  The thought of some dead person sharing their mouth with me turns my stomach.  I don’t mean to sound like an ingrate, but really?  Ewww.  When I expressed how I felt about this — and believe me I did — he informed me that it’s not any different than if I received a donor heart or kidney or liver.  Ok, but I NEED those things to survive.  And I won’t see them every time I open my mouth.  And I’ll be grateful to them because I am alive.

But a cadaver’s mouth in my mouth???  Then he said there is another option.  They can take it from a pig.  Ok, well, just call me “Wilbur” then.  Next time you see me, I may have a snout.  Oink. Oink.

Unknown-5

Walking After Midnight

car-night-front1

I was a really, really naive teenager.  I didn’t always make the right choice.  I hitchhiked, corrected my report card with white-out and a typewriter (ok people, I only did that once so don’t get your panties in a bunch) and snuck out of a second floor window to walk 2 miles to the diner to meet some friends at midnight.

I was up to my usual trick of sneaking out of a window.  Except it was a door.  Of a friend’s house.  In the basement.  What parent with half a brain allows their 15 year old daughter and her two friends have a sleepover in a WALK-OUT basement?  For the record, ground level doors are much easier to get out of than a second story window.  And a lot less dangerous. (If you are reading this and you happen to be my child, do not try it.  I will know.)

I did not have a boyfriend at the time.  But one of my accomplices did.  And he lived on the other side of town.  I would say it was about 1am when this friend got the brilliant idea of walking to his house.  How exciting.  There was nothing else to do so what the hell.  No one really wanted to play another round of Parcheesi anyway.  What could be the harm?

The harm could be that there was a curfew for kids under the age of 18.  The nice officer stopped and gave us a warning.  He said, “if you turn around and go directly home, I won’t bring you in or call your parents.”  Now that I am a mother, what the hell was this guy thinking?  I may have a problem with an officer of the law who allowed my child to continue walking down a dark road past midnight through the middle of town.  So, 2 of us made an about face and started marching home.  #3 was hell bent on seeing her man so she continued on her original journey.

Mr. Policeman did not find that amusing.  He must have seen us in his rearview and immediately made a U-turn.  Into the car the three of us went, on over to the station where he wrote up JD cards for each of us while we waited for our parents.  I could have murdered #3.

With all the ridiculous crap I was up to, I was actually worried about a JD card.  I panicked and saw my life flash before my eyes.  I was sure no one in the world would hire me.  I would never get a job.  I would be a bum in the streets.  For life.  I imagined my homemade sign while I sat on the side of the road begging for food, “I made a mistake when I was 15.  Won’t you spare a dime?”

My parents were not happy about my incarceration.  I kind of blocked out what happened after I saw the look on my dad’s face as he walked into the police station.  I’m pretty sure I was grounded for an eternity.  As for the JD card, the guy was pulling our leg.  You know, trying to scare the crap out of us?  Well, it worked.  And the next time I snuck out, I was just a bit smarter.  I think.  Well, no.  I believe I got caught then too.

Boo.

There is a house around the corner from us.  It’s a really cute one level ranch.  I’ve always liked it.  The problem is, it goes on the market every year or two.  In the 11 years we’ve lived here, it’s changed hands half a dozen times.  Rumor has it that it’s haunted.  And I believe it.

I love haunted houses.  I think that they are totally cool.  Not in the Amityville kind of way.  That’s disturbing.  But if Casper haunted my house, I’d totally be down with it.  Which leads me to my story.

I have an aunt who passed away a few years ago.  The kid and I drove up for her funeral.  It was in upstate New York.  In Osh-kosh-b’gosh land.  There was this really cute old village in the middle of town where I booked a hotel.  I believe it was the only hotel around.  It was so old, you literally used a real key to open the door to your room.  If you lost that key, you were pretty much screwed.  There was no swiping of a card and getting a new one.

We checked in at around 3:00 in the afternoon, then went to the funeral home for the wake.  We had dinner with some family then had to get back to the hotel by 10pm before the lobby closed.

It was about 9:45 when we pulled into a spot directly in front of the hotel.  I pulled out the key and the kid asked if she could hold it.  I said, “sure, but please be careful and don’t lose it.”  She was a very responsible child.  And anyway, what could happen?

She lost it.  Literally 20 seconds after I handed it to her, it was gone.  I completely freaked out on her.  It was late, I was tired, it was an emotional day.  So, I lost my patience.  She started crying.  And I was pissed.

Even though it was dark and late, I ripped everything that wasn’t bolted down out of the car.  I looked between the seats, under the seats, behind the seats.  I got out the flashlight from the glove compartment and got on my hands and knees.  I literally crawled under and around the car looking for that ever-loving key.

