Sunday, August 31, 2008

Katrina Rewind or Gustav Redemption

Almost three years to the date, another hurricane is about to bear down on the Gulf States, promising more devastation and destruction. Gustav has already wreaked havoc, causing flooding and heavy casualties in Cuba and much like its predecessor Hurricane Katrina, its packing a mighty punch, currently listed as a Category 3 storm. There has been a mass diaspora from the area, evacuating over one million residents of The Big Easy, sending them on buses, trains and planes to far off destinations, leaving behind their belongings and pets, hoping to return to dry homes and untouched communities.

Tomorrow, the Republican National Convention is slated to begin with all the hoopla and frenzied excitement that any partisan party promises. Because of the pending storm, John McCain has decided to postpone many of the activities and speeches scheduled to kick-off the convention. He feels it's inappropriate to celebrate during what could become another major disaster to hit the Gulf Coast in three years. Hopefully this time, the Republicans will be more prepared to handle such a catastrophe instead of turning a blind eye as they have done in the past. President Bush was supposed to speak in prime-time tomorrow evening but somehow, I'm sure McCain is thanking the God's that the storm may prevent his appearance, further distancing him from the failed administration.
I've read portions of Doug Brinkley's The Great Deluge, cataloguing eyewitness accounts of people who weathered out the storm in New Orleans and other nearby, low lying areas. The book is phenomenal and horrific in how it details the tragic deaths of the city's displaced residents both in and outside of the Superdome, in swollen lakes and flooded houses and especially highlights the despair and hopelessness that sunk in soon after the storm hit. Our government failed the residents of New Orleans. FEMA failed New Orleans. George W. Bush failed New Orleans. In the richest country in the world, no person, black, white, Jewish, Christian or Muslim should be allowed to perish in the streets of a major American city, left to rot in a flooded, diseased mess that could have been prevented. The Army Corps of Engineers warned various government agency's on the risks of the Levy's failing yet pork belly politics won out again, leaving New Orleans vulnerable and Americans clueless. This was a bi-partisan failure but when a president allows thousands of people to fester in feces ridden water, fending off looters, rapists and criminals for five days before help arrived, there is something fundamentally wrong in our society.
This time, we may or may not get it right but with only a few months left to the Bush administration, I'm hopeful that with President Obama at the helm, humanism will be at the forefront and America will learn how to take care of one another again.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Love It or Leave It, Just Make Sure You Vote on Election Day!

McCain's VP Candidate

I'm not sure what to write about Sarah Palin since I still don't know much about her. Here's what I do know:

  • She's a proud member of the NRA

  • Has five children, the youngest just four months old and the oldest is in Iraq serving with the US Army

  • Wants oil drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Preserve

  • Wants off-shore oil drilling

  • Very conservative

  • Pro-Life

  • Super Christian

  • 44 years of age

  • Local Beauty Queen

  • Former sportscaster

  • Owned a snow mobile dealership

  • Married to Todd Palin, an oil drilling worker

  • Alaska Governor for only 16 months

  • Appears flaky and inexperienced

  • Describes herself as a soccer mom

  • Has no foreign policy experience

  • Is a heart attach away from being leader of the Free World

A political buddy of mine posted this youtube link on his AIM and I stole it to post here. You decide for yourself on how you feel about her. I will not vote for her simply because she's a woman. Her beliefs are on the other end of the spectrum from mine and although I think she is probably a nice lady (for God's sake, she's three years older than me) I don't think she is up to snuff for a VP candidate. It angers me that McCain did this. Hillary Clinton worked so hard for every vote and McCain exploited her candidacy. Most liberal women will not look Palin's way. I think we all feel insulted and deceived by the McCain camp. Palin appeals to the uber Christian, super conservative base and that's about it.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cheatin' It Up in Hempstead

I just received an instant message from one of my politically minded pals in regards to John Edwards. Apparently, he's going to make an appearance at Hofstra University next Friday, his first since he was outed for cheating on his cancer stricken wife of more than 25 years. I'm sure the event will be filled with local and national media seeking comments from attendees before and after his speech. My feeling at the moment is that he is a lousy human being, adulterer and a cad. I'm not quite sure why I am attending this Educate 08' forum but I'm anxious to hear what he has to say. Will he circumvent the truth? Will he speak of the affair at all? I suppose he'll put a sleazy political spin on the whole mess and make me detest his cheating ways even more.

I saw him speak four years ago at Hofstra, getting up in the wee hours of a chilly March morning, to listen to a stump speech that I heard was riveting, powerful and would sway my vote in the forthcoming primary. It did. He spoke of the poor, his two America's and the working class. I was mush, fell in love with his ideas and switched the lever on primary day. Edwards didn't get the Democratic nomination in 2004, yet I knew that he would emerge in the coming years and be a valid contender for the presidency.

Well, he blew it. I just can't get past it. I supported Gary Hart in the early 1980's until he decided to have a dalliance with Donna Rice. I even wrote my American History Regents exam essay on his 1984 bid for the presidency. I was sorely disappointed in him and vowed that I would never support another politician that cheated on his wife, no matter what kind of marital arrangements they had. Bill Clinton's oral sexcapade left me limp simply because it was tacky and totally off base. For God's sake, he was the President of the United States of America and he chose to get head in the hallways of the Oval Office. I found it in my heart to overlook his blue dress mess because the economy was booming and life was good. I'm sure Hillary Clinton felt differently about his widely publicized incident since she was embarrassed and humiliated on the world stage.

John Edwards' cheating heart is quite a different monster. He broke his marital vows to a woman who has suffered endlessly in her adult life. Elizabeth Edwards, an accomplished lawyer in her own right, raised a family with John, lost their son Wade tragically in a car accident and had two, late in life children with him. Her final fate is her ongoing battle with incurable cancer, knowing that she will someday have to leave her small children in the care of this man, flawed character and all.

I'm not sure how I will fair next Friday but I do know that I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt, at least in those fleeting moments during his speech. None of us can ever understand the inner workings of a marriage nor can they judge what they don't understand. I'm not a very forgiving person but I'm always willing to hear the other side before shutting them down. This is your chance Mr. Edwards, so bring it on!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lost Faith in Women

I have lost faith in women. You can yack about the Ya Ya Sisterhood of the Traveling what have you's but from my extensive experience and know how on women, I have found that many of them are back biting, nasty little whippets. Woman against woman crimes are on the rise and they are not pretty to watch. I've consistently tried to be a helpful, caring person, always looking out for not only my friends and family but neighbors, students and the average Joe I sit next to on the subway. When my attempts of being human are rebuffed, I react. Sometimes I scoff at the ignorance of these wannabees while at other times, I sit and lick my wounds, feeling defeated and foolish for thinking my help might be needed.

