Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lollygaggers!!!

My boss' boss and I don't agree on much.  There's one thing we do agree on, and that's that we really like the movie Bull Durham.

For me, it's about young, nearly naked Tim Robbins.


And it's damn funny.  I like it because it's a character study disguised as a baseball movie. 

I suspect my boss' boss likes it because it's a baseball movie. Whether he has an opinion on nearly naked Nuke?  That's none of my business.

Anyway, there's a Kevin Costner monologue in the movie where he tells Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins what he believes:


Kevin Costner has often said he hates his delivery of this speech, but frankly, it's a highlight in a movie full of great stuff.

Anyway, I here are some things I believe:

I believe that kid-sized grocery carts and the ones with giant fake cars attached to them are irritating and should be burned in a large bonfire.

I believe that you should turn your damn headlights on when it's raining, and that you should be smart and considerate enough that I shouldn't have to remind you.

I believe that Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies are the best, and Oatmeal Raisin are evil, and that ones where you can't tell the difference until you've committed are diabolical.

I believe that dogs are typically good judges of character, but even the best dog blows it from time to time.

I believe that the ability to write and mail a handwritten note is a dying art, and it needs to be revived.  But, I also think that if you need to write a long letter, typed and mailed is acceptable.

I believe that pantyhose should only be worn for weddings, funerals, interviews, and possibly Halloween.

I believe that soup is the perfect food for when you are sad, as it helps you replenish tears.

I believe that pedicures are worth the expense.

I believe that you should never pay full retail at a department store, unless what you want is so perfect that you would be destroyed if you missed out on it.  Trust me, I worked at a department store - nothing stays full price for more than 2 weeks.

I believe that Mallomars are worth every penny, and that their generic knock-offs are a complete waste of space in the cookie aisle.

To that end, I believe that Pepperidge Farm Milanos are over rated and they've made way too many flavors.  The superior cookie is the Brussels.

I believe that hockey is the perfect sport because your beer never gets hot.

I believe that men and women can both be funny.  See: John Mulaney and Nastasha Leggero, for example.  Men and women can also be unfunny:  See: Rob Schneider and Paula Poundstone as examples.

I believe that there will come a time that people are so conversation phobic that nearly 99% of all communication will be text based.

I believe that it would be better not to eat meat, but it's just delicious.  And vegan?  F that.   I don't want to live in a world without cheese.

I believe that in a country as fat and wealthy as the US, it is unconscionable that anyone goes to bed hungry (unless they're "doing a cleanse", in which case, fuck them).

I believe it's fine if you want to hawk Advocare or Rodan & Fields or Pampered Chef, but it's also fine if you don't post incessantly about it on Facebook.

I believe that parallel parking is a pain in the ass, but if you need to learn how to do it, you will.

I believe that no woman wants a shirt with pockets over the breasts.

I believe that there is more good in the world than bad.  We just need to be open to it.

ae

Monday, December 5, 2016

Nada, Que Pasa?

Folks, I'm feeling, as we say in this household, a little puny.  Not necessarily sick, just a little run down.

I blame jet lag.  Mostly.  I may have some little bug, and the quick changes in weather may contribute, too.

I am almost done with Christmas shopping - a haphazard affair where I did like Dad used to and just threw some money at it.

Although, I got some pretty neat things, so I'm happy.

It's hard to believe it's December.  Of 2016.  Tempus fugit, y'all.  Fugit!

I have one work trip standing between me and the end of the year.

My trip last week was to California - the LA area.  We were there to see a customer who makes an energy drink - we'll call them Scarlet Bovine - and their office was super cool - open, exposed beams and ducts, nice chairs, free snacks (and energy drinks), and a pinball machine.  I was not cool enough to be there.  Oh well.  At night, we ate well.  We ate sausage from a place called Wurst Kuche.  We also had a hot dog (the Marlon Brando) at Pink's.  And we went to a cemetery where I saw the graves of Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemon - among others, but that's the Some Like it Hot trifecta.

I was surprised at how many more celebs I spotted than my colleague. No doubt because I'm super smart.  But really, how can you NOT know who Karl Malden is?  Or Doris Roberts (Flo Flotsky? Marie Barone? No?).

Anyway - there was Red Bull  Scarlet Bovine, Wurst and Dead People - it was a great week.

The final trip will be a lot less star studded - it's in rural North Carolina.  But we do what we do.

That's it from here.  I may go make a sandwich.

ae









Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanks

Thanksgiving 2016 is in the books, and it exceeded every possible expectation.

