Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Times have changed..........

a statement we've all heard and said ourselves. Today as I sat at my desk answering phones I was reminded of just how much.

Back in 19cough, cough....I worked for a leasing company as an Accident Claims Processor.  Being the outgoing, ready and willing to learn person that I am, the office manager asked me to be one of many back up's for the receptionist.  Without hesitation I agreed, thinking it would be fun, exciting and a plus in furthering my career with the company or at least put me in good light with my direct supervisor. The more you know, the better asset you are to the company, right?

If you're too young to know, too old to remember or just unwilling to admit that you might be old enough to have been around at the time, this was when the switchboard looked like an octopus being pulled every which way; a la Lilly Tomlin snort, snort.

The hairdo isn't quite right, but the board, albeit small, is very familiar. 

My first training session was frightening, to put it lightly.Within just a matter of minutes I gained a new respect for my friend who had been on the job for a few years already.

I recall sitting there watching her in awe as she, with the biggest head set known to man, pulled the cord of an incoming call, answered "National Car Rental, how may I help you?", then stretch that puppy from the base of the board (incoming lines) to the wall board (in-house lines) while moving on to the next caller in lightening time.  And if  that weren't enough, while she was answering a new call, and without blinking an eye or hesitating for thought, she could spot an ended call and pull the plug without so much as a hiccup.  How she managed to spot that in the middle of this cord hell, I'd yet to figure out.

I began to wonder if I'd made a mistake by so readily accepting the challenge.  All those feelings of self doubt; "What was I thinking, I'll never be able to do this", followed by "I'm not capable of learning this", and "I just know they're gonna fire me".

After my watching for sometime she said, in a perky little voice, "Okay, ready to give it a try?"  WHAT! Ready? I'll never be ready....EVER!  Everything in me wanted to grab her by the collar, scream and run as quickly as I could for the rear door.

Instead, like a fool I responded "Sure, let me give it a try".  After the words left my mouth, I nearly grabbed my own collar and yelled.  Dumb, dumb, dumb... all I could think to myself was that I'd be the laughing stock of the company.  So much for being in good light in my Super's eyes.  I mean, what happens if I disconnect the President of the company?  How long does it take to get your first unemployment check anyway?!

As frightened as I was, and as much as my hands trembled, my dear friend simply moved to one side and threw me head first into the beast with a million tentacles, coming at me from all sides.  I could have sworn I was under attack.

First call, I forgot the company name.  I must have sat there frozen for all of 3 seconds but it felt like 20 minutes.  I had a blank look on my face as fear poured over my entire body.  My hands and feet began to sweat profusely when I suddenly detect a voice next to me say "answer....answer!  Come on....Nation....."  My voice finally came out but it was an out of body experience.  Thank God my friend failed to tell me not to touch the metal prong as I plugged it into the socket because I got a shock that ran all the way up my fingers through my arm and directly into my heart which is why I survived the whole ordeal.

After a days training my friend felt confident that I could survive it alone while she ran to the bathroom.  I admit the second she walked away I felt like a 3 year old being deserted by the only parent I'd ever known but I determined to do my job like the adult that I was. 

Just a few days later and a number of hostile callers asking why I'd disconnected them "again", I was finally able to grab the octopus by the tentacles in full, or at least partial control.

Today as I sat answering the phone with a smile in my voice and with mouse in hand I grabbed a call on the computer screen to drag in into the extension the caller requested.  I pushed a few buttons and napped in between calls.  The beauty of technology; something you learn to appreciate with time.

Hup, hup. Hup to three four.....or maybe it's Left, left. Left, right, left

It's that time of year when the Norwalk High School marching band begins their travels.  Although travels are limited due to school funding, meaning only one bus instead of 3 is paid for, and a tonnage of fund raisers in an attempt to raise money to pay for transportation.  I'm sitting here feeling a little disappointed that I won't be able to chaperon much this year due to my work schedule while last year I was able to take days off to attend.

This Wednesday they'll be competing at the L.A. County Fair.  I was right there with them last year struggling to get through the crowd as the parents march alongside the band (ok...we run at a rediculous pace while stepping over people, squeeze between people, stumble around carts, bump into poles, fall off curbs, dodge balloons and step on sticky gooey who knows what) while trying to maintain some dignity as a parent who just wants to make sure your child and all the others get a measly little drink of water when and if they need it.  It's a blast!

I remember last year quite well because it was dripping wet hot and as a band parent you quickly learn that it's much better to volunteer during the winter parades then Summer.  Not so much for the obvious reasons but for reasons you must experience first hand to truly understand.

