Tag Archives: Miami

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?

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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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Moving…There’s Not Enough Vodka for This. Vol. 1

It all started with what I thought was a dog’s bellowing.
You know that sound.
Something between a howl and a growl.
Or it was a terrible bagpipe performance….performed by a ostrich.

In reality, it was our cat….. Monkey.
In her carrier.
Being taken out to the car.

By the time we got everyone into the backseat, the cats were carrying on a conversation that clearly they thought life, as they knew it was over. Well, buy those felines a king size bag of nip….they were correct!

We were on the way to get kitty health certificates because in two short days….they were  flying with Momma from Miami to Boston!  Are we excited? Oh yeah.

They were about as excited as cats going to the vet’s office, in cat carriers, in the back seat of the car….screaming the whole way.  We’re going to need some drugs.  Either the cats are going to need drugs for the flight or I’m going to need drugs for the flight.

Someone WILL be medicated.

Fast forward and let the chaos unfold.

Day of the flight…I am packed and ready to go.  The house is fairly boxed up and sorted out.

Eric will be driving up in the Honda, so I have a pile of “must go in the car” and a pile of “would be nice to go in the car” and a “can wait for the movers” pile.  Knowing how the day is going to progress, I begin the day with a hearty breakfast – a Whipped Cream Vodka shot.  Perfect.

I download a movie.  Get dressed.  Throw things in my two giant suitcases,  one under the seat suitcase, which will be checked as luggage and one carry on.

One cat, will be a carry on.  Two cats will be checked as luggage.

There is a word for this traveling style:  Circus.

The only saving grace for today is it’s a non-stop flight.

Time to get dressed.  Boston.  It’s freezing, literally.

Attire: jeans, long sleeve shirt, jacket, Xtra Tuff boots.

UGH.  Time for another shot….Rootbeer Vodka Shot.

Alright, we are close to leaving, time to pack up the small pets.  I calmly say to Eric.  I’m getting a cat.  I pick up Taku, the youngest and stuff her into a pink, hard sided carrier.

He grabs Liggy, the eldest at 15 years, and we back her into her soft sided case.  She is the one traveling under the seat.

Next up is Monkey.

It becomes a three ring circus.  Monkey is under the couch, over the chair, up the stairs.  Her tail is as fat as my arm.  She is NOT happy.  She is hissing.  Growling.  Under the couch.  Over the chair.  Under the couch.  Through the kitchen.  Behind the boxes.

We are now 10 minutes into trying to catch Monkey.

What.

Is.

That.

Stench?

Great.  She has released her anal glands.  Think musky, dirty, poopy, dank, odor from the swampy depths of cat butt.  Awesome.

Scratches on Eric’s legs as we try and grab her as she dashes past on her way round boxes, under the couch, under the coffee table, over the chair….knocking over trash cans, empty suitcases and other roadblocks.

Finally, we catch her and she is literally sweating.  Her fur is wet.

The Monkey.  Is.  Pissed.

A blood curling yowl escapes from her little furry black body.

Into the pink carrier she goes.

I need another shot…..

Now, we’re late, of course.  Damn it Monkey!  We get into the car and the felines are silent.  I think someone said two words and that was about the end of it.  They knew.

We race up to Ft. Lauderdale airport and decide to drop me, the luggage and the circus at the sidewalk.  There are hundreds of people in line for curbside check in.  You have got to be kidding me.  We don’t have time for this.  I can’t lug three suitcases and three cats by myself while Eric parks the car.  So I decide to crouch next to the felines and talk calmly to them.  There isn’t a porter in sight.

I’m sweating through my Xtra Tuffs and jeans.

Is that a whiff of Monkey ass?

Christ, please.  I don’t want to smell like cat butt.

Next thing I know I hear this man say, “Mommy, you need help?”

I look up and low and behold….A PORTER!  A PORTER ALL FOR ME!  Yes, I will be anyone’s mommy if you can help me!

