Elle Severe Presents

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Teen Duck Mom

In Life, Married Life, Musings, Random on August 30, 2012 by Elle Severe

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I took our 2 and 4 year old down to the Charles River to hit a couple playgrounds, frolic in the pool, count the Duck Boats on the Charles, and have some good old fashioned family fun.

We took a break from all this exciting family fun around 12:30pm to have some snacks. We settled in to one of the picnic tables by the concession stand near the Hatch Shell. Because my kids are complete wack-a-doos, we all ended up sitting on the same side of the picnic table.  I think there was some nonsense about wanting to sit with Daddy but Daddy needed to sit on this side…you know what, who gives an eff,  it’s only pertinent to the story because we were all facing the same way, which was towards the Charles.  This allowed an awesome view of all the people and the boats.  My 2 year old likes to scream out “FERRY” whenever she sees a boat of any kind.  I’ve stopped trying to correct her.  Whatever floats your boat kid. (See what i did there?)

Anyway, there was some commotion over by the water’s edge and then we saw people clearing a path and the next thing you know, this Mommy Duck comes up out of the water with her 5 baby ducklings – it was cute overload.  I mean, let’s be honest, there are few things more precious in the world than ducklings, amirite? And I loved how everyone immediately cleared the area to let her and her babies pass.  I love when people come together as a group and behave in a unified way that benefits someone or something other than themselves.  It’s those little moments in life that restore my faith in humanity. Unfortunately that didn’t last very long.  Some moron tourist pretty much bumrushed Mommy Duck with her iPhone in order to get pictures.  Maybe they don’t have ducks in Europe?  In an effort to avoid the duck paparazzi, Mommy Duck veered a little to the left, more towards the Hatch Shell than she probably wanted to go, but it was okay.  This allowed me to get a nice shot of her and her sweet little babies.

Mommy Duck and her fluffy, sweet, precious babies.

 

She continued on and everyone kind of just stopped what they were doing and watched.  A truck driver trying to get past her just cut the engine and waited;  the people setting up for National India Day all paused…it was a sweet sight…riiiiiight up until Mommy Duck decided to take her and her babies on some sort of kamikaze suicide mission.

Not a duck crossing.

This batty bird decided to cross Storrow Drive with her babies in tow! WTF! (For the New Yorkers who read this, Storrow Drive is similar to your West Side Highway or the FDR) Thankfully some Good Samaritan type stood in front of her trying to shoo her back until the Park Rangers came flying over on their golf cart and immediately took care of business.  I am still left to wonder if someone there called 911 and started screaming “WE HAVE A DUCK EMERGENCY ON STORROW! SEND IN THE RANGERS!”.  The bravest one of them all jumped out of that golf cart with a quickness and stepped right the f*ck into Storrow and began stopping traffic! Let me just pause here and explain to you that at this very moment time stood still…not a single solitary soul in the park was looking anywhere but at the drama unfolding with Mommy Duck and her Precious Babies.  We were in the middle of a real life Duck Drama! For those of you not from Boston, our ducks are pretty sacred.  We have a whole industry here built on our duck situation.

Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings” is a children’s classic.

Caldecott Award Winner.

 

We’ve got Swan Boats that go around a lagoon devoted to the preservation of swans and ducks.

Swan Boats. Best Bahhhgin in the city for family “fun”.

 

 

Duck Sanctuary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have Duck Boat Tours.  We have duck statues.  We have a lot of duck going on.  Probably more than your average city.

 

Land…

and WATER! Take THAT Trolley Tours!

To continue:  the Park Ranger stops traffic on Storrow Drive, Mommy Duck and her five babies pass to the median and everyone breathes a sigh of relief…except me.  I’m freaking the f*ck out! Where is she taking them?? There’s ANOTHER side of Storrow Drive! How the hell is she going to get them across that side? Mr. Park Ranger’s jurisdiction apparently ends at the traffic divider as he immediately jumps back in his golf cart and takes off to his next duck-related emergency.  But what’s going to happen here?? All I can think is that she’s trying to get them over to the safety of the island in the Swan Boat lagoon, in the Garden, but sh!t, that’s another two full blocks away! She’s got to get these sweet little fluffy babies down Charles Street, across Beacon Street and into the Public Garden without getting smashed to smithereens! Not. Going. To. Happen.

