Tag Archive | eating

Twenty Things I Hate

Full disclosure before you read this: I’ve been sick for over a week with a killer cold and I’m hopped up on sinus medication while I write this. I make no guarantees it will make any sense. Read at your own risk.

Okay, now that the warnings of medicated stupidity are over…

I’m cranky as hell. I feel like crap. My head has so much pressure I can’t concentrate long enough to write anything for the book or proofread anything already written (hence the warning above). In the spirit of my crankiness, I was mulling over things I dislike. I’m trying to be upbeat by not using the word “hate” even though in my current mood… it may be the better choice.

So here’s a short list of twenty things I greatly dislike most days and hate today (is that better?)

1- Julia Roberts: I don’t know what it is about her that turns me off so much. I liked her in Notting Hill, but that’s because Hugh Grant was in it. Hugh Grant I like. On the off chance that she is reading this… Dear Julia- I didn’t mean to write Julia Roberts, I meant Doris Roberts.

2-Channing Tatum : Sorry, I know the ladies swoon for this guy, but I don’t see it. Yeah, he has a nice body, but the rest… pass. Unless he’s reading this, then I meant Carol Channing (I don’t; she’s a national treasure)

3- Plastic Wrap: It always rips at the wrong spot, sticks to itself and frustrates the hell out of me. I’m pretty certain it thinks it’s smarter than me… and it just may be.

4- Empty toilet paper rolls on the toilet paper holder: It’s a reminder of how lazy my family can be. They take out a new roll of toilet paper and place it on top of the empty roll, but don’t bother to remove the empty cardboard roll and replace it.

5- Buying gasoline: I live in one of two states in the country where you cannot pump your own gas. In my lifetime, I have never pumped my own gas (that should probably go on my tombstone: Here lies AC Netzel- Never Pumped Gas). The fact that I never need to leave my car, face the elements should mean getting gas is no big deal. Once the gas light comes on in my car, I’m filled with dread. There’s no reasonable explanations. All I do is hand the attendant my debit card and my participation is complete. But I hate it.

6- When make-up crud gathers in the corner of my eyes. Gross, just gross.

7- People who saunter through the grocery store: The perfect birthday gift for me would be an hour … alone in a grocery store. With no saunter-ers (I made that word up). No chatty neighbors. No aisle hogs. No sudden cart stoppers.

8- Ambrosia: I know it’s dessert, but it looks like a hot mess to me.

9- Aaron Neville’s Mole: The guy is super talented. But his mole: I don’t know much, but I know I don’t like it.

10- People who say “I know how you feel” when they can’t possibly know how I feel.

11- Ball Pits: When my daughter was a toddler, she had a panic attack in one of the tubes in a ball pit playground at a local fast food chain. I was eight months pregnant with baby #2 at the time. I had to climb in to help her out. I wasn’t one of those pretty “just pregnant from the front women”, I was pregnant EVERYWHERE. Once inside, I saw the horrors that no parent should see. Not only were there filthy balls festering with germs, but there was a corner where some toddler peed. Yes, a pee puddle inside. I had to get my daughter out, without disturbing the pee… then I had to slide my fat pregnant ass down a tube slide. Last time we went there.

12- All the Trump men’s hair: Dudes, you have the money. Fork over the ten bucks, go to a mall and ask the barber to give you a proper haircut. And the gel? Lose it. It’s not working for any of you. I don’t know if the Trump Men lost a bet and that’s why they wear that hair… but it has to stop. Donald, Donald Jr., Eric… Please, find a stylist.

13- People who use big words when simpler words will do. You’re not impressing anyone.

14- My hair on humid days. Hot mess.

15- People who think it’s acceptable to walk up to a pregnant woman and pat her stomach. No, no, no, no, no. That crosses so many personal space and respect lines. This is never okay.

16- Loud sippers: You know people who sip their coffee with that “nails on a chalkboard” loud sippy sound? Ugh. My father was a loud coffee sipper. Loved the man, hated that sound. Or the soda gulpers. Cut it out. Drink like a human. Unless you have a medical condition and you have no choice, don’t slurp. Especially in public.

17- One-Uppers: You know these people. You have a story and they always have a better story. They’re so insecure; they have to steal everyone else’s limelight. Asswipes.

18- Highway Drifters: PICK A DAMN LANE and stay with it.

