Boiled potatoes are fun.

Boiled potatoes are fun.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Holding out for a (Anti) Hero.

Good morning everyone!

So last night Hubby and I were binge-watching a Showtime TV series on Netflix and I realized something fairly disturbing about our favorite series:  The heroes are actually the villains.

Going all the way back to my childhood I've loved a good hero.  It started with Randy Mantooth, TV's "Johnny Gage" on "Emergency!"  Now, Johnny was hardly perfect...and had 1970's television been a touch more graphic it's doubtful my parents would have allowed me to watch a show featuring a fireman who had a bed in the back of his personal vehicle.  That said, Johnny Gage was my first love, and my first hero.

Over the years I've come to realize I have a type:  Tall, dark, and heroic with just a touch of bad boy.  Tom Selleck, Mark Harmon, Scott Bakula were all my dreamboats through the 80's and into the 90's (and oh yes, I'm all over Mark Harmon and Scott Bakula on their NCIS shows on's the highlight of my week).  All of this culminated with the ultimate hero (with just a touch of bad boy) David James Elliott as Harmon Rabb on JAG.

With the exception of NCIS, however, I I realize that the "hero ideal" is sort of...non existent in TV today.  Instead, we've replaced the slightly bad boy HERO with a completely decent BAD GUY.

Not sure what I'm talking about? Okay, let's look at just a couple of the biggest TV shows in the last decade:

Don Draper.  Tall, dark, handsome, rich.  Completely amoral.  Smoker-drinker-womanizer-complete jackwagon at work.  Oh, and let's not forget the whole stolen identity thing.

Walter White:  Family man. Endearing father.  Faithful husband.  Dedicated High school teacher.  Meth kingpin and murderer.

Dexter Morgan:  Mild mannered blood expert.  Family guy.  Devoted brother.  Crime fighter.  Serial killer.

Marty Byrde:  Husband, father, all around good guy played by the ultimate all around good guy, Jason Bateman.  Oh, but Marty is a mob money launderer who also, if memory serves, stole a strip club.

These are the TV shows I can't put down. These are the heroes, if you can call them that, that I'm cheering for.  Yes, I wanted Walter White to make the "good meth" and I'm cheering for Dexter to slaughter people because he only kills the really deserving.  And I want Marty to succeed in laundering all the money he's hidden in the walls of the resort he also sort of stole.  And as for Don Draper, well, yes, he must drink all the Scotch and sleep with all the women so he can be brilliant and save the ad campaign.  

Sing it, Bonnie.

What has happened to our heroes?  When did we decide evil criminals were the guys we were going to cheer for?  Does the right motivation truly cover a multitude of sins?  It must, because I fill my TV time with hours up hours of just this kind of material.  

It can't just be about the lead being good looking.  I mean...let's face it, Bob Odenkirk is many things, but good looking he is not. Yet, when I sit down to watch "Better Call Saul" or "Breaking Bad" I'm truly cheering for this sleezeball lawyer to win at all costs.  (The same goes for Brian Cranston of "Breaking Bad".)  The key is that they are compelling and sincere, even at their worst. 

It doesn't hurt the antihero movement if the guy in question is good looking. I mean, Jon Hamm (Mad Men), yes please!  (Although if my husband started acting like Don Draper, I'd show him the door.  So I guess money and ridiculous good looks do count.  I'm not proud that I'm admitting that.  But I know I'm not alone.)

Where are the good guys?  Where is the balance to all of the dark-souled evil we see in so many male characters now?  Where is the 

Oh, wait...maybe we just don't want them....

Are we simply getting what we deserve?  Have we gravitated toward the "bad boy" side of heroes so far that we've lost the "hero" and just gotten the "bad boy?"

I would love to see another pure hero type all around good guy back on TV.  A nice guy who is just out to "put right what once went wrong."  You know, someone I could sort of fall in love with without feeling dirty.

(This one's currently fighting crime in New Orleans on Tuesday nights.)

Maybe I'll mount some kind of protest, you know, demand that TV bring back a true "knight in shining armor" kind of guy.  Demand that we walk away from hot criminal and celebrate the "good guys" who are truly "good."

Wait, what's that?

TABOO season 2 is coming out soon?  

Never mind...

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hey, Taco John's Cashier! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders!

Good Saturday morning to you all!

