A humorous look at the little things in life

Club Women don’t live like this. June 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 1:05 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Creme de Lys Chardonnay. This is a buttery, lightly oaked chardonnay that has substantial flavor. If you like a Murphy Goode or Kendall Jackson chardonnay, you’ll like this. It’s only around $12 — give it a try. Here’s another blogger’s more sophisticated assessment:

Long ago I was a member of a woman’s club. We had monthly luncheons where many of the ladies wore beautiful hats to complement their natural-fiber suits, and had French-manicured nails to highlight their diamond rings which were generally larger than a Smart Car. The luncheons also featured fascinating — albeit often long-winded — speakers. And a serving staff who refilled your iced tea glass after virtually every sip.

I remember one of the last meetings I went to. I was hoping the luncheon would go quickly because there was an NCAA basketball game I wanted to see. But my hopes were dashed when the line for Members With An Important Announcement consisted of everyone except me and the bustling serving staff.

After about the eighth announcement, drawing the eighth mandatory round of applause, I began to see just how poorly I fit in.

When the lady came to fill my tea glass for the tenth time, I almost offered her twenty bucks for a Miller Lite. But I didn’t. I fixed my slumping posture and focused on the chick who was perkily relaying the report from the Happy Committee or something. Finallyyyyyyyyyyyyyy the announcements ended. I was swinging my legs like a four-year-old in church by this time, because I was so incredibly hopped up on caffeine that I had an urge to get up and weave my way, willy-nilly, through the lovely dining tables, swooping the centerpieces to the ground as I did.

But then I realized that I had no time for such juvenile actions because I was seconds away from wetting my pants. I got up from my seat near the podium, determined to sneak to the potty before the speaker started, but as I stood, another polite round of applause began in the audience and I was just guessing it wasn’t for me. The speaker was from a wonderful area drug and alcohol rehab place, which left me now: feeling guilty for wishing my tea was beer; feeling guilty for caring more about the basketball game than helping this good cause; and seconds from wetting my pants in front of every upper-crust female under age 40 in the whole city.

As I recall, I made the bathroom but missed the game. And I quit the club. Because I don’t think those women have days like mine.

A recent sunny summer day:

8:45 a.m. Shower

9:15 a.m. Step solidly on a deceased mouse or mole on brick terrace. Still sleepy brain fails to send signal to foot to move until it has had time to 1) register the feeling of little claws and 2) register the presence of a liquid emanating from said mouse/mole.

9:18 a.m. Dispose of carcass in woods; on way back, discover Japanese Beetles — my nemesis — invading beloved weeping cherry.

9:20-9:40 a.m. Gleefully flick the little bastards into a Beer Pong Cup filled with soapy water. Get a little extra pleasure from nabbing the horny ones who give me a 2-for-1 homicide.

9:45 a.m. Shower again, with extra emphasis on gut-laden foot.

10:00 a.m. Clean the cat litter. Take trash to end of driveway. Get pooped on by a stupid bird with no social skills. Try to determine whether he has recently eaten red berries or is suffering from serious internal hemmoraging. Realize that examining bird poop on my shirt is too gross even for me.

10:10 a.m. Change clothes.

10:15 a.m. Daughter #1 calls, running errand for work, lost and on verge of hyperventilation. Talk her to the highway.

10:30 a.m. Get in car, open sunroof, head to Lowe’s to buy colorful flowers to perk up the mouse/mole morgue.

10:40 a.m. Speak to doddering old lady who is trying to carry a hanging basket while maneuvering her walker through Garden Center. Offer to help, because it’s a nice day, I’ve showered enough to be fully awake and … dang it, I can be nice to this lady.

10:41 a.m. After the sound of my voice apparently startles the living shit out of the woman, she drives her walker into the corner of a pallet of geraniums, knocking over not only about $50 worth the plants and un-planting them, but in her desperation to get away from me, she is somehow able to knock over a giant concrete block, which she then flails herself over, thus rendering a scene which began with a smile and a “Can I help you?” and ended in a pile of dirt, roots, broken stems, a fallen walker with wheels spinning and an angry old lady on the ground whose Depends are showing. I picked up her walker and the plants. She got herself up. My work there was clearly done.

