Saturday, November 28, 2009
There's something you should know about me Internet. . . I'm not like other girls. Or boys for that matter. At least not when it comes to graft.
Back in the nineties, I was working for a large New York bank in their Credit Card Marketing division. I was in a systems liaison role between IT and Marketing, and as such, I had no purchasing power or business influence in any way. My job was to make sure that software got developed and deployed to the Marketing Department's specifications. Yet there was one particular salesman who was so determined to keep and develop our business, that he tried to buy everyone on the Marketing team, including me.
This salesman, we'll call him Ira, worked for a large company that was a consultant to our bank in the loyalty marketing arena. They were experts in building customer relationships and had consulted to almost every enormous conglomerate you could imagine. The founder was a very strange but brilliant man who believed so deeply in the concept of quality in business that he wore the word around his neck in necklace form. Trust me when I tell you that you haven't lived until you've seen a 70 year old Norwegian man sporting rapper bling in the office. This thing was so huge, it would have made T Pain blush.
Now before I go on, you need to know that many of the Marketing people that I worked with were VERY open to accepting what ira had to offer. Broadway show tickets, concert tickets, expensive dinner and gifts of every imaginable kind. So when I had to go out to Minneapolis to babysit a systems installation that this company was doing on our behalf, his expectations had been set by those that came before me.
The first day that I was in Minneapolis, Ira hunted me down in the office and offered to take me to dinner. I politely refused him, citing my exhaustion from the trip, but Ira, I learned, does not take no for an answer. He called me, visited me and sent me messages via other employees that he wanted to take me to dinner. Eventually too tired to argue anymore, I said yes.
Ira picked me up at my hotel at 7:00 that night. When I asked him where we were going, he told me The Mall of America. I am certain that I made the poo face when he said this because he immediately started selling me on the mall - it was enormous, had many great restaurants and even an indoor roller coaster. Well whoop de doo! All I could think was if I were back at my room I'd be two spoons into an ice cream sundae and a pay per view movie by now.
In his defense, Ira did pick a lovely restaurant and we made bullshit small talk about Beaujolais and ice fishing (if you know anyone from Minnesota, you know that the talk invariably turns to ice fishing). After I rejected the steady stream of drinks and desserts that he offered he asked me if he could buy me something in the mall. Of course, my answer was no. I just wanted to go back to the hotel. Finally he said, how about we go to a movie. Again, my answer was no. But again, Ira wasn't hearing it. He asked again. Now I was officially pissed. I truly hate to be harrassed, as my kids are well aware and that was the final straw. But before I could tell him to shove the entire movie theater up his ass, I had what I can only describe as a stroke of evil genius. "Sure Ira, let's go to the movies."
We walked up to the movie theater and Ira purchased the tickets. "What is this movie about?" he asked, mentioning that he had never heard of it. "I really don't know." I said, lying through my teeth. As we sat waiting for the movie to start, Ira was still offering to take me to this store or that to buy me whatever I wanted and again, I politely refused. Mercifully, the house lights dimmed and the movie started.
The opening scene starts with a couple having breakfast in what looks like a southern California diner. They are very affectionate and clearly in love. They are kind of an adorable couple. The girl is very mousey, almost shy and the guy has a thick English accent. They call each other pet names, look lovingly at each other, order refills of coffee and then begin to talk about robbing the diner. Before you know it, the mouse and the Brit are up on their feet waiving guns in the air and yelling the following:
Pumpkin: All right, be cool, this is a robbery.
Honey Bunny: Any of you fucking pricks move, and I'll execute every mother fucking last one of you!
With this, I can feel Ira's body tense up. Then Misirlou comes blasting out of the speakers and the opening credits roll. Yes, I took Ira to see Pulp Fiction. With every scene - the foot rub conversation, the Ezekiel speech, the overdose scene, bring out the gimp, Marvin's head in the back of the car, Ira's butt clenched a little bit tighter. And as his sphincter went into overdrive, my heart sang with increasing levels of glee.
