Sunday, May 31, 2009

How do I find out if he's 'available'?

Yesterday Daddy-O threatened to fix me up with the science teacher at school. Science Teacher is nice guy and a super cutie patootie- but he's 24 years old!!! He's adorable in that nerdy smart way, but he's 24 years old!!!!!! He's a GREAT teacher and the kids love him and I admire and respect him for his classroom approach, but he's 24 years old!!!! I love to talk with him because he is smart and animated and is witty, but he's 24 years old!!!!! He still lives with old college roommates, and he's 24 years old!!! Did I mention that he's 13 years younger than I am? really- I mean, I could be his sexy awesome aunt! And, theoretically, I could be his mother if I would've been a super slutty 13 year old girl and his father would've been a child molesting perv.

Daddy-O also threatened to try and set me up with a gym teacher too. This guy has a smokin' hot physique and is more my age but this guy has "athlete" written all over him. He looks like one giant muscle with a head. Yes, he always smiles at me in the hallway. Yes, he always speaks and says hello. BUT, in the real world, men who LOOK like him do not date women who look ME- he's build like a body builder and I'm build like a snowman. Yes, I realize I 'm in shape, ROUND is a shape, but he doesn't look that 'round' would be his favorite shape. I told Daddy-O I would fix him up with one of local "scary sisters" if he even said a word to the gym teacher. The humiliation that would be- the jock and the fat girl- suffering through a date for her dad, even if she has adorable shoes, great skin, cute freckles, an adorable Audrey haircut, and can carry on scintillating conversation. OMG- no thank you!

I keep telling him I'm just not interested right now, that I LIKE being alone and that I'm just not date-able. I mean, I'm really not. Even the guy who seems like the perfect match (AIISam) seems to not see it or does seem to see that flaw. I'm not a woman men like as a girlfriend. Other than married men- oh yes, ItalianSam, AlaskaSam, KJSam= they all think I'm just beautiful and great and blah blah blah but they all also have WIVES! And gay men since CowboySam and PoetSam now have "boyfriends" and yes I dated them YEARS ago but still... it's on the track record- I'm not girlfriend material except for married and gay men. I would say that being alone is a good option, eh?

But in the interest of self preservation, I'm thinking maybe I should find my own single man or Daddy-O will have me on a pity date with the gym teacher or feeling like a perv on a date with the science teacher. So other than these 2 men, I know one more single guy who has potential to be date-able. I think. He's the head librarian at the local public library. He seems nice and smart, the few times we've spoken. He seems kind, has a good smile, and isn't bad looking. We're about the same age. He seems to come out of his office to say hello when I'm there, or he seems to gravitate to the circulation desk to chat as I check out my books, even if he was making a beeline to his office and then just suddenly needs the copier... So, I know he's not married, and the word on the street is that he is straight. BUT-- that's where the word seems to stop.

No one knows much else about his social life because he's quiet, he works lots and he doesn't talk about his personal life at work. He's the only man in the building and he is the boss. His employees don't think he's dating and they are pretty sure he's not gay. So how do I find out if he's available? A good friend of mine works at the library and she's trying to find out but to no avail. (She also said it will provide her and the other library employees hours of entertainment if he and I should date because he's as quiet as I am energetic, but she says we do have stuff in common) I have no idea, other than to just ask him, which then takes away the art of subtlety, my element of surprise and removes all discretion- and can make me look like a complete dolt if he does have a 'significant other'.

An aside: I know this has nothing to do with anything, hence the term an 'aside.' But he has a weird name. It's an old family name, and rather snotty sounding, ending with him being the third. My ex husband, Sperm Donor Asshat the II, was a number name and since him I've ALWAYS stayed away from guys with a number after their name...

So, in an effort at not trying to sound like a junior high girl and failing miserably, how in the world do I find out if this guy has a girlfriend or not? No one seems to know!

And I'm not leaving him a note in his locker after school either,

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I'm not sure telemarketing is a good job for me...

I've been doing telemarketing now for about a month and I'm not sure I'm very good at it. I speak slowly, I try to sound enthusiastic and excited. I speak slowly and enunciate. I'm not pushy or obnoxious- and I'm always polite to fault when I make these calls. I don't read from a script so I try and make a bit of small talk and sound like a human, rather than a drone checking names off a list.

First, I have to say, that I feel most people know if they want insurance or not. If they say no, I'm not super happy about having to go for a second or even a third no. Some people are polite yet emphatic with their "no" and I just don't want to push it and make it ugly, so I guess I'm not aggressive enough.

I do have a hook where I tell people my company has recently adjusted their rates in my area and that in this economy anything to save a few dollars is a good thing. Lots of people do pause for a moment or two and think that over- and a few will say okay and let me take their info so an agent can call back with the quote. But most of the time, people just say no.

What happens after the "no" is interesting. I always try and thank people for their time. Most of the time a typical phone calls goes: people answer the phone, listen to my spiel, say no thanks, I thank them for their time and we both hang up after good-byes. But I am stunned at the amount of people who do several things:

  • the people who answer, know it's telemarketing and then say I have the wrong number, even after they've answered to their own name
  • the people who say whomever I am seeking isn't home but I know it's them
  • the people who hear me say who I am and where I'm calling from and hang up on me without saying anything other than "hello"
  • the people who let me get my name and company out and hang up on me
  • the people who say "I'm not interested" and hang up on me immediately
  • the people who say they are interested and for me to call back and then never answer the phone upon the return calls
  • the people who say they want an auto quote and then tell me they have 2 DUI's knowing full well in my state they can't get insurance

Then my favorites are the people who swear at me. I was officially called a "bitch" today for the first time. I also appreciate the lady who threatened to have me arrested because I called her and her name is on the "Do not call" list- and the list is supposed to be checked against it but I guess she slipped through the cracks. There was the lady who told me to get a "real" job. Oh and the lady who told me she felt sorry for me and told me my boss was Evil for making me be a telemarketer.

I've had a few goofy things happen- I called one woman who was in a nursing home. My boss told me that has never happened to him before and it would never happen to me again- that was so rare. Until I called another number a week later and got another nursing home patient. It's good to know that never is only a week long. I've called a few "mentally handicapped" adults who live on their own but tell me their care taker does their bills and they don't take care of insurance but they have a nice doggie now. Hmmmmmmm... I called the guy's widow who just died and said she wished I would've called a week ago because he didn't have life insurance- OUCH.

On the up side, I can say that when people say no to me, I don't take is personally. This has nothing to do with me as a human so at least I have that on my side. It's discouraging yes, but I know to not take is personally. And when I call about 75 numbers a day, leave about 30 voice mails, reach about 15 people and all the rest are disconnects, it's really not so horrible, I guess.

I'll keep plugging away at this but I have a feeling my career as a telemarketer is going to be short lived. And I'm not sure that's the end of the world...

Still dialing,

Friday, May 29, 2009

I love Starbucks.

There. I said it. Okay, so it wasn't really a secret but I felt the need to stand up and announce my affinity for big business. ONE big business- I promise you won't hear me singing the praises of Wally World any time soon.

I love Starbucks coffee and their stores. I just do. I like the flavor of the coffee and you all know I love a Venti Peppermint Mocha with whip more than sex... (and if you thought I was going to say shoes, you should be smacked!) I love the way the store smells. I like that I can go in a Starbucks in LA, NYC, Chicago, or Dublin and my favourite drink will taste the same. I like the atmosphere, the friendly and knowledgeable employees, the pairings, the music and their products. I just do.

I have a problem when everyone gets bent out of shape over Starbucks and gets pissy that they forced small mom and pop coffee shops to close. You know what? That's the world of business, right? And through my research (see, we can sometimes learn something here at "Shoes/purses"; it's not always pink cosmos and men) I've found that Starbucks popularized the coffee house again and mom and pop shops popped up afterward and couldn't compete. In rare situations was the small owned coffee shop there first- they often came in later and tried to compete and then lost. It's unfortunate, but I hate the blame always gets placed on Starbucks.

I'm also sick of people complaining about the cost of a Starbucks beverage. Attention all whiners- don't fucking drink there coffee if you don't like the price! No one is holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing folks into a Starbucks chain, at least not that I've ever seen. There are plenty of places around to still get a cup of coffee under a dollar- take your cheap ass over there, is what I want to scream from the roof tops.

It really galls me when people tell me I should drink mochas from McDonalds- that I wouldn't know the difference between MickyDs coffee and Starbucks. Hello- duh- yes I would. And actually, I really love McDonald's regular premium roast black coffee and drink it often, but when it comes to speciality drinks, I just prefer the taste of my Starbucks.

When I lived in the Wild West I was a three hour drive to the nearest Starbucks and I missed if, craved it and just flat was bitchy about not having it. But I did survive. Now that I'm back in Civilization, I adore the 20 minute drive to Starbucks so I can treat myself. I don't go often but I go when I can afford it. And I don't care if people hate Starbucks or don't like it- that's fine. But I don't ridicule people who drink other coffee or make their own (my darling Redneck Nerdboy is a coffee lover but Starbucks isn't his favorite but he and I don't get in pissing matches over our java disagreements!) so I wish the Anti- Starbuck-ers would get off my back and shut their mouths.

