Charlywalker's Blog












I like the sound of my house in the morning. It begins with a serene calmness surrounded by an abundance of quiet, and ends with a clamor of energies erupting from a mixture of tyrannical teens, a traveling husband, and a wayward dog.

I fancy the stillness to inspire me to write…or…er..scribble down thoughts, however, the only thing materializing in my brain is “still” trying to transpire.  I need a muse.  Maybe the sound of music  might amuse me and become museful to help with motivation which could  ignite and spark a plethora of  musettes to clear the cobwebs visiting my minds museum.

Too much quiet seems to have a Sesame Street affect on me and it’s forcing me to spew an assortment of M’s & more M’s.  Might as well face it I’m addicted to love  of alliteration. It’s a nasty habit, but it’s really just for the pun of it.

For the new year I was trying to get a blog in edgewise at least once a week, but I would find myself sitting and staring at the computer hoping that the keyboard would miraculously take it’s alphabet and form an idea or two….

Sometimes I rest my hands on the keys in the typewriter formation that I learned in eighth grade from a teacher who was missing three fingers, and I would sit in a trance awaiting  an idea to hit that compels  my fingers to vibrate across the raised letters like a divining tool over a Ouija Board.

Sometimes I find myself sitting at the desk with my head in my hands closing my eyes with all my might in hopes that an anecdote will squeeze out from the darkness.  The only things that appear to pop through from that ritual are new wrinkles in the corners of my eyes from clamping my lids shut.

Sometimes I walk around the house looking for anything to stimulate a brainstorm , but, usually I end up facing a  few messy rooms that look as though they weathered a storm and curse at the dirty laundry that  is multiplying faster than bunnies.

Sometimes I jump into my mom uniform and take the crazy dog out for a walk in the “hood” hoping to grab some outdoor information that could trigger some hyperboles of life.  My dog was my original muse when I started this blog adventure, but now we both just walk amongst ourselves  in silence soaking in scenery and leftover urine floating atop the grass. Even my dog carries the “No Vacancy” aura atop is pea brain.  Lately it feels like I’m taking Eeyore for an apathetic walk…

Sometimes I check my email and witness an assortment of blogger’s have been busy at blogging.  I admire the folks that are able to write once a day and even sometimes twice a day.  Sometimes I find my Inbox is inundated weekly with subscriptions that I am too caught up in reading and I find I have left no time to formulate my own  mental material. I wish I had the time to blog every day or even every week.  I tried once, on January 1st of each year since the onset of this blog, I tried with all my mighty imagination to transcribe daily.  A day turned into two days….then three days….then a week….then a month….then I found myself caught up in living life instead of attempting to write about it.

Sometimes I load my brain cells with caffeine to try and jump start a synapse.  I step and fetch myself a warm cappuccino thinking the lovely aroma of my Italian espresso blend will activate an afflatus.  All it seems to produce is a  mild movement towards a quiet ladies room.  I never afflatus in public.

Sometimes I just want to stop all this blogsense and quit.  Maybe free up my stagnant legs that  hide under the desk while the varicosities await their first thrombosis.  Maybe give the chair cushion a break and let the micro-foam have a breather and work the dent out.  Maybe give my eyes a break from the vibrant glare on my screen….oh…wait…I have transition lenses.  I utilize the Hunter  S. Thompson technique….minus the cigarette.

Yes, I like the sound of my house in the morning that harbors a unique calmness before it’s inundated with the walking dead teens and  a tumbling dog chasing a husband who checks in and out and leaves his keys at the front desk.

My Desk.

The desk that shelters the immobile legs and supports the bent elbows that hold the hands that clasp the head which contains the brain that is trying to channel amusements blogged by a jack of all trades…….

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My high school son announced the other day that he was getting a tattoo.

I told him: “That’s nice, and when you leave for your  INK appointment make sure you take extra clothes with you”.

He stated back: ” Why? Do they make you change your clothes?”.

“No”.  I smiled back at him….” You’ll be needing something  to wear when you find yourself  no longer living in this house for doing something stupid”.

“My friend Jordan got one”….He mocks back.  “It’s scripture, written under his arm”.

“Well”, I breath out between gritted teeth, “I’m sure  God will be pleased to know that his word is being spread through Jordan’s armpit”.

 He carries on:  “You know I turn 18 soon, and I don’t need your permission. That’s what Jordan did”.

I hate that sense of entitlement and the continual referencing of the legal age of consent being thrown at me.  Just four years prior I had to defend against the dark art of over usage of that illegal statement by my daughter.  (That’s right..I call it an Illegal statement because teens tend to use it before they are deemed legal).

I smiled that smile you may have seen painted across the Mona Lisa’s face;  the one that smirks: I’m not that innocent…..

I shot back: ” Son, you are right, you don’t need my permission, nor my money, nor a roof over your head, nor the car you drive, nor the snowboard and all the equipment that goes with it, nor the food in the fridge, nor the education I provided, nor the pants that hang below the boxer line, nor the straight teeth, nor the numerous Doctor visits to cure your acne, nor…”

“Mom”…he tries to chime in, interrupting my total recall as I tally his bill and prepare an invoice for Mom Services Rendered.

