Tag Archives: Boston

Squeeze Me & Eat Me

Yep.

Squeezing and eating.

Feels good. A little softer. A little harder.
The taste…like it sweet? Or prefer tangy?
Big or small?
Plump and juicy?
Lean and tender?
Unblemished, touched by nobody.

Which one is right for you. For this exact need?
Did you find the right one? Ready to make a decision?
With so many varieties in life, it can be a tough choice.
So many options.
Go with your gut……..

It
Is
A
Commitment.

Deep breath.

Good.

Now put the fucking cantaloupe in the cart and move on!

Seriously. For christ’s sake!

I was at our local grocery store over the weekend. I don’t know if it was because of the holiday on our door step or what the problem was on Friday. Everyone was being overly selective on their purchase.

And these aren’t difficult choices people!

The fruits and veggie aisle. I get it, you want to pick up the best head of lettuce and unbruised peaches. Got that. But lady, seriously. Thumping cantaloupes….one after the other after the other after the other after the other….PICK ONE! Pick two if you’re unsure. They are all going to ripen up and let’s be completely serious, you aren’t honestly going to know what you get until you cut it open.

Kinda like baking a cake. You can continue to look in the oven, insert the toothpick for doneness….but until you cut it and eat it, you have no clue if you made a damn fine cake or not.

Notice nobody really cares what kind of lemon or limes they get. They don’t even worry about the oranges or grapes. Grab a few and dump them into the cart. Well isn’t that a pisser. They’re so common nobody cares.

It’s like people who are knocking on watermelons for ripeness.

Knock knock.

Knock knock knock.

Knock da knock de de knock knock.

Chucker

Get three or four people doing this at the same time and you have a percussion section right there in produce.

What I’d like to know, and I need to find out, how do watermelons stack up in a chucking contest?
Going to a big pumpkin chucking contest is on my Bucket List. I want one that has several chuckers, not just one. AND I want to to do some chucking.

Yep, I could be a Red Neck. (I also enjoy NASCAR……make your own conclusions.)

At any rate, next I found myself in the diary aisle.

Crinkle.
Crinkle.
Crinkle.

>>>> pause <<<<

Crinkle.
Crinkle.
Crinkle.

I turn to my left and find a lady standing a yard away from me.

She's holding….a package of string cheese.
She's squeezing the package of white string cheese. Moving the sticks all around in their package.

I wanted to say something like, "Yep. There are 12 sticks in there. Says so right on the package. They're sticks of cheese. Hence the name on the package: Cheese Sticks. They're individually wrapped. Kids love them. If this isn't the cheese you are looking for…and you need a block of cheese I suggest moving further down the aisle. If you need sliced cheese, the deli is on the other side of the store. Canned cheese, well, good luck with that."

She eventually put the package she squeezed and scrutinized into her basket and carried on with her shopping.

Next up: the bread aisle.

It's my lucky day.
Winner. Winner. Chicken dinner.

I wasn't stopping, but I drove right by them with my cart.

First up was a man, obviously sent to buy hamburger rolls for the cookout.
He had in his hands a package of 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, with sesame seeds.
And guess what!
mr-whipple-charmin
HE WAS SQUEEZING THEM! Along with a 20 yard glazed eye stare. It’s apparent hamburger buns are not his thing and the selection was way over his head. Buddy, whatever happens, never agree to go buy air fresheners.

You
Won’t
Make it
Out
Alive.

What are you squeezing them for? They’re hamburger rolls and they’re designed to be soft. If you are looking for a hard crusty roll, go to the bakery! The only thing that people should be squeezing in here is the Charmin! Ask Mr. Whipple, he’ll tell you!

I didn’t get a full shopping basket past him and there’s a lady standing there with dinner rolls.

My suggestion, next time lady, choose the King’s Hawaiian rolls. Each one is uniformly baked to a sweet goodness. And less stress for you and the bag of rolls.

Seriously, let’s think about this for a moment….

Kings Hawaiian rolls

Whoever selects that package of dinner rolls you’ve been handling like a Queen sized woman trying to put on A sized pantyhose….will have beautiful rolls with your paw prints mashed into them. Gee, whose thumb print is that? Please. Step away from the bag of dinner rolls.

Fast forward to Saturday.

Here we go.
To a local Farmer’s Market.

Three or four different local farmers were there with their freshly picked crops.

Fresh from the field, literally picked that morning.

Beautiful produce.

I stood next to a woman who literally picked through the snow peas. Trying this one and that one. To see if they’re any good. She didn’t just try one, she had four. This isn’t a salad bar! Then she told her son, they didn’t look so good.

Why keep eating them?

Next up she picked over the cucumbers.

Here’s the thing. This is real farm grown produce. In the fields. In dirt. Chemical free. Hand picked this morning for ripeness. She complained how the cucumbers had lighter colored areas.

O M G lady, they’re supposed to! These are NOT chemically engineered in a laboratory like a lot of our food. It’s not meant to look picture perfect. It’s farm perfect! They grow on the ground. The discoloration happens in nature.

As long as the cucumber isn’t soft and mushy – you will be fine.

Good grief.

Maybe it’s because I’m not a good shopper. I know what I need. I have my list. I’m in and out. Done. I have no patience for the namby pamby waffling of trying to make a decision on which burger buns I should get. If I have buns on my list, then the first package that looks good – is going in the cart.

Perhaps they’re contemplating what they’re going to do with these cheese sticks. Maybe it’s for a recipe and they only need one. Maybe their grandkids requested it and they never heard of them. I don’t know, but stop squeezing the cheese. If you are needing squeeze cheese, I think it’s in the potato chip aisle.

