Monday, January 30, 2012

The Commoner Is Stumped

Today I spent a good part of any break time that I had during my work day staring at my IPHONE trying to solve this puzzle.  That's right.  I would stare at this and stare at it and I couldn't solve it.

I was torn between hating that I couldn't figure it out and desperate for help.  I hate to admit defeat but my breaks are short.  I'm a commoner not a self employed mogul with a Swiss bank account after all.  I basically punch a clock for my job because if I'm not there on time the natives get restless and mayhem occurs and I could end up tied to a chair.

So I'm looking at this thing and looking at this thing and I comment to my friend the uncommon lawyer that I can't figure it out. But somehow through some facebook trickster mechanism-people I know who don't know my friend the lawyer start commenting.  They are all getting it?  They are solving the puzzle and I can't? And in my time of running to the bathroom, trying to stuff my greek yogurt with my granola down my throat  and staring at this puzzle I was faced with a dilemma.  Ask for help or give up or just not bother to go back to work.

My pride gives in and I post it and say I CAN"T DO THIS.  That's right I admitted defeat.  I never admit defeat I'm competitve remember.  I ask for help and then go back to work for a few more hours until the next time I can have a drink of water, use the bathroom, make copies and solve my riddle.   Now all the people on facebook are chiming in laughing, solving it, rubbing it in.

  I've been counting the numbers forever I know how to count-I teach third grade I can do this.  No I can't.  35 comments later and two hours of work later- I finally catch on and catch the mistake.  I'm so embarrassed-what's wrong with me?  Why didn't I see it?

I'm common that's what's wrong.  I read what I'm supposed to read, that's what a commoner does-which is why I'm a commoner i never would have thought to look beyond that obvious and beside I can't find anything in my cupboard it's just how I am.  PDiddy would have had his people solve it for him and in away my people did it for me too.

Well can you solve this problem?  You probably can in two seconds.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Commoner Fights The War

I am border line OCD-that means I prepare for work in exactly the same routine order every day or my whole day is off.  Can't help it, my mother was the same way.  Get in the car go back check the coffee is unplugged and the door is locked-then leave.  EVERY day-and my grandmother was always home!

I needed to buy lunch so I stopped at the grocery store and then realized I had forgotten to bring my coffee from home-I faced 2 choices-go to Starbucks (which is right next to the grocery store) or buy some instant coffee and make it at work.  Well if you know me at all you know I'm very very stubborn-i wasn't going back to Starbucks-NO WAY-I was going to arm my self with every coffee product that I could make at work with my electric kettle.  Why I was going to arm myself with every type of instant caffeine I could find.

I may be a commoner but in true PDiddy style I was going to go big.  While I may have boycotted my local Starbucks and anything Dunkin Donuts, I'm not really mad at Starbucks per say.  So I started with Via-yummy little coffee packets that you add to hot water.  Next was the paper cups with the covers so I could keep my coffee from spilling on anything or worse anyone-or my clothes.  Then I said let's keep going...That's what PDiddy would do-Next was the little creamers that you have to peel open but which don't need a refrigerator.  I didn't even know you could buy those but I did.  Next and just for treatishness  (that's a word I made up) that yummy cappuccino stuff you mix to your water for a fun. 

25 dollars later I was at work and I cleared a shelf for all my coffee and tea supplies.  It's safe to say that I'm set for a few weeks-I envision down the road a Keruig coffee maker set up in my classroom.  It won't take me 25 minutes to make a drink, there won't be idle rich people lounging around in fancy sweats, three won't be creepy guys from the wrestler cutting everyone in line, I won't have to make small talk or pretend to be on my phone.

Quality of life up!  Change in my pocket up!  Sanity up!  Free time up!  

Starbucks should learn from what Dunkin Donuts has been feeling for a few months now-A commoner may not have much money or power but really-don't mess with us. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Commoner's New Year's Resolutions

How is your New Year's Resolution going?  It's Jan. 25th and by now -statistics say either your resolution has taken and is part of your life, or you've forgotten it like it was 2011.  

Well I'm failing miserably at mine and after today's news I think I may give up.  Remember that my resolution was to live life as if I were PDiddy.  I've done pretty good with the eat more pizza part. My vodka company is not even off the ground yet and as if that weren't enough today on the radio I heard what may be the straw that broke the camel's back.  PDiddy is starting his own cable television network. Just like Oprah.

The name of his station will be called Revolt and it will have mostly music videos and some tv shows, and ads for tequilla and his white parties.

This is why I am not PDiddy and  a commoner,  my big purchase plan for this year is to  buy a new refrigerator.  That's right a new fridge with an ice maker on the door and one that actually closes all the way.  Because I'm a commoner-I don't know how to buy a network or make a network? How do you do that?  How am I supposed to do that.

Well as PDiddy is figuring out what number he's going have his channel on my Direct TV-I'm going to figure out how to take some time off from work so that Best Buy can deliver my refrigerator in their two hour time limit. 

January you have to love it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Commoner's Love Affair With Starbucks is Over

This picture is blurry.  That's right.  That's because the commoner's relationship with Starbucks has gone from 'in a relationship' to 'it's complicated'.  That's right some of my best commoner stories come from my daily visits to starbucks but sadly they are no more.

Today's very ordinary trip started like no big deal.  Park the car, reload the card, order the drink wait for the drink.  There was no one in front of me on line and three people waiting for drinks.  No big deal right?  Remember my bike riding story how I wrote that I was treated as quite an uncommoner at the Spin classes?  Well maybe that spoiled me.  

