Category Archives: tourism

Disneyland + The Mother = Long Shot

You ever get asked to participate in something and think to yourself, “Sure. Sounds fun. I’ll do it.”  Knowing all along it isn’t going to work?

Obviously, it’s a sign, the second you hang up the phone the Vegas bookies start running the numbers and setting the odds on the various outcomes of said adventure.  You and the bookies are fairly certain the event will have a dubious ending.  You proceed, caution flag raised proudly, you’re already wearing  hip waders.  No stopping now.  What the hell.

Yep, that about covers the trip to Disneyland with The Mother.

A few weeks ago, I had a business trip that took me from east to west coast and I worked in a quick visit to see The Mother in between meetings.  I was looking forward to exchanging cold weather for hot sunshine.  Little did I realize, I was trading snow for the “storm of the century” listening to the weather forecasters of LA.  Although, having the opportunity to drive in torrential downpours was something I haven’t had the chance to experience since I left Miami.  It was a pleasant reminder of Mother Nature’s many talents.

During my visit to southern California, The Mother  had one thing on her mind.  In the past, usually she wanted to go to a particular restaurant or a local venue of some sort.  Nope.  Not this time.  Determination was set on a new target.

Disneyland.

Apparently, unbeknownst to her, having lived in the desert for over three years, Disneyland is basically  a stone’s throw away from her door step.  Relatively speaking.

To verify, this accuracy, The Mother checked with MapQuest, AAA, the neighbors Tim & Susie across the street who frequently drive the highways and as well as with the local grocery checker at Albertson’s supermarket.

So.

If you’re a rolling stone.

In good weather.

With a decent tail wind.

Jump on the I-10 and head west out to the wild west…to the land of the Great Mouse.

Throughout my trip, The Mother had a mantra… “don’t do anything that would hamper missing the day’s adventure to Disney.”  Roger that….going to see The Mouse….got it.

Our plan was to depart first thing Sunday morning.  Day trip only.

My only request was we MUST depart early, because The Mother would definitely need an electric scooter due to all the walking.  On a previous visit we went to the local zoo.  Unfortunately, they don’t have motorized scooters thus we rented their version of a standard wheelchair.

Not quite a normal wheelchair.

Not quite a a wheelbarrow.

It was more like an adult bucket seat push cart.

I nearly killed myself trying to push that plastic contraption in the desert heat.  There’s a reason wheelchairs are made from fabric, not plastic! Mind you, I am all of 5 foot 1 an a sip of water on a good day.  I was sweating like a sumo wrestling champion sitting in a sauna.   I probably left a sweat trail like a slug leaves a slime trail.

Gazelles? Missed those.  I was laying under the tree over here, panting like a cheetah trying not to let the sweat sting my eyeballs and turn my mascara into a ghoulish creep fest. But hey, let me in to see those dwarf goats.  I’m just going to sit with them for a while and communicate with them baaaaccccck to the mothership.  I digress…..

We needed a motorized scooter for Disneyland.  If I had to elbow my way through the crowd to get a scooter, by God we were getting a scooter.

Before bed, The Mother looks up the weather for Anaheim and it’s to be cool with an 11% chance of rain.  I figure that’s a high percentage of rain for California.  I say if she doesn’t want to go, I’m okay with that.  Best not to be miserable and we can go next time.

The Mother hesitates for a moment.  Nope.  We’re going.

I go to bed, knowing….you know how you just know?  You just know in the pit of your stomach.  This isn’t going to go well.  Trust the gut.

You know you can’t talk someone out of something.

No matter what you say.

You could tell them they’re going to throw up on their shoes.

They want to go.

You could tell them they’re going to be miserable.

They want to go.

You could say 400,000 people will be there.

They want to go.

You could say it isn’t really what they will want to do.

They want to go.

You could say, this is going to make my /your eyes bleed.

They want to go.

You could say, this is going to be a disaster.

They want to go.

Why fight the process.  It’s easier in the long run.

To just go.

The day of our big adventure arrives and our plan was to depart at 7:00AM.  I am awake early due to stupid jet lag and do not hear The Mother stirring.  Silently, I think, maybe we aren’t going…..

