Put a glass of wine in front of me,or any alcoholic drink, and the vaporswill get me giddy. Alcohol is a foreign substance to my bloodstream. Only occasionally will I even have a beer. Something happens after one glass:I start giggling over the slightest things. You’d think that an Irish gal would tolerate alcohol better than I do.
Jen and I went out recently to Uno Chicago Grill for Happy Hour--which, in my case, is an understatement.
No sooner had I taken a few sips of my Bud, that I began giggling. Tears down my face hysterics. Jen began laughing too, since it’s contagious. Thank goodness, my outburst onlylasted a couple of minutes.
Once, Jen and I went to a members reception and art exhibition at the von Liebig Art Center. I’d already enjoyed half a glass of Cavit Grigio.
We stepped up to a piece on exhibit: a woodcarving of the male form. Needless to say, I began erupting, and madea comment, ”That’s quite a 'diplodocus'. " Jen was laughing uncontrollably. Unfortunately, the artist was standing next to us… Believe me, the statue was disproportional.
Tonight, I’m exhibiting a photograph, Aspen Glow, in a juried show, the 48th Founder’s Exhibition at the von Liebig.
There will be tables of food, wine and entertainment. I’ll definitely eat something before I have any wine. I sure hope I don’t run into Diplodocus II...
More and more, I see guys wearing their caps backwards, the bill hanging down the back of the head. What’s with that? The bill of the hat is meant for sun protection.
I also see people running around in the blazing sunshine with their sunglasses perched on top of their heads. Okay… The next thing I'll see will be hearing impaired people wearing their hearing aids in their noses.
As our kids are growing up, we go out of our way to protect our children. I always cringed and comforted the kids when they would get badly skinned knees.
I was waiting to be served at a bookstore café once when a very nice looking young college fella stepped up to the counter. Wedged inside of both earlobes was a black plug, the size of a wine cork.
I was envisioning the size of the needle for that piercing. He told me it hurt a lot at first. No kidding…! Where did he get that done, Big Bruno's Piercing Palace?
A pretty young gal was sporting two nose rings, a lip and tongue piercing, and several piercings along her outer ear. Won't she feel dumb when she's 50... Nose rings--big ouch, but a good place to hang the car keys.
Paul has a snook swimming up his arm-- a small tattoo he got a few years ago, when we moved here to Naples, ’snook land’.
Paul said there was some pain. No way would I go out of my way to pay someone to stick a needle in me. Getting my ears pierced years ago was pain enough.
Jen fell into the trap as well. It seems to be a very sporty thing with women to have a pierced navel.
Jen tried hiding the fact with longer t-shirts, but being the wise mom detective that I am, the little bulge gave away the ghost. Busted! She said I should get one too. Yeah, when it snows in Florida!
My cell phone has been abducted by Jen. She made the unwise mistake of calling her carrier to check if it was possible to lengthen the ring tone. Her Smart phone rings for only 7 seconds.
Who, short of a roadrunner, could ever answer a phone that quickly? It takes me that long hunting for the darn thing, usually buried in no-man's land--my purse.
One simple question to tech support was all it took to turn her phone into a vast wasteland. A code here and a tweak there done by a tech support trainee, sent her phone into Never-land.
Another frustrating, pot-boiling 90 minutes was spent trying to restore the phone back to its factory defaults. No such luck... It would’ve been easier ordering takeout from China. After much phone discussion with a supervisor, Jen's getting a free smart phone today. She's waiting anxiously for her HTC Diamond... so am I. So, for now, I’m letting her use my new phone, the myTouch, with visions of my remaining minutes rapidly dissolving. I had 236 minutes left for the next 18 days,now withered to a paltry 48 minutes, and counting down...
When I run out of minutes, guess who's going to lend me their phone for non-Fave calls until Nov. 9th?
Products that need opening require the heavy handed strength of a Sumo wrestler... The caps and lids never budge, and the foil or plastic seal under the cap must have been fused on by NASA. I’ve invented cuss words trying to pry up the seals.
