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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Realizations of a Traveling Wench...

Yes, I've returned to all things sunshine state from the arctic tundra known as Western Mass. Had an enjoyable holiday with family and friends, put some ghosts to rest and finally snipped the cord on one pesky problem that will be no more.

All in all, a success with no unpleasant aftertaste. 'Sall good.

However, the travel itself really made for excellent blog fodder. Let me explain.

First of all - most effective birth control: Traveling with kids to or from Orlando. On the trip down, I was surrounded by 10 children. 2 in front of me, two in back of my seat (kicking no less), 2 children with their father to the side of me and 4 more scattered throughout the cabin. They were all traveling together and can I say, oh my holy hell. The parents had NO control of their Jon&Kate+10 brood and I was ready for a Xanax/Baileys cocktail by flight end. They would run up and down the aisles, sit on the edge of my seat, scream, shout, you name it. Ugh!

On my return flight back, I had one woman who would NOT discipline her child at all, indulged his massive tantrums (as did the child's father) and guess who sat in front of me - yup, you guessed it, Momma Bear and the mean Bearcub. Well Bearcub decided that he was going to be a brat ON the flight, refusing to sit (he was around 3/4), refusing to behave, constantly pushing the buttons, blasting the DVD that he would want changed constantly and the mother would calmly go "Now honey, you know you can't do that" with a giggle. By flight's end, I was ready to say "Listen, my parents would have WHUPPED me if I misbehaved like that. Get it together!" but I behaved. I mean-mugged the kid tho every time he tried to stare me down. Homey don't play that mess. You can't behave, I'll tell you to sit down before the pilot knocks you off the seat. The stewardess even hit her patience level when the mother refused to put a seat belt on the child for landing. Ugh! Well, I darted past them to get to baggage claim, thanking the heavens that I bit my tongue and didn't blast her (or Bearcub). I behaved. Well, until Momma Bear and Bearcub got on my elevator to the parking garage. Dontcha know Bearcub is throwing yet another tantrum?!?!? I looked at him, smiled at her and then looked at him again and said "Wow, kiddo - you've had a tough flight, haven't ya?" The kid shushed, looked at me strangely and knew I meant business. I had "that tone", the one that even my nephews know - "Don't mess with Auntie Lys, she'll say somethin'" The woman told me that she didn't know if she could fly to St. Thomas with the child the way he was acting up - my response "Perhaps you might want to pack some Xanax - that might help" as I walked off the elevator. Mean, kinda but man my last nerve was shot. I will say this, that child behaved PERFECTLY on the way to the car - not a peep out of his bratty behind. Maybe she saw that while you don't have to yell at the child, you also don't let the child run you. You are the adult, the child is the child. Don't get it twisted.

Secondly - Delta - BIG FAIL. We're breaking up. I don't care if you entice me with your "oooohhh - Lys you USED to fly me. I promise we'll be good" crap. I call bullshit. Straight up - bullshit. AirTran has spoiled me for any other airline. On AirTran, I can upgrade to the business class with the comfy seats and overhead bins that FIT my carry on suitcase with no problem. Delta - don't offer me an upgrade and then go "Well, you're "T" class, so no upgrade for you!". I had the $$$ at alert and you don't want this bill? Fine then - bite me. Next, the fact that your overhead bins do NOT fit my luggage and they get progressively smaller as you head back down the plane - fail. I had to bribe a stewardess (or reward) with a Starbucks card if she could get that in the overhead bin (which she did and she did, indeed, get her Starbucks card!). Finally, your drivers and their lead foot - while sometimes that's good, tell them to learn how to pump the breaks - ugh! I miss AirTran.

Bradley is NOT my favorite airport but I do appreciate the fact that they have a Dunkin' Donuts on the concourse. (Philly Int'l - take note please. Thx!) However, I wish I saw that BEFORE I bought a daggone diet coke for the plane. Oh well.

Speaking of ice coffee, when I arrived, my dad and I went out to Friendlys to grab a late dinner. Now, let me preface this with a note that not only do I like Friendlys, but I worked there for TWO years. I was a waitress and worked my way to shift manager and was damn good too. So, when our waitress, Yvette, came over to get our drink order, she told me that they don't have Ice coffee. I looked up from the menu, looked at Yvette and said: "Do you have ice?" and she responded "Yes." I then inquired "Do you have coffee?" and she quizzically said "Yes?" and then I said "Well then, I'll have an ice coffee". I said it calmly, not bitchy at all and she got all flustered. I started to feel bad but c'mon, pour the coffee over ice. The glasses are plastic y'all and it's not rocket science. Plus, back in the day, I made it all the time for customers. Think out of the box is my motto. My father told me I probably made her want to turn in her apron with how I deadpanned it. I did, however, get my ice coffee and she got a nice tip.

I went to scope out the Western Mass shopping as well and realized that due to the offerings of all things Philly, Orlando and online, I'm spoiled for any other shopping. I bought nada. I would see things and go "eeehhh - well, I could get that at home" or "eeehhh - that's IT???" It was hard to believe that I used to walk into that mall wide eyed let alone work there. Yes, I'm still a brat. However, I did learn one thing - if the mall also has a Target in it - RUN. People were drivin' those Target carts around the entire MALL and didn't just use it IN Target.

Also noteable was how I ran into some people in my old town and you know what -they haven't changed ONE iota. From living with their parents to acting the same old b.s. ways, I went "Huh??" Then again, that's their issues. It was kinda disturbing though. Will definitely be in the "Why not to attend my 20th reunion" column of Pros & Cons.

There were a ton of memories that flooded back to me, some funny and some sad. There were names I hadn't thought of in forever, but as I drove past their houses, I would go "ohhh yeah - so and so lived there". My heart broke as I drove past my old haunt, Annies, which is no more. I also took a ride past the house I shared with Mark and I really had to pat myself on the back at how, indeed, I am moving upward and onward.

All in all, good trip - however I'm ready to get to channelling my inner holiday wench and get to decorating around this joint, well, after I pop some Nyquil because, you guessed it - damn germy kids got me sick.

Oh well - how was your holiday?

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Posted by Lys :: 9:36 PM :: 6 comments

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Tis Hard Times, My Friends...

Everyone is falling on hard times and, even the City of Orlando appears to be feeling the wallet pinch (or, perhaps, did Buddy cut the holiday budget?)

See what we encountered Wednesday on the daily 'Bucks run - The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Last year, the City Hall Tree was ablaze with lights, ornaments and more on a giant tree. This year's tree is scrawnier and sparsely decorated.

I guess it really is tough times ahead!


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Posted by Lys :: 8:36 AM :: 2 comments

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...

As I begin to face the ghosts of my past, I reflected on many of the blessings in my life which I'm grateful for. I'm thankful for my family, my dear friends which are like my family, my health, my home and all of you.

I've learned from experiences which have shaped me as an individual. People have come into my life and I pay attention. As I stood in one of the spots where I would often go to think and where Nick would find me, I thought about it all and smiled. I am,indeed, truly blessed.

Thank you all and have a wonderful holiday.

Posted by Lys :: 1:32 AM :: 0 comments

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And... Cooking in Stilettos is Back..

As you all know, things in the Lys' household are crazy crazy crazy.

