Category Archives: lifestyle

Airline Rodeo

I don’t get it.

We’ve all been there.

Yet it’s mind boggling.  It makes no sense.

None.

Airplane boarding.

Airplane de-boarding.

Let’s reflect, here at gate D-47.

There’s 15 minutes until boarding time, plenty of time to grab a coffee, visit the restroom, buy a newspaper, down a few shots of Jagermeister, make a phone call, snag a sandwich and some snacks for the flight but no.

Already passengers are lining up at the start of the catwalk entrance for the airplane.

Seriously.

The airline representative at the gate announces over the loudspeaker:

In a few minutes, we will begin the boarding process.  Please take note of your seat assignment and board when your row is called.

****

Right.  Like this actually matters.

Watch out, you’re about to get trampled!  Everyone and their brother pushes forward towards the gate.

Bags are hefted on to shoulders.

Pulley suitcases are squared up behind,  wheels double checked for quick launch and shoes scuffed against flooring, like bulls in tauromachia,  to ensure successful dodging of all slow pokes ahead.

Also remember at this time, your carryon bag must fit in the overhead compartment.  If it doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment, we are happy to gate check it for you.  (Side note: or just try and ram it into the overhead compartment while everyone watches while silently cursing you….as you are delaying the flight.. and see who wins, you or the Boeing 747)

****

Ladies and gentleman thank you for flying with Vexatious Airlines.  We are now going to begin boarding.

So begins the litany of prequalified fliers who are oh so savvy and much more dignified than you to actually BEGIN the boarding process:

First Class passengers.

Global Platinum Card Members  / Vexatious Advantage Shakers and Movers Members

Global Silver Card Members / Vexatious Advantage Unique Personality Members

Global Business Card Members / Vexatious Advantage Mediocre Members

*****

At this point you look around and a third of the gate has boarded the airplane.

Thank you for your patience.  We would like to continue boarding with our Vexatious Advantage Members who have reached Movie Star Status.

Those fliers who have reached Vexatious Advantage Soap Star Status, please board the plane now.

Thank you for your patience, our guests who have reached Vexatious Advantage Aim for the Stars Coupon Book Status please come down the catwalk.

*****

Another third have disappeared towards the plane.  Huh.

Welcome aboard to our Cat Lover Club

Welcome aboard to our Dog Lover Club

At this time, thank you for waiting, we would like to welcome aboard those guests who had tickets to the original Woodstock.  Those of you who had tickets to a Farm Aid concert, your time to board will be coming up, please wait for your announcement. 

Members of the press, we would like to offer you this time to board.

Families traveling with small children, or those who need extra assistance when boarding, you may board at this time.  If you need extra assistance, we hope you brought someone with you for that assistance.  If you are traveling with an emotional support pet please wait until you are called for boarding. 

Uniformed military personal, you can board at this time.  We thank you for your service.

Thank you for your patience, those who are too attached to their electronic devices to pay any attention to these announcements, we invite you to board at this time.   You aren’t listening anyway.

Prima donnas please board at this time and anyone who thinks they are all that, but aren’t even the pickle on the plate, please board at this time because you aren’t listening to any directions anyway because you think it’s all about you anyway.  

Our guests who are traveling with emotional support pets, including but not limited to: Golden Retrievers, teacup chihuahuas  himalayan cats, ferrets, ducks, teacup pigs, pygmy donkeys, ferrets, camels, spider monkeys, albino lizards, wallabies, hamsters, turkeys, porcupines, rabbits.

Farm Aid ticket holders, you are welcome to board at this time.

****

You look around and only a handful of people remain.

At this time we would like to begin general boarding beginning with the back of the plane. For those guests in row 35 – 20 please board now.  Oh, forget it.  There’s only 6 of you left, please figure it out and board now.  

 

****

Everyone is so anxious to get on the plane, they can’t hardly stand it.  It’s all about pushing and shoving. And for what exactly?

To be cramped in a tiny seat, with no leg room, shared armrests, crawling with bacteria and if you are damn lucky….your seat mates won’t be chatty. The toilets smell, unless bless the hearts of your flight crew (Who, by the way, have one of the hardest and least appreciated jobs in the entire world.  I thank them for all they do to make our journeys the easiest and most enjoyable they can.) have put a bag of coffee in the tiny little lavatory to absorb the piss-o-roma fragrance.

P.S.  Note, I don’t care about your kids, grandkids, your job, where you live or what book you’re reading or where you’re going. I don’t like to fly.  I only do it because it’s the quickest way to get there and I’m a little claustrophobic so please, leave me alone. I simply get into my seat, wipe everything down with my Clorox wipes, put in my earplugs and do my best to tune everything out.

As the fliers race down the gate catwalk,  waving their boarding pass in hand to be scanned, their magical entrance to the airplane granted and approved…quickly scurry beyond the doorway down the jetway.

Only. To. Be. Halted. 40 people back on the jetway.

Que the evil laugh.

They can’t wait to get out of the boarding area.  One of the privileged few.  Look at me.  See you suckers.  I’m outta here.  Yeah, well….guess what.

Here we all are.

Waiting.

In the jetway.

Aren’t you precious?

Let me grab my eyeballs before they roll out onto the tarmac.

Jackass.

You go from one waiting area to the next.  Why the rush?

Everyone gets on the plane.  No need to shove and sigh and huff and puff.

Bags stowed and we get into the air.

Eureka!

*****

For as absurdly impatient everyone was to get on the damn plane, it’s as if they had no idea everyone was expected to actually get off the plane upon arrival at the destination.

The plane lands, sometimes to the sound of applause…and arrives at the gate.

Passengers excitedly leap out of seats and annoyingly tap fingers and roll their eyes….annoyed we aren’t moving faster to get off the silver bullet.

