Aug 25, 2012

What She Order..

Kanye and Kim ordering Fish Filet from McDonalds? via Deerpong

Furry Essentials

Joann giving her signature Eskimo kiss!
Our Beagle Minnie's groomer Furry Essentials won the 2012 Best of Worcester Reader Poll  in the pet groomer category!

I'm sad to say that I didn't even know about this poll because I don't actually subscribe to a print newspaper and found out about it on Facebook this afternoon, but I'm psyched for them and they deserve it.

Joann treats Minnie like a princess. Joann loves to get right down onto the floor to greet Minnie when we walk through the door. Minnie's typical response is to get all submissive and roll over onto her side letting that fat round belly of hers hang all out in all its glory.  After much cooing and fussing, we chat for a while and I always know I'm leaving Minnie in excellent hands.

We've been taking Minnie to Furry Essentials for over five years. At first it was Joann and June, our dynamic duo.  But then June moved down South and Joann's daughter-in-law Michelle starting working there and I loved her instantly.  We became Facebook friends and she was introduced to my love of Hello Kitty.  She started texting me  pictures of Hello Kitty stuff she'd see in stores which eventually morphed into buying me little Hello Kitty presents.  Now every appointment begins with her busting out some amazing little toy or trinket to give to me.    Sometimes she'll text me a picture she's taken of Minnie in a doggie dress which cracks me up because Minnie is SO not that kind of dog, but she endures it with her usual Zen-like calmness knowing this too shall pass.

When it's time to pick Minnie up, Joann also has this nice little touch that she does with the invoice that I really love:  she attaches a little personalized note telling me how Minnie behaved during her visit.  She'd write things like "I was such a princess" or " Five Paw Star" and I grew to look forward to seeing what phrase she'd come up with next to describe Minnie's very ordinary behavior.  (Trust me, I know I'm lucky that Minnie isn't the sort of dog that would tear things up while in the care of somebody else.  She's more the kind of dog who is content to stay in one spot and nap hard.)

I was so happy for them when they were able to expand their business by moving to their new location. The shop is beautiful and taking Minnie there feels like she's going to Doggy Daycare because she gets to be surrounded with all the other dogs that have their grooming appointments.  I swear they should charge admission just so people can walk into their work area, sit down on the clean floor and be instantly surrounded by 5-10 dogs of various sizes and natures.  It's instant love, adoration and a guaranteed drop in blood pressure.

You should see Minnie when she's with the other doggies and there is a treat to be had.  She definitely embraces that whole 'survival of the fittest' mentality and will do just about anything to wiggle her way closest to Joann's hand to be in first place for a Scooby snack. She doesn't believe in missed opportunities and she's got the grand belly to show for it.

If you're looking for a groomer that will treat your dog like it's their own, then by all means visit Furry Essentials.  They've been my best kept secret for years.

(If you're interested in the other winners of the 2012 Best of Worcester Reader Poll, you can check them out  here.)

Aug 10, 2012

Deli (en)Counters


Dear Deli Counter,

I'm writing to let you know all the things wrong with you in the hopes that you'll shape up and embrace changes after all these years of sameness.  It's time...

Lose the  Take-A-Ticket concept. It doesn't work.  Don't you know by now that ordinary folk can't follow direction?  Probably 5% of deli customers see the ticket machine, get the ticket and wait politely waiting for their number to be called so they can place their deli order.  The rest of the 95% ignore what you're supposed to do and just press themselves as close to the glass display case as possible trying to get the person's attention like their ordering a drink from a bar.  If you want people to use the ticket machine, the person behind the counter needs to actually follow the process themselves.  You wait on a customer and then advance the little digital number to indicate the next customer in the que.  What doesn't work is me walking up to the counter, pulling number 15 and the digital display says 4.  Use the technology you've been given! Oh, and get rid of that stupid plastic wicker basket on the counter for people to deposit their tickets into after they're all set with their deli order.  Most people just throw the tickets on the floor and walk away. I know...people suck.

