Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 24 and 21. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Songs That Take You Back...

Sometimes a song will take you back. Sometimes to good times and sometimes to times you'd rather forget. Today I heard J.D. Souther's You're Only Lonely and was immediately transported back to the roller skating rink when I was in 8th grade. I had a HUGE crush on a boy named Billy Nushooz (that's how it was pronounced, don't ask me how to really spell it). I loved him from afar and I'm sure he knew it. I wasn't all that discreet in my making puppy dog eyes at him. And after writing Mrs. Billy Nushooz and Mr. and Mrs. Billy and Teri Nushooz for a year, I finally got the courage to ask him to skate during a ladies choice couples skate.


You're Only Lonely was the first song that we skated to, and we remained out on the floor, holding hands and skating in a circle when the song Babe by Styx came on. Today, every time I hear the first few synthesizer notes of Babe, I immediately go back to that night, that couples skate and think of Billy Nushooz.

Billy never felt the same way about me. That was a recurring theme in my younger days. I was always the puppy dog across the room, crushing on a different guy and not having those same feelings returned. I was a lonely teenager, J.D. was right. Lucky for me, I outgrew that teenage angst. But during those years, my heart was broken more times than I care to remember. 

What songs take YOU back? Good times or bad?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

21 More Days Until Hope Springs!!

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in Florida on February 18. You may not care, but I come from a baseball loving family and we take this date very seriously. You've heard the old saying "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Well, February 18 is the first day of the baseball season, a fresh start, a clean slate. Every team is starting anew. And we Phillies fans once again have hope. Hope that we won't stink up the joint again this season, as we have in the past few years. Hope that despite trading Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers, we'll make it to the post-season. Hope that Chase Utley continues to come through with clutch hits at the plate and defensive plays in the infield. Hope that our pitching staff will stay healthy (for once!) and that Ryan Howard will surprise us all with a kick-ass year of hits, runs and RBIs. Hey, we can dream, can't we?

I was there in 1980 when they won the World Series. The day of the parade through the streets of Philadelphia, our 8th grade teacher, Sister Wanda snuck our whole class into the convent so that we could all watch the parade on TV. We watched Schmitty, Boone, Pete and Tugger give their speeches.

I was there in 1993 with the hubby, watching them clinch the Pennant from the nosebleeds at the Vet, and we watched on TV at Charlie's Bar in Somers Point, NJ as Mitch Williams gave up the winning run to Joe Carter to lose the World Series to the Toronto Blue Jays. I've never forgiven him for that. Ask my husband, I still hate that guy. Hold a grudge much?

I was there in 2008 watching them win the World Series with my husband and my daughters and we watched the parade, just days later. I watched Jayson Werth and his Hulk Hands and listened to Chase Utley say that they were the "World Fucking Champions."


Since then, they've traded Werth, and Shane Victorino (our favorite Flyin' Hawaiian) and have slowly gone downhill with each passing season. In 2013 they royally screwed Charlie Manuel by forcing him to retire soon after his 1000th career win. I'll still hold a grudge against Reuben Amaro, Jr. for that one. But whatever.

As we hit the middle of winter, there is one bright spot among the snowdrifts. Only 21 more days until pitchers and catchers report, and the whole season starts anew. And we, once again, will hope for a championship season. Go Phils!!! Make us proud, boys.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Don't Call Me Poop Seas...

Look out, world, Poobs in on Instagram! Let me clarify: my daughters have set up an Instagram account for my husband. All 3 of them have iPhones (I've got a lowly Android and am in no hurry to switch over to the almighty 'i' anything). Let me further clarify that my daughters now call my husband "Poobs."

Once upon a time, they had a conversation about what he wants to be called when he's a grandfather (and holy hell we're not in ANY hurry for that to happen). Anywhoo, as a joke, he said he wanted to be called 'The Grand Poobah." My daughters, apparently having NEVER seen an episode of The Flintstones, had NO clue what he was talking about, but thought that term was hilarious.

Not my real husband

Instead of the full title, 'Grand Poobah' they abbreviated it to Poobs. And that's what they now call their father. The one who helped give them life, who pays for them to go to camps, the one who taught them their ABC's. Yep, Poobs. Or, as his new Instagram name will be, Poobsies.

Their name for him in their phones: Poobsies. They actually taught Siri to call him Poobsies on his own iPhone, however, she misunderstood and now calls him Poop Seas. Parenting win.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Getting kicked out of book club...

