Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Sister: A Holy Terror

As people continue to drop babies around me with the frequency of the daily paper I have realized that some of these little ones are now the siblings of pre-existing little ones. This got me thinking about siblings and so, along with one of my baby gifts I forwarded a letter about my sister and me. Perhaps in hind sight this may scare them.

My sister and I are 4 years apart and I've been told that I was very happy to have a sister when she was born. It wasn't until about a year later when she started walking that I declared to my mother that, "This baby ruined my life" and "I was better off an only child". I think at the age of five it was more about her getting into my stuff than any deep seeded hatred.

As I grew older and she continued to invade my life I would make comments to my parents about hating her forever. Their response was to make me write down whatever I just said, sign it and date it. I think they intend to some day produce these little snippets of wisdom and make me eat my words. Perhaps some day when I have children who are wild hooligans beating on each other. It is at this point that they will give them to me, laugh like wild hyenas and say something like, "paybacks are a bitch".

My sister was annoying but I believe my issue was probably more with my parents and the fact that I was always at fault. If you have younger siblings you know the drill - You should know better, You're older. You could hurt her, you're bigger than she is. You should be setting an example. Blah, blah, blah.

I'll admit to having harbored bitter animosity through most of our young lives but don't you dare feel bad for her. This was the direct result of her superior skill at instigating and antagonizing. Learning to walk was only the start of a long history of torture. She could teach the CIA some new things about how to drive people insane.

Here are some of her greatest hits:
-> Take your rotten little digit and stab your sibling just below the line of sight of parents, over and over and over until your sibling finally snaps and cracks you in the head. Now start crying and let your sibling take a beating for "hitting you".

-> Start screaming bloody murder, for no reason, until a parental unit shows up. Watch as sibling gets crap kicked out of them for "whatever they must have done to make you scream bloody murder like that"

-> Refuse to cooperate with anything your sibling suggests, even when it makes sense....just because. Then refuse to admit you were wrong....ever.

We get along well these days. Clearly we are no longer hitting one another, at least not on a regular basis (that's a special occasion activity), but she still enjoys refusing to cooperate...just because. I am thankful for her husband. At best he is sometimes able to convince her to cooperate and at worst is there to commiserate with me when she doesn't.

Perhaps I also need to give my parents the benefit of the doubt, maybe they'll be giving her the notes when her future children are wailing on each other and driving her nuts...stay tuned.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Stupid Crap That I'm Sure No One Needs

How cool would this be? No more iced eyelashes in snow storms or wet hair in the rain. It's like the plastic bag concept from college. Here's the one flaw - how do I keep my handbag or laptop somewhat dry? And won't the rain just run down the little PacMan head and end up on your stomach and lower back?

I think I need the full body bubble version.

Nubrella – The Hands-Free Umbrella
via OhGizmo! by Luke Anderson on 2/21/08

By Luke Anderson
How many of you carry an umbrella when it’s raining? Unless I know that I’ll be walking for long distances in the pouring rain, I won’t bother. I figure that I’ll spend more time standing in the rain closing the umbrella and trying to put it in the car than I’ll actually spend outside. If you have a thing about getting wet, you might want to check out the very interesting Nubrella.

The idea here s that you can have an umbrella that doesn’t require any hands, because lets face it, you don’t always have one. The other benefit is that your head is blocked from the elements on all sides. On the downside you look like you’re being eaten by a transparent Pac-Man. If you don’t mind the strange looks you’ll get, you can pick one up for $60.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Am A Cliché

When I first read White Whine ( I found it funny. They're nifty little snippets - "a new white person complaint every day of the week".

Complaint #142: “I mean it feels good to buy organic, but would it kill Whole Foods to stock Diet Coke?”
Complaint $ 139: “Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that my messenger bag is taking FOREVER to be delivered?”

You get the picture.

Then today I came across Stuff White People Like (

Holy crap this is funny. It's even funnier to read some of the comments. It's a mix of people who think it's hysterical, those who are really angry and those who speculate about the blogger.

