Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shuman Hall is haunted by the ghosts of my youth or "How many years did it take to get the smell out of your clothes"

"At the top of the stairs, take a right; go all the way to the end."


I had been in this office before, tho it was a very long time ago, four/five sitcoms at least.  (Maybe it's the fact that I grew up watching "Mary Tyler Moore"
, "Laverne and Shirley" and "the Jeffersons", but, I tend to think of the different times in my life as sitcoms - and, yes, I have a theme song for most of them).  This had been the office of the Academic Dean and I had been up here for good reasons, bad reasons and dumb reasons...  Dean Collard (I couldn't tell you his first name) had been a prof that I'd had in college for a "Modern Thought" class.  He didn't lecture, he simply had you read a chapter and discuss it with him.  It was very tricky.  Oddly enough, it was one of those classes that required "permission" and how someone like me ever got in is still a mystery (to the other people in the class).

Dean Collard is long gone, but something he said back then still haunts me.  "Your generation doesn't pick up pennies because they don't see value in them.  When we begin to think of insignificant things as valueless things it hurts us.  We begin to think of insignificant people as having no value and it only goes down from there."  I started picking up pennies - and my friends started picking up Purell.

But today, I was on my way to see another Prof I had had in college. (It's funny to think that at 43 I am older now than he was when I had him as a professor).  When I got to the office that I believed was his I had a very strange feeling that I was in the wrong place.  Tho I couldn't put my finger on it until later, realize now that I still associated him with the "smell."  

I was in college in the 80s, he was a young man in the 80s...  in the 80s the cologne was Polo.  ...and he wore Polo.  Now, I won't remark that he wore too much cologne because Polo is one of those scents that is not unlike the QEII.  If you were in a row boat and were hit by the QEII you couldn't complain that the liner had hit you harder than was necessary...  ...and so it was in college that I knew he was coming down the hallways long before I ever saw him and years afterward the smell of Polo would bring to mind this man who was, at the same time, my professor and my friend.

Upon arrival at his "new" office (Dean Collard's old office) I had the suspicion I was in the wrong place because I did not smell the cologne - so odd how the brain works.

He was there and seemed genuinely pleased that I had come to see him.  We decided to go for lunch, Mongolian BBQ.  

Our conversation over lunch was what you would expect of that between the head of a college and his unemployed blogging former student from years past...

"What are you doing these days?"

"I'm unemployed."

"Which explains why you're in such great shape."

(If you read my blog regularly, tho we've never met, you can see the expression on my face.)

"When did you go blind?" was not my response.

"Was I that fat in college?" was also not my response.

Instead I laughed and said,

"It's amazing what a VERY TIGHT stretchy t-shirt will do to your body under a very loose sweater."  (and it is!) 

I was amazed to find that it did not seem at all as tho 25 years had passed since last I had sat to talk with him.

I was amazed to find that, when he began to suggest possible job paths for me, he was spot in terms of what I know and what I can do...

I was amazed to find that he had changed so very little and that, while I think I have changed so very much, (perhaps) I have not.

On my way back to the car, I glanced at the ground and saw an old metal spoon in the mud along the path.  It was bent and twisted, tho not rusty.  I left it where it was because it was garbage...  ...but it was right at the foot of a gate that I had never noticed.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cheaters cheat, Liars lie and Dreamers dream (sometimes with hilarious results) or "It's not what you expect, but just what you want"...

I love to cheat and I love to lie.  

Never for personal gain or to harm anyone, but simply to play that fun little game that people play.  It's not unlike those scenes in the police dramas where the suspect is interrogated while the rest of the drama's cast (because there are no other criminals to catch) stands on the other side of the two-way mirror (or is it one-way?) watching it unfold.  Yeah, that's it really, I love to watch it unfold.

I was a youth minister for a while and always enjoyed working with the kids.  Being somewhat of a misfit myself I enjoyed the kids outside of the circle just as much as I enjoyed the ones that always seemed to shine.  Wiley was one of those kids.  Not quite part of the group, not really an outsider, just a guy with a self image that didn't quite function properly.  He prided himself in the fact that he never won anything and this got old with me really fast...

So, one Friday night the group got together to play some board games.  Out came Monopoly (UGH and Yuck - there is only one way to win at this game) and everyone wanted to play.  Wiley repeated the "I'll lose" mantra.  I explained that I always lose too (did I mention the lying thing?) and that, if paired up, we couldn't possibly lose.  (Flawless)  You see, I knew something that he didn't know...  every game has "givens" and in Monopoly they are:

A)  No one wants to be the banker
B)  No one watches the banker
C)  Players that run out of money lose
D)  The banker has an endless supply of money

So it went like this.

Out came the game.  Teams were picked.  Given A kicked in.  I agreed to be the banker.  

You do the math...

Sadly, when it was all said and done I realized that Wiley had most likely never won a game.  The look of surprise and amazement as we cleaned up the board was fantastic.  LOL...  watching him win and the others lose was more like a controlled experiment than a board game...  and my confession, after the fact, never diminished his win...  (of course, he's in prison now)

Not really...

...and that leads me to thing number 2.  The game of lying.

It's not about deceiving, but about toying with someone in regard to something so outlandish that they shouldn't possibly believe it...  People do it to themselves, I just play along.

So it is that I was having a conversation with a "continuing acquaintance" who has (and rightfully so) categorized me as "a creative type".  It has something to do with my being involved in theatre... so, when I told her that I was thinking of teaching, she asked if I would be teaching drama...  and when I mentioned that I went on an interview (I had an interview last week) she asked if it was for drama.

As an aside, this is enough to make me howl with laughter as one doesn't actually go on an interview "for drama"...   so this is how the lie unfolded...



"How's the job search going?"

"eh, ok, tho I did have an interview this week."

"Great.  Good for you."  Who knows why she didn't stop there...

"Yeah, well, we'll see."

"Was it for drama?"

"It was at an animal shelter."  In her defense, if there is one, I could have started the sentence with "No," but I hadn't thought that was necessary.

"Really?  What kinds of animals?"

"Dogs, cats...  mostly"

"Wow.  Now, have you actually done drama with dogs and cats before?"

(At this point one is not allowed to pause.)

"When I was working on my masters."

"I guess, I'm not certain how that would work."

"Well, you don't actually use a script."

"Of course not.  It's like improvisation?"

"...and choreography..."

"Oh, sure.  Movement and cooperation.  Probably very good for socializing the animals."

"Give me a job that requires a little imagination and I'm a happy man.  It's not really something I ever though I'd be doing."

"...but a dream job for an animal lover.  When do you think you'll hear?"

"Sometime next week."

