photo credit: Kevin_Morris via photopin cc

photo credit: Kevin_Morris via photopin cc

I fly fairly regularly both for work and for pleasure.

SIDENOTE: I hate it when people say “for pleasure” because that sounds creepy.  It sounds like they’re going to an orgy or a porno convention.  (That was last month, by the way.)

I often travel the friendly skies, and I’ve noticed a thing or two about flying.  For starters, I’ve noticed the friendly skies are much more friendly when they’re viewed through vodka-hazed eyes.

One of the other things I’ve noticed (aside from the small portion sizes of alcohol), is there are two different levels of travelers when it comes to airlines; first class and economy.

We all know what first class is.  It’s for those far superior to everyone else, or at least that’s what they tell me as I’m being escorted out of their bathroom.

Don’t judge.  They have perfumed soap in there.

You know this bitch is flying first class. photo credit: partymonstrrrr via photopin cc

You know this bitch is flying first class.
photo credit: partymonstrrrr via photopin cc

Since there’s first class, that means coach/economy is really just another name for “second class.” Although I appreciate not being called “second class” I’m not sure being called “economy class” is much better.

Every time I wait in line to board, they call all first class passengers and allow them to board first.  I guess it makes sense that if that’s why they’re called “first” class, but why are the rest of us called “economy?”

Isn’t that kind of a crappy moniker?

For those of you living in your parents’ basement because the bottom dropped out of your scented diaper invention, you know the economy sucks at the moment.  You also know that adding a rose-scented fragrance to diapers literally makes people’s shit smell like roses.

It also makes you vomit immediately every time you pass a bouquet of flowers.

Either way, the “economy” label is especially offensive.  It’s basically another way of reminding us that me-maw can’t afford her house anymore and has to move into the basement with Uncle Jeb.

As if the lack of birthday cards with a $5.00 check weren’t enough of a reminder that me-maw’s decision to invest in blow up furniture wasn’t her best financial plan.

So let’s change the world one label at a time.  Dear reader, let’s make this our life’s mission: to change these obnoxious monikers.

Instead of economy, maybe it could be called “somewhat normal people who have to fly and deserve to have toilet paper in their restroom too.”

Perhaps a more appropriate term for first class would be “those flying for work and sticking it to their boss by purchasing a higher priced ticket” or “men with tiny peckers who want to feel important.”

Or maybe just “douchebags.”  Whatever works.

ninja momFrickety Frick, people!  I’m this month’s assassin in the Character Assassination Carousel over at http://www.ninjamomblog.com/.  She’s a big deal and has a hilarious blog and I’m actually still in shock that she enlisted me to be an assassin.  I wonder if I get paid in Skittles.

I wonder if I can get paid in Skittles.

In case you’re not “in the know,” The Character Assassination Carousel is a monthly murder of a children’s book.  Don’t worry, it’s a clean kill, so there’s no messy clean up.

Each month a new assassin takes his/her best shot at a ridiculous children’s book.  This month, I’m mocking “Where’s Waldo?

I know, it’s an easy target, but I’m an easy girl.

Wait…that came out wrong…

ENJOY!

WHERE’S WALDO? 

Where's Waldo-I don’t have kids, which is probably for the best, but doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my monthly subscription to Highlights Magazine, or an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.  (He lives in a Pineapple, people!  UNDER THE SEA!)

If only enjoying children’s TV shows could get me into the pre-boarding spot at the airport.  Apparently you actually have to have kids with you for that.  Pfft!

Despite my lack of little ones, I still enjoy the beloved “Where’s Waldo?” books***.  Why wouldn’t I?  Each edition is visually stimulating, and even more maddening than the next.

***NOTE:  If any of you would like to peruse one of these fine pieces of literature, I would recommend purchasing one for yourself.  In my experience, parents frown upon strangers looking over their child’s shoulder pointing out Waldo.  This activity can get you escorted out of the airport and placed on some sort of watch list.  Hypothetically, of course.***

photo credit: rhett maxwell via photopin cc

photo credit: rhett maxwell via photopin cc

However, with my love of tracking down the elusive Waldo comes a series of questions.  I’m demanding answers and hoping to get more than “Because Waldo is awesome.” (Thanks for that enlightening tid-bit, Mom.)

I deserve better than that, and so do the fine kids who are looking for him.

For those of you not on the same heightened literary plane as me, “Where’s Waldo?” is a series of picture books where the reader is summoned to find Waldo in a sea of people, places and things.

It’s harder than it sounds, as Waldo is a master of disguise, which is probably why his books have been so successful; his mortgage payment depends on not being able to locate him easily.

So the first obvious question I have is “Where’s Waldo?”  Although you may be able to locate him on paper, as far as I know, no one has ever met this mysterious fellow.  We’ve only seen his meme.

photo credit: palindrome6996 via photopin cc

photo credit: palindrome6996 via photopin cc

Does he ever go out in public as himself?  He doesn’t do book signings or publicity junkets, which truly speaks volumes to the success of his books.  Most publicists demand such things to drive sales.  Maybe he just doesn’t need it.

Really though, where is he?

Honestly, I hope he’s in prison, because that guy is probably a pedophile and shouldn’t be featured in children’s books anyway.

Something about him hiding in plain sight just creeps me out and makes me wonder if he’s housing a stash of fingers in a hope chest in his basement.