“Moooom, stop already..I get it”.

“Oh sorry son, sometimes my Stepford brain wiring runs amok with  phrases pertaining to child rearing chores…”

I continue; ” It triggers a signal when a teen gives me eye rolling attitude and it can fly out of control when such teen harbors intense entitlement followed by  contemptible demands that are rooted and enhanced by Jordan’s freshly  stamped armpit”.

How is it that I give birth to two different children of two different genders four years apart, yet I am  met with similar situations at roughly the same time intervals? How…

My daughter once came to me at the same age and roughly the same time with the same demand: I’m getting a tattoo.  Why do they pick a tattoo. Why not a new spiral notebook or a matching pair of High GPA’s.  If they are looking to instill the shock value, getting high scores might do it for me…..

As far as I can tell, I quashed the tattoo dilemma with my daughter the same way I managed to hold off any piercings in areas where they don’t belong.  When my daughter was five she wanted her ears pierced.  Her reasoning at the time was:

 “Because her friend Emily is getting her ears pierced”.

  I wasn’t going to get into the family accolade of my mother’s comeback to anything I wanted to do in benefit of someone else, that being: “Well would you jump off a bridge if so-n-so jumped off a bridge?”.

In which I always responded with: “Possibly… it depends on the weather”.  Or some ending that would throw her a curve ball and cause her Stepford Brain to re-route…

I brought my daughter to a local mall to get her ears pierced as she petitioned.  As we stood next in line, the first piercing victim was a four year old girl stepping up to a high stool  minus any arm support. We watched as the ear-piercing attendant approached her with a giant gun that shoots studs into her delicate lobes.  My daughter witnessed an unbearable Ear Piercing scream from the cute little waif and grabbed my hand and pulled me toward the exit doors.

The next piercing conversation that came up was in her teens when the rave was attaching  a gold hoop through your navel, nose, tongue, and any other not for prime time area of the body. I merely discussed with her that should she attempt to pierce anything but the lobe of her ears, I will personally shop her down and remove the piercing my self….no anesthesia required…..

My first born’s inclinations for obtaining an underage tattoo came about later ,nearing her high school graduation. She, too, offered up the proverbial ” Household Teen Amendment” of: “When I’m eighteen………..”.

It was then I took the medical approach to describe in pain staking detail to my daughter the artistry of Tattooing, knowing full well  of the intense fear she has of needles.  I know this first hand from the early years of her receiving inoculations by the Pediatrician.  My daughter required a Swat team to steady her limbs…..

I continued my diatribe of the long term effect of hosting a tattoo.  I calmly explained that depending upon the physical location of this desired Ink Splotch, she will wake up one morning with that cute little butterfly she posted on the lower 40 anatomy and discover its collagen wings  collapsed  and fell into a fatty fold. And in another thirty years or so  she will experience the butterfly defect of The Girl with the Dragging tattoo….

For all you fresh parents out there who shelter tiny tots and elementary  dumplings who can’t imagine ever being confronted with issues outside of Gerber, Lego, and little league;  hold onto your diaper bags when you hit that bump in the stroller.  There will come a time when one has to confront the battle of the almost legal teen who  proudly injects their unprincipled Bill of Rights onto your List of Wrongs.

Just make sure you don your under armor and prepare for the battle of parental injustice as they cry  foul play when you take their hand in yours and guide them down that road of   teenage wasteland to take  a sneak  peek  under their armpit nation…….

spread the humor. This one’s for you Karen…




I have been doing time as a quasi- stay- at -home parent for..let’s say…..22.5 years.   I believe I  have met the necessary requirements and demands  that became the imprisoned criteria throughout those years in order to  obtain freedom from:  boring PTA meetings,  exhaustible Fund Raisers, Mad Max Sports Chauffeur,  24 hour on call chef , Personal Shopper, Emotional Referee, and in-house psychiatrist…..All this parental jurisprudence  under one leaky roof to allow freedom while enforcing order among family chaos….

I have enjoyed my time in this institution of parenting through each and every stage of child development.   All the way from directing developing girls into their  first wonder bra, to underdeveloped boys figuring out how to un-hook them.

It seems like only yesterday that my daughter was putting her toddler feet into my size 8 Charles Jourdan’s teetering and shuffling through the house while leaving a trail of scratch marks on the hardwoods.  Now she is grown and shuffles her  Knock-off collection between college and home via the trunk of a car, and still teeters and stumbles  in her stiletto’s on the hardwoods.

And my son, soon to  approach high school graduation and walk towards that collegiate path where he will pick up the fork in the road  and use it as a reminder of all the lovely over cooked meals mom made for him.  I think he will enjoy his “leaving the nest” gift I constructed out of the  equipment and attire that lays suffocating inside his sports bag gasping for a breath of fresh Febreze huddled in the garage for months on end….…..oh it just brings tears to my eyes……..

 Yes, time flies when you’re raising kids. Sometimes too fast and in certain predicaments, sometimes not fast enough. Looking back for example: Potty training.  My children had stubborn bottoms. There was no way in Hell that they were going to plant their tuschies on a porcelain stool containing water with a hole in it and “let loose”.  They might fall in and who knows where that  would lead to.