Yes, yes, yes! I need help!  Checking in…with three cats!  Please!  (Get me into the air conditioning before my crotch soaks through these jeans in this heat…that would be a fantastic feat!)

Within minutes, he had me in the line and we were zipping to the check in counter.

Next thing I know we get to the counter.  My little agent guy has a helper.  The helper lady seems to be doing a lot of the work.  Uh-oh.  My little agent guy….is new.  Buddy, I don’t have time for new.  Not today.

Look, you fill out the form, you slap it on the kennel. It already has a Live Animals sticker on there.  You put the label with the arrow going UP.  You want the kennel to stay in the UPRIGHT position.  Are you kidding me?

I don’t want to tell you how to do you job – but damn – I don’t have time for this.

Then they tell me we have to take the two kennels going under the plane over to TSA and they need to inspect the kennels and we have to take the cats out.  I look at Eric.  One word comes to mind.

M O N K E Y

We tell the TSA guy, “well, let’s do the easy one first.”  Taku, who never says a word, comes out…blinks at us while I hold her…. and goes back in.  Time for the stinky, pain in the ass, but really she’s just scared to death,  one.  I open the door, reach in and grab her by the neck ruff.

WE will not be playing any games in this airport missy.  You may think you’re all that and a bag of cat nip…but I AM the momma cat and YOU WILL not be fucking around.

Fine, back in she goes.

Next, time for me to go through the security gate and I look at Eric.   What time is it? Plane boards in 10 minutes.  GREAT.  I have to give Liggy her medicine 30 – 60 minutes before the flight.

Wait!  Where is my iPad?  Momentarily I panic.  It’s in the car.  I debate, leave it or should Eric go and get it?  I downloaded a movie to watch just for this flight!  I have my book, but I really wanted to watch the movie.  He runs and gets the iPad….in the meanwhile….

I throw everything on the floor.  I grab the pill and try to shove it down Liggy’s throat while she is sitting in her little bag.

Once, twice, three times.  Not happening.

I open the bag.  Jerk her out and hold her in my lap.

You.  Will. Eat.  This.  Pill.

Liggy, however, has other ideas.

Such as…..there will be no pill going down her throat today.

EAT THE PILL!

By this time, sweat, is pouring down my face.  I am literally, a hot mess.

Eric is back and he’s telling me, “you have to go.”

Okay, well.  Here’s hoping she ate the pill.

Pack up the 15 pound cat, roller suitcase and my handbag.  Off we go through security.

I get to the X-ray machine and tell them I have a cat.  “Please take her out of the bag.”  Okay.  Liggy and I then stand there for 5 minutes while they discuss with the persons in front of me which machine they should use.  The walk through X-ray or the stand there with your hands above your head machine.

Okay, I’m standing here with a 15 pound feline, who isn’t really happy with her situation.  Could we move this along?  Is she doesn’t start hissing, I might.  We both might.

We get through the machine and don’t you know her carrier bag get stopped on the conveyor belt…..just short of arm’s reach.  There’s that sign that says, “don’t reach in to grab your bag.”  Come on.

COME ON!!!!

I get all the stuff…cat in the bag.  Luckily, for once, I was the FIRST GATE!  Eureka.  They were already boarding First Class when I arrived, so I dashed to the restroom.  Why?

Well, yes, to use the restroom, but also, because unlike most people.  My quart size bag….is filled with airplane bottles of…vodka.  Yep.  So I had a shot of chocolate vodka before jumping on my flight.

(No.  Contrary to popular belief, the only thing TSA has ever said to me was, “Finally someone actually gets the idea of what they should be using the quart size bags for on these flights!”  I can get about 8 little bottles in there.)

Liggy and I get to the gate and I hop in line.  I look around and smile.

Finally.

This is the first time in two years.

I have found my people.

Carhartts.

Flannel.

Boots.

North Face.

Fleece.

English is the first language.

It’s good.

