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He’s kind of a big deal

I hate waiting in lines. It will go down eventually and unless there’s an item or event about to expire, I usually prefer to sit in a comfortable chair until only a few people are in the queue.

When I flew to Portland, Maine, it was like an alternate universe. The parking shuttle waited for me; I looked around suspiciously to make sure I was in the right airline because the check in was vacant; and there were TWO people before me in security. Two!

I found a seat at the gate and lingered even after my zone four companions and I were paged to board. Standing in line, juggling heavy, bulky carry on items is my idea hell.

As I walked the aisle to my seat near the back, I saw a familiar face in my row. I had never had a celebrity encounter before but there, sitting in the seat next to me, was Josh Blue from Last Comic Standing. I tried to play it cool, but playing it cool for me usually means acting really snobby and ignoring the other person. But then he tucked a picture of a baby boy in the corner of his tray table to try to make conversation. Who can resist a baby? Soulless people, that’s who. So I asked if the boy was his son and thus began our two hour conversation. He told me about playing in the Paralympics and being multilingual, I told him about milking cows.

If you see a Josh Blue show and he talks about a girl who talked about milk, let me know. I think I might have earned myself a spot in a comedy routine.

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I started this post a long time ago. Like so many bloggers right now, the beautiful August weather is zapping my creativity. However! I just won the I Spy contest hosted by the lovely Quirky at Quirky and Mr. Talented! That calls for a celebratory (and celebrity) post.

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PomJob’s Excellent Chicago Adventure

I learned yesterday that Chicago PomJob is much more fun than regular PomJob.

When she found out that I was spending additional time in Chicago after our training, my colleague S invited me to her home and then we went to Wicker Park for dinner. (In case you’re wondering, the Wicker Park dog park smells like a chicken coup.) After debating the merits of delicious sangria versus a novel of beer options, we decided to head to People to introduce me to the world of tapas. How have I lived 27 years without tapas in my life? It was divine. I tried many new things: sheep’s milk cheese, goat’s milk cheese, mango chutney and spaghetti squash cakes.

Speaking of 27, as we enjoyed a bottle of wine at S’s house before dinner, the subject of age arose and S stated/questioned whether I was around the same age as her and M, right? I knew I was several years younger but as I was trying to tactfully correct her, she said, “You’re what, 34?” Um. Yikes.

After two carafes of sangria, several plates of food and great conversation, we interrupted a kickball league celebration at the bar next door. When they lined up for a game of flip cup, I almost asked to join in. After a beer, M and S said their goodbyes and I headed for the L to head back to my hotel. At the fare machine I realized I only had a $10 and a $20 and I didn’t really want to put it all on a card. The info booth doesn’t give change, so I went back outside to the Blue Line Lounge. I couldn’t just ask for change, so I ordered a scrumptious social mojito and became engrossed in the Olympic gymnastic competition.

The regular me would never go to a bar by myself. I over think it – people will think I look like a loser; I won’t have anyone to talk to. But that’s the beauty of having a few drinks first, my inhibitions were lowered. Almost immediately, the guy sitting two barstools over starting analyzing the Olympics then a couple sat on my other side and we started chatting (oxymoron of the night: they guy’s name is Little John and he’s probably 6’4″). That’s when I discovered the Blue Line has board games! At this point, Olympics Announcer tells me he’s married to one of the bartenders but he paid for his drinks and left without saying bye to her. I don’t know if I believe him but why would be lie about it?

One mojito turned into two as a group of friends came in and I pointed out the board games. I challenged them to Candyland then we broke out Taboo. Two a.m. rolled around and the bar’s lights came up. The group headed back to the bar where I had already had a beer but I took my sweet time paying my tab so I could avoid having to rebuff the advances of my Taboo teammate who made suggestive comments throughout the game.

I finally had change for the L but unfortunately it doesn’t run very often that late and P.S.? Chicago gets chilly at night. After about 30 minutes of sitting next to a woman who I am pretty sure is a prostitute and her pimp, I started pacing the platform so I wouldn’t pass out on the bench. That’s when I met a HOT surgeon who was in town to take some kind of surgeon test. And then the L decided to show up.

The only downside to lowered inhibitions is the lowered sense of safety. Is it smart to run around a strange town by yourself and talk to strangers who offer candy-flavored drinks? Probably not but I survived and had a blast. Although now I do have an awesome script in mind for an episode of “Without a Trace.”

Do Good One Sip at a Time

Remember how Yoplait has that “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign where it donates money to breast cancer research for every yogurt lid returned? Now you can drink beer to help fund research to save the quality of live of those afflicted with muscular dystrophy. Miller Lite has a “Cash for Caps” program.

“Caps for cash” sums up
Miller Brewing fundraiser

Miller Brewing, an MDA national sponsor, has stepped up its support of the battle against muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases. As part of its “Better. Bolder. Summer.” promotion, Miller will donate 10 cents to MDA for every Miller Lite bottle cap collected through Sept. 1.

Miller Lite drinkers can turn in their bottle caps to Miller retailer outlets or send them via mail. Eventually, all caps will wind up in Milwaukee in late August for Harley-Davidson Motor Company’s celebration of its 105th anniversary. Miller is the official beer sponsor of that event, which is especially fitting because Harley-Davidson also is one of MDA’s longtime national sponsors.

30 by 30

I’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon. First it was the sore hip that made it painful to walk for two weeks. Then I broke a toe. Then I got a cold. Toss in a week and a half of traveling and it had been a long time since I worked out, probably the longest stretch since I decided to lose weight two and a half years ago.

I mulled this over this weekend and decided to do something to get back on track. I’ve worked hard to lose 65 pounds and it’s oh-so-easy to regain weight.

