funnierwithwine

A humorous look at the little things in life

Shopping for a bargain, for me, is the bar’s gain November 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 5:41 pm
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: Valley of the Moon chardonnay. My 21-year-old daughter bought me a bottle for my birthday, and I broke it out this week after this harrowing shopping experience. It was just the ticket – it was a Wine & Spirits Best Buy this year with an 87 rating and got a Gold at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Try some for Thanksgiving.

On Black Friday, you would have a better chance of finding me at the tippy-top of a water tower, eating a grease-dripping turkey leg and dancing to a Prince song than you would have of finding me at the mall. The only thing I hate more than heights, meat, dancing and Prince is a crowded mall.

So what was I thinking this week when I found myself at a large department store’s ONE DAY SALE!?

And of course I was there both days, because what good ONE DAY SALE! isn’t two days long?

I ventured to the mall on Day One with my friend Beth because she hates to shop too and misery loves company who is also miserable. We couldn’t take the chaos of frenzied women shouting out math problems like IF THE ORIGINAL PRICE WAS 100 DOLLARS AND THE SIGN SAYS 65 PERCENT OFF WHAT DOES THAT MAKE IT … OH, AND WAIT! I HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 20 PERCENT OFF COUPON … SO IS THAT 85 PERCENT OFF OR IS IT 20 PERCENT OFF AFTER THE 65 PERCENT HAS BEEN TAKEN OFF … OH, AND WAIT! I HAVE A SUPER SPECIAL $10 OFF A PURCHASE OF $25 OR MORE … WAIT, NOW I REALLY NEED TO KNOW IF THE ADDITIONAL 20 PERCENT …

No wonder people push people down on Black Friday.

We escaped upstairs and bought my husband a birthday present, which was just in the nick of time because his birthday was in a scant 11 hours. But that department was not participating in the ONE DAY SALE! because it is too snobby and it has a lovely hardwood floor to let you know that you have left the disgusting white-trash linoleum floor that the rest of the scuzzy, coupon-bearing animals are thundering through. So it was worth the extra money.

Then we hiked to the far end of the mall to the opposite anchor, which was empty because there was no ONE DAY SALE! and the prices were sky high. But the additional money I paid for a holiday dress was worth it, because my blood pressure stabilized and saved an expensive hospital co-pay. At least that is how I sold it to my husband.

Speaking of husband, when I got home I checked his closet and realized that the sweater I’d gotten him was, of course, the wrong size.

Which is why I was back at the mall, in the rain again, the Second Day, a day that made the First Day, in retrospect, seem like a day at the spa.

I parked a million miles from the door and was darting in and out of cars when I nearly got flattened by, you guessed it, the Mall Cop. I pulled up short and waited for him to pass.

But he stopped next to me, put down his window, pulled down his sunglasses (it was seriously dark enough out that his automatic headlights were on) and looked me up and down. Then he says, “Are you trying to get into the mall?” No, Barney, I’m just a middle-aged woman playing pedestrian chicken with irritated drivers in pouring rain. I nodded and he goes, “Please. Cross in front of me. Please.” I felt dirty. But I wasn’t afraid of him because he could barely see over the steering wheel and I have to think I could outrun his stubby little legs.

I fought through the peons thronging the first floor, made my way to the department with the special floors, exchanged the sweater without incident, and then made my escape to the escalator. But wait! Bras — buy 2, get 2 free whaaat?

Yes, I became one of the ill-mannered mob. I clawed through the merchandise, once even setting a pick on a fast-moving woman so she had to divert around the rack and in the meantime, I established my territory in front of the Vanity Fair display. If I’d been a male dog, I probably would have peed on her.

In the checkout line, the meemaw in front of me held up her tiger-print pajamas and asked me what the tag said. “100 percent polyester,” I read. She stared at me like I’d just told her I eat live kittens and she finally said, “So there’s not much cotton in there, right?” I took a cleansing breath, trying to reconcile in my head how so many stupid people had come to have so much spendable income.

But she was waiting for an answer, so I did: “Uh, no, not much … like ZERO cotton.” Apparently the wrong answer. She got out of line and threw the handsome jammies back into the wildlife section and left.

In the end I had $140 worth the bras for $57 and I was hooked. Screw my blood pressure.

Tights were 2 for $22, so I juggled my two bags, my purse and five pairs of tights and, once again, couldn’t find a cashier. I wormed my way through the store, my phone ringing incessantly in my purse, but me without an open hand to even press “reject.” Now I’m sweating and juggling and ringing and ringing and ringing, and there’s a cashier with NO ONE in line but my eye catches a smashing pink sweater with 65 PERCENT OFF screaming at me, so I divert and grab one, tucking some of the tights under my chin to free a hand.