Somewhere from the time we left the last departure lounge, to the time we arrived at the new gate…..the hundreds of passengers on this plane have had a mind fart.  Where has all the urgency gone?

Suddenly nobody can find their bags.  Where’s my glasses?  Where’s my book?  Where’s my chapstick?  Did I have a jacket?  Did I bring a water bottle?  What about the cell phone?  What gate are we going to?  I can’t find my shoes!  Is this my suitcase?  This isn’t my bag!  Where’s my husband?  What city is this?  Oh I’m not getting off here.  Can you help me close this zipper?

The circulating air has made everyone slow and stupid.  People who couldn’t get on the plane fast enough suddenly have spent the last 10 minutes, or longer taxinging from the runway to the gate picking their nose and pondering how daises grow rather than gathering their shit up from their seat and organizing their departure!

Fuck people – if you would pull yourselves together we could all get off the damn plane faster.  You idiots were so concerned about getting on first.  It’s all about me. ME. ME. ME FIRST. FIRST. FIRST.  However when we land, it’s like you’ve lost your mind.

Snap out of it and focus.  You are holding the rest of us up.  From the time the pilot said we have begun the 20 minute decent for landing, the smart ones started packing up.  Plan ahead folks….for arrival….not just the departure.  It works both ways.

Be smart.  Travel smart. Get out of my way.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lift This. Sweat on That.

Who invented the idea of going to a gym?
Who decided it was a good idea to go into a room and sweat with a bunch of strangers?
No. I mean really.
Who?

gym 4
Have you seen what they were doing? The first gym rats willingly went to sweat and do physical activity with strangers in a dark room. Actually, kinda sounds kinky, but you know…why not…Marge said it would be good for me.

And so they went.

I get the whole men going to the gym, back in the day. The lifestyle changed. No longer were they running around hunting and killing animals. Dinosaurs weren’t trying to eat them all the time. They didn’t have to carve instructions into stone. Fields were plowed by tractor, not ox. And they no longer had to walk to work, uphill both ways, in the snow, without shoes….cause they had a horse and buggy.

How did all this get started?

Gym5

How exactly did you get selected to be a guinea pig for these contraptions? Here just step into this and strap this on. No. Really. Trust me.

Yeah and that’s exactly what Sweeney Todd said before he trimmed your hair. Then you were the main ingredient in his lover’s meat pies. Oh so delicious. Filling, yet half the calories.

I’m not impressed.

And when did women think it necessary to start torturing themselves on these mind-boggling machines? The women of yesteryear were, without a doubt, in better shape than most are in today’s society.

Their movie star golden girls had curves and softness, voluptuous bodies that were adored by men the world over. So who said this contraption was a good idea? Jiggle it, make the fat disappear and the muscles appear. Gym 3 is just a little too much pushing and pulling going on in this example. I mean, how exactly do you make it go?

I’m suspicious that there were quite possibly other enjoyments going on with the early exercise machines.

I’m also not seeing any instructions on these machines. Did it just come to Marge automatically? So obvious how this works, type of moment? Did they fumble through the steps after watching someone else? Or did they have personal trainers? Was there a posting in the daily mailer reviewing the necessary steps to getting the Betty Boop attributes?

I’m just curious.

Did they sweat? There doesn’t seem to be any sweating going on here. And if you go to a gym today and I would assume this goes for ANY gym – they smell. Some worse than others. But it’s like they say on the crime shows, “just breathe normally and you’ll get used to it.”

No getting over it. Gyms smell.

Bad.

No doubt the men sweat. It was therapy for them.

Women, I’m thinking not so much. They didn’t start sweating until Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons hit the scene. Then I’m fairly certain they were sweating to the oldies and goodies.

gym 1 No sweating here.

I bring all this up because I’ve been going to my local gym. It’s a new place for me since we’ve only been in this area for 3 months. Less than a 5 minute drive from my house, couldn’t ask for anything better.

Since college, however, I’ve belonged to a handful of different gyms and I’ve concluded one thing:
It’s like signing up to become a resident of another country.

I can only speak to the environments of the countries I willingly joined, all seemed like good ideas at the time. Flash back on some of them and I think WTF?

First.
There are the ones in town where people join to go and be seen. There’s no sweating allowed. In fact, as you walk in, they spritz you with glittery body oil….just to make you shine and sparkle even more. The residents of these gyms are usually the ones who are half plastic.

Top to tail….fake. Fake. Fake. Fake. Fake.

Fake.

They laugh loudly and prance like reindeers from one side of the room to the other. Did you see me? No? Here, let me go over there and look at the magazines. Wait, did you see my butt? No? Let me go this way….

Just stop the insanity, please. I’m may throw up.

Second.
There is the local gym, which houses two different types of residents – mostly:

1. Older residents who have been told to start a gym program for their health.
2. Middle aged people who just want to try and look better.

The side note for this type is sometimes you get a local gym, owned/operated by a locally grown person who is definitely into good health and weight lifting. In which case, you may get some serious body builders. But, that’s okay, they’re doing their own thing and really, the owner of this particular country just wants to keep it going and is happy you’re there. In fact, so happy, they will even help you learn new exercises! Score! Didn’t need a trainer for that!

The local gym, out of all the ones I’ve experienced, has been my favorite…..thus far.

Third.
A gym that is part of your housing community.
One word.
Children.

Fourth.
Is only allowed for individuals with estrogen.
The pink ladies gym.
I’m not talking about the Grease Lightening Pink Ladies either.
The color pink.
Pink walls. Light pink carpet. Pink towels.
Pink.
And the competition is so high that you can’t hear the music on your head phones.

Conversations, are flung with these one line, free roaming daggers:

“My butt isn’t as big as hers, right?”
“I can’t believe she’s wearing THOSE pants.”
“She smells.”
“Her tan is so fake.”
“I can lift more than that girl.”
“Are you looking at me?”
“Look! At how much she’s sweating! GROSS!”
“Do you think they’re real?”
“Slut.”

