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Monday, 26 January 2015

An Anniversary and Tiring the Kid Out

Sup' guys? Tis Monday again but that's ok. I'm don't hate Mondays... Tuesdays... well don't get me started on Tuesdays. Ugh. The worst. Anyway, sorry for not writing the last few days. I'd like to say that I have been incredibly busy but I haven't been. Which has actually been nice. I have a crazy few weekends ahead: this Saturday one of my oldest and dearest friends is in town so I will be meeting her. I'm heading to Der Fuchs und Die Trauben with her on Saturday. I'm actually also meeting friends there on Wednesday night. Yes, I am hooked. Check out Vienna Wuerstelstand for the review and if you live in Vienna - you need to check it out!

Anyway, Saturday was our 11 year wedding anniversary but the Husband suggested we celebrate on Friday and that was actually a good idea. Saturday night I could not be assed to put on pants, let alone le make up that hides le face. We met Friday afternoon in front of the Loos Bar because it is an awesome special occasion bar. But it was crowded and I refused to go in because crowded bars are not my scene. Well, unless I have a reserved seat, the toilet is near by and the server is fast to replenish mah drinks. High standards, I know.

Because we had less than four hours to get "our drink on", I quickly spied another bar next door. Well, right next door was a strip club (saving that for our 20 year anniversary) but next to that, was a bar called Pfiff and Co. Now, in Austria, a "pfiff" means a small small glass of something alcoholic. I think it was called that because someone looked at a small glass of something alcoholic and went "Pffft. You call that a drink? This is a drink."

So we walked in and immediately I was happy because it was the typical, regulars only, Austrians get loaded type of bar. Right up my alley. There were fasching decorations everywhere in this tiny place and the TV was on which was showing skiing and usually I want to stab myself in the eyeballs when skiing season is on but there is something exciting about watching it with a group of half ripped Austrians. The Husband looked around and noted that it was nice to be in a bar with older people and I looked around and destroyed him forever when I told him "Um, sweetie... I think they are all about the same age as us."

We ordered drinks, watched men in spandex throw themselves down a cliff and toasted to our anniversary. At 6 we made our way to Cantinetta La Norma (one of my favourite Italian places in the 1st). The food isn't out of this world but it is decent enough and the atmosphere is incredible - cozy in that arched 17th century way. Love it. We ate dinner, drank wine and exchanged cards. The Husband got me a beautiful Jacques Lemans necklace and I got him a tuxedo which is still en route. At 7:40 we paid the bill and headed back home. It was a perfect anniversary for two very tired people.

Saturday morning was spent psyching the Kid up for a visit to Zoom Kindermuseum thanks to a friend who organized tickets. I will be writing an article about that so stay tuned. The afternoon was spent at home doing very very little. The Kid spent most of the afternoon being yelled at. Bless.

Over the night it snowed and that was a bit of a shock. Did not expect to wake up in Siberia, thank you very much. But it melted quickly and the Kid turned manic due to being cooped up inside so we braved the slushy grossness to burn off some of his angst. He rode his no-pedal bike and the Husband and I took turns chasing after him as he reached street crossings. His hood was not the best leash. The bugger also likes to lift his feet when he hits a slope - all the while yelling "WEEEEEEEEEEE!". Of course when we had to head back, he started whinging because, you know, uphill. We had hoped that he had worked out most of his kvetching by the time we got home but less than an hour later, he was ready to head out again. He played us like the little maniacal boy genius that he is.


(Sidenote: I used it Lauren! Look! I used it!) (Additional sidenote: How did I never realize that Captain Von Trapp was so incredibly attractive? Perhaps because the last time I saw the film, I was 8 but still. Give me a minute.)
How you doin?
Moving on. The Husband went out with the Kid for another hour and I did my nails because... well, I'm selfish. We then ordered Chinese food, finished up the laundry and then got the Kid ready for bed. I was convinced he would pass out in 5 seconds flat but it took him close to 30 minutes to succumb to the exhaustion. When I finally left, I turned to the Husband and asked "WHERE DOES HE GOT ALL OF HIS ENERGY FROM?!?!" to which I got the side eye. Oh, yeah, I guess it is genetic.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Another Letter to Hearst Publications


Hi everybody! As I mentioned before, I received a response last Friday from Hearst Publications regarding my second complaint that I had not received my January issue. I wasn't pleased with the response. Here it is.

