I feel the need

I feel the need

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

At Least the Creative Spark isn't Dead.



Good day.

So for a little more than a week I've been battling my usual summer cough that turns into a sore throat.  Every year I get this and every year I lose a little more of my singing voice, but other than that I'm good to go after a week.

Not so this year.

This year the cough and sore throat reached a level I've never experienced before.  I've dropped down several steps on the sexy scale (not like it was a long fall, you know) to the point where I allowed Hubby to drive me to the doctor's office yesterday and I wasn't wearing eyeliner. And I didn't care.

You stop caring about stuff like eyeliner,  combed hair, body odor, and other stuff the minute you cough up blood.

It should be noted, however, I did manage to get earrings in. I mean, I am a lady after all.

After going through the humiliation of having to sit in the waiting room wearing a mask  (It should be noted I was coughing not one bit harder than the nurse at the desk who demanded I wear a mask. Where was her mask?) and explaining that yes, my weight is on an upward trend lately (why does that have anything to do with the fact that I have no voice and I'm coughing up blood?) the doctor told me what started as a virus got worse.

(I found out later, after reading my appointment notes, that I have bronchitis.  Doc didn't mention that...and people wonder why I think going to the doctor is insulting.)

Anyway, that little bit about the virus getting worse sparked a creative thing in my brain that hasn't been around in a couple decades.  It made me rewrite a pop song.

I used to do this a lot, I'm a huge fan of Weird Al Yankovic but I'd forgotten about it.  My best was probably was "Let's Play Basketball" to the tune of Olivia Newton John's "Physical," followed closely by "I wanna be a Teacher" done to the tune of "I wanna be A Cowboy" by Boys don't Cry.  But it's been a long time since I've done that.

Until today.

Today...yes, to the tune of REO Speedwagon's "I can't Fight this Feeling"  I give you this:

(Sung to "I Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon)
I can't fight this sore throat anymore. 
The cough and gagging really have to go. 
What started as a virus has grown stronger. 
So it's off to urgent care I have to go. 
It feels like I've been this sick forever.
The Doc says there's no reason for my fear.
He prescribes some pills when we're together.
They'll knock out the infection, they'll make my lungs so clear.
But even as I take them, I know I have to fight.
The side effects are icky and they keep me up all night.
And I'm feeling grosser than I ever thought I might.....



So there you have it my friends. I'm missing my company's annual gathering today and tomorrow, thanks to this little illness of mine.  But at least my creative spark hasn't died!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

See, Sir, you're at Sam's Club, so...no.


Once again, standing in line at the pharmacy does not disappoint.

This week was med refill week, and of COURSE given all the prescriptions we have here, at least one of them will always get delayed (unbeknownst to us) and thus I'm required to do two trips. Fortunately, I'm also bad at grocery shopping, so making two trips to Sam's Club in two days isn't the as big a problem as one might think. Gives me push to actually leave the house and get the bag of coffee I forgot to pick up the first time around.  (How could Sarah forget COFFEE?????  Well, it happens.)

Anyway, yesterday I showed up at the pharmacy at 2 PM sharp. This is key because the pharmacy at Sam's is closed from 1:30 to 2 every day.  So if I can't get there to pick up before 1:30 it's important to get there at 2 before the line gets too long.

Yesterday I should have gotten there at 1:55.  Seriously. I got there as they were opening the service window and there was already a fairly long line. 

Sigh.

However, as I said, standing in line wound up not being a waste of time because I was able to witness and record the following:

A gentleman edged between the pharmacy line and the shelves of heartburn products.  He spent some quality time picking up the two pack bottles of TUMS, looking at it, then putting it back on the shelf.  He must have done this three or four times before I moved up in line enough to stand next to him.

I guess I just have one of those faces, because it was then that he decided to start asking random people (in this case, me) questions.

Man:  so...do you think this is all they have for TUMS?

Me: I think so. I mean, if they had other brands, they would probably put them next to the TUMS.

Man:  Oh, I don't need a different brand. I need a smaller bottle.

Me: (no response.  It's Sam's Club.  You're going to buy in bulk. That's the point.)

Man: This one is a two pack and there are 250 tablets in each.

Me:  Yes.  (I, too, can read.)

Man:  Well, that's way too many.  I don't need that many.

Me: (because I've bought that same two pack and run through it in a matter of months) Well, it's a really good price for that many.  (Because it is. That same number of tablets at Target would be double the price.)

Man:  It is, but I just don't need 500 tablets.  I wonder if they have a smaller bottle.

Me: I don't think so.  Besides, it's a good price, plus, with that many, you're set for a year.  (See?  I'm polite, logical, and helpful.)

Man: But I don't need that many. (stepping in front of me)  I'm just going to ask this lady if they have smaller bottles.

