Monday, May 31, 2010

Lawrence of Suburbia Part II - The Make Over

Remember last week when I posted Lawrence of Suburbia and I told you I would keep going if you asked.  Well you asked.  I apologize I had promised the next installment and then life got in the way.  I am posting the second installment of "Lawrence of Suburbia".  Let me know if you want me to keep going.

Part II the Make-Over

Gladys arrived at the salon eager to be made-over. You see she had never felt pretty enough especially being compared to her beautiful older sister, Matilda. Gladys thought maybe now people wouldn’t compare her to her sister, but Matilda to her. Or at least they wouldn’t say things like “Your Matilda’s little sister? What happened to you?” She went in prepared to hand her Janis Joplin mane over to the master and let someone show her how make-up was supposed to be worn. She prepared by going in bare faced and her hair  natural. Gladys had spent most of her youth hiding behind her hair, make-up and big baggy clothes. It was now time for the ugly duckling to turn into a swan. She gave herself over to who she hoped would be miracle workers.

First Jose, pronounced HO-Say, took Gladys to the chair and he ran his hands through her hair saying “Oh NO! Dis will nevah do! No, No too much red and not enough moisture. Dahling what do you wash your hair in? The toilet bowl?” She endured his criticism and his comments knowing that once his magic was weaved she would be incredible. He swirled the chair around and broke out a contraption that looked like a colander. Then for four hours he pulled strands of hair through the fruit strainer and would emit noises like “tsk, tsk” or “ah, yes”. Finally he had yanked and tugged and processed every single tiny nappy strand of hair on her head. She felt as if she had been scalped and all she could smell was something akin to toilet bowl cleaner. She began to think that Jose might really be the Tidy Bowl man and he had just turned her hair a refreshing toilet bowl blue. He sent her off with the shampoo girl who then put her under a dryer that was set to 5000 degrees and left Gladys there for several more hours. Shampoo-girl came back checked to see if she was done and then called to Jose. He came sniffed his sniff of approval and sent her to the shampoo bowl.

The shampoo girl smiled and sprayed Gladys' head with boiling water then applied a healthy dose of shampoo. It smelled like strawberries and cream, it smelled good enough to eat. “What kind of shampoo is that?” Gladys asked as her stomach growled. Shampoo girl smiled and said “This is a special mixture that Omar makes himself. He only uses it on his most special clients.” She breathed deep the sweet aroma of strawberries, cream and special. Gladys had never known that smell before, that smell of being special. Shampoo Girl finished it all off with a head and neck massage. She had never been to a salon where they did this and it was heaven. Special…she really liked the sound of this. Now she knew this is how movie stars and beautiful people were treated.

Shampoo girl ushered Gladys to another chair in the salon. This one was in a little room with pictures of beautiful women over the years. She sat waiting for her next treatment, hair wrapped in a towel, imagining that she too one day could be as beautiful as those women. A woman dressed in a gold satin jumpsuit came in and smiled “my name is Aurora; I am going to apply your make-up”. She turned a light on over head and took a magnifying glass and examined her face. Oh no, she is going to tell me my pores are too big or my skin is too sallow and send me out of here Gladys just knew she wouldn’t pass the test. Instead Aurora smiled and said “my what a lovely complexion you have”. Gladys breathed a sigh of relief and said “thank you I just wash it with soap and water.” Aurora began her speech on moisturizing and using a make-up remover that didn’t leave a residue. She continued to lecture about taking make-up off every night before going to bed. Gladys laughed. Evidently she did not understand living in a dorm that shut and locked the doors at 10 p.m. Aurora didn’t comprehend getting off from working a second job until 2 a.m. She didn’t understand that Gladys spent most nights sleeping in her car in the parking lot and not in her bed. Gladys nodded yes and took a vow to scrub and pat. Gladys would have agreed to smearing dog poop on her face, she just wanted to be liked. She finished and then spun the chair so Gladys could look in the mirror. Wow! Who was this person? Although she wasn’t quite movie-starrish she wasn’t too bad to look at.

Finally it was time to move on to the rest of her make-over. She sat in the chair and wondered what was next. Then she heard the familiar husky voice of Omar. “Hello, my little lovely” he crooned into her ear as he took the towel from her head. “Hi Omar!” Gladys chirped. He combed the tangles from her wet hair and pulled her locks out straight. He took his shears and in a move that would have made Edward Scissorhands pea green with envy he went to work on her unruly mane. She saw hair dropping and tried not to cry. Gladys had visions of having a bowl cut or worse, a pixie. She held her breath while he snipped away. She hoped and prayed that he would make her look beautiful and not like a dog inflicted with the mange. He then poured something into his hands and applied it to her hair. Again she smelled the familiar scent of strawberries and cream. It was the smell that she would forever relate to being special. Then with the skill of a master craftsman he wielded blow-dryer and brush and tamed her brillo-pad mane. He brushed some hair from her shoulder bent over and handed her a mirror then announced “you, my dear, are even more beautiful than before.” He spun the chair around and you know what? In just that moment, in just that instance, she did not feel like the little girl who was found under a rock. She felt like someone special. She felt beautiful. She gazed into what had to be a magic mirror and saw a really pretty girl. She saw someone who was not the knocked knee, geeky, loser girl who was always chosen last and forever compared to her beautiful older sister. She felt special.

Omar adjusted the strands of her frosted, cropped and feathered hair and said “now baby girl go see Frieda in the boutique. She has something for you.” Gladys was astonished at the magic these three people had performed. Who said you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear? “Oh no Omar” she cried “You’ve done much too much already.” He smiled an endearing smile and said “Oh no my little one you don’t understand. This is as much for me as it is for you. I would very much like to photograph you for my brochure.” A model? All four foot eleven inches and sixty-eight pounds of her? A model? If Gladys had a tail it would have been wagging. She was floating on a cloud. Was this a dream?

She shyly entered the boutique where she found a tall thin woman with copper penny red hair in a deep purple flowing silky dress. She put held Gladys at arms length and said “Oh, you are tee-tiny. I hope I have something that will fit you. Well if we don’t we will make it fit.” She then floated through the store her silky dress flowing like water around her. Gladys trudged after her in her cowboy boots and holey jeans, feeling like a plow-hand instead of a “model”. Then Frieda emitted a melodious purr and she said “this will be perfect for you.” She held in her hands a beautiful length of fabric. Gladys squealed with delight and rushed to touch it. Frieda sized it up and said “this will work beautifully!”

Gladys started into the dressing room and Frieda followed her. Gladys stopped thinking maybe she wasn’t suppose to try the dress on but Frieda urged her forward. Frieda grabbed her little protégé’ and began removing clothes until she got down to her undergarments “No, No my little one” she chided “these will never ever do.” She glided out of the cubicle and returned in a few minutes with beautiful lacey under-things that made Gladys’ J.C. Penny brand look like flour sacks. Frieda dressed her and made the necessary adjustments putting pins here and tucking fabric there. She turned her from side to side and when it all met with her approval she sent Gladys out to look in the mirror.

