Friday, May 30, 2008

Sidling Up To The Bar(re)

I’m going to take an exercise class.

(If you are not wearing your shocked face right now, you should go find it and put it on.)

It’s called “Be Some Balanced Body”. The description reads as follows:

“Please reserve your spot at the barre at 8:30am - Be Some Balanced BODY! for a very demanding muscle class that will lengthen and elongate your muscles and REALLY TONE like no other class CAN! Create a shapely, brilliant body with this special class!”

(Yes, it’s at 8:30am on Sunday. Yes, that’s too early to exercise. Yes, I might be crazy.)

((However, the idea of lengthening and elongating muscles is rather intriguing. Any chance I will be a few inches taller on Monday??))

Now, a long time ago (read: my twenties), I used to work out all the time. I always belonged to a gym, and I actually went. When I lived in Boston I would go to the gym every morning, then shower and hop on the bus to work (horrific stories about the Y's openness around adult female nudity in the locker room to be posted at a later date). I did this every day. I was in amazing shape; my muscles had definition and back fat was just a myth I read about.

Right.

So anyway, you may remember that I took a pilates class at the local high school. Ever since then I must receive 2-3 emails a week from the instructor about classes at her studio. I usually delete these emails.

But for some reason – not fitting into my summer clothes? knowing the impending doom of bathing suit season is upon me? realizing “I’d rather eat hashbrowns” is not a better way to spend my time? – I feel like I need to go.

Maybe RSVPing to the class is just the motivation I need to start doing something. Like, my name is on a list and someone is waiting for me. I am expected to be there. If I’m not there, I will let someone down. (btw, every time I choose to NOT exercise, I am never as disappointed in myself as I should be.)

That being said, here's what I think will go down:

Projection #1: Even though I am up before the chickens every other day of my frickin’ life (especially weekends!), Sunday morning is the day that my body will want to sleep until 10:30.

Projection #2: I will actually like the class. Being at the barre again will bring back my 13 years of ballet. No doubt I will catch on quickly and out-pliĆ© everyone else in the class (which will probably only be like 4 people; I mean, come on! It’s 8:30 on a Sunday morning!!!)

Projection #3: I will need assistance walking (and putting on my shoes/and going up the stairs/and breathing) on Monday.

Pet Peeve

You know what pisses me off?

When I'm REALLY looking forward to a bought lunch that's a little naughty and a lot delicious and I end up severely disappointed.

(Yes, I know it's just a lunch. But I LOVE food. And I don't ANY bad meals)

WHAT I ORDERED:

Italian combo on a hard roll, with mayo, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and hot peppers.
(sounds awesome, right? could not WAIT to eat this monstrosity!)

WHAT I GOT:

One slice of ham, one slice of salami and one slice of cheese (seriously?), mayo, balsamic vinegar (?????), 4 shards of lettuce, 27 tomatoes and zero pickles.

WTF???

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dear Technology: You're Late

(Alt title: “Remember When We Went To Vegas And KK Lost The Secret Camera: The Story That Will Never Die”

Today I got this article emailed to me from my friend Leigh:

“Lose A Camera? This Website May Have Found It”

I guess there’s this website where if you find a camera you can post pictures from said camera, so that hopefully the camera owner will see them and somehow get the camera (or at least the pictures!) back.

Pretty ingenious (and yet semi-illegal, I would think).

Why did my friend send this to me?

OF COURSE there’s a story…

About ten years ago a group of twenty-something girls took a trip to Las Vegas. They asked around for a fun club they could go to and heard that “The Beach” was the place to be.

(remember, this was TEN YEARS ago, before cool places like PURE, RAIN and TAO Nightclubs even existed)

For some reason we didn’t take a cab (not sure why), instead we took the Las Vegas trolley system that runs the length of the strip. Who knows, maybe we wanted to save some money, or maybe we just wanted to live like locals. It was still another ½ to ¾ of a mile walk from the strip (hard to believe the thought of kidnapping didn’t even cross our minds).

