Friday, July 31, 2009

Oh No

Baseball, fans's trust take another big hit Not Big Papi. Anybody but him. And there were 100 on the list? Is anybody NOT taking steroids? I suppose the 90-pound weaklings aren't, the skinny guys with the low batting averages. But the big guys, the ripped muscle dudes, juiced juiced juiced. Didn't Jose Canseco tell us this in his book?

I can see how it happens. You're a good player with a lot of ability. You desperately want to make it to the top level before someone else does. The guy standing next to you, the wimpy bloke in glasses, a smart guy, tells you it won't hurt you. "I'm telling you, it won't hurt you. Not what I have." He's giving you something else that when you take it, gets rid of all the bad possibilities. "No side effects with this stuff." It won't show up on tests and nothing bad will ever happen except that you will become an awesome player. Oh go ahead, you say. I'll try it.

This makes me think of fingernail polish. Stay with me, dear reader. I normally don't wear the stuff and think of it as a pain in the ass and not worth my time and shallow in the extreme. Not that I am against shallow. But you live your life a certain way when your nails are painted. A little more contained, a little more tentative, you're careful not to grab or scrub or poke too energetically. It's definitely a girl thing.

But then when I do have my nails done for an event, such as my son's wedding this weekend, I LOVE it. I am constantly holding my hands out to admire them. I hold them at different angles so I can see how the sun glints off the individual fingers. Sick-o. Within days they are flawed, scratched, and otherwise violated, of course, but my point is that it's easy to embrace an activity you know is stupid and to give yourself over to it regardless of the consequences. Vanity, thy name is Revlon.

See? That is your Nail Polish Sports Theory of the day. Oh and what was David Ortiz thinking during the Manny 'roid scandal? And the A-Rod one? Gosh, that could be me? Geesh. No wonder they don't criticize each other.

Many are now saying our World Series wins in 04 and 07 are tainted. Just don't forget one thing, though. Yankees still suck.

In other news, the car situation is still not resolved. Here's the main scoop: I picked out a car model that I liked. I sat down with Salesman X and he and I agreed that it, let's call it the ABC model, was the model for me. I told him I didn't want the high upper edition with the leather seats, etc., but I didn't want the base model either. The ABC was perfect. I drove one. I liked it. I negotiated a price. We came to agreement and shook hands. I signed a million papers, being careful to check all the figures. Here's where it gets tricky.

They make you sign off on everything to do with the car delivery before they actually deliver it. Then when they do drive it up to you, all you want to do is buckle in and bust out of there. The first thing I noticed when I opened my new car door was the driver's seat---manual instead of power. What's that, I asked Salesman X. Here was his answer. "I don't know." Also missing on the car was the keyless entry system. He still didn't know, but said he would look into it. Okay, I already know, this was the point when I should have leaped out of the car, held up my cloves of garlic, and said no way! I won't accept this car! That's what I should have done, but I didn't. I drove away and started calling Salesman X who assured me he would take care of it. They gave me the base model instead of the ABC. There are more details, but I don't want to get into them just yet. So now I have a car that I don't like and don't want. It's new, though, and when this wedding gets past, I will be in attack mode. If they don't make me happy, you may be sure that their names will be plastered all over this blog.
Still Living the Dream

Monday, July 27, 2009

Holding Off

I will have a New Car Purchase post soon, dear reader, but not yet.

GOD, nothing is ever simple, huh?

In other news, I'm still denying any relationship with Governor Mark Sanford. I have never been to Argentina, though I have cried for it. The truth is I never left it, all through my wild days and my mad existence. Rats.

Nor do I acknowledge any relationship whatsoever with Eliot Spitzer. I Heart New York, though.

Nor do I acknowledge any relationship whatsoever with Chip Pickering (from Mississippi).

In addition, I renounce all claim or interest in this guy, even though he used to be from my state:

The question is, will anyone believe me?
A bientot

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 Things That Suck About Buying a Car

10See full size image) Sales Guys

I didn't see any women in the sales trenches, only men. I feel sorry for most of them. It can't be easy. They are rumpled and unkempt, some extraordinarily so. Many are overweight. When you see them alone at their desks, they are scarfing candy and look lonely and nervous, ready to jump out of their own skin. As far as appearance goes, I guess it's a combination of a)declining dress codes everywhere--men in most jobs these days look like they're going to a barbecue b)they want you to know they are "just folks" with bills to pay, which leads to c)sympathy element. If you leave without buying, several of them including the boss, will surround you, sort of like sorority "hot boxing."

