I Wish This Had Happened

You’re not gonna believe this, but I am on vacation AGAIN….this time at Panama City Beach,FL!  I’m just a traveling fool! It’s really not a great time for me to be away from work.  Intramural football and water polo are in full swing.  I have a bunch of new strength equipment that is going to be delivered soon to the fitness room.  Plus, I have a presentation at a state conference to prepare for the week I get back.   But – we’ve had this vacation planned for a year and a half, so I need to put everything work-related out of my mind and enjoy this time away (and hit a wine store ASAP!).

I’ll tell you more about this trip to Panama City Beach in a day or 2……but I have a quick incident to relate.  See…….I love sitting out on the balcony at our resort, so even though it had been pretty rainy on Sunday when we got here, I beelined it out to the balcony to read that night.  The balcony is pretty much covered, so it was relatively dry.  Unfortunately, one of the balcony lights did not have a lightbulb in it, so I crammed my chair, side table, book, glass of wine, and me under the one balcony light that was working and read to my heart’s content while listening to the pounding surf 8 stories below.

The  next day, Kevin called the front desk and asked them to replace the balcony lightbulb that was missing.  Eventually, a maintenance guy came up to the room to take a look and he kindly replaced the bulb.  At that point, Kevin mentioned to him that the light/fan in our bedroom was missing a bulb as well.

This is how the real conversation went down:

Maintenance Guy:  Everything else working  alright for you?

Kevin:  Actually……we’re also missing a bulb in this one light here in the light/fan fixture in the master bedroom.

MG:  Well…….do you need it?

Kevin:  It would be nice to have it

MG: OK, but we have to order those bulbs and I don’t know if we have any on hand. (Note:  there are 91 units in this building and each unit has approximately 3 of these fan/light fixtures…….are you telling me that they don’t keep these light bulbs on hand??…..I digress).

This is the conversation that I wish would have happened:

MG:  Everything else working alright for you?

Kevin:  Actually, we’re missing a bulb in this one light here in the fan/light fixture in the master bedroom.

MG:  Well……..do you need it?

Kevin:  Hell, yeah we need it!  When we have the cameras rolling at night , we really need that extra light.  None of the porn sites want to purchase a shadowy sex tape.  I’m gonna need that lightbulb ASAP!

Aren’t there times when you just wish you would let loose and say something totally off the wall like that, just to see what happens……see what kind of reaction you’d get?

Our videos need that extra light!

Our videos need that extra light!

This is the light/fan fixture.  And just for the record……..we’re still waiting for that light bulb.  Good thing we really don’t need it.

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Why Women Drink (not me, of course)

**Note:  I have switched page layout themes for my blog so……if you actually visit my blog page (as opposed to reading the posts and responding via your email notifications), the page is very different.  You can click on comments at the bottom of each post and you will also have the option of being notified if you want emailed about follow up comments.  I recommend clicking on the box for follow-ups…….don’t want you to miss out on anything. I’m gonna customize my blog page……….I just need to find a 3rd grader to show me how.  This has been a public service announcement.  Now, back to the blog post:

Today is a milestone.  I have been sick for 3 weeks and still not 100%.  I am relegated to several more months of jaw pain as I undergo a total dental reconstruction (my oral odyssey will be explained in a future post, so brush up on your dental terminology).  I have not had a sip of wine since Vegas…..just too rundown and sick to even think about having a glass of wine (HA!  a glass?  who am I kidding?  I can suck down a bottle in one sitting).  But – I am feeling slightly better and have returned to sipping my beloved wine.  Oh dear semi-dry merlot!……..how I have missed you!  Between the wine and the mega doses of ibuprofen I take every day, I am hoping to mitigate this jaw pain and be able to wind down at night and do the things that I love (like reading, painting, blogging, and getting on Kevin’s nerves).  Don’t worry – I’m really taking it pretty easy on the wine……..however – I have ratcheted up my efforts to get on Kevin’s nerves.

