Monday, July 16, 2007

Going Postal - A Boxful of Boobs

Sometimes people volunteer information when they are mailing stuff. Sometimes we are dumb enough to ask.

The other day, we had a customer come in to ship a plain brown cardboard box. But she wanted to insure it for $8,000. Now, we do not insure for more than $5,000 here at our contract unit (some kind of regulation or something). She was obviously from a medical office from the looks of the scrubs she was wearing. She said the box contained breast implants that needed to be insured.

We sent her to the main post office, because it was obvious that she should send these securely. Don't want a boxful of boobs to go missing......

Another regular customer is a very nice older man. Very nondescript, very nice. He regularly mails out "media mail". His packages are square and flat, sort of like calendars or photos. I assumed he was a photographer, judging by the types of packages he mailed. So I made the mistake of asking him. Just nice, polite conversation that you make with a 'regular'. "Are you a photographer?" He replied that yes, he took pictures. Then he proceeded to tell me that he was in the "bondage lifestyle and he takes pictures and write manuals... ". My co-worker B almost choked. I mean, it's just way too much info, if you know what I mean. What do you say after that? Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong it. To each his own. That's cool. No problems. But it just makes it a little weird for someone to announce themselves that way. I really do not want that information, ya know? And he will be forever known in our shop as the "spanker guy". It has taken awhile, but I can actually look him in the eye without thinking about it now. He's a really nice guy. But really? Some things are just left unsaid.

Today, I had to mail someone's cremated remains. Certified mail, of course.

I imagine there is quite a lot of interesting things that pass through our office that I don't know about, nor do I want to know.

Damn, I love the Phillies!

When I was a little girl, I was crazy for the Phillies. There was no bigger treat than a trip to Veteran's Stadium with my dad to see a game. When I was 13, we spent the summer at my grandmother's house in central PA and I couldn't get good radio reception for the games. My dad somehow attached a radio to the roof antenna so I could get minimal reception. I would sit by that radio and try to listen through all the static. I would make a daily walk to the only store in town that carried the Philadelphia Inquirer to check the box scores.

I remember the year that pitcher Steve Carlton won 27 games. That was almost half the total games the team won that year! One of my most prized possessions is a scrap of paper with the autographs of Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, and Larry Bowa. My dad worked at the airport and saw the team when they were traveling.

Yesterday, I watched them lose their 10,000th game on ESPN. Living in Texas, it is always a rare treat to catch a Phillies game on tv. Not only do I love the Phillies, but I love the brutally honest Philly fans (of any sport). Yes, they are obnoxious sometimes, but look at the teams they support. And they do support them through the good and the bad. Well, mostly the bad. It's very rare to have a winner in Philadelphia! And seeing the fans on ESPN last night with signs celebrating 10,000 losses made me smile.

It is a great thing to Celebrate 10,000! (I'm going to get me one of those tshirts!)

My favorite morning radio show, from WMMR in Philadelphia, dumped 10,000 marbles down the art museum steps in celebration (thanks for the podcasts Preston and Steve). Thanks to the internet, I feel like Philly isn't really that far away!

I do love them Phillies!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Bag Lady

Paper or plastic? Actually.... neither. I have my own bags, thank you very much. Yes, I'm one of those people that carry canvas bags to the supermarket. My son (who is a bagger at our local market) calls me one of those 'hippie freaks'. But I am not a tree hugger. I have been recycling for over 20 years. It really is a simple thing, once you get used to it. Where I live now, we have curbside recycling. Which is okay.... but it has actually cut down on my recycling.

When I lived in upstate New York, we had to pay for trash pickup. Jim and I were living in our first home. Money was tight. He had a pickup truck. The dump was about ten miles away. It was just logical that we would haul our own trash to the dump. Our dump had a great recycling center. We recycled newspaper, plastic, aluminium, tin, glass, styrofoam, junk mail, plastic, cardboard..... And the more you recycled, the less you paid to dump your trash. I had an entire recycling center in my basement. I recycled everything possible.

Then we moved to Florida in 1994. Curbside recycling. Awesome! They gave us a little plastic container. What the heck? Oh, wait a minute. I can only recycle plastic, aluminum, and newspaper? That's it? Oh well.... And Texas is the same way. Oh sure, I could go find a recycling center, but I don't. I recycle everything that is picked up at the curb. But we don't have a truck, I don't have a basement, and so that's it.

