Monthly Archives: February 2015

Why Winter Sucks More Than a Hoover

NOTE: As I am writing this, I get an email from our local Patch with this headline: “A Little More Snow, Dangerous Winds, 25 Below Zero Wind Chills.” It’s time to move.

I realize not everyone has the distinct pleasure of living in a place where you get projectile vomited on with the white stuff before winter has barely started. But I do. Which gives me the qualifications to get my bitch on.

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Don’t be fooled by it’s beauty. It’s really just a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I have lived in the Northeast for about 40 of my nearly 48 years of life. Which is a strange choice seeing that I have no outdoor winter skills to speak of whatsoever. I don’t ski, I can’t stand up on a pair of ice skates, and snowboarding? The thought makes me hyperventilate and I’m not even claustrophobic. I used to be able to build a mean snowman, but I lost that skill somewhere around 1982.

With that being said, I usually don’t mind a good snowstorm. As long as I have a bottle of my favorite wine, some french fries and working WiFi. Which, by the way, can be touch and go if the storm is bad enough.

But something happened to me this year. I snapped. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m just about ready to join the Snowbirds in Florida. Hell, they have it right with their afternoon cocktails, early bird specials and bed by 8.

Also, I realized the other day that I was in dire need of some sunshine when, while watching television, I paused the TV on a commercial advertising an island vacation and I put my face up to the screen to get a dose of some Vitamin D. Just so you know, it didn’t work so don’t bother.

Anyway, I’ve devised a list of why I just can’t take it anymore. It wasn’t hard to come up with.
  1. Static. If I get shocked one more f***ing time when I touch anything, I will kill something. Same thing goes for my flying hair, sticking clothes and the blankets on my bed. Every time I move, I fear going up in flames. It’s a good thing I’ve got 911 on speed dial.
  2. Slipping. I wonder how many people wind up in the emergency room this time of year? I swear Mother Nature and the medical industry are in cahoots. It doesn’t matter how careful I am, it’s a constant struggle to keep myself in the upright position when I venture out-of-doors. It may look funny but it doesn’t feel funny because I’m not laughing.
  3. Mud and slush. It’s on my car. My coat. My shoes. The back of my pants, my butt (okay, so that’s when I do #3). There are footprints all over my house, and that’s after everyone has taken off their shoes at the door.
  4. IMG_0229Piles of snow. Every-freaking-where. The piles are so big, I can’t see around or over them. I run the risk of getting slammed by a car because I can’t see it coming. And space is running low. What I like the best is when you ricochet off of one of these guys. Last time I checked, I wasn’t living in a county fair on a bumper car ride. If I was, it’d be warm out. And I’d be happy.
  5. Cold. The cold is permeating through the windows and doors as if there are no windows and doors. Making my oil bill go through the roof. My house isn’t built like Alcatraz. Even if it was, I don’t think it would help.
  6. No school. Please. Just go to school. Enough said.
  7. Dry everything. The mucus in my nose has hardened up so bad from the dry air that I need a chisel to remove it. The skin on my heels so sharp, I’m afraid I’ll stab my husband to death in our sleep. The skin on my legs flaking so much that I can feed the entire population of bed bugs. Yeah, that was gross. The truth is ugly.
  8. The prep. It takes a half hour to get ready to go outside. And although you are wearing a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a sweater, leggings, jeans, your parka, a hat, scarf, gloves, two pairs of socks and boots so big and heavy it’s almost impossible to walk, you still run the risk of hypothermia.
  9. Shoveling. Although shoveling does burn a lot of calories, the process is a major pain in the ass. After you get dressed (see #8) you have to fight to stay upright (see #3) and then have nowhere to put it (see #4).
  10. Not enough sun. Wait. What? What is the sun again and where does it come from?

So there you have it. I’m sure there is more but I’m too depressed to think any more. I’m going to go sit under my desk lamp and pretend I’m in Cancun. Or hibernate like a bear.

PS – After the writing of this post, our furnace died. I believe it tried to hibernate as well. What sucks worse than winter? Having no heat when it’s 7 degrees outside.

PPS – You know what also sucks? Ice DamminIMG_4225g.

 

Her

I just finished a 6-week Creative Writing course. I wanted to share my final assignment with all of you.  I’m not sure what will become of this. A short story? A novel? You’ll have to wait and see. Let me know what you think. Don’t hold back.

Chris is still drunk from the night before. Not an unusual occurrence for a Saturday morning. The ceiling fan over his bed spinning even though it isn’t on. A single cobweb dizzyingly sways from one of its blades. He turns his head to the right to look at the digital clock sitting on the floor next to his mattress. His normally blue eyes, eyes that are often compared to the depth and color of the South Pacific, are blood-shot. They are met with the vulgar, flashing red digits of the clock. “Damn, I really need to reset that thing,” Chris says out loud.

