Friday, September 30, 2011

#33 - Fall Schizophrenia

Fall - that beautiful time of year when autumnal magic happens - leaves begin to change from deep greens to varied hues of orange, yellows and burgundy; temperatures begin to drop; humidity falls off so curly haired people like myself do not look like Orphan Annie.  It has to be my favorite time of year. And here it is the end of September, and oh, wait a minute, what do I see at BJs......pumpkins, yes; Halloween costumes, yes; bags and bags of candy to delight all the trick-or-treaters, yes. But something was not right.  Something was out of place.  What was it???????
Not one or two, mind you.  A WHOLE FREAKING AISLE FULL OF TREES, ORNAMENTS, LIGHTS.  You name it, it was out there!  I like Christmas and all that goes with it - decorating, family time, music, etc. But I like it at its proper time - after Thanksgiving!  Could we at least wait until after Halloween to put out the garland and the snow globes???  Maybe we should just have ALL of the holidays lumped together in the store aisles ALL YEAR LONG - no designated time for any one holiday in particular - and then we can just get what we want, when we want it!!!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#32 - Puss Faced People

Everyone has a bad day now and then.  Everyone can be in a bad mood now and then.  Everyone can be grouchy now and then. But do you have to share it with the whole world?  I am by nature an optomist and try to always be upbeat.  So, if I am having a bad day because I do not feel well, I simply say to people, I feel like crap today, my head is pounding, I think I'm fighting something. This then signals the listener to stay away from me (mostly because they do not want to catch whatever it is I'm fighting, but that's OK, they got the message!). If I am extremely busy and not sure how I am going to get everything done in the course of the day that needs to get done, that is my business (and my poor secretary's business!), and I do not feel a need to share that burden with everyone else! So, when I come in to my office in the AM and say good morning, how are you today, to a co-worker, it really turns me off to hear, "good morning, *sigh* *sigh*, it was a good day until I got here".  So then, why don't you leave?  Or better yet - quit. Be without a job right now, even though you complain about money all the time.  Better yet, don't even get out of bed in the morning.  Just sleep all day and dream about the job you were meant to have!  Better yet - go to a doctor and get some anti-depressants and while you're at it, bring a few in for the rest of us, because you're bringing us all down!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#31 - The Wheels on the Bus Go....

.....ever so slowly. I like children.  I have always liked children.  I babysat when I was younger.  I had 3 younger siblings.  I was a lifeguard and gave swimming lessons to kids. I have worked in Religious Education for 23 years.  I love my 5 grandchildren.  I am all about protecting children.  So, I have no problem when I am driving down the road and need to stop because a school bus is picking up a group of little cherubs for school.  Where my annoyance enters this picture is in two areas.
#1 - Why is it that middle school and high school kids develop rheumatoid arthritis every morning when their bus arrives?  You know the scene - bus stops at corner; there is already a small group of 37 kids at the stop; bus door opens and kids start to board the bus;  out of the corner of your eye, you notice the elderly arthritic shlepping down the side street to the corner;  oh wait, that's not an elderly person, that's a high schooler; he can see the bus and the bus driver can see him;  the last one of the bus stop 37 boards the bus and the shlepper is still shlepping arthritically;  there must be a bus law that states the driver cannot pull away if there is a potential rider within the driver's vision field, because he waits; and waits; and waits.  At that point I want to pull my car up the street and pick up the arthritic shlepper and drive him to school. 
#2 - Why is it that a bus driver stops to pick up his or her riders, puts out the blinking red stop sign, and then leaves that annoying Vegas-like blinker out there until every child has comfortably SAT DOWN on the bus??  There is not one child left outsdie the bus; they are all on the bus. I understand the bus cannot MOVE until everyone is seated, but could they pull in the stop sign to allow the cars coming from the opposite direction to go???  Oh noooooo. You sit there and sit there and sit there, becoming more and more entranced by the blinking lights (and if your window is opened, the clicking sound of the blinking light can also be very lulling). Now I'm not sure what the heck those little darlings are doing on that bus that takes so long - fluffing their pillows on their seats to make themselves more comfortable; taking their shoes off; getting themselves a snack for the long ride??????  But for the love of God, could you please turn off the blinking stop sign, and allow me to go about my business?????!!!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#30 - Ft. Knox