10:50 Back in car, Daughter #1 is still lost, just in different part of town. I help her until Daughter #2 buzzes in, wanting to do something, I can’t remember what, but as I recall it was dangerous and stupid. So I said fine. As you can imagine, I was already flustered. Back on the phone with Daughter #1, I remember we need bottled water and salad. But since I’d been to Kroger like every day for the previous five days, I was too embarrassed to go in there again. So I went to the gross little hick grocery near our house, where the produce has generally been in place long enough to be dusty.

10:55 a.m. Because logistics is my strong suit, I pick up the case of bottled water, which weighs as much as a small pony, and carry it with me across to the far corner of the store, where I select the bag of salad that has expired most recently. I perch the case of water on the edge of the produce stand to load the salad on top, but it slides on something (and dust is the least gross thing I can imagine) and the right side of the case lands solidly on my right foot. I scream the F word but it doesn’t matter because no one has shopped in this store since the mid-1950s.

11:00 a.m. The express lane takes a full six minutes because the chick who works there hasn’t seen another living soul in days, so I get to hear about her foot surgery. I started my day with mole guts between my toes; I just dropped this anvil disguised as water onto the little bitty bones atop my right foot, and you are freaking whining to ME about your feet?

11:10 a.m. NOW I’m grumpy. As I labor to the car with the water, a man who could have offered to help me passes by and quite probably sees the substantial-sized bug maneuver its way into my left nostril. Still carrying the water, I try to rub my nose on my shoulder, which does nothing but scare it up into my sinus cavity, where it will reside, I presume, for the rest of both of our lives.

11:15 a.m. I start the 10-minute drive toward home, but after about 15 seconds, the seat belt light and warning chimes begin a display that can only be compared to the giant slot machines in front of the Vegas casinos alerting the entire strip that some drunk has hit the jackpot. The commotion was caused because, when the bug reached my brain, it told me to put the 50-pound water in the front seat. The chimes continue, and continue, and continue the whole way home. And, because I have the audacity to endanger 15 liters of water by leaving them unsecured in the front seat, BMW has decided that not only am I not allowed to listen to my radio, but the Bluetooth on my phone is also disabled, so when my phone rings — and it does, about 8 times — I can’t answer it. But I can see that it is Daughter #1, who is undoubtedly still lost, probably in full hyperventilation, and determined to share her misery.

I could have pulled over, moved the water, and answered. But I didn’t. Because I was having such a pleasant day, I decided to have a little ME TIME. 

Just me and the bug wedged somewhere near my septum, the incessant chiming and the open road.


You might have noticed I didn’t add any new friends from Spain to my Facebook list. June 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 1:47 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Recommended wine for today’s entry: I looked for a suggestion of a good wine to pair with our summer favorite — grilled salmon. Ifound this in a recent Wall Street Journal’s Oenofile column. They recommend a 2009 Melville Pinot Noir Estate, citing “a nice fruit, a freshness and silky tannins which do not distract the wines too much.” And it’s a good domestic wine — and I’m a proud American!

I have FINALLY gotten caught up from our two-week trip that took me six weeks. Two weeks preparation, two weeks in Spain, and two weeks recovery — laundry, restocking the refrigerator, reassuring anxious pets, and putting away suitcases. Oh. I lied. Both daughters still have their suitcases open and filled with shoes and hair appliances, splayed out on their floors.

Except for tripping over the suitcases, though, the trip seems far in the past. Caring for a post-surgical Lab (torn ACL) and a cancer-laden 17-year-old cat who is committed to a hunger strike has taken over. So I decided to start a scrapbook from our trip in the time between medicating, walking and attempting to feed the ailing members of the menegerie.

It reminded me that I never told you all the other embarrassing moments of our trip:

1) Another restaurant debacle:  At the pizza restaurant on our street in Villanova, where we ordered a 15 Euro (like 20 dollar) salad for the four of us, very carefully explaining that two of us were vegetarians and we could have no meat and no fish … even saying no ham. Got a lot of nodding out of the little dwarf lady who never smiled. Or plucked her chin hairs, but that’s neither here nor there. No carne, no peces, no jamon. Si, si. She looked at us like we were idiots.