But, I wanted to tell you that I watched a pretty interesting episode on the Katie Couric show this summer titled, “Why Women Drink.” The “expert” on the show was Gabrielle Glaser and she has written a book titled, “Her Best -Kept Secret: Inside the Private Lives of Women Who Drink.”  Quite frankly, I don’t know why Katie didn’t invite me on the show, cuz I could’ve provided a lot of first hand information.  And I am totally shocked that Gabrielle Glaser didn’t interview me for her book.  Obviously, she doesn’t read my blog!

I am so buying this book

I am so buying this book

I can kinda relate to the whole topic of Women Who Drink.  Mothers are usually the primary care givers of their children in addition to working whatever part-time jobs they can while working around their offsprings’ schedules.  The jobs we take during our kid’s childhoods are menial with minimum pay and ungodly hours.  After caring for children all day, we go to jobs at night when our husbands are home.  We function at a high level from 6 AM – midnight just to make ends meet so we can afford dance classes, ice hockey expenses, and technology devices for the entire family.  In addition – many women are caught in that true “sandwich generation” of being a caretaker for their children AND for their parents.  Huggies vs. Depends.  It’s no wonder it all comes crashing down and women feel the need to find something that will dull the pressure.  (Hang on a minute…..I have to get some more wine).

Sure wish I looked like her

Oh look……she’s having another as well!

I am going to read Glaser’s book even though I wasn’t interviewed for it.  I won’t hold a grudge, although I could’ve written the damn thing.  Actually – in her book, Glaser goes into a lot of good points.  She discusses the fact that women who attend AA meetings which are comprised of mostly men, become easy prey for these men.  Already in a vulnerable position of needing support, women often feel pressured (sexually and socially) by the men in the group.  Glaser offers some awesome alternative programs for women needing help for alcoholism.  How do I know this if I haven’t read the book yet?  That’s what Goodreads is for, people!  Actually, I just paid attention when Glaser talked about her book on the Katie Couric show (which is saying something because I have the attention span of a gnat).

But – the most interesting aspect of the book for me is the “why” component of women drinking.  I’ve always wanted to belong , so I take great comfort in the fact that me and a million other women find some solace in having a glass (or 2) of an alcoholic beverage.  It is our refuge.  It is the sigh of relief when all obligations have been fulfilled……..the kids in bed, the parents settled, the husband happy and watching Say Yes to the Dress (Atlanta or Kleinfeld’s in Manhattan……they’re both gripping programs).

The fact that so many women do unwind with alcohol is a growing phenomenon in this country.  What does it say about women and pressures in today’s society?  I don’t know…….I just love the deliciousness of wine and the buzz is a bonus!

DISCLAIMER:  My husband has been more than an equal partner in raising our family……..and he did it all without drinking any alcohol!  He is an enigma.  Kevin got up  in the middle of the night every time I nursed a child.  He changed more diapers than I did.  He worked extra jobs to help provide additional income.  He seldom drinks any alcohol.  I am a shithead for having a glass of wine…….I really have no excuse for drinking anything but water.  Kevin did WAY more than me.  I need to reevaluate this whole post while I finish this glass of wine.

The Learning Channel Should Be Renamed the Freak Show Channel

OK….I’ll admit, I’m not doing a bunch of research here so I don’t know everything that is on The Learning Channel (TLC) but, after watching a show on there a few weeks ago, I’m pretty sure that I would rather just stay stupid.  The name, The Learning Channel, is totally misleading.  It should be called The Freak Show Channel (TFSC).

TLC is the station that airs Honey Boo-Boo, Sister Wives, Toddlers & Tiaras, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Breaking Amish, etc. The people on these shows are just plain screwed up and dysfunctional!  They’re pretty much train wrecks.  But I guess that is why we tune in, right?  We love that voyeuristic peak into really odd behaviors, lifestyles and situations.  It’s only  natural for us “normal” people to want to know what is happening on that other side of traditional and standard behavior.  This is exactly why The Learning Channel is such a success.  But – TLC needs to stop misleading us all into thinking we are going to become learned and intelligent beings for watching this network.

