Sunday, November 28, 2010

Near Death in New Hampshire

                                                                                                                        (left image-- summit view from 3000 feet, right image--cairn a.k.a. grave marker)
I just returned from a lovely trip to New Hampshire. As most of you know, I love to hike. As some of you know, I'm usually up for an adventure and don't always perform adequate risk assessments until it is too late.

On Wednesday night, I was sipping wine in the kitchen, when a guy named Ed stopped by. He said that every year he hikes to the top of Mt. Monandock   
to memorialize his friend's death. I cannot recall if he actually invited me or if I invited myself. However, next thing I know I've signed up to go on a Friday morning sunrise hike. I'm sure in my wine-induced overconfidence, I neglected to listen to important details such as PEOPLE DIE UP THERE EVERY YEAR. 

I do recall him saying that we will not be hiking on the State Park side, but on the "locals trail". He also said that he knows every inch of the mountain and can run up to the top in 36 minutes. It is only 2 miles to the summit, so I figured that it's no big deal. If he can do it in 36 minutes, it will take me at least an hour. I tell Ed that I'm in shape--I play squash and practice yoga. He seemed enthusiastic and told me that I would do just fine. I vaguely remember him saying that it is a REAL MOUNTAIN. I must have mentally blocked out the story where he had to carry someone down the mountain. This was someone who didn't properly respect the mountain and had fallen, breaking their leg. 

Thanksgiving Day and I'm not feeling as excited about my upcoming hike. I can't imagine what I was thinking when I agreed to wake-up voluntarily at 3:30am, leaving at 4am to hike in the dark. I do not have hiking boots, only sneakers with worn treads. 

Ed calls that night to say the weather forecast is foggy and rainy. Most of his other friends have already bailed. I promise him that I'm a trooper and I won't bail. Due to weather conditions, he delays the trip from 4am to 9am. 

Friday morning 8am, Ed calls again to say conditions are bad. Sleet has covered all surfaces in ice. This is my opportunity to bail. I get on the phone, prepared to cancel. We discuss my lack of adequate footwear. He says sneakers are not a great idea. He asks if I can borrow boots. I say yes. I open my mouth and instead of canceling, I agree to go. 

I slide down the walkway on the way to the car. Ed and I are picking up his friend Adam. On the way, he tells me that the trail will be icy. He says that he can lend me his spikes to grip through the ice. This is when I begin to have doubts. SPIKES FOR THE ICE? He also reiterates that it is a vertical climb (how did I miss this point???) to the summit. We will be climbing 2000 feet to an altitude of 3165 feet. At the top, he says it will be very windy and cold. Winds up to 50mph. 

It's too late to cancel. We arrive at the trailhead. Of course there aren't any other cars. We are climbing the Marlboro trail. I find this very funny, since there is no way a smoker could hike this trail. Ed says that the first part isn't too hard. It warms you up for later. 

After 15 minutes, I'm breathing really hard, sweating through all four layers. I am thinking that there is NO WAY I'm going to make it. Ed has some sort of superhuman powers, because he jumps from rock to rock and doesn't appear to slip AT ALL! 

To their credit, both Adam and Ed tell me where to step and not to step, offering assistance as needed. To MY credit, I do not complain once. I fall and get right back up. I don't want to ruin their friend's memorial. 

I do not see any visible trail, just lots of ice-covered roots and rocks. We start out in forest and climb into a barren-looking landscape. Prehistoric, sub-arctic--lots of boulders and no visible signs of life. I see lots of rock piles. Ed calls them cairns, saying that hikers leave them as markers. I'm guessing they mark all the dead bodies. HERE LIES ANOTHER DUMB HIKER WHO DIDN'T RESPECT THE MOUNTAIN. 

Half-way point, the view is stunning. Ed gives me the spikes. I perfect the art of holdingonfordearlife. It takes over 2 hours to reach the summit. The temperature drops by 20 degrees. My sweat-drenched clothing is forming icicles. I do not make it all the way to the top. I quit at 3000 feet. Ed and Adam race to the top. 

I text my daughter. HARDEST HIKE EVER. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I WILL GET DOWN THE MOUNTAIN. I briefly wonder how much it would cost to get heliported off the mountain. Needless to say, it is much harder going down than up. My legs feel like jello and aren't working properly. I keep tripping. Only 1 hr down. I can do this. 