For love of God, someone DO something!

And that’s when I lose my sh!t.  Here she is in the center divider on Storrow with her babies just hanging out and then, it gets better…she just disappears! It looked almost as if she ducked under some grassy knoll and now she and her babies were gone and at that point I could draw only one logical conclusion: this Mommy Duck was a teenage mom. I’ve been watching 16 and Pregnant since 2008 and Teen Mom since 2009, plus I’m from Dorchester so you know I can spot a teen mom a mile away in the dark with sunglasses on.

Just ducky.

Now I don’t judge (yes I do), but I’m telling you, she had all the classic hallmarks of a teen duck mom.  Irresponsible, stubborn, treating her progeny with reckless disregard, entrusting strangers to help her out and then acting entitled the entire time…oh yeah, there was no doubt in my mind that I had just seen Teen Duck Mom.  Because there is no other logical explanation.  None.  Because no one in their right mind takes their babies across Storrow Drive. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Bruins ducks.

Once I realize this, I turned to my husband and said what I always say whenever I see a teen mom and her baby: “I’m about to run over there and snatch that baby up and take it home” – only this time it was more like “I’m going to bundle them up and run them over to the Garden”. And that was the very moment when my son decided to do that super annoying thing all toddlers do when there’s a serious situation:  start asking a MILLION questions.  And that’s when I want to scream “SHUT THE F*CK UP, WE’RE ABOUT TO LOSE SOME PRECIOUS BABY DUCKS HERE”.  I just don’t have time to explain what “bundle up” means in the midst of all this drama, come on kid, get with it, willya!

Sidebar, why do kids do that thing? Because they do, every single time, without fail.  It’s as if they inherently know that this is really bad time and decide, “Hmm, how can I make this situation worse…ohhhh, I know, I’ll ask the same question 17 times in a row, perfect!”.

Back to the drama at hand.  So my husband says “Okay, let’s go, she’s going to be fine”. No she’s not.  And we all know she’s not! I appreciate that he’s trying to just get me out of there as I’m a very emotional person and the idea of these beautiful fluffy little critters getting run over by some aholes driving a Lumina on Storrow is making me sick,  but he can’t blow sunshine up my ass.  I think we all know that by tonight either those babies are going to be orphans or that Teen Duck Mom is going to be very, very regretful about the life decisions she made today.

Christmas ducks. Or if you’re an asshole, Holiday ducks.

Now listen, I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know if they made it across to the other side safely; I sure as hell hope so.  I was physically dragged out of there and over to the nice pool about a block down because my husband was not going to tolerate some sort of ill-advised Teen Duck Mom rescue.  But I’ll tell you what, I haven’t stopped thinking about those babies and their Teen Duck Mom since.  FRICK!

She pretty much haunts my dreams.  Did they make it? Are they alive? Are they happily settled in the lagoon? Are they eating a well balanced diet of local grass and organic breadcrumbs? I just don’t know.  I guess you have to come up with you’re own happy or unhappy ending.  Sorry.

Last week in Vegas my husband and I went out for a fancy dinner.  He ordered duck.  I thought that was in poor taste given what I’m going through.

Oh Mama Duck, where are you?

 

Duuuuuuuuccckkkkkkk!


Akin to the Republican Party

In Bitch Please, Life, Random, Rants on August 29, 2012 by WhiteBread

Though I know a week has already gone by since Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin spouted his ignorant absurdities on the connection between rape and pregnancies, the indignation I felt after reading his words still has not subsided.  And hey I may be no Eve Ensler, (my monologues are not even close to Eve Ensler’s), but I too have an opinion on this matter that I’d like to share.

First, since more than a week has passed since this incident, let me refresh your memory on what Mr. Akin had to say on this topic:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Ok, listen, Todd, first and foremost, when you’re talking to my lady parts, please refer to them by their actual names.   They feel completely disrespected when you just allude to them especially when they’re in the same room as you.  They have feelings too, you know.  Who am I kidding, if anyone is aware of my vagina’s ability to feel it’d be you, right, Todd, all knower of all things female genitalia?

Secondly, Todd, you need to get new doctor friends.

Finally, once my anger sufficiently subsided, my curiosity was sparked.  I got to thinking, if that’s what Todd inferred from doctors when they discuss a medical procedure (of which he knows absolutely 0 about) then what the hell else was he getting out of conversations when listening to other folks with specialized knowledge he doesn’t possess?

