Friday, November 7, 2014

Yeah, A Bug Crawled Up There

So a few things have been annoying me lately.

Actually more than a few but let's face it, we all have lives so I'll just vent about a few.

First up on my annoyance list are Linked-In whores. Ok, that's not their actual title but it's definitely their description. You receive an invitation to connect on Linked-In so you look at their profile. They don't seem to really have much in common with your line of work, or interests for that matter, but you accept their invitation anyway. Then over the course of the day, and the next and the next, if you happen to check your feed, you see that person has connected with 672 more people. Linked-In Whore. Seriously, the whole point of Linked-In was to connect people you might do business with, or might lead to someone you might do business with. It's not freakin' Twitter where it's all about your followers. Today may have been my fastest unlink ever. Whore.

Next up are names of bands. Now listen up young band people. I covered the CMJ Music Marathon a few weeks back and in researching which bands I wanted to see, I would use the CMJ app and try to coordinate shows with days and times I would be available. Now the easiest way I found to check out the bands was to just go to Youtube and type in their name. It's better than going to the bands websites and navigating pages to find some video. But a problem comes about when bands have names that are really names of other things. Like Fishing, or Northern Lights for example. Punch those babies into Youtube and you know what you get? Videos on How to Fish, and really breathtaking stuff of the Northern Lights. The bands... yeah, didn't find them. So I moved onto the next band. So here's my advice for naming a band: Something original and unusual. Just a thought.

Speaking of music. Publicists, if you're gonna inundate me daily about your clients, when I actually reply and ask you a question about the band... you might want to respond.

Finally, I received a letter from my health insurance company last week telling me to expect a phone call from someone who will be my "health advocate" or some crap like that. They will discuss my present health, how often I visit a doctor, if I got a flu shot, blah, blah, blah. So I get a call yesterday and by the look of the number on caller ID, I figured it was them. And it was... sort of. It was an automated call asking if I was who they were calling. Yes, yes I am. OK, PLEASE HOLD FOR THE NEXT AVAILABLE AIDE. Da Fuck? ALL OUR AIDES ARE CURRENTLY ASSISTING OTHER CUSTOMERS, PLEASE HOLD. Are you kidding me? A bot calls me and expects me to hold on while the real people are talking with other people. Here's a novel idea: HAVE A REAL PERSON ACTUALLY CALL ME.

Feeling better. I think that's enough for tonight.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Fishy Situation

Why is it whenever you have a limited amount of time to get something done, you end up surrounded by incompetent morons?

Case in point, Friday afternoon I had a small window of time to run out and get a few errands done. Food shopping at Shop-Rite was one of those errands. First thing on the list was to hit the fish department for some clams for Saturday night's dinner. Because the deli area/fish department can be crowded, I ran over there first to see how much time it would take.

Good news, only one woman in front of me and she's in the middle of her order. How long can it take right? Unlike cold cuts where someone might order four or five different items, fish purchases are usually only one or two items.

It seemed that the worker was taking a longer time to get the fish together than was necessary, but whatever, how long could it take right? Ok, she finishes with that item and the customer orders something else. A dozen craw-fish. A dozen crawfish. Now a dozen crawfish aren't really enough to do anything much with, but that's not my business. My business was watching the worker attempt to reach the crawfish which were in a plastic bowl toward the front of the refrigerated case.

Now if it was me, I would grab that plastic bowl out of the case so I would not need to reach into it. But no. The worker decided to reach in and... stretching as far as she could and grabbing them ONE BY ONE.

I stood there in total disbelief. I looked at the woman whose order was being filled and by the look on her face, this did not seem odd. That might have been even scarier than the idiot behind the counter. So after reaching into the case twelve separate times, the order was complete and it was my turn.

Two dozen Little Neck clams. I thought I might lose it completely if I saw her start to grab one clam at a time, but no, something even better. There were three types of clams for sale and she did not know the difference between them. So as I stood there mentally hearing the tick-tock of minutes passing, she decided her day was too tough, gave up, and called over another worker to complete the order.

It should have taken maybe seven minutes for the woman in front of me to finish her order, and mine to be filled as well. It took twenty.

Tick Tock.

Monday, September 8, 2014

No Kidding Around

Not these Kids
I don't have kids.

I may have mentioned that a hundred or more times, but in case any of you may have forgotten, I don't. Never wanted them, not a kid person, give me a dog any day of the week. Oh zip it all you parents looking down your noses, I believe we should all... in the words of Dirty Harry, "know our limitations."

I know mine, and it was never gonna be wiping someone else's ass for two years. And while that was indeed something that entered my mind many times when I was young enough to consider having kids, it was more of the knowledge of really not being cut out for it, and not able to cope with the 24/7, 365 day, twenty year commitment.

