|QUOTE OF THE DAY (OR MORE): "No, no. You don't understand. This is an '89 Calico. I'm pretty sure that exceeds the Kelly Blue Book value. The cat's totaled." --A comedian whose name I forget talking about a vet who presents a $3,000 bill for a 12-year-old cat|
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Right after a long road trip home from Thanksgiving in Atlanta (everyone else on I-95 left at the same time as we did, apparently), I left the next morning for a business trip to Chicago on United Airlines, whose hub is Chicago O'Hare. That's not necessarily important, but someday you might get that on a trivia question or something, so I'm just trying to educate here...
chapter 1. After 12 1/2 hours in the car with 5 other family members the previous day (no offense to any of y'all), the very last thing I wanted to do on my flight was chat incessantly (or really at all) with the person next to me. I sat down on the plane the next morning, strapped in to my window seat, and took out a book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), clue # 1 that I am not interested in chatting.
Friendly but apparently blind and/or stupid, the guy next to me chuckled: "guess I'm the guy in the middle," as if it were a title or something. I think he wanted me to switch with him, which was not going to happen in a million, gadzillion years. nfw, buddy.
I am not apt to be rude, so I answered as concisely as I could: "yeah. sucks." I said it in a nice way. I did.
Hint not taken. He launched into his life story. I wasn't interested. I nodded my head courteously and kept my head pointed toward my book.
Finally, I said: "well, I'm gonna get back to my book," which prompted him to ask me ABOUT the book I was reading and ALL of the books I've ever read in my life. For crying out loud, buddy. Bring something to entertain yourself next time. I don't care what it is. But I am not your entertainment. capiche? I finally had to close my eyes and take a short nap to shut him up. Thank goodness it's only an hour and a half flight.
Chapter 2 - in which I run (among myriad other runners and cyclers) 11 miles along the lake front on a bucolic morning at 6 am, lake on one side of me, perfectly beautiful blue sky as the sun is rising, and gorgeous Chicago skyline on the other side. ahhhh. These are the days that make me love running and being a runner. If only there had been a porta potty, it would have been perfection. Luckily, um, there was a bird sanctuary which offered some cover.
Chapter 3 - We saw The Blind Side over Turkey Day break, and it was fabulous. My 11-year-old sat up in the front of the theatre away from the rest of us (don't ask). I have a little habit of laughing out loud at a pretty high volume in movie theaters (and everywhere... thus the title of my blog, partially) and a little longer than everyone else. At the end of the movie, when we reconvened with the 11-year-old, he said: "Mom, I heard you laughing really loudly...and I thought to myself, 'that's my mom...' "
I told you that story to make this story more meaningful.
So I'm on my United airlines flight home. As everyone was boarding, the head flight attendant did a "destination check," the humorous perspective of which I have heard before.
"Folks," he explained, "this is a flight to the land of pleasant living, which is Baltimore, Maryland. If that's not where you're going, you have a problem. Look around, grab your belongings and anyone who's with you and see if you can figure out where you're going."
I had heard a similar version of this before, so I was mildly amused - but then he kept going.
"People," he continued, "turn and look over your shoulder as you are, no doubt, trying to fit the oversized bag you refused to check into the overhead bin. You'll notice that, almost assuredly, there are people behind you. Waiting for you. If you could kindly step into the row and let those people pass so that they could, in turn, block other people, we would very much appreciate it."
Well that did it for me. I busted out laughing pretty loudly and noticed that no one else was. What a bunch of dorks. It was funny, people...
As we were coming in for a landing I also loved the variation in his spiel: "Thanks for flying the friendly skies with us," he said. "We realize you have your choice of financially-strapped airlines, and we're glad you chose United."
I need to fly United more often.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
From: witty Head of the Middle school and erudite librarian (these names have been changed :)
Re: 8th Grade Thanksgiving Baking Tradition
On Tuesday, November 24, the 8th Grade will bake loaves of quick bread during their first two periods. The breads will be donated to a local charity.