So, allow me to share what I think Todd Akin understands in a little piece I like to call: Todd Akin…Understands.

Todd Akin Understands

On natural disasters:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from seismologists, that’s really rare.  If it’s a legitimate earthquake, then God and the earth have a way to shut the whole thing down together and everything turns out fine.”

On being Lance Armstrong:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from Lance Armstrong, that’s really rare.   If it’s a legitimate doping, the blood tests they give you have ways of not exposing the performance enhancing ways you’re using to cheat.”

On Zumba instructing:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from Zumba instructors, that’s really tough.  If it’s legitimate Zumba music being played then the belly has a way of dancing independently of all of the other parts of your body.  Then a rainbow appears outside.”

On being a minority:

“Now correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me, from what I understand from being African American, that it’s really great.  Cops treat us like everyone else, health disparities are a crazy myth and employers are throwing jobs at us left and right.”

On fine dining:

“Look I’m no connoisseur of fine dining, but it seems to me, from what I understand about taco bell, that if you get a taco or burrito without lettuce, your body has a way of processing the food in a way that you literally shit gold bars.  I have already produced two since Sunday.”

On crime:

“Yes, I’ve never fought crime directly.  But it seems to me, from what I understand about the volumes I’ve read on the Gotham City case study, if its legitimate crime, Batman will show up.  If it’s illegitimate, then it’s just a waste of Batman’s time as well as the taxpayers’ money.”

On music:

“It seems to me, from what I understand from Little Richard, that’s really a fine line.  If it’s a Bop bopa-a-lu bop a whop bam boo than it can never be the whole boba loo bop wham chu.  It just can’t.  Ever.”

You know if this whole Senate thing doesn’t end up working out for Todd, I’m sure Fox News will be looking to hire some new folks come November.


What It’s Like To Quit Drinking

In Life, Musings, Random, Uncategorized on August 17, 2012 by Pabby MFNP

“It seems that you’ve been living two lives……One of these lives has a future and one of them does not.”   -Agent Smith in The Matrix.  Also, my wife on the morning after my last night of drinking.

I am creeping up on my 9th anniversary since I last had a Corona.  I can’t figure out what the exact date was that I had my last beer, even though I have repeatedly researched it and tried to piece it all together.  That’s a good indication of how much I drank that night.  But I know that it’s sometime around August 20th, 2003.  A day that will live forever in infamy.  Well, not really.  I like to think that this is the day that I was set free, even if a certain part of me was put under lock and key.

Many people have asked me what it’s like to quit drinking.  Well, here is a question and answer session that I had with myself.

Q:  How were you able to stop drinking?  It really is a magnificent feat for someone such as you from Dorchester.
A:  Thank you.  The twelve steps were a big help.  Also, I couldn’t have done it without all of the love and support from my family and friends.

Q:  Did you follow all 12 steps?
A:  No, unfortunately, I skipped some of the steps and created some of my own such as crying myself to sleep and scowling all the time.

Q:  What was the hardest part of quitting?
A:  I would have to say Corona commercials which seemed to be specially designed to mock me.  Also, the overwhelming feeling that I’m constantly on the outside looking in at everything.

Q:  Is there a commercial that you can relate to this?
A:  Yes, the one that went “He can’t play like the other kids, he has asthma.”

Q:  What is that you miss the most about drinking?
A:  Tailgate parties and being an absolute mess at sporting events.

Q:  What is the most rewarding part of it?
A:  That I’m a good role model for my kids in at least one but very important way.

Q:  Do you think your kids appreciate it?
A:  No, they are a-holes.  But maybe someday they will.

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These Are a Few of My LEAST Favorite Things

In Life, Musings, Random, Rants on August 16, 2012 by WhiteBread

Elle Severe’s favorite things post really got me thinking about my own favorite things.  Could I narrow it to five though?  How could I?  Each of the Golden Girls alone would take up 4 of my spots and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.   No, narrowing my favorite things to five was never going to happen.

My least favorite things, on the other hand, were much easier to narrow to five.  So here they are, Whitebread’s top five least favorite things.  Suck it, Julie Andrews*.

