30 September 2008

"Fly me to the moon/Let me play among the stars"--Sinatra

I see that look in your eyes and I gotta tell you it hurts a little.

I hate to disappoint you.

Oh, I know. You're looking to me for some righteous indignation. And, usually, I'm brimming with it. Or at least some incredulity at the lunacy that is all around me.

But it's hard to come off vacation and muster up indignation. Mostly, I'm mellow and grateful. I've been lying on a beautiful beach and other people have been fetching me drinks. How much can I really complain?? Add to that that it was a paid holiday. To have money deposited into your account for weeks of paid slackassery, while you are enjoying said slackassery, is truly the best.

Alas, it's over. And I am facing hundreds of work emails and dozens of meeting requests and close to 300 posts in my Google Reader... *sigh*.

And, now, you're giving me that look.

Okay, fine. Here's something I found mildly amusing. Your mileage blahblahblah.

We flew Continental from DC to Houston and from Houston to Puerto Vallarta and did the same gig in reverse when we came home. So we had four Continental flights. They were really everything you'd want in a flight: safe, timely, smooth, comfortable.

That said, every flight began with DVD screens flipping down and a message from the Grand Poobah of Continental, Larry Kellner, saying how great it was that we were flying Continental and how proud he was of Continental's outstanding record and who knows what else he said because everybody was busy craning around trying to determine if the stews were going to serve a snack.

Here's the good part, on the last two flights we took, the DVD screens would flip down and Larry would appear and start his spiel, and there'd be one screen that just wouldn't stay down. It would come down and go back up and come down and go back up, like it was on a cheap knockoff of Viagra, and this must have happened 20 times on the first leg back. Meanwhile, old Lar, is talking about technical excellence.

When it happened on the final flight, on a different plane from the last, I ignored the admonition that all electronic devices must be in the off position because the desire to capture the moment was overwhelming. The screen had been flipping about a dozen times by the time I got my camera going, and, alas, you only see the very end of the flippery but, heaven knows, I tried.

For you.

So let's see a little more gratitude and a little less disappointment, hmm?

28 September 2008

Mexico has been good to me

I have yet to have a bad time in Mexico.

Even when I was with my ex, a troll--but without the cool pink hair, I still had a good time in Mexico. After all, it wasn't Mexico's fault that I chose poorly.

I've been to Acapulco, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and now Puerto Vallarta--all tourist towns in beautiful seaside locations--and I've found that in Mexico they understand the tourist trade. They want you to be happy because they want you to stay, they want you to come back and they want you to tell your friends so that more money is spent in the region. As a result, they go out of their way to make sure you are indeed happy. Pretty basic strategy, right? But we've been a lot of places outside of Mexico where they could care less if the tourists are happy.

It's not all flan and cervezas, though. You do have to convert the money but it's a pretty straightforward conversion and truly a lot of places take dollars. Well, they did until the news hit that the dollar was as valuable as a ticket to a Courtney Love concert.* And, though rarely imperative, it's appreciated if you speak Spanish where you can so it helps to learn before you go, and as you go.

Aside from that, it's very easy. The vast majority of signs are in both Spanish and English (see how thoughtful?) or they use international symbols. We did all right with 99% of them. Then we saw this and scratched our heads for a while:

Apparently, Captain Morgan is prohibited in Mexico.

* Odd little Wiki-bit: Courtney is a mix of Irish and Jewish and describes herself as "a nice Jewish girl." I'll bet her folks are kvelling.

27 September 2008

Returning from Vacay

Thoughts you have when you are either very stressed or very relaxed:

  • Did I do that or did I just think that?
  • Yes, I definitely could use a drink here.
  • You got drama? Save it for your Mama.
  • Yes, I definitely could use a nap here.
  • What the hell, right?

Hello, Beautiful People!

I have been unwinding in lush, tropical Puerto Vallartahhhh, Mexico. We stayed at Dreams which has the gentle Banderas Bay in back and the amazingly verdant Sierra Madre mountains in front. Here's our little slice of heaven... the room view of the bay:

The resort was very nice and very relaxed and the food and service were quite good.

Probably more to come but right now... off to do 11 days' worth of laundry. *waveywave*

15 September 2008

"Vacation/All I ever wanted/Vacation/Had to get away" --The Gogos

It's true. I am on vacay.

