Charlywalker's Blog











{August 27, 2012}   Eat My Blog!

Ok…bare with me….I’m going to go on a tirade that will get your juices flowing.

Recently I stopped into a Walgreen’s in search of a Slip-n-slide to entertain the twin boys  next door.  Now that my children are  off to college and surpass the height, weight, and age requirement posted on the front of this Wham-O box, I thought I might spread the joy onto another generation.

Although it’s the end of summer and the aisle’s in Walgreen’s are embellished with Halloween decor,  I just thought I might get lucky in the leftover  “Summer water-fun” section and happen upon a lonely re-taped box containing a Surf Rider for the lawn.  I ended up going to three different stores before I  finally stumbled upon my Product of Gold.  And I do mean stumbled Up On.

After countless minutes of wandering aimlessly through misdirected passageways offered up by the one purple haired  texting employee,  I turned toward the area that her rolling eye’s pointed to and tripped over a yellow and blue box waving it’s slip-n-slide tongue  at me.  I noticed the empty shelves of  all the Summer days drifting away and me standing alone at the end cap of aisle seven investigating the last Slip-in Slide exploding out of it’s cardboard casket.  It appears that I was not the only one in search of Summer Fun that afternoon as I witnessed a glob of amber synthetic petrochemical out pouching from it’s home.  It look like another patron did a little breaking and entering causing  an escapee of  fire retardants to seep through the strapping tape.

I slipped the collapsed slide from it’s pocket to inspect it for flaws; as I would hate to get the three year old twins jacked up for a round of belly-flopping and later find a tear and cause their Summer dreams ripped into seams…..Well-a well-a-well a- huh…

Ok.. I’ll tell you more… tell you more…

This isn’t about the slip-n-slide it’s about the box Angry bird fruit gummy’s I purchased as an after thought while exiting the store.  Angry bird gummy’s that eventually found themselves returned to the store because the Green Bird contained something dark and sinnister in it’s gummy belly. This was noted when a child was about to pop it in her mouth at the poolside. It was a good thing that this kid likes to investigate her food as if she were a cast member of CSI, before she passed it through her gums.  Her keen sense of , ” Hey, what happened to this angry bird gummy”, brought my attention to the small black spot burrowed in the belly of this Angry Green Bird.

I snatched that gummy from her hand and inspected the foreign body lying inside the gummy bird. It looked like a small part of a bug.  This gummy had a bug up its ass…...now I see why they are called Angry Birds.

I went back to the store to return the box of Angry Bird  Fruit Gummy’s made in Mexico.  I did not go to the original store where I bought them, I went to a store closer to my home which is located in a different state.  I live south of the border in my state and have the opportunity to shop tax free  in another state on a daily basis.

I managed to track down a manager to present my Angry Bird Gummy case and produced the body of one disgruntled Green Gummy. I told her I read the ingredients on the side of the box and how it neglected to mention  any added protein to the mix.

 The manager was amenable as I handed her the receipt and I explained that I bought this item in a tax free state.  She counterclaimed that in my State most food is not taxed.  I was dumbfounded, as I thought all food was tax free. I asked about the gummy’s status in that genre of taxation. She expounded on the difference of percentages of Fruit in the food:

“If the gummy’s contain a high percentage of fruit they are considered Food”.

I asked her where is the cap line for the gummy birds and might this Gaggle of gummy’s not make the tax free cut.  Maybe the Red Angry bird has more fruit matter and carries the weight for the rest of the Angry flock. I asked if there is a flow chart that determines which gummy’s make it as food and which get (T)axed…and what about all the other products that contain Fruit. Like Orange Juice or Juicy Fruit Gum……W(r)igle(y) your way out of that one…..