At this point it’s just about 10 o’clock.   We called it quits and went inside in hopes there was another key available.  We would continue our search in the morning, in the daylight.  After apologizing profusely, the clerk handed me another one.  He had a sly look on his face. I thought it was weird because he didn’t even comment, he just looked at me strangely.  The guy kind of creeped me out.

The next morning, we went out to start our search again.  We even got some family members who were staying there in on the act.  Again, we ripped everything out, searched high and low, in and out.  We couldn’t find it.  I was completely perplexed.  That damn key was no where.

When I went to check out, I told the clerk (who is a woman this time) how sorry I was that we lost the key and that I would pay to have a new one made.  She just looked at me and laughed.  She said not to worry because “they” like to play games with the patrons who stay there.  Specifically with the keys.

This is the actual haunted hotel

This is the actual haunted hotel

Legend has it that a woman jumped to her death from a top floor balcony in the 1800’s and her spirit haunts the hotel.  Along with some others.  There is also a little boy.  And he likes to mess with the guests.  My aunt, who was staying in the room next door, said she had an encounter as well.  Apparently they also like to play with people’s showers.

We had that car for a couple more years after that incident.  Before we sold it, we had it detailed.  Thoroughly detailed.  The key never showed up.  Ever.

Look you nay-sayers, I can see you rolling your eyes.  But how is it possible that a key get that lost in a matter of seconds?  And stay lost.  Forever.  It’s just too weird.  And I like my little ghost story.  It’s the only one I have.  So I’m keeping it.

Frugal and Proud

Yes, I do this too.

Yes, I do this too.

I am frugal.  No, let me rephrase.  I am cheap.  I am the type of person who cringes when DH takes more than 1 paper towel to dry his hands.  I sit there and watch him while he grabs at the roll and just keeps pulling on it while 3, 4 and 5 sheets go by.  He could be talking to me, but I don’t hear him because I am dying inside.  Staring at the diminishing roll.  Biting my nails.  Wondering when he’s going to stop.  I could say it’s because I’m worried about the environment.  But that would be a lie.  It’s because with every sheet, I see money being thrown out the window.

When I reach the end of a shampoo or lotion bottle, I will set it upside down and use every loving drop of it. I will stick my finger in there and swipe at whatever is left.  Bang the bottle on the countertop to get every last drip to come out.  And I mean EVERY.LAST.DRIP.  My favorite game is to guess how many more uses I can get out of a container before I have to open a new one.

We know a woman who has been a friend of the family for forever.  She is an older version of me in more ways than one.  She cuts her shampoo bottles in half so that she can use every bit.  Everyone thinks it’s funny.  Me?  I think it’s the best idea since, like…ever.  I got four more shampoos out of my last bottle because of her.  I’ll have to thank her next time I see her.

I refuse to buy anything that isn’t on sale.  Even though the sign says “4 for a dollar”, I will buy one because that’s all I need at the moment.  I would prefer to buy store brand, but DH seems to know the difference so I can’t.  It kills me.

Yet, somehow I manage to spend every penny I have in my wallet.  I could start the week with $100 and in two days, it’s gone.  Don’t ask me.  I guess I am what you would call an oxymoron.  Oh well.  So, who wants to go out for lunch?  You buying?

Old Man Winter Must Die

hfd

That dark blue crap right there means “Heavy.” Awesome.

I live in the NorthEast.  Last week we had 50 degree weather.  It was awesome.  I took my walks with no coat, ate lunch on the sidewalk of New York City and drove with my windows open.

I am currently looking out my window.  They said there would be snow.  Mixed with ice.  And sleet.  And I’m thinking this is all a cruel joke.  It’s as if winter is mocking us.

I know I’m being a total ingrate.  Last winter it barely snowed at all.  Well, if you don’t count October.  But technically that isn’t winter.  If we didn’t have October, the kids would have gotten out of school on the original last-day-of-school date.  Or pretty damn close to it.  Stupid October.

If I sound bitter, that’s because I am.  I’m tired of the teases.  It’s worse than the proverbial dangling carrot.  I’m on a diet.  So I will compare it to someone putting a plate full of nachos with oozy cheese and greasy beef piled high with sour cream and a pitcher of margaritas with a salt shaker in front of me knowing I can’t touch it (ok, shouldn’t touch it — we all know I probably would).  It’s cruel and unusual.

Didn’t the groundhog say spring was coming early?  I think Phil needs to die with Old Man Winter.  Sorry animal lovers.  I do mean it in a joking way.  So don’t get all PETA on me. Thanks and don’t remove your snow tires yet.  You’ll be needing them.