Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Unemployed, Day 2

I got up later than usual today. I predicted this would happen, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. Today, I got to watch some of the new Martha Stewart show. It stinks. It stinks so much that I'm not even going to provide a link to her. Ha! Take that, Martha Stewart!

After Martha, I lounged around and then lounged some more. It wasn't until three that I actually left the house to go to a focus group in NYC.

Have any of y'all ever gone to a focus group? I've been going for a few years now, and I really enjoy them. Basically, they interview you via phone to make sure you qualify for a study (it can be anything from new cars to body wash). If you qualify, they set up a time where you and a group of other participants sit around a table and give your opinions. And for all that, they pay you handsomely. In cash.

Now, we really don't need the cash, but it's definitely an incentive. Tonight's group was about small businesses and how this particular group of women didn't own their own. So two hours of talking about why I didn't want my own business, and I have enough cash to support my gambling habit in Vegas for six days.

I ain't complaining. I ain't working and I'm still getting paid!

Now, I see from my comments that I have an Anonymous reader who is posting about my dear hubby. Is it you, Mom-in-law? Or maybe it's Sis-in-law? I'm not really sure, but I definitely know it's someone who thinks my hubby is wonderful. Fess up, Anonymous commenter!

As far as my crazy bad dresser co-worker, don't worry Amy, I have someone on the job. Already, I have outfits for yesterday and today - and they are good! I even have some onld phrases and comments she made, so those will come soon enough. I promise!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Unemployed, Day 1

So, I made it through my first day of unemployment. For those of you who don't know me, I am unemployed by choice - and only for the next two weeks. So, really, I'm not unemployed, I just like to make small things a little bigger, just for the sake of the story.

What did I do on my first day off? Hmmm, well, it started with me waking up at seven this morning! No alarm, nothing like that. Just my body waking up for work, I guess. While I didn't get back to sleep, I did manage to lounge around and watch the Today Show with Katie and Matt. Before I knew it, though, it was time to meet my aunt for lunch and a movie (we originally said we were going to see Brokeback Mountain, but it wasn't playing, so we saw Big Momma's House instead. Oh well, what can you do?). Then a trip to Target and back home. So that was my day. Not too exciting. The hubby, our friend MVP/Kama Sutra, and I just watched Wedding Crashers, which was alright, but more a guy's movie than anything else. Although, that Vince Vaughn has something about him. I can't quite pinpoint it, but he's cute in an odd way.

I know I'm going to go back and read this later and think I am crazy, but I actually missed being at work today. Being off today didn't feel like when I am sick and home and can't get out of bed. It was so permanent. It was strange. Besides crazy bad dresser co-worker, I really liked my office and the folks in it. I'm sure the missing them will wear off in a few days, but right now, almost wish I had to go to work tomorrow. Weird. WEIRD.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Week in Review, IV

It's my last day at work - after three years, I've decided to move on to greener pastures. Or maybe not so greener pastures, but I'll soon find out and believe me: I'll blog along the way.

Crazy bad dresser co-worker didn't fail me this week. It's like my going away present.

Here goes:

Monday - olive skirt suit. The skirt was really long and it had a slit that ran from her ankle to her upper thigh. However, she wore it with the slit in the front and the slit met her camel toe area. The jacket was about two sizes too big on her as well, and has about five usable pockets on it. I am not kidding anyone about this. She also wore black boots up to her knees. And the outfit was topped off with a fur coat.

Tuesday - the infamous yellow linen pants. They had deep pleats in the front and a very high waist. On top, she was wearing a black bra, a white Abercrombie tank top and an off-white shaggy sweater from the 70's. It was the kind of sweater that comes with a free bowl of soup. She was also wearing her black loafers with black men's trouser socks, so if she crossed her legs, you could see her pale legs between the bottom of the linen pants and the top of the socks.

Wednesday - she was out. So no outfit.

Thursday - it was meeting day, so we got treated to another suit. Today, she wore a navy blue skirt suit. Again, it was a long skirt. The jacket had a corset-type stitching on the back. The skirt had this on the front as well. Underneath, she wore a grey top. For shoes, she was wearing black patent leather platforms and black pantyhose or tights. In the hair, she wore an electric blue scrunchie. It was completely hideous. Today was a treat because we were blessed with the fur coat again.