I'm finished with in women that is. I've always been a pretty good Catholic, fumbling and making mistakes along the way, but never disrespecting those that have a good heart. In Long Island, I have met more women who are self consumed, two faced, nasty, mean, fake, phony and not worthy of my friendship or my help. From this point on, I will stick with my guy friends and the special women who have accepted and nourished my caring spirit. You all know who you are and I will always cherish our relationships. For all others, step off.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caffeine Blizt

I'm not supposed to have anything containing caffeine. All this pent up energy is mine all mine, no hot or cold trendy caffeine laden beverages needed. Today, I lunched with an old friend at a local southwestern joint, just a mile down the road from my college Alma mater and across the street from the Barefoot Peddler (see Restaurant Steals and Deals). I ordered the Overachiever Combo Platter with tofu and healthy doses of both beans and guacamole made in-house by a worker with a heavy hand for cilantro, not my favorite herb by a long shot. When it came time to choose a cold beverage, I should have reached for an ice cold Poland Spring Water but instead decided on a Diet-Coke directly out of the fountain, filled with enticing ice chunks and a nice fizz for that added draw. I know I looked more than excited for that diet soda, like a little kid in the height of the summer waiting for their mom to take a nice Tasty Freeze out the freezer for the Kool-Aid gang on the front porch. Even the "Welcome to Moooooe's" guy, with the deepest voice I've heard since that moustached crooner from the Oak Ridge Boys belted out "Elvira" back in the early 80's, quizzically looked at me when I proudly ordered my frosty soda pop. If I could read his mind he was probably thinking I was on the "wagon" or something less profound as he yelled in my ear, "Welcome to Moooooe's" again and again.

As I slurped away at my 20 ouncer, I expressed to my friend a fleeting fear of how this would affect me yet continued to suck away, burying my worries somewhere between a fork full of marinated soy and a gritty homemade salsa that tasted lousy. I was hungry so I wolfed it down the shoot anyway, caring more about the company I was keeping than the food on my plate. After much spirited conversation, thoughtful gift giving on my friends part (he bought me a gorgeous blank book encouraging me to keep writing) and wild laughter, I forgot about my dalliance with caffeine and decided my little dance with the dreaded stimulant was a "no harm, no foul" sort of thing and happily drove back to work.

Gradually, over the next hour, I began to feel jittery and mildly hyper but excused my behavior by rationalizing the poor beverage choice I made earlier in the afternoon. While driving home, I was chatting with my sister about Hillary Clinton's speech, starting to feel my heart rate accelerate, my blood pressure inch up the scale and my thoughts scatter. I was on a caffeine high and I was reeling, just a bit out of control. I wanted to concentrate on Hillary and not focus on the chemical disruption that was plaguing my biological make-up, but I couldn't seem to overcome this almighty feeling of being overwhelmed. Knowing that I needed to drink large volumes of water, I quickly entered the house, grabbing a bottle from the fridge and guzzling its contents till I had brain freeze. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, I broke into a hot sweat that encompassed my entire body till I began to feel dizzy from near dehydration. Everything I had just digested was being pumped through my pores in quick time, leaving me feeling liked I'd just ingested a plate of "special" brownies and a plate of "shrooms."

I reached for a holistic remedy to calm my nerves and then watched more of the Democratic National Convention. I was waiting for Hillary Clinton to speak, keeping a big box of tissues close, so when I watched her deliver her thank you's to all her supporters, I could wipe the tears away. I'm not going to go into the fact that we should have a woman as the presidents least not in this blog...but I am in the process of sending a letter to the editor of Newsday and The New York Times on her behalf.

After many late night "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits" phone calls and text messages from other concerned women, I crashed in my bed, finally coming down from my caffeine stupor. I'm definitely a fan of decaffeinated anything and made a promise to myself that I was never going to touch the "poison" again!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Cried

I must admit, moments after hearing Michelle Obama's speech, I cried just a little. I think I was overwhelmed by my loss in this election. I was hopeful for women this year and although I don't believe Hillary Clinton was the end-all, be-all, I wanted women to rally behind her and get her elected as the first woman president. I want to hear that glass ceiling do more than crack...I want that mother shattered beyond recognition and I want fair pay for all my sisters. It didn't happen this time but I'm hopeful it will in the future. We have to keep the faith, support the Democratic nominee and move forward as a nation. I guess I'm one of those women that the media has identified as Hillaryite, hard to sway. I'm going to do my best to stump for Obama but my heart isn't there, at least not yet. My belief lies within the hearts of all women who have suffered through gender bias, sexual harassment, unfair pay and lack of opportunities or advancement. We will overcome. I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore...let that be our anthem once again.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thoughts About the Democratic Convention.....

Today, most people care about what affects them personally..taxes, gas prices, property values and maybe, just maybe the war somewhere on their list of 242 things falling between toe jam and hairy ears. I'm totally disgusted by ignorant Americans who still smoke like stacks, eat McDonald's endlessly and vote Republican when they couldn't get accepted into a country club to save their lives. I'm not expecting any miracles this time around...I'm a cynic remember. I watched all the movies on the 2000 election, Karl Rove and the conspiracy movies about 9/11. If Americans can't get it together this time around, we are permanently sailing on a ship of fools. I just wish it wasn't Obama. I wanted Hillary and that's the honest truth. She ran a lousy campaign and suffered the ultimate price for it. Obama is a great candidate, just not mine. It was the right time for a woman, I will always believe that. I'm not impressed by motivational speakers...I always feel suspect of them and feel they have a hidden agenda. He's not a Kennedy or Kennedy-like and if he was, I'd probably dislike him more. I wanted a woman and I am still bitter about the whole deal. I just can't digest the fact that she won more popular votes than any candidate in a presidential election...and she's not the nominee. I was holding out for the convention, hoping she would make it through somehow, but considering this dog and pony show starts tomorrow, I hate to admit that she's dead in the water with no chance to clinch the nomination...and so is my hope for a democratic prez.

On Finding Old Friends

Archived from November 2006

This incredible thing happened late Friday afternoon that I want to share with all of you. I was in good ol' Roosevelt 203A (where magic always happens) and I was goofing around on Myspace with my trusty student aid Lia. She was showing me how to search for someone and when I typed a certain name in, I happened upon a most wonderful sight. It was someone I hadn't seen or spoken to in 11 years, but it was a someone I really wanted to re-connect with. He was one of my best friends from Albany High School...met him on the ski bus when I was 15 years old. It still remains a mystery to both of us as to why we drifted apart, but I can promise you that it won't happen again. Old friends are the best! When people randomly complain about how technology screws up interpersonal relationships (I was just doing that today to justify some oddity to my boss) I, most often, balk. I've found my friend who stood by me in good and bad was high school...what can I say! DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA! All those confusing adolescent emotions and moments that only those around you at the time could possibly understand. I look back now and regret nothing...I had an interesting, but moreover, blast of a high school experience. I met some amazing people at Albany High and even though I'd rather not live there any was a fabulous place to live in 1982. Maybe it was the decade or something in the air, but those years will always hold a fond place in my hard-drive of a mind. It gave my writing a voice...a special place to draw from. Some people never get that kind of life, but I've been blessed in many ways, surrounding myself with special people.
I've got itunes on..listening to an 80's shuffle, trying to catch a buzz on those crazy, mixed-up moments of the late, great 1980's. I remember I bought a Pat Benetar and Bryan Adams (Cuts Like a Knife) album (not CD..let's get that straight...I'm a vinyl kind of girl myself) with Michael in that cool little record store on Madison Avenue by the Price Chopper...It's no longer there. I think a hair salon calls that address home now....and Madison Liquor where I did some of my best teenage lying just to get some booze for the ski bus. I think Amaretto and Marlboro Lights were my drug of choice those days.
I could spend the entire night reminiscing about my wild youth, raging in a city that didn't deserve any of us. We (meaning me and my posse) were too good for that town and somehow made it down to the bright lights of the New York metropolitan area...some in Manhattan, others in Queens and some in Long Island. The odds seemed slim that we would see each other again, but thanks to a wonderful (often scary) website, we raged against the dark and made it to the light. And now it's time for the raising of a frosty libation, some quick words of wisdom and a puff of the smoke (oh damn it...I gave that up) before I bid you farewell.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Voting Machine Fraud

