Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Things, glorious things - cosas en Español

It's been a long time coming, Rosetta. Finally more nouns have arrived on the scene. I furiously wrote down my new vocabulary as the pictures flashed by:
jugete - toy
paraguas - umbrella
anteojos de sol - sunglasses
medicamentos - medicine
escalera - ladder
joyas - jewelry
fruta - fruit; vegetales or verduras - vegetables
carne - meat

You never know when you'll need to differentiate one thing from another. You don't want to ask for carne in a farmacia (pharmacy). At least I wouldn't. Rosetta took me through many stores: ferreterias (hardware stores), supermercados (supermarkets), joyerías (jewelry stores) and panaderías (bakeries). One of my favorites was of a girl saying to her father as she was leaving the house to go shopping, "Necesito dinero," with her hand out. Some things are just universal.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seinfeld Episode

It's too bad the Seinfeld series is over because I have a doozy of an episode they could have used. My husband, Doug, and I went to the movies last Friday night. Afterwards, we stopped at Lenny's Sub Shop.

Guy at counter: "Hi, welcome to Lenny's. Sorry but we don't have any cold subs right now. Unless you wanted a tuna sub because the guy that runs our slicer cut his finger and the Health Department said he can't slice anything for 10 minutes until it's sterilized. We do have hot subs, though."

Me: "Do they have fingers in them?"

Guy: "Of course not, this isn't Wendy's."

Doug: "How about a Philly. What's on it?"

Guy: "Roast beef, cheese, onions - you can also get lettuce and tomatoes on it.

Doug: "Any mushrooms?

Guy: "Sorry, no mushrooms. A lot of people ask for mushrooms, but for some reason we don't have them."

Doug: "Okay, give me the Philly with the works."

Guy: "Sorry about the slicer. I'll give you the sandwich 1/2 off."

Doug: "Are the cookies any good?"

Guy: "Yea, I eat them all day long. Pick one out and I'll throw that in for free."

We wait and wait and wait. Another customer walks into the store. A big gal with a big appetite.

Guy: "Hi, welcome to Lenny's. Sorry, but we don't have cold subs available tonight. The slicer is, uh, temporarily out of service."

Gal: "No problem - it's freezing outside and I want something hot. How about a Philly? What's on it?"

Guy: "Roast beef, cheese, onions and you can get lettuce and tomato if you want."

Gal: "Do you have any mushrooms?"

[I swear I am not making this up.]

Guy: Sorry, no mushrooms."

Gal: "Okay, I'll take the Philly with everything. It had better be big because I'm a big gal and I'm hungry. I'll take a large Coke too."

We're still waiting and waiting for Doug's sandwich. Then it dawns on us that it might take a while for a one-handed sandwich maker... Meanwhile, the gal takes her cup to the Coke machine and presses the metal bar for ice. Nothing. She moves it to the soda dispenser. Nothing again.

Gal: "Hey, excuse me, but your Coke machine isn't working."

We just burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation.

Guy: "Sorry, this happens all the time." He flips a switch and the machine starts humming.

Gal: "It's okay, but please stop saying you're sorry."

Guy: "I'm sorry."

We strike up a conversation with the gal while we're waiting because we are now bonded in this bizarre sub shop Seinfeld episode and we all know it. Turns out that she sat behind us at the movies. She didn't like Ironman 2 whereas I loved it. In walks another customer, a college student all decked out in black motorcycle garb.

Guy: "Hi, welcome to Lenny's. Sorry, but we don't have any cold subs right now. The slicer isn't working."

Motorcycle guy: "Is Ben working?"

Guy: "No, he left earlier tonight because it was so slow. He'll be back tomorrow, though."

Motorcycle guy: "I'll just come back tomorrow." (He probably gets free subs from Ben.)

If Lenny only knew that they were literally working short-handed and giving away the store that night! But I must say that my Seinfeld episode was every bit as entertaining as the movie and a whole lot cheaper!

Phrase of the day: Deberíamos triturar eso. We'd better shred that.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Got It From My Mama

Mother's Day is closing in, and this year I am totally prepared for it. I'm leaving town. I'm not sure who is to blame: Hallmark, FTD, the economic need for a post-Christmas boost. Whatever it is, mothers are led to believe that they are SUPASTARS and should be treated as such on Mother's Day. It's taken me 23 years of motherhood to get over that notion. The truth is everyday is Mother's Day if she has a child. Expecting the BIG CELEBRATION is unrealistic and usually ends in mom being grumpy and let down.

Don't get me wrong, my family is great. They've bought me flowers and trees and mulch and brunches over the years. But my best days of being a mom are days when the kids are having fun with each other. Like the other night when my two oldest were dancing in a campus bar with their friends to celebrate the end of finals, and the song "I Got it From My Mama" by Will I Am came on. They started dancing with each other and laughing so hard they couldn't breathe. They told me about it later. What a great Mother's Day tribute! Now I can leave town.

Actually, I'll be with my mother-in-law and younger daughter watching Chelsea run a mini-marathon in Indianapolis. Chelsea is running for TEAMFOX, the Michael J. Fox foundation for Parkinson's research. She's raised a good chunk of change and is dedicating her run to her grandfather. I'm leading her cheering block. A great way to celebrate Mother's Day - in a mom's classic role as #1 cheerleader. That's another great thing about being a mom. You can celebrate their victories like they were your own.

Speaking of my mama, I'm long overdue for a visit home. After the race I'm heading northward to visit my mama and papa. No BIG CELEBRATION, just some relaxing family time. When I found out that my brother will be there too, I told Mom, "Gosh, you're awfully popular!" She replied, "Yep, one day a year."

Phase of the day: Llama a tu mamá. Call your mother.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quiero un asiento de ventanilla

This has been a busy week, but every mother who has children in school knows that Chaos reigns King in Spring. Plays, musical performances, track meets, tennis matches, golf games, academic awards, prom, hurry up and learn everything you were supposed to last semester, senior trips, graduation parties. Help! It's no wonder the pharmaceutical industry is showing healthy profits in a recession...

My stress reliever has been a new-found interest in an old love of mine. I rediscovered this love at the University of Dayton last month. Not a guy. Running. Twenty five years ago, pre-children, I found running in the morning was my only break from the action of my hectic job. Right out of college I was a sorority consultant and flew around the US helping chapters with recruitment and officer training. I was on the job day and night. My runs were MyTime. I'd forgotten how wonderful it was to have the wind on your face and hear the birds and breathe in lungfuls of fragrant flowers. Running hurts more than it used to, but it meets so many needs: peace in nature, healthy exercise, time with God. Plus it's free.

Although I really enjoyed my classes at the Y, now that it's spring, I need to be outside - to feel the rain on my face and sweat on my brow.

Phrase of the day: Quiero un asiento de ventanilla I'd like a window seat.