Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Adventures in NyQuil Land...

So I promised I'd tell you how that recipe went, right?


The crispy chicken yumminess was a hit, and was even delish next day (although significantly less crispy since the tortilla was heated in the microwave and not stove top.)!  I could have used more chicken because mine were more saucy than chickeny.  But good nonetheless.

Last night?  I did brown sugar glazed salmon.  UGH!  SO SO GOOD!  Next time I will use actual salmon filets.  This time all I had was sliced salmon from trader joes.  But this took me all of maybe 15 minutes.  In a sauce pan I heated 2 tablespoons of butter with a tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of brown sugar.  Once totally melted, I removed it from the heat and added 1/4 cup of dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons each of soy sauce and olive oil, and one tablespoon of finely ground ginger.  Let the mixture cool.

You are supposed to grill the salmon, but getting out the foreman is annoying so I used a pan on the stove.  I rubbed the salmon with veggie oil and dusted lightly with salt and pepper.  Go sparingly on the salt, as this can very easily become too salty.  Place the salmon in skin-side down (mine didn't have skin, so... just... pick a side any side!) and then I brushed the other side with the glaze.  Flipped, and cooked for probably a total of a minute or two on each side (these were VERY thin slices of salmon).  I served mine with corn and broccoli.  Brown rice would have been yummy yummy too!  This recipe can be found here in case you feel like giving it a whirl.

In other news, I'm drunk on NyQuil today.  Apparently.

So my entire office has been sick repeatedly for a couple of months.  Because nobody can afford to stay home and spare everyone those germs.  So we all come in and hack and sneeze on each other and spread the germy love.  We're just that close.

I had about a 3 week bout with this a few weeks ago.  I threatened everyone's lives when I said "I'm going to the doctor for antibiotics, so you all better get yourselves right before I spend all my money on this medicine only to have you people get me sick again!", but then miraculously I got better the day after I went to the doctor, so I just never went to get the drugs.


Here we are, just a few weeks later and guess who is hacking and sneezing again?

It hit me in just 24 hours.  I was fine, relaxing at home, and then BAM.  Sick.  Typically I take an allergy nasal spray (my doctor says it helps to clear out the sinuses so that you don't get a sinus infection, just FYI) and combine it with about 3 days of DayQuil/NyQuil to feel about 95% better.  Last night was the first night of NyQuil.  I took it at about 11:30 last night which, admittedly, was kind of late.  But I figured I wanted to sleep through the whole night, so if I got up at 7:30, there's the 8 hours they recommend planning for and I'll be good! 

HA, I say to you.

I am barely aware of getting up or dressed this morning.  It's a miracle I'm not here mostly naked with mis-matched shoes.  When I got into the office, I tried to return a phone call.  As I was looking at the number I needed to dial, I found myself staring at the keypad on the phone, kind of confused.  Then I realized I was looking for the (-).  Like.  I wanted to dial 2 1 2 -....  THERE IS NO (-) BUTTON!  Gah.  I hung up the phone and tried again several hours later.

I pounded myself with DayQuil and coffee.  So now that I am very much more aware of my surroundings, I am able to tell you that OMFG MY FEET HURT SO BAD!  I'm wearing adorable red patent leather shoes this morning.  The heels are just not conforming to my feet.  So in order to try to combat the shoes actually slowly scraping off the skin from my achilles tendon, I went to the bathroom to put some band aids on my heels.  I opened each band aid and placed it on my foot.  Aaaaah, much better!  I use the bathroom and go to wash my hands.


In the 30 seconds it took me to go to the bathroom I forgot that I had tossed the band aid packaging into the sink!

I walk over to it and go "Ugh, how gross!  Who tosses their band aid packaging in the sink and doesn't...... oh wait.  Oh right.  Yeah.  NEVERMIND hahaha.... ugh."

I got lost on the 19th floor.  As in, I stepped off the elevator looking for room 7.  A directory was literally right in front of me, and I totally didn't see it.  Took me forever to find room 7.  When I got back to the elevators I saw the directory.  I just rolled my eyes at myself because, really?  What else can you do at that point?

So sad.  I'm a walking mess.  These things happen, though.

In more exciting news, I'm going to get a new iPhone 4S on Thursday! WOOOOOOO!  Also, I think Ana and I might do a bit of Christmas shopping/hot cider/chocolate drinking at the Christmas Tents in Union Square on Thursday!  And on Friday I go back to Hershey for cookie baking day!!  Let's hope I can pull my crap together by then, eh??

So I know you are ALLL just DYING to hear about my Thanksgiving, no??  I know.  No worries.  I plan on doing a big holiday post complete with pictures and whatnot after... um... the holidays?  Duh.  But believe me, it was a blast and a half!

Now I am off to do... whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing.  I see a lot of paper on my desk but none of it seems to be making much sense.  Also lots of notes scribbled on post-its.  And a grocery shopping list.  I think I'll start there....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food?! I LOVE food!!

And this is why losing weight is such a struggle for me.  As far as I know I am holding steady at 23 pounds lost.  I feel better, but not great.  I can and will lose more.  But these winter months are proving to be quite difficult to get through since all I want for dinner is pasta and warm, creamy deliciousness! 

I have been lucky enough to find a TON of good recipes on Pinterest.com (which, for the love, if you're not on here you better get on NOW!) that are healthy and totally satisfying.  One is just mushrooms and chicken sauteed with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and onion powder over brown rice.  Easy, takes about 30 minutes (because brown rice, in case you don't know, doesn't like to be cooked and takes FOOOORRREEEEVVVVEEEERRRRRRRRR!)

Last night I tried another recipe that I found here called Taco Soup.  Now.  Keep in mind, I am but a poor New Yorker just trying to make ends meet.  So some modifications had to be made.  Here's what I used:

1/2 Lb. of Ground Beef
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Tbsp Onion Powder
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cans Kidney Beans
1 Jar Classic Marinara Sauce
1 Package Sweet Yellow Corn
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 Tablespoons each of Homemade Taco Seasoning, Oregano, Cumin and Chili Powder
Light Sour Cream
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese

I browned the ground beef in olive oil with no seasoning because I can't afford a whole pound and I don't want to consume too much red meat.  Once browned, I dropped into a large stock pot.  In the same skillet I sauteed the minced garlic and onion powder in olive oil for less than 1 minute.  I didn't want the garlic becoming too bitter.  Then I dropped that in the stock pot.  I used a little of the chicken stock (because I don't keep beef stock around) to deglaze the pan, and poured that, along with the remaining chicken stock, into the stock pot.  Then I dropped both cans of kidney beans including their juice into the pot (I only used kidney, but black beans or pinto beans or any combination of beans would be delish.), and the jar of marinara sauce.  The recipe called for a can of diced tomatoes with the juice but I couldn't find any at the grocery store and I was getting antsy.  So marinara it was, and it worked fabulously!  Then I dropped the package (ya know, minus the actual packaging) of corn into the pot.  Then I included the seasonings and mixed everything together.  I let it sit over medium high heat for about 45 minutes while the flavors combined.  Mine didn't get too thick, but if yours does it is recommended to add water.  After 45 minutes, I ladled as much as my bowl could handle, topped with a dollop of light sour cream and a little shredded cheese.  You top it with whatever you deem delicious!  It is basically like a chili, but it's got a little southwestern kick to it, and the sour cream and cheese add an amazing creaminess to it.  I had some left over for lunch today and it was even better than it was last night.  Careful not to over eat this!  About 2 good ladles is about 250 calories, which isn't bad.  But you'll want seconds and thirds which starts to get out of hand...

I combined this with roasted garlic cloves and roasted halved brussel sprouts.  I spread these out on a cookie sheet and drizzled lightly with extra virgin olive oil and salt (because somewhere along the line, I ran out of pepper.  Crazy, I know.).  Then I tore up pieces of bacon and scattered them throughout (about 3 pieces of bacon total) and roasted everything for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I never really thought about eating roasted garlic by itself.  I've had them mashed up in potatoes and things like that.  But trust me, you'll thanks me when you taste roasted garlic cloves.  Seriously.  Yummmmm!

