Thursday, June 28, 2007


I would like to take this time to reflect on something that has popped up a lot over the last week of our vacation: tipping. It's everywhere. I want to know what you think about tipping. How did it start? Why does it continue?

I don't really get it. Aren't people getting paid? Why should I pay them more? Because I thought they did a good job? Shouldn't they do a good job because it's their job?! I understand that a lot of jobs don't pay very well, and that a lot of waitresses and stuff like that make much of their living from tips. But then, why don't you just charge me a little more for the service so you can pay your employees more, instead of involving me in this intricate game of how to tip, when to tip, and how much!?

So I mentioned I got my nose pierced the other day. They guy who did it was very nice, and very clean, and did a good job, so thumbs up. But all over his parlor there were signs about tipping--tip me! tip me!!! But um...they guy owned the place. Doesn't he get all the money anyway? If you want 5 more dollars for your service, charge me five more dollars.

I know I'm not the most business savvy person in the world, so by all means if someone has more insight to this feel free to let me in on it. And please don't think I'm a miserly tipper. I tip well when I eat out and when I get my hair cut or my nails done. But some other stuff just bugs me.

Like at the airport. Some guy took our bags for us and loaded them up on the x-ray belt. And stood there.

"I'm with [name of company]." he says.

"OK." we say. "Thanks."

"I'm with [name of company]." he says, smiling, and still standing there.

Hubby finally reaches in his pocket and hands him an indecipherable amount of cash. I wanted to puke. Because in my opinion, that was just nutty. Because as far as I could tell, all this guy's job consisted of was taking people's bags and putting them on the belt one at a time. So that is what he is getting paid to do. And that's what he did. So...what am I tipping him for? Not tossing the bags through the air or stomping on them before loading them?

Don't. get. it.

Any thoughts?

p.s. I would, however, totally like to give $1,000 to the pilot who successfully landed our plane that day. The turbulence on the way down had me gripping the seat in front of me with one hand and the frame of the window with the other. We were see-sawing back and forth, descending more steeply than I can ever remember doing in any plane before, and all I could say was "well, at least we don't have far to fall from here..." If I'm never on another flight that ends in applause, that will be just fine with me. ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

things about florida (or at least orlando) that are really weird but that i love anyway, with the exception of exit only lanes and stripper joints

