Category Archives: shopping

So. How You Liking Miami?

Over the last few days several people have asked me the same thing.  It’s always with hesitation they ask.

“So.”

l o n g        p a u s e      h e r e

“How you liking Miami?”

Then I swear they hold their breath and squint their eyes.  Waiting for me to sucker punch them or something.  It’s quite odd.

My response?

It’s fine.  Honestly, I have nothing to really compare it to logically.  It’s completely different from anything I’ve experienced in the last 18 years.  Below, I thought I’d take a moment or ten, to tell you what I think…..

First off.  It is the polar opposite of living in Juneau, Alaska.

  1. People here use umbrellas.  In Juneau, we use the hoods on our coats and tough it out.    A little rain never hurt anyone.
  2. However, the rain in Miami is a torrential downpour that floods streets and the car wipers don’t go fast enough.  Thunder, lightening and rivers…..30 minutes later and we’re done with the rain.  Out of Mother Nature’s system and moving on to better things.
  3. Lots of things I don’t need to see.  Such as that lady’s nipple, as she waited for the crosswalk signal.  Her bikini top was just a little off kilter.  Or that lady in front of me on my golf course walk, with the wrinkled and saggy skin…..with her short shorts tucked up on the sides under her thong (not kidding) so anyone behind her could see the loose bags of skin that used to be her butt cheeks…..but more like an overcooked potato skin….flopping around under her shorts.  She would have made a better impression keeping the shorts down and covering the cheeks.
  4. I’ve never seen so many BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Lexus and Cadillacs in one area.  So much so that I have forgotten what a Subaru looks like, let alone a pick up truck.
  5. If you are trying to grow an alien out of your stomach, hip or butt…..please, encase that in spandex, we all need to see that.  And it’s better if you can encase it in spandex that has horizontal stripes.  See below:
  6. One day I went to work in a new work outfit.  Gone are the jeans and hiking boots.  I now wear dresses, skirts and platform heels.  I texted my cousin and said, “I think I picked the wrong skirt it seems tight and short.”  Her reply, “you are in Miami it’s all about butts and boobs.”  Noted.
  7. The land of 18 languages.  Russian, French, Czech, Yiddish and oh yeah… Spanish.
  8. Hey!  It’s not all Asian food here!  What a break!
  9. It starts to drizzle and the traffic slows down from 80 mph to 40mph.  I’m the only one weaving in and out of traffic at that point.
  10. Whole cases of freshly cut fruit at the grocery stores.  Not to mention the celebrity sightings there too.
  11. Beaches without rocks.  A novelty.
  12. Sunshine.  Lots of sunshine.
  13. I can get a manicure for $15.00 and a full service pedicure for $20.  Seriously.  With a massaging recliner chair to boot.
  14. Costco…..easily twice the size of ours.  I can get my prescription, fresh flowers, produce, gas, eyeglasses AND funeral casket all in one place.

It has been interesting.  Yes, living in the suburbs of Miami definitely has it’s challenges.  The traffic is something fierce but you learn to work around it.  The people aren’t always the nicest but you deal with it.  For example if I start talking to people in the grocery or Costco people automatically know I’m not from here and it either gets them interested in where I’m from or causes them to choose another check out lane.

My job is great.  I love my job.  It’s tough.  Every day is a challenge and you don’t know what’s coming next.  I’ve never slept so good – all because I’m mentally drained by the time I get home at night.

Working for a giant company is definitely odd.  The closest thing I have to compare it to is working for the State of Alaska.  Huge machine and we’re only responsible for the left big toe portion.  I’ve met two of the presidents, which is very exciting.  One of which thought I brought a great conversation to the table!  Okay!  Believe it or not he is British and I actually got about every third word he said —- rather than my usual every sixth word.

I laugh a lot every day and yet there are still lots of things I need to learn.  When the VP says, “DO IT.”  I at first think, “really?  He can’t be serious.”  No, really, he is serious.  This is soooo backwards from what I’m used to that it takes me a bit to roll it around before I swallow and say, “okay, well if he’s serious, then hell yeah!  Let’s do this.”

Many times people have asked me, “what do you do on the weekends?”  I am here by myself and it makes people worry about my sanity and social life.  The first thing I tell people is this is the SECOND time I’ve packed up and moved somewhere I didn’t know anyone or anything.  How do you think I ended up in Alaska for 18 years?  I’m a Philly girl!  Come on!

Second thing I have to tell people:  I’m an only child.

I was taught to fend for myself since third grade.  True.  While others in this world need outside people to complete them….I am comfortable doing my own thing, on my own time at my own speed.  Often times people are dumbfounded when I tell them I do all kinds of things by myself.

