Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ramen noodles, rent and resumes blog

Found a wonderful life-after-college blog

I am reading Kristen Fischer's wonderful book about life after college, just to prepare for when my own daughter is done. I have already decided to give the book, "Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes - after-college guide to life" to any college graduate on my list. It is engagingly written, makes total sense, and for us older folks out there, is a real eye opener of what our grads will face.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thermogenix Weight Loss Pills

Wednesday, April 18, 2012: Two weeks ago, Alex received a bottle of Thermogenic fatburner pills which she ordered online (s+h, plus pills, came to $40). Over the weekend she texted me that she lost 5 lbs in one week. I asked her if it makes her eat less (her problem is nighttime eating, something most college students are prone to, and it had made her gain several pounds since she started college). She said yes and that she also works out. The pills make her feel hot, as in higher body temperature, since they are called thermo. It must raise your temperature to burn fat. I do not like it and cautioned her to be careful with it.

Alex, do not try to lose too much weight fast, because your body will start thinking starvation is ahead and hold on to fat much more. 1-2 Pounds/week is the best way to do it. Don’t trick your metabolism into thinking it has to slow down to preserve fat reserves, sorry, that’s how it would be.

Not only that, but it just doesn’t sound healthy. I will monitor it as much as I can from home, but have to remember that as a teenager, I also used diet pills many times. The ones that really helped are off the market now, but I do not recall having had any problems with it. I will update here to let everybody know if they really work or if it was a quick fix and then all the weight comes right back on.


Alex is going to Germany this summer with her oldest, bestest friend, visiting my family and the capitol, Berlin. It’s good for kids to travel, see what’s out there and how it compares to home. When she was in tenth grade, she and a fellow Girl Scout friend traveled from New Jersey to Wisconsin, to spend ten days at Camp Ehawee. At that time, my husband and I saved every spare dollar for her college education, cutting our expenses back to the bare bones. But when I read about Camp Ehawee, amidst corn fields and cow pastures, I wanted her to go. What an experience this would be. We live between New York City, Philadelphia, and the Jersey Shore, in one of the most happening and expensive states in the country. Midoro, Wisconsin sounded so dramatically different, even though they had great outings planned: Wisconsin dells water park, Wisconsin state fair, hiking, camp fires, and a sleep-over at the Mall of America!

The girls flew from Newark to Chicago, switched planes to I forgot where, then changed planes again. They ended up in one not much bigger than a crop duster that took them to La Crosse airport. When she returned and told us about the trip, Alex said excitedly: “There were only Girl Scouts and soldiers on that plane. If something would have happened, the whole nation would have done anything to help us, to save America’s most precious cargo!”

As expected, it was one of her greatest trips so far, because the camaraderie between 50 girls from all over America, even Europe, the slow pace of this state, fields that stretched out for miles, and sleeping under the sea horse tank at the mall’s aquarium was something she’ll always remember. I gladly paid for this experience from her college fund.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sony Vaio and health food

Sunday March 4, 2012: We just drove to her campus to bring her the new Sony Vaio laptop. As we were driving back she texted us: I am in love with my new computer. Thank you both so much!

So happy to hear. How do you already know it’s a good one?

Cuz its not making scary noises like the other one and lol and I connected to the internet and its really fast. And it’s a lot lighter.

Please take good care of it so it doesn’t get stolen. It’s a very popular computer. I marked it with nail polish and wrote down all the numbers on the back, so you have proof it’s yours if it gets stolen. Just don’t leave it lying around.
Ik I wont
Thursday, March 8, 2012:
Text: I hate that healthy food is so expensive
Are you shopping?
What r u buying? Glad to hear it’s healthy. At least some of it.
Yes, and its 4 freaking dollars for a stinking lean cuisine
Wow, must not be on sale. I usually get them for 2 dollars. Find something similar that’s cheaper
The cheap stuff has more calories
Then buy the more expensive stuff if it’s better. Lesson in life.
March 28, 2012: look what a reader posted on my facebook wall: I read your book this weekend, i was visiting my daughter, started reading and couldn't stop. I went home 2 hrs. later than planned because i was not going to leave until i was finished. I absolutely loved it. If i had teenagers at home, boy or girl , i would make them read it. Can't wait for your other book to come out. I know i will enjoy it too.
Aww that's cutee

Good Friday Dilemma

Friday, April 6, 2012: I texted my daughter who is away in college: Today is Good Friday, no meat, okay.
She texts back: What about chicken?
On that note,
Happy Easter and Passover
Here are the responses I received after I posted this on Facebook:
Thanks for the laugh… We sometimes wonder if that money we are paying for education is going to good use, LOL!  My daughter gets straight A’s and sometimes she’ll say the silliest things!

lol, we have been having a discussion about that.......if you can eat eggs on Good Friday then why not chicken?