I've had to pee for the past 1.5 hours. Didn't want to do it at the summit and have it freeze midstream. Towards the bottom, I see a big boulder to hide behind. My legs are so locked up, that I can't squat down. This simple act takes me at least 15 minutes to perform. Darn those men who can pee standing up. 

I make it to the bottom. Ed and Adam graciously tell me that I didn't hold them back and that I did great. The next day I can't walk. Later when I look up this trail on the internet, its difficulty rank is 4 out of 3!!!

Ed asks me to hike again next summer. Sure I say. I'm looking forward to it. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Reveille This! 13 billion light years & Blue Cheese Alfredo Sauce

You've heard the saying Women are from Mars and Men are from Venus. Or is it the other way around? In my household, we are not just from other planets, we exist on other galaxies. 

Speaking of which, did you know that last month scientists discovered a new galaxy? It has the sexy name UDFy-38135539, and is located 13 billion light years away. I'm thinking that a long distance relationship might be in order. If my husband can find a job on UDFy-3815539, we will only get on each other's nerves every 13 billion years. I think I read that Coke is opening up a bottling plant there. See last week's Businessweek article "Coke's Last Frontier". I'm sure Coke could use a VP to head up their operations and new development. 

Lest you think I'm joking, I will share this morning's irritation. It started with my husband's alarm. He has programmed the military bugle reveille to sound off every morning at 6 am. I have patiently told him that it is the most ANNOYING alarm noise in the entire world. I have pleaded (not so patiently) for him to change the sound. He always responds with the SAME answer. It's SUPPOSED to be annoying. That way, you'll wake up. On this particular morning, he hits snooze 3 times. This happens to be the ONE morning all week that I can sleep in until 7am. After hearing three rounds of reveille over a 30 minute period, I can no longer sleep. In fact, I'm in a vile mood. Reveille is at the top of my chart for most REVILED song. 

The next irritation occurs a few minutes later, while I'm cooking breakfast for the kids. My husband decides to criticize my pancake making ability. Actually the pancakes were already made, I was just microwaving them. However according to my husband, my microwave abilities are lacking. He stops the microwave in mid-heat mode, pulls out the plate, and inspects it suspiciously. What is that glistening substance on the pancake? It's the syrup, duh. You are microwaving it too long and it will burn the roof of our son's mouth. 

At this point, I'm ready to shove the pancake down his throat, just to shut him up. Instead, I tell him that I've microwaved lots of pancakes and I know what I'm doing. Then I tell him that if he doesn't like it, HE can wake up an hour earlier to make the kids breakfast and lunch. I don't appreciate cooking tips from someone whose culinary prowess includes making alfredo sauce with Marie's blue cheese dressing. 

I am further irritated by the fact that in the span of an hour, I've managed to cook breakfast, make lunches, feed the dog, give the cat a pill, fill out two recruit forms for our daughter and finalize my proposal for world peace, while he takes a shower and shaves. 

He FINALLY leaves for work and I sit at the computer checking email. 5 minutes later he calls me to ask me what happened to the car. I'm confused. What happened to the car? You've trashed the car. I'm further confused. As far I know, the car seems fine to me. Now for those of you who know us, most of you would agree that I am the one who tends to exaggerate, especially for the benefit of a good story. 

Since he is not prone to exaggeration, I'm perplexed. I know that my memory has been in gradual decline lately, but I think I would remember if I trashed the car. The whole LEFT side is TRASHED! He accuses me of ramming the car into the side of the garage. Again, I think I would know if I hit the garage while backing out. I go outside to inspect the car. I see a scratch on the car. So yes, I must have scraped the car against the garage while exiting. It is a scrape. I call him back to tell him that it is a scrape. SCRAPE??? That scrape will cost $800 to fix. I ask him if he thinks that I purposely crashed into the garage, just to dent the car and piss him off. He tells me that I need to be MORE CAREFUL. (irritation #501)

REVEILLE THIS. If I was a vindictive person, I would delete all songs from his IPod, except Reveille and then set it on eternal repeat, so he could listen on his 13 billion light year trip. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Neurological Impairment and Dumpster Diving

I suffer from Visual Perceptual Spatial Disorder (VPSD for short). In plain English, this means that I grossly under or overestimate the size of things, especially as it relates to those things fitting in other things. (my husband loves this about me.)

