As Jack Benny would say…

This morning’s newspaper was, how should I say, amusing.

You may (or may not) recall the story of the 6 year old boy in Newport News, VA who shot his teacher. There was an update in this morning’s paper with the most interesting part being the response of the various entities being sued by the teacher, and I quote “Last month, the defendants in Zwerner’s lawsuit filed a motion to have it dismissed. The Newport News School Board, the former superintendent of Newport News schools and Richneck’s former principal argued Zwerner’s claims are covered under Virginia’s Workers’ Compensation Act and should be considered a workplace injury.” (Emphasis added.)

Oho! Getting shot is now a workplace injury in schools. For teachers? Seriously? How many people snorted derisively when they came across that sentence? Who typed the legal document, and did they type it under duress?

(An aside: When I worked as a legal proofreader, we on the night staff refused, on moral and ethical grounds, to work on a particular case the firm was defending.  And yes, we got away with it with no reprisals from management.)

Is anyone seriously wondering why there is a teacher shortage with few new victims candidates and so many leaving the profession altogether.  If people wanted to risk their lives every day at work they would join the military or become police officers or firefighters.

I’m just gobsmacked with that response. Workers Compensation Act my ass.

Today was an expanded edition of the Washington Post with several special sections that elicited a huge MEH from me and sympathy for the trees that died in service to them.

One is called The Weed Report and no, it’s not about gardening.  Should you be a devotee of cannabis in any form and are in need of such while in this area, you should check this out. It covers what to buy, where to buy and the legalities.

The other special section is A Guide to the AI Boom. Am I the only person who doesn’t care? I’m sure there is useful information in there but I have no use for it. Are Siri and Alexa considered AI? And BTW – what are they used for? Seriously, I do not know what they are used for or even how to use them. Not that I’m a luddite, just that I don’t talk to inanimate objects – my husband notwithstanding.

I think that to access Siri you have to say “Hey, Siri”. Now right there I am put off. I detest, DETEST, the use of “Hey” in conversation. It is no way to address a person. I can’t abide it. (Alright, alright, – Siri is NOT a person. I get that still – I see no use for the word Hey. Merriam-Webster does tho – “used especially to call attention or to express interrogation, surprise, or exultation“)

And what the hell is Alexa? You have to buy some sort of gadget to access it? What do you use it for? And Why?

I realize I have overused the word And. I care only a little about that. Were I writing for something other than my own mental health I would have crafted this rant/tirade more carefully.

Also too – despite getting little sleep last night and being up at o’dark thirty for a grocery delivery, I managed to make it a bit of a spa day for me – facial, hair cut, eyebrow shaping etc. I’m tired but pretty.

The unmeaningful incident that still makes me smile

Time: Mid- 1980s or so

Place: New York City – specifically Long Island City in Queens, at the foot of the 59th Street Bridge. The White Castle drive- thru at 1 in the morning. Long Island City at that time was a crime ridden, former industrial area. That particular White Castle was a drug and prostitution hotspot.

Background: I worked for a very successful international real estate company. One of the perks of my job was access to “Black Car” service. Cars were usually Lincoln Continentals, with uniformed drivers. Limos were also available.

A co-worker and I were invited out to dinner by one of the company’s Vice Presidents – one of those fancy popular restaurants of the time that served tiny portions of fancy food artfully arranged on the plate. When we were done the VP ordered a limo to take all of us to our respective homes. My co-worker and I lived in Queens, the VP in Manhattan.

After we had dropped the VP home it was still early and co-worker and I decided to go out clubbing. We kept the limo. We decided to wrap it up for the night, and on the way home, as we exited the 59th Street Bridge we spied the White Castle – we were starving having had little to eat for dinner. Now here’s the fun part.

Keep in mind the other business that was conducted at this White Castle,  we had the limo driver go through the drive thru. The driver was a teeny tiny bit apprehensive. Ok, he was scared out of his mind. All the pimps and dealers gathered around the limo, which had tinted windows, wondering who the new player was. Driver rolled down his window, put in our order. We rolled down our windows to look around – 2 40-ish good looking women, all dressed up. The pimps and dealers became even MORE interested in our car. Food was passed out and that limo drivers screeched out of that parking lot like a bat out of hell.

My co-worker and I laughed our asses off. We thought the whole thing was a hoot, the driver not so much.

End of story. And I’m laughing even now as I type this.

I’ve got a problem

I have always prided myself on my phenomenal memory – just a shade off of being eidetic. Lately my memory is playing tricks on me – just today I mis-remembered the date of my husband’s last physical. I insisted it was in August. I was wrong. It was in February.  There is a reason I got this wrong, not going to explain it but it troubles me that I did it.

Anyway –

Last night, I dreamt about writing a blog post about language and words and became semi-conscious and was about to get up to research the topic when I fell back to sleep. I also dreamt about writing about the essential self and in the light of day I can’t remember whether I was in a deep sleep or semiconscious – also, my father was in my dreams last night but I don’t think he was my father – just someone who looked like my father…I was very confused this morning.

It’s always interesting to note how the brain makes connections. I was making lunch today and opened a new bottle of BBQ sauce. I used the sauce, put the bottle in the fridge and then I thought “Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce – sounds like that song Sweet Baby James by that guy I don’t like who was married to Carly Simon who I don’t like either. Isn’t it funny what things can remind you of others things, and that they are things you don’t like”

Then something made me pause – and I thought “Wait, the bbq sauce isn’t called Sweet Baby Ray’s, is it?” So I checked the bottle – nope, the bbq sauce is just Ray’s. No sweet, no baby. Just Ray’s. But – under the name was “no sugar added”.