I did however become a step-monster of a fourteen-year old a shitload of years ago. I was lucky, he was great. Love and respect were never an issue, and I could not be more proud of the man he has become. That kiddo is now thirty-nine, and will soon become a father. This makes me a sort of step-grandmonster. Sort of.

Now the family is pretty small, but what we do have are some extras. As in the step kind. So the question has come up on what we all want to be known as when the baby, who won't be showing up until the spring, gets around to talking to us. oy.

Now those of you who know me can stop laughing right now. We all know some little crumb crusher calling me Granny ain't never gonna happen. I thought I remembered Joan Rivers saying when her grandson was born she wanted to be called Queen. Since the nickname I've embraced for many years has been Queen Bitch, it seemed a possible option.

Then it came to me; I could really dig being in a store with this barely walking toddler and he or she calls out "Hot Stuff." Hell yeah. The parents-to-be seemed to be the only ones who thought this was not an unthinkable option... and that's why I love them both. Oh and my beautiful niece thought it was cool too... but then she always thought I was a kick-ass aunt.

Most others thought it would be too hard for the baby to pronounce. I don't. So unless we can come up with something just as fabulous, Hot Stuff it is. This step-grandmonster is gonna rock.

Just saying.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Doodle Dog Books: Teaching Lessons, Helping Others

Fate. Destiny. Kismet.
Some of us believe in it, others are skeptical. Think on this story for a minute.

Two kids go to the same middle school, junior high, and high school. They are even in classes together. They like the same music, a lot of the same activities, but never really connect on a one-to-one level. Years later, and I won't say how many, they finally get to talking at their high school reunion, and boom. No, it's not a love story, they are both happily married. It is a story though, well at this point, three stories actually.

Jim Wood and Michele Quinn started writing children's books dealing with subjects which are difficult for kids to understand, like the loss of a pet, or childhood illness. The proceeds from their books go to charity, so not only are they helping children with their stories, they are helping causes near and dear to their hearts.

The first Doodle book aided a family overwhelmed with medical expenses, the second benefited an animal shelter, and profits from their latest book, Doodle: When Times Get Ruff, will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

Jim Wood is a writer, musician, dad, brother and friend. We've known each other online and in person for a few years now, and the work that he and Michele are doing is way beyond cool. Michele is a teacher, illustrator and a mom, so when you put the two of them together, how can these books be anything short of fabulous.

I recently had the chance to speak with both Jim and Michele about the journey of the Doodle Dog books. Please read the interviews, then check out the links at the end and order a few books.

Kath: The proceeds from the first Doodle book were donated to Ashley’s Army, to benefit the family of a child who had been undergoing cancer treatment. Is there an update on Ashley and how she’s doing?
Michele: She’s actually doing very well. I’m happy to say the bone marrow transplant was successful. Her numbers are not 100% yet, but they are so close that we can taste it, and she’s actually going to be walking with us at the Be the Match Walk & Run to raise funds for bone marrow transplants.

You’re involved in a whole bunch of charity endeavors. Where did the feeling that you should do so much to help others come from?
Michele: It really started in college, I became involved with my Honor Society where we did fundraising, worked with the Red Cross, assisting homeless people to find homes by sharing a home with somebody who was willing to take them in. Then I became a mom and I couldn’t just stay at home, and I started doing everything I could for my son’s school, volunteering from there. It’s just important for me to give back.

The second book “Doodle Meets the Pound Pup” was sort of based on your puppy. How did you ever get through the creative process?
Michele: We kind of collaborated on that one, and yes it was a difficult book to get through. It took a long time to do the illustrations. I was crying all the time, but I felt it needed to be done. As a teacher and a parent, I noticed in children’s literature, there’s not a lot out there for dealing with those things, of dealing with the death of a loved one. So that’s one of the reasons we’re doing what we’re doing, to deal with some of those difficult circumstances that kids face now.

It’s very true, you can talk to a child and try to explain it, but sometimes if they see a picture and the story is written in a basic child’s voice, I think they can grasp it, and it seems more ok. If it’s written down, then someone else must have had this happen to them.
Michele: Right, and one of the key things I’ve tried to keep, especially with the second and third books, coming again from an education standpoint and child psychology, we tried to take a lot of that pain and push it to the dog, transfer it. We’re going to deal with the friend’s friend, but we’re going to put the heavy stuff on the dog. It removes the heavy burden from the child. And it’s a book, so the child can look at it on their own and can process it in their own time.

The profits from the second book went to an animal shelter and the proceeds from the third are going to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. How did that partnership come about?
Michele: My neighbor, Ryan Wilkins is the Community Relations & Marketing Director, and I knew him from our FaceBook Community Page. Jim wanted to donate some books to a children’s hospital and I said my neighbor works for Ronald McDonald house, do you want me to give them to him, and that’s how I actually met his wife. So it just came up through there.

