Archive for January, 2010
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010
The other night, my husband spoke to me in his sleep again. This time, he asked if I would buy him a pair of night vision goggles.
“Of course I will, babe!” I replied enthusiastically. How can I deny him anything, really? If he’d have asked for a rotation of concubines, I’d have made that happen for him in his sleep. If possible. In theory, of course.
Which brings me to my issues with one of the 21st century’s most modern day inventions: The GPS. (I know, not really a connection here, but segues have never been my strong point.)
This week, I have had several big business meetings (why is why you haven’t heard from me until now)—one with a new client and one that required me to give a presentation to the entire 100-person consulting team of which I’m now a player. (Talk about a real nail-biter …)
The former required me to drive at 6 a.m. to a destination I’d never been to before almost two hours from my house–in pouring 50 mph wind-soaked rain. There I was, in my beloved Honda Element, looking for the Bruce Springsteen station on XM radio, applying a safety layer of lip gloss, clutching my Mapquest.com directions in one hand, the steering wheel in the other, wearing last year’s prescription glasses, and teeter tottering like a confused skater from one trucker-infested highway to another. All the while, squirming up close to the windshield, squinting, and chanting “Hail Mary, son-of-a-bit*#”. (I know I’m Jewish, but frankly, “Oy vey, and can you pass the pound cake?” just wasn’t cutting it.)
Course, it didn’t help that I had to negotiate the Mapquest directions the entire time. But then again, it’s a small price to pay–holding a handy piece of paper between your fingers–for knowing they’d get me where I needed to be. Here’s why:
I simply do not trust my GPS. (And yes, I live in the modern world. I do have one.)
Now, I don’t know if this is a middle-aged phenomenon or if I’m just an illogical nervous Nellie who refuses to believe that an entire genre of technology can be reliable. But a report on the news the night before about this elderly couple who, in trusting their GPS, wound up lost in the icy woods overnight (fortunately, they had mints and beef jerky), confirmed what i already knew to be true:
The GPS (which, by the way, consistently offers a route that’s contrary to my beloved Mapquest, which does not help to inspire confidence), will land you in the wilderness every time. And, in my case, it would most likely be without the luxury of candy.
In this situation in particular, my Mapquest directions had me to getting to the client’s offices by way of the PA Turnpike. Beautiful. Like a Modigliani painting. Moving and personal and right on. Had I listened to my GPS, however, I would have been led into the fire’s den of traffic on I-95. As much I knew the turnpike was the way to go, I could not help but question myself when the GPS beckoned me otherwise. As if the consistent spewing of dirty truck spatter weren’t enough to send me over the edge, now I had to decide which route was the right one.
After a few anxiety-filled moments, I decided: In a war of Mapquest versus my GPS, Mapquest will win every time. That’s my rule going forward. After all, it’s easy to make sense of paper. A GPS? Not so much.
Besides, the lady that spits out the directions on the GPS is not at all warm or fuzzy. She’s robotic. And who wants to take advice from a robot? Not me, I tell you.
So which do you prefer: Mapquest.com or an unreliable piece of electronic car flotsam that could very well turn you into bear food? (No bias, though, seriously.) Let me know. And until next time …
Monday, January 18th, 2010
As part of my New Years’ resolution to be more organized (I didn’t put that one on my list because I just came up with it today…), I decided to clean out the two small drawers in my favorite side table (the size of a 20-inch television)—bought at a beloved warehouse-like antique store on Lawrence and Bell in my old stomping grounds of Chicago. Here’s what I found in it:
–One folder with information about my short-lived membership to the Cornerstone Gym near my house (which I have since cancelled after going only once a week to meet with an overpriced trainer).
–One brochure for the Wellness Solution Centers, an exercise and health facility about 30 minutes from my home that I no longer go to along with: a detoxification exam sheet and patient guide for when I signed up for their 30-day detox program; a Program Manual and success log (or otherwise), for when I did their ”8 Weeks to Wellness” program (diet, exercise, massage, chiropractic) and lost a scant .2 ounces in 42 days. (Hooray for me.)
–One Weight Watchers Complete Food Companion guide, 2004 edition (with points values for over 17,500 food items); one Complete Food Companion, 2008 edition (with over 18,000 foods and 5,000 new items); one Dining Out Companion 2008 edition (with 1330 restaurants and over with new chapters and dining out tips!).
