Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Great Race

Back in March my friend Kristen and I spoke about the half marathon she and her now fiance had completed the previous fall. What the hell? If Kristen can do this, I sure as hell can! So the week of Easter I pledged to run the Philadelphia Distance Run in September. And a week after Easter around April 10, I took to the pavement after many moons had passed since I'd last donned my New Balance shoes and ran along Kelly Drive. All through the spring and summer I perseveared. On Septemeber 17 I hauled my ass down to the art museum for this race that I thought would never get here. I'd been up since 5 am that morning, warming up with a short run and yoga. Thank heavens I did that because my body hates early morning runs with a passion. I wound up running the first 6-7 miles and then pooped out some. Overall my pace was 13 minutes and some change. I finished the race in 3 hours and 3 minutes. I was never so happy to see that finish line and I just took off when I saw it. Here are some photos from the event. Also, photos of my friend Liz who finished exactly one hour (to the second) before me. And Becca's mom - the Wallingford running machine.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Plastic Toys

Yay Fall. Pumpkin has taken over everything - supermarkets, houses, farm markets, coffee shops, you name it. Driving home from Jiffey Lube (with my Starbucks Pumpkin Misto), I saw moms and kids outside planting colorful blooms and rigging Halloween paraphenalia. Some homes were quite put together (making me yearn for days post wedding when I might actually have disposable income again) and others just looked like they'd stepped out of the past with obnoxious bright orange plastic pumpkins everywhere and white sheets already dangling from trees and lamp posts, blowing in the breeze.

Why? It's like people who hang Easter eggs from trees at Easter. Or litter their entire front lawn with draculas and ghouls. Or plastic Christmas decor. Now the new fad are those blow up snowmen, Pooh characters and the absolute worst? The blow up Eagles football player.

I think I can handle it when I cruise through South Philly - I expect these things from the residents. They've been there their whole lives and maybe never really left 1954. Who knows. But praying plastic hands, a plastic Blessed Mother, tacky lights and plastic Santas don't bother me there. That's their place. But their place isn't next door to me, crapping up the 'hood.

Is there a particular type of person who does this and thinks it's cool? Attractive? To some extent, I understand when you have small children and you do these things for them. But still. I wanted colored lights outside my house when I was small. Did mom ever do that? Hell no. I wanted plastic crap all over the front yard, but mom said no way. It was her house. And now I thank god she had taste. Actually, I thank god she had the balls to know her kids didn't run her life and have a say in the way her house was presented to the neighborhood. Mom had class.

My fiance's parent's erected one of those blow up Tigger's outside their house last year and in classic Italian South Philly style, decked out the front of their Media abode in every colored light imaginable. It was freakin General Electric. It looked TERRIBLE! And they did it for their grandchild who, by the way, was 3. I'm not certain she truly appreciated the light show. Do people stop caring about themselves? Is it always about the kids? It seems unselfish...but at the expense of your house? At the expense of the neighborhood? Your house, like your kids, like your friends, like everything we associate with, are all relections of ourselves.

And I hate HATE Tigger.

I think there's line - a fine line - between getting older and not caring about what others think, and keeping up with the Jones'. I'd like to think my kids will rule the fridge and have a tree of their own to do with what they will. But the exterior of the house - No Italian South Philly for this Italian chick.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Update

Preface: The following is for those of you who have asked for a Chrissie Update and because I still haven't fathomed how this plant managed to die on me.

Chapter 1: Death of One Job, Rebirth in Another

So I left the confines of BAM and while I sure do miss my own office and super clean and tidy area, I certainly do not miss some of the bad things. There's much more to be said on this topic - and I have said it - but for the for the sake of online searches and forwards, I will protect the not so innocent.

Oh and I do miss Siren, the Gap, Coffee and Cream and my other D-town hangouts. And Mrs. Tea.

So down on South St. things are going well. A lot of the first month nerves have lifted. I've made a few big sales and feel more confident on the floor (one good thing I can say came out of BAM - the ability to be more comfortable and confident selling). I've also made some connections with my friends at the Arden and Mum Theater Co. so we'll be working together in the near future on some collaborative marketing programs. Also soon to be hitting the streets with a super slick brochure and distributing to Welcome Kits and all the new swank condos/townhomes that are springing up like crazy around the city. I created an ad last week that I'll attach so you guys can get an idea of some of the pieces in the store, a room layout, and the design techniques of yours truly. Overall things are well and I like most of my co-workers, sans this one guy who is very "Woe is me." Whatever to him.