Here's one of my favorites:

PS - I convinced my mother to buy a Kitchen Aid Mixer for my sister as a housewarming gift. She actually makes bread with it so I don't feel so stereotyped. However as I mentioned before, my husband and I have a serious problem with kitchen gadgets so what does that say about us?

The Good, The Bad & The Thing That Looks Like Poo

Last night on a whim we went to Rae in the Cira Centre. Having previously imbibed at the bar and enjoyed the atmosphere we figured it was worth a shot. We arrived at 8:30 for our 9:30 reservations figuring we would have a few drinks at the bar and perhaps a snack before we sat down. Immediately we saw that it was absolute mayhem (later learning there was a server shortage). Bar seats were impossible to come by due to the sheer volume of people waiting for tables. After an hour we finally sat down at the bar and ordered the truffle pizza appetizer. It was absolutely delicious. Basically it's a flat bread pizza with truffle puree garnished with greens and shaved parmesan.

We were finally seated sometime after 11. Almost immediately the people next to us walked out. Things were not looking good. At least they were nice enough to hand us their menus since the server had neglected to give us our own.

Our friend is a bit of a steak snob. As soon as he saw the reserve menu he decided on the Dry Aged T-Bone. Unfortunately they were 86'd by the time they took our order. Conveniently they did have an aged NY Strip for two. He and my husband decided to split the 2 lb monstrosity while I chose the tenderloin. Both cuts of meat were supremely fatty. Having a well documented aversion to fat on meat, I was not thrilled.

I can't really hold the poor service against them; staff call outs happen. I can complain about the crappy cuts of meat. I suppose I wouldn't care if it were a moderately priced restaurant, but it wasn't. That said, you should absolutely go have a drink at the bar, get the Truffle Pizza and enjoy the atmosphere. Carnivores dine at your own risk.

So when I woke this morning I really wanted something good. We decided on St. Stephen's Green, a little Irish Pub up the street. My husband complained he didn't want to have "Irish Pub Breakfast", I assured him they would have other things as well. So what did he do? He ordered an entire Irish breakfast. Then he was certain they were cheating him out of his rashers. After much discussion, it turned out it was actually the bangers that were missing but who would have known since none of the protein onslaught was identified by anything that made any sense. I wouldn't have guessed that pudding is code for "weird meat sausage that tastes a bit like scrapple". Good thing for the iPhone, we were able to look up rasher on and resolve the debate over which protein was which.

Overall it was a good brunch spot (just under $20/person) - 17th and Green - should you be in the mood for some black pudding, which is actually blood sausage, which is actually pork sausage with a high blood content (and based on the picture to the left, it also resembles something else on which I won't elaborate). If that doesn't sound tasty, and I can't imagine why can also find normal, non-turd looking food, like the brie and mushroom omelette.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Husband: Equal Opportunity Gift Acceptor

My husband and I don't really celebrate VD. <snicker, snicker>; I am of the opinion that it's an inflated holiday for people who don't do nice things for one another roughly 359 days of the year (359 because we obviously need to exclude other inflated commercial holidays, X-Mas, Birthdays & Anniversaries). I don't believe my husband has any feelings toward VD, he just enjoys that I don't want flowers or chocolate. On the other hand, he was the recipient of several gifts this year, among them – from a "client" (a super fancy gift basket of chocolate, cheese, crackers, caviar, etc) and from the barista dude at Starbucks (who I think digs him - a free pound of coffee).

In his defense, he did give me a card and dialed for Chinese last night, so he gets extra points for that.

I think more people should celebrate the way my friends in London do. The short version is that the day after VD they both go out looking for the most horrific VD paraphernalia. Of course, it being the day after VD everything is in the bargain bin. Hence "Bargaintine's Day". Far more fun, cheaper and when else is it appropriate to buy a giant trout made of chocolate?

So for those of you over the pond, Happy Bargaintines's Day. Those of you stateside, I hope you had a nice VD!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Little Naked Gymnastics at Lunch Rounds Out Your Work Day

Approximately 14 days ago my neck started to hurt and thinking I had slept on it wrong, I assumed time would take care of the problem. Some time on day four of the stabbing pain I pulled out my memory foam pillow. Day 7 had come and gone without relief so I called my chiropractor. As it turns out she had closed her Center City practice.

