Saturday, November 28

Eddie Spaghetti

Eddie Spaghetti with the meatball eyes,
Put him in the oven and you get french fries.
Sprinkle on the cheese, if you please,
Be careful with the pepper, 'cause you just might sneeze!

This song is originally from my cousin Ed's childhood, and now Ed and Carey sing it to their 10 month old baby, Lil' Eddie.  At our annual day after Thanksgiving party, we decided that each year we will come up with a new verse to the song.  By the time Lil' Eddie is 13 he will have so many versus, he won't know which one to be embarrassed by the most!

This is one of my favorite days of the year.  Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!

Wednesday, November 25

Honorable Mentions

I feel the need to mention and honor my dear friend Scott, for not only being an amazing friend and loyal Sally Reader, but for posting the longest, fullest, anecdote-including comment on my blog, EVER. (See DMV entry) 

Thank you, Scott. 

Also, the wonderful, loyal Becky, my biggest fan out there.  Thank you for your encouragement.  When I don't post, you worry.  When my posts are too short, you tell me.  When you think my posts are funny, you email me separate from your loyal and consistent comment and list the exact lines that made you "LOL".  (See EVERY SINGLE POST EVER entry)

Thank you, Becky.

While I am at it, I would like to thank the anonymous gimp still living in my first apartment's basement cage, for leaving the most comments on one post, EVER.  Three to be exact.  I will not mention here that it is more likely that the gimp did not realize there is a delete option, and otherwise might have only left one comment. (See 'Ignorance is Bliss' entry)

Thank you, Anonymous Gimp.

Thank you to anyone who has ever commented on my blog, in an actual comment, an email to me or face to face, I appreciate it all and just because your name is not mentioned here, I know who you are and I love you, loyal readers.


Tuesday, November 24

Saving the Roads One DMV Trip at a Time

Today I was officially out of bed before 9AM. When I was first laid off I decided to wake up early every morning, and I did, (I swear), but as the days go on, the laziness builds and the drinking gets heavier, the hour I wake gets later and later. My DVR-ed episodes of the original 90210 will wait for me, and there is just not that much more to do.

(I woke up to this poster on my ceiling every morning in High School-BTW)

Today, however, was a big day. A trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles was in order, and I was up for the challenge. When I got the letter recruiting me for this tour of duty, I was proud, honored that they would select me to have my license renewed. No longer would my vertical license read “under 21 until….” No longer would I be turned away at baseball games and concerts because the new stadium rule states that even if you are over 21 your license can not utter the earlier mentioned phrase. No longer will my picture be a 19 year old Sensitive Sally, who I kindly refer to as, ‘teenage brat with an attitude problem’. Judging from the bags under my eyes in my old license picture, I had been binge drinking for at least a college semester with no night or day off, not sleeping, maybe being hazed by my sorority sisters, and there was no place for authority in my life.

“Look right here and we’ll take your picture, Miss.”

“I’ll look wherever the hell I want, DMV guy.”

At least that is what the picture suggests happened.

I digress. I got my new license and it was pretty painless, $66 later. My picture is not much better, since I forgot to take down the side ponytail I put in this morning, and my smile is large and aggressive from my 2.5 cups of coffee that I had plenty of time to drink while waiting in all the lines, but hey, I am an over 21 organ donor and that is alright with me.

On top of getting my new license, I also had the task of changing the title over from my parent’s, to my name on my car. What is the title, you ask? I totally agree. Eventually, after 3 separate visits to the DMV, leaving empty handed and unsettled, I finally figured it out. I had everything the DMV man asked me for today. It was as smooth as the center of a chocolate lava cake. I used that reference because you really do have to get through some rough cake to get to the smooth center. Yum.

Side note- I read in Cosmopolitan recently that “lava cake is out this year”. Seriously. I think they said cheesecake is in. If cheesecake goes out of style, I am going to be labeled quite a loser, not just because I truly enjoy the taste, but also because my bedroom wallpaper is pictures of different flavored cheesecakes with me taking a bite of each one. I’ll have to throw out my ‘I love NY Cheesecake’ matching pillow set and let’s just say my entire bathroom set will go with them. Careful, Cosmo, I’m in cahoots with the DMV now.

