Archives for category: Life

fucked up parking

I had to run an errand for work yesterday, and as I approached my car, I was met with a situation of sorts. A red van had parked so close to my car, that it was impossible for me to get in my driver’s side door.

The above photo is an accurate portrayal of what I faced. You could not get between the side mirrors, and while I could get my door open, I would need to transform into Kate Moss in order to actually climb in behind the wheel.

I am not Kate Moss. Not even close.

And the funny part is, I tried to still get in, not really caring if I dented the fuck out of the douchebag red van. But there was no way. Not even if I bought a Spanx body suit was I going to wedge myself in. And worse than that, there were witnesses around who I perceived as watching my struggle and inwardly laughing. hmph.

With no other tricks up my sleeve, I climbed into the passenger side and tried to figure out how in the hell I was going to hoist my ample body over the center console and into the passenger seat. I waited until nobody was watching, and managed to get my ass into the seat, but my legs? Different story.

It’s times such as this you realize that with age comes a degeneration in your body…a lack of limberness, if you will. Even with the seats pulled all the way back, I could not manage to get my legs up and over the stereo and the gear shaft, and into the well of the driver’s side seat.

I sat sideways, trying to look inconspicuous to passersby, and pondered how the hell I was going to do this. Do I need to open the sunroof and stick my head through so I could side step into the seat? I thought of the Flintstones with Dino’s head poking out of the roof at the drive in, and thought no.

I also quickly abandoned the idea of putting the car into drive just enough to pass the van so I could open my door, because without my foot being able to hit the brake, this would have turned into a disastrous scenario involving the police and my insurance company.

I climbed, none too gracefully, back out of the passenger side and paced while I figured out what to do. Slash the red van’s tires? Nah. I didn’t have a knife.

I knew that the key was getting my feet in the seat first, and then sliding my body down. And that’s when that wonderful light went off in my head. Ding!

I reclined both the front seats as far back as they would go, thus enabling me to semi lay down high enough in the seat to get my legs over the console and slide into the driver’s seat. Eureka! I had solved my problem with no injury to my body or car, and only a slight dent to my pride.

I’ll tell you what, I’m going to strategically select my parking spot from now on to avoid this happening in the future. But at least I know the solution if it does happen again.

 

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When I was in 5th grade, one of my best friends moved to Littleton, Colorado, and I would beg my father to let me make a long distance call to her every now and then. I had to wait until after 10:00 pm, because that’s when the rates were lowered, and I could only talk for 10 minutes.

I thought of this the other day when my daughter spent the night on the phone with her friend Rae who lives in California – they watched A Nightmare Before Christmas together while on the phone. Holy Hell…that would’ve cost a few hundred bucks when I was a kid.

Man how time have changed. And not only from those ancient times when I was growing up. Just a few years back, when we still had only a land line, my daughter would talk to her friend who lived out in the sticks and calls to her started to become costly.

Same thing when I was little. If I wanted to talk to a friend who lived a few towns away, those toll charges would really rack up…and then my dad would give a very stern lecture. But not any more!

With Skype, Face Time and cell phones, long distance charges, and the accompanying headaches, is a long distance memory.

OUCH

Today I fell. Again.

I needed to get some skim milk, and the only joint by my office that sells it is the little market up the street. The aisles are very narrow, and the produce guy was unpacking various fruits and vegetables from cardboard boxes. It was hard for me to get to the milk, because there were so many boxes in the way.

I threaded my way to the milk case, grabbed my quart of skim milk, and began to walk back to the register. It was raining, so I was also carrying my rather large umbrella while trying to negotiate the very dark, very crowded aisle. I remember I was looking at a jar of Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera on the shelf when my foot got snagged a box of scallions.

Before I knew it I was down on my knees, now throbbing in absolute pain, clutching a crushed pint of skim milk, and trying to figure out how the hell I could’ve fallen. It hurt. My back hurt, my knees hurt, and to make matters worse,  it was really hard to get up.

The produce dude heard me fall, and rushed over to help me. Talk about embarrassing. He was super apologetic, and I kept assuring him it was okay. While it was a bit of a hazard to have the aisle so cluttered with boxes, I was clearly not watching my step while I was pondering the jar of Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera.