At 5:50AM I hear The Mother yelling through the door, “Donna, are you getting up?”

 

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

I get into the shower and proceed with the morning routine.  When I get myself pulled together, I go out to the living room….there’s heavy fog outside the window and grey skies.

As I am putting my shoes on, I say to The Mother “You know, this is your last chance to back out. The weather doesn’t look so good with the fog today.”

She is surprised I suggested we not go.  What do you mean?  Of course we’re going!  After all, there’s only an 11% chance of rain.

Alright then.  Coats, sunglasses, jackets, lip balm, purses etc…..let’s go.

Two hours on the road in and out of rain showers and sun spots, we arrive to Disneyland.  The mecca of fun, happiness, laughter and of dreams that come true with the sprinkle of magical fairy dust with Mickey Mouse leading the way.

It’s starting to drizzle again.  But over that way, the skies look clearer and certainly it will clear up.  We agree, the shower will pass.  It just isn’t supposed to rain at Disney right.

Of course.

The first parking lot’s ADA area is filled, so we  traverse the lot like a drunken snake towards the exit with a neon pink exit sign flapping like a flamingo under our wiper.  This indicates to the Disney parking attendants we’re aiming to exit like mice in a maze looking for cheese….so they don’t continue to point us into a parking spot.

As we’re making our way through parking area,  a family is literally walking down the middle of the aisle.  Not a care in the world.  Why should they – it’s Disneyland!  Their minds are filled with memories from the last time they were here, where they threw up,  where they lost Billy, how Mary got ejected from the water ride because she thought it was a wet t-shirt contest and how they can’t wait to see their favorite characters.  They’re excited.  It’s Disney.

Did I mention?

Patience is a virtue.

Three.

Two.

One.

“You think these people would get a clue and move over.”  Advises The Mother.

 

Yep….as I continue to creep along behind the family.  “Well, this is how it’s going to be today.  Lots of people.  Lots of lines.  This is Disney.  You know, it’s not too late to head home.  Now’s the time. Last chance.”

Nope.  Not changing our mind.  We’re going to the other parking lot.  We’re going to Disneyland.

About 15 minutes later, we make our way to the Toy Story lot, park and make our way aboard the shuttle bus to the entrance.

NOTE: For those that have experienced any Disney park, you know what it’s like….the shuttle buses, security screening, ticket purchase and entrance lines…..all within the main entry area.  This is where we’re located.

By 10:00AM we’re through security and head over to the far side of the entrance gate to get in line for the electric scooter.

It continues to drizzle.

We get The Mother signed off on an electric scooter for $70 and head back to the ticket line, where she decided to wait off to the side while I venture into the serpentine line for our day passes.  Not long after being in line I start to hear, “DONNA!” (Can’t be for me,   right?  Ignore.  Ignore.) More people begin shouting, “DONNA!”  I look up and at the front of the line….there’s an arm flailing above the crowd with a flapping hand attached.

The Mother.

The Mother waving at me.

…..along with the crowd shouting my name, “DONNA!”

Good lord.

I start to duck under the rope barrier.  Excusing myself  along the way…

“Sorry, that’s me….I’m Donna.”

I get up front to The Mother….” What’s going on?”  I’m thinking maybe she played the ADA card and got our day passes some magical easy way without waiting. I mean this is Disney, anything is possible.  Right? The Mother says, “Let’s go.  I’m not waiting in line for this.  There’s too many people.  It’s raining and I’m not paying this price. It’s so disorganized.  Do you want to stay for this?”

Nope. I nodded my head.  Looked at my watch 10:37AM.  Knew it. Okay, let’s go…..

On the way back to the car in the shuttle, The Mother asked if I was mad….as she pinched my cheek, no less. I told her sometimes you can’t talk people out of things they want to do, but I knew we’d end up going home.   It’s kinda like going to the dentist and getting a shot of Novocain, which you don’t want to do in the first place.  But you take the shot and as an added bonus….you get to talk funny afterwards!

 

Alright then. Who placed the bet for: 37 minutes at Disneyland’s entrance?

 

And yes,  I was able to get a full refund on the electric scooter.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Strangers and Pixie Dust

Please note: All names have been changed to protect the guilty. Don’t worry, I still love you.