So…….the other night, my husband and I “innocently” tuned into TLC.  Normally we watch totally brainless reruns like King of Queens, Everyone Loves Raymond, House Hunters, etc. on other channels. Yep – we’re pretty much losers.  But –  we were feeling quite educable this night, so we tuned into The Learning Channel.  Indeed, we were rather proud of ourselves for intrinsically wanting to better our minds by watching such a channel.

Now……I have to be honest.  Kevin and I really did know what we were getting into when we clicked on The Learning Channel that night.  We had been waiting all day to see the show titled, “The Man With the 132 lb Scrotum.”  Who in their right mind would turn down an opportunity to be informed on that dilemma??  So……..as the beginning credits started to roll, Kev and I settled into our matching recliners and shared a bag of cheeseballs which was totally inappropriate considering the topic of scrotums that we were about to watch.

Here are some key points of the show……….SPOILER ALERT:

1)  Wesley (scrotum guy) had this edema-filled scrotum for 5 years!  Every year, it grew 25 pounds until it reached the grand total of 132 lbs.. Wesley didn’t want to have it removed for fear it would ruin his potential sex life.  Really??  Did he honestly think that anyone would want to have sex with him while he was carrying around a humungous diseased scrotum?  Not much of an aphrodisiac, if you ask me.

2)  In order to corral and contain the thing, he wore an XXXXXL hoodie backward on his legs.  He put his legs in the sleeves and tucked his scrotum into the hood and then zipped up the sweatshirt.  Now…..that’s ingenuity!  Maybe The Learning Channel isn’t so bad after all.

slide_233660_1115372_free

Hoodie-encased scrotum propped on footstool. Poor Wesley…….a pretty awful condition.

3) Going into surgery to finally remove this sack of infection, Wesley asked the doc if he could save some of the scrotum so Wesley could sell it on ebay.  (Fortunately, the doc said no).

There was other “interesting” footage, i.e. bathing issues, toileting problems, and difficulties getting around in general.  Obviously having an enormous dysfunctional scrotum inhibits movement. This guy wasn’t gonna be participating in a flash mob anytime soon.  But – I’m pretty sure this episode is gonna  win an Emmy or something because the story was so captivating.

In all honesty, it truly was a sad predicament for Wesley and I’m glad he had his surgery and is able to live a normal life.  It had to be sheer hell for him.

You might be wondering…….have Julie and Kevin really sworn off watching The Learning Channel?  You bet we haven’t!  However, we carefully choose what TLC shows to watch and pretty much limit our viewing to “Say Yes to the Dress.”  The most shocking things we see on that show are cleavage and tatts (that’s not a typo, you perverts……..it’s short for tattoos).

A Sick Trip…….(and I don’t mean sick as in awesome)

So……..back to the Vegas trip.  Kevin has 4 sibs.  He is the oldest, then Patti, then Mary Lee, then Mike.  Mike married my sister, Peggy so we’re double related!  Here is a pic of all us in Vegas before a night out on the town.

The Stoehr clan

The Stoehr clan

Towards the end of the week, Leah and Hazel drove the 5 hours from Salt Lake City and spent time with all of us in Vegas.  Dave and Mary Lee’s daughter, Jaimie, who is doing an internship in TV production at LA also flew in for a couple of days.  Jaimie and Leah are both extreme goofballs so….between them and Hazel bebopping around, Vegas became even more crazy! Here’s a pic of the 3 kids.

Troublemakers

Troublemakers

Sadly – the time to leave came too soon.  Kevin and I drove back to Salt Lake City with Leah and Hazel (and flew home out of SLC 2 days later).  Since we all had our own units in Vegas, we loaded up the leftover extra food, paper towels, bottled water, etc. in Leah’s little Juke and took off.

