Friday, October 24, 2008

I HEART Awards Shows

Every year for the past seven or eight years, I write an awards show re-cap. I didn't do one this year--did you see the clusterfuck that was the Emmys? I wasn't going to waste my time. Here, though, is a snippet of something I wrote a year ago. I'm gonna take a stab and guess that it was around the time of some big sporting event....

Hey, Hey!

First off, the Bears fight song is STAYING PUT til AFTER they win the Super Bowl, so I don't care if you're sick of lookin' at it, but it's staying put..and you're lookin' at it. Really, I'm doing you, as a resident of the Land 'o Lincoln, a public service. Do you really want to be that person at the party or bar, who, when the fight song comes on, mouthing the words to "Happy Birthday" to make it look as if you have a clue?? Do ya? Do ya? Didn't think so…For those of you outside of Bear country, well, I don't know what to tell ya. I think you should have to memorize the fight song as punishment for having an inferior football team :) Oh no she di'nt!

Alright, enough of that. So I've been hounded about where my Golden Globes/SAG recaps have been. Hounded, I tell ya! Now I know how Suri Cruise feels, sitting up there in her spaceship, trying to beat off all the papparazzi. I have not forgotten that it's "Christmas time with movie stars". Up until now, they've been pretty uneventful. All the big acting prizes have been won by the folks who I think should win. Two of my favorite tv shows each won the top prize at the GGs and SAGs. The only way the awards shows could make me any happier is if they finally honored my request to hold their ceremonies in my living room. Just some general gripes and shout-outs:

A) Forrest Whitaker: My man, Forrest. I am begging you---PUT PEN TO PAPER AND WRITE AN ACCEPTANCE SPEECH! Hold up a cue card with the words "thank you" written in ginormous letters; learn an acceptance speech in sign-language so you don't have to speak; charade-it out; spell out the words using your body, I don't care, but SAY something and QUICK

B) Ellen Pompeo: She begins her acceptance speech with, "I'd like to thank all the actors who aren't up here who are part of our ensemble". Chirp. Chirp. You know what, dumb-a**, know all those people's names instead of having us guess, because what happens is you end up listing someone who is a principle cast member who is standing right behind you; you neglect to mention your h*m*phobic co-star who's in rehab trying to have the giant chip that is on his shoulder removed with a fork-lift; and you then seek out help from your clueless castmates, thereby sucking up more camera time and forcing us to look at your outfit, which, if I'm not mistaken, we saw in Superman 1, worn by Superman's mother

C) Emilio Estevez: Um, your movie sucks and the reason why you have "so many big names" is because no one else wants them

D) Salman Hayek: Who knew the color white could make jugs look BIGGER
E) Warren Beatty: The HFP decides to honor one of Hollywood's biggest p*** chasers. The "nostalgia reel" for his lifetime achievement award was like watching a video "little black book"…ick

F) Heather Graham: When you refer to your Versace shoes as ,"they're like str*pper shoes" (and, yes, she should've been dangling from a pole with those shoes), is that REALLY, TRULY the best description you want for your shoes? I mean, of the labyrinth of an adjective world we live in, you pick the shoes whose description only makes us think of someone from "Taxicab Confessions"?

G) John Krasinski (aka Jim from The Office): I heart him loads! Yes, I'd like a tall cup of a Krasinski-ccino! He's Krasinski-tabulous! I'm Krasi-in-ski for Jim! One of my friends' husbands is good friends with him (invited him to their wedding). So, it's almost like we're married. For our wedding, he can give me a mug that says "World's Greatest Wife" ………………………What?

H) Megan Mullaly: I'm sorry, did I go back in time? Is Will&Grace still on? Hey, about this--why don't we nominate Ted Danson for his role in "Cheers"? Or maybe JJ from "Good Times"? Why stop there. How about the cast of "What's Happening" for best ensemble? Maybe those "Lost in Space" folks could chalk out some time for us

I) America Ferraira: I'm adding her to my "famous best friends" list(these are the people,who, when I become famous and I'm all lonely cuz I've ditched all you losers, I'd hang out with--and then we'd spend our time stalking John Krasinski and shoving Paris, Lindsay and Nicole's heads in a toilet) , because she is just a class act. She joins other distinguished folks such as the actress from "Bones"; Kevin from "Wonder Years"(I think it'd be cool to have a friend who heard voices in a good way); Gilmore Girl senior; Sawyer, Hurley, and Jack from "Lost" ; the really hot deaf British actor I just saw in a BBC America tv movie(I could become a sign-language master and together, we'd rule the world of charades)

J) Jessica Biel: Okay, if SHE can be a presenter, than I get a crack at it! Even though she's been in more movies than me (and I think you all know how man movies I've been in), we hold about the same amount as clout

On to the Oscars! Go Bears!

