Charlywalker's Blog












The day the Earth stood still was two weeks ago when my son’s Smart phone decided on it’s own to dummy down and quit.

I learned this had happened through his sister who Stumbled upon his Facebook message to a friend commenting that: “His Phone Died”.

I am grateful that my sons lines of communication are open to his thousands of Facebook friends and refuses to add his mother as a bosom buddy.  He does not want  (me) to be privy to his status while away at college.  He thinks his mother will spend her days stalking, (or creeping as they say), on his infamous site, where the Full Monty of Freshman life is displayed and revered.  Like I have time for that. OK, I sneak a peak every so  often when Facebook isn’t looking.  I have eyes in the back of my FACEbook.

It’s amazing how this generation ( xyz?) seem to run amok when an electronic is on the fritz. It’s as if one of their brain waves collide  with an HD air-wave and severed the wireless connection that adheres the Smart phone to their palm, resulting in their  opposable  texting thumbs to short circuit.  Ive seen those thumbs work that virtual keyboard like greased lightening,  while sucking down Kentucky fried wings. Those thumbs slip- slidin’ on the screen not missing a beat of LOL or TTYL or POS. ( Parent Over Shoulder).

My son programmed his smartie phone  messages to modulate the night- watchman in a  Navy ship yard.  It sounds off with two bells every time a text is received.  In the olden days of sailing , watches were timed by a thirty minute hour glass and bells would be struck every time the glass was turned.  My son watches the glass of his phone every second, all day and all  night, no matter which way its facing.

I hear his phone clanging in a Bell  pattern of pairs :

Morning Watch: ding-ding

Forenoon Watch: ding-ding-ding

Afternoon Watch: ding-ding-ding-ding

Night Watch: ding-ding-ding-ding-ding

WEE -Hours- While- Family Members- Sleep-Watch:  DING – DAMNITY- DING. 

I  lie and wonder  for whom the Bells Toll every second as my sons phone shouts out a “new message received”.  What news is so urgent to be shared every minute of the day and night amongst his mates.  And now, here he sits with his dead phone, and I wonder ; what could possibly be going on in his head now that his entire fleet of friends are unable to reach him and text their one syllable messages. 

I have witnessed he and his crew hanging out and barely speaking in full sentences to each other. I  have watched as this collegiate Armada sit around in silence dancing their opposable thumbs across their phones as a multitude of ships bells chimed in unison…sounding alarms….signaling functional and ceremonial uses of considerable significance as to whether one  of them scored a date for the night.

I think about when I was his age and the readiness of communication while out and about, was finding a working payphone.  In my day, there wasn’t a lot of emphasis on  repetitive contact with one another.  If you had something to say, or relative info to convey, you dialed a number,got to the point, and made your arrangements.

There was no need to go back and forth with responses, you knew what to do and when and where to do it. There was no need to hold twenty people on the line to confirm what dress you were wearing to the dance. There was no need to speak every minute to someone via the phone as we were all speaking in PERSON when we got together.  If everyone related all their conversations ahead of time we would have nothing to talk about when we congregated.  Well, well, well..maybe that explains why my son and his friends are silent when they assemble. They are TEXTED-OUT, OVER-MESSAGED, PINGED TO THEIR LAST WORD.

I  will say my son’s faulty phone may have prevented future last minute changes in his life, but all in all he handled being cell-less quite well.  I half expected him to come off his Buzz with certain side affects, maybe a possible cellular detox causing a network disruption and  a communication breakdown of his opposable thumbs, therefore rendering him speechless.

There was a day or two of minor moping and staring at his thumbs trying to figure out their future should texting become obsolete while his phone is incommunicado.  It didn’t take long for him to wander over and pick up the controls to his ill forgotten Xbox collecting dust and play a childhood game or two.  I’m sure its to keep his opossable thumbs conditioned until his phones replacement battery arrives……

…….in 5 to 7 business days…..

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I have been trying  for months to sit down and tackle my keyboard to try and coerce some nonsense out of my brain. I believe my mind has been on hiatus longer than a new hit series featured on HBO. It was as if the harder I tried to think of something to write about ,the more  the thoughts escaped and tunneled out faster than Andy Dufresne through the sewers of Shawshank. It just stinks when that happens. 

It’s like I’m held prisoner in my own head and I am facing a cell block that refuses to sing a Schwann song.  In order to get the synapses in sync, I  usually will take long walks with my dog or tackle the Elliptical at the gym. I stress the word usually. 

