All posts by itsa50thing@gmail.com

I’m Baaaccckkk!

Sorry if I scared you!  Aaannnndddd I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long…life just keeps…happening.  I’ve gotten a full time job, and I’m in school!  Sometimes I still work at the restaurant…so, you know…I’m tired!

And, I kinda forgot my password.  Get off my back, ok???!!!

Anyway, I will try to post more than once a year.  This is my solemn promise to you, my subscribers.  All 12 of you.

Word.

 

Conversations with the Dog – (A new continuing series, much to your chagrin)

The part of the dog will be played by my vivid imagination.

Everyone talks to their dog, right? I mean, we live with the furry little (or in this case big) guys every day and share most of our lives with them, so it’s only natural, right? Feel free to jump in any time now with reassuring murmurs.

Well, okay then. I do talk to my dog. And, I believe that he answers, in a canine sort of way.

Case in point: I had prepared for myself a box of brussel sprouts to go along with my ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, as you do. Buster, our family dog had assumed his normal spot next to my chair, hoping, no doubt, for a dropped morsel. And, so, with a mournful glance from his sad, brown, doggy eyes, it began.

microwave_brussels_sprouts

Me: I would give you some, but you won’t like this buddy.

Buster: Mom, it smells so good. Pleeeaaase!!!!

Me: Awww buddy you just like the smell of the butter.

Buster: Mom! Mom! Trust me on this!  (Pacing around the kitchen) I love brussel sprouts! 

Me: You don’t either!  

Buster:  Uh huh! I found one in the neighbor’s trash bag the other day and it was awesome!

Me:  Are you sure it was a brussel sprout? And what did I tell you about eating stuff out of people’s garbage cans?

Buster: Yeah, yeah, I’m sure! I need vegetables Mom! Hook me up Mooooommmmm!

*More mournful looks

Me: Okay, (cautiously) Here ya go!

*Puts single brussel sprout on paper plate.

Buster: (playing around with brussel sprout, then slurping it down) Yummmmm!

Me: Wow, really? You liked it?

Buster: Yes yes! Can I have another one?

Me: Okay then!

He ate about 5, before I cut him off. I was a little worried about the effect this might have on his…err…digestive system, (if you know what I mean.)

I immediately had to publish this information on Facebook, because, you know, my dog likes brussel sprouts!

Buster the talking, brussel-sprout-eating dog
Buster the talking, Brussels-Sprout-eating dog

Next week Buster and I will discuss the upcoming Presidential Election.

Nah, not really. Buster told me he’s already sick of hearing all the politicians grandstanding. I hear ya, Buster. I hear ya. Good dog.

Hiatus? What Hiatus?

I’ve been hard at work thinking up funny stuff to say.  As far as you know.  Back soon with more witty nonsense!

Animals & Pets
            This was taken before I had my morning coffee.

Traffic Karma and New Year’s Wishes for All Y’all:

traffic

Driving in the car with my son, Henry, last week, stuck at a traffic light, I noticed a procession of cars trying to exit from a marketplace, wanting to join my already protracted line in waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Although in a hurry, I decided to let one of the cars in front of me…and then, to Henry’s horror, another.

“Mom! Why did you let two cars in front of us?” He gasped.
“I don’t know,” I said wistfully, “Karma, I guess.” Henry did not seem satisfied with the answer, so I continued, “You know, if you do something nice for someone, it comes back to you…what you put out into the universe returns to you in one form or another.”

“I know what karma is Mom,” he smirked. “So what – the next two times you are merging into traffic you think someone is gonna let you in?” He pressed, rolling his eyes in disbelief.  (After all, at 16, what doesn’t he know?)
“Maybe.” I responded, smiling coyly.

what goes aroundKarma. Yin and Yang. What goes around comes around. You reap what you sow.  Paying it forward.   I know, I know – you all know what karma is, Mom!  Fair enough.  Whatever you want to call it, though, I do think there is some sort of cosmic balance that must be maintained in an ordered universe. It’s the law. I’m not sure why I think this, other than life experience. It just seems to me that when I do something “wrong” I feel the burn of karmic justice, if not immediately, usually soon thereafter. Ahh, but when I do something “good” for someone else, or just in general, I get rewarded. I almost always know when something is “payment” for a good or bad deed, too. 