9) Explanations of timing belts

Of course I'm the one who asks--why should I buy [this brand] rather than [that brand]? But when they start in on their spiel, I'm sorry I asked. Some of them really don't seem to know. Every one of them says their brand keeps its value the longest. Sigh. Every web site says something different. Consumer Reports makes my brain hurt. In the end, you just want to sweep all the info off the desk and onto the floor. LET'S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE, OKAY? MANO A MANO. I can see why guys revert to brute force. SHUT THE FK UP!

8) That horrible question--what will it take for you to buy this car today? Well, I don't really want to buy today. But there must be some number that if you hear it, you will buy. Isn't that right? Oh god, please help me.

7) The Veiled Hint.

This happens when you are about to leave and they suggest that they could do better when you're ready. "Don't buy a car until you call me, okay? Will you call me and let me get in on the bidding?"

6) Freezing cold showrooms

5) The test drive. I don't want to test drive it. I wouldn't be looking at this car if I didn't have confidence that it has a good ride, nice dashboard, yada yada. Salesmen have a hard time dealing with this. I compromised with one of them and let him test drive it. That wasn't bad.

4)Consultations with unknown "boss." I sit there twiddling my thumbs while Sales Guy disappears to speak with Grand Wizard. Why don't they set up showroom like Wizard of Oz with smoke and special effects? I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ. Blah blah blah.

3) Tearful farewell.

They do NOT want to let you out the door. Each Sales Guy has his own version of this. When I get back into my car (soon to be heartlessly dumped), I am emotionally drained.

2) Trying to decide which car is better.

Maybe this price isn't so good when you consider blah blah blah. It's easy to decide which Sales Guy is better. Some of them are not professional at all. One told me that the car he was offering me would match my hair. Hmmm, now there's a reason to buy.

1) The deals, the games, the subterfuge. I'm not a car person. I'm not like Californians who ARE their cars. They love their cars and identify with them to an extraordinary degree. I just want a car that starts. You know? I don't want a status car like a Beamer or a Lexus. My friends all have those and you know something--they seem to be in the shop often. Every time they are in, it's five hundred bucks for whatever it is. That's why I'm looking at the three I'm looking at. These dealers need to understand that women are shoppers. We like to look around and compare. It's also very much a popularity contest and that isn't right. But the car that I originally thought and still think is probably the best of the three is the one I'm definitely not going to buy. Why? Didn't like the guy.

HELP! And I want to buy before the sales tax goes up on Aug. 1. Although if they have another one of those tax-free days like they did last August, that would be a HUGE savings for me. What to do...........
Brain cramps, dear reader.
A bientot,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Les Vacances

Location: Truro, Ma.

Otherwise known as: Outer Cape Cod or if you like, the "upper Cape." Lah dee dah, baby. Here's a map of it with Vanna White displaying. She is bossy on a vacation and keeps having to stop everywhere and pose. It gets old. Anyway, we were up somewhere in the middle of that curve (on the map). This was not my normal girlfriends Falmouth vacation with lots of stores and Betsy's Diner. That is coming up soon, dear reader, as I continue to Live the Dream.

One thing I like about the upper Cape is that no one worries about their lawn. The nicest houses and even the most breathtaking mansions have crappy front yards and back.

Sunrise over Hawaii Beach

Um, this is actually Diamondhead Beach in Hawaii. Somehow, I came away without a good pic of the Truro beach. But the sunset is beautifully watchable there too.

Vacation day schedule:

Sleep till whenever. Drink coffee. Eat sensible breakfast. Then go back for un-sensible second breakfast. You're on vacation. Ice cream sandwiches make a tasty add-on.

Get oiled up, loaded down with everything under the sun, and head out to the beach. It's almost disheartening to face the prospect of all the stuff you have to carry. Sunscreen? Certainly, especially for this pasty white chica. Umbrella? Oh sure. Chair? Gotta have it. Book? Definitely. Camera? Flip flops, sunglasses, water bottle, snorkeling goggles--uh, I'll skip those. Good god, let's get out of here. Better bring lunch, so grab the Cheet-O's on the way out.

