Saturday, November 26, 2005

Like old times...

My Thanksgiving Dinner went off like a Norman Rockwell painting.  Total reality in color.


We bought a foil roasting pan that didn't have handles, so when we tried to lift the turkey into the oven, all the water at the bottom of the pan poured over the sides onto the floor.  At least we managed to catch the bird.  Lisa ran out to the store and bought a foil pan WITH handles, and the turkey was in the oven by 7am.


I figured it would be finished cooking around 3:30pm so I asked everyone to be here at 1:30.  My sister, her son and his girlfriend weren't able to come, and my ex-brother-in-laws' ex-wife had the flu so she couldn't make it either.  That left a total of only 20 people for dinner.

By  3pm I noticed that the little popper on the turkey still hadn't popped.  The mashed potatoes were already finished cooking, and I still had a sweet potato casserole and extra stuffing to warm up in the oven.


Somewhere around 5:30pm I brought out more hours' derves and opened a bottle of wine.  I was in a great mood though, and nothing seemed to bother me.  Of course those 2 glasses of wine on an empty stomach didn't hurt, either.


My vegetable tray had been quite a crowd pleaser right up until my ex mother in law announced that she lost one of her capped teeth and hoped that it hadn't fallen into the vegetable dip.


It was nearing 6:30pm when I slowly came to the realization that my oven temperature gauge must be wrong.  So I turned it up to 500 degrees.  Now the spilled juices on the bottom of the oven kept burning and setting off my smoke detectors, and my grandson kept screaming every time they alarmed.  He hates loud noises.


I finally gave up at 7:30 pm.  I took the turkey out of the oven, carved it, and then nuked it in the microwave.


By then,everyone was REALLY thankful.

And isn't that what this holiday is all about?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Another Thanksgiving.  And another chance to reflect upon the many blessings bestowed upon us.

Besides the obvious ones (my children, my adorable grand son, my new house, my job, my health, my friends, living in the USA, and the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line for us everyday), I'd like to list a few other blessings that may otherwise seem to go unnoticed.

I'm thankful for Wawa French Vanilla Cappuccino.  It's truly the nectar of the Gods.  There aren't many things in this life that can bring you so much happiness for less than a buck fifty.

I'm thankful for my icemaker.  It gives me both crushed and cubed, and I never, ever have to fill up trays or wrestle the ice out of them.  I can honestly say that my ice maker has improved my relationship with my kids.

I'm happy that I have a big screen TV.  It's not really mine, cause I'm renting it, but I love it.  Not only is it better to watch all my favorite programs on the larger screen, I can read the listings of upcoming programs without my glasses.

I'm thrilled to have a DVR Recorder.  A very nice companion to the big screen TV, I can record all the programs that I don't want to miss, and watch them when there's nothing else on.  How convenient is that?

Not a night goes by when I'm not thankful for my ceiling fan.  It was quite expensive, but worth every cent.  It's quiet, actually controls the temperature of the room, has a light fixture, and it does all this via remote control.  It's what every menopausal woman suffering with hot flashes needs!

I'm thankful for my AAA membership.  No matter where I go, or even who's car I'm in, if I break down or get a flat tire they are there for me.  Last year I had 2 flat tires on separate occasions, in absolutely subzero temperatures.  I don't know what I would have done if AAA wasn't there to save me!

I'm thrilled with my Dyson vacuum cleaner.  I will never be able to use any other.  It really works, and never loses suction.  And no matter how many times I break it, they always send me replacement parts for free!  And without bags or belts I will always be able to use it whenever I have the urge to vacuum.  If only I'd get the urge, it would work even better!

I'm so happy that lady standing outside of Bed, Body and Bath snagged me while I was walking by and slathered some cream called 'Pure Silk' onto my hands.  My hands are so soft now, any man that took my hand in his wouldn't want to let go.  If only I could find a man...

I'm thankful for MAC Cards, cell phones, gel nails and digital cameras.

