Sunday, February 27, 2011

Old jewelry

I have some items from my paternal grandmother, who always maintained high standards in her appearance. Her shoes and handbags matched, she generally carried gloves and wore a hat, and I don’t remember her wearing many pants until she was quite old. I’m sure some of her obsession with her appearance was due to her generation—she was born in 1896 and came of age during World War 1. She also came from a fairly well off family in Columbus, OH and remained impressed with her own background her entire life.

So the jewelry I’ve got from her are pretty neat. You can see one necklace in this picture—it’s really pretty in person and I wore it a couple of years ago when I was a matron of honor. I don’t have earrings to go with this necklace and don’t know if there ever were any.

I also have a triple strand of jet beads, plus a matching pair of clip-on earrings and the bracelet in the picture after this paragraph. I’ll be wearing the necklace and bracelet on Tuesday at the Gala I have to attend for work. My black and white dress isn’t as formal as some will be wearing; after all it’s just above the knee. But it looks a little mid-century modern so the jewelry both goes well with it and dresses it up. I’ll end up using the dress as a work or nice occasion dress, which is good since I don’t have the room in my closet for a one occasion dress nor do I have the lifestyle that requires more formal clothing.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I really haven’t kept up with people I knew in high school. I lived in Cape Girardeau for four years and once I graduated, I only went back to see my parents. Once they left Cape in the early 90s, I had no reason to return so I didn’t. But I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with people on Facebook, and have made some unexpected friends. Ramelle certainly fits in that category.

Ramelle went to high school with me; she was in my brother's class so was a year behind me. Much like Jeanne, she and I were in the same kinds of activities—in her case, we were both in Chamber Choir, theater, and on the speech and debate team. So while we weren’t best friends, we definitely saw each other a lot. Plus she ended up dating my first boyfriend after I did.

Anyway, Ramelle ended up in Chicago and comes to Boston for work pretty frequently. We hadn’t reconnected until now because I’ve been out of town on her previous visits. But this time I was actually here and so we got together for drinks.

As Ramelle would say, holy cats she’s fun. Kent and I had a blast and although I have a headache today (see number 4 from yesterday’s post), I also thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things my mother told me

And I’m coming round to her way of thinking on some of them.
  1. Wearing black by your face ages you. I moved away from head-to-toe black years ago (so emo) although I haven’t removed it entirely from my wardrobe. I seldom wear solid black by my face, and just two weeks ago, I retired a solid black turtleneck because of the color and also because of point two.
  2. Turtlenecks make your face look fat and/or older (apologies, Mom, I forget your exact wording on this one). Yeah I am starting to see exactly where my jaw will be like my mother’s jaw, which in turn she got from my grandfather. None of us have the fat, wiggly jowls you sometimes see, but we do have JAWS and turtlenecks just hit at an unfortunate spot. I still wear them but can see the day approaching when I won’t.
  3. You’ll need less sleep as you get older (or maybe it’s that you’ll sleep less). I’m waiting on this one. I still need and generally get between eight and nine hours of sleep a night and deeply envy those who do well on less.
  4. The day after drinking a bit much get tougher as you get older. Amen and isn't that the sad, sad truth? And to add insult to injury, it takes far less alcohol to get the nasty day after effect.
  5. Your skin will get really dry. While I’m no longer producing enough oil to solve the world's oil shortage as I once did, I’m nowhere near the dry skin category. Not even in winter.
  6. Your knees will get fat. Well they aren't fat, but they are no longer as lovely as they once were. Plus I think my butt wants to meet the backs of my knees. Damn that gravity anyway.
  7. Your waist will thicken. I am pretty sure this has started for me. No matter what kind of workout I do, I’m not sure I can get rid of all of it. It’s not really a weight issue, it’s more of a redistribution of what’s there and I find it very annoying.
  8. More light for reading. Boy do I need it. I needed more light way before I needed reading glasses.
  9. Spider veins. She never really said anything other than yeah, you've got them. To which I say thanks . . .
What things did your mother say that only now you are begining to suspect are true?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A creature of habit

That’s me. Sure, I will try new things but what I mean by habit is this: when we go to a new restaurant and I order a dish, often that becomes what I order every time I go back (unless it tasted awful). Whatever my first encounter with a place, be it a restaurant, a hotel, a rental car—that tends to become my norm.

And I like things to be orderly. That’s mostly so I don’t have to waste precious brain power remembering where I put something or lose a lot of time getting things pulled together.

This is my sixth trip to Hawaii, and my sixth stay at the Hilo Hawaiian, a hotel that's definitely seen better days; it's shabby and damp but it's the best available in Hilo. The first four times I stayed, I had an ocean view. The fifth time I didn’t but the room layout was exactly the same—bed on the same wall, bathroom fixtures aligned the same, you get the idea.

This time not only do I not have the ocean to placate me, the room is mirror image from the other rooms I’ve stayed in. I find this most disconcerting especially in the dark when little lights aren’t where I expect them to be and when I have to think about where I’m going should I wake up to use the bathroom.

Plus my favorite restaurant—the Garden Snack Club—has shut down. They had amazing red curry and I’ve had it the last three visits. Last night I had to settle for curry from the Thai place next door. It was fine, but it was different.

Oh and I had to sit in a window seat from Minneapolis to Honolulu. I prefer the aisle seat because anything else makes me feel trapped and more than a little claustrophobic.

And to top it off, the Hertz guy, who remembers me because I come here a lot, was “nice” and gave me the biggest SVU I’ve ever driven. I rent according to the government rates, so I'm supposed to get a sub-compact or compact. But this beast is a Chevy Traverse and driving it up the paved goat path that passes for a two-lane road is a little unnerving.

