Sad, but oh so True

 
I was born in Lubbock, Texas, and lived there off and on until I was four or five, then we moved to the small town of Floydada, just 55 miles northeast of Lubbock.
So, it is with a great bit of authority that I can attest to the truth of the quote featured above. And yet, I survived, with my sanity somewhat intact.

Peace, people.

Southern Belle with a Touch of Jackass

Once upon a time I held frequent flyer status on several airlines. My job seemed to keep me in the air more often than I was on the ground. I enjoyed flying, and good memories still outweigh the bad ones. 

My mantra when traveling by air was, “Patience, little jackass,” and I’d whisper it to myself over and over when luggage was lost or flights were delayed or I found myself in the middle seat between Dumb and Dumber. “Patience, little jackass,” is the punchline for a joke I can never remember, and it served me well. Most of the time.

After one particularly trying week, I was stuck in Chicago’s O’Hare airport awaiting my flight home to Studly Doright in Florida when the gate attendant for Northwest airlines announced the 5:15 flight was overbooked and they needed ten passengers to voluntarily give up their seats in return for travel vouchers and a seat on the first flight to Orlando the next day. No one volunteered. 

Every five minutes the gate attendant would repeat the request. Finally she sweetened the pot with an increase in the amount of the voucher, lodging, and shuttle service to and from a nearby hotel. I looked around, dialed Studly, and asked if a delay in my arrival would cause any great distress in his plans. He assured me he’d be ok, so I took the deal.

Nothing about the deal went well. There were no hotels with vacancies anywhere near the airport, so it was 9 p.m. before the plucky band of ten volunteers made it to the reception desk of a hotel thirty minutes away from O’Hare. My mantra was still serving me well, “patience, little jackass,” swirled around in my brain through the checking-in process. I politely bided my time behind the family of five and an elderly couple from my flght. 

When my turn came I graciously asked about our promised shuttle back to the airport in the morning. For our 6:15 flight, we’d need to depart the hotel at 4:30 a.m.

“Our shuttles don’t begin until 6 a.m,” came the response.

“The airline assured us we’d have shuttle service back to O’Hare,” I replied.

“The airline had no right to say that,” came the tight answer. 

By now all the volunteer passengers had gathered behind me, adding their voices to mine.

“You need to contact your manager immediately,” I countered, “We will have a shuttle in the morning at 4:30.”

This continued for a few heated moments before the receptionist contacted her manager. I didn’t give an inch. Bottom line, we got our 4:30 a.m. shuttle. 

On our way to our respective rooms one man, a New Yorker from his accent, stopped me and shook my hand. 

“You went from sweet little Southern Belle to calculating bitch in the blink of an eye, without ever raising your voice. Well done.”

But I didn’t sleep even a wink that night. I had no nightclothes or clean underwear, and only the hotel room toiletries were at my disposal. Worst of all I’d let my patience slip. Argh!

And, to add insult to injury I never got to use that voucher, so narrow were the restrictions attached to it by Northwest. I refuse to fly with them ever again. It’s a personal boycott, and I hope they feel the pinch.

I found this meme on Facebook one morning this week, and it prompted this post. I think it says it all:

  
I do try to keep the bitch, er, jackass, corralled.

Peace, ironically, people.

A Matter of Lice and Death

Now and again I find it amusing to browse Craiglist for employment opportunities. And who knows, one day I might find the perfect job, namely one that pays me a large sum of money for doing very little work. Oh, and it must be a position to which I can report as suits my schedule. 
Studly assures me that I need not work, but occasionally I’d like to have a bit of my own money so I can purchase things like birthday and anniversary gifts for him without having to fib. “Oh, that $200 missing from our account, um, that was for groceries.” 

He knows I don’t buy groceries, so why do I bother? It’s part of the game, I suppose. 

Anyway, I looked on Craigslist this afternoon and discovered a few interesting positions:

  
Of these, Head Lice Removal Technician and Funeral Associate sound promising. Who’s willing to serve as a reference?

  

Caption This

One of my favorite bloggers, Ellen Hawley (Notes from the U.K.), recently posted a quirky photo and solicited captions for it. Here’s the link to Ellen’s post: http://wp.me/p4FooO-kN

I submitted a caption, but a winner had already been declared. Story of my freaking life. But two, or two hundred, can play this game, and I vowed to find a photo worthy of captioning. 

I give you:

  
So submit your caption, and we’ll decide on a best one and maybe honorable mentions. There could be medals or trophies or something. 

Criminal Animation

On a typical Saturday morning one would usually find me wandering around Tallahassee or neighboring communities while Studly plays eighteen holes at Southwood Golf Club. I had planned to explore the annual LeMoyne Chain of Parks Art Festival this morning, but a bulging disc (not nearly as glamorous as it sounds) and the threat of rain have kept me homebound. Maybe tomorrow….

