Thursday, December 29, 2011

#106 - Speed Pass on Christmas

I've already covered the "to light or not to light" on Christmas decorations.  My next peeve is the speed with which some people take down their decorations.  As a Christian, I follow the Christmas season from December 25th through Epiphany, the feast of the 3 Kings. That means my decorations stay up until January 8th or beyond, depending on when the feast of Epiphany falls.  Now I realize everyone does not follow that same principle, so I do not expect all people to keep their decorations up that long.  When, however, I see a Christmas tree thrown out in a front yard at 9am on December 26th, I have fodder for my pet peeve post!  I mean, come on.  December 26th is Zweiten Weihnachten (2nd Christmas) in Germany, and Boxing Day in the UK and Canada.  The lights are still warm on my tree from having them on non-stop for days leading up to Christmas!  We haven't finished opening presents with our adult children and their families because of all the extended in-law families and the celebrations that go with them!  There are still Christmas cookies on platters in my kitchen. I haven't even sent out my Christmas cards yet!  You may have figured out by now that this is the same neighbor who puts up lights and then only lights them for 2 days.  So, I think I may send them a suggestion or two for next year.  Recycle the tree into furniture for your home or cut out some beautifully decorated pictures of homes from magazines and tape them in strategic places around your home and call it a day!
                                                                           
                                                                            


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

#105 - End of Year Car Commercials

Why is it that every other commercial on TV at this time of year is a car commercial????? OK, so one or two in the course of an evening is one thing, but 6 during a half hour show - ridiculous!!! As if seeing those big-ram-like-a-rock trucks plowing through the snow is going to make me run right out before New Year's Day and buy one!  I guess car manufacturers think we in northern Virginia, get a truckload of snow at this time of year, and are just chomping at the bit, waiting for between Christmas & New Year's sales on 4 wheel drive vehicles.  We live in Virginia, not Vermont!
                                                                             

Saturday, December 24, 2011

#104- Christmas Decorations: To Light or Not?

Why in the world do people go to all the trouble of putting up Christmas decorations, specifically, lights, and then NOT LIGHT THEM!!???!!! We have neighbors who do this every year.  First of all, they take 2-3 days to get the lights up, due to the fact they run out of strings of lights as they are doing them.  Call me OCD or anal, but I write little post it notes when I pack up our decorations, so in case I kick it before next Christmas, my husband will know what goes where (like he would even put anything up!!!).  Anyway, back to the neighbor's lights. So, they finally get the lights up in some semblance of wonder and awe (I stand in awe, and wonder what some people define as beauty!), and they turn them on for one or two nights, and then that's it!  The show is over!  Darkness. Nada. Nil. No lights come on for the rest of the Christmas season.  It's as if they left the country for Christmas vacation, but I know they didn't because I can see their 60" TV on at 4am when I wake up in the morning!  Maybe they only budget for 2 days of extra electric each year, but if that were my situation, then I would put a single candle in the my window and forego the lighting extravagancy that doesn't light anyway!
                                                                








Wednesday, December 21, 2011

#103 - Unclear Web Sites

It is very frustrating at times when you go to a web site for info and it is incorrect.  I have a head cold.  No fever. No bronchitis. Just a head cold.  I had an appointment to give blood, which I have done many times over the years.  I go to the Red Cross web site and look under colds/flu and here is what I find:
Wait if you have a fever or a productive cough (bringing up phlegm)
Wait if you do not feel well on the day of donation.
Wait until you have completed antibiotic treatment for sinus, throat or lung infection.
I had none of the above, so I leave work @ 2:35 to get to donation place by 3pm. I waited for about 25 minutes before getting into the cubicle with a nurse and the 50 question questionnaire about my life. Have you had hepatitis? No. Have you been in contact with someone who did? No. Have you had sexual contact with someone who had sexual contact with a male? No. And then I coughed. Is that a lingering cough? Well, no, not exactly, but I do have a head cold. Oh, then we can't take your blood today.  I explain the criteria on the web site.  Well, the web site is not right. We are concerned about the donor, not your blood infecting a recipient. I am fine, I tell them.  I just have a head cold.  No, no, we cannot run the risk of you getting dehydrated from giving your blood.  Dehydrated!?!?! I drank over a quart of water at work, which I do every day!  We're sorry.  So, am I, to have wasted your time, when if the web site had just said don't come if you have any type of cold, I wouldn't have come! Oh no, we don't mind.  Please help yourself to cookies and a drink and a soup mug which we are giving out to all donors today.  Now why in the hell would I take a soup mug when I didn't donate any blood, is beyond my comprehension, so after 45 minutes, I took a bottle of water and left, to reschedule a donation at a future date when I do not have a cold!
                                                             


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

#102 - Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

Along with the decorations and cards and parties at Christmas comes the baking.  It generally goes hand in hand with the season.  I don't know why.  Maybe because we all figure that we are running around like loons, so it is a good time to stuff our faces with things we don't usually eat, and we will work it off.  Working for a church is like working at a doctor's office.  People are sick and in pain and come in looking for something to make them better.  And they form a bond with the staff.  And they bring baked goods at Christmas! LOTS AND LOTS OF BAKED GOODS.  Cookies in all shapes and sizes.  Nut breads. Banana breads.  Ginger breads. And the boxes of candies!  My peeve is not with people for baking.  Nor is it with the bonding.  What I would like to see is all of this sugar and spice spread out over the course of a year, instead of a month.  So, before you bring a baked good or sweet to the office, could you please call ahead and we'll give you a number (1-12) that will determine when you are to bring your decadent delectable. 1 being January and 12 being December! You can figure out the rest. 
                                                               


