Twenty Five

Can you believe that time of year has arrived already?! 

Time for my annual birthday retrospective!

I’m sitting in my bed, in the same exact spot I’ve written my last two retrospectives and there’s something extremely comforting about that to me. I’m wearing pajamas just like last year, but this year I’m wearing a charcoal mask on my face, trying to get my skin to stop freaking out. Glam.

More than any other birthday in the past I’m excited for 25. I’m not sure exactly why, mostly it just sounds fabulous to me. Me? I’m 25. Twenty Five. It feels like possibility and a fresh start and a new chapter. MID TO LATE TWENTIES YA’LL HERE I COME! 

You can find my previous birthday retrospectives here:

Twenty Two

Twenty Three

Twenty Four

And now, without further ado: Twenty Five Things I’ve Learned This Past Year.

1.  If you ever need to get blood out of your light grey comforter, immediate OxyClean attention and then a trip in the washing machine on cold (warm or hot water “cooks” the blood into the fibers of the fabric/ ew.) will make it appear like it never happened. (also, don’t ask.)

2. If you don’t ask for your money back when you have an unsatisfactory experience, you won’t ever get it back. But if you ask the chances of it happening are much higher. I say this because my inclination is never to ask based on my perception that they’ll say no. They can’t say no unless you ask. 

3. Poverty is no joke. I’m just really beginning to understand how awful and seemingly unchanging the cycle of poverty is in this country. Don’t even get me started.

4You can make your own biore pore strips with milk and gelatin, but its actually really gross and you could save yourself the drama by buying them at CVS: 

5. True love manifests itself in so many ways every day, if you just pay attention. 

6. “Nothing gold can stay.” Is true. I spend a lot of time chasing the ghost of previous good things. 

7. Put an effort into your friendships. Plan ladies nights!

8. I hold on to a hell of a grudge if you cross me though

9. I can finally accept that new years eve parties are almost always let downs. No matter how much you want that party to be the best party ever it is always crap. Just stay in and eat a delicious dinner and watch the ball drop. Lower the expectations and just kiss ya boo at midnight. 

10. I love butternut squash.

11. You can apply liquid makeup with a foundation brush instead of those putrid sponge things.

12. In the game of Monopoly, if you land on a property and elect not to buy it goes into auction until another player buys it. If you play this way the game doesn’t last a million hours and nobody wants to quit (in general.)

13. A  food processor is one of the best kitchen appliances a latke maker could dream of.

14. On a related note, Christmas is AWESOME.

15. Skateboard equipment isn’t that hard to build if you have an awesome Dad with carpentry skills. 

16. Writing cover letters is the most necessary and soul sucking evil you’ll probably ever experience. 

17. It is what it is Santa. 

18. I love rose gold. 

19. Despite many years my brain can still recite almost every song I listened to in high school. 

20. Eventually, your peers start having babies on purpose, and it is bizarre. 

21. Graduate school might be hellish, but nothing feels better than when you finally graduate. 

22. Knowing you’ve found the right profession is helpful too. 

23.  You can have a disagreement in a relationship and it isn’t the end of the world. 

24. At bridal showers, the maid of honor is expected to collect ribbon with which to make a ribbon bouquet for the wedding rehearsal. I am bad at this task and according to my grandmother Jews don’t have bridal showers or wedding rehearsals. “What? Ya just show up. Whats tah rehearse? A dinnah for the rehearsal? No.” 

25.  Say what you think, love who you love, cause you just get so many trips ’round the sun. 

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Maverick’s Perspective

At the beginning of the Summer, Sarah had declared this to be “the Summer of Groupon” meaning that we would rely on the Groupon’s seemingly excellent deals to support our love of restaurants and traveling. The Groupon Summer hasn’t been working out as smoothly as intended. Due to a variety of reasons our previous experiences had been full of financial ripoffs, terrible food, and unforeseen circumstances that almost always ended in disappointment and me sarcastically yelling, “Summer of Groupon!” in a way that mirrored the success of George Costanza’s “Summer of George.” Despite all the bumps along the way, Sarah and I were eager to experience our final adventure of the Summer: a meteor shower cruise and overnight stay in Plymouth, MA.

The Summer flew by and we soon found ourself driving in torrential downpour towards an Air B&B in Plymouth, with the knowledge that our cruise was cancelled and we would have to make the best of things in an area known for its beaches and cool outdoor activities. Obviously not the best start to any vacation especially when considering it was beautiful weather all week while we worked inside.

We arrived at the house we would be staying at and were shown around. It seemed like a really awesome place; screened in porch, fire pit, balcony that would be perfect to eat cereal on, etc… Of course, none of these amenities are best enjoyed when it is raining sideways outside.

We were famished after surviving the traffic-ridden commute so we made our way to the Blue-Eyed Crab, which is located in Plymouth Center and the only place Sarah and I had gone to before. We journeyed through the rain, attempted selfies with an umbrella in hand and bought a overpriced tourist sweatshirt because it was so cold and rainy and those aren’t two words that usually come to mind when you think “beach vacation.”

In an attempt to seek immediate shelter and entertainment we made our way to the Kingston Mall in search of an indoor mini-golf place that also happened to glow in the dark. That sounds pretty cool, right? And it may very well have been had it not gone out of business and left only it’s digital presence as an epitaph of what once was. The rest of the mall was disgusting and dilapidated. Most of the stores served as time capsules for the late 90s, which was equal parts entertaining and depressing. Most of the signage for the independently-owned shops that comprised the mall consisted of Microsoft Word clipart and tacky fonts with extreme drop shadows under them. Classy stuff.

Crushed by the lack of mini golf and uncertain of what to do with our day, we found ourself wandering curiously into the mall’s arcade. I dumped five bucks into a machine and we played ski-ball and some 64-bit Jurassic Park game from 1998 that kicked ass. Sarah played Dance Dance Revolution too, but I obviously didn’t take part in that one.

