D is for Dyn -O-MITE

 Every morning as part of my job – I flip through online magazines and girl-on-the-street type fashion blogs to find out what is trendy and new – and writable. Then I pull and stretch the thoughts into hopefully informative posts, pop in a handful of items that fit the bill and send it off to the editor.

Most days that comes easily. Fashion is as fickle as it is the same, which gives me lots of words to play with…and I like playing with words.

~there is a D word coming, don’t worry – and no, that wasn’t it…..here it is….

I said “Dyn-o-mite!” after my son told me something or other last night.  He looked at me funny, and then I stopped and realized how odd that was. 

It’s funny how words come in and out of fashion. When was it okay to say dynamite?  The 70s maybe?  Good Times? Jimmie Walker?  (I had to look that up)

And when did I EVER use that phrase before?  … um probably never because I am dork and have never had much luck with exclamations of any kind.  “Dude…”  yeah, that’s really not my style. “Sweet” “That’s hot” not even “Gnarly”   yeah, you’re welcome.


“Awesome”  “Cool”  “Wow”  my repertoire is pretty boring…..maybe that’s why I subconsciously decided to spice it up with a little Dyn-O-mite! 

Wile E. is my alter ego. – no that is not a D word, but dynamite always blew up in his face too. – he lives in a desert….there is a lot of dysfunction in his relationship with the world around him….. 

oh well, time to “Drop it Like It’s Hot”  –(that link takes you to last years A to Z challenge D day)

….I’ve had more people tell me the dancing chick in the Sun Drop commercial reminds them of me – not sure what to do with all that, but say,  “Dyn-O-Mite!” dude.  no no no – see there I am trying to hard, scratch the dude – no don’t really scratch the dude, just forget I said that, k?

~*~*~*~*~A to Z Challenge & Dancing prompt for the GBE2~*~*~*~*~*~*

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peeved

What is your pet peeve? 

When this topic was announced, I pinpointed my pet peeve instantly. 
– people who are mean to the wait staff –
This annoys me from all angles.  
                

When I waitressed at a comedy club, I found it pretty ironic that the worst behaved customers, the ones that complained and made huge fusses over the smallest things….were there on business, mainly staff parties of some sort. People, people, don’t you realize waitresses shop, bank, and buy cars too….and more importantly – we talk. If the impression your business leaves is rude, immature or flat out hard to please…then do not expect our business….or the business of our friends, family….sure, you “business men” may think that a lowly cocktail waitress is inconsequential to your “big, important business” – but then you may be surprised at who we know. 

  Other than those big parties, one of the biggest pitfalls of working in a comedy club was that when the lights came on, everyone got up to leave at once…meaning, MANY people slip out without paying…. which is immediately deducted from the waitresses tips.  ouch.  Okay, maybe that’s more than a pet peeve…

On the other side of the table, I’ve been out with people who treat restaurant staff with such a condescending manner that I’ve wanted to hide under the table. Last year at an event, a man fussed and complained the entire meal. The food wasn’t cooked just right, the drink tasted “off” whatever that means and then, the final straw was when he pushed dessert away, disgusted that the New York cheesecake, that he ordered….was too dense, not light and fluffy like he prefers.  (um, that is the definition of a New York style cheesecake sir, you must be thinking of Philadelphia style, which is not on the menu and so, you did not order it…)
He single-handedly destroyed the atmosphere of the entire table…no, the entire room. The owner of the restaurant even came over to apologize, and the rude putz put his hand up and turned away.  seriously man?

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… I thought I’d quickly write this up and be done with it, but then a few others came to mind…    

 *people who put all their focus on physical perfection. Now I am all for beauty and taking care of yourself, but come on, there is more to life honey.  (on the flip side – Toddlers and Tiaras – this is a big pet peeve of mine….ugh. those moms need to be focusing more on themselves – hit the gym, take yourself to the beauty parlor …and focus less on your toddlers beauty,  take your toddler to the playground,)

*saying you are getting so old – yes, of course you are aging, but stop acting old before your time….and by that I mean stop throwing the, “I’m too old for that card” – what a cop-out.  (sometimes it may be true…but most of the time it is just ridiculous, a thirty-something saying they are too old to do anything, or a forty year old who is “too old” for *insert anything fun here*

*condescending tones….The, “I-know-more-than-you-about-everything” – attitude, followed up with the “If-I-don’t-know-something,- it-must-not-be-important” – attitude.