Lastly, if you’re going to a Farmer’s Market don’t turn your nose up at the produce. These guys worked hard to put this on the table. It’s as fresh as you’re going to get. Commenting you don’t like the color and then you keep sampling the food? You are an inconsiderate ass. And shame on you for not having any manners.

Melon Thumpers – keep on keeping on, cause I know you can’t help yourself. And depending on what type of melons you’re thumping, it might even be enjoyed by others.

Stop Talking….. Before I Get Out the Duct Tape.

On my Fridays, I take the ferry to / from work. It’s like a sightseeing trip.
This past week, in the morning, I was able to score a chair out on the deck.
Sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Sailed right into downtown Boston, calm and relaxed.
Ahhh.
THIS is a civilized commute.

The return home is even better as they have a bar on board.
Usually, I throw my bag into a seat and grab a Chardonnay for $6.
This. Is. Nice.

If I were a guy, I’d have at least two beers on the way back. I watch them and most do. Some buy two beers right off the bat. Smart.

This past end of the work week, I was the third person in line for the ferry. So I was able to get my wine on the way to finding a seat. I decided to sit outside on the return as well. It was lovely. Sunny. Didn’t need a coat. Beautiful. I settled in and prepared for the start of my weekend.

There were 34 people on the outside deck.
3/4 of them were on their smart phones.
1 was reading a book.
Several were enjoying the surroundings, hidden behind their sunglasses and drinking their beers.
1 was politely smiling and nodding his head.

Why?

Because the girl he was sitting next to would not shut the hell up.
She talked.
And talked.
And talked.
And T A L K E D.
And kept on talking.
She never took a breath.
Not to mention she was loud.
Annoyingly loud.
They were right behind my left shoulder.

The point in having a conversation with someone is to say something – then let the talking partner have an opportunity to respond. To talk to the point of vomiting words is not carrying on a conversation. It’s being a selfish conversation hog. When you are a conversational hog, you don’t care what the other person has to say, because all you want to hear is your own voice. Your conversation partner practically has to karate chop you to get you to shut up or they need to fly the white flag and give up.

This, does not a good conversationalist make.

She literally, I don’t think ever….. took a full minute of silence.

These are some of the areas she covered in her 40 minute filibuster:

She just got married.
They bought a house.
Since she is now married, everyone is telling her to go back to school.
She’s not sure she really wants to go back to school.
And why should she go back cause she just got married?
Does that make any sense? No. It’s so odd.
She works at a hospital.
This department is so much better than her previous one because you’re not trying to save lives in this one.
There is a lot less pressure.
But who knows if this is the right department for her.
Oh and there is this doctor who just annoys her.
And the co-workers are really great, especially this one….
Her new husband used to work at an Auto Zone.
Now he is doing referrals.
They are so excited to be back in Boston.
Although she doesn’t like the winters.
She loves this weather though.
Isn’t it nice weather?
Her mother told her to bring her sneakers when she comes to visit.
It was good she told her, cause she wasn’t planning on bringing her sneakers.
There are so many trails.
When she and her mom went on the trail behind the house, there were lots of turkeys.
Her mom is afraid of turkeys.
She takes pictures of all the turkeys.
Oh look! There’s another one, better get a picture.
What do you think this is? Left over and forgotten bridge?
They aren’t doing anything with it.
Wonder what it’s here for.
That is so random.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
40 minutes of this. Relentless babble.
She was early 20’s.
He was in his 50’s.
Obviously he was an old family friend as she was asking him about what so-n-so is doing now a days, how excited her mom will be to know she ran into him, it’s been such a long time. Etc.

Shut up.
Shut up.
Shut up.

What is usually a pleasant 40 minute water journey home, felt like an eternity.
There were no other chairs available on the deck – so I was stuck unless I wanted to go inside.

This.
Is.
A.
Nightmare.

It was like being in a long hallway in a horror movie, trying to get to the end, but the hallway kept getting longer and longer. There was no end in sight. Your anxiety rising like a repeat of Chinese food in the back of your throat.

At any moment, I felt a giant alien may come out of someone’s chest, or a little kid on a red tricycle was going to show up and pedal around the deck. Either would have been better than being pummeled by her voice.

This was pure agony.

I was annoyed.

SHUT UP! STOP TALKING!

Give

It

A

Rest.

For the love of god – put a sock in it!
Here! Use my sock!
You are melting any ear wax I have because of the incessant noise that is your non-stop verbal cacophony.

Yes, the gentleman did get a few words in edgewise. I only know this because I could hear the wind blowing for a change. He was soft-spoken and got to the point. He didn’t pontificate on the pros and cons of going back to school or eating out at the new place around the corner from work. This man understood the etiquette for conversation. It’s only too bad he didn’t educate her on what that entailed.

I’m sure his face was tired of smiling and nodding by the time they got off the boat.

My ears were ringing when I got off and I only had one chardonnay! I should have followed the boys on board and had a second.

Miss Me Yet?

I get it.

The dryer eats socks.

The refrigerator eats cat toys.

The couch eats change.

The bottom desk drawer eats crap I decided at some point was necessary for my life at work.

Fine.

It.

All.

Makes.

Sense.

What I don’t get are the things you see on the side of the road. Or better yet, along the sidewalk.

Forever lost to someone.