Tonight I am trying Crispy Chicken Wraps.  These can be found here.  I will again be improvising because I am super broke and food in NYC is priced much like gold!

1/3 Cup Light Mayo
Onion Powder to taste
Dry Basil to taste
5 Pepperoncini finely chopped
2 Tbsp Light Sour Cream
2 Tbsp. Hot Sauce
Leftover half of rotisserie chicken, skin removed and chicken shredded
Shredded Pepperjack Cheese
Flour Tortillas

Combine mayo, onion powder, basil, pepperoncini, sour cream and hot sauce.  Add shredded chicken and toss to combine.  Sprinkle shredded cheese on tortillas leaving 1/2 inch around edges.  Arrange the chicken mixture down the center of the tortilla.  I will make as many as I have chicken mixture for.  The recipe calls for 4 total tortillas.  Roll the tortillas up around the chicken, leaving the ends open.  Spray the wraps all over with cooking spray.  In a non-stick skillet that has been heating up on medium heat for about a minute, place tortillas seam side down and heat until browned (2-3 minutes on each side unless your stove is on steroids like mine, and then plan on it being about a minute for each side)

I will then be prepping dinner for Wednesday night... Parmesan chicken found here!  Tonight all I have to do is cut slits in defrosted chicken breasts, and marinate them in olive oil, garlic and poultry seasoning.  I didn't know what poultry seasoning was, so I Googled it.  Because Google knows all, and it has become my only way of problem solving.  It says it's a combination of ground sage, ground thyme, ground marjoram (?), ground rosemary, nutmeg and black pepper.  Obviously I'll be improvising.  I see it going a little something like... some meat tenderizer, nutmeg, thyme and some kosher salt.  Anyway, tomorrow I will remove this from the marinade, and drop it directly into a combination of "whole wheat bread crumbs" (also known as whatever kind of bread crumbs are in the cupboard) and Parmesan cheese.  These should bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes, then a few minutes on each side under the broiler.  Chicken should be firm when it's done, which all but ensures you won't die from salmonella poisoning. 

Anyway, I'll let you know how the last two go.  But these totally satisfy my need for hot meals for dinner that don't take that much work and will be done quickly, especially with a little prep the night before.  Also, choosing things that you have leftover from other recipes or meals seriously cuts down on food cost.  And choosing to use light or low fat, or skinless, or simply less of something that isn't great for you will seriously help your health and bathing suit body for that mid-winter vacation that's quickly approaching.  The first blog I linked to does weekly meal plans that you can browse that include printable grocery lists (amazeballs!) and the last website is a woman that lost a TON of weight and now has her own food blog with lots of weight friendly recipes that have worked for her! 

Now.  If I can stick to healthier recipes, all I need to do is get my at-home gym together.... motivation.  I need some moooootivation!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Escape Artist

This weekend was beautiful outside!  I got to spend some time outside on Saturday, but Sunday I was either cleaning or watching football, or whatever.  So I decided to open the window a little bit to get some fresh air in my room.  I picked up Puka from the bed because I thought she might like to enjoy the fresh air...

This bitch tries to jump out the window!  And then as I try to drag her back inside she clings to the outside ledge like she's trying to get away from me!  Do I need to remind her who feeds her?!  I can't imagine why she would want to get away from me...

The time I put sunglasses on her butt to make it look like a face...

The time I tried to steal her favorite banana toy...

The 3rd time I moved her to a weird new place and she hid for days...

The time I let a puppy chase her around her own house and under the couch...

The second year in a row I made her dress up for Halloween...

The time I set Puka up to look drunk...

The time I tried to make Puka wear a New Years tiara that was too big for her...
OK.  I see your point.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

bouncing.. back? bouncing... checks? follow the bouncing ball?

OK, I'm coming back around.  Last week was frustrating, and the last couple days have been super stressful and LONG at work.  But somehow I'm feeling a little bit better. 

I mean... I've still lost most of my faith in humanity, but you know what I'm saying... :)

So, exciting news!  There are PEOPLE!  And they're coming HERE!  And they aren't staying with me which means if I don't actually get around to picking up my room it's FINE!

Katie and her boyfriend Bill are headed this way for the weekend, but their debilitating cat allergies are keeping them away from my place.  But I get to see them, and that's exciting!

Puka says:  This was my evil plan all along...

Also, Bean-Meister-Flex will be present in the city!

So YAY for visitors!

What's not so YAY?

I just don't understand why people keep taking my money??

Money was going to be a little tight for these visits anyway because it's the beginning of the month.  After I pay my rent, I'm left with about $180 to pay a few small bills, get some groceries and survive the city on.  I have cut a bunch of stuff out of my budget to try to pad this at the beginning of the month.  I got rid of NetFlix because, seriously?  What a rip off!  $17 now for movies that are older than what I can get on OnDemand that I'm already paying for on my cable bill?  Yeah... I'm good.  I also cut out the gym and plan on getting a little work-out gear for at home workouts. 

So.  Um.  Why then did I still receive a charge on my card for... THE GYM AND NETFLIX?!?!

OK, Netflix "apparently" didn't "receive" the movie that I had borrowed from them.  Which.  Yeah right, dudes.  Whatever.  And it was Bridget Jones' Diary.  That movie is SEVERAL years old.  I highly doubt anyone paid anywhere close to $15 for that movie.  You go ahead and give me my money back, jerk faces.

The gym?  Well the gym was just being one giant bitch.  OK, here's how this went.  Around October 25th I sent an email to the only person that works at my gym who I have contact information for.  Her name is Arlene and she sends out the promotional emails each month.  She is also who I called when I transferred my membership from one location to the next.  She is ALSO the person that emailed me when I forgot to update my credit card information and my payment wasn't going through.  So one would imagine that this is who should be contacted to cancel a membership, no?

Good. God.  I couldn't have been more wrong.

I email Arlene just to ask if it was possible to freeze my account, how long I could do that for, and how much something like that might cost if anything.  Arlene informs me that I am able to freeze my account for a total of 3 months per year, and that there was a $9.95 charge each month for that service.  I decided it wasn't worth it to me to pay for something I couldn't use, just to see if I would miss it.  I haven't been to the gym in a month.  It's pretty safe to say I'm not lying in the fetal position each night crying out "GYM!  WHEREFORE ART THOU, GYM?!"  So yeah.  I told her thanks for the information, but we can go ahead an cancel my membership, and to please let me know what I needed to do, if anything further, to cancel. 

I hear nothing for a few days, and assume that it is something on her end that she had to do, and that she has no interest in continuing chatting with somebody that isn't paying her salary anymore.  Fine.

Except that on October 28th, a charge for $29.99 has been taken out of my account by Boom Fitness.

Um.  Que? 

So I email Arlene and say "Hi Arlene.  I had emailed last week saying that I'd like to cancel my membership, and just saw that there was a charge placed to my account for November's membership.  Just wondering if we can fix this and I can be reimbursed.  Let me know if there is anything I need to do."

I get this response:  "We do not accept cancellations via email.  I don't know where you sent your letter, but it was never received here.  You are responsible for any charges 30 days after the post-marked date on your letter."

Whoa, dude.  Seriously?

What letter??

30 days AFTER the post-marked date on the letter??  Then I need to send this letter, whatever it is, like... today!  I don't want to be charged for NEXT month too!

So I respond "Arlene,  I sent you an email 4 days ago stating that I wanted to cancel and to let me know what I needed to do, to which you never responded.  Could you please send me a list of information that needs to be included in the letter, as well as the address I need to send it to so that this isn't a problem for next month?"

This was on a Friday.  Monday was October 31st, and the very last day that I could send out the letter to ensure that I wasn't charged unnecessarily again.  I get this email:

"Connie, I have already sent you the cancellation instructions."

Whoa, bitch.  Do NOT play THIS game with me, because I will win! 

I send her an email back and say "Arlene, if you sent an email with the information I requested (what is to be included and the address), I unfortunately never received it.  Would you mind re-sending this information?"