In my experience, I have found that the karmic justice meted out is commensurate with the crime, and the goodness earned is generally on par with the good deed done. I believe that the failure to understand this concept explains why some folks will never be truly happy.

domino effectI suppose I should explain that, in my view, karma doesn’t mean that bad things will never happen to good people.  Sometimes, they do, and we may not know why.

And, no matter how nice we are, most of us will never win the lottery. (That really bums me out, I must say because I am, like, really really nice.)

People that commit crimes against others will sometimes get away with it…or so it would seem. I kind of wonder about that one, though. I think that, in general, negativity and evil produces a bitter stew that slowly drowns its creator. The more bleak and oppressive a person’s outlook and demeanor, the thicker the stew that will eventually drown him. I think we can all agree, it’s just bad juju all around.  And probably bad stew.

Whew. That sucks.
But now I’m also hungry.

eating stew

Anyway, enough of this hilarity. I wanted to concentrate more on the positive aspects of karma. I wanted to say that I have noticed,  in my life, at least that:
~ When I decline to be greedy, I get rewarded (this often happens at work.)dollar bill

~ When I give someone the benefit of the doubt, someone else does the same for me.
~ When I put someone else’s best interest before my own, I create a happier existence for someone else, which eventually settles with me.  woman in sun

~ When I let someone in front of me in traffic, who knows, maybe the “check engine” light in my car will stay off until my tax refund comes. Maybe, in fact, I’ll actually get a tax refund this year! Well, perhaps I shouldn’t get too carried away. But, I did let two people in front of me.  Just saying.

So, Happy New Year! Get out there and spread some good karma, bitches!

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

hands forming heart

Some Thoughts About Road Clutter

shoe on roadway

I was driving home from Costco the other day when I saw it: a lone shoe in the middle of the road. I have often seen peculiar items on the side of the road, or in the median. Over the years, I’ve glimpsed, among other oddities, a solitary sock, a beachball, a wig, a telescope, a chair, a stove, half of a baby doll, a pair of pants, a sofa, and, so help me God, a prosthetic leg. I’ve kept records.

sofa
But on this occasion, perhaps due to the extended time I spent waiting at a red light, I began to ponder more deeply — how exactly does one lose just one shoe…in the middle of a road? As my brain attempted to make sense of it, I contemplated the myriad possibilites.
Did the passenger decide to hang her legs out the window and simply lose the shoe by accident? Should I be looking for an accompanying sock? Did the owner of the shoe notice that the shoe had, in fact, departed the vehicle? When she got to her ultimate destination…were shoes required, and was the one remaining shoe enough to satisfy the dress code, or was she, and her solitary naked foot, expelled from polite society? Did the driver himself discard the shoe in a misguided attempt to become more aerodynamic? These questions demanded to be answered.

missing shoe

I cannot recall, with any real precision, a situation in my lifetime in which I simply lost a shoe, a sofa, half a baby doll, or a stove in my travels. Not even in my wildest college days — I’m pretty sure I would have noticed.

thinking
Hmm.  It would appear, then, that I may be more conservative in my escapades than I had initially anticipated, and certainly more so than others my age.  What other conclusion can be drawn from this experience but that, clearly, I am not living life to the fullest. Other people are having more fun in their lives…so much fun that a car simply cannot contain it.  No doubt this explains the sudden surge in popularity of the larger SUVs.

As I write this piece, I am deciding which items to pack into my Jetta for my next foray onto the open highway. I’m nearly at quota for half baby dolls and prosthetic legs… but I think I can squeeze a few more shoes into the oven in the back seat.  I’ll be sure and send a postcard when I get where I’m going — unless sharp writing instruments aren’t allowed, which is entirely possible.
broken doll

 

A short story using the songs from my phone

I was looking through some of the titles in my song library the other day, and it occurred to me that one could write a story using some of the common words and sentiments found in song titles.  So I did. I’m terribly sorry. Please accept my sincere apology.  I still don’t know why I did it.

