Frankly, my dear, just fix the friggin’ faucet!

Drip … drip … drip …

No, not referring to people I’ve known. The drip … drip … drip of the kitchen faucet.

Well, took only half a month of extraordinary patience — I oughta be sainted! … well, maybe not — three emails and three weeks for my landlord and their plumbing guys to respond!

They’re coming today to fix the drip-drip-drippy faucet. Allegedly. Allegedly coming, I mean.

I really was the patron of patience waiting for my property management company to respond!

They’ve got it designed whereby residents make maintenance request online and they take it from there. Or they don’t, clearly. All very efficient and high-tech. In theory.

Like I said, I truly waited. Half a month. Gave ’em the benefit of the doubt. “They’re busy. They’re efficient. They’ll get to it. They won’t forget.”

Why would I think these insane thoughts?

Because they are STICKLERS! Sticklers as far as their tenants, I mean. If you’re late 1 minute with the rent, their timer blasts. And boom! You’re paying a $25 (if I recall) late fee! No grace period. No window of leniency.

The list goes on. There’s a fine for everything that a tenant does or doesn’t do according to the lease. Hell, there’s fines — what they call “costs of repairs” — for mere nail holes upon vacating!

In other words, they hold their tenants to the letter of their laws, big time.

But when it comes to them doing their part, repairs and such, such an attitude of laissez faire!

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. I am. But the point’s the same. My property management holds their tenants to strict rules, deadlines, etc. and boy will you pay if you don’t abide!

But the same promptness in rent payments and such that they expect, demand, require of their tenants … not a two-way street.

Ticks me off. ‘Cause I’m an inordinately fair person. I know, I know, it’s a curse in life!

Anyhow, after half a month of waiting for a company that demands strict and prompt adherence to its rules and conditions from others yet fails to deliver in kind, I emailed my distress.

The faucet wasn’t getting any less dry, after all!!

And asked directly and firmly: “When will this be fixed?”

Two days later the plumbing dudes rang.

Scheduled repair: today. Three weeks after the original maintenance request. Well, better than three months!

Drip … drip … drip … goes my faucet. And, hopefully after today, one of my many stressors of late down the drain!


Brain Buzz & Head Fuzz

Wow! Was that one of the crappiest nights of sleep ever!!



Evidently our circadian rhythms and sleep habits cannot be commanded by will alone! I’d gone to bed early — midnight, for me — intending to rise early — 9 or 10 a.m. — for a road trip, drive time of 3 to 4 hours.

My brain admittedly was buzzing from many hours of online research of destination candidates and dispersed campsites. Dispersed = free primitive sites, sites of dirt and little more, aka boondocking.

The research alone can be tedious and time-consuming. Evidently got the brain cells whirring. By the time I switched off the lamp “early,” I couldn’t sleep.

Admittedly I’ve many more things on my mind as well. I tossed. I turned. The body couldn’t get comfortable amid painful new and burgeoning health issues. I switched pillows. Switched positions. Ugh ugh and ugh.

I kept glances at the glowing green digital numbers on the clock to a minimum.
You know how that goes. Insomnia. Brain Buzz. Look at the clock. Boom! You’ve just been given another half hour of wide awake.

It’s one of those unwritten Murphy’s Law. “Every glance of the clock during an insomniac episode returns 30 minutes of alertness.”

My body never did settle into rest; impossible lately with combined health issues and a bad bed that I cannot WAIT to boot outta my life!

Seriously. Another post for another day.

Eventually I did drift off, kinda sorta. Nearer my usual time around 3 a.m., I reckon. I quit checking the time. Murphy’s 30-Minute Law.

Result: My going to bed early so I could awaken early had absolutely no effect! Zero. Zip. Nada.

So the road trip’s off. I achingly (and I do mean achingly) tumbled outta bed — henceforth the Bed I Can’t Wait to Boot Outta My Life! — at the usual time between 11 a.m. and noon.

Much too late for the drive to the Arizona/California border. Wasn’t urgent or needed NOW! But soon. Next week perhaps I can pull it off.

Meanwhile, I’ve still got that itch in the feet that needs scratching … wanderlust to satisfy … a need for a change of scenery. Stressors an’ all.

Travel is my nature and road trips my therapy. Sometimes it doesn’t matter so much where I go, just THAT I go!

1:04 p.m. The day’s still young. Ain’t nuthin’ I’ve gotta be in town for today.

If I can sweep that Fuzz from Insomnia outta my head, I’ve still time to hop into the car and just go. Somewhere. Somewhere else. An hour or two down the road.