Then she brought out a separate plate bearing the anchovies that were apparently supposed to be served on the salad. Good for her. They were neatly arranged in a clever design that didn’t make them look any less dead, but did make us believe that she’d actually understood us.

Ahh…the salad. My daughter was giddy. Until we found out that “the sauce” — which we had assumed was salad dressing — was actually an oily can of tuna tumped over and touching every single lettuce leaf.

apparently tuna is not a fish in Spain


 Because the waitress 1) didn’t speak English; 2) disappeared; and 3) scared the bejesus out of us, we elected to just have the no-fish-eating daughter skip the salad. She held out for the pizza.

The rest of us risked our dental work on the pit-laden olives. In the meantime, we got a bottle of wine, which the mean and hairy waitress put on the table with one of those little freezer packs that wrap around the bottle’s shoulders like my grandma’s old fur “wrap.”

Well, it worked pretty well, and the wine was cold and tasty, until my husband lifted the bottle by its little shrug to gallantly refill glasses, but in a rebellious move, the wine pulled itself right out of the jacket and flung itself down — hard — on my husband’s dinner plate.

Yes, of course the plate broke and one large chunk of it, along with some gloppy remnants of greasy tuna “sauce”, skittered across the floor of the (formerly) quiet restaurant.

Stupid Americans. We ate our pizza quickly, preparing to make our second quick departure in two days (the first was the paella debacle). Then, trying to soothe everyone’s shattered nerves, I conceded to our waitress, telling her we were sorry, but we didn’t know much Spanish.

Which would have been nice if, right after I said “Lo siento. No sabes mucho,” both my daughter and the mean waitress didn’t gasp.

Because I guess I really do suck at Spanish since I said, “I’m sorry you don’t know much.”

Escape children! Run like the wind! Mommy’s done it again

2) Train and metro scenes. At the train station for a day trip to Sitges, we successfully found our way to Platform 6, where the train was supposed to arrive in about 3 minutes. But then they rattled off some announcement and people fled from our platform down the stairs, presumedly heading for a new departure location. Hmm.

I decided to ask a man who seemed to know what was going on. I asked him what number they had said. My Spanish-speaking daughter grabbed me by the shirt and hauled me away.

Apparently I asked him for his number.

You’ll be surprised to hear that he didn’t give it to me.

Then, getting onto the underground Metro for another excursion, we had one ticket that was loaded with 10 trips. You didn’t need to know the language to work it — you simply fed the ticket in the front, grabbed it after it spit out the top, then hand the ticket to the next family member and move on through the turnstile. Duh.

But in Barcelona, one of the turnstiles was broken. It wasn’t turning. So, time being of the essence, my husband told me to just go under the arm of the turnstile. In what can only be considered a bold and nimble move for a 50-year-old, I squatted and duck-walked right under the non-functioning machinery. As I (OK, a little slowly) rose back to full height on the other side, I heard a man over the loudspeaker. He was saying, “On the right! You go on the right! Look at the arrows!” And sure enough, there was a row of green arrows, flashing, pointing to the turnstile one over from the one the stupid Americans were using.

I started to add up the amount of money that has been spent educating the four family members combined and it made me weepy so I stopped.

3) Promenading. As I mentioned in another blog, the main drag in Villanova was called the Principal Rambla, and it was a lovely avenue, dotted with charming outdoor cafes and bustling with beautiful people. We were very aware that people noticed us — undoubtedly because there were very few people in town with our coloring.

That and I was wearing a tube top that, because of middle-aged sagging issues, was strategically placed almost around my waist.

No, not really. Gross. They just stared at us because my daughters are pretty and we were all blonde. So we worked it, my daughters and I parading down the Rambla, swinging our arms confidently like Charlie’s Angels. Go ahead and gawk, people, I thought as I lifted my chin so that the breeze could blow my hair back. Just like a supermodel…

…a supermodel who fell, with a solid thump, onto the lovely granite walkway. It wasn’t my fault. Someone had dropped a cherry to sabotage me. Yes, it was a teeny, tiny cherry, but it was squashed and at first I started to do a banana-slip, with my feet out in front of me, cycling in slow motion; then I caught myself (whew) and leaned forward … too far, falling to my knees and landing basically on all fours like a dog. 


The scene of the disaster.






