Monday, March 30, 2015

Post Delayed until evening of 3/31

Preparing for a job interview....

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Show Me the Way to Go Home

I’m tired and I want to go to bed…..

Ah, so last Friday we flew home from overseas – except there was no way to get home…

I’m not sure if you can read all the boards above, but just about EVERYTHING is cancelled.

The airline did not reschedule us and when I called they said they could get us home on Sunday on a 6:24pm flight.  SUNDAY???  GUH.  

Nope, Sundays not gonna work for us.  We flew into New York at 10:30am on Friday.  

New York to Detroit – dozens of flights a day leave from the three New York area airports – DOZENS, and we landed in the morning – not at night.  All we could see were Delta planes– taking off everywhere and our carrier was almost completely cancelled (grounded).  Plus there was no snow – so what did you do airline?  Piss the union off??  Still not sure – they gave us no reason other than “air traffic control” was responsible – so nope, not their problem.  

So, me and the Customer Service man did a very long dance, neither one of us enjoyed – you know, like being made to go to prom with your long lost, blind date, never met before, cousin kind of dance.  We spent way too much time together, he held all the cards (i.e., we went to the prom in your cousins Dune Buggy and you’re up-do got all wind blown, but he was your only ride home) so you are stuck, with him, until you can make an escape – home…. 

When all was said and done, we found a flight that gave us 2 hours to collect our luggage and get to another New York airport, on our dime (or should I say Benjamin)– super fast. Haha, super fast – in New York City – haha!   (Where’s cousin Joe’s dune buggy when you need it)?

Plus, we couldn’t go home, we had to go to Chicago first – you know, for a quick look around – to make sure all was well at O’Hare.

A search on the holy internet provided us with a private car service, we called and the phone was answered by an angelic lady who was a delight to do business with.  Um, airlines – a little Customer Service training can go a long way, if you know what I mean….She forwarded me directly to the driver, who was there in 7 minutes flat.

A little private car humor for you (has to be a running joke in NYC) is to “look for the black GM Suburban”.  When you walk out the door, they are ALL BLACK SUBURBANS.  After we almost got into a privately owned one – we waited for the man with the “Mr. Beth” sign in his window (was in too much of a hurry, didn’t snap a photo – but I like it – I may go by that name from now on).

Travelled the streets of New York slowly, slowly, slowly, sped through the tunnel and across the bridge and then slowly, slowly, slowly.  All the while following on google maps in the back seat, counting the minutes…..

You know what, we made it to LaGuardia, on time, luggage rechecked – all the way through to Detroit – AHHHH – can you hear the angels singing?  We sure did.

Then, then the snow started to fall.  OMG – stop, stop, stop – immediately stop it, now.  After a de-icing, the flight took off – 20 minutes late.  I would like to say nothing was cancelled at LaGuardia – so Newark – you are all a bunch of (insert proper cat descriptor) here.

Ok, in the air – we did have an hour to make the next connecting flight (now shortened by 20 minutes), have to change terminals – the flight attendant told us they are close to each other – just through a tunnel.  Thank God we don’t have to collect our luggage.

We land – Chicago is sunny and dry as Brut Champagne.  Change terminals, make a pit stop and honestly, walk straight on to the next flight when we get to the gate.  Five minutes later and the gate would have been closed.

So in case you were wondering, O’Hare looked fine, in fact it looked great on our couldn’t have been better ten minute “layover” and smelled like Garrett’s popcorn.  Good thing we didn’t stop for any! 

As usual, it's upright in my camera and in the folder - just not here.....

Friday, March 20, 2015

Snow Angels (Re-post)

Hi all, taking a breather for a re-post today since I know how busy my day is going to be.  I posted this on St Patricks Day 2013 - Yup, I thought it was just this year and last year that were rough Winters - funny how time makes you forget!  Just trying to get rid of the Winter omen because today is the first day of Spring!!  Hallelujah!!!  Bring on the flowers.

Not to be confused with the ones that you make yourself by lying in the snow and flapping your arms and legs to make wings and a gown.  Nope, this is a REAL ONE!

Now I hear Snow Angels are elusive and only come out in the most rotten of weather.  They can be found in all shapes and sizes.  You see, angels are not of one age or gender.   They tend to appear only out of the goodness of their hearts.  They ask for nothing in return.