An archived piece from November 2006 I just watched Hacking Democracy on HBO and I am all fired up! Women died and were tortured for the right to vote (see Iron Jawed Angels) and filthy corporations, whose sole motivation is greed, are raping our democracy of the very rights our fore fathers put forth. With one flip of the switch they are able to turn hundreds of thousands of votes in a different direction. Kudos to the founder of Black Box Voting for having the courage to stand up to Diebold and fight the fight. I wish I was so brave. Tomorrow I will be calling the League of Women Voters to find out if New York State has purchased those machines from Diebold. If they have, I will be asking for a paper ballot on election day. I refuse...flatly vote on such a machine and if any of you are interested in picketing polling places in protest of the machines...ring me up. How much longer can we really keep up this charade. Call it what it is...(you fill in the blank). One day we are going to wake up to an occupation...WAKE UP PEOPLE and smell the vodka. We are knee deep in this shit and simply don't know how to get out of it. I'm scared of Big Brother...I hope y'all are too!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Restaurant Steals and Deals

Being poor in college is no big surprise, especially to those of us who had to work at moronic jobs in silly retail outlets, greasy diners and grocery stores. Paying for gas, car insurance and health and beauty aids ate up most of my checks. After shelling out good money for the aforementioned necessities, there wasn't much cash to spread around for those needed extras essential to the "college experience." First there were the dreaded cigarettes, only a dollar in the late 80's and then you had the food that was NOT processed by university Nazi's who thought green roast beef was both a vegetable and a protein. Finally, the entertainment portion of my weekly budget. Although I would indulge in a few movies a semester, many of my friends were more content in watching videos on our dorm room floors while we wore our footie pajamas, ate Cool Ranch Doritos and drank wine out of a box. High class, remember? We always seemed to find monies for cheap booze from Greenvale Liquor and a special blend of herbs and spices from our friend Ted on the first floor of Brookville Hall. What we didn't have was money for utensils, dishes, coffee mugs and glasses. Those types of expenses fall into the paper products, cleaning solution category. You need them but you hate spending cash on them! I needed to find a quick fix to fully stock our make-shift pantry so I improvised and used some special skills I acquired in my late teens to enhance our living conditions, making for a much more comfortable, convenient dorm experience.

The formula was, order a lot of food and drink at a local watering hole, disguise the order of the table setting, pretend you haven't finished any of your food when the server checks on you and then once the bill comes, you begin to shuffle mugs, dishes, silverware and glasses into your enormous back-pack used solely for the purpose of the "eat and grab." We always paid the bill, don't get me wrong, but we helped ourselves to the extras too, which included salt shakers, creamers, sugar packets and basically anything that wasn't nailed down to the table.

One of my favorite places to visit was The Barefoot Peddler, a quaint English style pub down the road from my college. I loved the black coffee mugs they used with their gold plated insignia on the front. They were large enough to fill two average cups of coffee, just what you need when you've slept less than three hours the night before and are running on purely caffeine and tobacco. Now that I'm such a health freak, I shutter at the thought of punishing my body so much but when you are young, the human body can withstand the barrage of junk and processed foods, alcohol and smokes and the rest of the crap that we managed to stuff down our throats during those mindless years. I often bragged to friends outside our culinary circle on my collection of coffee cups and high end plates, giving way to endless jealousy and raucous back-biting remarks. I could have cared less because my pack of peeps always dined on the finest china we could "borrow."

I've never stolen anything in my life, albeit a candy bar on a dare when I was a kid and since we always paid our bills, none of us felt like we were committing a crime. When I lived in Albany and had a fake ID in high school, my friends and I began a stellar collection of cocktail glasses that found their unlikely home in the trunk of my 1974 brown Dodge Dart, bought from my parents in 1985 for the low cost of $100. You needed to keep a tennis racket in the trunk to slam against the starter every now and then when the car began to act up. We called it "Wonder," because we always wondered how that rusted out, back seat flooded hunk of tin was still keeping time. We kept the glasses in a large box in the back of my trunk, not really understanding what we were going to do with them. One afternoon, my mother needed me to drive her to the mechanics shop to pick-up her car and asked me for a ride expectantly. I knew I was stone cold busted because my car wreaked of cigarettes and was filled with unexplained litter. The car was totaled from the inside out. When my mother entered the unkempt vehicle and saw its condition, she gave me that look...only a look Angela could shoot and told me I was a mess and I better get my life together. Oops, instead of the screaming and yelling I got the good old Italian mother guilt. I can't decide which is worse. As we silently rode to the automotive shop, I thought about trying to explain my way out of this, blaming my friend Peggy for the mess since my my mother already knew she was the wild woman out of our group, but then decided not to go down that route for fear of screwing up the lie so badly I'd never earn my mother's trust back. I took the heat.

While daydreaming of my plots and plans, I failed to see a red light and stopped very short when all of a sudden, I heard our hard earned collection of club cocktailers crash into a shattered mess in the trunk of that old clunker. to to get out of this. My mother now was yelling at me and then asked what was in the trunk. I lied but she made me open it and when I did, she must have thought I was some sort of juvenile alcoholic, but in reality, I mostly ordered seltzer and cranberry with a twist of lime when I was out at one our local college bars. I was the only one with a car and was the eternal designated driver, a role I detested.

I have to say that my mother trusted me on the alcohol issue, she really did. I can't say she was totally happy with me but to this day, she still has many of the beer mugs and rock mixers that I swiped 20 years ago in her kitchen cabinets. I laugh every time Vic drinks out of the famed Heineken mug I lifted from Gasberry's in downtown Albany after this loser Tim I used to date tried to ply me with the tonic to get a little downtown action himself. Unfortunately, I could always handle my booze, but had little tolerance for jackass boyfriends. I love how the one I love the most in this world drinks out of one of my little life trophies. I know it sounds ridiculous but that mug reminds me that I didn't give in and fought my way through being a free thinker and a person who never followed the crowd. So, I guess my pension for "borrowing" things sort of paid off in the end.

