Please Don’t Try To Rap!


Ok, I’m upset that today, my son told me he didn’t want to go to the Christmas ceremony, at our City Hall. Well, not that he didn’t want to go, but that he didn’t want to go with, “his mom, and grandma, because it’s dorky!” 

“Oh, really? So, you are now at an age, where, it’s dorky, to be seen with your mom and grandma?” “Well yea!” He says, as if I should just know when he’s hit that magic number. He tells me that, “all my friends will be there ,and they won’t be with their parents.” “Why wouldn’t they be?” I ask. “If they’re going by themselves, that’s just to start trouble.”Wow. Now I’m really turning into a stern parent. When I tell him that he can just come with us, and go hang out with his friends, he responds, “My friends wouldn’t just go there to hang out!” Ok, now I’m confused.

I realize that my mom, really can’t get around that well, and thought, she’d just enjoy looking at the lights. But I have to admit, it wasn’t the greatest thing to take her to. I drove up to a good spot in front of the City Hall. But as I went around to retrieve my mom, I saw swarms of teenagers, everywhere. And they were running like they were late for something. You know they sure wouldn’t be doing that for a class! So, I surmised that, they had all their little cliques, and my mom and I had wandered smack, dab into the feeding frenzy. These kids were, standing in mobs..

At one point, as my mom had her ‘death-grip,’ on my arm, a crowd of girls, were standing right in front of us on the sidewalk. We seemed to be invisible, as I said, “Hello!” “Oh,” a girl said, “Sorry.”

I began to think, “where are these kids parents?” When I looked around, I saw some people my age, and they were all kind of hanging together as well.And I could swear, smelled the distinct odor of alcohol, as I walked by many of them. Not the kids, the parent’s.It made me think of the remark one of my friends made, after seeing my son run head-first into a big bunch of sand as soon as we arrived to our hotel. He got up and was covered. “I firmly believe that every mother should have a flask, strapped to her belt.” She said.

I thought, “those are probably the parents, and I can’t say I blame them. I wouldn’t want to hang with my son either. Not when I see these crazy kids, running in packs. I would definitely gravitate to friends my own age. Another sympathetic person, of an aging parent, and a  teen. Yes, I can see why the need to bond, with someone in the midst of this madness.

I navigated my mom through the chaotic scene. Each time some kids came running past, I felt her grip my arm, tighter. I just wanted her to see some pretty Christmas decorations. As she’s constantly telling me that, “it doesn’t feel like Christmas, if their isn’t snow.”

Upon returning home, I shared with my son. “Hey, I saw your friends.” “How do you know?” He asked. “Cause, they were all a bunch of punks!” I said. And I started laughing. “You should have seen them. And they weren’t with their parents. They were just hanging out, causing trouble, like I told you. Geesh! They almost knocked your grandma down a few times.”

Now, he said, “Told you!” Ok, I had to concede. He was right. I didn’t want him there. But as he stands over me, it’s hard to let go. Now, he stands on his toes, and he’s towering above me. “Hey, mom. In a few more months, I’m going to be wayyyy, over your head!” As if this is proof of his maturity. Now he picks me up. Oh, doesn’t every boy love to do this to his mom?

I realized, he’s really growing up. I always want to give him kisses, or hugs, and that’s another, no-no, in the general vicinity of his friends. I get it. But I guilt him anyway. Just because that’s a mom’s job. “Hey, we only get just so many kisses and hugs, in our lives, and then it’s done.” But I’m starting to see that this, is losing it’s levity as well. I’ve got to come up with a new game-plan.

Now I’m sitting quietly with my mom. I watch her, and  try tothink back to when I stopped, participating in my life with her. When was it, ‘not cool?’  I was pretty young. Actually, about my son’s age. I still remember, her bringing us back from Lake Michigan. We had gone down to the lake-front, on a nice summer day. Now, looking back, it was quite a feat, for my mom, with all of us. And, on a bus.

Yet, when we were at the lake, I heard music playing from down the beach. I wandered off. I came to a place, which would become my favorite hang-out, a few years later. ‘The Site,’ as it was called. Here, a  rock band was playing. I still remember,the name; Sigmund Snopek. One of the guys was just flirting with me, and I was so giddy. A teenage girl, with so much attention, from this older guy. And he was a rock star. Well, at least, that’s what it seemed to me.

