Monday, December 31, 2007

For My Reedie Girls ...

Here's a fictitious story dedicated to my dear girlfriends from the neighborhood, and is reminiscent of our recent night out. In addition to some Christmas cocktails and several rounds of "Santa Baby", we created a little story. This was borne from a conversation that started as a result of my recent blogging about the word "wan." I could never take full credit for this little gemstone .... definitely a group effort. Girls, please feel free to leave a comment if I left something out .... I may have missed something while rolling around on the floor peeing myself from laughter!

You girls are the best!! Here goes ......

One day my ont was walking down the street when somebody opened up a giant umba-rella and hit her in the hay-ed with it. It was a big powerful umba-rella ... so powerful, the collision made her fall out. When it hit her, she fell out onto the payment. Nobody in her faaaaymily was wif her, but some newsy person stepping off the curve nearby sawr what happened (thank goodness it was lighty out so they could still see) and called an ambu-lants. They took her to the ER, as an ambu-lants owees does. It wasn't crowded ... prolly cuz it was Thanksgiving and everybuddy was home ea-in their turkey. They warshed her hay-ed and axed her if she felt okay. She said she did, but she was never right after the umba-rella accident. We lahhhhnched a benefit for her on Valentimes Day to help wif expenses, but the injury was just too bad. She omost lived, but she passed. She's the first person I know killed by an umba-rella.

The End.

Credits: Maggie, Linda, Doreen, Robin, Sue, Jeanette, Kate, me

P.S. - Doreen, don't think I'll soon forget your infamous quote, "What are you supposed to say if it's not "wan" ..... "winded?" bahaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Apparently, the theme of the day today is trash ... and it's not even trash day.

So I took Davey Dogs to work this morning, and on the way there we scoured the sidewalks to see how many people had already put their Christmas tree on the curb for trash pick-up. It's surprising to see how many people in South Philly get rid of their tree by 6:30am the day after Christmas! One of my neighbors is an offender.

After I dropped the Dawgs off at work I had to stop at Shop Rite on the way home to pick up trash bags. Not sure how I ran out of them -- if you know me, you know I'm a stocker. My house is like a bunker, not because I think some disaster is imminent, but because I can't stand running out of things. So at 6:45 this morning I pulled up in front of Shop Rite, grabbed my wallet and an empty can of soda to throw away, and went into the store. I was looking lovely, by the way ...... grey sweat pants, purple pajama top, red coat, white socks with slip-ons, and a purple ski hat with dangly things and ear flaps. I knew I'd be the only person in the store (and I was right), so I didn't care.

I wandered through the store and picked up my trash bags, then looked in my hand and realized I was carrying an empty soda can ... no wallet. Horror flashed over me! I had inadvertently thrown my wallet in the garbage can on my way into the store instead of my empty soda can!!

I backtracked through the store, trying to exit through the entrance doors. Despite head-butting and pounding they wouldn't open. The guy who keeps the carts organized showed up to open the doors from the other side, just in time to prevent me from having a meltdown. I guess I looked like a desparate lunatic. Once I had finally escaped the store I blabbed a stream of jibberish to Cart Guy: "thanks .... wallet ... trash ... soda .... help!" and then picked the lid off the giant trash can and dove in head first. I was on a serious mission to trashpick my wallet from the depths of that massive trash can. Cart Guy stood watching in disbelief. I looked like a trashpicker, and I was one.

Luckily, the wallet was recovered with no garbage goop on it. After all, I was the first person in the store and there was a fresh bag. An hour later, and this would have been a completely different story. A little guardian angel was looking out for me and my Louis this morning. I chucked the empty soda can, then went back in to complete my purchase.

Now I'm back at home gearing up to do some cleaning. Am planning to throw a bunch of junk away. The trash theme continues.

By the way, if you happened to be at Shop Rite before 7am this morning and saw a trash can with 2 sweatpants-clad legs sticking out of it .... I'll deny forever more that it was me.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eau de Sauerkraut

As I was sitting in my office yesterday afternoon, the smell of sauerkraut wafted in. OK, it may not be the worst thing I've ever smelled, but it certainly doesn't smell like Thanksgiving or roses either. Anyway, this stink reminded me of lunchtimes at my first job .....

