Charlywalker's Blog

{August 24, 2010}   Blog Agility

If you are reading this blog AND you find it clever or funny please comment. I need the feedback or otherwise I am wasting my Megabytes.  Speaking of mega-bites, my puppy is still snapping even after two weeks of guaranteed training. I don’t blame the Trainer , I blame my family who are lacking in the follow-up program arena.

My scheduled training of two weeks ended recently and I feel a bit empty inside. Charly-dog and I got use to the trainers 10 a.m. visits and it is hard to let go now. This trainer came into our lives and spent hours with each and every member of my family and worked with all of us as a whole to get Charly on track. I am  starting to have a small tinge of anxiety that once he is out of our lives for good, things will resort to the way they were.  The trainer did drop an anecdote  while sipping his bottled water, that being ;if any “uprisings” occur he will be here on the spot, and this is guaranteed forever.

Hmm.…. I could always find some fault somewhere in my puppy that might need tending to; maybe stage a scene or two…….kind of like the little boy crying wolf, only it’s a middle aged menopausal woman needing someone to talk to other than her doggie…..

I find as I am getting older and less tolerant of my estrogen levels, that letting go is becoming harder and harder. I took my son to the airport to catch a flight from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. He has been bugging me to let him fly out to see his best friend  ever since we moved out to the East Coast. My children have traveled extensively since they were born, but never without me in tow. I have this phobia about my children on  planes without me, what if  they have snakes on board……or worse yet Samuel L Jackson pushing the beverage cart………”I’ve had it with these Mother F*ckin’ Pepsi’s on this Mother F*ckin’ plane…..”

My son is 16 and does not qualify for the “unaccompanied child Airline escort” anymore. Plus, there is a $100 hidden  fee for this “Program”. It must fall in line with the “Meal Program” and the “Luggage Program”.   Personally I think they should wave this amount for first time moms letting their youngster fly solo and traipsing through Major City airports spending all their allowance on nonsense that is flagged out in the open Kiosks. ( Oh , yes son, I love the $50 neck snuggie you purchased to keep you comfortable during your flight that you left on board and is now on its way to Hong Kong where it originated from).

My sons flight was delayed over an hour from his connecting flight. I have a party retrieving him at the baggage claim terminal and they phoned to inform me that his flight was going to be late.   I got nervous.   I phoned the Major Airline that starts with a “D” and has been around since the Nixon administration, to find out more information about his flight. The “D” Agent confirmed that it was delayed twice, out of Atlanta.

I spat out; “TWICE?”.

“Yes”,( he said with an accent that was identical to the driver in the second Indiana Jones Movie).

I interrupted his silence with a very loud “WHY TWICE?”.

He enlightened me with the explanation that the first delay was a security issue.


  “Was a maintenance problem”.

 I questioned him further on the maintenance problem and he laughed and told me:

Well the plane is in the air now”.

Oh thank God, that is so reassuring, I am so thrilled, oh, and I feel so relieved and unconcerned that that plane is in the air now! How about the landing??? Please tell me the maintenance problem was a toilet that wouldn’t stop flushing or the Captain’s coffee pot heater light keeps blinking, or the food cart has a rusty wheel…………

I popped open a Dos Equis and brought up my sons Itinerary and  started to track his flight on my Macbook like a Pro. I love technology, it’s almost like being in the control tower yourself, minus all the other distractions, like ten million OTHER flights trying to take off and land.   I went into the “D” Airline WEB site and typed his flight number and it showed a map of the U.S. with a little yellow airplane following a bright blue line to his destination. I felt a little more at ease and managed to breath a little easier…………..

Until this little yellow plane started a nose dive over Arizona….

