Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hey, Kid!

If you'll indulge me, young people - I have some things to tell you.

Tomorrow, I turn 42.  Which is awesome.  Getting older isn't that scary, honestly.  I have gray hair, I have some lines on my face and I've survived good, bad and ugly.  More good than bad or ugly, but enough to keep it interesting.

The thing that's really interesting about 42 is that it's the 21st anniversary of turning 21.  And here in the US, that's the legal drinking age.  That's not to say I waited til I turned 21.  But even in college, I wasn't a big drinker, and honestly, turning 21 didn't change much.

But since it's a rite of passage, I went out with my roommate and her boyfriend and got completely plowed.  I ended up getting sick off the side of my sorority house's porch, in the rain.  How ladylike.   The next morning, as I attempted to remove my eye makeup, I learned that what I thought was mascara was actually broken blood vessels from extreme vomiting. CLASSY.

So, here's my first advice.  Go easy on alcohol.  I'll refer to two other people who have said things that I found helpful.  The first is my friend Don.  He doesn't drink anymore because as he says, "I used up all my drink tickets. Most people make theirs last a lifetime, and I didn't."

My husband says, "I never want to drink so much that I become an alcoholic, because I like to drink occasionally and I'd hate to give that up."

My grandmother used to see Jesus in her fish tank when she drank too much.  She went cold turkey one day at the insistence of one of the grandkids (not me, I would have been a baby).

Like this, only more terrifying, if that's possible.

So, I'm careful with the firewater.  I still drink, just in extreme moderation because it makes me feel like hot, buttered garbage.   My advice to you is, use your drink tickets in moderation - make them last.

My next advice to you is to get comfortable with death.  Not your own.  You have plenty of time (probably).  But people are going to die. Grandparents, parents of friends...sometimes even friends.  People your age.  Several high school classmates died, three sorority sisters are gone - from very grown up things like cancer, heart attacks.  It sucks and it's weird. And you don't have to love it, but get comfortable with it - at the very least, learn how to offer your condolences - because people who are grieving don't care if you say the perfect thing - they just want you to say SOMETHING.

My final advice to you, twenty-somethings is be patient with those of us in our 40s.  We honestly feel like it was just yesterday we were barfing off the side of our porch in the rain.  So, when we mention something about the 90s, don't tell us that's the year you were born.  Someday you'll be 40, and your back will hurt from watching TV funny the night before, and the whippersnapper one cubicle over will say something like, "What's Spotify?", and you'll remember that everyone was young once and will be old eventually.  And that you were probably a little bit of an asshole when you were young too.

So, that's my advice.  Take it or leave it, but I offer it in love.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Level Up

So, I'm back in the office this week.  We found out yesterday that my current manager is leaving the company, which means... NEW MANAGER!!!

That's neither good nor bad.  It just is.

And, if we're being honest, it's likely that New Boss is probably just Former Boss, Revisited.

Here's the list, for anyone keeping track:

Joe (one year)
Dennis (a few months)
Ken (about a year and a half?)
Scott (for about week)
Denise (about three months)
Eric (a month?)
James (a year-ish)
Eric (a few months)
James (another year-ish)
Nate (almost a year)
David (almost a year)

So, we'll see.

It's weird, the passage of time.

This morning, one of the younger people in my department came over and started talking about a concert that was downtown last night.  Now, under the best of circumstances, my musical tastes skew...older.  So me and someone a dozen years younger...  well, I held my own. 

Meanwhile, I need to finish up my Halloween costume, and prep for the next few weeks.

Manager Switcheroo not withstanding, things at work are.... what they are.  I don't have anything on the books.  I had held a week for a customer, delaying home repairs by a week, and now they don't want that week.  They want the week I booked for home repairs.  Nope.  The bad news with that is that I am very close to making Diamond for the year, but it's going to be a close race to the finish.

Which, in theory doesn't matter - but it totally does.


The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Friday, October 21, 2016

30,000 ft View

I'm writing this en route from Las Vegas to Nashville. I left home Sunday, I'm coming home today.

So I have a metric ton of laundry, a few little souvenirs and heartburn.

Which is what happens when you eat German (schnitzel) and Japanese (katsu) back to back. We were an Italian meal short of a full axis power trifecta.

Now, I know what you're thinking.  That looks like two plates of fried chicken, gravy and a white starch. Correct!!!