I walked out of that store thinking about which elected official spending my tax dollars, actually sat down and thought this out to present to the government when the Food Tax  Addendum was in session.  I could just envision this appointed delegate entering the Senate with his/her box of Angry Bird Gummy’s to argue the amount of fruit contained in this Green Angry Bird.   I wonder if this dignitary presented the facts based on the history of the Angry Bird’s which shows that this Green Angry Bird can spin around and smash objects from the other side and is similar to and nicknamed; The Boomerang.

No wonder it came back to the store.

spread the humor.

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The training process lasted a total of six weeks and most of the time was spent in a classroom of some sort, whether it contained a mock-up of the new L1011 jumbo jet or or a mirrored room full of Elizabeth Arden’s new Fall colors.  Rule #6 was designed to align our faces to model Cybill Shepherd, the pin-up girl of the 70’s.   I guess every era has it’s poster child.

.

Our airline’s beloved American Idol was posted adjacent to the life size mirrors covering the walls of our classroom .  The new stews arrived in a timely manner and rushed to their assigned station where a glossy Mauve box the size of a mini cocktail tray lay before them.  We were all into our third week of instruction and everyone was well acquainted with each other and their State of being.  I was seated next to Miss Georgia who dove into her box thinking it contained a creamy nougat or two, and  after lifting the lid, immediately slumped into disappointment as she faced her assortment of Georgia Peach hues….

Each of the make-up boxes that were presented to us were pre-picked based on our skin tone, eye, and hair color,  by a company that originated in 1911.  I guess I was thankful that by  the time 1970 rolled around Elizabeth Arden was sold to a pharmaceutical company and women no  longer applied freshly picked berries onto their lips and cheeks.  I’m sure Ms. Arden was rolling over behind her Red Door when her palette’s  now featured  the added Lab-Rat Lavender and Carcinogenic Cocoa as the headliner colors.

My pretty in pink box held colors suited for the Brown-eyed Brunette, who couldn’t fall farther from the Cybill Shepard tree.  I watched as a prescribed make-up artist ran around the room blaring cosmetic counsel to make sure  we all stuck to the Airline code  and represent the Stepford “Stews ” Standard, and not think outside our laminated pink box.

The colors illuminating from my Box screamed an assortment of Moody Blues highlighting a crystal blue persuasion of eyeliners,  while undertones of deep purple gave me a whiter shade of pale.  All this Beauty in a  Box repertoire  was accompanied by Marvin Gaye crooning over the scruffy sound system:

What’s Going On…tell me what’s going onnn…

The next step was to tackle our hair.  I watched as each member of the class of  ’72 received bangs.  It was a time somewhere between late chic  Hippie shag and early Farrah Fawcett feathering. The last thing I remember is the stylist grabbing my ponytail wielding a giant pair of scissors and me sobbing into a pre -moistened towelette causing my freshly applied make-up to run. My new doo was now light and feathery carrying less weight.  I guess minimal hair presented a larger allowance for  extra carry -on luggage for the passengers.

When noontime finally rolled around I skipped lunch and ran back to my room.  I raced through the lobby looking like Baby Jane Hudson after she finished her audition to Edward Flagg.  Too late… too late……too late to call for help… I thought to myself ,as I was writing a letter to daddy to send money for a wig….

I never broke Rule 6……..unless washing  my face after class constituted a crime of fashion.

It was lucky rule number seven that nearly did us in:

  There were seven deadly weigh-ins; one per week topped off with a final one just before graduation.  The first six were random  checks in order to keep track of  who would fit through the emergency exit and who would get their fat ass stuck in the window, causing passengers to reroute……

  By the sixth week our class was as thick as thieves which began a tribe of neighborhood watch at The Villa’s. The one girl, Miss Georgia, presented a problem with weight gain and squirreled packets of Hostess Twinkies in her suitcase.  On her sixth weigh-in she was three pounds over weight and could face banishment if she did  not lose that cream filling by graduation.