What’s been the best experience about this whole collaboration on the Doodle books?
Michele: It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to write a children’s book, and when Jim mentioned that he’d like to write a kid’s book someday, I said well I think I know someone who can illustrate, and it was that simple and that’s kind of how it fell into place. I’m fulfilling something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl, but honestly, the best part of it is that we’re doing it to give something to other people. We’re able to take the talent that we have, and do something for other people in a quiet way. With one project, we were able to give help to a family in desperate need, then for the animals, and now for the Ronald McDonald House, where Ashley’s family had to stay for two months, so it’s all connected. So that’s the best part of it for me

Then I spoke with Jim Wood.

Kath: The first book was about a little girl checking things out in the world and wondering if God was responsible for each part of it. What made you take a spiritual entrance into the series?
Jim: As I started writing, it was something that just came into my head. I thought about the girl and the dog and thought what could I do that’s kind of different? Just go out exploring the world “oh well, if this is like this, how can this be? How can a tree be?” Somebody made the trees, somebody made the grass, somebody made the rain, the seasons, somebody made us. Just basic fundamental questions of why are we here, what did this, and how wonderful it is that it happened, and here we are.

Now you are a music writer, an interviewer, and as both of us are, a ranter on your blog. How does your writing approach change when you’re writing a children’s book?  Is there a different mindset that you go into it with?
Jim: Actually I don’t think there is, because when I’m ranting I’m kind of in the mode that I feel like I could do whatever I want, but it seems whenever it’s time to write a children’s book it’s like flicking a switch. It just comes on… like, ok let’s try this, what’s this going to be about? We’ll start out by saying “let’s think about what we want to say. Like Chloe and the girl are playing and Christopher is a pain, the little kid thing. We’ll take things like that and turn them into rhyme. So it’s just like flipping a switch, it doesn’t really change at all, it’s just one way of looking at things.

Does the rhyming thing come natural to you?
Jim: Oh absolutely, I come from a music background. Rhyming and songwriting and all that, it wasn’t a problem at all. The hardest part is trying to find something that hasn’t been done before, and trying to get words to rhyme that don’t normally rhyme, but kind of sound like it.

As a writer I just have to ask, when you had your first book signing was there a moment when you thought that nobody would show up?
Jim: There’s always that thought that comes into your head. Then as soon as the first person comes, as long as one person comes, that’s it. But there is that certain fear.

I asked Michele this same question; what has been the best experience about doing these books?
Jim: Honestly, it’s working with her. As far as the back story goes, we hardly knew each other all the way through school. We went through middle school, junior high, high school. I didn’t know her, we never talked. It’s kind of sad because we missed out on all that, but in a way it’s good now because we’re adults and we get to work on things like these books, and get to help people. It’s given the books a purpose, and just doing them together has been the best experience for me. And now we have three, which is mind-boggling.

I have a dog question about this because Doodle is a Boston Terrier, and coincidentally or not, you have two of them, Doodle and Bruno. Now Doodle gets all the press while Bruno has only made an appearance in the latest book. Has this caused any problems at home?
Jim: No, not all.

So Bruno is pretty happy for his brother?
Jim: Yeah, he’s just happy to be a part of the story. He was tired of being in the shadows.

Jim and Michele are good people doing good work. Help them help others. If you have a child, the books are perfect. Don't have kids? Purchase one, two, five, or a dozen and give them to hospitals, libraries, day care centers, etc. This isn't a bucket challenge where you won't ever know where your money is going. All proceeds are going directly to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. Helping out families of sick children. 

Do a good thing, buy a book.

To order a copy of the Doodle Dog books, click on the links below:
A little girl and her dog explore the world around them and wonder how things were made.

Doodle Meets the Pound Pup
A heart-warming tale about the joys of animal adoption and coping with the loss of a beloved pet.

Doodle: When Times Get Ruff
 "Doodle: When Times Get Ruff" tells the story of Chloe, a young girl who faces uncertainty when her younger brother Christopher becomes ill. With help and love from both family and friends, Chloe is able to overcome her fear.

Follow Doodle Dog Books on FaceBook
Jim Wood's Website:
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back-To-Back Award Shows, Meh

Just like Twitter is limited to 140 characters, I kind of limited the time I spent watching the VMAs and the Emmys to about 140 seconds. That was about all I could handle at any one time.

So I can't actually say I watched either show, and can only comment that what I saw of each was excruciatingly awful. My views on them will be short, probably only a bit more than 140 characters.

The VMAs: When did a big ass become the new big boobs standard? Does it now mean if a woman has both a big ass AND big boobs, she is now considered a Goddess? Asking for a friend.