But most of all, I'm thankful that I have a place to retreat to, anytime I want, called J-Land.  A place where you can listen to the stories from people scattered across the world.  You can read all about their latest adventures and even look at the pics.  They share their familles, their hopes and their dreams.  You quickly find yourself cheering them on, laughing at their antics, and dreading a visit from their mother-in-law right beside them.  You share their joys and grieve their losses.  They inspire and encourage you.

J-Land reduces the globe into a little neighborhood.  The closest friends you may never meet, but are in your heart just the same.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dear AOL...

        HEY, AOL! 

           MY JOURNAL... MY ADS! 




             ALL OVER J-LAND.

        "AOL Journals.  Your Thoughts.  Your Blog." 
                   I think that means it's MINE! 
   So get off my site with your stupid, blinking ads!

            Here's a taste of your own medicine!

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  Chat Hear the laughter andsee the smiles with new Video Conversation, only from MSN Messenger. It's almost as good as being there! Or have a quick chat with text messages- you can even send text messages to mobile phones.* Learn More

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Trash Day In J-Land II...

After finishing my last entry I started wondering what trash day would be like in J-Land if we were all neighbors.  Since every one of us is quite a character, it would probably be very entertaining to say the least...


If you’re not a regular visitor to J-Land … this story won’t make any sense to you at all.  If you are a regular visitor... it probably still won't make any sense!

The names have not been changed to protect the innocent.  Cause in my stories, NO ONE is innocent.


                   Preview      Preview

It was a warm and beautiful morning in J-Land, and it just happened to be Trash Day.  Andrea, from ‘Unhinged’ looked up from writing the novel that will someday be on The Best Seller’s List and peered out her window.


She noticed that Sharon from ‘Welcome To My Nightmare’ was running up and down the street yelling, “The Trash Men are coming!  The Trash Men are coming ... I can FEEL it!”


Mrs. L from ‘Mrs. Linklater’s Guide To The Universe’ threw up her bedroom window in a rage.  “WTF?” she screamed.  “It’s 8am and I haven’t even had my first cup of coffee yet!  If you don’t pipe down honey, the only thing that you’ll be FEELING is my size 9 bunny slipper up your a**!”


Ty, from ‘Surrounded By Nincompoops’ was sitting on his front step, an empty beer can rolling slowly down his driveway towards the curb.  “Now that’s MY kinda woman!” he laughed.  He watched in amazement as his neighbors began to emerge from their houses, trash cans in tow.  The last time Ty was seen taking out his trash was back in 1968.


Trish from ‘Journey To Peace’ burst from her house singing a medley of her greatest hits and dragging 2 huge bags of doggie doo behind her.


Shaz of ‘The Meaning Of Life… But I Could Be Wrong!’ staggered out of her humble dwelling wearing a ripped tee shirt, and the ugliest pair of cut off sweat pants that anyone had ever seen.  She ran her fingers through her wild hair.  “Don’t worry your pretty little head, ducks!” she called over to Sharon. “They won’t pass us by… I terrorized the postman and I’m not afraid of the trash blokes either!”


Suddenly, Andrea, from ‘The Official Journal of Pointless Posting’ tore out of her garage with enough attitude to stop traffic.  She was holding a riding crop in her hand while her frightened personal attendant tried to carry 6 large boxes to the street without dropping them.  “Faster boy, faster!  I need a pedicure when you’re finished!” she admonished him cruely.


By now the J-Landers were out in full force making mad dashes to put out their recyclables before the trash trucks came around the corner.


Just then, NJlittlebear of ‘My Big Fat Greek Life’ appeared out of nowhere. “OK!” he screamed putting his hands on his hips and scowling at the others.  “Which one of you biatches reported me to TOS for objectionable content THIS week?  Hmmm?”


Pamela from ‘Just One Girls Head Noise’ frantically tried to round up all the stray cats sniffing around everybody’s refuse.


Jimmy of ‘The Stuipdsheet Guy’ went door-to-door offering to help everyone get out their trash on time and offering LeighAnn from ‘Hit Me Again’ a friendly, and much needed cup of sugar.


