I feel the need

I feel the need

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let me just drop everything...

Good afternoon!

We all have people in our lives who demand our time and attention in the most unreasonable ways. You know what I mean.  I'm talking about the people who wait until the last minute and then demand you stop everything and help them finish something.  (Generally kids who "forget" school projects until about 9 PM on Sunday night...and it's due Monday morning.)   I'm ABSOLUTELY talking about the customer I just got off the phone with who was griping because we didn't ship him something he ordered right away, so he could fill an order for a customer who placed the order TWO WEEKS AGO!

Let me put that in a step by step logic...

1)  The customer orders a toy from the guy.

2)  The guy waits two weeks to place the order for the toy with me.

3)  Since the guy waited two weeks to place the order for the toy, he missed the deadline I have for the days I place the order with our suppliers.

4)  Since he missed the deadline, the customer of the guy will now have to wait about two weeks, closer to three really, to get the toy he wanted.

5)  The guy is yelling at me for this because his customer now has to wait longer.  Apparently he feels if he yells at me I will start crying and those tears will make the toy magically appear in his customer's hand.  I'm good, but I'm not the Quantum Leap guy, I can't bend the time/space continuum and get that toy here two weeks ago.  Also, I'm not Santa Claus, and if I were, he'd still have to wait because I only deliver one day a year.




My friends, this is a get-what-you-want-when-you-want-it-and-get-it-right-now world.  Thanks to the Internet, we can order something from pretty much anyplace on the planet and get it next day, provided we're willing to pay for it.  (The guy wasn't, BTW.)  It's okay that we have this ability to shop globally.  But there are still some things that simply cannot happen if you don't plan ahead.

Because you KNOW this woman's got hers!
1)  If you don't buy your ticket for the midnight screening of Harry Potter sooner rather than later, there won't be a ticket available for you to buy.  It won't matter that you're dressed in your finest Griffendor clothes, the muggle in the ticket booth has a finite number of tickets and if Lord Voldemort had to buy ahead, you probably should, too. And that goes for all you TwiHard fans, too.  Teams Edward and Jacob, you wanna see the movie at midnight?  Buy ahead. 

2)  ACT/SAT testing.  Yeah, sign up my friends, or you're going to wind up taking the ACT at a high school 50-100 miles away from home, if you're lucky. (Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything, OF COURSE...) 

3)  Call ahead seating for "family friendly" eateries.  While I happen to think this is a bit of a scam, I'm not ready to risk it.  I'm calling ahead and limiting the amount of time I spend sitting in the "wait area"  (which is ALWAYS about 10X too small for the number of the hungry sitting there waiting for a table like undead zombies..."FEED ME.........."FEEEEEEEEDDDDDD MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!")  You don't call ahead, you don't get to the head of the line. And if you don't get to the head of the line, be ready for them to be "out" of certain menu items.  Oh you wanted the special? Sorry, you should have gotten there earlier, or called ahead.  All that's left is calf liver and onions.  Enjoy!

4)  Camp sites.  Now, I don't camp all that often...okay, I haven't camped in 10 years.  But I know this:  If you don't book your campsite ahead they are going to put you in a spot between the bathrooms and the playground and you'll get no sleep OR they'll put you sixteen miles away from the bathrooms and you'll...well, just bring a big bucket, that's all I can say.

5) Rick Springfield meet and greets (OR ANY meet and greets with stars.)  I don't know much, but I know this:  If they say a limited number of people are getting in, it's going to be limited!  Wanna talk to Rick?  GET IN LINE EARLY!  (Okay, that was just for a select few of you out there, you know who you are.  We stood in line together, hoping against hope.  And some of you got a little testy and rude, didn't you?  Oh don't look away from me like that!)

Here's the biggie:

Doctor's offices are the exception, most of the time. There it's really first come, first serve unless you're super injured or sick. But, in honor of back to school, I have to bring up this one this:


Yes, if your child is in a school sport, they must have a physical at least every other year.  It must be done after April 1 and in time for school to start.  Ya know what the scheduling nurses LOVE?  They LOVE it when you wait until July 7 to schedule a physical for a sport that starts July 9.  Oh yes, they'll drop EVERYTHING and get you RIGHT IN.

Not that I know this from experience...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

So you want to order a coffee beverage...

Good morning!

I'm ignoring the fact that I just sent my baby off to her last first day of grade school.  She's so ready for high school, she'd like to skip 8th grade and go directly to the land of lockers and proms  (She's been shopping for a prom dress since she was 9).  Instead, I'm going to focus on something that makes me laugh every time I'm ordering coffee beverages at a coffee beverage place.

Going to a coffee place is the way suburban women can make themselves feel trendy and hip.  And the fact that coffee is one of the few legal addictions to have  (and it is our addictions that bind us together...think about that nugget of wisdom later today.)  drinking coffee, and more importantly ordering coffee from a trendy coffee place is a skill to have.  Personally, I didn't drink a drop of that black elixer of life until I was 36 and needed something to keep me awake after watching those late night NHL playoff games. Six years later, I'm a card carrying coffee drinker very close to sucking the stuff down like truckers do...black and bitter.

I realize that ordering a coffee beverage from someone called a barista  can be a little confusing.  I get that.  But if Skippy and Peaches can manage it,  then grown adults should be able to.  At least, that's what you'd think.

There are some unwritten rules to ordering coffee in a coffee place.  And, as a public service, I'm here to help.

1)  Don't pretend you know everything.