 

Here it is in all its glory:

bts6

Every Morning, Down on the Corner, In a Big Country, In the City, Everyday People fall in love. Everybody Plays the Fool, but Love is All Around. When it comes to Good Lovin’, it’s a Good Feelin’ to Know that if you Let Love Rule, and Let it Grow, One Way or Another, It Keeps You Runnin’. Would I Lie to You?

cartoon guy playing guitar

But, Hold On, Here’s Where the Story Ends: I’m Not the Only One. I Know There’s Something Going On because I Heard it Through the Grapevine. Who Knew? But, is it Just My Imagination? One Way or Another, I’ll have to get to The Heart of the Matter. I’m not ready to say Goodbye to You because I’m So Into You. You Really Got Me. I might be Over my Head, but One Thing is for sure – if you don’t Treat Me Right, you’d better Turn Me Loose. Walk Away. Love is a Battlefield and Love Hurts, but it’s a Livin’ Thing. Love is a Rose. And One Thing is forever true: Good People Can’t Get Enough Good Lovin’.

love songs

 

So, if I Can’t Get Next to You, I Wanna Be Sedated. I Want You to Want Me so I’m Gonna Make You Love Me. I Can’t Help Myself. I’m ready to give you the Best of My Love; I Just Can’t Wait.

Let’s Stay Together because there is no use in Living in the Past and just Waiting for the End. I Decided You’ll Accompany Me as I Walk on the Wild Side.

Soon as I Get Paid.

Unfortunately for you all, I have many more titles in my song library.  I’ll bet you can’t wait until I retire.

 

Music to my Years

Music & Movie

Every generation, I believe, thinks that its own music is the best. And by its own music, I mean the music that we loved while in high school.  After all, that’s the pinnacle of our lives, is it not?  We knew everything, and the world was our oyster.  Or our lobster…I forget which.  Anyway, the world is some seafood or another.

rock lobster

For me, in that I graduated high school in 1980, this means the music I love was created, for the most part, in the 1970’s: The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Blondie, Pink Floyd, The Who, Queen, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac…you get the point. The BEST music there ever was!

Dancing People HD Stock Images Set 5 - HQ Stock Images - Desktop Stock Images

To my utter shock and amazement, my teenage son Henry does not agree.  Every time we are travelling in the car and I turn up the volume on one awesome song or another, Henry feels compelled to make some snide comment about wanting to listen to music that is not 30-40 years old.  I don’t understand why!

mom listening to music in car

Try as I might to get him to embrace the brilliant guitar riffs and to lose himself in the poetry of the lyrics, I have reached the dismal conclusion that Henry just doesn’t enjoy my music!  Read that ridiculous sentence again so that it sinks in.  Whaaatttt! Clearly, I have failed as a parent in this regard.

I simply cannot fathom why he wouldn’t want to listen to “classic rock” and would willfully and wantonly subject his ears to today’s poor excuse for music.

I have no use for the music of today’s youth. In fact, I’m not even sure I could name more than four or five songs from today.  Let’s see: there’s “Happy” by Pharrel Williams (I know that one from Good Morning America,) and…ummm…that “Cheerleader” song…no idea who penned that gem but I’m pretty sure the kids all just call it “that Cheerleader song.”  That’s all I got, folks.  Seriously.

spartan cheer

Tonight, however, I ran into some “older” customers at my restaurant.  They had just come from a local High School reunion – class of 1965.  They wanted me to play the music of their generation over the speakers…the 1960’s they proclaimed…the best music ever made!  “It doesn’t get any better than that,” one of the gentlemen told me. I agreed with him because I wanted a good tip and also because he said, “That’s probably not your kind of music.  You probably like music from the 90’s.” I smiled from ear to ear. Yes indeed.  We young kids don’t know what we’re missing.  😀

studio 55

 

 

Doggone. No, really.

dog clipart

I typically find writing to be cathartic. Not to mention the fact that it allows me to use the word ‘cathartic’ which I just love. Lord knows I can use all the catharsis I can get, and probably a swift kick in the pants as well, truth be told. Especially this week, since we got a dog.

