Political hysteria

hysteria is

    contagious 

Don’t be manipulated

by the media – fear sells commercials

Stand by your own

convictions

          and remember

you have lied & been lied to before –

Remember when someone

you love asked if they look

fat in the jeans they are wearing?

 

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Leghorn/Foghorn and Jackie O

I have no idea why this popped into my head – true story

Accompanying, then husband on a business trip to Oscoda, Michigan (yes, there is a such place) a few decades ago, I was introduced to a business associate’s, wife – Janet. This woman was petite and extremely gorgeous from her scarlet spike high heels to her impeccability coiffed hair. Soft spoken, size 2 rings and cordial were her Jackie O attributes.  She presented herself as polished, refined and cosmopolitan.I knew her husband controlled a bunch of bucks due to the position he held for the trip’s purpose.

The purpose of my presence was to entertain Janet so the “men folk” could negotiate a multi million dollar agreement. It is a lot harder to ride a rocket when you are used to waiting for a bus, in the snow. This had to be an academy award performance.

Janet’s husband sounded like Leghorn/Foghorn when he spoke – and he talked LOUD. His suits were shark skin, cuff links were gold and his head was shiny bald. The shoes on his feet could’ve been traded in for a new Pontiac.His demeanor was southern drawl Atlanta (darlin’) and his appetite was top shelf double scotches, thrown down faster than a steel worker just off shift.

We were all staying in beautifully appointed homes on an upper echelon resort property. Activities for Janet and I included golf, tennis, the spa and salon while the wind bags blew smoke, kissed ass and impressed each other. This woman excelled, like a pro, on the courts and golf course and she never appeared aglow with sweat or had a hair out of place. I’m guessing she was approximately 15 years older than myself, at the time. My kids were toddlers and her 4 sons were in college. She informed me that their youngest son would be available to join us for dinner the last night on property.

The dinner was at the resort’s clubhouse – after-five attire – cleavage (if you have it), crystal chandeliers, lobster and champagne. Up until this point, Janet was the epitome of perfect business etiquette. Gracious with a goddamn!  In fact, my ass was aching from being such a “good business wife”. I was ready to drive my own car, eat peanut butter out of a jar, hold my kids, actually go back to work and cut loose into my usual wild child rants and antics.

During cocktails, a really ginormous young man entered the terrace. He was dressed in a golf shirt, couture’d by Omar the tent maker. This guy’s neck was bigger than both of my thighs – put together. He had to lean down and turn sideways to enter the doorway. If he wasn’t 6′ 7″ tall, I’m crazy. You could sail a family of six with cousins to Europe in his high ticket athletic shoes.

Janet stood up and in a clear and distinct voice,  proudly announced, “I’d like to introduce, my youngest child, the fruit of my loins, Joshua!”

From that point forward, all decorum got pitched. The deal got closed and I got a new set of golf clubs.

 

And the Oscar goes to……..

 

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Bowing my head in praise to Dads & Fathers:

schlepping sticky car seats

waiting for calls that never happen

wearing Lilly Pulitzer dresses

taking car keys away againFathers Day 2016

hauling bicycles state to state

counting missing quarters

driving dilapidated trucks

thinking their heads will explode

buying snow globes at the airport

singing kikker songs to the radio

paying for everything- every time- everywhere

100 degree camping with mosquitoes

never seeing their kids – missing them

reading the newspaper out loudMy Dad b

baking at the beach

sleeping on the chaotic couch

building soap box derby tracks & cars

handling the bossy orthodontist

fighting wars near and far

judging idiot boyfriends & girlfriends

living with a ticking clock

burning oatmeal, sandwiches to order

washing the red sweatshirt with the whites

dropping a panic stricken kid off at camp

creating furniture from nothingMy Dad

teaching art appreciation, writing stories

covering up a multitude of kid mistakes

sharing laughter at inappropriate times

wishing they were single-knowing they’re not

polishing old shoes

working second side jobs

giving up the Harley

listening, smiling, giving hell

shoveling tons of sand Dad-Joe-Jerod

vacations at Disney instead of Vegas

loving us, mine, theirs, ours………..

What happened to Hostess Ho Ho’s?

There has been a horrible change in the beloved Hostess Ho Ho’s. I’ve been eating these since I was in middle school. The following link will take you to one of the first  –Hostess Ho Ho Commercial 1968.  

Ho Ho’s were always the upper echelon of snack, junk food. The reason I didn’t like Little Debbie Swiss Rolls is because the chocolate covering tasted like cardboard and the cake tasted dry. As a kid, Ho Ho’s came with an individual foil cover. I remember my heart beating madly as I peeled the foil back and the waft of chocolate would fly by my nose. The chocolate was smooth and would melt around your fingers. The cake and creme were divine. I can remember savoring each and every bite.