So, while I travel up to the cold cold North known as Western Massachusetts, you can catch some new posts over here at Cooking In Stilettos - my culinary home on the web. Plus - come close, I gotta tell you a secret...

*whispering*

There's a contest on Cooking In Stilettos.

Did you hear me - CONTEST! For goodies from the Italian Market.

So go over there, show a gal some comment luv and put in your entry!

Have a happy Thanksgiving, y'all. I'll be back on Saturday (or if I really have the blogging shakes, I'll post via blackberry)

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Posted by Lys :: 4:20 PM :: 2 comments

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ulta, It's Not Me - It's You...

I've had to learn the hard way that when it comes to choosing between Ulta and Sephora, Sephora wins every. single. time.

Ulta and Sephora both sell premium beauty products, like a well stocked CVS but stocked with all things Smashbox, Jonathan Product, Too Faced and Bare Escentuals.

Now, granted - I detest the Sephora in Orlando quite frankly because Monica, the manager at the Florida Mall Sephora is what I would deem horrid. Her sales staff is just beyond rude, couldn't care less if you had a question and gossip like hens instead of waiting on customers, except for two. There are a couple girls at the store that have redeemed it out of the seventh level of hell and know the meaning of customer service.

Going to the Florida Mall is a good 30 min. out of my way. Ulta, much like Sephora, is literally 2 minutes from my house in the Altamonte Mall. Every single time I go into Ulta, I'm disappointed - with the service, the selection and the attitude. However, tonight I needed to pick up a sample size of Smashbox's Photo Finish Primer and refused to bring my big bottle because I'm stupidly attempting the carry on challenge again. (Note: Sample Size - that sucker was $17. Sample mah azz! If it didn't make my face flawless, I'd forgo the whole thing). Do I drive 45 min out of my way to the Florida Mall and back, I thought with a groan. However, I figured "Ulta has Smashbox - I'll just drop on in there". Well, like I do before ANY trip, I start browsing the aisles, trying on this, glancing at that and lo and behold not only do I have the primer but also small speakers for the iPod, travel sizes of some shampoo and conditioner that were marked $3.95 each and a couple other things.

Now, much like Sephora, Ulta has their own club - a rewards club if you will. When they first came into the Orlando area 3 years ago, I signed up. For the past TWO years, I've been bugging them to change my address to my current one and they have NOT done it. The last trip - when I picked up the Anastasia eyebrow kit - they talked me into getting a new club card for their new and improved club. When I was talking with them, they assured me it would go right in the system. Well, I didn't have my card on me tonight but figured that it was in the system.

As I'm checking out, they ring up the shampoo/conditioner - $7.00 each. I could have gotten JONATHAN for that price (well, if they carried a full product line - which they don't). I told the girl to put that crap back. She goes "Are you sure?" I told her that I would pay that for Jonathan, not some unknown name so yes I'm sure. Put. That. Back.

Total tab was about $22 so I'm mentally cursing myself out going "You should have just gone to Sephora in Holyoke, Lys. This is stupid." but I swipe my card and ask her to look up the account. The girl goes "Lys, what is your last name" and I tell her. She asks zip code and I go to give her my current one and she reads off my current address. The manager on duty looks over and goes "Nope - that's the old account". Wait a flippin' minute. WHAT? Are you telling me that AFTER I sign up for a new club account you FINALLY CHANGE MY DAMN ADDRESS.

ULTA - That's it - we're breaking up. I cursed that manager out then and there. It was bottled up for the longest so for her to come off all snotty and act basically like Monica from Sephora, I saw red. And when I saw red - I SAW RED. I told her loudly that this is why from now on Sephora will get my business because Ulta can't get their act together. She immediately throws corporate under the bus and says that it's Ulta CORPORATE not Ulta ALTAMONTE. Ummm.. nope. They both suck. And then I schooled her on what is wrong with Ulta ALTAMONTE - starting with HER.

Needless to say, Ulta you get a big FAIL in my book and, I'm not regretting this - we're breaking up for good. Don't knock on my door any more.

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Posted by Lys :: 9:15 PM :: 5 comments

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Monday, November 24, 2008

A Comical Theory...

Am I the only one who just RECENTLY got the comedy that is Big Bang Theory. What started one night 3 weeks ago of not wanting to turn the channel has turned into something MUCH bigger. Who knew I would actually LIKE this show, let alone giggle like a fiend at some of character's antics?

Yeah, drama shows and I are BFF, especially if they are crime procedural shows. Stupid comedy shows and I - notsomuch. Until now. Just wait - if I start getting the humor in Family Guy and South Park, feel free to smack a wench.

I'll be purchasing some episodes for the plane and will try to keep my laughter to a minimum. Just to be safe, I'll put an ep. of NCIS on there as well.

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Posted by Lys :: 8:34 PM :: 3 comments

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Don't Want To Be A "Stepping Stone"...

I'm flying up north to see some family and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday. It's the first time I've been back in 2 years and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm also apprehensive. I've changed and I'm not the same gal that left there eons ago to move to Orlando. My interests are different. My thought processes are different. My feelings are different.

I know I've talked about a certain someone here who I [kinda] cut out of my life. Well, there's no doubt that our paths will cross and, while we've talked briefly about possibly hanging out, I wonder if that opens the door to feelings I don't want to encounter again.

And I saw this video and I had to think - how appropriate for what I'm going to face. Let's just hope that I am strong enough to remember why I refused to be his "stepping stone."

Duffy - "Stepping Stone"

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Posted by Lys :: 12:12 AM :: 4 comments

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm In Love.... With A Shoe...

*sigh*

Aren't these Gucci Sofia High Heel Pumps divine? Yeah, I know - you're thinking "Lys, are you EVER going to get off this "Tortoiseshell" trend" and my response is a swift NEVER!

It's classic. It's trendy. It's downright gorgeous.

And, as god is my witness *in true Gone with the Wind fashion* these pumps WILL be mine.

Shush Meowmix - it could have been worse.

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Posted by Lys :: 9:05 PM :: 5 comments

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DSL Wrasslin'...

So, after the hell that has been this week and all that has gone on, quite frankly, I don’t have TIME to sit and call a call center to fix the computer at the moment. I’ve been getting home too late and too burned out to even think about having my “Come to Jesus” session with Embarq.

I’ve researched the problem online and printed out the wireless router stuff (which, btw, NEVER works in my house probably due to some stupid reason and I manually connect). The wireless signal around these parts is weaker than Screech from Saved by the Bell trying to win a boxing match and I try to do as much as I can on my own. Y’all know that call center people and I will not get along. Its always the way – talk to me like I don’t know what I’m doing and having me go through the same actions that I have already done BEFORE I called you and insist that I do it again because you are following a template is enough to have my temper erupt quicker than a pissed off volcano.

And, while Joey@Embarq may be one of my fave people for even taking the time to research this blog and my issue, the call center itself gets a big “FAIL” by means of their prompt menu. See, I was on hold and told that it was a 20 min. wait for Internet/DSL people to get to me. Fine – speaker phone that puppy and type this post in Word is my thought while I watch Bobby Flay truss a turkey. However, to GET to this menu, one of the questions is “Internet/DSL initial set up” and then while they keep telling you that there is a hold (like I don’t know that) they tell you that “help is available via their WEBSITE”

OK – pump those brakes, what was that? Help is on the WEBSITE – a WEBSITE I can’t get to because, ohhh, I don’t know MY INTERNET DOESN’T WORK!?!?!?!?!

