The Queen is NOT Pleased

April 26, 2013

Who, What, Where, When, WHY????

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 8:21 am

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So yesterday was the event formerly known as “Take Your Daughters to Work Day,” a happening created to help close the job gap between men and women, which has since morphed into “Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day,” which was conceived to, well, I don’t know – show off your kids?

My department at work held a seminar to give a group of these kids a glimpse of what it would be like to “Be a Reporter for a Day.”  As part of this, I was asked to write a short piece to describe how I felt leading up to the day.  Well, in typical Queen fashion, I had written something slightly acerbic.  And when I got up in front of this group of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed girls (and boys), you know what?  I couldn’t read it.  So instead I did a little extemporaneous speaking about how I was looking forward to the day, how I hoped they would learn something, blah blah blah.  But for your amusement, here is what I originally intended to read these fresh-faced sponges of knowledge and wisdom.

Today I get to work with a group of kids in a seminar called “Be A Reporter for a Day.”  This seems like a somewhat cruel endeavor, given the fact that the job of ‘newspaper reporter’ was just listed as the worst job possible just two days ago in a national survey.

Nonetheless, I have dusted of my five w’s and inverted pyramid and am looking forward to the challenge.

Who knows, some of them may end up being inspired to be a reporter someday.  And for that I refuse to be held accountable.

I read it to W. last night (after the event).  He looked at me in stunned silence, shook his head, and walked away.

oh well…..

April 23, 2013

What’s in a (pass)word?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 10:29 am

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A while back I needed to get online urgently.  Ok, so urgency is relative.  It was a flash sale at Nordstroms, but that fact is not really important to this particular story.  The key element of this story is that my work laptop wouldn’t boot up.  Not that this is unusual, but after waiting the requisite ten minutes of grinding, belching and hiccuping sounds I had had enough.  So I called W. to see if I could use HIS work laptop, which he had neglected to take to the office that day.  I reached him on his cell, and immediately demand that he tell me his password.  When he started stalling, I informed him in no uncertain terms that I had to get online IMMEDIATELY and that it was very URGENT and IMPORTANT.  As if this were a matter of national security as opposed to the fact that semi-opaque tights were being offered in an unheard-of three for one sale.

I might have behaved slightly differently with poor W. if I had been privvy to two key facts.  Key fact  1.  He was in the car with his boss.  Giving his password to anyone was probably not a great idea, especially within earshot of his supervisor.  Key fact 2. In addition to a complex string of numbers and symbols, his password also contained a combination of names of his ex-girlfriends.  Two in particular.  Now I knew this immediately, not because W. had necessarily given me their names, but, well, it doesn’t really matter how I knew but I knew.

Of course I knew W. had dated other women.  In theory.   I certainly had dated other men.  But I was over them.  I don’t really think of them.  And I certainly don’t type their names EVERY SINGLE DAY.  EVERY DAY.  MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY.  After a stunned silence, I hissed into the phone, “We will discuss this when you get home,” and hung up.

He knew he had landed in chateau bow wow, but I’m not sure he understood why. Heck, I’m not even sure why.  But by the time he had arrived home, he had already conducted reconnaissance and changed all of his passwords to a much more acceptable form.

Now all of this has been swimming around in my head since I recently logged onto a site I go to quite frequently.  Part of the password contains the name of a long-deceased pet of mine.  A pet that wasn’t a particularly good pet.  A pet that saw the world in her own way.  A pet that saw W. as her arch enemy.  She hissed at him.  She bit him. And yes, she made it her lifelong pursuit to pee on everything W. owned.

So I got to thinking —  is it fair for me to demand he change his passwords so that he is not daily reminded of loves lost, and yet I keep one that reminds me of a certain feline that wished darling W. dead from the first day she laid eyes on him?

Really, who’s to say?

October 17, 2012

Fancy Rules for Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 10:03 am

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Growing up, there were a few inalienable truths.   They were so ingrained in me; I never even thought to question them.  They were the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, according to my mom, whom I will affectionately refer to as Fancy.

1.Rice is the most difficult thing to cook.  In the whole world. Baked Alaska?  Pshaw!  Beef Wellington?  Bring it on!  White rice?  Run for the hills.  There was rarely a dinner growing up where the cry of, “Oh NO!  The rice!” was not heard from the kitchen.  In Fancy’s defense, she had a lot of things to juggle – and keeping an eye on the rice to make sure it didn’t scorch fell low on the list.  But I will never forget the look on a friend’s face when I said, “Rice??? Why I could never cook that.  However, I can help you debone that duck.”

2.The only people that got their ears pierced were gum-snapping floozies who had long nails and sashayed around in too short skirts with too high heels. This view did change, however, when at age 74 my grandmother got her ears pierced. So much for floozies.  To this day, however, Fancy’s lobes remain untouched.

