Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Wonder Why?

Random list of things I wonder about.

1. I wonder why men only read magazines in the bathroom?

2. I wonder why people throw off fireworks at 2am on a Tuesday morning?

3. I wonder why old hairy men like to wear Speedo's?

4. I wonder why summer seems too short and winter so long?

5. I wonder why chipmunks hide food they're going to forget hiding in 5 minutes?

6. I wonder why my dogs, after 7 years of the same mailman, still want to tear him to shreds?

7. I wonder why I started this stupid list?

8. I wonder why ADD and OCD in the same person doesn't cancel out each another?

9. I wonder why my black dog isn't bald since he sheds another whole dog daily?

10. I wonder why I seem to still look like my mother dressed me and I'm 52 years old?

11. I wonder why MTV doesn't drop the "M" and just call itself TV?

12. I wonder why if I'm like a good neighbor State Farm isn't here?

And finally...

13. I wonder why you can't press "no I don't agree w/this amount" at the supermarket checkout lane after you've swiped your debit card, is not allowed? If they didn't want my opinion they shouldn't have asked the question.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Top Ten List - My Top Ten Reasons for Not Shopping at Market Basket

I'm sure more of you in New England have been following the saga of the Market Basket grocery chain, also referred to as Demoulas Market Basket, the Bucket, Munchie Basket and the MB.  A family feud has forced store associates to picket and customers to boycott the store. (Google it for details! It's like a soap opera)

Market Basket's motto is "more for your dollar" and it truly is.  Yeah we pick on it from time to time and some people think it's the welfare store or the gray hair store (mostly due to it's longevity of offering lower prices people shop in their stores for life).  I like Market Basket because of their low prices, friendly associates and managers.  I like their store brands.  I like their friendly faces and I really like how they don't scatter as much sawdust on the floor like they used to - it was a MB thing.  I love how I am recognized week after week, that I don't need to use coupons and when I enjoy a certain item and tell a department manager about it they are nice enough to keep it in stock and even remember my name to tell me when it will come in if it's out of stock.  I am always impressed how many local brands they have.  I am doubly impressed that I save anywhere from $30-$50 in every grocery bill compared to shopping at their competitors.  I don't dislike Shaw's or Hannaford but I don't find their people helpful.  They just don't go the extra mile like Market Basket associates do.  They don't "tell" you where an item is, they bring you to the item.  They stop you when they see you roaming the aisles if you appear lost and help you find the item you need.  The other stores don't do that and charge more.  I dislike walking through faux specialty stores inside a store so they can charge more.  I resent being told to scan my own order only to have to stop every third item because it can't read the bar code or it reads the bar code then charges me $33.76 for a peach. The robotic voice telling me to bag my items sends me into a fit of rage after I've ALREADY BAGGED THE DAMN ITEM!  Associates in these stores tend to just turn their back if they know you'll ask a question or require assistance.

I love my Market Basket!  I miss the good music stores #50, #36 and #71 (oh poor #71 you never had a chance at happiness, you only opened a year ago). I miss my favorite store associates!

Here are my top 10 reasons for not shopping at Market Basket until this issue is resolved.

10. The Board of Directors is out of touch.  They terminated the CEO Arthur T (Artie T) because of an old family feud.  Not because it was incompetent. Hard to be incompetent when you've continued to bring in billions for the company.

9. Your Co-CEO's don't exactly have stellar resumes. Google James Gooch and Felicia Thornton.  Not exactly my picks for co-anything.

8. The blame game.  The BOD and CEO's find it easier to blame associates for their mishandling of the company. You still haven't caught on that associates are working.  The customers are boycotting...UGH idiots!

7. Arthur S. gives me the willies.  He's slick and weasel like.  I apologize to all weasels and those who love weasels.  He just looks like he never could quite afford to buy a personality (which is BS he's a damn millionaire).  

Which one is the weasel? 

6. Firing the warehouse workers.  Or not firing the warehouse workers?  It's all very murky.

5. Picket lines.  I simply won't cross them.  While you're not union I am and that means I won't cross until your demands or reasonable concessions are made.  By reasonable I do not mean a dollar coupon for cereal I mean real change like firing you're new CEO's and Fiduciary misconduct charges against cousin Arthur S.

4. The constant daily threat by management veiled as niceties.  Current employees shouldn't have to visit a job fair to get their jobs back that they never left in the first place.  A company with class doesn't terminate long time employees via courier on a weekend.  Cowards!

3. You're a private company and you may have the right to do as you please but you're constant bullshit press releases means I can't walk into any of your stores. I'm too afraid you'll try to fire me.

