Archive | September, 2012

The Joy of Moving

25 Sep

Well, the time has come.  My husband, daughter, and myself are moving.  Part of me is really excited to be downsizing and moving to a townhouse where someone else can do all the mowing and shoveling.  At the same time, I’m dreading the actual act of physically taking all of our crap from one spot to another.  Now granted, we’re not moving far, only about three miles.  However, after loading the truck, driving over, and unloading everything, it will feel like a cross-country expedition.

There are definitely advantages to moving.  It’s a great time to get rid of anything and everything you’ve squirreled away in your house.  We had two garage sales and I was amazed at the amount of stuff people bought.  I’ve also brought several loads of clothes to Goodwill to donate.  Even though I know I need to get rid of junk, it’s funny how I’ll get sentimental about some trinket or piece of paper that I haven’t looked at in ten years but still have the urge to keep it.  Then I’ll remember an episode of “Hoarders” and I’ll quickly discard it.

It used to be relatively easy to find people to help us move.  We’d promise them food and beer and they’d line up in droves.  Nowadays, since we’re a little more “mature” in years, we not only have to offer that but Ben Gay, aspirin, and a place to crash as well.  My family cut me off and now cheers from the sidelines.  I moved so many times after my divorce they swore they’d never help me again.  It also didn’t help that the guys driving the moving truck were hung over and out on parole.  That’s another story…

I’m excited to get a fresh start and decorate the way I want to.  I didn’t really get that chance with our house, since my husband and step kids were already living there when I moved in.  My husband thought white walls and the occasional religious artifact slapped here and there constituted decorating.  The kids were at least more creative placing heavy metal posters and explicit language materials on the walls.

Now that the step kids are gone and it’s just my four-year old daughter and husband, I’m large and in charge.  The females in the house are taking over and hubby had better step back.  It’s gonna be fabulous and void of any masculinity.  I can’t wait!

I Can Take Care of Myself, Thanks

19 Sep

I just recently read that Mayor Bloomberg, in his infinite wisdom, decided New Yorkers are too stupid to think for themselves and decided to ban large soft drinks being sold in restaurants, movie theaters, etc.  Gosh, thanks Daddy Bloomberg, for telling me what I can/cannot drink when I spend my hard-earned dollars in your city.  What’s next, the portion-control police are going to stop me and make sure I’m not eating too much?

This madness about controlling what we eat and drink has to stop.  People have the right to consume what they want and it’s none of your business.  Now granted, there are some folks who do eat/drink too many calories and have an issue with their weight.  However, banning soft drinks in NYC is not going to magically cure the obesity epidemic.  It’s going to take a lot more than that to get those people to change their lifestyles and make healthier choices.  Punishing the rest of us who don’t have an issue and enjoy an occasional large soda and bucket of popcorn at a movie is insane.

Maybe they’ll start banning those buckets of popcorn at the theaters next.  Instead, you’ll be served “broccoli in a bucket” with a kale and carrot smoothie….ooh…yummy.  Or, perhaps, restaurants in NYC could install treadmills instead of tables.  They’ll make the customers burn the calories before they can consume them.

McDonald’s recently announced they are placing calorie counts next to their menu items.  I don’t have a problem with this because I don’t care.  I know McDonald’s is bad for me.  I’m not an idiot.  If I want healthy, I’ll go hit a salad bar or eat at home.  If I want greasy, bad food once in a while, I go to McDonald’s.  The calorie counts are not going to convince me to order a salad when I want a quarter pounder with cheese…not gonna happen.

So, Mayor Bloomberg, stay out of my soda cup and off my plate and we’ll get along just fine.   Stop wasting your time on stupid regulations and focus on more important things like getting crazed cab drivers off your streets!

Glutton for Punishment

17 Sep

I was so proud of myself.  I finished my first half-marathon Sept. 1 in the upright position without collapsing at the finish line.  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  I felt like I could conquer the world, even though I limped around like a 90-year-old woman.

So, did I just rest on my laurels and pat myself on the back for a job well-done?  No.  Normal people would.  What did I decide to do?  Not only sign up for a ten-mile race on Oct. 7 but sign up for another half-marathon on Oct. 27.  Yes, I’ve become one of those.  The crazy workout people we hate.  How did this happen?