The class has been divided into teams of two (or three, in one case) students. Each team will need to bring in the following:
two 10”-12” mixing bowls
one set of measuring spoons
one set of dry measuring cups
one liquid measuring cup
one rubber spatula
one mixing spoon
Bitter experience has taught us that, despite our 8th Graders being bright, visually perceptive, and generally knowledgeable about their own possessions, they have little to no recall when it comes to which cooking utensils they took out of their bags less than an hour before. So please LABEL the items you send with your child in such a way that the label will remain evident after washing.
I have also enclosed the baking pairs list so that your child can work out with his or her partner who is bringing what.
We will buy all the ingredients; all you have to do is send in the requested equipment.
Thanks in advance for your support.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Her party fell on the same day as the husband's and my 16th anniversary, so we were grateful for the party...
Things got a little crazy when the band played Sweet Home Alabama (3 times)
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Take a look...
Ya can't buy that in a store, can you?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
1. I don't know why it's taken me 22 years to figure this out (current age - 16 = # of years driving), but I'm a genius. Folks, ever been in your car on the way to a destination, and you're late? When you're late, you hit EVERY RED LIGHT, n'est-ce pas? Of course this has happened to you!
Now... same setting. In your car. But not late. Wanting to reply to an email on your iPhone or Blackberry or need some lipstick at the next red light. Can't get a red light to save your life, can you?
Duh... what a simple solution! The next time you're running late in your car and getting stopped frequently at red lights, simply start fumbling through your purse for a tube of lipstick to apply or start typing a reply to an email or text message during the red light. voila! No more red light. God I'm smart. Problem solved.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thank you for your email of 23rd October 2009 regarding the result of the meeting with you during last Frankfurt Book Fair. It is always nice to see you once a year..."
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I did it, y'all!!!
I qualifed for the Boston marathon! My time was 3:41 (previous personal best was 3:50) and I needed a 3:45!!!
A day and a half after flying home from a business trip to Germany, on a morning which was rainy, windy, and cold, I qualified!
If you need to get a hold of me I shall be on cloud 9 for awhile.
Big thanks to the husband who, notwithstanding his personal loathing of running in general and aversion to being outside on cold, rainy days, he met me at mile 23 and ran with me to the finish. (awwwww). Thanks to my brother and sister in law, too, who diverted their normal travel plans to come stand in the rain and cheer me on through miles 3 and 13. Thanks to the 13-year-old who could have stayed home with his grandparents but came to watch his mom. sniff sniff.
funny blog today, huh? more tomorrow on the funny parts of the marathon....
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
(Note to the reader. Today's post was constructed inbetween projects and tasks readying our house to go on the market. As the writer is OCD and anal retentive [can I - I mean one- be both?] about completing tasks/projects she has begun, the writer would like lots of pats on the back for pausing from her house-cleaning-out frenzy to write about Latka. Thanks.)
We found the perfect carpet cleaner way back when we first moved into our house 11 years ago. Okay...well the carpets weren't dirty yet when we first moved in. So we probably found him 10 years ago to help purge the stains and regular traffic dirt from the carpets caused by 1 and 3 year old boys. I still remember the first day he came. From Bulgaria, he introduced himself with a thick accent and arrived at our front door, politely toting a massive notebook. He liked to talk. A lot. With his thick Bulgarian accent. He was proud. Very proud.
We invited him in to show him the areas where our babies had spit up orange carrots and green peas (different blog), where juice cups had spilled notwithstanding our steadfast keep-it-in-the-kitchen rule, and where we had tracked in dirt with our shoes.
"It is not a problem!" he proudly declared. To show us just how not a problem it was, he opened his prodigious notebook, which proved to be a repository for all nice things ever said about him and his carpet cleaning business. Just seeing the dauntingly large notebook was enough to convince us; he had us at "it is not a problem." It was not enough for him, though. He showed us, despite the resistance which surely showed on our faces, every page of his accolades. Every before and after picture. Every word of praise for his miraculous cleansing of carpets. It took a long time. Each displayed picture was accompanied by a thickly Bulgarian-accented description of the people who owned the carpets photographed. He was fond of his clients, and they of him, ostensibly.