Strangers.

They’re everywhere.

We grew up being told not to talk to them and look what happens! We grow up and start talking to them.  Just throw that spray can called CAUTION right out the window.  While you’re at it, you might as well dump COMMON SENSE down the drain and flush SELF PRESERVATION right down the toilette with your daily dump.

I mean really, it’s quite obvious.  Mr. Rodgers kicks the bucket and we’re all going to Hell in a hand basket.  Talking to strangers as if they’re as common as the pickles on our plate.  Really?  Do you know who handled that pickle?  I think not.

The Beaver would be horrified as would Big Bird if they had any inkling the kind of people we were associating with on a daily basis.  Next time you’re on line at the grocery – take a gander at your local strangers.

Creepers.

Yet, we’re addicted.

It’s no different than being told, “don’t touch that!” You simply can’t help yourself so you do it. Just to see what happens. Nine times out of ten – nothing exciting occurs. But that tenth time- yowzers!

They come in all shapes and sizes.

There are ones you wouldn’t touch with a four foot pole, while riding past them on your Orange County Chopper while going to work.

There are others you certainly wouldn’t mind being trapped on a desert island for several days with before help arrived.

Lastly there are others you routinely have to pick your lower mandible up off the floor by and can’t help but think one thing: WTF is wrong with you?!

This past week I was sailing on a cruise liner for work and had such an encounter. Seemed harmless enough at first. Similar to if a mosquito landed on you and you had no clue what it was until it poked it’s giant beak into your virgin skin to suck your blood to give itself life. THEN, you realize….this is a problem.

SMACK…..no, that’s not the sound of you ending the life of the blood-sucking mosquito.  That’s the sound of you thinking….WTF have I gotten myself into and who the hell is going to get me out of this?

Nobody.  Buck up and carry on.  You are in it.  Now get out of it.

It happened at the Martini Bar.

Enter the swaggering Johnny Boy who saunters up to me and begins to chat me up at the bar.

Great.

First thing I notice?

This man has a beak on him that I don’t think he could get inside a coffee mug if he tried.  It may be handy for dialing on iPhones.  Wow.  That’s quite the pointer you got there.  Does it act like a compass as well?  Or wait, do you do search and rescue missions?  That can’t be right, you don’t have a barrel of whiskey under your chin, but then again we aren’t in the Alps.  What the hell do I know, we’re in the Caribbean.

He begins to ask how my evening is going and how lovely I look in my dress.   Did I enjoy dinner.  Was I enjoying the cruise?  Oh the questions of common chat.

Shoot me.

Yatta.  Yatta.  Yatta.  Insert nice comments.

Then he hits me with, “So the guy you’re with….” nodding to the guy to my right…. “is that your husband?”

(Note:  said man in question is large bald man to my right)

I quietly pick up my velvet sledge hammer and casually position it above my head….ready, aim…release:

No, he’s my boss.  And that guy over there…..(and I point to a gentleman across the bar…(another larger muscled man) that’s my VP.  I’m surrounded by men who own me.  Sorry.

Blink.  Blink.  Bambi smile.  Blink.

>>>>  awkward moment goes here <<<<<

Oh, that’s too bad, the pointy nose man says.  Did I forget to mention he was baked to a crispy bacon color?  And wearing a lovely tank top by the way.  Oh yes, he was also a good stiff breeze into his Long Island Teas by now, which made the interaction all the more entertaining as we launched into Act Two:

Blink.  Blink.

He then turns to his other side and asks about the ladies sitting to our left side.

“Who are these lovely ladies?  From Sex in the City?”  Obviously, I am seeing my out approaching as quickly as the Lexington Avenue stop on the NY Metro when you’ve dozed off unexpectedly.  SNAP….got to go.

WHY, yes, aren’t they lovely ladies?  And you know what?  They’re also with me!  Don’t they look FABULOUS?

He had a name for each of the ladies and as he figured who was who, I was gathering my hand bag and martini….positioning my stilettos for lift off and preparing for a pole vault from my seated position.

He was simply amazed and at a loss for words as he approached my friend Bernice.  With the quickness of a forest mouse on crack, I hop from my bar stool and quickly join friends at the back of the bar.  Just a simple three steps away from Bernice, we’re anxiously watching the drama unfold.