The dress fit like a glove and her hair and make-up were perfect. Gladys began to cry. She cried because she had never looked at herself and thought the word beautiful. She cried because she was afraid she would never look like that again and she cried because she didn’t want that feeling of special to go away. Frieda rushed to her and said “little one you must stop crying. You will ruin your make-up.” Gladys sniffed and dried her eyes. She looked at Frieda and was overcome with gratitude.

Omar set up his lights and used the décor of the boutique as his backdrop. He took picture after picture. He murmured words of encouragement all the while snapping pose after pose. Gladys felt it was a dream. He finished the photo shoot and she hugged him in gratitude. She hugged all of her miracle workers.

Then all too soon her day was over. She floated out of the salon and back into Gladys’ real world. She went to work that evening feeling more special than she had ever felt.

to be continued.....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Wrinkle In Mind

Once again it is Theme Thursday and the theme is but a wrinkle in my mind. What I mean is that it got trapped in the folds between the part of my brain that thinks of nothing but food and the other part of my brain. I’m not sure what the other part of my brain thinks about but if you read my Friday Random thoughts it might give you a little insight or it might send you screaming down the street. This week’s theme is of course wrinkle. Now I have to tell you I hate wrinkles. I hate wrinkled clothes, wrinkled paper and most of all the wrinkles that have appeared on my face. I often look in the mirror and wonder if they make tiny Rowenta irons with which I can steam iron out the wrinkles around my eyes. This of course leads us to a story and my take on this week’s theme Wrinkle. So straighten out that paper, press the lines from your shirt and take out those pesky crows feet with some hemorrhoid cream and read my take on wrinkles then go on over to Theme Thursday and read what my fellow authors have written.

Gladys was feeling pretty good. Her long not yet graying hair was shining in the fluorescent lights, her newly semi-tanned legs were bare and her freshly painted pink toenails were shining in her cute summer sandals. She felt young, alive and jubilant. She looked in each of the shop windows as she strolled the alley way in front of the beautiful shops. Oh look what a cute sun dress and look at those shoes, she thought as she window shopped.

She was alone but not lonely. She was for the first time in her long life happy with herself. She enjoyed her own company. She looked in the mirror and did not see an ugly, buck toothed, big eared, nerd who was found under a rock but saw a woman who had grown into herself. She saw maturity but not age. She saw beauty where she had never seen it before. She had made it over that mystical hump of middle age and had found her inner beauty. Maybe it was the fact that she now saw herself through a man who saw nothing but beauty. Maybe it was she no longer felt in competition with every twenty-something out there. Maybe she had gone through her right of passage into true maturity where outside beauty was no longer independent of inner beauty.

She walked on seeing all the stuff she didn’t need or want but just enjoying the beauty and art of the items. “Hello” she heard as she looked up from studying some curvy perfume bottles. Gladys smiled at the young woman standing in front of her dressed in black. “Would you like to try our new line of face care products” the young woman pressed. Gladys smiled knowing she had plenty of time on her hands she replied “sure, what is it?” The excited young woman led Gladys to an ornate old Baber’s chair under a bank of bright lights. Gladys sat and listened while the young woman explained how this product was like none other. This product was an amazing break-through in anti-aging serums. Gladys had heard this spiel before. Isn’t that what all beauty products claim? Use this product it makes you look ten years younger. Use our mascara it will create eye lashes you never had or use our foundation and have the clear complexion you always dreamed of. Each claim pounded into us through print media, television and now social media. Hadn’t she, Gladys, purchased her share of products which promised beauty and youth in a bottle?

The young girl dotted a bit of lotion here and rubbed a bit there. “Oh my!” she cried “you have some more over here.” Gladys puzzled for a moment and asked “a few more what?” The girl blushed and said “wrinkles. You have some pretty deep ones here beside your eye and right there in between on your forehead. Oh and look at these here around your mouth.” Gladys squinted and peered into the mirror that magnified not only her pores but these new found wrinkles. She turned her head from one side to the other and squinted yet again. “Oh honey, don’t do that” cried Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles “you will give yourself more wrinkles.” Gladys un-squinted her eyes and studied her reflection. This had to be some kind of an evil mirror she thought. You know much like those fun house mirrors but instead of being really squat or really stringy she was wrinkled like an oxford shirt in the bottom of the laundry basket.

Then the girl smoothed a cream on Gladys’ neck and around her Winston Churchill jowls. She swept some cool lotion on the area above Gladys’ lips. Gladys sat watching in horror as she realized she was covered in wrinkles. Her face was just a wrinkle depository. How had this happened? She hadn’t seen these this morning when she patted on her Oil of Olay moisturizer and swept bronzer on her cheek bones. No in fact what she had seen was a smooth skinned woman. She had always passed for much younger than she was but now…now she was the Sea Hag from the Popeye cartoons.

She listened eagerly as Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles droned on about the effects of this miracle cream. She listed an impressive array of celebrities who used this elixir all of whom now looked years younger than they really are. “You know that woman who stars in that really popular show on Sunday night” she whispered conspiratorially as she looked over both shoulders. Gladys nodded eyes wide and breathless. “She is really much older than you think. She is over FIFTY” the girl exclaimed. Gladys squeaked in disbelief. “That Sex In the City actress? Yeah that one” she went on “she too is over FIFTY!” Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles made sure to almost shout the word FIFTY but whispered every other detail of her pitch. She had Gladys hooked.

Gladys’ mind began to wander. She had visions of applying this golden cream and instantly looking not only twenty years younger but like a movie star. She saw herself leaving the mall with a gaggle of Paparazzi snapping pictures and people whispering to one another “wasn’t that Gladys? Oh my HOW does she stay looking so YOUNG? Isn’t she in her forties? Oh no, she is in her FIFTIES”. She had visions of herself sitting in restaurants with people clambering to buy her drinks and wanting autographs. Yes, she thought, I must have this cream. I must have it now.

She grabbed the bottle of cream and held it close to her chest “So how much is this stuff?” Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles smiled knowing she had a dupe. She had set the hook and she was reeling in her fish. “This bottle will last you for six months and only cost $250.00.” Gladys swallowed hard. She held the Holy Grail up to the light and looked at all 2 ounces of the precious liquid. “I want a bottle this size, not a 55 gallon drum” Gladys exclaimed. Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles merely smiled that un-wrinkled smile “oh that is for that size, but look at me. I use it every day and I’m” once again she takes on the conspiratorial tone “over FORTY.”

She had Gladys right up until then. Gladys was ready to hock her great grandmother’s engagement ring for a taste of a smooth wrinkleless face. She would offer up her first born child and throw in her little dog for no lines around her mouth and taut skin around her eyes. Heck she would sign her soul over to the devil if he would give Mr. Churchill back his sagging jowls but this was just too much. “Over forty huh” Gladys questioned eyeing Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles’ non-turkey neck. “How much over forty?” The salesgirl fidgeted feeling her sap seeping away from her. “I’ll be forty soon” she retorted. Gladys raised a wrinkled eyebrow forcing the large flap that usually covered her eyelid up just a smidge “how soon?” The shop girl shifted from one foot to the other looked at the floor and mumbled something that sounded like “in fifteen years or so.”