After this, I will not be blogging. I will be getting some much needed R&R for the next week and a half. I want to melt into a mindless puddle. I want to forget all my passwords. I want to get out of my brain for a while and just enjoy the lush world around me.

My hope is that this will result in me being:

  • rested and mellow,
  • a little more thoughtful/clever here, and
  • able to finish long words like vacay.
What's with people that drop the ends off words? How feeble is that?


Miss me if you must but don't sit around moping. Go out and have some fun!

Okay, okay... something for you... let's see... got it. The first three people that write me at lacochran812(at)gmail(dot)com giving me a snail mail address, will receive a cheesy vacay tchotchke.

Hope to see you when I'm back in the blog world. As always, thanks for stopping by and I wish you great big buckets of joy!

14 September 2008

"I got to be movin' on"--Steve Miller Band

[Not us. But don't you love the kicky hairstyle?]

We left early Friday for the event that required this and this. I am happy to say that I survived the experience. The official pictures aren't back yet so I may still show up sporting an expression worthy of Jim Carey but I think I did all right. My sister, the hostess for this event, who everyone says looks remarkably like me* tends to put herself in the center of the photograph (yeah, yeah, it's her event, I know) and me at a far end. If you know something about photography you know that even though we are roughly similar in stature, she winds up looking like Angelina Jolie, only thinner, and I wind up looking like William "The Refrigerator" Perry.

Well, at least I was able to improve my arm tone from the previous consistency of yogurt-with-the-fruit-on-the-bottom to the much preferable consistency of butter. Not really, really cold butter, but, you know, that just tears the bread.

Bad parts of looking very much like someone else:

  • People insist on telling you that you look exactly like that other person. Repeatedly. Um, yeah, got the memo. Move on!
  • People expect you to act like that other person and are disappointed when you don't. My sister and I have extremely different personalities. Again, move on!
  • People want to see you next to your "twin" even if it means dragging you away from an interesting conversation. Um, not strictly here for your amusement, people. Move on!

* Actually, at her events, they say I look remarkably like her, but I prefer it my way. We are not twins. She is three years older. (+1 for me. ) She is also 3 inches taller. (+1 for her.)

12 September 2008

Pass the yolk

I was going to write a post about how I don't like egg white and I was going to do this because, well, let's face it, you and I have known each other a while now and I figure we've reached that level of bonding. I understand about expectations and I don't want you to feel like I'm holding out on you.*

But then I got to thinking about how people love to talk about what foods they hate and isn't that sort of strange and, well, I reconsidered.

Why do you want to hear about my egg white aversion?** I'm thinking you really don't want to hear about my egg white aversion.

I'm thinking you also don't want to hear your Uncle Morty talking about how he "likes onions but they don't like him." Or your cousin Delilah saying "I wish I liked salad more because I know it's good for me but I just don't."

What's the point of all that? At best, you find someone with the same food hang-ups as you. "You hate milk?! I hate milk!!"*** And then you do your happy milk-hating dance together.****

So... I'm not going to talk about my egg white issues.

That's healthy, right?

I'm just not.


It's not like I need to.



Unless you really want me to.

If you really want to know, do nothing. That'll be our secret signal.


Well, I stand corrected! It's amazing how well we communicate!

Okay, then, in

It's the rubbery texture that makes me all squeebee.

* Who says I'm cold and unsharing? Just don't eye my Pecan Twirls.

** This has nothing to do with the aversion but, let's face it, I'm all about the tenuous tangent and this one is at least about eggs. Several years ago, I was over a relative's house for dinner and she asked me to carry in a tray of deviled eggs. I did, but as I got to the table, I, and the tray, stopped moving, but the eggs, slippery suckers, kept going. Pity there was no America's Funniest Home Videos slide whistle sound effect to accompany the arc of the eggs as they went flying off the tray. I was particularly pleased that one deviled egg did a beautiful swan dive into a tall glass of soda. *Sploosh!* ... Wah, wahhh.

*** Yeah, I actually do hate milk. You, too?! OMG!

**** Because I have complete faith in the Interwebs, I searched Google images for "milk hating dance". Hey, you never know. It gave me images for each of these words but not the combination. I think Google should create a mash-up of images for you if it can't actually find the combination you're seeking.

