Fantasy Sports is a Game Changer

I’m not much of a sports fan but must admit Fantasy Sports has some appeal. Not that I participate, and not from want of trying from my husband to get me involved.  As the above picture notes, this is how you will frequently find my husband; stalking the TV and screaming at it.


For those of you who don’t know, Fantasy Sports involves the guys/gals picking teams of their own, based on the actual real sports players. They give their team some unique crazy name and then compete against each other. Then, they all rush to the draft to see if they can snag up the best players to be on their team. How each individual player performs determines their team’s standings in the league. Points are scored up for each individual play, and by season end, whoever has the most points wins. Some leagues play for money and others just for fun.


I started off by saying that Fantasy sports has some appeal, and I will get to that later. Here’s the downside. All the sports widows and widowers are left hanging even more! Because now, not only do the men (and some women) spend hours in front of the tube watching the games, they now also spend even more hours in front of the computer. Either they are talking smack about the other team’s players, or they are messing around making changes to their teams. I get a kick out of how seriously the whole thing is taken too; at least by my husband.


Heaven forbid should I call uniforms outfits! Sometimes I will comment on how I like one team’s outfit better than another, and it really annoys him. Of course I know better now, but his annoyance makes for my amusement, so I’ll still call them outfits just to get a rise out of him. He also doesn’t like it when I make fun of the referees when they make all those crazy hand signals and announce the penalties so seriously. Many times I will burst out laughing during a game when I happen to hear one of these penalty calls. Neither is he amused by my outbursts of laughter.


Now let’s talk about the positive part. It used to be that while watching the game, my husband would yell and scream expletives at the TV. Poor doggies if they happen to be napping on the bed alongside of him. No doubt he startles the life out of them! Instead, he is much quieter and doesn’t yell nearly so much. The dogs and I are both appreciative.


Fantasy Sports has changed the way the game is viewed at least to a certain extent. Instead of rooting for your team to win, more concern is shown for individual performance. In some cases this means, who cares who wins, so long as your Fantasy team is winning. Instead of just viewing the sport, now there is also viewer competition involved, which changes the whole nature of the game. This is another example of how the internet has so drastically changed our lives.


I suppose I must take the good with the bad. Besides, I don’t particularly consider myself a sports widow. The time my husband spends on sports is less time he spends yakking in my ear on endless political issues. I can then plop myself in front of my own boob tube and stream Netflix without his interference. That reminds me. I should come up with a new term for boob tube. It’s not like there are any actual tubes involved anymore. To change the subject even further, I am sick to death of LOL too. I’m working on that one.



Customer Service is Dying Out

In a day and age of super technology and ever expanding giant corporations, you’d think that providing good customer service would improve. Wrong! Bigger is not always better. In fact, in this author’s humble opinion, quite the opposite. The list of examples is endless.


Here is a selection of just one week’s most fr
ustrating, exasperating, stomach constricting, Excedrin headache number 4,444,444-type events.


Let’s start with my all time favorite utility company to hate; the Phone Company. I needed to make a call to my cable company (probably my second most favorite utility company to hate, who will be berated shortly). Since I was at work and had no access to the correct phone directory, I called information, the all-knowing keeper of phone numbers. Not! I asked for the number of the Cable Company in the city in which I lived, and the operator insisted that the only number was for a city about 70 miles away from my residence. I used my local directory to look up the number regularly. What was his problem? I begged to differ with him and proceeded to tell him that there were numbers not only for my city, but two surrounding cities as well. In fact, I practically know the number of the Cable Company by heart, since I spend a significant amount of time making complaints to them. I gave up arguing with the operator and called the number he gave me in order to obtain the number I needed for my local cable company. Jeez!! I would really have been annoyed if I had to pay for the long distance call instead of my kindly employer.