Well, on the way home, we were standing on a street corner, when we heard loud yelling. We were amazed, to see a guy being tossed out onto the street, from a bar, appropriately named, Hooligan’s.’ Now this is a place, I want to visit. My brother and I both laughed at this, and decided, that it looked like a really fun place to be.

I think of the passage of time, as I watch my mom and the difficulty she has, with just the little things. Then I begin to wonder, if I have any hopes of depending on my son or daughter, when I get like this. I sure hope they store some of this in ‘the archives,’ so when I have just a few marbles, they will remember, “Oh, yea, I remember what mom did, when grandma was losing it.” Then hoping they have the compassion to put some of this into action. But, it’s really a crap shoot.I’ve only got two. And my mom, had a whole bunch, but in the end, just one, to rely on. The odd’s are not in my favor.

Now a commercial comes on. That annoying AFLAC, commercial. It’s a guy, my age,which means, old) trying to rap. With a bunch of stupid,  fake,animals. It makes no sense, and my son and I crack up, every time we see it. Who came up with this? Another group of overpaid, ad exec’s with a power-point presentation. And no one had the guts to say, “This sucks.”

The duck used to be bad enough, but now, a rapping menagerie. And the words, are terrible. They don’t have the correct rythym. I said, He says, “There’s just something major medical, doesn’t do.” When it’s perfectly obvious, to anyone writing rap, it should have another word. Like, “There’s something’s, major medical… just doesn’t do.’

It’s irritating enough, just to see a stupid frog on a lilly pad, singing, but this is just beyond, hoaky! But then, maybe that’s the point. I started to think, it’s the last frontier, between my son and I. We both agree it is so ridiculous, so that’s proof, that I’m not that old or dorky.

It is also a moment of bonding between my mother and I, because she’s just as annoyed by this. So, perhaps, this is the really effective part of this commercial. It annoys all kinds of people, of all ages, and it brings us together in agreement.

My son imitates it constantly. Out of the blue, he’ll say, “Hey mom…”there’s just some things, major medical, doesn’t do.” I laugh each time he says, it, because he know’s it is so obnoxious.

So now, I think, there just may be some hope for me. He tell’s me, “Women belong in the kitchen.” He will say things that he knows are ridiculous, just to make me laugh. But knowing that we have a full on  agreement on some things, gives me a little glimmer of hope. I entertain it for a minute. “Perhaps, I won’t just be a little old woman with a bunch of cats.” Then I snap back to reality. Better get that AFLAC, in place.

Embracing My Inner Cheese

Welcome to Milwaukee!

I just went back to Milwaukee. It’s where I was born and raised. I appreciate it more, each time I visit.

Who wouldn’t love this place? The staple food’s are, cheese, brats, and let’s not forget….beer. It’s the place where the field trips are to the museums, festival’s and breweries.

I didn’t appreciate it so much, until I’ve gotten older, and seen more of the world. I felt I was stifled, in a sense. When I first moved away and started my flying career, I was always met with, “Are you from Wisconsin?” Not so strong an accent anymore. But what touched me more than this, was the response, “Oh, people from Wisconsin are so nice!” I have found that this is true. When I go back, I’m aware of the difference in culture. The people are so approachable, and are more than happy to help others.

Of course, my irritations, in my younger years, has been replaced by a feeling of endearment. I was envious of cities, with current fashions. Since Milwaukee seemed to be about 4 years, behind the curve. The fashion hasn’t changed one bit, since I was a teenager. Which means, you don’t have to spend a lot on clothing. It’s a standard pair of jeans, a flannel shirt, and boots, or sh**kickers) as we used to call them.

I seemed to be an alien, as I would not abide by those dictates. I had my own style and refused to be bound by the opinions of my peers. I still remember a friend, who had given me a pair of his camouflaged pants from the military. I wore these with a red turtleneck to Oktoberfest, in LaCrosse. The streets were littered with beer, paper cups and a mob of college students. The sneers of the girls told me, I was not following the rules. I didn’t care. I loved it, that I seemed an alien from another planet.

I hated it when I would tell people where I was from and they would say, “Oh, you have a lot of cows there, don’t you?” I never saw cows, unless, I went into a town. It’s not as if Milwaukee was a big farm. Yet, this is the impression that most people had.

I worked downtown and it was a city, like any other. I loved the feel of this city. In fact, when I did finally visit my friend, who had moved from Milwaukee to New York, she said, “It’s like a big, downtown.” She was right. New York, felt exactly like our downtown, only bigger. And, as I said, they actually had the latest fashions, displayed in their storefront windows.

