Friday, January 25, 2013

Non Express Lane

No matter which line I choose in the grocery store, I know that it's going to be a long wait because that's the way the universe wants it and I'm okay with that because I pick and choose my battles with the universe.  Usually, I have only 15 items or less in my cart so I stand on the 15 items or less line, and usually the whole store has three people in it because I go really early to avoid lines, so this whole checking out process shouldn't take so long, you know, because it's in an express line.

For some reason, the good managers at the local grocery store have the slow check out lady in the express lane.  She's a really nice woman.  She always circles how many points I've earned with my savings club card on my receipt.  It's really unnecessary because I never earn enough within a month's time to get the monthly reward, but it's a nice gesture.  What I'd rather her put her energy into is ringing up my items.  Instead, it's more like she reads the name and ingredients of everything as she rings each item up.

I'm pretty okay with all this happening, too, as it's all part of the universe's plan to make me slow down or appreciate the technology of the cashier process or something.

What did irk me was the combination of slow check out lady in the express lane with slow old lady checking out way more than 15 items in the express line and not being able to hear or pay or put the bags back in her cart.  Well, it irked me only at first. Then it was just absurd, you know, like the rest of my life.

So there she is, all her groceries piled up next to the bags at the end of the belt, staring at the total.  The slow check out lady told her how much it all was.  Then there were crumpled coupons that weren't there before because the slow old lady forgot to hand them over.  Then the slow check out lady didn't know how to go back and had to get the management involved.  The manager pressed a few buttons and then all the coupons were ready to go.  The slow old lady then picked through her pocketbook (it wasn't a purse--it was totally a pocketbook) until she found all of her crumpled up cash.  Then somehow she paid in cash and on a card, and I think, if memory serves, also with a check.  Then instead of packing up the items, slow check out lady waited for the receipt to print out so she could circle stuff.

I'm pretty sure five hours went by as the well over 15 items made their way into 87 plastic bags because neither slow check out lady nor slow old lady care about unrecyclables or the planet and they put maybe half an item into each bag.

Finally, it was my turn!  Yeay!  My stuff was already on the belt.  I had my club card all ready.  The slow check out lady was ready to take it from my hand when the slow old lady was like, Can I get change of this dollar?

Where the hell did that crumply dollar come from?  Oh, from her very large pocketbook.

Slow check out lady couldn't open the register until she rang something up so then she rang up my stuff and stopped to make the change and then started packing up my stuff while I paid with my credit card.  Then I loaded all my stuff into my cart as slow check out lady circled things on my receipt.  This was how to conduct a quick checkout. 

And who was still standing in the doorway counting out her change for a dollar?  Yeah, that's right, slow old lady and her earth-killing 87 plastic bags and her oversized pocketbook filled with crumply dollars and coupons.  That's when I had a storm in my brain: grocery stores should have express exits.  Ooh, OR the should have lines designated for slow old ladies manned by slow check out ladies so that I can get through the express line before my dairy goes sour.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Birthdays Are The Best Days

Happy Birthday, Eddie!

He got decorations:

Homemade card streamers

Second time using our misspelled sign from Target
He got me to go shopping on a weekend, a present in and of itself, but it was fun because he got birthday clothes:

I told him he had to get this shirt.

Fly! (Is that how you spell it or should it be Phlyyy?)

He got furniture rearranged for a wholesome card game:
The dining room has a couch!

The living room has a table!
He got presents:

Taken, his now favorite movie.

I made that card because I'm crafty.
He got a cake:

Ran out of icing so abbreviations came in handy.

Fake blowing out the candles since he blew them out too quickly the first time.
Oh, and he got a hug:

How's that for an action-packed celebration?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Unfortunate Bad Restaurant Review

The worst kind of critique of a restaurant is an up close and personal accidental kind.  I'm talking around it.  I'll just say it.

Last night, I went to meet up with S in Koreatown for some awesome Korean and right outside the restaurant on the curb was a man puking his guts out.  One of the other men with him ran inside to get more napkins.  It was a lot of vomit.  Like, a whole lot.

I had arrived first, so after the heaving ceased, and there was a LOT of heaving, the men crossed the street and left behind a large pool of throw-up.  I watched as tons of pedestrians attempted to go around the slow people in the middle of the sidewalk only to stop in their tracks, reverse, and get back behind the slow people.  Lesson learned?  Upchuck trumps a snail's pace.

Note: I have subconsciously been attempting to use as many synonyms for vomiting and vomit as possible. Now that I've noticed, I am consciously doing so.  Seriously, who is reading this?  I shouldn't be allowed to write anymore.

Anyway, I watched as the four men haggled to get into a car to be driven to wherever they were going.  The driver, having witnessed the ralphing from the other side of the street, was weary of letting them all in, but he caved and in they climbed.  I don't think he had anything to worry about.  That guy could not have possibly offered anything else from his insides.

