Thursday, June 28, 2007

These are snippets of conversations I heard at the hair salon yesterday. I didn't hear any of them in their entirety because I was focusing on my crossword puzzle. But when I hear words like"the horse's head was decapitated" I can't help but pay closer attention.

Customer:.....and the horse's head was decapitated and landed in her car.
Hairdresser: Who was this again?
Customer: My brother's girlfriend. The police came and knocked on his door and said do you know a (girl's name). My brother said "what happened ?"and they said "she hit a horse".


Customer: How's your Mom?
Hairdresser: Not so good. Last night she called me and said she was locked in a room in the produce section at the supermarket. I told her that if her mind was going to wander couldn't it go to a nice beach somewhere?


Hairdresser: Did I tell you their puppy died?
Customer: No. What happened?
Hairdresser: They took it to the dog hospital and it was $800 to walk in the door. Then they wanted $2300 to put it in ICU with no guarantee it would live. So they put it down.
Customer: What was wrong with it?
Hairdresser: I don't really know, but a little while ago the dog broke it's jawbone, and the jawbone poked his eye out so maybe that had something to do with it.

It was an strange day at the salon. Usually they talk about American Idol.

Thursday, June 21, 2007
  Verbal Vacation photo #3

Subtitle: Identity Theft

I am extremely careful about my personal information. A few years back we thought that someone had high-jacked our credit card. It turned out to be nothing, either because it was nipped in the bud, or the credit card company had made an error. Still, we bought a shredder and use it to dispose of all those offers for low interest transfers, and airline miles for dollars which make up the bulk of our snail mail these days. I don't respond to email requests for personal information and I don't give money or information to disembodied voices on the phone. I imagine, that most prudent people do the same. It has come to my attention that these precautions are not sufficient. Possibly we need to turn our attention to, our relatives.

After Sarcas-dad and I retrieved our luggage at the Daytona Airport we headed for the cab stand and hailed the next available taxi. We gave our destination, handed over our bags and then endured a short wait while our driver looked for his keys. After he accussed all of the other drivers of taking them, they were found in the compartment next to the gear shift. No matter, we were quickly underway.

Seriously, I don't mind if the cab driver drives in silence , as long as I get where I am going. This driver was very friendly and chatty. So of course, the conversation opened with him asking:
"Where are you guys from?"

Philadelphia is the 5th, ( or possibly the 6th) largest city in the US. So people have heard of it. Some have been there. And everyone seems to know someone who lives there. And they want to know if you know them.

"Do you know my friend Jeff? He lives in Philadelphia."

"Brown haired Jeff"


:But of course! Everyone knows Jeff"

It never actually goes like that. The population of Philadelphia is 1,448,394 give or take and even I don't know everyone.

This driver, whose name was Bill was quick to ask if we were familiar with a particular suburb of Phila. When we said we are he couldn't stop telling us about his son, who lives there. Along with his wife and kids. Thanks to a proud papa I know that his son is the principal of the township high school. As he is the one and only principal, that sort of narrows it down. I know how much son and wife were making when they lived in Florida, and how much more they rake in now. I know what he does for a living. I know how many kids they have, and where the kids go to school . I know what they do for fun, and where they do it. And I know where they live. Not the exact address, or even the street name, but he gave enough clues about the neighborhood, that I could probably come pretty close. I even know that the wife's sister is married to a prominent Philadelphia politician.

It was only a fifteen minute cab ride. Thank goodness for son and wife and kids. Thank goodness too that this information was imparted to two weary travelers who were focused on checking into their room and ordering a pizza.

When I got out of the cab I considered telling Bill I would look up the kids. I felt like I knew them so well.

Sunday, June 17, 2007
  Verbal Vacation Photo #2

Photo caption: "Where Do You Draw the Line ? "

On one evening of our vacation, Sarcasdad and I opted to order up pizza to our room, and open a bottle of wine for dinner. Pizza, wine and an ocean view. Perfect together. We called a local pizzeria and ordered a white pie.

Here in Philly, or at least in northeast Philly, a white pie has no tomato sauce . There is usually more than one kind of cheese and of course you can have whatever toppings you like. But it always, always has a lot of garlic. Definitely garlic. So much that the next day you would swear it is coming out of your pores. In fact, if you have a significant other in your life I would caution against having white pizza unless they are as well. Or plan on sleeping on the couch.

So the pizza comes. It has the cheese but not even a hint of garlic. What it does have, which was interesting to us , was dollops of ricotta, baked under and on top of the other cheese. Really very good. Just not what we are used to.

It made me wonder. Where, between Philly and Daytona Beach, does the garlic disappear? South Philly is heavily influenced by Italian culture. Is that where the ricotta gets added ? Does the garlic cross the Mason-Dixon Line ? How many ways does white pizza change between my front door and the Daytona shores?

What do you get if you order a white pie?