–14 Weight Watchers Points Finder sliding scale thingies to help identify the appropriate number of points per food—no wait, make that 15, hold on, make that 16. Holy bologna, make it 17!
–Eight Weight Watchers “kickoff” brochures of some sort with various titles: Situation Solved Weight Loss on the Go; Getting Started Week 1; Getting Started Week 1 redux; Membership Options; Getting Started redux 2; Kick Start Your Success, Eat Wisely Week 1; “Welcome to Your Meeting”.
–Five paper pamphlets for tracking my food “points” each week (sadly, there were more expletives than points written)—and four wire-bound pocket-sized journals allowing me to keep daily points for up to three months each.
–Two Week 3 Be Active Weight Watchers flyers.
–Three birthday cards—one from my husband (so sweet), one from my dear friend Joan, and another from my parents.
–Four individual Weight Watcher recipe cards – one for apricot-glazed turkey and sweet potatoes (which I would never eat now that I’m newly off of sugar); another for quick and easy toffee ice cream pie (ditto); another for tofu-tapioca pudding (which sounds nice in theory, but according to Suzanne Somers, tofu is not a good combining food, just trust me); and the last one for corned beef and vegetables (which could work save the added glaze on the meat).
–Two Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate Counters by different respective publishers. (Dad, if you’re reading, happy to give one back to you…)
–And iPod and the holder I thought I lost 10 months ago.
–A packet of nails and two tubes of random lip balm.
–The instructions for how to set up the Weight Watchers bathroom scale that might as well be a two-headed monster lying dormant next to the toilet, just waiting to GET me.
–A magazine article outlining a three-day anti-inflammatory meal plan (for my “I’m not chubby, I’m just inflamed” phase).
–A pamphlet on how to Choose Your Foods: Exchange Lists for Weight Management and a folder on nutrition therapy from Amy with a hard-to-pronounce last name, RD, lDN, CCN, CDE.
–A brochure on how to alleviate stress from some chiropractic office I don’t remember.
–My lifetime membership card to Weight Watchers and current statistics in a bland beige plastic folder.
–The Jenny Craig Dining Out Guide (New Expanded Version), along with two personalized menu planners and a creative recipes book.
–One blank journal.
–An old conference brochure from when I spoke on Blogging and Beyond: Telling the Truth With Humor and Grace at the Montgomery County Community College. (Keynote speaker: Frank McCourt, sadly, now deceased.)
–Three grocery lists and four Wachovia deposit slips in a ripped up envelope, and a receipt for some book I ordered on Amazon.com on how to overcome overeating.
–Seven bobby pins.
Uh oh, not really liking the common theme.
This exercise certainly told me a lot about myself and my obsession with dieting. It’s worse than I thought, and pretty deep. So in the spirit of fresh starts and new years and embracing healing, you know what I did? I tossed it all out (well, everything but one calorie guide, birthday cards, iPod, bobby pins, journal, and bank receipts).
And boy, I feel lighter already.
So now that I’ve told you, you tell me: What’s in your unattended drawers? And what are you gonna do about it? Write to me!
Until next time!
Monday, January 11th, 2010
If this isn’t love—the kind of love a person waits at leats half of her life for—well, then I don’t know what is. In fact, I don’t know anything at all. Check it out:
The other night, I was watching a preview for a movie with Josh Duhamel on TV, when I couldn’t help but comment to my husband (who was just about to cross the border into REM sleep) how lucky Josh is to be married to Fergie.
“You know Fergie, don’tcha hon?” I say, knocking his shoulder to wake him up. “Of the Black Eyed Peas? I got a feeling, oaaww ooooh, that tonight’s goonna be a good night..oh yeah…oaww ooh…”
“Yeah, that’s nice.”
“I mean, if I were a guy, hell, I’d marry Fergie too. Smart man, that Josh. What’s not to want to marry?”
The fact is I have a crush on Fergie. Now close your mouth, I am NOT pitching for the other team. I love my husband and men in general.
