Well, 2006 is coming to a merciful end. And it’s coming not a moment too soon. It was a long year. It was a disappointing year. It was a year of mistakes, misjudgments and missteps. And the end of the year was a culmination of all those bad things. Dear God let it be a culmination and not a continuation. I want 2007 to be different… very different.
I am tired. I am tired of feeling the same way. I am tired of being alone. I am tired of working so hard at making a life and not having anyone to share it with. I am tired of the disappointment. I am tired of the delusion.
I know what I want and I want someone who wants the same thing. OK, I lied. I don’t know what I want. I want someone who will know what I want for me. I want someone who will make me want what they want. I want someone the same as me, but different. I want someone who shares my interests, but who sparks new interests within me. I want someone who compliments who I am, but who changes me.
I want time spent together outdoors. I want walks in the parks. I want long walks in the park with someone. Better yet I want long walks in the park with someone and their dog(s). Even better, long walks in the park with someone and our dog(s). I want camping. I want paintball. I want white water rafting.
I want time spent together at home... my home, his home, our home. I want weekends at home sleeping late, watching TV and ordering in. I want to go to sleep in my California king with someone other than the pile of pillows next to me. I want to wake up and see someone’s face looking back at me. I want to wake in the middle of the night and hear, smell, feel, see someone there with me. I want a kiss to bookend my slumber. I want real kisses. I just want time spent together.
I want to cook again. I want to cook for someone again. I want someone to cook for me. I want weekends spent in intimate places. I want vacations spent together with memories built together. I want snapshots that remind us of vacations spent in intimate places together. When I am asked what I am doing this weekend, I want to be able to say “WE are spending our weekend… somewhere.”
I want honesty. I want respect. I want equality. I want conversation. I want compassion. I want companionship. I want commitment. No more lies. No more disrespect. No more cheating.
I don’t want to cry anymore at movies with otherwise happy endings because I am envious. I don’t want to cry when I hear songs on the radio that were obviously written with me in mind. But when I do cry, I want someone to know and understand why and tell me it is OK.
I am so bad at this dating thing. Here I am, 40 and alone in NYC. Who would have thought it? I don’t know how to date. I don’t know how to start something anymore. One wants more. One wants less. One want it slower. One wants it faster. Many want their cake and want to eat it too. If I am interested, they’re not. If they are interested, I’m not. They say all the right things, then do all the wrong things. Some do all the right things, but say nothing at all.
I want friends. I want my friends, his friends, our friends. I want dinner and socializing with couples… mature couples with ambitions, dreams, desires and interests.
I want sex. I want lots of sex. I want more than sex. I want passion and intimacy and I want it to be mutual.
OK, so maybe I do know what I want. And if I know what I want, why can’t I find it? It can’t always be them. It has to be me. What is wrong? And with each disappointment, comes an increase in velocity in my apparent downward spiral. I need to put the skids to that spiral this year. Maybe in 2007 I will get it right. It can’t get worse, so it has to get better. That’s something. Isn’t it?
I want so little. And I want it all. But I think I need therapy.
Thank God the weekend is here... and to end the weekend, it's time to vent again. Last week was about things in the news, this week is about personal things. A great deal but not all of them are customer service related. Poor customer service by businesses is a pet peeve of mine. Here we go:
Verizon - Over a week ago, I called Verizon to report an issue with my phone. I had no dial tone. I could not make outgoing calls, nor could I receive them. Incoming calls went directly to my voice mail. So I called and reported the problem. They told me that I had to be at the house from 8 AM to 5 PM last Friday. So here I sat. At 4:55 PM I called Verizon as nobody showed up to fix the problem. They told me that I did not need to be here for the problem to be fixed and they were still working on it. They left me a voice mail saying the problem was fixed, but it wasn't. On Saturday morning, with still no dial tone, I called Verizon again. They said their computers were down and they could not see the status of my request. She said she would schedule an appointment for me and told me I needed to be here from 8 AM to 5 PM on Tuesday to have the repair made. I got a little pissed and said A) that I did that on Friday and nobody showed up and I resented having to waste an entire second day and B) the last person I spoke to said I did not have to be here to have it fixed and C) I was going to be returning to NYC from PA on Tuesday. She assured me I had to be here and scheduled the appointment for Wednesday. On Wednesday AM, someone did indeed show up and spent several hours outside working on the problem but told me before she left that the problem was down in the manholes and she would have to have her boss send other people out to to work on it. Wednesday night ended with yet no dial tone. Thursday AM, when I dialed my phone number to check my voice mail, the phone indeed rang. Problem solved. And it took only a little over a week to fix. Wonderful customer service.
UPS - While waiting for the Verizon person to show up last Friday, my doorbell rang. I went down to answer it thinking it was the Verizon person and instead it was the UPS guy. When I opened the door he mumbled something inaudibly and handed me the thing to sign. Being in a multi-resident unit, I asked who the package was for and he said... get this... "I am in the delivery business, not the business of knowing who it is for." Get that. Well, I fucking lost it. I said "Excuse me, but you are in the fucking business of knowing who you are delivering a package to. How would UPS like to know that you don't think that is your fucking business?" I then looked at the package and said "It's not for me. Do your business and find the fucking person it is for." I then shut the door. What an asstard. I then rapped on the landlord's door and told them they had a package.
