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Monday, August 31, 2009

Bring On The Construction Crew (Wishful Thinking)


The days are getting cooler, and beach time is nearly past.
The time for ogling male eye-candy is leaving us real fast!
Soon, there’ll be no more Speedos on the beach,
Summer tourists gone from reach!
The six pack abs I see today may be my very last.

Months lie ahead before another summer season;
Until then, there just no tempting reason
To spend time strolling on the shore.
Fully clothed beach bums are a bore,
And dog walkers just aren’t pleasin’.

With luck, they’ll be working on my street—
Indian summer would be sweet!
The cool air would be erased,
Hard hatters bare to the waist
Would be my eyes’ autumn treat!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Silent Sunday


My 5-year-old granddaughter Allie waiting for the school bus on her first day of kindergarten.

Hallelujah!

I'm in heaven! This is my 100th post, I have 102 followers, my site has had over 6,900 visits, and tomorrow I will have completed 3 months of blogging! Thanks to all who've offered support and encouragement! You have made my retirement fun!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Slice of Maine Life in Summer

Maine is a beautiful state. I am fortunate enough to live within five to 35 minutes of sandy beaches, lofty lighthouses, and rocky shores. The other day I took a drive with camera in tow so I could share some of the local beauty with my blogger friends, many of whom have never been to Maine, and some who live so far away, they may never get to see the area.


Just three miles from my house is Old Orchard Beach of which I posted pictures here: http://tiny.cc/BBQBx . OOB—as the locals call it—is only one of very many beaches within a short distance of my house.


Higgins Beach is in Scarborough, which is approximately 20 minutes away. A beautiful, sandy beach which sees a lot of surf, it is popular with swimmers and surfers. The recent hurricanes brought in waves 6 to 12 feet high. This invariably brings out the surfer dudes in their wetsuits looking to ride the big wave. The slide show below includes several pictures of Higgins Beach.


North of Higgins Beach lie Scarborough Beach State Park, Crescent Beach State Park, and Kettle Cove State Park. All three have beautiful white sand but slightly less surf. Admission is charged at the State Parks, but it is minimal. These are also less than 30 minutes from my home.


Just beyond Crescent Beach is Two Lights State Park, and beyond that lie Fort Williams Park and Portland Head Light. The beach at Ft. Williams is rocky, but the scenery is lovely, there are old fort ruins to explore, and there is no admission charge. Also, Portland Head Light is located there.


I love the state of Maine and really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else—even though the winters can be a challenge!

Enjoy the slide show....

video

Time for a Nooner!


I'm going to get right to the point here; I slept with my husband in the middle of the afternoon yesterday! It's shameful behavior for a 65-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man, I know, but we just couldn't help ourselves. Maybe I need to explain, so you won't be so shocked and appalled.

It started out just like any other Thursday. We woke up, showered, and ate breakfast. Are you following me, here? Okay, I went to my office and spent some time on my laptop, and hubby watched a little television, and then the trouble began: We went back to the Chamber of Horrors. (If you aren't familiar with the Chamber and the goddess of torture and her pain paraphernalia, you may want to go back and read : http://wrestlingretirement.blogspot.com/2009/08/welcome-to-torture-chamber.html before continuing. It's okay, I'll wait for you.

Are you back now? Good. Well we did our tour in the Chamber, and it was pretty much as I described in that earlier post, except the goddess was just back from a week of vacation, so she was even more perky and chipper than usual. (translate: she had new and more nefarious contortions and movements to put us through!) Even more of the "Step 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" than before with an added twist of having us perform opposite arm and leg movements, until our eyes were crossed from the sheer effort of trying to remember to raise the right arm while kicking out with the left foot--well, you get the idea!

When the maniacal maneuvers mercifully came to an end, we dragged our panting, perspiring , pitiful piles of pain once known as our bodies home. We read the mail; I made us sandwiches for lunch, which we devoured ravenously.
Having finished lunch we moved into the living room, each settled into our individual recliners in front of the television, and immediately fell into a deep snooze. And that, my fellow bloggers, is how I happened to sleep with my husband in the middle of the afternoon!

WHAAAT?
You were expecting porn? At our age, nooner takes on a whole new meaning!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Throwback Thursday: Ladies Night at Chippendales!

Throwback Thursday: As I understand it, we're supposed to dig out an old photo or two and share some nostalgia. Well here goes! Back in the mid 1980's when I was a high school teacher, one of my cronies decided we should have a night out around this time in August before the school year got back in full swing, and we would all be too busy to get together. Someone had heard that the Chippendale Dancers were performing at a bar called Whitehall in Old Orchard Beach, and that we should go. Sounded like a good idea to me.


So, we made our plans, and I left a telephone message dealing with the time and place to meet for one of the teachers who was having a meeting with the principal that day. The school secretary--who was one of the ladies attending--delivered the message to the teacher during the meeting. The secretary and the teacher both starting giggling, and the principal wanted to know what the joke was. When they told him of our plans, he gave them a dollar bill with insturctions, "Give it to Eva, and tell her I said to use it wisely.".

The pictures below, tell the story. . . the middle picture shows me following the principal's instructions--I did what I was told--he was my boss, after all!








