Category Archives: shopping

The Blizzard and the Bread Shelves


photo credit: brownpau flickr

Sitting in my warm house (so far), we are hunkering down for what the media has whipped us all in a frenzy about: Winter Storm Juno.

Preying on the PTSD of a still Sandy-shocked population, they have had a field day with this one, and the supermarkets were evidence of that. I will share two observations and then I am off to start some serious drinking.

First, the empty bread shelves in the supermarket. I live in an area where more people are living a gluten-free, carb-free life than I care to think about. Why then, are the bread shelves in the supermarket close to empty. I predict there is going to be a lot of closet gluten-rich activity going on out there through this storm, no? Oy, the inflammation!

Second, is the insane desire to make sure one has eggs, bread and milk in the house at all times. What is this? Is there a direct correlation between a pending storm and the need to eat french toast?

As my dear friend Joanne pointed out just around the time that she talked me off the ledge about my Snow Warrior husband having left too late and being caught on the road forever, this is a misguided list. There are, in fact, 3 things that one must have in a storm, but they are not eggs, bread and milk… they are wine, toilet paper and coffee.


Stay safe everyone, and I will see you on the other side. Hopefully with power.




Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, humor, New York, New York City, shopping

A good sign that the cashier is stoned


Coming out of the supermarket the other day I started loading the bags into my car (don’t judge me for not carrying reusable bags, I am lame), when I came across this bag with the eggs and…

canned goods.

Please tell me in what universe this made sense to a cashier?

I am very proud to say that I was a supermarket cashier in high school and I took great pride in bagging like items so that unpacking the groceries would be easier. Yes, even as a teenager I was an OCD Virgo.

Since having this job I understood the importance of putting like items on the belt together so that the bagging task would be easier. A little pay it forward for the poor cashiers who work their butts off on their feet all day.

Except for this guy, who was obviously getting high on his break .

What do you think the people in the parking lot were thinking when they saw me taking a picture of my groceries?

Don’t answer that.


Filed under absurdities, carry a camera, shopping


That would not be fashion nazi. I am a fashioNOTsa.

Or why I suck at shopping.

I know, I am a Jewish girl from Long Island and therefore it is expected that I love to shop. But I don’t. I hate it AND I suck at it. Perhaps I should explore my true lineage.

But sometimes you just need stuff. So after a lovely meeting this morning and a surprise lunch with Gary (because I was on the 59th Street bridge and had to pee so badly I had to stop at his office), seeing that I had no deadlines tomorrow, I ventured out into the consumer jungle.

Did I mention I hate this worse than going to the dentist? At least there I can get sweet air. These are the 5 reasons why:

  1. The woman in the next dressing room at Lord & Taylor spent a solid 15 minutes on the phone with one of her son’s teachers and for the life of me I could not imagine how she kept trying on clothes without ever shutting up. All I can surmise was that her son is screwed from her micromanagement and someone should tell her that talking on the phone and trying on clothing does not constitute multi-tasking.
  2. I need to see the dermatologist as soon as humanly possible because the lighting in every dressing room made me see that I must have no less than 5 horrible derm conditions. Fluorescent lighting and dressing rooms: who is responsible?
  3. There are no circumstances in which a 3 way mirror is OK.
  4. Clothes on. Clothes off. Repeat. How can this be fun? Well, I know how but this is the wrong context.
  5. I always have to pee and the bathrooms are always in a different zip code than the women’s clothing. Why is that?

The only funny part of today was the cashier at Century 21. She had a very heavy accent and as she checked me out this was our conversation:

She: Your zin cone?

Me: (no idea what that means) Um, no thanks (afraid to agree to anything in fear it might be hard to undo).

She: No, no, no… your zin cone?!

Me: Sorry, not getting what that is.

She: Zin cone. Zin cone. Zin cone! (as if saying it 3 times will make me understand)

Me: (starting to get the giggles and wishing I had a witness) I am so sorry but I have NO idea what you are saying. Maybe you want to write it down.

She: Zin cone. You know… town. 1-1-something-something-something (she loves to repeat herself).


At this point I simply looked around for the camera and then split.


Filed under absurdities, body image, shopping

The Eggnog Woman

Dairy Barn. I am pretty sure they are only in the Northeast. They may only be on Long Island, actually. But they are by far the best retail invention of my lifetime. Ok, maybe the Apple Store is better, but in a much different way.

