Monthly Archives: October 2014

Music on Friday

Here’s a funny version of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” from Avi Kaplan and friends for your Friday Entertainment –

I’m sure you’ve all heard it on the radio by now (apologies to those of you living under rocks) and maybe you’re even tired of it, but I love this song and will sing along any time I hear it. Thankfully, I live alone 🙂

And that led to finding this version –

Wow, right? These guys have some talent AND they collaborate with Avi Kaplan –

Gotta get these tunes for my MP3 player…


Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Music



Share Your World – Week 43

Must be Wednesday if you’re reading this post. Yawn. Sorry. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks and I’m not yet fully recovered from the weekend.

Here are Cee’s Share Your World questions for the week. Do play along in the comments.

What is your favorite time of day?

Those precious few minutes between waking and having to get up in the morning. If I’m lucky Sabu doesn’t notice the change in my breathing and I get to float up to consciousness quietly, planning my day. More often lately the alarm goes off and I bolt upright to hit the snooze button for another four minutes of dearly needed sleep. The alarm goes off at 0615. Sabu goes off at 0617. I need a vacation!

What’s your favorite charitable cause and why?

I don’t have a favorite because I’m concerned about how much of each donation actually makes it to the intended recipient. I’m suspicious about large charitable organizations and their huge number of employees and many administrative layers.

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Inside 🙂 If it’s cold and I have the day off work I like to lay on the couch under a blanket drinking cup after cup of hot tea.

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

I prefer a gel pen with a very smooth roller ball. I hate it when the lines skip because the roller ball isn’t running smoothly. Haven’t found the Perfect Pen yet but occasionally I buy a new one to see if it will live up to its hype.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful that Dawn dish soap (the Original formula, not the new “improved” stuff) besides being my favorite wool washing soap, also removes baby oil from human hair. Awkward questions at work avoided, so, YAY!

The weekend marks the first of a series of six craft faires The Sweatshop Girls will be attending. I am grateful to have found a supportive pair of co-conspirators to explore the whole cottage industry thing. Details another day. IF we don’t become rich and famous and stop blogging altogether 🙂


Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World



More White Trash Observations

Y’all remember the white trash family that moved into the church house? No? Click here and read that post first.

Okay? Okay.

Yesterday I was taking Sabu out for her afternoon walk. There was a young man washing a tarp in the front yard. The women who frequent the house were standing around watching and not saying much. One of the older children (I think it’s a boy?) was also present.

I could tell by his body language the man was agitated.

Sabu and I reached the end of the alley where we could see the full tableau when a little hot-rod car came screaming around the corner and sped down the street at probably 50 MPH, like a drag race of one. A man was behind the wheel. The man washing the tarp started screaming obscenities and running down the street after the car, shaking his fists in the air.

He made it about 20 feet before his pants came down over his butt because he’s one of those saggy-butt-jeans-wearing assholes who love to strut around holding their pants up with one hand while fiddling with their phone with the other. You know That Guy. Dontcha hate him? Ever want to just smack some sense into his empty head?

Sorry. I digress.

Being a short block, and not wanting to get the woman of the house all riled up, Sabu and I crossed the street to put as much distance between the lunatic who doesn’t understand the function of belts and our sane selves but it was not enough that we couldn’t hear the conversation going on in front of the church house.

“I will kill that mutherfucker if he does that again!”

Laughter. “No you won’t. Don’t be stupid.” General laughter and muttering amongst the group of women. They must have thought it was cute to see him so mad.

“I’ll throw something at his car!”

“Don’t be doing that – that’s destruction of property and you WILL go to jail again for that…”

More laughter.

It went on in this vein for awhile but I got us out of there before I could say something smart-assy and get the woman of the house pissed off at me again.

I mean, really? These people have no class or charm at all. And they live 5 feet away from a church! Some people’s kids, I swear!


Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Crazy, Rants, right?, You're kidding


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Music on Friday

Life is really busy right now and I have no time to put up anything but a lame music post, but maybe this can become a Regular Thing.