There were more pictures in the set, but I don't want to incriminate others. At one point, one of the dancers grabbed my camera, pulled out his G-string, and took a snapshot! I didn't want to post it for fear of startling the faint of heart! I'll just say he had a quite a treasure trove of dollar bills!

The evening consisted of a lot of cheering, much laughter, some imbibing, and a great time was had by all!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Splish-Splash, I Was Taking a Bath!

You're looking at a new award that Jo, Diary of a Sad Housewife has seen fit to give me. I am so pleased. Jo is a great person who's experiencing some rough times right now--times that aren't foreign to me. I've been there and know it is really difficult. I'm quoting the info about this award directly from her blog, so I'll be sure to get it right:


Here is the scoop on this award:The Splash Award is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs.When you receive this award, you must:* Put the logo on your blog/post.* Nominate & link up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.* Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.* Remember to link to the person from whom you received your Splash Award.


So first, a link to Jo's blog, and I apologize that this is not the usual-looking link, but being a techno-idiot that is way old enough to have been Bill Gates' mother, and didn't grow up with a computer in front of me, I have to link the only way I know how: http://diaryofasadhousewife-jo.blogspot.com/ . I hope you'll pay her a visit and offer up some encouragement and support.


Now the blogs I want to splash:

First: That One Girl @ Hello! My Name is Mommy. She's experiencing motherhood for the first time--and we ALL remember what that was like!--and blogging about it with honesty and humor. I love reading her posts. Here's the link: http://spitupissexy.blogspot.com/ Be sure to read "Mylicon, will you marry me?'

Second: Joanna Jenkins @ http://www.thefiftyfactor.com/ I don't always comment on blogs I visit frequently, but Joanna's has been one of them. She just has an engaging way of writing, and I have to follow her blog to find out how she married her husband twice!

Third: The Vegetable Assassin @ http://vegetableassassin.blogspot.com/ She is my Lunie Toon from Canada (in case you didn't know, a Lunie is a Canadian $1.00 coin; a Tunie is a Canadian $2.00 coin. . .and since in this country we sometimes say someone is as strange and rare a a two dollar bill, I think Lunie Toon is appropriate. She is funny, sarcastic, trying to control a potty mouth (though I don't know why; it's part of her charm!) , and I just found her blog by accident recently. Make sure you read "Se7en."

That's as much bloggy love as I can hand out today; if you use praise too profusely it becomes meaningless; I really want these awards to be meaningful!

I hope you'll visit them all!

And Jo--thanks again!

Have I Got A Deal For You!


I spent the summer before my freshman year of college doing telephone sales. I know, I’m not proud of it, but it did help pay my tuition. Back then, telephone sales was relatively new field; heck, if you’ve been reading this blog right along, then you know telephones had only been around for a year or two when I graduated from high school.

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration; phones weren’t THAT new, but I know our household had only used the rotary dial phone for four or five years. Prior to that, you picked up the earpiece, held it to your ear, and when the operator said, “Number please,” you said “Mayfair 2-5677” or something similar. That was my sister’s long distance number—she lived about 20 miles away. The old Saturday Night Live skits with Lily Tomlin playing Ernestine, the snorting telephone operator, were right on the money! It was not unusual for the operator or someone else to listen in on your phone conversations--we had party lines--which is probably the reason phone sex never took off until after direct dial came in.

My phone number was 754J. Don’t ask me how I remember; I just do. It’s one of those old people things. You can’t remember something that happened last week, but your old phone number from 50 years ago is right there in your memory, clear as a bell! But I digress.

My parents were opposed to my attending college, and refused to help me financially. A girl was only going to get married and have kids, so what would be the point? Plus, to my straight-laced, religious parents, an unmarried girl did not live away from her parents unless she was married or a harlot. This was another reason for not subsidizing my ticket to Hades. As a result, I had to work and earn the “ticket” money myself!

I landed a job as a carhop at an A & W Root Beer Drive In (which my mother also regarded as one step from harlotry—after all, you approached men sitting in their cars and who knew what they might say or do to you). My hours were from 6:00 PM to midnight, which left my days free, so I took a second job from 9:00 AM to noon—selling magazines by phone.

It was a really strange situation. After I was interviewed and hired, I never saw another co-worker again. I would let myself in, using the key that was under the doormat, make phone calls for three hours, let myself out, lock the door, and replace the key under the doormat. My paycheck would be on my desk each Friday.

I wish I could remember the hourly pay; that escapes me. I know it was a higher hourly rate then I received as a carhop—that was $0.50 per hour. Of course, if you were efficient and pleasant, you could take in $15 or $20 in tips on a good night. So the phone sales must have paid $1.50 or $1.75 per hour. If you actually made a sale, you were paid a $5.00 bonus, for each sale. Posted on the wall in front of me were all sorts of possible customer objections and suggested statements to overcome those objections. “You can’t afford ten cents a day? How can you afford NOT to stay informed with magazines like Time and Life?” or “You don’t read? Well, just think of the fun you and the kids will have looking at the pictures!” Yadda, yadda, yadda.