So yesterday the company I work for had a company wide day off, with pay. (Yes, I work for the best company on the planet. )  This was great because I'd had a physical on Tuesday (that was humiliating) and my doc wanted me to go in for some blood tests after I'd fasted 10-12 hours.

My new diet thing is to not eat one tiny bite between 10 PM and 10 AM.  I know this sounds weak and that I shouldn't eat anything after like 7 PM, but our dinners around here are late because Peaches has school late.  So 10 is still early for me. So far I haven't lost any weight, but I do feel super proud of myself.  So there's that.

Anyway, I was trying to figure a way I could have a legitimate 12 hours of fasting on a work day without killing myself, since I work until 1:30, and coffee was on the list of stuff I'm not allowed to have before the blood test. Enter my boss and his wonderful day off.

I got to the clinic at 9 AM, a whole day of fun errands planned and 12 solid hours (dinner was early) of fasting under my belt.  I was hungry.  Very hungry.  So hungry that when I saw the line for the check in at the clinic I almost gave up. I mean, how many people make Friday, 9 AM appointments?

Apparently all of them.

That line lasted about ten minutes and I was on my way to the lab for my blood test. Now, I've done these before.  I've blogged about these before because the people who work in this particular lab aren' do I put this...really all that customer service minded.  They'll see you when they see you and the lady at the desk can and will vanish for no reason and for long periods of time.

I don't know why I keep going to this clinic.

Anyway I get to the waiting room and It. Is. Full.  Not like, oh hey, there are a couple ahead of me. No, more like, I have to stand in the hallway because all the chairs are filled.  Which is what I had to do after again waiting in line and checking in at that desk.

Why the registration desk couldn't have passed that information to the lab I have no idea.

After standing in the hall for ten minutes a chair finally opens.  (One should note, four people left the exam rooms in the lab while I stood out there, but no one went in.  Must have been coffee break time.  I swear I smelled donuts.)  I brought a book along, prepared for this one, so I took the chair, which was in the tight far corner, right next to an old man who smelled of moldy moth balls.


Another ten minutes passed with no one going in or out.  The old guy's smell was so strong I thought about getting up and standing in the hall again, especially since more people had come in to the lab to wait and it was getting hot in there, and a little claustrophobic. But I didn't want to be rude.

After a few more minutes the old lady sitting across from me went in and came back out in less than a minutes.  She'd gotten there long before I had, and I'd been waiting almost half and hour.  She was all cheerful and sweet, getting whatever it was she needed done in less than a minute after long wait.  I look forward to a time when I'm old and retired and have nothing else on my schedule than waiting at the lab.

Like that's ever going to happen for me.

The old lady's son had driven her. He looked to be a little younger than I am, and he seemed equally cheerful, although it was clear from their conversation that he, indeed, did have something else better to do. He still had to go to work.

"Oh, that's fine," says old lady.  "Next time I'll just drive myself.  I can still drive you know."

She said this while trying...and get her arm into her coat sleeve.  All I could think was, yes, and when you are driving, if you could just put out a notice on Face Book for everyone else so we can avoid the roads, that would be great.

Finally, FINALLY it was my turn.  Again, as I walked back to the room I could smell coffee and donuts.  At this point I'd been fasting, and more importantly not having coffee, for almost 13 hours.

The woman taking blood spent a few precious moments delaying my test so she could whine about how many people were in the waiting room.

Well hey, maybe if there were fewer donut breaks here in the lab and maybe if the front desk lady didn't flirt with some dude who just stopped in to say hi...and then vanish from her post for ten minutes, things would be less log jammed. Let's not blame the people in the waiting room for the department's lack of dedication to their jobs. 

I didn't say that of course, because I'm a coward. Instead I said, "Well, I'm sure it'll clear up soon enough and things will slow down for you."

"Oh but I'm off at noon, so I really don't care."

She said that.  Out loud. To me. 

My test took a couple minutes. Just a quick blood draw, and then I was bandaged and on my way.

Given that it was already after ten, I rearranged my schedule a bit and ran to Taco John's for a quick

I love Taco John's breakfast burritos and if you haven't had one, you should. They are yummy.  So yummy, in fact, that I never allow myself to have one because, well, I blame some of my weight problem on eating way too many of them back when I worked for EVIL BOSSMAN.

I get to the drive through and they always ask if I want to try something. Generally I say no and then just place my order, but today I was super hungry and I figured if they were suggesting it then they must certainly be able to make it FAST.  So whatever that fuzzy voice was suggesting I was all in.

