I love going back to the east coast during the holidays, even if there's never any snow on Christmas. There are certain things about the people in Philadelphia that shake the Utah dredgery right off me, and here's why.
A la David Letterman (even though I'm a Leno fan), the top ten reasons I love leaving Utah and heading to Philly:
10. Slathering your face with moisturizer eleven times a day gets old. It's nice to go back to the humidity.
9. Nothing clears your sinuses like the smell of urine on the subway and watching another human being taking a dump in the corner.
8. I got goosebumps laughing, crying, yelling, and standing up and applauding at the end of Rocky Balboa along with the rest of the packed theater. Also the look on my step-mom's face when Rocky takes off his shirt was priceless. Her comment: "Oh wow."
7. Being reminded that you don't have to be 5'1", blonde, and 100 pounds to be considered attractive. It's refreshing to see that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes when you step outside Utah.
6. Running up the steps of the art museum (the Rocky steps) at 2:00 a.m. with a crowd of overweight, sweaty, drunk Flyers fans.
5. Gorging myself on greasy, runny, soggy mushroom cheesesteaks from Pat's. Cheesesteaks so greasy, runny, and soggy that the cheese dripped out onto my shoe. And yes I used my finger to lick it off.
4. Listening to the crack heads yelling their prophetic insights on the street corner. My step-mom's comment: "What's a crack head?"
3. My parents, who try so hard to be cool. Dad's comment: "I want to go see that movie about the CIA, the one with Ben Affleck?" Or, "Let's go see that new Ben Miller movie!". Or my step-mom, who refers to DVD's as CD's; and insists on whispering questions to me during movies. Her comments during Dream Girls: "Who's the actress that plays the lead girl? What's her name? Bee-yond-say? What kind of a name is that? Is she an actress? Is she famous? Why does she bob her head so much? She's a good singer! She should be a singer instead of an actress..."
2. Being back in the land where people talk normal - ahrange, farhead, farest, wooder, harrible, yeeah, salat, etc. Also being around the people who never left, and who still think its fashionable to wear a pony tail on the northern-most point of your head, and have florescent pink acryllic nails.
1. My dog Sampson, who after all these years, still lays down and plays dead when I point a fake gun at him and say "Bang bang!". It also helps to have cauliflower in my hand at the time.
In other news, as much as I loved going home, it's never been so much trouble to get from Salt Lake to Philly. My original flights through Denver were cancelled thanks to Huge Storm '06, and so I paid triple the price to rebook through Delta at the last minute.
Getting to Philly wasn't the problem, unless you consider being stuck in the middle seat for 4.5 hours while trying to keep your love handles from oozing over the arm rests a problem. It's the getting back to Salt Lake that made me want to gorge my eyeballs out with a dixie cup wooden spoon.
Now, until this point, I've never had a problem with Delta. But right now, the best thing about Delta is Erin's mom. My return flight was to take me through JFK and then on to Salt Lake, getting me in around 11 pm on Saturday night. The plane was supposed to leave Philly at 3:00, putting me at JFK by 3:45, and then leaving for SLC at 7.
I thought a three hour window was a safe enough bet, but for some "unknown" reason that neither the flight attendant, pilot, co-pilot, nor gate attendant had any idea about. All they knew was that we sat on the plane for three and a half hours before finally taking off at 6:30.
I understand that things happen beyond the airline's control, but couldn't they at least keep us informed? After the first hour of sitting on the plane, with the German guy next to me growing increasingly more ansy and irritated, no one said so much as "boo" to us to let us know what was going on. When the flight attendant was asked any questions, her response was to roll her eyes and bob her head while snapping, "I don't know!"
After we finally took off, Mr. German next to me, (I knew he was German because he kept flipping me in the face with his scarf and saying "Yah") asked the flight attendant what our estimated time of arrival was. She replied, "Probably 20 minutes." Mr. German explained that he didn't have a watch, so could she tell him what time we would land? She, who was wearing a watch, responded, "Whatever time it is now, add twenty minutes, and that's when we'll land. I can't see my watch right now." Customer service at its finest.
