Monday, March 7, 2011

Snow Suprises

People seem to think that when it snows they don't have to pick up their dog's poop. Well, you know what happens then? Turdsicles. Then the snow starts to melt a little after a few days and it's like walking through a freakin minefield. If anything, picking up frozen doodie should be easier than fresh doodie... just saying.
The snow was so pretty at first- then it turned so nasty. Just gray slush that soaked all pant bottoms and shoes. My favorite was the seemingly solid puddle! That's when the water is the same color as the road so you don't think twice about stepping off the curb- only to find yourself ankle deep in water with chicken bones and bandaids floating in it. It'll ruin your day. I'm also a huge fan of the iced-over incline. This thing of beauty makes you have to walk like an idiot so you don't slip on the frozen sidewalk while heading up or down hill. Your footing never seems stable. You fear busting your ass with every stride. You clench your butt the whole way- you know you do. I like when you do hit an icy patch and slide on one foot for a few seconds- wondering if this is going to be the one... and the jerking motion of your leg is so unexpected that you over-correct and pull a groin muscle. It's ok- you just grab a handfull of snow and ice your pained parts... nobody thinks twice.

New York New Years 2011

Who doesn't want to be in NYC for New Years??!! Time Square... the giant ball... Dick Clark or Ryan Seacrest or whoever the hell they use... (we actually had a major debate if Dick was still alive or not- inconclusive) but anyway- I was gonna be there for it all! I was going to be one of those dunken people blowing whistles, covered in confetti, and making out with strangers on TV! It's really every little girl's dream... But then some of the most upsetting news was made known to me: YOU CAN'T DRINK IN TIME SQUARE ANYMORE! You also go through security and have to be there early early early to get a good spot. Gross. That sounds like no fun- and I only like fun. I got a call from Leighanne saying that they were heading down to TS at 11:00 am to sit... I got a call later to inform me that they had left around 3 pm. Clearly this was not the way to do New Years. I'm sure that some of you reading this are probably getting really worried that my New Years was a bust- but fear not!
Buddy's friend's sister happens to have a bad-ass apartment with an amazing split-level rooftop patio just blocks from Time Square... and we were invited to party there. SCORE! We loaded up with the essentials- a bottle of Jameson and a 2 liter of Diet Coke- and set out. The TS station was packed and there were cops everywhere. Once we finally found an exit we were swept into a sea of people-not moving because some idiots kept yelling there were famous people exiting from limos. We put our heads down and pushed our way through the crowd- pissing people off with every step we took.
The view from the rooftop was perfect. The skyline was all lit up and we could hear the mass celebration. We had a fire pit complete with hotdogs and S'more ingredients, coolers of beer, dance party music going, and beerpong set up. There was no question that 2011 was going to be AMAZING!
I had a blast for sure... I know this because I came home with a bottle of Jack Daniels, glittery 2011 glasses, and the pictures on my phone say so... I also made some new friends according to my pictures :)
New Years Day for us started about 5pm. Hell yeah!

Flying, Flurries, and Forsaken Footware

10 days on the Texas/Louisiana circut for the holidays was fun but there was a part of me that was really looking forward to getting back to New York. It had it finally snowed a big snow while I was away and I was super stoked to try out my new boots! I had visions of me bundled up with my adorable jackets and scarves and hats and gloves frolicking in a winter wonderland, starting snowball fights, and building snowmen with the neighborhood children... But before all that fun could be had, I had to make it back...
My flight out was not until 5:30 PM so I had plenty of time to get last minute visits in and pack. Getting everything to fit in my bag was a challenge but "Professional Packer Julia" stepped in! She rolled everything into little balls and shoved shirts and socks into all my shoes and every crevasse of the bag. I had received two decent sized skillets and a set of sheets which she fit in there too. My bag weighed exactly 49.5 lbs- if it it over 50 lbs you have to pay extra... WHEW!
The flight back was boring but I did have the new Professor Layton DS game so I stayed busy. The guy sitting next to me was playing some sort of racing game that he was really getting mad at. There I was trying to complete puzzles and unlock secrets on my quest of "The Unwound Future," and there he was yelling "dammit" and stomping his big feet. Not ideal.
I knew it had snowed while I was gone, but for some reason I did not take that into consideration when dressing for my flight back. I was sporting a T-shirt, cotton pants, and my crocs... comfortable on a warm plane, stupid when standing in a taxi line for two hours ouside the airport in a blizzard. Luckily my backpack had a sweatshirt in it (spillover from my bulging suitcase.) I finally made it into a cab and told him 121 Seaman- by 207 and Broadway... where does he take me??? 121st street in Harlem... not even close. After I correct him and he throws a little fit, I told him to just drop me off at the train station and I'd hit up the A. He told me no. Wow. He then proceeded to yell at some woman crossing the street- he actually opened his door, and in heavily accented and broken english, insulted her with pretty much every explitive I've ever heard of. Great... I'm about to get gunned down in Harlem... Welcome home Sara...
We make it out of there and arrive in front of my building. He totals up my ride and the asshole includes a toll AND does not take off for taking me to the wrong place. I considered putting up a fight but really I was just gald to finally be back. I paid... and then he bitched about the amount of tip I gave him. I just glared at him until he drove away.
So 8 hours after leaving Houston, the only thing standing between me and my apartment was a 2ft mound of snow. I stood there quite a while trying to figure out how I was going to conquer this frozen fortress. My only option was to barrel through it. My feet immediately sunk and slipped- Crocs and socks- once again, not ideal... Then I had to try to dead-lift my heavy bag over the mound... Going 10ft had never taken me so long...
I made it in, had a beer, and thawed my feet.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fun in Texas (yes, it is possible)

