Monthly Archives: November 2010

A weekend in Michigan 1

I’d have to do math to say which exact year it was that my daughter, Shannon, my siblings, Bob and Bernadette and I went to see Kelly in Michigan and I really don’t feel like doing that right now.   My guess would be 2004 or 5.  It’s possible that it was 2006 but not very likely.   My niece, Kelly, lives in Michigan and we adore her, that’s why we went to Michigan.

Bernadette took a different fight and arrived ahead of the rest of us.  Bob, Shan and I traveled together.  We stopped in Chicago to each save a hundred dollars.  We were told on the plane, which gate we needed to go to in order to connect with our connecting flight. Bob, Shannon and I ran our asses off to get to the correct gate in order to make the flight in time just to find out that our information was incorrect.  Out of breath and completely irritated we then sprinted in another direction clear across the Chicago airport to connect with our real connection.  If it were possible to indeed, literally, run one’s ass off…I think I’d actually choose another body part to run off.  So apparently NOT literally we ran our asses off.  We huffed and we puffed and we sprinted and we probably irritated people as we gently, or not or maybe not so gently moved  them out of our way during this newest and unexpected sprint.   We were on a mission.  NOTHING was going to prevent us from reaching our Kelly.

We flew into Detroit, had rooms in Ann Arbor and Kelly lived right next door in Ypsilanti although we made sure she had room to stay with us while we were there. God bless Kelly who picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel.  Kelly was our concierge for the weekend and she was, of course, an-oh-so-fabulous concierge.  I’m definitely going to have to dig up the pictures from that weekend.  It was a LOT of fun.  Somewhere along the way, in the car, someone told someone else to fuck off.  Sketchy at best.  Apparently it was mentioned that one shouldn’t say that to family,  “well, if you can’t tell you’re own family to fuck off, who can ya tell?”  was the comeback, I think it was Kelly who coined that phrase.   There it was.  Of course we all think we’re funny as hell so that became our catch-all phrase for the weekend, F.O. for short.  We had conversations relative to these:

That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

Fuck off

I’m tired.

Fuck off

Where should we go to eat?


Do you want another cocktail?

Fuck off

Kelly took us to a park along a river, a fabulous scenic walk. Bernadette had a new camera and took several pictures that are amazing. I do need to look up those photos.   We walked along the river for a time and then crossed a bridge to go in the opposite  to get back to where we started.  Somewhere along that second part I talked to a duck.   I didn’t have any food so I apologized for that and let her know how very pretty she was, several times.  We’d made eye contact, what are ya gonna do?  I don’t  know if she understood English or was sucked into the eye contact but from then on we had a companion.  She was nothing short of fabulous.  To this day I adore her.  She had a lot to say at various times during our journey together.   We listened.  Maybe that’s why she adopted us.  That little duck girl followed us for a mile or more.  Shortly after she started following us, when the path we were taking took us past picnickers who tried to feed and liquidate her she wanted nothing to do with them.  She was intent on and stuck on us.  We walked, she followed.  At one point we stopped and made a circle to converse with each other on what we were going to do next and guess who joined the circle and added her input.  By that time I was thinking  that I needed to get a pet carrier and take her home with me.  I live on a pond.  She could winter indoors, Boo would have to adjust, I get that.   She had to come home with us.

Wishful but not probable. Therefore we had to become evil and trick our new little girlfriend.  We got back to the civilization part of this river walk where lots of people were and we all bee-lined into a frequently used establishment.  Soda shop?  Souvenir shop?  Idk, the point is that we all tricked her in order to lose her in the confusion of a lot of  people being around. When we came out of the establishment our new friend was surrounded by admirers.  I can only hope she attached herself to someone worthy of her.  She was so funny, when she was following us if we walked too fast for her liking,  she scolded us, quack, quack, quacking  as she ran to catch up.  Ducks who lecture, there ya go.  It was fun and then it was  “aw…I have to trick you so that I can leave you”  :o(.   I still think I could have a pet duck.  I like ducks.

That night the 5 of us went  into the hotel bar which was  called “Bedrock” or something similar and was based on the The Flintstones and it was cute just like something out of Bedrock.  We were sitting off to the right of the door and soon started noticing that a lot of very large women were swarming in, and in, and in.  By “very large” of course I mean very, very, very large.  They danced.  They also kept entering.  More and more of them.  They filled up the dance floor and just kept coming.  We did notice that the later they came in, the better they were dressed. Finally, the latest  new comers entering were wearing sashes,  as if they were a Miss State something or other and then, at last…a winner walked in.  Tiara on head, scepter in hand, sash stating she was “Mrs.” large something or other arrived and the room erupted in applause.  We had booked the Mrs. Large Michigan convention weekend and hotel, who knew?   Those women were fabulous.  They had a great time which made it fun to be a spectator.  When we left the bar I had Kelly, Bob, Shan and Bern pose by a light or something outside the bar, stating the name.  Really cute, a random group of people got behind them all to be included in the photo.  Don’t know those people but I adore them.  Random, off the wall, good humor.  They weren’t photo-bombing,  lined up and all smiled for the camera.  I wanna hang out with them sometime.

