Sunday, August 07, 2005

Let me give you a hug-a then a slap-a

Mission: Get 2 bottles of wine to share with my boss, winding down from a stressful week with the big heads of the company

Location: Sheetz Mega Convenience Store, Raleigh, NC

Time: 11:30 PM, Thursday night

My mission was simple. We had just finished dinner with the Global CEO of our company, and with the President of our region (North America). It was quite the week, with bad news, with good news, lots of meetings, lots of things resolved. My boss wanted to do a late night post mortem, and get it all out of our system. I offered to get the fixings to aid in the post mortem - a bottle of red, and a bottle of white. I stopped at Sheetz to buy the wine. It's a convenience store like no other I've seen. Hi tech - almost space age - which is shocking considering the locale.

I got two bottles and then proceeded to look for a cork screw. This store has everything one could imagine, except for a cork screw. At least from what I could see.

I went up to the counter and asked the guy manning the register if they had a cork screw. He was about 23, olive skin, kind of short, quite cute. Once I spoke to him, I realized he was an Italian transplant, I'm guessing in the the US for a couple of years. Still had that stereotypical Italian accent i.e. "mama mia, givea me a bigga meat ball"

Me: do you sell corkscrews?
Him: What?
M: do you sell corkscrews, you know, wine bottle open wine
H: what do you call-a them?
M: corkscrews...
H: oh no. We don't have-a those
M: Oh, bummer. i guess I'll have to make another stop
H: You can come-a home with-a me, I'll help-a you to open them *wink*
M: Oh my stars, you are a cheeky monkey. ha ha, thanks for asking, but I'll have to pass
H: if you change-a your mind...
M: I'll just take the wine
M: how much do I owe you?
H: $35. I'll need to see-a your I.D.

I fumbled around and found my ID. I presented it do him for his inspection so he could finish the sale.

He looked at it, then he looked at me. He then said: "I didn't think you were THAT-A old"

I was a little taken aback. My eyes opened wide and my response was "Thanks. I feel pretty and special"

He blushed and looked ashamed. He bagged up my wine, and then said "Thanks-a Ma'am"

I rolled my eyes and left.

My roomate, who is a southerner, assured me that it is beaten into everyone's head in the South that every woman is a Ma'am as soon as they hit 15. "With maturity comes the title "ma'am" she says.

At the moment, it didn't feel good to be called Ma'am. I moved on to the Kroger grocery store, and picked up a wine bottle opener. I toyed with the idea of picking up a bottle of Geritol, but figured I could wait until I return to SF. When it came time to check out, I had the option of doing the self serve register. I figured that the self serve register was low risk option that wouldn't try to pick me up, and then insult my age.

Boy, I love the south - not.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A family of killers?

"We are having something new for dinner tonight" my mother said.

It was 1982, and I was 14. Meat and potatoes was the staple of our household at dinner time. Deviating from the norm was quite exciting, so we all sat down at the dinner table with great anticipation. My mother proudly served up dinner to each of us, and once she sat down we all dug in. What did we dig into? It appeared to be Beef Stroganoff, which in itself would be new for the non adventurous, homogenous Fisher clan, but at the first bite, one knew that it wasn't beef. My mother's creation that night was Soy Stroganoff. It was the beginning of the years my roomate has now touted as the "Fisher Family Soy Project" after hearing me reminisce of past soy feasts. My mother had just become a distributor for a soy foods company that made a variety of meals from all over the world. There was a Mexican meal, an Italian meal, Pizza with soy cheese, pudding, hot chocolate, breads, brownies, - the food options were endless, and all tasted a little bit the same. Why did she do it? Because my parents are health nuts (you should see them now, they are extremely spry) and because it was good for the environment, and cruelty free. We were a soy family for 6 more years after that first fateful meal. It was a hard path to follow sometimes, especially during my formative teen years. When friends came over, they always questioned if they were eating something part of the "project". They were never initiated into the project, but I do admit that sometimes I miss the soy years.

Unfortunately, my soy memories were recently tainted, after being faced by the graffiti I came across near my apartment.

Who would have known soy kills. My catholic guilt nags at me whenever I walk by. To all those that have died at the hand of the Fishers and the family soy project, you have my sincerest apologies.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A feel good gulag

I work for a company that loves to get behind a campaign. We are against animal testing, we support community trade with indigenous peoples, campaign to protect human rights, promote self esteem and last but not least, recycle . Our newest kick is doing everything with PASSION. Posted all around the office are various posters telling us to get through life with PASSION - work, laugh, shop, live, dream and so on and so on. The passion messages are relentless, there is no where you can escape without one in your line of vision. One may think that the ladies room would be a safe haven, but they even get you illustrated in today's picture of the day. When the posters first went up, I imagined that I felt much like a citizen of a capital where the government was just overthrown, and a new dictator has papered the city with his image to acclimate the inhabitants with the idea that he is the new guy in charge. My work environment could be considered an "up with people" work camp, with much better benefits.