When we walked out of the theater Ira seemed a little shaken. He sighed heavily and asked me what I thought of the movie. I answered him honestly - "Ira, that was the most amazing movie I've seen in ten years. I thought that was some of the most incredible dialogue I've ever heard." He was still visibly shaken and told me that he thought it was terribly violent. I just shrugged and started walking through the mall. Ira caught up to me and asked if I wanted to go for a drink. I politely refused and mumbled under my breath "What I really want is a wallet that says Bad Motherfucker". "What was that?" he asked. "Just saying thank you for the lovely evening. Can you take me back to my hotel? I'm tired.". Strangely enough, this time, Ira didn't argue.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The other problem that I have with lying is that one of my two kids has very finely tuned perception and is apt to call bullshit on me in every case where I try to use mom logic (ie. If you eat broccoli, you will grow big and strong) or little white lies (Fuggs are just as good as Uggs, they are made by the same factory). She cuts through my baloney like a laser, calls me out on it (usually in public) and makes me look dumb(er than I really am).
But there was this one time that I got over on her and my son in such a beautiful way that it goes into my personal lying hall of fame. This lie also had the added benefit of absurdity, giving me pants-pissing fits of laughter every time I think of it. Are you ready? I somehow managed to convince my children (9 and 6 at the time) that my husband, their father had been a world famous break dancer named Boogaloo Shrimp.
Now, those of you that remember the 80's will recognize this name as a mash up of the two main dancers from the movies Breakin and Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo - Shabadoo and Boogaloo Shrimp. These were no ordinary movies either, they were celluloid stinkers of such epic proportions that somewhere, some film teacher has to be screening them to film students as a cautionary tale.
I told my kids that he used to travel the country going to break dance competitions and that I would follow him from town to town, doing his hair and putting together his wardrobe. I knew I had them early into the story because they leaned in and listened with rapt attention, never pausing to fight even once. Then they asked questions, which I answered confidently and with great detail. I have to say, I was committed and I said my fiction with convition.
After that, I sat back for the payoff, which to me was just having my husband come down the stairs and say "So I'm a break dancer named Boogaloo Shrimp, huh?". That would have been enough to make this whole thing worthwhile. But no, the reward was far greater.
I guess I had forgotten that children being what they are, love to brag about their parents to other children and that those children turn around and tell their parents about the cool thing that they heard. So fast forward a couple of weeks and we are at a neighborhood barbecue. I walked up to the grill and as I put my plate out for a hamburger, our neighbor says to me (without a trace of irony) "So hubs used to be a break dancer? " I froze up, startled at the question and as soon as I looked him in the eye, I broke into a fit of hysterical laughter. I laughed so hard, I forgot about my hamburger and had to walk away to compose myself.
It wasn't until later in the evening, when I caught my husband giving me the stink-eye from the corner of the yard, that I realized that the bomb had finally been dropped on him. Seems he had spent the better part of the barbecue explaining to people that he was never this -
I'm pretty sure he still hates me a little for that one.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Before we go bowling, let me thank a couple of lovely ladies for recent awards:
I got the My Friend award from Speaking from the Crib and the Beautiful Blog Award from Jen over at Woolgatherings and Lessons in the Art of Slow. I thank both of these wonderful gals profusely and recommend that you check them out, on the slim chance that you are not already familiar with them. They are awesome in every way.
- It's tall, so it may not fit easily on your shelves.
- It's heavy terracotta, so it takes some effort to haul around
- It only comes in green.
Now here's the kicker - it's on sale at Kohls.com for 17.99. It was originally 29.99. This is a pretty good price point for a bowl of this quality. If you are looking for the ideal bowl to serve a Vesuvius sized portion of mashed potatoes in on Thanksgiving, look no further. Here's the link to see it at Kohls.com -
Now that I got that out of my system, I am pretty sure that you won't be seeing any product reviews from me for a long time. I promise.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
First off, let's talk about the mothers. Help me baby Jesus if I did not see some ridiculously inappropriate looks on these women. The sequined newsboy hats, the false eyelashes and the the over-smoked eyes looked painfully desperate and costume-ish. I understand that they are trying to fit in, but by doing that, they stood out like a priest at Flashdancers.