Matt and I got off work early Wednesday and headed down to Mom's.  She wasn't there when we arrived - she had gotten a call from Jorg requesting help on a congealed salad.  About thirty minutes later, they both arrived and we stayed in the kitchen cooking and chatting.

Thursday morning, I went to visit my friend Connie, her husband Jason, and their awesome kids, Jack and Reese.  Matt came with me and we had a blast reconnecting.  Love that family.

I made some pies, and started the dressing, and got a 30 minute nap.  Then our guests arrived.



Truth be told, it was the best Thanksgiving I can remember.  Erik brought a turkey (and GRAVY!) his girlfriend Finly made a cheesecake.  Mom did a few casseroles and another pie.  Jorg brought his cranberry jello mold, and it was so damn laid back and fun.  They arrived at 4, and didn't leave till 11PM. 

We had a great, great time.

And the food...

YUM.

Not only did I survive, I thrived.

I'm happy and Thankful.

ae

Monday, November 21, 2016

Manufactured Outrage

So, I had a lot of time on my hands to screw around on social media last week, and this story kept coming up about a kid at a Thanksgiving Pageant and how the teacher took the microphone away from him and he didn't get to participate, and everyone was losing their motherloving minds over it and it was viral and shit.

But in learning some facts about this incident, it's not that the kid (who is high-functioning autistic) didn't get to be in the play.  His line or part or whatever came earlier in the play, and he wanted to add on something at the end.  And my guess is that the teacher and the kid had been locked in a power struggle over it, or how the hell else would she have had the cat-like reflexes to know when to grab the mic?

But the point of this is that people are just en masse outraged over a teacher trying to exert a little control over her student.  Yes, she probably should have just let the kid have his way - after all, what would it hurt? He just wants to be treated like everyone else.  Except, wait, everyone else didn't get a stab at a few extra words, did they?

Clearly, I'm kind of an asshole.

But the thing is this.  I shouldn't be spending any time worrying about a kid in West Virginia who got his feelings hurt by a teacher, who frankly, was probably at the end of her damn rope, and doesn't get paid enough, either.

If I wanted to worry about school kids, how about seventy kids from an elementary school two blocks from my house?  These are kids who participate in a backpack program.  That means that on weekends and holidays, before they leave school, they get a backpack filled with easy to prep food that will ensure that they DON'T GO HUNGRY.

Think about that.  As fat as I am!  As much food as my husband and I waste, there are kids in my community that have to worry about getting enough to eat.  We have a large homeless community in Nashville.  I've met them at the mission, I've bought newspapers from them on the side of the road.     There are people near you who are lonely, anxious, afraid.  They live next door and pass you in the aisle at the drug store.

If you want to whip up some sympathy, start there. 

And yeah, it sucks that this kid got denied his mic time, but that's between him, his parents and the school.  Everyone else needs to get some damn business and mind it.

And for fuck's sake, put down your phone video cameras.  Not every Thanksgiving Pageant is going to producer the Zapruder films.

ae





Thursday, November 17, 2016

I'm Game

I don't have a bucket list.  Except a one item bucket list to never create a bucket list.

There are things I'd like to do, but I don't like the thought of pre-planning for my eventual death.

Make goals, make plans - but leave your lists for the grocery store.

There is something I'd kind of like to do, eventually.

I'd like to be on a gameshow.

Once, upon a time, I happened to go to a taping of a Jeopardy Tournament of Champions set of shows.  I think we saw three or four episodes taped.  I was maybe 23 at the time.  My friend Danny got tickets.  We had lunch at the Varsity afterwards.  It was a fun day.

This week, given that I'm spending a lot of time at home, I've gotten the opportunity to catch up on a few of my old favorites.

The Price is Right.  I actually think I'd be good at this one.  I have some energy, I am killer at guessing prices on retail items, and I think Drew Carey would like me.  If I made it to the Showcase Showdown (and I would), I know enough to not overbid. For fuck's sake, don't overbid.  And, by the way - Barker's Beauties Carey's Cuties?  Drew's Dolls?  Are co-ed.

PLINKO!

Let's Make a Deal - I really like Wayne Brady.  This one would probably end in me walking away Zonked.  Also, their prizes are kind of weird.  Yoga classes?  Sapphire-studded cufflinks?  Tickets to the Latin Grammys?  I don't know.  That said, I would dress up like a mofo.  Fun times.

Wheel of Fortune - This one is kind of a mix of skill/chance.  I'm good at word puzzles, but I don't think this is the sweet spot for me. That said, this show and Jeopardy are the last shows that still have the hosts of my youth.  Vanna White, Pat Sajak - hang in there!