Years ago when I worked for Pru, there was a woman and her daughter (I'll call them Flo and Helga) who had some odd lunchtime habits. They were both really gross -- always slovenly, ungroomed, and piggish. They were the kind of people who wore dirty sweat pants to work. Anyway, they often brought crabs for lunch. Not crab cakes or something containing picked crab meat -- crabs. They brought newspaper, spread it over a table in the lunch room, and then sat down with their mallets and cracked away. Who the hell eats crabs at work???? Yes, Maryland IS for crabs .... but work isn't. When they weren't eating crabs, Momma Flo would bring a crock pot of chili and plug it in under her desk. She and Helga would scarf the whole thing for lunch. The biggest problem with that was the location of my desk -- it backed up to Momma Flo's. About an hour after lunch ended I can honestly say that sitting behind this woman was the worst spot in the entire building! The back of my head got bomb-blasted every afternoon ... it's a wonder my hair didn't turn green or fall out. In fact, those were the days when we could smoke in the office, and I would suggest she light one up just to "clear" the air of the stench. She usually had one desk fire per week.

There was another lady who worked at Pru that had a lunch-hour pasttime I've never seen before or since. She was a tall portly woman in her late 40s who looked like a cross between Pippi Longstocking and Ronald McDonald. She had bright red fuzzy hair that she wore in braids ... not a french braid or corn rows, but the kind of braids you see on 3 year olds -- one on each side of the head. She always wore a flowy dress that had big flowers on it and a collar that looked like one of my mom's dining room table cloths. Anyway, she'd eat her lunch, then put on her roller skates and skate around the parking lot in circles for the balance of her lunch hour.

I miss the crazy lunchtimes at Pru. The stinky smell today made me wonder if Flo and Helga found their way to Philly. I doubt it ... hope not ... I don't really miss them that much.

Friday, December 21, 2007

OCD, Superstitious or Just Plain Crazy?

It's been a busy busy couple of weeks with traveling for work and trying to get ready for Christmas and my party. Not much time for blogging lately. Originally, I was going to do a post on some of my neurotic behavior ... have been wondering if I've got OCD, superstitions, or a touch of the crazies. Hmmmm, not sure. Instead, what follows is a mish mosh of my random thoughts ... some along the lines of my weirdness, others just pure randomness .....

1.) Teeth must be brushed before getting into the shower. Showering with a hot stinky mouth grosses me out.

2.) My Christmas tree is ginormous this year!!! If it were 1 inch bigger, there'd be a scene like the one from "Christmas Vacation" where the tree blows out the windows of the house. I LOVE IT!! Carmen looks beautious and my lights passed "The Squint Twinkle Test." I have to squint at the tree to tell if the lights are evenly spaced -- lights are the key to a perfect tree. I put them all throughout the tree, inside and out ... cords must be hidden. It took me 2 hours this year. No wonder I'm not ready for Christmas yet.

3.) Two songs make me cry every time: "O Holy Night" (reminds me of my grandmother sitting in church at midmight mass on Christmas Eve, crying as she listened to that song) and "The Star Spangled Banner."

4.) Anything that has an electronic setting with numbers (like the volume on the TV) must be set on an even number. So my volume control will never be set at 11. Even numbers, and 8s are best.

5.) "Step on a crack, break yo momma's back" still echoes in my head when I walk down the sidewalk -- she had a broken back in high school from a car accident. I can't tempt fate, so I don't step on cracks.

6.) One more thing on stepping ...... is it weird that I always have to step up or step down with my right foot first?

(I better watch it .... they're going to take me away HAHA they're going to take me away!!!)

7.) My favorite Christmas gift ever was my piano when I was 4 years old. At some point I'd like to have it moved from my parent's house to my house.

8.) If there were a fire in my house, my Christmas ornaments would probably be one of the first things I'd try to save.