This is a different kind of crush – a “middle aged, if I could rent a flux capacitor and go back in time and be wistful and younger and be anything, I’d be Fergie,” kind of crush. Or, “in my next life, I’d like to come back as Fergie”. Or, “if I were a tall rich dude with a metabolic system that could easily be bronzed and plated for its wonder, and who could marry anybody on the planet, I’d have to say, it’d be Fergie.” Or, “if I could somehow make myself reincarnate, I would work with key players on the astral plane to reconfigure my own anatomy to somehow, someway, mock hers.” Or, “if I had to sing any song in the universe, I would sing her arrangement of “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, in like 12 different languages.
You get the drift.
Now, lest you think I’m sounding crazy, well, that’s fine. You’d fall into the category of those people who don’t get me. But my husband, he gets me. He gets me good.
And so, while he tried to roll away from my Fergielicious talk and hot forgot-to-brush chatty breath on his neck, I decided to put him to a little test. So I said, “Hon, don’t you think Fergie and I have a lot in common?”
He rolled over and faced me. “Uh huh.” A grunt, a subtle snort, and then a furrow of the right sight of his face into the memory foam pillow. A few deep breaths and he played dead. (Nice method approach, seriously.)
“Don’t you want to know what it is?” I say, moving my mouth up towards his left ear, figuring that since he didn’t say anything, it implied his obvious desire to hear more about mine and Fergie’s similarities.
“Okay, well, first of all,” I say, “despite my peri-menopausal tendencies, slight metabolic condition and predisposition to black spandex, we’re both hot, bootylicious hot.” Nothing. Not even a sniff.
“Second,” I continue, “even though somebody once called my singing reminiscent of the shower scene in Psycho, we both have a great voice—I’m talkin’ unbelievable range. Third, everybody likes us, no, IDOLIZES us. Good grief, get off us already. We’re HUMAN you know?”
Not even a lip quiver.
“Fourth, we’re sassy. We get written about a ton. The paparazzi follow us both everywhere (so annoying sometimes, really, and dangerous)—although fortunately, we both know how to handle it with much grace. And fifth, even though I work for a health-care consulting firm, we both know how to rock a sequin mini-dress at the “office” if you will.” I smirk. “Just ask my colleagues.”
On that, he starts to snore– that chainsaw kind of snore—and his eyes flutter for a split second.
Middle-age delusion is just delightful.
“In fact,” I go on, “if I remember correctly, I could have sworn that Fergie wore the very wedding dress I wore at our wedding—thank you Nicole Miller—when she married that hot little piece of spicy man-beef, Josh Duhamel, last year. There were a few crystals on it, remember?”
I poke his cheek.
“Yes, I think I saw her in it in Us Weekly. But I wore it better, don’t you think? Just a teensy bit?” I pinch my thumb and forefinger together precariously close to his right eye.
Nothing. Not a peep.
“Which reminds me of another thing we have in common, we are both married to HOT men.”
At that point, he sat up straight, opened both eyes, stared me straight in the face and said with the clarity of a Shakespearean-trained actor, “You know, I never thought about that before, but you’re right. You and Fergie are practically twins. Pretty incredible.”
And then, he dropped like a bee after a straight blue-collar day of stinging.
Now that’s love.
What’s your middle-aged love story? C’mon, Valentine’s Day is coming. Give it up.
Until next time!
Friday, January 1st, 2010
Happy New Year to all of my faithful readers (and even those who may not be as faithful, but do check in from time to time…)
As I stated in my last post, I cannot believe it’s 2010. Where has the time gone? Why it feels like just yesterday that, instead of seeing the Walnut Street Theater’s rendition of Oliver and dining on chicken nachos at Jones, I was stocking my cabinets with duct tape, Chips Ahoys, Chef Boyardi Meat Ravioli, and neutral lip gloss (you never know) in preparation for Y2K. And yet, here we are – a decade gone by in a snap and about 23 now-expired holiday coupons in my purse.
As if that weren’t bad enough, it’s resolution time. And, as promised, I spent several chilly minutes on the front door stoop—braless and blotchy, in platform flip flops, light cotton pajamas and my husband’s favorite sweat jacket, index finger pointed North—conjuring up the most innovative collection possible. The criteria? Unlike more exercise and less pizza (big sigh), this year’s resolutions have to be specific, practical, and probable. With that in mind, here goes 10 I can feel good about:
1. Stop drawing extra pounds on the models in magazines. This came to me actually yesterday—after having asked Steppy to draw a double chin on the ingénue’s picture in the show’s Playbill. She shook her head while shading in the new chin fold (under my watchful direction, of course). At which point I asked her: “Am I sending you a bad message here?” Her response? “Maybe.”