The Hostess Ho Ho’s I purchased at the local grocery store last week (January 2016), are wrapped in a ballooned white plastic – like a tampon! The chocolate covering taste like cheap car wax. In fact, the flat bottom is barely covered at all. It looks like our dachshund’s bare belly. The chocolate cake is almost stale. You know, the kind of stale that sticks in your throat and only a fire hose can wash down.Hostess Ho Ho's

Everything that was good in the world is now made cheaper, quicker and with less calories. The manufacturer’s do not care if the product taste like wax. Kids of this time period would not have the comparison of my childhood memories.

I moved to Texas from Pennsylvania in 1984. Ho Ho’s were not available on the grocer shelves in North Houston at that time. I would actually have my grandmother mail me boxes of Ho Ho’s from Pittsburgh. In other words, I’ve been wolfing these delicacies down for many decades.

#Hostess, please hear my plea and make the good Ho Ho’s again. I am willing to pay for good chocolate, fresh cake and the foil wrapper – which obviously keeps this product fresh.

 

 

 

 

Social media should not be real life

There is a veil of allowance to express yourself on social media. Being the conditioned politically correct puppets we have to be in the workplace doesn’t allow you to be “you”. It is a rare occurrence to encounter an Account Executive presenting photos of his toddler dressed in camo, holding a shotgun at a meeting with a prospective client.

Facebook allows a hidden personality to troll around the town square in their underwear. Think about it – a casual acquaintance becomes your Facebook friend. He may be a neighbor or work associate. You know them in a casual or professional set of  circumstances. You have never seen their Christmas tree, swam in their pool or broke bread at their table.

Workplace superiors, presenting themselves as control freak, power happy sharks post their controversial political views and off color jokes. The entitlement of rank appears to convey preeminence in online chatter. Walking a fine line is often exhibited to maintain “control”.

Religious practices and promotion are prevalent among Facebook postings. In an about face, quite a few confessions of being an atheist and agnostic pop up from time to time. It is a rare occurrence for break room conversation to erupt into someone proclaiming they don’t believe in God. No one wants the bank tellers or cosmetic counter manager to return to their stations all shook up. Mama always taught us to not talk about sex, religion or politics, but social media is a ripe forum for it.

Neighbors never fail to surprise. NextDoor.com is a community site available to a neighborhood to post info of interest to the residents. Every once in awhile a comment in reference to a playground will erupt with a posting in reference to some people should not have the right to have children! True or not, the statement is going to offend some folks. Instead of posting – “your neighbor parades around in their birthday suit with the blinds up”, go next door and tell him yourself.

Unfiltered assertions published from the comfort of your phone, tablet or laptop should be qualified with the validation, “Would I make that comment to my friend, co-worker, neighbor, relative face to face? We should always feel free to express ourselves, but repercussions can also slam your ass when you least suspect it. We are all aware of the school teacher posting her semi nude photo at a beer bash. Drunk posting is as bad as drunk dialing. Unless you frequently break bread with your co-workers or neighbors, is it necessary for them to know every intimate philosophy or activity you participate in?

Delusions of grandeur are portrayed with banners, videos and attachments. If you think or believe otherwise, you are deemed an idiot. Why don’t you tell me how you really feel? These are the comrades you are riding cheek to cheek next to in the commuter van! Now, you know the PTA president would think you’re an imbecile because the “Rainy Day Plan” is the most ridiculous waste of time you’ve ever been roped into.

Before social media, we actually talked to each other. We didn’t text. We either met in person or spoke on the telephone. The human voice infers pitch to convey emotion. The human face conveys expression. We were able to gauge acceptance or annoyance with our conversation. We had a circle of friends for the “shooting range” and another set of friends for discussing analytical algorithms.

Talk!

Talk!

In an “about face” – I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it till my death.” All I am saying is to “think” about what you are posting. Remember who your audience includes.

How many of your “friends” on social media would really be your friends if you were on a a deserted island together? Social media should not be real life. Real life should be a human exchange encompassing respect and compassion. Think – Woodstock!

 

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Internet attention deficit diversion excursion

Listening to the overture for Jesus Christ Superstar, did not happen due to conscience choice. YouTube is a wealth of non-directed information.Internet attention deficit diversion A short wave of messages back and forth on Facebook prompted the sharing of a link for Low Spark of High Heeled Boys by Traffic. It is the same situation when searching in Google. Type in, “sourdough bread recipe” in the search and you will end up touring San Francisco!

