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things that could have been brought to my attention yesterday

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After seven years of neglect,
I finally called it quits

My local bank — where I was lured in long ago by a promotional interest rate that dropped to .00000001% the month after I opened my account — just shut down yet another one of its branches.

When it first fled from St Pete to Pinellas Park, I schlepped to the farther away Tampa location instead. Because like most people with a complete set of teeth and mixed feelings about the second amendment, I avoid Pinellas Park.

Over the years, my bank gradually became the inattentive boyfriend whose complacency you overlook because you’re just too lazy to clean your shit out of his garage.

But I wasn’t remaining loyal for convenience, good service or an interest rate that yields more than a nickel a year. It was more the debilitating lethargy that set in the second I considered changing the automatic drafts on my Nordstrom card or cable bill.

Plus with e-statements and e-billing, who the hell even knows which cable company I use? Or what rectum I’m going to have to colonoscopy to get the passwords to change all this billing information anyway?

Needless to say, I was heartbroken when the Tampa location closed leaving me alone with its seedy Pinellas Park uncle leering at my breasts and slurring, “It’s just you and me babe.”

I had to make a change.


Close proximity to Starbucks? Sounds good to me

Fees, hand sanitizer near the pens, interest rates, Dum-dums in the drive-thru.

I had no idea what criteria I’d use to choose a new bank, but knew I’d have to save all that mental energy for figuring out how to answer my own security questions in order to gain access to my progress energy bill (who was my fourth grade teacher? Really? I barely remember the professors I blew in college*).

Ultimately I chose a bank where the president is a friend of a friend, utilizing the same logic that goes into all those Target dollar bin purchases.

“This egg white separator is a good thing to have. I’m sure I’ll use it someday.”

Never mind that I won’t.

So armed with total disdain for any place with fluorescent lighting and the sound of women’s pantyhose rubbing together when they walk to the coffee machine, I set out to open a new account and begin the arduous process of telling the world I finally broke up with my bank after years of neglect.

As I looked around the place where I’d soon be depositing all my welfare checks, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the “Senior Personal Banker” setting up my account. Dress code dictated she sport an embroidered black golf shirt that looked more Sears Tire Center than FDIC-insured financial institution. And her desk was jutting out of the center of the lobby like an afterthought or timeout chair. With no partitions or so much as a fake plant to separate her from everyone who wanders in off the street, the poor woman would never be able to update her Facebook status.

But I’m assuming if she could, it would be something like, “Would love to close my door so I can burp really loudly, but…oh shit.”

Or, “Phil Mickelson wearing my same shirt today.” chair_timeout

Anyway, once I shook off the feeling that she was really a Senior Personal Camp Counselor (I couldn’t get past the shirt) and after depositing my entire money market savings into my new account, I went home to begin switching over my automatic drafts. With car payments, Target RedCards, et al, tethered to my old account, this exercise had me so cranky and mentally spent, I snapped at my daughter for requesting breakfast. It was 5:30 pm.

Seven days and five meltdowns later (you know the kind that have you asking people around you to “stop breathing so loudly” because you’re trying to think), I logged in to my new online banking site to make sure my money was disappearing at warp speed from the correct account.

I was overdrafted $359.

How is that even possible?

Did my Senior Personal Camp Counselor use all my money to buy herself a cubicle or lifetime supply of twill polo shirts?

Turns out my new bankfriend placed all my money on a 10-DAY hold, despite my deposit being a cashier’s check to myself which would imply next-day availability and without ever thinking this might be useful information to give me while I am sitting across from her.

Wedding Singer theme penetrates dentist office as well

After a recent routine cleaning, my dentist (who has an irksome habit of singing everything he says) serenaded me with a song called, “If you have an extra three grand laying around, come back next week so I can attempt to undo your childhood addiction to Laffy Taffy.”

Me and my bells palsy Novocaine face

Me and my bell’s palsy Novocaine face

I returned a week later to allow my baritone DDS to whittle away at what would be left of my already expensive (just ask my mother) teeth to prepare them for their new crowns (aptly named after the amount of jewelry you’ll have to pawn to pay for them). For $3k, I’d prefer tiaras.