One day, towards the end of the summer, I calculated the cost to the buyer of the magazines I was pedaling. I remember being shocked that what I was asking people to do was to commit to a $320 contract to subscribe to 5 or 6 magazines for 3 years. Now in 1963, $320 was BIG bucks! I felt very guilty, and from that day forward, made the required calls but no longer pushed to make sales! I did make enough cash from the two jobs to pay my first year tuition, but I didn’t return to that job the following summer.

I managed to get through college, and didn’t become a harlot, although, had I known then what I know now, I might have given that career serious consideration… at least as a leisure activity, if not as a means of support. You know what they say, “We’re too soon old, and too late smart!”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Remember: He's Not a Mindreader!

Why is it that you just can’t ask a man to do something? You have to draw a picture, write down step by step instructions and hope you’ve been explicit enough. It’s possible there are a few out there who can figure things out without someone holding their hands, but my husband is not one of them.

Now take when I send him to the grocery store to do the food shopping; we’ve been together for 26 years, he’s eaten 3 meals a day here (most days), so you would think that he would have some concept of what food shopping involves. Usually, when I go, I’ll make a list of any staples that I need, then pick up meat and veggies for the week guided by what’s on special. Seems a reasonable process to me. Wrong!

Hubby goes shopping: he may or may not get everything on the list of staples, depending on whether he happens to have a pen with him. You see, unless he visibly crosses off each item as he places it in the basket, he’s bound to miss something. (I don’t understand what the difficulty is in visually scanning the list and scanning the basket contents, but I guess that’s like a multi-tasking activity which is not within his capabilities.)

Once the items on the list are acquired, then it’s time to get the rest of the groceries. He does his version of this, and brings an abundance of bags home. I go through and unpack; okay, this time he did manage to get everything on the list—he must have been packing a pen! Ah, but the rest of the story: we have ice cream, cookies, candy bars, soda, bread, eggs, three tomatoes, and a package of bathroom tissue.

“Where’s the food?” I ask.

“I got everything on the list.”

“Yeah, but are we having ice cream, egg, and tomato sandwiches for dinner every night this week?”

“I got what I knew we needed,” he answers with a what-do-you-want-from-me shrug.

So it’s tomato, ice cream, and egg sandwiches unless I go back to the market! Gotta’ learn to itemize that list, down to every tiny detail!



Thanks, Sassy Girl!

First I so need to thank One Sassy Girl at Hot Piece of Sass http://tinyurl.com/mh5aot for the lovely award (see "Your
Blog is Fabulous" at left of post) and the kid words. I'm so glad to receive this award, and glad it comes from such a favorite of mine! Sassy Girl is so funny! You need to read her post "Crotch Couture." It had me in stitches; but then most everything she posts is hilarious. The one rule that accompanies this blog is that I list 5 current obsessions. This should be a piece of cake--but cake isn't one of them; I'm not a cake person!

Let's see; my number one obsession I'd have to say is Chocolate!!! Lindt, Godiva, Ghiradelli (I'm not sure that's spelled correctly), even Hershey's. I just love chocolate.

My husband would insist that I name blogging as my number two obsession; unlike my obsession with chocolate which has gone on for most of my life, blogging is new to me. I started this blog June 1st of this year, and yeah...I'm pretty much obsessed!

My third obsession is Grey's Anatomy ( the TV show, not the book!) I can't wait for the fall season to start to find out if how Meredith and Dr. McDreamy are doing, and how Little Gray and Dr. McSteamy are doing--I'd like to be doing Dr. McSteamy! (and I mean that in the most innocent way, hubby dear).

Number four obsession would have to be chicken. I love chicken--fried, broiled, baked, grilled--anyway you cook it! Obsession number five? Pepperoni and mushroom pizza--another big favorite! (Oh, my! Three out of five of my obsessions are food. . .This is not a good thing!)

I will spend some time deciding to whom I will pass on this Award; this is not an easy task, as there are many deserving blogs out there! And once again, thank you to Sassy Girl!! Love ya'!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Almost Famous


I don’t know how the word got out. I mean, I thought my writing was pretty much the world’s best kept secret. Well, okay, I did start this blog back on June 1st, and maybe I have had few pieces published on line at Associated Content, but they’ll pretty much publish anything you’ll submit. Hmmm.

Oh, wait a minute! I have had a couple of poems published by the Poet’s Literary Guild—or something like that. You know, they’re the ones where you submit something, and then they’re all, “Oh, you are such a gifted writer that your work has been selected for publication in our wonderful tome, Great Poets of America. You can have your own hard bound copy for only $59.95! This beautiful, leather-bound volume with gold leaf trim will be yours, so you can brag to your friends: ‘See I’m a published poet!’”

Then they go on to invite you to their annual conference, where they would like you to stand before hundreds of your fellow poets and read your works. (Note: Conference registration cost, $350; travel to, and lodging in Peoria, Illinois are your expense… but really that’s just a pittance, when you consider the thrill of seeing your work published in a beautiful leather-bound volume, and the acclaim of your peers at the National Poets Conference!)”

Then you submit something that you know is a total piece of crap, and you get the same “congratulations” letter and invitation again, and you realize it’s pretty much a scam, ‘cause they’ll obviously publish anything, when there are yahoos out there who’ll fork over sixty bucks just to see their name in print, and another three hundred fifty plus expenses for the privilege of standing in front of a whole crowd of equally gullible yahoos and reading their sad attempts at verse.