I paid for my milk, assured the still apologizing produce guy again that it was all cool,  and hobbled back to my office with aching knees, a throbbing head, and a back that was all a-twinge. What I was most astounded at, was that I wasn’t more seriously hurt. I fell in my laundry room about 6 months ago, and landed super hard on my left knee – so hard that I still can’t really put too much weight on it. I thought for sure a slamming my knee into a hard floor would’ve shattered it to pieces.

But I’m still standing. I wonder how bad the bruises will be…

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This is the first year, in I can’t remember how many, that I have not been involved in a football pool. And it’s by choice. I’ve decided to give the NFL the cold shoulder this year.

My old office would run it’s own football pool each year, and most years I ran it. Winner got a $20 bill each week. After that job ended I joined my brother in law’s work pool up in New Jersey. Winner would get somewhere around $200 each week. I rarely won, but it was still sort of fun.

This year? Not so much. I can’t help but feel the NFL is ruled by narrow-minded trump supporters…people who believe taking a knee should be cause for firing or suspension. People who see standing up for racial injustice as a slight on our military or our flag.

And trump himself, who doesn’t even know the words to the national anthem, but will try to whip his maniacal base up into a frenzy over any player who dares to kneel during their precious anthem.

People burning their Nike shoes because they dared to use Colin Kaepernick in an ad.

It’s all so fucked up.

So I’m turning my back on the NFL. I don’t want to put down $36 dollars to take part in a pool for a sport that I have little respect for. I know there are companies and coaches that are backing their players’ right to take a knee, and I applaud them. But the NFL as a whole?

They can bite me this year.

 

moms car

For the past year, my daughter and I have been carpooling to work every day. We work a short distance from each other, and until she could figure out the means to buy her own car, this was our only option.

It worked out well, with the exception of our schedules. I work from 9:00 – 4:30. She has two radio shows; one from Noon – 2:00 and another from 4:00 – 6:00. Our usual daily routine was, she accompanied me to work, and sat reading at a local coffee shop until 11:30 or so, and then she’d take the keys and head to her job. At 3:30, we would meet at my office, and I would drive her to the station for her 4:00 show, and then return to my office for the last 45 minutes of my day.

That 3:30 shuffle sucks. The lot I park in for my job is 2 blocks away from my office, which may sound short, but in heat, rain or snow, that walk turns into a tiresome trek. And then, when I’m done at 4:30, I had the pleasure of waiting 1 1/2 hours for daughter to be off work. Most times I would grocery shop, but other times, when money was low, it was harder and harder to find creative ways to pass that time.

A favorite of mine was to spend a half an hour at our local animal shelter petting cats and kittens. Or sometimes I would just walk around the mall and “window” shop. For the most part that hour and a half would go by fast.

An additional burn? Sometimes our boss would let us out early.. like at 2:30 if there was little work to do. Then I’d be stuck in town for hours and hours when I could’ve been home with me feet up in front of Food Network. It also was not convenient for meals. We would not get home until 6:30 or so, and the thought of starting chicken piccata at that late time was a tiresome thought.

For a year I did this. My husband would pitch in when it worked for his schedule, but his schedule is ever changing, whereas ours was set, so most times it was me.

The commute itself would be great. We would usually spend the time talking. Sometimes we played music, but the commute was typically spent discussing a variety of things; upcoming vacations, plans for work; and it was really nice.

It all ended this week. Our children recently came into a small sum of money through the passing of a relative, and my daughter knew…this was the opportunity to buy her own car. She test drove quite a few, but in the end we decided to buy the same make and model as my car, which she was very used to driving.

I’m so happy for her. What a sense of independence this must give her. I remember when I owned my first car…you felt the world could be yours. You could go anywhere. But I’m also happy for me. While I really miss driving with her, it’s really nice to be able to just come home after work.

I’ll can always pet kittens on Saturdays…

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I love TV. I am unapologetic about it. I don’t understand people who “don’t watch TV,” just like I don’t understand vegans. To each their own, but I love it…always have.

Food Network is my go-to channel. It is the first channel I check when I am looking for something to watch, and it is the channel I usually drift of to sleep watching.

A month or so back, my husband and I had to reconfigure our cable package. The sweet deal we had for the past two years had run out, and to keep all the same channels we had would’ve boosted our bill to over $200 bucks per month.

Uh, no thank you.

So we reworked things to give us a lower bill, but in the crosshairs were a lot of channels our family really loved…Nickelodeon, all the sports channels, and *gasp,* Bravo. I watch A LOT of Bravo programs. A new season of Real Housewives of NYC had just started, as well ad a new season of Southern Charm. I was sick about that, but bit the bullet.