Monday, December 19, 2011

#101- Sour Grapes

I am not talking about the figurative ones, but the literal "sour grapes".  I was grocery shopping last week and was going through the produce aisle at a store that normally has great fruit & vegies, when what to my wondering eye should appear in the grape section - nothing but nasty looking, sour grapes.  I mean red, seedless grapes that had mold on them.  EVERY SINGLE BOX!!!! Not just one or two, like you sometimes see.  Now why in the hell would a store put out a whole display of bad grapes???? Let's explore.
1. The produce manager was out sick that day and the manager who was subbing was the cleaning aisle manager.
2. When they put the grapes out, they looked OK, so they must have ripened and gone bad in the course of 30 minutes.
3. The produce display stacker is blind.
4. The produce display stacker is from a 3rd world country where grapes with mold would be considered an antibiotic.
5. Santa delivered presents early to the store so they had to make room in the warehouse.
6. The grapes actually came on Santa's sleigh from the North Pole and were frozen then thawed then frozen then thawed.
7. The produce manager thought someone could use the grapes to make a batch of very dry sour wine.
 8. The produce manager is blind.
                                                                                                                           



Sunday, December 18, 2011

#100 - Distracted Drivers

At this time of year, there are many things that can be a distraction to the average person.  Christmas or Hanukkah lists of things to buy.  Cards to write and mail to family & friends.  Baking to be done.  Decorating to still be done.  Driving through neighborhoods to look at Christmas decorations.  And now in this new milennium, we have a new distraction as we are driving around looking at our neighbor's houses - CELL PHONES.  People are either talking on them or texting.  You can tell which one they are doing by the position of their head.  If their head is tilted slightly to the right or left, they are talking.  If their head is tilted forward and in a downward position, they are texting.  Either way, they are distracted and not driving particularly well.  Either they are crawling along at a snail's pace or they are drifting from one lane to another or they are speeding down the road and coming within inches of your bumper.  It seems to this blogger that this need to communicate while driving has gotten worse, as 4 out of 5 cars I passed the other day, had a driver doing one of the above mentioned tasks.  Why is it that we can drive in a vehicle with a live person sitting right next to us and not talk for an hour, but we cannot go for a minute without either talking or texting on our cell phones!!!????
                                                                           


Saturday, December 17, 2011

#99 - SUV=Shiny Under Vehicle - Not!

*Blog Author's Note: No entry for 2 days because of  bad head cold!
To continue the SUV theme.  What the heck is up with people getting SUVs and then putting really fancy, shiny wheels on them that make them look like a luxury car?  It just doesn't look right.  It's like wearing spike heels with overalls.  Or getting your nails done when you are a landscaper.  Or wearing a designer suit with a pair of sneakers.  If you want shiny, fancy wheels, then get a Cadillac or a Lexus.
                                                               

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#98 - Speed Bumps & SUVs

Sport Utility Vehicle - SUV - has become one of the most populat vehicles on the road today. And what does the name of the vehicle suggest to you?  Rugged. Climbing. Bouncing. Can take quite a bit of bumpiness in the road, right???? Well, it irks me to no end to be behind a humongous SUV and when it comes to a speed bump, it slows down to the point that it almost stops!  And then goes over the bump at .2 mph!  Are you freakin' kidding me??!!?!?  Did these drivers never see the Chevy "Like a Rock" commercial sung by Bob Seger!!!!!!!!
                                                                       

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#97 - Doctor Knows Best

As if the last week with our mail order drug place has not been annoying enough, they have started another battle of the emails over a generic vs. formulary drug.  Mind you, Bob hast tried the generic of this particular drug for his high blood pressure before and it causes his asthma to flare up, so whatever is in the generic is obviously not in the formulary.  Does the mail order place look back at their records.  Obviously not.  Because they send out this long winded email about costs and how you need prior authorization for new medications or meds you have not taken in the past 120 days.  WTF????!!! Bob has not stopped taking this med at all.  He has been on it for at least 5 years!!!!! It is a bit scary that we have been reduced in our health system to some doctors being questioned on simple things and having to take time out of their schedules to answer why they are prescribing something relatively harmless (not addictive), and other doctors prescribing drugs for patients that can cause their death and are literally getting away with murder.  I realize I should be thankful for having the coverage we have, but how about you quit pulling the blanket off of me onto your side!!
                                                                         

                                                                    

Monday, December 12, 2011

#96 - Let's make a drug deal???!!!!

The fiasco of the prescription shipment continues, almost a week later. Let me bring you up to date, if you have been following this story.
1. Sodium chloride solution for flushing sinuses shipped to St. Louis, MO. (my guess is they forgot to put a shipping label on box and it went right back to shipper, as they are located in St. Louis).
2. I send email to shipper (presecription drug place) explaining what had happened (proof of this was detailed in UPS tracking).
3. Shipper replies to my email, saying the item was shipped on 11/25 and according to their records, the delivery address is our address.
4. I reply to shipper's reply.  I know it was shipped and arrived, but we do not live in MO.  We live in VA.
5. Shipper replies to my reply to their reply.  Sorry for any inconvenience and since 12 days has passed since it was shipped, please contact us at the toll free # below and we can then begin the process of initiating a replacement for you. If we send a replacement, you will be charged another copay and a refill.
6. I send tracking info back to shipper once again, stating, see DELIVERED TO details and do not charge me a 2nd copay.  Take it up with UPS.
7. I get reply. We sincerely apologize for the delay on your order. We have confirmed that your order shipped to an incorrect address. Please call us at this 800 # and a patient care advocate (who is here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) will gladly look into replacing your order.
8. I call the 800#. I do not get a patient care advocate.  I get an automated messaging system. I email shipper with this info.
9.  I get reply.  I sincerely apologize for the trouble and the delay caused by our error.  The # you were given was a generic # and not client specific. If you will please call the # listed below, a patient care advocate will be happy to assist you.
Many of the above statements were proven wrong.  However, I can tell you the very last staement is an absolute fallacy, as whatever patient care advocate I get will certainly not be happy by the time I get through with him/her.  And this is all for a sodium chloride irrigation liquid!!! You would think we were renewing a narcotic or some other controlled substance! I miss the personal service of Helfands' Corner Drug Store!
                                                                         