Then there was the middle aged guy who came by himself. That just screams shady late night uncle. His whole look was very 'I still live with my mother and dry catskins in her shed' . I tried hard to steer the girls away from where he was sitting. My least favorite of all were the clueless parents that didn't seem to realize that they were at the event with 15,000 other people. It's great that they brought their adorable, curly headed moppets to see the show, but as soon as you put that adorable curly headed moppet on your shoulders, she becomes a globe-headed, stage blocking pain in the ass.
Then of course there was Miley herself. Who chose to use this tour to assert her sexuality in a series of hotpants and bustiers. There was nothing wrong with these costumes per se, I just think that some of the moms of younger girls were twitching with each crotch-busting costume change. It looked like poor Miley had to pick wedgies all night. One thing that I will say for the girl is that she sang every note. It was easy to tell that she wasn't lip syncing as she hit a couple of bum notes, changed the key of a couple of songs, huffed and puffed through the more vigorous dance routines and giggled and shared inside jokes with her dancers mid-song. For a sixteen year old on an arena tour, she was amazingly capable. I just think she has a long way to go in terms of making an emotional connection with her audience. It seemed a little like she phoned it in (not that the kids noticed one bit).
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- Number of people that panhandled me for money: 2
- Number of people in Penn Station wearing Metallica tee shirts - 17 (then I stopped counting when I realized that there was a Metallica concert at the Garden)
- Number of people that audibly passed gas in my general vicinity in Penn Station - 3
- Number of people that silently passed gas in my general vicinity in Penn Station - Who the F knows, the whole place smells like a fart
- Number of times my daughter complained because we had to wait on a line - 23
- Number of texts I got from my son while he was at the movies about how *funny the movie 2012 was - 2
- Number of times I was insulted by a rude waiter - 1 (lower than the NYC average)
- Number of times I cried watching the Lion King - 1 (the opening of the play is very beautiful and moving)
- Number of times we got yelled at for having our "Electronic Devices" out in the open before the play started - 3
- Number of times we gave a shit - 0
- Number of tweets that I managed to get out while at the Minskioff Theater - 0 (they have a lead shield in the roof to prevent all such enjoyment while waiting for the play to start)
- Number of puddles my daughter failed to avoid while walking back to Penn Station in the rain because there was not a cab to be had from 46th street to 34th street- All of them
- Number of glasses of wine that I have enjoyed while writing this post - 2.5
*Ok, I know nothing about this movie, but I am pretty sure that it's not a comedy. What happened to you John Cusack? You used to be edgy and cool and a little nerdy (but in a good way). I swooned for your cool underachieving Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything. I laughed at your nerdtastic Bryce in Sixteen Candles. I was thoroughly amused by your angsty Woody Allen impression in Bullets Over Broadway. And you committed the coolest movie character of all time (next to Jules in Pulp Fiction) to celluloid as Martin Blank in Grosse Point Blank. How in god's name did you allow yourself to be in a whistling, tap dancing, flaming turd of a disaster movie (just a guess) like 2012? I am going to go watch Say Anything and cry.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I sat at my desk and hopped from blog to blog, reading and commenting, reading and commenting until again, there was movement in the yard. This time the movement was not fleeting, it was consistent and spoke clearly of a live presence out there. Finally distracted enough to look away from what I was doing, I saw an immense grey bird, walking the edge of my pool. I did a triple take and rubbed my eyes, because I could not believe the size and shape of this creature. It had long legs with webbed feet like a duck, a long goose-like body with compact wings and a neck that had to be at least 18" long. Atop his neck, a tiny head with a long bill.
As he walked gently along the pool ledge, his head slowly bobbed atop his craning neck. Then he turned his head and body and faced the house, looking directly at me looking at him. I tried to wake my husband to get him to look at this alien creature in our backyard, but he and the worthless dog were uninterested in our visitor. HELLO? There is an EFFING THREE FOOT TALL BIRD walking along the ledge of your pool! You might want to drag your lazy asses out of bed to take a look. Nothing. Being that they weren't going to get up and look at him, I decided to grab the camera and try to get a picture.