Hey, they're called BARISTAS.  They've got the corner on pretentious, so don't go into a coffee place pretending you know everything because they will see through the crap and mock you two ways:  First they will be over polite to the point of ridiculous, and second, they will go in the back room with the other baristas and loudly laugh while you drink something that not only isn't what you thought it was, but probably has an extra shot of something in it so that you're awake for the next three days.  No, they won't spit in your coffee, they are above that.  But they can and will mess with your sleep patterns.  So, when ordering, assume a humble, ignorant expression and allow them to shower you with their coffee knowledge.
2)  Don't ask "What should I have?"

This question will only result in a completely blank stare.  Those familiar with the movie "Joe Versus the Volcano"  (And if you're not, you better get familiar because it's required viewing for this blog.) will recall the scene in which Joe asks his driver, Marshall,  where he should go to buy clothes.  This exchange ensues:

Marshall: They just pay me to drive the limo, sir. I'm not here to tell you who you are.

Joe: I didn't ask you to tell me who I am.

Marshall: You were hinting around about clothes. That happens to be a very important topic to me, sir. Clothes, Mr...

Joe: Banks.

Marshall: Banks. Clothes make the man. I believe that. You say to me you want to go shopping, you want to buy clothes, but you don't know what kind. You leave that hanging in the air, like I'm going to fill in the blank. That to me is like asking me who you are, and I don't know who you are. I don't want to know. It's taken me my whole life to find out who I am, and I'm tired now. You hear what I'm saying?
You cannot ask a barista what you should have and expect anything other than a blank stare.  The correct question to ask is:  "What's your favorite beverage?"  OR, "I want something cold.  What do you suggest?"  (Don't know if you want a cold beverage or a hot one?  Get out of the coffee place immediately and don't come back until you've at least figured out what temperature you want.)
3)  Size matters.  Figure out how to pronounce the sizes or order the ones you can pronounce.
Face it.  I'll always order a "Tall" or a "Venti" because I am not sure if it's "GRAND" or "GRAND-AY."  Don't say small, medium, or large, because these are not words the baristas understand and they will fire back "do you want that as a tall?"  Tall is SMALL.  Venti is BIG.  the middle one we don't order.
4)  Watching your weight?  Here's what you say:
Those of you savvy enough to have studied up on this know that if you 86 (That's a restaurant term for get rid of or run out of) the whipped cream and whole milk from coffee beverages you save yourself half the fat and calories.  Ah, but how to order this and not look like some nit picking dingbat like the woman I was behind at the deli.
Okay, I have to tell you this story because, well, it just happened and it made me laugh. After I got over being furious.  I went to the deli at my local mega mart to get some sliced cheese and roast beef for Skippy's sandwiches.  I managed to get behind a woman who had six children  (All hers from the looks of it) with her.  Five of the six were mobile and were buzzing around like noisy bees.  I've been there.  That didn't bother me.  She made them all go sit on the display of soda cases...I thought that was brilliant.  What made me mad was when she got to the counter and said this:
"What ham do you have that's not processed?"
You're laughing, right?  You should be.  The deli clerk, a patient man, said, "Ma'am, it's ham.  It's all processed in some way."
"Yes, but what is the least processed ham you sell?"
(I cannot make this up, this really happened.)
"Well, I guess this one," he points to one of the nine different kinds of ham in the case.  All of the ham, it should be noted, looks exactly the same, except they have different titles.  Some is "Honey baked" some is "Smoked apple wood."  But all of it looks like...ham.
"Is that the least processed ham you sell?"
(Now, at this point, I'm ready to jump behind the counter myself and yank out one of the fifty pound unsliced hams they keep and through it at her, because it's had one less step in the processing process...it hasn't been sliced.)
The Deli Clerk, an awesome picture of super human patience, then points to the basic store brand ham and says, "I think this one is maybe a little less processed."
The woman is over joyed.  She says, "Good, I will take half a pound of that.  I don't want my children eating processed foods."
So I've told you that story to explain why you should know how to order something with less fat.  Coffee places offer a "lite" version of their drinks.  I'm here to tell you, don't order that.  The lite versions are nasty.  It's like diet soda without the whimsy.  If you want to get something that is far lighter than the original that still tastes good, order it "non fat, no whip."  They will remove the whipped topping and replace whole milk with skim.  Not sure if a beverage comes with whipped topping?  It's perfectly okay to ask that question.
5)  You're in a coffee place.  If you want something that doesn't taste like coffee, get a fruit smoothie.
Ordering in a coffee place in the suburbs is a trip sometimes.  I love getting behind middle aged women who want to be hip and drink the cool coffee stuff, but really don't like the coffee flavor.  This is a transcript of an actual order I witnessed recently.
Woman: I'd like something hot, but what do you have that doesn't taste like coffee?
Barista:  We have fruit smoothies.
Woman:  I don't like fruit smoothies. I want something hot.
Barista:  We have teas, hot and cold.
Woman:  I don't like tea.
Barista:  We have bottled water and sparkling water.
Woman:  No, I want coffee.  But what do you have that doesn't taste like coffee?
Barista:  Well, since all of our coffee drinks have coffee in them, I suppose they all taste like coffee.
Woman:  What about the mocha?
Barista:  That would taste like coffee.
Woman:  What about the espresso?
Barista:  That would really taste like coffee.
This went on for about five minutes until the woman decided she'd try a mocha frap.  (That's a frozen blended coffee drink that has a hint of chocolate.  It is neither hot, nor is the coffee flavor hidden in any way.)
If you do not like the flavor of coffee, try the fruit smoothies, the teas  (I like the vanilla latte ruibos myself.)  or don't go to a coffee place. 
May I suggest starting your coffee experience at the gas station?  Believe me when I say, gas station cappuccino is a gift of the gods, all creamy and sweet and hardly any coffee flavor at all.  Start with that and, in a couple of years when you realize that drinking gas station cappuccino doesn't make you look trendy in anyway, gradually work your way through the coffee place's menu until you find the drink you really like.  Then, like my hubby, you too can just say, "I'll have the usual."  and look seriously trendy to your non coffee drinking friends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Here's to the men who read this blog!

