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Year in Review: Devil Dealmakers

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Year in Review: Faustian Deals

Since I mentioned the phone call that made me so angry I should mention that this has been a year of aggravating situations.

Need I mention the irresponsible shell of a loser man that was and still is the Roommate for the Loserville asylum? One day he will find his match, a young person who will not judge him for being deathly afraid of the dark, to drive a car or emitting an odor and preferring relationships with adolescents and young adults even though he was 36 years old.

Ha, had to get one last entry on him before I lost the moment forever.

I hate it when something does not work the way that I expected. I hate contacting the call center. Seriously, I hate it. I hate it so much that I have to psych myself up to do it. I have to call the number when I am in a good mood and there is a cup of tea in front of me. I must have a pencil near me and a pad a paper. “Why” you ask? Because sometime I cannot believe the dumb stuff that people say to me.

I signed up for auto bill pay for one of my utilities. When I received the notice, I decided that I did not want so much money coming out of my account at one time. So I paid some of it before the draw date. A few days later, I found that my DSL service had been shut off. Why do they have to hit you where it hurt? Why not the satellite dish? I can’t stand that service any way.

I am counting down the days for when I can cancel the satellite dish. I even called a competitor. So funny. When I called the competitor I made it clear that I currently had as my service their major area competitor. I wanted to know what would they offer me to cancel my service and pay the cancellation fee. I didn’t like their first offer but I keep getting phone calls and letters in the mail with better offers. One day I might just take it.

I should mention that when my original contract had expired I called Dish and told them I was canceling. I was transferred to their “Faustian Customer Service” department. Yes, I meant to write that. They offer to you Faustian deals in order to prevent you from canceling the service. Yes, sadly I fell for the devil representatives offer and signed up for another 16 months. When I called a few months later to complain about the poor service on the new receiver, the Faustian representative asked me “well, if you had so much trouble with your previous receiver why did you sign up for a new contract.” The devil is SBC and SBC makes devilish deals.

When I called SBC the silly man on the phone told me that when I paid a portion of my bill the computer expected the entire bill to be paid in full (even though the due date had not passed) because I had 10 remaining from the previous months bill. I suggested that they needed to get a smarter computer because the same computer was removing the entire amount from my checking account in a weeks time. The representative in the most pleasant attitude and supportive tone repeated the ENTIRE EXPLANATION TO ME as if I was not listening the first time. I said, “Yes, I understood you perfectly well when you explained it to me, what I want you to understand is that I think your computer is not very smart and you should send a note to whatever department handles such notes and tell them so on my behalf.” He apologized for my inconvenience and tried to explain it a third time. I interrupted the Faust and thanked him for his being patient with me in explaining in such detail the program in which I had been enrolled and I promised that everything he said made perfect sense to me I just didn’t accept that the computer could not be made to be smarter and adjust for individual payments. Sometimes I think that I am channeling Douglas Adams.

Do you remember the 90s when everyone had a job? Seriously, when unemployment was really low and everyone had a job and you wished that you could talk to, be served by or meet with someone else more competent? I stopped eating fast food in the 90s. I just couldn’t trust what was going on behind the service counter. People didn’t get fired back then they were simply reassigned. It was dark times for customer service and it seemed that for the last few years the industry has been apologizing for it. I mean, really apologizing for it. You can’t take to anyone via phone without hearing some scripted apology and you immediately put into a mode where now you feel bad because some dumb guy making 7 an hour feels sorry for your inconvenience. Really they should be apologizing, these contracts that we are required to sign in order to maintain our existence in the cyber, cellular and digital world are making sign away our choices. Argh. I can’t stand it but I am evolving. I don’t care anymore for apologies, I just want the Faustian deals to stop.

Well, i have run out of 2006 to make more of my Year in Review so look for my Year in Reflections entries next week.

Year in Review: Minors

I have written quite a bit this year about some of my younger relatives. I love being around other people’s children except when damage occurs.

I know that God has a sense of humor. I know each time I meet a child.


Babysitting toddlers/preschoolers is a challenge as I am sure you are aware. Toddlers want to explore everything. Usually with their mouths but by themselves. You don’t have to play with a toddler but you must watch the toddler play.

Preschoolers want you to play with them using their rules. The game could be anything. Perhaps the game is “let’s see what the kitty is doing?” or “Smash the Play-doh into the rug.” My favorite preschooler Lil T has very little patience for her toddler brother Trey. She bullies him and he torments her. Trey just wants to put things in his mouth, pull on hanging table cloths or follow his sister around. Lil T wants to pull out all of her toys and present “show and Tell.” Silly girl. Her game of Show and Tell is an open invitation to her brother to turn into Descructo- the Avenging Toddler. Descructo sees a perfectly good toy; probably one of his sisters, one that he must know is not his and will tear it apart.

You should have seen him disassemble the plastic microphone stand for Lil T’s guitar/microphone set. When he was done it resembled the thunder sticks that fans have at the UT Rocket games. You know – hollow tubes that you bang together to make noise, which is what he was doing when Lil T started screaming at him. No worries, while her attention was directed at putting together the microphone stand, Destructo had found the microphone. Wanting to be helpful, I plugged it in for him so that he could use the amplifier and express himself as Destructo. Of course, he tried to swallow the microphone while making the most interesting sounds and dancing. By now, Lil T is in a tizzy; she has reassembled the mic stand and is trying to retrieve the microphone from Desctructo. Silly girl, at that point Destructo had moved onto the guitar. Running his knuckles hands across the strings while Lil T is trying to figure out why the amplifier is no longer working. She didn’t know that I had turned it off when she wasn’t looking. By now the completely irritated Lil T has noticed Destructo is trying to pull out the guitar strings on her guitar. She quickly leaves to find his toddler appropriate guitar. At this point I am laughing my ass off. She returned 10 seconds later to find that Trey has moved onto her Dora the Explorer books. I guess she values her future as a singer with a guitar more than reading because she finally ignores him- just as he had been ignoring her for the last 30 minutes.