Apportion time between being roasting hot on the beach and cardiac arrest from stepping into the cold water. "It's fine when you get used to it!"
"The stock market is fundamentally sound!"
Grit your teeth, submerge your body and then run screaming back to your chair.

Try lying down and sleeping on a beach towel. The good part is you can dig trenches for your feet and other parts that need deeper space. You can't do this at a swimming pool. The bad part is who can sleep that way? It's fun to listen to errant wafts of conversation that filter across the beach and the water. "He paid 800 for it. I told him it was a mistake." "Just tell them I was sick. They won't care." "If your mother comes tomorrow, I'm leaving."

Stay till midafternoon or until skin cancer seems imminent. Trudge back to house with all stuff. In our case, we had to climb 64 steps up. It was a good workout until I started to think about vertigo and how at any moment I could lose my balance and plunge to certain death or embarrassing ER visit. Don't think about how far down it is and how the bottom line of your glasses doesn't always match up with the line going across on the stair in front of you. EEEEEEEK.

Shower outside. Pretend to be Eve in the Garden of Eden, all natural and beautiful. Then accept reality and pretend to be Wanda, Eve's friend from slummier trashier garden down the way. More cellulite and more fun. Tell Adam to keep his hands to himself.

Collapse into bed for well-earned nap.

Doze off and wonder what happened to guy who paid 800. 800 what?

Wake up. Wonder about dinner.

Discuss dinner.

Tell and exchange amusing anecdotes about other dinners.

Wait until someone actually stands up and takes action. Then stand up and follow.

Eat dinner. Remember--all together now--you're on vacation. Send someone out for chocolate syrup and ice cream to make death defying brownie sundaes.

Truro is next to Provincetown, site of original Pilgrim landing nearly three hundred years ago--that's darned old for us guys here in the colonies. Provincetown is charming and crowded. There are beautiful restored Victorian homes with cupolas and nooks and crannies next to falling-down shells of houses with garbage out on the front porch.

It is also known by the hipper crowd as "P Town." It is a hub for gay people, male and female and everywhere on the spectrum. It is gender cornucopia. Many who feel they have not made their statement with their clothes, haircuts, piercings, etc., try to do it with their dogs. Big guys walking poodles, a skinny biker striding alongside horse-sized mastiff. The ferry from Boston lets off in the center of town and liberated city people roll their suitcases along on narrow sidewalks. The smell of fried food permeates. It is not unlike other beach towns up and down the coast line in that respect. More yogurt shops here, though, than ice cream. We're eating and then working out at the gym, methinks.

Pilgrim Monument intrigued me. I was sure that from the top of it I would be able to see our rental house.

It's only 117 steps to the top of it and there are windows every so often.

I became interested in the engraved stones everywhere inside, each from a different town in Massachusetts. Plymouth, Amesbury, Achushnet, lots and lots of them, never one from my town, though I kept watching.
Civic pride eventually conflicted with something I had completely forgotten--I am scared of heights. Yee-ow! That's right, dear reader. I made a U-turn about halfway up, much to the consternation of the group behind me. What a dumb thing I said to them: "I was just in the Eiffel Tower and it bothered me." WTF? Are you okay, lady? Did you fly direct from the Eiffel Tower to the Pilgrim Monument? Anyway, I hobbled all the way down again.

But I'm glad I did it.

P Town is fab.

But of course I'm glad to be home.
Sort of.

The kitties were glad to see me, though they had their own vacation. The bathroom door was left open and I'm pretty sure they were trying my eyeliner, in addition to smoking and drinking downstairs and up. The party's over, my darlings.

A bientot, love,becky

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Shall Return


Off for a delicious week of fun, dear reader. No internet--how will I manage?

A bientot



Wednesday, July 08, 2009

True Love


SY: Honey? Sweetie?

WA: Yes, my love?

SY: I told you your hair would look better shorter. I was right, wasn't I?

WA: Yes, I can see that. The mirror wants what it wants.

SY: Sorry I was so depressed last night.

WA: That's okay, darling.

SY: It's just that I miss my mom sometimes.

WA: I know.

SY: Sometimes I have the overpowering need to be taken in her arms...

WA: Yup.

SY: And comforted as I lay at her bosom.

WA: Oh god, me too. I totally feel the same way. Her eyes are so blue.

SY: Excuse me?

WA: You know, just thinking about a mother's love.