3. There is nothing so elusive as the Outerbridge Crossing.  Every summer, the Queen’s family would load into the car and head out to visit relatives in the Midwest.  After weeks of cows, corn and comraderie, we would turn the car east, and start the long drive back to Long Island.  This required us to go over the Outerbridge Crossing.  The Outerbridge Crossing, for those non NYC metro folk, is the bridge that connects New Jersey to Staten Island.  Around Pennsylvania, Fancy would start talking about the Outerbridge Crossing and how WE ALL HAD TO KEEP OUR EYES OPEN.  For the next 70 miles.  There was perhaps a bit of yelling.  Sometimes tears.  Everyone needed to be part of the transportation scavenger hunt.Finding the Outerbridge Crossing was equivalent to sighting Big Foot or a unicorn.  I frequently wondered how, when I finally got my drivers license, would I ever make heads or tails of this mysterious and camouflaged span. Of course, now as an adult, I have used it, and you know what?  They have GIANT SIGNS indicating where it is.

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October 10, 2012

Kicking the bucket…

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 3:37 pm

Every time I open the back of my car a bucket falls out.  Well, that sounds funny.  Every time I open the back of my car, the same navy blue bucket falls out of it.  I’m not sure how long the bucket has been there.  Months, possibly years.  I do know that I have picked it up too many times to count.  This action is usually followed with a rather sheepish look and a dash to the driver’s door so I don’t have to explain the bucket.  You may ask why I have been toting a bucket around in my car.  I know W. has.  Many times. I guess in the macro sense, I could say, “Well, I own a horse; of course there is a bucket in my car.”  But let’s be honest.  I am not hauling Mr. Big around in my CRV.   I can’t even pull the trailer with the CRV.  So why the bucket?  I’m just not sure.  And this is an unfortunate pattern in my life.  I’ve previously confessed to my obsession with lychee and croutons, and sadly this is a habit that has not yet been broken.  Sometimes it’s by accident.  W. and I bought a house this year, which, while lovely, is on a very dark street  – so dark that when I come home late at night I repeatedly stab the front door with my key looking for the keyhole.  So I got the brilliant idea to buy a little keychain light – one for me and one for W.  I looked online – found one I liked.  It was described as “LED Keychain light x 10.” Now I assumed that meant the light was 10 times brighter any other LED light.  So I ordered two.  Or 20.  Actually I did order 20.  That x10?  It means there were 10 keychains in one little box. They arrived yesterday.  I pulled out two of them and then frantically jammed the remaining 18 in a drawer in the kitchen.  I am dead the next time he looks for scotch tape. Seriously, how I am I going explain this?  To boost his argument he will rattle off a well-worn list of my consumer transgressions:   3 identical plastic cups with screw-on lids and plastic straws; 5 travel mugs; 48 cans of cat food that the evil felines have decided they no longer like; the 10 pound bag of onions I bought at Price Club. Ok, the onions were absolutely a mistake.  I thought that we ate a whole lot more onions than we do.  And I may never get the fruit flies out of the house at this point.   But on my honor I don’t feel the need to justify the 4 paisley tablecloths I have for our dining room table, ok?  W. doesn’t understand buying ahead.  He is completely fine with having to run to the grocery store in the middle of cooking something for something as basic as tomato paste. So of course I bought 8 cans for our kitchen.  I foresee several nights of onion and tomato casserole in our future.

March 13, 2012

Pets with Benefits

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 4:01 pm

I woke up this morning with cat fur crazy glued to my hands. I really shouldn’t have been shocked. I went to bed that way. And I think that this will sadly be a trend that continues.

W. and I, as many readers know, have moved into a new house. With said new house, we have bought new furniture. Now, we had furniture in NYC, but it was my furniture. And, I will admit it – the cats had done a bit of damage to it. Ok, that’s a lie. One of our two cats, the nice one named Paterson, has a penchant for clawing everything and anything she can sink her talons into.

Well, this has created a great deal of strife at home. When the new furniture arrived, I spied her eying it surreptitiously. I did my best to ignore this fact. But an hour later, W. summoned me to the living room. “Look at that,” he demanded, pointing to an almost imperceptible snag in the new couch. I tried to pretend like I could hardly see what he was pointing at, putting my face really close to the fabric, holding the cushion up to the light, squinting. But he was having none of my theatrics. He was convinced the cat had left her mark. “Why don’t we just cancel all the new furniture and live on the old junk we had if this is how its’ going to be treated.” “Don’t be ridiculous,” I implored. “I know what to do.”

Of course I didn’t. I knew didn’t want to get the cat declawed, because that would mean that BOTH cats would have to be declawed, and even though Max, the other cat, is mean as a snake, I really felt it was unfair to punish him for something he didn’t do. So I trotted off to the local pet store and came home with a solution that promised to remove all of my snag-related nightmares and restore domestic bliss.