In any case, my work with the DMV is done for now. As I left the building, I received a few head nods and maybe a smile from the other people still waiting, still serving their roads. No one in there spoke English, except the people working, or else I am sure they would have asked me for a speech and honored my brave journey in updating my license and changing important paperwork. I returned home safely after my tour and was received with hugs (from my mom who came over for lunch).

I hope I never have to go back, but you know how it is. Once you courageously sign up to drive on American roads, your work is never done.
I will see you soon, DMV man. (Unless you get laid off.)

Tuesday, November 17

Ignorance is Bliss?

Sometimes I like to keep things simple so I don’t get too attached to something, too spoiled. That is why I refuse to make a lot of money. When my last company offered to double my pay, I said, no, no, kind company, I am comfortable with the way things are. I would not want to buy a lot of really great clothing at all, and I simply enjoy eating lean cuisines, and do not want to get attached to fancy restaurants. When my parents offered me private school in Europe with my own jet, I said, Mummy and Daddy, what would Simsbury High School do without me? I would not want to get too comfortable outside of Connecticut, especially since we all know I will be moving back home to Simsbury at least twice in my twenties, which brings me to my main example, my living situation.

After college, I moved home and took an unrealistic, at least outside of suburbia, amount of time to move into my own apartment. When I did I lived in a place that had holes in the window screens, terrible parking, and eventually a ferret that my roommate surprised me with. My roommate had to sacrifice having a closet because there just was not one in her room. She used the hall closet instead. The basement was a dark and damp storage area with a cage so large I can only assume it was for sole use of a gimp, oh and the oil tank that frequently ran out of oil mid winter at below zero temperatures. Thank you, Viking oil, for never once understanding the term ‘automatic refill.’

My next apartment was a step up, I’d like to think. We got a third roommate and suddenly all the bills were split more and there is nothing better than that. Though the window screens still had holes, the parking situation was much better and our landlord changed from a woman with child, -( “No phone calls after 8PM please” and “change your own light bulb, my child is crying.” I am kidding about calling to ask for a light bulb to be changed. To be fair, I am not kidding at all. I was young and naive )– to a single, woman lawyer who was borderline mean, but efficient and very clear from day one, which you have to appreciate. When our dryer left our clothing as though it never saw the dryer, she replaced it right away, with a dryer that left our clothing as though it saw the dryer, but then got scared of the machine and crumpled in a ball in corner. Our dishwasher worked, provided you cleaned the dishes completely before putting them in and because we were all broke we kept the heat around 50 degrees all winter long, Gas heat now, a huge improvement from oil. Life was good, but I wanted more. That was when I decided not to re-sign my lease and move to New York City. (I said that like the salsa commercial from a few years ago-

That’s right, New York City. I would love to tell you I went and follow it up with all my misadventures in the big apple. But, that plan eventually fell through and when the lease was up I had no choice but to move BACK HOME WITH MY PARENTS. Meanwhile, the rent was higher than ever, since the cost was pure love and affection- which I gave plenty of. The cons to this situation are obvious, feeling like a loser, having to tell people I lived at home, etc., ETC.. The pros, however, were great, my own bathroom, a cleaning lady who cleaned it and an amazing kitchen that I could bake and bake and bake some more in. I was living in 2 parts luxury, 1 part misery and just a splash of total embarrassment.

Eventually it was time to move on. My friend was buying a condo and needed a roommate. She helps me out, I help her out. It was the perfect deal. The place would be more money than I had ever spent before, and I knew my friend was very clean, so I would work harder at being clean than ever before. The benefits, however, made it all worth it. I had my own bathroom that I got to decorate, my bedroom was bigger than it had ever been, than I had ever imagined. I even got my own garage spot, and not like the “garage spot” at my first place, the one that everyone in the building pushed on each other, because if you parked there, you may never get out of the driveway, due to other cars and cumulating snow –“Plow your own snow, my baby just pooped.” The kitchen, the living room, the finished basement that a gimp would simply never live in, the place was and is amazing and I am so glad I moved here.

