humor

Breakfast at McD’s

place-setting-compToday I returned to the doctor’s office for my lab work. I need a big girl sticker for just returning after Tuesday’s misadventures in waiting. But this time the wait was reasonable, my appointment was a 8am, first on the list, so I was willing to give them the 10 minutes for set up time. Twenty minutes overall wasn’t too bad (I was early again).

Dr. M. told me that the tests being done get the best results if I fast and stay hydrated. I took that to mean that not only was blood being drawn, but also the good ol’ pee in a cup thing. So, I gulped a nice, large thermos of ice water on the way over to the office. Turns out the hydration was just for getting a good vein. I ended up hungry, but full if you get my drift.

Since the blood drawing (sounds rather Medieval doesn’t it, blood drawing…), anyway, since that didn’t take very long, I figured I could wait until I found a breakfast place to relieve my hunger and bladder. The less time spent in a place where sick people congregate, the better – especially in a place where you know they will have touched the same things you will.

I really didn’t want to stop at a fast food place. I thought I owed it to myself to have at least a decent egg and toast breakfast. But time and nature have their own ways and my nature call became rather urgent just as I was coming up on, you guessed it, MacDonald’s.

I succumbed to the lure of the golden arches and it’s usually clean bathrooms. What the heck, their iced coffee isn’t that bad. I pulled in and parked across from the door and walked in. I first hit the facilities, which thankfully, were in lovely order. Next, I moved to find something on the menu that didn’t seem to scream, “You are eating crap!”

All the cute little pictures above the counter seemed to feature some version of a biscuit sandwich. I wanted at the very least, pancakes. I questioned the woman behind the counter. “All you seem to have are biscuit sandwiches. I want pancakes.” She replied, “You can get a McGriddle with an egg and bacon.” I asked what a “McGriddle” was. She said it’s like two pancakes with the syrup inside served with an egg, cheese and bacon. I thought okay, it’s not Denny’s, but it will do. I placed the order.

What came back to me was a biscuit sandwich. Seems I should have paid attention to the ‘like’ portion of her statement. Oh, well. I asked for a fork so that I could take the sandwich apart and pretend that I was having the breakfast I ordered. (I did not eat the bacon. I rather figured it did not come from a turkey.)

My doctor’s office is located about 15 miles or so from where I live in town. The county where it is situated is developing and has quite a few businesses popping up all around. The countryside is fast becoming a quasi-urban/suburban area. Many of the residents, however, are still very rural. They are the ones who grew up on the former farms and country roads now being overtaken. The McDonald’s that chose me is also in this same rural/suburban crossroads and the clientele showed this with clusters of older folks speaking with deep, Georgia southern accents.

Not wanting to sit at one of the single barstool type places, I took a booth seat next to a group of three older gentlemen, who were deep in swapping stories. Expecting to hear tales of hunting or local politics, I was pleasantly surprised to hear what they were discussing – their families, more specifically, special family vacations! It was all so sweet.

One gentleman, who I shall call Mr. Buttonup, was treating his coffee clutch brethren with the tales of how he and his family used to take vacations in the mountains and tell ghost stories around the campfire. He laughed and laughed telling the tale of how he and his wife took turns inventing outlandish stories that took place “right on this very spot.” He added with a smile on his face that it never took long for everyone to end up in the same big bed for the night.

Another gentleman, Mr. GreenPolo, told of his inexpensive vacation at the beach. “Best time we ever had and all for under $300!” His companions were very impressed. “We walked the beaches for miles, it was just wonderful.” They all agreed that one could not get such a vacation for $300 nowadays. And at that they began to talk about moseying along.

My heart jumped a little when I realized they were about to leave for it had struck me a little into their conversations that they were all about my Dad’s age. I was eavesdropping with a wistful ear and wanted their stories to go on. It was so pleasant to hear these men teasing back and forth and regaling each other with stories, not of hunting, or business deals, but of times spent with their families. It was if I was listening to my Dad again. I wanted to thank them for that little piece of joy they had just given me.

As they started to leave, I called out to Mr. Buttonup, “Sir, if I may…” and I explained that I had lost my father this year and that their conversations about their families had truly touched me. I apologized for listening in, but I thanked them for letting me in for just a moment even if they didn’t realize they did.