Lately I have found it harder and harder to get out there during the winter months, which seem to drag on longer than Holiday visits from my Mother-in Law.  The motivation to dress in layers, jump into a cold car, drive in sleet , just to arrive and  get out of a now warmed car into the cold, and enter a gym that smells like…like…… a gym;  then strip off the soaked layers and step up onto a piece of equipment that was formally occupied by a wet Wookie………..has left the building.  

As far as the long walks with my dog are concerned?  He avoids nasty weather and will withhold  potty-time longer than a camel craving an oasis.

A lot of my inspiration would attack  me at random times. Times when I didn’t have anything handy to jot the idea down. This frequently  happens while driving to the store and circling the parking lot for a space, at the same time, averting run- a -way grocery carts searching for a head on.

One time was in a bank as I stood eleventh in line during rush hour.  I found myself digging through my  bottomless pit of a purse for a pen.

A PEN I always carry in the zipper portion of a pocketbook which inevitably gets devoured by the hand bag monster lying in the abyss below the hole in fabric lining.

A PEN that sits there in clutch camo teasing the grasp of my pre -arthritic fingers ,sticking it’s partially opened tip out leaving it’s mark on my manicure to let me know it’s” there “and “unattainable at the moment”.

A PEN that refuses to surrender by the time I reach the front of the line to make my deposit; In addition, the bank employee reprimands me to sign the check and offers me a pen.  There I stand with a Pen and Teller and “No Vacancy” written all over my brain…

And as fate will have it, my thought for the day had vanished ,only to possibly resurface during another inopportune moment.  Much like that PEN of inequity did  when it decided to show itself as I returned to my car outside the bank.   Never  walk and blindly fish for keys in an open receptacle whilst trying to recapture your initial brainstorm, it leads to  a dropped hand bag adjacent to the car door causing an accessories crisis spill onto the the black top and watching a PEN that is mightier than my satchel, to roll under the car.

I got down on all fours to locate its final destination.  I tried to retrieve that slippery shut in, but  it was out of my reach and I risked bumping heads with a header pipe……and that would exhaust me…….

Gathering ideas to stimulate a blog thought is not an easy task and can prove to be hazardous depending on your surroundings at the time.  I’ve had many  afflatus attack me in the middle of a shampoo while showering.  Maybe scrubbing the scalp stimulates that a fore mentioned “cell ” block and whips a body out of the bath, dripping without a towel, sliding towards a pen spotted on the countertop……only to land on the cold tile floor in the process.

Which brought my brain to a conclusion that all ideas brought on during that scenario are………….

(wait for it)……..

SLIPPERY WHEN WET.

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{November 30, 2012}   Twinkie Defense

I am sorry to hear that Hostess will no longer be offering their Twinkies to the public, mind you, I don’t buy or eat Twinkies.  I had one once in the 60’s.  A grade school chum offered me the second Twinkie in her double pack after school one day.  I remember the Twinkie  being larger than my hand and I can still remember the taste and texture of that Twinkie today.  I remember the soft spongy yellow cake oozing the cream filling with every bite.  I don’t think I had ever tasted anything like it, as my mother didn’t let us eat sugary pre- processed food.  Maybe a home made chocolate cake for a siblings birthday,  or an under baked  tart from my easy bake oven, but never a Hostess Twinkie, Fruit Pie, Ding Dong, or Ho-Ho.  I guess I can thank my mom for my impeccably clear arteries to this day…

Twinkies came on board around 1933 and now they will become extinct and for some reason that saddens me. I’m sorry Hostess had to declare bankruptcy, couldn’t they just repay their creditors with  an abundance of sweet snack cakes?  Twinkie’s  developed quite the resume besides clogging coronaries  and sending children into sugar coma’s.  The Twinkie found itself costarring in movies, like Grease, Die Hard, and Ghostbusters and also wound up in the courtroom at the 1979 murder Trial of Harvey Milk, where Dan white claimed he overdosed on Twinkie’s an was acting under a delusional influence of a  sugar high.  Hmm..maybe he needed a glass of Milk.

I think Twinkie’s were a part of our society whether we indulged in their cream fillings or not.  I am guilty of offering a Twinkie to my children when they were young, around the same age when I had my first Twinkie.  My son came home from school and wanted to try a Twinkie.  I of course objected and then after a lengthy conversation with  a six year old who ended all my statements with “Why?”; I decided to give in.