Next we have the almighty cable provider, whose service without; most of us would have no television at all. I, personally, cannot get any television reception without a cable hookup. What’s up with that anyway? Since when do you need cable connection to receive local TV stations? That concept rings of monopoly, big time! Nothing makes me crazier than coming home from work to plop down on the couch to watch my favorite soap, only to find my VCR has recorded nothing but gray fuzzy static stuff! I consider myself a fairly intelligent woman, yet I reserve the right to engage in at least one stupid activity. For me that is the soap I have been watching for the past 30 years.


In light of that insight into my personality, you can imagine the mood I am in when I have to make yet another call to the Cable Company. Of course they can’t tell me how long it will be before they are through working on the lines, nor whether or not the money for the new stations they are working on providing will come out of my pocket. And, if I want credit, I have to call every day I am without service in order to get credit on my bill. The kicker is, you cannot even threaten to cancel your service and go elsewhere because there is no elsewhere to go. Cable companies provide service for particular areas and if you happen to live in the area of the crappiest cable provider, such is your fate. Oh joy, and for all this fantastic service I pay $51.24 a month!


Now, here is the most annoying incident. Well, the most annoying incident that week anyway. I am sure I will have many more occasions where my phone seems to hang off my ear, endlessly making complaint calls to utility companies, credit card companies, and various other service providers.


I speak now of the brown truck brigade, UPS. The only good thing about UPS is the good-looking drivers. They are in the same league with construction workers and firemen. You rarely encounter an ugly one. However, along with the rest of the companies I noted, service is not exactly their forte either! I seldom receive UPS packages. You would think the on the few occasions when I have, they could get the delivery right. This is not the case. It all began on a Wednesday and after five phone calls, the package they attempted to deliver the previous Friday still had not been delivered. I won’t even bother to bore you with the details of the complaint phone conversations. Suffice it to say; at least ten idiots were most likely involved with this fiasco!


As you can tell, these incidents happened back in the VCR days. The technology has improved even more, but the customer service has not. Now if you make a phone call to complain about something, you can’t even complain to a live person. And, if by some miracle you do get a live operator, you have a 60-40 percent chance that you won’t be able to understand a word they say! Don’t get me wrong, I love the new technology, so much so that as an early adopter, I pay a high price for all the gadgets because I can’t wait to get them.


So readers, if you expected solutions, humph! Get a clue. This was just a bitch session. I will attempt to solve world problems next week. Hah! If only someone would let me, I’d be all over it!

My Mind Took on a Mind of Its Own

absent minded

Shall we continue with the on-going saga of the loss of my mind? Those of you who know me, are well aware of the direction my mind has taken; that would be south!  Absent mindedness will be the death of me, a slow and agonizing death.  The contemplation of it all is scary, to say the least.


This morning as I walked down the hall to get my cup of brew at work, I greeted a co-worker with? How ya doin’? Grace? The woman’s name is Rose, also a lovely name. No, her middle name is not Grace. I asked her if I had ever called her by that name before; she answered no, but that she could understand because there is another woman in such and such department called Grace. Well, I don?t know that woman either, nor do I know any woman by the name of Grace.


I do dearly love the name Grace. It makes for a great middle name. My daughter’s name is Dawn Marie; Dawn Marie Grace would be a lovely name. The other daughter is Rachel Michele. Rachel Michele Grace. No, that doesn’t work. Damn, I’m too old to have any more children to name Grace. Hell’s bells, even my daughters are getting too old to have any more children to name Grace. That would leave the grandchildren. I wonder if I could convince one of them to name of my great-grandchildren Grace.


Yeah, good luck with that Jeanette. If the grandchildren are as stubborn as the children, I doubt I could persuade them to pick the name of my choosing for their child. I tried very hard to convince both of my daughters to name their daughters Katie, for my mother. Neither would oblige. Why didn’t you name of your daughters Katie, was their response. I couldn’t answer the question; go figure.