Me minus a vehicle does not equal Chiropractor twenty miles away.

She took pity on me and recommended a local doctor. I called his office and due to my “new patient status”, the earliest he could fit me in was 7 days later. I took it. Of course 14 days after the pain had started (having spent the last 9 on my super-duper memory foam pillow) I no longer felt like there was someone stabbing from behind. I decided to keep the appointment so next time I wouldn’t need to take a “new patient appointment”.

After arriving I was a little nervous because it felt a bit like someone was trying to sell me a timeshare. I had handed in the new patient paperwork and been ushered into a little room to watch a movie about Chiropractic. It felt a bit like, "Look, maybe you've heard that Chiropractors are voodoo priests and witch doctors, but really they're not and you did the right thing coming here." Shortly after the reassuring film, the doctor came in to talk to me. He didn’t freak me out, that was a good sign.

I was then escorted to another room where he instructed me to take off everything but underwear and socks and put on a paper robe.

Let’s pause here for a moment.

I was not planning on getting naked. Getting naked for a medical professional involves some "getting-naked-pre-work". Having no prior knowledge of the impending nakedness, the pre-work was not completed. It’s the middle of winter; these legs don’t see a razor unless I’m wearing nude stockings. (And we all know that nude stockings look like dead people’s skin so that doesn’t happen often in my world) Thank heavens I had put on sensible underwear that morning. The alternatives there could have been disastrous. We will not elaborate further on this topic.

So I sucked it up and went to put the gown on. Hmmm. Which direction does the opening on this paper gown go? I reasoned that if the OB/GYN is interested primarily in the front area, then this guy should be interested in the back area. Gown on, opening in the back.

This is where it gets a little bizarre. The assistant comes in and says she wants to run some tests. I suppose the intention was to test my range of motion. What actually happened was me twisting and stretching while attempting to keep my ass in my paper gown.

Assistant: How far can you bend forward (holding giant protractor thingy)
Me: Like bending over to touch my toes?
Assistant: If you can reach the floor, yes.

So I touch my toes while attempting to keep the little Velcro closings from popping open.

Assistant: Now, how far can you bend backwards
Me: Well, all the way
Assistant: What does that mean, “all the way”?
Me: I mean I can bend over backwards and touch the ground. Do you really want me to do that?
Assistant: Yes

So I proceed to bend over backwards. In my doctors office. Sans bra. Naked except for a paper gown. I am not happy.

Assistant: Hmmm, well that's a first.

The rest of the visit was fairly routine save for the part when the doctor tells me that I have a bit of a sway back and an extra Lumbar vertebrae. He then comments that perhaps that's the reason I can fold myself in half backwards. I am now quite certain that the office staff probably refers to me as "the lady who runs around doing gymnastics naked".

I’m not sure if this getting naked thing is a regular occurrence or a special first visit kind of thing. Regardless, let this be a warning to you all - when you go to a new medical professional be sure to pull out the old razor and wear some nice but sensible underwear because you never do know when you're going to need to take it all off and bend over.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ode to Aunt Flo

I have a friend who is somewhat unconventional. This is exemplified by her tampon poem. Yes, she wrote a poem about a tampon. It was a really sad poem (and not sad pathetic, sad like “sniff, sniff, I feel bad for that little tampon”). There was a line about how the little wad of cotton must be sad since it will never be anything fun like an oxford shirt. Weird? Maybe, but I suppose she has a point. If you were a wad of cotton this might be the least desirable product you could aspire to be.

I started thinking about tampons today thanks to my work husband. He was looking for whiteout. He didn’t have any and wanted me to go through the desk drawers of our co-worker to find some.

Work Husband: “Will you go look for whiteout for me, I would do it myself but I wasn’t sure if there were girly things in there”

I was confused. Girly things…like collections of googly eye stickers and pencils with heart shaped erasers?

Me: “Huh?”
Work Husband: “I know she has a huge drawer of supplies but I don’t want to go through her drawers. I thought maybe you could do it for me”.

Now I realize that he feels I am the better choice to forage through her drawers because I am female and “girly things” are man code for MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS. (Sorry, I felt the need to capitalize it for impact.)