Hidden in the mall’s depressing food court existed a movie theater. We decided to see Boyhood, which was really good. While there, Sarah purchased an cherry Icee that size of her head (which admittedly isn’t very large.) We had been making the best of a day that was doomed from the start.

After the movie things started to go downhill. Sarah’s normally pale and pinkish skin had turned a light green hue. I knew immediately what was happening; this afternoon’s questionable clam chowder and her cranium-sized Icee had begun World War 3. As we exited the mall Sarah’s steps grew slower and slower until eventually she had stopped in place and was leaning over the mall’s trash can in oscillating motion. I watched from behind as her body made constant violent thrusts towards the trash can. Maybe my imagination was still very much in the Jurassic Park universe, but I likened the motion to a Prehistoric bird’s attempt at a mating dance. I figured, “Well, this is it. She is going to puke in this stupid mall and no one will even notice cause I bet way worse things happen here daily.” I took out my phone as I impatiently waited for it to happen. Much to my surprise, she recovered and with hands still grasping the trash can she quickly yelled “Happy vacation! Woo!”

After a quick refresh at the house and confirmation that the only dinner Sarah would be eating was Saltines and Pepto Bismal, we journeyed out to find a pizza place that was still open so that I could eat dinner.

It was in the bathroom of the Plymouth House of Pizza where I assume some sort of gastrointestinal exorcism occurred. I watched Sarah stumble weakly toward the bathrooms like how someone recently deceased might wander towards the bright light. Her sullen appearance masked the the faintest glimpse of joy and the hope that everything might end there. Unfortunately, it did not.

When we arrived back at the house all we wanted to do is lie down. And that’s when it happened; the final blow to the backbone of our vacation. Sarah pointed skeptically to the bed at a small moving speck. “What’s that?” she asked in the least alarming voice possible as to not scare me. It was a bug in the bed. And while yes, I am very afraid of bugs due to an unfortunate incident with them infesting my bed as a child, it was simply not any bug. We had Googled “bed bugs” and not with the same paranoia that one Googles “itchy throat” and then believes the corresponding WebMD article’s claim that they are going to die in exactly 43 minutes. We had regretfully matched Google’s image results for “bed bugs” with the same bugs that were hanging out in our bed and burrowing through the sheets we were supposed to be sleeping on.

Sarah didn’t want to confront the lady on the situation and had hoped to disappear silently in the middle of the night and never speak of the events again. Somehow, she managed to feel bad in this. Far worse than the lady who insisted we sleep in her bug bed after we came in soaking wet from our rained out beach vacation. In my mind I have a standup bit where Sarah gets robbed and feels horrible that she didn’t have more in her wallet for the criminal. “I only had 6 bucks in there. I really wish I could have given him more. I bet he needs that money a lot more than I do. If only he had asked. I would have got to an ATM and given him at least a 20.” This all supports the notion that Sarah was born with insurmountable amounts of guilt and lays sleepless each night blaming herself for problems that are out of her control (ex: the inevitable death of the universe, global warming, the confusing season finale in Lost, etc…)

Freaked out, defeated and hesitant to wake the lady whose house it was, we decided to make the journey back to Boston. Sarah drove because it was raining and I have nighttime blindness and getting old sucks. Five years ago, if you had given me a list of places that I would retreat to should I ever encounter bed bugs, I can guarantee you that Dorchester would not be on that list. But, thats where we found ourselves going. And it never felt better to be back in Sarah’s bed, which we constantly refer to as “the cloud.” We left the lady whose house it was a message explaining the situation.

The next morning when we woke up I saw Sarah’s phone go off while she was in the shower. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t some guy calling or I would have gotten all tough guy overprotective boyfriend and been all “Im a kick your fucking ass. Bro, you talk to her again and I’ll kill you.” Jk. I wouldn’t do that cause I’m not lame and also I was 95% certain it was the Air B&B person so I answered it. I figured I’d do Sarah a solid and deal with the awkward and inevitable conflict. The lady on the phone was immediately accusatory and defensive and kept insisting that her house was bug free and that we had done something wrong. “My house is clean! We don’t have bugs! We have never had bugs! NO bugs! People have stayed here before and we have never had this issue.” I wasn’t really sure what to tell her. We weren’t trying to scam her out of anything, we didn’t imagine the bugs and we certainly didn’t bring the bugs with us, which also seemed to be implied on the phone.

The lady become increasingly more defensive, which I can understand to some extent. Without kids this Air B&B truly is her child and me telling her she has bugs in the house is the equivalent of telling someone that their only child, whom they love so much, is “sort of an asshole.” She then hung up on me despite the calm and sincerely apologetic tone I maintained throughout the conversation (again, why was it that I was apologizing for her bug infested beds?)

She later retracted her hostility under the guise of several non-apologetic apologies such as “I’m sorry you feel as though my house was unclean and filled with bugs.” and “I’m sorry you feel as though your vacation wasn’t going right from the start and you had to leave early” The implications being that we planted the bugs there (we sent her the photographic evidence of them hanging out on the bed) and that we left in the middle of the night because our vacation wasn’t working out (which although true, she didn’t know anything beyond the fact that it was raining and the cruise was cancelled.)

The moral of the story here being: we suck at vacations and are only going to stay in hotels from now on even if they smell just like Kitty Litter like that one in California did. And also, when life gives you lemons try to get your shit together and don’t puke in the trashcan of the Kingston Mall cause ya know, that’s pretty embarrassing and it would be a hard one to live down.

