Sunday, October 30, 2011

No More News for this Commoner

Some of you may have heard my rantings about no longer receiving local TV news from San Jose or San Francisco and some of you may have thought this girl is nuts.  After all, we live on the Central Coast and who doesn't want to hear about the latest gang shooting in Salinas or a cow blocking some road to King City.  We don't live in San Francisco or San Jose-who cares?

Need you ask?  I do. Growing up in a house of adults I became a news junkie.  And not junky local news-with bad graphics, ugly anchors, and oodles of mistakes-like-"The changes will not take place in this year's 2012 election but next year's 2012 election"-cheesy commercials -an announcer who says dot.gom-ick.   But big city news-you Know Sue Simmons, Ernie Anastos?  At least we had Spencer Christian-oh wait-WHERE IS SPENCER CHRISTIAN????"

So I've boycotted the2 networks showing KSBW and the red and black  news in the morning and here is some of the wonderful television I watch before I teach America's Youth.

Sometimes I watch the Sopranos on A&E because nothing gets you more ready to  face 8 years old than some whacking and cursing.

Sometimes I watch Will and Grace and enjoy a lot of inappropriate humor.

One of my favorite things to watch is Boomor and Carton on MSG TV.  I like this because it makes me think I'm in NY-I like when Lenny from Hicksville calls in and the commercials are local NY ones. They talk about the Jets, Giants, and Rangers and I love that!  And I've always liked Boomer-he's from East Islip! Then I realize I'm not in NY and I'm in a funk all day.

The other day (well a lot of days) I watch QVC.  Tuesday they were selling candles-they are the flame less kind-so you don't burn down your house.  They suggested this was a great gift for teachers or someone in assisted living-yeah okay-thanks for that pick me up before I face the day.

The other day I was desperate for information so I watched MSNBC.  I learned from Jim Kramer that I should buy stock in the aluminum company ( I can't remember the name though).  Something about people buying aluminum because they can recycle it-but if you recycle it why would you buy it?  No matter I don't know how to buy stocks.

Sometimes I watch Fox News.  I'm a big fan of Fox News and I like Bill Hemmer-but after hearing who's ahead in the Republican race over and over again and analyzing Mitt's hair-I really have to move on.

By this time I'm way behind schedule and Good Morning America with George and Robin come on and they tell me what's going on in the world-and use the same feed for the San Fran news the stupid local stations do-all is right with the world and I'm out of there.

Maybe I'll subscribe to the channel that has the Bay Area News-Maybe I'll just move to the actual Bay Area and be done with it-but then what would I have to write about?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Commoner Celebrates A Birthday

The whole idea of the commoner came out of Rosa's birthday celebration trip to Napa in June.  Now granted she made the arrangements, fronted the money, and drove -but hey we still celebrated her birthday!

I intended to have a party.  After all I'm not getting any younger so each birthday is an accomplishment and secondly my new health care plan at work is really really bad-there's no guarantee I'll make that many more.  But alas, I never really got around to it-so the day arrived and I was like-whatever.

The day went really nicely-gifts from third graders and friends, well wishes, tons of facebook love, lunch with my team and to top it off-dinner with fellow commoners Lesli and Rosa.  Where should we go what should we do? There are  very few restaurants really in our town.  We love The Mexican Restaurant but they don't open until 5-let's try -should I say the name? Should I offend?  I'm not going to-I'm still living down my insult to Hollister with the Fair comments.  Let's just say this place has one name-yes let's go there.

We left school and met up outside of ____________and I'm sure by the time we walked in it was 4:40.  The skinny waitress met us at the door and said we don't serve dinner until 5 but you are welcome to pizza, salad, or appetizers.  We had a 5 minute conversation about whether to stay or go somewhere else? Where? No where let's just stay.  All of this is important.

Are you getting the time line here?  I hope so.  Because by now it's 4:45 and for the 15th time this waitress at the restaurant with one name and nobody else there -told us we couldn't order off the dinner menu until 5 O'clock.  That's fifteen minutes from now and that was it for me.  At that point I felt the need to start one of my tirades.

So I say to the waitress at the one named restaurant in Hollister "There's no one in this restaurant you really can't take an order for three people now?  It's my birthday?"  I'm thinking this woman should just lie and take the order and continue with the awful service.  We would never know really.  We had ordered an appetizer and free bread and iced tea.  But she stood steadfast and at this point I say  "I know I'm being a bitch but this isn't 5th Avenue you really can't help us now"  It's 4:50 at this point. "No I can't she says they are breaking down lunch"  Which means they are putting away the pannini press

She walks away bringing more ice tea and then says  "We can take your order NOW but we can't put it in until 5:00".  Out of spite I refused to order anything off the dinner menu and ordered the spaghetti and meatball.  That's right MEATBALL.  She's lucky I wasn't paying the check and  that I was the birthday girl because I would have done the thing where I don't tip.  I've done that before.

We stayed until 6:30 and I really enjoyed my time with Lesli and Rosa-I love those guys.  The spaghetti and MEATBALL (they actually had more than one) was actually pretty good.  But I probably won't go back to the one named restaurant with the anal waitress who never even offered me a birthday treat or sang.