Oh lawdy, now I’m writing about worms. April 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 1:57 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Recommended wine for today’s entry: The 2009 Ben Marco Malbec. The Wall Street Journal’s Oenofile column recently discussed the tendency for people to order the second-cheapest wine on a wine list. According to them, this isn’t always the way to find a bargain as the least expensive wines are often marked up the most. From Argentina, the Ben Marco is described as a “big, plush, almost purple wine with notes of dark plum and tobacco.” They said it runs about $20 a bottle retail.

My husband called and I told him that I was busy writing a blog about earthworms. Within ten minutes he e-mailed me a link to a posting for a job he thought I should look into.

This is how I got worms on my mind (not to be confused with IN my mind):

I record for the blind and reading impaired. Usually I record a local collegiate sports magazine, which I enjoy, but after basketball season they only publish once a month. Last Thursday, after a full week of torrential and non-stop rain, I looked forward to taking refuge in my little sound proof booth that lacks windows. I could pretend it was pretty outside. I was set to record the appendix of a book for preschool teachers, filled with flashback-inducing songs and games like Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar. Noooooooo. I had finally, after 15 years, banished freakin’ Barney memories to the deepest recesses of my mind and NOW look what you’ve done!

Anyway, one of the songs was this one:

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!
Up comes the first one, up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!

I bite off the heads, and suck out the juice,
And throw the skins away!
Nobody knows how fat I grow,
On worms three times a day!

Well, I don’t know about YOU, but besides being totally inappropriate for a three-year-old, this is just plain DISGUSTING. It wasn’t enough to describe their slimy little bodies slithering down one’s throat or “juice” inside them that is actually their bowels and other such appealing parts. No, this children’s song actually includes a verse about vomit.

I’m thinking that Romper Room would not have sanctioned this song.

And now I can’t stop thinking about worms. Because I am ONCE AGAIN stuck at my house waiting for the icemaker repairman, I took the opportunity to do a little research on worms.

Here is the picture on the Web site I found:

The fun fact just to the right of this said, “A worm has no arms, legs or eyes.” As a teaching tool, I think this is akin to offering a picture of the QE2 in the chapter on Columbus’ voyage.

Anyway, I have always been fascinated by the fact that worms, in the event you slice them in half, can regenerate the part of their body that has gone missing. I went to verify that fact and, sure enough, it’s true: “Earthworms have the ability to replace or replicate lost segments. This ability varies greatly depending on the species of worm you have, the amount of damage to the worm and where it is cut. It may be easy for a worm to replace a lost tail, but may be very difficult or impossible to replace a lost head if things are not just right.”

I wonder if things ever go awry and they end up with two butts. Or two heads like CatDog. Wormworm. But if they don’t have eyes or noses, I imagine their head and their butt look just alike anyway, so except for always fighting to be lineleader, they’d probably be OK.

A particularly interesting fact I never knew — worms are hermaphrodites. Yup, you got it — they have female parts and male parts. So never say, “Go f—  yourself!” to a worm, because you will undoubtedly see something you really didn’t mean to.

If I could talk to a worm, here are some things I would ask them:

  • Why don’t you get off the black asphalt when the sun’s really hot before you crisp up into worm bacon? 
  • When it rains, does the wildest worm in the backyard suddenly scream POOL PARTY!! and you all scooch scooch scooch through the torrential rain just to get to the bottom of my pool? Is it like the Jonestown of the worm world? Could y’all maybe stop with the pool parties, on account of all your decomposing carcasses are taking the allure out of our sparkling blue waters.
  • So like when I used to go fishing and I accidently broke one of you all while putting it on the hook, did it like regenerate a new tail just in time to get eaten lock, stock and barrel by a fish?
  • What happens if a worm is claustrophobic? I mean, I’ve looked into those bait pails and it appears you worms have absolutely NO regard for personal space.

In closing, I am going to offer you a list of things that worms like to eat and things that they do NOT like to eat. For example, don’t even THINK about going out into your flooded backyard and shredding up some glossy colored paper for them. They will run shrieking into your swimming pool.