Friday - today is the best day of all. It's like a going away present for me. She is wearing dark brown distressed leather pants. Now, they aren't typical leather pants; these are faded in the butt area. She is wearing a white button down shirt with a brown suede shirt over it. The edges of the suede shirt are scalloped. She is also wearing black boots with a high heel. I'm not sure what the best part of this outfit is, but the makeup that accompanies it is amazing. She looks like she is going to be visiting a brothel (or a Halloween party) after work. Her eyes are dressed with navy eyeshadow and loads of eyeliner and mascara. It's very racoony.

Now, I don't think I have ever mentioned this before, but I work in the inner-city. It's not common to see people dressed in leather or fur, so crazy bad dresser co-worker was trying to convince the rest of the staff that her fur coat was really fake. She hasn't mentioned her pants being pleather, but the day is still long and we have many unspoken conversations to go.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

At the Copa

It's strange the way life takes funny turns sometimes...

After all the Copa talk on Amy's blog yesterday, it turns out we finally did get to see some crazy singing afterall. One of the guys on Idol decided to sing my favorite song last night. The only thing is that is really didn't song like Barry, but rather, like Ralph Kramden. It little bit disturbing, but still had the beat. Did you watch, Amy? Please say you did!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Crying At My Desk

I'm just minding my own business, working away, and on the XM Radio comes Kenny Roger's Lady. Now I'm all misty-eyed. Granted, I have the radio set to "The Heart" so romantic songs are to be expected - but nothing like this. I'm crying. It must be my hormones (yes, my first mention of "women's hormones"). I think I'll go have some chocolate covered potato chips now.

Happy Hump Day

It's Wednesday - I'm halfway through my last week at work. It's weird.

Here's my weekly "getting to know you":

1. Where were you born? Weehawken, New Jersey. It could have been Nashville, Tennessee, except my parents didn't want to move there. They got a little bit nervous when they were told only one other Cuban family lived in the city. So, they stayed in the Northeast, and my mom gave birth to me at North Hudson Hospital. It doesn't exist anymore; it was converted to an old folks home years ago.

2. Where did you grow up? Hmmmm, I started to grow up in North Bergen, New Jersey, home of James Braddock, although I'm learning now that he was originally from NYC. Oh well, there is a country park in North Bergen names after him. So I'm sticking to my story! When I was a young teen, my parents got the "heat" and moved us to sunny Miami. Specifically, Kendall. It was in Kendall that I went to junior high, had my first kiss, learned to drive, and hung out at the mall.

3. What was your favorite thing to do as a kid? I really loved playing with my Cabbage Patch Kids. Oh yeah, and my Barbies. I LOVED Barbie. I always dreamed of owning the Barbie Dream House, but Santa never left it for me. Instead, I had the Barbie Townhouse, which was made out of cardboard. But it did have an elevator, which was tres cool. I also liked to sing and dance around the house (favorite tunes: Copacabana, I Will Survive, On the Radio, the entire Grease soundtrack, etc.).

4. What was your favorite toy to play with? Again, it was the Cabbage Patch Kids and Barbies, but I also had this penguin-shaped refrigerator that I used to play with all the time.

5. What do (or did) your parents do? Well, now they are retired hypocondriacs in sunny Aventura, Florida. Prior to that, my father owned a Cuban bakery and my mom worked in it.

6. What was the name of your grammar school? Franklin School in North Bergen, followed by two months at Bent Tree Elementary in Miami.

7. Who was your favorite teacher (in grade, high, or college)... In Grade School - Mrs. Leslie Kapp, In Junior High - Mrs. Ellen Goldstein (English), In High School - Mrs. Lisa Kasenow (Physics), In College - Dr. Beverlyn Lundy Allen (she was also my advisor). Funny how they all turned out to be women.

8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be everything: an actress, a singer like Olivia Newton-John, a lawyer, a doctor, an airline stewardess, and a secretary.

9. Have you ever met anyone famous? Yep, yep, yep. I'm all over the rich and famous. Just last week, I met Rachael Ray. and she begged to have her photo taken with me. :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Week in Review III, Part 2

I'm back. Still with a cold, but awake and dressed. Weekend was alright - spent it trying to rest up for today.

I promised the week in couture this morning, so here it is:

Monday - charcoal button down silk shirt, black skin tight pants (I think they are the camel toe ones), and black platform high heels.

Tuesday - it was Valentine's Day, so that called for something very very special: the return of the boucle suit! It was same outfit as two weeks ago, except it was made complete with the rd and green Christmas scrunchie. Very classy outfit. Very.