***** All right, your turn.

11 September 2008

If I said you had a beautiful foot, would you hold it against me?

My feet are extraordinary.

They must be.

Foot fetishists (yes, plural) have approached me.

It started years ago. I had no idea what power I had at my fing--er, toetips until I was approached outside a Dunkin Donuts. I had just dashed in to purchase a bagel for a quick bite while I was running errands. So here I am, carrying my bag of bageliciousness to the car when a man in the parking lot calls to me...

Man: Excuse me!

I don't generally respond to strangers in parking lots because nine out of ten times they want money and the tenth time is even worse to consider.

Man: Miss! Excuse me, Miss?!

Since he is so insistent, I wonder if I've dropped something. I am now within a foot or two of my car and about 15 feet from the man who is calling to me. I grasp my bagel and my pepper spray a bit more firmly and turn to face him.

Man: Excuse me... I... Your shoes are so pretty.

Me: *pause* Thank you.

Man: Can I ... touch them?

Me: No.

Man, licking his lips: Please? I only want to touch your shoes.

I hop into the car, hit the power lock, and peel out of there.

Now if this were a one time issue, I'd think it was the shoes, which, as I recall, were a standard pump--you should pardon the expression.

But it's not. I've had moments like this with other men. It goes something like this...

Man next to me at lunch counter: Look at you with your polished toes.

Me: Oh, uh, yeah.

Man: They're really nice.

Me: Thanks.

Man: Really... I'll bet men talk about them all the time.

Me: Er, no.

Man: You have such beautiful feet.

Me, picking up my lunch and leaving: Thanks! Gotta dash.

I've always thought my feet were pretty standard. Reasonably tapered and a modest size but nothing to write Penthouse about. But I don't know what makes a foot sexy so I may be a little off here. Not trying to slam those that are into it, I just can't relate.

Are there women who are foot fetishists or is this strictly a guy thing? I know women who ogle what I'd call "non-obvious" parts, like hands, arms, etc. but I don't know women who are into feet. I suppose it's possible I may not know everything... somehow... maybe.

Anyway, I'm sure someone will request a photo, so, here is a photo taken a few years ago when my feet were in their prime. You be the judge, but I warn you, this picture is pretty provocative:

You're panting right now, aren't you.

10 September 2008

Baths are the best!

You can't compare showering to bathing.

No, I mean YOU can't. I can...

First, let me say for the record that bathing is way superior. If it pleases the court, I'll present my evidence:

I'll even open my argument with the clincher: It is dang near impossible to shave your legs in a 3 x 3 shower stall, unless you are one of these people:

This is one important reason I bathe. But there's so much more...

Technically, I could shower in the bathtub but once you're in the bathtub, you might as well lay down and relax, right? It's like why would you pee standing up if you can sit down? Nobody would! That's just silly.

And bathing is relaxing: all that hot, soapy water swishing around you. Okay, some people call it stewing in your own filth but I prefer to think of it as more of a delightful consommé.

When you shower, there's always that one spray of water that hits you right in the eye no matter where you stand. How is that good? It's not, I tell you. Not so, with a bath.

And if someone else is using water while you're in the shower? Too bad for you, Bucko. You either scald or freeze. Sometimes both in rapid succession! With a bath you get a nice, consistent temperature no matter how many sadistic housemates you have.

If you share a shower, someone is always out in the cold. If you share a bath, everybody's happy.

There are many more bath products than shower products. Coincidence? I think not.

And, finally, for my closing argument: When I was a child, I was all about this stuff:

because, as you can clearly see from the label, it "makes bathing fun." As if bathing could get any better (!) --but, somehow, with this stuff, it did!

There's no Silly Soap for showers. Doesn't that say it all?

Case closed.

09 September 2008

Oh Fab, We're Glad...

When I was a youngin' and living at college, I was fortunate enough to have a laundry room in my dorm. I'd do laundry on the weekends, because I was that much fun. Well, laundry, hitting the pub, and playing pool.*

I'd pump bo-coo quarters into the washers/dryers but at least I didn't have to haul my laundry through the snow. As they were timed cycles, I'd load up the available machine(s), check the time, and come back when the cycle was scheduled to be through. I remember one Saturday afternoon, arriving to retrieve my whites from the dryer which should have just buzzed, only to find another chick there with my socks in her hands. I stood there, confused.