My birthday is coming up, on July 30. At first I thought I’d come up with a list of 30 things to do on or by July 30. But 30 things is a lot and I’m kind of lazy. And busy… life gets in the way sometimes. Instead I decided to run 30 miles by July 30. I started yesterday; only 27 more miles to go!

Too bad I didn’t decide to eat 30 ice cream sundaes by July 30. I’m closer to that than 30 miles.

What do you want to do before July 30? (Besides buy me a pretty present.)

Big, Fat Zero

I was chatting with a couple of 40-something coworkers while we waited for the clock to strike 11 and our tour would begin. Someone brought up weight loss and gain, and after being reprimanded again by one for losing to much weight, another tells a story about her two daughters. One recently graduated from high school and put on a few pounds since she stopped cheer leading. The younger daughter picked out a pair of shorts for her sister but even though they were a size bigger than she normally wore, the shorts were too tight and my coworker was going to make the girls return them.

So the soon-to-be college freshman decided to cut out the mindless eating and tried the shorts back on after two weeks.

“I couldn’t believe it,” coworker said. “After cutting out what little extra food she ate, she’d lost that weight and the shorts fit perfectly.

“Although she is a little upset that the shorts are a zero. She used to be a double-zero.”

I was so excited the first time I put on a pair of zero pants, even with the one in front of said zero.

Why my middle name is Grace

A Jeep rushed down the farm lane kicking up clouds of dust in its wake. I spot it and rush across the verdant grass to direct the driver to a parking spot out of the way of forklifts and tractors. I smile at the reporter walking toward me and suddenly the Earth is rushing at me.

We were gathered to commence the final stage of a major project at work. On a dairy farm. During the early June heatwave. My task of the moment was to keep the cars out of the way of the farm’s daily operations.

As I pranced across the front yard of the mustard-colored farmhouse, my right foot found a round hole bored into the slight hillside bordering the lane. I went flying into the lane, sliding on my elbow, hip and knee, successfully covering my right side in beige dirt that becomes speckled with red blood. In front of two reporters, three coworkers and various and sundry onlookers.

Luckily the guy in the Jeep was the photographer and he was too busy parking next to the other cars to capture my fall with(out) grace on film (or digital, in this day and age).

What did you do to embarrass yourself today?

PS-My middle name isn’t Grace, but it would fit. I’m currently sporting a bruise on my left hip from when I ran into the kitchen doorway yesterday as I tried to squeeze past the cleaning man, swollen toes on my left foot from when I jammed them into the ottoman in my living room, a scratch from the mini-blind that attacked me, unexplained bruises on my left knee and right thigh and the bruises and gravel pockmarks from today’s incident.

Beggars are Choosers

Molly wrote a post today praising her Momma and listing 100 things she’s learned from her.

9. Sometimes ice cream before dinner is OK.

June is National Dairy Month, today I helped create a 90-gallon ice cream sundae to commemorate one of the best holidays ever. (I don’t agree with Molly’s #40.) I think I’ve successfully ruined a pair of khaki capris and I kind of smell like warm milk.

The best part of the day was observing the inane things people do when you hand out free stuff. First, a bottled tea company decided to crash our event and hand out cans of their newest tea to our audience. During Dairy Month! For which another company that has a successful and popular line of teas donated ice cream and toppings!

Our servings were VERY generous (too generous in my opinion) but people kept asking for smaller dishes. And they asked if we could possibly give them another flavor, they don’t like vanilla. Or could you please find me some caramel? It’s my favorite topping, I’m not much for chocolate or strawberry. And could you ditch the pecans next year? I’m allergic. I’m betting next year someone asks us to include a disclaimer: Allergy Alert! This ice cream sundae contains milk.

People, people. It’s free. Eat it and like it. And please repeat, it pays my bills.

As the special people made opening comments, a man wearing a priest’s collar tapped me on the shoulder to ask if he could possibly get a sundae before everyone else because he had a meeting in a few minutes. We hadn’t even finished constructing the sundae and there was a group of 50 elementary students standing right beside him that probably would have rioted had I given him ice cream but not them. I denied a man of the cloth ice cream. I’m probably going to hell.

But my, that ice cream before lunch was delicious!

Little Suzie




suz at wedding

Originally uploaded by JPom1

You sounded remarkably coherent when I called you a few hours ago to make sure you survived last night with the Captain. Your favorite shot was the Red Headed Slut but I would have cautioned against the cherry Long Island iced tea you chose as a chaser.

You’ve blossomed from my knock-kneed, lazy-eyed, lisping baby sister into a beautiful, intelligent young woman. I’m so proud of you and love you with all my heart. (Although you might kill me if you ever find this post.)

Happy 21st birthday, Little Suzie!

The Doctor is In

Have you ever had to turn off Dr. Phil because the daily topic hit a little too close to home and you just couldn’t handle listening to what he said when someone you love is doing the exact opposite of his advice but won’t listen to anyone?

Lucky Me

I don’t think I have much, if any, Irish heritage, not matter what my freckles and hair-that-will-not-color-any-shade-that-is-not-red hair may make you think. But Philadelphia sure does love its St. Patrick’s Day, so I say, “When in Rome…”

I’m lucky because:

  • I have a comfortable bed, heat, running water and enough money to buy all the food I want to eat.
  • A loving family, including my delicious nephew.
  • A job that I enjoy, about which I’m passionate, and in which I believe.
  • Friends across the country who care about me.
  • A reliable car and money to put fuel in the tank.
  • The energy and ability to run a couple miles after work.
  • ┬áTelevision to entertain me and books to feed my mind.
  • Cute polka dotted boots to keep my feet dry.
  • Pretty pictures to help me remember the best times.

What makes you lucky?

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