Category Archives: Rant

A Pointless Post About Dust

unknown-1“Where does dust come from?” This is a question that was rhetorically asked in a writing course I recently participated in. And because I am who I am, I remembered that I have always wondered that same thing myself.

I have a fairly large, dark wood coffee table in my living room. I love this table. Of course. I would not have chosen it to grace my living room and look at it every day if I didn’t. It has a big shiny surface. Which happens to be its only flaw.

Why is it a flaw? Because I can spend 5 minutes dusting the balls out of that thing and a mere few hours later? Dust. All over it.

And when the sun is coming through the windows just so (I love the sun coming through my windows, but only when no one is here, including myself), you can see it float down and land right on the surface of that newly dusted table and every single, ever-loving item in my house.

So, where does dust come from exactly? I wasn’t sure, so I looked it up. For all those who are like me and wander into strange places while thinking, or if you missed that day in fifth grade science class, here is where dust comes from. You’re welcome.

As taken from wiseGEEK (www.wisegeek.org):

“…it is largely made up of dead skin cells, fibers from clothing and other materials, pollen and dander, and tiny particles of dirt. Dust comes from objects in the environment, and from the people and animals that live in it.”

Upon further research, I found out that the average person loses about 40 dead skin cells every second. Most of that thin layer of white stuff you see building up on your furniture? It’s dead skin of you and whoever else lives in or visits your home.

So, basically you have little pieces of pretty much everyone you know in the air that you are breathing. Through your nostrils and into your lungs. That thought makes me want to go out and purchase one of those Walter White type masks. No offense.

maskwhite

I guess no one has has actually died from breathing in other people’s dead skin cells, so I suppose I’ll just have to suck it up (pardon the pun). I mean, I’ve survived the first forty-nine years of my life living this way. I think I can survive the next uh…forty-nine (it’s possible).

In the meantime, I believe I’ll be investing in some more Pledge. Oh, and can you do me a favor before coming over next time? Slather up with some body lotion, would you? Like, maybe bathe in it? I just really hate dusting.

The Getaway Part II – The Upgrade

If you missed Part I, click here and come back. I’ll wait…

Are you caught up? Now where was I? Oh right (ants on the sill in case you forgot).

So, surprisingly we weren’t upset. Typically this would be something that would set one or the other off. But we were here to have fun and enjoy each other’s company, so basically we would have laughed off a natural disaster. Well, maybe not a tsunami. Those things scare the hell out of me.

The 1950s girl looked at us in disbelief when we walked through the lobby door. I almost felt sorry for her sitting there in her poodle skirt. I just really wish she was wearing saddle shoes. I love saddle shoes. I actually had a pair in 1979. Let’s just say, they didn’t make me a lot of friends.

I let DH talk to her because I am not a fan of confrontation. So I went outside to take pictures of the parking lot. When I came back in I heard her say she was giving us the best room in the house. The one that typically costs $320 a night but we were getting at no additional cost. You know, for our troubles.

Mind you, there was not a room to be found on the Island of Long and so far, in the last fifteen minutes we were able to move to three separate rooms in one hotel with no problem. Just an observation.

Moving along.

We walked up the rusty, I mean rustic stairs for the second time and made a hard left to a locked gate at the end of the walkway that looked more like Leavenworth and less like our own private terrace.

Of course, we couldn’t make the key work so I stood there and watched over our bags while DH traipsed back to the lobby.

I tried desperately to avoid eye contact with our new neighbors who were sitting on the other side of their large plate glass window by keeping my gaze out over the parking lot. I was getting to know that parking lot pretty intimately. Just so you know, there were exactly 78 parking spots.

The broken key was just operator error, but I can only imagine the look of terror on 1950s girl’s face when DH walked in that lobby again. Maybe I should have gone with him. That could have been the entertainment for the night.

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Ignore the smoke stacks. What smoke stacks? I don’t see any smoke stacks.