Me: “Go look yourself and if you find the tampon drawer it’s ok, they don’t bite.”

10 minutes later

Work Husband: “She didn’t have any whiteout but the tampons are in the middle drawer”
Me: “Great and if you need some more, mine are in the bottom left”

What is it with men and their goofy behavior about feminine products? I blame 6th grade. That was the year they took all the boys into one room and the girls into another to have “the talk”. From that point forward it became a weird girl secret. We watched Julie’s Story, a movie about our grand entrance into womanhood. Sadly IMDB offers little information on this cinematic gem. It was apparently released in 1984, described as follows:

“Julie gets her first period in her dance class and tells her best friend and their teacher. The teacher informs Julie of what to do during her period. This is an informative piece for pubescent girls who have or will begin to menstruate.”

Frankly that’s more than I actually remember about the movie. Since we weren’t the steroid/growth hormone infused pre-pubescents of today, 99% of us hadn’t even gotten our periods at this point. And if someone did have it, they certainly weren’t broadcasting it. I mean c’mon, who is going to own up to something as corny as “experiencing womanhood”. No one is that stupid.

Oh wait, I was wrong.

Before I tell you what was actually said, you need context - an understanding of the individual if you will. I share this strictly for illustrative purposes. (and maybe because it's a little funny)

Movie Day – Sometime in 1986
She was escorted out of the class movie to the nurses office (you know the kind of movie I mean - old projection machine, big ass spools, cool click, click, click noise, back when the teacher needed a PhD in AV to make the damn thing work). She had been absently twirling her hair around her finger, intently watching a badly narrated film about ancient Egypt when she started crying. As it turns out her finger had become hopelessly knotted in her hair and now she couldn’t get it out. So there she sat crying with her limp hand dangling from her ratty hair. They ended up having to cut out.

Context my friend. And now we continue…

Back to Julie’s Story. We had just sat through a terrifying 30 minutes where they told us some day soon we’re going to start unexpectedly bleeding for no good reason which only happens to girls and we could talk to our mothers about it because they too bleed unexpectedly for no good reason.

There was now a very uncomfortable silence as we sat staring at the ceiling while biting our fingernails praying that they would let us leave in time to hide our sample pack of feminine products from the boys. Out of the silence comes a whiny voice…and I preface this by saying that I can’t remember if there was an actual question posed to us or if this was just unsolicited commentary.

“Ummm, I have a little bit of something that comes out of the hole sometimes but I’m not sure if that’s it. It’s kind of white. I didn’t tell my mother.”

Sweet Jesus! What is wrong with her? This resulted in nervous tittering in the room for which we were promptly reprimanded and sent on our way. (I should mention that years later she was still the girl that had a little bit of something coming out of THAT hole.)

Life went on after Julie, "it" eventually came, it still comes and my work husband has figured out that it's just his luck that I share the same cycle with his real wife. Unfortunate...for him.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Taking Voyeurism to New Level

I’ve previously extolled the world conquering capability of Google and now we can add more bad ass functionality to the list. They have this thing called street view on that lets you check out street level views of places like you were standing there with your own two eyes. In Philly you can check things out from 360 degrees around and up and down.

How do you find this fantasticness you ask? When you enter a location on the map, if street view is available, the option will appear in the top right navigation (next to the traffic button). It appears to be a fairly new feature so they only have the larger US cities (and some of their surrounding communities). You'll also find some weird dead ends in coverage - I guess they had to stop somewhere.

I found this all quite by accident when I went to find something on the map. So I started checking out places I used to live, historic sites in the city and then all the places that I wouldn’t go for fear of being riddled with bullets.

There are a bunch of other cities (you can tell by the little camera over the city name when you click “street view” at the zoomed out view) but I haven’t found another one like Philadelphia that you can look 360 degrees up and down as well.

Check it out, here’s my college apartment! It’s entirely possible that I spent more time drunk in this building than sober. On that note, I’ll leave you with the following warning: this can be highly addictive. You shouldn’t undertake any serious sightseeing without having some time on your hands…and a pretty good computer because it will basically kill whatever else you’re doing.