Long and Loud TV Commercials

Long and Loud TV commercials are not luring me to buy the products.   I know advertising is the way of the world now-a-days, but please, can we give the consumer a break? Thank God for DVR’s, and I suppose because of them, advertisers have to work even harder to get their ads out and make them effective enough to promote buying. We do at least have the option to record programming.

If this is beginning to sound like a rant, that’s probably because it is. How annoying are commercials in general? The interruption factor alone is enough to frustrate the be-jesus out of you. It’s like constantly having someone interrupt a conversation you’re having with someone else. How rude is that? At least you can tell the interrupting person to shut the hell up. What are you going to do with the TV? Shoot a bullet through the screen comes to mind, but then that, and just shutting it off, would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Of course as already mentioned we have the option of recording. But certain things you just want to watch live; sporting events and news programming comes to mind as a couple of examples.

It’s just as rude to rant like a maniac without offering a solution/suggestion. Yes. I have a couple. One of course is to just make the commercials shorter. This would force advertisers to come up with clever advertising with shorter blurbs; it would probably even be more effective. Another option is to just have one intermission in the middle of the programming, for an actual 10 minutes vs. an exaggerated 10. Or, have 5 minutes of commercial at the beginning and end of the program. Not sure how that would work considering there is already commercials in between programs, but they could make them longer, and people can just take a bathroom break or raid the kitchen break during that time. Who knows, if the ads were actually clever or funny, maybe people would actually want to watch them, especially if they were spaced out per my suggestions.

That brings to mind another irritation with commercials. Why the heck are they so loud? It’s like shouting at your kids to get them to listen to you. Guess what? Just like with your kids, it has the opposite effect. They just turn you off!  It turn, you turn down the volume and ignore the commercial. So much for good advertising. I don’t know who’s responsible, the advertisers or the TV stations when it comes to pumping up the volume, but I’d sure like to know who to complain to.

Maybe I should be worrying about how to get gas prices down, or global warming or something equally altruistic. Thing is, I wouldn’t have anymore control over those even more important issues, than I do over TV commercials. Instead, I rant. Maybe ranting is just as annoying as long and loud TV commercials and not so hot on the listeners. But it’s great therapy for the one ranting. We’re told not to hold in the anger. I take that kind of advice seriously. Seriously!

Public Bathroom Antics

I did some research on the subject of public bathroom antics, and nowhere on the web have I come across this rather silly topic. Let me be the first to address an issue that that often times grates on my very last nerve. Actually, I really didn’t spend an inordinate amount of time researching the topic, and quite frankly, I’ll be surprised if I am the only person in the world irritated by this tasteless habit.

However, I did come across one really interesting and funny article on the topic, but which made no mention of my public restroom pet peeve. It was hilarious; but for some reason, the author did not include this particularly annoying bathroom antic. I am referring to the tacky habit of covering the crevice between the stall door and the next stall by hanging a strip of toilet paper over it.

This is something that has been driving me crazy for the longest time. At least once a week I see this at my place of business. Whenever I see that nasty strip of T.P. in the stall I’m using, I immediately yank it down!

Ladies, I know this might offend some of you, but I just don’t get it. What is the deal with that strip of toilet paper ya’ll place over the gap between the door and the stall structure in the ladies’ room? I know WHY you do it; I just don’t understand why you think that anyone can actually see you through that little gap, unless they were purposely poking their noses into your business. Now I know that is the last place I’d want to poke my nose into someone else’s business! Do I really care what’s going on in there?

Do you really think there is a whole segment of peepers out there looking to see what goes on within the confines of toilet stalls? I’ll venture a guess, not many. In all my years of using public restrooms, I have never had someone peep into the stall I was using. I daresay I could live out the rest of my life without experiencing a peeping Tom episode in a public bathroom.

First of all, I’m not interested in hanging around a public bathroom any longer than necessary. Who else would take the time to peek into the stalls to see what may or may not be going on inside? Really, who does that? Okay, maybe there is one or two perverts out there, but do you really think YOU will be the one to make contact with them? Of course, my life is charmed, so I’m told, which is why I roll my eyes at the very thought of such an incident.

