January 29, 2009


Hotel life is not always the sweet life. Since we are basically living here in this hotel for the next three months I have pretty much made myself at home. Underwear in places that would really make you scratch your head, towels in places where your underwear should be, and four and a half suitcases worth of stuff I couldn’t live without, crammed into the nooks and crannies. So the pressure is starting to get to me.

At home I don’t mind a little clutter. Just a little, no dirt or grime or piled up trash, but a little clutter just makes it homey, right? Unless you are having people over! I mean any people; the UPS man, the bug man, an inquiring neighbor and of course invited guests. I like for people to walk in my house and say “Wow it’s so clean.” or “smells great in here” or “You did the faux work yourself! Can I hire you?”

I have been known to hide dirty pots in the shower when caught off guard by a drop in. What they don't know won't hurt them.

And therein lies the pressure; I never know what time of the day the knock is coming. “Knock, knock, knock, HOUSEKEEPING!”

Crap… they’re here already; I haven’t cleaned up yet.

Since I currently work at home, or hotel in this case, I am here all day and am usually around when they come to clean. I just can’t have them coming in to clean a dirty room. I mean really; what would they think of me if they saw my underwear on the coffee table or myriad post-its reminding me to check my calendar for appointments?

So I am under this constant pressure to keep the suite clean and tidy. (Yes, Wayne thinks I’m nuts)

I know my blue collar is showing, but I have a hard time sitting around watching another woman clean my house/suite even if I am paying her, (via the hotel bill and tips), it just feels funny. Today as this tiny woman changed the king size bed, with seven, yes seven, down pillows, a down comforter and an extremely heavy spread that covers the king bed to the floor, I just couldn’t take it. So I followed her into the bedroom and offered a hand.

Well, she wouldn’t let me help, she said it was her job and she didn’t try to do my job. So I left her to it; and she had it done while I was still wandering about in an awkward attempt to look relaxed. So I will keep trying to get it together enough in the mornings to pick up a little, and maybe some light dusting before the maids arrive, but I ain’t making that damn yacht of a bed or next week you’ll be reading posts on the HouseKeepingChronicles regarding the crazy lady at the end of the hall who keeps dishes in the shower.

January 23, 2009

What the...

My best friend’s baby is eleven. Not remarkable in and of itself but since my best friend and I are only 29 it is hard to believe her baby is eleven already. (Yes we have been 29 for 14 years but that is beside the point.)

And this kid is smart. She is the spawn of a five foot nine, red headed, walking encyclopedia, a natural red head no less, and her husband, a college graduate from the big city, New York city big city, who actually still reads paper newspapers, and can finish the Sunday crossword.

So my friend was lamenting to me that they can no longer use innuendo and code words in front of the child because you just can’t get anything past her since she was about nine. My friend also had some parental guilt about the frequency in which they drop the f-bomb in front of the baby.

It reminded me of how my Aunt Ruth used to send me out of the room before letting loose with a whopper. It would really smoke my cheese that the older ones got to stay in the room. I realize now that protecting kids from words that have so many foul uses can save them a lot of pain. Like the time I called my sister a whore; I had heard my brother use the word and I thought it was a kind of pig. Well, one good whack with a broom handle will make you think twice about being sure of the definition of a word before you use it in your mother’s presence.

But it makes it so much sweeter as you make the rite of passage and are allowed in the room as your parents or aunt speaks freely. My mom never cussed much, but somewhere over the years we kids wore her down and I heard her drop more than one f-bomb over the family Christmas get together. Being seventy six gives the delivery just that extra added little touch.

Well apparently my friend’s baby was having a frustrating moment the other day. Now, at eleven you might be able to pull off a damn-it in front of your mom, but not the bomb, not unless you like just cut off a toe or something.

So the kid lets loose with “What the sauerkraut!!!”

Oh my Gawd I love it. “What the sauerkraut!!” They’re not even German.

The funny thing is my Aunt Ruth was German.

I can’t wait to find a way to use this, imagine the possibilities:

What the sauerkraut do you think you are doing?

Go sauerkraut yourself!!!

Listen you little sauerkraut, if you don't straighten up, me and the boys is gonna beat the sauerkraut out of you, see!!!

Look at the hot babe over there; I'd lik to give her the polska and a sauerkraut.

Oh sauerkraut, I just cut off my toe!!!

January 21, 2009

Seattle to Spokane

5 hours, 280 miles, and one ham sandwich… unless your rental car breaks down in Vantage.