But, still, I couldn’t help but laugh, when I walked through the General Mitchell Field Airport, and saw the souvenirs. One t-shirt, “Nothing tips like a cow,” with a cow, lying on its back.  I bought it for my daughter, as she’s in the service industry. She thought this so funny and said, her friends, are going to crack up when they see it.

The truth is; I never saw anyone tip a cow. I didn’t even hear of any friends doing it, until I had a trip down to Ormond Beach, Florida. We were visiting a friend. Her brother was going out with his friends, to tip cows. They asked if we wanted to go, cow tipping. I didn’t believe it at first. I sure was too afraid to do that, and thought it was pretty mean. Now, I’m not a vegan or anything. And I don’t mind eating burgers, but come on. The poor things are asleep and they get knocked over. I secretly hoped that a bull was standing nearby to give them a run for their money.

I seemed to notice new things all around me, which I’d never seen before. I loved the old blue, fire/police call boxes. I had to get a picture. my cousin told me that these are being stolen. “What? Who can steal something this big?”

When I was a kid, we heard that if you pulled one of these, a dye would cover your hand, which could only be detected with a black light. In my neighborhood, they were constantly going off. I can only wonder, what in the world, anyone would do with one of these, in their home. Probably use it for a clothing rack, like I do my treadmill.

I was talking with a guy who used to coach my son’s baseball team, yesterday. He’s a firefighter. “Hey, I said, I have a picture with one of those old call boxes, for the fire department. I showed him, the picture, with the blue box. He then pulled up a picture on his phone. There he was standing with two other guys, next to a red one. “This one is from Boston,” he said. My buddies are also, firefighter’s, and when we go somewhere, and we see them, we pose next to it.” I laughed, that I thought I was the only one who noticed these antiques. Now I’m wondering if he has one in his house as well. Being used as a coat rack or something.

Now one of my favorite things, in Milwaukee, is Leinenkugel. I actually put a bunch in my suitcase once, just to ship back to myself. I can’t find these, where I live. I remembered, having a trip to Germany and going to a beer garden. I had a banana beer, which was pretty good. I went straight from there to Milwaukee, where I visited the state fair. I had marveled at the strong German influence. It seemed I never left Germany. I had a Leinenkugel for the first time, in Milwaukee, and have loved them ever since. They have, berry, lemon, and wheat. I love the flavored ones. As I was sharing this with my friend, he said, “Oh, I have a lifetime supply.” “What?” I was asking how I could become a member. “Oh, I won this.” He said. But you have to go to the Leinenkugel Lodge, to get them.” “Wait a minute. There’s a lodge for Leinekugel Members?” “Yea, he said, it’s in Chippewa Falls.” Geesh! “Only in Wisconsin.

Now I realize, why my daughter made the remark when she was very young. “All people in Wisconsin do in the winter, is stay in the house, smoke and drink beer.” I laughed so hard at that statement, as this was the impression she had, and it wasn’t too far off.

Now, I don’t mean to brag, (Bragging Jackass), but gotta love them Packers! Come on. Undefeated? They continue to shock and awe. No one plays like they do, and the fans are the best.

I went to a real Milwaukee bar, on Saturday night. My cousins friend was celebrating his birthday, and there were a bunch of Harley’s out front. I was amused to see the middle-aged biker’s all over place. But, they knew I was a transplant. They could tell that I’d lost a little cheesie-ness. Some big people live in Wisconsin. I attribute this to all the dairy and beer. As I looked around, the guy had a ton of food and they’re not embarrassed to pig out. I got to watch the Badger’s play, and they got ripped off, at the end of the game. Coming from behind to tie it up, only to have a bad call in the end. Hey, that’s my opinion after watching the replays. The bar went crazy. “This is the life,” I thought. In a bar in Milwaukee, surrounded by biker’s, watching the Badger’s game. The only thing I could have asked for is that they would have gotten that call right. Because we all know, Wisconsin won.

My cousin complains about the girls being to big. But hey, they have to keep warm in the winter. Besides, my cousin, isn’t very small himself. At one point, he pointed out his picture window and said, “Hey, there goes a Milwaukee hot guy!” The guy was huge, with a flannel shirt, jeans and his sh**kicker’s.