When we got through the gate and turned the corner of the balcony, what to our wondering eyes should appear?

Water.

No, not the kind that gets stuck in a sink. But the kind where boats live. And docks. And seagulls. We had a view of the bay, and it was lovely.

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The Vanity/VCR/Alarm Clock All-In-One Station. Where else can you get one of these gems?

We turned to unlock the door to the “best room in the house.” And stepped into, umm, I’m not sure what we expected, but that room was not $320 a night for the decor.

It seemed all the lampshades had the same disease. And the carpet had seen more dirt than, well, earth. But we had water. A view of the water trumps all else. Pretty much most of the time.

Believe it or not, it was clean (except the carpet — just so you know, I didn’t take my shoes off). It actually smelled nice, and the hubs liked it. He is not a fan of hotels, so I’m still getting over the shock. Seriously. I needed a little bit of smelling salts to make me come to.

You can just barely make out the rain showerhead. I always wanted one of those.

It had a rain shower showerhead. I always wanted one of those. Too bad the next day was not “wash my hair” day.

It had an amazing updated bathroom. The shower was big enough for a foursome and the tile was new (observation #27 – only renovation in probably thirty years).

It looked nice even with the old coffee pot half filled with sludge water, that sat on top of a mini fridge that had probably been there since the Nixon administration (observation #28 – a fridge in the bathroom is weird, and so is a coffee pot especially since poo can splash out from the toilet into your coffee but I digress).

After we looked out over the water for a bit, we realized we had some time to kill before dinner. We thought we would go into town, grab a cocktail and mosey on to the restaurant.

What were our dinner plans, you ask? We had reservations on Fire Island. All I wanted was to have dinner looking out over the waves since I didn’t get to the ocean this past summer and I really needed my fix. The only place I found on the Internet was in a little section on Fire Island called “Cherry Grove.”

Which was a gay community unbeknownst to us (we found out quite accidentally). Not that it mattered, but DH, when we realized, quickly figured out why the nice lady who answered the phone hesitated when he said, “my WIFE and I are celebrating an anniversary…”

“So, how do you think we’ll get there,” asked DH, the sensible one who plans everything from vacation to which foot gets dressed in a sock first.

After doing a bit of research, I found that there aren’t any paved roads on Fire Island. No paved roads means no cars pretty much.

If left to my own devices, I would have thrown caution to the wind. But a little voice (DH’s) inside my head said we should probably check things out further.

So, I called a water taxi company. After the lady who answered the phone very exuberantly exclaimed, “OH MY GOD, WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?” she told me that we would have to walk from the parking lot (Robert Moses parking lot — surely you’ve heard of it — it is right up the street from Jones Beach according to Google Maps) to the lighthouse.

See that lighthouse way bottom left corner? Robert Moses is to the left of that. WAY to the left.

See that lighthouse way bottom left corner? Robert Moses is to the left of that. WAY to the left.

“How long is that walk?” I ask. Her reply was “a half an hour.” Then we’d have to catch a water taxi from there that would take an hour, plus pay approximately $44 round trip.

Phew. This story is getting long. Maybe I should stop here and write Part III – Dinner and Beyond. Besides, I’m tired and I have to work tomorrow. Darn work, always gets in the way of a good story.

Stay tuned once more. Just once more, I promise.

 

The Getaway Part I

When DH and I got married twenty-four years ago, we didn’t have a formal honeymoon. We couldn’t afford one because four months earlier we decided to spend the money we saved for our wedding as a down payment on a house.

Good idea? I think so. A house lasts way more than a five hour wedding and is the smartest thing a young couple can do, but I digress. (FYI – we were lucky because our parents helped foot the bill for the reception, which was awesome by the way)

In other words, we were house poor.

After the last guest left our wedding reception, DH looked over at me and said, “wanna go to Cape Cod for a few days? We can use some of our wedding money to pay for it.”