Thank you for your email.
I am very sorry to hear of your frustration on this matter, I can assure you that all magazines are sent out in a timely manner to reach you as soon as possible.

I hope your magazine arrives shortly, once against please accept my apologies.

Please do not hesitate to contact me for any further assistance.

Kind Regards,
N



I feel like "timely manner" could be replaced with "hell, if I know". I waited a few days so that I could see if my magazine would have been expressed over. It wasn't. So I wrote back this morning and here it is:

Dear N.

Thank you for your e-mail. I guess I shouldn't have used the word "frustrating" because at this point I am more "miffed". It is now January 21st and still no January issue in my post box. I continue to miss out on Good Housekeeping tips for cutting calories, tips to organize my home office, finding good life/work balance and probably so much more. But I wouldn't know because I still don't have the magazine. I received my U.S. Good Housekeeping for January (IN DECEMBER - I don't want you guys to feel bad (comparison is the WORST and I say that as a middle child))  and while I am not that great at geography (N., literally I spent an afternoon watching skiing, confusing Borneo with Bormeo and silently wondered why a tropical island had chalets and snow) but I do think that the United States is just a touch further away from Austria than the U.K. and so it "miffs" me that I continue to sit empty handed. You know who was on the cover of the U.S. Good Housekeeping? Jillian Michaels, that's who. She's great. I follow her on Twitter. I have a couple of her DVD's that I should really start again. But I'm lacking that motivation because I'm lacking your fine fine magazine. Who was on the cover of the January U.K. issue? Oh nevermind, I guess I will find out in a timely manner.

Now, N., I know that L. (say hi for me if she is around!) assured me that a new copy would arrive in 28 days and you assured me that "all magazines are sent out in a timely manner" and now I am a little confused. Not Borneo/Bormeo confused, buy still confused. I know that it isn't your fault that my magazine didn't arrive. You don't control the mail... but I thought that maybe, just maybe, I would get something to make me feel a little bit better about missing valuable days where I would be learning to use non-fat Greek yoghurt versus regular, or how to make my marriage stronger, or even how to navigate a MAN'S WORLD in business but alas... I just got an e-mail. No keychain... no oven mitt...no t-shirt.Hey! A t-shirt would be great. If I weren't overweight and looked good while running, I would totally sign up for a 5K just for the t-shirt but seeing as that isn't going to happen, I was thinking maybe I could get a t-shirt. And you know what would be awesome? If you could write with a sharpie something like "You Number 1, Tova!" and I would wear the crap out of that. 

Oh no. I've made myself too excited. So I'll let you get on with your day. How's the weather over there? Here it is grey. But that's o.k. I'll get through it thinking about my awesome new t-shirt I should be receiving in 28 days or in a timely manner.

Kind regards,
Tova 

If I don't get a t-shirt, I am going to be totally bummed.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Dis and Dat

I feel like January is flying by and I have spent a lot of it sick. I was having a long pity party for myself until Saturday morning. Thursday I felt fine to be back at work but I probably shouldn't have gone out that evening. I went to a friend's restaurant to review it (hopefully the review will be up soon, and I can't wait to talk all about it non-stop!) and there was no way I was going to miss that. In my books, a promise made is a promise kept. I had an absolutely incredible time and my one regret is the many many glasses of wine I decided that I JUST HAD TO HAVE. I had not been drinking since New Year's Eve so my long worked on tolerance is gone. All those years of training! WASTED (literally)! So the wine definitely took hold and when I got home, I assumed that I would get at least 6 hours of sleep. I thought wrong.

The Kid woke up at 3 in the morning in our bed and commenced with his "whispering". He does this every time he is in bed. It's this unintelligible whispering that makes me want to call a priest. And at 3 in the morning. it drives.me.batty.

