Sued51's Blog

{September 20, 2017}   Odd Pictures, Odd Stories

I admit it, I often take odd pictures. (Like this.)

Backyard Still Life?

Sometimes I never use them (though I used this post as an excuse to use the headless mannequin), but sometimes an idea immediately comes to me.

Duck Basket

Duck Down

When I saw this duck basket on the ground, it immediately took me back in time. Though it is not exactly the same (this one is much more attractive), at a place I used to work, a duck basket was used as a good luck charm, a totem reflecting a secret wish. Ugly and old and full of paper clips, the red and green duck basket was passed down from person to person for years; it symbolized a changing of the guard, so to speak for our little group.

Whenever someone left the company, the duck was given to the person they thought was the next person most likely to leave. Sometimes the dusty duck sat on a desk for years, sometimes months. Did those not in the know ever wonder about it?

I was once the recipient of the duck, and it worked its magic; I no longer work there. Who I passed the duck to when I left, I no longer remember, so I don’t know if it worked for them. I wonder…is the duck still being bequeathed or discarded like this one? Did it lose its significance? I guess I’ll never know…

{April 5, 2017}   Eviction Notice

You! What are you still doing here? Didn’t I tell you your presence here was only temporary???!

pike of snow

Snow Pile

It’s April! You have overstayed your welcome! And you are dirty and disgusting like Jabba the Hut! NO one wants you here!

I’m serving you an eviction notice. I have brought both the rain and sun as my deputies….You are done you lazy loafer! Be gone by the end of the week!


Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Thank Goodness for Buffy The Vampire Slayer

We all have certain things that never fail to cheer us up, or at least help us to tolerate the less-than-perfect times. It is with a giggle I admit how often I have turned to Buffy in the last year.

One year ago I moved to my tiny apartment. Even with very little space, I decided to lug along my big, heavy TV with the built-in VCR and DVD players to put in my bedroom. As senseless as it may have seemed at the time, I have been grateful for it many times in the last year. Like when it took three appointments with three different technicians to get my cable and Internet running properly. As I was trying to settle in and find comfort in my new space I was able to turn to my “old technology” TV and pull out my Buffy the Vampire Slayer series DVDs. Ah…the clothes, the silliness, the witty writing…and the familiar characters…it was good to see them again. I didn’t feel so lonely and so lost.

A year later I was again having trouble with my cable and Internet; I’m up to Season Three now…and I’m grateful…again. I even told the customer service person on the phone about Buffy. When I couldn’t get a technician to come out for two days she said, “Well, I guess you’ll be watching Buffy again tonight!” And we laughed. I’ll bet she was grateful too… Buffy helped her not to have to deal with a frustrated customer.

And within that year I had a month and a half when my cable-connected living room TV was broken (it was the holidays…too much going on…then the TV repair man had to come out three times before he got the correct board to fix it). Buffy and my old TV kept me from feeling upset with things out of my control. After all, we have Buffy to protect us from the vampires and demons out to get us! 🙂

And when I had a horrible migraine, a terrible day at work, and sat in the waiting room for an appointment that had been changed to another day? Buffy and a bloody mary (get it?) was the redeeming ending to my day that allowed me to go to sleep with the confidence that the next day would be better.

You definitely wouldn’t call it binge watching as after one year I am only in Season Three, but I’m savoring it…every moment.

Tell me, readers, do you have a movie or TV show  you turn to in the “tough” times?

Penny Jar

Penny Jar

I think there are two kinds of people: people who pick up discarded pennies and those who ignore them. I’m a penny collector and I have the jars around the house to prove it. And the jars do not even contain all the pennies. There are pennies in little dishes and on tables and in the car and in pockets of almost every jacket. And what are my plans for these pennies? Beats me. It’s a habit I inherited from my father; he always picked up change and somehow I don’t want to give up the habit because I would be giving up some piece of him.

Certainly it is not because of the money I make. When I was a child I would walk to the penny candy store (a couple of miles) and whatever I picked up along the way was what I could spend. But that was a long time ago. What do they buy now? I will admit that I have rolled some and brought them to the bank, but it is definitely a “round-to-it” task. It seems pointless with interest rates as low as they are. Another thought I had is that I would try to collect a penny dated for every year of my life. And do what with them?

A year ago my husband found this article. I certainly did not know there was such a thing as a penny hoarder! But I wouldn’t say I am one; the man referenced in the article has WAY beyond my meager amount of pennies. I did learn something though — that pennies before 1982 have more copper in them and are worth more than newer pennies. So what do I do with that knowledge? Now I have another “round-to-it” task: to go through the pennies and separate them. I put aside another big wine bottle for the process.

Big Penny Jar

Big Penny Jar

And how far have I gotten with that task? Hmmph.

But I’ll keep picking them up; I can’t help myself. It’s just been ingrained in me for too long. It’s free money after all.

{September 1, 2011}   What’s in a Ringtone?

Most people know that there are places and situations where cell phones should be shut off or set to vibrate, e.g., movie theaters (where they give us enough reminders during the pre-show barrage of commercials and trivia), weddings (AFV anyone?), or funerals (‘nuff said). And many people recognize that talking loudly about personal issues in public is frowned upon (unless they are so lost in conversation they don’t see the glares of passersby).  But a lot of people don’t think about how their “cute” or “clever” ringtones can be perceived in public places.

Take, for example, a workplace where cell phones may be a necessary office tool. It can be very annoying and distracting, especially in a cubicle environment, to constantly hear the “bling” of neighbors’ arriving text messages, or a cacophony of ringtones coming from many different directions.  Please, I don’t need to know how important you are…put it on vibrate.

