Everyone gets fired sometimes…

April 24, 2014

Much to my dismay, at times, I require a trip to Wal-mart. I have nothing against Wal-Mart, I just hate people and don’t like to be out amongst them. But sometimes I just need stuff. Today was one of those days.

lipstick test
My kingdom for a tester

I was, with my cart and large purse, in one of the make-up aisles, illegally, trying on lipsticks on my hand… as one does, and was approached by a chick in a tennis outfit, approximately my age: 44, I mean, 35, which already irritates the shit out of me. (As I would LOVE to be playing tennis, or napping on my couch,  at 2 o’clock on a Wednesday…)

VENUS-WILLIAMS-TENNIS
Nope

Wait, more like this

tennis

She was also on the phone speaking to someone else, whom, I assume, was also wearing a tennis outfit, or perhaps a Fencing outfit, this is Fairfield County afterall.

I generally do not have an issue with people talking on the phone in public (unless you are on speaker phone), however, if you choose to interact with another human being, ie. a cashier, a waiter or, you know, a person you think works at Walmart… hang up the phone, and have an ounce of common courtesy.

She said: “Where are the nail files? “

nail files

I, ignore her, as I don’t work there.

fatal
I’m not going to be ignored, Dannnn

She, clears her throat and says LOUD AND SLOW: “EXCUSE ME. Where. Are. The. Nail. Files.”  Then said into her phone:  you can never get “these people” to help you.

annooyed woman on cell

ignoring you

I, also known now as: “these people,” look at her, then turn around to see the person standing behind me to whom she must be speaking, as I don’t work there.

(And, btw, I wasn’t wearing a Wal-mart Blue shirt, or a Wal-mart Name Badge. And no, I wasn’t dressed like a Happy Face.  Plus, we have previously established that I do NOT have a friendly face.)

images
Not me

She, then, snapped her fingers at me, 3 times.

excuse me

Oh yes, she did.

oh no you didn't

“WHERE ARE THE NAIL FILES?”  Then said into her phone: I wish I spoke Spanish.

Spanish. SPANISH?!?! I am, quite obviously, not native of a Spanish speaking country.  I wish I was, because I love the food!!

don't speak spanish
Yo no habla espanol (I even had to babbelfish that)

I was stunned by her snapping as, besides NeNe Leakes, who snaps at people these days?

I said: “Maybe with the nail polish?” (Obviously, in retrospect, I should have just said “I don’t work here.” And I wish I could have said it in Spanish! ) And I returned to, illegally, sampling lip sticks.

She says: “You don’t KNOOOOOOW?!????”

I said: “I do not.”

She said: “You aren’t being very helpful.  You know, I really should report you to the manager!”

I thought for a second and I said: “You should. I could use an attitude adjustment.” She left in a huff.

attitude adjustment

She left in a huff.  Bitch, don’t steal my move- when I leave it’s, inevitably, in a huff.

So, I was probably fired from Wal-mart today. It’s a shame.  I’m really going to miss the people.

thanks for the memories
Thanks for the memories…

she

April 19, 2014

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It was been twenty five years since my Mother, Mary Ann, passed on. As I write this, twenty five years seems unbelievable. At the time, I, certainly, didn’t appreciate the enormity of the situation.

Of course, I understood losing my Mother was sad and terrible, and not something I would wish on anyone at the age of 19.

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I prayed for my Mother’s death. This sounds horrible and heartless, but she had suffered a lengthy illness and despite the fact that I did not want to lose her, what I wanted was an end to her suffering.

As the years went by, I marked the anniversary of her passing with grief and sadness but continuing life without her seemed, in some ways, to become easier. This is not to say she was not always missed. All of the things we should have done with a mother, we did without her.

My sister and I met our husbands.
My sister and I chose wedding dresses.
We both were married.
My sister had two babies.
24 Mother’s Days.

On every one of these occasions, I was grateful to have my Dad, sister, and of course, my husband, Tony, but always longed for my Mother. The will always be an empty chair.

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At every celebration, I miss my mother- not necessarily for myself anymore, but for my nephew and niece. They cannot be the recipients of her craziness, her meanness (mean moms are the best) and her wisdom. I’m sure she would be scolding them to not do this or that, but would be, secretly, so proud that Jack is so smart and funny or that The Mouse is such a little imp.

I am so thankful Jack and Mouse have an amazing Grandma in Betty, my sister’s Mother in Law. She is, literally, the sweetest, kindest, most selfless woman, possibly, ever born. Seriously, she makes Mother Teresa look like a thug. Jack and Mouse are so lucky to have her- we all are. But Betty is very opposite of my Mother. For example, I cannot picture Betty making a log of poop out of Gingerbread and leaving it on my pillow. I cannot picture Betty acting out the part of The Wicked Witch of the West with such commitment and zest. I cannot picture Betty chasing me down the hallway to give me a good beatin’. Stuff like that.

I think of my mother all the time, and normally, I am fine. But there are times when tears will come, seemingly, out of nowhere. Not too long ago, I was buying some scallions and started to cry. It makes no sense.

My mother was in no way, yet in all ways, perfect. She was mean. She was strict. She didn’t take any crap. My mother was a parent, not a friend. She was strong in her faith, she made us fight our own battles, but she, silently, helped shoulder the burden when those battles overwhelmed us. Every evening, she greeted my Dad at the door with a kiss. She made us dinner, virtually, every night. She drove us all over creation for this lesson or that. Dance, acting, baton twirling, singing, cheerleading. There was never a doubt in my mind that I was loved. Or that she could kill me at any moment if I stepped out of line. In every way that truly mattered, my mother was the perfect mother.

A few months ago I visited a Medium. Although he was no Long Island Medium, I had heard some good things about him. He was more of a Large, in truth. Seriously, I went hoping for two specific people to “come through,” one being my mother. I still am not entirely sure I believe this stuff, but there were a few interesting things revealed in this reading. I told the medium, only, my mother’s name and date of birth, and I asked if my Mother knew her grandchildren. I was told that my mother had her grandson’s picture. At the time I didn’t recall this, but when Jack was a baby, I taped his picture to my mother’s headstone. Also, Jack has seen her in the park. And most special to me, when I am cooking in my kitchen, my Mother stands by the bathroom door and watches me.

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Let’s face it, it could all be crap, I suppose the medium might have guessed that I have a kitchen and that I sometimes cook in said kitchen, but it made me feel my mother could still be “around,” in some capacity.

Oh, another thing the medium told me is, my Mother “messes with Tony.” That ALONE was worth the price of the reading.

The special things my Mother would do for my sister and me- making Halloween costumes, and special birthday cakes, I try to do for Jack and Mouse. In some small way, I feel this gives them a piece of her.

KIDS

My Mother was a strong, funny, remarkable woman and she is someone I will always admire. If I dwell on the fact that I’ve been without her for so long it makes me sadder than I could ever have imagined. However, I would not be who I am today had I not lost my mother.

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Who am I? I am flawed. I am sad. I am scared … a lot. I fear being left behind. I, sometimes, feel to be a disappointment and am not good enough. I am broken pieces with sharp edges. I try, with the love of Tony, to hold some of those shards together to form, some semblance of, a whole person.

Sometimes, I fool myself into thinking I’m normal. Sometimes, I cry over scallions.

Jerk on the shelf

December 18, 2013

I think the Elf on the Shelf is a product of Satan. There. I’ve said it.

I know, I know, the last thing this world needs is another Elf on the Shelf-hating blog, not when we already have the quintessential , gold standard from Jen at People I Want to Punch in the Throat: http://www.peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.com/2011/12/over-achieving-elf-on-shelf-mommies.html

Let’s face it- Jen made it ok for us to hate this f*cking Elf. A hatred for which I am, completely, on board.

Today, I read this other blog on Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-pelc/how-the-elf-on-the-shelf-ruined-our-christmas_b_4435749.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular about how the Elf has- LITERALLY- ruined Christmas for his family due to his daughter being completely heartbroken over the departure of the Elf . The kid was on a crying jag until mid-January!

crying kid

The Elf on the shelf, if you live under a rock or shun all commercialism (and who could blame you), is a
Elf doll that you buy for approximately$30… and this thing terrorizes your kids for the Holiday Season.

elf on the shelf box

You can get an Elf that is gender specific and suitable to your race or ethnic background… Megan Kelly will, undoubtedly, oppose this concept.

The concept of an elf, either on or off a shelf, is not a new one. There are reports of little Elf dolls in the 60’s and even earlier.

elf from the 40
Before they were dicks

They would “come to visit” for Christmas and they would return year after year.  But they didn’t overstay their welcome, they didn’t rat you out to Santa and they didn’t create mayhem.

The Elf of today is a creepy little jerk. He has big eyes who are always eye-balling you. Long- probably- FAKE eyelashes.

elf face

Rosy cheeks and a smug grin. This little bastard is ripe for a beating.