Both the Husband and I left our bed (he headed to the Kid's sofa) and I headed to the living room sofa and then the Kid was pissed that we left him so he followed me. Then I made him lie on the other sofa and he started his whispering again and to stop myself from screaming, I turned on the Interwebs and got lost in a message board. I don't actually ever write on message boards. No, I just get myself a cup of tea, wrap myself in a blanket, and prepare to eye roll or internally yell at all the stupidity. I'm not super judgmental but message boards have a way of making me Ms. Judgy McJudgy Pants of the McJudge Clan.

I ended up with only 3 hours of sleep and Friday truly was a struggle. Friday night I went to bed at 8 and slept on and off until 7 and I woke up feeling absolutely re-born. I finally had my spring back in my step and all was right in the world. I have felt, for almost a month, insane fatigue and now I think I am slowly getting my groove back. I ended up stopping my groove slightly Saturday night when I went to a friend's house for dinner. Again with the wine, Tova! Moderation! So I have now made a vow to really watch my intake when I am around others. I guess I just get really excited to be surrounded by people that I turn into a frat boy. No mo, no mo.

I'm still waiting for my kerblasted Good Housekeeping January issue. I got a half assed apology after my, in my opinion, awesome response. I'm not happy. Gloves are off. Round two is on its way. Stay tuned. Tonight I am heading to a Vietnamese restaurant with some friends. I can't have more than one drink because I need to make it through the whoooole week and not find myself in fetal position due to exhaustion which then leads to me melting cheese on stuff and I am going to a ball in less than 3 weeks and I still have no idea what I am going to wear!! And how I am going to drop 15 pounds by then. And I have to plan the Kid's birthday party which is on the 15th and I have another couple of things to write and make I have to make an appointment for a pedi and a facial and AND OH MY GOD WHY HAVE I WASTED SO MUCH OF JANUARY!?!?!



Thursday, 15 January 2015

My January Issue of UK Good Housekeeping is Late

So, my January issue of UK Good Housekeeping is late and I'm a little ticked. I ordered the subscription back in September (to be told it would start in January) and I was super excited to get it by the end of December. By January 5th, I realized that it wasn't coming and I got the sads. So I wrote Hearst Magazines customer service and I asked "Yo, yo, yo! Where my mag at ?" but nicely and with proper English. They wrote back 3 days later and informed me that they would resend the January issue... and that it would take up to 28 days to arrive. I've finally written them back. I don't like to give people a hard time because I know that working in customer service is not always a joy because people can be assholes. I always write a company if I have found the service has gone above and beyond my expectations.

A couple of summers ago the Husband, the Kid and I flew to Greece and we were so impressed by the flight attendants on Air Berlin and the fact that they didn't put the Kid on the no fly list that I wrote an e-mail thanking them for the amazing service. They then wrote back and apologized and said they would do everything they could to do better in the future. I then wrote back and said "No, you guys were great. This is not a complaint. This is a compliment." to which they responded with another apology and then I wrote basically saying "TAKE THE DAMN COMPLIMENT!" and now I am scared to fly Air Berlin because I have probably been branded as "Bitch customer" because someone in their customer service department can't read.

So anyway, here is my response to Hearst Magazines that I wrote today:

Dear ....,

The situation is a little frustrating considering I ordered this subscription back in September. I am a Canadian living in Vienna and sometimes a girl just needs an English language magazine to read so that she doesn't feel like she is stuck in some war film. Seriously, Vienna is great but sometimes.... Did you know that shops are not open on Sundays? And that we just got Dunkin Donuts a few months ago. Don't get me started on the fact that I have to practically offer my first born to get a pack of aspirin from a pharmacist.

I know this is not your fault but I hope that in the future the other issues are not delayed. Reading a January issue in February makes me feel sad - that I missed out on articles that most likely featured new year's resolutions and weight loss tips and now I fear that I will spend the rest of 2015 fat. I probably also missed out on tips for discovering the new me and how to organize my life. So not only will I be corpulent, my apartment will be a sty and I will be unable to find anything and I will eventually curl up into a ball, drinking wine and telling my husband and son to leave "chubby not new me Mommy alone." That can't be a good thing.