Yep, that about sums it up.

So here I am at my current gym. This was after I realized the gym associated with our housing complex was not going to work out…..see above explanation.

I’m on my second month now. It’s not bad.
Smells? Yes.
Lots of equipment. Bonus.

I have been going after work. It’s a enormous mix of younger folks (translate that into college kids), a smattering folks my age (some grey hair sprinkles) and few older folks (translate that into white hair and balding.) It’s crowded, but not terrible. Definitely have to wait for things like benches to do free weights, but meh, I can find something else. Definitely no ginormous body builders here – that I’ve witnessed. So we’re all doing about the same and hoping to look as good as that person over there.

The bonus here – no grunting. Seriously. There could be a law about that in this place. Thank you.

When I go, I’m in the zone. I’m not paying too much attention to who is looking at who or not looking. I’m in and out. I don’t have time for the piddly nonsense of the gym social scene. I mind my etiquette and move on.

Confession though: I do notice that I am one of the older women. I do notice the college girls looking at me. I don’t care, I’ll march over into the mix of the boys and use the free weight leg press just like any of those guys wishing he was like Popeye, but these college girls won’t. I will hop up on the assisted pull up / dip (cause my arms are weak and I need the help) and not give two flying monkeys what anyone thinks. If nobody, after careful surveillance of course, is using one of the Smith Machines, I will walk over and do some squats. the-smith-machine-good-or-bad
Life is too fucking short to worry about what everyone else is thinking about you. In all honesty, they’re probably not even noticing.

Unless I fall off the assisted pull up – then I’ll be damned they would of course be watching, with a spotlight, sports commentator and I’d get a 3.7 combined score for landing it.

Or if I collapse under the Smith Machine because my hands slipped and I can’t get the weight off my collapsed body. (Talk about awkward positioning.) The next day’s headline will read: “Woman crushed by mere 50 pound weight while squatting. Should have used gloves to avoid slippage.” Hindsight.

This morning I decided to switch things up and go first thing. No make up. I didn’t even comb my hair – just put a clip in it. 5:30AM – and there I was at the gym.

THIS, for me —— insanity! The cats were even confused with my early wake up. If sleeping were an Olympic sport, I could get a bronze medal!

The gym parking lot was nearly empty. What is this great fortune I have? Park by the front door? Are they open yet?

Turns out all the college kids come after work. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I walk in and any machine I wanted could have been mine. The age bracket – completely different. I was one of the young chicklets walking around. Everyone was in sweat pants or baggy shorts. Nobody was wearing liquid latex body paint outfits….oh, this is nice!

I’ve found my people! This is when the people in my age bracket and older come to work out. They’re serious. They’re here to get a job done and then jump head first into the rest of their daily routine.

They aren’t here to fein idiocy at how to do a bicep curl.
They aren’t here to twirl their hair and laugh at the guys doing bicep curls.
They aren’t here to prance from one side of the room to the other. Wait. Did you notice my butt?
They’re not here to try and out weight the guy next to them in the mirror!

We’ve got shit to get done and in under 60 minutes.

Go!
Go!
Go!

I can’t wait to go back tomorrow! We’re like a little early morning gang!

Maybe tomorrow I’ll wear my Jazzercise thong!

Jane Fonda thong

That has as much of a chance at happening as me finding Forrest Griffen on the machine next to me.

In which case, I’d totally be twirling my hair and feigning how to do a bicep curl.

Pork Me ….. I’m Gonna Vomit

It seemed like a great idea.
They were on the Nation’s BEST OF list.
So what does that mean?
We have to go try them.

After cheeeezzzzeburgers, a good chicken wing is my next favorite thing.
Although recently, I’m loosing my love for the wing.
I’ve pretty much lost all love for the bird itself.

Why?
It tastes dirty.

The bird tastes dirty.
Not just the dark meat.
All of it.
Blah.

Well tonight, the remaining love of wings, may have left what tiny bit of love remained…..on the windshield of my beloved Norman.

Blah.

So this local place – was one of the top 50 places in AMERICA to eat wings.
HERE.
IN.
MIAMI.

So we went.
I made reservations.

Yes, one of THOSE places.

NOTE: every where in Miami is one of THOSE places – even Taco Bell. You get over it.

But you know, with Open Table, you get points of reservations. You go anywhere that may take reservations, you make one on Open Table so you get a coupon eventually towards a free meal. It’s worth it.

The Mister drops me off, I go in to secure our precious reservation while he parks the car. Of course, parking the car in this area is a small two day mission. I order a glass of wine, review my Facebook, check us in, read my emails, decide what I’m having for dinner, take some snaps of the restaurant, chat with the waiter, read my work emails, search the internet about a storm hitting Alaska, comment on friends’ Facebook posting, text the Mister to ensure he’s not lost, research Pygmy goats, take more pictures of the restaurant, ponder why there’s an overwhelming amount of men to women in this establishment and then finally the Mister arrives.

Whew.

Emmett came and took our orders.

Most importantly……I had to know, “how many wings come in an order?”

Four.

Four?

Four.

…..insert my Bambi stare here….. blink blink…..blink….blink…..

Four?

In Alaska, we’d go to our favorite place, the USCG station and order 50.

Okay, let’s roll the dice. I accept the swine challenge of four.

Order UP!

We enjoy our beverages and a serving tray arrives with half a chicken. NO. It’s the four wings. It’s a drumstick AND a wing. Times four! Nicely played. These are as big as my hand!

IMG_1339
Let’s back up. Did I mention….if you expect me to eat wings like a lady, you’re eating wings with the wrong lady? I’m like a one year old with their first birthday cake. I’ve got sauce all over my face, up my nose, in my hair and smeared on both cheeks. No, that’s not a hickey on my neck, it’s hot wing sauce. Trust me….. Go ahead, I’m like a scratch and sniff sticker but different. Lick it.