Several years ago, early in our marriage, Vic and I used to go out for Valentine's Day dinner at some ritzy restaurant du jour. After a friends suggestion of an eclectic Manhattan style restaurant in Carle Place, I made reservations and got out my red, wool wrap skirt perfect for the occasion. After dining on a delicious mix of greens and lobster ravioli, we ordered desert and coffee. When the server brought out our order, I began to grossly salivate, much like Pavlov's dog. It wasn't the desert that made me weak in the knees but the creamer. It was a crisp, clean white cow creamer with milk inside. Vic saw my gleaming eyes and immediately said, "NO. NO way are you taking that." I breathed deeply through my nose, pursed my lips and began to pout like some ten year old brat who didn't get sprinkles on her ice cream cone. I silently protested but Vic would not have any of it. He was furious with me, once a rare occasion but has become naturally woven into our current relationship. It's usually some crazy, cockapooie idea of mine that sets him off and honestly, he's always willing to hear my side before getting his tail feather's in a ruffle. I ruined our Valentine's day because of my old obsession for restaurant trinkets that I could now afford but would rather swipe for the thrill of it. I suppose I'll always be in recovery from this little addiction of mine and still keep a lovely selection from the Peddler's cast offs stocked in my own kitchen cabinets, but now it's time for responsibility and propriety. I no longer have to scrape for food or for utensils but in the back of my mind, I'm always one pay check away from ruins so at least I still some skill to fall back on!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dirty Laundry

There is something quite indulgent about sitting around your house, mid-day, with dirty hair and day old pajama bottoms. As you must know, I'm not working today so my mood is upbeat and my mind is clear of nincompoop ideas and foolish tasks to complete. I left yesterday with fairly bad period cramps and although I was in pain, I would rather bleed for a year, full-force, rather than work in Roosevelt Hall, a place that once rattled with spirited laughter and learning and has now been reduced to the cries of a trapped animal, suffering and maimed, about to meet its untimely death. I have chosen to live, therefore, I am home with a dirty body, no bra and half smeared eye glasses that I can't bother to clean. The clincher here is that I am satisfied, complete and utterly pleased with my new fashion statement. I like to call it my "Rough Look" or "How I Simply Don't Give a Shit." This is how I plan to be for the next several months although the hubby may not appreciate my vivid stench and crusty drawers!

I remember living in The Maycomber in Cape May, New Jersey back in 1987 and knowing that I had to climb down 89 steps, plus the front porch stairs...probably another 12, walk half way around the large, clap board rooming house, to do my laundry. You can really see what's going to happen next can't you? My friend Sarah and I once decided to throw our laundry out the window, three stories up and see if that would be easier on the back and the legs. The thought of not having to carry laundry down the mountain of stairs that lied ahead was not only genius but rather savvy. After patting myself on the back for such a ballsy idea, we set out to complete our mission. I tossed and she hand caught whatever she could rescue from the confines of Howard Street and Beach Drive. I think I lost my favorite pair of polka dotted granny panties on a brown sedan's roof that afternoon, never to see them again but it was worth it. After wrestling our filthy clothes into two small washers, we hugged ourselves silly about how easy the laundry was that day and toasted with a nice ice cold Coke.

Our bliss was fleeting when complaint after complaint was filed with our eccentric landlord, John, the son of a multi-millionaire father and pill-popping, boozed up mother. He managed the joint and ran it straight into the ground, never keeping up its grounds or building but managed to polish his fancy Snooker table, almost obsessively, everyday. John was about 40 and lived in the second floor ocean front apartment with his much younger, very attractive girlfriend. I don't remember her name but she was hoity and had the body of a perfect little waif. She only spoke to me when she wanted to bum a cigarette but when I stopped smoking Marlboro Lights and switched to Salem Slim Lights, she quickly terminated our tobacco friendship, moving on to a few other resident not yet wise to her cheap ways. I'm sure she was in it only for the money, since John looked like a bleach blond version of John Denver, sans the guitar and Rockie Mountains. He was the product of Main Line Philadelphia and was a spoiled rotten, do-nothing slob. Apparently he had no other work skills in his sad bag of tricks, so his parents bought him a huge, aging Goliath of a house and asked him to run it as a summer rental. Instead what he did was rent it out to a bunch of college kids, people hiding out from the law, wannabe fishermen, rent-a-cops, drifters and drug addicts. What a group we were, with all our imperfections, living in the oldest seashore resort in the country, on beach front property that was worth a small fortune. The only hindrance was the place was caving in, literally, and was thought to be haunted.

When John approached us on the front porch, his demeanor towards Sarah and I was snooty and oppressive. He thought we were common and bourgeois and embraced the opportunity to humiliate us on the main drag of town in one long winded blast of windbaggyiness that I still snicker about today. Back then I was only 20 years old, big hair, long nails and still in my banana clip stage. I didn't think much about what was appropriate and what wasn't. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't garish and rude or low-class, yet I was a young girl, still a virgin, living on my own for the first time and experiencing the sweet taste of freedom. Throwing my dirty, smelly undies out the window seemed brilliant and returning to college pointless. That was about my philosophy back in the day and I still relish those ideas today. I wanted to have fun and live my life and hated anyone who would try and block that, including my parents.

After such an eventful, eye-opening summer, I made the long drive back to Albany New York, knowing full well that I wasn't going to attend school that fall. I had six hours of driving to figure out how to tell them and as I kept listening to side one of The Eagles Greatest Hits, I realized that being truthful was the only route, direct and to the point. I must have smoked a pack of cigarettes that afternoon but by the time I got home, all that nicotine must have given me the courage and strength of a 1000 women. "I'm not unpacking, I'm not going to school and I'm moving back to Cape May till Thanksgiving!" I clamored. My parents weren't happy with me at all, yet they seemed to understand my predicament and would rather me explore my life than waste their money. I had a job to go back to and a place to live, so they gave me their blessing if you want to call it that and I drove back the next day. It sounds so matter of fact now, so hum-drum but it took a lot of courage to do that and although my decision was quite unpopular with my older sister, I moved forward and set out to search for my life.

The journey continues......

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Money for Nothing

As I just ripped off an email response to an old friend who suffered through the debauchery of IBM with me well over a decade ago, I realized that I had promised myself back then never to take a job for money, I had to feel good about it. I remember it clearly now...there goes that damn epiphany switch again, just when I wanted someone to holla, "I told you so!" over and over again. So, I was alone in the bathroom at IBM, peeing, wiping, sifting through my first gray hairs and thinking, "What the hell am I doing with my life? I am a writer, a lover, a friend but corporate pole up the ass girl, I am NOT!"

I quickly finished my "business" and walked back out onto the floor, stopped by my bud's desk to ask if I had been committed to a mental asylum in the last 30 minutes, got the response I was looking for and waited for an attendant to cuff me into a nice, tight fitting straight jacket for one.

