Just Another Relaxing Day

Just Another Relaxing Day

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Tommy Hilfiger Umbrellas

Just another rainy Sunday. Stuck in the house for what seems like an eternity. I really hate going out when it rains. Too much trouble…for one thing…I absolutely hate the thought of carrying an umbrella. I would rather make the mad dash for the store entrance then fumble around trying to get the umbrella open. First, I would have to find the damn thing as it is usually stuck somewhere in the midst of never never land in the back of my SUV. Once I find the miserable thing, I have to fight with my daughter as to who is going to hold it…yes, we only have one….if she holds its, it usually ends up blowing out of her hand and then I have to chase after it….not something on my top ten to do list….if I hold it, she screams bloody murder that she is getting all wet…Once we settle that argument, I am the one stuck carrying it around the store. Now you have to understand something…I absolutely abhor carrying anything. It doesn’t matter what it is…car keys, purse, wallet…. doesn’t matter…I don’t want to carry it. I usually keep these things locked in the car, as I am lucky enough to have the code buttons on my car, which makes carrying my keys, a thing of the past.

Needless to say…the umbrella doesn’t make it into the store. It’s more of a car accessory that never gets used. Now, there are some people I know who think they will melt if they get one speck of rain on them…imagine the scene from the Wizard of Oz where the Wicked Witch slowly melts away…I am not sure about their bizarre motives for such thinking as one could only wish that the mere touch of rainwater would make some people disappear from our lives forever.

There is also the Sunday paper to contend with, as it always seems to be soaking wet from the rain. Usually my paper delivery person has the common sense to double bag the paper or put it in the mailbox…the later often seems like it is way too much trouble…however, I think having to drive all the way back to my house on Sunday morning to bring me a new paper is way more trouble…but, that is just my theory obviously not shared by my paper delivery person. The umbrella usually does not accompany me on this task either as it is just too much trouble. We do have two giant golf umbrellas in the garage…Tommy Hilfiger, nonetheless…which I won at a bridal show…I could easily use these to accomplish any task in the rain. By now, you should understand that these two umbrellas have no idea what rain is or even feels like….

Back to my rainy Sunday dilemma….I am sure I will be sitting in the rain for two hours as my daughter has soccer skills today. Nothing cancels soccer and I mean nothing…it could be a torrential downpour with gusty winds and clouds so black it looks like the gates of hell opened up…soccer carries on….only lightening and thunder can stop a game. I have sat through numerous games watching people trying to take cover under their umbrellas…usually more comical then anything else…meanwhile, I sit with my rain slicker on and ignore the fact that pneumonia will probably be setting in at any moment…but it’s all in the name of soccer…

Okay…off to breakfast to ponder the mysteries of umbrella usage or my lack of.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Real Meaning of Mother's Day

Mother’s Day…. one of the best days of the year…. the day Mom is supposed to sit back and relax while everyone else takes care of her. There is Sunday breakfast, Mass, flowers on the table, a big surprise waiting outside (you know…the new car we have all been waiting for)…a pedicure and manicure at my favorite salon and a lovely home cooked meal on the grill…big, juicy filets, corn on the cob, baked potatoes…. you get the idea.

Okay…I was dreaming about part of that…no, there will not be any new car in my driveway…but, there will be other moments that are priceless and no amount of money in the world could buy…. the look of happiness on my daughter’s face when she gives me her plant she grew herself at school…she has been hiding it in her room since Friday…of course, it is right on the window in plain view, but I don’t let on…it’s her big surprise and I wouldn’t ruin it for the world. There will also be her delight in taking me out to breakfast at the local diner…and getting all dressed up for Sunday mass. These are the moments that define my Mother’s Day and pull at my heartstrings bringing tears of joy. My daughter’s delight in helping me on this special day…even if she makes more of a mess than actually helps…is all that I need to feel complete and loved.

Yes, we will be going to a huge family BBQ later today, but that only adds to the excitement for my daughter as she gets to spoil Mommy and have fun all at the same time. And, let’s not forget soccer…yes, I said it right…soccer. My daughter actually has soccer practice today. I am not sure what genius thought that soccer would be the icing on the cake for Mother’s Day….I am sure it was a man…but, we have a two hour soccer practice this afternoon. I guess I should consider the fact that I will be sitting on a lawn chair with no responsibilities except to watch my daughter play two hours of relaxation. Knowing that my daughter loves soccer and wouldn’t want to be any place else is all that it takes for me to relish this time rather than loathe the thought of being there. Seeing her excitement at scoring goal after goal brings a happiness to my heart that nothing else could match…So, with this in mind…I stifle the attitude I had when I noticed that one of her practices fell on Mother’s Day and instead enjoy the moment with her.