I’m not talking about wads of gum or cigarette butts. Nor am I talking about toothpicks, or more specifically those weird harp on a stick looking ones. Actually, they might be a little tiny guitar for a gnome. I didn’t think anyone actually used those. Boy, am I surprised!

Side note: I would also like to make mention, over the last two weeks, there has been an ungodly increase in the number of bandaids along my walking route to work. It doesn’t matter if I’m coming from my beloved ferry or the newly discovered train route. There are bandaids EVERYWHERE. All stuck to the sidewalk (as opposed to the lamp-posts).

They’re rubber slugs that have given up and collapsed.

Right there.

Between Congress and Seaport.

Done.

Expired.

Small ones, regular ones, circular ones and some that are large enough my cat could wear it as a bonnet. My lizards could use it as a hammock.

Johnson & Johnson must have seen an uptick in their bandaid sales in Boston.

What’s with the bandaids? There’s a hell of a lot of bloody blistered feet in town.

And don’t be telling me it’s from the Boston Marathon. That was April 20th and we’re now in June. (insert buzzer sound here)

But, if you were to look at some of the footwear….it makes sense. I was behind a girl today who was not so elegantly hobbling on 4 inch wedges. She had a swagger like Captain Jack Sparrow.

He, by the way, is adorable. Swagger…..Me Now….Meow.

She, swaggering like a squirrel, who just painted their toenails with silver glitter polish and can’t stop admiring them enough to take a step….not so adorable.

FOCUS! Christ, it’s exhausting to watch!

I’m just saying.

If you can’t walk in the shoes, don’t buy them. They make you look like you have no sense of balance and you’re trying to walk a tight rope with giant marshmallows strapped to your feet. You have no clue where your next step is going to land and you’re all over the sidewalk.

But, I digress.

Thank you for your patience.

What I can’t figure out is all the random shit left behind.

The other day. Route 3. A giant stuffed tiger was on the side of the road. I’m talking a kids toy, not a treasure hunter’s dream from Asia. It’s literally miles between exits. How did it end up out there? Then, of course, my mind begins to wander. Was some small child crying they lost their tiger?

I was sad.

Sad for the kid.

Sad for the tiger.

Will this tiger end up on the front of some trash truck? You know what I’m talking about. Will he be happy? I did once see mannequin heads on the side of a trash truck. I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo but damn…that was creepy yet surprising awesome.

Obviously, I’ve watched Toy Story too many times.

Walking you see all kinds of random things. Random enough that I have thought to myself, more times than I’d like to admit….”If I was homeless, this would be a score.”

I’ve seen baby bottles, blankets, shirts, socks, fleece pull overs and tarps. The tarp would be a score as would the fleece pull over.

But then there are the things I see where I scratch my head and just have to say….WTF?

Earlier this week…on my way to grab a sandwich for lunch I came across a shoe on the sidewalk. A perfectly decent loafer. A left one at that. IMG_1886
HOW DO YOU LOOSE A LOAFER?

I’ve seen shoes along the highway. The only thing I can think is someone gets pissed and throws the other person’s shoe out the window when they’re sleeping. Ha. Ha. Ha. So funny. Fucker. Wait till you go to sleep and I’m going to take a permanent marker to your face. Then we’ll see whose laughing.

I’ve seen a right sneaker and then a mile down the road the matching left sneaker. Okay, they obviously left them on the roof of the car and drove off.

Then there are the random flip-flops. Alright. Well, not a huge loss. It’s a flip and a flop. Meh.

But a brand new left foot loafer? You’re going to miss that. Especially if you are currently wearing the right one. Walking down the side walk. With a limp. Duh. Where’s my shoe?

What the hell is going on here? Aliens. Blame the aliens. Always blame the aliens.

The shoe didn’t even have time to get it’s white parts dirty! It makes no sense. Of course, I took a snap!

The other thing that baffles me are the people who move and randomly leave their belongings along the roadside. Are they leaving breadcrumbs to find their way back? If you don’t want to move, don’t. Shouldn’t be a newsflash.

I feel, one of two things could be happening with these cushions….

1. The owner of the couch wants a new couch. Easiest way to get a new couch. Loose a cushion.
2. It was an accident. In which case, sitting on a bunch of duct taped phone books is going to be unfortunate.

Just saying.

Today is Friday and on the way home, I stop at the grocery. I run in and then when I come out, something catches my eye. I look over one space to the left. IMG_1946

Are you kidding me?

Who looses their PILLOW?

This isn’t a fluffy, throw on the bed as decoration type of pillow vis a vis Marilyn Monroe. This isn’t a porn star’s, I need some lift and support, type of pillow. This is a regular, put your head down and go to sleep type of pillow.

First off, what are you doing with a pillow in the grocery parking lot?

Secondly, why is it in the shopping cart return?

Then I think…..ohhhhh, if I was homeless, that would be a score! (what is wrong with me?)
And next, I snap a picture.
Of course.

Miss Kona: Pride Parade Adventure

Check that off the list: Marching in a Pride Parade.

A friend of mine called and asked if I was interested. Well, let me see….
It’s fun.
I can be silly.
I’ve never been in a Pride Parade.
I get to ride in a trolley.
Yes! I’ll do it!

For the weeks leading up to the event, I was pondering what I would say to the spectators. You see, we were going to be on a big trolley and handing out Hawaiian leis. So the possibilities are endless, but generally came back to the one comment, “I wanna lei you.” Terrible. But funny.

I, however, can’t say it with a straight face.

Three nights before the event my friend calls. “What are you dressing up as for the parade?”

What?