About those grocery bags.... I do recycle plastic grocery bags. I would stockpile them and then drop them off in the bin provided at the store. When I would remember them. And they make great pooper scooper bags when you walk your dogs, too. But I really do hate those plastic bags.... It is such an obvious waste. So when our supermarket starting offering these nice big canvas bags for sale, I bought one. Each week, I would add another. Now I have five. Enough for a grocery order. And I love them mostly because they are sturdier than the plastic bags, so I can pack more groceries into them. And I can sling them over my shoulder and carry the stuff into the house when no one is around to help.... and I don't have all those plastic bags accumulating. So it's a win-win situation, right?

I do worry about the environment. I try to do my part, but I'm certainly not about the give up my air conditioning, and I don't want the government to start regulating stuff which is going to cost lots of $$$s to people who can't afford it (including me). But I do little things... and I'm doing more of them. Now, if only manufacturers would go back to cardboard boxes instead of those awful plastic shells that everything you buy is packaged in!! Puhleeze..... they are a pain to open, and I can only imagine the mountains of plastic in landfills from packaging.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Going Postal - No Free Tape!

Dear Ms. L,

I am sorry that you left our store angry today. You came to the drive through with two boxes, both "Flat Rate Priority" boxes. All taped up and addressed and ready to go. The problem was, one of them was going to Germany. That flat rate box would have cost you $37 to mail. "Flat rate" means the price is always the same for that box, no matter the weight (which is a bargain for heavy stuff. For things under 3 pounds, not so much). When I put it on the scale, I saw that you could ship it first class international for only $18. I am sorry that I pointed that out to you. I am sorry that you then had to buy a plain brown box from us for 1.49. And when I told you that it was going to cost you another dollar to tape it up, I am sorry that it upset you. "You mean I have to pay for tape? I've never done that before!" Well, I don't know where you get your tape, but I can give you the name of our supplier and show you the invoices. It doesn't magically appear in our drawer. And I am sorry that you had to take ten minutes to repack your stuff in the box AND fill out the customs form required for international packages. I am very sorry that the three cars who were waiting behind you got tired and left, and missed getting served. To answer your question, "Yes, it was a very bad day". There were six people waiting for counter service inside the door, and only two of us working. So you can see, the extra work that was required to serve you, as well as waiting for you to fill out the paperwork and complain about the service, took me away from helping other people in the store.

I should have just put that box on the scale, hit postal meter, and charged you $37. Instead, you paid $18 for postage and $2.61 for the box and tape. And you also prevented the cars behind you from being served.

So I am sorry. Next time, I won't try to save you money. If paying $1 to tape your box is too much money, then pay the friggin' $37 to mail it as is. I hope that you'll accept my apology because it will be our pleasure to serve you again (without the drive-thru divas like yourself what would I write about on my blog?)

Yours truly,

Your friendly neighborhood contract postal unit worker

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Heading back East

It has been 13 years since I set foot in the northeast. But I am heading back to Philly for my niece's wedding at the end of the month. I am excited and nervous. I am flying by myself, renting a car, and heading into central Pennsylvania. It's been so many years since I made that trip. I wonder if I'll get lost?

Since I've been in Texas, I really haven't missed the northeast. But for the past year, I have been feeling nostalgic about it. I would love to go to the Jersey shore. Not on this short trip though. There are so many people I'd love to see, but I won't have time. Why have I stayed away so long?

I am really excited about going up into central PA though. I've been doing so much work on my family history, and it will be great to be in the coal region again. I wish I had time to do some digging into historical records while I'm there. But I only have four days. I really have to plan a longer trip one of these days.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Going Postal - Those Damn Cell Phones!

We have signs all over our shop asking people to please turn off the cell phones. There is a reason for this. It's just plain rude to carry on a conversation while we are trying to provide service.

Twice in one week I was given the finger trying to wait on a drive thru customer. No, not that finger. The one where someone raises their hand in the international "Wait a minute" signal. Why would someone in the drive thru ask me to wait a minute when I try to wait on them? Because they are busy yakking on their cell phone!! The first time, I walked straight past Mr. "I have to finish this call" and went to the next car. He got more than a minute to finish his call, believe me. The second time, I simply closed the door and waited on three customers in line inside before I turned back to the rude beyotch who had to finish her "oh so important" phone call.

Don't even ask me how tempted I was to give them a different finger right back at them.....