In the end, it doesn’t matter to me what we do, where we go or what we eat. Knowing that I have a day to enjoy all the small things with my daughter that make up being a Mommy and feeling the love the emanates from my daughter as we do these things together is the priceless gift of being a parent. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.

The Mystery of Hot Dog Rolls

Last night I was discussing with my friend one of those mysteries of life that seems to perplex everyone and really has no answer…why are there only eight hot dog rolls in a package when there are obviously ten hot dogs in a package? What are you supposed to do with the extra two hotdogs? …Now, believe it or not…this conversation actually went on for about ten minutes as we tried to ponder the rationale behind this decision. Is it just a tactic by the bread companies to get us to buy an extra package of bread? If so, why don’t the hot dog people put six hot dogs in a package to make us buy an extra package of hot dogs…. the combinations are endless and daunting….the conversation then turned to what we should do with the two extra hotdogs…

Well, sometimes one drops when you open the package…in an emergency you would just wash it off and through it on the grill…don’t be grossed out by that because you know we all do it…..I worked in several restaurants while in college and let me be the first to tell you….if you think they throw away the $25 filet that you ordered because it fell on the floor while they were attempting to put it on the grill…you better guess again….that baby gets washed off and goes right back on the grill…it’s all about profit…what you don’t see won’t hurt you…..anyway…back to the hotdogs…

We now have one hot dog left that does not have a bun….my friend suggested cutting it up and putting it in macaroni and cheese…not sure my daughter would like that. I suggested just having one extra to serve with no bun….someone might be very unhappy with that option…so back to the drawing board. Perhaps, we just purchase an extra package of rolls. But, the dilemma becomes what to do with the extra rolls? Now, my daughter does like to eat bologna on hot dog rolls….I figure what’s the difference as bologna just seems to be the flat form of a hotdog….revolting to me…a delicacy to my daughter…no accounting for taste.

As my friend and I realized that we had actually just spent ten minutes of our conversation discussing the rationale behind hot dog buns, we had to pat ourselves on the back for having one of the most ridiculous conversations ever. However, something tells me we weren’t the first people to have this conversation and we probably won’t be the last.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bad Things Come In Pairs

As I am getting ready to go into a meeting in a rather shady section of New Jersey, I realize that leaving my GPS plugged in and displayed would be more like putting a sign on my car that reads….break my window with any heavy object nearby and steal my GPS and anything else valuable you might find. With this in mind, I go to unplug the power cord…as the stupid thing won’t stay charged for more than a few minutes on its own…and low and behold, wouldn’t you know it…the damn thing breaks…some little metal piece on the end disengages itself from the body and decides to lodge itself in the tiniest cranny you could imagine inside the lighter. Now, I am really pissed, because I am in a less than desirable town and have no idea how to get back home….I need the assistance of my GPS “Take Me Home” feature….almost like Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz with her ruby slippers that take her home…okay…desperate measures call for desperate tactics. I take a paper clip and shove it into the lighter trying to retrieve the missing piece…yeah….bright idea Einstein…that causes a mini fireworks show in the front of my car.

Needless to say…I am without a charger in my car. But, we all know that bad things always happen in pairs. The next thing to go in my SUV is the CD player. Let me explain that my CD player is the kind where you have to feed the CD’s into a slot on the dashboard…this means once they are in there…there really is no way of getting them out without taking a hammer and just smashing what I am calling the biggest piece of crap car in the world…don’t we all say that when something goes wrong with our car. I have five CDs just stuck inside my car…its as if the car literally ate them.

So, I take my car to the garage today to see how much these two ridiculous repairs are going to cost me….the cigarette lighter appears to be the minor of the two problems…worst case scenario $80 to fix…okay, not bad I tell myself…..but with good news, also comes bad news….they can not fix the CD player….that has to go to a specialty shop and could cost a lot of money to repair…..now, I don’t know about you, but I am not about to be spending hundreds of dollars to fix a CD player on a car that is almost eight years old.

