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, 22 and 20. 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, April 30, 2020

We are not okay....and that's okay.

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for about 2 weeks now and haven't gotten back to finish it. Now's as good a time as any. It's been raining here all. damned. day. It's a good, soaking rain that washes all the pollen away and hopefully will wash away all the negative feelings I've had these days.

Image courtesy of Morguefile
I'm one of the lucky ones who isn't going stir crazy inside my house. My kids are in college so I don't have to try to home school them (thank you sweet baby jeezus, I don't know nothin' 'bout no physics). My husband is working from home so he gets to deal with letting the dogs in and out and in and out (x 1000) during the work day. My co-workers are all working remotely, so I'm the only one in the office. I need access to the check book and the files, so I actually enjoy going in to work. I get to take a walk to the Post Office (where I practice social distancing and wear my mask) to get some fresh air every day.

But man, this sucks. This new normal really sucks. Wearing a mask sucks. Staying 6 feet away from people sucks. Not being able to hug my friends sucks. But guess what sucks more. DEATH!

Yup, death sucks worse than the rest of these precautions. So here's the deal: if you want to take your life into your own hands by going to get your hair or nails done, have at it.  Wanna go to a sit-down restaurant to eat? Knock yourself out. Wanna go to the gym? Sure thing! But think about this: not only are you putting yourself at risk and the lives of those around you at risk, you're also putting at risk the lives of first responders and health care workers. They are the ones who have to deal with your sorry ass when you catch the Corona and have to be treated. Is it your right? Maybe, but does it make you a selfish prick? You bet it does.

Science matters. The experts know what they are talking about. Jesus Christ, that's why they are EXPERTS. That's why they don't ask Bubba, the gun-toting, flag waiving jackass from Michigan who is protesting to reopen his state so he can go bowling with his buds. He's not an expert, he's an asshole. Listen to the experts who have been dealing with these infectious diseases for LITERALLY DECADES!!

I saw earlier that president shit for brains wants to go back to holding his giant campaign rallies ahead of the election in November. At this point, you know what? Go ahead, fucktard. Hold your rallies. Let your thousands and thousands of kool-aid drinking supporters all gather in one building, breathing one anothers' air, spewing their hate along with their spittle on to one another. Let those freak germs fly! I believe that's called thinning the herd. And while I'm sorry for all the front-line health care workers who have to deal with your sorry, stupid asses, perhaps it will shine a brighter light on what a goddamn stupid idea it was in the first place to gather together.

Do I sound a little bitter? Yeah, probably. Two weeks ago we had to cancel our family vacation to Hawaii. We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary and my oldest daughter's college graduation. My youngest and I were planning on running a half marathon together (her first!). And we had to cancel our trip. Our hotel closed, and our flights were canceled.

So yeah, I'm a little bitter. I can't go on vacation but I understand why. It would be incredibly stupid and amazingly irresponsible of us to do so. So we are following the rules. Because that's what it's going to take to get past this round of the Coronavirus.

The one thing that I will give the president credit for is bringing Dr. Fauci on to lead this fight. It's the one and only thing I'll give him credit for. For the love of God, listen to Fauci. The man has worked with 6 presidents, Democrat and Republican. He has the nation's best interest at heart.

The bottom line is this: Yes, things suck right now. Yes, it feels like maybe our freedoms are being taken away. Yes, the rules are hard to follow. And yes, it sucks and we are not okay. But we will be. We will be fine after this. We're learning just how strong we are and how much we miss our loved ones. Maybe when this is over, we'll hug them a little longer and not take them for granted. And maybe we won't take our freedoms for granted.



Friday, March 20, 2020

Just Be Kind




Hey Snarklings. I hurt my back a few weeks ago while cleaning, vacuuming and mopping my house (I won't make THAT mistake again!) and have been dealing with ongoing pain since it happened. The pain got so bad that last Saturday I sent a FB message to a friend who is a nurse and asked if she were in my shoes, what would she do? In the time of COVID-19, I didn't really want to take a chance on sitting in a packed ER and opening myself up to the possibility of being exposed to possible carriers. But I had to do something because I was in agony.

