Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Amazon World...

I have to say that I have definitely fallen prey to the “amazon” way….hee hee…fun rhyme huh?…I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it!…Oh geez…I’m on a roll today. Anyway…I really like to be able to quickly go online and order the annoying little things that most people are forced to drive around and pick up for themselves. Ie: toilet paper, makeup, shampoo…sneakers…As a matter of fact, if it can’t be shipped to me so it’s on my porch when I get home the next day, I really don’t need it.

This lack of love for running errands has recently presented a problem with my Dentist. I got a bill in the mail so I called them to pay it the second I got it out of my mailbox. I have a “flex” medical visa that holds funds for all uncovered medical expenses. Most everyone does it this way now. Apparently even the best health insurance coverage generally thinks that $50 for the dentist to walk into the room is more than it wants to pay for him. So even with a “Cadillac” plan, I still owed about $100. Don’t worry though…I’m certain that once the government health insurance plan kicks in and I have to pay for everyone else’s insurance, I won’t get my teeth cleaned at all. This will really open up the doctor’s schedule for the people who haven’t had a cleaning in 25 years. I wonder what “fair and equitable” on a full mouth restorative procedure will be when the government controls it?…Thank God there are no “pre-existing condition” laws anymore! I’m quite certain that “having a mouth” is one…Oh well…I’ll get my teeth cleaned while I still can.

The point of the story is that my dental office wouldn’t take my card number over the phone. They said that it costs them more to do it that way and wanted me to drive the card there. They asked if I could do it that day…um…nah…It would cost me more to drive the 3 hours from where I called from than the $1.50 it would’ve cost them. I suppose I will just hand them the card at my next cleaning in 6 months. The only trouble is that I have to wonder if they will still be open by then if they won’t accept payment? I hope so. I do like them at that office.

Oh well…in a world full of conveniences, we are still saddled with inconveniences due to the costs of “new, easier” ways. Maybe eventually we could just do a retinal scan or an oral x-ray that will link to all of our accounts so we don’t have to open our wallets. I just hope our teeth won’t be able to be hacked. I suppose they will have to develop some sort of firewall for them! Sounds like the healthcare field is inventing new jobs for us already! Ah! The world is good!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How Do You Use this thing?

I believe in making life easier with acronyms and memory games. In fact, I used to have a business card that gave out my phone number in binary code. I always figured that this would be the best way to weed out the riff raff that wasn’t familiar with basic math skills. This actually didn’t work very well. As it turns out, the hottest guys aren't always the smartest ones... but that is a story for another time. Oh well...I bring this up because I was just trying to dial customer service for my cellular provider from my blackberry. I looked at the numbers on the keypad….um…where are the letters? How exactly am I supposed to know how to dial a word? There are no letters on a keypad with a full keyboard. Technology has made 1-800-DIAL-US so that it may as well be 1-800-YOU’RE SCREWED CAUSE THERE ARE NO LETTERS ON THESE KEYS!…I can hear the operator voice response now: “The number you have reached, 8,0,0, 1,9,6,4,2,5,6,7,2,3,5,6,9,1,0,7,7,8, has been changed. Please hang up, check the number and dial again.” …Excellent. Thank you.

I was in my office today and noticed that someone had apparently used my corded phone. I could tell because apparently the next generation has no idea how to hang up a phone with a cord. The cord was wrapped around to the other side of the phone. There was no semblance of order. I felt huge discontentment and wondered how anyone could not know that the cord doesn’t get tangled around the desk chair, up underneath the back of the table, around the front of the phone and over the dial. Who the heck had done this? I bet that same person puts the toilet paper on the roll so it comes from underneath. Again…this is just common sense in my book. Maybe it’s just preference though. I suppose it doesn’t really matter. Some of us just have more ritualistic tendencies like…say…putting on shoes in the morning…I mean…Who would know unless they had been taught how to actually do it?…I ran into a teenager the other day who thought that the word “bambino” meant “a tiny deer.”…I guess it makes sense. Bambi was a deer. Who could fight him on his deduction?

