Archive for the ‘Toys’ Category


Lazy Sunday

April 17, 2011

Well, sort of lazy. First part of the day included a 5 am wake up time in order to get the girls to the airport for their 7 am flight. I had a small almost-scuffle with the counter lady, when she told me that I could not have a gate pass. I always get a gate pass. Sometimes, they limit us to one (poor WD), but usually, we get two. So I calmly asked to speak to a supervisor. While waiting, different ticket agent told me ( authoritatively) that the only way to get a gate pass is to call the reservation line and change the reservation. I said, “are you the supervisor?” and he said “No, but I know the rules.” I calmly let him know I would continue to wait for the supervisor. (WD chuckled and said quietly into my ear, “if you aren’t the supervisor then just butt out and shut the fuck up!” which perfectly expressed my insides, but the girls hate it when I get snippy, so I was keeping it in check) The supervisor came over, heard the agent’s story of my egregious attempt to get a gate pass, smiled at the girls. To Lemon: how old are you, sweetie? And Lemon says she’s 14. To Mouse: how about you? And again, with the honesty and the 12 years old (for another month). “Give mom a gate pass!” she tells the agent with obvious incredulity that she even had to say it. The agent fights! Explains that it’s against the rules. “No, it’s not. Give mom a gate pass!” Agent tries yet again to prevent the evil of my going through security with my daughters: “They are 16 and 14. They don’t need it.” I interject/reiterate. “They’re 14 and 12.” Supervisor repeats “Give mom a gate pass” Nasty ticket agent says “they were born in 1996 and 1998.” Which is true. Of course, supervisor prevailed, but it would have been kinda funny if we were denied because of the ticket agent’s inability to do math.

Funny in a non-funny “Mouse is hyperventilating” kind of way. (I have no doubt Lemon would be fine.)

guess we are on notice, though, that once Lemon is 16 (in approximately 18 months), they’ll be going it even more alone. Like I told them this morning, “We’ll just drop you curb side with a ‘get outta the cah!'”

Ha ha. Funny mommy.

When they were officially “unaccompanied minors” (before Lemon was 14), we were required to wait at the gate until the plane took off. We don’t have to any more, but definitely want to be there if the plane is turned around or delayed at the gate to the point of taking the girls off. But WD was outside the security area, so I left the gate, and we sat at a food court with breakfast wraps looking out the window at their plane until it was in the sky.

Then home. And sleep! Much-needed sleep. After several days of late bed-times and super-early wake up times (thanks to soccer, doctor appointments, court appearances, etc.), I was exhausted.

I have some of my favorite people coming over in a bit to play Mah Jongg with me. I must pry myself from my new blogging app on my iPad, the one that lets me do this:

with the swipe of a finger, and go buy my friends and I some nibbles & prosecco for our afternoon of chit chat and game-playing.

What do you think of my first iPad post? Hmm?

** Updated to add – bummer that the app does not trigger my WordPress automatic twitter notification when I publish a post, and the app doesn’t have the ability to do so itself, either.  Most of the comments about the app address this point, so I trust they’ll fix it soon.

(photo: Bar Harbor, Maine, Labor Day, 2009)


One Month/Two Trips

March 24, 2011

Well, I left town for work again.  This time, it was just to the Big Apple.  Much less painful than a dreary, distant Springfield.

A few observations:

  • I know that a lot of businesses are centered in New York, and that it’s a typical meeting place for business people around the world.  But honestly, to me, New York = fun.  Not work.  It was pretty surreal to be there for work. Especially since the neon of Times Square was flashing in my window while I was trying to prepare for a presentation.
  • iPad + travel = woo hoo!  I brought four novels with me.  Four.  They all, combined, weighed 1.2 pounds.  And that included my games, my email, my maps, and more!  Thank you, iPad!!
  • work travel + train = ahhh!  I find the train so much more palatable than flying.  I took the Acela this time, for the first time, and I will say I was less than enthused about the “upgrade.”  It didn’t feel like an upgrade.  It went faster, but that – to my tender inner ear – made it sway a lot more.  Not fun for a girl who gets motion sick on a dime.
  • Restaurants in NYC are ridiculously expensive.  Seriously, I wandered into this steak place thinking “steak sounds good,” and it cost so much f’ing money, I don’t know if I can even submit the damned receipt for reimbursement.  Ridiculous.  Granted, that is not a mistake that we made when I was there 2 weeks ago with the family, because when it’s MY budget, I’m a bit more careful, but still.
  • When you go somewhere on a vacation with your family, and then return approximately a month later alone, it feels pretty lonely.
  • At the same time, it’s nice to show up in a different city and feel familiar.