Me: 

Well, I can't really repeat what I said because 1) I didn't say it out loud and 2) I can't print that many four letter Anglo-Saxon isms.   (Kids read this blog.)  I mean, did he not see that this was a LINE?  There were six or seven people in LINE for the PHARMACY and he just hopped ahead OF ME to ask the lady if there were smaller bottles of TUMS somewhere.

Oh sure. Sam's Club hides the tiny bottles of EVERYTHING in a big room far away from customers just so they have to find an employee and ask.

DUDE!

First of all, does he not get the rules of standing in line?  I don't care if you have "a quick question" there's a LINE.  If you don't want to stand in the line and wait your turn, then maybe find someone, anyone, in a blue vest that says "happy to help" and ask them.  OR...hey...ask that Soma Care guy who insists on jumping unsuspecting people racing to pick up meds.

Second of all...DO YOU NOT GET THIS IS SAM'S CLUB?  It's all about buying in bulk.  Look around.  Everything is a two pack, four pack, club pack, super sized!  If you want a little bottle of anything, go to Kwik Trip or Target or Walmart or LITERALLY ANY OTHER STORE IN THE WORLD.

But no, of course I didn't say anything, and I didn't point out his breach of etiquette. I didn't make a sound as he stepped in front of me and asked the pharmacy lady (who watched my face the whole time because she knows me and knew I was dying a thousand deaths in that moment) and asked her possibly the dumbest question anyone has ever asked anyone in a Sam's Club.

And she gave him her answer which was, of course, NO.  It took great restraint on her part, I'm sure, to keep a straight face and yes, as he walked away, she and I shared a giggle and then a sigh of exasperation.

The good news is we're set for meds again for the next month. Which is good.  Because my tongue needs to heal from all the biting I did.




Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Reposting a Favorite: Sarah's Letter to High School Grads.

Good evening!

I don't give a lot of advice. I mean, if you read this blog, you know my life is one disaster after another.  I have a couple bits of advice I hand out to my Sunday School kids, although none of them have ever actually taken my advice. Maybe someday they will. Believe me, the few bits of advice I do hand out are solid, proven bits of wisdom.  Here's the list:

1)  Everyone learn to play the tuba.  Colleges always need a tuba player.

2)  Ladies, date low brass players. They try harder than trumpet players do.

3)  Ladies, learn to love football.

4)  Gentlemen, yes, there are differences between all the pairs of black shoes your lady owns. Learn what they are.



That's it. Or so it has been it for the longest time.  But now, as I watch another newly minted class of high school graduates dip a toe into the "real world"  (and if you're going to a four year college, no, that's not the real world. The real world doesn't come with a meal plan or a class schedule you can ignore half the time.) and I feel I have to share a bit more advice.

So I'm writing this letter, and this is for anyone who is starting out in life and isn't quite sure which way to go.

Dear High School Graduate:

Congrats, you've completed high school..  You've survived the bullying, name calling, cliques, break ups, and horrors of high school and you are now not only an adult, according to the state, but now it's time to make a decision. What are you going to do for the rest of your life? 

Most of you are 17 or 18 and I know when I was that age I did NOT want the focus of my professional life to be jobs in which the biggest two skills I needed was the ability to type and a working knowledge of the alphabet.  I wanted to be a radio DJ  (Yep, did demo tapes on my parents stereo, which had a microphone.  I was awesome, reading dedications, breaking news, playing all the summer hits from back in the day.  Those tapes still exist.  And anyone who cares to clean my basement may have them.) I wanted to be a paramedic.  I wanted to be a rock star, a best selling novelist, a movie critic, and an Olympic gymnast.

So of course I went to school to become a teacher.  And I got the teaching degree.  I taught.  Then I worked in an office where all they cared about was that I could type and I knew the alphabet.  Then I had babies. Then I figured out that my magical power was my phone voice and since then I've worked, for the last ten years one way or another, on the phone bending people's will to my own. And then I learned Quick books.

I am an author, you can check out proof of that by clicking here  or by clicking here  or by clicking here or even by clicking here.  But other than that, I'm none of the above things I honestly believed I would be.  Life sort of decided for me.  And the funnier thing is I spent four years learning to be a teacher and I taught for one and since then I've held jobs that honestly did not require more skill than to be able to type, know the alphabet, and talk on the phone.  It taken me several years since high school, but I finally landed a job doing something that wasn't even a thing when I was in high school. I didn't know it then, but this is my dream job  (you know besides being a DJ, a rock star, a movie critic or a world famous best selling author).

So, new grads, what are you going to do with the rest of your life?  People want to know NOW!

If you're already enrolled in college and you've got a scholarship and you're going to study hard math and science and become a doctor or an engineer, then okay, I'm not talking to you.