2. You'd rather watch a beloved local company, a company that your family created from nothing fail instead of admitting you were wrong.  But shit why would you care, you're wealthier than any of us will ever be no matter what happens.  You tanked a company is less than 30 days.  I see a TV movie coming soon...How to Tank a Profitable Company via Press Release - Lifetime Network, Fall 2014.

And my #1 reason for not shopping Market Basket is...


Until you bring back Artie T and restore all fired employees I will spend my money elsewhere. Even if it means I go to five different stores to do so.

click for slide show.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Yes Summer!

Ahh summer you sweet sweet thing! I'm so happy for your return. Even on the days where I get that little pool of sweat under my boobs I rejoice in your appearance.

During the official three weeks of summer we have here in North of Common Sense we all frolic in our near nakedness. It cools us off and a little color makes it easier to find us in the inevitable and impending blizzard of white crap. This is our time world! Forget your soccer or f├╝tball or whatever you want to call it. We have skinny dipping chunky monkey pool and pond days. We collectively tan our cheeks on both ends. We. Turn. Off. The. Heat - take THAT OPEC!

For entertainment by the light of the fire pit we roast wieners and pull tics off each other while balancing cold Canadian beer on our knees (none of that rocky mountain crap for us). We are brave, we are strong, and once we were even young! We sacrifice countless marshmallows or throw searing hot flaming ones at each other while playing Run Fatty Run. A game made up by one of my psycho family members. We are required to have capital F Fun.

This could explain my lack of invites this summer. I will
for the record eat chicken and fish and cake!

We are fond of cut off shorts w/one leg longer than the other. Shirts from imaginary 5ks we've run bought almost new from the Goodwill near the liquor store, beat up Red Sox ball caps and mismatched flip flops. We may be missing a toe or two by the first week in August but God gave us 7 or 8 more to work with. We smell like an odd mixture of Banana Boat & Skin So Soft.

We shave it, pierce it, tattoo it and tan it! We show it all loud and proud. Our favorite summer game is "Fireworks or Gunshots" and our favorite summer activity is going to the drive in even if that only means parking in front of our neighbors house who has the big picture window and HBO. If we lack transport we aren't shy and have webbed lawn chairs from the Woolworth going out of business sale circa 1974.

So get out and find some fun. Light a couple of sparklers and have a one man speedo parade around the block. Go to a touristy water park and deflate all the inner tubes or toss your kids in the ice cold ocean and get that lifeguard off his butt to earn his minimum wage. Shake it up, don't sit in the shade but for heaven sakes remember to apply your own sunscreen.

Hmmm I'm not sure I'd be this happy. 

And remember whales pee in the ocean. Don't sweat it. It's probably cleaner than the public restrooms.

Ride on summer...ride on!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Road Trip...The Final Saga

So...I'm figuring I should wrap up my road trip diary since it's been a month and a half since we left. I'm slow. Blame it on old age or whatever makes you happy. I have but one life to live and that show was cancelled a few years ago.

We left our super amazing road trip through Pennsylvania and all states between here and there by taking a detour to the AACA museum in Hershey. Really cool, even if you don't get all excited over cars like some of us (my often mute husband is gaga over vroom vroom) it's worth a stop. I enjoyed it, teen angst at one point threaten to toss herself over the 2nd floor balcony onto Mr. Beep. He would not have survived. I think she was kidding. 

Mr. Beep fearing for his life.

Then we hit the road all full of wonder and promise of a nice eight hour ride home. It was the last nice thought we had until twelve hours later...

We decided for one last good sit down meal before we made the push eastward to home figuring we could stop for a quick drive thru sandwich coffee type of dinner when we were a few hours away from home. 

So we strolled into a Cracker Barrel off the side of the never-ending highway system of PA and decided to have an artery clogging, tie on the feed bag feast.  YEAH!!  It would have been a lovely feast if our server, a short busty lady named either Nicole or Jessica, which isn't relevant to the story but I like to remember names, came over and introduced herself.  

"HI! I'MNICOLE/JESSICAANDI"LLBEYOURSERVERTODAY" said all in one breath and at a pitch only dogs and martians could hear.  

We looked at each other with the silent knowledge that we were going to eat quickly and run lest she try to make any kind of conversation.  


Say what? Yeah hey Nicole/Jessica, this is Cracker Barrel, you're off the turnpike, no kidding we're not from around here can we please just have food and drink thanks sweetie pie. I'm at Cracker Barrel so of course I have a salad. I worry about things like rest stops and explosive diarrhea while road tripping. Salad is never a safe bet but fried food is always risky.  The only thing on the menu not fried was the salad though I bet they'd offer to fry it if they could figure out how to get the cucumbers to not float. 

