Airport opinion

Frequent and recent travel brought up opinions in reference to various airports. There is a reason to believe some may change for the better if it has been decades since you’ve landed there. Constant travel, especially connected with your occupation, convey preference for ease of exiting the joint and layover conveniences. Globe trotters and the family group of vacation awe gawkers are busy with the entire airport experience by stopping in front of you when you’re imitating an OJ Simpson maneuver to catch a flight.

Way back in the college days, my friends and I would spend spring break in New York City. One reason was the drinking laws allowed 18 year old naive fools the ability to make asses of themselves. The Greater Pittsburgh International Airport seemed huge and intimidating to those of us who rarely or never had flown before. It had been entertainment to make a day trip to the airport to watch a plane take off or land. This airport became a hub of comfort and familiarity as we all became frequent fliers. Then all hell broke loose in 1992 when the shiny and bright new complex was opened at PIT. People are still moaning for the “old” airport. No one likes taking a tram or train from terminal to baggage. We liked walking up and down the steps, dragging our Samsonites to the back door to be picked up curbside.

Those spring break trips landed at LaGuardia Airport. It was as if you were landing in a black and white photo from the graphic artist’s point of view. In fact, it was reminiscent of the brochures female high school graduates received in the 70’s touting the glamorous life of becoming a “stewardess”. I did a layover at LaGuardia Airport the other day and was astounded at the revamp made to the gate areas. It looked like something out of George Jetson’s world. Every table seat had an IPad available. Crisp and swift wait people were serving food and the environment exuded the high end oyster bar or cafe’ titillation. Sure beats the days at Houston Hobby Airport, laying my sleeping toddlers on a blanket on the filthy floor and trying desperately to hold my breath in the restroom.

We used to gauge airports by the availability to get to a smoking area between flights or the ability to make a quick cab getaway to an outside eatery or bar. It is now a day trip to exit an airport in a timely fashion. Smoking is out of vogue and standing in a plexiglass room, filled with smoke is not conducive to smell like an ashtray at your 2:00 pm business meeting. It isn’t proper business etiquette to drink a beer at 7:45 am in the airport bar because you could smoke, if you purchased an alcoholic beverage!

Airport security is a touchy subject. It may look like you slept in your clothes when appearing at a meeting because the TSA tossed every item in your meticulously packed bag. I am always “randomly” selected to have every item I am carrying, carefully examined by security, especially when I am traveling with one of my kids. I was asked for my 9 year old niece’s identification, multiple times, when checking our bags curbside at Dulles International Airport. She wasn’t even big for her age and was carrying a Hello Kitty backpack. Maybe the checker didn’t understand the words, “She’s 9 years old!”. Co-workers intimately get to know you when a TSA associate is taking everything out of your bag and your dirty gutchies are out on the table.

Flying is an improvement when comparing it to a ship or Greyhound. Trains aren’t bad if the plan is to view the countryside. Local trips are still more efficient by car if the destination is within a 4 to 6 hour window. It saves time and you have a vehicle when you get there. Driving does insure that I’m not going to be wedged between 2 individuals with their elbows in my breasts, their dog breath blowing in my face and the window seat passenger’s incessant need to urinate every 12 minutes!



LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia Airport

Another season – Another reason

Turkey and chilli should never be mixed together                            nor even be associated with each other.

Before cell phones, we would let our parents know we arrived safely at a destination by calling collect and asking for ourselves.

I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this.                   There are no choices. Just silent voices.

Wind blows through me.

What’s up with that?

Remember when watching television was free? Now I pay $85.00/month for commercials and shopping channels. When the contract expires, DirectTV can stuff their “Schiticky” up their “Aspray”.

Why is this happening to me?

Cherry Point, McKeesport, Pleasant Hills, State College, Mt. Washington, Houston, Sugar Land, Paris    ???????????

If all of your dreams crash screaming into the fires of hell……….

Dumb ass squirrels chewed the ropes holding up the bird feeder.

We love dogs because they act like little people in pajamas.

Pita chips are as tasty as sucking dry flour down your throat.

A seat sniffer on public transportation gets more respect than retail employees.Be kind to the associate fitting you for foundation garments or penciling in your bushy brows!

“The older you get –  the more invisible you become”

Rainbows are still magic

Being politically correct is really making my ass ache. Get the chip off your shoulder and lighten up. A decent human being knows the difference between assault and an innocent gesture. Move on.

Where are you? Jesus Christ, where did you go??????????????

Instead of joining a health club – cut your own grass, wash your own car, clean your home and cook your own food. Your weight bearing exercise, running and squats will be covered.

Live without a television for a month and watch your life happen.