Gladys thanked the child for her time and started out the door and back into the corridor of the mall. She was so close to looking young. Oh well, she reasoned, I have earned these wrinkles, besides I think there was something wrong with that mirror. She finally reached the restaurant where she was meeting her loving husband for dinner. The maître’d called her Ma’am and gave her a seat in the brightest booth. She sat down at the table and looked over the menu as Kahuna sat down across from her. “You look GREAT! Wow what did you do to yourself” he effused. She looked up at him and smiled. “Did you get your hair done? No, wait you changed your make-up. No that’s not it. You look ten years younger! Come on what did you do?” he was studying her face hard now. “Really? Do you really think I look different?” she responded. Kahuna leaned further over the table and studied her up close. “Yep, definitely look younger. Your crow’s feet are hardly noticeable.”

It was too late. He was talking to himself. All he saw was the back of Gladys’ head running out of the restaurant and through the mall waving her credit card and screaming “Ms. Tooyoungtohavewrinkles! I’ll take the 55 gallon drum!”

Monday, May 24, 2010

Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette

I live a cloistered life. It is not exactly monasterial more self isolation. It isn’t that I don’t like going places in fact I love to travel. I am a travel junkie. I love exploring.

This week we are in Las Vegas. Yes as in lots of people crowded around noisy machines feeding their hard earned dollars for the hope of a few returned coins, Las Vegas. I have been to Vegas a lot over the years. I watched it go from Rat Pack jazzy cool to family fun center then witnessed its transition into Sin City and finally into convention capital. It is not my premier destination but hey I’m always up for a road trip.

Kahuna had a convention this week in the rose of the desert so I of course tagged along. I figured I would hang out at the pool and soak up some rays while reading a couple of books for review and sipping a mojito or two. We arrived to mild temperatures and made our way to our lodging. Now I had stayed at this particular hotel some years ago and it was quite nice. Unfortunately I forgot that hotels age in Vegas years unlike other places. It had become run-down and in disrepair in very short order.

Kahuna awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed and made his way to his seminar while I donned my swimming attire and headed for the pool. I burst through the doors into the bright sunshine expecting the typical Vegas blast furnace of heat. I instead was met with a frigid wind. I made my way past the pool guards and scouted the deserted area and found a bank of chairs where I would be pretty isolated. Like me, there were two or three dozen fellow sun worshipers who were braving the icy winds. I found a chair out of the direct impact of the 60 mile per hour winds and settled in to read a couple of chapters.

I sat shivering trying to keep my teeth from rattling and tried to concentrate on my book. There was a bank of ominous looking clouds over the distant hills and occasionally a cloud would find its way over the sun making it even more frigid. I ordered a hot coffee instead of a cool Mojito. I covered my legs with my towel. I wrapped another around my shoulders thinking I must look like an Eskimo on vacation.

Like I said, the pool area was nearly empty. There were hundreds of empty chairs all around. There were banks of chairs where one could set up camp and build a fort. Yet for some reason several people decided that they needed to sit next to me. I glanced from side to side as they each squeezed into chairs as close to me as possible.

I continue to read, ignoring my new seat mates. Then I smelled it. Strong and putrid. There was no pre-emptive warning. There was just the distinctive aroma of burning paper and tobacco. I looked up to see my seat mate sucking in carcinogens and expelling them into my air space. “Excuse me,” I said “would you mind not smoking?” The woman looked up at me with a snarl and said “yes I would.” I coughed a little “I am allergic to smoke.” Mrs. Marlboro sniffed “well, I guess you came to the wrong city.”

Now I am usually pretty tolerant of others. I in fact used to be a smoker. I was a polite smoker, always smoked outside, and asked if any one minded. Since I have stopped smoking almost twenty years ago just the slight sniff of the substance gives me a raging headache. There is also that little thing about my mother having lung cancer, my sister having C.O.P.D. and my whole family being asthmatics because of direct and indirect contact with cigarettes. Let’s just say I am no longer tolerant.

I gathered my belongings while shivering and watching the next really large cloud looming dangerously close to the only source of warmth. Mrs. Marlboro snarled and said “well I hope you aren’t leaving on my account.” I hoisted my bag over my shoulder and replied “Lady you are exactly why I’m leaving. People like you spoil a good time for everyone because you feel entitled to inflict your poison on others, and I’m not just talking about your cigarettes.” I then rushed as quickly as possible to the warmth of the lobby and the safety of the smoke filled casino.

Tell me again why I came to Vegas.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Gladys has Projected Random Thoughts

It is Friday again and time for Mrs. 4444 to present her Friday Fragments. Go on go over read her fragments, link yours and have a big old fragmented party. Then go on over to Ann Again and Again for your weekly Virtual Girls Night Out. Have a drink, even if it’s just water, read some stories and partake in her game. Also link your Friday to her Friday.

We haven’t watched television for awhile in fact we kind of lost touch with the outside world for a couple of weeks.

No late breaking stories, no disasters, no news report breaking into The Biggest Loser telling you that there is a ladder in the middle of the 405. It has been quiet and nice.


Speaking of the news, I did catch a snippet of the First Lady at a school talking to kids about not being fat when a young girl asked about her illegal alien mother being deported. Mrs. Obama seemed to ignore it. Is that ignoring the elephant in the room?

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Have you ever noticed that kids and husbands think your silverware drawer is actually a makeshift tool box? You start looking for your butter knife only to discover it being used for a screw driver and your slotted serving spoon being used to dig for gold. Don’t even get me started on where my forks all went. What do you think would happen if I started setting the table with screw drivers and pliers?


Like I said we haven’t had much television lately but Kahuna and I found ourselves in the Squal*mart staring at the big screen televisions the other day. They keep getting bigger and thinner. You know what we called those in my day? A projector screen. Remember? The nerdy A.V. kid came into your classroom with a cart that contained a reel to reel projector and Mrs. Teacher pulled down a thin white screen that was hidden behind the map of the United States which hung directly under Old Glory. Then the A.V. kid would thread film through the sprocket that pulled the film (not DVD but real film) through the machine which passed through a light which projected the picture onto the projection screen.

So Kahuna and I are standing looking at the 4500 inch big screen television that is paper thin waiting for the A.V. kid to show up and thread the projector. A very friendly nerdy looking Squal*mart electronics clerk walks over and flips on a switch and up pops a picture. Amazing! I wonder where he was hiding his projector.


Speaking of movies.  Last weekend we stayed at Flying Flags RV park in Buelllton, CA.  Where the heck is that you say?  It's right outside of Solvang, Ca and where Pea Soup Andersons is located.  The park is a very nice park with shady spots and a really nice dog park.  We settled in for the night listening for the sounds of nature and the wind blowing wistfully through the Eucalyptus trees.  Instead what we heard was booming and banging and loud music and voices.  Voices that sounded as if they we on top of our rig.  They were all around us.  It was deafening.  I peaked my head out the window and saw a guy with a ginormous big screen TV set up OUTSIDE his rig along with his surround sound tweeters and wolfers and doodads that make it a surreal experience.  There this guy sat watching Avatar  in 3-D at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night. 
Guess what I dreamed about.


