Just Another Relaxing Day

Just Another Relaxing Day

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Tommy Hilfiger Umbrellas

Just another rainy Sunday. Stuck in the house for what seems like an eternity. I really hate going out when it rains. Too much trouble…for one thing…I absolutely hate the thought of carrying an umbrella. I would rather make the mad dash for the store entrance then fumble around trying to get the umbrella open. First, I would have to find the damn thing as it is usually stuck somewhere in the midst of never never land in the back of my SUV. Once I find the miserable thing, I have to fight with my daughter as to who is going to hold it…yes, we only have one….if she holds its, it usually ends up blowing out of her hand and then I have to chase after it….not something on my top ten to do list….if I hold it, she screams bloody murder that she is getting all wet…Once we settle that argument, I am the one stuck carrying it around the store. Now you have to understand something…I absolutely abhor carrying anything. It doesn’t matter what it is…car keys, purse, wallet…. doesn’t matter…I don’t want to carry it. I usually keep these things locked in the car, as I am lucky enough to have the code buttons on my car, which makes carrying my keys, a thing of the past.

Needless to say…the umbrella doesn’t make it into the store. It’s more of a car accessory that never gets used. Now, there are some people I know who think they will melt if they get one speck of rain on them…imagine the scene from the Wizard of Oz where the Wicked Witch slowly melts away…I am not sure about their bizarre motives for such thinking as one could only wish that the mere touch of rainwater would make some people disappear from our lives forever.

There is also the Sunday paper to contend with, as it always seems to be soaking wet from the rain. Usually my paper delivery person has the common sense to double bag the paper or put it in the mailbox…the later often seems like it is way too much trouble…however, I think having to drive all the way back to my house on Sunday morning to bring me a new paper is way more trouble…but, that is just my theory obviously not shared by my paper delivery person. The umbrella usually does not accompany me on this task either as it is just too much trouble. We do have two giant golf umbrellas in the garage…Tommy Hilfiger, nonetheless…which I won at a bridal show…I could easily use these to accomplish any task in the rain. By now, you should understand that these two umbrellas have no idea what rain is or even feels like….

Back to my rainy Sunday dilemma….I am sure I will be sitting in the rain for two hours as my daughter has soccer skills today. Nothing cancels soccer and I mean nothing…it could be a torrential downpour with gusty winds and clouds so black it looks like the gates of hell opened up…soccer carries on….only lightening and thunder can stop a game. I have sat through numerous games watching people trying to take cover under their umbrellas…usually more comical then anything else…meanwhile, I sit with my rain slicker on and ignore the fact that pneumonia will probably be setting in at any moment…but it’s all in the name of soccer…

Okay…off to breakfast to ponder the mysteries of umbrella usage or my lack of.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Real Meaning of Mother's Day

Mother’s Day…. one of the best days of the year…. the day Mom is supposed to sit back and relax while everyone else takes care of her. There is Sunday breakfast, Mass, flowers on the table, a big surprise waiting outside (you know…the new car we have all been waiting for)…a pedicure and manicure at my favorite salon and a lovely home cooked meal on the grill…big, juicy filets, corn on the cob, baked potatoes…. you get the idea.

Okay…I was dreaming about part of that…no, there will not be any new car in my driveway…but, there will be other moments that are priceless and no amount of money in the world could buy…. the look of happiness on my daughter’s face when she gives me her plant she grew herself at school…she has been hiding it in her room since Friday…of course, it is right on the window in plain view, but I don’t let on…it’s her big surprise and I wouldn’t ruin it for the world. There will also be her delight in taking me out to breakfast at the local diner…and getting all dressed up for Sunday mass. These are the moments that define my Mother’s Day and pull at my heartstrings bringing tears of joy. My daughter’s delight in helping me on this special day…even if she makes more of a mess than actually helps…is all that I need to feel complete and loved.

Yes, we will be going to a huge family BBQ later today, but that only adds to the excitement for my daughter as she gets to spoil Mommy and have fun all at the same time. And, let’s not forget soccer…yes, I said it right…soccer. My daughter actually has soccer practice today. I am not sure what genius thought that soccer would be the icing on the cake for Mother’s Day….I am sure it was a man…but, we have a two hour soccer practice this afternoon. I guess I should consider the fact that I will be sitting on a lawn chair with no responsibilities except to watch my daughter play two hours of relaxation. Knowing that my daughter loves soccer and wouldn’t want to be any place else is all that it takes for me to relish this time rather than loathe the thought of being there. Seeing her excitement at scoring goal after goal brings a happiness to my heart that nothing else could match…So, with this in mind…I stifle the attitude I had when I noticed that one of her practices fell on Mother’s Day and instead enjoy the moment with her.

In the end, it doesn’t matter to me what we do, where we go or what we eat. Knowing that I have a day to enjoy all the small things with my daughter that make up being a Mommy and feeling the love the emanates from my daughter as we do these things together is the priceless gift of being a parent. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

The Mystery of Hot Dog Rolls

Last night I was discussing with my friend one of those mysteries of life that seems to perplex everyone and really has no answer…why are there only eight hot dog rolls in a package when there are obviously ten hot dogs in a package? What are you supposed to do with the extra two hotdogs? …Now, believe it or not…this conversation actually went on for about ten minutes as we tried to ponder the rationale behind this decision. Is it just a tactic by the bread companies to get us to buy an extra package of bread? If so, why don’t the hot dog people put six hot dogs in a package to make us buy an extra package of hot dogs…. the combinations are endless and daunting….the conversation then turned to what we should do with the two extra hotdogs…

Well, sometimes one drops when you open the package…in an emergency you would just wash it off and through it on the grill…don’t be grossed out by that because you know we all do it…..I worked in several restaurants while in college and let me be the first to tell you….if you think they throw away the $25 filet that you ordered because it fell on the floor while they were attempting to put it on the grill…you better guess again….that baby gets washed off and goes right back on the grill…it’s all about profit…what you don’t see won’t hurt you…..anyway…back to the hotdogs…

We now have one hot dog left that does not have a bun….my friend suggested cutting it up and putting it in macaroni and cheese…not sure my daughter would like that. I suggested just having one extra to serve with no bun….someone might be very unhappy with that option…so back to the drawing board. Perhaps, we just purchase an extra package of rolls. But, the dilemma becomes what to do with the extra rolls? Now, my daughter does like to eat bologna on hot dog rolls….I figure what’s the difference as bologna just seems to be the flat form of a hotdog….revolting to me…a delicacy to my daughter…no accounting for taste.

As my friend and I realized that we had actually just spent ten minutes of our conversation discussing the rationale behind hot dog buns, we had to pat ourselves on the back for having one of the most ridiculous conversations ever. However, something tells me we weren’t the first people to have this conversation and we probably won’t be the last.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bad Things Come In Pairs

As I am getting ready to go into a meeting in a rather shady section of New Jersey, I realize that leaving my GPS plugged in and displayed would be more like putting a sign on my car that reads….break my window with any heavy object nearby and steal my GPS and anything else valuable you might find. With this in mind, I go to unplug the power cord…as the stupid thing won’t stay charged for more than a few minutes on its own…and low and behold, wouldn’t you know it…the damn thing breaks…some little metal piece on the end disengages itself from the body and decides to lodge itself in the tiniest cranny you could imagine inside the lighter. Now, I am really pissed, because I am in a less than desirable town and have no idea how to get back home….I need the assistance of my GPS “Take Me Home” feature….almost like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz with her ruby slippers that take her home…okay…desperate measures call for desperate tactics. I take a paper clip and shove it into the lighter trying to retrieve the missing piece…yeah….bright idea Einstein…that causes a mini fireworks show in the front of my car.

Needless to say…I am without a charger in my car. But, we all know that bad things always happen in pairs. The next thing to go in my SUV is the CD player. Let me explain that my CD player is the kind where you have to feed the CD’s into a slot on the dashboard…this means once they are in there…there really is no way of getting them out without taking a hammer and just smashing what I am calling the biggest piece of crap car in the world…don’t we all say that when something goes wrong with our car. I have five CDs just stuck inside my car…its as if the car literally ate them.

So, I take my car to the garage today to see how much these two ridiculous repairs are going to cost me….the cigarette lighter appears to be the minor of the two problems…worst case scenario $80 to fix…okay, not bad I tell myself…..but with good news, also comes bad news….they can not fix the CD player….that has to go to a specialty shop and could cost a lot of money to repair…..now, I don’t know about you, but I am not about to be spending hundreds of dollars to fix a CD player on a car that is almost eight years old.