The bars, have something for everyone. Dry Hootch, is a place on my list. They are ready to welcome all the soldiers back from war. Brady Street, is where all the action is. And on a trip to Milwaukee, these are my old stomping grounds.

I watched the Occupy Milwaukee march, with pride. The whole movement had its inception with Wisconsin and Ohio. My people, are always ready to fight the powers. I still have that in me. The friendly people of the Midwest, have a true fighting spirit, when you back them into a corner. It’s a toughness, developed by the hard-work ethic, and tempered by the spirit of empathy.

As I share my experiences with my children, I always remind them, that they are not, cheeseheads, in the true sense of the word. But they are, processed cheese. And mixed with my stepchildren, we are now more of a blended cheese. They have the cheese inside, and it’s not something you can ignore.

I have finally arrived at a place in my life, where I am proud to be part of The Cheesehead Nation. I understand why my mom, keeps saying, “I want to go back to Wisconsin.” Dorothy was right, “There’s No Place Like Home!”

Slip, Sliding Away!

Ahhh, what a fantastic way to say goodbye! Exit the stage in grand fashion and let everyone wonder, “What just happened?”

Yes, Steven Slater, the one who everybody is talking about.  How many times had I dreamt of blowing a slide and just being liberated from the stress of it all?

The lyrics of this song definitely come to mind ;

“Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable to the mortal man
We’re workin’ our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway, when in fact we’re slip sliding away
     Simon and Garfunkel
He sure spoke for all of us, especially fellow colleagues. When the pressure was so intense in my own life, I just decided to take a break from the flying, or I sure would have had that same temptation. It was there. It was palpable. All it would have taken is some lunatic harassing me one more time. I often thought of the movie, Falling Down, with Michael Douglas. This seemed to be my experience, and apparently, Steve Slater’s. He reached the peak, and went for the gusto, in typical Milwaukee fashion, grabbed the beer on the way out. Smart man. I’m toasting him right now. All of my hometown should use him for the poster boy. In fact they should put his picture on the Miller Stadium! Great advertisement and all the future endorsements for this guy. Sure seems like it was a great career move.
Now, he seemed to be pretty peaceful when he was being arrested. Of course, with some alcohol coursing through his veins, he may have had a little liquid courage, but today, he’s being heralded.
Who could have known, that the masses are all, “Mad as hell and not going to take it anymore?” Well, I actually know, since I’ve lived it. But to have an individual take a stand…or a seated slide, well, that’s just what we all needed.
This was the perfect picture of the early out and he sure didn’t stick around to see if he would receive an exit package. He did it his way.
I’ve got one more song that would fit his last act and I sure hope someone uses this song for his story one day.

Hold the pickles, Hold the Lettuce…

Oh and can I have a beer with that burger please?

Wake up with the King?

And if that isn’t creepy enough to have this guy in your bed or peering through your window…South Beach Burger King, is now going to include beer on its menu.

That’s right. What is going on here? I thought this was a family friendly gig. I mean I remember going to Burger King when I was a young girl. It was the first competitor with McDonald’s. It was comparable to the Team Jacob, Team Edward.

It still is, since the Advent of this creeped out looking King. I mean, I never liked Ronald too much, but the king just gives me the extreme willies!

When this dude first came on the scene, I told my daughter, this is totally messed up. It is creepy squared! The weirdo is looking into a persons window, which just begs a call to authorities, with an arrest warrant. Then a guy wakes up with the perv laying next to him and the message, “Wake Up To The King!” Hmm, that’s not a king I ever want to wake up to and I don’t care what kingdom he reigns over. He’s got way too much time on his hands to be prowling around neighborhoods and bringing breakfast to strangers.

Now as I watched the news the other night I see that a specific Burger King in South Beach is about to start serving beer. I can picture the advertisements with ‘The King’ holding a Whopper in one hand and a beer in the other. Besides that, if this was going to begin anywhere, it should have had its start in my hometown, Milwaukee. And hey, about 30 years too late, as far as I’m concerned. But now are they going to present a commercial with a ‘hungover,’ King waking up in a guys bed? Probably asking, “Where the he** am I? And what’s for breakfast?” Hey, why don’t you run over to Micky D’s and get me one of those breakfast burritos! Oh yea…and don’t forget to make a beer run while you’re at it! What did you say your name is again?”