Finally but not lastly it is also Happy Hour Friday over at the RX Bambi. She hosts Happy Hour Friday so go on over and tell us what makes you happy.

Here are some things that make me happy.

Sometimes you just feel like Thai

Fresh ocean breezes

Is this what they mean by where the sidewalk ends?
Now that's a deck with an ocean view!
Just don't go wandering out on a moonless night.   The first step is a doozie.

Be the love you wish to see in the world.

Now go on and be good to one another and remember thoughts become things, think good ones.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Ballad Of Pepe Le Peu

Wasn’t it just Thursday? It honestly seems like it was 15 minutes ago. This week has flown by. You see we have been moving stuff from one storage locker to another. We are trying to consolidate and get all our stuff into one container so we can go get more stuff, but I digress. It’s Thursday which of course means it is time for Theme Thursday where once again the powers that be send out the word of which we should write. This week’s word is pet. I had a plethora of ideas and had all the intentions of sitting down and making up a really good story but I ran out of time to dream something up and decided that I would instead give you a Trooper Bob memory. Now my pets after you have read my musing rush right on over to the animal house of fun at Theme Thursday and read what each and every one of my fellow bloggaholics have written. Now I have to go and pet the puppy.

Was this night ever going to end, Trooper Bob wondered as he sat on Highway 20. He watched the trucks come and he watched them go. He didn’t mind working the interstate highways at least there was traffic on them. Sometimes he would get stuck out on a farm to market road and it might be hours before he would see a car if he did at all. He rummaged through his console looking for something to keep him occupied. It was summer and the window was rolled down bringing wisps of the freshly mown median.

The radio was quiet. It was just one of those nights he concluded. He started the engine and rolled out onto the blacktop. He cruised down the highway letting the wind and night air refresh him. He squirmed a little in his seat and wondered if he should have had that chili for dinner. His stomach rumbled and twisted. He drove on taking a Rolaids from his console and popping it in his mouth. He belched and immediately felt better. I’ll be fine he thought as he drove on through the night. Reaching down and taking a sip from the paper cup of dark black coffee he had second thoughts.

His intestines were now jumping and crawling inside his body like an alien creature. Trooper Bob broke into a cold sweat soaking his summer uniform. He closed the window and turned on the air conditioning full blast trying to regulate his temperature, which was going from the molten flames of hell to the icy brace of the Arctic in seconds. He knew this was it. He knew this was going to be his excitement for the evening.

He pushed harder on the accelerator. Now his speed was equal to his urgency. He flipped on the lights and wiped the sweat from his brow. He kept telling himself that the rest area was only another 15 miles up the road. He could make it.

He clinched his buttocks as tightly as he could still wiping sweat and now tears from his eyes. He glided into the rest area and right in front of the door marked MEN. He bailed from the vehicle knowing he had no time to spare. He ran still clinching as fast as he could into the stall. “OFFICER, officer!” he heard a cry. He couldn’t stop. Whatever heinous crime was being committed was just going to have to be committed or there would be something pretty heinous taking place in his drawers.

He barely made it to the stall in time. He heard a commotion through the open top of the brick out- house. It sounded like someone was trying to coax someone else to come with them. “Come on little boy…come on you know you want it…I have some candy for you…” He was stuck. He could not abandon his position but he could not let some molester take a little boy. He had all types of thoughts while expelling whatever evil had inhabited his bowels. What was a little boy doing at a rest stop in the middle of the night? Oh no, maybe he had been left by his parents thinking he was asleep in the back seat. He remembered the same thing had happened a couple of years earlier; it took them 3 hours to catch up with the parents. Maybe it was another child that had been living under a rock just like Gladys. He had to get out there to assist.

Finally he was able to rid himself of the alien life that had inhabited his guts and ran hitching belt and pants simultaneously. He ran out into the night to help the little boy who was probably frightened. Trooper Bob had experience with this, after all he had rescued Gladys from under the rock. He walked to the grassy area behind the little brick building and saw three large truckers all down on their knees. “What seems to be the problem here boys” Trooper Bob asked approaching cautiously.

A large man in khaki pants and white shirt with TEXACO embroidered over the pocket was the first to speak “Well theys a little dawg over there under that picnic table. We’ve tried jest bout everthang to get him to come to us, but he just cowers under that table and growls. Old Joe over there tried given him some of his left-over chicken fried steak but he just growled. The dawg, not Old Joe.”

Trooper Bob went and grabbed his big black flashlight and walked over to the picnic table. The beam of light illuminated a little poodle. The Texaco driver put down another piece of meat and started cooing “mere boy. Come on. You know you want it.” The little dog arched his back and barred his teeth, and then he sniffed and sunk further under the table.

The truckers were arguing. “He don’t like that meat. Heck knowing Joe that’s from last week’s dinner” one of them said. Another took a Stucky’s pecan roll from his pocket and sliced off a piece “maybe he’d eat this.”

Trooper Bob watched the pup for a minute or two and then he knelt down and kissed to the dog “come on, come here puppy.” The little dog cocked his head to the right, and then the left and listened as the trooper called to him. Then he inched low crawling out from under the picnic table and ran right into the troopers arms. “Well, I’ll be” was all Bob could get out as the little dog began licking his face and wagging his tail.

The truckers all turned to see the man with the badge and gun holding a little silver poodle. “Well, boss, looks like you got you a new pet” Old Joe exclaimed.

That is how our family ended up with Pepe Le Peu.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lawrence Of Suburbia

I am going to post this story in several installments.  Kind of like the old serials that you would see at the picture show on Saturday morning.  King of the Texas Rangers or Shera Queen of the Jungle.  I will start with this one and if you want more let me know.  Now without further ado.

Part I The Meeting

Gladys was only 17 when she left home and went off to college. Not only was she very naive but was also very gullible. She went off to live in the dorm from hell and had to work to support herself and her college aspirations. Gladys worked as many jobs as she could. One of her jobs was working for a department store in the men’s department.

One day as she was shelving men’s bikini underwear and hanging nylon socks on the rack she heard a man say “my you have interesting hair.” Gladys looked up to see a tall good looking man. He was very exotic with a dark complexion and dark hair and eyes.  She smiled and said “thank you”. You see Gladys rarely got complemented on her hair. It was a cross between Roseanne Roseannadanna and Farrah Fawcette. Those of you who are too young to know who either of those people are well; bless your young little hearts. She smiled up at the handsome stranger and asked “may I help you find something?” Mr. Omar Sharif look-a-like smiled down at me and very suavely said “yes, I think you can.”

That was it. That was all it took to make young Gladys swoon. She quickly left behind her busy work and helped Omar find whatever his heart desired. They made the usual small talk as Gladys showed him the rayon and polyester shirts and the Angle Flight Leisure Suits.  He told her owned a very posh salon close to the store. He gave her his card and told her to come see him. He explained he had some product that would be perfect for “her type of hair”. Gladys tucked his card away in her sales book, rang up his purchase and sorrowfully bid him goodbye.