The absolute rudest and most repulsive cell phone abuser yet? My boss was waiting on a customer. She had taken the credit card, run it through the scanner, returned with the receipt. In the meantime, customer got a call from her friggin' gardener on her cell phone. My boss placed the credit card, the receipt, and a pen on the counter in front of her to sign. The customer (still talking to Jose the gardener) starts waving a hand at my boss. What the hell? Finally, customer reaches across the counter, GRABS my boss's hand, and places it on top of her receipt to hold it still so she can sign it without removing her other hand from her cell phone!!!! Can you even imagine the nerve???

Here's a clue for all you people that can't stop talking on your phone while someone is waiting on you: Feel free to keep talking on your phone as long as you like. Don't mind us if we wait on the other customers who are ready for us. You can wait. We won't.

Seriously people, get a clue.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Tired of playing post office"

On Monday, we got slammed with about 500 customers. That is quite a lot for our little CPU. There were only two of us working from 1:00-6:00. Barely time to breathe. At the end of the day, my boss said that she was "tired of playing post office". 99% of our customers are very nice. But that other 1%? Not so much. And some of them are so damned needy!!!

Love it when someone walks up with an armful of stuff and says "I need to mail this". Well, no shit. You also need a box, or other container. Tape? Well, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to charge you if your box isn't taped. We have to buy it, so you'll have to buy it from us. And, no, boxes aren't free either. Unless you want to send it priority mail. The USPS provides those boxes for free. The catch is that you have to ship it using their priority service. Yes, it's a little more expensive. But, hey, free box!

Need an envelope to mail that letter? No, those aren't free either. Sorry, copies also aren't free. Ten cents apiece.

Why do people think that we have to provide everything for nothing?

And there is no such thing as "regular" mail. I show you the options on the screen after your package is weighed. I show you that the choices are first class or parcel post, priority and express. When you say "Just send it regular", I want to scream. Did I give you "regular" as an option? Do you see "regular" on the screen????

And if you put your return address on the center of the package right above the addressee, don't be surprised if the damn package is mailed back to your house! Oh, and when addressing an envelope or package, please remember to leave room for the damn postage at the upper right corner! It amazes me how many people do not know how to address a package or an envelope!! Here's a tip: Return address on upper left hand corner. Addressee: center vertically and horizontally on the package. Postage: Upper right hand corner. Got it?

Yes, I am beginning to understand the term "going postal" much better these days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


My plan is to whip this sorry old body into shape by the end of this year. Impossible? I hope not. I am now working five days a week. Eight months ago I didn't even have a job. And I've joined a gym. And I'm trying so hard to get myself strong and healthy. I have to believe it is still possible to save myself. I'm determined.

Yesterday was a killer day at work. There were only two of us working from 1:00-6:00, and the people wouldn't stop coming! Imagine kicking over an anthill. All the ants come pouring out, one after the other. That was my day yesterday. I felt as though I had been slapped around all day. A constant stream of people. Letters to mail, packages to ship, questions (some of them really stupid), complaints about the new mail rates (yes, I know. you are not the first person to complain), no time for small talk.... It got to the point where I was ready to scream if I saw one more car pull into the parking lot! But we survived. I was never happier than when 6:00 came and I could put up the "CLOSED" sign. And, even then, a car or two pulled up and people tried to get in.

Battered and bruised, I left work. When I got home, I changed my clothes and looked at my desk, and the couch, and the television, and gave myself a pep talk. If I sat down, I knew I wouldn't move the rest of the night. So I grabbed a small bite to eat, and grabbed my workout bag and headed for the gym.

Twenty minutes on the treadmill, listening to my iPod, and I was already feeling better. A couple of months ago, I couldn't even imagine that it could be so. Ninety minutes later, sweaty and sore, I left the gym and felt revived. I couldn't believe it. But it was so.

I have a long way before I am in shape again. And the shape may not ever be what it was when I was 30. But I am determined. And it feels good. Pray that it lasts.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Saved her again

In the last six months, I've had to save my mother in the middle of the night four times. Mom has Type II diabetes and is on insulin injections. She's had it for about 20 years. Her mother, and her mother's mother also were diagnosed with it after menopause. That is one inheritance that I would love to refuse. It is a major reason that I am on a quest to lose weight and get healthy! (So far I am down 7 pounds and working out 3-4 times a week. Only about 25 more pounds to go!)