Wednesday - dark taupe pants, black shirt, olive zipper sweater over it, black loafers, and black CREW socks to complete the look.

Thursday - grey button down shirt, grey pants, black loafers, and red socks with hearts, anchors, and guitars printed on them. The look was completed with Baby Jane lipstick. Again, very classy.

Friday - I was out sick, but sources tell me it was the usual Casual Friday outfit: khaki corduroy shirt with snap buttons, khaki plants, black loafers, and white crew socks.

Yes, it was a little bit of a boring week, but hopefully this week will be the best of all!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Week in Review III, Part 1

I'm sick. I have a cold. I'm home today. My muscles aches, my throat hurts, and I'm losing my voice. So... unfortunately, that means that I can't post my weekly review of crazy dresser's weekly ensembles. I promise, though, I'll post on Monday.

Have a good weekend to my three faithful readers!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Tom's Review

Check out what the fans are saying! Click here for the article.

My Brush With Greatness

Last night, MGE and I went into NYC to see Sir Tom Jones at the Nokia Theater in Times Square. It was a belated Christmas gift and also our Valentine's night out. I got off work a little early, we had an early dinner at Ollie's, walked around a little, and finally, went to check out this new theater.

Here we are, before the concert. Prior to taking this shot, we ran into an old co-worker of mine. Weird how that happens sometimes, right? I mean, at a Tom Jones concert?

Sir Tom took the stage and the girls went wild! I've seen Tom a few times before, and the crowd is always very responsive to him. But the NYC crowd was amazing. There was a group of girls wearing pussycat ears. There was a woman standing on her chair, stripping. One woman called out that she wanted to wipe the sweat off of him.

After his "What's New Pusscat?" number, the crowd went even crazier. There were many pairs of panties on the stage, not to mention boxer shorts and bras as well. The woman in the photo above was so excited to see Tom that she didn't notice her belly was hanging right out of the top of her pants. While she was disturbing those around us with her skin, she didn't seen to notice - she was way too busy enjoying the smooth velvety voice of Tom Jones.

Now, wouldn't you believe it? Dancing in front of us was the one and only - Rachael Ray. Since I am posting a picture of she and I, does that mean I have to eat my words regarding my previous posts about her? I don't think so! Look, she was very nice last night. She posed for pictures, shook hands, mentioned that she thought Tom was HOT HOT HOT (apparently, as per my hubby, I agreed with her), and called me Anna Banana. I was so flabbergasted that she was so nice, I forgot to scold her for taking racy pictures for FHM a few years back, ask her to stop saying YUM so much, and mention her new show on XM Radio. Oh well, maybe next time I rub shoulders with her I'll mention it. I'm sure to find her at the next Tom Jones concert!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

STD? Standard?

During lunch today, bad dresser co-worker asked the group: "What's an STD?" Not missing a beat, I replied, "It's like VD. It doesn't mean standard." She was dumbfounded. I feel sorry for people that still live in the 70s.

Wednesday: More About Annie

It's Wednesday, so that means it's time to post information about me. I realize that the readers of this blog (how many people read this? two or three people?) know all about me, and doing this might be in vain, but hey - someday I might be famous and people will dig up old archives of this blog. Enjoy this week's installment of "Getting to Know Annie"!