Then I set to looking at the website which is less than helpful.  I have to download a copy of their .pdf class schedule just to find the phone number.  I call, get the number of the company that handles cancellations (because apparently they outsource this particular office function.  Stupid.) and call.  I find out that I have to write a letter with my membership number, which I don't have, to an address in Arkansas, where I don't live, in order to cancel a gym membership, which I don't use.

Oh, and by the way.  I HAVE to send it certified mail, which I will have to pay for.

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Whatever.  I write up the letter, I send it out that day via certified mail, and am golden.

I hear from Arlene on November 2nd.  She sends me all of the information I requested.


Had I waited for her response, I would have been liable to pay for another month of membership because December 1st would definitely fall within 30 days of November 1st. 

I didn't respond to her.

Then we had our staff conference here this week.  So I had to do a bunch of overtime and running around.  Which is great because it means I can expense cabs and food and whatnot.  But that also means that I have to front the money.  So with $180 to survive for 2 weeks, people stole $45, and then I spent $51 on expenses... I'm down to $2.85.  Which... yeah that does nothing for me.  What's super upsetting is that between reimbursements I will be receiving in the next couple days I will be getting $77.  If I don't receive this money by Friday though?  I'm sca-rude.  And I refuse to keep charging to my credit card because I never pay over my "budgeted" amount and I just feel like I'm NEVER gonna pay this stupid thing off, GAH!

But who knows.  Maybe it will all go through and all will be good.  Just, keep your fingers crossed for me, yeah? 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


So here's some stuff about nothing in particular.

Dear Old Crotchety Man on Wednesday Morning on the Subway,

Loudly yelling that "EXCUSE ME YOU ARE LEANING ON ME" after you shoved onto the train, which promptly shoved me face-first in the pole where I was wedged for the entire ride thankyouverymuch is not necessary, especially when "Sir, is there any space between your body and the pole you are holding onto?  Then I'm gonna have to go ahead and say that YOU are leaning on ME."  Asshole.

Dear Chick That Watched Me Shoved Face First Into A Pole at 8:30am,

Thanks for yelling at Old Crotchety Man and letting him know that I wasn't leaning on much of anything other than my nose leaning on the pole in front of me, and that this was ALL HIS FAULT and to leave me alone.  I feel that if we were in a situation where we could have been in any type of proximity to each other for a longer period of time, you and I would probably have discovered we are kindred spirits. 

Dear Joshy,

I love you.... just.... to pieces.  But you really got my blood boiling last night at happy hour when I asked why you would do something so scarring to the girl you had wanted to introduce me to just 3 days ago, and you told me not to be so naive. 

Here's the thing.  I'm not sure what, in this situation, makes either myself or the girl more naive than yourself.  You said she knew what you were like before she got involved, so it shouldn't surprise her at all that after weeks of spending time with her, coming clean about any other girls you had been seeing, and deciding that you were going to exclusively date her, you decide to get up early in the morning to go to help one of the most recent "other girls" move, EVEN after the current girl told you it would bother her.  She's naive to think that you wouldn't do that?  Doesn't it make you the same kind of naive for getting involved exclusively with someone that you knew before getting involved with her what SHE was like?  That she was a normal person looking for a normal relationship?  And that after you acted like it was heading in the normal relationship direction, she would assume that it was going to be a normal relationship?  But you opted not to believe that, and instead did what "you do". 

All I'm saying is this, you are both in the same boat, and you're upset about the outcome.  Yet you act like she has no reason to be upset in the same way.  And that's crazy.  It's not always the girl's fault, and I for one am tired of that being the case.  The reason I don't trust anyone ever is because I know that at the end of the day, if he hurts me, it's my own fault.  So why trust?

Just, do the world a favor and understand that it's FINE if you like no strings attached, or friends with benefits situations exclusively.  But that lifestyle comes with the responsibility of not getting involved past a certain point, and if you let a girl fall for you because you are actively becoming part of an exclusive situation with her, then you fail.

Love you anyway!

And lastly, this is something that I have only disclosed to a couple friends, but it still bothers me a lot.  And I feel like I'm being petty and stupid and annoying, but it's bumping around in my head and this week has been quite stressful as is. 

I'm.  Annoyed?

Angry a little maybe?




I don't know... all of the above?

My whole life has been about doing things "the right way".  I got good grades in high school and I didn't drink or smoke or sneak out of the house.  I didn't have sex.  I joined SADD and the school newspaper and got on teachers' good sides.  I had a core group of really phenomenal friends.

In college I was careful to be safe, and I was concerned about doing well.  I worked the whole way through, I was involved on campus, and I made sure I experienced college.  Yes I drank, but I did it safely and with friends around.  I didn't open any credit cards, and I had a savings account.  I didn't drop out, I didn't get pregnant.

The day after I graduated from College (a rather large accomplishment), my step sister had her wedding. I am her only sister.  I wasn't a bridesmaid.  She even had 2 bridesmaids drop out before the wedding and I still wasn't asked.  I stood and handed out programs.  My dad walked her down the aisle.  I was his first born, and his only biological daughter.  And I didn't get to be the first that he gave away.  Within a year of the wedding my sister had a baby, and just months after that she was leaving her husband. 

If I'm honest, it doesn't bother me SO MUCH that my dad gave her away first.  What bothers me is that she took away my opportunity to be the first one he gave away when it clearly wasn't that important to her if she could leave her husband a year later, for no apparent reason.  But whatever.  I put on a happy face, and didn't say anything because what could I possibly say??

Now I am living in NYC.  I have a nice apartment and a good job.  I haven't gotten pregnant.  I'm paying off debt left and right.  I have amazing friends.  I have goals.  I'm starting my own company.  I'm doing REALLY well.

But now?  My little sister - as in the girl that is almost 6 years younger than me - is pregnant.  Before she's married.  Her baby's father is a crack dealer and currently in jail.  My sister is living at home with my mom and step dad with no idea how she might take care of a baby but refusing to do the truly selfless thing of letting someone else raise the baby.

And again, my opportunity to have my mom's first real grandchild is taken away from me by someone that it's just not that important to.  Who wasn't careful.  Who has been reckless, even during this pregnancy. 

Maybe it would be different if I could see myself having these experiences at some point.  Maybe if I had a great guy by my side that I really wanted to get married to and start a family with, this wouldn't be so tough.  But there isn't anybody there.  And anybody that has ever been there has treated me rather brutally.  So while I can prop myself up on the stuff we were fed our whole lives as girls - that I have great friends, great family, a good job, and lots of great things in my life - I really WANT my dad to give me away.  I really WANT my mom to be excited about having her first grandchild from me.  And unfortunately, these things can't happen by having great friends, job, etc. 

I feel jipped.  And I don't want to feel jipped.  I want to be happy for my sisters.  And excited.  I want to look forward to weddings and babies and becoming an aunt.  And instead I just feel bitter.  And that's not fair to anyone.

And again, I could do the whole pick-myself-up-and-dust-myself-off and DO something about the fact that I'm not dating anyone.  But all options I am faced with seem far worse than being single for the rest of my life.

I've done online dating before.  I'd much rather die.  I want a story.  I don't care if it's "we grew up together" or "we met at a mutual friend's birthday dinner" or "I bumped into him at the local bar".  But ANYTHING seems better than "So, I was perusing Match.com's lists of photo shopped pictures, when his just JUMPED out at me, so I winked, and he flirted, and after 5 emails and 2 phone calls and numerous text messages we met for a drink, and fell in love!"  Death.  Just... no.  This is very much like my view on church.  I get that it works for some people, but this does not work for me.  I am not fulfilled by this.

I am one of the most social people I know.  I am constantly out.  I go to bars on the weekends, I am out walking around the city every day.  I go to the grocery store, and would LOVE to say I met him in the produce section.  I bike ride.  I go to restaurants.  I meet friends of friends.  I smile!  I take people up on opportunities to try new things. 

But please understand that I am 100% serious that, when I look around, I am horrified by my options.  This is a joke, right?  THIS is who I get to pick from to procreate with??  Good. Lord. No.

I told Ana last night that I had found her brother and his colleague to be adorable... but people like that are NOT at this bar!