If no one has ever met him, do we know if he’s a real person? Maybe he’s the mythical Keyser Soze of children’s books.**

**Where’s Waldo? books are not only children’s books.  They’re also books for a highly sophisticated writer who writes a fascinating and hilarious blog http://lisanewlin.com.  I’m just saying.

photo credit: Carolyn Coles via photopin cc

photo credit: Carolyn Coles via photopin cc

Since we don’t know who he is, the next logical question is “Why, Waldo?  Why are you hiding?

The first reason that comes to mind is that he’s on the lamb.  For what?  I’m not sure, but I have a feeling it has to do with loan sharking.  I just have a hunch.

Trust me on this.

Why is he so intent on hiding?  I suspect it’s because he’s wanted by Interpol, which would make sense, as his travels span many continents.  Has anyone ever considered looking at his passport?  Is his name listed as only “Waldo” and nothing more?

How did he get to be so good at hiding?  What do we know about this Waldo guy, anyway?  We allow his likeness to come into our homes and sit on our coffee tables and backs of toilets, yet we know so little about him and his profession.

Is he a spy?  Where did he get his mad hiding skills?  Was it from years of playing hide and seek with his siblings?  Does he have siblings?  Did he assassinate them at a young age?  Is that why he’s on the lamb?

Now, I realize this next question may seem to be off topic, but follow it through.  “Why is he always wearing the same sweater?

It seems to me that if you want to blend in, wearing the same red and white striped sweater isn’t the best way to become a wallflower (unless you’re in a candy cane-themed room.  Then it’s truly the only way to become a wallflower).

photo credit: walknboston via photopin cc

photo credit: walknboston via photopin cc

Either way, I would think frequent costume changes would assist in avoiding detection.  Does he have several of those same sweaters, or is he just wearing the exact same outfit everyday?

I hope for everyone’s sake he has several of the same sweaters and he swaps them out every few days.

Otherwise, he’d be easy to locate based purely on body odor alone.  I suspect all that evading authorities would cause one to perspire, and if that sweater is a polyester blend, it will hold onto a stench until the end of time.

And what about those glasses?  Why not switch those up every now and again too?  I know the hipster look is in style at the moment (arguably), but shouldn’t he consider rocking some different frames to avoid detection?  Maybe he should get some contacts too.  Does he have a condition preventing a change in eyewear?  Those astigmatisms can be a real bitch.

And yet, despite all of my questions, he continues to evade all of us, and in a strange way, I say “Bravo to you, Waldo, if that is your real name.

On second thought, maybe he doesn’t skirt all of us.  Maybe it’s just my prying eyes he manages to avoid.  But then again, my eyes are usually filtered through a hazy film of vodka, so perhaps he isn’t as elusive as he thinks he is.

 

photo credit: Lynn Friedman via photopin <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/"

photo credit: Lynn Friedman via photopin

**************************************************************************************************************************************************

I’m not sure if this is on the up-and-up to disclose other assassins, as I don’t know if assassins have an oath of silence.  I guess we will all find out soon if I mysteriously go missing.  For now, I shall ignore Omerta and tell you who the previous assassin was.  It was my friend Sarah at The Sadder But Wiser Girl.

Sadder but wiser

 

http://thesadderbutwisergirl.com/

She’s guest posted on my page before, and she’s awesome and hilarious.  If you go visit her, and you should, tell her I sent you.  Please also tell her our secret code she knows you’re legit. It’s Character Assassin Carousel.

It’s so obvious no one will guess it.  Let’s keep that password our little secret.

Who is the next assassin?

http://moms.fortwayne.com/?q=blogs/blog/3-rivers-2-kids

Her name is Bonnie Blackburn.  The name alone suggests her character assassin will be brilliant!

photo credit: ubiquit23 via photopin cc

photo credit: ubiquit23 via photopin cc

By now you’ve heard about the NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, and how he’s on the run from the Feds.  I wish there was a different term to describe him other than a “leaker,” but no one consulted with me about nicknames.

I would call him the Snowster.

The term “leaker” sounds like he’s lactating or that he has a prostate problem.  Come to think of it, maybe he does have a prostate problem, which is why he’s always on the go.  (Pun intended.)

He should probably get that checked out…once he gets to a country with a good healthcare system.  (Stay away from Canada, Snowster!)

Either way, he’s on the lamb, and not the way I’m on the lamb at my favorite Greek restaurant.  I am LITERALY on the lamb when I go there.  It’s that delicious and Olympia Kebob House knows how to make a gyro that will rock your world.

Great, now I want humus.  Thanks, Edward Snowden.

Focus, people!  Let’s get back on track!  Espionage and the Snowster.  Stay with me.

photo credit: Genista via photopin cc

photo credit: Genista via photopin cc

Reports indicate the Snowster was initially in Hawaii and then fled to Hong Kong, but has since been linked to Moscow.  Homeboy gets around, but not in a Kim Kardashian kind of way.

He may be deemed by the media to be a villain, but he’s still better liked than Kimmy.  I’m sure of it.

Given the Snowster’s known travel destinations, I can’t even begin to imagine the nightmare that would be packing for his asylum trip.  From Speedos and muscle shirts for Hawaii to parkas and scarves for Moscow, I hope he has an Amazon Prime membership so he doesn’t have to pay shipping for all his new digs.

I also hope he has a razor to keep himself groomed if he’s going to rock a Speedo.

With all the speculation about his next destination, along with my speculation about his next clothing purchase, I think Hasbro needs to capitalize on this and get a board game going.

photo credit: Genista via photopin cc

photo credit: Genista via photopin cc

Do people still play board games?  I know I can dominate a round of Candy Land, but that’s also what I call my secret stash of Starbursts and Rolos hidden in my closet.  I don’t think that’s the same thing.

