PlazaJen: The Blog

Riding the Bike with One Pedal.

Category: WTF? (page 1 of 3)

This Is What A Feminist Looks Like

A friend of mine posted about how the UPS man wouldn’t hand over her package until she told him what was inside. He played that game. And I have to say, having experienced this sort of interaction more times than I could attempt to count in my 47 years on this planet, it’s probably one of the biggest contributing factors to my Face of Stone that makes people somewhat afraid of me when it surfaces, like a submarine rising to battle above the waters. Because fuck you, dude. Oh, I can hear it now. “He’s just flirting!” “He’s just having some fun.” “He’s just playing around, he probably likes you.”

You know what? I’m reached the age in life where IDGAF, because stuff like this, societally, blames me and says, “let’s excuse bad behavior because you’re not in the mood to put up with it.” And what dictates that I should be in the mood? Because I’m a woman, and I should welcome a man’s attention and interest and playful banter, even if all I’ve done is answer the goddamned door to receive a package, something I PAID FOR. No. Just, no. How about saying something like, “I hope it’s something you’ve been looking forward to!” or asking, “How’s your day been? What do you do for a living?” Because holding a package hostage under the guise of “just playin'” immediately tilts the balance of power. It says, “Until you give me what I want (the answer), I’m not going to give you what you reasonably expect to receive without issue.” It’s like holding a package high above a kid’s head and making them jump for it. And you can argue that on the grand scale of things, this is small stuff, but if someone thinks it’s ok to do, I really don’t want to know what other boundaries they might ignore. And I resent being “That Witch” who calls your supervisor to complain, or “That Cunt” who won’t play along with your idea of fun, or “That Humorless Bitch” who just won’t smile for you. The real problem, in my opinion, is that I’ve endured it enough that I could feel my anger as if it were happening to me.

Boundaries. Respect. This is what a feminist looks like. Basically the same shit everyone wants and expects from the humans they come in contact with.
Bighairjen

When Will It Be Enough?

We’re inching ever-closer to some of the movies we thought would never happen – I’m thinking specifically of Natural Born Killers. The frenzy climbs, and media attention – even posthumously – seems to be the currency of the day.

I watched part of a video on CNN, the live feed of the reporter & cameraman being shot to death today. I recoiled, horrified, and cried at my desk. I want nothing more to do with any more video. I want to know nothing about the man who committed this crime, who posted more video on his Twitter account before going on the run and eventually killing himself.

I thought 20 children being killed along with their 6 teachers was when enough would be enough. I don’t even know what the answers are? But something has to change. This is heartbreaking.

Stove Shopping

As duck season approaches, the need to furnish the “Duck Club” becomes more necessary. One of the agreements we had when we got this little house in S. Missouri was that the appliances in our house here would move down there, and I would get to pick out a new stove and refrigerator.  (Ice Maker! Power Burner! The foodie and cook in me has been studying all the Consumer Reports reviews and making lists and perusing sales.)  Now is the time for the stove…. (the fridge will come later, the ones I want are not cheapo.) So I went out to Lowe’s last night, having identified the top CR pick lined up with the one I wanted – and it was on sale.

The Appliances section was empty, except for one worker, we’ll call him Bill. Names have been changed to protect the…guilty? In this day and age when you put something on the internet, it has so many ways of biting you in the ass… Anyway, Bill asks if I need help and remains glued to his computer while I wander around – note to Lowe’s, it would be sensible if you arranged all the stoves by electric and gas; I don’t know that many people walk in the door waffling between the two. Bottom line, I can’t find the model I want, even though it was listed as in-stock online. I finally circle back to Bill, and he agrees to look it up on the computer.

Now, because of where the monitor is, and complicated by what appears to be an extremely lazy eye, I suddenly become acutely aware that Bill may just be looking at the far right side of his screen, but instead, is actually ogling my boobs. Sigh. After I edge around to view his screen and change where I’m standing, that question gets answered pretty quickly.

Apparently, my tits are the primary shopper in the room.

