Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Scenes from a not quite Italian Bus Trip

How do you respond when your parents ask,  “Hey I have another ticket for a Little Italy bus trip to NYC?”…besides  ‘What time do we get back?”  I didn’t care about the cost, that was 2nd in my mind, I cared about the return time.  Would my Saturday night be a wash?  So I accepted in hopes this would be fun, not ever anticipating the amount of notes and hysterical moments that would come out of this. (Thanks to Mom for letting me borrow a pen to document almost everything!)

Let me set the scene – this trip was out of the local American Legion, the patrons on this trip were a majority of 55 and up, local yocals wearing matching Harley Davidson shirts, resembling truck drivers and some of us normal folk and those young enough to drink but old enough to witness.  We left the parking lot at 7:30 am, they were taking drink orders at 7:35 am.  I waited to have my first drink at 9 am which was a vodka cranberry with a splash of OJ, served just about to the brim of the solo cup, but so strong the vodka was sitting on top it needed a good stir. No wonder the volume of the bus had gotten a little louder.  They also were running a 50/50 with door ‘prizers’ (and no the woman in charge of the microphone wasn’t drinking yet) to support the local chapter.  We were also given strict instructions to ‘look around for their partner’ to apply the buddy system because if you’re not back by the time the bus leaves its your responsibility to find your way home.  By that time I guessed that 75% of the bus would be sleeping on the way back.  Boy was I wrong.

Overall the trip was fun, I really had a great time shopping, lying about who I was, using a different name, and looking for the nearest bar to kill time before we got back on the bus.  The Dublin House was open at 8 am, so we hit that spot after our first stop at Zabars, each of us threw back a shot of JD Tennessee Whiskey and a beer.  I was still pretending to be the pseudo wife of my ‘date’ for the ‘other ticket’.  I got to use a new name too.  We took some pictures at the bar, saw ‘Thor’ from the Avengers and headed on our way.  They had the “Excalibur” at that bar, if you don’t know what that is well its a man’s “Thank you very much”.  After the next few stops and another ‘free’ whiskey shot with a Brooklyn Blast chaser (very good beer btw) the highlight was my Mom joining in on the ‘game’ when this married guy on the street noticed I was yawning, started a conversation, asked where we were from and I came out with “Exit 12 on the Turnpike” (well I am from there I just don’t live there now) and my mom comes out with “Wisconsin”, which prompted my stepdad to answer “Oshkosh” after the guy asked ‘where abouts?’   I had to bite my tongue from laughing so hard and squeeze the glutes to keep from peeing my pants. 

The ride home was nothing short of silent during National Lampoons Christmas Vacation 2 where occasionally you heard from the ‘bus bar area’ say ‘take off your clothes’.  Some key comments of the night are below, in no particular order and you can make it up as you go along.  Somehow I forgot I bought Soprasado, and found it wrapped up in my fridge. 

“I tried pushing it but it wouldn’t stop” (me trying to make the screeching noise stop from the window seat)
“Kiss my asshole.”
“I have an extra hand I could hold something”
“Show me your apps”

“5 dolla, 5 dolla, 5 dolla”

Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013 Unfiltered

….and other terms during dinner that could be inappropriate
For the ‘rookies’ this is what is said at our dinner table, uncensored, no filter, and what could be or isn’t normal at other’s houses for Thanksgiving.  I bet you’ll look at that bird differently now J *May not be suitable for those under 17 and who may get offended easily.

  • Throw it clockwise
  • This is my first experience with it warm
  •    Yeah that’s tight
  •     It works
  •     You need some ruffage in your life
  • Get all your ho’s in check
  • I just don’t like things that explode in my mouth
  • Its all about the stuffing
  • Where’s the other leg?
  • There all so big
  • Just fork it
  • Stab it and grab it
  • Don’t worry my fingers are clean
  •     Thank god for you she has small fingers
  • One and done
  • It grabbed me by surprise
  • I’m a breastman but the leg was very good
  • Spin it around and pull something
  • It changed my life
  • It makes your yin yang
  • Why did you throw it out?
  •    No one eats the a$$
  •    Oh I eat a$$
  •    I eat a$$ too
  • Suck that bone dry
  • I tea bag everytime your moms here
  • You know what happens to a female on steroids?
  • We gotta move the cattle
  • Honey I need liquor
  • The booze has got me.
  • There’s nothing you can’t lick or suck off - Natalie

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Surviving the Big D: The Holidays

The holidays are a stressful time for anyone and everyone (Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the big top 3).  You go thru the following questions every holiday: “Who do we see first, who gets shafted for dinner or dessert, who gets left out this year?  Why don’t we host so we’re not running around like crazy?”  Now that you are on your own your holidays change and for me it was for the better. I didn’t have to deal with the stress of answering those questions anymore.  I went where I wanted to (or just stayed home), stayed as long as I wanted to stay (not to satisfy the hosts), there was no more juggling, no more stressful holidays when those dates came along on the calendar.  I had spent most of my driving life (with and without being in relationships choosing where to spend my holidays because my parents were divorced) so this was a relief.

One thing to keep in mind, whether you are separated/divorced/single you will be the topic of conversation to family members who haven’t seen you in a while.  It’s best to let them speak their mind as you nod and smile to comprehend, they do not need to know all the details of the separation/agreement as to spread that information across the soup can telephone lines to the rest of the family.  If you are uncomfortable then just politely say “Please respect my privacy as I wish to not speak about this at this time.”  I can’t quite put a finger on when the whispers stopped for me as I had other things to contend with the details of the agreement.  I know after five years certain family members refrained from asking if we still talk because my response had been nothing but ‘no’ or “I’m waiting for him to refi”.  Not something I wanted to discuss at the family dinner table while passing the vegetables.
Since my divorce, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving, which was not stressful at all thanks to Mom’s stuffing. I love hosting events, if you’re late we don’t wait to eat, too bad.  We drink, we have no filter at the table which makes the traditional family dinners not so traditional to some.  The adults man the television which means football is on at all times  – except maybe during dinner when there’s dinner music on.  Just like it was when I was little, I had no say over what was on the TV after dinner at Grandpa’s, the Uncle’s had football on.  The next day, Black Friday I’m up and shopping, a new tradition that was started over the last few years with my Mom and my sister when the three of us are together.  Thanksgiving, like Easter is one day a year, you don’t need to spread it over an entire weekend - especially if you just saw those people the previous weekend for dinner or a birthday. I’ve always wanted to celebrate it with friends, perhaps one of these years.

I actually look forward to Christmas morning on my own terms now instead of the dread of waking up and having to be at someone else’s house at zero-dark-thirty watching their kids open their gifts while mine sat under the tree at home.  I no longer have to deal with the brilliant idea of rotating the holidays and then having to face disappointment when the SOs family doesn’t ‘get it’ or understand that you have family too.  (Ah I got that out again, yes I’m still a little bitter from my previous life, but the last few years of doing it all my way have been way more enjoyable, this is the last time you’ll hear me mention that I promise!) 

Now I wake up on Christmas without an alarm (even if I’m out on Christmas Eve), visit family on my schedule and theirs.  Christmas is one day to spend with those you love how you want to, not what is expected of you.  Others’ will just have to deal or for a better term, concede to the other, especially when most of us have to work the next day. My Christmas’ since the divorce have been most memorable.

One thing I almost forgot which is a huge factor in deciding who to keep or toss from your friends list -  when the Christmas cards come rolling in family and friends may not remember you’ve changed your name back, they may not know about your divorce.  It’s best to get your cards out first this way you won’t be angry if they address your envelope with “Mr. & Mrs.” Or “Mrs. (insert married name here)”.  Saves you the frustration of having to write off your friends and family based on their lack of paying attention to minor details. 

Then there’s Easter…Easter for me is always just another Sunday dinner and reminiscing about our matching Easter outfits as children.  We no longer color eggs, but we hold the traditional baking of multiple recipes of Babka from Grandma. I still don’t think we actually have the entire recipe – she must have left something out on purpose.  Overall unless they’re questioning you at the dinner table again, Easter isn’t a big deal since its only a few hours and there aren’t any gifts being exchanged.