Good evening! 

Well this is odd.  I almost never, ever blog at home.  BUT I just got back from Silver's...okay, let's just drop the pretense.  It's GOLD's.  There, I said it.  Gold's Gym.  I just got back from my second first meeting the a personal trainer.  (Remember, the first first meeting was with Crumb Blowing Steve.)

One thing I learned today...no, not that I'm fat.  Did you not READ my blog on the answer to every question?  One thing I learned today is that men read this blog. More specifically, Nice Mark over at Gold's reads my blog.

I knew some me read my blog.  I mean, my husband has to.  My friend, Todd, reads and comments on it.  Most of the time when I'm writing it I hear Todd's very infectious laughter in my head.  I miss those days when he and I would just barely pass college Physics, mostly because we could both rewrite pop songs to include the word BEER and because Lee, our lab partner, was a genius.  (That you, Lee!)

I never realized that when I gave out my blog address, people might actually read it...

(Uh, DUH Sarah!)

So today, I'm writing in honor of the two Marks, Nice Mark who has also asked to be called "Naturally Balding Mark" and Personal Trainer Mark who did not Blow Crumbs in my face, but DID imdb Rick Springfield so that he sounded like he knew what he was talking about during out session today.  That Mark has asked that I refer to him as KRAM.

And so I shall.

I never thought I'd write so much about health clubs, but that's sort of been what I've been doing the last couple weeks.  It's time for me to get back to the hot yummy thing I was....

Oh, wait...

Yeah, okay, whatever.  Let's move on.

After I found out that Naturally Balding Mark was reading, I thought I should probably make this a more male friendly experience.  I mean, I could spend all my time ranting about personal trainers who blow donut crumbs, but honestly, that gets old, and besides, I have so much more to rant about.

So, my friends, both male and female, I salute and welcome you to my humble little abode.  And, for my male friends...well, I've been told that there's this one special fantasy most guys have...a Star Wars thing.  So, to prove to you that I'm not just commenting on the middle aged female condition, I give you this:

Okay, that's out of the way.  Tomorrow, Friday, I am attending a wedding rehearsal.  It's actually a bit more involved.  See, I'm playing the music for the wedding.  Those of you who know me, know that the last time I played for a wedding, the music fell off the music stand and the soloist and I burst out in laughter so hard, it covered the sound of the building's roof being torn off during the ceremony.

Honestly, this stuff just sort of happens to me.  I cannot make it up!  I'm not that talented!

So a former Sunday school student of mine ignored my protests and convinced me to play for her wedding.  Tomorrow is the rehearsal.  I'm wondering if it's too late to break a hand or something.

Hey!  I could get KRAM to make me do something over at Gold's that would injure my hand...just until Saturday night!

It's just a thought...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

If I do the happy dance of joy at the gym...does that count as a workout?

Good afternoon all!

So I went with Dee to "Silver's"  last night. (Names are changed to protect those who have a sense of humor from those who do not.)

My frustration with the entire process of joining Silver's has been well documented.  The high pressure sales tactics that got me to sign on the dotted line made me feel stupid, on top of really super fat.  The only reason I didn't quit right then and there was...well...I couldn't. (Well, unless I died.  Then I get out of my contract with Silver's.)

And, of course, we all know about Steve, the crumb blowing trainer.

My continued frustration moved to a new phase yesterday as I was preparing to go to Silver's to get Dee a membership under their new "sale."  Last week I'd called to ask about the enrollment fee.  (Enrollment fees, for those of you not in the know, is the ridiculous amount of money health clubs charge up front, unless you make a face like you're going to walk out the door, then they cancel it.  Enrollment fees are the appendix of the health club contract.  Nice to have, but if you have to lose it, you're still good.)  I asked the woman "Is there an enrollment fee for anyone joining under this sale?"  She said, and I quote, "NO."

So yesterday I called Ryan, a pleasant young man I've spoken to before.  I again asked the question about the enrollment fee.  He said, "Oh, there's a PROCESSING $49 fee to join." 

This started a phone exchange I won't bore you with, but I believe I said something to the effect of, "Ryan, it doesn't matter what you want to call it, an enrollment fee, a processing fee, a SCREW YOU fee, the fact is that I was told on Friday there was no fee and now you're telling me that there's a $49 fee."

Funny how things get passed around. 

When we get to Silver's, Ryan wasn't there.  (I have my own thoughts on the matter, but mostly I think big bad Sarah scared another young un into hiding.  Which is funny because I'm generally thought of, by those who know me, as a big honkin' doormat.)  Instead, we were met by a gentleman named Mark.  Mark seemed jovial enough, he gave us a very nice tour of the place, Dee and I liked him very much.  When we sat in his office getting all the paperwork together, Mark pulled up my account. The first thing he did was give me a good long stare.