I take myself out to dinner and not just fast food.  Sit down, order a glass of wine, salad, dinner etc.  When I walk up to the hostess stand I always tell them, “I am a giant party of one.”  The facial expression is priceless!  What a relief!

I have gone to movies and art museums by myself.

I have even gone to theatre productions by myself in major cities.

It’s no big deal to me.  I can do it.  Contrary to what is difficult to lots of people in this world…..I am very, very comfortable being with myself.  By myself.  I don’t need a giant circle of people to validate me or my actions.  Here I am….love me or not….it’s not my problem.

Yes, I have a small circle of friends, around this globe and they are what matters.  I don’t need a huge friend base of 200 people to make me feel valued or accomplished.  I’ve been doing this since I was 8 years old and I’m proud to say I’m quite independent.

So when people are astonished I can do this life in Miami, by myself, I am perplexed because to me, this is a huge adventure.  I may take myself on a 3 mile walk and enjoy my thoughts or music as I go.  Maybe I will drive to Barnes & Noble and get lost for a few hours in the shelves of books.  There’s a great movie out….maybe I will treat myself to snacks and a glass of wine then hit the movie.  I have signed up for Conversational Spanish at the college and have a GroupOn for pole dancing lessons – all on my own.  No big deal.

I go to the gym at work during the week – first thing in the morning.  Do my work, on the third floor of the 1080 building until 6:30 or 7:00 at night and head home.  At home I cook a nice healthy meal, watch some tv or read….play Words with Friends and then off off to bed.  Rewind and repeat the next day.

The complex I’m in has a pool, if I should choose to jump in, but that’s not for me yet.

Yes, there are massages and nail appointments.  My new hair stylist Greta is great!  I have been to the beach once in all my time here….go figure.  But have enjoyed my balcony and potted plants just as much.  I have my usual weekly chores and food shopping to get through.  Snore.

It all comes from how you were raised.  My mom made me a strong and very independent person – which I am proud to be in this world.  Yet there are times when I think, “what the hell?”  Those moments come from not having experienced this life style before and just having to get used to the flow of things.

When I moved to Alaska I had no clue what Xtra Tuffs were – and I have my second pair with me now.  My co-workers are often teaching me about local customs and flavors, which is fantastic.  “OH, you have to try this Cuban dessert.”

I truly enjoy my coworkers sharing their local knowledge – especially the Cuban side of things.  As it turns out, my great-great- great grandparents were from Cuba.  They owned a tobacco plantation.

So see, I’m not so foreign in this land after all!

Get Off My Ass…Unless You’re Buying Me Dinner.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Alaskans.

We.  Like. Our. Space.

That’s why we prefer to live in a state where there’s only 1.5 people per square mile.     Love that.  In my square mile I’d designate Liggy, our cat, as the .5 measurement.  (That’s correct, Eric can get his own square mile…mine is full.) Unfortunately, however, I’ve moved to Miami and the luxury of personal space went out the window along with owning sensible shoes.

Which, by the way, if you would have told me at this time last year I’d be wearing platform heels I would have laughed myself to the point of a side cramp.  Now, I have several pairs to choose from in the closet.  Not to mention the colors.  Yes.  The shoes I get the most complements on?  The hot pink Jessica Simpsons – thank you very much.

There was this one pair I drooled over in DSW.  They were vanilla colored, satin fabric, platforms that not only had a rhinestone on the front but feathers as well.  LOVED those shoes.  Went to try them on several times.

shoes

Then I thought to myself:

Self, when are you realistically going to wear these shoes?

I’d wear them to work?

No.

Performing art?

Maybe.

Grocery shopping?

Definitely.

No.  I didn’t buy them.  Sigh.

Anyway, back to the issue.  I wish the people of Miami would do me one little favor:

GET

OFF

MY

ASS!

I have never been anywhere in this short lifespan of mine that has had so many strangers trying to climb up my ass every single day.  Not only that but they’re pissy people at that!

It would be one thing if you were a smooth talking, good looking, sweet smelling suave and swanky personality that would cause me to swoon as soon as you grinned.  However you’re not anything close to making my knees buckle Miami…..

Driving down I-95.  Am I supposed to be impressed as your flashy Porsche flies past Norman like he’s standing still?  Probably.  And I am impressed.  I’d love to go for a ride in that!  Sexy and fast.  Sign me up.