Of course, who am I to turn down a spontaneous vacation? I am not a planner by nature so this fit my personality to a “T.”

We didn’t have the internet to help us, so we basically got up the next day, threw a packed suitcase in the trunk of our car, and with map in hand, drove the three hours or so it took to get to the Cape. We hoped there would be hotels with vacancies. If not, there was always the car.

The first night we chose a sketchy looking “hotel” that was right off the main road on the Cape. It was one of those one-level motor inns. I’m sure our little stay didn’t cost more than $50.

The floor was uneven (when I say “uneven” I mean there should have been a railing installed on the wall to hold on to so guests wouldn’t run the risk of falling and injuring themselves), the bedding…umm, let’s just say the Red Light District has seen better linens. And I believe I saw a cockroach scurry across the bathroom floor.

We got better at choosing places to stay each evening during the week, with ants replacing cockroaches. And polyester blend replacing plain, old polyester.

We laughed it off and filed the experience away in our memory banks under “Shit Not To Do.”

This past weekend was our anniversary. DH wanted to look at a motorcycle that was for sale on Long Island so we decided to turn it into an impromptu weekend getaway. This time we had about forty-eight hours to (somewhat) plan it out.

Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea. We couldn’t find a single hotel room anywhere.

Except one. And we soon understood why. Suddenly the memory of that first night on our honeymoon came rushing back (what good is a memory bank when you only deposit but never withdrawal).

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The best part…this sign.

When we pulled into the parking lot, we noticed the sign right away. It was a throw-back from another era.

Inside the tiny lobby, there were model cars of Thunderbirds and Corvettes. The furniture had a bit of an old, retro feel to it as well, and the clerk was dressed in a costume from the 1950s.

I looked at the girl and said, “oh, so this place is supposed to make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time on purpose.”

Yes.

Except we suspected that perhaps it was just an excuse to not do any kind of renovation at all. You know, since 1956.

After we checked in, she informed us that breakfast was from 7-10am. Awesome. We asked where it would be served.

“Oh, here. In the lobby,” she replied.

DH and I looked behind us. “Umm, here?” Yes, here. There probably was enough room for approximately 4.5 people to stand comfortably in the lobby but whatever works.

img_0539After we made our way up the “rustic” (aka RUSTY) set of stairs that led to the upper balcony, we located the door to our room and opened it with a real key.

The room was a bit old all right but no “retro” furniture to be found. Our suspicions were starting to prove correct.

img_6479Aside from the peeling paint on the wall and broken lampshades hanging above the bed, the sink in the bathroom was clogged and water stood to the rim.

DH called the nice 1950’s lady and she apologized and ran a new key up to us for the room two doors down.

Room #2 wasn’t perfect either, but surprisingly it smelled clean. And it was a place to lay our head for the night. This time around we were too old to have the option of sleeping in the car. So, it would have to do.

I walked over to the window to check out the view of the parking lot, and noticed two tiny ants crawling around on the sill. I gave them a little smack and decided I would keep that little tidbit under my hat. No need to upset the mister.

“What did you just hit?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing really. Just a little ant.”

That little ant turned into about 300 within five nanoseconds. Apparently I disturbed the nest when I tried to kill their brother.

Without giving it a second thought, we picked up our bags and headed for the lobby. When the 1950s girl saw us, she took a deep breath and said, “oh no, what’s the matter now?”

Stayed tuned for Part II — “The Upgrade.”

Everything’s Coming Up Lillies

Worse than any hangover I've ever had. Okay. Third worst.

Worse than any hangover I’ve ever had. Okay. Third worst.

I woke up with a Lilly hangover this morning. What is a Lilly hangover you ask? It’s when you stay up until the wee early morning hours in the hopes of being one of the first online to scap up some Lilly Pulitzer for Target crap.

Have I lost my mind? Yes, I have. I will tell you something else. I’m pretty sure Lilly is rolling around in her grave right now. Because…Target. (I love Target, don’t get me wrong. But Lilly in Target? That’s like Imelda Marcos in Payless.)

