Monday, September 7, 2009

my hotlanta weekend

i wouldn't be caught dead running around nyc in a bathing suit. never in a million years would i ride around whole foods at union square in a shopping cart. and wearing a paper krispy kreme hat while out in public? no freaking way! but i did all those things (and more!) this weekend in atlanta and i couldn't be happier about it.

for some reason, when i visit the fam in atlanta, we do really trashy things. this is by no means a reflection on them= they are classy, upstanding citizens who reside in a lovely neighborhood and have cultural experiences regularly. in fact, most places we go, trashy or not, we're the classiest there. however, when i'm here, i seem to bring out the trash in us all.

saturday, we ventured north to lake allatoona where we were the only visitors without tatoos, more than one set of piercings, and all our teeth. we whizzed around the lake on our little speed boat, tubing, swimming and laughing hysterically all day. we passed houseboats with riders who resembled the intersection of tommy lee, mickey rourke and and billy bob thornton.

sunday, my aunt made the mistake of suggesting the lake lanier water park as a possible destination for the day, and the kids and i rushed her out the door within 12 minutes. similar to our experience at six flags white water earlier this summer, we were the thinnest and cleanest people there. my uncle, whose sarcastic wit never fails to amuse me, calls it the land of the great unwashed. this being labor day weekend and all (a.k.a. the last water park weekend of the summer), the masses were out for their last bath before winter arrives on september 8th.

monday morning, the kids and i dined at waffle house- how an establishment in an upscale neighborhood such as theirs can draw such a colorful clientele, i'm really not sure. while the kids scarfed down waffles and various chocolate drinks, i took in the scene: the family next to us who was rushing "back to the trailer," the trucker on our otherside who was "off to see his mama," and our waitress, who lackin' her front chompers, "highly reccomends the steak 'n eggs," we fit right in wearing our pajamas.

don't get me wrong, we had plenty of cultural experiences this weekend. unfortunately, they are all escaping me right now. but i have to say, i laughed harder this weekend than i have in a long time and couldn't be happier about labor day 2009.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

never grocery shop hungry

there are many reasons:

a) you buy everything in sight
2) you rush because you're excited to get home and eat
d) you get cranky with people who get in your way

keep these things in my mind as you read below...

i left work at 5:30 today. unheard of! AND i went out in the middle of the day. doubly unheard of. and on top of all that, i didn't even go in until 9am. what a day!

i tried to press my luck. i ran home after work. yes, ran. i thought that if i changed quickly and ran downtown, i could beat the "trader joe's rush" and avoid waiting in line outside the store to buy my groceries. mission accomplished! i got to 14th street and the area in front of the store was clear. I strolled right in, grabbed an available cart and started with the veggies. my belly was only slightly rumbling at that point. one whiz by "grand sample station" where they were sampling gazpacho (ew) and i was ravenous. suddenly i was racing myself to see how quickly i could load my cart, stand on line, run home and chow down. and at that same moment, the rest of manhattan decided to join me in my quest for low-cost, healthy groceries. the major annoyances of the evening:

a) the fat lady who, instead of standing BEHIND her cart, decided to stand ADJACENT to her cart therefore blocking the entire walkway in the snacks aisle (don't even tell me that i shouldn't have been in that aisle because it's trader joe's and all snacks are healthy!)
2) the 20-something girls (can i say that disdainfully when i am one?) who insist on shopping with their earbuds in and music blaring, ergo preventing them from hearing when perfectly polite people say EXCUSE ME when trying to pass them in the aisles. do these twits not understand that TJ's is perhaps the most populated 1000 square feet on the island and shopping there requires use of all five (six?) of the senses?
d) the fact that TJs has reversed their packaging on me and now the canned salmon looks like the canned tuna used to look AND the check-out boy with the too-long dreds, who asked about every other item in my cart ("wow, girl, you eat a lotta yogurt, heh heh") didn't bother commenting on the fact that i was buying 10 cans of pink alaskan salmon.
5) the people who CHEAT and get on line BEFORE completing their shopping and continually run to get "just one more thing, can you push my cart?" NO, I CANNOT PUSH YOUR CART, I AM ALREADY PUSHING MINE. FINISH YOUR SHOPPING AND THEN JOIN THE REST OF US.