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Sarah’s Perspective

When I created this crazy experiment known as Summer of Groupon one of the Groupons I was most excited about was the Astronomy Cruise. A late night ride on a boat with an Astronomer, showing you the stars and the Perseid Meteor Shower. Since the ride was from 9pm to 12am, we figured it would be best to book a hotel room as the cruise took place in Plymouth, about an hour away from Boston. Once we had picked our chosen date I took to priceline in an effort to find a hotel room and completely struck out. Not one single vacancy in a 20 mile radius and frankly staying 20 miles away was sort of pointless anyway, might as well drive back to Boston. Then I remembered Air B&B and that I had been meaning to try it. I did a quick search and sure enough there were a few different places to choose from.

After research, and consulting with Maverick, we landed upon a seemingly nice set up. private bedroom with a bathroom. The pictures of the property looked beautiful and it was priced a little bit under what a hotel room might have cost us.

This all happened months and months ago.

Rewind to this past week, I eagerly check the weather report in anticipation of our beautiful starlight cruise.

Great weather all week until we hit Saturday, wherein there is supposed to be thunder storms, clouds, and serious rainfall.

The man who runs the cruise emails and says “Cruise is canceled due to weather” on Thursday or Friday. We’ve already booked the Air B&B. I reasoned that since the room was already booked we might as well try to make a thing of it anyway. I assumed we’d go into all the cute little shops, we’d eat some yummy seafood. I also sort of thought that the rain would probably clear up at some point. Rookie mistake.

Saturday arrives and it’s raining.

We get to Plymouth and it rains some more.

#BEACHVACAY

#BEACHVACAY

We find the house we’re staying in and we meet our host. I cannot stress enough how nice and welcoming this woman was. Her house was also really nice. She asks if our cruise is still happening and I tell her unfortunately no, it was canceled. This is important for later.

We drop our stuff off in our room which looks a little different than how it looked in the pictures. it is totally fine, but you can tell we’re not staying in a guest room. We’re staying in the once childhood bedroom of one of the host’s kids. There’s stuffed animals hanging out places and a framed pencil drawing of a child riding a bike (that looks a lot like that scene in ET) above the bed. This is the downside of using a service like Air B&B, essentially you’re in somebody’s house, and until we were actually there and doing it I didn’t realize how truly weird that feels.

Anyway, despite the rain we decide to head for the town center and get lunch. I was wearing a sleeveless shirt and leggings, because it is August in New England. The weather is a balmy 60 degrees with cold rain. I was freezing. We headed to a restaurant that does Caribbean style seafood for lunch. We were in good spirits. I have coconut scallops and a cup of clam chowder. Mav orders a salad. We eat, we talk, we laugh. Very nice! Almost feels like a vacation.

After Lunch we set out in the torrential downpour to buy me a sweatshirt because I have not brought anything longsleeved. Again, summer, August, New England. Somewhere Grandmama is chastising me for not checking the weather report more thoroughly but frankly, the fact that I had enough foresight to bring an umbrella is enough or me.  I buy a tourist sweatshirt with the word “Plymouth” emblazoned across the front. It costs 29 dollars. Grandmama just twitched and has no idea why.

Our initial plan to walk around and look at the shops has now been shelved. It is just raining too hard. A friend’s mother had told us of a place in Kingston that has glow in the dark indoor mini golf. That seemed like a nice summer activity and so off we set. The mini golf course was located inside of a giant one level mall o’ crap. It was seriously one of the more bizarre places I have ever been. Most of the stores were independently owned and had signs that utilized Angry Bird font.

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Mav sees that Pac Sun is going out of business, presumably so an entrepreneurial Kingston person can open an eyebrow threading salon to compete with the two other eyebrow threading locations in the mall. We go into Pac Sun and Mav begins perusing the clothing options. I have learned that Maverick doesn’t really like to be hovered over when he shops. So I keep my distance and eventually decide I will make a bathroom run while he tries on jeans. In my search for the bathroom I end up walking the entire length of the mall and realize, with horror, that the mini golf course has closed. It is nowhere to be found. I feel slightly like crying, but almost just have to laugh. We’ve driven an hour to get soaked in the rain and wander a small town shopping center.

I meet up with Mav eventually and deliver the bad news: there is no more mini golf, and the good news: there is an arcade, an inflatable activity place called (unfortunately) PUMP N JUMP, and a movie theater.

We first set off to the arcade, where my gallant boyfriend bought us 5 dollars worth of tokens, which at the Kingston Mall happened to be a lot of tokens. We played a surprisingly fun Jurassic Park video game which was probably the best dollar we spent all day.

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Some judgmental couple's counseling from the Jurassic Park game.

Some judgmental couple’s counseling from the Jurassic Park game.

I also beat the pants off of Mav at three games of SkeeBall. After a few other games we set off to check the movie times. We arrived at the cinema just a showing of the movie Boyhood was starting. I consult heavily with Maverick if he’s okay seeing this one, I generally like the indies way more than he does and we both have this horrible need to always do what the other one wants to do and never ever want to make the other person compromise, but Mav being the awesome dude he is says he’s interested to see it. We buy the tickets and as is my custom I ordered myself a cherry ICEE, at this point in the story I would like to note that I offered to buy Mav many a snack, which he declined. Noted for the record.

A disheveled me and my "small" ICEE that was actually the size of my head.

A disheveled me and my “small” ICEE that was actually the size of my head.