Apparently this is a documented disability caused by neurological impairment--probably induced from too many hits on the head as a child. 

Today, I experienced two bouts of this impairment, leading to an adventurous, albeit stressful day. I had promised to gift my boss' son with our skateboard ramp. Only used once or twice then discarded, the ramp has been a popular outdoor welfare hotel for many varieties of arachnids and their millions of babies. 

I awoke at 7am to drown the arachnids with the power washer. This may seem a bit harsh, but I didn't want the little buggers to take up new residence in my car. Despite the intense jet spray, their screen doors (web filaments) did not break. 

Fwd to operation transport. My boss who lives in the city expressed concern about the size of the ramp. I assured her that it was no more than 5 feet and suitable for city skating. (VPSD incident #1) When I actually tried to put the ramp in my car, I realized that it was more like 10 feet. The bolts were rusted and it wasn't coming apart. Not to mention the arachnids who had survived the morning Tsunami, now bolted in every nook and cranny of my car. 

After folding down the back seat AND front seat, the ramp fit with 1/4 inch of spare space. I drove to work for a meeting. I told my boss that I would drop the ramp at her house after the meeting. She seemed a bit skeptical, but I was insistent. I brought the stupid thing all that way, risking massive heart failure due to spider bites. I was NOT taking it home again. 

Fwd--meeting over. I go to the car and realize NO KEYS. NO KEYS!!!!!!!! I am parked on the streets of Philly. My meter is due to expire in 5 minutes.  Patrol trolls lurk at the corner, waiting to dole out tickets equivalent to the cost of a monthly car payment. I have NO money. No money for the meter, no money for the train ride home to recover extra keys, no money for food, no money for a drink which would have calmed me down a bit. 

I panic, hyperventilate and panic some more. Like a catatonic psych patient, I trace, retrace and retrace 4 more times, my exact path from car to office, office to car, hoping my keys have fallen out of my pocket. I peer in my car window to see if the keys are locked inside. I climb onto the hood of my car and press my face against the windshield for a better look. NO KEYS. 

As usual my husband does not answer the cellphone or text, despite the fact that I say it is a DIRE emergency. I get down on my knees and pray...for real. And here's the thing. I get an immediate answer in the form of a little voice that says CHECK THE DUMPSTER. I had thrown out my lunch bag on the way to the meeting. Herein lies VPSD #2. 

People dumpster dive all the time. Ok, maybe not the people you hang out with. But still. It didn't seem like it would be all that difficult. Keep in mind, that I'm on an IVY LEAGUE campus and there are LOTS of people walking on Walnut Street. I'm trying to scale my way up the metal dumpster, and can't seem to get a foot hold. The dumpster is taller than me and I look like an uncoordinated spaz as I slip and fall into the bottom. 

Thankfully there was a lot of construction debris--meaning that there were minimal rotting food particles and not too many rats. MIRACLE OF MIRACLES. I find my lunch bag and after digging for a few more moments, I FIND MY KEYS!!! Hoisting myself out of the dumpster proved just as embarrassing as falling in. 

I find my boss' house without further ado. As I'm unloading the skateboard ramp, it breaks. I mean an ENTIRE section breaks off. I'm a bit ticked, but I dutifully drag it onto her brick patio. There's an angry pricker tree that attacks me. Scratched, bleeding and smelling of garbage, I finally leave. 

Late for my silkscreen printing class, I park in Old City and pay the meter. 2 hours later, I come out to recharge the meter. I see a TICKET. I chase down the elderly troll who has ticketed me. HEY! I still have 7 minutes left on my meter. He smirks saying that he ticketed me for parking in a loading zone. WHEN DID IT BECOME A LOADING ZONE? I HAVE PARKED HERE BEFORE. THERE AREN'T ANY DRIVEWAYS OR EVEN BUSINESSES THAT REQUIRE LOADING.  The troll races down the street. I never saw a senior citizen move that fast. Not even in Zumba class. 