Growing up in NYC as I did, makes me very in tune to taking secure measures like locking your car and your front door.  When I am home and the weather is nice and I have my front door open to let in fresh air, the screen/storm door is locked.  I even lock the screen/storm door when I lock the inside door in the event one of those poor kids who just want to go to summer camp come with their plastic bin filled with God knows what for sale, and have been trained that ringing a doorbell is not enough, you need to open the screen door and proceed to bang on the inside door to get the homeowner's attention.  So, at least I have the protection of a screen door in between me and whoever is ringing my doorbell. After all, those Mormon missionaries can look a bit menacing, even in those nice shirts and ties.  But being security conscious can get a bit ridiculous in the work place when you happen to work for a church.  Don't get me wrong.  I realize a church can be a magnet for some very mentally ill people who are seeking help; like the guy (armed with a food storage bag filled with medications) who took a taxi from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in DC many years ago, just to see our crying statue of Mary.  It turned out he was schizophrenic.  We have been talking about having our front doors to the offices locked for years, to no avail.  Then last year we moved into new office space in the basement of the church, and now that we are all together (parish offices and RE offices), NOW we have locked doors!  Not the main doors, but the doors that lead into the offices from the hall.  OK, so that is not so terribly bad, because if one of us is there alone after hours, we are assured of being in a locked safe environment.  I'm talking about during NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS - 9-4.  You go through the door to go to the bathroom (my bathroom breaks are pretty quick, mind you, I'm not going to take a leisurely bath or shower!), and by the time you come back, someone has locked the door, because you, in your negligence, committed a security violation by leaving the door unlocked!! I'm not sure if this sudden interest in the safety of the staff is a result from death threats toward the pastor and associate pastor, or now that their offices (both priests) are located in the same space as ours (RE staff), they think people are coming after us in RE, and they may inadvertently get caught in the line of fire. What I do know is the following:
1. I do not work on a classified project (anyone can know what I know about God).
2. I am not guarding valuables (with the exception of Jesus in the tabernacle and that is not located behind our locked doors).
3. If people really want to get through the securely locked doors, all they have to do is stick their arm through the doctor's office sliding glass window, and reach around and unlock the door.
4. If someone really wants to get to me, they can sit in their parked car in our non secure parking lot, and just wait for me to come out at 9pm at night and run me over and no one would ever know who did it!

Monday, September 26, 2011

#29 - People Who Do Not Pay Attention

We live in a fast paced, frenzied world, where we are inundated with information from electronic devices on a continual pace throughout the day ( and throughout the night), so it really should come as no surprise that we do not read all that comes through our computers, laptops, ipads, & smart phones. And I myself, have been guilty of opening an email, perusing it quickly, saving it, with the intention of going back to it a bit later when I would have the time to answer it. HA! That would require me remembering I had even saved the said email or that I had actually received one to begin with!  So, I do have understanding when it comes to missing an occasional email.  Notice the operative word in that sentence - OCCASIONAL.  When 3-4 emails are sent over the course of 4 weeks, with reminders of upcoming retreat and training dates, and with information on fall classes, requiring the teachers to verify their information is correct (email address, phone #s and most importantly, the session day & time they signed up to teach, I would kind of hope they would actually READ & RESPOND TO THE EMAIL).  But no, no, that's apparently not the process for some.  Here is what I am guessing the process is: email from the DRE; open and look at the subject line; jeez, how many emails is she gonna send us in just a few weeks; I already told her in one email sometime over the summer that I was too busy to teach this coming year; didn't she get my email; I could send her another email telling her to take my name off the catechist list but I just don't have the 75 seconds that would take; oh well, she'll find another teacher.  And then there's another type who assumes that everything that I do is perfect and there is never a mistake, so there was no reason to check on any of the info.  Mind you, if this just impacted me, it wouldn't be making my list of pet peeves.  This impacts about 28 kids and their families, in addition to making more work for me, and at this time of year, I don't need any more work.  Perhaps, God is teaching me a lesson in compassion, understanding & patience. You could just send me an email, Lord!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

#28 - Tailgaters

No, I do not mean the kind that we are when we are down in C'ville for UVA football games.  That tailgating is fun!!! Good food & drink, playing games like bean bag toss (or as people in the south & WV say - corn hole - which is a whole different thing to someone from NY!), watching other college football games via satellite (yes, tailgating has definitely moved to a different level nowadays!) & just having a fun time with family & friends.  I am talking about the tailgaters that ride your ass when you are driving down the road.  I understand if I am driving in the left lane and only moving at 4 miles above the speed limit (you will recall an earlier posting about left lane drivers) and stay in that lane, that anyone looking to pass has the right to ride my tail until I get back over in the right lane.  What annoys me is when I move over to the left lane to pass someone moving slower, and I am booking at about 10-15 mph above the speed limit, and some jackass speeds up and decides to ride within 6" of my bumper!!! If I even so much as tapped my brakes, the jackass would have no front left on his/her car and I would go from an SUV to a Smart car in a matter of seconds!