The movie was actually really amazing, and we both really liked it. I will save writing about the movie itself for another time but instead focus on what happened during hour three (yes, a three hour movie, I know my bladder is crying too.) All of the sudden I was consumed with a voracious wave of nausea. The type that comes out of nowhere. The kind that occurs and you think “Why would my stomach be.. I had clam chowder for lun…..NOOOOOO.”  I gagged into my sleeve a couple of times and started practicing my deep breathing. I made it through the movie. After it ends Mav starts talking about how hungry he is. I should mention we had planned a nice romantic dinner at a restaurant on the waterfront and I suggested he get a snack because I need to go home and change out of my wet sweatshirt and into something romantic restaurant appropriate. But also, I inform him, “I’m actually kind of nauseous.”  Mav buys a snack in the food court and gets me a large ice water which I sip pretending I am a baby bird and mentally weighing which is worse, going to make yourself throw up in a mall bathroom in an attempt to feel better, or just waiting it out. I decide to wait it out. We head toward Target so I can buy a toothbrush because of course I forgot one. On the walk to Target I am hit with another wave of nausea, conveniently in front of a trash can, I idle between the trash can and the table, shuffling back and forth slightly, all the while gagging, willing myself not to throw up in public. Behind me I can feel Mav stop in his tracks, mid sentence, watching but not watching. I regain my composure and whirl around to say to him with crazy eyes and giant smile “HAPPY VACATION.”

Blessedly we make it to Target and I boy a tooth brush, a long sleeved shirt, and a bottle of Pepto Bismal. I assume we’ll got back to our room, I’ll lay down and let the Pepto kick in and be ready to go to dinner in no time.

Basically this never happened. I laid in the bed and waited to feel better and it never happened. Eventually we decided we’d make one last venture out, I’d get ginger ale and saltines at Stop n Shop, Mav would get pizza across the street. The pizza place was closing as soon as we arrived. But thankfully we were able to procure the crackers for me. I yelp and quickly find a pizza shop ten minutes away that is open for another hour, we set off. As we wait for Mav’s food my stomach continues to flip and remind me how unhappy it is. When Mav’s steak and cheese arrives at the table I encourage him to eat it now, while it is hot. I can’t take the smell and again retreat to the bathroom.

While Mav ate his dinner we hoped that our hosts might be asleep when we got back. Since it was a rainy night we wanted to watch television, but they were using the TV when we had been there last. Because, ya know, you’re just staying in the room of somebody’s kid in the house that they live in. Which I think would be a fairer slogan for Air B&B but whatever.

We finally arrive back to our room at 10pm and immediately I am struck by something small and reddish brown moving around on the quilt. On further inspection I am still unsure what type of bug it is, but it looked very, very similar to every google image search for “bed bug.” Mav immediately freaks out because Mav has a phobia of insects from a childhood trauma I’m sure he’ll tell you about in his side of the post.  I use my bed bug knowledge and though I see no stains on the mattress I find a couple other little bugs that look the same.

Immediately it became a case of “what do we do?”

There wasn’t a good answer either way in my opinion.

I knew right away that Mav wasn’t going to be able to sleep at all in that bed, and I didn’t feel that great about the idea either. They most likely weren’t bed bugs but I frankly wasn’t keen on taking the chance. I thought to myself that if only it were a fly, or a lady bug, or even a centipede, I would have killed the damn thing and just gone to bed. But the lurking suspicion was just too much.

At this point our host had gone to bed, and I played out what would happen in my mind over and over. Walk upstairs to a strangers bed room where she is sleeping with her husband whom we haven’t been introduced to and say “Ummmm there’s some strange looking bugs on the covers?” I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Eventually we decided enough was enough. We hung our key up on the hook by the door, packed our things, and drove home to Boston at 10:20pm. When we arrived home we immediately washed all of our clothes and jumped in the shower. I sent a short but pleasant email to our host informing her that we had left and that it was because there had been bugs on the bed and we hadn’t felt comfortable. I also asked if any sort of refund would be possible as we hadn’t been able to stay.

Guys, I felt horrible asking for a refund. I didn’t believe she would knowingly put us in a bed that had bugs. I had a suspicion that one of the outdoor cats had brought it in with them while we were out as I found a small clump of cat hair on the covers. The lady had been so nice, I didn’t even want to ask for the money back, but Mav (and the rational part of my brain) knew it was bad idea not to ask for the possibility of a refund, after all the room hadn’t been that cheap. It just feels so weird to say to someone “there were tiny scary looking bugs on the bed in that room. I don’t want to sleep there.” I kept imaging how upset she’d be and I hate making people upset even when they’ve made me upset. 

I am going to save all that went on the next morning for Maverick to write about because he has a much clearer experience of it than I did but I will tell you this much: we got our refund.

And will never Air B&B again.

Stay Tuned Tomorrow for Mav’s side of the story!

Two Weeks

Two weeks from today I’ll turn 25.

I have been so excited to turn 25, practically since this time last year.

I’m not sure why. I’m certainly not wishing my life away, but 25 feels so perfect.

Quarter of a century blah blah blah.

25 to me sounds sturdy and steady and other ST words.

25

25

25

I even like saying it.

I have high hopes for 25, me of the “if you don’t have high hopes you can’t be disappointed” brigade.

This is gonna be my year.

Gotta Get Up Every Mornin’

I am writing this entry on my back porch.

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I’m also writing in a word document ( I actually tried to figure out desperately how to get wifi so I could compose this entry when I realized there’s this thing…called word processing software…) which feels totally foreign to me, considering I’ve done the majority of my creative writing on the word press site to date. But I can’t get wifi on my porch even though the router is really not all that far away from the porch. In fact I’m probably closer to the router on my porch than when I’m in my bedroom. On the porch I get no signal. In my room I get a glimmer of a signal which then craps out mid tense awesome Good Wife episode soooo.

Holy baloney I’ve been ignoring this blog.

I have no excuse other than everything has gone out of my control this summer and I just sorta gave up. I have so much to say but so much of it is repetitive crap you all probably hear when you speak to me in real life. I felt like if I were to write a blog post these days it would go like this: Ready?

