Just An Ordinary Day

I didn’t hear the coffeemaker’s distinct ‘beep – beep – beep’ this morning as I rose from my warm bed to a cold house at 3:30 a.m.

You read that right, I get up every working morning at 3:30 a.m.

Why? Because I live in Texas, specifically the Dallas area, and everyone north of the Red River is migrating this way…right now.  This means our roads are about twenty years behind the growth.  So, in order to actually get to work in the morning I have to leave my house at the same time most farmers are milking their cows, or whatever it is that farmers do before sunup.

But, I digress.

The coffeemaker didn’t do it’s ONE JOB this morning.  It has ONE JOB, and it’s ONE JOB keeps me from killing people every day.

It just quit on me.  Today.  Just like that..I was dumped by a coffeemaker.  The lights were on, it was making all the appropriate noises, but the water wasn’t going from there to there to make the magic happen.

“Coffeemaker quit!” I shouted to hubby who came dashing into the kitchen and stared from me to the machine, mouth agape.  Obviously, this is not a scenario for which he was prepared.  Neither was I for that matter

“No coffee? NO COFFEE?” He said, growing alarmed and annoyed.

“Nope.” I replied, edgy myself. “I’ll get one on the way home.”

“You might ought to get two.” He grinned at me and for a moment it made sense, but then realizing they aren’t cheap I just shook my head at him, “Go get ready for work.” I said.

Grumbling, and groggy, I proceeded to get things ready for the lunches I pack for hubby and me every day.  Today’s lunch included pickles.  We eat a lot of dill pickles in my house.  They’re an excellent, low-calorie, snack so I buy the big jars.

I got the jar I’d purchased the day before out of the fridge and proceeded to open it.

I don’t know what happened, I blame it on the lack of caffeine, but the next thing I know I’ve got pickle juice all over me, the counter, and dripping onto the floor.

That shit stinks.  And it especially stinks when it’s all over the counters, floor, you.  Trust me on this, no need to verify.  You’re welcome.

I got that cleaned up, and then left for work,  WITHOUT MY COFFEE.

As I was driving I remembered my Starbucks gift card and thought there was a silver cloud to this lining after all.

I ordered my skinny vanilla latte at the drive-thru, and told the barista I had my own cup so I didn’t need a Satan Sipper  for my life-giving hot beverage.

She snickers.

I get my coffee, carefully maneuvering the 20 oz. mug through my open window without spilling a single drop.  Maybe wearing a white shirt wasn’t such a bad idea after all, I think as I pull away from the window, and forgetting about the ginormous holes in the road due to construction I hit one, and the coffee in my hand confirms two things – 1. It’s really, really, really hot and 2. I’m never wearing white again.


I Have a Confession

I’m addicted to the silly, sappy, soapy, and other words that start with “s”, holiday movies on Hallmark Channel.

Yesterday, I started watching them at 6:00 a.m., and didn’t stop until another of my guilty pleasures, “Once Upon a Time”, came on at 7:00 p.m.

I mean, I binge-watched.  I only got up, reluctantly, to pee and eat.

On the plus side, I am nearly finished with my stashbuster crochet afghan.

On the minus…thirteen hours?? Sweet clothespin jeebus.

I may have a problem.

In A Couple of Days It’ll Be Veteran’s Day Here

…and because I am TERRIBLE at remembering big things like that…

I present a post I wrote a few years ago, which includes a short story I wrote a few years before that.  I’d been part of a writer’s group and every week we got  prompts – a list of words we had to use in a short story.  There was a competition, and I won for this story.  It happens that WWII is  a passion of mine, and the military in general I hold in very high regard.

In honor of those who have gone before us.

It’s Me, Isn’t It?

I recently had cause to question the customer service skills of three separate companies in one week.

I think that’s a new personal best, but I’m not sure since I don’t normally keep track.

Anyway, the first was a pair of earrings I ordered from a site and it was not the only pair of earrings this site offered.  It was, in fact, a pair similar to a couple of others they offered…but waaaaay cuter.

When I received the earrings – clearly not as pictured on the site – my first thought was, “dumbass, you ordered the WRONG thing..again!”  Sigh…it’s not the first time it’s happened to me, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

I checked my order invoice, and sure enough I’d ordered the RIGHT earrings and they’d sent me the WRONG ones.