From our vantage point, the Pointer was very interested.

From Bernice’s vantage point, it was quite a different engagement.

Pats on her purse.  Comments on her earrings.  Here a pat, there a comment, every where a pat ‘n comment.

Old McNose had a pat ‘n comment….e i e i o……and on this pat he had an drunken comment!  E I E I O.

Alas, we weren’t too concerned.

I, all 5’1 and filled with Pixie glitter was able to survive the brief moments of stranger commentary of The Nose.  The spectator crowd in the back figured Bernice could do the same…..and we were quite enjoying the several minutes of conversational exchange between strangers.   Actually hoping to snap a photo if possible.

Fact or fiction you decide:  It all came to a screeching halt and we were later discovered to our horror…. he wanted to sell her Boy Scout Popcorn but the deal was only good if she could trade with her stash  Ginsu Knives.  You know they cut through cans AND then tomatoes.   The Nose said he didn’t swing that way so the deal was off on the Ginsu Knives.but wait until I tell you about the Pocket Hoses he was ready to deal on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re Flying Where?

What if, when birds are squawking in high places they aren’t talking to each other about the fabulous grub hole they found or singing love songs.  What if they’re really bitching cause they’re afraid of heights or are about to pee-their-feathers because they’re afraid to fly?  What if when they’re floating along on the water, they’re not feeling all peaceful and blissful but are really paralyzed with fear because they hate water and can’t swim?

I’m just saying.

What if?

Same could be said when you go to the animal park and those monkeys you see sitting together on a limb, combing one another’s hair.  They’re so cute.  Picking gnats and bugs out of each other’s fur.  What you don’t know is in their reality, the little fucker wouldn’t stop rubbing his head in the ant hill so his head is covered in fire ant bites and the parent is picking scabs off his scalp.

I’m just saying.

What if.?

You really think dogs are smelling each other’s asses to identify one another?  Hey Stan, how’s it hanging?  Oh, sorry.  They’re checking to see what they all  had for dinner.  Are you kidding me?  Max had Mighty Dog?  OMG! Fluffy had that fresh ground beef kibble from the new trendy doggie cafe on Madison Avenue!  The nerve!! That’s it!  When I go home I am going to eat my dinner and then promptly throw it up on the couch.  The new carpet.  The bedspread.  The new jacket mom just bought.  In dad’s car!  Then I’ll get the good stuff.

I’m just saying.

What if?

Life is full of What If moments.  Take for example yesterday at work.

I’m delighted.  This time next month, I will be in Auckland, New Zealand.  Don’t worry, I have already alerted the local authorities, they are preparing for my arrival.  (It is the ONLY place in the world I have received a speeding ticket….thank you.)

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to make travel arrangements through our work system, I asked the co-worker I am traveling….we’ll call him Calvin….to showed me how it’s done.   Yesterday afternoon Calvin and I booked his ticket to go from Miami to Auckland.

Things were going all fine and dandy.  We punched in the details.  Miami to Auckland and the date.  The various combinations came up on the screen.  We could pick everything from 14 days worth of traveling in a tin can to just about 35 hours in a tin can.

International travel these days offers so many amenities it is astonishing.  There were options to fly with circus animals, farm animals or domestic animals.  Another section included circus performers, ring leaders or classroom pranksters.  Meal service included selections for prison rations,  weight watchers cardboard, things confiscated by customs and forbidden fruits.

Better yet was the option to pre-select your TSA screening.  This I had no idea was possible.  Now you can sign up for a Pass Go card that allows you to skip the back handed,  gloved pat down and go straight to the private room strip search.  I mean who knew?   Did you want a glass of wine and a smoke with that?  If so, please acknowledge and your credit card will be charged an additional $25.00.  If you want to include the drug sniffing K9 that is an additional $500.

I confess to Calvin, I’m not the biggest fan of flying, but it’s the only way to get anywhere fast so I do it.  We choose a flight that has a short flight time.  The first flight is operated by Alaska Air to LAX.