I invested in a lot of time and energy and “potty” reading material in order to get my kids trained in toiletry. I researched all the child experts and read  their advice on bathroom training and the commode controversy. All that information just filtered an assortment of crap that drained me and I was left pooped for the day. Who has that kind of time to sit and read  lengthy descriptive potty books to toddlers in hopes to encourage a movement.

When my kids did finally concede to try the pot located in a chamber adjacent to their rooms, they found themselves  actually liking it and would sit for what seemed like hours.  Once my son  hopped off the pot to go grab a toy and return to the bathroom theater to reenact the “mummy” with Elmo wrapped in Ultra Soft.

My daughter took a more regal approach and dragged her Crayola markers  to the throne as she mastered an  imitation of a Calder painting onto the toilet tank.

Yes, those were the days that I didn’t mind if the hours raced on ahead…

 Lately,I find myself caught in a web that spins in only two directions as my parenting comes down a home stretch creating a possibility for early parole….if you’ll Pardon the expression. There is a minor offensive feeling of freedom when you are about to face an empty nest. It’s sort of an unleashed guilty pleasure of retreating back to what was once designated  as ” Me Time”;  yet, at the same time, harboring a push-me-pull-you defense against “letting Go”.

Just as I came to grips with the realization that my household was soon to be down to basically Charly-dog and me, and I started to feel the content and joy of releasing  most of the everyday tedium  involved with indwelling kids.  Just as my heart  started to jump for joy as I unfastened the shackles of daily duties revolving around kid schedules and looking forward to…oh….I dunno………. perennial Spa time?……..

I received a phone call.

My son’s school called to ask if we could be an “emergency host family for a foreign exchange student from Holland who needed a place until graduation in June”.

This all came about before the holidays. I could not  lie and tell my sons school that there was “no room at the inn”, so I took the little Dutch boy in.

Apparently Amsterdam Boy and my son are two tulips in a vase. They became best friends at the beginning of the  school year.  When Holland boy’s window of opportunity landed  from Netherland into our home, I swear I had met my sons Doppleganger.  They are the same size and shape. They laugh alike, they walk alike, and  times they even talk alike.……….in different languages.

They are both carved out of the same Dutch Elm. Both their bedrooms  resemble an aftermath of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch war.  The shrapnel of clothing splinter out from the opened dresser drawers and wounded trousers lay lifeless on the floor from their nights frivolity.  I gather up dirty laundry from two countries  now.  I find myself lost in the glory of scooping up the minor coins that strategically drop from  loosened pockets throughout the house.  I’ll hang onto the Euro’s from Dutch boy until the exchange rate drops to our level, then give him a buy back option…

I will conclude that hosting a foreign exchange student has actually turned out to be a pleasure.  There are no major complications and the language barrier is minimal.  He respects my professionalism I’ve acquired in the experience of teen behavior:  Eye Rolling is International.

Yes, confronting the empty nest syndrome has had some effect on me. It caused me to confront the hollow spaces left behind where dirty laundry and missing History assignments use to congregate.  I always thought when this time came,  I would succumb to the sadness of a half empty house  and wallow and wine as I second guess my parenting skills. Skills that did not include instructions from the onset.  Skills that you obtained through trial and error and all the Dr. Spock books in the world could not prepare you for. Skills that have been handed down from generations  nursing  verbal acuity with four simple words:

“Because I said so….”

Yes, the bars will be lifted soon and I will be set free to roam about the cabin without tripping over size 13 shoes left in the middle of the kitchen floor; accompanied now  with size 12 Faux Wooden clog slippers.  Something tells me my nest won’t be empty for long and my parental ship will not be sailing into the sunset where freedom rings and Chianti flows rampant, and responsibility can take a back seat. Something  out there is still lurking around and sniffing about my feet to fill the void that is soon to come…..

Oh..yea… I forgot………Charly-dog.

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{January 7, 2012}   In one Blog and Out the Other

I love the holidays. I am sorry to see them go.  I believe I could become one of those recluses who keeps their lights and tree up all year long just to keep the spirit alive, and have the home owners association fine me at the same time.

I love Christmas and all the festivities that accompany it.  In the past I use to get annoyed at the fact that the retail businesses would set  up Santa’s workshop in stores shortly after Labor Day, but now I love that the Holiday arrives earlier and earlier every year; It just means I get to revel in that carnival atmosphere a little longer.

Although they start the Christmas phantasm following the  August back to school sales, I still love that I can retreat to the basement and sort through my recently added purchases from last years after Christmas sales.  I don’t know what it is that triggers me to run to the nearest Target or K-mart and thumb through their empty shelves of the previous years leftovers. It is such a gratification to grab a box of netted multi lights for 75% off.   Ohhh…. and hold me back from the singing Elvis ornaments…..I am so glad I didn’t weaken one day and fork out the full price for that…. yes, I am an ornament junkie.