Last year, for instance, we arrived at the Fair at approximately 9:30 a.m.  The kids took off until their call time, 3 p.m.  Of course they've been out in the sun all day and wait until the last minute to return so they show up at the truck ..... hmmmm .... damp?  wet?  Sweaty.  That's it.  Plain and simple.  They're sticky, sweaty and ..... yes, smelly (not all, but many).  There were 130 kids or so and each one must find their uniform, change out of their regular clothes, and fix their hair.

Being I was a "new parent" or better worded "stupid and inexperienced parent" ---- (I know what those other parents were really thinking), they gave me the honor of helping the kids to put their hair up.  See for competition not one single wisp of hair can show from under the hat.  The judges can and will mark them off for such a crime.  So there I am with bobby pins, hair nets, hair spray and comb in hand waiting for the little buggers.

We have guys with long matted hair, guys with fro's (in this day of age you've gotta be kidding) and guys with long straight hair stuck to the back of their necks with pure down home sweat.  YUUUUCK!  Of course guys have absolutley no idea, nor do they care to know how to put their hair up.  They simply walk up to you and stare into your eyes waiting for the magic quesion "would you like me to help you?".  Sometimes they actually mouth the word "yes".  Mostly they just shake their heads and wait for you to perform some kind of magic on them.  You somehow have to get yourself beyond the sweat and stanky and just do it.

I had one kid, who actually turned out to be one of my favorites, who's hair was straight and somewhat matted.  He spoke very little but sweated enough to make up for it.  He had the most uncooperative hair I've ever seen and it did not like hairnets.  No matter how much spray or little poneytails I made on his head, his hair always managed to come lose.  I often thought he did it purposely to test my mommyship.  He wanted to know if I would mother him even if he did have wild hair.

Another kid who although born in the 90's had hair that was stuck in a 70's timewarp because he had such a big fro I had to put two hairnets on him.  He looked like Mickey Mouse from the front angle the nets split his hair right down the middle.  But I got it all in the hat, and that's really all I cared about.  That he looked like an overgrown mouse was of little concern to me.  He wasn't my kid.

Then there was the kid with no forehead and long straight stubborn hair.  I put more rubber bands on his head in one parade than I've used in a lifetime on mine.  Didn't matter, his hair came out anyway.  I wanted to take a pair of scissors to him but didn't for fear of not being asked to walk the next parade.  To this day, I think he trained his hair to go limp whenever I was around.

Where were these kids mothers?  Why the heck was I putting their hair up instead of the women that bore them?  Why?  I'll tell you why, those women were smart.  They let some other fool do it.  They said "I can't I have to work", "I can't my dog is sick", "I can't, my kids too sweaty".

It's ok.  I had a good time with those kids and this Wednesday while I'm at work and they're out there marching in the hot sun, sweating like pigs......oops!  I really didn't mean pig, pigs....I meant....I don't know what I meant.  But I will tell you this, I'm gonna miss those sweat heads.  They're a good bunch.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Today was one of the longest work days anyone could ever experience.  It was busy, and if you don't know, I'm working a temp job and so that I don't use the "H" word, disliking every minute of it.  The job itself isn't all that bad, especially if you have zero office experience.  In fact, if that were the case, this would be the perfect place to get your feet wet.

In my case, besides being at the reception desk and answering phones all day, the rest is so mundane it feels like a slow suicide.  It's like deciding to commit hari cari in slow motion.  You decide where you want to insert the knife and then start the process of pushing it in...slooooooowwwwly, bit by bit, inch by inch, every day.  Death by boredom. 

The folks that work there are very nice, so it's not a matter of not being in good company.  They're appreciative, friendly, easy going....you know.  I'm sure your getting the picture.  I've had several of the principal people, including the owner, come up to me and tell me how good I am and today I overhead a client talking to the owner saying "is she the one who's answering the phones now?  She's excellent".  Now while all that is flattering, and all, I'm still bored outta my skull. 

So yesterday the young gal who I've replaced comes down to tell me that the word is, when the other girl who's on maternity leave returns, they're gonna give her a chance but as soon as she's late 3 times, that's it.  She's getting the axe.  She's says "that way you can come back and have the job".  I'm smiling at her and wondering if I should tell her how much I despise the job, laugh or cry.  First of all folks, I got news for you; I don't like this job and for someone who's bilingual, it sure isn't paying what bilingual pays....or does it?  Now a days who knows.