Wondering what passion poster is in the men's room?


Monday, July 04, 2005

Don't mess with them

I would guess that the priests of Saints Peter and Paul feel like real bad-asses when they are hanging with the other priests of the archdiocese.

"Yeah, that's right. Our address is 666..."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Tales from the #15

My mother instilled in me the importance of taking care of one's skin. I think as a result from her careful guidance when I was a young girl, it led me to my career in the skin and haircare industry.

As I rode home on the #15 bus one day from work, I saw another mother educating her daughter on the ins and outs of skin care. Her teaching method differed drastically from my mother's. This woman chose to teach her daughter about blackheads by having an impromptu extraction session whilst riding on the bus. Her daughter, who was about 12, sat with her face to her mother, as her mother used her fingernails to squeeze offending pores on the poor girls face. I couldn't tell if the daughter was horrified, but if she wasn't, I was certainly horrified for her.

Mom, thanks for never squeezing anything on my face - especially in public.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

It's freaky

A pal of mine sent me a link to join a VOIP. I had no clue what it was, but I downloaded it as directed. It was a website that allows you to call people over the internet and talk to them for free. He called me from his computer, I answered, and found out that I can talk into my computer and use it as a phone. It was really quite interesting. He then called a friend of his in London, and the three of us had a conference call for free.

The sheer weirdness of this sort of communication development had my very simple brain reeling. One can only imagine where we will be in 5 years time.

I remember when it was a big deal in 1974 when my parents bought my brother a calculator for his high school graduation present. It was well over $100 I believe, and the only functions it provided were multiplication, subtraction, division, addition and percent. It weighed about 5 pounds and came with a snappy leatherette case. It was a magical contraption, and I, being 6 years old at the time, was enthralled. My brother, being protective of his newest piece of technology always kept it out of reach from my childish butter-fingers. Eventually, I too became the owner of a calculator, except mine had about 30 buttons on it and did practically everything except actually write the answers on my schoolwork. By this time, my $15 scientific calculator that I used at school daily had rendered my brother's 1974 calculator obsolete. It eventually was relegated to sitting in the pen drawer in my parents kitchen, and my mother would use it to balance her checkbook. One thing that can be said for that calculator is that it continues to be a useful tool at my parents house, 30 years later. The Fisher's are old-school when it comes to adding and subtracting...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Early this morning as I walked my temporary canine charge Ivey, I decided to switch up the usual morning walk to Washington Square Park with a walk up to Coit Tower. I figured Ivey could have access to a whole new world of things to smell, and I could check out the view as the sun was just starting to come up.

Ivey and I marched our way up Telegraph Hill. Once we were up there, we took in the view. I should really say I took in the view, and Ivey intently smelled all the things that dogs tend to find fascinating. As we walked the sidewalk we came across a flock of pigeons feasting on leftovers from an Italian restaurant. The pigeons were picking and pecking at old Lasagna in an aluminum take out container. As they pecked at the layers of cheese, the mozzarella would get caught on their beaks and would stretch into a webby, stringy mess, catching on their feathers and wrapping around their necks. One big pigeon seemed to be a bit more adept, actually gulping down it's gullet big chunks of cheese. Seeing it consume that amount of dairy, it made me think of my mother, who tends to lament about lactose intolerance whenever she overindulges in Dairy Queen blizzards. My mother can combat her pain with medication, where this pigeon didn't have access to modern pharmecuticals. I wondered if there would be a bout of IBS for this little guy from his feast. After careful consideration I decided it would be IGS that would haunt him today(irritable gizzard syndrome). I hope it wasn't too horrid - I bet his pigeon buddies steered clear of him till it passed, or perhaps till he "passed".

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bitchin' Beemer

I stood on the corner of Powell and Filbert, waiting for the #15 bus to pick me up so I could spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the office preparing for my week of vacation. As I waited, I spent my time people watching as I live in one of the more popular tourist areas of the city.

As I watched some German tourists disrupt traffic while trying to take a photo of St. Peter & Paul's church from the middle of the street, I noticed a very large, sleek BMW ease it's way into the intersection, ensuring it would make the next traffic light. I looked into the car and saw what must have been an aftermarket addition to the car to enhance the beauty of the luxurious leather interior.

What was the addition? Why it was some lovely white lace crocheted headrest covers. Puzzled by the covers I checked out the driver. The dude driving the car seemed like he was in his mid thirties, and the car certainly didn't look like it was his mother or grandmother's car. I imagine that he is married to a woman who was a former corporate bigwig but now is staying home to raise the kids and rule the household. As a means of maintaining her idea of a productive lifestyle, she has taken to doing crafty experiments to become the next Martha Stewart. Unfortunately the fruits of her industrious new hobby has spilled over into her husband's very expensive automobile.

I just wish I would have leaned in closer to see if she had made a parking brake cozy too.....