"Great!  Oh good luck!  Did you see an ad for the job in the paper?"

"Um...  what?"  now I'm laughing.

"How did you find out about the job?"

...still laughing...


(No way, right? no way!)


"Yeah, it's not really a job for animal welfare creative dramatics."

"Oh.  what's the job?"

"Book keeper."

"Oh" (the disappointment was nearly insulting) "have you ever actually done book keeping?"

"No, but I always end up the banker in Monopoly."


Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Hopeful Archeologist or "Mr Martin takes a vacation"

When the girl decided that she would run the light instead of stopping it meant that I was out of a car for a while... and that was the first time I knew that Rick considered me a friend.  He called and offered me the use of their spare car.

"Can you drive a manual shift?"

"I can."

"Then you'll be fine, tho you have to be a little creative."

What he meant by creative was that the car had no 2nd or 3rd gear.  From 1st you had to shift to 4th, of course there was also the ever faithful Reverse.  It was a challenge, but I never had to drive it in traffic and the jaunt from home to work was just under 2 miles.  It was really OK.

After Rick's dad died he called me and asked me to stop by the house.  He and his wife and kids had lived in his dad's house to care for him; Rick wasn't fond of his father; while he spoke of his dad often I'd never heard him say a nice thing about him.  

His father had been an avid reader and prided himself in the library he had amassed.  Rick led me into the library and told me that I could take anything I wanted.  He and his brother had picked through it themselves; I would get a shot at it and the rest would be donated or thrown away.  There were empty boxes on the floor.

"Fill them with whatever you want."

I felt guilty, but, undeterred, I started filling a box.  

The man had multiple editions of what must have been his favorites.  Finely bound copies of the classics, shelved one with the other, were held in place by some of the most interesting bookends I'd ever seen.  

After I'd filled a box I called for Rick and asked him to check what I'd taken.  He came to the room, looked in the box.

"Is this okay to take?"

"Yeah.  I told you, anything you want."

The box went out to my car and I started on another one.  Again, I called him when it was full.

"You don't have to call me to check out every box; take what you want."


"We have taken everything we want."

And so it was that I packed up my small red car with boxes of "stuff" from his deceased father's library.

The bookcases in my office housed both the books I'd read in college...  and by office I mean converted closet.  I'm not one to complete any task right away and so I simply deposited the boxes on the floor to deal with at another time.

And another time came, bringing Peter into my office, looking for some boxes and curious about the contents of mine.

"If I help you unpack these can I use the boxes?"

The question mark (and the tone of his voice) would lead one to believe that this was a question, but Peter was hindered by very little.  I knew that this was not a question.  I watched as he began to move the books from the boxes to the empty shelves.  He remarked on everything; early additions caught his eye, fancy bindings and the bookend...  the marble bookend...

"This is cool."

...it was a square block, of sorts...

"The shape, the color...  very cool...  hmmm..."

I told him how it had been sitting by itself on one of the shelves.

"You know, there's a nut on the bottom."

He turned it over in his hands, studying the piece.

"You get it.  Right?"

I was just watching him, his determination to abscond with my boxes diminished by his growing curiosity with this bookend.

"The bolt holds the bookend together."

He studied the top, the bottom.

"There is probably a compartment inside."

...and now I was curious, too...

"Don't you want to know what's inside?"

I did.  I wanted to know what was inside.  I'd pillaged an old man's library and walked off with the bookend that had the secret compartment.  I knew in my heart that I'd never keep what was inside, but I also knew that I had to find out.  I was the archeologist who'd unearth the mummy's treasure, but give it back to the rightful owner.  

The nut was tight.      (I love short sentences that say so very much)

"I have a wrench that will fit this in my office."  Peter had an office.  The phone rang.  It was my day to answer the phones, but I couldn't be disturbed now.  It rang again, Charlie was letting it ring because it was my day to answer the phones.  One more ring as Peter came back to my "office".  Charlie took the call; I took the wrench from Peter; with nothing for Peter to take, he sat on the edge of my desk.

Clearly the block was not meant to be opened and there was no clear angle at which you catch the nut with the wrench, but determination is my middle name.  (Not really and... not really) It started to move, but had to be worked with the wrench.

"Don't turn it over.  If the whole thing comes loose, whatever is inside will spill out."

Charlie stepped into my office; Peter held the marble bookend over my head; I knelt on the floor working loose the nut that held captive the treasure in the box.

"Your friend Rick called."

"Yeah?" working, working, working...

"He wants you to call him..."

"About?" almost there... almost there... almost there...

"He said his father's ashes have disappeared and you might have taken them without realizing what they were."

Peter looked at the box over my head.  I looked at the box over my head.  Charlie laughed and turned to go, saying,

"If I'd only waited five minutes."


Friday, March 27, 2009

Taping a nickel to the needle of my mind... or "cruelty beyond measure"

Steve was my best friend in college, he had a chipped front tooth that graced an otherwise perfect smile which resided right under that cheesy mustache we all grew when we arrived on campus.  (mine was a full beard)  His folks lived in Lake George which was a few hours up the NY Thruway and when we knew it was a dull weekend ahead, we'd hop in his car and head up to see them.  

His mom made the best fried egg sandwich you ever had.  That was the reason I went along...  actually, that was the reason I'd continually suggest that we go for a visit...  and "go" we did...  gas was cheap...

Steve's car was the kind of car that got you from point A to point B.  I had no car and never - ever complained about it.  Its radio could not be shut off or the volume lowered because the power/volume button had vanished...  that was fine, because we had (in that time between 8-tracks and CDs) a box of cassettes.

Somehow a Dire Straits cassette ended up in his car.  I do not know where it came from or whether he'd bought it and just never told me...

We hopped in his car after class that Friday night and headed north.  He popped in the Dire Straits tape and it played.  It was a single.  Side A was "Walk of Life" and side B was, well, the same song...

Steve liked the song...

Side A played, we bopped along up the Thruway to it.  Side B played, I didn't get all the lyrics, but, hey, it was catchy.  Side A started again and Steve pressed the eject button...

...but nothing happened.

"Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies, Bee-bop-a-lu, baby what I say"

"Hmm, that's weird..."


"The tape is stuck."

He got the action, he got the motion

...and stuck it was...

Over and over it played...

Turning all the night time into the day...

There was nothing we could do...

Yeah, the boy can play.  The dedication devotion.  turning all the night time into the day...

...couldn't turn it down...

Here comes Johnny...

...we couldn't turn it off...

he got the action...

...I couldn't pry it out...

you do the walk, you do the walk of life

over and over and over and over for HOURS and HOURS...

Thru the tolls, after the stops at McDonalds...  ...it was maddening...