There was a lot of buzz roaming around the Stew Zoo with regards to Miss Georgia’s weighty situation and none of us wanted a member of our class to fail, especially because of her love for yellow spongy cake hosting a shelf life of 25 years.  We were a band of ingenue’s sticking together like the lavender varnish on our polished hands.  There was a secret meeting to be held around the pool after dinner hour to discuss Miss Georgia’s  cuisine habits.  They thought posting a  24/7 shift of weight- watchers by her side to monitor her Twinkie intake might  secure the issue, but that could heighten the Airline Gestapo’s suspicion and a few of us still felt the sting from breaking rule number One. So……after little consideration of the outcome, and by unanimous vote, the decision to break into the  class weigh-in room and rig the scale won by a landslide.

Come morning weigh-in, the entire class registered three pounds lighter………

After completing the six week training for this eastern airline, a few of us went into Miami to celebrate and tip the scale of success for the graduating class of ’72.  As we approached the restaurant I noticed a large picture of Cybill Shepherd smiling from a drug store window  as she  touted her Cover Girl make-up.  I walked over  to study the poster and  laughed hysterically as I noticed her eyes were fixated on the props piled up next to her:

Tastefully sinful……

spread the humor….

(There will be no more “parts” to this as I have decided to continue my saga into a “diary of a mad flight attendant..featuring many not for prime time adventures”…..CW).




Continuing on with the parody of entering the Airline world, back when the dinosaurs roamed, and First Class served meals on real china…….not made in China……..

My adventures with this airline flew me across the country miles away from my family and landed me on a small island in the Caribbean. It is pronounced Cah-RIB-Be-an…if you are to be  a local. Most folks take on the pirated Johnny Depp’s annunciation: CARE- a -BEE-an.  Well, if Johnny Depp was pilfering Puerto Rico when I was living there who in their right mind would focus on Grammar……

My first stop before heading off to the assigned base in San Juan, was a six week layover in Miami for training. I managed to meet up with another chosen trainee on my flight to Florida, as she was from Oregon, and after chatting for what seemed like eight hours, we decided to share a cab to our hotel; The Villa’s. aka….Stew Zoo.

  Ms. Oregon and I were not accustomed to cabs and neglected to add a tip to our fare as we wrestled with our chump change laughing at the bottom of our purses.  The driver stood in disbelief as he fingered the coins and darted after us yelling something in Cuban.  Ms. Oregon turned  around and flipped him an added gesture with her free hand. I stopped to dig deeper in my pockets while Ms. Oregon was long gone halfway down the walkway to The Villa’s.  I was left with Scar face wielding and empty open palm in my direction.  I felt my Airline funding from my parents was dwindling before I even started the job…..

When we entered the Hotel, the lobby contained two genre’s of patrons:  “New Stews” and ” Lot’s of off the cuff men lingering after a busy day at Hialeah Race track.   The “Stew Group” sat in a designated mosh pit and awaited their Commander and Chief to assign their rooms and deliver vagrant instructions.  I was hoping to room with Ms. Oregon, but ended up  with Miss Midwest.

While unpacking our allotted one suitcase only, my roomie and I went over the itinerary and rules for our six week stay:

1) There will be Three meal times: 8:00am Breakfast, 12:00pm Lunch, and 6:00pm dinner. Should you miss any of these time you will not be allowed in the cafeteria, and no compensation for missing meals.

2) There is a curfew: In rooms by 9:00pm and bed check at 10:00pm. Should you not be present during these times you will be sent home.

3) Never miss class, unless there is an emergency or illness.

4) Never miss your assigned Fam Flight. Familiarization flight, there is only one, and no make-ups.

5) No bringing anyone to your rooms. Cause to be sent home.

6) There is one day dedicated to make-up and hair, must be present and abide by the Airline standard.

7) There will be random “Weigh -ins” at the Airline’s discretion.

8) You must present yourself professionally at all times, remember you are representing the Airline.

9) No alcohol.

10) Welcome aboard “The Wings of MAN”. See you at 8:00am sharp!

My first week there I broke rule number one.