So, on it goes, it would seem that Lowe’s does this little thing where they stock shit in a distribution center, and they can deliver within 7-10 days, which is not going to fit my schedule, as I can not imagine going without a stove for that long, not during Soup Weather! There’s only so much you can do with a crockpot. Bill discovers that there is one single location in the metro that has this stove in-stock (after I mention that Nebraska Furniture Mart has the same make/model at the same price point.) He tries to call them, gets caught in a circular loop, and throughout the entire fifteen minutes I’m waiting, all of this information is being conveyed to my general midsection , just below the neck. He does notice that I look at my watch somewhat impatiently (then I realized, duh, when you pull your arm up to see your watch, where does it stop? Right in line with the boobs.) and finally sent me off with his notes of the model & the phone number for the other store.  I walked away feeling like I needed a shower, and wondered if I could call Customer Service to get an additional “I’ve-Been-Somewhat-Violated” discount as part of my negotiations.

Instead, I got home, chatted with James during a break in his parent-teacher conferences, called the other store, got a very nice sales person who got it all taken care of over the phone, had numerous delivery options, and this weekend, I’ll have my new Frigidaire stove, with five burners and three oven racks and burners that will light themselves when you turn the knob and boil water in less than fifteen minutes.

James got home around 7:30, and as I was filling him in further, I noticed partway through my story that he was….staring at my boobs. Damned smartass. (He already knew that part of the story.) What is it with staring? I don’t get it. I think it would be so funny if women just started staring at men’s crotches. Like, blatantly, like this guy had done. Of course, I say that, and knowing some of the guys I’ve worked with, they’d see you staring and they’d take it further, gyrating and thrusting about like wild chimpanzees. WOOHOO SHE’S CHECKIN’ OUT MAH JUNK!  I once threatened, at a previous job, to really violate the employee handbook over boob-staring. The head of PR could not stop staring at all the women’s bewbs, and I got the notion that I would just come up behind him at the weekly agency Monday morning status, and essentially manually motorboat him from behind while shouting, “THERE BUDDY! HOW’S THAT? GOT IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM YET?” I’m not sure which was funnier, me shouting it to my audience of co-workers when we were out drinking or the fact I was grabbing my own boobs to emphasize my point. He was such a swarthy little pig. Unfortunately, he would have enjoyed it too much. Maybe that maneuver would have gotten me an extra discount on my stove? I didn’t feel like trying.

As my dad used to say, commenting on America’s over-obsession with the breast….”It’s just a gland, fer chrissakes!”

Wow.

So a ton of people are reading the jaw-dropping, eye-opening, no-he-di’n’t statement that wannabe-Senator Todd Akins said in an interview over the weekend. It’s all over Facebook, Twitter, and just about every single news source in America has posted on it.  (here’s the exchange with the interviewer, in case you missed it:

“If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI host Charles Jaco. “Should it be legal or not?”

“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”

Argh.  When will the people who want government to stop meddling in their lives fiscally take a lesson from their own playbook and stop trying to impose their values, beliefs, morality and religion on everyone else? Not to mention maybe doing some scientific research before gum-flapping complete bullshit rehetoric that suits your platform?

But really. Anyone who knows me or has read this blog over the years knows that I am a feminist, I wear that label proudly, and I support a society with reproductive rights as upheld by the Supreme Court of our great country. So you knew the whole thing would make me a bit…frothy. But this time, it was less about defending a woman’s right to choose, it was the giant concrete block of the word “Legitimate”.

Legitimate Rape.

Um, what is that? So many beliefs, attitudes and prejudices just rolled all over me with those two words. Because the opposite (“Illegitimate Rape”?) makes you think that sometimes rape isn’t…rape. Just…. roughhousing?  Are we really going back to the infamous line from Claytie WIlliams, “If it [rape] is inevitable, just relax and enjoy it”? But in this case, it would seem that might be at cross-purposes with our magical built-in uterii’s uncanny ability to eliminate pregnancy if we’re really being raped.