The details of the night are a little fuzzy. The Beach was in this HUGE warehouse type building. And there were TONS of people. And there was toilet paper all over the floor (like ROLLS of it; streamers of TP would go whizzing past our heads). And every once in a while all of the bartenders would blow whistles and come out onto the dance floor with bottles of liquor from the bar and push people to their knees and pour the alcohol down their throats.
(sounds like some Spring Break specials I've seen on MTV)

This night, I was in charge of the “Secret Camera”. (This term was created in college, and referred to those cardboard throwaway cameras. My Dad used to get them free at work and would give them to us by the case. We took LOTS of pictures.)

Imagine four very drunk girls on vacation in Las Vegas – we took SO MANY pictures. Good ones, too! I remember having a sweater tied around my waist, and keeping the Secret Camera tucked beneath the arms.

At some point during the night I reached for the camera and it wasn’t there. I checked the bathrooms. I checked the bar. I checked the pool table area (note: I am mediocre at pool when I’m sober, bordering on ridiculous when heavily intoxicated).

We searched everywhere for this camera, which was difficult considering the floor was covered in three layers of toilet paper. Sometime around 6am we gave up and headed home in a cab as the sun rose above the strip.

It’s been a decade and they STILL have not let me forget it.

Technology, where WERE you 10 years ago???

(btw, I am no longer in charge of the camera. shocking, I know.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Is There A Way To Google How To Google?

My mother – god love her – is AWFUL when it comes the computer.

She’s on the computer all day for work, but it’s a special program designed for her job. And she’s a whiz when it comes to that.

But when it comes to email and internet? Forget it.

She wants to learn, but she just doesn’t have the patience.

And, to be honest, neither do I.

I guess I just figured if you’re over the age of 30 you simply just taught yourself all about the internet.

Computers weren’t around when I was in college, I still remember typing out papers on my Brother Word Processor. It wasn’t until my senior year that I even remember hearing the term “email” for the first time. One of our friends was dating a girl who was away for the semester studying abroad. I worked in the Writing Lab (epitome of coolness, I know), which housed one of the few computers on campus (read: oversized, heavy boxes bigger than your television with an army green screen and C prompt).

So he would come into the Writing Lab to send an email to her in Australia. He would type a few words and hit SEND. Then we would chat to pass the time before he received an email back. It took forever. One time they were fighting and it lasted 3 days.

So about 6 months ago I sent my mother a link to photos I had uploaded to Kodak. Now this was a double whammy: she had to access the internet via an email.

Number of phone calls this warranted: 4

It was during phone call #3 that I thought we made some progress. She had found a picture that she liked and flagged it to purchase at a later date. She had to go upstairs and measure the frame, because she wasn’t sure what size she needed.
(Yes, it would have been wise to know the size photo she needed before beginning. Yes, she could have just left the computer to run upstairs and measure the frame. No, I don’t ask why.)


So here we are, 3 months later (no joke) and phone call #4.

MOM: “I’m trying to pull that picture up in Kodak and I can’t log in. I’m trying to use your email to log in. Your email is blahblah@yahoo.com. Why isn’t it working?”

ME: “Because that’s not my email address.”

MOM: “Yes, it is.”

Seriously?

MOM: “I’m looking right at the email you sent me. It says to use this email – blahblah@yahoo.com – your email – to log in.”

ME: “Um, it definitely does NOT say that, because THAT is not my email address.”

I tell Mom my email address.

MOM: “Oh. Let me try that.”

Finally mom gets into Kodak (harder than breaking into the government’s computer system apparently) and is trying to describe to me what she’s seeing.

Now, if you’ve ever tried walking someone through something on the computer over the phone, you can sympathize with my frustration.

Twenty more minutes and mom is NOT able to pull up the photo that she wants to order.

Finally, we hang up. I pour another glass of wine.

Today, I receive this email from my mother and almost fell off my chair laughing:

"I found the picture that I needed. I guess I'm not as computer illiterate as I thought.

Talk to you soon,
Mom"


(Please take note that the entire second half of this email is italicized. For no reason.)

((Also be aware – as this is not shown – that she spelled my name wrong))

I Smell Like A Stranger

My sweater smells.