You see, ever since I was a kid, the Dairy Barn was the stop on your way home, go out in your pajamas and slippers, get stuff way into the night, how could I live without this place store. They never updated their look and for that reason the sight of them still carries that comfort of being the little kid in the back seat hoping for Entenmann’s chocolate donuts when mom picked up that last minute gallon of milk. When we learned to drive, my brother and I loved to be able to drive through the Dairy Barn and be the one to say.”out of $5.00″ when they told us the purchase was $4.55. And when my kids were little, I would buy whatever they had at Dairy Barn before I would take a sleeping kid out of the back of the car to go to the supermarket.

All in all, until today, the Dairy Barn has been a constant in my life that I have failed to pay homage to. Seriously, I friggin’ LOVE this place.

Yesterday morning, in my pajamas and slippers thank you very much, I ran out to get some whole milk for a recipe. (I know, cute domestic peek of me that I don’t usually reveal). And there behind the kitschy sliding glass doors of the place was none other than…

The Eggnog Woman.

Who, you might ask, is The Eggnog Woman (note initial caps). She is a rather large individual of questionable sexual designation. There were times when the kids were little when we were convinced she was actually a guy. And she seems to only be semi-seasonal. I NEVER see her in the summer, but she does seem to hang around till the spring sometimes. AND, we sometimes see her at Dairy Barns in other zip codes (Gary thinks she is a floater from Dairy Barn corporate).

So the thing about her is, she seems to take the egg nog and its availability only during the holidays, very seriously. To the point that my neighbor Janet became obsessed with asking for it when it was out of season.

Just for the laugh.

And it sort of caught on when the kids were little. So yesterday, I just had to call Janet to tell that The Eggnog Woman was back and wish her a Merry Christmas. She was so excited that she was going to jump in the car just to see her.

There was something so nostalgic about connecting with an old friend over a silly thing that entertained us. I certainly would not have thought to call her for the holiday had that not happened. If you are thinking this was all at the expense of The Eggnog Woman, please don’t. She is truly an icon.

Happy and Merry to all.


Filed under holidays, places of interest, shopping

Tie-Dyed Einstein

Only in Woodstock! I love the way Albert had this sheepish look as if I had just caught him shopping for tie-dye, his apparent guilty pleasure.

We took a trip to Woodstock 2 weeks ago to see the Midnight Ramble, which I still need to write about. But in the mean time I have a series of amazing blogworthy shots that I have to share. I will do another post on just signage and probably one more on oddities. Yeh, I am back, alright.

This picture was taken in what Gary called ‘that other little hippie store’.

We split up for a little while and this is how the conversation went:

Me: Where are you now?

Gary: In that other little hippie store.

Me: Um, we are in Woodstock, you are going to have to be a little more specific.

A few minutes later I called Dr. Jimmy to again find out where they were. Here is how that went:

Me: Where are you now?

Dr. Jimmy: In front of the headshop

Me: Again, you are going to need to be a little more specific.

Woodstock was fun but a little too much like a hippie museum. Sort of like the 60s version of Disney. But it was fun. And hey, where else can you go from store to store and hear all Dylan all the time?

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Filed under carry a camera, photography, places of interest, rock 'n roll, shopping

Dangerous Do Not Eat

Today I went shopping. I hate shopping. No seriously, I loathe the act of shopping. I am simply missing the gene that makes this activity fun. It is not that I don’t like to have new things, I just really don’t like looking for them. Trying them on… I like that even less.

Let’s face it, the 3-way mirror is simply not our friend. It is bad enough to see the parts of you that are in full view, but to check yourself out under florescent lights from every angle… yikes.

As I was browsing through the racks, I came across this item. Stapled to the inside of a garment was one of those little packs of Silicagel with the words ‘DANGEROUS DO NOT EAT’ printed on it.

Funny, but of all the things I have thought to do with that silly little pack of silicagel, tearing it open and pouring it into my mouth just wasn’t one of them.

Anyone? Have any of you found yourself craving a little snack while shopping and going for one of these little packets?

Hey, I hear it tastes just like chicken.


Filed under absurdities, body image, carry a camera, shopping

Jeans, a Hurricane and Wet Feet

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I know what you are thinking, “She has finally snapped. The pressure of her son’s graduation has snipped the remaining thread she was hanging by”.


