Category Archives: Boston

News Alert: Decision Making Isn’t New

Indecision drives me nuts.

Making a decision for some people is paramount to counting the grains of sand in the Sahara Desert.  A task so insurmountable it’s nearly impossible for them.

Making a decision involves thinking.  Planning.  Mapping out the consequences.   Analyzing the results.  Looking at the bigger picture, will this decision satisfy the end goal?  Will a successful outcome be achieved?  Or will I fail?

Ask the first question, move to the next.  It’s a cycle and you keep going until the process it complete.  Every day we make decisions.  We’ve been doing it since birth:

I don’t want to eat.  I want this toy, not that one.  I like Mary but not John.  Green is my favorite color and I will only purchase products that start with the letter, “K.”  I hate math.  I must watch this show.  My favorite shop is this one.  I do not want to wear that dress, that shirt, those shoes, that jacket….

Of course, as you get older and the roadway of life hands you different choices, they get more challenging.  What school to attend, who to marry, what house to purchase, what company to work for or maybe to quit working for….some of these are life changing choices.  We all make them.  It’s a choice.  You cast your vote with a simple: Yes or No.

  • Do I have time to stop for a coffee?
  • Should I buy pet insurance?
  • Does Martin need his eye exam scheduled?
  • Can we afford for me to quit my job and sell lemonade on the corner from a cart?
  • THE DREADED:  Where/What do you want to eat tonight?
  • Should I tell Joan those pants make her butt look big?
  • Is investing my money in the new recycled dirt company smart?
  • Do you believe in the Lockness Monster?  Bigfoot?  Ghosts?

You get my point, right?  It’s not like decision making is a new concept to humans.  We make them all the time from the time we open our eyes in the morning, to the time we close them at night, to the time we open them at 3:00AM when we can’t sleep and wonder if aliens are real.

Here’s the thing.

The Internet will tell you, on an average day, adults make about 35,000 decisions.

35,000

decisions

a day.

Let that sink in for a moment.   Quite a bit of computing going on in the ol’ noggin, wouldn’t you say?  35,000 decisions being dealt like a blackjack dealer in Vegas.

So then, can someone explain to me why placing an order at a food truck can be so fucking difficult for some people?

It’s not rocket science.  Shit.  It’s not even algebra!  Make a fucking decision and move on.

Earlier this week, I stopped by the Mexican truck near our office.  Out of all the trucks that come to the park by my office, this is my favorite – yum!

THE MENU:

Choose Option A:  burrito, taco, salad, bowl, quesadilla  (comes loaded with all the typical Mexican fixings)

Add Option B:  beef, chicken, pork, tofu

Done.  That’s it.  End of story.

As always, the truck had a line and I was about the 5th person…so not too bad.  However, for the two ladies in front of me you would have thought they were deciding on one of life’s biggest decisions.  It was a tough choice.  Too many choices.  They were distraught.  It was a true nail biter.  Weight was shifting from one foot to the other.  Eyes darting around, checking to see if  someone might overhear their decision and take it as their own.  Indecision.  Indecision. Indecision.  Time is ticking.  Tick. Tock.  Tick.  Tock.

THE CONVERSATION:

Lady 1:  “We could each get a salad and split a quesadilla.”

Lady 2:  “Or we could split the salad and each get a quesadilla.”

Lady 1:  “Or we could each get a salad and split the taco.”

Lady 2:  “How would we split the taco.”

Lady 1:  “Oh, right.  We could each get a salad and split a burrito.”

Lady 2:  “Ok.”

Lady 1:  “What kind of meat do you want?  I want pork.”

Lady 2:  “Oh, I don’t like pork.  I want chicken.”

Lady 1:  “Really?”

Lady 2: “Maybe we could do a salad and get half and half?”

Lady 1:  “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. We could still split a quesadilla.”

***** Silence for 1 minute******  The ladies are next up in line ********

Lady 1: ” You know, I think I might just get a bowl with pork.”

Lady 2:  “Okay then I’ll get a bowl with chicken or beef. Or I might do the taco.”

Lady 1:  “You sure?  I might get chicken.  Is it a bowl or a burrito?”

Lady 2:  “Yeah, I’m definitely getting the chicken bowl.  I think it’s a burrito bowl.  I don’t know, it says burrito or bowl.”

Lady 1: (Said literally while biting her thumb nail) “I can’t decide.  Pork.  I’m definitely going with the pork.  Yeah.  A bowl with pork.  Maybe a burrito.  No, I’m getting the bowl.”

Lady 2:  “If I get a quesadilla, will you share it with me?”

Lady 1:  “Oh for sure!”

*****  Lady 1 & Lady 2 approach the order window of the truck *****

Truck Master:  “Hello, what can I get you?”

Lady 1:  “Hi!  I’d like to get a burrito bowl with pork.”

Truck Master:  “A what?”

Lady 1:  “A burrito bowl with pork.”

Truck Master:  “It’s either a burrito or a bowl, not both.  You pick Option A and then Option B.  Which do you want?”

Lady 1:  “A bowl with pork.

Truck Master.  “Okay, anything else?”

Lady 1:  “No, thank you.”  

Truck Master:  Looks to her friend …..” What can I get you?”

Lady 2: “Hello!  I’d like a burrito bowl with chicken. And a quesadilla.  WAIT! Oh my god, I don’t know!  HEY! Do you still want the quesadilla?”

Truck Master:  “It’s either a burrito or a bowl…..”

 

Note:  They got the quesadilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey! Are You Sleeping?” Said The Mother.

I have two business trips coming up, the first of which takes me to Vancouver, British Columbia.  Conviently, my Mother’s house is somewhat along the way. She lives in the hell fire deserts of Palm Desert, California.

See, it’s along the way, so I make a pit stop.

Fear not, trust me, there is a blog coming about my flights from Boston to the blazing hot, scorching deserts of California.  This however, is a quicker story for my internal body temperature will not allow much more than 5,000 words….as the external temperature of the sands rise, so does the temperature on my scalp.

