Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Soundtrack of my Life

Being smack dab in the middle of the Baby Boomer Generation made for some fantastic music. My whole life seems to be accompanied by a sound track, for music has been a major part of my life since I can remember.

As a grammar school student on the front porch of a two room school house waiting for the buses to arrive to whisk us away home, we use to imitate and pretend to be the Beatles, the Monkeys, Herman's Hermits. "Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter", Brenda Kay sang the lead with Missy and me doing the harmony.

In High School our class theme song was "Brown Sugar". It was necessary to enter the smoking lounge, (aka the girls bathroom) singing, "Yea! Yea! Yea! Wooooo!!!" We laid around the swimming pool during our summer breaks with our transistor radios pumping out Blood Sweat and Tears and CCR. We rode around town with the radios blaring at full blast flooding the town with the lyrics to "Sugar, Sugar".

We laid around in dark rooms listening to the Beatles White Album. We played Spin the Bottle with Led Zeppelin in the background.

Things got a little more serious in College. We had 8 Track tapes then and were able to carry our music with us in our cars. I recall fondly Z Z Topp's Tres Hombres album being played over and over as we drove to Land Between the Lakes in Terry's lime green Pinto, with the windows rolled up smoking the longest biggest fattest joints we could roll. When we opened the car doors the smoke bellowed out.

We danced and gyrated to the Dobbie Brothers, on chairs and table tops, "I'd like to hear some funky Dixie Land Pretty Mama come and take me by the hand, by the hand, take me by the hand............" in a complex called the Winchester Apartments, which actually were 10 two room bungalows. Everyone wanted to live there and the waiting list was .... well, very long.

We partied there every night.

No wonder I flunked out.

We went over the state line into Tennessee, (the legal drinking age at that time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, was 18)to The Cotton Club and crammed ourselves into the cinder block building. We drank cheap bottle beer while a band called Clap hands Here Comes Charlie belted out the songs by Chicago. We danced like lunatics doing crazy dances like The Funky Chicken and the Penguin.

There was a BlueGrass Period thrown in there at one time. I can appreciate a good banjo. Has anyone ever seen Bela Fleck? That guy is hot. Tony Rice and Keith Whitley are a couple of people I got to meet and be part of that scene for awhile.

From there I graduated to The Stones and stayed there for a long time, until Prince came along and blew me away.

Aerosmith became the background noise to my life about the same time I purchased my first walkman. I began running and jogging at that time. To this day when ever I hear Chip Away The Stone I want to jump out of my car and run around it at break neck speed a few times.

Music was so important to me for the longest time! Even when I succumbed to disco in the late 1970's, it was okay because along with that comes a mental image of the only time in my life I got to hang with a posse of women! It was a period in our lives when we all landed back in our home town. We haunted the Disco's of Lexington at the time, Greensleeves, Stingles, the Library, Johnnie Angels. We'd get out on the dance floor with each other and get down!

Somehow it began to fade out, not so important anymore I suppose because I finally became an adult and responsibility was pressed on me. Yet, in the background there always was the hint of the sound track, like the ebb and flow of the tide.

This past summer just because of a few moments and a fragment of a conversation I ventured out and looked for a Bob Dylan CD. I found Bob Dylan 1975 and when I popped it in my the car Cd player, it did not come out for a week.

There was the most beautiful angelic woman singing with him. I kept listening over and over to "I WILL BE RELEASED" wondering if this knock out talent was still singing. Imagine my shock at how stupid I can be when I realized it was Joan Baez.

I have been picking up all the Bobby CD's I can find since then.

While traveling home for Thanksgiving I heard the nicest piece of music and I thought to myself, that sounds a little like Dylan.

It was. I pulled into the first Walmart and bought the his latest release, Modern TIMES. It has not come out of my vehicle CD player since.

It is mellow. Oh so mellow. And perfect. A masterpiece of brilliant lyrics and soothing music, a little jazzy at times, and then surprising country like. Old country. Willie Country.

I guess with age comes the permission to mellow out.

If its good enough for Bob, then it's good enough for me.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I scrawled some things down in a tiny notebook while I was driving. I am hoping that the chicken scratch will spark the memory of why I wrote it down in the first place. They are suppose to be themes for essays!

1) Two names

2) White noise

3) Bob Dylan vrs. Buena Vista Social Club

4) System jolt with Amazing Race

5) Love affair lately with books about Africa

6) Worthy adversary

7) Deer Nation

I should be able to pull a post or two out of that! And I should write a list daily of the nonsense that flies around in my head as I drive.

