Thursday, January 27, 2011

My thoughts on restaurant diners...

Have you ever served tables?  I did.  For years.  Here are some of my pet peeves with restaurant diners:

-Don't raise your empty glass of whatever to get your server's attention.  I loved that.  Your begging to get ignored.  Trust me, it'll piss them off and you'll wait longer for your beverage.  Oh, and jingle the ice cubes if you desire zero refills during your entire dining experience.

-Don't wave your arm at your server.  They will ignore you.  I did.

-Don't order fru fru drinks (Pina Coladas, Strawberry Daquiris).  We'll have you tagged as a cheap   tipper and will give you lousy service.  Other clues to a lousy tipper?  Ordering steaks and fish extra well done...Hamburgers are exempt.

-Don't touch your server. I had a guy come up to me once and grab the back of my neck because he was all pissed his dinner was taking too long.  I had management throw him out. (Come to think of it, I wonder what he did for dinner that night, oh well.)

-We know you need water.  It's free, you'll get it.  That's why there are water goblets on your table.  Just shut up about it already.

-Those kids of yours you think are so cute?  We're grumbling in the back about your Crumb Grabber. That's what we call toddlers with no business in a nice restaurant.  Also, we don't think Shirley Temples are adorable. They are a pain in the ass.  I'll load your kid's glass with a ratio of 75% red Grenadine syrup and top it off with Coke.  Have fun getting them to bed...

-If your server is super busy, they could give two shits whether you require "Decaf" vs. "Regular".  We'll bring out the first available coffee pot and tell you it's 'whatever' no matter what type of coffee is residing inside.

-Don't ask me to box up the free shit (rolls mostly).  They'll make the rounds on an unsavory surface before landing in that nice styrofoam container you'll stroll out with.

-There's a fucking reason the hostess sat you at that table.  What, do you move your dining table to various locations in your home?  I didn't think so...

-Hey Early Birds.  We hate you.  Take a nap, swig some Geritol and show up at normal dining hours.  No one eats dinner at 4 p.m.

-Don't speak a foreign language and assume we don't know what you're saying.  I busted some businessmen talking about my age and whether they thought I was married.  I approached the table and asked them (in French) whether they'd care for another round of drinks...and that I was single.  They nearly died of embarrassment.  But I did get a good tip!

-The dessert tray is fake douchewads.  What, you think we make a fresh round of desserts just to show you what's on the menu?  Also, don't order a sundae.  I have to make it and will consequently hate you...

-Your table is covered in dishes from appetizers through desserts because you said something rude and I want you to eat amongst mountains of plates.  Enjoy it butthole...

-And lastly?  Tip me bad when I've given great service?  I'll remember next time you're in.

I think that about covers it....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Anyone up for a dip?

One day while driving around Aurora, CO my dad turned to my mother and said, “Let’s check out pools.”  I think this discussion was the one time they were in 100 % agreement on something.  “Are you serious?  OK! ” she said, “It’d be so much fun for the kids.”

What do you envision with the word “Pool”?  I pictured something that would take months to excavate as construction teams were called in to dig earth.  A giant concrete truck backing itself into my backyard….A “deep end” with a diving board or a giant turquoise slide.   My friends standing, watching in amazement during the entire construction process…  “Trina’s house?  Summer 1981 man!” they’d be thinking. 

I pictured glossy blue and green ceramic tiles.  Maybe even a dancing dolphin themed mosaic on the bottom.  Oh, and a light to facilitate night swimming.  Groovy.

So imagine my surprise when we pulled up to a showroom that only featured pools that were held up by walls….They were called, as I later learned, “Above Ground Pools”. 

I struggled to breathe as we were hit with a wall of chlorine upon entering the store.  As I gazed around the showroom I was genuinely confused.  I turned to my dad and asked, “Where are the ones like the Allen’s?” 

The Allens were a couple who lived behind my grandparents’ home.  Looking back, I can see why my grandparent’s liked them so much.  They knew how to party.  Even had a cool 1970’s bar with carpet up the walls.  They had an awesome pool…an in-ground one complete with diving board.  Their pool, in my young mind, was the pool by which to compare all others.