                                                          

Sunday, December 11, 2011

#95 - Hot Air: For Balloons Only

I have this thing about Christmas decorations.  I enjoy looking at decorations in daylight.  So, those houses that are decorated nicely, are those that look really nice during the day - garland, wreaths, bows - and become even more enchanting at night, when the twinkling of lights adds to the festive look.  What doesn't look nice (in my opinion) is a house in the daytime, that looks like a freaking hurricane or tornado ripped through their front yard, leaving a mass of rubber rubble in its wake.  You know what I'm talking about - those HUGE, not big but HUGE - blow up figures of Frosty & Santa & reindeer & snow globes, that are only displayable when the electric is pumping air into them.  So, when the lights are shut off, down goes the displays into a pile. I say save the hot air for romantic balloon rides, and stick to greenery and lights for your Christmas displays.
                                                 

Friday, December 9, 2011

#94 - I don't think so, Tim!

We have an insurance plan that requires we use a mail order pharmacy for maintenance drug presecriptions, as opposed to the local pharmacy. I  think many insurance companies have gone to this method, as it is more cost effective. So, Bob has allergy related items among other things, that are ordered online through the mail order pharmacy. One item is a sodium chloride solution to irrigate his sinuses and keep them opened.  Makes me laugh that it would be more cost effective to ship these liter plastic bottles (free shipping, mind you) rather than make us go to the local pharmacy and pick them up. The box that a 3 month supply arrives in is fairly heavy.  In any event, the last shipment was sent at the end of November and never arrived at our house in VA.  The tracking from UPS says it was shipped to St. Louis. MO, and the location was a dock and was signed for by Hune.  WTF??? Who the hell is Hune? Bob must have used an assumed name to sign for the package and made a trip to MO to do it!!!! And we must have a dock in our backyard. And in case they aren't good with geography, MO is not MD, and does not border VA.  OK, OK, so things can happen.  That is not my peeve.  My peeve is that I get an email this morning after I alerted the mail order place to this, stating they shipped the order and it arrived on the 30th, but that if they need to ship another order, we will have to pay for a 2nd presecription. I DON'T THINK SO, TIM!! (You have to know the show Home Improvement & Tim the Tool Man Taylor & Al, to understand that statement).  Take it up with UPS, goobers, not me!

                                                       
                                                                                                                     




Thursday, December 8, 2011

#93 - Obscene Salaries

The ammunition I receive on a daily basis that continues my theme peeves is amazing to me. Yesterday's theme of greediness was fueled by a radio report I heard today, about a St. Louis Cardinals baseball player signing a deal with the Los Angeles Angels for $254 million over 10 years.  That's a quarter of a BILLION DOLLARS.  I don't care how good the player is (and I was a big Nolan Ryan fan when he played for the Mets). $254 million - to play baseball.  Baseball, that once-upon-a- time All-American sport that ALL AMERICANS could go and watch at a stadium and not have to mortgage their house or sell their first-born child to do. To take a family of four to a major league baseball game costs a small fortune today. A mezzanine level seat at Nats Stadium is $25.00.  Nosebleed seats are $15.00.  So, just for so-so tickets for your fam of four, you would shell out $60-100.  Add transportation and /or parking, one drink each and a hot dog, and forget it - you will be eating P & J sandwiches at every meal for the next week to replenish your checking account!  What the heck has happened to our society where a major league baseball player makes $25m a year, and starting salaries for some teachers are $25k???!!!!????
                                                                   
                                                                  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

#92 - Greediness & Grinchiness

Christmas- the season of peace and love and hope.  The spirit of Christmas can bring out the best in human beings, which I believe, is what our Lord hoped for when he was born over 2,000 years ago.  But like a story, human beings have two sides.  What also surfaces at this time of year (perhaps not as much as the rest of the year) is greed.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the epitome of greed.  To want and take everything that someones else has. It seems to me (and this is just my opinion) that people in today's world want more and more.  Bigger is better mentality.  And if I don't have the biggest and the fastest and the newest, then I will be discontent with my station in life.  There are many discontented people out there.  Two weeks ago I watched a segment on 60 Minutes about homeless kids living in their family's cars & trucks.  This one young lady (about 14 years old) should be the spokesperson for all humanity!  She and her younger brother lost their mother at a young age and live with their father (an out of work carpenter) in their truck in FL.  They go to school. They go to the library in the evening to do their homework. They joined a free community theater so they have something to do in the evenings.  And not once did you hear this kid complain!!! She tries to give back to the community.  She makes the most of their situation and has great compassion for those less fortunate.  LESS FORTUNATE???!! Less fortunate than she and her family living in a truck!!??? Boy do the rest of us need to take a page out of this girl's book on generosity of heart and little Cindy Lou Hoo in Hooville!!
                                                                          
                                                                          

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

#91 - Tacky Christmas Decorations

Fact: everyone has different tastes in homes styles, furniture, clothes, and Christmas decorations.  Opinion: some Christmas decorations are just plain tacky!  Some people like the Victorian era look in decorations - swags of garland hanging from porches and over doorways, dotted with twinkling little white lights. Very Williamsburg. Very nice. Some people prefer colored lights to the Williamsburg look.  Also can be very nice when done right.  And by right, I mean neatly arranged around windows and doors or wrapped around bushes.  Not thrown from the ground up, into a 25 foot tree, resulting in a strand here and a strand there, looking like you haven't quite finished decorating yet. Or the houses that are trimmed in lights only halfway, meaning they literally ran out of lights and were too lazy to get another set.  Or how about those houses that the inhabitants must not have ever seen Currier & Ives or Thomas Kincade depictions of Christmas scenes, and have LED palm trees and a blow up of Santa in a bathing suit & sun glasses in their front yard. Different strokes for different folks, but perhaps you can keep the different Christmas decorations inside next year!
                                                             