She told me the total, and I pulled around.

I gave her a twenty.

She gave me $1.25 back.

Okay, I'll admit, I don't know exactly what price she said it would be, but it I was about to eat an $18.75 breakfast burrito, I sure did want to know what kind of endangered animal meat it contained.

"I gave you a twenty," says I.

"No, you gave me a $5," says she, with a defiant curl of her snarky face.

"No, I gave you a 20."

"No, you gave me a five."

This could go on all day, and honestly, if 1) she didn't have my money and 2) I wasn't now deep into the 14th hour of no food and no coffee, I would have just driven off.  But this was not an argument I was going to lose because I was right.

How was I so sure?

Because I NEVER carry cash. Like NEVER.  And on this morning I'd stopped at the ATM and gotten some cash and, as we all know, ATMS ONLY shoot out 20's.  Which means the only cash I had in my purse was in the form of 20's.

"Look,"  says I , trying to keep calm, "I know I gave you a 20 because it's the only cash I have in my purse.  I just stopped at the ATM and that's what I got."

At this point, Snarkface opens her cash drawer and counts her 20's.  She then heaves a heavy sigh of one who has been wildly inconvenienced and she says, "Fine."  Then she closes the window.

Now I'm sitting there with my food and the $1.25 she gave me for change. She walks away from her post for a moment then comes back and starts texting.  Yes, she started texting.  I have no idea what or to whom she could possibly be texting. I'd like to think she was reaching a manager who would tell her to stop giving me grief, but it's more likely she was griping to social media at this old woman who was lying to her about change.

Again, I  knew I was 100% right.  So text away sweetheart. I'm going to sit here until I get my real change back.

After a couple minutes she opens the window and holds her hand out.  I'm guessing, since she didn't tell me, she wants the change back. So I hand her a dollar and a quarter.  She gets some more money out of the drawer and then pauses.

"Did you give me that quarter back?"

"Yes," says I.

"Are you sure?"

ARE YOU KIDDING?  "Yes, I'm sure," I say in my very best stern mom/teacher voice.  "I gave you the quarter back."

"Whatever, I'll just let you keep the quarter. Here's your change."

I count it.  At this point I suspect that she's now undercharged me for the burrito, but it was a special item so maybe there was a sale. Whatever, I'm not going to get into that argument with her because I am not 100% sure of what the original charge was.

I drove away, exhausted and ready for a nap.  But when I got home and ate my steak and egg burrito (that's what she said over the intercom?) I felt triumphant.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Sarah Loses it Over an Emissions Test.

 This week I had to get my emissions test run on the mighty Cube before I could renew my license plates.

What a scam.  The whole license plate renewal thing is such a scam that lately has started to smell, to me anyway, like it's time to go dump some tea in Boston Harbor. 

But now's not the time for that soapbox.

With emissions, since I don't work a traditional schedule, it's never really been an issue. I go in, I sit for ten minutes maybe and watch the TV in the waiting area, and I'm out.  Bing, bang, boom.  No fuss no muss.

But lately I've been working a bit later in the day and Monday (when I went) was a sort of national holiday.  (Schools were off, there was no mail, just enough stuff was closed to be an annoyance to the rest of us who were just trying to move through our days.)  When I got to the emissions place I was already a tad annoyed because 1) It was raining SUPER HARD and I do not enjoy driving in a hard rain and 2) I was hungry because I don't eat lunch these days until 2 and it was 2 but I decided to push lunch until I got done with emissions. It never takes more than ten minutes, so no biggie. Right?

Would I be blogging if this ended with "it was no biggie?"

I got to the place and the guy at the counter took my paperwork and my keys and told me that I had three people ahead of me. This seemed odd, but okay, still no biggie. I mean, given how fast they do these tests, I figured 20 minutes tops.

So I sat down, and read a PEOPLE magazine. It was a winner because there was an interview with Rick Springfield. NICE!

Would I be blogging if this ended with me reading an interview with Rick Springfield?

After reading the magazine cover to cover I looked around and realized that no one in the room had moved. I'd been there now 20 minutes and NO ONE HAD MOVED.  Oh, and the TV was NOT on.

But next to me was a father/daughter pair. The daughter looked like she was bout 15...and had a mouth on her like a salty 12 year old.  I know this because the two of them argued, loudly, and about pretty much every stupid thing on earth.