My dad looked visibly annoyed as he stared straight ahead and replied flatly, “This is where we’re looking.”  Ok then. 

Long story short?  Dad went all out and bought a 10’ x 36” pool.  Basically, all the family could cool off, but they’d just have to stand in place. We took our puddle pond home and had it assembled by the following day. 

So how do you swim in a pool that small?  You don’t really.  But we did get creative. 

My sisters and I did “Swim Shows”.  They were dumb as fuck.  We’d set up lawn chairs for the audience.  Fancy synchronized swimming maneuvers were performed off the wobbly ladder that was placed over the blue aluminum wall.  We really did have shit for brains because the pool was ABOVE ground, so any fancy designs we made in the water?  All our audience saw was puppet show of legs, arms and feet randomly appearing above the wall. 

We enjoyed playing a game called ‘Whirlpool’.  That’s when you get a minimum of 2 participants to run in circles around the wall of the pool.  The water will eventually swirl in a strong current, not unlike a whirlpool.  “Hang on!” we’d yell as though we were swimming for our lives, “The water is moving SO fast!”  We had a better chance of drowning in a Baptismal font.   Bonus?  All the dirt and filth would coagulate in the center of the pool making it a cinch to skim.  I know what you’re thinking…we thought it was rather genius too.

Our fun was somewhat crimped when mom or dad decided to float on a mattress.  Remember, we had 10 feet to work with here.  A floating device would take up ¾ of cubic swim area.  Not to worry.  That’s when we’d swim under our victim.  We’d sing the Jaws theme and make the shark fin above the water.  We also threaten to overturn the mat…maybe create a random ‘accidental’ splash just as they dozed off.  They’d finally get reach their maximum annoyance threshold and leave.  Just what we wanted in the first place….Well done.

“Marco Polo” was a no brainer.  We couldn’t play that game because we were always proximate to one other.  It would have been the equivalent of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you and yelling, “Marco!” and you’d reply, “Polo!”…Logistically impossible.  As dumb as we were, even we had that one figured out.  Ok.  Maybe after a few tries, but still…I never understood the point of that game anyway. 

I think that about covers everything.  Come to think of it, maybe that pool wasn’t so bad after all.

No, it was.

Friday, January 21, 2011

On your mark...get set....

I had a friend who loved to run marathons.  He was pretty intense with his training.  Everyday at lunch he’d run for miles and somehow managed to get himself back together for that first after lunch meeting. 

His name was Ron.  And although he was cool and collected at work, he apparently had a stomach of nerves on the day of his big races.

Ron once told me he showed up bright and early on the morning of a big race.  He enjoyed arriving early so he could get himself into his ‘runner’ mindset.

After parking his car, he walked up to the starting line and waited as more runners began to arrive.  The longer he waited, however, the more he thought about his big race.  The more he thought about his big race, the more irritated his stomach became. 

There was a line of Port-a-Pottys located up a hill away from the starting line.  It was a slight dilemma because the race was going to start soon.  He said he would be cutting it close as far as getting back to begin the race but really had no choice.

Knowing his stomach wouldn’t wait, he finally decided to try to run up the hill to quickly hit the john.

No sooner had he sat down and breathed a sigh of relief, did he hear the loud “BANG!!!”  of the start gun.

And there he was…in a blue Port-a-Potty.  As all his fellow competitors took off. 

He had somehow miscalculated how much time he had before the start of the race. 

He never did tell me how well he finished.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My two cents on camping...

Do you enjoy camping?  I don’t.  Never did.  I even grew up near the great Rocky Mountains.  No, not even camping there changed my impression of the experience.

Maybe it was the way my dad liked to camp.  We had a huge army green tent that smelled like mildew.  Used in a WWI battle?  Perhaps.  It was gross.  

I never slept well from fear of bears.  No really…Bears.  Mountains have them.  Thought I’d wake up seeing breath come in from the side of the flimsy tent.  Just before it mauled me while my family saved themselves by making a run for it.

