Saturday, May 31, 2008

Twin Peaks

Once again, we are at the grocery store. This time, it is Walts. Why Walt's? Because they have the best bargains and once in a while their ice cream is on sale. We got Quaker cereal for $1.67 a box. And we happily scooped up some products from the more than 1/2 off bin. Why are they in this bin ? Because they are about to become too old. Yes, another exhibit in the endless parade of american cultural bias against things being 'too' old. This, however is not the point of this essay. The points of interest here concern what I saw at the check-out counter.
As usual, we were met with multiple options when we tried to check out. There was line 8 (express, 10 or less items) but a woman seemed to be lost there because her cart clearly had 7000 items in it. There was line 6, which had two medium size orders in it and there was line 2, which had one medium size order. This was a no brainer - line 2, it is. There was something curious happening in line 2 - something I did not notice at first. The customer in front us was having trouble paying for her order. She was either a master at the oh-I'm-old-so-I-didn't-notice-I-gave-you-a-five-instead-of-a-fifty routine or she really didn't notice her slip-up. But that is no big thing, as it happens every hour at Walt's (home of the older than me shoppers).
What caught my eye was the fact that the cashier, bagger, assistant bagger, and roaming stock clerk (all of whom were hanging out at the end of line number 2) did not seem to notice the lady was struggling to find the right paper documents to pay her bill. She did finally figure out where her fifity was and she paid the bill and then she pushed her cart alone. I wonder why ? Was she a crazy woman that none of the employees wanted anything to do with ? (I wonder if I am one too ?) No, there was another reason for their disinterest.
When the cashier moved slightly to give the woman her change, I saw the reason why. Or maybe I should say the reasons why. Standing behind the cashier, about two to three feet behind him, was a young twenty-ish girl with blonde hair. I know this because my wife told me so. I did not see her hair. Something else was attracting my attention. I whispered to my wife, 'look at that girl.' She did and did not see what I was looking at. I told her to look again, then she saw them.
"Oh my God are those real?" she said into my ear. My wife did not want to be over-heard by the girl, the cashier, the bagger, assistant bagger and roving stock clerk. Of these five people, only one was female. the other four ranged in age from 16 to 20. These four males seemed to be standing taller and taller and their chests seemed to be more and more puffed up. I think a couple of them were flexing their muscles. But I have to take my wife's word on this - I was still trying to determine the answer to her question. And short of touching them, I don't think I will ever know the answer, but I do know what I told my wife in answer to her question:
"Who cares."

Frank

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

In BOB we trust

The tuesday spiritual group was waiting for what I would say - perhaps, I should not have said anything but it was my turn so I felt as if I should. The group is not very diverse in nature but they are open-minded. I stick out in two ways:
1) I am the youngest member and
2) I am the only MAN.
Thus, I felt it my duty and honor to represent the man's point of view to these spiritual seekers.
The question posed to us was : How do we see God ? Is God an old man in a white robe that has not shaved in years ? Or so you visualize God in a different way ?
Several ladies stated their views and provided the group what I would call 'enlightened' views of God. One lady stated that to define God is to limit God. I agree. But sometimes we need to define God in order to have a focal point for our prayers. The problem is most people don't have a good visual idea of God other than that old guy in a white robe. People need a useful image of God. An image that shows God doing something for you - ie. helping you in your hour (or in my case, years) of need. With that in mind, my mind came up with an image of God in the form of
BOB VILA
Now when I said that to the group, the ladies collectively stated in no uncertain terms that they were not certain who Bob Vila was. I knew that my task was formitable. Most guys, even gay guys, know who Bob Vila is. He is the patron saint of home remodeling; he is the original host of "THIS OLD HOUSE" and he single handedly (editor's note: he did use two hands) created the home fix-it craze that still sweeps america. Bob Vila was immortalized in the sitcom HOME IMPROVEMENT (which starred Tim Allen). Bob Vila is the image of the wise not too old guy who helps you fix up your life for free - and that I thought is what makes a good image (for me) of GOD, someone who'll help you fix up the mess you call your life. For free.
I still think that is a good image for me but the ladies where having none of it, especially Bev who fell asleep when I was talking. Somehow, the discussion changed directions and we began to talk about burial plans. My plan there did not go over too well either. I said I wanted to be left somewhere out in the woods where the wildlife could feed off of me. Bev told me that she would have no part of it and that if I felt like dying I should take myself out into the woods. So this weekend I am heading to the woods hoping that BOB will save my ass.
Frank