I can see the people lining up on South Beach with their little trays of fast food fare. Their Whopper’s and fries. They get the tray and saunter over to the soda dispenser walk right past it to the beer tap. Probably a nice half barrel. Pull the tap and instructions neatly posted on the placard above, “Tilt paper cup slightly. Fill glass about 3/4 full and straighten to produce a nice head of foam. Well of course, being a Milwaukee native, we all know how to do this as children. It’s a requirement to prove your native status.Look at our baseball team. The Brewers…It’s all about beer.

Hey, now that I think of it…I may be able to apply for a job there. As a Bar-Ista!

The Dysfunctional Family…Move

Contemplating my next move

The Move should be a Movie

At least thats what the friend of my cousins exclaimed. I had just come out to see my brother and my cousin in the truck, with this guy (called upon with very little notice) helping to hoist furniture into this moving truck.

“Mom just told me to shut up,” I said laughing. “I know, I heard her, this should be a reality show on tv about a dysfunctional family trying to move!” The hilarious statement made by Mike, my cousins buddy.

Yea, this was only the beginning of several screw ups. Of course the fact that my mom told me to “shut up,” was even more hilarious, given the fact that I wasn’t even supposed to be in this city and packed up every box in her house! Not to mention, I got the boxes as well.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want to help my mom in any way that I can, but this whole situation was messed up! I was going to come up to see her since a very good friend of mine had offered to take me on a vacation. I have had an enormous amount of stress this past year, and my therapist, (that’s right I have one) thought this would be a great idea. I didn’t think I should go, but after realizing my friend was making such a wonderful gesture, and I certainly can use a few days to regenerate, I called her back. “Hey, you know, I was thinking about this and I would love to go.” “Ok, but just so you understand, you will have to fly up to Milwaukee, before we go to Cancun.” “Oh, that’s no problem, I need to visit my mom anyway. I haven’t seen her in quite a while and it will do me good. I miss her.”

Well, I called my mom only to find out, she’s moving. Oh, and I don’t mean across the city, moving. no it’s another state altogether! “Well, you better hurry up,” she stated. I’m moving on the 12th of December.” I was shocked. We had been trying to convince her that she should move a long time ago. We didn’t like the idea that none of her children were nearby and she’s getting older.

The only one that lives near her is this particular cousin, but he certainly isn’t going to look after her as a son or daughter would. Besides the fact that he’s just a little goofy. lol

The picture will become clearer as you read this post. He believes that we are descendants of Indians, because he inadvertently heard a remark my grandfather made about him,”acting like a wild Indian.” and next, stated, “he reminds me of him.” To which my grandmother replied, “We aren’t to talk about that.” And with that she turned her back and walked away.

Ever since this conversation as a child, he had firmly believed that we have Indian in our ancestry. Ok, that’s possible, and I wouldn’t be upset at all, but you know that people had a tendency to hide their ancestry in days of old, if it seemed it was not congruent with their own bias.

My cousins belief was also predicated upon the story from his mother, that Indians would come to my great grandmothers house, every spring to get pots and pans to cook in. She would receive them back from these Indians after they were finished using them. My aunt told the story to me as well, and I my first thought was, “why didn’t these Indians, clean the bloody pans before returning them?”

So, my cousin sat, regaling us once more with this story and I reminded him that we really do not know what my grandfather meant by this, however, I do know that there was a cousin, that is rumored to really have been an uncle, and he may have been referring to this man when he stated, “he reminds me of him.” That would explain why my grandma said, “we aren’t supposed to talk about that.”

“Yes, he said, you might be right about that. I never thought about that.” But,” he concluded, I think we still may have Indian blood, because this man, wore a hat with a feather in it.” “Ok,” that just cracked me up that we shall now find our lineage clues in the fashion statement that this uncle/cousin, found appealing in his day.

The most humorous part of the whole thing is that my mom and my cousin irritate each other so much, and at the mention of almost every story my cousin brought up, my mother would get more and more angry. At one point she raised her hand, as if chopping something, and stated, “Ok, I have to stop you right here!” I said, “hey, did you see mom? She sure looked like she was doing a Tomahawk Chop, to me! And it’s wicked! That’s all the proof I need! At this my mom started laughing hysterically and we continued to imitate her ‘chop,’ every time we had a point to make.

While my cousin would stand over my mom, when she got particularly riled up, and act as if he was performing an exorcism, all the while chanting something in Latin. The whole scene was quite comical, and I only wish I would have thought to video this.

My cousin was so adamant about this story, that as we talked, and I convinced my mom, that my aunt had, indeed, correlated the events of the Indians and my great-grandmother, she was extremely irritated.