Mr. Buttonup said I was most welcome and Mr. GreenPolo asked what I said. Apparently, he was a bit hard of hearing. (I guess that was one of the reasons I could hear them so clearly; they were compensating for Mr. G.) Mr. B told him the short version of what I said and they both smiled. Mr. B asked if I was from there and I told him no, I was only on this side of town for an appointment. Then he said I was welcome to come back anytime, they met almost every morning right there. That made me smile.

I may not have gotten what I wanted this morning, but I sure got what I needed. I cried a little after they left, both for what they had given me and for what I will never have again, but in the end I was left with a smile. Someone knew I needed that little slice of love even if it came wrapped in a fast food breakfast biscuit. Thanks, Dad. I love you, too.

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Waiting & Cussing

lonely carI hate it when I get tired and irritated and run out of words. When I run out of words, I resort to cussing. Mind you, I’m talking cussing, not swearing. There is a difference. Swearing, in my humble opinion is a higher art form than cussing. Swearing involves creative thought, a unique combination of well put together words to form an expressive and descriptive, yet negative picture. For example:

“Mother of pearl and golden dams, that hurt!”

Cussing on the other hand, it more earthy, immediate and guttural:

“Hell’s bells and g*d dammit, that hurt!”

There are no well thought out variations; no, it’s just a bam! there you are sort of thing. Visceral and heartfelt cussing is brought out when there is no time or filter.  To me, it has it’s place in one’s freedom of expression and I have no shame nor sorrow to say I am verbally proficient, but it is also the bottom rung of word symbolism and yesterday I sank that low in writing. For that, I am embarrassed (especially if my mother reads it).

Let us recreate the scene:

As you may or may not know, I am still having issues with my right foot and ankle. I have seen doctor after doctor to find out why my poor ankle and foot swell to the point of tightness and pain and why my ankle will give me acute shooting agony at odd times. Ultrasound, MRIs, x-rays: all reveal nothing, except the things I do not have. The last orthopedic specialist recommended I be tested for soft tissue diseases and see a vascular specialist. Money doesn’t grow on trees, so why shell out for yet another specialist if I can get some of that done at the local level, you know? That is how I ended up at my general practice doctor’s office.

 
So there I was at my GP’s. I signed in a cheerful 20 minutes early, thinking in a strangely optimistic way that this would help slide me right into my 4:15pm appointment. Now, that’s not as foolish as it sounds because this was happening at my other appointments for the past few weeks, so I had reason to be hopeful. Well, those hopes were soon to be dashed in a slow, torturous tunnel of time.

 
I was tired, nervous, and on edge. This ankle thing has been going on for quite some time and it’s costing me a lot in many ways. Chronic pain does something to people and by people, I mean me. I am grumpy, short tempered, and tense. I end up taking a lot of meds to help take the edge off and by that virtue, I end up losing time at work. (Goodness knows, I don’t want to have to go through a urine test at work for this!) I’m also losing valuable good time with my family, especially Yoda, who is growing up and away by the day. I’m distracted, well, you get the picture. I was ready to get the appointment going so I could get my labs done and be on my way.

 
As I sat working my crossword puzzle and surreptitiously observing the others in the waiting room, I kept hearing name after name being called back, all but mine. I think I knew I was in trouble when a fellow waiting room occupant not only ran out the internal battery of her Kindle, but also the emergency battery and began searching for an outlet. By 4:45, I was ready to bust. The woman behind the counter said, with a verbal pat on the head, that it shouldn’t be too much more time. It is too laugh.
My eyes were bleary from working crosswords, I played through the paltry assortment of games on my phone, and ran out of people to observe because I was the only one left. The religious MUZAK was taking on ominous tones of brainwashing. God’s happy music was starting to sound a bit on the Stepford side. If the reason for my visit was not so important to me, I would have walked a long time ago. It was now 5pm.

 
At last my name was called to the magic ‘back’, but told that it would still be a wait.  I left home over two hours ago and have been waiting an hour and 15 minutes. Insert internal screaming here.

 
I entertained myself in the exam room with more magazines, but that didn’t last long. I swiped a couple of tongue depressors and had a wooden sword fight with myself. I took a latex glove and blew it up to make a chicken. I paced a little to stave off the sleep that threatened. I allowed myself to get beyond frustration and what is a modern person to do about that? I posted it to FaceBook.

 
This is where the written cussing took place. All out in public. Yep, the best place in the world to display a total lack of verbal creativity and show that I really should have joined the Navy that day in the recruiter’s office so long ago. I ended my short little rant with the mother of all four letter combinations. Yes, I dropped the ‘f-bomb’ on public media. Really swift.