Leah, however, was not feeling too well.  Kevin drove with Leah squirming around in the front seat trying to get comfortable while I entertained Hazel in the back seat.  It is a straight shot on I-15 from Vegas to SLC and the speed limit is 80 MPH.  I felt bad for Leah cuz she was definitely looking green, but what the hell……she got to be by herself in the front seat with her pillow while I had to entertain a crabby toddler in the back.  Suck it up, Leah!

About 2 hours into the trip, all of a sudden I heard Leah grab a plastic bag and I knew what was coming.  Unable to get pulled over fast enough, Leah hurled into the plastic bag that, as it turns out, had a hole in the bottom.  Really?  Can’t CVS spring for more sturdy bags?  Don’t they know that people depend on those bags to puke in??

Now – I don’t do well with adult puke.  I have never been the good buddy who held my friends’ hair while they were barfing during my college drinking days.  So – this outburst of vomit in the car was tough for me to handle. But poor Leah was sick AND had to deal with puke all over herself, so I managed to rub her back (from as far back as I could stand) while she finished emptying the contents of her stomach along the side of the road once we got pulled over. (I’m gagging now just recalling this disgusting event).

Once I was done being the semi-consoling mother, I sprung into action looking for the couple of rolls of paper towels we had loaded into the car along with the bottled water.  In my frantic search for these items, I flung a bag of opened Sun Chips all over the car!  They went everywhere – in Hazel’s hair, in every crack and crevice of the car and mixed in with the puke in the front seat.  Chips and Dip anyone?!!

A pretty true depiction of what "things" looked like

A pretty true depiction of what “things” looked like

We finally got cleaned up enough to get on the road and try to find an exit with a car wash.  We got off at the first exit.  Now – you have to remember that we are in the wild west and there is not much between Las Vegas and SLC.  You actually see tumbleweeds rolling around.  So – at this exit, there was little but an old rundown Days Inn.  I can’t believe that tere were actually a couple of cars in the crumbling asphalted parking lot.  The Days Inn had a separate building with an old pool that anyone could access and is pretty much a lawsuit waiting to happen  But, it fortunately had a hose connected to a lime- encrusted spigot.  So we were able to clean up decently enough – the car and Leah.

To make a long story as short as possible……..after another puking episode (outside of the car, thankfully) and Hazel screaming and crying herself to sleep 2 times, we finally made it to Leah’s place in SLC.  We were all exhausted.  And to top it off, I got sick that night and was up all night with it.  And Leah didn’t even hold my hair (jerk). The virus truly was awful and I can’t imagine Leah having to deal with it while riding in the car.

The thing is……….the reason we planned to go back to SLC was to sell Leah’s car…….the car that she just puked in!  Talk about a setback.  Fortunately, Kevin is like Ray Donovan.  He is a “fixer.”  The next day, that man took Leah’s car to a car wash and totally cleaned the car inside and out……took him 2 hours.  He washed everything and then disinfected all the leather seats, carpeting, etc.  The vehicle looked awesome!  And he was able to make a good trade for it.  I’m pretty sure that you don’t have to disclose if a vehicle was thrown up in within the past 24 hours, do you?  Seriously – the car was thoroughly cleaned….we’re not that big of pigs!

So – that’s how I spent the last 2 days of my vacation…..in vomit purgatory!  I’ve been bothered by some pretty severe jaw pain as well because of some dental work in preparation for my oral odyssey which I’ll tell you about soon.  In the past week, I’ve dealt with the virus from hell, unbelievable jaw pain and now a really bad cold that I think is turning into a sinus infection.  I’m just a ball of fun!  No wonder these last couple of posts suck!  Don’t worry……..I’ll get better and start drinking wine again which will definitely lead to better blogging.  Thanks for hanging in there with me  :- )

A Helpful Reference Hint

Our friendly reference librarian here

Our friendly reference librarian here

Just a short reference post which is totally not humorous.  I’m gonna insert a lot of clip art and pictures in this post just to keep your attention (especially for my special ADD reader!).   I picked the “look” of my blog page because, well……..it was free!  I wouldn’t know how to customize my own blog if I read every tutorial offered……which I did and I still don’t understand the damn thing.