In fact, as I write this, it is reaching 105 degrees today in Palm Desert.  That is hotter than two mice having sex in a wool sock, next to a wood stove, in January hot.  Just saying.

The day of my flight, I got up at 4:00AM.

Arrived to the airport at 7:30 AM.

Went through TSA Pre-check screening, had my shoulder bag x-rayed twice and then searched by 8:25 AM.

Took off on my first flight by 9:45 AM.

Took off on my second flight by 1:30 PM.

Arrived to the desert at 2:30 PM.

Mind you being on the west coast, makes my life three hours behind my regular program.  Everything is confusing to me.  I convince myself to stay awake until 8:00 PM.  Then I can go and take  shower and get ready for bed.  It will be 8:30 by the time my head hits the pillow and by God, that’s close enough.

Eureka!  8:00 arrives and I couldn’t be happier.  I am off and running.  Good night Mother.  Good night two chihuahua dogs..Buddy and Tina.  See you in the morning.

By 8:35 I am in bed, lights out.

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZz

Next thing I know, for some reason I am being woken up.  Don’t know by what.  Don’t know by whom.

I hear someone calling my name.  What the hell?  What?

I turn over and see my Mother standing by my bed.

??? Ok this is odd.

??? Why is my Mother standing next to my bed?

??? What???

??? Why is her head glowing?

??? Where the hell am I?

??? What the hell is she saying?

??? Who is dead?

??? What???

??? What the hell is she talking about?

??? Whose dead?

??? Where the hell am I and how did my Mother get here?

??? Who the hell is Tina?

??? What the hell?

At this point I figure, well if my Mother is here, I might as well follow her to see what the hell is going on.  All I can think is….who the hell is Tina?

I follow her out to the living room and my sleepy fog starts to lift…….

Ooooooohhhhh, I am at my Morher’s house.  Ok.

She’s upset. Ok.

She thinks the dog is dead.  TINA.

Ooooooooooohhhhh.

My Mother goes over to Tina’s bed and says, “TINA!  Come on! Time to get up!” And she claps her hands.

I am like, well…..the dog is deaf…..no wonder she isn’t responding….she can’t hear you.

Then my Mother grabs Tina’s head and it flops back on to the bed.

Lifeless.  No response.

Well. Shit.

Maybe, the dog is dead……not like I am an expert at these things.  So then I think, well now what?  We have a 12 pound porky Chihuahua dead in a bed.  Now what?  I ask the obvious….

“Do you have an emergency vet?”

As we stand there looking at the dog.

The Mother yells, “Wait!  Did she just breathe?”

I’m like…..lady, I barely know what state I’m in at the moment.  Could be Massachusetts or it could be California….

Mother yells, “No!  She definitely moved!  Look!”  And sure enough….Tina, the death defying, coma inducing, deep sleeping dog came rousing back to life.

With this, I bent over, put my forearms on my thighs and took some deep breaths.

SWEET JESUS!  I am going back to bed.

The Mother came and tucked me back into bed with a kiss on the forehead.  I took a look at my cell phone before going back to sleep…..it was a whopping 9:35PM.

Exhausted, I laughed….”who the hell is Tina?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relax – Can’t Do It!

Here’s the thing.  I know it’s Easter and this post should probably, if I were politically correct, to be about Jesus’ rising from the dead.

It’s not.

Rather, it’s about my massage.

A few weeks ago, I set up a make shift standing desk at work, to help eliminate some of my back pain as I can’t sit all day long.  Complete with empty boxes, reams of copier paper and old ship awards….it dawned on me.  I need a massage.

My back had been driving me crazy.  Like a third arm was trying to make it’s way out of the right side of my lower back.  It’s that damn spinal erector set muscle. Of course, if I grew an arm out of my back…literally having an arm behind your back, might be beneficial.  I don’t know of anyone who does, but it’s hard to say.  It would be good for back scratching I suppose.  And washing the back.  And maybe a back rub.  I’d rather have eyes behind my head.

The usual practice for me was to use a gadget from Brookstone called the iNeed pillow.  Four little balls go round and round.  I lean into that thing like a buffalo during a dust storm on the high plains.   Complete with the knot in my back passing over the balls like a buffalo stomping his foot to maintain an upright position.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

Ahhhhh relief.  Sweet creator of the iNeed, I have relief.  Lord have mercy.

Thump……thump…….thump……..thump…….thump.

The problem doesn’t show up until the next morning when I get out of bed, stretch and think….WHAT THE HELL!  WHY IS MY BACK BRUISED? Ouch.  Ouch.  What did I do?  Then it dawns on me….I over did the iNeed.

But I really NEEDED it and NEEDED it.

Damn.

So I take a couple of weeks off from the iNeed and think to myself, I’ll go for a massage now that I can sanely touch my back without wincing from the over enthusiastic relief received from the iNeed.

One of the guys at work was talking about the massage plan at a local place and it sounded pretty good.  So I made an appointment and signed up for a massage on Saturday – let’s see what they’ve got.

My therapist was…..let’s go with Julie.  We talk about my pain, yatta, yatta and she explains how she has all these certifications and licenses in different areas and her focus is to  “work the connective tissues.”  I am keeping my fingers crossed this isn’t going to be a Rolfing session, which I’ve experienced and the Rolfing series nearly killed me.

She tells me to lay face up as she starts with reflexology first.  THAT sends me over the moon, as I love having my feet rubbed.  This is going to be great I think.  I can’t wait to fall asleep on the table.

I quickly undressed and climb under the covers where the heating pad was already warming up the bed.  She comes back in and we begin.

Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin.  Rubbing my calve.  Rubbing my shin. Digging into my calve, along the shin bone.  Digging in around my ankles.  Focusing on the ankles.  Rubbing the calve.  Digging into the left side of the calve.  Digging into the right side.  This goes on for a good 7 minutes.  I’m mentally sending into the Universe; “Foot please.  Massage the foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Foot.”  Suddenly she thumps the bottom of my foot and proceeds to the other leg.

Same routine.

I’m laying there thinking, “when does reflexology mean shins and calves?  It’s feet.”