I only know this: I'm bored and after I'm done being bored, I move on to bored only to be followed by bored which always ends with bored.  What happened to the days when I actually had to think at work.  Where it took research or imagination to complete a job.  Instead I'm filling orders for 3 cans of coffee, 2 cans of cream and 4 boxes of sugar.  Lord be with me now!

Today was a special treat.  I got my first request to fill a large envelope with splenda and then I got to type five tabs for a binder.  I was on a roll.  You shoulda seen the sweat on my brow. Ok, enough of the gripe session.  Monday's another day.  Another day closer to this job ending that is. 

Did I say thank you Jesus for giving me a job with a check at the end of the week? 

If you haven't tried it, think twice before you do.

I'm gonna tell you a little secret that kinda makes me sick....I've been playing a game on my phone.  AHHH, I know, I know.  It's so childish but I can't seem to stop.

This whole thing started about a month ago when I found myself alone and very, very angry.  I won't tell you what I was so angry about but I will tell you that I wanted to escape.  So, being the ever clever person that I am, I closed the bedroom door and went out on the back patio through the slideing door in my room, pulled up a chair and sat there.  Boy I'm good.

Time passed and I was still angry.  I started thinking "who can I call?".  I looked at the time and saw that it was 12:59 a.m.  Not to worry, it was a Friday night so I didn't have to get up for work, church or a meeting.  Nothing on the books for the next morning but too late to call anyone.  Now I'm really pissy.  Is that a bad word, pissy?  Well, if it is, I apologize but I was getting pissy, bad word or not. 

The longer I sat there the p...ier I got (does that make it any better?).  I look at my phone again and it's 1:05 a.m.  It felt like 25 minutes already but it's only six.  About this time I start talking to the dogs cause they're sitting there looking at me like it's story time or something.  Whada they think?  I'm gonna entertain them.  I thought dogs were supposed to have this instinct that told them when to run like heck cause they're owner is in a p...y mood.  Mine must be dumb cause they just sat there looking at me.  I tried growling at them and all they did was that thing dogs do...tilt the head, arch the eyebrow...did they growl back?  No.  They just sat there.  Penny tried looking away but she couldn't help herself, she did that head turned eyes still looking at you until the whites of her eyes were showing...now how often do you see the whites of a dogs eyes?

Two minutes pass and after shussssing the dogs away (no, they didn't leave), I take out my phone again.  I'm desperate for something to do so I open a game "BrickBreaker"....That STUPID, STUPID game.  At first I lose within the first 3 minutes which does not help my mood.  But fool that I am, I keep trying.  I mean what the heck else am I gonna do at that hour, right?  So I play until I can't take it anymore, I'm exhausted.  I need sleep.  I need water.  I need to go to the toitoi.  It's rediculous.  I'm playing a game on my phone.  I'm 54 years old, playing a game on my phone at 2 o'clock in the morning.

You think that's the end of the story, don't you.  Wrong!  Today at lunch, I take a ... well, what else?  A lunch break...see what these games do to your brain.   So I take a break and you know what I did, don't you?  I took the phone out and opened the game.  Why?  WHY?  I'm telling myself, this is good eye/hand coordination practice.  This is to give me patience.  This is so I can learn to challenge myself.......This is DUMB!  I'm like a drug addict looking for excuses to play this stupid thing.

What has happened to me.  I used to be a woman people respected.  I was someone.  I coulda been a contenda!  Look at me...I'm a washed up, no good pissy woman.  There.  I've said it.  I always wondered what it meant "you have to reach bottom before you can wanna change".  I think I understand now, I just can't figure out what kind of treatment center to check myself in to.  All I know is, if I don't do something soon, I might be tempted to try a new game.  What will become of me then.  Who will raise my kids. 

I'm gonna go see if I can find a church that never closes.  The only way out is God.  Pray people.  Start one of those chain emails asking for prayer on my behalf.  I can tell the road ahead will not be an easy one but I'm gonna be alright.  And just a word of advise, If you haven't tried playing games on your phone, don't start now.  Life is too short.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wake up AND open your eyes people

I just finished reading my friend Bunny's blog Rude Awakening and it totally reminded me of an incident that occurred when Jenifer started 6th grade, or middle school, about 9 or 10 years ago.  Whoaaa...
Wait a minute!  How can that be.............