Of course I’m delighted it’s Alaska Air.  And then the delight is immediately squashed by the thought of going through LAX international hell again.  That place, I swear, is operated by the Orcs, from Lord of the Rings.  The last time I went through….I experienced every level of Dante’s inferno as well.  Insanity.  They made me a stand by passenger, even though I was a full fare passenger with ticket in hand.  Took my carry on – made me check it.  Lost all of my luggage.

I.

Was.

NOT.

Happy.

The first helpful person I encountered was in Australia.  Where they said, “this happens all the time with LAX.”  Great.  Anything happens this time, I will politely excuse myself and reintroduce myself as the Honey Badger.

Back to the story.

Okay so we get to LAX and change planes.  Looking at the screen.  I swear it says we get on Asia Air.  Calvin says, “this looks like a good one.”  I’m thinking to myself……really?  Isn’t that a third world airline?  Do they even speak English?  I’m terrible with accents.  How am I going to understand the safety briefing?  Do they translate the announcements?  Do they have a drink cart?  Can I just have the drink cart?  Are the drinks free?  How much are the drinks?  Do they take American?

Then he says to me……

“It goes from LAX to NAN.”

..

.

.

.

.

Excuse me?

“NAN.”

NAN?

“NAN.   N. A. N.    NAN”

..

..

..

Where the hell is NAN?

“Well, I don’t know.”

>>Enter the Bambi stare.  blink. blink. blink. blink.<<

NAN?  I’ve never heard of NAN.

“Me either.”

?

I get out my phone and Google NAN.

Well, according to Google it says NAN stands for:  Nadi, the western portion of Fiji.

“Nadi?”

Nadi.  N. A. D. I.    Nadi.

>>blink. blink.<<

NADI!  Good god man!  We look at Calvin’s giant world map on his office wall.  Way down in the far right hand corner.  Way down further than all the other countries.   Way down past New Zealand.  Way down past the compass.  Past the mile marker.  Almost like a speck of tomato soup on the map…..is a tiny little blip of a smudge on the map.

Fiji.

But no Nadi.

I look at Calvin.

Calvin looks at me.

My upper lip breaks out into a sweat.

My throat goes dry.

My hands start to sweat as do my feet and my pits.

Cripes, I say, WHAT IF they don’t have a big enough runway for a jet?  That place is represented by a poppy seed!

Are You For REAL?

Previously, living in Juneau, Alaska….my daily commutes to work were 15 minutes and literally….wait….let me count them….TEN lights.  Total miles traveled about 13.    And when I talk about the lights, we never use street names to identify the intersections.  We have the following:

Super Bear

McDonalds

Vanderbuilt

Hospital

Main Street

And my personal favorite, “You know the one by that weird overpass that was built for pedestrians, that nobody ever used and then that truck ran into….THAT light.”

I loved living in Alaska.  We just knew what we were talking about.

I’m thinking in Miami……

the people….

they have no common sense.

Honestly, I don’t mean to be mean and evil  I’m just making an observation.  As a newcomer.  What leads me to this conclusion?  Wait for it….

A few weeks ago a co-worker emailed me and said, “OMG I have something for your blog.”  I couldn’t wait to hear what the story was going to spill into my little fuzzy brain.

Imagine this.

You work for a giant corporation.  It’s a corporation that is an industry trendsetter – always steps ahead of the competition.  People WANT to work here.  Luckily as a manager, you have a position that has just come open and need to start interviewing.

Thus begins the process.  You line up the candidates and begin.

Now serving NUMBER ONE!

On day two you are running through the line up of interviews and begin the first phone interview of the day.

All goes well.  You’re feeling confident.  Soon you will have a new employee.  SWEET!

You dial up your next candidate.

Pleasantries are exchanged and the small talk comes to an end.  Time to get into the nitty gritty.  Anxiously, you begin to mow through your list of questions:

  • What is your background in analyzing the efficiency of 400 count Egyptian sheets compared to 743 count Grecian sheets?
  • Can you describe a time when you faced a monetary discrepancy between how many peanuts an elephant consumed in a week and the total number of fishnet pantyhose a Fright Night Corpse Bride went through in a Halloween weekend?
  • In your opinion,  do blondes really have more fun than brunettes?
  • Tell me about a time when you knew you had to argue your point to support the idea of Marco Polo not being as desirable as Fabio on the cover of instructional books on how to steam up the laundry room.

