Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alice


It was around 4:30 in the afternoon,
     when a grumbling in my stomach and a general lethargic wave came over me. 

I realized that I had not eaten lunch, and I WAS HUNGRY.   

This is WHY the nutrition experts (and people with common sense) tell you not to skip meals -
     because this is where eating can become dangerous.

This is when you make stupid, possibly unhealthy decisions.


I don't know about other people,
     but when I allow too much time to go by without eating,
I become quite GRUMPY, and I absolutely MUST have something to eat NOW.


If this were the middle ages, I (in a cavewoman-like fashion)
     would have whacked some unfortunate creature over the head by now,
and it would be roasting over an open fire that I would have created
by rubbing two sticks together.  

Okay, maybe the caveMAN would have been out doing the hunting FOR me,
     while I would be tending to the cave and the cave-children,
but this is MY fantasy, so I am certain that I would have been out doing the hunting.

Since this IS the twenty-first century, however,
     I did what any civilized person would do to make the hunger go away -

McDonald's Drive Thru.   


A large order of fries and a diet coke should hit the spot. 

Hence, comes the danger -
     participating in a high fat, high sodium snack that is full of empty calories.

In my defense, however, I try not to do this very often, and it had been a very stressful week.

I placed my order and moved up to the window to pay,
     where the nice McDonald's employee said,

     " FOURTEEN DOLLARS AND THIRTY-TWO CENTS."

     "WHAT???"  I said.  "I ordered a large fry and a diet coke."

He had mixed up my order with the lady in front of me, who apparently,
      only had to pay three dollars and nineteen cents for her meal. 

The employee stretched his neck out of the window, willing the clock to turn back just thirty seconds.  

He did not have to, though, for the lady must have realized the mistake,
     and suddenly appeared at the window.   

The McDonald's employee apologized and thanked her for coming back. 
   
     "I should have realized," she said, "but, I was distracted by my kids."

(Something I could certainly relate to).

As the young man sorted through his receipts, he asked her to confirm her name. 
   
     "Are you Alice?"  he asked.

     She nodded her head. 

There was a long pause, as he processed her credit card again,
     and I felt the need to fill the quiet air.  

     "Hi Alice.  I'm Leslie, "  I said.

The three of us laughed.

She apologized to me for the inconvenience. 

     "I think this is a sign that I was not supposed to order those french fries," I said. 


Within minutes, the matter was straightened up,
     and I moved forward to collect my prize - 

     nice, hot, salty, crispy, golden, yummy . . . . . . french fries (and a diet coke).

And . . . . . .

     I didn't even have to go hunting for it.  

And . . . . . .

     it was worth it.

It was nice to meet you, Alice.  




   
















 




















Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When A Typo May Not Be A Typo

A friend who read my previous blog, "April 25, 2011"
     pointed out a typo on the very last line.

Instead of saying,

     " . . . . . . and POUR myself a stiff drink",


I wrote,

     " . . . . . . and POOR myself a stiff drink."

Considering the subject matter and my state of mind (at the time),
     when I looked to discover that indeed, I had spelled it that way

. . . . . . . I laughed.

I LAUGHED and laughed.   

Spelling has always been one of my strong suits, and I take great pride in that fact. 
That's not to say that I have not had a spelling error (or two) over the years
     - I am human, after all.  

In this particular instance, however,  
     I am left wondering if subconsciously I intended to spell POOR, instead of POUR.

Either way, I think the double meaning is perfectly fitting and appropriate,
     and will leave it as it is.   

I have a feeling that most of you will agree with my assessment. 

Now, for that "spell check". 

Suddenly, I am feeling a bit insecure. 



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

After several months of looking, one failed contract,
     and several hours (covering two days, including one holiday) of negotiating,
I put a contract on a house . . . . . and it was accepted. 

I am not celebrating YET, as I still have to process all of my paperwork for the loan,
      as well as witness the home inspection,
and though there is no reason to think that there will be any hiccups along the way,
I am the type of person who does not get excited about something until all of the obstacles are out of the way. 

For instance, I do not get excited about going on vacation
     until I am actually in the drivers seat of my car,
watching the stress and responsibilities of my life disappear in the rear view mirror. 

So, though there are people in my life who are already making plans for my new house,
     I will not feel that it is MINE until I have signed the settlement papers,
and am sitting on my couch in my new living room.

Until then, I think I will remain in a state of "numbness".

Not that this is new information to anyone, but buying a house is quite stressful and expensive.

