Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Bad Weather Funny

This cracked me up. Someone sent it out as an email and I thought it was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Enjoy!!

(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)

Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.
From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.
Mrs. Smith

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love to Hate in Less Than 24 Hours, a.k.a. "The Vase"

I had made up my mind on this cruise that I wasn't going to purchase any kitchy, touristy trinkets on the cruise. I learned this lesson after a trip to Mexico with my friend Bill when I drunkenly purchased several shirts that were hilarious at the time but make no sense and are highly inappropriate, especially when meeting your new neighbors. (You'll have to get that story in person) So fast forward 2 years to Belize, when I find the item that I want to commemorate the trip. Lindsay and I entered a store called "A Taste of Belize" (I don't remember it, the name is on the reciept that I consult in anger several times a day) and found beautiful wooden products. They are all multi-colored and there were salad bowls, vases, jewelry, a chess set, etc. Beautiful pieces. And pricey as hell. There is a vase on the ground of the store and I asked the shop keeper for the price. "$200," was his reply, which sort of made me laugh and I said to Lindsay "yeah, right". So we walked around to other shops, found some great textiles which we both purchased for our homes, bought some yummy Rainforest Rum Cake, and made our way back towards the ship. Except that I wanted to stop back at the wood shop to buy one of the $45 bowls that I had settled on as a centerpiece for the dining table. We get to the store, the shop keeper wraps up the bowl and I start negotiating a price on the large vase. I get him down to $175 and Lindsay and I agree it is totally worth the price, it's a beautiful piece and will look great in the house. He unwraps the bowl and wraps up the vase. I can't believe I spent that much money, but it is a beautiful conversation piece and a unique addition to our home. I'm happy as a clam as I lug that bad boy on the tender back to the ship and store in it our room. I feel crazy for spending that much money, but feel it was worth it. It really is pretty
Fast forward 20 hours or so and enter the first shop in Honduras that Lindsay and I enter. We both exclaim "wow, they have a lot of those wooden vases" and I ask the proprieter the price of the vase, so I can see what a good deal I negotiated in Belize. Are you sitting down? Sit your butt down and get our the Kleenex kids because this is going to be something special. Have you thought of your guess for the price? Did I over pay by $10? $25, $50, or even a whopping $75? I flippin' wish that I overpaid by even $80. I overpaid by... I'm embarassed, I can't even type this. I'm not telling. Ok, I overpaid by $135. That's right. The proprieter told me the cost of my vase in Honduras was only $45, but she would give it to me for $40 because I had a "nice face." I don't know where they hell she got that I had a nice face because there was smoke spewing out of my ears and blood raining from my eyes. I then began ranting and raving to Lindsay and she will attest that I didn't stop. EVER. It's been a week and I'm still pissed.

up close detail
Despite popular belief and proof to the contrary from this story, I'm no fool. I considered purchasing another one for $40 and then defraying my costs between the two vases but there was the logistics issue of how heavy and annoying the vase was. So I decided to not purchase another one (or six for the price I'd paid for one-swimming back to Belize and returning them all for a great and wonderful profit-muuuhahaha) and it turned out to be for the best. I had to lug that darn vase around the airport and have a million people comment on how beautiful it was and where I'd purchased it. I tried to smile and say "thank you" but it's hard to be the sucker carrying the albiet beautiful and wildly overpriced heavy vase around the airport.

I haven't told you the worst part of the story yet. I know, dry your eyes from the tears of laughter and pity. I unwrapped it when I got home and it seemed fine. Yesterday I picked it up to bitch about it again to Mircea and THERE IS A CRACK IN IT. There was a little line on it when I bought it, and it didn't appear to be a crack, just part of the wood. Well it cracked into a nice little gash, leaving me with two options in which to respond; a.) covering the crack with some sort of decorative grass that I'm sure Fernie will eat or b.) chucking off the back deck while yelling expletives and most likely holding a bottle of booze in the other hand.

Even I can laugh about this at this point because I've single-handedly boosted Belize's GNP for 2009 and frankly, I've got a good story to tell. Too bad it's at my expense.
***UPDATE: Holy Hell that thing has several more cracks in it and is now sort of experiencing a melting at the seams where it appears that it has been glued. Ladies and gentlemen, I assure you that I inspected the heck out of this thing when I bought it. I have no recourse either, just a big steaming pile of crappy wood in my foyer. That still looks good from a distance but may cause me to have a heart attack at 28.***

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When in Doubt, Ask a Random Person with Bright Red Hair

As I alluded to in the last post, I had the opportunity to enjoy some Romanian companionship on the cruise. But it wasn’t my sweetie pie. Here’s the strange-but-true story of how I came to learn about 10 new Romanian phrases.

