Tuesday, January 31, 2006

All Work & No Play...makes for a very dull blog

SO, yeah. Had quite a weekend over here in the land of snack-cakes. And I'm referring to last weekend.

Since "Jason" the Toyota salesman never answered our email inquiring that maybe he crunch a couple numbers on the Rav4 verses the Highlander, he lost out. So there, "Jason".

And you know what? I actually thought he might be kinda cool. Maybe it was the faux-hawk, maybe it was because he looked like he had just gotten out of highschool, maybe it was because he commented on my purse. He said it was cute. He said, "Hey, cute purse!" Who says that? A girl, maybe. I don't think he was gay, he said he had a son. Well, I mean that could have been fixed, I guess. It could have been a ploy, some little detail he threw in to try and make him seem relatable to us.

Be that as it may, we decided to drive the minivan to Subaru. And a very long story made short, Debbie's got a brand new cab.

And it sure is pretty. Even cute. Maybe even cuter than my purse.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go

I went to Trader Joe's yesterday without a list- bad idea. I was a wandering Jew(ess) and as usual felt like I was in La-La Land. I don't know if it's the smell of all those organic herbs and friendly staff in Hawaiian shirts, or the fact that every shopper in the joint appears to be a stoned hippie slowing meandering down the natural food aisles, but something about that place sends you into a foggy state.

Anyway, there was a display of six packs of Trader Joe's Winterfest Black Lager on sale for $4.99. That sounds like a pretty good deal, why not buy some? John and I aren't really in the habit of keeping beer in the house, drinking it, or anything but the occasional glass of wine.

I've tried to drink beer many times and find that no matter how hard I try to convince myself that "this time it'll taste different", I can't help but make a bitter-beer-face. Any and every beer tastes like sheeeyit as far as I'm concerned.

But recently, I had seen on The Modern Girl's Guide to Life (you know, on the Style network, duh.) that most women, even ones that don't care for beer, actually like a darker beer. I felt adventurous, especially because I wasn't confined to buying items on a list that I never bothered to write and sometimes it makes me buy crazy things..

So, after Jack refused to eat his dinner last night (this is an every night occurrence) and had many a temper tantrum, I realized that I still needed to give him a haircut before putting him in the tub and sending him to bed. I didn't have a choice because today was Picture Day! at the preschool. Um, Yeah.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. After all the craziness, I felt like crawling into a bottle, a bottle of Winterfest Black Lager for that matter. I cracked it open and John gave me a look like "So, this is how it is now? Why didn't you change into your wife-beater and change the oil?" I felt like a fraud. I'm not a beer drinker, this is lame. I'm getting a glass... Well, glass or bottle, it still tasted like horse pee. Make that rotten horse pee.

I couldn't stand the idea of wasting it, why waste a good glass of rotten horse pee? So I drank half, swallowing it down like contestant on Fear Factor does a cat litter turd, or rancid horse urine.

Today, got up, didn't have a chance to shower, I was too busy getting Jack polished for his picture. So I got to the preschool at 8:45 and hoped to just run in and drop him off without anyone noticing. But the teacher didn't open the classroom until 9. Normally everything is ready to go, this almost never happens, but the other teacher was absent.

So I hugged the wall, hoping no one could smell the beer stink that I was certain was permeating through my pores. I figured no one would recognize with my Buddy Holly glasses on, I usually have my lenses in. But nooooo. Everybody was a chatty Cathy. And some were close talkers.

I figured everyone thought I'd been out drinking all night, was hungover, and lost my will to live by coming to school unshowered with greasy hair, and geeky specs.

I started to wonder if maybe I don't look that different than when I'm clean and pretty. Maybe all the trouble I go through showering and doing my hair, putting on my face and popping in my eyes don't do diddly and it's all for my own satisfaction. Could it be?

I mean, there have been many an occasion that John has asked, "Ready to go?" And I'll look down at my pajamas, finger through my dirty hair, adjust my glasses and say, "Do I look ready?" He can't seem to tell the difference. It's like he wouldn't care if he was seen with me in public like that. But shute, I don't want to been seen with me in public.

Why do I even bother?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Get out of my dreams- and my CAR!

After many calls from a very persistent Toyota receptionist, John called "Marcie" back. "She seems nice, and she said that we could turn the Oddyssey lease over to them and get a Highlander without paying all the penalties and stuff," John said.