Softclaws.

They look so easy and cute. Just put some glue on them and slip them over your cats’ claws and voila! No ability to snag anything.

Of course, the instructions didn’t really mention that this is absolutely a two-person job. Even if one of the people is a) already really pissed at the cat for snagging furniture b) allergic to the cat and c) frightened when she starts to yowl and squirm, even if he won’t admit it.

It took a lot of cajoling, but eventually W. helped me affix the Softclaws on both of the cats. This involved a large bath towel, oven mitts, a blanket, and several laps around the dining room to catch each of them. But together the mission was accomplished. Max is now sporting pink nails, and Paterson is wearing blue. Of course, Max is a male and Paterson is a female, so if any future gender confusion arises and they need to see an animal therapist, I will know I am to blame.

But the whole Softclaws problem took an unexpectedly bad turn last night. In addition to the earlier mentioned couch (which, by the way, has no more snags), W. and I got two chairs. Fabric chairs. Chairs just begging to be clawed. No worries, right? The Softclaws will save the day! Wrong. I came home last night to see that Paterson had somehow managed to remove three of her fake nails. And W. is out of town.

“This is manageable,” I thought. So I got out the glue, the blue nails, and grabbed the cat. The first thing I did was glue a blue nail to my index finger. Dislodging it effectively removed at least 2 layers of skin. Then the cat started to howl and squirm, so I crushed her between my legs. As long as I stayed away from her left paw, I was safe, as the nails on the right were all still covered. But Paterson was determined to demonstrate just how agile a really angry cat can be. She caught me in the ankle with her hind foot, took a swipe at me with her left paw, and then calmed down, relaxed, looked up at me, and promptly sank her teeth into my left forearm. I grabbed her by the scruff, resolute in my mission. That’s when I saw the blood on her neck. “Crap,” I thought, “How did I do that to her?” Of course I didn’t do ANYTHING to her. It was my blood.

I called W later on and told him of my cat trauma. “Remind me again, what is the benefit?” he asked. “To prevent them from having to be declawed,” I immediately responded. Silence. “I meant, what is the benefit of having the cats,” he quietly asked. I declined to reply, walked into the dining room, got out the furniture marker, and colored in a new scratch I had just spied on our coffee table.

March 1, 2012

Too soon.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 5:56 pm

I am headed to the wake for a boy I don’t know. A boy who is young enough to be my son. A boy whose life has casually intersected mine in the most distant of ways. I know nothing of him other than what I’ve been able to decipher from Facebook and his obituary. From google and YouTube.

He seems like he was a nice boy, but I never met him. A friend asked me why I would bother to go to a wake for a boy so tangentially attached to me. And I guess that is a logical question, although I know the reasons. Because it is the right thing to do. Because I want to show support to a young cowgirl who adored him. And because, deep down, I hope that there are others who would do the same for those who love me when I die.

So I am headed to a wake for a boy I don’t know. Whose life was cut short for whatever reason, although it seems ridiculous to try to attach reason to a death so premature. And I will give a hug to my friend and say a quiet prayer. For that’s all I can do for a dead boy I don’t know.

February 10, 2012

The Smell of Victory

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 8:12 am

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The train doors open to whiff of aroma. No, not rotting garbage. Or the smell of someone who’s been on the street too long without a shower. There was no doubt about it. It was skunk. Yes, this familiar scent cemented the fact that I am definitely not in Kansas (read NYC) anymore. It’s been two months since W and I took the leap across one rather small river to move worlds away. And from my vantage point, here’s how it breaks down:

More room
I know I have talked about my old dream where I would find an extra room in my one bedroom apartment. Well, it’s happened. And actually keeps on happening.

Quiet mornings without sirens, car alarms, buses honking.
Of course, this means I lurch up from bed many times between 4-6 am, paranoid that I’ve missed my train.

Living in a charming old house.
Yes it’s charming. And crooked. I don’t even mean slightly listing. I mean downright crooked. I find myself saying, “wow, will you look at that,” with a sense of wonder. Not wonder about how lovely or charming something is. Wonder that the house hasn’t actually collapsed in on itself. But there’s still time.

The ability to do my laundry on my time.
However, I have learned that if you leave laundry out of the dryer in a knotted ball in a laundry basket in a cold room, you might as well just wash it again.

The opportunity to have a blank slate to decorate exactly how I, er we, desire.
Colors! Light fixtures! Furniture!

But lets be honest. I have spent approximately 75 hours of my life in the last week looking at wall sconces. Just sconces. Not pendants or chandeliers – just sconces. Kill me now.