The time left on his flight was an hour and a half and the meter was not moving, nor was the tiny yellow plane that I was watching for twenty minutes without blinking…

 That little mustard piper cub was not advancing on my screen and I was having the most horrible images run through my mind.  Images of a black smoke plume smoldering from seat 11B because I thought I  had confiscated all the fireworks my son wanted to share with his friend in California. Where they are illegal and maybe he sequestered a box of black Snake Glow worms that he stuck in his back pocket. I was a flight attendant once and have witnessed plight flights that brought me to my knees saying a few Hail Mary’s while pouring a few Bloody Mary’s..

I shut the laptop off  and logged back on to the “D” website to commence with stalking my sons flight. His fake plane kept stalling in the air until I clicked the refresh button so it would advance faster to LAX airport.  In a matter of seconds that little yellow cartoon 757 was now starting it’s descent  into Los Angeles with it’s nose in the air and landing in 22 minutes……..Funny if I keep clicking the Back Button that plane just might land on time.

My son loves being independent and Hates that his mother texted him thirteen times before he even left the ground. I can’t wait to tell him about the tracking device….I wonder if they have that for everything…like when he starts driving or is out with his friends at a movie, or maybe, just maybe…on a date.

Yes I love technology it helps a mom sleep at night…….and you thought Big Brother was watching……………hellooo Big Mother……..


{August 19, 2010}   Independent as a Blog on Ice

How long should couples stay together………in the same room.

After 20 -something years of marriage I realized that I can only tolerate my husbands presence  around me  about ten minutes per day.  That would be 365 days times ten minutes divided by 60 averages out to , say, roughly 6.5 hours  per year.  Quite the discrepancy  since the first “I Do’s” were spoken. Come to think of it I don’t recall uttering those two words at my wedding.

We were married atop the North Tower of the World Trade Center and our presiding clergy were a traveling duo consisting of a  Priest and a Rabbi. The only thing that was relevant in my mind under my too tight wedding hat was the drinking of the wine before I delivered my vow’s in Hebrew. (Mind you, it was a warm Manachevitz  with a screw top with no year posted on the label).  I did notice the priest chanting something in Latin ( non-Hispanic) along side of the Rabbi while they both nodded  their heads in approval. OH I BEG YOUR PARDON, that was Davening .

I was born a Catholic and I married a Jew. In NYC there are not many orthodox religions that will approve and preform a ceremony for a Bi-Religious couple and I was not keen  on the JOP, the line is too long at the state department and , unbeknownst to my children until now, I had a bun in the easy bake oven so time was of the essence.

We found our Divine Duo in the yellow pages.The first encounter was  scheduled with the Priest at his Midtown apartment on the sixth floor without a working elevator. We sat down to interview him and in the first five minutes we were interrupted three times by mysterious knocks at the door, which he readily answered. On the first interruption I noticed on the wall two photos of  three priests dressed in their Sunday Mass Garb with their hands folded and their heads slightly lowered in prayer form. As I studied the Photos more intently I noticed one of the priests looked exactly like Robert DeNiro and the other resembled a likeness to a very young Sean Penn. When our Padre returned from his mission at the door I commented on the resemblance of the two pictures and the Father confirmed that these guys in the pic were indeed the two famous actors.  He then rattled on about how he worked with them on a film.

“Oh”, I said, ” where they going through troubled times or maybe  you were coaching them on Priest-dom for their roles?”.

No, he was also an actor, and he pulled out his resume of films and fanned it out on his desk. Obviously a method man from the Vatican…. He reassured us that he is also a writer for the Catholic Digest and engages in these sidelines for extra cash; adding marriage ceremonies to his repertoire and to his bank account.

To this day I still have a burning sensation in the back of my brain that might indicate that my marriage of twenty one years could be, well, just might not be, oh this is silly of course it’s legal. But I still get that funny feeling in my gut every time I watch the opening wedding scene in the movie Prizzi’s Honor and stare into the eyes of our Priest as he preaches the  exact soliloquy to the actors as he used on us.