I missed my connection by ten minutes. Delta was kind enough to put me up in the Ramada Inn, and rebooked me on the 7 am flight Sunday morning. They also graciously gave me a $7 food voucher which paid for exactly 1/3 of my dinner at the hotel. I think $24 for a veggie burger is reasonable.
There's nothing quite like standing in line for an hour at the JFK Ramada, listening to the redneck in a tank top behind you rant about Delta's conspiracy theories and how he's going to call Geraldo to crack open the case. He was convinced that there was no real reason for all the delays and cancellations, and that it was a scheme to make money for the Ramada.
But I think my favorite part of the experience was the birds that nest in the JFK Delta terminal. How did I find out there were birds? By finding the bird crap on my luggage.
The only thing that made it all worth it was the hot pilot that I followed through the airport.
I have no shame.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
I love going back to the east coast during the holidays, even if there's never any snow on Christmas. There are certain things about the people in Philadelphia that shake the Utah dredgery right off me, and here's why.
at 2:33 PM
Thursday, December 21, 2006
at 11:15 AM
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The 24 hour countdown officially begins...
I went to see The Persuit of Happyness last night and hounded, nay demanded that the box-office teenager sell me Rocky Balboa tickets for Wednesday afternoon - the earliest showing I could go to. Although I found out later that there was no reason for me to strong-arm the box-office teenager, as all I had to do was ask for the tickets, but oh well. I think I made my point.
Also, seeing as how "apparently" none of my friends are as excited as me, I am thrilled to be going to the movie with my younger sibling, Brother Bone. When I asked Erin if she wanted to go see it on opening day, she paused and said, "You're going to see it more than once, right?"
at 11:05 AM
Monday, December 18, 2006
There are many times throughout the year when it becomes painfully obvious that I lack what the French call a-certain-I-don't-know-what. One of those times was when I was invited to be a sub at Lez's monthly Bunko group - I won a sixty-thousand piece embellishment set, and had no idea what embellishments were. Another good example is the time I decided to become domestic and make corn.*
But my lack of, shall we say, polish (that's polish as in classy / well-mannered, not Polish like the dogs or the culture) reached another new pinnacle this weekend when I tried to bake cookies.
Here are some examples of the cute, crafty Christmas gifts I was given by co-workers:
Home-made canned peaches...
Cute Christmasy mug filled with love and goodness...
And then there's my contribution.
I swear I have no idea what happened - I followed the recipe exactly, except I added coconut, which shouldn't have made the cookies turn out like greasy, sunken conglomerations.
The picture doesn't do justice, but the entire batch of cookies came out looking like I'd just used them to blot my forehead. If I received them as a gift, I'd probably just throw them away.
I'm sorry, Maggie. I feel like I can never live up to your Martha Stewart-ness.
* Making corn = opening a can of corn and being amazed that all I had to to was heat it up. I believe my exact words were, "You mean I don't have to cook it? Who knew!!"
Feliz Navidad Total: 34
Rocky Balboa Countdown: 2 Days
at 11:10 AM
Friday, December 15, 2006
As the assistant to the President of construction, it was left to me to organize a company Christmas potluck lunch. For two weeks, I've been sending out emails and asking people to sign up to bring something. By "asking" them to bring something, I mean chasing them down and cornering them in their offices and threatening them. That's how half of my week was spent.
The other half was spent trying to explain to grown men that potato chips are not an acceptable side dish for a Christmas luncheon. It took six emails to the VP before he understood what a side dish is and that chips don't count - and then he decided to bring a dessert anyway.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that every single man in this office - from the President to the supers to the IT guy - asked if they could bring chips as their side dish. This was always calmly stated, accompanied by a blank look. This was also after I'd explained to them the nature of the lunch: Christmasy, partly catered, and definitely a step up from other company lunches. This was also after I'd told them that other employees were bringing stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean cassarole, etc. - definitely a step up from chips.