A- Annie, Anita, Ani, Anna, Annie Mary, Anna Maria: duh, they're all me.
B- Boobs: yes, I have them. They’re mine, they’re real and they're often looked at and admired.
C- Clothes: I have a closet full of them, and I’m always on the hunt for more – especially if they are on sale!
D- Dad’s name: Wilfredo. It used to be Maximo Wilfredo, but no one told him and when he filed his papers to leave Cuba in the 60s, he found out he had this crazy first name. So he kept it (rather than go through the process of changing it and get stuck with Commies any longer) and came to the good ‘ole USA. When he became an American citizen, he dropped it and now goes by Wilfredo. No middle name.
E- Espanol: my first language. For the first five years of my life, I only spoke Spanish. But if you have been reading my blog, you will know that I sang in English!
F- Favorite song:
Copacabana by Barry Manilow
G- Gold or silver: Gold. Specifically, white gold. Are you reading this,
H- Heaven – does it exist?: Yes, and I think our most cherished and loved people live there and watch over us everyday.
I- Indians: some of my best friends are Indians. Not the American-Indian kind, but the ones from the country in Asia.
J- Job title: Director of Annual Giving, soon to be Director of Development.
K- K-Mart: I think it sucks. Hate the store, actually. I prefer
L- Love - do you believe in it?: Absolutely. And it can cause the most intense feelings of euphoria, confusion, and sadness.
M- Mom’s Birthplace: Niquero, Cuba. It’s in the same province where that
Commie hid out in the mountains before coming down and starting the so-called Cuban Revolution. It's a very small town that still has dirt roads. It also houses a sugar mill and the last time I visited, they were milling sugarcane and it was "snowing" black ash.
N- Neighbors: they are this Egyptian couple with a little girl. A little strange, but very nice.
O- Orange soda: LOVE it, especially
Diet Sunkist.
P- Phobia: not being able to move my arms. This is not to be confused with claustrophobia, which I do not have.
Q- Queen: I am not. My mother-in-law is the Queen. I am a Queen-in-Making, so for now, just call me Dutchess or Princess.
R- Religion: Roman Catholic, by birth. I’m more spiritual than religious, though.
S- Siblings: one sister. Two sisters and one brother by marriage. Three sisters by friendship.
T- Text messaging: a cool idea, but at a nickel a pop, it can really add up. I stay away from it.
U- Upstairs: I live on the third floor of a condominium with no elevator. Grocery shopping is the pits when you have to lug up containers of juice and laundry detergent.
V- Vanilla: I like it. But if it's in a pudding, I prefer chocolate or rice. Yummmmm, rice pudding!
W- Watermelon: In Hawaii, I had yellow watermelon. I thought it would taste different than the red kind, but alas, it tasted exactly the same.
X- X-Rays: only of my teeth. Funny, I've never broken a bone or had any other reason to get an x-ray.
Y- Yahoo: I have a
Yahoo account, but I am fond of Gmail now. So much more memory!
Z - Zamboni: Whenever I go to a hockey game, I love when the
zamboni comes out and resurfaces the ice. It's so methodical the way the machine goes from one end of the rink to the other and then circles it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Let 'Em Eat Cake!

Tee hee hee. The one on the left is our Godson. Both of them are our nephews. Great-nephews, actually (don't ask, it's a very long story).

One More VDay Post

This story is so touching, I just had to print it. It's one of those things that makes your heart melt... Thank you to Amy in Miami Beach for posting it!

Click Here!

Happy VDay!

Happy Valentine's Day! No, I'm not being sappy and I'm not much for romance on a day like this, but it is, afterall, the most commercialized day of love. Flowers, chocolates, teddy bears holding hearts - that's what they make it all about. Whatever.

Here's something I found a few days ago and thought to post it today, since it's about VDay:

Your Candy Heart Says "Hug Me"

A total sweetheart, you always have a lot of love to give out.

Your heart is open to where ever love takes you!

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a surprise romantic evening that you've planned out

Your flirting style: lots of listening and talking

What turns you off: fighting and conflict

Why you're hot: you're fearless about falling in love

Try yours!

Monday, February 13, 2006

instructions for life

Even on days when I'm feeling a little blue or disheartened, I try to find something to make me see that my challenges and issues are very small. Enjoy!

take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

when you lose, don't lose the lesson.

follow the three r's: respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions.

remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

learn the rules so you know hot to break them properly.

don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

when you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

spend some time alone everyday.

open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

live a good, honorable life. then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

a loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

in disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. don't bring up the past.

share your knowledge. it's a way to achieve immortality.

be gentle with the earth.

once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for eachother exceeds your need for eachother.

judge your success by what you had to give up order to get it.

approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dream House

I've never been a lucky person. Seriously, I don't win at Bingo, I don't have much luck with lottery scratch-offs, and I've never left Vegas with more than I've brought. I've never complained much about my lack of luck - I've had good luck in other ways: I have a nice life, wonderful friends, a supportive family, and great husband. But there's one thing I want to win desperately: the HGTV Dream House. It's a long shot, I know, but until the day they announce the winner, I'll faithfully submit my name.

Yesterday and Today

It managed to snow non-stop for almost 24 hours. Yesterday,
MGE came home from work and took this shot of the park that overlooks our condo.

This morning, he took another. Check it out:

Cool, huh?

We also encountered some snow on our balcony; I guess the wind was so strong it pushed some of it onto our balcony on the third floor.

We also had to dig our car out of the snow. It was buried in two feet of the white stuff.

Don't you just love winter??