The point is that the world is full of old traditions that are being lost in the translation from generation to generation. I still say, “roll down the window” on a car. I bet there are kids who have no idea what I’m talking about. What can you do though? It is much easier to push a button to get your window open…unless of course your electrical system isn’t working in which case, you could be stuck in your car forever…at least until On-star contacts someone to come get you out! Very handy if you ask me! In my parent’s day, driving cars that didn’t go above 45mph with saran wrap covering the windows that wouldn’t stay up prevented people from getting stuck in them due to technology. Not to mention the fact that the am radio that buzzed through the speakers and changed pitch when you hit the brakes kept you from falling asleep on the highway! All good!

Oh well! I do love technological advances and my gadgets are the joy of my life. I hope this world continues to grow in that way…at least until we all get stuck in our cars and robots take over the earth…or Obama does…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Enter the "Beautiful People!"

Lately I have had some very beautiful young girls who have started to come to see our band. They are so sweet and fun and really add a badly missing energy to a bar that has grown stale over the years. We absolutely love having them there not only because they are having fun, but also because the young guys come in to watch them having fun. Actually…the old guys are even sticking around to watch them “having fun” too…which, come to think of it, is a little gross. Watching 40, 50 and 60-year-old men drooling over 21-year-old girls dance is a little bit obscene. They actually line up around the dance floor to watch them. Um…can you say child molester? Oh well…the girls seem to have a handle on it. They get the old guys to buy them drinks all night and even pull them onto the dance floor as each one soaks up the negative attention as he puffs himself and his self-image up to believe that these young girls think he’s “still got it!”…Oh well…in reality, the girls all end up going home to their boyfriends at the end of the evening.

The night continued as I watched some of the regulars disappear from the dance floor and slip out of the bar. Had we gone too far in our attempt to add some youth to this desperate scene? Before these beautiful girls walked in, the older crowd at least had a chance at feeling like someone would notice them….Nope…not with these girls there. A 40or 50-year-old woman wouldn’t have a shot with anyone other than with one of the young boys who was looking for a one night stand with a cougar…and actually those boys existed there now too. But all in all, it was a great night with all sorts of entertainment for the singer who didn’t really feel like mustering up a trashy act to entice the old guys into buying more drinks. I was sort of lost on the guy who would try to pick me up for a night. I had a reputation that had been long established as cute and funny but not necessarily someone a guy would want to say something stupid to without going home without “his balls tied up over his head.”…not my phrase…one coined by a long-time bartender who would try to protect unsuspecting strangers to the scene from thinking that the bouncy girl on the stage would give him the attention he so badly lacked from his long-term relationship or broken narcissistic personality struggles. These beautiful, fresh girls picked up where I left off so I could do the real job at hand- singing, dancing, and having a great time!

I enjoy having these girls around. They have added a whole new dimension to the fun. The old timers may need to find somewhere else to go, but these girls are just what the doctor ordered to give a fresh perspective to a badly lacking night scene. I’d love to keep the secure ladies who love to come out and dance to a fun band around. They are also very special to me! A mixture of ages and good people make an evening fun. It’s the slippery ones who were only looking for someone to make them feel good for a moment as they perpetuate the stereotype of the older, lonely woman who will allow men to hook up and disappear instead of committing to someone and making it stick, that I can do without! I like the new scene as long as these young girls stay in control of the situation! If only young girls knew all that we have learned through our wisdom of an extra 10 years of getting screwed over. Too bad we all need to learn for ourselves huh?…Oh well…for now, it seems like they have a handle on it! Thank you so much ladies for bringing the evening to life! Just let me know if any guy gets out of line! I’d be happy to pull out a little of my cunning quippery to make his head spin long enough for you to get away!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Hands-free Breakfast Sandwich