Friday, September 23, 2011

#27 - BS Merchants

Being of Irish descent, I am filled with a bit of the blarney and can weave (and embellish) quite a story at times. That does not equate to "I-am-full-of-shit-and-think-you-are-stupid-and-you-will-not-realize-what-I-am-telling-you-is-bs".  And perhaps, because I am a storyteller, I enjoy listening to a good story and recognize quite quickly when someone is fos. When this happens, I go into closed blinds mode and do not hear what the person is saying anymore, nor does that person have much credibility with me anymore.  My father used to call people like this, BS Merchants. My Irish father was quite creative, descriptive and colorful in describing people & places & actions, i.e. go pound salt in your ass. I never quite understood the image of pounding salt - isn't it already in a pulverized state? or my all time fav that I still use today - never shit a shitter.  In any event, I do not have the time to listen to real bs (out and out lies), nor have I ever liked bs merchants and what they are selling, so if you happen to be one, try selling (or telling) your story elsewhere! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#26 - I Want What I Want When I Want It

I've already touched upon the last minute louies in life on this blog, but add to that one more thing - demanding attitude - and now you really have a headache about to happen.  Here's the scenario: you are a parent who for whatever reason has not had your child in religious education for many years (divorced and think you are no longer able to be part of the catholic church; you never seemed to find a church or a priest you liked; you are remarried & in an invalid marriage in the eyes of the church; a priest pissed you off 50 years ago & you can't let go of the anger & you never seemed to find a priest you liked; you have moved a lot & never seemed to find a church you liked; you have other priorities, like soccer and swimming and sleeping; time has just gotten away from you and you never seemed to find a church you liked!). Whatever the reason, it matters not.  What does matter is that you took the first step and called. However, that does not give you the right to call in the morning, then call back in the afternoon when you do not hear from someone, and then call back the next day and leave an indignant sounding message like, "I called yesterday about my son who hasn't been in RE for a while (translation: 8 years) and have not heard back from you yet, and I am getting very anxious about his getting into class."  Well, in my humble opinion, if you have waited 8 years, you can wait a few days while I plod through my other 18 similar-storied calls.  So, please, just be patient..... God is!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#25 - Cop Wannabe Syndrome

There is a personality type out there whose ego becomes over-inflated with self-importance over what most people might consider menial, everyday things. The mall security cop who rides around on his people-mover ever so erectly watching over the forces of good and evil, as they battle each other in the food court.  The office manager who believes his office is his kingdom and he is the king and the workers are his serfs and what he says is to be accepted without a question, and without him, the place would fall apart and cease to exist.  And then there are the school security guards and the parks and recreation security cops, who lie in wait for the unsuspecting citizen, who comes to the school or park for the express purpose of a workout for himself and his dog - he speed walking around the track or on the trails, his dog running at full throttle across soccer fields and into the woods.  If there are other good citizens with their canines on the fields or trails, a dog should be kept on a leash.  However, when there is absolutely no one within a 10 mile radius, come on!  How the heck can a dog reach its full speed potential if hampered by a 50 something guy on the other end of a leash???!!! And then to be involved in a high speed chase around the track with the cop wannabe is criminal!  And the coup de grace is when the Robo Cop Wannabe asks you if you have a problem because you didn't heed his warning the first time about putting your dog on the leash, and you reply that there is absolutely NO ONE around, and he answers - IT'S THE LAW, MISTER! Well damn, if I would have known that Mr Dirty Harry Wannabe, I would most certainly have put my dog on her leash!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#24 - People Who Do Not Clean Up After Themselves