You see, my friend was also a college educated human being who needed quick cash to fund his graduate school dream, while I was simply funding my dream to sleep beside my hunny every night. I had no life plan and I was 27 years old, flat broke, living in the upstairs of a cape in East Cheddar, worrying if I'd have enough dough to pay next months rent. I vividly remember going to the local Pathmark on shopping day, having to ask the cashier to keep sub-totalling because I only had a certain dollar amount to fork over for food. Yes, it was embarrassing and yes, it made me appreciate having money now, but there was something twisted and sad about having to put back two cans of Goya beans because I just didn't have an extra $1.60 to my name.

I never ate lunch when I was working there...NEVER! For one, I was poor and couldn't afford it but the other blaring reason I chose to go hungry was because of the people who worked there. They were toxic horrors who could barely read and write (no lie my friends) wrapped up in tacky office politics and of course the Who's Who of Sleeping with Co-Worker's. I wanted nothing to do with those sorts. Of course a few of them were nice but for the most part, I'd rather spend time in a New York City public bathroom at the height of the summer tourist season, than make time with people who hated me because I wouldn't conform to their ignorant, uneducated ways.

Instead, my buddy and I walked the perimeter of the building, alongside the Long Island Expressway, everyday, talking about our past, our families and what we thought our lives would be down the road. One particularly cold winter's day in January of 1995, we decided to deviate from our normal route and headed for a somewhat lovely foot path that arched over the highway. We always talked about changing our walk but never seemed to get around to it. Since it was the beginning of the year, we thought we'd mix things up and set out for the path. As we chatted and laughed, we paid little attention to a man who was on a bike in the middle of the bridge. By the time we were smack dab in front of him, we noticed that he was looking at a magazine, opened up centerfold style. He was slobbering, drunk and very turned on. I'm not sure if I saw "it" but I'm sure he was pleasuring himself, out in the open, on a cold winter's afternoon while my friend and I stood there, frozen, staring at his privates. After a ten second delay, we turned to each other, screamed and scattered.

We ran all the way back to the building, half laughing, half frightened, realizing that our daily lunch soirees were much more than the average brown bag experience. It even topped the snooty gang who lunched out everyday at the various chain restaurants that littered the area. We were the cutters, the outsiders, the Breakfast Club cast all rolled up into two friends who both needed a social outlet outside of our cash for dreams jobs. Our friendship helped me withstand one of the worst job experiences of my life, but also gave me hope that I wasn't a sell-out, I was just doing what every other twentysomething was doing to get by financially. At the time, I knew he was right, but why did I let that particular notion dictate my entire career for the last 13 years. I didn't need to just get by...I needed to be proud of myself and learn to trust my gut. For some unknown reason, I turned off that voice in my head and listened only to the higher authorities who told me Hofstra was a great opportunity, it had wonderful benefits and a chance to get a graduate education for free. It all sounded good but in hindsight, I was wrong to stay at this job for so long, more wrong than I've ever been in my whole life. But, now I have the chance to find my dream. I'm reaching out. I'm shuffling through all the shit, feeling my way through. My happiness is worth more than dollars and cents or any job for that matter. My destiny will override all the bullshit that's been put on my plate. I can look at it but I sure as hell don't have to partake in the eating of it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reflections of My Trip

Well, I'm finally back from a few well deserved days in Cape May, my little piece of peace in this crazy, hectic world. It makes me realize how much I need to find the calm, the silence and the sweet taste of chi, in my own personal bubble.

After eating great meals, shopping for my beloved silver jewels and eating dark chocolate covered pretzels from The Fudge Kitchen, I'm ready to head back to Weight Watchers with my head hung a little low. Although I wasn't as bad as I could have been, I did indulge in some white bread and pasta, along with a few bagels...OK, it was a downright carbohydrate festival that included pita's, chips and lots of other bad-ass foodie delights that I have not partaken in for years. I don't know what got into me. I still haven't gotten my period, so I suspect I'm either pregnant or very very late, in which case, my appetite for all things bread are at an all-time, classic high. This, of course, is not good for a person of my genetic make-up who has high sugar levels and has been reprimanded by her doc for misbehaving with the carbs. I've been an angel for months, religiously taking my cinnamon pills everyday which keeps my metabolism in check, leveling off the sugar flowing through my blood.
Upon my return, I was faced with the prospect of returning to this job that has become more than a prison, it's a downright solitary confined, rat infested, submerged bamboo water torture cage. I dragged my butt here today, wishing I was en route to anywhere else in the world, hoping for divine intervention once again.

I did have an epiphany on Pittsburgh Beach in Cape May the other day. I highly recommend those. They always seem to come, just when I feel my life is beginning to spiral, catching my mind, body and soul from another bottomless flop. As I was escaping this obnoxious, prejudice asshole on the beach who commented on my thighs, suggested the woman and daughter in front of me were raging lesbian lovers and mocked every woman who is not a size zero in a five mile radius, I stood on the edge of the beach, knee-deep in salty froth, listening to my Ipod, thinking people like that should be marked with an X on their foreheads so when people throw rocks at them, they have a nice, steady target to shoot for!

I was the only person on that part of the beach and when I looked out to the horizon, arms spread wide-open, feeling like I was not only in control of my destiny and happiness, but in for an interesting, eclectic glide through the mystical and mysterious things to come. Listening to a strange mix of recently played songs, I imagined my way through Michael Sembello's "Maniac," The Hollies, "Bus Stop," and how apropos, Billy Joel's, "Vienna." I'm not sure what it is with that tune, but it's been somewhat of a theme song for me for years and although I'm no longer a 21 year old, naive dreamer, it still has important significance in my life because I flatly refuse to become some sort of mini van, soccer mom who gave up all her dreams. I think we can have it all in doses...the husband, the kids and the dreams. If you lose sight of the dreams, your life will turn out to be a shattered mess of disappointments all leading you to a vast pit of self pity from which there is no return. If I lose the idealistic part of my personality, what's really left. Do we chat about dirty laundry and cleaning the toilet or shall we dance around dog shit and stare at each other blankly, wishing we were anywhere but there, stuck in a proverbial shit-house of failures, with mirrors in every direction reflecting the lousy mess we are forced to sift through as a glare tries to blind our perspectives.

Thank God for Cape May! I hope everyone has that special little Shangra La in their lives because visiting that somewhere makes our small lives, tremendously larger and more profound. It feeds our thoughts, adds to our perspective and nourishes our self-image. We are women on the move, exciting in both day-old sweat pants as well as high fashion couture, living our lives out loud and free from societal intervention. It's in those places where we find our saving grace. I know when it hits me, it feels like an all encompassing August sun, that moves over my body in raptuous waves of heat, encouraging me to move ahead silently, in the mist of scared notions and thoughts.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Paris for Prez: Nightmare or A Nice Backhand

I can't believe I'm saying this but I really respect Paris Hilton for posting this little Youtube classic. As you all know, I've been a big supporter of Hillary Clinton since Day 1, but since her untimely demise, I've thrown my support to Obama, simply because I just can't imagine the US with another stupid Republican for another painful four years. Take a gander at this video and remember we all have a say in what happens in November...even Paris herself.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Soul Food

After winning her third silver medal at the Beijing Olympics, swimmer Dara Torres was asked what she would tell her two year old daughter about this Olympics. Her response is simple, yet profound. This is for all you twentysomethings that think turning 40 is a death sentence......