The posted ads think they know you by your posts and search inquiries. My high school class found me on Facebook. All of a sudden, I’m the recipient of ads for walk in tubs, wrinkle removers and weight loss companies. I do not hold the religious or non-religious beliefs of my friends. So hold off on the Congregation of Everyone’s Immaculate Sacrilege Abundance of Plate Passing Parsonage blinkers. The political targets couldn’t be further from the truth. From the comments, it is scary to think who is running around town with a loaded weapon.

Navigation apps want to lead you on a tangent. They try to think for you. It takes me five minutes to tell the damn thing my starting point for directions IS NOT MY HOME! A frequent traveler has to constantly change the settings to not have it start directions from home. In evidently, this change is made while driving on an unfamiliar freeway going 75 mph. By the way, thank you MapQuest for sending me through subdivision hell when I was late getting to a charity golf tournament recently. I followed some lady, with curlers in her hair, out of the community to civilization. Where in the hell was she going? As a Realtor®, I did notice there were beautiful homes listed for sale. See – attention deficit diversion initiated from the Internet,

“hosanna heysanna sanna sanna hosanna…”

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hosanna heysanna sanna sanna hosanna hey

Memory by association and other tricks to screw up your head

I couldn’t remember the name of an Elton John song that played continuously throughout my entire tenure at my first job in State College, PA. It must’ve been the only song management allowed, liked or would afford. I asked a lifelong friend of mine to assist in helping me to recall this ditty that had my gutchies in such a bunch, so many decades ago.

I told her my mind keeps going to “Alligator Rap:”. She immediately yelled, “Crocodile Rock“. She obviously is aware of my twisted brain wiring,

A common memory trick is to remember important stuff by associating it with a conjoint word or a word starting with the same first letter. Corporate ice-breakers are famous for starting a meeting with introductions such as, Julie/the Jew, Buffy/Big Boobs, Candy/Cake, Pete/Polish, Seymour/See More, Hank/Hawk, on and on. Every friend of my youngest son, has a name beginning with a “J” – Jason, Jacqueline, Jeremy, Jessica, JacobMemory by association, Jasmine, etc. Hell, no normal person could differentiate that troupe. I called them, “the “J People”. This son’s name is “Joe”. It all seemed appropriate in my head.

Working outside sales also presented the mitzvah of remembering a manifold of names and titles of clients. The use of association to the vertical or market sector sometimes worked but would get jumbled like the “Alligator Rap” did. A CEO, physically small in stature (my purse weighed more than he did) owned a ginormous collection agency. He drove a pick-up truck so huge it exceeded the size of the elementary school building, I attended. It even had a cattle guard on the front. You could fit a scout troop in this thing. His first name was Dick. You figure out how I remembered his name.

These tricks are not always foolproof. While walking around Kennywood Park, in the ‘Burgh,  with my sister, a couple walked up to me with the excitement of a teenager seeing a Beatle in person, and literally engulfed me with enthusiastic accolades of joy. They knew my sister, the names of my children and knew the fact that I had moved to Texas a very long time ago. These people even knew my grandmother! To save face, this is a dangerous tactic, I went along with it. After mysteriously galloping down memory lane with these folks, we escaped to Noah’s Ark. I turned to my sister and asked, “Who the hell were those people?” She said, “Are you shitting me?” I told her, “I never saw those people before in my whole life.” She said, “They were longtime neighbors of yours.” So help me, I don’t have any recollection of knowing them. Usually, you have a brain fart and a week later you slap your forehead or wake up in the middle of the night and say to yourself, “How could I not have recognized them.” The truth of this situation – I still don’t remember those people. Obviously, I made a positive impression on them or they remember my ex-husband sliding sideways down the snow filled driveway and landing in Roy Rogers parking lot after doing a few 180’s.

 

A negative association experience can also stick with you for a lifetime. Due to a broken sprinkler head, my office in a high rise office building, flooded. My boss called building management and asked for wet vacs to be brought in the help dry the mess up. A few minutes later, an extremely handsome man was standing in front of me with a horrified expression on his face. He asked who called for “Wet Backs” to be brought in here. At the time, I didn’t know or had never heard the expression, “Wet Back”. To this day, every time a wet vac is mentioned, this situation pops into my brain. By the way, I didn’t know it at the time – I would end up marrying the extremely handsome man with the horrified expression seeking clarification for the request made.

 

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Crazy over keys

If someone tells you they have lost their keys, you express sympathy, empathy all that nice stuff you’re supposed to say. I’ve done it and so have you. Then it happens to YOU.