Being married and then divorced and single, having to split holidays between two-three families even prior to all of those events gives one a different perspective even though I do not have children.  We share the holidays with those we love, we should not have to experience subconscious guilt because we choose to spend the holidays with someone else’s family or friends.  Yes we’re not getting any younger and our families are getting older but in hindsight we should not have to feel that we’re doing something wrong if we chose the latter.  Society places such high regard on expectations of everyone that we spend most of our holidays stressing about them instead of enjoying them.  We spend too much time worrying about what other people think and hurting someone’s feelings.
And lastly….after dealing with the ‘rotating’ and traveling from house to house do not feel pressured to show up with a date to your families holiday dinner.  Do not by all means succumb to the pressure.  I for one do not want to schlep my new SO around when he could be spending time with his family.  It would be entirely different if I was engaged or married again, however while you are single you stick to your family and him to his.  It’s so much easier on both of you that way, there’s no stress or fighting.  Forget what your family might think it’s not their life, and you’ve already ‘been there done that’ and probably didn’t enjoy it.  I’m not saying write it off entirely, if there is an opportunity to share a holiday then great, otherwise there should be no pressure to rsvp to dinner with a +1.  You can always go to dinner another time.  Because the minute you show up with a date the new whispers start of ‘how serious is this one?’, ‘oh do you think he’ll/she’ll get married again?’ will come along, and if he or she doesn’t show up with you for the next holiday,  god help you because society wants us all to be attached at the hip and now you’re not so something is wrong in their eyes and they break out the soup cans to start the telephone line.  The vicious cycle begins, so its best to just do your own thing until you’re absolutely ready to bring someone to the holiday dinner table.

So this year I ask you to spend the holidays as you want to, without the stress, the unwanted expectations from outsiders.  If they do not understand then its their problem, do it your way and you will enjoy the holidays.

**I didn’t include July 4th, New Years, Memorial Day as those are holidays that don’t particularly count as ‘shared’ events, more for spending time with friends.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Surviving the Big D: Why now?

I have been asked, “Why are you writing about this now? Why are you making this public? Why talk about it?"  To be honest, I was officially divorced and had my name changed 5 years ago, however I felt I had to wait for certain ink to dry to not put myself in jeopardy of anything else in my life being delayed any further, so I kept quiet.  Trust me it was like banging my head against the wall.  One of the biggest mistakes I made with the mediator (besides getting a mediator and not an attorney) in the Property Settlement was I did not put when any dates for specific things were due by, thus allowing the ex to take his time to refinance the house.  With that being said, my name was still on the mortgage, it still showed up on my credit report, which when I went to apply for a mortgage on my current place I had to prove I wasn’t responsible or living there anymore.  What’s worse when I went for any loan, whether it be a car loan or personal loan it looked like I owned two houses.  Thankfully things were written out in the property settlement explaining the ex had to refinance (sans the ‘due date’), and I began to carry a copy of it around on a USB device as a safety net.

Five years later, it’s clearly off my credit report thanks to the brilliant Divorce Attorney who wrote the letter to apply the pressure,  that was definitely money well spent.  I would like to thank the ex for keeping up with the payments to not put my credit in jeopardy although others may not be so kind to do so as from other stories I’ve heard.  So that is why I waited to publish my series of “Surviving the Big D” and anything else about my divorce.   Now that the ink is dry and papers are filed away, I can ‘talk’ in hopes my experience helps someone else. 

Stay tuned for the next installment, this one is perfect for the ‘holidays’! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Surviving the Big D: You are #1

My divorce happened before the chance to have kids came around , so at this point in my life I was looking out for me and that meant doing things for myself for a change and not worrying about everyone and everything around me.  I treated myself to a day at Depasquale Spa with one of the Angels – something I’ve never ever done before. I’ve heard this place was expensive but worth it – and the ‘lounge’ and facial treatment was well worth it!  What had I been missing out on?  I also spent money on something I mostlikely would have never ever purchased before, something out of my price range but that I could ultimately pay off without living off of Raman noodles.  That was my ‘independence’ purse.  I bought my first gold Coach purse, which started a moderate collection of bags afterward.  I still look upon it as my ‘independence’ purse, it could have been any purchase but for me just buying this new purse meant starting my life over again. 

As far as books and movies go, rent the entire series of Sex in the City with or without your girlfriends.  After watching the entire series you will be tempted and driven to update your hair and wardrobe and get that sexy back.  I spent a Friday night watching episode after episode of one season that inspired me (more like motivated after a glass of wine) when I woke up Saturday all I wanted to do was buy shoes and so I did.  I went and bought 2 pairs of sexy heels and 2 pairs of knee high boots.  It was an impulse but I do get plenty of wear of out them.

Read ‘Eat Pray Love’ do not see the movie.  I enjoyed the book much better than the movie.  It will make you think, believe and regain that self confidence once again, I can’t truly explain what you’ll personally obtain from it, but you will find something.  “Rules” books are ok to indulge in if you do not take them seriously.  I mean, rules haven’t really changed, just the fact pagers and pay phones are nonexistent, IM is a thing of the past, that texting is the latest means to conversation and trust in yourself to not put up with any b-s (see your bucket list if you need a refresher).   

If you still need to get yourself sorted out and your head screwed on straight, then I suggest talking to a counselor, overall it can’t hurt, its confidential and covered by most health insurances.  Talking to a complete (professional) stranger about your issues instead of burdening your friends all the time is part of the healing process.  I did and for one session a week for three weeks sure set my mind right when I had failed in ‘couples’ counseling.  It also helped me deal with my father’s sudden passing, so it is worth it to talk to a professional even if you have the support of your friends and family.

Make yourself over and pamper yourself (expensive) just once, get your make up done, get a new hair style, get a spa manicure/pedicure.  Get your ‘guts’ out on the table and feel like you can conquer the world.  You are #1 now, go do things for YOU that make YOU happy. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Aging Like Fine Wine (minus the plaid skirts)

I spent most of the car ride to my 20 year high school reunion trying to figure out how to answer the “so where’s your husband?” question.   Numerous responses came to mind such as “He’s in my dream house” (at the time of purchase it indeed was a dream house), “I left him home but my escort cancelled”, “I don’t have one anymore”, “He fell off a boat”.  Only to be asked one question by a classmate married with children, “So what’s your story, single, married, etc?” With my response being “Divorced” and his immediately being, “That bastard” which is much better than the typical “Oh I’m so sorry to hear that”.  It was a funny, classic moment and definitely uplifting since it was coming from someone not even knowing anything about me in the last 20 years. 

Amongst friends new and old, and old acquaintances being brought up to speed the night could have been without the breeze (and smell) of low tide and burnt popcorn.  Kudos to the bartender for remembering (and properly pouring) my drinks for the evening. 

And thanks to my fans, my new fans who I had no idea you were reading this, it means a lot so please comment often!  I will try to keep it ‘honest and raw’ for ‘Hello my name is ____ husband’ who wants to one day make the blog. Well then I guess I’ll coordinate an outing with your wife and we’ll all go out and I’ll bring my notebook.  I wasn’t expecting to write anything after Saturday, yet wanted to extend my utmost thanks to my followers who like to ‘keep it real’ and ‘honest’.  Sometimes the truth hurts and sometimes its worth a laugh, if only I wasn’t so in deep with poetry 20 years ago imagine the stories I would have told back then!  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

No Plan? No Second Chance

Ladies, ladies, ladies, my single ladies, my newly single ladies, my newly back in the game again ladies what are you doing? I too was one back in the game and had to re-learn the new or old rules, which pretty much remained the same except texting replaced a pager.  But I did not faulter, lean or hand out second chances to anyone undeserving. 

