Category: reflections

Pick ups and put downs

You’ll never guess what happened to me today. Wait for it.

I got hit on.

Now, you have to understand something to get this story…I don’t get hit on…like, EVER. Really. I must have a “don’t approach me” sign tattooed across my forehead. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, okay maybe my hidden ego takes a little hit, because that’s not what I’m looking for. I don’t go to clubs or bars to get picked up on…that’s not my point.

Anyway, I was at the grocery store today getting essentials to make corned beef and cabbage. (It’s cooking right now in a roaster on the stove with carrots and potatoes. It smells so yummy, I can hardly wait till dinner.)

Mind you, I was NOWHERE near the fruit. I was well past the fruit section, onto the delicious veggies.

And this guy came up to me. He was about 30-40 years old, Hispanic, a tad overweight, with a slick grin. I made eye contact. For a second. He said in a thick accent, “Do you know the difference between an organic banana and a banana?”


I thought he was joking so I waited for the punch line. He wasn’t joking. And he wasn’t holding any bananas for comparison’s sake either. I eyed him carefully, on the verge of scowling. Did he really just ask me about “organic bananas”? Could he really mean what I thought he did? No, no…couldn’t be.

So I said in my best “duh, are you serious” attitude, “Um, organic bananas are grown without the use of pesticides or chemicals.”

He smiled, then walked away mumbling something to himself. At checkout, he checked me out. And smiled again. Now, either I have a sick brain and he’s the dumbest guy on the planet, or I just got picked up on in the dirtiest way EVER. I think it’s the latter and the more I think about it the more I want to toss the bananas I just bought in the garbage.

Tolls and Trolls

I skipped to the mail box this morning expecting to find the handful of partial manuscripts I volunteered to judge for the Golden Heart Contest. I received the list of titles right after Christmas and they sound fantastic. I can’t wait to start reading and judging! So skipping I went…

Only to find a small white envelope that looked like junkmail at first. It was from LES. Sent from New York. Sound fishy yet? Yeah, I almost garbaged it as a credit card offer too. I open it out of sheer curiosity and find that it’s not a credit card offer at all.

It’s a fine from a toll I obviously ran in 2005! 2005! Can you believe it? I couldn’t. To rub salt in the wound, I accidently ran the toll in a car I no longer own and I remember the incident vividly.

There was traffic on the Benicia-Martinez toll. Loads of traffic. I saw a green light marking an open lane on the far left. I veered left. Only when I was a close distance to the toll did I notice the forbidden sign: Fast Trak. Oh no. There were too many cars beside me to merge back to the right. People were irritated and honking at my incessant turn signal. I was irritated at my lack of foresight and my inablity to merge back to a lane where I could pay my measely $3.00.

So there I sat, holding $3.00 extended out the window, to a booth that held no person. Just an automated machine granting access to a bridge I hadn’t paid to cross. Great. I think I remember thinking (if that makes sense), When the $3.00 bill comes in the mail, I’ll just pay it. It was an honest mistake.

But now the bill is no longer $3.00, although this is the first mail I’ve received regarding the toll skip. I’m required to pay $73.00! $3.00 for the toll and $70.00 for the first offense fee. Ridiculous. If I don’t pay now, they’re going to deduct $100.00 from my taxes…or so they reported.

Yeah. I’m irritated. Can you see my grimace? If I ever go over that toll again I think I’m going to be holding a special, loving finger out the window instead of my money. Chew on that.

End of the year

So this is it. New Years Eve. The day people put their bad decisions behind them and start over.

But is it really any different?

The sun will set tonight a few minutes earlier than last, but that’s been happening since December 22nd. The sun will rise “on time” tomorrow morning. Calendars will change to read 2010 instead of 2009. Stores will open (mostly). People will nurture hangovers from drinking the night away (although I won’t be one of them).

Then what is the big change? And why does it feel like I’m standing on a precipice, looking down on the next year and what’s to come?

I think I know. I think it’s the feeling inside that we’re cleansed from the year. That because the calendar changes and reads something different, something inside us can change and feel different too. I suppose everyone’s in need of a new start.

For myself, I want the new year to bring requests to read my manuscript instead of rejections. I’ve received 13 rejections so far, and only 1 request. I screamed like a 5 year old girl eating ice cream for the first time when I got the request. Really.

I’d also like to drop 20 pounds, hit the gym daily, not stress so much about the little things in life that really do seem like big things at the time…but who wouldn’t. Right? Oh, and I wouldn’t mind landing an agent who believes in my work like I do. One who will see my dedication, my work ethic and KNOW I could do this for the rest of my life. Yeah. That would be cool too.

Happy New Year to you. I hope your resolutions hold strong and you get the “cleansing” you’re searching for.

A list…

…of things I can’t live without…

  • my family
  • love
  • laughter
  • the smell of fresh picked roses
  • the sound of waves crashing nearby
  • fettuccine alfredo
  • local taquerias
  • foot massages
  • TiVo
  • chocolate
  • breakfast in bed
  • a good rainstorm
  • a quiet house

…of things I can live without…

  • drama
  • dirty diapers
  • parents who think their children can do no wrong
  • war
  • monopoly
  • pie (you name the flavor, i don’t like it)
  • traffic
  • gusting wind
  • drivers who stop in the middle of on ramps
  • cell phone (this one would be tough, but hey, i could do it…i think.)