“Aren’t you dressing up for the parade? You did all those Wearable Art Shows….you have to dress up.”

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Wearable Art Show 2011.

Juneau Arts & Humanities Council Wearable Art Show 2011.

Well shit. I didn’t think about it. Then it smacks me in the forehead, like a mosquito, this is a perfect excuse to dress up! How could I have not realized this? I love to dress up! What the hell am I going to do? I can’t believe I almost went as a normal person!

I pressed the urgent button. Must. Get. The. Creative. Juices. Flowing.

Now, I don’t have months to prepare, I only have two nights. This is going to be a mess.

We’re doing leis, so Hawaiian would be good. That’s a no-brainer. What kind of Hawaiian stuff do I have on hand? Nothing. Not a floral shirt. Not a lei. Flip flops. I have flip flops. Well that’s not very Hawaiian.

Where are my wigs? In the storage closet. UGH. I don’t have time. Do I even have a long black wig? No. Eyelashes! Has anyone seen my eyelashes? I know the little box they’re in….but where is that box? I’ll worry about that later.

To the drawing board I go….which in this case, is the party supply store.

Lo and behold, they have a big selection of left over Halloween items. Thank you! First I pick up a cool mask, with giant beak and feathers out of the top. I find different colored table cloths to match the feathers. Then I look and say to myself….THIS is NOT Hawaiian themed. This isn’t going to work.

I put everything back…then stumble into the Hawaiian section.

Two grass skirts.

Four pretty silk flower leis.

No, they had NO coconut bra tops. Trust me – I was looking. I did flirt with the idea of using real coconuts but the thought of trying to successfully crack it open and then drill holes for a string to hold it together….was too much comedy of errors for me.

And on the way out…one last pass through the Halloween section. YES! A long black wig. They call it a fashion wig, I’m thinking…seriously? Whatever, it’s long and black. When I check out the cashier advises me there is no returns on the wig. Okay, she doesn’t know me, but I NEVER return a wig. Miss Kona Supplies

Next stop. The Dollar Store. Yep. I hit the jackpot! Pink flamingo plastic table cloth, fishing nets, sequined butterfly things and clip on flowers.

I go home and assemble the costume.

The next night I realize, I didn’t have a headpiece. You always need a headpiece! So using a headband, some shells and glitter…I fastened together a sea princess crown.

I also realize I can’t find my eyelash box. Yes, besides wigs, I have an assortment of eyelashes. I look in the obvious places. Nope. Nope. Nope.

Then, literally, while I”m on my hands and knees looking under the bed….(side note, we just moved into this little place…which causes me to still not remember where things ended up. It is plausible the eyelashes ended up under the bed, not likely, but possible.)

Yes, I’m on my hands and knees when I break out my Catholic education and say a prayer to St. Anthony.

“St. Anthony, please can you help me locate my eyelashes? Thank you. You know it’s in that plastic box. Please help me find them.” St. Anthony never fails me. Whenever you lose something – pray to St. Anthony.

Tah-dah! Try the bottom dresser drawer.

I did and under a bunch of other stuff….there’s my eyelash box! YAHOO!

Now that I have my outfit assembled, I fall to sleep as a big day is coming tomorrow!

Rise and shine at 7:00AM. I have to be at the trolley by 10:00AM. I’ll be driving into Boston, parking at work and then taking the subway to where the trolley is staged at the Copley Center. I’ve written down my subway directions…..have them in my pocket. I’m ready to go.

I put on the top of my outfit, which consists of a white flimsy tank top blouse thing, aqua colored bra and sequined butterflies. My eyelashes are on. Big glittery eye make up is on. Lip stain is on. Body glitter is on….of course!

I look like a drag queen stuck in a disco ball.

Before I leave, I decide I better wear a zip up hoodie. I’m taking the subway after all. I grab my sunglasses, tote bag with various paraphernalia and my grass skirts in a big trash bag.

Okay, now I look like a hobo in a disco ball.

The transportation adventure begins. I zip right into Boston – SWEET! Every day should be 20 minutes.Park the car and walk to the first subway stop, which is three blocks from my office.

Silver Line to South Station….I’ve done this lots of times. No sweat.

South Station, I hop over to the Red Line going to Alewife. Okay, got this. I’ve been to South Station lots of times. Just have to look for the sign for this particular line. Easy. I get to the platform 1 minute before the Red Line arrives.

Next, I get off at Park Street and have to transfer to the Green Line. Well, this is an experience. Never been on the green line. And I need to find the C Berth for the train that goes to Connelly Circle. That’s what it said on the website for the transit system. A berth? That’s for cruise ships. Why not call it a platform? A berth? Okay, whatever. C Berth.

I still have my sunglasses on and hoodie zipped up.

I arrive at the Park Street station and feel like I’m wandering through purgatory. Dark, old, hot and fierce. At any moment I fully expect to see an elevator that says Hell? With an arrow pointing down. The signs here say C berth is also track 1. I’m at track 4. Well where the hell is track 1? I see a little old man walking across the tracks and I’m thinking, “that’s not the smartest thing to be doing….”

Then I see a sign that says C with an arrow down. There’s more layers? Or is this the elevator to hell I’ve been expecting to see here?

I hit the elevator button and wait. Nothing.
It finally arrives and the door opens. Apparently, lions have been using the elevator as their litter box. The smell curls my eyelashes even more. I turn around and look for stairs.

Down I go, along this hallway that could have been in a hospital horror flick from the 50’s. Then another sign says to go up for my berth. I truly am a mouse in this labyrinth.