Sunday, December 4, 2011

#90 - Christmas Decorations

Do you know how many people I have heard in the past week say that they are so far behind in their Christmas decorating?  How far behind is far behind, I wonder?  Is there a law that says you have to put up Christmas decorations by a certain date?  I don't think so.  Is there some rule that says you have to do your Christmas cards before St. Nicholas Day? Not to my knowledge. Did someone back in history mandate that Christmas baking needed to be done by December 15th or else it didn't count?  People need to relax and enjoy the beauty and wonder of the season.  Advent for Christians is a time of reflection and waiting.  So, how about we do a bit more of that and quit agonizing over made up missed deadlines!
                                                                  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

#89 - Absentee Boss

I realize in this day and age of telecommuting and conference calling, there is not as much demand for a person to be in his/her physical office space or as my friend, Emil, would say, "at their work stations".  However, when the boss is hardly EVER in the office, it does not make for a smooth running office.  Well, I guess depending on the type of boss, maybe that statement is not entirely true.  If your boss is unorganized and out of control, then being in the office may be worse!  I am not easily influenced by chaos around me, as a general rule.  But when everyone around me seems out of control, then it begins to effect me, and I get cranky and irritable and the feeling of peace that is usually within me, disappears!  So, perhaps the solution is this:  anyone who takes a supervisory role in their workplace has 90 days to pass certain milestones.  If they do, great.  They continue as the boss/manager/supervisor/pastor.  If not, they have 24 hours to clear out their office and find another job that better suits their talents and gifts, and restore peace to the chaos they have created!
                                                          

Friday, December 2, 2011

#88 - Generic Holiday Names

Why is it that we can have specific names for secular holidays - Martin Luther King Jr Day, Columbus Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day?  And when it comes to religious holidays like Christmas & Hanukkah, we suddenly have to group them together and simply say, "Happy Holidays" because it may offend someone to say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah.  OK, so I get that you may not know if I am a Christian or a Jew, so you wouldn't know which greeting to give.  So to remedy this situation, here are a few suggestions:
1. All those who are Christian and celebrate the birth of our Lord should wear a cross.
2. All those who celebrate the arrival of Santa should wrap a string of lights around their heads.
3. All those who are Jewish and celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, should have a menorrah sticking out of the top of their head.
4. All those who are Jewish and celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, should wear a Star of David.
5. All those who do not celebrate either of the above simply wear a sign that says "Seasons Greetings Only Here" so you do not feel left out.

                                                        
                                                       





Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#87 - Sick People

It annoyed me when my kids were in school and other kids came to school sick.  I mean really contagious kind of sick, where they had no business being around other kids.  I realize parents can not be taking off from work every time their child has the sniffles, however, it is unfair to the child to send them to school when they feel like crap, causing others in their class to feel like crap because of the contamination factor! Well, my annoyance with this has extended to adults in the workplace.  Again, I realize we cannot take off from work everytime we feel a bit off.  But when the bit turns into a lot, then I feel we have an obligation to ourselves and our co-workers to STAY HOME!  Walking around in a fog can cause inefficient results in the workplace, as well as getting the entire office staff sick.  So unless your job is one of those critical to the safety of the world, please don't shlepp in to the office, hacking and sneezing all over the phones, keyboards and copiers!
                                                                        

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#86 - Cyber Craziness

We have been through a whirlwind of events in one week's time.  From Black Wednesday and all those partying passed out teens, to giving thanks for friends and family & stuffing our faces on turkey dinners, to shopamania on Black Friday, to my Hoos getting their butts handed to them by the Hokies, to putting up Christmas decorations on Sunday, to Cyber Monday (and for someplaces Cyber Week) and being able to get great deals online. Not sure if I missed this special day last year or if this year is a first, but a thought has crossed my mind after listening to the news yesterday about the phenomenal sales across the country on Black Friday, which was one of the reasons the stock market was up 290 points yesterday (hey, I don't make this stuff up!).  If so many people went Black Friday shopping, enough to result in one of the BEST Black Fridays EVER, then how do people have any money left to shop during Cyber Week????  Oh, never mind, how silly of me!  We will simply use credit cards.
Even though Americans spending money greatly benefits the economy, we will all sink a bit further in debt as a result, and then credit card companies will have huge profits  so they can give their CEOs exhorbitantly high bonuses and I guess the economy will gain ground as a result of all this! NOT!  Have we not learned anything from the financial crisis of the last few years???!!!!
                                                                            




Monday, November 28, 2011

#85 - Patty Play Pal Resurrected!