I mean, my kids and I get loud when we're discussing politics, religion, football, you know, the important stuff.  But these two...

Well they were arguing about bowling in Georgia.

What I gathered from their noisiness was the following:

1) The girl did not like her mother, her mother never made time for her, and the girl was not about to call her mother for anything because, and I quote, "I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE MY OWN MOTHER."

2)  The girl needed.wanted/must HAVE a mani/pedi before this mystical trip to the bowling alley in Georgia.

3) The girl was NOT, under any circumstances, going to bowl in Gerogia.  Unless one of her siblings or her father slipped her some adult beverages while doing so. (Father said he would not, but suggested she ask her sister.)

4)  Father said she needed to go shoe shopping and get some shoes for whatever it was they were going to be doing in Georgia. (Other than bowling.)  Girl said she had tried on EVERY SHOE that sparkled and the only ones that sparkled in all the land were SANDALS and she was NOT NOT NOT going to wear SANDALS.  (And this was after she demanded the pedicure.)

5)  Daughter asked for a doctor's appointment several times. Father told her to talk to her mother.  Daughter refused. See note #1 for her reason. This was like their break in every new topic they'd come back to the doctor's appointment.

6)  Daughter wanted spam and mac and cheese for dinner.  Father asked if they had any in the house. Daughter said no. Father said she should ask mother for it. See #1.

But after a while, even these two fell silent, worn out from arguing and waiting. 

I'd been there 40 minutes.

My phone, the "new" one I got when Hubby upgraded his, died.  This is significant because I've had this phone now for a week and either I'm the dumbest human alive or this phone hates me.  It's a 5S, which means I now have Siri, but that hag won't talk to me...unless I do not summon her. Hubby says it's because I hold the button down TOO LONG.

There was NEVER a TOO LONG thing for my 4.  Because there was no Siri to summon.

Oh, and this new phone will sometimes have me randomly typing texts in foreign languages.  I don't know how. But suddenly everything I'm texting is misspelled, and I realize the 5S thinks I'm typing in French....badly.

And this phone does NOT hold a charge at all.  So it died while I was waiting. which mean, no TV, no phone, no book, and I've read the one magazine.

I've been there 50 minutes.

That's when I saw the one guy, THE ONE GUY who was doing the emissions testing. And he rather resembled a TV character from my childhood:  Tim Conway's "Oldest Man."

This gentleman moved very, very slowly. I mean, he had to have been at least 87 years old, (It's nice to see able bodied elders getting out there and enjoying life...) bowlegged, overweight, and oh yeah, his pants were making that long, sad, slow sag down his flat old man butt to his non existent hips. Next stop...the floor.  Only the bow in his legs seemed to be keeping us all from the world's most unpleasant strip tease.

His whole job was to pick up the paperwork on each car, find the car, drive it into the garage, run the emissions test, then drive the car out and park it next to the building, walk in, call the person's name and turn over the keys.

There were four people ahead of me when I got there.  After waiting an hour, there were still three cars ahead of me.  Including the bickering father/daughter team.

At the hour ten mark I got up. I couldn't sit there any longer. I couldn't walk outside because it was still pouring, so I wandered the very small "lobby" of the shop.  I read everything they had there.  What would you like to know about all weather tires?  

Having watched "The Oldest Man" closely I knew, finally, he was headed for the Mighty Cube.

Sort of.

I guess it's my fault. I have a car that's not all the common.  It sort of sticks out in a crowd.  It's easy to spot. Which is why it took "The Oldest Man", and I'm not kidding here, FOUR MINUTES to locate my car in a row of twelve vehicles.  He walked all the way to the wrong end of the line, looking at each and every vehicle, and then walked all the way to the end, PASSING MY CAR, before he bounced back and found the Cube.

He got into the Cube.

What he did next is a bit of a mystery, but bear with me.

Fifteen minutes after that he hobbled into the shop, looked at my paperwork, and seemed befuddled. Prior to this he'd been calling out the first name of the person on the paperwork.  Apparently, my last name confused him...he stared at the paperwork. I knew it was my car and at this point I was sweating, my skin was burning (which happens when I'm feeling hot and stressed and quite possibly menopausal, but most definitely premenstrual.)  and all I wanted to do was BE OUT OF THERE.

"That's my car," says I.