When I relate my  predicament to my silkscreen teacher, she immediately knows the troll, who is famous in the neighborhood for ticketing when there is still time left on the meter. He must work on commission or he's a vindictive jerk.  He EVEN called the tow truck on a pregnant woman with a toddler who mistakenly parked on the wrong side of the street. I also find out that the city routinely changes the signs regarding loading zones, specifically to confuse drivers and generate more income for the city. 

I have veered a bit off topic. VSPD to elderly trolls to divine intercession. Life lesson? Don't drive into the city, AVOID trolls at all costs, dumpster dive only if you are in plastic clothes and don't kill arachnids--they will regroup their armies and attack with a vengeance. Most importantly--prayer works!!! 

Just for the record, the photo isn't me. I sincerely hope my butt didn't look this big as I plummeted to the bottom. I did appreciate her posing (notice the leg lift) and perfectly manicured red nails

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ms. Philly Hot Mom Contest and Cougars

This email exchange is blog worthy. I get my sense of humor from my uncle. 


FYI--several weeks ago I entered you into the "Ms. Hot Philly Mom" contest at Allison Dunlap's radio station.  I filled out the information and sent in a few pictures from some of the family calendars that you sent us.  I thought that you would hear about it on the radio after the winner was declared.

However, I received an email today saying that you were "among the finalists" which I don't think means much---there are probably 7-8 other Moms in the Philadelphia area with which you are competing.  I just thought you ought to know so you'll be prepared when then call for the interviews and set aside some time for the "shoots" ---as they call them.

Have a nice day

God is good all the time -- rh


Comer with Marilyn

Hey Uncle C,

That's way cool. Is there money involved? If it's a big payoff, I can retire, sit on the couch, watch Simpsons' re-runs and eat bon bons all day.

Did you skip ahead and look at the October pic in the family picture? Hint--I'm dressed like a dominatrix and your youngest is dressed like a unicorn pony boy. I won't tell you what he had on (or didn't) below the waist. Let me tell you, all the gay men thought he was HOT STUFF.

So I'm intrigued. Have you met Ms. Dunlap or seen her photo shoots?

I must tell you that I'm worried the competition will be stiff. There's quite a cougar population in Philly. In fact, I believe your youngest went to the cougar convention when it was here in Philly, looking for a sugar mom to pay his med school bills.  (but you didn't hear it from me)

Please know that I did everything in my power to corrupt your son while he was here. Unfortunately he was already pretty far gone when he arrived, so I couldn't do much more.

Much Love,


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Is Fidelity Obsolete?

Last summer I posted on how Women's Health Magazine is really a trashy cosmo in disguise. In this summer's issue, the lead article headline reads Is Fidelity Obsolete? Women's Health investigates the biological drive to spread the love, the rise of the Facebook fling and whether faithfulness has reached its expiration date. 

The only part worth reading is a quick look at the pictures. A bereft bride figurine stands forlornly atop a 3 tier wedding cake, as her groom escapes in a helicopter. Very funny!

According to the 'studies', we are biologically programmed to cheat. One particular study concluded that a woman is more likely to cheat when she is ovulating. How did the researchers come to such a conclusion? They found evidence at a STRIP CLUB. The rationale? Men are more attracted to women during ovulation time (the caveman desire to procreate). 

Here are the compelling numbers used to prove their point. 
$335 amount strippers earned in five hours when they were ovulating.
$260 amount they earned in five hours when they weren't ovulating.
$185 amount they earned in five hours when they were menstruating.

I'm not a researcher, but I do see a few teensy-weensy problems with the study. OF COURSE THE MENSTRUATING WOMEN MADE LESS MONEY. The women are bloated, cranky, suffering from hellacious cramps and not wanting their 'customers' to see their tampon strings hanging out of their g-strings. The LAST thing they want is to have sex. 

I'm wondering about the plausibility of testing this biological theory out in strip clubs. I mean really. Don't the guys going to strip clubs hope they will get laid? Isn't that the goal? It seems a bit of a stretch to conclude that because a stripper made more money during certain times of the month, all of us are hardwired to cheat. I believe this is a slippery slope (logical fallacy). 

Also the study is lacking in specificity. How old were the strippers? Were they married or unmarried? What geographic location/s were included? What is the demographic (socio-economic class) of the customers as well as the strippers? Did the researchers perform the tests on the same days of the week? If the girl is on the rag and working on a Monday night, she's definitely screwed out of major tip money. 