I’ve had a couple of cups of coffee enhanced with Irish cream, and a protein bar for breakfast. The forest in my backyard is bathed in that processed chrome lighting that accompanies cloudy days in the Florida panhandle. It looks as though a fae clan might emerge at any moment to dance around the toadstools growing beneath a magnolia tree. I keep watch, just in case.

I’m doing laundry and watching Saturday morning cartoons, and I have a complaint to lodge. Namely, whoever the hell is doing the animation for the cartoon Alvinnn!!! and the Chipmunks should be arrested posthaste and forced to serve a life sentence watching the original series. Maybe he/she/they would learn what Alvin and company should look like and draw them accordingly.

My years spent sitting enraptured by Saturday morning television surely qualify me as an expert in the field of cartoon esthetics, and what I’ve witnessed this morning is a disgrace. So, how do I report this travesty? The chipmunks look like sleazy rodents instead of clean cut, chubby cheeked faux-teenagers. 

Flipping through the channels I find that few of my other cartoon favorites have fared any better. They’re either so heavily computer-generated that they look nothing like the originals or drawn so poorly that their original animators must be rolling over in their respective graves.

Today’s children, though, have been raised on this second-rate fare, plus, they have so many more choices than my brothers and I had with our three channels (ABC, NBC, CBS) that I suppose they don’t realize what they’re missing.

But I do, and it makes me sad. 

 

Now.
 
 
Then.
 

Peace, people.

To Wine or not to Wine

For awhile I gave up wine and took up the drinking of beer. But the really good beer is so high in calories and my waistline was growing at such an incredible rate that I had to follow Nancy Reagan’s advice and just say no.

For about ten minutes I considered completely eschewing alcohol in the pursuit of clean living. I actually went two weeks with nothing more potent than a splash of mouthwash. Unfortunately Listerine doesn’t come in a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Chardonnay. 

For the first time since beginning my blog I stumbled headlong into a mild case of writer’s block. Then I ran across a really profound quote:

 
 I wasn’t doing it right! I was writing sober and left with absolutely nothing to edit.
Good old Papa. He also said:

  
Needless to say I’ve begun having a single glass of wine in the evenings. My doctor says it’s fine. I’m finding things to write about again. Life is good.

  
Peace, people!

Just a Scary Night in Jacksonville

Studly Doright and I drove over to Jacksonville last Thursday afternoon to purchase a 2010 Honda Goldwing he’d found on Craigslist. Even though Jacksonville isn’t terribly far from Tallahassee, Studly arranged to take Friday off from work so he wouldn’t be driving home from Jacksonville on an unfamiliar bike after dark. 

Craiglist purchases always make me nervous. After all, there have been cases in which the person placing the ad just wanted to murder and rob someone by luring them to a meeting spot. As a proactive measure once we got to the designated location I stayed in the running car with my finger poised to dial 9-1-1. Studly shook his head and laughed at me. I get no respect.

Once we had the bike and title in hand, I set the car’s GPS for our hotel address and with Studly following on the Goldwing we set off across Jacksonville. Studly had instructed me not to worry if we were separated, assuring me he’d find the hotel on his own if necessary.

As soon as we got on the interstate a car cut in between us and in spite of Studly’s instructions I slowed a bit to allow him to catch up. Before long I spotted him in my rear view mirror making a move to catch me. Unfortunately, the driver of the car fell victim to a bad case of road rage and I watched in horror as he attempted to intimidate Studly.

Now, my husband is a former motocross racer. His reflexes and instincts are still sharper than those of most people I know, but this angry driver was incredibly aggressive and determined to teach Studly Doright a lesson.

When our exit popped up I hoped this person would stay on the interstate, but no, he came off right behind my husband. We immediately hit a stop light, and the driver stopped beside Studly. I was watching intently in case I needed to intervene. Studly was nodding. The driver was yelling; although, I couldn’t hear what he was saying. 

Apparently, the angry man finally felt vindicated and took a left turn as soon as the light turned green. Studly and I made it to our hotel without further incident. 

Once in our room I asked Studly what had happened. “Oh,” he said calmly, “he threatened to shoot me.”

My knees buckled. To think I’d been so concerned about the Craigslist seller and only mildly worried about the road rage guy. I didn’t sleep well that night. 

In the morning we left the Goldwing at the hotel and headed to a diner for a great breakfast. Much to my surprise Studly suggested we find a beach, so we followed the signs to Hanna Park, a gorgeous two mile stretch of powder soft sand. The tide was out, and we plucked a handful of delicate, intact shells from the beach.   

   
The walk and the clean tang of salt and sea cleared my head. All was right in the world, and I banished the potential violence of the night before from my mind. After taking Studly back to his bike we parted ways for the rest of the day. I drove down to St. Augustine to see what the outlet stores had to offer and Studly headed home to Doright Manor.

I hope that stupid driver came down with a bad case of diarrhea followed by extreme constipation and excessive gas. Otherwise, I wish him well. 

Peace, people.