Only after using a dental AK-47 to inject massive amounts of Novocaine directly into my jaw for about 10 minutes straight (humming how it is more effective [at torturing me] if he goes slow), he tells me that he doesn’t recommend the crowns until I have a periodontist perform a gum graft.


I don’t know what the mother bitch that is, but somewhere between spilling a quart of saliva onto my chest because I was too numb to feel it, and suppressing the urge to scrape his eyes out, Adam Sandler’s voice was once again shouting the obvious.

So I left there with the entire right side of my face completely paralyzed despite having nothing done save for the molding of new bleaching trays. Because in the event a periodontist does sew new gums into my mouth, I would like to be able to order my crowns in a shade lighter than mahogany.

Now, totally hating this lounge singer who somehow barbershop quartetted his way through dental school, but on the hook for the bleaching trays, I had to return a few days later to the site of this dentastrophe to pick them up. The assistant jammed the custom molded bleaching tray into my upper arch to check the fit and handed me four measly vials of bleach she just fished out of the drawer. Not exactly the “Professional Whitening Package” you paid hundreds for, but in line with the professionalism of a place where the dentist numbs you to tell you he cannot perform the procedure you’re there for because he forgot to actually look in your mouth the week before.

“Where is the tray for the bottom?” I asked, sensing she was about to leave the room.

She looked at me confused.

“Oh,” she said. “You wanted the bottom too? We didn’t discuss that.”

For a full five minutes of my life that I will never get back we debated the possible merits of only bleaching one half of your mouth.

To summarize: there are none.

But apparently it is my fault for not clarifying that I didn’t only want some of my teeth bleached.

Once again…information that might have been a little more useful to me yesterday.

*Just kidding, Nana! Second base was as far as we got.

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

June 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm

south fleas island resort: traveled down the road and back again

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$500 a night buys you this

When Hurricane Charley ripped through Florida in 2004, it ravaged Captiva Island causing widespread damage to South Seas Island Resort. Read: the subsequent renovations imply that the rooms you rent for $500 a night on Labor Day Weekend in 2011 will be fairly updated.

Add that assumption to the long list of things I’ve come to regret, even now as I Google “bed bugs.”

After an almost 3-hour trek during which I was forced to place my seven year old in a Dramamine-induced coma, I found myself driving directly into 1985.

As if waiting for nearly two hours to check-in to our condo freshly vacated by BenGay-wearing nursing home escapees wasn’t bad enough, witnessing the horror that was inside forced me to finally admit that I’m a hypochondriac who suffers from what I like to refer to as Fiscal Amnesia. This became quite obvious once I demanded my daughter Purell the soles of her feet after walking on the carpet, which had not seen a vacuum since the last time Blanche Devereaux invited over a gentleman caller.

Not realizing that more than half of South Fleas villas are individually owned, I was sickened to think the lack of vacancy at the Ritz Naples coupled with my inability to make plans before the Thursday of a holiday weekend had launched me into a nightmarishly itchy episode of the Golden Girls featuring 3-decade old, faded pelican watercolors and an 18-inch TV.

Not fair Hurricane Charley spared this

I was confused. How could that destructive asshole Charley spare this?

I envisioned my daughter and I returning to St. Pete announcing that we discovered the origin of the head lice that was spreading through her school like the lingering smell of burnt toast in Kindergarten. How could I have avoided bed bugs in the coach cabin of the Eurorail in Italy only to find myself exposed to them on sheets that were more wood than cotton?

As my daughter rearranged the dusty, teal and mauve-colored silk flowers popular only between 1990 and 1991, I beg-asked her if we should leave. Go someplace else where the rooms are cleaned by a hotel staff and not your great-grandmother right before she shits herself.