I thought that this picture was really funny. Trey is his size.

Teenagers that have only recently left their Tween years are very funny

One does not babysit a Teenageror a Tween. Tweens are merely observed from afar. Unfortunately, this hands-off approach always leads to property damage.

Girls leaving their Tween years and approaching adolescence have their own lives that are filled with Brats dolls, Hello Kitty and a love hate relationship with the color pink.

She wonders – shall I continue to embrace the Pink or do I move on without Pink.

She laments - Oh, how Pink comforted me in my youth but now I am a Tween. I must ready myself for adolescence

She ponders – Can I be me without being Pink?

She considers – I am Tween and Tween is Pink but teenagers are not pink

She reconciles – The inner me will always be Pink.

She declares – My new favorite color is (random color – not pink)

Then the little Princes asks her mother for a pink Hello Kitty cell phone.

Tween boys stop talking in order to avoid ridicule from their changing voices.

Younger kids want you to be involved in every sound, game or chore when you are watching them and they will tell on you or tell everything you did or said to their parents. Tweens want you to buy them things when you are babysitting and will report on you to their parents. New teenagers tell just look at you, download crap onto your computer and roll their eyes at you when you ask “whatcha playing?” You never really know what they are saying to their parents and you don’t really care. You just want to know how to remove the damn spyware that is now cemented into your harddrive.

I adore older teens they are easy. They will not destroy your home by playing with power tools left on the table. They will not explore goofy websites that install pervasive cookies on your computer. Teens are motivated by coolness and money. Juicy lip gloss and video games. Name belts and designer caps. They don’t want to be embarrassed when they are hanging out with you unless you are paying well. They gather gossip and tell funny stories about you to their parents. They might let you meet their friends.

Unfortunately, they listen to you when you are on the phone with the customer service agents while you are slowly losing your cool moving into Black Woman Vexed mode. The silly agent tried to defend the quality of the satellite dish receiver by informing me that the dish works perfectly at her house. LIKE I FREAKING CARE THAT THE SATELLITE DISH WORKS AT HER HOUSE WHEN IT DOESN’T WORK AT MINE. As if it would break the company to place a phone order for the pay-per-view movies that the Teens want to watch and waive the absolutely stupid fee for not doing it through the satellite receiver box. THE BOX THAT DOESN’T WORK CORRECTLY AT MY HOUSE BUT APPARENTLY WORKS JUST FINE AT HERS. Then the wench tells me that the reason is doesn’t work at my house is because my lines are faulty. I told her that keep her crazy ideas to herself and transfer me to the technical support so that I can have the Singapore made receiver box replaced for a Japanese model.

Teens think that stuff is incredibly funny and they seem to appreciate you better after watching you in Black Woman Vexed Mode. Hmm, i wonder if she was taking notes or was she frightened?

Year in Review: Paperboy

Hello everyone

You may have been wondering where my blogs have been. Some of you have been very disappointed lately. Well you weren’t the only one

Let’s see. Holiday sales were modest. I guess people remembered that December heating bills will arrive in the mail around the same time that credit card bills are due. Then again I am sure some people realized that the gas company will not really shut off your gas during the winter and went on spending. I would expect to hear about it

I tire of the shopping season. I started using Yahoo! Shopping as soon as I found it on the Net years ago. Later, I switched to and and now I use Ebay more than any other site.

I have been noticing a lot of Year in Reviews. I thought that I would offer my own. I don’t know how long my list will be but here it goes.

1. The Paperboy

Last September I wrote about my annoying paperboy that kept throwing my papers into the lawn. Well what a difference a year makes. I no longer have to put on my garden shoes in order to retrieve my paper. Why garden shoes you ask? Well, we had a flea infestation this year because of the weather and I didn’t bother to buy any chemicals for the yard this year which is why my lawn is patchy now.

The lawn maintenance program in which I enrolled was a really good idea. I just signed up for the basic plan. I didn’t buy the extras that killed the grub worms, slugs or the voracious insects all of which ate my flowers and my lawn. I just can’t win. I was not meant to have a lawn.

Oh. So - back to my story. I wear garden shoes because I have a definite fear of tracking fleas into the house from my houseshoes. I adore my houseshoes. Wait. Some of you people refer to houseshoes as slippers. Well I think that is just silly. They are shoes for the house. Just like the housecoat that I wear when I rise from having lain in the bed all night.

That was tricky. I didn’t think “lying” was the right word and didn’t think “laying” was something that humans did in their beds. Finally I consulted and found this ….

Lie and its principal parts (lay, lain, lying) are correctly used in the following examples: She often lies (not lays) down after lunch. When I lay (not laid) down, I fell asleep. The rubbish had lain (not laid) there a week. I was lying (not laying) in bed when he called. •

So the correct answer is actually quite confusing but the general rule is that one lays an object. But what the heck is rubbish? Therefore if I had written “I rise from having laid in my bed” one might wonder what was under my covers. Oh dear, I did it again. I became sidetracked.

