Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of the Year Wrap Up

It's the end of 2011 and I must say I am not sorry to see it go.

I have some random thoughts for my last 2011 post.
So come for the ride with me all over the damn place.

Over this holiday I have watched a few PPV movies.
Dish Network gave us 6 free pay per view movie certificates as a part of their good customer service because I was inconvenienced. I know! Customer service!  That in itself is a holiday miracle!
We watched 3 of them last week.
Rick chose 2 of the movies and I made 1 choice.
Rick's choices are those of a 12 year old boy.
He chose The Change Up with Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and his 2nd was My Idiot Brother with Paul Rudd. (more like my idiot husband)
Let me just say I am thankful they were both free.
I didn't hate them like I would a violent movie or any movie with Tom Cruise but these were not great movies. I could do other things while these movies were on and I wasn't worried I was missing anything. There were a few laughs but really not movies one should have to pay to see. Of course I loved my choice and better yet Rick thought it was the best of the 3 as well.
Crazy Stupid Love was my movie of choice.
I love Julianne Moore in everything. Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling aren't so bad either.
Seriously Ryan and Steve were great together.
Did any of you see this movie?  Did you like it?  I would love to hear what you thought.
The more I see of Emma Stone the more I like her too.
I thought she was excellent in this movie and I loved her character as well.
It had a nice twist that was unexpected.
Grown up movie as opposed to Idiot Brother. Although I love Paul Rudd.
We have been watching a lot of TV of late due to well, being broke.
(Hence why 2012 has got to be better.)

The other interesting thing I saw on television was on Rock Center with Brian Williams.
This young man of 23 in Australia was in a coma and his finance read online about how Ambien, the sleeping aid, had helped some people come out of  a coma.
She begged for this medication and his doctors and nurses all told her no.
She told another one of the doctors that her finance was moaning at night etc and needed sleep so they gave it to him. It worked! The first dose she gave him for a week and nothing happened.
Then she doubled the dose and he awoke. He just opened his eyes and began to speak.
He has had several strokes so he also has that impairment along with the coma but it was simply amazing to me to watch.
Sadly it only lasts about an hour which is so heartbreaking.
He gets the medication 4 times a day right now.
She is doing this on her own because no doctor would support this.
So dosage wise she is just guessing.
They are now doing clinical trials here in the US to see if the drug can be approved for this use.
One of the things that I found interesting, scary and sad was that when the family was told by the doctors that he was in a vegetative state and to just allow him to die he heard it all.
He said he wanted to shout, "I'm still here, I'm still here" 
Wow is all I can say.  This would be a wonderful discovery if it happens.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about this since I saw it.
BTW, I really like this show. It's not celebrity driven.
Just news you don't see, stories like this. So far so good.

In other random items.....
I had a new follower leave me a comment and I went to her blog to read her.
However blogger says I am not invited to view her blog.
She now follows me but I can't read her blog.
So Kath, if you are reading this may I read your blog?
(Mommy Needs Her Sippy Cup is the name of the blog.)

I don't make resolutions. Never have.
But there are a few things I hope we rid ourselves of in 2012
I want to never see the Kardashians or anyone named Kardashian ever again.
I don't care what they do, how many sex tapes they make and how many times they marry. Make them go away in 2012!!
The same can be said about Ole Orange Misogynistic Donald Trump.
If there is justice in the world he will be kidnapped and forced to sit in a room with duck tape on his mouth, his hands tied to prevent his rude ranting texts. The room will have with no mirror to admire himself or any PR firm to boost his ego. Keeping the rat bastards trash talking to a minimum verbally and through his ranting texts. He should not even be relevant. That would please ole Peg. Hell, add Congress to the same fate while we're at it.

My anniversary is Saturday. YIPEE.
So while you are all celebrating the coming of a new year I will be celebrating my anniversary with my Big Man. We got married in a flowered filled gazebo overlooking the ocean in Jamaica on a warm and sunny day December 31st 1993.
That makes 21 years of living together and 18 years of marriage.
It's been a great ride!  I look forward to the next 18 years.

See you all next year!
Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Funnies

Rick and I laugh about a lot of things that others don’t find funny.

I guess that is the success of our relationship – a shared warped sense of humor.

Rick called the office from a customers bathroom and asked in a whisper, “Can you hear this?”
I said, “I hear polka music where are you?”
He is laughing that laugh you get in church when you know you can’t laugh.
He whispers, “This guy is alone and playing his accordion and dancing around the room. He is really getting down with his bad self.”
I asked how old he thought this guy was. He thought late 40's maybe early 50's.

That made us laugh harder to think he wasn’t that old.
Seriously everyone we hang with that age prefers AC/DC to polka.
That is my grandmother’s generation.
He whispered, “I went out to the truck to get something and came in and saw him dancing and playing in the living room and he looked up at me and he just smiled and nodded."

I said, “Well he’s comfortable and having fun there is no harm in it you know.”
As I laugh at this picture in my head I tell him, “Have a good day honey!”
Besides as you have all read here - I prefer a little crazy than the women who are naked right?

That got me thinking about another time we laughed and no one thought it was funny.
His Aunt Lucy was visiting her daughter Nancy.
Lucy was having a reaction to her medication while visiting Nancy so an ambulance was called to come get her.

Nancy lives high on the crest of a hill.
Her drive way has quite the slope.
The ambulance team could not get up the hill of their driveway because of the ice and snow.
So they parked down at the bottom and walked up to get Aunt Lucy.
The two paramedics were wheeling Lucy her down the driveway along with Nancy by their side. Nancy slipped on the ice and goes down.
The paramedics instinctively go to grab Nancy and let go of Lucy's wheelchair. (numbnuts)
Aunt Lucy went rolling down the hill…..weeeeeee…her chair actually went around the ambulance and hit the shrubs and went down into a snow drift.
She broke her wrists from putting her hands out to catch herself.