The outcome of this event in my life is that I have a tendency to get a song stuck in my head.  There are several songs that will send me over the brink of madness with just a phrase of the lyric or three or four of the notes strung together.  Haunted, I tell you, for weeks at a time, without rest like a man fleeing a ghost...

Among them:

The Muppet Show Song
If I Only had a Brain (very trying while Shrub reigned)



...but there's one that gets me every time...
...one, like no other...
...like a bear-trap, it catches in my brain...

...and I have this recurring dream...
- - -

It's a long corridor and the nurses watch her as she walks to the room.  This is her annual visit.   She enters the room and he sits there in his wheel chair wishing that he had flossed more often.  She kisses him and moves a chair over close to him.  She asks about the food and he scowls, waving a hand.  He never intended to live this long or here...  ...his heart starts to race as she gets up to leave.  He has forgotten to turn off his hearing aids.  The casual observer will think that she is leaning in to kiss him goodbye.  He pulls away.  She persists, holding his head in place as she whispers in his ear, almost inaudible.  His wild eyes stare at her as she collects her jacket and purse.

It's a long corridor and the nurses watch her as she walks to the elevator and rides it down to the ground floor.

"Do you think he'll have started yet?"
"I'm sure of it."

Standing just outside his door they listen for it.  It's weak, a mumble, the only breath he really has...  yes, but it's unmistakable, it's musical, it's catchy...

"We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine...
We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine...
We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine...
We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine..."

I have decided to be very kind and very generous to my nieces...


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Putting my finger on it (you can quote me)

If you're having that kind of day, I'm here to help you put it into words.  Here are a few of my faves...

"I'm having a double-espresso kind of day, but my brew is set on herbal tea."

"A few of the stars in my constellation went dim; somehow I went from the Big Dipper to just Dip."

"Some days I'm Tigger, some days I'm Eeyore, but most of the time I just feel like Pooh."


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's The Little Things or "the fly is down on the zipper of my brain and no one told me..."

It's the little things that make me laugh.  I seldom laugh at jokes, but let me catch someone in the corner of my eye doing something that hits my funny bone and I can't control myself.  An old friend used to avoid my right elbow because she had seen me squish a fly with it; I guess she wasn't sure how one could adequately wash their elbows...  She even asked me once, "Is that the FLY elbow?"  So, I caught her looking at my elbow a few times and would slowly move it toward her - when she would move away from it I would howl with laughter...  I keep odd friends in my life for just this reason.

It's the little things that offend me.  I'm not easily offended, but there just isn't a better word...  you know those times when someone says something that is clearly a window into how they truly feel...  I tried on a double-breasted suit once and asked the associate (who was paid to make me feel good about myself ) if she thought the suit made me look "boxy".  She replied, "You are boxy."  (NOTE: Husbands, this is not an exemplary response to the wife who asks if something makes her look fat.)

It's the little things that worry me.  ...and so it is that I found myself terrified today...  because I put the starch away or hadn't.  I had an interview yesterday and ironed my shirt (I know, momentous occasion "the ironing of the shirt"...  oh and excited about the interview too)...  I managed to put away the ironing board and empty the water from the iron before I put it back in the cabinet, but the starch never made it home...  so, this morning, after my second cup of coffee, I walked into the dining room and found that the starch was still sitting on the table.  I looked around for the cap - that yellow cap that could only go on the starch - but the cap was nowhere to be found.  Lest I miss more of "Ellen", I decided to put the starch away without the cap and, if I found the cap, I could put it on later.  I grabbed the can...  headed to the laundry room...  opened the cabinet and there it was...

the cap

...that yellow cap that could only go on the starch...


There were no hard plastic eyes to stare at me, no face to taunt me, no sneer to defy, but scariest of all... no legs to help it get back to the cabinet...

I had put it there.  In the midst of cleaning up the ironing chore, I had put away the cap.  While today, I had thought to find the cap before I put away the starch, yesterday, it had not even crossed my mind to find the starch when I grabbed the cap and stuck it in the cabinet.

I recognize that I don't hear as well as I used to hear and the mere fact that I have eight pair of very expensive frames (since getting glasses for the first time 4 years ago) says much about my eyesight...  ...but will I know when my brain goes?  

...or has it gone already and no one mentioned it...


Friday, March 20, 2009

Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel Swish Your Bushy BANG!!! or "finding something in the family tree for dinner"

Far be it from me to tout myself as an example of sophistication and gentility, afterall, I'm the guy who was asked to wear "big boy" shoes (instead of sneakers) for a date in the City, but when my sister brought home Bean (the man of her dreams who turned out to be a guy that, by comparison, makes Jeff Foxworthy's definition of a red neck seem like an urban metro-sexual) I should have said "something".  I didn't... not really.  ...not enough, anyway...

Sadly (and thankfully) he has moved on to wife number two.  She is credited (thanks to Bluetooth enabled pick-up trucks and nieces that don't miss a trick) with such great lines as "Darlin', pick up a couple six packs for me so that I can stand you this weekend" and "I got dinner for us at Taco Bell this afternoon, be a Darlin' and run by Walmart for some fresh cheese..."  I've not met Numero Dos (thank heavens) but I just can't get the image of  a shabby cotton house-dress and "Baby, grab the big spatula;  come help momma off the couch" out of my mind.

Must kill mental picture...
Must kill mental picture...

Alas, Bean moved my sis far and away from the real world (or at least my world) and there she lives with her three kids; all of whom I adore.

..and their world is very different from mine...

...so much so that when Mom read to me a letter from Sparrow (the youngest) that she had received in the mail it caused my brain to short-circuit.  It was as foreign to me as though she had moved her children to a distant country, one south of Bukina Faso, and raised them on the bugs that live under the lava rocks.

His letter read something like this:


Thanks for the birthday card and the check.  (How sweet! and how very gracious...)

I shot a raccoon.  (GASP!)

Mr. [the neighbor] helped me skin it.  (Bag please)

Mommy helped me nail the skin to a board and put salt on it so I can tan it.  (This Mommy person is clearly not the little girl who used to puke at the site of a frog and hang Andy Gibb posters on her bedroom walls)

But we didn't make stew with it like we did with the squirrel.  (BLANK)  

There was more, but nothing that my brain could take in; it was enough.

How did this happen?  Afterall, this is not about them... this is about me...  (rule number 1: it's always about me) ...these children will take care of me in my old age.

What will become of me?  

Sitting in a rocker just too close to the out-house on a warm summer day...
Staying warm under the skin of an animal killed in the backyard...
Listening to my sister telling stories of how she nailed that hairy thing to the wall... (the raccoon, not Andy Gibb)
Eating squirrel stew...

