Friday, July 14, 2006

Gone fishin'! Well, not really fishing per say but definitely gone

Tomorrow I am headed down to the greater Dallas area to visit my favorite (only) sister and her daughter for a few days. Now, you may ask yourself, “Why the hell would you head to Dallas to visit your sister in the middle of July when it’s 102 degrees with 80% humidity there?” Well, that’s a damn fine question. The answer is because I’m just not that bright. Well that, and that her husband is away for a few weeks for work so she could use an extra set of hands and also because I always visit her in July. Ridiculous I know, but that’s what it is. And so unless there are a couple of things that are REALLY worth mentioning over the next five days you won’t hear from me until late next week.

Uh, this seat's taken

There are days when taking the train to work in the summer is wonderful and relaxing. The cold air conditioned car welcomes you in from the 95 degree afternoon heat and the seat is comfortable enough that you might actually enjoy a short nap on the way home.

Then there are the other days. For instance it was POURING a couple of days last week and getting on an icy cold train from the oppressively hot outdoors dripping wet was a relief at first and then I began to shiver. I was miserable. However, I will take all of this to not have what happened to me on Wednesday happen again.

The ever present fear of the “Bad B.O. Seat Sharing Passenger.” Oh yes, they are many and in the summer they come out in droves. So on Wednesday a nice man in a beautiful suit slipped into my row of seats. (Mind you, you are always conscious of who is sitting next to you and you hope it’s not the man who reads his New York Times out loud softly or the woman who knits and whacks you in the arm with every stitch she makes… or drops… or the obnoxious person who is talking on their cell phone oblivious to the fact that everyone around him really doesn’t give a crap that he didn’t make his bonus and that his wife spends too much money.) So, my seat-mate on Wednesday was a 40-something, good looking, business men in a gorgeous suit with a French blue shirt with white collar and cuffs (I LOVE those shirts). So as he walks into my row we make the requisite eighth of a second eye contact and acknowledge the other’s presence with a slight upturn at the corners of our mouths. He puts his briefcase down and then begins to take off his jacket…..


Oh yes, his shirt that was hidden by his beautifully tailored jacket was completely soaked thru with sweat and he smelled. Actually, that’s too kind a word; he REEKED. Oh my God I thought I was going to gag. In fact, I did.

I do feel bad for men and women who still have to wear suits to work. It seems cruel that on a hot, humid summer day one must put on a wool suit and socks, shoes a shirt, tie and jacket and not just expect to stay fresh as daisy the minute they walk out their door but to make it out the door, out to their car or the train, ride said train and then walk from the station to one’s office building. And then complete the same trip back. I do feel for them, I truly do but I feel for me too. Why the hell didn’t he take his jacket off and CARRY it to/on the train? Why couldn’t he have used a whole stick of deodorant/antiperspirant or, for the love of God, why couldn’t he have taken a cab home? He certainly looks like he could have afforded it. So that, my dear friends is another person I will now have to keep an eye out for on the train.

They do say that murderers, pedophiles and other delinquents look “like the guy next door.” Apparently the same holds true for people with bad BO too. This, among other things, is why after this humiliation I now keep a stick of deodorant at work.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Next she'll be ordering curtains

So what is considered an appropriate office decoration? The ugly picture that didn’t make the cut for your living room wall or even your guest room so you figure that staring at it ALL DAY at work is a better place for it? How about a globe on the corner of a desk? Dreaming of places you’d rather be than stuck behind that slab of laminated particle board? Or my personal favorite, the wall of diplomas. What are you trying to prove if you have your Bachelors in HISTORY? I understand a Doctor’s office. You better as hell believe I want to know what Ivy League school you graduated from that gives you the authority to tell me that I definitely need Claritin or possibly a Tylenol.

However I ask because the woman down the hall from me has a Firefighters of New York calendar on her wall. It wasn’t there yesterday but when I walked by to the bathroom a minute ago there it was for all to see. Now, don’t get me wrong, seeing Mr. July scantily clad is definitely appealing to me, but for the office? It reminds me of a fourth grade teacher of mine, Miss Harold, who had a poster of Tom Selleck during the Magnum PI days on the wall of her classroom. A parent complained (he was FULLY clothed and leaning on his Ferrari) so she took it down. Actually, she put it up behind a map. Very funny. But I digress, and back to 2006; what do you all think? A bit much? Inappropriate? I find it distracting. I mean this is my fifth trip to the bathroom this hour…

Monday, July 10, 2006

Shrimp; it's what's for dinner. Except in my house.

OK, I promised a better post so here it is. Of course I'm not sure I would call this "better." Anyway, I would blog about the Tour today but won't because it’s a “Rest Day.” Yes, apparently these guys actually get a day off to rest because someone decided it’s hard to ride approximately 140 miles or so a day no matter what the weather up steep mountains and across the country side for WEEKS at a time. Humph…


I hate it. Or is it “them”? Anyway, whatever it is I think they’re gross. Not really gross because I don’t feel they have much taste and therefore seem to be some weird, pink, rubbery conduit to get cocktail sauce into one’s mouth. What I don’t get, however, is the obsession with them. I mean, if you go to a party and there’s shrimp cocktail you will inevitably hear, “Oooh, look Ethel, they have shrimp cocktail!” You don’t see people saying that about mushroom caps or a wheel of brie or pigs in a blanket (OK, maybe you’ll hear it for pigs in a blanket).

So why shrimp?

Shrimp is also the only food that is offered in restaurants on a platter cooked a million different ways. For instance, you can order a “serving” that consists of a platter of shrimp scampi, fried shrimp, broiled shrimp and popcorn shrimp. I don’t get it. No other food is offered that way. You can’t order the chicken platter that has grilled, fried and roasted chicken on it. You don’t get the Beef on a Plate special that has steak tartare, a rib eye and a burger. They don’t exist so why DOES it exist for shrimp???? What is it about those little crustaceans that everyone but me loves?!?! Well, everyone but me and people like my friend K who if she so much as catches a whiff of one blows up like a balloon because she’s allergic to them.

Yes, I actually think about these things. Really.