My only nagging thought is, ‘what next?’ Could I live without my own bathroom and garage spot after this? Could I go back to freezing sleep wearing all the clothes in the apartment, at least the ones that had dried on the hanging rack, just to keep warm at night? I guess only time will tell and for now let me just thank goodness I got a new job so that I can continue to afford this extravagant lifestyle I have acquired. Excuse me for now, the butler just told me someone is at the door.

Wednesday, November 11

Chasing the Leaves, the Tradition Continues

Every year since I graduated college my father and I pick a fall day to set out on a road trip and chase the leaves. We use foliage trackers to find peak seasons and have traveled all over the northeast. In the past we have gone to Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Our stops have included look out points off spiraling country routes, abandoned barns, fields with cows and horses, wineries, state parks and any exit off a highway that shows a stick figure man with a backpack and walking stick. We have met many strange, hick characters and sometimes run back into the car happy we still have all our teeth.

During the drive, there is plenty of time to chat. The first year, we talked about finding me a job. I had just graduated with an English degree and needed some guidance from my Dad. The years following had a similar tone, whether it was about making the most of the position I held, or striving for a new one, my Dad loves to talk business. We also talked about my boyfriends and my Dad’s business and our family, and music and leaf colors and pointed out different shaped clouds and hawks flying over head. At the end of the day each year, we are both exhausted, after hiking for hours and driving for more, and we are that much closer to each other.
This year was a little bit different. I had lost my job and due to the economy my father does not have that much business. Besides these facts it was harder for us to find a day to go for some reason. We missed the peak season of the north and even Connecticut had lost its luster by the time we found a date. We both felt the need to continue our annual ritual so we decided this year we would drive south. The top of Maryland and Delaware were peaking and we were up for the challenge.

My alarm went off at my parent’s house at 5:20AM, giving me just enough time to grab the coffee my Dad had made and walk out the door for 5:30AM. Off we went. Things were going really well and we were in New York on highway 87 in no time. My Dad prides himself on taking routes off the beaten path to avoid traffic. He calls them “short cuts” which is weird because they tend to be the opposite. That is the beauty of this day though. We are simply chasing leaves so every road we take brings its own adventure and we never worry about the time. However, on highway 87 we did hit some traffic. In fact, it was so bad that we turned the car off for an hour and waited for an accident to be cleaned up. All of a sudden Maryland was looking like a far off dream. We settled on Pennsylvania and picked up without missing a beat when the traffic began to clear. This being a foliage day, we try to keep the GPS to a minimum and use handheld maps to pick our routes, finding paths to State Parks.

As we drove, we listened to classic rock and Elvis and talked like we always do. This year I noticed that our conversations were less focused on me and my work and my romantic life. There was more of an equal balance, perhaps it is becoming a level playing field. We are two adults, a father and a daughter, two friends, rather than a dad and his child. Of course there was advice to be given, and I appreciated it, like I always will.

If you are picturing the scene and seeing red, yellow and orange foliage surrounding us with sunlight and blue sky, you are wrong. The day was overcast and the trees were barren. As we drove through New Jersey basically along the turnpike, I thought about why it was called the armpit of America. The towns we passed were run down with a lot of strange people out and about, clearly not working. The roads were ugly and the only fields we saw were littered with billboards. Finally after six hours of driving, we stopped at a New Jersey diner. It was the first place that did not have dirt on its door, or a hanging letter off its name’s sign. It seemed nice enough and my dad, who enjoys talking, was able to spark a long conversation about whether or not the crab meat in the crab cakes was fresh with the waiter. I could have easily answered 'no' for him, but he insisted on talking to the waiter who spoke English very well, but when I say that, I am lying.

“Is the crabmeat fresh?” My dad asked after exclaiming how great it was that there were so many options on the menu.

“Okay, crab cakes for you sir, and for you, miss?” The waiter turned to me.

