Wednesday, November 30, 2005

To the marketing gurus at The Daily Show:

Jason Jones' piece, "New Jersey Slogan!" has spawned the best slogan I have heard so far, "New Jersey, you have to drive through us at some point."

The succinctness is sublime.

I strongly suggest you get a copyright going and start printing some tees. You'd make a killing!

If you don't, someone will open a cafe press account and the chinatown t-shirt guy will be selling them 3 for $10.

To all my Jerseyite family and friends: Think back, my friend, to when you were a New Yorker or when you longed to be one.

Lrudlrick's closet. If you search hard enough, you might find the Brave Little Toaster.

Some of you told me that I should just tell my husband that he really doesn’t need a 360. I’m not going to deny him the chance to play it. The deal is, sell the original Xbox and you can have the Xbox 360. This time, I added a time clause.

The past few times I didn’t do this and well, let’s just say his closet is only 40% filled with clothing. After our sidewalk sale, I tried to make selling his old toys easier for him. I piled them on a table and even attached the manuals and remote controls to each piece.

All he had to do was take a picture and post them on EBay or Craigslist.

Alas, even this was too much for him. Finally, last night he complained what an eyesore it was to have a table filled with stuff he doesn’t use anymore hanging out in our foyer.

“Yes, it is,” I remarked, that was the whole point.
“Now that we have storage in the basement, we can…”
“You will do no such thing. We're not paying rental fees so you can put your past toys in there.”
“But it won’t be an eyesore.”
“The whole point of storage is not to store the crap you don’t want anymore but to store the crap you want but you don’t know you don’t want yet. Clearly, I don’t want this crap and you don’t want this crap. Just sell it.”

Two hours later I go to the bedroom to find Lrudlrick stuffing the stuff in his closet.

“What are you doing?”
“I’m putting the stuff to sell in my closet. See if fits perfectly on my sweater shelf.”
“I’m… I’m… Whatever. It’s your closet. When you get sick of shoving all your sweaters on one shelf, you’ll do something about it. I wash my hands of the whole thing.”
“What? Do you want me to sell this stuff now?”

No, I want you to cellar these items because the appreciation rate on a VCR is phenomenal.

At least, for now, in the off chance I want to watch my college production of The Importance of Being Earnest, I know where I can find a VCR.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Daily Conversations

I have to poop but I can't yet.
have a banana.
No, I can, just not yet. After I install pcany on my.
Or maybe right now.
oh. so it's not a biological can't.

What would you do for a Klondike bar? How about an Xbox 360?

I am a grumpy New Yorker. Yes, I’m the New Yorker that grumbles bout the crowds as I past the Macy’s holiday displays.

I’m sorry, I’m just not cut out for the Black Friday crowds. We went to Herald Square on Friday because Lrudlrick doesn’t realize yet that to get an Xbox 360, you need to be on a waitlist longer than the National Kidney Association’s list. “Why didn’t you just reserve one like I told you?” “Because hunting for the elusive 360 is part of the fun.”

Friday in Midtown during the trifecta (busiest shopping day, highest gridlock alert day, most popular tourist attraction season) is not my idea of fun. However, since I was still in need of a present for my FIL and I did need a hat, I tagged along.

Usually, I can hold my own on the street. It takes a lot of chutzpah to maneuver the city streets when you’re 5’3”. However, on Friday, I needed more than bravery and sheer determination. I needed a crossbow. People go nuts when they see a sale and they will do anything, include stomp over you to get to the Cowl neck sweaters on sale at The Limited.

Even Home Depot was mauled with people. Apparently many of you, including possibly myself, will be getting tools for the holidays. We went in looking for a combo dimmer/occupancy sensor switch for our hallway. Do you know that there isn’t one? Apparently, you can have a dimmer or an occupancy sensor but you can’t have them both.

Back to my grumpiness. See, I was shoved and pushed and hovered over to the point where I screamed, for people to get the bloody hell away from me. If you were one of the unfortunate tourists that had to witness NYC hospitality at its weakest, I’m genuinely sorry. You caught me on a really bad day. I’m very hospitable. Honest.

Oh, and the icing on the cake was some guy had the nerve to hit on my while I was plowing my way through the throngs of pedestrians. Lrudlrick, the ever-vigilant husband, was oblivious to the man who felt the need to crotch his 6’4” self down to whisper the worst line I’ve heard in ages. Sadly, I was about to flirt back with him so he could pick me up and fly me over the flock of bargain shoppers and window gawkers like Patrick Swayze and Baby in Dirty Dancing.

What was the come on line? Something about being the true window display. I remember thinking, has that really worked on anyone?

Anyway, we did a search on Craigslist for an Xbox 360. Actually, Lrudlrick did. People will do anything for this thing. One ad, offered oral gratification for an Xbox 360. Now, maybe, I’m not getting it but oral gratification for a gaming console? Really? Are you that desperate?

“Listen, Lrudlrick, if you are that desperate you’d pimp out your wife for this toy, I go only as far as allowing some strange person to suck my toes and even that would require a paper bag over my head and a lot of alcohol.”

If you have any leads and accept cash for the console, then email me. Act now and you’ll get a homemade box of cookies. What? Were you hoping for the toe sucking? Otherwise, my husband will just have to wait until Valentine’s Day for this baby.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Can you say my head is inflated like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon?

I just received a call from the coordinator of the pie contest I entered last month.

She asked the person handling the sign in for my information.

She wanted to know if I could share my recipe with her. She had a slice of my pie dirty and would like to make it for Thanksgiving dessert.

Ok, it's not like Food Network called me and asked me for the recipe but heck, I'm honored she went out of her way to find my info and call me for my recipe, a month after the fact.