Could someone at Esquire magazine been one of the said yahoos and decided to feature me in this month’s issue?? Or maybe I’m delusional… not enough sleep and too much humidity in the air, and that’s really Elizabeth Taylor on that magazine cover! Your eyes can play tricks on you when you’re sleep-deprived!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Silent Sunday


Going forward, my Sunday posts will be a picture which requires very few words. Above is a photo of my 7-year-old grandson Austin reading to his not-yet-three-year-old brother Carter.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Day that "Dry" Died.


Needless to say, this was the threat that caused Prohibition to fail. These ladies just weren't tempting enough to entice the male population to give up their booze in return for sexual favors; "Speakeasies" thrived, and eventually the whole temperance movement fell by the wayside.

This has been my feeble attempt to impart a history lesson to the blogosphere.*

*Note: This does not replace a formal education; you are advised not to drop out of school just because you have read this blog.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate Turning 65

Just having a little birthday celebration here... releasing a few baloons in honor of this landmark day.

Having watched David Letterman frequently, I thought I would write the top ten reasons to clelebrate turning 65:

10. I am now eligible for senior discounts at Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

9. I’ve probably been there, done that—I just don’t remember it.

8. Anything I buy from here on probably won’t have time to wear out.

7. I now qualify for Obama’s Cash for Clunkers Program.

6. I could take up smoking and it probably would not have time to hurt me.

5. I no longer have to provide ID in order to by booze at the supermarket or liquor store.

4. I’m still young at heart, though slightly older in other places.

3. I now have an excuse to speed; I have to hurry or I’ll forget where I was going.

2. It will be much harder now for those sexual harassment charges to stick.

AND, the number one reason to celebrate turning 65:




Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Ultimate River Dance

A good friend sent me this video and it cracked me up, so I figured I had to share it! That's about it from me today. I have to spend the day meditating and contemplating my mortality. I turn 65 tomorrow. (moment of silence, please, as we morn the passing of my youth.)

Okay, now go ahead and watch the video; feel free to chuckle or guffaw..whichever way it strikes you! (Sign of my age--I think the guy is kinda hot!)

video

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm A Winner!

I'm a two time winner! I'm speechless! First I won the Simply Me blog giveaway, at http://tinyurl.com/kwanfv. BTW, you might want to check out that blog. My prize is a Pamper Yourself Kit worth $20; I'll be watching the mail box--can't wait to start pampering!

Second, I received an award from Kat Harris of the Long Road to Heaven, at http://tinyurl.com/mhaxhy . The rule is that the recipient must find a new blog to read; follow it for a week; tell the writer what you're doing and why, and then list seven things about yourself that people might find interesting.

Boy, I had a tough time coming up with interesting things about me! Here goes:

1. I have owned 2 Newfoundland dogs in my life; one named Charles Barkley and one named Zeus.

2. During my first year of teaching, I coached girls basketball, girls softball, and drama. (I had never played basketball or softball)

3. I have been married 38 years; 12 to my first husband and 26 next month to my current husband.

4. I didn't learn to speak English until I was 6 years old; up to that time I spoke only French.

5. I once lived in a tent for 6 weeks with my husband and a 6 month old baby.

6. I worked on summer as a carhop at an A & W Rootbeer Drive In Restaurant
(No, I didn't have to rollerskate!)

7. I got "carded" going into a bar at age 36 and promptly planted a big "thank you" kiss on the Bouncer's lips!

Now I have to find a new blog to follow!


as a PS: I found the blog I'm going to follow:

http://talesofsquirekirk.blogspot.com/

There seems to be a possibility that he is my long lost son!

"Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News...."


I had a medical check up today, or I guess a follow up or a "something's up." As it was not a physical exam, or an appointment because I am physically ill--I stress the physically ill part, because the jury isn't in yet on the mental part.--I didn't have to get naked. I'm sure this was a great disappointment to my doctor, because as you know, an overweight, out of shape, almost 65 year-old body naked in the examining room brightens up everyone's day.

The other good thing about a follow up versus an annual physical exam is there are no stirrups involved. I am always glad of that because I am philosophically opposed to putting my feet in stirrups unless there is a horse between my thighs, and since I'm not a cowgirl, I just balk at the thought.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure there was a reason for today's appointment, other than to create an income stream for my physician so she can pay off her medical school loans. I guess I'll just regard it as my contribution to Obama's stimulus plan.

Who knew? It seems retirement is fattening. My weight was up 5 pounds since my last visit in the early spring. It must be retirement; there can't be any connection between number of Hersey kisses consumed, vodka gimlets imbibed, or pepperoni pizzas ingested since that day in April when I was officially released from work. . .I may have to reassess the situation--which could result in more time spent in the Chamber of Horrors!

Monday, August 17, 2009

You Have the Right to Remain Silent. . .


In the 80’s and very early 90’s, computers had not yet become a fixture in the classroom, so it was considered quite innovative when my department head bought software for one of the few computers we did have for me to use with my business management students. It was a computer simulation program which allowed up to 10 different “stores’” to operate in competition with each other. I divided each of my classes (I had 5 classes of Business Management) into groups of two and three, and they became managers of their own stores.