9.) I've saved every note, card, letter my mother has ever sent me ..... and there are hundreds. I probably have 95% of cards/letters I've ever received -- from anyone.

10.) My Dad called me last year at Christmas time to tell me I should go to KMart because they have REAL leather football coats on sale for $7. I thanked him for thinking of me, but also reminded him I'm a girl and probably wouldn't wear a leather Eagles coat from KMart (or anywhere). How could I explain THAT hanging next to my beloved St. John coat?

11.) I time myself when doing things. Like I'll get in the shower at 7:30 then race to see if I can be out by 7:36 (an even number, of course). You think that's nuts? Wait til you hear the next thing .....

12.) Before I get out of the shower, I have to make a mental list of the next few things I'm gonna do so I can do them as fast as possible. My mental list is usually: towel dry, hair product, comb hair, deodorant, lotion, underwear, robe, blow dry. I keep repeating it in my head until each thing is done. (cuckoo!) I'm not too swift in the morning so efficiency and focus are key.

13) Davey Dogs loves "Tollamazoo." What the heck is tollamazoo? Tira misu. (I'll have to do a special post sometime on words that Davey Dogs invents.) They're fantastic and rather endearing.

14.) One more so I don't have to end on an odd number 13 ..... one of my goals while I'm on vacation is to make sure I put pictures in all my frames. I've got 3 frames in my bedroom with no pictures in them.

Arighty, I think I've revealed enough of my lunacy for one morning. Besides, I've gotta go brush my hot teeth and get into the shower. Neurosis awaits!!! Only 8 hours til I'm off for 2 weeks ... yahooey!!!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

You learn something new every day

Thought I'd share some new things I've learned in the last few days:

1.) The past tense of "win" is "wan." Somebody was telling me about a superbowl block pool where they wan $800. Wow .... I can't wait to use it in a sentence. In fact, if all goes well this weekend the fantasy football team that my friend Sue and I have -- Team CaCa -- will do well and someday I'll be able to say we wan the championship.

2.) I finally got introduded to Guitar Hero at Schue and Los' house on Friday night .... and I was pretty good. I'm not sure what was better, my near conquer of the "Ballroom Blitz" or Schue and I singing back-up to "Sweet Child of Mine" on the karaoke mike while Los rocked out. I'm also not sure how Davey Dogs snored through the whole thing -- maybe his hearing loss is worse than we thought.

3.) I'm not as bad at fundraising as I thought. -- I absolutely can't stand asking people for money, even if it's a good cause. Not sure why, but I guess I'm just wired funny. I really admire people who have this skill because it's definitely one where I'm lacking, and if you're a group that relies on the generosity of others it's important to have people who know how to elicit donations. Anyhow, I spent a few hours on Saturday morning wrapping presents at Barnes & Noble to help raise money for an organization I've been supporting, the Community Learning Center. As I chatted with the customers and told the story of what we do, the most amazing thing happened -- some people who had only dropped a dollar (or nothing) into the donation bucket actually upped their contributions. Just by telling the story of how some students won't go take their GED because they don't have the $12 for the test, people started giving $12. Not only did I learn something about fundraising, but it felt good to do something to help our students.

4.) Brasciole doesn't have to cook for hours in a crock pot to be good. I always thought that good braciole had to slow cook in the sauce for hours and hours to be delicious and tender. Not true. I made a quick braciole that was absolutely falling apart and very very good -- all in about 30 mins. Move over Rachel Ray! If you're a cook and want to try, here's what I did: (By the way, I don't measure so if you need precise instructions this probably won't work for you. I'm also not a cookbook author, yet, so this doesn't look like a regular recipe. It's the first time writing it down.) It's very easy and delicious ... let me know how it works out if you decide to try it.

Barbra Peapod's Fast Braciole
  • Top round for braciole (it's packaged like this and requires no pounding ... yay!)
  • Ricotta
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Parsley and other italian herbs
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Egg
  • Parmesan
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Peppers (red, green or both)
  • Shrooms
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes (the flavored ones are great)
  • 1 can tomato sauce

Mix the stuffing in a small bowl: ricotta, bread crumbs, spices, egg, parmesan. (It should be pasty consistency -- add cheese to thin it out, add bread crumbs to thicken.)

