Friday, November 28, 2008

Bon Voyage - Hopefully??

Last night I was filling out the pre-registration online that the cruise asks for and asked the LSH for his passport#. He retrieves his passport and notices that it expired over a year ago. They used to accept expired passports as proof of citizenship, but no more. The other acceptable proof is a birth certificate issued by the state. His birth certificate was issued by the Board of Health of the city he was born in.
Called the cruise line's "customer service" this AM and the girl was pretty much clueless. Her reply was "MAYBE his birth certificate would be okay, but if it isn't too much of a hassle, MAYBE he should get a state issued one. Oh, and bring your expired passport too. MAYBE that will help."
So, right now, the LSH is on his way to Trenton to hopefully get the birth certificate. Thank you, Governor Corzine, for making the state employees work today. However, I called the dept that issues BCs and no one answered. Just praying that someone is there to help.
So, if you don't hear from me for the next week, that means everything worked out.

MEN. You can't live with them; you can't kill them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I'll see you when I return from vacation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Age Is Just A Number (Yeah, Right)

One thing I know for sure, whoever said "Age is just a number" was under 30. (Actually, it's a quote from Bernard Baruch and I think he was over 30 when he said it. But, for my purposes, we'll ignore that fact right now). I used to say this all the time and, for the most part, it worked. Until recently, when my body responded "Ya wanna bet?" and started reminding me every day just how old me and my body really are.
And I'm quite surprised how this aging process is affecting me. Let's just say, I'm not aging gracefully.
And the reminders that I'm older are everywhere. The first time I was called "m'aam" (by a cashier at the supermarket), I honestly thought she was joking. But, looking at her, I realized I AM a m'aam to her.
Yesterday, I had an appointment and was waiting in the outer room and picked up a People magazine, which at one time, was my bible, and I realized that I didn't know most of the people in the magazine. (It also made me think, why are some of these people famous? When did just showing up make you famous? Paris H, Perez H, Sheila Tequila? Nicole Ritchie (at least I know who her father is).
What scares me even more is that I'm sounding more & more like my parents sounded when I was young.
Over the summer, I was grocery shopping and passed two young teen boys packing out the shelf. One boy told the other that he really was getting into Joe Cocker. Well, I was flabbergasted. How did this kid get into one of the music icons of MY generation? The other boy asked him who Joe Cocker was. The boy's answer???
He's the guy who sings the theme song on "The Wonder Years." Ouch.
Watching American Idol last season which, believe it or not, was the first season I had ever watched it, they did a couple of weeks singing Beatles songs. I was totally amazed how most of them weren't familiar with any of the songs.
Do you know what baby boomers are? They're the generation that grew old, but never grew up. And, I guess that pretty much sums up the way I feel.
So, let me end with a little Maxine philosophy:

Ladies, don't think of it as a hot flash, think of it as a


Monday, November 24, 2008

What A Doll

On my way home from work tonight, I stopped by Toys R Us. Not a store I spend much time in normally, so I took some time to browse. I was immediately drawn to the huge Barbie section.
I loved my Barbie. I had a black patent leather carrying case that held my Barbie and many of her outfits, so I could take her with me everywhere. I can't imagine the number of hours I spent, alone and with girlfriends, playing with her.
At that time, there was only one Barbie and you could buy all different costumes for her. Now I see, you have to buy a whole new Barbie. And what is going on? All the Barbies I saw (and there were plenty) had names like "Rock & Roll Barbie", "Princess Barbie" "Model Barbie" "Beach Barbie," anyway, I think you catch my drift. What happened to the "Career Barbie" or "Teacher Barbie" or "Doctor Barbie?" Hell, even the 2 Ken dolls I saw were "Rock Star Ken" and "Beach Bum Ken" (my description). It looks like Barbie and Ken have decided to go on the dole and spend the rest of their lives partying. I did see a "Barbie For President" doll, but she was wearing a skimpy red, white and blue outfit, just what you expect the first woman president to wear. I checked out a few Barbie websites to see all the different Barbies. The one that freaked me out the most was "Medusa Barbie."
Some of the Barbies released this year are "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie," "Juicy Couture Barbie" and the aboved mentioned Medusa. I understand a lot of these dolls are made for collectors and not really for kids to play with.
It seems that the "working for a living" Barbies are "vintage", which in Barbie World is pre-1980. There you can find Barbie as nurse, astronaut, student teacher, an AA stewardess.
After I finished Barbie World, I went into the next aisle and what did I find there (again in the girls' section) play pots & pans, vacuums, kitchen appliances, brooms, again, I'm sure you know where I'm coming from. I really thought a lot of this stereotyping had disappeared, but I'm very wrong. Of course, the boys' sections were filled with trucks, dinosaurs and army men. It reminded me of a commercial when I was quite young. It was for a toy dashboard with steering wheel and front window with working wipers; not even a full car. It was marketed for boys and I remember telling my mom I wanted one, but she explained it wasn't a toy for girls. I remember thinking that the boys get all the good toys.
Anyway, if there are any Barbie fans out there who want to set me straight, please do. I'd like to think that Barbie can be beautiful, fun, have lots of friends and also can show little girls that they can also be smart.
PS I HAD to use the Lucy/Ethel Barbies on top. Now there's an example of 2 bright, funny successful women!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dog Daze