I think I'm a bit of a control freak, and knowing that I don't have control over who I will meet when drives me a little crazy.  I'm not much of a procrastinator, so when I want something done, I typically get it done.  You can't just... get a relationship done... ya know?  I also have noticed that I feel victimized in a lot of situations, which I talked to Gia about. 

By the way, my fall TV line up does SOME good.  While watching Revenge, the therapist said "as long as you feel like the victim in your relationships, you have no reason for them to do anything but end badly" or something along those lines.  So maybe I need to take a bit more control of my personal relationships?  Stop feeling like people are constantly taking and stealing from me.  If I don't like something, I don't have to actively participate in it, and I can leave.  I always have an out.  So maybe that more empowering feeling will help me be more comfortable "taking a chance" on someone.  Because it's not that great of a risk.  There is the risk of letting somebody come into my life, but I can always shove them back out again if they are undeserving.  It just needs to be on my terms.  Not, after they walk all over me and abandon me and then try to come back, THAT'S when I assert myself.  No, no.  The minute they push me too far, that's when I need to take control of the situation.  Maybe that will work.  Who knows.  It's exhausting.

I'm not entirely sure how to end this post because these are just things that I needed to "get down on paper" and out of my head.  So I'll leave you with this:

Last night?  Flo found a cockroach on her bed.  A big one.  Like.  2 inches long.  I thought it was a brown praying mantis at first.  So tonight?  I'll be at home scrubbing the crap out of my apartment.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How I Kicked Corporate America's Butt... (the protesters should be proud)

So, I ran into a bit of a kerfuffle of sorts with both UPS and ConEd this week.  I was going to call them on Monday, but that just didn't happen.  Tuesday I was in an oddly good and productive mood (which almost never happen at the same time), so I took advantage of the situation and decided to handle these problems right then.


The issue with UPS actually didn't start officially until after I made this call.  I ordered a pair of boots that, SHOCKER, didn't fit around my calves.  I needed to send them back, and after reading the return instructions, it just said that the $8 shipping fee would be deducted from my refund.  Cool.  So I just needed UPS to come and pick up the package.  I tried to schedule a pick-up online, but it kept saying that a $9 fee would be charged for this package.  To which I said "no, no, UPS.  My shipping fee is already paid for and taken care of thanks to pre-printed labeling!".  So I call and try to go through their automated system, which is telling me the same thing.  So I ask to be connected to a rep who tells me, for the 3rd time. that it will cost $9.  So I tell her "No, the shipping charge is already paid for." to which she tells me this:

"The shipping charge is already handled.  But there is a $9 fee associated with package pick-up at a location."

So let me get this straight.  It's $8 for shipping, but $9 for package pick up?  So it costs more to have UPS scoop up the package using a local driver than it does to have them actually deliver it across the country?  How is that possible?  And I ask her "Isn't procuring the package a major part of the actual shipping process? Shouldn't that be included?"

"No, Ma'am.  You have some free options, though."

"Oh.  Well good.  What are those?"

"Well, you can bring it to a UPS location close to you.  Or, you can flag down a truck and hand it to the driver."




"Yeah, I don't think I'll be standing on a corner flagging down UPS men today or, like, ever.  Thanks anyway for that.  Where are there locations for me to drop off near my home, please?"

"There's one at 1623 3rd Avenue"

Now maybe this is just a city thing.  I don't know numbers.  I don't know where the 1600 block of 3rd avenue is.  I need cross streets.

"What are the cross streets for that location?"

"It's right around the corner from your house, Ma'am."

"Well... 3rd avenue is 2 blocks uphill from my apartment, so it's not EXACTLY right around the corner.  So I need the cross streets, please?"

"Is 1st Avenue closer to you?"

"Well... 1st Avenue runs the entire length of Manhattan, so... it might be, but... I still need the cross streets."

"OK, for the 1st Avenue location, starting at your apartment you would turn right on York Avenue, right on 81st Street and it will be between York Avenue and 1st Avenue."

"So it's on 1st Avenue and 81st street?  OK.... how about the 3rd avenue location?"

"Starting at your apartment you would turn right on York Avenue, right on 86th Street, right on 1st Avenue, left on 89th Street and right onto 3rd Avenue."

"So it's on 3rd Avenue between 89th and 90th?  OK great, thanks... I didn't actually need the driving directions..."

"OK.  Anything else?"

"Nope."  I've already gotten all the useless information I can stand for one day, thanks!

So, situation sort of handled.  I"ll be dropping the package off at their 89th and 3rd location after work...


I mean, ConEd is basically always a problem.  I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how my electric bill for a 1 bedroom apartment in Queens was about $300/month.  Absolutely crazy.  Anyway, our bills over the summer have been completely reasonable, and I was pretty excited about it!  (By reasonable, I mean about $50/month for electric alone.)  So when I received our September bill and it was over $100, it sort of threw me.  We were out of regular air conditioning weather, so one would think it could only go down.  But then I realized we had also been in the apartment more in September, so maybe it wouldn't go down.  But it certainly wouldn't double!  So I called and asked what the deal was.

I was informed that my meter wasn't working, and that they had switched it out and adjusted our bill accordingly. 

OK, no problem.  We paid it in full.

Last week I received a letter stating that due to indicator lights on our meter, we had not been properly billed for our usage.  The meter had been switched out, and here you go!  It's a nice little breakdown of how much we are going to charge you for unmetered usage over the last 4 months. KTHXBYE!

Hold the phone.

That says $188.95!  I'm not giving them $200!  That's nutso!

So I called ConEd.  I explain that we had paid all of our bills, including the adjusted September bill, in full, and wasn't sure why I was being billed an additional $188.95. 

So the lady on the other end says to me, "So, what had happened was........."  And I knew right there that this was gonna be good!  All I had to do was keep my calm and enjoy the ride.

".... on August 22nd, our meter readers realized that there were indicator lights on your meter that meant that the meter wasn't correctly reading the usage for the apartment.  So on September 7th we changed out the meter, and adjusted your September bill.  Now we are going through and adjusting previous bills that were effected by the incorrect readings."

"But, then why am I being adjusted so far back if it only became a problem in August?  I see that I had an actual reading at the end of June, an estimated reading at the end of July and an actual reading at the end of August."

"Well, we don't know when it became a problem.  Our meter readers only noticed in in August."

"So, it could have been broken for years, or just a couple days, but you're going to charge me $188.95 to cover potentially wrong readings back through my move-in date?  I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable handing over $200 for charges that you aren't positive I owe."

"Well, we just took daily readings and applied it to your previous bills, crediting you for what you already paid."

"But you aren't sure that those readings weren't already correct?"

"Well, we're pretty sure they aren't."

"Well, OK.  I'm not saying that we don't owe you anything extra at all.  And I know that you have a business to run and that you probably weren't paid for the amount of service you provided.  But I'm not really sure how it is my responsibility to pay for your meters not being maintained properly, for your meter readers not noticing indicator lights for, what you are assuming was, a couple of months, and for you not billing me correctly."

"Well, it wasn't just you.  This effected several of your neighbors and they were billed as well."

This is what we call "not helping your case".

"I'm not saying that you are singling me out.  And if they want to go ahead and pay the adjustments you sent them, that's totally fine.  However, I need to be sure that's what I owe before I hand it over.  So if you can prove to me that that was what I used, I'll pay it."

"What makes you think it's not what you owe?"

"My roommate and I were barely around over the summer.  Between working, being away on the weekends, going on vacations, etc. we didn't have the A/C running much, or the lights on, or the TV on.  All appliances were unplugged, computers traveled with us so those weren't plugged in.  There just wasn't much usage.  And in September we were at the apartment more.  So our average daily usage in September was much higher than our average daily usage in July."

"Well even if you weren't there, there's still going to be a bill.  Do you have proof that you weren't at the apartment?"

I should have just forwarded her the link to this blog, but instead I said:

"I do have receipts and tickets from buses and trains and flights and hotels, but I don't think that's my responsibility either.  I am paying you for a service.  Rather than my proving I DIDN'T use it, I think it's your job and responsibility to prove that I DID use your service.  Unfortunately, the bill you sent me is unmetered
"usage", so I don't know how you'll prove that I used any of that.  If you can, though, I'd be more than happy to send you a check right away."