...and then I think...

...at least I'll finally be thin.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

You Got the Part...You can quote me

Did you ever see the movie "Waiting for Guffman"?  It's a window into the world of community theatre...the dark underbelly of ... well... something...  and I have been a part of this dark underbelly for many years now, tho, lately, not as active.  I've had a chance to meet some real characters while playing some fictional ones.

So, when I saw an audition call for the play "The Boys Next Door" I thought I'd give it a shot.  I did get a call-back, but the other guys reading for the part were exceptional and I'm man enough to admit when I'm out of my league.  That's not to say that I didn't get the part - I've gotten no call yet about it, so we'll see...

But here are a few of the funny things said to me when I've actually landed a part...

"You didn't even need to read for me.  When I saw those sneakers I knew you'd be perfect..."  (on being cast as Snoopy in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown")

"We were looking for someone built like a football player to play the maid."                               (on being cast as Jakob in "La Cage au Folles".)

"Sweetie, sometimes type-casting just works in your favor."                                                           (on being cast as Bottom [transformed into an ass] in "A Midsummer Night's Dream")

Wish me luck...


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ummm... I don't think of myself as sexy... or "I (really do) believe in miracles"

Other bloggers might be honored, but I'm somehow perplexed.  I've been awarded the Sexy Blogger Award; here in the kitchen, I hear the vamp from that "Hot Chocolate" song every time I mention it...

Other bloggers might recognize this as a thinly veiled chain letter instead of thinking that there is actually someone out there who thinks of me as sexy, but flattery comes me so seldom and even less often this early in the morning, before I've showered...

Other bloggers might pass on the requirement of listing six sexy things about themselves and then naming six other bloggers (I do not know six other bloggers) for the dubious honor...

...but in the spirit of fun...

1.  I throw pottery.  I don't know if it's the fact that my big clumsy man-hands can actually produce a pretty, thin porcelain bowl or whether my sitting at the wheel conjures visions of a young, lean, shirtless  Patrick Swayze getting down and dirty to the smooth sounds of the Righteous Brothers...

2.  I drink my coffee black.  My sister used to say, "I like my coffee just like I like my men; strong and black", just one summer working construction with my dad cured me of repeating that one-liner...  ...still in all, in this day of frappuccinnos and lattes for some reason I feel like the Marlboro Man when I refuse milk and sugar.

3.  I know that the days for wearing a Speedo have passed.  Now, you might argue that the days for wearing a Speedo never arrived and that the brand name really should be Speedon't, but my point here is that a little self awareness can be sexy.

4.  I play piano in the dark.  

5.   I love to laugh.  Now, mine is not a refined Cary Grant laugh or a raspy, taunting Humphrey Bogart laugh, but a highly recognizable man-giggle (not quite Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins, but I think you get my point).  

6.  Children fall asleep in my arms.  I do not know what this is all about.

...and there it is...

Look out, Hugh Jackman, my phone is a-ringin and it's People magazine...

Cue the "Hot Chocolate" music...

My nominees for Sexy Blogger are:

Mr. Stevers
Clay Doodles
Wild Boomba


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Neither diamonds, moons, stars nor clovers, or "Magicly Devious"

Let me just start by saying that I am the fourth of five children.  Yep, I have two older sisters, an older brother and a younger sis...  and I'm also happy to report that I have relatively unstrained relationships with each of them.  Hardly a motley crew, but when you're growing up in that size family you learn a certain mode of survival.  Those of you who are clever will see that this is my attempt at explaining myself long before the story even begins...

While I have Irish roots my family is not one of those that touts our heritage like that.  Dad never wore a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" t-shirt and Mom never yelled "Ye're dead to me" when I told her she'd had too much to drink at a wedding (as Mom may read this [a shock], I will also add that I never knew her to drink anything more than a sip of red wine at a friend's one Thanksgiving who had proclaimed that he'd made it himself in his basement from grapes grown in the backyard - which I never actually believed).  So, when I was told I should blog on a St Patrick's day theme I couldn't think of much to say and I knew that expounding on family traditions (mom used to dye canned pears green with food coloring) would do little more than alienate me from the family.

About 10 years ago I was thrilled to become a Godfather.  When Charlie Brown and Florence were having their first little boy they asked if I would "do the honors" - YEA!!!  

So, every couple months we get together on a Saturday night and play games, eat calzone and share horror stories about our jobs.  They have three kids now and while I love them all, none compare with my Ky-bot.  He's a scream and adores his godfather (poor deceived child).

One Saturday night, few years back we got up to their place well before dinner and sat around chatting... and chatting... and chatting...  and Ky-bot wanted something to eat.  They shared the usual "spoiling dinner" conversation and agreed that a small bowl of cereal wouldn't spoil dinner - especially eaten dry...  and since there was less than a small portion it was dumped into a bowl and handed to him.

As I stepped into the kitchen, Lucky and his empty box were dropped into the trash.

"Ooo...  I love 'Lucky Charms'"

"Me too..." he answered me, smiling that 6 year old toothless grin.

His mother reminded him that nice boys share.

"You can have some if you want."

"Ok" said Dracula when the young girl asked him to look at the mole on her neck.

It was instinct.  I was finished before I even knew I'd done it. 

I picked through the cereal and removed all of the marshmallow bits.




Into my mouth they went and they were gone... and I enjoyed them.

He stood there staring into his bowl, digging around those poor excuses for nutrition that they leave in the cereal for mothers who can't say "No"; hoping to find just one piece of the promised hearts, stars or rainbows...  His godfather could have left the head of his prized horse in his bed and gotten a kinder look.  He looked up at me like I'd waltzed into his wedding wearing my own tuxedo and married his bride while he stepped into the men's room for a second.

He walked over to his mom who looked at me and half-laughed,

"Did you eat all the marshmallows?"

...I had, what could I say?  What could I do?  All those years of grabbing for the mac and cheese before it started down the table and getting to the cold cuts first before there was nothing left but olive loaf had trained me for this very moment.  This is what I had become, this is the great man and fine example into which I had evolved.

"Did I?" such a fibber...

He held the bowl up to me, a poor orphan in a workhouse whose gruel did not suffice...

I looked down at the beige, odd shaped, slightly sugar coated oat pieces and repeated those words that I had learned at a very young age...

"Those are good, too..." 

...yeah, he didn't believe it either...


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Neti bandwagon or "drinking the salt water kool aide"

One learns a lot on Facebook.  Mostly things they don't need to know.  A blog I read from time to time has a regular feature that is "TMI Thursdays"...  it's like that everyday on Facebook. The status update feature lets you tell your friends, at any given point in time, what you are doing, thinking, feeling... whatever you wanna say.  Do I really need to know that my friend has three kids that are all sick and that she is cleaning the carpet? or that another went to the doctor (45 minutes later) went to the grocery store/pharmacy (2 hours later) got home with the medicine (15 minutes later) is taking the medicine...  I read it, yes, but I don't  really  need  to  know... 