I love Starbucks so much that I also indulged in January and got the gold star card so I get a discount (10%) each time I go there. And if I buy a bag of beans I get a free drink of my choice- I'll get a freebie on my birthday. Oh, and yeah, the $25 I paid for the card has already paid for it's self.

So, now that I have that off my chest, maybe I should go get my daily dose of caffeine to settle me down?

Coffee anyone?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scoop-tacular Attitude

Even though I've always had some other full time job- education, social work, non profit- I've usually kept a part time job in food service, often because my full time job paid peanuts and I needed to make ends meet. I've worked in coffee houses, tended bar, and worked in restaurants. But I have to say that working in the ice cream parlor is by far the best food industry job I've had.

Oh the money was so much better in waiting tables and tending bar because of the tips, but with those-- people were crabby or drunk and hard to handle. Folks would be miserable and complain about everything. Even if Martha Stewart herself prepared the food and served it on gold plates, some folks would find something to complain about. Kids would scream- and smear crackers over everything. People would cry in their beers. It was usually pretty miserable, most of the time. The coffee houses were okay, but often people were cranky, waiting for their coffee, not having had their caffeine yet, already frustrated with traffic or upset with having to go to work at all. Tips were sparse. And it wasn't my fault you had to be at work at 8 am and came in at 7:40 am and were pissed that you had to wait in line behind 122 other people who also had to be at work at 8 am!

But working in the ice cream parlor is a different sort of food service. It's... wait for it... HAPPY! People are happy when they come in to get ice cream, generally speaking. Oh there's the occasional person who gets bummed that we don't have their very favourite but are quite content with their second fav. Once or twice someone is shocked at a price, but we have 2 kinds of hard ice cream- regular Atz flavors and then gourmet, and the gourmet costs more. But what floors me, is that these cases are few and far between and people are just generally happy when they come in.

And not only are customers happy and kind, so are my fellow employees! I've worked primarily with the same two women and they are just happy workers who love their jobs. Other employees have come in as customers, or I've worked with them briefly as the shift changes, and they too have been happy. And they were teenagers. They said they like coming to work there, they like their jobs! Happy teenagers?!? Wow- what a phenomenon.

I also love the fact that most people usually don't stay and eat their ice cream in the dining area- most people order and then leave. People are nice and excited. Even the grumpiest lady, with the biggest frown on her face when she orders, ends up with a smile when presented with her cone. It's a transformation. Kids come in and oooo and ahhhh over the 53 flavors- and then jump up and down when they get their cones, and everyone loves our super sundaes or our HUGE banana splits. People are in good humor to us staff members and to each other. It's nice to see everyone being nice. As Hawkeye Pierce said in M*A*S*H: "It's nice to be nice to the nice!" I wish I would've known about this part of the idealized food service industry earlier!

Hmmmmmmmmm, I wonder what they're really putting in the ice cream? Doesn't matter to me as long as everyone stays happy! So, while I was bummed that I still hadn't found a full time professional position, I have to say I'm at least enjoying the wonderful world of scooping ice cream for the masses!

Please pass the chocolate cherry amaretto,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Summer Slut Season Starts

I keep reveling in the spring and summer season since I've been back here in Civilization. The Wild West had 2 seasons: hot and super freaking cold. I've loved being here again to see the flowers bloom and the grass green up. I've loved watching the buds on the trees turn to leaves- I just love having trees near again! It's great to see people out walking their dogs, babies in strollers, the sound of lawn mowers. The huge displays of flowers and potting soil and seeds are in every store.

And then there are the summer sluts. They are a phenomena that I didn't miss in the Wild West. Here's what I mean.

There are the women who are out walking the streets, all over town, at all times of day and night- and I don't mean "street walkers" as in hookers, but for all I know, they could be. These are the women who wear shorts that are waaaaaaaaaaay to short, their asses hanging out the back. I don't care how skinny you are, ass out the bottom of shorts is not attractive, unless you're the centerfold for Playboy- and then it's still dubious and still looks tacky- not to mention there are not very many centerfolds walking around MY town. Then there the women who should not let their asses hang out of ANY-thing, let alone shorts. Fat women should not wear Daisy Dukes, should not ever wear anything remotely short- but these women here, in Summer Slut season do. And because they are walking everywhere, showing off their- whatever- the shorts ride up their crotch and well... you know how distasteful that whole look simply is. Need I really say more?

They also wear tank tops without bras. The tank top style varies, of course, some donning the wife beater style, others choosing the spaghetti strapped cami style, but no matter what, none of them wear bras. The skinny tiny women without bras are okay, I would suppose, but I think it's in poor taste, but that could just be my upbringing. But the fat women who do without bras, whose tits are sagging to their waists, or whose boobs roll to the sides of their bodies and get stuck under their arms- these women NEED bras. I swear it should be a law! I am a plus sized woman and I know I should wear a bra for my boobs to look good. A nice demi cup will lift and separate, and my knockers look quite hot in a cami with a bra, if I do say so myself. I have no idea why anyone in their right mind would think sagging knockers in a dirty wife beater looks good and then leave the house. And did I mention that these tank tops are often "belly tops" or shirts that purposely expose the midriff? Some so short that you see the bottom of a naked boob hanging out. And I would like to say that exposing stretch marks is just nasty!

Most of them come in 2 colors: ULTRA tan and whale belly white. There seems to be no in between. These women look like they are one step away from skin cancer, never having heard of the term ultra violet rays or skin damage. They resemble leather. Or the others who never let a sun ray touch their skin and they are as white as white can be, other than the screaming red stretch mark lines, giving a frightening zebra appearance..

These summer sluts not only dress the part, they, for some reason, are always pushing a stroller with a dirty baby or toddler in it. The kid is usually just wearing a diaper, drinking RC Cola out of a baby bottle and the mommies call the dirty little darlings "bubby" or "sissy." These kids are either half asleep or look like they're in a drugged haze- probably a sugar coma coming on from the baby bottle soda pop and being out in the sunshine with no clothes on, or any respite from the heat. And other than telling the kid to "shut up" at top volume or refilling the soda supply, there isn't usually any interaction between the kid in the stroller and the summer slut who pushes it.

Another accessory of the summer slut is usually a BFF dressed just the same, sans baby stroller, but usually a teenage girl who is a neighbor or a niece or sister. She is there to deal with the baby in the stroller, to be a hanger on-er, to nod her head yes to everything said by the head Summer Slut. And for some reason, these women, or girls really, are usually eating suckers, like lollipops. There is also usually a guy- it can be a teenage boy or a man, wearing cut off jeans, covered in tattoos, has a mullet and is not wearing a shirt, but carrying the tee over his shoulder, or better yet, tied around his hair like a "do rag."

The stroller pusher, or the head summer slut, and the guy usually ignore each other or they trade insults, which leads to a screaming match, complete with foul language and name calling, right on the sidewalk of anywhere they happen to be. He usually walks away and she stands screaming at him for blocks while the "BBF" tries to console her and they are agree he's a "worthless bastard." (Secretly I agree too- why is he walking all over town with you all day long rather than working, I want to know?)

These summer sluts are everywhere. If you start driving around town at 10am and then again at 4pm they are still out, pushing the baby and still smoking cigarettes, wearing the same skanky outfits. Oh, did I not mention the smokes? Of course, they have ciggies and drag on them all day. They also don't just circle one area of town or around the block over and over again- you can see them everywhere, from the river to the library to neighborhoods way on the north side of town. They cat call to passing cars and are often found in the middle of the street, talking to a stopped junker car, oblivious to the line of traffic waiting for her to get her baby back on the sidewalk and for the piece -o-crap-mobile to move on.

They finally get back to their walking, their carousing, their smoking, their caterwauling, their stroller pushing, their Mountain Dew swigging.

Ah, the sounds and sights of summer in the Midwest...

Bra wearing,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bloody Hell- where are the oranges?

Ever since I went to Ireland, I've been craving Blood Oranges. I want to point out that has nothing to do with AIISam other than the fact that he turned me on to this delectable fruit. I have, for years, craved citrus all year long. And it's terrible in the winter time; I wake up in the middle of the night dying for a huge glass of OJ. I've been like this forever, so wanting citrus is nothing new-- but of late all I really, really, REALLY want are blood oranges.

For those of you who don't know, blood oranges are native to Italy, Spain, and Sicily. Many say that the orange gets its blood red coloring and ultra sweetness because of the volcanic soil they are grown in. Blood oranges may not sound very appealing, but they are a more sweet orange than others and their flesh may be a deep red color, giving it a sanguine macabre name, but a delicious taste. Blood oranges are so sweet, that often their rind is sweet and is best used when a recipe calls for orange zest.