We had some free time and I went to the beach with my roomie.  We managed a ride out there and did not secure a return trip back to The Villa’s. We were about eight miles from our Villa and it was getting to the dinner hour.  Most of the trainees came with a minimal amount of money as the airline suggested, and thus money was to be used to secure your living quarters when you settled at your new Base. Not for shopping.   My roomie and I used some of it in a few designer stores that screamed our names out as we passed by.  We bought new outfits during our “free time” at the beach.  We also realized we were short funds for a cab and the clock was ticking for our nightly room visit by the Airline Gestapo.

As Miss Michigan and I started to walk , and she was complaining about “not getting back in time”,  and “getting thrown out in our first week”, and “these stupid shoes are killing her feet”.    I  wanted to stick my thumbs in my ears, but decided to flag my hand out and trail my thumb along the  roadside towards traffic.  My roommate was horrified and slapped my hand down and proceeded to lecture on “deaths of hitchhikers”.  I told her who in their right mind would mess with two sunburned girls wearing new designer clothing?

I stuck my thumb out again. She slapped it down..again.  I slapped her hand back and there we were having a hand slapping conversation along the roadside dressed in Miami white pants and matching peach tops scuffing our decorative jeweled sandals. As we stood there slapping Patty-cake, a vintage beige Bentley pulled up with a shaggy haired bespectacled -what looked like an aging rock star- behind the wheel and he asked us if we needed a ride.

I grabbed the door handle and  then said “yes” before Miss Michigan objected. I tugged her too tight top into the back seat and blurted a “Thank you” to the driver.  He asked our destination and I told him “The Villa’s”.  He asked if we were Flight Attendants.  I said yes we were and we needed to get back to our rooms before curfew.

Our ride was not that long, and started out in complete silence.  My roommate kept darting hate stares at me and whispering heated words about , “Duct tape and Pick axes in the trunk……”.

The shaggy driver asked us if we “liked music” and stated he had “started a new band” and would we “like to hear his tape”.  Simultaneously we said Yes. Miss Michigan leaned over to me and exclaimed in my ear: “Music soothes the savage beast”…apparently she still had shades of Ted Bundy running through her head.

The driver and I conversed about his new band and as we were getting closer to our destination I asked him about  his Old Band. His former band.  As he pulled into the back parking lot of The Villa’s and stopped to let us out, he turned around and said:  “Oh.. I was the key-board player for The Doors.“.

I popped out of the car and smiled at my roommate. Ray Manzarek was our driver.  THIS is why you buy designer clothes when attempting to hitch hike…..

As it turned out we made it in time for bed check, however, we neglected to eat anything and my stomach was aching. Mostly because I could have held intense conversations with Mr. Manzarek about Jim  Morrison, but, instead, chose to fan off  the continuum  buzzing in my ear from my mid-western roommate about Hitch hikers and  Serial killers.

It was my stomach growling that lead me to break rule number two………

( to be continued…)




Now that my kids are soon to be vacating the house on a semi permanent basis I need to fill a void that has been lying dormant for years. Something that I have been aVOIDing to do based on my life as a wife, mother, dog walker, housekeeper, nurse, chief cook and bottle washer, chauffeur, laundress, accountant, gardener, psychiatrist, travel agent, consultant, sports authority, and sibling rivalry referee………

I am ready to Tap-out now and try my attempt at re-entering the workforce.  It has been years since I’ve held full time work and I am not afraid to go out into this world and show them exactly what I’ve got:

 

I’ve got a wardrobe from the 1990’s.

 

I’ve got the ability to apply my half -used free samples of Lancome products that I acquired over the years during  a Macy*s back to school sale.  Yes, I got a little side tracked at the Mall while hunting for back-packs and lunch boxes. 