Don’t judge.

Whether it’s a board game or a computer game, someone needs to come up with one that focuses on Where in the World is Edward Snowden.  It would be kind of like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, but without that annoying little theme song.

That song is now stuck in my head.  It’s stuck in yours too.  If I have to suffer, so do you.  We’re a team like that.

I haven’t worked out all the rules of the game yet, but I think the point would be to seek asylum in a country that other players would have to guess.

photo credit: mortenjohs via photopin cc

photo credit: mortenjohs via photopin cc

One of the players would be the Snowster, complete with his hipster glasses and popped collared shirts.  The other players would be FBI agents and Secretary of State John Kerry, whose figurine would just be a ketchup bottle.

There would undoubtedly be obstacles the Snowster would have to overcome, like running out of styling mousse or gel for his sweet hair style.  He would have to find a way to get a replenished supply of Dep without being detected by the feds.   It wouldn’t be easy.

He would also have other set backs, like losing his compass or his super secret spy glasses.  (Someone should tell him to think about contacts.)

There would obviously be a theme song for the game, which would undoubtedly be “Informer” by Snow.  It’s both lyrically accurate, and Snowden has the artist’s* name incorporated into his own.  It’s a no-brainer.

*The term “artist” is used extremely loosely here.

photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

photo credit: stevendepolo via photopin cc

Come on, Hasbro, this game is gold.  It teaches kids about geography, while also teaching about government, and how no one likes a tattle tale.

An alternate name could be “Snitches Get Stitches,” or “Whistelblowers Get an Ass Whooping.”

I’m still toying with the names, no pun intended.

Call me, Hasbro.  Let’s make this a thing.

Matt and Lisa at MetMy husband and I are currently in one of our favorite places on the planet.  Where, you ask? Fabulous New York City!

Other acceptable answers would have been (1) Chipotle, (2) a rescue shelter filled with playful puppies and/or (3) Dairy Queen

We come to New York fairly regularly and although I’m sure we play the role of the hardened New Yorkers quite well, we enjoy doing touristy things too.

Standing in the middle of the sidewalk holding up my iPhone to gauge which way is west is something all New Yorkers do, right?

Musings at the MetToday we went to The Metropolitan Museum, or “The Met” for us New Yorker folks.  For some reason, Matt had never been there, and it had been years since I was there, so we decided to spend the day looking at old stuff.  (Not to be confused with looking at old junk.  That would be a horse of a different color and a very different afternoon.)

As we walked through the museum, my husband’s brilliance shined through once again in the comments he made.  He didn’t realize I was keeping track of his musings, but he never does because I’m super stealthy that way.

He may, however, think I have a bladder control issue because I’m always going to the restroom so I can update my notes in private.

Do you see what I do for you?  Do you see the kind of concern I cause my husband just so you can have a chuckle?  I hope you enjoy this.  You better.

1. Broken

Lisa: “Aw, that statue’s wiener fell off.”

Matt:  “You’ll have that every now and again.”

Matt with broken statue

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Ingenuity

Pointing to an opening in armor that was hanging in an exhibit

Matt: “That’s for his pee hole.”

Armor at the Met

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Sports Fan

Matt:  “It looks like that’s a sculpture of a guy sliding into home.”

sliding into

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Gun Enthusiast

While pointing to a display case with several guns missing

Matt:  “I don’t like that…”

Gun case at Met

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Perky

While pointing to an armored statue with a genital region pointing upward

Matt:  “That soldier sure is…um…peppy.”

Matt looking at peppy armor

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Accuracy Expert

While looking at a mosaic with pygmies and a hippopatomous

Matt: “That hippo isn’t to scale.”

7.  Education Advocate

Lisa:  “Will you take a picture of me on the Met steps in my Blaire Waldorff headband so I can totally channel her?”

Matt:  “YOU HAVE A LAW DEGREE!  WHY DO YOU WATCH GOSSIP GIRL?”

Gossip Girl outside the met

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a fun afternoon at the Met, my friends.  Of course, it was made far more entertaining by my husband and his random comments, but that’s the case with most things, isn’t it?

I recently went to the East Coast to visit my friend Kvothe (not her real name) and her amazing family (including her dad who is most likely a CIA agent).  In addition to learning how to be a sharp shooter (and discovering I look amazing in protective ear wear), I wanted to do some other touristy things.

Normally I’m not a touristy person and I prefer to look like I’m a local in most places (except Branson.  NO ONE should be a local in Branson).  In keeping with my new found love of all things touristy, I asked Kvothe if there was a tourist trap nearby where we could shamelessly dump money for an afternoon.

The bar was my first option but it didn’t open until 3:00 p.m.  We had some time to kill before we started killing brain cells.

Kvothe is a huge animal lover and she suggested we go to a magical place…a place called The Land of Little Horses.  (Yes, it’s actually a real place.)  At first I thought she was making it up, and I asked her if the “land” had unicorns and reasonably priced car insurance (both are mythical creatures to me).  She said the place actually existed and we should go so I could see for myself.  I was intrigued.

We headed to the mythical place and I couldn’t help but wonder if this wasn’t Kvothe’s way of kindly suggesting I drop some pounds.  I’m what you would call “fluffy”  and Kvothe is what you would call “I hate that b*#ch because she’s skinny.”

Part of me wondered if she was taking me to this place to emphasize that although my ass looks large in my Pajama Jeans, it looks even larger when posed next to a 3 foot horse.

