12.28.2005

A Bonus day!

I love bonus days!

When a holiday falls on a Monday, therefore you get the weekend plus..."Bonus" day.

See, being a single parent, there isn't too much down time. Well, for me, there isn't really ANY down time.

Saturdays are for "inside" stuff - house cleaning, laundry, cleaning out the attic type stuffs.

Sundays are for "outside" - lawn mowing, garage sweeping, gardening, grocery shopping and errand running.

When I get Monday as a bonus it is a day I savour to its fullest.

I sleep late, then I get up and marvel at how I don't have anything I have to do. Then I usually watch TV for hours.

Regardless, it is wonderful!

12.25.2005

Dad's Good Deed

This morning my father took my sister, myself and Little Dog out for breakfast. As we finished the meal he leaned over to me an whispered, "See that young lady behind you eating alone?"

I surrepticiously glanced around to see a young girl, about 20something, quietly eating her breakfast.

I looked back at dad and nodded.

"I can't imagine why anyone would be eating alone on Christmas morning," he said. "I want you to pick up her check from the table and tell her I'll take care of it...and tell her I said Merry Christmas."

I did as he asked and the girl thanked him profusely as he walked by. He just smiled and wished her a Merry Christmas.

It was a shining moment in my dad's usually negative outlook. His spontaneously deciding to do this - his even noticing the girl eating alone was a surprise to me.

Perhaps the Christmas spirit is not dead after all.

12.21.2005

Greed

What the hell is wrong with people?! Where did this sense of entitlement come from?!

This Christmas season I have heard people bitch about their Christmas gifts; bitch because they had to buy Christmas gifts, and bitch because they didn't get a particular Christmas gift.


Co-workers complained loudly that the food at our firm Christmas party - catered by one of the finest restaurants in this city - was "weird" or, more bluntly, "sucked."

At the Lavish children's Christmas party the firm hosts every year I heard kids crying because they didn't get what another kid got. One child even tossed aside his video saying, "I didn't want that stupid thing."

Man, if Little Dog ever behaved that way he'd quickly find himself present-less.

In department stores people shoved and grabbed and let doors bang shut into the faces of people behind them.

In parking lots horns blared as people waited for a spot.

I have had the good fortune this year to be able to participate in a national radio show's fundraising efforts. Calls came in complaining that the recipients "weren't grateful enough," or "didn't deserve" what they received.

This same radio station station picked needy families and gave them wonderful Christmases. Calls flooded in from people claiming "they" were needier than the recipient family.

Isn't anybody happy for anybody else these days?!

One woman wrote into the message board that she had switched jobs that year and now made lower pay. Her kids really wanted an X-box for Christmas, but she couldn't afford one. Could the station pleeeeease donate one to her family so her kids would have a good Christmas?

Lady, if your kids need that X-Box to have a good Christmas then you have done something wrong.

Honestly.

In my opinion, if you have a computer with internet access; if you have a cell phone on which to call and complain, and if you happen to work for an employer who provides completely catered Christmas parties for it's employees and their families...then you are doing a helluva lot better than many people in this country.

Shut up!

And Merry Christmas.

12.15.2005

Answer the Damned Phone!

When you repeatedly leave recordings on my voice mail in which you bitch about my call returning habits...Well, let's just say, don't hold you breath waiting for my ring.

If I wanted to have a conversation every damn time the phone rang then I probably wouldn't have voice mail in the first place.

Just to be clear here: When the answering machine became available to the mass public I was the first in line. I used to record very complicated scripts to entertain my callers, and to make up for the fact that I wasn't answering their call. My number used to get passed around so people could call and listen to these mini programs. One outgoing message was played on the radio and widely enjoyed by the listening audience. My machine had a social life of its own!

Then, due to the fact that I hoped to have potential employers calling, I went mainstream with my messages. Not good for the HR department of a company I desperately wanted to work for to call and hear my sarcastic voice saying I was currently otherwise engaged in destroying Corporate America. Or purring seductively that I was "tied up" while the soundtrack to 9 1/2 Weeks played in the background.

Oh I had a wildly exciting life lived through my outgoing messages. Sometimes I was French, or Russian. Sometimes I was unavailable for calls because I was out of the country, or at my "Summer" house, or exercising the ponies.

I was at times out with Elvis, Bruce, or even God.

Good times. Good times.

Now though (meaning, at all times since the 80's), when you call the recording just says to leave your name and number. Usually it isn't even my voice, which, even in 2005 still confuses some people.

My father likes to call and bitch hatefully that I am completely rude and irresponsible about returning calls. One time he even mocked the recording.

Yes, it was not even my voice, but he was so mad he mocked a digital recording.

He is also known to show up to pound at the door within a half an hour of his last unanswered call.

My father is not one to be easily ignored. The last time this happened the confrontation went something like this:

"You NEVER answer your phone!"

"I'm not really home all that much."

"I've been leaving you messages for weeks! I haven't talked to you in months!"

"Dad, I talked to you last week."

"I could be dead and buried before you knew!"

"No, dad, someone would call me if you died."

"But you wouldn't answer the damned phone!"

"Well, they'd call me at work where the Receptionist MAKES ME take calls. Or, they'd call me on the cell phone."

"You have a cell phone now?"

"Yes dad, I've had it for years - the same number too."

"Well may I have the number?"

"Sure dad." At this point I give him the number for about the 97th time and he crams it into his overstuffed wallet.
"So, what did you need dad?"

"Oh, I just wanted to see how you are doing."

*Sigh*

So, basically he ended with a lecture about how I was doing a disservice to my family, to my friends, to God and my country by not answering every single call.

I promised to stay in touch.

So, in sum: Leave your damned message and hope for the best.

And if you're dad, I'M NOT HOME.

HONEST.