And yet, every time I heard it, I was surprised. I became convinced that there was a mass mutiny happening and that word was being spread for them to suggest bringing chips. Instead, I now believe that all guys really do think alike.
So I shouldn't have been surprised when the following exchange took place with one of the guys this morning:
Guy: I brought something for the lunch, but it wasn't what I signed up for...
Bone Junior: I'm sure that's ok. You signed up for salad right? What did you bring instead?
Guy: Um, I decided to bring a donut salad.
Bone Junior: Flatly. Really. Pause. What's a donut salad?
Guy: Uh, it's kind of like a dozen Krispy Kremes.
A box of Krispy Kremes wouldn't really detract from the overall ambiance of my Christmas table spread, so I wasn't worried about it.
I wasn't worried about it until I was then approached by none other than Napoleon McBoom Boom. Standing close by was the VP, the accountant, and Mr. Donut Salad, all of whom had asked to bring chips. Ironically, Napoleon McBoom Boom was the only office guy who hadn't asked to bring chips, and was apparently unaware of my stance against having picnic food at my Christmas table.
Napoleon: Yeah.....I had a really late night last night, and I just didn't have time to make that dessert that I signed up for. So... I had to bring something else.
Bone Junior: Ok. What did you bring?
Napoleon: I got Doritos and chips.
There wasn't even anything I could say, and even if there was, you wouldn't have been able to hear it over the laughter of the guys behind him. Suffice it to say that I felt like stabbing my pen through his jugular and simultaneously telling him that no matter how late your night is, there is no excuse for coming to work with Cockatiel bed head. I also wanted to tell him that his Cockatiel bed head has been posted on the interweb for all my faithful readers to see.
Instead, I smoothed my skirt, held my head high, and told him that I appreciated his effort in contributing to our company lunch. Then I told the other guys to bend over and I'd show them where to put those chips.
Feliz Navidad total: 30
Rocky Balboa Countdown: 5 days
at 2:52 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Yesterday, I got a package in the mail. The shipper's address was New Jersey, but that's about all I know, since there was nothing in the package except a mysterious gift. No card, no note, no nothing.
Don't get me wrong, I love getting packages, and I love them even more when they're filled with treasures, but I feel bad because I got a truly awesome gift and I have no idea who to thank.
So I'm posting this in the hopes that someone out there knows something that will bring this anonymous gift-giver to justice.
Your eyes do not deceive. It is a leg lamp night light, now proudly displayed in our classy kitchen.
In other news, something in the universe is seriously out of whack when Napoleon McBoom Boom has such an eventful night that he comes to work with hair like this, and I'm getting stood up by dates.
Before you ask, I snapped this picture from a distance of about a foot behind him. Maybe it was wrong of me to sneak up behind his unsuspecting coiff, but I just couldn't help myself.
at 10:45 AM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Bone Junior: Hello, Papa Johns? Do you have a delivery driver out in a little red car?
Papa Johns: Uuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, yeah.
Bone Junior: Well, I just think you should know that he's driving like a crazy person. He just swerved into my lane and nearly ran me off the road! What kind of a training program do you have that your drivers think its OK to drive like crazy people! I was driving on State Street, like a normal person does, and your driver started tailing me and then weaved in and out of the lane to pass me!
Papa Johns: Were you driving like a grandma?
Bone Junior: Excuse me?? I don't drive like a grandma. I drive just fine. Your driver just drives like a crazy person! And I thought you should know how he's representing your business. You just lost a customer. Which is too bad because I really liked your cheesey bread.
Attempts, unsuccessfully, to vehemently hang up a cell phone.
at 4:32 PM
Monday, December 11, 2006
Everyone knows that I'm a nerd for movies. I love going to the movies, I love buying the tickets in advance, I love getting there an hour early to get the perfect seats, and I love the fifteen minutes of previews before the movie starts. If I miss the trailers, then its not even worth it for me to see the movie, because the trailers are half the fun. But this weekend, I took my hard coreness to a new level.