She didn’t think about him again. One day as she walked into the store to start her shift she spotted him back at the Customer Service counter. Her heart skipped a beat. Her stomach suddenly had a flock of butterflies swarming around and she found a smile on her face. He turned just as she approached and smiled that all too charming smile. He walked over and took her hands in his and said “there you are. I’ve been looking for you. Why have you not come to see me?” She blushed and stammered out some inane reply like “you, what, um, uhuh.”  He smiled and leaned in close and asked “what time is your dinner break?” She sucked in air and tried to unswallow her tongue while trying to think of something just as suave to reply.  Instead all that came out was “I don’t get a dinner break”  she sputtered on “but, I do get off at 10.” Omar smiled and whispered “perfect! I’ll wait for you then.” Uh? What was he talking about? Gladys squeaked out “umhuh, I guess that would be okay.” Then he squeezed her hands and was gone.

She was a nervous wreck the rest of the evening. She was distracted and went to talk to Lillith the shoe girl, who was older and wiser. Lil smiled and told her just to go with the flow. What the heck, maybe she would even get a free dinner out of it. Gladys agreed that would be nice but still she didn’t know this guy from Adam. Lillith told her to agree to go to dinner but drive her own vehicle. That sounded reasonable so that was what Gladys was determined to do.

Gladys finished cleaning up her station and made sure the racks were straight. She fluffed her hair and reapplied another layer of mascara, spritzed on some Charlie and headed out the door. There in the parking lot sat a bright red Ferrari with Omar standing waiting. He smiled and said “Get in I’ll take you to dinner.”Her little heart did the hustle and her seventeen year old mind ran amuck. It could have been that  she was just so desperate for attention that she thought going out with a complete stranger was a good decision or maybe she was just plain stupid, but Gladys threw all caution to the wind and let him tuck her in his Italian sports car. The engines purred and off they sped down the road. It was late August and the night was brightly lit with moon and stars. Omar turned to Gladys and said “I thought I would take you to the Factory for a late supper.”

The fact that this was a small college in a small town made the location and the vehicle in which they would arrive terribly impressive to Gladys.  Most everything in that town closed up at 9 p.m. and there were only a few really fancy places to dine. The Factory was both of those things. The town in which they were dinning was  in a ‘dry’ county, meaning no alcohol could be served unless it was a private club. All of these variables put Gladys in a very vulnerable position.
They were seated at a table and given the wine menu. She looked at Omar and said “I can’t order wine.” He cocked his head to one side smiled and said “Why of course you can. You just find something you like”  Gladys turned pink and bit her bottom lip then said “No, I’m not OLD enough to drink.” His jaw dropped and he sucked all the air out of the room at once. He swallowed hard looked over both shoulders then leaned across the table and whispered “how OLD ARE you?” Gladys looked down at her hands and then up through her eyelashes at him and said “Seventeen, but I’ll be eighteen in a couple of weeks.” Omar sighed and leaned back in his chair. The waiter arrived to take their order. She was off the hook for a couple of minutes and was desperately trying to think of something to say that would not make her look foolish or childish to. Omar placed the order and ushered him away. He smiled leaned across the table and took her hand  “How old do you think I am?”  She was relieved that he wasn’t angry and anxiously replied “I don’t know? Twenty-eight?” His eyes sparkled and the corner of his mouth rose. “No little one. I am 38.” He waited for that to sink in and then continued “I never thought to ask how old you were. I was just so attracted to your sunny personality that I could think of nothing but spending time with you. Now I will have to wait until you are old enough. Until then we can spend time getting to know one another.”

Now it was her turn to swallow hard. Thirty-eight! Oh my GAWD he was ancient. Gladys smiled  “Well everyone needs friends.” She looked up to see their exotic and delectable meal being served.  The two chatted through the meal and he laughed at her jokes and stories. She learned he was of middle-eastern decent and he had an Irish Setter. He invited her to have a complete make-over free of charge at his salon. Gladys was elated and excited. She was convinced this was going to be just like Captain Renault said to Rick in Casablanca “the beginning of a beautiful friendship”. Oh sweet innocence.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Magical Mystery Tour or was it?

Today is Theme Thursday. They, I don’t know who they are, tell you the theme for the week and then you sign up and write what your take on that week’s theme is. It is always a mystery for me what to write until right before I go to bed on Wednesday. Other people know what they want to write. Heck they post their stories, poems or observations on Monday or prescheduled it Sunday night. Not me, for me it is a mystery wrapped in an engima surrounded by a riddle. This week’s theme was right up my alley. The theme is mystery. Yes, as in Mystery Date remember that game,

or Mystery Science Theater and Ellery Queen’s Minute Mysteries. I thought long and hard which hurt quite a bit but I came up with a mystery that just happened to me. Enjoy my mystery and then go on over to all the other mysterious bloggers and read what they pre-posted Sunday 5 seconds after the theme was announced by the mysterious “they”.

She was sleeping the sleep of the dead, exhausted after working non-stop for the last month trying to move and clean a house that was impossible to keep clean and moving things that she had no idea why she was keeping. It was a relief to finally be asleep in her familiar bed inside the motor-home that would be their residence. They were homeless without really being homeless. They had a roof over their heads and a bed in which to sleep. The regulars call it “full-timing”. She called it her in-between home. So many people had lost their homes or been displaced in this thing they called the housing melt-down. She thought homeless boom was a better moniker for it.

They had pulled into the r.v. park and set up camp late that afternoon after moving the remainder of their belongings into the storage facility they had rented. Kahuna had connected the sewer, water and electric while she had made the bed and stocked the refrigerator. This was nothing new for them, they had done it last year while on a project in Montana, but then they had a home in which to return. Gladys had looked out the galley window at the row of motor homes lined up in the park and wondered how many others were in the same situation, in the in-between.

She was dreaming that her mother was sitting on the end of the bed talking to her. “Don’t worry about it. You just need to go fix the leak and then you won’t float away” Nurse Meme had said. Gladys nodded her head and wondered where the tool bag was, she needed tools to repair the leak. She was jarred awake by her little dog begging to be let outside. Gladys sat up and looked at the illuminated numbers on the clock and sighed. “It’s three o’clock in the morning Boz! Do you really NEED to go out?” Again there was a pathetic little whine and she swung her legs over the bed and pulled on her robe.

Out in the cool damp night she looked around at the darkened windows of her fellow travelers and sighed. She froze, there were voices. A little afraid and a little curious she walked to the front of the coach. The grass was wet and stuck to her bare feet as she crossed the front of the pad. Sitting in front of the coach was a truck with flashing yellow lights and two men talking in hushed tones. Boz barked and tried to run toward them. Gladys pulled him up short on his leash. “Is there a problem” Gladys asked as she sloshed through the water running down the street. “Your water reducer was leaking and we had to tighten it.” Gladys looked at the flood of water and back at her water connection “Thank you”. She and Boz crawled back into bed and whispered to Kahuna “our water connection is leaking. It looks like the great flood out there.” Kahuna turned over, opened one eye and said “it’s not us.” Gladys insisted “it is too. The park police had to tighten the connection because there was so much water.” Kahuna sat up looked at her “it’s not us. It is coming from behind us.”