That is really all I have to say about the VMAs.

The Emmys: Was it me or have the women started dressing really badly again? Girls, Less is Best. Not in the amount of material, but in how the material is being used. Way, way too much on the ruffles, draping, layering. oy. One red number: one shoulder,draping over the bust, cinched waist with beading on one side, more draping over the hips, more cinching at mid-thigh and a flouncy bottom. Really? Another pink flamingo number, and one black dress with so much badly added tulle over it, it looked like someone just decided to wrap it around her, like ten times.

Fire your stylists and just take a look in the mirror.

In all the rehearsals for this show, did any of the participants actually think the jokes were funny? Whenever I tuned in and caught one, I had to switch it off because they were not just bad, but dreadful. One thing about comedy, timing is everything. The greats have it, only one person I saw last night did.


It wasn't his day to be funny, though along with the tears, his speech also brought a few smiles. When Robin died, we waited for what his friend Billy would have to say, and what he did say was perfect for that moment. "No Words."  And it was true. He was called upon last night to choose a few, and with just the right mixture of joy and sadness, he spoke of the man he knew so well.

And every word he said reminded us of how much sadder the world has become.

Robin Williams, what a concept.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams, From Laughter to Tears

He made me laugh.

He made me laugh harder than anyone ever. He made me laugh to the point where I couldn't catch my breath. And now he's made me cry.

As the first tweet came across last night, I hoped it was another internet hoax, but with the quote from the police, the report from his agent, and the sad words from his wife, it was apparently true.

He was brilliant, watching him doing standup or acting in a film, there was no question he made great use of the voices inside his head. Unfortunately there were the dark voices too. We all have them, when you interact with writers and creative people as much as I do, you realize how many people struggle every day to live alongside them.

I am not a huge movie person, but I will watch "The Birdcage," every time it's on to see him interact with Nathan Lane. And there was "Comic Relief," the charity event he did with Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Crystal every year. The improvs between Billy and Robin were so ridiculously surreal, there were times when Whoopi looked as if she was holding on for dear life. But it was Robin who was trying to hold on.

My uncle took his own life several years ago, and until then I hadn't really thought about how suicide affects everyone who knew the person. It shakes you down to your core and makes you question things you knew as the truth. How could we not have seen it coming? How did his heart become so dark that he could not see that he was loved.... that he mattered to us.

Within an hour after his death was reported last night, social media lit up. It seemed 99.9% of the tweets and Facebook postings coming across were expressions of grief. It continued that way for hours. His genius touched the world as a whole, but it touched every one of us as well.

Life is a balance. Was the pain Robin Williams endured through his lifetime the price he paid for the genius of his work? We can't know. We can only graciously accept all he gave us and hope his pain is gone.

"“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”... Robin Williams

Depression Lies. Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Easy journey Robin.


Monday, July 21, 2014

You Guys Getting Enough Sleep on the Weekend? Didn't Think So

Social Jet Lag.

Haven't heard of it? Well, we've all experienced it. In fact, it's pretty much what we strive for every weekend. It's called paying the price for having fun.

According to an article in today's Huffington Post, when we stay up a little lot later on the weekend, we are throwing our circadian rhythm out of whack. To which I say "no shit Sherlock." Really, they need to do sleep studies to figure this out?

Apparently in continuing the need to have a PC name for everything, we now have Social Jet Lag, or as it has been known in my circle... Partied Out. We all know if we stay up later than usual, we're gonna feel it the next day. And if you do it over the entire weekend, well, Monday comes and you're gonna be overtired and grumpy. Welcome to real life. Deal with it. Unfortunately Huff Post thinks we need to sleep more and party less. They have even set down some rules like:

  • Only booze one night of the weekend: ???
  • No coffee after 2 pm: So no coffee and booze only one day. Does not sound like a feasible plan
  • Get out in the sun: After a party night? um... just say no
  • Exercise: ???
There are a few more suggestions, but really, after reading the first one I've listed, can you even take it seriously?

Bottom line is one we've all learned a long, long time ago. If you play, you're gonna pay. Suck it up, down some Advils, keep the blinds drawn, and ease into the day. As for Monday morning? Shift into robot mode and arrive with the knowledge that everyone else feels the same way you do. 

Social jet lag. According to Shelby Freedman Harris, director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Montifiore Medical Center in NYC, "It isn't necessarily a sleep disorder that we would actually diagnose someone with clinically, but it is a trend where we notice that people aren't sticking with the same sleep-wake schedule every day." 

A trend? Like this is something new? I do believe people have been "Working For The Weekend," and looking to "Rock & Roll All Night, And Party Every Day," for as long as there has been a work week. And though I agree with Todd Rundgren's idea of "I Don't Want To Work, I Want To Bang On The Drum All Day," it is not recommended when nursing a hangover.