2. Less TV. Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, thinking I can actually do this one is technically a lie IF you believe that wishful thinking is not far reaching or versatile enough to be considered a full-fledged resolution.
3. More sex (reprised from last year) even if I don’t want it or if I DO. Instead of going to bed thinking about how much I love whole wheat pretzels or how Anderson Cooper should grow out his buzz cut, I’m going to mute the TV and conjure up a little playfulness by say, channeling a hot kitty or meditating on the word “thong”. (Insert wink.) So watch out and meow, my handsome husband. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. (And lest you readers think this is a lie as well, so what if it is.)
4. Stop lying. Which, frankly, I really don’t do. In fact, I come from a long line of bad liars (except for my brother, but that’s another story—hey bro, love you!). I can barely keep all of my truths straight—having to manage an additional set of non-truths would just be downright cumbersome. With one exception: Lying to my mother about eating a pizza or a hamburger. The fact is lying to my mother about food is one of my family’s most long-held and Darwinian traditions. It connects us all so deeply, I wouldn’t dream of giving it up. Not at this point.
So let’s recap:
1. Stop asking other people to do my dirty work.
2. Sitcoms ARE important.
3. Channel a burning feline or anything else I can get my hands around.
4. Lie only in reference to processed food and only to my mother.
5. Use phrases like “cover your junk” and “do me a solid” and “I like your man bits” more often because they’re not likely to be covered in an AARP brochure. And I like that.
6. Empty the trash in the upstairs bathroom more often. Like right now since it’s overflowing with gross things like dirty cotton balls and random pieces of dental floss—gosh, I’m hungry. I wonder if we still have that leftover chicken in the frig?
7. Stop hissing at parades and women who look good in knee-high boots and ballet flats. #1—While I don’t understand how being crammed in between strangers on the side of the road in sub-freezing temps and watching a freak show of people riding on balloon-covered floats, in cartoon suits, or dancing on stilts is pleasurable, I will not judge. (Although the aliens watching over must really think we’re nuts.) #2—As for the stylish footwear…I forgive all of you sisters who keep those trends alive that do NOT flatter all of us. (You know who you are, you lovers of all things shoulder pads and culottes …) And despite my inability to find a suitable alternative since the stores are virtually dominated by these looks, you look fantastic. And really, that’s all that matters.
5. Use creative phrasing in lieu of Botox as a way to avoid aging.
6. Consider the alternatives to bathroom excess but don’t let them drag you down.
7. Gag my hissing reflex.
Now, let’s keep going:
8. Turn to the MTV Kids Choice Awards for inspiration and comfort. Whenever somebody does anything bad to me or mine—like, say, accuse me of child abuse and remove my new husband’s child from our care, tell me that I need gastric bypass surgery when I’m a size 12, or put me through 16 rounds of interviews only to offer me a job and then snatch it away for no good reason three weeks later—I’m going to let it roll off my body like imaginary green slime. In effect, I will slime myself. So there.
9. Come up with more and better ideas for solving the ills of society. For example, in an attempt to prevent parental alienation or one parent dragging their kid off to another country (this one’s for you, you hot David Goldman), every single divorcing couple should be FORCED to take an eight-week course on how to parent through the breakup. They don’t take it, they don’t get legal permission to move on. Brilliant, right? Send your mail and your checks made out to cash to the Wild River.
10. No more forced affected from the canines. This one will be admittedly hard. After all, the dogs don’t always know what’s good for them. Duh. They’re animals.
So again, that’s:
8. Get rid of cable television and regret it forever.
9. Be creative in a way that makes me superior.
10. Give the dogs a bone.
And this year, a bonus resolution:
11. Let my husband say whatever he wants in his sleep without trying to engage him in dialogue. For example, the other night, he rolled over and told me that I was “the only 3G network for him” (which I was fine with, but only after asking him several questions for clarity). Then, he muttered something about porcupines not having spots. To which I replied, “How can you tell?” I mean, seeing through those needles can be tricky, no?
And on that note, let’s see how it goes. 2010, here I come! Wishing you all a happy, prosperous, and resolution rich year. Let me know what your resolutions are.
Until next time!
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