Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things I take for granted

I am a prolific (and loud) whiner so I’m pretty sure there isn’t anyone left in the state of Michigan who doesn’t know that we were without power from early Sunday morning through last night. So, as we enter a new year, these are the things I hope NOT to take for granted anymore…

My Husband – When the rest of us got up on Sunday morning he already had both fireplaces blazing and candles lit. Then he ran out for bagels and coffee. When we all got bored in the afternoon he planned a trip to Great Lakes Crossing to accommodate everyone’s whims and then booked us into a hotel when the temperature in our house plummeted. He was also not too proud to accept help. Which leads me to….

My Friends – First and foremost, Jill and Don – who not only loaned us their generator, but delivered it (from Rochester) and set it up so the house would be warm and the fridge (and ok, I’ll admit it, the TV) could run. When the power came back on Don rushed through his dinner to come down and reset everything back to normal and Jill sent her fabulous homemade cookies with him! Could anyone ask for better friends?!? We sooooo don’t deserve them, but will do our best to pay them back. Then Sue and Joe took my son for the day yesterday. We had planned to invite their son over (my son’s best friend) and when I called and explained the situation they immediately insisted my son join them for a day at the DIA. We had many offers for a place to sleep (and I had a few offers for a much-needed glass of wine) – thanks everyone!

Electricity – Sure, we pay for it so we should expect it to be here, but what a pain when Mother Nature interferes with what man has created.

Means – We are fortunate enough to be able to go to a hotel when it gets too cold and to restock the fridge. Three days with no power was definitely an inconvenience, but it was not a tragedy like it would be for some people.

And I’m going to TRY and keep all of this in mind as I do three days worth of laundry and cleaning and get my house back in order.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I’m old enough to remember when Meijer’s slogan was “You’re always next in line at Meijer.” My sister told me a hysterical story of shopping there with a friend from college who got a little frustrated waiting in line and started shouting “YOU’RE NEXT IN LINE AT MEIJER!” at the top of his lungs.

He would not survive there today.

Apparently Meijer’s new slogan is “Spend as much time in line as you do shopping” because that is exactly what happened to my daughter and I today. In fact, we may have spent LESS time shopping than we did in line and I’ll even include the wait at the apathetically staffed photo department with the shopping. The woman ahead of us in line was quite peeved at the situation; I heard her say just that into her cell phone about 20 times while we waited, but when it was her turn to check out after spending 25 minutes in line did she have her money or charge card ready? No! She had to go digging through her purse to find it. Preparation, people. Heard of it?

And next time we go I am making my daughter videotape me shopping to see if I, too, turn into a lethargic zombie (as compared to the zombies who energetically pursue the living) the minute I walk through the door like everyone else who shops there. Seriously, you won’t find a more lifeless, slow-moving crowd anywhere. No one is happy to be there. Not even the employees. Though our cashier did rouse herself enough to ask me if I knew that I could get a second bag of oranges free with the one I bought.

I’d like to think it’s the economy, but this store has been this way since 6 months after it opened. I was a frequent customer those first few months but since the zombies have moved in have been going there less and less. It’s too bad; I really enjoy a store where I can buy groceries, a lamp, and a new outfit all under one roof.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A note to whatever force is trying to keep us from going on vacation

My family and I are very chilly and we are very pale. We have been looking forward to this trip since last February and if you think that cancelling a return flight or sending a snowstorm the night before we’re supposed to leave is going to keep us from getting on that plane and heading to the Bahamas – you are wrong!

And yes, I am ignoring my son's coughing and the fact that it feels like someone poked a skewer into my left ear. We scoff at your paltry attempts at illness.

Bring out your big guns - a blizzard, food poisoning, whatever. We are armed with sunscreen and will not be deterred!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rehab for Tara Reid

This was a headline on Star Magazine's website but I have to it really a headline, or more of a statement of fact like Humans Need Air to Survive and Michigan is Cold in December?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Panic Attacks

Things I panic about daily (this month):

Finishing my book
Whether or not I'll ever work again
What if something happens to my husband or kids
Getting presents purchased
Getting presents wrapped and hidden
Whether we'll be ready to leave for our trip
Whether people will show up to the skating event I've been helping to publicize
Are those Mean Girls going to continue to be mean to my daughter - and if they do, can I take them down
The fact that I know panicking isn't helping but I can't seem to stop

Obviously the first three (and the last one) aren't limited to December, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Preparing to be robbed

There have been some daytime home invasions in our area, and one even occurred right around the corner so, of course, I am planning my Getting Robbed Strategy.