It is interesting how the hands-free law decides what is safe to do when you’re driving. I watched a lady eating a breakfast sandwich on the highway today and wondered how she was steering with her elbows. I could actually smell the egg and cheese as it dripped out onto her blouse…of course, now it appeared that I wasn’t watching the road anymore either…It was as though her breakfast sandwich was also distracting me from the task at hand. I sort of wanted a sandwich now though…so I picked up my phone and called my sister instead. I thought that would help me get back on focus!…hee hee…no…I’m just kidding. I don’t even talk on my phone in my house without my bluetooth. It may not be cool, but I don’t use it in public so why not be free to not hold a small computer next to my face? I can do dishes, I can cook, I can even workout. It’s extremely convenient if you ask me!

The other day, I watched a lady pulling into the parking lot while she held her open smartphone in front of her face instead of next to her ear…um…no…you are not going “hands-free” just because you have your phone set to speaker phone if you are still holding it in the air with your hands. I have sort of a little test that helps me to know if I’m following the “hands-free” law or not. Here it is: If I am using my hands to hold the phone, I am not “hands-free!”…See how easy that is? It’s really the word “hands” that I focus on so that I don’t misinterpret my actions. “Oh. I didn’t know that officer,” only works if you are completely stupid…and who wants a policeman to think you’re completely stupid? Come to think of it, there should be a ticket for that! It would really cut down on the accidents! “Driving while stupid”: 10 points on your license and a fine of roadside litter in the equivalent value of $500…It would really cut down on roadside litter if you ask me!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Meeting

I was sitting in a meeting yesterday. These meetings never apply to me for some reason. I get a little bored and instead of sleeping, I observe the going ons! Don’t get me wrong…I don’t mind meetings as long as they aren’t simply held to absorb a certain amount of contractual time by making random announcements and doing unnecessary tasks transparently invented to hold me captive so the “higher ups” get their money’s worth from me. I’m certain that many people feel this way but it’s just the way it is so it really matters very little that I feel exactly like the rest of the world feels in this regard…even the “higher ups” I assume.

One lady walked in with a half gallon of ice cream. Judging from the cookies in the middle of the table, I guessed that she must’ve been making some punch or something. I moved on to something more entertaining at the time…now that I think about it, I can’t remember what distracted me…likely a noise or a “hang in there” kitten poster on the wall or something. Some time had passed when I became aware of the meeting again. I noticed the lady with the half-gallon of ice cream. She had it in front of her and was eating out of it with a tablespoon. I interrupted the meeting and asked, “Are you really eating a half gallon of ice cream?”…She responded by telling me that she needed something cold on her throat and it had been on sale at the Price Chopper on the way. Everyone looked at me and laughed. I wasn’t sure what they were laughing at. Had I been the only one who was curious? It was clear to me that she would have to finish the entire half-gallon during this meeting because I was pretty sure she didn’t have a freezer in her purse. I suppose a half-gallon is doable, though I’ve never done it in front of 25 people! Good for her!

The meeting got back on track to its holding pattern of un-captivating. The boss was addressing one of the guys across the table from me. He kept clicking and staring at his blackberry while he spoke back to her. I thought, “Balzy! Even I am hiding my phone under the table to text and play tetris! He was doing it right in front of her face.”…I tuned into the conversation and from what I could assess, he was looking at dates in his calendar that she was asking him about. This made a little more sense. People don’t tend to have that much audacity! …I glanced over to my colleague eating the ice cream…yep…still going with only a small puddle of creamy condensation on the table underneath the melting, warm cardboard container.

The meeting drew to a close and I had cleared 4 levels of tetris. Not bad actually considering that my trackball was getting worn out. That reminded me…stop at AT&T on the way home and have that fixed. I had another meeting next week and had just downloaded space invaders.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“Old” at 35?

