A Day at the Thrift Store

I finally got around to cleaning out my clutter and
dropping it off at the thrift store yesterday.   Of
course, I just had to go inside and have a quick look
around, Thrift Store Junky that I am.

This was an especially bountiful day at the store.
Forsaken falderal was piled high and wide, and the
atmosphere exuded the same quiet concentration one
might experience while sitting in a room full of
people taking an important exam; which could only mean
one thing.  The Hard Core Collectors were here.

I snapped to attention and quickly grabbed a shopping
cart.  Even though I needed nothing, wanted nothing
and had absolutely no idea what I was looking for,
that didn’t mean I was going to let somebody else get
their hands on it before I did!

Guiding my cart on pure instinct, I tarried not at the
book shelves, by-passed the knick knacks and hardly
acknowledged the exercise equipment.  I was making a
beeline for the shelves marked “collectibles,” when I
suddenly ran head on into another cart operated by a
woman who could best be described as a human Fruit
Loop.  She wore bright blue sweats, tangerine
lipstick, and her ruby-red hair was tucked behind ears
that resembled dried apricots.

Fruit Loop Lady and Her Ilk
We momentarily locked carts. I quickly perused her
cart, and she quickly perused mine.

Atop her mountain of frippery sat a pink, Beanie Baby
Flamingo that had a price tag that said $1.50.  Dang!
I may not be a sophisticated collector, but I was
pretty sure it must have been worth more than that!

I inquired sweetly where she had found the Beanie
Baby.  I kept my voice calm and tried to affect a tone
that conveyed the sentiment that it was not for me but
for my adorable little granddaughter who would dearly
love it for her collection and who, by the way, might
even happen to be blind or something.

Ok, Ok, I don’t actually have any granddaughters, but
she  didn’t know that.  For all she knew I might
have had ten granddaughters, each and every one of them
blind as a bat.

So I was a little put off when she simply glared at
me, shoved her Beanie Baby farther down into her cart
and marched off.   Well! Apparently that dried apricot
thing she had going on extended all the way down to
her heart.

Internal organs of “you know who”
It wasn’t long before I had wormed my way to the
collectibles and spied a set of dishes that were
clearly from the 1950’s atomic era.

They were calling to me in a voice I recognized as Dwight D.

“Buy those dishes, I implore you!”
The pattern featured boomerangs
intermixed with A-bomb mushroom clouds interspersed
with random dots of nuclear waste.

I simply had to have them!

I rushed to find a clerk who could give me a price.
The woman I found to help me wasn’t technically a
clerk; it seems she was just hanging around the store
in order to burn off a few community service hours,
but she was very friendly and quite helpful all the

And when she said she would let me have the entire
set of dishes for $15, I nearly fell over backwards
onto– guess what? — A huge pile of Beanie Babies.

Needless to say, I acquired the dishes, along with a
few other thrift shop must- haves, and the Community
Service Lady was even kind enough to help me out to my
car with my purchases.  They wouldn’t all fit in the
trunk, but we managed to squeeze the rest of  the
stuff into the back seat.

As I drove away I was filled with an unparalleled
sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  After all,
there’s really nothing that can compare with finally
getting rid of one’s old, worn out, useless clutter
unless, of course, it’s replacing it with NEW worn out
useless clutter.

Until next time . . . I love you

AARP the Sound Old People Make When They Burp

Good News (possibly)! Just got my AARP Membership Activation Form in the mail since I’m over 50 but I don’t look it, only they left out the but I don’t look it part.

They want me to send them money since they have already gone to the trouble of printing out two cards for me with my name on it. 

AARP says that they will send me a new card and a full description of benefits after I pay them.  So not to worry, once I buy it, then they will tell me exactly what I just bought.

So if I pay them$63 now, I can start enjoying privileges!  Hurrah!  There’s nothing I like better than a $63 worth of privileges!

Here’s the AARP (pardon me!) Statement of Benefits:

Item 001 

(Note the two zeros before the actual item number –there’s my first privilege right there.  They obviously brought out their good zeros for this offer, make no mistake!)

Up to 25% savings on car rentals. 

But “up to” is the key phrase here.  We all know what an “up to” savings means.  It means you’re never going to actually get the full “up to” amount of 25%.  I never have anyway.  And I would remember if I did since the main reason I buy stuff is because it’s up to 25% off.

Item 002:

Exclusive information and resources.

This phrase is a little vague, sure, but they go on to explain as follows:

The award-winning AARP The Magazine.  Most interesting, most helpful to everyone over 50.

Apparently the award was for incomplete sentences.

As far as resources go, they’re keeping that vague too.  Perhaps we are to assume that they are offering natural resources like say, bauxite or aluminum.  Well, hopefully they’ll explain after I send them the money.

Item 003:

Discounts and special member programs on prescriptions and health services.

There’s another one of their awarding-winning incomplete sentences.  Maybe their attorneys have advised them to drop any actual verbs so there won’t be anything to get all litigious about.

Item 004:

We are fighting for your American Dream.

