Monthly Archives: March 2013

Ladies, This is Your Car-Shopping Opportunity, NYC style

Sorry for the short notice, but it snuck up on me.  All of a sudden I find myself drooling over live pics of the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG and the all-new Subaru WRX and the Porsche 911 GT3 and I’m thinking “Wow, Twitter, isn’t usually this cool.” And it dawned on me,  these are just some of the many debuts (55 to be exact) happening in NY at the Auto Show and realize that I’d meant to tell you all about this sooner. 

The NY International Auto Show is a pretty big deal.  Manufacturers will be putting their best face forward to show you everything wonderful about their cars because the media will all be there (long before the public gets to go) reporting every detail, good and bad, of what they see. 

If you are planning on buying a car within the next year, possibly even two, this is a chance to shop the way we smart women like to shop.  We like to browse the options, touch, feel, see, assimilate, without anyone bothering us.  Preferably with our friends, our kids if we have to bring them, and an opportunity to grab a nice lunch or at least some coffee.  (I wrote about this in my Dear Car Dealer, Don’t Make Us Slay the Mammoth post.)

If you haven’t been to an auto show, it’s probably because it sounds like a guy thing.  But if you think about it, it is the one place where you could shop for a car the way you, as an intelligent, discerning female, shop for everything else. 

There’s even a special, private Ladies Tour with Tara Weingarten, Editor-In-Chief of Vroomgirls.com.  From the short bio I read on the site, I’m certain that I’d enjoy at least hanging out with Tara if I can’t find a way to have her life.  (I’d never heard of that site before now, but it is actually a LOT less lame than most women’s automotive sites.   In fact, I have to mention I got caught up browsing it for a while and found myself pretty amused and informed when I did.  That’s a whole other tangent I will save for another post- how disappointed I am by most automotive websites for women.)

Unfortunately, you can’t buy a car at the show, but the upside of that is that there are no car salespeople.  Most manufacturers will have someone available to answer your questions about the car or give you a little talk about it, but those are usually model/actor types.  (Both male and female will be available for your viewing pleasure, if it’s what I’ve seen before.)

Here’s what you should know if you decide to go.  And if you do, please let me know because I cannot this year.  😦

New York International Auto Show

Website:  http://www.autoshowny.com/

Location:  Jacob Javits Center NYC, NY

When:  Open to the Public Friday March 29-Sunday April 7th 10 am – 10 pm every day except Sundays, 10 am to 7 pm (including Easter)

Tickets: Adults $15 Kids 2-12 $5 Kids Under 2 FREE.  Strollers ARE allowed.  Buy online and use Promo Code NY13AAA to save $2 (Thanks Retail Me Not!)

Private Ladies Tour:  Saturday and Sunday, 9 am (you get to go in an hour early), $50 More details at the website here.  It’s the only private tour that’s not sold out. 

TIPS:  If you can, go during the week and go during the day.  At night, the fifteen-year-olds and their stinky body spray are all up in the cars talking about what wheels they’d put on them.  Map out what manufacturers you want to see, there’s A LOT of walking.  Don’t be afraid to browse, though, you might fall in love with a make/model you’d never thought of.  Bring your camera and take pics so if you’re not buying a car for a while, you’ll remember which ones had the features you like.  Have fun.  Try on every car like they’re shoes.  Really, really expensive shoes.

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Guys Getaway Weekend vs. Ladies Getaway Weekend

20130326-143245.jpgMotorMommy just got back from a truly phenomenal weekend in Vermont. For the last decade, in early spring, some or all of about 30-40 of my female friends and family travel to Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT for a Ladies Getaway weekend. The resort has been conducting these ladies-only weekends for 13 years now, and the weekends almost always sell out completely. A while ago, they had to add a second weekend to meet the demand and now both weekends sell out each year.