It didn’t matter cause it still felt really good and I fell asleep for a minute.  I drifted off and started to dream about our cat Monkey.  Imagine my surprise when I jerked awake and for a brief second couldn’t remember where the hell I was.

Dark room with amber colored light and asian music playing.  WTF?

Of course, the other thing I’ve come to realize about going for a massage is, they need to make these rooms bigger.  You’re there to relax, destress, get your connective tissue back in line – and being jostled by the therapist moving the stool around doesn’t work.

You’re in the zen zone and then bump, shake, shake, scuffle, screech.  Don’t worry, just the therapist moving the stool around to work on your head.  Awesome.

The other part of my personality is I’m not a touchy feel person.  Never have been and don’t anticipate I ever will be.  Nothing against anyone.  I’m not a toucher.   Even public transportation is difficult for me due to limited personal space.  It’s just me.

I like wearing an imaginary hula-hoop.  Please stay outside that hoop unless I invite you into the trusted ring of space.  Very few people get an invitation.  Those of you that have, know who you are and don’t press their luck with the personal space thing.  I thank you for that.

Julie begins to work on my neck and shoulders, while I’m still face up.  Deep breath in….and OOOOOOUUUUUUUUUTTTTTT.  Okay.  Then she is breathing with me.  OUUUUT.  Breathing on me.  On my face.  OUUUT.

Oh lord.  This doesn’t work for me.

OOUUTT.

Going to my happy place.  Small fuzzy animals.  Snuggly little critters.  Happy.  Happy. Happy.

OOOUUUUT.

Well, at least she had minty breath.  Could have been worse.

Next it’s time to flip over to my stomach.  Safe zone!  Thank you!

Fine.  Here we go with the back.  Finally.

Then what’s that sound?  Rumble, rumble.  Rattle.  It continues.  It’s metal and something moving around.  Not a laundry machine.  No a cart going down the hallway.

Rumble.  Slide.  Shake.

Sounds like the air duct.  It’s just the air duct vent.  I’m sure of it.  I forget about it for a while.  Then it’s back.

Sounds now like something scraping against metal.  Whirling against metal.  Scampering against metal.

Dear heavens above, so help me if an animal comes shooting out of the air duct like some act on America’s Got Talent where they’re shot out of a cannon.  Now, as Julie massages the connective tissue in my back, with her elbow….all I can imagine is what the hell that noise is that is actually competing with the gentle spa music.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be workers upstairs.

Could be Mission Impossible Agent taking photos of Julie cause she’s wanted by the CIA.

Could be the air vent.

Could be someone in the hall doing something with a metal bookcase – like dancing with it.

Could be an animal in the duct.

Could be an artist studio upstairs and they’re working with a buzz saw.

Could be an animal in the duct….pretending to be a Mission Impossible Agent.

.

.

.

.

I don’t ask and I don’t want to know.  Julie doesn’t seem concerned, so neither am I, except I am pretty sure there could be an animal trapped up there in the duct.

FLASH BACK:  Years ago, when I lived in Seattle, I knew a bird managed to fall into our bathroom vent.  You know, the one you turn on when taking a shower, so it makes noise like it’s removing steam…but it doesn’t really?

Nobody believed me.  Finally.  I had to get maintenance to come in and look – as I was certain.  Yep.  There was a bird.  Told you it smelled like chicken

RETURN:

By the end of the massage the Secret Agent Critter in the air duct has gone away and I’m unable to ask about the noise.   Darn it.  However,  I did sign up for the massage plan.   I’ll see her again in two weeks….reflexology here I come….cue the Mission Impossible music.

 

 

 

 

 

Snow = To School or Not to School?

Beantown had it’s first snowfall of any measurable amount of snow this past Friday.

By measurable amount, I mean they were canceling schools before it had even started to snow.  No.  Really.  Cancelled.  Cancelled.  Cancelled.  Cancelled.

Cancelled.

When I was a kid, there was no such thing as getting a 12-hour advance cancellation Nope.  The process was different.  Logical.

Step One:  Weatherman (we didn’t have weather-women in my growing up years, only a Wonder Woman and I don’t believe she was forecasting any true weather.)  would prepare the area for the possibility of the snow storm.

Not to mention, it wasn’t done in the panic-inducing, Armageddon fashion of we’re all doomed.  It wasn’t over dramatic with twelve different charts and people along the roadway reporting if it was snowing yet or not.  It was a simple and polite nod to the snow with a helpful sidetone of what to do next.

EXAMPLE:  Blade County can expect about 2 inches of snow.  You might want to stop and pick up extra milk and bread on your way home tonight.

Step Two:  Children across the area kept a mindful watch on the skies. Hundreds of little weather-forcasters.   It was a vigil that can only be compared to that of the arrival of Santa Claus in December:

Has it started snowing yet?

twenty minutes later…….Is it snowing now?

ten minutes later…… How about now?  (Angst sets in and a dramatic twirling collapse onto the couch at this point is sure to happen.)

fifteen minutes later…. Now?

ten minutes later…..Was that a flake?

blink.  blink.  blink.  I saw a flake!  That was a flake!  DAD….IT’S SNOWING!

Step Three:  Kids excitedly get ready for bed, anticipating no school the following day and continue to check on the current snow levels.  At tucking into bed time, parents advise not to get too excited….after-all it’s only going to snow 2 inches and school will still happen.  (Gee thanks, Bubble burster.)

There is one last peep out the bedroom curtains – confirmed, still snowing.

EUREAKA!  This is great!  No school and no crummy math class.  NO GYM!

Dreams of drinking lots of hot chocolate and pelting the hell out of Charlie (the butthead down the street) in a snowball fight come to mind.  He really shouldn’t have broken your eraser in half….the Pink Pearl one….now he’s going to get it.

Step Four:  Without fail about 2:00AM, it’s time for an automatically induced snow verification check.  Eyes open and there is a quick scamper to the window for visual confirmation of all the piles of drifting snow.

WHAT?

(rubbing of the eyes)

WAIT!

THAT CAN’T BE!

Utter disbelief —–

It

has

stopped

snowing!