so what did we (i) learn today? that i shoudln't have grocery shopped hungry because i bought the most random things stuff (soy milk- i've never had that before!, fat free caramel corn, iceberg lettuce), i rushed (mistook salmon for tuna), and i was very cranky with the store-full of inconsiderate nincompoops (no, lady, take those headphones out, turn off your music and concentrate on your shopping, what? those aren't headphones, those are hearing aids because you're legally deaf, sorry!).

after a 1.5 hour excursion, i am home, recovering on the couch. please call me if you'd like 10 cans of salmon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

is blogging without followers like a tree falling in an empty forrest?

you know that age old question: "if a tree falls and there's no one around to hear it, does it really make a sound?" let me pose another question here: if i blog, but i have no followers, am i really blogging? would that actually make it journaling?

what's the point of blogging? is it:

a) to share daily events with friends and family far away?
b) to journal my life for myself?
c) to create a "cyber network" for myself of people who will begin to log on every day just to see what i'm doing even though i don't know them in person?
d) different for everyone?

Monday, August 17, 2009

why is it more acceptable to be cranky at 8am than 4pm?

i'm a morning person. my parents will both tell stories of a sullen teenager who, through high school and college, wouldn't emerge from her bedroom until 11am most weekends. but now, my internal clock has changed and i'm the one waking the rooster who needs to wake the farmers at dawn. and, i'm pretty pleasant in the morning. by the time i've showered and gotten out the door, i'm ready to have a polite conversation, even ready to have a few laughs.

come 4pm, i'm pretty tired. i've already been awake for 12 hours and accomplished most of what i need to for the day. i get a little cranky. sometimes edgy. a new acquaintance with a fantastic vocabulary has even called me snarky. i try not to subject others to it; i try to maintain composure, do what i need to do, and get myself home. but sometimes, just sometimes, it doesn't work. and i lose my cool. and people say, "why are you so cranky? does someone need a nap?" and i want to reply, "no, you jerk. i don't need a nap. but while you were being all nasty and sullen this morning until you had your 47th cup of coffee at 11am, i was running errands, conducting phone calls and being productive." no one would dare question that person about not being "on the ball" at 9am, but suddenly, when i'm tired at 4pm, it's a federal offense?

this is just one more example of ways that society is against early risers. first, there's no stores open for us to get errands done. then, we don't do things like clean the apartment because the vacuum is too loud for the sleeping neighbors. so we can't go out, but we can't be productive at home, and to top it all off, it's a crime to be tired in the afternoon? sheesh.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

what's the difference?

i'm not 100% certain that i understand the difference between "relaxing" and "wasting time." i know that today i was finally able to relax, but i also feel like i wasted a lot of time. but was the time really wasted if i relaxed? what a conundrum!

hanging around the house this morning, i did a whole lot of nothing. i watched some tv, i read a bit of my book and then i decided that a leisurely morning wasn't in the cards. i showered and dressed quickly and ran out the door to subtle tea. subtle tea, a small tea cafe near the office, is my weekend work station. with great tea, a long, desk-like table and complimentary wireless internet, it's the perfect place to set up shop for a few hours of weekend work. in fact, i've spent enough time there that some of the other weekend regulars are beginning to look familiar. there's a tall, hairy guy who sits there and stares into space, a gal with some sort of job in finance, and the "barista" who doesn't stand behind the counter, except when there is a customer who requests to order. yes, you have to ask him if you can order and then, and only then, will he get up from the table and walk around to take your oder. today i was sitting next to finance girl. but instead of burying herself in papers and a calculator, she had a laptop and book without a cover. the unmarked book peaked my curiousity and i'll admit that i snuck frequent glances at her computer screen (i, apparently, am the reason they invented privacy shields for computer screens). turns out she was working on her grad school admissions essay and resume. good for her! unfortunately i didn't recognize any of the schools she's applying to. hey, i admitted they were "frequent" glances! other than spying on my neighbor, i was quite productive at subtle tea.