I work in the building operations department at the Red Cross, and have regular contact with the maintenance people. I’m seriously thinking about asking them to revamp the stalls so that there is NO gap. Why are they made that way in the first place? If the gap was eliminated, chances are a lot less T.P. would be strewn all over the place.

You’d think I’d have other things to think about, right? Well, I do. But there is not a damn thing I can do about the downfall of the rest of world. Maybe that’s why I focus on idiotic things like stupid pieces of toilet paper strung in bathroom stalls. Maybe this article will actually go viral and millions of women all over the world will read it and discontinue this exasperating practice.

Ladies, I beg you………please stop!

Thanksgiving – Next Saga

If a good laugh comes with the craziness, then all is not in vain. At least this year Auggie Doggie kept his dog-gone paws off the dining room table! He even had a partner in crime this year, a new edition to the family. That would be Toby, our little eight and half month old Pomeranian/Min-Pin pup. In case you need to catch up, do take a peek at saga one: Thanksgiving Day Come and Gone Toby is quite the little character in his own right and could no doubt stir up some trouble if he chose to; however, he decided to follow the lead of his big brother who did nothing more serious than a little begging for turkey. But then again, nobody brought chocolate cream pie this year either. So could be he had no incentive to act up. Apparently he has no interest in the old stand-by pumpkin and apple pie. Hey, no sweat off our noses Auggie Doggie; more for us! Toby by the way has a saga of his own. In case you want to learn how he became one of the clan, take a look-see here:   TobyNo

So you ask; how did I manage to keep it together this year and actually manage to have time to talk to the family? Well first, as I mentioned earlier, I decided I needed a bit of an attitude adjustment. It dawned on me that there isn’t anything I could do about the family and their attitudes; I could only change mine. I just chilled out, period. Once I came to this glorious realization, seems the universe decided to cooperate, as did everyone else around me, including the bird. I slapped the stuffing into that puppy (no not Toby), and got it into the oven like a pro, no fuss, no muss.

I also found out you can reuse that piece of plastic, which binds the bird’s legs together, and stuff its legs back into it to keep the stuffing from falling out. That in itself made my day! Makes me wonder how I managed to get nearly 64 years old without realizing I could cook the bird with that plastic piece attached. Sometimes it pays to read the directions.  I guess it’s also true that you learn something new every day.

See what I mean about the universe cooperating? Once I gave in/up, things just started falling into place. Next, once the bird was in the oven, I began preparing the veggies and candied yams right after I closed the oven door on the bird. Instead of waiting until later when the turkey was close to being done, I saved myself the hassle of scurrying around the kitchen, bumping butts with the daughters, trying to get it all on the table while the turkey was still hot. Then, all that needed to be done was to heat the rest of the meal. Bam, snap, nothing to it!

Did you know that a metal whisk can change your life? Yep, threw away the whisk that was falling apart and got a nice new metal one with no rubbery stuff to fall off into the gravy. So there were no snide remarks from daughter number one about my gravy making skills. I also did not hear one word about Rachel Rae’s fabulous recipe. We all just settled for gravy without rubber particles floating around in it.

Okay, I didn’t make a COMPLETE attitude change. I did slip up once which made for at least one funny incident in the kitchen…ice cubes in the mashed potatoes. I told daughter number two that she had to mash the potatoes. Then I proceeded to stand over her and tell her how to do it. I couldn’t help myself; she wanted to put in the milk before the butter! Who does that? The butter has to melt before you poor in the cold milk, right?

Remembering my resolve, I took my glass of champagne and wandered into the living room to talk to my granddaughters. Suddenly I hear the words “ice cubes and “mashed potatoes” linked together coming from the mouth of daughter number one. What? Were they going to put ice cubes in the mashed potatoes?  I made a dash for the kitchen as both daughters began to roar with laughter. They must get their sense of humor from their mother; how could I be angry.

So then, Thanksgiving at our House – The Next Saga may be the last in the series of Thanksgiving fiasco stories. If I maintain the new attitude change and add a few more organizational changes, maybe there will be nothing of interest to write about? Oh say it’s not so…I do so love laughing and reflecting on the day over my pie and tea on the Friday morning after. Mind you, it is only funny the NEXT day.