In case you live in a box, cave or have a life, here’s a recap…

The powers that be at Lilly Pulitzer, for reasons I don’t really know because I know nothing about economics or consumerism or whatever, decided to collaborate with Target.

My best guess is that the Lilly people basically dummied down their product and slashed their prices by a million percent so that middle America could afford it. So these people get a taste of Lilly and the patterned gold and will want more. Except if they want it, they’ll have to go get the real stuff. We’ll just call them Lilly Teasers.

I am not a Lilly fan. My style is relaxed moms-wear, preferably in browns and blacks with the waistband of my jeans landing somewhere north of my belly button. My idea of bold is wearing mismatched socks.

A little over a year ago, I had never even heard of Lilly. So, why the (partial) all-nighter? I’ll give you one hint. She’s an off-spring of mine. And her wish list was long.

Just so you know, I didn’t have to stay up until 2am. I didn’t do it for moral support or to be a cheerleader. But because leaving your credit card alone with a 16 year old is probably not the wisest decision. Although by the end of the hour, she had those 16 digits committed to memory. Twenty something hours later, she still knows them. I’m a little bit scared.

So, here’s how it went down:

After stressing for two days because we weren’t going to be near a Target on the coveted day because we were away at a dance thing with other Lilly-loving junkies, we found someone to follow on Facebook that would keep us in the know. In other words, tell us when Target/Lilly would be releasing the goods online.

We refreshed and refreshed some more ’till the cows came home when suddenly our new Facebook Lilly friend made an announcement to “QUICK HURRY UP AND SWITCH TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE!!!” In layman’s terms, that means that you could only order via your smart phone. Don’t ask because I don’t know. It’s one of those technological mysteries.

buying lilly

The Lilly Brigade

After much screaming, a broken eardrum and some pissed off neighbors, everyone had their phones ready to go. We were now prepared to procure some of the cheap coveted Lilly wear. Our new Facebook Lilly friend posted links to specific items in drips and drabs. This all happened before the actual online sale started.

After we were able to purchase some items, I saw a comment that the links were “leaked” and that Target found out and put a stop to the madness pronto. Now, I don’t know if that is true or not. But that’s what I read. And since the links stopped coming and from what I’ve seen in the wake of the madness, I believe it to be true.

Finally at nearly 2:30am, the heavy lidded teens and temporarily insane moms went to bed. I awoke to pissed off people on Facebook complaining about the injustice of it all. When they did finally announce the sale online, most everything was gone. Or gone within minutes. Possibly even seconds.

Pictures of brick and mortar Targets with lines wrapping halfway to the back parking lot were being posted. Hey, you people at the back of the 300 people deep line? Go home. You’re not even getting a nail file (which could have been yours for $2).

Apparently, we were very “lucky” to be able to get what we got. Now to wait for the shipments to come in. If the quality is at least better than a paper bag, then we may be keeping it. If not? We’ll have years of gift giving sitting in the closet. Oops. Did I just say that out loud?

Oh, and one more thing…if you tell anyone I actually was a willing participant in the madness? I’ll deny it. And you’ll never get a cheap cute Lilly headband that I bought for $15 from me.

And may I please introduce to you....The Final List.

And may I please introduce to you….The Final List.

 

Passport Hell Part II

I left off by telling you that I was missing my “long form” birth certificate (if you missed it click here). How was I going to get it? I was going to have to beg, borrow and steal, that’s how. Or just write a check.

I was born in New Jersey. Which means that I had to apply to the State of New Jersey Vital Statistics. I applied on February 14 and had to pay $47 to get something that belongs to me. But I guess that’s my punishment for forgetting to put the original back in the safety box. Either that or that is some expensive paper right there.

After receiving emails informing me of my birth certificate’s every step (Confirmation, In Progress, Ready To Mail Out and Completed), I finally received it on March 18.