Twenty-four years ago, I sat by a woman’s bedside in a hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. Tubes left her body, transporting bloodstained urine, draining wounds from the stabbing she’d received days earlier from the hands of her rapist. Her will to survive made such an impression on me, that it was the first thing I thought of when I heard that quote from Akin. She had been raped, sodomized, stabbed and left for dead in shed near a cornfield. She begged her attacker to take her with him, because she had enough presence of mind to realize if he left her, she would die that night in the cold darkness. She promised him money, just take her to an ATM, she’d give him the number when they got there. And when he left the vehicle to get that cash, she dragged her body across the parking lot and got the attention of a truck driver, who rescued her from the nightmare that would now be forever in her memory, part of her Life Experience, the curse of her will to survive that she would also have to bear those memories for the rest of her days.

The crisis counselor murmured, “You are so, so brave. So brave.” I barely spoke, because I was the art major doing an internship, who wanted to help people with my sympathy, caring, and understanding. Be the change you wish to see in the world. I just never knew how terrible the world could be.

Doesn’t it always feel a little bit different, when you put a face, or a story, or a name on the unthinkable? That maybe our black & white thinking doesn’t always apply. That an extreme stance on anything means taking someone else’s rights away.  I would never tell that woman we needed to review just  how legitimate her rape was. Or that she’d have to carry that evil shit scum’s baby to term. Could you? Todd Akin thinks he could. And for that, I can’t forgive him any “mis-speaks”.

 

Oooops….

Soooo Crazy Cat Lady has issues. She’s like an octogenarian collector’s back room of National Geographics, to be exact. The cray-cray is strong with CCL. We found out she doesn’t “socialize with mean people,” as she waved at our house; what’s hilarious is the notion of her socializing at all, given that she seems to subscribe to my mother’s newsletter on “Social Drinking” and has her own subset of drugs she takes. ANYway, a couple days ago, BING-BONG, there goes the doorbell. James went to answer it and I could tell the crazy times were ON just from the tone of his voice. “WHADDYA NEED?” he brusquely said, through the barely-opened door.

WELL. Turns out she had a small fire (good lord, I can only imagine how that happened) and it somehow rendered her land line useless. Could he call Donny and let him know that her phone’s not working. O-kay, 10-4, CCL, will do. He followed through, and back to her hovel she went. The fire does explain the random furniture showing up in the ditch by her house, though none of it appeared to be burned. And she’s somehow called the action line to have it removed, but I haven’t spent to much time puzzling that one out. ANYWAY.

UPDATE: DOUBLE OOPS! I neglected two minor details – she came over with one of her feral lovelies, AND was carrying a roll of toilet paper. Let the mystique and intrigue continue!!

Next day? BING-BONG. (Really, I don’t plan to stay in my jammies all day so I can avoid the door, but hey, look who’s dressed to answer it this time? NOT ME!)  We thought it was the guy fixing our lawn mower; as James entered the breezeway he said, “Nope, it’s Crazy Cat Lady.”

And CCL? Says through the door, “YES, IT’S CRAZY CAT LADY.”

(Thus the aforementioned, “Ooops…”)

This time she’s got her corded phone with her. CLEARLY her phone does not work, can you not see this? (Um, sure, because there IS NO PHONE WIRE.) But she needs a phone. Can we give her one? She’s had a fire.

Uhhhh.

No.

I think had we given her a phone, it would have been akin to when my co-worker started bringing McDonald’s for the homeless guy who lived in the stairwell at work. And the feral cats she feeds. They will only stay longer…..and keep coming back!

Plus, now she knows she’s got a nickname. Whups. Given the back story on her, though, I think she’s had that label waaay before she moved in across the street.

