Archive for July, 2012

The word noise comes from nausea, the Latin word for sickness. Noise is all around us. Sometimes it’s thrust upon us when we’re sitting in traffic and the guy next to us is blasting their music. Sometimes it comes into our homes, uninvited when a neighbor is blasting their music or a passing car’s music causes the pictures hanging on your wall to vibrate. Sometimes it is invited, by invitation of an iPod. I believe it is the ipod which is responsible for my husbands hearing loss.

It has happened slowly over time that we didn’t recognize it for what it was as nothing was out of the ordinary. When I asked my husband a question and got no reply – that was not unordinary. When I spoke to my husband and got no reply – that was not unordinary. The man is not big on verbal communication, at least with me.

It wasn’t until recently when I had a fight with him because I thought he was ignoring me (more so than usual,) but it turned out he didn’t hear a word I said, that I thought things were unordinary. When I questioned if he thought he was losing his hearing due to his excessive listening of an extremely loud iPod, he shouted, “YES!”

I’ve decided to have some fun with this and at times, look him in the eye and move my lips, pretending to talk. He gets frustrated thinking he can’t hear me. I delight in this payback for all the years I talked and he chose not to hear. I must admit his hearing loss is sure to give me a whole lot of fun for the second half of our marriage. What? There’s nothing unordinary about it!

I recently heard about a Divorce Hotel in the Netherlands where couples can check in on a Friday (married) and checkout on a Sunday (divorced.) Your marriage is over in three days. On staff to make the process run smoothly is lawyers, mediators, psychologists and real estate agents. There’s also a representative from Hallmark with a ‘congratulations on your divorce’ card. (I made that up.)

I think we can make divorces even shorter by having drive-thru divorces. Imagine going thru the McDonalds drive-thru and placing your order. “Um, I’ll have a Big Mac, a shake and a divorce. What’s that? No. No, I don’t want fries with that.” I’m convinced it’s an idea whose time will come.

The problem with marriage, as I’ve written before is the ‘Till do us part,’ thing; it’s so permanent. When the first people got married the life span was short. If you got married at twenty-five and died at thirty, you and your spouse had hardly any time to get on one another nerves. It was when people started living longer that marriage was a life sentence and divorce came into play.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “All marriage licenses should have to be renewed.” After five years if you decide your marriage is like a good book you haven’t finished and want to read the till the end – renew. However, if after five years, you decide marriage isn’t for you (or your spouse isn’t for you) – don’t renew. No muss! No fuss! The two of you walk away with no hard feelings and best of all – no legal fees.

But, whether you choose to renew or not renew, afterwards you can go to the McDonald drive-thru and celebrate.

According to a newspaper article a group of scientist is stirring, mixing and measuring to build a menu for a planned trip to Mars in the 2030s. The menu must sustain a group of 6 to 8 astronauts and keep them healthy. I can’t even begin to imagine shopping for a three-year supply of groceries and planning the meals.

I find it hard enough to plan a weekly menu for my family. Even though I find writing a weekly menu does cut down on midweek trips to the grocery store and spontaneous spending, that’s not why I do it. I do it because of my husband. When we got married the first meal I made for my husband was lamb chops (it was the only thing I knew how to make.) The second meal I made for him was leftover lamb chops. He finished sucking on his bone and informed me he did not like leftovers. I found this surprising since his mother would cook a weeks worth of meals on a Saturday and serve leftovers during the week. I loved going into the refrigerator and seeing all the tin foil. Sometimes I wore sunglasses as it hurt my eyes.

Now he tells me he’s sick and tired of leftovers as he’s had them his whole life? Now? Why didn’t he tell me before we got married? Why didn’t he give full disclosure? This meant two things: 1) I had to learn to cook and 2) I had to plan what I would cook – the birth of the weekly menu. Lucky for me my father-in-law was a butcher and we got our meat from him. I’m sure he must have wondered how just two people could eat so much meat, but I never told him why. Lamb chops were still on the menu, but only once a week.

The other night at my daughter’s house for dinner I noticed she’s carrying on the tradition as she had a magnetic monthly menu calendar on her wall. I give the kid credit. To plan a monthly menu is no small feat. When I spotted grandma’s meatballs listed I thought that a sprinkle of Grandma and meatballs make for a nice Sunday meal.