For the life of me, I never know how much a postage stamp costs? It used to be printed on the item until “forever” stamps came into vogue. Someone should tell the USPS that nothing lasts forever….

No one says, “groovey” anymore.

When the horrific fright slams me and the world stops, I close my eyes and imagine putting my face in your neck and feeling your arms encompass me.

Can’t sleep – write

Can’t eat – write

Can’t talk – write

Jails and prisons are full of people unable to conform with the rules of society. This behavior is an exhibition of mental illness. If these facilities aren’t structured to address mental illness, a better idea would be to let these folks form their own society in their own city. They won’t have laws to break. Just drop their asses off and let life happen.

You sell me a non-functioning PC and charge me a restocking fee! Really?

Mushrooms are my favorite meat

Come on         Come on             Come on                           Come on

Tooth enamel paint, eye vitamins, Viagra, nostril salt water rinse, plucking, shaving, 4 different soaps & cleansers, exfoliation, foot genie, do the roots, gel nails,  false lashes, fake boobs, imitation truths – Is there any time left to give to others?

It’s all about me

Now, here’s the deal…

Entitlement:    creates a mind boggling whirlwind brain tornado – Just don’t understand it


“Let it be”

Get off of yourself

Put all of your cards on the table

Love, Me xoxxoxooxxx

Naked in the wind is not always your best look

“And the forest will echo with laughter…”

oh god – here goes

Another season - Another reason

Another season – Another reason












Garage sale observations

Each region of the USA has a garage sale aptitude. Previous experience did not seem to make a bit of difference with the rhythm and dance of each community from Florida to Pennsylvania and different locations in Texas. We all know Texas is like it’s own country. What happens in Brownsville is foreign to Fort Worth.

Advertising plays a huge part in the prospective customer’s expectations. An estate sale will conjure up the customer seeking the Antique Road Show treasure they can retire with. We did make sure there were no $100.00 bills stuffed into book pages or rolled into a pair of socks. A yard sale banks on a casual customer and those flying the nest with tighter budgets or the presumption you are willing to all but give away the merchandise. The famous garage sale fires up the trepidation that there may be further entrance into the home or higher end assets must be protected from the elements. Multiple times we had offers to purchase the home or property. I don’t feel the inquiries were sincere. It was more or less the human need for further information. Not all sales are out of desperation, foreclosure or a move out.Garage sale observations

Pennsylvania sale attendees seem to be aggressive prior to opening day. They knock on the front door and ask if they can see the forthcoming riches. It doesn’t concern them that it is dawn and you’re in your robe with bed head and lion breath. It doesn’t faze them to bang on the doorbell after dark when man and beast is already butt up on the couch. They are non-apologetic and even act a little ticked that you won’t let them traipse through your home.If I didn’t know any better, they camp down at the stop sign until “Sale is On”. I even had a woman ask me what I was going to do with the valuable jewelry and glass! I informed her there wasn’t any valuable jewelry or glass. She said, “Honey, we know all the relatives strip everything bare before the garage sale!” I informed her that it was my junk. I’m very much alive at age 27 and I didn’t have any of that stuff!

The Quaker State buyers snatch and grab. They don’t even examine the items. It is as though they are on a game show and the clock is ticking. A favorite and common comment – after accumulating all of the highest priced items, is to offer you $8.00 for the entire mountain of merchandise. Itemization may total $482.50 and they are ready with the shocked and disgusted garage sale face. The attitude is they are there to do you a favor and you are an ingrate. I favored the patron feigning  to be deaf and waiving the $8.00 at me because they were stroking out because you are telling them, “no” to their cheap ass offer.

Florida had the most polite and gracious group imaginable! During multiple garage sales, they would line up in a formation similar to the Metro bus riders in downtown Houston. It was fascinating. Hail and tropical storms did not hither this assembly. It reminded me of the affluent bunch politely scouring the shoe sale at Nieman Marcus in Dallas. Their hearts are beating wildly but you can not appear to be uncouth. To our knowledge there was neither theft or breakage at the Florida sales. Offers were reasonable. No one asked me to deliver a furniture item to their 36th floor condo, 84 miles down the coast. I still shake my head at the man who purchased the pile of debris that was swept into a pile in the middle of the garage floor at the closing of a sale. What on earth was he going to do with wood chips and a very small piece of chain?