Once again, Pink has wowed me, this time with her collaboration with Dallas Green of City and Colour and a new album (is that word even relevant any more?) called Rose Ave. Together Pink and Dallas are You + Me. Have a listen –


Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Music



Share Your World – Week 42

Doesn’t seem like I’ve been keeping this up for 42 weeks already, but here we are again with another installment of Cee’s Share Your World Challenge.

This week’s questions –

What would be your preference, awake before dawn or awake before noon?

I am soooo not a Night Owl! I prefer to be up before dawn (this time of year it’s a requirement in order to get to the office before 0730) and in bed by 2200. If it’s a day off and nothing else is pressing, I love to have a nap in the afternoon, too.

If you could choose between Wisdom and Luck, which one would you pick?

Wisdom. If you’re wise enough you can make your own luck, but luck with no wisdom leads to really stupid people doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing and setting a bad example for those who are not so lucky.

If you were given the opportunity for free skydiving lessons would you take them? Why or why not?

Not a chance! Flying through the air while relying on a scrap of fabric to break my fall is not my idea of a good time. Thank you, no.

Is the glass half empty or half full? What is in the glass?

The glass is always half full of tea, usually Darjeeling. I’ve always been an optimist, so no matter the glass, it’s always half full.



Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World



Real men are always in control — of themselves, not others

A beautiful post from The Other Side.

Ned's Blog

image Anyone who reads my weekly newspaper column or blog posts knows I try to keep life in perspective through humor. In fact, I’d say it’s one of the reasons my children are still alive today. While I joke about that, for many years humor was also part of a coping mechanism from a childhood witnessing both verbal and physical abuse by the men in my family — specifically, my father and older brothers.

The good news is that each of them eventually turned themselves, their lives and the lives of the people they loved, around. It wasn’t until I became a father that I realized the impact that a childhood witnessing abuse had on me, and how some of those wounds — as both a witness and recipient — had never truly healed.

I know this because I occasionally saw reflections of my father and brothers in myself as I…

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Posted by on October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


Share Your World – Week 41

Hump day = Share Your World courtesy of Cee’s Photography. Do play along at home 🙂

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?

I prefer to be behind the camera. I have lots of great pics of things I’ve been doing lately but haven’t had time to post anything.

What did you most enjoy doing this past week?

Uh…I can’t give any details. Friday night. That is all 🙂

What is your greatest extravagance?

I like good Darjeeling leaf tea and buy it in bulk. I’m a bit of a tea snob – only the best will do! I shop Boston Tea Campaign for all my Darjeeling needs. A three-cup pot of tea on a Sunday morning is just about the best thing evar.

Which letter of the alphabet describes you best?

This is a hard one. M because it’s a wide, solid letter, well-balanced and secure like I am if you’re my friend. It can also crush the puny skinny letters if they make it mad 🙂

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for good friends, good food and lots of laughter and looking forward to more of the same in the coming week.


Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World



Drama at the Dog Park!

Saturday afternoon Sabu and I went to the dog park on the way to the Studio, as we do four or five days a week. We’ve never had a problem – people are respectful and the dogs tend to work things out themselves while the people talk.

This particular park has separate areas for large dogs and small dogs. Sometimes people take puppies or very shy dogs into the small dog side so they can play without getting hurt. It sometimes gets very rough on the big dog side of the park, but we all understand that dogs like to play and wrestle and so far I haven’t seen anyone hurt.

Sabu, being Alpha, is often in the middle of a confrontation, breaking it up, maintaining order. Yeah, surprised the hell out of me the first time I saw it, but there ya go – she will have no fighting in her pack and has done some pretty strange things during our dog park adventures.

Sabu and I went through the first gate and into the little holding area. I took her leash off and opened the second gate as an older couple (and by older I just mean older than me – I have very little notion of age other than older than me, younger than me and “children” which has come to include anyone under 25, much to my dismay.) with a large Labrador-looking dog came in through the first gate.

Dog park etiquette dictates that you don’t bring your dog into the holding area or open the first gate until the dog before you has exited the second gate and it’s been closed, letting dog and human into the alley that leads to the park proper. Dogs can fight if they’re confined together before they get to know each other and most dogs are already over excited just being at the park – no need to add fuel to the fire, right?