one of my tasks was putting together my updated job description as requested by my boss. i tried not to let it bother me that she was asking for it at all (her email, addressed to all her direct reports, clearly said do not panic), and set out on revising the original one that i received when i was hired. a quick glance at that antiquated piece of paper and i immediately realized that it was less revising and more recreating. in the past two years, my job has evolved into so much more than i was hired for. while adding bullet point after bullet point, i had to constantly silence the voices in my head who were questioning my 10% pay cut. i know it wasn't personal, it was across the board, and meant to be a temporary protective measure for the company until the economy strengthens, but today it just felt frustrating. i've tried my hardest not to be bitter about it, to keep my chin up and my attitude positive, but i'll finally admit that today it was very hard. i'm stopping this here, because i'm not turning this blog into a forum to whine about work.

on my way home from subtle tea, i stopped at the local deli for a quick bite on the go. it's also the deli where i go for lunch some weekdays. the cashier was the same one who works during the week, and he felt so bad that i was schlepping my laptop around on the weekend that he gave me a discount on my snack AND two punches on my frequent buyer card. two more lunches and i'll get a free one (re-read previous paragraph about 10% pay cut). score!

i walked in my apartment around 6:15 and thought to myself, "home from work before 6:30. great!" and then i realized it's saturday. and it's not great that i was out doing work at all. and then i sat on the couch. and i haven't moved since. so was i relaxing? or wasting time? do i really lead such a structured life that i feel guilty for spending 5 hours on the couch watching tv and talking to the cat?

i'm signing off now with this agreement. if i go into work on monday feeling well rested and ready for the week, my relaxing day today wasn't wasted time. if i'm exhausted on monday, well, i don't be doing this again!

Friday, August 14, 2009

jumping on the blogging band wagon

several months ago, my friend/employer/idol, didi, and i exchanged a few early morning emails. quickly realizing that we're both morning people, we began sending brief snippets several mornings/week. one morning, for reasons now seemingly unmemorable, we listed all the things that we accomplished before we actually got out the door to our respective day jobs. not particularly remarkable for any reason other than sheer length, the topic led didi to admit that she was thinking about starting a blog. and on august 12th, 2009, didi gave birth to her third baby (or fourth, if you consider mouse, the cat), part journal, part marvel at her morning productivity, the blog is a daily escape where i can read what another successful, yet neurotic new yorker, does with her free time. and the idea got me thinking...

i've never been someone with a ton of leisure time. in grade school, i went right from class to ASR (after school recreation for those of you not in the know). and then in middle and high school, the last bell would ring and i'd rush to a sports practice or game. after that, i'd run home, scarf down some dinner, do some homework and head off to bed, trying to spend a few minutes with my family in between. college was more of the same, yet instead of going to sports practice after class, instead i'd run home, do some studying, grab some food and then go to softball practice until midnight only to drag myself home, sleep a bit, and do it all again the next day. now that i'm a gainfully employeed "adult," with a job that seems to require more hours than i want to give it, i have even less free time. i'm not entirely certain why that's the case given that homework has been removed from the middle school/high school/college equation, but the simple fact is, my free hours are few and far between.

didi's blog concept lead me to question not only what i do with the four hours between waking and working, but what i do with ALL my free time. i don't exercise excessively (anymore), i don't go to sports practices or games, and i don't attempt to solve world peace or global warming. when i'm not hunched behind my desk in my 7x9 cell, i waste time. perhaps by keeping a daily record of these free hours, one day, i might be able to fix the health care situation, clean up NYC streets AND clean the little box between leaving work at 7pm and going to sleep at 9pm. or maybe not. the jury is still out.

what do you do with your free time?