One of the things that bugs me about my blog page is the comment section.  I like to see the comments fall under the posts.  But…..alas, my cheapo page isn’t formatted that way.  The readers’ comments are my favorite part of any blog (my own plus others that I follow).  So – it’s a pretty important feature that I don’t want you guys to miss out on.

On my page, there are 2 ways to see the comments (and comments on the comments) on a post.  On the right hand side of the page there is a Recent Comments section.  If you have commented, you’ll see a crazy icon called a “gravatar” next to your name.  It is a specific design all your own……who knew??  This section with gravatars looks like this:

IMG_1960

Colorful crazy looking gravatars in comment section. I uploaded a ridiculous picture of me looking ponderous for my gravatar

I think you can actually upload a picture in place of the gravatar even if you are just commenting and don’t have a blog..  For some of us, the gravatar is probably more appealing than our picture………..At the end of this post, I included a link to an article about creating a gravatar in case you’re interested.  No pressure…..this blogging realm is a world unto its own.  Anyway – you can click on the top comment and it will bring up all of the comments.  So – that is one way of seeing all of the comments.

The other way to see comments is just as easy.  In the top left corner under the date of each post, there is a comment indicator that says (number) comments.  If there are 6 comments it will say 6 Comments.  Just click on that and all of the comments will come up in order of oldest to newest so that you can see the history of the comments.

Comments link under the date at top left of page

Comments link under the date at top left of page

I know that all of my readers are much smarter than I, so this whole post is probably for naught.  I have to get used to the fact that I really am a “blidiot” and most people figure techno things out much better than I.  So………just give me a big fat DUHHHH on this one.

my mentor

my mentor

What You See in Vegas SHOULD Stay in Vegas

DSC02786

I’ve been to Las Vegas numerous times.  The first was when I was a dorky 10-year old (as opposed to this most recent time as a dorky 56 year old).  Dad had a veterinary conference at Caesar’s Palace and Caesar’s was a sight to behold…..still is!  I remember l was trying to look all cool…….rocking my two-piece plaid bathing suit…..my hair cut in a flat page boy with my bangs cut waaayyyy too short.  I had my spot on a comfy lounger by one of the many pools at Caesar’s when, all of a sudden, my big sister, Candy (who was truly rocking her two piece), gasped and nearly shoved me off my lounger.  Since I wasn’t allowed to swear at that age in my life, I probably said something like, ‘hey, cut it out, man.”  But then I followed her eyes to wear she was looking and right there…. not 5 feet away…. were Sonny and Cher walking on the pool deck.  They were bigger than life!   And that my friends, is the closest I’ve ever gotten to someone famous……I’m sure Sonny and Cher were probably saying to each other…..”look at the dorky little 10 year old thinkin’ she’s rockin’ her plaid bathing suit…..what a gas!”  (or maybe they said, “I think she has gas”……which was highly likely!)

This time around, my dear brother-in-law, Dave Borislow, as a gift to his wife, paid for all of the Stoehr sibs and their spouses to be together in Vegas last week.  Yeah….he’s a pretty good dude.  Our accommodations were lovely at the HIlton Grand Vacations Resort and time spent together was priceless.  Saw Journey one night and Jay Leno another night.  Terrific shows!  And truly a generous gift to all of us that Dave brought us all together.