Another note: While the incident was occurring, the other men with him were patting him on the back, not to make it happen faster, but in a kind and comforting way of saying it's okay, it's all right, you'll be fine.  It was nice to see.

Thankfully, S arrived shortly after that and into the restaurant we went, fearless!  We shared the huedobop and I devoured the shumai and we cleaned up the side apps pretty good, too, my poor to mediocre chopstick skills not once slowing me down.  Lesson learned? A yen for Korean trumps possible food poisoning.  It was so worth the risk, and that guy probably had one too many sake bombs.

Friday, January 18, 2013

How I Got Over JBJ

It was before the Exedrin commercial but after the Oprah appearances.  I'm pretty sure it was some time around When We Were Beautiful.  I watched the shit out of that documentary.  I smiled the whole way through, barely breathing. It rolled around in my head for months.  Then I realized, wow, he's a bit of a douche.  I'm sure if I knew him personally, he would not be a douche.  The documentary portrayed him as a hard-working guy who loves his multiple careers and his family and his friends and who takes care of everyone who contributes to these endeavors.  But also?  It made him seem like a bit of a douche. Note the use of the word "seem."  I'm not saying that he is.  I'm saying he seems to be (see the aforementioned positive character traits listed in this paragraph).

This summer will be the first summer in I'm not sure how many many many years I am not planning to go to a concert.  I've always made the correction that the band is not him and he is not the band (I know this because he also has a solo career--duh!), but he's involved with the band and even though they all did not come off of the douche-kind in the documentary, it's douche by association.  Of course, the concert will be amazing since I'm not going, but, especially since there's no new album, I've kinda seen it all before.  I saw them when they went psuedo-country.  I saw them when Richie Sambora was in rehab. I hung in there when they played Dry County as an encore (yeah, I know, what the hell IS that?).  I'd rather see Memphis, which I think has left Broadway. 

I am quite aware I risk invoking the very real and very dangerous wrath of every JBJ fan in the world by airing my grievances, but maybe, just maybe, I'm speaking the words that some others are thinking.  More likely, it's the former.  I'm hunkering down now.  If you don't hear from me for a while, yes, you should be worried and send out a search party.

Also, to save my own ass, everyone should know that I'm not being so mean and judgmental here.  A simple Bing search of "Jon Bon Jovi douche" brings to life many, many, many links.  This one is much more offensive that I'll ever be.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Winning Beginning

As we all know, I have a history of winning.  Hot on the heels of a New Year's Eve scratch-off spectacular, some more was in store. 

I received a padded envelope in the mail from SELF magazine this week.  I have been boycotting SELF because the workout log that I've been using for about three years or more has stopped working.  There's nowhere on the website to contact tech support or the webmaster, and when I tried to contact them via FB about it, they never answered.   However, I have a renewed sense of okayness towards them because inside the envelope were two packets of Crystal Lite Mocktails in pretty party time wrapping. 

The next day, I received a phone call from PLJ, only I didn't answer because the number that comes up on my phone is 212.  That's an area code, not a full number, so I hide from weird things like that.  I guess I'd forgotten that that's how their number comes up.  Ralph from PLJ was letting me know that I'd won a month-long membership to Jazzercise.

Do I remember signing up for either of these contests?  Vaguely.  I sign up for everything.  It's a good thing I do because how else would I ever be able to do this for a month:

Can't friggin wait!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Squirrel Trouble

Squirrels have taken up residence in the garage.  Over the summer, I pointed out a hole between the roof and the wall as a potential problem for birds.  During the summer and Fall, Eddie and I laughed and cheered on the squirrels that skittered across the garage roof.  Then I stood helpless and upset as I watched one lone squirrel facing the hurricane on its apex.  I yelled at it to get down but it did not listen. Never did I put two and two together, thinking that squirrels would go through the hole and live inside.  If they could do that, they should have done it during the superstorm. 

Yesterday, I arrived home to find two traps on the garage roof.  I immediately called my landlord (aka my mother) and asked about the traps. She said they were humane traps; the squirrels would be caught alive.  I asked then what.  She said that the company comes once a week to check the traps.  I squealed, Once a week???  How will they live????  What will they eat????   She asked, Are you going to feed them?  No hesitation, I said, Yes, I will give them nuts and acorns and set them free.  No you won't, she said.

This morning, Eddie called me on his way to work as I was getting out of the shower.  I don't want to upset you, he said, but go look out my back window.  Two squirrels were writhing around, one in each trap.  I yelled to the squirrels, Oh no you must live you must live! 

Then, the activist in me kicked in.  I made signs:

Let my squirrels go.

Squirrels deserve freedom.

Free the squirrels.