I hate being stared at.  It makes me feel...fat.

"You're hair is shorter and..."

I realized he was looking at my club picture. 

Okay, I should explain about that picture.  It's terrible.  It may very well be the worst picture I've ever taken, and I have a drivers' license and a passport picture I'm not too fond of.  It was one of those days I went to the club before I prettied up.  Which should give you some idea of how horrible it was.  Plus I didn't want to have my picture taken, plus it was 800 degrees in that stupid unairconditioned building.  So that picture makes me look like a big, fat, sweaty, greasy, angry, stoner.  (My eyes were, predictably, closed.)

We had a good laugh about that picture, Mark, Dee, and I.  Then he started working on Dee's contract.  And he said, "You'll have to pay your first months', last months' , and, of course, your 'screw you' fee."

Friends, it's been a very long time since I actually wet my pants, but Dee and I were laughing so hard, I nearly did this time out.  Apparently Ryan, in his desire to escape seeing Big Bad Sarah, had to give a reason he was afraid of a chunky middle aged woman he could easily out run without breaking a sweat.  My picture should have done the trick, but the note 'screw you fee' just adds more mystery to the beast that is me!

From that moment on, it was a lovely time there in Mark's office.  No high pressure.  No lies.  No brushing certain facts under the rug.  I loved it, and I told Dee I was jealous of the way her signing on was going.

Then they got to the part where Dee was going to get her two free sessions with a trainer. Mark asked if Dee had a preference, male or female.  I said, "as long as it's not crumb blowing Steve, you'll be good."

Dee, of course, reads this blog.  She knows Crumb Blowing Steve.  We had a good laugh.  Mark looked befuddled for a moment, then nodded his head.  "I know who you're talking about.  He no longer works here."

Sometimes good things just keep happening all in a row.

Mark brought in Kate the personal trainer coordinator person,  and the two of them started talking a bit about how things at this Silver's had improved since the start.  (Turns out, I've been at that Silver's longer than they had.) I mentioned the bumpy start to my enrollment and another name came up.  I'll call him Walter, because I can't even laugh at how that man left me feeling once I'd gone through his high pressure sales tactics.

It appears, Walter is also no longer there. 

Better yet, Kate, bless her heart, is giving me two more sessions with a trainer she promises will not blow donut crumbs at me and one who knows who Rick Springfield is.  Then Mark had Very Nice Ken make us smoothies and we danced a dance of joy.

After much reflection, I've decided Karma is a funny thing.  And what we can take away from this is that if you lie to a fat woman, or blow donut crumbs at her, bad things will happen.

Now, Ryan, if you're out there...you have no need to be afraid of me.  Really.  I generally don't bite, no matter what my picture looks like! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Planning is key to a good workout routine.

Good afternoon!

I was on the phone last night with "Dee"  my friend and exercise partner.  Now, when I say exercise partner I mean that this summer we were going to walk together once a week every week.

And we did!

For three weeks.

Then it was the weather, or the heat, or the kids, or something at church, or...and I'll be totally honest here, we just flat out didn't feel like it.  Okay, even more honest, I didn't feel like it.

Well, there was that one time we got together, but we drove, and we met at Starbucks so I don't think that counts as exercise.

Since Dee is the thinner of the two of us, it is my fault we haven't gotten together like we should.  I'll take the heat for it. I should have been down 20 of the 70 pounds I need to lose before Rick Springfield makes his way to Southeastern Wisconsin again.   Not the case...bad Sarah!

Well, since my gym is having this MASSIVE GIGANTIC SALE on memberships Dee is going to join.  (As will my family, but honestly, do I want to be working out with the KIDS?  Not!)  So we're meeting tonight after I get done stretching out the cheerleaders at their practice.  (Somehow, someone decided I was qualified to teach young girls how to stretch...insert your hysterical laughter here.)

Anyway, I was on the phone last night with Dee, who wanted a little more info on the gym before she gets there...most importantly what the trainer, Ryan, looked like. 

"Is he cute?"

Okay, Peaches and The Man  (My new name for the hubby) were sitting right there.  How does a married woman describe a cute guy to another woman while in earshot of her daughter and her husband?

The good news is that Ryan is not my type.  First of all, he looks too much like Steve the Crumb Blowing Trainer that destroyed any desire I have for working with a trainer.  Second of all, he's young and blond.  I like my men like I like my coffee...hot, dark, and maybe not so fresh...(insert your grossed out noises here.)  So for me, to explain to Dee that Ryan was hardly my type was easy.  "I didn't notice."  (Only a partial lie.  OF COURSE I noticed his muscles, the way his shirt fit, his tan...I just didn't notice his face...)

Dee inserted her hysterical laughter.  Once she regained her composure, we had to discuss an even more important topic:  Was our new plan to work out going to interfere with the upcoming "Biggest Loser" season?  (Because, you know, that's when we watch the show, drink wine, and eat chocolate.  We can't have exercise getting the the way of THAT!) 

Well, we decided that once the season started, we would work out BEFORE the show and then repair to one of our own homes to partake of wine and chocolate.

I love it when a plan comes together like it should.

Anyway, the gym membership sale is ridiculous, and if you'd like to join on my membership, and you live in the Waukesha, WI area, drop me a message, we'll get it worked out.  No enrollment fee, and you won't pay more than $25 a month.  All for the pleasure of torturing yourself a couple times a week....month....whatever!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The answer to every question anyone asks me.