I can’t stand the idea of some bug hitching a ride on my houseshoes. Now, I do not have to worry. Ever since the Teamsters strike, the paperboy walks his chubby self and lays my paper (see an object) on my stoop. At first, I was really surprised to see it lying there. I had assumed that I had a new paperboy that didn’t know the nature of my relationship with the previous paperboy. I had assumed the original Paperboy must have hated me or enjoyed the thought of me in my purple housecoat and Winnie the Pooh garden shoes looking for my newspaper with my hair all-a-mess. I don’t care on the weekends.

On the other hand, the strike has created quite a bit of anxiety of another kind. I no longer worry about wet or muddy papers in my lawn or possibly hidden lying under the snow. Instead, I worry about people thinking that I am not at home. The local newspaper is trying to break the strike with these “Customer Appreciation Days.” On these random days weekend subscribers receive the paper for free. I guess it would be okay to receive free papers as long as the Company does not raise my rates.

“What is the harm in that?” you are thinking - let me tell you. When I leave for work at 8:00 I am pulling out of my driveway quickly (that is, since I have stopped hitting the house) and I do not stop to pick up papers to take to work. When I arrive home at dusk or more recently at dark I don’t know that I have a pile up of free newspapers because the Company decided to appreciate me all week. At first, I just let them lie there thinking the paperboy would realize I don’t pick them up and stop laying them on my stoop.

I really have to stop assuming that the Company permits its employees to think for themselves. Perhaps, that is the basis of the strike. Rather than receive less “appreciative” papers, I get pile ups on my stoops. Yes, I called and complained and the pleasant customer service lady apologized and explained the great appreciation program that they have started for customers like me who only receive the paper on the weekend. It sounded like she was reading from the script. The next day about 8 pm the Paperboy rang my doorbell and asked me if I wanted a paper. NO... just lay it on the stoop and stop ringing my doorbell.

Okay, I really feel sorry for the Paperboy. So sorry for him I am considering giving to him a big tip this year. I stopped tipping the Paperboy last year. This year, that poor kid not only must rise early to deliver unnecessary papers –for free- but he must work at night as well.

Now you are thinking, “Geez girl, just read the papers or pitch them.” You don’t understand ----things have started to occur. For example, the neighborhood entrepreneur AKA the Lawnmower Kid never came by my house this summer. I had thought we had an agreement. He would see the lawn was high and come over to mow it. I would pay him later. I was williing to raise the amount that I paid him if he only came to my house. I was crushed when he disappeared. Reluctantly, I finally hired a man with a truck and a lawnmower (at 3X the cost) to do the work. I ran into the Lawnmower Kid late in the summer and asked “What Happened to you?” He told me that there were so many newspapers on my stoop and my grass was so long that he thought I had moved.

This month both of my adjacent neighbors had thought I was out of town at conferences because of the newspaper pile up. And I really hate it when people stop by my house and move the newspapers from the front door stoop to the side door stoop. Really, cut that out – I don’t know who you are but cut that out.

Hmm, I guess it could be the Paperboy doing it.

Holiday Seasons

Thursday, December 7, 2006

The Questions

That time of year, that I sometimes dread approaches. You call it the Holiday Season. I call it the season of inane and meddlesome questions. I wonder if I should consider spending the holidays drinking myself into oblivion, gorging on Christmas cookies, and having long, meaningful conversations with my cat? I should mention that I get lots of invitations. I love it. Family and friends always reach out to their single friend or cousin. Good Times......

The first question. “Where are you spending Thanksgiving this year?” This is to remind me that I do not have a family of my own. Not even a family of a significant other. It is just me. I am the single cousin or friend that doesn’t belong anywhere.

I arrive at the event and more questions ensue. There are the inevitable questions about my weight. As if I am not aware when I have either gained or lost weight since last year. Very irritating. Or that I forgot my days in college when I was a picky eater and dropped down to 115 lbs.

I don’t get the hair questions as much as often anymore. My relatives have finally adopted the belief that my hair will not see a perm again or a weave. Yet, some guest will mention that she tried the go natural but when she could not pull a comb through her hair she had to get it fixed. Or that the itching, the dryness or the naps were too much to take. These statements in effect announce to the group that I must not be able to get a comb through my itchy, dry, nappy hair. Thanks.

The dating questions are still a hot topic. “Who am I dating… Why not that one guy anymore?… Well what is up with him?” I can’t read men’s minds. My favorite question is “Well why aren’t you married, yet?” I haven’t found the perfect reply. I usually just respond as if the question was so utterly stupid that I forgot to answer it. Perhaps, I should say that I am married to Jesus.

Seriously, I could fabricate a man with a year’s worth of history and tell our story for the next two months. No, it would be easier to say that I vowed celibacy in 2002. I am well aware that wife and mother are among the traditional stages of life for a woman. I am sorry to disappoint. If this were truly a concern of my family members and friends someone would find out what I was looking for in a man and find that man for me. In other words be my matchmaker and stop talking to me like I am on my way to Spinsterhood.

The procreation questions….. As we watch someone’s child run into the arms of his/her mother and cries because Lil Bibi hit him/her. Someone will look at me and ask, “Don’t you want kids? Just like these? You know if you wait too long you will not be able to have kids?” As another child runs through the kitchen and destroys an antique dish someone else will ask, “Don’t you want to take one home with you?” Not really. I do want people who are not fertility experts, adoption agency employees, and midwives to stop giving me their backwards advice.