My friend recommended going to Urgent Care, so that's what I did. I entered the building touching nothing. I approached the check-in desk and was met with a smiling young guy named Justin. He took my info and directed me to the waiting room. There were probably 4 other people in the waiting room and none were hacking up a lung or wearing a mask (the sign on the front door directed people with flu-like symptoms to please pick up a mask at the front desk). I brought my book with me because it's an Urgent Care and I fully expected to wait quite awhile to be seen. I thought this was pretty standard, having to wait at an Urgent Care.

Apparently not everyone got that memo.

A woman (let's call her 'Itchy") walked in after I had been sitting there for about 10 minutes and I heard her telling Justin that she had a skin condition. He took her information and directed her to the waiting room as he did with me. A few minutes went by and she looked in my direction and I heard her exclaim "Oh are you kidding me?? An HOUR and FIFTEEN MINUTES??" At first I thought she was yelling at me for something, but when I looked over at what Itchy was looking at, I actually saw the TV monitor on the wall showing the approximate wait time for each person. Mine was 45-60 minutes. Hers was longer. She ranted, hooted and hollered in the waiting room, then went back to the check-in desk (scratching her ass the whole time) to give Justin a piece of her mind.

Look, I get that in this time of uncertainty, we are all a bit on edge. I understand peoples' fears, but that's no excuse to be rude to anyone. I'm sorry, but if you come to an Urgent Care on a Saturday morning, you are going to have a wait. Unless you're head is hanging off and there's blood gushing out of your neck cavity, you're waiting just like the rest of us. Suck it up, Buttercup.

I was embarrassed for her. I understand she needed to be seen just like the rest of us, but that's no reason to be an asshole. We are all on edge with this COVID-19 pandemic, and I didn't really want to be sitting in an Urgent Care waiting room, with the possibility of being exposed, but the alternative is to sit in a crowded ER waiting room, and with a skin condition being her 'emergency' she'd probably have waited much longer than an hour and fifteen minutes.

Not long after her rage filled rant, a boy and his mother came in. The boy was hobbling and the mother helped him to his seat before going up to check in with Justin. The boy apparently thought he had broken his foot.  By that time, I was next to be called and I toyed with the idea of letting the boy go ahead of me, but that would have pushed Itchy's wait time back even more and I was afraid she would come over and touch me and I'd get her cooties, so I shut my mouth, waited my turn and went in when I was called.

Here's my point. Don't be an asshole. We are all worried, we are literally ALL in this together so let's try to be patient. It's only going to get worse before it gets better, so while we are dealing with this horrific pandemic, can't we all just try to be kind to one another?

After being seen, when I was checking out with Justin, I made a point to thank him for handling this madness with grace and a smile. I told him that I heard the interaction with Itchy and that I was sure she wasn't the only one to give him grief and that he was doing a fantastic job in a shitty situation.

Just be kind. It's not that hard. (unless you're the president, apparently he doesn't know the meaning of kind). The rest of us are capable, so let's just be kind.






Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Dumbass

In honor of the fact that my cat, Cinnamon (you all know her as Dumbass because that's how we've referred to her since we got her) turns 19 (!!) this year, I'd like to dedicate this post to her.



For the love of God how much longer are you going to live???

No, seriously, you have used up 14 of your 9 lives, cat!

How many times have I posted about Dumbass jumping into AND GETTING STUCK IN the refrigerator?? COUNTLESS, that's how many. She has been trapped in there more times than I can remember!

I remember when we brought her home on the day my husband ran his first Marine Corps Marathon back in 2001. This cat was actually born ON September 11, 2001 (we should have named her 'Disaster' or something, but we went with Cinnamon). 22 and 20 fell in love with her. She was tiny and sweet and cute and all the things a kitten should be.