I've been asked for recipes before but this really got my engines running, especially as I near my prep work for Turkey Day.

You know, I'd love to have a job in a taste kitchen. Seriously, I wouldn't mind being a test cook for Reynold's Wrap or the like. Being paid to create recipes and to cook would be my cup of tea.

I'd have to put my foot down on which kitchen it would be though. I couldn't be the test cook for French's Fried Onions or Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. You can only do so much with one packaged product.

What does it take to get a job at Cook's Illustrated? I wouldn't mind being the tester of pans and bakeware. Oh, what I would do to be given moola and told to go out and buy groceries and come up with something.

I’ve lived in NYC all my life and I’ve only been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day once and that was because I was marching in it. You know how they say that New Yorker’s don’t appreciate what they have? Well, I do appreciate it and I can appreciate it at the comforts of a warm apartment/house where I get front row seats to inflated balloons and crazy volunteer wranglers struggling to get Snoopy’s nose past the Columbus Circle fountain. Instead of standing the freezing cold, guessing whether or not my nose is actually running or just feels like it’s running, I can casually enjoy the festivities with a warm cup of hot cocoa. I can bypass the cheesy lip syncing. I can fast forward the tenth band to play ‘Seven Nation Army’.

Ever since Lrudlrick called me at Chelsea Market to listen to a Tuba player blow his heart out to ‘Seven Nation Army’, I can’t listen to it without picturing this husky kid turning red faced as the cymbalists clang.

See, I froze my tail the year I played in the parade. That’s when I knew band and baton twirling were not for me. I marched in parades throughout the city in either band or baton for years. For some reason, it never struck me that I really didn’t want to be parading around in frigid temperatures until that year. I suppose that was the year I realized I had a choice.

I didn’t play any cool instruments either. It wasn’t like I got to use the cymbals or the drums. I was the girl who played the glockenspiel. A glockenspiel is an upright xylophone. It was heavy and metal so your finger tips were cold.

I began to play the glockenspiel after I realized band members got to wear pants. When I twirled baton, I was always in shimmery tights freezing my tuckus, shaking my pom-pom laden shoes. Since my only experience in a musical instrument was a piano, the band leader gave me the glockenspiel. You memorized the notes and did a little choreography and you were in.

We weren’t high caliber band material but we were a band and whenever there was a parade, we were obligated to march.

I don’t regret marching. It was an experience I suppose most kids should do. Years from now, when I’m wiping snot off my kid’s face as he/she is watching the balloons inflate, I can tell them I marched in the parade and it was fun. Then I can perpetuate the cycle and let him/her freeze their buns just so they can tell their kids they marched.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Everyone I know watches AD, so who are the TV ratings sample population?

I rarely agree with Dalton Ross or anyone else from Entertainment Weekly but I agreed with him 100% when he said,

"It's kind of depressing, actually. All people keep talking about is how dumb and predictable network sitcoms are, but when they actually go and put an original and somewhat complex comedy like “Arrested Development” or “The Office” on the air, nobody tunes in."
-- "TV Review." NY1. Dalton Ross for Entertainment Weekly & NY1. 21 Nov. 2005.

The post where I state my fondness for Craisins.

I like Thanksgiving. I like the premise. We generally forget that we should be thankful for things. Although it has turned into a holiday known for gluttony (yes, Black Friday is part of Thanksgiving, too), it’s nice to know that ‘Thanks’ hasn’t been fully removed from Thanksgiving.

During this time, things get hectic for most of us. For me, my workload increases which only makes my holiday to do time frame that much tighter. I’m actually taking it in stride this year. Dave and Judy will not be able to make volunteering so this Thursday will be an intimate dinner for two which makes my prep work less labor intensive. I’m knocking two items off my Turkey day feast and will not have to make fish stock or chop pumpkin.

I should be done with my prep work Wednesday night and still have time to bake an apple pie for dessert Thursday. I only have 4 presents left to purchase and I plan to pick out our tree next week. I’m still debating on holding a New Years Day brunch. I’d like to but I may be too pooped to prep.

Work hours have extended again. 9-7 is my schedule for the last week. I’ve been coming home too pooped to think about holidays, yet somehow, I’m slowly going through my to do list. Once I get my tree plans done, I’m going to focus on the cards so I can worry about the annual cookie bake off.

I bake cookies for everyone and Lrudlrick believes I go overboard. Personally, I think a box of homemade cookies would be a nice present for a mailman, but apparently, Lrudlrick thinks he’d be happier with something else. Since rules prohibit monetary gifts, what else do you give the postman and delivery person? I can’t be the only New Yorker that gives cookies out.

Anyway, the point of today’s entry is not to state how busy I am but how I am thankful that I am busy. I’m not sure if idle hands are the devil’s workshop but I do know that idle minds make trouble. A clear example is The Cat in the Hat. See what happens when you’re idle?

Aside from the given (Lrudlrick, my family, our health, the roof over our head), this year, I am thankful for the following:

1. Being busy
I know I’m always searching for downtime but I know I’m fortunate to have a job and personal life that keeps me running around.

2. My sight
My first 20/20 vision movie and it was Harry Potter in Imax. I know on Imax, I don’t need 20/20 vision. I haven’t missed squirting solution into a white cup searching for an invisible lens at 8 in the morning. Again, if you can get this done, get it done. You will not believe how free you feel. Unchain yourself from the lens case!