Well, it doesn’t smell, it just doesn’t smell like my detergent.

Because it’s not.

Because I washed my clothes at my mother’s house this weekend.

Because it doesn’t take "just 5 minutes!” to hook up a (new to us) washing machine.

It takes 3 days.

Day 1
Attempt to hook up washer and dryer.
Discover that all hoses are too short.
Yell.
Swear.
Take deep breaths.
Determine that too much valuable weekend time has been spent on this project.


Day 2
Stare at washer.
Stare at too-short washer hose.
Stare at laundry pile.
Repeat.


Day 3
Make dreaded trip to Home Depot (aka: worst “store” on earth; should never even be part of a “shopping day”).
Buy new hose.
Hook up new hose.
Run washer and watch water leak all over floor.
Mop up water.
Make second trip to Home Depot (even less fun than the first trip).
Come back with SAME hose and new clamp.
Hook up washer.
Continually chant "NO leak! NO leak! NO leak!" through the 30 minute cycle.


(Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.)


Thursday, May 22, 2008

WTF FOX???

So, last night was the finale of American Idol.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one who is pissed off right now.

The DVR was set to record Idol because I was working late. I wanted to watch it when I got home from work, whenever that was. I didn't want to know who won. I didn't visit any websites after 9:45pm. I didn't want to talk to any coworkers that cheated and found out the winner.

I started watching Idol – which could have been called Syesha's Hip Shakin' Show – around 11:45pm. Basically the show was a fast-forwarding exercise. Seriously, Fox, 2 hours??? For a 2 minute announcement? Ridiculous.
(On a side note, Donna Summer looked fabulous – her skin in crazy amazing.)

So we get the end of the show, and Ry Guy is talking and talking and talking (he thankfully downplayed the makeup compared to the previous evening).

Finally he says, "And the winner of American Idol 2008 is...DAVID..." Click.

And then my DVR shut off.

Because Fox thinks it's fun to run a minute long.

I was NOT laughing at 12:45am, that's for sure.

(hey, congrats, David Cook. I knew you were going to win. Unfortunately, I had little David in the pool at work, so I'm out $120. No new shoes for me.)

kk out


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Star Gazing

I had a celebrity sighting yesterday in NYC. Chi McBride was having a meeting in Starbucks.

It’s more like a “celebrity glimpse” because:

A. I was not the one who recognized him
B. I still didn’t think it was him after being told one TV show and one movie he’d been in and
C. I’m still all like, “Who???”

(my apologies, Chi!)

As much as I love celebrities and E! Entertainment and Life & Style magazine, I’m still a loser when it comes to spotting celebs on the street.

I’ve seen very few A-listers. Zero pics. No crazy conversations. No used cocktail napkins.

I’ve probably walked by many of them but I’m too clueless to spot them (or they look too much like their “before” photos; I doubt Kate Hudson is walking down the street in her Oscars gown).

One time I did see someone was when I was in Vegas 12 years ago; I had two sightings in the same day (I know, pretty lame for Vegas), especially at the Hard Rock.

I was playing poker next to Darius Rucker, Mr. Hootie himself (sans Blowfish). We made some small talk. He got some decent hands. (I can’t take full credit here – I only realized it was him when the dealer said, “Hello, Mr. Rucker. Good to see you.”)

About an hour later there was lots of commotion over by the slots and there was Jenny McCarthy! Not “I’m-all-dating-Jim-Carrey-and-we-laugh-24-7” Jenny, but old school Jenny, fresh off her Singled Out gig.

She was a vision of platinum hair, Daisy Dukes and tripled-coated mascara lashes surrounded by many big bodyguards dressed in black.

After that, I had a celebrity dry spell.

My uncle, who lives in California, sees celebrities more often than I see my mother.

“I was just in line behind Ian Ziering getting coffee – what a down-to-earth guy!”

Or:

“I ran into Rod Stewart and Rachel Hunter on the street outside of a restaurant. Boy, she towers over him!”

And my favorite:

“I saw Matthew Broderick when I was leaving St. Patrick’s cathedral. I lit a candle for you.”