My brother and I were trying to suppress our smiles, so as not to bring out the full wrath, and perhaps suffer a blow of the now, much feared, Tomahawk hand! Razor sharp and from across the room, I could see her beginning to raise it.

At this my cousin had disappeared for a few moments to the bathroom. A few minutes later, he emerges with phone in hand and stating flatly, “I stand corrected. I am on the phone with Aunt Carol, and those weren’t Indians that came up to our great grandmas house, but railroad hobos!” Oh, my gosh! I looked at my brother and exclaimed, we are related to the railroad hobos! Now that explains a lot!”I’m betting my mom wishes he would have stuck with the Indians on this one!

I said to my brother, “remember, we always used to hang out at the railroad tracks? I learned to hop a train, with my brother, before I could ever drive a car! “Hey, also our favorite bar we hung out at, was called The Tracks, and it was smack dab next to the railroad tracks, in East Milwaukee!” This is all making so much sense to me.

You could see my cousin was not ready to relent. After having me ask my aunt a few more questions, about perhaps my great-grandmother having psychic powers, and all of the other beliefs my cousin had, we hung up. He declared, “well, she’s the youngest of the five girls, what does she really remember? After all, to her they probably were hobos!” Yes, I said, perhaps they were hobo Indians, and then you’re both right!” This, I was hoping would allow he and my mom to smoke a peace pipe, and we would retire the Tomahawk for a while.

Nope, she was about to get worse, as he related the story, once again, about my great-grandfather, who had hung himself from a rafter in the barn. It was a sad story, only made a comedy, by the manner in which he told it. The story was told to him, by my own grandmother, who happened to see the whole sordid mess, as she was a young girl when it happened.

But when my cousin tells the story it is one of my grandmother telling him about it as she’s driving her Pontiac in the darkness, down winding country roads. My cousin describes her perfectly, as my grandmother, stayed with us all day for many years, as she drove my grandfather to Milwaukee for his job.

My cousin speaks of her hair, wound up in the French Twist, she always wore. I personally only saw her hair down, a couple of times in my own life, and it was in the late 60’s. I said, “grandma, you should wear your hair like that! You look like a hippie!” She laughed at that.

Now as she was telling me cousin the story, he said, she was turning back to him every now and then. She spoke of the fact that her father had not come to the dinner table and her and her brother’s were waiting for him. At some point her mother went out to find him….hanging from a rafter in the barn. Supposedly, my grandmother had followed her out to the barn and saw her father hanging there.

The story continues, “My mother, got a buckboard, and pulled it over to the barn and cut him down. She laid him on the buckboard and spoke to me, “Now we dasn’t tell anyone what happened. We will just tell everyone that he died of the meningitis.” At this point my cousin tells me that my grandmother turns to him with a smile on her face and says, “Just like you had when you were little!”

He describes the scene, “she looked like Betty Davis, and she had an evil grin on her face! I was just about 10 years old, so she scared the crap out of me.

“Later, we arrived at the house and I was getting ready for bed. I walked to the bedroom to say goodnight to grandma and grandpa, and there she was sitting with all of her hair down. She was brushing it and I’d never seen it down before. I screamed! Then grandpa stared laughing and he said, “Do you want me to sleep with you?” “I said, Yes!” At this point my brother replied, “Well you had bigger problems if you slept with grandpa!” The sickness of our minds is apparent.

All the time my own mother is yelling her own comments, “That’s crazy. My mother was a teacher, she would never use a word like, “dasn’t!”

Ok, now I was ready with my own Tomahawk; “Mom! We always heard her using that word! She also used other strange words, like “pert near.” I don’t care if she was on the school board, and a teacher…she came from a small town and she grew up with farmers. (Maybe Indians too) But I sure wasn’t going to bring that up again! Now, the beginning of my story with my great grandpa, was that he had been “kicked in the head by a horse and went crazy.” Hmmm, that sounds to me like another exxageration.The questions in my mind are as follows,

  1. “Is the crazy from a horse kick, an inherited trait?
  2. Did he discover my great-grandmother was fraternizing with the Indian, railroad hobos?
  3. Was He an Indian railroad hobo?
  4. Did he have the “physic powers of my great-grandmother, and was attempting to stop the future insanity? (In which case, it didn’t work)

Well, some things I guess, we shall never know. At any rate, all of this was causing quite a stir in my mom. I would see my cousin glance at me from across the room, as if to say, she’s really getting mad now.” Her agitation, seems to give him a thrill.