3. Dried cranberries
These things are awesome! I’m addicted. I’ve eaten a handful every day for the last few months.

4. The brilliant weather we’ve had
Ok, today my hair looks like a bird made it into a nest but until the middle of last week, we’ve had some lovely weather days. Sure we had the rain soaked weeks in October but a little rain isn’t a bad thing.
Oh, my friend’s father has a theory that global warming is shifting the seasons so that actual seasons begin a month later. So far, it’s been holding true. Let’s see how long winter lasts.

5. My UPS delivery guy, Omar
Without him, my Christmas would be even more chaotic. Omar, you the man.

6. FreshDirect
Without you, I’d be hobbling back with my granny go cart complaining about the lack of variety at my local market.

7. My Woolrich Down Pillow
The little sleep I do get is thanks to you, my friend. Thank you. I promise to keep you tucked in the duvet so P-man won’t use you as his royal mattress. Is my dog the only dog that takes pillows off the couch and bed to use as a mattress? He will sometimes wait until I lay a pillow on the ground for him to curl up.

8. Father Pat
He left for Japan in September but I’m very grateful that I had the chance to meet him and receive his guidance. He has taught me to be more patient, more compassionate and more simplistic. I know that the parish in Japan are very lucky to have man like him.

9. Snausages
Without you, giving my dog the horse pill for her allergies would be near impossible.

10. Everything good and bad that has happened in my life
I know that sounds hokey but every now and then we hit a point in our life where we realize what we have experienced has lead us to where we are now. It may not be where we want to be but we are who we are and what we make of what we have, little or a lot, is what matters. I’m at this point again.
Listen, I can watch our president doing a Midvale School for the Gifted and understand the symbolism of the locked door in US/China relations and still find it humorous and not get worked up about it. Life is good. Shit happens but tomorrow is another day.

Friday, November 18, 2005

My only winter hat makes me look like Mushmouth.

Mother Nature woke up and told Heat Miser to head South. The first snowfall hit Buffalo yesterday and thus entered Snow Miser. I don’t mind the cold really. What I abhor is the wind. In NYC, the skyscrapers cause a tunnel effect on certain blocks causing wind velocities to increase. In short, I get blown all over the place.

When wind picks up and the chill factor increases, I have a difficult time steadying myself in my heels. Last night, I regretted not wearing nylons under my trumpet skirt. I huddled at the very corner of the bus shelter praying a bus would make it’s way up Broadway quickly.

Every winter I encounter a dilemma: winter weather gear. I have more gloves than I can count. I have several scarves to keep me warm. What I don’t have is a hat. I had a hat. It was a beautiful cozy hat but I lost it. Every year, I tell myself I need to go buy a hat. Every year, winter comes and I’ve forgotten to get one.

Why don’t you just go out and buy a bloody hat? It’s not that simple. I’m a vain individual when it comes to my hat. Now, if there is a snowstorm, I have no problem putting on that one piece head scarf, I look like a ninja hat Lrudlrick bought me two winters ago for Christmas. I just can’t wear that thing under normal winter weather.

When I walk the dogs, I wear any old hat I can find. I honestly don’t care what I look like when I walk the dogs, so long as I am relatively toasty and my hands are accessible to pick up poop as needed. When I go to work though, I can’t very well walk in with a ski-mask.

I’m like the cute little knit caps that everyone is wearing now. I just can’t justify $20 for a knit cap. Banana, I don’t understand how you can justify $40 for yours. I’ve paid $25 for my spring/fall bucket hat, but that’s a bucket hat. You want me to pay $20 for what essentially is a newborn stocking cap!

Does H&M sell winter hats? Anyone know an inexpensive place to buy a simple winter hat?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. or how one blog entry can highlight my dorkattitude.

I dated this guy once who swore my mother was Yoda. He actually thought this would be a compliment to her. How do you tell your girlfriend’s mother she looks like a 1000 year old puppet with ear hair? Needless to say, we didn’t last very long.

I don’t know why Yoda popped into my head but the last few weeks, I’ve seen enough stupidity and hate that I think I need to buy a talking Yoda doll and keep it on my property.

There was the crazy lady on Trading Spouses that rebuked everything in the name of Jesus. My favorite scene in the episode was when Hippie Dad asked her how she could dislike something that God created. Then there was the neo-Nazi Olsen Twins article I read. Everyday, someone comes up with another way to hate that shocks me.

Perhaps I’m na├»ve but I’ve always had it in my mind that living beings have a predisposition towards good. For example, pit bulls aren’t born mean. I’ve known many a pit bull that was loveable, huggable and an all-around softie. Heck my second dog was a pit bull. His name was King and he was my dad’s dog. Unfortunately, my dad didn’t have the affinity towards dogs that dog owners should have. Dad was like the 8 year old who wants a puppy but doesn’t realize the commitment required of a dog owner. King was a softie that scared the crap out of my mother and all 50 lbs of me. I was and still am the runt. I was the poor schmo that had to sit on the floor Indian style and hold the plaque up that said your grade and teacher. I think I was more scared of the king size poops he produced than his actual size and lanky gait.

Now I’m not saying I walk around like Elle Woods thinking all pink stars and caribou but I’d like to think that the guy on the train next to me drooling on himself and picking his nose is generally a nice guy with synapse disorders. He’s not harassing me or any other passengers. He’s staying to his seating area and his conversation with his imaginary friend is with his inside voice.

My MIL thinks the complete opposite. Her job puts her in the line of many people who have been found guilty by a jury of their peers. She doesn’t live in New York City but she did for nearly 20+ years of her life during the crime laden era. In her mind, NYC equals a soup bowl of evil. She’s forever asking us to leave and move. Apparently crime doesn’t happen in rural towns. I’ve told her time and time again that we’re not moving to a place where our rotting corpses wouldn’t be found for months, maybe even years. If I need to hike a mile to borrow a cup of sugar from my neighbor, I’m staying put. Honestly, I’ve never ever knocked on my neighbor’s door and borrowed sugar. Their door is less than 20 paces from mine and I’ve always walked the two blocks to the bodega. I wonder what the reaction would be from my neighbor if I did knock on his/her door. “Is the bodega closed?”