...."I'll review your account and get back to you."

Ladies and Gentlemen, I call that a win.  I read the law that they said they were operating legally under.  While they didn't do anything ILLEGAL, and the law does state that they can adjust any bill for up to a year, it doesn't say it can be adjusted for some number they are basically pulling out of the air and have no proof of.  If that's the case, then I'd like to "adjust" my bills in Queens and demand a refund for the last year of my lease down to $100/month rather than $300 or $400... just... because.  It was OVER metered service, is what that was.  I feel if you can charge me for UNmetered usage, I can demand a refund for OVER metered usage.  Yup, seems fair to me!

I'll keep you updated on all that.  But if you are thinking about moving to NYC... beware of ConEd, and be sure you get into a place that has gas cooking, and pays for gas, heat and hot water.  Because otherwise, you are SCREWED. 

Just a couple of housekeeping things.

I totally forgot to wish Papa a VERY happy 90th birthday on October 17th!  I was able to celebrate with him and my family on the 16th.  But 90 years old deserves being blogged about! 

Congratulations to Joanne Haake on her nuptial to Ralph on October 15th, 2011 and for letting me be there to celebrate!

And official announcement:

Somewhere round about March 22nd, 2011 I will become an Anutie again!  My sister Jeannine is expecting, and that's news that I have been holding in since July!  Feels great to be able to tell everybody, since this blog is evidence of my not keeping quiet about much...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Remember this book?  Yeah?  This kid thought he had problems.  I'd take his day any day.  Except for the part where they didn't have his choice of shoes.  That would never do.

Anyway... Monday was literally quite possibly the worst day of my life. 


OK fine, that was an exaggeration.

But it was pretty rough!

Allow me to commiserate.

My roommate has been late every day this week, and I think she was even late last week too.  She is supposed to be at work at 8am, which would mean she needs to leave our apartment at 7:30 each morning.  Well she apparently doesn't care much about getting to work on time because she just gets herself into the shower at 7:30, which is about the time I need to be getting in to leave at 8:15 or so.  So on Monday, I was of course running late.  No big deal, it's only 5 minutes (because I was a speed demon and I don't like to think about what I probably missed in the shower due to the rushing).  I'll grab the bus and save 10 minutes of walking and I should be good to go. 

So I wait a minute to board the bus, only to find out that my unlimited monthly pass is expired.

Now, I've seen this happen to a hundred people.  And each time, the driver is usually just like "it's expired.  Go ahead, it's fine." and lets them on the bus.  Does this happen to me?

Have you ever read my blog before?

Of COURSE it doesn't happen to me!  So now I'm running about 7 minutes behind schedule, and can't catch the bus to make up that time.  Awesome.

I finally get to the subway, and since my card is expired, I get to wait in the FOREVER long line to get up to the machine.  I wait.  And wait.  And wait.  I finally get to the machine.  I punch all the buttons as fast as I can and wait for it to "process payment".



"We're sorry, we cannot process your payment at this time.  Try again?"

HELL YEAH TRY AGAIN!  I have to get to work!

"We're sorry, we cannot process your payment at this time.  Try again?"


No.  I'll take a $5 card, which goes through.  On the same credit card I was using for the monthly unlimited pass.  Ugh.

Then I try to get through the FOREVER long line to get to the gates to get to the train to make it to work only DECADES late.  I say excuse me (because I get violently angry when people shove through the line, or push past me.  So rude.) 4 times and this girl just sort of stands there, or looks at me like "what?"  so I yell in her face "EXCUSE ME!!!!!!!!"  "You don't have to be rude."  "I SAID EXCUSE ME 4 TIMES, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS IN NICE MODE?!"

I will, from now on, be simply pushing through the line.  Forget this crap.

I get to the train, I get to work, I get into the office.  I take a deep breath, and dial the 1-800 number on the back of my Bank of America Debit card.

Now.  This whole declining payment thing has happened in the past.  I don't get it.  It's not over the daily limit, it's not a large dollar amount, it's not a strange charge, it's not out of my area of regular use.  Every month this happens, I get a call asking to verify that it was me that had tried to make these declined charges.  Nothing ever changes.  When I call this time, it dumps me directly into this automated system.  I foolishly thought that it would give me the option to talk to a customer service rep at the end of this crap.  I was so very wrong.  So I call back, and it tells me that it is "unable to transfer my call.  Good bye." 


So I call again, and lie to the automated lady, saying that I want to add some sort of service to my banking...

... And got a real person!

SUCKAS!  Connie 1, automated lady.. like 409309842.  But still.  I'll take the victory.

She answers the phone all jolly, and I say very slowly and calmly:

"Every single month, on approximately the exact same date, and approximately the same time, at the exact same machine, for the exact same amount, I make a purchase.  And every single month, you decline my charge, and every single month you call me and have me go through the automated steps, and every single month I tell you that yes it was me making the charge, yes it is a valid charge.  And still, every single month, you block my card.  And this not only makes me EXTREMELY upset, but it also slows myself and everyone in line behind me at rush hour down."  So she takes a look and can't figure it out.  Because it's not over the daily limit.  And it's not a large dollar amount.  And it's not a strange charge.  And it's not out of my regular area of use.


So she transfers me to some other group of people that... I don't know... handles all subway card purchase issues or something.

The guy says "OK, I've made a note in your file that this is an acceptable monthly charge, and shouldn't be blocked." And I ask "Can you tell me why it was blocked in the first place?"

This is his explanation.

"Sometimes when people use their cards at vending machines, like Coke machines, we block the charge because we aren't sure that it is the actual cardholder making the purchase."



"So you're telling me that if I am dying of thirst one day, and I try to use my card to buy myself a coke, that you might block my transaction because you aren't sure if this $2.00 charge is valid?"


"Sir, please.  Don't block these on my card.  If someone steals my card to purchase a Coke because they are dying of thirst, I will eat that charge.  Really.  It's fine."

This was all before 10am.

Work was a total madhouse.  My accounts payable team just despises me, apparently.  Also?  Nobody on my team can seem to keep track of receipts.  And although I tell them repeatedly to just give me their receipts after they charge something to their card and I can keep them filed for them, they refuse.  And then I'm left dealing with crap when receipts are missing.  So ridiculous.  So that was my day at work, summed up very quickly.  Because that's not something I wish to re-live.  Although Tuesday and today have been the same way. 

Moving on.

So I leave work.  Terri couldn't walk to the "new" Trader Joe's with me anymore, and I decide to make it a highly productive night.  I will go to Trader Joe's, make it home by 8 at the latest.  Then I'll do laundry (because I was down to my last pair of underwear, and only a couple pairs of mis-matched socks left.), and make some dinner intermittently.  Then I'll snuggle into the couch for an hour or two before bed.


Here's how that went.

I got to the 123 train, and tried to purchase my monthly unlimited card.  Because I had been ASSURED by Bank of America a solid 8 hour prior that this had been noted as an acceptable charge.  Guess what declined my card again? 


I use another $2.25 off the card I bought that morning, which will, in fact, get me to Trader Joe's, but not home.  So I get to Trader Joe's on 72nd and Broadway.  By the way?  Super nice store!  Completely packed, but I got everything I needed and it felt like they had a LOT more selection than the one in Union Square.  I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.  I think there's also supposed to be a wine store there that I didn't see yet.  I'll scope it out next time.  Anyway, I get so much stuff that it turns out needing 3 bags.  3 bags to carry all the way to the East Side is a lot, in case you were wondering.  But I need all this stuff,  so I follow Tim Gunn's advice and make it work.

Knowing that my stupid Bank of America card wouldn't be working (I am switching to Chase next week, just btw.) I stopped by the ATM and got $120, because ATMs only dispense $20 increments.  I get to the third Subway Card machine of the day, and remember they only give cold coins for change.  Ugh.  Nobody has change for a $20, so I say Eff This and just go for it.  I'm doing laundry that night, so it's not like I'll have to hold on to the gold coins for long.  I put in the $120.


Hold on.

People feed this machine money all day long, and the most change it can give me is $6?  Awesome. 