The cars aren’t covered.  The grass is still visible.  No snow in the street light glow.

NOTHING.  Not even enough to make a snowball to pelt The Butthead.

Spirits drop.  Disappointment begins.  Tears nearly begin to form.  Then it washes over like a bad milk induced vomit…..we’ll have to go to gym class in the morning.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Step Five:  For children everywhere, this is where they start to invoke the insurance claim process with the Universe.  Usually whispered silently while laying in bed, awash with the impending doom of school not being cancelled.  For example:

Hey, the Weatherman said there was supposed to be snow.  I was banking on that snow.  I need the snow.  Do you have any idea how badly I suck at basketball?  That’s what we’re playing in gym tomorrow.  I have no hand-eye coordination, which if you didn’t know, is ESSENTIAL for playing basketball.  And by the way, there is a Drill for Skill in math class and whenever I get sent to the board, the teacher always gives me the hardest question to figure out.  I NEVER get it right.  Come on, work with me here.  If you make it snow, I promise to not pick on my little sister for a week.  No.  Wait!  I also promise to help Mom and take out the garbage without being asked.  That’s a bargain – two things for one snow day! I can’t stand gym class and how we have to run around the school 6 times.  Have you seen how short my legs are?  Yeah, that 6 times takes me twice as long.  Please.  I don’t want to go tomorrow.  I would rather have a surprise History quiz next week then go to school tomorrow.  I’d rather…..I’d rather….I’d rather…..crack my funny bone into the doorway then go to school.  I’d do it twice!  Crack my funny bone into the doorway.  Please help me out here.  Bring the snow.  Lots of snow.  Well, just enough really to cancel school for tomorrow.  It’s not too much to ask.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Amen.

Step Six:  Exhaustion sets in and eventually sleep returns.

Step Seven:  The day breaks.  Alarm goes off for school and it’s time to get up and ready for the torture of the day.  Then it sets in —- THE SNOW!  DID IT COME?!  A race to the window confirms, indeed it did snow.  BUT there is one thing left to have —- confirmation of closure.

Step Eight:  One specific radio station lists all the school closures. It goes by the school’s assigned number.  The numbers were ridiculous.  It’s like trying to win the lottery with one number.  And patience, you better have a lot of patience.

Seated close to the radio, with the ear next to the radio, so nothing is missed….the list is being repeated again.  Parents have advised, they haven’t called your school number yet.

Everyone anxiously waits…..and listens:

 

480, 491, 500, 502, 503, 504, 505, 625 two hours late, 626, 627 no evening classes….

904, 907, 1010, 1011, 1012 two hours late, 1015, 1016, 1017, 1018, 1021…

As you listen, you begin to panic.  Not all schools are closing.  There are big jumps without closure.  Some are only two hours late.  (Is that enough to get me out of gym and math?)

Come on….1030.  Come on….1030.  Come on…..come on….come on!  Who has time for this?

1022, 1023, 1025, 1027, 1028, 1029………………waiting …………..seems like an eternity…….announcer clears his throat and make some comment about all the schools closures…….1030, 1031, 1034…

WAIT!  DID HE SAY 1030?  Was that 1030? One look at the parents confirms the out come – NO SCHOOL!

Step Nine:  The Supreme Happy Dance Celebration commences.  The relief of a day with out gym torture and math embarassment results with a shriek of delight and running through the house yelling to the world “NO SCHOOL!  NO SCHOOL! NO SCHOOL!”

Eureka!  We did it!  No school.  A torturous burden is lifted from the shoulders of this small person.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now, where’s the snowsuit!?  Where’s the hot chocolate?  Where’s my gloves?

 

 

 

 

 

Tweet. Tweet. ….One Two….Got You!

We have three children.

Furry.  Four legged.  (Note: we also have 2 lizards….which makes is five chidren.)

Image 3  Liggy, the eldest at 16 years, could give a rat’s ass about anything but her dinners

Image 6  Monkey, the middle child, quickly approaching 2 years on Halloween, is the typical scaredy cat.

Image 5  Taku, the youngest at 1.5 years old, is the pisser and will kick your ass.

It’s important to note, the only one with a UFC fight name is, “LIGGGGGYYYY the KIBBBLE SNATCHER.”

Seriously.

The other two, haven’t earned their names yet.

Until today.

REWIND:  For some history.

About a month ago, I bought a brick of bird food and put it into a feeder on our third floor balcony.  Occasionally a bird came and snacked.  A little nibble.  After 30 days, 3/4 of this brick is still there.  Obviously, we are not a birding hot spot.

Last week I was looking out at the balcony.  Surveying our domain, what little we have in our rental …. Pondering the world.

WHEN.  A tiny little hummingbird came up and was trying to get sugar water from our sea glass globe lights.

!!!!!!!!

For those of you who know me, I have a history with hummingbirds.  It’s a running awkward moment.  But hysterical for a later date.

Of course, hummingbirds….need to buy a feeder.  Small birds.  Small feeder.

Consider it done.  This weekend, I roll up to my local Lowe’s and buy a hummingbird feeder.

And why not….let’s get one of these huge tube bird feeders with 6 channels on it.

Yep.

Came home, filled them and hung them up on the balcony.

The next day…within 30 minutes of watching the feeders, I had 3 hummingbirds,  4 finches and a woodpecker come to visit the feeding stations.

A

WOODPECKER!

Seriously.

Love my little feeders.

Next morning, I get up.  There are hummingbirds at the feeder.  LOVE.

I go outside and sit in the chair.  The kids (cats) join me.

Liggy, the eldest, as usual, could care less.  Just let me sleep in my box.

Taku, is sitting next to me on the chair and when a bird approaches, she tries to hide behind me.

Seriously, Taku?  You’re the ass kicker in the family.

Monkey, the “Don’t look at me, I’m afraid of EVERYTHING” cat….watches the birds and chatters at them.  And chatters.  Chatters.  And chatters.

She wiggles her butt and thinks about leaping at them, until I give her the TSK TSK comment.  To which she immediately thinks, “Shit.  You are SUCH a party pooper.”