That is a whole lot of change for this creature.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kids these days

Yesterday’s flight from Boston to Minneapolis was utterly full. When that happens, overhead bin space is precious and you can see some ugly behavior.

I was in the aisle seat (three across), row 10 and because I fly all the time and have status with Delta, I boarded in Zone 1. Without status, I’d have been boarding in Zone 3 or 4. Zone 1 But boarding in Zone 1 meant I had plenty of overhead space.

As the plane filled I realized people were tripping over a bag sitting in the aisle by the man in front of me who was standing. He was older than I am, maybe even in his 70s and he looked really uncertain as though he were trying to do something. But people kept coming down the aisle and getting hung up over that suitcase.

So I asked him if he needed help putting it into the bin—it looked like there was room across the aisle for it. Imagine my surprise when the man in the window seat ahead of me spoke up and said it was his bag.

Uh what? He said there wasn’t room for it and both the woman next to me and I both said hey you need to put your bag up. No, no he didn’t, it was the flight attendants’ responsibility.

The old guy in front of me did find a spot for it and the young guy (he wasn’t even 30) didn’t even thank him.

To top it off, when we deplaned in Minneapolis, it was clear the old guy was disabled—he walked with a severe limp. I can only imagine that his shoulders were in the same condition as his legs.

As for the young guy, may he always sit in the middle row between two people of very generous size who squeeze the snot out of his self-entitled body. What a jerk.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bah humbug to Valentine's Day

Kent is in Barcelona at a convention. He left Saturday afternoon. I am in Boston until tomorrow morning when I fly (again) to Hilo, HI. So bah humbug to Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Remember the neighbor's pipe that froze in our ceiling, ruptured and then dumped water all over our floors? I just now took this picture in the living room (rupture was in our bedroom ceiling) and you can see what's happening to the wood floors throughout the entire apartment.

The camera is crooked because the floor is that warped, and yes, you do see a board that's popped completely out.

Wally just had to be in the picture.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One more Jamaica picture

This picture was taken from the tiny plane on the way back to Montego Bay.

Now I return you to your typical dreary February weather.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jamaica part 2

Last year we took a few pictures. This year we took even fewer; in fact, most of our pictures were taken on the tiny, propeller plane because the view from 2,000 feet was amazing.

But Kent did get this picture which I really like. You can see how pretty Bloody Bay is, and you can see how pale Kent is. He’s very good about using sunblock because he doesn’t tan, he only burns. He's so pale (how pale is he?) that even one of the massage therapists noticed—she asked us why he didn’t have tan lines. I guess red heads aren’t exactly common in Jamaica.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Last year we took the resort’s shuttle from Montego Bay to Couples Negril, which is about a 90 minute drive. We were both terrified the entire time because Jamaicans drive like insane people, no joke. I’ve been in traffic in New York City, Boston, London, Rome, and Beijing and Jamaica tops the list for driving insanity.

So this year we forked over the money to take a tiny little plane instead. The ride was 15 minutes long and in spite of my fears (hey it was a TINY propeller plane), very smooth and easy. Plus the view was amazing. We decided that was the best money we spent during our vacation.

Normally we aren’t the kind of people who sit around and do nothing while traveling but that’s what we mostly did last year and it’s entirely what we did this year. I read almost seven books (didn’t finish the last one because of a mishap involving my Kindle which is a polite way of saying someone lost it—no not me). But otherwise, we flopped around on beach chairs under palm trees, drank fruity drinks off and on and escaped the daily afternoon rain showers by hanging out on our patio which had a great view of the ocean.

I’ll write more later. I’m sitting in the Delta Sky Club getting ready to head to my gate to catch a flight. I’m going to Shreveport, LA and I’ve never been to Louisiana before.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oh the drama

I’m back, I’ll write about the week later but first here’s the latest in our ongoing condo drama-rama.

You might want to refer to my diagram from last week just to keep things straight.

Boston has had a lot of snow this winter—we’re already at 70.1 inches for this season and February just started. The problem with all that snow is that none has melted and even more to the point, there’s no place to put it all.

The condo parking places (which have serious drama already surrounding them and I’m not going into it here because it’s tiresome and would take far too long) are in the alley. The alley is not a public alley which means the city doesn’t plow it. So we all dig our cars out and put our snow . . . somewhere.

The latest drama occurred last Wednesday when the male Nasty was observed shoveling snow from the stairs/sidewalk of 1 Claremont over onto the 3 Clairmont side. Yes, very childish and when he was caught I guess he didn’t really do anything. Flash forward and the neighbor in #6 (I’ll call them the Normals because that’s what they are—normal neighbors you’d wave at, help out if they needed it but not close friends because they’re just neighbors) shoveled a couple of shovel-fulls into the Nasties’ tenant’s parking place. Here’s a hilarious excerpt from Mr. Normal’s email to Mr. Nasty:

It’s the 3rd snowiest year on record after all. I DID see you shoveling your walk over in front of building 3, and mentioned it - but that is because you had a simple option of placing it in the street (probably as easy as moving it in front of building 3). I was in the process of digging Brooke’s car out...and it was partially stuck over in Cindy's spot. Not as simple.
I think this is getting a little carried away. If you would like for me to apologize to Cindy for digging my wife’s car out (edited to add his wife is eight months pregnant)...when it was stuck, I will. She is a very nice girl, and I am sure she will understand. If you are just wanting to play tit-for tat because I asked you not to move snow from in front of building 1, to in front of building 3 ...then hey, YOU WIN!
Who has time for this?
I will go to the back alley shortly, and move exactly three shovel fulls of snow from Cindy's spot, in to the alley.
Thank you for your ever present, all knowing and all watching eye.

See the fun we get to have in our condo association?