Find a decent budget motel. The rigors of camping after a bad bout of insomnia and fitness sleep is a bad idea. Ain’t 22, don’t have that youthful bounce-back.

It’s doable. Yeah, I’m a slow waker-upper. If I just clear that insomniac’s Head Fuzz and get ma move on. At 1:06 p.m., that’s sorta asking a lot. ;-p

Bye-bye, Click ‘n’ Clomp … hellooo, Calgon!

Memorial Day weekend in the States.

Translation: A three-day weekend for many.

I like the holidays though not for the reason you think!

For starters, I work only 11 hours a week. I want and need to be working 30! Hence time off via holidays is hardly what I want!

No. The reason I like these holiday weekends is: It’s the only time my apartment becomes quiet. Still. Serene.

Because the upstairs neighbors are away! The Click ‘n’ Clomp Couple. Click = her shoes and Clomp, his. A take on the hilarious & infamous Click ‘n’ Clack Car Guys on national radio.

I’ve talked and written on the topic to death so no need to repeat. I’ve also dialogued with them. Everything that can be done has been done — short of someone moving. 😉

The construction — zero insulation between above and below, their wood floors, my low ceilings — is what it is. Crappy. Reverberating vibrating LOUD noise is and will remain a constant irritant. Like an army of ticks burrowing into your skin. Gross! But hey, if the image fits …

I remember last Christmas. Just five months ago. Not only because it was my first Christmas in Prescott but because it was the first time “my” place fell quiet. The neighbors, who like me had moved in above just a month before, were away. For five days. Five PRECIOUS days. Five days of real peace.

It was bliss, I tell you. Utter bliss!!!

When they returned, I got really down. Down and aggravated and tense and tight. I yearned for them to go away again. Sooner than later. Even thought of paying for their getaways! That’s just symptomatic of the constant stress and aggravation I’m under.

And powerlessness. I cannot make them stop the noise. The wearing of shoes, the stomping, the {fill-in-the-blank}. I have to endure it. Or I have to move.

And moving at this time is sooo not an option; so not in the cards.

So I endure. Because it’s what I do.

Back to Memorial Day. Since it’s a 3-day weekend and the kids — the couple above — are away, I can exhale now. Begin to breathe. I hold my breath when I’m stressed … angry … frustrated … overwhelmed … I’m all of these and more!

It’s not only I who changes and relaxes when they’re gone. The energy in the apartment itself shifts. I feel it just walking in.

It becomes still. It rests. Is no longer rattling and vibrating under the assaulting hoof steps of people above.

It’s a small space, this, and offin-shaped. Indeed it WOULD be a coffin were it not for the views out two windows. The walls are thick with cinderblock and concrete.

However, its ceiling is thin and verrrrry poorly constructed. At any moment, a foot from above could come crashing through!

There’s a pulse to my apartment and it’s not mine. It’s hardly even the apartment’s! It’s the pulse of residents above.

I feel badly for the apartment. I do. Always having to be underfoot of people above. The apartment can’t get away from it. The cause lies in design and poor construction.

For myself, I feel badly as well. I know no relief or respite unless they’re gone. And that rarely happens. When IS the next holiday anyway?! July 4? Bet they’ll stick around since it falls on a Saturday. A regular weekend; not enough time for an out-of-towner.

My domestic situation is dictated by people above me — literally (and figuratively!). Mine is not a happy home or peaceful or restful or restorative or calm.

It is a home of vibrating and rattling and shaking and intrusions — noises from others.

I think of moving every day, even though now’s NOT the time. My emotions are mixed. That’s a matter for another month.

For today, the first day of the long Memorial Day weekend, I think: ahhhhhhhhhhh. My Calgon moment is arrived!! The couple above are away. I can breathe.

I best enjoy it too! Best breathe deep and fast! Soon enough they’ll return and with them bring all this crap. Soon enough, I’ll stop breathing again.

But for now and tomorrow … bliss!

Calgon, take me away!!

Calgon, take me away!! Take the neighbors too!

Samuel Adams to the Rescue!

It’s a coffee-followed-by-beer kinda morning.

Where IS She?!

Monday I got a callback to an application for a kennel assistant at a doggie resort & spa. Very excited about it too! I love animals.

As requested, I’ve called her back, left messages through the week and have yet to hear back! What more can I do short of driving to the location and leaving a note with a staff member?

Reason 1 for Beer After Coffee: Frustration for Lack of Response — with the added bonus of it being a job that I need and genuinely interests me.

And Where Is SHE?!