Ode to my lunch

This was written several months ago, but, the sentiment still rings true and I'm sure resonates with many of you:

I'm having my Monday on a Tuesday….Remember that episode of FRIENDS where somebody ate Ross's Thanksgiving sandwich??? Well, this past Sunday, I made my meal for the week, and it's this yummeeee pasta dish with eggplant and turkey sausage and cheese baked in a puff pastry. Very tasty!! So, my morning is kinda crud, but then I say to myself, "Well, at least you get to look forward to a really good lunch", so I decide to visit my lunch that's in the fridge….BUT I CAN'T FIND IT!!!! And I totally have a ROSS moment! I'm looking and looking and looking, and it's not like there's much in the fridge, and I just sound panicked ENOUGH, that when Craig walks in, I demand to know, "DID SOMEONE CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE??!???", because, not only was it my LUNCH, but it was my beloved Rubbermaid container. Craig, who is so sweet, said in a very calm voice, treading lightly, "Ummmmm, you know, yesterday, there was something sitting here (gently places his hand on the counter) at about 9AM and then when I came in at three, someone had moved it to the island (slowly moving to the island, gently placing his hand on the island)". Dan heard the panic, and quickly comes in, and asked what the container looked like and corroborated Craig's version of events. Craig says, "Let's check the dishwasher", which was running, but he opened it anyways, and lo and behold---there was my container….emptied of it tasty contents…..being washed…rid of all the savory goodness that was once in it….At this point, I had a look on my face like I was a little girl who just lost her red balloon that was covered in a tasty spaghetti, turkey sausage, eggplant concoction and was now floating away, probably landing on the grounds of some camp that tended to girls with eating disorders, where a) there'd be a death-match to see who could consume the food and the balloon first or b) it would go completely ignored and unappreciated. Fran comes in, and I still have "the look" on my face, kinda mumbling to myself at this point, "But I could've…I know I put it in…I was standing here and I remember opening the fridge…." , and she's like a grandma, and now all three of them are trying to say kind words to undo, from the look on my face, the DEVASTATION that just took place. And I slowly walk back to my desk and now I gotta go friggin' buy lunch…which is what I was trying to avoid by my making my stupid lunch for the week….

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Since the topic on every American’s mind is all about excess and spending recklessly, I figured now is a good time to tell you all about my trip to South America. Yeah, I know—we went to Spain last year---pick a new language. It’s not that Jodi and I have a thing for people who sound like a mouse who runs around wearing a sombrero, firing off a gun. Originally, Italy was the destination, but seeing as we’d have to put all of our organs on the black-market to afford one day on the European continent, a Plan B was needed. I’d been hearing lots of great things about Buenos Aires, but, when you’re BFF with Madonna, like I am, it’s pretty much ALL you hear about—“My only great achievement….Eva Peron….Argentina hates me, but I don’t give a shit…I can’t believe I wasn’t even fucking nominated for an Oscar…Warren Beatty is a horrible fuck”, and on and on she goes. Then, my brother vacayed in BA and RAVED about it:

ME: Sach, how was Buenos Aires???
Sachin: Good.
ME: What’d you do?
Sachin: Stuff.
ME: How’s the food? Did you eat anywhere special? What are they known for?
Sachin: Good.
ME: Well, what about the leather? What’d you buy???
Sachin: Nothing. I don’t know. God, leave me alone!