Normally I do not write about my friends experiences however I thought this deserved a spot.  Recently one of my Angels met this guy at a fine restaurant at a work happy hour, they exchanged numbers, talked for what seemed to be an eternity then she hoped he’d contact her for a potential date.  He contacted her to talk, via text and somewhere along the conversation he got short with her and said ‘whatever’ to something they were talking about.  It seemed he did not get the joke, that whatever was in the exchange he took personally.  He never responded for 4 days.  Rule number one, when first meeting a guy and texting for the first time do not have marathon texting sessions. I won’t tell you the main reason why because then it would be giving away more of our secrets,  other than the obvious where one of you misunderstands something in the conversation.  After  4 days he finally texts her and they chat and he asks her out for Saturday night, he said “We’ll go to dinner then dancing”.   I was leary for her to do this since he was AWOL for 4 days and now I guess he’s free Saturday, all comments and misunderstandings aside.  Plus, we had a side conversation that perhaps this guy was accustomed to having his way so he misinterpreted what she said.  Any guy that takes what you say personally has issues and those issues can never be fixed. 

So she’s all excited, she texts me what she’s wearing, needed some advice on what shoes to wear, purse, etc.  (this is what us gals do).  I tell her to be careful and have fun, something was still off about this one, even if I never met him.

The next morning I get a ‘that f-in sucked’ text from her.  I listen, I ask minimal questions and then she says, ‘he’s got one more chance’.  Um – hell no!  This guy asked her out, he said he would take her out for ’ dinner and dancing’ so he should have had plans for the evening.  Apparently there was no plan, no set dinner reservations, no ‘dancing’ venue he planned ahead to go to.  Nothing.  Where did they end up? Houlihans!  This is a 40 year old man, who asked my friend out.  If a guy asks a woman out he better have a plan for the evening.  Men do not get do-overs for not having a ‘plan’ on a first date.  She gave him her number because there was something there, so he needs to impress her with a plan for the evening.  If roles were reversed and she asked him out she would have had a plan for the evening.

Life is too short to deal with this nonsense – Men who have plans are sexy especially on a first impression.  It’s down the road where you can wing it and negotiate plans, but most definitely not on a first date.  You got our number, now impress us.

Of course I told her nicely that he does not get a second chance for being incompetent.  He had all those days he didn’t talk to her, plus the time he set up the date to before the date to make plans.   Sorry buck-o, she tossed you back into the loser pool to move on to something better.

**Last  night I was witness to a similar situation, my friend’s friend just happened to be meeting a guy for a first date at this restaurant we were at.  She walked over and said hi to us and explained the situation.  While we were talking her date texts her and said he’d be there at 8:30 pm, it was 7:45, they had planned to meet at 8.  She told him she’d have a drink and if he wasn’t there by then she was going to leave.  8:30 rolls around and we’re waiting with her and he texts her ‘Closer to 9’, she oh so nicely replied, ‘I’m leaving’.  I’m not sure what happened after we all left the restaurant, if he even contacted her to reschedule (again, apparently this was the 2nd reschedule). I implied that he never left in the first place.   You set plans for 8 pm, don’t expect us to wait for you either.  NEXT!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Not Your Typical Assigned “Summer Reading”

Occasionally as part of our review process at work, we are asked to read a book, relevant to the basics of a working environment.  One of my ‘development task’ area objectives (which may consist of taking a training course to freshen up my skills, to book reading, to explaining to the department the new project we’re working on, was suggested I read “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni.  For the record these suggestions come from my boss who in turn hears the suggestions (and sometimes receives the books in the interoffice mail) from his boss as a ‘great read’ or in general conversation from other group members in conference calls.  I do recommend “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” even if it was a short book, read over a few lunch hours.  It made me want to keep reading, it had scenarios I could relate to, and characters I could put real people to that I have known, have worked for or with.  It made sense and yes I have a brief snapshot of part of that book on my desk.  In theory most of us have worked in, dealt with, played on a team.  The underlying goal is as a team to work together to achieve the goal.  No matter what type of team you find yourself on, if you don’t work together, trust each other, be accountable, lack commitment you will fail.  We all need to have a paddle in our hands and work at the same time to get the boat to its destination (not my favorite example, but you know what I mean).

Next, I began reading Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” prior to picking up “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey (also part of the assigned reading).  I skimmed most of “7 Habits” due to the details of the book, I’m not a big fan of the ‘self help’ typeface, I want to read a story, hear dialogue, keep my attention and make me want more for 300 pages or so.  It was in a pile of ‘work related’ books my stepdad was tossing, so why not I thought give it a try.  I gave it a try, the only thing that kept my attention was the quotes at the beginning of each chapter.  Now I’m giving it my full attention, with the fear that I might be quizzed or have to give a brief book report on it later on.  It is difficult to get through, and at this point of the blog I was only on the 2nd chapter!  Once I finished it wasn’t as painful as reading “The Speed of Trust” on my Kindle.  This one was fully detailed about relationships and characteristics, from a more psychological perspective.  I wanted and hoped this was more about building trust in a working relationship, more or less a how to or steps to achieve it.  Not personal experience from an analytical point of view.  That was painful to say the least.  At least the quotes at the beginning of every chapter (commonality between the father/son authors) held my attention if only for a few seconds before I had to turn the page to continue my not typical summer reading assignment (again have I mentioned how I really enjoyed those quotes?).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Surviving the Big D: The Every-days

So you’re alone, you’re by yourself in your space, whether it’s the house that you kept or an apartment, your parents house, your friends couch or somewhere else.  You have no one to answer to, no one to complain to, no complaints to hear.  Your everyday changes.  You begin to wonder what you are going to do with yourself now, you ask yourself “how do I spend all this free time?”  Use your family and friends as support, you will find out who your true friends are once you go through a traumatic experience in your life, such as a divorce.  They are the ones that stick through it with you.  Do not ask them to choose sides, it’s not their place to get involved with your personal issues, they are not paying that legal fee.  It can make things worse for everyone.  And if they do choose the opposite side, then they really weren’t your friend after all.

As you begin this new chapter in your life, think of it as ‘getting the old me back’.  I gave up a lot of things I liked to do, friends I had, clothes I wore, just to name a few and it made me miserable.  In hindsight it was for nothing.  I learned now I will not lose who I am in a relationship because it’s who I was before I got there. It’s who he fell in love with.  I will not wear baggy clothes at family events because a family member continually tells me “You’re too skinny”. I will not say “No” to friends’ bbq’s because my SO doesn’t want to go.  I will wear my clothes, I will go anyway.  I will not lose who I am and be miserable again.

But you learn this, as I had to relearn this.  I learned it takes time to heal, time to figure it all out and that time may be 6 months, it might be a year, it might be longer.  I learned to get my life in check, get ‘me back’ before I had any sense of direction.  I learned and so will you.  Again, it takes patience with yourself.  It’s a rediscovery, a do-over.  So I ask you who were you before?  Did you give up what made you happy only in the end to discover it made you miserable?  What makes you happy?

I started writing again, in different forms. I do occasionally still write poetry, I’ve written a few spoken word pieces and now my main focus is blogs (short snippets of my life, some true, some highly exaggerated).  Thank you Carrie Bradshaw!  I dove into exercise, not that I needed it but I found other interests such as running and cycling (thanks to having a Schwinn in my teens) to fill up all that extra time. I’m secretly waiting for the roller skating itch to return…shhh.  You will find that filling up your days with doing the things you love, what makes you happy, what you enjoy doing will be rewarding.  You will find new friends, reconnect with old ones, discover new hobbies.  Remember that bucket list?  Here’s your chance to start to cross some things off. 

It was difficult for me, having all this time to myself, filing my weekends with the big question “hmm what can I do today?” Everything and anything is possible.  Having friends and family to support you makes all the difference in getting through the every-days.

