Friday, August 8, 2008

Pre-Vacation Foreplay

Minds out of the gutter, people! I'm not going to talk about ACTUAL foreplay here. Rather, all the activities and tasks that one must accomplish before embarking on a two week jaunt to Europe. Yes, life is tough.

You see, there are so many things to do before leaving for vacation. Some people might find these tasks tedious. I, on the other hand, enjoy them. I'm so excited for the actual trip, but I like to enjoy the build up too. Each task reminds me of the reason why I'm doing it--so that we can sail around the Mediterranean! It is, you see, a kind of pre-vacation foreplay! Getting us primed for THE MAIN EVENT.

1. Go to USPS web site and ask them to hold our mail while we're away. Our mailbox is the size of a 1990's era cell phone, so it can barely hold a day's worth of mail, let alone two weeks worth.

2. Go to camera store and buy a brand-new digital SLR camera that you have no idea how to use properly. Let the nice Hasidic man at the counter convince we need several additional accoutrements to really do it up right.

3. Buy 'European vacation' clothing. This really can include anything you want. My rationalization skills have been finely honed.

4. Go to the bank and pick up Euros. The lady at the bank asked me if I'd like the last hundred's worth of Euros in smaller bills. I said yes, and you know what's great? Smaller bills really are, quite literally, smaller bills! The EU thought of everything!

5. Choose vacation reading. This is really the most critical of the pre-vacation foreplay. What you read while on vacation sets the tone. And it's so hard to decide. I'd like some lighter reading, but I also still want to still appear well-rounded and smart before my fellow passengers. Let's face it, your shipmates will glance at the book in your hands as they walk past you on the pooldeck. I know I do. Danielle Steel? Not talking to you at the Captain's Dinner! Shopaholic series? Not too much going on upstairs with you now, is there? A People's History of the United States? I'm asleep already, and I really can't believe that you aren't as well.

So tell me, what's YOUR favorite pre-vacation foreplay?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If One More Person Falls Asleep On My Shoulder, I'm Turning This Subway Car Right Back Around

At this point in my life, I'm fairly convinced that the universe is conspiring against me to place subway sleepers next to me, regardless of what train I'm on and when. Tonight is a case in point. I'm riding home from work and sure enough I start to see and feel the telltale signs of a subway sleeper. Out of my peripheral vision I see the head of the girl sitting next to me start to bob and loll back and forth. Her ponytail was swinging like a pendulum on a grandfather clock.

The thing with subway sleepers, you see, is that it all starts rather innocuously. A strap of their bag may slip off their shoulder and gently hit you. Their arm may accidentally brush yours. In summer months, this is entirely unacceptable. The feeling of a stranger's skin-and worse, their arm hairs-brushing against yours is rather disconcerting. Next thing you know, you're entirely focused on waiting for the offender to fall on you. It's like Chinese water torture (do any of us know, or even know anyone else who truly understands what it's like to undergo Chinese water torture?) You practically wish they would fall on you, only so that you can reinforce the belief that subway sleeper is a complete and total dick, undeserving of the privilege of a $2 ride on public transit.

I'm always torn as to how I want to deal with a subway sleeper. My reaction is directly proportional to my mood. If I feel as though I'd like to teach them a lesson, I usually consider placing my elbow just so and then suddenly jolting it up into their ribcage, all the while looking the other direction and feigning obliviousness. If I'm feeling rather mean, I like to learn forward in my seat and hope that when their head falls towards me, the sudden lack of another body next to them as support will cause their neck to suddenly snap, resulting in a temporary disability (not permanent! I'm not that cruel-minded).

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for falling asleep on moving transportation. I for one can be out within five minutes of boarding a plane, train or automobile. But it's all about sleep management. Keep your head down, centered over your body, and know your surroundings.

I'm just sayin'

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot Time, Summer in the City

Today, as the thermometer climbed, and climbed, and climbed to cruel new heights, Mike and I decided it was time to figure out a pool plan for our summer lives. We've lived here nearly three years, it's time we knew where the hell we could go to take a dip.

Enter Google. Trusty, knowledgeable friend who always lifts you up and never lets you down. Or is that Bud Light? In any case, Google led me to discover a nice-looking public pool in nearby Long Island. Call me a snob but I just can't, I just won't, bring myself to go to a public pool in one of the boroughs.

So we hopped on the Long Island Expressway and - surprise!- it was a parking lot. As we crept along at 5 miles an hour I wondered if we would have been better off back on the couch. Soon enough though, the congestion cleared. Just your everyday, run of the mill 6 car pileup was holding up our pool progress. We soldiered on.

The pool was BIG, and so blue, and had diving boards! And lounge chairs! Mike kindly pointed out two chairs in the far corner. You know the shady spot that nobody wants? Well, that's the spot that I need. We set up our lounge area and all was fine and good until the gypsies showed up. Some shady looking Eastern Europeans asked if we could squeeze over a bit so they could fit their lounge chairs rightnextto us. We sneered. And then moved over.

Little by little the pool started filling up. Twenty different foreign languages could be heard floating through the air. I caught hairballs between my fingers while swimming a slow breaststroke across the width of the pool. A three hundred pound woman strolled into the pool in her itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini.

We exchanged glances.
"Want to?"
"Yes, it's time," I replied. And off we went, back to the comforts of home.