I went to the store and found the hostess aisle and searched for a twin packet of Twinkie’s.  There were none.  Apparently after thirty years Twinkie’s now came in a box of twelve.  My son was with me and was grinning from ear to ear with that bit of news. I managed to spot a double pack twinkie stand toward the checkout and grabbed one.  The first thing that hit me was the size. It was no longer bigger than my hand. In fact, it barely covered my palm.  The second thing that hit me was the price.

My son and I returned to the car with the Twinkie’s in hand.  I had as much anticipation as he did when opening the twin pack.  I gave him his half and watched as he bit into the yellow cake and licked the cream filling out of the center. I’m assuming that was Twinkie protocol.  I held my Twinkie for a few moments before taking the first bite.  I examined the cake and it appeared to be a little more on the orange side than I remembered.  I chose to break my Twinkie in half to witness the airy fluffiness of the spongecake and cream filling spilling out onto your fingers, but when I flexed the cake  it just seem to sag and bend. I wrestled with it’s rubbery texture until the cake pulled apart like my unbaked cakes cooked by a  60 watt bulb from my Easy Bake Oven built in the 60’s.

After successfully separating the Twinkie, I had to put my glasses on to find the cream filling. I guess this was the first indicator that Hostess was having difficulties; Cutbacks of the cream filling, followed by more red dye and gluing agents.  I took a deep breath before I took the first bite of what seems to be a deflated expectation.   There was something different about this Twinkie from what I remembered. It lacked something and I couldn’t put my tongue on it.  It was missing the the basic ingredient from the 60’s that gave Twinkie it’s popularity. It lacked TASTE.

I spat that wad of chemicals out into a napkin and turned to grab the remains of my sons Twinkie, but was met with him licking the sticky crumbs off his fingers, and a giant smile over his face.  He thanked me profusely for his snack cake and wanted another one.  I drove back home explaining to my son that “This was not the Twinkie I grew up with”. I expounded on the differences of our Twinkie generation gap, and how I would not be a part of a defamed Twinkie..an imposter you might say, a Twinkie lacking in character and taste and cream filling!

It grieves me to think that my son’s first Twinkie tasted like an over priced spongecake left on the shelf too long fermenting in it’s yellow dye. And to skimp on the filling was the icing on the cake…

When I heard that the Hostess Twinkie was no longer to be around I had an epiphany to go and buy one and stick it in my freezer. My son is in college now, and I don’t think he has had a Twinkie since our first encounter when he was in grade school.  He  was home over the holiday break and I mentioned to him that I was going to purchase a pack of Twinkie’s and I was going to stick them in the freezer, and come the day that  I should no longer be on this Earth I would like him to carry this Twinkie into the future and pass it on to future generations that may own a freezer.  I asked my son this one thing to do and he responded with a “No”.

I asked him “why?”; it was such a simple request to carry the Twinkie into the future. To keep the Twinkie alive in the deep freeze. He could be the owner of the last Twinkie standing.

He said ” he would just eat it”.

Not if they are selling for $5000 on Ebay…….

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I have been nominated for The Sunshine Award.

I am honored yet embarrassed because I don’t know what that is….

LB of Woodgatesview bestowed this lovely nomination onto me and I am humbled beyond…well…as beyond humble  as you can get, wherever that takes you…..to humble infinity and beyond….

Thank you LB for all the kind words you wrote regarding my blog agility and calling me clever and entertaining.  * I’m blushing.*

And thank you LB for continuing your subscription with me whether you LIKE it or not…..but mostly; for getting my wayward humor.

Now to get down to brass blog tacks:  I am to answer ten questions about myself, and nominate ten others who have shared their inspiration and made me Aspire Higher…

Favorite Color: Green…..the color of money that is lacking in my wallet right now…

Favorite Animal:  ALL……o.k…maybe not the mosquito.

Favorite Number:  My children’s Cell…….speed dial.

Favorite Drink: A very fine Chianti with a side of Fava beans….

Facebook or Twitter:  I prefer a Face than a Twit.

Passion:  yes….Yes… Ohhh ..YES!!

Giving or Receiving Gifts: Both get equal time….

Favorite Day:  Everyone that I find myself awaking to….

Favorite Flower:  The Rose, preferably Yellow, and given to me unexpectedly for no reason at all….

Favorite Food: Italiano, naturalmente!  Ora Mangiare!!

