Thursday, January 04, 2018

Skiing in -14 sub-freezing antarctic conditions

I knew I wasn’t in the city anymore. Not only because it’s -14 up here in VT where we’re skiing, but because I saw a dog jogging up a snow-covered road. Just nonchalantly headed wherever he was going. WITHOUT BOOTIES. 

Skiing in -14 requires some wardrobe tricks which I haven’t quite figured out yet. 
  • I get the part where you open up 7 sets of hand-warmers and strategically line your long underwear with them. 
  • Then there's the part where you smear of this greasy stuff on your nose that’s allegedly supposed to prevent frostbite.
  • Last comes the real battle: how to not lose your nose to frostbite while not fogging up your glasses. If you cover your nose, your glasses fog up. If you don’t cover your nose, you can’t feel your face after about 8 minutes but at least you can see where you’re going. It’s a tough choice. You can avoid this dilemma by remembering to pack contact lenses.

Pop forewent the glasses. We were standing at the bottom of a hill waiting for him and whooosh- he blows past. At an odd angle. “You would not believe it! My eyelashes froze together and I couldn’t see anything!"

One further note: If you’re not going to wear glasses, stick a hand-warmer in your hat or something so your eyes don’t freeze shut.

Dave L said he was skiing along and passed a guy. This is a big deal because Dave never passes anybody. So he was feeling pretty good— maybe sub-freezing temperatures are his special competitive advantage. Somewhere along the way, the guy catches up to Dave and mentions he had outpatient surgery yesterday. This dimmed the achievement somewhat, Dave said. 

On the way back from VT, we met up with Michelle and David for brunch. They had just come back from dog sledding. Those dogs didn’t have booties either. Or little sweaters. I saw the pictures to prove it. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

NaBloPoMo Day 30

I probably should find a gif of someone high-fiving herself. Or maybe a real quality dab or a Heisman maneuver. Meanwhile I'll crank up Ode to Joy super loud and the air shall erupt with sparkles. A smoke machine would be cool.

Because this is -- drum roll please -- NaBlaPoMo #30. Count 'em kids. 30 posts, 30 days.

*drops laptop and twerks twice*

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tom and the cat emojis - The Penultimate Day 29 of NaBloPoMo

Tom came home from work looking a little bewildered. I asked why.

"Remember that guy, the one I kept seeing at a bunch of triathlons? He's a real Ironman muscle guy. Very fast." said Tom.

I nodded and had no idea where this was going.

"We were swapping messages on facebook about a workout plan. He wrote that he'd coach me and it would only cost $5. I wasn't sure if he was kidding."

I uh huh'ed.

Tom goes on, "I didn't know what to write back. Seriously, what if he's only kidding? But then again, what if he's not kidding? I thought about my response for a really long time."

This had to be going somewhere. You'd expect there'd be a story arc of some kind.

"Finally I decided to write back 'I'm In!' with a smiley face. Then I'd wait to see what he replied. At that point, I should know if he's kidding."

Right, right, I said. You'd expect you'd know at that point.

Is that a litterbox?
"I was having trouble with my keyboard. I plugged it in and then I unplugged it and jiggled it around and finally it was working, so I sent my reply."

That's good, I said. Sucks when ye olde keyboard is on the fritz.

Tom shook his head. That wasn't his point. He says, "Here's the thing-- when I actually looked at what I sent, instead of sending 'I'm in!' I sent two cat emojis."

Oh, I said.

"I sent another message real quick, like 'I don't know how that happened!'
He hasn't written back yet."

I laughed so hard the neighbors' dog started barking.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Peggle on the Big Screen - Nothing on the Small Screen - NaBloPoMo Day 28

It is true. We do play a lot of peggle on the big TV. Mostly when there's family and friends around because:

When you achieve great Peggle success, it's better when people you love are all around throwing pillows at your head.

I considered getting a game of some kind on my phone - not peggle because once you go big screen you don't go back - but like Tetris or something. I heard a podcast where an expert said that Tetris is great to play in 5 minute increments during the day as sort of mini-yogic retreat. Let me restate - as a don't-have-to-move-your -lazy-ass kind of mini-yogic retreat. Sounds fine.

But I never did pull the trigger on the download because I was appalled by the privacy policy or lack of privacy policy on every single game I looked at. No, I will not give you access to my camera and microphone at all times, thank you very much game-maker person.

And so, that is the end of this story.

Monday, November 27, 2017

My gift from Ella - NaBloPoMo Day 27

A few years ago, my niece Ella gave me this necklace as a gift.

