Welcome to Snarkfest

Welcome to my snarky corner of the web. Join me as I discuss everything from wine to chocolate. There may be a few other topics mixed in there too. I talk a bunch about my amazing offspring, 19 and 17. I sometimes go on and on about my secret crush on the amazing Mike Rowe. I talk about things that irritate me or things that make me happy. Sometimes I just talk to hear myself talk. Feedback is always appreciated but please make sure it's respectable. No nudity or profanity. I'm the only one allowed to be profane. But any and all snark is welcome and appreciated!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hit By a Mack Truck of a Memory....

Have you ever been hit by a freight train? A Mack truck? It happened to me last weekend.




I went out for a run because I'm training for what originally was supposed to be a half marathon. However, due to lack of proper training and a nagging knee injury, I'm only training for a 10k now. Totally not the point, but let's just say I was out there getting it done.  While I was out schlepping along, I was thinking that this time last year I was winding down my training for the Freedom's Run full marathon. Thoughts began to wander and I ended up thinking about the day after last year's marathon when I got the call that my mom had been found in her apartment after a fall.

That call and the ensuing week that followed left me reeling. I literally packed and hauled ass to New Jersey and spent the week either with my mom at the nursing home, at city hall cutting through bureaucratic bullshit or cleaning out her apartment. I was literally running on adrenaline and had little time to think about anything but making sure my mom was cared for, both at the time and for the future. She could no longer live on her own, so we needed to make sure her Medicaid application was complete and submitted so that she could remain at the nursing home which was providing her with amazing care.

While at her apartment, my brother and I boxed up all non-perishable foods and donated them to the little food bank her apartment building had. We bagged up most of her clothes and donated those to the mission or Goodwill. We got rid of a lot of stuff that didn't have sentimental meaning and kept more that did. And I cleaned out her linen closet.

Flash forward to last weekend. I was finished my run and ready to grab a shower. It had been a really busy week at Casa Snarkfest with little time for house cleaning or laundry, and so we were running low on towels in our linen closet. I reached the top of the closet, way in the back and found a towel that really didn't look familiar. But it was a towel and I was really smelly, so I brought it into the bathroom and started the shower. It was then that the Mack truck blazed through the bathroom and hit me at 80 mph.

I held that towel up to my face and breathed in the smell of my mom's apartment and I began to cry hard, ugly tears. I never liked the smell of that apartment. Technically, it wasn't the apartment, it was her whole floor that had a distinctive smell, a smell I hadn't taken in in a year, but one that brought me right back to her apartment, sitting in her living room with her watching the Phillies lose. Eating pizza with her. Listening to her coughing the awful, heartbreaking cough that COPD brings. And laughing. There was always so much joy and laughter with my mom. She was hilarious and had no filter. God I miss her. And until that moment in my bathroom I didn't realize just how much I missed that apartment and those memories.

I called my girls upstairs and told them to smell the towel and tell me the first thing that came to mind. Both looked at me like I had 6 heads but they did as I asked and both immediately said "MOM-MOM'S APARTMENT".

That towel is now in the hamper, ready to be washed. Part of me can't wait for it to be clean, but there's a little part of me, way down deep inside, that really hopes that smell doesn't get washed away. Maybe some day. But not yet.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Water Ice and Gravy....

Mmmm that sounds tasty, doesn't it? I'm guessing that unless you're from Philly or South Jersey you're looking at this blog post and wondering what the hell that crazy Snarkfest chick is talking about. And that's exactly how some of my closest friends look at me (all the time). 

Last weekend I met up with a good friend in the grocery store while I was buying a frozen dessert. We went back to my house (where her son was hanging out with my 17) and as I was unpacking said frozen dessert I said (in my most hospitable way) "would you guys like some water ice?"

Water ice. Not ice water. Never ice water.
Both mother and son looked at me 'that way' and slowly cocked their heads to the side like confused puppies. Mom said "I'll have some ice with water if that's what you're talking about" to which I replied "ok but do you want some water ice too?"

I had completely baffled them both. You see, I'm from Philly. And in Philly, the term 'water ice' actually means 'Italian ice' (which is stupid and a little racist if you ask me. Why do Italians get the credit for this amazing frozen deliciousness? Anyway I digress).  By water ice, they thought I meant a glass of ice water. What I actually meant was dessert. I ended up serving one ice water and one water ice. Go figure.