Good afternoon!

I'm sitting here sucking down a Slim fast shake.  The can says the flavor is "Cappuccino Delight" which is pretty much the only flavor I can drink without dying.  I tell myself it's a really good coffee.  (Never mind that it makes my pee smell like, well, coffee.  Hence, at the Bradley house, we call it "Cappu pee no.") 

So I'm drinking this shake, which really isn't a shake, it's thick fluid that is supposed to serve as a whole meal, and I'm wondering why?  Why am I sitting at my desk drinking this stuff that makes me think of Starbucks every time I use the ladies room?


Then it hit me:  That is the answer to every question anyone has asked me ever in the last 13 years. 

Why are you drinking a slim fast shake?

Because I'm fat.

Why are you going to Gold's gym?

Because I'm fat.

Why don't you go to Gold's more often?

Because I'm fat.

Why don't you let people take pictures of you?

Because I'm fat.

Why are you wearing a step counter?
Because I'm fat.

Okay, those questions all make sense with that answer.  But let's take a look at other questions I get on a regular basis.

From Bossman:

Why didn't you take those packages to the Post Office?

My answer:  Because it was noon and I knew that the line at the post office was going to be brutal, so I decided to wait until tomorrow.

My real answer:  BECAUSE I'M FAT!

From my mother:  Why didn't you RSVP to your aunt's anniversary?

My answer:  Because I forgot to.

My real answer:  BECAUSE I'M FAT AND IT'S TOO MUCH TROUBLE TO GO LOOK UP HER PHONE NUMBER and give her a call.  Why can't she just get email like everyone else so I can just shoot her an email and be done with it?

(Okay, that was a bit longer, but I have family issues, so cut me some slack.)

Realizing that this is the answer to every question ever, well, it's sort of freeing.  And probably the reason I haven't made a really concerted effort to lose weight. 

From the choir director:  Why weren't you at practice last week?

My answer:  I wasn't feeling well.


Now, it is a myth that fat people are lazy.  Really.  Every fat person I know is just as busy as every skinny person I know.  The difference is what we do in our downtime.  My very skinny friend, I'll call her Marie  (she knows who she is) spends her downtime walking her dog, walking on the treadmill, and reading books on how to get healthier. 

I spend my downtime searching for episodes of "Wipeout"  on TV while glued to the couch and eating lovely salty snacks with dip.

I work hard, I volunteer all over the place, and I'm always on the go.  But ask me a question about why I do or don't do something, and I will bet you a Krispy Kreme donut that the real answer will come back to "I'M FAT."

Now, if you ask my mother or my boss, they'll have to agree with this.  Basically because, between the two of them, I'm reminded every day that yes, indeed, I am fat.  I was relating my hysterical attempt at Albert Haynesworths' fitness test the other day and Bossman said, "Oh, good, I was hoping you were still going to Gold's."

Not the point of the story, but thanks Bossman who doesn't offer a health care plan and therefore gets zero say in what I do and do not shove into my mouth, for reminding me that I need to exercise.

My mother is better.  She once offered me $300 to join a health club some years ago.  I took her money, put it toward removing unwanted hair  (Didn't finish the job, though, but that's another story for another day.)  and gained another 30 pounds.  Why?  BECAUSE I'm FAT!  And because, I'm revolting against her control.  Hey, she can deny my father food, but I'm a grown up woman.  My fat is a testament to my independance!

Hey, yes!  It's not fat...it's a banner of FREEDOM!

Sing it with me sisters of size!  WE'RE NOT FAT...WE'RE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow...who knew writing about how fat I am would be so freeing?  I feel great!  I'm going to go get myself a cheeseburger and some fries!



Now my friends, one other little note:  Happy Birthday to Kevin Tighe, the actor who played "Roy DeSoto" on my favorite of all time shows "Emergency."  Cheers to ya!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pay no attention to the social networking site behind the curtain!

Good afternoon!

So I will admit, I have always been addicted to those silly quizzes that pop up every now and then.  You know the ones you get in your email, the ones that ask you if you like bacon bits or croutons. 

Since the Internet was invented, people have flooded other people's in boxes with these survey/quiz deals.  Some love them, some don't.

Well, those of you who don't love them, you can rejoice.  I haven't gotten one of those surveys in ages and there's a very good reason why:


Oh happy day!  While I don't have to ponder whether or not I prefer croutons to bacon bits, I have learned the following about myself:

I have learned which character I am in several different TV shows.

I have learned what my heavy metal/stripper/country music/Star Wars/and Broadway name would be.

I am Alice Cullen from the Twilight movies, according to one survey.

I am Jacob Black  from Twilight in  another survey.

Most important, I am Indigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride."  BEST MOVIE EVER!

My favorite Harry Potter teacher is Dumbledore.

I have 51 friends who are confused about their gender.  ( For some reason, that one makes me laugh.)

While Facebook seems full of answers about all sorts of things, Facebook is sneaky.  Apparently a bunch of my friends have answered a bunch of questions about me...I can see the answers, but not who gave them.  So, in the interest of full disclosure, let me set the record straight for those of you who answered incorrectly.

I have been in a fist fight.

I have played strip poker.

I grind my teeth while I sleep.

I sing Britney Spears' songs when no one is around.

I have NO IDEA what a 'fist pound' is, but it sounds dirty, so someone has to tell me now!

