Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Mother, the Grape Thief

A week ago I was at Keuka Lake in New York. It's one of the Finger Lakes and if you aren't familiar with the area, the hills around the alakes have lots and lots of vineyards and wineries. We (our friends Sharon and Kathi, Mom and I) did wine tastings at two of the vineyards (and they were free!) and had lunch at a third. Right now it's right befor ethe harvest and the green, yellow, red and purple grapes are hanging off the vines, ready to be plucked.

Well that's what my mother wanted to do. After lunch we walked by the vineyard and I took some pictures. Mom wanted to taste the grapes. I reminded her that was stealing but she was determined to taste the grapes so while I snapped some photos she helped herself. And not just to one little grape, she grabbed a handful and then another and then another. The arm in that photo is Mom stealing some grapes. She said some tasted good and others didn't. I was more concerned about a burly security guard hunting us down and worried that Kathi would have to be our get-away driver.
Later that night Mom said, "If I die in my sleep tonight it's because of the grapes."
"Okay," I said, "Why?"
"I didn't wash any of those grapes I ate. They were probably covered in pesticides!"
"Well," I said, "if you do die that's karma for stealing them in the first place."
Thankfully the grapes didn't kill her.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

There Is a Coolness in the Air (Even If It Is Only at Night)

Fall is here. You might not know it if you live in Colorado. We really only have two seasons: summer and winter. Today it was in the low 80s. Last week it snowed. Fall in Colorado doesn't last very long, a week or two at least. The Aspen trees turn yellow and orange.

Autumn in Colorado

Back east fall lasts for two months. The leaves on various trees turn yellow and orange and red and purple. It's beautiful. I miss east coast falls.

Autumn in New York

But here in Colorado, the nights are cooling down even if it's still 80 degrees during the day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tired Traveler

I love to travel but I don't like the getting there and back part. Just got back from a week long visit to see family and friends in New York and today wasn't too back. Flight got into Denver really early (more that 30 minutes) and we didn't have to wait for our bags. How often does that happen? Hardly ever. Now to unpacking (so much easier than packing -- just have to throw everything into the hamper!). Good visit but definitely tired.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Reason Some Girls Stay Single

My cousin recently posted a link on her Facebook page to a recording that you just have to listen to. A girl in Toronto was out with friends having drinks on and this guy approaches her and won't leave her alone, telling here how cute she is. She ends up giving the guy her business card to get rid of him. The recording are the two message he left this girl after getting her card. Listen all the way through, this guy is a total tool!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where Have All the Gentlemen Gone?

I have to say, one of the nicest things about being a woman is when a gentleman holds the door open for you. I don’t mean the men you are with (boyfriends, husband who should be doing that for you anyway) but complete strangers. And I don’t mean those guys that walk through the door first and then hold it open behind them waiting for you to catch up. I’m talking about full fledge gentlemen who pick of their pace to get to the door before you and hold it open.

My office building is full of men (or should I say male human species). I know that in my office and the floor I work on (the fourth floor out of eight) the men out number the women. But I can tell if the guy who is walking to the buildings doors at the same time as me will be a gentleman and open the door for me. Most of them are older men (in their 40s or older). Most of the guys in their 30s will do the hold the door open behind them thing. And then there are the guys who don’t even care and let the door close right behind them even though I’m less than two feet away.

Common courtesy, where has it gone?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Missing: Pint of Ice Cream (72 Hours)

This week I lost a pint of ice cream. How do you do that? you ask. Yeah, I'd like to know the answser to that too. After work on Monday I went to the grocery store to get a few items including an $0.88 pint of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. I went through the self-checkout and I had my own bag. When I got to the car I put the bag in the seat next to me. When I got home I remember taking the ice cream out of the bag and thinking, "Wow, this got pretty soft. Better put it in the freezer right away." Less than 60 minutes later with spoon in hand I opened the freezer and there was no ice cream. I took everything out of the freezer. No ice cream. I look through everything in the refrigerator. No ice cream. I checked all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen. No ice cream. I checked the living room, the bedroom, the bathroom, No ice cream. All night I kept going back to the freezer to see if might have miraculously re-appeared but it didn't. It's been 72 hours and I haven't found a sticky mess and smelled anything weird. Where the heck did that ice cream go?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sad Day for America

It’s going to be very, very rare that I address a political issue here but I will sometimes talk about a current event issue. First let me state that I think our country is in a sad shape and needs to heal. That doesn’t mean that the government has to fix the all the problems (the DO have lots of problems to fix though). We need to help with the healing process as well. The people of this country need to support each other, show compassion, common sense and common courtesy. We definitely didn’t do that today.