"You're never too old to follow your dreams." Dara Torres, three time Beijing Olympic Silver Medalist, age 41.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The tastes and smells of Cape May.....

We are both foodies and have eaten two really phenom meals thus far. Last night, Italian and tonight Greek. I think George's has become my all time favorite food joint in this town. Their hummus and felafel platter, as well as Grecko Chicken was so flavorful and all encompassing, I'm sitting on my balcony overlooking the Atlantic, wishing and hoping for another crack at eating everything on my plate. And yes...all Weight Watcher point Nazi's, I stayed within...and still down 20. Enjoy some pics!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Grilled Pizza Obsessions and Confessions

I've been thinking about it for almost two weeks now and I finally had the time to whip up some homemade pizza dough before heading out for a nice two mile jaunt on the boardwalk in good old Long Beach. I used the formula of three cups of white wheat to one and a half cups of white flour. It works well, the dough rises high and it doesn't sit like lead on your tummy. I didn't have anymore sauce frozen so I was forced to used jarred crap but I spent twenty minutes doctoring it up, adding fresh garlic, parsley and basil from my garden, a little dried oregano and a dollop of red Shiraz to layer the flavor even more. After a quick taste, I realized it wasn't going to taste great but acceptable...good enough. I'm hot for pizza...good enough.

I love to grill the pizza because it gets a fire roasted flavor and makes the crust extra crispy. It's a rustic approach to one of my favorite food indulgences and while others ooh and ahh over New York pizza, I find it too thick, super greasy and my old complaint....too much cheese and not enough sauce. Making pizza is a chemistry of sorts, balancing the herbs and sauce against a thin, highly seasoned crust.

While Vic and I were noshing on piece after piece, satisfying our ongoing craving for pizza margarita, we remembered a place in Cape May that had the best pizza I ever tasted. You ask why? Because the sauce was so damn good...dare I say, even better than this foodies authentic Italian tomato sauce. The joint, Positively Pizza, was a jumping hot spot in town for one summer a few years back. We talked about it for weeks after and looked forward to chowing down a few more slices the following summer, but much to our dismay, Positively Pizza was no more. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement. We settled on Louie's Pizza which used to be phenomenal but is now owned by non-Italians and boy, you can tell. It has no seasoning, the crust is way too thick and the cheese is cheap. The gooey, oily mess is reminiscent of a pile of white, doughy bread with baby spit-up layered on top. Hideous!

The technique of grilling pizza is pretty easy. Once the dough has risen (about 1.5 hours) you separate it into four equal parts, roll it out and throw it on the grill. Once it begins to bubble, turn it over, throw on your sauce, cheese and any additional toppings and let it sit on a well fired grill for about another seven minutes. The coal charred crust is worth the effort. There is no grease, just a little heart healthy olive oil, organic herbs, sauce and cheese and the lightly burned crust to wake up your palate. Savoring every last bite, we sat in our kitchen, belly's full, mind dulled from all the carbs, completely and utterly satisfied.

PET PEEVE: I can't stand it when people say they hate sauce!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

For Those About to Rock....or Bleed, Whichever Comes First

I suppose it's every woman's monthly nightmare, but when you have to plan your vacation around it, the process, although natural and organic, becomes a real pain in the vagina! I'm talking about our menstrual cycles, the bloody, clot ridden mess that happens down under each and every turn of the moon. I know it sounds tres cliche, but it makes women crazy and riddled with anxiety, water retention and hormonal shifts that make us think we are uber hot for steamy sex one minute and a sweaty bundle of nerves the next.

As I said in an earlier blog, I had a very rough ovulation. My mother was in town and we had just returned from a sojourn to Whole Foods, when after unpacking our groceries, I found myself huddled in the chair, gripping my lower abdomen. Mom did the usual mother thing and told me to go lay down, take Tylenol and put something hot on my bloated belly. I did exactly that. I went upstairs, climbed into my comfy bed, slipped a pillow between my bed and slathered on a hot herbal remedy I keep on hand for such auspicious occasions. One click of the tube and I was knee deep in an episode of The Hills, a guilty pleasure at best. I'm fascinated with how Lauren Conrad thinks she's some kind of West Coast Carrie Bradshaw. I mean let's be honest, there is only one Sex In the City and it doesn't shoot in LA. Plus, she's no thirty/forty something, wise enough to know who and when to sleep with someone. Enough on that note...I'll save my Hills rantings for another blog installment !

Back to my womanly ways. Yesterday, I managed to get my ass to the beach, even though I had borderline PMS. My breasts ached (not for sex), my back was in a quasi spasm and my attitude was snarky. I felt like I was suffering from split tongue syndrome. One minute I was being lovey dovey with the hubby and the next, a snotty, spoiled brat barking at him because we couldn't find a prime spot to park in Long Beach during the summer...what a no brainer. After much under the breath quipping, a nice postman bailed us out and gave up his spot for us. He must have seen our little tiff escalating and politely coughed up his great parking digs. I'm sure most men can recognize that slightly wild eye of a woman on the verge of splitting the red sea.

Last night, my back was in full throttle pain and I knew I had to resort to my holistic remedies or I would be sitting at home this week, injured rather than spending it on the beach in my home away from home, Cape May New Jersey. I've been looking forward to this all summer, so I couldn't let my period get in the way of an otherwise eventful summer. I pulled out two different types of Yogi teas, Red Raspberry and Moon Cycles something. The combination of the two seemed to seep right through to my overactive uterus, calming my inner chi and allowing peace and harmony to co-exist deep in my inner sanctum.

I'm happy to report, after a little salt binging today, I feel frighteningly well but still haven't begun to spew my womanly, cast-off egg just yet. I'm hopeful that tonight will be the night but for some reason, I have a feeling it will rear its ugly head, just when I'm about to leave for vacation. I guess I better pack a lot of black clothes.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Missing Posts & Winter Perspectives

Due to a very sore back, I will not be posting for a few days. Enjoy something from last year, while I nurse my annoying, ongoing back issues.