Me: Are those my socks?

Chick: Yeah...

Me, eyes widening: Why do you have my socks?

Chick: They were just. so. white.

Oh. By all means, then. If they're so white you can't help yourself, take my socks.

Puleeze. I took them back. I never said anything to her because I couldn't wrap my brain around the audacity of her answer. But I've never forgotten it either.***

I picture this chick in court:

Judge: Did you steal the necklace?

Chick: Yeah...

Judge: Can you tell the court why?

Chick: It was just. so. sparkly.

Every time I take my gym clothes out of the dryer and think that my socks are looking a little dingy, I remember this chick, coveting my white socks and I think: they're fine.

* Despite the fact that I played a lot of pool, I never got any better. Not even a little. I can hold a cue. I can connect. I can sometimes sink something. Once in a while I luck into a really impressive shot. And the rest: complete crap. Fun!**

** This is surprisingly similar to my bowling experience. Fun!

*** Years later, I was watching a porn film. The, um, actress in the scene delivered her lines enthusiastically: "It's so big! And white!" I thought of socks.

08 September 2008

Hair cuts and Indian food smells

For a while, maybe a year and a half, I cut hair. I wasn't particularly good at it. I had no training. It wasn't like I was making a living at it. I just did it. I charged less than $10 a haircut.

During this time (years ago), I repeatedly went over to a friend's house to cut his hair. He believed I could cut his hair because I said I could. Never underestimate the power of projecting confidence! Also, I was cutting my boyfriend's hair at the time and said boyfriend wasn't wearing a baseball cap to work. So I guess I could at least follow a previous cut.

During this time period I probably wound up cutting hair for five or six guys.* Generally, I just did what I saw cutters do. You know, a lot of pulling the hair out to a distance on both sides of the head and eyeballing it to see if it was even.

So I went to my friend's house to cut his hair. I remember entering the house and smelling the rich combinations of cumin and coriander and cinnamon and my friend saying, "Doesn't that smell wonderful? Why don't you stay for dinner." His young bride had prepared an Indian meal for their (extended) (Indian) family.

At the time, I thought "Ugh. Weird smells!" and begged off.

I cut his hair while his wife watched everything I did. At the end, she said, "I think I can do that."

I said, "Sure you can."

My friend said to his wife, "No, you can't cut my hair. You don't know what you're doing."

I tried to assure them both it wasn't that hard but he'd hear none of it. She went off to watch Three's Company. Seriously.

I stopped cutting my friend's hair when, in the course of one evening, I nicked a mole that was just below his hairline with the scissors and told his brother that he wasn't fooling anyone by combing his hair from one ear over his bald head to the other ear.

Yeah, smooth. That's me. I hope they teach some customer relations skills at beautician school.

But back to the smelly Indian food... Today, I love Indian food and the smells that come with it. I can totally get fat on Indian food because Indian restaurants so often provide a buffet and it all looks and smells so good to me. Samosas, pakoras, dals, curries, nan, all of it. I can load up a whopping plate of Indian food, finish it off, and happily go back for more.

Which leads me to today's question: How can something smell repugnant to you at one point in your life and smell absolutely wonderful to you at another point in your life?

* Never women. In my experience, women care if their hair is cut right much more than men do.

05 September 2008

It doesn't sound so bad

We are lying in bed last night. Hubby is reading. I am watching television. I'd mention what I was watching but I don't want to get all politicky on you. Suffice to say, I am oddly fascinated at the icky little horror show playing out on screen.

Me: Does she look drugged to you?

Hubby, continuing to read: Mm...

Me: She's a little slurry. Like maybe she popped a few muscle relaxers. Can't say I'd blame her, talking in front of such a huge crowd. Look! Look at her eyes. It's like she had one too many Mojitos...

Hubby, continuing to read: Mm.

Later in the evening...

Me: This is icky. Look at this... Look at these people...

Hubby: Mm.

Me: Let's not wait. We should move to Cozumel now. Think we could move in, say, the next two years?

Hubby, looking up, considering: Sure. We'd have to eat cat food.

Me: Can we get the Seafood Medley?

Hubby goes back to reading.

Fine. More for me.

Factoid: Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys line of cat food includes a single flavor labeled "Seafood and Egg Souffle with Pacific Shrimp and Garden Greens."