There are three kinds of blood oranges, but they are all sweet and have red flesh- they just vary in juiciness, shape, and redness: the Moro, the Sanguinelli, and the Tarroco.

Since I've wanted blood oranges, each time I go in the supermarket or grocery store, I go on a hunt in the produce section to find the citrus that makes me want to commit murder. And store after store leaves me empty handed, though no carnage in my wake- yet!

I've Googled Blood Oranges and learned that a few varieties have made it to USA growth- in Florida, California, Texas, and New Mexico. But I haven't found them here in the Midwest to actually eat! Most grocers and clerks haven't even heard of such a fruit.

Over the holiday weekend, I went in an organic whole foods place and lo and behold- the produce manager heard of Blood Oranges. She also told me I missed their season- they are "in season" from October to march. DRAT! Double DRAT! She could offer me organic Blood Orange juice for $4.99 a pint. She said that unless they got an odd shipment of the bloody fruit from one of the southern states I was out of luck at her establishment until October.

At least I know they exist in the USA, or for that matter, exist at all and wasn't a figment of my bloody imagination, and a product of craving citrus and reading too many murder mysteries!

Daddy-O is heading to Texas next week (and will be gone most of the summer, I believe) and I told him if he found Blood Oranges, he better bring a dozen or so back in his carry on bag! Pluh-eeze!

Murderously yours,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Whoopin' it up in the Windy City (Chicago Part 3- the end)

I know, I've been such a slacker this last week- and I didn't even post yesterday; I feel like such a rebel and a rule breaker for that. And I still haven't told the ending to the Chicago trip--Okay, to finally wrap up the last of the Windy City details-- does anyone remember I went there last weekend and promised details? Yeah. I didn't think so.

Other than hanging with the most cool Farrago, whom I have dubbed the Host with Most, and having a great time singing karaoke with some ultra-fun folks, I have very scant details left of my adventures in the Windy City. I also know I've missed being in a city and I think living and working in Chicago would be GREAT. I love the sky line, the crowds, the stuff to do, the tourist sights, the river right down the centre of town, the Miracle Mile, the places to eat. I LOVE it all!

I did have a Strangers on the Train moment, only I was on a bus and we didn't plot to kill each others' respective spouses... Anyway, Farrago and I were riding the bus and I'm looking at the people and just watching the world go by. I had spent the day walking around the city so it was nice to just sit and relax a spell. I snagged a seat, and Farrago parked his keister next to me, and there was a handsome gentleman sitting near me who kept smiling at me. I smiled back. There he smiled again. And I returned the smile. This went on for several blocks and he mouthed "hello beautiful" at me and I smiled and mouthed "hello" back. Then he inclined his head toward Farrago and gave me a questioning look. I had totally forgotten I was with Farrago and that could be construed as having him as partner/ BF/ mate/ romantic something or other. I must have made a funny face as I vehemently shook my head no because he laughed aloud and winked. Then we continued to smile at each other. Finally, we hit our stop and I followed Farrago off the bus and the man grabbed my hand and squeezed and said "goodbye" and I waved at him as we left. Now how cool was that?

Until I heard Farrago accusing me of ruining his mojo. Apparently he was making hot and heavy eye contact with the young buxom Blondie on the bus and when she gave him pointed eye contact about me and he shook it off, she ignored him. So we had simultaneous flirtations on the bus. Though Farrago did ask me a pointed question after our dis-embarkation: if he hadn't been there, what would I have done, or more to the point, other than flirty eye contact, what would've happened? I told him that I personally would've stayed on the bus a few more stops, got a name a number for coffee, and enjoyed the walk back to my destination knowing I might have a date. Ummm... he wasn't as optimistic- he would've just gotten off the bus and kicked himself- I offered to kick him but he said no. Ah, different strokes for different folks.

We also visited Chinatown. I was just a little disappointed because it was such a small area of the city, only a few blocks. I thought it would be bigger like in San Fran or NYC. The food looked great and had we went at a different time of day, Chinese food would've been dinner, for sure! It was still pretty neat to see, and I loved going in the bakeries which had Chinese pastries as well European style yummies. I managed to stay strong and not get baked goods (Farrago's doing this diet and he was setting a good example) but I did splurge and get a mango smoothie, that was to die for. There was none of that shitty artificial mango flavored powdery shit, but real, fresh mango and milk and just all natural goodness. BONUS!

We also hit Navy Pier. There were tons of people out on the boardwalk, enjoying the beautiful weather. And it was the end of Marine week. I wish I would've known it was Marine week because I would've done my part for my country and created a one woman USO- okay, okay... it was still nice eye candy. And the skyline from that area of the city is brilliant. I also love being near any large body of water so it felt free and refreshing. It was surely summer there- boats on the water, smell of sea water and cotton candy, the Ferris wheel slowly turning-- it was grand!

My mojo was also working a little bit that weekend, which shocked Farrago. While he doesn't find me beautiful, gorgeous, sexy and simply irresistible (that's okay, because he's not my type either!), he seemed SHOCKED that other men did seem to find me at least mildly attractive (see Farrago, some guys like smart sassy women with junk in the trunk!)-- to the point where I had the cutie-patootie KJ flirting like mad and possibly offering me a threesome with he and his wife, the Les Nessman look alike offering to take me to dinner sometime, and KaraokeSam asking for my number and inviting me to leave the Karaoke party with HIM to go out to 2 other karaoke bars then to breakfast and he said he would make sure I got back to Farrago's place. Add the hottie on the bus and well- I felt like I was Ms America or something... All the male attention was nice, especially since I've been a bit down after the AIISam situation.

Other than the crazy guy who had an entire conversation with his hand on the bus- that's not a euphemism for masturbation; he was really speaking to his hand, we also had a brief walk near the river (In 2010 I am going to be in Chicago on St Paddy's Day to watch the river get turned green and drink green beer and kiss Irish American men, especially police or fire men. Hey, I was in Dublin for the holiday so I might as well do it up right here in the States, too!) , a trek down Michigan with every tourist in the city, and a trip to my Tiffany and Co., which was closed and I wanted to cry- wahhhhhhhhhh- (And had it not been so far from Farrago's place or a bitch to park near, I totally would've had breakfast there on Sunday morning! Ah, next time!) it was a wonderful weekend, and I had gobs of fun! Can't wait to go back. Next time I think Mac goes along- now, that should be interesting... or scary or both.

So many many thanks to Farrago for being a good guy, a fun friend, and a wonderful host. Can't wait to see you again, buddy! (And remember, you're always welcome here in Civilization. We can... go to the city park or the community pool!) See you in the city soon!

(And thanks to Farrago for being my personal photographer all weekend too- all photo credits are his, except this one! And click here to hear his version of the weekend!)

City girl to the core,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Long A to Z Meme for a Long Week

gravitate toward shoes in any store of mall
Average: I feel that I am in most ways, except for my vocabulary (not spelling!)
Annoyance: LIARS, Stupid people and rude people- the worst: stupid rude people
Age: 37

Best Friends:
Curley- and I'm while not "BFFs" with Philsgirl, Hecate, Photographer, and AlaskaSam- I'm pretty close to all of them
Beer: Bulmer's Irish cider (not technically a beer, but close enough for it's served on tap in most Irish pubs!)
Birthday: Sept. 26
Boast: I'm a good substitute teacher- for those in Education, you will understand how important that is!

Crush: I have two — John Cusack and Johnny Depp (and that guy on the Harley I saw today, with the goatee and the tight jeans... he knows who he is... he smiled at me. Niiiiiiiiiiiii-ce)
Car: I want a Jeep Patriot- an older one- because I think it would store all my stuff when I move next
Candy: chocolate
Cry: rarely

: spent subbing or scooping ice cream
Dream: weird dreams at night lately- I was being chased by the cleavage police last night...
Dare: I'd rather have truth
Drug: legalize pot, please.

Not much is easy for me these days
Eggs: Fried or scrambled with a side of bacon, please.
Email: I hardly got any today- I think 1 all day!
Envy: skinny chicks and people with money

peppermint mochas from Starbucks, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Original Bubble Yum gun, Cosmos
Favorites: At the moment — Holly Golightly, Plain White Ts song "1234", reading, writing, traveling
Flaws: lazy (though lately I've been told it's depression), procrastination, lackadaisical attitude (I think to think of it as being laid back but others think otherwise)
Finicky: laundry, clutter in my space (but not my car- go figure that one out)

For Daddy-O
Gifts: see my side bar if you want to give me anything
Gum: Original Bubble Yum
Gross: the smell of feet, skanky women with boobs hanging out of her clothes, being sticky

it's short
Height: 5'5"
Happiest: happy comes in brief moments when I'm unsuspecting
Hate: I hate being lied to and manipulated.