Ringtones in a restaurant can also be annoying, disturbing, or make you lose your appetite! (Please, no music with “ugh” sounds while I am eating.) My husband and I were once in a moderately nice restaurant when a ringtone went off at a neighboring table: the theme from Rocky.  We initially chuckled, but the owner proceeded to finish his thought with his companion before answering the call, and then proceeded to sit there and have a loud conversation worthy of “The Sopranos.”

And don’t get me started on being anywhere children are present and suddenly hearing someone’s swear-ridden rap song ringtone burst forth.

Please…think twice about your ringtones; everybody does not have the same taste in music or understand that “Bat Outta Hell” refers to your mother-in-law.

Jack read the story and wanted everyone to know he is alive and well and still living in NY.  One of his gigs was a playing a burn victim on CSI, NY.

Jack as a burn victim

{January 21, 2011}   Everybody Loves Jack

My friend Jane grew up with a kid named Jack (or “Jackie” as he was called in the neighborhood) who aspired to be an actor.  When Jackie became “Jack”, he got an arts education and performed in summer stock.  We were the proud recipients of one of his black-and-white 8 x10 promo photos.

As Jane’s friends, we got to know Jackie and we also became his friends.  We drove to Maine to see him perform in plays and flew stand-by to visit him in his roach-infested little apartment in New York. (The roaches were not a reflection on Jackie, who was quite neat; it was just the way it was back then.) When Jane and I were singing together and writing songs, Jackie was often our audience.  He helped us record one of our songs (nothing formal…we’re talking the old type tapes).  All this background is just to make it clear that what happened to Jackie’s photo was not out of disrespect or derision, but out of playfulness and affection.

It all started one day when Jane and I returned to her house after a workout at the gym. At that time she was still living at home with her parents and brother in the neighborhood where she and Jack grew up.  She walked down the hall to the doorway of her room and collapsed on the floor in a fit of laughter.  Trailing her by at least 10 feet, I yelled, “What’s going on?”  She couldn’t answer me; she just kept rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.  I stepped over her as best I could and looked into the room.  I fell against the wall, also laughing uncontrollably.  It was completely wallpapered with photocopied pictures of Jackie.  The culprit?  Her brother.  Hearing the uncontrollable laughter, he popped out of his room with a faux-innocent look, “What?”  The glove had been tossed.

Soon Jane’s brother Jimmy came home to find poster-sized versions of Jackie’s picture on the ceiling over his bed, and it didn’t stop there…shortly after that, the poster-sized pictures of Jackie migrated to the telephone poles in the neighborhood.  At that point some respect for his family kicked in and the posters were taken down.

But that wasn’t the end of the adventures for Jackie’s picture.  When my friend Julie and I got an apartment together, Jackie’s picture graced the living room wall.  He was an evolving part of the décor, changing for holidays, a chameleon who became the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause.  Jack may never have become the famous actor of his dreams, but in my mind and the minds of my friends, he will never be forgotten.

{February 11, 2010}   Selling coupons?!

My husband was looking for coupons online when he discovered something I couldn’t believe: people are selling coupons on Ebay; in fact, when he did a search, there were 18,023 results! People are selling pizza coupons, ice cream coupons, grocery coupons–you name it, it’s there.  And I’ve been throwing away coupons I don’t use????!!  The things that the Internet makes possible!

I knew there was a market for unused gift cards; although a search for gift cards produces results where people are actually bidding more than the gift cards are worth, which makes no sense to me.  Someone was auctioning off a Lowe’s card worth $400+ and someone had bid $200+, which seems like a good deal if you have a large purchase to make.

We used to have a free table where I used to work: people would bring in stuff that they didn’t want anymore and anyone else could take that item for free.  Sometimes people would put coupons on the free table.  I haven’t worked there for 2 years; makes me wonder if there still is a free table…or is nothing free anymore?

When I had a job, I loved the computer. It brought me emails from friends; news from the world outside my cubicle; and sometimes at lunch I would play a game. It seemed like I never had enough time to spend with it.

Then I became unemployed. I had to use it to cull through online job ads, try to find job opportunities, and to network and try make things happen. I no longer feel like the first thing I want to do when I get out of bed is turn it on. It no longer brings the wonderful emails from my friends; nobody wants to have to ask how the job search is going. It has become the watched pot that never boils–a reminder of all the projects I need to do. All it brings are job opportunities selling insurance.

My husband feels like I spend too much time with it, but it sits there and wants more. It whispers, “You need to do more.” I try to go to the other room to get away, but I get drawn back to keep checking my emails. Sometimes I just have to turn it off in order to break its hold.

I know it should simply be a tool, an electronic assistant, but somehow I have allowed it to become the object of my hopes and the deliverer of my nightmares. Wait, is that an animated face l see, laughing gleefully?

I guess it is time to leave the house.

Date a guy SEVERELY allergic to cats.  Obviously I wasn’t thinking long-term because I’ve had cats all my life and I don’t think I could live without them.

There were a lot of work arounds.  He never came to my apartment, where I had one cat and my roommate had two; I always had to come to his.  So he never met my roommate or my cat, and I couldn’t show him my LP collection or my books. 

I had to get “unspoiled” clothes and leave them at his apartment, and take a shower as soon as I got there.  And even then, he would have a reaction. It was probably cat fur and dander lurking on my purse or shoes.  I couldn’t pet a cat I might see on the street (which I always do).  Believe me, it got old.

I started feeling like there was a whole part of me I was hiding, like I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t.  Unbelievably, it lasted a year, but what a release when it was over.

There’s always a piece of cat fur on me somewhere and affectionately I think of it as my cat accompanying me everywhere I go.

et cetera
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