Have you made a list lately?

to do list Pictures, Images and Photos

What do men really want?

After Friday night’s football game I know the answer to this simple question.

Football and boobs. Large ones, apparently. Allow me to elaborate on my epiphany.

I was at a high school football game watching my alma-mater smash another local team. (Our team won 44-0 by the way. Rah!) And the team was pumped! Lights were bright, cheerleaders were peppy, the coaches were pacing the lines like wild animals. It was a fantastic night.

And I realized something. Freud discovered that people use defense mechanisms to protect their ego’s from harm. Sublimation was one of these defense mechanisms and is defined as using aggression in a socially acceptable format. (And I’m summing up his whole theory here, so don’t harp on the details.) And men, otherwise known as testosterone-raging-ego-maniacs, need and love football so they can release these tensions in a positive, acceptable way. I get it.

But as I was leaving I overheard a conversation by two high school girls. I’ve changed names to protect identities. 😉 Let’s listen in…

Girl 1: “He TOTALLY like you Gretchen.”
Girl 2: “He does not. Forget it.”
Girl 1: “No, he does. He talked to you every single day this month, but he only answered my texts once. He TOTALLY likes you!”
Girl 2: “Sarah, I have big boobs. That’s why he likes me.” And she rolls her eyes.

I love Girl 2. Love her to death. She’s all of sixteen years old and gets men. She is the yoda and the other girl is her grasshopper.

Football and boobs.
Football Pictures, Images and Photos

Need I write more?


There has got to be a place things run off to when you can’t find them. I’ve decided.

The washer or dryer eats socks all the time at my house and I don’t complain too much. It’s expected now and again. Even angry washing, drying monsters have to eat, don’t they?

monster Pictures, Images and Photos

But what about jewelry? That gold post from the back of a favorite diamond stud that isn’t attached to the back like it should be. The dreaded dig through the jewelry box to find that your favorite “pair” of earrings has now been reduced to the dreadful status of “loner”, aka “never to be worn again”. Or what about the necklace that you could’ve sworn you put back on its proper hook, and after a thorough search of the bedroom and bathroom, can’t locate?

I’m in such a situation today. And it’s driving me mad.

About three years ago, I had a dream about a silver embossed, heart-shaped locket on a sturdy dog-tag-like chain. I was captivated by this locket immediately. I combed jewelry stores, antique fairs, mall chains, and couldn’t find what I was looking for. I wasn’t about to settle for just any locket. I wanted the quarter-size, antique looking, smooth feeling, locket from my dream.

And I was lucky enough to find it on a random trip to the mall (which don’t happen often as I try to steer clear). An antique fair had set up booths in the center and as I walked by a counter I caught sight of “it”. It was beautiful and exactly as I pictured in in my dreams. Better, even, because I could touch it and hold it in my hands. The word “kindred” comes to mind.

Ashona's Locket Pictures, Images and Photos

So I wake up this morning, decide the locket would go great with my outfit…but the locket is not hanging on its hook as it should be. The dog-chain-like necklace is there, but with no heart-shaped locket attached. I’m bummed.

I search the entire box. Twice. I check the bathrooms, the floor beneath my dresser and my bed, my car glove compartment, pockets and pouches in every single purse I own, my luggage, my coat pockets. And it’s not there. It’s not anywhere.

I want my locket back. I want to know where it vanished to. Is it lonely and cold, shivering in the early autumn air? Does it long to be looped from my neck again, safe and close to my heart?

Maybe it’s with all the other lost things in some distant place having a margarita, celebrating clavicle freedom from its oppressors.

Change of profession

Everyone has heard the common saying that people change careers (on average) seven times in their life.

When I was younger I thought, no way. I want to be an English teacher. That’s it. All rolled into a nice ball of wax. I’ll graduate high school, graduate college, get my credential, and teach. Voila!

But now that I’ve reached a ripe old age of 29, I’m starting to rethink things.

Career Change Choice Pictures, Images and Photos

It’s highly possible for someone to enter college, take a couple courses in their initial career choice and think “no way, this isn’t for me”, and change paths. Then, what if they get into their career and receive the dreaded layoff notice. Seriously, this has become a major concern in our struggling economy. So they switch jobs, and we’re already at three careers before thirty years of age!

My father in law retired after a gazillion years of working for the government. He receives a paycheck that pays his bills and is happy to stay home and not work for “the man” anymore. He’s his own boss. But most days I think he finds himself bored. After the lawns mowed and the bills are paid, he tinkers with things and gets in trouble, as he would say, for anything and everything. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that he decided to get another job to keep him busy. Many people retire and return to work. Baby boomers won’t go down easy workforce, so watch out.

In my case, I love to teach. I taught high school, middle school, and loved the bright light that would go off in some students eyes when they finally “got” Shakespeare. It was awesome.

BillyShakes Pictures, Images and Photos

But it’s not enough. There’s something creative stirring, and I’m willing to put time in to see where it goes. Would I love to teach again? Yes. Would I love to stay home, frequent coffee shops, and get paid handsomely to write everyday? Abso-freakin-lutely.

That’d make second career change, for those of you counting. *grin