Of course someone’s uncle always flirts with me. It never fails. He is usually a handsome older man that may or may not be married or he is the uncle that still wears a jherri curl. It’s not that I don’t mind the attention, it is just creepy. I think I will use the imaginary boyfriend story for him this year.

Then there is that attitude of "she is so educated she will never marry and have kids." I am not a misfit or unpopular. Yes, I might be lazy but I am not helpless. Stopping sighing and talk to me about my life - and not at me, about your life. Next year, I am going on a cruise.

Oh, Yeah Happy Thanksgiving.

The Artist Formerly Known as ...

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Have you ever followed a particular artist? Well, i did and i miss his work terribly.

I miss the artistry. I miss the Artist. I miss the masterpiece.

I remember the artist with such youthful exuberance and full of potential.

The Artist designs his workstation; he sorts his materials and reviews his palette. His canvas was bland, sterile and flat. He opened it both to its possibilities and its purpose. The Artist would pass his masterpiece to me, taking great care to ensure a perfect fit. I would take his creation home, place it carefully on my counter and ceremoniously disassemble it.

What began as a brown paper bag would be transformed by the grocery store Bagger into the Grocery Bag. I never knew what to expect at then end but I trusted him implicitly with my groceries. First the cans, then boxes. If it became too heavy, a new bag was opened. At the top were the perishables and damageables. The candy bars set aside. Two litters were two to a bag. Gallon jugs remained in the cart.

One day the Artist changed his medium. I cringed but I trusted him. His craft had not diminished, indeed it became better. The combination of paper and plastic was inventive, it was ingenious. Now the gallon jug, the bagels and even the box of pasta could share the same bag. He had created something better. A revolution.

Alas, he became complacent with his success. He lost his edge. He lost that uniqueness, he abandoned his craft. He no longer created. Instead he took orders. Did I want ' paper" or " plastic? " A choice! The Artist wants to give me a choice???? What madness had befallen him? He was losing his edge.

Finally, his artistry further diminished he has become that lazy little punk kid who puts two-three items in these cheap plastic bags. Oh yeah, sometimes he has the nerve to double bag it. As if double bagging a plastic bag is anything comparable to double bagging a paper bag. One process had purpose - it created a sturdier bag that could hold more items. The latter merely allowed you enough time to walk to your car and take the bag home before it breaks. And yes it will break, usually in your driveway - because whatever the bagger put into the “double plastic bag” probably should have either been left out or put in a paper bag.

This new Bagger must find delight in sending me home with 12 bags of nothing that could have fit into 2 paper bags. He looks at me without shame when I ask him to use paper and he says " there are no more paper bags" or " I don't think we have those." As if i am asking him, "where are the Saccharin tablets."

There is no more artistry in bagging groceries, and am saddened by it. So, I use the self-check out and bag my groceries myself using brown paper bags inside of plastic and i imagine that I am the Artist of yesteryear.

P.S. Never go grocery shopping right after a 10 hour day of work and you are famished.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

I usually wait until something funny happens or at least until a few funny things happen before I submit a post. I am submitting this one – not because it is especially funny but because I want to.

We spend a good 18 years with our parents. From there we chose are paths and visit from time to time. I was convinced that as my parents aged they became weird. For example, my mother and stepfather wear glasses all of the time. They ordered caller id for the same reason that you did. Unfortunately, they did not order a large text screen for their caller id unit. Every time I called them I could not understand why it took them so long to answer. One day during a visit I learned the answer. This is the scenario:


“Babe, who is it?” Mom

“I don’t know, aren’t you near the phone?” Stepdad


“Yes, but I don’t have my glasses.” She picks up the phone and hands it to her husband. Almost hitting him in the head because he is trying to read the display from far away.


“Well, I don’t have my glasses either, where are they?”

“You left them in the table, mine are in the bedroom. So, YOU see who it is.” He reaches for his glasses on the coffee table almost tipping over in his LaZBoy chair.


“Okay, I got them… Now let’s see. Ooop.”

“Hello, you have reached the…..” Answering Machine

I couldn’t believe it. This scene had been playing for weeks. Prior to the caller id phone, they answered the line with no injury to themselves. I talked them into getting a separate unit with large screen display. Later when they ordered satellite dish, I enabled Caller ID display on the TV screen for them.

My father suffered a rash of hubcap theft his first year in his new Detroit home. I went to visit him one day. Very funny. Dad was so angry about losing yet another hubcap to the thieves that he drove me around his block shouting, “That’s my damn hubcap. No, there it is! ”We must have passed each of his hubcaps twice during that 4 block drive.

Dad is also a trickster. He will invite me up to visit and then sit outside drinking beer listening to classic soul. As if we did not have plans. The last time he did this was Father’s Day. We were supposed to go to a festival that featured WAR, yes War. He goofed off showing to me his latest wood whittling project, the compost pit that he built, the birdfeed he made, his new blooming bulbs and perfect lawn. Yes, he rubbed in the fact that I cannot seem to keep a green lawn. He is very proud of his new hobby and talents. So was I, but I wanted to see War live in concert and he knew that. Besides, he never asks me about my crochet hobby. Of course, we missed some great songs by the time he got there. Over the years, I have learned just to go into the kitchen and listen to my stepmother tell her very funny stories and let him be with his beer and classic soul.

If my parents got old and wanted to live the rest of their lives with one of their children, I would bid on MOM. She is a great cook but I am not. In her twilight years, I will cook a lot of vegetarian, tomato based and diabetic meals. When she asks “What is this?” I am going to say, “Why? Do you think that I am trying to KILL you? Just eat it.” A common response to my question about many family dinners as a child. Payback, I can’t wait.

