Nice to see you!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The perils of beauty

After 38 years I finally quit biting my nails, and decided that as a reward I would start taking myself to a salon to get them properly maintained. I also discovered the joys of getting a pedicure. What I did not count on was how such cute, sweet, petite little Asian girls could be so Nazi-like. I think my girls are Vietnamese, but I'm really not sure. What I do know is that I can't understand a word they're saying most of the time.

The first time I went in for a manicure, before I quite biting my nails, the girl, who has since become my regular caretaker, looked at my hands and said, "You bite nails?". I said "Yes, I do." Sigh - here it comes. What I did not expect was for her to slap my hand and say, "I fix - you don't bite! You get germs!" Okay.....

A few weeks later, I went in for a day with the girls to get a pedicure. I have the worst, most horrible cracked heels ever - seriously, I could stick a coin in the cracks in my heels. I'm relaxed, back massager going, feet soaking, visiting with my friend. My girl, Jana, comes to get started on my feet. At this point I also would mention to you that I only have two toenails on each foot because they were removed when I was a teenager. First thing Jana asks me, rather accusingly, is "Where your toenails?" Like I removed them before I got there just to mess with her. So I explained. She said, "No problem, I paint them back on." Which I thought was funny. Until she looked at my heels. "Look at heels!" she said. I know, I know. Then SHE SLAPPED MY FOOT and said "I fix - you wear shoes!" Then she mumbled something which I am certain was duragatory to the girl next to her while she grabbed a razor and went to work. Probably something along the lines of "I don't get paid enough to deal with this crap". That was my interpretation, anyway.

So we establish a rapport, my nails grow out and are pretty and she's very proud of me and tells me how pretty they look, and I'm feeling pretty good about myself. She oohs and aahs and says they grow nice and fast. She says "You like length?" I said, yeah, the length was good. She says "No. You look like dragon!" Snip! AH!!! Ok, I'm back to business length. "See? Much better." She says. I'm going back in today, because they've grown back out and I'm not letting her anywhere near me with the clippers this time.

But the best so far, and my last visit, was for another pedicure. I always shave my legs before I go in because they do a leg massage, and I figure it's the polite thing to do. So she gets started and she says, "Ohhh, you shave legs for boy tonight?" I said, No, I shaved them for you. She says, "Oh. That so sad...."

Tell me about it, sister.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why I Won't Book Travel for Family

When I meet people and they ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I am a travel agent and then quickly point out that I only do business travel for corporations, in order to prevent them from immediately saying "Really? Where is the best warm place I can go this winter that won't cost me anything?". Because the answer to that question is always "Hell" and then the conversation gets awkward.

My family, however, knows that I am in fact capable of booking personal travel, and in times of crisis, I have offered to do so. My father needs a nonstop flight to Phoenix? No problem. Done and done. Family has an emergency and needs a cost comparison on flying versus driving? Piece of cake. My mother needs a hotel? Hang up the phone, change your number and your name and move out of state.

The first and only time I ever attempted to book travel for my mother, she wanted a hotel in Washington D.C. That would take a dog. That had a restaraunt. And a pool. And was within walking distance to everything. And wasn't in a ghetto. For under 100.00 a night. In other words, FantasyLand. Leave the airport, take a right at the Rainbow and a left at the unicorn and there's your hotel. But I tried. For 4 days I searched hotels. I looked for places that would give discounts, hotels that had most if not all of her requirements. Someplace quiet and scenic that was somehow located right in the middle of everything she wanted to see, where she wouldn't get mugged on her way to the ice machine. And when finally I thought I hit the jackpot, I called her and told her what I had. At which point she said, "Oh, nevermind. I already booked something online." I vowed right then I would never book travel for her again.

Fast forward a few years and there is a family emergency and she needs to fly. Mind you, she is online looking at the flights when she calls me. She says "it's going to cost me 300 and something dollars for this flight!" I said, "That's a great price! Book it." She says, "But I thought it was only 182.00 and then I saw I didn't have a return." One eighty two times two...yes, that is 300 and something. Good price. Book it.

