Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The random placeholder post

Yes, yes, I know, my legions of followers (all of you) have been sitting at your computers hitting refresh constantly, impatiently waiting for the next blog post, for all the world looking like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction with the light switch. Click click click.

So I apologize for that, and for not yet getting to the stripper store story and the bonding with my fellow shoppers at the Christmas Tree Store and so on. All the things I generally regale the little people with.

My excuse is that I've been lazy, and doing a lot of Telenogging. Or just drinking a lot of 'nog, tele or no. So I'll try to catch up on things today or tomorrow, but in between, I'm going with one of the wonderful marketing techniques I learned while at Wharton: when all else fails, go with cuteness. Kids or puppies, and as we all know, I go with puppies.'s Timmy!

Please note that tiny Timmy is just a FOSTER! A temp! No way are we keeping him! Even though he's cute and sweet and adorable and funny and a clown and has those big pawsums that he's not hesitant to use in upping his cuteness quotient. "Oh, look at me, Timmy, crossing my big pawsums -aren't I just the cutest?" Nope, I'm immune. Immune.....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not all fun and games, kids.....

Of course, I don’t want to give off the impression that this conference is all about being silly and having fun. No sirree. We’re here for the serious business of learning what’s cutting edge and perhaps what the latest thinking is and treatments are, all related to The Cancer. The Big C. So Saturday morning, we all head off to the hotel ballroom for the kickoff speaker – this, of course, after I’ve dashed over to Reading Terminal to get my non-Amish bagel, thus assuaging my conscience from the Pretzel Scandal of the day before.

I try to look properly somber, as is befitting the occasion.

Woman with badge: Hi! Are you here for the conference? Please, right this way!

I’m greeted by a lady dressed in head to toe pink. And not just pink, but flamboyant pink. I think there’s pleather involved – which, let me tell you, is never a good idea for those over the age of, say, 50. And she’s definitely a bit north of that. And she’s wearing tall pink boots. And a pink hat. With a huge pink felt ribbon topping it off. It’s like a veritable walking Pinksplosion, right in front of me.

Me, weakly: Umm…..okay, thanks?

Then I see another one of these Women in Pink. This one with sparkly pink bracelets and spangles and jangly things. I feel like I’ve stumbled into some warped, circus-clown version of a breast cancer conference.

Then there’s the table piled high with leis. You’re supposed to pick one depending on how far out you are from diagnosis, but I bypass this entirely. A lei? Seriously? I don’t know, it just seems a bit too…frivolous, or something, for me.

I then make a beeline for the table where I see my young CancerChickies sitting – we’re like an island of youngness in a sea of 60-and-older women. As soon as I sit down, sweetie Melinda gives me something.

Melinda: Look what I picked up for you! Even though Pinkapalooza is over, I knew you’d appreciate it.

I look at what she’s given me, and my eyes well up, I’m so touched. *sniffle* - my very own pink-ribbon-shaped nail file.

Me, clutching it to my chest: Melinda, this is awesome! Where’d you get it?

Melinda: Over there at the tables – they have other giveaway stuff too, like this cool tote bag.

Me: Schwag?? There’s schwag?

Melinda: Yeah, ther…..Tasha?

Somehow Melinda finds herself talking to just a vapor trail, as I hurry over to the tables before all the schwag is gone. Ten minutes later I’m back.

Me, happily: Look at all my Pinkishness schwag! A tote bag, a keychain, more nail files……free stuff is the BEST! Ooh, look over there…

Over at the next table, I spy some women looking at something sparkly, something that lights up. I’m about to dart over there, create a diversion, and make off with said sparkly, but then the session begins and a woman starts talking. Damn. Well, maybe later. I put my serious face back on and get ready to take notes.

(20 minutes later)

“$@^*&#$^(*UGuzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....huzzah? Wha…?” I ask, as I lift my head from the table and look around rather blearily. I’d ask Cori what’s going on, but she’s gone. The speaker lost me when she started talking about the “journey” that we’re all on, but, I think to myself, maybe she’s moved on to something more useful.

Speaker: “… ladies, dealing with those pesky hot flashes – whether you’re actually post-menopausal, or if you’re post-menopausal because of the treatment or drugs you’re on, I have some great ways that you can combat those symptoms.”