And stupid, did I mention stupid?

But I digress. Back in those days, it was still okay to get your cat declawed, so we did. (sorry animal lovers but furniture is expensive, yo!)  Only her front claws were removed, we aren't complete monsters. This was a cat who, while supposed to be indoors, tried to escape every chance she had. If that front door opened for any reason, she was there trying to get out. She never went far, usually just to the tree out front, but the sweet smell of freedom has always been like a siren calling to her. To this day she still tries to get out, but she always comes back.



Anyway, the day we brought her home from the vet when she was declawed (I said I was sorry!) she found herself at the door when one of the girls came home from school and she took off. She went right out to the Bradford pear tree out front and attempted to climb it, as she usually did when she tasted freedom. Only this time, she was at a disadvantage. No claws means no climbing. She got about halfway up and slid down like a fireman sliding down the fire pole en route to get on the truck and go fight fires. It was something to behold.


She terrorized our old cat, Pinhead (are you seeing a pattern of rude nicknames for cats in our house yet?). Pinhead's real name was Sherri (clarification: we had a black cat named Sunni and when we got the new cat, my husband thought Sunni and Cher would be just adorable names for cats. I, however, disagreed. We compromised and instead of Cher we went with Sherri. Except from the moment we named her, we never called her Sherri, because she was such a Pinhead. So Pinhead stuck).

Digressing again. Dumbass always terrorized Pinhead. When we moved from New Jersey to West Virginia, naturally we brought both cats with us (but in separate cat carriers) and when we went to make settlement on the new house, they came into the office with us. We had them facing one another for company and they chatted with one another during the whole settlement process. Everyone in the room got a big kick out of it.

Pinhead eventually went to that big litter box in the sky and we brought home Henry and Cosmo. Dumbass started getting a taste of her own medicine, with the dogs terrorizing her daily. But now that she's old and crusty, she tolerates the dogs and they pretty much ignore her.

Notice the tongue sticking out on this vicious killer cat. The dog is now 34 times her size and could eat her in 1 bite.
Nowadays, Dumbass doesn't really want to be bothered unless someone is in the bathroom because that's where we keep her food. If you enter the bathroom (for any reason) she thinks you must be in there to feed her. I could go in, feed her, take care of business, wash my hands (of course!) and leave, but if I go back in there 10 minutes later, it is obviously time to feed her again. It's a vicious cycle with her.  I don't know if she's forgetting that she just ate or if she thinks her time is limited so she should eat ALL the time.

She has brought us lots of laughs, many scratches with her back claws, many instances where we've tripped over her but she's still here. I think she just refuses to die because she's stubborn.  Either way she's been a good old girl and I wanted to celebrate her while she's still with us. Sort of a living eulogy for the cat.

Relaxed Dumbass




Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dear Verizon...



Dear Verizon,

I'm cc'ing Apple on this blog post because while you aren't totally to blame, you both need to be in on this. I recently began having issues with my iPhone 6, purchased from you, Verizon, and paid for over the course of God only knows how many months. Shut up, I know that all the cool kids are on the 11 right now but I've never been one to follow trends and I hate learning new things, so sue me.

Anyway, my battery life was seriously starting to dwindle down and no matter how often I'd charge it, it was constantly losing power, to quote Elmer Fudd, at a vewy wapid wate. It became so bad that when I would go out for a morning run, the phone would die halfway through a 5 mile run. Granted, I'm a really slow runner, but still, all I had open was iTunes and I was happily running along when my music would stop. I'd take the phone out of my arm band to see that it had died. Before you ask, no I had no other apps open. I've learned my lesson over the years that when I run, I don't keep other apps open because I know that they will suck the juice out of my battery.

Now here is my major concern: I run half and full marathons and in doing so, I go out on a lot of long distance training runs. I cannot be without a phone if I'm 8 miles from home and either I suffer an injury or God forbid there is an emergency and either I need to contact family or they need to contact me. It's just not an option. So when my phone dies after 25 minutes of only music playing, there's a problem.