Morning came and with it another day of packing, moving and settling in. As they prepared to leave Kahuna checked once again on the connections “Yep, it’s not us. They have a major leak right behind us, but the water hose is leaking a little. It looks like the rubber gasket is gone, remind me to pick one up.” They drove away completely forgetting about rubber gaskets and leaking connections.

Several days went by and the park realized the leak was not theirs. There was a little water beside the coach but not the flood like before. Then it happened. The drip turned into a flow. Kahuna searched frantically for the replacement gasket for the water connection. He checked his tool box, the storage bin in the coach and even in the back of the car to no avail. “Remind me to pick up another gasket for that water connection” he told Gladys as they ate their dinner and caught up on their work.

That night as she dreamed once again her mother came to her and sat on the bed “you really need to fix that leak. You have the parts.” Then she got up and went into the galley to make coffee. Gladys could hear her running water and smell the coffee brewing. She woke up to the smell of coffee and Kahuna handing her a mug. “Hey, look what I found” he said opening his hand, revealing a black gasket. Gladys took the mug and asked “where did you find that?” Kahuna shook his head and replied “in the bathroom, in the cup by the sink.” Gladys looked at the gasket and back at her husband “did you put it there?” Kahuna shook his head and replied “no. I’m not even sure why I looked in there. It wasn’t there the other day and I know I didn’t buy this one.” Gladys shook her head in wonderment and answered “where did it come from?” Kahuna smiled and said “I guess Nurse Meme.”

“Is that the answer to all our mysteries” Gladys asked. Kahuna smiled “I think so.”

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gladys has Rumbling Tummy Thoughts

It is Friday again and time for Mrs. 4444 to present her Friday Fragments. Go on go over read her fragments, link yours and have a big old fragmented party. Then go on over to Ann Again and Again for your weekly Virtual Girls Night Out. Have a drink, even if it’s just water, read some stories and partake in her game. Also link your Friday to her Friday.

We have been staying in San Francisco this week. The weather has been gorgeous but I haven’t seen one person wearing flowers in their hair.


Have you ever wondered why the thing you are hungry for is the one thing you don’t have in your pantry?

Okay to be honest I haven't had a Twinkie in a million years but for some reason I've been craving one for a week.
I was having a cyber-conversation with a friend of mine the other day and we were reminiscing about foods our mom’s used to make that aren’t very common anymore. We started a list of our favorite foods that were popular in the 1970s. The first on my list is Watergate salad. No it didn’t come with stolen tapes but you did say “I am not a crook” after you ate it. What are yours?


June over at Bye Bye Pie is going to a dinner party whose theme is cravings. You know what I craved when I was pregnant? I craved mashed potatoes with cheese and black jelly beans. What do you crave?


Kahuna and I ate at Andersons Pea Soup restaurant the other night. I do not like green peas. There are only a couple of things that I will not eat and green peas are right up there with liver. He ordered the green pea soup and offered me a taste. I wrinkled up my nose and refused. Then in the spirit of adventure I decided to take a taste. It was good. No really it was delicious. I guess your taste buds change as you get old.


I must be hungry because all I've talked about is food. 

It's Happy Hour Friday.
Here are some things that make me happy.

Cars with fins.

Days like this

Do you think the workmen who made this light house light had
any idea how beautiful it is?

Being serenaded.

Be the love you wish to see in the world.
Now go on and be good to one another and remember thoughts become things, think good ones.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pink Parfait with a Cherry On Top

   Here we are at Theme Thursday again. Which means that after you read my story you go on over and check out whose in the pink at Theme Thursday. This week’s theme was pink. Well let me tell you I searched through my mind and thought of all things pink. I love pink. I thought of pink wintergreen life savers and pink double bubble gum. I thought of pink baby blankets and for that matter little pink babies. Then I thought of pink cotton candy and it made me take a left turn down memory lane. So sit and eat your pink parfait but don't eat too much or you'll need the pink cure for diarrhea.

She stepped out of the dressing room and looked at herself in the big pink balloon of a dress. She jumped up and down and clapped her hands. “Look isn’t it gorgeous?” The sales lady smiled and unstuffed the netting that was stuck in the back of her hose. “You look just like a dream.” Gladys smiled and twirled in the mirror. She had always wanted a big puffy dress just like this one. She felt like Sandra Dee or Debbie Reynolds. They always had the best dresses with loads of crinolines and taffeta.

Her high school didn’t have dances or proms, it wasn’t allowed. Yes, Gladys attended school in Footlooseville. She didn’t get to go to prom and she wasn’t from a wealthy family where she would have been invited to be in the cotillion. She had never had the opportunity to wear such a gorgeous gown. She had been in a few weddings but the fashion was more Gunne Sax and love beads than big puffy dresses.

“Can I have the shoes died to match?” She spun in the mirror watching her dress swirl and twirl. She stopped and thought I look just like cotton candy. She twirled again and stopped, wait! Cotton candy was good wasn’t it? I mean to be dressed like a giant cone of cotton candy? She hesitated then looked in the mirror at the yards and yards of silk and netting and knew she had to have it. It was perfect.

The night finally arrived. She primped for hours ratting her hair, twisting it into the perfect chignon. She slipped on her pink parfait silk pumps and applied just a mist of Love’s Baby Soft Pink cologne.

She doubled checked her eyeliner and smoothed her hair once more. She grabbed her beaded evening bag and headed out the door. She was finally getting the opportunity to go to a fancy party at the country club. It was a pre-cotillion party. She was going with one of her best friends because he wasn’t rich enough to escort his girlfriend to the party. The plan was she would be Edgar’s date and Cora’s date would be Henry, one of the richest boys in town.

Gladys had never met Henry but was sure it would be fun. Edgar after all was one of the sweetest guys she had ever known and made friends with everyone. They would announce the debutantes. Henry would escort Cora to the table and then the four of them would have a nice dinner and dance and who knew maybe Henry would take a shine to Gladys.

Edgar met Gladys at the door and whistled low. “Wow you look just like one of them pink parfait thangs down at the Dairy Queen.” Gladys patted her hair “do you think I’ll fit in? Do you think it’s alright?” Edgar spun her around “I think you’ll be just fine cause you are fine.” They descended the steep garage apartment wooden stairs with Gladys holding on to the rail. “Wow these shoes are slippery. I should have worn them around a little before tonight to scuff up the bottoms.” Edgar stopped, offered his hand and helped her the rest of the way down the stairs. They got into his Camero and zipped through town.

The building was lit up like a Christmas tree. Lights were draped in the trees and everything looked magical. Gladys was giddy. Edgar helped her from the car and escorted her up the stairs. They entered into a beautiful room all golden and bright. She knew everyone was going to be jealous of her beautiful pink taffeta and chiffon gown. She heard a few murmurings. She heard hushed whispers. She looked around the room and saw hay bails and buckets. She saw lassos and lariats and realized not one person had on a ball gown. Not one girl wore a long fluffy, puffy, taffeta-ie, nett-ie parfait pink dress. Not only did they not have on ball gowns with up-dos and silk shoes they had on jeans and western shirts. They had on cowboy boots and belts with their names stamped on the back. Gladys looked around in horror as she and Edgar entered the ballroom with no ball. She could feel the heat in her face and the embarrassment rising up like bile from her belly. She was dressed all wrong. She was Barbie in Farmville. Edgar grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to him and whispered “just go along with me.” She nodded and moved through the crowd.