Cars and I have a lot of issues….I am not one to continuously take my car to the garage for repairs….think of it this way…if my car where a child, someone would have called DYFS on me along time ago. My check engine light has been on for almost a month as I refuse to pay the $85 for them to “just hook it up to the diagnostic machine”. It’s not a person, it’s a car. When all these issues start piling on…my motto is usually to bail on the car…trade it in for something newer and better. I just can’t handle constantly being barraged with minor problems that add up to thousands of dollars in repairs. I would rather put that money into a new vehicle. I am obviously not the mechanics dream client as I routinely refuse the suggestions they make for my car. Well, off to start window shopping for my poor car’s replacement. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live somewhere else. Start all over again from scratch. Move somewhere that is removed from my everyday life. It might seem like a far-fetched idea with little possibility for actual achievement, but stranger things happen. Where would I want to live?…. Another country is always the first thing that comes to mind. I absolutely fell in love with Italy while I was there on a semester abroad trip in college. I imagine my lifestyle would have to change as Europeans seems to move at a much slower pace than Americans. I imagine my new home somewhere in Sicily. I see beautiful coastal towns and a slower more relaxed life style. Perhaps, I would teach in an American school or on a base for families living abroad. Maybe, this would be my opportunity to start a whole new career. I really think I could blend well into a traditional Sicilian setting. I could own and operate a seaside business which would be even more of a dream come true. A whole new life with endless possibilities…it never hurts to dream.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Comcast Cable...A Quick Fix

There is nothing worse then when you try to turn on your cable, and it doesn’t work. We just switched to digital cable…not because of all the hype or wonderful picture quality…it was actually cheaper for me to add digital cable as my previous three for thirty three offer was about to end…a great deal for twenty–four months, however, nothing lasts forever. I even managed to finagle a deal so that the cable guy would hook up the box for me at no charge.

It’s only been two weeks since we have gone digital. I am not really seeing the big deal, but for the next twelve months, I can live with it. It requires too much work on my part. I actually have to go to the higher channels…somewhere in the 200 range, if I want to take advantage of my new offer.

Let me get back to the story….I went to turn on the TV and nothing…I try several times and still nothing…just blue screen. I figure the cable must have went out. Since it is almost time for bed, I forget about it. When I get home from work the next day I realize that I still have no cable. Okay…. this is a problem. I am starting to loose my cool. I am cursing the cable guy up one side and down the other…mother f*# this and mother F*# that…can’t even fix the damn cable box…what the hell do they even pay you for…they should fire your stupid ass…wait till I get someone on the phone! Now, we all know getting someone on the phone is a task only Hercules can accomplish.

As I begin to wait….twenty five minutes to be exact…I try to talk to someone on the computer…I am sure the person was translating my English into whatever foreign country was talking to me through my computer….the person on the other end of my computer tells me….”I understand you want to discuss problem with cable”…..as soon as I read that my blood was really boiling…at this point a live operator finally came on the phone…Yes, he even spoke English.

He goes through the basics with me. Are all the cables connected?….Is the TV plugged in? Sometimes I wonder how they can even ask such stupid questions…Of course the TV is plugged in…How the hell else would I know the cable doesn’t work?…..He then tells me to turn off the cable box and turn it back on. OMG…..magic happens….the cable is instantly fixed….my dumb ass never turned on the cable box. Can I even begin to tell you how stupid I felt?… Open Mouth…Insert Foot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Target $100

Target….A store I love, but secretively loathe at the same time. I can pretty much go into any store without spending more than I planned to when I went in. However, there is just something about Target that screams… Benjamin…for those of you not in the know that would be $100..…it doesn’t matter how well I budget before I go in the store or how many times I swear that I am not spending more than exactly what I planned…the register always rings up the $100 tab.

Now, I have thought of ways to defeat what I like to call the “Target 100”…I could simply leave my purse in the car and only take what I am going to spend…in cash of course…but, what would happen if I passed up the sale of the century or something that was just too good to be true? What if I just couldn’t wait till next time to purchase that CD that I really needed, those socks in five different colors that are just going to sit in my dresser drawer or the array of bizarre snacks that can be found nowhere but here…The pressure to purchase would cause me to walk back out to my car for my purse.

Since Christmas…when I put myself on a strict budget…I have been a much better consumer at Target…I now pick things up and carry them around with me…no more shopping cart for me…when my arms get too full, I know it’s time to put things down. I have saved a lot of money using this nifty little trick…Target, your gigantic cart that can fit five children in it no longer has a grip on me…I have freed myself from the insanity of buying stuff that I know I will never use…just because it looks good in the store doesn’t mean that you will actually have a use for it at home…I learned this from eating food samples at Sam’s Club and BJ’s….yes, anything tastes good when you are hungry and it is free…that’s how they lure you into buying it….then, when you get home…what the hell are you going to do with ten pounds of pulled pork or five pounds of dip?…..nothing…that’s what you’re going to do with it…absolutely nothing. For this reason, I no longer shop at those mega warehouse stores. To be free from the Target $100 is such a liberating moment. J

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Foot Cheese, Please..

I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond this weekend with a friend. One of the highlights of the store is the “As Seen on TV” section. Imagine every strange gadget you have ever seen on a late night TV commercial….they are all here for your buying pleasure. The Ped Egg called out to me from the thousand or so that were strategically placed at the entrance door…I certainly couldn’t miss these guys, now could i?…A Ped Egg…sounds strange…what the hell does the thing do?…at first glance, it looks like a mini cheese grater that you can hold in the palm of your hand…I am sure someone will use it for this, however, that is not how it was intended to be used.

My Ped Egg is designed for me to “shave”…yes, I said shave…the dead skin off the bottom of my feet. Doesn’t really sound that appealing at first, but when I think about what my feet look like…and the fact that flip flop season is almost upon us…I decide to splurge on my little foot luxury…lucky for me my friend has a 20% off coupon. Friends are so great. I contemplate buying the extra blades…my feet can be really nasty when they are inside my boots all day…No, one will do for now…no need to over indulge myself.

My Ped Egg ends up sitting in my car for the next few days. For some reason, I forgot I even made the purchase. It wasn’t until this morning that I remembered my little egg. After carefully reading the instructions…SHARP BLADES, BEWARE…now, wouldn’t common sense tell you that something that is going to scrape the nasty, thick, dead skin off the bottom of someone’s feet would indeed have to be pretty sharp…directions for idiots….I put my little egg together and begin to go to work….I rub it back and forth on both my feet several times…Okay…now it gets disgusting.

As I am rubbing the egg on my feet, I happen to tilt the thing a little to the side…as it begins to snow all over my legs, I realize that these “cheese” like shavings are the dead skin that has been removed from my feet. Okay, Egg…your doing your job. I continue on for another few minutes until my feet are nice and smooth. As I open the egg to see the mysteries of the inside, all that is revealed is about three inches of what looks like shredded cheese…this might make you think twice about where your cheese comes from….I empty the contents into the trash and realize that perhaps this is where the term “foot cheese” actually came from.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And You Thought You Were in Debt...Guess Again

Could you imagine owing a bill of $530,000? How would you even begin to pay that off? And no…. it’s not your mortgage. It is the money that a Michigan man has failed to provide for his 14 children that he fathered with 13 different women. OMG…. I guess this man has never heard of a little thing called protection or the myriad of horrible things that could befall him by essentially playing Russian Roulette thirteen times. Think of all the things that you hear about on the news. How could anyone be this stupid?

According to The Michigan Flint Journal, Thomas Frazier, who is only 42, has not made a single child support payment in six years. For God sakes, the man doesn’t even have a job. I guess he figured fathering one child per year since he turned eighteen was more than enough contribution to society…now, he could have fathered all these children during a series of lurid affairs over a few days time, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt…considering his track record that’s probably an unsafe assumption, but, what the hell.

Now, Mr. Frazier would like to argue that it was impossible for him to pay his total monthly child support obligation of $3000 for all fourteen of his children. Let’s break this down and see what that amounts to per child…. that would be about $214 per child per month or roughly $50 per week per child…. What the hell are you supposed to buy a child on $50 a week?…this is supposed to provide for food, clothing and shelter. Mr. Frazier….I say shame on you!!!…. You owe these women a whole lot more than a lousy $50 per week. You owe each of these children the right to a father who they have probably never seen, since you claim that only three of them are your biological child…I say…Jerry Springer can prove whether or not you are the father or maybe Montel or Maury…let the world know that you have been convicted unfairly…. something tells me that you will not pursue any DNA tests as the results will most certainly be held against you.