Which brings me back to whether or not I said “I do or I don’t”. I really don’t have a clue because the other half of the Holy traveling team was a Rabbi who only spoke Hebrew throughout the service; And he made me drink the wine and choke on words that sounded like I was coughing up phlegm. (Actually I was trying to choke down the Manashevitz and had an epiphany when my husband stomped on the wine glass.)  I guess, maybe after twenty some odd years I have finally HIT the spittoon of Independence and want to manage my own chamber-pot. Maybe I’m tired of side stepping glass fragments that spew every time I hear a Mozel Tov. Maybe those ten minutes alone with my husband in the same room with no one speaking can be managed or downsized by half. Maybe in those five minutes we could actually come to a realization that that one night twenty one years ago neither one of us recalls saying those words:  I DO”.

I DO remember telling his mother for the tenth time that night that”NO, I will not remove my hat”.

 I DO remember my older sister arguing with me about the seating arrangements because she was mad at my other sister and didn’t want to be at the same table.

I DO remember my new husband spilling red wine on his Tuxedo shirt.

And I DO remember our Priest yelling out the phrase: “In Playboy” , when the Best man made his speech about seeing me for the first time.

Which made the Rabbi “oye Vey”, my father roll his eyes and denounce his Notre Dame lineage, my mother in law pull her son aside and say; ” I told you so”, my brother in law dial his cell phone to get a copy of the edition, and my mother asking for the Priest’s phone number.

A marriage made in heaven, or as close as you can get on the 107th floor of the WTC with all the trimmings.

Yes, ten minutes in a room with my husband alone  after 21 years is like watching paint dry on a wall. The only excitement we encounter now since the kids are grown is catching a remake of our wedding video. Need I ask: Do I stand alone?

{August 18, 2010}   Bright Eyed and Bloggie Tailed

It is rounding the end of summer and I haven’t even experienced the beginning yet. Usually a summer consists of a week at the shore or a flight to the West  Coast or me entering a SPA in Aruba alone. OK, the last one I made up. This summer has been tied up with an aggregation of responsibility and no breathing room. Every time I think I have a chance to just sit and stare at a wall without any thought and sip my coffee some minute encroachment befalls my attention. An Attention that has been placed amongst an estrogen free society. I find in this newly acquired menopausal state that my sleeping patterns are more erratic than normal. I have yet to sleep through an entire night without  a bathroom break or grabbing a swifter to mop up my sweat pools. Why does the body have to go through this after the age of 50?  Why do I feel like I have a giant hangover every morning and I haven’t even had a drink the night before. Why does my body  feel as though I need a tow truck and a fork lift to make me presentable in the morning. Why can’t  I be as resilient as my pup and bounce out of my bed and jump on people licking their face off. Who needs a Maybeline makeup removal… Why does God chose women of the age of 50 plus to bear the brunt of hormone adjustments? Why do women get to experience the swelling of a left boob over a right and run  a body temperature that fluctuates more  than a Siesmograph situated in downtown Los Angeles. What is the point of putting women through this at a certain point in life.  What is the purpose of shutting down the body works of a viable human being just because they are not going to reproduce anymore. Why not let the fluids flow indefinitely? What harm can that cause? I say, let the hormones continue as status quo throughout a lifetime and shut the works off upon death. Just think how much happier women of that age would be if they didn’t have to contend with a shut off valve when they turn 50. They wouldn’t have to fight the demons of the hormonal crash and alter what was once a reputable personality with a sense of humor. They would not have to uncork a  2009 Rose d’Anjou and follow it with a fresh Apple Pie Ala Mode chaser.  We would not have to be ABili-fied  or  prozac-ed in order to CELEBRex our lives  as we drive our LEXI-pro to a Zo-Loft in SOHO….No. If God has chosen that woman shall bear false witness to losing control of their bodily functions and  having their vagina dry up like the Sahara, and having a conscious waking state of wanting to eliminate every stupid comment out of another human being, well then, I say AMEN!  We have earned the privilege to go ballistic on an Inept  youngster that is lagging behind in the hormone  caboose  who is trying to tell us how to run our lives. We have already fought numerous  battles with our libido and won in comparison with our younger counterparts. The younger generation is still finding fault with what God gave them. We, on the other hand, have mastered the storm from our first periods to our last labor pain to the rise and fall of the Fallopian empire. We are women that can measure beyond the richter scale and not submit to the trials and tribulations that menopause can muster. We can open our droopy eyes and stand forthright and go into the battle of the bulging  waistline fighting that pull between youth and aging. We will fight with our weapons of anti wrinkle creams and raise our Botox bayonets into the air as we race against time.  We will show the youth a new Regenerist-nation and stand firm like a ROC.   OLAY! er OLE…