I'm in a book club. Well, it's more of a wine club with books involved. I use my book as a coaster so I don't put my wine down on a slanted surface and spill it. That would be tragic.

Technically, I'm supposed to actually LEAD a second book club because I received this Book in a Box thing where they sent me 8 copies of a book and some wine, hats and jelly. Yes, jelly.

There are 18 ladies in my neighborhood who wanted to participate in my book club. I gave the book out to 8 ladies, they each read the book and passed it around in December to the other 10 ladies who wanted to read the book. All 18 neighbors read the book. I didn't.

My copy of the book is sitting on my nightstand, closed and collecting dust. Not a single word has been read. How do people have the time to read? I used to read. I used to be a reading fanatic! Seriously, I read like a maniac. My appetite for books rivaled John Pinette's at an All-You-Can-Eat Chinese Buffet! But then...kids. And then.....internet.

Let me tell you about my reading habit: Last summer I spent a week at the beach in Jersey and I read a Patricia Cornwell book from cover to cover. Why? Because I had very little internet access and I had ZERO activities scheduled with my girls. I got up in the morning, ran on the boardwalk, showered off the sweat, threw on a bathing suit and hit the beach. I read for hours on the beach, came home, showered, ate and read some more.

When I flew to San Antonio, I read for about 4 hours straight on the flight down (we made a refueling stop in Memphis which is why I had that extra hour to read). I read more than 200 pages of my book (another Patricia Cornwell book, by the way). I was alone on that flight down and didn't have to talk to anyone or drive anybody anywhere or be at a school or a gym.

I LOVE reading, and yet, I don't do it NEARLY as often as I should. Thanks kids and internet!

I'm also a creature of habit. Given a choice between an author that I've read dozens of times, and an author I've never heard of, I usually play it safe and go with the familiar. Sometimes that works, sometimes it comes back to bite me in the ass. I read Gone Girl last spring at the suggestion of several hundred people on the internet. I loved the first 9/10's of that book but hated the ending. And it was really hard to develop any type of feeling for any of the characters, because I wanted to slap the shit out of all of them. But I sucked it up and finished it, and then someone said "Oh you should totally read Dark Places" which is another of Gillian Flynn's books. Let me just tell you, that book is aptly titled. Holy shit, that was the darkest book I've ever read (and I grew UP on Stephen King books!!). Seriously, another book with characters I couldn't stand.

I totally need to get my book club books read. Totally. But my house is a mess, my kids have 2-3 basketball games each week along with practices, trumpet and saxophone lessons, volleyball. And then there's Face(timesuck)book. I may be in need of an internet rehab. If I try to quit cold turkey I may need meds. Or a straight jacket.

What books are you reading now and HOW do you find the TIME to read??

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Stupid drivers ruin my sunny disposition...

Is it okay to beat the snot out of drivers who pass you using the shoulder of the highway? If it's not, it really ought to be. Back around Thanksgiving, I was driving back from Jersey on 95 (that's Interstate 95 for all you westerners) and there was a terrible tractor trailer accident. Traffic was backed up for miles and we were stuck in the same spot for over an hour. The next exit to get off 95 was on the other side of the accident, so there was really no escape. No matter how much faster you passed all of us who were basically stuck in that parking lot of a highway, you weren't going anywhere. All traffic was being diverted from the right and middle lanes into the far left lane.

That's me in the red car shaking my fist.
As I sat there, I watched countless assbags driving up the right shoulder and left shoulder of the highway. WTF? I totally get that people are in a hurry. I totally get that you think there MAY be a way out of the jam, but what makes these people think that they are SO MUCH more important than the rest of us poor schlubs stuck in our lanes? Seriously. I watched several tow trucks attempt to access the accident scene but they were barred from getting there because there were so many fucktards blocking the shoulders. Fucktards who thought, "Hell, I'm not sitting here waiting, I'll just drive on the shoulder up as far as I can go and bypass all these other losers who are stupid enough to wait in their lanes. Because I'm more important than they are. I've got places to be!" Fucknuts. I hate them. It should be legal to pull them from their vehicles and beat them with a baseball bat or a tire iron.

I hate those people with such a heightened sense of entitlement that they believe they truly should be allowed to pass everyone, and pass them in the lanes where emergency personnel may have to drive. Don't they realize that they are only causing MORE traffic, MORE headaches and possibly endangering the lives of those involved in the accident? If they pass people using the shoulders and then THEY become backed up, how will the ambulances, fire trucks or tow trucks be able to access the scene?? It was, indeed, a good lesson for 17 to learn as we sat there in traffic. I bitched and ranted so much that I know for a fact passing on the shoulders in traffic is something she will never, ever do.

