picky, picky, picky

Certain behaviors ought not be for public viewing.

Personal cell phone calls.

Nudity. {except at designated beaches, etc.}

Sex.

Picking your nose.

There’s an appetite suppressant!

I was at Starbucks last night. Fairly empty due to the holiday. A god-saving perk for anyone who wasn’t there!

But there I was, at a table with laptop.

Nearby sat a man in an overstuffed chair. Around 55 to 65 years old. Reading his electronic device. Picking his nose.

At length.

And repeatedly.

Finger shoved up the left nostril, wiggled about. Perhaps he did likewise with the right. I don’t recall. I don’t want to.

He’d let it rest. Then 10 minutes later same thing. Finger up the nostril and stirred around like he was stirring a martini.

Cancel that. No one needs that image associated with cocktails.

He picked his nose repeatedly. From his chair in the center of Starbucks. Blatantly. No attempt to conceal. None whatsoever. Never looking up from his electronics.

I stared directly at him with that same stare extended to car accidents. You’re disgusted, revolted, nauseated. Yet you can’t look away.

That can’t-look-away stare. It’s the mind’s way of informing you: This is beyond the pale. Not the norm. And though I’m about to puke (or am puking), still I must stare. To make sure it is real.

Ohhhhh, baby, it was all too real.

 

I stared out of revulsion. And a hope that he’d glance up, catch me staring, be ashamed and stop his nose-picking.

Alas, it did not happen. Thus I was “treated” to several rounds in one short hour.

Came time for Starbucks to close. The Picker merely packed up his electronics and exited. La-de-dah. Nonchalant. As if he’d been sitting in his living room the entire time.

Ohhhhh, and we were anywhere but!

I don’t claim to understand people in this way so perhaps you can enlighten me? Explain why on earth a person past the age of 2 would behave thusly.

I don’t get it. When I think about it, maybe I don’t want to.

What I do want is to wash those hideous images out of my mind!

Or at the very least hand him a box of Kleenex and a map to the restroom in a straight line 15 feet away.

You pick your battles.

You pick your parents.

You pick your mate.

You pick your car, residence, college major, the list goes on.

But I’m sorry, you do NOT pick your nose in public! Call me picky {couldn’t resist} about public manners. That’s just me.

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A (radio) board in exchange for a burger.

Close. So close. But no cigar.

Or burger off the grill. Potato salad. Or slice of watermelon.

Today’s Memorial Day in the United States.

For most, it’s merely the start of the summer travel season. A reason to party. A holiday in a 3-day weekend for BBQs, getaways and picnics.

An American minority marks Memorial Day for its original purpose: to remember and honor the fallen soldiers.

I mention this not only to pay my respects to those who gave their lives for our freedoms — a worthy acknowledgement indeed.

I mention it on a personal note of “close but no cigar.”

I work seven days a week at a radio station.

Three of those days are long shifts — from 5 to 8 hours. Four of those days are 1-hour shifts in mid-afternoon.

Either way, I’m at the workplace every day of the week.

I love my job and I work every day willingly for various reasons.

I do, however, miss having a totally free day to myself. A day to go out of town. To do something that doesn’t require watching the clock or needing to be somewhere.

I came thiiiiiisssss close to that day off today. It’d have been my first day off since … geez, can’t recall. A while.

I’ll admit I was very excited! Not only for that rare day to play but to do so by a lake for a holiday potluck. Gorgeous weather, around 80 degrees, crystal clear blue skies.

You couldn’t ask for better conditions for 25 folks to gather outdoors to play. picnic and pause, hopefully, to remember WHY we have the day off: Memorial Day.

I’d sussed out and reviewed tons of recipes online for a potluck dish. Bought all the fixings for a Chinese ramen salad. Had it all planned.

Then last night at work — around 10:30 p.m. — the workplace phone rings.

My boss.

“I forgot to arrange for someone to come in tomorrow (on the holiday) 12 noon to 4 p.m. Can you do it?”

My answer of course was yes.

First, because someone was needed to run the (radio) board.

Second, I love being of service to the station and radio generally.

Three, of our small staff, I’m probably the most likely to drop everything to fill in when asked.

Four, I need the money. (Admittedly 4 hours isn’t a huge moneymaker at my wage; however, it is certainly a gain.)