I HAVEN’T FOUND A JOB YET I SEND OUT DOZENS OF APPLICATIONS A WEEK AND NOBODY BITES AND I AM GOING INSANE AND I FORGET THE JOBS I  APPLY TO IMMEDIATELY AND THEN I AM SURPRISED AND DISCOURAGED ALL OVER AGAIN WHEN THEY REMIND ME I’VE APPLIED BY SENDING ME A REJECTION EMAIL. EAT CHEESE. RINSE. REPEAT.

That is the majority of my inner monologue.

I have come to realize that job hunting is a special sort of hell. The same sort of hell reserved for long discount bus trips, packing to move apartments esp in the summer months, searching for said apartments on craigslist. All of these things sound so awesome when they’re only twinkles in our little thoughts eyeballs.

A new apartment! How dreamy!!!! A trip to New York City? Why, let me book the mega bus!

We (or I, at least) seem to have selective memory about how craptastic these adventures eventually turn out to be. Specifically the drama llama known as Craigslist apartment searching which you’ll probably remember as my angst du jour in 2012. 

Something else hurting me in the job search is that for every single job I apply to I sit down and I really think about it. I picture myself there and I can usually always see myself doing a good job and finding a way to enjoy it. No matter the work I do I always, always, always find a way to make myself do well. Except for maybe the time the lab supervisor wanted me to slice hamster brains on what amounted to a medieval deli slicer with minimal instruction, a “hamster brain atlas” from 1972 and 8.25 an hour. I will readily admit I didn’t do a good job at that one and didn’t worry that much about it.  I like being productive and I like making money and I have always asserted that while I do want to have a job I enjoy that uses my talents and skills, the abstract idea of family and building a home is more exciting to me.

Oh the drama of the everyday modern woman.

But when I started allowing myself to look into non guidance counseling jobs I felt this IMMENSE sense of panic and failure.

You just got a master’s degree! I cried, to myself. You are going to have to pay loans on a degree you might not even use?!!? Woman!!!! GET A GRIP.

Rational Sarah says, “But this field takes time to break into and you have the pay the bills. You can do something else, there’s no shame in it.”

BUT ISN’T THERE? Maybe some shame I’ve put on myself. Yes.

Is that why I haven’t been sleeping this entire past July? BY GEORGE!

Oh you guys.

Don’t go to counseling school.

Because if you go to counseling school you’ll be able to therapizeeee yourself and it will create a self loathing ravine so deep you won’t be able to dig yourself out and you’ll retreat to your bed with Saint Andrews, Triscuits and the entire 9 seasons of the Good Wife on hulu.

*note to concerned family members, this is hyperbole in an attempt at makin’ light, call off the Harvard Pilgrim approved clinicians.

Basically, I’ve put an inordinate amount of pressure on myself to find a job and it has taken a toll on basically…everything.

Working starting today to remedy it. Tried to remember other things in life that make me happy and fulfilled and then remembered, OH YEAH I HAD A BLOG!

I posted a while back about not “needing” the blog as much. Whoops. I was wrong. I need this thing. I currently feel so much better tip tapping away over here.

OH YEAH SELF CARE I LEARNED THIS IN GRADUATE SCHOOL.

Anyway, I’m back. Expect to see me here daily. If you don’t see me here daily please call, text, smoke signal berate me until I post again. Its good for me and hopefully good for you.

xoxo

S

Groupon Summer: Fairmont Battery Warf

So my friends it is with deep delight I announce to you that we have had a summer of groupon success! Though this technically wasn’t a groupon, it was a livingsocial!

Our deal was 24 bucks for dinner on the patio at the Fairmont Battery Warf in the North End where they have some really awesome fire pits.

Our living social included cheese fondue and smores for two, all for 24 bucks! I consider this a deal no matter what you say.

Of course everything didn’t go as smoothly as I’d like, because does it ever? No it doesn’t.

We had already tried to use this living social once before, but we drove to the North End on a gorgeous weather saturday night and couldn’t find a parking spot. SHOCKER! After circling a couple times I decided to cut our losses and we high tailed it to the cheesecake factory, our comfort chain restaurant of choice. Bad things happen when I can’t find a parking spot people, Mav describes it as watching me try to wring water out of my steering wheel as if it were a sponge. I knew it would be better to try again another day.

Fast forward to this past Thursday! I got out of work on the early side so I went and met Mav downtown at his office. It was a really nice day weather wise and though we could have taken the T we decided to walk. Mav said he knew the way (since we all know I never do) and I figured hey why not. Turns out we walked 2.5 miles.  2.5 miles is nothing to Mav and it isn’t much to me either except it was really sunny and hot out and I had to pee and I am a delicate flower.

Anyway after a long walk we made it to the Fairmont and went inside, the woman at the hostess stand at the restaurant saw my living social and asked if I had a reservation.

CRAP.

No, we didn’t have a reservation. The Living Social had said nothing about having to make a reservation.

Crappity Crap.

Now I was sweaty and hungry and frankly a little cranky but I tried to be pleasant. The hostess said she would go and see if either of the fire pits were available and asked us to go have a seat in the lounge which we did. Roughly 15 minutes went by and though I felt better having had been able to pee I was really hungry. Before I left to search for the bathroom I said to Maverick “start yelping places we would both wanna eat dinner at that aren’t too touristy” 

Eventually I spoke with the hostess again and she said “there’s a sofa with a firepit that should be opening up in a few minutes, would you like it?”

We told her sure and she then enthusiastically suggested we get a drink while we wait.

Mav and I are not “get a drink while we wait” people. We’re usually not even drink while eating dinner sort of people. So we retreated back to the fancy lounge chairs we had sat in before.

And waited.

And waited some more.

and waited.

When it became clear the hostess’s interpretation of “a few minutes” was different than ours we decided what the heck, we might as well go get a cocktail at the bar.