Now, doesn't that sound yummy?

04 September 2008

There are all kinds of contributions in this world

of DCBlogs part-time editor fame writes:

"Not much snark in the house tonight, as I recently lost a loved one (by which I mean: someone I love died, not that I misplaced someone in Safeway’s product section). At the same time, that means those of our fair community nattering on about what to buy don’t get a lot of sympathy from me. Basically, the message is: write about something meaningful, and if you can’t, consider it a good time to go search for meaning and cease writing until you find it. Reviews of TV series? Seriously, not meaningful. That said, here are some blogs I’ve read and “enjoyed” lately, as much as I can be said to be enjoying anything now."

I do feel sympathy for Foilwoman in her current state and offer my condolences.

She also got ripped a new one in the comments on DCBlogs.

I, too, take issue with her dictum.

I very intentionally avoid serious stuff on this blog. Because I know you. Yeah, you.*

You don't want to hear me harangue you about the disappearing polar bears or rant about the threat of terrorists.** You don't want me to dissect the weighty issues for you. If you wanted that, you'd tune in to the biased pundits of your choice. You'd watch convention speeches instead of re-runs of Deal or No Deal. You'd become a community activist instead of sitting on your couch with a bag of Cheetos.

But that's not you and you shouldn't apologize for it. I accept you just the way you are.**** If Foilwoman knew you like I know you*****, she'd realize that your life is hard enough.

You have enough on your mind. You've got to figure out if that asshat you work with is on your side or just giving you lip service. You've got to buy groceries and try to pass expired coupons while rushing to beat that woman with the screaming child and the overflowing basket to the just opened, check-out line. You've got to deal with freaky neighbors and their yard/stereo/insertpettyannoyancehere-war ways.

Yes, I know you. I know what you need. You don't want meaning. You want a dancing monkey.******

And who can blame you?
Life is hard enough.

* And take that pudding pop out of your mouth while I'm talking to you.

** Wouldn't it be cool if we could train the polar bears to attack the terrorists? Bear ratings would go through the roof and this would eliminate the question of additional terrorist attacks because polar bears are wicked vicious, though adorable to behold, as they rip a person apart. Talk about a deterrent! Maybe we could get them in a surprise confrontation on Jerry Springer. Jerry: What he doesn't know is that we've flown in a polar bear who says that he not only planted bombs but cheated on this bear's sister. Let's bring him out!***

Note to self: Send pitch to Jerry Springer show. Mention idea of bears in polyester halters and muffin-top shorts.

**** I saw you wipe that Cheeto dust on the back of the couch pillow. I still accept you. But... you know... couch pillow... I'm just sayin'...

***** I won't mention that incident at the Motel 6 with the cops if you won't. Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's the one. ...Huh? Of course, I still have the souvenir glass. And the thigh-highs. And the Anderson Cooper mask. I've said too much.

For your joy: dancing monkey.

What? Is it too leafy for you??

Recently, we realized a neighbor, one adjacent to us, was having his tree trimmed again. This was the second time in the last few months that we'd had the tree-trimming truck next door and the symphony of saws and chippers to delight us.

We fear for the neighbor's tree. That we will open the door and his once majestic silver maple will be whittled down to a toothpick. Or worse, a topiary.*

The doorbell rings. Hubby opens it to find said neighbor.

Hubby: Hi...

Neighbor, pointing to his tree in his yard: Hi! You can see, I've got the guys here to trim my tree.

Hubby: Yes, I noticed.

Neighbor, pointing to tree in our yard: So, I was wondering if you want yours done, too.

Hubby: Ours?

Neighbor: Yes. It wouldn't cost you a cent. I'd pay for it.

Hubby: Is something wrong with it?

Neighbor: No.

Hubby: Is it overhanging your lawn?

Neighbor: No. I just thought you might want to trim it so it matches mine. No charge to you.

Hubby: *pause* No, I don't think so. Um, thanks.

Neighbor: Oh. Okay.

What is wrong with people? A perfectly beautiful, healthy, happy tree and it needs to be trimmed to match? I don't think so. And the neighbor is so hopped up on the idea, he'll pay for it! Now if he wants to pay to have our gutters cleaned out...