One name restaurant lady-you are really just a commoner and you should get over yourself-and learn to use plural words.

Rosa and Lesli you are awesome, thanks for remembering my birthday and buying me dinner.  Lesli's birthday is in February-I'll keep you posted

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Commoner Changes the World

We aren't the only commoners in the world.  Sometimes you find really famous, famous people who have come up from the ranks of commoners and some of them are pretty special.  Barrack Obama is a commoner (excuse me fellow Republicans but he is)  Oprah Winfrey is not a commoner-I will never claim her-but I was surprised to find out this week that Steve Jobs may be the ultimate commoner among us.  He changed the world, he came from a common middle class upbringing and he left a footprint that puts him in the class of Ben Franklin and Walt Disney probably bigger.

I never really paid much attention to Apple, I couldn't afford a Mac and I found Apple people to be a little snobby for my taste but eventually I became sucked in.  First by an IPod Shuffle-then and IPhone (best invention since the wheel-better possibly) then the IPAD and finally my newest adoption to the family a Mac Book Air-a toy I wanted so much that I worked summer school just to afford it.

I'm often hard on Northern California-being a New Yorker-but I like Northern California and am proud to call it home.   We are the new cradle of innovation-we have given the world great wine, beautiful scenery, the worlds best golf courses and we have given the world Google, EBay, Yahoo, Facebook, HP, and Apple.  The Silicon Valley was born because it's where Steve Job's lived and hung out in his parent's garage right here in Palo Alto, California.  This commoner feels lucky to live here.

So to the ultimate commoner who overcame the most common of beginnings-you truly led an uncommon life.

God Bless you and Rest in Peace

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Commoner Goes to the County Fair

Now I know this is going to insult a good many of my Facebook friends and I'm sorry in advance but about the county fair.  You probably know a few things about me by now-I come from NY and not the upstate or out east on the island farming New York, but Nassau County-30 minutes on the train to Manhattan New York.  The other thing you may know is I DISLIKE NATURE.  A concrete world would do me just fine.

But I go to the fair  every year and I go for two reasons.  In the town I live in you kind of are supposed to go and I really like funnel cake and you can only really eat funnel cake at a fair.

Last year I went on Friday night and bought a bracelet.  That was fun.  This year we went on Saturday-a little earlier-because I thought it would be good to NOT go at night this year.  For no real reason.  There were things this year that I didn't remember from last year.  For instance-I do not remember paying 20 dollars to get in....8 dollars each for admission and 4 dollars to park.  This is Bolado Park in Tres Pinos...nothing there should really cost anything.  I didn't remember that last year-and thought maybe we should not go in.  But we did.

I also don't remember last year the bumpiness of the parking lot which felt like a that ski race in the Olympics where the skiiers knees are battered up and down the bumps.  I don't remember driving so long for parking and I don't remember parking being so far away. 

I remembered that we were parked past the bathrooms-as I also have a phobia of forgetting where I park (usually I take a picture of my parking spot on my phone so I can remember).  Then we began our walk to the whatever you call the part where the fair begins.  The walk was hard with all those bumps and holes and my legs really hurt by the time we made it to the fairgrounds.

All of a sudden I was hungry so we surveyed the different offerings.  I knew I was having funnel cake but my attention was on other things like tri tip.  Rob wanted sausage but this is not an Italian feast so he settled on pulled pork.We decided to  save the food for later and walk around a little first.  We saw pigs and sheep and cows and heard one of those auctioneers.  This place was crowded-I had never seen so many people in Hollister before.  It wasn't long before I said to my husband-let's go.  Luckily fellow commoner Kristen spotted me and came over.

Shocked that I was even in a place such as this she began to explain the animal auctions to me. She started saying things like 4 dollars a pound or 2 dollars a pound and you sell the pig then they barbque him for the fair-they bar b q him RIGHT THERE.  I'm sure I was confused and luckily Nicole came up and invited commoner Kristen to a free serving of the pig at the fair barbque and off she went.  Kristen is so much better at getting free stuff than me  it never works for me.

So we went and paid for our really really bad tri tip and pulled pork sandwiches and then onto the funnel cake.  The sandwich was so bad but the funnel cake soooo good.  So we sat there and ate and watched some guitar player singing and playing guitar by himself on stage.  I was thinking as no one else was watching-what made this guy think he should sing and play guitar on stage at the fair?  In the background you could hear the noise of the truck pulls in the stadium.  I was sure this cost more money because there was a ticket booth and wondered what on earth are they pulling? Is this like those old monster truck shows at the Nassau Coliseum?

And then it dawned on me-the thing that made me really want to go home.  One of the things I often forget about living in Hollister is that it is basically an agricultural community.  People live in the middle of no where and have oogles of land passed down through generations.  People grow and slaughter things here which means there was an abundance of phobia number 42-people dressed as cowboys.  With that we packed our funnel cake and bumped our way back to the car for the 20 minute drive out of the parking lot-and headed 5 minutes down the road back to the suburbs.

Behind my desk at work I have a bunch of pictures of The Wizard of Oz...they remind me constantly that this commoner is not in Kansas  (by Kansas I mean Long Island) any more.