 
You know if you post a photo and comment it on it via mobile, you can’t edit the comment? Found that out a little too late. So there it sat, four little rudely combined members of the alphabet for the world (or at least the twelve people who read my FB page) to see. I think that began to bother more than the continued waiting.

 
I am not a prude by any means, as I said I am very proficient in verbal cussing, have been since a young age. I used to get in trouble in elementary school (yes, me) for gratuitous usage of foul language. Perhaps that is where my love for words began – trying to find the alternates. Or perhaps it’s where I learned that words have power – to change, to mark, to delineate, to shame or raise up. Next time and I am sure there will be a next time, I will stick with swearing (at least in public). It is much less worrisome, at least to me, but if you perchance do see me slip up and bring out the verbal trash again, please note the dire circumstances said expletives are surrounded by and do not judge too harshly.

 
Oh, and by the way, I did not get out of the doctor’s office until 6:20pm. Gosh darn it.

Peas Under the Plate

I owe my mother apologies for many things done or not done over the years, but I believe high on the list should be a hearty, “I’m sorry” for the repeated utterance of the following three little words:

“What’s for supper?”

Every night the same inquisition. Every night the same stares of anticipation. Every night the same dread. What’s for supper?

My Mom faced this eternal (infernal) question each night from four children, a husband and various and sundry pets who passed through our way for thirty years or so. Bless her little heart. I wonder if she, like I now, wanted to slap a frying pan upside someone’s head when those three little words came out?

Mom made do. I admire that and wish I had more of her “do”. She made supper and we ate it (with the exception of my younger brother Ernst, who subsisted on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for 18 years, but that is another story). We had a meat, a veggie and a starch every supper. She made it work, whether we deserved it or not.

When we asked “what’s for supper?” I’m sure there were plenty of turned up noses at times, but the menu she worked out is what we got. There was no ditching the kitchen and heading off to the nearest fast food establishment. Going out was for special occasions and with dinner guests numbering from four to six most of the time, it was rather expensive, too.

We lived on my Dad’s one salary. Mom made it work. Some nights we had Spam patties as the meat source, other nights we had round steak that had been split in half lengthwise then pounded out to stretch. There were other nights of fried chicken or pork chops and mashed potatoes (not applesauce).  Looking back those must have been the times my parents were more flush, but it didn’t matter, we partook of what we had, which is not to say we ate it all – no, I remember clearly trying to hide peas under the rim of my plate and I’ve heard stories of my brother Stavro covertly placing items behind the refrigerator.

Supper was the time the family regrouped. All were called by the rallying cry, “supper’s ready”! Off went the t.v., down went the books, the telephone conversation was cut short, play was halted and we all came together.

We had marvelous conversations and learned of each other’s daily lives. We told stories, passed on new knowledge, played word games and made plans. Occasionally, we would fight, but most of the time we laughed, a lot. Supper became less about the food and more about the time spent together. It was something I think we took too much for granted. Another apology owed to Mom.

Maybe that’s the “do” I’m missing. Even in the worst of times, Mom found something to make for us so that we could sit together and eat. She may have wanted to conk each one of  us on the head for asking what’s for supper, but she didn’t and we survived to ask another day.

Perhaps I need to take the message more to heart. The t.v. needs to go off, apps turned off, Yoda called in from play and make supper the focus it should be, our family reconnection. Stretched paychecks and crossed schedules need to take a backseat to the preparation of what’s for supper. Nothing says I can’t resent the question, but everything says I can make it mean something else.

Thank you, Mom.

Music? of the Night

Logo courtesy Grammys.org

Okay.  The Grammys are over.  The jesters for the masses have honored their own, broadcasted for our entertainment.

The show was a bit off kilter for me.  The elder demigods of rock and other genres seemed shadows of their iconic selves.  Sir Paul should just write for other people now. Admit it, even as a Beatle his voice was never really that strong and now age has strained it further.  The Boss, well, his voice and playing are just as dynamic, but – and please forgive me this – he seemed a bit dated.  It was sort of like listening to Lenny Kravitz’ version of “War”.  He tried, but the moment had passed.

The segment with Glenn Campbell was sweet but sad.

Some are criticizing the Taylor Swift’s Clampett version of her song “Mean”.  I thought the staging was just campy enough to pull off.  What do you want, she’s a kid. The banjo playing was cool.