But while I was itching and tossing out bath products that were more citronella than citrus, Ainsley was delighted to discover the type of campy mermaid guestbook only Jerry’s parents would have laying on the glass coffeetable of their Del Boca Vista retirement home. While I frantically scooped my suitcase off the floor wondering how high fleas could jump, she was happily jumping on Rose’s bed. And while I resisted the urge to call the front desk and announce that I am not paying for this abortion of decor unless Bea Arthur comes back from the dead to make me scrambled eggs in the morning, I instead called to see how late the ice cream shop was open.

The showerhead did little more than pee on me all weekend, and I have splinters from the sheets. But I think I’ll soon forget the whitewashed rattan furniture with maple syrup-stained arms and rusted dolphin figurines. Because instead I’ll replace those memories with my daughter’s giggles as she frolicked in the sea. Or her simple, innocent declaration that the hotdog she ate for lunch at the beach bar-amshackle nearby, was “the best meal” she ever had (quite a testament to my cooking).

South Fleas may have had me itching, but luckily the company could always make me smile.

Stay Golden, Ainsley. Stay Golden.

Too bad I only brought my Betamax tapes

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

September 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm

not the most cost effective way to untangle your christmas lights

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Shortly after I busted out the kitchen shears, I began calculating the cost of another few tangled strands of lights versus my sanity and decided they needed to be thrown into the trash with the angry force of Godzilla hurling a building. After awhile, it was like playing Tetris. I knew eventually I’d have nightmares if I didn’t stop.

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way s/he handles three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

When it rains, I shop (and wear white, natch). When I lose my luggage, I buy new clothes. And when my Christmas lights are tangled, I toss them out, not caring if they are recyclable or not. So, I’m not sure what that says about me, but I really hope my living poor life coach skips this blog.

In my defense, about seven strands still survived my Chuck Norris-like attacks. Ripping off branches and cursing, I managed to unwind a lucky few twinkling white lights as dried-out tree needles flew into my nose and every crevice of my marble floors. They’re now neatly coiled away in Ziploc totes, smug as Buzz Lightyear and Jessie, happy to survive another year.

Of course half of them will be burned out next year. Since when did Christmas lights become a one-season use item anyway? Doesn’t anybody remember their grandmother carefully unwrapping strands of bubbling candle lights that have survived four children and as many decades? Well, I don’t either. But it seems somebody should.

Throughout this process, especially while I dragged the 12-foot tree out the front door and down the steps by a leash of tangled lights, I wondered why in the hell I don’t just get a faux Frasier fir from Frontgate like everybody else. But de-Christmasing is like childbirth. You get caught up in all the excitement and forget how bad it fucking hurts.

Surgical gloves are a great way of avoiding sticky tree sap. And letting people know how bat ass crazy you are.

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

January 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

dear american express:

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I realize your quarterly earnings must have decreased substantially since my husband ripped the AmEx from my hands five months ago and informed you that I was training with Al Quaida. So I can appreciate why you may be feeling the impact of my recent inability to stimulate the economy. However, your rejection letter this morning was a bit insensitive. You are “unable to extend me a credit card at this time?” Ouch. What is it that you suggest I do? Forego the upgrades, complimentary breakfasts and companion fares you have promised in exchange for me maintaining my perfect attendance record at every Nordstrom Semi-Annual Sale since 1997?

After all we’ve been through together (our Four Seasons upgrade in France, breakfast buffets at the JW Marriott, Club Level benefits at the Ritz, Concierge service at the Grand Floridian, et al) it’s hardly reasonable for me to slap down an Orchard Bank Student Visa card on the marble Neiman’s checkout counter. Especially since Neiman’s. Doesn’t. Even. Accept. Visa.

So please reconsider your hasty, thoughtless decision. If not for me and those True Religion boot-cut jeans my thigh bulge is pining for, then at least do it for our country. You know that I’m our nation’s best chance at economic recovery.


Someone who prefers Platinum to Apple Trees

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

November 11, 2010 at 12:51 pm

smell like cabbage. got small hands

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As we usher in the Autumn season, I welcome the many changes it brings. The temperature drops from a crisp 95 to 93 degrees, and the amount of dirt I blow out of my nose increases threefold.