I couldn't argue with that. I hate that minivan more than anything. It makes me sick. It stands for everything I don't. But at the time Honda had this blowout of all the '04 models and we got a loaded one for a 2 year lease for $325/mo. We couldn't find a new SUV with that kind of monthly payment anywhere, especially one that had a DVD player.

I feel like a horse's ass driving around this big bus carrying only me and a 3 year old. Stupid.

I hate the way it looks. I always said that I'd never drive a minivan, not just because they look a loaf of bread on wheels, but because it's so conformist.

When I pull into the preschool parking lot, it's full of Tyota Siennas, Ford Windstars, and other Honda Oddysseys.

It's difficult to find my minvan in sea of other minvans at the grocery store, the post office, the library, the mall, or any other place in suburbia.

I need something cooler, something that stands out, and more importantly, something that fits into our undersized one-car-garage.

"Well, let's go and have a look-see," I said to John after he talked night and day about shopping for a car now before the lease is up and something else about how it couldn't hurt to look.

So after talking to, let's call him "Jason" (because that's his Toyota salesman name), he pulled up a shiny new Highlander.

Jason popped open the hood and pointed to parts, I couldn't hear what he was saying over my teeth chattering. It was flippin' cold out there and Jack was freezing because John insisted on leaving his hat and mittens in the minivan because "Deb, it's not that cold out."

I didn't give a poop about anything but getting my frozen self and child into a heated building, but Jason kept going on about "saftey features" and "spare tires". Yeah, listen buddy, could you tell us about this stuff inside where it's not snowing?

When he opened the door, everything was covered in Saran Wrap. Oh, come on! You couldn't provide us with a car that wrapped up like a piece of leftover fried chicken?

We put in the carseat and we were ready to go. Jason ran in to Xerox our licenses.
When he came back he sat in the back. Aw, man!

I hate that! I hate testdriving with the salesman. I feel like I'm being tested or something. On top of that, I've John telling me how to drive, like this is my first time and he's some overprotective expert.

I couldn't enjoy myself, I wasn't in familiar territory. Okay, actually I knew Little Italy pretty well, but it's not a place I frequent. The closer you get to downtown Cleveland, the more traffic you hit. How am I suppose to see how this baby runs when I never get into second gear?

Then John drove, like a total retard, I might add.

You see what happens when you can't drive like yourself? You buckle under the pressure and have no idea where you're going, your butt sweats from the plastic wrap, you're being watched by big brother Toyota.

Next time, I want the freshly unwrapped version, and I want some serious alone time with this if I'm seriously going to invest.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

In case of EMERGENCY press button

I almost got stuck in an elevator this morning. Don't worry, I'm okay. I mean, I almost got stuck.

I was on the fourth floor and had my choice of three different elevators, the one on the far left opened. I pressed "L". "L" is for "LOBBY".

The elevator kinda sat there for a moment. I pressed "L" again. The doors closed, then they opened again. I pressed "L" again, this time like I meant it. The doors closed. The doors opened again. "What part of 'L' don't you understand?!" The doors closed.

Movement. Doors open. Two women are gossiping in the hallway of a floor that definetly was not the "LOBBY". I looked at them, they looked at me. I looked up at the numbers and saw that I was only on the third floor. I looked at them again and made a face like, "So watcha waiting for beeyotch?" The one lady looked like some kind of cafeteria worker, even though she wasn't wearing an apron or even a hairnet. She just had a look about her that screamed "lunch lady!". They went on yuckin' it up and the doors closed. Okay, little odd, but whatever.

The elevator sat there. I pressed "L" again to remind it where we were going. "Huh?" it said. "L!" I pressed again. "Oh, okay." We were moving....up. "What the?" The numbers went all the way to 9. A guy got on. He wanted the 5th floor. We arrived without a problem. He got off and the doors closed, but the elevator was back up to it's old tricks.

We sat there motionless. "Hello??? L!" I yelled at the elevator. "Huhuh, oh yeah." We moved and it looked like we were going down according to the numbers. Then the doors opened and we were on the third floor again with the lunch lady and her friend. "What are you doing?!" she asked me as if I was purposely coming back to eavesdrop on them. "I don't know what's wrong with this elevator, it keeps going everywhere except the lobby, which is where I need to go!" I don't know why I felt the need to explain myself especially since she was talking to her friend, I'm sorry, lesbian lunch lady lover, the entire time I was talking. Some people are so rude.