Chapter 2: Death of a Car, But NOT in the Ghetto of North Jersey

What in the hell? Why do I continuously have these incidents with my car? Why does my car insist on allowing the old saying Found On Road Dead to reign supreme? All those faulty electrical issues I was having earlier this summer came to head this past Saturday when I went to move my car from a 2 hr. parking spot and the mofo wouldn't start. Dead. Nothing. I came back out hours later to attempt it again and still nothing. One call to AAA and 3 hours later, the car was at the dealership and I was home. Not before Big Ed came into the city to spare me some of the embarrassment and certainly not before we held up traffic on 6th Street for 15 minutes. 6th Street, by the way, is one way.

$100 later, I have a new battery and a working car. Praise the lord it was not in Parsippany.

Chapter 3: The Aftermath of Death

How are Vince and I doing? OK. Honestly, I've avoided his family for the last month because things were so intense there for a while. I needed a break. I also told him about some issues I have with his family, even his Uncle Joe, who has continuously hit on me and even made an inappropriate comment to me at the funeral. But now things have simmered...He is doing OK. He's been spending time with his dad, going on some small road trips. He was upset last week because his mom was a HUGE Bird fan and with the NFL season starting, he was really choked up. He spent one night crying over his laptop, but typing away a lot of thoughts and memories. I'm glad he did that. It's weird that it's been a month. I sure do miss her. But the other day I was walking from my car up to South and this woman came out of her house and just started chatting with me. As we parted ways, something about the whole scenario reminded me of his mom. Like this same conversation could have been with her. The way this woman spoke, the quickness of it - just before work - it was very much like conversations I used to have with Mrs. D in the morning. In a way, it was like she was there. She so would have loved American Pie. She'd have bought a million things in the store. I'll have to get her something for the grave...

Chapter 4: The Death of Household Items & Related Housing Issues

My eBay Dirt Devil purchase from a few years back finally bit the dust to my dismay. Vince came charging in with this Panasonic vacuum he was so proud of. The thing is ancient. Yet, it did work. But I was upset...my Dirt Devil was my baby, my pride and joy and always did such a good job. Suddenly Panasonic was putting Baby in a corner. As I said to Joc - Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Finally I realized it was worthy and I had Vince take the Dirt Devil to the curb, missing wheel and busted motor in tow.

The dining room met its match last week as we finished tearing up the floor, gutted the paneling and boards. Much to my dismay, no exposed brick back there. Just some hideous drywall. Partial death to my idea of brand spanking new furniture. Vince - what a dweeb - is insisting those hideous brown couches of his from back in the day are the best made sofas around. I'm not kidding. He swears the brand and manufacturing of them is stallar and will endure all things. It's quite possible being that they've endured cig burns. However, they are mod, they sit right on the ground, and are are completely linear. There's no curve to them whatsoever. I really wanted a cool new but slightly more traditional couch. Tooth and nail we fought over this. RIDICULOUS. Finally I said - "You can reupholster the couch only. The love seat goes. And I pick the carpet color (if the hardwood doesn't pan out) and the chair we get in the room."

Death to the weeds! I busted my butt outside the last two weekends pulling dead weeds and overturning soil - Despite the lies Vince told you, Melissa! This weekend, after my half marathon, I head to Home Depot for some mums (to go in front of the daffodil bulbs I purchased) along the side and front of the house and a shrub of some sort for the front.

Chapter 5: Death of a Plant

This is probably the saddest of them all. I TRIED!!! For weeks I nurtured that plant Marc gave me. It was yellow and the the leaves were healthy...all was well. But something happened. 2 weeks ago. Did I over water it? I watered it daily or every other day. Did it get too much/too little sun? It sat by the kitchen window which gets a nice amount of sun in the afternoon. I don't know. All I know is it's DEAD. Dead dead dead. And I swore to care for this plant. This time, no plant would die. I really cared about this plant. Vince hears me wallow about this plant everyday. Is it seasonal? Maybe it'll bloom again in the spring....???