Clearly, I need to get back on the diet wagon

This, btw, is my current view:

I have no idea where that is. Texas? Mississippi?  Who cares. In about two hours, I'll be home again. Husband, dog and my own bed.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hey, 19!

I'm a Hilton Diamond member. Basically, it means that I book at least 25 stays a year at a Hilton property. That is not as easy as you might think. Although I travel a lot, some of my destinations are fairly small and rural. So in those cases, I'm staying somewhere off-brand.  But to be honest, you have to be a pretty shitty town to not have a Hampton Inn.

Tonight I ended up back at the same Hampton I checked out of Thursday morning.

One of the benefits of being a Hilton Diamond member is that I get to pick my room before I even arrive.

Because so much of travel is unpredictable, the fact that I have control over this one small aspect means that I milk it for all it is worth.

When it comes to picking my hotel room, I have standards. I prefer to be away from the elevator, but not too far away from the elevator. I prefer a higher floor, but not too high. I don't want to be near the stairs, and I don't want a room that adjoins. What's behind that door?  Don't know, don't want to know.

This trip, I decided to pick the exact same room I had last week. I liked the layout, and it's one less thing to have to remember.

So tonight, when I checked in at around 11:45 p.m., I took my keys, went upstairs, and noticed a beer can outside my door. Hmmph.

Not only that, when I tried to open the door my keys wouldn't work. I realized I heard the TV on in there. I went back downstairs to raise holy hell.  Luckily, before I got there I happened to look at the number written on the envelope. The Hampton Inn decided to throw me a curveball.

For whatever reason, they disregarded my online check-in and gave me the room directly across the hall from the one last week.

So, to the person who was in room 419 tonight and heard me trying to forcibly enter: mea culpa. Also, don't leave your fucking beer can in the hall. Rude.

To the woman at the check-in desk: you are not Crystal Gayle. Get a haircut, or put your hair back when you're working.

To everyone else: goodnight.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Setting a tone*

As of sundown tonight, it's Yom Kippur - the day of atonement.  The Jewish peeps of the world will fast to atone for their sins of the year.

I will not be fasting (duh), but here is my quasi-annual atonement post.

1.  I'd like to atone for being mouthy at work.  That said, just because I was wrong doesn't mean that some people aren't still assholes.  Enough said.

2.  My apologies for anger directed at the wrong people.  My family, my dog, sales clerks, ticket agents, and really anyone in the past year to whom I've said, "Thanks for nothing".

3.  I'm sorry to anyone my dog has barked at.  She means well.  We're working on it.

4.  I regret that I haven't been a better friend.  I've been very, very wrapped up in my mental health this year.  Clearly, it was necessary (see items 1 & 2), but I'll be better and kinder in the future.

5.  Sorry to myself for not being a little more wrapped up in my physical health.  Strong start in 2016 with the "no sugar" stuff.  Need to get back to that - because clearly, it worked and I felt so much better.  So.  So much better.

6.  I want to sincerely apologize to my dog and husband for all the craptacular travel.  Maybe I'll win the lottery and stay home in 2017.

7.  Hey television - there's so much of you, and a lot of really good shit.  Let's spend more time together.

8.  I apologize for not wearing makeup more.  It really does seem to help the Chronic Resting Bitch Face.

9.  Finally, I want to say, I am sorry for being sorry.  Some years ago, my father noted that I apologize too much.  And he's right.  In the grocery store, I apologize at least ten times for basically existing and needing to get olives off the bottom shelf.  So, in this Jewish New Year, I refuse to apologize for shit that doesn't merit an apology.  That's the deal.

Sorry not sorry,


*I will never apologize for punny blog titles.  So clever. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

South Park, Meatloaf and Me

So, I still remember watching the first season of South Park.  I was dating Rusty, at the time and we would sit in his apartment and binge on The Simpsons, fried chicken and South Park.   When it first came out, my father HATED it.  Thought it was crass, lewd and tasteless.  He was right-  that's why I LOVED it.  Then around Christmas, I heard him quoting the Mr. Hankey episode with a hearty, "Hidey Ho!!!".  Like me, Dad was onboard.

I watched an episode, dubbed in French, while in Paris.  It's one where Eric is trying to figure out who his father is.  He's having a tea party with his toys, and the doll, named Polly Prissypants is dubbed as Polly Petitpois (little peas) in French.