5.  People who partake in games and sporting events “just for fun”.  100% of the time, the people using this excuse for participation are the worst people on your team attempting to justify their limited skillset and extremely poor coordination.  They think that being overly optimistic will compensate for their severely inadequate physical ability.  Well guess what people, you’re wrong.  Because can you guess what is fun to me, dude who’s playing “just for fun”?  Winning, that’s what.  Bitch, I play for keeps.

Could you imagine a world where everyone used this same idea to justify their life decisions?  There’d be chaos.  Mass chaos.  Let me paint you a better picture of what I’m talking about.  You just got bit by a snake.  Lucky for you, I like sucking the poison out of wounds “just for fun”.  It’s not because I actually know anything about it or am good at it.  Well guess what, I tried and failed because I couldn’t stop laughing from all of the fun I was having.  And now you’re dead.  You had three children at home, all who are now completely devastated.  Your youngest boy starts wetting the bed at night because he’s emotionally scarred from your death.  A habit that remains with him until is his 42.  Your middle child started eating everything in sight to deal with her depression, including thumb tacks.  She joined the circus as the Tack Eater Extraordinaire.  You hated clowns.   Your oldest daughter, seeking validation from a new man in her life, has now fallen into the wrong crowd because a much older tough guy showed her interest.  She’s now turning tricks in abandoned movie theaters to pay for her newfound crack habit.  Now, DO YOU SEE ALL THE LIVES YOU RUINED BY YOUR ASININE LIFE MANTRA.  Stick to the sidelines, fool.

4.  Mayonnaise.  When referring to mayonnaise, I often describe it as the Trojan of ‘Condom’ents.  I use this term because mayonnaise is the greatest prophylactic available in preventing me from cheating on my diet.  I’m so disgusted by mayonnaise that when it’s used, there is a 98% success rate I will not consume any product covered in it.

Oh and it also looks like semen.

The word alone sounds like a terrible disease.  Oh no, Stacy’s got the Mayonnaise!  With that diagnosis, we all know there is not much hope left for her.  She looks like a leper and reeks of a vinegar, egg yolk and oil concoction.  That smell also gets far worst when she’s been left sitting in the sun.  She can’t stop throwing up and either can the people around her – again, she smells vile.  Mayonnaise is putrid.

3.  Being judged for eating Oreo McFlurry®’s for breakfast Look if Mr. McDonald didn’t want me to have an Oreo McFlurry® at 9am, he wouldn’t have turned on the ice cream machine that early.

Some may consider my consumption of ice cream for breakfast to be wildly immature, but alas, this choice is quite the contrary.  In my digestion of this iced treat during the wee hours of the morning, I’m simply asserting my adultness.  I am making independent choices. I CAN have ice cream for breakfast and no one can stop me.  HAHA!  Take that, Mom.

Looking at it another way, if those Oreos were Cocoa Pebbles and that milk wasn’t as cold, I bet you haters would be singing a completely different tune.  For Christ’s sake, I’m just a small step away from cereal and milk!  And if that was the case, I’d just be eating a high-sugared cereal with whole, fatty milk, but you’d be praising me. You’d be gushing over how great it is that I am considerate of my health in consuming the most important meal of the day.  Shouting, “Hey, look at Whitebread, she’s getting her calcium, folic acid and shit.  Yay folic acid!” Even my mother would have been proud, knowing know her eldest child was finally taken care of her health and her diet.

You know what?  Why get angry?  I’m going to to make my own McFlurry’s® for breakfast.  I’ll call them Whitebread’s Breakfast®.  They’d be a delicious blend of  2% frozen milk and pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch® cereal (or Captain Crunch®).  I’ll make a killing.

2.  People who use social media as a platform for complaining.  If I said anymore about this, I’d be no better than any one of them.

1.  Taking public transportation.  Don’t get me wrong, public transportation is often an efficient, cheap, environmentally friendly way of getting from point A to point B.  It works fairly well and overall it’s a pretty decent system.  However, it’s not the system that I have a problem with.  No, it’s the unavoidable, horrendous risk I face every time I get on a train or bus that causes me to hyperventilate.  That risk and my personal hell:  my thigh fat touching someone else’s thigh fat.