I'm talking to the other 98% of you out there.

I'm an employment analyst. I spend my work day calling all over the country to find out who is hiring, what they're paying, and what skills they want. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about when I say if you have a high school diploma or a GED, congrats, you're already ahead of the game.

If you don't have these things, get them.  There aren't that many jobs out there for people who don't have that minimum piece of paper. Sure, you might find a job and it might pay well.  But what if you get hurt, have to move, or that company goes out of business?  And there you sit, no education, no job, and no way to get a job because you don't have that piece of paper.

Now, for those of you who have a high school diploma, but don't care to go on to college, never fear, there are plenty of places all over that will hire you and you can make good money doing these jobs.
Most of them are in food service or manual labor of some kind and all of them require good physical condition.  But if you're willing to put in the hard work and the long hours, you can make a nice living.

If you want a little more of a guarantee of good money no matter where you live and no matter what the economy is, then here is my big giant piece of advice: Go to your local tech school.  Train to be in the trades: Carpentry, plumbing, electricity, car repair (Mechanic and body tech), sheet metal worker, and welder. These are skills that don't take eons of time or money to get, but once you have them you can continue to build on your skill, thereby building on your value in the job market. Yeah, the work is physical, and yeah, you're going to work long hours, but the payoff and job stability is awesome. 

Don't believe me?  Close your eyes and picture a world without plumbers. Computers haven't figured out a way yet to unclog a drain system that has been taken over by tree roots....or toys your baby thought would look funny being flushed down.  Yes, and that is why, children, you pay the plumber $200 for a service call after 5 Pm because you can't live without the toilet and he's the only one willing to get that village of Fisher Price guys out of your pipes.

By now I'm hoping most of you are gone off to find a job or to get enrolled at your local tech college.  But I'm sure there are still a few of you waiting for me to tell you that the magic to life involves winning a lottery ticket.

I'm not going to tell you that.  If it did, do you think I'd be blogging at my desk right now? No.  I'd be sipping something blue and alcoholic and blue  (I love those blue drinks) and being fanned by a very fit young man named...I don't eve care what his name is. He's going to be tall, he's going to be tanned, and he's going to have that perfect mix of a swimmers/gymnast's body.  And he's going to be able to get sand out of my laptop because once I'm settled on my private beach located on my private island I won't be moving until I have the next book done.

But life isn't like that.  So for the rest of you still waiting for me to give you the great advice, you've missed it. I already did.  And you ignored it because you want to go to college and major in something other than teaching or science or engineering or doctoring.

So for you I'm going to now tell you some of the things employers, you know the people who pay you money to do things at their businesses, are NOT looking for.  College is expensive...do NOT waste your parents' money and your time on the following courses, (These are real courses taught at real colleges and parents if your kid is taking one of these, then you would be better served actually burning the stacks of cash you're using to pay for his/her education) because employers are not going to care. They are going to mock you for taking these classes when you could have been learning welding, or math, or anything else.


Study me, learn me, LIVE ME!
1)  The Sociology of Miley Cyrus.

What's the final?  Twerking while singing the "Hannah Montana" theme song?

2) How to watch Television.

(I've know how to do this since I was five and I've logged so many hours I probably have a PhD in it, but seriously...someone's taking money to teach this class.  And people are paying for it.)

3)  Zombies in popular media.

I know. The zombies are coming and we should know how to fight them. But this isn't a fighting class. This is a bunch of kids sitting under a tree with the world's biggest "Walking Dead" fan.

4) What if Harry Potter is real?

Let's go to the source. Hey, J.K., is Harry Potter real?  No?  You made him up?
Class dismissed.

5) How Does it feel to dance?

You don't need a college class for this. Just go to a couple weddings this summer and ask people of varying shapes, ages and sizes.  The fat guy in his 50's is going to say he needs a drink. The five year old girl in the flower girl dress is going to yell, "GOOD!" throw up on your shoes because she drank too much free soda at the reception , and then go dance more.

6)  Learning from YouTube.
It's true. My husband uses YouTube like his own personal technical school.  Gotta tie a bow tie?  YouTube.  Gotta give an IV to a cat?  YouTube.  But see, he does that, and he doesn't pay $400 a credit to do it.


Okay, hey anyone can have a no brainer class, and it's fine. But how about, if one of you takes your parents' $160K for a four year degree and really blows it on something stupid that is never going to translate into any sort of student loan repayment ability?

These are real majors, people graduate with degrees in this stuff all the time, but I'm here to tell you that in this world in this economy...in any economy, these are degrees that, at best, will land you a job that starts at $9 an hour for 20 hours a week.  Basically, when the zombies come, the people who have these degrees are going to be the first eaten.  Maybe even before me.