We invested in a Roku and got a Hulu subscription. I thought this was the perfect solution – I could still enjoy Bravo and a plethora of other TV shows. I binge watched “The Handmaids Tale”…worth the subscription price alone. Hubby fell back I love with “Hill Street Blues,” and my daughter and I began watching “Top Chef” back from season 1.

However, Bravo? That was a problem. They don’t carry the current season of RHONY, and they don’t carry Southern Charm at all. The high price of cable had cock-blocked me from watching two of my faves after all.

Yesterday I switched on the TV to see what Food Network show I was going to indulge in when I got an error message on the screen. That channel was not available.

WHAT????????

I immediately called our cable provider, who proceeded to tell me that their plans had shifted over night. We had lost Food Network, The Weather Channel, and a few other who-gives-a-fuck stations.

I flew into a panic….This was too much for me to bear. Food Network on Hulu only runs specific shows. Ina and Giada? Gone. Pioneer Woman? Gone. Brunch at Bobby’s? Gone.

I was not going to take this lying down.

So I called back and thankfully got a really nice woman on the phone who helped me pick a package that was in our price range, and restored ALL our channels.

Bravo? Got it. Food Network? Got it. Nickelodeon? Got it. The Weather Channel? Got it. ESPN? Got it. I feel human again.

I spent all last night catching up on season 10 of Real Housewives of NYC last night, and Friday night I will binge Southern Charm and America’s Next Top Model.

We are still going to keep our Rokus and our Hulu subscription, because in my opinion, the more TV the better. Old episodes of The Brady Bunch and I Love Lucy are now at my disposal. And there’s no way I can do without seeing what happens to June and the other handmaids.

Thank goodness they cut Food Network yesterday. That cloud definitely had a silver lining.

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I pack my lunch almost every day, and even if I buy, I usually eat at my desk. This leaves me open to every single person I work with seeing what I have for lunch, and even worse, seeing me eat it.

Ugh.

I have a few co-workers who are fairly obsessed with what anyone and everyone is eating for lunch. Every day, one of them will come up to me with my food spread before me and ask, “What’cha got there?”

It’s an innocent enough question, but it kind of irks me because I’ve always been a private eater. I don’t like eating in front of people at all. The beauty of my last job was that while the room my office was in was home to several agents, they were almost never there, so I could eat in relative privacy every day.

My office now? I’m surrounded by coworkers at all times, and my desk is small. So, my food has to sit to the left of me (because my mousepad is to the right of me) and is in plain view of every person who walks by. I don’t know why I should find this bothersome, but I do…especially if I’m eating soup.

So I’ve toughened up, and become used to people looking at my food, and looking at me eating said food. It’s a fair price to pay to work at one of the best companies I’ve ever had the to honor to call my 9-5 home.

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This past weekend my youngest daughter spent the night at a new friend’s house. I asked her to text me the address so I could familiarize myself with how to get to the house. I wrote down the directions, and at the very end wrote the address.

As I drove to pick her up on Saturday morning, with my other daughter as my co-pilot, we arrived at the correct street and went about trying to find the house. From the map I’d looked at, the house appeared to be one or two houses down the street. But the address I’d written down took me to a cute little house a bit further down the road.

It had a blue door and a flag post with the American flag and a US Marine flag flying. I went to the front door and rang the doorbell. A nice older gentleman answered the door, and I said, “Hi, I’m Sasha’s mom.”

He replied, “Well, hello! Won’t you come in?” He called to his wife, who he said was in the kitchen making soup. I exclaimed that I love soup, and I was greeted by a pleasant woman. We shook hands and I said, “I’m Sasha’s mom.”

She looked bewildered and said, “Sasha, Sasha….who would she be?”

My heart sank. I asked her, “please tell me there was a sleepover here last night with your daughter and my daughter.” She laughed and said no.

I was at the wrong fucking house.

I apologized profusely, totally humiliated at having made the error, but they were so nice, and said no apologies needed. I skulked back to my car and admitted my error to my daughter, who couldn’t stop laughing for quite a while. After checking my phone I realized I’d managed to Google Map the correct address, but wrote down an address 10 numbers down the street.

Typical Tracy.

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My 16 year old daughter just experienced her first real Valentines Day. And it’s largely in part to a conversation my husband and I had at the grocery store.

