Oops!

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DSCN1328.JPGI fell off the wagon.  I ate beef recently.  I know, I know…  I had taken my daughter-in-law for girls night out.  We went to see the new Peanuts movie.  Yume loves the Peanuts stories, characters, books, you name it.  So, it was a perfect set-up. I need to add that I go to the movies once every three years.  The movie I had seen prior to Peanuts was Argo in 2012.  There it is, the frequency with which I visit movie theaters makes going to see a movie a momentous occasion.  Our momentous occasion took on even greater proportions when the movie was over and we decided to drive till we found a place to eat at 9:30p.m. in Sacramento.  That wasn’t such a bad plan, but with me driving I noticed the Davis sign on the freeway and I knew that I had lapsed into non-functioning navigational skills.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t pointed in the opposite direction or I might have ended up in Oregon.

I spied an In-N-Out and upon closer inspection noticed the snaking cars waiting for their opportunity to order.  Ugh.  Not for me.  However, right next to this site was a weird Redrum Burger place.  We were both ready for something to eat.  It was 9:45 and she was far from her apartment in Sacramento.  What the heck, we will dine in this fine establishment.

First of all, they didn’t have inside dining.  It was cold.  Order anyway, eat in the relative comfort of the car. We both ordered 1/4 pounders.  Plain dead cow.  But what’s this?  They also offered burgers made of kangaroo and ostrich!!  No s***!  Such sacrilege.  How do they manage?  Wow!  Now I not only felt guilty for breaking my own personal edict, but I ordered from an establishment that does burgers exotic!  The place had some very young employees cooking and taking orders.  What do they know? What did I know?  In a moment of weakness manifest by hunger and misdirection, I fell off the wagon.

Update:  Since my initial visit to Redrum (on the back of their menu was an interesting story of the restaurant’s history) I discovered that the kangaroo option is no more.  Now, the bison burger is among the top two most exotic choices.  I took my Japanese homestay student over there for lunch and she went with Bison Burger.  Her assessment?  “Tastes like beef.”

 

Harleys Are In Town

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imageYou know that bucket list?  Mine included a ride on a bike.  A Harley.  I don’t know a single soul in our family or among our friends who have one…wimpy folk.  But, doesn’t it just suggest a wild streak?   So, I made a pact with myself.  The next time motorcycles, specifically Harleys, come to our town, I am going to be there front row and center.  I will present my case, “Can you please take me for a ride?”  Our town is about 8,000 strong.  Not much going on.  But, I was determined to make my wish come true next time the Harleys arrived.  I did.  I walked to the downtown bar where they congregate shortly after I heard rumbling and I knew what it meant.  I walked with conviction over to the first three men I saw sporting the distinctive leather jackets and standing beside their bikes.

Before I could speak, one very intuitive biker asked, “Where do you want to go?”  I had hit the Mother Lode.  Instinctively he knew I wanted a ride.  Unfortunately, his bike did not come equipped with a passenger seat.  Second guy begged off.  That left happy Mr. #3. Well, maybe curious Mr. #3. Okay, more like cautious Mr. #3.  I had to convince him I wasn’t trouble.  I explained I just needed to fulfill this wish from my bucket.  He gave a questioning look but ultimately agreed and said, “Hop on.”  I dutifully placed the helmet on my head, and like the pros, I put my arms around his waist — time tested security measure — and off we went.

Five minutes into the ride around town I told him my name and he said his name was Jim.

“Who are you trying to make jealous?”  Jim asked.

“No ulterior motive, I just wanted a ride on a Harley and I took this as my opportunity,” I assured him.

The ride would not be complete until I asked if he could make sure to pass by some teenagers I knew.  “Look, is that Mrs. Wright on that Harley?”  I imagined they would exclaim.  My plan did not take root.  In the 15 minute ride, I never saw a single teenager.  Damn!  Where are they when you want them?!

