Musings and Amusings, by Jimmie

It’s Monday.  It’s felt like Monday all dang day. 

Why is it that on the weekends I leap out of bed at the crack of daylight when by rights, I should be lounging around in the bed, sweet talking my pillows for hours?  I love my bed. We are very close.  Yet on the days when I can demonstrate how much I love it by spending quality time with it, I’m up moving around and giving it the cold shoulder as if it forgot my birthday or something.  And then on Monday mornings, when I don’t have time to demonstrate how much I love it (because I have class with Lynnette, y’all and she’s a demanding mistress), I cannot leave it.  I cannot tear myself away.  I give up friends (Lynnette and Jane and Body Pump and Spinning) for it.  I give up quality time with my razor (I should be spending time shaving my legs even though it is winter) so that I can cuddle up with my yummy duvet.  I give up my easy drive to work even though I know that the longer I lie around, the smaller the window I have of “good traffic drive time”.  Why is it so hard?

Eh, it’s a conundrum.  I should be wiser and all that now, now that I’m facing forty.  Unfortunately, the biggest change that comes with age, I’ve noticed, has nothing to do with wisdom but everything to do with the fact that now that I’m older, the longer I lie around being lazy, the puffier my eyes are.  Yay. 

For your Monday, which I hope was less blah than mine, I’ve included some pictures of things that made me laugh.  It will look like Christmas threw up in here, but trust me, these pictures are worth it. 

This here is my neighbor’s tree.  We had a big old windstorm come through a few weeks ago and I noticed his newspaper up in the tree afterwards.  He blames it on “those damn kids” in our neighborhood, but I disagree.  You see the newspaper way up there in the top?  It’s still up there and it’s been two months.

 

This here is a ceramic pig Phranke and I saw when we were out shopping one day.  It was just too cute to ignore.

 

Speaking of pigs, this here is the only Christmas decoration Madre has every year.  She has no tree. She has no wreath.  She has no bows or lights.  But you see how she put a hat and beard on that big old concrete pig?  That’s how Madre rolls, y’all.

 

And speaking of Christmas, will you believe that I took this picture just days ago? This here is my neighbor across the street and every night when I come home, it still looks like this.  Y’all, it’s nearly St. Patrick’s Day.  I am going to see how long they keep these lights blazing.

 

And speaking of holidays, I got a Valentine!  It was the only one I got this year, so I cherish it.  One guess who it’s from . . . .

 

If you were to guess Dammit Todd, you would be correct. 

And finally, this here is a lazy Sunday afternoon, where it seems that Murphy and Seamus have no issue spending quality time with my bed All Day Long. 

 

Lucky little varmints. 

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Girl Meets Boy – A Love Story

Once upon a time there was a little girl.  We will call her Girl.  When she was in the third grade, she fell in love with a little boy.  We will call him Boy.  He was a nice boy and lots of girls in the third grade liked him.  We will call those other girls Others. 

Boy took turns “going out” with Girl and Others.  He would “go with” one for a while, they would break up and he would “go with” another one for a while.  He wasn’t being mean, he was being fair.  It was the third grade after all and he was very popular.   

Girl would take it particularly hard when Boy wasn’t “going with” her.  Sometimes she would come home and cry, saying “Boy doesn’t like me.  He’s going with one of the Others.  That hurts me.” Her sister, called Sister, would say, “Don’t worry, Girl.  One day you will knock his socks off.”

That year for Christmas, Boy bought Christmas presents for Girl and Others.  He bought necklaces.  One of the Others got a Strawberry Shortcake necklace, another got a CZ chip necklace and Girl got a Smurfette necklace.  Girl was overjoyed with her gift.  She called Mother at work and worried the mess out of her until Mother agreed to take Girl shopping for a Christmas gift for Boy.  They had to go right away.   

After much deliberation in the toy aisle of Wal-Mart, Girl decided on a Donkey Kong piggy bank.  Girl got home with her gift and insisted that she wrap it herself.  She labored over it for a long time, her tongue poking out in concentration.  There was a lot of tape on it, a lot of air between the layers of the wrapping paper, and she finished it off with a Styrofoam glitter-covered heart that she ripped off one of her headbands. She stuck it on the gift with a stick pin and was determined to leave it there even though it kept popping off because of all of the air in the wrapping paper.  Mother drove Girl over to Boy’s house very late because Girl would have it no other way.  Boy loved the gift and all was well.