Long and short of it, Danny’s brand of jeans are nowhere to be found sending us on an exasperating quest. Some bizarre storm blew through a sliver of Long Island leaving in its wake the worst damn gridlock I have ever seen and the AC in the kids’ car is spewing ice cold water on our feet every time we make a turn.

Honestly, none of this matters. But it does give you a little glimpse into the type of day that Danny and I had – the last day together before graduation.

And there it is folks: The Last Day. Staring me down with its beady little eyes. Making me threaten to curl up in a ball and hide under the headless mannequins in the mall while searching for the perfect pair of boy jeans and finally letting it all out with either a primal scream or uncontrollable sobbing. (both of which are not all that desirable to witness your mom doing when you are a 17-year-old boy who is also at the end of his rope).

So we found jeans and the car will wait in line to get fixed. And I, being one who with a strong distaste for drama, did not lose it at the mall. It was tempting, but I used restraint.

Then I walked in the house and there it was…

The graduation gown hanging on the back of the door.

And the tape loop of a little boy turned man furiously ran through my mind. Legos. Why can I not stop thinking of Legos? And blocks. And Brio trains and bridges on the basement floor at 6AM Sunday mornings when I was dying to sleep. And little blonde bowl haircuts. Apple juice – why is the smell of apple juice so damn nostalgic?  And Axe, why do I tear up at the thought of the whole upstairs smelling like Axe Body Spray? Could I actually be craving the smell of sweaty soccer socks? Have I lost my mind or would I give any amount of money to drive one more carpool or sit on the sidelines of a soccer field in the broiling heat/pouring rain/freezing cold just one more Sunday morning in Center friggin’ Moriches or better yet Ronkonkoma?

This is what mothers do at times like these. We reflect. And we share. And we promise our sons we will keep it together when everyone knows that keeping it together is actually the last thing we are skilled at.

So here’s to the class of 2010.

And their moms (and dads). And to sons thinking that maybe it is ok to let mom lose it once in awhile… because they know that the act of keeping it together may be the one that finally sends her over edge. And that crying at graduation is the mom version of separation anxiety. And perhaps our sons remember that feeling from way back when…

as they watched us drive away.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under college, danny, family, humor, moms, shopping, teenagers

Family Mall Day

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Once a year we have family mall day. Every June, between the end of school and the beginning of camp the four of us spend an eternity a few hours at the local mall. We are not particularly good shoppers, but there is something about an activity that we all do together with some short term goal attached that makes it a nice tradition.

Of course I spent 4 hours and countless dollars and I still have nothing to wear, but that is the way it goes.

A few observations:

1. People are 60% uglier in the mall. I am not sure if we too, become 60% uglier or just the odd looking like to congregate in these places. This also holds true for all theme and water parks.

2. For the most part, the clothing is ugly. I am not sure if that is true either but I know a lot of it is. And the price point does not matter. Sometimes the more expensive stuff is uglier than the cheaper stuff.

3. Mall food is… well, it is mall food. Enough said there.

4. Every store is playing the most annoying song in the universe the second we walk through the doors. (and remember we are a music family, we have very diverse tastes). Oh and there is usually an underlying layer of white noise involved.

5. The yogurt is DEFINITELY NOT low fat.

And now, because of course I had a camera, I will leave you with the highlights of the day. I am only sorry that even though I stalked a woman through the racks at Sterns I was unable to snap a picture of her carrying her little white dog in a baby carrier on the front of her body. Even I was a embarrassed at my behavior. Oh and the baby with the leash on its wrist… a memory of blog posts past.

So, I will start off with a little trend spotting. Seriously, everyone is going Techno Tribal! Um, do with that what you may. I am sort of at a loss on this one.

This poor chick not only lost her hand, she lost her pants. And by the looks of her Brazilian I am guessing she is probably not Techno Tribal; I believe the tribal piece requires hair. I am pretty sure I know where her date is, we ran into him a while back.

Yes, I considered buying a dozen of these T-shirts. But I am not gonna lie, the graphic was just way too disturbing.

And last but not least, sure the ladies like it! But sadly the Mustache has just sort of faded a bit out there. It’s generational, but no worries ‘ladies’, styles are cyclical.and those who still wear them do so proudly.

That’s all I got. Now if you are interested in Family Mall Day next year, we are considering selling tickets. And sponsorships, this day is not cheap!

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under carry a camera, danny, humor, Jana, shopping