Here’s the thing tho – there IS a bbq sauce called Sweet Baby Ray’s– what I have is the sugar free version of that bbq sauce called simply Ray’s ’cause it’s NOT sweet.

You get old enough and there is just too much shit in your head and everything runs together and sometimes it feels like it all just happened yesterday and every day is Sunday.

I was just thinking…

I usually do one big household chore a day, that’s all I can manage. Gone are the days when I would do a once-a-week clean sweep, it was usually Sunday because my husband and I worked the ole Monday-Friday, 9 to 5 grind and Sunday was it for cleaning and laundry.

Today my husband decided he felt well enough to vacuum. I had already done the dusting and wiping down 2 days ago and bathrooms 3 days ago so my only chore would be to wash the floors after he vacuumed.

While I was mopping I was thinking “What I need is a little old Sicilian woman to do my cleaning” Then I thought “Wait, I AM a little old Sicilian woman and I’m too old for this. I need a middle-aged Sicilian woman.”

I was telling my husband this and he said “I’m all for paying someone to clean. Why don’t you advertise for a middle-aged Sicilian woman?” I had to laugh at that and explain to him I couldn’t do that – very un-PC.  Besides – this isn’t South Philly.

Why do I want a Sicilian? Because those people are crazy clean freaks. (My husband said “Not all of them…?” “No” I said “obviously not but that’s their reputation.)

I grew up in a household where Sicilian mother was a crazy clean freak and Neapolitan father was a crazy neat freak. The arguments were priceless…

Father: Why is there a hair brush on top of the refrigerator?
Mother: They’re clean!
Father: But a hair brush doesn’t belong on the top of the refrigerator!
Mother: So what – I cleaned them!

I suppose as arguments go that is fairly benign (especially in our house) but it was loud and repeated often, only the specific items changing.

Now that I think of it – hair brushes were often found on top of the fridge. Considering my mother needed a step stool to reach the top of the fridge I wonder how they always wound up there – and why?

Now I have to go find my general purpose cleaning toothbrush. I noticed that the light switch thingy is really dirty.

It’s all in my head

It’s been just about a week since I last wrote anything here. It’s not that my brain hasn’t been busy, busy, busy – it has, always is, as evidenced by the bags and dark circles under my eyes (should that be semi-circles under my eyes?)

I’ve had some fascinating conversations with myself or rather, myself and assorted imaginary people and real people who weren’t actually really involved in the conversation. You know what I mean, right? It’s all happening in my head.

I’ve said it a million times I’d rather talk than type but I suspect there are many people, like me, who hate people talking at them and they have no opportunity to react or interact.

I used to hate ebooks but I’ve gotten to appreciate them very much plus I can’t get to the library easily so ebooks it is BUT I will NEVER EVER use an audiobook. This I can promise you, you can take that to the bank!

I know, I know – never say never  (again, again ’cause here I am in love again – yes, everything is a song.) But I’m pretty damn sure on the audiobook thing.

My last post I was bitchin’ about the weather, the next day it turned gorgeous and then last Friday it turned ugly and stayed ugly right up until this morning. Right now it is downright gorgeous – 80º, 45% humidity, 10mph breezes, sunny, blue skies, fluffy clouds – PERFECTION! It should always be thus – Heaven (and, yes that’s another song).

A fascinating conversation I had last night (instead of sleeping) was a discussion with someone, don’t know who, about Ibsen. I’ve always wanted to direct “Hedda Gabler” because, to my mind, everyone gets poor old Hedda all wrong. Whereas “A Doll’s House” irks me because Ibsen is so busy making his point that he leaves holes in the plot so huge you could fly a 747 through them.

The conversation continues, on my side, that Ibsen actually only had one point and he made it over and over and over again. One plot, one story told time again. Which of course reminded me of that wonderful quote (so I said to this nameless, faceless person I was talking to) by Elizabeth Strout from “My Name is Lucy Barton” – “You will have only one story. You’ll write your one story many ways. Don’t ever worry about story. You have only one

At that point I think I got out of bed and so endeth that particular conversation. (Endeth – love that word – got it from church – “and here endeth today’s lesson” said after the Bible readings, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. In case you were wondering, or maybe you weren’t.)

I’ve written numerous posts this past week, mentally. Once a post gets written, mentally, I’m done with it. Myself thinks, “Well, I covered that topic, no point in writing it down”. So I don’t.

Had another ‘conversation’ this morning on a topic that I was going to write about but it needed some research and now I don’t think I care any longer. (I started to write anymore, then wondered about anymore vs any more, the differences are rather obvious once my memory was prodded but I decided to go with any longer.)

And this is how my brain works. It is so not easy being green.

Crazy Shit

 Let’s start with this – 

I cannot even fathom this level of stupidity. But then – look at who said it. 

If that doesn’t give you a rueful chuckle then listen to this: Domino’s Pizza, after 7 years of trying to establish themselves in Italy, has closed its 29 stores there. The reason for the closure? Well, Duh! Do you have to ask? What moron thought that was a good idea? That’s a bit like bringing coals to Newcastle. Are there P.F. Changs in Beijing? Do they sell Budweiser in Berlin? Domino’s pizza in Italy – the mind boggles.

Also crazy shit – the weather. We are in our third day of high temperatures in the 70’s and overnight lows in the 50’s and 60’s with – wait for it – low humidity. Heaven! It was so crisp this morning that I adjusted the windows from wide open to almost closed. Needless to say I’ve slept well the last two nights. 

Any craziness in your neck of the woods?