The next day we went to the Henry Ford museum, or Ford museum or whatever the official name is.  Didn’t think I’d like it even though I adore history.  Something else that was nothing short of  fabulous.  I can’t even begin to write an ounce of what’s in there, it’s everything.   JFK’s limo, fascinating for me.  I thought I took a picture of Shannon in front of it, missed.  It was actually a photo of her in front of Ronald Reagan’s, meh.   Apparently I needed to have her move down one limo, which I did.  I sat on the very bus, in the exact spot that Rosa Parks sat in on that historical day.  I saw the  chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth! They sold t-shirts w/the names of the major league, female baseball teams during WWII~look up the movie, A League Of Our Own.  There’s so much in there that there’s something for everything so one just has to follow their focus.  Neither Shan nor I had brought our significant others for the weekend trip.  Being in the museum we each saw so very much that would be of interest to our S.O.s that we decided we had to go back and bring them with.  Haven’t yet but hey, I’m paying tuition.

That last day in MI we met a guy that Kelly was dating at the time.  Very brave of him to meet all of us, ya think?  He was very nice and polite and we behaved ourselves, which means we were polite as well even though we really didn’t have anything to talk about.  Then it was time to head for the airport.  I’m very sure that the guy was very glad that we had to go.  Most of us walked out to Kelly’s car, he walked out to his car and at the last moment Bob called out to him across the parking lot  “Hey George” or whatever his name was and the poor innocent guy responded to which Bob replied “fuck off”.  Yep, we all cracked up.  Catch-phrase for the weekend, I think that was Bob’s way of telling him that he’s okay because after all…if you can’t tell your own family to fuck off, who can ya tell?

“You can talk to some people until

you’re blue in the face and they’re still never going to hear you”.   I learned that from my dad.  Weird for a mini-teen that it made sense to me the 1st time he said it to me.  Here’s that story.

When I was 12 or 13 I had a steady, summer baby-sitting  job 3 times a week on the south side of Apple Valley.  Walking back and forth enough times and walking past a pretty cool looking park, of course, gave me the idea that we, from my neighborhood, should go have fun there sometime.  So we did.  The kids in my neighborhood and I all rode our bikes to that park one day.  We had a great time!  Okay, we only had a great time till Amazon Queen and her minions showed up.  That title is giving her way too many kudos, sorry to mislead.  Fine, this was a teen my sister’s age, Bernadette is two years older than I am.  This …. okay, if  I have to say “girl” again I will but I’m not comfortable with that word either.  So anyway, this person was 2 years older and apparently only one grade ahead of me so take that math where it belongs.   I can honestly say that she was ugly as shit, scary as all get out and was 3 times me, size-wise.   Twice as tall and had me, by weight, at least 3 times.  I think her name was Mary Jo, but I’m gonna call her ugh-girl since I’m not certain…okay, that and it fits.

Small town, suburb, relatively new suburb…we just weren’t raised with a thought of  “territory” and had no idea that there was an overlord of that particular park.   So there we are, having fun at this fun park and ugh-….okay…I’m not comfortable with the “girl” term here in to trying to describe this human (from my 12 or 13 year old point of view).  What I’d really like to call her is a fucking angry, ugly and overly large teenage girl with serious…SERIOUS anger issues.  What would ya call that?  Okay fine, in this story, from here on in she shall be labeled the creature and no, don’t feel the need to use caps for that title. Back to, we’re at the park, playing and having fun.  Then the creature and her minions arrived.  It turned out that her minions were her younger half-siblings.  They were kids, I was a mini-teen.   Massive, ugly, creature claimed that this park was hers and demanded that  we leave.   That didn’t make sense to me and now I understand where Samantha got her don’t-fuck-with-me attitude from.   Well right, I still wasn’t entirely aware  that there are bad things and bad people in the world.  Haha, that didn’t really hit till my 30’s.  That day, to me it was an injustice.  Public parks were just that…public.  Who the hell was she to demand that we leave?    I was sitting on some sort of apparatus, can’t tell you what but coming from a short person, I know I was a tad elevated.  It was way before I thought swearing was “cool”  (give it up, we all know that age) and I may have flavored my response with a colorful word or two just to drive my point home that I was certain she was in the wrong. Well com’on, everyone else who came with me froze and shut up.  Somebody had to so something!