According to the newspaper, Mr. Frazier has 90 days to pay $27,900 in arrears payments. I am not sure how they came up with that amount, but I am sure Mr. Frazier has no intentions of paying one single penny. As of today, Mr. Frazier remains in jail unable to pay. I wonder how many license plates he will have to make to pay off his debt.

Through the Looking Glass at Home Depot

Home Depot. I could loose myself for hours in this store. Isle after isle offers limitless possibilities for the imagination. My friend and I just came back from spending two hours of what I like to call…yeah, right…not in this lifetime…now don’t lie, you know you play this game also…anyone who says different has probably never been to Home Depot…. Our trip begins in the mirror section of the store as we step through the looking glass into a world beyond our imagination. We look at the kitchen displays with gorgeous cherry wood cabinets and granite counter tops wondering who the hell can afford kitchens that cost thirteen thousand dollars? But for now, who cares…I’ll take the one with the ten foot kitchen island, please.

We continue up one isle and down the next letting our fantasy world get the best of us…we begin selecting doors for our country cottage…ceiling fans for our beach home…sliding glass doors that lead onto the deck of our Italian villa…we envision ourselves sitting on the veranda which overlooks our ten car garage…which is also in need of all new garage doors…what a life we could have.

Next stop… the appliances…new washer and dryer…a mere two thousand dollars…latest refrigerator with all the gadgets… that will set us back about three thousand…Stove which cooks are meals for us...not sure this model is on display…I bet it’s in the back for the VIP customers like us. I am sure someone will be around shortly to escort us to this private viewing lounge.

In the meantime, we need to make one last stop on our trip in this world that exists only in our minds…the garden center to select the perfect deck furniture…of course; it wouldn’t be complete without the fifteen hundred dollar Weber Grill…. What the frig!!! How many of these things does this store really sell…I want to meet the person who spends fifteen hundred dollars on a barbecue grill…Lawn Mower, did someone say Lawn Mower…of course they have them…it’s almost like walking onto a car lot…they have the basic model all the way up to the super deluxe lawnmower which costs almost five grand…once again…please, please introduce me to the man who is going to pay five grand for a lawn mower….

Reality hits us on the way out as one of the sales associates begins to give my friend the all too customary pick up line…hey, I saw you in here a few hours ago…you must be waiting for me to get off work…I am thinking…buddy, it ain’t happening…like our fantasy world motto inside the store…not in this lifetime…but, no sooner do we pay, then he is waiting outside for her. No, not in his Benz or Beamer…but, next to his shopping cart…not sure what that is all about…but a shopping cart is not a way to make a big first impression…he yells at her as we continue to our car…”next time, honey, I will give you my number.” What a sobering wake up call to the ultra rich life we had just stepped out of….only if it was on the other side of the looking glass.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

5000 Facebook Friends in 2010

A tweeter friend has advised me that each person is only allowed 5000 friends. So, my goal must be changed.

UPDATE: Apparently, this task is not going to be easy as I learned that I can not make more than a certain amount of friend requests per day. Oh, well...

I realize that I will never make a million dollars in one year…however, it is possible that I could make a million Facebook friends in a year. Since Facebook easily reaches over two million people, I could conceivably become friends with half of them…. not bad odds…a 50/50 chance of meeting my goal. I would roughly have to make 2,740 new friends per day to accomplish this task. Wow…imagine having a million friends. Since today is only my first day on Facebook, I will have to make up for lost time somewhere between today and next April 10, 2010.

Now…how should I go about my task…First, I am going to have to register for a domain name…. this will lead people to my Facebook page and blog…. imagine waking up every morning to have 2,740 new friends on your Facebook account…Who doesn’t love getting e-mail…imagine the places and people that I would learn about through this experience…I would like my One Million Facebook friends to help me discover the vast world that is beyond my imagination…I would like to explore other cultures…learn about traditions, customs and religions…I would like to meet people from every region of the world…the more varied the backgrounds, the more interesting my project will become.

Journey with me on this adventure…. send me a friend invite…write on my wall…send me a message to say hi…. follow my blog as I share this experience with my readers…but, most importantly…just become my friend, because nobody can have too many friends.

Lori DiPatri's Profile
Lori DiPatri's Facebook profile
Create Your Badge

Spread My Wings and Soar

I have decided to take my blog one step farther and try writing for websites, magazines and newspapers. I realize that there are hundreds, thousands, probably even tens of thousands of people who all want the same opportunity. I am going to start slow by contacting local papers and magazines to see if there would be any interest. Hopefully, interest will peek, and I will be writing more frequently for larger audiences. However, I have no plans of quiting my day job anytime soon...unless, of course, an offer I just couldn't refuse came knocking at my door...okay, enough dreaming...

I stumbled upon a site called Trazzler. They have an open contest each month on a particular theme. April's contest was local institutions. I submitted the following 65 - 100 word entry. Wish me luck.

Overwhelmingly the Best Bagels in Glassboro

Waking up on a crisp Saturday morning, I can almost smell the intense aromas of fresh bagels as they come hot out of the oven. While there are other menu item choices, nothing can compare to the variety, freshness and overall quality of the bagel. I stick with my usual choice of a toasted cheddar cheese bagel with sun dried tomato cream cheese. The thought of these chewy delicacies arriving piping hot on a pillowy sheet of wax paper placed perfectly in a red plastic basket is more than the senses can take. I linger over every delectable bite knowing it will be a whole week before I will be back.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Would You Dare to Eat Here?

I came across several interesting articles on restaurants located around the world. Listed below are the ones I found most entertaining.

1. Cannibalistic Restaurant
"Nyotaimori" is the name of the Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and sashimi on a body which is made from food and placed on an operating table, much as though in a hospital. You can literally perform surgery on the body. The body will actually bleed as you cut it and the intestines and organs inside are completely editable. Utterly disgusting!!

2. A Toilet Restaurant
A restaurant named Marton Theme Restaurant, in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) has a toilet theme. The restaurant is named after the Chinese word "Matong" for toilet. Why anyone would want to eat out of a toilet is beyond my comprehension.

3. Dark Restaurant - Beijing, China
A restaurant in which all the walls are painted black. You see nothing and are supposed to have a more "enlightened" food experience. I don't know about you, but if I can't see what I am eating, I am not eating it.

4. Graveyard Restaurant - India
The New Lucky Restaurant in Ahmadabad has something very creepy between the tables... graves!! The restaurant has been operating for close to four decades. Just too bizarre for me.

5. Prison Restaurant - Pisa Italy
Serenaded by Bruno, a pianist doing life for murder, the clientele eat inside a deconsecrated chapel set behind the 60 ft-high walls, watch towers, searchlights and security cameras of the daunting 500-year-old Fortezza Medicea, at Volterra near Pisa. Bizarre...but, I would consider if I were in Pisa again.

6. Undersea Restaurant (MALDIVES)
I would love to eat here....reservations, please....The first-ever undersea restaurant in the world is located at the Hilton Maldives Resort & Spa. It sits five meters below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a vibrant coral reef and encased in clear acrylic, offering diners 270 degrees of panoramic underwater views.

7. "Cabbages and Condoms" Thailand
There are condoms on the walls and pictures of condoms printed on the carpets. Instead of after-dinner mints, patrons are offered a bowl of condoms at the counter. Profits from the restaurants go to support the Population and Community Development Association (PDA).

8. Medical Restaurant - Taipei
D.S. Music Restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan is a medical-themed restaurant with crutches on the wall, waitresses dressed a nurses, and drinks served from an IV drip bottle! The owner came up with the idea to express his gratitude for care he received at a local hospital.

Things About People That Annoy Me

1. who have to lie even when telling the truth wouldn't matter
2. who don't keep promises they have made regardless of the magnitude...a promise is a promise
3. that always have to one up you no matter what...is insecurity really that big of an issue?
4. who think they are always right
5. that have a cell phone literally glued to their hand...Plain and Simple...it's just rude!!!
6. that carry a huge chip on their shoulder and think the world owes them something
7. who can never admit they are wrong
8. who think the world revolves around them
9. that believe whatever they do is the most important thing in the world
10. who don't value what they have...until it's too late.
11. who think money equates to happiness
12. who make judgements without knowing the truth
13. that think no one can do their job better than them...Everyone is replaceable...Everyone! Someone did it before you and someone will do it after you.
14. who don't have empathy for others
15. who say things without thinking
16. that purposely hurt other people's feelings
17. that have to prove a point no matter what the cost
18. who don't value sacredness of a family
19. who take what never belonged to them in the first place
20. who can't see beyond today

Remote, Remote...Come Out Wherever You Are...