I interviewed last week for a bakery clerk job inside a supermarket. I’ve considerable experience in food service and specifically bakery, which drew her keen interest. Unfortunately, the job irreconcilably conflicts with my weekend radio work *that I love and am not willing to give up* and definitely not for bakery job!

Good news is the in-market cafe also needs baristas. Am definitely interested! It’d mean meeting people, engaging with the community AND above all learning new skills. So not same ol’ same ol’ lame crap job I’ve done a hundred times puttin’ me to sleep!

Followed that interview up with an email thank you and delighted show of interest in that cafe job. Haven’t heard back from her either! She’s a district manager so quite busy so emailed her again. In the meantime, I sit and wait.

Reason 2 for Beer After Coffee: Aggravation for Lack of Response — with the added bonus of it being a job that I need and genuinely interests me.

What’s Going On With My Car?!

Weirdest thing. Took the Subbie in last week for repair work and required maintenance. Several days later, she started acting … flukey.

Flukey as in: sometimes she starts, sometimes she doesn’t. When she doesn’t, there’s no sound. No clicking or anything. As if the battery’s dead. No lights. No power. The radio presets disappear and the clock resets to the default 1 o’clock.

I fiddle with the negative cable of the battery, which eventually gets it going. So far. Obviously not a long-term solution!

Whether the problem’s in the battery — which isn’t very old — or elsewhere is to be determined.

Today I’ll take her to Auto Zone, where they conduct free checks of battery and electrical system.

Perhaps it’s a simple fix. Perhaps it’s worse. Dunno. In the five days since she her repairs at the dealer, she’s “blacked out” three times. Including last night after work at 12:15 in the morning! I work in an industrial neighborhood that’s remote at night. I don’t feel unsafe but am definitely far from help.

Reason 3 for Beer After Coffee: A Car Who’s Acting Wacky After Recent Repairs.

Dread Ma Bed!

You don’t wanna hear the story, trust me. Suffice it to say my Bed from Purgatory’s doing a lot of physical damage. There’s no rest for the weary. There IS damage and crippling. It needs to go. Needs to be replaced. With what, I do not know and have been researching that extensively.

Some things can’t be fixed. Like this bed. I hate it. I dread ma bed! Damn thing’s crippling me. Literally.

Reason 4 for Beer After Coffee: Pain & Crippling So-Called Slumber.

I feel a Drink-On comin’ on! Oh yes I do! Tonight. Whiskey Row. Craft beer. Whiskey sour. Live music.

When life slaps ya hard in the face and knocks ya to the ground, sometimes the best ya can do is turn the other cheek and ice the hurt. Starting with a chilled glass. 🙂

Salud! Here’s to a day that started crappy and is sure to get crappier better!

May 21 breakfast:



Playing detective. And the culprit: Cab Sauvignon.

It was bound to happen. Inevitable, sooner or later.

The fusion of two polarities. The coming together of Minnie and Micky Mouse. Of Bonnie and Clyde. Of football and fans. Of Black Friday and Wal-mart tramplings.

Had to happen, make no mistake. And it did.


the ubiquitous boring beige carpet

the ubiquitous boring beige carpet

Plus this:

yummy Cab Sauvignon from Costco

yummy Cab Sauvignon from Costco

The coupling of beige carpet and red wine.

I sometimes enjoy a glass of red wine late at night in candlelight while watching Netflix on my laptop in bed.

Since I’ve a little bit of a clumsy streak — a remarkable contradiction to my surprisingly quick and honed reflexes and superb hand-eye coordination — I take care around beverages and things easily knocked over.

I’ve always been a little off that way. Like my brain and body aren’t fully in sync. Like my brain’s 2 seconds ahead of where my body is. It’s a quirk.

It was funny.

I was returning my cup — my special and beloved plastic cup with a skeleton’s face on the front and a gripping bony hand on the back, there’s a story for another day — to the side table when I noted a few tiny droplets fly as I set it down.

Well aware of the beige carpet between the bed and table, I immediately set to dabbing those droplets. When all of a sudden my hand misjudged in that quirk I’ve got. And toppled the cup, sending Cabernet Sauvignon flying!

Onto my mattress and sheet. Onto the table. And above all across the beige carpet.

Of course.

As I hastened for a rag, I sought to recall what I’d read about removing red wine from carpet. Salt!

But no. Is that really the best solution?

I carefully dabbed — DO NOT RUB! it’s always written. Since the cup was fairly full, the pool of wine was no little matter. Clearly a single rag was proving too small for the size of the spill. Plus droplets had splattered far and wide. Like when a glass bottle’s dropped. You end up finding shards 50 feet away! Usually by stepping on one.