So.  I pick up my 3 heavy bags.  Walk back across the street to the Hallal truck and flirt it up with whoever that guy is to give me 4 $5s for my $20.  He does, and he is friendly, and was the one ray of sunshine in my shit storm of a day.

I pick up my 3 heavy bags, and go back across the street.  I get my freaking subway card FINALLY, and get onto the subway, struggling the whole way to carry the bags through the tiny gates, or down the tiny stairs.  Apparently you must be tiny to live or work at 72nd and Broadway.  But I get on the train.  I get to 86th and Broadway, which is where I will exit the train and catch the bus across town to 1st Ave.  I get off the train, and set my giant bags down on the bench to readjust.  I pick the bags back up and...

... I bet you called this from the beginning...

... no shocker here...

One of the bag's handle breaks. 

Well that makes it easier.  Thanks for that.

I somehow try to hold the two ends of the now broken handle together in my hand with 3 other handles, while also balancing out weight, and getting through gates and up two flights of stairs..... just in time to see the bus pull up to the bus stop half of a block away from me.  If I don't make this bus, there won't be another one for at least 15 minutes.  It's cold, it's rainy, I'm exhausted. 

I knew I wasn't going to make it.

There's no way.

Yet somehow, a line formed for the bus, giving me JUST enough time to rush (as fast as I could what with all the hobbling) up to the door just as it was closing and get on the bus.  Apparently, God had seen enough funny for one day and decided to smile on this one thing.

I get settled, and am rubbing my aching shoulders and back as we make our way across town.

Then a girl gets on the bus, and her card buzzes to say it's expired. 

Can you guess what happens?


Bus Driver: "It's expired, hun.  Go ahead, it's fine."

GAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!  (me: Shakes fists in the air)

We get to 1st Avenue.  I get off the bus, and have to set the bags down for a rest no less than 5 times on the way home.  I carry them up, 1 at a time, from my front door into my apartment on the 2nd floor.  I unpack them, and start to separate laundry.  It's about 8:30.  And I realize that I am completely out of detergent.

I sort of want to cry.

Instead, I change into sweats, grab my wallet and keys, and head back to Duane Reade to pick up some detergent (which is ungodly expensive, by the way.  When did that happen?!).  I walk home, pick up my load of darks, and head over to the laundromat.  I dump my clothes into a machine, add detergent, and take my new $5 bills over to the change machine.  Now.  The machine costs $6.50, and the dryers cost $.25 for 6 minutes of use.  Connie, if you only put in a $5 bill for change, YOU WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH.  So I had to go back to the change machine.

I go to put quarters in the washer and.... what's this?  Oh.  It's TAPE OVER THE COIN DROP BECAUSE THE MACHINE DOESN'T WORK.

well that's just dandy.  Really.  So I put all of my clothes in the next machine, and try to forget about the two caps of detergent I just wasted in the first machine.

At this point, I'm horrified to go home and attempt to make dinner.  I mean, my God.  The way my day was going?  It's entirely possible that I might burn the house down!  Maybe even the block!  But I was starving and felt like I had spent plenty of money that day.  I think I can heat something on the stove successfully.  Thankfully, this went well, and I had some gnocchi and meatballs for dinner.  Thank you, Trader Joe's.  Jebus!

I go back to the laundromat, and pull out my clothes.  I separate them by what I want to hang dry and what I want to throw in the dryer.  After I have my clothes in the dryer and am about to start putting coins in it, a guy comes around the corner to check on his clothes and says "That machine's broken!  We already tried it!" 

Do you realize that this means in one night, I put my clothes in the only two broken machines in the entire laundromat?  What are the ODDS?!? 

Anyway.  When laundry was done, I put myself to bed.  That is ENOUGH!  I am sort of proud that I didn't give up half way through and just say Eff it.  Maybe I should have.  But whatever... thank GOD Monday is over.  I'd really like to know why Monday has it out for me!  I'm skipping them from here on out.  Next Monday you can find me in bed.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My God. How am I not just asleep right now?

I'm not going to lie... I have referred back to my previous post several times over the last week.  If I don't, I will DEFINITELY miss out on a show.  So I guess I'd like to thank myself with boring you with those details??

I'd also like to say, ABC YOU SUCK for getting me totally hooked on New Girl in just 3 episodes, and then cold heartedly taking it away from me in some sort of teaser to return at some point in the future.  UGH! 

Just a few things about this week, because it's been... well... wait for it.

So last weekend Alyssa was in town.  We had an AMAZING weekend!  The weather couldn't have been better!  Although her drive sucked, I didn't have to be part of it, and so I'm not including that in this blog.  Because it's my blog and I can edit as I see fit :)  We did it all!  Friday night we went to what is becoming my local watering hole... sans any trace of water of course.  It's called The BullPen and I have no idea why.  Anyway.  Did that.  Slept in WAY late on Saturday because Lady (Alyssa's adorable puppy) just couldn't calm down all night which kept us awake.  So we got up, got dressed and went and  grabbed a delish meatball sub from Luigi's (my go-to pizzeria) to eat in Central Park.  We found a nice shaded area and enjoyed.  Then we walked through the park.  I feel like we did it really fast, but maybe it's just that time flies when you're having fun!  We saw the boathouse, the lake, the Bethesda Fountain, the Friendship Fountain, the Mall (where movies have been filmed like Brown Sugar, Maid in Manhattan, Real Housewives of New York... that sort of thing...) and headed out of the park.  We stopped by Times Square for a quick photo op and then high tailed it out of that madness!  God I hate that area.  If you come to New York, avoid it.  It's expensive, overly crowded, and mostly retail now which is all over priced.  There are better things you can do with your time in NYC.  Such as.... cabbing up to 61st between 2nd and 3rd!  Know what's there?  Serendipity!  And Dylan's Candy Bar!  Both of which we visited and conquered!  Dylan's Candy Bar is a HUGE candy store that has everything you could want, and is owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter.  It's very cool, and hip with the under 13 crowd.  Then we enjoyed a peanut butter frozen hot chocolate and a "cowards portion" Banana Split of which Alyssa and I could only consume maybe half of... so does that make us double cowards?  That's sad.  Also!  There is an AMAZING boutique next door that I cannot remember the name of.  But if you have a few thousand dollars to drop you should definitely stop in!



I did stop in, and the clothes were just to die for.  They were beautiful and there really wasn't one thing that I wasn't interested in.  Something that is within my budget, but still a splurge, were suede teal or red heels with big bows on the foot strap. Holy lord they were adorable and really added a certain Je ne sais pas ce que... but God I loved them and will probably be going back soon.  And I think I'm getting the teal ones.  $128 and by far the least expensive thing in the store.  But they fit my feet like... well "gloves" seems inappropriate here.  But you get the idea.

That night we headed down to Reservoir Bar in Union Square and visited Miranda.  We had some DELISH burgers and enjoyed some libations.  Then Alyssa fell asleep on the subway home.  Epic.  The city just wears her out I guess!  Got home and crashed!  Sunday we were woken up at 9am by Alyssa's brother who lives in Brooklyn.  He was having some hefty car trouble and needed us to come save him and his dog from the side of the road.  This turned into a couple hour rescue, so we ended up going to a bar on 14th street between 1st and 2nd in the East Village.  Oddly, this pub didn't serve foot (say what now??) but we could bring our own in.  Thank GOD for that little rule because I have discovered a pizzeria that rivals Luigi's.  Actually, Alyssa's brother introduced us, so I can't take all the credit.  It is called Artichoke, and was located directly across the street.  We got a spinach and artichoke pizza pie.  This is not something that I would probably order on my own.  But it has become the thing I crave most in this world. It was just phenomenal.  I am lacking words to describe this pizza.  So I'll stop. But GO THERE.  SERIOUSLY.  They have 3 locations.  Who is surprised there isn't one near me?

We finished watching the game uptown, and got mani/pedis afterwards.  My toes are now electric blue and sparkly.  I just wanted sparkly.  The manicurist suggested I put a base color on first and then put sparklies on top.  OK cool, you can pick the color.  Well ok then, I guess I look like an electric blue kind of girl.  Good to know.  But it is super fun and totally unexpected.  When I changed my shoes at work today I was caught by surprise by it somehow... so fun.