I don't want to burden you with the what ifs but I also have to wonder about your choice of courier. How does it take 28 days for a magazine to come to Austria from England. Is the magazine taking a little trip to the Lake District, with a weekend in Nice and then perhaps a quick jaunt to the Alps. Or is the magazine trying out its new Fitbit it got for Christmas and therefore walking itself over here. I have to wonder...

But again, I know that none of this is your fault, [...] but there can be such ramifications to a 30 something year old woman missing out on the first subscription of the year. This could be a butterfly effect/chaos theory that could have been prevented if my original contract had been honored. Oh the implications!

I hope my January issue has a fabulous time at Apres-ski and I can only hope that when he finally arrives, that he at least has the good sense not to smell like fondue and sex.

Kind regards,
Tova 



Let's see what happens. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Being in Central Vienna in 48 Hours For Parents Without Their Child - Part I

Y'all like the new look of the blog? Decided I needed a change. Also going a little mad as I reach my 6th day at home but rejoice, tomorrow I am back at work and I will be able to wear heels and a bra again and make up, lots and lots of make up. Huzzah! Oh yeah! It's my last day to completely recover and while I am still tired and a little snotty, I am so ready to return to the land of the living.

I have been meaning to post about our mini break from the end of December for a few weeks. If we are friends on Facebook, or rather, if you haven't blocked my obnoxious status updates (I am like the Leann Rimes of Twitter with all my HAPPPEEEEE posts (but positivity begets positivity so shut it)) you would have seen all the "check ins" we did within 48 hours. We were like two Amish teens on Rumspringen.

Sunday, end of December: Around 11, the Husband dropped the Kid off at the In laws and like any mom who has the place to herself, I cleaned the floors like a woman possessed.

The Husband came back home and we headed to Hotel Astoria. We chose this hotel because of its location. We wanted something near the Casino and we got something right across the street from the Casino. We've walked by the Astoria many many times and it was a thrill to finally be able to stay there. We showed up around 1 and were immediately given a room and the doorman was absolutely charming which made me whisper to the Husband "You got a tip? We gotta give him a tip. Crap. He's taking our suitcase. You got money? We gotta give him a tip!" Our room was small but nice and I did what I always do when entering a hotel room; I turned on the TV and rattled off all the channels available.

We popped open the champagne, had a glass and then decided to get a drink at the Loos Bar. Now the Loos Bar is one of my favourite bars in Vienna when I remember that it is one of my favourite bars in Vienna. It is absolutely tiny, kind or expensive, but there is an old world charm to it that gets me right in my snob heart. We had a beer and toasted to the next 48 hours.

Realizing that we had to take full advantage of our free time, we headed to Danieli's just around the corner. The Husband took me here for an anniversary a couple of years ago and although it doesn't compare to Da Capo, I do really like this restaurant. The back part is especially charming due to the glass ceiling and what really made it even more amazing that day was when we both spied the couple in the back. The gentleman was in his late 50's and the lady was in her mid 20's and the Husband and I looked at each other in glee. Enjoyable late lunch twas going to be!

Unfortunately I couldn't hear much of the conversation but I am 98 per cent sure they were not discussing economic reform. I even think I heard her say "panty". IT WAS AMAZING! After our late lunch and eavesdropping, we headed back to the hotel to chill out and watch TV. But that was not the end of our first day. Oh no, we had some gambling to do.

Around 6:30 we headed to the Casino on Kaertner strasse. If you haven't been, here is something you should know and which I wish I had known about 8 years ago when we went for my birthday. There are two parts to the casino. The ground floor is the casual section. Upstairs is the fancy section. Nothing quite like sitting in a cocktail dress surrounded by shouty Chinese tourists  on your birthday. We did not know there was an upstairs section. We now know that there is an upstairs section. We went upstairs and had a drink and hit the roulette table. Let me just add here that the Husband and I have both come to the agreement that if Robert Redford offered us a million dollars to sleep with me, this would cause absolutely no moral dilemma if I said yes. After about 45 minutes, we lost what we had planned to lose and sadly realized we would not be rolling around on a bed covered in money. Sigh.