Five, I like my boss and genuinely want to help him and the station. It’s who I am. “Chronically helpful.” haha

So I went in to work today. It meant bowing out of the Memorial Day potluck that had me all excited. Forgoing my first day off in months in order to help where it was needed. It meant working quietly alone while folks were out play-play-playing travel-travel-traveling relax-relax-relaxing.

It meant bidding bye-bye to a party some 12 hours away when the boss telephoned.

Soooo close so very close. But no cigar.

No burger or potato salad or watermelon either.

No dip for chips or dip for feet in a lake.

Not complaining. I worked willingly and because it was needed.

Just sayin’ this Memorial Day’s marked with a memory of what might’ve been  — a potluck in a park — and what was — servicemen and women who lost their lives fighting for America.

Be it from the workplace or the water, I salute you.

Ascending Absurdity Mountain

Conjure up a story.

Then don’t go tell it to the mountain. Go tell Maria.

Seems she’ll believe … well, read on.

Maria works at a store I frequent. Many are our friendly and engaging conversations. Yesterday’s was weird.  Casts Maria in a new light. Went something like this.

Maria: “I heard there was a huge accident on the highway outside of Sprouts.”

Sprouts is a market, the road a fast 4-laner thoroughfare. Accidents due to distracted driving and speeding aren’t unusual. Since it’s the only passage in the area, accidents create nightmarish slowdowns and shutdowns.

Me: “Ohmygod! When was this?! What happened?!”

Maria: “This morning around 10, 11. Joe (too a regular patron) told me. He saw a woman driving really crazy. She hit like 10 cars. I’ll bet it was drugs. Or medical. They didn’t catch her.”

Me: “My God! Was anyone hurt? Killed?

Maria: “I don’t know.”

Me: “I gotta look this up! And this was on the highway? Not in the parking lot?”

Maria: “Yes, the highway, by Sprouts.”

I google it, inputting various key words and combinations. Patiently wait each time through the draggy Verizon network. Because inquiring minds need to know! Because natural but unemployed reporters need to know. Because this is big news in a small-to-midsize town.

Me: “Weird. Nothing. I’ll keep looking.”

Me: {minutes later} “Nothing on the newspaper’s web site either.”

Maria: “It wouldn’t be in the paper yet. It’s too soon.”

Me: “It wouldn’t be published but it’d definitely be on their web site. Breaking news. Everyone goes online. Social media. Not many even read newspapers anymore. They pretty much all have web sites now, including our local paper.”

Maria: {growing disinterested, busy with task} “Yeah? Oh.”

Me: “Nothing on Google. Nothing in the paper. You’re sure Joe said it was 10 cars? In front of Sprouts? This morning? Because that’s huge.”

Maria: “Yes. He said she was blonde. They’re still looking for her.”

Me: noting “that’s specific” and “interesting he could ID her yet escape any involvement.”

Things are not looking good for Joe. Dubious.

They are not looking good for Maria. Refusal to face fact. Or think it through.

While I do not know Joe well, I know him in our encounters to be an honest, sincere, reasonably intelligent and caring. Neither a liar nor a thief. Not a rabble-rouser for the sake of rousing rabble or a gamer, player or roper.

Sidenote: Maria, Joe and I seasoned folk in our 50s, 60s.

Me: {with a nose for news and driving — no pun intended — need for truth and accuracy, I press on undeterred.}

Go online to the state’s Department of Transportation (DOT). Major accidents, road closures, backups, etc. are posted.

Me: “Nothing on the state’s DOT site.”

Maria: “Yeah? Wonder why.” {same as she wondered why it wasn’t anywhere else either.}

“Maria: {staunchly} “Well, I still believe him.”

Me: “Nothing online. Nothing on the newspaper’s site. And a 10-car accident definitely woulda made the news. Nothing on the state’s transportation site. And you still believe him?”

Maria: “Yes, I believe him.”

Me: {pressing on through rugged rocky terrain.} I make two phone calls. Return to Maria.

Me: “I talked to police dispatch. They have nothing. No calls, no reports.”

Maria: “Really?” {shrugs} I still believe him.”

Me: “A huge accident. Nothing on Google. On the newspaper online. On the state’s Department of Transportation. And police dispatch says no. And you still believe him?”

Maria: “I do.”

I barely tamp my incredulity.