"I want to go business class. Can I wear a sweater and slacks?"
You can wear whatever you want, Mom.
"Well, when you travel business you said you have to dress up."
Mom, when I travel FOR business I have to dress up because I am representing my company. You are representing the public. You can wear a tube top and Daisy Dukes if you want to.
"Well, I wouldn't do THAT. What size can my luggage be?"
Same size it always was. Or check it. You don't have to pay for it with Southwest.
"But then I have to go to baggage claim in Vegas"
Then take carry on. Make sure all your liquids are in 4oz bottles.
"What about my hairspray? It's in a pump bottle."
Transfer it to a 4oz bottle. Make sure you have your pills in their bottles.
"But they're in my pill box so I know which ones to take each day."
Why don't you call Southwest to book your flight and you can ask them about your pills. Do you qualify for a senior rate? You sound like you'd quallfy...
"The website says age 65."
Then you don't qualify. CALL Southwest and book your flights. They'll tell you.
"Well, I'd rather deal with a live person."
?????? Uh huh. Call them. (God, I hope she gets someone who speaks English)
"But then I can't check in from home."
Yes, you can.
"But I won't be booking online."
They'll give you a confirmation number and tell you how to check in. CALL THEM!
"Well, I should get this booked soon."
Yes, you should. Right now in fact. Call the airline. Dear God, PLEASE call the airline.
"Do they still have drink service? I'd like something to drink."
I don't know anymore. Buy a soda at the airport.
"Oh, it says if I go business I get a premium drink!"
Then they have drink service. That's an alcoholic beverage.
"I just want a 7-Up."
Fine. Have a 7-Up.
"Unless I don't take my Xanax. Then maybe I can have a drink instead."
For Heavens Sake! Have both! (I know I'd like a Xanax and drink right now)
"What about my seats? Will they give me an aisle seat?"
"Ok, well maybe I'll call them to book this."
Oh, thank God.

Now, where is MY Xanax?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why fish is bad for you

My doctor wants me to eat fish. Something about vitamins and healthy fats...blah, blah, blah. I don't hate fish, but I'd rather catch it than eat it. But in a half hearted attempt to act like an adult and follow my doctors advice, I am trying to eat fish once a week, which is not the 2-3 times a week that she recommended, but honestly, there's no point in even pretending that I'm going to do that.

So this weekend, with good intentions, I paid 3.00 for a tiny little fillet of soggy-fleshed, farm raised, imitation salmon. Obviously I much prefer the firmer, wild caught salmon, but not at 17.00 a lb. I made caesar salmon - fillet of salmon coated with caesar dressing and sprinkled with parmesan. Quite delicious. I stuck it on a cookie sheet and threw it in the oven. All was well.

Until it was time to check the fish. I'm normally fairly competent in the kitchen, but what happened Sunday afternoon made me look like the Swedish Chef. In my haste to get the fish out of the oven, I grabbed a dishcloth instead of a potholder. Said dishcloth did not cover my hand completely, and when I grabbed the cookie sheet, the hot pan caught me between my thumb and forefinger. I promptly dropped the pan, flipping it over and causing it to fling my fish onto the oven door before it clattered to the tile floor. My fish then slid down the oven door and underneath the oven burners where it promptly started to smoke. I grabbed a potholder and snatched the racks out of the oven to put in the sink so I could rescue my fish, but stepped on the dropped cookie sheet, which bent and went sliding across the floor, causing me to fall on the floor and my oven racks to go sailing across the kitchen. Fish is still smoking. Uninjured, I got up and went to scrape my fish out of the oven, remembering in the nick of time that all of my utensils are plastic. Crap. Where are my tongs? That's right, I used them on the wasps....too bad, I need them now. Rinse off the wasp parts and pick up my salmon, piece by piece off the floor of the oven. I managed to salvage most of it.

I paid $3.00 for that stupid fish - it's getting eaten.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How to get help with your car. A tutorial.