...not only this, but then I (and any other friend) can comment...

"Good luck with that..." is a pretty standard comment from me.

 ...and so, with an allergy problem, I status myself as having a sinus headache and the responses started with

 "get a Netipot..."

For those of you who don't know what a Netipot is, well, it's a thing that looks kind of like a watering can except that you stick the spout up your nose.  Into that nostril you dump a quart of luke warm salt water with the hope that you won't swallow half of it and that, instead (get this), it will come spewing out the other nostril.

This first Facebook response was not the first time someone suggested that I procure this thing which I have come to refer to as Mumbai Water Torture.  No, an old boss mentioned it when I called in sick (I should have said "that's in the 5-year plan".  I had no interest at the time.

What happened on Facebook was astounding...  other friends began to comment on the suggestion; pressing me to take the plunge.  I received actual messages (not just comments on my profile page) from concerned friends who shared their testimonies and experiences.  

So, I posted a new note:  "I'm actually thinking of getting one of those Neti things."

A whole new flood of comments and messages came.  

"You won't regret it."
"Good for you."
"It changed my life."
"I use mine 3 times a day."

I felt like Nicole Kidman fleeing Daniel Craig in that "Body Snatchers" movie remake...  a Lurch of Zombies (I know it's a School of Fish, a Murder of Crows and a Pod of Whales, but I don't know the correct term for a group of zombies-perhaps a Sepulcher of Zombies ) following me to WalMart carrying their undersized plastic teapots - the Morton salt girl leading the march, umbrella in hand.

"Join us.  Drain your nose."

...and I went to WalMart...

...and there, beside the "magic genie lanterns of sinus cleansing" was a squirt bottle made by the same company.  It was cheaper so I grabbed it.  Now, I cannot explain why I thought a geyser of salt water gushing through my nasal passages would be better than a gentle stream winding its way around my deviated septum.  I reasoned that I already had watering cans for house plants and the garden, but no squirty bottle designed to force water from the bottom.  I thought, "When I wimp out of actually using this maybe I can 'repurpose' it to skim the fat off chicken broth..."

...and I headed home with yet another thing I'd bought with no intention of actually using...

...and still the zombies followed.  My always-on MAC revealed even more Facebook friends who had commented.  These were people I thought I knew, people I loved, people I trusted.

But one response, one word changed everything for me.  Like the rising sun that turns the vampires to dust when the virgin can bar the doors no longer, a comment came from Ree,


That was all she had to say for me to know that I was safe...  no words of warning, no danger signs, no link to an internet site to explain how this treatment would force salt water into the brain through my nose (the same passage through which the Egyptians took the Pharaohs'), just,


...no capitalization, only one "w"...


...and somehow I knew that if she felt the same way about it that it was OK...


So, I tried it.  The Earth didn't move.  The clouds didn't part.  There was no choir of angels singing.


...but the next thing that happened scared the snot out of me...

I don't know why I didn't close the bathroom door.

Cricket came up behind me and asked,

"What are you doing?  What is...  ...oh, you bought one of those."

...and, holding up the bottle, salt water dripping from my nose, I actually replied,

"Yeah, you should try it."


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Jack, Russell, LoraDora and me or "these boots weren't made for walkin"

I bemoan my weight more than the average blogger, but not the fact that I am so sorely out of shape.  The two go hand in hand and I'm not exactly sure how I missed this.  

So the phone rang yesterday...



(I think it actually rang four times - I am just  that  s l o w   getting up off my stool and lumbering to the phone)

"Hi, it's me!"


"My conference calls are over for the day and before I get started on the rest of the stuff I have to finish I was going to take the puppy for a walk."


"Do you want to come along?"

Well, I hadn't seen LoraDora in months and in the interim she'd gotten a puppy.  We'd never met; the puppy and I.  It was the prettiest day there had been since the first of the year (albeit chillier than I thought it ought to be)...  at the sight of the blue sky and the prospect of being outside in the sunshine my brain shut off.

"I'd love to..."

I knew that the puppy was a Jack Russell.  

Jonny Shenks has a Jack Russell that is sheer madness.

I put on a pair of boat shoes (they may be out of style, but you can still get them at Payless - there's a clue for ya), hopped in my car and drove the 1/2 mile to LoraDora's place.

What a charming little guy.  He is very well behaved for a ball of energy.  He was excited to go for his walk and while I itched his ears LoraDora put on her running shoes...

I had running shoes once.

...my brain was still in the off mode.

On went the collar, click went the leash, the door opened and we were off...

...or should I say...

they were off...

...and I realized that I was out of my mind.  This was supposed to be a nice leisurely walk on a early spring afternoon...

"So what have you been up to?"

By this point I knew one thing, there was no way on earth I was going to be able to keep pace with them and hold a conversation.  My mind raced for a plan while the staggered breath burned in my lungs.. (running shoes?  are you kidding me?)

"Not a  lot.


Tell me about about the dog."

Two things that will completely occupy the mind and conversation of an adult human are puppies and grandchildren.  One might think that children do this but you get very short answers when it comes to babies ("She doesn't sleep"  or "He's into everything")  I have recently found that grandbaby trumps puppy by a very wide margin, but that's a story too long for a tangent.

The story started and I did my best to keep up...  ...with the walking and the talking.  But my body was more interested in sending oxygen to my vital organs so that my ears really only got what was left over.

When we crossed into the next state I realized that this was not a short jaunt around the block, but a marathon.  (I should have called friends and had them pledge a dime for each mile we covered.)

As I staggered alongside she danced with the puppy, he'd go this way - she'd follow, he'd twist the leash around her - she'd spin, unwinded at a dizzying pace.  It was lovely to watch.  And all the while the tale of acquiring the puppy continued.  

And then we were done; as quickly as we had walked, the walk was over.

Before I dropped myself into my little red car LoraDora said that we'd have to do this again...  

...it occurred to me how much I'd missed her, this person I'd spent so many years with at the office.  In 10 years time we'd been through much together (I had actually met her on my first day and can still tell you what she was wearing).  You might say we're gems of two different shapes whose facets are somehow all the same...  

...I can't wait!  