Netflix paused, I hurriedly googled “carpet and red wine.” A plethora of hits. I jumped into one that appeared informative and legit.

“Pour two cups of warm water into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dish detergent.”

Oh yeah, good ol’ white vinegar, the godsend of many a cleaning project! P.S. As I don’t care for vinaigrettes, the sole reason I even have it in the house is for cleaning.

Armed now with solution and roll of white paper towels, I diligently and quickly set to soaking the spill and splatters far and wide with a sponge saturated with said solution. Again, carefully, direct firm pressure, no rubbing.

I’m happy to report it worked!

While the splatters lifted pretty quickly, the worst of the spill — which of course lay awkwardly in the narrow space between table and mattress and thus required a contortionist — required repeated applications.

And a keen eye.

Because here’s the thing about my property management company. They are STICKLERS. Not quite prison wardens but verrrry strict and boy have they spelled out the rules in the lease! Mine for a little studio alone is like 10 pages!

You’re not allowed even nail holes. If you got ’em, be prepared to pay for their repair. I’m sure they hire someone just to check. He probably marches around with a chart on a clipboard. “Let’s see. 15 holes. At 82 cents a hole. That’s a $12.30 charge.” Check! Professional Nail-Hole Counter. I could do that job.

Hence it behooved me to switch on the bright overhead light (oooowww, my eyes!), grab the flashlight, get down on my hands and knees and examine ev-er-y single carpet fiber within a 3-foot radius for a hint of the shade of cabernet.

It’s about 1:30 in the morning. And I’m playing detective with a flashlight on my hands and knees in a homicide. Seeking evidence of a ghastly spill. Not blood but Kirkland Cabernet Sauvignon from Costco.

My keen eye and meticulous and detail-oriented nature and investigation paid off. Several hard-to-spot tiny red-stained spots were discovered and promptly soaked up before they could dry.

Once satisfied that every tiny droplet had been found, I dabbed gently to dry with paper towels. I wasn’t worried about the vinegar and Dawn discoloring the carpet. Just for good measure.

I tossed a good quarter roll of red-stained paper towels into the trash. Dumped the solution. Changed into other PJs because — oh yeah — the wine soaked my jammies too. And sheet. Didn’t really care about that. My uber-picky and fines-oriented rental company ain’t gonna ding me for bedding

God Save the Carpet!

And I did. 🙂

Just for fun, here’s my sheet being “repaired” by OxiClean Laundry Spray. (Novel I even have that in the house!)

oh sheet!

oh sheet!

And since I own only own set of sheets, I simply tossed a towel on top of that big ol’ honkin’ spill you see and slept on that.

I resumed my movie with a new cup of wine that I brought to my lips ever so gingerly with two hands for the remaining night.

I do love that plastic skeleton cup. And my red wine. Nonetheless, I remain a bit rattled and uneasy. I may need to play it safe for the next week:

hydration pack

hydration pack

On second thought, I may wanna stay away from shades of pink and red … so instead:

Where do dreams go?

What happens to dreams when they’re lost?

Dreams of life, that is, not those of slumber.

Do they fade and vanish like ripples from a stone tossed into a lake?

Do they get stored in our souls to be remembered, retrieved and given another chance in the next lifetime?

Do they follow and haunt us like the ghosts of our grandmothers and grandfathers and ancestors before them?

What happens to a dream that isn’t given the chance to come to life — aka “come true” — for any myriad of reasons?

I don’t have the answer or even an inkling of it.

I just know that at age 58, I don’t believe as I once did. As we all do when we were young — or younger.

Do you remember back when you were, say, 11, 12, 13? How natural were our life dreams then. Attainable. Doable. Within reach of course, given efforts and work and education and elbow grease and keeping the eye on the ball.

I never questioned that I couldn’t win a Nobel Prize in literature or journalism one day. I wasn’t convinced that I would. However, more importantly, neither was I convinced that I couldn’t. If I did the work, anything was possible.

Then life happens. Things we never could never see coming. Some good, some terrible. And the dreams that were so much a part of us, as natural to us as our breath, slowly begin to take second seat to other things. Other things like marriages or children or wanderlust or addictions or jobs just to pay the rent. The list is long.

Then those dreams slide even further from our attention with the years. Marriages turn into divorces, the kids become a pain in the neck and consume our energies. Or we’re enabling them or rescuing them or living our lives through them in the most toxic ways. Our partners have affairs.

Forget careers or aspirations of our younger times. We’re happy just to survive. Just to have a job that’ll put food on the table.

Our pleasures in life shrink as responsibilities and Must-Dos and Have-to-Dos overcome us. Swallow us in part or in whole.