I have  been seen rifling through end caps located in a  targeted area that offer ginormous bins loaded with discarded Christmas paraphernalia in hopes of finding that Lost Ark to add to my temple of doom & gloom that surrounds my house pre- Holiday.

I have had a a house full of people these last few weeks, and enjoyed every minute of it. I love the hustle -n-flow of the teens traipsing through my house leaving trails of candy cane pieces that had set up residence in the couch.  And let’s not forget to mention the patches of dark residue embedded in the carpet fibers, which I mistook for “doggie surprises”, but later turned out to be traces of a Tootsie Roll…………Thank God it wasn’t the other way around.

I am going to miss wading knee deep in the aftermath of torn wrapping paper, and the sticky bows that adhere themselves onto my clothing and go unnoticed until the cashier at the return line in Macy*s peels it off my back like a piece of stinky lint.

My favorite Holiday episode is fighting with colorful tissue remnants stuck to my shoe.  I hated the looks I received when I exited a Sear’s Ladies Room  one day, when I was met with countless stares and titters as my Jimmy Choo waved a white flag from it’s three inch heel.  As I hoofed it past the customer service line, I found myself conjuring up a soliloquy to numerous strangers giggling behind their basket of returns :

“No, really….it’s Christmas tissue……really.…it is...honest…I..I have proof, check the gummy outline on the sole from last years Scotch tape fiasco…”.

The part of Christmas I tend to wrestle the most with is the Tree.  For most of my life we would always indulge in a Real Christmas tree. A Tree that you would stuff family members into a mini van and venture out to a far-a-way farm to spend hours in the cold choosing the right tree  to fit the family room.  I love the smell of Pine in the house and spending days trying to remove the pitch from my hands.  I especially loved the endless upkeep involving never ending vacuuming of piled- up pine needles.  Pine needles that continued to show up throughout the summer.  In fact I think I found a needle from Y2K.

I know this because it was then that I switched to  the fake trees.  They are very life like and are all inclusive.  No need to” just add water…..”.  You take them out of a big box and they pop up and plug in. They have Pine Spray should you miss the scent of a wooded area. The problem is when it’s all over and stuffing that little faker back into its original box.  I find myself in a half nelson with the branches as I roll the tree into the box and ask three people to sit on it until it settles down.  And…I still find myself grabbing the vacuum to suck up Fake pine needles.

I have a friend who has a fake tree in its own Bag.  Her Holiday regime is met with:

First:    Open a bottle of wine and pour a glass …

Second: Open bag and raise slowly from the bottom up and lo and behold an instant tree with lights and ornaments.

Third:    Bottoms Up! And  sit and enjoy the sparkling Spruce while listening to your neighbors cursing at their Evergreens to “stand up straight”.

Yes I love the holidays. The beginning, middle, and end.  I love the aftermath of  de- Ornamenting the tree and placing them back into their  bulbous home and dragging the Tubs to the basement to stow them in an area that is only reachable by a ladder. I love climbing back up the stairs to the bare space in the corner where a naked tree stands pointing it’s fabricated projections at me dangling two forgotten red balls…..

I love arguing with the wintered rose bushes that are holding the outdoor net lights hostage in their thorns.  Every year I keep thinking I’ll return into the house unscathed, but, inevitably I always lose that war of the roses and end up looking like something the cat dragged in……carrying Christmas lights.

LED….less energy……right.

The one thing that was different this year was my daughter having to leave to return to school.  The time seemed to fly by this holiday break and before I knew it she was packing her bags and loading them into the car for the trip back to Happy Valley.   It seems like only yesterday she arrived with baskets of  laundry and suitcases filled a mile high with clothing spewing down a mountainside of of unwashed unmentionables.

Oh..it is such a bittersweet moment when the Holidays end at my house.  One is saddled with the leftovers of  Christmas residuals and the minor deflation of the Spirit gone by the wayside until next year.  I watched through the window of my daughters empty room as the car pulled down the driveway heading down the road back to her future , and I felt a pang of emptiness as I retreated from the window to start the year with some post Christmas cleaning.  I turned around to head towards her closet and there was an unopened gift my daughter  had left behind for me……………

The basket of dirty laundry…….ohhh…. Happy New Year…

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{January 2, 2012}   “Down Bloggie”

 

I want to talk about A-ccount-ability.   I am not referring to a certain Aristocratic Muppet whose capability is to count prime numbers through fanged teeth,…………..I am speaking about folks being held liable to be answerable,……..accountable.  Does anyone fully accept responsibility for their actions anymore or has passing the bedraggled buck  become the accepted modus operandi….

I own a house.  A house that has a roof.   A roof that carries two different dye-lots of shingles splattered about as if it had been  Jackson Pollock laying down the tiles in a pattern that screams Jack the Dripper’s handy work.  This would have fallen upon deaf ears ( and eyes) had my neighbor ( a roofer by trade) not stopped over and bring this faux -pas to my attention.  He said he was tired of staring  at the test pattern atop my house while sipping his Starbucks and working on last weeks crossword puzzle.  I told him my husband’s in the shoe industry and I haven’t enjoyed watching his ancient Chuck Taylor’s  with floppy laces climbing up and down the  metal ladder he loads on his truck at 5:00 a.m. every morning either……..