When you hear someone saying they love exercise and can’t live without it you tell yourself, “Yeah right.  Whatever.  Pass the chips.”  Somehow, though, it started happening to me.  Now granted, I don’t live and breathe working out, but I do feel bad and like I’m missing out on something if I don’t.

It began when I joined a running camp for women.  The flier stated they accepted all levels of runners so I thought how could I go wrong?  I fit right in.  Of course, I wanted to smack all the runners who were stick-thin and ran circles around me, but that’s another story.  I thought the elite runners would be all catty and condescending but it was just the opposite.  They were so supportive and encouraging that it felt like a sisterhood.  It was great.

I ran a couple 5k’s and really enjoyed the competitiveness of the event.  Of course, I’m a type A control freak who’s uber competitive, so it was perfect for me.  I told myself I’d never be last and I’d check the website later to see how many people finished behind me.  Yes, I’m nuts.

The half-marathon was a challenge but my friend and I powered through it and really enjoyed the experience.  The shirtless firemen at the finish line and the champagne afterwards certainly didn’t hurt.  We decided we needed to experience this again and signed up for another one.  I was really excited until I paused and thought, “Am I crazy to put myself through this again?  Why do I have to be so competitive and get a big head thinking I’m Ms. Olympian now?”

Maybe it is my type A personality, or maybe it’s just the feeling of accomplishment and empowerment.  Either way, it’s great to get healthy and enjoy your friend’s company.  Did I mention the shirtless firemen and the champagne?

What September 11 Means to Me

12 Sep

Yesterday was the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  It was a day that will stick in my mind forever.  I will never forget where I was or what I was doing when the terrorist act happened.  It changed how I lived my life and what I wanted out of life.  It brought me here.

The day was like any other work day.  I went to work downtown and turned on the computer.  Normally I wouldn’t check CNN but for some reason that morning I did.  The site had a picture of one of the towers with a hole in it and smoke/flames coming out.  At the time, no one knew what was going on.  Was it a small airplane that lost its way?  Was there an explosion inside the building?

I attended a training session in the IDS building and went about my day.  During class, people were checking the Internet and kept us up to date on what was occurring.  The hole in the tower was from a commercial airliner.  The second tower has been hit.  One of the towers collapsed.  At this point, the room was filled with terror…what was going on?  Could we be next?

Class was canceled and I ran back to my office.  My now ex-husband left me a message saying I needed to get out of downtown and head home.  The boss said I looked white as a ghost.  We didn’t know it at the time, but one of our co-workers was in Manhattan for training near the towers and narrowly escaped being killed by falling debris.  He saw people jumping from the towers.  The office closed and they told us to go home.

I drove in a complete daze, white-knuckled, looking overhead for planes and listening to the play-by-play on the radio.  When I arrived home, I planted myself in front of the TV and couldn’t move.  We were in complete shock.  How could something like this happen on American soil?  How could anyone be so evil?

That day going forward, I re-examined my life and decided to live every moment like it was my last.  I was in an unhappy marriage and decided to end it.  I moved out on my own and started a new career in the cosmetics field.  When I didn’t enjoy it anymore I became a flight attendant.  I remarried and had a baby.  I began running and tried improv.  I started writing a blog…which brought me to you.

I Love Fall!

11 Sep

Fall…what a great time of year.  The heat of summer is coming to a close and the cooler, crisper weather is arriving.  I do enjoy summer, but I’m looking forward to walking outside and not gasping for a breath in the sludge we call air.  I’m also tired of being soaked in sweat and all I did was open the car door!

Fall is wonderful because I love the change of season, seeing the leaves turn spectacular colors and brighten the burnt out landscape from the scorching summer.  It’s also the time of year for football, my favorite spectator sport.  Nothing is better than parking my butt on the couch for six hours on Sunday with a trough of chili and a cool refreshing beverage.  I wonder what the beverage is…hmmm…I’m sure I will not at all influenced by all the beer commercials flooding the airwaves?

I do enjoy fall for other reasons as well.  School starts for all the little rugrats…sweet!  Nice to get rid of all the little Benjis running around and creating havoc in the neighborhood.  It’s the start of the fall TV schedule so there are plenty of new shows to check out.  I, of course, will be continuing my sad viewing habits watching all things reality shows on Bravo.  Oh, and I’ll watch “The Voice” since I’m secretly (well, I guess not anymore) in love with Adam Levine.