I think I will have a seat on my couch in my current living room

                                              . . . . . . and poor myself a stiff drink.    

 






Monday, April 25, 2011

A Follow-Up to "The Copy Machine"

I was recently in New York, and when I was checking  in to my hotel,
     the Front Desk Clerk was trying to make a copy of my receipt.

      "I never know what to do with this thing when it jams up like that!" she said, sounding defeated. 

Remembering my recent experience and recent blog story, I smirked.

Another perfectly intelligent human being intimidated by THE COPY MACHINE.  



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Copy Machine

So, I recently started a new job. 

Being a stay-at-home mom (since my mid twenties),
     I have not worked in an office setting in a number of years.

While technology has significantly changed during that time,
     there is one thing that hasn't changed much at all -

THE COPY MACHINE.

When I say that it hasn't changed, what I really mean is the "intimidation factor" 
     that this over-sized hunk of plastic covered machinery carries with it - 

     a million buttons, messages, and codes, when all you need is one copy.

I wonder how many of those NEVER get used ?

With every copier that I have ever used, there is an introduction period, just like with any relationship.  

First, you have to get past the intimidating looks.

Once you feel comfortable enough to approach it, 
     you stand close enough to notice all of its lines, buttons, and compartments.  

Soon enough, you feel courageous enough to touch one of those buttons.

The fear, of course, is in the possibility of touching the wrong one.

For, if THAT happens, a confusing and untranslatable message is sure to pop up, 
     sending you into a state of panic.    

     "What if I break the copier, sending the entire office into a state of .................gridlock?"   

When I approached the unfamiliar copy machine at my new office, 
     I did not want to waste a lot of time getting to know one another. 
I knew what I needed, and I was just going to "go for it".    

However, there was already a strange message on the machine before I even touched any buttons.  

So, what did I do?  

What any intelligent person would do.  ASK.  

I asked the closest person that I could find, 
     and when she saw the message on the machine, she said,

     "Oh Lord!  It makes me nervous when I see a funny message on the machine."

She then showed me the buttons to push in order to get what I needed. 

     "I don't touch any of the other buttons," she said, with a suspicious look on her face.  "I don't trust them." 

It's nice to know that I am not the only one intimidated by a big hunk of plastic and metal.  

 


 





 


 







Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Moment of Peace

She stood at the edge of the deck,
   gradually feeling the weight of the week - all of the new changes and decisions in her life,
slowly melt away.  It was early evening,
   yet she could still feel the warmth of the sun shining down between the trees.
Charlie stood beside her,
     happy to have his companion home, and at his side.
                                             
I should mow the grass, she thought to herself.

It had not been mowed since last Autumn,
     and with the Spring rains and warmer temperatures
had come new growth.  She laughed, as she surveyed the lawn.
     There were large patches of grass that had grown at a faster rate
than the rest, looking like giant Chia pets had invaded the yard.  
Another day of rain, and the lawn mower was likely to choke over the long, hairy blades.

Still standing at the edge of the deck, she thought. . .
                                         though, I can easily be talked out of it.

She lay down on the deck's hard surface,
     with her knees pointed upward; her face, soaking in the sun.   
Even with its rough edges, the warm boards felt good against her back,
     as she allowed herself to surrender to the moment,
only noticing that which she could see, feel, and hear.

Like a protective covering, long branches stretched across the periwinkle sky,
     their once bare tips showing the first signs of new life.
They danced and swayed in the light wind, as wispy, white clouds slowly drifted by.

On the ground, in the comfort of her favorite long-sleeve t-shirt, cotton shorts, 
     and bare feet, she could feel the warmth of the sun on her left cheek; the cool breeze across her right, and the nearby road noise sounding more like the surf of the ocean.

From time to time, a wet, black nose would rub up against her face, and she would smile,
     as she would run her fingers through Charlie's soft, white fur.   

And, in that moment, there was no doubt in her mind -

she felt at peace. 



  



 
  














Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hiking Shoes

So, I received the e-mail.   

Almost exactly three months from the date that I submitted my story,
     I received REJECTION LETTER #2.

Disappointed?  OF COURSE.

Discouraged?  NO WAY.

I will proudly display the letter on my bulletin board next to REJECTION LETTER #1,
     as a reminder that I am on my path to becoming a published children's book author.

I believe in myself, and I will continue to pursue my dream.

Next step?

Finding an agent, which can be as difficult as getting a publisher to notice a story.    

No one said this was going to be an easy path,
     and I have REALLY GOOD HIKING SHOES. 