Back to subject:  The first week of middle school there's a mandatory parent meeting to familiarize both parent and child with school policies, classroom etiquette and various other topics, one of which is school uniforms.  We live in a school district that believes in kids wearing uniforms, which I personally agree with.  One reason I'm in agreement is the cost factor.  I typically would buy the girls a combination of pants, skirt or skorts along with 4 to 5 tops so that we only have to wash one a week.  I would say it's not because I'm lazy, but if I expect my children not to lie.....

The second reason I'm in agreement is that I've read studies that have shown how kids in school districts where uniforms are worn tend to do better in school as the focus is less on what they're wearing and more on what they're learning.  I like it.  I believe it, and I want that for my kids.

So there we are, Jenifer and I, at this meeting where we're both excited and nervous because she's so young and already starting middle school.  It's bad enough our kids are exposed to far more than we'd like without forcing them to join an "older" group of kids before they're ready.  And in my opinion a sixth grader isn't ready.  I will say that I've always tried to instill wisdom and fear of their mother and father in them ;-)
No, I'm not kidding.  Wisdom to know when to say no and fear as a double check.

During the meeting the Teachers and Principal cover a range of subjects and then as a last note turn to the policies regarding mandatory uniforms.  One parent who has been sitting quietly throughout the entire hour suddenly decides to speak up.  The conversation goes something like this:
Parent Question: Why do the kids have to wear uniforms
School Rep Response: It's mandatory in this district
Parent Question: Can I sign a waiver so that my child can wear whatever she wants
School Rep Response:  Yes you can but we'd prefer that all children wear the uniform 
Parent Question:  I don't understand why they have to wear a uniform.  The high school is in the same district and they don't have to wear uniforms
School Rep Response: I understand.  I believe they feel high school children should be able to choose appropriate clothing to wear to school
Parent Question: Then why can't our children wear what they want? I don't want to go out and buy uniforms. They're ugly.
School Rep Response:  There are several stores selling uniforms in the area.  I'm sure you can find one she'll like that will be appropriate.
Parent Comment: Well, have you seen how some of those high schoolers dress? It's terrible that they can wear whatever they want.  They should be wearing uniforms.

At this point my sixth grader looks at me and says "Mom, isn't that the same lady that just said she doesn't think kids should have to wear uniforms?"  Now I ask you, if a parent sits and argues with school authority while they're child is present, what message is the child being sent?  And secondly, this parent doesn't' even have the sense to form an opinion and stick with it.

So we wonder what's happening to our children and why the lack of respect for adults and the "system".  I'll tell you what's happening to children: Parents.  Parents who haven't' enough sense to understand that the schools and it's teachers are on the childs side.  These same parents are the ones who go into our workforce and cause trouble amongst their co-workers because they want the world to revolve around them and when it doesn't, someone is gonna pay.  They spread the bug of complaint, the virus of discontentment and the disease of gossip.

These are the people who have the first voice in their childs behavior, lives and future.  How do you open the eyes of one who is so intent on keeping them closed?  How?

Monday, September 14, 2009

1979 ~ The year of two heads and lots of other unusual stuff

In 1979 I was lucky enough to be cast in a show that would allow me to travel throughout the Orient. My character had no lines and was inconsequential as far as I was concerned but I didn't feel in the least bit slighted, I got to travel either way.

Including the director, I believe there were 13 of us in the group; my cousin being one of them. How cool is that, I was able to travel with my cousin and now that I think of it, she actually was cast in the part I auditioned for. I never felt bad that she won the part because she captured the character of the Raven so much better than I did.

Our tour started in Japan and then we went on to Korea, Okinawa, Guam and the Philippines. As it turned out, there was some kind of mix up in our first stop, Japan, so we weren't scheduled to perform the first few days. It was wonderful. I'd traveled outside of the U.S. before but never to a country that didn't speak either English or Spanish so it was a challenge.

The beauty of eating in Japan is that the restaurants have little plastic food bowls in the windows so you can see what they serve and decide before going inside if they offer what you want to eat or not. I'd never seen anything like it and found it quite entertaining.

Our first evening there we were taken to a traditional Japanese restaurant where we sat on the floor and were served saki and the whole enchilada....ok, no enchilada but you get my drift. I recall sitting on my legs and thinking the evening might never end, wondering; How the heck do these people sit on their legs so long without them falling asleep. It's got to be one of the most uncomfortable things any adult human would want to do while eating. Maybe if your a fly weight, it doesn't effect you, but if your of any normal size...and I probably only weighed 120 at the time, it feels as if you'll never walk again. First you try to lean to one side by slowly shifting, hoping no one will notice and think you're wimping out. Then you shift to the other side always with a beautiful smile on your face which is actually a grimace because you've just rolled over your ankle bone and are not sure if the grinding you hear is because you've just broken your bones or maybe you're putting them back in place. And heaven forbid everyone else do this at the same time because if they do the whole group will look as if they're out at sea.