It’s good to be home.  With requests for sleepovers, furry little kittens making themselves cozy on my butt while I sleep, husbands who do thoughtful things (i.e., bags of cadbury mini eggs), and kids who block your path on the stairs, even though they see you struggling with 3 bags, because they just want to say hi.



My Crazy iPad Story

March 13, 2011

I never bought myself an iPad.  I was disappointed with how clunky it was when it came out, and by the fact that I couldn’t hold it in one hand, and therefore use it to read books on the train on the way to work.  I wanted it to be a little smaller.

I looked at the Kindle and HATED how it looked, and its single-purpose limitation.  I looked at the Nook, and particularly at the Color Nook.  I actually visited that one a couple of times at the Barnes and Noble near my work. But I’m too in love with the Apple software and its beauty to deal with getting used to another operating system.  So I decided to keep reading books on my iPhone, and wait for Apple to make a smaller iPad.

When the 2 was coming out, and it had the same screen dimensions, I thought, “well, not this time.”  That I’d still have to wait.

But then I read more, and more, and I saw the video on the Apple website that showed how thin the new one is, and I thought, “well, wait a minute.”

I work across the street from Boston’s flagship store, so I decided I would go and check out the iPad 2.

When I got to work, there were 5 people waiting in line outside the store.  When I went back at noon to see if they had put them on display, there were 9 people in line.  The dude told me they were closing at 3 to set up, and then would re-open at 5.  He said I could look at the iPad without waiting in line.

I left work at 4:45 – leaving my stuff in the office – to quickly go and check out the iPad.  But it only takes 5 minutes to walk there, so they were still closed.  So I decided to check out the line.

No longer 9 people in line.  The line wound all the way around the block.  And I found myself walking and walking until I found the end.

And then …. I got IN the line!


They had employees monitoring the line, and counting people in line, and polling us on what we planned to buy.  Early on in the line, they figured out that they were going to sell out of AT&T 3G models, and told people so they didn’t wait for no reason.  They polled me, and I told them I wanted a 32 GB WiFi version (I took a few minutes out of my busy day to figure out what size was best for me).  “We should have one of those for you when you get in, but it’s not a guarantee.”

When it was 5, I thought the line would move quickly, but it didn’t.  At all.  At 5:30, WD texted me that he was on his way home.  I said, “I’m in line.”  He said, “in line for *what*?” and I said, “well, the iPad comes out, and I told you I wanted to check it out.”  “But wait, you’re not gonna BUY it, right?”  My response:  “?” “you are gonna buy it, aren’t you.”  My response: “?”

At 6:15 the line had moved up the block, but not around the corner.  An employee estimated I had 2 hours to go.  I texted WD and told him to eat without me.

Lemon called me and said, “Mom, you do know you don’t HAVE to buy it today, right?”  I told her she clearly was being raised by wolves.

Then my phone died, and I was cut off from the world.

The line was crazy, and as tends to happen in crazy lines, I got friendly with the people around me.  We were funny, let me tell you.  We kept the night entertaining. We needed that.  I needed that.  I had run across the street on a whim, still in my heels (instead of changing into my clogs, as I keep my heels at the office), without a scarf or gloves.  But I did have my coat.  But by the time it hit 8:30, my knees hurt, my feet hurt, and I was cold.  So the laughter was a good thing.

I got in the store at 9.  An Apple dude came and fetched me for my personal iPad purchase at 9:10.  I left the building and ran back across the street to work to fetch my stuff (and change my f’ing shoes) at 9:20.  I was home by 9:50, with my family rolling their eyes at me.  But still drooling over the toy.

I let them play with it, and I signed on to my email from the computer.

What did I find?

“Dear Suzie:  Congratulations!  Your comment was randomly chosen and you won an iPad 2!!”


I wonder what I would have done if my phone hadn’t died, and I got the email while in line?  I think I still would have bought it.  You just can’t throw away 3.5 hours spent in a line.  And we have 4 people in our family.  We each have our own iPhone or iTouch, and our own laptops.  Having TWO iPads in a house of 4 isn’t such crazy overkill, when you consider that, right? (Well, okay, now we just sound obnoxious.)

We all love my toy, and WD will love his when it arrives.  The girls are a little flummoxed as to why HE gets the free one, but he does.  The only thing the kids want it for is to play games, and I am more than willing to let them use mine for that.  They don’t need a dedicated game-playing iPad.

And –  I can hold the new iPad in one hand.  Easily.  🙂  Happiness.