Well, after he sold me on it, I just HAD to research this mystical place! What I found out about South America is there’s great wine, great food and a Third-World country exchange rate—CHA-CHING! I added Chile because I wanted to see if the Chilean sea bass was as good in Chile as it is over here. And since the country had a whole region devoted to wine that just happened to be nestled between Santiago and Buenos Aires, well, um, we have to fly OVER it anyway….So, it was set—our itinerary: Santiago, Chile; Mendoza, Argentina; and Buenos Aires. There’s something you may not know about me: I’m a planner. I know, I know—I don’t look it. I have that carefree attitude of, “Even though it SAYS the movie starts at 9, it’s not like we have to be there by 9---it’s just previews”. GOOD CHRIST!!! I’m breaking into a cold-sweat at just the THOUGHT of missing previews! NEVER! So, I researched the hotels, booked the hotels, researched restaurants, and emailed the concierges at the respective hotels to make our dinner reservations and arrange our tours, got my Fodors book, ordered city maps of Santiago & Buenos Aires off of Amazon---in April.

First stop: Santiago
I touched on most of the highlights in my email (wine, Salma Hayek doppelganger minus the ginormous jugs, Chester-the-molester wine guy, wine, wine, mountain labeled as a “park” which has a scary tram ride that uses hollowed-out Peanut M&M’s as tram compartments, my completely ignoring my mother’s birthday—the woman who pushed my big head out of her loins—and getting a pretty ring for myself instead of buying her a birthday present,). Day 3, we had a city tour of Santiago, with the same fab driver who drove us around for our wine tours. He was a really sweet guy whose English was impeccable. Turned out, he was sent to English-speaking schools as a child, and his mother was English. He reminded me of a Chilean-Dudley Moore. So, as we’re walking through downtown Santiago and we’re hanging out at the Opera House, by the courthouse, all wonderful, Jodi gets her picture of the Santiago whack-shack, we soon discover the beauty of Santiago shopping. In Santiago, they “cluster” their shops, so it’s literally one-stop shopping, in the sense that, all the shoe stores are in one area-- all the eye-glass stores are in one area, etc. By this point , Chilean-Dudley Moore was like our dad---sitting and watching us shop, talking to the salesperson for us, giving his opinion when I asked him what he thought of my shoes. The driver’s new persona of “dad” was eerily real when, after we left a chinzy jewelry store, where I bought one FUCKING COOL cuff bracelet made out of copper and with the lapislazuli stone in the center, we had some time to kill and he said, “I could drop the two of you off at the mall, and then I’ll swing by and pick you up in about an hour”. We told him that was okay and that it was PJ Time. That’s right—PJ Time. Everyday, we would siesta between 3-6. We would typically start our day at 9 or 10, siesta, then dinner. Whoever created the siesta should be canonized. We’d get into our pj’s and unwind. Although, there was a moment when I think Jodi briefly forgot the definition of PJ Time(which we also employed in Spain):

Jodi: Aw, man—isn’t it great when you can take your underwear off in the middle of the day?
ME: Yeah----wait, what? Um, I have my underwear on ?
Jodi: I mean bra! Bra! I meant bra! You know what I mean!
Jodi: Shut up! Whatever…I’m going to sleep…

Which, leads me to another topic: Gal pals travel together all the time, but, when you’re young, and you’re going to all these “romantic” places—nice restaurants, picturesque vineyards--a thought crosses your mind, a sentiment that Jodi echoed several times and I didn’t start thinking until on fateful day in Buenos Aires that I’ll get to:

Jodi: Dude, they probably think we’re lesbians!
ME: Shut up! That’s s gay. They do not!

Or do they…….

Oh, about Chester-the-molester wine guy. Well, we had just ended our second wine tour of the day with a fabulous lunch. We were both pretty lit, and we’re walking through this vestibule to go back to the car, because, you know, it’s PJ Time, and Jodi is in front of me and this guy is coming towards us and he says, “Oooohhhh, you wanna try some wine?”—not as Huggy Bear-sounding as that; he peppered his line with some bullshit, but no need to repeat the bullshit. My response, which was just on the tip of my tongue , was, “Oh, lo siento! We’re running late. We have to get back to the driver”. But, before I could get it out, Jodi blurts out, “Sure!”. So, we go down into this, what I call, “wine dungeon”, which was actually a store, and he pours us some wine. I have to assume that the women he’s dated in the past were really, what’s the word…..whorish, because he obviously thought that us accepting his glass of wine was code for “come here, you fat Antonio Banderas wanna-be and have your way with us”. By the way, our tour through downtown Satntiago gave us a peek into the well-dressed businessmen of Chile--.Senor Hotties!