When I was 5 years old, I fell down the cement stairs in our apartment building in NY because I was jumping rope and trying to do my ballet routine (I was determined to be "different" in the ballet recital).  What did this stunt result in? A really bad concussion and 3 weeks in bed and my grandmother buying me a Patty Play Pal doll.  Patty Play Pal stood about 3 feet tall, had shiny straight black hair (well, my did) and was made of that hard plastic as most dolls were made of in the late 50s, early 60s.  Why am I taking a walk down memory lane once again in a pet peeve blog?  Because I think (I'm not sure, mind you) that I may have seen Patty Play Pal on Black Friday.  I can't be sure because she was in a saran wrapped stack of maybe 50 dolls in a center aisle in Walmart, surrounded by a huge hoard of people, waiting to pounce on the pile, as soon as the store employees cut the saran wrap!  Here's why - Walmart does not close on Thanksgiving apparently, so their Black Friday sales merchandise is literally wrapped in saran wrap and marked with signs that say, "do not sell until 10pm on November 23rd".  I inadvertently got swept into this aisle at around 9:55pm, to people chanting - cut that wrap, cut that wrap! And when the wrap was cut, people descended on these poor dolls.  I do not keep up on the latest fads, even in toys for my grandchildren, so I am not really sure if it was Patty Play Pal or not.  All I do know is that people can behave very badly at times.  Now if people were clamoring to see the resurrected Jesus, I could understand their behavior; but for Patty Play Pal - give me a break!
                                                                       
                                                              
                                                         



Thursday, November 24, 2011

#84 - Let's make up names for days

Seems to me every time you turn around, there is a new occasion being invented.  There are the traditional ones that have been around for many years: Thanksgiving, Halloween, 4th of July, Christmas, Hanukkah, Yom Kippur, Labor Day, Memorial Day, to name a few.  Then there are ones that pop up out of nowhere.  Grandparents Day.  As if those of us who are grandparents need a day to be treated in a special way.  We walk on water in our grandchildren's eyes EVERY DAY.  Administrative Assistant Day.  First of all, what ever happened to calling people a secretary.  Did that suddenly become a bad word?  And we need a day to recognize our secretary's good work, which I believe is what he/she gets paid for?? Boss's Day.  Ditto the secretary sentiment.  Kwanzaa, which honors universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1 each year. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles[1] and culminates in a feast and gift giving. So, an African-American decides in 1966 that black people need to have their own celebration around the same time as Christian & Jewish people, six days more than Christmas, but one less than Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.  And now I heard on the radio the other day, we have Black Wednesday.  Not to be confused with Black Friday, the day retailers hope their numbers go from red to black because of high volume in sales, Black Wednesday is the - are you ready for this - BIGGEST PARTY DAY OF THE YEAR FOR TEENS, who will drink alcohol excessively and then BLACK out.  So, you are now telling me the day before Thanksgiving is the BIGGEST party day of the year for teens, surpassing New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, graduation night & prom night???!!! Puleez, you've got to be kidding me!
                                                          








Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#83 - Dust in the Wind - Not Just a Song by Kansas

I am a classic rocker.  I was in high school from 68-72 and lived on Bob Seger, Led Zeppelin, Ten Years After, James Taylor, Carlie Simon, to name a few. And Bob has the same taste in music, so when we got married in 1975, music was one of those things we never argued about. The first big thing we ever bought as a married couple living in Germany was not a couch or a bed, oh no, it was a stereo receiver, speakers and a turntable.  Being in the Army in Germany was great for stereo purchases!  AAFES had unbelievable prices on top of the line stereo equipment.  By the time we came home in 1978 (3 years later), we had acquired Bose & Pioneer speakers, a Pioneer turntable, a Pioneer receiver, a Teac reel to reel and a cassette player.  Bob went through a new pair of head phones every few years, as it enabled him to listen to music while the kids were asleep or watching something on TV.  Our love of music has trickled down genetically to our son, whom, when he had his house built 3 years ago, made sure it was wired for outside Bose speakers (ah, made his father proud!). Alas, as the years have passed, it seems the only time we really listen to music anymore is in the car or when we have people over the house (BBQs require speakers outside) or at birthday celebrations, or of course, at Christmas. So, before I even get out the Christmas decorations, I go to the CD player to load 5 Christmas discs.  And what to my wondering eye should appear - St. Patrick's Day Irish Pub Songs!  WTH??? Are you telling me the last time we listened to music on our stereo system was St. Patrick's Day???!!!!! 
"I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone. All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity. Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind."  Not so sure, but there may be something to this getting older crap!
                                                               




Monday, November 21, 2011

#82 - Thanksgiving Traditions

Traditions.  Those things that we do in our families that can evoke wonderful, fond memories from our childhood.  Being born on St. Patrick's Day, my birthday always began with my father singing "Rings on my fingers and bells on my toes, elephants to ride on, my pretty Irish rose, come to my birthday on next St. Patrick's Day, Mrs. Rumbo Jumbo, Jude O'Beau Shea, O'Shea!"  I am a big proponent of family traditions, even when the traditions you grew up with in your childhood need to be adjusted to accomodate a new spouse and his traditions, i.e. opening gifts on Christmas Eve after midnight mass vs. opening gifts at the crack of dawn on Christmas Day.  And then as your children grow up and are in college, going back to opening gifts on Christmas Eve because the collegiate crew are night owls and prefer nocturnal activities to sunrise ones.  That then evolves into married children and their new spouses and their traditions.  And so it is that we arrive at Thanksgiving and the dawn of a new tradition - roast chicken instead of turkey.  Now this may be because my daughter-in-law's grandmother lives on a 100 acre turkey farm in WV (or maybe it's 200 or 300, I'm not really sure; all I know is, it's a lot of land!) and my dil grew up watching cute little turkettes mature into big fat gobblers, and the thought of eating them was too traumatic.  Or that my suburban grown son lost his taste for turkey after viewing the turkey houses at grandma's farm.  But the result is there will be no turkey on their table this Thanksgiving.  At first, I felt like our traditions were flying the coop.  But when I stopped and thought about it, who really cares what's on the table for Thanksgiving,  It's what's around the table that counts! Enter in a new era in traditions.  It's all good.
                                                                          