Anyone with children knows I am, of course, referring to the weekly Fall “Festibals” (my in-speech-therapy-daughter also told me she prefers the other “virgin” of Miley Cyrus’ Party in the USA song. I was so shocked to hear the words virgin and Miley Cyrus uttered in the same sentence, I didn’t even bother to correct her).

What is it about these church carnivals that has us flocking to dirt fields year after year to pay toothless sex offenders to lift and strap our small children into rusted contraptions that are about to implode any second without ever even stopping to remove the unfiltered cigarettes from their mouths? The place where despite the 10:1 odds in favor of e-coli contamination, we still fork over $8 (or two weeks alimony) for a bag of kettle corn that at the very least makes you wonder what sort of flesh-eating parasites are swimming around at the bottom of that smoking, copper toilet bowl.

It’s at these fairs that we are reminded the devil of all temptation is not a naked Vegas hooker holding a winning lottery ticket and the cure for cancer at your bachelor party. It’s funnel cake. Wafting past the mounds of dirt blocking my nostrils like fried Oreos guarantee to do to my arteries. Begging me to disregard the imminent asstastrophe should I give in to this greasy compulsion. I’m pretty sure the inventor of Elmer’s glue did nothing more than patent what is left on your fingers once you’ve licked off the mixture of powdered sugar, recycled grease and saliva after eating a funnel cake the size of a hubcap.

So swept up in the nostalgia of it all, we never even stop to consider the same lard that’s frying your french fries and funnel cake is also used for anything from corndogs to chicken nuggets to lubing the spokes on the Tilt a Hurl. By no means am I suggesting I get nauseated from spinning around in circles at 60 mph until the carnie finishes his cigarette or someone vomits into the air splashing passersby with chunks of cotton candy and turkey leg. What makes me queasy when I am forced to board this twirling tuna can due to some bullshit height requirement is that all those corroded cars smell just like the urine-soaked floors of the Port Authority bathroom. And the rusty stench on your fingers after you chose clutching the metal Tilt a Hurl’s wheel over a head injury? It requires at least 10 Purell wipes and three hand washes to remove. Minimum.

Fond childhood memories of our junior high boyfriend winning us a Menudo poster at the carnival must be what lures us in to play these games over and over again, spending the equivalent of a pair of Stuart Weitzman wedges on trying to win a giant stuffed Saint Bernard carrying enough scabies in his barrel to infest the Swiss Alps.

This afternoon, my 6-year-old tried to talk me into playing a $5-per-player game that a moustached, yellow-toothed (singular), Wrangler-sporting child molester promised would yield a “winner every time.” Anyone who has ever had a neuron synapse understands that the giant Scooby Doo toy hanging behind this convict is among the “Choice” prizes, which means you either have to beat 30 people playing at one time, or you have to trade up the gazillion erasers and Tootsie Rolls you just won for being a big loser. I could only imagine the disappointment on my little girl’s face when and if she did finally pop that balloon, and the ex-con proceeded to reach past Scooby to get the basket of Dum Dums for her to choose from. So I convinced her that we needed to leave. It was getting late. But most importantly, I had to pee. And unless I’m 23, drunk and tailgating, there is no way I’m using a Port a Potty. As we walked to the car, I couldn’t help but notice the disappointment on her face. My bladder ignored this. Driving toward Starbucks I glanced in my rearview mirror and spotted some tears.

“Honey, come on. It’s just a toy. A toy that costs the equivalent of a mortgage payment to win. But just a toy.”

Now the waterworks started. Bringing on the urgency to pee even more.

“It’s not just a toy, ” she protested. “It’s Scooby Doo. And. I. Love. That. Show.”

Call me a sucker. Or just someone who’s very very bad at being poor. But I turned my car around and headed back into that trench to spend the remainder of my alimony on trying to win a Scooby Doo toy that is big enough to have collapsed the Chilean mines.

Now, Scooby Dirty Doo is sleeping soundly next to his little stalker while I google how to remove bed bugs, scabies and ringworm from her sheets.