I am NO LONGER a virgin, (Just ask my husband,  my two kids and the cast of medical characters that delivered them.)  and whoever put 'yes' as an answer for that either doesn't know what that word means or...well, there's really no other answer for that. 

Somehow my friends on Facebook don't think I drive too fast.  Skippy will tell you I'm a maniac.  Of course, Skippy also thinks I'm boring and uncool.  Skippy doesn't know much.  But both Skippy and Peaches have been in the car when I've gotten warnings from various officers.  My favorite was getting pulled over on my way home from church.  Skippy, then a youthful lad of about nine, did the math in his head as the officer was talking to me and blurted out, "That's sixteen over, mom!"

Yes, thank you, son. 

Where was I?  Oh yes, anyway, I love all the little quizzes and tests and top five lists and all that.  I can't actually start my day properly unless I've turned my iPod on shuffle and listed the first five songs that come up.  (Sometimes that takes a while, given the limited number of songs listed on Facebook, and how freakishly odd my iPod collection actually is.  Then I have to create my own listing with a picture and by the time I'm done, it's almost noon!  Good thing my JOB doesn't actually cut into my Facebook time!)

Anyway, one of the little quizzes I took recently made me laugh coffee right through my nose. 

Peaches took it first.  My darling daughter, it was a quiz made for her.  GANGSTA or NERD?

She prides herself on cultivating the perfect Nerd image. 

And sure enough, she took the quiz and came up something like 59% Nerd.

As expected, I thought, because she's way cooler than she thinks.  I should know.  I'm cool.

Really...I am!

So I took the quiz.  Because I'm cool like that.

The result?



I knew I was cool...I had no idea! 

Guess this means it's time to dump the mom jeans and Princess Bride t-shirt and put on those super baggy jeans that you belt around just under your butt cheeks.  But it's okay, because now I'll get to wear REALLY BIG BAGGY SHIRTS...and I can say things like "ah ite?"  And "Yo momma"

Oh this is going to be AWESOME!  Wait, gangstas dont' say awesome.  They say...ummmmm...cool?  Neat?  23 skiddoo?

Whatever, Facebook says I'm gangsta!  I have to go shopping!  I need a hat!  I need a hat and a a piercing and a tattoo.

Later dudes...(is that something someone gangsta would say?  Well, maybe Barnes and Noble has a "Suburban Mom to Gangsta" dictionary.)

But first I have to find out which of my friends thinks I'm still a virgin.  Probably one of the 51 who are confused about their gender?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hey! Where's my $100 million?

Let me tell you what I did yesterday, because it is so rare that I do something I'm actually really proud of!
I never miss Steve Czaben’s sports segment on Bob and Brian’s morning show (which you can stream live at http://www.1029thehog.com/ ) . Yesterday my favorite sports guru, a resident of the Washington DC area, spent quite a bit of time lamenting the woeful performance of Washington Redskins’ offensive lineman, Albert Haynesworth. Apparently, Mr. Haynesworth is incapable of passing a basic fitness test, and his gigantor contract isn’t enough motivation to get into some sort of minimum shape.

As much as I love football, the pricetags for these guys is ridiculous. There are so many people in this world whose job descriptions do NOT include the word PLAY...yet these guys are paid to do one thing:  PLAY football for 16 games.  20 if you're on a good team.
The Albert Haynesworth thing is especially annoying, both to Redskins’ fans and football folk because 1) He’s in the prime of his playing years at 29, and 2) he’s got a contract for $100 million dollars. Sorry, for that amount of money, I’ll cut off parts of my body if it makes me run faster.

So back to what I did yesterday. The test that Mr. H. can’t seem to pass is a simple running test. Run 300 yards, (900 feet) in 70 seconds, rest 3.5 minutes, then do it again. Reading some blogs online, I saw that many residents of the greater Washington DC area took this test and completed it. Also, I watched Mike Golic of ESPN do it online.  He hasn't played football in many years.  He succeeded.  (CHEERS TO YA MIKE!)
Well, I thought, I have always done well with tests, let’s give it a go.

So I went to Gold’s Gym, something I was going to do anyway, with a purpose and a goal. I was going to attempt to pass a test a professional athlete making $100 million couldn’t. I even stopped at the front desk and let the trainers know that was what I was going to do. (More to alert them to the fact that a large woman was probably going to need medical attention in a few moments.)

(No, this is NOT me! I just like her style.  LOL!)

Let’s just do a stat line up:

Albert Haynesworth: 29 years old, 350 pounds, 6’6”, has a bum knee, is a professional athlete making $100 million.

Sarah Bradley: nearly 43 years old, 75 pounds overweight (and that’s sort of being kind), has a knee that was damaged in a car accident 11 years ago and doesn’t work right, is NOT any sort of athlete. (The last organized sports team I played for was my 7th grade basketball team. Now I spend my days figuring out ways to NOT sweat.)  Is an office manager making NOT $100 million.

I did a warm up on my favorite machine the recumbent elliptical. I love this machine because 1) I get to sit down while I’m using it and 2) I burn calories on it like a maniac. I did a full out 25 minutes on that to warm up. Then I got on the treadmill. I warmed up a bit more for about five minutes, then I cranked it up. Figuring that 300 yards is 900 feet, which is .17 miles, my goal was to hit .17 in 70 seconds.

Have I mentioned I never, ever run? I loathe it.

I ran HARD for 65 seconds and made it .15 miles on the first run. Frankly, it wasn’t my knee that wouldn’t take the punishment. I simply couldn’t breathe anymore at that pace. Still, Mr. Haynesworth’s time was .17 miles in 73 seconds for the first run. I did .15 in 65 seconds. A little short both in time and distance.