So, it wasn’t me? I guess?

I contacted customer service, via e-mail, and got an extremely effusive apology from a very perky (I imagined “Tina” as a 20-something college student about to embark on a personal quest to save all the whales, and unicorns, and garden gnomes in the world) “customer experience specialist” (really?) who promised to ship my correct earrings that day.

Me: Thank you, and please issue a return for these and I’ll send them back.

Tina: Already done, it’s attached in this e-mail.  Just print it out and put it on the envelope you got your earrings in and send them back.  Oh, and have a super day!

Me: Oh..okay, will do

And, I did, sending the wrong earrings back.

The VERY next day I received yet another package with what I assumed was the RIGHT earrings.

They were the same WRONG earrings I’d sent back.  I mean, not THE same earrings I’d sent, but another pair of the wrong thing.


Me:  Hey, Tina, yeah I got the WRONG EARRINGS again.  Let me ask you, does your inventory match the SKU numbers on the site?  I mean, this isn’t rocket science.

Is it? Is it me? Do I not understand the intricacies of online retail? I wondered.

My cell phone rang about 3 seconds after I sent the e-mail.


“Hi, this is Tina, from (unnamed_retail_outlet)”…Sweet clothespin jeebus, she sounded exactly like I imagined she would… “and, I am SUPER sorry about the mix-up again!! Hold on a minute while I check something, okay?!”


She came back on the line after a minute or so, breathless, “Okay, I’ve got the RIGHT earrings in my hand now. I’m super-sure of it. I’m sending them out today, and you know what? Just keep those others for all your trouble!!”


The WRONG earrings are hideous people, like really, really ugly…but, they were free, so yay?

I did, in fact get the RIGHT earrings the next day.

I love them.

In episode 2, a popular online retail site for pet food and products screwed up an order for my cat’s special food.

Yes, I buy my cat stupidly expensive food because he’s diabetic and prone to puking if his system gets out of whack. And, you know what? Turns out I don’t like cleaning up cat puke.

I’ve been buying the same, exact-no-changes, food for three years now.  Every month, they send me the stuff and charge my credit card.

Until last month, and the automatic didn’t happen.  It was me, that time, as I’d forgotten to update my credit card after having to get a new one when someone in New York tried to buy $800 worth of parking on my stolen credit card information (high fives to my bank for catching that so quickly!).

When it came time for Bugsy, the Insane to get his food I got an e-mail telling me that my order wasn’t coming because of the payment issue.

I called immediately, explained the mix-up, and gave them the corrected information.

Fido: “So, we’ll just get that added to your account so it doesn’t happen again!!  And we are super-pleased you chose (unnamed_pet_outlet) for all your fur baby’s needs!!”

Me: “Uh..okay..thanks?”

I’m always confused and startled by the exuberance of most customer service people, and wish they’d all go work at the post office or the DMV…like, right now.

This month, I got an e-mail stating with sad puppy eyes that I wasn’t getting Bugsy’s-now-I-won’t-puke food…because my credit card was denied.


I looked at the e-mail, it listed the last 4 digits of the card I’d canceled.

The one I’d replaced last month with Fido, over the phone, and he was super excited about it.

I called again, and explained again, about the credit card.  This time, Fido found the old notes and said he’d “definitely get this corrected right away”, and ship Bugsy’s food.

I got the food, but I have to wonder what next month will bring.

Is it me, or is it too much to ask that I give you information and you retain it somewhere?

It’s me, isn’t it?

And, lastly, my first order from another site (can you tell I shop online a LOT?) had two items in it.

I got one.

So, I sent an e-mail to my “bestfriend” @ (unnamed_vintage_site).com   Is it me, or is that presumptuous?

It’s me, isn’t it? I mean, who couldn’t use a BFF in online retail, right? Hello, discounts!

I digress, anyway I was asking about Thing 2, having received Thing 1 that day.

BFF: Wow, that was super fast!! And, typically our orders don’t come all from the same place so they arrive in different packages.  But, we know you’ll be super happy with it!