Cars and I have a lot of issues….I am not one to continuously take my car to the garage for repairs….think of it this way…if my car where a child, someone would have called DYFS on me along time ago. My check engine light has been on for almost a month as I refuse to pay the $85 for them to “just hook it up to the diagnostic machine”. It’s not a person, it’s a car. When all these issues start piling on…my motto is usually to bail on the car…trade it in for something newer and better. I just can’t handle constantly being barraged with minor problems that add up to thousands of dollars in repairs. I would rather put that money into a new vehicle. I am obviously not the mechanics dream client as I routinely refuse the suggestions they make for my car. Well, off to start window shopping for my poor car’s replacement. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live somewhere else. Start all over again from scratch. Move somewhere that is removed from my everyday life. It might seem like a far-fetched idea with little possibility for actual achievement, but stranger things happen. Where would I want to live?…. Another country is always the first thing that comes to mind. I absolutely fell in love with Italy while I was there on a semester abroad trip in college. I imagine my lifestyle would have to change as Europeans seems to move at a much slower pace than Americans. I imagine my new home somewhere in Sicily. I see beautiful coastal towns and a slower more relaxed life style. Perhaps, I would teach in an American school or on a base for families living abroad. Maybe, this would be my opportunity to start a whole new career. I really think I could blend well into a traditional Sicilian setting. I could own and operate a seaside business which would be even more of a dream come true. A whole new life with endless possibilities…it never hurts to dream.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Comcast Cable...A Quick Fix

There is nothing worse then when you try to turn on your cable, and it doesn’t work. We just switched to digital cable…not because of all the hype or wonderful picture quality…it was actually cheaper for me to add digital cable as my previous three for thirty three offer was about to end…a great deal for twenty–four months, however, nothing lasts forever. I even managed to finagle a deal so that the cable guy would hook up the box for me at no charge.

It’s only been two weeks since we have gone digital. I am not really seeing the big deal, but for the next twelve months, I can live with it. It requires too much work on my part. I actually have to go to the higher channels…somewhere in the 200 range, if I want to take advantage of my new offer.

Let me get back to the story….I went to turn on the TV and nothing…I try several times and still nothing…just blue screen. I figure the cable must have went out. Since it is almost time for bed, I forget about it. When I get home from work the next day I realize that I still have no cable. Okay…. this is a problem. I am starting to loose my cool. I am cursing the cable guy up one side and down the other…mother f*# this and mother F*# that…can’t even fix the damn cable box…what the hell do they even pay you for…they should fire your stupid ass…wait till I get someone on the phone! Now, we all know getting someone on the phone is a task only Hercules can accomplish.

As I begin to wait….twenty five minutes to be exact…I try to talk to someone on the computer…I am sure the person was translating my English into whatever foreign country was talking to me through my computer….the person on the other end of my computer tells me….”I understand you want to discuss problem with cable”…..as soon as I read that my blood was really boiling…at this point a live operator finally came on the phone…Yes, he even spoke English.

He goes through the basics with me. Are all the cables connected?….Is the TV plugged in? Sometimes I wonder how they can even ask such stupid questions…Of course the TV is plugged in…How the hell else would I know the cable doesn’t work?…..He then tells me to turn off the cable box and turn it back on. OMG…..magic happens….the cable is instantly fixed….my dumb ass never turned on the cable box. Can I even begin to tell you how stupid I felt?… Open Mouth…Insert Foot.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Target $100

Target….A store I love, but secretively loathe at the same time. I can pretty much go into any store without spending more than I planned to when I went in. However, there is just something about Target that screams… Benjamin…for those of you not in the know that would be $100..…it doesn’t matter how well I budget before I go in the store or how many times I swear that I am not spending more than exactly what I planned…the register always rings up the $100 tab.

Now, I have thought of ways to defeat what I like to call the “Target 100”…I could simply leave my purse in the car and only take what I am going to spend…in cash of course…but, what would happen if I passed up the sale of the century or something that was just too good to be true? What if I just couldn’t wait till next time to purchase that CD that I really needed, those socks in five different colors that are just going to sit in my dresser drawer or the array of bizarre snacks that can be found nowhere but here…The pressure to purchase would cause me to walk back out to my car for my purse.

