Friday, July 10, 2015

for Carolyn with love

I have taken a long and unexplained absence from this worthy site. The only reason I can offer is that true to my family history I occasionally suffer from delusional psychotic breaks. For example while attending the second funeral of one of my father's siblings (the funerals were only a month apart) and after drinking several glasses of a most excellent Merlot I said, "hey, everybody! The next time we get together let's have it be for a happy reason! Tee hee hee!"  And the next thing I knew I had volunteered to single-handed put together a family reunion. If ever there were ever a motto that sums up my life it would be: it seemed like a good idea at the time. I had a pin once with those words on it. I wish I could find it so I could point to it when the occasion demanded.

And then we acquired a hairy small animal and I don't mean my husband's dwarf aunt with hormonal issues (my apologies to little people everywhere. I love you guys. I have several decorative gnomes around my property. That's how much I love ya.)  So anyway in this other episode when the logic lobe in my brain shut down I decided to get a puppy. I have not owned a dog since my kids were in elementary school and when I divorced I filled my various apartments with cats to rid them of the vermin that were fond of rental property. I'm calling it a mid-to-late-life crisis. Ovaries dry up, get a puppy. You have more chin hair than arm hair, get a puppy. She's a teddy bear girl and she melted my heart with one single cold nose and lick to my cheek. Too late, pe-e-e-e-e. CHLOE! PEE, GODDAMNIT!"  I should probably have been screened by some animal protection organization before making the purchase, what's done is done.

I didn't know I signed on for new baby duty. You haven't seen a more desperate woman than the one shivering in a dog hair smelling housecoat pleading at 3 a.m. in the pouring rain, "please pee, Chloe,

My summer is full and it's barely started. I must go. Chloe is chasing killer rabbits in her dreams. Poor thing, that's the best she'll ever do. Even the squirrels aren't afraid of her.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


At Easter I miss her. The year she died, it was July, I packed away her Easter decorations in April and wondered, will this be it?
And it was.

It was a little porcelain bunny plaque in lilac and powder blue shades and she hung it above the door bell on a crooked nail. Today I had this thought. Her townhouse association voted to have cement siding applied to the walls, the stuff doesn't tolerate nails. My mother would have bemoaned the fact that she could not hang that little bunny on the wall any more. The carpenter took down that crooked nail. Well, that's all and good.

How long do I need to mourn her? The setting sun leaves me aloof and alone, too alone. I never thought being alone would be a problem.

I never decorate for Easter.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

i am not a vacation person

We are in Mexico. I spend my days reading, swimming, walking alone on the beach and trying to avoid eye contact with the other human beings milling about.  And for those of you who are familiar with resort life you know this is damn well impossible.

this is the guy

Why must the most obnoxious people always sit next to me? Is there a sign attached to my back that says, if you are a true pain in the ass please feel free to plunk yourself down. And tell your wife to keep inhaling those stinky European cigarettes that smell like burnt  chocolate. Oh, and thank you for smoking that huge honking cigar in the pool while I was swimming this morning.  I can only hope you bought it from one of those skanky beach vendors which means it probably contains traces of fertilizer or glue.

I am not a vacation person. Granted, it sounds good in theory but I come from a family where having a good time is prohibited. My father and his siblings were not allowed toys. They were put on this earth to work and be serious about it and everything else. German heritage you ask me? You had better be able to account for some level of productivity every waking hour of the day.

Currently, I am sitting in my room and my skin is reddened and bumpy due to an allergic reaction to my new sunscreen. People look at my spotty skin, shudder and turn the other way. This may just work out. I'm ready to go home. I can't log onto Netflix and worse, this place doesn't stock Coke products.

At the airport I buy duty free Estee Lauder cologne. The clerk looks closely at me and hands me a free sample of neck firming cream and some sparkly pink lipstick which I will pass onto my granddaughter. It's too princessy for an old broad and the cream? The wrinkly rivers etched into my neck are beyond repair. I may use it to caulk some nail holes in the bathroom.