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Adventures in groceryland

Normally I do not mind shopping at grocery stores. In most stores, the cashier nicely asks you paper or plastic (how are you going to pay) and then bags your order. In Walts, the cashiers are the nicest, in Jewel they are fast and you have the choice of going down the do-it-yourself lane. Now that brings us to Aldi's - for some reason Aldi's has chosen to do television commercials which boogles my mind. I mean this is a store which prides itself on cheapness - every brand is a knockoff - you bag your own groceries and you pay a quarter to use their cart (a refundable quarter). So why are they wasting money advertising when they never have a SALE! Everyone knows they are a cheap store!! And then they raise prices to cover their advertising! But that is not my biggest gripe.
It seems that nearly everytime I go in there, the cashier tries to pick a fight with me. Most times, they want to use their cart instead of my cart. No big deal except my cart has boxes in it, in which I want the cashier to place my items. I use boxes because Aldi's charges you a nickel for a paper bag, thus most customers of Aldi's grab boxes off the displays and use them in lieu of bags. I usually have my cart full of boxes . But today, the clerk yelled at me for putting my items on the conveyor belt too fast (I am still wondering about that) then tried to foist her cart on me. Perhaps, this was a diversionary tactic. I jostled her cart out of the way and said: I all ready have a cart, no need to use yours. She then proceeded to move my carefully placed boxes out of the way and started to throw my precious items in the cart(and I do mean throw). I quickly intercepted her, replaced my boxes in the cart, put the items in the boxes and grabbed the remaining items as she processed them out of her hands. She won in the end though because she slammed dunked the last item in the cart. Luckily, they were not eggs, but even worse they were my precious doughnuts. Bev paid the bill, I got my nyah-nyah-nyahs in and the clerk snarled at the next customer in line while telling us in clenched teeth mode "Have a nice day."

rush - rush

I have only two minutes to publish something for this morning because I am going to go somewhere I am not sure if I fit in. So I am going to see if I can fit in and work with what I find. I am reading several books and I think that I have found some drive again, so watch out world. If there is a theme to this writing I do not see it yet. I think that I had another weird dream - full of oriental people and me visiting new york city - I know it was NYC because I saw the statue of liberty there (in my dream). I was looking for the bus station to meet my friends but I found a man and woman separately both oriental who showed me different things. He showed me somed gold coins lying on the sidewalk (which I picked up) and she showed me an open air market in which some oriental couple was selling pots and pans. They gave me advice about the couple and the coins. What does it all mean ? I am in too much of a rush to figure it out - Bev just came in and said we have to get going so that is as far as I can go for now.
FRANK

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Holiday

nmnnl Now then, I realize that summer is upon us and this is a holiday but I do not like to be reminded that it is warm enough to ride a motorcycle at 8:30 am. Doesn't anyone besides me like to sleep in on a holiday ? I am happy that the White Sox won last night - on national TV no less - but I am unhappy that I woke up from my dream. It was a critical part and I wanted to see what would happen next. I was being initiated into a native american shaman family (tribe?) They were taking my brain out to eat - Yes, I know the joke was on them (they would die of starvation because there is nothing there - get it?) Well, they were starting to cut my head - I felt something up there AND I WOKE UP TO THE SOUND OF SOMEONE REVVING THEIR MOTORCYCLE!
Now I will have to wait till tonight to figure out what happens next. There was a whole room full of people in on the ceremony, moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandfathers and grandmothers. I was not even first - some guy - had that privilege. Some people had showed me the pieces that had been eaten out of them - I kept thinking two things - what could this possibly mean in the realm of dream interpretation and what they hell did I eat last night before I went to bed. Was this the chocolate cake, the mint ice cream, or the peanut butter bagel. Maybe the taco sauce was a bit much. I am trying to eat healthier these days - nothing with green fuzzys on it. Perhaps, I should not have drank tap water yesterday. Whatever it was, I have to say that I have never had a dream where I was being eaten, much less eaten alive.
Hey! that is it - I am being eaten alive by something or by my obsession with something. Maybe it is writing - I will stop for now and think about this.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

