Friday, October 28, 2011

Really People??


Over the last few weeks, I have run into a handful of situations where I just want to turn to people and say REALLY?!?   None of these situations is enough to post about, but combined, it should be enough for your enjoyment!

-          On one of my recent flights, I went to the back to use the bathroom, and both bathrooms were in use, so I stood there to the side, so as not to be in the way of the people sitting in the back of the plane.    This Asian woman comes up, walks right past where Im standing, and tried to open one of the stalls.   Really?   You think Im squeezed into a tight standing spot in front of the bathroom just for the fun of it?   There obviously is someone in there dumbshit!

-          On one of my recent drives home, I was in the middle lane on Route 130 – a major, 3-lane, non-highway road in NJ, when I got over to the right lane a block and a half ahead of where I needed to turn.   There was PLENTY of space to get over – I was by no means cutting anyone off.   So the guy who was now behind me (by a good two car lengths) beeped at me for getting in front of him and threw up his hands at me.   After that, I wish I had a camera to watch the next 10 minutes of my drive being “stuck” in front of this guy.    Every little move I made, he made hand movements at me, clearly criticizing the way I was driving.    If you don’t like my driving, so be it, but you don’t need to put on a show for all to see…good thing I don’t have road rage…

-          I was driving on Street Road in Bensalem – another busy road – when someone cut me off – so this time I was on the opposite end of the drive above, except I was actually cut off.   I slammed on my breaks and beeped at the guy.   This guy also enjoyed using his hands and threw his hands up at me, so of course, being the sweet lady I am, threw my hands back up at him in a WTF kinda way.   Apparently the guy thought our hands wanted to have conversations, and I wasn’t gonna be the one to deny that pleasure for him (seeing as I don’t back down from those things), so for about 30-60 seconds we went back and forth throwing up our hands.   At one point I just started doing some crazy techno hand dance moves (I was just having fun with it – no fingers or anything)….It would have been an interesting sight for anyone driving next to us…

I know there are a bunch more stories to share, but Im exhausted and my mind isn’t functioning, so Ill just save them for another post (if I can remember them)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Can I trade in laws with someone?!?!

PLEASE?!?!?!   Does any want to deal with CRAZY over-the-top in laws.   You might think yours are crazy, but they can't be worse then mine, and it would be a much welcome break for me to have normal crazy for even a short period of time over CRAZY crazy.

So here's the newest story that everyone is itching to hear about after my facebook updates since last night.    Ill take you back to the "beginning".   My first year dating my hubby, my ILs invited us and my family over to their house for dinner.    Two years ago, my ILs invited us over again, but this time had a larger group of people.   Then last year, our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, his parents decided not to do anything because it was the year that my BIL/SIL spend with her side of the family.    (That is one of many signs that they don't care about their kids/significant others, they only care about our offspring, which we don't have yet, but my BIL/SIL do.)

So last year, we decided to take on the hosting of the Thanksgiving dinner, but we turned it into a lunch - as MANY people in America do a lunch or an EARLY dinner.  My ILs attended, even asked if they could invite a friend (we of course said yes, but she didn't come).  Everyone had such a great time, that we decided to host it again this year.   Hubby told his parents this back in the summer and we sent the invite out 2 weeks ago.

My SIL checked in last week to see if I heard back from them yet - and I hadn't - because they had emailed them to make sure they weren't doing anything, and were just planning on attending my Thanksgiving lunch.   So after BIL/SIL continued to try and figure out what ILs are doing, so that my SIL could finalize plans to attend the luncheon - she finally got an answer.

My ILs decided they are gonna do a dinner because its more traditional and they want to invite their friend.   And they pretty much are expecting my SIL and her family to attend the dinner at 5pm after my lunch that is called for 1:30pm.

I'm sorry - WTF!    I understand that some people jump from Thanksgiving function to function so that they can spend part of the day with all of their family - but those are different sides of the family - not within the same F'ing family.    If your son is hosting a Thanksgiving luncheon - why in g-d's name do you feel the need to host a dinner 3 and a half hours later?!?!?

So I found out about this dinner (of which we weren't invited to) last night as I was getting ready for my sisters Bachelorette party and hubby was getting ready for my future brother-in-laws bachelor party - so it didn't really get to really sink in until today.