My friends are freaks too! April 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 1:04 pm
Tags: , , ,

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Greystone Cellars chardonnay. This is the wine my friend and I had for the first time at dinner the other night. It was on special and we really liked it. Wine Enthusiast gave it a 90, and this review: “Suprisingly rich and complex for the price. Shows pineapple, pear and oaky vanilla flavors that are deep and long, and balanced with crisp acidity. Very drinkable and a great value. ” Looks like it retails for under $15 — definitely one to try!

Today’s entry comes from my friend Henrietta. Henrietta is not her real name, but since she wouldn’t allow me to identify her, I gave her an ugly pseudonym to punish her. For background, Henrietta is an attractive and petite 52-year-old, happily married woman.

And last Thursday, Henrietta had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  But it was really funny if you weren’t Henrietta.

First she stopped at a small, local fruit market and deli, where she ordered lemon-pepper turkey from the deli counter. She couldn’t help notice that the young man who waited on her was nice looking, albeit much younger than she. He wore gloves while cutting and packaging her turkey, and when he handed her the plastic bag, he commented that most of the lemon pepper coating had stuck to his gloves. He made a comment about having most of the “good stuff” on his hands still.

Well, Henrietta opened her mouth and just before she replied, she realized that saying, “You should lick your fingers” might be a bit racy to say to the poor young buck.

So she didn’t. Instead, she got all spazzy and said, “I should lick your fingers.”

Then she grabbed her turkey, ran to the checkout counter and paid with … duh — cash. That was, oddly enough, my first question for her when I stopped laughing at the story. Because I have said horrifying things enough times that I am programmed to leave anything that can be used to identify me safely ensconced in my purse. Henrietta, having just propositioned the poor guy, was smart enough not to be traceable.

Flash forward to that same evening: Her husband, undoubtedly feeling that the turkey she offered for dinner was now, in some way, dirty, suggested that they go to a pizza place in the eclectic part of town. Henrietta agreed, and while her husband was ordering or parking the car or something, she befriended one of the eclectics. He was a bit hippiesh with a long ponytail and was the antithesis of Henrietta’s husband, who had on a polo shirt and khakis — and had a fleece pullover with his country club logo on it draped over his chair, in case the evening became cool.

Well, Mr. Eclectic chatted it up with Henrietta while her husband was away, because even hippies, who seem so laid back, are really just boy nymphomaniacs with longer tresses. He asked her if they were there for All-You-Can-Drink night and expounded on the featured beer, some odd import that he seemed to know a lot about. Henrietta was actually impressed with his beer knowledge, but informed him that no, if she were to participate in All-You-Can-Drink, she would need a driver to get her home.

Mr. Eclectic had Yellow Cab’s number programmed in his phone.

When her husband returned, she pointed out her new boyfriend, who was sitting at a table kitty-corner behind her husband. They ate their pizza; Mr. Eclectic got his money’s worth for All-You-Can-Drink night.

Pretty soon, Henrietta heard Mr. Eclectic hmmm….how do I say this so it’s not gross? Well, hell, it IS gross — he formulated and spit out a hocker. Then two. Then three. Henrietta thought that was gross.

But that was nothing.

Because then she heard the sound of water rushing, gushing even, and looked up just as Mr. Eclectic projectile vomited up, up through the air, arcing down and landing in and about the back of her husband’s chair and then splushed to a dramatic finish in a pool about his legs and feet.

Yeah, in retrospect, the hockers weren’t all that gross.

But wait! This guy was not some tacky loser. He didn’t puke and run, which I have to admit, I would have been inclined to do. Nope, not him, he approached Henrietta and husband, professing his remorse, repeating, “I’m not that guy. I don’t want you to think I’m that guy…” over and over and over. He offered to buy a new country club fleece.

No thanks, they replied. Just step away, please. Just stand back. (Of course they assumed there was more where that came from as he had four beer glasses sitting on his table.)

Then — and I think this is the denouement — then he said, “Don’t worry, man, it’s not that gross — I mean, it was just beer that went down the wrong way — see? It’s all liquid. Just beer. Look, there aren’t any chunks or anything.”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You projectile puked on my feet and ankles and NOW we are going to analyze it?

Well, because he wasn’t that guy, he did go in and get my friend a $10 gift card. And he got a bottle of water, which showed good judgment.

For a couple minutes. Because before they left, he four more beers lined up in front of him again.