Once I get on a train I first do everything I can to avoid this fate.  I sit away from doors.  I only choose two seaters and sit on the aisle.   I try everything from snarling to talking to myself to eating offensively smelling food when people walk by me.  Despite all of my defenses, there inevitably comes a time when sitting next to someone is unavoidable.  And this is when it happens.  Someone gets on the bus.  They look around.  They see me and my vacant seat next to me.  There’s no where else to sit that’s open.  I know what they’re thinking, “Geez that girl eating a plate full of nachos is gross.  Who does that on a bus?  She’ll probably get salsa on my khakis and I just bought these khakis.  I normally wouldn’t have purchased khakis but I’m trying to be taken seriously at work. Everyday is a struggle to not spill coffee on my brand new khakis, it’s awful.  But there’s no where left to sit, so here it goes.”

I look up.  Suddenly everything is in slow motion.  The song “Mad World” comes on.  The stranger gets closer.  I can feel the awkwardness in the air and I can smell his Abercrombie cologne in the air.  He tries too hard.  Finally, he reaches me with mild trepidation and a great deal of courage.  I shimmy in to the window seat acknowledging my loss.  And then it happens.  No matter how thin I am, I cannot avoid the following: my tiny sacks of fat pool over every so gently into the seat next to me and his fat touches mine.  It’s intimate.  Too intimate.  I don’t even know you, dude, and now we’re essentially skin to skin.  My God, khaki-man are those hips or wings?  The next half hour is hell.  I sit there screaming internally, “NOOOOOOO, why must I live like this!  Why is my stop not closer! Immediately upon leaving this bus I’m marching over to Toyota and buying a car.  Never again! Never again!”

*I’m sorry Julie Andrews.  You’re a saint.  I was only trying to make a joke.  I love you.

The dreaded thigh touch.

 

 

 

 

 


These are a Few of My Favorite Things

In Life, Musings, Random on August 14, 2012 by Elle Severe

On Friday night, via text, my sister challenged me to come up with 5 of my most favorite things in life.  I started off with “Well obviously my husband and two kids” and she said “No. Those are a given. I’m talking about just you”.  I thought this would be super easy because I am a miserable human being, a champion complainer and quite honestly, I don’t like anything or anyone.  I was dead wrong.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this task was not easy; difficult even….challenging for sure.  As it turns out, I have a MILLION favorite things!  Maybe I’m not so miserable?!  Maybe I actually enjoy stuff?!  It sure seems that way because it took me until Sunday evening at about 8pm to get it down to  down my 5 favorite things in life.

Along the way I had to throw out things like a beautiful Spring night at Fenway during sunset, cotton candy at the Marshfield Fair, the smell of the ocean at high tide, the smell of lilacs in the Spring, Anna’s Fried Dough, $5 t-shirts from my favorite t-shirt store on Main Street in Hyannis, the Flying Horses carousel in Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard, frolicking in the water at Old Silver beach, lying poolside at Planet Hollywood in Vegas, napping on a crisp Fall day, ice skating at the Frog Pond in the dead of winter, hot chocolate, Irish knit sweaters, kittens, the Sun and Sand and Sage and Citrus candles from Yankee Candle, Gregg’s chocolate cake, the $7 chocolate cake from Ghiradelli that is beyond chocolatey deliciousness, cold water with a ton of ice cubes on a super hot day, air conditioning, a book that makes you want to stop the world so you can finish it and not lose any time, going up to the attic and pulling out my box of brand spanking new Reefs and trying to decide which ones will have the honor of being that summer’s go-to flip flops, my dining room table that I got at Jordan’s for free cause the Sox won the World Series (God I love that table), apple picking, pumpkins!

The smell of Fall complete with that wood burning smell, nice Fall boots, a new Fall bag, riding in the car with my husband and kids and we’re all singing super loud, my friend Claire’s Cape House, when I used to leave work and walk down Newbury and through the Garden and finally ending up at Park Street, Faneuil Hall, riding a ferry…any ferry, Nantucket, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, their song Snow, writing, hanging out with my girlfriends, laughing so hard that I can’t breathe and almost pee my pants, my annual Christmas breakfast with Brighton and Jacey, making my friend Paul laugh in the middle of a meeting, shoes that actually fit, white t-shirts, cloving fruit whilst watching tv in the Fall, making photo albums on Snapfish, making my friends laugh, listening to people, making people listen to me, the movie Goodfellas, catching Old School on cable, when my daughter says “I wuv you”, growing my nails long enough to polish them, getting pedicures, getting facials, getting massages, being tan, snow cones, the North End, wrapping presents for people I care about at Christmas, mashed potatoes, sheer curtains in the summer, long black out curtains for bedroom so it looks like I’m in a cave, the color pink, the color red, the color sage, gold hoops, opals, diamonds, my pearl bracelet, classic wedges, taking a killer picture of my kids, sharks, stingrays, horseshoe crabs, working at a job where I might actually be helping to contribute the greater good of mankind, Survivor, 30 Rock, Modern Family, Parks and Rec, Big Bang Theory, Justin Timberlake when he guest stars on SNL…