The dreams of our youth that we remember, perhaps distinctly, perhaps vaguely, no longer matter. Too many decades have passed. Too much has happened. Life itself has beaten us down. Ground us from the peanuts we are into peanut butter.

Crises or failures of health develop. We gain weight, some of us; others lose it. We no longer have the flexibility or stamina or strength of our youth. We no longer risk as we once did or double-dare ourselves just for the fun and adventure of it.

We grow old in mind and in body.

And our dreams, what happened to them? They’re no longer a part of us save in perhaps distant memory. If our memories are still intact, that is! Dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer and more, they’re all part of the deal now too.

That which we encounter and endure in the later years simply to survive. Just like the jobs we endured and hated simply to survive back in our 30s or 40s. If you’re lucky enough to have a job, that is. These days, in the U.S. economy destroyed by Obama and the liberal/socialist regime, you’re lucky if you’ve got a job at all. Never mind one that brings joy to the heart and income to the bank account.

I don’t believe in dreams. Not like I used to. My youth and inarguably my best years — certainly my most vigorous and healthy years — are behind me. This is fact. This is aging.

If an angel sent from God/Universe/our Creator appeared before me and asked: “What do you believe in, my child?” I would, first, be quite taken aback that anyone was speaking to me with endearment! I truly would.

Then, with astonishment passed, I’d pause and respond in two parts. “Death. And I don’t know.”

I don’t mean to sound like an old fart, I truly don’t! I write from awareness that I’m closer to death than birth. I’m officially in my “sunset” years or “golden years” or whatever one might call them. I’m no happier at 58 than I was at 20. Changed? Yes. Wiser? Absolutely. More jaded and cynical? No. Too much has happened to anticipate happiness beyond the fleeting moment. Moreover, I’ve never strived to be happy. Not really.

Instead of happiness, I’d rather have peace. Inner peace. The peace of knowing that I’ve done the best in life I can; I have. Been true to myself all along the way; I haven’t. Given things my best shot; for most things, yes.

As for dreams, well, I’d let them go. To drift through the air like a feather from the wing of a bird in flight.

And I’d close my eyes in sorrow for the dreams that have died and in joy for the sighting of a feather adrift in the wind.

Dreams really haven’t a place when life is hard, when surviving consumes enormous effort and energy, when staying alive becomes an act of will.

_ _ _

What happens to our life dreams when they don’t come to pass? That answer is no clearer now than it was when I began writing this post.

I feel heavy-hearted. Sad. Achey not only in bones but emotion. Sorrowful in ways. Neither morose nor depressed — not today anyway.

I feel that I’ve lost something that used to enrich and beautify my inner life. Dreams. Of who and what I could become and what I could do.

Those years are gone, lost. We cannot go back in time; were that we could, I’d do many things differently! However, that’s not really the point.

Dreams turn to dust, as do we. Perhaps that’s the best I can offer at this time. I’m learning to live like a common man. Void of or emptied of dreams. Just plodding along day to day until my time comes. As one day it will; as one day it will and does for each of us.

It saddens me so.

S is for Subaru and stupid and Spock

And s-t-u-p-i-d is how I feel!

I blame it on emotions. Ramped-up overwrought emotions accelerated by Mother’s Day “events.” I blame it on a fitless night of (3) beers and (1) whiskey sour, jagged crying, drippy tears, inner churnings and various sordid elements.

Emotions! Always get in the way of reason, logic, clarity and problem-solving!

Yep, I’m the first to admit that Monday after Mother’s Day, when my Subbie suddenly went south, was a damned doozie of a day!

Back to being stupid.

How long have I had that car? It’ll be 13 years next month. That’s a long time to have a car (especially in this era of Disposable). A long time to care for a car. A lot of sitting, riding in, driving a car. A lot of intimate time in a car.

So how the hell is it that I forgot where the button for the hazard lights is?!?

It’s not like it’s hard to find! Not like it’s buried beneath the glove box. Tucked under a backseat headrest. Squeezed into a corner on the ceiling over the passenger’s seat.

It’s right there! Front and center on the console. By the radio — and we all know where that is! Just to the right of the steering wheel. Between the vents. See it? (not my actual car; a facsimile):


It’s not like I’ve never noticed it! Good Lord, I’ve made my home my car and my car my home. I know her sounds, smells and nuances like normal (which btw I am not) people know their homes.

My Subbie’s more than a car. She’s my friend .. my best friend … my companion, steadfast and loyal … my other half, or same half, depending on point of view. She’s my greatest and only asset, pragmatically.