Ice Cream:
Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and Phish Phood.
Instrument: I want to learn the guitar- oh hell, why not?
Idols: I don’t really have any….
Independence: I'm not so much right now...unemployment can do that to you

Jail: A friend will bail you out, and a good friend will be sharing the cell
Jenga: I don’t think I’ve ever played this game.
Jammies: t-shirts or silky tops and matching bottoms; fleece in the winter

I have Mac, a 16 yr old and because of him and as a teacher- I don't want any more, thank you very much.
Karaoke: LOVE IT!
Kicks: no thank you- it would hurt
Kiss: Been awhile since I've been kissed.

Longest …:
time of my life has been the last 5 jobless months
Love: It's something we invent to feel better and isn't really necessary for a happy life
Life: I love that board game!
Lost: I watched this show for the first season and then just couldn't get into it with all the weird stuff

usually only on cereal
Miss: Making a regular salary with benefits doing something I like AND that I'm good at
Movies: Love to go to movies, but since I've been back to Civilization I've rarely watched a DVD, but I'm in the theater often. I'm going to see the new Night at the Museum movie tomorrow!
Memory: I swear I have to write everything down these days or I forget it all!

Usually short; paint my toe nails
No: spinach
Name: Maggie; aka: Mags
Never: been to Paris or bungee jumped

what I feel I'm becoming
One: I love this song from the Broadway musical classic A Chorus Line
Office: Space (okay, that was an instant word association)
Only: AlaskaSam knows ALL my secrets

Pet Peeves:
Too many to list, but whistling and nail biting are tied for number 1
Primal urge: To scream at the top of my lungs when frustrated
Personality: quirky and a bit sassy; sometimes scared
Pain: I am one, usually told specifically in the ass

To laugh
Quirk: MUST shower before doing anything (other than peeing) to start my day
Qualms: About what happens if summer comes and goes and I'm still unemployed
Quest: to Conquer Europe

Reason to …:
have a garage sale is to make money and get rid of shit
Reality TV: I hate this concept and think it's ruined television. nothing is really "reality" if a camera is rolling. I hate hate hate reality tv.
Rage: Not really- it takes to much effort and emotional energy
Regret: Not marrying AlaskaSam when I had the chance 15 years ago

Right now, my favorite is “1234" by the Plain White Ts and "Single Ladies" by Beyonce
Season: this used to be an easy question- I would immediately scream winter and claim to be a winter baby but this past winter was hard on me emotionally and physically so I don't have a favorite season anymore
Shoes: I own about 200 pair if you count flip-flops
Silly: I can be

Eastern Standard
Ticklish: yes, and I get super pissed when someone tickles me on purpose
Taste: my clothes are either very monochrome or very bohemian
Torment: I can't sleep these days, or all I do is sleep

I love to be barefoot so shoes go whenever possible
Unpredictable: that word describes me and my mood these days
Unfortunate: My inability to get a job
Unforgettable: shit my ex-husband has said to Mac about me (it's also unforgivable)

snow peas in pods
Virgin: not anymore
Vacation: The last one was my long weekend in Chicago, or my 2 weeks in Ireland and Milan
Voice: Alto

Worst Habit:
Wish: enjoyable career
Waste: not want not
Wander: almost anywhere- lately antique stores or shopping malls

sometimes I get emails that could be labeled X rated
X-Rays: I broke my ankle in HS PE class
X-Men: I just saw the new movie
X-marks the spot: If only it were that easy

Year born:
Yes: please
Yellow: not a color I like, but I've always thought I wanted a yellow and cornflower blue kitchen
Yearn: To have money to travel and be a full time students

Zoo Animal:
Zodiac: Libra
Zealous: blogger
Zzzz: Advil PM or Lunesta

All about memememememe,


Friday, May 22, 2009

I pity the FOOL who doesn't read this novel!

Out of the 49 books I've read this year, Fool by Christopher Moore is by far the best piece of fiction I've laid my hands on. As a matter of fact, it might be the best book I've read in a few years.

As you know, I have a book blog, Turn the Page, where I sort of review every book I read. And I loved Fool so very much that I've going to post my review here as well.

I. AM. NOT.KIDDING. If you only read one book this year, read this. If you are a person who only reads when held a gun point, under duress, or when riding on a plane, read this ONE!

Without further ado, here's my review of Fool, by Christopher Moore:

Oh. My. Goddess. Christopher Moore has done it again. This is probably the best Moore book ever- Fool. the man riffs Shakespeare's King Lear. I mean it- he wrote King Lear as a comedy, as an atrocity, as a sexed up tale. Not kidding- the best book I've read this year. Moore is a god with words- he REWROTE Shakespeare- he's got balls for sure.

The first page reads as follows:

"This is a bawdy tale. Herein you will find gratuitous shagging, murder, spanking, maiming, treason, and heretofore unexplored heights of vulgarity and profanity, as well as non-traditional grammar, spit infinitives, and the odd wank. If that sort of thing bothers you, then gentle reader pass by, for we only endeavor to entertain, not to offend. That said, if that’s the sort of thing you think you might enjoy, then you have happened onto the perfect story!"

And he's not lying- all of those things are there. As he's fond of saying- total and utter heinous fuckery most foul.

For those of you not in the know of the story of King Lear, it goes Lear killed his brother and father so he could be King. Then he kills his wives. His daughters become treacherous, he mistakenly divides his land and gives up his throne thinking his off spring will take care of him. He's wrong and they get all pissey with each other. There's eye gouging and poison and screwing of relatives. This all happens in Moore's version as well as Shakespeare's!

But I have to say a huge kudos to Moore. If it weren't so bawdy and raunchy it would be the perfect text to teach Shakespeare to people, especially high school students. But I think all the snogging and fucking, and cum jokes, making fun of gays, monkeys, twats, talk of boobs and codpieces, and wenches... well all that might make is banned from school reading lists. Moore's tawdry tale is told from the perspective of King Lear's Fool, the jester of the Court.

I love his language and his imagery, and just his entire story telling style. Damn that the time line is befuddled, the modern language and the skewered iambic pentameter and the cockney accent and the "fucking French" plus the British jargon are all hurdled together into one huge mish-mash. This is a great read, it's hysterical. It's smart and witty and certainly most heinous and foul.

This will get a second reading out of me at some point this summer, because I know there are more grand jokes that I just missed on my first read.

LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!!! I want more Moore! If you read absolutely NOTHING else this year at all- read this one!!!!!!!!!!


Other books by Christopher Moore that I've read this year, which are worth the read since Moore is one of the greatest author's to ever scribe:
The Stupidest Angel
The Island of the Sequined Love Nun
Bloodsucking Fiends

Always and forever a Bibliophile,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Karaoke Queen of the Chicago Scene (Chicago Part 2)

I wasn't really the Queen- I didn't rule this event or anything- I just like the alliteration in the title!

While in Chicago last weekend, Farrago took me to an event, the Chicago Karaoke Underground Party. There is a cool woman who hosts this event in her loft apartment. And what a loft is is- OMG! You know how we see these fab apartments on TV or in the movies in large cities and they are just to die for? And you know how magazines or native New Yorkers, LA-ers, and Chicagoans all say "oh that place would cost about $123k a month if rentable in real life"? Well, the loft owner, who I shall call the Diva of Darkness, has the loft like the lofts you see on TV and in the movies. OMG- it is the greatest apartment I have ever been inside in my life. I bow to her, I covet that space- I WANT that space, I would do dastardly deeds for that space, I would be part of heinous fuckery most foul for that space. And her decorating is to die for...

Okay, all that being said, Diva of Darkness opens her home to random strangers to come and sing karaoke. People sign up in advance, pay a fee and come to sing- and drink and eat- the fee covers the booze and noshes. She has a professional KJ- who is a HOTTIE with a sexy goatee/ beard goin' on- and she has a sound system which kicks ass. All in all, Diva of Darkness has a better set up than most clubs I've been to. It rocks, she rocks, the night rocked.

Now I haven't been to sing karaoke for about 3 years now, and usually when I do sing, I've always gone with Hecate and her family and buddies. They are awesome singers and I've always felt completely inadequate when I've performed. I drink a lot of booze and have few inhibitions, but...

So this was the first time I was singing in front of complete and total strangers. And you do hear the stories about karaoke singers who are booed off stage- which I was afraid would happen. Farrago assured me that these folks were nice and wouldn't boo me off the stage, even if I sucked. Because there was no stage.... Okay, no he told me these are super nice people, but I was still nervous.

I visited with some folks and scoped out the small crowd- which only turned about to be about a dozen voice strong. I had a few drinks and listened to a few people. I decided that there weren't any "ringers" in the audience and that the next American Idol or Grammy winners weren't lurking about, that maybe I could actually sing in front of these people. No one had hurdled tomatoes, used the giant hook or booed and hissed, so I turned in a song.

And when the KJ called my name, I thought my knees were going to give out, or that I was going to pee my pants. Then I sang. And everyone clapped. Then I sat down. And sweated. But it was fun and the people were kind!