  1. The animals are crazy. If they want a piece of food on the ground and there are people all over the place, they totally don't care. They just march on up, look you in the eye, and say "step off my food, beeyatch!" and then run away with it.
  2. There are lizards everywhere. Prior to this little trip I was under the impression that lizards came from the pet store. And if you wanted to find one in the wild you had to go to, like, Brazil. But at SeaWorld the other day there were little anoles all over the place! The people trying to catch them to bring home included a 12-year-old boy, his 9-year-old little sister, and me. ;) Well, OK, I didn't actually try to catch any, but I might have yelled out "Run, little lizards, or you're coming home with me!!" And they were sunning themselves on the curb between the sidewalk and the bushes, and as you walked by they'd scoot into the bushes, then as you walked and looked back, you'd see them pop out again to continue their sunbathing.
  3. The signs here are all in English AND Spanish. I have 5 different Spanish radio and five different Spanish TV stations to choose from (love my Spanish radio!!). Everyone everywhere speaks Spanish.This would be fine, except I'm under the mistaken belief that I can speak Spanish too. So I make a fool out of myself trying to, say, order breakfast in Espanol. (I'm sorry, ma'am, we don't serve bald monkey fritters.)
  4. I think I mentioned this in my last post but they let you just walk around with your alcohol. Now, for someone who has lived in Massachusetts all her life, this is just nutty. I mean, you can get arrested for walking around with a beer in your hand, can't you? Or at least sent home? I mean, we just started being able to buy liquor on Sunday. But only between noon and 6. And you can't get it just anywhere; you have to go to a liquor store. Otherwise known as a packie. But here we were, walking around Disney MGM studios and people were just walking around with it! And on the CityWalk at Universal, there are just stands where you walk up and get alcohol to go. Freakin nutty. So we went to a reception and a show at SeaWorld the other day and since we had some time to kill between the two, we thought we'd try out this crazy idea. We walked toward the entrance of the park with drinks in our hands, and we were sure they were going to stop us at the gate, right? Nope! Did not even look twice at whatever we were carrying. Craziness!
  5. Friggin "Exit Only" lanes. They're everywhere. I hate them.
  6. Stipper joints. Even more abundant than the exit only lanes. And anything else in that category: escort services, adult "!!!XXX!!!" entertainment, you name it. Gotta keep those traveling businessmen happy. (Ew ewewew ew skeeve ew ew ewww)
  7. This hotel we're staying in? Doesn't let you park yourself. It's required valet. Which isn't bad or anything, just kind of a pain, and pretty unexpected since it's not exactly a fancy place. It just cracks me up though cuz here I am, here for over a week, coming and going as I please, running the valet boys ragged. Go get my car! Now put it away! Now get it again! Now put it back! Oops, forgot my coffee in there, go get it! Now! Now! Noowowww! :)
  8. The speed limit signs, at least the ones in I-4, are digital, and they change. So, the speed limit today might be 50, then tomorrow it might be 55. They just change it. Kooky! Does that make it easy to fight speeding tickets? "Well officer, it was 65 when I passed it."
  9. Another thing that's everywhere that is a lot more difficult to find in MA because it just became legal like, yesterday: tattoo and piercing parlors. The major thing keeping me from getting something stuck in some part of my body was the scarcity of parlors. We don't have any near my house--I'd have to drive pretty far away to get one. Here? They're everywhere. I know part of that is probably because I live in a suburb and I'm staying here in a major city, but still. So by the time I passed the 10th parlor I was like, "Heck! Why not?!" and went in and got my nose pierced. (The verdict? I love it. Hubby? Not so much. His approximate quote: "So, is this like a phase thing, or do I need to get used to it being permanent?" I said I didn't know.)
  10. There's a big excitement over the fact that Blue Man Group has arrived. Their show just started this month over at Universal. The signs are everywhere, the radio keeps playing the ads, the whole thing. This cracks me up, because BMG has been in Boston for what? 10 years? I'm hoping we get to see the show here though. Love those guys. :) My brother wants to be a BMG. Maybe he could move to Orlando?

OK that's it for me. I have big plans for today: gym, shower, nap, pool, read, write, coffee, email the kids (my kids! I miss my kids! But not enough to come home yet...). Big day. ;)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

de vaccaciones

Hey people, long time no blog. Guess where I am? No really guess. I'm in F-L-O-R-I-D-A!

We've been here since Friday and (apart from the missing of the kids and the worrying of the mom) I'm totally loving it. I just dropped hubby off at his conference and now I'm sitting in BadAss coffee house, sipping a BadAss Mocha which is a very, very tasty mix of hot dark and white chocolate. Yum. So much for my light, lowfat breakfast. ;)

Hubby and I spent all Sunday at Disney-MGM studios. That was fun. I've never been to Orlando before so everything's totally new to me. We saw an Indiana Jones stunt show which was really nifty cuz they reenacted scenes from the movies with the actual stunt doubles ( long have you been doing this show, exactly?!) to show how they do everything. It was pretty cool. I was bummed we didn't get to go on any rides--these crazy summer t-storms kept washing through, which made for prime time to browse the streets while everyone else ran for cover but closed the roller coaster and big drop ride--but we shopped and saw shows and had a good time.

Yesterday we went to see Shamu Rocks at SeaWorld. I didn't get to go on that rollercoaster--the Kraken, which just tickled my little PotC-loving heart--either, because we were there with a group and didn't have much time, but the show was fun. Hubby and I sat in the very front row and got completely drenched by the whales. Fun stuff! I'm going to have to replace the library book that was in my bag though...