He looks at me as if I had just started speaking Swahili.  "Bradley?  Thomas? Sarah?"

"Yes, yes. My car.  My cube."

Still clearly wondering if he was doing the right thing "The Oldest Man" handed me the keys and my pass paperwork and I fled in to the rain.

Then it got weird.

Since my car accident in 2012 I've been very particular about how my mirrors and seat in my car are set.  I don't like it when other people move either one, although I'm used to Hubby moving my seat because I sit UNDER the steering wheel and he does not.  But even he doesn't mess with my mirrors.

"The Oldest Man" however, felt the need to adjust everything in my car. Seat, mirrors, and....


(I knew he'd messed with it because it kept rattling against the rear view mirror whereas when I put in in the car, I made sure it wouldn't rattle.)

I adjusted my seat and my other mirrors all the while cursing out "The Oldest Man" for messing with my stuff.  And a moment from the movie "Moulin Rouge" played over and over in my head.

So I get home and I'm a a furious lather over the fact that I was convinced the guy had attempted to steal my mini Rodgers. That might seem way off base, but let's review:

1) I'd been trapped in a waiting room for over an hour trying to do something that should have taken fifteen minutes.

2) I was starving.

3)  Old guy had messed with my mirrors and my seat when all he had to do was pull my car into a garage and pull it out.  I do that every day with family members' cars and I don't touch any of their stuff.

4)  Mini Aaron rattled all the way home, which, as my Sunday School kids will tell you, constant tapping or clicking or rattling sounds annoy me.

5)  I was hot and itchy from the stress of all of the above and when my skin feels like that all I want to do is scream.

So I storm into the house, fully loaded for bear and Hubby happens to be home.  "How was emissions?" he asks innocently.

That's when the flood gates open and I pour forth at least two minutes worth of rage and very blue language. I end the tirade with "And I think the old dude tried to steal Mini Rodgers because he kept rattling all the way home."

Hubby, ever a patient man, and yes, sadly used to these outbursts of mine  (I do not deal well with having to wait long periods of time in case you haven't picked up on that.) waited until I stopped yelling and he said, "I think Mini Rodgers was rattling because of me. The last time I drove your car I lowered your rear view mirror. You probably just adjusted it without raising it.  That's why he was rattling."

By now I'm breathing oxygen.  My skin has almost stopped burning.  And I realize that yes, I just lost my mind all because of my emissions test.  Total first world problem.

"You owe that old guy an apology." Hubby says with a grin.

"Sorry old guy!" I say to the air.  "Sorry I thought you were going to steal mini Rodgers. But NOT sorry I was mad because you messed with everything else in my car."

So the point of the story is that in two years when I have to do this all again, I'm not going to go on President's Day.

Yes, that is my ONLY take away from the story! 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Oh, wait! I DO have a Valentine's Day Story!

Those of you who know me know that, while I've been known to write a romance novel or two, (Four) I'm really not that into Valentine's Day.

I can't tell you where it started. I mean, in spite of my less than awesome high school career, I do not recall having any serious heartbreak on or around this Day of Love. I just remember thinking "Who needs it?"

College years, again, for the most part I had a date for V-Day, so you know, I haven't a clue why I've been a warrior against celebrations.

And then I remembered, this morning, a story from my first year of marriage, and I realized I had a fun story.

Here we go:

It was the first Valentine's Day after got married, way back in 1991.  It was a snowy day, but I wasn't worried about getting to my job as a data entry clerk for a medical equipment company.  After all, I was driving the BRAND NEW 1990 HONDA ACCORD Hubby and I bought right before we got married.  I would be super safe on the roads.

I should mention, the Accord was the ONLY car we owned. Hubby worked at the school across the parking lot from our house and our thinking was, hey, he could walk to school and I could drive and we'd NEVER NEED a second car.

We were idiots.

Now, I could have taken the interstate to my job. We lived a minute from the exit and my job was a minute from the exit. I would have arrived safe and sound and there would be no story.

Which is probably why I instead decided to drive the back roads.

I mean, what my actual thinking that morning was involved this thought, "This is Valentine's Day and I know Hubby and I have NEVER in our years together, celebrated it, and I know I've been militant in my hatred of the day, but I should get him a card. And I can stop at the grocery store on the way to work if I take the county roads instead of the interstate.

Which I did.

I'm an idiot.