Offerings at the event include 3-4 activity options at any given time all day. These options include water aerobics, Yoga, Zumba, hair-braiding class, soap-making class, cooking class, chick flicks, social security planning, weight loss discussions, wine tasting, mixology and lots, lots more. Also available are spa treatments, psychic mediums, chair massage, henna tattoos, and a boutique with handmade jewelry, crafts, and soaps. Of course, the bar opens promptly at 12:00 pm, so that’s also a convenient option. Nights include DJ dances, live music, comedians and trivia.  The collage to the left are my favorite things- some drinks, an acoustic guitar player, view of the resort from my morning run, etc. (Also got new collage and font apps for my phone, had to try them out.)

While all of these activities are wonderful, the real draw of the weekend for most is the fact that while not explicitly stated, it is generally understood that there are to be no husbands or children. So from 10 am on Friday until 2:00 pm on Sunday, I didn’t change a diaper, make a snack, or explain why you cannot have swedish fish for breakfast for the 15,357th time. It was delightful.

Anyway, every year while I’m there I think about how there’s no Guys Getaway Weekend.

It is always fun to imagine what sort of activities would draw guys to a resort for the weekend. What schedule of life enrichment would draw them in? What could they hope to escape to? I actually think that I’m off to a good start with a weekend compelling enough to pack a large resort. Enjoy and please, comment with classes you think should be added to the itinerary.

And, if any resort picks up on this schedule and decides to run with it, I only request that my husband be allowed to go for free and that someone carefully monitor his tequila consumption.

Guys Get-A-Way Weekend Agenda

Power Tool Room Open all weekend, this room is stocked with the latest in power tools that are noisy, expensive, and create a lot of dust. Also supplied are wood, concrete and fasteners. Enjoy! These are yours to play with and remember, there’s no women here to suggest you should actually fix something or make something. Just start a project, make a mess, and move on!

Entertainment:

Friday Night: Big Bonfire- We’ll start the fire, you bring the “bon.” Pallets, trees, refrigerators, chairs- you bring it and we’ll burn it. Materials such as plastic or sharp nails, etc. are not a problem. There will be no females here with mamby-pamby warnings about projectiles or fumes. Please, no pets, children, or wives.

Saturday Night: Exotic Dancers- You can’t touch them, and you probably wouldn’t want to, but they’ll be here, wearing ridiculous shoes, calling themselves cartoon names, dancing to corny music, pretending they like you and calling you things like “big boy” and “stud” while taking your money!

Class Descriptions:

Best Conversation Ever- Come on in and chat with us. For one hour, we’ll ban original conversation. Everything you say must be a direct quote from a movie or TV show.

Plot?! We Don’t Need No Stinking Plot! Another entertainment discussion group, we’ll be talking about our favorite rural, power-tool/construction-equipment/boat/truck -operating guys and gals who love to yell at each other using very poor English while performing life-threatening tasks in some of the world’s most dangerous places far, far from the civilized world. Deadliest Catch, Ice-Road Trucker, Axemen, Swamp-something-or-other or one of the 15 survival-shows-set-in-Alaska fans, this is the discussion for you!

Wife-Repelling Smoke- Is there anything worse than sitting down with a nice glass of scotch or beer and having a woman come over and want to talk? Here, we’ll discuss which sticks to light on fire and breathe in to make sure females stay away. Which works best, the fat, expensive stinky cigars? Grape Swisher Sweets? Let’s all share so we can head home and have quality time alone with our smart phones.

Sports Trivia Spout-Off- So what if it’s useless, irrelevant, and girls don’t seem impressed that you know it? We’re impressed! So come tell us which football player has the most rushing yards in a yellow shirt with red socks, or which teams have the worst World Series records when the third game occurs on an odd-numbered day, or which WWE wrestler has fought the most chicks in cages. Can’t wait to hear it!

Flatulence is Fun- Don’t forget to drink lots of beer and eat lots of chili at the Bonfire on Friday night because Saturday morning we’re going to let it rip! Loud and stinky style!

Special Three Hour Session: Video Gaming- Rather than actually play together, we’ll divide into two rooms and play over the network and yell obscenities while we try to kill pretend people and things. Bring your headphones and controllers.