The interview is going exceptionally well.  The candidate’s answers are spot on.  You’re excited.  The candidate is excited.  THEN  you ask, “Why do you want to work with us?”

Watch out!  Open the flood gates.  Stand back!  The energy combined with bright sunlight and rays of happiness are literally blinding.  You think little blue birds are circling your head while whistling tunes of euphoria. These are signals of the candidate’s obvious perfection for being the right person for the job.

They launch themselves into the future with the appropriate answers, as if they were shot out of a cannon.  Except, this one was launched, sadly…without a crash helmet.

Oh how they go on about the grandiose wonderfulness of the company.  A leader of the industry.  Exploring areas even Mister Rogers didn’t venture into or Sesame Street for that matter.  Climbing mountains in leaps and bounds.  Success beyond the banks of Donald Trump.

It was as plain as plain yogurt.

This individual knew they were destined for greatness.

Destined to work for this cruise line.

The other thing that made the stars align, much like the first walk on the moon or when Elvis learned about his jaw dropping hip thrust (young Elvis – mind you) was the cruise line was so close to the candidate’s house.

“It’s perfect.  I live just a five minute drive from 87th Avenue.  I could walk to the corporate offices!”

Excuse me?  What?  Can you repeat what you just said?

“Certainly!  I live so close to your corporate offices, I can walk to them each day, which is ideal!  I’ll never be late.”

Right.  Okay.  And that address again was what?

“Well, I live just two blocks over from 87th, which is where your main office is located.  I mean, I totally expect I will be working in the corporate office.”

Note:  It’s okay.  Take a deep breath.  All together now.  Inhale deeply into the pit of your stomach and exhale very slowly.  Now.  Don’t you feel better?

Why?  Well, let’s continue the story….

After you calmly pick your head up off the keyboard and pry the “escape” button out of your third eyeball, you very calmly…..however with a slight edge in the tone of your voice…. no doubt from the grinding of your wooden teeth.  (You and GW go way back.)  You advise this nearly ideal candidate of their fatal flaw:

“Wow!  Great news that office is so close to you.  Our offices are actually located in the Port of Miami.  Specifically on Caribbean Drive.  The address you are referring to, is our competition.  That’s Carnival’s corporate office.”

Silence.

Please cue the cricket chorus.

Encore of the cricket chorus.

Lighters out to encourage yet ANOTHER encore of the cricket chorus.

As you pick your right eye tooth up off the floor you calmly advise the candidate, the interview they just completed was for Royal Caribbean Cruises NOT Carnival.

Have a good day.  Thanks for playing.

P.S.

No, you did not get the job.  Are you kidding me?

 

 

 

 

 

Pissing Me Off

I am having one of those days.

I’m pissed off at nothing and everything.

For now, just stay out of my way.

Please.

Which gives me good motivation to write about things that piss me off, no matter if I’m having a good day or not.  For some, fingernails going down a black board can send you to insanity.  That doesn’t bother me, but this does…..I started to pull together thoughts for this blog yesterday when we were at Home Depot.

I needed to purchase a new toilet seat and wanted to get in and out of the store.  Heading in I start towards the bathroom fixture area.  Down the aisle I go and I hear following me:

smack

smack

smack

smack.

I turn my head just enough to get a good peripheral look at the target.  Just shoot me. If you don’t know how to properly wear your shoes, I suggest duct taping them on.  (Can you get any lazier? Only if paired with your pajama pants.)  We’re in Home Depot, they have an entire aisle devoted to adhesives, certainly I could find something to help keep your damn shoes on your feet.

Smack.

Smack.

Smack.

Smack.

They were slip on shoes, worn like fucking flip flops.  If I don’t get away from you, I am going to beat you with your shoe.  She was walking around like some dazed and confused twenty something….wondering where the designer jean aisle was located.   Wrong store, you have to go to Seattle to find that aisle.  In the meanwhile she was dazzled by all the chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and certainly wondering to herself where the DJ was located.

Needless to say I hurried along, leaving my better half behind.  I don’t have time for this today.  Which leads me to when men don’t tie their hiking boots.  A completely different sound:

clomp

clomp

clomp

clomp.