And while you're trying to sit there, looking as graceful as one possible can while being tortured, you're also learning to use chopsticks. I recall a deep desire to yell out....Porque Jesus, porque (and that movie wasn't even out yet). At some point I looked around to see if maybe it was just me, and it was. Everyone seemed to be oblivious to the pain I was suffering. Maybe they were better at bone crushing than I or maybe they were throwing down far more saki than I was aware of, I'm not sure. I only know it was a loooong evening. One that gave me a sincere respect for the culture.

And as if sitting on your legs for dinner isn't enough, you need to see how the Japanese wait for the bus because again, these people are either very creative or very lazy. I still have not come to any conclusion as to which but picture this if you will. Your in a bus and as you come to a stop you see a group of people stand. Normal. Nothing out of the ordinary until you notice there was no bench. Odd. Next bus stop, same thing....people sitting waiting for a bus, the bus approaches, they stand and board the bus. Now I'm not one to cause a scene but I'm beginning to think I'm hallucinating. As we travel along, I'm thinking next stop I want answers, does the bench lower into the side walk, is it clear plastic, just what am I missing? We drive to the next stop and I finally get a clear picture. These people are not sitting on anything, they're squatting. Yeah, squatting like....squatting. I don't know about you but if I squat like that for 30 seconds, much less wait a good ten minutes at a bus stop, I can promise you I'm probably gonna take down the person next to me trying to get up. I just can't handle that stuff. And I won't even get into the issue of how they use the restroom because I'd rather not go into detail except to say that when you're out in the middle of no where and the bus pulls over to use a Japanese toilet, before squatting, check carefully for spiders. End of subject; I'm moving on.

Our last stop on the tour was the Philippines. Besides the fact that I was sick most of our time there, I really enjoyed the Philippines. What's that you ask? Why was I sick? Ahhhh, now there's a story.....

We stayed at some very lovely places, one of which was a hotel on the beach. Sadly, we arrived late in the afternoon. We were tired and ran up to check into our rooms, not able to enjoy the beach at all, as I recall.

I was scheduled to room with Cynthia. We ran into our room and as I turned to look at the beds I noticed a cockroach about the size of a fully grown, 1,000 year old desert turtle on the pillow of one of the beds. I quickly ran to the other bed, threw my stuff on it and said in the sweetest, didn't see a thing voice "that bed is yours". I can still remember the look of terror on Cynthia's face as she screamed. Then and there we knew it would be a sleepless night. We paced the floor together wondering what we could possibly do to escape the creature. Neither she or I could come up with a solution so she immediately called for room service and ordered two beers (I was not drinking at the time). Within no time room service appeared and as we answered the door to our salvation, over the head of the bell hop flew in what looked like two dive bombers on a mission to destroy. And destroy is what they did. Cynthia and I were sure we would die. In a panic we grabbed the drinks and ran out the door directly behind our bell hop leaving him to think he'd done something wrong but we didn't care, if we wanted to live through the night, we had to leave the room then and there. We ran to the patio to have our drink in peace. To our surprise, just about everyone else in our group was already down there with the same dilemma, same solution; drunkenness feels no pain. We all laughed and drank until the deadly hour when we needed to return to our rooms.

Cynthia and I were in luck. The boys had had just enough beer that they were feeling very heroic. They offered to walk us up and check on the beasts for us before retiring to their own hell.

Before we could walk in the room, the boys removed their shoes. Aha, they were thinking, they weren't the young, dumb, boys I thought them to be after all, these were men. Men's men. We opened the door, turned on the light and there before us was an army in it's entirety. The cockroaches were out in full force and they were determined to take over our room before dawn. Our men's men turned into screaming girls....opening closet doors and slamming anything that moved with their shoes all the while yelling "die you gravy sucking pig". They turned up mattresses and pulled back covers until they could no longer take it. Our men flew out of the room and down the hall to their own quarters where we could hear them squealing and pounding their shoes long into the night. By morning I was so sick from Ulcer pain and lack of sleep, I wondered if I would ever recover.