I just hope he used Yellow Cab’s number.

I love when I hear that freakish things happen to other people — remember, I welcome your stories, either in the form of guest blogs or, if you are the shy type like Henrietta here (except when she’s offering to lick hot young strangers’ fingers…), I’ll relay the stories. Just email me at!


What do you say when the repairman asks, “What’s that noise?” Well… August 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 7:17 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Recommended wine for today’s entry: Try a Marques de Caceres Rioja! As you may know, I am preparing for a trip to Spain next May. No, I’m not packing yet. And no, I’m not learning Spanish. More important. I’m sampling lots of Spanish wines to choose my favorite varieties so it’s not a total crapshoot when I get over there. I have found riojas to be an early favorite and this one is excellent! It’s a dry white that pairs exceptionally well with appetizers, particularly a grilled shrimp or other light seafood. It was described by as “A rich, dry white wine from the heart of Rioja, Spain using viura grapes to produce one of the world’s best-selling white riojas.” It’s a good summer wine that isn’t overly fruity. Very affordable, too!

Someone in our house is a sex addict.

At least five times a day, I am distracted by the sounds of the little nymphomaniac searching for a victim, dragging it down the hall and having her way with it. I can be engrossed in something, actually trying to think … or, more likely, watching the Little League World Series … and suddenly I am rudely yanked from my reverie by the plaintive cry of a cat on the prowl.

Here is the face of a nymphocat:

What, you've never seen a 16-year-old promiscuous cat before?

She looks innocent enough, but she is not.

None of poor Tate’s babies is safe when she is on the prowl.  Tate is an 8-year-old male golden retriever mix with a passion for squeaky, fuzzy toys with friendly faces. (No, he is not a gender-confused dog, but his father makes ugly comments to him and hurts his feelings.) Tate is very special.                                                                    

Tate has two favorite babies. One is a pink pig whose snout was chewed off by our black Lab in a fit of jealousy. Because I am a very caring mother, I sewed the gaping hole shut and now he looks like a pink pig with a cleft palate. The other favorite is a pink bunny.

Shut up. Dogs are color blind, so the fact that his two favorite toys are pink is a pure coincidence.

Well, even if those two are buried deep at the bottom of the toy basket, when I hear Chrissy start the yowling of a horny cat on the prowl, I know that Tate’s poor babies will be discovered.

She usually starts the screaming if she knows that I am just on the verge of writing the next Great American Novel or if the girls have a new potential boyfriend visiting, or better yet, if my husband is on a conference call and using speakerphone. Then she ups the volume.

So after the gutteral cry, we hear her digging through the toy basket. Then she drags whichever victim she has chosen to a remote location, usually the hallway (in front of the window that faces the street)…and she has her way with it. Or at least something related – she has been spayed since she was 6 months old.

While she’s engaged in the act, the sound changes and I really wish I was technologically savvy enough to insert audio in this thing. She literally goes:


That part is especially effective in the background of the conference call.

When she is finished, she drags the rape victim to “her apartment,” a box I got at Costco that she has moved to the dining room and in which she has taken up residence.

The victims get to enjoy some time in Chrissy’s apartment after being ravaged.








 I have thought about sending her to the place that Tiger Woods went to recover from his similar addiction. But she is 16, and that’s a ripe old age for a cat.

I’m afraid she’d be the laughingstock of the place … it’s just kind of icky, like listening to freaking Dr. Ruth talk graphically about sex when she should be playing bridge and wearing pearls to the dinner table at the nursing home.

So instead, I harbor this sicko and give her Fancy Feast and let her sleep in my bed. I know, I know, I’m an enabler.

But at least she didn’t mind when I used her box to move my daughter’s stuff to her college dorm. You should have seen said daughter’s face when I emptied her food products onto her desk and told her I had to take the box back because it was where the cat liked to go after having her way with stuffed animals.

And I wonder why her roommates took awhile to warm up to her…

Maybe I’ll dial my daughter up on Skype. Nothing cures homesickness like hearing the cat scream OH NOOOOOOOOOOO.