Target - While doing my last minute Christmas shopping as I am always apt to do, I was at Target picking up some items there. I have a bit of a tradition of buying my Mom and sisters bath products as part of their gifts. I found some things, that together made a great gift and put them in my basket. When I reached the checkout the girl scanned one set of the items, Boots Body Butter in various scents, and it came up not on file. She then put on her blinking light calling for help and asked me to step aside while she got someone to look the price up. After waiting a bit a girl came buy, took the items and went off to find out the price. After what seemed like ten minutes she came back and said she could not find the price and asked if I wanted her to ask the manager. I said "yes." After what seemed like another five minutes she came back and said "we can't sell these to you because they aren't in our system." I was dumbfounded and pissed off. I was like "what?!" I was pissed because I had already had other things rung up that without those would not make sense and what were they doing with product on their shelf that they could not sell. She asked me if I wanted to talk to the manager she talked to and I initially said "no." But then after she walked away the woman behind me in line and the girl working the register both said I should speak to the head manager. So she was paged and came over. She explained that on Fridays Target deletes certain items from their system that they are no longer carrying and sometimes those things take a little while to pull from the shelf and that is why they could not sell them to me. I said that I understood but I also said that I had already gotten other things to go with them and have now waited about fifteen minutes to have the issue resolved and I was a little pissed. Finally someone who knows a thing or two about customer service. She told the girl behind the register to give them to me for $1.99, which would have been a significant discount. I thanked her and paid for my things. If only I would not have had to go through all of that to resolve the issue.
Retailers everywhere - Is it too much to ask retailers who carry a given product to also carry the products needed to use the product they are selling? What am I talking about? Well, as I posted earlier I got a coffee station for Christmas but needed a stainless steel frothing pitcher to be able to froth milk with it. It did not come with one. Over a period of days I went to Walmart, Target, Sears, Macy's, Starbucks, Home Goods, National Liquidators and hardware stores looking for the confounded thing. All of them carry the damn coffee machines but not one of them carried and most had no idea what a frothing pitcher was. Finally this afternoon I found one at BB&B but it was not convenient to get to BB&B. All this for a God damned egg nog latte. And then the fucking grocery stores were all out of egg nog. Grrrrrr. I finally found some and I have to admit, the latte was good. And my egg nog and milk were nicely frothed.
I thought my Grandfather coined the phrase Pennsyltucky and that I had simply absconded it from him. But it turns out that it is in widespread use. For those unfamiliar with the term or my use of it, I simply use the term to apply to the sections of Pennsylvania that look a lot like Kentucky. This would be the part of Pennsylvania I grew up in. Places like Shamokin, Coal Township, Mt. Carmel, Kulpmont, Pottsville, Ashland, Shenandoah, Frackville and Minersville. I use it mostly to represent the Anthracite Coal Region (Anthracite coal is "hard coal" as opposed to Bituminous or "soft coal" and in the U.S. is found exclusively in this region of PA), comprising Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Carbon, Schuylkill, and Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.
This area was settled by Polish, Irish, Italian, German, Russian, Welsh, Slovak, Ruthenian,
Ukrainian, Hungarian, Slavic, and Lithuanian immigrants and the influence of these immigrant populations is still strongly felt in the
region, with various towns possessing pronounced ethnic characteristics, unusual phrases and
ethnic food. Still evident in the region are "patch towns", small villages affiliated with a particular mine. These small towns, with populations
typically less than 500, were solely owned by the mine; the resident miners were tenants, the general store was owned by the
mining concern, and police were mine employees whose most prominent charge was to protect the coal from theft by the residents.
Though no longer company owned, many such hamlets survive and contribute to the sense of Appalachia one feels when visiting the area.
But back to Pennsyltucky. While I use it to refer to the Anthracite Coal Region, it is more widely used to refer to the parts of Pennsylvania not being Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. There is a saying about Pennsylvania... you have Philadelphia on one side, Pittsburgh on the other and a whole lot of Alabama in between. That whole lot of Alabama part would be Pennsyltucky.
A search of Pennsyltucky on Google lead me to some interesting sites:
Urban Dictionary - defines Pennsytucky as a place where it is considered 'gauche' to marry outside your
immediate family, where you are required to own at least two off-road
vehicles, where if you have a firm grasp of the English language you are
considered a homosexual and where non-whites are severely frowned upon as are
people with their own identity, thoughts and more than three books in
tribe.net - has a tribe for those who understand 'hayna,' 'jeetyet,' 'youzgize,' and 'cuppletootree,' born n' raised, escaped, still there? attended school? just drove through?
Pennsyltucky.com - who besides selling t-shirts (OK, only two shirts but they are cool) describes Pennsyltucky in the following way:
If you are from Pennsyltucky it's likely that:
You've experienced the first day of buck season and the first day of the State Fair as school holidays.