Because, God knows there is a lot of nonsense up there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Mothers Hands

I looked across the table at my Mother stirring her coffee. Around and around, the spoon clinking against the sides of the mug. She had a dreamy look on her face as she was drifting into the past, telling me about her mother who was an astute investor. We were talking about things that are sad, yet inevitable. Probate, inheritance tax, estates, selling rare books on the Internet.

I squeeze the prospect that she is preparing to leave this earth and arrive in heaven (where God will meet her along with St. Peter at the pearly Gates) out of my mind, my thoughts, my reality.

I know she will live forever. I live in denial. I like it here.

In her hands I see my own. My own hands foreign, hers so familiar. Those hands that first held me, cleaned up the messes, chased me around with a paddle, soothed an illness with jello and chicken noodle soup, rags soaked in alcohol ice water and applied to a feverish forehead, grip the steering wheel at 10 and 2, hold a rosary, hand out the dollar bills to the grandchildren, moped up the blood from a head gash my brother so proudly presented to her, "LOOK MOM!! BLOOD!!!".

Those hands that were the center of attention right before her by-pass surgery of several years ago. My brother and I stood over her as she lay moments from the operating room, pleading with her to allow the orderly to cut off her rings, her wedding band and engagement ring, the irish claddagh ring. So long she had kept them on, they could not slide over her knuckles. She shed a tear as they took them off and handed them to us.

I held them though out that excruciating day. A day of 14 hours that seemed like 14 million hours.

Until the doctor came and escorted us into a room and told us she was okay.

I burst into tears of relief, so afraid that he was going to deliver bad news.

Those hands, laid out on the table on either side of the coffee mug, rings in their rightful place, are looking so much like mine anymore that it scares me and soothes me at the same time.

I reach out and squeeze them.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another Rant

Before I rant about the most current thing that has pissed me off, Blogger is about to receive one too! I had to maneuver through more screens than I am use to to arrive here! I had to tell them I am not ready to make the switch to Beta yet! I'm not ready!!

Now, what I really want to rant about is BLOGLINES.

What is up with them? I think more than 2/3 of my feeds are not updated anymore by this service. I have to manually link to each one to see if anything new is poster.

This is just not right!!

I use to love and brag about Bloglines.

Now I suppose I will have to find another service.

Does anyone use one other than Bloglines?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Sound of My Addiction... the click click click on the keyboard as I cruise around E-Bay.

I gave it up last year and then found another site that made me break my vows of abstinence, Steal it back. I finally weaned myself off of that and had gotten through the withdrawal when my husband discovered The BIDZ site.

Good lord!! I went crazy until I could get it under control! (though I did find some amazing earrings for so cheap!!)

Now its back with a vengeance.

I was just cruising some blogs, minding my own business when I read an entry about a pair of boots someone had ordered over the Internet and was disappointed when they arrived.

It kick started a memory of a favorite pair of boots I had a long time ago, a beautiful pair of Frye boots somehow I talked my parents into buying for me as a Christmas present. They were wonderful and I wore them for many years, had them resoled twice but then they cracked on the upper body. I took them to a shoe cobbler and he put a patch on them. I hated it and eventually put them into a Goodwill box before moving to Florida (this was a very long time ago).

With Frye boots on the mind I went to their web site. Do you have any idea how expensive those boots are these days???? I could not believe it, but I suppose in 1978 dollars, they are probably about the same.And I did not see the version that I had oh so many years ago anyway.

Is there anything you can not find on E-Bay??

There they were,not one but several pairs of vintage campus Boho cuffed boots! So I bid and just now I found out I won!

They are not cracked, but look exactly like mine. Which means....kind of rough.

I really never dreamed I'd win them for $13.50. Guess there will be a lot of elbow grease involved breathing life back into them.

But they are going to look fabulous!

Coming Attractions - before and after photos of Frye Boots

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No Inspiration for Word Worthiness

After so many years of maintaining a blog it becomes tough to come up with subjects to write about. I have to hand it to those blogs who chug along with a bottomless pit of ideas and experiences that are word worthy.

I guess I'll have to pull myself up by the boot straps and stop whining. The longer you put off writing the harder it becomes to pick back up.

I'm choking! Somebody, give me a subject!!

Smart Aleck #1 has given notice and is no longer part of the crew at work. They found a replacement, but it did not work out (never ever mis-represent yourself on a resume anymore ---- they do back ground checks!). The second choice did not even return phone calls! (I suspect the drug test scared her off).

I work in an industry that is male dominated! The job at one time was very physical. And, if you have the mis-pleasure of working on the other side of the job, it still is.

I have worked in several male dominated industries, but non as macho oriented as the Car Industry. I survived about eight months and was taught lessons that will last a lifetime. Those SOB's would steal a car sale right out from under you as you went to grab the keys for a test drive.