The doors shut again and then I pressed that "L" button again. This time I said a silent prayer to God to just get me to the Lobby and I promise I'll take the stairs for the rest of my life. We moved and the doors opened again on the fifth floor. Nobody there. I decided I'd had enough of this nonsense. I stepped off and got on the elevator next to it where a woman was patiently waiting inside. I told her about my elevator issues and that I just wanted to get to lobby. She was quite sympathetic, but also creeped out. "Ooh that's sort of....creepy." She said it just like that. Maybe she was on to something, maybe the elevator was haunted.

She got off on the next floor, and as the doors shut I started to panic. I wanted to tell her "Don't leave me!" for fear that once again the elevators would fuck with me while I was alone.

As my heart started pounding and I started to hyperventilate, the doors opened and I saw the world's most beautiful lobby.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Deb gone wild....on Girl Scout cookies

First, he brings home those new Hershey kisses filled with this really gooey, drippy, quite yummy, caramel. "Why did you buy those?" "They were on sale! I got 2 bags for $3!" John's so proud of himself. "Great. This is what happens when I send you out to the store because I'm too sick to go. Anything else in there (pointing to bags) of nutritional value?"---yes, I got sick, AGAIN. This time Jack and I both got this mysterious fever that wouldn't break for 2 days. I'm thinking about locking myself up in a sterile bubble.

Before I know it, I found myself sitting in a pile of little pink and red Kiss foils and the cat's playing with one of those Hershey paper flags. She starts chewing on it all sideways like when a human eats a taco.

Last night he comes home telling Jack he's "got a suprise for him". Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-si-dos. Son of a bitch! "Can't you see you're making me fat, here???"

John's a runner. He could eat about forty-seven double bacon cheeseburgers everyday chased down with a strawberry milkshake and never see a bit of it stick to his ass because he gets up at 5am to....RUN.

I'm more of the non-runner. I've tried it, but after thirty consecutive seconds of running I feel as though my lungs could explode. I'll walk, thank you. If I need to get anywhere faster, I'll drive, okay?

But what am I going to do with all these cookies? I told him to get them out of the house, I can't control myself. I've really got to take these five or six holiday pounds off, and the Girl Scouts have no interest in helping me, they just want me to getting hopped up on refined sugar and then hand over cash for more.

If he comes home with some other treats tonight, there's going to be a serious talk and I'm jst going to have to come out and ask him if he's a closet chubby-chaser...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The PBS of Blogs.

If I had a dollar for everytime someone read this blog, I'd have over $1800.

It would be really nice to have over $1800 right now, but there's no cover charge at my blog. The damned thing is free. So think about that the next time your cheap eyes wander over all my genius bits.

And since we're on the subject anyway, feel free to send me donations, you know, $20 to $50 dollars a month. If you send me $100 a month, I'll send you this complimetary coffee mug as my way of saying "Thank you." And it'll be yours to keep.

So open your hearts, open your wallets, and thank you for your support.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

So, you wanna work for Jenny Craig?

WARNING: Long ass post. You may want to print it out and bring it to the bathroom with you so you can do something, er, productive with your time while reading this...

Training was about to start and I was actually excited about it. I mean, I was going to learn everything. Everything I needed to know to be a qualified, certified, and confident weight loss consultant. It all felt so very professional.

I showed up in my new business lady clothes that I bought fresh off the racks at TJ Maxx. I had to convince John that I needed the new wardrobe, so I could look the part.
When I got there, the receptionist told me to go on back and the training would start as soon as Amy and Diane arrived.

There was a half circle of about eight chairs with attached desktops in the room, a dry-erase marker board, and flip chart. About half of the newly hired were there and I said hello and introduced myself. One of the girls practically rolled her eyes at me and went back to her conversation and another one just smiled and nodded her head. Feeling like an absolute idiot, I sat down and rustled some papers around my puny desktop trying to look busy.

After spending what felt like an hour of me looking at papers I wasn’t reading, the girl who rolled her eyes got up and grabbed a fun-sized Nestle Crunch bar. I wondered why in the world she was going to eat candy in a diet center. I mean, duh?