The other day I thought to pick up oil on my way home from work. Just as I was looking for a car place, my oil light actually came on (apparently I'm psychic), and I figured since I was low on oil and just about due for an oil change, I'd just go ahead and get it done. So I went to my friendly neighborhood Jiffy Lube. I like the quick, cheap oil change, but before I could even get out of my car, the guy was telling me I had two brake lights out, I needed my windshield wipers replaced and he could fix my rock chips for free if I had insurance.

Now I will tell you that I have 3, count them THREE, cracks running across the bottom of my windshield, not in my line of sight. So I ask him, what is the point of filling the rock chips since the windshield is already cracked? There isn't one. And he tells me the wiper blade is cutting a semi-circle into my windshield. Technically, it was the wiper blade before this one that did that, and again, do I care? MY WINDSHIELD HAS 3 CRACKS IN IT!

I did, however, allow him to replace the brakelights. Don't want a fix it ticket, right? As I'm trying to escape with money still in my checking account, he tells me I need to get my brakes checked. Now, I'm a little irritated because I just got my brakes done this summer. But I think about it, and my brake light on the dash came on about 3 weeks ago. I knew I had new brakes and it wouldn't be the first computer glitch my car has had, so I didn't worry about. Honestly, I thought it had something to do with my emergency brake since I've only ever seen that light when the brake is engaged. Apparently, I'm an idiot. Mr. Jiffy Lube informs me that whoever did my brakes didn't top off my brake fluid. Turns out at Jiffy Lube, they will check your fluid levels, but they don't actually do anything about them.

So, I went to Napa in search of brake fluid. Amazingly, I grabbed the right brake fluid and while standing in line I realized that I was dressed up and I didn't really feel like digging around in my engine to fix this. But I didn't want to ask the guy behind the counter for help, either. So when I got up to the counter, after he rang me up, I looked him right in the eye and asked "Can you tell me where the brake juice hole is in my car?" He looked at me for a moment, looked at the guy at the next register, and told him, "I'll be right back". He came out and showed me where my "brake fluid reservoir", as he corrected me, was located.

Apparently, if you horrify a man enough with car ignorance, he will actually drop what he's doing and come help you. I need to remember that for future reference.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Personal Ad I Can't Place Because I'd be Alone Forever

Sadly, I am single again. Such is life. In an effort to move on, I placed an ad on a dating site. And lo and behold, my ex also has an ad on that site. And I read his ad, and I thought, you big, fat liar. He's saying all the things that girls want to hear - I will do this, I won't do that. And I'm aghast because I've lived with him and I know exactly what he's like. That almost made me take down my ad and run to join a nunnery, because obviously you can't trust what you read as everyone is putting their best lying foot forward. So instead, I decided to create a truthful ad. I really should put it up and see if any man in the entire world is still willing to talk to me afterwards. So here goes.

Let's start by culling the herd. If you are bipolar, ADHD, an alcoholic, a sex addict, schizophrenic, or have an anxiety disorder, thank you for your interest but goodbye. If you are jobless, homeless or live with your mother for any reason other than that she is bedridden and you are caring for her, there are places that can help you - I am not that place. If you are a liar or a cheater I would tell you not to proceed, but because you are going to lie about cheating, that won't do me any good.

All right, that should have taken care of about 50% of you. Allowing that 25% of what is remaining are the lying cheaters who proceeded anyway, I'm down to 1/4 of the eligible men left to work with. Let's narrow that down by telling you a little about myself.

The stuff that appears on my ad - affectionate, generous, funny, intelligent, genuine - all true. I can be the sweetest, most loving girlfriend you'll ever have. I'll cook for you, keep the house clean, wash your clothes, buy you little "just thinking of you gifts", buy your favorite things at the grocery store, etc. I'll be happy to see you when you get home from work and I'll be happy to see you in the morning. I will answer my phone when you call me. I will make a good impression on your friends and family. All true. That's what you put in your personal ad.