Emmett comes back. What do we want for dinner?
We both decide….ribs. It’s half a rack.
The smell in this place is delicious.
Half way down the block you could smell the smoker. Nom, nom, nom.
Smokey wood burning.
Oh and brussel sprouts. We want those too.

Before I can finish my second half of chicken this mound of rib arrives on a wooden platter. This mound was the size of a 15 pound meatloaf. It was literally stacked three layers high with ribs.

Shit.

Yeah, well. Did I mention we don’t eat pork?

At home we’re vegetarians. No meat. No fish. No chicken. No lunch meat. No eggs. No milk. Some cheese for tacos. No pork. This is overload.

I eat three ribs. Who can eat this amount of food? Godzilla maybe. This is insane.

Yes, I’ll need a box.

We decide to enjoy a cup of coffee and split a salted carmel milkshake. I mean really, the damage was already done. So let’s really set ourselves up for misery and put our digestive tracts into a tailspin of sugar mania. We’ve lubed up our internals with fat and meat….now let’s coat them with sugar and more fat.

Awesome.

I can hear my arteries heave now.

If you listen closely they’re already sending morse code signals to Shamans in the Amazon jungle.

After about 3 hours of pure hog heaven, we hire the valets to wheelbarrow us out to the car. I truly think I need to make an incision into my abdomen to let out some of the pressure. I have eaten too much.

Two half chickens, disguised as “chicken wings”
3 ribs.
Half a salted carmel milkshake.

Either I ate too much or there is an alien about to be born out of my gut. At this point I may take the alien option. As I drive home, I am gripping the steering wheel as my stomach rolls and tumbles.

I am burping.

Hot dogs.

I

Hate

Pork.

BLURP.

I continue to grip the steering wheel. I think my intestines are reorganizing themselves into a holiday bow. I refuse to pull over and poop on the side of the road. In previous chapters of my life, I’ve pulled over to pee. And yes, I’ve pulled over to vomit. I will not pull over to poop. This chicky has her limits.

I’m sorry Norman, but this is I95 and you’re going to fly like you’re a Virgin Atlantic flight on a nonstop from Miami to Aventura. Landing gear is down and we’re on direct flight.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

(Okay, there was a time when I liked the processed ones with the little cheese bits in them, but that was like a decade ago.)

(Oh yeah and when we go to holiday parties….don’t stand between me and the Little Smokies in the hot pot. I’m like a blue haired lady on double bingo night. Get out of my way!)

I feel so ill. It’s like the time when I was little and thought it was a good idea to eat 6 hard boiled eggs.
Wrong.

BLURP.

What compounds the problem is that I can’t get rid of the smoker smell off my hands. What I enjoyed so much at the restaurant….a wood smoke smell from what I can only imagine is an enormous smoker in the back recesses of the kitchen….is now stuck to my hands like a foul tattoo.

It’s like having hairy palms.

I can’t get rid of it.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

Still….after several washings.

I tried two different types of hand sanitizer.

I get home and use lemon soap.

The cats are now intrigued and wondering how to nibble off one of my thumb pads. I’m being stalked by three furry critters who are trying to figure out how to hold me down just long enough.

Great. Every time get a whiff of my hands, my stomach rolls. This can only mean one thing.

I’m going to have to sleep with gym socks on my hands tonight.

That’s all fun and games until I wake up in the middle of the night, forget about the socks and freak out believing I’ve developed some strange mitten hand disease overnight from the swine all the while thumping The Mister in the head while screaming repeatedly until he wakes up.

BLURP.

10259330_715172081854832_8992840686047184098_nWhat happened to nice?

I wouldn’t even bother to say society needs a good dose of Miss Manners, Emily Post and a decent wrap on the knuckles with a ruler.  (except, I just did) Honestly, I think the concept of being nice or even remotely polite has gone along the way of the chicken trying to cross the damn road.

Forget the road, that chicken is trying to survive to  see another day of cracked corn and hope that little old couple comes down to feed them if they’re lucky…so it doesn’t have to cross the road!

Society has given up on the concept of NICE.  It’s better off walking in the ditch.  Not worth the effort.  Why even bother?

It’s short attention spans, loud volumes, fast paced environments, in the NOW technology, constantly walking up my ass at the grocery store and honking your damn (insert whatever model car here) horn before the light even turns green because I may be color blind and not realize the change in brightness indicates I should remove my foot from the brake…..these are some of the things that has led us down this path of….. fuck off behavior.

Seriously.

Laura Ingalls would be appalled.

Jack Hannah would say animals behave better.

Charlie Brown would say even Lucy, when she removes the football, is a kinder person.

What the hell has happened to being nice?  I don’t mean you have to be overly polite, like you’re trying to win the Nobel Peace Prize or hoping to be crowned Miss America and need to over compensate for your lack of not knowing the answer to your random question on politics, world peace or child labor.  Nor am I suggesting you pretend you’re up for an Academy Award and have to buy your way to the winners circle….enjoying this person’s company and clinking glasses with that person say they “really like you.”

That’s not it at all.

But. Damn, people.

Get a clue.

Get some common sense at least.

Maybe that’s what it is.  No common sense.  Can you get a pill at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for Common Sense deficiency?  If you made it a dummy pill – and labeled it would people automatically gain common sense just by thinking they were enhancing their common sense?

At work recently they’ve adopted a campaign.  A be kind to your co-worker campaign – it’s a nice place to work campaign.  I don’t know, maybe employees are getting beat up in the parking lot after work for their lunch money.   They want us to be friendly.  You know…..hold the elevator for people…..don’t hide behind plants….say hello….because after all “smiles are contagious.”