My Crazy Vacation

Every year I go to Arizona to visit my brother and my best friend. It’s always one of those don’t do much, sit on your butt, play games and drink type vacations. It’s the type of vacation where you really just rest. How much trouble can you get into? I’ll tell you how much; the pain is an excellent reminder.

Most years I just travel by train from California to Arizona, just so I can stay in the relax mode. But this year I decided to drive, all by myself. My husband did not accompany me, which alone should have made it relaxing and stress-free. Sorry Buddy, you know exactly what a pain you can be, especially if I’m driving. As it turns out, the trip itself went well. I made good time and didn’t run into any traffic. However, once in Arizona, this is the sequence of events:

Drive up on dead end road into someone’s private driveway – I managed to get all the way to Prescott Arizona, about 439 miles without a hitch. On the last leg, as I turned onto my brother’s street, I turned right instead of left. The street dead-ended into a private driveway. That will throw you askew every time; one must know their left from right in order to arrive at their destination. In itself, it shouldn’t have been much of a problem. I just needed to back down out of the driveway and go in the other direction, you know, my other left. The driveway was on a hill and there was rocky gravel lining the driveway. As I backed down I didn’t go straight enough and ended up stuck on the rocks. Try as I might, I couldn’t get out. I called my brother; no one was home. What up brother? Didn’t I tell you my exact arrival time? I called Triple A and the guy put a 2×4 under my tire and drove on out. Nice. Too bad I don’t carry wood boards in my car for such an occasion. Note to self; put 2×4 in trunk of car.

After heading back in the right direction, and about 40 seconds later, I let myself into my brother’s house and waited for him and my sister-in-law to return from wherever they were. They arrived in minutes and got a good laugh out of my mishap. It’s all good. If someone can laugh at my shenanigans, all is not for naught. The rest of my visit with my brother went without further incident. After a few days visit, I headed on out to Camp Verde, 50 miles south of Flagstaff AZ, to visit my friend. Fortunately this little jaunt went without incident as well. Once there, it was a whole other story.

Jerome, AZ, a lovely place to visit, but watch out for those cracked sidewalks – If you have never been to Jerome, it’s a must see on an Arizona vacation. It’s an old western town built high on the mountains at about 5,000 feet. The scenery is as spectacular as what you might see at the Grand Canyon. It has lots of specialty shops and great places to eat. My favorite shop is the Raku Gallery which is loaded with gorgeous stuff that I really can’t afford to buy, but I always check it out just in case they’re having a sale. This is where the Jerome fiasco took place. The Raku has a glass blowing studio, and I was able to pick up a $20 coffee mug which I planned on as a gift for my daughter. As I was leaving the store, I tripped over some uneven sidewalk. I landed flat on my hands and my head followed landing on top of the bag with the cup in it. An attendant from the store rushed out to rescue me. I told her I was fine and that I was more worried about my cup, which I did NOT break! I did bruise the palms of both of my hands. My relief that the cup was saved was short lived. When I got home, my husband tossed it on top of our tiled dining room table and busted it. It was just never meant to be.

Building a cairn; not quite as much fun as I thought it might be – It looked like a really cool thing to do. I watched a video of an up and coming musical band from the south, brothers and a cousin, who built a cairn in a creek nearby their home. I thought to myself and said, “Self, you ought to build one of those things in the creek where Ginger lives”. I figured it would give us something new to do besides sitting on her patio drinking and playing word games.

Down to the creek we go. Ginger has the camera for video shots, and I search for just the right rocks. Like an idiot, I decided to build the cairn on top of a very large rock in the flowing part of the stream, instead of on the flat sandy surface of the creek. That was my first mistake. The second was building it pyramid style where anything could go wrong; and did! I built it up about 18 inches high before it toppled down the first time. Since only about half of it fell, I decided I would rebuild. This time I got to a place I could almost call finished, and down it came again. This time however I got caught in the downfall. At this point we decided to head home so I could ice my very bruised and swollen ankle and sip on cocktails for comfort.

Curling iron debacle – Yes, you guessed it. A few short hours after the rock pounding, I grabbed a hold of a very hot curling iron on the wrong end! All I can say is that hell must be a very horrible place, if such a place exists. I burned 2 fingers and the palm of my hand and it hurt for a solid 5 or 6 hours, as burns do. As luck would have it, it was the night before I was to drive home the following morning. There I was, up and down all night retrieving cold ice packs from the refrigerator.