I now had 16 days until we leave for our trip. My laid-back, “eh, we have plenty of time” attitude turned into full-on panic. I looked online (thank you Internet for being born — just don’t lose your b.c.) and found the number for the nearest Passport Office, which happens to only be an hour away.

Everything was automated. And I was told by Roberta Robot to come in on March 25 at 9:30am for my appointment. Now, when they say “appointment” I pictured a nice lady in a business suit behind a desk with a bun in her hair and black rimmed glasses on her face. I would sit down at her desk and she would ask me questions that I may or may not be able to answer and we’d be done.

I’m not really sure what world I live in.

Just so you know, in order to get a Passport expedited, you have to pay an additional 60 bucks. So far I am $232+ in the hole. Add in my time and wear and tear on my car and fuhgetaboutit.

After waiting in line to get through the metal detector and finding out that I needed to fill out yet another form, I had to get in line #2. This line had one of those rope things you see when you want to catch a ride on Magic Mountain. Except without the magic. And the mountain.

There were three windows but only one was open. A family of seven was at the single window. I was pretty sure they were ready to bust out some wine and cheese because it looked like they were going to be there for a while.

I was sandwiched between two guys. One had so much dog hair on the back of his sweatshirt that I was afraid to inhale too deeply for fear of getting a hairball and the other was mumbling, “this is bullshit” to himself over and over again. I was half expecting him to go “postal” any minute.

After standing in line for 40 minutes, I was given a ticket with a number and had to go wait in the pen with the rest of the poor passport-less people. The only difference is, I already had a processing passport. So, I had a different number than most everyone else. I just had to show the powers that be my $47 birth certificate. Easy peasy.

I sat down at 10:17. My number was called at 11:11. I almost missed it because I was texting DH, bitching about my experience and that I had a fear of not hearing my number being called.

By chance I looked up from my phone and a guy behind one of the six out of twelve windows that was opened was staring at me. Glaring at me like I was a sixteen year old girl. I wish I could say I was flattered, but I wasn’t.

I gathered my crap and ran up before he gave my spot away. After explaining the whole deal, he said, “give me a few minutes to find your paperwork. Sit where I can see you.”

Even though it only took him a couple of minutes and I was sitting in a chair right outside of his little window like he told me to, he started looking around the room for me. I ran up again, before he gave up and moved on to the next soul.

Because the thought of starting over made me want to just throw in the towel. So what if I never leave the country ever again? Who cares if I never see the Eiffel Tower? Or the Taj Mahal? Or Tahiti?

I got out my check, ready to sign over the extra 60 buckaroos to get my passport lickety-split. “Oh, no. You don’t owe any money. We are so sorry.” Yes. He apologized to me. Why? In case you missed it, in Part I I mentioned that the birth certificate I originally sent did indeed have my parents’ names on it. See where I’m going with this?

So now I’m only out $172+ (the “+” is for the processing fee that I don’t remember the cost of). The guy behind one of the six out of twelve opened windows asked me if I wanted it overnighted. Believe it or not, I said no. Because it was going to cost $15 and I’m dirt cheap. He promised me it would be at my house in three business days. He was wrong.

It only took 22 hours. passport

So, it was precisely nine weeks from the start of a journey that should not have been as painful as it was or should not have taken more than a month.

Moral of the story? Make sure you have a passport. You don’t have to have current travel plans outside of the United States. Just have one. Getting a passport because you have to, last minute, is not a good idea. Or as fun as Magic Mountain.

Plus now, you can go to Tahiti.

Passport Hell Part I

I had a passport once long, long ago. I needed one to get to and from Germany. I was probably around 7 or 8. That passport expired around the same time I started to grow boobs and pop zits. And I never applied for a new one.

Until now. Why? Because I’m going to Canada in exactly 9 days. No, I didn’t wait until the last minute. I applied for it back in January, when we decided we would be taking this trip.

