Category Archives: stuff i don’t really care about

I’ll stop telling you how to do your job when you figure out how to do it correctly

Now, I know.  You’re like 17, and working the cash register at ShopRite is, like totally not your life’s ambition.  You’re waiting for bigger and better things to come your way, like working the cash register at Auto Zone.  I get it.  But, dude, right now, you’re a cashier at ShopRite.  So let’s get a few things straight right now.

1)  First, I apologize for not having my shopper’s club card with me.  Your system allows me to recite my phone number in substitution for the actual presence of the card.  I know swiping the card over the scanner is like way totally easier than typing in a ten-digit phone number.  I’m sorry for that.  But I really do not appreciate having to tell you my phone number FOUR TIMES because you lack the manual dexterity or attention span to type it in correctly the first three times.  And your idiocy is only funny to you.

2)  I guess, thanks, for not proofing me when I bought my six-pack of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  Your register requires you enter my birth date to appease the UPC gods or something, so I told you my birth date by saying the month, day and year.  (Like “February 17, 1974” — though that is not REALLY my birth date, internet stalker people.)  Do you really lack the mental fortitude to convert from “February” to “02”?  Did you REALLY need to ask me what number month February is?  Because, let me tell you dude, the problems don’t get any easier as you get older.

3)  Maybe you haven’t taken biology yet.  Or maybe you spent all of it scratching your name into the lab tables.  But seriously, don’t bag my strawberries and bananas with my raw chicken.  And seriously, SERIOUSLY, don’t make me explain why doing so is A Really Bad Idea.  I guess ShopRite doesn’t do much training for you on cell biology and epidemiology and infectious diseases, but the short answer to your stunned “why?” should have been “because I don’t want to shit my ass off” instead of the kinder, gentler, “Because it’s not a good idea to bag raw meat with produce.  In fact, don’t ever bag raw meat with anything other than raw meat, ever.”  You’re lucky my kids were there.

Now please, go grow a brain.

The physics of feet

How is it possible that shoes that seemed comfortable and awesome yesterday when I bought them were tight and weird and chaffing today?  I hate that.  And it’s not that bought-the-shoes-in-the-morning thing; I tried these bad boys on at 5:30 p.m.

So disappointing.

Luckily I only wore them for about 2 minutes before I realized they weren’t going to work out, so exchanging them for the pair I knew I should have bought instead shouldn’t be a problem.  Too bad that other pair is $30 more.

Shoes are a continuing source of angst in my life.  You see, I am a woman with size 11 feet.  If you’re a guy I’m sure that means nothing to you, so let me just say my feet are honkin’ big and my shoe size is not all that common.  I feel fortunate, at least, that they did not get any bigger with having kids – if anything they got a bit smaller.  (Yes, pregnancy can make your feet bigger.  Maybe you need a bigger base to support the bigger boobs you can end up with.)  Regardless, finding stylish, attractive, comfortable shoes is not an easy proposition when most shoe manufacturers seem to be in denial that women’s feet could be anything bigger than a 9.  Yes, yes, most shoes go up to a size 10, but even those are pretty scarce if you want to find them.  But 11 is even more scarce.

Sometimes I get lucky.  I found a website trying to clear out inventory of my running shoes, and the only sizes they had left were 6’s and 11’s, so I just got in the mail a second pair of running shoes for half of what I paid for my first pair.  That made me happy.

But mostly, shoe shopping is often an exercise in frustration.  I like to shop at DSW Shoe Warehouse – not necessarily because they carry a ton of shoes that come in a size 11, but because all their shoes are out on the sales floor and you look for the sizes yourself.  There’s nothing more annoying than being in a ‘normal’ shoe store or shoe department in a department store and picking out five shoes you like, only to have the salesperson come back snickering, 20 minutes after going back to look for your shoes, “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t have any of these styles in your size.”  In other words, get out of here, Sasquatch, before I call out a hunting party.  (I will say Norstrom’s is a delightful exception to that.  They regularly carry size 11’s in their shoes.)

Anyway, at least I know when I go back tomorrow, there is an alternate pair to be had, and hopefully they will not disappoint.

Old-school outlet shopping

Remember when outlet shopping first hit the scene, like 25 years ago (or maybe even longer)?  If you don’t or you were too young, let me share.  Outlets were a place where manufacturers could dump their surpluses, their leftovers, their slightly irregulars, and you could get monster bargains.  The stores themselves were bare-bones.  Stuff was often in piles vs. hung up, or if it was hung up the racks were looooooooooong and in rows.  You had to work a bit to find what you were looking for, but if you found it, ka-ching!