When it comes to pet peeves, you really can’t have just one.

~*~*~*~*~written for the GBE2 topic, pet peeve~*~*~*~*~*~

once upon a time there were castles

As much as I love exploring in the woods -and- love spending time by the water…. I have a real “thing” for old buildings. Not just any old house though, I am talking about commercial properties- churches, schools, stores, factories…. stop. stare. imagine the history…. go ahead soak it all in…..dream of the possibilities…  

The GBE2 prompt for this week is History… I may not know a pile of facts, could not recite all the names, dates and exact locations of historical events, but history resonates with me. History is nothing more than what happened -to people- and that is always interesting. My favorites; art history, architectural history, fashion history – all revolve around the people who made it so.   

When I stand in the midst of a great old space, my mind goes to the workers, the time period….but mostly, when I see an old abandoned building, my mind starts churning, “how could I fix this up?” “what could this space be…?”   “could I live here…?”

(((- now even though this history post is taking a turn, it still relates –
                                                             if you squint and turn your head slightly to the right…)))

I sometimes stalk real estate sites for old buildings – it’s an odd hobby – I am not going anywhere anytime soon, but when the time is here – I will be ready (and know exactly where the best buildings are!) 
This great space is somewhere in England – yeah, England ~shrug~  why not? 

here’s the write up;

Traditional brick construction with stone and brick facade fronting onto Market Street with further entrance on Queen Street.

Six good sized rooms off main reception area. Staircase leading to two rooms under the main stage area. Two staircases leading to first floor which is a spacious hall with high ceiling and a stage to the rear.

Total ground floor extends to 1918 sq ft. First floor 272 sq ft. Second floor 2294 sq ft.
Inside picture….. a little paint, a new floor, a few ceiling tiles (or something altogether new) -look at those windows…. aaaahhhh
 

  
This next one is flatout gorgeous….. I don’t need a place like this – but goodness, it is for sale £289,000  (popping that into a currency convertor it comes out at $368,359) 
I’d add, ONLY, to that number…not because I have an extra 365 grand lying about, but I do know people who live in everyday, ordinary big homes for approximately that amount of money. Heck, my son’s appendicitis nightmare cost nearly that much.  (month in hospitals including the two ambulance rides – transporting to different hospitals )  anyways, this is…

St. Georges Church in Central Manchester

now, you may be thinking – that would take a lot of work to fix up, heat-cool….well, it looks as though someone already did the basics.

wow, just wow.

For approximately the same amount of money – this old high school ( can I even say “old” after showing that actually old church….?)  anyways, it was built in 1910 in North Carolina – cool – huge… how much fun that would be to fix up and transform…

….ideally though, I would love to take over a small old firehouse. Not only are set up cool, they are most likely located in town so the whole “art studio – workshop – home thing would work. 

I don’t know how to end this post. I keep staring at the screen….looking back at the pretty buildings…typing, deleting… time’s up. Good bye, thanks for reading.

15 – minutes of mayhem

Welcome, the lovely, and wise guide of the GBE2 proposed a slightly frightening prompt this week….15 minute free write. (consider that your warning)     *note, you can click “wise guide” and see for yourself how very wise the Word Nerd really is*

set timer since I have no concept of passing time…ready, set,  go…..

when I saw the challenge, I thought, “NO, I am not posting all the crazy random thoughts that flit through my mind….” then, I remembered, um that is sort of what I do here anyways. Rarely do I start with a real plan, this is my spot for dumping the random and the bizarre. Granted I do “think” and edit a bit more than usual- now. Knowing my readers are actually, um reading….and *gasp* analyzing my words. That is what had me refusing to write….but then I saw all the weird things being posted and figured what the hay. Yep, that’s what I said, what the hay.