My German heritage dictates that I am a bit OCD about cleanliness.  Yes, I am one of those people who cleans the windows on the house at least 4 times a year and changes the curtains for fall/winter and spring/summer, along with bedding.  I have a cleaning person who somes every other Thursday and I actually clean on her off Thursdays, which Diane the cleaning person finds humorous, as she says my house is not messy (well, duh, it would be if I didn't clean!).  I wipe out my refrigerator shelves every other day, as the ring marks from bottles bothers me.  So, it will come as no surprise to those of you reading this, that my workplace kitchen drives me crazy.  We have this beautiful state of the art kitchen (was added in the finishing off of the church basement a year ago) that is huge - 4 sinks, 3 dishwashers, 2 microwaves, 2 ovens, an 8 burner gas stove, cabinets galore & a vast amount of stainless steel counters (stationery & rolling) for prep work. Rachel Ray would be drooling! But  how do most people treat this wonderful HGTV specimen of a kitchen - like a dump!  Here are a few scenarios:
1. Let's make a cup of coffee and spill sugar and creamer on the stainless steel counter (that you can obviously see the white crystals & powder on), but walk away and not wipe it up, because after all I have my cup of coffee/tea in my hand & my other hand must be broken.
2. Now I have finished that coffee/tea and will leave it in the sink for 6 hours because the Holy Spirit may come and wash it out for me.
3. I need to eat my breakfast at work because, after all, 9am is soooo early to be getting to work, and I am hungry, so I will cook some toast and oatmeal, and leave the crumbs all over the counter, because once again, my hand is otherwise occupied carrying my toast back to my desk, where I will eat it and deposit even more crumbs, which may or may not get wiped up. Although when I spill my tea/coffee all over my desk that will wash away the crumbs.
4. Let me cook my lunch in the microwave, 3 hours after I ate my breakfast, and if it explodes that's OK, because the microwave is mounted in the wall above my head and I am not eye level with it, therefore I cannot see the splattered mess all over that needs to be cleaned up (well, I can see the top but I can't reach it anyway).
5. I'm a little full and can't finish my entire lunch (hey, I just ate breakfast) so now I will store the leftovers (approximately 4 oz) in the fridge for the next 3 weeks because I will forget it is in there or I really don't care to eat leftovers, but the Holy Spirit may clean the fridge, so I do not need to worry about it.
I cannot imagine what these people's house look like!!!! The only other possibility is that they are just so exhausted from cleaning their own house that they cannot do it at work.  I don't think so, Tim!

Monday, September 19, 2011

#23 - The Phenomena of Bills

Why is it that bills never seem to get lost in the mail nor are they ever late, and as a matter of fact, they seem to arrive at the house via snail mail, mind you, before you even get home from the doctor's office!!!???  I go to my gyn doc faithfully every year, and 90% of the time, I have to call them 2-3 weeks later for the results of a pap test.  It would seem to me that you would have some type of method for sending out test results from a doctor's office, so that those results would get to the person instead of the garbage can. I realize the business of the doctor's office and that my normal test results are not a priority, but it makes me wonder if it also happens to the abnormal test results, as in the time when my husband's cholesterol trigyceride level of 311 was not sent out and a few months later he ends up in emergency cardiac surgery (angioplasty & stent) for 2 blocked arteries!  I guess the real phenomena here is not the fact that they misplace test results, but thay they NEVER do the same with your bill!!!!!There must be a special staff assigned to the billing dept and Special Ed staff assigned to the test results department!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#22 - Where I'm Going is More Important Than Where You are Going

I know we all tend to be self-centered at times and forget that there are other people on this planet whom we should be considering before making a decision. I am notorious for being so focused when I am food shopping (mostly because I cannot stand food shopping) that I really block out everything and everyone around me. So, it would not be unusual for me to come flying around a corner of an aisle and have a near cart collision with an unsuspecting soul on the other side of the corner.  This collision would not cause one to be seriously injured or require a trip to the hospital. The way some people block others out when they drive, however, is another story! We've all been witness to these:
1. Oh no, is that my exit over there in the right lane, and I am going 65 mph in the left lane. Not a problem, I'll just cut over 3 lanes of traffic without looking and get off at my exit.
2. I don't know where I am going and I don't have GPS, so I will just slow down to a crawl at each corner and see if this is the block I should be turning on to, regardless of the cars behind me.
3. Oh, is this where I am supposed to get in the left turn lane??? Mmmm, I can't really see the street sign clearly, so let me just stop here in the middle lane and get a good look.
4. Oh, was that a stop sign I just shot through???!!!
5. I just got a new car and instead of reading the manual in my driveway, I thought it would save time & be more efficient & hands on, if I read it as I drive ever so slowly down the street.
This is one of those occasions where, when what we do can really have a tremendous impact on those around us (i.e. they could DIE), we need to be defensive - as in, drive defensively!