Yeah well so’s herpes.

You can get herpes from a friendly environment.

Thanks.

Every time I see a stranger, they greet me.  It’s like a secret email has gone out, “We don’t work among strangers.  We work among F R I E N D S.  If you see a stranger, don’t point and scream….just say hello!”

Are you shitting me?

I’m an Only Child.  I prefer strangers, they don’t bother me.  (Unless they want to kidnap you, then you have a problem.)  Strangers are usually quiet, unless they are my old upstairs neighbor but you know that already and that’s not a stranger, that was a neighbor.  Anyhow, most strangers are Q U I E T.

Now. At work. I can’t go to the bathroom without everyone I pass greeting me.  It’s like I’m on a parade.   You would think I’m running for a governmental office.  I’m hoping the next installment to this campaign will be confetti cannons.  Those of you who know me, know my love of confetti….and confetti cannons.

The first day it happened I was walking down the hallway and everyone I passed was “Hi-ing” and “Hello-ing” me.  About the third person that greeted me….I started to wonder what the hell was going on.  I mean it’s a big company, but have I EVER met any of these people?  Who the hell are these people?  Am I loosing my mind?  We don’t even work in the same department….

Tell me.

Now when I leave my padded desk area is it required I be on campaign mode?  Is this the goal? Should I automatically turn on the Queen’s wave (which, if you didn’t already know…it’s wrist, wrist, wrist….elbow, elbow, elbow) and royal co-worker charm?

What if I am NOT in THE MOOD? Can I help it if I have an “at rest bitch face” when in deep contemplative thought or just not wanting to be bothered?  No amount of my Happy Camper pills are going to help and certainly you don’t want me eating pea soup if it’s one of those types of days.

Perhaps I need to fashion a board around my neck that says, “In a mobile time out.”

The other day a group of us were walking between the buildings, coming back from a meeting.  We knew everyone in our group – safety in numbers.  A single person was heading towards us.  The single greeted us.  Most of us kind of did a soft response back hello….”who the hell are these people.”

I asked the loudest in my little gang of responders…..”did you know that person?”

No…not really, I mean they kind of looked familiar but I don’t know them.

Okay, it’s not just me.  Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

When Modern Tech Goes to Shit

 

brokenNo. No. No.

It’s me.  Not you.

After today, this is what I’m thinking.

It has
to be me – nearly every electrical thing I’ve touched this week has gone to shit.    Think I’m kidding, let me tell you.

CASE ONE:  The iPad.

I love my iPad.

Love it.

I don’t even know all the things it can do and I love it.

Although, I admit it, at first, I didn’t want to buy into it.  I didn’t want it for squat.  I had multiple bookcases filled with books.  This was my main reason for buying an iPad, along with Word abilities, the Net and eMail.

Yatta, yatta.  Yeah, whatever.  However, the main reason:

BOOKS.

I love to read.

You mean to tell me, I can carry 100 books with me?  In my bag?  O. M. G.

The catch for me was this….one of my favorite jobs was working at a Barnes & Noble throughout college.

B O O K S

I love the smell.  The feel.  The weight.  Holding books in my hand.  Turning the pages, smelling the ink, the crisp new pages yet to be seen by anyone’s eyes – these are some of the things that make my heart sing.  Virgin pages, never folded, free of marks.  I can spend  hours in a book store just wandering the aisles, all the volumes I’ve yet to read, topics unheard of….just waiting for me to pick them up.

Why did I need a stinking iPad?  I NEED the physical characteristics of the books, like a crack addict needs their multiple daily hits.  Like a car overhauling junkie needs their rebuild.

I caved.

I bought the first iPad.  Thus my junkie life of the iPad began.

However, before I continue this story, walk with me a moment, as we sometimes do….

Pour yourself a Jameson, Cockburn’s or wine of choice and let’s saunter together down the familiar roadway that is our twisted memory – filled with decrepit has beens and once glorified Jettson carton treasures of could have been.

Cue the dream music played by simulated harp.

Do you remember…..granted, depending on your age, you may or may not remember any of this.  If that’s the case, then just move on to your next blog and call it a good read.

Modern technology, for all the wonderful things it brings into our lives, annoys the shit out of me when it craps out and becomes useless.  Previously we had to actually demonstrate patience on a daily basis.  Not any more.  Today it’s all about instant gratification.  This in and of itself explain why NOBODY in Miami has any patience.

  • I remember going to the bank and the teller would have to type on my savings passport any deposit or withdrawal I made.
  • Our telephone was attached to the wall and the receiver had a rope that attached it to the button box that we used to actually push to the numbers.  Not to mention rotary dials!
  • Phone numbers started with letters.  KE5-5689
  • Toll booth plazas that actually took money.
  • TVs that were so large they sat on the floor and were their own piece of furniture.
  • Getting up to change the channel on the TV.
  • Ditto machines.
  • Thermal fax machines – and trying to uncurl your paper to read the fax.
  • 8-tracks
  • Beta players
  • Buying singles on 45 records and needing the special plastic part for the middle in order to play on your record player.
  • Coin operated pay phones.
  • Polaroid Cameras – true instant gratification snaps!
  • TYPEWRITERS!  I swear, I took the very last typewriter class.  BEST class I ever took.
  • Electric razors.  Although there’s something to be said about lathering up a man.

See what I’m saying, there’s no process any more – it’s all the instant process.  Hurry up and get it done is the mentality today.  There’s something to be said about taking your time, going through a process.  Like making home baked items whether it’s pasta, bread or lasagna ….. the time says something.

My iPad crapped out with a GIANT dead zone across the screen.  It made all types of things difficult.  Words With Friends became impossible as I couldn’t drag and drop my word tiles.  GRRRRRRRRR…..