Time marched on.  Boy and Girl would “go together” for a while and then would break up and then “go together” again.  Eventually, though, Boy and Girl grew up and moved on to other boys and girls.  They became interested in other things and although they were friends, they no longer “went together.”   

One day, after Boy and Girl became Young Man and Young Woman, someone threw a party. We will call the party a Class Reunion.  Young Man and Young Woman both attended the Class Reunion and while there, discovered a mutual affection for each other.  They began dating and from the first date, were inseparable.  After some time, Young Man bought a ring, offered it to Young Woman, and Young Woman accepted the ring.  They began planning a wedding.

Young Woman made sure that she had something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue for her wedding day.  They said their vows, Sister cried, Mother cried, everyone cried, and as Young Woman walked down the aisle a married woman, she showed Young Man her something blue.  She had kept the Smurfette necklace Boy had given her in the third grade.  It was in her jewelry box the whole time.  The chain had broken and the metal had tarnished but Girl pinned that Smurfette to the inside of her dress and wore it proudly to say “I do.”   

Sister cries every time she tells that story. 

This is not my story but I am Sister.    Martie and Coach, Girl and Boy, will be married 13 years next month.  I guess you could say now they “go together” all the time.  Isn’t that the best love story?  Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  I wish you a nice love story of your own.

Happy Belated Birthday, Kindle! Now With More Photos.

Kindle had a birthday on Monday.  I wanted to write for her then but I had to be mad about my physical first, plus I had just written another birthday post and I was a little woozy from all that sugar so many days in a row. 

I work with Kindle.  She was a surprise, much like Freddie was, when I moved to a new company.  I had no idea a Kindle even existed but she’s turned out to be one of my greatest assets in the friend world.  When I went through a nasty breakup, she was there for me every day.  I would come to work with eyes that looked like two peas in snow, I was so puffy from the crying. The thing is, we didn’t know each other well because we were new to each other yet she would take one look at my wonky eyes and say, “You okay?  You need to talk? Want an ice pack?”  She’s very matter of fact and she won’t let me get away with crying for long.  It’s perfect. 

It also helps that on particularly bad days, she would send me this picture.   

So I give her this one in return for her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Kindle!  Meow!

Also, some of our other friends wrote guest posts for you. 

Kindle

 K is for the kindness she always offers

I is for indigo (I like purple)

N is for the nice things she does for everyone

D is for the dozens of people she makes smile every day

L is for the love she spreads

E is for everyone who is lucky enough to meet her. 

The first time I met Kindle she talked to me without hesitation.  She’s always been friendly, warm, and kind to me from the start.  It was no problem being friends with her instantly.  Have a wonderful burfday!!!! 

Hugs,

Spike (Editor’s note: totally new character.  You’ll hear more of her later.) 

I so enjoy working with my cubicle buddy back here in this black hole of an abyss that is known, only in select circles, as Transportation.  We have certainly had our share of trying to solve the world’s problems, and the company’s as well.  And thanks for being that occasional listening ear and YOU ARE WELCOME for the times you’ve needed me to do the same.  And I won’t even go into all the craziness about the “blonde one” they call Jimmie!  There’s not enough medication on this planet to correct “all” that is wrong there!  LOL.  

Hugs,

Felix

Kindle is a rock!  Regardless of what is going on in her life, she is a steady place that you can depend on.  Some days she’s the smack in the ass you need to get back on the playing field, and some days she’s just an ear to sound off to.  She’s the welcome break in the middle of the work day when she stops by my desk just to say hi and shoot the breeze for a minute.  And she never asks for anything in return. 