But then I discovered she’d fished it out of a giant plastic bowl overflowing with candy on a snack table tucked in the corner of the room. There were other things on the snack table too, like veggies and dip and some fruit. But who the hell is going to help themselves to an unpeeled orange? All that orange zest gets stuck under your nails and then your hands are all sticky, every time you pull a piece off you risk squirting juice all over you. And everybody knows when someone’s eating an orange. It’s impossible to contain the smell. It’s not a bad smell, it’s just that then everyone’s like, "Hey, is someone eating an orange in here or something?" Who wants to draw that kind of attention to themselves? Even more puzzling; why was there all this candy? I knew it was a test. There was probably some sort of hidden camera in the room. Maybe that was why the trainers were late. They were probably yukkin’ it up in the back watching us on some small black and white t.v. I can’t believe that idiot fell for it. Serves her right; thinking she’s better than me. Bitch.

Finally, Amy and Diane strolled in causing a whirlwind of excitement. They were the only ones that seemed excited, though. Amy started up some friendly banter with some of the girls. And Diane stood there with a smile that made her mouth appear freakishly large in comparison to the rest of her face. She was in a navy pantsuit with a white turtleneck, gold necklace, and gold hoop earrings. She looked as though she’d just stepped out of 1988 and was feeling like a million bucks. Amy was dressed in a much more updated pantsuit which just became a pair of slacks and t-shirt soon after she lost the jacket.

Diane instructed Amy to go ahead and start setting up, which meant she was to become her lowly assistant for the rest of the day. Everything that Diane said was quickly recorded on to the dry-erase board as a bold point. Then Amy would flip to referenced pages that were previously written out in different colored markers on the big flip chart.

We learned about the history of Jenny Craig the woman, the inspiration, the diet guru. Later on we were then quizzed on that information.

We learned about what every employment position was responsible for. For example, a consultant’s job was to see active clients once a week for a fifteen minute long consultation. In those fifteen minutes a trained consultant could help their client celebrate their weight loss by being their little hired cheerleader and then they’d get down to business and put together the next week’s food menu.

A Program Director’s job was to set up appointments with potential clients, called "tours", and spend one hour with them asking questions about their weight loss goals, the challenges that have prevented them from losing weight, and then to sign them up with one of the Jenny Craig programs that would best suit their individual needs.

The next day of training involved rolling up our sleeves and role-playing the parts of consultants. Amy and Diane acted out a scene which involved a nervous caller played by Diane, and a consultant, played by Amy, who tried to comfort her and encourage her to come in for an appointment. In the end, Diane’s character felt relieved that she’d taken the first step in calling and Amy thanked her for calling Jenny Craig and was looking forward to meeting with her to discuss the weight loss program options this Wednesday at 2:00 PM. Sounded easy enough. But then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

First, we had to learn how to answer the phone. This was tricky. There was a script to follow and those anxious callers could throw you a curve, such as asking how much it cost to join, or "do you have to eat the food?", and "I heard the food was expensive!" Beads of sweat formed on the forehead of every trainee with a look of "what do I do next???" Enter the experts. Diane and Amy would step in to show you how it’s done.

When it came to receiving new customer phone calls, it was crucial to remain in control of the conversation at all times. Don’t let questions about price or food get you off track. Never, and I mean never, talk about what the food or programs cost except in the case of the advertised program specials. You were permitted to say "Our current special is 19 lbs for $19! (plus the cost of food)" And you always had to say "plus the cost of food" to cover Jenny’s ass. If the Federal Trade Commission called and you forgot to say that, it could be grounds for immediate termination. They were always telling us about all the legality stuff, and how you would be fired if you messed up just once with the wrong person.

After a long morning of rehearsing our telephone answering scripts, it was time to break for lunch. Two of the girls, Lisa and Courtney, asked if I wanted to go to Chili’s across the street.
While the three of us waited for our food, we talked about the whole phone pitch. "Doesn’t it feel kind of phony? I mean, if I called, and like, wanted to just find out how much it cost, and like, some stupid chick kept saying ‘19 lbs for $19!’, I’d be like, shut-up and tell me what it really costs," Lisa said. "Oh, and I like how we’re supposed to say ‘plus the cost of food’, which would naturally lead into the customer asking, ‘Well, how much is the food?’ and we’re not even allowed to tell them. So stupid."