One hour, one gimlet and one white wine sangria later we were finally seated at our fire pit and oh man was it ever worth the wait.

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our delicious fondue is in that cast iron dish above the fire. The plate had fresh berries, crusty bread, provolone cheese and something called "salumi" which neither mav or I enjoyed, and some delicious dried apricots.

our delicious fondue is in that cast iron dish above the fire. The plate had fresh berries, crusty bread, provolone cheese and something called “salumi” which neither mav or I enjoyed, and some delicious dried apricots and spicy peppers,

we got to watch the sunset

we got to watch the sunset

 

Then made our own smores on the fire with chocolate, bananas, and reeses cups. After this we both almost cried on the walk back from the T about how full we were.

Then made our own smores on the fire with chocolate, bananas, and reeses cups. After this we both almost cried on the walk back from the T about how full we were.

 

It was a really awesome and unique dinner, I was already talking about going back again sometime on a double date for just the smores off the firepit menu and some rose. #grouponsummersuccess!

LOOK AT YOUR LIFE! LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES!

I would like to preface this blog post by saying I know that I am not a parent.

I am totally, 100% not a parent. But I play one on TV!

Jk.

I’m just a nanny. But I have been at this whole nanny thing for a while now and I’ve observed all sorts of parenting.

I tend to think, save for physical or emotional abuse, there is no “wrong” way to parent. Except for people who don’t vaccinate their kids. Those people should have to go live on an island because I’ll be damned if they’re gonna compromise my possible future offspring by relying on herd immunity.

For the most part, what I’ve seen of parenting, its about what works the best for you and your kid. You can be the most consistent and strict but still have a nut job kid running circles around you throwing darts. You can be totally laid back and free range and just shrug it off and get the kid a purple cast when they break their arm. Especially parenting young kids, that shit is a circus of epic proportions and so I try very hard not to judge.

THIS BEING SAID….

The one thing I’ve realized about parenting is that if you’re an asshole, and act like an asshole in front of your kid, you kid is generally gonna be….you guessed it! Asshole.

Today I was nannying in unfamiliar territory, a really affluent town outside of Boston. One of the families I work for is in the process of moving and is staying with family until the new house is ready. Not feeling confident with the lay of the land but desperate for some sort of structured air-conditioned activity, we set off for the library which was a few blocks away. I figured the library would be cool in both senses of the word, and I couldn’t stand to watch the 3 year old be hypnotized by the IPad for a moment longer. We got all excited, packed the baby into the carseat which he HATES (the way his eyes look once he realizes he’s been placed in there, its truly priceless.) and we set off on our library adventure.

When we arrived the librarian in the children’s room informed us that today was Movies for Munchkins day! (more screen time! great! nanny of the year!) It would be a roughly 50 minute presentation of classic children’s books animated on a DVD. The second she said it would kill an hour I was sold and we headed off to the play area to do some puzzles while we waited for the non-story story time to start.

Eventually we filed into the story time room with a gaggle of parents and small children. There was a rug and two rows of small child sized chairs. My 3 year old buddy, which long time readers might know better as LPP (Le Petit Prince) sat down on the rug and eagerly awaited the show. He’s a kid and he loves tv, I can’t blame him that much. I just watched two episodes of So You Think You Can Dance in my underwear, whatever.

The second the movie started the chaos began. Out of the 20 or so kids in that room only a handful could sit still and say quiet. Not a single parent reprimanded a child banging on a chair, attempting to drop kick a book held up by his sibling. I wasn’t necessarily shocked by the behavior because kids are nuts, but the fact that the parents never once thought to try and teach their kids consideration for others. This is something I have come to loathe about all the children’s programming I’ve attended in my tenure as a nanny. As a culture we tend to say these days “oh, well they’re little! They don’t get it!” This is true, developmentally they have NO concept of consideration because toddlers are completely self-centered by design. Just like kids aren’t programmed out of the womb to say please and thank you we must teach them these things. Sometimes it takes forever. Sometimes you have to say “Hmm, how do you ask for something that you want?” 95 BILLION TIMES before the kid up and says “can I have a juicebox please” one day unprompted.

Anyway.

I just feel like the appropriate response is to try and redirect your kid into being quiet and attentive so as to not ruin the enjoyment of the other kids in the room. If they’re not capable you take them out of the room and try again another day. Or you explain “we can’t sit in the room with the movie because its a quiet activity and the other kids in the room might not want to hear you scrape a child sized chair around the room like a janitor on meth, do you want to go back in and try again?” (well maybe not exactly like that but you get it.)

For some of the parents in the room this was what they did. After about 15 minutes the room had mostly cleared out, parents realizing their kids weren’t going to be able to participate and cutting their losses. I did feel sad for them because every caretaker needs 20 minutes of iphone scrolling time but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.

By the 16 minute mark only 6 children were left in the room including LPP and his little brother Baby LPP. The four children that I was not in charge of sang, kicked each other, wrestled, almost ripped a book in half etc. Their mothers made very little effort to discipline them. They instead had an animated conversation amongst themselves about everything from health insurance to birthday party planning, occasionally stopping to say something to the effect of: “Billy! Stop that right now! There are people in here that are actually trying to watch the movie!” Then immediately turned back to her adult conversation and continued it, at a normal speaking volume, right over the stupid fucking movie.

And it just made me wanna stand up on the little lime green child sized chair, sleeping baby slung over my shoulder and whisper yell LOOK AT YOUR LIFE LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES! MAYBE YOUR KIDS AREN’T RESPECTING THIS SPACE BECAUSE YOU ARE SHOWING THEM ITS OKAY BY NOT PAYING ANY ATTENTION EITHER!?

TREE, MEET APPLE.