Throughout the morning I watch and our little feeders are turning into the aviary version of a 7-Eleven.  One bird, two bird, one bird, one bird, a fly by, two bird, a fly by, hummingbirds….I am delighted.

———————————-

Monday morning rolls around and the Monkey is anxious, as usual, to go out on the deck.  She has been like this since we rescued her.  She was a beach kitten.  Water is her thing.  Find something she likes?  Here, let me put it in the water bowl.  Paper, rubber bands, twist ties, little jewelry bags, toys, treats…into the water they go.

Monkey and Taku like to go out and sun themselves.  Liggy, only if it’s convenient and her box is set up.

I don’t open the door until I’m out of the shower and running back and forth around the apartment.  At least I can keep a 50% eye on everyone.   Checking in on Monkey’s position, Liggy’s sleeping pattern and Taku’s give a shit attitude.  50% is more than enough.   They are fine.

Until today.   (CUE:  The Jaws theme music. )

Mondays suck by nature.  Nobody wants to go back to work.  You’re dragging your ass trying to get out the door.  Only half the coffee cup has been inhaled.  Your hair isn’t done right.  The outfit you have on…well, meh….at least your shoes will be comfortable.  Seriously, why can’t we do 4 day work weeks?  I’d work 10 hours to get an extra one off.  Seriously.

I get dressed into my work clothes and race across the hallway to go back into the master bath and start my hair.

STOP.

HALT.

SKIDDING SIDEWAYS!

WHAT THE FUCK?!

no.  sorry.  i’m not seeing this.  that’s not what i think.  no. no. no.no.no.nonononononononoNONO

M O N K E Y!

And there sits Monkey (the scaredy cat) in our bedroom….outside the master bathroom.  With a bird at her feet.  I swear it looks like it is 6 inches long….tip to tail.

Little Monkey is so proud of her accomplishment.  LOOK MOMMA!  FOR YOU!  Isn’t is wonderful? It’s soft and warm.  It makes noise and guess what?!  I caught it just for you!

I manage to get my tongue back out of the back of my throat and say::::: “MONKEY!” I’m too stunned to throw either my bathrobe or t-shirt over the stunned bird.  Her response?  

Grab the bird and head under our king size bed.

My response? Turn around.  March calmly out of the bedroom.  Walk into the living room.  Put my head between my knees.

Are you fucking kidding me?

REWIND:   There was a moment.  Briefest moment.  Like what happens right before you slam your fingers in a door.  You know this is going to be a bad move.  Yeah, well…..I thought “I really shouldn’t open the door to the balcony….I won’t be sitting there to watch Monkey….and she might catch a bird.  But you know what?  It’ll be fine.  I mean really, it’s M O N K E Y.  Like she’s going to catch a bird.  She’s afraid of everything!”

Yep.  Truth.

So I stood out in the hallway and pondered what to do next.

All I remembered was being a small child and we had a Robin that got into the house.  The pandemonium I created…..as a small person…..flapping my arms and screaming about the bird being loose in the house….leaping off of furniture.  (I was the one leaping off the furniture.) Terrible.  THIS is what I remembered at 7:50AM….I do not have a good rescue relationship with birds.

At least I didn’t run around in circles this morning.  Although it did cross my mind about 4 times.  Swiftly followed by a thought of, “YOU are the adult here!”  WHEN did I become an adult? Shit.  This is my issue now.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.

I go back into the bedroom.  There is a feather on the floor.  I pick it up and put it into the bath trash can.  There’s no sound or movement.  Gulp.

I carefully kneel down on the floor and pick up the bed skirt.  God help me if anything come rushing at me….is what I’m thinking.

There’s Monkey…..her eyes glowing in the dark.  Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

There’s the bird in front of her.  On it’s side.  Obviously, not blinking.

I go back to the living room and grab a Priority Mail box the girls used to sit in.  I put a few paper towels in the bottom.  I will put the bird in this and take it outside.  I grab the broom.

Ok.

Well fuck.  Now what?  It’s a king size bed. I grab the end and P U L L — nothing.  Except there was a pop in my lower back to which I thought, “nice crack!  Who needs a chiropractor when you have birds under your bed!”

I grab the side and P U L L – nothing.

F U C K.

I text a friend, “Monkey caught a bird and is under the bed with it.”  Hey.  At 7:55 in the morning, you need to be in hysterics with someone with a bird under the bed!

In the meanwhile, I text my boss advising I’ll be late, due to cat catching a bird.  Now there is a late excuse if I’ve ever heard one!  He is going to think I’m nuts!  Please, feel free to use it….seriously!

Although for a fleeting moment, I did ponder just leaving and going to work.  Seriously.  Also pondered having to take an injured FINCH to the vet.  So go figure….which extreme do you prefer?

My friend responds back five minutes later, “How did Monkey catch a bird?”

“On the balcony.”  Blink. Blink.

Let’s all take a deep, deep knee bend everyone….cause….here…..we….go!

I go change into crap clothes, as I can see this is going to be a process.  I’m already sweating in the nether regions.   I grab the broom and head back into the bedroom.  All the while, Taku kitty, is following me as my back up.

Thank You, Taku.  The Bad Ass….but with a humane heart apparently.

I shake the broom under the bed.

Nothing.

I ponder getting the vacuum out….scares all the cats.  But then decide to shake the broom from another angle….this isn’t like sucking up yellow jackets or wasps…..which I did this weekend.  I have even sucked up roaches and the dreaded Floridian Palmeto Bug with this vacuum.  I can’t use it on a little bird.

.

.

.

.

Taku then goes under the bed.  OH HELL NO!  We will NOT be having two cats and one bird under the bed!   Not on this episode of, “Who Needs Coffee on Mondays!”  I slam the broom back under the bed and wave it frantically, top to bottom trying to make as much racket as I can.

All the while thinking…. God help me if that bird comes to life and flies out at me…..

Monkey takes off like a shot out the bedroom door.  I chase after her.  All the other rooms were closed off so the only place she had was the living room.

I don’t see her anywhere and so I lay down on the floor.  Sure enough, she’s under the couch.