Things I remember about camping.  It was cold at night. No running water.  No day-to-day essentials.  Lousy food.  Feeling claustrophobic in my sleeping bag. Smoke from campfire choking me.  Having to hide from my brother as I peed in the woods. Roughing it was never my idea of relaxation.

I did witness some funny moments while camping however.  My family and I used to drive from Colorado to Ohio to visit relatives.  In lieu of a hotel room, my dad always like to park at a KOA campground, pitch a tent and cook our dinner over a Coleman propane tabletop grill. 

We usually stopped somewhere in Kansas…I don’t remember the town.  Who cares where exactly.  All of Kansas looks the same.  Fields of wheat.  And corn.  And more wheat still….The weather was looking pretty ominous as we parked.  Still, my dad had it in his head that the family was camping out.  Come hell or high water….           

After setting up our tent, Dad began dinner…Mmmm…Burgers on the propane grill.  Sounds good right?  Except his entire family was waiting in the van, terrified of the black clouds forming in the sky.  And they were gathering…quickly.

We watched in amazement as our seemingly fearless Dad fired up the grill and made hamburger patties.   Soon smoke was billowing from the little grill.  "Not long until dinner now..", we thought…

Only now it started to rain.  Dad kind of brushed that off…Rain.  So What.  Then hail.  OK, kind of hurts getting pelted with that.  I sat amused as he swatted at it like flies.  Then larger hail still.  That kind of ruined the grilling vibe he had going…Now cue the wickedly evil lightening and gale force winds.  Gusts so strong they collapsed the tent.

Next thing we knew, we saw Dad running for his life among bolts of lightening while carrying the grill.  The burgers were still sizzling on top.  He threw it into the back of our van.  We were screaming in terror. 

We got a hotel that night.  Thank god.  I had to hide my shit-eating grin as we drove to the Holiday Inn.

Did I mention I hate camping?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hey! Who's Up for RideShare?

I find carpooling annoying.  Maybe it’s just the people I’ve chosen to drive into work with.  I can’t stand being dependent on someone else’s schedule.  I hate waiting.  Carpooling to me is the equivalent of a gourmet version of the public transportation experience. It sucks. Regardless, I did carpool at one point with a coworker. 

It all came to pass one day in an office small talk conversation. We realized we lived near each other.  That revelation led to a half-hearted comment by me, “Hey!  Maybe some days we can drive into work together.  You know, save on gas!”

Stupid me.  He took me up on the offer.  And next thing I knew, I found myself stopping and waiting in his driveway the following morning for pick up. 

Here’s what I learned from my foray into carpooling.  Make sure your fellow commuter has good hygiene.  My passenger reeked.  No really.  Like he just took a dump, didn’t air out, slapped on some Brut cologne on the way out the door stunk.  Dirty butt if you will. 

If I had only unwittingly shared a car with him prior to my dumb comment about driving into work together, I would have made sure to shut my trap.  But I didn’t, so I was stuck. 

I wondered if he could see me mutter, “Goddamn it.  WASH YOUR ASS! Get some soap up there, you smelly mother fucker.”, as he walked from my car to his front door.  I didn’t care. 

As much as he stunk up the interior of my car on a daily basis, he seemed to take extra care to bathe on days he drove. Yes, still heavy on the cologne perhaps, but no ass smell.  Pissed me right off.  I guess he figured his car was worth the effort.  He had a brand new Infinity J30….grey with a light cream interior.  It was immaculate.

Anyway, one morning as I walked up to his car, I slipped on some wet leaves.  I regained my balance and climbed into his car.  He had the heat cranked.  Boiling hot.  And I was shocked that the interior of his car on this morning smelled like ass.

Driving into work that morning I remember thinking to myself, “Hey asshole, it’s not unpleasant enough in here.  Can you crank the heat a little higher?  You know.  Make it nice and cozy as I bathe in your excrement…” 

Finally we arrived at the parking garage.  I was dying for fresh air and at the same time praying the nasty smell had not permeated my suit.  Upon leaving his car however, I glanced down at the passenger side floor mat. It was covered in dog shit.  “What the hell?” I thought to myself until I mentally flashed back 20 minutes earlier to that ‘slip’ on the way into his car.  Dog shit….all over the fucking place. 