{August 17, 2010}   No sense in Beating a dead Blog

I’m cocktail slumming right now. I actually opened a beer. I don’t like beer, but when you are amidst menopause and you are not taking replacements, your gunna need Sedation via Libation and I’m waiting for my Vino to chill.

I know there are beer connoisseurs out there who have a love of Hops and Yeast, but I really can’t unravel the taste.  Although, my underage- by- a- year- college daughter informed me that she loves beer. She waltzed into our home the other evening after her hard days work at the Pizzaria folding boxes and collecting change, and grabbed a beer out of the fridge and retreated to her bedroom. I Tango’d into her space with a pile of clean laundry to be put away and I noticed a half empty beer resting on her mahogany dresser sweating Malt & Barley on her July Cosmo. (I couldn’t escape the wet  ring embedded in Shakiras’s Belly…. Well I can’t think of a better coaster.)

I asked my daughter if her father happened to leave a beer in her room and she snapped back;”no, it’s mine, dad said I could have it”.

My eyes went into a trance like glaze and my head spun around like Regan from Blatty’s  Exorcist and I spewed; ” oh really” in pea soup.

 I walked down stairs and confronted my husband with my new discovery and he admitted to the crime.  Now I know kid’s in college drink and party and do much worse. And I know my daughter is responsible about this and I have warned her of the repercussions of getting behind a wheel if you have had alcohol. That being DEATH by me. I have lectured on the effects of a DUI stigma affecting the rest of her life. She is 20 and 1/2 and continually proclaims  to know her life and informs me that she is responsible and not stupid. So, I quickly ran  to the office and printed out a waiver for her to sign absolving me from any accidents she may incur while drinking a beer and putting away laundry.

I know my daughter is on the up-n-up with me. I know this because she is not at all like me, she is a clone of my husband. He likes beer and he is a responsible drinker. He, too, leaves his sweaty bottles lying about on tabletops without coasters.

I truly believe that whichever category of alcohol you prefer is genetically coded in your DNA.  My dad liked what they called in his day, “the hard stuff”, like Scotch and Bourbon. I acquired a taste for Scotch in my twenties when a local bartender decided to teach me about the different variances and degrees of Scotch. He lined up a few shot glasses and poured from a variety of fancy labels and had me taste each and every one of them. I started with the beginner blend of Cutty Sark and ended with a Glenfiddich. (I should have started the other way around and I would have appreciated the finer first.)  The rest of the evening was a blur and my friend drove me home and I spent the remainder of the night kneeling to the Porcelain God. There is no such thing as a scotch tasting….

I am not a prude when it comes to alcohol and my children ,but I am not a liberal in that arena either. I have alloted my children tiny tastes of Mommy’s aperitif  now and then and when we toted our children to Italy they witnessed first hand how the European’s handle their brewed er I mean brood.. When in Rome…

I did offer a Dogfish beer to Charly-dog, but he sniffed  the spout and turned his tushie to it and farted.., It appears I have a Breed of Beer snob. Maybe the same would have happened with my daughter if my husband  would have offered her the local brew instead of the Import….

{August 15, 2010}   One Blog Night…..