Sometimes, after attending a fair with my daughter, I send my childless friend Lucas Lightning Retardo-Montalban pictures such as these with a subject line that reads: Vasectomy

Funnel Cake Lady Needs to Die

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

November 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm

my only superpower(s)

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I get a lot of suggestions about clever ways to earn enough scrap to pay my AmEx Platinum now that my marital settlement agreement of three Twinkies and a pillowcase is approaching finalization.

Here’s how that usually goes: I scoff, roll my eyes and then morph into a petulant child who drinks triple shots of espresso in her latte before reminding them that Brian has exiled my credit cards to a local landfill and has the terror watch alert raised to red if I so much as log on to my Amazon account.

“What AmEx? I’m barely eligible for a Discover card,” I snort. “Brian’s probably flying to Tahiti with all the frequent flyer miles I worked very hard to earn through years of Neiman Marcus last call marathons and sleepless nights on shopbop.com.”

But back to what toilets I’ll need to lick to pay for my lattes going forward. I have done some serious introspection to come up with a list of my skills. For the sake of my tarnished self esteem, let’s just call them “Superpowers:”

I can use my g-string as a scrunchee: Many of you maintain that this is more of a “party trick” than Superpower, but I beg to differ. Disappearing into a bathroom with no hair accessories whatsoever and emerging with a perfectly coiffed ponytail or ballerina bun is pretty extraordinary. Although handy for unexpected sleepovers, I’m not confident this has revenue-earning potential.

I can find missing children with my superior olfaction: You can once again diminish the impressiveness of this skill by calling me “dog nose” or asking me if I’m pregnant. But someone who knows her husband just ripped open a bag of chicken chunks before she even pulls into her driveway clearly should have her own comic book.

Wikipedia defines Hyperosmia as “the increased ability to smell – for example, being able to identify the perfume of the previous occupant of a chair.” (or knowing whether you had the seabass or the halibut after talking to you for 30 seconds)

Let’s ignore the fact that most terms used to describe me begin with “hyper” and focus on how I have used this Superpower for the greater good. There was the time I got upgraded to a suite in Vegas after calling the front desk and telling them my current room reeked of “prostitutes marinated in Stetson cologne.” Or when I got bumped up to first class on a flight back from Italy because the entire row of Saudi Arabians next to us removed their boots and raised their arms quite a bit (um, Islamic dress — not exactly light and breathable). Actually, that’s a lie. Alitalia never upgraded me. So I shoved lemon fingers up each nostril, swallowed a Valium (or three) and blacked out for eight hours.

Unfortunately, I’m not having any luck unearthing a profession that calls for this Superpower. Miami airport customs turned me down, citing some bullshit about how only canines sniff bags for bombs. Whatever.

So until my comic book “Hyperosmiatic Heroines” is published, I’ve decided to highlight a few recent assaults on my olfactories as a public service:

My loaner car from Reeves: My shocking loss of status at my car dealer of nearly a decade resulted in them providing me with a rusty, dented Chrysler 3000 that stunk of scented maxi pads, dry cleaning solution and Marlboro Lights. When the guy asked me if the car was okay, I told him “only with noseplugs.” Crickets.

Method Antibac Lemon Verbena Kitchen Cleaner: Only buy this if you want your carrara marble countertops to smell like insect repellent.

Downy Mountain Spring Fabric Softener: After I perform the gruesome, ungodly act of laundry, I do not want to be rewarded with clothes that smell like they were rolled around in pine sap at Girl Scout camp.

Gain Original Fresh Dryer Sheets: You know the completely shaved, greasy-haired Italian bodybuilder wearing the Tap Out tee and staring at your breasts in line at the grocery store to buy his canned tuna fish? Your clothes will smell like him if you use this.

My armpits after Ainsley’s School Fall Festival: Because I break out into an angry rash when I use any antiperspirant that actually works, I opt for Dove Invisible solid. It’s slightly less effective than oxygen.

Little Tree Air Freshener (Lively Lemon Scent): Not so much a bad smell, as much as a smell so powerful it actually squeezes the capillaries behind your eyes forcing you to call a neurologist and schedule a CT scan of the brain.