I wasn’t going to try a second time, because I hadn’t made the first goal. But then I thought, hey, neither did he, and isn’t the point of this exercise to see how I match up with a professional athlete?

So, I cooled down a bit for 3.5 minutes.  It should be noted, the pro athlete took a 10 minute bathroom break, but I walked on the treadmill at a 3 mile an hour pace. Then I cranked the speed up again. This time I managed to run for 60 seconds, but only made .13 miles. Again, I fell a bit short.
Not as short as that professional athlete with the $100 million contract. He didn’t even attempt a second run
I stopped at the desk on my way out to let them know how I’d done. I may have failed, but I did not fail completely. I managed to get through a physical test that a professional athlete making $100 million quit.
So I guess what I’m saying is, hey, Albert Haynesworth? Shame on you! You just got beat by a gimpy, overweight, out of shape, middle aged girl who hasn't played organized sports since she was 12.  Oh, and I don't get paid anything close to $100 million. 

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top ten reasons I should be living in Soap Opera Land!

Good afternoon everyone! 

So one of my two favorite soap operas of all time, Guiding Light, was recently canceled.  This fall, my favorite soap opera of all time, As the World Turns, will follow.  Admittedly, in recent years I haven't been a faithful viewer, but I have kept up on things and now, in the last two years, I've been able to watch online which means I can watch my soap operas AT WORK!

My history of soap viewing mirrors that of many others.  I watched my mother's soaps when I was a kid.  In high school, I watched Luke and Laura get married on General Hospital, and tried to define the feelings Dr. Noah Drake stirred in my virginal heart.  In college, it was all about Days of Our Lives, because, well, that's what was on at lunch. I've stayed with ATWT and GL through two pregnancies, working at home, staying at home with kids, and babysitting other people's kids.  Most recently, I was starting to share the joys of soaps with my daughter. 

Since I'm a child of the countdown era, I'm going to countdown the top ten things I love about soaps.

10)  Money and jobs...not that important.
Oh they talk about money troubles, this business is going under or that.  Someone is going to lose millions.  But has there ever been a scene in a soap where a character is at the grocery store  and then realizes that they're overdrawn on their account and they can't get that bag of cheese doodles.  There are the power players who are loaded no matter what, who always manage to put up the cash for pretty much anything.

As for jobs, well, you've got the doctors on almost all the shows.  And cops.  (Excuse me, detectives.)  Waitresses, sometimes.  TV station owners, diner owners.  But mostly, most people on soaps are in "business."  I don't know what kind of business.  And if that business fails, they get into another business.  Perfume, clothing design, vodka, these are all businesses for soap people. What you don't see are dentists or bank tellers, or teachers. 

9) Everyone has fantastic, trendy clothes, and great houses.

Though there is little evidence of an actual income, even the poorest person on a soap is decked out in the latest.  The only character I remember wearing jeans and a ratty t-shirt on a soap was Holden Snyder when he was Lucinda Walshes' stable boy.  (Funny, I never saw her on a horse...in fact I never saw a horse!)  Even now, some 25 years after Holden made his first appearance on ATWT, Holden claims to work in the barns, but he's almost always in a suit or something far too dressy for the barn.  Oh, and soap teens have long been the mirror of the latest fashions, bringing New York trends to the heartland.  I suppose it's because almost all the women on soaps are clothing designers, that probably helps.

8) Someone needs to clean out the gene pool!

Family trees on soaps are completely messed up.  Everyone has been married or slept with everyone else and everyone is a half something to everyone else.  Which is why we have to keep bringing secret kids in (more on that later) to sort of freshen up the gene pool.  Or bring in a long lost friend from the old neighborhood.  Or, and this is my favorite, clean out the gene pool and clear up any oogy questions of incest, by simply revealing that an entire branch of one family is ADOPTED and therefore it's open season!

7)  They're only mostly dead.

And speaking of convenient tricks...how about that he's dead/but there's no body/oh look he's alive!  (Also a convenient way to recast a character when an actor doesn't come back to a show or the producers want to bring someone back after a long absence.)  How many times has James Stenbeck come back from the dead?  Roger Thorpe?  Alan Spaulding? Stefano DiMera?

6)  Actors trying to wash away soapy residue.

What do John Stamos, Kevin Bacon, Maria Tomie, Julianne Moore, Meg Ryan, Mark Hamill, Tommy Lee Jones, Kathy Bates, and Brad Pitt all have in common?  All respected actors, all got a break on soaps. (And this isn't even a fraction of the list.)  My favorite is William Fitchner, who was Josh on ATWT.  His character was less than savory, in fact, he raped his cousin/half cousin, wait no ADOPTED COUSIN whom he later married.  He's in all kinds of movies now...I say, "Look, it's Josh the rapist!  (Your soap past never leaves you.)

5) Geography isn't important.  Neither are passports.

Theoretically, ATWT and GL were set in Illinois.  Wisconsin is referenced in these shows hundreds of times...sort of as a big wide wilderness where there's nothing but trees and remote cabins in which to conceive secret children.  Conversely, Springfield, Ill, where GL was set, was also a very, very short drive from Oklahoma, another tiny little place where really there was one cabin (Cross Creek) and that was it.  You could get to Cross Creek from Springfield in a minute and return, by car, the same day in daylight.