YouTube: We’ll try to find the best videos of stupid stuff, people getting hurt, naked/almost naked girls and things being destroyed and/or caught on fire. We’ll discuss which ones we’ll need to turn the sound off at work and/or home and which ones should only be watched alone on our smart phones.

Finding and Exploiting Your Buddy’s Weakness We all have that one annoying guy in our group that gets under our skin because he hasn’t embarrassed himself in a while and is cool and funny all the time. Here’s how you can identify his weak spots and get started mercilessly harassing him for them right to his face like you do the rest of your friends.

Big Boy Toys- So what if you can’t afford any of these sports cars, boats, dune buggies, RVs, etc., right? You still know all their specs and exactly how you’d modify them if you’d own them. Lets look at pictures of them and discuss them and where we’d keep them.

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Motormommy Guest Blog: Little Brother

So I should start by saying this is not Motormommy.  This is Motormommy’s younger sibling, guest writing on her blog because after a vacation with two children under the age of three, you need another vacation.

When my sister offered me the opportunity to guest write on Motormommy my immediate response was disbelief she would let her socially awkward little brother, who knows nothing of things motor (be they homes, cars, or mouths) write on her blog.  As far as I knew, I’m still not allowed to write comments on her FB page.

Anyway, for whatever reason, I’m here now.  And I’ve been trying to think of what I can contribute to the theme of “Motor home, motor cars and motor mouth”, especially as they relate to motherhood in today’s society.  And like a blind man in a batting cage, it suddenly hit me ©, that I could share with you a little more background about Motormommy.  I can open a door and give you a quick glimpse of what she was before the RV.  Before her children were born.  Before the husband, the house, and the capital career in auto sales.  I present to you, Motormommy: Teen angst.  Kidding…kind of.

Let me start by saying that I have the utmost respect for my sister.  I look up to her in pretty much every way imaginable.  There isn’t a single large life decision I make that doesn’t start with a text to her that says “What should I do?”.  For instance her recent trip down to Florida with a sub-one and sub-three year-old in tow.  I can’t even go on a bus trip by myself without being filled with so much anxiety that I almost talk myself out of it.  But she can do that.  Grab her two kids and deal with airport security, flight delays, anxious looks from strangers, baggage claim, and worst of all (if you really know my sister and me) a set time that you simply can’t be late for. She seems to make friends with everyone, everywhere she goes.  She has this magical gift where she can talk to people and she will (believe it or not) actually listen to what they are saying.  She’s not thinking of what to say to relate to or impress you, or of how she still needs to go grocery shopping when she gets home.  She just listens.  She didn’t always listen.

I must have been about 14 at the time.  My sister hadn’t gone off to college yet and it was a truly rare night for me because my sister was driving me and a couple of my friends around our hometown.  I have no idea what we were doing together, because back in high school my sister and me didn’t exactly get along.  Children of today will never know what it was like to have to fight siblings for important resources like the single phone line going to your house.  There were life changing calls to be made and flirtatious AOL instant message sessions to be had and both required that precious dial tone.  If it wasn’t for the invention of call waiting I’m pretty sure one of us wouldn’t be alive today.  So anyway, here we are, driving along one of the busy main roads, apparently getting along for once.  Being up to our usual immature adolescent (redundant, I know) hijinks, one of my friends decides that it would be a good idea to start mooning some of the people that we drive by.  And for some reason my sister doesn’t care, even though she’s the one driving, and therefore somewhat responsible for us.  She’s usually too cool for our infantile acts of delinquency.  Eventually it’s my turn, as everyone knows all occupants of the vehicle must equally partake in the bare-buttocks displays, drivers excluded for that would surely lead to a…wait for it…a rear ending.  While waiting at a stop light, we see a group of three adults walking down the sidewalk and I decide it’s time for my moon to shine.  As the light turns green and the cars begin to take off, I stick my pale naked posterior out the passenger window of the car.  Then I realize that something is wrong.  In hindsight (so many puns) the sound of my sister finally laughing along with my friends is what should have tipped me off.  Our car was not going anywhere.  The light was green, the other cars had gone, or were in the process of going around us on the four lane road and we were just sitting there.  It was just the three adults on the sidewalk, standing there, staring at my ass.  And I don’t know what to do.  I wasn’t expecting to actually have to see these people, or even know that they had actually seen me.  This was supposed to be a drive by mooning.  I might as well have been walking along the sidewalk with them and suddenly said “Oh, by the way, check out my butt”.  I am mortified.  “Go!  Drive!  Please!,” I plead, but she’s not listening.  I don’t dare move because then they can see my face.  What if I know them?  What if they are not the adults I supposed, but some of the “cool kids” from school?  What if it’s a girl I like?  Eventually they shake their heads and move on, and it’s only after they’ve done so that we do the same.  And that’s when I realized the true brilliance of my sister.  By the simple act of not acting she was able to turn our stupid little prank around on us.  And she was willing to suffer any indignity of being associated with us as the driver in order to do it.  She didn’t just drive us where we needed to go then out of the goodness of her heart.  I paid a hefty fair for that trip.  But I gained a lot of respect for my sister that day.  That’s not to say I didn’t do my best to get her back, but still…