Friday, September 16, 2011

#21 - Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

There are some people in this world who seem to be on a mission in life to disagree with you, no matter what.  You say black, they say white, just for the heck of it.  You know the type.
1. Wow! Isn't it beautiful out today?
      Well, it's a little cloudy and cool and I like it warmer.
2. Did you see that new sitcom last night? It was really funny!
      I don't like that actor at all. I read last night.
3. We're going to wine country in California for vacation this year.
      I've been to that exact place and it really wasn't that nice.
4. We have reservations for our anniversary at that new restaurant that takes forever to get in to.
     I've been there and the service & the food sucked.
5. Our coworker is really crabby today.
     Really, then it must be something with you because she was absolutely delightful with me.
You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go, go, go
Oh, no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello, hello
I don't know why you say goodbye
I say hello
Hello, hello

Thursday, September 15, 2011

#20- Big Talk, No Action

Those of you familiar with Myers Briggs personality types know that an ESTJ such as myself are very organized, and when we set out to do something it gets done and in a timely fashion - as in, QUICKLY!  So, it is very difficult for my SJ personality to be in a room with people, who have all these grandiose ideas and waste my time talking about them, when the reality is, NONE of the ideas will ever come to fruition! To add insult to injury, those same big talkers who cannot seem to complete anything they start to do or even stay focused on their own job duties, will also find fault with the job others are doing and discuss ad nauseam, things that could be done to improve the outcome in the other person's area! Can we say, "FOCUS WITH ME"!!!???

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

#19 - Express Line Cheaters

We've all been witness to grocery store fraud at the checkout line (and maybe, some of us have even been the ones guilty of committing the fraud).  You know what I'm talking about - Express Line - 12 items or less - designed for a quick check out when you only needed to buy a quart of milk and a loaf of bread and a stick of butter (remember that on Sesame Street, C & L!!!!).  I will say most times people abide by the express line rule, but there are instances when they do not.  And did you ever notice when the perpetrators are obviously guilty and they know it, how they behave? 
1) Let me just put these 20 items on the belt really really fast and then it doesn't count as too many.
2) If I don't make eye contact with anyone behind me, I won't get accused of being over the limit.
3) Let me pretend to count my items as I place them on the belt, and when all of them are on the belt, only then can I turn to the person behind me and exclaim, "oh, I didn't realize I had 54 items, would you like to go ahead of me?"
4) "Oh, am I on the Express Line?
5) Or the go-ahead-and-make-my-day-look, I am in a hurry so TS on you.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

#18- Negative Nellies

*Author's Note: No postings over the weekend, as I thought it inappropriate to be posting pet peeves on the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
Things do not always go the way we want. Fact.
Life can sometimes be a bitch. Fact.
Taxes are draining. Fact.
People can be self-centered & mean-spirited. Fact.
To dwell on the negatives in life is not something I have ever done. It is what it is, is a philosophy I live by.  And if we do not like what is, then do something about it.  Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself is not a method of living I condone.  And always finding fault with someone or something is a waste of time and energy. And in light of this past weekend's memorials for the 9-11 victims and their families, perhaps having a positive, joy-filled attitude of gratitude is something the Negative Nellies should try! Chico Negativo will be addressed on another day!

Friday, September 9, 2011

#17 - People & Money

I know we all need money to survive in this world; for shelter, food, clothing; to put gas in our cars; for insurance, the list goes on.  And I know the topic of money may be coming up more frequently in conversations lately due to the poor economy.  However, when the first words out of someone's mouth is what they spent on something or how much they are making or how much they paid for a new car or or or...... I have no interest.  Not to say, I am jealous or envious.  Not in the least.  And it is not that I am not interested in things my friends are doing (i.e. building a new house or going on a wonderful trip). Sorry, but I went to high school in the late 60s, early 70s and have always had somewhat of a hippy mentality.  Fads are not my thing.  I wear what I want and what I like.  I do not have all the latest gadgets.  Do not have an iphone (yet; it is becoming harder and harder to find a regular cell!).  Do not have a Wii (oh wait, yes I do, I run up and down my stairs about 30x a day). Do not have an icemaker in my freezer (oh wait, yes I do, his name is Bob, my husband!).  Do not have a security system on my house (oh wait, yes I do, her name is Kalli, my dog!). I have pretty much always gone to my own drummer.  So, when someone starts going on and on about money & how much they have or what they are doing with it, I pretty much shut them off! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

