Archive for January, 2014

Post #125 – REALLY? Dinner in a box and no pajamas?

Posted in Family, Food and beverages, friends, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

I admit, I’m kinda old-fashioned when it comes to certain things, like when I have people over for dinner, I cook from scratch – (or Charlie does). Bare minimum, we use mostly fresh ingredients with maybe a seasoning packet occasionally if I/we can’t get the mix of spices right for enchiladas or something.

It just seems incredibly indolent to me, to not actually cook the food yourself for your guests, but maybe, I’m just overly fastidious in that respect. However, I know people would have been disappointed if I had served chicken fingers, courtesy of Banquet foods and frozen french fries or something instead of my prize-winning chili at our last party, which takes me about 20 minutes to throw together. Then, it has to cook all day (at least 4 hours). I stir it occasionally, maybe adding a little garlic or a little chili powder, here and there, but that’s it. Not so difficult, n’est-ce pas?

When I recently went to a friend’s for dinner, she doled out re-heated deli ham that was so greasy it made me queasy alongside Bird’s Eye frozen mashed potatoes and a salad composed of iceberg lettuce and bacon bits. Sorry, but I was annoyed. And, yes, they were, in fact, frozen mashed potatoes because I saw the package in the trash, and they had the consistency and taste of rather bland sand.

And how hard is it to make them from the box? I prefer peeled, boiled and smashed potatoes, but the dehydrated potato flakes mixed with milk, etc., that are boiled so carefully 🙂 are just fine. I grew up eating those. But it’s so much healthier to eat mashed potatoes from raw potatoes than whatever the hell was in that frozen crud posing as spuds.

Secondly, I never go anywhere in public without makeup – no, not even the grocery store. Why? Because I’m vain. And? Next question…:)

However, I don’t mean I spend an hour slathering on Revlon’s best camouflage to go to Krogering, just a little concealer, a little  foundation, a little eye liner, and that’s it. That’s just how I roll. Because of my allergies, I always have dark circles under my eyes, so if I don’t wear a little bit of paint, I’ll look like I haven’t slept in a week and/or Charlie’s been smacking me around, which has never – nor would ever happen.

A couple years ago, I worked as part-time, season help one Christmas working for an upscale clothing retailer.  while cleaning my office yesterday, I happened to come across this email I’d printed out while working there. I kept it because I thought it was hilarious. And I’m paraphrasing here for brevity’s sake:

While we have a somewhat relaxed dress code here at XXXX XXXXXXX, certain items of clothing are not allowed including:

sweatpants

track suits

tank tops

halter tops

tops that show one’s midriff

flip flops

hats of any kind

pajamas*

pants or jeans that droop well below the waistline

*Except during designated pajama days, which are twice a year and will be announced via email.

SERIOUSLY? No pjs and no sweats? Damn. What’s the world coming to when you can’t slink into work in your onesy?! 🙂 Before this job, I would’ve been surprised to see something like this in print. Perhaps, it means I’m truly over-the-hill–though I’m only in my 40s, so it’s not like I’m Nana’s age, with that 100th b’day lurking round the bend…but then again, the last time I worked in an office…the photo below portrays my signature duds…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMaybe, that makes me a fashion snob…so be it…:). Though this photo was taken in 2005, I don’t think corporate America has changed much since then, has it? The gentleman who conducted my first interview at XXXXXX was wearing Brooks Brothers pants, a button down and a tie, and he commented that I looked great and that I should wear similar clothing for my second interview. Funny, I was worried I wasn’t dressed up enough in a long silk skirt with a matching blouse and a long white sweater, but everyone else was dressed like this:

girl in jeans 4

In case you can’t tell by my drawing, she’s wearing jeans, a sweater and a long scarf. And when I say everyone, I mean every applicant had on jeans, a sweater and a long scarf except me and another lady who had on a sweater dress. I remember thinking it was odd that people would wear such casual clothes to interview – though I know most of the open positions were in the call center, but STILL, this wasn’t Walmart. When I say, upscale, I mean, you can’t buy a pair of socks for less than $25 in their online catalog. And their jeans start at $98.

While completing my new hire paperwork, I heard one of the recruiters saying, “Jeans and a sweatshirt are not acceptable for interviewing, but please feel free to reapply in six months in more suitable garments,” to several young girls, and he briefly outlined what was appropriate.

Bravo to Joe Recruiter because I’m sure, otherwise, they would’ve had no idea why they weren’t hired. So, thank you, to my parents for preaching about the appropriate attire for interviews, weddings, etc., when I was a kid. Hell, I wore a black velvet suit to interview at Burger King when I was 16. Overkill? Maybe, but the manager hired me on the spot without even checking my references, and what could it have hurt if he hadn’t?

Therefore, I will never cry uncle to the new trend of dressing down because I fear that day in the future when the memo doesn’t say – “It’s pajama day! Dig out your flannel pjs!” Nay, I fear it will say: “It’s underwear day! Break out your new boxers and your best thongs and bras!” At which point, I will go to ground and telecommute until I’m too old and mad cow-crazy to work anymore…:)

It might seem like these topics are an odd combination: declining workplace wardrobes and dishing up frozen shit to your friends/family. But both trends have been spawned by the same bent in America these days: the art of laziness, an art I hope I never perfect.