Also just because a man finds a woman more attractive, why is SHE the one predisposed to cheat? Wouldn't he be the culprit? 

Women's Health concludes that just because our biology predisposes us to cheat, it doesn't mean we can't choose monogamy. Cheating is NOT inevitable. PHEW! What a revelation. I was worried. 

Following this enlightening article is 10 Things You Can Do With A Tomato. I'm not making this up. 

Coincidentally or not,'s hot word of the week is ADULTERY. Specifically they(the unknown experts) examine the etymology of the words adult and adultery, asking Why is it called adultery when being unfaithful isn't a particularly adult thing to do?

After you shred the magazine, using it to line the kitty litter box, you can respond to the brilliant blog posts on the etymology debate. Here are my favorites:

shareese on August 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

hi iam shareese i just wanted to saii hi andmore lol gansta


a on August 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm

wats ur point? that adultery is a childish (no so “adult” like) 

thing to do? i think being childish is VERY different from

 being unfaithful

 …and i reeeally dont think the “adult” that means pornographic

 has anything to do with it being a prefix in the word adultery

 it simply has to do with the fact that pornographic material

 is for adult viewers. Were u drunk when u wrote this?

Dillan on August 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

That’s totally whatev…adultery is adultery…that’s it…

I know--profound.

 I'm on the 9th thing you can do with a tomato

 as I write this. 

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Skinny on Black Jeans

Why is it impossible to find black jeans that 

A. Don't show my butt crack
B. Fit over my calves

In my quest for black jeans, I discover that the current style is called jean 'leggings'. This translates into jeans that are so narrow, only a person with atrophied calves can wear them. For anyone with hips larger than Kate Moss (pre-pregnancy, heroin-chic), this is an incredibly unattractive look.

After leaving NY & Company in disgust, I try EXPRESS. A cute teenaged sales boy wearing a headset immediately accosts me. I tell him I'm looking for boot cut black jeans. He asks me what I want them for. I'm momentarily perplexed, since I think this might be a trick question. Uhhh, I want them to WEAR. He is shocked to learn that I don't like skinny legging jeans. Apparently I'm the first person to admit that they don't LOVE them. 

He asks me my size. I hold up the 8 and two of me could fit inside these pants. I take a 6 and a 4. Mid-rise, slight boot. I'm a bit disappointed that the jeans aren't really black, but kind of slate grey. This boy who is my daughter's age, is quite the attentive salesperson. He knocks on my dressing room door inquiring about my jean's fit. He then wants to see me in the jeans. When I open the door, he and another salesboy comment on the jeans. I feel a bit embarrassed that two teenaged boys--one straight, one gay are looking at my butt. I tell them that something must be wrong with the sizing, because I've never been a 4 in my life. NOT EVER. NOT EVEN when I was anorexic. They both exclaim, Aren't you happy that you are a 4?!!!

Given that the jeans are on sale--buy 1, get one 1/2 off, I now have the problem of finding a second pair of jeans that fit. My ever-attentive salesboy tells me how important it is to have a second pair of jeans, for when I go out to a bar. I smirk--oh, I go out to bars sooo often. Get this--the underage boy actually tells me that he will TAKE ME OUT FOR A DRINK. 

I'm guessing the commission on jeans must be pretty high. The salesboy must be under his monthly quota in order for him to resort in asking out middle-aged women. 

He decides that I MUST try the skinny jeans, since he is convinced that I will look fabulous in them. Just to humor him, I try. As I suspect, I can't even get them over my calves. When he asks how they are working out for me, I tell him that they aren't. Undeterred, he patiently continues to pass more and more jean options under the door to me. 

Finally I find a pair that fits over my calves and only shows a minor amount of butt crack, which will compliment the whale tail look. At least the muffin top won't show. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gone Postal

One of my son's wrestling coaches works the lunch shift at my local post office. Today I went on a bit of a rant (I know--really hard to believe) about stamps. When I got to the counter, I told him that I wanted "FUN" stamps. He rolled his eyes saying, "Oh, you are one of THOSE". 