The Loneliness of Winter
As I sit in the music room, high above my lifeless garden, I wrestle with the idea of how truly lonely winter can be. The trees, of course, are bare and the landscape cluttered with a cornucopia of browns and grays. Dark, frozen soil lumps in batches along the pathway to my porch. Deteriorating leaves protect the precious bulbs and perennial flowers that lay dormant several inches below the earth's surface. Time seems to inch by, waiting for the next gust of Arctic wind or various forms of frozen precipitation that trickle from the sky.
Days like today, when the sun seems to blaze across the winter sky, your soul ignites, if only for just a moment, showing us a small glimpse of the wonders of the illustrious spring season. Yet, when I stick my head out the back door, I feel the bitter winds of old man winter slash across my cheeks, as if to say, "Stand back mere are no match for my wrath!"
My eyes had played a trick on me once again. What seemed to be a gorgeous, warm, mid-winters day, was simply another gloomy afternoon filled with the lonely sound of nothing. How much longer can we endure the sound of silence and the sight of death amongst our flora and fauna? Shall we too, strike the bell of Mother Nature and reenact some pagan ceremony hurrying renewal and birth? Or should we persevere and muddle through with tender thoughts of love waiting in haste for the spring solstice.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Police at Jones, Night I

I'm finished marinating and ready to spew my small and tall tales about a band that changed my life years before I lost my virginity, tweezed my eyebrows or pierced my ears for the second and third times. They are The Police, a three man band with power, brilliance and only five albums to boot. With such a small catalogue, the band was bound to play hit after hit and threw in a few ey-os and da doo doo da's to mix things up. Monday night was an appetizer for bigger and better things to come. We sat in Stadium I at Jones Beach, eager and ecstatic at the prospect of seeing my band for the third time in a lifetime, all within a one year period.

When the initial tour was announced in February of 2007, after much ado, yelling, hyperventilating and shitting my whitey tightey woollies, I promised myself that I was going to tour with the band, something I've wanted since I was gifted my first Elton John album at age five. I think I played Don't Shoot Me I'm the Piano Man, a thousand times, till the vinyl grooves no longer played "Crocodile Rock" without skipping. After Vic bought me tickets for MSG in August of 07', I made a quick, rip the band-aid off decision to buy tickets to see them at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I hadn't flown in almost 12 years and knew this would be a huge task, yet I felt little fear when I thought about how I would feel, nestled up tight in my $75 seat at the casino's arena. Vic warned me if I clicked and bought the tickets, I was bound to the project and he expected me to follow through, no hems or haws included. As most of you know, I went through with trip and saw The Police fumble and fuss through their fifth show since reuniting. To me, I was in awe, loved the song line-up and overlooked a few hits and misses, making a mental note that they still weren't a tight band but they had 40 more shows to prove their Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame chops. I was hopeful. I think I cried most of that show, so happy that one of my dreams had come true. Is it normal to love a band so much? Who the hell cares! It's just another idiosyncrasy people can hate about me...get in line. If you can't take your ideology into your elder years, what do you really have left?

Monday's night show was all that and a bag of donuts. I danced, laughed and smiled till my cheek muscles became taught and my face tired from all its unusual happiness. Don't get me wrong, I'm an upbeat girl, but when The Police finally took the stage, opening up with "Message in a Bottle," I was in rock heaven, wishing I had seen them during their hey days in the late 1970's, when Sting still had a lobby limey schnoz and the peroxide dripped from all their bleached heads. CBGB's little punk darlings have come a long way since playing gigs in tiny gin mills and holes across America, finding themselves reuniting after more than 20 years of solo projects and much water under the bridge.

The song list on Monday was strong but very different than last years. The second song, "Walking on the Moon" from Regatta de Blanc (my favorite album) was spectacular and sounded full, with out any additional backing band. They went on to play some deep album cuts like, "Demolition Man," "Voices in My Head," and "Hole in My Life," before relying heavily on their stealthy catalogue of hits. To be honest, Syncronicity is not my favorite album and "De Do Do Da" is not my favorite song, but when moon was hung right on a night filled with excitement and anticipation, set at the beach during the dog days of August, it all sounded like nirvana to me.

Part II coming tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

After Thoughts on The Police....Photo Show

Friends, family, enemies and furry friends....I'm going to leave you with a few memories from Monday and Tuesday and write a new blog tomorrow after I let the sights and sounds of The Police marinate for one more day. Don't worry, I won't send the blog like a message in a bottle....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wait for Tomorrow's

I'm sure you're all wondering how The Police show was last night. I'm going to write a huge blog for tomorrow's installment. I want to compare the shows...these two...and the two I saw last year. I can tell you it was great but the song line up needed to be a bit more perculated...I much preferred last years play list to this years but in the positive column, they jammed...much harder and much much louder than last year. Hopefully, I'll have some great shots to share with y'all.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Police Show Tonight

I've been waiting for months for The Police to come to Jones Beach. When I first heard the news from a friend several months ago, I thought they were telling a naughty fib. Outraged at the audacity of this "friend" I lashed out at them, half yelling and half joking, "You can joke about a lot, but not my band. There is no way they would come to stop lying and lets move on." When they pulled out the full page ad from Newsday, I quickly suffered a seizure of foot in mouth disease and then began to scream and jump, full force, in a public parking lot. band was coming to my county, my beach, my theater....but was I ready for such an auspicious occasion? Not in the least and as the clock ticks away, beep by beep this afternoon, I feel a belly full of dragon flies, poking around my innards, making me a combo platter of basket case and bleepin groupie. It didn't help that I watched "Almost Famous" last night in honor of rock and roll in general. I wanted to be William (the character in the movie) most of my college and adult life. I tried to interview Sting years ago but instead spent the evening with Ted Nugent and the members of Bad Company, minus Paul Rogers. I had a few other brushes with Gordon himself, even face to face, but we are star crossed interviewer/interviewee strangers. I gave it my all back in the day, making valiant, credible attempts to work for Rolling Stone, wishing that I could have at least one bi-line from the rag. I even got a great letter from former managing editor, Sid Holt, who complimented my writing and encouraged me to get as much experience as possible. Still, I'm not a rock writer like I had planned and dreamed but I can still enjoy the music. All hope is not lost yet on my dashed dreams of Rolling Stone glory. It could still happen. I have to keep telling myself it's not a pipe dream and go for it. I put my writing career on hold for 15 years and baby, I'm coming back with an almighty vengeance. The plot thickens.....

I'll be back with an up to date Police review in the morning. Tonight, I'm in the first stadium, tomorrow, 10th row center. To say I'm excited would be a huge understatement. Tonight is for the soul and about being a true band aid!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Mornings

I awoke this morning around 8:30am in a cheerful mood, anticipating the happenings of the day. My usual routine on a Sunday morning is to drink a giant soup cup of java while listening to the "Beatles Brunch Show" on the radio, watching Vic cook me some sort of breakfast meat that is only allowed on the holiest day of the week. Not really, but we are both on Weight Watchers and feel Sunday is a good day to indulge in a whopping, full-fledged breakfast extravaganza. It gives us both a week to burn off any excess bagels bulge from the prior week.

I wait for Sunday to taste savory organic eggs, lightly fried in an imported extra virgin olive oil, lightly salted and peppered with a dash of garlic powder to add a bit of zest to the dish. I usually eat one egg and two egg whites, still trying to be good, even when I'm about to be a boorish wench and eat whatever my belly craves on a lovely Sunday morning during the height of summer. I also enjoy some hearty bread toasted on the coals but my trusty toaster oven purchased on Amazon with a gift card from my old, generous boss will due. I don't enjoy lightly toasted breads, and I especially hate toast done on one side...I'm not British, at least the last time I checked thank you very much. Crusty, deeply browned bread turns me on in the morning. You know it's done when you can smell the tiny nooks hardened from the heat and the crumbs just begin to smell burnt. A nice smear of Kate's Homemade Butter straight out of the wilds of Maine, enhances the flavor nicely, never overpowering the bread itself. I like to think of it as partnership of hard and soft palatable pleasures that are only known to breakfast fanatics everywhere. Really, who eats toast for lunch? OK, you may have a few Tuna Melt aficionado's out there but for the most part, toast is a mainstay on the global breakfast menu.