I soldier on. I like challenges, true. I aspire toward truth more.

Me: “Are you serious?! You believe Joe over police dispatch?”

Maria: {irked} “I do.”

Me: “You don’t think there’s anything odd in no news of this anywhere? Most notably from the police who would know?”

Maria: “I don’t know why there’s not. But I believe him.”

Me: “If I bring in tomorrow’s paper and there’s no story or picture of this big accident, will you believe it then?!”

Maria: “Yes.”

Me: {knowing otherwise}

Me: {introducing levity in a rather tense conversation and inspired by the inanity} “I’m gonna conjure up a wild tale. No injuries or harm included. You can tell everyone. This is how rumors get started. This could be really fun!”

My mind starts spinning for a yarn.

Maria: {failing to see the humor or message; she’s bitchy and firmly with Joe’s account; I’m frustrated, somewhat amused and wholly incredulous, more tennis-match discussion that leads only to more ridiculousness and dead ends} “I don’t know why you even care.”

Me: {playing dumb} “Because it’s a 10-car accident. There are people injured, maybe dead.  You don’t care there’s an accident?”

Maria: “No.” {now she’s really not thinking. or listening}

 

Game over. Conversation done. I move along. With no purchases but a priceless insight into Maria.

It’s one thing to stand firmly with a buddy’s account.

It’s another to do so despite abundant credible evidence to the contrary.

Someone very very wise and insightful once said something many years ago that I vividly remember: “You hate Stupid.”

Bingo. Absolutely correct.

Thusly for me our store friendship and conversations are over. They must be. Relegated to a civil cheery wave as I pass. No reason to foster ill will with Maria after all, especially since I’m on good friendly terms with her coworkers.

Though my mischievous self who does loooove a good story is sorry to pass up opportunities to invent and tell it — not to the mountain but to Maria.

Oh well, not a mountain girl, a water baby anyhow. Though talking to her was an arduous climb up an mountain. A Mountain of Absurdity. Hers.

Oh yeah, and not a word or photo on an accident in today’s paper.

I’d tell that to Maria but she’ll refuse to believe.

May need to go to the mountain after all. Better chance of being heard!

You work here. You say sayonara in a week.

Can’t help wondering what’s goin’ on at Esoji.

The Japanese restaurant about a mile from my house.

Anyone looking for work on craigslist (aka craigshitlist) and wise to the ways of today’s job market knows:

Any establishment / employer that posts often and repeatedly for positions is a red flag. The place is a sh**hole, the management terrible, the environment’s a sinkhole, the morale and/or work ethics pitiful.

SOMETHING is or SOMETHINGS are going on such that employees don’t stay.

Esoji is one such red flag.

Clearly a revolving door. They seem to post ads every other week. For servers, kitchen help, your basic staff. They even say experience not necessary, we’ll train.

I drive by the place every day but have never eaten there. Or even stopped in to check out the vibe.

However, I take heed of that extremely high rate of turnover. I’ve endured too many jobs like that.

So best to keep on passing by.

Sad. ‘Cause I really really need a second job. Plus just a mile from my house. How convenient!

I’ve got tons of food-service experience, from front end to back, to the lowest of the lowest gross grunt work to customer service to cashiering. Pretty much everything except managing or owning a place.

Note: Lowly menial-wage food-service jobs are NOT my career, merely a means to survive and continue the low self-esteem slave mentality of my upbringing.

Anywho, it’s unfortunate the red flags of Esoji. Because as I said I’ve got so much food-service experience AND 10-1/2 years of Life in Japan under my belt. I’m an ideal candidate, nee hire.

Some places holler:

行く渡してはいけません。 50ドルを収集することはありません。
Iku watashite wa ikemasen. 200-Doru o shūshū suru koto wa arimasen.

またはヒントや賃金または割引寿司の夕食。
Matawa hinto ya chingin matawa waribiki sushi no yūshoku.

Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect 200 dollars.

Or tips or wages or discounted sushi dinners.

Somethings don’t translate well.

Like Monopoly cards in Japanese. 🙂

Keimusho ni ikimasu. Keimusho ni chokusetsu idō shimasu.

Keimusho ni ikimasu. Keimusho ni chokusetsu idō shimasu.

Move over, Elmer Fudd!

You’ve got company.

Would you date a girl with an obnoxious laugh?