My shoe was actually buffed clean thanks to that car mat.  I could tell by the spirograph shaped circular patterns that I had given it a healthy dose of the brown stuff too.  And internally I was absolutely dying laughing. 

I didn’t go home with him that evening…opted to go to a bar with friends.  But I knew he was going to make that unpleasant discovery so I needed to (literally) cover my tracks. 

That night, I left him a voicemail.  “Hi, it’s Trina.  Just wanted to touch base…I realized there was dog poop on my shoe and wasn’t sure whether it happened this morning or on my way home!”  As though downtown city streets were covered in dog shit mine fields…

About 20 minutes later I got a call back from his number, but let it go to voicemail.  “Hi Trina.  Just came in from the garage.  I’ve been cleaning my car mat for the past hour.  I was so pissed I almost dropped it off at your place for you to clean.”  No joke.   That’s what he said. 

I think we commuted together maybe another month or so before our schedules ‘conveniently’ didn’t work out. 

That’s my story for today.  Profound and enlightening isn’t it?  But in closing, ask yourself this…What’s worse?  Me putting dog crap in his car, or my thinking it smelled like him?

Enough said…

Friday, January 14, 2011

That's Not Couric...

Remember in the late 90’s when Katie Couric started to go blonde?  She had that cute little bob, perfectly highlighted…I wanted that hairstyle.  I should note I’m a dark brunette.  I knew Katie was naturally one too.  If she can pull it off so could I.  Why not try it, right?  “Mix it up a little! It’ll be fun!” was my train of thought.

My hairdresser at the time was named Peter.  I loved him…Gave me awesome hairstyles and I trusted him to never steer me wrong.  I’d come in and would lap up his “You’re simply gaaahgeous” compliments like cheap wine.  And let’s not forget his cheek-to- cheek kisses either.  He was good to his women clients…

So on this particular day I sat in Peter’s chair and said, “Peter sweetie, I’d like to try something different this time.”..He did his model strut towards my chair and immediately started tousling my hair.  “What, dahling?  Shorter?  A razor cut?  Growing it out perhaps?  You can carry off anything pretty lady…” 

As I spit out the hair that was now tossed in the way of my mouth, I said, “You know Katie Couric?....That dirty blond bobbed look of hers?  I love it and want to try it.  What do you think?” His eyes lit up with excitement, most likely because it meant a bigger tip, but I digress.  He clapped his hands together not unlike a cheerleader, jumped up and down in place and said “Why haven’t I suggested that?  Oh. My. Gawd.  Of course we can do THAAAAT!”  And that’s where my story REALLY begins…

You heard me mention I’m a natural brunette, right?  Whatever Peter mixed resulted in a cheap “Sun In” kind of color.   Remember that?  The awesome hair product from the 80’s that gave you the same hair color as a Baboon, but somehow you thought you looked sun kissed?  Yeah.  That look was the end result of an afternoon in Peter’s chair. 

As I stared at the burnt orange part in my hair I had doubts on my new hair color, but chalked it up to the lighting in the salon and left.  Going home and checking my hair in my bathroom mirror, however, confirmed what I suspected.  I wasn’t Katie Couric.  I was the old church lady who sang badly in the pew next to me growing up.  Old lady orange hair.  Needless to say, I called the salon as frantically as I would have dialed 911 for a house fire…maybe even faster.

The following day, Peter flashed his megawatt smile as I sat in his chair.  I think he knew I was screwed, but was going to try his best to sell me on the color. “We need to fix this.  My hair is orange.” I said bluntly, essentially closing any debate he wanted to have.  He spun me around in the chair as though he really needed a 360 degree look and said, “Let’s break it up.  That’s what this color needs.  You’ll love it with a few highlights thrown in!”  Wanting desperately to believe him, I agreed. 