Never like the Beach Boys to begin with. Their music rehashed through Maroon 5 and some other band didn’t help.  And Brian Wilson? Like I said, never cared for them to begin with.

The Foo Fighters just rankled my nerves. They couldn’t be done fast enough.  I guess its my age showing, but then again I never really cared for that type of music anyway.

Chris Brown did some interesting dancing while lip syncing, but isn’t he the guy who was accused of beating Rihanna?  I kind of tuned out when it was him and some other guys doing some sort of mix up toward the end.

Katy Perry’s anthem about the breakup with her own Neandertal was interesting.  It just seemed some segments in the show were overly long.

People slammed GaGa last year for her egg entrance and Madonna take off, but I’m guessing they missed her last night after that fiasco with Nicki Minaj.  Performances dealing in religious and/or sacrilegious themes don’t bother me (I loved Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”), but they at least have to be well put together.  Whatever Ms. Minaj put on last night was not put together and I can’t blame the camera angles on this one.

Warped versions of Catholic (or heck Anglican or Episcopalian) service participants cavorting around in some “Exorcist” meets “Rocky Horror” does not entertainment make.  Particularly since I couldn’t understand a single thing that came out of her mouth. If you say you understood one word sung(?) then I shall be bold enough to call you a liar!

There were shining moments last night.  Bruno Mars, with his cutie self gave everyone a smile and a reason to get up and move.  The Alicia Keyes part of the tribute to Etta James was lovely.  Jennifer Hudson’s tribute to Whitney Houston was quite beautiful and Adele’s return was triumphant, although I did miss some of the grit in her voice.  Amazing, nonetheless.  Her six awards were well deserved even without the sympathy vote.  I can hardly wait to hear what comes next for this witty, soulful young woman.

If you missed the Grammys take heart; there are no less than eight more award shows coming for the year.  There will be plenty of shining moments and I’m sure plenty of inexplicable as well. There’s no business like show business.

Peace Out

I’ve been absent a while.  School has resumed, the holiday lull at work has given way to busy nights and I’m getting up in the mornings to take Yoda to school since Bashert is still working her long term sub job. Hectic reigns supreme.

That’s why I skipped last week’s photo challenge.  Peace is a fair ways from my threshold.

I must admit that peace is a difficult concept for me anyway.  To say I’ve been through a few rough spots in my fifty years would be about right.  And for the past fifteen years, I’ve learned what it is to live amongst the tribe of ADD.  Our last name is Bedlam.

In an effort to help out, others have made suggestions on how to gain more peace in my life.

Yoga just doesn’t do it for me, besides I look like a stuffed sausage in those outfits.  I’m Jewish; I don’t do pork.

Guided imagery was a hoot.  Once we got to the giant floating bubble, I lost it – I had a complete vision of Glenda the Good Witch gliding down into Munchkin Land singing to Dorothy in a quivering voice.  The leader did not appreciate my giggles.

Exercise?  See the above comment about stuffed sausage.  I’m lazy and I think I’m allergic.

The closest I have come to finding some sort of peace is when I’m involved in a jigsaw puzzle.

There’s just something zen about it to me – finding all the interlocking pieces.  But with aforementioned tribe clamoring about (okay, there’s only two of them, but you come stay a while and you’d swear there are more, too.), four cats, one ailing dog and only one table in the house large enough to work on, peaceful turns into a jaw clenching challenge to finish before it goes flying or that one last piece goes missing.

No, peaceful is not an adjective that lives in my mind, but if the theme ever comes up as “discombobulated”  I’m in the money!

…and my mother thanks you…

Whilst lying abed and nursing my first winter cold and frankly hiding from the Yoda sleepover leftovers, I caught up on a couple of blog messages sitting in my emails.  One of these was from awkwardeldon.com, in which he admits that he is remiss in acknowledging the blog awards he received.

This brought to mind the Versatile Blogger Award nomination that Hotoffthewire.com presented me with back in November.

Doing what I like to do, I researched this award.  Can’t be too sure on the internet, you know.  Turned out it’s a real thing passed about the blogosphere. Not everyone out there is impressed or flattered with this prize, but I am.  A total stranger appreciated my words and passed the award my way.  It wasn’t as if my friend from down the way said, “Hey, I’ll nominate you, if you nominate me.”  I think its rather neat.

Now, I’m not so naive not to know that these awards are also used to drum up business for other bloggers.  But isn’t that what we are here for in the first place, to be read?  And if someone takes the time to notice my little blog then I should take the time to acknowledge that fact.