I really can’t remember who all, from my neighborhood was there.  Apparently Bernadette was, she brought this up the other night.  Her story is that we had gone to the park before and had an minor altercation with the creature.  I don’t doubt that.  I only remember the big one though.  My neighbor, Kevin, is the only one I can absolutely swear was there.  The creature demanded that we leave “her” park.  Everyone who was with me stopped in their tracks and just looked at the creature.  Fine, leave it to me, I lipped off and catch this…she had her little sister…little, I was small, this girl was half my size…she had her little sister punch me or throw a rock at me or spit at me or a combination of 2 or all three.  She sicked her little, little sister on me!   Are you kidding me?   No, I didn’t attack the little sister.  I jumped off whatever kind of apparatus I was sitting on and punched the creature in the face. I had to reach up very high to do that.

I understand standing up for one’s rights but apparently that’s not a very good way to accomplish what you mean to say if the human you attack is someone who can literally kill you.  I was on the ground in no time.  It was that point that Kevin peddled his bike faster than he ever had in his life, back to my house to get my dad.  I bit her.   I know, not a gentlemanly thing to do but I wasn’t a gentleman, I was a mini-teen getting the shit beaten out of me.  Any defense is better than no defense.  My recollection is that I blocked out everything, the blows, the beating, the pain and threw all of my concentration into the bite.  Sometimes it helps to be attention deficit, it’s all about focus. Focus and the rest of the world does NOT exist.  It would be helpful if we could pick and choose our focus but that’s another story for another day.

So, there’s the creature beating the shit out of me while I was literaly latched onto her leg like a rabid dog. I know, embarrassing as it is, that was the fact.  At some point the creature’s little sister ran home to get their mom.  I didn’t let go until the mom showed up.  Surprise to me, the mom wanted to beat the shit out of me.  Didn’t know that mom’s did that.  Chalk that one as a new discovery.  Luckily and embarrassingly for me another mom showed up (the kid I had a crush on, his mom, yep embarrassing).  This mom had no idea what was going on and didn’t care, her point was…you cannot beat up a child.  Any child, doesn’t matter the issue.  That was simply not going to happen that day in her neighborhood.  She was my guardian angel that day, no doubt.   I was still sitting on the ground getting an earful from another neighbor on how human bites are worse than dog bites but my attention was on the 2 mom’s argument.  Whole swirl of altered reality and too much going on at the same time when I saw my dad pull up.  I hadn’t realize that that Kevin had left.  God bless Kevin.

There he is!  There’s my dad!  He’s my hero!  He’ll tell the mom of the creature this and this and that….nah, didn’t happen like that.   My dad pulled up and got out of his car and of course I ran over to him.  The creature’s mom, duh…did the math that that was my dad.  She and her neighbor (the one letting me know how awful human bites are) both ran over and started bitching at my dad.  My dad completely ignored them.   He instructed  me to get in the car and then he grabbed my bike to put it in the car as well.  I was as indignant as I was astounded.  What?  What?   WHAT?  You need to stick up for me and put them in their places!  Nah, he didn’t.   Apparently when my dad got there I was spewing my case.  He took in the reactions of the people I was trying to talk to and saw it.  Nobody wanted to listen, they just wanted to be angry, argue and beat me up.  After witnessing that few moments my dad told me to get in the car I looked at him like he was a martian.  It was when he was putting my bike in the car that I started up my “but dad, but dad, but dad…dad!  She said this,she did that, her mom said this and that and that woman saved be because the creature’s mom was gonna do that to me.  DAD! DO SOMETHING!”.

He did do something.  He paused while he was putting my bike in the car and said “Jacqueline (yep one of those names that you’re only called if it’s important) , you can talk to some people until you’re blue in the face and they still will never hear you”.  Cha-ching!  Giant cha-ching!  As much as I’d been trying to argue my case to the creature’s mom and the evil neighbor….neither one of them had heard anything I had to say.   When he said that a huge light bulb went off in my head and I shut up and got in the car.

I must have been 13 because I started high school that fall.  Ran into the creature in a remote stairwell in the high school and of course, me being me, spewed verbal abuse.  Are you kidding?  Throughout my entire life, being small and the runt, that was my only defense.  I’d have bruises but I’d be the one in trouble because I’d made Bernadette cry.  Really?  What I got in return for my verbal abuse from the creature  was four long, deep scratch marks  from fingernails,  across my entire face.  Other people started entering the remote stairwell and it was left at that.  Sometimes believing that the powers that rule the land will aid you doesn’t exactly rule true.  Words were exchanged yes but, I had  physical proof that I’d been attacked.  K,  here it is, you attacked me (even though I provoked it) and I have proof and  you are in so much trouble.  I went to the principal’s office.