I actually do the free write thing everyday in my journal, I am part of the whole Artist Way tribe and have been scribbling down my three handwritten pages of nonsense for several years now, just write – adding little lists in the margins, flipping the page over and writing back between the lines so it is basically undecipherable, hardly have to do that anymore though, not only does no one really care what I write, my handwriting is atrocious, I blame the keyboard, but really it is just laziness, I used to write nicely and still can when I concentrate, but scribbling is faster and I am all about fast when it comes to writing, my grandma used to write me letters, just telling me all about the animals she spotted, or to give me updates on her songwriting career and even though her handwriting was hardly more than lines with a few bumps and twists here and there, I could immediately decipher it, same with teaching, I used to teach creative writing to kids of all ages and bad handwriting, even awful spelling hardly fazed me.

It was really not my main focus to correct everything, that was for the poor english teacher, I let a lot of stuff slide in order to pull creative genius from those little minds. miss those classes, that had a horrible ending – turn the page, right now, turn the page, i have run into some of my former students, they are all tall now, that is strange, but other than that, they are the same little sillies I had in class, love that. They taught me how to teach, and really made the whole process of breaking out of my shell much easier, I was so scared the first day, the first month, but little Nina didn’t care, she was a mini adult in her wacky outfits, helpful…but honestly she was a great schmoozer. It would have been easy to overlook the fact that she was not actually doing anything in class because she was so darn helpful and pleasant. I noticed though and she wound up producing some decent pieces, enough to appease the powers that be at least. Seeing her all grown up is weird, I am sure she is still schmoozing her way through school and life.

  okay  now I need coffee…but i won’t stop typing yet, i can wait until the timer beeps…about my fancy coffee maker. it’s has a gauge on it, like in a car…E to F, pretty nifty. Right now it is close to E, but like the car, I know it still has at least another cup in there…i have only been stranded twice without gas, twice in the same year, but just twice in all my years of driving, not bad. I should have run out of gas on a trip to my sister’s college….really, should have.. the little alarm went off and I announced, we have at least 20 minutes left…but the highway was backed up, and then the first exit we came to (20 minutes later) was unreal..

.ALL the electricity in the city was out.

I could not make this up, and since all the power was out, the pumps did not work, nor did the traffic lights so turning around to get back on the backed up highway was tricky…when we finally made it to the next exit, I followed the signs that pointed to the gas station, but they were wrong. Ended up going all the way around a very large mall in order to find the gas station that was right off the exit ramp to the opposite side – speaking of which, I should have probably reported that…

oh well, against all odds, we made it to the gas station and filled up. So, now I am even less likely to pull over when the little E light pops on….I obviously have WAY more than 20 minutes, the car is such a drama queen, fix me, clean me, fill me, geez relax already.

Hmm, I type too fast, how is the time not up yet, I really would like a cup of coffee. What else can I type, okay well, the tree is coming down today, and all the pretties too.

If this was an actual blog post I may have taken the time to make that barely recognizable Wizard of Oz reference work, maybe a picture of the witch or toto…

anyways with the weather being so dang nice throughout December, plus a slightly insane work schedule, (and some personal trials) Christmas was hard to get into- so it seems really strange to see a tree in my living room as it is – time to go. what was I thinking, I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too – okay, well that doesn’t really work so it would have been scratched anyways. Aren’t you glad you had the opportunity to see a bloggers brain at work, eh.

anywho maybe I can type with two fingers instead, or one…that would cut down on the amount of weirdness being spilled here…

keep typing,    only s l o w e r…

the new year is coming and I am not only taking down christmas stuff, but pulling out other stuff too. start fresh, wipe the slate clean TOSS THE SOCK BASKET no kidding, the sock basket has to go, it is always full, always sitting around taunting me, so I am going to just show it who is boss – out ya go crazy maker…..