Grandparents are another story. Being the oldest granddaughter takes some responsibility. It means making sure that my grandparents recognize me before dementia sets in. Yesterday, I spent the day with my sick grandmother and my senile grandfather. I realized too late that I haven’t spent enough time with Grandpa. He became rather angry with me in his home without my aunt, his eldest daughter there. I had tried to visit whenever she was there so that he would know that I belonged there but I hadn’t visited enough.

That day I was alone with him and Grandma who was too ill to get out of bed. Knowing that I would be there all day, I decided to help Grandma out and skip the Westerns watching with Grandpa. (They never tire of Western movies and Encore has a dedicated ‘Westerns movie channel.’) Bad move on my part. He demanded to know why I was taking all of his cat food. I was bagging it for the trash. He didn’t care that all 30 cans of cat food had expired the end of last year and most of it had gone bad two years ago. He insisted that he will feed his cats even though I reminded him that he hadn’t fed them in years. In fact they were long dead. He wanted me to leave. I had no right to clean his kitchen. No right to move the 10 fuses that he didn’t need because his home had been converted to a circuit breaker 5 years ago. I told him that I was not leaving and that I would clean his kitchen because Grandma was not feeling well. He threatened to call his daughters on me to get me to leave. I gave him the number to call my mother. He called it and of course she did not answer. He accused me of knowingly giving to him the number to a messaging service.

One of my older cousins came over and convinced him that I was my mother. He stopped threatening to punch me out. (it is okay to giggle) At the time, I was annoyed but patient. It hadn’t occurred to me that he had forgotten who I was. I came around and I visited when I could; just not enough. I knew that he would forget about the cat food and I continued to clean the kitchen. He would forget that my cousin came over or that I told him that i could outrun him if he came after him. I left the fuses stay where they were and cleaned out canned goods that had expired in 1997. Besides, the whole thing was actually really funny.

After I made him dinner he told me stories. He told me about one event that changed everything. Losing his father at 15 and being the eldest son to a family of 9 made all the difference. No college for him. Becoming a father himself just six years later and then caring for two families left no time to pursue his dreams. His memories of his youth and his 30 year career are crystal clear. It made me think about his dreams, his mother and my mother. I can listen to him talk about events that happened 40 years ago as if they happened last week for hours even told twice. But I can’t sit and watch Westerns all day long.

Perhaps in my twillight years after my crochet hobby has crippled me, my grandchildren or my sister's grandchildren (which is more likely) will sit at my feet watching Encore SciFi on the holovision and i will chase after them for trying to throw out my yarn basket.

Kitten Farts and International Incidents

Friday, October 6, 2006

Kitten farts zap like a man

A few weeks back I babysat for Cousin L. Lil T is four years old. Have you ever watched a precocious child play with a kitten? You don’t really know what to do. It is a cheap and lazy way to keep her entertained on one hand and cruelty to a defenseless creature on the other. Lil T, couldn’t keep her hands off of the Kitty. She wanted to know, “where is her momma?” Then she promptly told everyone who came to visit that Kitty “Kitty don’t got no momma, she still at the pet store.” When I was cooking dinner, Lil T runs into the kitchen holding Kitty in her hands as if to drop her down a well. She says, “Kitty has to booboo. Kitty has to go potty. Kitty farted.”

You see, Kitty has an annoying gas problem. Her farts take you down just like a man’s. The next day we took Kitty to the Vet. Unfortunately, Kitty cut a big one in the waiting room. Lil T shouts (like her mother) "Kitty Farted AGAIN" "when are we going to see the vet and ask him why she keep farting/" This went on for 20 minutes in a crowded waiting room. Lil T tells the vet, “Kitty FARTS,” before I could ask him anything. “Why does Kitty fart like that? Kitty smells like she has to go booboo.”

I had a lovely weekend with Lil T. But my cousin did not warn me about her early morning adventures. I don’t have kids. My sister’s kids are all teenagers. I forgot that when preschoolers get up, you have to get up with them. She came in my room around 7 am. I turned on the tv and went back to bed. When I finally got out of the bed I found gum stuck to everything. Her nightclothes, the kitchen counter, the bookshelf and the Kitty. Yes, she stuck gum in Kitty’s fur. Very funny.

She told her mother that my cat farts a lot and it smells like a grown person.

I have the best bowel movements now

Between yoga, fiber enriched cereal and spicy food I am regular. Getting older asks for problems. Your bowels change, your metabolism changes, skin (what the hell is with adult acne?), suddenly you can’t eat foods you like anymore – it just sucks.

I may be wrong, but I think He was looking for a Whorehouse!

So, I was referred a guy for a roommate early this summer by the International office. It seems that many international students live in temporary housing for months after arriving in USA before finding a place. Many of them look for American roommates in order to practice their English. I met with this guy who had failed the English language comprehension test twice. He could not enroll in college until he passed it. He was looking for an American to live with. I figured, International students must past terrorist screening. If homeland security let him in then I could meet with him and perhaps rent a room out to him. Homeland security has some serious problems. Just how much money are they wasting on nonsensical items anyway?

After talking to him, I had already realized that there was no way I would share my home and talk to him. As I was wrapping the meeting, he asks innocently, “Do you have parties?”

“Yes, I had a party just recently.”

“Do you have girl-friends?”


“Do you have girlfriends that I can meet?”