Oh Lordy,  here comes the top ten nominees for the Sunshine Award:  This is always difficult, because I feel all my followers or even day trippers  deserve this award for thumbing through my Blogsense….

And the Nominees are ( in no particular order…please hold your applause until the end):

1) Gaycarboys.com:  Just go there and  try and tell me their posts don’t put a smile on your face.  My mind drives off with a new ride every time I click on their site.

2) Ronyaroshauthor.com :  He’s a Poet and he knows it. He’s clever and funny. And I like funny.

3) Myzencity.com:  I love how she brings NYC to my home in rural PA.

4) Ignorethebucklesonmyjacket.wordpress.com: Words can not Ignore the humor that exudes from this individual..

5) Renee Moore ( Pooter & Boogers place): Her blog is one to read before bedtime..like a great novel.

6) Offdutymom.wordpress.com: She nominated me for an award and I believe I forgot to thank her. Thank You. This woman does not sugar coat..nor is she off duty..she’s right on task.

7) Up2randomthoughts.wordpress.com:  You will not get your Phil of this blog…..there is plenty to Phil your mind…

8) rtewrite.wordpress.com : Harper Faulkner’s name says it alone…

9) coffeepoweredmom.wordpress.com:  Any mom who has coffee in their title is OK in my Blog….

10) Mostlybrightideas.wordpress.com:  This Bronxboy55 can and will entertain you with his bright ideas.  Enuf said.

11) MommyMan.wordpress.com: The bouts of rearing twins with a flavor of humor sum up this mommy man..I had to sneak him in…

Well that’s it folks, I would like to add the other 71 to the list,but I’m not allowed.  Says who??

Thank you again LB for this nomination and should I get elected I promise “No New Blogs”….er..I mean..I will blog more. I promise.

Spread the Humor.

Charlywalker.wordpress.com



{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.

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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).




Rule number two was written in bold type with massive underlining and Italics. 

CURFEW. 

I thought I left this behind after graduating high school. It made me wonder if all the “New Stews” parents held a meeting with the airline presenting their list of wrongs.  I left my family back west purposely to break the confines of parental controls.

CURFEW… try telling that to my empty stomach at 10:00 p.m.  My tummy had jet lag and was still adjusting to the three hour time difference as East met West in my digestive organ.

Miss Midwest and I missed our dinner bell and the Airline Gestapo  sent us  straight to our room without dinner. Just like in Junior High ,when your mother got mad just because you were sent home from St. Luke’s Catholic school for setting the goldfish free in the holy water during set-up time for the Church Bazaar.  Anyway, as Midwest and I sat in our double occupancy suite rifling through drawers for signs of pre-packaged sustenance, I noticed a pair of eyes peeking through the gape of our drapes covering our partially opened window.

I whispered to Midwest that someone was outside our room.  She walked over and flapped the curtain open and standing like a deer in headlights was the Bell hop from the Villa’s.  We stood there glaring at him as he squeezed his face partially through the window and spoke in broken English:

“Are chjew gurlz  mucho hungree?”.

It was Jorge ( pronounced: HORE-HAY).  The Cuban bellboy that befriended a few Stews at the villa’s.  He was our only connection to the outside when forced into solitary confinement.  Jorge knew everyone and everything about the Villa’s.  Jorge was able to get you Anyone and Anything at Anytime from the Villa’s.

We pleaded our gastronomic case and asked if he could fetch us some food. He stated he could but we would have to accompany him.  Miss Midwest gave me the same look she gave as when I pulled her into the Bentley earlier that day.  We had made the time constraint of the late night bed check, but we still needed to cover ourselves should the airline gestapo happen to sleep walk.  We stuffed our beds with pillows and blankets to form an “S” shape resembling two laid out Stews. After shutting the light, we proceeded to crawl out the window with the assistance of Jorge who had a golf cart waiting behind a palm tree.

Jorge ushered us into the cart and drove us to the Villa’s Restaurant, which is excluded to New Stews and open to visiting vacationers.  The one thing about an Airline School in the 70’s,  is most of the students are pegged the moment they arrive, and are easily identified by staff and visitor’s.  I was still in my Miami white attire and Jorge was dressed in his Villa’s employee uniform.  I asked Jorge to loan me his tie and red jacket and walked through the Staff entrance to the restaurant kitchen.  It was there I picked up a serving tray and started to slam salami and crudites onto a pile, followed by a stash of French  baguette.  The kitchen staff rambled something in Cuban pointing and laughing as I paraded my silver tray through the aisles of leftovers.  I turned and popped them a smile and a Gracia’s and raced back to the golf cart where my cohorts in crime anxiously awaited.