Maybe this was her way of pushing me to the fat girl edge so I would actually take myself to the gym, or at least restrain myself from carbs.  I pondered this thought in the car while downing chocolate no-bake cookies.

We arrived at The Land of Little Horses and I swear when we pulled up I saw a rainbow and glitter shoot from the sky.  It was located on several acres of land and even the mosquitoes seemed to have a skip in their step…or their flight…whatever.

We purchased two passes for the day and also bought containers of treats for the horses.  I know I am nicer to strangers when they present me with baked goods, and I wanted to return the favor to these miniature animals…only with dog food instead of iced animal crackers.  (Would that be cannibalism?)

We walked into the magical land and were immediately greeted by a goat who was either pregnant, or she was smuggling a small village into the country.  She was huge and ready to eat whatever food we would give her…even if we didn’t offer it.

Fortunately for her, I have a soft spot for fatties, so I gave her some extra treats (and a pamphlet on diabetes) and headed over to see the horses.

As we walked to the horses, we noticed something was following us.  We turned around and saw what looked like a horse…only it was shrunken.  It was like those Shrinky Dinks I used to make as a kid.  You know what I’m talking about.

They started out normal sized but after a quick stint in the oven, they turned into even more useless pieces of clay your mom was forced to wear for a week before throwing out in embarrassment.  (Don’t act like you didn’t love making ugly pendants for everyone you knew.  You did, and you were horrible at it.)

This Shrinky Dink horse was real and staring me straight in the eyes…or maybe more of the crotch, as that was more his eye level.  I looked at him and fell in love instantly.  I swear I heard “Dream Weaver” playing in the background, and if I looked closely, I could see him wink at me through his long lashes.  I could tell he felt it too.

I went over to him and petted him immediately.  I have no idea if miniature horses like to be petted, but I know miniature daschunds do, and I figured they were pretty much the same thing.  He loved it and nuzzled up close to me.  He kept getting closer and closer…until I realized he was pick-pocketing me for my horse treats.  It made me love him more.

I began doling out treats and we became instant friends.  Since we’re both completely food motivated, I knew this was going to be a solid friendship.  As I stuffed his face with food, an employee walked by and I asked her what my soul-mate’s name was.  Apparently his name was Columbus. Isn’t he the cutest thing ever?

After exchanging numbers and promising to keep in touch, I left Columbus because I was hot and needed some air conditioning (and a cooler pair of Spanx).  We headed inside a barn for a dog and pony show.   No seriously.

It was literally a dog and pony show. There were both dogs and ponies in the act doing various tricks and being ridiculously adorable.  I fell in love with one of the performers, who was a collie mix and stole my heart immediately.

I felt badly for betraying Columbus, but the heart wants what the heart wants (and my heart wanted some slobbery dog kisses from the collie.)  I named him Louie although I’m pretty sure that wasn’t his name.  It might have been Gretchen.

Louie was a typical actor.  He was a charmer and worked the room like he owned it.  That’s probably what drew me to him.  He was a crowd pleaser and only stopped occasionally for the obligatory crotch lick (his…not the crowd’s).

We locked eyes and with one fleeting glance, I knew we weren’t meant to be.  Not because he was a canine and I wasn’t.  It was because he lived the life of a star, who had so much blaze to him, and I couldn’t be the one to snuff him out.  He had to be free.  (Well, not really free.  You had to pay admission to see him.)

I left The Land of Little Horses with a heavy heart and a happy face.  I met two amazing miniature animals that day, both of which put a super sized hole in my heart; a hole that could only be filled with a root beer float.

woman with plane

First off, isn’t this picture of the woman with a paper plane incredibly creepy, yet awesome?  I’m scared of her, yet I want to know her story.

I was recently at Dulles National Airport in Washington D.C.  Not so much because I’m super important and the government needed my guidance (although I am, and it does), but more because I was visiting a friend out there.

However, I did make myself available to the legislators during the time I was there, advising I would be willing to provide advice on how to lead the country.  Most of them responded with threats of a restraining order.  (Um, drama!!!!)

I had a great time in D.C. (more stories to follow), but I was tired and ready to get back home to the Midwest where the temperatures were in the 100s and I had an excuse to lay around doing nothing.  (Note:  Although the heat is miserable, the exhaustion it brings is the perfect way to get out of anything you don’t want to do.  Thank you, heat wave.)

I had an early morning flight (10:20 a.m. is early, right?).  I arrived at the airport around 8:00 a.m., allowing additional time for the inevitable strip search that some TSA official would deem necessary on me.

ONE time I made a snide remark about the TSA uniforms, and that forever puts me on a “list?”  Someone needs a better sense of humor…and a new uniform.  Seriously.  They look like rent-a-cops.

Surprisingly, I got through security quickly, and found myself at the terminal a few hours early.  Since I was awake, I was obviously starving.  I’m not a huge breakfast person, as breakfast food is typically healthy and I prefer to eat junk all day.

Starting my day with eggs is misleading, as it suggests the rest of my day will include consuming healthy, organic products.  Not true.  I’m nothing if not consistent, so I like to start my day by eating crap, and continuing to do so all day.