However it’s the idiot in the Honda with the stupid loud muffler that’s trying to act like he’s all that AND a bag of chips….but when in reality he isn’t even the stale pickle on the plate.  Really?  You’re going to tail me and try to intimidate me?  Okay well I’m slowing down by at least 5 mph.  Oh yeah baby, that big rip of a scrape along the left side of your car door – that’s so hot.  Meeeeoooow,

No.

If you’re going to get that close, I hope you brushed your teeth.

Then there’s the cars that when you look in the rear view mirror you already know what’s coming next.  (It’s like watching a Heat game and you just know they’re going to win….the opposing team really shouldn’t have bothered to show up.)  Before you can change the radio station with the flick of your thumb on the steering wheel….no, Norman doesn’t have that ability….it’s just wishful thinking…..the car has climbed up over your back fender and is changing lanes just as fast.

Damn really?  And then the traffic slows down and you’re side by side with Mr. Slick Ass.

Sucker.

And the point of that was what exactly?

More than driving, the one thing that absolutely brings me to the edge of insanity in :15 seconds flat is personal space.  I have gotten to the point where anything inside my imaginary hula-hoop is MINE.  The hula-hoop is made of titanium and can’t be broken.  You step inside the hoop and you’re going to be in my way.

BACK  UP!

Enough already.  Do I have a sign on my forehead that reads, “newbie….transplant from Alaska” which gives you the permission to try and body check me at your convenience?  Oh, there wasn’t a sign, you’re just rude by nature?  Wow.  Your parents must be so proud!

Case in point:  tonight I stopped at Pet Smart.  Liggy, was in need of kitty treats, which I can only find at Pet Smart.  I stood in line.  My purse, which isn’t a suitcase by the way, was hitched over my forearm…..comfortably cradled in the crook of my left elbow.

This woman comes up and while there’s nobody standing near me for 3 miles….manages to walk into my purse as she’s going around me.

Really?

As she gets around to my right side, where I am holding another bag in my hand….from the grocery…she bangs into that as well.

OMG what am I?  Magnetic?  For pete’s sake….you have the entire front of the store yet you are drawn to me like freedom fighters to a noble cause.  Can you really not manage to give me a few inches to breathe?  Even the casher grimaced at me with an apologetic face.

The grocery stores are even worse.  Nobody has any concept of personal space.  I don’t just mean in the check out lane, where they push their cart all the way up to the handle bar of your cart the moment you turn your back.  I’m talking about walking down the wide main aisle of Target and it’s three across going one way….large and in charge.  And two coming directly at you.

Cue the Wild West Gunslinger Music….there’s going to be a shoot out.

It’s gotten so bad at Target that I will go out of my way to avoid certain areas because the people are going to drive me crazy before I can even get to the toilette paper.  You try and go around and it’s like they have crazy ESP.  Fake left, they go right.  Fake right, they go left.  Double back to go forward and they’re right there….quietly pondering what to have for dinner….steak or chicken…as they push the cart…down the middle of the expansive aisle.

The side aisles are the trenches of warfare.  Forget trying to make your way from one end to the other if there’s another person in the row.  The rule of “finders keepers” is definitely in play.  They won’t give you an inch to spare one square.  It’s a new game of ostrich….

“While I don’t have any available sand to stick my head in so I can ignore you….if I just plain out pretend I don’t see you then you can’t see me and life is good.  So fuck off and go around me because I own this universe.  Okay, I own this aisle!”

Okay, get over yourself and move your damn cart already.

Today I got on the elevator at lunch.  It was crowded.  The last guy on rather than turning around to face the door, decided to keep his back to the door and face the rest of us.  He was busy emailing.  Good grief people!!!  Save yourselves and release the smart technology for two minutes and join in the rest of society.  Buddy, you closely resemble an ass and if you had any idea, you would have been horrified, of this I am certain.

Yes, he finally turned around and in the process moved closer to me so his screen was nearly eye level with my eyeballs.  Do you really think I give a fuzzy hamster’s butt about the upcoming meeting regarding the 42-B template for designs of toilette flush handles?  No.  I.  Do.  Not.

Stop being so pretentious.  Stop trying to put your business in my face.

I. Don’t. Care.

While we’re on the topic of elevators and people and being pretentious and putting their business in my face….I want to discuss sweatpants.  Specifically the ones with words across the butt.

I have two observations.

1.  Whoever thought of this concept obviously didn’t think about including regulations  for appropriate wearage.

2.  Just because they fit doesn’t mean they look good on you.

Dear heaven above, save my eye balls from bloody ruptures if I have to see another butt going by that rolls so much I can’t even make out what the words are:  AGNES, NAGES, ANGLES, AGILES, ANGELS, LANGS…..

w. t. f.