I swear my hair looked good in my mirror at home.

I swear my hair looked good in my mirror at home. Although my hair isn’t the biggest problem here.

I went to the local pharmacy and paid 15 bucks for the ugliest picture anyone could possibly have taken of me. An orangutan could have done a better job with his feet.

I meticulously filled out the paperwork, checked and double checked that I had all of the correct forms, proof of citizenship, a pint of my blood and first born. I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s.

I trekked my ass down to the post office. No, not any post office. It had to be a special post office that processes passports. Luckily for me, there was one in the next town.

After forking over $110 plus a processing fee that I blocked out because what difference does it make? A passport could cost $5,000. If you need a passport, you need a passport. Does the government or world or whatever have us by the cajones or what?

Umm, what was I saying? Oh right…

After forking over some moola, and spending an exorbitant amount of time in line as well as with the man behind the counter, I felt a sense of relief rush through me. It was on its way. Done. Complete. Check. Now I just had to wait the four to six weeks it would take to come in the mail. This was on January 21st. I had plenty of time.

Or so I thought. On February 13th, I received an official looking letter from the State of Connecticut. This envelope was too small to fit a passport. Although with the way technology is these days, who knows? This envelope could contain a chip. To be planted in your ear. I could only hope. I ripped it open. Eager to find out what was inside.

“The evidence of U.S. citizenship or nationality you submitted is not acceptable…the full names of your parent(s) are not listed…”

WHAT? I made a panicked phone call to my mother. Because my mother is the all-knowing, keeper of everything go-to person (I’m not kidding either. If you want her number, let me know). “OH-MY-GOD-MOTHER-MY-PASSPORT-APPLICATION-GOT-REJECTED!!!” I screamed into her ear.

Here’s a little birth certificate lesson for all of you: Apparently there are TWO types…the long form and the short form.

My dear all-knowing mother keeps a copy of everything from the receipt of a pack of gum she bought at CVS in 1994 to…you got it, all of her children’s birth certificates.

After a quick discussion with her, we figured out that I sent the short form. But guess what? The short form DID have my parents’ names listed on it because she checked. You know, on her copy. The State of Connecticut is blind. And my mother is never wrong. Plus she can read. She is not blind.

Unimportant Note: In case you are wondering why I didn’t just send the long form, it’s because I don’t have it. It got lost in a move. Or I probably took it out of our fire-safe lock box for one reason or another and didn’t put it back. I’m betting on the latter.

Most people would have called the State of Connecticut Passport Agency and demanded an explanation. But alas! I am not most people. What did I do next? Stay tuned…this is compelling stuff here. You won’t want to miss it. Or maybe you will. You be the judge.

Warning: I’m In a Bad Mood.

I suppose you’re wondering where I’ve been. Or maybe you haven’t been wondering at all. Perhaps you are happy that your email box or your Facebook timeline has been lighter.

It’s been a while. My brains are stuck on total freeze mode and cannot, will not, function. I am forgetting about appointments, or thinking I have appointments when I don’t.

I have a to-do list that is longer than Santa’s Naughty list. I have writer’s block so bad, I need a chisel. And I want to get out of bed about as much as I want to eat goat livers for breakfast.

Just the thought of the act of moving makes me want to cry. Sometimes I will sit and stare at the remote on the coffee table. Willing it to levitate in my direction. And if it doesn’t (it doesn’t)? Meh. Watching that episode of Friends when Ross whitened his teeth too much for the forty-second time won’t kill me.

My house is flooded. I have holes in my ceiling from ice damming and buckets strewn all around. It looks like one of those kiddie water parks in here but really, I live in a cave.

Please Mr. Postman, look and see...if there's any way you can MAKE IT STOP SNOWING!

Please Mr. Postman, look and see…if there’s any way you can MAKE IT STOP SNOWING!