Learn from the DMV. Now that's a system that works for stupid people.  If someone wants to order from the deli, line up benches in front of the counter so people can sit, relax and wait their goddamned turn. NOW you can use your silly take-a-ticket machine to dispense numbers.  If you do that, customers will have time to reflect on exactly what they want to order at the deli before they actually approach the counter.  No more, "Hmmmm.....let's see....do you have any Boars Head Spicy Elephant Ears?"  They'll just approach the counter and order their damn meat.

Stop Playing Games. When I ask you to slice it thicker, do you slice it exactly the same way and see if I notice any difference?  'Cause I fall for it every single time.  How am I supposed to see if you've added a 1/16" more depth to my cheese slice? I'm all the way over there behind the glass with the stacks of bulkie rolls.  I can't see that far.  I say, "Yes, much better. Thank you very much." because I have their weird need to please you, but then I get home and have to perform surgery on my pound of American Cheese with my best knife because I can't separate the slices because they've been sliced too thin. I just want a normal cheese slice.  Can you talk to your pals in The American Association of Meat Processors and get a quorum on the width of deli cheese? Thanks.

No More Free Slices. Stop letting customers con you into asking for a slice to try before they buy it. I stand there silently hating you for prolonging the deli transaction because I've got to wait around for some annoying customer to decide if the ham is too salty for their delicate palate.  Enough with the taste test. Here's another piece of free advice: don't be fooled into thinking if you give a toddler a slice of cheese they'll shut up...because they won't.  They'll just reach out their grubby little hands for more. Or throw it on the floor.

Take A Lesson From Wegmans.  I think you'll agree that you get a lot of deli traffic crowding up your counters.  I know that's not a bad thing, but it's got to be annoying when so many customers are just ordering your basics like cheese, ham, salami, bologna, etc. How many times are you unwrapping and wrapping up the Polish Ham? Isn't that exhausting?  Wegmans, my favored grocer, actually has a little refrigerated area adjacent to their deli counter and they have all the deli meat staples wrapped in half-pound packages so customers can just grab and go.  No need to clog up the deli counter at all. It's the ultimate drive-by.

Deli Counter - I know you've got a tough job to do managing all those meats, cheeses and over-sized pickles for your customers.   I know the elderly can be annoying with their quarter-pound meat requests.  And I can certainly appreciate that the safety training can be tiresome just so you can guarantee that you're people go home at the end of their shift with their ten fingers, but you've got to do a better job.

Because if you don't, I might just have to go all Vegan on your ass. And trust me, if that happens, you'll lose your best over-sized pickle customer.


Jul 7, 2012

My First Heimlich

Photo: Heimlich Heimlich Hippos via Shirtoid.com

You never forget your first time.

Spencer and I went out to lunch today.  I just happened to look up from my delicious Chicken Oscar and noticed that a waitress was performing the Heimlich maneuver on a fellow diner.

It happened so fast.

At first it just looked odd that the waitress was hugging this guy and then it dawned on my slow brain that I was seeing a medical emergency in progress.

I stopped chewing and probably exclaimed 'Cool' or something like that to Spencer. Then a chunk of food came flying out of the guy's mouth and it was over as suddenly as it probably began.

The waitress was smiling at the man who clearly knew his life had just been saved by her.  He sheepishly inserted himself back into the booth and I could see the waitress reaching back into her apron to pull out her pen and pad to presumably take the rest of their order.

A few moments later, I noticed our waitress had slapped on her plastic gloves and had a spray bottle of cleaning stuff ready to presumably wipe up the mess the poor guy made on the table when the mysterious chunk of food stuff flew out of his windpipe.

Just another reason for me to recommend having a meal at Not Your Average Joe's in Westborough, MA. Excellent food, outstanding service and you just might have your life saved while you're there.