We were listening to this story being told to us by his cousin.
Rick and I began to laugh hysterically. She was appalled at us.
She yelled at us as though we were bad children.
We already knew that Aunt Lucy was fine and that while she did break her wrists she was at home and it was all good. We could just see teeny tiny Aunt Lucy go flying down that hill and for whatever reason making that sharp turn around the ambulance was very funny to us.
To this day we still find it funny.

I had to look away while his cousin was yelling at us because if I saw Rick’s face I knew I would crack up. We were told we were horrible horrible people for laughing at such a thing.
Maybe so, but we thought it was a hoot and her actually saying we were horrible horrible people sent us into convulsions of laughter.

Then there was the time we had to pick out a coffin for his mom.
That was a wild 2 weeks for me. Allow me to set this scene

I lived in Cleveland during this time and was going to visit Rick and my family for the weekend after I got home from a week long business trip. My plan was to touch down at the Cleveland airport Friday night, grab my car and drive directly to Rick’s house first for a Friday night cocktail.

I had a suitcase of jeans, a sweater and another sweatshirt or some such casual thing to wear home on Sunday. I was wearing a black wool skirt, blouse and blazer with heels because I was coming from work.

I got to Rick’s house around 7ish. He opened a bottle of wine and we sat at his table and began to talk about the week and upcoming weekend. I was still in my business clothes when his phone rang. It was the hospital. His mom had gone into the hospital for gall bladder surgery and he had made arrangements to go down there on Sunday for a few days.
She asked him not to come down until she got home. For once he listened to her.
But apparently she had taken a turn for the worse. (she also had leukemia)
The hospital personnel were telling him to come now.
It was a 4 hr trip from where he lived.

He began to throw things in a suitcase as I helped him pack.
He then asked me if I would come with him. He says, it will just be for the weekend.
I said okay. I ran up to my parents and asked my sisters and mom for some clothes.
I only had 1 pair of jeans and a sweater and sweatshirt. I needed more than that.
I got a few sweaters that were at least nicer than a sweatshirt.

Fast forward – his mom passes away. We spent 2 days in the hospital with no sleep at all.
When we finally went to his mom’s home we had to find the things necessary for the funeral.
We found a letter that she had written to Rick about what she wanted to wear and all these specific directions. That was so helpful. We were so thankful she was so anal retentive about everything. It truly made our life easy for this next week. We finally got some sleep but had to be up early to meet the funeral director.

This town only has 1,080 people. Everyone seems to know everyone. I found that weird but it was so helpful during this week.

We got to the funeral directors office and he gave us a book to choose a casket from.
We made a choice and we showed this man our choice when he returned.
He said, “Oh I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. Your mom’s directive was to be cremated.”
We both said in unison, “yes we are aware of her wishes.”
He went on, “Then you can only choose from these 2 pages.” As he turns the pages to the back of this book the caskets looked just like homemade go carts from the 60’s.
He left the room just as Rick and I went into mad hysteria.

Rick could barely get out that these look like wooden soap box derby cars he built in the 60’s.
I knew exactly without him saying a word. That exact thought went through my head.
We could barely talk. We couldn’t for the life of us understand why she had to have this horrible looking casket. We had the money for a nice casket.
We were appalled but couldn’t stop laughing long enough to speak.
We were both crying….literally crying from laughing so hard.
The more I tried to stop the more difficult it became.
It seemed like we had been left alone in this room forever when the director finally came back into the room.

I straightened up in my chair and kept my head down.
Rick was still snickering and asked, “Why must we choose one of these?”
The funeral director told us that was because she requested to be cremated.
Apparently one is cremated in their coffin.
Okay you could have told us it had to be a pine wood box so we weren’t so shocked.

Rick continued to clear his throat.
I knew he was trying not to laugh so I kept looking at my hands in my lap so I didn’t begin to giggle. Rick asked if they would make it look better because this was pathetic looking.
Then the man went on to explain how it is dressed and no one would know the difference etc. Someone came in the room at that moment and he excused himself and left.
That was all we needed. We laughed our asses off. We couldn’t stop.
Rick was making comments that were so funny yet most would consider offensive, inappropriate but so freakin' funny.
I got up and tried to walk across the room.
Apparently I thought that would help. It did not!
Rick said, “God I hope they don’t put wheels on this or they’ll think she’s driving straight to heaven or hell.”
That did it, I peed my pants a little.

I know this was all from pure exhaustion and stress.
We had been up for days and I am still wearing the same damn clothes.
Who knows, maybe we are just awful people but this was so funny to us at the time.

I was in this little town for over a week.
I was glad I wore a black wool skirt that day to work because I could wear different tops and be appropriate for the funeral and the events that proceeded. But I needed panties.
Rick said he would take me to the store. It was a General Store. No kidding. A real throw back general store. I felt like I was on Little House on the Prairie. On the right side of the store were guns and ammo and on the left were clothes. All of the panties were big ole cotton granny panties. I picked up a pair and that got Rick and I laughing our asses off again. I really didn’t want to pay money for these but I didn’t want to keep washing my underwear out in the sink either.

So I buy myself some granny panties.
They came in handy - you can wash and wax the car with them.
You know like a mitt.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Venting

I have a sister that gets on my last nerve.

And then I feel guilty about it.

I have written about her before.
(It starts here - check it out for those who are new it will help a great deal)

She has always been a drama queen.
Once as a small child when our mom grabbed her arm she said it was broken and held it against her chest for days. Wouldn’t allow anyone to touch it. She didn't break from her acting either.
It worked, my mother was a mess and took her to the doctors all the while crying.
It wasn’t broken. But she got all the attention and everyone was talking about her.
She got what she wanted. She wanted to make my mother feel badly for disciplining her.
And my mom sure did. Never touched her again. We were all leaving but my sister pulled away from my mom as we were leaving and having a typical bratty child’s hissy fit.
My mother held her arm, not in an abusive way just held her, she pulled away since she was ignoring my mother. Should a mom have done that? In today’s world absolutely not. I don't see anything wrong but today touching your child is wrong.  It wasn’t abuse by any means.
It’s a pattern of playing a victim when she was wronged or wanted attention that she has carried through her life at age 52.

As Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that workin’ for ya?”
Apparently it’s working quite well for her because she continues to do it.
But like the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf, you can never believe her.
You feel you should, but you just can’t and one day I will need to and I fear that I won’t.

I feel guilty all the time with her and get sucked into what she wants.
Then I get mad at myself for being sucked in and so gullible.
It helps a great deal to be living in another state.
She is an angry woman and she is a glass ½ empty type of person.
We couldn’t be more different. And that too has been an issue.

This sister in school was into playing sports. I was a cheerleader.
She hated school and academically she just got by. She never studied and it showed.
She’s not dumb by any means she just didn’t want to put forth the effort.
I loved school and studied and did well. I am a typical first born. I wanted to do well.
I wanted to please everyone. She made fun of me because I read in the summer.
That makes me giggle because it was as though if there was no school you weren’t allowed to open a book. She wanted to hang with my father and read blue prints in his office or watch him do plumbing. I would hang out with my mom at the library or while she was baking.
She never wanted to wear a dress. I was fru-fru girl all the way. See? We were different.
But it didn’t have to be a bad thing.
I am different from a lot of my friends but that just makes it all interesting.
She just didn’t make it easy, on any level.

As a child at the dinner table we would talk about what happened that day with the 4 of us.
We would talk about what we did at school and what our parents did that day etc.
But if I had a lot of good things I was not to share at the dinner table because that would upset my sister. One was fine but oh my goodness if I got an A and made cheerleading it was one or the other. So my mom and I would talk about them later.
That sent me the message early on to hide my happiness and successes from my sister.
Because if you do well, she resents it and can make your life a living hell.

As an adult now I wonder why the hell my parents would allow that.
Maybe dealing with this would be necessary for her to grow up.
But with mom dying when I was 13 I can’t ask anyone why.
And heaven knows my father remembers nothing. Literally nothing.

Over the years I have learned to not say what I want to say.
I am not Straight Up No Chaser with her. Because the wrath of her is just too horrific.
It makes my parents upset and she will never ever change so what is the point?
One can’t reason with those that are unreasonable right?

My sanity has to come in the form of venting here. Aren’t ya’ll lucky?

The first Christmas holiday Rick spent with our family he was taken aback by her treatment of me. She would throw out these insults and passive aggressive comments and he’d say, “Why do you let her get away with this shit?”
I just feel it was easier that way.
In the past when I was younger if I said something back she would make a big deal and it could get ugly and my parents would feel terrible and Grandma would be upset. Why do that to everyone? It doesn’t make it any better. It doesn’t make her change her mind.
She tries to upset me. Just let it roll. My step mom will usually thanks me later for keeping my mouth shut and that’s the end of it if there is anything commented at all.
She causes everyone to walk on egg shells around her.

I remember one time she came over to my house while I was in the midst of my divorce.
I was a mess. Her comment to me was, “Its nice to know that not everything is perfect in your little world.” C’mon who says that to someone when they are hurting?
I remember laughing and saying, "Nothing is perfect in anyone’s world. I just don’t bitch about it to everyone and I don’t wear a sour puss like you all the time so everyone knows.”
And I walked out of my own home.
That was the last time I actually said anything to her that was what I was actually thinking.
It was 1982.

Right now she is going through something.
I’d go into detail but it would be long and boring for you.
It's nothing big or anything life threatening.
She is scared and alone. Her husband died 3 years ago during the Christmas holiday.
So this isn’t a good time for her. I have reached out.
It was not met with a warm kind heart but seriously did I think it would be?
Sadly yes. What the hell is wrong with me?
At what point do I just give up? At what point do I just say oh the hell with her.
And when does the guilt go away for thinking that way?
I know, I know I am going straight to hell if there is one.

If she were not my sister I would not like her or spend any time around her.
She is mean. She is jealous. She likes it when people she thinks wronged her or she perceives have everything have bad things happen to them. I don’t care for that thinking and I normally will try to stay away from toxic people like this. But this is family and it’s not always easy to do.

I know she enjoys being a victim because it works for her or she wouldn’t keep doing it.
But what does she get from this? She said in a text to me, “I’m scared and alone and it sucks but that’s my life not yours. Don’t worry about me, nothing works out for me.”

Cue the violins.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Holidays.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

I plan to be knee deep in a vat of egg nog for a few days.

I hope you all enjoy your holidays.


This woman sure enjoyed her Christmas Gift! 
If any of you got my name in Secret Santa I want Gerard Butler please.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Flashback Wednesday

Last night while in the land of wrapping paper and ribbon we made the big mistake of going through old Christmas photos and laughing.

Here are a few narcissistic choices.
Rick would not give me permission to put out to the world his picture in his new nehru jacket.
Now he doesn't read me so how would he know? But I'll wait until he forgets about this because that picture must be shared. Purple Nehru no less. It's a friggin' hoot that must be shared with the world. I bet some of you have never even seen a Nehru jacket....let alone a purple one.

This one below is from the tree my first year on the planet.
I find it funny that my mother marked this occasion in the scrap book as Peggy's first Christmas tree and yet her first child isn't in the picture. That for some reason made us laugh. Could have been the wine but even this morning I find that funny. Notice the fire hydrant under the tree.
What the hell could that be for? We never had any pets until after my mom died. So that had us scratching our heads.   Any ideas?  There is also a large floor ash tray that was apparently a gift on the right side of the photo. That speaks volumes about how our world has changed doesn't it? But to me the bigger question is who the hell wants an ash tray for a gift? Apparently my parents who were both big smokers as were most of the people in our extended family.