Have you ever tried to watch TV without the remote? Something tells me it is not even possible. We have had frantic searches in our home to find this device that seems to rule our lives when it comes to watching the television. Now mind you, we could just as easily walk up to the TV and change the channel…however, our downstairs flat screen does require us to use only the special remote provided by Comcast…otherwise, it remains on the same channel for eternity….walk up to the TV…who ever heard of such a thing…I am not even sure I would even recognize the buttons…I have spent what seems like hours to find the remote with my daughter screaming in the background that she is desperately missing the latest episode of Hannah…logic would tell us that we could just turn on the TV in another room until we find the damn thing…but, it is more the point of how it become lost in the first place.

Losing the remote can mean all out warfare in our home as it means that the best TV is really not usable. As the mass hysteria begins to try and find the little bugger, pillows and cushions are thrown on the floor…chairs are overturned…toys are thrown everywhere…cabinets and drawers are emptied…the house looks like it was just cased by the crime squad unit…sometimes I wish it would be…they would probably find the thing quicker then me. Maybe we could put some type of special GPS locater in the stupid thing…one can dream…

Our remote seems to magically grow feet when we are not watching it. Wherever we think we put it is never where it actually is located. Sometimes it can be found tucked safely into the sofa cushions or underneath a couch pillow. Other times, it will wander around the house and find a spot on the counter to perch itself. It’s almost like having another pet. I often wonder what life was like before the remote. Can you imagine having to get up every time you want to change the channel?

The upstairs remote died on us some time ago. We now have our favorite channel lineups that have to span at least an hour. This allows for sufficient time to fall asleep with the TV on using the magic of the timer. Shows that I never thought I would watch have become instant favorites, because they either come on before or after something that I really want to watch. It’s amazing what the power of not wanting to get out of a warm, cozy bed can do for someone.

It’s only after a ridiculous search of every nook and cranny in the entire house that the remote shows up in the most obvious place…usually right in front of our faces.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holiday Cooking

Cooking for the holidays…there is just something about having a house full of people that makes me want to cook. I never say no to anyone as I love to entertain. My motto always seems to be "the more the merrier". I have always been one of those people who prepares way too much food…antipasti tray, relish tray, crudités, chips, dip, u-peel shrimp…you name it….I have to have it out…..and this is before dinner is even ready. I am always afraid I won’t have enough…and I would rather have extra then run out. My relatives have even come to look forward to this tradition and bring their own Tupperware containers for leftovers. Sometimes, they even bring a shopping bag. My Mom and aunts just can't seem to accept the idea of throwing away good food. One of my faults seems to be in that I refuse to keep all the leftovers..I want them gone....I don't want them taking up room in the refrigerator only for me to have to throw them away a week later because no one ate them...and it happens one of two ways....the trash or the container....but either way that food is leaving when the last guest leaves.

Let me give you an example…for my daughters sixth birthday last year, I wanted to do away with all the cooking and have a simple pool party with pizza. After awhile I started thinking…maybe I’ll just make one tray of homemade Italian meatballs in pasta sauce…which by the way are my signature dish…over the years I have received many requests for the recipe….I am really not even sure what I use…it’s more a texture thing…anyway…then, I also have to make a tray of ziti to go along with the meatballs. Before you know it….I am cooking for almost seventy five people. This happens time and time again…I remember when I spent all morning barbecuing 75 chicken quarters for my daughter's fourth birthday party….it was a pirate party, and I wanted that realistic feel…never, ever will I do that again….I had no idea that chicken takes over an hour to barbecue….I thought I was going to die of exhaustion.

Emeril, Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray....All big on my list of consults for the perfect Easter meal. Do I want BAM!...Do I want snooty with a touch of elegance that I would never be able to pull off....or... do I want it all for under $40?....This Easter things will probably be more calm….I am planning an Italian Easter dinner for my family….between ten and twelve people…..I am trying to keep things simple, but having some difficulty….I already have the menu partially planned….baked ham, lasagna with meat sauce….which means I will also have to make meatballs….and maybe chicken Parmesan….or I was thinking some crab cakes from Bobby Chez and forget the ham….see how things start to get confusing…..I have also wanted to make braciole for the longest time and did not have the chance this past Christmas….oh, the ideas that are spinning in my head…..see how fast a simple meal can turn into a days labor....the choices are endless.

Since I have waited until the last minute, I will also have to endure the hordes of people shopping on Good Friday. I still have to pick up my free ham….which I earned for being such a “valued” customer…okay…I really just spent enough money and the receipt printed out with my free ham coupon….but, sometimes I like to make myself feel important. So, after my dreaded trip to the mechanics tomorrow, I will be off to fight the crowds at ACME. Now, if I can just settle on a menu and write a shopping list things will be perfect.

Marble Swirls

I purchased an Easter egg dying kit several weeks ago during a grocery shopping trip. Let me explain that this was no easy task. It seems there are numerous dye kits on the market all calling my name as I enter the Easter isle…. Pick me, no pick me…over hear, I am more fun…this one razzles and that one dazzles…this one sparkles and that one glitters…this one uses dye pellets and that one uses gloves…I settle on the one that uses gloves figuring it would be the least messiest.

We all know that once you bring the egg dye kit home there is no way in the world you can let your kids see it. That would mean instant crying to dye eggs. It could be ten o’clock at night and the sight of the dye kit would cause an all out frenzy. The questions would start…Can I just open the package? I just want to see what it looks like…I won’t open any of the dyes…. please, mommy….I just want to look…so, against your better Mommy judgment….you give in. We all know what this lead to…. now that I have it open, can we just dye a few…pleeeease…

Well, this year I was smart. I hid that dye kit until today. My daughter was overjoyed at the fact that we would be dying eggs…. she could have cared less that I picked the glove dying kit…. something tells me it was way more messy than what it should have been…I was also shocked to see that our eggs didn’t look anything like those on the box…something fishy there….I wonder if anyone’s eggs ever look like the “perfect” ones pictured on the cover. It didn’t seem to matter to my daughter or me as we thought each one of her twelve eggs was more than picture perfect. Martha Stewarts got nothing on me….

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Never Ignore the Light

Curse my car! Sometimes I just want to abandon the thing on the side of the road. I only wish someone would steal it (of course, only after I have cleaned out the entire car and nothing of value is left in it). Now, you might think that I drive some piece of junk that should have been off the road ten years ago. Wrong. I drive an Eddie Bauer Explorer. This is the second one I have owned…a twin to my first one…when you like something, you might as well stick with it. This car has been nothing but trouble since the day I decided to purchase it. Mind you, nothing major…. just minor annoyances that make you regret the day you ever walked into the dealership.

Today, I noticed the check engine light has magically turned itself on. Of course, this means some costly garage repair, as I obviously have no idea what is wrong with the thing. They could tell me I need a whole new engine, and I would be none the wiser…except for the fact that I would be shopping for a new car…because one has to draw the line somewhere. It never fails when you bring your car in for an oil change that the mechanics find “something” wrong with it. I usually decline these “somethings” as I see no need to have extra work done on a car that is running perfectly fine. I always find it amazing that when you take your car back the next time there is a different “something” wrong with it….I am always left wondering what happened to the problem they told me about before. As usual, these previous “problems” seem to have a way of fixing themselves if you refuse to have the work done.

Damn my car!….this means a whole wasted day finding out what the stupid light is trying to tell me. I would ignore the light, but you know that just spells trouble waiting to happen. I can see it now….I ignore the light for several weeks and decide to take a short cut one night. As I begin down a stretch of deserted road that seems to have no end in sight, I hear the faint putter sounds of an engine that is about to give out….yes, I have made one of the most stupid mistakes possible…. alone on a dark deserted road with a car that I know is about to die…..I am sure my untimely death won’t be far behind…something gruesome...I can see it now...all my worst nightmares about to come true!!!......Oh, God….why didn’t I just take it to the garage like I should have?……as my engine slowly putters out and I roll to a stop,…I think no big deal…I’ll just call 911, and they can send someone out to help me…oops!…creepy, deserted road equals no cell signal….I am going to be killed, I can feel the panic starting to build into sheer terror….How could I have been so stupid??