What else...we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe which I was afraid was going to be lame because aren't most things that all tourists do lame? But they play excellent music (I seriously thought "Hard Rock" was just a catchy name...I don't get out much, OK?) and there is rock memorabilia all over the walls--it was just cool. And my drinks were excellent and the food was really tasty and hot and we got to shop in the store afterwards...what more could I want? Oh yeah. Dessert. I was too full. :( So tragic. :)

I got an email from the kids yesterday, which thrilled the heck out of me so I replied with a total book on what daddy and mommy have been doing so far. I know my in-laws will get a kick out of that.

After my mocha and my blogging I'm heading back to the hotel to grab my art stuff then I'm headed to college park, the local bohemian hangout so I can release my inner artist. :) I'm hoping to have something to show you by the time I get back.

Themes of the week so far:
  1. being led around in groups like cattle
  2. please exit the ride through the gift shop
  3. it's getting dark but the temperature hasn't dropped
  4. please oh please let me try to speak to you in your native Spanish so I can feel cool and don't laugh at my American accent?!?!


Pst...guess who got her nose pierced?!

On a more serious note: Please click on the link under the new graphic on the side of the page. One of my biggest fears is that while I'm here in Florida, one of my kids will drown in the in-laws' pool. This blogger just lost his son to that exact fate. If you can help the family by donating $5 please do. And please pray for healing for the family in this terrible time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My first troll, yay!

Hey, I had to change some stuff on the blog because I started getting nasty stupid comments from nasty stupid people. So now you can only comment if you are registered with Blogger, and there is a word verification form too, which I hate, but I thought I'd get that in there while I was at it.

So I'm sorry if you want to comment, but can't because you don't use blogger. If we're cool, you can always email me! ;)

OK, back to packing for Florida. And cleaning. And packing and cleaning and cleaning and packing and cleaning...

Friday, June 15, 2007


I was tagged by KB and thought I would share, since y'all know I love memes.

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

Maggie at CoffeeShopMofia
Big Dreams and Pixie Dust
K.B. Squared
Tragically Unhip

Next select 5 people to tag: (that means you have to post this on your blog!)
and and you and you. I don't have too many blogging friends. :)

What was I doing 10 years ago?

Let's see, 10 years ago I was 18. So that was a little before kids. I was just finishing my first year at college, trying not to fail too much but not really succeeding because I liked skipping class better than I liked going. I was starting practice for my second season as an apprentice actor in the local rennaisance faire (dork!). I played a pirate, and I totally totally loved it. I was living in an apartment with my family--we'd just moved out of the house I grew up in. I was working too many hours at Blockbuster as assistant manager.

What was I doing 1 year ago?

One year ago I was just finishing breastfeeding and was NONE too happy about it--it was all Bek's decision. She was only 3 months old but I'd been back to work for a month and a half and she liked the bottle she got while I was at work better than she liked my boob, I guess. So about one year ago is when hubby came in from work to me, rocking Bek, feeding her a bottle, crying, saying "Why doesn't she want me?!!" :) Ah, hormones.

5 snacks I enjoy

  1. Nachos. Loaded. And if there is a margarita to go with? Even better!

  2. Brownies

  3. Ice cream

  4. Blue tortilla chips and red pepper hummus

  5. Peanut-butter-covered pretzels

5 songs that I know all the lyrics to…

  1. Barenaked Ladies--If I had $1000000

  2. Barlow Girl--On My Own

  3. 10,000 Maniacs--What's the Matter Here?

  4. Panic! at the Disco--I Write Sins Not Tragedies

  5. Ani DiFranco--Untouchable Face

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire

  1. Give give give

  2. buy a house!