I’m really quite happy that we got a dog because I am a dog lover to the nth degree. But, I have to say that they are a lot of work. I might have actually forgotten just how much work they are, really. My previous dog passed away in 2012, and I didn’t have the heart to get another one right away. Time passed, and our dog-less ways became more ingrained. But, rescue organizations being what they are, and my sense of obligation being what it is…well…here we are.

Did I happen to mention that little kids and dogs that are quite similar to little kids are meant for younger people?  Yeah, well, that.

The rescue organization told me that the dog, a mutt, was young…approximately 2 years old, and would love to go on long, playful walks with a teenager. What a coincidence! I just happen to have a teenager! I imagined the two frolicking together, playing ball, and so forth. So, on the second day of dog ownership, my son Henry and his canine companion went on a walk around the neighborhood.

My husband first noticed that there was something awry – something blue on the front porch – a leash perhaps? Or a collar? He decided to investigate. He soon discovered that the item in question was both: a collar attached to a leash. Being the Sherlock Holmes that he is, he also took note that there was nary a teenage boy nor a dog in sight. Hmmm. Where could they be, the boy and the dog?

Let the shenanigans begin!

Hubby Joe decided to drive around the neighborhood in search of our 6’2″ son and his furry companion. He soon found them on another street, both soaking wet. The story that followed was rich: Buster (the dog, not the boy) had slipped his collar and proceeded to terrorize the neighborhood. Well, terrorize might be too strong a word.  Yeah, we’ll go with terrorize. Much like cathartic, it’s a good word. Buster was having fun running around, keeping several hundred feet ahead as Henry chased after him. Eventually, his escapades landed him in a neighbor’s swimming pool. I kid you not.

dog in pool clipart

Since he couldn’t swim, presumably, he stood on his hind paws, and just kind of chilled in the pool, his front paws providing much needed support. He didn’t seem at all stressed out, unlike the crazy human trying to “rescue” him. The neighbor, having seen the whole incident, was kind enough to offer to get a leash or a rope of some sort so that my son could capture the silly dog.  But, as Henry tells it, he was taking forever, so Henry had no other option but to jump into the pool and corner the dog. Good times. Soaking wet times.

Since that incident, Buster has gotten loose one other time – this time on my watch.  I was walking him, and when he stopped to…well, you know, and I bent down to pick up the…err…droppings. Buster was not happy that I required his patience as I acquired the…stuff.   He also saw a squirrel.

angry_old_woman_chasing_a_doggie_by_diana_hnd-d5nszsv

So, he resisted against his collar, which eventually gave way…and, well, I think you know the rest of the story.  Luckily, this little escapade didn’t end in a neighbor’s swimming pool.  It did, however, end with me, running down the street in flip flops, wild eyed, swinging a bag of poo in my left hand, and his leash in my right, screaming for the dog to return right this instant, neighbors staring in rapt attention as one does in these situations.

I finally spotted him near our house, and, in a fit of what can only be described as sheer inspiration, I opened the porch door, and in he ran!  I followed suit and collapsed, in a heap, on the lawn chair.  Of course, Buster expected a treat for having gone on his ‘walk.’

It was, in fact, a cathartic experience in more ways than one.  And I am totally counting this toward my exercise regimen for the week.

Back to Skool

bts1

My 16-year-old son started back to school last week and it was all that I expected, and less.

My son, Henry (not his real name for Pete’s sake) is a real putter-offer…a procrastinator of epic proportions, just like his Mom. 🙂 To give you a glimpse of his psyche, have a gander at a conversation he and I had last year, right before school, courtesy of an old Facebook post:

Me: Do you want to go out tonight and get your book bag or wait until tomorrow? If we go tomorrow you have to get up early – no sleeping in because I have to work in the afternoon.

Henry: Tomorrow.

Me: Ok but you can’t sleep all day; you have to get up.

Henry: Tomorrow.