I pop up and there I am on the opposite side of where I started. Four tracks, yellowing light and stale air. Big industrial floor fans running to try and keep people cool. It’s old. Old. Old. Some of the lines coming through are only 2 cars. People run and push to get on the car.

Dear lord. Please don’t let this be a long wait.

I see on the transit map I could take lines C, D, E to get where I’m going. However I stick solidly to my C plan as all these tiny cars….and I’m hoping C is multiple cars.

People are coming in obviously going to the parade, which makes me happy to know. I’m not lost.

Unfortunately, I’m sweating like a banshee. I don’t know, do banshees sweat? I’m still wearing my glasses and zip up hoodie. I’m dying. I can imagine the tank top is plastered to my back. Sweat is breaking out on my upper lip. This guy in front of me won’t stop pacing….like a caged animal. Okay. Enough.

I unzip my jacket and put my glasses on top of my head. AIR. Sort of.

Within a minute a big guy comes over and asks, “How did you get your eyelashes to do that?”
They’re fake.
“Oh. Are you with him?” (There is a young guy with a pull cart filled with signs about gay rights standing next to me.)
No, but we’re going to the same place obviously.
Then guy then says something and more about his wife….not sure what he was saying…as the noise from trains, fans and people were deafening in this crowded subway pit.

Another train comes in and he walks away to get on one of the two cars.

I put my glasses back on and patiently wait.

Hark! A train on my track! It says Connelly Circle! Thats’s the one I need. Whoop Whoop! AND it has a bunch of cars! I jump on the first one and get a seat. I sit down and immediately want to hug the conductor….the A/C is on high and I feel like I’ve walked into an ice box. Thank you, sweet fairy godmother of the subway system. And whoever invented A/C.

Three stops later, I hop off and continue to wander the lackluster white tiled subway….(which note, some people actually put this tile in their house….why?) I continue to follow signs that say, “Exit. Street.” I climb the stairs and pop out into the sunshine, like a mole who has been underground too long. To my surprise, I am actually where I should be. I didn’t get lost!

I walk 1 block and there’s my trolley, waiting in line with all the other vehicles, for the parade to start. Yahoo! It’s a small miracle I didn’t get lost. Or loose my patience and hop in a cab. Yeah me – high five!

My friend is waiting for me at the trolley and I think may be surprised I made it as well! I’m thinking, I needed a shot after that. Not a vodka shot but a tetanus. And I didn’t bring any handiwipes!

I pull up my glasses and SURPRISE! Hope it’s okay that I’m planning to dress up!

Then I start to pull my outfit together. Skirt on. Wig on. Crown on.

FullSizeRender-6

Tah-dah! Two people, that I’ve met before, didn’t recognize me. It was great!

One of the guys looks up my Hawaiian name online. Apparently it’s Kona. Okay then call me Miss Kona.

I walk off the bus and a lady approaches me, “Are you going to do the hula on top of the trolley today?”

Ahhh no, but thank you.

If I had a dollar for every time someone took my photo, I’d have enough to buy a round of drinks in the bar. I walked down the street before the parade to see the floats and people were stopping me left and right. I didn’t think my outfit was that amazing, but apparently it was different enough.

IMG_1762

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The parade starts and our music on the trolley was the best. We were literally dancing in the street. I spent most of the time walking in front of the trolley, which was great, so I couldn’t loose the trolley. And they couldn’t loose me! Win-win on that one. We were handing out leis to anyone who wanted them. Must have handed out thousands. I decided to aim for kids and people in wheelchairs along the route. I also asked many, many police officers if they wanted one – all but 6 declined. Those who did take them, gave them to the people next to them. Of course, when someone mentioned that was a Congressman in the suit standing over there, I immediately ran over. He didn’t want a lei either. Well, I tried.

One lady, who obviously was a parade organizer, due to the enormous headset she was wearing and clip board she was carrying…said to me, “You better move over to the sidewalk, there is a trolley behind you. You don’t want to get hit.” I told her I was with the trolley and I’m pretty sure they’re not going to run me down.

What a great time. Miss Kona had a hoot. I was exhausted and slightly sunburned when I got home. The energy of the crowd, the excitement of being in a parade and running from side to side wore me out….and a 4 hour nap was enjoyed when I got home.

Let’s do this again next year! Game on!

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Pardon Me, Where Was That?

It dawned on me today, I have no idea where I live.

No clue.

Heaven help me if someone were to ask me for directions. Wait, they already did. The conversation went as follows:

“So where are you guys living in Smalltown?”

Oh, we are near the Landing.

“What road is that?”

Blink. Blink. Blink.
Well, shit. I have no fucking idea what road.

I can’t blame it entirely on modern technology. You see, every day Elvis tells me what route to take to and from work. He doesn’t say street names. He just says things like, “In a quarter mile, turn left.” I have to read the GPS map to see the street names.

Even though I’m looking at the GPS, I’m not reading the street name. I’m looking at the line ahead and thinking, okay, I near to make a 90 degree left turn in 1/2 mile….or I need to curve to the right, but not really turn right in the next 30 seconds.

Sad, but true.

Even before I discovered Elvis, I can still quite honestly say, “I have no idea what road.”

Yes, I live in a development, well people want to know what street that’s off of.

It’s a two land road, just like all the others, right off the main highway, you know that one that goes North and South? Yes, but what is that? Is that Route 35? Route 21? Route 4?

I don’t know. We are at the fork in the road. Quite literally.