My hair is overgrown, I need a dye job. I could use a good wax to my lip. I haven’t put on makeup in so long I don’t even remember where I keep it. My shaver has rusted out from lack of use. And my butt hasn’t seen a pair of jeans in 45 days because I know they won’t go above my ankles after sitting and eating nothing but pulled pork sandwiches and Smiley fries all season.

It won’t stop snowing and the temperature doesn’t seem to want to reach 30 degrees. If it does reach 30 degrees, people are out in shorts and t-shirts like we live in the middle of the Sahara. Which just pisses me off even more.

The snow is piled so high that the simple act of walking out to fetch the mail from the mailbox takes twice as long. That is if I can even reach my mailbox.

I’m bitchy and grumpy.

Yes, I am ashamed to say that I have let this horrible winter win. It got the best of me. I have the energy of a sloth. The brains of a goldfish. And the attitude of a bi-polar Princess Aurora.

But, it is March. That means it’s a little closer to something besides winter. We put the clocks ahead an hour this weekend which translates to “there will be light.”

So, as I stare out my window, looking at the snow that is edging up to eye level, I am grateful for March. Are we getting up to 9″ of snow by Thursday? Yes. So they say. But it’s March. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I will pull my head out of my ass and will become one with humanity.

On second thought, check back with me in April. Yeah. April seems more attainable. After all, isn’t that when bears come out of hibernation?

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.

 

Girl Scout Cookies. The Bane Of My Existence.

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You can suck it.

The Kid is a Girl Scout. She has been since she was an adorable little Daisy at 5 years old. She used to LOVE the Girl Scouts. She’s 16 now and of course, she isn’t in love like she used to be. She’s hanging in there though because she only has another year left and let’s face it…it looks good on the dreaded college resume.

It is GS cookie time. It has been for over a week but I keep forgetting. Somehow the job of selling cookies always lands on my shoulders. She used to love going door to door (with me, of course) up and down the neighborhood streets. Asking people to support her troop.

She also wanted the cheesy awards you got if you met certain goals. You know those awards that probably didn’t cost more than 50 cents to make in some third world country? Totally worth it.

When she was old enough to start selling cookies, her form would be practically full. Now? There’s so much white space you can write an entire novel on it.

Anyway, I forgot about the cookies until someone posted something on Facebook about them. So, I wrote this status on my wall:

“Aww crap. I keep forgetting it’s Girl Scout cookie time. Ugh. If anyone wants any, let me know. But you have to be within driving distance because getting them to people is a major pain in my ass and after over 10 years of this I’m kinda done. How’s that for customer service? Lol! (sssh, don’t tell our troop leader…). But I will gladly place an order for you with a smile!! xoxo”

Yeah, I know it was snarky. I know my friends are going to say I’m being mean and bitchy. Maybe I was a little rough. But I’m not kidding when I say I’m done. You don’t even need to put a fork in me to tell. It’s obvious because I have the appearance of a piece of chicken that was left out on the barby for too long.

Girl Scouts is an absolutely awesome organization. I don’t regret for one minute, the day I signed up my little angel. She has learned about respect and commitment. She has formed great friendships. She can pop up a mean tent and make chicken parmesan out of a cardboard box oven that would rival that of Martha Stewart’s.

But anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a lover of volunteering. And it pretty much takes a village to run a troop. Yes, her leader is awesome and does 99% of the work (thank you Miss K. You have literally helped raise my child, I am forever grateful to you) but I believe I have paid my dues. Both figuratively and literally.

Years of being cookie mom, running magazine drives, filling out those address books so your troop can have an extra $2 added to the account, having to be a chaperone at meetings, encampments, field trips. The f*cking permission slips for every dang thing. My hand a throbbing hot mess after writing out multiple forms in a row. I swear it takes an hour for the blood to start circulating again.

After being involved in the Girl Scouts for almost 12 years, I am tired. I will give to the poor, I will volunteer my time at the soup kitchen, I will make coffee for the parishioners at church. But please don’t ask me to sell one more god darn Girl Scout cookie. I just can’t do it anymore.