We were checking out, and as I saw a package of crab cakes scan up at $5.99, I turned to my husband and said, “$5.99 for crab cakes?” This started a rather lively conversation with the cashier, a handsome, tall fellow, about the quality of the crab cakes, and whether we should even bother purchasing them.

My husband then asked him if he were working while in college, and he informed us he was a junior at our high school.

This adorable boy is a junior at the same school my sophomore girl attends? So, I asked him if he knew her. When her name sparked no recognition I said, “you might have seen her on ‘In The Know,’” which was the school’s news program.

He said, “Oh, is she blonde?” To which I replied, “yes.”

We paid for our groceries and left, and I thought to myself, why can’t cute guys like that ever show an interest in my daughter? Well, little did I know that this small exchange would lead to my daughter falling head over heels a week later.

Because when we got home I mentioned our conversation with my girl, and asked her if she knew a Chris who was a Junior and worked at the local grocery store. She knew who he was, and the next day at school approached him at lunch to apologize for her crazy parents. Apparently this sparked in interest in young Chris, and they continued to talk the entire week.

The following Saturday, my daughter accompanied me to the store, and Chris happened to be working. He spotted her and immediately shouted out a hello to her with a wave. I did a double take and said to her, “Hey, that’s the guy I was telling you about! Are you friends now?”

She admitted they had been talking, while blushing profusely. By the time we were ready to check out, he was out rounding up shopping carts, but they managed to exchange a few words (and a few hugs), and I thought to myself….hmmmm…could this be something?

They texted all that night, and the next day, he came over to “hang out.” He greeted me with a hug, which I have to admit, I liked. They played ping pong and looked at yearbooks, and after a few hours they were hooked on each other. They’ve been dating ever since.

Chris is a super sweet boy, and so far, mom approves of him. He’s extremely kind to my girl, shows her tons of attention (which none of her past crushes seemed to do), is very affectionate, and hugs us all whenever he comes and goes.  I’m so happy that she finally found a guy worthy of the title “boyfriend.”

For Valentines Day, he gave her roses, a stuffed fox, some chocolates, and had his dad, who is a professional chef, cook them dinner. She said the food was amazing, and so is his family. Everything is like a fairly tale. So far.

I really hope this romance lasts for her. She’s given her heart to him, and I don’t know how easy she would get over a bad break up. But, I don’t think I have to worry. I don’t read him as a player – I think he’s more a steady, one girl type of guy, which is good.

Sometimes she will turn to me and say, I can’t believe this all started because you guys were arguing over whether or not to buy crab cakes. Love works in mysterious ways, that’s for sure.

Footnote:
Like most boys, this one turned at to be a dud and a douche. Right at their 4 month anniversary, after days of texts proclaiming his love for my daughter, he went to a party and texted to her “I think I want to be single.” He had ignored her for more than a week now, and friends tell her he’s been asking out another girl. My girl did nothing wrong. All she did was love him.
Just wait until I get in his line next time…..

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Back when I was unemployed in 2013, the dentist told me my youngest daughter would need braces. Gee, thanks. I’ll hop right on that.

She has been begging for braces ever since she was in 6th grade. One of her front teeth is crooked, and she’s positive that one singular tooth is the cause of every miserable thing that has ever happened to her in school.

Problem is, braces are like a car payment – I took her to 3 different Orthodontists for consultations and prices, and  braces, it seemed, just wasn’t in our budget.

Until now. We were able to pay off my car, which freed up some money, and we decided to invest in our daughters future, and her smile. This past Wednesday, even though most  of her friends have already had their braces off, my little girl got some metal in her mouth.

She was excited, but also really nervous. Her dream was coming true, but she had just started dating a new guy at school. A guy she is really crazy about. And my poor little dear was afraid he’d take one look at her braces, and hit the bricks.

The first time I saw her with her new mouth, I was relieved. They were so little! I kept envisioning these giant metal Marsha Brady type braces that covered the whole tooth. She didn’t see it that way, though. She was in pain, and adjusting to the fact that her lips were going to look different for the next two years.

That evening her boyfriend came over. And you know what? He loves them. Her whole school loves them too. She got a lot of encouraging remarks her first day back with her new braces and I think it was a real relief for her.

I’m just relieved we are finally getting her tooth, and eventually, her massive overbite corrected. Although I have to admit…I’m going to miss my little Beverly D’Angelo lookalike.