I realized, just recently, that I have had at least one dog living with me for over 25 years! When I was a little girl, I always wanted an Old English Sheepdog, but my parents said that they were too big and too much work. So, when I left home to make my way in the world, one of the first things I acquired was my first OES, Patrick. We had 14 1/2 fun, goofy years. About 6 months before he passed, I went shopping at the local Petsmart and a shelter that rescued dogs from the pound was there with an array of cats and dogs hoping to be adopted. We had recently returned from Paris and, all around the city, I saw people walking a particular breed of dog that I couldn't identify. I also saw a few of these type dogs prancing down the "Rues" all alone and looking like they owned the city.
Well, imagine my shock when I discovered one of these dogs waiting to be adopted. So besides coming home with the dog food I went to buy, I also brought home a French Briard named Chloe. She was a great, very stubborn, beautiful princess. But I still missed my OES, so a few months later, I brought home a 7 week old OES puppy named Bailey. Chloe was in charge; whatever Chloe did, Bailey did. She actually taught him to relieve himself outside. To this day, he has never lifted his leg on a tree, just squats like the girls. If Chloe didn't feel like eating, Bailey wouldn't eat. He really looked up to her and she treated him like he was her annoying little brother.
Chloe left us on Christmas Eve 2005, so it's just been the B and us for the last 3 years. My boy is getting old; he's 12 !/2 right now and has major problems with his hips. We have mostly wood floors, with a few area rugs, and he can't get up on his own on the bare floors, so we have to give him a boostie. But besides that, he is still a happy-go-lucky sheepdog.
Now my dilemma. Whenever we've gone away, we have always boarded the dogs in a kennel. Friends and family were a bit intimidated by two big dogs. Last time Bailey was boarded (when we went to Spring Training last March), no one was around to help him up when he needed and he got in the habit of urinating while he was laying down. I was concerned that once he got home, he would continue that, but, thank God, he didn't.
But now, we're leaving for our cruise next week and I don't want to put him there again, So this past week, we've been interviewing professional pet sitters. I'm a bit reluctant to give my keys to a stranger and let them have total access to my house.

I didn't get to finish this post last night and, since then, my doggie sitting dilemma has been solved. Our 20 year old niece, Ryan, is going to stay with the boy for the week. She gets to stay here by herself and get a taste of independence and I can relax on my cruise, knowing Bailey is in good hands. A win-win situation.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bon Voyage - Almost!

I've been reading my blogs from this past week and God! Have I been a crabby bitch! So let me move on to something a bit more positive.
The LSH & I are going on a cruise in a few weeks. We've both been on numerous cruises, but never together. He's a big fan of cruising, while my enthusiasm for them has waned through the years. It seemed the larger the ships got, the less I enjoyed them. Sometimes bigger isn't better! Having to choose which dinner seating you wanted, early or late, was, to me, a choice between bad and worse. Early seating (5PM) meant you had to be back to clean up for dinner at 4 and have your dinner rushed so they could get you out in order to clean up and get the late seating in at 8PM. If you had that seating, you usually missed out on the shows and you're not hungry for the midnight buffet, which normally are spectacular.
The assigned seating never worked for me either. What are the odds that you're going to be compatible with the people that you have been assigned to sit with for the entire cruise? It can become terribly uncomfortable when, after the initial small talk, you realize you have nothing in common and wonder how the hell you're going to sit with these folks through 7 excruciating dinners. Once, my ex and I lucked out and sat with 2 very fun-loving sisters and their husbands. We hung out with them for the entire week and had a great time. But, for me, that was the exception.
Also, as I got older, the less I enjoyed having to bring semi-formal clothing for the Captain's dinner and what-not. I think I've become a simpler person as I've "matured."
Eventually, I found the cruise that worked for me. We went on 2 sailings with Windstar Cruises. I got totally spoiled and thought I would never go on any other cruise line again.
However, situations change, and although the LSH would love to sail the Windstar, it's a bit beyond our pocketbook now. So, knowing how much he wanted to go on a cruise, I did some research and came up with NCL which promises no assigned dinner seatings or companions. Eat when you want, when you want in a number of different restaurants. I've read good and bad reviews of this concept, so we'll just have to find out for ourselves. We're sailing on the Pearl. Among the unique amenities it has are a bowling alley and a WII with a 2 story screen. We were also able to find an itinerary that stopped at places neither one of us has been to - Ports of call: Miami; Roatan; Belize City; Cozumel; Great Stirrup Cay and we splurged and got an outside cabin with a private veranda. We've already booked our shore excursions. I'm particularly looking forward to this one. We're also going to do some parasailing and hopefully, relax, reconnect and forget about the real world for awhile.
I'm glad I decided to post this today. Now I'm psyched again!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