Apparently the robbers show up, 4 in a car, and knock on the door of a house they think is empty. If someone answers the door they act like they got the wrong address or something. If no one is home they go around back and break in. And they only take the good stuff – costume jewelry and cheap watches have been left behind.

My original plan, should I hear my doorbell ring and then noise coming from the back of the house, was to grab the phone and run into the bathroom which is so small that if I open a drawer it jams the door shut. But now I’ve heard that they are cutting phone lines! So I have to remember to keep my cell phone with me at all times.

Police cars have been cruising through my subdivision lately and I am on Full Alert which, for a paranoid, imaginative person like me, is extremely detrimental to get anything accomplished. I spring into a crouched position at any sound and so far this morning that has included

A) Snow and ice falling off the roof

B) The garbage truck

C) The humidifier making a gurgling noise, and

D) One of those strange “signing on” sounds on AOL.

I am tempted to call 911 on my cell phone to make sure they know my home address when I call from that number, but think that may be going a bit too far.

I’m also tempted to keep a frying pan, or some other heavy item, in my bathroom because if they somehow get the door open I can stand on the counter and bonk someone over the head as they try to enter. I’m thinking a cast iron skillet would probably work best but I don’t own one and don’t want to explain to my husband (who already thinks I’m nuts) why I bought a brand new skillet for the master bathroom.

Sure wish they’d catch them so I can relax.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What cats talk about

According to my husband, this is the conversation that our cats had yesterday.

Chucky: Dude, you are totally not going to believe what I did this morning.

Latke: Chased that boy out of his own room?

Chucky: Better. Are you ready? I pooped on the garage floor.

Latke: Get out! What did they do?

Chucky: Nothing! It was about 5:30 a.m. and I went upstairs to tell that grouchy one I wanted to go outside…

Latke: The one with the bad roots?

Chucky: Yeah.

Latke: She really should take care of those. No wonder she can’t find a job.

Chucky: Totally. So, as I was saying, I tell her I want to go out and when she comes downstairs she doesn’t open the door like I’ve politely asked, she throws me in the garage!

Latke: That is just rude!

Chucky: And I’ve got to go, right? So I just leave a big pile right in front of her car.

Latke: Then what?

Chucky: Well, a little while later she opens the door and I go in and eat my breakfast.

Latke: So, the garage is totally open for pooping now?

Chucky: You got it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A violation on so many levels

Below is the letter I wanted to send in with the check to pay for the ticket I got today. But I didn’t because…well….the police know where I live.
Dear City of _____________,

I am so VERY sorry that I spent an extra 15 minutes spending money and enjoying myself in one of your under-utilized and practically empty downtown establishments and that my parking meter ran out before I could get back out there to pop another quarter in.

Your officers obviously had a very busy day - as out of the 50 parking spaces available only four were being used and two of those vehicles had tickets on them. I can see why you would want to fine me and move me along….someone else was probably going to need that space IMMEDIATELY!

Perhaps more people would come downtown and your businesses wouldn’t all be going under if the police weren’t so trigger-happy. Just a thought.

Your pal,

P.S. The ability to pay my ticket via the internet might be more attractive IF IT WORKED.
P.S.S. A) When the error message tells you that your ticket is not in the system, you might want to provide a "yet" - AND - B) you might want to let people know BEFORE they pay by credit card that there will be an added "convenience" fee because, really, the frickin' stamp would have been cheaper.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wal-Mart tragedy - my $.02

By now we've all heard of the tragedy at the NY Wal-Mart store where a maintenance worker was trampled to death by a discount-hungry crowd. Many of the articles I've read keep trying to point out that the store didn't have enough security - but when - and WHY? - did that become so necessary? Are people so desperate to save $100 on a flat screen TV that they are willing to become accomplices to murder? And - if you really need to get up so early and fight your way through a frenzied crowd to save $100 - PERHAPS YOU SHOULDN'T BE BUYING THAT FLAT SCREEN TV IN THE FIRST PLACE! Perhaps your money should be going towards more important things like rent, and winter boots.

What I found extra-disturbing was the fact that when they tried to close the store shoppers were pissed that they had to leave! "I'm so sorry someone died, but I've had my eye on this laptop for weeks." just doesn't cut it people.

And when they finally did get the store closed, people lined up outside waiting for it to reopen and were upset that it took so long.

Sorry, Wal-Mart, but if this is the kind of shopper you attract, you won't find me and my money in your store any time soon.