As I get on the plane I advise the crew I had two other felines joining me below, they were like, “YOU’RE the CAT LADY!!!!”  Yes.  Yes.  I am.  They were delighted.  They had the slips showing Taku and Monkey were already boarded.

Liggy and I get on board and the middle seat remains empty.  I’m thrilled.  I’m thinking, this is great!  I will enjoy my movie “Chef” and order a seltzer water for my Vodka….after the last four hours, I need another Vodka.  Liggy, I’m pretty sure, hasn’t taken her pill as she keeps changing positions and mewing.

Then it happens.

I get a middle seat person.

Which under normal circumstances, would be fine.  But this, of course, isn’t normal circumstances.

Guess who sits next to me?

Nope.  A pilot.  Of course!  There goes my Vodka.  (Plan B:  have to use the restroom and take my purse, which had my quart size bag anyway after security.)

So, definitely, Liggy had not taken her pill.  Luckily the noise of the aircraft mostly drowned out her meows but she definitely could not sit still.  Well sister we have three hours to go, suck it up.

We finally land Boston and we hop off the plane.  Liggy and I meet our pick up party in baggage claim.  All the luggage arrives and we wait patiently for the two pink cat carriers to come through “special baggage”.  Apparently, animals are last off the plane.

As soon as I saw those two carriers I said, “There’s my little girls.”

Then SHE LET ME HAVE IT.

It was one big yyyyyeeeeeeeoooooooowwwwwwwlllllll….followed by…..

A where in the hell are we?

And a who the hell do you think you are?

And a what the hell was that?

And never again!

And a fuck you lady and the horse you flew in on!

Monkey.  Was.  Pissed.

By the time we got out to the car, she was exhausted and had no further words.

Now, if we could just get her to come out from under the bed….we’d be doing good!  She does laps, to make sure we’re still here.  Then back she goes.

 

Pork Me ….. I’m Gonna Vomit

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

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

Why?
It tastes dirty.

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

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

Blah.

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

So we went.
I made reservations.

Yes, one of THOSE places.

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

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

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

Whew.

Emmett came and took our orders.

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

Four.

Four?

Four.

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

Four?

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

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

Order UP!

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

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

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

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

Shit.

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

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

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

Yes, I’ll need a box.

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

Awesome.

I can hear my arteries heave now.

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

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

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

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

I am burping.

Hot dogs.

I

Hate

Pork.

BLURP.

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

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

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

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

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

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

BLURP.

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

It’s like having hairy palms.

I can’t get rid of it.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

Still….after several washings.

I tried two different types of hand sanitizer.

I get home and use lemon soap.

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

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

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

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

BLURP.

Whole Foods…a Vortex to Acting Like 5 Year Olds.

I was thrilled when I moved here to discover a Whole Foods right around the corner from my house. Coming from Alaska, this was a brand new experience. I had heard stories about the LUXURY of shopping at a Whole Foods.

Vegetables are like diamonds encased in security sealed cases.

Cheese by the pound is on display by region.

Fresh meat all organically grown, petted daily and humanely put down for sale.

A salad bar worth drooling over.

Fresh this and wholesome that.

Vitamins, detox mixtures, tonics and fresh squeezed orange juice….oh my fucking my.

Seriously….people…this is heaven on earth.




Yeah, it’s heaven on earth if I want to be ignored by the staff, nearly run down by patrons and….on top of it all pay out the ass for a 4oz container of guacamole, of which I could make better at home.

What am I missing here?

I simply don’t get it. There are several things that slap me in the face when I go in there:

1. Their customer service SUCKS. Granted, they have good produce. Every time I dash in to pick up something, it always happens the produce guy has his little cart right in front of whatever item I need in the produce aisle:

Corn on the cob? Check.

Tomatos. Check.

Apples. Check.

Potatoes. Check.

Vegan salad dressing. Check.

Doesn’t matter, he is parked there and it never crosses his mind to MOVE THE FUCKING CART a foot to let me select my green beans, snow peas, broccoli or peppers. It annoys the hell out of me. I’m sorry. It’s common sense. You have a customer approaching, with a basket on her arm and obviously looking at the produce right in front of you.