I love all the traveling everyone does on soaps because it looks so completely fun and easy.  Hey, let's hop to the islands.  We can do that in a commercial break.  Hey, let's go to France.  Okay!  Bam, we're in France looking fantastic, wearing the same clothes we were wearing when we decided to go to France, and, in the same day we fly TO France, we're going to FLY BACK FROM FRANCE only to be delayed in Toronto By a STORM IN THE ATLANTIC.  (This just happened on a soap.  The characters had to rush back from France to OakdaleOakdale HAS a passport) no one worries about lay overs or flying stand bye or security...9/11?  What 9/11?

4)  Secret children

And speaking of secret children, I am amazed at how these kids keep popping up!  I've been watching ATWT for years.  Turns out, very recently, one of the male characters discovered his boss had been hiding a secret child from him.  The kid is about 18...and honestly,  I didn't think two white folks who have no other race in their family tree  (unless there's a secret relative I don't know about) could pop out such a DARK child, but what do I know?  I'm also not sure how one guy could keep finding out about his secret kids.  (AT last count he has three secret children he now knows about.  They range in age from 20's someplace to 4 years old.) On another soap, one character just found out who his father was...which made him half brothers with his current lovers' son...who is his age.  And this is somehow not oogy.

I could put a sub point here...identical cousins/ lost twins/evil twins...the whole gamut of reasons to have one actor play two parts.  Every soap has one.  Look it up.  Or just call Julianne Moore.  She'll tell you.

3)  HEPA?  OBAMACARE?  Nah, we're good.

I swear, security in hospitals in soap land is criminal...which is why switched babies is even possible.  Hey, I had two kids...the security they had us under until we left the floor was second only to that of the actual Secret Service.  But not on soaps.  On soaps you can talk to anyone on your cell phone.  On soaps, no one needs to talk to the admissions desk about their health coverage before they are wheeled into surgery.  On soaps, everyone has access to your health records, and BIRTH RECORDS  (which is another reason there are so many switched babies, or faked pregnancies.)  My favorite example is on General Hospital, mostly because with TWO brain surgeons on staff  (Dr. Noah Drake and, more recently,  his son, Dr. Patrick Drake) there's a lot of brain surgery going on.  And they are good.  how good?  They never have to shave a patent's head and recovery from brain surgery on GH is no more than three episodes.  If I ever get a tumor, and those are pretty common among soap families, I'm going to Port Charles for surgery.  But don't give me some cut rate surgeon.  I want the Drakes!)

2)  Time travel, the fountain of youth, and those pesky, boring kid years.

Explorers have been searching for eons for the fountain of youth AND trying to perfect time travel.  Soaps have both.  Now, they use time travel for kids.  honestly, once a baby's born, do we really care what it does until it's a teen and getting into all sorts of bikini clad mischief during the summer when high school kids are watching? No.  So we AGE kids.  Kid goes away to boarding school (which everyone can afford) and a month later they are sixteen years older, and have a new face!  (Probably a new hair color and eye color, too.)

Meanwhile, the elders have frozen time.  There's a lot of soapy sexy fun to be hand and so long as your wrinkles can be softened with the proper camera lens, there's no reason you shouldn't be part of it.  Which is why,only in soap land, it's okay for the adult kids of one person to have an affair with mom's ex boyfriend.  Since we age kids so fast, every one's about the same age, right?  So it's all open season on everyone! Which is good, because after a hard at your Business Job, you need to frolic a bit with the child of your former lover.

1) NO ONE EXPECTS YOU TO SHOW UP AT IMPORTANT FAMILY STUFF!  (Or, as I like to call it, the "Where's Emma?" Rule)

A number of years ago I was invited to an out of town cousin's wedding.  I declined, since my immediate family had obligations that same weekend.  The mother of one of the to be marrieds called me up and railed on me for half and hour and then sent my mother an EMAIL about how I was destroying the family by not coming to this wedding.  I went.  My husband did not.  We split the kids, and I missed one of my son's very best soccer games, the last of his season that year.

But on soaps...if you aren't in the current cast, you aren't on the guest list!  It's beautiful.  People get married, have parties, have holidays...and the only ones who show are the ones in the current active cast.  Maybe, maybe they'll give a nod.  (For example, the mother of the groom won't be at a wedding on ATWT.  Some one said, "Where's Emma?"  Well, see, Emma, the mother of the Snyder clan, is never around.  But everyone lives at her house.  and I mean everyone.  Oh, they'll say "Emma made pie!"  or "Emma built a barn!"  But Emma is never around. Hasn't been since the late 80's.  But she's mentioned lovingly and they move on.    In Soap land the only relatives expected to show up are the ones who are in the script.  and then, not even them because you never know when a mid Atlantic storm is going to strand your plane in Toronto when you're trying to get to Chicago.

So there you are, my friends.  I want to live in soap land.  I want to never age, I want to go to the family gatherings only if I have the very best clothes to wear.  I want to have health care I don't even need to discuss, and I want to travel the planet without going through an airport.

I know soaps are dying.  Soap watchers are a dying breed.  We are able to suspend our disbelief and get wrapped up in the storyline.  I'd love to write for a soap, I think it would be fun.  But mostly, I'd like to live there.  I'd be a commercial break from anywhere and that would be fun!

Fun Fact Friday: Now that it's dead, Sarah reveals a childhood dream.

Happy Friday all! What do you want to be when you grow up? That's a question we ask little kids...and I haven't a clue why....