* At a previous property, a rental, we had these weird Dr. Seuss spiral-cut shrubberies that landlady expected us to maintain. It's a shrub not a ham! What's wrong with a shrub being--oh, I don't know--shrub-shaped? Do we have to give it scoliosis?!

03 September 2008

Shoe shopping / Remember when you could buy something at a department store?

I need a pair of shoes. Some form of pump, black, stylish. Not too hard, right?

Macy's is having a Labor Day sale. We stop in. The shoe department looks like this:

Still, a sale is a sale. I select four shoes as possibilities and try to locate a salesperson. There is one at the cash register with an endless line with which to deal. I occasionally spot another fellow doing this sort of thing:

from the back room.

Hubby: Looks like there are a lot of people waiting. Maybe if you sit down...?

I clear the considerable collection of shoe filler paper balls, used peds (ew), and other shoe-related debris from a chair and sit. I think fondly of my childhood years when you could go into any department store and find it neat, organized, clean, pleasant. Meanwhile...

Leaves fall. Snow falls. Little birds hatch. Nothing happens at Macy's.

Hubby: Maybe sitting isn't the way to go...?

I stand up and spot the prairie dog fellow and he inadvertently makes eye contact! Ha! Got him! He gives me the universal signal that he will be with me in one minute. I nod, smile.

We go gray. We develop cataracts. We consider hip replacement surgery. Nothing happens at Macy's.

I find prairie dog fellow and he sees me and gives me the same signal again.

Cities rise and fall. Oceans cover the earth. Nothing happens at Macy's.

I drop the shoes with the rest of the mess and we leave. Five minutes later we are in DSW. I buy a pair of shoes. Of course, at this point, I'm stuck wearing orthopedic support shoes but I got a really sweet pair that offsets my walker.

02 September 2008

Because my gritty piece of wedding cake is your source of amusement

I should have had a great post... You see, I went to a vegan wedding. And even though I was a true vegetarian for eleven years, and still do not eat meat, I have no desire to go vegan. Vegan requires too much work and too much deprivation from my perspective. But here we were, attending a vegan wedding.

A friend that I'd known since grade school got (re-)married this past weekend. And she, a vegan, hired a vegan caterer.

Yup. From beginning to end it was vegan. In addition to no meat or fish... there were no eggs, no milk, no butter, no honey, no cheese, no gelatin, no animal products of any kind.

So I was all prepared to post about how lame the food was but, in fact, it was delicious. From the gazpacho in cherry tomatoes, mini pesto and caramelized onion pizzettes, veggie/tofu spring rolls with tangy dipping sauce, and more for appetizers to a very tasty and attractive sit-down meal that included pasta and a veggie terrine, to a lovely plate (pictured above) of wonderful (and non-gritty) cake, a sugar cookie, a mousse-like thingy, a chocolate bon-bon, and fruit, that some how didn't include cream, eggs, butter, etc. but still tasted like it did.

Amazing. It can be done and done well. The food was gorgeous, elegant, and scrumptious. And my friend got married to a wonderful man and did it in high style.

Now, what do I write about?!

Sometimes friends can be so inconsiderate.

01 September 2008

Restaurant trend I can do without

We went to National Harbor Saturday after running errands and, well, we don't need to do that again. (The first part. We are doomed to always need to run errands. I accept that.)

While we were there, we ate at a mediocre restaurant with high prices. Again, next time, um, no.

But I noticed that this restaurant had one of those mix and match menus that seem to be the rage. You get to pick from, say, four grilled fish choices. Then you get to pick, say, one of five sauces, to go with your fish. Nowhere on the menu is there any recommendation by the establishment, much less the chef, as to which sauce would ideally complement which fish. They'd rather you play Concentration (remember that game?) and maybe get a match, maybe not.

Now, if I go to a cafeteria or an all-you-can-eat buffet, I expect this kind of "Do what you will with the food. We are no longer responsible if you put mashed potatoes on your blueberry cobbler or douse your onion soup with malt vinegar" attitude. But, I see this more and more at supposedly upscale restaurants. Why am I paying to eat at a restaurant in order to take a gamble that I know how to combine what the kitchen has prepared?

Are they really trying to tell me that the halibut will taste equally fabulous with the lemon caper hollandaise as the fennel olive oil emulsion? And don't even get me started on the sauce entitled "lobster foam." I don't want to know what they do to the lobster to get it foaming. I just know what they did to me.