Okay this one Rick thinks is great because I was 11 or 12. I already had cleavage.
He says I would have been popular at his school. The Idiot. 
I remember this photo being taken because if you look at the head board there is a light.
I so wanted this light for Christmas. And good ole Santa brought it to me even after my parents insisted this was a fire hazard. HUH? A light bulb?
I thought this was the coolest thing at the time.
It clipped onto your headboard so you could read in bed.
I loved to read in bed then, now as an old lady if I do that I just fall asleep.
But I didn't just want my picture taken with this I wanted my picture taken with this in bed! Note my sister who is fast asleep.



Now this next tree was my first holiday as a married gal. Here are the 70's people.
Because this was my first tree we didn't have many ornaments.
Most of the ornaments on this tree I made.
They were fabric and stuffed and sewn and hung from our funny tree. 
I remember thinking it was so sad so my then husband decided that candy canes would work.
He was right. It filled in the tree and we could afford candy canes.  
I hate tinsel but apparently then I didn't mind it.
Note the latch hook rug on the wall that I so proudly made.
The paneling too - oh the 70's were an ugly era huh?  
There is a bowling bag under the tree for my new husband. Yes, bowling.
The left corner of this pic is a TV. This TV was the biggest deal for us at the time.
It was a Sony. It was expensive but it was our first big purchase as a married couple and that ended up being a bone of contention in the divorce. Funny huh?
You can  buy a Sony HD today for less than that little TV.
This last narcissistic photo is sad, very sad.
This was me the evening of decorating the above tree.
We were drinking bourbon egg nog. I took this from my coffee table.
I actually do remember this very well. 
I was a damn hot mess! Sadly though, I thought I was rockin' it.
I had on a sweater that was holiday sparkly.
I remember it was a bit scratchy and I loved it!
Oh someone slap me please!!
My eyebrows were plucked into submission.
The Farrah flip backed hair is dreadful. 
Thankfully I got braces later in life to fix that snaggle tooth.
Honestly if my family loved me the way they claim to love me, an intervention would have been done here!

Yes, I am putting this ugly out to the world. I was 23 here, almost 24.
Compared to a 23 yr old today I was naive and so obviously lacking in fashion sense.
But it does make for a good laugh so I hope it gives you all a good chuckle this hump day!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dogs

One of the dogs Izzy plays with is Nathan.
Nathan is part Labrador Retreiver and something that jumps like a mexican jumping bean.
Seriously she is part lab and part whippet.
She looks like this photo of a lab/whippet mix I found online.

Nathan's face is all Lab.
Her body is more like a whippet.

Nathan lives 14 doors away and if he has been outside Izzy's nose knows.
She walks out our front door and her nose goes in the air and she starts sniffing and her tail is wagging like crazy and off we go.
She goes straight up to Nathan's door and looks in the sidelights to find him.
They play a couple nights a week and both sets of owners love it because it wears them out.

Yesterday as Rick was walking Izzy after work he ran into Nathan's owner getting out of his car. Rick said, "If you're not too busy want to grab Nathan and head down to the big park with Izzy and I for some fetch?" Nathan's owner welled up with tears and Rick thought, Oh God something happened to the dog.

Nathan's owner said, "We just brought Nathan back to the rescue where we got him yesterday"
Rick said he was in total shock and wanted to scream at him, WHY?
Nathan's owner went on that his hours changed at work and so did his wife's hours and they didn't want to leave him alone all that time.
He was now full on crying and said, "Rick I just can't talk right now" and went inside his house.

When Rick came home and told me this story I was shocked and pissed. Who does this?
They got the dog over 1 1/2 years ago. I am thinking may be closer to 2 yrs now.
Poor Nathan is dropped off and now wondering if his human parents are coming back to get him.
I don't think for a second this was work related.
Besides he was home getting out of his car the same time.
I saw him leave for work the morning before at the same time when I was walking Iz.
The wife is an accountant. It's not tax time and besides they had Nathan last year at tax time. Something was fishy with this story. Here is what I believed really happened.

Nathan's owner loves dogs. He really wanted a labrador. When we got Izzy he fell in love with her. He always would stop and kneel down when he saw her to play and pet her.
He offered to pet sit etc. He was over the moon for Iz.
He told us his wife was afraid of dogs and really didn't like them but he so wanted another dog.  (he had one in his first marriage)
One day when Izzy and I were outside at the small park area across the street from their house he asked if he and his wife could come over and have his wife meet Izzy.

I had Izzy sit and his wife came over and timidly pet her.
Slowly but surely she actually would play with Izzy over time.
When we first saw her she would get off the sidewalk and a few months later she is coming towards us and she is hugging Izzy.  Nathan's human dad thanked Rick and I one day with helping his wife actually make a complete turn around and enjoy Izzy.

But like a proud mom I have to say that Izzy isn't a hyper dog.
We had nothing to do with this. She is this way by nature.
Izzy has never jumped on anyone.
Izzy is mellow and different. So when he told us he convinced her that getting a dog like Izzy would be fun I cringed a bit.

Every time we saw Nathan and his owner she had nothing to do with the dog.
One afternoon she and I were at the park area together. She couldn't control the dog.
Nathan is a jumpy hyper thing and she was being so mean to him.  That wasn't helping the situation. She wasn't able to work with his nature. She asked me how we get Izzy not to do this.
I said it wasn't so much us as it just is part dog and who she is plus the training.  

Her cell rang a bit later and I took the dogs and let them both off lease to run. 
Her dog needs to run!  It's like part kangaroo and part race horse. Wild energy.
These two wore themselves out and between the 2 of them I had 1 retreiver.
I throw the stick into the woods then Izzy and Nathan run - Izzy finds it, brings it 1/2 way and drops it. Then Nathan brings it to me. It was a hoot.
Nathan's female owner and I talked while I threw sticks.
When they were tired they came out and laid on the grass panting and just laying around.
That was my sign to go home. I had a tired dog. 