I use to be a nice person. Until I worked in the car industry. I'll never forget the first time I requested that another sales person follow me outside so I could have a private word with him, away from the prying eyes of the others. I was able to articulate that if he ever screwed me over like that again, I would make his life miserable. And if he didn't believe me, just try.

It felt so good. I had never been so assertive before in my life, and the power of it made me drunk with energy and pride!

I wish there had been such a thing as blogs back then, because that Showroom was a Situation Comedy waiting to happen.

Maybe that is where I will find some inspiration....the old Chevrolet Show Room! and the cast of unbelievable characters who made up the sales staff.

And I hope they hire in another woman. I am lonely among all the boys.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


"Hero" is the theme for this week Sunday Scribblings. I find myself looking forward to the announcement of the subject every week. I find that it gives me one full day of thinking about what I want to say, rolling it over in my head, looking at it from different angles, going in one direction and then discarding that and heading in another. It is a pleasant day of reflection finding so many different paths to explore.

I immediately began to list the hero’s that are very personal and have touched my life. My parents, my Nana, my extended family, a teacher here and there etc.etc. etc.

Then I though about the people from the media who have caught my attention for their heroics. Cathy Sheehan, for her determination to show the government that there is an anti-war atmosphere in this country, immediately came to mind.

And that kid from New York, who despite being autistic, was a member of the basketball team and in the last moments of the last game of his senior year was finally put in. In his words, he “was on fire” and scored 20 points in a matter of minutes. I loved that. I loved seeing the crowd go wild, storm the court and carry him off on their shoulders.

I admire the fact that neither one of them ever gave up. That they did not falter in the face of adversity and misfortune.

That when it was time they Caught Fire.

Inside each of us resides a hero. I don’t think we are programmed to think this way. That we feel it is boasting or unbecoming to feel that we have characteristics that certainly qualify us as hero‘s. Each day we overcome our own personal circumstances, and act in certain ways that are definitely in accordance with those parameters that surround the idea of hero or heroic.

Raising a child is one of the most heroic things a person can attempt. It is the first time in my life when I was not at the center of my universe, she was. I always put her first and on that handful of times where I feel I have let her down, they still hurt and I will take those to my grave.

Every day each one of us does something that is outside our normal routine. Sometimes they are just little bits of kindness and considerations, holding doors open, letting people merge in traffic, smiling at someone, thanking someone for doing their job, cooking your spouse that special thing they like, holding your tongue when you want to say something caustic, going the extra little bit that makes the difference when you do not have to.

We all catch fire when we are called upon to step up and operate outside our comfort zone. Then just as quickly, we slide back inside that familiar place called ourselves.

We all have hero’s under our skin, residing in our hearts.

And I salute every single one of us!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fat don't Fly

Sitting around the family table after the satisfying group effort Birthday meal for my Dad, I was listening to my two sisters discussing a forthcoming ski trip to Salt Lake City.

They were tossing back and forth the various pro's and con's of Utah vrs Colorado. I was only half paying attention, stuffed full of mashed potatoes and grilled chicken. Adrift in the warm feeling that accompanies being satisfied and among those you love the most in the world.

Through this blanket of contentment I thought I heard my sister Omega say to me, "Why don't you come along too?"

I immediately had a flash back to several years ago when I signed up for some elementary beginning ski lessons at Paoli Peaks.

It was all bad.

I had dressed as if I were heading to the Artic. Granted it was very cold, in single digits, so my outfit was warranted. I had bought ski pants, ski socks and ski gloves. I had on long underwear and blue jeans under the pants. I was layered with long sleeved t-shirt, blouse, my wool Irish Fisherman sweater and topped off with a wind-weather-water proof jacket. I was not going to get cold.

In short time, the sweat was pouring off of me.

First off, I put those boots on and stood up and.....could not walk! How the hell are you suppose to walk in these things!! I watched some little kid do this spastic kind of shuffle and I did the same. I did it as long as I could to avoid putting on the skis.

Eventuality I had to.

Our instructor made us walk up the hill sideways. He made us fall down on the frozen snow to teach up to get ourselves up. He took our poles away!! He made us hold on to a rope and haul our asses up to the top of the bunny hill. Then, we skied down. Or tried to, with the tips of our skis pointed towards each other to learn speed control.

Mine kept crossing each other and I could not stop once I reached the bottom of the hill, The instructor had to catch me every time.

I was sweating a river under all those clothes due to the relentless and unforgiving physical activity.

When were finally given our poles, I flung myself down the hill with my two weapons flaying around like windmills as I screamed with terror and exhilaration.