1)  Art history. 

I love art history. I love art. I love history.  But a full on degree in art history so I can be the only one at my job who can tell the difference between a Monet and a Manet  (and I can thanks to one semester of art history, not a whole degree.)  There are no jobs for this.  You want to study art and art history?  It's called a library. There are a million books on art there and it's free.

2)  Communications

So many jokes have been made about this I don't have to add to them.  Stop skipping class and take some business courses.  Learn Quick books.

3)  Philosophy

I love a good debate.  I can start one in my living room with my family with no more than these four words:  Trump might be okay.

My husband and I have an ongoing philosophical debate about whether or not trees communicate with each other.  Thanks to JRR Tolkien, I'm winning that debate.   

My point is, the people who are hiring right now are not hiring people who had discuss whether or not we are all made of color or if a butterfly poops on a tree in Bolivia, does it rain in the Hamptons?  You want to read the great philosophers? You want to discuss philosophy with someone else?  Great, fine.  Again, library. Free.  Won't cost a thing, no student loans to pay back while you're making a living cashiering at the local mini mart  (they are always hiring and the wages for those jobs are going up.)

Ultimately, you're going to do what you're going to do. We all have a romantic streak. We all want to write poetry and live in Paris and sip coffee and debate (in French, Russian, or Italian) pretty much everything.  And why not, when you're not yet 25?  It seems perfectly reasonable to believe you can live in a 700 square foot flat in Rome with three roommates and a cat you've named Kierkegaard, but call Kirk because it's easier and you like Star Trek.  

Listen to Auntie Sarah. 

You can't do that. By the time you get out of college you want to be a grown up, or very close to it. You'll want your own place, your own bathroom.  You're going to want clothes that aren't t-shirts you won at some eating contest.  You are going to need a job.  That pays money.

And guess what?  A degree in Russian Poetry or French history is not going to help you unless you live in Russia and they are hiring poets (I don't think they are) or you live in France and they need another historian (and I doubt they're going to hire an American to fill that job.)

Love art, love poetry, love history?  GO TO THE LIBRARY.  Go to a museum.  Maybe they're hiring. Maybe not.  But they are open and you don't need to spend $90K in tuition to enjoy them.

Oh, and don't get a degree in creative writing.  You can't teach creativity and if you want to write you're going to write you don't need a piece of paper to tell you to write.  This I know for certain.

Now if you want to be a writer, and an author, or a poet, it's good idea to take classes, take publishing classes, take grammar classes. Look for these at local tech schools, at your local park and rec department, or in the phone book. You're going to find a writers' group or studio where you can write and learn about writing without using your uber expensive college time to do it.  

  

Learn to type. Learn the alphabet.  Learn to put a sentence together.

Oh yeah, and learn Quick books.  Everyone should learn Quickbooks.


Now, if after all this you realize you're not ready to decide your whole life just yet, that's fine.  There's no rush. The state may say you're an adult, but we parents know you're just a kid and kids probably shouldn't be making decisions like what career they're going to have for the next 50 years.  Take some time. Work for a while. Serve in the military.  Go abroad, see how other countries, other cultures, live. Join the Peace Corps. Build a well someplace that needs good water...like my old hometown of Flint, Michigan.

Just don't get a degree in the Societal Effects of The Hunger Games on Emerging African Economies and then wonder why no one will hire you.

All my love, 

Sarah

Friday, May 25, 2018

Fun Fact Friday: Why Sarah Hates Baseball



Happy Friday All!

So it's Memorial Day weekend here, a weekend when most Americans will travel to see family, cook meat outdoors, and save ton of money on the purchase of a car or mattress.

Memorial Day is supposed to remind us of all the service people who gave their lives in the various wars our country has fought.  I've seen memes going around telling us not to thank a Veteran for their service on Memorial Day because that's what Veteran's Day is for, and Memorial Day is for those who are dead. Well, um, bite me.  I'm going to thank a Veteran on Memorial Day, July 4, and next Tuesday if I see one because I don't believe it's ever wrong to thank a veteran.

Rant over.

Baseball is considered America's pastime, just like apple pie is considered America's pie. I don't like either.  Apple pie was literally the only pie my mother made and I think I was 10 before I realized you could put other fruits in pies.  So..yeah, I'm done with apple pie.

Meanwhile, baseball. How could I be a sports fan (LOVE American Football and hockey...learning to love rugby and all things Olympics) and NOT love baseball.

When you hear my story, you may understand.