My Roof Aficionado neighbor kindly volunteered his expertise of Tile formation in grave detail.  He expounded on the faulty craftsmanship, application, and flawed materials that resulted in a leak over our family room.  He set forth with his roofing jargon and  concluded with explicit instructions on what steps to take and with whom to take those steps…..

I took his advice as he took my money for the consult and started at the grass roots level.  I contacted the Abbott & Costello Team who built this house that we paid a small fortune for, and was met with a trio of pin striped suits on the  other end of the phone:

Who am I speaking with?” , (asks Cindy who is the receptionist for the Builder)…..and What seems to be the issue..and I Don’t Know if we can help you…”.

I reiterated to Cindy-who is the receptionist, the knowledge I was given by my neighbor the roof expert.  Cindy forwarded my call to Jack-who is the builder’s nephew, whose job it is to resolve customer problems:

What we have here, Mrs. G, is a situation with the product used on the house that Jack built. This is not our jurisdiction, you need to contact the  company that manufactured the tiles”.   Mutters Jack from his boxed in cubicle.

 So I contacted the Manufacturer Team and they sent out a representative to fix the small leak under the mis-matched tiles.   As this representative did his job atop my pointy roof, we  conversed about rooftops using terms that included “workmanship” and “dye-lots”.  The Roofing Rep conceded that this was a “bums rush” of a job, however, the folks that did the original job are ” no longer with the company”.  And then he left.

He left with two samples of roofing tiles to be examined by Who’s  Top Tile scientists, who later got back to me:

  What we have here, Mrs. G, is a building issue, not  a materials issue.  I Don’t Know if we can help you”, states the rocket roof tile scientist. ” You need to contact the sub contractor”.

“Who?” I Bat back.  “Do they touch base with Who the first contact I spoke with, who directed me to What appears to be the second base of contact for which I Don’t Know if a third party is the answer“…

“Let me get this straight”, I proceeded, “You must know all the players in this business”.

” I certainly do”…he says.

So..”  I ask, “WHO is ultimately responsible for WHAT was placed upon my roof on a house that Jack built?”.

a short pause and then a reply…………

“I Don’t Know”.

Third base!


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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.



{November 24, 2011}   To Err is Human, to Blog is Divine

My television is on it’s last tube and needed to be laid to rest. We owned this antiquated boob-tube for fifteen years and it followed us through-out our trans continental locations with out obtaining one scratch from the moving company.( Even the remote laid intact, batteries included…….).  This ancient analogue helped raise my children and provided entertainment(?) for our family  during Prime Time…………and not for prime time.

I don’t know where this TV ‘s final resting place will be, because…well….I don’t know where TV’s go when they run out of their power supply and forfeit their vertical stance for a horizontal time- base.  I guess the amplifier is out cold and syncing into the contrast as it separates the demodulator which will never flyback in order to transform…..

In other words I am  now faced with having to purchase a replacement.

I hate shopping for Large Electronics. Unless it is a life-like robot of Brad Pitt.    I particularly do not like to shop for  a large electronic  housed  in a giant ware -house that offers the Cost- Consumer, what they deem,  a  fair and balanced deal.  

  Unfortuneately, one day while unloading my five gallon olive jar onto a conveyer belt during checkout,  my membership was inadvertently upgraded to a higher level. This was LED by princess Leah wearing a yellow see through vest wielding a laser ,holding me at gun point, which I later found out is  disguised as  random price checks….

SO…. now I get to make  Executive decisions when I spend on items that nurture a shelf span of eternity and could possibly supply a small nation. 

I have been a member of this giant house of Cost-Containing surplus since their conception, and never took the opportunity to investigate their backlog of electronic offerings, until our faithful Panasonic died.

I entered the wear-house in anticipation of leaving with a new TV. A new and improved TV.  A   television of our times. A television that my children can be proud of that contains the current mechanisms to import whatever attachment they may need to export for their viewing pleasure.  Something that will tickle their little pixels…..

I spent two hours pacing through the television aisles with various brand names and notable features staring at me. I had fragments of the alphabet swirling in my head, with the likes of:

LCD…LED…HD..CRT….DLP..HDTV…..all those abbreviations gave me a thriving ADHDS………Attention Deficit (to) High Density Systems.  Soooo many choices and my time was running short.   I immediately ruled out Plasma,…….. who wants to watch a clear yellowish fluid flow out from the screen……..

Finally, a Cost-Courtious employee approached me, well I think it was an employee, this one had on a red vest. I was grateful that  it wasn’t security as I had been  occupying the  same area for  hours with out assistance, possibly raising a height of suspicion around the store.  (Yes…I’m sure to them, I was a candidate to conceal a 60 inch  SMART-HDTV under my  Victoria Secret Hoodie and shuffle out the wired doors wearing platform booties onto the lot, where I inevitably always forget  where my car is parked…… ). I guess I could have pitched a tent in stead of a fit, but I wasn’t in the camping aisle….