Yeah, her being in trouble  didn’t happen either.  The powers that were in charge were totally sucked in at my story and just look at my face, there’s the proof.  I informed  them (from my 13 year old point of view) of the circumstances of the previous summer’s altercation.  The office people were all about this can’t happen and it won’t happen again and we’re so glad you told us and pretty much whatever.  Okay, pretty much WTF ever.  I left the office and they called the creature’s mom and got a different story and I was called back into the office and told to make sure that “nothing else happens”.  They did not call my parents.   Really?  I kind of trusted them.  Total let down by those in authority.  One more reason to not trust the school system.  Bottom line, I was told to shut up and deal with it.  That and someone can physically hurt me, which is acceptable, but it’s not acceptable if I verbally abuse someone as my only defense.   That pretty much told me that it’s only acceptable to defend ourselves physically or get the shit beaten out of us.  Um…what?  Actually, what the fuck?

I know, I’d like to be humorous but some things just don’t tabulate that way.  That was when I discovered politics in the school system and injustice in the school system and apparently, if one’s only defense is verbal abuse, one should shut the hell up and deal with getting beaten up.  Still don’t get that one.  Eh, what are ya gonna do?

As a parent I have an answer to that question. Fight like hell when something stupid comes up that your child is in trouble for (as far as school goes) or isn’t in trouble for has had an injustice  done to them. Unfortunately for me, I still am not listened to and usually had to bring the big gun into the picture, Rob.   The school doesn’t care about that 2nd thing.  That 1st thing is kind of like when I got a call at work one day from the principal of the Jr. High letting me know that Samantha had beaten up a boy.  Another  story.  Samantha completely rocks and the parents of the boy….eh, they should have just put the kids up for adoption.  They just don’t make good parents.  Shouldn’t there be a test one should have to take 1st?   It’s all politics.  Which ever parents bitch the most, they get the most attention paid to them to keep the waters smooth.  Back to WTF ever?

Blogging 7

Really dislike that term.  Blog. Blogging.  Eh, not as bad as phlegm but still, who made up that word?  It’s distasteful to me.  I have no basis for that.  Sometimes I have reasons for beliefs or feelings.  This one, I really don’t have a reason for.  Okay except for maybe it sounds oushy.  Nothing appealing about the terms blog or blogging or blogged.  Yes, I do realize that I think I just made up the word ‘oushy’.   That, however, makes sense to me.

So anyway Rob follows this blog, and she is worth following.  She is humorous, a rather new mom and new to staying at home with a child ( instead of being a career woman) and kind of wants to give the world a good swift kick in the ass.  She wants to take on manufacturers and large companies, politics and okay, everybody.  Seriously, check her out.  Rob also thinks that I am humorous and feisty.  Normally I’m the only one who thinks I’m funny.  We know though, that he is biased… and he has been pushing me for a long time to start a blog (yuck, still don’t like that word).  Apparently has advertisers now and at present, one advertiser is giving away a rather expensive camera to the best photo book entered.  Take me back 20 years and I know there were issues I’d have soap-boxed about. I also would have been a much better writer at that point in time.  Today, there’s a lot I just don’t care about or I already know that I won’t make a difference.  Haven’t given up,  just more choosy on what I may or may not soap-box about. There are definitely issues, if they came up, that I would have a lot to say about.   Gotta love Rob, thinks very grand scale.  I’m just not that person who is going to draw in the dollars by blogging.

Diary, that’s not a such a bad word.  However, I’m neither blogging nor writing a diary.  Isn’t a blog supposed to be an online diary?  According to my daughter, that’s what it is.  Apparently I don’t do that.  I don’t write “today I picked up the dry cleaning and then scratched my nose at a red light and when I got home I had to go to the bathroom”.   Question:  is there anyone who blogs who doesn’t expect an audience t0 read their entry?  Personally, I don’t think so.  Why else would they put it online?  Myself,  I don’t read blogs. I’ve read dooce a few times at Rob’s prodding but that’s the extent of my reading blogs.   Decades ago, when I kept a diary, I kept it for myself.  I still have several which I, to this day have no desire for anyone else to read.  It’s just hard to throw that part of me away.  I didn’t even like me in those days.  Maybe that’s what I don’t want to throw away.  If I blog, apparently I probably think that someone, somewhere, sometime may read it.   Instead of writing to myself, of course I feel as if I have an audience because it’s out there. Not hidden between the mattress and box spring of my bed.  Incidentally,  what I discovered about that is that it is NOT a good place to hide a diary when one is 14 and your father has just been informed (by your big brother) that you smoke and then your dad searches your bedroom looking for cigarettes.  Really dad?  1st, if I’m not home then I probably have my cigarettes with me and 2nd, between the mattress and box spring?   Cigarettes would  positively flatten.   Not a fun one that night when I got home.