It started when I was six. Please hang in there...I have to give you some back story for you to fully understand:

From kindergarten to fourth grade I attended a two room grade school. My father was the upper grades teacher, the principal, and the gym teacher.  Given the limited amount of time he had, teaching four grades and heading up discipline and administration, he developed something of a genius gym class. He divided the entire school into three teams, with kids from all grades 1-8 on all teams.  Then he made use of the space we had (no gym, but plenty of outdoor land) and came up with sports and games that were definitely outside the box.  (I was very good at chess, scrabble, and quoits.  ((Don't know what quoits is?  Look it up.))  I was also pretty decent at shuffleboard.  And, I guess, at tug of war.  But that's another story for another day.)

Softball was a cornerstone sport, because it involved everyone.  Due to time constraints (gym class was held during recess.  For team sports, two of the three teams would play while the other team would be free to do whatever they wanted. For individual sports, you just knew when you had, say, a tether ball match and you got over to the tether ball pole in time.)  my dad devised "one pitch softball." 

It's exactly what you think it is.  Each batter got one pitch.  That was it.  Hit the ball and get on base, get a ball and get on base,  or get a strike and you're out.

Well, when I was six, let's just say I wasn't real bright about the nature of people.  So it never occurred to me that the CATCHER didn't have my best interests in mind when he/she "coached" me when I was up to bat.

Every time I got up, the catcher would tell me when to swing.  And wouldn't you know it, I would swing and miss the ball.  And I'd be out.

Every. Single. Time.

I don't know how long this went on.  When you grow up in the Great Lakes area, you know outdoor sports have a short season, so I'm sure I didn't remember from one season to another that the catcher was playing for the other team, and while I was probably an easy out anyway, he/she was always cementing that bet by telling me when to swing.

It wasn't until I shared my frustration with my mom that I realized the problem.  Once she was done laughing at me, she explained that the catcher wanted me to be out. 

This was also the time when I realized that my dad was my dad but when we were at school there were NO favorites and he even believed he had to treat me tougher than the other kids just to prove I wasn't a favorite.  Wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't been on the staff of my school EVERY SINGLE YEAR OF MY LIFE through high school (except my freshman year of high school, my favorite year.) Everyone thought I was his favorite and I had to work twice as hard to get grades from him because he was tougher on me.  Sure, that didn't damage me at all.

Anyway, back to baseball.

So my grade school experience shaped my opinion of baseball and softball through my high school and college years (didn't watch it, didn't play it if I could help, spoke out against it).  Then I grew up, got married, and had a chance to join a church softball team.

I don't know how much you know about church sports teams, but the truth of it is that these perfectly lovely church folks turn into competitive maniacs when they start playing. 

This I did not know.

I just thought this team would be a fun group of women coached by a fun guy to go have fun.  I mean, my hubby was on a work team and they had a blast. 

I lasted two practises.

The first practice was lovely. It was a sunny evening, everyone was cheerful, and we were practicing fielding balls. Turns out, I'm pretty good at catching stuff.  I felt I'd put my baseball woes behind me.

The second practice was batting practice.

Everyone got three, maybe four pitches, while the coach looked on. Then it was my turn. 

One whiff. Two whiffs. Three whiffs. Four whiffs.

I am not good at batting.

However, the coach was distracted by something else, and I was the last in line, so he told the pitcher to give me a few more.

Five minutes later (It felt longer, but I'm sure it was only five minutes)  I'd swung that bat 40 times (I counted) and had missed all of them. The coach looked up from what he was doing and said, "Are  you still swinging?  Give someone else a turn."

I was 24.  I was also crippled for the next few days, unable to lift my arms.

That ended my career in the bat and ball arts.

Since then, I don't play it, I generally don't watch it, and I've been known to mock people who do. Like my friend Sandy who takes me to Milwaukee Brewer games from time to time.  As I've aged, I've learned to appreciate seeing a game in person or maybe listening to it on the radio, but it's still at the bottom of the list when it comes to sports for me.

And yes, I own a bat.  But it's for personal protection only.  And I haven't had to swing it in more than 20 years.

So, now you know!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!






Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My mom attends the Bon Jovi concert. What could possibly happen?



Good morning!

So a couple weeks ago, I'm sitting in my customary living room chair, watching something on Netflix, when I get a text from my mother.

Mom Text:  Is Bon Jovi a band or one guy?

Sarah Text:  Both.  Why?


Mom Text:  What songs do they sing?


Sarah Text:  Dead or Alive, It's My Life, You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer. I could go on. WHY?


In her maddening way, (a habit she excuses as being not technologically inclined, but I think she just pretends not to know how to operate her phone so she can ignore me sometimes), she doesn't answer my question for several minutes.

Thinking this might have something to do with my brother, who, knowing his overall good luck in life, he got tickets to see Bon Jovi perform the final concert ever at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (THE go to arena in Milwaukee for more than 30 years) and Mom wanted to find out who he was seeing.