Meanwhile, Maryanne, the author of ‘My Feelings Are Real’ who was up to greet the morning wearing a pink tutu and matching ballet slippers was seen hammering ‘For Sale’ signs on everyone’s lawns.  “Can’t blame a gal for trying!” she smiled warmly.


Bosox, of the ‘Dating Tips For Psychopaths’ fame, was rummaging through his neighbors trash looking for old issues of ‘Modern Drunkard’.


Not to be  out done, Nikki, of ‘A Single Woman’s Guide To The Universe’, wearing the old bridesmaid gown that made her look like a peach colored monk, stood in her driveway accepting delivery of a dumpster.  Yes, she had finally decided to give up being a pack rat, and needed more than a few lousy trash cans to clean out her house.  It didn't go unnoticed when she slipped the driver a few left over pieces of Halloween candy and her phone number.


Everyone waved to Jeff Comedy from ‘What The Hell’ as he raced to his car, apparently late for work once again.  “No time for trash today, folks!” he called over his shoulder.  “I over slept and I need a smoke!”


He ran past Mary’s house, of ‘Alphawoman’s Blog’, barely noticing all the newspapers strewn across her lawn.  As usual, she was away on another fascinating trip.


Albert of ‘Albert’s World of Artsy Fun’ walked regally to his curb, dressed in a purple velvet robe and slippers.  He was the only one that had put out his trash the night before. “Oh no!  What was I thinking?!” he cried remorsefully.  “I could never part with this… or this… or THIS!”  He clasped the items to his chest, and when he was finished he went back into his house with more things than he had thrown away.


Debbie, from ‘My Big Fat Greek Life’ (the female version), came out of her house with freshly baked spinach pie.  We all had a piece except for John, cause he was too busy telling us about the diet he was on 7 years ago (but I don’t think anyone was really listening).


As the trash trucks pulled up to the curbs, Tilly, from ‘Adventures Of A Desperately Fat Housewife’ ran out of her yard, carrying a huge bag of assorted plush animals, and trailing 6 kids behind her.  “Oh no you don’t!” she cried as only a woman with 47 loads of dirty laundry waiting to be done can do.  “Don’t even THINK about pulling away without taking these blasted, over stuffed bean bags from hell!”  I have to admit it was a little hard to take her threats seriously while she was still wearing her Wonder Woman costume…  Her hubby didn't seem to mind though.


Since Scott, from ‘Stories From My Ambulance’, is never home long enough to make any trash of his own, he just sat there behind the wheel of his rig, ready to assist us in the event of any dumpster disasters.


Vivi, from ‘Nwanyioma’s Journal’ offered to design an award for The Prettiest Trash Can and The Best Recycler.


Kris from ‘Is This Thing On’ wrote a beautiful essay describing the entire event.


Right before we all gathered up our empty cans to bring them back in, everybody’s favorite cop, Nemo, from ‘Screamin’ Remo’ came riding by in his patrol car.  And he was proudly displaying Mrs. Linklater’s Vulvi right in the middle of his dashboard.


I hope everyone knows that I wrote this out of love and extreme admiration for the above mentioned Journalists. 


I only hope they forgive me!

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

It's a conspiracy, I tell you!


I missed the trash men today.  For some reason, they don't seem to stick to a schedule.

I can't put my trash out the night before, cause I don't get home from work until 1AM.  Although I'm wide awake, I don't think my neighbors would appreciate hearing me drag my trash cans out to the curb in the middle of the night.
If I wake up early to put out the cans, then the men never come until later in the day.  And that's usually after a lot of the trash has since blown off the top to find other living arrangements.
If I hold off and wait to put out my trash till the afternoon, then I seem to miss them altogether.

Nothing screams failure louder than standing at the end of your driveway with full cans, while all your neighbors are in the process of taking in their empty ones. 