He patiently asked me why the type of stamp mattered. That's all it took to set me off. To his credit, he refused to engage in my nonsense. "Hey, I just sell the stamps, I don't have an opinion on them".

The LOVE stamps have the most marketing presence. I wonder if there's a LOVE CORPORATION somewhere that gets a percentage for using the name. 

I don't know about you, but I don't particularly LIKE love stamps. I certainly don't LOVE them. In fact, I think it's hypocritical to send a LOVE stamp to someone that you might dislike immensely. Let's say you put a love stamp on a letter to your mother-in-law who doesn't like you. She will immediately assume that you are KISSING UP, trying to garner her favor. 

At best the LOVE stamp is cliche and not even in a kitschy kind of way. I definitely don't want to send the love stamp to Mastercard, who is raping me monthly at a 21% interest rate. 

Absolutely I DON'T want to send  a love stamp to PECO (see previous blog post on my broken love affair with the PECO princess). PECO who never seems to credit my account for all of those hours of power outage, whenever there is a storm. 

Nor do I want to sent a love stamp to Verizon or Comcast. I'm sure no explanation is needed there. 

I'll save the love for things other than stamps. I settled for the garfield and archie comic strip stamps. Do you think the bill collectors will have a sense of humor?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anesthesia Delirium or Truth Serum

My 12 year-old son had general anesthesia for the first time this week. He seemed rather excited by the prospect of medically-induced sleep. This does not bode well for his future proclivity towards recreational drug use.

I was a teensy-bit worried, since every time I have any form of narcotics, BAD things happen. Like the time I ate a magic mushroom with my boyfriend. Instead of blissful, psychodelic-colored dreams, I saw giant SPIDERS, SNAKES and MEN in black trenchcoats proffering butcher knives.

Or the many times I've been to the dentist and received 10 shots of NOVOCAINE, enough to numb a small whale for a week, yet I still FEEL the drill.

Or when I had an epidural and it only worked on 1/2 of my body (not the half that I really needed).

Or the multiple times under general anesthesia when the doctors could not wake me up...for HOURS. It's always a bit disconcerting to see panicked hospital personnel, who think they inadvertently put me in a drug-induced COMA.

So you can understand my apprehension that something might go awry in the case of my son. When they wheeled him out of the OR, he looked kind of dead--mouth slightly open, no discernible movement. The nurse assured me that he would wake up in a few moments.

About an hour later, he began to regain consciousness. His first words to me were...

I start giggling and the nurse looks at me horrified. I'm having DEJA-VU. I remember uttering the SAME EXACT words to my husband during labor, while waiting for my son to be born.

Is it possible that he remembers the words from his inutereo birthing experience? OR is anesthesia like truth serum? Lacking all social filters, he's telling me how he REALLY feels.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Chainstore Heaven or Strip Mall Hell

Google maps LIE. Sometimes they LIE a lot. The google preferred route to York, PA a.k.a. vacation spot to the stars is along Route 30. If you enjoy driving next to large trucks who travel at 35 mph, blowing black diesel smoke in your windshield, thus obscuring your ability to see the road and who speed up and cross the dividing line when you try to pass them, then you might LIKE this route. Or if you are a STRIP MALL JUNKIE, this route will be utter bliss. 

I admit to having some reservations about my 'vacation' in York. My daughter is playing field hockey in the Keystone Games. Who would guess that this would be such a popular event? Two months in advance and ALL the hotels are booked. I find a room at the Wingate-Windham. What will I DO in York, besides sit on a metal bleacher all day watching field hockey? In actuality, my rear-end frenchfried in 103 degree heat sitting on the metal bleachers. Given my distracted state, I forgot the basics--managed to leave my MAKE-UP, bathing suit, sunscreen, comfortable chair and umbrella at home. I actually scared myself when I looked in the mirror. Sweating profusely with no make-up is not an attractive look. 

Trip day started out a bit bumpy. My son refused to go to wrestling camp, because his stomach hurt. I told him he should suck it up and to quit being a wuss. I know you are impressed with my patient parenting skills. Ordinarily it wouldn't be a big deal. However, if he didn't go to camp, he wouldn't go home with his friend whose mom agreed to keep him while I was gone. Not a great idea to leave a 12 yr-old BOY home alone for 2 days. 