I don’t have kids, so I guess I must be “missing the magic.” For me, it seems this Elf is just a major pain in the ass.

Let’s review the rules, which, I admit, I wasn’t entirely familiar before doing my research, but have since made me hate his guts even more.

Rule #1- The Elf’s main job is to monitor the behavior of the family rug rats. (Stalker)
Rule #2- The Elf flies back to the North Pole every night to make his report to Santa Claus. The Elf reports when the kid has been bad. (Narc)
Rule #3- The Elf stays in your house from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. (Freeloader)
Rule #4- The children cannot touch The Elf or speak directly to the Elf. (Diva)
Rule #5- If The Elf is touched, the Christmas magic will be completely erased from the Elf. (Drama Queen)
Rule # 6- The Elf’s position has to be changed every day. (High Maintenance)

As an added bonus, although, not really a RULE… The Elf is encouraged to “get into mischief” overnight. Because flying to the North Pole EVERYNIGHT doesn’t fill up this little jackhole’s time, The Elf has to mess up stuff in your house because… IT’S FUN!!!

I have a few problems with the whole Elf scam.
1) At the holidays, arguably, the busiest time of the year, this Elf heaps additional work on parents. And let’s face it- it’s probably the Mom who has to do all of the Elf moving, etc.

 2) Kids get attached to stuff. The fact that my nephew spends the ENTIRE YEAR reenacting The Grinch- stealing everyone’s stuff, and taking “the last can of Who-Hash” indicates kids do not let anything go. So when The Elf has to “leave,” they get pissed, which in turn makes the parents pissed or feel like crap and someone could end up getting a spanking.

 3) It’s really great to illustrate to kids, who are supposed to be on their best behavior, that it’s OK for The Elf to, you know, knock over the plant , get a BJ from Barbie or wrap your toilet in wrapping paper. Way to be a role model, Elf.

wraping Toilet
Ain’t nobody got time for that

 4) The amount of work / stress The Elf creates for parents to come up with some kind of activity for The Elf to do. It’s hard enough to keep your kids busy on a snow day.

 5) The guilt and panic The Elf creates when the parents forget to move this little jerk overnight. I can’t tell you how many Facebook posts I see of “Oh crap, I forgot to move Chippy last night! I’m the worse Mom!!!” F*ck Chippy- tell that little jerk to get off his lazy ass and move himself.

But here is my biggest problem with The Elf. He’s an unnecessary middle-man.

Why does Santa need a middle man or a proxy? A $30, work-creating, judgmental, guilt-inducing proxy, I might add.

Santa
This guy normally has things covered, no?

As the song goes “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good… “

Why do we need this Elf? Why is Santa no longer enough of a threat?!?!?

Growing up, when we misbehaved my mother would spit, through clenched teeth “Santa Claus is watching you.”

mother  clenched teeth
Santa Claus is going to beat your ass when we get home

Hello??!!? This statement in and of itself is creepy enough to have had me checking under my bed before going to sleep.

I recently posted a comment on a friend’s Facebook status about The Elf on the Shelf that “Why is Santa Claus no longer enough of a threat?”

One of her friends commented “IT’S NOT A THREAT! IT’S SOMETHING FUN TO DO WITH YOUR CHILD!!!” Yes, I can see by your aggressive, angry typing that you are having a LOT of fun, lady! Hahaha

abusing peeps
Creepin’ on your Easter Candy

banana
Suggestive Horseplay with Fruit

cutting off fingers
He’ll cut a bitch

drinking irresponsibly
Did anyone check his ID?

encouraging knife play
Encouraging Knife-Play

flour
Making a Mess

get out your glud gun
Get out your glue gun, this jerk needs a house

ghost
Reenacting Timeless Hollywood Films

mocking jesus
Teaching Jesus Yoga

mocking the boy in the plastic bubble
Mocking The Boy in the Plastic Bubble

over indulging
Irresponsible Drinking

poop
Mmmm, can’t get enough feces in my cookies

stealing your stash
Bogarting Your Stash

violating hr rules
Violating HR Policies

wasting marshmallow
Wasting Marshmallows

who you calling ho ho
Who you calling Ho, Ho?

bj
Hit it and Quit it

man posing as Elf
My all-time favorite “Elf” related picture

So this is my two cents on that creepy little f-er. He must be stopped.

Let’s get back to the things that matter at Christmas time: cookies and booze.

Happy Holidays!! xo

Not THAT Electric Company

October 26, 2013

Here is a newsflash for you… I’m easily irritated.  Oh?  That’s not new information?  Sorry, my mistake.

Yesterday, I arrived home to find a “notice” on our front door.  This notice to be exact:

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.49.14 PM

I am not unfamiliar with the “door notice.”  Usually, it comes from our schizophrenic UPS Man.  I call him that because… sometimes he leaves stuff on the front porch.  Sometimes he leaves a notice stuck to the storm door, indicating we need to call because he doesn’t want to LEAVE the package.

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.30.33 PM

And sometimes, he, from standing at our gate,  “javelins” our packages into our back yard.  It’s pretty impressive as it’s, at least, a 12 foot throw.

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.36.23 PM

And we don’t find them for several days and in a likelihood a dog has peed on it.  (That’s MY property.)

I should note, my husband works from home and is- for the most part- HOME when the UPS guy comes.  But he doesn’t actually knock on the door, and I’m convinced he tip-toes up to the house as neither dog seems to hear  him- and these two can hear a piece of lettuce fall to the floor from a quarter of a mile away.

javvy moth
Someone just dropped a potato chip in Albuquerque

And another thing… every UPS man has brown hair and a brown moustache.  It that a UPS requirement?

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.34.22 PM
MBA-? No.  ‘Stache? YES

Anyway… where was I? Oh… the door “notice.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.49.14 PM

 Well, I was suspicious.  For a few reasons.

A)      It was not a UPS notice or a  USPS notice- but it *kind of* looked like one- or like the DISTANT cousin of one.

B)       I’m, generally, suspicious of anything that happens in my neighborhood.

C)       There are always people walking around my hood taking surveys, trying to sell me Cablevision or electrical service, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.32.20 PM
I’d like to leave you some reading material

Although, no one has tried to SELL me a Jehovah’s Witness… yet.   But when they do, I am ready.

Ok, so getting back to this specific note.  It indicates they have “Missed You.”  And there is a “Phone Call Required for Information” and I “Must Call” to schedule.

tag_2

So what all of this screams to me is: Bull Sh*t.

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 8.14.00 PM

Is Bull Sh*t one word?  I never know.  Regardless… it is the stool  of the Bull, I suspect.   (Don’tcha just LOVE the word “stool?”  It’s so clinical and vomit-inducing. )

Sh*t.  I mean, Crap!  I mean, STOOL!  I keep getting distracted.

Now, I was curious but merely at my standard-operating level of irritation.  However, I was, kind of, in the mood to mess with someone.

I open the door and dump my stuff down because, you know, I “Must Call.”  I dial the number and am immediately am put “on hold” without any type of announcement.  Like “Thank you for calling UPS” or “Hello, you’ve reached the ‘This is a ruse’ corporation.”

I listen to music and after a few minutes, a young woman picks up:

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.31.48 PM

Them:  Hello?

Me:     Hello.  I am calling regarding a ‘delivery notice’ left on my front door?

Them:   What’s the Route Code?

Me:     I’m fine, thanks, how are you?

Them:   What?

Me:     You need to Route Code?  Uh… it’s not too easy to read- AG- maybe 102313?

Them:    And what’s your name?

Me:     You need my name?

Them:   Yes.

Me:     Ok.  My name is Kristin.

Them:   LAST NAME?!!?

Me:     Moore.

Them:   And your address is – <and then she read my address back to me>

Me:     Yes.

Wait for it.

Them:   Are you familiar with the electric company?

Me:     The iconic 1970’s TV show on PBS?  Yes, I am.

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Them:   <silence>

Me:     Is this not the electric company to which you are referring?

Them:   Huh?

Me:     The electric company?

Them:   GE.  The Electric Company. GE?  Have you heard of them?

Me:     I have heard of AN electric company named GE.

Them:   <silence>

Me:     Ok.  So what about GE?

Them:   Well there is someone in your neighborhood who has an exciting gift for you.

Me:     Reallllllllllllllllly?  A GIFT?  For meeeeeeee?

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Them:   <read monotone from a script> GEisrunningsomeveryexcitingpromotionsinyourareaandarepresentativewillcometoyourhometotalktoyou.

Me:     They are coming to my home?

Them:   Yes.

Me:     That’s not really going to work for me.  Can I swing by their place instead?

Them:   What?

Me:     Or they could just leave my present on my front porch.

Them:   What?

Me:     My “exciting gift.”  They can just leave it for me.  I don’t really need to meet with them.

Them:   But a representative will be coming to your home.

Me:     I am not interested in meeting a representative,  I just want my “exciting gift.”