So I guess I probably didn’t deliver on what I originally promised.  You really didn’t get a good look at what my sister was like before the kids, and things, and life.  What you did get to see was that brother and sister fought the way that brother and sister were meant to, the way we were designed to by our ancestors and our instincts.  By total humiliation.  You simply can’t trust sibling who always get along with one another.  You can trust my sister though.  I’ve got the scars to prove it.

I close this post by offering some advice to little Buster.  Buster, with little Princess just about the same age older than you, as Motormommy is older than me, you’re going to need to stay on your toes at all times.  You might be able to have separate cell phones, and (somewhat) equally share the Wi-Fi, but trust me that you and your sister will have your day on the battlefield of sibling rivalry.  And take it from me: there’s no such thing as a free ride.

Motormommy, Princess, and Buster Go To Florida Without Bunny or Daddy: Part 3, Crisises Are Back

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Bunny having fun Pumping Gas.

Friday:
I was sad to leave warm weather but looking forward to seeing my husband and have the kids be his problem for a while.

Our flight left later in the day, around 2:00. We planned to pick strawberries at “The Girls” around lunchtime and then head to the airport.

9:23 am: THE DADDY CRISIS AND BUNNY CRISIS RESURFACE TOGETHER AND SPIRAL INTO A HUGE VORTEX OF 3 YEAR OLD MISERY. New toys have been packed in the suitcase and I am rolling our clothes military-style to fit the new wardrobes my children have acquired into the suitcase. (Tip for travel to snowbird country in Florida- you do not need to bring clothing or toys for your children. Scores of retirees you know, don’t know, and sort-of-know will bring new clothes and toys for your children. I would not have been surprised if a stranger in Delray came up and handed me a gift bag with adorable, perfectly-sized summer wear for both kids.)

Out of nowhere, Princess begins sobbing hysterically for Daddy. “Daaaaaaaddddddddeeeeeeeeeeee, come back! I miss Daddy!” she repeats over and over. I calmly explain that we’ll see him in a few hours. We are out of cookies, so I offer ice cream. “I don’t want ice cream, I want Daddy!” Uh oh.

Then, it gets worse. I pause for too long and the next thing out of her mouth is “Mommy, where’s bunny?” I try to distract here with one of her new toys but it is futile. I decide to come clean.

“Bunny stayed home. He missed you a lot, but Daddy’s been taking good care of him. He’s been having a great time.”

Those pics I requested? Daddy sent me a pic of Bunny driving the car and of Bunny pumping gas. Men. Anyway, I showed Princess the pictures, and she seemed okay with it, but went back to demanding that Daddy arrive at the Florida House ASAP.

I explain how the cost and logistics of commercial air travel can be prohibitive. She is irrational and will not accept the reality.

The next almost two solid hours were an outpouring of a week’s worth of missing Daddy and Bunny. There was no getting around it.