Worse yet…as I sat in the hair stylist chair, ready for my ordeal, I settled into the chair, opened my iBook only to be horrified:

The iPad  selected, on it’s own, what book I should read.  Which I closed.  I opened the one I wanted.  It then continued to highlight, cut and paste various paragraphs….shut down the book, open another, highlight, cut & paste.

W T F!

It got so bad, I had to turn it off.

Long story, made an appointment with the Genius Apple folks – the something something  yatta thing is dead and I need a new iPad.  1/3 of my touch screen was dead, causing it to select things at random.  It was ridiculous. So here we go.   I expected it.  It was an old machine.

Get home and begin the upload of my download.  (I should have had kids, or I really need to make friends with 12 year olds who can fix the electrical shit.)

27 hours later…..my new iPad is still “uploading the back up.”

NOTHING  HAS   CHANGED.

Okay, I’m now officially on withdrawl.  And I’ve jumped off the high diving board, which in real life, scares the crap out of me.  (Remind me later to tell you how I did this with a bunch of soon to be Marines.)

I come out to the living room to bitch.  The Mister tells me….”you have a bookcase full of books.”

Oh, okay.

DON’T

EVEN

START

THAT

WITH

ME

M I S T E R.

The book I fucking want to read is on this piece of shit machinery that I can’t even access!!!! You see my fucking problem??!?!?  Do you?!?!?

I

AM

NOT

HHHHAAAAAAPPPPPPPYYYYYYYY!!!!

Long work days, stress and life in general…some nights I just want to read, in bed, with a glass of wine.  This night I could not do that.  This gives new meaning to having heads spin and green pea soup spitting out of mouths.

Yea, I am stuck to the ceiling, like some poltergeist entity.  And at this exact moment in time, I prefer it.  Just leave me be – thank you.  If you pick at me like a scab on your leg – you will regret it.

Trust.  Me.

I turned the fucking iPad off and climbed into bed at 9:15PM.  Annoyed, with a side of pissy.  It was safest for everyone at that point.

CASE TWO:  Nokia Cell Phone.

I am on my third Nokia phone.  I am a sucker for the camera.  It’s great.  In the last two months the little fucker has frozen up FOR DAYS.

Can’t slide the screen to save my soul for anything.

I could be trapped on the escalator to hell and having one call to safety – royally screwed as the dumb ass Nokia is yet again frozen in time.

The previous Nokia phone, if I was on a call too long, it would start setting off the flash for the camera and would get too hot to hold.  Literally.

Not kidding.

Now it freezes and I can’t use it.

For days.

Annoys me to no end.

Should have gone with the iPhone.  Of course, after my debacle with the iPad this week (two visit to the Genius bar, I’m thinking I’m going back to string and tin can.)

CASE THREE:  The dryer.

I start laundry today….Saturday.  The first load goes into the dryer only for a minute or two ….. just to get the wrinkles out.  Nothing major.  Pull it out, hang it up without incident.

In goes load two.

10 minutes later I go in to take those delicate items out that need to be hung up so they don’t wrinkle.

Hey!  Where’s the heat?!  I’m like the little old lady from the Wendy’s commercial from year’s ago…”Where’s the beef?!”  I’m pissed.  You have to be kidding me.  Seriously?

I unplug the machine.  I turn the dial.  I check the filter.  I restart.  Hit the GO button.

A few minutes later…..

NO HEAT!

Are you kidding?!

I march out to the living room and state to The Mister:  “The dryer has no heat.”

He comes in and does the same thing I just did.  NOTHING.  I mean

N O T H I N G

Now the machine doesn’t even turn on.

We flip the breakers.  Nothing.

I have now decided not to touch anything that is plugged into the wall.

Unless you want an electric shocker…..don’t touch me.

I am shocking the shit out of everything.

If I could figure out how to turn this into a paying job……

 

 

Your Fingers In My Hair

One of the hardest things about moving to Miami is finding a hair stylist.    In Juneau, I had the same stylist for ten years and then he moved.  I was horrified.  It was as if suddenly God shouted there would be no more coffee or cheese on earth.

W H A T ?

Then I found a great new hair stylist who I used until my final day in Juneau.

Whew.

Fast forward to Miami and 40,000 salons, spas, hair cutters and strip malls offering quick cut services.  What to do?  Only one thing.  Try.  Try.  Try again.

So far, I’ve tried three salons.  The first was nice but too far away after a few visits.  The second was….honestly…..the stylist just didn’t listen.  I’d sit in the chair, tell her what I wanted and I swear she barely cut anything off my head.  Not to mention the color never stayed.  Lastly, it’s never a good thing when it looks like you’ve tried to behead me with the electric shaver.  Oh, I’m not kidding!  Big giant red cut across the the back of my neck.

In Juneau, my hair was my glory.  In Miami, it’s my struggle.

Needing to get another cut.  I was dreading having to go back to salon #2.

puffy dog

The stylist, I knew would cut off the equivalent of a gnat’s leg hair width of an amount and the end result would be my head would look like a giant q-tip.  

Yeah me – cause that’s the latest hot style!  Everyone loves that look!

Finally, due to my simple exasperation, my better half searched and found a place on line and I gave it a look.  My initial response was “are you kidding me?  Have you seen the pricing?”  A few visits and I could buy a new car…and we all know what kind of car I want.

As my hair continued to get pouffier, yes that’s a word, thank you.  I cancelled my standing appointment at the salon that doesn’t listen to me and made an appointment at the next salon attempt.  We’ll call this place, “Salon Oh La La.”

I walked in the front door and nearly turned around as I thought: oh no, this is not for me.  No.  No. No. No.  This can’t be right.  I’ve never been in such a salon.