Technically, the eggs you eat are unfertilized and have no chance of every becoming a chicken … therefore, not meat. Just a by-product of a chicken (like milk from a cow). J

Just thought I'd let you know that chicken is considered poultry and not meat. So she can have Chicken.

Guys, for real? (Me)

LOL!!! Someone here gave up meat for lent saying how hard it is because she loves chicken.  Then, someone else asked, “you can’t eat chicken either??!!”So, don’t be so hard on your daughter!!

Fish is still meat, and that seems to be OK, so it’s not an unreasonable question.

And apparently muskrat is fish (at least in Michigan):  Muskrat love: Friday Lent delight for some OKed as fish alternative

Perhaps it tastes like chicken?

Makes you wonder what teens classify as vegetables, right? Thanks for the smile – Happy Easter Monday. 

My daughter attends Catholic school, and came home with this interesting tidbit at the start of Lent, so I thought I would share. She is 12 so as of 6th grade they students are "encouraged" to start following the guidelines.

Abstinence  The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Moral theologians have traditionally considered this also to forbid soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal-derived products such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste.
That is the Catholic Church’s definition of meat, not the dictionary definition.  I’ve found several dictionary definitions and they either define meat as the “The flesh of animals used as food” (Fish are part of the animal kingdom) or “The edible flesh of animals, especially that of mammals as opposed to that of fish or poultry”.   So either fish should be included OR poultry should be excluded.

Apparently back in the day when “The law of abstinence” came about, there was a very strong fishermen’s  lobby!

It’s okay – I make lamb….

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Computer and Travel Plans

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012: I was bartending today, it was epic so much fun
Awesome, so glad to hear. Did you serve others, got tips? Having fun is great.
Why can't you look on your fb profile before Saturday where your groups are listed? I need to know for my presentation with the "Sister in Crime" writers' group. Mom
I need a new computer bad. The fan is making the weirdest noise like something is stuck in it and I'm scared it will stop and overheat soo can we please look for one soon like real soon
Please send make and serial number of your laptop, so we can check if it's still under warranty. I might take it. We'll look for a new one, do you have anything in mind? (Yup, she sure did: the Sony Vaio it turns out). Just send me the number and name for now. And what about the groups on fb?
Tuesday, February 28, 2012: Hey Schatz,
Hannah is thinking of coming to Germany with us! I will call the airline guy if he has an extra seat available for the 17 of August, if not, she might have to fly in on her own or maybe the two of you can go together, we'll see. It would definitely be better if three of you would go to Berlin, safety wise. Wouldn't that be so cool? Mom
Yay!! That would be so awesomeee

Daughter's Funeral Song

Thursday, February 15, 2012:
lol remember when i told u that i wanted my funeral song to be from hollywood undead...well i just discovered this one and i think its a lot better so im changing it lol dont get scared im not gonna kill myself or anything im just letting u know just in case
its called if i die young by the band perry
Okay, I'll make a note of it. But only if you promise me not to die until you're 99. I'm all choked up.
Please, God can't handle me in heaven right now and satan is afraid of me I'm not going anywhere anytime soon
Good to know. Luv ya
Love u too is still think its a good song tho did u listen to it?
Yes, that's why I said I choked up

Giants Win The Superbowl!!