Now the move had been scheduled for the next day. My nephew’s girlfriend was also planning to move the same place and she brought all of her things to my moms little apartment.

I couldn’t understand why now, I had heard a peep from her and yet, here I am packing all of her boxes, along with my moms. I sensed my sister, was behind all of this mess. Her and I had argument about something, because I knew she was responsible for all of this chaos. Even though she lives in the state my mom is moving to, she still manages to stir the pot. Her state is “the state of confusion,” and whenever there is a mess, you can bet, she’s somewhere behind the scenes.

So, the day of the move, this girl(and her brother) were supposed to be packing and moving things. The strangest thing was that my sister, who was the one coordinating all of this, would just call to chat with my mom. As if my mom had nothing else to do with her time! My brother, who had initially told me, my sister had nothing at all to do with this craziness, would take all the blame. He does this to thwart trouble between her and I.

Meanwhile, he had to hire and pay for another guy to come and help out. Now, the picture was becoming clearer. I decided not to mention anything except the fact that, my mom had spoken to my sister and never asked where these two people were, when we all knew that my sister was in constant communication with this girl.

When my sister called, (for a second time) just to chat, my brother was furious. “Ask her where this girl is???He kept speaking to my mom while she was on the phone. My mom then says, listen, I have to let you go. I can’t even talk with all this racket!”

What??? I couldn’t believe this! My sister is calling just to talk about nothing, for the second time. She’s the one that my mom is moving near, and the whole time, neither one will tell us, where this girl and her brother are at!

My mom hurriedly hung up the phone before my brother could snatch it. He said, “Why didn’t you ask where she is?” He picked up the phone once more to call back, and thought better of it. I told him, “I’m placing money on the fact that she’ll show up when we’re finished.”

After he stormed out with my cousin, the other guy was moving something, when I said, “Mom, why have you spoken with her twice and never asked her what is going on? “Oh, shut up!,” she said. “Don’t tell me to shut up. I’m the one that packed all these boxes, and I wasn’t even supposed to be here. I came back from this vacation, and got stuck in the snowstorm, or I wouldn’t have even been able to help you! That’s a lot of nerve! And these guys are the ones moving it all into the truck! After all, the nephew and girlfriend that are moving, are my sister’s son and his girlfriend. She is responsible for all of this!” My cousin probably hit the nail on the head, when he told me, “I can guarantee your sister probably told them not to show up, because we’d take care of everything.”

I walked out the door and as I was leaving, my mom, said, “Aren’t you going to say goodbye?” “Mom, I’m not leaving. I wouldn’t just walk out the door and leave you like that! I was just going out to the truck.”

I was sad just thinking that my mom, assumed I would just walk out without telling her goodbye. I was so upset about the whole process, yet I knew that I was certainly there for a reason. Yes, my great grandpa sure didn’t know what he was missing, on the other side! Or did he see into the future? Perhaps it was this event that he had seen, that made him jump into the noose! Or one equally as insane! We have a lot in our family and when you add up my mother’s four other sisters….well, you can only imagine.

I walked out to the truck and pronounced, “Mom just told me to shut up.” We all laughed. It was at this point that any sense of my family being normal, was reduced to the Title of a tv show. “Yea, I heard her. This should be a reality show, The Dysfunctional Family Move, spoke this friend of my cousin’s.

Well, just as I called it. All the boxes being packed into the truck. My brother and cousin, now dismantling the bed…and lo and behold in she strolls. “Sure, now you show up, I yell out.” “I was working,” almost a whine, detected.

My brother now with the full force of his anger, “And we were supposed to know this?” “Well, I tried to call but the phone was disconnected.” To which I replied, my mom, just unplugged it.”(I’m also betting my sister told her to do this, so this girl could have an alibi)

Now my brother continues, “And where is your brother?” “He’s in Pennsylvania. He’s not going to be here until Christmas!” “What? And I’m supposed to know that as well? The last I heard from my sister, you and him were going to be here to move all of your sh**!

Well, of course she didn’t have any logical explanation, and none was needed, as far as I’m concerned. She was caught right in the center of the spider’s web of deception and I knew this scheming all too well. Yet I wasn’t going to call, a spider, a spider. It was understood. As my cousin stated later, I heard her walking up the stairs with your brother and telling him, “Now everyone’s going to think this is all my fault!”