You all may remember the amazing blueberry cake that Jimmie made for my birthday last year.  It looked a lot like this…

 

But tasted amazing!  You may or may not know that Jimmie and I share a fondness for baking, and sometimes take turns baking our coworkers and good friends’ birthday cakes.  Kindle’s request this year was the amazing blueberry cake…the very same one that Jimmie made for my birthday last year that looked like this… 

 

Kindle, my gift to you is this: I will make the same cake that Jimmie made for my birthday, but I’m going to up the ante a little and whip the hell out of the frosting like Jimmie was supposed to do, so that instead of your cake looking like this…

 

Your cake will look like this…

 

Hugs,

Freddie

Venting – A Customer Service Story.

I’ve waffled a little on writing this post.  I don’t want to be unfair to a business because of my one bad experience.  Also, the service industry I’m going to discuss is rather an emotional one for me so I realize that I may not be entirely fair.  However, they have gone and ticked me off for the last time and I’m not going to be nice to them anymore.  I feel like they have fully earned this.  Congratulations, LifeSigns.  This is for you.   

Back story:  I signed up for a new type of health coverage this year.  I went with an HSA plan which, to make a long plan short, means only one thing of importance here:  1) all preventive care is paid at 100%.  Yearly physicals are considered preventive and I heard about a company who classify all of the tests (ie: blood work, pap, mammo, vitamin levels, etc.) as preventive.  As a matter of fact, that company has often visited our office to give Lunch and Learns, participated in our health fairs and regularly brings us general healthy information.  I liked them a great deal and the representative who visits with us is great. You can see why I was swayed.

I was excited as one can be about having a full physical when I made my appointment.  What I was really looking forward to was getting it all done in one fell swoop and working with the staff that I had heard great things about.  Unfortunately for them, I need great staff.  Actually, I need exceptional staff. 

See, I have this issue about going to the Cookie Doctor. (Think about it for a minute.  You’ll get it.)    I’m not a fan.  If you want to know the truth, I’m an emotional hot mess about it and have been known to curse like a sailor, throw a tantrum, cry until I burst a blood vessel and say horrible, horrible things like, “No YOU calm down!  If you would get naked, too, and put on this damn paper towel and let me position the headlight and the platypus and the mile-long q-tip near YOUR nether regions, I would calm down!  I don’t give a rat’s ass that it would be unprofessional for you to do that.  You do it and then you can tell me to calm down!”  I’m such a joy to be around.

Next up, though, are all the reasons they failed and truly, have nothing to do with my bad behavior.

  1. They lost my appointment.  This is why I never received a reminder call or the emailed paperwork I was to bring with me for my appointment. I was relieved, honestly.
  2. They called me 30 minutes before my originally scheduled appointment to ask me if I had indeed fasted.  I was bewildered, seeing as how the day before they admitted that they had no appointment for me.
  3. We rescheduled my appointment and they asked me to bring a check for the services I was to receive.  I was indignant.  All the information I had received from them indicated that my tests would be considered preventive and thus, covered 100%, no co-pay, no deductible.
  4. I lost the argument and promised to bring the $35 it would cost me for the appointment, an amount we had debated at great length and an amount they assured me would be all I would ever need to pay. I was resigned. 
  5. I arrived for my appointment and was asked to pay $45.  I was angry.  Turns out they forgot to tell me about the administration fee despite my asking repeatedly if there would be other charges.
  6. All exams were performed, all veins were stuck, all ultrasounds of vital organs were completed and I left, exhausted, cried out, and without any lingering mascara.  I left it (along with my pride, my dignity and my good graces) on the  roll of coloring paper they let you lie on as a nice sanitary crinkly table cover. I was a mess. 
  7. The physician (who, even after experiencing the loveliness and calm and raging blood pressure that is me when they hand me the paper towel to put on for the exam, handled me beautifully and never once felt compelled by my arguments or cursing to don her own paper towel while performing all my exams) assured me that I would have all results within the week.  I was gullible.
  8. I did receive my results.  I did.  But only after being promised that they were mailed twice, emailed once, emailed again, and then found in some long lost archive that IT had managed to institute with the implementation of a new program.  It seems that only my results had been sent there, though, and no one could figure out why I could never get them.  Boy howdy, I was ticked. 
  9. Turns out I’m not slated to die any time soon but apparently, I could use an attitude adjustment.  I was thankful.   
  10. Yesterday, and this will be a complete shock to you, I received a bill for the services LifeSigns performed.  You know, those services that fall under the 100%-paid preventive care and also the services that I paid for in advance.  I am speechless.   