Jul 1, 2012

Introducing The Wrong Kim Perry

I'd say for the past 6-8 months, my Gmail account has been mistakenly tangled up with at least 3 different Kim Perry's, but probably more. Apparently I've been quite busy doing the following:

  1. Apartment hunting on Rent.com in Alpharetta, GA. 
  2. Reviewing my CanaDuct Cleaning experience via Homestars.com.
  3. Being Chief of Emergency Medicine.
  4. Writing cautionary emails to my co-workers about the state of the ladies bathroom (a personal favorite topic of the ACTUAL Kim Perry)
  5. Attending various Little League games
  6. Travel to Cancun
All of these emails have been clogging up my inbox so I decided to use the labels feature in Gmail to help me organize all this noise. I created the label "Wrong Kim Perry" and began creating filters for the daily emails I would inevitably receive in the hopes that someday I would actually be able contact these "others' to explain that I've been receiving all of their emails and eventually pass along all this information that was really meant for them. And trust me, I have tried to contact these other Kim's explaining that their emails have been reaching me in error. To date, zero success.

But this latest batch of emails that I've begun receiving from a property management company alerting me to dry cleaning being picked up and packages delivered to my apartment in New York city got me thinking that it might be interesting to occasionally document all this crazy shit that I just can't seem to rid myself of every time I check my personal email.

Just in case readers of this blog are interested in the double, triple and quadruple lives that I've been apparently living, I'll be sure to keep you updated going forward.


May 2, 2012

Don't Worry, Bee Happy

Lately I've been learning everything there is to know about replacing a roof and all the things to look for when hiring a roofer.  It's been a month-long journey of meeting with various contractors and navigating the professional jargon:  drip edges, soffit ventilation, felt paper, fascias, flashing, sheathing, architectural shingles, ridge vents, etc.  But the one thing I never expected to learn about with this whole project is that our home has been under attack by Carpenter Bees.

The fascia board, which is the wooden boards nailed to the end of our roof all around our house, was riddled with all these dime-sized holes which I just attributed to the work of our neighborhood woodpecker. It was unsightly, but I never gave it much more thought other than someday thinking I'd have a carpenter replace the wood because it looked ugly.

I had this really over-priced roofer quote our roof and he happened to notice the fascia boards.  He told me I had a Carpenter Bee problem.  I was really surprised because we don't have any issues with bees in the house, but he told me that these Carpenter Bees are pretty notorious for boring holes in wood and laying their eggs.  I told him I've seen these big, fat bumble-bees buzzing around up there, but I never saw them go into the attic.  Well, it turns out they were Carpenter Bees which resemble Bumble Bees.


The female Carpenter Bee lays her eggs in the holes and the male sort of flies around the holes protecting it. These bees are harmless except that they ruin wood because of their nesting habits and like any number of pests - you don't want them in or around your house.  Mi casa is not their casa.

I ended up calling Colonial Pest Control of Worcester to come out today to get rid of our bees. The exterminator who took care of me walked around the house and confirmed that I had a whole lot of bees. His reaction was priceless when he looked up on the left side of the house and simply declared, "Holy Shit!" Apparently the Carpenter Bees have been silent tenants at Miami Street for years and it was time to evict them.

But here's the cool thing - I started asking the exterminator how he ever got into the profession in the first place because I'm fascinated that someone makes their living working in the insect industry.  He started talking about his past and mentioned how he ran a couple Abdow's Big Boys restaurants - namely the one at Lincoln Plaza.  Now it was my turn to exclaim, "Holy Shit!"  I loved that place as a kid and just couldn't believe I was talking to this guy who actually worked there back in the day.

It turned out that he actually grew up on Wayside Avenue back in the early 70's.  He was 4 years younger than me, but was an old neighborhood kid.  I threw out a couple of names and it was so amazing that he recognized every one of them.  We ended up standing there reminiscing about the infamous Great Brook Valley riot and sledding down White Ave in the Winter.  He fondly remembered our neighborhood before the new construction in the back of my house and all the unpaved roads.

I could have talked to him all day, but there were bees to murder and I was mindful that I wasn't his only customer that day.

He ended up spraying around the house and promised me that neither our Beagle Minnie nor the little birds nest up near the corner of the house would be affected by the chemicals.  

I got a six month guarantee on the bees and now I'm ready to have our roof ripped off and replaced.