Ladies can rent gowns, handbags and accessories. And now, thanks to two college students, according to a USA Today article, men can rent ties. With TieTry a customer is allowed to buy for one to five ties with price anywhere from $11.99 to $22.00 a month. The ties are delivered with an enclosed, prepaid envelope for return. Customers can keep the tie for a month, or return it for a new one. If the tie’s damaged or stained the customer is charged for the value of the tie.

I think this rent-a-whatever system is great for people with commitment issues (really, it takes an emotional toll to buy a tie) and great for avoiding buyers remorse.

I wound up with buyers remorse the last time I bought makeup. It’s always a gamble to buy makeup when you can’t try it on. When I did apply it I realized it wasn’t for me. Only, did I get upset? Yes! Did I suffer buyers’ remorse? Of course I did! But, rather than crying over spilt milk (or rather foundation) I sent it off to my girlfriend who would be a perfect match.

Renting clothes is great for the shopper who has trouble making up his or her mind. We all know the shopper who shops for a sweater, tries on every single sweater, looking for the perfect one and then 50 sweaters and 12 hours later, buys the first sweater they tried on.  With renting clothes if it turns out the first sweater was the best sweater, so be it. This cuts down on time spent in the store and grumbling from the shopper’s companion. I know my husband would appreciate it. He lives with the belief that the first sweater is always the best sweater.

It looked the same as it did before we went on vacation. It sat there hard and rusty. The only difference was it had dried up. I’m talking about the brillo pad atop our sink. Since it sat, unused for a week, it went from wet to dry.

Brillo pads, like goldfish, do not have a long life expectancy. One day you’re using a pad that’s new and soapy, the next it starts to rust. When holding it you notice the color has waned and the suds with it. You use it to the point that it’s rusted thru and thru and emits rust colored, dirty water; like the dirty water at your local gas station that you clean your windshield with. You use it even though it’s past its prime and has taken on an odor.

You use it because, damn it, why should you be the one to replace it and not your husband. I mean…why can’t he replace it, just once? Does he not see it? Of course he sees it! The man’s not blind! He’s the one who does the dinner dishes! Doesn’t it bother him? Oh, right. I forgot, if underwear on the floor doesn’t bother him, why would an old brillo pad? So, I leave it be, because he leaves it be. We play a subtle game of avoidance. We’re lucky this is a brillo pad we’re talking about and not one of out kids as we’d be carted off to jail for child neglect.  I’ll admit our behavior is childish.

When we returned home from vacation I decided to replace the old with the new. That night, after dinner, when he’s doing the dishes, he picks up the new pad and under his breath, I hear him say, “It’s about time.” It’s about time? Let’s just see how long I’ll let it go next time. Two can play this game… and nobody’s better at playing childish games than me and my husband.

Normally I don’t get many bug bites, but this summer is the exception. One grew so large it had its own zip code. People started using it for target practice. Then in the course of one day I got five bites, all located on my upper, upper thigh. It’s not bad having bites on that part of your body, if you’re home and have to scratch, as you can do so with abandon. It’s a different story when you’re in public; if you go to town scratching people will think your a pervert. The following is an example.

I was talking to someone and mid-conversation I realized my anti-itch cream had worn off. All five bites were clamoring to be scratched. I tried to ignore it. I leaned in close and stared deep into his eyes, hoping that would take my mind off the itch. It didn’t work. He thought I was flirting.

I started rubbing my legs together, discreetly, hoping to alleviate the itch. It didn’t work. He asked if I needed to use the bathroom. I held my umbrella in front of me, thinking I’ll get the protection needed to scratch and not be seen. It didn’t work. The umbrella opened and hit him in the stomach. I had no idea he possessed such a large vocabulary for foul language. I wanted him to walk away from me so I could scratch to my hearts content.

We walk to my car. I get in and we said, “Goodbye.” I sat behind the wheel and did a quick look around to make sure I was alone. I scratched. Relief! My zealous scratching is accompanied by sighs of pleasure; sighs that unknown to me, are heard by him, as he’s standing next to my open window. He returned to give me back my umbrella he snatched so I wouldn’t cause any additional harm. The look on his face conveyed he thought I was a pervert. I tried to explain to him, but it didn’t work. He ran off. And with my shorts rolled up it was hard to catch him.

An article in USA Today reported rooftop bars are showing up in hotels as a trend of taking limited space and making it profitable by selling food and drink. This doesn’t surprise me since I just returned from Charleston, SC, a place which has rooftop pools and bars. It makes sense that when space is limited you make the most of what you have.