Friday, June 15, 2007
  Vacation Pictures

I don't have any. Didn't even pack the camera. I did take one with my phone to send the Sarcas-girls. Sort of a "wish I could wish you were here" digital postcard. And the picture wasn't that good. That's why I don't have any. I learned long ago that picture taking is not my finest skill.They never turn out like I think they will. Additionally, all of the Sarcas-girls take mighty fine photos. So I just use theirs. And they weren't there.

You don't get off that easy. I have some verbal vacation shots for you. I'll post them as they develop.

Here is Verbal Photo # 1 . Subtitled- An Overview.

The weather was typical Florida sun in the morning and a late afternoon shower. Monday ,Wednesday and Thursday were picture perfect. Tuesday was mostly cloudy with a whopping rainstorm for most of the afternoon. Sarcas-dad and I take the rain as nature's way of telling us to go inside. Otherwise we would never move off the lounge chairs, and would be nursing sunburns instead of sporting tans. And the storm was kind of mesmerizing as we watched it from our window overlooking the ocean.

We saw two movies. Oceans Thirteen which I found disappointing, and Mr. Brooks which I enjoyed. And we played miniature golf at the same course we used to take the girls to. We both got 2 holes in one , and won 2 free games. ( clearly the girls had been holding us back) Sarcas-dad was , as usual, victorious.

The flights were fine, but did not make me a fan of Airtran. We changed planes once each way so there were four flights total. Two of them were late. The one leaving Philly was right on schedule, until an airline employee announced that someone had gotten sick near the plane's entrance and it had to be cleaned up before we could board. As nice as it was to be kept informed, it would have been better if we all couldn't see the luggage being loaded onto the plane 20 minutes after the announcement. This schedule interuption left Sarcas-dad and I ten minutes to get from terminal D to terminal C in Atlanta's Hartsfield airport to make our connecting flight. We did it. (thank goodness for those gym workouts) and I swear they almost caught me in the door as it was closing. And in 4 out of 4 landings we hit hard enough to rearrange our internal organs.

Still, all was forgiven when I saw my luggage on the belt in Florida. I figured if I barely made the plane, there is no way my bag did. Somebody really hustled for that.

The hotel we stayed at was one we visited several times when the girls were younger. Sarcasmo Jr., who has an amazing memory for dates, said it was eleven years ago that we were last in Daytona Beach. Very little had changed. The Daytona Beachfront reminds me a lot of a Jersey shore town, with a better beach and nicer weather. One big difference is that in Daytona you can drive your car right onto the beach, so pedestrian surf waders have to be alert and look both ways before crossing the sand.

This is the first verbal photo in the vacation album.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Seriously, this post should be called "How I Got My Nails done and Gained Ten Pounds". Yesterday I went along with the Saarcas-girls and a female contingent of the Sarcas-kids to a local spa. I got my first ever French Manicure and Pedicure. Don't I feel pretty! Everyone made appointments for the spa treatments of their choice. Two of the girls had a massage. That is something I have never had a desire to do. But both of my spa mates came out of the massage room in such a state of bliss, that I may be a little tempted. Both girls praised the masseuse and vowed to drive the distance to visit her again.

Everybody brought " a little something" to nosh. We had 2 kinds of cheese with crackers and bread, cookies, chocolates, and two pastries from Philadelphia's 5 Star restaurant. I don't know what they call them, but we dubbed them "the best chocolate cake ever", and " this cheesecake is amazing". I am sure they are on the menu by other names. There was only 6 of us. We tried to share with a wedding party that was at the spa, but they were all about fitting into dresses later in the day, so , it was more for us. We didn't take much home.

Later today, Sarcas-dad and I are jetting off to what I hope will be sunny Florida. For one I won't bury my toes in the sand, since I have a nice new French pedicure to display.

Today is also Star's birthday. I posted all about it, and how we will celebrate over here .

I am not planing to post til I get back. It is truly a vacation from everything. Not that you'll be able to tell given my recent posting regularity, or lack of it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007
  Lock Up The Cutlery

A while back I went to get my vegetable peeler from it's plae on the knife rack, and it wasn't there. I assumed that whoever emptied the dishwasher put it away somewhere else. I looked around in kitchen drawers but never found it. It was one of those peelers with the big rubber grip around it. I liked it, bu it wasn't that big a loss. I picked up another, although a different brand without the big rubber grip at the food store. I don't like it as much, but it will do.

Fast forward to my local news the other night. A story aired about a collection on display locally, called Antiques of The Future. The collection's designer, Lisa S. Roberts has identified items she feels will have value when they are no longer in production. They will be collector's items. There was some modern looking chairs, colorful dinnerware, Michael Graves toasters from Target, and my OXO Goodgrips Peeler. Well, not my peeler, but one just like it.

The lightbulb went off. No wonder I can't find my peeler. It's obviously been pilfered. Someone, recognizing it's true worth made off with it.

I won't be caught off guard again. I'm going right now to lock up the dish soap. And , to see where I can get a set of those snotty vases. You know, as an investment in the fture.

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