Category Archives: It’s Life

Leggo My Budget Gourmet, Dammit!

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As you all know, I’m on the Weight Watcher’s diet plan.  I have found that taking the little “SmartOnes” or “Budget Gourmet” entrees for lunch really helps.  That way, I’m not tempted to eat in three bits a sandwich that a truck-driver couldn’t finish.  (I can totally do that, btw).

So, I went to the grocery store and bought a week’s worth of frozen lunches.  Instead of bothering to take one per day, I took all 6 or 7 and threw them in the freezer at work.

We are a small company, only about 25 people total and only about a third actually use the break room.  Which is exactly why I was so shocked when I went to get my lunch on Friday and discovered someone had eaten my lunch!

What in the name of all things holy makes someone go into a shared refrigerator and take food that they know damn well they have not purchased??  Not only that, but it isn’t even like a whole bunch of us eat the things.  There’s only one other person and myself and she was out sick on the days in question.

After reading numerous “break room fridge guidelines” articles.  I realize that it is *my* fault for the following reasons:

  1. I did not label my food.  I thought that putting them in a plastic bag that clearly did not come from someone else’s house was sufficient.  I was wrong.
  2. I brought in more than that day’s food at one time.  I fixed that.  I bought a lunch tote large enough for my meal and will not use the break room fridge any longer
  3. I clean out the fridge regularly (for the entire staff), so there are no science experiments to fall back on when someone is really hungry.
  4. I did not put a sign on the refrigerator, informing people that taking someone else’s food is stealing and stealing is wrong.
  5.  I did not lace my meals with arsenic.

Today, I’m putting a note on the fridge:

Thank you for stealing my Budget Gourmet lunches and half a Lean Pocket.  I hope you enjoyed them.  Next time, choose the ones I didn’t spit on.

 

That’s no excuse!

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Voices…I Hear Voices….

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I will let you in on a little tidbit about myself: I typically have more than three simultaneous conversations going on in my head at any given moment.  Some might call it a stream of consciousness, which is fine if it’s just a matter of thoughts flowing into one another.  My brain works slightly differently than that.  I get the first thought, which leads into a second, third and fourth, but the first keeps developing into an entire conversation.

Example:  The Hubster asks me what we’re having for dinner.

What should I make for dinner?  Pork chops would be nice.  Do I have pork chops downstairs in the freezer?  Oh I need to throw in a load of  laundry while I’m down there.  Giant has meat on sale this week, so I should get pork chops.  We need to go to Costco for meat too.  I have a good recipe for pork chops.  And potatoes.  While we’re at Costco, we need batteries for the air mattress…

I tell him “pork chops”.

And detergent.  And q-tips.  The kids will sleep on the air mattress when my parents come to visit next week.  I think I’ll make mom’s potatoes with the pork chops.  “D” batteries.  The air mattress uses “D” batteries.  And butter.  I’m almost out of butter for the potatoes.  Maybe I’ll make rice.  Or maybe we’ll just order pizza and have the pork chops tomorrow night.

An hour later, the doorbell rings and it’s the Domino’s guy.  “I thought we were having pork chops!!”  “No, that’s tomorrow night”.  Why is he confused??  It makes perfect sense to me! (This is also when I will later remember “telling” him that my parents are coming to visit.)

One afternoon, we were driving in the car and I was quietly looking out my window.  He looked at me and said, “How many conversations are you having in your head right now?”   I had to laugh, because I actually had three distinct thoughts going.  I think that was the day he got scared.  Dumbass married me after that anyway.

I still can’t figure that one out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurdle, Snore and a Spin-Cycle Lullaby

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I am dead-dog tired.  I had a crazy weekend that began last Thursday and ran straight into Monday.  I’m so tired, I can’t figure out where it starts and where it ends.  My eyelashes are tired.  The balls of my heels are tired.  I’m that tired.

But I can’t stop watching the Olympics.