SY: I didn't really mean bosom.

WA: Oh, me neither. Were you going to show me how to do that text thing?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Prague

AJ: Honey? Little Sprout?

BP: Yes, sweetikins, at your service.

AJ: That scarf you're wearing?

BP: Yeah, babe.

AJ: What were you thinking?

BP: I thought you liked my quirky affable cool-dude demeanor.

AJ: Don't say demeanor. It irritates me.

"BP: Oops.

AJ: I guess no one will think you are gay.

BP: Gay? Why would--

AJ: Oh darling, see those poor children over there behind the cordoned off section? The ones with the big eyes and no food?

BP: No, Angie, I don't see them. I don't see them, honey. Let's go. Let's get out of here.

Bill and Hillary Clinton
HC: Do you think this food service uniform will make people like me better?

BC: Aw baby, they like you now. You are the greatest.

HC: Thanks, dear. Are you going to be home tonight?

BC: Uh no, I have an important foundation meeting. It's in, um, Philadelphia.

HC: What about this weekend?

BC: Darn. I have to shoot down to Florida for some golf.

HC: I was hoping we could study Italian together.

BC: We will, dear. But I have an emergency conference with Governor Sanford in South Carolina. And we might play golf too.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Cats and Books

The cats have no genre preference. They would as soon lie on top of the trashiest paranormal vampire saga as any literary masterpiece. In fact, WAR AND PEACE might be uncomfortable for them. Here they are eating. They are very cute when they do this. They are less cute when they are knocking stuff over on my bureau or pulling down clothing items from hangers. In fact, they are trying to reorganize my wardrobe this summer, mostly so it's all on the floor where they can lie on it and shed fur in peace.

Note little "dead mouse" cat toy in front of Miss Dahlia. Those items still alarm me whenever I see them.
When I'm not writing my own book or completely wasting time in some other pursuit, I am usually reading. Here are the last few I took on.
The 19th Wife: A Novel
THE 19TH WIFE by David Ebershoff is a gem. Remember I like BIG LOVE on HBO. I keep waiting for jealousy to surface on the show and it never does. I mean let's say you're a wife in a marriage with a husband you love. And then he brings somebody else home? And you get to be in the next room while he is "visiting" her? You'd think there'd be poison in the pancake mix on the first day. Not on the show, though. Well, in this book jealousy is shown by the wives (although if you were the wife of a gnarly old dude with ear hair and bad breath, you'd probably welcome any new wife). Five stars.
The Killing Circle: A Novel
THE KILLING CIRCLE by Andrew Pyper to me was boring and depressing. I thought it was going to be a murder mystery, but it was too creepy and psychological for my tastes. He is obviously an excellent writer, but this one didn't do it for me. No rating because I didn't finish it.Secrets to Happiness: A Novel
SECRETS TO HAPPINESS by Sarah Dunn is a terrific women's fiction/chick lit read. Hey, any book that makes me laugh out loud can't be bad. Her male characters are believable and that
isn't easy to do. Hats off. Four stars
Nothing to Lose (Jack Reacher, No. 12)

NOTHING TO LOSE by Lee Child was my airport book for the Arkansas trip. It was okay. The hero, Jack Reacher, keeps scaling the impregnable fortress, over and over, at will, day or night. Ho hum. Reacher is a well-loved series character and part of his premise is that he never does laundry. He wears clothes and then throws them out and buys new clothes. I know this is supposed to be quirky, etc., but EEEEEEEEEEW. He has no problem getting sex partners either. Try doing that if you're a female. Oh, this thing? From WalMart a week ago. Do you think it smells? Sorry, I can't afford anything else till tomorrow. Two stars.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage)

This book is a humdinger. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson, a Swedish author who is now dead, but who turned in this manuscript and the two that will follow before he died. It is a riveting story with a very satisfying ending. I couldn't put it down. This hero also has no trouble getting sex partners, but thankfully he seems to launder and change his clothes regularly. The girl in the title is a unique pissed-off heroine who knows how to get excellent revenge. Five stars.

MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT OF THE SUMMER: waiting in line at the airport, getting checked in, and through security, all while wearing long plastic "L" strip (for Large) down my chest on newly purchased sweater. Solidarity with the masses, bro.
Loving the Dream, dear reader
Enjoy July, the perfect New England month (we hope)