Even under non emergent  shopping days I spend a leisurely   2 plus hours trolling the hallways  of this giant ware-house.  One day in particular I noticed a tall  man with dark hair following me about as I meandered between the 50 lb coffee bags and dancing on through the plastic utensils that can service a table of 500. It wasn’t until I lingered too long in the women’s necessity aisle that I caught a glimpse of him eying me through a peep-toe shoe, and I waltzed my flat-bed of items to the front desk to complain.   I ranted about the blatant obviousness of their security methods and do they really think I can smuggle a frozen King Salmon in my spanks………unnoticed????  Chilling thought.

The manager listened intently and had me describe the man to him that was following me throughout the store. I did this with intense detail from his cologne  all the way to his fake pinky ring.  The manager gave a slight chuckle and exposed to me that his store only has  women security agents employed today.  I  thanked the manager and asked him  that when I am ready to check out would he kindly furnish me with an escort to my car as I do not want to end up sleeping with the frozen fillets…….

Meanwhile, I was LED back to the Electronic ranch to listen to the courteous  attendant start to describe the differences in the various makes and models of the HD haven that was spread out before me.  I stood there in my TV trance and I snapped too when I heard him utter the word “Smart Television”. 

  Hmmmm.. I am tired of that adjective being attached to items of every day use………… Smart tv, Smart phones, Smart washers & dryers, Smart clocks,……. Smart Alec’s………..I’m not playing this Panel Game Mr. Smarty pants…..

I don’t want to own anything that is smarter than me.   I might lose control. And God knows how often the Control’s get lost in my house……

After a long and arduous meeting of the neurons, I opted for the Smart -TV costing a bundle and causing my wallet to smart.  The Cost-Conscious employee loaded the flat screen into my car and off I drove into the sunset toward the reluctant  teen at home awaiting to help me assemble this work of art.  This ART that carries a 90 day return policy. This Smart -piece-of-crap-de-resistance hung flawless in our home up  until the 99th day when it decided to use it’s craft and emit distortion and ghost figures followed by pixel interruptus……

My Panasonic never gave me any back talk…

I went through the proper Channels to remedy the problems which ultimately LED me to dismantle the Hair-brained TV and lug it back to the giant Cost-consuming store.  I stood in line with receipt in hand and was approached by a Blue vested worker who loudly announced that I was “past the ninety days for a return”. ( At this point I was thinking maybe  I should have opted for the Plasma, at least the blood pulsating through the veins in my head would have been replenished….)

The large mouth bassy flopped over her deck of returns and handed me a business card with a toll free number of a concierge unit belonging to the giant Cost-conglomerate and fished out the words “good-luck”.  

Luck I don’t need….a working TV…..I do.

I tried to remain calm and not activate the spare key on my key chain to the wine cabinet…….but I  realized I was  not in the confines of my own  home, and I don’t have key roaming…..

I was instructed to “step aside” for the other customers as I stood guard of my flat screen and dialed the number issued to me for problem resolution.  I explained the situation to this Cost-concierge in grave detail and was LED to the  call center of the manufacturer of the Smart-TV,who told me to:

“Go home and set the the TV back up and we can troubleshoot and call the repair person for replacement parts”.

O.K.  let’s re-cap: “I spent mega-bucks on an electronic item from a Cost-corrupt environment that is barely 3.5 months old, who is waiving their responsibility to assist me in exchanging this faulty TV and passing me on to the Maker who produces this product , who want to send someone to replace a part which has not yet been determined if that is the root of the problem?  In other words….you are telling me that my  brand new  recently purchased smart -TV  is in need of repair”.

I buy a Brand spanking new TV.  I go home and plug it in.  I turn it on and it works, it works for the first 90 days.  Now they want to put parts in it with out investigating the TV.  They will not give me another one. They will not give me my money back.  I am stuck with this Brand New HDTV that, even if parts are exchanged or repaired , could still cause issues after the warranty expires. Then what? More repairs?  Hmmmm…..how very Smart of them……

I walked over to the Armoire sitting across the room that carried the old Panasonic in it’s cupboard and looked at the bare shelf and pondered at the changes over those 15 years. Changes involving the advancements in our society.  Changes in the products,the people, the customer service from Neverland, the hand-off of accountability, no more dumb TV’s…….

Changes that LED me to turn that empty cabinet into a wine closet where I will sit and toast my Brand New Flat Screen Smart HDTV  with all it’s ghost like manner  spewing  fireworks of distortion, while I wait for the Smarty-Pants repairman……..

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{November 5, 2011}   Blog Wars

As I mentioned briefly in my last post, my son is in the process of filling out applications to various colleges of his (?) choice.  I am glad that we are now in the techno- age and this tedium can be completed online instead of the hoards of paperwork covering the floor like confetti.

My son has mastered the first few lines of the application, and I thank God for all the education I paid for so he can fill in his name, address and phone number correctly.  On one of the applications his mouse tripped over a tab asking for his ethnicity.  He clicked on the menu and viewed the drop-down of options that proposedly describe his inherit make- up.  He scanned the itemized arrangement of nouns and adjectives covering the world and turned to me and asked:

“What is my ethnicity?”.