In fact, I’ve got pulled aside by many mall make up artist’s who try to perform their magic on me.  I can’t imagine why they keep picking me out of the crowd of soccer moms.  I arrive dressed in appropriate attire when the doors open in the morning.  I see nothing wrong with waking up and sliding down my fire pole to slip into my uniform sweats that have been standing at attention all night, accompanied by dirty Vans and a Hoodie.  I carry an odiferous  aroma about my being ranging between Downey fabric softener and last night’s Pizza.

  I’ve got my hair in an erect ponytail and  I shield my puffy bags with over sized Raybans.  I can’t imagine why the make-up crews single me out……..

 

I’ve got the ability to clean up while driving and apply make-up at stop intervals. The drivers behind me hate it though, they keep honking at me just because I’m waiting for the Stop sign to turn green.  I thought it would buy me more time with the Mascara…. I find it takes two applications now.  One; to find the lashes, and two; to glue together the few that I have left…..forming a uni-lash.


The downfall about putting make-up on in a car are the bumps in the roads. They are always working on our streets and neglecting to refill the potholes, so when I finally reach my final destination ( usually the school drop off line) and park my car and get out, I notice people staring and kids pointing in my direction.

After transmitting my morning without coffee sneer to ward off evil onlookers, I take a quick pause into the ladies room to wash the morning gas of my hands from filling the empty tank left by my husband.  I looked up at the mirror as I rinsed the suds off  my paws and saw what the villagers were scoffing at:  My freshly applied make-up face resembled a combination of  Picaso’s Weeping Woman and Baby Jane Hudson’s as she delivered a Parakeet to her sister…….

 

I’ve got a pair of pumps that my feet haven’t felt in ages.  One cannot describe the agonizing pinch of  the toes that have been granted freedom in flip flops with arches that collapsed from the great depression of Ked’s insoles.  I took the time one late afternoon to strap on some heels and practice walking in them around the house  with no one around to witness the teetering and the giant fight against balance, except Charly-dog, who steered clear of my runway  in fear of a crash landing.

I spent the better half of the day shuffling about in my designer heels  that peeped out from my Yoga pants.  I practiced my walk until I felt I had it down to a science and stopped echoing a staggering drunk on some forgotten street.  I felt confident and assured that I had tackled the High Heel dilemma and ventured to take my stiletto’s to another dimension:  The Stair case.

Climbing up the steps was met with ease….. it was the descent that had me  clinging to the banister like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, avoiding a result mimicking Scarlett O’Hara’s demise  after her lunge toward a drunken Butler…….

 

I’ve got a resume.    Somewhere.   It hasn’t been updated since the Clinton administration.   Just a minor indescretion oversight.

 

I’ve got credentials.  I’m accredited with incredibility. References available upon request.  Go ahead…..request.  Request until the cows come home.  Habeas corpus; I can produce the body……..it’s just a little rusty and needs a make over….which the Lancome staff has a signed commitment to uphold……

If you don’t like my credibility try my crudites. They are incredible, and edible, but not available upon request.

 

I’ve got the corporate beige panty hose that are tied up in knots from the last load in the wash cycle.

 

I’ve got a brief case from 1987 that needs airing.

I’ve got a boat load of humor stuck in me that is trying to float to the surface………………..

spread the humor.




I just spent the last week out West visiting friends and combing the old neighborhood.  Or should I say “Hoods”, as we owned a few places there during our eight year stint in La-La land.  There is an old cliche that I have heard in my youth from one octogenarian that carries a familiar ring to it, and it goes like this:

“You can never go home again”.

Meaning, once one makes a big change in ones life, things will not be the same.

Or will they?

What if you have lived and left so many places that you have forgotten which is the one place you call home?  Is home where the heart is?  What if I left my heart in San Fransisco……. well, maybe I’m an organ donor……….

  What if I sold a home in Los Angeles and took the  cold cash and left smiling with my heart pounding with profit……only to return to witness my ex abode had nearly doubled  in value since I left.  Which elevated the blood pressure that could produce a heart to linger in the old hood for a permanent stay.