No.  It’s not the mix of 4 different languages that make an impact on me:  Spanish, Russian, Jewish and Muslim.  That’s just a common, regular day in Aventura.  What stuns me is the 3 tiered, enormous, bigger than a VW Beetle, crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling….over a circular couch that could very well be in a porn film or posh advertisement with nearly naked men lounging on it.  Wait, in fact, I think there might be nearly naked people lounging on it.

Every square inch of space has someone in some form of processing.   There’s no waiting area, so I continue to stand in the middle of the chaos.

Well, this is awkward, as I wait to be attended to by the front desk.

My uncomfortableness is compounded as I don’t know where to look as there are people everywhere.  And, by the way….why do they have a money machine in here?

I have to yell my arrival to the woman at the front desk.  Yell.  Over.  The.  Noise.

I can only yell my name and appointment time to her as, unfortunately I have no idea who my appointment is with.  When they called me back to tell me my time (as I requested my appointment via their online system) the background noise from the salon was so loud I couldn’t hear who the name was of the stylist.

OH yes!  You’re with Suyera.

Great!  (WTF? I think silently to myself…what name did she say?)

A few minutes go by and this young guy comes up and introduces himself to me:  Hello.  I am Stoerj.  Nice to meet you.  Please, this way.

He is so quiet and I have barely understood anything of what he said.  Not that he has an accent but he is quiet.  OH MY.

We go to his station and he asks what I want to do.  I tell him I need his help.  That he is my third stylist and I am looking for someone to just do what needs to be done.  He says, “not to worry.”  Then he starts to look at my hair, which I wear naturally curly.

He looks at the back and says, “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED HERE?”  No mistaking his dislike of my shortened buzzed cut at the nape of my neck.  “WHO DID THIS?”  He’s obviously quite upset.  “TERRIBLE!”  I continued to just let him go on and he continued to run his fingers through my giant mass of hair.

A few minutes later another gentleman joins us and my stylist introduces him as Joseph.  He and Joseph start to consult together over my hair – in Russian.  Joseph calls my stylist Sam.

Eureka!

I have a name!  Mental note to self.  SAM.

The two of them push my head to the left, to the right and to the front.  All of the sudden…. Sam’s voice goes up four octaves and his sentences start running together.  The only word I could understand was:

FUCK!

Again, he’s not happy about the shaved nape of my neck.

I’m thinking, it’s a good thing I didn’t ask him to do this again.

Joseph walks away and Sam says to me, “don’t worry, I will fix this mess in the back.  It will take a few visits, but it can be fixed.  They should have never done this.”  Little did he know, I wanted it like that.

We did color and high lights, low lights, mid lights, rough lights, sweet lights, edgy lights and I even had a cappuccino while I lighted and processed.

It was time for the wash out and he leads me over to the sinks.   A Russian girl comes out to shampoo me.  All I could think to myself was two things….

1.  Please, don’t wash off my eyebrows, I have to go to the store after this.

2.  I don’t think you need to shampoo down my neck.

No, I am not kidding.  She would hold my head up by placing her palm on the crown of my head and then shampoo down my neck.

DOWN

MY

NECK.

I wasn’t just a bird in a bird bath, I was a raccoon in a bird bath.  Water was going everywhere.  I thought at one point….if I start to squirt water of my mouth we’re going to be in trouble here.

My thought process went something like this for the shampoo session:

marilyn

Please don’t wash off my eyebrows.  Oh my god, is my mascara waterproof?

I bet I look like Marilyn Manson by now.  How is this water NOT going in my ears?  Is it necessary to wash my forehead?  Oh wait, time for the neck again.  Please don’t wash off my eyebrows.

Note to self:  Thank god I invested in the clear eyebrow sealer, thank you Bobbi Brown.

Back to Sam, we’re down to business.  He uses his index finger to push my head this way and that way.  The cutting starts normally enough.  It’s your typical hair cut.  Comb and cut.  Comb and cut.  He dries my hair and uses the flat iron.  It looks fantastic.  I love it.

Little did I know the best was yet to come.

Cue Edward Scissorhands.

images-2

I’m not kidding.

It starts with Sam pulling up sections of my hair with one hand……while he cuts wildly….as gravity pulls my hair back into place.

This occurs all over my entire head.

Step two:  He takes sections of my hair and twirls it around his finger.  These large twists of basically hair rope are cut into with his ridiculously fast scissors.   Again, all over my head.

Step three:  Get out the hair dryer.  Tilting my head to one side and then the other, with the hair dryer on….causing my hair to blow wildly….he cuts madly into the forced wind.

All I can do is keep my eyes closed and hope the scissors don’t nip my eyeballs or my ears.  He moves so fast and the sound of those scissors makes my upper lip break out into a sweat.  Talk about scaredy cat ….. I’m on the verge of scaredy cut.

Witcha….witcha….witcha….witcha….witcha…witcha…witcha… (sound of his scissors)

Not to meRollercoasterntion he leans into the chair while doing all of this so I’m also vibrating at the same time.  It’s like a getting a little massage.  No, actually, it’s like you’re going up that first big hill on a roller coaster.  That chug, chug, chug feeling, but at 100mph.

Or, I’m riding along in a POS car and it’s stuck between 2nd and 3rd gear and can’t get over it.  Goodness.

I’m somewhere between getting my hair cut and a Siegfried and Roy act.

The other thing is, when I open my eyes, it amazes me…his cutting draws an audience.

It truly is a performance.  I’ve never had people watch me with such jaw dropping (literally) anticipation.  Perhaps they too are worried about my eyes and ears.  Today when he threw back my hair and I opened my eyes there were four people standing around his station.

FOUR!

They said, “SAM! Beautiful work!”

He said, “Oh no!  She is beautiful!”

Even the woman and stylist in the station across from me yell over how great it looks.

A lady, his next client can’t stop exclaiming how wonderful it looks and wants to know if this is my natural color.  Seriously?  