Life is hard enough, so why do companies have to make it so impossible to use their products to begin with? Manufacturers must sit around at a huge table devising new ways to drive consumers nuts.
Aspirin bottles are annoyingly difficult: Line up the arrows and pull off. Sure… The only thing I usually pull off is my fingernail--and they’re real!
I tried feverishly to twist off a jar lid of spaghetti sauce. I twisted, pried, whacked the lid-- it stayed on like it had been vacuum- packed by some gigantic air-sucking creature.
This over-tightening, over-sealing is done for product freshness and safety. How many times have I tried to rip open a foil or plastic package, resorting to yanking the edge open with my teeth? Teeth are more convenient than scissors...
All products need to come with a warning: Try to open--we dare ya--at your own risk, which may include the following side effects: A broken wrist, fingernails pulled back to the quick, and a migraine the size of the Moon… Exactly where I’d like to Pow-Zoom the cap and lid inventors…
There are a lot of good intentions about health and other issues that sometimes get sidelined, or slightly altered from concept to delivery.
1- To maintain good health, one should have plenty of fruits and veggies every day. Let’s see, I ate part of a water-logged avocado, some grapes that tasted like a dose of medicine, and a banana I could have used for a door-stop.
2- Everyone is supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Yeah, if you hook up a hose to your waistband, and put the toilet in the living room…
3- Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Yeah, sure, after having 8 glasses of water that day…
4- Exercise every day. My hosiery runs more than I do… I’ve bought exercise equipment that eventually just sat unused-- the pieces robotically fused together into patio furniture.
5- I’ve bought several Chicken Soup For The Soul books. How about Chocolate Truffles for the Chocolate Deprived?
6- I thought I’d try a veggie burger--it was great after I loaded it with water-logged avocado, stringy onion fries, and a spongy tomato.
7 -I’d love to have a guava jelly donut from Whole Foods--that’s fruit, right?
8- I bought a pair of workout shoes. I wore them to the fitness room twice- they didn’t work out that great.
9- I also bought some Dri-Fit workout clothes, made in the Arab Emirates. Who’d they test them on, some dried up dromedaries?
10- Abiding by a meatless diet is a good idea… Until I get the Caveman instinct to swing a club at a juicy side of beef…
11- Uno Chicago Grill has a new snack menu to die for: The Short Rib Slider, make that 2, was delicious. I followed it up with a huge salad when I got home.
12- I’ve come to the conclusion to kick it up a notch, do more of the good stuff. After all, I’m getting older. When my next birthday rolls around, I’ll take it as a grain of proverbial salt; stonewall it, or rim my Mango Margarita glass…
October is a beautiful month for those who live in a seasonal state: Leaves changing, that feeling of crispness in the air.
People are beginning to flock down here from the north and Midwest. Why? It’s been hotter than a witch’s cauldron. We’ve been steeped and boiled in the high 90’s every day. Sure, the sun is lower and the shadows are longer-- that’s the only seasonal difference so far.
The insects are madder. Tom’s been chasing wasps in the garage, swatting them with a towel. They’re infiltrating the holes in the overhead door. They’re not stupid wasps. The second he whacked one wasp to the garage floor, another one swooped in for the kill. Zing! On the neck...
I just got a call from the von Liebig Art Center curator who is accepting Artist Statements for the upcoming Founder's Exhibition. “Nancy, can you resend the statement to me? I can’t open the file attachment”
Let’s see, somewhere in the recesses of my sometimes linty brain, sits my statement. I wrote a great statement--in my head and threw it quickly into Works--where is it? I saved it then and sent it to Jack, but for the life of me, the file has vanished.
Tom’s having knee surgery Friday. No real biggie, thank God. He has a torn meniscus. Must have been caused from all that walking he does on the beach… I could see that problem happening to someone, say, a rock climber or a contortionist…
I haven’t received my early Social Security check yet for this month. Last month's check arrived on time. I’m supposedly eligible based on my husband-- I don’t have enough work credits yet. Hmm...have to pay for that new digital camera I just bought a couple of months ago.