The mid-morning light coming through the naked window of his 4th floor Tribeca studio is bright and harsh. The noise of the traffic just as harsh, making his head pound with each blow of a car horn. “I should move to the Suburbs,” he hears himself say, knowing full well that it won’t happen. He’s lived here since grad school, this city has become his home. The walk to his office where he is a defense attorney is convenient. Besides, he needs the city to make him feel alive.

After rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, he rolls over and leans on his left elbow to reach for his cell phone, thinking how thankful he is that there isn’t a stranger, or anyone for that matter, in his bed. He realizes at the age of 30, that perhaps he’s getting too old for this. He wonders if he should settle down. Get a steady girlfriend. Maybe get married.

As his hand touches the smooth surface of his iPhone, it rings, breaking his thoughts and the buzzing sound going on between his ears. It suddenly all comes rushing back to him. A promise he made while under the trance of some cheap scotch and…her.

“Yeah, Chris here,” he answers, his voice shaky. Lacking the usually confident, somewhat cocky, intonation. He slowly lays his head back onto his pillow, his free hand running through his thick, black hair. He listens quietly for a moment to the voice on the other end. The soft, feminine voice that can still get to him, even after all these years.

It was a chance meeting. He saw her sitting all alone at a table by the window of his usual haunt. His heart skipped a beat when his eyes met hers. Jane broke his heart into a million pieces when they were seniors in college. The sight of her brought back all of the emotions that took him months to bury. Emotions that he put away like an ugly sweater at the back of a closet. Always there, but out of sight.

He wishes now that he listened with his head and not his heart last night. He wishes his legs took him back out onto the street, not to her. His buddies begging him to leave with them. They remembered all too well.

“Give me 45 minutes,” he responds before pressing the end button with his thumb. The voice within his head is unsettling, but he swings his legs over the edge of his mattress anyway, grateful for its close proximity to the floor. He pushes himself up and makes his way to the bathroom. Moving one foot in front of the other like a ninety year old man; slow and unsteady.

Twenty minutes later, he’s standing on the A train, making his way to Central Park. He’s hanging tightly onto the strap, trying to lessen his movement with each swift jolt of the subway. Although it is a beautiful spring day, the prickly feeling from his hangover combined with the still, fetid air of the train is making him sweat. The sweat collecting under his arms and between his shoulder blades, making his red t-shirt stick to him. Chris suddenly begins to question the wisdom of this trip. The unsettled feeling in his stomach is strong, but he isn’t sure if it’s the effects of the hard liquor, or his mission, that is making him queasy.

When the subway finally reaches his destination, he pushes his way through the  crowd and finds the stairway that will take him above ground. He takes each step slowly, trying to put it off as long as possible. As he reaches the top step, she is there.

Pieces of their conversation from last night repeat in his head. “I’m in trouble, Chris.” She looked at him with eyes so brown they are almost black. His heart twisting with each word. Her story unfolding before him like a bad scene in a movie.

A Valentine’s Day Rant

imagesSo, it’s Valentines Day. Well, by the time I have published this post, Valentine’s Day will be pretty much over. Another one bites the dust. Too bad.

I’m not much for V Day. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s another holiday that I have to remember to go out and buy a card for. A purchase that I have inevitably put off until the last minute so when I get to the Hallmark store, the red hearted card aisle is five people deep all the way to the back of the store. I have to fight the crowds to buy a left-over that will cost me as much as five bucks.

DH was smart this year and made me a card. It’s adorable and it came from his heart. I believe he started a new tradition. Why we didn’t think of this earlier really stumps me. If I do the math quickly, we could have saved over $250 just in cards alone over the years.

Going out to dinner on Valentine’s Day is like doing your Christmas shopping the weekend before Christmas. It’s overcrowded and rushed. I would much rather eat macaroni and cheese while watching reruns of “Top Gear” with my man than have to deal with trying to find a parking spot in a lot that is overcrowded with cars and 50 piles of snow from the twenty snowstorms we have had. Only having to go inside to fight more crowds. We go out to dinner often. I don’t need to go when most of the world feels like it’s a necessity.

UnknownDH used to get me roses every year. Although I have always appreciated my roses and do love the sentiment, I don’t like flowers. The smell reminds me of a funeral, I forget to keep water in them, they die and then they sit around in the vase for a month because I’m lazy. Then when I do get around to throwing them away, they have that awful putrid, dead and disgusting decayed smell that lingers in my house for a day. Gross.

With that being said, I have bought The Kid something every year for this holiday since she was a baby. It’s a little hypocritical of me. I suppose I just want her to enjoy all the holidays and have a tradition of sorts. I’m not really into St. Patrick’s Day either although I’m Irish, but I have been known to make some leprechaun prints on the toilet seat and corned beef and cabbage sandwiches even though I’m not a big fan. But I do this because I have a child. It just comes with the territory.