Ordered the drink-waited, waited, waited, played words with friends, waited, checked my email, waited, check facebook, waited, checked the sephora obsession of the day, waited.  Are you getting this.

Finally I decide to be more alert and I notice one person at the register, one making drinks, one doing the other stuff and I hear a lot of rinsing, rinsing, rinsing.  I notice now I've been here a long time.  About 25 minutes at this point.  And then the switch.

What switch?  I have this internal switch and this switch used to mean I would cause a scene, but I have lived in California a long time now.  Plus so many people recognize me from school so I have to be careful.  No yelling, no cursing, no stamping of feet-I simply walked up to the cashier and said, I can't wait anymore I'm leaving.  No refund no nothing.  Out of there!

I get to work, I make my green tea-which I don't have a cup for.  Take 3 paper dixi cups and triple them and drink my tea.  I facebook the event, and then call Starbucks because you know what?  I want my refund-

Luckily I'm a gold card member so they can see everything that I do at Starbucks.  They give me a rounded out 5 dollars to make up for the inconvenience but NOT before a 20 minute interrogation about the experience.  I'm not sure but I think  I was water boarded at one point.  I also didn't really want to get Starbucks people in trouble, I just wanted my 2.95 back.

Well I go about my day and am teaching my class with my dixie cup of tea when I notice a parent coming to my class.  Mrs. Javid (LOVE HER)  was delivering a VENTE  Green Tea Latte.  (I told you the parents in my class are the best).  My class is super smart so I told them the story and they clapped for the happy ending.

Except for one little boy who's mom works at Starbucks in Target.  He was like hey-my mom works there.  I was like no no no not her Starbucks-she doesn't open until 8!  He says then why does she leave at six?  I'm like oy vey-this is one sharp group.

The lesson here commoners? If one day you are treated like something special it ruins it for a long time-because you have to remember that you are still a commoner and must wait for your latte in line for however long it takes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Commoner Goes for A Bike Ride

I'm a pretty lucky commoner because in my commoner job of teaching I'm often shown great signs of appreciation.  I've been pretty lucky in my career to have some great parents and students so I've seen some big and 'uncommon' gifts in my day.

This year was a first of it's kind.  A pass for 10 free Spin Classes.  This mom remembered from my resume that in another life I had been a competitive cyclist.   She thought this gift would be perfect and you know what ? She was right.

By now you know that I'm pretty hard on this town but every once in a while (like the movie theater) I find something great and pretty exceptional and I think this place qualifies as such.

I put off using this gift until finally the gifter kind of dragged me there. She called ahead and my name was on 'the list'.  Very PDiddy for sure.  So Rob scaduffled through his vast collection of riding paraphernalia and found me riding shoes and shorts.  

I had no idea this place was in the KFC parking lot.  Who Knew? Who goes there? What else is there?    I avoid that chicken smell like the plague-but Siri knew where it was and I pulled up and marched right in.

I was greeted by this perky, very skinny, blond woman who knew who I was, didn't need to see my gift card, had me all registered and greeted me with a great big hug.  Not a greeting a commoner is used to by any means.

We spent some time adjusting my bike-and showing me some basics.  Luckily there were other beginners that day, lucky I run or I would have died because I almost did. This was really hard.   As we got closer to start time the room started to fill with lots of people who were regulars.  Now I've told you how competitive I am  and beginner or not I was going to keep up.  My fancy bike shoes didn't fit the cleats and thus I had to ride with sneakers but that's okay I hate those new fangled cleats I would have been stuck there for days.

So Spin class goes something like this.  You look at a screen showing beautiful scenery which in real life I would no way ride my bike on because it looked really hard.  There's some kind of euro-techo music playing in the background-I think because I couldn't really tell -my ears had that thumping sound your blood makes before you are about to die so I couldn't really hear it-and you have the skinny super nice instructor asking you your heart rate-which I couldn't tell her because I didn't have a heart monitor.

If I had that heart monitor I would have been able to give a number when she asked.  I would say things like 80, or 90, or 70.  It wasn't until the second time I went that I realized that wasn't their beats per minute but percentage.  I was really impressed for a few minutes that they all had the same heart rate but I was wrong about that.

The instructor was so nice that she insisted on saying my name correctly. She does all this talking mind you while riding along with us-so that's impressive.  Every few minutes she would take a heart rate count and call each person by name.  She was really hung up on saying my name right and I kept saying-don't worry I don't care-it's alright-that's okay.  But she was determined when someone reminded her it rhymes with Perez.  No laying low for this commoner-kudos to the determined instructor.   

I have to tell you I gave up saying on people saying my name correctly by the time I was 8.  If I had been smart, when I left NY I would have adopted a nickname like Tracy or Terry, but no I didn't do that and hence until the next relocation I'll be explaining it to everyone I meet.  Blue Ivy you don't know how lucky you are to have a nice normal name

Looking at that screen made me really tired.  I was thinking I can't get up those hills, but I didn't have to because I was on my bike right there in a store front in Hollister.  I just had to twist a knob and I was peddling away.

Spin class was fun-it's good exercise and the instructor Carolyn made it not such a bad thing.  I'm going to ride this beginner thing a little while longer because it means she takes it easier on me.  I don't have to ride quite so hard on those hills.  

I wonder why I didn't think of this idea from all those years of indoor training on cold freezing Long Island?  Why -because Commoners wouldn't be commoners if they had ideas like this.  The only thing they didn't think of was somebody I could ride behind and wheel suck.  Hey ....hmm