I went down to my landlords' (parents') floor and taped up the signs.  It was about 8 AM, too early for retired people to be awake, so I figured I could start with the signs and then begin the harassing phone calls a bit later on followed by emails and chanting.

I didn't even make it to the phone call portion of the protest.  My landlord (mom) called to tell me she'd called the company and they were coming to get the squirrels today.  I asked what if more than one got into the trap.  She said the traps were big enough.  I asked, what if they start eating each other.  They're not going to eat each other, she assured me.

They didn't eat each other.  Only one squirrel per trap stayed trapped until the trap guy came.  My other landlord (dad) was talking with the guy, learning all about how smart all the different rodents are (racoons and rats are the smartest), when I was getting into my car.  He called out, We got two of them!  The guy turned around to show me and I asked, What do you do with them...set them out into the wild?  The guy laughed at me.

So when I came home, I went directly into my landlords' (parents') house and asked, Umm, what are they doing with the squirrels?  She told me, I thought that they set them free, but apparently they follow laws about humanely killing them.  Also, they come once a day, not once a week.

Kill them?  Why set up traps that keep them alive only to kill them?  Why can't we set them out into the forest to play with their chipmunk and rabbit friends?  And once a day?  That's only good if they set them free.  Now it's just taking them to their death daily.

They gas them.


Do you want squirrels living in the house?  Do you want to go smell the garage?

Um, no.

Okay so then the traps stay until no more squirrels go into the garage.

Well, I'm writing a very strong letter to the exterminator about how squirrels have friends.

But I wrote this instead.  My signs still hang on their walls.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's "Feast"

Instead of cooking on New Year's Eve, I bartended.  This was all Eddie's idea.  After deciding we were going to have a date with just the two of us, he looked at me and asked, Are we drinkin?  Eddie doesn't drink, so this question was unexpected.  I was also unprepared.  He ran out to get Sprite to mix with vodka.  Suddenly excited, I opened the liquor cabinet to grab the Disaronno.  Disaronno has those commercials that suggest cocktails that I always want to try (except for the Disaronno and orange juice one; I'll pass on that).  The latest was Disaronno and Prosecco.  Having just come into a bottle of Prosecco, I was all set.  Not one to drink alone, this was now a perfect opportunity.

Actually, I lied.  I did cook something.  We made Jell-o.  This is how inept we are as adults: we had to call Eddie's mom to find out how to  make the Jell-o even though I read the directions on the side of the box.  We didn't know what to put it in.  It was very difficult.  But we did manage to make it. 

When Eddie arrived home from the store, he had not only Sprite for mixing drinks, but also Cool Whip for the Jell-o AND scratch offs.  The Cool Whip remained closed because I don't eat it and he didn't have any Jell-o.  He in fact had never planned to eat the Jell-o but got stuck on the idea of how much he liked Redi-Whip, which the store did not have, and so we now have a tub of Cool Whip that will probably not be even opened let alone eaten in 2013.

The scratch-offs were a nice surprise.  We'd won $12 a few days before, so he cashed them in for more chances.


 Because we won!

Back to the drinking:

For some reason, Eddie made his own drink.  I don't know how this happened.  I was in the middle of making mine--ice, Disaronno,Prosecco, mmm--when he ran through the house coughing his brains out.  Between coughs, he was blurting out, I'm a lightweight! I'm a lightweight!  I was like, how much vodka did you pour?  He was like, only a drop!  What the?

Then I realized--Hey, did you put it in first or last? Of course he answered, Last.  I was like, Maybe you want to stir that up so that the vodka isn't the top layer, hmm?  After that, it was much better.

Mine was good but too strong.  I guess I'm a lightweight, too.  So I poured a bit of Sprite on top to cut it and oooh, it was delicious.

Cut to about an hour later.  Eddie's glass is full and mine is empty.  He said, I really don't think I'm a drinker.  Ya think?

Wearing jammies on New Year's Eve tops wearing a tight dress and boots.

Mystery spot on the couch
 We watched New Year's Eve , that Ashton Kutcher movie with everyone from Common to Robert DiNiro in it.  Then we watched Charlie Brown's New Year's Eve special during which Charlie Brown is the only one of them who has to read and write a book report on War and Peace.  Why is he the only one in the class who has to do it?  Someone please explain!  And how can he fall asleep outside on a porch in the snow under the book and miss the little redhead girl at the party?  And who brings War and Peace to a party?  And why does he turn the pages the wrong way?  And why is he always on page 5 even though he's reading different parts of the book out loud?  Still, I enjoyed it.  Then in the second half hour, Peppermint Pattie was learning to ice skate so we opted out of that to watch bad musical performances.

I was almost drunk but we both made it to midnight and rang in the New Year by watching Jenny McCarthy kiss a random military man in Times Square.  And isn't that what New Year's Eve is all about?