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As an aside… I have a huge problem with the “gift with purchase.”

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The bulk of my work experience has been in purchasing.   I can’t even begin to tally the number of pens, calendars, mousepads, coffee mugs I have received- all of them sent in hopes of obtaining my “business.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.44.05 PM
Crappity, Crap, Crap

And all of them get tossed.  And here’s why.  I don’t want to business with someone who wastes money on crap.  If you are SPENDING money on crap, that means you aren’t giving me the best price possible.  So keep your crap and give me a better price.   But, you’ll remember our NAME if you drink your coffee out of a mug with our name on it.  If you give me a price break, pal, I PROMISE, I will remember your name… and you know how?  Because it will be written on a bunch of checks  I give  to you for giving me your product at the best price possible.

Aside continued- the worst “gift with purchase” I have ever been offered is a loaf of French Bread from Lancôme.   If I spent $22.95, they gave me a loaf of French Bread.  Yes, you read that correctly.

W

T

F

?

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.38.16 PM

I want to meet the genius that came up with THAT idea.  And honestly, to execute this MUST have been a pain in the nards- because the bread was FRESH- so they had to have partnered with a bunch of elves to bake and deliver this bread on a daily basis for the duration of the promotion.

Them:   “But if you spend $22.95, you get a FREE loaf of French Bread.”

Me:     “I’m buying this mascara for $18.”   (which I recognize to be ridiculous)

Them:   “Oooooooh, you need to spend $22.95 for the loaf.”

Me:     “So what do you have for $4.95?”

Them:   “Well… nothing. <looks around> “But you can buy this eye pencil for $24.95.”

Me:     “That’s a really expensive loaf of bread.”

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.38.16 PM

Them:   “Nooo, the loaf is free.”

Me:     “Not really, if I have to spend an additional $24.95 to GET the free loaf.  I can buy bread at the store for, like, $2.”

Them:   “But it’s a free gift.”

French bread.  Seriously.  FRENCH BREAD.   Erno Lazlo was giving away anal suppositories that day, free with a $55 skincare purchase.

Back to the GEnius.

Them:   But you have to meet with them and if you sign up to receive electrical service through GE you could be entitled to an exciting gift.

Me:     Wait.  I COULD be?  What does that mean?

Them:   Well, if you qualify.

Me:     What do you mean, if I QUALIFY?  What is the gift?  A Romanian orphan?  A rare reptile that you need a license to keep?  A hand gun?

Them:   What?

Me:     So what you are saying is- the delivery notice you left on my door was just a SHAM, you don’t ACTUALLY have a delivery for me.

Them:   I didn’t leave anything on your door.

Me:     Well the notice that was left on my door contained a telephone number, which I dialed, and now I’m speaking to you.   The whole thing was just a SALES SCAM.

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 7.49.14 PM
There is no gift for me. :(

Them:   I have nothing to do with it.

Me:     How do you figure?

Them:  I just type in the information and read what’s on the computer screen.

Me:     Which has nothing to do with this?

Them:  That’s right.

Me:     Well since it has “nothing to do with you” as you say, may I speak to your supervisor?  Maybe THEY have something to do with it?

Them:   What?

Me:     I’d like to speak to your supervisor.

Them:   Oh?  You’d like to speak to my supervisor?

Me:     Yes, please.

Them:   Hang on…

And she hung up.

Screen Shot 2013-10-26 at 8.26.02 PM
Say Hello to my Supervisor: Dr. Click

Well.  I’m guessing she must have felt she had a little something to do with it if she didn’t want me to talk to her supervisor.

All in all, I have to say, I’m disappointed.  I barely had ANY fun and I didn’t even get my free gift.

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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

September 24, 2013

I’ve, long since, stopped asking myself- Why me?  I know that it is my lot in life to be a beacon for weird.   My husband no longer rushes, stunned, to my aid or to hear my ridiculous story- he merely groans and says “What happened now?”

man reading
You were kidnapped by a Bolivian Drug Cartel?  Sounds fun, dear.

Whilst preparing for vacation, I went to the mall to get the mandatory mani / pedi in order to look like a human, as opposed to my normal look:  tree sloth.

????????

Why would I want people to see the real me?   I was supposed to meet a friend at the mall.  She is, minimally, 45 minutes late for any plan, so I had some time to look around before going to the nail salon.

I hate people, so the mall is a nightmare for me- as, usually, there are people there.  Frankly, anything outside of my house is a nightmare for me.  However, in my mall I have the added “bonus” having kiosks as well as stores.

imagesCAMR82OA

I phone screen repair kiosk, t-shirts-with-dirty-sayings kiosk, proactive kiosk, ear piercing, pretzels (mmmmmmm, pretzels), balloon animals… you get the picture.   It’s a veritable obstacle course of horseshit to navigate.   The non-beauty of the kiosk is that one doesn’t chose to “enter” a kiosk, like one would a store, the kiosk, at times, can “come to you.”

Dressed in my finest sweatpants and T shirt, I entered The Mall.   I saw someone outside of Victoria’s Secret handing out lemonade… I have zero interest in Victoria or her slutty secrets,  thank you- so I swung wide to avoid the lemonade when “Maxima” stepped into my path.

Maxima is 6 feet tall if she’s an inch.  “She” is a dark skinned black “woman” and she is laser-focused on ME.  Oh shit.  But I’m not a jerk, so I had to say SOMETHING, but my plan was to decline whatever “she” was selling.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.09.21 PM
You are coming with me.

“Gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl… what is going on with your hair?”

Is she talking to me?  She wants to know what’s going on with my long, thick, naturally red, naturally curly hair?

carot top too short
Not like this…

carrot-top perfect
More like this.  You know, if I were Carrot Top.

“Um. Excuse me?”

“Gurrrrrrrl, you are a mess, gurl.   Come with me.”  “She,” not waiting for an answer, grabbed my arm and dragged me to her kiosk, pushed me down in the chair, swiveled it to her, got right up in my grill and said “Gurl, you need help.  I’m Maxima and I am here to fix you up, gurl.”

“Um… “  I replied, terrified.

“Is this a weave?”  Maxima asked, manhandling-emphasis on the man- my locks.  “Because this is NOT a good weave.”

weave
This is not my hair

“Um…no”

Maxima and “her” assistant, Nayeunka (I’m not even sure how to pronounce her name, I only know it because it was on the SPOILER ALERT:  sales receipt) began tugging at my hair piling it up in a multitude of clips and twists.    I looked at my watch- well I had the time, my friend is perpetually late.

“Shit, this is not a weave.  Gurl, when was the last time you got your hairs done?”

“Yesterday. I had my hair cut yesterday.”

“Whatttttttttt?!?!  Gurl, you don’t look like you had your hairs did yesterday!  I don’t know what salon you go to, but thank goodness, you came to see Maxima!”

“Well I didn’t really come to you…”

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.09.21 PM
You are coming with me.

“Gurl- what are you wearing?  Gurl- you should be wearing a RED DRESS and high heels!”

“Um, I’m getting a pedicure and um, leaving for vacation and, um, I’m doing laundry and um, red isn’t my color, um, I’m an autumn and um…”

“Gurl, you gotta be dressed up, girl! You ain’t getting any younger, gurl.”

Word.

carrot top
Am I pulling too hard?

“Gurl- once you hit 30- you gotta dress up all the time if you want to land a man.”

“My man has landed.  And just how old do you think I am?”

“Um, let me look at you.  Um.  Hmmm, I’m not very good at this.  Hmmmm.  32?”

I’m almost 44.  “Maxima, I love you.”

“Oh gurl, I love you too and we are going to fix you up good.  I gotta give you my number, gurl.  I got stories to tell you gurlllllll.  We need to hang out, hit da clubs, gurrrrrrlllll.”

I, instantly, come up with a title for her “stories.”  American Horror Story:  Maxima.

Maxima and Nayeunka iron my hair and burn the f*ck out of my scalp as Maxima tells me “her” life story.   “She” is married to a Hungarian man who is very “cultured.”

hungarian man
Mr. Maxima

I asked what type of culture he was into?  Opera?  Symphony?  Ballet?  Maxima said “What?  Nah,  he’s cultured – he ‘spects me to cook his meals and clean his house.  But I’m a modern woman.”

Modern?  Yes.  Woman?  Well…   Plus, apparently, I know nothing of Hungarian “culture.”

While I was being overhauled, Maxima and Nayeunka got into a shouting match with the skanks hocking tea at “Tea for You and You for Tea.”  Maxima has been encroaching on their “turf” and they have complained to mall management.

acw_drag-queen-race-tom_50051
Gurrrrrllll, I’ll shove that tea where the sun don’t shine!

The Tea Hos informed Maxima “she” is not permitted more than 2 feet beyond the perimeter of the kiosk.   Maxima clapped her flat iron at them and told them to mind their own business.

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Tea Hos be gone!