Then outlet shopping got “big”.  The demand for outlet shopping surpassed the supply of leftovers and slightly irregulars.  Every locale wanted to have an outlet mall.  Outlet malls because tourist destinations.

So now, there are outlet malls all over the place, and they simply aren’t what they used to be.  Heck, they don’t even come close to fitting the mold of the outlet mall I knew from my youth.  Outlet malls are just like regular malls now, save two features:

  1. The stores are arranged by manufacturer rather than vendor.  E.g., instead of Macy’s, Nordstrom, etc. you have Calvin Klein, Jones New York, etc.
  2. Outlet malls can get away with being outdoor even in cold weather climates, because they are “bargain” malls and they can’t afford roofs, or something.

We took a trip yesterday to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, which is a half-hour from our house.  (All the outlet malls these days are “Premium Outlets”.  Maybe that’s where the difference is.)  But, aside from having to bundle up between stores, I don’t much get how the merchandise, or the prices, are much different than if I walked into any cookie-cutter mall in North America.  (Mexico excluded, I assume.  But I’ve never been there, maybe they have awesome malls.  My apologies to Mexico if I’m making an ass of you and me.)

There are, of course, exceptions.  The Stride Rite outlet is well-known to be a harbinger of good deals on quality children’s shoes.  It is the sole reason we made the trek to Woodbury.   (Well, officially I think it’s Harriman or Central Valley.  Woodbury is a town or two over; I guess Woodbury sounds more hoity-toity than Harriman.)  Jake is sporting himself a size 5.5 XW shoe size these days.  In layman’s speak, he has duck feet.  Therefore I cannot get him shoes at Target, because the ping-pong paddles he has for dogs simply won’t fit into their affordable shoes.  Stride Rite, therefore, is the only place I can in good conscience outfit his feet.  However, if you walk into a Stride Rite at your local mall and ask for an affordable pair of shoes, they will laugh at you.  I think it is store policy.  Stride Rite shoes regularly sell for $45-60 in the regular mall.  However, yesterday we got Jake two pairs of shoes — a pair of sandals for our trip to Aruba and a pair of sneakers — for $50.  Still not Target-cheap, but a vast improvement over mall prices.

The other exception is The Children’s Place.  While they have some regular priced merchandise around the perimeter, their store is largely filled with what I’m guessing is regular-store clearance stuff that they want to get out of the regular stores, for awesome prices.  Yesterday we got four or five assorted sweaters and fleece tops, a couple pairs of socks, a couple pairs of tights, a pack of underwear, a pair of mittens, a winter hat, and a pair of pants for $23.

And we found a few other deals, which I won’t bore you with.  But, I can find deals at my regular mall.

Some stores are blatantly just copies of the stores in the regular mall.  Disney and Bose come to mind.  Same stuff, same prices.  Outlet location.  And for the life of me I cannot figure out the difference between Carter’s and Carter’s outlets now.  Even a few years ago, there was a difference.  Now… not so much.

All in all, yesterday was a fun day, we hung out as a family and accomplished our primary objective of shoes for Jake, so I’m not complaining.  I could have lived without Lane’s poop accident (which necessitated the purchase of pants and underwear at The Children’s Place) but otherwise, good day.

He’s so nice, he’ll crack your head open and throw a bat at you.

Most everyone knows there is some sort of baseball steroid scandal going on.

This morning, ESPN aired live testimony from Capitol Hill of Roger Clemens, famed major league pitcher, vehemently denying that he ever took steroids or human growth hormone.

Honestly, I don’t care if he did. I don’t care if he didn’t. The whole thing has left a really bitter taste in my mouth. If he did, I really wish he would just man up and admit it. If he didn’t, I feel bad for him. How does he get his reputation back? His name will be forever tarnished and associated with the whole scandal.

I don’t really like Roger Clemens, mostly because my impression of him over the years is that he isn’t a very nice person. He seems to be pretty angry, and have a pretty bad temper. I will agree with anyone who says he is a great pitcher. For sure, he has carved his place in the upper echelon of men who have pitched in the Major Leagues.

But he’s not nice. Oh I’m sure he’s done nice things in his life, but he’s not nice, according to my tenet of If you’re nice to me, but rude to the waiter, then you’re not a nice person. A browse through his Wikipedia article (which, yes, I know… it’s Wikipedia… ) provides the following snippets:

Hall of Fame slugger Hank Aaron angered the pitcher by saying that pitchers should not be eligible for the MVP. “I wish he were still playing,” Clemens responded. “I’d probably crack his head open to show him how valuable I was.”

His reputation has always been that of a pitcher unafraid to throw close to batters. Clemens led his league in hit batsmen only once, in 1995, but he has been among the leaders in several other seasons.