Despite my sleepless night, I did manage to get home without any additional disastrous happenings. I took the usual mosquito bites home with me, along with my bruised and battered body. One more pelt to my already beaten up body surely would have traumatized me into a shock ridden state. I was spared.

Ginger says maybe we should see the Grand Canyon next year. In light of my clumsiness, I’m wondering how good an idea that might be; dangerous high rocks and all. I’d like to live another year to visit my friend and drink and play word games on her patio, where it’s nice and safe. Well, all except for those West Nile carrying mosquitoes.

Update:  The above occurred a few years ago.  This year, no issues and after several trips to the same places, I can honestly say I am no longer geographically challenged.  I do believe next year I can do it all over again without the help of maps or GPS!  Also, we were all particularly lazy this year; we only ate and drank, which cut down the mishaps to zero.  I have new plans for cairn building – stay tuned!

Thanksgiving at our House

 

 

 

 

 

This was last year’s Thanksgiving Day at our House. Serious consideration is being given to having Polly’s Pies cater our Thanksgiving Day dinner this year!

 

It’s Friday after Thanksgiving as I sit in my pajamas recuperating from the holiday festivities. I wonder if anyone else feels the way I do after the holidays. It’s like it’s supposed to be all this happy, happy, food, family and discussing the upcoming Christmas holiday. This is yet another holiday which will only exhaust me more than anything else. I’ve always preferred to be the party guest rather than the party giver; selfish of me I guess. One should return the favor and host from time to time, particularly if you are the matriarch of the family. Though I’ve never regretted being a female, I wouldn’t mind switching genders for the holidays. No one expects nearly as much from the male of the species. Sure, they will help out provided you instruct them every step of the way, but they care little about the details that drive the women crazy; this woman anyway.

 

I thought it would be near to perfect this year since my condo has been remodeled and redecorated and I spent a small fortune on some extras to make everyone feel special and comfortable. But none of that made any difference; it seems my guests barely noticed the difference. Certainly none of it eliminated the hectic maneuvers necessary to successfully get a large meal on the table with all menu items warm and ready to go at the same time. Yes, the daughters try to help, but did I mention my kitchen is about the size of a large bathroom? Try scurrying around in the kitchen with three women in a normal sized kitchen, and you have issues. Doing it in a small kitchen is a whole other three-ringed circus.

 

Not to mention, I find out after all these years that my gravy is less than marvelous. This says my oldest daughter who proceeds to tell me about a Rachel Rae television episode all about the secrets to gravy making. Really daughter? Granted, it IS always a crap-shoot when it comes to the results of the gravy preparation. However, those results are always good, better and great! But this year it’s a little of this, a little of that, more of this, more of that. Oh wait, back it up. Scratch the whole thing, dump it down the sink and start over again. Seems my whisk is falling apart in the gravy! All this is what two strong-willed women come up with? Actually, number one daughter gave up, crept out of the kitchen, and Mom tossed a jar of ready made gravy into the turkey drippings. And, guess what the gravy turned out pretty darn good, just like it does every year, thank you very much!

 

Okay, can we top the gravy making fiasco? Oh I think so; not to disappoint. Could be that the holidays are exhausting even for the guests, as mine seem to start getting packed up and ready to leave in less than an hour after the last mouthful of turkey and pie is consumed. Not that I complained. After being on my feet from six in the morning to five in the evening, they were killing me and I was ready to get them up off my new non-giving tile floor. While we are all distracted with guests leaving, my darling dachshund decides to put his mad-cap ending to the day by helping himself to the pies atop the kitchen table. After saying good-bye to half of my guests, I turned around to find him with all fours on top of the table licking away at the pies! You might be interested to know, the chocolate cream was his favorite.

 

Friday morning finds Grandma (yours truly) having apple pie and coffee for breakfast. The night before I decided to salvage what was the left of the pies by sponging them off with a paper towel and shoving them back into the fridge, pretending that doggie tongue never entered the picture.

 

I can hardly wait for Christmas. One can only imagine the joy that awaits me.  Watch for Thanksgiving – Next Saga