I move the coffee table.

I move the end table.

I move the couch away from the wall.  She moves with the couch.

Of course, typical Monk.

I move the couch literally into the middle of the room….and the Monkey takes off under the dining room table.  She doesn’t have the bird.

????

I lay down on the floor.  No bird under the couch.

????

I go back into the bedroom and shut the door.

Taku is still hiding between boxes under the bed.  Her eyes are are big as Silver Dollars.  Poor thing.  She’s terrified and doesn’t know what to do.  I start pulling the 4 boxes, which are at the foot of the bed….they’re not very big,  out from under the bed.  Taku remains firmly planted in the middle.

Sigh.

Guess what?  No bird.

Where the hell is the damn bird?

I go out of the bedroom.  Shut the door…..leaving Taku to deal with the bird if it’s in there.  She’s the bad ass cat in this family….step up.  You’ll be fine.

I text my friend, who by this time, we’ve also had a quick conversation about the situation.  I tell her…Monkey is out of the bedroom, I can’t find the bird and Taku is under the bed.

Her response.  “Damn.  Double Damn.  Could the bird be under a blanket and Monkey is saving it for later?”

Seriously.  M O N K E Y!

Taking all 8 pillows off.  One.  At.  A.  Time.

I search the couch.  Heaven help me, I think….as sweat forms on my eyebrows and upper lip.

No bird.

It has to be in the bedroom.  By this time, I’m sweating so much I swear there are marks on my pants and in my pits.  Did I brush my teeth yet?  I feel like I’ve taken a chunk of Sasquatch fur and rubbed it all over my teeth.  Mahwahaherroooarwaaaahh….is how I feel.

What the hell am I going to do?  It’s 8:35AM and I call the complex’s maintenance line.  No answer.

Now, armed with a bath towel….correction….not just any bath towel….this is a Costco bath SHEET…..made for giants.  It’s so enormous, cause I thought I had a Pterodactyl trapped!

….I go back into the bedroom.

Taku has burrowed herself under the covers.  Only done when she is cold in the winter or scared.  I lift up the comforter and she looks at me like I’m an alien.  All the while backing away from me.  I snatch her up by the scruff on her neck and she look slightly relieved.  Out the bedroom door she goes.

I turn to face the room.

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, please help me.

Nothing.

????

I little voice then says to me, “look by the night stand.”

Before I even move the table cover, I see something out of the ordinary.   Only like a 1/4 inch out of the ordinary.  I start to lift the cover.  All the while thinking, “so help me, if something flies up at me….I will run away like a screaming 4 year old.”

I pull up all the table cover.

Hold my breath.

Shit.

There’s the little bird.  It looks like it’s right wing is broken….as it tries to take off to the side.  Image 2

Well, how did you get over here?  Did Monkey hide you here?  I put the table cover back down.  Because, honestly, that was enough discovery for the moment.

I went back out of the bedroom.

Closed the door.

Sat down on the stairs.

Ok.  Thank goodness it isn’t a woodpecker.  It’s just a little finch.

The bird was stuck between our king size bed and night table.  Oh wait.  It’s not any kind of night table.  It’s a floor safe.  HA. Ha. ha..– not funny.  There’s a few inches between them, but not enough for the scoop into the box rescue.  I can’t move the bed stand.

I text my friend that I found the bird.  She asked if it was alive, if all the cats are out of the room and the ceiling fan turned off.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

JUST LIKE Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies….there is always Plan B!  I grab a clean dish towel.  Put on a leather driving glove, in case the bird bites me.  ????  The beauty of it was I only could find the right glove so I was having a very Michael Jackson moment at 8:50AM.

“‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to
Strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer
Thriller tonight!”

I summon up my inner St. Francis again and here we go to rescue the bird!

I pull back the table cloth and the little bird is right where I left him.  I lower the dish towel and try to close my hand around him.  He’s so tiny.  I can’t tell if I have him or not.  I am not suited to this type of work.  The little bird is not happy either…. and he starts to chirp and flutter to the sides……

SHIT.

Okay…..I put the table cloth back down.  March out of the room

Houston we need a moment.

At this point in the program, I’m so upset that my bowels are too.  THIS is why we always have two bathrooms.  In case the first one becomes unusable for some reason.

CUE the elevator music….thank you.

——–> 15 minute intermission <————-

Stomach still in an uproar, but we have to solve this problem.

I march out of my apartment, down the hall and look out the driveway to see if I see any maintenance people around.

Nobody except some construction workers doing cabinet work on the first floor —- SHIT.

In my bare feet….I march back up into the apartment.  ( I don’t care if I get foot fungus at this point, thank you…..cause I’m going to have to take a shower after this ordeal anyway!)

Deep breaths.

I summon up my St. Francis…..again…..come on buddy…..need you now!

Put my glove on.  (Because I’m bad…you know it!    Thank you  M.J.)  Image 1

Grab my box and dish towel.

Head back into the bedroom.

Little bird is right where I left him.

I lower the cloth.  He pitches a fit when I try to pick him up.

He scurries to the left and starts coming at me from under the dish towel.  I think, “PERFECT!  Two hand gathering technique!”  He is between the table cloth, box flap and the dish towel is overhead.

FOUL!

Bird.

In.

Flight!

IN FLIGHT!

FLYING!

AROUND THE ROOM!

(note:  at this point I had an out of body experience, where I said, SELF: THIS COULD BE A PROBLEM.)

Yep.  Little finch figured out how to maneuver and get around me.  Fly around the room and head towards the closed door.

He lands, cause he can’t get out.

His little head is tucked in between the baseboard and door frame.

Little bird.  Little bird.  Please.  Let me help you.  I am here to help you.

This is all I can think to say out loud.

I can’t whistle, so this is as good as it gets.  Come on St. Francis, help me out here.

First try.

He digs in further to the corner.  Head burrowed.  So scared.

Buddy, I’m scared too.  It’s going to be okay.  Trust me.  I know I’m an alien, but I’m a good alien.  Not like that damn Monkey alien.

With my leather hand and dish towel, I can hardly feel him.