She’s my horse. In another lifetime and era, I’d be the cowboy and she’d be my horse and off we’d go on long rides deep into open space and lonesome valleys, just she and I, disappearing for days to weeks on end.

Just as we do in this lifetime. Her fuel may be gas rather than grass and I a female rather than male but all the rest is the same.

Back to stupid.

It’s not that I *didn’t* know that that’s the button for the hazard lights staring from the console. Sure, the cute design (a thin red triangle) is misleading. Could be mistaken for a touch of cabin “flair.” It doesn’t scream HAZARD lights. It whispers it. It’s subtle. In typical Subaru style. Subaru doesn’t shout “look at me!” Subaru’s not about flash and drawing attention to the self. It’s about understated presence and superb quality beneath the hood and carriage.

Still, subtlety of the button is no excuse for my Lapse of Reason and Intelligent Thought.

Somehow Monday night, either while pulling up to park or exiting the car, I accidentally hit that button. Who knows how. I was pretty upset. Pretty distraught. Pretty unglued. Pretty toasted. Pretty “elsewhere” in thought and emotions.

At the same time I’d unknowingly tapped the button that triggers the hazard lights to flash even with the engine off and key removed — as they’re are designed to do! — the car began emitting a horrible groaning under the hood. A sound I’d never heard in our 13 years.

Whether the two — nonstop flashing hazard lights and awful groaning — were connected, I couldn’t know at the time. I knew only that my Subbie was sick and needed to get to the “doctor” ASAP.

I also knew I was a bloody mess.

Yet, amazingly, I had the presence of mind to disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining from the flashing lights. A dead battery: not on my wish list.

Simply, in retrospect, I was just too distraught and overwhelmed to make the connection between the hazard lights button — that, to repeat, has stared at me for some 13 years (!!) — and the flashing lights. And the simple means of turning them off: Push the button!

Most any other time, I would’ve.

She was gonna go in for engine groaning regardless.

So imagine how tall I felt — NOT! — when I arrived at the dealer reporting that the flashing hazard lights wouldn’t shut off.

The porter leans in. Pushes one button. Nope, that’s not it. Pushes another. That’s it. Lights off.

Damn! Don’t I feel s-t-u-p-i-d!

Not because I was unaware of that button. Because I was.

Emotions. They do ugly things to our brains. They mess me up. Make fools of us all.

To my credit, intelligence, not emotion, is my prevailer.

But Monday, after the worst Mother’s Day in eight years, I was a damn mess. And it just happened that my Subbie abruptly turned sick. When it rains, it pours.

Suffice it to say that Subbie’s health has been restored. The source of that terrible groaning was identified and repairs made in a day.

My emotional health, on the other hand, not so speedy on the rebound, I’m afraid to say.

There’s a lot to be said about being Spock. Or Spock-ish. All things logical. Reasoned. All things sensible and in order and when not in order returned to order by sound fundamentals of thought and logic.

Being human is a messy business. I don’t much like it.

On the other hand, what are my options? Be a robot? A zombie? A regular person run entirely by emotions without thought or food of intelligent design? None of that’s gonna happen or can happen.

What IS certain, I can say, is that I shall now always remember what the button for the hazard lights looks like! Even if I’m distraught and drunk. It’s that button with the “cute” understated red triangle.

I’ll remember what it’s for: switching on front and rear hazard lights that WILL continue flashing until I push the button again!

A cheap lesson in the value of mindfulness and the messiness of emotions. Being human. It’s not for everyone.

Live long and prosper, Sir Spock (& other non-earthlings of his ilk).


She’s sick, my (beloved) Subbie …

I knew she needed a tuneup. Her recommended maintenance.

I also knew something was up outside the norm. Something amiss. Nothing drastically obvious; nothing needing *immediate* attention.

Still, I knew something was ailing my Subaru. I could tell by feeling, by sound. I’ve spent so many hours in my Subbie and know her so well, down to her nuances, that even when she’s a little off from her norm, I detect it.

But Monday night, I wasn’t expecting *that!* Couldn’t see *that* coming.

It’d been a highly emotional day. The apex of the days around Mother’s Day, details unnecessary. Once Mother’s Day passed, so came the crash. A hard landing on an airstrip in life. Deep feeling, crying, gloom, confusion, a general malaise of such emotion and distress that I actually made it a mission to do some drinking! On a day of severe stress, it *can* help. As a daily coping mechanism, not so much.

