Control Alt Delete

Today, my boss was posing questions about a project, checking if I had “thought about” some basic steps. “Did you?” “How about” “Why?”

The rub:  My boss is 15 years younger than me and I was his mentor years ago when he got into the industry.  I coached and guided him.

I guess I did a good job, because now I’m working for HIM.

So, he’s going on and on about the fact that a particular vendor cannot produce in the timeframe he wants. “We’ll pay more”.  I explain it’s not about money but about resources, labor policy and such.  Then came a waterfall of “Did Yous”.  And my nodding responses, until, finally I respond….

“Right now,” I say calmly. “You are talking to me like an I.T. person who asks ‘are you sure it’s plugged in’.” And I’ll just leave that right there.

I may not get that merit raise but damn if I don’t get a gold star for quieting the master.


Group: Huddle Views

You know the feeling.
The little tickle that starts in your head but it moves to your stomach
Not delightful. Self-conscious. Windswept. When
you walk by that huddle of people
are they doingwhisperingsayingfeelingthinkinglaughingaboutseeingbelieving
about me?
That feeling

You know the feeling
The little spark that starts in your head and sends warmth to your chest
like a blanket. Heady. Grounded.  When
you are face-first, toe pointed into a huddle of people
are they doingwhisperingsayingfeelingthinkinglaughingaboutseeingbelieving
about me?
That feeling.


Weather taunters

I live in the Midwest. It gets cold and snowy here. And apparently this winter, it’s getting cold and snowy in lots of unexpected places too. We call it winter. Others call it the end of the world. 

I’m so tired of people talking, hearing, singing, texting, posting and praying about the weather.  The way I see it, those that I see posting from their fancy iPhones or calling from their Bluetooth really don’t have much to complain about.  I mean, not compared to people struggling to pay their heating bills or get food when pantries are closed. But that’s for another day; The day I talk about how people are so myopic they need to be reminded to be compassionate and grateful.

No, this missive today is about weather taunters. First, If I hear one more person at the grocery store smugly say “so much for global warming,” I’m going to personally ram Al Gore’s arm up their bung hole to remove their larynx. And THEN there are people that moved away from the Midwest to warmer climates. Why is there a need in social media or even via a birthday card through the good ole USPS, that people are compelled to gloat about their sunny weather– snapping pictures of their drinks on the pier, commenting on their sweaty hike at the park?  Beach dwellers cannot fathom why someone would not want to live in an area with big spiders, waves or collapsing earth that swallows up houses, parades of silicon implants, fake spikey grass and fugitives hiding out in dirty motels or seaside trailer parks. But we exist. And many of us choose to stay in four seasons.

There is this classism element in their comments reminiscent of an aristocrat on the Titanic offering commentary on the elements of their steamer trunks to those of us staying below the deck, clothes packed in a potato sack.

“Natalie, while you’re shoveling snow, I’m doing this,” says a Facebook post with a photo of her sandy feet with the glistening ocean in the background.  My response in my head: Sand spiders & melanoma, cool.

“Why I moved to L.A. #noblizzards #iamtoasty #chicksinbikinis365”.  Attached is the temperature gauge in their cool car.  Response in my head: Even if you were trapped in a lambo in 150-degree heat, chicks in bikinis wouldn’t save you, you douche.

I don’t say these things, aloud. Not yet. But now, the past week or so with the frigid temps sweeping the country, the taunters have become whiners. Now they have to find socks to wear because It’s 50 degrees. Cabin fever starts in on day 2. The liquor displays at all stores have been decimated. Gone are the stylized photos with filters. I hope they will survive.

On the other hand, we Midwesterners have hunkered down, amped up the fireplace, dug into our always ready supply of booze and have shipped the kids to the neighbors for a play date.

I gotta go, I need to instagram a pic of my fuzzy slippers in front of the fireplace, with my dog Sam sleeping peacefully nearby. Taunt this, whiners.



Faster Than A Speeding Bullet? Apply Inside.

When you’re unemployed, scanning through hundreds of job postings can be humbling. But it can also be entertaining. Just think that a campus locksmith can earn more annually than the amusement ride and game inspector. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know that having an expertly installed & functioning lock is critical, but I suspect that having a Scrambler ride that doesn’t malfunction is, in the least, equally important.

Some listings essentially ask candidates to be upright and capable of consuming air. This would be like my friend Jeanette’s requirements for dating. Except Jeanette does go a step beyond having a valid driver’s license; there must be something to drive as well. Then there is the other end of the spectrum – my friend Sheila. The list of requirements is long and somewhat whimsical, but dare not leave a question unanswered. Here is the job posting equivalent of Sheila. I did not make this up. And I’ll only post a portion of the very detailed listing.

The Door Attendant is responsible for providing exceptional hospitality services to guests in an attentive, friendly and efficient manner.  The Door Attendant is responsible for opening doors for all guests entering and exiting the facility and assisting guests with transportation to off-site locations.


  • Maintains pleasant, friendly and professional demeanor with all guests, co-workers, and clients
  • Acknowledges and greets guests within five feet with a professional and friendly demeanor
  • Uses guest last names during interactions
  • Uses salutation of the day and welcomes guests to the location
  • Opens all vehicle and hotel doors for guests
  • Assists guests with directions, taxis, reservations and other inquiries
  • Continually monitors and maintains cleanliness and order of guest services area
  • Delivers messages, items and/or guest amenities as requested

OK, so this seems to be straight forward. I get the idea and basic sense of the job. But then it continues…

  • Must be able to run at top speed, occasionally sit, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl
  • Must be able to stand during entire shift
  • Must be able to regularly stand, walk, run, use hands to finger, handle, feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear
  • Must be able to regularly lift up to 50 pounds frequently and up to 75 pounds occasionally
  • Must be able to push and pull (on bell cart) 75 pounds frequently and 100 pounds occasionally
  • Must be able to push and pull (on wheelchair) 100 to 350 pounds frequently over considerable distances
  • Must have close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perceptions, and ability to adjust focus

And there you have it. Just like Sheila, this employer is looking for James Bond.