Jeopardy - The daughter of a childhood friend appeared on the Teen Tournament this week and she was thwarted by the buzzer (and two other teens as smart as her).  But I would love to be on Jeopardy.  I have a few friends who have done it.  With my luck, the day I went on categories would be "Opera", "Sports Teams that Aren't the Nashville Predators", "Algebra", "How to Drive a Stick Shift", "Spatial Reasoning", "Telling Your Left From Right" and "Potent Potables" (because that's an old classic).

Family Feud - This one plagues me because although I think I'd kick ass at it, who the hell would the family be?  I mean, you need five people and there are no permutations of my family or Matt's where that would work.  Which, causes me some stress.  Oh well.

There are a ton of shows on Game Show Network that I could apply for, but they're not the real deal. I mean, that's my opinion.

So, maybe... someday.  Either Henry will age into Family Feud with me, Matt, Tom and Laura.  Or...

I don't know.  Maybe I'll go to California and I'll bid on the prize that gets me up to play for....


A NEW CAR!!!!!!!



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bizzy Work

So for the past three days, I've been dealing with having strangers in my house.

They're here working on the kitchen.  The main guy that has been here I'm going to call Whistling Joe.  Not his real name.



Day one, I found him quirky and delightful.  Now we're on day three and I'm about ready to bitchslap him out of my house.

WJ is a talker.  And not about anything important.  I know way, way more about him than I need to.  He's been married 36 years.  He's from Florida.  He met his wife at a Captain D's (a great little seafood place).  He's an audiophile.  Built his own sound system.  Loves to tinker.  Does a lot of work for "ladies' homes", but given that he owns power tools and I don't - that's fine by me.  Work on.

He likes to chat, and one of his big themes is announcing that he'll be taking a restroom break. The man pees a lot.  Just saying.

When he's not chatting, he is, as his alias implies, whistling.  And not anything specific - there was a brief selection of "Part Time Lover" on day one.  Since then, it's been the same five notes from Beauty and the Beast  - the ones that correspond to the lyrics "Tale as old as time...".  That may or may not be what he's actually whistling, but that's sure what it sounds like.

It has not been an expeditious process.  Day one, WJ was here at 8:30 AM - ready to take on the world.  He removed the counters, the sink, the stove and the dishwasher.  He cut the countertop and he cut the backsplash.  It was a series of first downs.

In the two days that have followed, it feels like it's been nothing but 3rd and Inches.  If you'll excuse the football speak.

Yesterday, I was ready for arrival between 8:30 - 9:30, which is what the woman at the office had told me to expect on Monday.  Monday, as it turns out, is first impressions day - when they lull you in to a sense of security.  Tuesday is a whole new day.  Two electricians came at 10, to make notes about the work that they were going to actually do a different day - tentatively Friday.  Given that this is a five day project, let's firm up tentative, OK? The construction team was...not here yet. I called the office and was told they'd arrive at lunchtime.  Sure enough, they arrived around noon - did a few hours and knocked off.  Larry came with friends.  Casey and Jeremy - Casey made notes on some things that they would need to bring for Wednesday, and they left.

Today, I finally called the office around 11:45, and they said around lunchtime.  So, 1PM, here comes WJ, ready to rock and roll.  At the moment, he's on trip #2 of the day to Home Depot.

And now, this five day job is leaking into next week, and that, my friends, isn't cool.  Not at all.

But, I gave them a key for a lock box, and we'll make it work.

The moral of this story, folks... just be satisfied with your old janky kitchen.  New is not better.

I'm sure I'll come around.

It's a... tale as old as time.

ae



Monday, November 14, 2016

I'm a mean one...

So, I have a handful of friends who are already in the Christmas Spirit.  And that's fine for them.

I am not feeling it.  But that's fine, it's only the 14th of November.  I get that Christmas trees are pretty and pleasant to look at, and they spread cheer.  But we're just getting over Halloween, the Election.  We're gearing up for that most delightful of days, THANKSGIVING.

Lest you think I'm irredeemably Scroogey, let me say this - I have ordered my Christmas cards.  I have made some travel plans.  I have a vague idea of what to get my nephew.  But for heaven's sake, I am not ready to embrace the evergreen.

Truth be told, we haven't done a Christmas tree in years - too many years to count.  What happened was, we found out that we love not having to take one down at the end of the year.  It's so freaking easy.  And we usually do most of Christmas with our families, so, you know... path of least resistance.

Meanwhile, we're getting some work done on the kitchen, and it's going remarkably well.  I'm excited.

And I'm one stay away from Diamond at Hilton for next year.

It just doesn't get any better, does it?

Does it?  I'm asking.

ae