I feel like this holiday is a day for retailers to jack up the prices of flowers and chocolates and it’s annoying. Here’s what I say…appreciate your loved ones and/or significant other every day of the year. DH surprises me all year long, whether it be something he bought for me that he thought I might like, cooks dinner or does the laundry.  We try to take the time to appreciate each other and exchange “I love you’s” on the daily. I don’t need a day to remind me to do that.

Do I judge those who celebrate this day? Of course not. To each his own. That’s the great thing about this country. You can have your own opinion of things and do what you want. Just leave me out of it. I’m going to go stir my mac and cheese now. Enjoy your happy heart day. Make tomorrow the same.

 

It’s All About the Boob and Being a Boob – Part II

Yesterday I told you about my new friend, Wendy and her cancer diagnosis. Today, I am going to talk about how we react to bad news.

While at work last week, I received a Facebook private message from Wendy. “Bad news…I have breast cancer…”

After I let the message sit there for a couple of minutes, gathering my wits about me, I replied with this: “I’m so sorry” and “you will be okay” and “let me know if there is anything I can do.” Not very original and kinda stupid. Probably not the best words to say to someone who is suffering a traumatic event. And that was AFTER I gathered my wits.

Then a couple of days later she PM’ed me with this, among other things, “…take samples from my lymph nodes to make sure it has not spread…”

“I’ll keep you in my prayers, hoping it didn’t spread,” was my response. Really? How stupid. Keeping someone in their prayers is totally acceptable and comforting. But hoping it didn’t spread? That goes without saying. It just wasn’t necessary.

Whatever. I’m awkward in these kinds of situations. Some people have the gift. I do not. When God was handing out Common Sense, I thought he said “Be All Dense,” and I didn’t get in line.

But, I have to ask. Is there really a “right” thing to say? I think we are so concerned about what to say, how to react, that we wind up saying the wrong thing anyway. Basically, you can’t win.

A long time ago, a friend of a family member had a miscarriage. She was very far along in her pregnancy. When I heard the news, my heart broke for her. I was already a mother at the time and I couldn’t even begin to fathom it. But I knew when I saw her, I would be awkward. And I was.

“Oooh yeah, umm, sorry about the baby.” Followed by a literal cringe on my face. A cringe, as if I was trying to hold in a fart. I walked away feeling like the biggest asshole. I froze. I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t want to NOT acknowledge it. I was afraid she would think I was cold.

Instead, I made myself look more like an ice princess, like I didn’t care, when in actuality I did. Very much so. Although it has been many years, I feel like every time I see this woman, that is what she remembers.

And when I go to a wake? Fuhgettaboutit. I’m a bumbling idiot. I’ve decided to just say the generic speech that goes like this, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Done. Over. No room for error. Then go sit in a chair at the back of the room and be there. Because that’s really all anyone ever wants. For you to just be there.

When The Kid was hit by a car, there were many people who expressed their concern. They were all wonderful, with a little awkwardness thrown in here and there, but I knew they meant well.

One woman actually said something like this, “geez, that would have been awful if she died because you don’t have any other children.” This is not verbatim, but close.

That one made me laugh out loud in disbelief. Then I remembered that people are just weird and awkward in these situations. I can’t even blame her. I’m sure, like the fart-face I made at the lady who lost her baby, she didn’t mean for it to sound so callous. I’m sure she was coming from a good place. Besides, if I really judged her, it would be like me living in a glass house and throwing stones. Or being a pot and calling a kettle black. Get it? I don’t have the right.

So, what have I decided to do in these situations? Pray to the good Lord above that I don’t throw up crap. That’s all I can do. And if I do sound like a bumbling asshole? I apology in advance for what my mouth does. I swear I have no control. My heart and tongue just aren’t always on the same page.

In the meantime, my friend Wendy is going to get this big, ugly mo-fo of a “C” word out of her and she’s going to fight it. How do I know? Because although I’ve not known her for a long time, I get that she is tough as nails. She can hold her own. If I was walking in a dark alley with her and we were mugged, I get the feeling she’d kick some serious ass and save the day while I lay in a puddle, shriveling up and pooping myself. Yeah. I would definitely poop myself.

So, to continue the theme from yesterday…here is my #MyLeftBoob pic for @WendiPopRock. Let’s get it trending for her y’all.

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And next time you say something stupid when someone gives you bad news, brush it off and go buy a card. Because card companies actually PAY people to be appropriate and smart. Then go sit by your friend’s side. She will appreciate it.

 

It’s All About the Boob and Being a Boob – Part I

I met Wendy @WendiPopRock a few months ago who interviewed me for a local on-line newspaper. Actually, I hadn’t met her in person. We “talked” over Facebook and private messaged each other a million times and we became friends. Friendship courtesy of the Interwebs. Not really an uncommon occurrence these days.