I had my list of people to see while I was in Texas, and I got to almost everyone... One person in particular was my Lizard- and not just because I missed her smiling face, but I had committed to do something just for her...
I lived with Elizabeth for a year, and in that time I learned all kinds of fun facts! Fact: Lizard likes red wine. Fact: Lizard forgets to blow candles out before leaving the house. Fact: Lizard sings like an angel- in distress. And most importantly for this story... Fact: Lizard hates unshaven legs. This is the kind of information you have to do something special with! Ladies, what sucks more than shaving? Yes, good answer- shaving in the cold! And New York was cold, so what was I not doing? Shaving! (Readers at this time should know exactly where this is going unless you have no sense of humor or do not know me at all.) I talked to Elizabeth about a week after I moved and somehow leg shaving came up and I commented that I hadn't made that a priority since pants were a staple in my dresscode. She just couldn't believe it- she actually sounded more scared than disgusted! An idea was born! Mwaahahahahahahaaaa! I committed right then and there to not shaving my legs so that when I came home I could rub them on her. Hilarious. I kept my word- and it was really hard sometimes- but I had to see this through! The best part was that she forgot. I went to see her and Pie for wine and bull-shit like the good old days and then... BAM! LEGS! Lizard freaked and squealed as I had hoped. Pie put her hand over her mouth and looked genuinely concerned for my health and safety. I assured them that since my mission had been completed I would shave. I left that night feeling very accomplished and happy. It could have been the 3 bottles of wine we knocked out though...
Being home for Christmas allowed me to be there for Traci's birthday! YAY! I had alllll kinds of great birthday activities in mind- laser-tag, ice-skating, putt-putt... but nooooo, she wanted to be all adult and go have sushi. Selfish bitch. :) The sushi was perfect, the company was fantastic, the beers were cold, the darts were so far from the bullseye we quit...
The only downfall of the evening was that the bar closed at 2. I have really adjusted to this open til atleast 4 thing the bars have going on in NYC... But fear not, there were still drinks to be made and games to be played! FINALLY... WE HAD 4 PEOPLE FOR SPADES! Yes, that's right, it is that exciting. Traci, Andy, and I are game players... heavy duty game players always in search of a fourth. Joseph was our fourth that night... that glorious, ridiculous night. We awoke well rested the next afternoon. I checked my phone and saw that my mom had sent me a text: Steaks for dinner. Holy crap... life couldn't get any better. Oh, and she wanted to watch How To Train Your Dragon. Score!
It was rainning like crazy outside and I couldn't see any lines on the road, but I didn't need vision while driving because I had something stronger leading me home. Steak.

Christmas Vacation Continued...