Truth be told, for a person who enjoys the 20,000 people per square mile aspect of NYC, I really don’t socialize with many of them. The number drops drastically when you discount the ‘Heys’, ‘the hand wavers’ and the dry cleaner, the pizza delivery guy, the mailman and the UPS guy.

When I first moved to our neighborhood, I made a concerted effort to remember names. Honestly I did. I wrote them down with notes and everything. Then I subsequently lost that notepad and have since been doing the, “Hey……. You.”

My favorite people that I meet are the nodders. The nod says, “Hey, I know you but we don’t need to talk.” I’m fine with that except in elevators. For some reason, in my apartment elevator, I feel the need to talk to whomever is in the elevator. Maybe it’s a nervous tick. I sometimes pray the person getting in will get off on the first two floors. The shorter the trip with the stranger, the better. The first two floors allow for the nod from both parties and then a brief stare at the elevator door until their stop.

Once I pass the third floor, I have to say something. I can’t just stare at the door as if the wood paneling is all that interesting anymore. Usually it’s a pithy statement. Yesterday it was “It’s a small priority.” What the hell is a small priority? I meant a low priority but like the ass that I am, I said small priority. In my defense, the gentleman’s floor was coming and I felt I needed to finish my statement before the doors opened which would have forced him to stand between the doors until the conversation was completed. So the pressure got to me.

What was the small priority, you ask? The floor buttons in my elevator are supposed to light up when you press them but for 2 months now the light for my particular floor has been out. So when strangers go into the elevator with me, it looks like I haven’t pressed a button. Some people ask me what floor but others, mainly elderly look at me like I’m some thug who is waiting for the doors to close to mug them. Honestly, I know there are tough Asian chicks but would a 5’3” petite female mug you in Rossi stilettos? Unless we’re in a movie and I’ve handcuffed you to the bed, naked and blindfolded, you won’t need to worry.

The gentleman in the elevator inquired why I didn’t tell the super of the broken light. I could have gone on a rant about how I told the Board President but decided to answer with a short, “It’s small beans.” That’s when my synapses misfired and I said, “It’s a small priority.”

I’ve heard of deals brokered in elevators. I’m not one of those people. I’m the dorkus who loses all verbal skills and leaves the fellow rider with some pithy, unintelligible comment. That’s why I always race to be the first to say, “Have a good evening.” I don’t want to end the conversation with the awkward comment. I need to end it clean. It’s as if I hold my breath when I feel the elevator suddenly stop on the designated floor. I wonder if the anticipation is on my face. Tonight, I have to watch my face in the security mirror. Would that make me appear stranger than I already feel in an elevator?

Courtesy of Pooch Cafe by Paul Gilligan

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving, it ain't, but that's alright with me.

We’re at our half way mark for NaNoWriMo and I just want to offer encouragement to all those participating! You can do it guys! Keep up the good work. In the words of Tony Little, “You can do it!” I only have one tip for you guys, Ctrl+S. Save and save often.

Remember how I said I’d like to try to keep things simple this holiday season? I have to confess that I say this to myself every year and every year, it’s never simple. It’s not difficult. It’s just not simple. I’m not complaining though. Mothra thrives on this. In my past life I must have been a caterer or something involving large get-togethers. Hey, that’s what you don’t see often, Caterers to the S&M clientele. Maybe I should look into that. I can make spreadable tables and sexual desserts.

Well, now, I’ve got this brilliant idea to invite Dave and Judy over to share our Thanksgiving Day favorites dinner. Why? Well, they may be joining us in volunteering on Thanksgiving. Plus, I’ve had this recipe for Pumpkin Stew for years and haven’t had anyone to taste test it with. I know this is purely selfish and in no way altruistic. I know stew doesn’t sound so Thanksgiving-like but come on people, our Thanksgiving day meal isn’t historically accurate either. Unless you’re living in a forest, twigs, berries and some root vegetables is not our idea of a feast.

So I’ve been grinning from ear to ear as I flip through my notes on ingredients and wondering if I will finally attempt the Pumpkin Stew. In the words of Justin Long, “I’m super-psyched and ready!”

On the menu is Roast Turkey Breast, Garlicky Mashed Potatoes, Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Chestnut Stuffing, Homestyle Creamed Corn, Cranberries in a Jar because everyone loves that jiggly stuff, Southern-style Biscuits, Glazed Almond Carrots, Apple Pie and if Dave and Judy pop by, Pumpkin Stew. Wow, that’s a lot of orange. Maybe I’ll skip the carrots.

Since most of my morning and early afternoon will be volunteering, I’m planning to make foods I can make easily and if possible beforehand. Pretty much everything except the turkey, mashed potatoes, biscuits and pumpkin stew can be made in advance.

Oh, and I almost forgot the turkey loaf for the dogs. This is where you begin shaking your heads. Yes folks, for Thanksgiving, I also make my dogs a turkey loaf. Essentially it’s a meatloaf with turkey sans onion and garlic. Hey, until I have children to spoil, my four-legged kids are getting the affection.

Turkey loaf began when my MIL decided to bring 3 of her 4 pooches with her to Thanksgiving dinner. I swear, we should have taken a picture with all the animals that packed our 1 bedroom apartment. If I didn’t know better, I’d expect to see us on Animal Precinct next to the lady with 300 cats in a studio apartment.