I took my phone to the Verizon place in Frederick MD, a place where in the past, I've had excellent customer service. This time, not so much. In the past, they've greeted us at the door, and if there was a wait, they'd take our names and get to us in a timely manner. This time, no one came to greet us. We had to walk over to the table where 2 of your employees were sitting, looking at their phones. Yup, that sucked. When your representative asked what my issue was and I explained to him the problem, he informed me that yes, it sounded like my battery was going bad (ya think? Thanks Mr. Obvious, you're a lifesaver!) However, instead of suggesting that I just go someplace and get a new battery, he told me that Verizon would happily send me a replacement (read: refurbished) phone.

As a side note, dear Verizon, when I asked where the bathroom was (I've used their bathroom in the past but they have since remodeled), I was told that they didn't have a public restroom, so I couldn't pee. WHAT?? Let me tell you something, Verizon: I pay you exactly $274.56 every single month for 4 goddamn iPhones. For $274.56, you owe me the use of your bathroom in your store. Just let me pee!

But I digress, he told me that they would send me a refurbished iPhone 6 and that I would have to back everything up and reload everything onto the new (refurbished) phone and then wipe the bad phone and return it. So now I'm doing their job. Fine, whatever.

The first refurbished phone arrived that Tuesday. I backed everything up to the cloud, wherever that is, wiped the phone with the bad battery and shipped that one back. On Thursday I ran 5 miles and that first refurbished phone died halfway through my run. I. Shit. You. Not.  So I contacted Verizon via chat (why the hell would I waste the gas to drive 45 minutes back to Frederick for nothing?). They were able to do a diagnostic on my first refurbished phone and they told me that yes, in fact, that first refurbished phone battery was bad. Great. They said they would send out another (my SECOND refurbished) phone and I had to backup everything from the first refurbished phone to the cloud (where the hell IS that anyway??) and reload it to the second refurbished phone and send the first one back. That second refurbished phone arrived Saturday. Again, I did as I was told, (which in the past, Verizon has always done as a courtesy but alas no more).  I went through the whole process again, backup, upload, wipe, return. This time I checked the battery health on the second refurbished phone and found that it was only 86%. I did not have a warm fuzzy about that.

Flash forward to Tuesday. Yes one week after the first refurbished phone arrived, the second refurbished phone died during a run. What the actual eff??? I'm wondering if they sent me my original phone back. Anyway, we make the phone call this time and it was determined YET AGAIN that my battery was bad and that they'd be sending me a THIRD REFURBISHED PHONE. Why did NO ONE offer the option of just taking the phone to get the goddamn battery replaced?? Because you people have us trained that when one phone dies, we HAVE TO BUY ANOTHER, bigger better stronger faster phone.

Ok so the third refurbished phone arrives, and I go through the motions yet again. And then I checked the battery health on refurbished phone #3. It was 85%. Again, I shit you not. So guess what happened the first time I went for a run. Go ahead, guess. I'll wait.

If you said my phone died during my run, you win!!!

Guess what I did! At the recommendation of a friend, I took the phone to a place that replaces cell phone batteries and had that bad boy replaced for $60. My battery health is now at 100% and my phone has not died once since getting the battery replaced.

Yes, perhaps I should have done that in the very beginning, but I honestly did not know that it was an option. It's an iPhone, so I assumed if I replaced the battery it would no longer be covered under warranty. But guess what. YOUR WARRANTY SUCKS ASS.  I am keeping my third refurbished iPhone 6 until I run that bitch into the ground and then I'm switching cell providers because your customer service just ain't what it used to be and I am doing all the work AND paying you close to $300 a month.

Phew, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for your time. And next time, just suggest I replace the battery rather than sending me 3 refurbished phones and making me want to drink my dinner.