But next time I'll probably follow along on my bike.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Throwing better goals or "bowls for the easily distracted"

So, last night was pottery class and, as always, I had a tremendous time.  (and as usual, I didn't take photos like I had planned)  Last night I worked on a series of bowls that I'm throwing for a pottery show that I'm doing in May at the gallery.  I had thrown 6 stoneware bowls last week and trimmed them last night.  Trimming is to a pot what a good trainer is to an athlete...   it can make a so-so one better and a great one fantastic.  Let's just say that I started with "better than so-so" and ended up with "pretty darned good"...

I did a little bit of ornamentation on the bottom of five of the six bowls.  I have a stamp that I picked up at the pottery supply place; working a pattern with it can produce an effect that I really like...  as I was stamping away Louie commented,

"You're throwing better..."


"No, you really are..."  Now, why thanking someone causes them to reiterate what they have already said; it is beyond me...  I guess in some vocabulary "Thanks" actually means "not really"...  but then Francine (she specializes in teaching pottery to the middle aged-klutz) added...

"Actually, you are really getting to the point where you throw what you intend to throw."

Let's just pause for a moment of silence...

In the pottery world that's huge!!!  More often than not, when you are learning to throw you end up with something that is not exactly what you set out to make.  Oh sure, you may want to throw a vase and you get a vase, but instead of a tall narrow vase with a flared collar you end up with a short round thing that's just about big enough to put short stemmed violets in...  show me a beginning potter who doesn't have 10 pencil holders and 25 ash trays and I'll tell you that you've got a hand builder (and hand building is also hard)... 

Oh that I were as successful in life as I am in pottery.  I've kind of specialized in making the most of what I end up with instead of setting a goal and achieving it.  I had goals early on and realized that goals were for people with drive and drive was for people with vision and vision was for people who (a bird just flew by the window and Beestro jumped up on the ledge to see what's going on) aren't easily distracted.  

I am easily distracted.  While my enumployed counterparts were surfing the net today, I found myself waist deep in a pile of leaves that needed pushed into the empty lot behind the house... and under those leaves there were iris and peonies and hyacinth and stuff reaching to get to the sun...  YEA!!!  and the neighbors took the day off and have people over and I went to Wal-Mart to get one of things that dumps salt water into your nose (they neglect to tell you just how much ends up in the back of your throat)...

My old bosses used to berate me (for lack of a better word) during review time because I didn't have 5-year plans.  Now, I knew (and they knew) that it was only because they had push all of their people into a managed bell-curve at review time, but none-the-less this was a consistent theme that came up...  (I had my own view of my personal weaknesses, but my managers didn't necessarily agree with it... when I mentioned in an interview what my old bosses thought my weakness was it cost me a job and when I mentioned what I thought were my weaknesses the interviewer went, "Ooo"... nonetheless I am still enumployed... [apologies for the tangent within a tangent])

I guess all the world wants you driven and undistracted...  or employers at least.  I find myself less impressed with people who set out to become an "X" and end up an "X"...  ooo, you knew what you wanted to be when you were 10 and you achieved it...  and find myself intrigued with people who left behind the job they wanted @10 to pursue something that was consistent with who they had become as an adult...

So here I am, getting better at pottery and actually thinking about who and where and what I want to be in five years...  get ready future boss, I have a plan th

...there are deer in the yard, I gotta go...


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring... You can quote me...

Well, it's been a wet and warmer week weather-wise and I'm happy to report that many of the daffodils are poking through the soil.  The prospect of getting outside and starting to work in the garden excites me, but I'm always a little leery of uncovering stuff until I know it's going to stay warm.  Some of the fierce wind we had this winter has made the yard look as though I never raked at all; I have neighbors to thank for this, the ones that actually never did rake at all...

I've learned some life lessons working in the garden and, as it is Three for Thursday, I'm going to list three for you...

Tulips bloom because the winter has been cold...

Leaves don't fall from trees simply because the leaf is dead, but to make room for a new leaf grow...

Not everything you plant in your garden will grow, and not everything that grows in your garden is something that you planted...


Friday, March 6, 2009

"Unemployed" - the Musical or "But Father, I want to sing..."

[Scene:  A mall early morning.  Store workers are busy opening stores for the day.]

[Middle aged man appears on stage singing]

MAN: Circuit City
such a pity
going under now
    Prices dropping
    feel like shopping
    yet, I wonder how

At the mall
wall to wall
signs of brightest red
    it's all on sale
    a wondrous tale
    yet my income's dead

CHORUS:  Yet his income's dead.

MAN w/ CHORUS:  Overjoyed, I should be overjoyed

MAN:  But I'm not...

CHORUS: No he's not...

MAN:  I'm unemployed

CHORUS: Yes, he's unemployed
A dime is all he's got.

MAN:  All I've got...

I could buy
me, oh my
Everything I see
    But there's no dough
    don't ya know
    So I'll let it be...

CHORUS: Let it be, let it be, let it be

MAN:  Oh, this fate
which I hate
All the world's a tease
    The euro's down
    and the Pound
    but I can't travel overseas


CHORUS:  He should be overjoyed.

MAN:  but I'm not.  I'm so annoyed.

CHORUS:  Yes, he's annoyed

MAN:  quite a lot.  My hopes destroyed.

CHORUS:  his hopes destroyed.  Was it a plot?

MAN:  Was it a plot?  Should I be paranoid?

CHORUS:  you should see Sigmund Freud...

MAN:  Because, like me, he now is unemployed...


MAN:  Summers off

TEACHER:  Like a teacher

TOGETHER:  Whole week off

PREACHER:  Like a preacher

TOGETHER:  Don't take orders

WAITER:  Like a waiter

TOGETHER:  or give orders

DOCTOR: Like a doctor

TOGETHER:  and every holiday

BANKER:  Like a banker, at the bank!

MAN:  My old boss is to thank...  


CAST:  So...  Now...   we're...    Overjoyed
Somehow we're overjoyed
we shouldn't be, and yet we are

and why be so annoyed
with all our hopes destroyed

BANKER:  I didn't really need another car

CAST:  we won't be paranoid 
or hire Sigmund Freud
to give advice or use his couch

We all are unemployed
Together unemployed
...and together feel this ouch.


MAN:  Circuit City
Such a pity
Going under now

Who'll be next


TEEN GIRL:  Ooo a text

[All on stage grab their cell phones and disburse on stage as they text.]

MAN:  [SLOWER] What's to say
Here's my resume
It's been redone a million times

I know somehow
That you don't want it now
and I should go apply on-line

but tell me friend
will this ever end
and will I ever find a job

To get that meal
will I beg and steal
How many banks I'll have to rob

BANKER:  [SPOKEN] Banks?  What banks?  Are they hiring?

MAN:  Unemployed... I'm only unemployed


CAST:  It crosses borders, crosses class

MAN:  We're unemployed and just like hemorrhoids...