Okay, questions are running through my head a mile a minute…. should I walk…no, way too horror movie…should I stay in the car…. yeah, what good is that going to do me…what, oh, what should I do? I am going to try to start the car one last time. I pray to God that if he lets the car start, I will never ever do something this stupid again. I turn the key….Thank you, God….the car starts.

As I near the end of the deserted road, I now have a signal on my phone. I call my garage for the first appointment available….after the trip to hell and back….I realize that my car might just need a little TLC after all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail...

Sunshine. Warm weather. Flowers blooming. Spring is in the air. I can already hear the songs beginning to play in some remote corner of my mind…Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, hippity hoppity look at Peter go…Now, what could be more exciting than taking your kids on a ninety minute train ride with none other than Peter Rabbit…possibly a lot of things…but, for today, we will have to settle with the train ride.

With the aid of my GPS (I don’t know what I did before this nifty little invention)…we found the Wilmington Railroad line. For some reason, my sister and I decided to reserve our tickets online, but we made the mistake of not doing it at the same time. Remember, it’s Palm Sunday and every kid in the world wants to ride the train with the Easter Bunny. After waiting for what seems like an eternity…when you have three kids with you, one minute seems like forever…we are told that are seats are not on the same train cars. HOLD ON….as all hell breaks loose among our three kids…not sit together…is this lady crazy???…I realize that she is about ninety and has no idea how devastating this is to three little girls all under the age of seven. She tells us that we can get in the “other” line and try to exchange them. With a quick glance at the “other” line…which has about fifty people in it…we suck it up and get on our separate cars. At this point, my daughter is sobbing so loudly that people are beginning to stare at us...not like some of their kids are behaving any better...her cousins sit in the train car in front of us…I realize that there is no way I am going to torture myself like this for the next few hours…with quick thinking and seconds before the train departs the track, my daughter and I make our way to the train car where my sister is sitting. No big deal…plenty of room…and the one hundred year old man punching tickets is none the wiser. Instantly, the sobbing stops and a huge smile comes over my daughter's face...crisis diverted...they should make me head of the FBI.

Okay….Easter Bunny Ride here we come…the customary snack cart is rolled down the isle….for a small fee you can dine on a selection of junk food and carbonated beverages…a young boy follows behind the cart handing out chocolate Easter Bunny lollipops…my sister and I hold out our hands for one….the snide little boy replies…”Sorry, these are only for the kids”….Now, wait one minute….I paid more for my ticket on the train than my daughters’…I am not sure why as we both occupy the same amount of seat….it’s not like they cut the kid’s seat in half…who makes these crazy policies? …

Now, my sister did put the kid on the spot by asking him to clip her ticket like Tom Hanks did in Polar Express...I am not sure he found that too amusing...I, however, was more caught up in thinking exactly what word he might have have punched on it...probably some vulgarity that would have put him in bad graces with the bunny...With more than two hundred bunny lollipops in the basket...he slowly inched down the aisle without giving us another look…probably thinking...screw those parents and their stupid jokes...I think he might have been keeping all those stolen bunnies for himself…a secret stash just in case the Easter Bunny happens not to stop at his house...something tells me this could be a real possibility.

After ninety minutes of Easter Bunny heaven for our kids and a hundred pictures to ensure memories of every joyous minute, we depart the Wilmington Railroad. The next big question…where do we have lunch?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sneakers...Sneakers and More Sneakers

Sports Authority, Dicks, Athlete's Foot, Footlocker...the list goes on. Buying a new pair of sneakers can be a confusing task. As I am greeted by the salesperson in each store, I am asked a series of questions as to what type of sneaker would interest me. Do I want casual, running, hiking, walking or something in between? I reluctantly show each person my current pair...you know the ones...the most comfortable pair you have as long as you can get past the smell, dirt, rips and tears that constitute what used to be an eighty dollar pair of shoes...they are so old I am not even sure the salesperson can make out the name let alone my current size...she points me in the direction of several pair which are similar to the ones I have on...of course, with an air of salesperson authority, she takes the opportunity to advise me that the ones I have on are a few years old, and they no longer carry anything that style...excuse me! Next store, please.

We settle on Sports Authority due to their enormous weekend sale taking place...which I am sure was taking place last weekend and will be again next weekend...but, that is besides the point as I want to feel that I am getting a great pair of shoes at a bargain price. Once again greeted by the all to peppy salesgirl, we are quickly whisked to the sneaker aisle. Since I already know that my ratty old sneakers are no longer in style, I don't even bother to show them to her. She points me in the direction of several top running sneakers as I happen to mention that this type of sneaker would probably work best for me...Adidas (which actually happen to be the ones I am wearing), Ascics, Saucony and Brooks...damn some of these shoes are ugly. For the price, you would think they could come up with better color combinations.

Now comes the task of trying them on. One by one I go through the boxes until finally a pair of blue and grey Ascics catch my attention...OMG...they are actually normal looking...after trying them on, I decide they are the ones that I must have. As lady luck would have it, they are also twenty dollars off the listed price. With my box in tow and a sticker from my sales lady placed conspicuosly on the top...I am assuming she will earn some type of commission off my new purchase as she is all too eager to make sure my box has only her label affixed to it.

As the cashier begins to ring up my shoes, he looks inside the box with a slight gasp...probably from the rancid smell of those old sneakers...I just couldn't put them back on my feet knowing I was getting a new pair within a few seconds...he calmly asks me if I would like him to disgard the contents...what the hell...I am not going to do anything with them, and I am sure Goodwill wouldn't even take them. With my new sneakers on my feet, I walk happily to my car.

Some Things Aren't Meant to be Heard

Sitting in the open wind on a cold April morning is not my first choice of ways to spend a Saturday, however, my daughter is on the track team...yes, they now have track at the elementary level...the stands consist mostly of parents waiting for their children to participate in the various events of the day. As I wait patiently for my daughter's three events to begin, I happen to over hear a discussion taking place...rather loudly...right in front of me.

Now, I am not sure about you, but I like to keep my medical issues private especially when it concerns sensitive issues such as a hysterectomy. Nope, these two women didn't seem to have any limits on what could and could not be discussed as they chatted away about their gynecological surgical procedures for anyone in ear shot to hear. After the initial shock wore off...because who in the world airs their private medical issues in public...I just looked on in bewilderment. Is nothing sacred these days?

Friday, April 3, 2009

California Rolls

As my daughter has matured...the big six that she is...so have her eating habits. No longer does ordering from the children's menu suffice for her. Most kids would be more than happy to eat chicken fingers, a cheeseburger or maybe even something more adventurous like...I don't know, call me crazy...pepperoni pizza. Not my daughter...she wants nothing to do with the "baby menu" as she so aptly refers to it. Her six year old taste buds are more refined then a frozen slab of hamburger with packaged cheese melted on top, or chicken nuggets that are more breading than chicken. Edamame, miso soup, prime rib...medium rare of course...crabcakes, California rolls...sashimi...a baked sweet potato, asparagus...these have all become part of her restaurant menu. She constantly surprises my friends and even waitstaff when she orders steamed mussels in red sauce with a cup of hot tea. And, please don't forget the three creams and two sugars..."thank you" she says with a big smile.

I am also baffled by the amount of food that she can eat. One would think that she would be twenty pounds overweight. Nope, not my daughter. She is a tall, thin string bean...which by the way she eats right out of the can with some garlic salt for seasoning...disgusting by my standards...a typical snack for her. Peas, cranberry sauce, avocados...things that would make any six year old turn their nose in disgust are a dining delicacy for her. I am not really sure where she picked up these peculiar tastes as I was the pickiest eater known to mankind. There were few things that I would eat and even fewer things that I would allow to be put on my food. Just recently, I discovered my daughter's love of kalamata olives, locatelli cheese and cannoli. I admire her passion for Italian food and relish in the fact that we share a like for food from our native background.

Having a six year old with such a varied palate makes for a fun and diverse evening as there are few places or things that are off limits...although, I will have to admit that she is not too fond of Mexican...I am thinking this might have more to do with the bathroom issues caused by this particular food group, but that's just my two cents. So, armed with our hungry appetite, my sister and her two kids, we head off for an adventurous night of Japenese dining...something tells me her kids aren't going to like this odd turn of events...as we open the menus, I can see the look of desperation in their eyes..."Where's the cheeseburger?", I hear them quietly whisper?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Won...I Won...