Unfortunately, winter arrives after fall.  I hate winter with a passion.  I can’t stand having hat hair, snot frozen to my face and freezing my ass off while falling down on ice and snow.  Plus, don’t even get me started about the idiot drivers who think they can drive like Mario Andretti when there’s three feet of snow on the road.

So, before I have to go into  a deep depression (aka winter), I will enjoy the beauty and activities of fall.  Oh, and Adam Levine.

Happy Hour?

5 Sep

I’ve been pondering this concept of “Happy Hour” and have a few questions:  First of all, why does it imply one hour but when you go to bars/restaurants it’s always more than that?  I know back in the day when I’d go out to happy hours with co-workers, I never walked away after an hour.  It was a minimum of three and depending on the co-workers, could go well into the night and move to several different venues.  Also, why do we hang out with our co-workers after work?  If you’re friends, I can understand but if you’re not it doesn’t make sense.  If I can’t stand you during the work day why would I spend time with you and not get paid?  I guess so I can get drunk and tell you what I really think of you.

I’d like to know why it’s called happy hour because at first you may be happy, but by the end of the specials and after several cocktails you’ll be drunk-dialing the guy who dumped you and crying on the shoulder of the creepy co-worker who’s secretly in love with you.  Wearing beer goggles, he may appear to be Brad Pitt, but the next day you’ll come back to your senses when there’s a dozen roses on your desk and an invitation to be his next wife.

Also, why are there never happy hours for any other products besides alcohol or food?  I think once I saw a commercial for a fast-food restaurant offering happy hour prices on beverages but that’s it.  Come on Starbucks…it’s not like you don’t already make a gazillion dollars off of us so why not cut us a break?

I say they should extend happy hour prices to other retail outlets, like Kmart used to do with their blue light specials.  Target, Walmart…I’m talking to you.  People may be confused thinking they’ll get drinks while shopping but at least you’ll get them in the door, right?

I Did It!!!

4 Sep

Well, I did something I never thought I could do…I finished a half-marathon…and I wasn’t the last one to cross the finish line!  It all still feels like a dream…did I actually run (who am I kidding, I “slogged” it-there was no running involved)?  Then I try to get up from my chair and my knees sound like a popcorn popper and that’s when I remember I did “slog” the race.

I never really thought about how far thirteen miles was until we took a shuttle to the start line for the race and drove the entire route.  The whole time I was wondering “are we there yet?”.  It seemed like the ride would never end!  Of course, everyone had to use the porta-potties right before the race and since it was a women’s only race, you’d think they would have a ton of them…NOT.  Event organizers…hello?  We’re WOMEN!  We need more than ten seconds to pee!

My friend Amy and I did well the first five miles, “slogging” along at a decent pace.  About mile 6, I started to get the “Oh no, there’s what?  Seven more miles to go?  Are you kidding me?  Where’s that damn shuttle now?”  Luckily, Amy was a life-saver and really pushed me to keep going and only walk at water stops or at the tops of the hills (thanks event organizers who said there were no hills on the course…you bastards).

Once we hit mile 10, we were in the double-digits and we knew we were getting close.  The marathon elite runners were passing us on the opposite side of the street, barely breaking a sweat or panting, doing a parade-wave and wishing us good luck.  Externally, I returned the wave and smiled.  Internally, I wanted to trip them and give them the one finger salute!  Seriously, it was great to see them and have them cheer us on…they rocked!

The best part, was seeing the finish line and the firemen waiting for us with our necklaces.  I was hoping they’d be the hunky ones in the calendar, but they turned out to be 17-year-old volunteers.  Granted, it was nice to see young cute men shirtless, but it was a little too “Mrs. Robinson” for me.

I was in complete misery the next two days.  I was waddling around like a penguin with scoliosis.  I swore I’d never do another race again and cursed out my friend for coming up with this lame-brained idea.  However, after a few days passed and I feel better, I’m considering doing another half-marathon in October.

There’s nothing like the feeling of empowerment and accomplishment and that you can do anything if you set your mind to it.  A year ago, I never would have dreamed I would be in a 5k, let alone a half-marathon.  Besides, nothing beats coming home to your husband and daughter yelling “You did it!” under a congratulations sign.