Today the President of the United State spoke to school children across America about the importance of staying in school. And I think that every American on this planet (I don’t care if you voted for Obama or not, what the color of your skins is, what your religion is…you get the picture) should have been supporting him 100% in this endeavor. But we didn’t. Today wasn’t about the healthcare reform, this wasn’t about the economic crisis, this wasn’t about the war. This was people getting upset about….the President telling kids to stay in school. Am I missing something? Should kids drop out of school? Is this really wrong people? Hello? President Obama is not the first president to talk to elementary school kids and he won’t be the last.

All the hoopla over this (and yes, it was hoopla – a waste of time and energy) just goes to show that we aren’t working together to help heal this country. I’m not saying you can’t have an opinion because you should. But if you don’t like Obama’s healthcare plan, voice your opinion at the appropriate place and time. This wasn’t it. Yes, today was a sad day for America.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hooray! Summer is Almost Over!

I am so glad summer is almost over. It’s my least favorite season. There is really nothing good about summer. It’s just plan hot. I don’t like hot. I like mild or cool but not hot. Cold is better than hot. I long for cool, crisp fall days with light breezes coming through my window. I can’t wait for days when I can go outside in jeans and a sweater and feel totally comfortable. I can wait for the nights that are cold enough to have a crackling fire in the fireplace.

I love water. I really, really love the ocean (any time of year) but unfortunately I don’t live near an ocean or even a lake (lakes here in Colorado are really just large ponds or reservoirs). Summer is for vacation right? The majority of working adults don’t get a “summer vacation.” If we want to take a vacation in the summer we have to use up our precious vacation time. I use the word precious because I work about 250 days a year and get 10 vacation days. That’s it…10.

Another thing to hate about summer is the clothes. Unless you have a perfect or near-perfect body summer clothes suck. Enough said about that.

Fall can’t get here soon enough.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Joys of Air Travel

Later this month I will be taking a trip that will require me to get on an airplane. This isn’t something new to me. I really love to travel, I love to go to new places, and old, and see different things, etc. etc. What I don’t love is getting there. While I can totally appreciate the convenience of air travel and can see how far we’ve come in the last 100 years, it’s still a rather miserable experience.

The first thing that makes it miserable is the cost of a ticket. Sure you can find cheap tickets but at a price that isn’t monetary. A cheap ticket usually means you have to leave really early in the morning (before 6 a.m.) or late at night (after 10 p.m.) and you will most probably have a layover. That layover can be 30 minutes (which means there is a pretty good chance you’ll miss your connecting flight) or 3 hours or more (have you been to the airport in Atlanta?).

And let’s not forget the hidden costs. With the exception of Southwest Airlines, you now have a fee to check a bag (anywhere from $15 to $50). With Frontier you have to pay to watch any of the in-flight entertainment and with some airlines you have to pay extra for the food (which, less face it, is pretty subpar food). But now thrifty Southwest Airlines feeling the economic crunch and is offering the option of paying a fee to get place in the boarding line. I’ve never flown on Southwest Airline but from what I understand there are no seat assignments, it’s pretty much get in line and find a seat when you get on. But now, for only $10, you can reserve a space in line. Not an actually seat but a place in line to get a seat. Guess it’s kind of like slipping the host/hostess a tener at a restaurant to get a table. Anyway, here’s the story:

I have never understood why people crowd around the gate entrance when they start boarding the plan, especially when you have a seat assignment. Why would you want to sit on a plane any longer than necessary? Do you think they’ll give your seat away if your butt isn’t in it within five minutes of the gate attendant calling your row?

Now the really miserable part is when you actually get to your seat. Unless you are 5 feet 5 inches or shorter and weigh less than 100 pounds those seats are so not comfortable. There isn’t enough leg room, the arm rests are too low and forget putting the tray table down if the person in front of you has the seat reclined all the way back.

Yes, I’m so not looking forward to five hours on an airplane. And don’t get met started on those people who whip out their cell phones the minute the plan touches the ground.