So, who wants some? We have Trefoils, Do-si-dos, Thin Mints….

Stop Trying To Sell Me Something Dammit!

I had to run a quick errand this afternoon. I didn’t want to. I was comfortable in my nice warm house. Outside it was snowy and cold as hell. The last thing I wanted to do was go out. Or get dressed.

I walked into Stop and Shop. I saw her in the corner of my eye. I tried to avoid her by turning toward the pineapples. My mistake was that I wasn’t fast enough. And also that I answered her.

Her: Excuse me, ma’am?

Me: (here it comes…shit. What do I do, what do I do?) Yes?

Her: Do you own a home?

Me: (I should lie. You know, tell her no.) …uh, Yes?

Her: Have you ever thought of solar panels for your house?

Me: No and I’m not interested. (I should have said I already have them, but lies always lead to more lies and before I know it she’s asking what manufacturer and I’m saying “The Solar Guys” and she’s all like umm, I don’t think there is such a thing and I’m saying you must not know your stuff and then she’s googling it to prove I’m wrong and then I’m feeling super bad and will need to stop into the local church on the way home to confess my sins.)

Her: Why?

Really? Did she just ask me why? Because I’m not, that’s why. Because I’m here for a f**king fruit basket I need to buy for a neighbor whose husband died 3 weeks ago but because my head is so far up my ass, I didn’t know so I missed all the services and I feel really bad so I’m going to say I’m sorry through apples (I’m not alone – yes, I just threw you under the bus my other 2 neighbors who also didn’t know).

I waved at her like those angry old men you see at the mall who are irritated by the teenagers playing their iPods too loudly. I heard her snicker under her breath. I have officially crossed to the other side. And I thought my wrinkles were bad?

I have to say I’m kind of tired of sales people who are put where they shouldn’t be. I get the Girl Scouts selling cookies outside of Office Max. I get the veteran’s looking for donations for the wounded soldiers outside of the market. I get salespeople. This isn’t about slamming the salesperson. These are jobs. There need to be salespeople for the world to carry on.

But the people that are set up inside of stores that have nothing to do with the store itself? Bothering the customers? Come on.

I understand that the kiosks at the mall are just running a business. So are all the other businesses there. But I don’t see some chick from Victoria’s Secret running after me with a pair of thongs promising that I will feel 30 years younger if I try them on, do I?

There’s the guy with the hair straightener. He’s coming at me so fast and furious, I swear he’s going to club me in the head with it.

There’s the lady who promises my hands and cuticles will be softer than a baby’s bottom if I buy her lotion. I actually fell for this once. It still sits in the cabinet in my bathroom. It started out blue. It is now green. And full to the brim.

The one that gets me the most is the guy pawning his e-cigarettes. What even is that? Whatever it is, please don’t assume I’m a smoker and try to sell them to me. It’s an insult.

If I’m interested in your wares, I will approach you. Otherwise, I will avoid you like the plague.

I actually have a route that I take so that I can avoid them. Which really sucks. I don’t want to have to avoid these people. I want to be able to go to the mall or the grocery store or even the gas station without being pounced on. I want to be able to shop in peace. It’s bad enough that my home phone rings all day and night. And they aren’t friends or family calling either.

Everything has gotten out of control. Technology, although grateful for it, has gotten out of control on some level. The way we live, has gotten out of control.

I long for the easy days of corded phones and playing outside. When the only people who called were your friends or grandmother. Easy shopping and writing letters. That’s what I want.

I kind of feel bad for our kids. They don’t understand. They don’t know who Paul McCartney is and that it’s not okay to talk to strangers on the internet.

When did that happen? I don’t know. But please. Can’t we at least keep sales to the sales office? It really would make me so much happier.

And making me happy is what it’s all about, right? Did I mention that we also live in a self-absorbed world? Houston, we might have a problem.