Just another installment in 'Surviving the Big D'

Friday, August 2, 2013

Party of 5

It’s amazing what can fit in my car for a weekend in AC, its also amazing how I can overpack. I’m usually so organized, picking outfits out that mix and match, along with shoes, but this time I brought way too much for the Annual Girls Weekend.  That’s just what is was and has been for the last 4 years, the annual girls trip for married, single, divorced, separated ladies.  Cheap therapy with your gal pals that is not limited to dropping a few $20s in a slot machine and sucking down a few cranberry and vodkas while discussions of children, hoo-hahs and men are not hushed.  Always that time of year to look forward to, I don’t know why any girls weekend or girls night is frowned upon.  Well, those of you that do, shame on you.  You have no idea what quality time with your gals away from your family or ‘kid free’ as an Angel put it, will do for your health.  It’s that break you look forward to, that reconnecting with your friends once a year to make new memories, play catch up, share photos, drink Starbucks and most of all have fun.  With that said on to our next adventure.

Within the first few minutes of dropping the bags in the room and venturing out to find food we were approached by a tall ‘Irish’ Bostonian (with an Irish accent) who couldn’t have been more than 25 and been my brother.  He of course, targeted me, the one who looks the most Irish out of the group.  Claiming he was with a group of 14 guys, all of which were ‘crashing in the room’ he tried desperately to find out where we were going that night.  The guy did not waste time, he even had a ‘young lad’ with him.  Being the smart ones we are, we deflected the question and he went on to ask if we were all single, trying to get our ‘lucky charms’.  Of course we answered honestly but he insisted he obtain one of our numbers.  So I not-so-kindly started to walk away and said “We’ll see you later” which in fact we did not.

We move on to bar hop, to celebrate a birthday, which if you are celebrating a birthday make sure the bartender knows.  You get better service that way, and if he’s cute he’ll pay attention.  The sports bar we ended up in had a huge cast of characters including firemen who didn’t have a calendar and Frodo who was their mascot.   Through a few winks and smiles, and men that seemed to only wink at our birthday girl and not have anything else to say we moved on to a late night fix of pizza, cheesesteaks and a grilled cheese.  Unfortunately this place was nothing like our infamous 4 am ‘noodle bar’ and Senor Pizza wasn’t back until noon.  How can you have pizza on the menu if the gourmet pizza chef only works half the day?

Finding a spot for five of us on the beach amongst families and those with children, away from anything that resembled the French guy in a speedo was a little difficult, but not unattainable.  We just had to pick the right spot, to be able to see everything and not offend anyone because we do not have a filter – there is no censor as to most adult conversations anywhere in public.  We had our SPF, our magazines, and in full agreement that the word ‘selfie’ was entirely worn out by this time.  We just continued to take silly beach ‘selfies’ of ourselves in between flipping the pages of SHAPE magazine.   Now the Beach Bar was a minor let down, our favorite bartenders no longer were there to serve one of us that killer drink.  We’ve had numerous occasions of ‘one woman down’ after drinking here.  Meaning at least one of us didn’t survive making it back out of the room at night after drinking one of their mixed drinks. I was one of them one year, and vowed never to do that again.  I missed an entire evening!  I’m still trying to understand the wardrobe malfunctions I saw, along with the ‘wolverine’ look alikes that paraded around holding their plastic fishbowl drinks.  How could their friends let them leave the house like that?  That’s where I come in with a camera..yup, smile, or don’t smile, you made the blog or at least your sneakers did.  

The guy I really wanted the picture of was wearing a suntan of a wife-beater with a sailor hat on.  Still wondering about that one – did he lose a bet?  We drank, we danced, we had fun, we even met a Peyton Manning look-alike who left his bachelor party drunk in the room to have a drink with adults.  The Angels thank you Mr. Best Man for the shot.  That was the highlight at the bar, unless you take the suggestion from the bartender to ‘not order the dirty banana’ while watching the ‘situation’ look alike get tossed out.  Who gets tossed from the beach bar at 3 in the afternoon?  I seem to have a lot of questions on this trip…but at least we’re not ‘babysitting’ like previous years.

After getting all prettied up and looking fabulous we head to dinner where I seem to be the only one taking notes watching another table which seems to be a bachelorette party (who would have guessed) actually hold up their food (with their fingers) to take pictures of it.  Chicken must be made differently in their town I guess.    We score a limo ride for the price of a taxi to Harrah’s Pool, we were riding in style - see saying its ‘someone’s birthday’ can get you places.  This is where it got interesting.  We got a discount at the door because we were all over 30, the club where I’ll never pay money to get into again because their DJ was horrible.  We also learned never give a camera to anyone under 25 to take a group picture, because he got down on one knee and shot up at us.  Dumbass.  No one got free drinks that night, not even the birthday girl.  But this is just the beginning as we all split up in groups to scour the place.  Three of us found observing a table of two guys, one wearing a suit all by themselves sharing bottle service to be interesting.  Think Chris Farley and Channing Tatum sharing a bottle service table by themselves.  Um hum.   In looking for the other Angels we ventured to the rooftop, which was a smoking lounge with couches and places to sit.  We sat for a while only to be approached by a guy who wanted us to guess his nationality.  Really? Is that all you got? He was nicely dressed I’ll give him that, and when he asked if he could sit down, I smack myself now for allowing it as he tried to sit on my lap.  His stay was short lived since he was spitting on me as he spoke about being an Egyptian and living in the palace.  See we think quick, we go with a plan, and when he asked us for our names it went like this: “Valerie, Jane, and I’m Married, thanks but we have to go find our friends.” Yup…at least that part was the truth. 

From bad pickup lines such as ‘would you dance with those Chippendale Dancers?’ to horrible music this night couldn’t have gotten any worse for our eyes and ears.  We encountered at the next bar a girl bent over puking at her table with her friend holding her hair back,  someone else with her boyfriend wearing prison stripes that if she didn’t pull her skirt down a bit more we would be able to tell what brand of panties she was or wasn’t wearing.  Apparently we missed the memo that prison stripes were the rage now since I could count on both hands the amount of people wearing them, and that includes the amount of men in Salmon colored shirts, oh and don’t forget the guy wearing the pink pants.  Whether they wore them well is a different story.  And would someone please tell these girls to keep their shoes on when they use the public restroom?  How gross!  I wonder if the girl we saw in the lobby, who looked like she was tossed out of her room with her bag did.  She was sitting on the floor in the middle of the lobby, on her phone when we heard in a half-crying-upset voice , “You left me in the bathroom for 3 hours!”  HAHA!  I was amazed how many people asked us if she was okay out of concern, my response, “She’s not in our party, not our problem”. She clearly had a phone so she could find her way home or better yet, call her parents to come get her.  I guess if you were hitting on my boyfriend I would have left you there too.

Amongst the ridiculous amount of bachelorette parties that we passed and our  ‘Congratulations, don’t let her eat the cake’ remarks to the bachelor parties (although no one seems to understand that, but we warned them) we had fun laughing at all those women dressed up to the nines who can’t walk in their shoes.  Yes we’re laughing at you because we know better.   We also laugh at men who sit together (and take pictures of them), men who sit together with a chair in between  them (huh?),  men who look like Hermie the Dentist that order Bloody Mary’s at 4 in the afternoon.  

Last but not least I’d like to give a shout out to the girl, who I mistakenly assumed was a teenage boy, for checking us out and to “Jimmie Walker” who kept calling us beautiful.  Thank you!

Every year it gets better, every year we have fun, there’s always a new story, someone else missing a spot with SPF,  a new ‘idiot’ to make the blog and the hope that one of the angels would get inked to join the rest of us.  An annual trip that we all look forward to that just might be split in seasons…look out winter and next summers ‘party’ is already planned!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Surviving the Big D: The Requirements

I’ve posted the ‘Requirements’ a few years ago and here is how I got to that point.  In no particular order of how you want do get back your sanity, write a list of everything you want in your next relationship, or as I’ve called it “Requirements”. These “Requirements” should be a list of what you are looking for in a relationship, from your potential significant other including situations you do not want to happen in your next relationship.  For example my ex-MIL forgot about the doorbell and calling first before stopping by and my ex never-ever confronted her about it.  Yeah that won’t happen again. 