Lay the steaks flat, then spread a heaping spoonful of the mix on about 3/4 of the steak. Don't spread too thick or too close to the edges or it'll all spooge out when you're cooking the rolls. You can use string or toothpicks if you really want to, but I didn't and everything was fine. The trick is in the next step -- searing. I had leftover stuffing mixture, and used it up by chucking it into the sauce .... mmmm!

Heat some olive oil to med high in a deep dish pan (I used my flat-bottomed wok). When the pan is hot, put the roll-ups seam side down in the pan. Sear for a couple of minutes then rotate. The meat cooks very fast, so watch it. Add a little beef broff to cover the bottom of the pan after 3-4 minutes.

Add onions, garlic, peppers, shrooms, or whatever vegs you'd like. Saute for a few minutes until they are slightly tender. Add tomato stuff. Stir gently, then cover and simmer.

While it was simmering, I cooked up some pasta. By the time the pasta was done, so was everything else. I served with some garlic crescent rolls on the side ..... delish!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mooby Fooby

I had a flight connection in Detroit today on my way back to Louisville, which made for a longer-than-normal journey. Anyhow, while I was in the airport there, I had to find a ladies room before my connection started boarding. Naturally, it was farrrrr away, but I finally found it. I walked in and as I was searching for the most pristine stall I could find, I looked up and noticed a guy walking towards me. I turned around and walked out, realizing I was apparently in the men's room. Ooops. So I left and went in the rest room next door. Guess what? As I walked through the bathroom for the second time, again searching for the most pristine stall, I looked up and saw the same guy walking towards me!!! Who was this man, and why was he following me into bathrooms in the Detroit airport???

As it turned out, he went into the ladies room and realized he was in the wrong spot when he first saw me. I thought I was in the wrong spot when I first saw him (which I wasn't) and then wandered into the men's room thinking I was in the ladies room. So who was following who??? hahahahaa Both of us started laughing in the men's room. I didn't stick around giggling for too long, but I did think it was pretty funny.

P.S. -- As a follow up to one of my previous posts where I talked about the nasty plastic contraptions on the toilets in the Louisville airport ... they're gone! I wonder if someone read my post and realized they were probably spreading mooby fooby rathering than preventing it??

P.S.S. -- "Mooby fooby" is a generic name for all diseases that my mom always said when I was a kid. Do other people say it, or just my family? I'm wondering because as I've grown up, I've learned that there are words she made up and led me to believe were commonly used .... until I spurted them out in conversation in front of someone other than a family member, only to find out my mother made something up. This happened with the word "cutethings." Not meant to be "cute things", but all one word. It was synonymous with poop. Imagine my surprise in college when I said something about "cutethings" (trying not to be too crude) only to be laughed right off Mt. Nittany when they realized I was talking about poo!

OK, I've rambled long enough. Tell me some made up words ... or something to entertain me while I'm traveling ... pretty please.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

For the record ...

Since I entered the world of blogging last month, I've grown curious about other blogs floating around out in cyber-world, and have clicked the "Next Blog" button at the top of the blog page to do some of that exploration. In case you've never done it, when you click "Next Blog" you are presented with some random blog page. I guess I've had a bit too much time on my hands sitting around in airports and hotels by myself while traveling for work, but I have to say it's a good way to pass the time.