Vantage Washington:

1 gas station, 2 restaurants, (1 closed on Saturday’s in the winter) and population 70.

Girl working at gas station might as well have been a robot, but in fairness she may have been frozen stiff.

Girl working in restaurant who let me sit in her station and drink beer at 10 am for 3 hours till my ride got there, was a life saver.

Long story short I got where I was going, (Spokane) but that story is not so great.

There is something about being fundamentally chilled, not cold like I would die(I was indoors), but chilled like please make it stop, and drinking beer for breakfast while you’re 3 hours from your hotel and 2 hours from your destination, that makes you feel vulnerable. Not like you are in danger vulnerable, but at the mercy of the kindness of strangers vulnerable.

As I looked out the window of the diner at what some might arguably call beautiful country side, I felt a soul-baring lonesomeness. Snow covered tumbleweed, a deep gorge enveloping the winter bare Columbia River, and sun stifling clouds as far as you could see.

The drive started with a jaunt through downtown Seattle. For all its beauty, manmade and god given marvels, I had a feeling of cold brutality that big cities can give off.

Then the mountain pass to the east of Seattle; awe inspiring, intimidating, the snow draped trees, frozen lake and quietness as you drive up through a cloud and then back down.

Makes me wonder if that’s why I am consistently drawn back to suburbs with their safe and consistent boredom. Nothing threatening there, save for frogs and grasshoppers.


We are in Seattle.

Barring unforeseen events we will be in Seattle for three months. Wayne’s job is putting us up in an extended stay type hotel and he is working many hours a day.

I am trying to adjust. The hotel is in a valley and we have had fog every day. It starts getting dark at 4:30 and it is damp. Not like the humidity of Florida. This is a cold dampness. I am not saying I don’t like it here; I am just still trying to adjust. So far the people are pretty cool, and the city is WOW. We have not seen much of it yet, but so far so good. In some ways Seattle seems more like home (Columbus Ohio) than Orlando where our house is. No matter where we live, or stay, I feel at home when I am with Wayne.

I am not too worried about our home in Florida. It is attended to, but it has been in the thirties there the last couple of nights so I am a little concerned about the lemon tree.

The hotel is nice. Since we are staying so long they upgraded us to an executive suite. It has a living room, bedroom and kitchen. It is almost eight hundred square feet. Wayne and I lived for 14 months in a one bedroom apartment with only 900 square feet.

There is free coffee in the lobby 24/7 (Starbucks of course!) and a continental breakfast every morning. If you get lucky you can get hot cookies from the front desk when they put them out in the evenings. Not bad; and then there is the art work. Lovely art work bolted to almost every wall. Including this piece in the lobby or living room as they like to call it:

It’s lovely isn’t it?

At first I wasn’t sure what it was. Seriously I did a double take. But then I remembered we were not in the kind of hotel that charges by the hour, so I took a moment, got out my glasses and realized it was wood. A knot hole in wood.

Don’t judge me, I am not the only one who took a second look. In fact someone, who shall remain nameless, said it reminded him of his ex-wife.

The Princess Ride

What’s that?

That’s one of my comfy black tee shirts. I used to wear a lot. Prolly not gonna wear it so much anymore.

Well, what’s that white spot on the back of it?

Oh that? That’s just flippin frog slime, from when the little stalker was trapped between my butt and the seat of the truck.

Yeah, seems the relentless little nightgown boob jumper hitched a ride on my ass when I got in the truck last week. Apparently I am no princess, cause if I could go all the way to Publix with a frog wiggling away between my right cheek and the bucket seat, I am pretty sure I could sleep on a pea, ear of corn, keg of beer and not notice it.

I can’t say for sure it was the same frog who has been haunting my front door, or the same frog who piggy backed on my boob till he gained entrance to my home and then hid behind the entertainment stand, but it could be the same frog who nearly caused Wayne to wreck a while back.

He was driving to work at 5 am when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. Then a strange slapping noise as the anthropomorphic amphibian looked for water in the cab of the truck. Wayne doesn’t think these frogs are out to get us, like I do, but he was concerned about the little leaper taking a lucky hop into his coffee.

Wayne says he tossed the frog out the window at the next light, but he could have left reinforcements behind.

So, when I got out of the car at the store, I notice something out of the corner of my eye… and heard the twapt. I saw him head for the back seat but Wayne couldn’t find him so I was forced to ride home with my tee shirt over my head. I couldn’t live if one of them got in my hair and I think they know it.