Over and out –

TenaciousBitch and her band of overachieving/truth-spouting hippies ~

© Tenacious Bitch 2014

Post 124 – Never say DISABLED…and the acquisition of the Silver Bullet! :)

Posted in Family, family battles, grandmothers, humor, memoir, nonfiction, relationships, true stories, true stories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by tenaciousbitch

Three years ago today, I wrecked my beloved Escalade, which is the subject of this post – http://tenaciousbitch.com/2011/04/12/not-arriving-at-my-destination/.

For those who are new to my Crazytown, my younger brother, Danny is a drug addict who stole between $40K and $50K from our Grandmother (Nana Maude) during 2010 when he lived with Nana in Georgia. She was 92/93 at the time, and the day I almost totaled the Escalade, I was on my way to get a Restraining Order against Danny.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, Danny was at Nana’s house the day of the crash. Nana was in a rehab hospital, and Danny was at her house using my computer to do some sort of paperwork to apply for Foodstamps. I found the fax cover sheet dated for that very day (Jan. 16, 2011) on his desk the next day.

If I hadn’t spent an hour waiting on a policeman to take the statements of everyone involved in the crash (where, luckily, no one was injured), I would’ve been at Nana’s and had to deal with Danny’s temper. He was furious at me because I’d kicked him out of Nana’s house, and I was trying to sell my Dad’s BMW (that Danny had been driving) to pay 3 or 4 months’ worth of Nana’s bills that Danny hadn’t paid while he was living with her because he’d liquidated and spent all of her equity on liquor, strippers and drugs. So, I have to wonder if there was some sort of divine intervention there, maybe, as far as my accident? 🙂

Unfortunately, Nana lost her house to foreclosure because of Danny’s thievery, and she lived with me, my husband, and my son, Max, for almost 3 years afterward, which was one of the dreariest and most stressful times in my life.

As to WHY I was none too thrilled to be Nana’s maid/cook/personal assistant/laundress/nurse, etc., check out this post:

https://tenaciousbitch.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/as-my-mother-lay-dying/

Thankfully, she is now in a nursing home, which is the subject of this post:

http://tenaciousbitch.com/2013/06/28/still-unhappy-but-there-is-a-dog-named-sue/

Unfortunately, after the accident in 2011, the Escalade was never the same. The last six months we had around $1,200 in repairs. At one point, the electrical systems went haywire. All the warning lights were blazing as if everything needed to be replaced: the battery/change the oil/replace the air bags/the brakes/the blinkers, etc., and we’d just bought a new battery.

That repair cost over $300. But a month or so after that, it quit on me, about half a mile from my part-time job at Ann Taylor Corporate. Everything died. The engine. The lights, the brakes, the power steering, etc., right in the middle of a busy intersection between a Kroger and a McDonald’s during rush hour prime time around 4:45 PM…

I managed to get it started, but it died again about 30 feet or so later. I coasted into a parking space in front of the office and had it towed home after work that night. The next day, Charlie walked in from work and said, “Well, you better start looking for a new car.”

I’d been researching various cars online for a year, and I’d tried to get him to trade in the Escalade and his truck last fall, but he wasn’t interested. We’d planned on trading in the Escalade in the spring, but turned out, it most likely needed a new transmission, which would’ve cost, $1500, at least, I would think.

And we didn’t get nearly as much for it as we should have because the State Trooper who completed the accident report in Georgia, stated the Escalade was “disabled”, which devalued my SUV to about 1/3 of what it was worth according to KBB.com. It wasn’t actually disabled. It was driveable, but my insurance agency told me to have it towed, which I was more than happy to do because I was a little shaken up after plowing into a Chevy Tahoe.  They were towing the car away just as the State Trooper arrived, so he probably assumed it was disabled.

LESSON LEARNED: if you’re ever in a car crash, don’t let the cops label your car as DISABLED, unless, it is totally incapacitated and/or not driveable because that pretty much puts your car in the junkyard category.

However, there is a SILVER lining/a.k.a. THE SILVER BULLET.

When most people go through a mid-life crisis, they buy a Porsche. And I actually found a used Porsche or two I could’ve managed to squeeze into our budget, but that would’ve meant no new clothes for 2/3 years, and Ramen noodles and PB&J would’ve been on a frequent dinner rotation, which didn’t interest me.

That said, I’m such a nerd, I bought a 2014 FORD FIESTA…

RICART PHOTO 3

in garage 3

PIC ONE IN GARAGE

Isn’t it pretty? I love it!!! It’s a five speed/manual transmission. It has a twin-cam engine, so it’s not like the scooter on a Ford frame like the old Fiesta, and it has heated seats. And despite the lower trade-in value of the Escalade, the new car payment is $30 less/month, and the difference in the gas mileage is staggering. I did a comparison on a commuter’s website, which summed it up like this:

Cost of gas for the Escalade – driving to work: 

  Daily Monthly Yearly
Drive Alone *

$15.17

$242.65

$2,911.74

Carpool with 1 other person

$7.58

$121.32

$1,455.87

Cost of driving the Fiesta:

  Daily Monthly Yearly
Drive Alone *

$5.77

$92.37

$1,108.42

Carpool with 1 other person

$2.89

$46.18

$554.21

So, the new vehicle costs about $150 less a month in petrol than the SUV…:), and the Fiesta is REALLY fun to drive.  Additionally, it’s the newest vehicle I’ve ever bought. It had 8 MILES on it when I drove it home a month ago.

That said, though I do miss the spacious interior of the Escalade somewhat, the Fiesta is a bit like the Tardis. It’s a lot bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside.

Ta for now…wishing you all shiny new chariots in the new year! 🙂

TENACIOUS BITCH and her band of truth-spouting hippies…