My last celebrity sighting was John Malkovich. He was eating lunch with his wife and kids next to us on Newbury Street in Boston. I actually was the one who recognized him. I think my revelation went something like this, “Hey, it’s that actor that had that movie made about him with his name in the title. Cameron Diaz was in it, and she was all nutso with crazy hair.” Not surprisingly, my parents had no idea what I was talking about.

Okay, back to John. He is one weird dude.

It was summer, so he was in shorts (fine) but he was wearing loafers with old man socks (you know the ones, super thin dress socks that should only be worn with suits and dress shoes?). And mismatched old man socks at that. And he was just being all cuckoo.

But my eyes are always peeled. I work minutes from where Paul Newman lives. I'm always on the lookout for a severely old man with bright blue eyes carrying a bottle of salad dressing.

Update

Number of days left to respond to my dad's retirement party: 3

Number of people left to respond: 25

Number of times I've sworn off planning a party ever again: 12


Road Rage

Were you driving a hunter green Honda Civic (circa 1999) on the Merritt Parkway this morning? Maybe around 7:40am?

Did you see a lunatic behind you, yelling and swearing, waving her arms like a madwoman?

That was ME.

Because YOU drive like an ass.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Simple, Really

1. Receive beautifully handmade invitation to surprise retirement party

2. Check calendar for availability

3. Call one of the 27 phone numbers provided and RSVP


oh, and for those of you (um, like FOUR) that have actually responded that you'll be there via voicemail, while I'm completely thrilled that you have common decency and respect, when it says "RSVP with your lunch choice" and then lists three different options, I need you to RSVP WITH YOUR LUNCH CHOICE.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Me? Well, I'm Pretty Busy At Work...

(NOTE: Names and distinguishing details have been changed to protect the (somewhat) innocent.)

I spent Saturday afternoon at my friend AH’s baby shower.

Both AH and her husband have huge families, so that meant 3 things:

  1. TONS of gifts. Seriously, she got enough loot for FIVE babies.
  2. It was LOUD. 75 women in a country club with open bar and high ceilings. Need I say more?
  3. I did not know many of the women there. (you’ll read later on why this little tidbit is important)

AH looks great! She looks like she swallowed a basketball, with a big, round belly that protrudes from below her boobs. With only 6 weeks to go she’s maintaining one chin and 3-inch wedge sandals like a pro.

My mother-in-law (MIL) is invited to the shower, too, because she and AH’s mother have been good friends since they were kids. Because I'm a professional gift giver, we’ve had our gift since before the shower was planned. The minute I got the email from AH that she and her husband spent the weekend registering at Babies R Us, I called my MIL.

(BTW, is there anything more fun than running around a store with an electronic gun, creating a list of whatever gifts you want for other people to buy for you? I don’t think so.)

ME: “I’m looking at AH’s registry online now. There’s a TON of stuff here. Some of the big stuff is already gone. We should pick something soon.”

MIL: “You pick out something and just let me know how much I owe you.”

ME: “I’ll pick something today or tomorrow. We want to give something good. The last thing I want is for them to be calling out the gifts and for our names to follow the words ‘Nipple pads’.”

We are one of the first 15 women to arrive at the shower. The invitation says noon. It’s 11:58 and 80% of the people have not arrived. Do these people not have clocks?

The shower is being held at a country club, with table assignments and a four course meal. I pick up my place card, find my table and drop off my handbag.

I head directly for the bar.

Post libation I hit the fruit and cheese table. Can’t drink my mimosa on an empty stomach!

By 12:30 mostly everyone (including the mommy-to-be!) has arrived and we take our seats.

I am seated at the “head” table with AH and all of her high school friends. I went to high school with all of them, too, but I was two years ahead, so even though I know them (and all about their current lives) we didn’t hand out in the same social circles. I know AH and one of the other girls from our years dancing together.

I am the oldest one at the table, and the only one who isn’t a mother (or mother-to-be).

I think there must’ve been some sort of electromagnetic forcefield on the main entrance of the country club that automatically turns you into “mommy mode”

Apparently I entered through the side door.