The ratio of "bad" to "good" is probably 10:1. That being the case, I think I better set the record straight about what I've accidentally stumbled upon, just in case I ever get arrested or die and somebody decides to search my computer for my cyber-history. Hey, it happens on Law & Order all the time, so I'm just trying to be prepared. Here are some places I visited by the luck (or unluck) of the draw:
  • Porn Facial Expressions (I learned I have a few things to learn.)
  • Prison Paul (Wasn't this an E! True Hollywood Special called "Prisoner Pen Pals" or something like that??)
  • Rare Poultry Breeders (I have no idea what this was all about and didn't check it out. I was afraid I'd find pictures. ew.)
  • Adult Friend Finder (I'd rather be lost than found here. And I don't think it's friendship they're looking for.)
  • Mormon Mommy Wars (Holy wars in Utah?? Who knew.)
  • Miss Bikini International (There's a lesson to be learned here: Just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you should wear it.)
  • Pis (I'm not sure if this is an abbreviation or a misspelled word. Didn't stick around long enough to find out.)
  • Bouncing Boobs of Bollywood (I've got no words for this one.)

I wish I could remember some of the others, but these were the bizarre ones that stuck in my head either because they were so strange or they kept popping up. All that being said, I'll keep reaching into the random "Next Blog" grab bag ... every now and then there's a jewel.

Anybody else ever do that? Find anything funny?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

That's One Big Hunk of Meat

Greetings from Louisville, Kentucky folks! Am here til tomorrow on bidness and am trying to come up with any excuse I can not to do more work. aghhhh!!!

I'm actually a bit jealous of the folks who work for the Louisville Apartment Association -- they're having a big fancy shindig in the ballroom of the hotel I'm staying in.

Anyway, I ended up ordering room service because dining choices are limited down here, and it's a little too cold, dark and barren to go exploring on foot tonight. So I checked out the room service menu. It took me a good 5 minutes to convince them to let me order the cheeseburger off the kids menu because the 12 (yes, TWELVE!) ounce burger on the adult menu would be too big. Please tell me -- who the hell can eat a 12 oz burger???That's not a burger, it's a meatL-O-A-F. YUCK!!!!! Other options were a chicken breast (boring), a steak (too much), cream of carrot soup (what ever happened to good ole fashion Chicken Noodle?), or a Hot Brown sandwich (which I should've gotten). Finally they brought me the cheeseburger, and I don't know what kid could eat this thing, but it looked like a football. No wonder kids are getting fatter! I swear I'm not a picky eater, but I've never had such a hard time trying to find a normal decent dinner. I'm thinking maybe it's the hotel's passive aggressive attempt to discourage people from ordering room service? I don't know. Next time I'll try pizza delivery, or bring my ball gown and crash somebody's event.

I can't wait to get home tomorrow. Let's hope for a smooth, on-time flight!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I absolutely LOVE the holiday season!!! Buried somewhere in my sarcastic, practical self is a mushy pile of sentimental goo that loves all that stuff that most people can't stand. Here are a few of my favorite holiday rituals and memories:

1.) Unwrapping my ornaments as I decorate my tree. This may be the opitomy of my holiday season. When I pull my Carmen Miranda ornament out of her swaddling cotton wrap and place her front and center on my tree (perfectly positioned near a light so she glistens), it nearly brings me to tears. Truly, I should be ashamed of myself for admitting to being such a dork!

2.) Singing "Ave Matree-a" on the Christmas tree lot after finding the perfect tree. This happens after walking the entire lot, and is a signal that my search has come to an end. People stare but I don't care.

3.) One year, my sister, my friend Herbie and I took my Dad's big gigantic pick-up truck to the tree farm. I have no idea how this started, but on the way home we began whistling "Silent Night." When we got to the high note, all of us burst out laughing hysterically. What a bunch of geeks!!! I don't even like that song, but now every time I hear it I giggle. (We later went to Herbie's house and decorated his silver tree from Goodwill with bubble ornaments and beer caps. Maybe we were hitting the eggnog a bit early that day!?!??)

4.) Prepping for my annual Christmas party with Sue. For two days straight, we cook, laugh, drink, and go to the corner bar in our stinky cooking clothes. In fact, I owe her a BIG THANKS for putting up with me during this process. (Shue -- I swear, this year we're keeping it simple and finishing at least 3 hours ahead of time!)