So there was I was, cruising along on a snowy morning, the roads slippery and fun with snow and a little thing we here in the Northern lands call "black ice."  Which I didn't see.  Because you don't see black ice.

The next thing I remember was spinning...a lot.  I spun and spun and spun and wondered just when I would hit something to stop the spinning.

Then I did and I heard a tremendous crash, like the back window of the car had shattered.  I opened my eyes and I realized I was in a ditch, facing the wrong way on the road. I'd hit two trees, one full grown and one small one and thanks to these trees being on the drivers' side I was not able to open the door.  I was also not able to get out of the ditch.

Now this is there it gets good. See, in 1991, cell phones weren't a thing people had.  So here I'm sitting on a pretty deserted county road and I don't have a way to call for help.  I manged to crawl out of the passengers' side (and into about three feet of new snow, which filled my shoes) and get up out of the ditch. I did NOT look at the car because I knew I'd killed it.

The first house I got to didn't answer their door.  The second house did and the lady very nicely let me use the phone to call my husbands' school and say, "I killed the car."

Not knowing EXACTLY where I was, I gave him my coordinates as best I could and then staggered back to the car.  

Now on his end, Hubby had to borrow a car from one of the other teachers, because, again WE ONLY HAD THE ONE CAR.  So it took him a bit of time (let's just say the teachers at that school were less than charitable...but that's another story) to get to me.  

"I killed it." I said to him. "I shattered the back window."

He got out of the borrowed car and looked at our.  "No, you didn't. It's fine.  Look."

Friends to this day I have no idea what made that shattering noise, but every window in that vehicle was intact.

Hubby drove the car up and out of the ditch. The door was dented, but I could get in and out.  He suggested I go home, but I felt FINE and didn't want to miss a day of work for something so silly.

Again, I'm an idiot.

I drove to work, a little late now. I stopped in and explained to my boss why I was late. Now Dave was a very nice man, probably one of the kindest bosses I ever had.  And he, too, suggested I go home.  I said, no I was FINE. I mean, it's not like I was tarring roofs, I was a data entry clerk.

So I got to my desk, turned on my spiffy 1991 computer, and while I was waiting for it to heat up  (because that's what you did in 1991) I started crying.  Right there at my desk.  I sobbed for a few minutes and realized this was not going to stop any time real soon. So I turned off my computer, and went back to my boss and sobbed that I needed to go home and, hey, could he drive me?

Being a great guy, Dave did, and he had another guy from the Quality Control department follow us so he could get a ride back to work.  They dropped me and my dented car at home and then went back to work.

Now, that's enough of a story. I mean, no cell phones, so I didn't tell Hubby I was home until he saw the car in the drive way during recess and figured it out.  But there's more to it.

See, my boss was a nice guy, but my car did NOT look all the banged up.  And I don't blame him for his next move at all.  He and the other guy from QC drove back to the office by way of my accident route.  I don't think and hour had passed, so the skid marks and the spot in the ditch where I landed were still there.  They were impressed that I hit two trees and didn't destroy the car. They were MORE impressed, however, the I completely missed hitting the transformer box that stood about six feet away from my spot in the ditch.

Dave told me the next day, when I pulled it together enough to go to work, "If we are ever under a scud missile attack, I want to stand next to you."  (This was during the first Gulf War.)

And THAT, my friends, is my Valentine's Day story.

Oh, and NO, Hubby never DID get that card.

Friday, February 2, 2018

If Sarah's at a Concert, You Know Something's Getting Gross.

Good afternoon!

First of all...where did January go?  I blogged about New Year's Resolutions (Which I'm actually keeping pretty well, thank you) and then BOOM it's Ground Hog's Day?

How did that happen?

While we're on the topic of the Ground hog, remember, today is the day I get to start yelling at those of you who have not taken down your Christmas stuff.  (And those few of you who still have HALLOWEEN items up UNDER your Christmas stuff.  Seriously...take it down!)  I realize it's going to be super cold up here in the Upper Midwest, but suck it up. We've had wildly warm temps all through January...take it DOWN!

There, now that we have that out of the way, let me tell you about my most recent concert mishap.  

Hubby did good for Christmas and got us Trans Siberian Orchestra tickets for the end of December. I LOVE TSO, I have most of their albums (and duplicates of many, one for the car, one for the shelf in the house) so going to their concert is always a win.