Why does this happen?  Unless a person has had a big party, I think we all pretty much put out the same amount of trash every week.  Which should require about the same amount of time to pick it up.   Let's just say for the sake of argument that some people may have out of town guests staying with them, who have now created extra trash to be collected.  But there will be other people who have gone out of town to visit their loved ones, and won't put out any trash that week since they're away, so those two factors should cancel each other out.

At first I considered that maybe since picking up trash is probably pretty boring, they alternated their starting points each week, to give them some variety.  But then a routine would eventually emerge, and you could plan accordingly.  "Ah, yes, the guys are starting on the other end of the development this week, so I know they won't get here until later this afternoon", you would find yourself thinking as you looked at the calendar on your refrigerator.  But there seems to be no rhyme or reason to their schedules.

Another possibility is that perhaps they pass by each street, stopping only where trash cans are obviously missing, to make their work loads lighter.  That they are counting on the fact that most of the residents probably won't complain because they don't have the time to do it and they secretly blame themselves for missing the trash men anyway.

Personally, I think the trash guys all gather at the end of the day and laugh themselves silly telling each other who got 'left out' this week.  It's conceivable to me that they even take pictures of the jilted clients who stand at the end of their driveways in disbelief.  Catching us scratching our heads and looking back and forth, up and down the street, wondering how in the world we missed trash day yet again.  Capturing our most vulnerable moments while we wait there motionless, as if expecting the Arch Angel of Trash to descend from the heavens above and scoop up our collection of refuse.   After work, the trash men probably put these photos up on the walls of their office to relive the moments whenever they get a chance.  "Look at this one!", one would say pointing to his favorite victim.  "Remember Mrs. L in her pink robe and size 9 slippers when she missed us for the second week in a row?  She stood out there cursing for 20 minutes!"  They would all be doubled over in laughter.  "I got that beat!", another would chime in, carefully removing a worn and tattered photograph from his wallet to share with the others.  "I waited around the corner and out of sight till this guy Remo drug out all of his trash one week, and after he went back into the house, I picked up all the trash on his street... except HIS!"  Gasping with laughter he would continue while passing around the photo to eager listeners.  "Then he comes back out... and take a look at his face when he sees that his trash is still sitting there!  You can tell that he is wondering if he is losing his mind and must have put it out after we already went by!"  Another dumpster devil jumps into the conversation, "That's classic, my friend!  Isn't he that cop with a Vulvi?"  The guy holing the picture can only nod, since he is laughing so hard.

Yes... that must be it.  We are simply today's entertainment and tomorrow's trophy.  We are unwitting participants in the game of trash collection.  Helpless victims in an unwitnessed crime.  Hostages without hope of a mediator.  Forever doomed to remain dateless for the prom and unpicked to play dodge ball in the 5th grade.  Passed over for a promotion, and unnominated for a Vivi.

Holding on to the glimmer of hope that maybe next week... you'll be one of the lucky ones bringing in an empty trash can.

Sunday, November 6, 2005


I'd like to congratulate all the winners in this years VIVI AWARDS!  Each one is a talented writer who takes time out of their busy lives to entertain, enlighten and inspire us in some way, each and every day. 

Please take the time to visit and congratulate them on their achievements.  You just might find a fascinating new Journal along the way!

Click this link to see the complete list of the 2005 Vivi Award winners:

I'd like to say that I was absolutely THRILLED to see that some of my own personal favorites were selected as winners!  Way to go, guys!

Tilly, my new friend from England who finds the time to write a fantastic Journal while raising SIX kids.  Talk about multi-tasking!  She has a WILDLY entertaining Journal, which took THREE Awards!  Don't miss it!
Adventures Of A Desperately Fat Housewife

Journal of the Year went to Pamela,
One Girls' Head Noise Well deserved.  She's funny, down to earth and an inspiration to all of us!

Lord of the Blog went to a sweet and sexy guy named Jimmy.  He writes The Stupid Sheet Guy Sorry ladies... but I called dibbs on him last week!