Yeah, I had to laugh at the stupidity of the whole thing. It’s like we know you need support and you might need the internet/dsl set up (because when it’s this bad, I have to reset the whole damn thing) but you can get help your damn self and not bother our call center and find it all by yourself on the INTERNET.

Well ain’t that somethin’…

Pray for the call center people please – I might have to curse out a wench. But I look at it this way – I pay a fortune for not only phone but internet and considering that a call 3 streets away is considered LONG DISTANCE in Florida, I think I’m going to make the call center people work a bit.


Don’t even get me started on the bad music that they play on hold. It’s like George and the Parliament funkadelic meets vintage Prince meets MUZAK. Shoot. Me. Now… I’m lookin’ for my 70s dance shoes.

I should have made a drink first.

UPDATE:

Well, per Embarq – they think I have a faulty modem. Thankfully I didn’t have a call center based somewhere overseas but it was somewhere local. For that they get a pass. So tomorrow or Saturday, I have to go trade out my modem and, if that doesn’t work, Embarq and I tango again. I had to laugh when the tech asked me to check my connections, plug and unplug, make sure it’s in the right part of the wall, etc. etc. etc. DOH – I already did that. And, when I forewarned him that I was “blond” his response was “You think I didn’t already know that?” Not to mention, he chastised me for the beeping fire alarm and told me to put a “battery in it”. That chirp doesn’t bother me and when he can tell me how to change a battery in one of multiple fire alarms in this spot that are on 12 ft. ceilings, I’m all ears. Til then, chirp away little birdy. Chirp away. (It pisses Meowmix off too). However, I appreciated his effort and his candor. They have a good egg on their hands – even if he was a little “rough around the edges”. Works for me.

Embarq – we’ll dance again later. Of that, I’m sure.

SATURDAY UPDATE:
Tis fixed. Tis working. The angels are singing. The heavens have parted and your gal has access to the internets once again. So, clue me in – what did I miss?

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Posted by Lys :: 1:23 PM :: 3 comments

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Friday, November 21, 2008

A Penny for One's Thoughts.. Meme Style..

Well, Shoe Addict did a meme that I'm totally jackin' today because, even though I'm not doing NahBlahBlah this month, I figure I can torture y'all and give those NahBlahBlah victims some luv and Meme ideas...

So, basically it's a one word question and you can get as wordy as you want with your answer. And, for those that can ramble (like moi), that's refreshing. Ready? Set? GO!
  1. Clothes: I'm more classic style ala Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, etc. with a bit of eclectic as well evidenced by my shoes. C'mon now. Even casually, I don't feel right in sneakers unless it's at the gym. So, heels or sassy flats it is.
  2. Furniture: I adore things that are simple and are dark cherry or mahogany.
  3. Sweet: Salted caramels. If you haven't tried them, you MUST! I Die!
  4. City: This is a one word one - Philadelphia. It's my [second] home, my [first] love, and, eventually, my future. Many of my close friends and favorite places are there. There is no other city that does it for me like Philly. The minute I get off the plane, I am at peace (well, most of the time). When I have to leave to come back to Orlando, I'm sad.
  5. Drink: Ice Coffee. If it's a cocktail, then it has to be Ant's Cable Car Martinis or Blueberi Stoli and Lemonade.
  6. Music: Freestyle music stole my ear years ago. I love many different types tho. If you saw my iPod you'd go "What the ?!?!?!?!" so it's all over the place. Between Staind, Joe Zangie, Godsmack, Randori, Christina Aguilera, PCD, Fergie, Phyllis Hyman, Musiq Soulchild, Keith Anderson - again - all over the place.
  7. TV Series: Ahhhh... if I had to pick one - NCIS. But since I don't, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI: Vegas, Lipstick Jungle, Entourage, Friday the 13th, the Series (Shut up! I KNOW!), FNCooking Shows and a few others are on the DVR.
  8. Film: I'm not a movie gal (blame H.) but the ones I do like are Serendipity, One Fine Day, The Godfather (I and II only, please), Ocean's Eleven, Twelve AND Thirteen, Sex & The City, I Capture the Castle, Fools Rush In and pretty much anything with the Clooney (well, except that movie where he sang - which was all kinds of wrong).
  9. Workout: Pilates if (and when) I have time. Other than that it's walking and the "Stiletto Workout" (meaning I walk everywhere in 4" stilettos. Calves are seriously toned.)
  10. Pastries: Not really a fan - but a cranberry/orange scone hits the spot on occasion.
  11. Coffee: Iced Nonfat Pumpkin Spice Latte or Iced Nonfat Caramel Macchiato please. Stress the ICED, please. Hot coffee means I'm in need of an IV jolt (or I just want to use my new snazzy Phillies coffee mug and piss off some Tampa Bay Lemmings around the office).

If you do the meme, let me know in the comments!

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Posted by Lys :: 3:47 PM :: 1 comments

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adventures In The Liquor Cabinet...

I have to admit, I have a pretty well stocked liquor cabinet - not necessarily for my own enjoyment but for guests when they come over. And, as I've told SL numerous times, should I move, I'm bequeathing most of it to him except for those bottles of booze that I smuggled through customs (and no, I'm not Capone but in all honesty, it was only THREE different bottles of Captain that I couldn't get in the States and a bottle of Ice Wine. Meowmix is my witness. Want a tip - go to a male custom agent, be blonde and have cleavage. Works. Every. Time.)

My friends are a diverse group - some like their Captain like Kar and yours truly. Some like their wine like JoJo, SL and a host of others. Some like their Jagermeister and Red Bull, some demand Kahlua (just in case Meowmix comes to town) and people like Les go batchit crazy for Cuervo Margaritas. I also have some different vodkas on hand, some bourbon, SoCo, DiSaranno, and other fun stuff. Soirees at my house often mean one of our buddies bartending, yours truly cookin' like a fiend and fun is to be had.

Well, I rarely have more than a drink or two at night because, well, with my Irish and Indian heritage, I'm always worried that the firewater could potentially become a habit and I'm always cautious to NEVER drink when I'm seriously upset. Mad, eeehh okay. Blowing off some steam, sure. Down right depressed, super angry, etc. - hell to the no - pass me a coffee or Diet Coke instead. And, I also tend to cook a bit so when there is liquor called for in a recipe, 9 times out of 10, I have something that will work in the Liquor Cabinet.

This week has been trying, to say the least - stuff with the day to day, stuff with the personal, PR stuff, and so on. However, I did make two recent acquisitions based on friends' recommendations and, in a spirit of adventure, decided to give them a shot.

So, without further adieu, here is the Good, the Bad and the Ugly...