So today, I had Hubby call his parents to discuss this situation:
- First off - still no rsvp from them - which I do have to say isn't necessary yet - as its a month away, and the invite has only been out for 2 weeks, but if you know you aren't gonna come because you are gonna back stab us - at least say so
- Second off - you don't even give us the decency to let us know you don't care that we are gonna host a family function, and you are gonna "compete" with us
- Thirdly - Your own son isn't invited to your "traditional" thanksgiving family dinner?!?!?  Its just your offspring who provided grandkids and your best friend?  
- Finally - Did you ever think about how rude you are being - and how if this was turned around how PO'd you'd be with us - and how you would be so "hurt and devastated" that family could do this to you?  (please note - this is NOT how I feel, but this is exactly how my MIL would tell us she feels if the tables were turned).

Wanna guess how the call went?

It ended up being two calls (Shocker!).   The first one (around 4:30pm today), MIL couldn't come up with a story quick enough, so she said that reception was bad and they would talk later.

The second one came around 8:15pm tonight - MIL calling hubby back.   This one was clearly more rehearsed.

Overall this is what was taken out of the conversation(s):
- They didn't know about our lunch until a couple days ago because they didn't see the evite (total bullshit, because one of the great things about evite is that I can at least see when people have viewed the invite - or that they haven't - and MIL viewed it 10 days ago.   Additionally BIL/SIL emailed them to see if they were coming to my place, so they saw that too.
- They didn't invite us because they assumed that we wouldn't be able to go.   Then when Hubby called them out on that, they said they didn't make that assumption, but that we know we are always invited to their place - and we have keys to let ourselves in.    Then they tried to cover their tracks by saying they didn't invite anyone, they didn't even invite BIL/SIL (BULLSHIT - how do they think we know about this?!?!)
- They always host Thanksgiving dinner every other year and invite their/her best friend, and we should know that.   But they understand that we can't come because now that we are married, we have to spend time with my side of the family.   (Yup - they decline our invite and put it on us).

Blah blah blah.   Pretty much, they are acting as if they did nothing wrong, and they understand that we can't spend all the holidays with them.   But of course we are still invited, and can make our final decision all the way up through that day and that they will try to stop by ours.

Oh - I should add that I really tried hard not to make them feel alienated, so I didn't invite my MILs father or sisters and their families (if you don't know the story - long story...short of it is my MIL refuses to talk to her family for absolutely no real reason) even though I really wanted to.  

Right now I really want to tell them that if the tables were turned we would be getting our asses handed to us on a silver platter by them and they would be bitching and moaning about how thoughtless and rude we are and how much we hurt them.   And continue with letting them know I'm done with the games, I plan to make no attempts to sugarcoat anything anymore and make things harder on me to make it easier on them.    And that we probably won't ever see them again, because ALL family will be invited to all events from here on out.

Unfortunately, as "in-your-face" as I can be, I don't have the guts to seperate hubby and our future children from these people Im supposed to call mom and dad.   Additionally, they still have credit card debt on OUR credit card - and at the rate they are going, it will take 3 more years to pay off what could easily be paid off in 3 months AT MOST - and Im just not willing to take on that extra $450 debt.

So any takers on the trading in-laws thing??

Monday, October 17, 2011

Philly Cupcake


Catching up on old posts that I meant to write, so lets see if I can remember enough to be able to write all my food reviews :\

The day that Adam and I went on our Philadelphia Chocolate Tour we had a mile walk back to our car (where we started the tour) from where we ended the tour.   Other than stopping at doggy stores (I just can’t resist cute dog stores!), we spotted a cupcake place!   Adam and I watch cupcake wars whenever we see it, and those cupcakes always look so good, that I can’t resist the gourmet cupcake shops, so this was no different.   The good thing is, we don’t go into the city much, so I don’t fall sucker to them too often.   

This time, there were a bunch that looked yummy, so we picked up a half dozen – with the intention of splitting each of them.   Except Adam doesn’t always think, and on his day off – while I was at work – he ate a whole cupcake and didn’t share any with me!   So I decided to do the same to him that night, except I did it right in front of him – HA! 

Anyways, like I said in the beginning, this was a little over a month ago, so here is my best memory of what we picked – and my reviews:

Carrot Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting
When we got home, Adam and I each picked out a cupcake and split it, so this and the next ones were the ones we first took out.    The icing on this was perfect for me, possibly a little rich for those who don’t LOVE icing.    The icing wasn’t so rich that it overpowered the cake, they were the perfect combination.   The cake was also yummy, nice and moist with good flavor. 