After my Saturday night date stood me up (that's right, he asked me out a week in advance, and then never called. When he finally called me the next day and I confronted him about his lack of courtesy, decency and manners, his response was, "You could've called me." Oh, right, I forgot. I'll track you down when you're the one who asked me out. His next response? "So, do you want to go out next weekend?" I give him credit for having the audacity and the balls.)
So, after my Saturday night date stood me up, I decided to go out with Yanaj and see Casino Royale for the third time. Yes, the third time. Get off my back.
We got to the theater about an hour early - not on purpose, but we were meeting there and just happened to be really early. We were the first ones in line outside the theater. I'm not sure if there was even supposed to be a line, or if people just assumed and fell in behind us. Either way, I think its fair to say that I was a trendsetter.
Yanaj and I had the perfect entrance strategy to ensure perfect seats - we split up and each took a different door, then met in the middle of the perfect row. Our plan was executed perfectly, we had perfect seats, and settled in with our popcorn and soda (which had been scored for free thanks to my clever wit, but that's a story for another time). The point is, everything was perfect and I was eagerly anticipating the cinematic experience.
Five minutes before the movie was supposed to start, something happened that I've never experienced in a movie theater before. The screen shut off, the fire alarm went off, a bright light started flashing, and a robotic voice came on saying, "Attention! An emergency has been reported! Please evacuate the theater using the nearest emergency exit!" Over and over. The theater started to empty in a panic as people pushed their way to the doors. Mayem was ensuing, babies were crying, some guy was shouting, "Women and children first! Into the lifeboats!" Oh wait, not that last part. But there was a general panic as people swarmed like cattle.
Yanaj looked at me, semi-worried as I continued to eat my popcorn and ignored the bustle around me. "Aren't we going to leave?" she asked.
I had a brief internal debate as I considered my next move. I knew that the lobby would be full of a thousand people all trying to squeeze through the doors, and no one had come in to tell us we had to leave, so how much of an emergency could it be?
"I don't want to lose our seats!" I reasoned. Some kid probably pulled the fire alarm somewhere, and by the time everyone else figured it out, we'd lose our perfect movie placement. "But what if we burn?" she said.
I grabbed her by the shoulders, looked her in the eye and said, "If we burn, then we burn in the perfect seats, and that's all that matters! Have a little perspective!!" Besides, according to Bone Senior, burning in the perfect seats would be a very fitting way for me to die.
In the end, we didn't burn. We patiently waited for about twenty minutes, while Yanaj nearly had a seizure from the flashing light. And when everyone else filed back into the theater, my only thought was, "Suckers!" But what's most important is that we didn't lose our seats, and we even got raincheck tickets for the inconvenience. And thanks once again to my clever wit, I got three raincheck tickets.
What's funny about this is that I, the Rosa Parks of the Cinemark theater, wouldn't give up my seat in the middle of an emergency, and it wasn't even my first time seeing the movie. It's not like I didn't already know what happens. It's not like I was going to miss out on anything major. It was my third time seeing the movie.
Nothing comes between me and the perfect seats. That's just how I roll.
at 1:46 PM
Saturday, December 09, 2006
For this project, you will need the following:
- A temperature of 102;
- A loosely termed "virus that's been going around;"
- Six bottles of Gatorade;
- Theraflu (the kind that leaves the grainy, vomity aftertaste);
- Prison Break: Season One and Over The Top;
- Sugar-free, color-free, vomity-aftertaste-full Tussin;
- Generic vapo-rub (the greasier, the better);
- Generic allergy tablets;
- And no table setting is complete without a roll of toilet paper and a glass to spit mucous chunks into.
Don't you just love the holidays?
at 12:19 AM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Much love to my dear friend, Andi Curb Your Passion Mae Rosales, who called me all the way from Tejas today at 3:00 just to hold up the phone to her car radio, where Feliz Navidad was playing.