So dear friends, please know that in the future if I happen to cancel our dinner date, it’s nothing personal. I probably just don’t like your cologne.

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

October 30, 2010 at 12:31 pm

nothing tests your patience or olfactory willpower like disney

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Just returned from Disney, and I’m once again faced with the age-old question that plagues theme park visitors far and wide (especially wide): wash my clothes in the 2-hour sanitary rinse cycle or just throw them away?

Visiting six theme parks in four days is a lot like Nutella. In theory, chocolate and hazelnut should be a scrumptious coupling, but kids don’t exactly fight over it in the school cafeteria. I mean, sure, my weekend featured plenty of Disney magic, wonder and excitement. Like when I spotted the caffeinated oasis that is Starbucks across the lake at Universal Studios. Or when the couple sporting bride and groom Mickey ears accepted my Soarin’ fastpasses in exchange for promising to never kiss in public again.

But it always seemed like my joy was tempered by the fact that I’d get stuck in line next to a British woman with Nanny McPhee-like warts dangling out of her earlobes. Or behind a guy in the Toy Story line who for 84 minutes burped up his breakfast sausage in my direction. I can shut down my olfactories long enough to use a public restroom. But an 84-minute ride queue? About 30 minutes into that line I was secretly hoping the Toy Story ride included me plummeting to my death.

Irritating people: Disney’s biggest attraction

And then of course each day promised enough Space Violators, Slow Walkers and Loud Talkers to make anyone want to lay across the tracks at Test Track. With so many different categories of idiocy, it was really hard to determine who was the most annoying:

The Crossers: typically they travel in groups of four or more and lack the brainpower to understand the typical flow of pedestrian traffic. Crossers like to make sudden diagonal or horizontal jumps across crowds, forcing people all around them to stop short, tumble or face-plant into me.

The Stoppers: completely oblivious to the world around them, Stoppers aim to find the most congested area within any crowd to come to a screeching halt to read a map, calculate their body mass index, or ask their partner where “that hotdog place is at.”

The Roadblockers: a close relative to the Slow Walker, Roadblockers contain three or more usually overweight people who clasp hands tightly forming a human chain of adipose tissue across any walkway or path. Even with a stroller and child outfitted with steel-reinforced boots and the instruction to point her toes like pistols, it is nearly impossible to break through this blockade (the only exception being when the Starbucks at Universal is closing in 15 minutes and you’ve been told you may not swim across the lake to get there).

The Waiters: regardless of line length, Waiters will wait until the second they are at the ticket turnstile to even attempt to locate their passes. Waiters also decide what they’re having for lunch the minute they reach the cashier and not while they just waited in a 30-minute line complete with Jumbotron menus featured in three different languages as well as laminated menus handed to them two days ago by Disney employees. Because Waiters like to see me decompensate into a fit of tears on the ground because I’m so hungry, they also frequently ask questions such as, “How many pieces of lettuce are in the garden salad?” before finally ordering.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t add the following people to my “Why Didn’t YOU Get Lost in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground Instead of my Child?” list:

– Anyone who gnaws on a turkey leg. Since when is tearing into an animal carcass the size of Cinderella’s castle while you sit on a steaming hot sidewalk acceptable behavior?

– Disney newlyweds. Um, sorry, but I fail to see the romance in fanny packs, foot odor and Mickey ears.

– New Yorkers

– Adults who get their “passports” stamped at Epcot countries.

You can’t live on 42-ounce fountain cokes and funnel cake: I’ve tried

If you do decide to visit Orlando for a theme parkathon and are concerned about where to take a little respite from the incorrigible crowds, I can recommend two excellent napping areas:

– Ellen’s Energy Adventure ride at Epcot (it’s dark, cold and 37 minutes long).

– The light on International Drive and Orangewood Blvd. It is a little longer than Ellen’s, but no dinosaurs.

As far as dining goes, if you’ve ever contemplated a liquid fast, now’s the time. Admittedly the veggie burgers at Cosmic Rays in Magic Kingdom are edible because you can hide their taste with sautéed mushrooms, onions and other toppings from the topping bar. Just try to ignore the people who so clearly are just eating plates of toppings. Witnessing this will not allow you to eat anything. Ever. Again.