Party on.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's the Coolest Cooler Ever

Some things just suck me in.

I'm sure a lot of you have seen the Kickstarter for the Coolest Cooler, it's pretty much gone viral. If you haven't, here's the story.

This inventor guy, Ryan Grepper, came up with a new cooler. Yeah, big whup. But this is no ordinary cooler. This one comes with a freakin' blender which works off a rechargeable battery. But wait, there's more. How about built-in waterproof speakers, USB port for charging your phone, LED lights inside the cooler for evening parties, bungee cords for hauling gear, separate compartments, plates/cutting board, knife, great wheels and a damn bottle opener. Are you kidding me?

Here's the campaign video

The Kickstarter started with a goal of raising $50,000. In less than 36 hours, that goal was reached, and the money has not stopped pouring in. As I write this, the amount raised is OVER $3 MILLION DOLLARS. And, there are still 48 days to go in the funding period.

To say I am fascinated by this is an understatement. Grepper has already upped the ante with the updates for the next generation of Coolest Cooler. More color choices, better wheels and solar panels are all possibilities.

The biggest question I have about this is, what took so damn long? How have we not seen the future of the cooler in such vivid detail before? Why were cooler manufacturers content to offer us the same boring crap year after year. And now that we see it is a feasible option, how can we live without one?
I want one. Bad. So do 16,000+ other people who have invested in the Kickstarter.

Unfortunately we will be waiting for a while for the prototype to become an retail item. But for the next 48 days, I'll be having the Coolest Cooler campaign page opened on my browser.

It's just the Coolest.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It Got Weird After the Bird Broke Its Leg

Imagine this:

You pull up to the private home where you will be working for the next several hours. Outside the door there is a bird on its back, lying on the ground unable to fly or stand, and it is crying.


You call your friend who is in front of a computer for the number of the nearest wildlife rescue. Holy crap, there is a BIRD rehabilitation center in the same county, about a half hour away. Seriously, what are the odds?

You forget about working for a while, place the bird in a nicely cushioned box, and use your GPS to find this off-the-beaten path wildlife sanctuary. You start talking to the man who was taking the bird, and find out he was originally from the same town you live in. And the same lake community. And the same street.  You can't make this shit up.

Also imagine you are a Yankee fan, your husband and son are Orioles fans, and take a wild guess what kind of bird it was. Yep, a species of Oriole.

An Oriole saved by a Yankee.

True story.
Nah, nothing odd about it at all.

p.s. we will find out Friday if the bird will be ok. News at 11.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Hurricane and the Holiday

As she emerges from her quiet, peaceful cocoon, she realizes she really doesn't have much to say. eh.

It's been a slow week or so. Really haven't done much other than yard work and seeing some relatives... and we don't need to go there. Other than brief glimpses of the news and what filters over the social media feeds, I haven't even paid a lot of attention. Honestly, I have no clue where the days have gone, only that it is now July.

It's Freakin' July.

It is however, getting close to the 4th of July Weekend. Yay USA. Oh sorry, we lost yesterday didn't we? Well that was rude, kicking us out before our national holiday celebrating our independence. Let's just say I am not a fan of watching however many men run up and down a field for 90 minutes and not one of them scoring. In real life, for those men, scoring would never be an issue. But I digress.

So now that's over, and we can plan for the weekend's festivities. Oh wait... there's a hurricane coming up the east coast for the 4th? And they raised the gas prices even before the hurricane was in the picture.

It seems we have a female four-star admiral for the first time in history, while the Supreme Court forgot about the separation of church and state. Can't wait for a religiously inclined corporation to try and deny blood transfusions and chemo, based on their beliefs. Think this shit ended with the decision they handed down the other day? yeah, right.

Anyway, that's about all I've noticed lately. Get ready for the weekend; stock the house with food and alcohol. Be safe out there, don't drink and drive, don't text and drive... hey don't drive, then you can do whatever the hell you want.

Happy 4th.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Feelin' Better Already

So I'm in a mood. Yeah, yeah, you've heard that before.

Actually, I'm not a moody person. I have an attitude, that's true. But for the most part, I take every day for what it is... a once in a lifetime experience. There are days though, for no particular reason, that just get me... well, a little pissy.

Sometimes, like today, there are no real reasons other than I want to be somewhere else, doing something else, other than sitting here in my living room. It's not real unhappiness, it's more like today wasn't all it could be, and I have not made much of it. And that bothers me.

I have seen, like everyone else, too many friends and family members lost or taken ill, and having their lives forever changed or taken from them. This week on FB alone, there have been friends thinking about their moms, school friends, brothers and sisters, who are gone. Just tonight one asked for prayers for a forever friend. Here's my point.