Friday, February 10, 2006

Week in Review II

This morning I drove to work in our "other" car. Ok, it's originally my car, by a year and a half ago, MGE's car blew up and he had to buy another car. Since we got married, I've been driving his car and I guess you would say I've gotten to used to it. Anyhow, this morning, I took my old car. And in it, I found my old ABBA cd. You know the one, everyone has it, the ABBA greatest hits - ABBA Gold. When I was five, I *was* a Dancing Queen. So what if my English was limited and I had no idea what they were saying? As far as I know, those ABBA girls didn't speak English either!

It's been a long week, a cold one even, and we are expecting snow for the weekend. But before we can go home and wait for it to start to fall, we must review the week's outfits (I must tell y'all, it was a very tame week - kinda disappointing!):

Monday - grey pants, grey striped button down long sleeve shirt, grey Abercrombie sweater on top of shirt (it belongs to her son), and black loafers. Monday's look was completed with the 1972 knitted sweater. Did I mention last week that it resembles an afghan?

Tuesday - cream sweater with embroidered flowers, a white wife beater t-shirt underneath it, yellow deep pleated lined linen pants (in February?) that were too short and had a very high waistband, black socks, and black slingback high heeled shoes. Oh yeah, the pants were tapered at the bottom.

Wednesday - blue-grey (or maybe it was grey-blue) shiny top, an olive green zippered sweater on top of it, the infamous pair of skintight black pants (complete with camel toe), and black high heels.

Thursday - we had a meeting, so it was suit day. The outfit consisted of a grey suit - grey jacket matched with a pleated grey skirt. It was a very long skirt. Mother Moses would have been proud. Or maybe the Pilgrims. All this matched with black high heels.

Friday - Casual Friday! Khaki corduroy shirt with snap buttons, khaki pants, black loafers, and CREW SOCKS! Scary, eh?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

From Her Royally Pregnant Matron of Honor...

I got married last year (has it been that long already?), which is great, because everyone thought I was going to wind up an old bag lady with thirteen cats and all the back issues of Reader's Digest. During the reception, my best friend, who was five months pregnant at the time (see sidebar - Little Owen Ajay) gave this speech. Everytime I watch it on the video, I get all choked up (no, I'm not a dork. Ok, well yes, I guess I am).

I've known Anna for a very long time
And at the ripe age of 30, don't we both look sublime?
Our days as
Florida Gators were very quaint.
If you asked anyone, they'd say she was a saint.
OK, I'm kidding, she was wild and crazy
To tell the truth, some of our memories remain quite hazy.
Those times were the best, and couldn't be beat,
Except maybe by barbeque at
Sonny's all you can eat.

When we left
Gainesville, we both stayed in state.
But I could tell she wanted to start a clean slate.
She moved to
Jersey and we were sad to see her go,
But I knew then, that she needed that to grow.

She knew a lot of frogs, but none so prince like
Until she met this sweaty apeman, an Irish named Mike.
I got to know him, and he wasn't half bad.
They made each other happy, and that made my heart glad.

And now a few years later, they've gone and been wed,
And we're sitting at their reception, waiting to be fed.
So I'll end this poem now and lift my glass to you both like no other
My sister, best friend, and now my new brother.

Oprah on XM

When I initially heard the news of Oprah signing a deal with XM, I was pretty pleased. Not pleased as punch. but pleased enough. Oprah is pretty cool. She wears awesome shoes. She gets to meet fantastic people. She let that freak jump on her couch. She played a cool role in The Color Purple. The only issue I have with Oprah is when she gives away all those cool gifts during her "Favorite Things" show. It drives me nuts that so many upper middle-class women get that stuff, when it's the hard working class girls (i.e. me!) that would LOVE those gifts and can't get them, because 1) we are working when Oprah is filming and 2) the money we make can't be spent on those things cause we have to pay our mortgages.

Anyway... I digress. Yes, I am pleased about the Oprah-XM connection, but does she really have to give a spot to Rachael Ray for a talk show? That girl is going to spend an hour saying, "YUM-O!" and talking about how her meals are so fantastic ("Hi, I'm Rachael Ray and I make thrity minute meals. Now, that means that in the time it takes to watch this show, I'll have made a quick and healthy meal from start to finish."). I don't really hate Rachael, but she does get on my nerves from time to time. It's almost like she's too peppy sometimes.

Good going, Oprah. Dr. Phil is cool. Nate the designer is cool too. Even your friend, Gayle King, is alright. But Rachael Ray? Gimme a break!