Miss Midwest et all laughed up a storm as they saw me exit with a tray of delights wearing the Bellboy’s jacket and a black bow-tie.  Jorge let me drive back to our room  and as I parlayed the Cart in reverse  and darted with full  throttle in the dark, I neglected to look behind me and rammed another cart that approached from the rear.

Two well dressed “Suits” stepped out of their golf cart and stood hovering above us ready to land their disgust with this minor accident incident.  Both gentlemen cross examined Miss Midwest and I regarding our status at “this hour of the night”, and “are we employed by the Airline?”.  I  conceded  and offered up our feeble excuse while slowly removing my rented costume and returning it to Jorge.

The one Suit who was missing his tie stepped closer into the light and leaned into our golf cart and spat out:

“Do you know who I am?  I am the V.P. of the Airline that just hired you”.

I was hoping at that time I was not going to crap my Miami white polyester pants.

Mr. Veep scolded us and threatened to have us returned to our homes.  It was then I realized I should have listened to my dad and applied to law school. He always said I could argue my way out of  going the wrong way on a one way street.

 I pleaded with the “Pinstripes” and begged forgiveness from the courting of the idea of; maybe, just maybe, a sentencing of no breakfast in the morning?  I ended with my closing statement describing the heartbreak and disappointment our parents will endure as a result of us being thrown out of “Stew School”.  I sniffled a sentence or two referencing my “stature as a temporary college misfit and winning the Flight Attendant lottery with your Esteemed Airline, and how this is a child’s dream come true to one day turn in my Miami White polyester for the Noble Blue Uniform of the Wings of Man”.  Then I eeked out the airlines rusty slogan in the key of “E” flat with hopes of my cohort butting in as a back up singer:

“You gotta Belieeeve in Eastern……”

The V.P. nearly peed his pants to suppress his laughter. He took our names and numbers and ordered us back to our rooms. He instructed Jorge to drive us back safely.  Miss Midwest and I crawled back through our window and fell onto our beds hardly sleeping, and thinking about our demise facing us in the morning.

It was 8:00 a.m. and the morning Gestapo shift entered our room to announce that “Miss Midwest and I were Grounded for a week”,  thus being responsible for the breaking of  rule’s #3 and #4………

Never miss class and Never miss your Familiarization flight……

It was then I started to study the tactic’s of Gandhi and missing a meal once in a while to prevent any uprisings.    Plus, how was I to know that having Hotel Staff loitering outside your window after 11:00p.m. was breaking rule #5……..

(to be continued……)




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…)



{May 15, 2012}   Battle of the Blog’s

My Grandfather had a tool shed and in it he stored his shovel, hoe, rake, axe, hammers, and the likes of any tool displayed at a local hardware store.  He had many tools because his family owned a hardware store.  When I was young and would visit my grandparents on my father’s side, I loved being out in the garden and was fascinated by my Grandfather’s Tool Shed.  I think that is where I learned  a lot about different tools and their purpose in life.

I carried that  TOOL knowledge into my adulthood as I love to garden and perform yard work.  I found I utilized Tools in my career as well.  When I worked in the operating room and assisted in orthopedic surgery I grew efficient in operating  pneumatic 3M drills and saws.  It was there that I had the gift of memorizing drill bit sizes and millimeters of screw lengths.  I never realized how TOOL knowledge could come in handy.

My father was a lawyer yet, he  too had Tools other than the hammer of justice.  His Tool Shed lived indoors and had it’s own private section in the garage.  My father liked to tinker with tools.  On what spare time he had he would build things with the assistance of a table saw that snarled at me whenever I entered the garage.  I use to study the sawdust dangling from the teeth of that giant blade.  His Tool Shed consisted of drawers  full of nails, levels, wrenches, along with the latest power tools displayed on the wall like a specialized department at ACE Hardware.

When my son was young I bought him his first Tools.  It was a Junior set from Home Depot.  We never really built him a Tool Shed, because our lives were  far too busy to bother.  Like my father and Grandfather, my son enjoyed building with his tools. His Tool Box contained a mini hammer, a screw driver , a needle -nose pliers, a few non traumatic nails, and a retractable measuring tape, all of which carried the bright orange Logo representing the hardware giant.