Christmas is, as they say, around the corner and I have to be honest, as I've gotten older, I really dread this season. I know I sound like an old humbug, but I just hate what it has become. If I had small children, I know it would be totally different. But here's what it's come to be in my life:
I have a couple of brothers and a niece and nephew on my side. My brothers & I stopped exchanging years ago, when each of my brothers gave each other a gift card for the same restaurant for the same dollar amount. Instead we make sure we get together for a nice dinner during the holiday season. That works just fine for me.
On the other hand, my husband, who is younger than me (yes, I'm a cougar, me & Demi & Goldie & Susan Sarandon). He has 9 brothers and sisters, most of whom are married with 14 kids among them, ranging in age from 3-20. Every Christmas we all get together at one of the sis in laws and every child gets a gift from every aunt/uncle. And every year, I get less and less enjoyment from this. It typically goes like this: the kids can't open the presents until my sis-in-law gives the okay and then it's mayhem. They go plowing thru the gifts looking for the ones with their names on them, ripping one open, taking a quick glance and throwing it down to see what else is there with their name on it. And from all this, we get one thank you card from one of the nieces. I can remember a few years ago, I saw one of my nieces received a Game Boy & I remembered she had gotten one for her birthday a few months earlier. I mentioned that to her and her response was "Yeah, but that was the "old" Game Boy; this is the latest one."
The Christmas after Katrina, I asked the LSH his opinion about suggesting to the family that we take whatever money we normally spend on the nieces/nephews and donate it as a family to the Red Cross. I thought it would be a good lesson for the kids. But he didn't think that suggestion should come from us as we don't have kids.
This year, I contacted the in-laws who I thought would be the most open to a suggestion and asked them what did they think about perhaps just having a Secret Santa for the kids where one family buys for one child or buys a gift for that family. And they were all in for it. However, this group consisted of the sis-in-laws who married into the family. Today was a family get-together and the gift subject came up and we were shot down.
There was a time I enjoyed shopping for Christmas, buying that perfect gift and watching the look on the recipient's face when they opened it. I'm tired of giving gifts simply because I have to.
I'm seriously considering making a donation to a charity in the name of each of the families and be done with it. The LSH is not too thrilled with that idea. But, not to sound corny, but isn't that what Christmas is supposed to be about?

Friday, November 14, 2008


Over the last month or so, due to having day-to-day medical issues, I haven't always looked my best. My issues are chronic. Some days I'm fine, others I'm not. I just never know. But people usually can tell just by looking at me if I'm having a good day or not.
Well, one day this week, I was feeling pretty damn good. I was having a good hair day, took the time to "put on my face" and had on a new outfit that I love, to work. Walking towards my building, I had a little spring in my step, the first time in awhile. You know how it is, when you feel you're looking good, you just exude confidence.
I met a co-worker at the elevator and I said "Good Morning", she acknowledged me also and I saw her do a little double take. I assumed it was because, for a change, I was looking more like my old self. However, what she says is "Are you feeling alright? You just don't look well." Excuse me? This is about as good as it gets! Talk about taking the wind out of my sails. On top of that, later that morning, another co-worker I saw in the hall said pretty much the same thing. And to top it off, the LSH stopped by at lunch and asked me if I was feeling okay.
Ok, I forgive the LSH. He knows about my problems and was just showing concern. But, really, don't tell someone they don't look well if you don't even know if they're ill. Because, you can be pretty certain that if they were okay before, they're definitely not feeling well now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