No, I’m not recording it.  It’s like a double whammy.  I already have to avoid the internet rather than run across their “spoilers”.  (Sadly, while taking a break from beach volleyball, I came here to blog and there, on CNN’s homepage is….beach volleyball…picture and all.  SPOILER!) Besides, when the hell would I find time to watch all umpteen hours of recorded Olympics?  I’m already behind in episodes of “Melissa & Joey” (whoa!)

So, every night I lay on the loveseat with Hubster on the couch and we watch the Olympics.  Well, I try to. It’s more like I face the TV, fall asleep and awake in time to see a tearful medalist screw up the lyrics to the National Anthem.  And then I look at my husband and say, “I missed it again, huh?”   To which he replies, “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………… Snort, cough………. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

I’m not saying the Olympics are boring.  But, honestly, I find the winter Olympics to be much more entertaining.  At least the athletes wear uniforms that don’t reveal every crease, crack and roll.  (Seriously, have you seen the track suits?? I can probably tell you the religion of every hurdle jumper.)  The ladies’ swim suits were ridiculous (can you say “wardrobe malfunction?”)and the gymnasts started out in bubblegum pink (to draw attention away from Gabby Douglas’ hair, no doubt).  What a joke!

Anyway, this is a long rant about not much…because I’m just tired.  I’m hitting the hay early tonight.  Now, in fact.  🙂

Oh crap.  Just as soon as I throw in another load of laundry.  *sigh*  I guess I will fall asleep on the loveseat again.

 

Can You Say That Again, Please? (NOT!)

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Can You Say That Again, Please? (NOT!)

Just spent a weekend at my parents’ house where it is the norm to repeat the same things over and over and over again.  For one thing, half of us are half deaf.  For another, the other half of us are half whacked.  Between the two halves, there is considerable overlap.  My mother is squarely in the overlap.

Please…let me demonstrate.

Vacation planning somewhere around 1988 – my mother wanted to take a trip to a lovely peninsula on Lake Erie called “Presque Isle“.  (Let me interject that due to our Pittsburgh accent, this does not sound like the lovely “Presque Isle”.  It sounds like “Pressed Cow”, which is what everyone to whom I’ve ever told this story thinks I’m saying.  Henceforth, you shall hear “pressed cow” in your head when reading this story.)

Now once my mother gets an idea, she runs it into the ground.  So all we heard for literally months was this trip to Presque Isle.

Presque Isle.  Presque Isle. Presque Isle.  Presque Isle.  Presque Isle. Presque Isle.  Presque Isle.  Presque Isle. Presque Isle.  Presque Isle.  Presque Isle. Presque Isle.  Presque Isle.  Presque Isle.

Annoying isn’t it?

Right around the same time, my mother discovered a wonderful, miraculous liniment called Unker’s.  She called it “salve”.  (Now again, due to our Pittsburgh accent, this is said with a very nasaly sound, kind of like sheep baaa-ing with a slight lilt.  Henceforth you shall hear this word pronounced “saaaaav”.)

Let me demonstrate:

Me: “Wow, my back is sore.”

Mom: “Want some saaaav?”

Me: “I have a cold.”

Mom, “You should put saaaav on your chest.”

Me: “I fear the apocalypse is coming”

Mom: “At least we’ll have the saaaaav.”

Saaaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav …saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav… saaaav…saaaav…saaaav…saaaav!!!

This phenomenon with my mother led me to create the Banned Word List.  Guess which two words were the first on the list!

You got it on the first try!  Imagine that!

So, after the introduction of the list, it was going pretty well and I almost had my mother trained to say “The Peninsula” and “liniment” instead of the banned words.

Then came “bales of hay”.

As in 6 people stuffed into a Buick Dodge Aries (and not even the K-car kind!), driving from Pittsburgh to Colorado, and while crossing Kansas all my mother can say is “bales of hay…as faaaaaaar as the eye can seee…” in a wistful voice.

Do you know how far it is across the state of Kansas??  424 miles.  FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY FOUR MILES OF BALES OF HAY!!