I internalized his question and tried to visualize our family tree to see if I could manage to shake out some Ancestry in under 30 seconds to supply him with a proper response to adhere to the applications request.  He interrupted my mental search engine and asked:

“What do I place in the Race?”.

I said: ” Just tell them you won by a nose”.

Finishing his eye rolling he darted back:

“Am I White- non-Hispanic?”

I stated in return:

” See if they have beige with freckles and completing  your fourth year of  Spanish…….”.

He returned to the menu options and scrolled to the end of a long checklist of titles until  he spotted a selection dubbed Caucasian.

Then  asked…….:

“What about Caucasian….click that?”

I stood over the sink scrubbing  the burnt remnants resting on the bottom of a pot from last nights dinner and peeled my Rubber- Maid gloves off my fingers and  raced over to my sons computer.  In doing so, I started to examine  his statement: What about Caucasian..

I have to admit I don’t even know what that word describes or means, but I was taught as a kid to check that  category….no questions asked.   I never liked checking that box or any other box for that matter. What difference does it make.

  Caucasians, I later discovered through my sons investigation on the Web,  evolved from a dividing line between Asia and Europe with some added spice that included Polynesia.  They settled in an area called Mount Caucasus and produced Caucasoids and Europids. (Caucasoid? Europid? These sound like something you need an ointment for……..).   This group harbored the likes of Russians, Hindu, Azerbaijan, Armenian, Iranian, Turkey, and North Africa. My son also found that this Mt. Caucasus, in it’s time, “produced the most beautiful men”.

So…where were  the women in this mix?  I don’t know who lead that Caucus……….

My son interrupted the rant going on in my mind and asked again which option to select.   This opened the door to discussions of family genes and the history of our clan.  The Ancestry showed we derived from a menu of  a Heinz 57 variety and could not be narrowed down to just one Box.

So??” He continues, ” Which box do I mark and what is the one called Other for?

I don’t get why they  have a need for any classification in the first place. What difference does it make and who set that standards anyway, and he’s right in asking about the “Other”.  I never knew what that category includes and I still don’t, and I think Everyone filling out applications should check that Other box. I think we all fall into that category one way or another. I thought having to check the Caucasian selection was odd , but who are the Other’s?    I know The Other’s is an old movie set in a haunted New Jersey Mansion featuring a mega star from Australia and directed by a man from Santiago, Chile.  I wonder if they checked the Other Box when applying for this movie.

I snapped out of my telepathic tirade and tried not to harangue myself as my son chimed  in :

“MOM, mom, moooom….chill”.

I don’t think this application  process was meant to be this overwhelming within the first paragraph and I wonder if there are any OTHER teens contemplating the categories offered on this collegiate menu. Or questioning it.

I told my son to leave that section blank and write in his own box and mark it:

POPEYE…I yam what I yam…..AAAHuuUUHGUhGuhGuh

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{November 4, 2011}   Blog Under Water

My teenage is son is trying to kill me.  I believe it has been a slow ongoing scheme ever since he popped out of the birth canal and handed the Dr. the chili peppers I ate that caused the first contraction…..

My son is in his last year of doing time in his posh private school and now faces the drones of filling out college applications.  His High School is aiding and abetting in this procedure and along with the paper chase , they advise the child to visit the colleges of choice to get a “feeling” for the environment and experience the “college” atmosphere.  This is a little too touchy- feely for me.

My parents did not play a major role in our college adventure, unless one needed a phone call to a senator  to help the child with the low GPA to get a “leg-up” onto the collegiate saddle.  ( That wasn’t me).   During my high school  days, a student just filled out the ONE page application with a few recommendations , put a 10 cent stamp on it and held your breath until the rejection letter came…….OR  until the acceptance packet arrived and your parents gleefully packed your belongings and shipped you off to your University  in a foreign land where you would spend the next four years with a roommate from hell, while sleeping in a room that was built for munchkins.

Now the schools “suggest” you take your teen by the hand and “visit” the college they might be attending………..”making sure it’s a “good fit”.

My sons college choices were ( and I stress the word WERE) : The University of Hawaii and any College that offers snowboarding as a credit……

 Right now I am trying to Turn over a new Leaf and not jump to unsolicited temperament and possibly reach for the key to the wine cabinet………..

I decided to take a disciplined approach and research the demographics of his chosen educational destiny.  After careful consideration of calculating the costs of  “visits” to Vermont, Colorado, Maine, and some outback in Michigan in order to obtain grounds for Mastering an  SBA…(Snow Boarding Achievement),…………I opted to send him to his sister’s Apartment Dorm in the Pocono’s.

My daughters University is nestled near mountains, harbors over 40,000 students, and just made history last weekend with a Major Coach’s 409th Football win. Just the kind of weekend you want to send your teen son for a visit…….not.

The one thing I have learned in life is to take it one day at a time and if you are raising teenagers……….. take it  Every minute of the time, or keep replenishing the wine glass……

Firstly: Never,  Ever send a seventeen year old to a University located in a town called HAPPY VALLEY…….especially during the Halloween weekend. My mistake was instructing my coed daughter to show her brother the campus life, the town, the University, the Dean of Students, and possibly, the Admissions Office.