For this reason, I knew I didn’t want breakfast food, but realized it may be difficult to locate a place that sold regular food for breakfast.  And then I saw it…the one sign on the horizon that gave me hope (and made me salivate).  Could it be?  Was it a mirage?  A figment of my imagination?  Did the full body search from the poorly dressed TSA official alter my vision (along with the way my underwear sat)?

dog with bowl

It was a Chipotle.  Yes, a Chipotle.  For those of you who are new to this blog, please know that I love Chipotle.  (And for those of you new to this blog, I’m impressed you’re still reading.  Seriously.)  I love Chipotle the way some people love their spouses…in a good way…not in a “I couldn’t take your gum smacking anymore so I stuffed your head in the freezer” kind of way.  Chipotle completes me, and if I could eat it for every meal, I would.

So when I saw the familiar Chipotle sign, I thought maybe it was a dream.  I immediately looked around for Ryan Gosling (because if it was a good dream, he would be involved…sans shirt).  I didn’t see Ryan or his bulging biceps, so I knew it had to be real.

I approached it slowly, careful not to appear too eager so as not to alarm the employees.  I figured I would alarm them for other reasons, but speed and excitement wouldn’t be one of them.  I arrived at the counter and said “Chipotle for breakfast?  Yes, please!”

The woman behind the counter didn’t understand English well…and she certainly didn’t understand sarcasm.

“No.  We no have breakfast items.  Only burritos.” She said, eying my flabby stomach and judging me for being so seemingly stupid.

“Oh,” I responded.  “I was just saying that I was glad to see I could get Chipotle for breakfast.”

“We no have breakfast,” she said to me again, looking irritated.

“I meant that I would like to eat Chipotle for breakfast.” I said, trying to clear things up.

Crickets.  Okay, not really crickets, but if we were on television (as I always like to pretend that I am), there would be crickets creaking during the silence as she blankly stared at me, most likely wondering how I managed to get through security.  (I wondered the same thing).

“You know what?  I’ll take a burrito bowl” I said, trying to get past the awkwardness.

sick girl

She prepared my meal, I paid and then and quickly moved to the dining area where I could molest my Chipotle in private, the way one is supposed to.  I ate every last bite (duh), and sat there pondering why Chipotle isn’t typically open for breakfast.

As I began drafting a petition for this cause, I felt a serious rumble.  Was it an earthquake?  A bomb threat?  I heard it again and realized it was coming from me…and my stomach…and my nether-regions.

Uh oh.  Airport Chipotle was fast acting!  I needed to find my way to a “safe place” as soon as possible. (And for you non-geniuses who are having difficulty following along, the “safe place” I’m referring to is a restroom.  Try to keep pace.)

I casually picked up my things, trying to control the strong signals coming from my bowels.  I saw a sign for a restroom and headed there trying to look casual, although I’m pretty sure running while squeezing my cheeks didn’t look so casual.

If you are picturing me running and holding my face, I need you to stop reading here.  You obviously don’t get me…or my bowel issues.

I walked into the hallway that had the restroom sign and already felt sweet relief…until I saw the string of urinals.  Um, unless D.C. is super forward thinking, women’s restrooms don’t typically have urinals in them.  (Right?)  Crap!  (Literally, crap.  It was becoming a necessity at that point).

I turned around and raced out of the men’s restroom before I saw something I didn’t want to see.  I came upon a “family restroom” and decided that I was a mother of three dogs, so that would work.  I ran into the family restroom and looked for the light, and couldn’t find it.  The strong door closed behind me and I was in complete darkness.  Seriously?  It was like I was in a closet, and I just hoped the closet had a toilet.

I frantically searched for a light switch but had difficulty doing so due to the lack of light.  (Ironic, huh?)  Finally, I decided light wasn’t necessary for what I was about to do.

As I sat there in darkness, listening to Don Henley belt out “Boys of Summer,” I realized maybe there was a reason Chipotle didn’t serve breakfast.  I crumpled up the petition I drafted and decided to leave Chipotle’s regular hours as they were.  Maybe they knew what they were doing after all…

669

At a sandbar in the Financial District overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. Yes, those are couches that glow, and yes, we have awesome friends who took us to this super secretive place. Otherwise, we would have ended up at an Applebee’s.

My husband and I just went to New York City for some good old-fashioned fun (and also because we apparently just LOVE getting blisters on our feet).

We are no stranger to this city, although we certainly aren’t hard-core New Yorkers who yell into their iPhones and rock out to their iPads without even noticing someone is standing next to them. However, in our recent trips, we’ve realized there are a few simple rules you should follow if you want to not look like a tourist in New York.

2nd attempt at nyc picture1. Always look annoyed with other people

This is a sure-fire way to make you look like a New Yorker. Just today, there was a group of menopausal woman trying to buy a Metro Pass. Between the five of them, they couldn’t figure out how to load a card into the machine to get a subway pass.

Their failure to understand the card purchase was super annoying (and disturbing, as I’m sure these women raised children at some point). My irritation got the best of me, so I did what any New Yorker would do; I huffed loudly, found another machine, pushed my way in, reloaded my card and stormed off in an irritated fashion.

It was exhilarating! Those women didn’t even know what hit them and before they could look up, I was headed downtown on the 2 train. I’m sure they will go back to their one-horse town and talk about the rude New Yorker who pushed through the subway line. Success!

2. Don’t stare up in awe at the buildings

Tourists seem to be wide-eyed about everything New York. True New Yorkers don’t give a crap about the buildings because they’re always late. It’s just a regular day for them and they don’t have time to look impressed or excited.  They need their grande iced double shot espresso with skim milk ASAP. And don’t even THINK of making it not skinny. Seriously. They will cut you for that. They’ve cut someone for far less.

3. Don’t stare at the subway maps

New Yorkers don’t need the subway maps. They have those routes permanently engraved in their memory.