We walked home together.  That was about 3 weeks ago.
To find out they got rid of the dog breaks my heart.
I don't believe for a new york minute this has anything to do with the hours.
They make beaucoup bucks. They had options. 
They could pay $15 for a 45 minute dog walker around here.
They could fork out $30 1  full day of doggy day care (or less if you buy a package)
There are so many alternatives so Nathan isn't alone every day. 
Hell if they just told us this I would be willing to walk Nathan with Izzy on my hour lunch break. We always have a good long lunch play time.  One doesn't get rid of your family member without trying something first.  They didn't try anything period. That is where the story breaks down.

So last night when Rick was telling me this about their hours. I called bullshit.
This had to do with the wife not liking the dog. Not being able to handle the dog.
Not really wanting a dog. And that's okay but then don't commit to a dog.
Now that poor dog who has been with them since he was 4 months old is sitting in a shelter wondering why he was left there.

I hope some family that has the time and energy and space for this dog finds him.
Because he really is a good and beautiful dog.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Lights

I walk my dog a lot. She's a big dog and needs to get a lot of exercise.
I don't have grass anywhere at this house just a patio because I live in a townhouse.
So I walk and walk and walk. And when Rick gets home it's his turn to walk and walk and walk.
So when the vet told us that Izzy looked like she got a lot of exercise and how great it was to see we actually felt good about it - for a moment.  But only for a moment.

When Izzy goes to doggy day care that is our time to NOT WALK.
Seriously we don't even walk to the mail box. We are utterly lazy.
Oh I wash the floors because they can then be clean for a few hours until the little hairy beast is home. Other than house work type things I do nothing that pertains to walking around my neighborhood until yesterday.

Rick and I made peppermint bark together on Saturday.

It's yummy. It's made with white chocolate but this year I added a layer of dark chocolate.
What the hell took me so long to do that? My was that damn good.
We broke pieces up and put them in these Santa bags and tied them with ribbon and decided to give them to all our doggy friends we have made over the year. People who now invite us in for beers in the summer or a cup of coffee or wine in the winter.

After the last ribbon was tied and curled we loaded our canvas bag with treats and went to deliver. Izzy was at doggy day care mind you.
We were walking down the street when Rick proclaim, "We are lunatics.  We don't have the dog and yet we are still walking!"   I laughed and asked, "do you actually want to drive?"
"No I don't want to drive, he said,  but don't you think it's pretty funny that our one afternoon of not having to do this we are still doing this and taking the same damn routes?"  
Funny? No. Pitiful was more like it.

Everyone was so excited or at least acted that way to get their little bags of goodies and all wanted to know where Izzy was. That was kind of funny. Got some funny emails about how great it was and easy to eat in one sitting. That one made us laugh. Because it wasn't a small amount. So we think they really liked it.

Later that evening when Izzy did need a walk we went out together.
I like looking at all the homes decorated and lit for the holidays.
Even though I don't have a lick of anything out front this year I like looking at everyone elses work. But a phenomenon I found was that there were seals with balls on their noses in about 1/3 of the yards. Since when has a seal become a symbol of Christmas? That was odd to me.  
Rick kept saying, "You've heard of Christmas Seals right Margaret?" 
I tried to ignore his stupid "joke"  Do they even have Christmas and/or Easter Seals anymore?
He kept saying, "C'mon that was funny."
No Rick it wasn't funny, it was lame.

We saw some of the ridiculous, some pretty and some that made us scratch our heads.
We even saw one that was religious. Only one.
I believe when this holiday started it was about that nativity scene so we talked about how it went from that to seals with balls balancing on it's nose.
We walked up to this house below and I said that tree was really decorated well.
The star on top, the long thick flowing ribbon and the ornaments were huge!
I mentioned that we should have brought a camera and then we remember that Rick has his phone. I could have gotten some seals for you all.
But here is the tree. The picture really doesn't do it justice.  I actually went into their yard because I wanted to see if they decorated it that elaborately all the way around.
Shh....don't tell - they didn't do the back of the tree.


Our neighbors right next door put their decorations up the day after Thanksgiving.
We pulled up in front of our home after being at the lake house for the week. 
Rick and I saw what we now call the "Griswold's" house. 
This is their first home together and she is going all out.
My first thought was, Oh great we live next to one of those.
But I then realized she probably thinks the same of me, being a scrooge and having nothing.
That brings me to this little ditty that I love.
Did you all see this on the news? I love this guys idea.
It made me laugh. The DITTO house.

I have to go eat a piece of peppermint bark now.
Bring on the holiday elastic waist pants.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Love Elmo!

I know it's strange to hear a grown woman with no children say she loves Elmo.
I know how bad that sounds. I get it.
But I really do love Elmo.

There is something about that little red character that just makes me smile.
I can be in the most foul ass mood and I hear the Elmo voice or giggle and it makes me smile.
Hell when I hear the music to Elmo's world I smile. I know, I know, I'm certifiable.
You would think it would annoy the hell out of me but nope just the opposite.

I have never been into puppets. Ever.
Although I do admit I loved Mr. Moose on Captain Kangaroo.
A show which I know most of you don't know because you are too young.
But just puppets I never had an interest really.

I didn't get to watch Sesame Street as a kid.
I was over the age group to watch it by the time the show was on television.
Although I will admit here to the world that at that time in my life my boyfriend and I would get high and watch it with my sister who is 17 years younger than me.
Bad babysitter! 
Hey it was 1974 don't judge me, you've seen that 70's show.  
But let me tell you The Count and Bert and Ernie were pretty damn funny to me stoned.

Having no children you probably wonder how the hell I found out about Elmo.
My nieces did that for me. I would watch it with them when they were small.
No, I wasn't getting stoned then but I did find that I very much enjoyed this character Elmo.

Being Elmo is now a documentary and I will be one that will line up to see it.
I find it fascinating that this 51 year old man is so good at being an innocent 3 year old.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jobs

As I have lamented here a lot this past year business has been slower.
So I thought a part time job would be a good idea.
Starbucks said yes, then no when a new manager came in before my start date.
I thought I'd try a few others.
Job not careers, a job and part time.
So I dusted off the resume.