And then the Giants won the Superbowl.
Alex was with her friends at a 6-guys-living-in-one-suite on campus and called us right after the Giants won, to celebrate with her total-Giants-fan father.
The next day I received this text.
I'm so mad that tuesdays are my busiest day cuz the giants parade is in ny on that day and I live 15 min away! So many people from school are going :(
I got my own table yesterday cuz it was slow and kurt the guy who was training me was like busing the table behind me so he can still hear what was going on and could still help if I needed it. It was easy tho cuz these people come here a lot and knew exactly what they wanted and didn't ask a lot of questions
I think I would make an exception and just go to the parade. It's early in the semester and hopefully you can make up your classes with notes from others. Screw school tomorrow, go to the parade. 
I love u so much! I'm gonna go to my 930 to 1045 class cuz my professor is a lil nuts and calls people out on missing class and I don't want him to do that to me lol
Will that still be time enough to make it to the parade? Do not drive in your car, of course! Is it tomorrow? Keep texting me how it all goes down, sweetheart. When does it start?
It starts at 11 so we'll just take the next train
Are you going with others who are also going in later? I don't want you to miss it. Just go when the last goers leave, don't finish class and then go all by yourself.
I'm going with my friends. They r going the entire length of broadway if we get there by like 1130 we really wouldn't have missed much cuz they start all the way at the bottom and go all the way to the top
I just watched them land on tv in the caf it was exciting
Super atmosphere, right? Tomorrow will rock.
Ik I'm so excited
New Jersey will not get left out of the action.
In a Twitter post, Gov. Chris Christie said a rally for Big Blue would take place Tuesday at 3 p.m. at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. "@GovChristie: All Giants fans in NJ should be there if you can."
You just got permission from the governor. Just promise me and yourself that you will make up your missed classes and all homework, and that is only an exception, not a thing you can do more often. I am happy that you can go tomorrow, just text me every once in a while, so I can 'be there' too. Mom
Oh of course all of my professors are on black board which is a website thing where they post all of their power points and hw so ill be on there
Cool. Soooo happy for you. Shall I tell Dad? If not and he sees you on the telly he'll pee.
Did u just say telly?
Yeah, I turned into a Brit
That's okay I'm jamaican this week yeamon
Tuesday, February 7, 2012: Let's face it, she would have gone to the parade anyway, but now she had my blessing and texted me about her experiences all day long. All in all, she was so glad she went. She saw Eli on the float and the whole day was awesome.
If I were you, I would shoot for making it to the 4:30 class. Making up is a bitch,no?
My 430 got cancelled
She came home that weekend after work and arrived shortly before 2AM. I was waiting up. The pets sprinted to the door when she walked in and we talked for an hour, sitting on the couch. I asked about the parade. Everybody wore blue, everybody was super excited. There were alcohol bottles and cups everywhere, the cops didn't even try to stop it. Alex told me she and her friends were in line for the bathroom in a restaurant. The ladies' line was out the door whereas the men's line was short as usual.  A lady came in and lined up in the short men's queue, then cut everybody by jumping in front when the ladies' door opened and just walked in. People were cursing and threatening her, but there was one particularly tough woman who shouted, "wait till she comes out, I'll punch her in the face." Woman comes out, and the lady punches her in the face so hard that blood was flying. She bust her lip wide open. The woman being hit was in shock and cried, while her friend ran to get her husband, who called out for the cops. Anyway, that was a sight to see. Alex said, she doubts that woman will ever cut the line again. It was epic.

Restaurant Server Advice From Mom

Wed January 25, 2012:
Ooh, I'm so excited, finally an email from you with some text in it. I wish you all the best and especially patience dealing with difficult customers. You have to keep smiling, stay respectful, then punch the wall in the back room when you're done dealing with them. Some are looking at it as a game to see if they get a free meal out of it and will complain no matter what. Just call the manager and let him deal with it. No gravy over their heads, no matter how much you feel like it. Just remember, you don't have to go home with these jerks and they will be out of your life shortly. 
Your feet/legs will hurt, your arms from carrying heavy trays, but you can do it if you put your mind to it. You just need to remember who ordered what and your memory is amazing.
My class? Haha. My professor is older than your grandpa, he must be in his eighties. He's adorable and quite good just hard of hearing and he shuffles around. Seems like XXX is where all the professors go instead of retiring, it's very strange. He talked in English about the history of Spain and Mexico, then gave us Spanish homework. But I can do it. It's definitely not as good a class as my Public Speaking one, people wise I mean, and I miss them. We all became Facebook friends.
Oh, something funny. I added our New Year's pictures to your father's facebook site last night and while he was downstairs, I did the same thing Vinny always does to Dan from my last class, posting stuff on Dan's site as if he was him. So for two hours, while we watched TV downstairs, your father had these two posts on his fb:
Three dolphins walk into a hookah bar
I throw ball like a girl.
Then I commented as if I were Dad: Who the f***s on my facebook?
Nobody saw it because he only has 16 friends, but he was so pissed when he finally saw it and I had to delete it.
Well, that's all from home for now. I did enter "Skinny for Just One Day" in the Amazon Breakout Novel Contest and then sent the manuscript to my editor for the March agent conference. It's so much better now because of your help.
Your pets are doing fine, at least we have them to keep us occupied.
Love you, Mom

Tuesday, January 31, 2012: How was your day?
It was good. alyssa's boyfriend broke up with her today so Im hanging out with her
Aww, is she ok? How long have they been together? He's not on campus, right?
No, he goes to XXX and they were together since senior year.
Why did he break up? She's still able to go to work with you, right? Also, remember you have class tomorrow morning.
No, not until 6 at night.
So how is she?
And then the Giants won the Superbowl.