Before the dawn of digital, school pictures flat out sucked July 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 12:35 am
Tags: , , , ,

Recommended sip for today’s entry: OK, I am Facebook friends with a wine. Hey, you don’t get to a HUGE number like 159 friends without including such pals as Bonterra and Ashton Kutcher. (I love them both very much.) Anyway, here is a recipe for Bonterra Sangria that was posted on the Facebook page. (!/pages/Bonterra/154465757078?ref=ts):

1 750 ml Bonterra Zinfandel
1 pint raspberries (optional)
1 small lemon, sliced
1 small orange, sliced
¼ cup brown sugar

Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Serve on the rocks. Makes 6-8 servings.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE ANY KIND OF HEART, YOU WILL E-MAIL ME YOUR HORRIBLE SCHOOL PHOTOS. THIS IS SO I DON’T FEEL ALONE IN MY MISERY AND TAKE LIKE A THOUSAND QUAALUDES OR SOMETHING. OK, I’m not really gonna take like a thousand quaaludes. I don’t even know what they are actually, but seriously, I need to know there are other losers out there. Really. Send me your pics — I’ll do a follow-up blog.

I’m thinking a refreshing sangria can make even the most horrifying childhood flashbacks seem amusing.

My friend Susan and I recently had a conversation about hideous school pictures and I was sure there was no way hers could be worse than mine. But then I saw hers and spewed a roostertail of coffee across the room. Wow. I’ll get a copy and share it with you in the near future. Because it’s the stuff childhood nightmares are made of. You are going to like it very much.

But she only had one horrifying experience. It was routine for me.

If you’re decrepit like me, you remember when we had to ORDER our stupid pictures before they even took them. Our parents selected our package and turned in the money even before they sat us on the stool of shame in front of the mottled blue backdrop. It was a total crapshoot and one I never won.

Now, however, there are NO ugly teenagers. Or at least there aren’t any ugly teenagers in pictures

And that is because hideous pictures were essentially eradicated by the invention of digital cameras.

I can hear it now. “Yeah, my mom is so old that they didn’t even have digital cameras. I mean it. They had this photographer come to school and take one picture and THAT was the one that was in the yearbook. Seriously, dude. One shot. One fraction of a second, forever commemorated in the school yearbook.”

Well, during that fraction of a second in third grade, I was throwing a sly, lecherous look at some hot boy in my arithmetic class. Or someone whistled at me and I gave them a smug, coy look.

Or I was just butt ugly.


Now, as you can clearly see, I was no beauty. But I didn’t look THIS bad. I mean, the teeth looked strikingly similar to my horse, Bimbo’s, and the haircut looked like my mother had “trimmed it up” that morning (she probably had).

But the sleepy eye thing? I mean, this makes Nicolas Cage look like he just took a double shot of Five Hour Energy.

I don’t remember much of third grade, but as you can see by the creases in the picture, I am assuming that I was none too pleased with this abysmal rendering.

Never again, I vowed. I’ll never allow myself to look that bad in a school picture again. At least, not until seventh grade:

Couldn't someone have put my out of my misery?

Now, I could blame the lady who snatched my glasses off of my face a nanosecond before the man snapped the picture. I could blame puberty. I could blame my mother for letting me leave the house with that hair, that shirt, eeks … that puckered white vest and Bimbo’s teeth. But I don’t blame anyone.

Because any kid who had THIS picture in the middle school yearbook but still kept getting up in the morning and tossing her smiley face purse over her shoulder and going to school … no matter what you say, any kid who survived THIS had to have grown into a stronger human for having done so.

The perfect illustration of the perseverence of youth.

OK, don’t leave me dangling out here by myself … email me YOUR heinous pictures at PLEASE!


Travel tips I’ve learned the hard way February 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 10:13 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Recommended wine for today’s entry: I’ll suggest a glass of Chalone Vineyard pinot noir, which promises “a soft, velvety texture and lush berry aromas” on the label. rated it a “serve to guests!”  

Has an airline ever lost your luggage?

I don’t mean like when it misses a connection and then comes in on a middle-of-the-night flight and a strange man rings your doorbell at 2 a.m., temporarily stopping your heart and sending the dogs surging into near-fatal frenzies.

I mean like when it just disappears for three days, arriving just in time to be re-checked — at an additional cost of like $50 — for the return trip. Excellent.