Sunday, November 20, 2011

#81- Before Black Friday

I love this time of year. We go from Halloween and all the trick or treating fun, to Thanksgiving, a day of family and food and fun and simply giving thanks to a wonderful God for all the blessings he showers upon us.  And now thanks to my daughter and my daughter-in-law, I have gotten sucked into Black Friday shopping.  A few years ago the two talked me into going Black Friday shopping at 3:00am.  Now the only thing I knew about Black Friday was from a friend who did it every year, and the one thing she said that made sense to me about the nonsence of getting up 3 hours after all the merriment and stuffing of Thanksgiving was that Black Friday enabled her to really focus on the spiritual part of Advent, as she was not thinking about Christmas gifts and what she still needed to buy. So, at first when the girls proposed that I come with them on Black Friday because it was sooooo much fun, I remembered the Advent spiriuality thing (vaguely, because as I have shared before the memory is not what it used to be), and so, agreed to join them.  And what do you know?!?! I actually did enjoy it.  Were the stores packed with other wacko women (not too many men are actually seen on this day)??? Yes. Is it ridiculous to get up and venture into the land of shopping frenzy on only 3 hours sleep??? Yes again. But there is something about the comradery that begins with Starbucks coffee at 3am and waiting in the cold with hundreds of others for a store to open its doors, that is fun.  Yes, actual fun!  So, my peevishness is not really about Black Friday but about the advertising in the days BEFORE Black Friday.  In the past, you would hear which store was opening its doors at 5am.  That wasn't good enough however, because that soon got bumped to 3am, and then midnight and now this year some stores are opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving night.  I feel badly for the employees who have to work that night! Always looking for more profits, stores have now advertised over the past week that you can find sales as good as Black Friday this weekend and in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, so why wait.  Why wait indeed?  My recommendation is that the stores just have Black Friday sales all year long, and every weekend open their doors at midnight, and consumers can shop 24/7! Pretty soon, sales leading up to Black Friday will begin on the 4th of July with a parade and fireworks display!
                                                                    









Friday, November 18, 2011

#80 - Thanksgiving Negative Hype

Holidays - that magical time of year - when old and young alike transform into delightful human beings - kind, cheerful, caring, compassionate people. So, why then does the media need to put a damper on that by reporting things like last year's gas prices were ONLY $2.88 per gallon, and it will cost a person $14.86 more to drive from Atlanta to Orlando? First of all, is everyone and their brother leaving the Dixie state to participate in the Mickey Mouse parade in Disneyworld? Secondly, in the greater scheme of things in this economy, if $14.86 is a big deal to you, then you shouldn't be making a trip to Orlando over Thanksgiving.  Stay home and spend that money on your family's Thanksgiving dinner. And the other gem of a report I heard was that it MIGHT be difficult to find a turkey this year, as they are not as plentiful as in the past.  I didn't hear a reason why, so I can only surmise that the turkeys must be on their way to Disney, too. 
                                                     

Thursday, November 17, 2011

#79 - Not a Very Good Catholic

I seem to write thematically on this blog, meaning I group my peeves in themes. So, after yesterday's post on attitudes of Catholic school parents, it stands to reason I should go off on another Catholic topic - the new Roman Missal & the new translation of the mass.  I must be a dud Catholic (dud as in I don't give a rat's ass) because I don't really get what the uproar is about with the new translation of the mass that will be coming out in another week - the 1st Sunday of Advent - and I have done a pretty fair amount of reading and researching in order to do adult classes for our parents at church on the subject.  Please don't misunderstand me.  I am not saying I agree with the translation but the reasons behind the new missal make sense.  And for me, it is all just words.  My relationship with God is not going to change because I will now say the word "consubstantial" instead of "one in being".  So, listening to people on both sides either complain about or rave about the changes is a bit humorous to me.  One of the funniest things I heard the other day was in favor of it.  I was commenting on the fact that I couldn't believe next week was Thanksgiving already and that it was the 1st Sunday of Advent, and the response I got was "yes, and we start using the new Roman Missal that weekend.  I have been waiting for 30 years for this!" REALLY??? 30 YEARS????? This person is in his late 40s, which would have made him in his late teens 30 years ago, and you're telling me he was actually looking forward to the day when we would have a new translation of the mass!!!??? Man, all I was looking forward to in my late teens was the weekend!!! Guess I wasn't a very good Catholic!
                                                                 







Wednesday, November 16, 2011

#78 - I'm Better Than You

It really bothers me to witness one person's superiority over another. Why do people act superior?  For a number of reasons too numerous to list, but here are just a few.
1. Because they think they are better.
2. Because they think they are smarter.
3. Because they have more money.
4. Because of the color of their skin.
5. Because they attend a Catholic school.
This last possible reason is the catalyst for this post.  I remember as a child attending Catholic school in NY and having early dismissal on Wednesday (1:00pm) so those "public school" kids could come and have their "CCD" class.  And what was the attitude of all the wonderfully Christian Catholic children in my class - put away anything you didn't want the "public school" kids to take, because we just knew they were all Bonnie & Clyde in disguise, just waiting for their oppportunity to steal our pencil cases. I would like to think this attitude has changed since I was in grammar school, but unfortunately it has not totally gone away.  To make matters worse, it is not really coming from the actual kids in Catholic school, but from the parents.  The my-kids-are-in-catholic-school-and-there-is-nothing-more-they-can-learn-from-you-in-the-parish-concerning-sacramental-prep-attitude, is alive and well in some parents (not all, thankfully).  And it is re-enforced by some clergy who have "the Catholic school is the only way to go" mentality, and that kids in public school are not on the same level as their counterparts in Catholic school.  Shame on everyone for teaching kids at an early age how to look down upon others! And we wonder why kids grow up to be arrogant, superior, holier-than-thou types of adults???!!! Perhaps those same parents and clergy need to ask themselves WWJD.