Hmmm, welcome to the Dysfunctional Family. At one point I had to go to the Post Office and ship something. It was in a whiskey box and a guy walked in to see Canadian Club on the box. He said, “I used to work for them.” “Oh, I’m not really shipping myself a case of whiskey, although, I should be,” I said…..I’m visiting my family! At this everyone in the line turned around with a look of compassion and laughed.

My cousin and mom...exorcism!

A wonderful time to move!

Who Is Snuffy Anyway?

Sesame Street's lovable Snuffy

Yes, I have always been perplexed by this, and I’m sure some of you know this. Who is inside of Snuffleupagus? That cute thing on Sesame Street? For a while Big Bird used to talk about him as if it was his imaginary friend and no one believed him. Then he made his appearance.

The other day I was reminded of him again. Just when my kids thought I had finally put it to rest, Sesame Street celebrated their 40 year anniversary and dredged it all up again. I had been reminded of the time I had a girl on my flight and she told me that her husband worked on the set. My first question was, “hey, aren’t there two people inside that Snuffy character?” “Well, yea,” she replied. “Well, what does the person in the back tell everyone that he does for work?” I mean, I’m just curious. When the questions begin, say at a dinner party.  Like, “Oh, you are the one in that Snuffy character? Oh, I thought there were two of you. Oh, there are two? Oh, which one are you?”

She just cracked up and stated, no one has ever asked me that.

Yea, I can just imagine. Then my daughter told me. “You know, you’re right. I saw the guy that played Big Bird on a few shows to honor the anniversary, and every time they were asking him about the Snuffy character, he would say, “oh he’s getting the mail, or he’s using the bathroom!” lol “See? I told you!” I was very excited to hear this, since it seemed to prove something.

I can’t say that I blame them at all.If there are two, someone has to be in the back. In my company, that would mean seniority rules. I guess this is where a union comes in handy. As I read this list of puppeteers, it states the names and responsibilities, and it does say clearly, backup, hmm, I’m wondering  if that’s code for, second in command. Of course most of the puppets are small, but by looking at the size of this animal, come on! How can one person walk around in that suit?

And that just leads right back to my to my previous posts on “mascot abuse.” Don’t forget about that poor Bratwurst that was smacked with a baseball bat while running the bases in Milwaukee, only to have that Milwaukee Brewer find out it was a sweet young girl inside. What is this world coming to?

You Belong In Hollywood!

Yes, it stunned the audience. Why human beings always judge by appearances is beyond human comprehension.The Lord loves to surprise man.

When choosing His anointed, He always chose the ones least expected. David was not even in the midst of the sons. He was shepherding the sheep when the prophet was looking for the anointed one. “Do you have another son?” “Yes, but he is with the sheep.”

Who would have thought that he would have been the one to slay the giant? What did the prophet say? “Man judges by outward appearance, but God judges the heart.”

I always remember when I used to take the bus from downtown Milwaukee to my home. I lived in the inner city. However, I had the opposite problem than most, I guess. Almost reverse racism and I didn’t mind. But it was somewhat humorous. I would get on the bus and sit.

One night as I sat waiting, a guy sat behind me and began his taunts. “Say baby. I said, say baby! You should be in Hollywood! Where are you going at this time at the night? I know you don’t live around here!”

As I continued to ride and ignore as I knew how to do, I listened to this fool go on and on with his nonsense. Then he said, “Say, Hollywood, you must live in River Hills. What you doing on this bus?” At that I had to laugh. River Hills was a ride north and a very nice suburb. My aunt lived there and if you could afford to live there you certainly wouldn’t be riding the bus.

I finally reached my stop at Teutonia Avenue and as I pulled the cord and started to rise, I heard him in a startled voice yell out, “oh no! I know you don’t live in this neighborhood! I turned and smiled as I walked to the door. As it turned out, he had a ride further north which could only mean he lived in a nicer neighborhood than I did.

Now all I could do was laugh when I walked into my house as I thought of that dude and how he judged me. Yes, I looked like I was some girl with money from the suburbs. Why? I have no idea. However, it was a conclusion he had already made from the minute he laid eyes on me.

God is the one that blesses us with certain things, however, if I had my choice it will always be to be blessed with a kind heart. Just as everyone in the audience with Susan Boyle prejudged her, the minute she opened her mouth, an angel sang and dispelled all of their judgement. This is love.

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