I found a lot of push back with regards to my background.
I was asked why I wanted to "do this" when I had "that" kind of job before.
I learned how to answer that quickly and it seemed to appease most.
But honestly I hated being asked that question.
They all seemed to imply that something was wrong with me because I just wanted the job behind the counter at the local wine store or to be a barista. What is wrong with any of these jobs?  I have a full time job, looking for a supplement to work within my hours. And even if I didn't what the hell are they saying? Any job is worthy and one should never look their nose down at a job. Has Dirty Jobs taught us nothing? Do you want to do it? Maybe not then be damn thankful there is someone to do it to make your life better! 

I applied at most companies in my planned community.
Easy to leave work so I didn't have to miss a lot of work.
And it also would be easier to get there without horrendous traffic.
I applied at the local WineSyles. It is a wine store if you are unfamiliar.
I live at this store so why not get paid to be there.
Yes, I realized I wouldn't be able to drink on the job but discounts in wine ain't a bad thing to support my habit either.  However they only needed a floater. I was told that the days would vary and it would always be last minute. I actually wanted to know when I was working and I didn't think that would work for me. Besides I wanted at least 20 hours a week. She couldn't promise set hours for me. Damn!

I applied at the new Hallmark store. Again thinking that I spend enough time there why not get paid to be there. But apparently they had all the old people they needed. Seriously everyone in there was white haired. I probably could stop coloring my hair!  I could wear comfortable shoes!
These were benefits that have nothing to do with health care but I liked 'em none the less.

Some of the businesses in the development are restaurants, grocery stores, banks, spas, hair salons, home depot and kid centric type businesses.
I crossed off the kid centric immediately.I would end up spending all my money at the wine store if I worked there after putting in a full day and then go to work with children...itsy bitsy children not 7 yrs olds. (sorry moms)

Banks aren't open in the evenings and weekends so that was checked off the list.
Grocery stores apparently have more than enough employees so that too was checked off.
I am not a hair dresser so check.
I am not a nail tech, masseuse or a cook/chef so those were checked off.
I went to a restaurant for a waitress job and he laughed at me. I was mortified and left.
(no it wasn't Hooters!) I've been a waitress a bunch of times, his loss I was great!
So I ventured over to Home Depot. As long as I didn't work in lumber I'd be fine.
I go there even more than the wine store so what the hell.
They called me.
I had a phone interview first in November.

I was called by a young man from the headquarters in Atlanta first.
He told me he would have a series of questions for me.
Easy enough one would think.  He was very combative and I thought that was a strange attitude to take with me but what the hell I went with the flow. 
I kept thinking that Rick was in HR and did phone interviews a great deal.
I know he would never act like this.
He may in Costco, but never with an interviewee.

This young man from Home Depot asked me 3 times in a very snarky combative tone,
"What makes you think YOU can provide customer service?"
"What makes you think YOU can provide customer service better than most?"
"What makes you think YOU can do a good job at providing customer service?"

Now I don't know why he asked me this 3 times and in 3 ways in a row.
Perhaps he thought I was so old I didn't remember answering it the first time.
Maybe he thought I would give a different answer.
The first time he asked he was down right mean.
I wish you could hear me say this to you as he said it to me. Trust me, it was combative!
The 3rd time he asked me this I answered him again and then said, "Did you ask me that already or did I misunderstand the question?" and he replied "and I'll ask you again.""
Oh my goodness.  I did not get a good feeling here.  I answered and thought I better just shut up and fly right.

Wouldn't you think he'd have said after the 1st question something like "how would you provide customer service or after he gives me an example something like, how would you make this customer happy? That type of thing makes more sense  

I never heard from them so I figured they didn't like me after I said that.
Then I got a call from someone on my cell phone. I was in a store so I did not pick it up.
When I got to my car I listened to my voicemail.
It was from a person we will call Sally to protect the innocent.
Sally said, and I am not paraphrasing here, "hey this is Sally from Home Depot. Call me"
That was it. She said it like I knew her and we were friends.
Odd and unprofessional but okey dokey.

I called Sally back, told her who I was and she was laughing. WTF?
Then she said, "oh sorry someone is doing a dance here in the store.  Hey can you come in for an interview on Friday?"
I say I most certainly can.
We agree on a time.

I get to the interview a few minutes early. 
I wait 25 minutes for her to show up.
That is 25 minutes from the time of our appointment. NOT 25 minutes from when I got there.
She comes strolling by me and in a singy songy voice says, "I bet you're waiting on me aren't you?"
I smile and nod and she herds me into her office. She never even pretends to be sorry for keeping me waiting. She never apologizes.
I think she is in her late 20's. She keeps looking at her reflection as we walk by these glass doors.
Very pretty, but she knows that.

As we get in her office she then officially states her name to me as an introduction and
I extend my hand and say mine and she ignores me and sits down.
Awkward.
She then explains to me that she will be reading these questions and I am to answer.
 Some may be the same as the phone interview and she apologies.
I imagine that I will be asked yet again why I think I can provide customer service to their customers.

She never looks at me. When she does she smirks and reminds me of a mean girl in high school.
You've seen the movies, you know the type.
She is snarky and it always seems like she is having her own private jokes here.
It was so damn odd.
I answer my questions as best I could.
She then says to me out of the blue that there are  lot of older employees here.
Gee that was random. So I am assuming she thinks I am old and she's telling me this so I will feel like I will fit in. Who the hell knows why this random item came up. It's an HR nightmare so that was odd to me but this whole thing is like it's on Candid Camera the way she is behaving.

She asked me if I had any questions. I had a few. As I started to ask she went into this thing that she always asks that but no one ever does, "I hope I can answer them" and she giggles and flips back her hair. This woman was so interesting to observe. I would have a field day with this if I didn't have to work FOR her. With her would be fine. I know her kind and I find them so interesting.
I asked my questions. She was able to answer them and that was that.
I went home.