Since Christmas…when I put myself on a strict budget…I have been a much better consumer at Target…I now pick things up and carry them around with me…no more shopping cart for me…when my arms get too full, I know it’s time to put things down. I have saved a lot of money using this nifty little trick…Target, your gigantic cart that can fit five children in it no longer has a grip on me…I have freed myself from the insanity of buying stuff that I know I will never use…just because it looks good in the store doesn’t mean that you will actually have a use for it at home…I learned this from eating food samples at Sam’s Club and BJ’s….yes, anything tastes good when you are hungry and it is free…that’s how they lure you into buying it….then, when you get home…what the hell are you going to do with ten pounds of pulled pork or five pounds of dip?…..nothing…that’s what you’re going to do with it…absolutely nothing. For this reason, I no longer shop at those mega warehouse stores. To be free from the Target $100 is such a liberating moment. J

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Foot Cheese, Please..

I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond this weekend with a friend. One of the highlights of the store is the “As Seen on TV” section. Imagine every strange gadget you have ever seen on a late night TV commercial….they are all here for your buying pleasure. The Ped Egg called out to me from the thousand or so that were strategically placed at the entrance door…I certainly couldn’t miss these guys, now could i?…A Ped Egg…sounds strange…what the hell does the thing do?…at first glance, it looks like a mini cheese grater that you can hold in the palm of your hand…I am sure someone will use it for this, however, that is not how it was intended to be used.

My Ped Egg is designed for me to “shave”…yes, I said shave…the dead skin off the bottom of my feet. Doesn’t really sound that appealing at first, but when I think about what my feet look like…and the fact that flip flop season is almost upon us…I decide to splurge on my little foot luxury…lucky for me my friend has a 20% off coupon. Friends are so great. I contemplate buying the extra blades…my feet can be really nasty when they are inside my boots all day…No, one will do for now…no need to over indulge myself.

My Ped Egg ends up sitting in my car for the next few days. For some reason, I forgot I even made the purchase. It wasn’t until this morning that I remembered my little egg. After carefully reading the instructions…SHARP BLADES, BEWARE…now, wouldn’t common sense tell you that something that is going to scrape the nasty, thick, dead skin off the bottom of someone’s feet would indeed have to be pretty sharp…directions for idiots….I put my little egg together and begin to go to work….I rub it back and forth on both my feet several times…Okay…now it gets disgusting.

As I am rubbing the egg on my feet, I happen to tilt the thing a little to the side…as it begins to snow all over my legs, I realize that these “cheese” like shavings are the dead skin that has been removed from my feet. Okay, Egg…your doing your job. I continue on for another few minutes until my feet are nice and smooth. As I open the egg to see the mysteries of the inside, all that is revealed is about three inches of what looks like shredded cheese…this might make you think twice about where your cheese comes from….I empty the contents into the trash and realize that perhaps this is where the term “foot cheese” actually came from.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And You Thought You Were in Debt...Guess Again

Could you imagine owing a bill of $530,000? How would you even begin to pay that off? And no…. it’s not your mortgage. It is the money that a Michigan man has failed to provide for his 14 children that he fathered with 13 different women. OMG…. I guess this man has never heard of a little thing called protection or the myriad of horrible things that could befall him by essentially playing Russian Roulette thirteen times. Think of all the things that you hear about on the news. How could anyone be this stupid?

According to The Michigan Flint Journal, Thomas Frazier, who is only 42, has not made a single child support payment in six years. For God sakes, the man doesn’t even have a job. I guess he figured fathering one child per year since he turned eighteen was more than enough contribution to society…now, he could have fathered all these children during a series of lurid affairs over a few days time, but I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt…considering his track record that’s probably an unsafe assumption, but, what the hell.

Now, Mr. Frazier would like to argue that it was impossible for him to pay his total monthly child support obligation of $3000 for all fourteen of his children. Let’s break this down and see what that amounts to per child…. that would be about $214 per child per month or roughly $50 per week per child…. What the hell are you supposed to buy a child on $50 a week?…this is supposed to provide for food, clothing and shelter. Mr. Frazier….I say shame on you!!!…. You owe these women a whole lot more than a lousy $50 per week. You owe each of these children the right to a father who they have probably never seen, since you claim that only three of them are your biological child…I say…Jerry Springer can prove whether or not you are the father or maybe Montel or Maury…let the world know that you have been convicted unfairly…. something tells me that you will not pursue any DNA tests as the results will most certainly be held against you.

According to the newspaper, Mr. Frazier has 90 days to pay $27,900 in arrears payments. I am not sure how they came up with that amount, but I am sure Mr. Frazier has no intentions of paying one single penny. As of today, Mr. Frazier remains in jail unable to pay. I wonder how many license plates he will have to make to pay off his debt.