Afterhours at the 1230 – 8/29/07

I heard it on a ski lift…. – 1/8/2007

I have recently returned from a WONDERFUL, albeit minimally snowy vacation to Tennessee. Our group contained myself, an African American, my daughter, half AA, half German, my boyfriend, Cuban, our former roommate, half Cuban, half Mexican, and his girlfriend, Honduran. Why do I go through the ethnicities? Read on.

Please, put aside your preconcieved notions that all of our southern states are places only for WASPs, for that is not true. Even a small town like Gatlinburg, a resort town, found its fair share of culturally diverse crowds. We ran into many people who spoke Spanish, French, German, and even Russian (we think). There were even quite a few black folks out trying out this snowboarding sensation. (Keep at it! Don’t leave me out there alone!)

All this and more I tell you only to relive the funniest thing I heard all week. It’s funny in a sad sort of way, but I laughed as did all in my group when I relayed the story, which in turn, allows you to laugh too.

Skiing/snowboarding is quite the social sport. Either that, or I must have a sign on that only other people can see that says “I want you, a compete stranger, to tell me everything about yourself and ask you everything there is to know about me.” Long sign, I know, but I must be wearing it. At any rate, I’ve been off riding by myself for a while as my daughter is in a lesson and my poor baby is home sick on the first day of our trip. I’ve made fast friends with 2 girls from TN that just love me for some reason (am I Token?), as well as several other kids. I guess it could be that I look younger than I am and act nowhere near my age, but I digress.

On one particular lift ride, I had the opportunity to ride up with a southern gentleman and his son. I can say southern with absolute certainty because not only did the accent give it away, but he flat out told me that he was from TN. The conversation started as most do on a lift ride. Hellos, weather, first time, etc. Something like this:

Him: How y’all doing today?

Me: (Wondering if I’ve multiplied) Fine thanks, you?

Him: We’re doing great! Great day of skiing.

Mind you, his son says nothing this entire ride.

Me: Good to hear.

Him: So where ya from?

Me: (Because I’ve told this story many times today, and many times at Club Med) Pittsburgh originally, but now I live in Miami.

Him: Oh yeah? What do you do down there?

Me: I’m an Administrative Assistant.

Him: Oh? Where at?

I think that’s one too many personal questions at this point, but….

Me: A property management company.

Him: You been down there long?

Me: (Is this ride over yet?!?!) About 3 years now.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for…..

Him: You gotta learn to speak mexican to live down there, huh?

Me: (Blank stare.) Guffaw!

First off, I didn’t capitalize Mexican to accentuate the way in which it was said. If nothing else, I do know punctuation and capitalization (as I hit spell check). Secondly, the brunt of the Hispanic population in Miami proper is Cuban although we do boast a large Mexican population. Third, my newly made redneck friend, if you’re going to be stereotypical, at least get it right, because learning to speak SPANISH goes a long way here.

He didn’t say much after I giggled in his face and thankfully, the ride was over shortly thereafter. By the way, southern gentleman, where did you get that gaiter? It’s such a lovely shade. Oh, wait, that’s your neck.

Sliding into home (part 2) – 12/5/2006

While the cat’s away….

From my name, I’m sure that you can deduce that I live in the city of Miami. Like many other cities across the country, many, many homes are currently in foreclosure. It just so happens that the house next door to us is one of these homes.

Currently, the grass is growing up pretty high. It’s somewhat of a haven for mosquitoes. Granted, we have a 6 foot privacy fence, but those don’t deter critters. We haven’t made much of a stink about the maintenance of the house because, well, for the most part, we can’t see it. But, and there’s always a but, something happened to change our point of view.

Let’s rewind the clock about a week. Lovey* and I had just returned from vacation. Road weary from our 45 minute trip (yes, that’s sarcasm), we entered our abode with plans of putting things away and then resting. First stop, the kitchen to put away the remaining booze.

As I enter the kitchen, the first thing that I notice is that my package of bread is on the floor. Mind you, this isn’t a big loaf of bread, it’s a small package of round sandwich bread all healthy and stuff. And it’s on the floor. Which is not where I left it.

I picked up my bread and wondered why the heck it was on the floor. Lovey took the bag from me and deposited it in the garbage. On the way to the garbage can, however, he noticed that there were some holes in the bag. A mouse. Grrrr.

Now, let me say this. I run a clean house. Yes, it’s dusty occasionally and there may be a fur tumbleweed because the dog perpetually sheds, but overall, we’re clean and I have never seen a rodent in the house in the 4.5 years that I’ve been living there.

We don’t see our new “house guest” anywhere so we proceed to unpack. Not long goes by before Lovey hears some rustling behind the dryer and it is there we find the culprit. The bread bag chewer. The mouse turd dropper. And it’s a tiny little thing. But still, it is not welcome. So we set a mouse trap for the little bugger.

Turns out that it got in through the dryer vent and chewed through the hose! Determined little bastard. Apparently, someone disturbed its habitat next door so it came to see what else it could find. Well, my dear mouse, a mistake you have made.

Don’t go all PETA on me here. Lovey decided he would try to shoot the mouse with his BB gun. My only thought was ‘man, that thing is gonna EXPLODE!’ Fortunately, he missed and the mouse went back to hide. Woo! No cleaning up mouse guts!

A trip to Home Depot for a new dryer vent proved uneventful and we were fairly certain that the mouse had gone back outside, so the vent was installed, the trap was set, and we basically forgot about it. All of this happened on Saturday.

No sign of mousey on Sunday.

Monday morning, I was up early, getting my workout on downstairs. While I was letting the dog do her thing outside, I went to do my thing inside. I turned on the bathroom light and nearly shit myself as what to my wondering eyes did appear? A little brown mouse trying to get out of the toilet. Awwwww. FLUSH!

(Did you think I was gonna pull that thing out of the toilet?!?!)

One courtesy flush later, I was still a little scared to sit on the toilet. Who wants a wet angry mouse to bite their ass?

I think they can swim. I wonder where it ended up. Wherever it is, it has a great mouse story to tell its friends.