Also, apologies go out to all my co-workers for the sounds of me punching myself in the face around 3:00 this afternoon.
Feliz Navidad Total: 21
Rocky Balboa Countdown: 16 Days
at 3:47 PM
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I finally sold my soul and switched to the Blogger Beta - I still have no idea what that really means, other than it is absolute and final and there is no going back. Not sure how I really feel about this, but we'll see how it works out.
In other news, since moving into the new townhouse in August, I had yet to spot a spider in my room. I've seen a few on the main level, and seen the remnants of spider guts on the walls downstairs occasionally, usually followed by the discovery of spider guts on the bottom of one of my shoes (thanks Yanaj). But so far, they've had yet to crossover into my room, which is exactly how I prefer it.
Until this afternoon. I was coming to the end of a marathon which consisted of me rushing home from work and locking myself in my room for a week straight, while I crocheted like a grandma on crack and relived all the excitement of Prison Break: Season One. Oh, and I was wearing my purple muu muu. In short, it was one of the greatest weeks of my life, followed closely by Elvis Week 2006.
I'm not kidding; I barely spoke to my roommates for an entire week, because every spare moment was spent yelling at Michael and Lincoln, anticipating if they would ever break out. What's sad is that I've already seen it all, so I know how it turns out. But that didn't stop the old adrenaline flow.
Now that I've revealed how lame I am, let me continue with my spider story.
I bounded into my room with excitement this afternoon because I only had two episodes to go. My gleeful skip was stopped short when I saw a huge, hairy, crusty spider on the wall next to my TV. I didn't know what to do, because if I left it alone, it would just be taunting me, knowing that I could still see him and not concentrate on the Prison Break action. My super ultra long extended fly swatter was nowhere to be found, and there was no way I was going to get close enough with a shoe. So I did the unthinkable: I grabbed the closest piece of clothing (which happened to be my hand-made-puffy-painted Elvis Week 2006 tank top) and used a towel-whipping motion accompanied by a blood-curtling scream in the general direction of the huge, hairy, crusty spider.
If you ask me what happened next, I can't tell you for sure. All I know is that somehow the curled up body of the huge, hairy, crusty spider came hurtling back at me and stuck to my shirt. I just about vomited on myself out of fear. I bent over at the waist and started smacking myself in the chest and stomach, screaming all the while and hopping from foot to foot. Don't ask me why I was hopping - it's kind of like the time I went bungee jumping and held my nose as I jumped. I guess it was just instinct.
My point is this: I hate spiders more than just about anything else in the world. And clearly, I am not equipped to handle such situations. Kind of like how I'm clearly not ready to handle having kids of my own. It's not a good sign when a 3-month old baby spits up on you, and your first reaction is to gag and hold the kid in front of you, tipped forward so she'll continue puking on the brand new carpet instead of on your arm. Hypothetically.
And it didn't help matters when a few minutes later, I was comfortably situated in my bed, nestled between my Elvis and Russell Crowe pillows, when what to my wandering eye did appear? Another huge, hairy, crusty spider crawling towards my face. Right towards my face. So I did what any normal, sane person wearing a purple muu muu would do: I screamed, bolted out of bed, ran out of the room and slammed the door behind me.
Something tells me I'll be sleeping on the couch tonight.
Feliz Navidad Total: 18
Rocky Balboa Countdown: 17 days
at 8:50 PM
Monday, December 04, 2006
I learned a valuable lesson this weekend: a man comes in handy, and there are certain things that a single female shouldn't attempt without a handy mandy around. Before you get all women's rights on me, let me just say that I'm all for female independence and all that, but let's be honest - there are some things that are just easier to do with a man. Making out is one of those things.
Or, for example, trying to cart a ten-foot christmas tree home. Or trying to set up the christmas tree in a tree stand that's too small to hold the trunk. For these situations, it helps to have a) a truck; b) a saw; and c) a guy who doesn't care about getting sap on his hands. This was a lesson learned last Christmas when we used a screwdriver to stab holes in the trunk because we didn't have a saw to cut off the end so it could drink the water. Needless to say, that tree dried up pretty quickly. And no, it was not the very same screwdriver that I recently used to start my car.