To keep the dogs from begging and bothering us at the dinner table filled with goblets and fine china, I made mini-turkey loafs for the dogs which kept them occupied for a large chunk of the dinner.

Since then turkey loaf has been a semi-tradition. One year I deviated to pumpkin cookies but that didn’t keep them at bay as long as the loaf.

As you laugh and shake your head, I’ll also let you in that I buy Christmas presents for them as well. I know they could care less but everyone in the house should have a new toy. I’m sure many do this too but can you say you have paw stockings on your mantle? Yes, I’m one of those crazy people with paw stockings.

Every Christmas, the dogs get new squirrel toys. So far, I’ve been able to purchase distinct squirrels each year. This year, I found a chew squirrel that squirms around. You pull something on it’s butt and it zig zags around the floor for a few seconds.

If you could see how many squirrels they have in their toy bin, you’d laugh. After a usual romp, you can expect to see at least 3 squirrels, a tennis ball and a pig hoof in our living room floor. To Lrudlrick’s enjoyment, some squirrels are missing their squeakers. Others have eyes missing. It looks like s CSI: Central Park crime scene in my living room.

Monday, November 14, 2005

When it comes to family, sometimes you just want to make yourself a fort and hide.

When it comes to families, it’s always tough to be the person that tries to change the status quo.

This holds true with everything, from my issues with my mother and the enabling and get-together etiquette.

I’ve found that standard etiquette flies out the door when it comes to family get-togethers. If Emily Post saw how we treat each other for family functions, she’d roll over three times and flip. I honestly think people forget that politeness starts in the family.

The problem comes when relatives automatically assume that you are going to their place or they are coming to yours. Lrudlrick and a few others would say it’s downright rude. I just find it impolite. Maybe I don’t find it rude because my entire childhood was spent with relatives running in and out of my grandparent’s home like it was the local HoJo’s.

It’s not like I’m going to put a ‘no vacancy’ sign on my door for friends and family. I just find that a simple, can we camp out at your pad or is there room for one more at the table, would just be simple etiquette. Are you afraid I’ll deny you? Hello, I love to cook. The more the merrier. I grew up in an Italian/Irish neighborhood. Trust me, another mouth to feed only excites Mothra. The only time I’ll deny you is if I’m deathly ill, if I’m swamped with work and if you call me a day before. Ok, if you call me the day before and the visit isn't an emergency visit but a planned visit, I probably won't deny you but you can bet I'll call you out. Tough love, baby. I love you but didn’t your mama teach you manners?”

Instead, we get, “Jeanne and her 5 kids are coming. We’ll be at your doorstep somewhere between 4am and 11am depending on traffic” or my favorite, no call at all. One group of relatives called my mother and told her to tell me that they were hoping for dinner at my place for 10 people. That really bites my craw how a call to my mom with a declaration is supposed to be accepted as this is normal.

Maybe the problem is the open door my Grandparents had. Maybe the problem is that family realizes that you are family. It’s not like you can leave them really. You have to take them. That still doesn’t excuse the lack of social graces. It’s a shame when you treat a stranger better than your family member.

Even if there is a set place for Thanksgiving or Easter or whatever holiday event, please be polite to your guests and let them know. Don’t just spread it via chain voice messages. I’m not saying you need to make placeholders and invitations. Just let your guests feel like they are welcomed by sending them an email or giving them a personal call.

Likewise, guests, even if Aunt Janice always holds Thanksgiving at her house every year, let her know you are coming and offer to arrive early to help set up or bring something, even if it’s napkins. Also, don’t forget to thank her for starting the tradition. She obviously takes pride in holding this special event every year. Let her know her efforts are much appreciated.

For those who asked: No, we did not build the fort around P-man. P-man somehow got himself in that position.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Flintstone's chewables never gave me this many problems.

Apparently, I don’t close my eyes completely shut when I sleep. Short of having him sitting there by my bedside reminding me to close my eyes, tight, he’s put me on an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to combat the dry eye.

Personally, I’m not feeling the affects of dry eye. Well, occasionally, I’ve felt it, especially after the heat started cranking up from the radiators but on the scale of discomfort, The Dry Eye, is mildly low.

What is really causing me discomfort is the supplements. I’m not a good vitamin and mineral supplement person. It’s been a miracle that I’ve routinely taken my multivitamin. The problem is my body doesn’t understand these synthetic substances. Any multivit I’ve ever taken gets me nauseous. Now, I just take them before bed and sleep through the nausea.

Well, the omega pills are horse pills. I need to take one twice a day and I’m learning the hard way that if I don’t eat a humongous meal before I take it, I’m going to feel like I’m pregnant with the alien child from ‘V’.

For the last 5 days, I’ve been bloated. At first I thought the bloating was water retention so I lowered my salt intake. Then, not to be disgusting but, I thought I may have been backed up so I ate every fibrous veggie and grain I could get my hands on but that only complicated the issue. I was ready to go buy a pregnancy test when I called my PCP and she said it was probably the omega-3 my ophthalmologist prescribed.

Now, I’m sitting here typing, in a semi-fetal position praying that the cafeteria has enough Schweppes Ginger Ale to subdue my tummy.

L: “Does it feel like you have to poop?”

No, but I see that our number one topic of discussion has now moved away from the dogs and towards our own bodily functions.

It feels like your starving. You have these incredible hunger pangs that ride a wave. You try to feed it thinking, maybe I am hungry, but they don’t go away.

All I want to do is let out one gigantic burp and be done with this but it’s just stuck there. I feel like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory when Grandpa Joe told him to burp or he’d be chopped to smithereens. I’m desperately trying but it’s not coming out.