You may want to visit the potty first

If you are incontinent or just drank an iced trenta passion tea, I do not recommend riding the Jimmy Neutron Blast at Universal Studios. It’s amazing to me that they have warnings for pregnant women, people with heart conditions or back problems, but nowhere does it say, “Those with bladders the size of thimbles may not ride.” That really may explain the smell.

Sure they boast a lazy river and 4-star accommodations, but who cares?

Because Disney hotels contain enough allergens to make my eyes puffy for a week following my stay, I’ve become a regular guest at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes. Primarily because they have a Starbucks in the lobby. But they do serve a fantastic breakfast buffet at Citron that often is complimentary with your stay if you book using the AAA rate. Blah, blah, blah. They have a Starbucks.

Living Poor Life Coach gives me an A- for the weekend

My “Living Poor Life Coach” approves of the JW Marriott (if not the $28 nightly valet), and that I refrained from stopping at the Burberry outlet on my way home tonight. And, yes, maybe my daughter would have preferred the $6 pizza outside of Mission Space. But the $19.50 pizza in Italy that she didn’t eat included a street show if you craned your neck. And stood up on your chair.

I think it’s even possible I’ll get extra credit for refusing to pay $35 for express valet at Universal and instead pay only $25 for the regular valet (which means you could walk to your hotel and back three times before they bother to bring you your car).

I’m just afraid any earned extra credit will be offset by my $149pp SeaWorld passport ticket expenditure so that we could attend the last hour of its “Spooktacular.” But we did eat at Perkins that night. So I’m getting there.

A Stopper in action at Epcot

Looks reasonable enough

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

October 17, 2010 at 11:05 pm

fresh market grand opening and i don’t know things

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Since I’ve been waiting for the Fresh Market Grand Opening since the razing of Coconut Point, or the plaza formerly offering fried pickles, used golf equipment and plantation shutters, I didn’t bother to check on the actual hours this morning. I just assumed it opened when I got my latte and found a parking spot. So let’s just get out there that I’m pretty confident I crashed a private preview party. Worst-case scenario I whip out my press pass for this blog and they send me to the Sweetbay on MLK.

Perched just before the Martha Stewart Living Fall Edition display of pumpkins and Indian corn outside the entrance, I noticed a woman sporting a black pantsuit roasting like a rotisserie cornish game hen. Judging by the amount of senior citizens flocking around her table like they were at a free cholesterol screening, it was obvious she was giving something away. So I headed over to exchange my (fake Yahoo) email address for a free Fresh Market tote. Don’t be intimidated by the form you fill out because it has those little letter boxes. I can never fit my letters in those little effing boxes either. If it makes you feel any better, there are Jelly Beans in that tote.

Upon entering Fresh Market you will be greeted by a flower display that for the love of Charlie Crist contains no spray-painted carnations. Because it rivals most flower shops in St. Pete (especially those that sprinkle glitter on their roses. ew), it is completely acceptable to buy a bouquet even though you leave for Disney tomorrow and will not return until it is a pile of  potpourri on your dining room table.

Then you’re off to the produce section which delightfully has no flies swirling around piles of bruised nectarines from Mexico. If you forgot your iPod (amateur – biggest shopping faux pas ever), I recommend the following solution for keeping employees from asking you 300 times if you need assistance:

Pantsuit-Wearing Fresh Market Employee: “Miss (okay, whatever, maybe he said Ma’am, I need Botox) – do you need help finding anything?”

Me: “Yes, bananas.” (now make sure you say this as you are putting the bananas in your cart; they will not bother you again.)

Then you’re off to determine whether or not the Fresh Market produce is nuclear or just on steroids. The honeycrisp apples would pass for shiny red Priuses in the parking lot, the Portabella mushroom caps could double as umbrellas, and the strawberries are so big they require diving boards above swimming pools of chocolate for dipping. I felt a bit like Alice after she shrank to fit through the keyhole. I couldn’t tell if I should be excited about asparagus that big or a little scared?

