Monday, February 28, 2011

Can a Preppy Girl Live on a Farm?

Train Update: today dawned with freezing sleet...ah, what a Monday! When I got to the train, there was a notice that the train was "not moving" and was running 20 minutes late..which turned into 37 minutes late...which turned into 42 minutes late...which turned into "time to go back home". I ended up working from home rather than wait for a train from nowhere. Turns out the early morning train had broken down and mine was going to PUSH it to Boston. Cut. It. Out. I'm glad I went home when I did...if not I might still be on the little engine that could...

I read a review recently of Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale. The review was glowing..."a must read"...and "laugh out loud funny". That always gets me. Any book that gets me to laugh out loud when I read it (Have you read David Sedaris?) is a must read. I ran to the bookstore to grab a copy and was so excited to see the cover showing a pair of muck boots next to high heels. How cute! Well, cuter would be little whale rain boots next to some peep toe flats...but the cover still caught my eye.

So, I have this fantasy that if I picked up my family and moved away to a 500 acre farm in upstate New York or Vermont that life would be "perfect". We would have cows (I love them), goats (Tim had them when he was younger and loves them), bunnies galore (okay, I have one now and complain about cleaning her cage...but on my fantasy farm that wouldn't bother me), kitties, and a lazy old dog, and horses, and tons of land for the kids to run around. Of course there would be a pond too that freezes in the winter and we can have skating parties...complete with homemade hot chocolate...and the kids would be wearing the mittens I knitted for them. Oh, and we would have a tire swing on a beautiful, old tree right out in front of our Christmas card perfect farm house...which would be filled with great yard sale finds. You know, in the country, you find the most amazing deals. I would have a beautiful organic garden, would cook and bake all day, and my days would be completely relaxing. I would always have an adorable outfit on....whether I was collecting eggs in my adorable navy skirt and blue whale rain boats or having some fresh squeezed lemonade on the front porch in my khaki capris, white polo with the collar popped, and some adorable black ballet flats. Life would be simple here...my family would really appreciate all the simple things in life and quite frankly, it would be idyllyc.

Insert sound of tires coming to a screeching halt. When I shared this little fantasy with Tim, he looked at me like he was really sorry for me...and he was..sorry to burst my bubble. He spoke kind of slow to me....like I might not comprehend what he had to say otherwise. He said things like "You hate the cold and getting up early. On a farm you have to get up early...even in the winter...to take care of all those animals"...."You have a gag reflex problem....how do you think you will handle the smell of all those animals? And you would be taking care of them all...because this is not my fantasy"...and the kicker "Running a place like this would be hard work...not relaxing. You would be working from sun up to sun down". Hey, Timmy...enough!! Okay?! It could work....

When I came across Susan McCorkindale's book I thought to myself "This is exactly what I want to do...I can totally relate to this!" Turns out I couldn't really relate to "Sooz" as she often called herself. She is a Jersey girl and spent a good deal of the book bemoaning the loss of being able to shop at Neiman's every day, or buy Manolo's, or crying over the $700 pocketbooks that she couldn't find in the country. She didn't embrace country life...although she proclaimed too..but she really didn't do too much on the farm. Bottom line, I was so disappointed that she wasn't more like me. I really wanted to identify with her and see how the whole thing transpired. She was no preppy girl...she was a Jersey girl. Very. Different. She liked big hair. I like my bob. She got a tattoo because she was bored on the farm. Tattoos and Lily Pulitzer don't mix. She wore tight jeans and high heels. I like capris and ballet flats. I could go on and on but there's no need.

Between her book and Tim's "reality talk", my spirit is a little dampened. I'm not giving up on it yet though...I still think this preppy camper girl could survive on the farm. At the very least, I would have some great blog posts!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Riding the Rails

I have to admit...I thought by now I would have come across a lot more crazy people on the train. This week alone, though, I have come across some beauties. Is it a full moon this week?

On the way home, I typically pick a three seater, figuring that if the train isn't croweded, at least I'll have some space between me and the other person. That hasn't happened yet...and I'm not sure why I haven't just moved to selecting a two seater from now on. Initially, I didn't realize that if you were in the outside seat of a three seater and someone asked if they could sit there, you don't have to be the one who gets squooshed in the middle. I did that for a few times, quietly resenting the third person who sandwiched me in there. Then I saw people getting up to let the third person in to take the middle. I didn't realize that was an option! It's as if the person is saying "Sure, you can sit here but you are taking the crappy middle seat because I was here first!"

One day last week I tried it out and you know what, it felt liberating! I know the person was hating me for making them take the seat of little space, but tough! I was there first! If I don't make it early enough to get the inside seat, I definitely take the You-Take-The-Inside-Seat-And-Like-It approach.

On the way in this week I sat in a two seater with an older gentlemen. He was reading the paper initially. And then I heard "rrriiippppp" as he very slowly ripped an article out of the paper. And when I say slowly I mean in slo-mo. When he was done he put the article in his shirt pocket. Apparently he found something interesting. No problem. A few moments of silence go by and then I hear the slow "rrriiippp" again. Hhhmm...I'm sensing a problem. I couldn't help but look out of the corner of my eye and I see him looking out the window as he rips. Don't you look at what you are doing when you are tearing something out so that you make sure you get it all? That made me wonder, "What's going on down there?" and when I looked all I could see was both his hands underneath the paper, slowly moving. Come on!! Have you ever had that feeling that your heart stopped for an instant because something startled you. Well, I'm pretty sure I stopped breating for a minute. All I could think was "OMG...what is he doing and do I just get up and give him a dirty look or do I say 'You pig!'?" But then I thought that he couldn't be doing what I thought he was doing and still be making the ripping noise. So, I waited another minute and then the ripping continued. This whole time he is staring out the window. "Rrrriippp". silence. "rrriiippp". silence. Finally he finishes and puts the "article" in his shirt pocket which I realize is chock full of ripped up newspaper. I then realize that his newspaper is filled with ripped up holes. It's at that moment that I realize he is some sort of closet paper ripper. Who does this?? In the words of my husband when I relayed this story: "Some people read on the train. Some people sleep on the train. Some people rip newspapers on the train." Yes, they do..but only on the Cra-Zee train!