The ability to be part of a neighborhood.
Now, when I was a denizen of my beloved city, I felt like I was part of a neighborhood. I kind of knew the coffee cart lady. I knew many of my apartment neighbors by sight (ok, mostly because i had developed a somewhat unhealthy obsession with them. Yes sad sack dad, this means you). And I knew my doormen. I was a perfectly adjusted New Yorker.

But things are different now. I actually have the opportunity (read somewhat daunting task) of really getting to know my neighbors. And their kids. And their dogs. Speaking of which, W and I were invited to our first dog wedding, a scheme cooked up by two six year old neighbors to unite their pets. Being a true Manhattan-ite, my first thought was, “There’s no way I can make it, but I’ll send a nice gift.” Sadly, weather intervened and the dog wedding has been postponed until spring. Deep down I think the Corgi got cold feet.

W is adjusting wonderfully. He has already learned the names of all of our neighbors. He waves hello and chats amiably. Heck, I came home the other day to find him in the middle of a pick-up football game with the entire neighborhood.

It’s not as easy for me. But I have begun to make some friends. And
I am adjusting to this life and liking it, I think. I just hope that skunk doesn’t find it’s way into one of the rooms I’ve yet to find.

February 1, 2012

EAT THE STEM! EAT THE STEM!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 7:23 pm

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So I just watched a guy eat an apple on the subway. The entire apple. I mean, he started at the bottom and worked his way up. Through the core. Just kept munching the red fruit like he was not aware of the appropriate apple-eating rule, namely, you don’t eat the core. At least not on purpose. Everyone knows that. Heck, an entire line of kitchen apparati have been developed just to save humanity (or at least over-accessorized Americans) from eating the gnarly heart of the fruit that supposedly caused the downfall of man. But no, my subway gourmand just kept chewing, slowly masticating his apple while looking around the train with half-open, sloth-like eyes. He even chewed and ate the seeds. And there were seeds. Trust me, I was staring. And then all I could think was, “If he eats the stem I am going to either have to high five him or stop myself from gagging.” But alas, the stem remained, first pinched between his fingers and then covertly slipped into his pocket, perhaps to be savored later? Now my main worry is what will he do when the inevitable tree starts growing in his stomach.

January 18, 2012

Yours, Mine, and Ours (and Mine)

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 6:08 am

I am having a struggle with pronouns. Plural pronouns to be specific. I think a symptom of having been single for so long is that I am always ready to fend for myself. I proudly stab my flag into whatever object is unclaimed. However, my predilection for the pronoun in the singular, namely “‘my,” is not sitting well with my dear W. He is democratic to a fault. Things are not mine or his, they are, somewhat disturbingly, “ours.”

Those of you who know the Queen well, if I may be so forward to refer myself in the third person, are very aware that for years I strode to achieve this “our-ness.” And I am fine with it, really. Like “our TV” (although it predates our marriage) and “our dishes” (i know deep down he doesn’t care if he’s eating off of Lenox or cardboard) and “our wedding” (ok that one should be a no-brainer, but I did slip yesterday when telling someone about the ceremony.)

However, in an effort to make my dear W. happy, the man who puts up with me spending hours at the barn, being 15 minutes late for everything and having a terrible addiction to bad reality TV, I am going to try to revel in our “our-ness.”  So I am practicing. W and I are buying a house in the suburbs. It is OUR house. WE have several cars, one too many of you ask him. WE will furnish the house together, even if did see some awesome vintage equestrian prints on sale that would look perfect in MY, oops, OUR dining room. WE will make decisions about home repairs. However, make no mistake. The cats and the horse are all mine.

January 28, 2011

The queen is back….sort of

Filed under: Uncategorized — by traumamama67 @ 8:00 am

Ok. I realize I owe an apology to my loyal subjects. The Queen has not written in some time. Not sure if that is driven by writers block, my desire to protect the innocent, or sheer laziness. It’s probably a mixed-up combination of all three.

Because of the rotten weather here, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time in my apartment. And that has introduced me to the coughing woman. Well, we haven’t been formally introduced. I think I first became aware of her around Christmas. Her coughing is the worst at night, incessant and urgent. W and I have tried to figure out which apartment she lives in, but so far no luck.

Initially her cough was annoying, as most are. But as it continues, it has begun to blend into the apartment’s creaks and groans, along with the banging of the pipes and the rattling of windows. And I have come to count on it.

But lately her cough has become weaker, more strained. Her voice is hoarse from the constant assault. And I’ve come to dread the time when the coughing stops, even though I won’t know for sure what happened.

Will it mean that she has gone to the hospital, been miraculously cured, or shuffled off this mortal coil?

I wonder if I should search the building and find her? I imagine myself proffering gifts of peppermint candy and ginger tea, offering to take her to her doctor — or mine.

But as of yet, I am still lying In my bed, watching the snow once again cover my beloved city, and listening to the familiar sounds around me.

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