                                                                        





Tuesday, November 15, 2011

#77 - Attic Hoarding

I have a colleague (no names will be mentioned to protect the innocent!) who loves the show "Hoarders" (at least I think that's the name). She has a sick fascination (she acknowledges this, it is not an editorial comment by me) with people who are hoarders, even though it is an addictive, psychological, emotional issue that results in people not being able to function in their own homes (i.e. so much stuff is accumulated, there is not even a space on their bed to sleep).  So, because of our conversations on this topic, I have come to the realization that I am an attic hoarder.  Attics, garages & storage sheds seem to be the catch-all places for crap.  And my attic is no different, with the exception of something that may not be present in most homes - all of my two children's school work.  Oh no, I'm not talking about 12 years of report cards or that special science project award or the best book report award. No, I am referring to 12 years of EVERY bit of schoolwork my children ever did.  Large black garbage bags filled with these papers.  And for what?  Do we take then out every June around graduation time and nostalgically (yes, Brad, that is a word!) sit around, reminiscing about the hours spent on a particular homework assignment? No, they have stayed, accumulating in the black bags in the attic for the past 26 years that we have lived in our house.  The bags have started to disintegrate, but not those papers!!! And do my grown children who have children of their own, want these cherished tidbits of memorabilia. Oh, hell no! All they want me to find are the transformers and She-ra & He-Man artifacts!  So, it is on my list of to-do projects this winter (cannot go up in the attic in the summer - it's like an oven up there!) to venture into the land of attic hoarders and finally get rid of these bags of papers.  The problem is that I will most likely need to take a week off from work to do it, because although my children may not want these pieces of the past, I still find them fascinating, as only a mother hoarder would!
                                                                          




Monday, November 14, 2011

#76 - Biased Refs

My feelings about referees would be the same as announcers on TV.  They are paid to do a job and they should do it objectively, with no preference for one team or another.  So, when you are at a college football game and the ref makes calls that results in the entire stadium of 52,000 people booing, that tells me they did not do their job well at all.  Why is that?  Here are a few of my takes on this....
1. The ref is getting older and REALLY does need glasses.
2. The ref is getting older and is developing early altzheimers and has forgotten the rules of the game.
3. His mom asked him not to be too hard on the team that was doing poorly.
4. He couldn't get into the university because he wasn't smart enough and so has a chip on his shoulder against the entire school.
5.  His brother is a bookie and he couldn't pass betting on the game.
                                                                       

Saturday, November 12, 2011

#75 - Leaves

Autumn is my favorite time of year.  I have already voiced this in a previous entry.  And the colors are phenomenal.  And watching the leaves swirl every which way in the autumn wind and listening to the sound of leaves crunching underfoot is all part of the season.  Therein lies the culprit - LEAVES, LEAVES AND STILL MORE LEAVES!  And with the raining down of leaves comes rakes and leaf blowers and a husband who does all the manual labor involved with the leaf removal.  And the more manual labor that he needs to do because our house is surrounded by trees, the more you will hear grumbling.  I look at it this way - it is what it is, and no amount of complaining about it is going to miraculously remove the leaves.  So, just do the raking and blowing and stop yer whining!  Then again, I can have this rather magnanimous attitude because I am not the one performing the wonderful task!!!!
                                                  
                                                              

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

#74 - Walking on Eggshells

Life can be difficult at times.  Life can be painful at times.  Life can be sad at times.  On the flip side of these statements is my view of life.  Life is a gift.  Life offers us many opportunities.  Life can be filled with joy and happiness.  All of the above are factual tidbits.  No one would deny any of these statements (at least I don't think so).  I realize that an individual's personality determines their perspective on life and how they deal with occurences in life. However, I find it somewhat irksome that the rest of the world needs to discover what personality is rearing it's head before proceeding through the day.  Being a somewhat direct person, I find it tiresome to walk on eggshells because one is in some kind of mood on a given day.  Again, I am not saying we can't all have a bad day, i.e. not feeling well physically, a family member is sick, etc. But I guess most people are not up front.  As a matter of fact, from what I have experienced in my life, I would hazard a guess and say that more people are passive aggressive.  They get pissed about something, but instead of saying what they are pissed about, they walk around with an attitude, resulting in others having to walk on eggshells. So, here are a few suggestions I have to remedy this situation.
1. Using make-up, paint a clown smiley face on and at least I cannot see the grumpiness on your face.
2. Take a pill.
3. Listen to some Black Sabbath.
4. Take another pill.
5. Put up a sign stating your attitude that will not require any verbal exchange for the day.
6. Take a sick day.
7. Buy me a pair of new slippers to aid in my walking softly on the eggshells.
                                                         
                                                                   




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

#73 - Needy People

There are needy people in this world and then there are NEEDY people in this world.  I suppose if we were to look at this philosophically, we are all needy in a way.  We need to eat.  We need to drink (at least water). We need shelter of some kind.  We need to sleep.  We need God (even though we may not acknowledge his presence).  We do not need an expensive new car.  We do not need a bigger, newer house.  We do not need the newest i-phone. There are hungry and homeless people who need our help in getting back on their feet; people who just a month ago may have been living in a house and had food on their table and now, do not.  That is one type of neediness. The other type of NEEDY person has a home, has enough to eat, has a vehicle to drive them to work (yes, they even have a good job) and the store and the restaurants, has enough money to pay their bills and even go on vacation.  Their neediness is the emotional kind. It’s human nature that we all want and need attention. It helps us as humans to feel secure and become productive and to feel confident.   When you are emotionally needy, your priorities are always changing. The needy individual deals with feelings of insecurity and is uncomfortable in their everyday life. Tone of voice, body language or words give away the needy feelings of people who are looking to be taken care of, both physically and emotionally. There is almost always a drama or a crisis.   I realize as a Christian, I am called to help out my fellow brothers & sisters in need.  However, taking care of someone's emotional needs can be extremely draining, more so than taking care of the physical ones.  I just wish more people would get a clearer understanding of who they are and what makes them unique, which in my humble opinion, would lessen the amount of needy people in this world! 