If you need to figure out which line to take, download a subway app and casually look at it on your phone in between stops. It will make you look inconspicuous, and will also allow you to avoid eye contact with the crazy people on the train pandering for money, alleging they’re broke, yet forgetting that we all know they had at least a few bucks to enter the subway.

4. Wear trendy clothes

This is where I really struggle. n a city where Chanel bags are king, your Vera Wang from Kohl’s won’t turn any heads…or at least not for the right reasons.

5. Don’t be a wuss

Do I really need to explain this one? If so, then you shouldn’t even book a trip to New York, as you will be eaten alive before you leave the airport. No one cares that your feet hurt or that you’re chaffed from walking through the Village.

Shut up and move.

old man on vacation with inner tube

I’m back!  I know it’s been more than a week since my last post and you are all anxiously awaiting a new post.  You’re probably wondering things like “What was she doing?” and “Where has she been?”  (these are to be whispered in Gossip Girl voice.)

The answer is that I’ve been on vacation in Austin, Texas, attending South by Southwest (or SXSW for those of us cool people in the know).  It’s a yearly festival in Austin where movies are released, bands are discovered, and hipsters unite for ironic discussions and thrift store sales.  It’s huge.

This was definitely my husband’s trip.  He loves movies and all things cinema, and I love TV and all things Kardashian.  I don’t want to love the Kardashians, but that family is a trainwreck and I can’t look away.  Seriously.  Bruce Jenner’s face literally looks like a train wreck.

So I decided to go to SXSW with my husband because I’m an amazingly awesome wife, and because I knew Channing Tatum would be there.  Don’t judge.  Like you would pass up an opportunity to see those abs?  Yeah right.

Since I don’t enjoy long movies (or anything with Matthew McConaughey), I decided to attend various documentaries instead of mainstream films.  They are shorter than feature films, the lines are shorter, and the people attending them are usually older, so I knew I would feel youthful surrounded by all those AARP cards.

After attending a documentary or two, I remembered how much I love documentaries.  I decided to see as many as I could, so I attended several documentaries, or “docs” as us cool people call them.  Okay, not so much cool people as just me.

I went from theater to theater, realizing there were many things about the world I had yet to learn; like how many different birds can be found in Central Park, or how Jennifer Love Hewitt still has an acting career.

I also realized my “fashionable orthopedic shoes” were the same shoes worn by a 270 pound woman with a mustache and a cat sweater.

After seeing several docs on Saturday, I decided to catch one more before heading back to the condo for an evening of Doritos, M&Ms and Law and Order reruns.  The film I decided to watch was a documentary about the journey of an American school bus to Guatamala, why it went there, and the people whose lives it affected.

school busRiveting, right?  I felt so empowered and knowldgable as I walked to the theater where the film was showing.  I knew I was becoming so well cultured, and even felt a little bit like a hipster.  Before long I would be playing Atari games and calling everything “rad.”

I got to the theater before the movie started, so I stood in line contemplating my near hipster status and wondering if I would look good in skinny jeans.

Just as I realized I couldn’t be a hipster because my wardrobe lacks t=shirts with superheros from the 80s on them, two men approached the line and stood behind me.

They appeared to be intellectuals, and not overly douchey.  I knew we would be standing in line a while, so I struck up a conversation with them.

I also knew I would need to use the restroom soon and didn’t want to lose my place in line.  If I had any hope of regaining my coveted spot, I knew I would have to make nice with the people behind me.

The men were both named John and they were fabulous.  They lived in New York City in what I can only assume was a fabulous neighborhood where people have brunch that doesn’t consist solely of different flavors of Cocoa Pebbles.

Although why would you want something other than that chocolatey goodness on a Sunday morning?

We chatted about various issues, and I realized we were getting along great.  I was totally pulling off the cool hipster vibe, although I was missing the required components of a bandana and an attitude problem.

Either way, I still sounded smart, which made up for the fact that I failed to appreciate just how much deodorant was needed on a hot Texas day. (A lot…you need a lot.)

Once the doors opened, we headed inside to find our seats.  Since I was getting along so well with the Johns (and since I couldn’t wait to sit down), I took the nearest seat next to the John duo and continued gabbing with my new friends.

The theater we were in had regular theater seats, but there was a long table that ran the length of the row.

waitressA waitress serves food and drinks during the movie, all of which are placed on the table.  This amazing theater and their fried goat cheese may have played a role in which documentaries I viewed.

We ordered our food and drinks and waited for the film to start.  Our drinks arrived in what appeared to be 2 Liter glasses filled to the brim.  The film began and our food followed shortly thereafter, also in large quantity.

Naturally, I was happy with the big portions, as I was thirsty from chatting, and hungry from being so charming.

After each film at SXSW, there is a Q and A with the director, producer, etc.  I wasn’t totally feeling the school bus film (it wasn’t as riveting as it sounded), so as soon as the credits came on, I grabbed my stuff and headed toward the door.

The lights weren’t up yet, and the credits continued to roll.  I looked over at my friends the Johns and apologized, but said I needed to go, as I had a very important meeting I needed to get to.

I think they suspected my meeting included a Snuggie and a new episode of 48 Hour Mystery, but they didn’t let on like they knew.

Instead of standing up to let me pass through the area between the seats and the table, they simply pulled their feet back to let me through.  That left me about a foot of space to walk through, which would normally be challenging, but in the dark it was near impossible (for this girl at least).