The husband a.k.a. the head of the household thought he would be FINE alone. So I gave in and left. 45 minutes into the drive, my husband texts my daughter saying that the boy projectile-vomited all over his entire room. Now I feel a tinge of guilt for thinking he was playing the sick drama queen. I am REALLY glad he didn't projectile vomit at wrestling camp over the 400 boys who are already ingesting their share of gross matt germs. I am REALLY REALLY glad that he wasn't in the car projectile vomiting on me. 

Texts and calls continue. I beseech my neighbor to come to the rescue, since my husband has to work until 9pm. She is definitely SAINT material. In fact, I am sending an official saint nomination to the Pope. Not only does she bring him gingerale and saltines, she actually makes him JELLO. I'm not sure he has ever eaten jello, but he's digging the attention. She gives him tylenol and puts a cold rag on his head. I owe her many bottles of wine for this one. 

Back to York, PA--home of ?? Not sure what it's known for, but for being a small town, the traffic is insane. Trucks and more trucks EVERYWHERE. 

For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting a trip to York, I thought I'd give you the highlights. If you are lucky enough to stay near route 30, you will be rewarded with miles and miles of strip malls, featuring all of your favorite chain retail stores and restaurants. I thought I'd list everything I saw within a one-mile stretch on route 30 near the 83 exchange. Since I was blessed to be sitting in parking lot style traffic, I was able to jot down everything I witnessed. 

Looking for an Inn? York route 30 has Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, Red Roof Inn, Quality Inn, Budget Inn, Best Western, Wingate by Windham and for those who want to live large--4 Points at Sheraton--Super 8 for the slummers. 

Wendy'sMickeyD'sB.K.KFCTacoBellHardee'sArby'sLong JohnSilversSubwayQuiznosPizzaHutChiploteMexicanGrillPaneraBreadBobEvansDunkinDonuts
want a step up?Eatn'ParkDenny'sFriendly'sTGIFRubyTuesdaysChili'sApplebeesOliveGardenFuddruckersOldCountryBuffetCrackerBarrel Hooters(not sure if that is a step-up)

Retail haven--KmartWalmartTargetLowesHomeDepotToysRUsBabiesRUsStaplesOfficeMaxCVSWalgreensRiteaid


AND you can find all of these gems in strip malls such as Westgate Plaza, York Plaza, East York Plaza, West York Plaza, York Center, Historic York Center, Maple Village 1, Maple Village II, Crossroads Plaza, Eastern Blvd Plaza, Loucks Plaza

True highlights--Fernanda's hatha yoga class at 8 Stones Yoga was blissful. What a gifted teacher. AND since it was my first visit, the class was FREE!  Also everyone is nice in York. I was a bit confused, since this is so different from Philly. :)

(the photo is a google hit--title LOVE IS A CHAIN STORE) look at the bliss on her face

Cat Bites As a Torture Device?

Our 15 year-old cat Dusty recently began exhibiting VERY annoying behavior--much akin to a pestering child who asks WHY?? 5 million times in one day. He has always been vocal. When we first 'rescued' him, he howled all night long. We  immediately knew WHY he had been abandoned and were quite sympathetic with the abandoners. 

Back to the present. Dusty ramped up his meow volume, multiplying its frequency and intensity  until we thought our heads would explode. Perhaps the military should consider hiring Dusty for their musical torture interrogations. I understand why the MEOW mix commercial made it to #9 on the top 10 hits for torturing prisoners.  

He also started acting like a rapid crazed animal--knocking over garbage cans to scavenge food. I caught him ripping apart a chicken carcass. He managed to knock open a tupperware that I had left in a cooler and devoured the Greek spanakopita. Who knew cats liked Greek food? Most disconcerting was when we were attempting a rare family dinner and he leaped up in the air, grabbing the food out of my husband's hand, scarfing it down before he landed on the floor. 

Despite his advanced age, and physical deterioration--the swayback, ribs poking out, he seemed to have LOTS of energy when it came to asking for or stealing food. My vast veterinary training told me that he was just old and about to die. My husband was in agreement. Thus we suffered his antics for a couple of months before taking him to the vet. 