I never did find a suitable substitute for the bales of hay.  In any case, it was better than the musical interlude every time we crossed a state line.  It’s kinda like that commercial where the couple is on a road trip and have a song for every state?  Yeah.  Like that.  Only trapped in a car with your parents, two sisters and grandmother who has her knees tied together as a remedy for a bad back and she insists on saving the toast from every meal, and your mother is singing “Gary, Indiana”.

Shit.  That’s a whole blog entry unto itself.  It’s a wonder I’m still sane, no?

But I digress.

Banned words.

This weekend, I added two new words to my list:  “sleep” and “seat”.  Very innocuous words when USED ONLY ONCE!  But hell….that’s just crazy talk!  Why say them once when you can say (before we’re even up the front steps)….

Hi guys!  Have you figured out where you’re going to sleep?  Because I thought if you sleep in this room and they sleep in that room then everyone will have a place to sleep.  But if you can’t sleep where you’re sleeping you can go sleep in the living room and then she can sleep in your room and then she’ll be able to sleep later.  If that doesn’t work, then I can’t imagine where everyone will sleep because I thought we’d all sleep like that.

(Close second here is the word “sheets”…because of course, you can’t sleep without sheets….right? Oddly enough, this whole thing starts again at bedtime, as if it wasn’t settled the first time around.)

Add fricken “sleep” to the banned word list.  Oh and eff it.  Throw “sheets” in there too.  What the hell.

And now, we have “seats”, thanks to a baseball game, where we had 10 seats in two rows behind one another.  You know what this means, right?  Yep! We had repeat numbers in different rows.

You know what?  I’m not going to do it.  Just imagine 10 people shuffling around between two rows saying the numbers and “seat” while trying to figure out where to park their butts, even though it was really irrelevant since we were all together and IT DIDN’T REALLY MATTER WHICH SEATS WE HAD BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL OURS ANYWAY!!!

:pant, pant, pant:  I need a Tylenol.

So, in case you weren’t keeping score, here’s the banned word list as of today, August 5, 2012:

Presque Isle, bales of hay, salve, sheets, seat and sleep.

And now my mother will comment and use all of them in one sentence just to drive me to drink.  More.  Again.  And then she’ll give me salve for the hangover.

Love you, Mom.  ❤  At least you’re never boring.  🙂

You can’t see the bales of hay, but trust me. They’re there.

You Light Up My Life

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The Hubster cannot sleep without some noise in the room.  Typically it’s the t.v., which he leaves on all night and I wear earplugs to block out.  I have argued that my snoring should be plenty of noise, but he disagrees.  We also live on a very busy street with plenty of traffic noise most of the night.

This weekend, we’re at my parents’ house in the middle of nowhere.

It is DEAD QUIET here.  There is no t.v. or radio in the guest bedroom.  The ceiling fan is quiet.  We don’t even get cell reception so he can stream music on his iPhone.

We got all tucked into bed last night and you could hear a pin drop.  Not a sound.

So, I did the only thing a good wife would do.

I was the substitute radio.  It sounded like this.  (You’ll have to just insert the hilarious muffled laughter yourself as needed.)

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with meeeeeeeee laayd.  Come sail away, come sail away, come and sail awayyyy wiiiiiiifff meeeeeeeee……

This is the 70’s channel.  All 70’s, all the time!

Aaaaaahhhh, freak out!  Le freak, say chic… FREAK OUT!!

At the Co-PAH!  CO-PA Ca-baaaaaana!  The hottest spot north of Hah-VAAAAANNNNAAAAH!

Youuuuuuuuuuuuu….light up myyyyy liiiiiiiiife….youuuuuuugivemehoooooooope….tooo carrryyyyyooooooooonnnnnn….:whisper: you light up myyyydaaaaayyyy…and fill my niiiiigh-ta with-a soooonggg!! : crescendo:

( I sang one whole verse of that one)

Hubster changed the channel.

To the 80’s!!

Nah nah na na nah…naaaah naaaah….Nah nah na na nah…naaaah naaaah….Whip it!  Whip it good! :whack:

(That one’s gonna come back to haunt me.)