5.) On Christmas morning my Dad is always the first one to wake up and he yells "Ho Ho Ho' at the top of his lungs ... repeatedly ... until everyone gets out of bed. This usually begins around 6:00am. My Dad is 6'4" and built like a big ole mountain man, and when he bellows it makes the walls rumble. It's not a big deal anymore, but when I was in my teens and 20s and couldn't get up before noon, his ho'ing really pissed me off and I'd wake up every Christmas morning in a bad mood. Now I'm up before him and I just lay there and wait for his signal.

6.) The "A Christmas Story" marathon on TNT. I love that movie and still have to watch it at least once during the holidays. If and when I ever get my basement fixed up, I think I may need one of those dumb leg lamps for my bar. You know, the one marked "fra-gee-lay!"

7.) Screwing up my Christmas cookies. I can't bake, but I love to decorate the cookies anyway. Usually they're inedible (one year I made them with olive oil ... ooops), but at least they look good -- or funny.

8.) I get a phone call every Christmas Eve at midnight from my friend John. He's always bombed up when he calls and asks me if I remembered to leave God and Santa a snack. Seriously, I have no idea why or where this started but he does it every year and now I kinda look forward to it. What a nut!

9.) My Christmas Party!! I must say, it's one of the best events of the year. Every year at my party I have at least one moment of nerdiness where I sit back and watch all my different circles of friends mingling, dancing, the Christmas tree in all its glory, people stuffing their faces, somebody running around with Blanta, and I get all warm and goofy inside. I'm excited for this year because I think a lot of people will be coming -- especially some folks I haven't seen in a while. After my big sentimental moment, I usually do a shot or the humpty dance or something.

10.) Dressing up! I love during the holidays how people get fancy and festive with their outfits. I love me some sparkly clothes, chandelearrings and fancy hair! This year we have 4 dress-up parties to go to. It would be 5, but my company gives everyone a $5 lunch coupon to the cafeteria instead. Nice, but I prefer not to be wearing a badge at a party unless it's part of a Halloween costume.

More to come on traditions I don't enjoy ... or maybe I'll just skip right to New Year's. That's an event unto it's own!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

So, what's been going on lately?

'Tis the season for parties of every sort, which means lots of people around and lots of mingling. I love it and am a little anxious about it all at the same time. Party conversation always seems to start off with a question I love almost as much as "How much do you weigh?" That is: "So what's been going on lately?" I always have the same answers -- "Same ole, same ole", "Nothing interesting", "Busy with work and stuff." YAWN!!! I can see the eyes glaze over as the person looks for a quick escape. Sometimes I want the person to run away, and I almost always wish I could've hidden before they popped the dreaded question.

I don't suck at small talk with everybody, just most people. Friends and family who know what a weirdo I am are not a problem. It's the remainder of folks (work people, new acquaintances, etc) who are problematic and trigger my usual tongue-tied, boring responses. Frankly, I'm not sure why I'm so bad a mingling because I'm a pretty sociable person -- I guess it's just a skill I never really perfected. Time to turn the tide on that one! Although, I do have to be careful because when I deviate from my standard boring responses, I generally wind up with at least one of my feet in my mouth. This holiday party season, I'm determined to be prepared. I will wow people with my brilliant conversation skills! Somewhere between telling the mundane truth and fabricating a wildly interesting story, I will find the perfect words to stun whomever is within earshot.

Here are some alternatives I'm contemplating instead of my usual ho-hum response:
  • I got called out of the audience at the Hans Klok show in Vegas and he made Pam Anderson disappear so I could appear in her place.
  • I got abducted by aliens to help mow crop circles in a cornfield somewhere in South Jersey. They returned me unharmed.
  • I once took belly dancing lessons and am now thinking of going for ballroom. Wanna see "snake hips" or "scoop the pudding"?
  • While the news was doing a story on visits with Santa, I was captured on film in the background doing an Eagles chant.
  • Nothing. I could just burst into song instead. Whatever song comes to mind will do.

See what I mean? I'm not very good at this. Maybe I should hang a piece of lettuce from my lip to throw people off. Instead of asking what's been going on with me, people will just tell me I've got stuff hanging from my face. Yeah yeah, that's what I'll do!!