Why yes, I would like some of those carrots with the green leafy tops still on….all five of them for $9.99. Could you excuse me?

So

I

Could

Just

Reach

The

Damn

Carrots?

Oh, no wait, I see the issue. You are too busy laughing it up with the guy who is stocking up the pineapples and grapes. Never mind. Don’t want to bother you. Let me climb over your cart. Who is the customer here?

Apparently the overhead they charge for the produce also includes a gym membership fee.

Who knew?

It annoys the shit out of me.

AND, the people who check you out never smile. Tonight, when I ran in to grab corn and tomatoes, the guy walked away from the counter without saying a word so he could go throw a paper out two rows away.

REALLY?

I always approach and say HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?! Nothing.

If you really hate your job so much that you can’t smile and greet your customers, such as Michael this evening at my local store, then you need to go work somewhere else. The lady at the corner hot dog stand has better customer service than these people. It never fails. Save the overhead and have self check out!

Wait! Do you think because people are paying $5.99 for a pack of gum….gives you the permission to ignore your customers and treat us like shoe leather? Oh wait, you thought we were the plastic shoe leather? Pleather? THAT explains so much then.

But should one of their friends come up to help bag, whoa! It’s all fun and games….my, how the tides turn. Did I just slide down the rabbit hole? Apparently you are just hard of hearing and you didn’t hear my greeting.

Maybe I should just start yelling at people.

Let’s move forward.

********* The Salad Bar *********

So the tremendous salad bar. They have a great selection of soups. If you enjoy soups.
I don’t.

The salad bar is a typical salad bar. A variety of leafy greens to select and toppings. Nicely done.

Then the opposite side is mixed salads, rice salads, weird shit and shit I wouldn’t eat as I don’t eat weird shit or limp shit, or shit I can’t pronounce.

I’m sorry but when you see zucchini and squash that has been sliced lengthwise and then grilled….placed under heat lamps….it’s not right. They’re limp. They’re gross. It’s veggie abuse. Same goes for the eggplant. It is a horror flick right there in the deli. I have to turn the other way as it makes my stomach turn. Kind of like smelling sour milk.

Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it. Who wants limp shit? Okay, maybe a starving Sasquatch.

But apparently someone out there is enjoying the limp shit. Desperate, hungry, rich people, that don’t know about crisp veggies. Imagine holding up a piece of limp grilled zucchini in your hand….it falls over. So sad. It was excited at one point, I’m certain of it.

The thing I hate about going around that damn salad / deli area are the people.

No

Sense

Of

Personal

Space.

Which brings me to another point of the experience at Whole Foods….

2. The regulars. Maybe it’s where I live. I think it’s a feeling of entitlement. I’ve started to wonder what’s happened to two things: personal space and common courtesy. It’s not like we’re on the NYC subway here….ass to coot-chy …. DAMN.

Bumping elbows, watches, shoulders, baskets, hips…..okay – BACK THE FUCK UP!

Unless you are planning on popping open a bottle of wine in aisle 9 and then taking me to dinner, you are way too close to me. Knock it off.

There is no reason for your shoes to be hitting my shoes – there is plenty of space to go around me. I am all of 5’2 on a good day and it’s not like I weigh in like a gorilla. I don’t even have a cart! There’s simply no reason to be up my ass, over my shoulder, climbing up my eyeballs to get around me.

Take a breath.

Take a step to the side.

Go around me.

SAY EXCUSE ME! It’s not difficult!

If I stop to look at something, you are going to have to adjust your plan and detour. Don’t roll your eyes and huff at me. I’m not your child and am certainly not your spouse. Life does not revolve around you, jackass. Get over it. I’m putting my basket down and looking at this colon detox powder for the next ten minutes or until you stop glaring at me. If you’re going to continue, I will pick up this anal itch cream and ask you if you’ve tried it.