They were taken away from me again.

I finally fell down and hyper-extended my thumb. (It took forever to heal).

When I finished my time travel back in time,I was looking at my sister with an expression that registered somewhere between, "Do you want to kill me" and "You must be kidding".

I finally answered, "Fat don't fly".

"Not Ski Jump, you big baby!........."

She painted a cozier picture than what I experienced at Paoli. She will not ski either because she can't (hmmmmmmmm, knees?) but she is going to read a lot, hang our at the bars and learn to ice skate, go swimming every night and chill out in the hot tubs.

I'm tempted.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sunday Scribblings

The Sunday Scribble this week is to examine and interpret the following anyway we wish.

"I don't want to be a passenger in my own life." (Diane Ackerman).

I had a vision of an airplane flying over a beautiful tundra,(it looks like Africa), and a woman (me), dressed in safari clothes, especially that cool hat, doing battle over the steering controls!

The metaphor is engaging and interesting, but I can not get the image of me flying a plane into the side of the Cameroon Mountains out of my head.

So I segue to Shakespeare:

This above all: to thine own self be true; And it must follow, as the night the day; Thou canst not then be false to any man.

And then I segue to my Dad, who I wanted to write about anyway.

Today Joe and I travel home to Kentucky to attend two monumental birthdays. The first, our grandchild Tinkerbelle is celebrating her first birthday and the second, my Dad is celebrating his 87th.

Every Fathers Day, every Christmas, every birthday we celebrate with Dad I wonder if this is the final one we will spend together as a family intact. My mother loves to retell my fathers recurring dream, for he no longer can articulate the memory, that at the age of 90 he will pass away in the back of a church, and my brother N. will find him and bring him home.

Each of us six siblings has an exclusive kinship with our father.

As I grow older and allow myself to understand it, I realize that he passed on to us the desire and drive to follow our hearts, excel without apologies, and always strive to be better than we presume ourselves to be.

"You're a "OUR-FAMILYS-SURNAME"!" He'd tell us with his finger in our face and fire in his startling blue eyes.

I miss my Dad. He is locked in a high tower of dementia, his memories sadly ripped from him. Sadly for all of us.

I dream of him at times. He is always at the prime of life. That is the way I want to always remember him.

And to never forget what he tried to instill in each of us when he taught, To Thine Own Self Be True.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rainy Day Woman

Today was one of those days that you wish you never wake up to again. It has been a very stressful several days at the job. In the end things worked out. No one died.

I like that attitude towards work. When I would get upset and worked up, my ex-co-worker would remind me no one died, and no one is going to die.

It was not my customers that got to me today, but the Head Honcho.

My supervisor motioned for me to follow him out into the warehouse, which I did, thinking that I was going to be reprimanded for talking too loud about some other bull shit I had to put up with (people can be so rude on the telephone when they are not looking at you! When you are just some faceless servant to them. Someone to listen to their whims and demands and bitch at you about your company. Some people have a lot of nerve. Sometimes I crack under the assaults and give some back. Most the time I try to insult them so that they only get it after they hang up the phone if they ever get it at all) and I was letting off some steam.

But it wasn't that at all. The Head Honcho over heard my super asking me if I had checked my voice mail and I answered honestly. No, not last night and not this morning.

The HH told my Super that I had not listened to a voice mail he had sent out and I had questioned him about it.

I told my Super that my co-worker, one of the Smart Alecks, had announced that HH had left a voice mail and when I went to listen it was not there. What's a girl to do?? I asked HH about the voice mail! He told me it was an e-mail.

I relayed this to my Super while my face began to turn red. He shook his head and said I had it backwards, it was a voice mail, not an e-mail.

I retrieved the e-mail and dangled it in front of my Super. (because I am a self righteous bitch). "I'll need that", he told me as he took it from me.


Am I being written up ....yet again !!! This shit is getting very old and to think the HH is from the south!!

First I got all of us written up for not turning in my weekly report because (I always have a good excuse) I went to Cleveland for the Saw Doctor concert!!! I asked my Super afterwards to please not write the Smart Alecks up, to just let me bare the brunt of the HH's wrath. He replied that in the past the Smart Alecks had neglected to complete their weeklies on time, so it was justified.

The Smart Alecks did not deserve it.

The second time was over an oil change in the vehicle. Of all stupid things. I have another good excuse for this one.....the procedure up here is different than down there!! So my oil was long over due according to the mileage...and it is well noted in my dossier.

For a long time now I have had the feeling that the HH is uncomfortable around me. Why? Who the hell knows. God knows I am a very talented slacker. Maybe the HH suspects. I don't know.