So I named my cat Katie, who is now residing with my mom in the hereafter. Katie Grace, beautiful! So then, if I cannot convince my grandchildren to name their child Grace, it’s also a great cat name. I lost both my current cats this year, so if, and that’s a big IF, we decide to get a cat, we shall grace her with the name Grace.


From the dark recesses of my mind, for whatever reason, out spewed Grace this morning. The mind is an amazing organ, is it not? I wonder at the significance of Grace. Of course, there is a good chance there is no significance whatsoever except for the continued southerly direction of my mind.

More Pets – Our New Puppy, TobyNo

Enough attention for the crazy psycho killer dog. Let me introduce you to TobyNo, our new puppy. His name is actually Toby. However, we like to call him TobyNo; rolling it off the tongue as one word. Toby no doubt thinks his middle name is No, since it nearly always follows his first name as we admonish him for one thing after another. This little canine is a piece of work; to say the least, unlike any we have ever seen before.After losing our little Papillon, Stella Bella, who we homed for a very short time, I was convinced we’d have no more dogs. However, my husband is a bigger sap than I am when it comes to animals. A couple of months ago he came home full of tales about a Chihuahua litter that apparently tugged at his heart strings. He kept saying, “You have to come and see these little pups.” I said “no more pets”, and that I wasn’t particularly fond of Chihuahuas as a breed. He went on to say that he agreed, but that I have to see him.

Eventually he wore me down as he described the one particular pup that caught his eye. He was the only one in the litter with long hair. My interest began to pique even before I laid eyes on him. Since I love long-haired dogs, my resistance was beginning to wane. Also, long-haired Chihuahuas look a whole lot like Papillons, a breed we came to love while caring for Stella. Finally, after a couple of weeks of hearing about this little guy, I was talked into going to see him. We took Auggie and headed over to take a peek. On the drive over, my hubby casually mentioned that he named him. How did this happen? I asked myself. You don’t name a dog if he’s not going to be yours! But, by that point it was all over – enter Toby.

When we got to the back yard where he lived, we saw his litter mates, but no Toby. Finally he came out from behind a bush all prancing and bouncy, like here I am. What’s up? You could tell he was top pup as he interacted with the other puppies, and he was nearly twice the size of the others. Though the other pups were cute enough, Toby stood out as the one with all the energy and personality. We brought him home the following week.

Bless his heart; Auggie-doggie, more commonly known as crazy psycho killer dog, has taken to his little brother like a trooper. He puts up patiently with all his puppy nonsense. This, of course, warmed our hearts because we so wanted a playmate for Auggie, and we knew that in the past he hadn’t responded well to other puppies. He doesn’t like all the energy and constant playful mood of pups. But Toby hounded, pun intended, him to death until he finally gave in and began romping with him on a regular basis. He wasn’t immediately accommodating, and at first avoided him. But, soon enough he caved in to his cuteness, as though to say, “Alright already, I’ll play with you!”

Mom and Dad however forgot what it was like to have a puppy in the house. We couldn’t recall Auggie being this frisky as a pup. In any case, his cuteness far outweighs the craziness of his puppy antics of constant movement and chewing everything in sight. Thank God Auggie shares his toys fairly nicely, because this little guy needs to have something in his mouth at all times. Even our hands are nothing but big chew toys for him, and he thinks nothing of gnawing on them as though they are the best chew toys in the world.

He is a smart little rascal too and is quickly learning all the common doggie commands. At three months, he has already mastered “sit” and we are working on “down” and “shake.” Maybe we are just proud pet parents, but we think he is especially smart to learn so quickly. He mastered the stair steps we bought him nearly immediately and was climbing up and down to the easy chair and our bed just like a pro.

We are tickled pink he has joined our family. We will be taking him on his first family vacation over the Fourth of July holiday. We’re going to Las Vegas and staying at the Imperial Palace, one of Vegas’ pet friendly hotels. Auggie is a great traveler so we hope Toby follows his lead and doesn’t howl in his cage for the three and a half hour drive. This should be quite the experience; a good one we hope. It may very well be fodder for the next doggie story. Stay tuned.