That's something that's been going on since we were teens. Jay would get tickets to see a band, or buy a CD or something like that and Mom would have me explain who the group was and what they sang.  I stopped playing that game the day Jay had me pick up the Sugarcubes' "Life's Too Good" album which had questionable words on the song titles.

I digress.

So imagine my surprise when, an hour later, Mom sent another text.

Mom Text:  Terry's son got two tickets to see Bon Jovi and he can't use them.

Sarah text:  And???????  (Here I'm clearly thinking that Terry, a friend of my mom's and a big fan of my work, is going to hand over two tickets to ME!)


Mom Text: And I told her I'd go with her if she could name a song they sang.


And this is how a blog is born.

Now I knew my mom going to a Bon Jovi concert would be funny.  But when I got a text from her early Monday morning, April 30, I realize I had something great to share with you all.

Mom Text:  Concert  it felt like i went through a war or i saw a little bit of hell.

I'm sure that's exactly what Bon Jovi was going for.  (By the way I had numerous friends and family members who went to the same concert and came up with a far more favorable review.)


So I had to know what could possibly have happened to make my very religious 76 year old mom equate a concert with hell.

And now I'll tell it in her own words, with minimal commentary on my part:

So Terry picked me up and first we had to go to Shorewood to pick up the tickets.  We had to get the tickets off the front porch, they were stuck between two chair cushions.

(Mom, you stole Bon Jovi tickets from some guy.)

Then we got downtown and do you know parking is really expensive?  They wanted $30 to park right at the Bradley Center, so we drove around for a while and found a lot four blocks away that charged $20. Terry has a handicapped placard, so we got a really good parking spot in the ramp.

(Wait, she's got a handicapped placard and she turned down parking in the ramp next to the Bradley Center because it was too expensive, but she got a handicapped spot in a ramp four blocks away?)


She's got that bad back.

(I guess that makes sense...)


So I paid for that.  Then we got to the Bradley Center and we were hungry, so Terry went up and ordered chicken and a coke and they said they weren't selling that. So she ordered a burger, and they said they weren't selling that.


(Um yeah, it was the LAST NIGHT EVER for the Bradley Center. They're tearing it down soon.  The last thing they wanted after that concert was a pile of left over concessions.)

So Terry asked what they had and they said hot dogs. So she ordered two hot dogs a diet Coke and a bottle of water and it was $29. Can you believe that?

(Having purchased food at sporting arenas, yes, yes I can.)

Terry said that was too expensive, and they told her it was because that price included a commemorative cup for $3.  Terry said she didn't want the cup.  They told her she didn't have a choice, they were putting all the drinks in this cup. BUT if she wanted her money back she could get it back, all she had to do is find the guy in the green shirt and he'd give her back her money.


(Am I the only one who thinks this sounds shady?)

Then Terry and I went to our seats which were way up in the rafters.  The 400 section, row J.  Those steps are steep! There was a man with a walker making his way up those steps, I don't know how he did it.

(Well he probably paid the extra $10 for parking so he wasn't exhausted from walking four blocks.)


The concert was supposed to start at 8, but there was an opening act.


(Who was the opening act?)

I don't know who it was. It was four guitars, a drum set, and guy who screamed into the microphone.  Do you know people don't come to see the opening act?  We were almost the only ones there!  The placed filled in and then Bon Jovi came out and there were all these women just standing there bobbing their heads up and down.

(Maybe like they were keeping time with the music?)

Of course Terry and I wore earplugs.  Then about 90 minutes in to Bon Jovi, Terry was done with her Diet Coke so it was time to go find the guy in the green shirt and get that $3 back.

(Which put me in mind of one of my favorite John Cusack movies...)

So of course, no one on the 3rd level knew anything, so we went down to the second level and no one knew anything there, so then we found a lady in a green shirt who was sweeping and she said she didn't know anything, but we should follow her.  

(Which of course you did...what could possibly go wrong with that?)

And that lady got us to a guy at a card table.  We asked for our $3 and he said he couldn't give it to us because he didn't have any money. He was at the right table, and there was a sign there that said we could get the money back, but he didn't have any money. We had to wait for the guy with the fanny pack to come around.

That guy finally got there, and he wasn't wearing a green shirt, and we got the money back. We decided we didn't want to climb all the stairs back to our seats, so we just walked in on the second level.


(And how often were you kicked out of the second level?)

Oh we got kicked out three or four times. They kept asking us if we belonged in that section and we said no, and they kicked us out. 

(I'm shocked that you didn't enjoy the concert more, given how much attention you paid to it.)

So then after four or five encores, we figured the concert was over and we were already out of our seats so we got back to the car quickly, ahead of everyone else.

(And also having that great parking spot in your ramp didn't hurt, I'm sure.)