Oh, Texas, my Texas! Garage sales in a Houston subdivision are civil and non-eventful. It was the quintessential block party. You may have lived next door to the engineer from Exxon and his Junior League wife for 4 years and didn’t know them. Stick a Weber grill in the driveway with a table full of your kid’s Transformer underpants and it’s old home week. You would’ve thought we were joined at the hip. I wouldn’t have know these people if I ran into them at the corner dry cleaners. It was a discovery of we golf at the same club and share the same arm pit specialist. They pay what is posted and notice that the satchel you pack their new belongings into is from Ann Taylor. You pick and choose who to give your prized shopping bags to.Some of these egos can’t tolerate a Walmart plastic bag. A bag from Barneys will actually yield an additional sale because they think you’re a regular shopper at a place that has extremely overpriced pants.

Garage sales in the paradise of Paris, Texas let you know you are a real person among good people, except for the family dropping “F” bombs on each other. During my short tenure at country living, in the bible belt, this behavior was, as my grandmother would say, “rather unbecoming”! “Yeah, baby”, every character type, cowboy, farmer, Hispanic, MeeMaws, ranchers, city folk, single parents, widows and widowers marched through at a consistent stream. This group didn’t do “the line-up”. A large number of them stopped by the house the day before the sale to observe the setup! In fact, the first customer didn’t appear until a half hour after opening. Country folk like to visit. I had 7 gentleman tell me they lived alone and some even told me how big their house was – 4 bedroom, 3 baths! Instead of, I guess they see who is available at garage sales! I did try to introduce a few to each other but I don’t know if there were any hook ups! Over a 2 day period, almost everything got sold, even an old bicycle seat.

True and experienced garage sale buyers, eager to be the first customer, fancy themselves on presenting a $100.00 bill for an item priced at $.25. They know it will wipe out your cash fund, if you have that much in your cash fund. They are banking on you to say, “just take it”.

Garage sales are social events and a way of clearing out the closets and out buildings. My favorite part is watching the eager and ecstatic people so pleased with their new treasures.




Rescue dogs

The most intelligent dogs I’ve had the privilege of living with have been mixed breed rescue dogs. This is not to say that the pedigreed dogs were stupid. It is a comparative observation. It doesn’t lessen the love. The mixed breed dogs were quick to learn commands and would do anything to please. There were a lot less health issues as well as being a lot less maintenance. Rescue dogs are capable of having as much high heart value as an expensive, paper’d, pedigreed dog.
The CockaDocker and Beagle-Basset were not the dogs mustering attention during long walks. The Dachshund and Cocker Spaniel were always the relatable dogs. “Oh, we had a dog just like that.” The Cockapoo was always mistaken to be a Terrier and the CockaDocker was always thought to be a baby Lab, Most of the time, there were multiple dogs in our household. When one dog garners attention, it was as if to say, one child is beautiful and the other two are homely! Just like a jury of your peers, we did work hard at creating personality for the quiet puppy or the one with an “up front” personality.
Texi, our Beagle-Basset was a notorious bitch, to say the least. At the time, she was the lone female with two male cohorts. She was amicable and well behaved but did like laying on her duck rug in the corner of the breakfast room. I made her a red lace dress out of fabric printed with a young Elvis Presley on it, for Halloween. This was almost an exercise of desperation to liven this young lady up. Believe me, with an active young family and a couple of jobs, I was lucky to pluck an eyebrow let alone make a dog dress! Femininity blossomed from her spirit when I gave her a middle name, Texi Anne. A resident Diva Dog with a bark like a Basset Hound was akin to an unattractive, diamond decorated aunt who always brought candy but bitched about the entrée served for dinner. This precious rescue dog ended up being a savior when someone, uninvited, entered our home. Texi Anne took a mega bite out of the intruder. She came to us, on ‘Go Texan Day” from a friend who witnessed Texi being thrown from a car on FM 1960 in Houston, Texas, one sleety, rainy night. We had her for 12 years. She is still missed.