The Good:

Castille Del Diablo Merlot... Love Love LOVE! I had originally bought a bottle for SL as thanks for him babysitting the evil one aka Shadow when I was in Philly. It was featured on Philly.com by one of the best sommeliers there so I knew that if it passed her muster, well then, he'd enjoy. However, when he told me how divine it was, I HAD to get my own bottle and, just my luck, it was on sale. Let me tell you, I cracked it open early last night and it was AMAZING!!! However, there was a little somethin' wrong with the bottle neck because my normal stopper would not fit in it (and I didn't think to use the cork *LOL*) preventing me from putting the remainder in the fridge so, ummm... well I had to finish it. Couldn't let a decent bottle of wine go to waste, right? Granted it was about 3 glasses in there but that was enough for me. I was out like a light - best sleep I've had in months... (and no hangover - well, ok a slight headache but that disappeared quickly)... There will always be a bottle on hand from now on in the wine cabinet. And I'll be seeing if I can get some "adjustable stoppers" or something.

The Bad:

SL and I got into a convo about Bourbon after The Great Redneck Debate as he was explaining to me how Bourbon is a southern thing. Me being a damn Yankee, well - I'm a little slow on the uptake, ya know? Now, I don't really drink the stuff but after another co-worker telling me how amazing Makers Mark was, well, I swiped a bottle (again - great deal and I can cook with it!). Some of my other friends drink it so I figured that it would be fine for the cabinet. Well, feeling adventurous and in need of a change, your gal decided to try it over the weekend. Well, I have to report that upon first sip, I winced, cursed the heavens and started sputtering. WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SWILL!!!?!?!?!?! Most liquors I can drink straight but this was downright VILE! I tried it again and, alas, had the same reaction. Not one to let good alcohol go to waste, I decided to mix it with some eggnog that I had in the house as a test for a good cocktail for the holiday soiree I will be throwing. Again with the sputter. Again with the wincing. Again with the cursing which then led to

THE UGLY:

Yup, you guessed it. That glass and it's contents went STRAIGHT DOWN THE DRAIN. SL, Rifleman and y'all can slap me upside the head for infraction of the alcohol abuse policy but hot damn that stuff is NOT for me. Guess who's getting the bottle of Makers Mark that is in my cabinet collecting dust - yup, SL.

I'll stick with my Captain, thankyouverymush!

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Posted by Lys :: 9:39 PM :: 5 comments

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Moving From The Great Redneck Debate to Handcuff Debacle...

I have to admit. I apparently have a terminal case of "foot in mouth" disease. I'll make an "off the cuff" remark in a convo and next thing I know, I'm finding out that it's a story that isn't on my "Full Disclosure" list. So, here's your turn to laugh at my "blondeness".

Last week, while in conversation with my father, I made a crack about something and said that I should tell you guys about the Handcuff debacle. Well, he thought I was referencing Meowmix's informative post about Handcuffs from a few months prior. However, my reference was not that debacle at all but an incident in college. Quickly, I started backtracking, realizing my oops while timidly commenting, "You knew about that - when Bri handcuffed me in college and I missed my probation & parole final?" Well, clearly he did not. And I needed to 'fess up quick. (Much like the tattoo incident but that's for another day). So, in the interest of full disclosure (and coming clean 15 years later), I'm putting the whole story out there.

Back in I think early 1993, I was splitting time between two colleges - one of which was an all-girls college that I was attending full time and the other school, WNEC, where I took some classes as part of their "School Exchange" program (and where A. & his boy Bri went to school). My college BFF, Barb, and I both had the same class at WNEC and we spent alot of time in their Junior/Senior Housing - Gateway - which was where A., Bri and their 4 roommates lived in an apartment suite. In between classes at the 1st School (where I was a pre-law major), we would often be hanging out at the Suite. Plus, to travel between the two colleges, we'd take the back roads which, because of the harsh winter, were ripe with potholes. So, it was not uncommon for A. and/or Bri to get a call asking for assistance with "Tire Issues" because, well, a gal can't do it her damn self (well I could but why should I when A. always offered to play Sir. Newt, right?)

Well, as the weather got warmer, we spent more time during in between our classes up at WNEC studying, chillin' out with the gang, playing with the ferret (R.I.P. Bandit) and, of course, causing some mischief. The boys loved their pranks and yours truly didn't have much of a sense of humor then. (Well, a dry humor but only A. tended to get that.)

One afternoon in the spring, the boys had some spring fever and "summoned" Barb and I to the suite. Well, being the dutiful student *cough*, I made it clear that we only had a short bit of time because I had a final exam in my fave class, Probation & Parole. Bri assured me that all was cool so Barb and I headed over.

We arrived sans tire problems and trotted into the apartment and next thing I recall, Bri is grabbing my arms, swiftly handcuffing me with A.'s cuffs (he was a MP in the reserves), seats me on the floor of their kitchen and tells me that the cuffs would NOT be removed until I actually stood up. First of all, do you know how hard it is to stand up from a seated position with your hands cuffed behind your back? NOT FUN. Well, I surprisingly didn't lose my temper and, after calmly plotting my steps, accomplished the task. Barb also got handcuffed and I vaguely remember her chasin' the hell out of Bri outside of the dorms when she got out of those contraptions. Of course A. knew nothing about it because HE was in class and missed all the fun. (But that didn't stop him from calling me later to tease me unmercifully).

To add to the drama, I missed my final exam. Thankfully, when I told the professor, the story was so incredulous, he laughed and let me take the exam later. I did have an "A" in that class so even if he did knock my grade down a few points for lateness, I still wound up doing well.

After the incident, the boys thought I was going to blow my stack. However, I'm a Scorpio (which they often forgot) and I knew then the best revenge was served cold. And, in all fairness, two people clearly needed payback - that being A. and Bri. The other roommates were unwitting accomplices in the matter and, since Bri worked for my father at the time, I could quite simply just pull some shenanigans at the plant if I so wished. However, he'd expect that. A., well I knew exactly how to torture him but that was way too easy. Something drastic had to be done to those two.

Well, they did get payback alright, in the form of being handcuffed to a towel bar in the suite bathroom during one of their Saturday night parties, accomplished with the assistance of Ry, one of A.'s roommates and a few well-made cocktails. For graduation, I got a little handcuff charm that I wore commemorating not only my major but also that incident.

So, since then, whenever the handcuff debacle is brought up and I'm in the presence of either of the two stooges, one will always sheepishly laugh and say "Yeah, that's when Lys got her sense of humor".

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Posted by Lys :: 8:11 AM :: 0 comments

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

DSL Deprived...

Blogging via blackberry while watching Iron Chef America - Thanksgiving Special. Can I say that Morimoto is adorable and I don't know what it is about Michael Symon or Bovvy Flay that makes me want to hit the lotto so I can hire either as a personal chef. I'll behave...

So the DSL is not working up in the apartment. The bill is paid so that's not the issue but all help questions direct me to the web for assistance. Umm if I can't get internet, how can that help? So, tomorrow, I'll have a quick come to Jesus session with Embarq, get the phone number for wherever their call center is, pray for patience, pour a BIG glass of wine and then call, try not to lose my temper, ask for a manager twice, get disconnected, pour another glass of wine and then somehow find a solution to the problem.

What sucks is this weekend I had planned on moving Cooking In Stilettos to a new platform and no such luck. *sigh* Oh well, I'll make do with what I have for now and plan on moving it for the first of the year.

In other news, I'm making my Philly wish list. I went on the hunt for Jose Garces cookbook tonight and was kicking myself because I could have picked up an autographed copy when I was in Philly last week. I found Marc Vietri's cookbook but was perplexed in trying to find anything else. There are so many restaurants in Philly I'm dyin' to try that I think a trip in Feb is in order.