After “tossing in some highlights” and blowing out my hair, Peter spun me around toward the mirror so I could see his repair work.  I didn’t recognize the woman with the gaped mouth and slack jaw staring wildly back at me from the reflection.  The end result was platinum blond.  I’m not exaggerating. I’ve never been so stunned. 

My dark eyebrows looked like two wooly worms that had taken refuge on my forehead.  Playboy playmate blond…Some of you may like that kind of thing.  Trust me, it wasn’t hot. 

I spent three days as a platinum blond.  And you know what?  I did get a lot of stares.  I wanted to believe it was newly found attention that I often heard accompanies blond locks.  In reality, I’m pretty sure they wanted to know where I got my hair styled…so they could ensure they wouldn’t go to the same place.  Oh, I also called into work during my time as a blond.  True.  I was that embarrassed. 

I’m sure you dying to know what happened with Peter.  I went back a third time and had him apply the darkest hair color he could find.  Brown.  No highlights, no lowlights.  Mousy dark brown….We came full circle….kind of.  In a bad way.  I didn’t care.  I was never so happy to call myself a brunette.

Needless to say, Peter and I broke up.  I think he was just as happy as I was not to see me back in his chair.  And I know that little pecker knew he screwed up and didn’t want his posh clientele seeing his handiwork. 

So Katie Couric?  Congrats on pulling off that look…Can I have the name of your stylist?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There's No Drama like Snow Drama...

Another huge snowstorm is walloping Boston today.  And once again I sit on my sofa, glued to the television set.  I’m watching local weather news coverage.  It’s addicting…I can’t stop myself. 

What is it with major snowstorms that suddenly get us interested in weather?   Maybe it’s Doppler radar showing those so-called ‘color bands’ indicating how much snow you’re estimated to get…and the excitement when you learn you’re in the heavy band zone.  By the way, I’m in what the weatherman calls “The Jackpot Zone”.  He means we’re getting a shitload of the white stuff, but probably can’t say that on air.  I’m sure he’s thinking it though.

Watching the news on snow days also refreshes my memory on measurements.  I enjoy watching as the local reporters stand by a road and say the snow is “about mid knee in depth” as they point to their knee.  “Oh, is that a knee?” I think to myself,  “Where again? I need an anatomy refresher.  And how tall are you again local reporter?  Because height matters. If you’re 6 feet tall that’s a hell of a lot of snow.  5’2” ?  Not so much.”

I also appreciate local viewers sending in their pictures of the snow.  Blankets of white snow in Brockton or Newton, MA looks so much different and unique than the snow in my yard.  Sometimes you’ll even get a cool shot of a downed power line or tree….the local weather coverage equivalent of a NASCAR crash.  Awesome.

High winds also add to local coverage excitement.  The local weather reporter is wearing ski goggles and a huge parka.  Like those National Geographic Antarctic explorer guys?  He looks like that.  And he’s sure to tell us he’s being anchored to the ground by another colleague to keep from falling down.  I stare as he struggles to stand as he’s buffeted by wind and say to myself, “Whoa, now THAT’S windy.  Be careful out there man…”

And lastly, the reporters who get to sit in the warm studio.  They have to remind us of the ‘warm studio’.  I can’t tell whether they use a day like today to tout their seniority to the other saps standing in the blizzard, freezing their asses off.  “We’re here in our warm studio,” they’ll say, as though other days they do without heat. 

Oh and here’s a nugget of wisdom provided by my local anchorwoman as she sits in her warm studio.  Brace yourselves.  Ready for this? “When you walk toward the snow, your face will get wet.”

No shit. 

Think I’ll stay inside.  And watch local weather coverage….

Monday, January 10, 2011

Black Velvet, if you please...

I once aspired to be an artist.  No, not in the musical way I ended up.  A velvet poster artist.  You know, those unfinished color your own posters?  With the black velvet?  That.

My first work of velvet artistry was completed circa 1978.  You haven’t seen it?  No really, like in a gallery or on Antique Roadshow?  I thought it was that great. It was commissioned on my 9th birthday.