Ugh!! I just really needed to get that off my chest. And now I feel much better. Thanks for letting me vent. What about you? What is YOUR biggest pet peeve out there on the highway?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Judge not.

No, this isn't a post about a really awful 90's movie with Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock. And if you know me, you know I'm the FARTHEST thing away from a bible beltie. But I learned a lesson on my flight home from San Antonio that truly opened my eyes. Let me break it down for you.

Scene 1: We're sitting in the airport, waiting at the gate for our plane to begin boarding. Across the room is a lone young man, big old jock football player. He sat alone, listening to his music while I sat with a dozen band kids, all laughing and joking, recalling all the fun moments from the week. I left to get some coffee because it was O'Dark-ass Thirty in the morning and when I came back, the Big Jock had moved closer to us, but still at a safe enough distance that we couldn't invite him into our conversation. And why would we? He's a football player and really doesn't have much to do with band kids, right?

Scene 2: I had to go pee, because.. coffee. When I got back to the gate, folks had already begun boarding. All the band kids were in the same boarding group and there was no sign of Big Jock. So we all lined up and boarded. When I got to my row, guess who was sitting in my seat. Big Jock. In my window seat. But Big Jock is, no lie, 6'5" and 310 lbs. No flipping WAY I'm going to tell him to vacate my window seat. So I squeeze my big hiney into the seat next to Big Jock. Trust me, it was a tight squeeze, no room for an armrest. Or a fart.

Scene 3: We're about ready for takeoff, and I offer gum to my daughters sitting on the other side of the row from me and Big Jock. I gave some to 'selfie-kid' who was sitting in front of us with his mom. That's when Big Jock asked if he could have a piece of my gum. It was the first time I'd heard him speak, and when I gave him the gum, he said "Thank you, ma'am." Very polite. We struck up a conversation because he seemed really nervous. He told me that for as big a guy as he is, he's scared to death of heights, of flying in airplanes and of spiders. He was flying alone because his parents and his little brother drove down to San Antonio from Woodbridge, VA because it was too costly to fly. Amen to that, Big Jock. I then asked if he played for the East or West team in Saturday's All-American Bowl Game. He said he played for East, but he was injured and had to be helped off the field at the end of the third quarter because someone from the West team went hard at his leg and did something to his ankle. I felt badly for him, and sort of guilty because we left right as the third quarter was ending so that we could catch up with the band. I never saw the injury, I never saw him being helped off the field. I was only thinking of my own child, not someone else's.

He told me that his mom was so worried about him as the Army trainers worked on him, and that he and his little brother who is 6 years old have matching turtle necklaces, and when he handed his little brother his own necklace to hold, the little boy started crying. He told me that the turtle is a symbol of wisdom. I'm here to tell you,  Big Jock had plenty of wisdom to share with me. He definitely taught me a lesson in humility.

As he told me about his week of training for the US Army All-American Bowl Game, every question was answered with "Yes ma'am" or "No ma'am". He could not be any softer-spoken, gentle or polite. I was truly taken by him as we spoke. Moms in front of us and behind joined in our conversation, as we all listened intently as he answered our questions. I asked what his favorite part of the whole week was. And without missing a beat, he told us this story. I'm paraphrasing, not directly quoting, but you'll get the message:

"My favorite part of the week was visiting the sick kids in the hospital. We went over on Tuesday and I met this kid named Angel. He was real sick, and he told me that his goal every morning was to get up and be able to walk for 5 minutes. That's all he wanted to do, every day. Since he was so sick, they don't really think  he's gonna live much longer. Angel was a really great kid and I went back to the hospital Tuesday night and ate dinner with him. After dinner, I picked him up and walked around the floor with him. I pulled his IV pole around behind us. We talked about how he just wanted to walk a little bit every day but he was so sick that it wasn't always possible. I told him that tonight, I'll walk FOR him."

I was so taken with him. And I'm going to stop calling him Big Jock now because he deserves better. His name is Matthew Burrell. He attends high school in Virginia and he will be attending Ohio State University in the fall. He told me that he looked at several universities in the South but because he's so big, he sweats a lot and didn't want 'to go somewhere real hot'. I hear you, Matthew. So he has a full-ride scholarship to OSU. He told me that our 'Marching Band's show was real good' and that he was really impressed.