At this point, I’m, kind of, siding with the Tea Hos.  I mean, if Maxima had kept within the designated 2 foot perimeter, I wouldn’t have been kidnapped and blinking out a SOS to passersby.

30 minutes later, this sucker was walking away with a flat iron (which I will never use) and a VIP card for $16.99 entitling me to flat ironing anytime (Monday thru Thursday) for one year.

vip card
The deal of the week

Aside from the ridiculously expensive flat iron, I thought the $16.99 was worth it.    (And in truth, I knew I could give the flat iron to my sister.  Plus, Maxima really did impress me with “her” sales “pitch” and I felt she earned a sale.  Interpretation:  Stockholm Syndrome.

carrot top straight
Post overhaul

At the end of my “remodeling,”  Maxima said “Ok Gurrrrrrrrl, next time we do curls!!!”  So… kind of how I was when pre-make-over?

carrot-top perfect
This is my look for next time

Maxima gave me “her” phone number, and I escaped to meet my friend.  When I entered the nail salon flustered, my friend said “Where were you?”

I said “I was accosted by a Tranny with a flat iron.”

pedi

“Oh.” My friend said, barely glancing up from her magazine.  She is well aware of my talent for attracting lunatics.

I arrived home ready to relay my adventurous tale to my husband, who barely nodded.

man reading
Sounds good.  What time is dinner?

Just another day married to me.   I showed him my new flat iron that Maxima insisted I buy and he just shook his head and went upstairs.  I, btw, made sure to buy the ugliest one too.

???????????????????????????????
Ugliest Flat Iron on Earth

That should make a nice gift for my sister.  Tee hee.

Fast forward two weeks, I arrived home from vacation and head to the mall for a pedicure.   I peeked around the front entrance to JC Penney, calculating the best way to circumnavigate Maxima and her flying monkeys … and I see nothing.  No flat irons.  No kiosk.  No tucked-junk,  No Maxima.  Did I come in the wrong entrance?  Nope.  I see the Tea Hos cackling and pushing their tea, but no one getting their hairs did.

Hmmmm.

My first thought is:  did I dream it?   Nope, $100 flat iron in my bathroom- still in the box-and I have a Transvestite’s digits on my fridge.  These two things seem to indicate the episode was real .

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.09.21 PM
Let me give you my number…

My second thought is:  Crap, am I on the internet getting hoodwinked out $100, plus tax?  Nope.  Surely, someone would have let me know if they’d seen me.  And don’t call me Shirley.

My third thought is:  I’ve been had through a vexing episode of Tranny Hypnosis.

CRAP.  I’m too nice.  I get sucked in.  I’m too nice.  I once got grifted at the gas station for $20 and my husband will never let me forget it.  I’m too nice.

But heyyyyyyyy, what about my VIP card?!?!?  I want my weave did!  I rushed home and looked for the receipt and the VIP card.  Oh great, there is a line of teeny, tiny type (normal people call it : the fine print)  on the VIP card says:  Offer valid through March 2011.

vip upclose

Hold on, let me check the calendar…Right.  As I suspected,  the current year is 2013.

I called the phone number listed on the sales receipt.  “Beep, Beep, Beep- the number you have reached is no longer in service.”   My next move was go take to the internet!!  I type in the website listed on the VIP card.  Phew, there are flat irons and curling irons on the landing page… no trannies, but, I feel happy to have had a smidgen of success.  Ok, let’s see- I’m looking for something indicating “find us” or “locations.”  Hmmmm.  I don’t see anything of that nature.

I click on “Contact us.”  Perfect.  I will contact them.   I click on the button and am taken to the FAQ page, with this message:  Please check our FAQs before attempting to send us an email.   11 pages of FAQs later, I am permitted to send them an email.

This is my email:

Hello, I purchased a PYT Flatiron from the Hair2dayStyle kiosk in the Springfield Mall on Aug 4, 2013 and I bought a VIP membership for $16.99 allowing me to have my hair straightened at the kiosk for 1 year.  Well… the kiosk is now GONE.  Has it moved within the Mall?  If it is, indeed, closed, I would like a refund for this VIP card.  Please advise.  Thanks.

This is the email I received in return:

Thank you for contacting Hair2dayStyle.  Unfortunately, we do not have any authorized re-sellers or dealers; the only way to purchase an authentic Hair2dayStyle Product is through our website. www. Hair2dayStyleproducts.com.  If you are seeking a refund for the VIP membership you purchased, you will have to locate the person in charge of the Kiosk.

Thank you.

The Hair2dayStyle Team

Ok, WHAT????  Let me get out my magnifying glass and DNA kit and try to track down the owner of the disappearing kiosk.  Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

At first I interpreted this email to be that because the kiosk is no longer there, they won’t stand behind the VIP card or the flatiron.  But then when I reread it, I was like… wait a minute… they are saying this kiosk isn’t legit- I think.   Right?  Is that what you are getting from this?   I need to sit on this before I respond.

In the meantime, I dug out Maxima’s number, dialed “her” up and was all “Hey, gurrrrrrrrrrl it’s me!  WTF is up with the kiosk?!?!?”   Just kidding.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.09.21 PM
Hey gurrrrrrlllll, what’s the 4-1-1?

But, the business card on which Maxima wrote “her” number had another telephone number that says Hair2dayStyle and gave a telephone number.  The telephone number was different than the one listed on the sales slip.  So… I slap on my moustache and Hawaiian shirt and call the number.   There no answer, but there is a voicemail, and… the mailbox is full.  I bet Tom Selleck never had to deal with this crap.

I hung up, called my husband and he suggested I dispute the charge.  So I got my credit card out to do so, when my phone rang.   The number calling was the number of the kiosk!!  I answered and a gravely-voiced Middle Eastern Man said “Hello?  You call this number?”

middle easter man
Hejlo?  You call to make sexy time?

I explained I was looking for the Hair2dayStyle Kiosk, wanting to use my VIP card and he informed me that due to a dispute with “Tea for You and You for Tea” the kiosk had been relocated to outside J. Crew.

Yeah, that should go well.  The typical J.Crew shopper LOVES to be accosted by aggressive-flat-iron-wielding  trannies.   It’s an added service on page 27 of the catalog:  Gift Wrapping, Flat-Ironing Tranny Attack, Monogramming…

acw_drag-queen-race-tom_50051
Gurrrrrllll, don’t make me fight your for those flat front khakis

Stunned that Maxima lost the Tea Wars… I said my goodbyes to The Flat Iron King of the Middle East and was, at least, happy that the kiosk didn’t vanish.

Moments later, the phone rang again… same number, same gravely –voiced Middle Easter Man.   “Hello?  You call this number before?  You in mall now and need assistance??”

middle easter man
Hejlo?  You need help to make sexy time?

Wow, for tranny-hiring-tea hating-kiosk-moving-con-artist selling flat irons which “fell off a truck,” this guy was all about service!

I decided to respond to the customer service email:

Hello, thank you for responding to me so quickly.  Since I emailed you, I have learned that the kiosk in question has moved elsewhere in the mall.  But are you saying that this kiosk is not an authorized dealer?  The kiosk is called Hair2dayStyle, but you are saying is has no affiliation to Hair2dayStyle.com?  And the flat iron I bought may not be an authentic PYT iron?

Obviously, I was under the impression this is an authorized dealer … and they, certainly, are advertising themselves as such.  Please let me know.  Thanks.

As my friend Robin said “What kind of world do we live in when you can’t trust the kiosk tranny to be an honest business… um man? Woman? Person?”

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.09.21 PM
Do you want to hear my refund policy?

Their response:

Hello Kristin (read: dumbass)

Yes, I am letting you know we do not have any authorized dealers for our products.  The kiosk in the mall has no affiliation with Hair2dayStyle.  Also we do not have a flat iron that is called PYT flat iron.   Please browse the website for authentic Hair2dayStyleProducts.  Thanks.

Let’s review the facts so far:

  • My friend has a time-management issue.
  • Maxima is a tranny with aggressive sales tactics.
  • I don’t look like I had my hair done yesterday.
  • I am a hot mess.
  • “Her” Hungarian husband wants dinner.
  • I should wear red dresses.
  • It’s hard to “land a man” after age 30.
  • The Tea Hos and the Flat Iron Trannies (FITs) had a turf-war.
  • “Tea for You and You for Tea” employs power-hungry ninjas.
  • Kiosks are temporary.
  • Sometimes criminals have good customer service.
  • Hair2DayStyle doesn’t sell their shit anywhere but on their website.
  • My hairs is not getting did anytime soon.
  • The FITs (Flat Iron Trannies) are, in all likelihood, currently waging war with the J.Crew.
  • I was hoodwinked.

Yep, I think that, about, covers things.