CAST:  a royal pain, right in the ass

MAN:  but this will pass

CAST:  yes, this will pass

MAN:  and we'll have jobs

CAST:  be working slobs

And then we'll be annoyed
and won't be overjoyed

MAN:  I'll work and envy all those people unemployed...


Ok, so it's a work in progress.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

You Can Quote Me

 Some of my blogging counterparts seem to be in the habit of setting aside a day of the week to do the same thing, week after week:  this one writes about her cat every Monday, that one writes on a letter of the alphabet every Tuesday, Baloney Rants-n-Raves on Wednesday...

This reminds me of an old boss I had; she wore the same grey suit every Monday.  When it was pointed out to me I made a mental note to watch the following week and even put a reminder in my calendar...  sure enough, Monday came, the reminder popped up, I went to see for myself and lo and behold she had on her grey suit.  I had to ask...   ...she said it gave her one day of the week when she really didn't have to think about what she was going to wear, she just had to put it on.

I left the reminder on my PC and week after week, tho her life was easier, my life was given something new to make me giggle...

So, in that same spirit, I've decided to give you "3 for Thursdays"...  I'm not so sure what that means yet, but you can be sure Thursday will bring you three things that are in, relatively, the same vein...

Today: my Quotes  

Sometimes I'm presented with an idea that sticks in my brain and when I think-about-it and think-about-it I get to a point where I come up with a quote that sums up the thought.  I used to think that I'd save all these up for a play I'll write some day (yeah, that'll never happen)...

So, with no more introduction, here are three of my favorite personal quotes.

"I love you to death; and sometimes I think it just might come to that."

"While great minds may think alike, it is also possible for two idiots to make the exact same mistake."

"If you can be dumb enough to reach your conclusion without any facts, I should be smart enough to realize that the facts won't change your mind."


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plenty of room in the sunbeam or "Litterbox for one, please!"

It was a dark and stormy night... well, not really... it was one of those Friday nights when I stopped at the apartment to grab my stuff before heading out for the rest of the weekend.  This was the very reason I had a cat.  Actually, guilt was the reason I had a cat (thanks to Mr Kins), but that's a whole other story.  This was the very reason I had a cat and not a dog.  A cat will eat when they are hungry, need little companionship and can be left on their own to sleep and prowl for most of a weekend - dogs need constant attention and food and require too much care.

Fernando was black from head to toe, still had all his claws and, while some thought the gouge in his ear meant that he'd had a run-in with another cat during a street fight, I thought it probably meant he'd had a run-in with a vet who'd had a swipe at his privates.  Privates or not, he was all boy!  ...and he was a talker.  Every one of the neighbors in the apartment complex knew him.   He'd talk all night.  I slept with the bedroom door closed and a fan on so I didn't have to listen to him singing to the moon (or whoever it was).

And Crazilynn talked back to him.  One day we were reading the latest Terry Pratchett novel in a sun beam on the couch and she came calling,

"Fernando!  Fernando!"

Looking down from the second story window (knowing she couldn't see I read in the same clothes I slept in) I answered,

"Hey there!"

"Oh.  Hi.  I was calling Fernando..."

"Well, Don't let me interrupt," and went back to Diskworld.

Crazilynn never actually met Fernando.  Theirs was a relationship separated by the distance between my second floor apartment and the sidewalk.  I've always been one who thought that "love your neighbor" was one thing, but having them in for a drink was another.  Many a night I came home to find her standing below the window talking up to him.  He had this look set aside just for her that was somewhere between fascination and "lady they have medication for people like you".

So, that Friday night I got home, grabbed some clothes for the weekend, fed Fernando and headed out.  I wasn't so irresponsible as to leave him if I were gone for more than a day and a half.  HotDiana had a key to my place and I had keys to hers.  We watched each others' apartments when the other one traveled... we had an understanding and bedrooms were off limits (not that she could find a path through the clutter to snoop around mine even if she had wanted to).

Crazilynn passed me as I went to my car, grabbed her mail and headed to her own apartment.  Out of the corner of her eye she saw the movement under the shrubs.  Fernando.  She dropped her mail and bags and tried to grab him, chased him for a while and finally cornered him, but by the time she scooped him up I was long gone.

With a black cat tucked under one arm she started throwing rocks up at HotDiana's windows.  





"Fernando got out..."


"I got home and Fernando was out...  ...must have snuck out when he left for the weekend."


"Yeah, we have to put him back in the apartment.  You have a key.  I just need you to open the door and I'll drop him inside."


"I have Fernando under my arm.  Come down here and open the apartment and I will put him back."

Sure enough she came downstairs...

"That's not Fernando."
   "Yes it is, he got out."
"No, it's not."
   "He's black."
"Yeah, but..."
   "He got out.  We need to put him back."
"Are you sure?"
   "What do mean am I sure?"
"How did he get out?"
   "He snuck out...  come on, I can't stand here all night with this cat under my arm."

And so HotDiana got the spare keys, opened both sets of locked doors and went up into my apartment.  

"You wait here."

We were clear on two things:  Bedrooms were off limits....and Crazilynn had earned her nickname.

She called him, but no one came.

   "I have him here..." coming up the steps.

"Wait down there..."

She called him, but no one came.

   "He got out.  I had to catch him..." coming up the stairs.

"I'm calling him in case that ain't him.  ...but he's not coming."

And so Crazilynn deposited the little black cat on the bottom step and HotDiana locked both sets of doors closing her in.

Saying that Sunday night came quickly is like saying that a week's vacation flew by or that summer arrived and departed on a single breeze.  Sunday nights were my time to chat with Nancyboo and this was no exception.  If you don't have a friend to regularly gab with about the week and review all those things in life that you always talk about, then, well, you're probably married.

"Blah, blah...", driving home.
"Blah, blah...", getting out of my car.
"Blah, blah...", grabbing my mail.
"Blah, blah...", letting myself in.
"Blah, blah... Hey, there's a cat in my apartment!"

   "Yes, you have a cat."

"No, a little black cat."

   "umm, Fernando is black..."

"NO!  LISTEN to me.  There is a different black cat in my apartment.  This is not my cat."

   "What do you mean?"

"Who would do this?"

   "What's wrong?

"I gotta go.  I'll call you when I figure out what's going on."

I stood there terrified.  Frozen.  She looked up at me and meowed.

And then he came around the corner... talking to me...  and if it wasn't meows and growls it would have been something like, "I don't know who she is, but she's been here all weekend."

There was catnip everywhere...  the catnip hidden in the bottom of my linen closet that had been closed.

There was no catfood out, but every lower cabinet door was open.


...and the pillows were off the couch...