Harley, a pure bred mini Dachshund, was delivered to our door by a neighbor. He was a puppy, as big as my hand. This dog had been bred to be sold, as in money making profit product. We were the last chance to take him because the families he had previously been sold to brought him back because he kept crying. Being the runt, the breeder family didn’t want to deal with him. Mr. Runt was obviously cutting into the bottom line. It was either we take him or he was going to the pound.
Harley possessed an uncanny and comical personality. He’d do laps in the bathtub and take the king size comforter off of our bed and drag it through the house. His legs were exactly one inch long and at his heaviest, he weighed 10 pounds. Har was an alpha dog with the management style of a Harvard Business School graduate. If the doorbell rang, Harley would lie in his dog bed and bark for one of the other dogs to rush the front door to announce the visitor or dinner delivery. This dog would come when he was called and show up at meal time. That was the extent of his disciplines. He ran our home like a drill sergeant and we willingly fell for his every whim. He was happy being carried around and loved on constantly. We didn’t have favorites but Harley was a remarkable treasure of the heart.
Our smartest rescue dog is a Schnauzer mix. Vincent Star (Vinnie) is addicted to television. His favorite show is “Lucky Dog” and anything on Animal Planet is a strong substitute. If allowed, he’d monopolize the TV with his programming and forfeit PupCorn, his favorite treat, at the instant he hears Brandon McMillon’s voice on Saturday mornings. Vinnie is extremely disciplined and rarely misses a command. His life purpose is to please and be loved. Except for lying on a freshly painted baseboard, I can’t remember any other instance of him being subjected to dog jail. Vinnie is the poster puppy for play, performance and pleasure. Approximately 12 years ago, a neighbor rescued Vinnie from the local animal shelter. The neighbor died 2 weeks later. Instead of returning the 12 week old puppy to the shelter, Vincent became the third Musketeer of our gaggle of dogs.
I read an article in The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, August 5, 2012 in reference to a photographer in Taiwan, making a social statement by photographing dogs immediately before they are euthanized. The article prompted me to write the blog entry, Dogs to advocate for 4 legged furry friends. Again, if you are unable to give a home to one of God’s innocent creatures, please advocate for them.

New Age vs Old Age Employmemt Challenges

Unemployment is difficult enough. If your previous employment spanned many, many years – the process is similar to getting a divorce after the silver anniversary. The interview process is in the same category as “What do I wear on the post-divorce first date and am I expected to sleep with them?”

Without going into the world viewing youth as intelligence and aging as demented, crazy and invisible, the interview process is arduous, at best. Interviewers are getting younger as you age in the lobby, surrounded by people your kid’s ages. Especially for the first five or six interview outings, you are most likely over dressed and lacking a nose ring. Your wrinkles and graying hair are secondary to the archaic briefcase or portfolio under your arm. Shoes with buckles and shoestrings are passe’. A good pair of flip-flops or any shoes made of rubber and dirty toenails are available for viewing. The employment opportunities for this scenario are not blue-collar. They are actually professional sales, financial and technological positions.

I had been laid off, for the first time in my long-term professional life, after the age of 40. One interviewer, who appeared to have just rolled out of couch, held his Blackberry up in front of me and asked, “Do you know what this is?” Another wiseass asked if I knew how to turn a laptop on. I informed him that I had the capability of not only turning it on, but take it apart, put it back together and re-program the entire thing. I guess he didn’t like my response because “Tiffany Cleavage” in the lobby, got the job. One of my friends, a current employee with this up and coming executive, was seeking new employment but was in desperate financial straits and stuck. She was also ten years younger than I was.

Being a bit outspoken, follow-up to an interview, always yielded jolly propaganda. I always asked what my deficits may have been. The ones who didn’t blow smoke gave me some true insight such as:

  • You look like a banker
  • I couldn’t picture you unloading product from an 18 wheeler – (This was not in the job description or mentioned during the interview!)
  • You would have my job in a day or two and I couldn’t risk hiring you.

One employment opportunity resulted in four interviews. The first three “show and tells”  allowed the escalation of executives a chance to increase expenses by flying into Houston from Boston – otherwise, they would have flown me and/or the other candidates to Boston! The position, up for grabs, was highly compensated and possessed an upper echelon profile. An assessment after Interview #2 yielded that I had an “extreme sense of urgency”! During the process, the company recruiter would telephone me and discuss the previous appointment and inform me of the “going forward” recommendation for yet another go around. A Don Draper, Mad Men type conducted interview #4.  He was the epitome of a well upholstered “suit”. Five minutes into the engagement, he mocked my responses which included one of my hand gestures. Looking back, I wished it had been one of my other hand gestures. He challenged each one of my replies to his questions in a most derogatory and demeaning manner. Fifteen minutes later, as the hair on the back of my neck stood up, I backed my way to the conference room exit while he continued to prattle. I ended the interview.

The recruiter called a few hours later. She asked why I exited the interview early. I gave her the generic response that I was not the right candidate for the position. She informed me that my competition for the job was only one other person. Again, I told her it was not a “good fit”. A few days later, she called me again. She was insistent in knowing why I left the interview. Was it my place to inform her Mr. Suit intuitively appeared a predator, woman-hater, wife beater and general asshole? Yea, Baby, I could just imagine a cross-country travel rendezvous business trip with him as my vice-president! The telephone conversation created the instantaneous response reflex of:

  • Do I assassinate his character and risk a lawsuit?
  • What are the benefits of telling the recruiter something she already knew?
  • Did she really want to hear my conclusions based on life experience, knowing of a bunch of gems like him and intuition?