When he finally began the actual carpet cleaning, the husband and I huddled out of his hearing range in a different room.
"Oh my God," the husband mused. "He looks and sounds exactly like Latka from Taxi!"
"Oh my God," I agreed. "He totally does!"
When Latka left, he gave us pointers on how to preserve the carpet's cleanliness.
"You are not wearing of the shoes on the carpet," he lectured. "Most of the dirt of the carpet comes when wearing of the shoes on it." We nodded vigorously, not about to argue with the accent.
From then on, we have always referred to him fondly as Latka, so much so that I sometimes forget his real name. When our carpets are in need of their annual cleaning, we say: "time to call Latka."
Throughout the years when Latka has come to purge our carpets of their stains and dirt, he always brings the notebook. It seems he must convince us every year that he is worthy.
Last week was no exception. Latka entered my house. I put out my hand to shake his. He lurched toward me and gave me a bear hug. "How you are doing?!" he asked excitedly. "You are not wearing of the shoes on the carpet, yes?"
I swore I was not, but that the boys didn't always listen.
He proceeded to my kitchen and put down his heavy notebook. I rolled my eyes to myself.
"Oh, I know how good you are," I said as convincingly as I could muster, "I have seen your miracles with my own eyes."
"Oh," he laughed, "no. no. This is new here. Come look at the papers. You listen of the Angie's list?"
"Oh - yes!" I lied. I have never heard of Angie's list.
"See all of the people who recommend of me to the Angie's list? Look! They talk good things on me. You see the stars the people give to me?"
"Oh wow," I replied. "I am not surprised at all. You do a fabulous job."
He stopped, smiled a very proud smile, and put his chin in the air.
I thought perhaps that did it. I was wrong. He continued to turn the pages of his notebook.
"It is funny," he shared with me. "I do not know the people who write these stars. The name of the people are not here."
After awhile, Latka finally went to get started. He did the 11-year-old's room and came downstairs to talk to me.
"I finished from the one room," he announced. He narrowed his eyes and looked at me with a frown. "You see the stain on the carpet that was there to the door?"
"Oh," I reacted. "You couldn't get it, huh?"
He burst into an ebulliant grin. "It is gone," he told me. "The spot to the window?"
"Ah," I played along. "Too tough to get it out?"
"It is not here," he assured me.
With that, he went outside for his first of 10 "coffee" breaks, during each of which he spoke on his cell phone and smoked a cigarette.
When the husband arrived home from work, Latka was still there. We were in the home stretch. I was hoping he could finish so we could leave for an appointment, so I didn't want to start any new conversations.
The husband greeted him: "Hey there! Good to see you! How are you?"
Latka put his chin up and grinned. "I am fine," he answered.
"Great!" said the husband. "And how is your daughter doing?"
"Oh. You are nice so to ask. She is to ABC school and she is artist. She is so good from the drawings!"
"Wow; that's great," we said.
"Wait. You wait here. I go to see I have of a picture."
I shot the husband the look of death. He shrugged helplessly.
Latka bounced back, returning with a Christmas card whose cover was adorned with a pencil drawing of the virgin Mary and baby Jesus. It was pretty good.
"She win of the contest for the picture to Christmas," he boasted.
"Wow," I said. "It's terrific. Does she draw animals? I'd love to have a sketch of Sophie."
Latka didn't hesitate. He pulled out his cell phone, dialed his daughter, and gave the cell phone to me to talk to her. After an uncomfortable conversation, I returned Latka's phone to him as he finished the last room.
As he was leaving, he admonished us: "No wear of the shoes on the carpet!"
"Oh," the husband chuckled. "We don't; it's the kids!"
"Yes," said Latka, "that is the thing the people they all say."
And with that, he was gone.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I have an 11-year-old who loves to make up his own complex math problems and give them to me for "fun."
Then this morning... I call in my chipper morning voice (a rare thing) to the 13-year-old, still upstairs getting himself moving before school.