I’m not at all saying that children and parents are or should be equals, because we all know they really aren’t. The parents are the parents for a reason, after all they totally get to say “because I’m the parent and I say so!” 

And sure, nobody is perfect, but you gotta try. You gotta try to model the behavior you wanna see. The be the change you wish to see in your child.

At one point one of the moms said to her son “See look how nicely that little boy over there is sitting!” (in reference to LPP)

I wanted to turn to her like an informercial and say “You too could experience this! For free just some repetitive installments of effort and patience!”

Because lady, I don’t wanna hear about two different birthday party plans for your child. I wanna watch this fucking animation of Harold and the Purple Crayon with the sweet boy who keeps turning to me with smiling eyes and saying “HE DREW THE MOON!!”

 

Groupon Summer: Acitron Edition

Our latest installment in this series was a 45 dollar groupon for a three course meal for two at Acitron restaurant in Arlington MA.

Neither of us had been there, and both of us really like Mexican food. 45 bucks for three courses and two people seemed like a good deal me *spoiler alert, it probably wasn’t because I’m a chump.*

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Our meal started with chips and salsa, and me telling Maverick to “look natural.” I thought the salsa was pretty exceptional, Mav didn’t have anything specific to say about it one way or another. Cost: Free. 

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Our first course was an appetizer. We were aiming to be adventurous when we ordered the Sopes Surtidos. These little tortilla cake type deals had three different toppings: potato and chorizo, Mexican style shredded chicken, and cactus salad with cotija cheese. All but one were pretty weird tasting. Not necessarily a win. Cost: 6.95

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For his entree Maverick had Chiles En Nogada: Fire roasted poblano peppers stuffed with seasoned ground beef and topped with a sweet white creamy sauce made of nuts, spices and cream cheese. Again he was going for adventurous. This was the other dish I was considering. Maverick is probably gonna try and tell you he got this one because I pressured him to so I could try it. That is false I swear. Cost: 16.95.

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For my entree I had Chiles Ancho De Camaron, Ancho pepper, jumbo shrimp and goat cheese topped with a creamy chipotle sauce. I am realizing now with great indignation that I don’t think there was any goat cheese at all on that plate. Ugh. I thought this tasted very good. I know Maverick and I both agreed on liking the corn very much. I also will say this was just the right amount of food for me, I felt full, but pleasantly so. Cost: 17.95

The waitress came back and informed us that the groupon entitled us to two desserts. I was confused because this had not been indicated on the groupon but I am not a woman who argues with extra desserts.

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Maverick was aghast at the prospect of eating his own dessert, he had anticipated sharing with me. Mav isn’t much of a dessert guy and hardly ever has room. Meanwhile I always have room, tragic.  Anyway, for this reason Maverick ordered a simple scoop of salted caramel ice cream which he deemed delicious as I remember. Cost: 2.50

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I ordered Chocolate mousse cake because the “Flan of the day” was actually just regular old flan and who the heck is excited about the traditional option under the guise of a “du jour” option? *shakes head.* I will say this mousse cake was HEAVENLY. Yum yum yum. Cost: 7.50

 

When the waitress brought our check she put it down glumly and said “There’s nothing to do with this, its taken care of.” (in reference to the groupon.) I opened the check expecting to see tax or someplace I could add tip on my card but there was none. It merely said “$70.00, amount due: 0.00”

Sadly, when you total up what we ordered we only made it to $51.85. *slams head on desk in fit of frustration.* Once again we basically pre-paid for dinner.

I was confused and adamant we pay 20% tip on the alleged 70 dollars (I couldn’t do the math on what our food cost because the receipt was devoid of that information, I went back to their website to get the prices for this post.) Because I didn’t have enough cash to make it to 20% I ordered a Sprite so I could have something to tip on. Whole thing was stupid which Maverick tried to tell me but I was having none of it, so distracted by the idea that I could not stiff the waitress on her tip. I am noting a very sneaky trend in groupons wherein they must say 3 course meal and put a price number that reflects what would be a deal if you buy consistently the most expensive items on the menu. If you don’t pay attention and just order whatever looks good to you, then you basically rip yourself off.

I’m sad to say that I might have had dinner at Acitron again, but now I don’t think I’ll ever return on principle. If you’re going to offer a deal, actually offer a deal in an honest fashion.

All in All: perfectly nice food and atmosphere. We paid full price for a three course meal and got a free dessert we wouldn’t have ordered anyway. Sneaky, crappy, business practice.

 

What does this mean for Groupon Summer? I dunno man. I’m feeling discouraged from buying any more groupons, or at the very least restaurant related ones. We still have two left to use that we’ve pre-purchased so I guess we’ll see.

Tony Awards 2014 Live Blog

7:48pm I set up shop in my living room, put on channel 4. Suffer through immensely boring 60 minutes episode about asteroids. I have my “Tony Dinner” ready and waiting. Tony dinner is obviously queso dip, tortilla chips, and a pound of strawberries.

7:56pm Tony commercial airs, apparently TI is performing? Weird.

8:00pm tony’s start, possibly only theater event that ever starts on time. Hugh Jackman is hopping….all the way down to the stage.

8:01pm he’s still hopping, I think my legs would have died.

8:02pm NPH!!!!

8:03pm Still hopping.

8:04pm This is the most boring Tony Opening Number EVER. Ugh. Feel as though I’m not part of the joke. Hopping? Hopping Aussie Kangaroo? Why the awful beard?

8:05pm A performance from After Midnight. Already automatically better than Hugh. Costumes with fringe, always nice.

8:06pm Tap Dancing. WHEEE!

8:08pm Hugh joins the tap dance, perhaps this about showcasing his calf power?

8:10pm Hugh continues to be “meh.”

8:12pm Anna Gunn forgets how to read.