Don't go ANYWHERE until you've read and memorized Alphawoman's Blog which won Best Travel Journal.  Even if you can'tget away, you'll love her stories and photos!

Most Outspoken Journal Award will be shared by two amazing journals.  I can't imagine starting the day without reading each of them.
Mrs.Linklater's Guide To The Universe and Screamin' Remo.

ALL the winning Journals are great!
Congratulations to each and every one of them!

And a special thank you to the people who worked so hard to make these Awards possible in the first place.  I hope you know how much it means to these writers, win or lose.


Saturday, November 5, 2005

This Was My Finest Hour...

Not having anything better to do today, I decided to take on a project of monumental proportions.  One that brings inner peace and satisfaction like no other.  One that I can brag to my friends about, and illicit suprised but admiring looks.  An accomplishment that will make me the envy of all my neighbors, and will probably be mentioned in my obituary should I die sometime in the near future.

I completed a project that's deemed extremely difficult even by people who have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro or won the Nobel Peace Prize.  A goal that requires such a degree of physical strength that it's commonly turfed off by women to the men in their lives, if they're lucky enough to have one.  And it's such a complex task, that you can't even hire someone else to do it for you.

Yes... today... I did it.

I cleaned out my garage.

By myself.

I was going to take before and after pics, but I didn't want to make the rest of you feel bad. It's OK.  Not all of us have the time, the energy and the endurance for such a feat.  Many, many people have catastrophic messes that they zealously hide behind closed garage doors.  Well guarded family secrets that force them to frantically scan the streets for prying eyes before opening those doors and getting out their cars.  If the cars can even FIT in their garages in the first place.

But don't be ashamed.  Statistics show that 90% of all Americans have a messy garage.  And that cleaning out their garages are on everyone's Top 10 Things To Do on any given weekend.

Sadly... with the world the way it is today, most people never get to complete that list.  Some... never even start it.  And I've heard rumors that there are a few people that don't even HAVE a To Do List.

I know... these statistics ARE frightening.  But they're true.  Please don't let your children read this.  They have plenty of time to discover these horrors when they're older and better able to handle such knowledge.

But now... my goal achieved ... I am here to offer myself as a role model.  A beacon of light for you to emulate on your darkest days.  A simple woman, who may have previously been construed as unmotivated, now to be forever portrayed as a heroine of organization.  And I am willing to accept my duty to make myself available to answer questions and offer advice to those individuals who don't know where or how to even start such a project.

For I was once like you.  Living in constant fear that the police would have to investigate a crime that took place in my garage, where they would witness the squalor that I lived in, day after day.  That a team of unfortunate forensic scientists would be forced to devote the rest of their careers to sifting through my personal crime scene, to sort out potential evidence.  Terrorized about the potential testimony they would give in Court.  Prosecutor:  "And had you EVER, at any time in your long career, Detective Munch, seen a garage in such a state of disarray?"  Detective Munch:  "No, sir.  NEVER!"  I'd have to hang my head in shame when the jury gasped in horror and looked at me with disgust.

And I can now admit that I always secretly feared that I would be contacted by Stephen King asking to write a book based on my clutter.

But... no more.  I can proudly fling open my garage doors and let the world see what's inside.  I could even invite tour groups to visit.  It's possible once the news of this gets out that I might be asked to give inspirational speeches.  Maybe have my garage featured in a newspaper article.  I wouldn't be suprised if Martha Stewart herself, asked me to be a guest on her show.  Maybe even a co-host!  I could begin a new career as a garage cleaning expert.  Hired to autograph pics of my garage at Home Depots across America.  It's within the realm of possibility that the CIA may clear me to offer guidance to President Bush and the First Lady when they decide to clean out their garage!

Yes!  It was an ordinary day in the ordinary life of a DWF in New Jersey.  But... it changed the entire world as we knew it.

Now physically spent, emotionally drained and finished sharing my great success... there is nothing left for me to do, but watch some old episodes of 'Seinfeld'.

So if you'll excuse me...