Apr 29, 2012

Make Your Own Dr. Dre Beats Headphones

Mar 18, 2012

12 Angry Little People


Courtesy of Robot Chicken.

Mar 11, 2012

My First MRI


Today would have been my mother's 63rd birthday.  I celebrated her birthday today by having my first MRI this morning at St. Vincent's Hospital which is appropriate because my mother suffered from severe neck and back problems her entire life and I'd think something's gone wonky in my back. I guess the only good thing about that is it took me into my early forties to notice.

My back went out a week before Christmas and it's just never been the same.  My lower back is always sore , but for the past two months, I've suffered from poor sleeping because of this weird pins/needles feeling every night when I lie down to go to sleep.  It's a hard sensation to describe, but trying to get to sleep while feeling like there's a fireworks show going on throughout your body doesn't exactly make for a night of restful sleep. Wait. I just thought of a better way to describe it: it feels like the pain you get from holding a sparkler during Fourth of July and one of the sparks randomly hits your skin and you sort of jump.  Whatever - it's still all about the fireworks.

Last week my doctor switched me from muscle relaxers to a wonderful drug called Neurontin which brings me back full circle to why I just might be turning into my mom.  She took that very same drug for a long time to help with her fibromyalgia and neuropathy.  It's prescribed to people for lots of reasons, but my favorite description of neurontin is that it helps "...decrease abnormal excitement in the brain."  Yup. That's me.

I remember my mom having to go for an MRI a couple of times and she had a lot of problems lying flat because of her back. This morning I was more nervous about feeling claustrophobic in the MRI machine so I popped a Xanax when I woke up this morning to mellow me out before I went for my appointment. I figured it was more of a preemptive strike because I'm not so good in crowds and get especially freaked out in elevators transporting more than three people. It definitely took the edge off.

My favorite part of the MRI experience was being given a sheet of artists that I could listen to while having the MRI. Can you believe the first artist on the list was AC/DC?    But they had a whole range of music that I could choose from while I lied perfectly still in that medical coffin:  Celtic Woman, Jethro Tull, Billy Joel (my mom's favorite), Yanni, Madonna and Eminem.  I ended up choosing the generic Calming Seas which wasn't the best choice because it didn't really calm me down.  I blame the dolphins and their damned squeaking language of the sea.

The MRI took about 20 minutes and I did great because I closed my eyes through 99% of the whole MRI. It was recommended that I think about calming scenery like lounging on a warm beach, but instead I kept myself deathly still by imagining how good my bowl of spicy Tortilla soup was going to taste this afternoon while having lunch at Playa del Carmen in Holden.

I'm hoping there's nothing serious going on with my lower back, but I was particularly missing my mother today because today is her birthday and I'm having back problems just like her.  But then again, sometimes I just miss her special way of  worrying about me more than I worry about myself.

 


Mar 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Today is Saturday and although I'm technically not on vacation just yet, I've begun Spring Cleaning and I thought that I would blog a little bit about what I just accomplished this Saturday morning - mostly for posterity sake.

I tackled the bedroom closet and drawers while listening to the last audio CD's of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  I was determined to finish up the last in the Stieg Larsoon trilogy while on this vacation because I've been so engrossed in the books that I really haven't read anything else.  So now that I'm done, I can focus my full attention on this 600 page book called I Want My MTV that's due back at the library in a couple of weeks.

I began with the bedroom closet.   I made three piles to help me sort through everything:


  • Save for storage in the basement which mainly is made up of my Fall/Winter clothes
  • Toss out
  • Donate to one of those conveniently placed bins outside of everywhere that has those neat drop-down drawers like a mailbox except instead of mailing a letter I'm sending off clothes I no longer want.
I got rid of at least 8 pairs of shoes.  Mostly the shoes I donated were nice shoes that feel just a little bit tight or uncomfortable sometimes. A couple were pairs of really good shoes that I've held onto for a couple of years because I paid a good amount of money for them because they didn't make my bunions hurt when I wore them.  But then I realized this morning that I don't have those bunions anymore thanks to surgery so why keep them?  They just don't fit right anymore.