“No, my girl-friends are married with children”

“Oooh, Do you have a girl-friend that would have sex with me. I have money”

I know, you are thinking, did you pull out a gun and tell his ass to leave? No, I thought perhaps there is a cultural/language barrier thing going on here. So, I asked some clarifying questions.

“ Are you asking me if I know any prostitutes”

Now, he looks confused. As if he is looking in his translation guide for the right word.

“Eh, no. I just want to have sex. I want a girl who would have sex with me. Just for a little while. A few months. I will pay money to her.”

Still thinking, there is no way this foreign guy is asking me to pimp out my friends to him.

“Don’t you have any female friends.”

“Well yes but they are just friends. I am here all by myself and I can’t take it anymore. Everyone goes to his girlfriend’s house and has sex. I want to have sex. But I will pay. It is okay. “

“Well, I guess we should go now.”

“Oh okay. Well, I want to rent the room.”

You got to be Freaking Kidding me, I thought to myself.

“There is now way I am going to live with you if you want to pay my friends to have sex with you. That would creep me out.”

You creep.

How do these people find me.

I hit the house again…..

This most recent time, I had to take the car to Saturn and have the panel replaced. Yes, I hit it that hard.

Reload No More Strays

Sunday, October 1, 2006

This is a post from another journal of mine. I thought that i would finally update my LiveJournal with this relevation

I thought that iw Okay, some of you do not know that i live by myself. Well, had this great roommate who is also a great friend that lived with me until April. I miss her a lot. I got used to having someone around. Someone to talk to. Someone to help out with the crazy high utility bills. I thought that it would be easy to find someone else to live with me. I was wrong. All I have found are strays. And let me tell you taking in a stray is always a bad move.


Some Definitions

“Stray” means any animal that does not appear, upon reasonable inquiry, to have an owner/guardian

Homeless person is an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence

For some stray animals “follow them home” for me stray humans do the same and I have a heck of a time getting them housetrained or to leave.

I had a cat that was an adopted stray GEEZ that was a nightmare. She pooed everywhere but in her litter box. She chose the bath mat, any corner with accumulated dust, an empty room. I secretly hoped that my roommate would take the cat for a drive. If she did it then I could be free of my unmitigated desire to get rid of her without actually doing it and dealing with related guilt. I kept shooting mental commands at my roommate to take the cat, take her away. I finally left open the door to a room with a broken window. Wheh. Finally, I have admitted it. Now the speculation about what happened to the cat can end. I did it. I shut her in a room with a window open and hoped she would free herself. I blocked out the memory of what i had done and actually accused my roommate of doing something sinister to the cat. I tell people know that she ran away.

My first human stray was Armondoma (-oma means tumor). And a stray he was. No possession just a few bags of clothes, a clock radio, cell phone, space heater and george foreman grill. I guess by homeless people standards he was better off than most. I didn’t pick him for a stray right away because he had family in the area. My mistake. The fact that he obsessed over Mariah Carey, hung out at his job for hours on his days off and recorded ten hours of soap operas and videos everyday didn’t register as a loser. Even when he slept with the light on because he was afraid of the dark- I didn't see it coming. No, it wasn't until i found myself hiding from him at night becuase he would trap me in the kitchen. He had this fantasy that the 19 year old that he worked with and was in a 3-year relationship with his girlfriend was really gay. The girlfriend, whom he hated, had done something to him. The two had been friends since Andy was 17, Drea started working there and now they are a couple. Of course, Armondoma and the guy's relationship would never be the same as long as Armonda had a crush on Andy. I couldn't take it. I finally told the Drea that Armondoma was trying to convince me and everyone else that she had turned a gay man to straight. It made a lot of sense to her because she had no idea why Armondoma was so hostile to her. The Andy, 19 year old boyfriend, finally had to complain to management that he was being sexually harassed by a 36 year old man. All three of them worked at the movie theaters. Ever see the MAD tv skit about ushers? Yeah, it really is like that.

The worst kind of stray is a family friend or a relative. After I cut Armondoma out of my house I asked my relative Imakronikliar (Im-A-Kro-nic-Li-ar) stay with me. Imakronikliar had me going, talking about making a change and just needing some help to get there. I was so happy to have that tumor removed that I didn’t see that Imakronikliar a mouth disease, liarosis. After about two months, I found myself just as unhappy as I had been living with the tumor. Once, I had yelled at ImaKronicLiar for canceling one of my favorite shows on the DVR. I yelled at ImaKronicLiar often, long and loud. It really didn’t matter what was done to irritate me, it didn’t matter if I overreacted. Hell, it didn’t matter if I was wrong. I changed the locks on my doors one lock at a time. Just imagine. You arrive home. There are two locks on the door and for no apparent reason, one lock does not turn with your key. I am sure it was bewildering and upsetting to never know when or where I would strike next. I am sure Imakronikliar got the picture. GET the HELL OUT. When he finally left he had pissed me off so bad, i gave his clothes to Goodwill. Imagine the attendant starting at me as i handed to her very expensive men's clothing. i know what she wanted to ask me. Yet, i would not say.

Tears Vs Man Water

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

If you were on an alien world that had only one sex, the aliens might ask you to explain the difference between men and women. Let’s consider how a man or a woman might punctuate these words.

woman without her man is lost
Now I would write:

A Woman! Without her, Man is lost!
Yeah, that is right. Now a man might think it should read:
A woman, without her man, is lost.
Men and women are so different.