So what does all of this mean?  Well Lola at my credit card’s Fraud Division said  “You’ve been ripped off!”  (Say it with an Indian accent though, it almost sounds cute.)

call center

I am attempting to dispute the charge as the products sold at the kiosk are not authentic.  The PYT flatiron is not affiliated with Hair2dayStyle.   It’s all a little convoluted for my taste, which is saying A LOT.

The burns on my scalp have healed, more or less.   When I see Maxima’s telephone number on my refrigerator, I feel a tinge of regret.  I’d like to hear more stories… so who knows, maybe I will whip out that expired VIP card, put on a red dress and go hang out with “her” outside the J. Crew.

Screen Shot 2013-09-23 at 9.09.21 PM
Come back and see me sometime.

Rikki-Tikki-JAVVY!!!!!

June 13, 2013

I like to joke that I live in a ghetto.  I don’t REALLY.  I live in a city that does have many, many unsavory areas.  We, however, do not live in one of them.

Picture 353
My Shanty

That being said, I live on ¼ of an acre of property, which is considered sizeable for the ghetto, and my neighbors live close.  Because it’s a city, and because the houses are pretty close together, we don’t, generally, have much “wildlife” around.  We have the occasional rodent and my dog did kill the neighbor’s parrot (shhhhhhhhh!  Do NOT tell them) and  he has been plotting the death of a certain chubby squirrel, but that’s it.

dead-parr0t
Polly want a…Uh oh

At my Dad’s house he has everything.  Deer, squirrels, coyote, turkeys, elephants, foxes.. you name it.

Picture 001
My Dad’s Yard

At 5:30 this morning I let Javelin (The Weimaraner) out, while our Pitbull, Briscoe, peacefully slumbered, dreaming of marshmallows,  in his canopy bed (that little princess doesn’t wake until 11am).

briscoe sleeping
Do not disturb

When I opened the door, Javvy took off like a SHOT to the back corner of our fenced lot.

javvy hunter
I like to kill stuff.  So sue me.

I knew there was a hole in the fence in that area.

Briscoe, apparently, likes to sharpen his teeth on MY fence!   The  neighbors have put a piece of metal up against their side of the hole.  They have assumed Briscoe won’t chew metal.  The joke is on them.  He’ll chew it, digest it and fart it out within 45 minutes.

I heard the piece of metal fall but I assumed Javvy just knocked it over.  Next thing I see is a GIGANTIC raccoon- no joke the same LENGTH as Briscoe, who is, admittedly, shrinking, but still would make a HUGE raccoon if he had the proper wardrobe- climbing up a tree in my neighbor’s yard.  And then teetering along the tall picket fence next door and disappeared into someone else’s yard.

animal-picture-raccoon-wen-flickr-animalpicture
Oh.  Hi.

I look over and see my neighbor two doors down- apparently “waking and baking” at 5:30am- and I say to him “Hey, there is big old raccoon headed your way…”

Seth+Rogen+seth27
Got cheese doodles?

To which he replies “Oh. Yeah.  That one has 4 babies.”

WHAT?!

And you KNOW that Miss Raccoon will set up shop for her and her kids in our yard, right?

This incident reminds me of ANOTHER funny incident involving Tony and a cat.

Many years ago, when Tony and I were merely dating- before he was shackled to me like a recaptured fugitive on the run after killing 7 men in Texas, we were house sitting at a beautiful home in Essex, Connecticut.  The master bedroom had French doors leading out to the lawn.

The family for whom we were house sitting had a menagerie of animals.  Many dogs, several cats, birds, fish, a hedgehog, etc.  With the exception of the birds, all of the animals were nice and great to care for.   The birds would lunge at my jugular a every opportunity.  The cats went in and out but normally came in for the night.

American_Shorthair1
The Cats

ocicat

On a side note, one of their cats was mute.  It was sad, but funny at the same time.  He would walk around – mouthing- MEOW. 

One evening, I went to lock all of the doors while Tony went into the bedroom.  He yelled to me “Darling, the cat is at the door in here.  I’m going to let it in.”

cat-looking-in-window
Don’t make me degrade myself by having to knock

I continued what I was doing until his statement registered in my brain.

“Tone- the cats are all inside.”  I yelled.  I thought for a second… WHAT is he letting in the bedroom?!?!!?  I thought he was letting in some other cat that didn’t belong in THIS house.  And I thought to myself- I can’t imagine how hard it would be to get a strange cat OUT of a 6,000 sq foot hourse.  So, I RAN to the bedroom yelling “NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo!”

Thank goodness the doors were a little tricky to open because it was NOT a cat at the door.   It was THIS:

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Come on, guys!!  Let me in!

Apparently, they do not have raccoons in England.

What am I? (trying something different)

June 11, 2013

Here I sit, day after day.  Hanging on the edge of a cup.  The side of the cup separates me from my opposing twin.  When the girl comes, she claims me.  Using me to fix, her perception of, what is wrong.   

The girl doesn’t ask my permission.  She lifts me from my post and puts me to work.

She assumes I am ready and waiting for her.   Which I am.  But she shouldn’t assume this. 

My opposing twin is useless without me.  And I without it.  Together we work to change the canvas. 

Sometimes she uses me up top.  Sometimes in the middle.  Sometimes on the bottom.   The canvas is the same.  That is, until my work changes it. 

My work, however, doesn’t last.   The work I do is temporary.  But that means job security, I guess. 

Sometimes she doesn’t use me.  I may not be right for the job.  She, sometimes, uses the purple one.  But I know, I do a better job.  More thorough.

The purple one goes with her.  I don’t know why the girl chooses to take that one.  It hurts me.  I’d like to go too. 

 I’ve been with her for many years, through thick and thin.  When times are thick, I make them thin.  Then times are thin, I sit and wait. 

My paint is peeling.  The girl sends me away sometimes.  I come back to her renewed, wrapped safe and snug.  Bubble wrap protects me from them and protects them from me.

Once she left me in the car while she went on vacation.  I should have gone along, but I was not allowed to accompany her, at the time.   My picture was posted.  They called me dangerous.  Anyone who would use me to do harm should consider broadening their horizons.  For I am small, and any harm I could do would be minimal. 

I am called upon in times of frustration.  But when my work is finished, the girl is happy.  Until tomorrow,  when I am, again, put to work. 

The girl examines herself in the mirror and then uses me to fix the problems.   As the girl ages, she needs light to allow me to do my best work.  She pinches me and pulls, pinches and pulls, but I do not feel violated.  This is my purpose.

My work is fast, but lasts for a little while.   I know I make a difference in her life.   She stares and stares and stares.  She looks for trouble.  And she usually finds it. 

I believe I am useful to her.    Although, I long to be with her.  I want to be tucked in that little bag with all of the pots and brushes.  It would be nice to make new friends. 

Uh-Oh! SpaghettiOs

May 29, 2013

I sit in this little room. It is familiar. I can see the water, and it’s beautiful. I wish I could see this sight in times of joy.

I have a perspective of the city that I only have in times of despair. I see three church steeples, and the highway. In the distance, I can see the bright sign at Stew Leonards. I can’t see what is on sale, but I know something is. Probably Chicken.

Placed in my hand is my Uncle’s hand. His hand is swollen and bruised with some lines going in. His grip is strong. It’s a strength that is in disparity to the rest of what I see. Before me lies a man I have known since my birth. He is dying. He now weighs less than my dog. But on he fights.

His name is Padraic, Gaelic for Patrick. Padraic Gannon. It is pronounced Pour-igg. To me, he is Uncle Poo.

My sister and I joke that my uncle cannot be killed, but we were wrong.

I’ve been in this place before, with my mother. His sister. Looking out the window, the view is the same, the steeples, the highway, the chicken on sale. Then too, I held a hand which is slipping from my grasp.  I am at the Hospital.

Uncle Poo is unique. He grew up in Ireland, and he is one of six children, the oldest boy. His mother died of cancer when he was not quite nine. Six kids, the oldest was ten, left motherless.

After my grandmother died, the kids were wild. Their father worked and there was little supervision. “Here come the Gannon boys” the neighbors would say with a shudder.

My mother used to say that Uncle Poo’s real mother came up from South America and dropped him off in Ireland. This was not to disparage South Americans, but to say that Uncle Poo was VERY different than the rest of the family.

Different isn’t bad, it’s just different.

Of Uncle Poo, my mother said “There is nothing thicker than an Irishman, and he is the THICKEST.” Oh, and stubborn too.

Uncle Poo began smoking cigarettes at 10, a habit that would continue until he was 70, when he learned he had emphysema.

Oddly, seeing two of his sisters and a brother pass from lung related illnesses did nothing to make him want to quit.

I mentioned  he was THICK, right?

Thirteen years ago, he burned down his house while smoking. That did not make him want to quit either.

Yep. THICK.

When the fire fighters pulled him from the burning house, they thought he was dead. They even pull the sheet up over his head on the gurney. Clearly, they had no idea how stubborn he could be.