Lemon Cupcake with Lemon Blended Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting 
Adam is a huge lemon lover, so it was no shock that he wanted this and it was the first one he chose.   There was also a strawberry lemonade that looked good, but they were very similar, so I made him pick one.   Adam and I were both fans.   The lemon wasn’t anything crazy – and again the frosting wasn’t overwhelming when paired with the cupcake, but maybe a little rich for those that tried it on its own (but I think only people who love icing and the richness it provides do that J)

PhillyFetti (Vanilla Cupcake with Sprinkles Baked in and Vanilla Buttercream with Sprinkles and Glitter)
This is the one Adam didn’t share L  So no review for you…

Banana Rama Cupcake (Banana Cupcake, Banana Buttercream with Nilla Wafer and white chocolate drizzle)
This is the one I didn’t share with Adam J   And it was YUMMY IN MY TUMMY!   I love me my vanilla and some banana!   The only thing that would have made this even more perfect is some peanut butter!  (which they have a couple cupcakes with PB that I do want to try!)

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting 
This was the only one that I was disappointed with.   It was a little dry, but it also sat for about 3 days before we ate it, so at first I let it slide, but then we ate the last one the next day and that was super moist still, so I think it was the cupcake.   The icing was good on its own, the cupcake not so much – on top of it being dry the flavor didn’t really grab me (maybe because it was dry).   When I took a bite with the icing and the cake, it wasn’t so bad, but I wouldn’t buy it again.

Jewish Apple Streusel Cupcake
This was delicious.  It was perfectly moist even though it was sitting for 3-4 days.   I’ve never seen this in the form of a cupcake, and in all reality it was just jewish apple cake baked individually as cupcakes – no icing or anything cause that would just be weird.    I would recommend it and would probably buy it again.

Overall, the cupcakes for the most part were good.   Id definitely go back there, especially since there were other flavors that look good that Id want to try.   They were normal sized cupcakes, so nothing crazy overwhelming, but I guess if Im paying $4 for a cupcake, I might want a little more – but with that being said, $4 ain’t that bad for “gourmet” cupcakes that were yummy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Michael Vick – Part II

Way back when, I wrote a post onMichael Vick and I called it Part I with the intention of there being a Part II.    Well Part II is finally here!!  This is the first chance I had to really sit and think about what I wanted to say and not just write my standard ramblings about my in-laws and whatnot.

Although this is Michael Vick Part II, it’s really not about Vick at all, and completely about what he brought to our attention.  

Prior to Vick’s arrest, I rarely heard about dog fighting.  The only thing I really remember hearing about is how “pit bulls are vicious”.   Which is a complete stereotype based solely on the fact that one can train a pit bull – and really many other types of dogs – to be vicious for dog fighting.   I have two dogs that are complete mutts no matter how much they look like labs.   I know my mom falls into the stereotype, so sorry mom – but I am 100% sure that my new puppy Kalas has pit bull in him as its all over his face, and Im 90% sure Charger has pit bull in him.   And they are the sweetest, most loveable dogs ever.    There are plenty of full pit bulls out there that have are complete lovers.   As a matter of fact, I was talking to my vet about pits, and she said that 99% of pit bulls out there have never attacked and are not at all vicious.   And most of the ones in shelters are in there because they were too “soft” for dog fighting.   I honestly never thought of it that way!

Anyways, back to dog fighting.   We all know Vick did a horrible thing, and we all know how I feel about what he did and Vick – but I have to say SOME good came out of it.   We are now all more aware about dog fighting.   Unfortunately, it really hasn’t changed much.   All it changed is those of us who aren’t living in the low-income areas where dog fighting is so prevalent are now more aware of it.   But unfortunately, even with Vick spending time in jail, there is still plenty of dog fighting going on.

Vick has been going out to some of those low-income communities in the local area to talk to young kids about why its wrong and how they shouldn't do it.   Unfortunately, that's about the end of that - there really is nothing else going on to try and stop this from occurring.   People have boycotted and protested the Eagles, but that’s not really affecting those who are active in the dog fighting community.

More needs to be done directly in the communities where “we:” know dog fighting is prevalent.   You have to reach the kids, because unfortunately the adults are already set in their ways most of the time.   Maybe have special assemblies in schools to address the issue, maybe SPCA and PETA can team up and get some cartoon for tv created that gets the point across with still being entertaining enough for those kids.   Maybe somehow get a video game created – cause no matter how poor these families are, they still usually have cable and video games.

These kids are growing up in an environment where they see so much bad that that is what they learn.    It takes a special kid (and usually a strong parent) to grow up around all sorts of bad and somehow work themselves out of that way of life.   

It’s going to take a lot to make the change that needs to happen.   And unfortunately, it goes far beyond dog fighting as well.   