Pomegranates, plums and peaches, pumpkin ravioli, Harrah’s Steak House in Vegas where I had a steak that I could cut with a fork, downtown Boston, Castle Island, the Swan Boats, the Trinity Church, the Holy Cathedral where I got married and baptized both kids, street meat, Harvard Square, the love seat my friend gave me like 10 years ago that is beat to sh!t but is so f*cking comfortable I can’t let it go, the drugs I got after my c-section (Dilaudid, nice), cooking for my family, Can’t Stop by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, when my husband rubs my head when I have a migraine and I’ve taken meds so I’m all warm and fuzzy, lemon Italian ice, diving to the bottom of a pool and then just staying there in the fetal position as long as my lungs allow, Otto’s Pizza in Coolidge Corner, cupcakes, the rain, the thunder, the lightning, Cathay Pacific (Cathay Pathetic) chinese food, the view of the city from the State Room, Brattle Street, the park on the Cambridge Common with all the sand for the kids, smell of the Harvard Coop, my discount at the Coop, being able to be a blonde or a brunette, sunglasses, that my hair is legitimately long now, David Bromstead on HGTV, going for walks after dinner with my family, that I have a family of my own…

Day dreaming, looking at houses online in Malibu, Nantucket and Brookline, nice pajamas, when I get my sister in the Christmas grab, my daughter’s name, my son’s name, riding the Green line to Reservoir and the trolley is randomly empty, when I used to ride the Red line and didn’t have to care if it was Ashmont or Braintree cause I lived at JFK, everything Dominick Dunne, John Irving, and Carl Hiassen have ever written, cheese! Historical novels, Game of Thrones (show and books), how my daughter says “you nasty” after someone burps without even allowing them the opportunity to say excuse me, when the cat litter has been taken care of, freshly laundered clothes, a nice work outfit, a good tweet from Jenny Johnson where she says something nasty to Kim Kardashian, the YouTube video of the panda baby sneezing, how Liz Lemon is always talking bout food (“I already have a drink, could I have mozzarella sticks?”), how Alec Baldwin is pretty awesome, the time my husband and I got bumped to first class on our way to Vegas (that sets a vacation up real nice), getting cheap groceries at Market Basket and then it turns out they carry my all time favorite ice cream: Heavenly Hash!

Lobster, drawn butter, low lighting, candlelight, firelight and the Northern Lights, earrings and necklaces and funky rings and pretty scarves, spending an hour (or 3) in the Christmas Tree Shop, getting my eyebrows waxed, when my friend Jo does my hair, when someone announces a pregnancy, brand new babies, Lilly Pulitzer dresses, shells collected on the beach on the Cape or in Florida, the thought of my kids’ faces when we tell them they’re going to Disney World in about 5-6 years, raw oysters, sand dollars and starfish, that I quit smoking cold turkey like a f’*cking badass, my allergy nurse Carol who is the kindest person of the planet, my books; all of my books, the OPI color Miami Beet, that I used baseballs and had my friends and family “autograph” them instead of a traditional guest book at my wedding, that those balls belonged to Dick Radatz and in some small way I could honor him, that the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and that I have a tattoo with the date and the exact time that Doug Mientkiewicz caught the final out from Foulke and that I even had someone in the Red Sox organization confirm the time, blankets, my comforter, throwing out my alarm clock and waking up to an alarm on my phone that’s a woman cheerfully singing “good morning, good morning!”, when my son wants huggie, meatball subs, eggplant rollatini from Dolce Vita, clam chowder, ice skating, gymnastics and swimming in the Olympics, shirtless Channing Tatum, Tom Selleck’s mustache, the movie Lucas…I think I’ve made my point.  So what did I finally settle on?