On to Mendoza:

Early Tuesday morning, we flew to Mendoza, Argentina, or “Where God planted his crops for his holy farm”. We flew out in the morning, so we’d have all day Tuesday and Wednesday in the wine region. Now, when we landed in Santiago, we needed to keep a portion of our immigration document. I remember telling Jodi this and putting the document in my passport………………We’re at the ticket-counter and I can’t find that fucking piece of paper. Nothing will age you more than losing immigration-related documents when traveling internationally. And I am soooo much better at this than that little moment was depicting! Jodi’s kinda freaking out, cuz I never lose shit, and we’re digging through my purse. Nothing. He says, in Spanish, DIRECTLY TO ME, “Important important important stuff blah blah all in fucking Spanish”. I say, “En Ingles, por favor” (I’ll get to my language skills in a minute). He says, holding up a piece of paper, “You have to fill this out and go to the police down there, where the yellow signs are”, and Jodi & I look at the other end of the airport, where the two yellow signs are. . We step aside, and we’re furiously hauling ass, trying to find this tiny piece of paper, and it’s gone. It is hanging out with its buddy, Thin Air. So, we slowly start the death march to the police, and all kinds of shit is running through my head: I’m gonna have to move to Chile, which wouldn’t be so bad if my Spanish wasn’t ass; maybe Leap Frog makes Spanish-learning toys; what if they shine a light in my face and start asking me all these questions, in Spanish, and I keep interrupting them with , “En Ingles por favor” and I’m really particular about my lighting, but how do I say that. FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!! We get to the police, and I’m looking for an office. Mind you, I haven’t actually looked at the form the guy gave me. I’m just assuming it’s my “Welome to Chile, you brand new Chilean citizen!” form. I see no police office. What I do, see , however, are the immigration booths. Motherfucker!

Form in my hand = Form that I lost, so he was just giving me a new form.

ACKKKK!!!!! I wanted to go back to that guy and say, “Ya know..I had to spend eight years of Spanish classes being quizzed on the “formal” and “informal” you; the least you could fucking do is learn the difference between “general you” and “specific you”!!! We’re on the plane, and Jodi’s asleep, and I’m by the window. It was an absolutely gorgeous day! We really did luck out with the weather---every single day was sun and 80 degree temps. So, we’re flying over the Andes,, and here’s my internal monologue: Oh my God! The Andes…just….wow! Absolutely awe-inspiring. Hmmm, one part is snow-covered, the other isn’t…..Wait. What was the name of that movie, with Christian Bale---soooo hotttt! Where they crash into the Andes??? And they have to eat each other??? Fraid? No, fraid isn’t even a word! Crap! Who would I eat??? Why do South Americans have to be so goddamn skinny! My god, we’re still flying over the Andes—how big is the fucking mountain range???!!! Oh, there’s a really tall flight attendant I could eat. What’s the name of that stupid movie??

