Sunday, June 26, 2011

So . . . . . .I Was Just Thinking

WARNING-This communication may be offensive to some, many or all.-WARNING

While traveling the Interstate-10 in Phoenix I spied an electronic billboard. An ad for Abel's Funeral Services appeared and it was advertising a complete cremation for $586.25. So . . . .I was just thinking how much does a partial cremation cost and what part?

As I was sharing my thoughts with the "family" about the difference between a complete cremation and a partial cremation, I also explained  my dilemma about my funeral plans. I want my "sistahs" to scatter my ashes,  and I want an extremely long funeral procession. I want to mess up traffic. I want to mess up traffic so much that  my number one rule for my funeral is: There Shall Be NO Carpooling! I concluded that when the casket is open only the top half is open. So . . . . I was just thinking I could kill two birds with one stone. ( I know this is a bad cliche for this blog, but I figured I have already offended so many readers what the . h . . .oops, there goes another one.)

Then Ben, Janet's son, suggested that since I am such a fan of The Wizard of Oz, maybe I should switch things up, if you know what I mean. I wonder if one has a choice with a partial cremation. I wouldn't have to worry about an outfit for the funeral. So . . . . I was just thinking, striped socks and sparkly red shoes. 

I know that many readers think I am disgusting and morbid, but I tried to warn everyone. First, Abel's Funeral Service should not have advertised a complete cremation. Second, I am fifty-five and my parents were told that I wouldn't live past the age of sixteen, so . . . . . . it is time I start thinking.

I want to put the f-u-n into funeral, so . . . . I was just thinking!

Paco's Perspective

Doesn't Dorothy have a little dog that she takes "home" with her?
What if I am not ready to go "home"?
So . . . . I was just thinking, Flip?

The Flip Side

So . . . . I was just thinking. . . . .
No I wasn't!
Just kidding!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Way of a Hermit

I have always teased my friend, Colleen, about being a recluse. When she lived in Arizona we taught together, and I would always ask her to go places and do things with me and her answer was always, no. We got to the place that I wouldn't even ask. It was easier that way. Colleen was and still is a hermit. Now, she is a hermit in Arkansas.

The other day, I came to the realization that I have become a hermit. You know you're a hermit when you come out of your bedroom just to chat and everyone looks at you with raised eyebrows and says, "What do you want?" You know you're a hermit when you can't remember the last movie you saw except those played on Lifetime. You know you're a hermit when you shout out the answers while watching the Game Show Network in hopes that the contestants will hear you. You know you're a hermit when you have a complete conversation with the dog.

As Colleen has always said, "The way of a hermit is not a bad thing." A hermit doesn't get a broken heart. A hermit doesn't have to dress to impress. A hermit doesn't have to primp. A hermit doesn't have to deal with the shtupid. A hermit doesn't have to worry about saying the right thing. A hermit doesn't have to worry about others. A hermit doesn't have to worry.

As I have mentioned, I am a worrier. The other day, Janet and I were driving to work and there was a dog walking in the road. When we saw the poor dog we both sighed and said, "Ahhhh, poor thing," at the exact same time. When we stopped at the stop sign the dog came trotting toward us like he knew us. Knowing that we do not need one more rescued animal at our house, we continued on and left him behind  and all day long I worried about that dog. A few days later when Janet and I were running errands, I mentioned how much I worried about that dog. She looked at me and said, "Me, too! We should have picked him up and brought him to work. The least we could have done was call the pound."

As we continued to talk about the poor dog, we both happened to spy an old man barely able to walk. He was ambling on the side of the oad in the worst looking tennis shoes we had ever seen. He was carrying an empty water bottle. And I said, "And now I am going to spend days worrying about that man. If he is going to spend his life walking the streets, he needs some good walking shoes, but I don't have any on me."

Janet replied, "We could go back and give him some money."

"Yea, but would he spend it on shoes? And when I want to help someone I always have in mind that memorable random act of kindness. Besides, we don't have any money. We've spent every dime we have fixing up the house," I said.

"You're definitely right about that. But wouldn't it be nice, if we could save the world?"she said.

"This is why I have decided to become a hermit. A hermit doesn't want to save the world. A hermit doesn't want to see the world. A hermit just wants to be a hermit. Home, James, take me back to my hermitage, please," I requested.

"Hermitage?" she queried.

"A place where hermits live," I answered.

"But if there were a bunch of hermitsssss, then they wouldn't be hermits. They would be just a bunch of old, smelly, dusty guys living in the same place," she explained.