#16 - Weather Whiners

We human beings never seem to be content with things. If we have straight hair, we pay big bucks to go to the beauty parlor and get a perm; if we have curly hair we pay big bucks for products that will curb the curl and spend time with the hair dryer and flat iron to straighten it even more!  We admire people with certain personality traits and wish we could be like them.  If we are short, we wish we were tall.  If we are tall, we wish we were shorter.  So, why should our opinion on the weather be any different? In the middle of a Washington, DC summer, all we hear are words like scorcher, unbearable, 90+, high humidity, dog days of summer.  In the spring, all that is talked about is the pollen count (which in this area is unbelievably high - 3,000!!!!).  In the winter- frigid, bone-chilling, icy, schools closed, snarled traffic due to a half inch of snow, are just a few of the words one might hear.  These descriptions of what is going on are fine in themselves, but then the whining has to start!  The news anchors on TV are the worst.  Talk about getting people worked up for no reason.  It is what it is, and no amount of whining about it is going to make it go away! So, deal with it people and quit your whining!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#15 - People Who Do Not Take No for an Answer

What is it that goes through a person's mind when they ask you for something, and your answer is no.
1) Gee, maybe she didn't really understand what I just asked.
2) Oh, her ears must be clogged today, so I better ask again.
3) Maybe I should speak in another language so she understands my request.
4) I know I can wear her down if I ask the same thing over and over again.
5) If I act pitifully enough, she will feel sorry for me and give in to my request.
I certainly can understand a child doing this, as they are not fully mature human beings, and they will try anything to get what they want.  Ah, there-in lies the problem, I think.  Many adults are not fully mature human beings and cannot accept what I say "NO", I really mean it!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#14 - Terrible Traffic Tuesday - REALLY????

I realize that today marks the first day back to school for many jurisdictions (there are some in our area that went back two weeks ago), and the first day Congress is back in session after summer recess, and the first day many people are back from vacations, but c'mon now - THE WORST TRAFFIC DAY OF THE YEAR????? So says AAA and ABC news this morning.  Hmmm, what would the day before Thanksgiving be considered??  Or the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when the Northeast I-95 corridor is a virtual parking lot! I find it irritating when the superlative form of an adjective is used so freely.  A few examples:
1) Today is the hottest day ever!
2) This is the coldest winter we have ever had! (anybody ever see Ice Age???)
3) Teenagers' behavior is the worst it has ever been. (anybody ever see Rebel Without a Cause???)
4) Today only - our lowest prices of the year! (why not the decade or better yet, the century!!!)
And of course, today's gem ~ today is Terrible Traffic Tuesday - THE WORST TRAFFIC DAY OF THE YEAR!!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

#13 - Last Minute Louies' Lame Excuses

It never ceases to amaze me how many procrastinators there are in this world.  And how lame some people's excuses are when it comes to their procrastinative tendencies (for those who challenge my vocabulary choices, and you know who you are:  Every year for the past 22 out of 23 years that I have worked at my church, our registration process for religious education classes brings out some of the most creative and far-fetched excuses for having missed registration on a particular Saturday in September. "Hi, I'm calling to see when you are having RE registration (2 days after we had it). Oh, it was this past Saturday; my family was out of town and we didn't see it in the bulletin (ma'am, it's been in the church bulletin every week, ad nauseam, since May); oh, we've been away (you are very lucky to be able to go away for 4 months; what did you do about your kids' school work?); oh, uh, uh, I mean we were away last weekend and didn't see it in the bulletin and really, it's just another way of saying I'm full of s-*-*-t. I just don't want to tell you we haven't been in church in months!" So, it was really irksome this year when we had registration on 4 EVENINGS - May, June, July & August @ 7:00pm to accomodate parents-who-work schedules, and there were still the last minute louies who called when they saw the "last day to register your child" notice in the bulletin -"I missed registration last night, are you having another one?" Yes, we had 3 others-May, June & July!!!
But the absolute best question this year was in response to my telling a parent that they can not register their child in a 2nd grade RE class unless they attended a 1st grade class (either at our church, another church or were in Catholic school).  And the mom said, "can she test out of 1st grade?" Boy, have we become a society of achievers - "Lord, I didn't have enough time to spend with you, so I just took a test and passed, and skipped that year!!!" Jeez!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