Later that weekend I had the same exchange with 19's boyfriend who thought I had completely lost the plot. It was only after I pulled out the Urban Dictionary that he REALLY found my argument invalid.  It was only after I hit up The Google that he relented and admitted that (maybe, possibly) I wasn't crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm from Philly. There's a difference. 

Another bone of contention comes between my husband and me. While he did have my back about water ice (because we lived for a long time in South Jersey and he ate more than his fair share of water ice), he can't wrap his brain around what I call the stuff you put over spaghetti. In Philly we call it 'gravy'.  Apparently everywhere else that sane people live, they call it 'sauce'. Bah. Whatever. To we who eat spaghetti in Philly it's gravy and when I make a pot of spaghetti, I always make a big pot of "spaghetti gravy" and he always mocks me for it. (Make no mistake, he'll eat the hell out of it).

I can't help what I know. I know gravy and that's what I grew up calling it. I know water ice. I know hoagies (not sliders, not grinders and while I did get used to calling them subs because that's the South Jersey term for them, they'll always be hoagies to me). I know Jimmies (not sprinkles, that's just stupid).  I know MAC machines. I mentioned to 17 that I had to go hit MAC the other day and she gave me that very same "I have no idea what you're talking about" look that I get a lot. 

Jimmies. Always Jimmies. Never sprinkles.
I know Mummers. Mummers, so I've learned, aren't the same everywhere. In Philly they are New Year's Day costumed revelers. In other places, they are not. Don't ask me what they ARE in other places because I don't care enough to find out.

Mummers in the Mummers Day Parade (also known as New Year's Day)
I know scrapple. Yeah, I'm well aware what's in scrapple. It's the stuff that is just too disgusting to put in hot dogs, but you can bet your ass I'd beat up a nun for a plate of scrapple. No lie. 

So I know what I know because I was raised to know these things. Just because I call things something different than you do, it doesn't make me wrong. It doesn't make you wrong either. That's the beauty of who we are. We are all different and that's completely fine. It would be pretty boring if we all called everything the same thing. If we did that, life would be mundane and I would not have material to mock others (you know, those sauce eating Italian ice connoisseurs). 

What are some things that are differently named from where you live?

Friday, August 4, 2017

Been A Long Time.....

.....since I wrote a blog. Actually it's been ages since I've had an original thought. I'm sure that's become obvious to you folks, since you keep getting older blog posts showing up in your email if you're subscribed. If you're not, I promise, I'll work on having an original thought or two before the end of this year.

My friend Phil from The Regular Guy NYC actually asked me if I was still blogging, as did my friend Mike from Papa Does Preach. Yeah, in my head I do still blog. It's getting words from my brain to this page that has proven difficult,  but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Things have been kind of crazy in my corner of the world lately. 19 has gone back to WVU for the start of her junior year. JUNIOR. What the hell? One of my most read pieces, Roots and Wings, still resonates with me and with many other parents, and I'll be going through this process not once but twice next year when 17 turns 18 and goes off to college.

God help me.

Anyway, we've had some highs and some lows at Casa Snarkfest over the past year. I'm not going to lie, my mom's death has had a tremendous impact on pretty much everything.  In the 9 months since she died, the blog has pretty much gone by the wayside. I'm hoping to turn that around but I'm going to need help. What do you want to read from me?  You're probably sick of me going on and on about my pretend boyfriend Mike Rowe.  I don't want to cry the blues about both my girls going off to college next year. I could just post pictures of puppies and kittens but that's been done. Recipes? Beauty and fashion? (hold on a sec....

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

Ok I'm back now.

So you tell me, what would you like to see on the blog. I'm taking requests. Suggest some ideas and maybe it will knock something loose in my noggin. Until then, here's a kitten for your viewing pleasure.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

I Cried This Morning...

If you've been following my blog for the past few weeks, you'll remember that I'm nuts. Well, technically not 'nuts' per se, but coming off of an anti-depressant addiction I wasn't aware of has left me with emotions scattered all over the place. Like, seriously.