We don't know what tomorrow brings, all we know is tomorrow means we have one less day on this earth. Don't waste it. Look around you, if this life is not what you want it to be, start to change it. Things won't happen overnight, but you have to envision it, then do it. Baby steps if you need to, boldly if you dare.

Not much I can imagine as more true than the sentence "The only regrets I have are the things I didn't do."

Tomorrow is promised to no one. Take a chance on today.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Random Thoughts From a Scattered Brain: This Day is Dragging Edition

It's been a while since I did one of these. Just some randomness today.

I am happy to say that I used Certified Organic Cotton Rounds to take off my nail polish today. The thought that I may have used acetate nail polish remover to remove the paint I put on my fingernails, and not used Certified Organic Cotton would be too upsetting for words.

So, soon there will be 250 more emoji added to the unicode keyboard. It will include one of "flipping the bird." Personally I could not be happier, check out my present cover photo on FB as evidence.

People, this quiz thing has gotten out of hand. Yes, they can be amusing. And yes, I have taken a few of them, though you won't find me posting the results on social media, but seriously?

"What kind of girlfriend are you" We should all know who we are.
"What kind of pony are you?" Really?
What piercing fits you best?" If you have twelve already and you don't have the one they suggest... do you really need to get Lucky 13?

And the one that is definitely a must take, because really don't we absolutely need to know
"What kind of sweater are you?"

That's it. This day is dragging, this week is dragging. A scattered mind is a scary thing.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let Me Apologize In Advance

So, there are a few things I need to get out of my system. Some of you may take offense, honestly I don't give a shit. Some of you may recognize yourselves, what can I say. Hopefully we can all move on once I've said what I feel like saying.

Oh yes, she's in a mood.

Social Media. I know I've vented about Facebook on Facebook. But that was then, and while some issues that were relevant back then have disappeared (read: unfriended), there are still a few things I cannot understand why people do on social media.

First, On Twitter, I don't care how many new followers you have or how many people stopped following you. When the app you have that tells you who's coming and who's going asks you if you want to tweet that vital information... just hit NO. It serves no purpose to me other than add volume to my timeline. And honestly, it kinda pisses me off.

On Facebook, parents, I truly do not give a shit whether your child has indeed taken one today or four. Chances are I don't even know your kids, and I really don't need to know if they are having a shit-a-thon, or a puke-a-thon. You all do realize that nothing is ever really gone from the internet, don't you? Do you really want your child having their bowel movements going viral when some kid in their class finds it a few years from now? Or you people fresh out of surgery. Do we really need to see the scars from that hip replacement so fresh and oozing? Just stop.

And photos. You guys post way too many pictures of your kids. Not because I don't want to see them, but because I can see ones I shouldn't be able to. And that means every perv out there can too. If I choose, I can see photos of friends of friends of friends. That's way too far down the line to be safe.

And then there are all the posts about where you are, when you will be there, and who will be with you, and who won't. Way, way too much information. People can learn your house is empty, your kids are at a sleepover, your husband is away. Seriously, time to be smarter than that. Post in generalities, tell the story after you are back, not every detail before you leave. When I post about road trips, I try not to say who's going or who's left behind... until after it's over.

Let's not forget the share this post crap. Share if you have a loved one with cancer... are you kidding? Who doesn't? How the hell does sharing a photo of a sappy saying, help anyone with cancer. It doesn't, so why not save that energy and send a message of encouragement over to the person you know who has cancer. Maybe if we all posted just a little less crap asking people to share, we would get more of the posts that FB deems unimportant and blocks from our timelines.

Well, I feel a little better, sorry if you don't. For me, social media is a necessary evil, but make no mistake about it, there is a lot of evil out there. Not every part of your life needs to be documented online for eternity. Take a breath and think before you hit post.

As a wise woman always tells me, "Less is Best."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Just Crossing the Bridge: Memorial Day

Repost of a repost, because it's Memorial Day... and I remember,

(May, 2013). Last week as I took off on the road trip to see Springsteen, I crossed the old wooden bridge over the Delaware River, on my way to pick up the Drum Mama. The Veterans were there selling their paper poppies for the annual Memorial Day fund drive.

These days, the soldiers are mostly Korean War Vets, sometimes younger ones, but the World War II Veterans are for the most part, gone or incapable of standing and handing out the red flowers for more than a brief period of time.

As I approached the bridge, there were several Vets taking donations. When it was my turn to donate, a Veteran whose navy colored suit seemed to overwhelm his frail body, turned to me and offered the poppy. This man who had probably seen battle, the Depression, and lived a lifetime of highs and lows, was thanking me for the dollar I placed in his pail.