The evening went uphill from there. Everyone sang and had a good time. Since the crowd was small it was a good time to sing songs I've always wanted to try but never had the guts. And some were good, and others weren't. I did a rendition of "All that Jazz" from Chicago, which I thought sounded pretty good- and Farrago made over my performance of such in his post- here (scroll to the "paratay at the belt way" part of his post- it was so long, he gave it chapter titles!)!

And Farrago tore. it. up on a Styx song- he totally kicked ass!

The cutie KJ sang some great Elton John... and there was a girl there who studied opera in college- and she did some amazing things with Sarah McClachlan songs. Oh wow. And there was a sweet guy who I'll call KaraokeSam with a great voice, who was very much the entertainer. Diva of Darkness likes her song bawdy. And there was a guy who was a dead ringer for Les Nessman (looks wise) on the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati- and while his singing might not be super duper (but not horrible) he was a good guy. Another woman crack me up with her song choice- the "Micky" parody called "Ricky"? And another time found her singing "Like A Virgin" with her legs up in the air... ummmm, I think she had quite a bit to drink...

It was a great time with good people, good food, and guess what?!? I was invited back! I can't wait to go- and next time, I might just bring Mac, my song bird, along. Diva of Darkness said it was okay, so that should be fun too!

Loved it! Oh, what a night!

(tomorrow is Part III- how I shocked Farrago twice, the men, the city, and Chinatown)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Host with the Most (Chicago Part 1)

Farrago is a great guy. As many of you might remember that he and I met as bloggers and then when he went on his trip to the western part of the USA last summer he stopped in the Wild West to see me for a few days. And being the gracious guy he is, he bounced the invitation back to me to visit him if I got back his way, in Chicago. And he so graciously followed through on that, and let me be a bum at his place last weekend.

Not only did he stock my favorite tequila, he also fixed a fuckin' AWESOME steak dinner- and put up with me teasing him incessantly about his grilling procedures. But the joke was on me because the man fixed a kick ass steak and tater- I bow to his grilling prowess!

He is also full of great stories, and is an interesting guy in general. We seemed to talk non-stop- and I learned tons about his family; the man has a book there, I swear! Being the youngest of 7 kids, there's a story! (And I have to say he showed me pictures of his daddy when he was in The War and his pops was a HOTTIE-BO-DOTTIE!!!!) and I wasn't sure if there was anyone who could out talk me, but... if he can't, then we're tied. (And Farrago, I get to wear the crown of talking glory, thankee)

And did I forget to mention he took me to IKEA? And he LIKED it? And didn't bitch at me as I wandered around, fixating on pink stuff- which Farrago didn't hesitate in pointing out to me! There wasn't very much- only EVERY-thing. But his own fixation was with French Press Coffee Makers. Though I have to admit, those fuckers were all over the store, even in the children's section and in the garbage bag section, and the couch section... did I mention everywhere? And for some reason, Farrago was a fan, even though he owned one that he paid like a million dollars for and these were made by poor Indian kids and sold to Americans for $9.99, or something.

He even took me to a Starbucks near his house after his strong coffee made me grow chest hair... and he didn't harass me about my Starbucks addiction. He even took me to the Starbucks Anonymous meeting... er, no he didn't, cuz it's supposed to be anonymous. I was really the only one there. There is also a super kick ass produce market near his house, where he just sort of turned me loose and took great enjoyment of my speechlessness (and his ears could finally rest) as I stood before 178 kinds of oranges, simply agog at the choices. Um, it was a GREAT market and colorful and FUN! Yeah, I know, I'm amazed at fruit. I need to get out of town more.

Finally, Farrago's title of the Host with the Most was continued to be earned when he fixed me breakfast on Saturday morning- eggs, bacon and toast, NOT a bowl of cereal. He took me into Chicago and was willing to go anywhere I wanted, as he kept telling me it was my weekend- and was an excellent tour guide getting us to and from Navy Pier to Chinatown and never lost at all. He spoiled me with a treat at gourmet Vosges Chocolates- I ate chocolate with violets in it, and lavender. Oh YUM! I swear! He introduced me to some super people at a karaoke event (more on that in a later post)

Farrago the Super also slept on the couch and let me crash in his bed!

Awesome guy, so much fun, great conversation, good times, lots of laughs, the pun master! Thanks Farrago! You Rock!

A Forever Farrago Fan,

an aside: he even said I could come back and bring Mac!!!! I'm giving him a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with it...!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My ass is still draggin'

I know, I know- you are so not going to believe me, but I have zero energy to blog tonight. I've worked doubles on 2 of the 3 jobs today and I just don't have it in me to write tonight.

So the teaser continues and I owe you posts about Chicago... and my new jobs... and the theory that ice cream brings happiness!

Thanks for hanging in there with me this week.

I have no words of wisdom to leave you with other than "I love buttered toast."

While work gives me purpose, it also makes me tired,

Monday, May 18, 2009

When it rains it pours

I know I promised a Chicago update but I'm exhausted because I went subbing on average of 2 days a week to having three part time jobs...

Today I started working at the ice cream parlor for three hours and then headed to the insurance office for 2.5 hours of telemarketing.

And here's the funny thing. I told Daddy-O that since I agreed to start my training at the ice cream parlor this week, and the training schedule is smack dab in the middle of the day, that the school would call and want me to sub even more. And was I ever right- which just pisses me off! They called this morning and wanted me to sub today and I had to say no. They called tonight and wanted me to sub tomorrow and had to say now. Which completely sucks because I had to pass up making $65 for each day, to instead make $20 each day scooping ice cream... Life just sucks.

I was tempted to call the ice cream parlor and tell them I couldn't train this week after all but I committed so I didn't- and the ice cream job is going to be 25 hours a week all summer long, after the training period, so I really NEED the job.


So all that whining being said and done, I worked both jobs, after my exhausting weekend, to be on the phone an Ahmad in India for 86 minutes, helping me fix Daddy-O's computer.

So, I'm too tired to answer my inbox full of emails and too tired to write my Chicago posts. Maybe tomorrow?

Poor tired me,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trip teaser

Your world weary traveler is home from her newest adventure and the key word is... weary. (Apparently so weary it caused me to refer to myself in third person.) Since I stayed up late, played hard, walked more than I have in 6 weeks and drove in Chicago traffic twice in 48 hours, I am tired, tired, tired... So, I promise a trip recap that involves karaoke with Farrago, my "moment" on the bus with a stranger, Farrago's moment on a bus with a stranger, the highlights, the lowlights, how I surprised Farrago not once but twice, city weirdos (other than Farrago and me), meeting men, and commentary on Farrago who is the Host with Most...

Blown in from the windy city,

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's the because I'm in Chicago this weekend meme

1) Are your parents married or divorced?
Married for 38 years until my mom died

2) Are you a vegetarian?
No- I love cow, pig, chicken and lamb -YUMMY!

3) Do you believe in Heaven?

4) Have you ever come close to dying?
Not that I’m aware of...

5) What jewelry do you wear 24/7?
None; I usually put earrings and a watch on each morning, though

6) Favorite time of day?

7) Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
Only when covered with French dressing

8) Do you wear makeup?
Lipstick every day and lately I've been playing with eye makeup Holly Golightly style

9) Ever have plastic surgery?
Nope but if I had the money I would have it all lifted and sucked and nipped and tucked

10) Do you color your hair?
I used to but not lately... I might start again because my gray is bothering me

11) What do you wear to bed?
Jammies or nightgowns

12) Have you ever done anything illegal?

yes (And I'm a sucker for a good partner in crime... friends bail you out of jail, GOOD friends are sharing the cell)

13) Can you roll your tongue?

14) Do you tweeze your eyebrows?

15) What kind of sneakers?
low cut light weight pink and gray Sketchers

16) Do you believe in abortions?

17) What is your hair color?
Brown, with lots of red in it

18) Future child’s name?
I doubt I'll ever have any more kids but if I had a daughter she would be Isabella Grace and a boy would be Harper Finn-- and any man in my life who wanted to father these kids have to accept these names or I'm not playing. And I would love to name a son Atticus but he would get his ass beat daily so I would try not to do that to him...

19) Do you snore?

20) If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
Great Britain and Italy and I want to go to Casablanca

21) Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
Not any more

22) If you won the lottery…
I would pay off my bills and put away $$$ for Mac's college, buy a new car, rent an apartment and GO TO EUROPE, and get more college education

24) Hamburger or hot dog?
Both, please

25) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I have no idea... I don't think I could eat one food forever; steak, I guess?

26) City, beach or country?
City or beach

27) What was the last thing you touched?
cell phone

28) Where did you eat last?
Farrago's house...

29) When’s the last time you cried?
Can't remember. I sniveled a tear or two when AIISam and I split but really a big boohoo? Not sure- I just don't cry much any more.

30) Do you read blogs?

31) Would you ever go out dressed like the opposite sex?
I've worn a man's shirt and a tie with a short plaid skirt and white thigh high stockings... does that count?