Past the produce section you’ll find the seafood counter where en croute Chilean seabass awaits you for $22.99 a pound. As my good friend Patty Melt suggests, “Don’t practice being poor until you have to, honey.” (Patty’s alimony runs out next month). So I filled my cart with coconut-crusted shrimp, lobster cakes (this is Fresh Market – crabcakes are so Publix) and pecan-crusted trout filets. I will eat none of this, but I do feel good about stimulating the economy.

I skipped right over the bakery because just glancing at the four-inch peak of frosting on the Halloween cupcakes caused my pancreas to pump out a painful amount of insulin. Likewise, I avoided the colorful melange of olives at the olive bar because I knew spending too much time there would cause my hair to smell like Falafel King. I passed by many foods I could not identify, which made me feel a longing to eat something other than oatmeal from Starbucks. I want to eat Lingonberries too! Or at the very least know what they are.

As I headed back to the refrigerator section comprised of enough yogurt to completely eradicate yeast infections, I noticed a unique feature which promises to keep Lucas Lightning Jackleg-Montalban a regular customer: the “Create Your Own 6-pack”  display. He can then head over to the $3.99 a-pound ale nuts container and have his grocery shopping done for the week. Does Fresh Market stock toiletries? Natch. In fact, Mr. Jackleg-Montalban can now get away with a #7 (not showering after a night of Yuengling and bad judgment) by drinking Republic of Tea’s “Get Clean” tea (see below). And if he ever decides to woo (or roofie) women with wine not from a box, Fresh Market has a small, but respectable selection from which to choose. Sadly, no Caymus.

In summary, Fresh Market promises to make Publix look like an inner-city soup kitchen. The fact that they stock Alexia Julienne fries with seasalt is reason enough to go. Just remember your iPod.

How Fresh Market ensures you never bring your kids here

For when you were too drunk to shower (#7)

And perhaps the most compelling reason to shop here

Sadly, this does not work as a cupholder for your latte

I'm pretty sure at Sweetbay this is just "onion relish"

These paninis will make you feel like total white trash for waiting in the Publix sub line

Um, Fresh Market? I don't cook.

Where you'll find Lucas Lightning Jackleg-Montalban

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

October 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

will work for black forest ham

with one comment

At some point I’ll have to fabricate a resume since my real CV expired years ago, and is firmly lodged in the bowels of a dead PC that a certain husband saw no need in rescuing from Hospice as it clicked and sputtered its life away last Summer.

That now extinct hard drive sits untouched on my bookshelf like an urn of ashes waiting to be resurrected for $3,500 (or three years of alimony) and an insatiable desire for Aunt Ethel’s tapioca pudding recipe trapped on a Word ’97 doc.

But until then, I’m diligently searching for the next job opportunity in every nail salon, yoga studio, Starbucks and Neiman Marcus I visit.

So what if my dream job is writing for The New Yorker (I mean The Onion)? I’m not sure my future employers will appreciate me explaining what was in my portfolio before my husband tossed it in the trash during a move. Nor would they be impressed by my clippings from the Florida Concrete Association magazine. So until I can steal someone else’s identity, I’m wondering if any of you have connections with the following publication (fingers crossed).

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

October 12, 2010 at 10:59 am

why i’m not going to tonight’s game

with one comment

Last Thursday, my $78 infield seats included a complimentary view of this:

So it made enjoying my hot pretzel a little more challenging than usual, and let’s face it, that’s the only reason I go to Rays games.

If you do plan on attending tonight’s game and don’t want to park in Tampa and helicopter in, you can park right in front of Ferg’s in the 2-hour spots for the cost of a $25 parking ticket and a small pile of vomit on the hood of your car. Okay, bargain on the parking ticket (Mr. Jackleg-Montalban paid the same amount for a parking violation-free spot much farther away). And as for the vomit. Um. Have you seen my car?

Written by I only Wear White When it Rains

October 12, 2010 at 10:12 am

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