The phone rings, and I see on the caller ID that it is the Philadelphia Inquirer. Of course, I am thinking another random solicitation for me to buy the newspaper, but I answer it anyway. OMG...I won...I am always entering random contests that are offered in various newspapers. Sometimes I win...nothing ever that exciting. My biggest wins usually consist of tickets to a play or event in the local area. The lady on the other end of the phone confirms that I have won a family four pack of tickets to Thomas the Train: A Circus Comes to Town. I am not really sure how excited I am about this...the website describes it as a 90-minute interactive presentation. I am personally thinking 90-minutes of kids screaming and running in the aisles, but who am I to judge.

A free family four pack...hmmm...how exactly free is it. I ask the lady on the other end what is included with my free family four pack. As she tries to stifle her laugh, she tells me what I expected to hear, but was hoping I wouldn't...nothing. With that in mind, let's try and add up what free really means.

There's parking...which is NEVER free...that will probably set me back twenty bucks...there is also food, because we all know kids can not sit for ninety minutes without something to eat and drink...that will cost me another ten to fifteen bucks...and there is always the souvenir shop on the way out...you know the one with the most expensive junk you have ever laid your eyes upon...the souvenir every kid just has to have or their life won't be complete...only to end up as yesterday's discarded trash once they get home. Okay, now that I have put free into perspective, I might just have to pass on those tickets.

Vacuuming the car

What chore can be more laborious then that of painstakingly lugging the vacuum cleaner out to the car? The thought of what might be lurking beneath the seats can be somewhat disturbing. When you have a six-year old there are no boundaries as to what mutant form of decaying food can be found stuck between the seats, smeared secretively into the upholstery because napkins just weren’t available, or spilled with no word to anyone, because eventually it will just disappear…aren’t kids cute…. we all know it just doesn’t disappear…it lingers on and on in the carpet of the back seat…slowly emitting a putrid stench that will eventually become a rancid odor that of which the original origins will be indistinguishable to the human smell.

This is why I am implementing a no food or drink policy in my car. Yes, I have leather seats that can be wiped clean…but, for the life of me, I don’t understand why none of the food ever stays on them. It always seems to manage its way into the nooks and crannies of the cloth on the sides of the seats or….and even better….the rear carpet….no, not the middle row which would be easy to clean…somehow, it manages to make its way to the third row…I am only guessing, but I think this must be done deliberately…maybe my daughter thinks she can grow and harvest her own food in the mini garden she is cultivating in the far off land of the rear of our SUV….I am not clear on her thought process yet…since spring has just arrived, I think she must be sowing her first crop of food…Today, her dreams of becoming a greenhouse farmer will be no more…

I have single handedly removed every trace of food known to mankind…I really think some of it might have been alive…gross, gross, and grosser…with a fresher look…and smell…my daughter’s hothouse on wheels is no longer…Mommy has taken control of the car….read the sign carefully before entering…No food or drink permitted….no way, no how….except maybe for me.

It's okay to make a mistake...Life is full of them

Life isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination. Some days are harder than others. It's the days that contain the mistakes that are the hardest to get through. As the years pass, we learn that some things are easier to look past and have no great impact on our lives. At that one moment, it may seem like your world has been shattered, but we soon realize that life goes on...maybe for the better, maybe for the worse...but, it does go on.

Once a mistake has been made, it can often be a difficult and daunting task to correct. It's hard for people to reverse a decision that at the time seemed so damn right. It means admitting to yourself that you are human and no one is perfect. It means taking control of your life regardless of what others around you may think...because, you only have one life to live. It means having the courage to look yourself in the mirror and honestly admit that you would rather be somewhere else. It means admitting...if only to yourself...that it is okay to make a mistake...it is okay to be human.

Making mistakes doesn't make us less of a person. It doesn't diminish who we are or what we stand for. Making mistakes is a natural process of learning. Some mistakes can alter our lives and, if we are real lucky, we have the opportunity to reverse them. The saddest part of life is knowing that you made a mistake and having the ability to change it, but refusing to. There is no shame in making a mistake only in not correcting it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday...Pizza Night

The day of the week we all look forward to..no cooking, no dishes, and...best of all..no mess. Oh, if every night could be this easy! Pick up the phone, place your order and thirty minutes later dinner arrives. Now, I am not saying you'll be dining gourmet, but the smells emanating from inside that cardboard box make your mouth water the minute the pizza boy comes to the door. Picture the scene.

After thirty minutes of waiting...which now seems more like three hundred...we pace back and forth in front of the window watching for any sign of our pizza that seems to be MIA. A few cars make their rounds down our street, but none take the glorious turn into our driveway. What is it about waiting for the pizza guy that makes it seem like an eternity? Minutes seem like hours, and, if I have to hear one more time, "Mommy, when is the pizza going to be here?", I am going to take that pizza and throw it right in the trash.

Now, you first instinct might be to call the pizza place to ask if the driver has left with your pizza...OF COURSE HE HAS...do you really think they are going to say, No, I am sorry. We haven't even put your pizza in the oven yet. Give us thirty more minutes...they are going to placate you with exactly what they think you want to hear...we won't even mention that the high school kid who took your order the first time accidentally let the order slip drop in the trash..so, really this phone call is your first order....but we won't mention any of that....

After fifteen more minutes go by...you make the dreaded decision to call the pizza shop...just as you pick up the phone, the doorbell rings. Mr. Sixteen year old, who barely seems old enough to drive, is at the door with your pizza. Oh, and never mind the fact that he pulled up in his brand new Lexus SUV...what in the world does he need this job for?....but all negativity suddenly vanishes as everyone catches a whiff of the freshly baked pizza...you hurriedly hand him the money thinking whether a tip is really necessary...but then again we don't want any extra spit toppings next week...as you close the door, you have survived another Wednesday Pizza night.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Don't Leave Home Without It

Nothing puts you in a state of sheer panic more than realizing you forgot something when you’re a mile away from home. It never happens as your backing out of the driveway, slowly making your way out of your development or even a few streets away from home. NO, No, no. Usually these slips of mind happen when you are a good ten minutes from home, and there is no way you can turn around without being outrageously late for work

What on Earth could be so important that would cause sheer panic to break out…I mean loose your mind, can’t function, don’t know how you are going to make it through the rest of the day terror….this is panic so bad that you have to stop the car to rip open your purse and search every compartment…nope it’s not there…where the hell did I put the damn thing?…it has to be in this car, because there is no way I would ever leave home without it…maybe I put it in the console…a frustrated frenzy of whipping everything out onto the passenger side floor reveals nothing…maybe it fell between the seat…frantically pulling at every nook and cranny uncovers nothing…do I need the CSI crime lab to come in this car and find it? What was I thinking? This is surely no way to start my morning. I think I am having chest pains…oh, God…now I can’t breathe…am I going to pass out…okay…roll down the window…some fresh air will clear my head…beads of perspiration start forming on my head as my hands get clammy…that’s it, I declare…I have to turn around.

One last check as I realize that I only have a second to decide what I should do….I turn the car around only to hear the most heavenly sound on Earth….my cell phone ringing….okay, baby, where are you….quickly I reverse my course and head back to work…where could the damn thing be? I looked everywhere for it. It is only then that I realize the ringing is coming from my jacket pocket. Life must have been so much simpler when all you had to worry about was having a quarter in your pocket for the payphone.

Sponsor, Sponsor...I Need an Extreme BlogOver

Now that I have started my blog, I am contemplating the question many bloggers ask themselves..."how do I get sponsors for my blog?"...heck, I would settle for one person and let them advertise for free at the moment...but, I am really looking at this long term. I certainly don't have my head in the clouds with dreams of quiting my job and living shamelessly off my blogging income...although that would be nice. Over the years, I have developed and refined my writing to the point where I would like to promote it as a hobby or even something I could look forward to in retirement...oh, God....did I just say retirement...what am I thinking...remember, I am only 30 ish, so let's stick with the hobby for some extra money as my goal for the moment.

My first goal is to navigate around some successful blogs and enlighten myself to what they have done as far as promotion. I have seen some that boast of using this as their only source of income...must be nice!....as a newbie, I see that as a far fetched idea...but then I remember...every good idea had to start somewhere...I figure I will give myself one year at this and see where it takes me...far off vacations in exotic locations...new car...new house...who knows...but one thing is for sure...if I don't try, I will never know...