"Okay! Home, James, please. Home to the seclusion of my bedroom where I only come out when I want something. Home, where I don't have to see people or animals on the side of the road that I worry about," I ordered. "Hey, speaking of old, dusty guys on the side of the road, do you ever wonder where the Whirlygig Man is?" I asked.

"Shhhhhh, now I am going to wonder about him all day," she whined.

I haven't been out of my room since then. My fellow hermit, Colleen, is coming to visit next week. And when I asked her if there was anything she wanted to do or any place she wanted to go, guess what her answer was? Yep, it was no. I wonder, if she will even come out of her room while she is here. I hope she doesn't expect me to come out of mine.

Paco's Perspective

Is a female hermit called a hermitess?

The Flip Side

A female hermit is called a hermitch. Get it? A female dog is a bitch, so a female hermit is a hermitch!
Get it? Get it? Ha, I crack myself up!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Picking Perfectly in Heels

American Pickers is another reality show that I happen to watch. It is about two guys that have an antique resell shop, and they travel the northeast climbing through old garages and barns "picking" through piles of junk to find just the right piece of junk that will make a huge profit. Recently, the "leetle sistah", Caren, texted me about the show:

Leetle Sistah: Have you seen the show American Pickers?

Me: Yes, it is one of Janet's favorites.

Leetle Sistah: I decided when Darrell retires that is what we are going to do.
(Yes, we text all the punctuation and spell everything correctly. We are teachers!)

At that point I rolled my eyes and giggled. Let me expound on my thoughts, Caren is beautiful and at all times perfect. Her hair is perfect. Her nails are perfect. Her shoes are perfect. And her clothes are perfect. I think that the CEO of the White House/Black Market shop (all the clothes in this shop are black and white) personally calls Caren and prewarns her about the sales. It is a little inside joke when Caren asks me, "What should I wear?" I usually answer, "How but something black or white?" Caren is ALWAYS dressed ...PERFECTLY! She even looked cute when she was recently here helping to dig ditches. I swear she had a cute ditch digging outfit. Also, Caren's perfect black and white clothes never get dirty. I think they are magic. Caren can wear white to a mud wrestling competition and sit in the front row and never get a spot on her . . . . . .magic!

Not only does Caren look perfect but she does everything perfectly. She runs. She hikes. She golfs. She cooks. She cleans. She mows. She chops wood. She bucks hay. All the while she is participating in the afore mentioned activities, she will look perfect in some cute little (emphasis on little) black and white outfit.

Now Caren's perfections could make one want to hate her, but it is impossible because not only is she perfect on the outside but she is perfect on the inside. Caren has a perfect heart! Caren is kind. Caren is friendly. Caren is helpful. Caren is giving. She will give one the black and white shirt right off her back. Caren loves EVERYBODY and EVERYBODY loves Caren. When we stop at the store, and she says she is just going to run inside and get something and she will be back in a minute I know to get out my phone and start playing Scrabble to kill time because it will be longer than a minute. Caren has to talk to everybody in the store and she does not surface chat. She will become every single person's best friend from the little old lady squeezing melons in the produce section to the bum outside begging for change. Not only will she have made friends with everyone, but she will have all their phone numbers and they hers. And they will call. And she will listen. And they will become BFFs.

So I digress, back to the "picking" thing. When "Leetle Sistah", Caren, texted with her decision to become a picker I giggle because I visualized Caren "picking" in heels. A pair of perfect black and white strappy, very fashionable, very seasonable heels would be on her feet. When I told Janet about Caren's idea to become a picker, she laughed and said, "Tell her black clothing and dust don't mix."

Me: Janet says a picker gets very dusty. Black, white and dust don't mix.

Leetle Sistah: I don't get that. Are you referring to my clothes? I would have picking clothes like Mike and Frank on the show.

Me: What does the fashionable picker wear? No open-toed shoes or heels.

Leetle Sistah: Overalls and boots.

Me: Mid-calf or thigh high?

Leetle Sistah: Thigh high, of course, that is what is in fashion, and not just your ordinary overalls.

If you happen to be driving the back roads of Montana out near Moesha and you see a cute little thang in clean white overalls with black accents and thigh high boots come crawling out a pile of junk, do two things for me: one, notice that their is not a speck of dust or dirt on her magical white overalls and her hair and make-up . . . PERFECT, and, two, give Leetle Sistah a shout out from C. Store. Oh, also, grab your mobile you're going to want to get your new best friend's number.