An Open Letter to Andrew and Dan:

In the recent issue of “Kitchen Notes” in Cook’s Illustrated, you told us all how AWESOME it is to cook bacon this innovative way: put bacon in pan, cover bacon with water, turn on the heat and let it go! According these dudes, the water keeps the bacon meat from shrinking, and then as the water dissipates, you just let it sizzle and crisp up and ZOMG you have bacon like you used to have in your Easy Bake Kitchen Suite, only your real-life bacon is made of meat and not rubber! OMG! This is so not how it fucking works! Let me save you from this experiment! Right after I go choke these foodie dudes to death with a set of circular knitting needles.

Because what happens is that the meat bubbles along in the water, and it looks nasty-ass and foamy, but you think, ok, you’re essentially par-boiling meat, it’s going to do that, it’s MAGIC, remember, and then? The water cooks off and you don’t just float into nice-and-crispy with a Zoey Deschanel ‘I’m-so-twee’ skipping move, no, my friends, you now see the fat start to render and cook off the bacon. Which is what bacon does in a frying pan. But what did we have in the pan already? Yes? Are we following? WE HAD WATER. Have you ever accidentally gotten something with too much moisture into hot oil before, have you? Do you know what happens?

BURNING HOT FAT EXPLOSIONS is what happens, that’s what. Good thing I didn’t do any tours of duty or it would have been ALLLLLLL torn up in there, what with the spattering cracks of pain and PTSD and the flashbacks and the napalm and the screams.

And, because your meat has absorbed water at varying levels, you will now balance hot burning fat explosions with the fact that parts of your bacon are charring while other parts are looking like parboiled rubbery white fat. So you try to hold the over-cooked parts out of the pan with your tongs, while the blubber tries to catch up, and you dodge esplodyness of epic proportions.

NOT FUN. Bacon, we used to be good friends. I know it’s not your fault. It’s the endless pursuit of foodiness and trying new things, but I’m never going to do it again and Andrew and Dan better never pop out into a back alley to get a quick smoke, because I’m going to be waiting. And maybe not with knitting needles. With a pan of hot bacon fat. We’ll all have matching arm scars!

Anger Needs No Translator

Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld, the one where Elaine goes to get her nails done, and she’s convinced the employees there are talking about her in their native tongue? I always think of it when I get my own nails done – though at this point, I’ve been going to the same salon for 7 years or so, I don’t really think much of it. I did go recently, and there was a new woman working there, and she was grinning and talking away, and I imagined she was saying something to the effect of, “Whoa, girl, you got yourself a big girl there!”

But, I am always curious about what they’re saying, and this time was no different – I listened to the subdued conversation/back-and-forth among the staff and realized that so many of the words are short, staccato bursts that have strikingly similar sounds, but the emphasis and cadence are what seem to vary the words as well. Nearly all the words seemed to start with the letter “D”, but it could have been my own American filter trying to make sense of a language I’ve never even studied. There came a point, though, when knowing the actual words took a back seat, quite rapidly, to the overall communication.

It started with one of the nail techs standing up from her pedicure station, and speaking loudly and clearly, quite strongly, at someone else (we couldn’t tell quite yet, but it became clear within a minute.) She was PISSED OFF. Immediately, several of the other women began softly speaking, obviously trying to diffuse whatever this situation was. (I could actually tell two women said the same thing within 30 seconds of each other, presumably “calm down!”) The music had stopped and the silence became palpable. And then? The tech completely lost her shit. She was moving her customer over to her nail station, and apparently, she was really pissed at the guy who sat behind her, and she was shouting at him at the top of her lungs, while he quietly tried to interject what appeared to be his defense. Another worker got up, went in the back, and put the music on – full blast. So now we have Mariah Carey warbling her head off, and Angry Tech is now shrieking at the guy, and she’s holding up the light boxes for curing the shellac nails, and basically having an explosive episode in this dude’s direction. With another bewildered customer in-between them.