And just one more horror story...Korea. Korea in itself wasn't a horror unless you consider the night we spent in a hotel on the economy. We checked in, as we would any other hotel. I was lucky enough to be scheduled to room with my cousin, Anita. Happily we found our room and began to settle in for the night. Within a few minutes there was a scratching on the walls. We both froze and looked at each other wondering what it might be. It took little time before we realized we had company and they weren't of the human kind. Ohhh, no. Our visitors had four legs and a long skinny tail. Our initial thoughts of showering were quickly put to bed as neither of us had any intention of slipping one toe onto the floor unless it was in clear daylight. Somehow we managed to fall asleep but not without fear on our minds. When morning came, we were up and ready to go probably faster than any other day of that tour.

We moseyed our way down to the lobby where we'd been told to meet the night before. And as we arrived we found one of our group members sleeping on a love seat. He looked terrible from lack of sleep. We asked what had happened and he nearly broke down in tears as he described his escape from hell. Apparently he too heard the scratching on the walls. It became impossible for him to sleep so he decided he would leave the room. As he walked out he was followed by one of the same furry type creatures that kept us company, but this one followed him all the way down the stairs to the lobby where it ran up on the desk where the attendant was fast asleep. The attendant of course went undisturbed the entire night. Needless to say, we carried more baggage that day than any other as every single one of us had bags under our eyes.

All in all, it was a wonderful tour.....by the way, did I tell you about the unexpected, loud rumbling we experienced our first night in Korea? I think I should save it. You might get the wrong idea and think our tour was terrible.

I really don't want to close on a bad note so I thought I'd include a picture of two of the main characters out of the musical we performed through out our tour. In 1979 performing in the Robber Bridegroom, two heads were better than one.
Scott Anderson and Robb Tracy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not to worry....

I didn't throw ice cold water on him and I didn't kill him. I tried words of kindness again. It may work, and it may not. Only time will tell.

I just wanted you to know that I won't be thrown in the clinker and you won't have to attend the funeral of a young man who's yet to live out his dreams.

All I can say is...he's one lucky kid.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Money doesn't grow on trees....I know cause my mom told me so

So, I've told you how I haven't been working and how tough it's been financially. AND I've told you that I'm now working at a temp job that pays little but little is better than nothing. And yes, although you can't hear it, I can. The air conditioner is running in the studio. And guess what?.....I'm giving you time....give up? My son just walked out of the studio locked the door and went to bed. Once again he's left the air on. Maybe he's just feeling sorry for the crickets in the studio and wants to give them a comfortable place to chirp...

Maybe since the air has been running all day, or at least since he got home from school at about 11:00 this morning he thinks he may as well leave it on until he goes out there again tomorrow sometime so it'll be really, really, really cold and he won't have to even think about the heat.

Do you think he'll help me with some money? Hmmmm. Seeing as how he isn't working right now, it's not too likely.

I hate to sound like a cry baby about spending money on the air, but holy! What can I do to get this guy to understand that when you use the air all day, or when the room is lucky enough to stay cool all night even when the temp has dropped and there will probably be icicles on the equipment....MONEY IS BEING WASTED!

I hate being the wicked stepmother but maybe I should wait until he falls into a deep REM sleep and starts with the dreams and rapid, low-voltage brain waves, irregular breathing and heart rate and involuntary muscle jerks I'll go pour a bucket of iced water on him so tomorrow he won't feel the heat and need the air on!

Ok, now I sound like the wicked stepmother, don't I? I'm about to go tell him "If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times...." or maybe I should say "do you think money grows on trees?".

I'm gonna go out there and turn it off because I'm kind. No other reason. I'm kind right now that it's way, way past my bedtime. But it won't last because when I get up in the morning and I'm really tired because I was up doing God knows what and writing on my blog, I'm gonna kill him! Dead! He's gonna wonder what it was that slammed him on the head and then, and only then will he start to catch on that I can get mean and ugly when I have to.

I gotta go.....I'm gonna throw on that video that teaches women how to attack men that do dumb things and I happen to think it's in the studio where I can practice without any unsuspecting man watching me.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Lousey Memory

Why is it I can't remember lyrics? I remember a time when I could and it doesn't seem I could have done all those musicals unless I could. I'm not sure if it's just an age thing, laziness, or the lack of desire to remember.

Years ago when I was doing musicals I had no choice but to lock the lyrics into my memory. Can you imagine singing a song and forgetting what it is your supposed to say. You can't fake it in front of an audience unless they're totally unfamiliar with the musical and even then, it's just a little difficult to get through West Side Story, for instance, by singing "I feel hmm hmmm, oh so hmm hmmm". Or even "I could have hmmmmmmed all night". Just wouldn't work. Someone would eventually catch on.