Me: Oh, okay. I was in no rush. It’s my first time ordering from you, so I was just wondering. I do love Thing 1, though.

BFF: We’re super happy about that!! Thank you!!

Me: …

I didn’t answer back. I was super tired from reading.

Is it me, or are these exchanges just a tad over-wrought with faked sentiment and the overuse of the word “super”?

It’s me, isn’t it?

Isn’t it? I’d be super happy if you agree!!!


There are two kinds of people in the world, those who love ALL THE HALLOWEEN THINGS, and those who listen to One Direction.

I’m of the former.

This year All Hallows E’en falls on a Saturday.  This is like being told you just won the lottery and your check will be delivered by a half-naked Jensen Ackels.

Preparations for this year’s festivities have been going on in the family for weeks.  Make-up effects have been tested, costumes have been purchased, tried on, altered, and provided the correct accoutrement – be it badassery or cute – to enhance the experience.

I usually dress as either a witch or vampiress.  The makeup is the same for both, as is the hair, just the dress changes and the hat. What’s a witch without a hat, I ask you?

This year, in his grandfather-ly exuberance, the hubby has told ALL THE KIDS that we will attend their festivities.  These kids do not all live together in a big commune.  They’re separated by miles and miles.

Sometimes, he doesn’t think things through.

So, I’m forgoing a costume this year, given the fact that I’ll be in and out of cars and houses and running up and down streets with mass quantities of urchins following me.

Except, I have a Black Widow t-shirt so if I can find my black sweat pants I’ll be going as Natasha Romanoff, post workout.  I’ll even pull my hair back, add a bandana and scrub the make up off. I may even add my weighlifting gloves just so it looks legit. If I can find them.  Not that I don’t weighlift, I’m just so much a badass I don’t wear gloves, bitches.

And WordPress insists that Halloween, accoutrements, Ackels, and badassery are all a) not words and b) incorrectly spelled not-words.

I’ll give them all the above, so long as I can keep the Ackels.  Eff you WordPress, he’s mine.

In Which I Am Unprepared

I pride myself on always being prepared for pretty much every scenario.

Lock yourself out of the house? I’ve got keys hidden all over the place. Same thing for my office building. Keys. Everywhere.

Rip your breeches or lose a button?  I carry a mini-sewing kit.

Earache? I have drops for that.

Nausea? Intestinal distress? Headache?  Got, have, and got.

My purse is a veritable Mary Poppins replica.

But, what happened to the lawyer last week….well, let’s just say that nothing in my purse could have helped.

I work in a really beautiful setting. My office building sits on the edge of a lake, the parking lot being the only thing between me and the water.

Last week we had a team of auditors, and attorneys, come visit us to check out our environmental programs and permits.  It’s all part of the game when you generate power.

The littlest of the attorneys was all of five foot tall, but her three inch heels made her seem much bigger.  That and her incredibly fast mode of speech. I swear, in all my life, I’ve never, ever heard anyone say so much so fast.  And I understood every word.  Once she was done, it was all I could do not to stand up and applaud.  She was impressive.

During a break she got a phone call and headed outside to – I presume – have some privacy.

She walked to the parking lot, and towards the steep incline heading down to the lake.

You know that feeling you get when something really awful is about to happen, and you’re watching it, and you are powerless to do anything about it?

She was animatedly chatting a mile-a-minute on the phone and aimlessly wandering closer and closer to the water.

Then, the inevitable happened.

Her heel caught in the grass and she went Pradas over Marc Jacobs suit, tumbling down the hill.

I really wanted to laugh, but I was truly concerned she’d not stop before the water, so I ran towards her instead.

About the time I reached the top of the hill, I looked down and she had righted herself, stood up, and was still talking on the phone.

That woman, right there, is a badass.  I’m glad she’s on our side.

By This Time I Don’t Even Know What We Are Arguing About

It started with a statement from a MAJOR CARRIER, let’s call it FredFlex, asking why my company’s location hadn’t paid our bill for $100.

I haz  a confused.  I never see these bills.  They are paid by the guy in shipping on his company credit card.

I sent an e-mail to the guy who arranged the shipping.

He haz a confused.

He said the sender was paying.

The sender said the receiver was paying.