For example, last night 17 was looking at a video on the Book of the Faces, and when I asked her what it was, she told me it was a deaf woman hearing her husband's voice for the first time.

MUSH. <--------- That's what I turned to upon viewing the video.

This morning I had my tunes playing while I was getting ready for work, and John Denver came on, crooning his beautiful ballad "Country Roads". Shut up, I like John Denver, don't you judge me.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it's because WVU was crushed last night by Kentucky and knocked out of March Madness, or the fact that my baby will be a freshman there this fall, but my eyes welled up with tears and I cried. I told myself through my tears that I was being an idiot. I didn't argue with myself, I know better. I'll lose, every time.



But I cried this morning. I cried because it's a pretty song. I cried because my baby is leaving home in less than 6 months. I cried because my emotions are completely fucked up because of the anti-depressants. Am I depressed? No, I don't think I am. Am I an emotional train wreck? No doubt in my mind that yes, I am. I have tears in my eyes just writing this.

Last week, we went to the state capitol  for our high school's symphonic honor band performance. Both of my girls  are in that band and they overwhelm me with their talents. During their last song of the performance, Angels in the Architecture, I cried like a freaking lunatic. I cried at the beauty of the music, the difficulty of the 15 minute piece, the solos that my trumpet playing senior had. I cried knowing that this is her last year playing in this award winning band, a band that changed who she is and contributed to making her a confident young adult. The difference from who she was 4 years ago to who she's become is startling (in a good way) and I cried at how proud of her I am, proud of both my daughters.

The band director asked if anyone had taken any pictures during that performance. I didn't even try, because I was such a mess that you'd need a Dramamine to view them, they'd be so badly out of focus from my ridiculous crying ass.

When I think about her graduation in just over 2 months, I cry. I can't even begin to imagine what I'm going to be like on that day, but here's a tip: BUY STOCK IN KLEENEX. Trust me, you won't regret it. My baby will be playing alongside her big sister in the symphonic band's final performance of the year, and it will be the last time both my girls will play together in the same band. And yes, I'm crying again as I am writing that sentence. DAMN YOU EFFEXOR!

Make no mistake, I was a crying fool long before the anti-depressants and probably a crying fool while on them. But now that I'm off, Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph, I'm a thousand times more emotional than I've ever been.

I cried this morning. I will cry again soon, of that I have no doubt. It's gotta be normal, right? The emotional wreck that I've become is a side effect of leaving the meds behind, I know that. But I also know that I'm not alone. I received so many comments on my Mamalode piece letting me know that I am in good company, and for that company I am ever grateful. If you are trying to overcome an addiction, whether it's one you knew you had or you had no clue, YOU TOO are NOT ALONE. Come sit by me and we'll cry together. And we'll get through it. Together.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Things I found on The Google...

The Google is weird. Or, more likely, people who search stuff using The Google are downright scary. Every so often I like to type in leading questions to see exactly what The Google will bring up. I start with something innocuous, like "How many times do..." and The Google will fill in with the most common questions that start that way. And let me tell you. People be SICK and shit. Seriously.



And what poor gassy soul felt the need to ask this question? Who knows, but at least he/she is not alone. Apparently it's a popular question on The Google.


This one confused me (shut up, I know it's not hard to do). What will you have? Hmmm how about this:

And for the love of Pete, why can't people learn these things on their own. This was almost a NICE search of The Google, until the hookers showed up:




I know that it's hard out here for a pimp, but when you're a new pimp, it must be extremely difficult to know proper hygiene etiquette, thus the need for this search:


Then when I finished doing all of the Googling for the day, I actually had to get directions to the school where 14 will be playing a volleyball game tonight. This is what I found:

Aside from the fact that the name of the school is spelled wrong, let's focus on the features of the ELEMENTARY school, shall we?? Are we talking a salad bar? A fixins bar? Or a full service gimme a shot of tequila hold the lime cuz I'm no sissy liquid bar???

Thursday, June 15, 2017

9 Things NOT to do at a Concert

Here are 9 rules to follow the next time you go to a rock concert (or country, or rap, whatever shit you listen to on the daily). Trust me on this. I’m almost 48 and have been to about a million concerts and have seen behavior that would make Pope Francis want to throw a punch.