As you meet people out with friends, dating, you’ll find this as a guide, not necessarily as a list to live by, more as a guide to keep you in line from making those same mistakes again.  My first requirement was ‘Can you boil water?’ in others words, ‘can you cook?’  It’s one of those ice breaker questions you can bring up just meeting someone and they won’t know exactly where you’re going with it (even if it is a bit sarcastic).  You may add other ‘requirements’ as you go along and set up your own rating system.  Not every person you meet has to meet all the requirements, although having a form to easily carry in your purse to hand out to prospects had crossed my mind at one point.  I’ve encouraged my single friends, including those still in the dating pool to make their own list.  There’s always something that happens in relationships we were in that we promise ourselves we won’t deal with again, well..write it down! 

 I no longer abide by my list of “Requirements”, yet it is a great frame for the future and makes a great conversation Q&A to jerks you meet along the way in your newly single life.  Share it with your friends, ask your friends to add to it.  It’s therapeutic as well when you get together with friends and laugh about it and never gets old.  I wonder why I didn’t have this in the first place?

Samples of the ‘Requirements” 
  • Must know how to cook – at least boil water and make mac and cheese
  • Must knowhow to do laundry – there is a big difference between whites and darks
  • Must have manners – meaning..open A door for me, whether it be the car door or any door. Opening 1 door that night is a big brownie point winner.
  • If he has a pet, make sure he spends quality time with the pet, otherwise I may find myself locked in the basement when he wants to be alone

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Not on My Roster

Every fall softball season I lose a player on Ball Busters, I do pick up a few but I have to search for them, scout them, hope that someone has a friend who can play. I usually post an ad on a local softball forum, I’ve had success there a few times for tournament players and filing a roster spot.  So when this guy by the name of “John” (yes I’ll use his first name or at least the name he gave me) emailed me and gave me his number to text him back, I turned it into an interview.  “Do you currently play?” “What position do you play?”  “Where do you bat in the lineup?”  He just so happened to have a game that night so I asked him to tell me his stats and we’d talk.  In a way I didn’t like his attitude over texting, and he sounded very young and immature.  He sounded like there was only an “I” in his team.

So he wouldn’t tell me if he went 3 for 4 or whatnot the next day but he was adamant about being on my team.  He was evasive.  This weekend he texted me wanting to know if he was part of the team or he’d make other plans.  Well the weekend got away from me and I knew I was waiting for other responses for feelers I placed so I got back to him 2 days later.  Which leads us to today another text message “Am I playing or you dint need me anymore?” Yes he misspelled ‘don’t’ aside from the tone I was turned off. I knew he would not be a good mix with the rest of my team.  Mostlikely someone would want to bash his head in given the attitude.  Now I tell him I need to make a decision by such and such a date and he wants a response ‘yes or no’ today. I then typed out nicely that I may already have too many people but that if a spot opens up I’d let him know.  Well didn’t that just open the marathon texting from the other end of the phone.  OMG, are you f-in kidding me? I thought to myself.  He really took it personal that I didn’t want his cocky self on my all-star team.  He then called me ‘cocky’ after I politely deleted the three messages he sent me and I replied, “Nice to meet you.  Good  luck in the rest of your season.” I see nothing short of cocky in that sentence, if anything I was politely sarcastic.  Wait for it….the kicker was he sent me a ‘selfie’ saying ‘Now you saw me, you wish you had me on your undefeated team.” Um, no guy I don’t.  We’re undefeated for a reason.   I’d hate to be the girl in a relationship with this guy. 

As I politely end this while its still fresh on my mind, I’m waiting for another barrage of texts which at this point I’ll post his # for everyone to RSVP to.  Check your attitude at the door – not on my roster!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Surviving the Big D: The Bucket List

First things first, in order to start a new while I was waiting for the papers to be in stone I wrote a bucket list.  This bucket list is everything I ever wanted to do, places I wanted to see, when I was married (and prior to) but he didn’t want to do them with me or had already done them.  These are my hopes for the future that are somewhat attainable, things to plan ahead for.  My item of seeing a great white shark probably would never happen in a safe situation but it’s a clear reminder that is something I’d like to see one day (out in the wild, in a safe environment, but not at a zoo).  Once the list was completed and typed out legibly I hung it on my refrigerator.  It served as a constant reminder that this is who I am/was/am going to find again and these are the things I will accomplish.  If you decide to do this for yourself you can start anywhere and check them off as they are completed.  Living close to NYC for most of my life off the NJ Turnpike I had never been to the top of the Empire State Building, so when my friend and I were sent to the city for IT training, she went with me to cross that one off the list.  Share it with your friends, they will want to help you and you will have fun doing so. I still have mine, there are a few yet to be crossed off such as a trip to Australia and Cooperstown, and buying a pair of black leather pants.

If I've learned anything from this is that if you are in a relationship you will do what it takes to make that other person happy, even if they've never been to the Empire State Building and you have.  Taking trips to learn things together, experience it all over again creates memories that will last a lifetime.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

An Introduction to Sandwiches

When it comes to a free lunch, there are usually a few options.  It might be hot food, it might be pizza, it could be assorted sandwiches and wraps.  So if its free, why does everyone sound stupid asking these questions?  Do they not appreciate what is being offered to them?  Can they not tell the difference between a tuna sandwich and ham? You decide. 

Sound bytes from a free lunch with a variety of sandwiches in a half hour time span (anything in parens indicates the number of times it was said):
Variations of: “What are my choices?” “ So what are these?” “ Which one is pot luck?”
“Glad I got here”
“Walk don’t run”
“Two sandwiches per person” (3)
“Take two, that’s it”
“Don’t forget your bag of chips and your drink” – should be changed to “Don’t forget your daily extra amount of sodium intake”
“This is tuna” (10)
“This is ham” (6)
“This is veggy” (6)
“This is chicken” (10)
“This is like a sloppy Joe” (8)
“Drinks are in the kitchen” (3)
“I just tasted something that was good”
“What luncheon is the best?”
“I was kinda wondering there for a second”
“If (name to not be mentioned) comes back tell him there’s none left”
“What’s going on? Is there lunch happening?” – obviously this could be a person’s inability to put two and two together seeing the spread on the table, however I sympathize because I know this person was on a call with a client while this loud and obnoxious luncheon was being served in the an open
working area for the entire office.
“There’s still stuff left”
“Hey, were you here before?”
“How many can I take?” – what is being offered is never enough for some
“This one has eggplant, maybe that is the veggy one?”
“Do you want the veggy ones or not?”
“That’s it?  That’s all your having?” – as if what was on their plate was a piece of lettuce
“Does your wife feed you?” – LOL moment, literally
“Are they toasted?” – clearly visible that some were toasted due to the marks on the bread
“Gotta watch my girlish figure” – came from a guy
“When’s dessert?” – the ultimate question that only those who do not appreciate freebies would ask
“Look, there’s all sorts of food here today?” – really? I never noticed and had no idea based on the decibels radiating from the other side of the wall
“Go ahead and finish them” – how does this not lead to an expanding waistline?
“Which one didn’t I have?” – see above
Conversation inferring to peer pressure: “Did you get your bag of chips?” “No, I’m passed my limit”, “That’s ok, save it for later” – yes, more sodium does a body good – NOT!
“Thank you” (2)

It’s unfortunate only two said “Thank you” during this session that I couldn’t help but make entertaining instead of agonizing when I’m the one on the calls. It’s a shame that the very same people that drive themselves to work everyday need introductions to sandwiches, even if they were labeled I guarantee the same questions would be asked.  I did not partake in the freebies, as my chicken, spinach salad with almonds was much more appetizing with a banana as my dessert. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What I Learned and How I Survived the Big “D”

Divorce is not easy on anyone, whether you have kids or don’t have kids, its not easy, its not cheap either.  But I survived and so will you.  I needed to have a little patience with myself.  I was now on my own and alone.  I got a do-over as I like to call it. 