My writing talents are varied and almost any subject can appeal to me. I often come up with ideas on my way home from work. Sometimes I will hear something on the radio or see something that sparks an idea or image in my head...now, if I can just fine tune my blog in the direction I want it to go...I will be half the way there... It's difficult being the new kid on the block...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh, Those Summer Time Reefs

Nothing symbolizes the approaching summer break more than my annual new pair of Reefs. I am not sure exactly what it is about these flip flops that has become an iconic part of my summer memories, but it just isn't summer without them. Last year I wasn't able to make my semi-annual trip to Sanibel Island for my purchase. What a heart breaker...the island has one of the best Reef stores due to the enormous selection...not to mention the day spent riding around the island on the one road that transports you into a world of endless beaches, palm trees and glimpses of million dollar homes which take your breath away...as luck would have it one of my oldest and closet friends has a home in Naples which makes for a perfect day trip to Sanibel.

I am very loyal to my one style of reefs. These are special as they contain the one item any true beach bum desperately needs...a bottle opener conveniently placed on the bottom of each flip flop...yes, that's right...you read it right...each flip flop contains it's own built in bottle opener...amazingly these openers are snugly fitted into the rubber sole of the shoe...who said they don't think of everything?...

Now, you might be thinking...who in the world would use an opener that is on the bottom of some one's shoe...let's think about this for a moment...you've had a few drinks and you head out to find the perfect afternoon beach spot...after twenty minutes of searching you and your friends spread out your beach towels on the most perfect stretch of beach...as you lay down to enjoy the gorgeous afternoon and the buzz that is slowly fogging your mind...your friends start passing around the drinks..wait one minute!!!...who forgot the bottle opener in the car??...better yet, whose walking back to get it....as a round of not me plays out...you take off your flip flop and enjoy a nice cold one...something tells me no one else is going to mind either...pass the flip flop...

With this in mind, I realize it is never too soon to start looking for my new pair...get your plan tickets ready...Sanibel here we come!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Open Love Letter

An Open Love Letter

Two souls intertwined by a destiny with a depth and passion known only within the realm of a love unequal to any other. Two unique beings held together by a force indefinable. A love unique and yet bittersweet…Souls that yearn for completion through redemption…forgiveness found not in past transgressions but in future tranquility….

This is my open love letter…

My dearest love…the fondest memories haunt the inner most sanctuaries of my being…within my thoughts I struggle to understand…within the midnight hour I long for serenity which alludes my capture. I search for meaning only to confront disillusionment. I contemplate the inevitable knowing that providence will ultimately make the final decision. A past without a future…the unimaginable…the unthinkable…a love like no other which transcends human boundaries and allows for imperfections, shortcomings and unconditional absolution. A life that was once ours…a tomorrow that holds new hope…a door that never closes…a love that will last through eternity…

This is my open love letter…

My dearest love…if I could I would…I would…the core of my being…the essence of my foundation…the desire within for that which is not…every new beginning holds within it limitless possibilities…empower yourself…enlighten your spirit…understand and forgive.

This is my open love letter…

My dearest love…a heart heavy with sorrow…eyes that hold within insurmountable emptiness…sorrow slowly replaces anticipation…melancholy moments fill a home that once overflowed with joy…promises shattered…dreams destroyed…summon the courage within my love…it is never too late for that once in a lifetime…slowly, steadily and surely you can find your way back…love continues...patience and understanding endure...

What If...

Another rainy day to sit and ponder life's great mystery...What if? It's a question most of us ask ourselves a thousand times over, but no one ever seems to have an answer. It's hard to deal in the "what ifs" when you are living in the here and now. What ifs are usually life altering decisions we make that have the potential to shift the realm of our reality in a direction we never thought possible. The endless array of dynamics that converge upon one's split second decision are what make "what ifs" so damn complicated. I am going to digress for a second in saying, "What if you were given the opportunity to change one decision in your life?"...A do over...it might be something inconsequential, but think of the enormous range of possibilities that would now be open...would you dare to do over?

I am reminded of a movie called Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow as the star. The movie splits into two scenarios after she is fired from her job. The first scenario has her making the subway train and the second has her missing it. We then watch her life unfold in a series of what ifs. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem to matter in the long run whether she made the train or not. Fate has an odd way of bringing you to the point you need to be in your life regardless of the choices that you make along the way. The journey may be different, but the destination remains the same.

Pondering the mysteries of what ifs often takes courage to examine the challenges of life placed before you...leaving you to face a road not looked at before. How you choose to walk down that road will be the difference between what if and what will be. A do over....someone point me in the direction of that road...please!!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

To Cell or Not To Cell?...A Rainy Day Question

Okay...like most people, my two year contract has expired on my cell phone...this now means that my cell phone provider will grant me the privilege of upgrading..Yipee!!...Oh, what a day...Oh, what a glorious morning...the possibilities are endless. Where should I start? Online or at the mall...too early for the mall... With the world as my oyster and the endless selection of new cell phones, I begin the arduous task of deciding which new gadget will enjoy the luxurious compartment inside my Coach bag. Yes, for those of you not in the know, Coach makes a nifty, built in little compartment for women who just wouldn't know where else to put their cellphone. Gotta love Coach...they think of everything. However, I have yet to figure out any uses for the companion compartment next to it. Suggestions anyone??

Now that I have a mission, my Saturday seems to have purpose. I will...I must...have the newest cell...but wait...who do I trust to give me the best advice? I read review after review some by fourteen year old kids with advice on the best phones for texting, music and videos others by gadget gurus with years of "technical experience". Sound advice from adults or practical, realistic advice from teens...I opt for the later in hopes that those who use the phones the most will be best able to give an unbiased review.

With my choices narrowed to either the Apple iPhone, Samsung Eternity...(I just love the name of that one)..the Blackberry Bold or the HTC Fuze, I begin the task of deciding. I realize that the only way to truly decide which phone is for me is to take the dreaded trip to the mall...you know the one...drive around the mall a thousand times looking for a parking spot only to end up parking twenty rows back and a quarter mile from the entrance...although, I will have to admit that I have snagged some pretty darn good spots lately...of course that comment just means I jinked myself for the next year...I will be condemned to the overflow lots used at Christmas time. Then, I have to make my way to the AT & T store and fight the hordes of tweens lined up to check out the lastest cell phones...I will probably be somewhere after number 50 on the waiting list just to talk to someone.

Okay....with all the positives in place...yeah, right, I gear up for my rainy day trip to the mall...My Coach bag will thank me later.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Legal Language. Every once in awhile I am stumped by a word that I have never encountered. My first inclination is always to ask myself, "What the hell does that word mean?" Then, I stop and think...does everyone else know the meaning...is it a word I should have learned somewhere in my college days...OMG!!...is everyone going to wonder how on Earth I could not know the meaning. Are they going to look at me and think...how did that one ever earn a college degree and a Master of Arts nonetheless...in English.

Then I realize it is often best to just "pretend" you know what it means.... you know, act cool when it's mentioned...go with flow like you've used it a thousand times before...use it in a sentence even if you have no idea what part of speech it could possibly be...let it roll off your tongue in passing...just please, whatever you do, don't let someone use it in a question for which I am supposed to know the answer...I am always thinking why sugar coat something that is eventually going to leave a sour taste in every one's mouth....even if they don't see it coming for years.

Sometimes these words blindside you as the meaning has the power to alter what was once reality. As I painstakingly look up the word in the dictionary, I am quickly drawn to the two simple words used which define what had alluded me at all cost previously..."illicit lover"...how important is knowledge when with it comes the instant that shatters your belief in all that once was...a single moment that forever changes the course of events in what should have been, could have been, would have been, but wasn't...one simple word with the ability to unleash destruction and wreck havoc...damn that dictionary. I shut it quickly hoping that maybe it was wrong. The dictionary wrong?? What am I thinking? I look the word up one more time...just to make sure I got the right one...always good to double check for accuracy. Nope, the meaning hasn't changed.

Now, wait one minute!!...illicit lover....hmmm, I am not sure about you, but back in the day...I believe that would have been labeled as the common slut...better known as...hussy..streetwalker or maybe even prostitute...aka...tramp..harlot..wanton... but, best and always remembered for what it truly is...a whore!!!