#12 - People Who Sit Inappropriately

There is a saying in my family that has been in practice since I was in kindergarten .  If a female member of the fam is wearing a skirt or dress and is sitting with their legs apart, so someone can see what color their underwear is, we simply say the name "Pamela". This began with a kindergarten play at my grammar school, and one of my classmates named Pamela was sitting center stage in front of an auditorium full of parents and grandparents.  Now it just so happened, that Pamela must never have been taught at the ripe old age of 5, to sit with her legs closed.  So, there is Pamela (I even still remember her last name which is being withheld to protect her identity!), sitting with her legs spread so far apart that not only could everyone in the audience see her underwear, including my father, but people on the west coast would have been able to see it! And my Irish Catholic father, being the great story teller that he was, told the story afterwards with great humor.  From then on, anyone sitting in an inappropriate fashion was dubbed "Pamela".  So, even though I can laugh at the Pamela story, I find it slightly gross when I see someone sitting with their legs in a gigantic V - male or female!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

#11 - The Grammar Nazi

I grew up in NYC going to Catholic schools and two of the things that stayed with me from that experience are my handwriting and my anality when it comes to proper grammar.  I started out writing left-handed, but back in the late 50s and early 60s, that was a no no with the nuns and my father, who thought it was evil and something from Satan! So, eventually, after much hand-cramping from being forced to write with my right hand, I became predominantly a rightie, with some left-handed tendencies. (I write and eat rightie, play ball & frisby-any underhand throwing motion-leftie). Then there were the lessons in grammar - the spoken and the written, which have totally stayed with me to this day. Things like:
1) When we are speaking in the past tense using have, has or had, we DO NOT USE the simple past tense of the verb, we use the present perfect tense which is has, have or had + the past particple. I.E. I went to the store (simple past).  I have gone to the store already (present perfect).  We do not say - I have WENT to the store already.
2) If you can answer how, where, why or when after a verb, it is modified by an adverb not an adjective (adjectives answer who or what after a verb). We do not say - I do not feel good today. We should say - I do not feel well today.
3) And then there are the really odd rules that do not necessarily sound right when you say them. I.E. Someone calls on the phone asking for you at work and you answer, "this is HER", when the correct way to answer is, "this is she".  "Is" is a non-continuos, abstract verb, that is followed by a complement, a noun or an adjective, in the nominative not objective form - she being nominative, her being objective.
Now if this sounds too odd for you to say, then please, just say "speaking" so as not to sound like finger nails on a chalkboard to those who may overhear you and the person on the other end of the phone!!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

#10 - Spoiled Children

I'm watching HGTV's House Hunters International the other day, which in and of itself, cracks me up, as I really don't get people looking for vacation homes thousands of miles from their home, that they will visit maybe twice a year.  Yes, I do realize the rental income potential, but the thought of worrying about another house in addition to the one we spend all of our time in, is overwhelming to me!  But this particular one on HGTV was especially humorous.  This couple was from Texas and were looking for a home in Belize, I believe (can't remember the exact country as I was laughing so much).  They brought their two adult children with them (somewhere in their mid twenties) for their input, as they would be vacationing with their parents, too.  OK, so the concept of a family vacation is nice, but if I am the one funding the whole project, no input from freeloaders would be required.  Not only did the 20 something daughter have a lot to say about the size of HER room over her brother's, but she actually didn't like one of the houses because the pool wasn't big enough for her to do laps, which she USED TO DO in high school!!!!!  Forget the fact that many people will never have a house of their own, let alone a vacation house, let alone a POOL, and a LAP POOL at that!!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

#9- White Trash Neighbor's Cars

I don't know about yours, but in our family here's how it works: 1 person=1 car.  That means we each have A car to drive us around, unlike neighbors who have more vehicles than they have drivers and need to park those vehicles all over their property, which leaves no room for anyone visiting them to park (who, by the way, always seem to come in more cars than they need to, also!).  Can you see where this is leading? Yes, right smack in front of our house, which then leaves no room for anyone visiting us to park!!!! And to add insult to injury, the cars are not even nice cars - they are crap and look like they belong in a junk yard!