  






Monday, April 11, 2011

What Do Four Gay Men and Windex Have In Common?

I had a dream last night.  

Four gay men were sitting on the couch, across from me, and said,

     "GIRL!  Do you know you have a GIANT ZIT on your face?
                         What is UP with that?"

As I awoke, just before reaching full consciousness,
   I was thinking . . . Windex.

Remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding?

Sure enough, when I looked in the mirror . . .
   there was a BIG FAT FREAK (of a) ZIT above my upper lip.

Where IS that WINdex?




 














Friday, April 8, 2011

Something Worth Clapping About

I had an appointment for a job interview this morning,
     and when I walked into the front lobby of the office,
there was an adorable little girl sitting on an older woman's lap.

When I sat down across from them, the little girl smiled a big smile, and began to clap.
She had tiny little features, and tiny little hands, and was dressed in tiny pink clothing.    

     "That is the nicest greeting I have had in a long time!"  I said.

     "How old is she?" I asked.

     "One years old," the woman responded, who had a face full of spirit. 

There was a warmth and a comfort - an understanding between the two,
     that gave me the impression that the woman was the little girl's grandmother. 

     "None of the adults in my life act that excited to see me when I walk in the room,
and my children are all practically teenagers (self-explanatory)," I said.

The attractive and wise looking woman smiled and nodded, with a look of validation.

Soon after, the parents of the little girl came out, and the four of them left together.

As I sat there waiting, I thought about what I had said earlier.

I remembered when my kids were small - how their little faces would light up
     the moment that I walked into a room,
and they would ...........................................clap.

Yes! 

They would clap.

What WOULD it be like, I thought, if every time I walked into a room,
     all of the people who knew me would clap?

What would it be like, if every time YOU walked into a room,
     all of the people who knew YOU. . . . . .  would clap?

I guess it would seem strange, at first,
     as if someone were playing some sort of practical joke.

But, after a while, I think one could get used to it.

One could also get tired of it,
     as I suppose it could lose its lackluster,
just like anything else that becomes part of a routine.  

Still.  I think it would be worth an experiment.  

Can you hear my applause???


  





























 









Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Left Thumb

I don't know what I was doing when it happened.   

Nothing out of the ordinary.

Something normal, like washing the breakfast dishes, or making someone's lunch.

The shooting pain came out of nowhere - enough to make me stop what I was doing and take notice.

     "OW!" I said. "WHAT was THAT?!"

The pain went away, as quickly as it came. 

But, then it came back.

I never realized how much I use my left thumb.

I discovered that if I kept it attached to my left pointer finger
     (with invisible tape ),
I was less likely to cause the pain to reappear.


What could have caused this?




There was no pain when I went to bed, the night before.


Did I sleep on it funny?  

I recently heard a story on television about a guy who dreamed
     that he dove into the water without using his arms. 

He woke up on the floor with a sprained neck.

Maybe I dove into the shallow end . . . . . .

and landed on my thumb.  
















Rain - The Indoor Carwash ( When You Leave the Sun Roof Open )

Yesterday, after an interrupted night of sleep, due to a stream of violent thunderstorms that rolled through the area,
     my morning started out with . . . . . .

     "Mom, do you know that you left your sun roof open?"

My entire demeanor immediately changed.

UGH.   

I threw on some shoes, and went outside to survey the damage. 

It wasn't as bad as I had expected.    

I think the high winds saved me from having to scoop the car out with a bucket.

I dried the front seats off with a towel, removed the water-filled cup holders,
     and dumped them out onto the pavement. 

I carefully rolled the sides of the floor mats up, creating a funnel shape that allowed the water to 
     spill out onto the driveway.

Fortunately, other than a few water-logged receipts sitting in the center console,
     I had not left anything valuable in the car. 

It was 7:00 a.m., a balmy 60 degrees, and the sun was breaking through the clouds, so
     I left the sun roof as it was, and opened the windows, to allow the interior to dry out. 

Forty-five minutes later . . . . . .

     "It seems awfully dark in the house," I thought to myself.

Then, it hit me.

     "Oh, shit!"

It was raining again. 

Like the movie, Goundhog's Day, I started the process all over again,
     with the exception of one thing -

This time, I closed the sun roof and windows. 

About an hour later, I noticed a text on my cell phone, from my son. 

He had sent it earlier that morning (about 7:30),
     when he was on his way to school.

It read: 

     "You might want to close the sun roof and windows.  It is raining again."