(Or a guy? But let’s stay real. Males generally don’t produce annoying sounds that females do.)

Obnoxious meaning high-pitched, squirrel-y gunfire bursts of sound somewhere between giggles and laughter . That rapid-fire rat-a-tat-tat-tat ear-bleeding pitch that only dogs should be able to hear.

You see the “Seinfeld” episode where Jerry’s dating a girl, Naomi, with a laugh like”Elmer Fudd sitting on a juicer”? Classic line, that!

Obnoxious Laugher on Seinfeld

Naomi, Obnoxious Laugher on “Seinfeld”

Just so happens that Naomi’s Twin Flame is at the cafe where I like to write in peace. So much for serenity tonight.

Naomi’s Twin Flame looks about 24. She’s chatting with a gal-pal around the same age.

Her gal-pal is sane, judging by her way of speaking and laughing.

Naomi’s Twin Flame however is not.

First, she laughs way too often. Like Russell’s dating interest on “Rules of Engagement.” The LOL Girl laughs at EVERYTHING. Every text Russell sends, everything he or anyone says.

“How’s the weather?” laughlaughlaugh.  “I went to the market today.” laughlaughlaugh. “I love your shirt!” laughlaughlaugh.

She’s so annoying that he actually dumps her rather than sleep with her. Rare for the Hound that he is!

So Naomi’s Twin Flame laughs too much. You can tell by watching. Her gal-pal doesn’t look THAT funny or their interchanges that entertaining.

Naomi’s Twin Flame laughs are piercing staccato rapid-fire high-pitched ear-bleeding bursts of hysteria. Audible from one end of the cafe to the other.

So fucking annoying — nee, painful — to listen to over and over and over that I packed up my stuff and relocated to the furtherest table away.

Still ain’t far enough!

“Put in earbuds,” you might suggest.

Guess what. Already in! Volume cranked to the max on both earbuds and Pandora.

BFD as the acronym goes.

Naomi’s Twin Flame is a Siren.  Siren not as in the woman or or winged creature whose singing lures unwary sailors onto rocks. Siren as in the blazing song emanating from a police car.

Honestly, I came here for a nice relaxing light dinner and an Americano with inarguably the best espresso in town. A treat I allow myself a time or two a week.

It’s been about 1-1/2 hours listening to her and I am exhausted. Exhausted.

So for the second time I packed up. And bolted to the furtherest seat away. OUTSIDE!

Ahhhhhh. Bliss! Blissful relaxation on the patio. The sounds of cars. The QUIET conversation of three patrons. The water spilling in the fountain.

It’s cool out here and breezy. I’ve got goosebumps. I need a jacket. But I’ll take frostbite over one more second of that laugh!

Even the sound of jackhammers would be soothing compared to laughs of Naomi’s Twin Flame!

Some people shouldn’t be allowed in public. Ear-Bleeders especially. She needs someone to tell her to either shut the fuck up or dial it down. WAAAAAY down. Like from 100 to 10 down.

To my opening question, I absolutely would NOT date a girl or a guy with an obnoxious Elmer-Fudd-sitting-on-a-juicer laugh.

Not even if I’m wearing these. In pure black. To go with my classic black dress and string of pearls of course.

Hearing Protection_Correct

 

 

 

Get that boy a drink x 10!

Are you sensitive to others and your environment?

Then perhaps you’ll know what I’m talkin’ about!

I’m a regular at this cafe. So’s this other guy. Young. Bookish in appearance. Likely a university student. Tall, wiry.

Always on his laptop.

Always moving.

Always.

Nervous energy. Never stops moving. His motor’s always running.

Once my little table was next to his. I too was on my laptop.

He wore earplugs. His foot went tap taptaptaptaptaptaptap taptaptaptaptap striking the floor in apparent rhythm with his music.

Never stopped! Taptaptaptaptaptap. Like Chinese water torture. Dripdripdripdripdrip.

Finally I spoke up. I had to. He was driving. me. crazy. Politely requested could you not do that. It’s annoying. Distracting. Something to that effect.

He glared as if I’d said I’d stolen $5 from his wallet. But he stopped. Thank god!

Well, Na-na-na Nervous Nick is at the cafe again. At a table in my peripheral vision clear as day.  No earplugs this time. Legs crossed. Foot moving. Updownupdownupdownupdownupdown.