The Subbie’s performance through the day was fine. No hint or indication of the trouble to come, aside from the aforementioned low-grade distress. That’s what makes it weird. I’d been planning to take her in for whatever was ailing her along with recommended maintenance at the end of May or June. During the Mercury retrograde, which I’ve been told would assist in the repairs. I expected them to be extensive, i.e., not just an oil change and out the door.

I pulled into my parking spot Monday night. It’d been like I said a bad night of many tears shed and heaviness of the heart. When I pulled in to park, two things became immediately apparent: 1. The front and rear hazard lights didn’t shut off; they continued to flash even with the ignition key removed. 2. A terrible groaning sound from under the hood. My Subbie turns 13 years next month. All the years and all the miles, I’ve never heard her make that sound. Never. And yes, she’s been maintained well all through those years. I’ve been more attentive to maintaining her than myself!

I tumbled out of the car, emotional and more inebriated than I knew. Which is to say, the liquor caught up to me an hour or so after the drinking was stopped. The Champagne Effect. Or Long Island Iced Tea Effect. You drink and drink and feel “fine.” It’s only 4 drinks later or an hour later when you stand that it hits you, the alcohol. Plus I’d hardly eaten, a recipe for disaster.

I tried to get the hazard lights to turn off by switching the ignition on and off. No go. The sound … the groaning, that was new. I sat there in the seat, the door opened, and listened, shocked beneath the haze of alcohol. “This isn’t normal. She’s never done this. Something’s very wrong.” My Subaru’s sick.

Amazingly, given my condition and state of mind, reason prevailed. I proceeded to pull the battery connections so that the flashing hazard lights wouldn’t drain the battery. (I definitely didn’t need to add a dead battery to the troubles!) My downstairs neighbor whom I’d never met officially, only seen in passing, appeared. He happened to be outside (for a smoke?) as I positioned myself under the hood. He appeared and held my flashlight as I worked an adjustable wrench around the battery connectors.

I’m grateful because clenching that little flashlight with my teeth while managing a less-than-ideal wrench for the project in the night while drunk was hardly easy-breezy lemon-peasy! The disconnected battery stopped the flashing light. It also meant (electric-powered) shut and locked doors couldn’t be opened, neither the hood raised by the lever inside! So I devised safety measures. I set a brick to keep the bonnet open and wedged a jacket into the driver’s door so it wouldn’t latch shut.

And there she sits, like that, until tomorrow. Undriveable. I’ve tried various remedies read online to relieve her of the flashing lights; nothing’s worked. If we’re lucky, it’s merely a blown fuse. Whether there’s a connection between the electrical failure — perhaps a short in a wire to the hazard lights — and the engine groaning, or it’s mere coincidence, I cannot know. That’s the job of the Subaru doctors. She goes in tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. It’s a drive to the dealer — they’re rarely in the center of town! Am I concerned? You bet! I just want to get her there in one piece and without further damaging whatever’s wrong in the engine.

I expect to be leaving her overnight — will be pleasantly surprised if the repairs/maintenance can be done in a day. Being without wheels is a challenge indeed. Further complicating the matter? I’ve got a job interview tomorrow! How I’ll get from the dealer to the interview is to be determined. So there’s not just a little stress at this time!

Major and undoubtedly costly car repairs coupled with a need for transport for job interviews. All the 14 years we’ve been together, that Subbie and I, I’ve never heard her make that sound.

Please, universe, keep me and her safe on the roads to the dealer tomorrow. Let her receive the care and repairs that she needs. Our lives together will be long and fruitful and I need her to be in good health and *she* needs to be in good health for herself.

My Subbie’s sick — and soon to be made well in the capable hands of Subaru doctor-dudes. I look forward to having her back up and running.

Wildflower rises to the occasion. (Literally)


Wildflower Bread is a cafe, bakery and catering company in the same vein as Panera … down to the gas fireplace and comfortable seating that invites you to sit and stay a while.

The Wildflower here in Prescott is one of my favorite places. The staff’s always friendly, the salads, soups, sandwiches and artisan breads (for which they’re famous) are tasty and nutritious; the pastries, cookies and dessert bars, not so healthful. 😉 A mug of coffee is endless and the Wi-Fi solid.

To my knowledge, Wildflower stores are found only in Arizona (believe they’re based in Scottsdale). My local Wildflower has many, many loyal regulars, myself included.

Every year, Wildflower bakes up thousands of loaves of Honey Wheatberry, bags them in paper bags bearing a nice, homey design and gives them to mothers, along with a card, until supplies last.

My store alone reportedly baked some 500 loaves for the moms of Prescott and anywhere else. It’s a nice-sized loaf too, unsliced and ready for toasting, sandwiches and sharing.