We got into Terry's car and the low fuel gauge started ringing. She drives this big SUV. I asked how many miles she got once the alarm starting dinging and she thought maybe 15 miles. It's midnight, and there's nothing open downtown and we've got about 50 blocks to drive before we two senior ladies felt safe stopping, so I was praying we'd get to a gas station quickly.

The only place old ladies feel safe stopping
at after a night of rocking out.

We found one near where Jay used to live and it was well lit so I told Terry to stop there. She looked at the price and said there was no way she was paying $2.89 for a gallon of gas.  I said fine, there's a Kwik Trip on 124th St.  She said that was past my house and I told her that was fine because she wasn't going to make it home unless she filled up.  


(By my way of counting the mileage from the Bradley Center, I can't believe she made it to the Kwik Trip. It didn't take much to imagine the two of them trying to push Terry's beast of an SUV.)

So we got to Kwik Trip, she filled up and got me home. I was just useless the next day because my head hurt from the noise and I was so tired.


Well there it is, then. My mother and her friend went to the Bon Jovi concert, and really didn't enjoy it at all.  I did get a four minute phone message from Terry's phone. She apparently thought I would like hearing one of the songs. Of course, all I hear on that message is a crowd screaming and Terry yelling something unintelligible to my mom.

According to my cousin, Lana, who was in the fifth row center for the same show, it was a great night, a lot of fun, and she didn't get roped into the commemorative cup scam.  She had her own issues getting home, but that's another story for another person to tell.

I am a little salty, however, that no one dumped a drink on her.  I mean...come on!






Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Shared Fluffy Girl Moment at Meijer.









Happy Thursday all!

I'm definitely in the minority here, but I'm happy with the stretch of gray, cloudy, wet weather we've had the last couple days. Yes, the damp messes with my arthritis, but we had a couple days of 80 and humid and I am NOT a fan of summer weather.  Nope.  I'm more of a spring/fall person, which means I get about 12 perfect days a year.

Anyway...

So last week I ran to Meijer after work to do my shopping for this week. This is part of one of my resolutions for the year, to make a menu for the week and have everything on hand for that menu so that I stick to it and don't order Marcos Pizza five nights a week.  (You don't have a Marcos attached to a Family Video????  You need to find out whoever is in charge of your town and demand one.)

Anyway, so I ran to Meijer with my week's shopping list.  What I didn't do was eat lunch before going and you know what they say about shopping hungry...that adage is especially true for me. I will throw twice as much stuff in my cart than I originally intended to get because everything just looks sooooo YUMMY and I MUST have it!

On this particular day I was determined, in spite of my craving for all things food, to stick to the list and not break the bank with snack food.  But then...

Meijer was having a sale on sushi!

I do love sushi.  I mean, it's not like I've had a ton of real, actual sushi, but the stuff they sell in the grocery stores is aces with me!  And if it's on sale, that's even better!

I was so hungry, I grabbed two boxes of sushi.  I then spent the next half hour fighting the urge to EAT THE SUSHI right there in the grocery store.  (Have you ever done that?  Eaten something and then brought up the empty container to the cash register?)

No, no, I haven't done either. Nope.

I got through the store, and through the checkout, without breaking into that oh-so-temping plastic container of sticky rice and raw tuna (yep, I love living on the edge) and was headed to the car where I fully intended to eat the first of the two boxes of sushi on my drive home.

That's when I saw her...another fluffy lady coming out of the self check aisle.  Now my rule while out in public is to generally NOT lock eyes with anyone.  If I'm out, especially when I'm out on my own, I'm generally focused on what I'm doing and don't care to get into a conversation with anyone, strangers and friends alike.  (I've actually hidden behind grocery displays to avoid talking to acquaintances before.)  It's not that I'm rude. I'm trying very hard to be NOT RUDE, because I know that any conversation I got into would end with me being rude and walking away.  I like being social...just on my own terms.  And being social at the grocery store when my stomach is growling and I have two boxes of sushi waiting for me is not high on my list.

Anyway, I see this fluffy girl coming out of the self check and I all but stop in my tracks. She is elbow deep into a family size bag of Cheetos, shoving them into her face at a volume and rate that stirs more than a little admiration in my heart.

I don't want to stare, but I've never seen an adult eat snack food, in public, ten seconds after purchasing it, in such an unapologetic manner.  Clearly, she and I share the same 2:30 hunger.

She pauses to breath and notices that I'm staring.  She gives me a sheepish, and very orange, smile and says, "I'm just so hungry, I couldn't wait."

I start laughing. I can't help it. This lady might be my hero.  "I know how you feel, I've got some sushi in here that I fought not to eat in aisle four. I'm tearing into it the minute I get in my car."

She laughs back, and we go our own ways.