OK, so Alyssa left on Sunday night.  Monday I woke up with SEVERE back pain.  Like, could barely move, bending and walking was awful, and I had no idea how to fix it.  So I trucked along... and then Tuesday was absolutely no better.  I was supposed to walk home from work with Terri and then have a late dinner with Davine.  The walking was definitely not happening. After 4 extra strength Tylenol and no relief, I knew it was bad.  I went home. Sat down on my bed.  bent over and placed my hands on the floor, then laid back and twisted and *POP*!!!!



Was that a good pop?  Or a bad pop? .....????? GOOD OR BAD?!  GOOD OR BAD??!  I sat up slowly and... miracle of all miracles... my back pain was completely gone!  I felt great.  I got up and walked around, I bent down to pick something up... I sat down and stood up again... I felt great!

Davine and I went to Blockhead's for dinner.  She was stressing out and needed some cheap delish drinks.  I just always am in the mood for TexMex!  And guess what everybody?????  Davine has been cast in the Broadway rendition of Ghost!!!!!!!!!  They are still in negotiations, but assuming all goes according to plan, the show will start after the new year!!!  She will be playing the part that Whoopi Goldberg played in the original movie.  I am just so so thrilled and proud of her!  If you are in NYC and get a chance to go to a show, see this one!  Davine and phenomenal!

Last night was my happy hour/dinner at home with Ana.  Ana was having a rough... day? week?  No no, month!  So we made some chili so she could have some comfort food, and drank a bottle and a half of wine and were pretty happy, watching my Wednesday line-up.  By the way?  PLEASE watch last night's Modern Family.  I was almost peeing myself, and laughing so hard I couldn't breathe when Cam and Marshall get in a hit-and-run accident.  Just listen for the words "He's getting away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I looked for the clip but it's not uploaded anywhere yet.  Holy lord it's epic!

So then, Ana finds out that her brother?  From North Carolina?  Is totally in NYC right at that very moment.  And actually was eating dinner at a restaurant right next to my office.  So we met up with him and his colleague after a bottle and a half of wine and shared 2 pitchers of beer at... again... my local watering hole.  The bartender is starting to remember me... which is cool?  I guess..? 

Anyway, super unexpected and such a fun week!  Tonight is dinner at Terri's!  We're having a crock pot meal which just screams fall and I am finally coming to terms with the changing seasons.  I guess.  Why yes I am wearing a tank top under my sweater in case of an extreme change in weather, why do you ask?

This weekend I head back to Hershey for Grandma Haake's wedding.  Just... stay tuned for that.  It's also Papa's 90th birthday party!  WOOP WOOP!  So should be a fun weekend.  Tomorrow night I have tentative plans with some old high school friends to meet at... the local watering hole in Hershey.... WHAT?!  Ugh.  I know, must slow it down.  Anyway, I'll be back with an update on that.

Just a few things from this week not mentioned because it didn't fit in the stories above:

I was verbally assaulted by a man that just MUST be crazy.  He was clearly a white man, and was walking down the street talking loudly about "look at all these miserable white people", and then started commenting on a girl's ass in a loud obnoxious way?  So I just looked at him and said "enough" to which he took as an invitation to tell me to "go back where I came from" which... I mean... I'm American?  And living here in the United States?  So... not sure what he was aiming for.  He also assured me that I wouldn't have said anything to a black man, because if he was black he would have smacked the... poop.... out of me.  Um.  For those people that know me, they know why that's funny.  But at that point I just started laughing at him because there was no where left to go with this and he continue spewing hatred at me and then stormed off.  Okey dokey then.

I am on a hunt for tall boots that fit me.  I have very thick calves and have a TON of trouble with this.  In fact, all of my boots are on the shorter side and scrunch boots because they won't ever fit up my calves.  So I started looking at wide calf boots.  One would assume this would fix all problems?  No.  I suggest you measure your calf.  If your calves are about 13 or 14 inches around?  You're good to go for normal boots.  15 inches require wide calf.  I have 18 inch calves.  Do you know what that means?  WIDE LEG BOOTS DON'T EVEN FIT ME!  So I had to go for EXTRA wide leg.  I was looking at a website.  I just want some sleek, cognac colored boots to wear over skinny jeans and leggings, or to pair with dresses.  Nothing crazy or out there.  Can't find them.  I ordered a pair and they zipped just up to where my calf muscle begins and just....stopped.  So that was out, and I have to return them.  Now, I found another pair that I actually like more and they go from size 7-12.  As the size of the boot gets bigger.... (get this).... THE ACTUAL BOOT GETS BIGGER!  It's a miracle!  They start at 17inches wide at size 7 and go up to 20 inches at size 12.  So I'm thinking these should work right?  Well I might try them. but the reviews say that people looking for a size 8-8.5 with 18 inch calves aren't having much luck.  UGH!  So that search continues.  Let me know if you have any suggestions. 

I guess that's it for now.  I'm going to heat up my leftover chili for lunch :)  Enjoy your weekend!  It's supposed to be beautiful and very fall and lovely!  You know... for people that like that sort of thing...
And it's been better ever since!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall TV Owns My Life...

I am aware that it's popular to say that you just don't love TV all that much.  That it just doesn't really suck you in.  That you'd MUCH rather be doing something else, up and moving, going to the gym, doing charity work, helping children, rescuing puppies from abandoned buildings... I get it. 

I am the exception to this rule.

I LOVE me some TV.  And this fall lineup?  Is KILLING me!  It's too much!  There's too much scheduling!  Too much planning!  And on top of that, the Netflix that I still haven't canceled since they decided to double the cost continues to drop movies into my mailbox that I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH.  Ugh.

I would be lying if I said that this post wasn't a little selfish.  But I guess that can be said for everything I write.  Either way, I need to break down each day and what show is on so that I can keep my sanity and life together!  And yes I know you didn't ask, nor do you probably care what I think of all of these shows (Good God, there are so many), but if you continue reading you're going to find out anyway.

*Deep Breath*

Gossip Girl 8pm-9pm CW 
I am completely obsessed with this show.  Blair Waldorf makes me happy, and I want to marry Chuck Bass because he's not really as awful as he seems.  Plus, so much of this is filmed near where I live, or where I hang out, or where I work that it makes me feel connected to it.  I just love it!

Heart of Dixie 9pm-10pm CW
I haven't seen this yet, but I have heard good things.  I love Rachel Bilson, but only know her as Summer from the OC, so I am pretty excited to see her in something else.  I'll try to give this a try... sometime...ish...

Football 8pm onward, and this is only if a team in the NFC East is playing, or it's a good match up. 

This is also typically the day that I say to myself "Self, you have been a lazy bum all weekend, or you ate really terribly, or drank your weight in alcohol and you need to get some exercise" So I'll walk home from work or go to the gym (except not at all in the last 2 weeks.  Ugh.) which puts me home around 7:30pm or later anyway. 

Glee 8pm-9pm Fox
I admit I am not a die hard fan.  But everytime I watch this show I love it!  So I'm not sure why it hasn't because a must see.  I LOVE Sue Sylvester.  I only saw the first episode this season so far, (8pm is super early for me to be ready to watch TV) and it was ok.  the music was ok, whatever they have going on with Quinn is weird and not likely, even if she did go through a weird crises with the baby and all.  But in general, I like it.

Last Man Standing 8pm-8:30pm ABC
This is Tim Allen's new show, which doesn't begin airing until October 11th.  However. I do love Tim Allen and miss watching Home Improvement all the time.  The only thing I would love more is if they brought back Jonathan Taylor Thomas for an episode or two because my 5th grade self would jump for freaking joy!

The Middle 8pm-8:30pmABC
This. Is. Awesome.  Such a funny family and I love Patricia Heaton, except that she will always be Deb Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond.  I caught this show last week when the kids told her that their father was above her in the house heirarchy.  AMAZING!  So so cute, but not something I catch every week.