                                                              
                                                                        






Monday, November 7, 2011

#72 - Biased Announcers

So we all are biased when it comes to our favorite teams.  I am a Jets fan, a Mets fan and a UVA fan.  And of course, when a call goes against my team, I will immediately either a) make an excuse for them like, well, I heard the flu was running through the team this week, or b) make a remark about the ref's eyesight, or c) talk about the other team's nastiness and unfair playing tactics. I can do all those things as I am a fan, not a paid announcer on TV.  I expect announcers to be objective and fair and simply state the facts as they arise on each play.  Not react in an excited way whenever the team we happen to be playing does something OK, not fantastic, just OK.  I then would expect the same excitement for my team when they do something OK.  Not the monotone, oh, that's another touchdown for UVA voice and then an excuse about why the opposition couldn't stop them from scoring.  There should be something written into these announcer's lucrative contracts (the lucrative part is just an assumption on my part as I do not know what they really earn for their biased commentating) that they are not allowed to take sides just because they are an alum of the school or better yet, they cannot announce a game for a school they attended or team or played for!!!
                                                                    Go Hoos Go!
                                                                     

Sunday, November 6, 2011

#71 - Getting Older & Turning Clocks Back

I have never been one of those people who worries about their age and how old they are turning.  I knew someone who just HAD to be married before her 30th birthday.  Why? Would she turn into a pumpkin if she wasn't???? Never found out, as she did get married at 29 and made her deadline (and was divorced five years later).  I also knew another person who cried the morning of her 40th birthday.  I am following my grandmother's philosophy: you are only as old as you allow yourself to feel.  But here is something I have noticed as I am aging: little things in life make me happy.  How is this a pet peeve, you might ask? Well, when one suddenly remembers at 7:05pm on Saturday night that we turn clocks back, and that person and her spouse almost do cart wheels across the backyard because they will get an EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP, there's something not right with those people!!!!
                                                                                


Saturday, November 5, 2011

#70 - Cop Wannabe - Take 2

How many cop wannabes are there in this world?  Well, apparently at least one more than the park cop in my first cop wannabe pet peeve.  And this one was at the airport.  Here's the scene: your son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons are coming home from their 10 days in Cancun.  They land at 9pm on a Thursday night.  You are waiting in the cell phone lot for their call that they have cleared customs and are ready to be picked up.  You drive to arrivals - door #7.  Well apparently everybody in Northern VA must have been arriving at that exact moment, as the cars are 3 deep along the arrivals curb near door #7.  Now if you were driving your own little egg car, you might be a bit reckless and squeeze in between the parked cars.  However, you are not driving your own baby car, you are driving your son's ginormous Tahoe, so instead of the wild and crazy guy routine, you simply pull up a bit farther in a coned area that is not marked with any signs.  Tired and harried parents approach with the 1 & 3 year old, and you begin to quickly load the Tahoe.  Enter scene: cop wannabe AKA airport security.  "Excuse me, are you DOD?" Tired son answers, "no." "Are you DIA?" Same answer, "no." "Are you military?" By now, tired son has had it and says, "exactly what is your point? Cut to the chase!" "Well now, this area is only for military or government people and anyone else who parks here can be fined $150.00."  "Well sir, as you can see, we are not parked, we are simply loading our car as fast as humanly possible, and btw, there are absolutely NO SIGNS ANYWHERE saying who or what this area is." Cop wannabe exits scene, mumbling something under his breath, probably wishing he had a gun with A BULLET like Barney Fife, that he could have waved around in a menacing fashion!  Next time maybe he should lend a hand to the perpetrators instead of standing there playing the 20 Question Game!
                                                                             





Friday, November 4, 2011

#69 - I'm right, you're wrong

Remember my peeve about people pulling into parking spaces right next to you when there are five other spots in the general area of your vehicle? Well, this peeve now takes on an additional element: I know what I'm doing is right and you obviously are wrong.  Here's the scenario: you pull into a BJs parking lot. The guy in the spot next to you is a bit close to the line, so you adjust where you position your car in your spot accordingly.  He can get into his car and you can get out of your car.  That is, until a person pulls into the spot on the other side of you and decides he doesn't care how you are parked, he will park as close to the line bordering your car (actually about 6" from your car!), making it not only impossible for you to get into your car on the driver's side, but also for his wife to get out the passenger door in their car, so she needs to climb over the console and get out the driver's side.  I actually witnessed this as I came out with my filled shopping cart. I then witness the guy start to walk away from his car and head toward BJs.  I look at him and say, "how would you like me to get into my car?"  And he answers, " you should not have parked so close to the line." SO, in other words, you are incredibly stupid for how you parked, but I am not.  It is your problem, not mine. I am right, you are wrong.  Well, I was not moving on this (both figuratively and literally), and I explained how the car next to me was parked when I arrived. There must have been a look from me of "I will not let you pass me and go into the store until you move your car", as he hesitated and then goes back to his car, and begins to enter, all under the glare of his wife standing with a shopping cart.  I start putting my stuff in my trunk.  He gets back out of his car and says, are you going to move your car.  I look at the guy and now realize I must be dealing with someone mentally handicapped, or partially blind, and I say, when I finish loading my groceries and you move your car, so I can get into my car, yes I will.  Now mind you, there were two other spots, two cars over from him, that he could just have pulled out and back into.  But NOOOO, he wanted THAT SPOT for whatever reason. Now a younger me might have slowed my packing groceries to a crawl, just to annoy the guy.  The more mature me simply loaded the groceries and flicked him off in my mind!