Photo courtesy of http://www.usarmyallamericanbowl.com/players/player-roster
After we landed, we didn't have a gangway to walk, we had to exit the plane by going down the stairway. Matthew was behind me, and as I got to the bottom, I handed my stuff to my daughters and I walked back up the stairs and told Matthew to hand me his bags, his giant shoe and his huge jacket. I carried his things down so that he could maneuver the stairs unencumbered. Selfie-kid walked up the stairs and helped Matthew the rest of the way. His ankle was really bothering him. As he got to the bottom, he just thanked us all for being so nice to him. Each of us hugged him: selfie-kid, his mom, both my daughters and myself, we all hugged him, and he went on his way.

I was ashamed of myself, and I still am. I judged this young man, assumed he was just a Big Jock. I was so consumed with pride in my own children that I never thought about other members of this year's event. But let me tell you this: I would be proud to call this young man my son. His mother must be over the moon proud of him. He was polite, courteous, respectful and an absolute beautiful soul. His parents did an amazing job in raising him to be an incredible person, and I hope our paths cross again one day. This man has great things in his future. Look for him playing for OSU in the fall.

Watch these videos, and appreciate how wonderful and inspiring Matthew Burrell is. In the first video, he speaks at the :53 mark. In the second, he is the first to speak.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Humor is where you find it. I found it in San Antonio...

You can find the humor in any situation if you just look for it. Here are a few funny moments from my San Antonio trip. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

First, I was waiting in the lobby of my hotel for some friends to arrive, and I had the pleasure of listening to one side of a hilarious phone conversation. It seems the lady on my end of the conversation had forgotten her razor and was lamenting about it to the person on the other end of the line, "...and you KNOW how hairy I get!" No, lady, I don't know, nor do I WANT or NEED to know how hairy you get when you forget your razor. It's none of my business. Then the conversation took a very strange turn when hairy chick said "Oh, you're in jail? Oh that SUCKS! What are you in for this time?" She said it so matter of fact, as if she was asking her what time the next bus came. "Have you told your folks? Oh man, you must be SO SICK of jail by now!"  Yes, she really had that conversation.

I'm not sure if her friend had called her to shoot the shit or to bail her out but the fact that the chick on my end was discussing how hairy she gets when she forgets her razor made me cock my head to the side like a confused dog when they started discussing jail. Add this to the warehouse of things I'll never understand.

Next on this list is "selfie-kid". Let me explain. When we arrived at Dulles for Jenn's flight last Monday morning, we met up with a dozen or so other All-American Band members waiting at the gate. One young man in particular was very enthusiastic. His name is Mercer and he was an absolute joy! His excitement at his first time flying paired with his selection as a U.S. Army All-American made him exuberant and he was sharing that exuberance with everyone he met. As he was boarding the plane, he met this older gentleman who couldn't help but notice how excited Mercer was, and he engaged Mercer in conversation. In his excited state, Mercer asked the gentleman if he'd take a selfie with him, and the gentleman happily obliged.

Let's fast forward to Monday evening at dinner. The kids were all sitting at their tables listening to the various speakers when a 2-star General was introduced to speak. He started his speech by asking the kids to raise their hands if they flew in that morning from Dulles International Airport. The dozen or so kids raised their hands. Then the General asked if the young man who asked him to take a selfie would please stand up. That's right. The man who Mercer asked to take a selfie with was actually a 2-start General in the Army. Mercer actually got another selfie with the General and would continue to be referred to as "selfie-kid" for the remainder of the week. I got to see Mercer's pictures and they were fantastic!

One more thing that made me laugh might not be all that funny to you but it cracked me up. On the flight home, I sat on one side of the aisle and both my girls had window seats on the other side, one in row 11 and the other in row 12. During the course of the flight, Amanda nodded off and woke up several times. The last time she woke up, she said she felt ill and like she needed to throw up. She grabbed the barf bag from the seat-back in front of her, opened it, threw up into it, then sat there holding the bag. She looked over at me, still holding the bag and said "Now what?" If you've ever seen the movie Finding Nemo, it was exactly as Bloat said at the end when the fish from the dentist's office fish tank finally make it to the ocean. "Now what?" She no felt sick, she was wide up and perky. She just didn't know what to do with her puke. Thank you, United flight attendants.