Yeah. That didn’t happen…the getting up part, I mean. I knew it wouldn’t because Henry is my child…and as such, he is genetically wired to wait until the last minute.

And, if that weren’t enough, since he is a male, after all, he is averse to shopping of any sort, but particularly to clothes shopping. Moms of girls, take note…you may have to max out your credit cards every new school year so that your daughter can look her absolute, well dressed, adorable best in school, but at least…at the very least…you don’t have to drag a snarky teenage boy around to department stores, begging him to at least try something on for size as he whines and complains about what an abhorrent human you are because you want him to dress nicely.

So, I did what any desperate mother would do in this situation: I made my husband go with us, you know, so he could be the mean parent. And, oh yes, we may have: waiteduntilthelastpossibleminuteandthenkidnappedHenryandnotletonastoourultimatedestinationuntilwewerealreadythere.

Details.

This year, however, I decided to take a bit of a different psychological approach to the school apparel shopping: I decided to let Henry pick out things for himself, without any undue influence from me. Because apparently, I am a real dumb ass when it comes to fashion for teenage boys. Just look at the ridiculous shirt I bought for him recently, and actually expected him to wear:
awesome tee

I know, I must be some kind of psychopath.

So, I gave him only a few minimal parameters to follow:

  1. We need at least one pair of long pants because eventually it will get cold and shorts might become uncomfortable even though you will insist when it’s 13 degrees outside that a tee shirt and shorts are suitable attire.
  2. I know you love sports, but perhaps there can be some items in your wardrobe that do not contain the Nike swoosh?
  3. You need a hoodie… because eventually it will get cold and…oh never mind.

And you know what? We actually made it out of the department store without killing each other, even though pretty much every shirt he picked out contained exactly zero buttons and did indeed have the Nike swoosh emblazoned upon it.

Baby steps, people, baby steps.

And as an added bonus, he said, “Thank you Mom.”  I actually thought I heard trumpets! Did I happen to mention that I love this kid?

reason mom drinks

Fall of the House of Crickets

Flowers & Trees
Fall of a leaf

I love the Fall season. It’s so beautiful in my part of the country (east coast of the US) when the leaves on the trees start to turn to gorgeous hues of red, orange, and gold, and there is a slight nip in the air. It’s time for a light jacket, apple cider, Halloween decorations, and pumpkin everything.  Aahhh.

But then, as if in a calculated attempt to poison the well: CRICKETS.

cricket photo

I hate them, and I have figured out that they know this. This can be the only reason that they wait until I’m alone to show up, uninvited, unhinging me to my very core as they vault over the TV stand, and swing from light fixtures, chirping incessantly. I hate the look of them, and I hate the sound of them. For the love of all that is sacred, man, I hate them!

Ahem.

To be clear, I’m not a big fan of insects in general. But I am especially repulsed by unapologetically large ones that have the ability to get on me so easily. If one ever did land on me, I would imagine that my shrieks might approximate a horrific movie murder scene.

the scream pink floyd image files|Infopal

Crickets do not honor my personal space. Nope. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that they revel in the opportunity to accost me at every turn.  A case in point: We keep our bottled water on the screened porch which is attached to our house. Often, before turning in for the night, I like to grab a bottle of water to keep on my nightstand. However, lately, the crickets have assigned a Sentry to guard the bottles of water so that when I flip on the light and attempt to confiscate a bottle, the little bastards are right there to make sure I go thirsty.

Pure. Evil. Genius.

So, in a last ditch effort to save humanity (or at least myself, let’s be realistic) I got out the big container of bug spray today…you know, the one that has a hose attached just like the pro’s use. Yeah, that one – the big boy.bug spray

I sprayed all around the family room, all the while keeping a close watch for any subversive insect movement out of the corner of my eye. At first it seemed as though I had encouraged more activity as several of the beasts limped out of their hiding places to flip me the bird one last time before they dropped dead. But now, oh now, it seems pretty quiet. Victory is mine!

Unless…they are plotting their next move.

Oh Lord.  I think I may need a Xanax.