I lost a set of keys two days ago. Those son of a bitches disappeared literally into thin air. There isn’t an object in this house that has escaped being tipped upside down, turned inside out and examined more closely than a gynecological appointment. I can recite the sizes and labels in every jacket in my closet even knowing I did not wear them the last time the keys were in my fist. My handbag has been emptied out so many times – it is almost worn out.

I had them to drive the SUV into the driveway and get into the house. They are here somewhere. This hasn’t happened to me since I was 14 years old when I was on crutches and lost a new handbag with my new house key (probably the 45th one my mother had made for me). Now, I feel the frustration she exhumed. She used to say she supplied everyone in Pleasant Hills, PA with a key to our home because her children could not hold onto them longer than five minutes! It was a lesson not forgotten until now.

Where are you?Tell me one human being with any sense who would look forward to groping dirty laundry, ripping stuff out of the refrigerator, sifting through trash with beer bottles and coffee grinds and taking precious tools out of the tool box searching for a set of keys that weigh at least a pound. I’ve seen the bottom of dresser drawers, file cabinets and the silverware drawer. I can tell you where they are not located. You get so frickin nuts – you check the same places three and four times. My cousin even checked the yard!

The SUV had to go to the dealership this morning to fix something that was $460.81 fixed last Wednesday. It was locked tighter than a skinflint’s butt. Okay, I can’t remember if I locked it or the security system automatically locked it. Being crazy over keys makes your brain scrambled. Does it really matter when you can’t open a door – how they got locked? Really?

Then, I had to do a search and rescue of the “other” set of vehicle keys. I found keys to the 1994 Camaro Z28, one of the son’s Chevy Pick-ups and contestant number 3 opened the SUV. Praise be to God that I didn’t have to call AAA or a locksmith and explain what an airhead I am. Then I had to find a key to lock up the Ponderosa. Life is going to be a grab ass until those damn things show up.

It is truly not the worst thing that has happened to me. It won’t be the last time I lose something of importance. The next time someone else tells me their keys turned into fairy dust – I’m sending flowers and a card.

 

 

Directv go away – the cord is cut

May 22, 2013, I had Directv installed. My husband was recuperating from open heart surgery and was housebound. We had a very expensive roof antenna and Roku set-up. I thought Directv would offer additional entertainment. My precious husband died a week later.

Directv required a two year contract with a guaranteed monthly fee for the first year. I knew I’d get rattled and screwed over this combination. Due to additional emergencies and business travel, I did not watch television at my residence for approximately 18 months of the the two year contract. The monthly fees more than doubled in year two.

The programming sucked big time. The over inflated number of channels is due to the inordinate number of shopping channels. No one needs another ShamWow. HLN has Nancy Grace sensationalized screeching babble. What happened to actually being able to watch the news headlines? MTV used to play music videos. Lucky Dog viewingEvery time the wind blew rain on the satellite, the programming disappeared from the television. This is frequent when residing in tornado alley.

So, I religiously paid exorbitant monthly fees ($1,526.88 total) for a substandard service. On May 22, 2015, at 9:00 am, I called Directv to cancel the subscription. Oh, yeah, I should’ve known better than to think this was going to be seamless.

I was disconnected from the audio response unit 3 or 4 times before getting the “Retention Specialist” on the line. “Habeeb” wanted to know my viewing interests. I informed Habeeb my wish was to cancel the service. After verifying the contract had expired, he offered me HBO and a $10.00 a month discount. I told Habeeb I cancelled HBO in the 90’s because it only showed “Somewhere in Time”, starring Christopher Reeves. Habeeb then politely asked for me to hold and promptly transferred me to “Angela” an Account Executive. I politely informed Angela that my wish was to cancel the service. She threatened me with an extortionate fee if I did not return the Directv equipment! I asked for the address and stated I’d be willing to drive the 380 miles to personally deliver it. She asked if I realized I would’nt be able to watch Directv if I sent it back? Who does this woman talk to on a daily basis?

After finally confirming the service was cancelled, effective immediately. I thought it was the end of the saga. Oh, no, less than 4 hours later, “Larry” another Account Executive telephoned and told me he didn’t want me making a hasty decision. I told Larry to cancel the service.

Two telephone calls followed the next day and two telephone calls the next day. Day 3, I informed the Executive Associate Retention Specialist Supervisor that my intention was to file harassment charges because I had informed each Directv caller to take me off of the retention and post retention call lists.