And when I get back to cashier, there is a scrawny lady with Albert Einstein’s hair gesticulating wildly and bitching about the computer saying there was a pair of size 2 in the store somewhere and WHERE ARE THEY … and second in line is a very nice man, or I think he was very nice because he kept asking me something in a language I have never heard but he was smiling so I think he must have been nice. But he smelled like the men’s locker room after the Anti-anti-perspirant Basketball Tournament.

Now I was sweating, juggling, ringing, ringing, ringing and g-a-g-g-i-n-g (literally). The “manager” even came by and thanked me for my patience and I nodded, dislodging a pair of tights. But after ten more minutes (and I am not kidding, Einstein was still demanding to know the locale of those damn jeans) … I had to breathe. I headed toward the perfume department where I intended to grab one of those sample bottles and use it like nose spray, when I found a little, hidden cashier and I threw my shit on the counter and grabbed my wad of coupons and threw them at her and finally pushed REJECT on my damn phone.

I am sure I got some good deals but I paid for it with my blood pressure.

I can’t help but note that the word BARGAIN is made up of bar and gain. Let’s just say that that night, the alcohol industry benefitted from my day of shopping.

 

Of stupid signage, stupid weeds and stupid Anita July 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 2:25 pm
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: 2007 Monte Antico Toscana IGT. A confession: I jacked this recommendation from an article at cobizmag.com written by Cathie Beck, the author of Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship (which I also recommend) … anyway, SHE got the recommendation from bargainredwines.com, so peruse the whole list at your leisure! They describe this choice as “a medium-bodied, almost light wine. It’s flavorful from start to finish with tastes of sun-dried tomato and faint oak or black pepper, or maybe even worcestershire sauce. It’s extremely versatile, good by itself or with almost any food, especially dishes with cheese or strong vegetable flavor, where you want a wine that complements and doesn’t try to overpower.” Best of all, it’s widely available and only around $11!

Here just a few random things that have given me pause lately.

1) Recently, this sign was posted at the end of one of the state roads out here in the sticks. Oh, wait — these two signs were posted. I always wondered if roads could have split personalities.

Sybil works for the KY Dept of Transportation

I hate to tell ANYONE how to do their jobs, but I can’t help but think that the same DOT worker who hauled out to our neck of the woods to install the high-faluting flashy sign announcing that the road had reopened MIGHT JUST HAVE BEEN THE PERFECT PERSON to remove the OTHER sign that announced the road closed. 

Just a thought.

2) And this is what happens when you think like an SAT test and you are totally bored, pulling weeds in 130-degree heat.

If foot size is related to human height, and root length is related to weed height, how tall would this dandelion have gotten?

If Foot size: Height and Root length: Dandelion Height, just how HUGE was this sucker headed?

Now, I’m no mathmetician, but if that’s my foot and I grew to be 5’5″ tall, that dandelion was headed for about 6’2″.

3) I recently got a super-nice e-mail from Anita, who said she is 25 years of knowing me. She saw me and zoosk.com and GUESS WHAT? She has interesting in get to know me better!!

Just in case I was getting a big head from all the unsought attention, she also let me know in plain terms that she “doesn’t think that age and appearance are very much matter.”

Well, Anita, at the risk of seeming like a skeptic right here in the face of your direct and honest flirtation, I have to admit that it seems you are just trying to woo me with your astounding sensitivity before you send your request for 100,000 US dollars to be deposited to an account in Mozambique. Because if that’s your goal in get to know me better — as if you could, considering you have 25 years of knowing me already — I have to tell you, I am not your type. And I happen to think that age and appearance matter very much. Also, I am married. To a man.

I really don’t think Anita has 25 years of knowing me AT ALL and perhaps she is a liar.

… oh, and what the hell is ZOOSK.com? I’m assuming it stands for Zero Other Options, Screw Kentuckians.

Well, little missy, not this wise woman. I know you too well for that.

 

The easiest way to achieve one’s goals is to amend them regularly. July 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 11:53 am
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: Much to my surprise, I found that not only do 7-11 stores sell wine (in areas where wine sales are not still limited to liquor stores, like Kentucky) … but they actually sell cheap, decent wine! This link to an article in the Huffington Post gives the Consumer Reports’ take on the offering: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/08/7-11-chardonnay-consumer_n_601094.html. Wow. Who knew? For those readers who can access these $3.99 beauties, let me know if they’re really OK. I mean, we all went through our Riunite phase and lived to tell about it – this sounds like a step up!                