I use to love seeing my son don his software  apron loaded with his hardware as he would venture out into the garage and find something he could take apart and put back together again.  He would remove his sisters roller blade wheels and nail them to a 2 by 4 remnant and adhere a large cardboard box on top and explain to me  how he was going to use this on the road in the neighborhood.

I watched as he towed his Indy 500 Box down the driveway drag strip and pushed off and jumped in to race down the block.   I watched a headless  brown carton sail past me as he was on the  down low.…..riding dirty…..because the box he emptied was the one I emptied my yard waste into………

Now my son has grown into an 18 year old young man and he has long since dumped his Tool box by the roadside and replaced it with a new and improved TOOL SHED that is up to his speed.  A TOOL shed his Grandfather and Great Grandfather are now rolling over in their graves with delight……………………………………….

And please note the  AXES in the front row……………minus the Hoe’s…

                     

spread the humor.  another generational mishap..




I have made  passing references about my past as an airline flight attendant, but did I ever fill you in on how I became one?

First I should inject that this was a career I had over thirty years ago and the Airline is no longer in service.  No….it is not in the Smithsonian………but parts of it are in the Museum of flight exhibit.  I happened upon this when I took my kids on a trip to Washington DC to view some history.  Little did I know I would stumble across a notable prop plane with my daughter at my side pointing out to her friends that it has the same Logo that is on her mom’s  Stewardess wings now collecting dust in a Jewelry box…

When most high school graduates were sending in their SAT scores to prospective colleges, my mind was set on traveling the wonders of the world, and I did not see my self scoring a place and having to SAT my seat in front of a desk thumbing through textbooks.  I knew what I didn’t want to do but not quite sure what I wanted to do.  I was the last of four children and I’m sure my parents were tapping their happy feet for me to venture out.  OUT of the house.

I came home one day and told my mother I decided I want to be a flight attendant.  My mother’s reply to that staement went a little like this: ” Why?….Any idiot can do that.”.  Well, being that my grades were in the toilet at the time, and Harvard and Yale were not Knock-knock-knockin’ on my door…..in fact no college was knocking….not even a light tap-tap was audible;  I decided to succumbed to my  mothers statement and went to all available ticket counters at our local airport to  fill out an  application that might send this Idiot abroad.

My first interview and rejection was from a large airline that UNITED their fleet all over the globe.  I returned home feeling distraught and feeling the FOOL and now realizing that I’m one less idiot that can’t make the cut.  My mother sat in the living room reading her morning paper and sipping a cup of java as I entered the house with my head lowered fighting back the tears and laughing on the wrong side of the mouth.  I crept in down the hallway and headed straight to my room to wallow in my defeat.  Without looking up from her Dear Abby column she slung the words toward me:

“So..how did it go?”

I gave her my results through a broken voice :

“They said  Thank you for coming……………NEXT!

My mother folded the Times and placed it on her lap and looked at me. She could see the disappointment I endured and then uttered a few sentences that went like this:

“You know why they didn’t hire you?  You’re too pretty for that airline.  Your father and I fly that airline all the time and those girls are not easy on the eyes.”

Then she offered to call my father who knew the CEO of that airline to help me along with the process.  I rolled my teary eyes at her and her backhanded compliment and declined her offer.  This idiot doesn’t need a helping hand……

Out of the Ten or so applications I sent out to become a flight attendant three responded back with proposed interview dates.  The first was the afore mentioned above, the second was from an EASTERN company that I had never heard of because I was a local from the Pacific Northwest.  I had it set in my mind to handle this interview differently. I decided to let fate and nature take its course.

I borrowed a suit from a girlfriend that was one size too big, and clipped my long brown hair into a studious undocked tail of a pony.  My make up was subdued and my pantyhose the color of the Ivory coast with my feet locked into someone’s leftover Nun’s shoes.  I was the ugly Idiot determined to go abroad…..

I walked into the entrance of the building shuffling my shoes along the linoleum when something hit me in the pit of my stomach……….

It was yesterday’s enchilada.

I raced to the concierge for directions to the nearest restroom and made it to the porcelain thrown as chili peppers held an emergency evacuation of last nights dinner.  I sat there in all my glory emptying contents and thoughts of missing my interview based on some bad beans.   I fled from the scene of the chyme and raced upstairs to make my appointment.  I hurried to the designated office and flew through the doors only to be greeted by a room full of life like Barbie’s.  There they were aligned in a U- shaped formation around the room……….forty girls, beautiful, tall, perfectly postured, trimmed, sleek, impeccably dressed with Ultra- Brite smiles.