I'm probably going to be cleaning off my cookbook shelf so if I do have some that y'all might enjoy, let me know.

Other than that, I think I need a culinary refresher course. I think a fondling session of all things Le Creuset, Pillvuyt and Emile Henry at Williams Sonoma coupled with a Neiman's Loubou fondling is in order...

What do you have on the agenda this week?

Posted by Lys :: 9:26 PM :: 5 comments

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Paying It Forward...

What's that saying, "If you hurt, I hurt. If you bleed, I bleed."

I love those commercials for the insurance company where they talk about paying it forward. You know the commercial where the woman sees someone crossing a street, not paying attention and she pulls him back to the curb. Someone passing by sees her action and then helps someone else and it become a full circle of good-heartedness. Do I believe that can happen? Quite simply, yes.

I believe that people are compassionate. Those selfish s.o.b.s that don't think about how their action (or inaction) can affect someone - well that's their karma issue. However, speaking from my own experience, I've tried to be a little bit nicer, patient and more understanding - well, except when I have to deal with ineptitude but that's a whole other story. I believe in paying it forward.

This week, as I'm getting ready for work, I decided to shut off the iPod and listen to Doc & Grace on K92. Now, I adore Doc and he's a good egg (even if he is a Tampa Bay Rays fan) and he's always been one for saying "If it's for the community, call in". Well, that morning, he had Pat Michaels of Florida's Blood Center on the radio talking about a blood drive. Now, I see those blood drive vans in front of the office all. the. time. and think "I should give" but I don't because, quite frankly, I'm a chicken. Needles + me + blood = Are you flippin' kiddin' me??? Whenever I have to give blood at the doctors, I freak out. Hell, I don't even know my blood type. But, the urge to give is still there.

Well, on the radio interview was not only Pat but this woman talking about her daughter Talia who has Neuroblastoma. Turns out, there was a blood drive for Talia today at Fashion Square Mall from 11-5.


I thought I was hearing things - Neuroblastoma?? Wait - the childhood cancer? The dreaded disease that our friend Justine passed away from? The more she talked about the cancer and what her daughter was facing, the more and more I thought of Justine's last days and how she was caught so late in the game that there was no cure. However, that was in 1990. It's now 2008 and Talia has been in remission already once. However, she needs blood and platelets to hopefully give her a new lease on life. Talia is 9 and such a courageous little girl. You can read her story over here.

Not to mention, Jenny of All Eyes on Jenny and Sarah at Pink Shoe Diaries have talked often about their dear friend Dink and her platelet issues. So, you know me, if I hear something more than once, I pay attention. So, after reading about Dink's experience with platelets and Talia's need for platelets, I was floored. Apparently, platelets can help someone with cancer. It's not just the blood, but the stuff IN the blood that they need.

Well, I know that this is something I HAVE to do. So, today, I head over to Fashion Square Mall and, don't ya know, the place is packed. However, the time frame didn't allow me to stay over an hour as I had to get back to work. So, after talking with the uber fabulous Pamela, when I got back to the 9to5, I made a call, set up a profile and next Saturday I'll be at "Headquarters" paying it forward as they are draining 10% of my blood. Because, if it helps spare a little one (or big one) that is affected by the dreaded "C", then good. I've done my part. While I couldn't have helped Justine while she was sick, I can, however, help someone else beat this thing.

If you are in the Orlando area (hell, wherever you are), please call your local blood center and donate. Pay it forward people, pay it forward.

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Posted by Lys :: 2:01 PM :: 6 comments

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Great Redneck Debate

OK, while I've wrangled with posting this or not, all caution is thrown to the wind and I'm about to toss two dear people under the bus (as it's running, no less)... Sorry guys!

Some brief background:

Well, y'all know I'm originally from Massachusetts but I am, and always will be, a Philly gal at heart. That goes without argument. As such, I'm more of a city gal who sometimes lives on the outskirts of city chaos - more relaxing. However, don't get it twisted - country and me - NON-MIXY THINGS. I need some sort of people millin' about and police sirens to feel at home (shush with any police uniform references MB!)

Meowmix lives in New Hampshire, pretty much a small town on the outskirts of the bigger city of Manchester. Lots of back roads, dirt paths and such. Meowmix doesn't have a country mindset though but she is a biker gal. (Betcha didn't guess that with those sassy red shoes and all).

Rifleman lives in Philadelphia and, by all appearances and his accent, the boy is a city boy through and through. Regardless of him going to school in South Carolina, I would never peg him for being a redneck, even if he's a country music aficionado and likes his bourbon.

OK, onto the story at hand.

As y'all might guess, like with many of our trips to Philly, there is always chaotic things going on and its a whirlwind. So, Saturday night in Philly, Meowmix and I went to have a quick cocktail with Rifleman to catch up. Plus, not torturing Rifleman while in Philly just doesn't seem right, ya know. Well, after having dinner on South Street with Reese, Meowmix and I headed over to our fave spot in Manayunk, head downstairs and Ant, on cue, starts mixing the cocktails. As I was in NO shape to drink after the night before (your gal had a hangover that only got worse as the day progressed), I decided that a diet coke was in order. Of course Rifleman protested and eventually some Captain made its appearance. Hey, after college, I figure, I have a built up immunity to the stuff. I can't remember what Meowmix was drinking but, with Ant's heavy hand, it had to be lethal.

Somehow, some way the discussion progressed from Rifleman's canary singing about me trying to bribe him for b'day party intel and Meowmix's drunk texts re: eye candy into what will forever be deemed "The Great Redneck Debate".

How did a redneck discussion start, you ask?

Well, Meowmix was showing Rifleman a new pic of her new boytoy, Bucket Boy, and Rifleman, on first glance, promptly exclaimed "He's a REDNECK!" What about Bucket Boy screams redneck? The fact he drives a TRUCK with a BUCKET for work? C'mon now. It's not like he's pickin up Meowmix for a date in that there vehicle. However, channeling his inner Irish stubborn streak, Rifleman refused to sway from his opinion. Bucket Boy was a redneck and that was that. Well, Meowmix, not having an affection for all things red, started to protest and next thing you know, the words are flyin'.

Rifleman kept insisting he didn't have a problem with it as he, too, was a redneck. I strongly disagreed, thinkin' that he was a damn fool as he was a Philly boy. Urban Cowboy, I can deal with. Redneck - ummm.. Are you for REAL? I mean, seriously, how do you get redneck from likin' Toby Keith, I just couldn't comprehend. Just to throw salt on the wound, Rifleman decided that there was another closet member to the redneck brigade and straight out called Meowmix a redneck, encouraging her to accept her fate.

Now as some of you are on Facebook, I'm sure you saw some of the status changes between us. Here's why. Since Rifleman had to mill about the spot and attend to some other people in the club, he decided to take the war to the web when he was away from us. There were text messages galore, Facebook status changes, and the occasional argument as he sullied over with his bourbon in hand to again prove his point. At one point, Meowmix zinged him hard and he's making motions of jumping on the bar and making cat scratch marks at her. (She did get a little vicious but c'mon, he's a big boy - he can suck it up and deal - or can he, a gal wonders?)