Don’t tempt me.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….life sucks….get in line with the rest of us. Waaaahhhhhh.

Oh my god….if you are going to shop in here, suck it up and act like an adult.

That’s what I don’t get. To shop in Whole Foods, you have to have money, yet all these people in here act like five year olds.

They’re playing chicken with their carts in the aisles.

I’m not moving….you are going to have to climb over me if you want to get that hot sauce, fucker.

They will run you down to get to the salad bar – and block it. MINE! IT’S ALL MINE!

Missy is going to be a defensive blocker for the vegan cheese display and then at the organic wine area.

Sorry, did you want to get in the front door? I’m cleaning my cart handle off with the sanitary wipe. Sorry.

Clint is on his phone shouting about his latest trade while trying to choose what bread to get sliced. PICK ONE!

For the love of all things holy – concentrate – get your shopping done and move out of the way for the rest of humanity.

******* The End Result *******

I’m done with Whole Foods.

We have found a fabulous farmer’s market up north we go to every weekend. We can fill up bags and bags of fresh produce for just dollars. It’s fantastic. Right from the farms. I can go to our little guy and get what we affectionately call…”Hooker Vaginas”….but we have to get there early as he sells out. We get a quart for $10 and then I usually get my own for $3 and enjoy it in the car on the way home. Eric sometimes gets one as well. It’s good for us yumminess.

I would rather drive 30 minutes and go to a Trader Joe’s than go through the non-sense we continue to experience at a Whole Foods. I don’t get it. It’s not worth it. They’re not making me feel like a valuable customer and I’m not going to support them as a business. It’s ridiculous. Yes, they may be easy and healthy, but there is lots to be said about good customer service and feeling welcomed into the establishment.

Thanks for letting me vent…..I feel lighter…..like dandelion fluff or glitter in a confetti cannon.

This Way to the Pink Flamingos Please.

One night my better half says, “Oh yeah, next week I have a dinner engagement.”

Oh, okay….whatcha doin?

“My company is a sponsor for the Pink Flamingo Awards, so I”m going to go.”

My response….blink blink. Blink blink.

Pink flamingos?

You didn’t think I’d want to go?

A. It’s an award show

B. There’s pink flamingos

I say, “Okay so can you bring a date?”

He says, “Well yeah.

Okay then…I’m coming.

He then advises me its to support the local LGBT Visitors Center and they’ll have Drag Queens.

My jaw hits the floor.

AND YOU DIDN’T THINK TO TELL ME ABOUT THIS SOONER? Hello? How long have we been together? This is right up my alley. These woman are fabulous!

To double check, I ask if this is a dress up event. Yes. Wear a dress.

Perfect. Got the perfect black dress.

He then says, because up until now, I’ve had a shit day…..you could wear one of your wigs.

Stop the train! REALLY!

GET

OUT!

I immediately ran to the box where I keep my wigs.

I knew exactly the one I wanted. Got it out. Got my comb. Brushed it out. Tried it on. Was delighted.

So excited.

The Wednesday arrived and the plan was hatched….meet at the Miami Convention Center at 7:00PM and enjoy the night. Silent auction, dinner, cocktails, award show – oh my! Whoop, whoop!

5:30PM I call the Mister and tell him I’m heading over to our company gym to shower and get my wig on. He says, “oh that’s too early, might as well wait.”

Okay, well you know what? Don’t listen to a man, when you know how long it’s going to take you to get ready. What the hell do they know anyway?

They know bubkiss.

They’re a PIMA. (Pain. In. My. Ass.)

I thought he might be right. So I waited until 6:10PM.

Went over to the gym.

Jumped into the shower.

Did my make up.

Put almond oil all over my arms and legs so I have not only a nice scent but subtle glow to my skin. Perfect!

Add the perfume and then take my black dress out of the cotton garment bag.

I pulled my grey and black shoes out and my satin handbag…finally, it was time to get dressed.