It wasn’t till we got home and I pulled off my shirt that I noticed the tell tale goo. (Insert huge shudder here)

We are in Seattle for a temporary assignment, and I haven’t seen any frogs. Pretty sure none of them caught a ride in the luggage although it would not have surprised me. I don’t know what the critter situation is like here but from what I have seen so far it would have to be something that can live without the sun.

January 6, 2009


Here are my alternative titles for this post:
1. Can’t We Just Shake Hands?
2. My, You Do Sweat Much Even For A Fat Girl.
3. Gawd, What Is With All The Man Hugging, Complete With The Courtesy Reach Around. (Wherein the men pat each other on the back while doing the lean in handshake hug. Perhaps they are attempting to produce a large manly belch. Now that I could understand.)
I like hugging; I do. Hugging some family members, hugging friends who I have not seen in a REALLY long time, and hugging people who have just given me money. But even then they have to be short hugs with as little hoopla as possible. When a hug is necessary, my preference is the lean in, with only a minimal amount of shoulder contact, no face contact and the lower halves of the participants bodies are separated by at least a foot.

Wayne is an exception to that rule, but I will save telling you how I like him to hug me for when I’ve been drinkin.

I don’t like hugging co-workers, especially bosses. It’s like being a hug whore, you gotta do it cause you’re on the clock, but you don’t have to let them kiss you on the mouth.

I don’t like hugging all of my family members; as a general rule if you get a Christmas card from me where the signatures are stamped in, we are not on hugging terms.

I don’t like hugging people I just met, even if you are a friend of friend, relative of a relative, or buying me a drink. You have to work your way up to a hug so don’t try to slip one in on somebody else’s ticket.

I am not a hater; it’s just that it cheapens the sanctity of the hug when they are passed out like the average handshake. I even have degrees of handshake that I used to follow before the hug crazed masses abolished the art of the inference laden greeting.

Handshake examples:

Job interview with a man; it must be a firm shake letting him know that you are a woman who is not going to cry in his office, complain about cramps and can kick some ass when needed.

Job interview with a woman; it must be softer and respectful. Compliment her ring if you can pull it off. The hand shake has to show her you are not a threat, and you know she is the running the roost.

General public; light firmness but keep your palm cupped to avoid full hand contact.

Your boss’ wife, your husband’s boss’ wife, bitches you can’t stand and some gay men; this hand shake is done using only the fingers from the second knuckle to the tips. The thumb should be present but only graze the other hand in passing. It the situation calls for it, curtsy.

Hello, I just met you but I am pretty sure I am gonna want to do you; hold this hand shake way longer than you should while looking into the eyes of the other person. Before dropping the hand shake drop your eyes to one side and force a blush. After releasing the hand shake find an excuse to touch your own breast while the other person is still looking at you.

And the I’ve heard that you are sick, (but not contagious) gonna die in the near future, lost all your money or your spouse, a kid or longtime pet and you know I know about it, so I can’t fake like I don’t know and give you the general public hand shake; take the shake receiver’s hand in yours, cup your left hand over both the engaged in the shake hands. Drop your head slightly, jut your lower jaw while sucking in your lips and pump once or twice slowly, hold for a moment and then release the right hand while the left hand stays in play until the receiver removes his/her right hand. This takes some practice.

But all that goes right out the window when we move straight to hugging everybody and their brother.

I took Wayne to work the other day. We are walking through the huge building. I was trying like hell to keep up with him and starting to perspire ever so slightly, in a not visibly noticeable way, but it made my cheeks a little clammy. I had not yet reached the sweat beads on the upper lips faze.

Here comes Wayne’s boss. He gets a handshake from her, so I extend my hand when they are through but she is coming in for the hug. We end up in a sort of half man hug, complete with reach around, only she was going for the full hug, so my empty hand was between our bodies while I attempted to complete a one handed hug, resulting in an accidental breast brush and full cheek contact.

That’s right, Wayne’s boss got a grope from a sweaty chick who was breathing hard and couldn’t even remember her name. (Reminds me of this one time at band camp, no I’m just kidding.)
Just act like it didn’t happen!

Oh good, here comes a guy Wayne works with; all attention on watching him walk over to us, but I can’t sneak in a sweat dab because the guy is looking at us and I can tell he’s coming in for hug too.

He gets to Wayne first and there it is; the man hug. I think the number of back pats incorporated into the man hug have a direct correlation to how long you have known each other or how well you like each other. No belch from this hug though.

So I raise my arms. I just want to get this moist mess over with, but he catches my right hand on the way up and gives it a good solid shake. WTF I don’t rate a hug!