If you are not aware of these elusive Snow Angels, let me fill you in on their purpose in the cold – they come around after a big snowfall, sometimes they come out while the snow is still falling, if it has been going for hours already.  They appear at all times of day.  You will know they are around by the sound of the motor on the four wheeler or snow blower or by the scrape of a shovel on the ground.

They visit only your sidewalk and your driveway, they do not bother you at the house.  Their main focus is on the grandma on the corner, the single woman, the elderly man down the street, nearby vacant houses and the person who travels for a living and is not currently home.   

They know all.

I hear that not every neighborhood has one.  That is truly a bummer.  There are a few around here; I think they may congregate in like places.  I’m not sure if snow angels are competitive, but the sight of one usually means there are more in the area and it’s possible after the next snow you will see a different one.  

I have to tell you, we see ours all the time.  This one is the most popular and his sightings are the most frequent.  He can do more in less time than any other snow angel.  Plus he has the best equipment! Must have some extra brownie points with the man upstairs to have gotten this ride!   

It is possible this one is THE Arch Snow Angel.  

But you dare not disturb them to ask any questions– they have a task to do and usually you are on the benefitting end of it, no one wants to stop that.

They are good angels and I am so glad we live in an area where they are prevalent.  If they aren’t in your area and you have huge snow dumps, you may want to ask yourself why.  Maybe you can assist until they start to congregate near your home?  I know they are appreciated, we’ve had this one ten years. He’s invaluable.   

And no, I don’t think he’s willing to switch neighborhoods and I certainly am not going to ask him!!!  Get your own…

Sunday, March 15, 2015

You Live Where?

Oh youth.  

The other day I was dreading buying a new pair of jeans.  It really is a terrible thing – except they now have stretchy denim in almost everything – a fact I was naively unaware of. 

But back to the dread.  

When I was a bit younger, there were two brands of jeans that always fit – Silver and Guess.  My girlfriend and I would go to this badass jeans store at a mall in Windsor, Ontario and try on jeans till our hearts content – I would always leave with a pair of Guess or Silver.

I weighed less that 100lbs until I hit the age of 30, trying on jeans was not a tough thing.

Now I am acutely aware that I am no longer under the age of 30 or less than 100lbs.  Something I didn’t really think was a bad thing, until I walked into a mall store one day and the clerks looked at me like I was over 1000 showing a facial expression that said “really now lady – do you think there is anything in this store for you”??

So yeah, it has become very difficult to shop for jeans.  Suddenly you are self conscious.  I have no idea why – time certainly does not go in reverse – so I can’t fix my age.  And while I am no longer itty bitty, I am not biggy wiggy either.  

If I can still wear a bikini on the beach – I can certainly shop for jeans in a mall dammit!

So I win a $200 gift card to Guess.  Cool, 200 bucks – that’s great!  There is a Guess store at an area upscale mall, I’ll go there and get jeans.  

Did I mention I won this card a year ago?  I did not, well, I did.

And hubby and I did walk through the Guess store, about a year ago – to which I turned to him and said, oh not today – I’m not feeling like trying on clothes.  But really, what I wasn’t feeling was being over 30 in the Guess store in an upscale mall that makes me question what shoes I’m wearing, let alone pick out jeans and ask the teen/twenty girl for a key to the dressing room.  Just didn’t want “the look”.

Yesterday – I go.  By myself.  I pick out jeans, the girl encourages me to try a size larger (thanks – old and fat now).  I pick out the jeans I think will fit me and grab the size larger, to appease the teen/twenty – who is being nice enough, while also telling me what I can’t pull off (which in her opinion was the black jeans with “the finish” – I’m ok with that, not really into “the finish”).  She is also shocked that I don’t care if they are skinny jeans or boot cut.  I don’t- I have both, I think I look ok in each style.

Head to the dressing room, dreading every step – thinking this will be a disaster.  But it wasn’t.  Everything fit.  EVERYTHING.  God bless stretchy denim.  And do you know what else – the first pair of jeans I picked up, in the size I thought I wore (which I do) is the pair of jeans I bought – and I still have $130 to spare!  

So I head to the counter, with my little jeans purchase and she needs to see my ID to use the prize card.  

Did I mention this was an upscale stuffy mall that makes you question what you are wearing when you walk in the door – before you ever go into a store?  So Teen/Twenty thought she was dealing with a local – but she was not – she was dealing with an Eastsider.