I have one closet in the house – and not really any idea of what exactly is in there anymore…so it will be emptied today and oh, yeah it is a work day too, lots of assignments that need to be turned in – end of the month and all,  that’s okay i have my minions to help today, yesterday we had fun, today we work –

still waiting for snow, silly kid got a snow board and all the trimmings and not even the ski place where they make snow, has enough to make it worthwhile, but it is coming, Monday is supposed to be a disaster – a beautiful blizzardy disaster yeah!

or not, my daughter is in Kansas City and is supposed to be driving back Monday – maybe I can convince her to drive on Sunday instead….New Years day, er, I don’t know- miss her.   whew, timer went off. bye. coffee coffee coffee!

(i came back and added paragraphs- er, just a few breaks to make it readable, that is, if anyone dares!) 

surprise!

For the most part, I love surprises. This is part of the reason I am compelled to visit thrift shops. Big, shiny malls hold no appeal, tourist traps, eh fun to look in, but not tempted….but that little, easily overlooked resale shop is tempting- especially when out of town. 

I do not need a sweatshirt or shot glass plastered with the names of the places I visit, because I will never forget where I found that unique turquoise and brown dress, the nifty ring, or the perfectly worn in denim jacket. Those are true souvenirs. And then there are little surprises like finding a dusty treasure of a book, a box of art supplies, stumbling across a complete Tom Waits collection- (well, not completely complete….but good enough)  or a pair of never worn red converse in my size- those are surprises that make me smile.

 I heart red shoes
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~ especially when they are under $5 ~

~Swordfishtrombones~

…with that said, I am not a garage sale enthusiast. Nothing against those who map out their weekends according to which neighbor is cleaning their attic…. I just prefer the anonymity of wandering among items with origins unknown….among people unknown. 

 ~*~*~*~* blogging for GBE2*~*~*~*~
 week #26 
Surprise

quirks are us


Nature vs nuture…yikes, this is a BIG topic to tackle this week GBE2 people. I started to formulate a thought, and then completely rationalized it away- blown off to the dusty recesses of my brain. Started thinking of it from the opposite angle and ..whoosh….gone …

So, instead of trying to figure out a direction for this post, I will instead just start typing and see where all the letters fall when I am done,
(which- to be perfectly honest- is how I always write these updates, but in light of that BIG topic, I sort of got ~skeered~  into considering a more thoughtful approach, um didn’t work)
                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a sketch of my two youngest sisters 
 the younger one, on the bottom in the sketch, is the artist
she has a remarkable talent
this little scribble is nothing compared to her ‘real work’ but even this scribble perfectly captures those two at their finest -ha, just kidding girls.

I share this because I did not really grow up with my sister the artist. She was born when I had been out of the house for a few years, in fact, she is only just now in college. Same parents, same house, same school system…different decades – not one, but two decades apart.

Strangely enough,  her sense humor – her odd habit of clapping – and other little quirks show striking similarities to my own weirdness. I could say it is because we had the same mother, same genes…. and I guess I will give that a shot for the sake of this post. But it still seems incredible.  The other sister above, only shared the same roof for about five short years…. and yet…hmmm…same with the sister directly under me in the really- stretched-out paper chain of girls…hmmm,  is all I can say. We are alike, we are different…it is understandable and perplexing at the same time.

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There is a lot to be said for nature, meaning “the genes made me do it“, and just as much for nuture…”it’s how I was raised”  but what I find the most fascinating, and, why I suppose I lean towards nature, originates from the fact that I have three younger sisters, four kids of my own, foster girls and have had the privilege to know many other kids over the years through friends and teaching…

All this informal research adds up to one tiny truth -that little three year old, whether they are bossy, shy, energetic, silly or a smarty pants to the third power, has personality traits that will stick throughout their life. Running into kids I have not seen in many years, as well as looking back on old video tapes of my own kids, proves this time and time again.

This little water loving boy has joined the Coast Guard…it makes perfect sense.
I have always imagined him growing up to be in law enforcement, or fire fighting …
something where law and order ruled – where he could be in authority – while keeping everyone safe. 

   
That’s what he did back in our first apartment complex, littlest one of the neighborhood boys,

and yet – everyone listened. This is his skill set; leadership and safety.