32) Ever been involved with the police?
Define involved.

33) What’s your favorite shampoo, conditioner and soap?
Bath and Body Works Body Washes, and Olive Oil Shampoo/ Conditioner by Regis

34) Do you talk in your sleep?
According to 2 past bedmates, the answer would be yes

35) Ocean or pool?

36) What’s your favorite song at the moment?
“1234" by the Plain White Tees

37) What’s your favorite color(s)?

38) Window seat or aisle?

39) Ever met anyone famous?

40) Do you feel that you’ve had a truly successful life?
Not even close- no

41) Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?

42) Ricki Lake or Oprah?
I can sometimes tolerate Oprah, but I really don’t like either.

43) Basketball or Football?

44) How long do your showers last?
Generally until the hot water runs out

45) Automatic or do you drive a stick?
Always automatic- I tried to drive a stick in high school and that didn't go so well

46) Cake or ice cream?

47) Are you self-conscious?
When in a room with "traditionally" beautiful women, or when naked

48) Have you ever drunk so much you threw up?
One time only, and never again

49) Have you ever given money to a tramp?
Yes... and the word "tramp" is sort of offensive, I think

50) Have you been in love?
Yes, I think

51) Where do you wish you were?
Europe- and I want to clarify. I wish I were in Europe, but not, necessarily with AIISam. Just somewhere else on the Continent.

52) Are you wearing socks?

53) Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?

54) Can you tango?
I need a few more lessons and I'll have it down

55) Last gift you received?
clothes from Daddy-O

56) Last sport you played?
I stood in the outfield for one 1/2 of an inning in a co-ed softball game about 10 years ago. No ball came to me. I think I held a glove. Does this count?

57) Things you spend a lot of money on?
shoes and Starbucks

58) Where do you live?
Midwest/ Civilization

59) Where were you born?

60) Last wedding attended?
I don't do weddings so I have no clue. I know it's been at least... 5 years and probably more. I honestly cannot remember the last wedding I was at. I'm befuddled and vexed by this question!

61) Favorite drink(s)?
Pepsi and booze

62) What’d you do last weekend?
Went to a movie, cleaned the garage in preparation for the world's largest rummage sale

63) Most hated food(s)?
cauliflower and spinach

64) What’s your least favorite chore?
all of them

65) Can you sing?

66) Last person you instant messaged?
One of the Sam's

67) Last place you went on holiday?
Ireland and Italy (but I'm in Chicago today if that counts!)

69) Current Crush?
John Cusack or Johnny Depp- always and forever. I mean, please!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Musical memories and must own tunes

Music is a very powerful tool. It can set a mood, make us laugh or cry, or transport us back in time. I hear "Purple Rain" and I think of AlaskaSam back when we were in college. I hear BNL"Long Way Home" and I remember AIISam singing to me. "Josephine" by the Wallflowers make me think of the first night I spent with CowboySam. My list goes on and on. Music can intensify a mood. I have music I want to hear when I am sad or lonely; I have tunes I choose when I want to go for a walk or exercise. There are dance tunes that make me boogie or that make me want to just drive my car with the windows down- road trip music. There are certain artists I love and will always go back to even when times suck. For example, I always throw Billy Joel in when nothing else appeals to me, or when I need something.

I think every genre is worthwhile though I may not always like it or choose it. I don't like country and rap isn't always my favorite. I hate death metal. There are certain artists that I hate and will always change the channel, but hey, that's my right.

Couples almost always have "their song." I don't mean that song you hear that simply just reminds you of someone- I have that with my kid, my friends, my parents- but that special song that you pick together. It represents you as a couple somewhere and somehow at a point in time. Some couples have some cutesy story of how the song came about. It's that special song where you can play it to make each other smile. Or you request it at the club, school dance, or play it on the juke box so you can dance to it. Or call in to your favorite Friday night request and dedication DJ? Or you hear it randomly played on the radio and you have to call your partner and gush, "I just heard our song and thought of you!" You know, the song you play 317 times in a row after you get dumped and cry your eyes out?

Hey, I know I sound a bit tongue and cheek but I have had "our songs" with old Sams: "She’s gotta way" with my ex-husband; "Your kiss is on my list" with PoetSam; "Suddenly" with the boyfriend in high school that my parents HATED; "Heaven" with the guy I should have lost my virginity to; "Have I told you lately" with CanadianSam; "Can’t fight this feeling" with a boy in junior high who had a huge crush on me but I was really too shy to do anything about him but every time this song was played at a school dance from 7th grade through senior year we both abandoned out respective dates and danced to it together (I wonder what ever happened to him????). These were "our songs!" Now I can't remember how most of them got picked to be our couple song, but I still, for the most part, fondly remember the Sams (except for the Spermdonor and CanadianSam- no fondness there at all) attached with the song.

Music is powerful like this. We hear a song and it can just shoot us to a time or place or an event. The song can help make a time, person or event be burned into our brains forever. Music is a powerful catalyst in life. Music has helped defined generations- look at girl groups of the '50s, hippies in the 60s, 70s disco, and one hit wonders of the 80s along with the inception of rap tossed in to really create a musical nightmare, or emergence. Oh yeah, and hip hop of the 90s.

I love music that makes me just be-pop up and down. I love "1234" by the Plain White Tees, "Single Ladies" by Beyone, "Gotta be Somebody" by Nickelback, "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, and "I Kissed a girl" by Katy Perry- these songs make me dance and smile and laugh. They may not make my forever album list but they are songs that put a smile on my face and I can't help but turn the volume up and sing along, however off key I sound.

Often I wish we had a soundtrack for life- you know, just like in the movies. Wouldn't it be great if music would just play and swell to accommodate daily events? It sure would make life more interesting, and half the time I have an internal soundtrack going in my head all the time anyway. And Mac told me he wished some Pink Floyd song (I can't remember which one) would play as he walked into English class in slow motion, of course. (I have no idea.... he's 16 years old...) Though I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree because if I'm feelin' hawt and sexy and have to walk from point A to B and I know people (ie MEN) are watching me, my soundtrack stride song is "Smooth" by Rob Thomas/ Santana... go figure!

Hell, when most people don't know what to say so they say it with music. How many of us have given someone- a friend, a lover, a family member- a compilation album for a present? Maybe we've wanted to say we're sorry and can't so we play a song? Look at Hallmark cards! They've officially run out of limericks, poems and funnies because there is now a glut of musical cards on the market!

What would films be without music? The infamous "da dum da dum" right before the shark attack? Or the music to Halloween that just about stops the heart? The "I'm flying" scene from Titanic? These scenes wouldn't be nearly as powerful without music, if shown in utter silence. Movies need music- soundtracks... duh!

As I put together my music list that I think everyone should own to have a complete collection, I have been reminiscing about where it sends me- people, the past, the present, even smells are conjured up with some music. I certainly don't live in the past, but it has been a nice stroll down amnesia lane as I put this list together. This list, remember, is what I think EVERYONE should have in their collections to be complete- not just what I own. (I like Teddy Geiger's Underage Thinking album but he has a long way to go to hit my Hall of Fame. And I love The Killers, for some reason, but again, not feeling enough love to give them a place for forever perfection.) These are the albums, not just a song, but an entire album that I would love to fill an iPod with. Ohhhhhhhh, an aside, wouldn’t it be a great to get an iPod as a present and it was already filled with these albums???? OMG- that would be better than shoes, Cosmos, sex and office supplies!!!!! Okay, maybe not better than shoes...

Anyway, here's my list!

  1. Joshua Tree by U2
  2. Elvis
  3. Sting
  4. The Beatles: Abbey Road, The White Album and Sgt. Pepper's lonely Heartclub Band
  5. Billy Joel's Great Hits Vol. I and II
  6. Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
  7. Pink Floyd The Wall
  8. AC/DC Back in Black
  9. Led Zeppelin
  10. Lynyrd Skynyrd Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd
  11. Bob Dylan The Essential Bob Dylan
  12. Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA
  13. The Eagles The Very Best of
  14. Jimi Hendrix Are you experienced?
  15. Janis Joplin Pearl
  16. The Who
  17. Nirvna Nevermind
  18. Dave Matthews Band
  19. Eric Clapton Unplugged
  20. The Grateful Dead Anthem of the Sun
  21. Michael Jackson- Thriller
  22. Aretha Franklin Gold and Aretha’s Best
  23. Soundtrack from Footloose
  24. Soundtrack from Top Gun
  25. Carol King Tapestry
  26. Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
  27. Vivaldi The Four Seasons
  28. Green Day American Idiot (This has gotta be the BEST rock anthem album since Tommy)
  29. Puccini La Boheme, Tosca, and Madame Butterfly
  30. Van Morrison The Best of Van Morrison
  31. The Doors The Very Best of the Doors
  32. Soundtrack from the film PS I Love You
  33. Joni Mitchell Hits
  34. Frank Sinatra Sinatra Reprise The Very Good Years
  35. Styx Greatest Hits
  36. Journey Greatest Hits
  37. Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP
  38. Carly Simon Reflections
  39. Soundtrack from the film Grease
  40. Rod Stewart If We Fall in Love Tonight, Unplugged…and Seated, and The Great American Song Book Box Set
So, what are you favorite albums? What music can you just NOT live without? What would your ideal play list be? What gets your toes a'tappin'?