Thank goodness for Brit - our new Christmas Tree Maintenance Man, and his truck, saw, and acceptance of sap. The weekend ended with a ten foot tree, carefully whittled at the base, beautifully decorated in purple and silver.
It also helps to have a guy around when you're looking for a new car - another lesson I learned this weekend. Now, I'm not a certified mechanic, but I feel like I know enough about cars to avoid being scammed, especially after taking an 8-week beginners automotive class this fall. Who am I kidding - all I wanted to do in that class was ride on the car lift. Either way, my dad taught me enough, and I've been through enough with my car that I feel like I can hold my own when it comes to car salesmen.
Before I went to the lot, I had an idea of what I did and didn't want. I won't share my shopping list out of the fear of offending people who's cars match my do-not-want list. But I had my schpeil prepared, I was cool, calm and collected, and was ready to appear as an intelligent, independent girl who couldn't be pushed into a sale.
But something went horribly wrong. Maybe it was the wind chill, or the hunger pangs of my stomach consuming itself, or the fact that I really had to pee. Because when the salesman approached me, our conversation went a little something like this, and I turned a car salesman's dream:
Salesman: What are you looking for?
Bone Junior: Um.......Something pretty?
Salesman: Okaaaaaaaaaaaay. What do you think of this one? (Points to a green Mercury Cougar. Not Eagles green, mind you. This was more St. Patrick's Day hangover green.)
Bone Junior: Oooh, that's pretty! And it looks pretty inside too! Can I drive it?
Salesman: (Eyes me suspiciously.)It's a five-speed manual... is that OK?
Bone Junior: Immediately snaps out of it and resumes Independent Girl Appearance, rolling eyes at stupid car salesman who assumes that just because I'm a single girl, I can't drive a stick. Well, I'll show him. Snatches keys out of salesman's hands. Um, yeah, I drive a five-speed manual. My BMW is a five-speed manual.Thanks. Wow, I sound snooty. Watch this, smarmy salesman. Eat my dust as I peel out of here in this pretty sports car. Check me out in all my stick-shift driving glory. Hmmm... this is a different set-up than I'm used to. How do I get it in reverse? The diagram says its all the way to the right, but its not getting into gear....if I revv the engine and jump forward one more time, smarmy salesman will know something's up.... how the heck do you get it in reverse?!?! Now ALL the salesmen are watching me! If I go forward any further, I'm going to jump the curb! Crap!
The story concludes with me hobbling up to the salesman with my foot in my mouth, and asking him meekly how to put the pretty car in reverse. Turns out there's a secret ninja button that you have to hold in before you shift it. Who knew.
When I got back from the test drive with my tummy full of humble pie, the salesman asked me what I thought of the car. What was my Independent Intelligent Woman response?
Next time I go car shopping, I'm taking a man for the sole purpose of having him hold his hand over my mouth before I can make any more of an ass out of myself. I've got that part down pat.
Feliz Navidad Total: 17
Rocky Balboa Countdown: 18 days
at 12:49 PM
Friday, December 01, 2006
No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you. That is a cardboard pop-up of Graceland at Christmas, courtesy of my co-worker Dean. Who knew that an Elvis christmas album held such tray-sures inside. I wasted a good fifteen minutes talking to Dean this morning about our shared love of Elvis, and looking through the Elvis merchandise catalogs that he brought to show me. The excitement of Elvis Week 2006 came back to me, and I started to feel the need to buy that matched luggage set...
Not much later, I returned to my desk to find two culprates tampering with my things. Seeing as how I'm usually the one playing the practical jokes, I'm always caught off guard when the tables are turned on me. At first glance, everything looked normal, until I tried to move my mouse.
Note the Feliz Navidad running talley in the background, as well as the tail end of my Christmas garland.
Feliz Navidad Total: 15
at 9:52 AM