Aha, something helpful! I hold my pen at the ready.

Speaker: “Now, the thing that I’ve found MOST helpful in these situations to deal with those times when you’re suffering through all that excessive perspiration is…..panti-liners!”

And she starts gaily waving one about. I laugh rather incredulously, as do most of the girls at my table, but then we look around and see that no one else is really laughing – a wry chuckle maybe, but that’s it. Is she actually serious?

Speaker: “See, you can tape them under your arms – and look, they fit perfectly in your shoes!”

Apparently so, folks, apparently so.

After a Zumba demonstration and a fashion parade which consisted of older women walking around in bras and skimpy negligees (and during which I keep looking around to see if Cori will show up in a slutty nurse outfit), the kickoff speaker finishes up and we get a short break before it’s time for the breakout sessions. I believe the one I’m signed up for is called “How to do your makeup so that you look halfway decent and don’t scare little children after The Cancer has conspired to make you look and feel like shit.” Or something like that. Almost exactly like that. Meanwhile, where’s Cori? Hmm……

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cori’s quest for slutty outfits

So the day after we recovered from much pillow fighting the night before, a group of us decided to head out to explore Philly and see what kind of mischief we could get into. Little did we know….

(Group of chattering women walking down Walnut St. in Philly….)

Cori: Hey, look you guys! Do you see what I see??

We’re walking past a seemingly non-descript store that looks like a no-name 5&10 kind of place, all sorts of crap and tchochkes stuffed into the window display. And yet – yet! – amidst this chaos, a wonder.

Cori: See? Look at the slutty nurse outfit! And there’s a sailor one too! And Tasha, look, there’s a slutty ref outfit for you!

Indeed there is. In the display of this very random store, there’s one slutty outfit after another, on headless mannequins. But what’s key is that these are tasteful slutty outfits. Meaning, they’re cleavage-enhancing and short-skirted, but no weird open-crotch stuff or anything truly skanky. This is like Mecca for appropriately slutty outfits.

But then we make the cardinal mistake, one that we’ll all regret for the rest of our lives.

Cori: Okay, so let’s go to lunch and then we can check them out on our way back.

You see, little did we know that this odd little store apparently is a front for a money laundering operation or something similar. Because its hours are, shall we say, a bit skimpy.

Meaning that when we walk past the place again at around 3PM, it’s closed. And it’s closed all weekend. Cori becomes like a woman possessed.

Cori: What? WHAT???? I MUST HAVE THOSE OUTFITS! Here, you start googling, find a phone number, I’m going to go talk to the merchant next door.

Cori talks to the guy at the store next door, who has no idea when the proprietor of the Harmand Toussel store (or whatever the hell it's called) is around, or where that person might be. She leaves numerous messages on the voice mail of the store, or what we think is the store’s VM, imploring the person to come in and open up, and she’ll give him $100 just for that. Clearly, hell hath no fury like a woman determined to get her slutty nurse outfit.

We’re all a little concerned that evening when Cori hits the bottle, muttering “Damn it, I’ll get that fricking slutty nurse outfit, dammit, if it’s the last thing I do, I will not be denied.”

Saturday is upon us soon enough…

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What happens in Philly......

Scene at the Cammarrano household before Cori leaves for the BC conference in Philly:

Cori is in the shower at home, finishing up her ablutions, which have included a thorough shaving of all body parts, including what we will euphemistically refer to as “down there.” Just because she prefers it that way. As she’s getting out of the shower, she calls to her husband, Dan.

Cori: Hey Dan - could you get me a towel please? I forgot to grab one.

Dan: Sure honey. Hey, you know, it’s a good thing you shaved all over, especially, you know, down there. So that way the other girls won’t wonder and think you don’t care about stuff like that.

We pause here for a moment of incredulous silence.

Cori: I…..Dan……Dan! What exactly do you think goes ON at these conferences? That we all run around our hotel rooms naked or in flimsy nighties having pillow fights or something?

Dan: Well, I guess……I didn’t know…….but…….maybe?

The girls and I, we all giggled and laughed at this when we were hanging out in the Philly hotel. But you know, as it turns out, Dan was right:

Next up: Cori’s quest for slutty outfits, and oh yeah, the conference, and useful tips for dealing with cancer-drug-induced hot flashes…..