I accidentally transposed a number when sending a text to my friend. I keep tabs on him, making sure he’s still alive and well. I sent four texts to him over the last few days.
I didn’t hear back, which is very unusual. I spent a few worried days, until my left brain kicked out the cobwebs and I checked the faculty roster online. There it was--I’d mistakenly switched two digits. Someone in Outer Mongolia got four of my texts…
I went to the fitness room in the clubhouse Saturday. Kids under 16 aren’t allowed. While I was working out, “dad” opened the door and peeked in, ushering his four kids--under the age of 6.
Running, bouncing, overtaking the treadmill and cycles. Simmering, I finally indicated the sign on the door. He told me “Lady, don’t sweat the small stuff…” I left, and quickly composed a letter to management, who's always ranting about following community rules. Remember John Ritter in the movie, The Colony?
There’s been some good stuff in October, though: Jen is back, and we girls get out together now. I’m looking forward to the Founder’s Exhibition at the end of the month. I’m not looking forward to my dental appointments.
October will be over before I know it. Mondays dissolve quickly into Fridays. I thought I just put away the Christmas decorations ...
I visited the dentist last week. It’s not something you mark in red on the calendar, like maybe, a trip to Disney World or the Bahamas.
A full set of xrays were taken--I felt more exposed than a stripper without her tassels… “Mmm, 22&23,19," the hygienist said to her assistant. Lotto numbers? No such luck…
After poking and prodding, Odalia, the hygienist, said, "Nancy, not bad at all--you have two cracked teeth. You'll need two half-crowns.” Blimey...
So, I’m pondering, how did I get two cracked teeth? What was I eating-- Jawbreakers, or one-month old French bread? Couldn’t have been the over- roasted chicken…
The receptionist handed me a description of the proposed work: 2 porcelain crowns, one small filling: $1988. Holy cannoli! Where does the porcelain come from--the Queen’s Royal cabinet? $1988 is equivalent to a high end digital SLR with two lenses, or an exhilarating Caribbean cruise.
I’m thinking, as I leave the cold office and step out into the midday oven, What if I hadn’t taken care of my teeth?
Tom might have left me for that stripper, and I'd be gumming and thumbing along Route 10...
It’s been hotter than Death Valley on a “cool” day. If I were a camel, my humps would have dried up by now.
Last night, I heard some peculiar noises emanating from my husband, Tom, sitting in the living room adjacent to the foyer. He was watching the weather on Fox 4. Sh-- came out as a growling cuss word. “I can’t believe this damn weather…”
Tom Johnston said it was going to be another record heat day for Friday. The heat index is supposed to reach 105. Thursday the temp reached 98 degrees with as much humidity.
I flipped through the growing number of cable channels. I don’t know where any of my favorite channels are since Comcast decided to play the game, Find Me, rearranging and throwing some channels into the 700’s.
I finally hit on a program with delightful, scampering penguins, twittering along like old men in tight underwear.
They were having a great time, flopping one-by-one off the ice shelf into the freezing blue water. Ahhh…
The heat isn’t that bothersome to me. Tom, on the other hand, has Nordic blood. He used to swim in the San Francisco Bay, off Coyote Point and Aquatic Park, when we lived on the Peninsula years ago.
Tom would have been a great explorer or mountain man. He’s very outdoor oriented-- has a sense of adventure, but is stiffled by Florida’s climate. He takes a morning walk and swim at the beach, while I usually get dropped off at Books-A-Million.
It’s great here in the winter when the rest of the country is unfortunately in a deep freeze. Beautiful, cloudless days: dry, in the 70’s, low 80’s.
We stepped outside this morning at 7:00-- it already feels in the low 80’s. Last night about 11:00,the temp was 87. At bedtime, I felt like Scheherazade: Shedding the seven veils to keep cool...