I tried to scoot out of the row, with my butt facing the Johns and my front and purse facing the table.  And then it happened.  Without warning.  My purse knocked over the 2 Liters of water on the table next to John #1.  It tipped over and spilled everywhere.  The table, the floor, the seat…and worst of all, my pajama jeans.

I looked up, paused, and said the first thing that came to my mind, which was “Yeah, so I totally just did that.”

angry army dudeThe Johns were not amused.  For people who pretended to be so accepting of others, they were pretty judgmental about the blonde in the pajama jeans and orthopedic shoes who knocked over their water with the purse she got free with a purchase at Dressbarn.  Some people are just so snobby.

I didn’t know what to do, so I did the only thing that would make it more awkward than it already was; I left the cup where it was, where it continued to pump out water like a fire hose, mouthed “I’m sorry” and bolted out of the row and out of the theater.

Once outside, I looked down at my wet pants only to discover the water landed in a not-so-desirable spot on my jeans.  Fantastic.  Fortunately, I knew how well my pajama jeans launder, so I knew a little water wouldn’t hurt the fabric.  My pride, yes?  But the fabric?  No.

I walked the several blocks to my rental car and headed back to the condo, continuing to replay the incident in my head.  I had so many questions.  How did I manage to knock the water over?  Why didn’t I stay and try to clean it up?

And perhaps most pressing of all…How was I going to find the Johns and get their numbers?

 

suitcaseWith my ever so glamorous job, I am required to travel from time to time.  Unfortunately, my travel isn’t to tropical places like Belize or The Bahamas (or any location where The Bachelor goes to find true love).

My trips take me to lovely places in the Midwest, where the corn is plentiful and everything smells like manure, including my hotel room.  How does that happen?

Since I demand only the best when it comes to my hotel stay, and because the woman with my company who books the hotels is a little afraid of me, I always like to stay at nice places that have the finest of amenities…and by amenities, I mean room service.

I’m currently out of town for work, and when I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted by the clerk with a generous hello and a piping hot cookie.  I’m not sure if the cookie was complimentary to all guests.  My guess is that it wasn’t because the clerk was holding it in her hand when I arrived, so I suspect it may have been her lunch.  It was delicious!

I headed up to my room, inhaling the cookie as I went.  I didn’t want to be rude and not eat the entire thing.

When I arrived at my room I opened the door and discovered the room was large and spacious…and handicap accessible.  Um, seriously?  Now I wouldn’t be so concerned with the handicapped room if I hadn’t just stayed in one.

hotel

Less than 2 weeks ago I was out of town and that hotel room was also handicapped. Well, I guess it was handicap accessible.  The room itself wasn’t handicapped, although it didn’t have a minibar, so I consider that a handicap.

Was the woman at my company who booked my rooms trying to tell me something?

She’d met me before, so she knew I was capable of getting around without too much difficulty, assuming I wore my orthopedic shoes.  So why the handicapped room?

And then I saw the bathroom, and didn’t care why.  There was a huge walk in shower! Perhaps others would be offended by regularly being assigned the handicapped room, but I like to consider it an elite status that few can attain.

It’s like getting the penthouse suite, assuming the penthouse has an entrance ramp, double wide doorways and safety mats in the shower.

And let’s face it, for those of you that know me, you know having a cord in the shower that I can pull when I slip on the soap may be a good idea after all.

Of course, the maintenance man who has to answer that call and find my naked body sprawled on the floor would probably strongly disagree.

handicappedI got settled into my spacious room and then I did something strange…I went to the hotel gym and worked out.  I know!  Crazy, right?

Perhaps the handicapped room was having an effect on me, and it made me grateful for the things I have, even if they are thighs covered in layers of bacon grease and onion rings.

Not literally, although that would be awesome.

After my short workout, I returned to my room, sweaty and worn out.  I had a meeting with a client so I needed to get in the shower and get ready to go.

I removed my sweaty clothes and walked into the bathroom wearing nothing but the sweat from the workout and my disdain for the elliptical machine.

I reached over and turned on the shower, and nothing happened.  The shower didn’t turn on.  It remained a steady stream of water from the faucet, with no water coming out of the shower head.

Seriously?!  Did the hotel think people in the handicapped room didn’t need to shower?

I was immediately irritated and questioned why I bothered to work out in the first place.  That’s what I get for trying to be healthy.  Had I laid in bed and watched TV, this wouldn’t have been such a catastrophe.

However, the fact that I worked out on the elliptical machine and was dripping with sweat, and the faint odor of garlic, I knew a shower was a must…at least if I wanted to keep working with this specific client

I walked to the phone, mentally drafting my lawsuit against the hotel for violation of the ADA.  How dare they discriminate against me?

I called the front desk and told them my shower was broken.  The woman at the front desk (who was probably still bitter about the cookie incident), advised she would send someone right up.  Frickety frick.  That meant I needed to get dressed.  This hotel was really getting on my nerves.

puppy in bucket of soap

I threw on some clothes and a disgruntled maintenance man, who I promptly named Donald, arrived at my door.

He was a bit shocked when my able body opened the door, as I suspected he expected to see a handicapped person utilizing the room.  He then gave me a judging stare and entered my palatial room.

The maintenance guy went straight to the bathroom and got to work.  I returned to the other room and continued to stew in my own filth and sweat.

As I sat there waiting for him to fix the faucet, I heard heavy breathing coming from the bathroom.

What was that guy doing in there? Was he okay?  Did he need CPR? I hoped not, as my only experience with that was the plastic doll I used during my CPR certification class.

I named him Eddie. (The CPR doll…not the maintenance man.  I named the maintenance man Donald, despite his nametag that said his name was Ron.)