Easily close to ninety, his eyes were still as blue as the day he enlisted. Blue the color of my father's eyes. My eyes immediately filled up, and I could barely get the words "thank you sir," out, over the huge lump in my throat.

For the past couple of years, I've reposted the same blog about Memorial Day, There is a reason for Memorial Day, we honor those who have given service, or their lives.

Remember What Memorial Day Is All About
(First posted 5/19/12)

It's that time of the year again. This weekend and next, all over the country, Veteran's will be outside supermarkets, at bridges and in other assorted places looking for donations in exchange for a red paper poppy.

The story of the poppy is something like this. In Belgium during World War I, in the midst of the war ravaged battlefields, wild poppies grew. Their bright red color served as a reminder of the blood shed in the fight for freedom. The poppy has since become a symbol of all the human sacrifice by the men and women in uniform.

The poppies that are distributed today are made by hospitalized veterans and they receive a small stipend for their work. For some, this is the only supplemental income they receive. All funds taken in by the sale of the poppies are used exclusively for the therapeutic and financial benefit of veterans.

Each day we lose more and more men and women from the generation who fought in World War II. Those that are left grow more tired every day.  As we get closer to Memorial Day Weekend, please take a poppy from one of these brave veterans and give a donation.

And when the veteran looks at you and says thanks...please look back at him, straight in the eye and say "No, Thank You."

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sniglisms: Part 3

I haven't done any ranting in a while. I've been busy, and I guess a little oblivious to what is going on around me. But this past week a few things caught my eye and I thought I should talk about it. See if you agree.

Yesterday I went food shopping for the weekend. Since there was no chicken on the menu this past week, there was no doubt it would make an appearance this week. Looking at the selection, which was marked as being on a 40% off sale, I saw this variety family pack. You know the one that has 6 drumsticks, 6 thighs, and 6 wings. I wasn't really interested in that particular assortment, but the price caught my eye. $17.55...huh?

A  very young worker from the meat department was putting out more chicken and when he heard my WTF is the price of this chicken remark, he said something to the effect that I should buy it because it was ON SALE. I wanted to smack him upside the head.

While we're on the subject of food, I thought of this last week when the two popes were being made saints. Be glad you don't live in my brain. Hasn't it been a while since someone found Jesus in a grilled cheese sandwich or potato chip, and put it up on ebay? And here I am saving some cash for this very reason.

This is for the women, primarily the more mature (as in older, not more grown up) ones. WTF is with the size of calcium pills? Take a Vitamin E and no matter what the dosage, it's a little tiny pill. They give race horses smaller pills than the average size calcium supplement.

And lastly, earbuds. Do they make earbuds that actually stay in your ears? I have not had a pair yet that do. Usually one bud will fit fairly well, but the other... not so much. Are my ears out of whack? I'm not sure but I have heard from others that they have this problem as well. So why can these technological geniuses not create earbuds where you don't spend 95% of the time adjusting them?

There were a few other things that bothered me this week, but perhaps it's time to do some more constructive work. So that's my list, what's bugging you?

In case you missed them: Sniglisms Part 1 and Sniglisms Part 2. And where it all began...And On a Thursday, She Created Sniglisms

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting Down and Dirty on Earth Day

I have an attitude problem, some of you may have noticed. I also have a short fuse, some of you may have noticed that too. Throw in a long weekend of travel and partying, and well, things can get ugly real fast.

Seeing as I've been out of town for the above mentioned long weekend, and the fridge looked like the Three Bears had taken up residence, I went out on a noontime run to the store for some food. I try to avoid as many traffic lights as possible, so I was taking a side road. My best friend from high school used to live on this side street, so I am well acquainted with the fact that there are stop signs on each block of its entire length.

As I approached the end of the block, slowing with my foot on the brake, a woman driving through the intersection, blows her horn at me and screams at me that I was going through the stop sign. She shouldn't have done that.

Being tired, cranky and in no mood for this bitch to wrongly accuse me, instead of going straight and on my way, I made a quick right and pulled up along side of her... which put me on the wrong side of the road. I proceeded to ask her what the fuck was her problem, and she told me I wasn't stopping. SHE was telling ME what I was doing. Way wrong thing to say.  The Jersey came out fast and I tell you, it was true poetry. In a well constructed few paragraphs, I do believe I utilized my entire catalog of expletives. She tried in vain to compete, even saying something about the town she was from, which was a rich bitch community, not the down and dirty town I live in. At that point I told her where to go, and it wasn't the rich bitch town she was from.

Road rage... I think not. Just a little taste of "I don't take that shit from nobody." I pulled away, she looked terrified, my work was done.

Maybe being down south for a few days, where everyone is polite and shit, caused some serious attitude repercussions for me. Or maybe it's just me getting back in the Jersey groove. Whatever.

It is what it is.


Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Pity the Fool Who Wasted this Day

I did a lot more walking when Hershey was still around.

No matter what the weather, twice a day, at least, I was strolling with the mutt. On the weekends, up at the lake, I was motivated to hike around one of the lakes at least one day of the weekend. Then came the winter of 2013-14. And yes we all agree it sucks. Makes no difference what part of the country you are in, with very few exceptions, all we have done for the past 2 1/2 months is complain about the weather.

And why the hell not? It's been brutal. Last year I think I missed one weekend of walking at the lake, this year I think I walked once. But today was different. Today is a blue sky, breezy, temperature in the high 40s kind of day, and after the past month, it felt good to soak in the sun for an hour.

There's a lot of snow up here. A lot. even with the wide open spaces, you still run out of places to put it. Driveways, our included, are half the width they are normally. Homes with garages have front stairs covered with snow, as people take the easy route of entering their homes through the garage instead of front door. No one has the energy to clean it all, there's just too much.

The community is usually filled with wildlife. On the walk, I saw one herd of deer, all huddled together, a few squirrels and that was it. There is no food for these creatures, and it will be a long time before there is. It's a hard winter for them too.

The plan was to walk around the smaller lake being it's been a while, but I got caught up in the day and blew right past the street where I should have turned. Taking my time, the trek around the big lake wasn't too bad. A light breeze, sun on my face, and music in my ears.

I ended up the walk with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes singing "I Played The Fool." Maybe Johnny, but not me though. The walk was joyous. Can't wait for spring to do it more often.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow? NO.

It's snowing. Again.

Yes, we're all bitching about the weather. We are sick of it. After the the first snowfall, everyone goes out to shovel and there is a great camaraderie between the neighbors. Everyone smiles and talks as we take short breaks between moving another few shovelfuls of snow. You know, those breaks that you hope will keep your rapidly aging heart from exploding.

After a few storms, neighbors get a lot less neighborly. We're tired. We are not happy to be outside lifting another six, eight, ten inches of snow. And while the first couple of storms had nice light, fluffy snow, the last two have been wet, heavy snow. You know the kind... the snow that puts even more strain on your rapidly aging heart.

Now the neighbors barely grunt at each other as we push, plow and pile the snow higher and higher. If we were in the middle of a summer's heat wave, and the temperatures were in the 90's this much, people would be freaking out and beating the crap out of each other. We are at a breaking point, and if we weren't so damn exhausted, I'm sure there would be violence. But, who has the time or energy for that?

So now we wait for the lull in the storm to start cleaning up, because this one is a two-parter. Oh yeah, it's gonna come down all day, stop for a while, then start again sometime tonight, which means there has to be a plan. When do we start cleaning? Do we wait for it to be entirely done? Well, it might turn to rain for a brief period before turning back to snow, so that makes it even heavier. But, if it turns to ice after you clear the snow, well that's another can of worms. It always ends up to be an audible on the field. You go with your gut, there is an inner voice which yells out "hey, time to get your ass outside."

That's when you see all the neighbors digging out of their houses, all about to take on the same task as you. At this point, I doubt there will even be eye contact.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Love LA... Wait, What?

So I spent this past weekend in LA attending the Grammy Awards and pretty much having a shitload of fun. It was wonderful to get away from the Jersey cold and see the Pacific again. Had some great food, met some interesting people and yeah, went to the Grammy Awards.

LA is a totally different planet. It's winter and it's green. It also has a lot of cars. A lot of cars. And it takes forever to get from point A to point B. Staying downtown, close to the Nokia Theatre and Staples Center, we must have driven through Koreatown 657 times.. at least. During all this time in the car, I began to notice a few things.

The first thing that stuck out... literally, was there are too many women in too tight pants or too short skirts. And then there are the too tight and too short skirts. We were waiting for our table for dinner Saturday night when this couple walked in. The woman, mid-twenties, had hair longer than her skirt. She spent a good deal of time pulling the skirt down. She should have spent a little time looking in the mirror before she left home. She might have noticed the nasty runs she had in both legs of her pantyhose. Classy.

Then there is the sex shop district. Very interesting. There were fashions I had not ever seen before, nor could have imagined. And let's not forget the cars. Except for one car parked across the street from the Record Plant recording studio, I don't think I have ever seen as many pristine, new and expensive cars in my life. It was so nice to watch as a high maintenance middle-aged man picked his nose in his very expensive convertible. Again, classy.

What I really liked was all the art. Walls of buildings, covered in art. Banners hanging off the street lamps. Posters. Colors everywhere. From the stark winter colors of the northeast, the vibrancy of the streets of Los Angeles are a delight to the eyes.

All in all, I enjoyed my time in LA, could I live there... don't think so. But for Grammy weekend, it suited me just fine.