the dirt

Yesterday, I went to a friend's house to help her plant some flowers. She could not plant her own flowers because she had recently had a hip replaced. She is a very wise person - she fed me first and then we tackled the task of planting the flowers.
I thought this would be easy - dig a few holes in the ground, stick in plants and presto-chango, we are done. But there would be no digging in the ground - we were planting the several thousand (I might be exagerating) species of flowers in containers - aka large pots - None of the containers were prepared - that means they did not have dirt and stones in them. There was a large container of dirt and two more bags of dirt - aka potting soil. So I went about the task of filling the containers with this dirt and stones and flowers.
After the first ten containers, it became painfully obvious that there were not enough stones or dirt. The stones were easy to find - the ground was littered with them (perhaps there had been an attempt to landscape with them in an earlier lifetime as they were pretty stones - nice and white and sparkly). No matter, they were now drainage plugs and as such were buried. The dirt was a different matter. I left that task to Beverly and my friend. They had to fight traffic, crowds, and roving gangs of teenage skateboarders from hell. I was staying put, keeping watch of the thousand pound containers full of flowers - no one would steal them on my watch.
A cup of coffee and a visit to the water closet - aka the john - I sat down and began to enjoy the afternoon's stillness. Suddenly, Bev reappeared and said I should quick get the dirt from the car before anyone sees. I did as she said because she can get mean and I did not want to chance that. I noticed that the getaway car was in the garage and the garage was closed. I thought I heard a siren but I could have been mistaken. I emptied the trunk and carried the two bags (I wondered if that was enough) to the back yard which was fortunately fenced in on all sides - six foot high solid wood fence. Bev and my friend were looking suspicious and out of breath. They were taking some hard drinks from their bottled water.
I said that was fast and Bev replied Yeah fast. She gave me a you-don't-want-to-know look, so I assumed that I did not. I took the dirt and began to fill the next hundred containers. And wouldn't you know it - we ran out of dirt. It was at that moment that my friend's roommate showed up. "Is there anything I can do?" he said. So we sent him out for more dirt and never saw him for the rest of the day. A few margaritas took away any trace of the guilt I might have had. All in all it was a good planting day.
Frank

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just another day

There is a great temptation for me to bitch and moan about how icky things are in the world. I know from studying psychology (and from watching Dr PHIL) doing that sets me up as a victim. They are doing things to me. They are rising prices and giving me less. They are teaching us no values, etc. They are blah, blah blah. What difference does it make if I am bitching or not.
What I really would like to do is make my today meaningful to me. I think the best way for me to do that is to visualize things that I can do this moment and this day. That is part of why I am remaking this blog into my positive blog of being in the moment. It might not be the easiest thing that I have ever done since I was raised in and have embraced the culture of what is the use. We all try to do what we can but I usually wind up doing less.
Beverly is in the other room doing her Artist way blog and told me in no uncertain terms to stay away from her - her terms being not uncertain were also scary as in no PMS was ever this scary. So I decided that I will write this blog to keep myself entertained. I am not Katz the blog of a million e-mails guy. I do not have a farm or animals to write about. I have only the 'community' - 7 neighbors whose lives I get to see glimpses of no matter what I do. If they read this blog and I wrote about them I might be in trouble. So I will have to write about me. So stay tuned for more adventures as I will posxt daily in the morning every damn day.
AND THAT IS FRANK(LY) SPEAKING

Friday, May 2, 2008

Finally a place to get this off of my chest !

I have created several blogs - but none of these has served the purpose of getting my rants out of my head. Until Now!! I am so happy - I could . . .Wait If I am happy then I will have nothing to say here - so for now I will close.
me

About Me

I am a crabby old man who hates everything
or
I am a tiny wonderer in a large world
or
I am a young hippie tree-hugger
or
I am a mid-life crisis disaster area.
or
I am an attitude of stillness waiting for a wind.
or
I have not decided yet.