Tag Archives: moving

New Gynecologist – One Way to Start Your Day.

When you move, you need lots of new things.

New house keys.
New way to get to work.
New utility company.
New curtains.
New stuff in general.

You also get the bonus, if moving far enough away from your current location,
a new cha-cha doctor.

I’m not talking about a dance instructor either.

First of all, the one thing I can’t get over in my mind, is
WHY?
WHY?
W H Y?
Would a man want to be a gynecologist?

It’s not like the female nether-region is a beautiful thing to look at.

Who wants to look at those?

All.
Day.
Long?

After his 50th one, would he not be bored?

No doubt, the next time his lover wants to strip down and have a passionate love making session……he is going to have one of several thoughts:

Eh, I’ve seen better.
Ugh, I don’t want to see another one.
Wow, if they were all as lovely as yours.

I don’t get it.
Which is why I always go with the female gyno.

Besides, she gets the whole concept of having a coochie.

Thank you.

So today I started my day with a visit to my new obgyn.
Excellent. Can’t wait.

First off, I tried to find someone close to my office.
Check. Under 6 miles away, however in Boston that could still be 30 minutes of travel time.

Second, had to be female.
Check.

Third, had to have a good reputation.
Check.

Fourth, I had to be able to pronounce their name.
Check.

There is nothing worse than someone saying, “What’s the name of your doctor?” And the only thing you can say is, “Well, it starts with a SK….”

I turn on my WAZE app – and The Terminator – directs me to the front door of the new doctor’s office. He avoids traffic congestion so I traveled this morning through some neighborhoods that were overflowing with mansions. Tiny, winding, two lanes, through the woods kind of area….and enormous….gargantuan homes. Big enough to hold a medium sized fortress of warriors if necessary. Beautiful.

The downside to this morning’s drive is that I had NO IDEA where I was going and I’m sure the people behind me were very much screaming, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?” I’m literally dazed and confused.

Sorry folks, keep calm, I’ll make up my mind in a moment. Okay, it may be two moments. Stand by….I’m waiting on The Terminator.

With fifteen minutes to spare, I arrive at the office.
I’m always late, so this fifteen minutes is obviously a mistake.
OR
I didn’t actually get lost on the way over!

Up to the office I go and check in.
They give me the standard clip board to respond to the various questions.

Do you smoke?
Do you take drugs?
Do you drink?
Do you wear a helmet?
Do you have any allergies?
Do you wear a seatbelt?
Do you drag race?

Yes, seriously, it asked if I wore a helmet.

When they asked me in person, I said, “well, not in daily life.”

Then into the health questionnaire I go….hang on to your hats.
There must have been 100 possible health issues.
At the top it said the usual: check mark if you have / had any of the following:

Acid Reflux
Acne
Aging
Aggravation
Arthritis
Anemia
Angina
Anxiety
Ass issues
Asthma
Athlete’s Foot
Avian Flu
.
.
.
.
.
.
Back Pain
Beetlejuice Complex
Binge Eating
Bird Flu
Blisters
Bloating
Bone Spurs
Bound feet
Bruising
Belly Dancing Fetish
Bulimia
.
.
.
.
.
Heart palipatations
Heart failure
Heart murmer
Heart weakness
Heart attack
Heart value complications
Heart disease
Heart worms
Broken heart
Hemorrhoids
Hearing loss
Hot single last-nerve complex

You get the picture. It was all you would think they’d ask and then everything else.

I didn’t even have a chance to complete my paperwork before they called my name. It was the helmet question that hung me up. I should have taken a photo.

Into the little room I go to verbally answer the questions that were on the paper. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me god.

What I’ve discovered is that I should have check marked, memory failure.

In the interview I was expected to remember things that happened 30 years ago. Seriously. Who remembers when they got their first period? What? No clue. When did I first have sex? What age did I learn to drive? What? When was my first obgyn exam? How old was I when I discovered the truth about Santa? I make them up and advise them of such by adding an “-ish” on the end.

How old was your father when he died?
No clue. Sad. But true.

My answer tactic, is……I turn my head to the left, look out of the corner of my eye to the right, squint and say, “65-ish.”

How old is your mother? I turn my head to the left, look out of the corner of my eye to the right, squint and say, “65-ish.” This, I know is a lie…

Because of the next question….

What age did your grandmother die? I know this one, cause my mother says it all the time, “You know Grandmom died at 65, I shouldn’t live this long.” She is obviously older than 65 – The Mother.

You see a pattern here? I also say out loud that I really need to put this stuff down on a piece of paper. I just don’t remember these things. I only have so much space in this walnut of grey matter. I can barely remember my own phone number let alone how old people are….and when I got my first period.

This concluded our historical overview of my life. I was then advised to get undressed and the doctor “will be in really quickly.”

Seriously?

What doctor ever arrives quickly?

Quickly according to whose watch?

Do you mean quick in patient time?

Quick in a doctor’s time who may or may not always be running late, so today they’re closer to on time?

Doesn’t matter…I do the one thing I can do:
I stripped faster than a dancer at a tits & ass club.

Then I sat.
And waited.

Then I realized I had to pee.

In Alaska, they take a pee sample. So I’ve been waiting to go. There was no mention of peeing in a cup.

I open the door and stick my head out into the hall.

Fear not, I have my gown, which opens in the front – wrapped tightly around my body.

I see a young doctor – MALE – down the hallway.

I don’t see my nurse.

So I wait inside the door. Not two minutes later she comes bounding in – scared the both of us. Apparently the young MALE doctor alerted. Good doctor! Good boy!

I explained the previous doctor always took a sample “What for?” was the response. Well, to test whatever it was they wanted to test.

Then she advised me the gown should go with the opening to the back.

REALLY? This is great news!

Down the hall I go, pee in a cup and turn my gown around.

I return to my little room and not two minutes later in walks my new doctor.

The first thing she tells me, while staring me straight in the eyes is she is an instructor at her hospital and she has a doctor in training.

A
MALE
DOCTOR.

Would I mind if he came in for the appointment?

She then said some more things but I couldn’t get past: MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING.

I had flash backs to all those hospital shows where the esteemed doctor brings in the interns to see how it works. What?

A MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING.

The interns gather around the bed. Ask crazy questions. Prolong the experience.

A MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING.

Do I want not only another doctor looking at my YaZoo but a MALE DOCTOR IN TRAINING?

He’s learning. Not leering.

Meh. Blech. Seriously, is it rude to say no?

I finally snap back into reality and advise her, it’s fine but when it’s exam time – he needs to go.
OUTSIDE.

She waves Dr. Jordan into the room.

Oh My God. It’s the same doctor person I saw in the hallway 5 minutes ago.

He is so young. I don’t even think he shaves yet.

I immediately reach back to make sure my butt is covered in the gown.
Check.

He introduces himself and I shake his hand.

His hand could compete with a freshmen boy at a dance for the sweat factor.

He was more nervous than a short person in a room of giants.

More nervous than the chicken trying to get across the damn road.

Okay, I’m the naked one here.
Are you certain you want to work in this profession?
There’s nothing to be nervous about – seriously.

I mean, if I fall off this table and you see everything cause my gown will have exposed my entire being – then hell yes….we have an embarrassment factor. Overload in fact. But, no need to worry about it, cause I’m not going to fall off the table.

The doctor and I reviewed how I got here, why I moved, my health, the goal for the day etc. I spoke to both of them. They couldn’t believe my age. When I said, I was very dull, she insisted I was quite entertaining. Alright then. Then I literally thought, “oh if you only knew how entertaining….I have a blog.”

Eventually the young and impressionable and awkwardly placed Dr. Jordan was asked to leave the room.

Breast exam. Check.
Feet up. Check.
Poke. Poke. Poke. Check. Check. Check.

Done.

Really?

Okay. Really?
We’re done?

I didn’t have to sit and wait in the lobby.
No peeing in the cup on demand.
I wear the gown with the opening in the back.
I get nervous learning doctor with sweaty hands.
The exam is focused and no nonsense.
I’m in and out in an hour.

Really? We’re finished. Is this good or bad? No idea, but I’m delighted I don’t feel like someone should have bought me dinner after the whole thing.

Eureka.

Now I need to make a note to remind The Mother to send me a note with everyone’s death dates, causes of death and when they discovered the truth about the Toothy Fairy. Someone has to know these things – either than or its off to Ancestry.com.

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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.

Beantown Observations #1

Image 9

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!

Image

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.

Image 8

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.

Image 3
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.

Image 2

(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.

Image 4

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.

Image 6

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.

Image 10

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.

Image 9

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.

 

So. How You Liking Miami?

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

“So.”

l o n g        p a u s e      h e r e

“How you liking Miami?”

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

My response?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I have gone to movies and art museums by myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did I Already Tell You About…..

Years ago…. like almost 8 years ago….I got divorced and bought a cute little condo out in Auke Bay, Alaska.  It was a tiny little place.  So small you had to go outside if you wanted to change your mind.

It was all mine.

All 600 square feet.

I could sit out on the deck and watch my favorite birds – Blue Herons – fish in the wetlands.  When bored, just throw some herring up in the sky and watch the Bald Eagles come swooping in to pick up their snacks.  Talk about excitingly scary!  It was awesome.

When I moved in on a Saturday morning a bunch of people came to help me carry in the boxes.  My new upstairs neighbor happened to arrive during our moving chaos.  I yelled out a hello to her and introduced myself.  We’ll call her Mary.  Right about this time one of my oh so funny friends decided it would be hilarious to loudly inquire where to put my box of sex toys.

I nearly swallowed my tongue.

MY —

WHAT?

We all got a good laugh out of it.  Mary didn’t know what to say and immediately went inside her condo.

Let me give you a visual of Mary.  About 5’3 and probably about 150 pounds.  Thick calves.  Outfit of choice?  Skirts and colored tights.  Shoulder length corse black hair – wavy.  Coats two sizes too small.  Probably mid-late 20’s somewhere in there.  Works half the year for the government and half the year at a bank. Sure.

Got it?

Good.  You’ll need it later.

Along with the sex toys.

Six months went by or more.  One day I look out the window and I see Mary coming up to the building wearing exercise tights.  She had obviously gone running.  Huh.  Okay.  Well, I’m not a runner so good luck with that one.

A few days later I notice Mary with a guy.  We’ll call him Josh.  Now you need a visual of Josh.

Think Hobbit.

That should do it.

Okay, you need more visual assistance?  He is about 5’3 also.  Wears baggy sweat pants and t-shirts.  Constantly has that Don Johnson 5:00PM shadow going on.  His laugh is atrocious.  Down right ridiculous.  Like a hyena.  This guy thinks he’s all that and a bag of chips….sadly he isn’t even the stale pickle (without snap) on the plate.

Not to mention he walked around like a Neanderthal.   I mean really Hobbit Man can you do something about those lead bricks you call your feet?  Even elephants don’t make that much noise.

The guy made me weary and I never actually met him.

Over the next few weeks the Hobbit comes and goes from her condo.  He’s obviously visiting from somewhere else and isn’t local.  He’s always over visiting on the weekends. I’m thinking maybe he’s a fish processor or miner.  Maybe he works on a barge or something.  Who the hell knows?  I don’t care.

Suddenly one day the Hobbit shows up and he has a beat up Toyota truck.  Rusty and a total POS (please read as Piece of Shit).  He’s here for a week and gone for a week.  Here for a week and gone for a week.

One night I hear him on the phone – cause he’s stupid loud.  Now, he’s just pissing me off. Going on and on about starting up some business.  Later, out at the dumpster I see boxes and cartons from some manufacturing company for “Buzz Bites” energy bites.

Hobbit + POS + Buzz Bites = you have to be kidding me.

Please note:  You are going to need to reflect back on both of their visuals, the idea of Buzz Bites and yes, the sex toys.

Finally, one day I go upstairs and knock on their door.  The music was so loud, even the people in my head were vibrating around.  The Hobbit answered the door as Mary wasn’t home.  I politely ask him to turn down the vibes before my chandelier becomes a nightlight.  I also explained how the noise travels very easily and if he / they could be a little more considerate that would be fantastic.

Oh, yeah, sure.  Not a problem.  Sorry.  Sorry.  Sorry.

Weeks go by and I’m sound asleep in my snuggly little bear bed one morning.  Slowly I drift out of my sound slumber and I’m like, “what the hell is that noise?”  I am half asleep and it starts again.

What the hell?

*More noise*

Now I am sitting up in bed.  The noise stops.

Huh.

I lay back down.

*Noise starts again.*

Wait.  One.  Minute.  You.  Pain.  In.  My .  Ass.  Neighbors.

I am fully awake.  The Hobbit and his thick calved girlfriend are screwing.  After a yodeling like crescendo….the Hobbit yells a Tarzan like yelp:

“OUTSTANDING!”

Then….Hobbit leaps off the bed (I know this because the change in my piggy bank rattled on the floor and I’m pretty damn sure T-Rex is extinict) and takes off running for the bathroom with her right behind him.

Good lord of mercy give me a break.   You have to be kidding.

On my way to work, I go upstairs and tape a note to their front door.  I left no doubt in mind what I was talking about as I simply wrote, “Good morning!  Just so you know I do hear EVERYTHING downstairs.”

Being kind and polite can go a long way.  Emily Post and Sarah Lee both think so as does Dear Abby.  I am certain this will solve the problem.  Don’t we all want to be good neighbors?

A couple days go by and guess what….I am sound asleep….in my snuggly bed…..again.

T   H   U   M   P

*

*

Thump.

Thump.

*

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

 

“I’M THE MAN!” 

 

Oh my god.  News Flash: No, you aren’t.

I am so not even kidding – I nearly fell right out of my bed with laughter and disbelief.  Yes, he yelled that.  Out loud!    Did  I fall down an acid lined rabbit hole when I wasn’t looking and I’m on a trip?  What the hell….can I rewind that?  What did you just yell?  Really?

Am I on Fear Factor?  No, wait it’s Candid Camera.  Oh – wait…I got it!  I’m on America’s Got Talent……. Snap.

I’M

THE

MAN

!!!

 

Who says these things?  Buzz Bites…..heavy calves….baggy sweatpants….

Really?

That’s it.  I’m ready for the next event.  I have my game plan.  You ignored my note.  I tried to be nice.  Now, I’m putting on the latex and grabbing my whip.  I’m so excited I feel like I should be the one yelling out.  Let the games begin.

Tick.  Tock.  Tick.  Tock.

It didn’t take long.  That night I climb into bed and before I can get into my dream sequence involving the ocean and floating along with the currents….BAM.

Hit the rewind button from earlier….

T   H   U   M   P

*

*

Thump.

Thump.

*

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.Thump.

Cue the yodeling.

Cue the Alaskan Minxy:  FINALLY – MY MOMENT HAS ARRIVED!

I leap up out from under the covers.  Standing in the middle of my bed…..jumping up and down like a two year old….I begin a rousing round of applause while yelling at the very top of my lungs:

“BRAVO!  BRAVO!  GOOD JOB!  BRAVO!  BRAVO!  EXCELLENT JOB!  BRAVO!”

Silence.  Cue the crickets.  Silence…………………………………………………

Then a burst of laughter for like two seconds – then silence.

Problem solved.  Never another peep.  Every time I ran into Mary from there on out – she never made eye contact.  Well, what’s awkward for you, is not awkward for me.  Thank you very much.

Lesson:  don’t mess with the Minxy.

Answer:  What?  No, I’m not telling you if I actually have a box of sex toys.