You know the spot. There’s a Walgreen’s, then a Costco, that Paws Wet Nose day care is across the street, which is next to Dave’s Supreme Body Building. The post office isn’t far from us. If you go down the road about a half mile and turn left there is a cute yellow house and a big Catholic church.

They ask, “Well it’s near the lake right?”

There’s a lake? Where? No, I don’t think we’re near the lake. We’re near the Landing, but not a lake.

Isn’t Donnelly Funeral Home near you?

What? I have no idea. There is a funeral home, across from the Post Office. It has a small parking lot and is next door to my chiropractor. Is that the one you’re talking about?

“No, I don’t think you’re near the lake.”

Well no shit, Sherlock.

Then they want to know the name of the development we’re in. Unfortunately, by this time in the conversation, my brain has exhausted itself trying to remember a street name. Now you want to know what the name of the development is? Dear Lord, I know it is a red sign with red flags. There are huge power lines that run along the side and there’s a bunch of trees. We get coyotes, turkeys and lots of frogs….at night mostly. Is there an area signed up for those three creatures?

You see, had you not been quizzing me about the streets, I could have very easily told you the name of the development.

This is when it dawned on me….I have no clue where we live.

The problem is, I grew lazy with street names. When I lived in Alaska, this is exactly how I gave directions for getting to our house:

At the McDonald’s intersection turn right.
Go down till you see Amerigas on the right and turn left at that light.
Take the first left past the Duck Pond.
Our house is the one that looks like Hanzel and Gretel live there.
We’re on the right.

People found our house every time.

Well, duh. Who can’t find a house if you identify what landmark is on the corner, versus those little tiny green street signs? If I’m not watching the GPS map that Elvis provides, it’s very likely I drive right past my turn….I can’t see those damn signs until they’re in my review mirror and even then it’s a nano-second visual.

And why are there NO street signs identifying the street you’re traveling on? Yeah, it’s all fine and dandy that I just passed Pilgrim Drive, Rock Avenue, Main Street, Columbus Drive….Broadway. But WHAT IS THIS STREET? No signage.

Heaven forbid you’d need to know. I’m at the corner of Repent Row and cute purple Cape Cod style house, you know the one with the lavender bushes along the white picket fence? Butts right up to a house with yellow, almost gold trim and dark blue siding. On Thursdays and alternate Saturdays they offer a miniature petting zoo for little kids… Oh YEAH! Nope. Not a clue.

To combat this, I’ve tried to call out my street names when Elvis advises me I’m going to be turning. Usually my drive home takes me the same way for the first half. I did pretty good today. The problem though….too many alphabet streets. Christ.

Left on A.
Right on G.
Right on K.
Left on C.

L M N O P….

Really, when did C get behind K?

I won’t even go into how many Commercial Roads, School Lanes, State Streets, Main Avenues and Quarry Drives there are around here. You would think they’re all connected. NOT.

To compound matters, there’s all the routes. Route 3, 7, 12, 21, 34, 73, 666, 102, 54. Seriously. Okay, there’s no Route 666, but somedays there may as well be and I’m on the People Mover Express.

This is also the reason I need Elvis to guide me, cause I have no clue where I’m actually going. And listening to the traffic report in the morning is utterly useless.

“We have a slow down on the 22 all the way back to 48 with the A Street artery cut off. Traffic is picking up on the 78 as you approach the curve but forget about the 127-South and 11-North, those are stand stills all the way back to Downtown Abby. Watch out for the accident on Commercial Drive as you come out of the 509 Exit ramp, the pigs are flying with chocolate covered bacon candy bars throughout the expressway heading west and the due north lanes are just clogged for the 2 right hand 33 westward lanes.”

Yeah, whatever. I think learning Japanese might be easier.

Today, strangely enough, I did pretty darn well on the first half of the drive. However, before I get to the roundabout, I start to pray to the roundabout fairy to get me safely over to “the second exit.” Those things are death traps. Want to give someone a punishment? Send them through these Boston roundabouts. Total and utter chaos. It’s like all of the sudden 4 year olds are behind the wheel. Forget they can’t reach the gas pedal….they have no idea where they’re going.

Once safely pass the guillotine that is the roundabout, I continue on my putt-putt of a drive and eventually have a EUREKA moment.

I know where I’m at! Well, I don’t actually know where I’m at…but I recognize enough to turn off Elvis and continue forth without guidance. It literally goes like this:

Stay to the right, go to the bottom of the hill where the weird boarded up house on stilts is at and go straight.
Continue straight past the fire house and house with unique brick pattern.
Veer to the left at the lovely purple house.
Ignore Elvis when he tells you to turn left after the old gas station, go straight.
Turn right past the big white church….you are homeward bound!

Yes, it’s true. this is how I know where to go. Visuals. Not words on a tiny sign.

The best part of my trip, is at the end when Elvis comes on and says, “You have reached your destination. Ahhh thank you, thank you very much.”

Whew, victory yet again! This production could not be possible without the contribution of Elvis and the Waze app on my iPhone. “Let’s rock and roll baby!”

Beantown Observations #1

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I am approaching the 3.5 month mark of living in the Boston area.

Things I’ve learned.

1. I don’t believe they have any streets that go in a straight line. Whoever designed the road system must have been drunk or on the tilt-a-wheel ride. How many intersections have I come across where it’s not the typical four, perfectly 90 degree angled lanes, we all love. No, I’m talking 5 lanes…or 3 lanes… and every which way but straight ahead roadage. I get so confused, that I can’t figure out which stop light is my light. I pray to either get through the light or have someone in front of me who knows the area.