They followed too closely and Sabu doubled back to see if they would be lax at the gate, letting her escape for a romp in the pond. I caught her and dragged her back.

“Is your dog nice?” the woman asked.

“Yes, she’s nice, but she’s a gate pusher. I’ll just hold her until you get in so she doesn’t knock you over.”

They came in, closed the gate and I let Sabu go, turning my back and calling for her to move out into the main part of the park.

The man was holding the leash and not taking it off the dog – a real no-no at the dog park as dogs on leashes can be very defensive towards dogs not on leashes. You’re supposed to take the leash off in the holding area so the dog enters the park with no leash, thereby minimizing confrontations – when Sabu doubled back again to have a sniff at the new dog. Because she’s Alpha, she bumped him on the shoulder to let him know what was what and he stumbled, causing the woman to start shrieking at me.

My back was partly turned, but as soon as I realized Sabu wasn’t at my side I whirled around and tried to grab her. She was dodging around, not at all sure what the yelling was about but not willing to move away from this new dog – he was now part of her pack and if the shrieking woman wouldn’t shut up, well, something was about to Get Done about the situation.*

I leaned down to get a grip on Sabu’s harness, noticing the woman’s feet and getting distracted. She was wearing flip flops and her feet were all twisted up. A bunch of things ran through my head and I finally settled upon “ballet dancer” as an explanation and tuned in to what she was saying. I mean, Sabu hadn’t done anything wrong and I was confused about what the woman was so upset about.

“We just spent $6000 on surgeries for this dog! We saved his life and now he could be hurt again! He’s only just been cleared to go out on a leash and now this! Get your dog under control!” and on and on in this vein at high volume.

I finally got a good grip on Sabu and looked the woman in the face.

“I’m sorry! You do realize this is an off-leash park?”

“Of course!” she snapped back at me. “It’s just that he hasn’t seen other dogs in so long we thought it would be good for him to come here but I can see that no one keeps their dogs under control and I spent all this money blah, blah, blah…”

That set me off. “You can’t expect to bring a dog to an off-leash dog park and not let it be a dog. All the other dogs here are off leash. All of the dogs are big dogs. If your dog is recovering from an injury you should not have brought it here.”

I was fuming and not about to let this entitled bitch make me feel bad about my dog being a dog.

I mean, really?!? Often the pack running in the park will bomb down the alley and crowd the gate when a new dog comes in – it’s all part of the Dog Park Experience. This woman was out of her mind bringing her injured dog inside the park.

They finally just walked it around the outside of the fence, where it got to sniff noses through the fence, which is what they should have done in the first place!

Stoopid people! Really soured the rest of my day.

* Sabu allows a certain amount of growling and barking when she’s at the park, but if a dog sounds like it’s being hurt or is squealing with fear, Sabu is right over there, sorting out who the problem dog is (not the one making the fear noises) and herding it away from its victim. It’s amazing to see. If two or more dogs are playing and they get too loud, either growling or barking, Sabu races over to be sure no one is getting hurt and if one dog is being too rough, in Sabu’s opinion, it will be corrected, severely if need be, before being allowed to continue playing.

One day there was a smaller intact male dog who was humping every other dog. I mean, he was really trying with everything that moved. This caused the other dogs to start hopping around to avoid him while still playing their game. Sabu took one look at the the situation, ran over and herded that horny little shit away from the other dogs. She then grabbed him in the middle of his back and repeatedly pushed him down onto the ground until he submitted to her. There would be no more humping while Sabu was on duty. Little Dog was not hurt and his owner was not unhappy about Sabu’s discipline (thankfully) and peace once again reigned.



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Share Your World – Week 40

Time for another glimpse into my life with Cee’s Share Your World challenge.

This week’s questions:

You’re given $500,000 dollars tax free (any currency), what do you spend it on? 

I would pay off my paltry debts, buy a really nice motorhome and tour the country for a couple of years. After I’ve seen all the things I want to see in America I would head over to Europe and tour around there for awhile.