We had another drink and then decided to grab a late dinner (8 is late for us!) at 1516 (one of our old hangouts pre child) and I ordered the chicken fontina sandwich that is amazing and now I want one but I've already had dinner and now I'm sad.

We decided to call it a night and giddily glided back into our hotel feeling mightily tipsy and on the verge of gout.

I'll have to stop for now. There will be a part II in a day or two. I'm heading back to work tomorrow and I better get my stuff together. I think that the Husband might be a little more excited than me for me to be heading back to work; for 6 days he's been faced with a white fuzzy robe wearing poor man's fat Rachel Zoe and my whinging is probably getting to him. Bananas. I die. See you all later!


Monday, 12 January 2015

Sick of Being Sick and the Give Away Winner

Oh you guys. I am like the worst sick person in the world. I am a whiny, obnoxious brat. I kvetch, I moan and I go through every emotion in my playbook of, well, emotions. I should have known that I was coming down with something because I had some pretty obvious clues. The first was when I started my juice cleanse and then I got a cold and then the cold just kind of stayed stagnant. And then there was the clue when I was unable to get out of bed before 6 a.m. for a few days in a row. And then there was Thursday morning at home when I turned into a motherloving lunatic. I literally went from my normal scrappy morning person to "this person should be instutionalized, stat". Oh there were tears and there were threats and I should have put myself in time out.

But was that enough evidence that I was on the verge of being very sick? Nope! It wasn't until Thursday evening when I started getting major upper back pain and shortness of breath that I realized that something was a-brewing. I could barely drag myself from bed on Friday morning and since then, I have been a whiny, obnoxious brat. The weekend was spent at home with the Husband helping out as much as possible and him yelling at me to lie down. I kept getting spurts of energy and then searing pain in my faceicle would happen and then I would lie down and whimper "I'm siiiiiick" and then repeat the whole spiel again and again.

If I didn't weigh more than the Husband, he would have probably tied me to the bed on Saturday. By Sunday I still wasn't feeling any better and that's when I started thinking that I probably had the cancer or something and I hate WebMD. I wrote my doctor and he responded with an appointment for Monday morning and thank you private health insurance. I hate going to the doctor but after several days of complete exhaustion and face pain, it was time.

My appointment was at 10:30 and I got there at 10:10 because I am always early. I sat in the waiting room and stressed about being at the doctor's office. Then that Meatloaf "I would do anything for love" song came on and I started to cry because of course I did. Luckily a Backstreet Boys song came on after or else I would have been reduced to a blubbery mess in front of the doctor. I do really like my doctor. He's Spanish and eccentric and I feel like I am in some odd British comedy a la Allo Allo everytime I go there.

Him: So ee sounds like you have sinus problem? Your mucus, look a like pus?
Me: Um. Gosh. No. I don't think so?
Him: See, if mucus look like pus you hava the bacterial infection. Sno good? Right?
Me: No, sno good.
Him: I give you the cortisone. Lotta people no like the cortisone.
Me: (hand raised in the air) Oh no sir, I have NO problem with the cortisone. Give me the cortisone.
Him: Is not a lot of cortisone. Jus a leetle cortisone.
Me: I'll take any cortisone. GIVE ME THE CORTISONE!

He's a great doctor and I very much appreciated the illustration of sinuses in pink highlighter and it once again made me very sure of my choice of having never ever considered medicine as a major because, ew, gross. And also due to the fact that I don't have the smarts for medical school.

After the appointment, I headed to the pharmacy and tried to look not shady as I passed the prescription over. She went to the back and then came back empty handed and I was about to lose my mind. Then she said something about how it didn't mention it should be subsidized or whatever and that I would have to pay the whole price and I think I responded with "I DON'T CARE! GIVE IT TO ME!" and I threw money at her and headed home.

