Charlywalker's Blog












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 received something the other day in the (e)mail. It is entitled:

The Kreativ Blogger Award

No, I did not misspell the word…I’m not that Kreative…

I would like to extend a modicum of appreciation to all the Blogheads out there that actually take the time out of their hectic days to unravel my sardonic pen and ink……..er…contents of my motherboard……

This is my second honor bestowed upon my Blog and has been brought to you by:

thewritersescapewithwords.wordpress.com

I would like to send a simple and humble Thank You to this inspirational artist that awarded me this honor and it couldn’t happen at a better time…..just after the Oscars….

Unfortunately CW was unavailable to be here to accept this gracious award so she sent her Charly -Dog on her behalf:

Now let us commence with the program:

Here’s the rules of engagement:

1) Thank the person that Nominated you:       THANK YOU! & See above in RED…

2) List 7 interesting things about myself:       1 through 7, please refer back to my Versatile Blogger      Award…nothing has changed except I am aging…

3) Nominate 7 more Blogheads: My choices are based on the humor these Blogger’s Kreativly Inject and don’t realize how Kreativly funny they are:

woodgatesview.wordpress.com    Ignorethebucklesonmyjacket.wordpress.com  up2randomthoughts.wordpress.com

pooterandboogersplace.wordpress.com   passionateaboutpets.wordpress.com    souldipper.wordpress.com

gaycarboys.wordpress.com     mostlybrightideas.wordpress.com  myzencity.wordpress.com  sandysays1.wordpress.com

bridgesburning.wordpress.com  leftwingnutjob.wordpress.com  newsanvil.wordpress.com digitalbungalow.wordpress.com

misswhiplash.wordpress.com  thegreatgoodsby.wordpress.com

and any food, travel, picturesque, blog I may have missed but always enjoy : I tip my Blog off to you.

As you can see I added more than the allotted 7,  I believe rules are made to be broken……

Thank you to all my faithful followers and I tip my funny bone off to you all!

Spread the Humor: CW





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

Here’s an excerpt:

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

Click here to see the complete report.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Panasonic never gave me any back talk…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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