And then we finally landed. After going through immigration, our, what appeared to be 12-year old driver , was there to pick us up. We stayed at this PHENOMENAL winery called Vistalba. Fodors picked it as their “star” pick, so, we went with it. We get to the bodega, and it’s just beautiful! There are two rooms, so, it’s very private, and romantic (Jodi: Dude, I bet they think we’re lesbians!; ME: ummmm…..). We get to our room---UNREAL! It’s like something out of a decorating magazine! And, you all saw the fabulous shot of the Andes from our balcony. Surprsingly, inexpensive. The transport to and from the airport—free. The meals served at the five-star La Bourgonne—three of the four meals were free (although, we weren’t quite sure how that was working; at the start, we were in that mode of thinking we had to pay for the meals , and after the second meal and being told it was on the house, we just went with it; wouldn’t you know that for our last meal, we inadvertently “dined-n-ditched”). We meet up with the gal I had been stalking via email whol gave us a rundown of our itinerary. We had lunch (the free one) and then went to our first wine tour. We visited the Alta Vista winery and our tour guide was a shorter version of Giselle Bundchen. Which was reason enough to get wasted. Normally, I would put her in “ the van” ---one of my best college buds and I started this thing in college, where, if we didn’t like someone, they went in “the van”; this van would then be pushed off a cliff, where all the people in it would plunge to their deaths and we would be heralded as heroes and there’d be parades for us and candy named after us and we’d be the prettiest, smartest people on the planet.--- but, I liked her. She was very sweet It wasn’t her fault that her skin resembled perfectly tanned cowhide; that she is the one person whose hair would be referred to as “tousled” , but ours would be called “bed-head”; that all she needed for make-up was black-eyeliner….alright, maybe I won’t lock her in the van—I’ll just tie her to the top and hope that she wriggles free. The other great part of our tour was that there was a young Buenos Aires couple who brought along their one-year old son, Segundo, which, Jodi, in her inebriated state, insisted was “a bullshit name!”. He was fucking adorable! And I was soon his best friend. So, I was kinda paying attention to Giselle, but mostly to Segundo. I’d wave to him and after a couple of waves, he’d do that backward wave that kids do---too fucking cute! He was just a chunky-monkey! When we got up to the tasting room, Giselle gave him a couple of corks to play with. He’d throw one, I’d get it back to him; he’d throw it again, I’d get it back to him; he’d throw four, I’d get it back to him. When I actually stopped to drink some wine, he wasn’t too happy  We ended up each buying a bottle of this white wine called Torrontes, which a blend of three white wines. After we said “bye” to bullshit-named Segundo, we headed over to The Vines, which is this cute little tasting room, located in the heart of Mendoza, next to the uber-luxe Hyatt. Our winery and The Vines has this “thing” where we basically get to drink for free  By the time we’re done with that, we’re drunk. Plain and simple. Now, in Jodi’s quest to “get me some” on this trip, she honed in our driver. He was a young guy, nice face, very dapper, but he could’ve been on an episode of “Little People, Big World”. We’re in the car and Jodi’s leaned back, and telling Javier we had a “muy bueno time” (he did speak really good English, by the way). He, of course, was amused by our drunken state. Here’s what drunk me was trying to do: I was clutching the front passenger seat and trying to climb to the front, but just the thought wore me out. So, I decide to chat up Javier. I’m thinking maybe I should ask him how long he’s lived here; what’s his favorite winery. Jodi blurts out: Javier, are you engaged to be married? That’s another way, sure. He says no and Jodi asks if he has a girlfriend (mind you, Jodi doesn’t not once lift her head off the back-seat). He said he had one, went out for two years, but not anymore. She asks what happened. I look at him and this smile spreads across his face:

ME: “Ohhhh, Javier! Geeeeez! You cheated on her!??”.
Jodi: What? Did you cheat on her?
Javier: It was this girl….it was…she.. it was a very special night..
ME: Oh, puhleeeeeeeze!

We finally let the poor guy off the hook and I ask him if he likes to Tango and he said no, he likes to salsa and all this other stuff. We get back, Jodi hugs him, then I hug him and he holds the hug a bit too long and then there’s the “arm touch” and all I could think was “I bet you could fit in my big Coach purse”. The next day was our tour of Vistalba, which was amazing. The processes they use for their wines is really ingenious. Our 48 hours in Mendoza was basically drinking and eating. Meals were taken on the veranda, overlooking the vineyard.

Before I get into our final destination, let me take a moment to discuss my language skills and faux-Latina-ness. South America has about 15 languages represented. Of the 15, I know one: Hindi. Yep, in some parts of South America, Hindi is spoken. We were not in these parts. I can’t say that my Spanish has improved since the Spain trip, but, I am proud to say that my charade skills have advanced quite a bit. For instance, when Jodi and I were shopping in Buenos Aires, and Jodi was looking for a turtleneck cashmere sweater, but didn’t know how to say “turtleneck”, both Jodi and the salesperson are looking at me (fuck if I know how to say “turtleneck”!), but, I pulled out this snazzy number: I held up my finger, as a mime would, took a step back, and (I just happened to be wearing a turtleneck that day) ROLLED UP the neck portion to give it a more turtlenecky look. Light bulbs flickered on and I saved the day. Last year, I used some of my improv skills, where I just did “object work”. Now, I’ve advanced to using actual objects. There was only one time, however, where my “real object object work” failed me. We were at the private winery, and it was PJ Time, and we had left the curtains open. We could’ve baked thin-crust pizzas on the floor, it was so fucking hot. Jodi adjusted the thermostat, but we weren’t sure if it was actually doing anything, so I call Maria, our maid:

ME: Hola, Maria!
Maria: Hola (she was sooooo nice, by the way!)
*My big problem is that, I have a tough time coming up with words on the fly. My mind is not a Spanish dictionary, but when I hear a word, I know what it is. So, I couldn’t come up with the some of, shall we say, keywords for this sentence like cold, hot, room, broken, fix…And me running to the thermostat to “make like broken”, then shivering, then fanning myself wasn’t going to translate over the phone……

ME: Dos amigas de Estados Unidos..
Maria: Si! Si!
Maria: Spanish version of: Ya know what, I’ll be up in a sec!
ME: Gracias! All you, Jodi. I’m taking a shower.

Also, there’s nothing like being SHAMED for not knowing something you’re not supposed to know. Of course, this whole continent thought I was one of them. It was like my Mexico trip, when, I was with my WHITE friend’s family, and people thought I was their private tour-guide. Jodi and I would go out, and if Jodi asked a question, they would answer, but if she didn’t understand, they’d turn to me, but the Spanish was then FIRED OFF in going-back-in-time speed. I’m thinking, “Um , you’re gonna have about the same amount of luck as you had with her cuz I have no idea”. So then I would whip out my slogan, “En Ingles, porfavor”, and they’d say it, but, I always felt like there was this disappointment. Like I was this poser Argentinian who’d wasted away her life in the “other” America, all but to ditch her culture and come back totally gringo-like. At which point, I felt like blurting out (to no one in particular): I’M NOT EVEN ONE OF YOUUUUUUUUUU!!!!! I get enough of that, thank you very much, with the Indian folks, so I don’t need you crawling up my ass about not knowing this or that about YOUR culture….WHICH IS NOT MY CULTURE…It was like the time when I was flying out of Mumbai, and I’m going through immigration and the guy’s looking at my form and he says something to me in Marathi (I’d like to preface this with a) it was 2:30AM and b) he said it to me in Marathi, which I got to be a little more awake for), so I told him in English and he said whatever, before getting a dig in about me not knowing the language or something. Which, of course, I fully-embraced a customs official who I don’t even know and will never see again at 2:30AM dispensing his two-cents.

Finally, Eva Peron country:

We get to Buenos Aires late Wednesday evening. Our hotel was the Mariott. They restored a landmark building a couple of years ago, and turned it into the Marriott. The next morning, we had our city tour of Buenos Aires. It was only three hours, but we figured it gave us a nice snapshot of the city, but still allowed plenty of time for shopping  The tour was perfect because, there were eight of us (of the eight, six of us were from the States) and our guide moved at a good pace. I would say the highlights were Casa Rosada, which is the President’s house, with the infamous balcony where Eva Peron stood and addressed her countrymen. The other was Eva Peron’s grave. Eva Peron is God-like in Buenos Aires. Perfect example: We were coming back from dinner, and Jodi had made up this song to the tune of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”. Jodi later told me that the cabbie did the stations of the cross when she started singing. Buenos Aires is a mutt, only prettier  European influence has been puked all over this city—the architecture, religions, foods. We were both excited to see that the restaurant that we were going to that night was highlighted during the tour  Let’s talk cow: Argentina is, hands-down, the cow capital of the world. Whether you like to eat it (Jodi) or wear it (me), it is THE place to indulge in either.
After our tour, we hit Florida Avenue, with blocks and blocks and blocks of pockets of leather heaven: shoes, bags, purses, more shoes, more bags more purses. It also happened to be right next to our hotel  We had been looking forward to this the whole trip. Sure, the wine was great, but the thought of wearing or carrying really good cow made us light up. I bought a pair of shoes and two FAB purses…..that day. The smell of the leather, I CANNOT even begin to describe. The shit should be bottled. You can find a leather coat in ANY color. You know—I never wanted an orange leather coat, but after touching it and smelling it, I can see why someone would buy it. That night, we went to a parrilla (translation: meat, meat and more meat place) called Cabanas Las Lilas---one of the best in town. There are about 8 MILLION, and I don’t think you can go wrong, but we ended up here. Oh, dining and drinking on this continent is dirt cheap. Jodi had a petite filet, good size, which was roughly $13 USD. She said it was the best steak she’d ever had.
The next day, we had an all-day spa appointment at the Acqua Vita salon, located in the La Recoleta area—or the La Rich area of BA. Fodors also noted this place. Get this math: five-hour spa treatment for $140USD---Whatcha’ talkin’ about, Willis??!!!! You heard me! FIVE-HOURS for $140USD. Our day included: steam, shower, facials, foot refloxology, deep-tissue massage, whirlpool, body scrub & mud wrap. So, we are at the salon and we soon realize that South Americans aren’t as hung up about nudity as we are. All of our treatments were together. Our technicians for our body scrub & mud wraps come in. My guy looks like someone who’d be the first in line to see High School Musical 3. So, they both ask us to disrobe and then get on the table, and it’s a couple of seconds before we realize that they’re not leaving. Well, do as the Romans do. Neither of us had qualms about it---you just get used to it. I think I felt more awkward with the newly-elected Prom King rubbing mud over parts of me where I thought he’d need a permission slip from his parents to touch. I finally asked him how old he was, and he said, “How old do you think I am?” and I’m thinkin’, ‘Boy, DO NOT even start that game’, and not wanting to embarrass either of us, I said sheepishly, “Um, 25?”. He laughed and said he was 21. Well, gee, that’s better. Another thought ran through my head: I was laying there, wrapped up in my heating blanket, covered in mud, and in a total zen state, and I was thinking: I’ve been lying on a table next to Jodi, naked, during our massage, scrub, mud wrap: Dude, they soooo probably think we’re gay! We decided to show off our smooth-as-a-baby’s butt skin by hanging out at the Alvear Palace Hotel after dinner. It’s one of two five-star hotels—the other is the Four Seasons. The Spanish royal family stays at the Alvear, and unless we were invited to be courtesans of the King, we stuck to the cheaper route of buying a drink at the bar.
The next day, we hit up the La Recoleta outdoor market. Jewelry and leather goods galore. Note: It is the last full day in BA and I have yet to buy my mother’s birthday present. I pretty much blew through my budget for my shopping in the first 45mins of us being there, so I watched and helped Jodi pick out stuff the rest of our time. Fate reared it’s head, though: we ran into this Australian guy, who was there with is wife and her friend. He was hilarious! There were two reasons why we were meant to run into this guy: a) he convinced us that next year should be Australia—I was thinking South Africa---we’ll see (economy, South Africa hates their current president, airlines could turn into real assholes and rob us blind) and b) he led me to my BEST purchase EVERRRRRRRRRR. He was telling us that his wife got a custom-made leather coat, which she ordered the day before and they had to pick up that day, at this place RIGHT by our hotel. Something about her having wonky measurements, and he said it was dirt-ass cheap and just beautiful. We hightailed it to the store. Now, I have been in the market for a specific style of leather jacket, but, what with my line-backer shoulders and big boobies, a perfect fit can be difficult to find. We’re in the store and I tell the lady what I want. She says they can have it to me by Monday. Um, I’m gone tomorrow. I say that’s okay and we start heading out, and she’s trying to sell me other stuff. Finally, she asks “someone”, and she comes back and says that she can have the coat done for me in three hours!!! She was afraid that their factory was already booked, but I guess it was slow, so they could accommodate my order. She even said they’d deliver it to the hotel. She took my measurements, I told her what style, I picked out my leather. Done. It was 4pm when I ordered it. I’m in the shower, it’s 7PM, knock on the door---it’s the coat (well, the coat didn’t actually knock on the door; it’s not a magical coat; the person holding the coat knocked for it). I’m in my towel and Jodi says, “Try it on!!!!!”. I put it on. OH. MY. GOD. OH. MYYYYY. GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!! PERFECT FIT! And the leather was like butter! I took it off, and I laid it on the bed, and we’re both staring at it, because, really, we thought it might end up being this piece of shit product. Jodi says, “Put it on again!!!”. I put it on. Amazing. And the pricetag was UNREAL! I will have a party JUST in honor of my coat---none of you can touch it!—but, can oohh and ahhhh from afar. It’s like my new, favorite leather boyfriend. I carried that sucker on with me. The last thing I wanted to do was pack it and have the wine bottle explode or wiping lotion off of it. Jodi was kicking herself for not getting one, BUTTTTT, she got these FAB leather boots that just melded to her leg---like it was made for her, and the heel is just something you don’t see around here. On Sunday, our flight was in the evening, so we decided to check out the San Telmo market. We refer to this Sunday as “Shady, Shifty Sunday”. Sunday was a rain, crappy day, but, we had time to kill and heard all about the market, so we went. If you are an antiques enthusiast—this is the place for you. I, however, do not like other people’s old crap. Something to note about San Telmo: BA’s economy is not so great right now---man, can’t ANYONE have a good economy ??! And the folks who live in the San Telmo area have been hit hard. It’s petty-theft central. You DO NOT walk in San Telmo at night EVER. And be on the alert for pick-pocketers at the market. This is not just something we were told…..This is something EVERYONE was told. I had the straps on my messenger bag shortened so much it was like wearing a dog collar, but if they got it, no big deal b/c I had the important stuff in the “nether regions”. Back-packs turned into front-packs. Purses were given the ultra-death grip. I actually caught someone “marking” me. Jodi said she saw four other people mark me. Even if I did see something I liked, I wasn’t about to whip out my money there and it was just a pain in the ass to duck into a store, count out the money, go back and buy whatever. We were getting creeped out, so we left. We decided to go to the Alvear to hang out. We get to the hotel and the cabbie plays the ol’ bill switheroo game, claiming Jodi didn’t give him the right amount and he’s flashing us a 2 peso bill instead of a the 20 Jodi gave him. We just decide to go to the airport and wait out our time there, which, actually flew by because it took us 90 minutes to do all the pre-going to your gate stuff. We’re sitting on the plane and we’re supposed to take-off at 9. Capt tells us we’ve been delayed for two hours b/c of “air traffic control has a radar glitch”. We had a 7:25AM connect in Miami and our arrival time was 5AM. We, along with many others, did not make our connecting. We’d been going for about 24 hours now and just wanted to get the fuck home. AA confirmed us for a flight at 1, but we had our bags go on the 11AM and we went stand-by for the 11. At that time, there were 13 desperate people on the list. By boarding time, there were 31. We did not think we had a chance in hell. The second to last name was Jodi’s, and we’d decided that if one gets called, GO. The last name they call, the agent starts with, “Sh….Sh.”…Jodi’s up there and screams, “SHILPA???!!! “. The agent says, “Yep, that’s it”, and we got our asses out of Miami—I don’t know how, but we did. It was an unbelievable trip and I highly recommend this area of the world as a travel destination!