You can use the phrase "fire hall wedding reception" without batting an eye.
You know what a State Store is. And your out-of-state friends find it incredible that you can't purchase liquor at the mini-mart.
You own only three condiments: salt, pepper and Heinz ketchup.
The words hoagie, crick, chipped ham, sticky buns, shoo-fly pie, pirogues and pocketbook actually mean something to you.
You have not only heard of Birch Beer, you know it comes in colors: Red, White, Blue, Brown, Gold.
You've never been to a wedding without hearing the "Chicken Dance," at least one Polka and either an Italian song (sung in Italian) or "Hava Nagila."
You know several places that serve Scrapple, Summer Sausage, Lebanon Bologna or Hot Bacon Dressing.
You live for summer, when street and county fairs--and downashore--signal the beginning of funnel cake season. And you know what funnel cake and downashore mean.
You've heard diner customers ask the waitress for "drippy eggs" for breakfast.
You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.
You carry jumper cables in your car and know how to use them and you still keep kitty litter, starter fluid, de-icer and a snow brush in your trunk, even if you live in the South.
Driving in the city is always better in winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
As a kid you built snow forts and leaf piles that were taller than you were.
You know how to respond to the question " 'jeetyet?" (Did you eat yet?)
"Youse guys" and "ynz" are perfectly acceptable ways to address a group of men and women.
Speaking of being from Pennsyltucky, it appears from my web stats that I have a somewhat regular reader from Coal Township, which is essentially my hometown. Feel free to say hello. I am curious to know who you are and how you found my blog.
I am so gay. Along with a set of wine colored bath linens from my parents and a pair of buffet lamps from my sister Jennifer (both of which I asked for), I also got the following for Christmas:
Jenn-Air Attrezzi JSM900RAAS Stainless-Steel Stand Mixer with Merlot-Red Bowl and 3 Attachments
At Thanksgiving, when asked what I would like for Christmas, I said
I wanted a KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer. Instead, I got this mixer from my parents, and am very happy with it. My mom was a very good online shopper. It gets rave reviews, even when compared to the KitchenAid. I found this review online:
"Since I can remember, Kitchen Aid stand mixers have
been the gold standard when it comes to countertop mixing appliances.
However, I was recently able to borrow a Jenn-Air Atrezzi stand mixer
and was pleasantly surprised by it's design, performance and ease of
The mixer is very sleek, with a curved neck body and a stylish glass
bowl. You can get the mixer in many different colors - with body colors
ranging from classic white, black and stainless, to copper, brushed
silver and more. The bowl also comes in many different colors,
including basic clear as well as many hues such as turquoise, red,
green, a modern multi-color pattern, a pretty coral etched pattern and
more. My mixer was white with a turquoise bowl giving it a crisp, clean
The mixer comes with three attachments: a flat beater, wire whip, and
dough hook. All the attachments are metal and are dishwasher safe,
which I love!
The best feature of this mixer is the control mechanism. Instead of
a lever on the side of the machine (like the one my Kitchen Aid Artisan
mixer has), this machine features a dial on top that you can turn with
the touch of a finger. I find that my Kitchen Aid's lever require two
hands to adjust with any accuracy, and even then, it's easy to
accidentally push the lever to higher speed than what I want. With the
Jenn-Air Atrezzi mixer, it's easy to turn the dial to the precise speed
I want with one hand, and even just one finger.
I used the wire whip for whipping up some egg whites and it worked
perfectly. I also use the flat beater attachment for mixing cake mixes,
sugar cookie dough and brownie mixes and it's worked great for
everything, blending items perfectly and not skipping a beat, even when
the dough becomes very thick."
I am trying to decide what to make first... a cake, brownies, cookies or what I have really been wanting a mixer for... MASHED POTATOES.
General Electric 169069 Coffee Station
Brews coffee, espresso and cappuccino
Brew strength control
Snap-on espresso adapter for double shots
Pause and pour feature
It is kind of funny that I got this from my sister Angela, as last year for Christmas I got her a coffee maker that she and her boyfriend wanted for their newly remodeled kitchen.
As an aside, I have found something that Pennsyltucky and the Bronx have in common. Both regions are infatuated with dollar stores as both have several to choose from and little else, although Shamokin does have Walmart and the Bronx has Target for your high end shopping convenience. What has me thinking about this is that the coffee station did not come with the stainless steel frothing pitcher needed to froth milk for cappuccinos and lattes. I looked for one with no luck in Pennsyltucky before leaving yesterday. Today I went around the neighborhood here thinking the hardware store (which sells kitchen gadgets and pots and pans and bakeware) or the dollar stores might have one. The woman at the dollar store said she could not sell them because stainless steel is too expensive for this neighborhood. Nobody would pay more than 99 cents for a pitcher, let alone the $15 that one would cost. She suggested several places, none of which were nearby, where I might get one. I might go out later, trying first at Starbucks and then going to a BB&B or Linens & Things if Starbucks doesn't have them. I really want to make an eggnog latte using my new gadget.