I was reading a book the other day called "Boundaries". I was told that it was a really great book for learning how to say “no” to people who are seemingly taking advantage of your good nature…I think…Well…I thought that was why it was recommended to me. The first chapter started off talking about some old woman with all sorts of responsibilities who was being run ragged. She had 2 kids, one who was having trouble with discipline both at home and at school, a mother who martyred herself by speaking of her loneliness and constantly guilting herself into her home even when the timing made it impossible for her to get all of her pertinent tasks done, a husband who wasn’t quite pulling his weight in the emotional support department, and a job where her boss relied on her to cover his last minute shortcomings by handing them to her to complete. If that wasn’t foreign enough to me, the next sentence started, “she woke up and dreaded getting out of bed. Her 35 year old body couldn’t bare the thought of it.”…um…what a stupid book! I couldn’t listen any further. I couldn’t imagine what a person would have to put her body through so that at 35 years old, her body would feel any different than her body at 25 years old (possibly other than feeling a heck of a lot better because the late night party stage was over!) Then I realized that this woman had lived really hard. Somehow she had gotten into the monotony of “midlife”, not by age but by circumstance. I couldn’t relate to this book at all. I’ve never wakened up a day in my life and thought, “wow! My body is so old I can’t even bear the thought of standing up!”…I have, on very few occasions over the last 8 or so years, been forced to listen to the second chord of the song my alarm played while my arm remained asleep under my head and wouldn’t move quickly enough towards the button to turn it off without dropping my hand onto my face….of course that’s the nature of the stomach sleeper. Your hand is bound to get stuck under you, or once in awhile wake up with fingerprints on your face. All other days, the alarm plays a note and I click it off and think, “OK! Where’s the day?” … I don’t have anything in my life that this woman has. She is in a completely different life stage than I am. One day when I have a 10 year old with attention deficit disorder and an 8 year old who won’t stop practicing her flute long enough to let me get some sleep, I’m certain there will be days that I will hope for “calgon to take me away”, but by then, I’ll be so old, I’ll be lucky to have arms to drop on my face! That’s when I’ll think, “this 55 year old body isn’t what she used to be…now I can bounce a quarter off my butt cause I don’t have time to eat so much pizza in bed anymore!…thank GOD!”…as for the book…I’m not reading it again until then. Right now, it means nothing to me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Some People Probably Just shouldn’t Ski!

My father used to say, “Be Careful honey! Your face, your career!”…I mention this all the time and it is a rule I live by…and I have absolutely no idea what career he was talking about, but still…Daddy was always right! I got in the car with my mother and “guy friend” and set on the path to go cross-country skiing. I even found the release in my Volvo’s back seat that is apparently meant to carry skis…or something else long…maybe a flag or something?….I have no idea what else it could be for come to think of it…and I’ve never carried a flag with me anywhere. I dressed like a snow bunny! I was wearing the ear covering that an ex bought me when he had tried to make me into an outdoor athlete, the coat another guy picked out for me when he wanted me to wear something other than an evening gown and dress coat to the races, and the ski boots and skis chosen for me by a guy who apparently thought that if I killed myself on them it would be easier than breaking up with me…All in all- I really looked the part! Before we arrived at the trail, I sang a little something for my new friend so he wouldn’t expect me to be the caliber of an Olympic athlete! (I hoped it would clarify the fact that no one who is obviously a musician, participated in many sports as a kid. I wanted to prevent any high expectations where I was concerned in the sports department from being met with a huge disappointment! Personally, I got extra credit in phys ed class as a kid for singing the anthem!)

People were crashing all over the trail. It was one person falling on their face after another. It is clearly a ridiculous event. Then again, I did have a lot of fun…other than the time on the hill as I crashed into a tree and couldn’t do anything to stand up because my darn feet were apparently too long when they were strapped into 6 foot skiis…and I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to regain my demeanor. Also…we broke my mother on the first strategically placed hill that occurs at the very beginning of the trail. My sister would be so mad if she knew! She gets very protective of our mother. She worries all the way from California that skiing with skis from the early 80’s may not be the best activity for a woman in her 60’s. Oh well…all she needed was a hot bath and some ibuprofen! She’s fine. Besides…she had 5 kids! She’s way stronger than any of the women in our generation! Her generation could squat in a field and deliver a baby while they wrote puppet shows with the older siblings! All in all- our generation is lucky that medical advances have evened out the life expectancy of the stupid things that people our age do to the overall natural well being and strength of the previous generation without super-sized fries and liquid toxins in our bottled water! Thank God for all of our organic foods! We’ll all live 200 hundred years…either that or the next generation’s feet will be really BIG!…no one really knows!