What A Night

I've been sick (again) the last couple of days, so I haven't felt like writing.
But, Wednesday night, I took my aching body and. along with the LSH, caught the train for the 75 minute ride into Penn Station and made our way over to the Hard Rock Cafe to attend the "Do the Wright Thing" Charity Gala for the David Wright Foundation. David Wright, for those not into baseball, is the 25 year old third baseman for the Mets who established his foundation when he first made it to the Bigs at the tender age of 21. He also owns a large piece of the maternal part of my heart.
I am sad to say though, that, basically, the night was a huge disappointment.
Now, I realize that a charity relies on its corporate donors for the bulk of their donations. And, once in awhile, they have to schmooze them and let them have a night hanging out and having pix taken with sports celebrities. But, as far as I'm concerned, they should just have a private event and don't invite me by opening it up to the public and then making me feel like I'm not a part of it.
It reminded me of the old cruise lines, where they had First Class and steerage. At one point, I was trying to find my way back from the ladies' room and got lost. I passed a room with people in it and, thinking that it was the room where I had came from, walked in. I got one foot passed the door and some guy says "Hey, do you belong here?" I had no idea what he meant so I answered "Yes, I believe so." He then informs me that this was for VIPs only. I wanted to say "well, some people who know me think I'm pretty important" but I didn't think of that till later (as usual).
The only time we saw David was for about 15 minutes on stage during the auction. (On a side note, Carolina Bermudez of Z-100 was the hostess and auctioneer. I have never been a big fan of her radio personality, but she kicked butt calling that auction. Kudos to Carolina!
We left immediately after David Cook's performance. Other posts I've read today said that most people left then too. Those that stuck around were hoping that, now that the place had emptied out, that David would come out and mingle for a bit. But, it didn't happen.
Now, I'm not blaming David for any of this. For most of David's young, adult life, he's been a VIP, but I hope he hasn't forgotten what it's like not to be.
I attended another Foundation event about 2 years ago. It was smaller and there was no VIP section and David wasn't surrounded by handlers and security. He mingled with everyone and everyone had a moment with him. I pray he hasn't gotten so "big" that those days are a thing of the past.
But, despite my disappointment, my maternal feelings for the boy are still intact.
I hope they raised a ton of money, which really was the point of the whole evening, and that he keeps up all his good work for charity. I'll still support the Foundation and send a check every now and then when I'm feeling flush.
See you at Citifield.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tiffany Blue

I had a wonderful surprise when I got to work this morning. On my desk was the famous Tiffany blue bag. Inside was the famous Tiffany blue box. It seems that, because I'm celebrating my 5th anniversary with my company, they gave me a $250 gift card to Tiffany's. Now, I realize $250 isn't going to get me much (and as the LSH said, it's probably going to cost me more than $250 to get something I like), but it was a great surprise. It reminded me of something I haven't thought of for years.
Many, many moons ago, when my gfs and I were young, swinging singles, we went into Tiffany's to have a look around. I said I just HAD to have something from Tiffany's. I looked around for a saleswoman with a friendly face who hopefully wouldn't look down their nose at poor little me and asked her "What's the least expensive item you sell?" She said with a smile on her face "A silver whistle charm". It cost all of $28. So, I had to get it. Believe me, even that $28 was a splurge for me. She also told me that I sure wasn't the first person to ask that question. In fact, the silver whistle was a huge seller. The sad thing is I have no idea what happened to it. As I said, I hadn't thought of that whistle for years. It would be cool if they still sold it, but I doubt that they do (and, even if they did) I probably couldn't afford it!
When I was searching for a picture of the Tiffany bag online, I came upon this:

Would you believe that's a cake? The description is:"covered in tiffany blue fondant and has indented edges to add more realism to the cake. Inside the bag is white cake with raspberry chambord filling."
I have no idea who these folks are, but I have to give them a shout-out. Looks like they're in Jersey:
Makes me want to get married again just so I can order a cake! If anyone reading this orders a cake from them, make sure you tell them that you read about them here! (Maybe they'll give me a free cake!)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What Should I Wear?