Oh, my son did witness and participate in what the campus had to offer via his hooded- Sister of the Pants  that Traveled between Main street and Frat houses with my son in tow wearing a purple Morph-suit.  He did happen to  make one  very important connection  with some State dignitaries;  a blue man group approached my sons six foot frame encased in spandex and asked him to join their Lycra Fraternity……..Tappa-New-a-Keg….along with their sub chapter…….I-Felta-Thigh…..

When my son returned home that late Sunday night from his fortuitous academic adventure, I  greeted him with a warm smile and  clenched teeth as  I asked him  how his College visit went:

“Awesome Mom,  I’m going there!”

Oh lovely. I am so happy that this visit enhanced your educational choices for your future of academic success in order to meet the challenges that will mold you into the person you have deemed yourself to be.

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{October 25, 2011}   Put on The Blog

I think I may try to post something once a day to drive the readers crazy or to possibly have them ask for more……

Last night I had a dream about Bill Gates. I have had dreams of famous people before but never one of this caliber or fortuitous in nature. I don’t know why Mr. Gates decided to pop into my castle in the air, maybe it’s the menopause gods messing with my brain; but he landed there anyway and the dream took place in an automobile.  He was driving of course, and I was in the passenger seat.

The car in the dream was not the one I actually found myself leaning on one cold afternoon outside the Westin Hotel while waiting for the airport Taxi to arrive. In the dream, this auto was a very sleek Cadillac Escolade with tinted windows…

  I have never had the pleasure to meet Mr. gates. I have only seen pictures of him on integral publications. I knew his dad was a lawyer in Seattle like mine was, and maybe, just maybe, they crossed paths a few times in the court house elevator to exchange briefs…….

Anyway….. as I was heading back to Los Angeles and awaiting a transport vehicle to pick me up along with the other less fortunate’s who couldn’t afford a cab, the “Sit-n-Wait” bench was occupied and I was left with standing room only. Nestled under the car port in the semi circular drive to the entrance of the Hotel I noticed a Mercedes abandoned sitting close to the pick up area.  I mozied on over and leaned my too- tired-to-stand-anymore- rump against the rear fender with one leg  propped atop my Hartman carry- on, balancing  the Times on my knee working on a  puzzle I started three days earlier. Just when I finished filling in an 11  letter word for Mega rich person who monopolizes the computer industry……….

I heard an attendant scatter about rustling a set of keys and running after a man walking towards the Teal car where I was resting my laurels and he tossed out a quiet yell:

“Here’s your keys Mr. Gates”.

My tuschie came off the back end of that car as if it had just sat down on  a wet seat on the Subway  headed to Coney Island. I slowly looked to my right to catch a glimpse of what I presumed might be the Billionaire,  (it could also have been my eighth  grade science teacher. Same name different incomes outcomes).  It turned out to be the Microsoft Mogul and I was hoping  he wasn’t going to instruct the attendant to have me removed and get his car dusted for commoner butt prints….

What I actually witnessed was Bill giving me a double take. He looked at me twice before he opened his car door to get in and didn’t utter a sound.

There are only a few reasons I can think of when someone looks at you twice:

one: you think you recognize that person,

two: you like what you see and you have to have seconds.

three: “what was this girl thinking resting on his specially made Teal Sadies as if it were a hitching post equipped with a watering hole. Why the nerve of that girl placing her back pocket of her designer jeans against my hand crafted rear panel indulging in the New York Times Puzzle. What,…..  she’s too good for the Seattle Times Sudoku??”.

O.k…That actually happened…..with the exception of the NY Times…..I  was reading the Horoscope section holding a pen………

My dream  last night about Mr. Gates opened with the two of us riding about in a giant SUV and he was yakking about how we were going  to go swimming at a club that my family belongs to.

He was very concerned about my “knowing how to swim”, and “do I like swimming”.( I didn’t know how to respond because it was 30 degrees out and snow was still on the ground and swimming was the last thing on my mind.)  As I sat there in the passenger seat groping for an answer that would honor the Mega- Trazillionaire, my puppy , Charly-dog, popped onto the dashboard and rummaged through the front seat of Gates car as if he owned it.

Mr. Gates started quizzing me about Charly-dog and asked: “what kind of food he eats” and “if the food was expensive” and “was it tasty“.

I informed him of the brand and mumbled that I had not yet sampled it.

Then I woke up. I woke up with a feeling that I had just held a private meeting with one of the top richest men in the country and our conversations centered around swimming and dog chow, instead of  great stock tips or insight to a new pc product.  I was left drowning in a  Pool of Purina……..

I don’t know about anyone else, but conquering menopause without medication is starting to have it’s effect on me.  The estrogen has now hit the subconscious below sea level. My anterior pituitary has reached its last droplets of hormonal secretions and is casting its FSH out to the sea of dreams. Flooding the GATES of  REM.  I use to have dreams that had me floating atop the clouds care-free……with no Dog interruptus……….

Thank God my puppy was there to witness the whole thing, he smiled at me in the morning as if everything went swimmingly well…..

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