2. They LOVE roundabouts. Or traffic circles.
LOVE.
THEM.
Generally they have 3 or 4 exits off of them, as normal roundabouts would. But no, last night, I entered a roundabout where Elvis, on Waze, told me I had to get off at the “6th exit on the roundabout.” How in the hell am I supposed to know when I’ve reached the 6th exit? First off, I’m trying not to get killed in the two lane traffic. Secondly, it’s not like there’s any signage. Thirdly, the roundabouts are strange little NASCAR race tracks…no lines, it’s a free for all. Enter from the right and keep on going. Best to just keep your eyes shut.

Needless to say I went around this particular circle….TWICE.

3. If you come to an intersection, where you have a stop sign and the road in front of you has traffic going in both directions…you know from left to right….and right to left…..

Well, if you are waiting for traffic to clear and you don’t move fast enough, the residents here won’t honk at you. They just drive around you.

INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC.

And to think I thought Miami drivers were crazy!

The kicker is, as I learned today, when two cars went around me…… The oncoming traffic STOPS!

4. Cars here don’t have horns. Unlike Miami, now when I hear a horn, it scares the hell out of me. They are rarely, if ever, EVER used.

E V E R.

Forty thousand of us could be backed up on the main highway into downtown Boston. In fact, we are every morning, but you don’t hear a single honk. No beep. No WAAAAHHHHH. Nothing. We’re all in this together. Putting along at 7 mph.

5. Houses here are stinking cute. CUTE. CUTE. And historic. I saw one the other day, with a giant sign over the front door. It was “Ye Olde ______ House.” I can’t remember the name. I quickly scribbled it down on a piece of paper while I was sitting at the light. Researched it on Google. Yeah, it is a historic house, belonging to the wax maker that supplied the candle wax for Paul Revere’s candles. You know, the whole one by land and two by sea? Well this little house currently has 4 apartments. Oh and a guy was killed there last year. (I joke about the wax maker. Not the killing.)

6. There is history EVERYWHERE. I love it.

7. The check out folks at the two Whole Foods I’ve gone to are actually NICE! Genuinely nice. In fact, everyone here is nice. It’s odd. Strangers talk to each other. They let you into traffic. They hold doors for you. I thought Alaskans were friendly. Well, these folks here are Alaskan cousins. Of course, after this winter….I’m calling our area, “Little Alaska.” That was a whole other earlier blog…the winter. Some of these people I’ve met for the first time, I feel like I’ve known them FOREVER. Odd.

Of course, the fact that my new chiropractor said she can’t help it …..but I remind her of someone, she can’t put her finger on it. Then she said Anna from the show Downton Abby. Okay. I’ll take that.

8. They have a lot of wildlife. And I don’t mean just squirrels and birds. Right now there are hundreds of frogs outside singing in the night air. Could be thousands, but since I am not a fan of frogs (they’re so unpredictable) we’re going with hundreds. Coyotes roam in the woods behind my house and literally take down deer. Someone said to be happy it killed the deer…. as the deer has ticks. Yeah, well, I don’t think a deer is going to try and take me down on my way to take out the trash at night…..a coyote…could. And I’m small. And if I’ve just had a bath, I’m salty from the detox soak concoction I make. If anyone wants to know where the wild turkeys are hanging out ….they’re here! I hear them in the morning in the woods behind our place. Gobble, gobble, gobble. The cross the highway like they’re on the Thanksgiving Day Parade! They’re protected along with the squirrels, coyotes and Fisher Cats.

9. I see things I haven’t seen in ever time period….still operating Dairy Queens. Shoe repair shops. Nearly every gas station is full service. Of course, when I drive into the gas station, all I hear is, “Monna. Wachta servictico bolded whishtenfoul booperbump today?”

Did you catch that?
Me neither.
It’s the Boston accent.

Wicked Smarht.

Yeah, fill it up, unleaded. Fuck. Shut the door. No idea what that guy just said. Good thing Norman is only a 10 galloner.

10. The crowning glory, for the moment, which was a tie with the beauty of spring. Trees are just leafing out…whites, pinks, greens, yellows….just gorgeous. No, the crowning glory has to be the genius idea to offer a ferry from this side of the pond right into downtown Boston. Forget the driving. Buy a breakfast sandwich from the lunch truck out front of the ferry terminal, where the guy knows your name or jump on board and get a cuppa cuppa coffee. Relax and enjoy the ride. The best part of this ferry? The return trip. BAR SERVICE BABY! Oh yeah! 40 minutes….what can I get ya?

Standing Room Only.

I’m not going to lie.
When we left Alaska, it was exciting to be going to Miami.

Daily sunshine.
Palm trees.
The beach less than a mile away.
Warm weather.
Rocking thunderstorms.
Eating outside.
Not having to wear a winter coat 8 months out of the year.
Disney was a short drive away.
Fresh coconuts.

Delightful.

After about a year, the novelty wore off.

For us Alaskans, it was always hotter than Hades.
The humidity was so thick even the cats’ fur was frizzy.
Christmas wasn’t the same without snow.
We didn’t speak Spanish.
The insanity of the drivers on I95.
Honking is relentless.

Enough already. So we started to look north to New England.

We landed just south of Plymouth Rock this February and couldn’t be happier.

Of course, we arrived in the middle of winter. And for anyone who is familiar with the legends of the 2015 Boston winter….you can only imagine what we faced. Of course, we were likely the ONLY people in the Boston – New England area that was THRILLED to see snow.