Five years ago, my son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes (juvenile diabetes). While he was in the hospital, we went through five days of 'training'. He was included in the training at all levels (he was twelve years old at the time). And he knows what he has to do, and when he has to do it. My mother either never had the training, or she just doesn't 'get it' because she really messes up her insulin doses these days. There are differences between Type I and Type II, but no difference in the way insulin is dosed and how it works. Of course, mom also takes oral medicines which affect the insulin and that is one thing I don't understand. I admit that. But, she doesn't know to adjust the insulin doses, nor does she eat enough after she takes it! That much is a given.

It is a scary thing to be jarred awake in the middle of the night by a ghastly moaning. Mom's blood glucose levels have been as low as 43 on these occasions. Imagine someone absolutely drunk, with no control over themselves and that is what it is like. Most of the time, I am able to get her to drink some orange juice or coke. But the last two times, she hasn't even been able to sit up. I keep a couple of glucagon emergency kits in the house (my son's doctor prescribed them). Two of the last incidents, I have had to use them on her to bring her sugar levels up. (I've never had to use them on my son).

Mom never adjusts her insulin dosage. She waits until she sees her doctor (every six months). My son wears an insulin pump, and he knows how to adjust his basal insulin rate according to a formula he learned from the doctor. He covers any food he eats with extra insulin according to an insulin-to-carb ratio that he was taught. He knows how to read food labels, and he is good a judging carb amounts in the food he eats outside the house. My mom? Not so much.

My son tells her not to take her insulin dose so late at night! I tell her not to take a dose at night. It's supposed to be taken before dinner! You are supposed to eat within twenty minutes of the dose. And the dose should be adjusted according to your blood glucose levels....... She doesn't understand the amount of carbs needed to level out the insulin and when to eat them. She doesn't understand how to adjust her dose, no matter how often we try to help her.

She just doesn't get it. My biggest fear is that someday she isn't going to be able to moan loud enough for me (or anyone) to hear.

The incidents have been happening more often lately. My sleep is almost always uneasy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Going Postal - Two Cent Panic!!

New postal rates went into effect Monday, May 14. In the first four hours that we were open, we sold 16,000 two-cent stamps! So much work for so little money, if the truth be told.

And, of course, all the rates went up. So everyone was cranky. All day.

Late in the day, there were about six people in line. And a car at the drive-thru. I took care of one customer, then opened the door at the drive-thru and said "Can I help you?". Drive-thru diva person was yakking on her cell phone. I waited a second or two for her to acknowledge that I was there. Then when I got no response, I went back inside the door and waited on the next person in line. The one who wasn't yakking on her phone and deserved my attention. Drive-thru diva had a fit. Oh well, lady. Cell phones are the absolute bane of our existence. We are not going to hold up everyone in line until you finish your conversation!

Another DTD (drive-thru diva) wanted to exchange her 39 cent stamps for 41 cent stamps. Sorry, ma'am, I can sell you two-cent stamps, but we don't exchange. She wasn't happy. I tried to explain to her that in ten years, those stamps will still be worth 39 cents and all she has to do is add additional postage for a first class letter. There is no expiration date on stamps! She said she was going to go the 'real' post office to exchange them. I'm sure that after she waited 1/2 hour in their line, only to be told the same thing, that she was even more miserable. Serves her right.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Going Postal - The Drive-thru Divas

We have a unique feature - the drive-through post office! It's meant to be a convenience, but as usual, there are people who abuse it.

Mailing a package? Before you come to the drive-thru, it helps if the item you are mailing is already packaged. I've had people drive up with stuff in a plastic bag and they want me to get them a box or an envelope. That's not a problem if they want to use USPS Priority mail because we keep those behind the counter. We also have shipping supplies (envelopes, boxes, tape) that we sell out in the store area.

Some people get testy if I ask them if they are going to use priority mail. Believe me, I'm NOT trying to rip you off. For a small package, there might be $1 difference betweeen priority and parcel post (the cheapest mail service). The priority box is free...... but if you want to use parcel post, you'll have to provide your own box. And if you show up in the drive-thru without a box, you'll have to buy one from us. So you are going to spend $1.29 or $1.99 just to buy the box, and then pay postage to ship it parcel post, instead of using the free priority box and spending an extra $1 on postage. Not to mention, your package gets delivered faster. In most cases, it will be cheaper to mail it priority with the free box.