Lunch begins, and so do the “here’s-what-my-child-does-can-yours-do-that-you-have-no-idea-what-it’s-like-having-two-kids-I-have-no-time-for-myself” conversations.

NP: “My daughter has eaten the same meal every day for one year. Grilled cheese. That’s all she will eat. It blows my mind.”

I’m no Dr. Spock, but it seems to me that a toddler that’s a picky eater is not uncommon.

ME: “Well, it could be worse. Her favorite food could be marshmallow peeps.”

(laughter from the table)

Hey, comic relief from the non-mommy!

NP: “This morning she asked for soup for breakfast. So I gave it her. But she’ll only eat clear soup, with nothing in it.”

And by “soup” you obviously mean “chicken broth”.

JL: “Ugh, my two fight all of the time. One of them is constantly crying or bleeding. I can’t turn my back for a second.”

This sort of mommy one-upping goes on through the pasta and salad courses.

Finally, our lunches arrive and the table is quiet as everyone digs in.

And then the conversation turns to Yours Truly.

CB: “You don’t have any kids, right? So what have you been up to?”

What I want to say:

‘Well, there’s not much for a thirty-something woman to do besides give birth, so I’ve had lots of free time on my hands. I applied to be on The Price Is Right. I’ve taken up basket weaving. I joined Jazzercise.’

What I actually say:

ME: “I’ve been pretty busy at work. We’ve been pitching lots of new business, which is fun.”

I wow them with stories of working until 2am and traveling in limos. For a second, my job even sounds glamorous to me.

Then, it’s gift time. We’re all to pick gift-opening jobs, such as “announcer”, “runner” and “trash picker upper”.

AH hands me an excel spreadsheet filled with names.

AH: “I’m giving you the important, high-stress job.” I do high-stress Monday through Friday, do I really need it on Saturday, too? “Plus, you have the best handwriting.”

THAT I agree with.

My job is to record the gifts next to each guest's name to make it easy for AH to write her thank you notes. Sounds easy enough, right?

The list is divided into two groups, one for each family, and both are alphabetized to make it easier for me (yeah, right). I don’t know 85% of the people on the list.

This gift opening process is so well planned and executed that it could put NASA and government officials to shame.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • First, two “Gift Openers” start unwrapping packages about 10 minutes earlier. “Trash Picker Upper” ensures all of the paper makes it into over-sized trash bags.
  • Next, the opened gifts are handed to guest of honor and the cards are passed to “Gift Announcer”. Gifts are showcased, gift-giver announced.
  • “Gift Runners” tape cards to gifts and them to the Opened Gift Area.
  • “Gift Recorder” (moi) writes down all of the gifts next to the appropriate name.
And….we’re off!

NP (Gift Announcer): “This gift is a receiving blanket, booties, baby monitor and stuffed monkey from Aunt Carol!”

Aunt Carol. Aunt Carol. Aunt Carol.

There are 5 Carols on my list.

ME: “What’s Aunt Carol’s last name?” I hiss to no one. I try to remember the gift, but can only recall the stuffed monkey.

NP: “Our next gift is the jogging stroller from Jackie, Robin and Susan Jones, and Maddie and Auntie Evie Bignoti.”

Aunt Carol??? Aunt Carol??? Can somebody tell me Aunt Carol’s freaking last name???

AH (whispering to me): “Are you okay? You getting everything?”

ME (frantic, not taking my high-stress job very well): “What is your Aunt Carol’s last name???”

AH: “Hisselman.”

Got it!

I hear lots of oohing and aahing and see NP holding up a Diaper Geenie.

“The best gift ever!” someone yells from the crowd.

NP: “This is from Jane!”

ME (annoyed, to NP): “Hey, do you think you can say the last name of the gift giver?”

Amazingly, gift opening takes only an hour. Everyone who is present is accounted for, except for Mildred. Not sure who she is. I am confident that AH, by process of elimination, can figure out what Mildred gave her.

On the ride home, my MIL and I compare notes and gossip.

MIL: “I don’t know about you, but I could use a drink.”

Oh, baby, could I ever!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Chic-o De Mayo

(WARNING: shameless plug to follow)

My friend makes these super-cute, totally preppy belts and keychains.