Say What?   And they want us to pay them for that?  I’m fighting for the American Dream too, in my own way, and I’m not even asking AARP to chip in on gas.

Item 005

Access to Financial Programs

Excuse me but shouldn’t AARP be providing handicapped access to financial programs?

Item 006

Community programs and services.

Over 2,000 local chapters.  Volunteer opportunities.  Safe driving course.

So let me get this straight.  AARP wants me to send them $63 so I can become an AARP volunteer.  Hmmm. . . . and then they’re going to trick me into taking “safe driving course” which will result in them finding out what a horrible driver I actually am and getting my license taken away from me permanently.

But just as I’m deciding I don’t want their stinking privileges,  they have to go and make it a really hard decision by throwing this in at the end:

Free Travel Bag with the sound old people make when they burp emblazoned across the front

Ok, fine I’ll take it.

Until next time . . . I love you

Confessions of a Sunday School Drop Out

The Story of Creation

In the beginning there was this word floating around in a big giant vat full of nothin’. Nobody knows what this word was, but let’s just hope it was a useful word, not too complicated. Something like “stipulate” or maybe something that was pronounced nothing like it was spelled like “rendezvous” to keep it a little more interesting.

In a little while from the opposite end of the vat God appeared. He reached out and grabbed that word, whatever it was, and swung it over his head scattering all the letters hither and yon, sending them flying to the farthest corners of the vat (it was a square vat).

All this new activity really got God fired up. He thought to himself why stop there? Why not create an entire universe replete with planets and suns and super nova’s and black holes because, in his heart of hearts, God was an astronomy major.

So that’s what he did, and it looked great so he thought “why stop there?” So he went ahead and made the earth, the sky, and the oceans. It turned out to be such a masterpiece that God invented the word agog so he would have something to be whenever he looked at it.

Now, since there was still a couple of days before the first day of the week, God decided he had a little extra time to really go all out and add some Zippidy Do Da to the place.

And that’s when he decided to make a man in his image using nothing but ordinary, garden-variety mud. God was quite a wizard with mud and soon he had created a man that looked just like him except that God looked more like Charleton Heston, and the man looked more like Gary Bussey which was a little disappointing for God but he wasn’t too hard on himself because it was his first try at making mud men.

God was shooting for this
Instead he got this

Anyway, God went ahead and gave the man the best name he could possibly think of – Adam — which was kind of an unimaginative name when you consider that none of the other names were taken, but, you know God. He always has to work in mysterious ways. So what are you gonna do?

Now how God got the idea for making Eve is anybody’s guess. Apparently he had gotten tired of working with the medium of mud and started looking around for something else to use. God’s eyes came to a rest on Adam and a peculiar expression crossed His Almighty Face.

Adam was all, “What?”

And God was all, “Nothing.”

And Adam was all, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

And God was all. “No reason. Nothing.  Never mind.”

Of course, somewhere in there God wrestled Adam to the ground and managed to get a hold of one his ribs and, quick like a bunny, fashioned it into a really, really pretty lady named Eve. And since Adam was a sucker for a pretty face, he really didn’t hold it against God too much that he had just ripped out one of his bones without any anesthesia.

As you can see, Eve was well worth the wait!

Rumor has it that God instructed Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge because she was blonde and he wanted to keep her that way ha ha! But seriously, once God realized that his creations were practically incapable of holding up their end of the conversation, he knew he had to do something.

Just then a poor, little, defenseless, cute, little python was slithering by. God commanded him to stop mid-slither. The snake totally ignored God and continued on his way.

While God was trying to remember when the heck he created the snake, Eve ate an apple and talked Adam into eating some of it too.

After that, Adam and Eve went to Old Navy and each bought a whole new wardrobe and charged it to God.

“God’s awesome!

5 — The Perfect Answer to All Your Problems

I woke up this morning with a stomach ache in my back. Well, that’s what it felt like, anyway. I was kind of sick to my back, if that’s possible (I’m here to say it is).   But I’m feeling better now.  I ate some oatmeal and drank some coffee and took some Ibuprofen and now my back isn’t aching at all.  Ibuprofen is magical.

It’s weird too because as I write this, I’m reminded of the dream I had last night. I was driving my kids to school.  Naturally, I was driving backwards, and when I tried to stop to drop the kids off, my brakes wouldn’t work and we just kept on going right past the school backwards. You’d think panic would have been in order.  But no, instead, I thought, gee, our house is a lot closer to the school when you drive backwards.  It’s much farther when you drive frontwards (if a word).  How much farther?  My subconscious didn’t specify.  You see, it’s not very good with numbers and neither am I.

Oh, I know how to add, subtract, multiply and divide just fine unless you’re one of those perfectionists who expect the right answer every time — exactly.  I say what’s wrong with eventually?  

It’s not that I don’t like numbers.  Individually they’re fine.  In first grade I remember enjoying the process of learning how to write numbers.  My teacher said when you write a 5, you make the bottom part first and then add the flag on top.  So number 5 had a flag eh?!   I rubbed my first grade hands together; finally, we were getting a glimpse into the personal lives of numbers!