He was the safest, most self-assured little man around, safer and more assured than his mama that’s for sure. He wanted a daily schedule posted on the fridge each and every day. It did not matter if I slipped chores in the mix, if the schedule said we fold laundry from 4 pm to 5 pm, well then so be it – that was what had to happen. (and in other words, if, it was not on the schedule, sorry lady, you missed your chance)

His skill set was the given, his love of water – possibly also a nature trait…I love the water, but throw in the twist that his grandma is afraid of the water and this well-ordered nature-nuture machine starts to fall off the track.

no matter, raising the kids you have with all the loving nuturing ability you can muster is important, because

….Ready or not, they will grow up….

and move on
not a sad thing, what a privilege to have had the chance to be a part of their life 
– and besides, moving out is not the end… cuz, I know I still need my mommy. 
*one last thought, I strongly believe people can change- but even with change, the core stays the same…if that wasn’t true, the hoardes of mindless blank slates would be frightening. 
Besides, I like quirky people, nothing better than a true individual. 


a person is a person, no matter how small

~*~*~*~GBE2- Popular~*~*~*
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My friend Irene was popular. 
The waves of people that flooded the funeral home today proved this point. 
People mattered to her, and so, in turn, she mattered to people. 

Many of us there had a shared history, and I loved seeing all the familiar faces again. We caught up, cried, laughed and remembered all the crazy fun we had together.. two decades worth….but the thing that made Irene, Irene was the percentage of people walking through that knew her from a random encounter. She epitomized the phrase “never met a stranger” truly, every person that came in contact with this emotional powerhouse was changed and made to feel like they were just a bit more special than they might have considered.

Case in point, I go to the store…I walk down the street….I visit my kids school – and my friend count rarely changes. Irene, on the other hand, talked to everyone, and CARED. It was as if  that random person in the gas station was the center of her world for that moment- or for the rest of her life as it was. 

Many jokes were made about Walmart- it was not an exaggeration that she could be just running in for a pack of toilet paper – but come out with a new buddy. Two of the ladies who spoke at today’s memorial service met Irene when she approached them on a walk around her neighborhood. One was simply working out in her flower garden when Irene struck up a conversation- made a real connection, and created a deep lasting friendship. That’s the kicker, she truly connected – this was not popularity for popularity sake, she was popular because she cared. But she did not care what ‘side of the tracks’ a person came from, what they looked like, dressed like or what they were struggling with, (except to offer all the help she physically, emotionally, could.)  

Like many people who care deeply, she tended to take on a lot of the emotional baggage of those around her…so it is fitting that on Tuesday she went to the park alone to sit by the waterfall she loved. We all need time to process life.

One tragic tumble later and the lady we all loved is gone. 
This is so wrong, so senseless, sad.
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In trying to inject some tiny bit of understanding, I have to say her life needs to serve as a reminder that “A person’s a persons no matter how small!” …

(no matter how small they may think they are) 

Every chance encounter is an opportunity to meet someone interesting and maybe even make a lasting friend.
 

Thanks for really “hearing” us Irene
 I miss you

   

 

Longing and the Wizard of Oz

 
Longing reminds me of the Wizard of Oz. 
“If I only had a brain, a heart, courage…”
I have longed for these things in various forms over the years…longed for love, longed for acceptance, longed to understand, longed for wisdom and the courage to pursue my dreams…..funny thing, there is no man behind the curtain waiting to hand these to me…
Longing should lead to action. Take that yellow brick road, grab a few friends, get an Emerald City makeover, throw a bucket of water on your fears, 
………………………….*run from the flying monkeys* (those things are ridiculously scary) …
but then, even as I write this, I sometimes long for days gone by, 
the little boy that was, is getting ready to move on to his new life,
close friends have died, leaving a huge void…ugh, longing can be painful and empty
and it really takes on a new meaning when the sands of time get involved…
 
like an etch a sketch 
 
 
shake, shake, shake...
 
 
draw something new ….move forward…
 
Brought to you by the blogging world of the GBE2 who proposed the word, Longing, as the prompt for the week. So many good posts on this, there was a a short little tearjerker, memories and resolutions…..
 
 

(love and a box of tissues for you all)