She's back on campus

Jan 24, 2012. She's back on campus since last week, and immediately landed a job at Ruby Tuesday's.
Congratulations again on your job, but please keep in mind that school comes first. Do not accept any hours that would interfere with your classes. It's not worth it.
As a server you will have to deal with nasty, demanding people. You cannot pour the gravy over them when they get on your nerves like the mother did in my new novel. You'll have to stay friendly and polite no matter what. I wish you good luck.
Thanks for texting us about the Giants winning, we were nervous wrecks and couldn't watch, and then twitter was on overload and froze. What a nerve-wracking game!
Dad invited Trafton up for the Superbowl, so I guess party at our house if you can make it. If you have to work that day, don't worry about it. It would probably be very exiting at any restaurant watching the Superbowl with a team from the neighborhood. Mom

No answer

Next email from mom, a day later:
Do you need to let Authentic know that you got the job at Ruby Tuesday's?
How many hours will they give you, what's your wage, how does it work with tips, and what did you do at orientation?
Please answer my questions, I am so nosy but that's good.
We are proud of you, Maureen says congratulations, and did you order any more books? Shoot me an email so I can transfer money for books and work clothes to your account. Mom
oh cool
Huh? Can you please answer your lonely old mother's questions?
She called: Mom, you're in your forties, have a ton of co-workers, and a writing career on the side. What do you mean, old and lonely?
That's what it feels like without you in the house.
yes i will call them to let them know it went through and that i have a job now.
i dont know about hours yet but i told him i can work thursday though sunday and i get minimum wage plus tips and he says that if i do good he can get me to be the bartender within a month even by valentines day maybe so im gonna do my best.
me and alyssa start training on sunday we do get paid for training but like barely anything but we do get to keep our tips if we make any during training.
orientation we just watched a movie on how ruby tuesdays got started and we just filled out our paper work.
i didnt order any more books yet but by tonight i will have had all my classes so i will order the last books together tonight

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Parents, be involved in your children's success!

Alex just finished bartending school, a 2 week (40 hour course). She graduated with a 96 in the written part, which made her best in class, and a week later, she was the only one who passed the practical part, the "pour test." They had to memorize 210 drinks and pour 21 drinks in 20 minutes, using the correct glasses, alcohols, and amount.
Here is where the parents come in. I am tired of hearing she's 19 now, she's an adult, she has to be able to do everything by herself. Baloney. I believe in growing up gradually. Do they still need support to do good in school, make wise money decisions, be told to brush their teeth while we still pay dental insurance and bills? Absolutely. So what did we do to help her succeed in getting her bartending certificate?
The first night she came home, she said she needs index cards to help her study better. We went to Pathmark together the same night, so she could start preparing the next morning. When she didn't feel well, I drove her to class for two nights, waiting in a library and the car for four hours until she was done with class. Her father tested her on the drinks she learned and gave her tips on how to deal with drunks at a bar. The two nights before her practical test, I quizzed her with 210 index cards until she knew every drink by heart. Then I told her to visualize how she reaches for the correct glass, the right bottles, where they are behind the bar (every bottle is in the same place at any bar), pour the right amount. The way you visualize it, that's the way you'll pour.
She was very nervous when she left to take the test. We prayed together, then I imagined getting a text from her that she passed. That is exactly how it turned out. She said she was shaking when she was done, that's how much it took out of her.
When she told me the others didn't make it, I asked why she thinks they didn't. She told me, one guy said he can't study at home, because of his home life. He didn't even make index cards. Alex gave him hers. The other two ladies didn't take it seriously and didn't practice, just thought they would wing it. One gave up after the first drink, the other ran out of time.
Here's to you, parents: Your kids might be adults now, but let them ease into it. They still need your help, support and guidance. They will be adults forever, but they just finished being kids. There's no rush; our job is never over.
My sister in Germany congratulated Alex over Skype, then told her about a drink that's the hit in Germany for 2011, 2012. They go skiing in the Alps a lot and this is the drink everybody orders for apres ski:
Aperitivo Italiano or Aperol Spritz:
Place two ice cubes into a wineglass, add a slice of orange w/o rind, pour 3 parts Prosecco or white wine and 2 parts (or less) Aperol, and 1 spritz of Sprite. It is a very refreshing, orange-colored drink.
Prosit, cheers!