I crossed the room to take the final seat and sat there as my pony tail flogged the person next to me and my stomach growled Beethoven’s 9th……

An Airline rep entered the room and called out half the names to follow her and the second half remain in the room.  I was left in the room.  It was then I was ready to accept the fated realization that who in their right mind would hire this plain Idiot in an over sized hounds tooth printed attire shifting in their chair stressing to suppress  a symphony of Gas.  I should just relieve myself of this ill-fated agony ……Well that would be one way to clear the room of competition….

In those hours I managed a few trips to the ladies room, hoping I wouldn’t be marked “absent” for my upcoming interview.  I was the last person called, and as the interviewer approached me I detected a wince emanating from her face as she ushered in her last candidate into her office who looked more like a Cabbage Patch Kid left out in the back yard too long  than a prospective Airline Stewardess.

The Interview lasted over an hour and most the time it was filled with visual scrutiny and few ” ah yes….” and “Hmmm” as she scribbled addendum’s into her notebook.  She ended with the usual  “Thank you” and shook my hand.  I walked out of her office knowing there was no future in this company for me and said “Thank you” in return.  As I took three steps down the hall the interviewer called out to me and said:

” Say…would you mind changing your hair style?”

I spun around and looked her in the eyes and smiled my reply:

“If you can do something with this hair I would be grateful,  I have been trying for years and can’t do a thing with it”.

It was a week later I got a call for a second interview and this is how that went down:

I wore a nice suite that fit, I wore wedge heels, I  applied make up, and I didn’t eat any Mexican food the night before.  I made the interview on time and noticed only one other girl in the waiting room.

I was called into a small dimly lit room with a leggy blonde sitting at a desk that held a smoldering cigarette in a glass ashtray.  She stood up to greet me and we shook hands. She asked me to have a seat. I sat as she discussed the Airline’s back round and what is required of a  Flight Attendant who  works for this airline.  I listened intently and answered when asked.  She then told me there is certain protocol with this airline and there fore I needed to be put through some tasks:

One task was to see how you walked, carried yourself, stature, balance, and posture.  She asked me to rise and walk about five feet and turn around to face her.  I rose out of my chair and in doing so my nylon clad foot slipped out of my backless wedgies and I toppled to the floor.  I got up from the cold tile and I turned to look at her and said:

“Well, that went well”.

The Marlena Dietrich Interviewer didn’t even flinch, she lit another cigarette and  blew a puff of smoke in my direction and muttered:

“Continue”.

I walked  the allotted five feet steady as she goes, and spun around to return when she shot a command of :

“STOP. Stand right there.”

And I did. Frozen in step.   Then she ordered another request:

“Raise your skirt up so I can see your thighs”.

Okaaayyyyy……yeah…….uuuuhhh…..yikessheesh….now wait a minute sister……can I have a nurse in the room?

I stood across the room and questioned the thoughts going through my head.  I looked back at her  through another puff of smoke as her head glanced down at a sheet of paper filled with check marks.  I stood there with  my eyes closed as I grasped the bottom of my skirt and fanned the hem high above my waist resembling a card board cut out of a Can-Can girl………minus the kicks.  While poised center stage flashing my Moulin Rouge,I heard the interviewer cough a chuckle and state:

” You can put that skirt down.  This year our Flight Attendants are wearing Hot Pants and we need to see the size of the legs to see if it is a right fit for the uniform”.

Strike two….I’m batting a thousand..I’m sure I’ve nailed this job…..what…..starting with a fall , followed by flashing my panties with Thursday written all over them…..as if she needed reminding of what day is was…..

She walked me to the door and said: “Thank You”.

I reiterated the same and tried to leave with what dignity I had left, and as I took another step she called out to me:

“I forgot to mention where you will be based, you have a choice  of New York or San Juan”.

I told her San Juan is fine, being that I was from the Pacific Northwest and we use to boat around the San Juan Islands all the time and I would be close to my hometown of Seattle.

 She blew her final puff of smoke and went back into her office.

A week later I received a packet from this EASTERN company announcing my acceptance to the airline and  a welcome aboard the “Wings of Man”.  I was so excited I rallied around the family and told them my base is really close to home.

“It’s San Juan”, I scream with delight.

My sister read the fine print of my contract and stated it was a base in PUERTO RICO……

Idiot Abroad…..

spread the humor.



et cetera
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