I asked what was up with all the candy. "I mean there were mounds of candy on that snack table yesterday and today. And someone had to have refilled it, because I noticed M&Ms were there this time and they weren’t there yesterday, you know." But they didn’t seem to bothered by it. I asked if they thought it was some kind of test or something. They shrugged. Was I the only one who thought that was little hypocritical? They hadn’t really thought about it. I started to think they maybe they were in on it. Maybe I was the one that Jenny Craig was testing and the rest of trainees were just paid actors. I dropped the subject immediately.

The next couple of days involved more role-playing, but this time it was acting out a consultation. It was even more awkward and unnatural than the phone answering bit. You really had to hone in your acting skills with this one. Always using a positive spin on everything and making sure that you sent your client off with a full week’s worth of food and a motivated spirit. Before they left, you had to be sure to secure their next week’s appointment, because if you didn’t, they could fall off the wagon and you’d lose them forever. In other words, if they didn’t come in next week, Jenny made less money and you were out of food commission.

Consultations are free, the food is not, and that’s how Jenny Craig stays rich.

As the end of our training days neared, we’d spent almost every moment of our time learning how to answer a phone, sell food, products, and programs. We learned how to operate the extremely outdated and anything but user-friendly computer systems. We practiced bagging up clients’ weekly food orders and then double checking with the clients to make sure that we packed all their precious Jenny Cuisine and had "secured" their next appointment. We made "reminder calls" to real live clients to make sure they weren’t going to conveniently forget to come in tomorrow.

The last day of training involved some serious testing. Diane and Amy pushed us to the limit, role-playing phone call and consultations. It was the day that we all had to bring our A-game or we could kiss our Jenny Craig careers goodbye.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Oh, What a World, what a world...

Don't think I haven't noticed that numbers are down, I've gotten less hits in the last week than the average wifebeater dishes out in a single night. Oh, don't poo-poo me about being in bad taste. If you know anything about me, I have a dry, sick, leaves-you-with-cotton-mouth sense of humor.

Moving on.

Look, I've been sick for the last, oh, 2 weeks give or take a few days. My Christmas in Connecticut was less than enjoyable since I spent most of it blowing all sorts of things out my nose and spraying a lovely medicine right back up called Flonase which, if you didn't already have the pleasure of experiencing, has some wonderful side effects, like smelling floral undertones to everything that has a scent at all. My mother-in-law fried meatballs and all I could smell was roses. It really felt like I had shoved my face into the center of a qiant bouquet of flowers.

So, having felt like absolute poo and yet at the same time being amazed by my own ability to produce an endless amount of snot, I have been neglecting my blog.

Another issue is brewing. I am on the way back from sickyville, but I am having some technical difficulties.

My 30th birthday present was a new laptop. It's wonderful and marvelous, but I cannot seem to get things working as far as hooking it up to the internet via the wireless card. I have to call SBC and see what's up with that. So I have my third Jenny Craig installment trapped inside there. And I'll be damned if I am gonna retype that thing onto here (Sorry, Micycle).

But moving on still, I refilled my Flonase, saw Mr. Mullet Man at Walgreens twice today who always gives me a friendly smile under his salt and pepper mustache, and finally picked up pictures from a roll of film I started taking pictures with in August and just finished a week ago. I need to return some library books that are overdue and keeping me awake at night hearing coins jump out of my wallet for the late fees. I ordered a book through Buy.com because I kept seeing those commercials with the CEO of the company standing on the roof of the Buy.com building telling me to order from there and he'll save me 10% off of Amazon. Well, Mr. CEO and rooftop fiddler, I'm a'waiting for me damn book. I guess paying 10% less also means they do things 10% slower.

Oh, and if you're wondering what the Wizard of Oz reference is all about, it really didn't have anything to do with anything at all I'm afraid. It just came to me. For some reason the melting Wicked Witch came to mind followed by Mel Brooks as Yogurt in Spaceballs.

May the Schwartz be with you.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Oh suck it up, Kirstie Alley. I'm almost ready to upload my third installment of the Jenny Craig saga.

Just a few more typos to fix...Ah who'm I kidding, I won't get that uploaded for another day or two.

Be patient and wait, oh, and while you're waiting, why don't you just read Part I and Part II...