Please note: At this point in the evening’s program, we have a problem Houston…

It all went to hell in a hand basket and we were in the express lane. And the express lane was free of charge tonight. Of course.

Knew it. Should have went with my gut. Why? Why, listen to a man when it comes to getting ready?

Unless he is a Drag Queen or a prima donna – they’re clueless. PIMA!

I am so unimpressed at this point.

There I am, half dressed in my cute black dress with not a soul to be found in the ladies locker room and the
fucking zipper on the back of my dress is stuck. I don’t just mean stuck as in I’ve gained a lot of weight and it won’t zip. I mean like it’s frozen and not going to move an inch.

There’s a good five inches to go before it’s zipped up to the top – which would be mid back.

My hands were previously oiled, so I wash them yet again.

Nothing.

I pull the dress down as far as I can.

Nothing.

I try and turn the dress around to the front to shimmy the zipper.

Nothing.

I pull the dress up higher and try to pull the zipper up.

Nothing.

I try squeezing the zipper together.

Nothing.

I contemplate going as is.

Not happening.

I ponder wearing my sheer black and white polka dot shirt that I wore to work over the dress.

(only if I’m desperate) And that’s not really an option.

I contort my arms to try again to pull the zipper up.

First, left arm over. UGH!!!

Then the right arm over the top…..

Maybe if I turn just a little.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I wait and hope a female walks in.

Tick tock.

Nothing.

I think about going out into the gym. It’s a guy at the desk and think…..He could zip it. What if he can’t? Okay that would be embarrassing.

On the way to the awards I could stop somewhere and buy something, which is a good idea.

But then I’d have to get OUT of this dress and I can’t do that either.

Well what the hell?

I stop and look at myself in the mirror. Sweat, is pouring down my face. I’m a total mess. Is the air conditioning on? TURN ON THE AIR CONDITIONING!!! THE ALASKAN IS DYING IN HERE!

You have got to be kidding me.

Maybe the sewn in slip is bunched up and I start patting down all the layers.

NOW! How about NOW!!! Arms go up and over to work the zipper.

I try and pull the dress up as far up to my arm pits again.

Nothing.

I rest my sweaty forehead against the mirror.

Fuck it.

I pack up my bag.

My plan is to go as is and my better half is going to have to figure it out in the parking lot. Mental note, pack black duct tape in the car next time.

I am pissed…..I don’t have time to brush my teeth and what is even worse…..

I
don’t
have
time
to
put
on
my
wig.

I have to go. I wash my hands and do a final makeup touch up. By makeup – touch up I really mean mop my face with paper towels. I return to get my bag and try one last fricking time with this damn zipper.

Just kidding! Zip! Tah-dah! No problem.

Are you kidding me?

For the love of Pete.

I get to the car and it’s 6:50PM. Zip over the Causeway to Miami Beach. The air conditioning is on FULL ARCTIC BLAST and I arrive at the Convention Center just in time for cocktails. I throw on the fascinator I made for a Titanic dinner in Juneau….and while it wasn’t my wig I got enough compliments, so I was happy enough.

We arrive and head immediately to the bar. I’m busy texting a friend about an item I bidder on him from the Floppy Rooster….I stop suddenly and when I look up we’re behind not one but TWO Drag Queens. Lady one, later advised the crowd she was NOT a Drag Queen but a transgender, which was fine. She was lovely. Reminded me of someone I know. The other one. Well, I admit…………startled the hell out of me. One of those, I couldn’t help but stare, but not stare for fear she’d call me out on it. Nope, no picture needed. Thanks!

It’s a Bloody Hickie!

Okay that came up at a dinner with good friends a few weeks ago.

“….a bloody hickie!”

Hold the dogsled…a what?

These friends live thousands of miles away from me.

When I heard they were coming to town and asked if dinner was possible, I nearly burst into tears I was so happy.

True.

They are kind.

They are genuine.

They are real.