It’s all good, I am relieved. The last time we were at this guy’s house I had to hug his wife and then figure out what to do with his four kids. Pat them on the head, shake their sticky little hands, hug them, (this can cause screaming in some toddlers so be careful) or just slip them some gum and tell them to go play. And hugging this guy’s trophy wife made my boobs so self conscious I thought they might retract into my body and refuse to come out till I found them a new host.

You can see how all this superfluous hugging can get on a nerve. I mean if you get a creepy hand shake you whip out the hand sanitizer and wipe those cooties away. If you get a creep hug, you may have to go as far as being deloused.

So guys, go back to the hand shake and leave out the hug for when it is really called for. And gals’ we can just shake hands too; we don’t have to do all this touching, it’s not the kind of girl on girl your man wants to see, trust me on this. Save the fakey cheek kissing and nose crinkling hugs for when you are mocking other women.

Shake hands, and even then only if you have too, save the hugs for when they count so they will still count. If we keep up all this haphazard random hugging for the everyday greeting, God only knows what kind of bodily fluids would have to be exchanged to mark a significant event.

January 2, 2009

Why Does This Cake Taste Like Bacon?

My friend, Mrs. Rosenzweig, turned me on to this. Um bacon. Bacon toast!.

If You're Going to Die Anyway, Could You Do It On My Numbers?

The Death Chic is making a list and checking it twice.
If you think you know who's going tits up in 09, check out

The Twelve Things of Christmas

350 Muslims, 13 family members, 7 bottles of wine,
6 homemade scarves, 5 siblings sniping, 4 side dishes, 2 jugs of wine, 1 furry dog, 1 turkey roasted, 1 ham basted, 2 plane tickets and no freaking snow.

So went our Christmas in Ohio.
But I ain’t mad…

Last August it was hot here in Central Florida, and humid and sunny and I was sick of it. Yes it is nice never having to wear socks, but I do get a little tired of having to put on sunscreen just to take the trash out. So I booked a lake side cabin at a park with a big woodsy lodge, in Ohio. I wanted a white Christmas complete with hot cocoa, fire side sing alongs and the ghost of Bing Crosby. In fact, I somewhat resemble Rosemary Clooney…the later years!

Two weeks before the trip, the lodge called me. There would be no Christmas decorations in the park and the bar at the lodge would be closed. They had booked a group of three hundred and fifty Muslims for the entire Christmas week. I can’t blame them, if you have almost every room in your joint booked by a certain group, you accommodate that group, it just good business. But it did kind of squelch my dreams of ski laden holiday revelers, shaking off the snow around a crackling fire while the staff kept the hot toddies flowing and my family, plied by alcohol and the spirit of Christmas, would forgive each other their faults and get along like the Waltons on Prozac.

I guess you know that didn’t happen.

If you want to know what a turd in a punch bowl feels like, stroll through the large lobby/ sitting area of a lodge with 350 Muslims, sporting your favorite Santa hat with the leopard fur band, just in time for the three o’clock check in.

No matter, the park promised to have a cabin decorated with a tree and all the trimmings when we arrived. We picked up a key and headed for the cabin. Funny how 30 degrees and snowing would have been a Christmas miracle, while 40 degrees and raining cold little daggers was so not fun.

Unload $250 worth of groceries, luggage, wet dog, a 20 pound turkey, put on dry clothes start a fire and have a look around. Something is missing. Uhm, I know something is wrong, but I just can’t put my finger on it. Where’s the freakin tree?

Well they offered to get us the key to the cabin with the decorations that we were supposed to have been given, but I was not going through all that again, especially in the rain and near dark. Hell, it takes one guy just to keep the dog out of the turkey and ham. Turn your back for one minute and your eating what's left of a dog slobber basted bird for Christmas dinner.

Anyway, the park comped a night to make up for it. And really, by the time we got 13 family members in that cabin, we would have had to shove the tree up somebody ass and called them an angle just to make room. So it all worked out.

When all was said and done it was a very traditional family Christmas. Some of us got quietly drunk, some quietly sulked, some ceaselessly complained, and Wayne filmed the whole thing so that he might show it to me every time I wax sentimental for Ohio, white Christmases and family gatherings.

Not everybody had a bad time though; the dog got the turkey gizzards and was happier than the year I got a boom box and a copy of Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” on cassette. And while the trip wasn’t what I dreamed off, it wasn’t as bad as I expected, after all they’re my family and I love them all... most of the time.