Allllllll the customers start looking at each other. Because THE HELL, we can’t understand a goddamn word, but as I muttered to the lady on my left, we didn’t really need to know what she was saying because every single one of us knew she was LIT UP and pissed off. Someone down to my right said, “I think it involves that box.” We’re trying not to laugh, because it would not only be rude, but none of us really wanted the focus of her anger to find a new home! Angry Tech marches back and turns off the music. Returns, continues to fume. The customer of Angry Tech is looking at all of us in the pedi-chairs with wide eyes and a face of confusion while she’s stomped off – so of course I have to say, “What the hell did you do?” which makes us all chuckle a little, but not too much, because AT is back, holding up the light box (which is plugged in and glowing), she is yelling, and frankly, I didn’t want to have a toaster-in-the-bathtub incident.

My tech, who is at the top of the hierarchy (there is always a hierarchy at these salons), goes back and turns the music back on, but at a lower volume. Right as she returns, AT picks up the light box again and continues to scream at the dude, who is working away on another woman’s nails, and murmuring every so often. At this point, my lady goes over and turns AT around (because she was like a Jack-in-the-box at this point, up/down, up/down, SCREAM SCREAM BRANDISH), and physically thwaps her on the shoulders and basically tells her to sit the hell down and calm down in the process. (All in Vietnamese, mind you.) I whispered when I was paying, “What’s the deal?” She whispered back that apparently the male tech had taken AT’s light boxes for his client. I asked if they had to buy their own boxes. Nope, they always share. Nope, the ones he took weren’t any different than the ones he had.

We concluded something else was probably going on in her life. I walked out, marveling at how I had specifically been thinking about the language when I got there, and how I never really know what they’re saying – but in this case, there really was no translator needed. I’m sure there are statistics on communication and all the pieces that go into it – words are just one component. Brandishing a light box? That speaks volumes as well.

Mind over Maki

I get emails from The Pitch, and a few weeks ago, one contained an invitation to a “Sushi Slam” at Edokku out in Lenexa. The food challenge was to consume 10 sushi rolls (your choice) in an hour, 80 pieces. I immediately sent it on to my husband and brother-in-law, and J-Wo replied within minutes that he’d signed up.

I thought, “Why not? After all, if you don’t finish, you get to take it home, and they charge you, sure, but $31 for massive amounts of sushi is still a great deal!”

So I signed up, too.

And Sunday afternoon, off we went. We were in the second group (joined by Fox4 movie critic Shawn Edwards, who kept saying he was going to eat 80 rolls, which would have been nigh-impossible, but nobody corrected him.)  We were early, and we watched from a distance as they counted down the time, and then as people exited with their plastic plates of sushi, covered in saran wrap. “That’s gonna be you,” egged my husband.  Stubborn as always, I told him where he could shove it.

Then we were seated. A guy across from James looked at me and said, “You gonna do this?” and I said, “Yes. It’s mental.” He completely agreed. He kept talking, and I wondered about what might be going on, as he had major bags under his eyes and kept saying the same things over and over. (turns out, we later discovered, he’d smoked a big ol’ joint to get his appetite going.) His plate of sushi arrived, and I looked at it somewhat askance, as the whole plate was full of one type of sushi, and each piece contained fried shrimp. “Dude, that’s a lot of fried food. You gonna eat the tail?” “Hell no, I ain’t eatin’ the tails,” he retorted. Ooook. Good luck there, Cheech.

We were also instructed by the referee that if we chose to dip our sushi rolls into the saucer of soy, any remaining rice in that dish would need to be eaten. I immediately opted not to use my dish.

James’ plate arrived first:

Mine arrived last, so I didn’t get a picture of it. I had errantly ordered one roll that was gigantic and tempura-battered. Fuck. It was utterly delicious, rich, and warm, filled with eel and cream cheese and hell if I can remember what else. I had wisely gotten smaller rolls of simple maki – tuna, eel, etc. The timing began and we were off.
You get two plates – and while I thought it would go quickly, it didn’t. I judiciously took tiny sips of water to keep things lubricated, and tried to enjoy the process as much as possible. About 2/3 of the way through my plate, my husband has already finished his first, and is on to the second. He proceeds to win the entire group’s challenge by finishing in just over 9 minutes. Two plates of sushi. The ref was talking to him like he was trying to make a pass at him, all sorts of praise and complements, it was cracking me up. Apparently he was downing the smaller rolls two pieces at a time. He won a gift bag and a t-shirt, and then sat there and tried to encourage me.