Now, I ask myself...why did they have to put such a strange label on something that isn't worth the litter in which my cats urinate and crap?...I am reminded of one of the timeless quotes from Shakespeare..."A rose by any other name is still a rose"...which leads me to conclude "A whore by any other name is still a whore"...if the shoe fits...and you damn well know who you are....something tells me this won't be the first or last time you hear that word. See you around...whore!


Monday, March 23, 2009

I'll Drive...If You Dare to get in!!

Very shortly a car company in Mumbai, India will be unveiling what it hopes will turn it's sinking company around....the Nano. Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "What the hell is a Nano?"....didn't Mork from Ork drive one of those?.... Some may be questioning its design...will it have an engine like a Porsche, drive like a Mercedes, have the luxurious interior of a Lexus, the safety of a Volvo or maybe it will combine all these elements into one.

Well, let me be the first to let you in on a secret. The Nano is none of these things. You'll be lucky if it comes with tires. Tata's Nano does not have air bags or anti lock brakes — neither of which is required in India. If you want air conditioning, a radio, or power steering, you'll have to pay extra. And, get this....you only get ONE...that's right...ONE...windshield wiper. I am not exactly sure what you are supposed to do for the other side of the car...I guess your passenger will have to take care of his own side of the car. The Nano, with a starting retail price of $2,233, is about as basic as basic gets.

Now, I don't know about you, but getting in a car that is just a little more than 10feet long seems almost like getting into my own coffin. I mean the bumpers are made out of plastic. Doesn't anyone see warning bells here...come on people...are we really that desperate to save money. One strong wind and we're going over the bridge. Can anyone say tuna can if we get in an accident?

But, don't rush to go out and get one any time soon. They are only able to produce 50,000 of these gems a year due to violent protests by farmers and opposition political party leaders over land at the initial factory site. They are taking reservations...get your pen and paper ready...The $2,000 price tag is only guaranteed for the first 100,000 cars.

Next time I am online shopping...because you can buy these little hotties online...I might just have to add it to my basket. I am sure it is about as safe as my daughter's Barbie Jeep....something tells me the Jeep might be safer...at least it has a Velcro safety belt.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Greedy Has No Limits

Sometimes I wonder if people even stop to think before they open their mouths. Marie Douglas-David married her husband, George in 2002, but the marriage was in trouble by 2004. Amid a series of reconciliations, the couple signed a post nuptial agreement in October 2005 that would give her $43 million when they divorce. However, Mrs. Davids now thinks that is not enough. Not enough?? Are you crazy? Does she realize that the average person will never have that amount of wealth in a life time? That is almost $53,000 a week which is more than the average person makes in a year.

Apparently, Mrs. David has developed some rather expensive tastes over the last seven years including maintaining a Park Avenue apartment and three residences in Sweden. She includes in her weekly expenses $700 for limousine services, $4,500 for clothes, $1,000 for hair and skin treatments, $1,500 for restaurants and entertainment, and $8,000 for travel. What the hell does this woman do? Does she really expect the world to believe that she is somehow entitled to such a lavish and dare I say "wasteful" life style.

A mere $43 million isn't going to work for her. Oh,no.....she needs $100 million plus an additional $130,000 a month in alimony. Is she really not thinking correctly? How on Earth could the judge possibly even take this case seriously? She wants more in one month of alimony then he makes in a year.

Now, I shouldn't be too hard on her as I have no idea what kind of hell this man has put her through for the past seven years of their marriage. She might righteously deserve every penny she gets and then some. Did he beat her...flagrantly cheat on her...force her to do unspeakable things in the name of love...lock her in the basement for the past twenty years with no sunlight...slowly poison her...I mean come on....What did he do that she deserves so much money???....I just want to know....WHAT??? 43 million is a lot for someone who hasn't suffered more than having an appointment canceled... Please, please....at least make the rest of the world somehow see you as the victim and deserving of such a huge settlement.

A word from someone who has been there and back....A sympathy verdict from the judge in one's favor is a whole hell of a lot better than being cast as a greedy, gold-digging bitch. This stereotype will earn you little more than the shoes in which you walked though the courtroom doors. Marie, you have been warned!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Summer Vacation...Swim with the wild ponies??

Well, here we are...two months until the end of school and no definite summer vacation plans. I keep tossing around the idea of Chincoteague Island. It seems like a place made in far away dreams...crystal clear water, pristine beaches, wild ponies roaming free, seafood dockside, beautiful sunsets...sign me up.
But, somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep sensing something wrong with something so perfect. I imagine the two hour drive from hell to get to the hotel. The check-in desk with the receptionist who moves like a snail. The never ending mysteries that lurk behind the door to our home for the next week. But, the most dreaded part is the smell of the ponies. I am envisioning a hot summer day in June as we head out to the beach and watch the ponies. Just a few thoughts that cross my mind...who exactly is cleaning up the ponie poop....where do they pee.....do they have fleas....I bet the beach really stinks....are there a lot of flies and mosquitoes....how close will these things actually get to us....do they bite???
All of a sudden my trip to paradise has turned into camping out at the local zoo. I realize that I can not think like this as my daughter really wants to see the ponies roaming free. So, it is with hestiation, that I call the hotel ranked number three by tripadisor to inquire about our stay on ponie poop island....oops...I mean Chincoteague.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gotta Go!

It never fails. My six-year old daughter seems to have an uncanny ability to time her "poops" for whenever we leave the house. It doesn't seem to matter where we are going or how long we are there. I know the inevitable is coming, "Mommy, I gotta go". I have visited every bathroom imaginable to mankind. The bathroom that is located after walking through an elaborate labyrinth of boxes piled sky high in stores rooms or up five flights of rickety stairs that sound like they are going to give way any second. I have endured excruciating smells, walls covered with things to horrid to imagine, floors wet with the unthinkable and bathrooms that should have had condemned signs on them. All this to ensure that my daughter can take her customary "poop".

It truly does not matter the length of the trip. A quick drive to pick up Chinese take-out...I gotta go, a ride around the block for gas...I gotta go, a dash to the library to return books...I gotta go, the movie store, the post office, the Hallmark Store...it just doesn't seem to matter.

I am not sure how to end this bizarre habit with my daughter. The worst is always the dinner out. We spend more time in the bathroom then we do at our table. There is always the first trip to just pee which is followed by the second trip to "poop" after which is the culminating trip to pee just one more time. "Is this normal," I ask myself? How come I don't see any other parents in the bathroom with their kids. I am not sure but there must be some bizarre psychological explanation for this phenomena known as the "I gotta go syndrome", but, of course, only when I am with Mommy.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Where do they come from?

Every morning I leave approximately the same time for work. I am usually in no inherent rush as I always give myself a little leeway in case the unpredictable happens. I have my daily routine pretty much down to a science. Drop my daughter off at the neighbors, a quick stop at WaWa for coffee, and I am on my way. A leisurely thirty five minute drive through the country which one would assume would be extremely relaxing.

OH, NO!! It never seems to fail that I get stuck behind the slowest driver known to mankind...grandpa and grandma out for a morning drive. Who in the world gets up at 6:30am just to drive around the country? What on God's Earth could be so important that they have to leave their home while the rest of the world is going to work? What I ask...What? It's usually at this point that I lose all patience and become a lunatic behind the wheel.

Employing all tactics known to the angry driver to get the person in front of me to move faster I pull up on their rear bumper close enough so someone passing me might think I am being towed by them. This does no good as they don't even check their rear view mirror. I am assuming they couldn't see me even if they did look. I try the swerving out to make them think I am passing them maneuver, but they don't even notice. I back off and then drive up on their rear real quick to scare them, but once again they don't even notice. Where, oh where, are they going? The sun hasn't even come up.

Okay, I give them one last chance to pick up the speed or this time I am really going to show them what road rage is all about. I rev the engine in anticipation of the pass. As I begin to get in the left lane, they do the unthinkable...Right hand turn with no signal. I should have seen it coming. Well, now at least I can enjoy the rest of my drive.

Suddenly, a car pulls out at the next intersection. I swear they must radio each other to let them know our location. This time grandma is behind the wheel, and I know she isn't doing more than twenty miles an hour for the entire stretch of the road. With the engine still ready for me to floor the gas pedal, I pass her in time to arrive at a stop light. She pulls up behind me unaware that I am even there. I am not sure she even knows I just drove right past her.

As the light turns green, she fades into the morning sky.