I’ve been looking forward to it for weeks. (I’m on their email list so knew the day was coming. 😉

My visits are typically mid- to late-afternoon (to skirt lunch and dinner rushes). I’d been so anticipating the nice lil’ treat and knowing how busy they’d be on Mother’s Day and not wanting to risk them running out of loaves, I ventured in early around 1.30.

Place was PACKED! Wall-to-wall people. Every table filled and the din palpable. Luncheons with moms indeed! Fortunately, I bumped into the head fellow, who gifted me with a loaf, thereby enabling me to bypass the seriously long line, turn and return later!

I enjoyed the weight of the loaf in my hand, the quaint paper and the card. I vowed to return later when the crowd dies down and here I am … at a much saner hour of 4:45 p.m.!

However, my experience isn’t the point of the post.

The point is: Wildflower Bread Company makes a kind and wonderful gesture every year for mothers. They spend hours and hours and days and days preparing and baking their yeast loaves, then packaging each individually, in order to say “thank you, mothers.”

Personally, I truly look forward to it because I’m always alone on Mother’s Day. Their token of gratitude to the women who give life and raise us all is endearing. On this day, they rise to the occasion. Literally.

Good deeds deserve recognition. So hats off to Wildflower! Just pretend it’s a baker’s hat.


The steam finally cools with Fry’s Food

The flames of frustration with Fry’s Food are at last subsiding.

Let’s review briefly the course of irritants in the past 48 hours.

1. A company email informs me that if I need to reschedule an interview to call Ms. R. at the store directly.

2. I do so, only to be told that no, you don’t call the store, you email her.

3. I’m told that her email is such-and-such. I insist that she spell it out and she obliges. Only, it turns out, it isn’t correct. My emails bounce back.

4. I call the store again seeking the correct email and confirming spelling. A staffer tells me that the “k” in the woman’s name must be capitalized. Ooooooooh-kay.

5. I make the change, send the emails. Wait a while. No response. They bounce back again.

6. I call the store now for the fourth time in two days and present the problem. Though the interview’s several days away, the time to reschedule is vanishing fast on repeated wasted efforts (through no fault of my own).

Regarding the yet-again incorrect email: “Oh, no, there’s no ‘s’ in ‘foods,” a woman tells me. Ohhhhhh-kay!

7. I send now the 6th or 7th email in two days that includes a brief recount and a sense of frustration and exasperation, understandably.

8. I nearly fall off my chair when I receive a response!! I rejoice! At last we have contact! After a stream of incorrect email info from the staff, this one’s right!

9. Unfortunately, all interview slots for the day we both have available next week are filled, in no small part I’m sure due to the two days lost in trying to get a hold of Ms. R.!

So an open interview it’ll be. I and who knows how many others on a first-come first-served basis between 12-3 p.m.

I’m nothing if not persistent — and responsible. Lesser souls attempting to reschedule and hitting wall after wall might’ve said “screw it!” Can’t say I’d blame ’em.

And no, my persistence isn’t rooted in any yearning or deep desire to work at a supermarket for minimum wage!

I persisted because I feel responsible. If I can’t make an interview, I’m not gonna be a no-show. I’m gonna reschedule — if I’m able … and this arduous Fry’s run-around called that into question!

I’m gonna do the right thing. The responsible thing.

I hear so many stories of people — especially young folks — who simply don’t show up at work as scheduled. Who quit without giving a head’s up to a manager. Who simply “don’t feel like working there anymore so I’m not ever going back in.”

Such behavior — and it’s far more common than you think! — appalls. It revolts me. No sense of responsibility or respect or work ethic.

A part of me thinks I should be hired simply for all the grief, frustration and aggravation imposed by Fry’s! A case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand’s doing.

I don’t *really* think that of course.

I do, however, think that anyone who went through as much trouble as I did and still stuck it out to do the right thing shows an aspect of character — an admirable aspect — that should cause a potential employer to sit up and take notice.

I know I’d notice were I a hiring manager.

But then again, were I a manager, none of these in-house missteps and failures to communicate would’ve occurred. Not on my watch. And if they did, I’d correct them immediately.

Guess that’s why I remain a peon in a cog in someone else’s wheel rather than a manager or high-level administrator. I’m too intelligent, too efficient, too orderly, too adept at identifying and solving problems, too thorough, too meticulous, too conscientious and adept at a job.

In a nutshell, I’m the worst candidate for a managerial post in Corporate!

Glad this mess is behind me — for now. I want to celebrate. A round for everyone!

Pick Your Pretty, Please!

Pick Your Pretty, Please!