I continue packing, realizing that I can do nothing. Mimi and Poppy aren’t quite as used to hysterics. I am confident that if Princess told Poppy she’d stop crying if he got her a car and a diamond necklace, he would have been to a dealership and a jewelry store and back in under twenty minutes.

11:15 am: The hysterics slow to a stop after we decide to have lunch at Wendy’s.  This is Princess’s favorite place to eat.  Or I should say get a toy and ignore the food.  Before we go she needs the ice cream I previously offered.  CRISIS RESOLVED.

2:35 pm:  After a nice afternoon of strawberry picking and lunch, we arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare.  I check our bag curbside and we hug and kiss Mimi and Poppy goodbye and head into the airport.  We are going through security and a TSA agent is handing me back all of my belongs.  In a demanding but very quiet voice, Princess tells the agent to look at her brother.  “Look at this baby!”  Of course, the agent doesn’t hear her.  She’s angry and asks me, “What is wrong with that guy?  He wouldn’t even look at my baby brother and my baby brother is soooooooo cute.

3:15 pm:  We’ve used the restroom, bought a souvenir and some candy and, as I mentioned, are sitting in between four gates waiting for our flight to board.  I’m smiling and letting Princess loudly sing the “Freeze Dance” song from Fresh Beats while trying to shove baby food into a writhing, loudly unhappy Buster.  I can taste the fear of the other passengers.  It’s pretty funny.

3:30 pm:  Finally, it’s time to board.  I watch fear turn to relief on the faces of 3/4 of the passengers around me.  We get on the plane after the poor soul who has the aisle seat in our row.  I’m holding Buster a little awkwardly and finally get into our seat.  I set Buster down, but since he doesn’t understand which seat is ours, I have to hold him in place with my head while I stow our stuff.  (Anyone want to back me on a third arm rental for travellers with children?  I know there’s a market.)  A woman nearby says “Oh goodness, give me that baby.”  She offers no help with the bags, and I convince myself that it’s not going to help to punch her in the face.  Buster thinks this is all very funny.  Princess is busy trying to take all of her toys out of her backpack.  Thirty seconds later, we’re seated and stowed and settled.  Buster falls asleep shortly after.  Even Princess naps a little.  The three of us only made one trip to the potty this time.  (Still, three people, even mini-people, in one airplane bathroom is tight.  Where was that lady who wanted my baby now?!)  The rest of the flight is uneventful.

7:25 pm:  The hardest part of my flight.  We begin our descent into Hartford.  There is mild, normal turbulence.  Overdramatically bobbing and weaving with the plane, Princess enjoys it.  I manage to avoid screaming, “Oh F#$k people!  We’re all gonna die!!!”

7:45 pm:  We’re almost down to the Hartford airport.  The plane banks sharply right.  Looking out on city lights from a banking plane is a first for her, so Princess says, “What the…” (I prepare to be mortified.  Wait for it, wait for it…)  “Heck?!”  I am relieved.

8:05 pm:  The flight lands right on time.  We get off the plane and since my arms are very full, an airline staff member offers to hold Princess’s hand as we walk down the jetway.  It takes me a minute, but I glance at her name tag and notice her fancy uniform and realize it’s Kristen, the first female Captain I’ve encountered.  I tell her nice flight and tell Princess that she’s holding the hand of the lady who flew the plane.  I’m hopeful that this remains as unremarkable and commonplace to her for her whole life as it seems to be now.  Way to go Kristen on JetBlue, you made my night.  Very cool to come hang out with little girls so they see you.

8:15 pm:  My cell phone rings.  It’s Daddy, wondering why we’re not at the baggage claim yet.  Obviously he has not flown with children.

8:16 pm:  Princess runs happily into Daddy’s arms and hugs him and then grabs Bunny, who Daddy’s brought inside.  She says “Daddy, never ever let Bunny drive your car or get gas again, ok?”  She has repeated this statement at least 35 times since the trip.

The end. 😉

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