First things first, I thought as I picked her up and dropped her outside thinking that someone would be very glad to have her come home after being gone for a few days...

Then I put some food out for Fernando.

Then I checked my messages.


"Hi.  Crazilynn was throwing rocks at my windows to get my attention.  She says that Fernando got out and she wants to put him back in your apartment.  She has a black cat under her arm.  How could he have gotten out?  This is so weird.  Call me."


"Hi, it's me again.   Crazilynn and I put Fernando back.  I was sure that it wasn't him, but I went up in your apartment and called for him and he never came.  Please call me."


"Hi...  When you left tonite you let Fernando out by accident.  I caught him and put him back for you so he'll be there when you get home Sunday night.  You need to be more careful.  Good thing I'm watching out for you."

If I were hanging by my fingernails from the Empire State Building no one would hear me screaming, but let one off-kilter neighbor see a cat that she thinks might possibly be mine and suddenly a colony of felines know just how cozy my bed is when the sun comes through the window in the afternoon.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wii is out to get mii - and by Wii I don't mean us...

When there was money enough to buy one and one on the shelf at Toys-R-Us, we (us, not the game) bought a Wii (the game, not us).  Overall, very fun.  The issue is that the game does not like me.  You might wonder if this "techno-paranoia" is unfounded, but something happened the other night that confirmed it in my mind.

On the Wii, you set-up Miis.  A Mii is a character that you create who plays the game for you on the screen.  (Mine is short and chubby, with square glasses, goatee and spiked dark hair.)  Anytime one plays the game they simply select their mii and play away...

When we first got the console I created a Mii for almost everyone we knew.  Hysterical!  My theory was that if I showed no mercy when I created myself then I certainly didn't have to hold back creating others - much to the chagrin of my older and/or heavier friends...  but we all have a good laugh about it.
         Ok, I have a good laugh.

...and our friends come by to play...  They don't show up with their own controllers like in the commercials, but they come for a game of bowling, golf and sometimes tennis...  

...and they all bowl straight...

    Not me, I throw the ball and it hooks to the left; kind of like I've pointed myself at the gutter on purpose.

...but anyone else...

They swing the arm.  They release the ball.  The ball rolls down the lane.  The ball hits the center pin.  Not always a strike, but always straight... always, that is, until the other night.

So the other night, Cricket and I had a little party to celebrate Nanciboo's birthday.  She came by expecting dinner with just the two of us; a half hour after she got here, four of her friends rolled in - a little surprise.  Dinner was nice (I made beef stew)...  and after dinner, we turned on the Wii.

In the interest of time we decided not to create new Miis for all the guests (tho I had already set up one for Nanciboo that looks just like her - and makes me howl with laughter).  One of the guests used my Mii...  I was playing pool - since only four players can bowl at a time.  The guest using my Mii is 6'3, thin and left handed; I'm right handed.

...and then he threw the ball...

...and it hooked...    ...to the left...

Tell me, what are the odds that someone nearly a foot taller than I am, with a completely different build and an opposite dominant hand would throw the ball and duplicate my curve...  ...no way, the Wii thought my Mii was me, but my Mii wasn't me - it was someone else.  Someone unlike me in every way...

I began to suspect 
my theory correct 
and was just not prepared for what happened next.

You see, it was Nanciboo's birthday and she was bowling in last place (the console at least leaves me that much)...  She remarked that it was her birthday and that the others should let her win.  

...I guess they took her seriously...   (I don't have that gene and could never bring myself to even let a four-year-old niece win at Candyland)

Cricket, who was up next, turned left and purposefully threw the ball at the gutter.  The ball, flung with tremendous force, hurled itself to the left and then...

...it hooked to the right and slammed into the center pin...


...not once, but TWICE this happened...

Cricket was getting preferential treatment!!!

"Unfair!" I screamed before I even realized that I was watching the bowling game;  my mouth hanging open...

Playstation 3 ... $400.00
Games for Playstation 3  ...  $49.00 each
Accidentally crushing the Wii by backing your car over it  ...  Priceless


Monday, March 2, 2009

You don't know me, but I'm a drunk... or FBUI

I could blog forever about Facebook and all the people I knew in high school and college who suddenly have an interest in me and knowing all about me.  Confession-time:  at the beginning I was excited to get all these requests from people who wouldn't have been caught dead speaking to me in high school and now wanted to be my friend.  

I accepted every last one that came in...  ...not so much these days...  

Not only do I not accept friend requests from just about anyone, but I asked around and found out how to "unfriend" some of these people...  such a relief!

For the sake of my high school friends from almost 30 years ago I have posted some old pictures and have even changed my profile picture to a photo of me when I was 14 (you know the age when your face hasn't grown quite as quickly as your nose.)

So, Saturday night, Cricket and I had a birthday party for a friend of ours (stay with me).  It was a small gathering to which I had invited Wolf, but he had other plans, he instead went to a party at Taylor's... 

On Sunday I received a Facebook Friend request from "Cindy ___".  Alas, I thought, another Facebook request from someone with a name I do not recognize.  

                ...there was a message attached...

Cindy says, "I apologize for my behavior last night. I drink but don't usually get that out of control. I'm embarassed and sorry..... I didn't eat anything and that happens if I don't eat! Sorry again and thanks for everything.".

So, I'm puzzled.  I'm sure there was no Cindy at my party - I hosted only 7 people; a drunken guest whom I didn't invite would have been (let's just say) conspicuous.  


This takes me from email into Facebook where I can see who she actually is, but I still have no clue.  Face is not familiar, but I see that she is relatively local ...and then I see that we have a mutual friend...    Taylor...

Now, I'm really curious.  Was my mysterious-overserved-wannabe-friend at Taylor's party on Saturday night?  Some sort of Six Degrees of Cosmopolitan?  I had to know...

...and sure enough, Wolf confirmed it...

...there was a Cindy at Taylor's party...
...Cindy did have way too much to drink...
...Cindy was (a tad) out of control...

So was she still drinking when she sat down at her computer and sent a friend request to someone she didn't know?
Did she think that the message of "I know I was drunk and inappropriate, but let's be friends"  would go over well with me?
Did she send an apology/friend request to everyone of Taylor's 458 friends hoping to cover her bases?
Was there another 14 year old at the party whose face, in her stupor, she confused with mine?
Is this 14 year old whom Cindy is "thanking for everything" now really "more than a friend"?

I've decided to accept her friend request.  You know in ten years we'll be somewhere and someone will ask, "How did you two meet?" and I'll be able to say,

"Cindy got drunk at a party that I wasn't at and asked if she could be my friend."

When you get as much pleasure as I get out of teasing your friends an opportunity like this is too good to pass up.