Paco's Perspective

Auntie Caren is the best. She shares her wine with me and she give me licks from her ice cream cone.

The Flip Side

Auntie Caren belongs to Osa and I love Osa. Auntie Caren takes us on long hikes and we chase those itty bitty cats with the big bushy tails.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Who Do You Want to Be?

My friend, Peggy, that I taught with for many years at the beginning of my career has the ability to make anything fun. With Peggy boring meetings, classes with dry presenters, and especially long car trips are a blast. I doth crown Peggy the Queen of the Road Trip. She can make driving through the never ending corn fields of the midwest a party. When she moved from Arizona I was so sad because, even though, I knew that we would always be friends I also knew that we would not be able to see each other as much as I would want. Now, not only do I not get to see her but we also very seldom speak.

The other day when I was in another district training where I was being trained in something that I already was trained in many times I decided to play one of Peggy's games called Who Do You Want to Be Today? I have been going to the meetings alone lately because my little buddy, Ericka, the Language Support Specialist has been on maternity leave. But she is back and we were actually sitting at the same table. Now, teachers are the worst group for sitting in a learning setting. They do everything they would never allow their students to do while teaching: pass notes, text, roll eyes, think about lunch and talk! Many think I am a snob because I refuse to participate in these for a couple of reasons: one, I have been a presenter many times and I can feel the presenter's pain and two, once I start it is hard for me to stop. Okay, most of the time I pay attention!

So, here we were . . . . . going through the second day of Cognitive Coaching for the Poor, one more time. Cognitive Coaching is a very expensive program which the district can't afford so we were participating in a less expensive version. I have had the original, intensive week long program - twice! And I was getting a little antsy.  We had to do name plates and I hate name tags which I really need because I can barely remember my own name let alone someone else. So I thought what would Peggy do? 

I looked at Ericka and wiggled my eyebrows, "If you could be anyone in the world, who would you want to be?"

Ericka replied, "What do mean, like Malibu Barbie?" Could I expect anything else to come out of a young, skinny blonde's mouth?

"Yep, that is who you are today. Write that on your name plate," I demanded.

"Cathy, I can't. I just interviewed for an assistant principal position within the district," she whined.

"And writing Malibu Barbie on a name plate would keep you from getting that job? Malibu Barbie, is there anyone here in this room that was on the interview committee?" I asked.

"Well, no, but . . . "

"Just write it on the name plate, do you need help spelling, Malibu, Barbie?. Get it? That's a joke? Besides no one is going to see the name plate but us. It is going to stay on the table. You don't have to wear it on your forehead!"

"First, normal funny people don't have tell someone when one is being funny and second, you know, you're kind of a Diva when you don't get your way. Are you going to be Whitney, today?" 

"No, Malibu Barbie, I am not" I replied as I wrote my "name" on my name plate and showed it to her.

"Heather Thinthighs," she giggled, "you want me to call you Heather Thinthighs all day long?"

"Yes, Malibu Barbie, I do! And I also want you to call me Heather Thinthighs in public, if we go to lunch."

"Okay, Heather, whatever you say," she conceded, "but, I still think your name should be Whitney."

"Excuse me, Malibu Barbie, what did you call me?" I growled.

"Okay, okay, HEATHER THINTHIGHS!" She replied with a raised voice which caught the attention of a friend, Juli, that works at the district. 

She sauntered over to our table and asked, "Hey, can I sit with you two? What are doing?"

"We are doing what we were told to do, filling out our name plates," I answered with my eyes lowered as if I just got caught with my hand in the cookie jar.

She read our name plates, "Malibu Barbie? Heather Thinthighs?" She hesitated, clapped her hands together and said, "Oooooo, can I be Duchess for the day?"

I replied as I gave Malibu Barbie the I Told You So look, "Yes, Duchess, you certainly may!"

"Oh, goooodie," she replied with her teeth clenched and her back straight sitting and sounding like a proper Duchess.

Malibu Barbie didn't go to lunch with Heather Thinthighs that day. During lunch, Heather Thinthighs called Peggy a.k.a. Penelope Perfectshapedass.

Paco's Perspective

Just call me In. As in, In Cognito, a.k.a. Poquito Paco Bell. Get it? In Cognito? Incognito?

The Flip Side

Poquito Paco Bell? Three names? No wonder you're a wuss! Just call me  Lizard Master!