I was flipping through the pages of Florida Design gathering decorating ideas. I came across an ad, The Ambiance of the Gate. Pictured was a massive, ornate gate protecting the endless driveway to a palatial estate.
We don’t have a gate--or an endless driveway. We might have ambiance, though. Do weeds with pretty flowers count? The two Royal Palm trees are stately. Jen's SUV parked in the driveway with her yellow Tarpon fishing kayak perched atop the rack makes a statement of sorts...
All the gorgeously appointed homes lining Gordon Drive and Gulfshore Blvd. have the most awesome gardens, many adorned with koi ponds, Asian-inspired bridges and waterfalls-- and gates with superior ambiance.
A weed would be largely intimidated if it dared to sprout among such a garden of wealth and enterprise. The weed family, on the other hand, has decided it enjoys our unadulterated, understated front, side and back yard.
It’s clearly an endless battle. We spray, pull and curse the insidious growths. I developed a case of carpal tunnel from endlessly ripping the deeply rooted sprouts from the grass.
Yes, ambiance falls into the gardens and homes of the wealthy. Those koi fish have it made…
While I was cooking dinner one evening, I flipped on the television program featuring Andrew Zimmern, the bald-headed guy who travels the far corners of the world sampling exotic fare.
He’d just opened his mouth to a forkful of some steaming dish which included disgusting post-wiggling insects, better left on garbage.
A few minutes later, he spooned up a kind of stew with round meatballs--not the kind I’m used to serving up with spaghetti.
Another dish he devoured so enthusiastically resembled a head of cauliflower...ugh. As he traveled on through the city, he came across a street vendor offering a plate of skewered scorpions, from which he took one and so spiritedly crunched, grinning broadly.
As my stomach tried to settle back to normal, I finished up in the kitchen and brought dinner to the table--a very all-American dish of teriyaki, orange-glazed salmon, rice and steamed veggies.
Since Jen has moved back home, I’ve been creating menus--nothing fancy, just good, wholesomely nutritious food. Having been a Key West gal for the last 6 months, she's gotten used to scallops and fresh lobster.
Cooking mainly for Paul and myself for quite awhile, our dinners were often just salads and veggies, tilapia, or my famous pizza: Baby Ray's Original BBQ sauce, skim mozzarella, cubed grilled chicken, pineapple tidbits, all topped with chopped cilantro.
Just yesterday, out in the garage, Paul yelled "Mom,come out and see this gigantic bug crawling around." It sported a huge, beetle-like shell with front extended pincers and four long legs.
Either Halloween is coming earlier this month, or this indescribably scary insect fell out of that television show I’d been watching.
It looked at me with its multiple orbs. Hmmm…might be interesting roasted and dipped in a mango and honey-dijon sauce...
Speed Traps. Photo enforced red lights. These are things which drive the average motorist nuts--even good drivers.
Most everyone, except law-abiding, hat-wearing senior citizens, exceed the speed limit. Drivers in a rush zip around those elderly drivers, hardly ever honking at them.
I usually drive in Sunday mode: Relaxed, often waiting patiently for the local egret to cross the street corner . If at all, I’m usually over by 5 m.p.h. to keep up with the flow of traffic.
Our city has installed photo enforcement at most major intersections. It’s a tricky thing. Your car will be flashed if your corner-turn stop isn’t long enough. I stop for at least 5 seconds. No tickets for me.
Green to yellow is dicey. Naples intersections are wide--a nervous anxiety overwhelms me when the green light has been on for awhile, and my car is still a couple hundred yards from the signal.
Do I slow down, anticipating the change, or boost the speed to make the light? The car behind me might decide that kissing my car bumper will excite me enough to quickly cross the intersection.
Many drivers act as though they’re driving in the middle of no-man’s land, or the Autobahn. Speed of light doesn’t register on the radar detectors… warp speed is for test pilots or the Space Shuttle.
I think some drivers are Starbucked to the gills-- cranked up and ready to shred the highways… Maybe I should wear a hat while I’m driving...