Tonight we explore hair bands of the 80’s.

Yeah…I’m a good wife.

What Would You Doo-ooo-oooo For a Klondike Bar?

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Have you ever stopped to think about the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever done?

I have a list.  It is a flexible list, because as my memory fluctuates in and out of consciousness, I remember acts of ridiculousness that would easily upstage these.  There are just sooo many!

But as of right now, these are the hilarious, ridiculous moments that jump from my brain.

  • Ate all the icing off an entire cake –  I used to like to run my finger along the plate of a chocolate cake to scoop off some extra frosting.  And one time I got carried away.  Before I knew it, the frosting was gone from the entire cake.  I blamed my little sister and she took the heat for 20-some years.  When I finally fessed up during a family gathering  just a few years ago,  she jumped up and yelled, “I told you I didn’t do it!” Poor kid (nah, not really.)
  • Took a stripper to my senior prom – It’s not as salacious as it sounds.  In high school I was dating a guy who moonlighted as a male stripper.  The best part was when he teased my girlfriends about taking his clothes off on the dance floor.  Of course, it never happened (hell, I never even saw him with anything more than his shirt off), but the guy could seriously dance!  So while it is a thoroughly unexciting story, I do like telling people just to see their reaction.   🙂
  • Walked through a drive-through – this was funny, but not as much so as driving backwards through a drive through.  Why they now have signs up prohibiting this, I have no idea.
  • Fired someone while dressed like a Party-o-Saurus.   – During one of my first management gigs, it was Halloween and I needed to terminate someone.  I was dressed as a dinosaur, officially called a “Party-o-Saurus”.  When the time came, I called the girl into the office, took off my head, fired her, put my head back on and hit the sales floor.  The only thing that would have been more ridiculous is if I had been dressed as the Terminator.
  • Barked like a dog for a Klondike bar – I still think this is my most ridiculous moment and it was just last summer! .  One evening, I wanted ice cream and my  husband challenged me to bark like a dog.  I not only got down on all fours in the middle of our cul-de-sac and barked…I yipped, howled, yapped, panted and wagged my tail.  For my finale,  I got up on my “hind legs” and begged.  I got my ice cream.  Yeah, that was last summer.  True ridiculousness knows no age limit!

Someday, I shall endeavor to transcribe some of my more “adult” ridiculous moments.  Just as soon as I figure out how to put parental controls on this thing!

Oh and hey…if you don’t have a ridiculous list yet, go start one.  Being genuinely silly is one of life’s great joys.  Plus, taking yourself too seriously is proven to shorten your life.  🙂  Have fun!

Aside

Why is pasta such a wonderful comfort food?  Is it because I’m (half) Italian?  Whenever I’m cranky, tired, sick, hungry, bored, lonely, busy, anxious, etc., all I seem to want is pasta.

A few friends came over this afternoon and it ended up being a pasta dinner for five.  I felt immensely satisfied afterward.  My gramma would have been proud.  (Oops!  No wine!  Bad Italian!)

Olympics and pasta = a winning combination.

Life is Like a Bowl of Spaghetti

A Place to Remember and the Road Less Traveled

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A Place to Remember and the Road Less Traveled

Have you ever passed something many, many times and each time, you say, “I need to stop there someday”?  Well, every time I travel to my parents’ house in PA, I pass the turn-off for the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA and I say to myself exactly that.

This morning, I was driving home from dropping off my kids for a week, had nowhere in particular to be and extra time on my hands.  So when I passed that exit on the PA Turnpike, I just impulsively turned.  It wasn’t far, though I did have to ask for directions and was pleased to find it was only about 10 miles out of my way.  So…off I went on my little adventure and I am so very, very glad I did.

If you haven’t been there and are in the vicinity you should definitely go. The memorial site is about three miles off the highway and the park road twists and turns through meadows back to the crash site.  I cruised this road with a group of bikers from the Blue Knights, which was totally cool.   Upon arrival, the parking lot was pretty full; not surprising considering it was a Saturday afternoon during vacation season.  However, I quickly found a spot and hopped out of the car, already getting teary-eyed.