It turns out we have a few things in common: we are both irish, our daughters happen to dance for the same Irish dance school, we love to write and we love wine. I have since met her for real. Once.  But that doesn’t matter because I feel like I’ve known her for forever.

Wendy hadn’t been feeling well for a few weeks. She talked about how she just wasn’t herself. She even cancelled out on a wine get together I had. I knew she must not have been feeling well if she cancelled out. You just don’t cancel a date with wine if you don’t have to. Well, I don’t. And even though Wendy is a new friend, I get the feeling she doesn’t either.

She mentioned that she was going to go get some testing done. My wine get together was on a Friday night. On Monday she went on her appointment. Wednesday morning I received a Facebook private message from her. “Bad news…I have breast cancer…”

My heart sank. I gasped. My boss-friend asked me what was wrong. “My friend Wendy has breast cancer,” I heard myself say. Good Lord.

Guess how she found out? She was dying her hair and dropped a blob of dye on her left boob. When she was wiping it up, there it was. The lump.

20 years ago, someone I worked with had a boyfriend who had accidentally elbowed her in the breast. It hurt and when she rubbed the area, there was a lump.

Another friend of mine was having a routine mammogram a few years ago. The test results showed she had breast cancer. She was lucky. They caught it in the very early stages. Her lumps were too small to even detect with just an exam.

See where am I going with this? These three ladies were lucky. Either something happened to make them see a doctor or they had their routine mammogram.

They talk about early detection by giving yourself a self-examination. It doesn’t take long. Do it in the shower, in bed, while making dinner. I don’t like doing it. I have extremely cystic breasts and the feel of all that lumpy tissue under my fingers really gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Last year as I was lying in bed, I happened to feel my boob. I felt a fairly large lump. I kept saying to myself, “oh, it’s probably nothing. I’m PMS’ing so my ducts are swollen. It’ll go away.” After a month, it didn’t go away. So, I made an appointment with my gyno.

He did an exam and agreed that I had a lump. He said it was probably just a cyst, so he attempted to aspirate it. But he couldn’t get any fluid. After some nervous waiting, a mammo and an ultrasound, I was cleared. Luckily. But waiting a month isn’t smart. I should have gone immediately. Even though this story had a happy ending, the next time may not be so happy.

I’m still not good with the self-exams, but I will do them on occasion, which I am fully aware is not enough. I have my annual mammogram and because of my cystic condition, it is always followed up with a thorough ultrasound.

But if Wendy had waited for her annual mammogram, it may have been too late. If she didn’t drop that God sent glob of hair dye on that exact spot, who knows.

If my friend Pat’s boyfriend from 20 years earlier didn’t elbow her, the outcome may have been completely different.

If my other friend Tee didn’t go for her annual mammo, I shudder to think of the outcome.

I know I’m either too late or too early, depending on how you look at it, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I’m here to say, feel yourself up, ladies. Just do it. It’s important. It will save your life.

There is another way we can bring awareness to breast cancer. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all three and post a pic of you and your left breast (fully clothed please) and let’s see if we can get it trending.

Type in #MyLeftBoob. I’m doing it. Won’t you? For my friend Wendy. And all the other breast cancer victims, past and present.

Now reacting to the news of Wendy’s cancer? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Yes, it includes Jack and Ass.

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It’s there, my left boob. Just hanging out under my PJs. #MyLeftBoob

 

Chance to Win with Rukkus

I’ve never done this before. My blog is usually about my own silly and humorous ideas and thoughts. But I was approached by Rukkus.com to do a giveaway and since I’ve never done this and I know so many other bloggers who do, I decided to give it a shot. And the fact that this company found little ol’ me to even ask to partake is kinda fun.

This does not mean I’m going to do this often. Not at all. This does not mean I’m not going to still be myself. It just means I want to help you get free stuff. It’s not so bad getting free stuff, right?

So, here’s the deal…Rukkus.com is giving away chances to win $250 in free concert, sports, and theater tickets.

I, myself, love the theater. I’m lucky enough to be able to get into NYC fairly quickly. The Kid and I used to go all the time. And back before The Kid was born, my mom and I would go. Sometimes, seeing two shows in one day. This was before whatever the hell happened to theater ticket prices that made them catapult through the roof. I can’t even afford the 1/2 price tickets you can get at TKTS anymore.

It’s kinda sad and a little bit of a travesty. My way of thinking is that it should be affordable for all to experience. But I digress and no one asked for my opinion.

Anyway, if you aren’t into the theater (they offer theater tickets from all over, by the way, not just New York), there are also sports and concert tickets. Basically, there is something for everyone.

Click on the graphic below and follow the instructions on how to enter. They give you 3 different chances to win. The contest starts today, February 2, and runs until February 16, so get going.

It would be so much fun if a momfeld reader won (let me know if you do). Good luck!

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