I’m fairly certain all of my readers come from middle class families having grown up in decent working class neighborhoods, eventually having moved to the suburbs.   We never had to experience the life of growing up in low-income areas where you were lucky if you had two parents living with you and you were luckier if whoever took care of you (whether it be a parent or grandparent) really pushed you hard and made sure that you went to school and did good and came home after school and did your homework.   Where it was safe for you to go play with your friends outside and ride your bike around the neighborhood.  

Instead these kids are growing up with parents who send their kids to school and expect teachers to do all the parenting, but then get mad at the teachers when their kid is acting out or doing bad.   Schools are limited in what “punishment” they can enforce because of fear of losing a job and having a lawsuit on your hands.   And there is no punishment at home, so the kids do whatever they want.   In many instances now, those kids are bringing knives to school and having sex in elementary school, joining gangs and doing drugs by middle school, and selling drugs and killing others by high-school.*   If we can’t get it across that all those things are bad, why do we think they learned from Michael Vick’s going to jail that dog fighting is a bad thing?

When you grow up to be someone as high profile as Michael Vick, yeah, you probably should know better at that point – but all your life you learned a certain lifestyle and that’s what you know. **

*Im not trying sterotype to say all kids who live in low-income grow up in this circumstance, but I am saying (and therefore stereotyping) that many kids live in this environment – specifically the ones who get involved in dog fighting and other illegal activities.  

** Im not making excuses for anyone!   It is completely inexcusable, but unfortunately, there needs to be more education out there.   

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Here we go again....

The ILs are at it again, although I guess it never stops.    Hubby got a phone call 20 minutes ago while we were driving, so when we got home, he checked who it was, and guess who?   His parents.    He called them back, and they called to bitch to hubby about the fact that he doesn't keep in touch enough.  FIL said that when hubby was unemployed, they called constantly to check in on him (also known as annoying nagging to others outside of my ILs) and they would appreciate if he called them.  

Oh - did I mention, hubby called them last Thursday?


Additionally, he wants hubby to send him my future brother-in-laws email address - presumably so he can send him his resume.   My (future) BIL is in a similar business only if you consider a doctor and a pharmaceutical sales rep in a similar business because they are both in the medical field.    Mind you, I don't really understand what either does, but I understand enough to know that they are under the same general field heading, but completely different jobs.

Oh - did I mention that when hubby got laid off for a second time in our time together (which hubby got an interview at because of someone his dad knew,), FIL blamed it on hubby and told him he wasn't putting him in touch with anyone else because he was just gonna screw it up.


Their selfishness just reaches a whole new level every single time we talk to them....

My wishes for the coming year

Now that I just survived another Yom Kippur fasting, and asked G-d for forgiveness for all my sins known and unknown and prayed for a good fate to be written into the book of life for the next year, Id like to share some of my hopes/prayers/wishes for the coming year that I didn't cover in services:

- I wish that the Phillies would stop failing so early in the postseason.   At this rate, they won't even make it to the postseason next year, based on their continual slope in the postseason since winning it all in 08 (09 -lost in the WS, 10- lost in the NLCS, 11 - lost in the NLDS (and lost Howard for significant amount of time))

- I wish that my in-laws would magically become normal people and have a normal relationship with their family members.   Oh wait - that would never happen and honestly I could care less anymore

- I wish that someone will come knocking on my door and tell me I am the next Publishers Clearinghouse winner.   Wouldn't that be nice - well I guess a huge jackpot from powerball or megamillions would be more awesome, but Id actually have to enter the PCH sweepstakes or buy lottery tickets for any of those to happen.

- I wish that my brain would work and I could remember some more of the wishes  I had going through my head, but seeing as though I starved for 26 hours and then stuffed my face with food and its now midnight - I got nothing left in my head...

So goodnight all - I hope if you celebrate the Jewish holiday, you had an easy fast and that you had a good fate inscribed for you for this next year.   And if you don't celebrate - well, I hope you enjoyed all the yummy food and drinks you got to indulge in, and if you are a Phillies fan, I hope you were able to indulge in a bunch of adult beverages to soothe the sting

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Francis Ford Coppola Winery


For those who have not drank Francis Ford Coppola wine – you are seriously missing out.   It is some of the yummiest, smoothest wine out there.   My favorites are the Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio.   I typically go for the Noir as Im a red person.

Recently my experience with the winery has extended past their wine, and I have to say, they just continued to impress me.    