I was fucking serious about it.  I marveled as I unwrapped the unfinished portrait of a Unicorn running and smashing through an oversized rainbow.  It was awesome, but needed my artistic touch.  I was going to break out and get discovered, I just knew it. 

My work ethic really came into play as I colored the allocated white spaces with my half dried markers. I even referenced books on the proper order of colors on a rainbow. Have to be accurate about those kind of things..

The unicorn was a bit of a challenge as most I had seen were already white.  But the velvet artist in me knew I had to be different…set myself apart from the others.  “Pink!” I said to myself.  “With a purple horn…”

I stayed up late and woke early. Painfully but thoughtfully choosing between 9 marker colors…The white areas dispersed between the black velvet haunted me.

And after 2 days, my art was complete.  I swelled with pride as the unicorn finally came to life.  The rainbow colors really popped.  In modern adult lingo, “It was the shit”…

I hung it on my bedroom door for all my family members to admire.

I need some good heavy metal music now…See ya…

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Kmart Fan Fun...

My parent’s house didn’t have central air conditioning.  As kids we never really missed it.  The climate in Colorado wasn’t humid so it wasn’t really a necessity.  That isn’t to say we didn’t have some summer evenings that were scorchers. 

It was on those nights the kids were treated to stale circulating air courtesy of our Kmart fans.  My parents were pretty decadent.  They splurged for three of them…one for each bedroom.  They looked just like the one pictured above.  Huge, ugly and loud all wrapped in a gorgeous turquoise metal housing. 

I still think they were actually made by Boeing. You know, the jet engine people?  They were that noisy.   I have some hearing loss.  Perhaps that Kmart fan is to blame…who knows.

The Kmart fan sparked conflict between my sister and me. We shared a room.  My sister would aim the fan toward her bed to hog the air.  I’d get torked and turned it towards my bed and hog the air back.  We’d continue the back and forth air war until it escalated to a fist fight.  Then, exhausted and hot from our hair-pulling match, we’d agree on perfect placement of the fan for optimal air for the two of us.  Isn’t that sweet?

Maybe we were a little deprived as kids because I remember we had a lot of fun with those fans.  Did you know you could talk like Darth Vader?  Dial the white plastic knob to “High” lean up against the plastic grating, breathe like the dark evil guy and say, “Luuuuke!  I am your father!” Way cool. Or maybe get a playing card, feed it through the grill and listen as it makes a cool clicking noise.

Adding even more to our entertainment value was tying long pieces of toilet paper to the grate and watching as it streamed.  Or get a craft feather, hold it up, release it and watch as it shoots back into the room.  See whose feather traveled furthest. Winner takes all.  The “Beauty salon” game was another winner for amusement.  Sit in front of the fan and watch your hair blow. 

I really did have shit for brains as a kid.  Entertained by a fan.  What the hell…

No wonder I’m weird.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Take this bread, Given for you...

Growing up, my family went to church pretty regularly. Since my mother was an organist, it was pretty much a required call of duty.  Not to be left out of the fun, my Dad was instructed to participate in church activities.  He served on various committees, handed out bulletins, greeted new members…And once a month, he’d help our pastor with Holy Communion. 

My dad was a pretty quiet, reserved individual…and socially awkward.  After the initial “Hello” he’d struggle to carry on a conversation.  One thing he was good at was holding a grudge if he didn’t like you. 

On Communion Sundays, as we called it, Dad would wear one of those Pastor-y type robes and stand at the front of the church.  A Pastoral wingman if you will.  He was entrusted with administering the body of Christ to congregants.  I know a lot of churches hand out those Styrofoam wafers.  My church used a big loaf of bread…

Anyway, after blessing the bread and wine, the grand event would start.  One by one, rows of pews were instructed to rise and walk to the front of the sanctuary.  After everyone knelt, the cavalcade of communion goodies made its way down the line of recipients.

Our Pastor was always hands free so he could bless the children and whisper whatever it was he whispered to worshippers…My dad would then break off a piece of bread and place it into the mouth of the communal participant.  Another person carrying the tray of wine would follow. 