It does my heart good to know when these people are coming…a big sigh of relief washes over me. No matter what chaos my little row boat is facing. No matter if I’m riding an ostrich of insanity. If I’m having a week of walking the fire of idiotic nonsense. It’s going to be okay, good people are on the way.

I can be me. No judging.

Arriving to dinner in rubber boots, jeans, fleece jacket and messed up hair – this crowd would have said, “hell yeah!”

It’s comfortable.

Like going to the beach on a Sunday. It calms me. The sound of the ocean. Floating on the water. Watching the waves. Looking for fish. Aaahhh.

But most importantly….back to the bloody hickie.

Why do people do what they do to themselves?

I drive down the highway and there are billboards….upgrade your breasts. Lift your butt! Tuck that tummy. They offer photos to show proof.

The problem?

The original boobs looked just fine to me.

The original butt. I don’t know which one I am supposed to like – they both look nice. One is thiner than the other. Isn’t that what we want?

No.

This is Miami.

Well, hell. Give me a break.

I’ll give you the tummy ads. They need those.

Why don’t they put the men up there with 40 pound man boobs? Hello? Plastic surgeons! You are missing an entire market!

You don’t see a snap of a man’s ass up on the billboard…with the tag, “Lift it high, lift it proud!”

Have penis sag? Not a problem. There’s a solution for that, let us show you how.

Something isn’t right.

Our bodies. Costumes we wear on earth. (can’t wait to see my angel outfit….or at the rate I’m going I could be collecting some horns.)

Okay so over the last few weeks I’ve had two zits on my collar bone.

Yep. Front and center. Right there. About 2 inches apart.

I have made up a story about them. They’re from a piercing gone bad.

“Yes, I’d like to have my collar bone pierced please….Mr. Tattoo Man.”

Maybe not all piercing professionals are tattooed, however the one that did my……well, he was well tattooed.  In Vegas.

Since I’ve been staring at these two bumps for what seems like eternity, I’m now actually considering a collar bone piercing.

I mentioned it to my other half the other night and he nearly spit up his wine.

But then I ponder the eternal question…………………………………………..WHY?

Why have my collar bone pierced?

Okay 7 ear piercing? Fine. Nipple piercings? Possibly.

Tongue? Too painful, but okay for oral excitement…if you can get through the piercing….good on you. No. Wait. Good on me!

Have you seen this guy? Okay, watch the link. FANTASTIC.  And oddly sensual.

The oddly colored hair doesn’t interest me. Everyone does it. No challenge. Nothing bold about it. Meh. Like a hairball on the carpet.

Zombie Boy? Well now he’s something. (Hint: see the link above)

It started with boobs. Fake books. Woman needed (and still want) bigger boobs. Ok, I’d go one size larger. But what happens if you want to return them?

Fake eyelashes? Eye lash extensions? Odd. There’s a Group On currently…if interested. Do men get eye lash extensions?

Hair extensions. Which, if you’re going to wear them, I don’t want to see the little strips of tape. Get a lesson on how to wear your hair! MEN – warn your woman if her tape things are showing. (Yes, that is the technical term thank you. After all, your woman is a reflection of you!) And what do you do when you’re getting ready to roll around with the hottie? You have to have a disclaimer: “Excuse me but my hair isn’t real?” Otherwise, he may pull out a chunk and we’re into a horror story in 20 seconds flat! But how do you even bring that up in a conversation? I know someone and I asked her that question.

Yep. That’s basically it. Hey….something I need to tell you.

Really? At my age? In that position? I have other things I need to worry about. News flash……the hair on my head isn’t one of them.

Of course, I have been tempted many times to try extensions.

If I had to confess about them to my romance cover novel superstar….I’d say something like….”Unlike those you see in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I may not have a glass eye, peg leg or octopus whiskers….but my hair is fake.”

Ear lobe disks. That’ all I’m saying.

If I could get something done to my physical self…..I’d ask for height. Run Forest Run!
As a shorter person with top shelf grocery aisle issues, I’d be fine with 4 more inches.

Four inches can do a lot more than you think.

Just saying.