Speaking of the crazy train, there was a loony bin on the train home today..and lucky me, she decided to sit with me! So, I hear this woman talking very loudly on the phone but I don't pay much attention until I hear "I'm going to have to call you back because I can't say what I really want to say to you right now because I'm on the train." Oh boy. She then continues to call a whole host of people saying "I'm coming into the train station in 10 minutes and you better f$%@! be there to pick me up!"

At this point, I am wedged in the corner next to an older woman making her grocery list in Russian....and she is sighing the whole way. Why? Why the sighing with the list? Who knows. At the second stop she gets off. That opens up a spot for Potty Mouth to sit next to me. Oh goody. Within 30 seconds she is rummaging through her purse, crumpling up some paper, and she THROWS some trash on the floor at my feet saying "I don't need this anymore!" Immediatley I want to say "Hey! Does this look like a giant trash can to you?!" but I looked at her out of the corner of my eye and quickly decided against it for 2 reasons. 1) She was much bigger than me and I knew she would kick my skinny jean behind and 2) I had no idea where she was getting off. I didn't want her to come out fists a'blazing at my stop...and I didn't want to end up being featured in a YouTube video that goes viral showing her ripping my cute hot pink wool hat off and ripping my hair out.

So instead I mentally confronted her...I love doing that. Just having a go at someoneone in your mind..it's such a great release. You get to say what you want, control how the situation goes, say all the great one liners you can think of, and be the winner....all in your own mind. It's great mental therapy. Lucky for me she got off at the next stop...swearing and grumbling the whole time.

I love the cra-zee's...they provide great entertainment...but I do prefer them to be at a distance...not next to me!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Crazy Train

I think the snow is getting to everyone. With 1-2 storms a week for the last month or so, I think people just lost it last week. I was on the train on the way to work and this Indian woman was sitting behind me talking on her cell phone. Let's be honest, early in the morning people just want peace and quiet before they hit the workplace running. This woman was talking loud and fast. And when I say fast, I mean the kind of fast that will make you have an epileptic seizure if you listen to intently. She just kept making call after call after call and all I could make out was "hello" and "bye bye". Just when I thought I would lose it the guy behind her said with clenched teeth "Excuse me....can you please stop talking on your cell phone?! It's just too much!" She seemed very surprised and said "ok" and was silent for about 2 minutes. Then I hear her start up again...same fast talking foreign language but she was whispering. The guy behind her got up and let out the biggest sigh...I think the whole train heard it...and then he stalked off to another car. She is lucky he walked away instead of going kooky nuts on her.

Later in the week, after two days of snow, this one guy got on the train and apparently sits in the same spot each time with a group of people. Turns out some "newbie" didn't realize he sits there and he went a little postal. "This is my seat! I always sit here with my friends!" That could have been me...who knew there was assigned seating in some areas?! The poor guy who sat there unknowingly got up quickly and moved away to another car. The other guy was irritated the whole ride home.

I almost missed the train the other day...I had to run across the parking lot and then up 3 flights of stairs and then down 3 flights of stairs to get on the right side of the tracks...wearing a long winter coat, scarf, my boots, carrying my computer bag and another bag (still haven't gotten my bag system very streamlined). I made it across the parking lot and up one flight of stairs before my legs almost gave way...and the train had already pulled up. I realized I just wasn't going to make it so I just walked. Turns out the conductor had seen me coming and held the train for me. SO nice! Turns out I continued to cough up a lung for the next hour. Someone is probably writing about me in their blog right now..."There was this one girl who wouldn't stop coughing the entire ride to Boston and I just wanted to sleep." All I can say is "I'm sorry"....I'm apparently out of shape.

Speaking of that, I promised myself that I would look good in a bathing suit this year....as I always do. And I know I need to start now to really lose those 10 pounds and firm up. Typically I attempt to "diet" which doesn't work for me because just that word makes me extremely hungry 24 hours a day. So, I decided last week I would take a new approach. I am going to take baby steps each week. Last week was to just start eating smaller portions and eat healthier. One day I had a smoothie for lunch. Although it was good, I was ready to gnaw off my arm on the way home on the train. I ate a handful of pringles while I made dinner. I decided not to make myself feel bad...I'll just start afresh the next day. I did lose a pound which is good...although watching the super bowl tonight and having a bunch of munchies will probably make me gain a few pounds.

This week I'm going to do the same thing...smaller portions, eat healthier...and I'm going to add 2-3 days of exercise. C'mon...I need someone to do it with me....how about if you commit to 2-3 days of exercise too and we'll let each other know how we made out? I'm just talking about doing some sit ups and maybe walking on the treadmill 30 min a day (since walking outside with 3 feet of snow on the ground is challenging right now). You can do that right? Let me know how you do and I'll let you know how I do....we can do this!