Note: If you’re wearing the hiking boots for ankle support you are missing the mark.  In high school it may have been cool to wear those yellow construction boots with the laces undone, but that was the past.

Hey!

Welcome to the present!

You are impressing nobody but yourself.

The other thing that does me in every time I hear it are the shufflers.  You know what I’m talking about.  At least the smackers and clompers are some what picking up their feet.  Although, as history has proven, this is not always the case.  The shufflers aren’t doing anything but just that…shuffling.  Dragging their feet across the ground.

Oh, they’re so heavy, these feet of mine.

If you can’t keep the flip flops or slip on shoes on your feet and walk like a proper homo-sapien, I suggest you purchase different shoes.  Let me guess, when they showed you how to tie shoes in kindergarten you were out sick….well guess what?  Velcro.  Buy shoes with Velcro straps and do us all a favor.

The only thing worse than a flip flop shuffler is one wearing those idiotic Nike flip flops that look like shower shoes while wearing socks.  It’s snowing outside, invest in some boots or sneakers (with Velcro).  If it’s summer and you’re wearing socks with your flip flops, then I suggest you go see your doctor as it’s obvious you have a circulation issue in your extremities.

If there was any way for feet to look stupid….all of the above would be it.

After Home Depot, I had to exchange some glue at JoAnn’s Fabric.  One cashier working and about six people in line.  Sigh.  Another cashier comes up and says she can help the next person in line at the register to the left.

Done.

A third cashier comes up and walks up to me and says she can assist the next person (that would be ME) at the register to the right. Wouldn’t you know it the woman behind me thought she meant HER?!

Okay, I admit it…. I am short.  On a good day, I can stretch out to a 5’2.  Don’t think my height disadvantage means you are going to walk on me.  I will hip check you into the magazine rack.  Not to mention my sharp, pointy elbows can be weapons.  When necessary, I will bite your ankles, no doubt about it.

I immediately blocked Ms. I’m Next with my full featherweight division self and proceeded to exchange my glue.

Ms. I’m Next is a gum chewer.

Like a cow chewing it’s cud.

Or Mrs. Pickles licking her coochie.

It’s still there and I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.  Keep it to yourself.  I am not a willing participant.  Christ.

Chew with your mouth closed.  I don’t care what you’re eating.  Nor do I need to see it.  My better half chews gum like he’s a lion with peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth.  Every time he starts I look at him and say the same thing:

“You’re killing me with the gum.”

Needless to say he knows to get rid of it.  Immediately.

Smart boy.

Last, but not least,  one thing that has baffled me for years….

My office has been in a building with public restroom on the same floor as our office.  It’s a restroom that quite a few tourists visit during the summer season.  The women’s room has three stalls.

I can understand if you have had to pee so bad your back teeth are floating.  When you finally hit the pot you let out a “whhhhewwwww.”  What a relief.  A near miss of an accident.  I’ve been there myself.  With a bladder the size of a lima bean, you can’t help but have to visit the Water Closet on a regular basis.  So I completely understand that concept.

What kills me is the obvious problem women are having with pulling pants up or down, tearing off toilet paper, wiping butts and putting on coats.  The sounds associated with those activities are unbelievable.  You would think they’re at the gym and told to do ten sets of leg presses with 200 pound weights.  Or they just missed seeing a baby in a stroller go by on the sidewalk.  Better yet they were told to hold their breath for as long as they could and it’s now coming out like a burst balloon.

You get a woman in each of those stalls and it’s like a 3 part harmony.  Good grief.

Once the summer season returns, I don’t even bother with the restroom on our floor, I go up one flight of stairs and use that one.  Not only is it quiet but thankfully…there’s never a paper towel stuck to the door handle, water left running in the sink or trash on the floor.

People, you’re exhausting me.  I think this could be a form of torture.

With that being said, I need to return the toilet seat to Home Depot – heaven help the poor soul who has to assist me.  Just let me do the exchange and be on my way.  After that, I’m stopping at Costco.  If I want two of those cheese samples today, you best just hand them over lady.

Trust me.

Back away from the cheese samples…and nobody will get hurt.