Possibly speechless is the wrong word.  There was lots of this: @##%^$%!!!!! And some of this: &^%**$##@@#!!!!!!! And then more of this:  @#$$%$!#@#$$%%)*! And then I calmed down and wrote it all up for you. 

Really, I feel as if I’m being noble and merciful by giving LifeSigns an F++.  Don’t you?

Reposted In Honor Of My Best Friend: Happy Birthday, Martie.

Happy Birthday

A million memories are not enough to cover the expanse that is sisterhood.  I’ll share a few today, in honor of one of my favorite people. 

I don’t really remember when Martie was born.  I was too little.  But I feel like I remember it because someone took a picture of us:  me sitting up in an armchair holding this tiny baby with gigantic eyes and a shock of black, explosive hair.  I was grinning like a loon and you can see someone’s arms hovering around me to prevent me from dropping her I guess. If my feelings about Martie now are any indication, there is no way in the world I would have ever dropped that baby.   

I remember when Madre took Martie to the beauty salon and had that explosive hair permed into an afro.  It was the cutest afro you’ve ever seen on a tiny girl. Her kindergarten picture shows a little girl with giant eyes and a curly mop wearing my favorite Winnie the Pooh dress that I handed down.  I love that picture. 

I remember having a fight with Martie in high school.  We were mad at each other (I think I’ve told this story before), and I was grandstanding in front of our friends.  I spit my gum in her face.  In retaliation, she went into the house, grabbed my purse, stuck it under the tire of her VW bug and ran over it a few times.   

I remember when Madre married Poppa and we got two brothers.  (Let me say in aside here that my family is complicated.  I have step siblings and half siblings and full siblings and four sets of grandparents plus some grandparents that we adopted.  But you know what?  My family is only complicated in terminology.  They are my family – full blooded, fully loved, full hearts, all the way.)  At first, the transition from three females living alone to six people living together, three males, three females (we were the Brady Bunch, sort of) was tough.  We had growing pains.  I had always been the peacemaker and the quiet one.  That was until one of the brothers took Martie’s sand dollar and broke it open after she expressly told him he could not do that. Her eyes teared up and as the youngest of us, she got trampled on a lot.  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I was so mad.  So I hit him, really, really hard.  And I think I knocked him out a little bit.  Apparently you don’t mess with my little sister, I don’t care who you are or how much I like you.

I remember seeing Martie’s face when she was in the OR and they put Pooh on her chest, right after she was born.  That is one of my favorite faces of all time.   

I remember graduating from high school and after I got my diploma, I looked up and saw Martie’s face covered in tears.  It was the end of an era – we would no longer share a room.  We would no longer share clothes.  We would no longer fight over the radio or the light in our room or our makeup.  We would no longer stay up all night talking about boys.  We never again listened to Thriller in our pajamas and ate giant Hershey’s kisses.  I was leaving for college and that moment, when I saw her face, my heart broke a little. 

I remember the moment that I realized that there was nothing Martie could do, ever, that would make me stop loving her.  Of course I probably realized it early in life but this particular moment was one that I could articulate.  Right then I called her. I told her that.  I told her that there is not another person on this earth who knows everything there is to know about me and loves me anyway.   I know everything there is to know about her and I love her anyway, love her because of it, love her because she’s Martie and she’s awesome.  I can’t imagine my life without her.   

I remember Martie calling me once.  She was so upset, so heartbroken.  Someone had hurt her badly and I remember the anguish in her voice when she said brokenly, “I don’t love a little bit.  I love all the way.  There is no little bit for me.”   That’s who Martie is.  She is full of life.  She does nothing halfway.  When she’s in, she’s all in.  It’s beautiful. 

So I say this:  I don’t love you a little bit, Martie. I never did.  There is no little bit here.  I love you all the way, as full as you can get.  A million memories for us.  A million smiles.  A million tears.  A million hugs.  A million of all good things for your birthday because you deserve it all, as full as you can get, and once we get to the end of a million, we’ll start all over again.  Happy Birthday, my forever friend.  I love you. 

Laugh

 

Vegas, Baby!

Martie