The day Uncle Poo decided to quit smoking, he put the cigarettes down and never touched them again. It was that easy. This left us shaking our heads. Although, that was generally what one was left doing after a conversation or interaction with Uncle Poo.

I don’t have an “earliest memory” of my Uncle Poo, because, since the day I was born,  he was just always there. And he usually brought doughnuts. My Uncle Poo would come over every Sunday to visit and would, seemingly, stay forever.

When I was a kid, Uncle Poo was great fun to have around. He would walk around the house with either my sister or me on his shoulders. When we would come to a doorway, he would always says the same thing “Watch your block.” This was his cue for you to duck so you didn’t hit your head.

As children he tortured us. He called it teasing, we called it torture.

He told us if we planted a feather, a bird would grow.
He told us to go look for invisible quarters.
He told us to go out in the yard and to dig to China.

It wasn’t all teasing, Uncle Poo had pearls of wisdom:

“The white cows give the white milk and the brown cows give the chocolate.”

“Did you hear about the man with the one eye called Casey? What was his other eye called?”

We guessed. And guessed. And guessed. But Uncle Poo never gave us the answer. Little did we know, his eyes didn’t have names, it was a joke about punctuation.

He liked to badger us with “Uh oh! Uh oh! Uh oh…” When asked what was wrong, he responded “SpaghettiO’s.” And then he would crack himself up.

This was nothing new. Uncle Poo tortured his siblings, long before he was called “Poo.”

Once my mother left Ireland for the United States, my Uncle ruled the roost. My Uncle Joe, Poo’s brother, told me this funny story. In his teens, Uncle Poo had a carpentry job. One day he came home from work with a cake. His four younger siblings gathered around him, sitting at his feet. Uncle Poo unwrapped the cake and cut it into 5 pieces. The kids thought “Great! One for him and one for each of us.” Not so fast… Uncle Poo proceeded to eat all 5 pieces of cake while his siblings sat there drooling.

There are so many funny stories about my Uncle Poo, but this one might be my favorite. Growing up, we had a large freezer in our basement. In it was stored items bought on sale, or things we would eat at a later date. One day, my mother handed Uncle Poo two half-gallons of ice cream, and asked him to “take them downstairs to the freezer.” No problem, my Uncle took the two containers, went downstairs and came back a few minutes later to his cup of tea.

Two days later, my mother went to the basement to retrieve something, and she found the two half-gallons of ice cream sitting outside the freezer… melted.

She got on the telephone to Uncle Poo, explained her findings and asked what the heck happened?!!?

“What do you mean?” Uncle Poo said incredulously “You asked me to take the ice cream down to the freezer.” The error was my mother’s. She never told him to put the ice cream INTO the freezer.

I said he was THICK. I think this was around the time when my mother started referring to him (to my father) as “your brother-in-law.”

As a kid, my Uncle loved to take us to Carnivals. The kind at the church parking lot- with the rides that were, in all likelihood, death traps. There was an instance where Uncle Poo “wandered off.” My sister, Patti, and I knew we needed to track him down, so we decided to go to the booth where they made announcements.

We knocked on the door to the booth and a dude came out and asked what we wanted? We explained that we needed to have our lost Uncle paged. Even at our young ages, we knew that “Uncle Poo” was not a name that should be announced over a PA system, so we decided to have him paged by his proper name. “Padraic Gannon.”

“Please page Padraic Gannon.”

“What?”

“Please page Padraic Gannon.”

“What?”

“Please page Padraic Gannon. POUR-IGGG GANNON.”

“You want to page ‘PORK Gannon?  As in PORK CHOP?!?!”

Patti and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and said “Close enough.”

“WOULD PORK GANNON PLEASE COME TO THE ANNOUNCERS BOOTH???”

He did and we were reunited.

Despite all of these silly antics, stories and torturous idiosyncrasies, if you needed ANYTHING, Uncle Poo was always there. I have known, in my heart, Uncle Poo would do anything for me.

He was always so strong, and a ridiculously hard worker. He was like an ant, he could life 50 times his body weight. He guarded his food like you were going to take it from him. He wasn’t one for flowery talk, but he took care of his family and always did the best he could. Although, he never told me he loved me, it was evident by his actions.

Last month, at the beginning of this ordeal, I was called to my Uncle’s house to try to help him get out of the car. He had just been diagnosed with bone cancer and he was unable to walk. He was in a tremendous amount of pain. His wife, Marcia, had gone to pick up some pain medication at the pharmacy and I sat with him on his front porch.

We sat there in the sunshine and talked.  He was very thin and frail. I had never seen him like this before. I leaned over to him and I said “You know I love you, right?” He stared straight ahead and nodded once. I nudged him and said “While we are waiting, do you want to look for some invisible quarters?” A tiny smirk came across his face.  Shortly thereafter, Marcia came back with the medicine and he took it and went inside to bed.

But I knew we had shared a moment. A moment I will never forget.

Over the past few weeks, I have watched Uncle Poo decline. He has grown thinner and progressively less responsive. But he remained stubborn. He ripped out his IV more than once, and continually tried to remove his oxygen mask. The nurses called him a pain in the ass, and, frankly, I couldn’t argue with them.

At the hospital one evening, I sat in the ICU holding Uncle Poo’s hand. Although he was weak, his grip was strong.

A nurse came in to discuss some things with my Aunt and cousin, they huddled in the corner talking. I leaned in and I said “Uncle Poo, you know Patti and I love you very much, right? You have been the best Uncle anyone could ever ask for. “

From under his oxygen mask, he whispered “I love you, too.”

It was the first time.
It was the last time.
It meant everything to me.

Last night I said a prayer. It was a prayer similar to the one I said before my mother died. “Please God, if he is ready to go, please take him. God, if you think you can handle him, please take him. Allow him to go in peace to be with his siblings and his parents. Please do not make him to suffer any longer.”

An hour later, Uncle Poo was gone and is now at peace.

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your window pane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Slainte, Uncle Poo

The Chronicles of Ray: A Tale in Two Parts

May 9, 2013

I have a friend named Dawn. She has been my friend for nearly 25 years. We met while working in jewelry store, called “RJ Walker” (not the real name). I was 20 and Dawn was 18. I had taken a semester off from college and Dawn was working to prepare to move to California, in a creepy van, with her then-boyfriend, Ryan.

This jewelry store wasn’t normal. This could be the understatement of the year. It might be the understatement of the century. Let me try to explain.

rings

The jewelry itself, predominantly, was sterling silver. The owners bought in bulk, therefore getting exceptionally low prices. Even with their mark-up, the retail prices were very reasonable. Earrings ranged from $7 to $50, with most being in the lower range- $7 to $20. They were perfect for birthday presents – one kid to give to another. Plus the store provided free gift wrapping. And the selection was CRAZY. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of earrings to pick from. They also had bracelets, necklaces, charms, rings, crystals (yeah, it was the 90’s).

The store also had an “Estate Jewelry” section. Dawn and I were not allowed anywhere near the estate jewelry cases. Only the owners and the store manager, Liz Hooper Lesbian Lover, were allowed to go into those cases. While I’m sure the pieces were fairly priced, our grubby little paws were not permitted to touch those cases.

jewelry cases 2
The stuff of my nightmares

Because they had such a huge selection, the jewelry cases were packed with stuff. And it all had to be straightened and arranged, and straightened, and polished, and straightened and the tags fixed and straightened… you get the picture. The bulk of the day, we would straighten the cases. And then around 2pm, the rush would start.

customers
May I help you?

The store would fill up with people browsing. Then they would buy and we would write up the sales slip by hand, box and wrap the item and send them on their merry way. The customers LOVED the store.

Behind the scenes, it was an asylum.

The owners were a married couple, Ray and Jan Neurotic (again, not their real last name. I got the last name by opening the dictionary at random and pointing to a word. No joke, that’s the word I picked at random.). They were both nerdy and unattractive. My guess is they were probably around 40. They seemed old to me, but in truth, they could have been in their mid to late 30s. Jan could have been very pretty if she used a little make-up and wore some non-circa 1973- librarian clothing. She had long, straight, red hair. She always wore it pulled back severely in a tight bun. She had beautiful, alabaster skin… but she had a huge, unsightly, hairy, annoying growth… his name was Ray, her husband.

wookie
Ray

Ray and Jan were making a fraking bundle with this store, the customers loved them… but if you worked for them, it was a whole different story.

Jan was nice, actually. I always felt like, maybe, she had been tricked into marrying Ray. Like, maybe she lost a bet or had been sold into some type of white, hairy slavery. Jan had a few little quirks, but she did snicker, under her breath at Ray, which was always amusing. Jan was not nearly as self-important as Ray. I think she hated the customers, she didn’t voice it as much as Ray.

The physical sight of Ray could be daunting. He was a tall man, and was on the enormous side. Ray resembles something out of a 70’s horror p*rn film. He is Ron Jeremy-esque, only not as sexy, and hair-free.