For more information on the Oprah-XM connection, click here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Happy Wednesday! It's Question Time...

1. Piercing? Just my ears, although I have always wanted to have my nose pierced. Nothing big, just a little stud on the side on my nose.
2. Been in a car accident? Unfortunately, yes. It's an experience I don't wish on anyone.
3. Favorite day of the week? Sunday
4. Favorite flower? Tulips, roses, daisies, sunflowers... NOT carnations. As an aside, in my single days, if anyone brought me carnations, they would not get a second date. Carnations are the cheapest ugliest flower nature invented. Who wants a flower than can be dyed green for St. Patrick's Day? And not only that, they seem to last forever. It's the nastiest, foulest flower.
5. Favorite ice cream? Did someone say ice cream? I am an ice cream whore. Among my favorites: Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide and Haagen Daz Cookies and Cream.
6. Favorite fast food restaurant? McDonalds - their fries are the best. Forget Burger King!
7. How many times did you fail your drivers test? None. I was awesome even at the tender age of 16.
8. From whom did you get your last e-mail? Bernadette
9. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Target. I heart Target.
10. Bedtime? Midnight. Sometimes later if I'm misbehavin'.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What Does Love Mean?

I know that Valentine's Day is a week away, but I couldn't resist posting these quotations from an email I received this morning...

When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
Emily - age 8

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."
Nikka - age 6

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark -age 6

Monday, February 06, 2006

Poem (well, sort of)

As recited to me by cool co-worker (not the crazy dresser), who read it on a sign at a mechanic's shop in Willmington, Delaware:

When God was making little boys
Out of wood and string
He had a bit left over
So he made that thing
When God was making little girls
Out of silk and lace
He came up a bit short
So he left that place


Why is it that it takes all the energy in my bones to get up on Monday mornings? It's not like I had such an eventful weekend that I am exhausted this morning, but I really want to be in bed. It might be that it's 30 degrees outside and windy and my fingers are so cold that I can barely feel the keyboard as I type.

I just had some caffeine. There. Better. I can open my eyes now.

Last night (after the Super Bowl and Grey's Anatomy), I started reading A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Yes, he's a fraud and I can't believe I bought his bought (therefore buying into the whole Oprah-Frey hype), but I read the first page on Amazon and was kind of intrigued. Anyway... it's not too bad thus far I can definitely see myself reading into the wee hours of the morning. Mr. Gringo Extraordinaire (MGE) is going to kill me with all the late night reading in bed. I can't help it, though, it's where I feel most comfortable reading.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Week in Review I

I've got a slightly looney colleague (who shall remain nameless - I will come up with a name soon, I promise) who wears the most outlandish outfits to work. Once married to an outrageously wealthy spouse, she bought herself a huge wardrobe that was the hottest of couture in 1982. Unfortunately, they are no longer together and with him, he took the dollars that bought her couture.

A new feature in my blog - a week in review of outfits:

Monday - a sleeveless purple turtleneck with a black pencil skirt. Now, this isn't terrible, but it was coupled with a knitted or crocheted sweater from 1972. The sweater is golden with hints of bright pink, orange and brown.

Tuesday - a 1982 boucle suit (more bright pink!). The skirt was so short, it might have been better to not even wear it. It also had huge gold buttons along the front of it. The outfit was made complete with white stockings and red mules (mules in January? We live in a state where it gets cold in January!)

Wednesday - an evening tank top with matching cardigan (gold in color) and a textured shiny brownish snakeskin leather mini skirt with matching platform high heeled shoes (textured leather on the heel too).

Thursday - a black evening t-shirt (when she put up her arms, the shirt was raised right below her breasts) and a pair of skin tight black pants, resembling those Olivia Newton-John wore at the end of Grease. The best part of this outfit was the visible camel toe it presented (for those of you who don't know what a camel toe is, email me).

Friday - it's Casual Friday, so today's outfit is much more dressed down. Today, we are wearing a red sleeveless shirt (again, it's February for God's sake!) but instead of it being a turtleneck, it has a boa attached to it. This is matched with khaki pants and the same red mules from Tuesday. The outfit also consists of a Christmas scrunchie that's red and green. It is completed with lipstick that makes her look like Lynn Redgrave in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? It's a little bit disturbing.

Off the hook

I have a friend who always tells me what's going on in his life and finishes all sentences with "off the hook." A conversation will go something like this:

Friend: I love your new condo. It's off the hook.