So today is a totally LUCKY day. 7-11-11. Not only does it hold the promise of endless riches for those surrounding the craps tables in Vegas … it must also be a high holiday for those lucky workers of the 7-11 convenience store chain who have not, at least yet, been the victim of a holdup. I am no expert on the odds of a 7-11 worker being the victim of a holdup; I am, though, an observer of doorways and, in my estimation, the presence of a multi-colored yardstick that determines a fleeing outlaw’s approximate height leads me to believe that a reasonable amount of risk does exist.

 Today, though, I would like to speak about goals and the way they change over time.

 As children, our goals are as lofty as our deluded imaginations allow. We could be prima ballerinas, NBA stars, creative advertising geniuses, writing things FAR more memorable and insightful than I can’t believe I ate the whole thing … and  Where’s the beef? (which was, I might add, a heinous, heinous mockery of an old woman in who needed way more calcium than a hamburger offered).

Then for those of us lucky enough to attend college, we are often oriented directly toward our goals. For awhile. But then BAM! Some buffoon puts an ice-cold keg of Budweiser right in our path. Most of us can maneuver our way around it, but it’s not without effort. Those of us whose parents made it abundantly clear that not graduating on time was NOT an option, did just that. But the poignant lesson was learned: everyone else in college is like 900 times smarter and more driven than we are.

 And so we work harder.

 Nooooo, silly. We adjust our goals. Let’s be realistic. At this point, we’re already 21 years old … ancient by Aboriginal standards. But we can still achieve great things. Just amended great. Now we can be superior middle managers, the bad asses of the corporate slow-pitch league, perfect corporate wives. (OK, for me, that last one never really got off the ground…so I changed my goal to just not be the direct cause of his demise.)

 And then we have children. Our primary goal is for them to be happy and productive and support us in our old age, which suddenly feels much closer than it did before labor started. This is, I believe, is known as passing the baton, living vicariously, giving up, retiring. Personally, my goals were for my daughters to be princesses. No, don’t be stupid. Those were their goals. I wanted them to be Olympic gymnasts and Julia Roberts. Wait. Those were their goals too. I guess our goals are for them to determine and achieve their own goals. They can do something on their damn own.

After our children head for college with our sage words about the pitfalls of the Bud keg ringing in their ears, we adopt our Empty-Nest Goals. Like for me, I decided I will write the next classic novel, the coming-of-age novel that defines life in the 2000s the way Jane Austen delivered the complexities and contemplations of life in the early 1800s. 

… or I’ll write a stream-of-consciousness blog about possums, wine, cat vomit and friends who push coolers through carpool line with their SUV. 

See, things are truly advancing nicely, aren’t they? 

Now I set goals one day at a time. It makes it easier to find fulfillment. For example, yesterday I achieved all my goals.

 They included: 

Successful grocery shopping. This wasn’t easy because Kroger was swarming with angry elders yesterday. First I had to accelerate to 35 mph in the parking lot to get to the close space before this mean old lady (who later had a hissing fight with the checkout girl) could maneuver her mammoth vehicle into my favorite spot. When she glared at me in the store, I gave her my best Seriously meemaw? Look at me – I’m no spring chicken myself look. Then I faked a limp and ran into the salad bar like I didn’t see it. Later, I had to beat this other like-90-year-old lady to checkout line 3, because I knew she would take forever to unload her cart. So I had my daughter set a screen and I slithered right past her.

 Successful meal planning, prep and clean-up. The key here was to unload the dishwasher before serving dinner, even if it was already 10:00, because then everyone could load their own dirty dishes when they finished. Again, they can do something on their damn own. Also, by holding off dinner until the whole family is starving, they seem to think it tastes better.

Mental exercise. Well, my goal was to get at least TWO words on the Wall Street Journal cryptic puzzle that I have been working on for – and I am not exaggerating here – three full weeks. I have to confess that I only got one.

 Physical exercise. If you don’t give me credit for climbing back onto my pool raft when I tumped over by accident, you have to agree that flicking at least 40 Japanese beetles into soapy water took some exertion. I even managed to do it while sipping a glass of wine. 

See? There are a LOT of things left to achieve when one reaches age 50. It’s all a matter of managing expectations. Today’s goals, for example, were to write a blog entry and get to Vegas to take advantage of 7-11-11.

I’m not sure how that one’s gonna work out. Maybe I’ll get a bottle of 7-11 wine and play poker on my computer. Adjusting goals.

 

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 1:05 pm
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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: http://kmwinediary.blogspot.com/2010/11/2009-creme-de-lys-california-chardonnay.html.

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
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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
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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 ashleyrosen@bellsouth.net!

 

 
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