If you want me to go out into the store and get you an envelope while you tie up the line in the drive-thru, and then wait while you address it and finish your transaction, I'm not going to pick out the 21 cent manila envelope for you. You're going to get the 99 cent bubble envelope. If you want the cheapest, park your car, come into the store and pick out your own envelope. Got that? Okay.

Drive-thru diva of the week was the hot mama in the back seat of the Ford F150 extended cab pickup. Blonde and slow daughter was driving. Mama holds up a little makeup bag/purse and says she wants to mail this to Dallas. I get her a priority envelope and mailing label. She looks at me and says "I am illiterate. Can you please fill out the label for me?"

I grab my clipboard, standing next to her truck, while she is applying mascara...... she then proceeds to spell the name of the person to whom she is mailing the package, AND the name of the street. Why do I feel like a sucker here?

Dumb blonde daughter in the front seat is filling out an envelope to be mailed. I ring up mama's package, take her money, and expect them to drive off. But dumb blonde daugher isn't ready yet. Now there are about four more cars behind them.

Finally blondie's ready and I take the letter she wants to mail. Total transaction time, about 15 minutes.


Going Postal

I work in a US Postal Service "Contract Unit". What is a contract unit? It is an 'official' US Postal Service site, but operated under a private contract with non-federal employees. The USPS has basically outsourced an operation in an area that needs a post office, but without the capital investment of building one or hiring federal employees. Very cost effective, don't ya think? The CPU (Control Postal Unit) isn't our only business, but it definitely takes up most of our time!

We provide all postal services except we do not sell postal money orders, have PO boxes, issue passport applications or issue the 'sooper sekrit secure' registered mail. And, unlike private mail services, we do not charge more for your postage. You pay nothing extra for mailing a letter or package. And we smile and provide great customer service. Oh, and we also have a drive through window! What could be better?

I really do love the work. Almost all of our customers are great. And we have a decent amount of 'regular' customers, too.

I would just like to say one thing. Your mail is handled with extreme care at our facility. We go above and beyond the call of duty. What happens after it is picked up and shipped to the postal distribution center? I cannot vouch for that!

A couple of things that drive me nuts - people who bring in something and ask "Will this be there tomorrow? (or the next day)"
Not unless you send it Express mail, which is our most expensive option. "But it's only ten miles away!!" Well, if it's only ten miles away, maybe you should deliver it yourself, okay? Distance doesn't matter really, because it still gets put into the mailstream with thousands of other pieces of mail and is sorted for delivery. Yeah, it might get there tomorrow. Or it might not get there until next week. Sorrrrry.

Another thing that makes me crazy is that some people have not learned how to address an envelope/box. Return address? Upper left hand corner, please. Recipient address? Large and center (vertically and horizontally) on the package/envelope. Remember to leave room for the postage, please!! And if the to/from addresses are directly on top of each other, don't be surprised if your package comes back to you as the recipient instead of the sender!

And it's not our fault that the price of postage is going up! We're sorry!

There are a few nits, but lots of fun things about working in our CPU. More stories about that later!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Change is Gonna Come

When I was diagnosed with MS in 2001, it hit me pretty hard. I look the same. I feel the same. And yet, I'm not. I have aged. I think I have aged about 20 years in the six years since D(iagnosis)Day. And I know that physically, there are changes. But how many of those changes are psychologically wrought? Do I really have less energy? Or am I just using it as an excuse?

The fact of the matter is, I have gotten soft and fat. Is it too late to save myself? Can I get something of my old body back? In my 30s, I looked great. Yes, that is a very conceited statement. But I did look great! Better than my 20s even... well, almost as good as my 20s. I want to look like that again. Is it too late?

It's time to stop feeling sorry for myself and get to work. Yes, there are physical changes, but they are no excuse. The longer I wait, the worse it will get. And getting FIT will be better for me in the long run. I need to be strong again. Not emotionally strong (that I have always been), but physically strong. Not taking care of my body is only going to allow the monster to strike sooner. I have to hold it off. No more excuses. Time to get moving.

Wish me luck.

Monday, April 23, 2007


What has happened to me? I used to love writing. I could write sentences and paragraphs without missing a beat. It used to flow from me so naturally. Why do I find it so difficult to put words to paper (or hard drive, as the case may be)?