Sing along,

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music" ~ A. Huxley

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'm excited because I have a few road trips coming up! I know I went to Ireland and Italy this spring, but other than that, which was strange in and of its self, I really haven't made plans to do stuff.

So I am super excited to be heading up to Chicago this coming weekend! Farrago, that awesome blogger buddy, came to visit me last summer when I lived in the Wild West- he was traveling the northwest part of the states and I was able to be a stop on his route. We had a great time (okay at least I had a great time- I don't want to put words in his mouth but he seemed to have a good time). And since I moved back to Civilization I now am a mere 3 hour car drive from Farrago so we're going to get together and hang out.

I adore the city of Chicago so the fact that I get to hand with a cool guy and in my favorite city makes me do the happy dance! We have plans to hang out in the city, maybe see Chinatown or Beverly, maybe hit Navy Pier or take in a Cubs game. We've bounced some ideas around, but to me it doesn't matter what we do- I'm just excited to have plans to do some fun stuff with a cool friend. One thing we are doing for sure is to go to a karaoke party. OMG- he has no idea what he's in for with me singing... he did offer to give me a bottle of tequila... maybe he DOES know what's up? Okay, who told him? Anyway, I am soooooo, looking forward to this!

Memorial Day weekend also brings a road trip, in addition to the World's Largest Rummage Sale. My cousin who lived in DC for the last 30 years moved back here to southern Civilization when she retired and is having a HUGE BBQ at her place. Mac and I are heading down for the day to see some family and to meet their friends. Should be a good day, good food, good company... and I'm really looking forward to it!

I'll let you know how both trips turn out!

Wish you were here or hell, wish I were there,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy-O

Happy Birthday to the best dad ever!
Hope you have a great one!

Love, your daughter

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mac and music

We have a music store here in town. They sell instruments, focusing on guitars and drums, as well as sheet music and other musical stuff. This isn't the music store with everything nice and neat but more of a store with practice rooms and a stage. people can go in and pick up instruments and try them out. There are jam sessions held there. The owner gives lessons. it's a pretty cool place.

They have open mike nights on Thursdays and Mas has been with some of his friends who have a band. Mac sang on several occasions the last several months. I've never been because he doesn't want his mom there- apparently I'd lower his cool level or something.

Anyway, I went in to price guitars and lessons for him since I have a job. (And I've wanted to learn the acoustic myself) Mac has been dying for an electric guitar for months and months and months- did I mention forever? I was going to get him one for his birthday but financially I just couldn't afford it, which sucked. The owner guy was supremely helpful and showed me a bunch of lefty guitars for a beginner.

Through conversation with the owner of the place, I mentioned Mac had been in to sing on Thursday nights. He asked his name and when I told him "Mac O'Sullivan" he KNEW who Mac was and couldn't stop talking about what a great singer he is, how much talent he has, how much potential he has and that he should be doing something with his music. I was blown away. I thought it was amazing to hear that from a total stranger.

The guy told me I should forget everything he told me about guitars and showed me an entirely different set of "axes" since it was for Mac. The guy said if Mac could learn to play guitar an "Nth" amount as well as he can sing, then he'll be famous. He showed me some great guitars and threw in some freebies (amp, guitar case, musicc) and offered me a layaway opportunity since it was for Mac. I was floored. This guy said Mac sounds like a pro when he's on stage and would love for him to have every chance to explore his music passion.

Last year Mac had the lead in the school musical and was awesome. He also sang a solo in the Christmas program. I always thought he had a great voice. A woman who used to perform professionally and did some training at Julliard said Mac had perfect pitch and should be trained. Now I hear this from the music store owner. Now, if I could get Mac to buy into this... it's scary and flattering and amazing to hear compliments like this about your kid. Wow. Just wow.

Mother of the next Mr. Slow Hand,

Monday, May 11, 2009

I love hotels

I really do love hotels. I love to stay in hotels, especially the nice ones. Who doesn't, I know?

Now what brought this on, you may ask? Well, I looked at the calendar and if AII Sam and I had not split up (see, I said split up rather than saying "he dumped me") I would be in Zurich, Switzerland right this very minute, staying in a Hilton or in a Marriott, with privileges to go to the executive dining room, celebrating his birthday which was yesterday. Last week I would've been at his flat in Dublin and next week I would be in... Amsterdam or Paris- also in fab hotels. ::Ahem:: And in reality I'm hanging out here at my Daddy-O's house, cleaning the garage in preparation for the World's Largest Rummage Sale in 2 weeks and tolerating the never ending rain- maybe instead of cleaning the garage I should be building an ark.

So the snide feelings about fact that I should be relaxing in Zurich, in freaking Switzerland, aside, I still love, love, love hotels.

Now I've stayed in some pretty scary motels. When I was driving to the Wild West and I stayed over I was in a pretty scary motel. I got myself in a town with no "name" hotels and had to take a chance on a locally owned place. It was kinda gross. I wore flip-flops in the shower because it was creepy otherwise. Many years ago when I was dating CanadianSam we stayed in a dive in Memphis, TN. The Holiday Inn was under construction and we were in an unusual part of downtown... the room was about the size of about 3 normal sized rooms but the ceiling was so low, Sam had to duck or he would whack his head on it. The bed sagged in the center, there was a a leak in the ceiling in the bathroom, and mold on the sink fixtures. Needless to say, it was a pretty nasty place.

There was a time I stayed in a cheesy 1970's hotel, as I like to think of it. Lots of oranges and browns, shag carpet, tacky paintings, everything bolted to the wall, floor or furniture. The bathroom floor tile was orange and brown. The sink and tub were avocado green while the toilet was white. It stood out like a sore thumb. And the pool area was hilarious- it had murals painted of mermaids and "Atlantis" like scenes on the walls. And Algae growing in the pool water!

We stayed here for about 2 hours- when the cockroaches ran across the the shag carpet and then when the curtains fell from the window, we left. Immediately. This was somewhere in Maine.

My frustrating experience was when I was outside of Minneapolis, MN. I was driving in a huge series of storms. It was the middle of the night and the power was out over most of the state. I was trying to find an exit with a hotel, but in the middle of the night, in the middle of a thunder storm with no power anywhere on the interstate it was easier said than done. I had my mom on the phone looking at places on the Internet trying to tell me at least an exit number since I couldn't even see signs. And the radio was telling people to get off the road and to not pull over since it would be dangerous in the dark storm. Anyway, I found a hotel- a Courtyard by Marriott. I get there about 2am and the power is out. I make my way to the door with my flashlight and they let me in, charged me $101 bucks for the night, even though there was no power in the hotel. I wasn't sure I thought that was fair but it was desperate.

Other than these scary experiences, I have loved staying in hotels. I love the nice hotels the best- well, duh- who doesn't? Oh, I've seen the 48 Hours type of exposes about the nasties of hotel bed spreads and the like, but I don't care. I just really love hotels.

I don't have to do anything. Someone cleans up after me. I sleep and shower and when I come back, the bed is made, the room is cleaned, and there are fresh towels left, along with chocolates on the pillows. I love the Hilton, the Weston and the Marriott the most because I love the bedding. The huge fluffy pillows, the duvet, the crisp fresh sheets.

At these hotels they have Bath and Body Works, or Crabtree and Evelyn products. I love the fluffy towels and full mini bars. I love that nothing is bolted to the floor or wall. I adore that they bring room service on a rolling cart with silver covers on the food. I love the fresh flowers in my room. I think it's fun to have a safe in my room, even though I never have anything worth locking up! (When I was in Milan Sam and I did lock our passports up, though.) Really, I know it all sounds so silly, but I like it all. Amenities- I just love amenities!

And I try and be a nice guest. Even though I have the ability to have room service and maid service, I don't want to be a total slob. I always pile my towels all together in a pile on the bathroom floor. I throw away the wet soaps and wrappers. I try and throw away all my trash, and pull the covers up on the bed. Who wants to come in and clean up after a total and complete slob? I mean, really?

Now these days, almost anyone can have the experience of staying at nice Black Diamond rated hotels with the ability to use or other web sites that let a person pay a low price for these visits. And even if you don't stay at an expensive hotel like these, you can still have a nice hotel experience at Holiday Inn Express or Courtyard By Marriott. The hotel industry seems to have realized that it doesn't matter how poor travelers are but they need and deserve a nice place to stay. I like that lots of places let travelers upgrade rooms if they have kids, or offer free meals to people traveling with children.