Clemens has also attracted controversy over the years for his outspoken comments, such as his complaints about having to carry his own luggage through an airport and his criticism of Fenway Park for being a subpar facility.

But the incident that stands out for me, a lifelong Mets fan, was his ongoing bad blood with Mike Piazza, which culminated in Roger Clemens chucking a piece of very sharp broken bat at Piazza.

Clemens throwing bat

The reason why I bring up his niceness – or lack thereof – is because of his testimony today in front of the congressional subcommittee investigating steroids in major league baseball. Frank and I were watching as Roger Clemens gave his opening statement. Transcripts are not yet available online as far as I can find but during his statement he said something to the effect of, “If I am guilty of anything, it’s that I’m nice. Perhaps I’m even too nice.”

And then Frank and I peeled ourselves off the floor when we were done with our fit of laughter.

Plumbing God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Yes, it is true.  I am foresook.

A couple weeks ago we had a water outage, and it wasn’t fun.  And I am pretty sure I never bored you with it then, but we were on a boil-water-order for four days after the water came back on.  Couldn’t use tap water to cook, do many grooming tasks, wash dishes, etc.  Fun times all around.

Yesterday I discovered water in our basement.  Long story short, it was because The Schmekl‘s toilet line was overflowing.  Ewww.  A plumber has been here, and he surmises that the problem seems to have corrected itself.  I hope so.  I have laundry stranded in the washing machine and dryer below, which will all get re-washed since it shared the same air with The Schmekl’s poop.

What is it with men and shoes?

Frank owns three pairs of work shoes: an everyday black pair, and everyday brown pair, and a dressier black pair that he can wear with suits.

His brown pair, oh they have seen better days.  We can’t pin it down exactly but we are pretty sure he bought them at least five years ago, maybe six or seven.  So we went to the mall yesterday to get him a pair of shoes.  We went to DSW Shoe Warehouse.  (I do love that store.  I wear size 11 shoes, and it ain’t always easy to find shoes in that size.  DSW and Nordstrom’s are the only places I have decent luck.  Online, too, but online lacks the tactile satisfaction and instant gratification of bricks-and-mortar shoe shopping.)

We found a pair of brown Eccos.  Really nice looking, Frank reported they were very comfortable.  They were $120 and he scoffed.  I explained to him some basic shoe logic — they are an investment of sorts – if wears them for three years, that is only $40 a year.  This seemed to thwart his initial knee-jerk OMG reaction and he carried the box with him as he tried on other shoes.

Then I showed him the clearance section in the back, and his eyes lit up.  Bargains!  He was beside himself with glee.  To his credit, he persevered through, and found a clearance pair of Bostonians, which he liked nearly as much as the Eccos, on clearance for $47.

He has seriously needed a new pair of brown shoes for a year.  He could have gotten a new pair two years ago.  I think he wore the old pair to work today, even though he brought the new ones home yesterday.

He criticizes me for having too many shoes, for having shoes I don’t need.  I would argue he has a related affliction — he gets too attached to the shoes he already owns.

That’s using your schmekl

Right now we are subletting an apartment from a man named Michael.  We share a house; we live on the first floor and Michael lives above us.  Michael’s mother used to live where we live, but she passed away a few months ago, creating the vacancy.

Michael simply defies description.  Picture a caricature of the dweebiest, creepiest, smallest, weirdest, introverted, middle-aged Jewish man you can think of, and you probably have a fair image of Michael.  Except Michael has a full head of hair.  And is really into jazz.

Honestly I don’t think Michael looks especially Jewish, but he sounds Jewish.  Anytime I talk to him (which I try to avoid as much as possible, given the weird and creepy factors) I keep waiting for him to tell me about the shpilkes in his geneckteckessoink.  

But all that is really beside the point.  The man has loud orgasms.  Often.  In all his creepy weirdness he has managed to be dating a rather attractive Hispanic woman, which were his mother still alive, she would probably think it was completely meshugeh and she would most certainly think it was a shande.  I assume I’m mostly hearing them shtuping but I also assume at least occasionally he’s operating by himself.  Talk about adding to the creepy factor all around.

Shudder.

But seriously, we’re operating on the famine end of things around here.  It’s rough to know, first-hand, that Michael is having a feast.

Oy vey!

(Yes, BeThisWay, I did have to look up how to spell schmekl, and a couple other words.  I promise I actually knew all the words though!!  I’m sure you’ll tell me how good or bad my usage is.  🙂 )

(Also, I swear this isn’t meant to be pandering to the sex tag clickers.  I just needed to vent!!)