So... when I last left off I was heading to Santa Land- a crazy place oozing the holiday spirit near College Station, TX. I wasn't going for my own personal enjoyment... especially since I was pretty hungover and nothing is better for that than millions of twinkling lights and the smell of funnel cake and horse crap :) I was going with Buddy and his family- taking the kids. They had a blast. The place is pretty cool (and I can only imagine the amount of money they make) and I got to pet a llama... so all in all it was a fantastic night!
I devoted the next day to last minute X-mas shopping with the brother. I have to say- Joseph and I come up with some pretty amazing gift ideas. We always have to throw something funny in the mix... a surprise... a bit of flair! For those of you who know Tony, my pops, you can only imagine the joy he has gotten out of little stocking stuffers like the "positive thoughts keychain" and the oh-so-useful golfball monogrammer! Ha! Oh but I think our best was when we bought some cheesy and cheap lingerie and wrapped it up- of course labling it to our mom from our dad... CLASSIC! The look on their faces was the real gift- and Joseph and I benefited from it most. Ahhhh tis the season! This year we kept it pretty basic... replentish the usuals...
I don't know if yall are aware, but for the last 3-4 years it has become a running joke for my mom to buy the family matching pajamas that we are required to wear on X-mas Eve. It started as a heart-warming fun joke thought up by mom and my aunt but has turned into a tradition. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a kick out of it, as well as new pajamas. We put on our pj's, watch the Muppet Christmas Carol, and call it a night. This is a present to my mom (and probably the best one since she loves promoting family togetherness).
Speaking of togetherness... I get my yearful at X-mas time because after we do our thing, we pack up and load into a vehicle and drive 6 hours to Louisiana. This year was especially exciting since my dad decided to be moody and not talk to us from the start. He also didn't seem to hear me when I said I was hungry or had to pee. We were allowed those luxuries when he was damn well ready. We never found out the reason for his increasing unpleasantness but as soon as we got to my aunt's he was allll smiles.
Both sides of the family are in LA and Christmas with each couldn't be more different. Not that one side is more enjoyable or anything- it's open bar vs. dumplings... tough call. We do the hugs and the "how are yous,"  re-address all the inside jokes, bring up embarassing memories, and make promises to see eachother more than once a year (which we never keep). After a day with each side we loaded back up and started the journey back. Dad resumed his silence, Mom read, Joseph gamed, and I bitched :) GOOD TIMES!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Fairytale Homecoming

As soon as I landed in Houston I noticed I had a voicemail from my brother, Joseph. He has such a way with words... It said, "Hey Sara (in a dull and irritated tone that lasted the entire message)- where the hell are you? Your plane landed early. We are at baggage claim. Hurry up." So I took my sweet time getting to baggage claim... with that kind of motivation who could blame me? And there I see him- sweatpants, camo jacket, trucker hat, Crocs and socks- my fashion savvy little bro :) He didn't get up- just chewed on his toothpick. I knew he was just trying to act cool... but I could see him fighting back the tears of happiness to see me. HAHAHA! "I didn't know you were going to be here to pick me up!" I said. Joseph cut his eyes at me and replied, "Well I wasn't planning on coming home until tomorrow but mom made me leave early so I could be here. For you." Once again, HAHAHAHAHA! I didn't see my mom anywhere, then Joseph pointed her out- she was standing in an athletic position in front of the escalator she was sure I would be riding up to baggage claim- camera ready. It was really cute. So I went and waited for my bag. 10 minutes later I was ready so I walked up to her- still eyeballing the escalator poised and ready. She was so excited. There were tears and hugs and camera flashes. Then she told Joseph to carry my bag. HAHAHAHAHA! We start walking out and I expected to head to the parking lot- but no- mom had also made dad come on the pick-up so it was a full on family affair. While they were inside he went and picked up breakfast sandwiches and juice for us.
I really wanted to get home and take a nap... but it was only 11 a.m. so everyone else was ready to go. I had to go see my kiddos first thing- I missed them! I was so worried they wouldn't remember me- it wasn't that I had been gone soooo long, but come on- little people change their favorites daily and I had to defend my title from over 2,000 miles away! It was the best seeing all of them when I pulled into the driveway. Elly came running and yelling my name. Addy acted like she wasn't sure it was me- she kept touching my face. But then I couldn't put either one of them down. Emma and Will showed me the new puppy and wanted piggy-back rides like old times. It was perfect.
I was so ready to nap after that but mom and I went shopping instead. Joseph and dad stayed home and napped. Really? Mom and I had a good time. And then she informed me that there would be Caesar salad and boudin for dinner. HOLY CRAP! WHAT A GREAT DAY SO FAR! And it was a Monday. Do you know what that means? TRIVIA AT EINSTEIN'S!!!!!
Joseph, his buddy Kevin, me, and Buddy all piled up and headed to Einstein's. We were meeting up with a group of people and planning for complete domination. We didn't do so hot at the trivia part but I feel like we nailed the socialization and consumption. And really... that's what trivia is all about :) I was most excited to see my bestest friend and partner in crimeTrivia Traci. She hates that name. So I use it as much as I can. I couldn't wait to do my job and help her haul all her heavy ass equipment and make it all fit in the back of her tiny car. And then we drink and throw darts. We are creatures of habit. It was so good to be back.
The next day I was supposed to go shopping again- with the whole family. Needless to say I didn't make that and I had to find a ride home from the Galleria area. My Lizard came to my rescue! My friends are the greatest! She got me home in excellent time and I had time to shower and prepare for my next adventure: Santaland!

It gets cold? What?