This time I decided to really do a proper de-cluttering of my clothes.  In the past, I used to just pull out all my Autumn/Winter clothes and set them aside for storage for next year without really evaluating if I should keep everything.  I donated a ton of my Winter clothes - mostly sweaters that fit me OK, but didn't make me feel good wearing them.  Tossed. That left me with just a small pile of Winter clothes to store in the basement.  I know as I approach the colder weather, I'll pull everything out again and realize I don't have as big of a selection which will prompt me to do some shopping, but that's totally fine.  It's a problem to worry about eight months from now.

Here's my big tip for anyone struggling with clothes slipping off of hangers and all you have are those cheap, tube-like plastic hangers:  use binder clips.  Clamp those suckers down on each side of the hanger and I guarantee your clothes will not slip off and fall to the floor.  I've bought a couple boxes of black binder clips at Staples and use them all the time.

Next to tackle were the bedroom drawers.  I made a big decision this year - I finally tossed out all my socks.  I have this one drawer dedicated to rolled up socks and I swear I never wear any of them.  I must have 25 pairs of socks that I used to wear maybe ten years ago and each year I just keep holding onto them thinking someday I'll need them.  I'm just not a sock person anymore.  I go barefoot in my sneakers and use nylons for my dress shoes.  Why do I need these socks?  I tossed out every single pair of them.  The ONLY ones I kept were those super soft snuggly socks that I bought at Marshall's last year.  They're not even proper socks because I would never wear them with sneakers.  But they do serve the purpose of keeping my feet warm if I don't feel like walking around the house barefoot - so they made the cut.

I also donated a whole bunch of winter hats, scarves and gloves. I've got far too many hats and gloves for one person. The rest that I've chosen to keep got put into the Winter pile of clothes for next year.

Surprisingly my Toss Out pile was pretty big, too.  I had several shirts that had stains on them and really hadn't realized it because they were buried either in a drawer or in the back of my closet.  My bedtime clothes made up the biggest pile.  I had far too many pajama tops stained with the juice of pomegranates and a fair share of bottoms that were missing their matching top.  No idea where they went to, but it made it easier for me to decide to get rid of them.  In reviewing my pile, it reminds me that I should take better care of my clothes or more importantly, wear a bib while eating pomegranates.

Now that I've sorted through all my current stuff, it's time for me to start the whole process again with the Spring/Summer clothes that I'll be bringing up this afternoon from the basement.  I know it's only mid-March and perhaps a bit early in the season to be thinking about bringing out the warm weather clothes, but I'll be in San Antonio, Texas in a few days enjoying temps in the mid-70's so why the hell not?  I've got the rest of the afternoon to sort, organize and toss to my heart's content.  After all, I am on vacation...

Mar 3, 2012

Twilight: The Game


I know this is just another way for haters of Twilight to make fun of all the obsessive fans of Stephanie Meyers Twilight series, but this one really makes me laugh. In the end, Edward wins so that makes me happy.

Feb 26, 2012

Sesame Street - Monsterpiece Theater "Twin Beaks"



You've really got to hand it to Sesame Street. They always seem to come up with little skits that just aren't for children and I suppose that's to keep the parents entertained as well. Case in point: Monsterpiece Theater 'Twin Beaks'. The plot is pretty much plain as the bird's double beaks, but the parody is clever and cute. And you learn a valuable lesson from Cookie: Ask Questions to find things out.

Jan 30, 2012

"Matthew's Day Off"


This is a pretty cute tongue-in-cheek commercial paying homage to Ferris Bueller's Days Off. It was funny, but it made me feel old.

Jan 2, 2012

10 Fascinating Folks of 2011 Commentary-McGlover Style



Megan McGlover KILLS me. I need to be better about watching every single video she posts on YouTube because she's always got something whacked out and interesting to say. She's just one of those people who can always make me laugh out loud no matter what she's spouting off about. 
Love her or hate her, Megan is one of the best things about the internet.