Sincerely,
Snarkfest


Friday, January 24, 2020

High School Reunion

I'm heading back to New Jersey this weekend for my (cough cough) 35th High School Reunion. This will be the first time I've been back to New Jersey since my mom passed away in 2016. I've definitely got mixed feelings about it all.

On the one hand, crossing over the Delaware Memorial Bridge is going to bring back a flood of sad memories. Memories I've blocked out for 3 years. Memories of watching my mom struggle to breathe, being restless in her sleep and finally, taking her last breath and passing peacefully. Those are memories I don't want to relive.

But then there are the other memories. The good ones. I lived in New Jersey most of my life. We moved there when I was 7 and I left when I was 39 so that's a pretty good chunk of time. I still have best friends who live there. I have a history there, so I need to suck it up and make the trip.

I married my husband and had both of my babies there, worked in the casino biz for over 20 years in Atlantic City. I lived at the beach for many many years and was spoiled by it. It wasn't until I left the shore that I realized how lucky I was to have it so close. Now, going to the beach is a once a year event to be treasured, but back then it was an everyday occurrence that I could take or leave. I'd take that back in a heartbeat.

One of my very favorite parts of living at the beach was being able to walk on the boardwalk in the middle of the winter without a soul around. Honestly, I loved working on the boardwalk during my high school years, with the crowds, the noises, the sights and smells. And the boys. So many boys!

But the winters were so peaceful, so isolating, so wonderfully serene.

I am looking forward to seeing my crew, my ride or die high school friends, some of whom I haven't actually seen since high school. We've been lucky enough to keep in touch through the magic of Facebook but it will be so good to see them, to hug them, to catch up in-person.

I am also looking forward to being catty and seeing people who I didn't care for back then, secretly hoping they look old, remembering what jackasses we thought they were. There will be many many laughs, maybe some tears but definitely good times ahead and hopefully we'll make more good memories that I can take home with me.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Eulogy for the Living



As I mentioned in my blog from last Friday, I attended a funeral for the friend of a friend this weekend. The place was packed. Stacey, the woman who had passed, died of lung cancer (not a smoker!) and she had been a member of NA for many many years. Apparently, she had touched more lives than anyone actually realized. That's the beauty of life: you never know how much of a difference you make in peoples' lives.

Hundreds of people showed up. My friend read her eulogy for Stacey, and then another friend did, then both of Stacey's children spoke, and then finally her husband. Eulogies from family and friends were shared with the living.

But Stacey never heard those words. She knew, I'm sure, how loved she was, but that got me to thinking on the drive up to PA about just how much our friends know about how we feel about them. We say beautiful words about our loved ones after they've passed. But why don't we say these beautiful words BEFORE they die? I decided then and there in my car that I would write living eulogies for those that I love (don't worry, I didn't start writing while I was driving).

I don't want to wait until someone dies to say wonderful things about them. I want to share good memories, fun stories and the love I feel for them while they are still alive and while they can still hear me.

I'm not going to publicly post my eulogies for the living, but I do vow, here and now, to write them and share them with my loved ones. Why should they be dead before I get to tell them what I love about them?

Friday, January 10, 2020

The Beauty of Friendships........

I can only speak to my experience as a woman about friendships. My husband has very few close friends but those whom he loves are near and dear to him. For me, I have a shit ton of friends, both old and new. I have the friends I made in grade school (yes, grade school, some 40-plus years ago) with whom I am still in contact. I have my high school friends (celebrating our 35th reunion later this month!). I have my friends from my post-high school days (I didn't stick with college so any acquaintances made there have long since been forgotten, sadly). I have friends from my days in the casino biz and I have the friends I've made since moving to West By-God Virginia.

Friends through the ages: Susan, Mandie and Karen. They have my heart.