Now remember, this was  very, very, VERY hard…here it is, my five favorite things in life:

5. The feel and smell of my pillow and my sheets. They are crisp and clean and never less than 600 thread count. I love my bed.

4. Settling into my couch with a book that has me entranced.  Preferably in the mid-afternoon on a lazy Saturday when it’s cold out and I have nowhere to be.

3. An ice cold can of Pepsi, a large tuna sub from Chuck’s and a bag of Sour Cream and Onion potato chips.

2. Wearing a white or cream colored sweater on the beach, in the summer, preferably around sunset after a long day of frolicking.

1. U2.

Think up your own 5 favorite things. You’ll find that life isn’t so annoying after all.


Coupon Millionaire

In Life, Musings, Random on August 12, 2012 by Brighton Reyz

If it is free, it’s for me and I want three.

I asked my husband, “If we win a million dollars can I retire?”.  To please me, I’m sure, or possibly pacify me and stop the general battery of questions for the time being, he said, “of course honey”.  Well, this certainly made things more interesting on our usual take out and Redbox movie date night.  He just gave me every “Housewives of insert rich, entitled location here” fan’s fantasy:  Never Having To Work Again.  This kept me very quiet for the next seven minutes.

The possibilities seemed endless as I pictured myself driving my new convertible down Rodeo Drive with my full of needless new clothes filled shopping bags blowing in the wind.  What?  Meet for lunch at Spago later?  Yes, I am free.  And my treat since you got it last time, no, I insist.   This visual eventually stopped when it dawned on Real Life Me that a million is not that much anymore, well, that and my wine glass was empty and I was not able to call out to a butler to refill it.  This reality check slapped Day Dreamy Me across the face to snap out of it  (I assure you none of my personalities were injured in the making of this story).

The truth of the matter is that, by law, I think that I would have to own a tutu-wearing, four pound dog in order to even just to drive in Beverly Hills so it was actually not that much of a let down.

Then I started to do the math and realized had I gone this way, after my new found fortune, my interview on the next episode of “When Windfalls Go Wrong” on Bravo would go like this:  “At one point this lady had a million dollars.  At the very same point she also had two mortgages, what seems like everlasting vehicle maintenance and some credit card debt that she was in denial about.  How long did it take before the dream ran out?”.  People think that when you come into a large sum of money it means that you are now officially a Hilton, I know I just mentally did.   That would be like saying I am going to drive my VW bug into a lake because Herbie did it.  Unreasonable, yet tempting.

Sadly, it dawned on me that I could not just give in to the mental dream of putting in my two weeks notice and believing that getting my nails and hair done would be my new calling in life.  The truth is I have a job in this “sorry we are not hiring” crisis that we are all enjoying and I would rather work now than scan the classifieds in when I should be collecting social security.  Besides, my boss does a great Arnold Schwarzenegger imitation and I would not want to miss that.

So this all brings me to my next thought: Couponing.  I am not talking about extreme couponing for 40 hours a week to get 73 free Tidy Bowl cleaners, although I am sure I could use them eventually.  Maybe even leave one or two behind when I visit a friend.  That would be a nice surprise, right?  A nice, weird surprise.  What I mean is that I do not want to pay full price for the overpriced.  And why should we?  As I see it, we are only going to make a certain amount of money in my life and I want to get the most out of it.  Windfalls (and general denial for those unlucky souls who do not come into money but justify their weekly spending because they deserve it) tend to make people (me) think that they can have whatever they want whenever they want.  This is fine as long as they only want to live like that for a year or two and then subsidize their cash flow by standing on a corner with a witty cardboard sign.   Personally, I prefer an air conditioned office for the time being and a legitimate retirement date that I have earned.  That and I do enjoy seeing that register total drop down.  It is like my own local slot machine paying out.

Now I am a responsible woman who pays her bills every month and has health, life and dental insurance to protect me and my family if something goes wrong but after all that I am not left with much else other than food and gas to get to work.  So in the meantime I will cut, plan and save so I can afford extravagant things like impromptu Las Vegas trips, nice restaurants and even electricity.  With a little time and effort I will have that big house and ridiculous stock pile to avoid being at the mercy of the local supermarket when I run out (lottery or not).  So for now, take that $1.29 Whachamacalit at the check out aisle…I’ll see you when you are free.