Was Donald okay in there?  I thought about asking, but figured he might start a conversation with me about his various ailments (as most strangers tend to do), so I decided to Google “CPR on the maintenance man” and keep quiet.

That way I would be prepared.  I was also a bit disturbed, as my search came up with some interesting results.

As I waited for Donald to finish his work, or breathe his last breath, I decided to call my client and tell her I’d be late.  Fortunately, she is cool, and knows me well enough to know that some sort of disaster would inevitably occur to make me late.

This time it was due to a combination of my own body odor and the maintenance man’s impending heart attack.  Surely she would think one of the conditions caused the other, but which one caused which was still up for debate.

band aidFortunately, Donald finished his handy work shortly thereafter.  Judging by the increase in his rapid breathing, I’d say he finished just in the nick of time.

After he left my room, I disrobed and once again turned on the shower.  This time, it worked, and I silently thanked Donald for his hard work (and mentally made a note to recommend he see a pulmonologist).

The shower never felt so good, and I got ready without any further difficulties.

Although the broken shower was less than ideal, I’m still cool with the handicapped room.

That could have happened in any room, and I’m not going to judge all handicap rooms by this one room.  After all, if history is any indicator, I will be staying in another one next week for yet another business trip.

ring.jpgI’m addicted to watching The Bachelor.  Believe me, that wasn’t an easy thing to admit, but don’t they say admitting something is the first step?

The first step to what, I don’t know.  But if it’s a step toward chocolate or shirtless men, I’ll gladly make it.

For those of you living in a cave, The Bachelor is a delightful show on ABC where a hunky guy with perfect abs and zero personality is chosen to look for the love of his life through a series of unrealistic dates including helicopter rides and skiing down a street in San Francisco.

Apparently the love of his life is one of a slew of amazingly attractive women who are all size 2 or smaller. Who knew love knew a size?  Apparently ABC does, and that size is nowhere near double digits….much like many of these women’s IQs.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the women who go on the show are sweet women looking to find love (or an acting/modeling/singing career).  Twenty five women come on the show mesmerized by the cameras and the newest Bachelor’s clinically whitened teeth.

They go on dates with the lucky guy, and he ultimately decides which one he wants to marry after a few short weeks.  The show is a train wreck and I’m in the first car on the train.  Choo choo!

Although we’re only a few weeks into this season of The Bachelor, I’ve noticed a few things that are typical of the dating show (other than the cheesy roses everywhere and the Bachelor’s incessant need to remove his shirt.  I’m not complaining…I’m just pointing it out).

So I decided to make a list of a few things I’ve noticed women say each season of this show.

“I’m really starting to feel something for him”

amoreYeah, it’s lust.  We all feel it for the tanned, oiled up guy doing push ups and saving kittens from a burning building.

What you are feeling isn’t love…you’re just horny.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly acceptable, but don’t confuse the tingling in your pants with a tingling in your heart.

“We have a real connection”

holding handsYou and the other girls this guy is currently banging.  I’m not sure if you looked around, but this guy is being seduced by 24 other women who collectively weigh the same as my right thigh. 

Of course you have a connection…but the connection isn’t so much with him as it is the shared chlamydia you all now have in common. 

Get some penicillin and you should be fine.

“I didn’t expect to fall in love”

candy heartsReally?  You didn’t expect to fall in love with a guy you’ve spent a total of 5 hours with?

Well you shouldn’t expect it because most normal people wouldn’t fall in love with a complete stranger in such a short amount of time, but since you appear to be 45 and desperate, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that you might fall for the man of the hour.

Come to think of it, I suspect you “fall” for guys fairly easily…or at least that’s what it looks like judging by the number of restraining orders against you.

And the one from the guy at the tanning salon is especially awkward, as I’m sure it makes for an uncomfortable session of spray tanning.

“I didn’t think it would be this hard”

couple in franceI know.  Traveling around the world first class and living in luxury mansions is a really rough road.

The free food and unlimited alcohol just make the whole thing that much harder to take.

I know I wouldn’t be able to put my life on hold for 8 weeks to travel the world for free.

Nope.  That would just be too difficult.  That, and I don’t have that much vacation time.

Apparently The Gap gives these women all the time off they need to find love.

“My walls are really starting to come down”

walls crumblingAnd by “walls” you mean pants.

You will throw yourself at this guy after a few drinks just to get some extra time with him, and a crotch shot or two for the cameramen.

Yes, I know, you’ve had a rough life and your heart has been broken so many times.

How dare your boss stay with his wife when he could have you and your credit card debt?

But it’s good to know you can jump into a completely free experience and feel your boundaries erode away (along with your pride).

“I didn’t know I could feel this way”

doberman with roseIt’s funny, but free stuff and liquor will do that to a gal.

I almost married my 55 year old travel agent when I discovered he could get me a free trip to the beach and comp all my meals and alcohol.  Now that’s true love.

I’m sure it’s no different in this scenario, what with all the time you spend alone with him. It’s so romantic when it’s just you and him in the moonlight…and the cameramen…and the boom mic guy…and the producers…and the director….

I will stop now, not necessarily because I’m out of overused phrases on the show, but because I want to get back to this week’s episode and I can’t spend anymore precious time tearing apart a show that brings me so much joy each week.

So I will sign off for now and return to my DVR, where I hope to find out if the daddy’s girl from North Carolina can finally stop crying long enough to say she loves the Bachelor after 30 minutes of chit chat.

She can do it.  I know she can!