Just Another Relaxing Day

Just Another Relaxing Day

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!!!!