So, the ride ended, and it was so worth it.  Jim came to trust me, and we parted with an amicable handshake.  Most importantly, I fulfilled my bucket list wish with a little bit of moxie and a lot of glee.

Life. Or Not.

More than once my life has deviated from a day spent in Disneyland. The happiest place on earth.

Miscarriage. I had one between my two children. My oldest was 2 1/2 when the miscarriage ocurred. I was in my 12th week. It was Christmastime. Fa, la, la, la, la and all that. I had gotten the tree decorated. It was cold outside. Not my favorite weather. I do not embrace winter. Very difficult to get through. And this made it more so. A lost pregnancy, a lost child, made the entire scenario more compromised. Life is cruel.

I think all women who experience miscarriage grieve in a very isolated way. Husbands/fathers do not grieve in the same way. This is a woman’s body. The baby was tucked away in there under the guise that it was safe. It is a woman’s personal loss.

Who knows for certain why these things happen? In the morning I was lying in bed. Very strong cramps indicated the impending outcome. Within a few minutes I passed the fetus and bloody mass that accompanied it.

I was less one child. Christmas carols played out. There was nothing joyous about that December. Sometimes it is just hell to be a woman. A mom. And then not a mom.

 

Does The Noise In My Head Bother You?

A line from the movie The God’s Must Be Crazy. Order the dvd from Amazon for $13.92. Dated but hilarious and very clever.

This line is spoken by a woman seated at a table having a meal. A teacher, newly arrived to the area, joins her. To greet the new arrival the first woman has to establish the situation in the most polite way possible, asking the pivotal question.

And what about those noises? They do come and go. In the psychiatric realm they are referred to as auditory hallucinations. Auditory.

The space between me and the floor of the bedroom plays with me. To my left on the carpet. We have had vermin visit the interior of our home multiple times. The last time I had to call the exterminator as I had discovered droppings in the corner of the kitchen and two bedrooms. He announced they were mouse droppings. Too small for rats. Exterminator proceeded to direct my next steps. Placing a trap (with chocolate no less) at the spot under the kitchen sink would clinch the deal. I was fast asleep when I was awakened by the loud snapping sound. There ya go. Disposed of the trap with mouse the next morning.

Auditory hallucinations continued the next evening while I fell asleep. No more mouse, so what gives?

There is no animal living in the bedroom closet. No bump to the bed. No feathers, no fur, nothing. I leave piles of school supplies on the floor next to the closet doors. They go consistently untouched.

I have heard a low brief humming sound. I picked up a quick beep, twice. Not to be outdone by the most unusual and fleeting, the rustling sound of wings. I am familiar with that sound. I have two parakeets. But they haven’t become quite clever enough to exit their cages, find the bedroom — and rustle.

Since I do not resort to turning on the light, I am curious but frightened enough to not want to see evidence that some creature is visiting my space, I have only sounds to go by. This phenomena has been ongoing for a year or so. Don’t know if the noise bothers anyone else. It bothers me.

Hands Folded

Kindergarten through 8th grade. This is how the students maintained themselves in each grade level. It was a Catholic school in Vallejo, CA. I was there for just the day on assignment as substitute Spanish teacher.

I had taught in elementary schools, after school enrichment programs. Additionally, I had tutored both child and adult in ESL. Of course all of this came on the heels of my work in a middle school as well as a high school located in a tiny fishing village. Compulsory education sets the tone. Students either add or subtract. In eleven years I never found any folded hands among the student body.

Well trained students in the Catholic school outshone the rest. Not only did I walk into each classroom (remember, this includes 5 year olds and 13 year olds) to find strict adherence to school rules (hands folded upon desktop) but there was not a sound coming from any student. Somewhat eerie…foreign…refreshing.

Only because I led the 8th graders in a competitive Spanish vocabulary game, two teams vying for the prize, did I hear revelry, boisterous revelry, in the group.