Maybe some claim their home to be where their families originate from.  After I finish a trip out to visit my original clan, the cliche circling my head when I leave changes to :

” I don’t wanna go home again”.

When I enter my 87 year old mothers home I am blown away by the volume of her  55 inch HDTV  that stands four feet away from her  leather Lazy-Boy screaming re-runs of Archie Bunker  into her ears that are covered with wireless headphones that she neglects to turn on.

As I repeatedly tell her to turn the volume down on the flat screen, she motions with her hands that she can’t hear me  and complains ” how the new headphones my brother bought her are faulty”, while fumbling for the remote in the seat cushion, which she ultimately left on the kitchen table….

It usually takes a good 45 minutes to muddle through our initial HELLo’s as this is her morning ritual.  My mother’s hearing has been checked and has been determined normal by her Doctors.  Normal for who……all 87 year old ladies?  I can just imagine her annual physical with the MD who just graduated  cum LOUD from Medical school:

 Dr:   ” Well Mrs. C, we find your hearing is normal for a woman of your age, now here’s an Rx for some Q-tips and the nurse will equip you with a new volume controlled Remote at the front desk .  It has three settings: LOUD…..LOUDER……and LOUDEST.  We do offer our deluxe model that is assured to strike a family  members nerve and chase them from your home, but I believe it has yet to be covered by Medicare..”.

Every time I leave from a visit  with my mother  and her turbulent TV, I am left with voices ringing in my head for days.  The frequency and pitch that emanate from her GSN network  combined with a decibel level that could enforce an earthquake, cause my brain to short circuit, which leads me to a frantic rage to unearth the lost remote.   WHICH concluded my suspicion that it was  actually Rod Roddy’s voice belting in the back round  inviting me to  “C’MON DOWN”  to visit when I phoned her last………no wonder she was surprised to see me…..

It’s not just her blatant TV that drives me back into therapy, it’s watching her use her cell phone to lower the volume of the TV, and  then complain that the remote is as faulty as the wireless head phones….

Or watching her race around to locate where the ringing is coming from. She keeps her cell and house phone nearby, but sometimes they find themselves  traveling separately and end up in different locations.  My brother likes to tease, and  will dial her home phone and cell phone simultaneously.  He says it gets her out of the recliner……..a form of exercise……..Dr.’s Orders….

Sometimes when I have been out running errands for her I return to the Loud TV sitting alone.  My mother is nowhere in sight.  My heart started an anxious pounding of what I might find around the corner, but it was subdued by my slipping on a trail of green olives I found leading to the front door.  She had stepped out to the porch to enjoy a mid afternoon cocktail.  A  dry martini with green olives.  NOT Doctor’s orders.

I went outside and sat out front with her as she stared out  into the yard. I watched as she sipped her forbidden drink and was thoroughly amazed at how she could manage to locate and mix a  perfect martini for herself yet unable to turn off the TV or lower the volume.  I watched as she calmly enjoyed her surroundings even with the boisterous back round of Desi Arnaz babaloooing through the halls…

I went in the kitchen and helped my self to one of her Martini’s and found the remote to turn down the TV to a level below “Batty” and joined her out side.  As we sat and studied the gardens she turned to me and noticed I was lacking olives in my martini.  I told her she was out of olives.  As I lifted my foot to cross my legs she saw my shoes coated with olive and pimento residue smashed on the sole and stated:

“Most people use them IN the drink”.

That made made us laugh……and my heart flutter as the Home Shopping Network bartered in the back round noise……

 When I returned home I sat in front of my TV watching a travel show and contemplated  all the areas of this great planet  that I have had the privilege to call home.  The places I have lived and left, as far as I can see, actually remained the same, maybe over the years some have sprouted some urban growth, but the changes I witnessed came from the heart. I sat on the couch sleepily captivated by my thoughts only to be awakened by my daughter telling me to:

“Turn the volume down on the TV”……..

spread the humor.




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…….

spread the humor.




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.

spread the humor



{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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