It was during this ritual that the random person who at one time in the prior month pissed off my Dad, was unveiled.  He’d never confront them outright…You know, talk it out, resolve differences, “agree to disagree”… He’d just break off an extra hearty portion of the Body of Christ.  Like golf ball big.  Then he’d place the wad into the unlucky recipient’s mouth.  The tiny cup of wine that followed didn’t have a chance in hell washing it down.  It was a chewy dough ball. 

Before the person had a chance to realize what had just happened, the row was dismissed and was instructed to return to their seat.  Dad would stand up front, straight faced, amused as he watched the person stand and walk away while chewing…likely needing to pick their teeth.

And how do I know he did all this intentionally?  He told me.  Said he loved seeing the surprised expression on the person as they held their mouth open.  The confused look of “What the hell just happened?” as they struggled to chew quickly.

He swore me to secrecy knowing he’d catch all kinds of hell from my mom.  So I’ll just share his secret with you….

I know I'm going to hell...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I had homemade party hats....

I never was a huge fan of birthdays.  Even as a kid.  Lots of my friends had lots of dough, very few siblings. This combo resulted in kick ass birthday parties.  My parents had moderate amounts of cash with six kids….My birthday parties paled in comparison. 

My friend Naomi came from a wealthy family.  For her 12th birthday, her mom and dad were totally fine with us driving their car around a huge field.  You read right.  Ten 12- year olds driving a car….Unattended.  It was a blast.  It was the first time I drove a Beemer.  You read right again.  They were THAT rich.  I mean, really?  Anyway, it was great.  We even rode on the roof yelling like little 80’s valley girls…

Fast forward to my birthday party.  My ‘crafty’ (meant in the most sarcastic sense) mom thought she’d have a party at home.  So homey in fact, we wouldn’t drive to the local five and dime for party supplies.  She had a great idea.  The party attendees would make their own hats.  Imagine attending a party and the hostess says, “Welcome!  Grab a paper punch!  We’re making confetti!”  Yeah, that fun.

Materials did we used: Generic paper plates (as in, “Thin White plates that couldn’t hold a chicken wing without bending), a paper punch, crayons, markers and yarn. 

The idea was to allow every girl to scribble her creative drawing on the paper plate.  As a guest, you could draw a picture, maybe write your name…go wild.  Once completed, two holes were punched exactly 180 degrees from one another.  Yarn was then drawn across the top of the plate and fished down the holes.   The fancy chapeau was then held in place by tying under the chin.  It looked cute.  In a “plate on the head, yarn under the chin” kinda way…..

You think I’m kidding.  No, I’m not.  I even have pictures.  Somewhere.  I won’t post them because they’re so embarrassing.  All of us were standing around with plates on our heads.  What the fuck. 

Nothing else to say here….Too many scars.

Hello, Ronnie?

In high school I rarely dated.  I wasn’t a prude…or a nerd.  Just shy I guess.  I mean I rarely got asked out.  That’s not to say I didn’t have secret crushes on guys….

I once had a major crush on a guy named Ronnie.  He played French horn, was tall, super nice and very handsome.  I’d see Ronnie in the band rehearsal room and smile at him.  We knew each other, but didn’t run in the same circles.  Regardless, at that time, if there was anyone I wanted to ask me out to a movie it would be him. 

So imagine my surprise when my mother answers the phone one night and yells upstairs, ”TRIIIINA!  Phone!  It’s a BOY!”  I honestly didn’t know who was on the phone.  Before she could embarrass me further I ran downstairs and yanked the phone.

“Hello?” I answered, trying to act cool, as though a call from a guy was an everyday occurrence.  “Hi!” the guy’s voice said on the other end.  “It’s Ronnie.  How are you?”.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  Trying to contain my excitement I replied, “Good.  What’s going on?”  “Well, I’m actually calling to see what you’re doing this weekend” he continued, “ I was thinking maybe we’d catch a movie or something.”