19- The consistency of tofu: Food shouldn’t be spongy.

20- People who try to force me to take a picture. I don’t like having my photo taken. I never have, even when I was a kid. There are probably ten pictures of me in existence. If I say no… I mean no. Respect it and move on. You’re not going to needle me until I change my mind. It will make me hate you more.

~o0o~

I could go on and on…until the meds wear off anyway, but you get the picture. Feel free to share.

My 2014 New Year’s Resolutions and Other Tall Tales.

Many of us look at the New Year as a clean slate, a start over.  We make promises to ourselves regarding the way we are going to better our lives, whether it be through diet and exercise, work related or just trying to be a better person.

Here’s a list of My New Year’s Resolutions (or Tall Tales, as I like to call them)

1- Be more financially responsible.

One click shopping at Amazon has been my downfall. I also tend to let the bills pile up until they’re a nightmare to manage.  I rarely balance my checkbook.  I really should work on that… after all the after Christmas sales, of course.  Then again, isn’t January known for “White Sales’? I could always use more towels.

2- I’m going to eat healthy.

After I finish all the cookies, chips and candy in the house.    Don’t want to throw money in the trash, wouldn’t be ‘financially responsible’ (See Resolution #1).  I think there are a few microwave pizzas in the freezer too.  Can’t waste that… it wouldn’t be frugal. Besides, pizza covers all the major food groups, if you work the food group system. If I try hard enough, I’m betting I could maneuver cheesecake on to the healthy diet side too. I’m pretty sure I can manipulate any food to the healthy side…Resolution #2 may be moot.

3- I’m going to exercise six days a week.

 Hmmm…that could cut into my naptime on the weekends.  There’s no way in hell I’m giving that up. Okay, okay… I’ll only exercise on week days.  Then again, I should rest my muscles too.  I’ve read that’s very important.  Don’t want to injure myself.  Maybe I’ll exercise three days a week.  Two sounds even better.

4-I’ll be less cynical.

  Bwahhh… yeah, right.

5- I’m going to be more social.  Reconnect with old friends.

No I won’t.  There’s a reason why I stopped contact in the first place. Most of my ‘old friends’ annoyed the crap out of me.  Anyway it’s just more obligations, parties to attend, Girl Scout cookies to purchase, Christmas cards I’ll have to write out in December.  Scratch this idea.

6- I’m going to organize my life.

 The more likely scenario is I’ll buy more crap and add it to the pile, or hide stuff in the closets and create another junk draw.

7- I’m going to keep up with my gardening.  Weed a little bit every day.

Until the first mosquito bites me, then screw it, I’m done.

8- I’m going to drink less wine.

It’s okay, I’m laughing at that one too.

9- I’m going to stop wasting my valuable time on stupid facebook games.

As soon as I win Candy Crush…I swear.

~o0o~

Chances are these tall tale resolutions will fade into memory by January 15th.  But there are some truths I will carryover to 2014.

I will forgive myself…

 

For not being the perfect parent… but always loving my children with all my heart and soul and doing the best I can for them.

For not being the perfect wife… but loving my husband, who I don’t expect to be perfect in return. We are fiercely loyal to each other.  We laugh together.  We cry together.  When one is down, the other holds them up. We love each other. Simple. That’s really all we need.

For feeling like I failed… when at least I tried.

For not finishing my book this year. You can’t predict life’s bumps… but you can weather the storm and come out the other side.  My husband told me when I was eighteen I mentioned that I thought it would be interesting to write a book.  I don’t remember that conversation. He was the person who told me to write it.  He has so much faith in me, he gives me faith.  So I’ll open up that Word document and let the story flow again.

~o0o~

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2014.

Peace to All,

Annette

The Great Pumpkin Patch

There are five kid’s birthdays in October in my immediate family.  Celebrating each one separately is an impossible feat. This is why we combine birthdays for the family… and they have their separate parties with their friends.

The past few years, we’ve embraced the Fall birthday season and go pumpkin picking followed by dinner and cake. We like to make it a full day and since the age range for the birthdays fall between six and seventeen so there’s a little bit of something for everyone.

It’s interesting to see how inventive of the local businesses are when latching on something that’s going to improve their bottom line and extend their season. More power to them, they got me through their door.