Now, y'all know I don't have a sensitivity meter and I'm quite blunt and, while I don't know if it was the lethal Captain & Diet that Rifleman insisted on mixing himself (99% captain and 1% diet - ummm... dude are you trying to KILL ME??) or the shot of tequila I had to imbibe in order to deal with Rifleman's revelations, but I made my distaste clear with a sharp "Honey, I don't do redneck. That's Polk County and y'all know I just don't!" (As you can tell, I'm not a fan of Polk County, Florida or any of its equivalents).

Meowmix even echoed the story of when her and I went on the cruise a few years back and I met a nice boy who, lo and behold, turns out he was straight out red and from Polk County no less - IN THE BAHAMAS. (Leave it to me to meet a great guy on a tropical island who turns out to be the one type I said I'd NEVER be with, that being redneck). As y'all know, there ARE no exceptions in my rule book and the red rule was one I refused to sway from.

Well, Rifleman had this look on his face, like he was stunned for a sec, points to himself and declares "Lys, I'M A REDNECK!" "Gimme a break!" I thought, refusing to believe his war cries and write it off to him trying to save face with his whole Urban Cowboy mystique. Then, out of the blue, one of his boys Mark (or, as Meowmix calls him, McYummy) comes behind the bar and tells us "Girls - Rifleman is a straight up redneck!!! He grew up in South Carolina. How could you NOT know? His favorite football team is the GAMECOCKS!"

Now, I'm floored and I start to feel horrid for what I said as Rifleman's a good friend and I don't want him to think I'm an utter snot. Yes, I'm a snot but I'm not THAT bad, am I? Am I writing people off because of the north/south divide? How much of a bitch am I, I wonder.

Well, the night ends well, we say our goodbyes, all while Rifleman is still crowin' about his Redneck in Philly status. Fine. Meowmix [I thought] conceded and it's decided that she's a Yankee Redneck. I just accept the fact that I'm a snot and move on. Apparently, the north and south can get along (Lys note: Reminder, we still won the war - HA!)

The Great Redneck Debate was laid to rest, well, up until Hotfessional posts something about her putting up her holiday lights this weekend. So, I remarked "My vote - don't turn them on until after Thanksgiving. And, let me just say I still have my lights on the porch from last year. Does that mean I got a touch of red(neck)???"

Hotfessional's sassy response was short, sweet and to the point. She remarked "More than a touch babe. ;-) But that's okay - you do live in Redneck country. ;-)"


HOLD UP. WAIT A MINUTE. DID I JUST READ THAT RIGHT????

I read that line a few more times and internally kept screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Lys and Redneck = NON-MIXY THINGS!! Let alone, its sacrilege even saying that I've got "more than a touch" of the red since I live now down here in "Redneck country"...


:::sigh:::

My northern wench license is really going to be revoked now. Of course now, I'm sure Meowmix and Rifleman will be having a good laugh by one of my fave bloggers callin' my ass out...

Ant - please pass the bourbon! I think I need a cocktail to deal with this one...


**Disclaimer - this post was, in no way, meant to offend or hurt anyone's feelings. Just to demonstrate that I, quite clearly, can be an idiot...

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Posted by Lys :: 3:58 PM :: 5 comments

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The One Where Meowmix Does Her First Guest Post...

Well, hi all!!!!! I am a bit nervous….This is my first guest blog ever. Well, no, let me rephrase, this is my first BLOG ever…so please bear with my crazyness.

Now, if you are a faithful follower of Lys’ blog, you know the Holli story…you know, the one where Holli finds out that her boyfriend is cheating with like 800 other girls once he’s arrested for non payment of child support?

Yeah, so….I’m Holli. So, as you know, I bought that fool a truck. A really nice truck, actually. A 2004 Eddie Bauer Expedition. Black, very spiffy, and very expensive now that I have to pay for it. But, I digress…

The problem is that I already have too many vehicles. I have a work car, a winter car, a summer car and a beater car. I mean, just how many vehicles can a gal own, right? So, I really do not have room for the beautiful yet now sullied (because of him) Expedition. So, my girlfriend, the real Holly, graciously let me put the truck behind her house. I should explain that Holly’s back yard is more like a field. There’s a greenhouse back there, a chicken coop, a bunch of farm equipment, several other vehicles and a tractor or two.

So, the FF (F***Face, as I affectionately call him) saga happened in early August. I moved the truck to Holly’s in late August. It’s November. It hasn’t been driven since it landed at Holly’s but now is a really good time of year to try and sell it, right?!?!?? So I go over there and not surprisingly, the truck doesn’t start. Not only doesn’t it start but the little clicker thing that is supposed to unlock the doors doesn’t even work. Ugh.

Well, I may be a lot of things….but I am NOT a mechanic. But, as luck would have it, my evil twin (Twinnie) is dating a tow truck guy!!!!! So, I call her up and beg for help. I knew I was headed off to Phili on Thursday and after talking with her & BB (the tow truck guy) we decided we were going to move it on Tuesday night. On BB’s tow truck is what’s known as a “jump pack”. Apparently, you can charge this thing on your cigarette lighter and it will jump your battery. Hmmm. Ok. And then if that didn’t work, BB would just tow my/his truck out of there on his tow truck. SIMPLE, right????

Tuesday comes, I get out of work early, go vote and head for the gym. I get out of the gym around 8pm. I hook up with Twinnie and all of our plans begin to go awry. We can’t get BB on the phone. Why? Because BB’s got calls. Lots & lots of calls. Things to be towed everywhere. Ugh. It’s getting later and later…. Finally at 10pm, I told Twinnie it was now or never. So, she and I go meet BB to grab the “jump pack” and the gas can. Uh huh….can you see where this is going???

First stop, the gas station to fill up the gas can. No problem, right? Except that I couldn’t close the can. I had to leave the spout ready to pour because there wasn’t a cover for the can. So, I don’t want to put the can in the back seat where it can tip over and douse the entire car with GAS. I am driving so I hand it to Twinnie. But Twinnie already has the “jump pack” between her legs, charging, on the floor. Where is she going to put the gas can? Can’t very well put it on her lap so she can breathe in the fumes, right? Any guesses??? Yep, in between my legs on the driver’s side. Visual anyone??

(Now, before I go any further, I should probably explain something. Twinnie and I are friends. She is blonde and I am a red head. But, I am a dyed red. I’m really a natural blonde. I know that makes no sense, but it is the way it is. So, I am her “Evil” twin because we are the same in most things except that I am dark and she is light.)

On the way over to Holly’s, Twinnie is on the phone with BB finding out how to work the “jump pack”. I’m thinking “OMG, this is nuts. We are going to blow up the truck, my car and start an inferno of Holly’s farm. Who let the two chicks, let alone two blondes, have machinery that could potentially blow things up????”

So, when we get there, Twinnie heads for the driver’s door, keys to truck in hand. She says “OMG, this thing is so dead the remote won’t work!!!” I said, “Yeah, I told you that.” She says “Well, then how are we even going to open the door?” I looked at her, rather incredulously, singled out one key and said “Ummm, have you ever heard of a key????” Even in the darkness, I could see dawn break on Marblehead and she broke out into a slow grin when she realized how dumb she was and then sheepishly said “Well, I don’t think I’ve ever had to use the key in my truck, I just didn’t think of it.