My doc said to make sure I eat both gelcaps during separate meals to combat the bloat. Honestly, I can barely remember to eat and this guy thinks I’m going to remember to take a pill that makes me feel like a puffer fish?

Has it helped The Dry Eye? Actually, yes it has at the cost of my stomach. I’m just thankful these pills haven’t made me gassy. Well, in regards to the southern hemisphere. I’m really considering suffering with The Dry Eye over this nauseous, bloated feeling.

People who know me know my inability to let a good burp out is cause for alarm. For a 5’3” petite Asian, I normally can burp a jock to submission. I’m not quite sure when I first burped in front of Lrudlrick but I do recall how his eyes shot out of his head. I’m not sure if it was an astonished/impressed look or an astonished/disgusted look but he still married me.

My brother and I have nearly the same burping capacity although I believe I beat him out slightly in resonance. Sorry MF, but I speak the truth. My mother on the other hand burps like a baby. What do I mean. If you pat my mother on the back she will continuously burp tiny burps. Sometimes I ask her if she needs a spit cloth.

Back to the bloat. For women, the bloating is far worse than the water retention during Aunt Flo’s visits. It’s more like a mini-cramp but in your stomach that lasts all day. Pepto, Rolaids and any other antacid you can think of cannot combat this evil beast.

I’ve tried fiber, disastrously. I went homeopathic with some old Chinese herbs and teas which only subdued the pangs temporarily. The only thing that has actually made my stomach feel better is feeding it and ginger.

Ok, I know the whole ‘feeding your stomach’ thing sounds really logical but I can’t keep eating every hour. Firstly, I’m not hungry every hour. Secondly, if I ate every hour, bloating would be the least of my worries.

Nope, ginger and any forms of ginger out there have been pacifying my ‘Mean Green Mother’. Veggie broth with ginger and leafy greens have been my staple dinner and I’ve switched from water to ginger ale but I’m not sure how long I can keep this up.

I need to find a happy medium or I’m going to drop these omega-3 supplements fast.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gift giving: What do you get for a person that doesn't need anything?

You can describe me as lethargic but I’m not. I’m just running in hibernation mode. I’m still doing my grownup chores but my mind is not directed at said chores. My mind is directed at finding a gift for the last three couples on my Christmas list. Mind you, they aren’t the last gifts I’ll need to purchase. I always forget people here and there. It’s nothing against them. I just focus more on the kids than I do the grownups around the holidays.

The last three couples I have to shop for are of course the hardest: My mother and step-father, My FIL and step-MIL and my retired Aunt and Uncle.

I’ve gone through movie tickets, blockbuster certificates, restaurant certificates, electronics and gift baskets. This is my dilemma. I hate giving gifts that serve no purpose. These people have accumulated enough years on this earth to amass plenty of stuff. I really don’t want to add to their collection of stuff. I’d like to give them something they can use or is beneficial to them.

I can split them up to individual presents for each member in a couple but it gets tricky when you really don’t know the other half. It’s getting to the point where I’m seriously thinking about just paying a month’s cable bill for each couple because, that’s the only thing they probably could truly use.

All three couples stay home. They don’t go out often. Believe you, I’ve tried prodding some of them out but it’s painful to watch them. It’s as if I’m forcing them to walk on hot coals. They all watch television. They all watch movies. Ok, my mother says she watches them but she’s isn’t. Unless it’s a Lifetime-battered-chick-flick, her attention span leaves to her altered state.

So I thought, hey, maybe their cable company has some gift certificate program for pay-per-view programs. That way the men can watch pay-per-view sports, which all three love and the couples together can watch pay-per-view movies.

Do you think their cable company has such a plan? Heck no. Ok, it was a far-fetch idea but I think a lot of people would get that as a gift for their elderly or home-bound family/friends. The only suggestion the cable company had was for me to pay their bill in advance. Personally, I might do it for my mother but it’s just a little too creepy for my in-laws. Honestly, if someone can go off the street, pretend to pay my bill at a cable company and obtain my address and account number, I’d be really freaked out.

So I’ve been doing that catalog flipping, window browsing thing that you do when you can’t figure out what to get for a person.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Tis' the season of PG's content. Rev your engines 'cause PG's in the zone.

I believe October, November, December and January are prime months for my OCD.

Like clockwork, Mothra pokes her way out and I have to start thinking about my next new holiday project. Last year, I burnt my fingers making homemade Christmas cards. This year, I still plan to make my homemade cards but I’m going to try to avoid the use of a heating element. I’m also toning down the cookie train and only making two types of treats.

This year, I’m starting early. I’m hoping to get all my shopping done before Turkey Day.

Now, I know I should keep things focused. For example, I should worry more about Thanksgiving than Christmas. Well, this year, it’s all about keeping things small. Thanksgiving dinner will be an intimate dinner with my husband. My MIL won’t be coming down and my FIL doesn’t come over. I’m not inviting my mother because she’s asked for Christmas dinner early this year. So I’ve decided to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day at a kitchen and then come home and make a small Thanksgiving Day favorites meal for Lrudlrick and myself. Turkey Day favorites will be a meal that consists of all of our favorites and none of the pre-requisite guest eats. In my household that means, plenty of mashed potatoes and creamed corn. I swear this will be our meal when we’re 85, sans teeth and living in a nursing home. I’m also making my favorites sweet potatoes and stuffing. Yes, I see the mushy food pattern.

Since it’s just the two of us, I’m going to just get a turkey breast. Can someone tell me why the hell turkey breast is so expensive? Honestly, it makes me want to just buy an entire bird and cook it. The cheapest I found a breast was $35.00! If you live in the area and know a good place to find a cheap turkey breast, email me!