Students had to make decision of how much of a product to buy and determine a selling price. Each group entered their decisions into the computer; the computer would process the information and print out sales reports detailing how many sales they made, based on the amount of inventory they had purchased and their sales price, and that of their competitors’. The cycle would then repeat, adding new decisions to be made each time, such as how many employees to hire, employee wages, how much to spend on advertising, and how many of an additional product to purchase, etc.

Each year, I saved this activity for the last quarter of the school year, when it was most difficult to maintain student interest and motivation. This became a very competitive and realistic exercise; students would be stopping in between classes to see if their sales reports had been printed yet, what their profits were, and would hold very secretive strategy sessions within their groups. Motivation and interest were no longer a problem once they got involved in their businesses!

One day, as I was circulating around the classroom, monitoring progress and answering questions, I overheard a pair of students discussing how they might optimize their sales. “You know, if we could get one of the other groups to set the same low price as we do, we might be able to force a couple of groups into bankruptcy,” said one. (Bankruptcy was one of the outcomes if bad business decisions were made.)
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At lunch time, I discussed what I had overheard with the Business Law teacher. He said, “That’s a violation of anti-trust laws, if you ask me. We ought to arrest them.” We discussed it further and came up with a plan. The next day, one of the business law students who had a part-time job as a mall security guard brought his uniform and handcuffs to school with him. At an appointed time, Phil came into my classroom, in uniform, followed by a film crew (one student with a video camera), and “arrested” the two plotters. As he “read them their rights,” cuffed them, and confiscated all their paper work, one of the alleged anti-trust law violators could be heard saying, “I told your this was a bad idea, I told you!” while his partner was hissing, “shut up!’’

A defense team and a prosecuting team were appointed in the law class. The two teams actually spent time researching anti-trust laws, talking to attorneys, and preparing their cases. The remainder of the Business Law class served as the jury and we actually had a trial. Various witnesses were summoned, and cross-examined. When I was called to the witness stand, the prosecutor said, “I call Eva Gallant, alias Eva LaLiberty, alias Eva, the Squealer.” Of course this delighted the students! (My name before marriage to my current husband was LaLiberty, and they all knew that I had been the snitch!


For the two weeks this was going on, the whole school was buzzing about it. (There were a little over one thousand students in the high school. The trial was held in the business law class and was all captured on video, which all five business management classes watched. The jury found the defendants, “Guilty on all counts,” and they were sentenced to 10 days hard labor (which was how many days were left in the school year.).

It turned out to be an excellent learning experience for all students involved, and the last I heard, the “arresting officer” actually went on to become Chief of Police in the town!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

School Days


The fact that school is starting again soon for some, and has already started for others, brings back to mind my days at the front of the classroom. I spent 17 years teaching high school students and adult education classes and have some wonderful memories of those times.I always thought learning should be fun, and whenever possible I tried to be creative and find new and interesting ways to present the subject matter.

I was teaching a course in consumer economics, and we were discussing capitalism and the opportunities it provides. On the day before Christmas vacation--a day when keeping students on task is always a challlenge-- I decided I would show the movie "Moscow on the Hudson" with Robin Williams because I felt the movie illustrated well the limited choices his character Vladimer had in Russia compared to in the United States. (If you are not familiar with this 1984 movie, it's about a Russian circus performer who seeks asylum in the U.S. while his circus troupe is on tour here. In the process of becoming acclimated to his new home, he nearly has a nervous breakdown in an American supermarket because he is overwhelmed by all the options available at his fingertips, after having had to stand in line to buy a loaf of bread in his homeland.)

One problem: It was an R-rated movie, and even though my class was made up almost entirely of seniors, I did face the risk of incurring the wrath of some parents if the brief nudity was viewed in my classroom. I previewed the film and determined the point at which I needed to stop it, fast forward through the nudity, and resume play. The scenc came fairly late in the movie, so I settled down in a chair at the back of the room--where I could keep an eye on the class--and proceeded to enjoy the film with my students.

It turned out the scene in question occurred sooner than I remembered. All at once on the screen at the front of the classroom were Robin Williams and Maria Alonso sitting naked in the bathtub together! I panicked and jumped out of my chair and raced to the front of the room to the VCR. The students, amused by my panic began to chuckle--most of them had probably seen more graphic stuff at the theater, but this was my classroom, after all! In my distress, I forgot to hit the stop button before hitting the fast forward, so on the screen, the movie is racing forward, causing Maria's boobs to bounce up and down with the speed of the fast forward motion. Now the class was roaring with laughter, partly due to how funny Maria looked with the bouncing boobies, and partly because of my consternation!

The rest of the movie continued without any further interruptions, but immediately after the class ended, I hurried to the principal's office to explain what had occurred before he could hear it from a student, or worse--an irate parent who might be outraged that I exposed their 17 year-old son or daughter to two-sex bathing and bouncing bare breasts! As I breathlessly told my tale of disaster, the principal held back a chuckle and asked, "Where are you teaching next year, Eva?"