I do remember doing Chapter Two with a fever so high I was delirious. I had so many quick changes that each night I had two people back stage helping me change clothes. One of which was a guy. Of course, he wasn't in the least bit interested in seeing me in my underwear so I didn't mind but that night I ended up on stage with my buttons done wrong.

One scene in Chapter Two was a two way telephone conversation. I was on one side of the stage and the guy calling me was on the other side. As each of us would pick up the phone the others side of the stage would dim slightly. It was a series of calls so on the first call I picked up the phone and had a brief conversation, hung up and as I turned to walk away, the phone rang again. I turned back and answered as was scripted to do, everything normal there. I hung up, the phone rang again so I answered. As the dialog was written during this last call I was to say good-bye and hang up but because I was sick, I forgot to hang up. The poor guy on the other line kept saying things to get me to hang up, because he was stuck holding the line...I was totally oblivious and the light crew didn't know what the heck to do. I stood there in silence until I heard a rather strong whisper from back stage saying "hang up the phone", which I did rather promptly. I recall standing there wondering where the heck I was.

Somehow or another, it all worked out and I was able to get through the remainder of the show slightly sweaty but with full memory of where I should be and what I should say and got rave reviews. When I saw my leading man backstage after the show he looked as if he would like to kill me but instead he asked how I was doing. There were only four people in the cast and I managed to get the other 3 sick. None were as bad as I was but they would have liked to kill me anyway.

So if I managed to get through a show with high fever and a few crocked buttons, how on earth is it, I have trouble remembering my lines?

I know people who memorize lines for a show and 10 years later still recall total monologues. I do a show and 10 minutes after it closes I couldn't tell you one line much less a monologue.

I sing at church every Sunday and use music to get through the songs. Sad as it is, I still have trouble with lyrics. But why? I seriously do not understand. I'd blame it on my age but geez, I'm not that old, or am I? I try with everything in me to sing with all my heart and full understanding and really have a difficult time singing songs I don't like because it's too hard to express myself if I don't like the song.

There's got to be a trick to memorizing that I'm just missing. If you know what it is, let me know. I still think you can teach an old dog new tricks and I'm willing.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ferdinand the Bull

One of my favorite stories from childhood is Ferdinand the Bull (The Story of Ferdinand).  I remember sitting on the living room floor for hours, not only reading and looking at the pictures but listening to the 45rpm, record that came with the book.  I absolutely loved his story of Ferdinand the little bull who just wanted to live a peaceful life, smelling flowers and laying under the tree.  He wanted absolutely nothing to do with the bull ring even if that stinky old bee did bite him in the bahooty.

Years ago when my girls were little I decided I just had to read this story to them.  Of course, my original copy and the 45 had been thrown out long before and I couldn't find a current copy.  I began the search of finding a copy probably more to fill my own reminiscent need more than anything but because this little story made such an impact on me, I was sure my kids would reap the same pleasure.  I looked on line, asked friends and made phone calls only to find that any available copy was priced high enough to afford me a closet full of clothes.  After many weeks of searching, I finally dropped the dream of finding the book as a friend of mine at work told me that she too was unable to find anything but the collectors copies which of course were ridiculously priced.

One day while shopping at Costco, about five years ago, I came across a copy.  UNBELIEVABLE!  I was excited beyond words but somehow managed to keep my emotions at a minimum, until I reached the car that is.  I could not wait to get home.  Sitting there in the car I opened the book and read the story.  Believe it or not, I still could not wait to get to each new page.  I might mention that the book was not the original "Reading Railroad" size because it was a special edition copy about 22"x34".

So there I was in the drivers seat struggling to turn the pages without knocking the glasses off my nose or worse yet, getting a paper cut on my face, legs or arms.  The president himself could have knocked on the car window and I probably would have asked him to wait until I was done "sorry, Mr. President, I'm in the middle of something of high importance".  Finding this book, was just as important as finding the Titanic as far as I was concerned. 

I got the book home and attempted to show my girls who took it with a grain of salt.  What do they know, they're young!  I tried reading it to them, right then and there.  I put the book on the kitchen table and made every effort to draw them into the images before them. Nope.  Nothing.  Maybe a little fake excitement for my benefit but overall, they felt nothing.

So for the time being Fernie sits up in the closet, probably collecting a little dust and bored out of his witts until perhaps a grand baby comes along.  I'm praying that that won't be anytime soon. 

Friday, September 4, 2009

Deal with it!