Family gathering aside, there’s just something about Vegas.  It’s so unique and unusual.  Opulence and excess on one city block and blight and poverty on the next.  I’m not a big gambler.  If casinos took coupons, then I’d feel I was getting more for my money.  You have to gamble big to win big, and I just can’t throw that kind of money into a machine or a table and risk walking away with nothing.  I’m a gaming wuss.

The trend setting fashions are what intrigue me in Vegas.  It is unbelievable what people wear (or don’t wear, as is often the case).  We got an eyeful the first night out when walking through Paris casino.  We were walking along minding our own business and looking at the interesting architecture when 2 shapely women wearing nothing but cat ear headbands, pasties (you know where) and a fig leaf (placed strategically you know where) walked by.  That’s it……that was their dress for the night.  I think they might have been being escorted out of the casino cuz there were a couple of suits accompanying them.  I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to snap a pic and would never post such filth on my blog anyway (oh…who am I kidding…….I’m really pissed I didn’t get a picture so I could’ve posted it).  Good thing I didn’t wear MY pasties and fig leaf that night, too……..would have been a bummer to have 3 of us dressed in the same thing.

I did get a pic of this getup being sold for probably thousands of dollars at one of The Forum shops at Caesar’s.  Just think of all of the places your man could wear this!  This jacket and pant set screams style!

The perfect outfit for the man you love

The perfect outfit for the man you love

It’s times like this that I really wish I knew how to photoshop!  I would sooooo put Kevin’s head right on top of that mannequin’s.

There’s just so many styles of interesting Vegas dress.  It is a world of spandex on bodies that shouldn’t wear spandex, stilettos on women (and some men) who can’t walk 2 yards much less an entire casino floor in those shoes from hell, and the shortest of shorts that leave one’s exposed butt cheeks flabbing (I just made that word up) to and fro.  The Vegas strip is often a tasteless red carpet of sorts.  The Lady Gaga-esque fashions  are intriguing and the free entertainment of people-watching is often the best gig in town!

There’s a reason why they say that “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. ” Anyone dressed liked that in Hometown, USA would be laughed right out of the borough.  Best to keep all of those atrocious fashion styles in the one city that can handle it!

Changes in the Air

First of all…..HI…….  I’ve missed you guys!  I always think I’m gonna blog like crazy while on vacation, but being at a computer just doesn’t fit my vacay style.  Don’t fret about it too much……..I like you all a lot, really I do.  Anyway – I’ll be doing some major posting this weekend if I’m feeling better (more on that in a sec).  But – just wanted to touch base with some random shit.

IMPORTANT!!!I  If I could make that word flash in red, I would, but I only sprung for the free version of wordpress so I don’t have all the bells and whistles (I don’t like you THAT much!).  Anyway – I decided not to publish my post to be viewable to everyone on my Facebook page.  As you have noticed, I let you know about this post on the Blog Reader page.  So it’s only going out to you privileged readers.  Inquiring minds want to know….. “why this change?”  Well…….I am protecting my Facebook friends who might not appreciate the way I (sometimes saltily) express myself.  I borrowed this from funny woman, Jeanne Balaoing that says it all:

Sometimes things just have to be harsh

yep…..sometimes ya just gotta say it

So – I just didn’t want to offend my more sensitive friends.  Plus – my mom and some faculty I had in college are my friends on Facebook, so there ya go……

I mentioned about not feeling earlier in the post.  Nothing serious……just getting over a nasty stomach virus that has an entire blog post worthy of how that all came about.  I swear……….every time I’m with Leah and Hazel, something ridiculous happens.  So – more on that in another post.

Random thought for today – I hate the fact that summer is ending and when I get home from work, my deck sitting/wine sipping is curtailed due to darkness and chilliness.  But……. I love putting on my cozy warm jammies and slippers and curling up on the couch while the cool breeze wafts through the windows……

Here's a visual

Here’s a visual

On that disturbing note……..GOODNIGHT! (My husband just called me a “blidiot” after he took this pic of me for this post……..blog + idiot…….has a nice ring to it).