Bottom line on that story, my dad was horrified by some of the entries he read and I was horrified that he had betrayed my privacy.  I would expect that from a sibling but not a parent.   Okay, so then he knew I didn’t wear a halo but more important is the fact that I didn’t alter my behavior after he read it.  Absolutely nothing was gained.

I have to agree with my girlfriend, Paula, on this one.  Paula kept a diary while she was single (before she met her husband) and didn’t throw it out when she got married.  She kept it put away but  she did keep it.  Years after she had gotten married her husband found it and read it and wasn’t real happy with what he’d read.  That was his punishment, he now had to live with knowing things that he was    happy not knowing.  Same as my dad.  They were both happier men before reading the  diaries and nothing else changed when they read them.  “That’s his punishment” Paula said “he has to know those things now”.  Made sense to me.

I used to read Dear Abby.  Parents sometimes wrote in saying that they’d read this or that in their child’s diary and asked for advice on how to remedy a situation without blowing their cover.  Give it up.  Kids tell their parents what they think they should know and ask for advice when needed.  They learn and grow by working those situations out for themselves.  If you’ve betrayed your child while snooping, live with it.   How on earth do they expect their children will grown into adults if they’re that meddling as parents  and don’t trust their children enough to not read the children’s most private thoughts?

Not many adults keep diaries.  If they do they are called “ledgers” or “journals” and are more on a technical basis. Sometimes  prescribed by a doctor to a depressed or repressed person to get their feelings out there.  Put it on paper.  Write it out.  I did that during those horrible teen years and encouraged my children to do so as well.  Writing it out  can give you a new perspective or just get it out of your system.  It’s actually a pretty healthy thing to do.  Hate someone?  Write them a letter…just don’t mail it if you don’t want to live with the repercussions.  Get it out of your system.  It works, somewhat.  Less than killing them and better than doing nothing.

Samantha keeps a blog now to keep us all updated on her European adventures. She expects us all to read it.  She kept a diary when she was younger and did NOT write it for us  to read.  I think Shannon did as well, and again, for herself not an audience.  Alex, I would guess not but I don’t know.   No, definitely no…a blog is not an online diary.

Although Rob would like me to take on the world I tend to tell stories of things that have happened in my life or about things that make me laugh.   I don’t spice things up to make them worth reading.  I just put them out there and there it is. I do pick and choose what I want to put out there.  Not spilling my guts or telling deep down secrets.  I did that in diaries.   No one leads the same life as anyone else.  The stories I relate are  things that have happened in my life.  Read them or not.  It does feel good to write though.  For a long time in my younger years I had wanted to write the next great American novel.  Had Margaret Mitchell and Scott Fitzgerald as heroes.  Neither lived a fab life.  Worth it or not?  Both died relatively young but their words live on forever and have made an impact on some people.  Too late for that, I’ve already outlived them both. Eh.

Rambling, rambling, rambling…so fine. Here’s a story for the night, again something that made me laugh:

Not my norm to not bring this up to off-spring but when Shannon,  Alex, Rob and I went to see Celtic Thunder a few weeks ago I leaned over to Shan and told her that I really didn’t think her dad would mind, if I asked, if it was okay if I slept with George.   Her response was “I asked Kevin if it was okay if I slept with Paul, he said no”.

Shannon then leaned to her left and asked Alex “which one would you sleep with?”  The female violinists and cellist of Celtic Thunder are as beautiful as they are amazing musicians.  Alex told Shannon “the one in the purple dress”.  That didn’t appease Shannon.  “No”  she said  “it has to be one of the guys” .  Big sisters can be very demanding.  Quick-witted Alex shut his sister up with “the one in the skirt (kilt), easy access”.  That made me laugh.

During intermission I relayed this to Rob just as I’ve  done here, in 2 separate paragraphs.  After the 1st paragraph he did the head-shake with the eyes rolling up in his head thing.  He tends to do that with some of my best ideas.  “No really, you wouldn’t mind, right?”   Again the head-shake and eyes rolling up in his head.  After that I relayed the 2nd paragraph he laughed at Alex’ response to Shannon.   A minute later he said  “Okay but then I get to sleep with the violinist in the purple dress”….I know, it took him that long.