There is so much I want to write about..... but every time I sit down and start typing, I delete it all before posting. I want to write about:

  • working tax night in the post office (contract unit)and how it wasn't as stressful as I feared. It was actually quite festive and fun! I was surprised, however, that people were actually still looking for tax forms at 7:00 that night! (procrastinate much?)
  • how it sucks to have this ticking time bomb in my brain called MS and how paranoid I am about every little change to my body.
  • flashbacks........ those little things that pop into my head about events years ago. Sometimes they are caused by music or scents, sometimes they just show up without reason.
  • how depressed I get about the fact that my youngest son is only two years away from graduating high school, and I am not far away from an 'empty nest', except that I will still be taking care of my aging mother.
  • Why do I prefer digging in the dirt and gardening instead of cleaning my house? I hate to vacuum, although I still do it. But I'd rather be outside working in the yard.....
  • how the internet has grown into something that I'm not sure I like anymore... it's so full of drama and negativity. Am I looking in the wrong places?

Why can't I put these things into words anymore? My muse has deserted me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Worst that Could Happen

Doing some Sirius listening to 60s pop in the car. Until I sprung for Sirius for my husband, I would never have dreamed of paying for radio.

But now I wonder if I could live without it! Take a trip through the decades - 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s.......... It is endless. I'm working on the 60s right now.

Just heard one of my favorite songs from way back, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge, The Worst that Could Happen.

Girl, I heard you're getting married,
Heard you're getting married.
This time you're really sure

Yeah, but she's not marrying you because

Girl, I'll never get married
I'll never get married
You know that's not my scene.

So what are you whining about?

But if he loves you more than me
Maybe it's the best thing
Maybe it's the best thing for you
But it's the worst that could happen
To me

Oh, boo frickin' hoo for you.

The year was 1969. Young people realized they didn't have to follow the conservative path that their parents took. And many didn't.

It is a seriously good song though. I love these type of pop songs. Country fills that void for me today because I guess I'm too old to appreciate the pop of today.

And the song:

Saturday, April 07, 2007

April Showers

Chris was in a dodgeball tournament on Thursday night at school. Competitive dodgeball. Sounds like fun! They named their team the "Angry Pirates". They had shirts made for their team. Nicknames and numbers on the back. Well, they all had numbers, except my kid.

You have to understand my son to see the humor in it. I think it's great! He doesn't let it get him down!

Ice and sleet on April 7th? This is amazing. It is 31 degrees outside and raining and very slick. What the heck? This is Texas - not Minnesota.

When I was a little girl growing up in Pennsylvania, I can remember more than a few Easters that were too cold for that cute spring outfit that mom bought for me. I can even remember snow on Easter. But this is Texas, and Easter is usually very warm.

We bought a new car today. Braved the cold and rain. Brought it home and parked it in the garage. Not very nice to take the new car for a drive. Hopefully it won't be so bad tomorrow.

The boys were disappointed though - no Hemi. But still a gorgeous car.

Greg is in Houston this weekend instead of being at home. He's at a friend's house. They have tickets to go see Wicked. If I were 19, I'd rather spend the weekend with friends, too. We're going to have Easter dinner next weekend because he's coming home then. Hopefully the weather will be better!

I have such pain in my hands today. I am sure that I have arthritis in my thumbs. The damp, cold weather must be aggravating it. Thumbs are very painful today. Usually, they are only sore. Lots of sharp stabbing pain today.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Too much of everything!

So my mother has decided NOT to renew her Sam's Club membership in May.

A frickin' Men!

Have I mentioned the amount of stuff that I have thrown out in the last month? Have I mentioned that my pantry has ten containers of yellow mustard, about 30 cans of soup, several containers of salad dressing that are on the verge of expiration? And the biggest damn box of saltines that I have ever seen!

I don't know why she has this compulsive need to over buy. It drives me CRAZEE!!!!!

*sigh* My kids are almost grown and instead of an 'empty nest', I am looking forward to dealing with the adult/child for the rest of her life.

I'm not going to rant anymore. Really I'm not.

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I am going to rant. But not to her. She still scares me. I'm 47 years old and I'm afraid to be honest with my mother. That just sucks!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Have I mentioned?

That I love

Pinot Grigio?

My Ipod?

My bose dock?

All three together, plus my jacuzzi and some cucumber-melon bubblebath?

Amaaaazingly relaxing.

So what playlist did I indulge in while taking my bath? Well, lots of Pat Green plus some Sugarland, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and a little Rascal Flatts for good measure.