Ron Jeremy
That’s right, I’m the SEXY one

Ray had a white man’s afro, a full moustache and beard. And when I say full, I am talking about Grizzly Adams-full.

Grizzly Adams

Ray looked like Grizzly Adams. Well-Grizzly Adams if he had fought a bear for a ham sandwich. Ray, also, wore wrap-around mirrored Oakley sunglasses.

Wrap around Oakleys
I’m so cool

Some guys could get away with wrap-around mirrored Oakley sunglasses. Ray is not one of them.

He was always dressed in a suit and wore an “interesting” tie. In fact, customers would comment on his tie, to which he would reply “Oh, I decided to tie one on!” Har Har Har Har. Har.

ties
Let’s tie one on, shall we?

Ok, the first time, maybe it is slightly funny. Slightly. But after hearing it every day, at least 4 times per day… I’m over it. I wanted to “tie one on” to his throat and pull tight.

Ray is great. Just ask him, he’ll tell you. Ray believes he is, absolutely, the smartest person in the room…and by “room,” I mean universe. He knew more about everything than anyone.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.14.43 PM
INCONCEIVABLE!

Vizzini stole his line from Ray’s mindset “Have you ever heard of Plato? Aristotle? Socrates? MORONS!!”

Ray believed he was, certainly, better than Dawn and me, but also better than the people who shopped in his store. As soon as the store emptied out, he would nitpick, criticize and laugh at each customer that he felt was not as perfect as he was- which was all of them.
• Whoa. She needs some plastic surgery.
• Whoa. She should stop getting plastic surgery.
• She should spend more money on her wardrobe, especially if she wants to keep that husband of hers.
• She should STOP spending so much on jewelry, especially if she wants to keep that husband of hers.
• Could you imagine waking up next to THAT every morning. (oddly, not said to his own reflection.)
• Maybe she should lay off the Baskin Robbins.
• She should shop down the street at that OTHER jewelry store.
• That guy is an idiot.
• Go have another drink.
• Ha! He can’t afford to shop here.
• Honey, stick with The Food Emporium
.

It was endless.

Normally, I love that crap. However, these were the people who were supporting him. These were the people who, time after time, patronized his store. There were the people that paid for him to have a home and clothing. These were the people that laughed at his stupid jokes. These were the people who kept him in ham sandwiches. In my opinion, thinking something shitty and inappropriate is one thing, but saying it out loud is something entirely different.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.17.41 PM

Don’t get me wrong, both are BAD, but he was saying it in front of employees… employees who did not, as it turns out, sign a privacy or non-disclosure agreement. In my opinion it was irresponsible and frankly, it was just a shitty thing to do.

Dawn and I worked in the shop from 8 to 6, Monday through Friday. The pay, at the time, was GREAT. The Minimum Wage in 1991 was $4.25. We made $8 per hour. Which would have been great, except a considerable portion of my salary went to pay for the parking tickets I would get- literally EVERY DAY.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.20.20 PM

The town had parking meters, and even though I would feed the meter every two hours, they would ticket me because my car was in the lot for longer than two hours. So thanks Gottrocksville, CT- I’m sure my parking tickets put a new wing on the Town Hall. Jerks.

Ray and Jan had a few rules.

1) No perfume in the store (if you had perfume on, Jan would stand over you while you scrubbed off)

2) You could not leave the store for your lunch break – this way, if they got busy, they could SNATCH you, mid-bite, from your soggy, stale sandwich at any moment.

3) Conversation in the store was prohibited. Ray, Jan and Liz Hooper Lesbian Lover could talk to one another, and they could talk at us, but Dawn and I were not permitted to speak to one another, unless it was jewelry related.

To clarify, Liz Hooper Lesbian Lover- phonetically, must be pronounced:

Liz Hooooooooooooooper Lessssssssssssssbian Lovvvvvvvvvvvvah.

Are we clear?

We had a radio in the store. And the station we listened to played the same two songs over and over and over. Whitney Houston’s Star Spangled Banner and Gloria Estefan “Coming out of the Dark.”

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.24.22 PM
I
‘m coming out of the dark

Gloria had just recovered from her bus accident and had to have a steel rod put into her spine. Despite Dawn and my unwavering love and concern for the health of Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine- we heard that song so often we wished she had died.

Ray and Jan did not anticipate a friendship developing between Dawn and me. Dawn and I developed an entire language of talking with our eyes. Their No-Talking Rule only drove Dawn and I closer together. Every evening after work, we would regroup in the parking lot out back, and rehash the ridiculousness of the day.

Each day would start with Ray sending one of us (usually me) to a local Deli to get his lunch. The Deli was about ½ a mile away and the sandwiches were pricey. Like $6 or $7 (in 1991) Keep in mind, the time is 8:30am… and I’m ordering his LUNCH. Even the best sandwich is not so tasty sitting for 4 hours in a musty, hot back room of a jewelry store/ asylum. Every day, I’d take the lunch order. Jan would get varying meats- sometimes turkey, sometimes ham, sometimes tuna… Liz Hooper Lesbian Lover would eat nothing but celery sticks and Dawn may or may not order a sandwich. Ray would always order the same thing: HAM. Every. Cotton. Picking. Day.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.26.11 PM
It’s what’s for lunch…every day

Me: Ray, what do you want for lunch?
Ray: Hmmmmmm, Ham. On a hard roll. Actually, double ham- they never put enough on there, swiss and…Oh, I’ll go crazy, have them put a little chutney on there too.
Me: Ok.

(Not for nothing, but a typical Deli usually puts a TON of meat on any sandwich. But Ray realllly, loves his ham.)

ham sandwich
I realize this isn’t Ham, but you get the point.

And then Ray would peel off a $20 from his fat bill-fold and place it on the counter in front of me.

Ray's wad
Ray’s wad

He never handed it to me, he just laid it on the glass counter. He had plenty of $20’s in the bill fold and I have to say, monetarily speaking, Ray was generous and he would often treat us to lunch, which was nice. Of course, he was such a colossal douche that when he bought you a sandwich, you felt it was well-earned.

Every day, Ham. Monday? Ham. Tuesday? Ham. Wednesday? Ham. Thursday? Ham. Friday? Here is a shock, Ham.

One day, I saw a glimmer of hope. Change was on the horizon.

Me: Ray, what do you want for lunch?
Ray: Hmmmmmmm. Hmmmmmmm. Today, I am going to have a hard roll, with egg salad.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Dawn and I both looked at each other… WHAT?!?! Egg Salad?!?! Wow. I’m pretty sure Egg Salad is the 6th sign of the Apocalypse.

Oh yes, it’s right there in the Bible- “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets and an Egg Salad Sandwich.”

Look it up.

I grabbed the money and the order and started to leave and Ray stopped me “Oh Rachel…. Can you have them put some Ham on the side of that sandwich?”
I replied “Right. Side of ham.”

(Yeah, there was a girl that worked there on the weekends named Rachel. Rather than learn our names, Ray just called both of us Rachel.)

When I was hired, we did not review the roles and responsibilities associated with fetching Ray’s lunch. I did, however, assume a reasonable level of responsibility in insuring Ray did, indeed, receive lunch each day. Before I would leave the Deli, I would check to make sure I had the entire order. Any idiot knows not to poke a hungry wookie, so I always checked the bag to make sure Ray’s sandwich was there. I knew it was Ray’s because it was four times the size of every other sandwich. Ok, maybe not four, but it was noticeably larger because 3 pounds of ham tends to take up extra space.

wrapped sandwich

The sandwiches were wrapped in white butcher paper, secured with a piece of masking tape. Because they were wrapped in opaque paper, I could not, visually, check the sandwich to insure the meat was correct. Well I could, but I would have had to un-tape the parcel, remove the paper and inspect the sandwich. I was a good employee, but even I wasn’t going examine a ham sandwich in the alley between Pongetti’s Flooring and the Texaco station. Net/Net, I had to place a modicum of trust in the Deli Dude, I believe his name was Scott, to make the order correctly.

One day, I returned to the store, with two sandwiches and, what I thought to be, Ray’s whole suckling pig…on a hard roll…with a little chutney.

Suckling pig
Ray’s lunch

At Ray’s designated feeding time, ham was dumped into his trough… and there was a problem. His ham was, in fact, chicken. You thought Apollo 13 presented a problem???

Ray bounded up the stairs, with the sandwich in paw “Rachel! I ordered a HAM sandwich. This is a CHICKEN sandwich.” shoving the sandwich in my face, chicken remnants clinging to his beard and his “interesting tie.”

I apologized.

He asked me if I checked the sandwich.

I told him, Yes, I checked that I received a sandwich FOR him.

“Why, Rachel, did you not check to make sure you bought me the correct sandwich.” Ray spat.

I stood there looking at him. “I assumed the correct sandwich was put in the bag.” I replied.