And get this, she makes them by hand, and puts crazy time and detail into each one.

No summer wardrobe should be without them!

So if you have time, please check out her website:

www.traychicbelts.com

Gracias!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Admonished Over Avocados

Saturday, 4:43pm
At the ghetto Stop & Shop

As much as I hate this store, it’s the closest one to my house. And every time I go there, I swear I’m never going back. Especially after The Chicken Breast Debacle Of '08.

I was running in to grab some limes, when the HUGE pile of avocados caught my eye. I’m a sucker for guacamole, so I grab some cilantro and a tomato and make my way over.

I’m standing there, molesting every avocado on the shelf, when a (weird) woman saddles up next to me. She’s dressed in all black and means business. She starts squeezing, too.

I don’t know what it is about me, but I can’t NOT talk to strangers.

ME (laughing): “Wow, these avocados are HARD. Can’t find a squishy one in the bunch!”

WOMAN (with a slight, indiscernible accent, and an ‘I’m an older and more experienced shopper, dear, let me bestow upon you my grocery shopping wisdom tone’): “These days, so many of our fruits and vegetables are picked before they are ripe and shipped to the stores,” she glances at me down her long, witch-like nose, “So the fruits and vegetables from which we have to choose aren’t always the best. I guess we just need to live and deal with it.

And with a snicker, she walks away.

Seriously?

I was reprimanded over fruit???

I am NEVER coming back here.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Prime Time, My Way

May Day!

Even though the calendar says May, the weather screams late March. Two weeks of warm spring weather and we’re back to cold and rain. I'm sorry to say, this is all my fault.


My apologies: I dragged out my summer clothes and did the big closet switcheroo last weekend. I have cursed us.

And the curse works two ways.

Because I’m ready for summer:

  1. We will suffer from near-freezing temperatures at night and I will not have clothes warm enough in my closet to wear to work.
  2. People in other parts of the country (nowhere near me and my summer-ready garb) will endure a ridiculous heat-wave and possible drought.

I have this crazy reverse-effect on television, too.

Whenever I fall in love with a TV show, it mysteriously gets cancelled and goes off the air.

((One show that didn’t follow this pattern was The Gilmore Girls. Even though the show eventually ended last year, it ran for seven sensational seasons. How I miss those Girls! And it took place in Stars Hollow, Connecticut! Yes, I know that town doesn’t REALLY exist.))
((I checked.))


Past Shows I Have Killed Due To My Adoration (the short list):
  1. My So-Called Life (the best teen angst ever!)
  2. Once And Again (alternate title: “How Your Kids Can Screw Up Your Chance At Finding Love Again”)
  3. Relativity (the first lesbian kiss on primetime TV – need I say more???)
  4. Cashmere Mafia (this was the closest I came to (sort of) filling the Sex And The City void in my life; AND, hello, what's up with that hot “Manny” Adam they introduced for the last 2 episodes? then they cancel the show? WTF???)

Here's a crazy idea: let ME be in charge of the television line-up!

My Ideal Primetime TV Schedule
(each night would have a theme, and the shows would ALWAYS have new episodes and never go on hiatus)


MONDAY – Not-So-Reality TV
8pm: The Amazing Race
9pm: Hell’s Kitchen
10PM: The Next Food Network Chef
11PM: Last Comic Standing

TUESDAY – Guilty Pleasures
8pm: American Idol
9pm: Gilmore Girls
10pm: Project Runway

WEDNESDAY – Drama Day
8pm: Chuck
9pm: CSI Miami

THURSDAY – Night Of A Million Laughs
8pm: How I Met Your Mother
8:30: Scrubs
9pm: The Office
9:30: 30 Rock

FRIDAY – Week Wind Down
8pm: What Not To Wear
9pm: Jon & Kate Plus 8
10pm: The Soup

SATURDAY
All Food Network, All The Time

SUNDAY – Welcome Back, Favorites!
7pm: My So-Called Life
8pm: Relativity
9pm: Once And Again
10pm: Cashmere Mafia

Please pass the remote!
There was an error in this gadget