As it turned out, there were no repercussions from parents, but the story of Mrs. Gallant running to the front of the classroom in her stocking feet (I had taken my shoes off thinking no one would notice at the back of the room!) and hitting the fast forward button on the VCR to bring about animated bubble bath boobies certainly circled among the students and teachers that day! Thank goodness a ten day Christmas vacation gave the story time to die out! And I did get to keep my job for a few more years.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Life Is Good!


Good things are happening! The first is I survived another round in the Torture Chamber and lived to blog about it! Oh, I’m aching some, but not to the extent I was last week. I was able to get out of bed this morning without moaning and groaning; that’s progress of a sort.

The second good thing: I received an award! The Half-Assed Housewife--and I say that only with the greatest affection—has chosen me to receive the NEW FAVORITE AWARD. Apparently her criteria for this award were that the blog had to be new within the last 6 months and had to make her laugh out loud. To me that’s awesome. I do believe laughter is the best medicine, so if I’m doling out a dose here and there, I’m thrilled. A sense of humor has been the key to survival on many occasions in my life when I have endured some trying setbacks.

The third good thing: I have had so many wonderful, appreciative and supportive comments on my blog. It’s gratifying to know that my ramblings aren’t floating around in the blogosphere unnoticed. If you have been reading my blog and haven’t commented, I hope you will. Also, clicking on the word "comments" enables you to read what others have said, and sometimes the comments make ME laugh out loud!

The fourth good thing: We’re supposed to have beautiful weather this weekend, and I have the weekend off. Whoops! I’m retired—I have every weekend off, and the weeks, too! Lucky me! Is it five o’clock yet? I think I’ll have a drink!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bouncing Around the Blogosphere

The blogosphere has been a great place to be. I love visiting other blogs and reading about people's lives. I get to read things that make me laugh, some that bring tears to my eyes, and some that are such wonderful examples of the written word that I'm in awe.

I thought I should take a minute to share with you some of the blogs of which I am particularly fond. If you are an aspiring writer, as I am, then I suggest you check out http://tinyurl.com/quvlqt (sorry I'm not technically savvy enough to print that as a shorter link.). This blog is by Kat Harris and she regularly posts great tips for would-be-writers, dealing with everything from character development to correct grammar.

If you like to laugh, then this blog is usually good for one or two: http://www.halfassedhousewife.com/; if cute animal pictures amuse you,
http://tinyurl.com/q26f4e will no doubt find delight in that site (call me the accidental poet!) Another blog full of chuckles is http://tinyurl.com/7x3jkf .
These are just a few of my favorite blogs...see the list of those I follow for more.

Well, I have to report to the Chamber of Horrors again, now; the Goddess of Torture awaits me. Pray for me, those of you who have connections there. Hopefully I will live to write another post tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Welcome to the Chamber of Horrors

Yesterday was a Silver Sneakers Day at the gym. Once again I dragged myself to that chamber of horrors and gave my unfit carcass over to the goddess of torture, for an activity which they euphemize as exercise. Heather, the goddess/instructor, whom you can't see if she stands sideways, so she faces front as much as possible, was her usual, perky self! She was smiling and chatting, all friendly, while she handed out her various pain inflicting devices....not so stretchy elastic bands with handles on the ends, fiendish rubber orbs she innocently refers to as balls, and pastel colored dumbbells. (You would think the name would give us a clue as to what's about to transpire!) We line up our chairs in front of her...feigning enthusiasm.....anything less would be regarded with disdain.

Heather turns on the music, which I now know is relied on to camouflage the sounds of popping joints, groans, moans, and desperate gasps for air. The cult members dutifullly start marching in their seats to the strains of some disco number from the seventies with the goddess of torture calling out commands: "Slow step, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, ,2, 1; double time 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,1; slow step again; double time again. Now bring your arms into it" as she moves her arms, bent at the elbow back and forth in time with the music. "Okay, now step out and back with your left leg 8 times, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1; right leg, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Keep your arms moving."

The fact that I have no co-ordination becomes embarrassingly evident when she issues the command to stand, march in place, and now reach up, then down , then out to the side, then out to the front. Okay, I can march, or I can do the arm stuff! They just don't work well together! This is the 3rd torture session for me, and I manage to keep up the pace, just not both sets of limbs simultaneously. Mercifully she tells us to stop and have a sip of water and to look at the chart on the easel and determine where we are. The chart lists about ten levels starting with something like Breathing Normally, to Sweating Profusely, to Seeing Spots, all the way to Cardiac Arrest, the last of which she tells us we really should avoid.

We employ all the pain paraphernalia to achieve various movements and contortions until I'm wondering if I walked into S & M training by mistake! With beads of perspiration dripping into my eyes behind my fogged up glasses, I remind myself to check the sign on the door on my way out...if I make it out!
Now the music switches to another disco number "I Will Survive!" just about the time I'm sure I won't.

Finally the pace slows...the cool down period; our torture goddess calls it. We gradually ease the pace and the difficulty of the "dance" and our breathing begins to regain some semblance of normalcy. Then we are instructed to sit and that evil orb called a ball becomes an instrument of pleasure, inserted between our spines and the chair backs, and we undulate against it's comforting pressure. Following what we've just experienced, it's almost like having a masseuse manipulate those muscles, and euphoria takes over. Your mind knows it's a trick to make you think the next session will be worth it, but your body refuses to listen and succumbs to the pleasure.