We eat quickly so we don't have to converse with helium lady for too long since I'm pretty sure I'm picking up the Pennsylvania accent which is confusing my Canadian/Suncook/New England brain all to heck and we dash back out into the sunshine.

Hey, look honey great time we're already over the Tappan Zee bridge...woot woot!  Hey we're on the Merritt Parkway!!  And now we're stopped.

And stopped.

Still stopped.

And not moving, stopped. 

"I think the brake doohickey thingy is stuck and getting hot" I hear the no longer giddy driver say.  I sweetly ask him to define hot like holy shit that's hot, drop it like it's hot,  or FUUUCCCK I see flames hot.  He gives me a growl and the look.  I play scrabble on my tablet fast and furious in case it's my final game.  I don't see flames. My salad seems to be resting comfortably in my belly.  I'm not horribly worried. He has tools.  I have a long tablet battery life. 

Still stopped.

Not moving. 

Oh look a disabled car!  Yeah we're flying past it now.  Poor guy, no place to turn off, no shoulder and on a Friday.  Oh man glad I'm not him!

And we're stopped again.


Yup, not moving.

No flames coming from the doohickey.  Flames coming from, cat tossed into a bathtub is happier, husband. He utters the phrase..."we need to turn off" and darts across two lanes of not moving traffic like Homer Simpson on a bender and dives down the next exit.  Even teen angst looks up from her computer long enough to say "shit". 

We sit in a train station parking lot and use the last of our sweet sweet water, life sustaining water, on the caliper doohickey brake thingy.  We sit on tires and look homeless for an hour.  The road must have cleared by now right?  Where is everyone in Connecticut going on a Friday afternoon in April?  Ain't crap going on up in Northern New England, trust me.  Mr. Mechanic decides we should stay off the highway for a bit then get back on and smooth sailing home!  

It's not smooth sailing.  We first hit the McDonald's from hell in a town so fancy they can't have a drive up window and it's next to a movie theater in a strip mall and every tween girl just saw a movie with a boy they are now swooning over in FREAKING McDONALDS at 8pm on a FRIDAY NIGHT!!!! Deep breathing exercises a decaf coffee and a yogurt help me retain control after waiting twenty minutes to pee while three tween girls primp themselves for the fancy Connecticut Friday Night tween parade.  UGH!  I will stab you with your Maybelline mascara wand you little girl with the push up bra.  I have a 50+ year old bladder and it's full of lemonade, iced coffee and pent up anger from being stuck in a vehicle with my non communicating family for the last eight hours and eighteen minutes but whose counting? 

After sufficiently calming ourselves (me) down we get back in the F@^%ing Jeep and carry on.  Right back on the a traffic jam at 8:45 on a Friday night!  Seriously people it's 8:45 everything north of here is closed so please just go home.  Please!  

They don't go home.  They clog up the road until 9:30 then sweet sweet Jesus clear sailing!  We're doing the speed limit.  We're doing 5 miles per hour OVER the speed limit. We're passing other cars...YEAH!  

And we stop.


Construction.  Friday. Night. Route 495. Are. You. Kidding. ME?!!??  Construction next ten miles. Liar, such liars.  One lane next 10 miles. Construction lasted approx. 20 feet.  3 State Police Cars, 4 State Troopers standing on the side of the road.  Two construction workers making a mark on the side of the road with spray paint.  Everyone looking at the mark and oohing and ahhing.  This happens twice. Twice! What can I use as a weapon in this vehicle because I'm going to take each and every one of you on the road hostage if this f@^%ing Jeep  doesn't move faster than 15 miles per hour within the next thirty seconds.  I start recording my demands on video from my cell phone. 

We've been in the car 10 hours.

11 hours.

I'm screaming out the open window throwing pieces of luggage to the side of the road.  Ok the window wasn't open I'm just slamming things against a closed window forgetting the driver has window controls on his side. Teen angst is catching dirty laundry with one hand while live tweeting my nervous breakdown with the other. 

We see, off in the distance, a sign in two languages.  Are we in Canada? You have to be kidding me how the hell did we get to Canada?  I'm dreaming this whole thing right?  No!  We're in New Hampshire!!  Bienvenue never looked so good.  We are almost home.  Almost to that sweet sweet homeland called Maine.  I have never called and will probably never call Maine a sweet sweet homeland again so savor the moment Maine. 

12 hours. 

I black out after that and wake up standing in a pile of dirt in the pouring rain with a shovel in my hand doing work detail at the school garden on Saturday morning. 

At least that's what I told the authorities.