From the parking lot, you can see the Visitor’s Center where you can get more information about the crash, investigation and memorial.  Then from there, a paved walkway lined by a black granite wall leads you back to the memorial site.  The path follows the line of the fence the coroner’s office erected during the investigation to protect evidence.  Walking along that path, you can see the woods and the stark contrast of what was once the original forest tree line,  now sheared away from the crash and explosion and the new growth of trees  just in front of it – ten years of new growth unintentionally symbolize ten years of healing and remembrance.  The memorial itself is beautiful – a marble wall with each victim’s name inscribed upon individual slabs.  One thing that is utterly amazing is how peaceful and calm the place is.  Visitors even speak in hushed voices.  You could probably hear a pin drop amidst about a hundred visitors when I was there.   It was awe inspiring. I took a seat there and cried…a lot.  The architect designed the entire memorial  to eventually blend seamlessly into the environment.  They’re doing some reforesting out near the roadway and replanting in the meadows surrounding the memorial site.  It will be even more beautiful and serene in years to come.

Then, on the way home, I took Rte. 30, skipped the rest of the Turnpike and enjoyed driving over the Allegheny Mountains.  I stopped at a lookout point to admire the view, then cruised my way back down the mountain, finding lots of “next time” stopping spots.  What a fantastic day of “me” time.

Here are a few links for you to enjoy regarding the memorial.  I urge you to stop by if you’re in PA.  If you’re not, take a moment to hop off the highway and visit someplace you’ve always wanted to go.  It’s totally worth it.

National Park Service – Flight 93 Memorial 

Flight 93 Memorial Visual Tour

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_93_National_Memorial

The white marble Wall of Names positioned on the flight path

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Thank you Dan Cathy and Freedom of Speech

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Thank you, Dan Cathy for opening your mouth and bringing light to your bigoted views.  Without freedom of speech, Americans who believe in that other, obviously less important freedom called EQUAL RIGHTS would never have known to direct their business elsewhere.

And now I’ve said my peace and consider the topic closed.

Chick-Fil-A-OK… Unless You’re Gay?

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Thought for the day:

In light of the recent Chick-Fil-A brouhaha, and with several prominent cities threatening to block construction of new restaurant locations in their neighborhoods, the question of civil rights has once again come into question.

I don’t pretend to have the answer to that question, though I definitely have an opinion.  We have the Supreme Court to rule on the matter of what is a “right” and what is a “privilege” and maybe this particular discussion will go before them at some point.  However, I doubt it, as Chick-Fil-A has already sustained enough bad press and are backing off of the issue as fast as they can.

So, here’s my challenge to you:  whenever you read an article about the Chick-Fil-A issue, substitute another company of your choice, but make it good… say Citibank, or BP.  Then substitute “gay marriage” with a different cause or group of people near and dear to your heart.  And then finally, change “Christian” to any other religion or organization you choose.

Here are what excerpts from some articles might look like:

In early 2011, a Publix grocery store in California donated food to an event conducted by the Council of Conservative Citizens,  one of that state’s most outspoken groups against blacks and interracial marriage.  Advocates on both sides weighed in, and students at some universities began trying to get the chain removed from campuses.

(http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/us/gay-rights-uproar-over-chick-fil-a-widens.html)

My question is, how does that make you feel?  Do you want to patronize Publix?  Even if they don’t discriminate in their employment practices, do you feel differently about their attitude toward their employees and perhaps even customers?  Would you feel comfortable/be willing to shop there if you are black?  If you were an official in a town where a Publix was to open, would you want it there?

Again, I have no answer.  It’s just something to consider on both sides.

(For the record, I LOVE Chick-Fil-A.  I think their service is exemplary and I have had nothing but pleasant experiences whenever I’ve been there.  It would/will be really hard to give it up.  I just feel like I can’t put money into a coffer from which it might be directed toward something I feel so strongly about.  Sorry, CFA.)