 On a scale of 1 to 10, the number 5 quickly became my number 1 number.  And the confusion didn’t end there.

Soon we were having numbers interact, but not in a fun way.  Maybe because you can never please numbers.  They are very set in their ways.  Everything has to be just so.  It was all just a little too cut and dried for my tastes.

Later, they tried to trick us into liking numbers by making up story problems. 

Megan’s school is 4 blocks away.  Megan’s Mother is driving Megan to school backwards.  Her brakes are out.  How long will it take Megan to eat the 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in her lunch box and how much will she weigh when  her mother comes to pick her up driving  frontwards (god willing) when school is out at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Anyway, by the time I got to ninth grade algebra at Fisher Junior High School, I was officially the dumbest student in the class.  Mr. Van Curen tried to teach me algebra, but I was a hopeless case.  He’d say A = 12 and I’d say why don’t you just leave out the A altogether and just say 12?  To which Mr. Van Curen would furrow his dandruff- sprinkled brow and say again, Yes, but  A = 12. 

I think he might have been Nigel Tufnel’s dad.

Until next time . . . I love you

The Ark Storm

“There’s supposed to be a Storm to Remember coming this weekend!” my mailman warned.

Really!  I’d better get my camera out for this one.

Devastation caused by The Storm to Remember!

For the hearty souls who brave the threat of a major earthquake each and every day, Californians are surprisingly wimpy weather-wise. 

 For instance, rain is something out of which all California children must be kept. 

 What if they were outside, say, walking, say, and it started raining actual raindrops?  They are wet you know, and they are hurtling to earth at death-defying speeds. 

Yes, it’s true the average California child has lived through six earthquakes so far, but that’s nothing when you compare it to getting slapped in the face with a bullet of H20.   Every Californian knows a thing like that could cause permanent nerve damage!

In Seattle, where the sun shines so rarely it’s often mistaken for Venus, it’s just the opposite. 

Weather exists only as degrees of dampness.  So Seattle-ites whip out their sunglasses the instant the sun makes an appearance.  They are quick on the draw, these Damp People. 

You’ll be driving along on the Seattle freeway when suddenly the sun appears, ufo-like, from behind a rain-soaked, humidity-filled fog bank.  You quickly glance over at the cars on either side of you — and what do you know?  The drivers already have on their sunglasses.  Huh?  Why do they even own sunglasses?    Five seconds later, when the sun dashes behind a 120-percent-chance-of-rain cloud, all sunglasses are quickly removed, twirled between thumb and forefinger and expertly returned to holsters.

Now Weatherians (new word I just made up, feel free to spread it around but be sure to capitalize it) gleefully tell us that California is long overdue for a super storm called the Ark Storm.  Experts (people who hang out at Ark Storm scenario summits) tell us that the last Ark Storm hit California in 1861 causing a flood of such epic proportions it wiped out the entire 1861 California Cattle Industry estimated at the time to be 7 cows, 2 chickens and a pig.

Devastation of the 1861 Ark Storm!

Some experts who were actually listening at the Ark Storm Scenario Summit remind us that two really Stormy Storms hit Northern California in 1986 and 1997. 

Devastation of the 1986 and 1997 storms!

Even though I was unlucky enough to be living in Northern California during both of these horrific storms, luckily I didn’t notice them. 

But being a True California, I’m just sure I drove my kids to school both those days.

Until next time . . . I love you

Pottery Barn

I’ve never bought anything from the Pottery Barn but somehow I get their catalogs in the mail anyway.   Here are some of the Pottery Barn offerings:

Bowl of rolls
Twenty Bucks for the tongs and Forty bucks for the bowl. But it's sustainable!

At first glance this blackboard seems to be trying a little too hard, decoratively speaking.  However, when you study it for a minute you will be much more impressed.  You see, this is a blackboard that is actually a huge wine shopping list and attached to it are metal bottle holders to hold the bottles of wine that correspond to the list on the blackboard. Pottery Barn calls this the Wine Tasting Library.  As you can see, someone has  polished  scratched off several bottles in no particular order.  Genius!  Your hunt for the perfect gift for that near-sighted wino in your life?  Solved! It doesn’t say how much it costs.  Who cares!  Live! Love! Swill!

Oh, and notice on the table that Pottery Barn already has those roll bowl sustainable trees started. That Pottery Barn always thinkin’ ahead!!

Pottery Barn's stylishly messy storage solutions.

See that bookcase that’s holding up all the books that are turned the wrong way so you can’t read any of the titles?  It costs $2,199. The description in the catalog insists it’s well worth it because “it stands more than 6 feet high” (much better than that short, fat and bald bookcase you’ve got now) and “it has a natural weathered finish that accentuates each whorl and knot” (providing you don’t cover them up by storing stuff in it) and “the bookcase’s four fixed shelves are generously sized to hold everything from books to baskets” (baskets full of nonsense, lies and exaggerations, that is).

Until next time . . . I love you