I also think staying in hotels in big cities is the best because of the accessibility of everything . I love the concierge. I would love to be the concierge at a fancy hotel- how in the world do you land that gig?

One time when I was in Quebec I stayed at a small, very fine hotel, very exclusive place- George Clooney was staying there at the same time I was! It was nice, with people calling me by name, stocking the mini bar with my favorite beverage choices and snacks, and just giving some personal touches.

And I've never stayed in a B and B or a hostel, but I would like to try both at some point. And as I contemplate a possible 30 day stay around Italy (depending on a grant i applied for) this summer I'm thinking of the hotels I won't be able to afford. But I might try couch surfing (check out the concept online, just google it) and that could be something I add to my travel experiences. Who knows?

So, even though I'm not lolly gagging about in one of Europe's premiere cities, celebrating Sam's birthday, and staying in some of the best and most posh hotels around, I can still anticipate the next trip I take and the next time I can be pampered in a hotel.

Could I have a wake up call, please?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day- a tribute

I was thinking about my mom recently and since it's Mother's Day I thought I would share my current remembrance.

My mom was pretty much "mom" like when I was growing up. She wasn't what you would call cool and she wasn't June Clever, but she was a good mom. All the kids in the neighborhood liked my mom. She let all us kids just be kids. She listened to us, she never batted an eye if my brother and I wanted to bring friends home for dinner or to spend the night. One day she came home from work to find 9 of us watching a movie in the living room and fixed enough spaghetti for dinner to feed all of us.

Mom baked cookies and made sure we did our homework. She tolerated our loud music, the front door banging- though in the summer by July she would be known to scream "either go out and stay out or come in and stay in but STOP BANGING THAT DAMN DOOR", and our constant barrage of visiting friends. She never stopped the games of tag until it was too dark to see at night. As long as we cleaned up our dress up mess or made sure the sprinkler was turned off, we could make messes and play with the garden hose as much as we wanted.

My mom was our mom and didn't try to be our pal and buddy. And as an adult, looking back, I love that even more about her. We had chores and if they weren't done she yelled. We had rules to follow and if we didn't, we could get a smack with the wooden spoon on the butt. We were expected to be respectful, to not sass, not talk back and if we we jerks, she wasn't afraid to heap on the guilt and ground us. Mom worked outside the home so we all had to do our part. She was also pretty in tune with what was going on at our schools and in the community. Again, it wasn't so she could be "cool" but because it was her job to know as her role as our parent. She didn't try and dress like a teenager either. She always looked nice but she did look like a mom- you know what I mean by this!

Now I want to clarify, my mom wasn't backward but she didn't try to act like a teenager or make fun of our music or clothes or verbiage. She didn't try to act like a teenager but she knew stuff. She was the manager of a retail store while I was in high school and this store had MTV on all the time so she was pretty familiar with music of my generation, which were the big hits of the 1980s, often thought of as an oxymoron in and of itself. Now, again, she knew the music, liked some of it, hated more of it, but tolerated it whether she was at work or whether is was blowing out of speakers at home.

As I'm telling you all this you probably have a pretty good picture of my mom- a nice, understanding, kind woman from small town Midwest. And you're probably wondering why I'm making sure you know that my mom was an excellent mom but very much "mom" like... I have a reason!

So it might come as a surprise that my mother had a favorite song and a favorite video. Well, okay, maybe not that she had a favorite song- lots of moms have a favorite song. But, I'm including the link here of my mom's all time favorite song and video- OF ALL TIME. When this came on the radio or TV, she would run in the room and blare it and dance around. Ummmm, yeah. Seriously. She really did. If it came on the radio when we were in the car, she blasted it. Even when she became unable to walk without her cane, she would still crank it up and "chair dance". I. AM. NOT. KIDDING. Even thinking back on it now, it still cracks me up and leaves me shocked and surprised. Really. I'm not kidding- this was her favorite song and video. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Letter to parents- reprise

About two years ago when I was teaching grades 7-12 in a small high school in the Wild West I was extremely frustrated with parents and their lack of caring or participation in their children's educations. I was really angry that they were quick to criticize teachers and place blame on us for all the wrong doings of their children. I was pissed after parent- teacher conferences when parents thought I went into teaching just for summers off. I knew I couldn't tell the parents how I really felt so I used my old blog as an outlet.

As I've been subbing, I'm having lots of these same feelings creep up. Talking to other teachers, I'm hearing the same things. Daddy-O is in the classroom daily and he hears this crap as well. Parents blame the teachers for everything and never want step up and take any sort of responsibility for the actions of their children.

I'm re-printing the letter I wrote, with a few minor changes... I think it's relevant whether I'm a sub in Civilization or a full time classroom teacher in the Wild West (hence the references to ranches and cows...).

For those of you who read this before, enjoy again... this was my most popular post ever, from my last blog so... enjoy- or skip it and go look at shoes and purses on ebay while drinking a Cosmo.

To: Lazy, Ignorant Parents
From: Pissed off Teacher

Are you people freaking crazy? I spend 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, of my life with your child and you begrudge me time off? Why is that? Because you don't want to have to worry about who your little darlings are out screwing or what they are drinking or who purchased the alcoholic beverage of their choice? Because you don't want to step up and finally be a parent, a role model or a good example?

I spend 184 days a year with your little darling. I don't get a break from time school starts in August until Christmas vacation except Thanksgiving because you parents want your child to get out of school earlier at the end of the year so you have your little babies around to do ranch work. I don't have a day off from January until April for the same reason! But think about this- what about My jpb that I'm supposed to be doing? You know, teaching your kids?

I see your child for at least 50 minutes each and every day, and usually more. I have to patrol them in the bathroom and hallways and in the rec center and library. I have to monitor them at lunch. I give up my break and prep period to help your child with homework. I stay after school to type your child's paper because you won't buy a computer, but you have a $3000 bar tab. I take calls from them at night when they call to ask for help with an assignment. Because I live a 5 minute walk away from the school, I go back to the building at least one time per week to let your forgetful little teen in to get that forgotten math book- did I mention I don't teach math?

How about some of these easy questions: Did you know your child loves to read mysteries? I do. Did you know your child is a talented artist, and likes Monet? I do. Did you know your child can sing and dance? I do. Did you know that when your child laughs hard, she snorts? I do. Did you know your child hates beef jerky even though her dad is a cattle rancher? I do.

How about these- let's step it up a bit shall we? Did you know that your child is an alcoholic and who supplies him beer? I do. Did you know your daughter had gonorrhea? I do. Did you know your daughter's boyfriend beats her up? I do. Did you know your child can't read past a 3rd grade level? I do. Did you know your child is afraid to go to college? I do. Did you know your child cuts herself? I do. Do you know your daughter is bulimic? I do. Did you know your son smokes pot? I do. Did you know your son would run away if he weren't scared? I do. Did you know your daughter had an abortion? I do. Did you know your son took his girlfriend to have an abortion? I do. Did you know your son tried to commit suicide more than once? I do.

And how do I know all this? Because I spend more time in a day, in a week, in a year, with your child than you do. And when I'm with your child I LISTEN to him or her. We TALK. I don't use them as my ranch hands or to staff my family owned business, as my personal slave. I read their journals, I grade their papers, I find them scholarships, I give them a ride when they are out of fuel, I loan them money, I tutor them. I hold them when they cry in the girl's bathroom. I give credence to their thoughts, feelings, emotions and fears. I go to their games, track meets, class meetings, play performances, and band and choir concerts. I chaperon their dances. I helped decorate for their proms. I'm at parent- teacher conferences. Where the hell are you?

I know where the parties are, and where the bodies are buried, and I know all the stories. I have inside jokes with your child. I can make them laugh and smile. I know the birthday of every sophomore off the top of my head, what students have tattoos of what and where, and I know what each senior plans to do after graduation. I know favorite foods, beverages and candies.

Do you have a clue that I spend vast quantities of my own money on paper and pens/ pencils because for some reason you can't seem to purchase school supplies for your child? Did you know I decorate my room with your child's art work and A papers because you can't seem to find a damn magnet or tape to hang it on your own refrigerator? Did you know I had your child to my house for dinner and to study for their history test because you wouldn't- and did I mention I'm not the history teacher? Or that your child came to a Shakespeare party at my house because it makes learning fun? Did you know that I LIKE YOUR CHILD and I HAVE THEIR VERY BEST INTERESTS AT HEART? Do you?

Did you thank me for helping your child get a $5000 scholarship? Did you thank me developing creative lesson plans, helping your child write complete sentences, educating them in pop culture and literature and providing all their English education? No, actually, you didn't. And why is that? You're there to complain when they miss 9 days of school in one quarter and you can't figure out why they failed my class. You're there when your child has failed to turn in any homework assignments even though I called you daily for 3 weeks to keep you abreast of this situation.

Yeah, I'm just a teacher and I get my summers off. What am I complaining about? It's not like I do anything important anyway...

You CHILD'S Teacher