Plate 2 arrived. The previous fried roll was here again, and it taunted me with it’s excesses of warm gooey textures. I plowed back in, grateful I’d eaten very little all day, and then it came down to the big fried roll, and a smaller roll. About 13 pieces. I almost stopped. I thought, it’s ok. $31 is fine. I was starting to get sweaty, and I thought of all those “Man vs. Food” episodes where I’d never fully comprehended just how fucking hard this sort of thing was. A few more pieces and then it happened. One of those horrible moments where your brain is fighting with your body. A sip of water. Rest. There was still half an hour, but as my husband reminded me, rice expands in your stomach, so the longer I waited, the harder it would get. He then hit on the magic solution that saved me: eat some pickled ginger. The crunchy bite cleared my palate, restored a little clarity, and with three pieces staring at me, I told myself paying $10 for each of those pieces was just plain silly at this point. And I polished them off, each with a piece of ginger on top.

For those of you reading this in horror, I completely get it. I was/am pretty horrified myself. I won’t repeat the event, or anything like it, ever again. There were some interesting social aspects to it, too. I’m a fat chick. Big fat chick. Dare I even say, good-looking, funny-as-hell, in-your-face fat chick, sure. And once people are around me and see and know more than the fatness, they tend to enjoy my company and see me less as just a fat person and more for all my parts. But society is just not so much on the fat chicks, and strangers are rude, and kids stare and say shit, and a grandma with dementia once announced to everyone in Price Chopper that That Girl Is Really Big! No matter the bravado and teflon coating, I’m well-aware of the hatahs.  So, there was part of me that felt a little like I was somehow fulfilling society’s stereotype of the fat person, and in participating, somehow adding to the stigma and therefore signing a blank check to insults and stereotypes.  And frankly, as someone who’s had a jillion issues with food and weight over the years, let me tell you how weird it is to have people shake your hand and high-five you…. FOR EATING. That in of itself spoke volumes to me about the messages I have gotten over the years – and the ones I give myself – about food. Nobody has ever said, “Wow, great job! You cleaned your plate!” LOL!

All-in-all, it was an experience. I learned that one really can eat so much food you reach the point of physical discomfort and you think you might involuntarily puke all over some stoned-out dude who also apparently hates fake crab meat.  (Oh, you THINK you’ve been there, after Thanksgiving dinner, but friend, unless you’ve done something like this in a timed event, it just isn’t the same. I thought that, too, and this proved me wrong 10x over.)   It also was interesting to see just how much you can use your mind to overcome pain, circumstances and focus on a goal, which is rather heartening when you think about applying it in the reverse direction.

And yes, I still love sushi…. in moderation.

Dear City of Kansas City:

We are in the GRIPS of yet another winter storm (9″ of snow forecast for the area), and based on the pandelerium on the television news, we are all going to die. OK, strike that, we are just all going to be MISERABLE. My husband keeps shouting, “WHITE DEATH! WHITE DEATH!” every time Katie Horner comes on.

Yes, winter weather is serious stuff. As we saw last year, our general approach to the white stuff is “Meh, it’ll melt!” and we saw how well that didn’t work. Including last week’s snowpocalypse, which resulted in snow days and now we have streets that weren’t cleared well last week, packed down with large patches of ice, getting a new layer of snowfall today and tonight.  But really, the solution is pretty damned simple. Our mayor pledged we’d have more snowplowing this year, and I recognize it’s a costly expense (other cities recommend contracting for clearing by the inch, vs. by time, it’s amazing how much faster it gets done…) and I think we need to take it one step further.