I made a business quick wit and allowed the recruiter to conclude the outcome with the results of the process. A lot of time, money, travel, and dry cleaning expense to have a qualified candidate turn them down when the horses were coming around the bend and headed for the straight a way. They’re smart people. I think this may have been a déjà vu.

Appropriately, each of us knows when we are qualified and age was a non-hire condition. My personal experience with the hiring process yields the following direction with the interview process:

  •  Do not use Old Spice or Youth-Dew fragrances.
  • Do not be late – Especially a whole day.
  •  Do not have your significant other drive you and wait with the kids in the reception area.
  • Keep the cocktail wear for bar mitzvahs, wedding receptions, glamour shots and family portraits –  Send a photo to the Ellen Show.
  • Stay awake and sober for the interview.
  • Be yourself.
  • Be true to yourself.



Cable Cut – Dish Cut – Cost Cut

Extensive research has revealed there are a lot of people cutting the cable and disconnecting the satellite dish. The numbers vary depending on the data source. It is a huge decision because it changes your routine, habits, lifestyle and psyche.

When our children were young, we moved into a new home. A demanding job did not allow me the luxury of making an appointment to have the cable company set up service immediately. You would have thought someone ripped our 9-year-old’s heart out without an anesthetic. The cable company would not give a specific appointment time. It was a block of time which spanned morning or afternoon. I had been a previous victim. Taking a day off of work for a no-show technician did nothing but set me off like Sputnik. Our 9 year old did not receive the “luxury” of cable/satellite, again until he was 14 years old. The only reason he then received the gift of hundreds of channels was because his older brother was on a ship in a war zone and we became extreme news junkies.

By the way, when the satellite was installed, I had to call the billing department every month for years because the billing was incorrect. A credit would be issued, but the problem persisted. Every time it rained or the wind picked up, the service was “iffy”. I called customer service so many times, I eventually could re-program and re-position the satellite dish, with someone on the roof to scream instruction to,  without their assistance. Hurricane Ike blew the satellite off of the roof. My relationship with the satellite dish was starting to fray.

When you have a satellite/cable service – the family takes it for granted. The majority of the viewing, to my observation, were channels we were able to access at no charge with a homemade antenna created from leftover ceiling grid in our attic. The billing statement reflected a fee for HD access. When the televisions were on the antenna, we had HD at no charge. The satellite provider scrambled the HD and we were paying them a fee for HD to be accessible through their service. We were also paying to access local programming for which we were able to access “FREE” on the antenna. For an outrageous total charge per month, we could watch repetitious commercials, a whole lot of shopping channels, MTV that wasn’t the MTV I had loved and every single time I turned HBO on, they were showing “Somewhere in Time” starring Christopher Reeves. It didn’t matter what day or what time – that movie was on. Christopher will always be Superman to me – and dearly missed.

The 14-year-old grew up and graduated from college. A decision was made to stop the tv service madness. At the time, we lived outside of Houston. There were 54 channels available through the antenna. Now, some were in languages I had always intended to learn and a few were extremely religious. Most were in HD and reception was crystal clear. The same can’t be said for living outside of beautiful Paris, TX. Our antenna access amounts to CBS, Fox and 2 limited Oklahoma PBS channels. If anyone with money is in Oklahoma reading this – please contribute to your PBS station. The programs showing now were seen in Houston a long time ago. That said, my interest lies in access to local weather which can be seen on the CBS channel.

Any television viewing is now accomplished by switching over to Roku. World news, national news, Pandora, Netflix, HuluPlus, etc are here to entertain, educate and teach me how to make my own creme fraiche. Netflix is better at less or no commercial interruptions than HuluPlus. It was a fantastic to watch 4 seasons of Mad Men without any commercials. Continuous story line and actual use of the 18 minutes, average, time in my life to do something constructive – instead of multiple and redundant commercials to stop hemmoroid itching or to lose weight. By the way, we didn’t do the Mad Men marathon where you start the gig at 10:00 am, in your night clothes and watch continuously for 20 hours at a time! No, we watched the episodes in the evening over a period of weeks!

Instead of watching mindless prattle available for a fee, we are now able to choose exactly what we want to watch and when we want to watch it. It was not a hard habit to break. Think of how many hours your children and family members are glued to the tv out of habit. Ask them when they last saw a movie or program on a premium channel and discuss the subject matter. You will be amazed by the feedback.

If you subscribe to Netflix, HuluPlus and assorted other programs accessible through the internet, your savings can amount to over $1,000.00 per year by cutting the cable/satellite service. This depends on your current expenditure and your future decisions. The most valued benefit we have received is time.