I have a friend who is in dire straits. This friend stands to lose everything she owns that she has worked hard to obtain. My friend is separating from her husband and losing her home at the same time. My friend has never been in this position before and is too proud to ask anyone for anything, she has been a big contributor to life and community and doesn’t deserve this fate. Someone needs to throw her a bone.  She doesn’t own a dog, but I think a dog would help her disposition and frame of mind during this time. I would offer her  my Charly-dog, but that might cause undue harm.

I don’t think anyone should lose anything except their mind once in a while. This person stands to lose her home. A home that she lived in for a long time and paid for with her blood,sweat, and many tears. She’s losing this domain because of a job loss. A job she held for many years with a company  that now thinks she is too old to be there anymore, only they don’t quite put it in those words. Downsizing do to economy.

I can’t speak for anyone else ( or can I?) but I am tired of that phrase flowing out of corporate HR’s like lava out of Kilauea’s Volcano.  My friend is in her late forties who looks ten years her junior and has kept herself fit and has the mind  and wit of a sassy pre-teen. Why wouldn’t a company want to keep someone like that on board  until death do them part? What can a corporate conglomerate’s hope to gain by hiring a newbie grad from  “Ivy League Du Jour” who belonged to Tap-a-New-a-Keg Frat house,and majored in “babes”?

  Oh, yeah, intro pay scale. Let’s get rid of the highly experienced high producers that made the company’s P&L  statement soar into the black abyss heading skyward on the line graph, and replace her with a Poly Sci major who’s bed time  ritual includes washing with Pro-active Skin care.

When will businesses wake up and realize that its the quality, integrity, and loyalty of the person they employ. This friend of mine runs circles around kids half her age all the while trying to explain to them the meaning of of the words work ethic. This woman has spent countless days training youngsters and explaining the mission statement of the company  based on credibility , reliability, and visions of the future. All this, of course, fell onto IPOD clad ears and thumb texting titans who parlayed their comments in anagrams.

 I had advised my girlfriend to do what I do with my teeage son when I need him to listen to me…..I download my instructions onto his ITunes and yell at him through Facebook. I have a Facebook account now. I actually had the account for months and didn’t know it. My daughter had set it up and posted photo’s of me on a wall without my consent. (Funny, I’ve had to sign consent forms for my children throughout their lives and now the role is reversed and their is no legal protection for Parents.)  I don’t know where my daughter found these photo’s of me, but they are the unedited versions. You know the ones with the distorted face or the close ups of the age spots and that lovely morning shot before you apply the Deep wrinkle cream. Facebook is a network that reaches into the vast unknown of society in an instant. I have picked up friends that I never knew existed and witnessed conversations that are for Mature Audiences Only. (That are written by the immature..).

I do admit though that I visit this site and I have conversed on it and I have posted my own photography.. I added Charly-dog.  I also contacted my friend in distress on this site and offered a ray of hope. I sent her a video of my dog’s first day with the professional dog trainer. The one where Charly is screaming his bobble head off while the trainer sits on him. The one where the yelps were at a decibel level that could break crystal. I also showed her my hand with the bite wound  from Charly that was bound up like a boxing mitt.

I  decided to take my Flip camera and give a tour of the potty stained carpet throughout the house and the furniture covered in pet hair and the scratch marks on the hardwood floors from the CLAWS of life. I added the one  video where I’m walking the puppy and he’s viciously  attempts to attack all passer-bys with me in tow.  I also sent her a subscription to my blog.

Funny..I heard form her and things had miraculously turned around for her. She sold her house, got a new hubby, and sent me a picture of her “new addition”.

 A  Dog………….  There is a light at the end of the choke collar…..

{August 13, 2010}   Blog-Leg-Left

Can someone out there help me to publish this as a book? I surely could use the money.  I have decided to incorporate my relationship with my dog,menopause, raising children, and my marriage into some light reading. Oh and float the influx of alcohol into the equation it could  add some  unintentional lightness of being.