My preliminary countdown has been drawn up. The first weekend after Turkey Day is tree trimming. The following weekend is cookie baking and card making. Holiday Christmas Dinner for mom comes next and then Christmas at Pantrygirl. Of course, in between, we’ve got our holiday train o’ visits where we load our car up and trek to family and friends.

My husband is sort of a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy. I’ve learned to deal with this but come Christmas time, I’m on total Mothra mode. As you can see from above, there is a method to my madness.

I even thought of having an after holiday get together for some friends and co-workers but after some recent events, I’m waning on the idea. I’m discovering I’m getting to a point in my life where a casual dinner party is my speed. You know that feeling you get at a club when you realize, this is so not for me anymore? That feeling carries around with you with other things in your life. Trust me. The closest I think I’ll get to convicing myself a get-together for friends and co-workers is a good idea is making it a New Year’s Day brunch/re-gifting party.

My final feast will come at the end of January when Chinese New Years rolls around. Thankfully, I don’t do much for this event. I usually buy a chicken, a few fish, a case of oranges and any candy with a red label and call it a day. Most of the dinner is covered by my mother. It’s not that I don’t like CNY. I do, I’m just so exhausted from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years that the idea of making a meal where everything including the count of ingredients is symbolic makes me want to crawl into a fetal position.

So now that I’ve written my draft schedule, the fun part begins, the details. Mothra has now officially entered the body of Pantrygirl and she’s taking over until February. Beware anyone who dares to impede her schedule and planning. Lrudlrick, be full warned.

On a side note:
We casually walked up the West Village to Midtown on Sunday and I think I sprained my ankle. I swear to the shoe Gods I cannot for the life of me wear sneakers without killing myself. Granted it was the ankle I sprained twice while ice skating. I was going through some weird Kristi Yamaguchi phase in high school and busted my ankle royally. Of course, it didn't help some husky kid ran right into my foot after I collapsed.
Meanwhile, NYC Marathon runners are walking past me wrapped in aluminum. These people ran 26 miles and I freakin' hurt myself walking. I'm talking leisurely walking too. I wasn't power walking. I wasn't jogging. I was freaking walking.
Congrats everyone who ran! Way to go!

I'm doing the pigeon.

You scored 77% Organization, 55% abstract, and 61% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are very organized, both concrete and abstract, and both introverted and extroverted.

Here is why are you Bert.

You are both very organized. You almost always know where your belongings are and you prefer things neat. You may even enjoy cleaning and find it therapeutic. Bert is a big neat freak and gets quite annoyed when Ernie makes a big mess.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Bert is probably a bit more concrete in his bottlecap collecting addiction and his love of the weather. He does show his abstract side when he sings and performs his "Doin' The Pidgeon" song. You have a good balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits of course.

You are both somewhat introverted. Bert is probably more introverted, because he spends most of his time either with Ernie or alone. Still he has no problem being around other people in his role as chairman of "The National Association of 'W' Lovers." Like Bert, you probably like to have some time to yourself, but you do appreciate spending time with your friends, and you aren't scared of social situations.

The other possible characters are
Oscar the Grouch
Big Bird
Kermit the Frog
Cookie Monster
Guy Smiley
The Count

If you enjoyed this test, I would love the feedback! Also if you want to tell me your favorite Sesame Street character, I can total them up and post them here. Perhaps your choice will win!

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 95% on Organization

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 57% on concrete-abstra

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 53% on intro-extrovert
Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Friday, November 04, 2005

Why doesn't trading spaces ever do a subway car episode?

I know I’m an uber-dork but seriously, you need to go see Chicken Little tonight. I’ve been waiting for this movie for so long. Yes, I know it’s a cartoon. I don’t care. I’m a kid at heart and yes, for those interested, I am going to the 3-D viewing because I want the glasses.

With that said, who has bought their Potter tickets? Raise your hands. You sir/miss/madam are just as dorky as I am. Feel free to lounge at pg’s anytime.

Many called me about the Trading Spouses episode. Some scolded me. Everything about the episode sucked me into its vortex. As penance, I relegated myself to only Tivo’d programs for the rest of the week. By the way, am I the only one having recording issues with their DVR after Daylight Savings Time? I’m not sure if I can stay away from next week’s concluding episode though. According to the previews, she really blows a gasket.

This weekend is the marathon. I give everyone who runs a marathon, to completion or not, much credit. The closest I’ve come to any physical activity along the caliber of a marathon was a giant Filene’s Basement sale in Boston. I worked up a sweat that no spinning class can muster fighting those women for a Jones New York suit.

When I was a kid I thought entering a Triathlon would be fun. Seriously, I thought it would be fun. Come on, swimming and biking are tons of fun. Of course, it didn’t cross my mind that my baby blue kick board and my pink bicycle with tassels and wicker basket weren’t proper equipment for the type of racing the Iron Men and Women were using.

I used to participate in a lot of walk-a-thons. They were fun and you got a ton of freebies. Nowadays, I can barely get out of bed without creaking. Ok, I’m exaggerating a little but there have been days, where a creak or two have snuck in.

When you speak to a New Yorker about the marathon, I guarantee you someone in the bunch will mention the traffic. Actually, if you mention any event in New York City to a New Yorker, someone will mention the traffic. I was stuck waiting for a bus for 25 minutes a few days ago and the first thing out of the bus driver’s mouth as he let us on board was, “You can thank the Prince of Wales for the delay.”

A few years back the taxis held a walkout or a driveout. I’m not sure what they call it. All night the news focused on the disastrous effects of having no taxis in the city. You’d swear the sky was falling by the coverage. If you believed what they said you’d think the city would grind to a halt. What people forget is that New Yorkers are resilient folks.