Me: Oh yeah, thanks.

Friend: And I see you still have your red couch. It's off the hook.

Me: Yeah, the red couch. I love it. It reminds me of my single days.

Friend: You know, I went out to Vegas last year. It was completely off the hook.

Me: Yeah, Vegas is great. I'm going in March

Friend: Really? You have to go to the New York New York casino. It's off the hook. They have this dueling piano bar there - completely off the hook.

Now, let's just get something straight here. I've been to Vegas a couple of times and I live in Northern New Jersey, six miles from New York City. Why would I ever want to hang out in a hotel that looks like home? Granted, I love dueling pianos just as much as the next person, but do I really have to go do it at the New York New York casino?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

My Mom

I was just sitting here, thinking about my mom. She's a really cool chick. She lives in South Florida with my dad in an "adult community." They retired for good about two years ago and spend their days swimming in the pool, going to the gym, driving around Miami Beach and visiting every doctor known to man (they are Cuban, therefore they are hypocondriacs). Now, the best thing about my mom is that she is ridiculously funny, but she has no idea just how funny she is. My dad is a whole other post - another day, I promise.

I married Mr. Gringo Extraordinaire. But he absolutely loves Cuban coffee. Now, for those of you that don't know, Cuban coffee is nothing like American coffee. Cuban coffee can be easily described as rocket fuel. And my hubby adores it. So my mom's connection with Mr. Gringo is coffee. I can hear my mother right now - "My-co, jew wanning coffee?" Her English is very broken and her accent is very thick, but her coffee making is genuine, especially for her son-in-law, "My-co". That's their connection; he loves the coffee and she loves making it for him.

When I was growing up, she was the typical Cuban mom. She was always all over me, embarrassing me, making sure I took my Vienna sausages to school for lunch in my Popeye lunchbox. Once, she even put ginger ale in my thermos. Imagine when I opened it - it was a complete disaster. But it was all love from her. She was awesome then (although I wasn't smart enough to know it) and she's awesome now (and I darn well know it, otherwise she'll beat me like she did when I was five years old!).

Stupid people

Recently, one of my co-workers (who shall remain nameless) stated in the lunchroom that "the heart... the heart... it's a thing... it's a terrible thing." What in the name of all that is holy and pure does that mean, exactly? Isn't the heart a wonderful thing? It keeps you alive, doesn't it? But no... stupid co-worker said "it's a thing... it's a terrible thing." Calgon - take me away!!

It's coming...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Jersey Girl" Rant

Ok, so maybe I am kind of grounded in Jersey. I found this in one of my archived emails. I've attached some of it here, complete with commentary... It appears I know plenty about Jersey, but I am still adamant about not being "typical".

If you live in or have ever lived in Jersey...you'll appreciate this...if not, you may be surprised!

New Jersey is a peninsula. Is it really? I can't tell on a map.

Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire
eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida. Where is Highlands? I don't think I've ever heard of it.

New Jersey has more Cubans in Union City (1 sq mi.) than Havana, Cuba. Ok, fine, I did know this. But I'm Cuban - I'm supposed to know this!

New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation. Most definitely.

New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the "Diner Capital of the World." Absolutley. My husband has been to virtually every diner in Northern New Jersey.

New Jersey is home to the original Mystery Pork Parts Club (no, not Spam): Taylor Ham or Pork Roll. First of all, it's brand name is Taylor, so most folks call it "Taylor ham." I haven't really heard people call it pork roll, but that's what the box says it is. Taylor ham is something completely from Jersey. The trick to cooking it is to make slits into it, so it doesn't curl up in the frying pan (a trick I learned from my mother-in-law).

North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world, with seven major shopping malls in a 25 square mile radius. Did someone mention shopping??

New Jersey has 50+ resort cities & towns; some of the nation's most famous: Asbury Park, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Seaside Heights, Long Branch, Cape May. Have I visited all of these? I would have to say "yes".

Jersey tomatoes are known the world over as being the best you can buy. That's what I've heard, but since I don't like tomatoes, I can't say for sure.

New Jersey is home to one of the nation's busiest airports (in Newark): Liberty International. That's strange to me, cause it doesn't seem so big to me. JFK seems larger.

George Washington slept here. Several important Revolutionary War battles were fought on New Jersey soil, led by General George Washington. Growing up, our teachers used to boast about how Washington fought part of the Revolutionary War down the street from our school. That made all us geeky kids feel pretty cool.