It was a tiny, simple moment, but one that I won't soon forget because it made me realize two things:  1)  I'm not the only one who can't always stave off the urge to eat

and

2)  There's just something about a fluffy girl elbow deep in a bag of snack food that makes me smile.

I felt less alone in the universe, I guess.

Hey, so if you have an "eating in the grocery store" story, I'd love to hear it!  Share it in the comments!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

One Obsession to Rule Them All



This post is brought to you by my dear Hubby, who suggested I share a weird and humbling moment with everyone.  So, yes, dear Rick and Darcy (not their real names) at church, you're about to learn something new about me...again.

Hubby is on vacation this week and spent the last couple days with his mother in a town across the state from home.  He does this from time to time, and it's no biggie. 

Normally I get up at 5, get Peaches out the door to work and then go back to bed for about an hour before I get up and theoretically go for a walk before I start work. Yesterday that routine was thrown out the window because Peaches was ill and didn't go to work, but didn't make that decision until 4:45. She sent me a text, which got me WIDE awake for some reason.  I could not fall back asleep.
So I rolled around, thinking, "I should just get up and go for a walk and get that out of the way and then go get working."

Well I didn't.  Instead, I rolled over and managed to fall back asleep until about 9 minutes before I had to be at my desk. That meant all the niceties of going for a walk, putting on make up, applying deodorant all went out the door.

The one thing that did not get missed, the one thing that DOES NOT GET MISSED...I made the bed.

Admittedly, not my best attempt at making the bed, but for those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you know that I cannot ABIDE an unmade bed.  It's one of those fun little things some would call an obsession...I call a quirk.

One of  my other quirks, for the purpose of this blog, is I hate, hate, hate it when Hubby and the kids don't return a text IMMEDIATELY.  Nothing throws me into a panic faster than sending a simple text like, "When will you be home for dinner?" and not getting an immediate answer. I begin to picture all sorts of horrors have befallen my beloved family members.

An unanswered text from me also results in many, many more texts from me.  

How on EARTH did my mother survive without cell phones?  She had no idea where I was half the time I was growing up.  But I knew if she blew that coaches' whistle out the back door and I wasn't in the house within ten minutes, life as I knew it would be over.  Still, all she knew was that I was ten minutes away. I could have fallen out of a tree and broken my neck.  I could have crashed my bike into a parked car.  (I actually did that, but that's another story) and gotten injured.  As far as I knew, she did not care what COULD happen to me. She just knew what WOULD happen to me if I didn't show up ten minutes after the whistle.

They must have made mothers different back then.  My kids are grown up and fully capable of getting from point A to point B without dying, and yet I'm panic mom if they don't answer a text immediately.  (And no, telling me they might be driving doesn't help.)

Anyway...

So yesterday I made the bed in a hurried manner and then went to the next room to work. Normally I keep my cell on the desk with me so that if any family member needs anything from me, I'm RIGHT THERE with an immediate response.
Much like a made bed, staying in contact with my immediate family is a quirk for me. Call it an obsession, go ahead.

Whatever.

So my day progressed, as Mondays do. Work was a little busy.  Peaches recovered from her illness enough to drag herself to class.  Skippy had a day off so I had no thought that I'd see him before 3 PM.  I moved around the house doing chores, I went for a walk and then I sat down on the couch to each a late lunch...and promptly fell asleep for over an hour.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Simple: This entire time I assumed my phone was sitting on my desk and if anyone needed me I would hear it ring and be able to respond immediately, as is my quirk. (obsession.)

The truth of the matter is...that phone was no where near me at any point during the day once I left the bed.

Yes...it's true.  I'd fallen asleep with my phone next to me on the bed and in the morning when I made the bed because I cannot leave it unmade, I managed to bury the phone under the covers.

I was almost 5 Pm by the time I realized this.  I found my phone and, too my horror, I'd missed (well, nothing from the kids. I mean, it's not like they text me without prompting.) many, many messages from Hubby!

Looking at the list of texts that had come in over the course of the day (and one missed call) I knew if I were on the receiving end of such a complete ignoring, I would be in the middle of a stomach churning fit, certain my lovely spouse was kidnapped, dead, or worse.

Kudos to Hubby.  When I called to apologize he said, "I knew you weren't dead, you checked in on
Face Book."

So, my friends, what have we learned today?

We've learned that Hubby is far more calm than I am when it comes to unanswered texts.

We've learned that my mother had a completely different mind set than I do when it comes to being in contact with our children.

And, finally, we've learned what my #1 Quirk/Obsession is...the one thing that rules over all other obsessions, including being in constant contact with my family:

The unmade bed.  My one Obsession that rules them all.


At Least the Creative Spark isn't Dead.

Good day. So for a little more than a week I've been battling my usual summer cough that turns into a sore throat.  Every year I g...