    1.  Don’t get piss-eyed, falling-down drunk. I went to the Eagles Hell Freezes Over tour back in the nineties and there was a woman so drunk she threw up on the people in front of her and had to be carried out in the middle of the second song on the playlist. I don’t know about you but when I spend over $300 on concert tickets, I don’t want to get thrown up on, and I certainly don’t want to get so shit-faced drunk that I have to leave the show.

    2.    Don’t be an asshole to those around you. If you don’t like the opening act, don’t verbally abuse the singer (here’s a hint: you don’t have a mic, they can’t hear you complaining). Know who CAN hear your bitching? The folks sitting in front of you. Maybe they LIKE that opening act. Keep your negativity to yourself.

    3.     Don’t buy the pirate merchandise outside the theater. Don’t be a cheapskate. Pony up the $40 for an authorized and genuine concert t-shirt. My friend Karen and I went to see Def Leppard during the Hysteria tour in 1988 but I was too cheap to buy the official merchandise and instead bought a pirated t-shirt from some dude in the parking lot. It had an extra sleeve and it was from the Pyromania tour from 1983. Lesson learned. And if I ever grow an extra arm, that shirt will FINALLY be cool.

    4.    Don’t scream through the whole fucking show. Just don’t. You’re not 12, dude.  Screaming’s for 12 year old One Direction fans, not 40-something chicks who like their hearing. Trust me. Scream when your band comes on, then scream before the encore. But for crying out loud, not during the whole show. Some of us want to be able to actually HEAR what’s going on onstage.

    5.   DO. NOT. RUSH THE STAGE. Seriously, if you bought a ticket, that seat is YOURS. Do NOT try to squeeze your ass into my row. There is nothing that pisses me off more at a concert than some douchebag with a seat in row 19 coming up and trying to push me out of the way when I actually bought a front row seat. Just don’t do it. It’s cases like that where it should be legal to stab someone in the neck with a pencil. And I always bring pencils with me to concerts….just in case.

    6.    Don’t give me a contact high. I bought my ticket with my goddamn hard-earned money and the last thing I need is to get high off your smoke. It’s not cool. Do it in the parking lot before the show. But just know that if you do it anywhere near me, whether it’s pot, tobacco or crack, I will totally pour my beer on your joint, cigarette or pipe. Trust me on this. Nobody wants to smell like your smoke. And I really hate wasting my beer.

    7.    Don’t try to get on stage. It’s embarrassing. And if you get your ass thrown out, your friends will feel obligated to make sure you are okay, and that means they will probably leave the show early. If they do, then make no mistake, they are well within their rights to kick you in your stupid ass for being a dick. Do yourself and all your friends a favor and just stay put, okay?

    8.   Don’t fart. Just don’t. It makes everyone around you miserable. I don’t know which is worse, smelling a fart or smelling a cigarette while I’m trying to enjoy my jams.  You concert farters know who you are, don’t try to pretend it was the guy in front of you, own your smelly ass. Leave the seat, go into the aisle, do your thing and come back. Because damn.

     9.    I know this is probably a bit hypocritical, but don’t start a fight. Yes, I’ve been threatening in this post, I’ve come down pretty hard on the offenders, but trust me on this: I have been kicked out of a concert for laying hands on someone.  Ok it was a Dan Band concert but still, we were right at the stage and I did something dumb and had to eat the cost of the ticket. So keep your hands to yourself. 

I'm sure there are a ton of other offending actions one can do when at a concert, but these are the 9 that spring to mind, that piss me off and that I will call you out on for doing. You have been warned. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Amazon Prints is REALLY worth the try! $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

Have you tried Amazon Prints yet? No? What are you waiting for?

Amazon has launched a photo printing service that allows all customers to print their memories. Prime members can upload images to their Prime Photos account, print the product of their choice, and receive free delivery. If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09. 

See? Amazon Prime isn't just for free, quick shipping or watching videos. SO may cool benefits are there for you. In addition to just printing pictures, Amazon Prints offers you options like photo canvases, photo calendar creation, photo books as well as wall decor and calendars!

Still not convinced? How about a chance to win an Amazon Gift Card? Amazon is sponsoring this blog post and providing the Amazon Gift Card to the winner! Enter below to win!
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Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!
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