I love going for many reasons, mostly because it's a concert sponsored by the local heavy metal rock station AND the Hallmark channel. So it's fun to watch the grandparents with their little grandchildren thinking they're having some nice holiday family fun when suddenly they're surrounded by face melting guitar solos and pyrotechnics.  Fortunately, TSO knows their audience. They put the Holiday stuff in the front and then give the grannies time to leave the arena before the real audio damage is done.

As I've gotten older I've liked large crowds less and less, and I've liked sitting next to people even less.  I find myself going to 8 AM matinee movies because I don't want to sit next to anyone.

That might seem nuts, but let's review my previous concerts:

Rick Springfield concert in Wisconsin Dells:  Sat next to a nice lady in a wheelchair, but in front of a woman who dumped whiskey sours on us all night.

Rick Springfield concert in Madison:  Sat in front of a woman who "didn't really like Rick, just liked "Jesse's Girl" and hadn't been "on  a date" in ten years.  She got so hammered on wine she dumped wine on the floor, making our shoes sticky, and then she had to be carried out by her hubby before the show ended.

Colin Hay concert in Milwaukee: Sat behind two guys (we were in the second row, I thought I'd managed to avoid this) who spent the entire concert getting up, blocking our view, and getting more beer.

Norah Jones concert in Milwaukee: Stood behind two women in line for the bathroom who griped about how the line at the men's room was too long and men shouldn't have their own restroom at all. These were the same women who said they didn't like football, and had spent much of the Packers' Superbowl in New Orleans in the bathroom.  It was all I could do not to slap them both.

These are just a few of my concert mishaps and negative human interaction. But TSO is really a family friendly thing so I figured the amount of alcohol infused nonsense would be much less.

I was wrong.

We got there a bit early so we could be settled in our seats and get a couple bottles of water BEFORE the show started.

Oh how I wish the people next to us thought the same.

I'm not going to comment on the number of people who walked in our line of site to go get more drinks.  I mean, what's the point of going to a concert if you're just going to be leaving the arena every ten minutes to get more drinks?  Buy the CD and stay home!

However, the people next to us were a special kind of concert mess.

1) They got there late.

I don't mean a little late, like oops they got hung up at security. No I mean they got there 40 minutes after the concert started. It was long enough for me to feel confident that the three seats next to me were not taken and therefore we could pile our winter coats and stuff on one of the seats.

When they came lumbering in OF COURSE they didn't take the two seats away from us. Nope. they sat in the two right next to us, giving THEM the buffer chair and forcing me to cram all our stuff under my chair.

2)  They smelled of beer and cigarettes.

They'd clearly been pregaming heavily both with the beer and with the smoking just so they wouldn't have to leave their seats.  I don't mind a little beer and smoke smell, but this was like sitting next to a case of lit Camels that had been rolled in beer.

3)  But that wasn't all...

Dude sitting right next to me had apparently tried to cover the smoke and beer smell by a) NOT SHOWERING FOR AND EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME 9like a month) and b) THEN DRENCHING HIMSELF IN COLOGNE.

The body odor and the heavy cologne were WORSE than the smoke and beer.  It was the perfect storm of smells that would make one gag, made all the more stronger by the aforementioned pyrotechnics which heated up the arena.

It was all I could do not to gag.

Now, TSO breaks their concerts up into three parts, and give concert goers a couple times to leave before the end.  That sounds weird, but it's a good long concert and not all their stuff is for everyone.  The people at the end of our row left after the first hour, leaving six seats to the right of Stinky empty. Do you think they moved so that we could all breath air that wasn't clouded with alcohol and Drakkar?  (Or English Leather...Polo...whatever it was it was too much!)


Would I be blogging about this if they had?

Nope, those two super smelly latecomers stayed until the bitter end. They never moved, they never went to use the restrooms or anything. They just sat next to me and sweat out horrible smells.

All that being said, I do love TSO and Hubby and I had a blast the whole night.  I just had to share that once again I do not leave a concert unscathed!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New YEAR! How about some New Year's Resolutions?

Hello everyone!

So by now it's already 2018 in several parts of world.  Happy New Year!

I don't have a full list of New Year's Resolutions set, but I think we can get a few out of the way, you know, the regular ones everyone makes.

1)  Eat better
2) Exercise more
3) Be nicer to pretty much everyone
4) Spend less money on junk.