Yep, I'll probably be there for the next torture session. I'm such a glutton for punishment!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Things That Go Bump in the Night

I should start this off by saying my parents were very strict when I was growing up. I was not allowed to date until I was a senior in high school. I was allowed to occasionally have friends over in groups during my junior year. I remember having tobogganing parties or cookouts. My parents would be there, and we were supervised. Mom would make cocoa for the winter parties and lemonade and hot dogs and burgers for summer cookouts.

That being said, in the spring of my senior year, I convinced my parents to allow me to stay home and have three girlfriends come and stay with me while they went away for the weekend. It took a lot of begging, pleading, and cajoling. The fact that my oldest brother, who was married and had a family, lived about 200 yards away from our house, within full view of the place, was finally the deciding factor. My girlfriends and I were excited—a two-night pajama party. Mom made sure the refrigerator was stocked with plenty of soda and munchies. (Times were a little different than today; drugs were unheard of, and alcohol was not a part of our social activities. That’s not to say there was no teenage drinking, but it was much less common than it is today.)

Word got out, as those things do, that Eva was having a pajama party and her parents were not going to be present. My girlfriends came over after school on Friday, and the fun began. We made pizza for supper, played records (the old 45 rpm jobs), did our nails, and gossiped—all the usual girlie things. Shortly after midnight, we ran out of steam and went to bed. (Picture 4 girls trying to sleep horizontally on a double bed—we were all pretty thin and petite, so it worked.)

Somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m., three or four senior boys decided to come over and scare us by rapping on my first floor bedroom windows. We panicked, as would be expected, then realized the intruders were friends, so we let them in. More soda was poured (Dad was a teetotaler and did not allow alcohol in the house, so even if we had inclinations in that direction—we would have come up empty-handed.) We talked and laughed and ate Mom’s chocolate chip cookies and listened to more records, and then around 4:30 a.m., the boys left.

It was all perfectly innocent, but I knew my mother would not see it that way. I had allowed some of the male species onto the premises unsupervised! Even worse, I was wearing my Jammies for this social event! I knew I was in deep doo-doo. There was a possibility that my brother and his wife had slept through the whole event, but if they hadn’t, and reported my transgression to my parents before I did, I knew there would be hell to pay! So I confessed as soon as my parents returned, and of course, was grounded for a couple of weeks. Graduation came and went and the incident was forgotten—or so I thought.

An urban (or maybe in this case, a SUBurban) legend was born. By the time we had our first class reunion, the story had been embellished a bit, and the words “panty raid” began to be bandied about. The pajama party was in the spring of 1963 and panty raids were in the news quite frequently in the 1960’s. Jerry, the ringleader of the early morning marauders, loved to perpetuate the “legend.”

By the time we attended our 45th class reunion last summer, he was retelling the “panty raid” tale and bragging that he had saved a pair of my panties as a souvenir. Of course, it was just too good a story to let it go.

Yesterday, my husband and I met Jerry and his wife and few friends for lunch at restaurant just up the street from the school from which we had graduated all those years ago. And, sure enough—Jerry greeted me with a hug and announced that he had something of mine. The picture below tells it all!




NOTE: If they even made thongs in 1963 and my mother had ever found one in my possession, I'd STILL be grounded today!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Strolling Down Memory Lane


I thought I might share this picture of the Newfoundland dog we used to have. When we bought him, he was just a black ball of fur. The whole family fell in love with him. I told my boys, who were 14, 15, and 16 at the time, that they could name him. They kicked around a few choices like Inky and Midnight; finally I said, "You really should name him after something big and black." My oldest, a basketball fan made the choice: Charlie Barkley!
Barkley grew, and he grew, and he grew to a full grown weight of 216 pounds of cuddly, drooling, perpetual puppy! I say perpetual puppy, because he still wanted to be a lap dog as an adult and was basicallly a big baby. Oh, he talked a good game. Our town had a leash law, so when he was outside, his collar was attached to a strong chain. When the oil man would come to fill our oil tank, Barkley would protect his territory; he would bark and bark, yanking on that chain until the poor oil deliveryman was shaking in his boots. One day I took pity on the poor man and said, "You know, the dog is harmless."
"He doesn't bite?" When I shook my head, the man asked, "What's his name?"
"Barkley," I responded. The whole time Barkley was still growling and yanking at that chain.
"Hello, Barkley," the man said, as he approached the huge dog. Charlie B. stopped mid-bark, and ran and hid under the deck! His bark was much worse than his bite.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What's A Nice Girl Like You Doing In A Place LIke This?

In yesterday's blog, I mentioned Tyler, my friend and fellow teacher. When I first met Tyler, I was single. He knew I had been divorced a couple of years, and I guess you could say I'd been spreading my wings, or sewing my wild oats; I had been enjoying the single life, after having been married 12 years to my first real boyfriend. I had also become close to several new friends, one of whom, Carol, had four great kids in their late teens and early 20's.