The day was the best commute day of my entire life in NYC. The best day, folks. I was able to commute cross town faster than any other day in my life. I think for once everyone arrived to their meetings on time, some even early. I honestly think I saw more smiles on my fellow pedestrian’s faces than on any given day.

Now, I’m not against taxis. I use them all the time and believe they should make a decent living providing us transportation alternatives. Let’s start by lowering the price of the medallions not tacking on additional fees like the new fuel surcharge.

Sunday, I look forward to taking the train down to the Village. I’m sure that the MTA, the kind hearted souls that they are, will suspend any weekend constructions, to allow for full service on my line. There will be no need for me to wait for 20 minutes for a train nor will I have to be subjected to altered routes or bypasses.

Hey MTA, forget the holiday discount and increase the service and cleanliness of some of the stations. I’m tired of holding my breathe in some of the stations. Oh, and how about disinfecting some of the scary suspect looking train cars. I’m tired of seeing greasy forehead marks on the glass partitions.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Suddenly my co-workers toenail cutting habits is the least of my worries.

I’m not a reality tv person. I watched the first episode of The Apprentice because it dealt with project management but that’s the extent of my reality tv viewing. Last night, however, in a lull between watching all my taped programs, I switched to Fox’s Trading Spouses. Have you seen this show? Apparently, people get paid to trade families for a limited amount of time. I’m not sure how long or what the requirements are but from the 30 minutes I saw last night, they pair you up with a polar opposite for sensationalism.

Last night, the wife swap consisted of a self righteous Louisianan and a 40-something, mid-life crisis lady. I’d say the 40-something lady was a hippie or new age but honestly, her husband was more new age than she. She just seemed in a transitional stage in her life. She seemed more apprehensive to declare her beliefs which only lead me to believe she’s still trying to hash out what she does believe in.

The Louisianan lady clearly has had some hardships and a lack of verbal communication skills. Both women seemed apprehensive to each other’s lifestyles. Neither really tried to open up. The only person I saw making a real effort was the Hippie father who politely said grace at mealtime.

Personally, I really didn’t find anything he did as paganistic as the Louisianan would have you believe. He even held a summer solstice party which in my opinion looked like a lot of fun. They weren’t killing chickens or burning effigies. They simply looked like they were celebrating a wonderful summer night with family and friends.

The Louisianan woman totally wigged out and apparently at one point puked on their lawn. Instead of expressing her dislike of their lifestyle all she did was curse and rant to the camera. She criticized and judged them immediately.

Fear seemed to have played a big part in her tantrums. Now, I’m not an authority on Christianity, but didn’t Jesus say, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself?” What gives you the right to determine whether a person is saved or not? Isn’t that a seven deadly sin? Isn’t tolerance and compassion a part of the Christian lifestyle?

As for the ‘new age’ mom, she just seemed to be more afraid of people judging her that she closed herself off from allowing others to get to know her. I’ll give credit to the Louisianan’s oldest daughter who made the good faith effort to learn about ‘new age’ mom’s hypnotherapy. For me, the Hippie chick should have been more open to their daily lives. Sure, Louisianan’s mother’s friends were all kinds of evil to her but grow a backbone lady. Stick up for what you believe in. So what if they hate you. No matter what you do, they’ll continue their indignation towards you so you might as well just be you and screw them.

Speaking of backbone, the Louisianan’s husband needs to be a little more authoritative. The previews of next week’s conclusive episode had him standing there with his children, all with their mouths agape at their mother’s mental breakdown. Holy moley! My husband even asked me to rewind that outburst of hysterics. Her rant consisted of references to heathens, missing bibles and devils. I was waiting to see a cleansing ritual.

After being sucked into the vortex of Trading Spouses, I read about twins that are white nationalist pop singers. Holy moley! What the heck is going on? I first thought this was a Mel Brooks joke but it’s real.

Maybe I’m just in shock because I live in a metropolitan city whose residents within a two block radius holds a representative from each ethnicity known to man. I just find it incredibly outrageous to see this kind of intolerance nowadays. We’re so much more connected to each other. Years ago our lives revolved around our own little world. Now with the internet and 24 hour news, we're that much closer to each other. Come on people. Stop being ostriches and stick your head out from the dirt long enough to realize it’s one bloody world we live in.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

This one is for all you New Yorkers...

I woke up this morning to Al Sharpton dancing on my screen. Al Sharpton. Dancing. On my television.

Freddie. Freddie. Freddie. Is this your hat trick?

Here’s my advice. Start selling Dancing Sharpton dolls now. They’ll be a novelty hit this Christmas. The monies can be put in a Ferrer2009 fund.

Mayor Bloomberg, my dog has peed on your sign several times already and it’s not because he doesn’t like you. He’s pretty happy about the quality of life for a pooch an especially spoiled one at that in NYC. It’s just that you’ve covered every pole within the radius of his walkzone.

Your Honor, we get it. You have money. Lots of money. I can't even IM anyone without a giant VOTE BLOOMBERG on my Instant Messenger main screen blaring back at me. Word has it you also have a ‘Text Mike’ campaign.

Really? Text you? Honestly, you haven’t responded to my letter and you think I can fall for your ‘text me’ line?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me… Damn, I can’t even say it anymore without thinking about Bush butchering it.

Now, I'm going to have to endure endless chain mails of Sharpton doing the salsa. It's like the new hamster dance. You know the song. You know what's going to happen yet you can't help watch.

By the way, if you do market Dancing Sharpton, Mr. Ferrer, I want a cut.

Words to Live By

Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." -- Mk6:4

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