Need someone to help shovel? We’re on it.
No, it’s not too cold to go out for a walk.
Forgot something at the store? We can go.

Laying in bed at night, we were like little kids, “do you think it’s snowing yet?”

With the first snow storm coming down, the schools quickly started to broadcast on the TV who was going to be closed. Okay, when I was a kid you had to listen to the radio (1060AM) the morning of school to know whether or not you were making the trek into school. Things have progressed in the school districts!

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At any rate, we went over the public transportation again and reviewed how I would get to work on my first day. (Actually, earlier in the week we did the entire route just to be certain I knew where I was going on my first day.) I was ready to go.

Buzz-buzz-guess what?

The recruiter who had been along with me for the entire hiring ride, emailed me on Sunday night… “Work is cancelled for tomorrow. It’s a snow day.”

Really?

Huh. Okay. Well, this is definitely different than Alaska.

The next morning we awoke to multiple feet of snow. So exciting!

That night, the Mayor of Boston was on tv and says, “Due to the blizzard, all non-essential employees should stay home tomorrow.”

Well.

Am I non-essential?

I feel pretty damn essential.

How do you know if you haven’t been told if you’re essential?

Excuse me, could you tell me if I am a non-essential worker?

You see, I now work for the city, so yes…I could be essential or non-essential.

Buzz-buzz-guess-who?

My recruiter emails and tells me officially, “Day two snow day. No work.”

Apparently, I am non-essential. (Well, they haven’t seen my tiara yet…so just wait! Think that is what makes one essential. It’s really good when I bring out the confetti cannon.)

Day two snow day! Whoop! Whoop! Of course, at the end of the blizzard, approaching Wednesday. I’m suddenly filled with, like a little kid, “but I don’t want to go to work tomorrow!”

I wait in front of the TV to watch school closings. Few come.
I check my email for a note from my recruiter. Silence.

Okay, I’m going in.

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Fast forward about two weeks. Boston has been hit again, again, again and again with snow. People’s cars are buried until Spring.

You can’t see around the corner at stop signs. Wild animals are being brought to animal shelters cause they can’t find food. Even birds!

It was my goal all along to take public transportation in to the office however, lucky for me and thousands of other commuters…the snow storms have wrecked havoc on the public transportation system.

Multiple lines of the “T” are closed cause the crews can’t clear the tracks. People are left stranded. It has become a disaster. I would arrive to the T-stop in the morning along with 50+ of my closest stranger friends and everyone would stand together – looking down the tracks – waiting for the train.

We were like a bunch of penguins out there. Hands in coat pockets. Breathing into our coat collars. All positioned looking due east….anticipating the train.

If we’re freezing out on the platform, it’s okay because due to the snow levels and route cancellations….the train has become:

Standing
Room
Only

Seriously.

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NOTE: These aren’t my arms. These aren’t my body!

We all know how I like to snuggle up next to strangers. I might prefer to have lunch with a leper.

But the roads are bad enough that I don’t want to drive the 16 miles – so commute I must.

Going into the city, I NEVER got a seat. Since some routes were cancelled, hundreds of additional people crowded on the available trains.

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(NOTE: This is just the stop before mine – hundreds got off.)

After a week of riding out of the city, I figured out a system and I GOT a seat. It was euphoria when I figured this out. At the main station, my train always came into the same track. Although it was to arrive at 5:40PM, with the weather, sometimes it didn’t show up until 6:15PM.

I would wait calmly, well bundled up, close to the area where my track was outside. As soon as I saw the headlight make the turn towards that track, I started walking.

Excuse me.
Pardon me.

Sneak around this guy and that woman.

By the time I got towards the front of the pack, a few people…usually men…would start to walk down to the track. (Technically you’re supposed to wait for the train to come all the way into the gate and stop…) Nope, not happening for a select few. I was in the front herd. Those that don’t listen to the directions. I joined them.

The result? When the train came to a complete stop, I was usually by one of the doors!

Yahoo! I beat the system!

Why wait for the pack of hundreds?

When you’re small and sharpen your elbows, you can get anywhere.

Now, I too could get a seat. Not just any seat. No. I had MY CHOICE of seat as I got on.

Yeah me!

No more bumping and grinding with strangers.

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Then someone told me about the ferry. I can take a ferry from close to my home, right into Boston.

REALLY!? I checked the schedule and sure enough….it was operating.

I took the ferry into work. It was delightful.

That night, I took the 5:40PM ferry home. It left on time. But we hit a small bump.

Multiple small bumps.

Actually, some weren’t so small.

The harbor had iced over. We were hitting sheets of ice. All I could think of was the Titanic.

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No, we didn’t spend the night on the ferry, we spent an extra hour on the ferry waiting for the US Coast Guard Ice Cutter to come and free us.

This is when I discovered….there’s two bars on this ferry.

Case closed, this is how I’m traveling henceforth.

(Note: I’ve been trying to figure out how to use the word, “henceforth” so there.)

Now, the ferry isn’t what you would imagine, or maybe it is. It’s a sightseeing boat in the summer time. Some times I get the GIANT vessel that seats several hundred. Sometimes I get the cute little one. Both offer a decent selection of beer and for me…a chardonnay please… $6.

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Now I leave the driving to someone else!
I catch up on some reading.
Enjoy a great boat ride.
Have myself a chardonnay and relax on the way home!

So much easier than bringing my airplane bottles of vodka on the train. In those ass bumping moments, sometimes you need to self-medicate and it’s pitiful when you run out and haven’t even left the station yet.

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