Since we have the new temporary nanny, we are lucky because her hours are a little more flexible. She is able to pick the Kid up from daycare at noon so this makes our lives just a little bit easier. I met her just before noon and showed her the ropes and then the plan was that we go back to the apartment and then I would pretend to leave and then hide in the bedroom so that I could watch re-runs of Real Housewives of New York (the Bethenny/Jill bff episodes because those were awesome times). I got about 30 minutes of alone time and then the Kid figured out something was up and came in. And that was the end of solitude. He kept trying to come in and the Nanny kept trying to take him out of the room and then I finally decided that it would be better if I just found a cafe to sit and drink tea in because having a 40 pound toddler jump on me was not conducive to healing. I wrapped myself in layers and packed my Kindle and walked to a cafe.

I sat in misery for 2 hours but at least it was quiet and I could read Jackie Collins in peace. I headed back home, thanked the Nanny and then played "Let Mommy lie on the sofa for a while" with the Kid. And so now the Husband is home, we had dinner and the Kid is finally asleep. I will be heading to bed soon because I am exhausted from everything and I can't wait to spend the morning in bed while the Kid is at daycare. Have also placed one sofa in front of one set of doors that lead to the bedroom because I am barricading myself in the bedroom tomorrow afternoon. There will be toddler in my bedroom to interrupt Kelly Bensimon's "I'm up here and you're down here" speech.

See, I told you that I am an obnoxious, self pitying sick person. So enough about that. On to something fun. Here is the result of the Operation Tubetop give away!!


I had the Kid reach into the cup and that took about 15 minutes of me running after him yelling "Just stick your hand into the damn cup!!!"

He finally stuck his monkey paw in and a piece stuck.
The winner is: Leslie! (Terrible picture, sorry!)

Congratulations! Drop me a PM with your address and I will mail it on Thursday/Friday when I am back at work!

Thank you to everybody who participated. There will be another give away next month! Stay tuned!


Thursday, 8 January 2015

Sleep Training and the Juice Cleanse

So I live tweeted the sleep training last night. You can see the summary here on Storify . The rest of the night went like this:

10:30 Back in his bed, falls asleep within 5 minutes
1:30 In the living room. Yet doesn't attempt to open bedroom door. Hear him squawk and when I go into the living room, find him asleep all Andy Capp like on the sofa. Cover him with a blanket and head back to bed, praying I get a few more hours of sleep.
4:00 Crawls into our bed and sleeps until 7

How do I feel about the whole night? Pretty damn pleased.

Tonight will be the same with the sleep training. I want him to be able to fall asleep on his own so that date nights are a possibility again. And I want to stop his internal clock from making him rise at 10:30 at night to head to our bed. Every.single.night.

Last night was absolutely heart breaking but I stayed calm, I only said a few words (One day, son. One day) each time I brought him back to bed and I felt much more in control than the last time we attempted this. I think Tweeting also kept me sane knowing that there were people out there, following along. So thank you for that! I didn't end up popping open a bottle of Merlot screaming "FUCK IT!".

Need to stay strong again tonight. This isn't a race but it is a marathon. I'm so tired.

In other news, I am still sticking to juice during the day. Today I had some lo-cal soup but otherwise, I've been good. I do feel a lot better and my stomach isn't acting up. The juice definitely fills me up and when it is time for dinner, I find that I can't eat as much... well, girl can still eat. Just not as much. Giving up the alcohol has been surprisingly easy so I can now cross off  "Being an unaware alcoholic" from my list of phobias. Would also eventually like to cross "Fear of getting massage when therapist leaves suddenly and is replaced by Bond villain that expects me to die" off my phobia list as well. This one is still strong as I was tested last week on my spa afternoon.

I didn't weigh myself this morning because I got that thing that ladies get and I feel like a watermelon walking on a pair of toothpicks. But hopefully this Sunday I can see more of a shift of the scale. I'm not sure what I will do after these 10 days. I do definitely enjoy having the juice and it really ensures that I don't get scurvy but it is time consuming and not cheap. I might alternate juice days with smoothie days. Hey! That's a good idea! Thank you, Tova. No worries. Anytime.

OK. I should go have some coffee. See you on Twitter tonight if you are around!