I told Rick about this interview. He said he wasn't surprised because when he was in HR he had a friend who went to work at their headquarters in Atlanta for awhile. That friend was also in HR and they shared some stories apparently.  It was a cluster and off he went about some stories of the HR department that he had heard.

I also told him that Sally seemed to be a snotty egotistical brat.
She is passive aggressive nice, not nice for real.
Sally also made comments about employees there that I thought were inappropriate to tell a perspective employee. I just think working for this woman would be a nightmare.
I was actually praying I wouldn't get the job. But then feeling guilty about it.

She told me a decision would be made by the weekend. She also said that I would hear from her no later than Sunday but ONLY if I got the job.
The weekend came and went and no call. Whew.
I didn't have to worry about that now. 

I was with Izzy down at the park when one of her favorite neighborhood playmates arrived.
While both dogs were off leash and playing I was talking to the dog's owner.
I knew he had taken a part time job at the Home Depot in the development. 
I asked him how he liked it. He told me he was quitting and went off on a tirade about this woman and about the issues at the store etc. It was a nightmare. 
Everything I thought would be an issue at this store if offered a job he was now telling me.
This man is so even keeled, mellow and patient. So I knew it would drive me crazy too and probably sooner than it did him since I am neither mellow or even keeled.

I went home and told Rick this. He just said to me that it was a good thing they didn't call me then isn't it? Besides the pay was much lower than Starbucks or Winestyles etc. I would not have made enough money compared to the money that would be lost due to me having to leave the office at 3p-4p daily. Rick felt it would hurt us more than help us. He was telling me all along this was a waste of time if it wasn't going to affect our bottom line. So here I was thinking I was saved.

But just when you think it all worked out for the best- BAM.
The Mean Girl calls to offer me the job.
Probably to take over the dog owner's position since he was quitting.
(it was for the same department, appliances)
She left me a voicemail thankfully. That gave me time to discuss this with Rick again.
To be sure I was doing the right thing. He told me I was and repeated all the reasons why.

I called her back and I lied.
I said, "Sally I want to thank you for this opportunity. However I have accepted another offer. I want to thank you for your time and....
She cut me off and said, "Whatever" and hung up.

Something tells me even though I need a job not taking this was the right thing to do for me.
And I am thankful I can still make that choice.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Early Christmas Toys

I saw this young girl riding this bike everywhere around the neighborhood while walking Izzy.
I thought I would catch a quick photo from across the street with my phone.
Her father was always walking behind her.
About the 3rd time I saw them I said, "Looks like Christmas came a bit early!" 
He nodded and said, "Oh it sure did.... Her grandparents." as he rolled his eyes.
The 5th or 6th time I saw him he said he was hoping the battery would die soon.

It's a cool toy so I get why she won't stop riding it. I also understand why the father has to walk behind her and how annoying that would be after awhile. I am guessing she's about 5 yrs old.
It's a pretty cool gift and I am sure she'll be remembering this one for years to come.

What was your favorite Christmas gift in your lifetime thus far?
I was trying to think what my favorite Christmas gift was in my life.
I can remember the worst one but not my favorite.
I am scared what that might say about me. Let the analyzing begin.

My father got me a small black and white TV when I was 13.
I know it sounds like that is a really nice gift. He got it on Xmas eve.
It was not even wrapped. My mom had just died 2 1/2 months before.
I wasn't thrilled at the time. I was in fact mad at him.
My sister got a bike - again not wrapped or a bow. It was weird.
I loved having the TV in my room but it was such a horrible Christmas and the way he just gave it to me I remember it all so vividly.
Again can't remember where I leave any given thing on any given day but this I remember.

Do you remember your favorite Christmas gift ever?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday

How is that for a damn clever blog post title?

Here are a few things that happened to me this weekend.

Remember ole Sean from Verizon?  Mr. Cranky Pants himself?
Well he called on Saturday to be sure everything was still working fine and we were happy with everything. I did not get the phone damn it. It went to voicemail.
I put it on speaker to let Rick revel in this message.
Seriously you could have knocked us over with a feather!! 
What a different person! 
Rick said it was probably our Christmas gift from Verizon and a true holiday miracle.

Rick had to measure this man's fiberglass shower pan for an inlay on Saturday.
It was the only day this man could be there.
Because the estimate would only take about 10-15 minutes and he would be done for the day I  suggested I go with him. It was a condo in Arlington/Ballston it is close to a store we needed to go to in near by Falls Church.

I don't like to shop when it isn't the holidays.
So to shop with tons of people being rude and the traffic being horrific I am not good with any of that. I wanted company to keep me calm. Only he can do that.
And for some crazy reason I keep him in check as well so we had to do this  'fun' stuff together.

We both love Penzeys so we started there. 
We left Arlington and made a quick trip over to Falls Church to one of our favorite stores.
I so wish there was a Penzey's store closer to me.
This is the only store front in Northern VA so I schlep over to the store once in awhile.
If you don't know Penzeys, I highly recommend you at least buy something online.
Now of course if you don't cook or bake this is not a fun store for you. 
But my hubby loves to grill and cook so he loves this place as well as I do. 
I bought a grill kit for Rick's daughters boyfriend. We have learned he loves to grill and I thought this would be a nice gift for him. After we bought that we had to get some things for ourselves. Pitiful how much money we can spend there! 
Rick is as dangerous in Penzeys as he is in the meat department of Costco.

We left there with a few dollars remaining and ventured to Costco on a Saturday during the holiday season.   As we headed to Costco I said, "Okay it's going to be nuts, people pushing, shoving because it's Christmas and we all know how nice people are at this time of year. Are you sure you are up for this?"  We still had to go to Bed Bath and Beyond for his daughter's gift.  Rick laughed. He is never ready for this but he promised to be nice and to let it all roll off his back. I begged him not to tell people their children were misbehaving, or they were rude, to just smile and I'll buy him a drink when we leave. He said, "Is there a bar in BBandBeyond that I didn't know about?"  Okay small technicality.