I like how when I told people I was moving to New York, most reacted with "it gets cold there." No shit. That was the big concern. Did I have gloves? Did I have boots? Had I ever been in snow before? Did I know snow was cold? Geeez people... I was built for cold weather :) But yes, I had been exposed to the chilly whiteness known as "snow" a few times in my life. And I was aware that dealing with it could lead to numbness in my hands, feet, and nose. Just to be on the safe side though, I climbed into my parent's deep freeze every chance I got and lived among the popsicles and pans of eggplant parmesan for proper climate conditioning.
It got pretty chilly and I saw a sprinkle of flakes a few days, but when the actual big snow fell I was back sweating my ass off in Texas for X-mas. Ok, lets talk about that! I booked my flight to be in Texas Dec. 20- Dec. 30. That way I got to do the family thing... see my peoples... be there for my best friend's bday... and make it back to NYC for New Years! My flight out was for 6:25 a.m. so I lugged my huge bag down a few blocks to try to hail a cab at 4:30 in the morning. I was hoping for a yellow cab because then I could swipe my card, but there were none in sight. All I had was $40 and a granola bar (that I really didn't want to share). I flagged down a gypsy cab and he quoted me $44. I told him all I had was $40, including tip. He didn't look happy, but I was the only moron out in the cold at 4:30 a.m. so he decided my money was good enough and off we went! I did not offer him any of my granola bar.
I checked in, checked my bag ($25! Airline rape!), and was heading towards security when a harsh voice started yelling "Ma'am! Ma'am- can't take ya wata thru tha line- gonna have ta throw it out." I turned around and yelled "Bitch it's not water, it's juice!" Ha- no I didn't. She was frightening. But I did have plenty of time so I stood by her, took out my granola bar and my juice and had a delightful breakfast. I finished, smiled at her, and threw it away. You know, she didn't say anything but I think it bothered her I stood there and ate breakfast in front of her. Maybe I should have offered her some granola. Next time... So then I got to stand in line and remove my clothes. Yay! Its kind of fun to strip in public... and an airport is one of the only places you get to do it without people getting all upset. The library- not so much. So I'm going through the machine... I didn't take my sweatshirt off and the cute little old man checking boarding passes told me if I kept it on I'd have to be pat down by an officer. I asked him if he was going to be doing the patting... he said no and pointed to some non-appealing brutes behind him. I can be a good sport an all, but the sweatshirt promptly came off and I was allowed passage. I think I may have hurt one of the brute's feelings. Once again... next time :)
I got to my gate, picked a prime seat away from sleepers or people with kids, tried to relax, get some reading in... and then OH NO! I got a tummy ache from drinking my juice too fast because I didn't want to toss it out. Luckily I travel with antacids. As boarding time neared, I was torn between going pee before I got on the plane or waiting. I decided better safe than sorry and hit it up. I got in there just as the ladies were about to clean... and they were opening each vacant stall and giving a narrative of what they saw. One lady had a really thick Jamaican accent and was saying "Flush the damn toilets!" I laughed and said to myself, "Ms. Cleo's getting mad!" which made me laugh harder, and when she turned to me I just smiled and told her I did flush my toilet. She said thanks and I knew then my day was going to be great- because Ms. Cleo was happy with me :) I returned to my waiting area and noticed a girl had taken my seat and her hair had taken the one next to it. That's right- her hair. Her ass was in one and she had slumped over her bag in the next one, throwing her crazy long hairs all over it. I sat on the edge and tried to avoid the hairs. Its not like she seemed dirty or anything but come on... I don't know her hairs so I don't want them on me. It is finally boarding time! YAY! Guess who is my airplane seating buddy??? Sleeping crazy long hairs girl! Luckily we we made it through most of the flight with an empty seat between us. I was trying to snooze since I had been up for about 22 hours at that point, when  the flight attendant informed me that there was a very long-legged gentleman who needed more leg-room and the ability to recline his seat- which was not possible back by the bathrooms. Correct me if I'm wrong, but ISN'T IT COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT SEATS BY THE POTTY DON'T RECLINE? I don't even fly that much but I knew that! Also, this long-legged dude was wearing a suit, which means he is on a business trip- and probably not his first one, and he had a Blackberry- which I saw he could use, which means he probably knows something about the Internet- which is probably the way he check in for his flight, and he should have noticed he could look at his seat and change it if need be! COME ON MAN! And even if his personal assistant takes care of all his travel plans- she should know he has long legs and shouldn't be by the toilet. Maybe he should fire her. All in all- I didn't see why I had to be disrupted. Whatever- me and sleeping long hairs girl got another seating buddy. Woo.
We touchdown in Houston where the pilot informs us it is 76 degrees. Yuck.