Anytime you affix alcohol into the picture it ads excitement and adventure; oh,  and a  slight headache.  Earnest Hemingway use to drink a bottle of Scotch before he  started to write his novels. I just uncork the latest Pinot Grigio and free float. Alcohol adds containment to life’s little sidebars;  And also works as a quick astringent for dog bites.

Yes, my lovely Charly The  Chaniel grabbed my hand with his Chi-hua-hua canines and left a one inch blood gushing gash in my right palm. That pissed me off. That’s my drinking hand.

No, Charly was not fighting me for the Chardonnay , I was attempting to recover a tuft of tissue dangling from his mouth that he stole from the waste bucket in the powder room. I used the command on him to “drop” before I reached for the used Ultra Soft Kleenex, but Charly was stubborn and would not surrender his  rumpled white flag.

So, I, being the larger of the two species, bent down to tear that paper out from his teeth and that’s when he charged and latched onto my hand.

I don’t remember exactly what happened next, but when I came to there was a lot of blood and a rolled up torn Times next to me and my dog looked like an Andy Warhol painting.

My hand did not require any stitches but I was hurting for a dog trainer.  I called a family meeting, minus my always traveling husband, and announced to the children that I was getting rid of the dog. My twenty year old  daughter said “Good” and continued texting on her Iphone, and my  16 year old son grew silent and grabbed some ice and a band-aid.  (I now know which child will put me into the Deluxe Suite at the Retirement Center and which one will leave me duct taped to a wheel chair drooling in a parking lot).

 There was no need to call the paramedics for me or an  undertaker for the dog; the only phone call I managed to dial was a local Dog Trainer in my “hood”. I had his card for months, but due to economic hardships, doggie obedience and doggie schools and doggie camps and doggie play dates where not in my budget this year.

Plus, growing up with German Shepherds as kid, I never recall any dog training with a professional in our household or even in the neighborhood for that matter. Dog’s just seem to be dogs and they either obeyed or were met on the nose with whatever was handy. Albeit a stick, magazine, or my mothers new Rubbermaid spatula that she ordered through the catalogue  that ended up mysteriously missing from the Gadget drawer one day only to be returned with large bite marks on the handle.

“Rubbermaid, Touching millions of people everyday where they live, work, and play”. Even while sent to the Dog House…at least my mother’s bark was worse than her bite…

I finally gave in to the recession and dipped into my budget Piggy bank and hired a Dog whisperer of my very own. Only he doesn’t whisper. He met with Charly-dog and took that Chaniel by the horns and showed him whose boss. He was The Trainer.  He was Alonzo Harris in Training Day with a mix of Kathy Bates of Misery, throw in a hint of Darth Vader ,  and a wardrobe from Barbara Woodhouse.

 This Trainer got my dog under control and civilized in under an hour. My Trainer can take my dog anywhere and meet any one or any other dog and my Chaniel never complains. Not one little bark or whimper escapes his little doggie lips. If he had lips. The Trainer can make Charly-dog do anything he wants him to do and Charly obeys him, because if he doesn’t he will face the almighty choke collar cutting off his air supply.

When I try to emulate the Trainer and do as I am instructed Charly behaves like he should. Especially when the Trainer is present. I was impressed to say the least, that I actually had a dog that I could be proud of , and not fret every time I had to walk him and a car zoomed past and Charly would try to outrace the moving vehicle. I basked in the glory of strolling by folks in the neighborhood without Charly on High Alert Attack mode. I have to say that training day is the highlight of my life right now because my dog transforms into a T.V. dog that minds his manners….. For the camera anyway…

That’s right , when the Trainer is gone and I am solo again with my pup, mayhem breaks out and he regresses back to his original Hell Boy Look-a-like.  I can not afford to have this Trainer 24/7 unless I offer him room and board.

Hmmm…I’m thinking. My husband does travel a lot and I do have a guest room collecting dust more than visitors….

Well, it could make for some interesting blogging…………

et cetera
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