We may not speak for weeks, months, or even years, but that does not mean we don't love one another or have an unbreakable bond. We were maids of honor to one another, we are Godparents of one anothers' babies, we've watched our kids grow up. Our tastes have changed. We no longer drink Milwaukees Best in the basement, or Bartles and James wine coolers at the park. We have good jobs and can afford nice cartons of Bota Box or Black Box. Hell, we even hit the wineries and sample the better stuff now.

Some we see day to day on Facebook and we keep up with one another there. Some we text weekly. Some monthly. Others, years may go by but that bond never goes away. Our tastes change, our political views are not always the same, but I don't love my friends for their preferences, I love them for who they are and for our history together. I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't have them in my life.

When one of my friends is mourning, I mourn with them. One of my best friends recently lost one of her life long friends. She and her friend had known one another since high school and had drifted in and out of one anothers' lives but they never stopped loving one another, no matter how many miles or how few phone calls or texts occurred. I met her old friend at bridal showers, my friend's wedding, baby showers and the like. And while I never felt a strong connection to her, my best friend did. So I mourn with her over her loss.

I texted her last night, asking how she was. She asked if she could send me the eulogy she wanted to read at her friend's funeral and I told her she didn't have to. I would be there. Because friends do that for friends. They are there when you need them, and I know she needs me. We all need each other. Good times. Bad times. We need to be there for one another.

I will hold her hand as she held mine when my mom passed away. I will hand her tissues when she finishes reading the eulogy. I will crack open a box of wine with her and we will toast to friendships. And I will never stop loving her. I will cherish her as I will cherish all of the people I hold dear to my heart.

Whether you have one really close friend or dozens, you cherish them. That's how we go on.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

If you write it, will they read?

That's an excellent question.




Afternoon, Snarklings. Do y'all remember me? Those of you who have subscribed via email, HOWDY!!! Those who stumbled here through the Facebooks and Twitters, WHASSUP?  I've really missed you guys. I'm sorry it's been so long.

I've decided to blow the dust off of this old website and vomit up some verbiage. Hopefully I will make a habit out of doing this but for now, here's one blog post to start.

Let's catch up shall we?

For those of you who are new, I'm Teri, your Queen of Snark. I've been blogging since 2013 (ish) and have had some pieces published in some books (which is very cool). You can check those out on the right side of this page or on the BUY MY BOOKS page, if you are so inclined, but no pressure.

Still married. Still working for my favorite environmental nonprofit called SkyTruth. Running again. I just finished my 4th full marathon (ok not JUST, it was back in October). Looking to run my 5th later this year. I've lost 70 pounds on Weight Watchers over the last year and change.

My oldest is now 22, my youngest is now 20 and both are baristas!

Still have my Dumbass cat (now 18!! If she were a he, I'd register her for the draft just to get her out of the house), and my pups, Henry and Cosmo are 10 now!! All growed up.

The president is still a fuckstick.

My latest obsession these days is THE CHILD. AKA The Baby Yoda. Dear sweet Lord, Disney you are brilliant. I'm not posting any images because I'm not trying to deal with any copyright infringements, but you have to know how adorable this damned thing is.

I'm also watching $chitt's Creek on the Netflix and have started watching The Avengers series (yes I'm a little behind the times, so sue me) on the Disney+ because it's free. That's how they get you. I got a year of free Disney+ and they had to go and make THE CHILD so damned adorable that there's no way on God's green earth that I won't actually pay for it so I can watch season 2 of The Mandalorian to get my Baby Yoda fix. Well played, Disney+, well played.

A little side rant: last night one of my favorite Snarklings, Jon, sent me a message with a link to an article that said someone had the audacity to photoshop your dumbass president's head on to the Baby Yoda's body and that's just not right. Idiot Son #1 posted the image on Instagram and I want to set them all on fire. They crossed a line. It's just not right. I can't even post the image here without wanting to throw a punch.

That's all I've got for now. I don't want to overwhelm you on my first day back in over a year. Please stop back to see if it takes me that long to blog again. Until next time, stay Snarky my friends.