Suddenly I am the coolest person in the store.  Alarm bells and confetti could have fallen from the ceiling.  

Apparently she to is an Eastsider and went to the high school that is just about in our back yard on the street behind us.  We live in a very diverse area and I love it here.  I love our house, my neighbors, the neighborhood, the convenience of uncrowded streets (plus all the old Italian bakeries and meat markets).  

It’s funny how people judge people without knowing anything about them – then they come across one factual tidbit of information and everything changes.   I hope somehow, in some way I just made one more over thirty year old woman’s task of trying jeans at a mall store one step easier.  Of course, the stars are going to need to align and she will have to get the same teen/twenty I did AND live on the Eastside.

It could happen, right?  

Yeah – well, I got new pair of jeans.  WooHoo!!  But I’ll have to go back – I still have $130 left to spend…

Thursday, March 12, 2015

One Springy Dingy

Do you know what today was?  Today was the warmest day we have had since Christmas Eve.  Yes world – Christmas Eve!!  At least that is what my local weather forecaster told us.  It is March 11th.

That is almost three months ago!  Wow.  And really, we are struggling to match a temperature that came at the end of December? 

It has been freezing or below for three months.  

Mostly below – because I used to think the months of January and February were cold.  The 20’s are usually average for those two months and for years I walked six blocks from the parking structure to the building I worked in and would always curse those twenty degree days.  Of course, I was also thankful to be in a structure – I never had to scrape snow or ice off my car – so bad/good – it all worked out – but man, brrrrr, that’s a long walk in the cold.

Hell, this year 20 was downright balmy.  And thank God I got rid of that six block walk!
It was so cold that when you walked outside and took a breath – something you don’t ever think about (until it is difficult), you gagged.  

It would instantly hit the back of your throat and you would gag, cough or choke.  I cannot ever remember this being a common thing.  It was awful, walk out the door – gag.  Drive in the car, forget it was choking cold out, get out of the car – gag.  Run into the store, run out of the store - forget again it was negative something or other, coughing fit.  Then finally you’d pull the scarf up over your face, because c’mon – ya gotta breath, right?

So Spring, yeah you Spring – last year we had 100+ inches of snow, this year it was negative more than it was positive – we’ve had a couple of rough winters here – do you think you could arrive on time this year?  

The calendar tells me you are nine days away – oh glorious Spring, please come and bring the crocuses, please.  And no April Fool snowstorms this year – ok?

Everybody – let’s all count down the nine days together – starting now – Nine, Eight….

Monday, March 9, 2015

Air Tight

Man is it cold outside!  All these below freezing days, week after week after week.  

It hurts to even breathe when you step outdoors.

You know our buildings been cold lately.

There must be something we can do about that besides wear an extra sweater and turn up the heat.  Heat is so expensive these days – our bills have doubled over the last two years.

I hear you should insulate un-used spaces.  You know, like you attic at home.  

We have at least 32 inches of insulation blown into our attic – it has helped a lot.  So instead of cold air blowing through the wide open space, it is stuffed with fiberglass or recycled chopped up cloth.  It keeps the place warmer and stops the cool breezes.  

We have that glass stairwell we never use and its ALWAYS COLD.  

If we put 32 inches of blown insulation in the attic space that is five or six feet tall, do you think an equivalent amount of space to height ratio of insulation will work in the stairwell? 

Of course we can’t blow it in, that would be silly.  Plus we may want to use the stairwell again and we’d have to vacuum all that out – it would get everywhere and really, who has a vacuum bag that big?  

I know, let’s call someone and see how much batting it would take to do the square footage of the stairwell, then we will have the correct ratio of insulation to empty space.

And there you have it folks, my theory on this bang up insulation job at someones “Corporate Headquarters” (I removed the rest of the info from the sign).  

Hubby and I were driving around two weekends ago and spotted this.  I did not take a picture then, but it never left my mind.  So I went in search of it a couple days ago – low and behold, it is still there!

So nope – it is NOT a remodeling job, because really – anybody can finish an insulation job in one or two days (really, anybody).  If it sits there two weeks – it’s a real thing.

Oh how proud everyone must be to work there – now that they are warm and all.  Oh and I’m sure a bonus – it’s probably cut down on road noise too.  Ah peaceful and toasty!