What you do NOT put in your ad is this. Once a month I will cry for no reason and probably yell at you for no reason. This is a good time for you to have a hobby and leave the house. And bring me chocolate on your way home. I will ask you to load the dishwasher or make the bed from time to time. You will do it wrong. I will redo it. Doing it wrong does not get you out of it. I will still ask you to do it. After 3 months I will probably stop shaving my legs on a regular basis. This will coincide with the time you decide it's okay to start farting when you're sitting next to me. Call it even. If you drive like an idiot, I will not ride anywhere with you. I will not hang out at a bar with you and I will not go clubbing. I will not tolerate cheating - this includes computer or phone sex. It's still cheating. I will not put up with drugs or excessive drinking. A beer when you get off work is acceptable. A six pack is not. I am not going to shave myself bald like a 10 year girl for you. Nuff said.

How are we doing? Well, there's a couple of you left. A few of the cheaters have decided I'm going to be too much trouble to be worth it. A few normal guys, too. That's okay, I understand. Let's move on to what I expect from you.

You are a man. You should be able to do man things. I expect you to know how to jump a car battery, change a tire, mow a lawn, unclog a drain, check the car oil, work a BBQ, and kill a spider. I can do all of those things. I DON'T WANT TO. You cannot have more products for skin and hair than I do or spend more time primping in the bathroom than I do. Toughen up, buttercup - you're a man. I expect you to be responsible. If I come to your house and see a big stack of unopened bills because you believe if you can't see them they don't exist, I'm done. If you make a scene in a public place by yelling at an employee because you are unhappy about some piddly thing, I am leaving. Without you. If you erase your computer and phone history, hang up a call when I walk into the room, or disappear for periods of time and I find out you're lying about where you were, I will assume you are cheating and act accordingly. If you behave suspiciously, you will be regarded with suspicion. Go figure.

Is there an echo in here yet?

There are lots of acceptable "quirks" that you and I will both commit which are expected in a relationship. For example:

I fully expect that you will leave the toilet seat up on a consistent basis. You can expect me to comment on it when I fall into the toilet in the middle of the night. Loudly. I expect you to be physically incapable of putting a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. You can expect me to come out from time to time and show you how it's done. I don't expect any improvement. I will comment when you leave your beard clippings in the sink. I don't expect that to change either. I know you will leave your underwear and socks on the floor. You know I will point out where the hamper is and then I will put them in there myself.

I think that just about covers it. There might be one or two guys left who think they might be up to the task. I can only pray that they hunt and fish, are Republicans, like to camp, and are under the age of 70. But I guess beggars can't be choosers.

Maybe I should have stuck with "I'm a nice girl looking for "the One". Looks are not important, it's what's on the inside that counts. I like long walks on the beach, holding hands, and just sitting and watching the stars or talking over coffee. I have no hang ups or personality flaws, and I'm sure you don't either. I bet you're just the man for me!"

Betcha that would get more responses.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

When it's time to look for a nursing home

I was on the phone with my mother the other day when she locked herself out of the house. Our conversation went something like this.

"Honey, I need you to call your dad and tell him I'm locked out. He can't hear me knocking."

"Mom, why don't you call him?"

"I can't, he's on his cell."

"Why don't you call him on his cell?"

"I don't have a phone."


"Mom, you are on the phone with me. I will hang up with you and you can call him."

"I CAN'T call him, he's on his cell phone."

"Mom, if I hang up with you, then you can call him on his cell."


One of these days I'm going to go home and find my dad stuck on the roof and my mom locked in the garage. I know it. I'm beginning to think my grandmother is the sanest person living in that house.

Unfortunately, she won't hear either one of them calling for help.

One of my least favorite things


Piles of snow on my table.

And my BBQ.

And my car.

Snow deeper than my chihuahua. Okay, deeper than my chihuahua's hanger-downer, which means he doesn't want to go outside to potty. And really, can you blame him? No man would enjoy that. I tried to put him outside and he gave me the stink eye. I actually had to shovel a square for him to do his business in.

How long til spring?!