Prospects: 0, Wine: 5

ImageI was never lucky with boys. But on this night, this Saturday evening, 5 girlfriends and I were heading to a club 45 minutes from home. Surely, this would be my chance; the chance to meet boys with sensibilities for the witty friend. Boys that didn’t remember your grade school self in cat-eye glasses and ugly hand-me-down bell bottoms. So, we six girls with our freshly curled hair and colored lips, loaded into Shannon’s car and headed, map in hand, to our Mecca.

There were strobe lights, hordes of good looking people and pitchers of cheap wine. Pitchers of wine! Truly a Mecca for a 23 year old in the 80s. Oh yes, this would be the turning point for me and my “game”.

Fast forward to three hours later. I’m sitting alone at a high table, heels on the lower rung, head leaning on hand. I pushed the several empty pitchers out of the way and poured myself another glass of sour-tasting white wine. My friends waved from the dance floor wrapped up with the boys with whom they have been slow-dancing, fast-dancing and making out for two point three hours. Ok, maybe my bitter memory is exaggerating; maybe it was just two hours. Two wine-packed surly hours. And the ride home would seem even longer.

And so it goes. Sometimes the journey to Mecca is fruitful for some. Sometimes your journey to Mecca should be experienced in solitude. And sometimes the journey to and from Mecca is accompanied by wine sweats.

Coffee Shop Blues and Veneer

The neighborhood coffee shop fireplace is lit, throwing very little heat as it is mostly for show. “Ambiance”
A couple of commercial developer types huddle near the window and talk about the winter weather for far too long before they launch into pronouncements and egos.
A twenty-something young professional navigates the snow-covered sidewalks in impractical 3-inch heels and short skirt; the slush muffling the sounds of her pixie walk.
Unemployed for 4 weeks, I’m grateful for the early morning coffee date with a friend to force me out of bed before 10 am, showered and out of the depressed anonymity of my home.
Except I didn’t shower.
And my friend would be 20 minutes late.
I set my flapped snow headwear on the empty seat next to me, stomp my brown work boots to disburse the snow under the table, and glance at my watch.
I have nowhere to go. And no one to be.

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Mama says: Snow Pants

My wheel-chair bound mom & I had to venture out in the Northeast Ohio blizzard to get her to the doctor. Fun adventures involving a folding transport wheelchair, an 85-yr-old sight impaired stroke victim wearing a surgical mask to keep her coughing cooties from others & cold air out, tennis shoes and 2 feet of snow. Suffice it to say, it was Keystone Cops trying to get her in and out of the car mid thundering snow – much of which blew into the car. And the drive back home was slow, treacherous and involved a few whispered cuss words and quiet hyperventilating by me.

“Honey, I need to change my pants,” Mom said when we arrived home safe and sound. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s not because of your driving,” she assured me then with a dramatic pause, “I think I sat on a snow mound.”

Celebrity Dating Double Standards

Why is it that celebrities seem to be able to pull off most fashion choices? I mean, except for Billy Idol, but come on, it was the 80s and anything was game then. But seriously, I see a video with Keith Urban rocking out, casually owning his guitar, singing smiling and I think “ahhh, lucky Nicole”. But at second glance I start pondering. 

Why is it sexy for Keith Urban to wear that Kate Jackson hair? I mean, he’s frickin’ adorable and part of the image is his no-fuss yet perfectly perfect hair framing that smile. But if I were sitting across the bar from a regular guy with that haircut, I would not likely think to myself “bet he’s a killer singer and devoted dad, maybe an organic cook.”  Instead, I might think, “bet his drives a van with lots of smoke billowing out of it.”  And there is Jesus, I mean Jared Leto. Holy hell! I would totally wash his feet. But truth is that I’m more likely to let him forgive me sins long before any average Peter or Paul fishing at the beach.

And celebrity fashion. Why the double standard of acceptance on my part? I am so forgiving when I see it on the pages of rumor mags but if pass by a super cute guy in skinny jeans, a la Harry Styles, at the grocery, I secretly snarf to myself. When I’m drooling over a photo of Matthew McConaughey in a green velvet jacket or Hazza with hair band and shirt unbuttoned to his pubic hairs, I try to think of what my reaction would be if Joe Schmoe showed up at my door dressed like this. (I actually envision the board of the 1970s game Mystery Date.)  If I opened that door with the tiny little knob and saw my date with too much hair product, shiny boots and torn jeans, how would I react? Would I politely smile though my butt-hole scrunched up forming the words Oh Geez?

Or would I ask for his autograph?

TV envy

Note to self:  When you’re unemployed, single and dateless, do NOT watch day-long marathon episodes of Sex in the City.  You’ll end up hating your life, your clothes, your unhatted head and your over-4-foot-over-110lb frame.  And you will loathe every man at the bar that doesn’t send you a drink poured into a Manolo Blahnik.

Mama Says: K I S S I N G

Saturday I was helping my mom get gussied up for a family celebration: I poofed out her beauty parlor ‘do, added some rouge on her cheeks, and applied some pink lipstick. “Geez, Mom,” I joked. “I thought I had thin lips. You have NO lips. I don’t have anywhere to put the lipstick.”

She smacked her lipsticked lips together, reached for my arm and proclaimed, “Listen honey, 54 years and your father never had one complaint about kissing these thin lips!”