A couple months ago, just after her tenth birthday, she walked by my dresser, saw the necklace and said, "I can't believe I gave you a necklace with my own name on it, Aunt Stacey."

I said it's one of my favorite gifts because I smile every time I look at it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Things that are Annoying - NaBloPoMo Day 26

Last week, we were at that comedy show-- the one with the twenty comics stumbling around in the zone called "not ready for an audience." The host of the show opened with a bit about how she is wildly annoyed by people sipping their coffee from mason jars on the subway.

Not #1: Coffee in Mason Jars

I am not annoyed by people sipping their coffee from mason jars. It's a little hipster twee... like I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a unicorn sticker on the mason jar or some homage to beardsmanship. Even then, I wouldn't care.

Also Not #1: Slow Walkers

You can't have a list like this without the chestnut of all annoyances to kick shit off: Slow walkers in the city. I could say I'm annoyed by people walking slowly on the sidewalk, but the target of my annoyance has shifted. I'm now less annoyed relative to the individual persons engaged in the slow walking and more annoyed by the entire scenario of being trapped in the middle of a short-legged horde and occasionally bopped with a giant quilted handbag.

My annoyance is tempered by the fact that I alone put myself on 5th Avenue in the fifties on a Sunday afternoon. So-- no. Slow walkers are not #1 on my Annoying List because I feel, to be truly annoying, the source of the annoyance has to be out of your own control.

#1: Self-Righteously Annoyed Captions

Here's something annoying that maybe I'll go with as a start: The Saturday after Thanksgiving, a facebook acquaintance posted a photo of a crowd. This crowd was huddled in front of the Starry Night painting at MoMA.

This facebook person captioned her photo: "I hate people."

I became annoyed by this caption.

Seriously, dude. You go to MoMA the Saturday after Thanksgiving and you're shocked and amazed by the crush of tourists admiring probably the only painting they actually recognize in the whole damn museum. Go on Wednesday at in the middle of winter like any self-respecting New Yorker for chrissake we're all old enough to know better.


Yeah, you're right.

I should unfollow this person and, with a simple click, evaporate this annoyance. I'm re-thinking beginning my list with this one. Give me a do-over, ok?

#1: Being asked for advice on how to sell personal hygiene products at a fair

I'd call myself both annoyed and baffled in equal measure when someone asks me for advice on how to sell personal hygiene products to consumers who are attending a fair, when I have never sold personal hygiene products to consumers who are attending a fair.

Yes, this is a good one to start with.

#2: Being asked again for advice on how to sell personal hygiene products at a fair

It is yet more annoying when someone, someone to whom you've just explained you have no experience selling personal hygiene products at a fair, informs you that yes you have sold personal hygiene products: you did so at your first job out of college.

You say, good memory, because your first job out of college went down almost thirty years ago and to the best of your recollection, at that job you weren't really selling personal hygiene products except in the most tangential way.

And then the person you're conversing with replies that you were, in fact, highly successful at this job and they demand advice on how to sell personal hygiene products at a fair. Clearly you are withholding this crucial information because you are unhelpful and disagreeable.

#3: Someone who refuses to believe that you may not have been highly successful at your first job out of college, and who still wants your advice on how to sell personal hygiene products at a fair

Let's just say at your first job out of college you would quit work everyday at around 2pm and pursue other endeavors that were not exactly conducive to on-the-job success. At best you were a B or B+ employee and it was definitely for lack of trying. It was also before the internet.

So for #3, let's call it annoying when someone insists, even after all this, that they know or remember better than you, and you were in fact highly successful at your first job out of college. So could you write out some notes on how to best sell personal hygiene products at a fair.

I suspect this is not what Sheryl whatsherface had in mind with her leaning in. She should write a chapter on what to do when someone chases you around with a "compliment" so they can force you to give advice on selling personal hygiene products at a fair.

I need to learn to smile and walk away is what I need to learn. My current strategy of backing away slowly and trying, but utterly failing, to be polite is clearly insufficient.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The guy in our building - NaBloPoMo Day 25

I get in the elevator with a guy and his dog. I've seen him before. The elevator doors close. I wait, because I know something's coming. It doesn't take long. He says, "That's a gangsta handbag. Gangsta."

I nod my head. My handbag is kind of gangsta. It has silver studs.

I smile. The dog inches a little closer to me. The guy goes, "She likes the ladies." I pat the dog on the head.

I get out on my floor.

I just started reading Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Letham which is great. The hero has Tourettes. So on that day I figure out the guy in the elevator also has Tourettes.