On my second attempt, I scoop from the bottom.  I think I have something.

SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!    I HAVE THE BIRD!  I HAVE THE BIRD!

I drop the dish towel into the box, fold the flaps down and I’m running to the front door of the apartment.

He was so small.  So light.  Of course, I didn’t expect him to weigh in like a remote control but still….so nothing!  I only knew I had him cause I could feel his little feet.

I race down three flights of stairs and towards the woods.

I put the box down and lift the flaps.  Little bird, was stunned again for the second time in less than 90 minutes…poor thing.   I drop some bird food into the grass around him.  Open the dish towel and wait.  He opens his eyes and POOF…..one, two, three……I’m outta here!

Little bird flies away into the woods.

Thank.  You. Sweet. Jesus.

I walk up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and realize.  I’m shaking.

The adrenaline of rescuing a wild animal, scary.

The worry of a maimed or injured animal, scary.

The disbelief of the Monkey catching an animal, stunning.

The fret of catching a scared animal, stunning.

The realization, I did it, by myself, without any harm —————————  shocking.

It was a tiny bird.  Who thought it was dead by a predator, to be scared into corners by scared human, to be rescued by scared human…..aka……an alien…….to awaken in the woods……and fly away……priceless.

Yeah tiny bird!

And I stood in the dining room and looked at my shelf with the ceramic finch with a blue berry in it’s beak. I thought, little bird……I was able to save you today.  Bless.  I hope you have a happy life.   I’m sorry, I didn’t watch the Monkey closer.   We all learned a lot today.  And I saved a little bird.

Although, it nearly made me poop my pants and I had to take another shower…….. I saved a little bird.

Little bird and I both had a tough morning.  I thought a lot about that little bird.  I was the big scary alien trying to help, why was I scared of a little tiny bird?  It was the unexpected reaction.  Who knows what will happen…..even if one is trying to help.

St. Francis, thank you and bless that little creature.

Heaven help me when I run into something bigger than that needs saving from MONKEY, the BIRD SNATCHER!
Of course, when I came home this evening.  Monkey was ready to go back outside.  Sorry Monk. I have your number…..that’s not happening without my supervision. Nice try though….so practice your patience my little feline!

Then I saw the grey shape on the rug, which stopped my heart.

It was a stuffed mouse toy.

Damn cat toys.

Image

I need a drink.

Stop Talking….. Before I Get Out the Duct Tape.

On my Fridays, I take the ferry to / from work. It’s like a sightseeing trip.
This past week, in the morning, I was able to score a chair out on the deck.
Sitting in the sunshine and watching the world go by.

Sailed right into downtown Boston, calm and relaxed.
Ahhh.
THIS is a civilized commute.

The return home is even better as they have a bar on board.
Usually, I throw my bag into a seat and grab a Chardonnay for $6.
This. Is. Nice.

If I were a guy, I’d have at least two beers on the way back. I watch them and most do. Some buy two beers right off the bat. Smart.

This past end of the work week, I was the third person in line for the ferry. So I was able to get my wine on the way to finding a seat. I decided to sit outside on the return as well. It was lovely. Sunny. Didn’t need a coat. Beautiful. I settled in and prepared for the start of my weekend.

There were 34 people on the outside deck.
3/4 of them were on their smart phones.
1 was reading a book.
Several were enjoying the surroundings, hidden behind their sunglasses and drinking their beers.
1 was politely smiling and nodding his head.

Why?

Because the girl he was sitting next to would not shut the hell up.
She talked.
And talked.
And talked.
And T A L K E D.
And kept on talking.
She never took a breath.
Not to mention she was loud.
Annoyingly loud.
They were right behind my left shoulder.

The point in having a conversation with someone is to say something – then let the talking partner have an opportunity to respond. To talk to the point of vomiting words is not carrying on a conversation. It’s being a selfish conversation hog. When you are a conversational hog, you don’t care what the other person has to say, because all you want to hear is your own voice. Your conversation partner practically has to karate chop you to get you to shut up or they need to fly the white flag and give up.

This, does not a good conversationalist make.

She literally, I don’t think ever….. took a full minute of silence.

These are some of the areas she covered in her 40 minute filibuster:

She just got married.
They bought a house.
Since she is now married, everyone is telling her to go back to school.
She’s not sure she really wants to go back to school.
And why should she go back cause she just got married?
Does that make any sense? No. It’s so odd.
She works at a hospital.
This department is so much better than her previous one because you’re not trying to save lives in this one.
There is a lot less pressure.
But who knows if this is the right department for her.
Oh and there is this doctor who just annoys her.
And the co-workers are really great, especially this one….
Her new husband used to work at an Auto Zone.
Now he is doing referrals.
They are so excited to be back in Boston.
Although she doesn’t like the winters.
She loves this weather though.
Isn’t it nice weather?
Her mother told her to bring her sneakers when she comes to visit.
It was good she told her, cause she wasn’t planning on bringing her sneakers.
There are so many trails.
When she and her mom went on the trail behind the house, there were lots of turkeys.
Her mom is afraid of turkeys.
She takes pictures of all the turkeys.
Oh look! There’s another one, better get a picture.
What do you think this is? Left over and forgotten bridge?
They aren’t doing anything with it.
Wonder what it’s here for.
That is so random.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
40 minutes of this. Relentless babble.
She was early 20’s.
He was in his 50’s.
Obviously he was an old family friend as she was asking him about what so-n-so is doing now a days, how excited her mom will be to know she ran into him, it’s been such a long time. Etc.

Shut up.
Shut up.
Shut up.

What is usually a pleasant 40 minute water journey home, felt like an eternity.
There were no other chairs available on the deck – so I was stuck unless I wanted to go inside.

This.
Is.
A.
Nightmare.

It was like being in a long hallway in a horror movie, trying to get to the end, but the hallway kept getting longer and longer. There was no end in sight. Your anxiety rising like a repeat of Chinese food in the back of your throat.

At any moment, I felt a giant alien may come out of someone’s chest, or a little kid on a red tricycle was going to show up and pedal around the deck. Either would have been better than being pummeled by her voice.