We need Snow Emergency rules. I lived with them for five years in Minneapolis, and it is remarkably efficient. The city has to declare a Snow Emergency by a fixed time (it’s 6 pm there), and that is The Beginning of Teh Rulez. In this day and age with internet and mobile, it’s even EASIER. Trust me. I can’t tell you how many times we’d ask each other, “OK, what day is it?” because rules apply by day and how you can park on the city streets. And for those without a garage or off-street parking, don’t panic. It works. I only had my own parking space for a year, and all the other years, I was bright enough to consult a calendar, determine odd house numbers from even, and know which side of the street to park on. So here’s how it works in Minneapolis, where, I think, we can all agree: they know snow.

Snow Emergency Declared, 6pm. From 9 pm to 8 am the next day, no parking on “Snow Emergency Routes”. These would be the biggest main streets in the city. All side streets allow parking on either side.

Day 2, 8am-8pm – no parking on EVEN-NUMBERED sides of the streets. You can park on the odd-numbered side, and on either sides of the Emergency Routes. (God bless ’em, Minneapolis even has a web page to HELP YOU DETERMINE what side of the street is even or odd.) After a street is fully plowed, you may park there (even if it’s still before 8pm.)

Day 3, 8am-8pm – Guess what. Now you move your car to the other side of the street, the EVEN side. If you were smart, you did this the night before after the street got plowed, so you don’t wake up in a panic screaming “OMFG what time IS IT and did I MOVE the car????”  (Why no, I never did that, what do you mean?)

Now, I also know we don’t have the elite Black Ops of Snow Removal here in the city. It might even require an extra day or two for our Snow Emergency Time Frame to allow total street clearing. But I can tell you this: it would solve the issue of our side streets getting plowed in a half-assed manner or not at all. My BFF’s street can barely allow a car down it because people are parking on both sides, let alone a snowplow. So now they’re completely ice-packed, treacherous, and who knows when it will all melt.  And I think we’ve had a couple winters now that show we do need some sort of actionable plan. Yeah, people will bitch. But they’ll bitch anyway, about the roads, about the snow, whatever. Grow up, grab your balls, and force yourself to pay attention for a few days for the greater good.

And if you really wanna rebel and don’t follow the rules, it means you get a ticket and possibly towed – revenue generated for the city. Win fucking Win.

Any mayoral candidate who seizes on this concept and incorporates it into their platform will have my vote!  Well….maybe. I did fall for the no-more-steel-plates platform, and that cost us a lot of moolah in racial slur settlements.  Probably enough to have bought us a couple more snowplows.

Wut?

I was so focused after my lunch meeting, I auto-piloted right on past Aldi’s, where I wanted to pick up some olive oil. (We’re making duck confit at the NuWo household. FANCY!) So I pulled in to the ghetto Price Chopper, which is fine for quick trips. They are not an expansive store, by any stretch.

Grabbed the oil and a couple other things and went to checkout. The cashier said something I couldn’t understand, so I looked up, smiled and said, “What?”

She said, “You know, for those pouch things you wear around your waist.”

My smile kinda froze. First of all, it’s a fanny pack, I’ve never worn one, and …WTF? Did I just plummet to earth into someone else’s body and we’re having a conversation about how to travel in Europe as Ugly Americans?

I kind of half-nodded, smile frozen, my lips sticking to my teeth as the air dried them….and uttered a very non-committal “OooOohuh,” as I am rapidly hitting all the buttons on the pay station so I can sign my name and be done.

“Good for when we take our dog hiking, you know, down by the river, we do that when it snows.”

At this point, I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with The Girl Who Slipped Through Screening, and I’m just bobbing my head in an up-down-angle-side-to-side, lips frozen still in smile, and I’m trying to push the cart forward, grab my groceries and go, still making some sort of neutral “Ahhhhhhhh” sound.

I still have no idea what’s going on there, but I figured I’d at least blog it. I’m not sure if she was talking about the advantages of plastic bags? They fit in a fanny pack, and certainly would be handy when walking your dog down by the river.  Girlfriend needs to buy herself some segues, along with a few more sentences. Of course, any observer might have thought I was the crazy one, what with the demented smile, ooooohing and ahhhhing, nodding and bobbing like a boxer. They might be right.

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