As soon as it was out of my mouth, I new it was a mistake. I ASSUMED. And you know what happens when you assume, right?

Apparently, Ray thought I should be standing over the guy making the sandwich so I could guarantee he made the sandwich WITH HAM. Because that wouldn’t be weird for anyone involved.

I wanted to tell Ray to get his own goddamned sandwich and to stop being such an ungrateful jerk. Plus- eating ham every day can’t be good for you. Ever consider a salad you big, hairy oaf?!?!  I, however, kept silent.

Ray turned away from me. I thought, perhaps, he might be taking a moment to collect himself, we were, after all, talking about a SANDWICH. I didn’t steal from him. I didn’t crash his car. Nope. Ray was looking for a weapon.

adding machine
Ray’s weapon of choice

Ray picked up the adding machine and threw it at me. Thankfully, Ray has the throwing skills of a sightless, armless baboon. The adding machine hit the counter and shattered into multiple small pieces. He grabbed his chicken sandwich and stormed downstairs.

I looked around. Jan had her head down, straightening a jewelry case. Liz Hooper Lesbian Lover assumed the same stance a few cases down. Only Dawn looked at me. She smiled her toothy grin, brought her fist up to her chest and quickly mimed “jacking off” in my direction.

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.37.20 PM
Excuse me, do you mind if  I wax my porpoise

I proceeded to drag the cumbersome, ancient Electrolux vacuum out of the closet and clean up the pieces of the adding machine- biting the inside of my cheek to suppress my smile and laughter. Thank goodness we had Gloria Estefan to drown out my little snickers.

I fantasized, across town, Stan Brooks, CPA opens his lunch bag and finds a Ham Sandwich instead of his usual Chicken. In my mind he does not yell. He does not pout. He does not hurl electronic mathematical aids in anger. He puts his feet on his desk and says “Cool. I haven’t had Ham in a long time. But who the fuck put chutney on this thing????”

I learned two things from that episode. 1) Ray is spoiled child and 2) I had found a true friend in Dawn.

~TO BE CONTINUED~

A Rose by any other name…

April 22, 2013

My mantra, in general, is “I hate people.” And believe me, at times, it is warranted.

I am constantly amazed at the rudeness and cruelty I come across. Me? Yeah, I know, I tease and joke, and I judge … but anyone who knows me- truly knows me- knows that I would give a stranger the shirt off my back.  I am nice.  And many times, I get treated like garbage. One would think I would learn my lesson, but I don’t. I would rather give to someone and have them crap on me, and be able to sleep at night knowing I did the right thing than ignore someone who needs help.

That being said, when I see someone acting mean, I will call them out.

Today, something crazy transpired, normally I would say I’m speechless, but let’s face it, that rarely happens. Boy, oh Boy, do I have speech!

Of course, this stems from Facebook- or as I like to call it:  the root of all evil.  This afternoon, a “friend,” for these purposes let’s call him Dick (no offense to those named Dick or actual penises) – posted the following on Facebook:

“For today’s poll, who is more repulsive? Roseanne or Rosie O’Donnell? Feel free to vote.”

He then posted these photographs of them.

Ro and Ro

Ok, not the most flattering of either one. The photo of Roseanne is taken from her unfortunate performance of The Star Spangled Banner at a MLB game. Yes, it was horrible- I love my country and I thought it was disrespectful. BUT Roseanne has since publicly express regret and remorse for this “performance.” And actually sang the National Anthem again, nicely, to try to make amends.

The photo of Rosie… yeah, I can’t even explain it. It’s unflattering, sure. And she’s picking her nose… jokingly. But I defy you to say you have never picked your nose! But you probably haven’t done it on web cam, but I digress.

I was the first person to post a comment. I posted this:

“Why do you think they are repulsive?”

I was hoping that maybe he would say “These pictures are both gross.” Ok, I could have accepted that. As I said, they were not good pictures of either women.

A few other people chimed in saying things like:

“It’s a tie.”
“Roseanne”
“Rosie is a fat pig.”
“Roseanne is a disgrace”

You get the idea.

Then Dick posted that everyone should “you tube” Donald Trump vs Rosie O’Donnell. And that Roseanne’s performance of the National Anthem was disgraceful.

Everyone has feelings about Donald Trump. Rosie and Donald Trump argued publicly. Mean things were said on both sides, however, in my opinion, his attack of Rosie O’Donnell was ridiculous. He attacked her weight and her appearance and I consider those things to be low blows. Certainly Donald Trump is an intelligent man- he would not know such success if he was not. However, these types of attacks only show ignorance and make him look like a jerk.

A few more people chimed in that both are repulsive, etc.

Now, I’ve heard extensive interviews with both women and watched their shows. I know there is much more to both women than an ill-conceived singing performance and a web-cam nose picking. I felt compelled to comment.

Let me preface it by saying- these are my words, I stand by them. I knew it might cause an “issue.” But as I said, when someone is mean I don’t stand by quietly. Do these women need me- Kristin- a NOBODY- to defend them? No, they do not. But by the same token, the post was mean spirited, and thoughtless. I could have ignored it. But it was mean, disgusting and made me mad.

I posted this:

“Hmmm, let’s see which one is more repulsive…
Roseanne broke the “glass ceiling” for women in comedy. She’s been nominated for countless awards and employed hundreds of people for the better part of 10 years.

Yes, she sang the Star Spangled Banner badly, in 1990- an incident she has publicly expressed regret over. She has since sung the National Anthem- nicely at other baseball games.

Wouldn’t you love to have your nose, repeatedly, rubbed in a mistake you made in 1990- 23 years ago?

Roseanne lives, almost entirely, off the land, growing her own vegetables and fruit on her Macadamia Nut farm. What she doesn’t use, she donates to the poor in her community in Hawaii.

Rosie donated her $3MM book advance to start her For All Kids foundation to help institute standards in day care facilities across the US. The same foundation has given over $22MM in grants to over 900 non-profits, and helped local non-profits to assist people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

When P&G announced she was the most “Un-kissable” celebrity, she donated donated bottles of Listerine mouthwash to her audience and donated $1,000 to charity every time a guest would kiss her- she donated more than $350K through that effort. Her “broadway kids” foundation benefits more than 4,500 teachers, students and families. She has donated $50MM of her salary to other charities, and has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to war veterans who have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Oh, and she has given a loving home to 4 adopted children.

Hard to say which is more repulsive.”

I don’t claim to know everything about either Roseanne or Rosie. I’m sure they have both made their share of mistakes and have regrets. But both women, pretty much, put it all out there. Both have had trailblazing careers. You may love them or hate them, but can you think of anyone who has changed “the rules” and not had supporters and detractors?

Shortly thereafter, whist on the treadmill, my phone “peeped” with a Facebook message from, you guess it: Dick.

Dick: I deleted it in your honor. Did not mean any harm.

Of course I responded.



Me: You didn’t “harm” me. Just thought it was mean. Don’t delete in my honor, delete it because it was not a nice thing to say.

Dick: It’s already gone. But, I still don’t care for them at all. Nice that they give back. Just find them historically obnoxious. 



Me: It’s obvious you don’t know much about either of them other than what they look like or a few missteps. Maybe read more about both and you won’t be so repulsed.

Dick: a few? ok. I’ll get on that.

Me: Ok, list their missteps for me and i would be happy to reconsider their repulsiveness.

Dick: I care not to waste time on such silliness. Have a nice evening.



Me: Silliness. The post said more about you than it did about them. Maybe consider that.

Dick: Wow! Apparently several others saw it for what it was, a joke. had a laugh and moved on. You make more fun of your husband than I did about them. Consider that. 



Yes, I do make fun of my husband. But I never say anything truly hurtful about him. And I never say anything that he would not say about himself. Furthermore, I tell my husband I love him a thousand times a day. I know I am lucky to have him and we are partners.

But Dick wasn’t finished with me. He decided to REALLY let me have it. He was REALLY going to show me the kind of person he REALLY is.



Dick: You are bounced. huge loss in my life. maybe you defend them because you are fat too. maybe you defend them because you are ugly too. maybe you defend them because you are a lesbian. either way, I don’t care. Grow up.

Obviously, I couldn’t respond because I am blocked. Boo Hoo. I’m not sure how I will be able to go on. How will I ever be able to live without his ignorant, homophobic rants? Good thing I have a blog!!!

Am I fat?  Yeah. Most people would probably say I am fat.

Am I ugly?  Maybe. But my husband tells me I am beautiful every single day.

Am I a lesbian?  Well no. But I have a lot of gay friends and let me tell you, they are amazing people. They are authentic and are living honestly. They have to struggle in life just to be themselves. They have to fight for the same rights as every other member of society. I love, admire and respect each and every one of them.

Do I need to grow up? Yeah, probably.

And I would rather be a fat, ugly, childish lesbian than to be an ignorant, hateful, superficial homophobe who gets off on being mean to other people.

I think we both showed our true colors.


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