Update:  Toby is now 3 years old.  We had his DNA tested and found out he is a Pomeranian MinPin mix – Surprise!

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

Men Have No Closet Rights


When it comes to closet space, men have no rights. Since the beginning of time it has always been understood that men do NOT have equal closet space rights.  Men just need to shut up about this and cut the whining! First of all, they are all a bunch of exhibitionists anyway and don’t have much clothing; i.e. they do not need as much closet space as the fairer sex.


Men have no clue as to what to do with their clothes in general. If they must put them on, then they want to wear as little as possible. Since they can’t wait to take them off, they can hardly be bothered to put them away in any organized fashion. Therefore, half the time they never even make it to the closet, but are dropped wherever they disrobed.


My husband has the nerve to tell me that when I bring new items home, that I must discard the same number from my closet, shoes included.  SHOES – a whole other subject. Just because they only need one pair each of dress shoes, tennis shoes and sandals, they think women can manage with less. Wrong messy idiot sticks! On the rare occasion that they take us out somewhere, they wouldn’t approve of tennis shoes or sandals with our evening wear. No, they’d want us staggering around on those stilt-like high heels that they created to make our hind end and legs look super sexy! That look comes with a price gentlemen – no closet space for YOU!


And why, pray tell, do they care how much stuff we have in the closet? Have you ever seen most men’s cluttered garages?  Do they not have primary domain over said garage? Heaven forbid we should want to store something in their precious junk collecting space!


The love of my life loves to throw stuff out; mostly MY stuff. He swears he doesn’t do it, but I KNOW he throws the silverware away. This I know, because he is always saying we only need one fork, one spoon, one knife, one plate, one bowl and one coffee cup.


If, at any time, I start seeing my skirts, dresses, blouses, slacks or shoes disappearing, my husband will no longer have to worry about equal space rights in the closet. He will no longer have equal living rights in the house, period!


As is, for some time now, I have been trying to figure out how I can get my hands on the 1/16th portion of his closet space.  Go ahead dear. Just try emptying out my closet like you do my kitchen cabinets. Come to Mama closet space!


My Dog is a Crazy Psycho Killer

IMG_20141206_184532486Don’t let this little cutie fool you. He is a crazy psycho killer, seeking and devouring every toy animal in sight. Not only does he maim and rip to shreds their outer body, but digs deep into the innards to the ultimate goal; the plastic squeaky heart. Yes, I say the intentional goal is to reach this piece of plastic and forever silence its shrill voice. Then, and only then, is the kill final. If you value your own life, you must keep your distance while the kill is being played out. The menacing growls are warnings that you could be next.


Of course I don’t take my loony dogs’ antics seriously, because at the mere “leave it” command, he will instantly drop his prey and wait for me to throw it, so then he can start the chase all over again. He never tires of the hunt. Mom however tires of cleaning up the white guts that is strewn from one end of the house to the other! You’d think I’d learn. But no, I cannot resist as we stroll down the toy aisle of his favorite pet store and he barks wildly until I choose another victim for him.


I suppose one could think I’m just as crazy for indulging this killer dog as much as I do. My oldest daughter certainly must. She tells me that she hopes I have trained him to take care of me in my old age, because she sure the heck will not. The nerve! My daughter is jealous of my dog. It’s a good thing I have another daughter.


Recently I was accused of being a co-dependent pet owner. I’m thinking, what in hell does that even mean? So I immediately went to my trusty Google browser and asked the question. I found a new friend and a self-admitted co-dependent pet owner. Here is her description: You feel guilty for leaving your dogs for six hours and on the way home you stop at Burger King to bring home hamburgers for the poor neglected pets. I had to laugh and realized that I had not reached that place of dependency…yet!


So then dear doggie, you can keep up the hunt for the stuffed animal prey, ’cause Mom will not be bringing home any hamburgers for you anytime in the near future.