“No, no, I just wanted to know if the crab was fresh.” my dad continued.

“Yes, yes very good”

“Yes, but is it fresh, or frozen crab?”

“Many, many compliments on the crab, sir.”

“Okay, but is the meat fresh or frozen?”

"Yes, delicious, one of the favorite dish."

"So, it is fresh."

“Ah, yes the crab meat is very fresh, from a can.”

That was the end of that conversation, but my dad thought he was very helpful and he enjoyed the Mexican dish he ended up getting very much.

I guess the reason I am telling you about this ridiculous diner experience is because it was really one of the highlights of the trip. My Dad and I got back into the car and decided we had gone far enough and it was time to head home. We would hike closer to home instead as the further south we went the trees just were not getting any prettier and it would not be worth the drive. We were both relieved to hear the other was happy with that decision and off we went. After driving some time we ended up stopping in Norwalk where my oldest sister teaches. It was her birthday and we made her day by showing up and surprising her. This was another highlight, seeing my sister’s classroom where she makes magic with her kids. In the parking lot of her school we saw the best leaf colors we had seen all day.

On the way home, we decided not to stop and hike anywhere. Exhaustion had set in and it was time to end the trip. My dad ended up confessing that he knew from the beginning we probably would not make it to Maryland, and he just wanted to spend quality time with me and continue the tradition. After hearing this, I realized I had thought the same thing. Our trip each year is not just about the leaves, but about each other. I am so lucky to have a dad I can spend 12 hours in a car with and actually enjoy it. (Once a year!) Although the sights were not spectacular, the ride was and I am so glad we went.

Monday, November 9

No Sleep 'til Connecticut!

It has been a whole week since I last blogged, and you guys really let me have it.  The letters that came in demanding more writing have taken over my kitchen counter, the postman is giving me dirty looks now and curious neighbors who seem to think I am important are asking for my autograph.  The phone calls, and drop-in visits to make sure I am alive are truly appreciated, but the fruit baskets and electronics were wholly unnecessary.  Most of all the amount of comments I received on my blog itself, were so overwhelming the blog king called me personally and asked A.) What my secret was and B.) If I could cut down the greatness, just slightly, so as to make room for the other bloggers and give them a chance!

The above paragraph is entirely false.  At this point I will explain my absence by distracting you with a story about stomach issues in the fine borough of New York City, Brooklyn.

The Beastie Boys once said,

"No Sleep 'til Brooklyn,"

and I often ask my friends who live there if they find this to be true.  Trying to remember their answer now and coming up with nothing leaves me to believe they probably ignore me when I say it.  Meanwhile, I did find it to be true this weekend.  The details follow below;

We arrived in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon.  That night my group ventured out to Manhattan for an amazing concert and also spotted Bill Murray, which happens to top my list of celebrity sightings just winning over Ian Zeiring, classically known as "Steve" from the original 90210 and a reality star named "Frenchie" who once aspired to date Brett Michaels. 

After the show we ate tapas at a great Spanish restaurant, stopped in a bar for drinks and crawled our way back home in the wee morning hours to our weekend bed where we found sleep (In Brooklyn!)  The boys might be beastie, but they are also correct.

Saturday began slowly, waking up late, rinsing off subway grim and finally finding coffee.  We ate breakfast out, window shopped while drinking spicy Mexican hot chocolate, which if you have not tried, you should soon, and went into American Apparel, a clothing store located only in large cities across the world.  Among the neon leotards and animal striped spandex pants, there are really nice clothes to be found in this store, which again if you have not gone to, go to it soon.  I found an amazing green scarf/belt/hair-hat ribbon/blindfold for a reasonable price and absolutely could not wait to put it on.  Back at the Brooklyn safe/sleep zone, I put on my new scarf/belt/hair-hat ribbon/blindfold, opting for the mid waist belt look- after an unsuccessful blindfold attempt- another story in itself.  Wearing it, I felt very "New York", at least as much as a born and bred Connecticuteer could feel. 
So, off we went back into the jungle called Manhattan.  Our first stop was a Samurai exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was where I first felt my stomach pain.  I doubted it was the Sangria pitchers I had the night before, or the beer and sausage and cheese dinner plate.  It certainly could not have been the various tapas at 1AM, ranging from octopus and mussels to fried cheese balls and pork.  Or, the spicy Mexican hot chocolate? 