  3. go on vacation

  4. open a coffeehouse

  5. go shopping

5 bad habits

  1. I'm bad at keeping in touch with my friends

  2. I pick the nail polish off my nails as soon as it's dry

  3. I eat too much junk food

  4. I sleep too late

  5. I swear too much

5 things I like to do

  1. Hike

  2. Camp

  3. Be creative

  4. Write

  5. Act

5 things I will never wear again

  1. Two pairs of socks in two colors in a check pattern

  2. crocheted sweaters

  3. tapered leg jeans

  4. my wedding dress

  5. anything in navy blue

5 favorite toys

  1. Laptop

  2. My art stuff

  3. face paint

  4. roller blades/skates

  5. my Dance Dance Revolution game

Well that was fun. Oh! Here's a drawing I did a while ago, before Bek was born, that I thought I'd share. It's supposed to be Jo and Devy, all dressed up:

Thursday, June 07, 2007

to do

So...I've been slacking big-time on my blogging. I vaguely remember a New Year's Resolution about blogging every day.

Oh well, resolutions are made to be broken, right? ;)

Well look. I've been busy, ok? Trying to get to the gym, spend time with my kids, actually clean the house and keep it clean... I have a to-do list a mile long, and my computer time is the first thing to go when the rest of my day is packed.

I can't help but think how much more I'd get done if I didn't have to sleep, y'know?!

Here's just a little sample of the stuff I have to do:
  1. go to the gym
  2. email so-and-so about guitar lessons
  3. finish mother & son drawing
  4. find the next local Zumba certification class
  5. bring books back to the library
  6. print new schedule, nametags for nursery and toddler rooms at church and bring them there
  7. blog
  8. work
  9. clean
  10. pray
  11. suck it up and call the damn dentist before teeth fall out
  12. find presents for fathers' day, sister's birthday
  13. look up that word my coworker called me
  14. take kids to playground
  15. buy milk. look into cow--landlord doesn't allow pets
  16. groceries--plan menu, make list, actually go sometime this month
  17. eyebrows--threatening to take over face
  18. call mom
  19. Halofest @ brother's apt
  20. find brother's apt?
  21. visit Jo's biography fair at school--look interested
  22. write, print, distribute survey for employee club @ work
  23. put together mailing list for MOPS* newsletter and send the damn thing out before the preschoolers are in high school
  24. stop swearing so much--kids notice?
  25. register Devy for Kindergarten--get name change paperwork back?**
  26. pelvic floor squeeeeeeeze***
  27. fix blogroll
  28. transfer old blog stuff to this one
  29. update dvd queue on
  30. pass out biz cards for MOPS promo
  31. sell MOPS newsletter advertising
  32. email old boss to say hi--send letter instead?
  33. buy art
  34. sell stuff on ebay
  35. post free stuff on freecycle
  36. teach Jo how to ride her bike--kid's 8, cryin out loud
  37. swim lessons for girls
  38. find out how to get paid for something I'm good at--writing? drawing? sex? kidding...?
  39. get bloody organized--why 3 planners for same year, nothing in them?
  40. email all the friends I haven't talked to lately. playdates? *cringe*

Wow, when I type it all out like that it seems...massively overwhelming. I swear to you, bloggy buddies, the next time I pop in, I'll have crossed half this list off.

Or...a third.

A quarter for sure.

What're you up to?

* MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers, and is a great organization for mothers of kids aged birth through Kindergarten. Check it out here.

**When I was pregnant with Devy I had this great idea of how I wanted to spell her full name. She was born, I filled in the great new name spelling on the birth certificate form, we took her home, and I promptly realized I was a hormonal idiot who totally misspelled our daughter's name. We're finally just getting it changed now, in time for her to go to Kindergarten. Seriously...change one stinkin letter and you'd think we were trying to smuggle her in from another country or something with the paperwork and lawyers and fees...

***If you haven't read I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson? You should. It will give stay at home moms a huge respect for working moms, and will make working moms laugh at their own crazy lives while being proud of what they do for their families. And when I'm a huge famous writer I'm totally denying ever reading chick lit. So there.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

all done

Here's my guitar drawing, all done. I know it's nothing spectacular, but I'm proud of it anyway. ;)

Friday, June 01, 2007


Just some art I'm working on. I sketched it out at work last night, and then this morning I started experimenting with painting it in Photoshop. I've never done that before; it's kinda neat! :)