I am in no way shape or form an expert on how to survive a divorce, what I can tell you is how I survived, what I did, how I found my happiness again.  This is my personal experience, a verbage of after affects from an unhappy marriage, when counseling didn’t work and things probably wouldn’t have changed regardless.  I do not have kids.  In the end it was a mutual breakup and not ‘surprise I’m asking you for a divorce' followed by a 'sign here’ sticker.  I can only tell my story and hope that you will find something which provides you comfort, hope and your do-over.  Always remember you are A #1, you must do what makes you (and your kids if you have them) happy.

Look for multiple installments of ‘Surviving the Big D” in days to come.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Primer Showdown

Benefit’s The Porefessional vs Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
 - main use to cover the visible pores and fine lines that have been appearing as I age (seem to find a new one every year).

The Porefessional  I received as a sample with a purchase from Sephora at my last visit.  I was able to get 2 uses out of it.  After I applied my daily moisturizer and let that set in I applied the Pore Professional around my eyes, my forehead and those newly appearing lines by my lips.  It applies like a creamy mousse, has a soft satin texture to it once you apply it and perfectly blends in with my skin tone.  I did let it dry completely before continuing with my foundation, concealer, etc.  which does dry smooth and without a greasy finish.  It does not soak in my powder either.  Retails for $30 for 0.75 oz squeeze tube.

Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer I bought at the local drugstore, I didn’t want to break the bank on a first time primer not knowing what the results would be, how it would feel on my face, even after reading the reviews.  I applied it again after my daily moisturizer set in to the problem areas, same routine as above.  It goes on smooth, it’s a light pink color that blends in well with my skin tone.  It did leave my skin shiny on humid days but nothing a little powder couldn't fix.  Retails for $12.49 for .90 oz pump jar.

Overall I’d have to say I like the texture of Porefessional better than Revlon PhotoReady.  They both cover the problem areas the same, however Porefessional dried quicker and didn’t leave my skin oily on a humid day even with moisturizer.  After speaking to my makeup friend about primers she suggested to try Smashbox and that I’d like that one better.  Back to Sephora I go after I finish PhotoReady – if not to buy then at least for samples J

Monday, May 20, 2013

Requirement #2: Must Do Own Laundry

After a much needed girls luncheon, chat and a ‘don’t eat the cake’ lesson passed on to a future bride to be, I couldn’t resist writing about olden times.  Not golden years, but there’s something so funny about the people you date along the way that change your point of view on things. In fact, after a few dates with this particular person I added a few more items to the Requirements.  As always, my disclosure - this happened soon after my divorce, when I was in the infamous dating pool of on-liners, those you meet through friends, at parties and just out. 

To start, yes I do have a nickname for this one, unfortunately sharing it with the virtual world would give his identity away.  Perhaps his ideals have changed, so I wouldn’t want to tarnish his reputation should he in fact still be reading my blogs.  I met him out with a group of friends.  We went out a few times, dinner, movies, typical dating mantra, nothing over the top spectacular, mind-blowing, making me want to share stories with my girlfriends.  He had his quirks, he was nice, always treated me with respect, held the door open, call when he said he’d call. I don’t quite remember when it got weird, weird and weirder as in ‘would you wear a crotchless full bodysuit’ weird, weird as in would rather chat on AOL than actually see me weird.  Here’s how that led to the final deal breaker- he was in his mid 30’s, he lived with a roommate, had a decent job with benefits and still brought his laundry to his mother’s house for her to do, because he didn’t have the heart to tell her that he was a grown man and that she needed to let him be one.  At least that’s what he told me, he couldn't tell her to not do it anymore.  B-S!  I immediately knew this wasn’t going to work.  If a man can’t tell his Mother, his family, his friends or anyone else for that matter to respect his life, where he’s at in life, to give him some space, there’s a problem.  It will never change, they will never change unless you step up and set boundaries.

Anyway, so between the bodysuit request, Mom folding his tighty-whities and then following it up with needing to be on AOL I was done.  I definitely didn’t want a relationship with a guy who would rather use me as an erotic muse online than to physically want to be with me in person.  Granted, he had the best of both worlds, his Mom does the laundry, the girl satisfies his needs which leads to he doesn’t have to see her, he has more free time to sleep, etc.  What more could he ask for?  He’s not as weird as the Elvis poster guy, but with all that free time, you’d think he would have spent more valuable time at the gym instead of talking about it.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Wedding Dress

The dress that every girl dreams of for that momentous occasion once in her life. The dress she dresses her Barbie’s in and plays 'wedding' with her Ken doll.  That dress has now been donated to an organization that will give that dress to women who are well deserving.  That dress will now make some other bride-to-be happy.

I remember the day at David’s Bridal, sifting through the racks, knowing in my head exactly what I wanted which they didn’t have so I settled.  I settled for a dress that spoke to me after I put it on and looked in the mirror.  If I remember correctly it was the third one I put on.  It was nice, my Mom loved it.  It had white beading on the front, and a detail along the bottom, very princess like, sans the crinoline please.   And so it went, the fittings because obviously the dress wasn’t fitting me right in any curve (I think that’s how they get you to spend money on their services).  The shoe shopping, the hair sessions, and of course the pre-makeup session.  All for about 6 hours of my life that I briefly remember.  Yet I’d do it all again, differently, and definitely a different style dress.

A few months after the wedding, like every other bride, I had the dress preserved (professionally cleaned and placed in a box, which is pretty pricey), it has remained in that box for 10 years.  Now what? Well honestly it was taking up space in my basement, I had no further use for it and I sure wasn’t going to wear it again.  Even if I ever had a girl I wouldn’t let her take a picture in it because well, to be honest it’s not her dress.  Those pictures look ridiculous anyway.  Heck, I spent good money on it to get it professionally cleaned, I am NOT taking it out of the box for a ½ hour photo session.  I even thought of having a ‘recycled wedding dress’ party, but then again, do we really want to daunt the dress for an evening?  Probably not. 

What do I do with this? I thought of donating it to Salvation Army, but after doing some research online I found a non-profit organization that grants weddings and renewals to couples facing terminal illness and serious life-altering situations.  And they accept wedding gowns as donations.  Bingo! I finally decided to mail the entire box, unopened, rather then take it out of the box and donate money for them to have it cleaned – again.  The trip to the post office was a hoot, the man at the counter told me how much this was going to cost (in walks a female customer behind me).  “That’s fine, its my wedding dress and I’m donating it so it’s a write off” I said in reply, hoping the woman behind me heard me for some odd reason I have yet to determine.  Then he said it was going to cost a bit more for weight, “That’s fine, again, it’s a total write-off” I replied with a smile and a chuckle, (deep inside I was laughing).  As I paid the man and he handed me my receipt, I knew inside I was doing a good thing.  To me at this point in my life it was just a dress, to someone else, it was granting a wish.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Where do you find clothes that fit?"

“Where do you shop?” A friend of mine asked who is working out to get her sexy back.  Apparently the stores she’s used to shopping in, either the smaller sizes are scarce or the clothes don’t fit her like they should.  Yes we workout to look better, to feel better in our clothes, to be healthier, yet retail stores are misleading people by making a ‘true size 6’ be a size 2 just to make people think they are really that size, they are appeasing the public.  It’s unrealistic.

Some of us are truth to this, I no longer shop at NY&Company, I used to wear a 2 or a 0, well I can fit 2 of me fit in a size 2 now and they normally only have 2 size 0s on the rack.  You’ll find me shopping at Express, Ann Taylor Loft or the outlets.  Ann Taylor Outlet is great for all sizes (btw the store is 60% off this week).  The clothes fit and are reasonably priced. Their sales staff will even make suggestions for you.  I rather pay $50 for a pair of work pants which fit right that I do not have to hem!   Trust me it was hit or miss for a while, I’d get frustrated, I dreaded going to the mall, knowing half the clothes I’d like wouldn’t fit and I didn’t want to stoop low enough to shop in the juniors department at my age (even if their clothes are cute, the pants never fit right because they don’t have a booty)!  It’s also helpful when you shop with a friend, who also went through the same thing I did searching for dresses at Macy’s, she then found exactly what wanted (and what fit right) at Express.  My mom, my sister and I all shop the outlets, Mom even shops at Express (sometimes)!