The End

Riding the CTA bus...

Riding the bus everyday has allowed me, and anyone else who rides public transportation on a daily basis, to make this statement, when uttered, that much truer: What the F?!? Though the #36 will always retain its title of the "Circus Bus", it seems like my bus, the #156 , is trying to steal the #36's crown(which, by the way, is made of up tiny particles of "freak" and "crazy", and when the light hits it just right, you can see how the bat sht crazy sparkles).
So, after squeezing on to the bus, and being one with the dashboard, the bus empties out and I finally get a seat. I sit down and look across from me and notice that all the handicapped seats are up. Not, mind you, for some one-legged passenger. Nope. There's a homeless woman on the bus with THREE carts overflowing with her crap. I hadn't really noticed this before. The bus was so crowded and I just kinda saw this mass, but I assumed the mass was PEOPLE. Just mounds and mounds and mounds of sht. Sitting in the one available seat next to the "mountain of destitution" was this rather LARGE woman, who I've seen before. We get off at the same stop, so our stop is coming up and and we both get up. Did I mention she walks with a cane? The cane is about the size of something that you'd hang on a tree, with a hint of peppermint. She gets up and the bus lurches forward. She loses her balance and slides to the floor. She can't lift herself up. So here she is, sitting on the floor, struggling to get up, amongst a landfill. She's b*tching about "lettin' people on with all their crap"…blah blah angry angry….So, I and this other girl, try to help her up. Now, I'm all pro-woman, rah rah, but it ain't happening. This woman is nearing 300-lbs. and the "girl power" is not working. She tells us to "grab her under her arms." Um, that wasn't working EITHERRRRRRRR…..Now, everyone on the bus is watching us struggle. FINALLY, this guy takes my place and gets her up .
Here I thought I'd just have that bus ride home to decompress, listen to my iPOD, zone out…………It was the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of that….