For some reason that made him laugh. He said he would be fine. I wasn't so sure.
I reminded him of the last trip together at Costco on a Saturday. (he yelled at a pregnant woman who cut off and flipped off an old man and she had kids with her.) 
He promised me he would not do that again no matter how nasty someone was.
I didn't believe that he wouldn't try to be the polite police again but I pretended I did.

He did behave. He won't be getting coal in his stocking this year!
He was in good spirits through it all.

He said he "had to" make fun of the large woman in velour sweat pants that said juicy on them while she was stuffing her face with food from the corner vendors.
He claims anyone with words on their big butt is asking for it. I am the only person who hears these things thankfully and to me he is funny but it's not so nice non the less.
He kept saying, "Juicy on that ass was all kinds of wrong."
Rick asked me, "Wouldn't you want your ass to be dry?"  Which made me laugh again. 

He continued on his good behavior even when we were behind this man while attempting to get dog food.  The man was blocking traffic and starring into space looking so very confused He would rock back and forth in an odd way. This was a much older man. We stood there patiently for awhile. Rick suddenly turned to me and whispered, "You know Margaret he's wearing his wife's lacy red panties right now. He's got a terrible wedgy. He's moving like that to get it out while in public."

Now that isn't even funny but while you are standing in Costco for some reason that just cracked me up.  It helped us to survive the time in there so that is all that matters. 
We made it out with no bruises, no words to anyone other than Happy Holidays.

See there are holiday miracles!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Here we go again with Verizon.

It's been a helluva few days here in my little piece of the world.

On Wednesday morning our office land line went out as well as our Internet.
Thank you Verizon Fios.

I had to make that dreadful call to Verizon. You know the one, where you stay on hold for 40 minutes and then get a cranky human. She told me someone could get to me by Thursday between 8am - 12pm.
I wasn't happy but what can I do, say no?
Okay I'll be ready between 8 - 12p because seriously where else can I go?

I asked the phone company to forward our office phone lines to my cell phone so we would not be missing calls.
The woman who was "helping" me said, "Oh you really like to talk on the phone don't you?"
I remained calm. Inside I was flipping out.
I said, "As we discussed we are a business account with Verizon. In case you were unaware there is a recession going on. Business is slower these days. We don't need to miss business calls as well as our customer emails. I don't just "like to talk on the phone"
She laughs and responds, "Okay then it's done. Your calls are forwarded."

God how I hate people.

I called Verizon wireless and bought Mobile Hotspot. This is an additional $20.00 a month.
Once you have this you keep your phone near your laptop and you can get internet service.
Now it is a bit slower but it's better than nothing. So I purchased this and got started.
I figured I could cancel this later. But for now I had no other choice.  It eats a lot of data from your plan if you don't have unlimited date but I couldn't worry about that right now. I just needed to work.

At 11:00a.m.on Thursday I got a call from a kid named Sean. Sean had terrible social skills and should not be allowed to speak to people until he learns how to properly do so. He is not a 12 yr old boy. No more leeway here. He is supposed to be an adult. It is so pathetic the lack of social skills young people have today.
(spoken like an old woman!!)

He tells me in his laid back surfer dude way that and I quote, "hey man, I just got the ticket for your job. " (he sounds like he just woke up) There is no way i can be there by noon."

I ask, '"What time do you think you'll be able to arrive then?"
He tells me he is "thinking it will be around 3 or 3:30p"
I thank him for letting me know and ask if he will call me when he is on his way.
He says he will.

At 5pm I call Verizon. I ask if anyone is coming today.
The man on the phone tells me to trust him someone will be there by the end of the day.
I am thinking, "end of the day?" midnight? 
I told him I was told between 8 am  - 12pm and if you can't make that why do you even bother giving people a time frame?
He laughs.
I boil.

I sincerely understand how a job can make you late. But how about a courtesy call?  We do that all the time. And why would this tech have a job before mine that would last 8 hrs and the scheduler make the time she did for me. Didn't she see the scope of the job? How would they not know this?  I don't get any of it since this is what I do all day long for my company. We don't have this issue. I digress....

At 7pm young Sean calls my cell to tell me he is on his way. He tells me what city he is in and I assume 30 - 60 minutes depending on traffic.
He arrives at 8pm and he is angry and rude. Slamming doors, muttering, just rude.
Rick stopped him as he was about to go upstairs to the modem.
Rick actually put his hand on his chest. I about died!!!
Rick said, "Listen Sean, I know this has been a long day for you. Take a deep breath and relax a minute. We too have been incredibly inconvenienced and are not happy. Your attitude is making me a bit ticked off. You are not happy to be here and we are not happy that you are 8 hrs late and that you have to be here. So let's make the best of this situation. Being rude to us is not going to make this any better for either one of us.  We got a deal?" As Rick put his hand out to shake Sean's. Sean took his hand and they shook it out.  

I was standing there with my mouth open and my heart beating so fast.  If I had put my hand on some guys chest I would have gotten hit. I think Rick being a big guy really helps me and him. Nobody wants to mess with him.  I think they think if he swings they're going down. If they only knew that he is a big teddy bear they'd laugh. Guess it's our little secret.

Sean's shoulders actually lowered after that and he apologized.
Rick offered him a coke. He took it and they both went upstairs and did what needed done with the modem. They went back and forth into the garage and in the house. By 9pm we had everything fixed. Yipee!!

The difference in Sean after Rick did this was amazing. Hell, Sean even smiled.
We thanked him as Rick walked him to the door.  I in turn thanked and hugged Rick.
If I was here alone I would have been boiling at his briskness and his snarky attitude.
I would never had the guts to do what he did. Nor could I have gotten away with it.

So today I am back to work without handicaps.
But I also have an interview for a part time job this afternoon.
This ought to be a hoot.
I say this knowing this full well this will be blog fodder just from how it's played out so far.
So I'll see you all next week with some interview fun to report.
I am just glad that this week is almost over. It's been a helluva crazy one.