This was pure agony.

I was annoyed.

SHUT UP! STOP TALKING!

Give

It

A

Rest.

For the love of god – put a sock in it!
Here! Use my sock!
You are melting any ear wax I have because of the incessant noise that is your non-stop verbal cacophony.

Yes, the gentleman did get a few words in edgewise. I only know this because I could hear the wind blowing for a change. He was soft-spoken and got to the point. He didn’t pontificate on the pros and cons of going back to school or eating out at the new place around the corner from work. This man understood the etiquette for conversation. It’s only too bad he didn’t educate her on what that entailed.

I’m sure his face was tired of smiling and nodding by the time they got off the boat.

My ears were ringing when I got off and I only had one chardonnay! I should have followed the boys on board and had a second.

Miss Me Yet?

I get it.

The dryer eats socks.

The refrigerator eats cat toys.

The couch eats change.

The bottom desk drawer eats crap I decided at some point was necessary for my life at work.

Fine.

It.

All.

Makes.

Sense.

What I don’t get are the things you see on the side of the road. Or better yet, along the sidewalk.

Forever lost to someone.

I’m not talking about wads of gum or cigarette butts. Nor am I talking about toothpicks, or more specifically those weird harp on a stick looking ones. Actually, they might be a little tiny guitar for a gnome. I didn’t think anyone actually used those. Boy, am I surprised!

Side note: I would also like to make mention, over the last two weeks, there has been an ungodly increase in the number of bandaids along my walking route to work. It doesn’t matter if I’m coming from my beloved ferry or the newly discovered train route. There are bandaids EVERYWHERE. All stuck to the sidewalk (as opposed to the lamp-posts).

They’re rubber slugs that have given up and collapsed.

Right there.

Between Congress and Seaport.

Done.

Expired.

Small ones, regular ones, circular ones and some that are large enough my cat could wear it as a bonnet. My lizards could use it as a hammock.

Johnson & Johnson must have seen an uptick in their bandaid sales in Boston.

What’s with the bandaids? There’s a hell of a lot of bloody blistered feet in town.

And don’t be telling me it’s from the Boston Marathon. That was April 20th and we’re now in June. (insert buzzer sound here)

But, if you were to look at some of the footwear….it makes sense. I was behind a girl today who was not so elegantly hobbling on 4 inch wedges. She had a swagger like Captain Jack Sparrow.

He, by the way, is adorable. Swagger…..Me Now….Meow.

She, swaggering like a squirrel, who just painted their toenails with silver glitter polish and can’t stop admiring them enough to take a step….not so adorable.

FOCUS! Christ, it’s exhausting to watch!

I’m just saying.

If you can’t walk in the shoes, don’t buy them. They make you look like you have no sense of balance and you’re trying to walk a tight rope with giant marshmallows strapped to your feet. You have no clue where your next step is going to land and you’re all over the sidewalk.

But, I digress.

Thank you for your patience.

What I can’t figure out is all the random shit left behind.

The other day. Route 3. A giant stuffed tiger was on the side of the road. I’m talking a kids toy, not a treasure hunter’s dream from Asia. It’s literally miles between exits. How did it end up out there? Then, of course, my mind begins to wander. Was some small child crying they lost their tiger?

I was sad.

Sad for the kid.

Sad for the tiger.

Will this tiger end up on the front of some trash truck? You know what I’m talking about. Will he be happy? I did once see mannequin heads on the side of a trash truck. I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo but damn…that was creepy yet surprising awesome.

Obviously, I’ve watched Toy Story too many times.

Walking you see all kinds of random things. Random enough that I have thought to myself, more times than I’d like to admit….”If I was homeless, this would be a score.”

I’ve seen baby bottles, blankets, shirts, socks, fleece pull overs and tarps. The tarp would be a score as would the fleece pull over.

But then there are the things I see where I scratch my head and just have to say….WTF?

Earlier this week…on my way to grab a sandwich for lunch I came across a shoe on the sidewalk. A perfectly decent loafer. A left one at that. IMG_1886
HOW DO YOU LOOSE A LOAFER?

I’ve seen shoes along the highway. The only thing I can think is someone gets pissed and throws the other person’s shoe out the window when they’re sleeping. Ha. Ha. Ha. So funny. Fucker. Wait till you go to sleep and I’m going to take a permanent marker to your face. Then we’ll see whose laughing.

I’ve seen a right sneaker and then a mile down the road the matching left sneaker. Okay, they obviously left them on the roof of the car and drove off.

Then there are the random flip-flops. Alright. Well, not a huge loss. It’s a flip and a flop. Meh.

But a brand new left foot loafer? You’re going to miss that. Especially if you are currently wearing the right one. Walking down the side walk. With a limp. Duh. Where’s my shoe?

What the hell is going on here? Aliens. Blame the aliens. Always blame the aliens.

The shoe didn’t even have time to get it’s white parts dirty! It makes no sense. Of course, I took a snap!

The other thing that baffles me are the people who move and randomly leave their belongings along the roadside. Are they leaving breadcrumbs to find their way back? If you don’t want to move, don’t. Shouldn’t be a newsflash.

I feel, one of two things could be happening with these cushions….

1. The owner of the couch wants a new couch. Easiest way to get a new couch. Loose a cushion.
2. It was an accident. In which case, sitting on a bunch of duct taped phone books is going to be unfortunate.

Just saying.

Today is Friday and on the way home, I stop at the grocery. I run in and then when I come out, something catches my eye. I look over one space to the left. IMG_1946

Are you kidding me?

Who looses their PILLOW?

This isn’t a fluffy, throw on the bed as decoration type of pillow vis a vis Marilyn Monroe. This isn’t a porn star’s, I need some lift and support, type of pillow. This is a regular, put your head down and go to sleep type of pillow.

First off, what are you doing with a pillow in the grocery parking lot?

Secondly, why is it in the shopping cart return?

Then I think…..ohhhhh, if I was homeless, that would be a score! (what is wrong with me?)
And next, I snap a picture.
Of course.