Well, at least that way you don’t have to wash the clothes when you get home. Except you do, because you can’t help but wonder if some burly, hairy man (who spends his days in the monotony of loading and unloading a million black rolling suitcases on and off those little carts) unleashes at night by wearing your Victoria’s Secret nightgown and heels and prancing around his apartment. If that hasn’t occurred to you, it should have. Wash them.

The first time my luggage was lost for an extended period of time was on my honeymoon. Of course, it was handy that we flew from Louisville to Atlanta to Miami to San Juan to St. Maarten. Not only was it exhausting, but how in the hell did we even THINK our luggage might make it?

I can tell you where it was. It was in Miami. I know that because I had a huge blue naugahyde suitcase that I’d gotten for college graduation. HUGE. And it had a nice dappled effect, giving it more of the natural look of a real blue cow.

So I was watching them load the little conveyor belt and big blue was nowhere to be seen.

Me: Hey, they didn’t put my suitcase on the plane.

Brand-new husband who had a lot to learn: Don’t be neurotic. It’s on here. 

Well, when it was 2 in the morning and about 20 of us were sitting on the curb at the St. Maarten airport while a really snotty French man (the only person working) took our luggage reports one by one … I didn’t seem all that neurotic anymore.

That was the first time he realized that I am always right and he has NEVER questioned me since.

Luckily I had my birth control pills in my purse. Because I sold them to other honeymooners who weren’t quite as smart as I was, at a cost per pill that would make a hospital comptroller proud.

Equally fortuitously, my husband had advised me to stick a swimsuit in my carry-on bag. So we were fine from 10 in the morning until about 5 in the afternoon.

Then we’d put our dirty clothes back on and go to decreasingly fine restaurants as the week progressed. By day three we were attracting goats along the road and eating at outdoor restaurants, seated on the edge of the patio on the breeze’s exit side.

I might add that it was like 100 degrees outside, so if the clothes weren’t gross enough from overuse, there was a little issue of having no deodorant either. Or hair products, curling iron or makeup. Or a razor. Eeks.

There were, of course, drug stores in St. Maarten, but since the airlines told us every single morning that our suitcase would be in our hotel room by the time we came in from the beach every day…

What they didn’t know was that the guy in Miami was still having fun wearing the stuff I got at my lingerie shower.

Finally, on day four, a surly man brought the suitcases.

Anyway, live and learn. Always put a swimsuit in your carry-on.

So the next time they lost my luggage, my friend Jody and I were going to visit my mom in South Florida. We changed planes in an icy Atlanta and landed in the bright sunshine of Ft. Myers. We could feel the warmth even as we walked through the jetway.

Ahh…we said, devising our plan like Ferris Bueller and his friend Cameron. Let’s get to Monkey’s (that would be my mother, don’t ask) and have her make one of her special Bloody Marys while we put on our swimsuits, then we’ll go down to the beach and fend off advances from the young and bronzed cabana boys, only getting off our butts to take a dip in the refreshing aqua water.

The plan was set.

Except here’s what happened. We didn’t get our luggage. We hadn’t packed a swimsuit in our carry-ons. We got to Monkey’s and she made us REALLY strong special Bloody Marys while we put on her swimsuits (which were very cute for a grandma, but a little sturdy and too … um… well endowed for us).

OK, we figured. We’re on vacation. We’re adaptable. I mean, we’re still away from the kids and the cold weather. Beach towel? check. Designer shades? check. Vodka buzz? check check. We carefully shoved our chaises into just the perfect angle to maximize the sun damage to our faces. Ahh.

Well, the cabana boys noticed us alright. In fact, it felt like a different guy came to ask for our drink orders about every 10 minutes. Huh, we whispered triumphantly. We still got it. Even in Monkey’s sensible swimwear.

It was about an hour later, while I was taking the refreshing dip in the aqua water, that I realized I had apparently bumped my chair into one of the well-padded cups on Monkey’s swimsuit. Because there was hardly any me filling the padding, I now looked down and saw Mount Vesuvius on the left and some sort of a caved-in sno-cone cup on the right.

OK, in this case — but only this case — my husband was always right.

I will most certainly have a swimsuit in my carry-on for next week’s girls’ trip.


%d bloggers like this: