Tag Archives: Wine

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.


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!


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.”


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.”


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.


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:



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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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OPEN! Damn It!

Is it me?

Have I turned into a jello armed ninny?

Why is it you have to have the biceps of The Terminator in order to get most things open these days?

Don’t get me wrong. I have some bicep muss-kulls. While, I’m not going to win any arm wrestling competitions, they aren’t all flab and punching bag material either. The Body Pump class at the gym kicks my butt and my arms – so something’s happening there.

Years ago, in grade school, when we would have snow delays or cancellations my neighbor and I would occasionally stay at his Nana’s house. One of the first times we did, I remember him asking his Nana to put her arm up and make a fist. She did. He then proceeded to use it like a punching bag!

The horror!

Age 12. Mental note. Don’t let arms become punching bags.

Tonight, I nearly gave myself a black eye trying to get the damn wine cork out of the bottle. I was using a standard wine opener, nothing fancy. Once upon a time I invested in one of the automatic cork removers. There’s one problem. You have to remember to keep it plugged in to stay charged.

There I am with the bottle on the floor, between my feet….and I am struggling  to get this damn cork out. God bless the wineries that have switched to the screw top. At this point I contemplate using the Samurai sword to hack the cork off.  Then I realize two things:

A.  It only works on champagne.

B.  I don’t have a Samurai sword.

It’s obvious tonight’s wine is ORGANIC and the cork pieces, should there be any in your glass, is on purpose.  It’s the newest thing out of the valley.  Of course, I’m silently referring to the Mendenhall Valley, where we live….not so much the Napa Valley.

Have you ever been desperate for a bag of chips? You find an excuse to stop at the grocery to pick up a few items for dinner. In the meanwhile some how a bag of Sour Cream and Cheddar chips make it into your basket. Or you really, really, really need that chocolate bar…with the creamy caramel and cookie crunch and nuts.

What I find ever so helpful are the manufacture’s polite little instructions, complete with tiny arrow….”tear here.” Really?

Yeah and what happens? It practically takes a lightening strike to get it open in the car. You’re worried you may end up socking yourself in the eyeball if you have to pull any harder. Seriously, what did they use to seal these pieces of plastic together? Super Glue? Kryptonite Epoxy? Devil’s Spit? A common household roach, which is said to survive everything….wouldn’t be able to get into this bag of Cheetos.

Thank god, you’re stopped at a red light and a member of the local motorcycle gang is next to you. No worries, just put down your window and ask if HE can open the fucking bag. If not, perhaps he could shoot a hole through the top 1/3. Honestly, what happened to quality control? Are all these companies employing gargantuan homo sapiens who are able to pull 150 year old Elm trees out of the ground with a flick of the wrist?  Have the actually tried to open their own product?

Don’t even think about “child proof” medicines. Just to get that bottle of aspirin open I have to run the bottle over with my car. Another option that works well is to attach it via string to our dog’s tail then point out a squirrel in the yard. Running as fast as a cheetah through the trees, with a 250 count of aspirin around her neck can only lead to one thing…..aspirins for everyone!

I suffer from migraines. If you are one of the lucky ones in life who has never experienced one…let me tell you what it feel like to me:

An evil sadist taking an ice pick to one eye while tightening a vice grip on the same side temple and with every heart beat and breath those areas pound like they are being hit with a bowling ball. At some point it would be easier to pull my eyeball out of its socket. My eyeball is literally going to end up on the floor if I don’t get some relief.  Occasionally accompanying the pain can be yodeling into the porcelain bowl and on a rare occasion…blindness in that eye.   Awesome.

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a doozie. I stumble into the bathroom and like a bull in a china shop, find my prescribed medication. Of course, it is in a blister pack….you know, where in theory,  you are able to press the tablet through to the other side. WRONG.

I couldn’t get it to pop through let alone peel the damn plastic cover off the back.

Solution? Digging around for something sharp, I found my cuticle cutter and stabbed that package like it was a vampire and I had a 6 inch wooden spike. You would think they would make packages for medicine….especially medicine you need when you are desperate….easier to access. It was like the pharmaceutical executives sat around and said:

Which is easier….wrestling an alligator or opening our package? The alligator! Perfect!
Which makes you happier….gouging your eye out with a stick or opening our medicine? The stick!


I was working on two art projects last week.

One required lots of glitter – an entire giant jar of silver glitter to be exact.

The other required gluing tiny red balls, not much bigger than a grain of rice, to paper.  (Not to self, those tiny balls are a pain in the ass.  I was excited to get going and see the final creations.

There was of course, one hiccup:  I had to get the glue bottle open.

I heated the bottle up under the hot running water.

I beat the lid on the counter.

I tried using one of those grippy things to get a better grip on the top.

I thought about using my teeth to get it open, but I have this fear of loosing my teeth – so that wasn’t an option.

I put the bottle on the counter and cursed it.

I beat the top again – this time on a different counter.

One last try….before I pitch the bottle in the trash…and have a severe case of the two year old’s temper tantrums over this damn lid!  Just when I was worried my third eyeball was going to pop out of my head, the top slowly began to budge.  OMG this shouldn’t be so difficult.

Finally, I can get going on with the crafting.

It took several days to get the projects done.  Glitter and glue.  Glue and tiny, stupid red balls, glitter and tinsel and glue, cutting, gluing and more tiny red balls.  Final layer of glitter and a thread and bead to top things off.

I thought IT was going to do me in.  I thought IT would be the death of me.  IT could have been the glue.  IT could have been the stupid little red balls.  IT could have been the hour long struggle to get that stupid ass lid off the glue jar.  IT could have been all the cursing which would send me straight to hell back in the grade school years.


IT was my slight embarrassment when I went to the hair dresser the other day, several days after completing my crafting mayhem.  She was looking at my hair and said, “You know, you’ve got quite a bit of glitter in your hair.”

Yes, well apparently the glue worked so well  I managed to get it into my hair, along with a nice smattering of glitter (hey, at least no red balls were discovered.)

Doesn’t EVERYONE have glitter in their hair this time of year?

Stupid ass glue bottle.