JC Penny is another store, they have cute skirts for spring, but nothing smaller than a 2.  I said my peace to their customer service department, no wonder stores are losing money.  Their customers are losing weight and they aren’t keeping up with stocking small sizes to keep those customers. 

So it’s not just me, or just you, it’s a group of us striving to find the ultimate fit at the right price!  While retailers stock their racks with larger sizes to appease the general public.  I’m not sure whose winning but I’m not spending my money there.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

1 out of 3 Ain't Bad

The year was 2003, we gussied up and put on our best dresses and even our wedding gowns and walked down the aisle.  Today it’s the year 2013 and there is only 1 happy couple still standing out of the three weddings that I attended that year.  For me, it was right at the time, but now I’m happier than I ever have been.  We expect those we marry and those families we marry into to be in harmony, to allow us to grow together and respect us as husband and wife.  I expected things to change, to have more privacy, to not fear that an inlaw would forget to use the doorbell again and walk right in, even without knocking.  I expected certain things to change, certain levels of respect to appear and they didn’t.  Some things just can’t be fixed.  I’m not perfect, I had my flaws, I was in the wrong and there are other reasons why things just didn’t work out.  But today I can proudly say I did what was best for me, put that chapter behind me and am very happy in a chapter that is supposed to be.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Unlike the rest of my friends and family and co-workers, I live with airborne, food and pet allergies – the triple whammy.  You’ll find me reading the labels in the grocery store aisles making sure I can eat what the product is made with.  In fact, Lara Bar only makes one protein bar that I can eat, its called Cherry Pie, and it is very delicious.  You’ll also find me asking restaurants if they could make a specific dish ‘without nuts’ because of I’m allergic to certain tree nuts.  I was tested for all kinds allergies at a young age and now that I’m older am going through the motions of retesting myself at a minimum and with parental supervision (and Benadryl handy).  I have narrowed down some foods that I can eat, and those that will still put me in the hospital.  Some food allergies, such as pineapple I have grown out of, yeah!

My airborne allergies aren’t fun either, in fact I believe they have gotten worse with age.  Thankfully, I found a great ENT (ear, nose, throat specialist) that has prescribed the appropriate medications to ‘clear my head’.  It’s not fun, I do not enjoy keeping that box of tissues handy when the yellow haze starts to appear on my car. 
I try to keep my desk in my office dust-free as best as I can with these great throw away mini-dusters! When in doubt, I ask those who may leave goodies in the kitchen after a holiday weekend or inhouse event what the ingredients are.  Basically if it looks like it contains something I’m allergic to, and there isn’t a label for me to read - I pass.

I sympathize with everyone out there who has an allergy to something, you may be lactose intolerant, you may have an allergy to gluten, your friends and family may forget and make a food you’re allergic too (don’t worry, I truly think they are not trying to kill you).  So the next event you see me at, you might find me next to the bowl of mixed nuts, or hanging out with the pet Golden Retriever, guaranteed I’m having a lousy time and I’m leaving early one way or another.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Free Entertainment at the Service Lounge

At the Nissan Service waiting area (also known as the ‘lounge’) while I was patiently waiting for my car, with a protein bar, bottle of water, and my Kindle, I paid attention to the cast of characters that I was surrounded by.  First was the dad/husband, it was hard to tell exactly which he was, other than he stayed in his chair, didn’t bother anyone and read the paper.  Then there’s the 20 year old, baseball cap, brim not bent, iPad with ear buds, kept to himself, obviously a great choice to sound out the Plus Size Marge, but I’ll get to her in a bit.  We have the female with a heavy accent talking on the cell phone.  Sometimes I wonder if these people have hearing problems that they need to talk that loud.  Then the ‘pacer’, the guy who sits in a chair for maybe 15 minutes, gets up then walks around, sits down again, then gets up and walks around.  I’m not saying he was making me nervous, but pacing is not going to pressure the techs to work faster on your vehicle.  Sit down and read the paper!  The best was Plus Size Marge who took up just about the entire couch, and that did not include her huge purse that could fit a small dog, plus her coat. She occupied the entire thing, set up shop there, probably would have napped there if they let her.  She was annoying, another one who might have liked the sound of her voice when her phone with the numerous amount of ringtones just happened to continually ring at least 2 minutes after she hung up. (There was no way I couldn’t pay attention with her sitting next to me!)  Her big drama of the day was a fire hydrant on the corner of the street where she lived that someone slid into and now had flooded the entire street.  Yes I heard the whole thing, I heard her say she’d pick up water on the way home, I heard her tell someone else who called who had let her know what had happened, that her kids were home by themselves, that she could be another half hour.  I heard everything about this huge drama that was happening in her life today, multiple times if you count the amount of times her phone rang. Constantly huffing and puffing as if waiting for her car was interrupting her day.  As if her being in control of the remote for the TV wasn’t enough, she had to put on Dallas, long enough until it was her time to leave. I guess some people don’t respect their surroundings anymore, don’t anticipate that had any one of these strange characters in the lounge knew where she lived, they’d make a phone call and well, I’ll let you take it from there.  Lastly, the head turner, he sat down after Marge left and every time he heard footsteps his head turned in that direction, which was in my direction.  The service area is the other way, who knows who he had been expecting to walk up to him from that direction.  I wasn’t aware of any car giveaways from the showroom.  At least he had the decency to change the channel. 

Overall, no matter where you are some people do not think, nor use common sense.  I really need to download a ‘notepad’ app for Kindle because this would have been more entertaining than just me writing from my notes in my handy notepad I still carry with me.  And since when do sales guys walk around in doctor’s cloaks? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

To Gel or Not to Gel (Manicure)

Last month I went and got a gel manicure, actually over a month ago at the nail salon I somewhat frequent.  The manicure itself is supposed to last longer than a regular manicure, which I needed to get me through New Years, plus the following week and it was worth the $30 I paid.  Since I had a French manicure it actually lasted close to 3 weeks.  I returned to the salon to have them taken off because I failed miserably to soak them off myself (always keep regular acetone handy), little did I know the lady would use the dremel (i.e. weapon of choice to remove acrylics).  I haven’t had acrylics or LCN on in years, my real nails are in really good shape (at least they were).  She used the dremel to remove the top coat of gel and then soaked the rest of the gel off my nails.  I then had a regular manicure put on which lasted me a week.  I’m not sure what they do differently to my nails that the polish lasts longer than my home manicure but it lasted me almost over a week! Usually when I do my nails it lasts about 3 -4 days.  Now my nails are trying to grow out again and they are breaking like crazy (yes I do wear rubber gloves when I do the dishes).  To counteract that from happening and to help restrengthen them I am applying Sally Hansen’s Top Coat strengthener every other day.  I want my nails back!  If you want my advice on whether or not you should get a gel manicure, here goes

Pro’s for a gel manicure:
·         It lasts up to 2-3 weeks – no chipping
·         If you get a French it could last longer
·         No drying time which means no smudges

Con’s for a gel manicure:
·         They do use a dremel to smooth the nail prior to putting the gel on
·         They will use a dremel to take off the gel if you haven’t soaked it off with regular acetone
·         Your nails may be thin after removal (chances are they will be)
·         If its winter, they will break one right after the other

So moral of the story is: a gel manicure is great, it does last a long time, especially if you need it for multiple events in the same week.  I would definitely consider doing it again – sans the dremel and spend more time soaking in acetone!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

As the Ball Turns

The roster for spring softball came around today and they were trying to find my name on the list.  I said “Nope, I’m not on there” and of course I got asked “Why?” Truthfully, I only signed up last year to be a sub, and ended having to play more than I wanted, having to endure the pain of watching people who can sit at the bar and watch a MLB game, but don’t know the basics to play their position.  Granted the ladies give their all, they show up to practice, they try, they get better every year.  But the men have no excuse, especially the one without the cleats, who shows up in sneakers to play, who claims he plays on multiple teams.  So, 'no' I will not be playing this year on that team, I am saving myself the heartache, heartburn and extra energy spent playing 110% on a team that only shows up 50% of the time (unless its to drink afterwards).  There will be a lot of changes this year to my repertoire of sports, many changes for the better.  I’ve been playing the same sport too long to just play for fun, if I can’t compete, if I can’t play on a team that gives their all like the Ball Busters, then “Thank you, but no thank you”.  