Like most cats, Dusty does not like the vet. He bites the vet at every opportunity. He even showed off his loud howl when the vet gave him a shot in his rump. Good news!! My animal is not rapid and does not need to have a vocalectomy to render him soundless. He has HYPOTHYROID, which is causing his erratic behavior. 

Solution? We only have to give him a pill twice a day. For those of you who have given cats pills, you know this is not an easy feat. Google has 2 million sites dedicated to this phenomenon. My favorite is How to Give Your Cat a Pill in 20 Easy Steps The last step suggests calling the SPCA to take the cat and going to pet store to buy a hamster. The vet gives Dusty his first pill and it looks VERY easy. I can do this. 

That night Ian and I are practicing civility towards each other. Honey, will you please help me give the cat the pill? He responds--Of course my sweetness. Let me change my clothes. I ask him whether he wants to HOLD the cat or do the pill part. Since I am giving him a choice, I of course think that he will do the chivalrous thing and do the pill part. Since you gave me a choice, I want to hold the cat. This is when civility breaks down. I would rather hold the cat. Why don't you jam the pill down his throat? He responds with a little LESS civility, YOU GAVE ME A CHOICE AND I'MNOTJAMMINGTHEPILLDOWNTHECAT'STHROAT! I don't give up easily. I badger. Why don't you want to jam the pill down the cat's throat? Why is it always MY responsibility to take care of the pets? In a slightly more rational tone, he says that he doesn't want to get bitten. 

FINE! I'll do the pill part. As you probably guessed, it did not go smoothly. As I pried Dusty's jaws open and tried to push the pill in, he chomped down on my thumb. Instead of showing concern, my husband insists that he KNEW this would happen and he didn't want to have a catbite on HIS thumb. He then proceeds to tell me about how DANGEROUS cat bites are and how I can DIE from infection. 

I went to the ultimate expert to read about cat bite treatments--GOOGLE. in particular provided excellent insight. 
Cats have teeth. Cats have sharp teeth. A cat will bite when it's upset. A cat will bite hard when it's very upset. Cat bites hurt. Cat bites in your finger joints hurt a lot.

The author should win a genius research grant. She did say that she spent 4 days in the hospital from a cat bite, which resulted in having both her hands amputated. (ok--i lied about the last part) Apparently 80% of all bites result in infection.

I watch my thumb for signs of infection. Then I go to the beach to visit a friend. A few days go by and Ian calls to inquire about the status of my catbite. When I look at my hand, there is a blister and large swelling in the bite area. It kind of looks like leprosy. Now, I'm unsure if this means that I'm onmyway towards DEATH or if it is a result from burning my thumb on the stove and/or touching the water that comprises the jellyfish soup a.k.a. the Long Island Sound. I SLATHER antibiotic cream on my hand 10x/day and pray for a miracle. 

Thankfully I avoid amputation and Dusty is allowed to remain alive for a while longer, as is my husband. I determine that the military is wasting their time using the Meow Mix commerical as a torture device. Dusty and his friends can be the new secret weapon. Cat bites as a means to break down those prisoners.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Thank Goodness I'm cool, but not a MILF

My cousin's daughter Lily age 11, whom I've met only once (and during her Gaga's funeral) completed this very telling facebook quiz about me. She's rather insightful for her young years. I'm cool, but not a MILF. I'm not sure if this is an insult, but I'm thinking it's OK. Do I really want to be a MILF? I'm not materialistic, nor do I need to lose weight. THIS GIRL IS MY NEW BFF. She wants to travel the word with me. What could be better? The only pitfall is that I've been accused of stealing money from my friends. (But only when I really need it!)

Do you think Colette Copeland is cool?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland could be a MILF?No
Do you think that Colette Copeland is materialistic?No
Do you think that Colette Copeland has ever had stitches?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland brushes their teeth regularly?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland needs to lose weight?No
Have you ever had a crush on Colette Copeland?No
Do you think that Colette Copeland will do anything to get what they want?No
Do you think that Colette Copeland has ever stolen money from their friends?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland has ever played strip poker?No
Do you think that Colette Copeland watches the TV show "24"?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland is cute?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland speeds when driving?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland would turn you in to the FBI if they asked?Yes
Would you travel the world with Colette Copeland?Yes
Do you think that Colette Copeland is a sore loser?No
Do you think that Colette Copeland lets the "yellow mellow"?No