Doesn’t stop. Updownupdownupdown. Sandaled foot always moving. Nervous energy spilling onto the floor into a puddle intruding into my own space a short 5 feet away.

I couldn’t take it any more!

I turn my table and chair from 12 o’clock to 10 o’clock to rotate him out of peripheral vision.

It helps. Still, I know he’s there. Can feel it.  I’m uber-sensitive. I glance over my shoulder time to time just to see whether his foot’s still updownupdownupdownupdown.

It is.

OH GLORIOUS EVENING!!!

Na-na-na Nervous Nick just now stands, packs up his laptop and goes!

Where does a young man with soooo much drippy nervous energy go? God let it be to the gym for an exhausting workout!

A Zen garden!

A saloon! Certain folks, only a drunken stupor will dial down that energy.

Heck, with all his nervous energy, a few jolts o’ the whiskey might do me good too.

Color therapy isn’t just for humans

It was a ghetto when I moved in.

A tired, dingy, beaten-up and beaten-down mobile home rental circa 1960s.

So I immediately painted every room (with the landlord’s permission, naturally).  And witnessed, by my own hand and efforts, a total transformation.

Visually at any rate. The space still has issues from previous tenants. The ghosts and residues of traumas and bad shit that went down, none of which I care to revisit.

Much progress has been achieved in cleansing the space, stripping the toxic energies from the walls and floors in some 9 months of residency.

There’s one room — the only room — where the negativities are especially thick and heavy. The bedroom. It’s not only traumatized, it is haunted. (I had nightmares every night when I first moved in.

While much improved from then, the room’s psychic damage lingers. The healing’s a slow ongoing process.

Many modalities are applied toward that healing — not the least of which includes:

Yes, color therapy isn’t just for people! It can soothe, heal, invigorate and calm spaces too!

Since the bedroom was/is the darkest (not strictly in terms of natural lighting) and most haunted room, I painted two walls the cheeriest of colors: sunflower yellow. After blue, it’s my favorite color.

The color perked up the room — absolutely!

Maybe like giving a depressed room Prozac!

(I don’t do meds for depression or anything else unless absolutely medically necessary so that comment’s based solely on some reports of improved mood and state of mind due to Prozac.

Perhaps the color perked it up too much!

I’ve experienced considerable restlessness, insomnia, wakefulness when I want to be sleeping and other assorted chronic sleep disorders.

Yellow is a high-vibration color. It is quite stimulating mentally, uplifting, active.

So after umpteen hours studying feng shui (a passion for some time now), compass readings and such, I decided to tone it down. To lose the yellow — rather, most of it — for a softer less-vibrant but earthier softer color to soothe the space.

A citrus orange. Which, despite its name, looks nothing like an orange peel! Rather, a soft coral with a splash of orange.

citrusdelightpaint

citrus orange paint

P.S. For the past couple weeks, my yellow closets have been “spiffied up” by some 30 paint chips from Home Depot and Scotch tape! I’d stand there, study ’em by daylight, by lamplight, move ’em around like checkers on a board, favoring this shade over that. I didn’t take this switch-eroo lightly! Especially ’cause I really do love sunflower yellow! A part of me is sad to see it go. So as a compromise, I’m leaving a portion of trim and built-in drawers that optimistic yellow.

Having finally selected the paint a couple days ago, this afternoon I began painting. The citrus orange — in reality a light coral by light reflection — is a big change! It’s earthy. Soft. Soothing. It pairs nicely with the soft turquoise on the other two walls.

It even harmonizes with the carpet — as much as any color can harmonize with 1970s Hunter green shag! Ugh. Nuthin’ I can do about that. Except draw the eye away with beautiful colors on the walls!

I’m about 1/3 done with painting. One wall’s still bright sunflower yellow, the other this new coral-orange shade. It’ll be interesting to see how I sleep tonight. IF I sleep tonight!

I absolutely know that colors have a profound impact in any environment. I’m exquisitely sensitive TO my environment AND to colors so this promises to be rather interesting.

Will I come to sleep better? Will my restlessness abate? My insomnia lessen? Will the bedroom become the calm sanctuary I’m seeking to create? Will the ROOM itself shed more of its ghosts and traumas? Become less haunted, further healed?

Questions for today, answers another day.

For now, a nod to a most favorite flower:

sunflower