Ok – who doesn’t want to go to a stylist that says this?  Who doesn’t want to go to a stylist that gets an audience when he cuts?  Is this what it’s like to be a rock star?

Joseph came back over and told Sam he did a great job.  They spoke more in Russian about my FUCKED UP area but we’ll be okay they reassured me.  HA!

hughes

I get the 360 review in the mirror and Sam walks me over to the reception counter so I can make my next appointment.  The receptionist hands me my bill and I realize I won’t be making my first car payment …. instead, I will upgrading to Hughes 500 helicopter payment.  Well shit.  But you know what.  It’s SO WORTH IT.

Now, I also see why they have the money machine in the lobby – tips are cash only.

Sam gives me a kiss and hands me his card with my next appointment on it.

Guess what.  His name is Assaf.

Apparently, I need to get my hearing checked.

Drive! The! CAR!

Traffic annoys the hell out of me.

What I don’t get is, how can it be so bloody terrible?  If the people in the front would just go.  I mean really GO, how can there be all this back up?  If we’d all just GO the same speed it wouldn’t take us forever to get anywhere.  It’s called teamwork people.

What really gets me is the rubbernecking.

It’s like watching a stupid show on TV and after it’s over you realize THAT was a waste of your time.  Slowing down to see the crash or non-crash is….guess what?  A waste of time.  For you and me!  Good grief, Mr. Rodgers could have me a song out of this concept.

JUST DRIVE the car.  You have to actually step on the long rectangular pedal that’s on the floor on the right.    It’s a novel concept, but the car doesn’t go on it’s own – you have to assist.

Seriously.

There’s a car pulled over on the side of the road.   Everyone has to slow down to look.

There’s two cars pulled over – an obvious fender bender.  Slow down, let’s all look!

If there’s cars on the other side of the highway – with lights flashing – let’s all slow down to look.  There’s even a big concrete wall dividing it and you can’t see anything!

There’s a terrible accident and people are nearly creating additional accidents just so they can see the carnage.  I mean really.  For what?  To see if their day was worse than yours?  I fucking guarantee it!  If their car is waiting for a tow truck and there’s flashing lights at the scene.  Guess what?  They are having a suck day.  They win.  Now DRIVE!

The other thing about the traffic and I’m not even going to mention the blatant honking of the horns – which is out of control in Miami.  My brain waves don’t even function that fast.  It could be a game show.  QUICK.  Try to get your foot off the brake on to the gas pedal before the jackass behind you is honking and gesturing wildly.  Yeah, well the Alaskan will get to going when she’s good and ready.  Keep your pants on.  Besides, we’re all going to be at the next light together in 200 yards anyway.

The privacy.  People, your windows may be tinted by I can still see thru them.  HEY!  Yes!  YOU!  Picking your nose – I can see you.  Unreal.  Flipping me off?  I see you!  Yelling at your partner in the car – I see you.  Thinking you are the next best thing sliced bread – I see you.  It’s exhausting.

Lastly, hang up the phone.  In today’s world with bluetooth technology – there’s no reason people need to have that rectangular block of radiation next to their face while driving.  If drinking and driving is a hazard so is anything connected to holding that ridiculous cell phone and driving.  My cat can drive better than some of these people with the phones attached to their heads.  The car was one of the last places on earth where you could escape to the solitude of your thoughts and favorite radio stations.   Not anymore.  Apparently people can’t survive 5 -30 minutes without constant technological interruption

Shit.

So here’s the thing with the traffic and the endless line of cars during rush hour.  In Juneau, it was a rush minute.  I’m not kidding.  Four minutes and you were done.  Now, some days it takes me an hour either way to or from work.  (Although, after being here a year I am working on a system to beat the rush hours.)

I love my little Yaris.  His name is Norman.   Yes, he’s a boy car.  How do I know it’s a boy car?  He’s a stick…..duh.

I’m looking to upgrade.

All I’ve wanted for years is a Camaro.  Midnight blue with the glitter paint flecks.  V6.  I want the engine that purrs to a stop.  Every damn time I see this car on the street a little bit of drool forms at the corner of my mouth.  They’re common, but not as common as the BMW here.  Which is as common as sliced bread.  If I wanted to be a trendsetter I get a Subaru!

camaro

I

LOVE

THIS

AUTOMOBILE.

It’s hot.  I’d look hot in the car.  Blue, I’m going to BE hot in this car.  I want this car.  I need this car.  This car….makes me purr.  This is a sexy car.   The curves…especially from behind….wow.  Wow.  This car makes me talk like a guy.

BUT then, as things would have it in life.  An option appeared, one I was not expecting.  Now, I am truly in a quandry.

We’re sitting at a light.  Up rolls a Dodge Challenger.   White with a racing stripe.

Challenger

Ohhhh well.  Hello.  You.

Now.

Look.

At.

That.

Me. YOW.

Now if that isn’t a stud car.  And boy did that have a purr.  It was like a roar….not so much a purr.  I think I broke out into a bit of a sweat.  Of course, I’d want a V8 for this car – because this is a definite boy car.  There is nothing soft about this baby.

So now I spend my days driving into and out of work – looking for my cars.  Every time I’m sold on the Camaro one of these Challengers goes past and I say one word:

DAMN.

Of course the kicker ….. as much as I love my Camaro, the other day one went past and a grandma was driving.  Not that there is anything wrong with that but then I was thinking….really?

NormanOn the other hand, I could keep on with my Norman.  He was transported all the way from Juneau.  Great, zippy, keeps up with traffic.  Although he’s not real thrilled about doing 80 mph on I95, but I’ve had him up there.  Swear!

He can out run the best of ’em – in our own minds.  Go Norman!

Of course, in a Challenger…..imagine the speed!  The tickets….no good.

The Camaro….imagine how cute I’d look!  So good!

I think I need to go for a test drive and let my heart sing.