Suburgatory 8:30pm-9pm ABC
Just caught this last week and it's like my own nightmare realized.  It's about a teenage girl and her dad leaving NYC to move to the suburbs because he finds a pack of unopened condoms in her dresser drawer.  The girl is beautiful, but definitely a bit too edgy for the suburbs and she hates it.  She's fantastically sarcastic, and her dad is pleasantly hot, so it makes for a good watch. 

Modern Family 9pm-9:30pmABC
If you don't know what this is about, you're living under a rock.  Last week, Mitchell and Cam went on a liquid diet.  Cam got violent and weepy, Mitchell lost his ever loving mind, and Gloria tried to get the dog to hate everyone, not just her.  It was fantastic.

New Girl 9:30pm-10pm Fox
I love this show.  After the pilot, the character of "Coach" was done away with (he moved on to Happy Endings) and was replaced by Winston.  I still feel like Winston is an outsider, but I'm willing to give him a chance.  Zooey Deschanel is just freaking amazing and goofy and lovable.  I love the other two roommates, Schmidt (who I am fairly certain is gay but nobody is agreeing with me yet.  You'll all see.) and Nick who is pretty much my dream boyfriend until he starts drinking scotch in a photo booth... watch it, you won't be disappointed!

Happy Endings 9:30pm-10pmABC
I've only seen this once, but I liked it.  Not great acting, totally a sitcom.  But the girl Penny just bought her own condo and really feels like she's getting herself together.  But then finds that guys are intimidated by her, and that the condo may be cursed.  She comes home to find like 12 cats inside and she's horrified she's going to end up an old spinster/cat lady.  But with the help of friends she has a great house warming party and they all pull it together.  There's also a bit of exes trying to be friends, newly weds (an interracial couple *GASP*!) and lots of fun situations.  I'll keep you posted on this... (I probably won't.)

Revenge 10pm-11pm ABC
So this has Emily VanCamp as the main character, who played Rebecca on Brothers and Sisters.  This is kind of a dark show (you don't say!  The title certainly didn't give that away... geez my writing has gone down the tubes.) about a girl who learns the truth about her father and their sordid past, and she's back for... wait for it... REVENGE.  I know, who saw that coming?  So she is systematically ruining the peoples' lives who ruined her's and her father's.  Last week she financially ruined a hedge fund guy.  There's also quite a bit of eye candy in this show, and tons of intrigue with unlikely friends... I think this is a keeper.


Project Runway 9pm-10:30pm Lifetime
I forgot to put this in my original post, so I am updating it now.  I can't believe I forgot this!  I am rather annoyed that the show goes from 9 until 10:30, because that just throws off the flow of the other three shows that I MUST watch.  Last night I watched this, then switched over to the next show that was half way DVR'd watched from the beginning, and still missed two shows which I will catch up on... sometime...  Anyway, Project Runway this season is interesting.  I am not as blown away by one particular designer over another as I have been in past years.  I was very ahppy they finally got rid of the designer they did last night because he has been crap the whole way through and I think they kept him on for demographics.  Annoying. 

Grey's Anatomy 9pm-10pmABC
This is one of those shows that I have a loyalty to.  I've watched it since the first season and I'm obsessed.  Although I do feel like they are losing it a little bit and pushing for action, I still love these characters.  And that opening music gets me every time!

Jersey Shore 10pm-11pm MTV
Don't judge me.  I'm obsessed.  I've been watching this for so long that it has completely drawn me in.  I have a huge crush on Vinny and I'd love to be BFFs with Paulie and JWow.  I think Ronnie and Dina are incredibly annoying, and Sammy is just dumb.  Mike has literally lost his mind.  Snookie is a total train wreck.  Put it all together and it's an hour that I refuse to miss each week!

Private Practice 10pm-11pm ABC
And another one that I am loyal to.  I love Addison Montgomerey, and hellloooo?!?!  Taye Diggs is on my 50 inch every week!  You just can't argue with that.  Not a great story line, and seems pretty cyclical.  Charlotte has gotten too nice.  O shocker, Violet is running off again.  And yes we KNOW Addison wants a baby... we get it... my GOD someone just marry this woman and get her preggers!

Usually a night of bad decisions because work provides me with Beer Fridays from 5-6.  So I generally find somebody to meet up with to continue the fun for the rest of the evening.

I am usually out and about... children, puppies... you know....

Sunday: (aka The Bermuda Triangle of TV shows.)
Boardwalk Empire 9pm-10pm HBO
Fantastic show about prohibition in Atlantic City.  I LOVE Mrs. Shroeder played by Kelly MacDonald, and you can't help but root for the corrupt Nucky Thompson played by Steve Buscemi.  The scenary and costumes are spot on perfect, and the excitement of the show and time just draws you in.  I'll never stop watching this as long as it's on.

Desperate Housewives 9pm-10pmABC
Again.  Loyalty.  This is its last season and they are all doing what they do best.  My favorite girl changes from season to season.  Typically I like Gabby and Lynette best.  But they're all so cute and lovable in their own way.  The major conflict this season is that they all helped to cover up the fact that Carlos killed Gabby's abusive step father when he attacked her in their home.  Now they are living with the guilt and doing their best not to let anyone know... OOOO... Suspenseful!

Dexter 9pm-10pm SHO
Incredibly dark show, and not for the faint of heart.  Dexter and his "dark passenger" live a double life of solving and committing crimes.  You can't help but love him and all of his awkwardness.  You don't have to watch the first 5 seasons to understand what's happening now, but I suggest that you do anyway.  The Trinity Killer in season 4 is my absolute favorite.  But they are all good.

Hung 10pm-10:30pm HBO
This is about a highschool gym coach going through a divorce with two high school aged kids.  He just isn't making the money he needs to repair his home that was damaged in a fire, or to take care of his now broken family.  So when someone discovers that he has a certain... gift... oh, I'll just stop beating around the bush.  He prostitutes himself out to get the money.  He has two women fighting for the right to be his pimp.  And of course, things get complicated.  So we'll see how this season goes...

How To Make It In America 10:30pm-11:30pm HBO
This is not a show that I even really knew much about until Monday night at Ana and Josh's house.  They were watching it on demand and I sort of love it!  It's about young 20- or 30-somethings in NYC just trying to make it big.  Maybe I love it because I can relate 100%, and it actually speaks pretty true to what it's like trying to start from scratch in NYC...

PanAm 10pm-11pmABC
I LOVE this show!  I think I really like period shows, and this one is set in the 1960s.  It's all about the PanAm stewardesses and their lives of travel and intrigue and excitement.  I love the looks, and Christina Ricci made the transition to TV from the big screen.  I love her in this role.  It's really fun, and definitely worth a look.

Homeland 10pm-11pm SHO
Still giving this one a try.  Its first episode was last week.  Claire Danes is the main character.  If you've seen the previews, they basically give away the whole first episode.  But pretty good nevertheless.  An American Prisoner of War is found years after he is believed to be dead.  He comes home to a family that barely knows him, and tries to make it work.  Claire Danes' character suspects that this is the man she was informed about being turned, and illegally puts him under surveylance.  I'll give this a few more weeks to see but I liked it so far...

Football 1pm-midnight... but not every week.

So basically this all depends on when the Eagles are playing and what my plans are with other people.  But typically at least 4 hours of my Sunday are taken up with football games.  (This is actually down from last year where it was literally 11 hours straight without stops.)

So there you have it.  My literally impossible fall TV schedule.  At this point I am relying almost entirely on my DVR and On Demand.  I catch some, but not all.  Having this lineup will be helpful, but can we just look at Sunday??  I have three shows starting at 9 on three separate networks.  Then I have Three shows at 10pm.  I CAN'T BE IN THREE PLACES AT ONCE! Wednesday has 3 hours of TV watching and 5 shows, with one being recorded!

And of course all of these will overlap when Shameless, Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara and whatever else the networks decide to throw at me for these weird partial seasons while the real shows take their hiatuses until the spring.  What are they bears?  They hibernate through the winter?  THAT'S WHEN I NEED YOU MOST! 

Thank God I have no interest in dating... I don't have time!

**Oh right.  All those pretty pictures were found on Google Images, except for Last Man Standing which I found on abc.com. Hey look!  I have small print!