Then the billing invoices started to double up. I paid the last current bill. Then, immediately after cancellation, I received another invoice. I paid it. Then, I received a bill for $2. 28. Thinking it was a prorated amount for one day of service, I paid it. Then, I received a call informing me I had a credit balance of $82.24. FYI, you are actually paying for services in advance of receiving them. I told this caller that Krogers does not make me post $100.00 at the door before choosing my groceries.

Directv does not issue checks for credit balances. They issue a prepaid debit card from citi. In order to receive your own money, you have to wait 2 weeks with baited breath by the mailbox for this prepaid card. When the card is received, you have to call to activate the card. Now, citi has all of my contact information on their file. When can I expect them to be hacked? After calling citi to activate, you are required to again register online at their website. The only way to receive your own money back is to share your checking or savings account information with these clowns. They asked for all personal identification that was not already on file, except photos of my oldest child’s 20 tattoos.

The transaction should be completed in 2 to 3 business days, via ACH. This account was cancelled almost 2 months ago.

I have since moved. Purchased 3 portable antennas at Best Buy for $24.99 each, on sale. Each television picks up over 40 local stations. Roku offers almost everything available on the Directv service including “The Profit”,” Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” and “Lucky Dog” – which is my dog’s favorite show.

BTW – Directv has extremely polite service representatives. They are just doing their job. It is the desperate corporate policy late in reinventing future innovations.

New habits living alone

My new stage of life has created new habits, procedures and practices. Living alone, after raising a family and being married, for what my heart thought would be forever, has created a lifestyle I was unprepared for. Everyday brings a new adventure.

For well over 22 years, I never woke myself up or had to make coffee. I am totally unfamiliar with how to set the alarm clock. The alarm on my phone is not loud enough, even planted on a docking station. Stumbling over the dog and canine toys on the floor in the morning to make coffee is still a foreign practice. I not only have to make the coffee – it isn’t delivered to me in bed anymore. I’m still shocked when I wake up. The dog has learned to dodge me, especially if I can’t find my glasses.

Getting the trash out to the enormous vessel on wheels is a monumental task. Then, the small bag of trash in the ginormous vessel on wheels needs navigated to the street on a designated day and time. I feel a little guilty from all those years of nagging the kids to get the trash out to the curb. My sons were famous in Covington Woods  for chasing down the garbage truck, dressed in whatever they’d been sleeping in.

Meeting decent dietary requirements is still rocking between “I know better” and “who gives a rat’s ass”. There have been a lot of wasted trips to the grocery store. It seems to be a difficult endeavor to purchase food. Real food – not cookies and bottled water. I wander around the store with no list or menu and leave with 3 bottles of wine. The emotional excuses are stupid but still understandable. I don’t buy in quantities anymore and all portions are too large. I can’t eat a whole pie – even though the challenge is enticing. I don’t want to eat the same thing everyday for a week. My cooking skills are not the best. Frozen dinners are awful. See where I’m going with this – It would be best to move the smoke alarm out to the garage and keep on trying.

I’ve owned ten vehicles in my life. I just changed the registration sticker in one of them for the first time. It sounds like a silly accomplishment but I didn’t know if I’d be able to get the old one off and get the new one on without screwing it up. Per square inch, it is an expensive sticker!

I had never used the riding lawn mower in the garage. Since finding the manual was overwhelming, I went to the internet for spiritual guidance. It gave me the direction needed for all mechanics except the one problem of driving over a ridge or hole in the yard. It took me a few times of bouncing off the seat to realize that is what makes the damn thing stop running.

Simple home repairs are manageable if I wasn’t afraid of breaking the faucet off of the outside of the house. It irks me to have to call the plumber to replace a rubber washer in a faucet because I couldn’t wrench the damn thing apart. I was able to use the fancy, battery operated wine bottle opener when I had a broken arm. Someone needs to invent something like that for faucet repair.

Social anxiety is a weird, new experience. In the past year, I attended a couple of funerals alone. This was an excruciating, lifetime first for me. It didn’t help that the driver side door handle broke on my SUV. There is nothing more horrifying than being crotch up in the windshield, dragging my ass across the center console, getting into the driver’s seat in front of a funeral home. I know Aunt Altie was laughing from heaven xx

A social event at a friend’s home, produced an instance that struck me sideways. Someone asked me out. It was a shudder moment that left my mind racing for a way to handle the situation. I am naive in that I don’t realize one’s intentions. I just thought he was being kind. Another broken heart left in the flying dust of the highway.

The DeWalt drill is now my new friend. My Realtor® signs had always been put together for me. Today, I drilled holes in a post, found the right size screws, washers and bolts. It took 3 HOURS but I think I know how to do it now! The drill scared the bejesus out of me when the drill bit flew out of it. No injuries to report.

 

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