I don't like being ignored in the hallways and always having to be the first to say "Good morning" or any other type of recognition. He hardly makes eye contact with me.

Maybe he is secretly in love with me.

Yea that's it.

It's been a very long time since I have ranted. Thank you for the opportunity.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Women Really Want

The questions that has been asked for centuries if not millenniums, "What do women really want?"

I believe I found the answer quite by accident while in the office. It is really so simple! Women want a good man, one they can laugh about when comparing stories with other women.

This is how it happened! My office "in the back" is very tiny. Just large enough to squeeze in four desks, two cabinet files, and a fax machine. Oh, and the four of us. Three very good looking men, and me.

At various times I am concerned that I am going to "cut the cheese". Ever since that first time, when I knew I was in peril of humiliating myself in front of them, I have used extreme caution with what I put in my mouth during the day so I do not shame myself that last hour in our cage.

It was the Indian Corn that did me in. Who would have thought that this particular brand would not agree with me. I suffered. I would jump up and run into the rest room and then return.

I was home free until.........

God, was I humiliated! To the guys credit, they ignored me. Though, deep in their hearts I'm certain they wanted to fall on the floor laughing. Because they are guys.

Red faced I went to the "front office" where all the woman are (they secretly run the entire business from there!!)I told them what had happened and how embarrassed I was and how I could not go back there.

"Oh for God's sake", B. the office manager cried out.

"None of them would be embarrassed! They love to cut farts!! This is my husband."

And she lifts up her leg, scrunches her face up and says, "PPPPPPPLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLL.......aaaahhhhhhhhhhhh"

Then C., the receptionist says, "This is F." And lifts her butt off the chair and sticks it high up and out, "PPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPP........ahhhhhhhhh."

The the other C., Administrative Asst., runs from around her desk and sticks her butt straight out, bent over hands on knees, "PPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPP.... oh baby! That's how teenage boys do it!"

We are laughing hysterically now, tears rolling down our faces sticking out butts out and going, "PPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTT".

Then our boss comes out of his office and just looks at us.

We can't stop laughing.

"Ya'll worse than men," he comments and then returns into his office.

Yes, that's the key to this age old question.

Give us women something to laugh about!

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Another Sunday Scribble, another Memory.

I reach into my secret place of memorable mornings. The morning after giving birth to my daughter, the morning I woke up an honest woman, the morning I awoke a college student in a dorm room in Murray Kentucky, the morning I was driving up US 119 into the Smoky Mountains and the golden sun light dancing through the canopy of trees gave everything the most surreal brilliant glow that it stays in my mind like a magnificent masterpiece.

Perhaps the most dramatic was a morning in Cancun last October. I was not certain if that morning would ever arrive.

My husband and I were vacationing in Mexico when hurricane Wilma arrived. When I use the word, dramatic, I do not use it lightly. We were herded into a shelter the day before the storm was to arrive. The next afternoon, the roof began to lift off, not being able to withstand the growing fury of the wind.

I had a heavy feeling of doom. Panic was rising from my stomach and making its way to my mind as I watched the roof lift and fall showing us the violence in the sky. 2500 of us were evacuated as quickly as possible to seek out other shelters before the storm reached land.

Approximately 25 of us boarded a bus and headed into the storm. We were let off at a school in the heart of Cancun and we ran, being pursued by the trees beginning to loose root, and the 100 miles per hour rain and wind battering us.

We landed in a room with the random selection of 25 other soaked and scared souls. We became close family for the next five days.

We locked ourselves in and waited for Wilma to hit. It was 6pm.

Wilma began her assault on Cancun at 7. The sky turned black and the wind became an unrelenting roar that did not cease for the next 12 hours.

I prayed all night. I used my fingers as rosary beads. We were in pitch black, hearing only the sounds of breathing and the murmur of pray, and the soft offerings of assurance to those most frightened. Evil sounds swirled around the outside. Trees flying into the building, metal sheets disengaged from the shacks surrounding us slammed into the sides of the school, the occasional wailing of an animal, and the most horrifying of all, the sounds of humans still out there.

No one slept. We waited. Waited for it to pass or swallow us.

As morning approached, the wind began to calm. The rain no longer beat against the walls forcing her way into the small room through the wooden slat windows.

A total calm arrived in time.

Morning broke.

And we ventured outside to see what remained. The whole area was under water, the trees tossed about like rag dolls, Stunned local folk came to the school, tentatively at first, then as friends bearing what food they could offer and the little information available.

It was the eye of the storm.

And in time we were forced back into the room for a second siege of Wilma. She was smitten with Cancun and spent another night making violent overtures to her.

We all knew we would survive to see the next morning.