Gift Giving
One time my female boss went to a conference in Chicago and brought me a small toy parrot. When you squeeze it makes an sound that sounds like a fight between a wounded cat and a pig. I did not know what to make of the gift. She said that when she saw it, she thought of me. As I look at it now, I still don’t know what to make of it. Women give gifts for no reason at all.
Women would NEVER give a gift in the Fall and say, “Oh, just consider it an early Christmas gift.” We want our Christmas gifts on Christmas. If you are giving me something any time between 11-25 and 12-23, it is NOT an early Christmas gift. It is a gift with no strings attached. I still expect something on the 25th. Last year, I got PVC pipe for Christmas. Don’t Ask! Seriously who really means that? I got the same guy several martial arts action DVD’s that I found while out of town. I hadn’t seen them in any
local store and I knew he would like them. I also got him the Family Guy, seasons 1 & 2 in late Fall just for being a great guy and helping me with my house, but I didn’t consider it an early Christmas gift. This year I was prepared. I bought two Christmas gifts. Not labeled
with his name but labeled, “Good” or “Bad.” He got the “Good” gift.
Congratulations to the Un-Boyfriend.

Now that Valentine’s Day is approaching, I am getting very anxious. I just don’t know what the Un-Boyfriend will get me. For the past two years, I have gotten goofy cards. Last year, was horrible. I actually stopped talking to him for two months. I have me the card, that I hated. I showed it to the roommate and her boyfriend. A few days later, he calls and says, “I have something for you.” I said, “Oh good, my real Valentine’s Day Gift.” No. Oh God just thinking about it makes me ill. He went on a trip to a body building and martial arts exhibition with some friends.

Someone had left a chargeable mixer in his car. Instead of returning it, he figured that possession was 9/10ths of the law and gave it to me since I had wanted one. WHY WOULD HE TELL ME THAT?

Women remember nothing
about sports that a man might say. But any comment related to our makeup, our hair, our weight or our clothes we will remember and repeat verbatim more than 6 months from now.
Men see nothing wrong with discussing their bodily functions, even at work, but will not consider shopping for female hygiene products.
A woman would never consider the term “you have too many clothes” as grammatically correct.
Women do not understand why the distant sound of a dueling banjo playing makes men shiver. A woman would never consider Brokeback Mountain, a horror movie. When girls veg out in front of the TV is it to watch home improvement shows not sports or James Bond movies. When women get together to watch the season
premiere, I guarantee it is not the Sopranos or West Wing.
Every once in awhile I find mouse droppings on my desk. A gift from my office mate. I never would have thought that I would have to share my office space with a rodent. Last year, the custodian put the trap on my desk. He put oatmeal on the glue to attract the mouse. One day I came in and the oatmeal was gone, a hole had been chewed on the glue trap and there were turds everywhere. No mouse. I realized that only a man would think that putting a mousetrap on a desk was a good idea. The last thing I wanted to do was find a dying mouse sitting at my desk. I hid the trap under my desk. This winter, I saw the trapped mouse still Alive on the glue. Of course, I screamed and ran down the hall. What other response was expected of me? The men in the office thought it was funny and would not help me get the mouse out. The women took it seriously.

Men don’t really know what might makes a woman cry. It could be a dead puppy, a toilet seat left up or broken heel on a pair of black pumps. A wise woman told me that there are three acceptable times when a man can cry or create male water. 1. At the birth of his first child. 2. At a funeral and 3. When his dog dies. When my co-worker’s dog died we tiptoed and whispered around the office for days. We felt helpless as he worked slouched at his desk for more than a week. Okay, maybe there is a fourth acceptable time for male water: When he gets married- but it is not because he is overtaken with the beauty of his bride. Either reality has set in or this has completely killed his buzz.
On January 1, 2006 my bedroom closet collapsed. Everything was all over the floor. Just horrible. This was the third time this has happened. I was weepy for several days.
The first time, my roommate was very distraught. I swear I thought she was going to cry. My co-worker and male friends thought it was funny as hell. I guess, only women understand the gravity of a wrecked closet. Men, on the other hand, find it humorous.
This final time I sat in the middle of my wrecked room for hours just sighing. My roommate begged me to come out and watch TV with her. She was really concerned that I was becoming depressed. The Handyman suggested that I was messy. I considered fixing the closet myself when he said that. How dare he? He installed a new higher metal closet bar plus shorter lower second bar for skirts and pants and built a cubby hole for my t-shirts.
I almost fired him for suggesting that I had too many shoes. He
immediately apologized by saying, “A man has no business telling a woman what to do with her shoes.”

Actually, if I were to explain the sexes to an alien, I would say that the true difference between men and women is comparable to the difference between clear plastic storage bins and peg board.

What I Got for XMas

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Sometimes I hate being a woman

Sometimes it is simply not worth it

This is never more evident than when shopping in the electronics section of a department store.

Never fails. I always feel completely helpless, alone and annoyed.

Years ago I wanted a cd player to take to college. My cousin went with me to the appliance store to buy one. Our salesperson looked like Barbie’s bestfriend Kelly. She knew about as much about cd players as I did. I would have gotten more accomplished if I had asked her for beauty tips. Why was she there anyway? To attract male customers with her charm? We sent her away while we looked around. He helped me find a cd player that still works today. He sent a letter to the company questioning their hiring practices.
A few years back I went to a now-closed appliance store to buy a 19” tv. I walked directly to back. I looked at the tvs. I stood near the tvs. I waited. I played on the video monitor. I sang songs out loud. I watched tv. Finally, I left.