Now, for the delicious breakfast meats, you must try an aged, uncured pork bacon as apposed to a turkey variety, laced in sodium. I was surprised at how much salt is used in Turkey bacon and find it to taste gamy at best. I found one brand, Coleman, in the regular supermarket that touts its organic origins. The taste is magnifique! Recently, Vic tried to cook a pound of it on the BBQ grill when we had weekend guests and found that bacon and an open flame don't mix. We had huge grill fire with flames reaching at least three feet in height. It was a bit scary and we quickly realized that the way to put out a grease fire is not with water. Thank heavens Vic fared well and didn't get hurt or burned. Otherwise, we salvaged the bacon and cooked it the old fashioned way, on top of the stove in a safe frying pan. The result was a crisp, non fatty bacon that was really good and healthy for you..or not!

Our eggs were almost ready, so we melted just a tiny bit of Jarlsberg cheese over them to ensure a full cholesterol smorgasbord of tasty delights that would sustain us till dinner time. In fact, we occasionally have breakfast for dinner, always a highlight of my week.

It is the marriage of eggs and cheese, toast and bacon and a nice spicy tomato juice that can add romance to any given Sunday morning. Bite after bite of this familiar, yet delicious breakfast is a mainstay in our home. I can't wait till next Sunday. Gee, I wonder what I'll have to eat for breakfast?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Buying The Dreaded Car

Today, we purchased a new car, to be exact, a Honda CRV in a lovely shade of glacial blue. I'm happy about the new wheels but the process seemed to take all the fun out of the experience. The shysters hawking their wares are nothing better than charlatans of yesteryear, selling fake potions and pills to the desperate. Let's face it, if you live anywhere other than Manhattan, you need a car to transport not only yourself, but all the things we need to sustain life...groceries, dirty/clean laundry, dogs, cats and especially roadside finds of any type. Those are what I am most looking forward to since I am somewhat of a junk connoisseur and can tell the value of something a mile off in the distance. I can see Vic wincing right now, exclaiming, "More junk? What about all the stuff in the garage and basement!" My response is my usual reply, "Hey, it was cheap and wait till you see what I can make of it." The argument continues. (see Junk Collecting blog).

Back to the car salesmen...ugh, what an ugly career path and an even more grotesque way to live your life. It's not like your dealing with the sharpest knives in the drawer. These people are trained to screw customer's over in the name of the dealership. They lie and cheat to simply make a buck...not an honest buck, but a buck at your expense. There are those sneaky hidden costs, like destination fees and administrative options that really get me going. What the hell is a destination fee? In reality, it's to transport the car from the front lot to the rear lot, where mere brain surgeons remove factory installed protective plastic and simonize an already spotless vehicle. Ridiculous! Dealing with pocket protector man after pocket protector man, you start to feel beaten down and broken, but just when you think the end is near and you can't take another fabulous fib, they sell the car out from under you and leave you for dead. Precisely what happened today. The funny thing is, after three failed dealership deals, and three, "that's my favorite color car ever," thoughts, we ended up finding the perfect car with the original color we wanted at a great price. The reason...only because my husband got knocked around by these vultures and their endless masochistic behavior until he finally woke the f*&*(& up. He took all his knocks and bruises and used them against the automotive tools, kicking their butts with one fell swoop. Vic became educated on the particular lesson of sleaze and then used a power punch back at them, leaving the salesmen in check...and with one smooth move, when their Queen had fallen, the hubby went in for the final blow. Instead of bumping the King off, we zapped the car right out from under their bloody paws, finding solace in our small but gallant victory.

The car will be in our possession next week. Vic's hard and valiant efforts paid off. God, I hope my VW lasts another 10 years. I simply don't have the stomach to handle this and next time, my head will be on the guillotine. I think I'll switch to pubic transportation. Somehow it seems more humane.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Panini's and Bikini's

I spent a splendiferous day on Franklin Street beach in Long Beach with my beloved, catching lots of sunshine to ensure vitamin D buildup in anticipation for a long, dark winter. How looming! Actually, I am more than impressed at how well the beaches are kept and how people tend to behave themselves much more than on many of the Jones Beach fields. Although I will always have a sweet spot for "Jones" my old bones can't make the mile long trek from the car to the beach any longer. I know...I know, I'm only 41 but when you are lugging chairs, a cooler, heavy terry beach towels, Ipod's, phones and my favorite orange Orbit gum, you need assistance. We purchased a beach cart a few years ago which has been a great help to us. Looking more like a granny's grocery cart or what I used to deliver my newspapers in on my infamous afternoon route, the cart has taken much pressure off me to carry more things and off my hubby's back...literally.

After finding the perfect spot on the beach, we set up camp with our big kahuna chairs and tiki umbrella I coveted a few years ago from a fellow beach goer at Jones. When I asked her where she bought the island spirited umbrealla, I discovered she could barely speak the language (she was Swedish)but she managed to mutter, "Ekerd." I realized she acquired it from the local drugstore and while I managed to locate one, I wanted an extra umbrella to save for summer's to come. I drove around to seven Ekerd's never finding another, until the following summer. There goes that Murphy's Law thing again!

I've gotten much better at finding the premiere location on the beach. I don't like to sit on top of others, so we spread our camp out, leaving lots of space between our beach items. Today, I wasn't so careful. While Vic and I were hanging out on a sandbar in shallow water surveying the mass of mussels that washed up on shore, a family plopped down, inches away from my padded Indonesian beach mat, purchased a few years ago at The Christmas Tree Shop in Albany. Upon returning to our blankets, we were assaulted by a five year old screeching every two seconds because she felt like it. She wasn't sad or mad, hurt or hungry, just out of control. Her mother ignored her nasty yelps but while she tuned her child out, the rest of my fellow beach goers weren't so fortunate. I quickly reached for my Ipod but it was dead so Vic offered his up. I managed to get in a few Beach Boys songs when the yeller and her family went down by the water. I felt victorious, even if it was fleeting.

The rest of our time spent on Franklin was filled with our laughter, Vic's rants about how he's been dissed by car dealer after car dealer (the scum of the earth) and the culls of sea gulls feasting on various forms of sea crustaceans washed ashore after rough seas. Basically, the day was glorious and relaxing. Even if you hate the beach, there is nothing like sitting along the shore with a nice breeze blowing, getting in some well deserved sun. I wait all year for those moments and they sustain me even through the most heinous weather.

Tonight we will go for a nice two mile stroll along the LB boardwalk and then head to the West End for a little shopping and some tasty creations at Panini's and Bikini's. Isn't that a silly name for an eatery?? I hope the food is better than the name!