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cupid’s Markup

Hello Valentine’s Day, or shall I say the holiday that starts on December 26th when the Christmas decorations are put away in the stores.  Yes I’m mocking it, mocking a holiday we celebrate to show our loved ones we appreciate them, on a day where 7 gang members were murdered in Chicago.  I don’t quite see the similarity there.

Anyway, when we were in grade school it was neat to go out and get the assorted Valentine’s and secretly or not so secretly give them to your classmates.  You were heartbroken if your box didn’t contain as many as your classmate sitting next to you.  As we got older society started to make it more commercial, more advertisements to get us to buy things, cars, jewelry, dinner reservations, chocolates, flowers, flowers and more flowers.  Flowers which are marked up almost 50% by retailers on one day of the year.  Do we need one day during the year as a reminder to show our love and appreciation?  I’m not opposed to the day at all, but I do not think one should not waste their hard earned money on a $50 bouquet of a dozen roses, when the following week they are normal price.  I won’t deny that I did buy a card, I think of it as I donated to Hallmark and after standing in that card aisle reading all the sappy, pathetic cards that we choose to buy to say the words we should be saying everyday I left the store puzzled.  We spend $2.99 on a pink or red card that says “I love you, Happy Valentine’s Day” with a nicely printed design on the cover.  It doesn’t cost us anything to say that to our loved ones, it doesn’t cost money to show our love and appreciation whether it be that day or any other day.  I guess what I’m grappling with is why we need to be reminded, are we that one sided where we need society to tell us what day to express our feelings?  I doubt that, but some are stupid, insecure and shy, they need that yearly reminder to dish out $$$ because they can’t be creative enough to do so.

I wrote a similar blog back in college called “Down with Cupid”, it was indeed one sided, and my views are quite the same.  Yes, I love flowers, I’d love to get flowers, I’d love to get a gorgeous pendant necklace but it doesn’t have to be on the 14th

So I challenge my readers to do something else, be creative, spend the entire month of February doing little acts of love and appreciation, because it’s the simple things that mean the most, that could put a smile on your loved ones face, a memory forever in their heart.  One can’t put a price on love.

A Relationship is not a 5 year goal

Recently I had a conversation with one of the “Angels” (are I refer to my girlfriends as “Angels” in reference to “Charlie’s Angels” since we all are one in the same) about relationships.  Remember in our 20’s we’d daydream that we’d be married by such and such age, have kids by such and such age, etc.  How it had to be planned just so, that we’d waste too much time if we waited til our 30’s to do anything because we’d be too old and tired to chase around our children.  Back then we were impatient, we had it all wrong.  Back then we were trying to play catch up with the rest of our friends, to comply with societies standards “must get married in 20s and have kids before 30”.  Back then getting married was every girls dream (with subconscious peer pressure applied).  Don’t misquote me because I would get married again, (the dress, the party, the bridal party, etc – I loved planning my wedding) but not to play catch up with the rest of my friends.  I don’t feel the pressure that I felt back then.  Now it’s different, maybe because I’ve ‘been there, done that’, the premise is different.  She mentioned how she spent an hour talking (not texting) with the guy she recently met and how different that was compared to others she met in the past (maybe the romantic gesture of a conversation via phone call is coming back after all these years).  That when they went out to dinner it felt as if they were the only people in the room.  She wants to get married, but its not #1 on her list, it’s not a 5 year goal.   We agreed that the pressure of getting married (aka finding the one) is different, its not about starting a family anymore, but being happy in one’s life, being with someone who makes you happy, who ‘gets you’, who you are in love with, having the independence to still have your own life (meaning go out with your friends whether single or married) and to come home to that person, wrap your arms around them, plant a huge kiss and say “I missed you”.  Sharing interests and learning new ones, spending a life together not a life dictated because its what your families would want, but what you as a couple want.  

Granted in our 30’s its a lot harder to find someone without an agenda, that fits our dummied down list of requirements, someone we can’t wait to see again.  Once you do, once you are comfortable with that relationship (ring or not), there shouldn’t be a ‘when are we getting married?” dark cloud hanging over that relationship imposed by anyone.  If you both put in the effort to be together, to make each other happy, fill each other’s lives with surprises, laughter, love and the occasional bad hair day then you don’t need a wedding ring to express that.  To roll over in the morning and see that groggy smile followed by a ‘good morning’ is all I need.  I don’t need society to imply rules on how I should go about my relationship as long as I am happy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Week with the Little Man

I spent a week at my sisters, not only help her out but to spend time with my new nephew (happy 2 weeks old!)  I haven’t been around a newborn in a while, and anything that I had learned from previously being around them or having to watch them as a babysitter was not too far off in the distance tucked away in my mind of experience.  I had changed diapers before, fed a baby, I wasn’t completely foreign to the idea.  He’s cute, and I’m not just saying that to be polite because it’s my sister’s kid, he is cute.  You’ve been there, you’ve heard people say ‘oh he’s/she’s such a cute baby’ when indeed they are not.  But he is and his cry does not annoy me like some other babies cries you may hear in the supermarket when you know Little Johnny is not happy.  He’d be one of the many few babies I would hear cry and it wouldn’t phase me.  He has many cries, he has the ‘change my diaper’ cry which is accompanied by a scrunchy face if its #2, he has the ‘I don’t like this at all’ cry when we tried to put him in the swing with 6 different speed settings (does a baby need to go that fast?), he has the ‘I’m hungry’ cry and then there’s the ‘I’m still hungry’ mini-cry.  It was a very fun week with him, even at 2 weeks to see how alert he was and responding to Miguel the “French” Monkey who seemed to calm him during diaper changing until he figured out he should get used to diaper changes.  He even attempted a few pushups during ‘tummy time’! (Must have been all the protein my sister consumed.) 

I thought I had a lot of clothes, or at least a variety, but I now understand babies go through 2-4 changes of clothes a day, depending if the diaper wasn’t put on correctly or if he just decided to pee right through so the need to have an extensive wardrobe is a must at 2 weeks old.  I even got the distinction he didn’t enjoy wearing the froggy onesie, he seemed to cry most of the day with it on. (That’s ok, I didn’t like it either.)

While my sister was going about her daily routine (or trying to get into one) and I finished feeding him, we had a karaoke moment together.   Matthew enjoys the Disney classics so far and a few TV show theme songs, but do not sing the Brady Bunch theme song to him, he will cry immediately.  We went through Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World”, “Under the Sea”, The Monkees theme song, Snow White’s “ Someday my prince will come” (I hummed a few bars) until he nodded off to sleep.  He sleeps so soundly, and falls asleep semi-easy (to be that young again and not have to take a sleeping pill to find zzz’s).  Now what will his first words be? or first sentence?  My sister seems to think it will be “No Chi Chi” or “Down Chi Chi”, referring to the dog, instead of Mommy and Daddy.  But who knows, if I can spend more time up there I can work on him saying “Go Big Blue” instead. J

My sister and her husband sure made a handsome little man, I told him to behave for Mommy and Daddy and I’d give him a $1 next time I saw him.  Now that I think about it starting at $1 might have been too high, by the time he’s able to talk and remember what I said he’d be negotiating for $10s and $20s.  I enjoyed my time with my little All-Star, I can’t wait for him to be more interactive!