I am not Catholic but I am gearing up for my first Holy Communion. It should prove to be a record breaker. The first 63 year old to take the ceremony. If my experience is representative of Catholic schools exclusively, pass the Communion Wafers. I will fold my hands.

I Gave Up Housework For Lent

Dusting. Sweeping. Washing. Wiping. Scrubbing. I gave it all up for Lent.

Actually, I know the premise of it all is to give up something you like. Chocolate would qualify. Chocolate is not labor intensive. Although some Dove chocolates are user unfriendly with arthritic fingers manipulating the foil wrapper. Yes, that is an admission of arthritis. Can chocolate reverse the aging process? Can it straighten the joints? Can I phone the Molly Maid people to come clean house? Why did I cut my hair?

I have a grandson. Three years old. And as tiny as he is he manages to find things at his eye level. Dust balls. Small spider webs. The Pringles can that rolled under the bed. “Mom, the house is dusty,” said my son Lance. Presenting him with the dust rag and furniture polish I encouraged him, “Here ya go, Lance, you can start over in that corner.”

Bathrooms are tricky. I have to concede a nasty bathroom will not go unattended. But, I have kept apartments and houses clean for nearly the entire time I have been married. Four decades of unceasing cleanliness. Time out for Lent.

I Gave Up Housework For Lent

Dusting. Sweeping. Washing. Wiping. Scrubbing. I gave it all up for Lent.

Actually, I know the premise of it all is to give up something you like. Chocolate would qualify. Chocolate is not labor intensive. Although some Dove chocolates are user unfriendly with arthritic fingers manipulating the foil wrapper. Yes, that is an admission of arthritis. Can chocolate reverse the aging process? Can it straighten the joints? Can I phone the Molly Maid people to come clean house? Why did I cut my hair?

I have a grandson. Three years old. And as tiny as he is he manages to find things at his eye level. Dust balls. Small spider webs. The Pringles can that rolled under the bed. “Mom, the house is dusty,” said my son Lance. Presenting him with the dust rag and furniture polish I encouraged him, “Here ya go, Lance, you can start over in that corner.”

Bathrooms are tricky. I have to concede a nasty bathroom will not go unattended to. But, I have kept apartments and houses clean for nearly the entire time I have been married. Four decades of unceasing cleanliness. Time out for Lent.

Rite of Passage

Training bra. I was never quite sure what it was that was being trained but that was the name given to the little stretchy thing. Similar in appearance to a crop top. No darts, no padding and no support because, after all, what was there to support?

When I was in 7th grade, during my ’67-’68 school year, I had the physique of a small boy. At that time P.E. students were required to shower upon returning to the locker room after play. There I was in my tiny fake bra standing beside the Amazon who was already in a “C” cup. But if that wasn’t humiliating enough our P.E. teacher passed out towels to each of us as we paraded by her. She made the towels available to us first by scrutinizing to make certain we were wet, that we had actually showered. Oh, the indignity.

That was then, this is now. Times have definitely changed. When I pulled a stint for a few years as a dance teacher in a local high school the shower stalls in the girls locker room looked as dry as the Sahara. Spider webs and dust balls decorated the unused stalls. Decades had passed since the teenagers in this venue had been required to shower.

Training bra. Waiting for that “C ” cup to develop. P.E. teacher. Showers. Towels. Rite of passage.

 

 

 

 

Made In Not China

yminic55

DSCN0030The tag on the item says Made In The Philippines. This is actually the same as saying, Made In Not China. With regards to the place of origin I have pieces of clothing that hail from Mexico, Vietnam, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, and my personal favorite, Qatar. What?! I had to get the world map out to familiarize myself with that one.  A token nod is given to the two tops and one dress I own that, surprisingly, are a product of the U.S.A.  I get it, labor is cheaper overseas.  I think a fitting project for a high school geography/sociology teacher would be to have students go through their clothing, find a piece made in a foreign country, and do research for a paper complete with data on sweatshops and how the garment industry has altered (for better or worse) the economy and the lives of…

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