The light bulb, phonograph (record player), and motion picture projector, were invented by Thomas Edison in his Menlo Park, NJ, laboratory. Forget the lightbulb - there's a great mall in Edison called the Menlo Park Mall.

New Jersey is home to the Miss America Pageant held in Atlantic City. Not anymore. They hold it in Vegas now.

The first drive-in movie theater was opened in Camden, NJ, (but they're all gone now!). Who goes to Camden for a visit?

The Great Falls in Paterson, on the Passaic River, is the second highest waterfall on the East Coast of the US. I don't know about the second highest, but they sure are powerful.

You know you're from Jersey when (let's see how many of these I know):

You don't think of fruit when people mention "The Oranges." There's South Orange, West Orange, Orange, and East Orange, I think. There's no North Orange.

You know that it's called Great Adventure, not Six Flags. And it has this drive-thru zoo where the monkeys will sit on the roof of your car.

A good, quick breakfast is a hard roll with butter. And it has to be a Portuguese roll!

You've known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven. Exit 82 on the Parkway.

You've eaten at a diner, when you were stoned or drunk, at 3 A.M. I can't say that I've done this.

You know that the state isn't one big oil refinery. It's not. Where do you think they put all our houses?

At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen, and you know the town Jon Bon Jovi is from. I don't know much about Springsteen, but Bon Jovi is from Sayreville.

You know what a "jug handle" is. Oh yes, and aren't they fun?

You know that WaWa is a convenience store. They don't exist in North Jersey. We have QuikCheks here.

You know that there are no "beaches" in New Jersey--there's the shore--and you don't go "to the shore," you go "down the shore."And when you are there, you're not "at the shore"; you are "down the shore." Exactly!

You know that a "White Castle" is the name of BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich. I thought they were referred to as "Sliders."

You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls. Yep.

You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits. I don't know all the spots, but I do know a good bunch of them. In my defense, they film in my neighborhood.

You've gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of the mall. Only a few times has this happened to me.

You weren't raised in New Jersey--you were raised in either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey. I was raised in North Jersey.

You remember the stores Korvette's, Two Guys, Rickel's, Channel, Bamberger's and Orbach's. I can honestly say that I only remember Two Guys and Bamberger's. I'd have to ask the "older" folks about the other stores.

And finally . . .

You've NEVER, EVER pumped your own gas. Having lived somewhere else, I actually have pumped my own gas, but I have friends that have no clue how to pump gas.

Happy February 1st - is it Groundhog Day today?

I just checked and it's not. It's tomorrow. You ever realize that when you are kid, you get excited about days like Groundhog Day and your teachers make you watch tv to see that silly little animal see or not see his shadow. Now that I'm old (ok, well, older), I realize that days like that just pass you by. I miss days of innocence and watching the groundhog.

Anyhoo... enough nostalgia... he's my latest list of questions, for your entertainment/pleasure/information/whatever:

1. Favorite sandwich? BLT, minus the T, with a little bit of ranch dressing
2. What characteristics do you despise? People that pretend to be smart and worldly, yet have never even left the community they live in
3. Where would you want to retire to? Hawaii! Definitely! It's gorgeous there.
4. Where were you born? Weehawken, New Jersey, on Park Avenue - too bad it was on the wrong side of the Hudson River*
5. Pepsi or Coke? Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke with Splenda
6. Are you a morning person or night owl? I used to be a morning person, but now I love staying up at night, watching HBO On Demand (Oz? Yes! Six Feet Under? Double yes!)
7. Pedicure or Manicure? Yes please!
8. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone? Going back to Vegas next month with my hubby for my birthday
9. What did you want to be when you were little? A singer, like Olivia Newton-John, Donna Summer, or Gloria Gaynor
10. What is your best childhood memory? Riding bikes with my mom on the Wildwood Crest, New Jersey Boardwalk*

*While I have mentioned Jersey in a few of my answers, I want to make it clear that I am not an ordinary Jersey Girl. I did live in a different state (not a mental state, an actual state of the United States) for a few years (my formative years - that's what they call them) before returning to Jersey. I do NOT have big hair and I do NOT snap my gum. I also do NOT believe that the Jersey Shore is the best place in the world to vacation, nor do I rent out a house for the summer and drive down to it every Friday night between Memorial and Labor Days for weekends of dancing and drinking.