Uh huh. We are in sole possession of a jump pack people…I’ve never jumped a car and she’s just plain scaring me!!!!!

I get the truck open, using that “specially designed key” and pop the hood. We call BB again because neither one of us can remember if black goes on before red or red goes on before black. And before we blow up the entire field, perhaps (just maybe) we should ask. BB says put the red on first and then ground out the black. Okay??? Then BB says how much charge does the pack have? He talks her through checking that on the pack and the pack isn’t charged enough to start the truck. Are you ready for this? He says attach the jump pack to MY car battery and leave the car running so that it will charge faster!!!! IS HE KIDDING??? (At this point, I make her tell him what she had just done so that he will have a better understanding of what is going on here. Needless to say, she still hasn’t lived that down!)

Now the two vehicles were only about three feet apart. But, you have to make sure the cables do not touch and the jump pack is heavy. So, one of us gets the cables, the other one holds/moves the jump pack. We look at each other and I say “We need to turn the car off first. You know if we just attach this while its running, we’re going to blow the entire place up.” “Good idea!” she says. Again, I’m wondering who let us do this alone as I walk to the driver’s door to shut the car off. We attach, charge for a few minutes and then move the whole set up back to the truck. We connect the cables, Twinnie fires the truck up and we are both exuberant that we were able to get the truck started without the men and without blowing the place up. Twinnie then gets out of the truck and takes the cables off. The truck dies!

BB….What. the. Heck! Please Help Us!?!?!?!?! BB says re-charge the jump pack on my car, move it back to the truck and leave it on there for at least five minutes before taking it off. So, we go though the whole scenario again. This time when we take the cables off, the truck stays running. O.M.G.

The only good part about all of this….is that FF is still in jail!!!!

Oh, and by the way, I have a really nice truck for sale if anyone is interested!


MEOWMIX UPDATE:

Oh, and I forgot to mention that neither one of us had a flashlight so we were doing this all by the light of cell phone. :)

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Posted by Lys :: 1:48 PM :: 5 comments

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Monday, November 10, 2008

The Loser Also Gets The Spoils...

So, y'all know that I lost The Bet. Not only did I lose, but I went down in a ball of flames. Lesson to self: NEVER bet shoes with Meowmix. And, to boot, I was upfront and told her when I breeched the bet (so Rifleman, your "ratting me out" didn't help you one iota, buddy!). Speaking of ratting out, may I state for the record that, given the chance and a cocktail, that boy will sing like a canary about things he is NOT supposed to. I'm not saying anything in particular *cough cough* drunk texts *cough cough* but you know what I mean.

Well, I had to pay up and, by paying up, I mean I had to fork over the plastic at Bakers when she found a pair of "Slutty Red Shoes" (RIFLEMAN's description, NOT mine. I personally think they are quite snazzy). Well, they fit the criteria for the festivities on Friday:


  • Super high stiletto heel;
  • Platform for comfort (and so she wouldn't fall on her behind down those deathly stairs after one too many of Ant's lethal cocktails) ;
  • Under $100; and
  • Not cobblestone proof (The club is on a cobblestone street and half of the fun is trying to navigate the cobblestone in stilettos).

    SEE:



Well, while I growled, I decided that I would never bet her again (at least with anything that has to do with my inner control freak, traveling or the BB Crew), I'll indulge her incessant "I told you so" and call it a day.


So, as I mosey on up to the counter with the shoes, I see a sign that says that if I sign up for the Baker club, I get 20% off shoes for my birthday (a whole week that doesn't expire until tomorrow - GEEEE!), 10% normally AND coupons and stuff. OK, that's perfect! Because, I mean if I have to lose a damn bet to Meowmix, somehow I need to save some $$$$. I won't TOTALLY lose, right?

So she procured her red sassy pumps, I have a discount card and she will be using those shoes to her advantage for a long time. (Her man seemed tres happy when he heard about the sassiness that awaited him when she returned back to the upper North). I also took the liberty to console myself with a pair of sassy shoes from Steve Madden that I have been coveting since I saw them a couple months ago. They also fit the above requirements, however they were not on sale.


SEE:


'Sarit because they are hot as hell, look fabulous dressed up or dressed down, don't kill me when I trot down the staircase and I am one happy little pup...

Even if I did lose to Meowmix. :::sigh:::

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Posted by Lys :: 6:20 PM :: 5 comments

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Oh What A Weekend...

Hell, oh what a weekend...

Yeah, I know - I was MIA from blogging but, since I was in Philly, forgive a gal? The hotel and the internet connection was spotty, at best.

Speaking of hotel, the hotel and I thisclose to a "Come to Jesus" session. If you want a ball dropped, let me know and I'll give you this hotel name. UGH! I will never - stress NEVER - stay in Northeast Philly again. Talk about east flippin' boondocks.

So, here's a funny story. I wake up at the crack of dawn (after getting in a little late last night), see the bill slipped under the door, go through the charges and glaring out at me is a charge for PayTV. I call the Front Desk to question the $13.90 charge and they tell me we ordered something at 5:18 a.m. on 11/7. First of all, on Nov. 7th at 5:18 a.m., I can honestly say I was dead to the world and drained. I worked like a fool earlier in the week and had been up for 24 hours as I didn't sleep on Wednesday night so I could catch my early morning flight. Secondly, there was no movie ordering going on up in this joint - we were, quite simply, too busy. Between the shopping, the party, the hanging out at the Bourbon for not one, not two but THREE nights, the massive amounts of cocktails imbibed, the numerous argument sessions with the GPS system, mediating the North & South arguments about what makes a redneck (*glaring at Meowmix and Rifleman*) and other important stuff - a movie in the room was NOT on the agenda. However, I'm sure the adjacent room who ordered whatever movie must have enjoyed it. Just don't tell me the title, 'k?

There's alot to recount but I have to say this much. A good time was had by all. My friends are amazing. Meowmix and Reese did a fabu job. I can't thank either one of them enough. They will forever have my back as I have theirs.

Today, I head to the airport to drop off Meowmix and Reese, head over to Cherry Hill to spend a moment at Justine's grave and then it's back to OTown for me. And, as it always happens, when I leave, I'll miss Philly just a little bit more than the last time, as well as my friends here. I have some wonderful people in my life and they made this weekend all the more special.

I'll be back soon enough...

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Posted by Lys :: 8:28 AM :: 3 comments

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Still Miss You...

Forgive me for I'm doing a little posting in advance as I'll be traveling and in Philly by the time you read this..

November 6 is always a bittersweet day for me. While it's after my birthday and I should still be on my birthday high, it doesn't really work out like that. This year will be the 10th anniversary of Nick's passing. I normally cocoon myself up and just try to be still, remembering what we had and what I lost. Sometimes it's the best way for me to handle the pain, but this year I refuse to do so. When the opportunity presented itself for me to go "home" and be with my crew on this weekend, I knew that it's something Nick would want me to do. It also showed me that I was, indeed, ready to move forward.

However, I didn't want to let this day pass without posting a little somethin'... I heard this song a few months ago and, not being a country music aficionado, it made me stop twice and listen. (And y'all that know me know that's a tough sell for me to give Country a second or third chance). I immediately went, purchased the song and it just said all that I ever wanted to say... Sorry it's not the full video, but YouTube doesn't allow embedding but if you want to see it, here it is - Keith Anderson "I Still Miss You". It's a beautiful video.