Earlier in September (when the ILs came over), I opened a bottle of the Pinot Noir, but I had some issues opening the bottle.   I used my nice corkscrew – which is just like a rabbit.   You just put the handles around the top of the bottle, push the lever down and pull the lever up and wha-la, your bottle is opened.   When I went to do that this time, I pushed down and pulled up, but it would only come up about a third of the way.   I kept on pulling and eventually the lever popped and my corkscrew broke while it was still in the bottle.   I eventually got the corkscrew out by twisting it around, but the cork was stuck in there and was now in bad condition.  

I took one of my lesser corkscrews (which was still a good one) and started to get out the cork, but, as I suspected would occur, the cork broke in half.    I took the corkscrew out, cleaned off the top part of the broken cork stuck in the bottle (so that when I got it out, it was less likely to fall into the wine) and finished taking the cork out.   I continued to have a hell of a time getting the cork out, I guess the bottom was just too big to fit back through the neck or something.   Eventually it got out and I drank the entire bottle of wine (see: how to survive the in-laws).   The next day, I decided to contact the winery, as I never had that occur to me and I was now down one good wine opener.

Amazingly, I not only heard back from them, but they offered to send me a new bottle of wine, or if I lived in a state that didn’t allow the shipment of wine (which I do), then a check to reimburse for the bottle.   I emailed them back and thanked them for the offer, but said that I would continue to drink their wine and would rather if they could send me a new corkscrew, and I sent them a link to an example of what I had.   

I just heard back from them again, and they said they don’t have those types in stock, but are sending me a check for the cost of that wine opener, plus one of their waiters corkscrews that they do have in stock.

I was quite impressed with their customer service and their wanting to fix the situation right away.  I'm so used to hearing “sorry for your experience” and that’s the end of it.   They really go above and beyond to keep their customers happy.    With that, I encourage you to buy their wine, because they have great wine and some great customer service!

Monday, October 3, 2011

What it takes to handle my MIL

Back in early September, I wrote about how my ILs made such a big deal about us seeing them, but yet they didn't make the effort to see ushttp://lifes-like-a-box-of-chocolates.blogspot.com/2011/09/its-important.html.    Well, we ended up inviting them over for a barbecue the very next Saturday, and amazingly, they took us up on the offer and came over.  

When I know I'm gonna see my MIL, I get very "anxious" because I know the ball will drop during the visit and they will bring up some issue they have with how we live our lives or cause some disagreement of sorts.   Additionally, its virtually impossible to have any sort of conversation with my MIL - yet she expects to have this amazing mother/daughter relationship (eventually I’ll tell that story when I have the time).

The only thing I dislike more than these scenarios is going over to their place because it’s the same scenario PLUS they make dinner which consists of one of two things:
-          Overcooked bone-in and skin-on chicken.  Many people like bone-in and skin-on, but I prefer boneless and skinless because it takes less cooking time (therefore less likely that my mother-in-law will overcook) and is much healthier.  And for me to say the chicken is  overcooked is a BIG understatement!   It sits in the oven for like 3 plus hours.
-          Barbecue chicken LOADED with barbecue sauce cooked on a charcoal grill that they don’t know how to use properly.   This means that the chicken typically gets served to you completely raw on the inside and completely charred on the outside
-          For both of these entrĂ©e’s, our sides consist of either:
o   Raw green beens loaded with olive oil – which isn’t horrible, but once in a while, but all the time is annoying.
o   Lettuce and no healthy salad dressing choices – not salad or even a spring mix, just iceberg lettuce
This means, hubby and I leave their house completely annoyed because we are starving and had a bad night – so we usually try to stop at Wawa or Subway right after – but we are already cranky.

Anyways, back to the story.  

Since they were coming over for dinner, I figured I would drink some wine to make it a bit easier to handle them.   I planned to have a glass of wine before they came over, and expected them to come a full 30 minutes earlier then the time we invited them to come (my MIL got to my sisters bridal shower FORTY-FIVE minutes earlier than it was called for, so we were all setting up).   Amazingly, they got to our house right when they said they would - which was a complete shock.  

Since I expected them earlier, I started my drinking earlier, so by the time they got there, I had finished 2 and a half glasses of wine (I was drinking Francis Ford Coppola Pinot Noir – so its really easy to just keep drinking) and very little to eat, suffice it to say I had a good buzz going.   When they got there, I was much more friendlier than usual from the get-go because I was much more relaxed.    Over the course of the next hour or so, I ended up drinking the last 2 glasses of wine left in the bottle (oops!), but I was never quite drunk – as I was starting to eat and I have a high tolerance.

In the end, the night ended up going very smoothly and conversation was fine.   Of course my MIL had very little part in the conversation, it was really my husband, FIL and I.  

So apparently the best way to handle my ILs is to knock back a bottle of wine.