This was all e-mail and by this time I was caught in the ‘reply all’ loop, so I popped some corn to watch the tennis match.

But sender should pay…

No, receiver…

Well, I’m not paying….

Neither am I…….

It dawned on me that I’m technically the receiver, so I might need to pay attention.

Only by this time I wasn’t sure who was supposed to do what, so I kept munching on the popcorn.

We’re on hour six of the battle, and for a while it looked like sender had the lead.

Now I’m not so sure.

And, I don’t even remember the original argument any more.

Such is the excitement that is my life. And the stupidity I bear witness to once in a while.

Damn, I’m out of popcorn.

Cut Loose!

I was a little bit disappointed in the lack of Fred and Ginger, but I guess their moves weren’t funky enough.

Oh, and hi there.

I’m back.

Sort of.

I’m sick…sigh…again…with a so-far-just-a cold and willing it to go away before it becomes SOMETHINGELSE (that’s like He Who Shall Not Be Named, I don’t say it for fear of making it appear).

Enjoy your weekend.  I’m going to snuggle down with jammies and tea..and a puppy.  Staying away from the hubby so he doesn’t get sick, too. :-(

He Sat

His back to the brick wall of the convenience store.  It was 8:00 a.m., and already the Texas sun promised more heat than anyone ought to have to endure.

He was impossibly thin, and perhaps younger than he looked.  It was hard to tell.  A life on the streets ages a person inside and out.

His right wrist still bore the unmistakable badge of one who’s recently been in close contact with people in lab coats, carrying charts, mumbling things about “medication” and “disorders”.

I’d seen that badge before, on my own father some five years earlier when he was convinced we were all on a ship bound for Germany to fight the Nazis with swords.

We were in an emergency room at the local veteran’s hospital, and Daddy was talking to the resident psychologist.

I stared at the mans’ wrist as he waved his arms about.  His words, nonsensical to most, floated across the heated air to me.

“..and then he says he’ll be right back..well, he never came back…”

Other commuters, hurrying along to work, to school, to their lives, got out of their cars and some stared at him. Some ignored him, and some walked around him, giving him a wide berth as they did so.

He is homeless, outcast, somehow frightening to them.

I was like them, until Daddy’s descent into Alzheimer’s taught me that minds are trapped in myriad ways for those who seem to live out of phase with the rest of the world, and we cannot know the why just by looking.

I smiled, not at him, but for him.  He grinned, toothless, in return.  His bright blue eyes so reminiscent of my Daddy’s.  I felt the tears and hurried along inside the store.

When I came back out, he was still there.  He was still carrying on a conversation with the invisible denizens of his little world.

As I passed, he called out to me..”Miss? Oh miss?”

I stopped, inadvertently stiffening for the moment, and turned to face him.

“You have yourself a blessed day now, you hear?” He said, as lucid in that moment as he was uncomprehending in the next when I said, “Thank you, sir, and you as well.” and he looked at me as if seeing me for the first time.

I got back to my car, and slid inside the cool air-conditioned space.

The tears flowed, hot and freely, down my cheeks again.

I miss you, Daddy.

This Isn’t A Real Post

It’s a post about why there isn’t a post.

Remember how I said I was working on a long and whiny post about my mother?

I did write that post.  It took days, and days, for me to write.  And, that’s not like me. I usually write a post in a matter of minutes and then share it with my devoted reader without even proofing it.

Not this post, though, this one was epic, for the ages, with things everyone can relate to.

Well, everyone with a dysfunctional parent anyway.

I wrote it, I read it, I laughed, I cried.

And, then, I deleted it.

It’s supposed to be cathartic to write stuff, like long letters, to and about people who’ve hurt you.  You’re never supposed to send (or publish) those letters, and still you’re supposed to feel better. Unburduned.  Like a beautiful butterfly, emerging from the cocoon of anger and hurt.  Like an addict, finally free of….well, you get the picture.

Except that didn’t happen.  I mean, the only thing I felt good about was not publishing a diatribe against someone who will never change, cannot understand her flaws, and ultimately someone who despite it all loves me unconditionally.

So, maybe the catharsis part will hit later.  Like the delayed reaction you get when you down the third shot of tequila (not that I’d know what that’s like, people).


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