Anyway…the ski trip! It was a really great time but it certainly didn’t seem like it followed the “your face, your career” life rule! I didn’t hit my face on anything but if I laughed any harder, my face was going to freeze that way!…

When we arrived home, I got into a snowball fight with my brother with Down's syndrome! I was trying to miss him because I felt like it wasn’t really a fair fight. The snow he threw would break into 4 snow balls and hit me directly in the face!…After about 8 or so of those and a “slush puppy brain freeze”, I yelled, “Hey! My face, my career!…Daddy?…Can’t I hit him with just one?”…Just then, another burst of snow broke with such force on my head that my teeth clanked together!… I assumed the answer from my father was, “No Calia. You can’t whip an ice ball at the boy with special needs!”…but Daddy! I’m just a flute player…aren’t we a little bit even?…

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Is it Okay to not be “Good” when you are still learning?

I flashed back to when I was 9 and sitting in a beginning orchestra for our first concert. My parents sat proudly as they listened to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” played as well as beginners could play it so that it was almost recognizable. My father said, “WOW! Honey! That was AMAZING! I’ve never heard anything quite like that!”…Thanks Daddy!…I don’t recall what my mother said though I’m quite certain it would’ve been something along the lines of “it was very close! There were only a couple notes that were a little untrue.”…Of course that was the difference between my mother and father. Dad lied!…It worked for me though. He never insighted me to throw my 4-track on the floor and quit music on a weekly basis as a teenager like Mom did. It was probably a good balance though. She just wanted us to be the best we could be and he thought we already were!

So what changes in adults who becomes parents? Do they stop hearing bad notes in concerts or crappy playing in sports?…I hope so! Because if I was sitting at my child’s beginning band concert today, I would stand up and yell, “Wow! That really sucked!”…Thank God I’m not a parent yet! I’m working on losing my hearing by turning up my ipod too loud first!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Take Yourself off Inspiration's Bench and Play the Game!

I sat in my house thinking about the fact that I had very little to say. Yeah…it was definitely snowing…yep…I was working out…uh huh…CSI is apparently on at any given time of day, on anywhere from 1 to 4 different channels at once. So where was my inspiration? It had been 3 days in a snowstorm that I had desperately wished for! I loved the beauty of the way all of the brown wintery mess would get covered with white, as though being washed of it’s impurities!…That is, of course, until the plow trucks throw dirt and salt on it and cause it to make a dirty, slushy mess…but even then, it was truly a sight for snowless wintered sore eyes! So why was there nothing to write about for a couple days? I listened to all of the reports of downed power lines and dire road clearing circumstances…but I didn’t have anywhere to be. I watched the “BIG STORY” on action news: the Northeast would be slammed with a snow-I-cane….yeah…that’s what they called it. They even made graphics!…but it looked an awful lot like the old fashion “snowstorm” that it used to be called. I imagined what could happen as I peered out the window at the white flakes beating against the house. It hit me that if the power did go out, I would be completely screwed. You can’t even turn on the piano in my house without a master’s degree in electronics. There would be no sitting by candlelight and playing the piano or writing. This was actually my own fault though. I had an acoustic piano but grew tired of having chopsticks played on it by every passerby who couldn’t resist. Even the Nyseg man who was checking for a gas leak had felt the need to play a little “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin eater” on the black keys. That was it! I pushed the spinet out on to the porch until eventually someone came with a truck and removed it from the premises! I had no use for it. I had a weighted electronic keyboard that would never go out of tune! It was pure perfection…unless the power went out! Someone came into the house one time and asked, “Can you turn this on?”…I replied, “Yep!”…After a few minutes, that person realized that indeed I could, but I wasn’t going to! Besides, I was quite certain that she couldn’t play a concerto for me, and short of that, I really didn’t need to hear it! I’ve heard “Heart and Soul” many times before. No worries! Play it in your own head, Thank you!…