We went to a Food Market/Garden Center near my sister’s home.  Our group of a thousand (okay, twenty-three) met at the designated time.  My sister, otherwise know as the Martha Stewart of the family, came prepared with thermoses full of apple cider for the kids and perverted apple cider for the adults (you know, cider with a little extra fermentation… wink, wink).

Once our group assembles (that task in itself is a small miracle, we live within a hundred mile radius of each other so time coordination is essential) and we sip our magical cider we’re ready for the hayride.  There’s nothing like squeezing twenty three people on the back of a tractor pulling a wagon with bales of hay as the seats. After a “scenic” bumpy ride through a parking lot, past a few greenhouses full of other birthday parties, you go through a very small corn field on your way to the mythical pumpkin patch.

Charlie Brown gets the credit, but it’s really Linus Van Pelt who made me appreciate the magic of the pumpkin patch.  As you get closer and closer to the Pumpkin patch, your heart races.  Childhood dreams of picking the perfect pumpkin fresh off the vine dance in your mind.

You see yourself walking through long rows of vines, searching out the pumpkin that calls to you, will it be perfectly round?  Oval?  Misshapen and with a little personality? (Like Linus, I uphold the belief that pumpkins have personalities. Don’t judge me).  You know you’ll recognize the right pumpkin the moment you lay eyes on it.

You pass on the corn maze because you can’t wait to meet your special pumpkin (besides, the corn has only grown about 3 ft. tall, making more like a stroll through some corn than a maze).  Finally the tractor pulls up to the patch.  You take a deep breath, this is it. You feel it…the green of the vines, the crisp brown edges of the leaves as the vine dies away for the season.

Pumpkin Xanadu.

 Here’s what I always envision, pulling up to the Magical Pumpkin patch.

Here is the reality of our magical journey.  Stunning, isn’t it?

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(Cue the booby prize music)

An open dirt field, with crushed pumpkins randomly scattered among the others.

Not exactly the dream.  But the kids were happy.  I own my special pumpkin grown just for me. And everyday until Halloween I will tell my husband “We really need to carve this into a jack-o-lantern” and never will.

Location, Location, Location

I’ve been told I’m pretty tight lipped about the book I’m writing.  I don’t deny it. Most of my family doesn’t know it exists.  My fear is once I let the cat out of the bag, somehow they’ll manage to magically suck out my creativity.   I don’t want to think about my Mother reading my book.  And I know she will… and tell all her friends and the rest of my family.

That could mess with my head, as each word I type, I’d think…Oh God, my mother is going to read that… and all her red hat friends and my aunts, uncles and cousins (excuse me while I shudder at the thought).

So I’ll continue to keep it under wraps… for now. I’ll fess up once I sell the movie rights to my book (why aim low?) and I’ll have to explain why my house is suddenly beachfront, three sizes larger and Clooney is on his knees painting my toenails.

I went off course; I was going to talk about Location.

Choosing a location can be a complicated process. It can be as important as the story itself.  Sometimes it’s a prop, sometimes it’s a character (a nonspeaking, non-breathing character).  So much to think about.

Unless you’re me…

I chose a place I know well.  A place that’s as alive as you and me.  Somewhere I love like an old friend, who’s never borrowed money from me….New York City, specifically Manhattan.

My lead lives in the Village.  I love the Village. It’s quirky, fun and has it’s own beat.  There’s a store devoted to just The Big Lebowski (aptly named The Little Lebowski). Right there is proof of it’s coolness.  There are vintage clothes shops and vinyl records stores ( it pisses me off that I gave away my old vinyl records back in the 80’s and now my kid is buying them at $25 a pop- but that’s a complaint for another day).

But my main reason for choosing the Village.  Food.

Being the (cough, cough) dedicated author that I am, I needed to go to the location I chose, several times, to get a feel for it, walk in my heroine’s shoes. Okay, that’s a bunch of bull.  I’ve been to the Village enough to write about without actually going there again. I worked in Manhattan for years.

I was in it for the food.  Bakeries, bars, cheese shops, tea shops, tapas bars, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Italian, Japanese…you name it, you’ll find it.

The truth is I’m not that deep.  I don’t need to understand the Village, feel the vibe, experience it first hand in order to write about it.  I just wanted to eat.  Simple.

But I did manage to take a couple of pictures of the neighborhood where my leading lady lives and like her creator…eats.  I have sacrificed my waistline “for my art”…that sounds deep enough, doesn’t it?

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