That is the age-old question every woman asks themselves any number of times during the year. And the answer to that gets more difficult with each passing year.
When I was a younger version of my self, you could find me in the Juniors department. A bit later, I graduated to "Misses", but still could wear just about anything. However, there comes a time when those clothes aren't quite right anymore. I came to this realization a few years ago in the dressing room of one of my favorite stores. My body had changed, but my fashion mindset hadn't caught up yet and I found myself trying on clothes that, in the day, would have looked great, but, unfortunately, now made me look foolish. Let me explain that I haven't gained a ton of weight; it's just that it redistributed itself around my body (and not to my advantage). It seemed to happen overnight, but I know that wasn't the case.
One of the things that disturbs me is seeing a woman wearing age inappropriate clothes. I worked with a beautiful woman who was definitely trying to hold on to her youth, wearing short, short dresses/skirts, and little, babydoll blouses that did nothing for her and distracted from her pretty face.
Why don't men have this problem? Most department stores divide the women's clothing into 4 areas - juniors, misses, womens and petite. My husband is confused by that. He doesn't understand that he should NEVER buy me anything from the Women's section.
There are some things I won't give up - jeans and t-shirts, to name a couple.
So, time goes on and things don't change. I'm attending a special event this week. Now what should I wear?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Not Worthy

I received a very nice surprise yesterday; I was a recipient of the Superior Scribbler Award! Thanks so much to the sweet Preppy In The City for passing this award on to me. Ohh, now I'm feeling the pressure. Gotta get out my thesaurus and brush up on my grammar!

The rules of the award are as follows:

1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Link me for giving it to you.
3. Link the originating post here
4. Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5. Post these rules for your recipients

And now, in no particular order, are my picks for the Superior Scribbler Award (drum roll please):

1. Metsgrrl One Girl. One Team. One City. If you only read one of her posts, check out her post of 9/28. Even if you're not a baseball fan, if you have any heart at all, by the time you finish reading, you'll have tears in your eyes.
2. Metstradamus The Musings & Prophecies of Metstradamus The After Dinner Mint to your Mets Experience He never fails to make me laugh.

Ok, just so you don't get the impression I'm one-dimensional:

3. Sam Peeps - She'll be very surprised because I've never left a comment on her site. But I guess this is a good way to let her know I'm a fan.
4. Surviving NJ A Jersey Girl Survives Daily LifeNJ You don't have to live in Jersey to relate to what Deb has to say.
5. Hot Flash Central Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Crabbiness Lots of laughs from that great, old girl Maxine. You know who she is. Just check it out.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Do Your Duty

It's Election Day Eve. Looking forward to the end of all the campaign ads. I hate all the negative ads. I'm also sick of all the unsolicited emails I've been receiving from friends. I finally had to ask one of my friends to cease and desist with the emails. After awhile, I started to get offended by them, even if they were supporting my candidate. Sending these emails implies to me that I'm not bright enough to make up my own mind and they have to show me "the light."
Two things I never discuss with anyone is religion and politics. You are NEVER going to change anyone's mind regarding these two subjects.
Don't take the right to vote for granted. I don't care who you vote for - just make sure you vote.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Another Reason Why I Despise The Phils & Their Fans

I didn't hear it for myself as, no way in hell, would I watch the Phil's World Series celebration, but I understand Chase Utley let the "F" word fly when he was thanking the fans, knowing he was being broadcast on live TV. I believe he said "We're the World "F"ing Champs."
I am not a prude. I have heard this word; I have used this word. But, for an athlete to use this kind of language during a public appearance, is disgusting, to say the least.
But, what bothers me even more, were some of the comments I read from people who were there:

Fans at Citizens Bank Park generally were unfazed.

"They hear worse stuff in school," said Ivette Centeno, 44, of Northeast Philadelphia, there with her two children and two grandchildren.(uh did you catch that - 44 years old with 2 GRANDCHILDREN) "As a parent, we can explain that it was just excitement, and that we don't want them to say that."

Malik Muhammad, 29, of West Philadelphia, there with his daughter, Tia, 6, and Tia's mother, Tamika Taylor, 28, called the remark "surprising, but I can't say it disturbed us."

"It's understandable. It's an emotional time for him and for the city. We cheered him. We understood. . . . That's how much love we have for this team."

Perhaps the day's best line came from Steve Reinhardt, 17, an 11th grader from Atco, Camden County, at Citizens Bank Park with his brother, Dane, 12, and their father, Ray, 44, a printer.

"I thought it was awesome," Steve Reinhardt said. "It got the loudest applause of the day."

What the hell is going on in this world when parents aren't "disturbed" by this type of behavior in front of their children? And, for the record, I'm tired of people saying, because I have no kids of my own, that I have no right to criticize parents. Hey, I've never been President of the US; does that mean I have no right to criticize him?

How can anyone condone what he said? Oh, I forgot. They're Phillie fans. That explains alot.