Okay, so those are out of the way. Now, here are a few Sarah Specific resolutions I'm going to do my best to keep in the coming year.  And I tried to put together realistic goals, you know, stuff that's might actually happen if I put some effort in.

1)  Give up French Fries.

Yeah...I did it for Lent last year.  Not east.  But let's face it, the art of making a good French Fry is dying and really I'm only in it for the mayonaise or ketchup.  So...let's just give those up for a year.

2)  Increase daily step goal to 12,000.

Just means more marching at 11 PM while watching "The Tudors"...again.

3) Go to the gym more than I did in 2017.

Shouldn't be hard...since I'm pretty sure the number I have to beat is a single digit and we have 365 days for me to get it done.  On a related note, watch for me to really get my workouts going well about December 14.

4)  Drink more water.

This year I'm not going to count the ice I put in all my mixed beverages as water consumption.  I'm also pretty sure I can't count the water I use in coffee...since I also add creamer.  And I'm not giving up dairy.  We all know that's not going to work in my world.

5)  Take all my supplements every day.

2017 proved to my I can't just do a "catch up day" on Thursdays with one big giant, vomit inducing day of vitamins.  Not really getting the best benefit out of that, I think.

So there we go. And I'm kicking the year off with a physical, so watch for more resolutions (or doctor's instructions) to follow

Happy New Year Everyone!  Here's hoping 2018 is better to us all than 2017 was!

Friday, December 29, 2017

My 2017 Stats Prove: It Can ONLY Happen to Sarah!


This blog post deals specifically with a certain feminine issue and reading this post may be offensive, disturbing, or gross to anyone who is not an adult woman.

You know who you are, and you have been warned!

Okay, so I turned 50 this year. Granted, I JUST turned 50, so it's not like I was 50 all year...but still, I turned 50 this year. And with that age comes a certain expectation regarding my female punctuation.

Like, maybe, I'm going to start NOT HAVING IT?

Since my mother has always been pretty open about it, I know that by the time she turned 50 she was all but DONE with the whole punctuation thing.  AND, since I spend every Saturday half the year with my mom at my farmers market booth where she sells her art and I sell my books, I also know that she's very interested in how my biological slowdown is going.

Well, let's review the steps of early menopause, shall we?

Not to be too gross, but yeah...this fits. 

Including the irregular punctuation.

Except...ummm....there's this: 

I've been keeping track of my punctuation for the last two years because my mother, my close friends, my doctors, all seem to be really interested in what's going on with my system.  This past year I've had a number of medical tests done under the heading of "why is Sarah anemic?"  (Personally I think they just wanted a reason to poke at my uterine lining and draw blood endlessly, but that's just because after five months of really invasive testing they found nothing conclusive and wanted to do more invasive testing.)

Anyway, after tracking my punctuation very closely, guess what I realized about 2017?

Yes, yes, my punctuation was a bit different from previous years.


For those of you who don't know: typical women have 12 punctuation experiences a year.  One per calendar month.  I've had 12 like a clock since I was 13 with the exception of my two pregnancies.

But I, having turned 50 this year, and waiting for a slowdown...guess what I did?

I HAD 14 of them!

I know I felt like I was constantly punctuating this year, and I know Hubby thought this, although he's such a good guy, he didn't mention it.  But now that I look at my stats (carefully recorded in the notes section of my phone) I realize...yes...indeed...I HAVE BEEN CONSTANTLY PUNCTUATING.

WHAT THE #%@&* is going on here?

Every time I see my mother, she tells me how she was done with everything grammar related by the time she was 50.  

Since she's my only female relative who 1) is still alive and 2) made it to menopause without surgical intervention, I've got no one else I can ask whether or not I'm just some throwback to an ancestor who continued punctuating deep into their senior years.

So, to my mom, I'm some sort of zoo animal science oddity and my punctuations need to be commented on.

And I get to tell her that not only am I not slowing down...I'm ACTUALLY HAVING MORE of them!

I'd like to think my body is just going through some kind of fire sale/clearing house thing and in another six months everything will just go from full ON to full STOP like some sort of magic trick.  

But, knowing how my life goes, I think we can all expect this particular source of annoyance to continue forever.


At least...until next month.

Happy new year everyone!  Here's hoping 2018 treats us all well!

Holding out for a (Anti) Hero.

Good morning everyone! So last night Hubby and I were binge-watching a Showtime TV series on Netflix and I realized something fairly distu...