I’d been on the ship for a couple of hours and Lindsay and I had just walked around the shops. I noticed that a lot of the workers were from other countries (which explains their excellent customer service. The only rude worker on the ship was an American) and I said to Lindsay “I wonder if there are any Romanians.” She told me that I could probably ask someone as the majority of the crew knew each other. We walk around a little bit more and she ducks into the restroom and I’m alone in the hallway. I see this woman coming up to me and I’d seen her at the jewelry counter so I decided to get nervy and ask if there were any Romanians on the ship. She gives me the strangest look ever and very slowly says, “I am Romanian”. Well, I’m just beside myself with excitement and I’m not really noticing how confused she looks (I realize all this several days later). Lindsay comes out and we talk to her for a few minutes and she says that her daughter works in the dining room and that we’ll meet her this evening. Great, I am looking forward to this, but have to question why this woman doesn’t know much English. I mean, she works on the ship right? HA! I’m an idiot! She doesn’t work there at all. We meet her daughter at dinner and she’s like “My mom said that you were looking for Romanians” and I tell her the story and she laughs. I choose a random person on the ship to inquire if they knew any Romanians. She didn’t work there. I guess her lack of name badge and uniform should have clued me in, however, they didn’t. I don’t think she looks particularly Romanian. In fact, I thought she looked kind of Russian and she was talking to the Russian girl at the jewelry counter (where she was a paying patron, not an employee). So that’s my story of how I ended up introducing a nice Romanian woman to our table (Table 226-most awesomest table ever) and learning Romanian phrases and teaching English phrases. It made me realize how much I really want to learn Romanian and look forward to traveling with Mircea to see his extended family. I’m also very excited that we’ll have the opportunity to visit Gina (the mother) in Brashov, Romania when we visit. The daughter, Oana, works for Carnival and will probably be on the ship when we visit, but maybe we’ll get lucky. I just have to share this last part. Oana bought her mother a two week cruise as a gift and when we got off the ship, Gina had one week left of cruising, but she said it wouldn’t be the same because she’d miss her new friends. Awwww!!
me, Anita, Oana, Lindsay, Gina

She was so great…I miss her already. La reverdere!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm Back!

with our waiter, who had some sexy dance moves

The cruise was great! Lindsay and I had plenty of time to relax and read, but I'm a little disappointed that we didn't get a lot of sun...because Lindsay doesn't like it, and frankly, I didn't want to sit up on the deck by myself...plus it's a little loud. I have so many stories to share, but I think I'll do individual posts for each of them, to keep the suspense alive. HA HA!

Anita and Jennifer
The first story is free. We had the best people at our dinner table! I had been dreading the dinner table, afraid that we'd have stodgy old farts that weren't any fun. Instead, we sit down to 4 awesome people, who we assumed were a family (as did the photographers). Turns out, it was a Mother/Daughter (Anita/Jennifer) and Father/Son (Alan/Matt) that were the best dinner companions we could imagine. We added one other person to the mix, but that's another blog post. We had a great time enjoying our massive amounts of food with these people, and enjoyed teasing each other about our selections, and making jokes about "diet" cake and "the man the size of a van" who enjoyed many meals as well. It was a good time. Here's a couple of pics from dinner (I only brought my camera once-and I don't think I have everyone, so I hope Lindsay has more pics).

Matt and the waitstaff
Til the next post...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

My New Year's Resolution

This year I am making a vow to myself, and to others. This is the last year I am making a resolution to lose weight and "get healthy". I have all the tools, all the support, etc., and I have let my laziness get the better of me. The main reason for my "last year of weight loss resolution" is that I am sick and tired of letting my confidence and self-worth be valued by my pants size. I've let that negative self talk convince me that I am insignificant and that my weight should embarass me and make me hide in my house (which I have done on occasion b/c I'm afraid of being in the company of others). So I vow to do two things; lose weight and stop beating myself up.

I am sure I will enjoy too many treats on the cruise, but I am greatly looking forward to returning to a healthier lifestyle. I have been following a vegetarian diet for the past 3 weeks in preparation for the cruise, and although cheese tastes like Heaven, I am really looking forward to return to MD a reborn Vegan. And although my knee is in no shape for running or even brisk walking, I look forward to a slow but steady return to the gym...a habit that I have let go over the years, but realize it is important. I want to be healthy darnit, and I want to fit in my old clothes-both of these things are important to me, but the healthy part is most important. I want to have kids (eventually, still need that ring, marriage, etc.) and figure now is the time to be healthy so I can be in good physical (and mental) health when it's time for childbearing.

I realize I'm ranting a bit, but I'm also asking for some help. I would like you, dear readers, to be my accountability partners. The way I will do this is with a once a week HONEST blog about the challenges, victories, etc of the weight loss, as well, GASP, my weight. Yeah, I will admit my real weight, and although it starts out a little embarassing, I am hoping that soon I will be proud of the changes I've made. So I thank you in advance. I'm done with this yo-yo b.s. I'm ready to enjoy my life- heavy, slim, healthy, active, etc. I want my life back, no more wallowing in chocolate.