As I said in previous blogs, during my recent trip to Charlestonwe checked out other hotels, looking for bigger rooms than the teeny, tiny, slanted room we stayed in. I love looking at hotels and managers who want your business love showing you the best room in their hotel. We saw one suite that had a doorbell. Can you imagine staying somewhere with a bell? It was a little out of our price range (I think the doorbell drove the price up), but fun to look at. It was like looking at million dollar homes I can’t afford – but I can afford to dream.

A couple of hotels had rooftop pools. One roof had a pool. The other hotel had a pool/bar which was reserved for hotel guest till 4PM, and then it opened to the general public. A magnificent view was free to all. There were also restaurants that had rooftop dining. I think there was more going on up on the roofs of Charleston than down on the streets.

When I told my brother-in-law about the rooftop pools he told me of a pool that was not only rooftop, but jutted out over the roof, extending over the street below, offering swimmers a view of the street below as the pool floor was clear. I could see how this would be scary to some people. But, I think it can be scarier for the average man on the street. Let’s think about the average, Joe. Shall we? Joe is walking along, minding his own business, Joe looks up and sees a man, in the pool, naked; now that can be downright frightening. Poor Joe!

We leave Charleston and return home. I bid farewell to my teeny, tiny, dark room. Oh, I didn’t tell you the room was dark, did I? Well, it was as the trees which brushed up and over the windows prevented natural light from entering the room. So, I bid farewell to my room. I bid farewell to horse drawn carriage rides and the scent that accompanies it. I bid farewell to great food and hello to unwanted, excess weight. I bid farewell to magnificent gardens, privacy doors and southern plantations. I bid farewell to gas lanterns, cobblestone streets and houses tucked away in alleys. I bid farewell to walking the harbor at night.

I bid farewell to my favorite little city that is big on charm and claims a big part of my heart. Farewell, until next time.

Today when we were in a candy store, at the register, the cashier was ringing us up when a thunderstorm sprung up. Since we had no type of rain gear we decided to wait it out, confident it would be a quick passing storm. We were wrong. As I watched the rain I ate a sample chocolate covered pecan which the owner had available to customers. As I watched the lightning I ate more pecans. As I watched the water rise in the streets, I ate even more pecans. As I watched the water seep, uninvited into the store, I popped pecan after pecan into my mouth. When I finished all the pecans I suggested to the owner she put out more nuts. She did not.

As I watched people on the streets walk by barefooted, holding their shoes, since the water was knee deep, I thought them nuttier than the nuts I ate, as the water held more than just clean, fresh rain. I saw soda cans, plastic utensils and other miscellaneous items float by. I watched as clean water became discolored as it mixed with automobile oil and  wondered if any discoloration was in part due to the horses which are a big part ofCharleston. You couldn’t pay me enough to go barefoot. I watched barefooted pedestrians walk by, holding umbrellas. One’s logic is kind of nutty if you’re walking thru flooded streets and holding an umbrella. I wondered if the owner of the van, with the open windows would go nuts when he noticed the water in his car. I watched as store employees ran around like nuts, placing sandbags next to the front door.

As I watched the rain come down I thought if I had a bar of soap I’d take a shower. Sure it may be froth with deadly bacteria and a nutty thing to do, but it beats taking a shower at my hotel. (See previous blog.)

We returned to the room after a day of sightseeing and checking out other hotels that don’t resemble Barbie doll Dream houses. Since I was hot and sticky I jumped in the shower. Well, I couldn’t really jump in the shower as the shower doors are hard to maneuver, being on a slant (like the entire bathroom) and when you attempt to slide them they come off the track.

Afraid the door would come off the track and crash onto me I showered with one hand and held the door steady with the other. This made for a long shower froth with the possibility of physical harm. When I got out of the shower the manager called the room to inquire if the shower was being used as there was a leak downstairs and they were trying to determine where it was coming from. If they were to replace the shower doors with curtains I think maybe, just maybe they might solve the problem.

I paid careful attention to the bathrooms we saw today to note whether they were straight or crooked. They were all straight. I tested out the doors – they moved smooth and easy. There would be no showering with one hand and holding the door with the other. Most importantly, I’m sure the hotel manager would not be calling my room to report a leak and imply I’m the cause.