And although I would watch it off and on over the years, I've seen more than I haven't.

Nine years ago in Munich, there was an episode dubbed in German that I had never seen before.  It was a Christmas episode where the woodland creatures turn out to be Satanic.  It was bizarre.  And since I don't speak German, it was really, really bizarre.  Matt helped me figure it out, more or less. 

This season of South Park is starting off really well.  It involves the election, quitting social media, protesting the National Anthem and...


So, about halfway into the first episode, we're introduced to this new "super fruit" that some of the folks have been taking to mellow out.

They're these cute little clusters of fruit that talk.  And they remember things from the past that are pleasant:

There's something about their sweet (vaguely malevolent) nostalgia that kind of hits me right in the gut. 

In a quasi-related tangent, I learned that my mother doesn't like meatloaf.  Whereas, it's something that I love.  I learned how to make it from watching Dad.

And so I spent several days thinking, in the voice of the cartoon, "Member when Dad was still alive?"

Yeah.  I member.

So, I am pulling myself out of a funk.  Mostly, that involves getting plenty of sleep, and trying to eat better and spending time petting my dog. 

And watching some TV.

In addition to South Park, I'm currently obsessed with Blackish.  If you're not watching it, I highly, highly recommend you start.  If for no other reason, the young actress who plays Diane.  Her name is Masai Martin and she slays it.

Also, whomever costumes that show is the bomb.  I want it all.  All of it.

I'd also like to look like Tracee Ellis Ross.  She's perfection.

But to be fair, I am not the offspring of Diana Ross.  It's fine - we play the hand we're dealt.

I guess that's kind of it from me for the moment.

Big weekend - Matt and I are getting all dolled up and going to a wedding at Schermerhorn Symphony Hall.  I'm pretty stoked.  I've got a fresh mani-pedi, Matt's suit is pressed and I need to shave my legs...

Just the usual.

Be well and happy.


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Dog Tired

It's starting to get dark earlier.  And yes, I realize it's only going to get worse with the whole "fall back" - which happens in about a month.

But what sucks about it is that playtime with Piper in the back yard is less fun.  Because I can't see her in the dark.  Now, true, she has some reflective doodads on her collar, but really, she's a black dog who sticks to the fence line and makes like a shadow.

So, I'm dealing with that.  I might get one of those little flasher lights that joggers wear.  Because she has energy she needs to expend.  I have less energy.  I don't know what's wrong, exactly, but I'm feeling a little lethargic.

And I need to get cracking. I have Halloween costumes to construct, and cabinets to empty.  I need to order some materials for a home improvement project we have coming up.

And always laundry and dishes and sweeping.

But once it's about 7:45 PM, I'm counting the minutes til 10PM, which seems like a reasonable bedtime...right?

I met with my apnea doc earlier this week, and he was pleased with where I am, but wants me to lose weight.  He agreed that it's especially hard when you're traveling - so at least he knows what we're dealing with.  But, the machine works and I can see him again in six months.

I have to get a few things to prepare for a wedding this weekend. I also need to buy a wedding present.  Which is way less fun when you live in a major market without a Crate and Barrel.  We do have, as it happens, a plethora of Cracker Barrels, but it's decidedly NOT the same thing.  Although, I just bought two Halloween cards from Cracker Barrel - so, there's that.

So, I've been thinking about the debates.

When I was a junior in High School our history teacher had us do debates on moments in American History.  I volunteered to do the first one with this guy who I ended up dating briefly, but that's another story.  Anyway, I prepared hardcore for the debate and when the day came, I just eviscerated him.  It was brutal.  If you were him.  If you were me, it was AWESOME.  I earned some cred with our teacher and got the rep for someone you didn't want to go up against.  I was otherwise mediocre as fuck in that class.  So I know how it feels to be Hillary Clinton.  And to a lesser extent, Mike Pence.  Although, truthfully I still prefer Tim Kaine.  He's a feisty little Boston Terrier.

Am I a good boy, Hillary?


The holidays are coming, and apparently that's a trigger for my grief to return like a freight train through a small town.  I'm working on/through it.   But at least I'm aware that it's happening and that I can cut myself a little slack.

That's enough for now, I think.  I'm tired, and it's just 11AM.  Which makes for a long day.

I need some customers to get moving and get me back on the road.