I ran down stairs and found our camera on the counter in the kitchen. I looked out the kitchen window and saw that he had gotten off the pool and had gone to the top of the hill. Just the perfect location for me to quietly sneak a picture out of the sliders in the den. Just as I got to the sliding doors, he drew up his long legs and took flight. He needed a minimum of flaps once he stretched out his wings and what I estimate to be at least 25 pounds of bird was gone, just like that.
Knowing that there are wetlands about 4 miles away, I googled for wildlife at the local beach and sure enough, there he was - The Great Blue Heron. I think it was my first time seeing one. It was certainly the first time seeing one in my backyard. There is something magical about seeing a bird or animal misplaced in an environment like your backyard. You almost have to ask yourself - Did I really see that? I hadn't had my first cup of coffee yet, so I guess I can't be sure. But one thing that I am certain of, I will never ignore a piece of paper flying past my window again.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Check these fun ladies out -
Doot over at a Nut in a Nutshell - Giveaways and all sorts of fun over at her place.
Amy, over at Goodby 20's Hello Botox - She's driving distance from New Orleans, but I won't let my jealousy over that fact keep me from recommending her blog. She's a total doll and the winner of my 100th blog post spectacular. That's right, she got the vinyl gloves. Be jealous y'all!
From what I can tell, these next two ladies don't do awards, but they get a "highly recommend" from me and a total pass on the participation in the award tagging. Hell, you ALL get a pass on that if you don't want to do it. I don't want to pressure anyone, just share the bloggy love.
Wendi Aarons - A brilliantly funny lady and a hell of a writer.
Smacksy - LPR is having all sorts of fun being mom to an adorable and precocious three year old and she has a wicked sense of humor about it all.
OK, I give up. . . I don't want to choose. If you are on my (only semi-up to date) blogroll, please grab this award. I love you all and I'm tired and I have a pork loin to marinate. Have a great Sunday.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
In a word, Halloween was OK (is that really a word? Probs not.) The thing that was harshing my mellow was the constant race against the clock. I wish I'd had more time to clean and cook, but thanks to an exploding transformer (thanks for the PCB's LIPA!), I lost four valuable hours of cooking time on the 30th. But I'm not (too) bitter about that. What really had me bitter is when my son, who told me that he was bringing four kids home for Chili Dinner, brought home FOURTEEN shaving cream covered hormone cases. If I didn't think it would only result me having to make a run to the drugstore for Imodium, I'd swap out all his Hershey Bars for Chocolate ExLax. It's moments like those that make me regret my decision not to use spanking as a form of punishment. Live and learn.
Welcome to the crypt. Pay no attention to Thing in the corner, he's shy and would prefer that we close the door.
So now the mad dash toward Christmas begins. I'm an unrepentant planner and usually have at least 50% of my shopping done by now. No such luck this year. If I get a little tense and wonky with my posts over the next six weeks, please understand that I get terrible Christmas fever. I lose myself in a haze of shopping, cleaning, baking and family obligations. I apologize in advance for any manic behavior or nonsensical posts about non-parielles, wrapping paper, silver sanding sugar or punishment of naughty elves. About the only thing that I can promise is that I WILL be unhinged. Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Oh, and HO! HO! HO! (No offense).
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Luckily, almost every act was pretty entertaining, so the time passed quickly. The school's theater director, a former Broadway musician had managed to put on a great show. It is amazing to me what this guy can accomplish with a mostly amateur cast. Every play or event that he stages is a full costume extravaganza and includes a band of professional Broadway musicians. In addition to running this event he directs the annual school play, runs an all-ages after school theater club and an all-ages summer theater camp which also culminates in a full dress revue of Broadway numbers. My daughter participates in the after school theater program and the summer camp and for years I have been trying to convince my son to join her. But he has always been too cool for theater and refused to join. Despite some truly humiliating begging on my part and valiant attempts to bribe him, he preferred to spend his summers sleeping until one, ordering in Chinese food and loafing.
At the very end of the show, the entire cast, almost 200 strong, took the stage for the closing number and their final bow. Then the ensemble left the stage in the gymnasium and headed for the auditorium to be picked up, still singing and dancing up the hallways of the Jr High School. My husband and I had positioned ourselves for a quick exit and we followed the directly behind the the mobile show, into the auditorium.