Well, I'm back at work....sort of.  I took a temp job making peanuts for pay but it's 3 months steady work and considering I probably will not get unemployment, being underpaid is better than not getting paid at all.  I must tell myself this in order to believe it so if you tell me too, maybe, just maybe, I'll start to believing it.
I'd rather not mention the company name but its a job working in the city of Vernon, another not so lovely part of this job.  There's a stench that goes along with the location, like none other and if it happens to be hot out, well, you can believe the odor will increase to a sometimes nearly gagging odor.  
Over the years I've grown to enjoy time alone during lunch.  I'm not anti-social by any means but, it seems that it's one of the only times I can spend time alone, besides a time like this when I'm writing and the fact that even if I did want to spend time with co-workers, for the job I'm filling, I'm forced to take lunch alone anyway.
So today, I thought it being cooler outside than the last few days, I'd spend some time in the car in the shade of a tree, reading.  It sounded like an excellent idea and the car was cool enough to actually sit in and still be able to breath without feeling like I was suffocating but Lordy, the smell of something far worse than cheap perfume, was unbearable.  
Have you ever driven by a location where there is stagnent water and it's like driving through a vat of hard boiled eggs?  Well, let's multiply that a couple a dozen times.  Of course the benefit to working in a smelly part of town is that you grow to appreciate clean air or so I keep telling myself because truth be know, I'm not sure there is a benefit.
So if your out there and you happen upon my blog, please, please, please, if you have any secrets that might help, share oh please dear God, share.  I can only apply so much cologne and wearing nose plugs, besides being unattractive, just wouldn't go over well while working with the public.  I've considered the 'ol clothes hanger on the nose, but totally hate the idea of having the indentations left at the end of the day.  I'd stick kleenex up my nose but I'm afraid not everyone was raised with an Aunt Camille who thinks it's perferctly normal to shove kleenex up your nose and then leave it there for all to see.  Where's your sense of humor people?!
Until I get some input from you all, I'll be forced to deal with the stink and pray that it doesn't penetrate my clothing and take a free ride home with me to be enjoyed by my family. Until then, I piddie da foo who has to sit next to me at the dinner table if I don't have time to shower and change before we dine. 
Patiently awaiting your suggestions,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's late, but I can't sleep.  Everyone is either out or asleep.  What to do, what to do.....

Why not write, I ask myself.  No answer.  In fact, my brain is a little tired and empty....can your brain be empty?  Maybe not but sometimes it feels that way.  But I'd like to write...its just that sometimes when I start writing and I don't have anything in particular in mind, which is most of the time, I write strange things.  I don't suppose it matters if it's strange or not since my blog is mostly for me.  I don't think many people read it anyway.I wonder what people do think of me if they happen to stumble across my blog.  Outside of the few people whom I know read my blog, how many actually "stumble" across it? 

You know, if this is my therapy, and it seems to be, maybe I should be paying myself.  After all, if I had a therapist, I'd have to pay, wouldn't I.  So then the question is, how much?  Let's just say I'd pay a therapist $50 an hour (determined by my gross income which at this particular time is nill), do I give myself a discount?  Can I pay once a month or do I have to pay on the spot or worse yet, up front.  Can I write a check or does it have to be cash at the time of service?  Is that all I'm worth, $50?

If I am self therapizing, should I lay down on a couch while I write?  That would make it difficult to type............If I can lay down and type, I think I deserve to be paid more because typing in a position that is not all that easy, is an art.  With that in mind, my fee just went up to $75 and since I'm worth more, I should be able to provide myself with better results.  I should be stress and worry free for that kind of money!

Maybe I'll stand and write...........no, that would cause stress to my body and then I'd have to give myself a massage.  If I self therapize and then follow up with a massage, I should be making at least $150 and hour.  I'm getting expensive!

Am I ripping myself off?  If I'm not getting answers and I still need a massage afterward $150 and hour is quite high, don't you think.  But then again, where else could I go for therapy AND a massage for $150 especially at this time of night?  No where.  I'd better pay myself more because I'm making myself available at a time no one else would even care.  Geez, I'm affordable, I provide extra perks and I'm available at all hours of the night.  What more could I ask for!

Well, if you'll excuse me, I have a client to see...  Let's see.....  ahhh....Marie.  How are you?  Lay down right here and talk to me.  You can tell me anything, the confidentiality in this place is better than any other.  Now, before we go too far, can you make that check out to M A R I E  B O Z A and just so you know, there's a $25 charge for returned checks.............