I let the nomination fall by the wayside because I didn’t have enough information on other bloggers to recommend the 15 that are suggested in the nomination “rules”.  But after sticking this out for a few months and stalking around and joining the Weekly Photo Challenge, I’ve found kindred souls and some not-so kindred souls who make my reading and viewing pleasure more enjoyable, if not challenging.

So here it goes – according to the rules:

To fulfill the nomination, the nominee must:

  1. Give credit to the person who nominated you and create a link to their blog in your post (coming up so watch for it!).
  2. Create a list of 15 blogs that you enjoy most and link to those as well. You must then tell those bloggers you have nominated them for the award. If you don’t have 15, you can’t do this step. If you can’t do this step, you can’t claim the award.
  3. Finally, you must create and post a list of seven things about yourself.

Forgive me please of you are one of the bloggers I found that prefer not to partake.  Just know that I nominate you in kind because I’ve found your site interesting, humorous, insightful and/or thought provoking:

  1. Thanks to Kelly Thompson of www.hotoffthewire.com for the nomination.  Sorry it took so long to acknowledge.
2. The LIST:

(For no other reason than being the first 15 in order of my Blogs I Follow list)

  1. Bashert – www.bashert04.com –  My lovely and creative life partner.  Her photos are beautiful.
  2. The Pamela Chronicles – http://pamelamarie.wordpress.com- A newish friend met through Bashert.  Premiere archivist and genuinely sweet person.
  3. Publikworks – http://publikworks.wordpress.com – Dry, funny, witty.  Makes the everyday a little bit better to take.
  4. The Laughing Housewife – http://thelaughinghousewife.wordpress.com – The first blog I ever “liked”.  A funny, british lady who’s in love with the British version of Whoppers.  Great jokes to have a laugh, groan or borrow.
  5. Janine/Shambolic Living – http://shambolicliving.wordpress.com – A wonderful blog I found through the weekly photo challenge. I stayed for the writing.
  6. Margie – http://latebloomerbuds.wordpress.com- Wonderful photos, full of colour and texture.
  7. Northern Narratives – http://northernnarratives.wordpress.com – Photos and words from where it’s really cold.
  8. Max Adams – http://celluloidblonde.wordpress.com – Sundries across the gamut.  I never know what might pop up and get me thinking.
  9. Straight Guy in the Queer Skies – http://brianeasley.wordpress.com/ – Interesting tales of a straight airline steward.
  10. Spectra – http://spectrumwoman.com/ – She had me at her “other incarnation” photo.
  11. Becoming Cliche – http://becomingcliche.wordpress.com/ – A wonderfully humorous, if somewhat bumpy ride on the pathways of life.
  12. Eldon – http://awkwardeldon.com/ – The guy who reminded me about this. You just have to read.
  13. FrizzText – http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/ – Interesting conglomeration of thoughts, photography and guitar.  How ‘bout that for a combination?
  14. Susie & Amy – http://insatiablebooksluts.wordpress.com/ – Just what they say they are right up front.  Any site that promotes reading and uses 1940’s pin up art is okay in my book.
  15. Dan/a LEGO a day – http://legomyphoto.wordpress.com/ – A fun must for anyone who loves their LEGOs with a pinch of humor.
Seven things about me:
  1. I was the fastest typist in my 8th grade typing class; 56 wpm.  Typing, not keyboarding – you know…clack, clack, clack…bing!
  2. I once held hands with Leif Erickson (the actor, not the viking).
  3. If I developed a vice that would be the end of me, it would probably be gambling – Vegas and I did not part ways as friends.
  4. I have a small collection of playing cards, baseball caps and elephants.  It’s one hell of a poker night.
  5. I missed graduating from college (the first time) with Cum Laude by 1/100th of a point. A very sore 1/100th of a point, indeed.
  6. I have not worn a dress since 1995. And truth be told, it was actually a skirt that my divorce attorneys made me wear.  They thought it would make me look more feminine in court.  Ever see a steel worker in drag?  That was me.
  7. I wrote my one and only fan letter to Bobby Sherman in 1969. I understand he is a very nice man, who works in the California emergency services industry now.  I still have his greatest hits on my iPod.  Well, some of the greatest hits, well…okay, one song – Julie Do You Love Me.  Eight year old me and 50 year old me don’t exactly have the same appreciation for his music.

Okay, there you go. Rules fulfilled and compliment acknowledged.  Thank you for welcoming me into the sphere.