Mmm, Definitely not.

In any case, I pushed on.  I looked at the swords ranging from the 10th to the 16th century.  It is certainly interesting that each one looked exactly the same except for one tiny difference in the sharpness, or the length, or was it the dust coverage?- I am not sure.  I am sure that there were about 75 swords, which is super neat, if you are into that kind of thing.  Although, all I could think about was each sword being stabbed through my stomach, because it kind of felt that way. 

After the Met, we took the subway, which seemed particularly smelly and awful that night, to the east village where we put our name in to eat at Momofuku, a trendy restaurant my other half had been raving about.  There was an hour and twenty minute wait before we could sit.  This was no problem, as I wanted my stomach to settle anyway.  To kill our time we went into a nice looking Japanese restaurant where we ordered a pre-dinner of sushi and maki.  Oh, and saki and beer.  This was when I began to notice the amazing belt I had tied on was really tight on my stomach.  I loosened it slightly after finishing my beer and felt immediate relief.  How silly am I, trying to be trendy and hurting my stomach in the process.  Ridiculous. 

Following pre-dinner, we went on to the main course at Momofuku, which was amazing, and if you have not been, you should go soon.  We ate pork dumplings, which may have been the greasiest thing I have ever put in my mouth and a pork raman noodle bowl.  Oh, and more beer.  At this point I had loosened my belt entirely and it no longer looked fashionable, but more like a limp hula-hoop.  But, my stomach still hurt a bit.  We had plans to go meet my friend from high school for a drink after dinner.  My stomach shouted "no!", but the noise was drowned out by Manhattan's mumbles of car horns and shouting, so we went.
Since I was going to see someone new I made sure my hula-hoop transformed back into a belt by tightening it despite discomfort.  I even drank a beer.  It was great to see my friend, but at this point I was dreaming of sleep in Brooklyn.  Two subways and some walking later, we made it home to the safe haven, where the streets murmurs were just slightly softer.  As I took off my scarf/belt/hair-hat ribbon/blindfold I felt complete bliss, utter happiness, sheer release and the faint sounds of the Beastie Boys playing in the background.

Unfortunately, this did not last.  I am not going to the get into the details of my stomach issues that ensued this fateful Saturday night/Sunday's wee morning hours, but I am going to tell you that I was certainly glad when it was over.  Maybe it was the food, maybe it was the alcohol.  Maybe it was running around non-stop, or maybe it was my beautiful and wonderful new belt.  My best guess is a combination of the four.  I cannot bring myself to throw out the scarf/belt/hair-hat ribbon/blindfold, as I love it very much and there are other uses for it than just to torment my stomach.  However, I will hide it from myself for a bit, so I can forget about the pain. 

Meanwhile, I am back home, safe and sound in Connecticut where there are less amazing food options and torture chambers (tight clothing).  The bars close by 2AM, late night diners are few and far between and I find this all very comforting. 
Even after all of my stomach troubles, I still love New York City with all my heart-but, my new line is officially,

"No sleep 'til CT".

I think I will have T-shirts made up.  If you want one, simply stick a check in with the comment you were already planning on leaving on my blog! :)

Monday, November 2


As you are strolling along on the path of life
feeling kind of bad about yourself
getting a ton of sympathy
The road ahead is long and empty
looking to be filled with whatever you could possibly imagine
though it is getting harder and harder to stay positive
You have found the perfect negative and sarcastic tone for your blog
and maybe your life
and then all of a sudden...

You get a job!!!

That does not start for two months..
But, you are still getting severance from your old company!!!

If you know me, you might expect me to exclaim, "I'm going to Disney World!" and have it be completely true.  However, that family trip will be later in 2010.  For now, I am just going somewhere!

Let me know if there is room on your couch and I will see you soon. ;-)