What’s the finest education?

A life well lived. There’s no substitute for getting out there and meeting people and seeing places.

What kind of art is your favorite? Why?

Most all of it. Art in all its forms is pure expression of emotion and I love it. I couldn’t live with all of it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it.

Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?

My childhood phone number. Still use some of the digits as PINs here and there. Thought my answer would be more profound? 🙂

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Participated in our first Craft Faire on Saturday. Financially it was a bust, but it was a perfect Dress Rehearsal for the upcoming Season. We’re booked solid for the month of November and hopefully it will be the springboard to something fun and profitable.


Posted by on October 8, 2014 in Memes, Share Your World



People Suck – Part Whatever

After lunch Sabu and I were on our typical walk, down the alley, around the corner and up the street. We walk this way Monday thru Thursday, rain or shine.

The first house around the corner is owned by the neighboring church and stood empty for well over a year. I believe it’s generally used to house the pastor and his family. It’s a nice house, two story, large with lots of windows.

Some months ago there was a flurry of activity as the house was readied for new tenants. I thought it would be a new pastor and family, but instead a white trash family of dubious origin and a bunch of kids ranging in age from four to OMG surly teen moved in.

Now, before you get all up in arms that I used the term white trash, let me explain. These people ARE white and they ARE trash. How do I know? The crap that has started piling up in the yard, the belligerent, tattooed miscreants smoking and drinking on the front stoop, the language coming out of the mouths of everyone over there, the damaged vehicles (looks like they like to drink AND drive for entertainment) and on and on. These are not quality people and I wonder if regular church goers are sorry they rented to them.

There does not appear to be a male head-of-household, only an assortment of young-ish men half-dressed and smoking on the front step most mornings. No, they aren’t all the same guy. Sigh. It’s ugly.

Anyway. I’m not usually one to judge so harshly, but I’ve had a couple of run-ins with the woman in charge that make no sense and leave me angry and wanting to hit someone.

The first time, I was pulling my car from the alley onto the street. There’s a hedge that partially obscures the sidewalk until you’re right up on it. She was pushing a stroller with her 4-year-old daughter walking alongside. I came up on the sidewalk and she yelled at me for pulling up in front of her.

What? She was 10 feet back, was in no danger of being hit and I was moving at a crawl anyway. I looked into my driver’s side mirror to see if it was clear to back up when she started yelling again, this time calling names. Sabu started to snarl and claw at the window, so I pulled out into the street to her curses and bellowing.

WTF? That’s some high-class parenting right there! I couldn’t believe she was so nasty over nothing.

Today Sabu and I had another run-in with her. We were walking by her yard (strewn with lawn chairs on their sides and assorted broken toys and bits of trash) as she was pulling up in her (barely running) car with a child in the back.

Sabu did what dogs do – she peed on the edge of the grass. OMG! You would think she left a big, wet pile of crap for the reaction we got.

“Do you let that dog do that on everybody’s yard?” She was red-faced and shouting at me, gesturing at the grass.

“She just peed. If she’d pooped I would pick it up…” Stunned by her reaction, I kept walking.

“You didn’t pick it up last time! You never pick it up, blah, blah, blah…..”

I was getting angry now and turned fully around to look her in the face. “I always pick up her poop. Always!”

“You didn’t the other day!” She’s really winding up now and I’m getting mad enough to do something I’ll regret.

“It wasn’t me. It wasn’t this dog…” walking away now, trying to hold my tongue.

“I have five witnesses in the house who saw you! It was YOU!!!”

Fighting to stay calm, I said, “You’re wrong. It wasn’t me and it wasn’t this dog,” before turning and walking away.

She continued to shout at me but I tuned her out.

WTF? I’ve had people stop, in their cars, to thank me for picking up my dog’s poop. I am known for picking up after my dog in a neighborhood where no one bothers. Why does this woman have such a chip on her shoulder for me? What did I ever do to her but let her daughter pet my dog?

Gaaaahhhhhh!!! People like that give this town a bad name. What a crappy way to end my lunch break on a Monday afternoon.


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