At the airport I order shrimp and a margarita. I decide to visit a restroom while waiting and when I come back I see six laughing young Mexican waiters surrounding my table talking to the husband. Gawd, what has the attention-craving man gotten himself into?  I gingerly sit down amongst cheers and flashing white teeth and suddenly the boys all start singing, one kid shaking that margarita tumbler, shakee, shakee and swinging his butt way too close to my face. After about a minute of this nonsense I clap my hands twice loudly and point both fingers at my glass. The singing stops, the drink is poured and they all shuffle away looking somewhat mortified.

Oh c'mon, I just endured a week at an all inclusive, I'm allowed. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

die Brandy die

I'm calling our energy company customer service. Someone named Brandy has answered the phone and I don't know if she's pissed about her stupid name or the Motrin hasn't kicked in for her menstrual cramps but she's a bitch. Or possibly her boyfriend finally admitted he cannot live with someone who has such a caustic personality.

There's no such thing as office etiquette anymore. Or the company purposely hires the most obnoxious person they can find to man the phones and make it so difficult that good citizens just simply give up.

Brandy's messed with the wrong citizen. I live for shit like this. I was born arguing and I'll probably die the same way.

Energy company people came to my townhouse association and installed new utility boxes behind our buildings. In the process they pulled several hundred dollars worth of newly planted perennials. As the grounds consultant I am responsible for anything on the ground - including torn up things with dirt clinging to their roots. I am not angry. I am calm. I just want to report my situation, be taken seriously and respectfully, and get my goddamn money back.

None of this was going to happen on Brandy's shift. She talked in circles, contradicted herself, didn't listen or retain well and her passive-aggressive approach was giving me the spins. She wanted something called meter numbers and I didn't see the point nor did I want to go sloshing through several feet of snow drifts and a -20 wind chill factor when it would make so much more sense to just give her the building numbers.

Only six of our fifteen buildings were affected but damn Brandy, I'm gonna tell you all the buildings need restoration, just because I want to take up as much of your time as I possibly can. Minutes and more minutes tick by and I can hear her typing, typing, what is she doing, is she enrolled in some college class so she can quit her pathetic job that she obviously hates and she's doing her mid-term paper? I finally grab my book off the end table. I can play this game, too, you sad, sad excuse for a human resources person.

What ever happened to professional attitude? Whatever happened to "the customer is always right?" Okay, I come from a long line of self-employed grandfathers and I know that is not true. But people should be able to talk constructively and work towards a solution. Brandy, if I don't get what I want, I'm coming for you, girl. I'm retired. I can sit on the phone all afternoon.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


While in Jamaica my husband signed us up for a dinner party called Meet the Chefs. I didn't want to meet the chefs or anybody else for that matter. I would rather read about them in a newsletter or something in the privacy of my room. My husband should know better.

"I'm bringing my kindle," I announce at breakfast. "If I have to sit and make meaningless conversation with people I don't know, I need a back-up plan."

Luckily, I have downloaded some pretty interesting authors on my apparatus - writers like Nora Ephron, Caitlin Moran and the new kid on the horizon, Lena Dunham, all of 27 years old and directing and writing her own HBO series. Funny smart strong women. I started reading Lena's collection of essays and thought uh-oh, too young. I'll check back when she's 50 or more, when she's lived some, got her hands good and dirty. Then one afternoon I was dreadfully bored of watching Midwestern tourists downing fruity rum drinks and turning red by the pool and I gave Lena another try. This time she clicked for me.

It was like the first time I watched Raw with Eddie Murphy and he's wearing that silly lavender leather suit. What a bunch of pornographic sexist drivel, I sniffed.  And since I never watch anything once I tried again only to say, my god, that Eddie really understands women.
"Buck naked zebra bitch?"  EDD-IEEEE!

Lena writes things like, "her vagina looked like a three-day-old sandwich." I know. Only it's funnier when she says it.

In between books I take mental surveys of Jamaican resort life. Four women with fake boob jobs. No woman with 28" hips has breasts the size of these overly fertilized gourds. Women know this and we judge accordingly. Of course, men don't care. These incredibly out of proportion women must need to buy two bikinis. One bottom to fit those Brownie scout hips and another for the 42"DDD bra..

Only one guy in a Speedo, thank god and I actually see three separate people put their fingers in their mouths as if to gag. It almost makes me want to follow him around to see how many more people do this - but then again not.