Edgar made his way to the table and pulled out her chair. She was so self conscious about her attire she wasn’t watching what she was doing and didn’t notice he had pulled the chair out just a little too far. She went to sit and missed and ended up on the floor in a big pink cotton candy fluff. She wanted to die. She wanted to curl right up into a Pepto-Bismol colored ball and die. She wanted the floor to open up and swallow her whole. Edgar bent down and helped her up straightening her dress and apologizing. “Oh Edgar, it was my own fault. I didn’t realize you had pulled the chair out. I am so embarrassed I want to die. I am so sorry I’ve embarrassed you. I am just going to go sit in the car” she cried. He smiled his slow sweet smile and said “Glads, don’t worry about it. Don’t cry you’ll ruin your beautiful make-up. Now take a drink and we’ll be fine.”

Gladys did as she was told because she always did what she was told. She sat up straight and wiped the tears from her eyes and took a drink of the cool clear liquid sitting in front of her. She drank deep of the liquid and then felt the burn of the alcohol. She would be fine. She fluffed out her pink tulle and patted her do back into place. Then the announcements were made and the “debs” began their début. One by one these lovely girls from all the best families filed out in their fringed western shirts and starched wrangler jeans. They wore little tiara’s on their beautifully done hair and each girl was escorted by an equally beautiful boy also dressed in western attire.

Gladys looked at Edgar and Edgar looked back at her. He smiled and mouthed “Cora DIDN’T tell me it was western.” Gladys patted his hand and mouthed back “it’s okay.” The couples paraded around the floor and lined up as they were all presented to the crowd. Then two by two they made their way to their assigned tables. Cora and Henry practically pranced over to the table. Cora smirked and said “Oh! Did I forget to tell y’all that this was western attire?” Edgar looked at Cora and then at Henry. Edgar looked at Gladys and she saw the light bulb go off over his head. Cora had not told them intentionally. Cora intended to humiliate them in front of her wealthy cohorts. Gladys saw the wheels turning in Edgar’s brain right through his piercing blue eyes.

Edgar stood and pulled out Cora’s chair as he said “No, no you told me. It’s just that well, Glads here has tickets to the symphony and we didn’t want to disappoint you by not showing up so we thought we would see you presented then skedaddle right on over there.” Cora was so busy smirking and sneering and not really paying attention that she didn’t notice how far Edgar had pulled out her chair. She went down hard. There was a smack as her cheeks met parquet. Henry tried to reach for her but overcompensated and he went barreling right on top of her.

Edgar held out his hand and Gladys took it with pride. She held her head high as she and Edgar walked through the hay bails and barbed wire. She put one slippery foot right in front of the other as they descended the stairs into his waiting Camero.

Gladys never forgot her dinner that night. Never before had she dinned on such a fabulous meal nor felt more beautiful than she did at the Dairy Queen eating her Dude and drinking her strawberry shake in her pink parfait dress with her best friend Edgar.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rare, Medium or Well Done?

Spring has sprung and the sun is sunning. Spring when a young girl’s, oh shut up I am young at heart, turns to tanning. We women have a belief that brown fat is much more appealing than white fat and so it is that time of year when we shed our inhibitions and squeeze into last years bathing suit. First we must wax, shave, tweeze, bleach and groom ourselves so that no unwanted hair or spot is visible. We slather lotion on our bodies and nimbly make our way to beach towels and chaise lounges to imbibe in the opiate that is the sun. Unless of course you are one of the many who has learned that this not only puts wrinkles on your wrinkles but can actually end in pieces of your flesh being removed due to melanoma.

Not wanting to blind people with your utter and complete whiteness you stand in front of the full length mirror staring at the mass amount of white flesh and wonder what to do. Then while strolling through the lotion aisle at your local Squal*mart you see a bottle of something called self-tanner. Now why a bottle would need to tan itself is beyond me but you are intrigued and retrieve it from the shelf. You reach into the bottomless pit known as your handbag searching for your glasses which will allow you to actually read the directions even though you now look a little more like a granny and less like a hot cougar. Unable to locate your spectacles you decide to give this magic elixir a try and toss it into your giant grocery cart full of inane and useless stuff.

You arrive home throw your plastic bags on the floor tossing out double-stuff Oreos and Chili Fritos in order to find the sun in a bottle. You once again attempt to find your cheaters but get side tracked by the half eaten Snickers bar. You make your way to the bathroom and strip off all your clothes. You squeeze a more than generous amount of the cream into your hand and start slathering this liquid sun onto your ghostly white skin. You hold your hand up close to your face so that you can see what liquid sun actually looks like mistakenly bumping your nose with a bit of cream. You continue rubbing here and slathering there. Once you have covered the immense expanse of whiteness with the magic formula you sit down on the side of the tub to wait and see what will happen next.

You squint and stare and wonder if this stuff is working at all. There is a slight acidic smell emanating from your skin and you think you actually do see your skin darkening. You turn this way and that way in the mirror and sure enough you are turning a different color only not the color of tan. You begin to turn more of the color of an Oompa Loompa. You run into the bedroom and open the curtains hoping it is just the effect of the incandescent lighting. You hold your hands up close to your nearsighted face and you realize your palms are not only orange but they are spotty orange on the palm side. You have a dark ring around your cuticles that look as if you have been picking the nose of Chester Cheeto.

You panic and rush into the shower not waiting for the water to warm. You begin scrubbing your skin with the loofa and exfoliating soap. That is a whole different issue. Why would anyone put big lumps of sand in creamy oil based soap? I don’t care how much you rinse off you will invariably find little crunchy bits hours later under your left boob or in the crevasse of your derriere. You scrub and scrub turning this way and that trying to get rid of the Oompa Loompa skin only to realize that instead of getting rid of the orange you have now created streaks.

You step out of the shower after removing the epidermis, dermis and the subcutaneous tissue. You have little speaks of soap sand in the left over tissue as you stand trying apply more tanner to the white streaks left from the scrubbing. This of course sets your skin afire. You are jumping up and down fanning yourself and wiping the tears from your eyes when your realize you did not shut the blinds to your bathroom windows and your neighbor has been watching the whole ordeal from her own bathroom window. You wrap yourself in a towel and reach for the window shade when she throws open the window and yells out at you “did you self wax?” You shake your head from side to side and say “nope self-tanning”. She nods a knowing nod and yells back “baby oil. Use baby oil.” You act like you know what she’s talking about and you thank her and move back in front of the mirror. You drop your towel and review the damage.

It is then you realize your glasses are on the top of your head. You run and grab the bottle and start reading the directions. There on the container it plainly states to exfoliate BEFORE applying. It also warns about the knees and ankles being dryer and more likely to stain darker. It tells you not to shower for 4 – 6 hours after apply to prevent streaking. Oh and the most useful bit of information is do not shave immediately before applying. Oh Great! Now they tell me. Well technically they told me before I just couldn’t find my glasses.