8:14pm Someone wins a Tony and I don’t know who he is. His speech is boring and already too long.

8:15pm Emmy Rossum looks fly. Time for Les Mis! LAY MIS ER AHB LAH.

8:16pm ONE DAY MORE!!!! Of course.

8:24pm Hugh reminds us he was hopping for 4 minutes straight. I didn’t forget.

8:26pm Lena Hall wins wearing a bat for a dress and she cries which is kinda awesome! Also loved that she pulled her speech out of her cleavage. I think she will regret hunching over like that to get to the mic though.

8:29pm Aladdin performance. Looks cute. I like Aladdin’s abs. I can’t help but feel this is really boring as well. Am I ruined? Why is everything so boring.

8:31pm The Genie is out of breath and trying to do a weird disney medley. Turns out he’s an excellent tap dancer though.

8:40pm Groff is Hot. I’m Hot for Groff.

8:40pm Idina’s name was pronounced correctly! Her mouth opens so wide when she sings I feel like I could crawl inside.

8:42pm VOCAL RiiiiiiFFFffffffffFFFFFffff

8:43pm Big Finish!

8:44pm Clint looks like someone defrosted him for the Tony broadcast.

8:48pm Yay! Raisin in the Sun wins!

8:49pm Denzel Denzel Denzel, Thank you Thank you Thank you, he shouts out theater ed!

8:50pm Samuel L says “I love you.” Feels like it might be to me.

8:51pm Rocky is a musical, nothing is original anymore. But I do love dramatic spotlights and jump rope.

8:58pm The nanny looks AMAZE. Also as if her hair piece is holding her face up.

8:59pm A camera man operator gets fired for gazing upon Nick Cordero too long. Fran handles it like a pro though, never stop! Show must go on!

9:00pm The Genie I was bashing previously wins for best actor in a musical…..I wasn’t Tony Award impressed.

9:01pm Maggie killed a gaggle of baby swans for her dress, can’t decide if I love it or hate it.

9:02pm WILKOMMEN. I love this show. SQUEE! I BOW DOWN TO ALAN.

9:04pm Kicklines are so satisfying. This is the first performance of the night that was actually exciting.

9:10pm Everyone is wearing long sleeved dresses, it be humid out!

9:11pm BLIMEY! I work with proper proper actors.

9:13pm Quick change magic!

9:16pm I haven’t seen the Gentleman’s Guide musical and I’m BORED with this performance.

9:18pm Neil Patrick Harris is promised again, as they go to commercial break. WHEN IS NEIL. BRING MY NEIL.

9:24pm Hugh is singing a song, and shouts out Audra, song is to present best lead actress in a play!

9:25pm AUDRA wins, all is right with the world. 6 Tonys! All deserved. What a goddess. She cries and is humble and I just love her.

9:26pm Will Swenson cries for Audra. I cry for Audra. Oh the Joy!

9:27pm Also what is that ring she’s wearing because I want it?

9:29pm Will Walt Win?

9:29pm WALT wins. Nobody is that surprised.

9:32pm Ru Paul introduces Hedwig which seems correct

9:33pm NPH. N P H. He climbs things in high heeled boots and looks terrifying. Bravo!

9:35pm I’m thinking this Lena chick is AMAZING and deserved to win the Tony.

9:36pm I really wanna give Neil a cheeseburger though.

9:40pm I’m yawning.

9:45pm Harvey voice still sounds like a raspy cheese grater

9:47pm Debra Messing has an Irish Accent

9:48pm Colonel Sanders wins a Tony

9:50pm Ben declares award shows “too fucking long.” Yeah.

9:51pm Sutton Foster looks so weird without makeup. She’s a proud plain jane.

9:52pm I am always a sucker for a gospel choir.

10:01pm I am restless.

10:02pm Sting I guess.

10:03pm Sting plays guitar and I am BORED.

10:07pm PATRICK WILSON IS HANDSOME.

10:08pm A Raisin in the Son wins best play. I haven’t seen it but I still remember reading it in my 9th grade english class.

10:10pm Wicked, I am Wicked Bored. But I am reminded how we made our English teacher a table with these lyrics underneath a piece of glass when we graduated and now I’m sorta crying.

10:11pm This bitch is too pretty to be Elephaba.

10:19pm Hugh does a one man Music Man. I fantasize about shaving his beard.

10:20pm TI and LL Cool J are rapping about the music man. I might be drunk.

10:22pm NPH wins his Tony! Well deserved I think.

10:25pm NPH is great, but this speech be too long.

10:26pm Carole King! You go girl!

10:30pm CAROLE IS SINGING YAY!!!!!!!!

10:31pm This performance has resurrected me

10:38pm I am dead again. The chick next to Kevin Bacon is wearing a beaded couch.

10:39pm LAY MIZ ERRR AHHHHB LE.

10:39pm Hedwig wins best revival. I actually don’t even care.

10:41pm Zach Braff suddenly sounds like Fraiser now that he’s on broadway.

10:42pm Tap dancing again. The Shim Sham makes a comeback this year I guess.

10:45pm Glass Menagerie is dream come true (said by sullen award recipient.)

10:47pm Too bored. Too full to eat more cheese dip.

10:49pm HUGH STOP SINGING THE NOMINEES I NEED TO GO TO BED.

10:50pm Pretty Sutton!

10:53pm Jessie Mueller wins the Tony! Again, well deserved! Hugh made her do the running man!

10:56pm “Everyone wants a drink, so thank you, good night!” AMEN

10:57pm Tina Fey is wearing a Oil Slick.

11:00pm ITS NOT OVER DEAR GOD HOW IS IT NOT OVER

11:03pm PLEASE GOD ROSIE O’DONNEL DELIVER ME

11:04pm A musical I don’t know won, HOORAY. It is over.