The next day I begged my boyfriend to go with me. We didn’t get within 15 yards of a tv before someone asked HIM if he needed help. He told the salesperson that I needed a tv. The salesperson continued to speak to him. I was fuming. He bought a 27 inch tv that day and I went to Kaufmann’s by myself and got my 19 inch. I wrote a letter of complaint. I got a 20 gift certificate apology. Ironic that the apology sent me back to the store to shop.

When I bought my appliances for my home I took my mother. We were both ignored. I got so frustrated I stalked a salesperson and demanded assistance. Why do they ask you if you need help when you track them down? Isn’t it obvious? What is with those warranty programs?. You pay for 3 years of service but you have to contact them for maintenance. That seems stupid. If I am setting up a contract with your company you should be reminding me that I need to conduct regular maintenance.
Last week, I finally decided to buy a new tv. I decided that I wanted to go to a department store that had a small selection so that I would not be overwhelmed with options. I ended up at Sears.

Big Mistake.

It was the post-holiday shopping and there were a lot of couples there. For those of you who do not understand. Salespeople seem to think that single women shoppers don’t know what they want or have the money to buy it. But if there is a man on her arm of rugrats at her ankles then she is serious. So I am standing by the tvs. I am walking around the tvs. I am looking at the tvs. I am touching the tvs. But the damn salespeople make a beeline to each couple that enters the department. I called clsteelcurtain98. I asked him to come to the store and stand next to me so that I would get some service. He told me to go to circuit city. As we are talking, more couples enter the area. I am panicking. Noone will help me if they don’t stop. Clsteelcurtain98 is telling me that i could have been in the parking lot of Circuit City by now if I had taken his advice. Circuit city scares me. There is so much…….. How could I possible decide on which tv to get with so many options? By myself. I am just a girl, you know. Then he suggests that I knock something over. I consider it. I start walking towards a display and I see this young salesperson. I wave him down and he asks me if I need help. There is that stupid question again.

Well, after all of my experiences in electronics departments I have learned finally how to take the upper hand.
“Can I help you.”
“yes, I need a small tv/dvd player for bedroom. Why is this one more expensive.”

He seemed puzzled by my question. As if the answer was obvious.
“Well, this is a new brand for our store and that is a Sylvania it is an older brand. Now, this one is a Samsung. Samsung is really good brand and it is a flat screen.”
“That may be true but Samsung is $60 more. I just need it to play DVD’s. It doesn’t need to impress my clock radio.”

He seemed a little shaken by that comment. But I was just getting started.
“Okay, well I haven’t had anyone return this brand.”
“What does that mean? And what is the special that you are running with each purchase of a tv?”
he said nervously, “um, you get Dish Service activation with a new tv.”
“You don’t really know about the promotion, do you?”
“Well, no, I just got on the floor today and this is a new promotion.”

This was my in. My way of taking up the cause of every single woman that had ever been ignored by a salesperson in the electronics department.
“So, they put you on the floor with no information? Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Is there someone who can explain the promotion to me?”
“Well, yes,”
he looks desperately around for another salesperson. I quickly regain his attention.
“You know what, we can talk about that later, will this play recorded cd or dvd’s?”

Next thing I know, the sales person is formally introducing himself to me. I guess he thought if we made friends I would be less aggressive.


“So Rico, why can’t you tell me if this will play recorded cds or dvd’s? How long have you worked here? “
Rico is a college student at UT and is just seasonal.
“So Rico, find out if this will play – as you call it - ‘bootleg’ cd’s”
Rico gets the salesperson that ignored me three times to help couples. I was pissed when I saw him. Then he merely reads to me what’s on the tag under the tv.
“Yeah, I read that already but how does that answer my question. Rico, do you have a cd in your pocket that we could play?” I ignore the second salesperson and started talking to Rico.
After he left, I say to Rico, “your friend wasn’t very helpful. Does that happen a lot? They know you are only temporary and don’t try to help you out? I am going to call my cousin. He will know the answer.”

I call my cousin who used to work in the very same appliance store from with we bought the cd player mentioned above 12 years ago.
My cousin explains that a particular term means that the player will play different formats. I thank my cousin and I tell the little guy the secret phrase.

By now Rico is really tripping. And wants to know all about me. Where do I work. How was my Xmas. He can’t believe that i am giving him such a hard time. --- Rico is trying to make friends.
I ask Rico to find a ruler to measure the tvs because the tag under the tv did not mention its dimensions. Of course, he did not know where to find one.
Finally, I decide to buy the cheaper tv. During checkout i am constantly asking Rico inane questions.

Are you going to tell me about the promotion? Don't you dare ask me about the warranty. Why do you need my phone number? When do you graduate? will you reenlist? do you like working here? do you see those kids over there playing cops and robbers? the father told them to get off the floor, i guess it was optional? So, did you mother really name you Rico or is that a nickname? You aren't a Steelers fan are you?

AT the checkout a couple comes up and actually tries to interrupt Rico as he is making the sale. Perhaps, they didn't think i knew what i wanted or had enough money to buy it. I told him very loudly to “ignore them, they can wait.”

We get all the way through the transaction and I ask Rico, “Oh, is this a stereo dvd player?” I did that on purpose.
He didn’t know. I flip out. “Is there anything in this store that will tell you what you are buying?” “Do I look strong enough to carry a tv around, take it home and then bring it back here cuz it doesn’t play in stereo?”
I was really enjoying myself.
Suddenly he remembers the secret phrase that indicates the tv will play in stereo.
I tell Rico I want the other tv and I finally leave him unforgettable.

Sometimes i love being a woman.

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