Nicanor, I still miss you...

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Posted by Lys :: 7:22 AM :: 2 comments

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

... 12 Hours From Now...

12 Hours from now, I'll be in Philadelphia...

I'm quietly calm about it and I don't know why. I'm not totally spazzing out about what's going to happen and I'm ready to roll with the punches. I'm excited to see Reese and Meowmix along with the rest of my crew. I'm excited about not having to go up there with multiple to do lists and things to do that makes my head spin ala the exorcist. I'm anxious to just be calm and relax, as I wander the streets of Center City and enjoying the atmosphere.

And, while tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of Nick's passing, I think he'll be happy I'm branching out a bit.

The past week, after I made the decision to extend the lease for a bit, it was like a weight lifted off of my shoulders. It was then I decided to just start living in the moment and not being so apprehensive and second guessing myself. I also was jazzed after watching the speech last night - energized by the feeling of change in the air.

There are great changes around the corner, and somehow I think some changes are about to start when the plane wheels land in Philly Int'l.

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Posted by Lys :: 10:46 PM :: 0 comments

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Tis Done, The Vote Is Cast...

Did you guys get your behinds out today and vote?

I don't care which way you voted, as long as you spoke up. See, my theory is this - if you don't vote, you can't complain. Now I'm not saying that you can't complain if you CAN'T vote which is totally different.

I remember going to the polls with my parents when I was a kid. It really stuck with me. When I turned 18, I registered as an Independent and I never had to deal with the primaries and such. Just wasn't my thing. When my Bampa died, in his memory, I registered as a Republican as he would want one Republican on the rolls but I do NOT vote down party lines. I vote for what and WHO I believe in, both in the General Election and in the Primary. However, I do think he would have enjoyed this election and I'm sure he and I would have had some spirited debates.

I've had some interesting talks with friends and family about this upcoming election and I feel very strongly on some issues. And I noticed the questions were definitely written to be confusing - very legalese. Thankfully, I speak legalese fluently and, after reading it a few times, I channeled my inner law diva and got to voting. MB and I had some great talks about the system of checks and balances and, while I often say how politics make my head hurt, common sense wise, I get it. And I also believe that we are a democracy and our forefathers fought for our freedom and our right to vote. So to not exercise that right is, in my opinion, a shame.

So, hence my taking the task of voting so seriously. And by seriously, I mean actually doing my research on the issues, verifying with the Seminole Board of Elections my polling spot, GETTING UP EARLY, busting my chops to get to the CORRECT polling spot, waiting in line only to be told "Lys, ummmm... you aren't in this precinct. You have to wait in THAT line to find out what precinct." Ummmm.. NOT AGAIN. Remember, in the primaries, they couldn't find me on the rolls and such. Ugh!!! So I wait in ANOTHER line only to find out they changed my precinct from 64 to 34. Thanks for NOT telling me!!! Oh, and they forgot to send my voter card too. Double BOO!

So, I go wait in ANOTHER line for my new precinct (thankfully they were in the same building), the volunteer gal can't find my name and I spot it - UPSIDE DOWN - and point out my location and tell her this is MY precinct now!!! (Don't worry Mom - I was perfectly nice :).) I get my ballot, go to my little voting "stand" and grab the "special" pen to start filling out the circles. And boy did my head hurt but I was determined to figure out the legal stuff and then vote for President last. I knew the judges (well most of them) and the propositions and amendments and scribbled in my little circles like I was taking the LSAT all over again. And then it was done. And into the little ballot reader it went and I swiped my sticker and ran out the door. Starbucks was going to give me free coffee with that sticker and I held onto it like I won the lottery.

Well, as fate would have it, the free coffee was NOT good at all - as a matter of fact I make coffee that is 10x better than that swill but eeeehhhhh. I still enjoyed the fact that I voted my little heart out and my vote counted as much as everyone else's vote. No one is separated by job, race, sex - nada. We can all vote as ONE nation, even the homeless guy - it all counts.

And, to boot, for my birthday, as an Election Day baby, y'all are going to give not only me, but our entire country a fabu present - A Spankin' New President. Granted his first day on the job will be in January but you know what - tonight's news should be interesting. Let's just see how much Florida screws up the election this time.

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Posted by Lys :: 5:07 PM :: 5 comments

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Video Fun...

Well, it started with "Hey, I want to post a bit of Home on JB this morning"...


See, this is just a taste of what we see in Philly - the historic, mixed with the Genos, mixed with South Street - just straight up fun. And Boyz II Men captured it PERFECTLY in their video, "MotownPhilly" - one of the songs that's always on the iPod.. [If you look closely, the dude on the drums is ?uestLove from The Roots - Philly is a small world, entertainment wise. I remember when Micheal danced on the show from time to time and they all went to school with many of the regulars from the Show as well]





Then I thought... hmmm.. wonder if there are any videos of Michael on The Show. However, since Big Bro is watching and disabled all YouTube fun to be had, I resorted to other measures... MySpace.


And it was there I found this gem...




God the HAIR!!! Ugh!

And then there was this one...

Dance Party

Look closely and you'll see some characters from here, namely (yes SSG) a young Jas, OurBuddy, CK, EJ, our gal Justine, some of The Mean Girls, the ***n King, and one of my fave sports peeps - the original Philly Phanatic, Dave Raymond. Miss that guy. Hard to believe it's been over 20 years. EEKS!

Now, if only I could find out what the characters have planned for Friday...

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Posted by Lys :: 3:01 AM :: 7 comments

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

An Offer That Made Me Reconsider....

Remember when I said I was moving out of the apartment in February for pastures *somewhat* unknown?

That means that I would miss Phillies Spring Training (Tampa - Shane Victorino only an hour away - GAHHHHH!), possibly Winter Music Conference or SOBE Food & Wine Fest in Miami, and a host of other fun stuff...

Well, Thursday night I was hit with an offer I might not refuse. My complex left a letter in my door with the offer of a lease renewal for 7 months with no increase. I talked it over with some friends this weekend and my family and thought "Everything presents itself when it has to". So, Saturday, I dropped by the complex office who then tried to waiver on it but we had a "come to Jesus" chat and I'll talk with the manager on Monday but truth be told, in this economy, I need to channel my inner Suze Orman and fix that FICO. I don't want to renew for a full year, but 7 months might be just what the doctor ordered. And, with the fact that the economy won't be fixed in 2 months (damn H. and his damn super high phone bill!), I would like to increase the emergency fund which looks pretty pitiful right now. So that means that if all goes well, we'll do the lease renewal until August and then I can decide if I'm buying a house/condo and what's gonna happen with my future.

Now I know OurBuddy's response will be "Lys, we've been down this road before" but the one difference is that I know what's in store for me and what I want to do. I'm not moving without a plan and, in today's day and age, one can't be too careful. Plus, I have some really great things going on in my life right now that a 7 month delay won't affect. Sometimes it's good NOT to rush, right?

Now I just have to decide how to tell some of my crew the news... (Wait - for those that read this spot, I think I just did... )

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Posted by Lys :: 5:32 PM :: 1 comments

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