Although I was in disbelief I didn’t want to act too excited at the prospect of dating Ronnie so I told him very casually that Friday would work great.  You know, as though I needed to clear my dating calendar…We then agreed on a time. 

Just as I was about to hang up Ronnie had a quick question for me.  I thought he was going to ask me something about our exchanged glances in the band room, maybe how cute he thought I was, or maybe even that he admired my musical abilities…

“Why do you keep calling me Ronnie?”

As it turned out, the voice on the other end of the phone was another guy I wasn’t even remotely interested in.  How the hell was I going to get out of that corner?  His name was “Ricky” and in my enthusiasm for getting any kind of phone call at all, I must have tuned out everything that came after “R”. 

Honestly, I don’t remember what I said.  I was beyond embarrassed.  And I actually felt badly for Ricky.  He was a guy I knew from Calculus.  He’s probably some rich attorney or maybe found a cure for something.

You can bet after that ‘incident’ I clarified who I was speaking with….

Oh and about Ronnie?  He turned out to be as nice as I thought.  We never dated, but he did take me to my Junior prom.  I was moving away my Senior year, and he felt bad for me.  We had a good time. 

No, not like that you pervs….

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Big Corporate Squeeze Play...

I never envisioned myself settling into a corporate type of career.  In college I was a music major.  I was artsy, creative…a musician…So imagine my surprise when a prominent bank wanted to hire me as a computer programmer.  I had very little experience in IT, but hey, it was a ‘real job’ and was going to pay my bills.  Besides, who was I kidding? I was a broke college student with limited prospects for a job, so I accepted.

Initially I was excited about the idea of corporate life.  I would upgrade my day-to-day attire from jeans and a college sweatshirt to a suit.  I’d have a nice desk stocked with cool office supplies like highlighters, paper clips and pens.  Meetings would enlighten me on banking operations, I’d learn about the real underbelly of ‘Big Biz’.  I pictured myself getting kudos from my boss, recognition for a job well done…and all this while collecting the most money I made in my life. 

Well, I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you I quickly found corporate life anything but exciting.  In fact, I found it a tortuous experience. Eye glazingly boring….One upside to the job was I quickly made some good friends. One friend in particular really stands out.  His name was Jeff.  He and I would sit around my office and grumble about our miserable existence. 

One day, Jeff and I were off to a big meeting.  As was the usual, we boarded the elevator and headed to one of the top floors where it was to be held. Often the elevators were busy this time of day and we expected a relatively lengthy ride as the elevator stopped on nearly every floor to pick up or drop off employees.

As was our luck that day, we couldn’t even bitch about our forthcoming meeting because the top five executives for the bank (as in direct reports to the CEO) boarded the elevator. I was feeling particularly ornery that day and as Jeff and I made our way to the back, I gave him a little ‘watch this’ type of elbow nudge.

In front of us was what I can best describe as five “flat and wide” executive asses shoved into Brooks Brothers’ finest suit trousers.  Unhindered by their position of corporate power, I proceeded to make a squeeze gesture with my hands as though I was caressing their sweet asses.  I mean, my hands were mere inches from their butts.  Oh, and everyone got a pretend feel up.  I started left to right and gave each ass some loving attention.

In addition to pretending to feel them up, I made my eyes as wide as saucers and mouthed, “Wow!”, “Oh my god!”, “Hot!” as though I was completely turned on by the experience.  I glanced over to Jeff who at this point was teetering between complete disbelief and fear over someone seeing my antics.  He had his arms crossed, head down and was completely red as he tried to contain his laughter…

We got off the elevator before the execs did and I gave a polite, “Excuse us” as we approached our floor so we could make our way to the door.  By that point, I could barely talk while keeping a straight face. After the elevator doors closed and the execs were out of sight, Jeff gave me a swat on the back of the head with his folder, but was dying laughing…He also asked I never do that again or he’d go into cardiac arrest.

So, to any corporate big wigs out there?  Watch out!  We underlings know you put your pants on one leg at a time too…Oh, and check behind you when riding those elevators.