You are defeated. You realize now that you will have to live the next several days with a mixture of scabs and orange skin. You decide you can wear head to toe clothes even though it is 105 degrees outside. How bad will that be? What is it they say? If you want to detract from one part of your body make another part more attractive. You grab your make-up bag and begin applying skin tightening anti-wrinkle cream. You slather the anti-eye puffing gel to the Louise Vuitton luggage under your eyes and begin putting on your foundation. Wait! Why is the end of your nose naval orange, orange? You move in closer to your 20X powered mirror and turn your head to the right and then to the left to see if once again it might be the lighting playing a trick on you. You then realize that you have smeared self tanner on the end of your nose and it has set. There is no removing it. There is no toning it down and unfortunately there is no covering it up. The more you apply foundation the funkier the color becomes.

It is at this point in time you ask “is melanoma really that bad?”

Monday, May 3, 2010

After the Hangover - A Review

I’ve Got A Political Hangover

I just had an epiphany. I am a liberal in the true sense of the word. I hope my daddy doesn’t read this and have a cerebral hemorrhage. What I mean is that I am a liberal in the sense that R. Emmet Tyrrell Jr. describes them in his new book After the Hangover, The Conservatives Road to Recovery, a Thomas Nelson Publication.

In his new book, After the Hangover, Mr. Tyrell takes us through the conservative theory and history by way of explaining how he progressed through his own conservatism roots. He explains that conservatives are what used to be considered liberals and that the New Liberals (his capitalizations not mine) are no where near their namesake's ideology. Mr. Tyrrell takes us through the history of conservatism, neo-conservatism, liberals and Liberals, all the while causing me to run for my Webster’s Dictionary. He throws out hundred dollar words like they were pennies.

He uses antidotes from his years in the conservative movement including wonderful insights into people such as William F. Buckley, Al Regnery and Bill Kristol. He explains the events of the last 4 decades of neo-conservatism’s rise and fall and the Liberals all too soon eulogy of the movement.

I have to reiterate that more than once Mr. Tyrrell sent me scrambling for my well worn dictionary to look up words such as pulchritudinous and zeitgeist. I have to say thank you to him for that. You see I happen to agree with his and Bill O’Reilly’s opinion that America is becoming dumbed-down. They both site that Americans are lazy in their learning. We are no longer interested in discovering and uncovering the truth for ourselves. We instead are content to listen to mainstream media spew out it’s Kultursmog of half-truths and made up political dramas. We as a nation tend to believe whatever the popular celebrity-politician on either side of the line spits out in sound bites.

I would recommend this book to liberals, conservatives, New Liberals and neo-conservatives. It is thought provoking, with a unique perspective on the strength and weaknesses of both movements. Now go out there and practice your egalitarianism and challenge your thoughts and beliefs unraveling the mystery that is our political dogmas.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Maybe he ought to think about taking Bedside Manor 101. I’m talking about the doctor, I use that term loosely here, who removed my stitches. About two weeks ago I had a couple of “suspicious moles” biopsied. I was left with Frankenstein stitches in my leg and back. They are big and black and gnarly looking. Ok they aren’t but I FEEL like they are.

My regular doctor, the one who gave me the Frankenstein stitches, was in the middle of a poopershooterscooper, better known as a hemroidectomy, and couldn’t remove my stitches until much later. I was given the option of having the “on-call” urgent care physician remove them. Since I was all but clawing the things out of my skin I decided this might be a good idea. Um, yeah, not so much.

I go into the exam room and the nurse tells me the doctor will be right with me. He appeared after what seemed about 3 doggie years, looks at my chart and says “You’re here to have your sutures removed?” Um, yeah, your looking at my chart, what does it say Einstein? To which I answer that I am indeed there to get my sutures removed. Then he furrows his brow and in a very scolding tone says “you should really have your attending physician remove these, not me. Next time, he will have to do it!” First of all what next time? Second of all, he was my First choice at least he has a modicum of bedside manner. Thirdly, did you not get enough sleep last night? Or not get laid in like the last millennium? Geezus lighten up dude!

He looks around the room then tells me “I have to go get a suture kit.” Um, okay, hurry back honey. He leaves and is gone for 5 more doggie years. Here I sit in the exam room with nothing to read, nothing to look at and freezing my tooshie off. He comes back with a pair of scissors and a pair of tweezers. I wondering from whose make-up bag he got them. “He tells me put your leg up here.” I look around and don’t know exactly where he thinks up here is. He says it again more empathically. I’m thinking Up where? On your head? On top of the counter that is 3 feet away? Where the hell is up here? So I say up where? He is extremely frustrated with me at this point and says “Up here so I can get to it!” I cross my legs in the shape of a 4, left ankle over right knee. I guess that was the “up here” he meant.

That’s when the pulling and the tugging began. He ripped off the bandage covering the sutures and peers at the incision. He takes the tweezers and starts pulling on one of the sutures, as he pulls you can see the skin starting to rip and pull up with the suture. I say, “That hurts!” He looks at me and says “Does it hurt, hurt or does it just hurt”. I answer that it hurt, hurts to which he replies “Well, it won’t hurt for long.” Yeah, this guy is a real compassionate soul. He pulls and tugs each one until he gets to the last stitch. He keeps picking at it and pulling at it. I say, “It looks a little swollen around that one and that really hurts, are you sure you have the end that has the knot on it?” He looks up at me with a not so nice sneer. Yeah, I never did learn when to keep my smart mouth shut! He pulls and tugs and pulls until I am about ready to scream like a banshee and bang his head against the wall until it hurt, hurts. Finally I tell him, “Just grab a hold of it and pull it out!” He grabs it and yanks and thank baby Jesus and the Holy Ghost it came out. He asks me “Are you allergic to adhesives?” I tell him yes I am that band aids and paper tape eat my skin up. He looks at me as he is slathering something around the perimeter of the wound and says “I’m applying an adhesive that will bind the steri-strips to your wound.” Oh, that’s nice!

He sits there for a minute then starts looking for the rest of the incisions. He gets to the one on my back and I’m praying to the good Lord like a death row inmate about to get his nighty-night shot. I’m making bargains with God that I know I can never keep, praying that this one will go much smoother than the leg. The Joseph Mangela wannabe yanks the bandage off my back and says “Wow, you do have a reaction to adhesives. It’s all red and irritated back here. Boy I hope you don’t react to the steri-strip adhesive that way.” Please God, I will never ever cuss at little old ladies who drive too slow on the freeway, and I promise I’ll go to the early service, and I will spend extra time reading my bible and I will never ever take your name in vain again, if you will just let him take the stitches out and be done. Amen.

Dr. Mangela starts snipping and pulling and then he catches one just right and I start biting back a litany of curse words that would make my Momma Blush, and she could out curse a sailor.

Finally he was finished, he was slathering on the last of the skin eating adhesive and sticking on the strips. I was at last free to run through the lobby screaming, “There is a crazy monster in there that rips out peoples skin and coats you in flesh eating adhesive, run for your lives!” I didn’t but I wanted to. Instead I dressed, gathered my belongings, wiped off my tears and walked out.

And you know what? The worst thing of all was I didn’t even get a sucker! I told you he needed to go back to school and take “Bedside Manor 101”.