Anyway…I found a piece of paper and a pen in case I had a “power incident” (which would be the fancy name that the news would likely come up with…but thank God I wouldn’t have to hear them call it that if my power did indeed have “an incident!” …I waited…watched CSI…worked out…waited for something to happen…ANYTHING to happen…blah, blah, blah…nothing, newny, newny, new, NADA!… No musical inspiration…No writing inspiration…no power “incident”…darn…hmm…

It really went to show that though I have constantly sung the mantra that “my life would find me”, it was certainly not finding me in my house this weekend!…I wasn’t bored. I just didn’t have anything much to say. Possibly this was the way people let their lives slip away from them? If we are always “waiting for something to happen”, all that we have done is pass time. It could be as simple as taking a walk, running to the store, going outside to shovel the snow and allowing yourself to see someone on the street you wouldn’t normally observe…BUT…until you step onto the stage to take part in the story, there will be no story to tell!…Well!…I’m back in the show again and there are other actors here to give me inspiration that will motivate my next improvisation. Standing frozen only allows the snow to pile up on the steps outside as reruns play of the same episodes of our old favorite shows. When I feel that way again, I’m going to be sure to put on an outfit other than my wind pants and sports bra and step outside…hey! I’ll even wash my hair next time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Facebook Notifications!

I can’t stand the way facebook notifies the entire world of anything you click on. Sometimes I get random people facebooking me to say inappropriate things because I’m single. I’m not sure what it is about me that causes them to think that it’s okay to be inappropriate…as a matter of fact, it’s sort of a slap in the face. It’s like having married guys hit on a single girl. Some women seem to think that is flattering. Personally, I think they are saying, “hey. I love my wife but I noticed you were single and pathetic and thought you might want to stroke my ego by giving me a little bit of somethin’ somethin’ on the side with little or no regard as to how it affects you! Okay?”…oh yeah! Great! Thanks!…I’ve been really looking for some meaningless, self image sucking events in my life to enhance the quality in it with some crap!…I suppose I shouldn’t concern myself with putting the blame on myself in this regard though. I guess the person who is married and looking for someone else, is the one with the problem. Saying “no, thank you” is really the only job of the healthy, reasonable minded single girl. All else is extraneous fluff because anything you say to the person to try to make him understand that what he is doing isn’t right will be retold to some girl who will say “sure! I’d love to have an affair with you” with the words, “that Calia is psycho” on the end of the sentence…Note: anyone who has ever ended a relationship, has at one time been called “psycho”. No exceptions! Everyone will retell their story in a way that reflects the other as the bad guy/girl!…It’s just human nature to NEVER be wrong!…ironically since it’s pretty much human nature to pretty much always be wrong….

So what about these facebook notifications? I decided to simply remove the relationship status from my info all together! I assumed that “Status: Nothing”, wouldn’t create a buzz! Why would facebook even care if I had no relationship status at all?…Well! Apparently it does. It cares about absolutely nothing! Now I have to explain myself…again…because explaining myself is MY LIFE!

As I thought about it, I came to recognize that I really don’t owe anyone any huge explanations as to why my life is the way it is. I guess I care too much about what other people think?…Why do I care at all what a computer application thinks of me?…And actually, it’s my own fault for telling it anything to begin with. Let this be a lesson to me. If I stop sharing as much information in the first place, little changes won’t show up with a huge red heart notification that force conversation on the topic.

Status: hanging out with a nice guy

…no need to ask for any more information than that!…

Status: Deleting any stranger from facebook who would send me any email with content that he wouldn’t send to his own mother.