I'll save the Aerosmith/Zeppelin/Pink Floyd for another day.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Random Thoughts

It's a beautiful, breezy, sunny day here in central Texas. I just came back from a long walk with the dogs. It's been awhile since I did that. I need to do it more often. Plug in the iPod, harness up the critters, and get out.

My love affair with the internet is in a bad place right now. I wonder how something that used to bring me such joy has turned so ugly. There is ugliness all over the web. Nowadays, it seems that I use my computer for paying bills, emailing my son at college, and playing solitaire. Sad, isn't it? There has been so much innovation in the last ten years, and I'm not exactly sure it has been for the better.

When did people become so cranky? We have the power to communicate which is unprecedented in history, and there is so much ugliness out there. I guess I need to purge my bookmarks. It just brings me down.

More later......

Thursday, January 18, 2007


'Twas a cold day in hell, errrr I mean Texas, this week. Austin is not used to ice. Having come from the northeast, I was happy to have saved one of my ice scrapers. I probably could have sold it at a nice profit this week.

Today was noisy as the temp got up to 34 and the trees started shedding their coating of ice. The live oaks do not shed their leaves in the winter, so they were very heavy and droopy. Luckily none of mine lost any limbs. But today was a constant cacophony of ice dropping from limbs. Oh, and sheets of ice sliding off my roof. That was a little disconcerting at first. Hope there's no damage up there!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Cowboys are out

As much as I HATE the Cowboys (and believe me, I really really loathe the Dallas Cowboys), I have to feel sorry for Tony Romo tonight. Seriously, I can only imagine how awful he must feel. Why couldn't it have been that knucklehead TO who screwed up and lost the game for them instead? That would make it extra sweet. Instead, I sit here thinking about how awful Romo must feel tonight.

But, I guess that's why they get paid the big bucks.....

On the other hand........ the COWBOYS LOST! yesssssssssss.....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A very pleasant surprise

Back in 1976, I was a high school senior. When my boyfriend (now my husband) wanted to go see "Rocky", I was a bit hesitant. Boxing was not my idea of entertainment.

But, I was Philly girl. Well, close enough to a Philly girl since I was raised just outside the city limits. And everyone was talking about 'our' movie. You see, "Rocky" belonged to Philly. More than any other Hollywood-ized ideal of what Philadelphia was, "Rocky" was ours. So, after hearing all the buzz, I knew I had to see it.

I remember the first time. (I'm not sure, but probably saw it half a dozen times in the theater). It just blew me away. And, of course, there were several instances of running up the art museum steps just because we could!

"Rocky II" was great, but it wasn't the same. "Rocky" was the perfect underdog. Once he was "top" dog, it just wasn't the same. The gritty Philadelphia-ness of the movie was replaced with slick Hollywood ideas.

When I heard that there was going to be yet another "Rocky" sequel this year, I cringed. As a parent, and your child is putting himself on the line for a goal, you pray that all goes well and that they succeed. Or at least manage to walk away with some pride. That was how I felt about this latest "Rocky" movie. I approached it with the dread of a parent, because "Rocky" is Philadelphia's son. And we don't want to see him fail or make a fool of himself.

So over this Christmas vacation, my husband, my two teenage sons, and myself headed to the Alamo Drafthouse to see Rocky Balboa. (by the way, the Alamo Drafthouse is by far the coolest place to see a movie. Order dinner, beer, drinks.... while you watch a movie. It's one of the great things about living in Austin!)

We got there about an hour before the movie started, ordered our dinner while scenes from all the previous Rocky movies played on the screen. I was wearing a Philadelphia Flyers sweatshirt because it is a Philly movie after all! Watching the scenes from the prior Rocky movies was great fun and brought back lots of memories. But how was Stallone going to pull this off? "Rocky" must be, what, 60 now? Or pretty damn close. Was this going to be a huge mistake and ruin the legacy of Philly's favorite underdog? Was I going to be hugely disappointed?

I must say...... all my fears were unfounded. Stallone did an incredible job. He took it back to the streets of Philly. It was as though he remembered how it all started. This movie was probably very expensive, yet it had the feel of the low-budget original. Gritty, and honest.... and I LOVED it. He brought back the old "Rocky". And the streets of Philadelphia. And he respected the character, the story, and the history. He done good! "Rocky" has come full circle. And I am still proud of him.