Tyler and I were co-advisors of a high school club called Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). One year as part of the group's activities, we took a busload of students to a city about 30 miles away to the state FBLA Convention. It was held at the Holiday Inn. As we entered the lobby of the hotel with our entourage, one of the bellhops came forward exclaiming, "Eva!" I recognized him as the son of my dear friend Carol, whom I had not seen for a while. Delighted to see him, and surprised at the coincidence of his working at this hotel, I grinned and grabbed him in a bear-hug, saying, "David! Good to see you!"

Tyler stood there, eyebrow raised, and with his typical dry wit said, "Come here often, Eva?"

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Drawer-Dropping Incdident


This cartoon brought back two memories: an embarrassing moment, and a very dear departed friend.
I spent 17 years as a classroom teacher, the last 9 of those were in the same high school as Tyler. He had a quick wit, a wonderful sense of humor, and a very kind heart. This was back in the 80's in Maine. We both taught business subjects, and our classrooms were adjacent. Tyler was gay in a time even less tolerant of homosexuals than the present. He had not "come out," but those of us who were close to him were aware of it. I only mention it because I wish he could have openly been himself and had a partner. I suspect his private life was very lonely. He left teaching eventually and moved to Florida, and we kept in touch via lengthy phone calls. In one of those phone calls, he shared with me what I already knew, that he was a lonely, gay man. He lost a battle with cancer a few years later and it made me very sad to think he died without a loving companion at his side.
Well now to the embarrassing moment: One morning I arrived at school at the same time as Tyler. We were walking from the parking lot to the school building, when Ty looked down and said, "What the heck is hanging out of your pant leg?" I looked down, and a pair of panty hose apparently had gone through the dryer with my slacks. The resulting 'static cling' had kept the panty hose in my slacks when I slipped them on. (the slacks, not the panty hose). The hose had chosen this time to escape down my pant leg to freedom.
"How could she not have noticed," you ask? Well, I had a 45-minute commute to school and liked to arrive around 7:00 a.m. to have a few minutes of sanity in which to mentally prepare for the day. This meant rising, showering, and getting dressed very early in the morning. So a minor detail like an extra pair of panty hose in my pant leg just didn't catch my attention---at that hour I tended to operate on auto pilot.
So here I was, walking across the parking lot with a pair of panty hose falling out of my slacks. I scooped them up quickly and stashed them in my purse, while we both laughed hysterically. Thank goodness Tyler noticed, else I would have probably been remembered as the teacher who dropped her panty hose in front of a classroom full of high school students. I NEVER would have lived that one down!
Does anybody else have an embarrassing moment to share?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Silver Sneakers.


One of the benefits of being on Medicare is that my supplemental health insurance covers a gym membership. It's called Silver Sneakers, which I assume is because if I had hair on my feet, it would be silver like the hair on my head! In any case, my health insurance became effective August 1st, so on Saturday I trotted my considerable out of shape carcass to the gym. I was all set to embark on the path to improvement. My journey was delayed because there was no one who could enroll me there on Saturday afternoon.
On Tuesday hubby and I went back to the gym. (Being older than I, he is already a Silver Sneaker (so to speak), but hadn't been going because of an injury sustained in a fall a while back. We were greeted with open arms, my enrollment was processed, and within a very short time we found ourselves in the Silver Sneakers class with around a dozen others of varying shapes and sizes. We did a series of exercises designed to improve mobility, flexibility, and strength, as well as cardio, under the instruction and watchful eye of our certified senior trainer--she's not a senior citizen, she's trained to train seniors. Whew! I feel like I'm getting off track here!
I emerged from the class feeling terrific. I was high on oxygen! Having spent the last 3 months since I retired either sitting in front of my laptop, or in front of the TV, I'm afraid my circulatory system may have stagnated. But all that marching in place, stretching and bending really got the old red stuff flowing through my veins, and I felt more awake than I had in weeks. On Thursday morning, we reported to the Silver Sneakers Class again and repeated all that activity.
This morning....I ache. My back, my knees, my left hip--all are reminding me that I'm not as young as I used to be! Well, I have the weekend to recoup, and then back to Silver Sneakers on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Back on August 2nd, I posted a couple of paragraphs of a short story I had written, "Your Place or Mine," with a link to the website where you could the complete story. If you read it and enjoyed it, I'm posting below a couple of paragraphs from the sequel and the link to that complete story. If you want to read Returning to the Scene of the Crime, it will make more sense if you have read "Your Place of Mine," first, so you may want to go back to August 2nd and read that post. (I should warn you that Returning to the Scene of the Crime gets borderline risque. I'm just sayin'--don't mean to offend anyone!)


Returning to the Scene of the Crime

Like a glutton for punishment, the following Friday Sandy found herself headed back to Country Connections for singles night. Ginger had other plans, so this time, her neighbor Elizabeth decided to join her. Elizabeth preferred to drive her car, so she picked Sandy up at her apartment, they hopped into her black Chevy Lumina, and hit the road--bound for that hangout for fast-talking men and freewheeling women, Country Connections!

Elizabeth did not drink, so she brought Diet Coke, and Sandy brought a vodka gimlet. That is, she took a pint of vodka, poured about a shot and a half into a glass, threw in a slice of lime and a squirt of lime juice. She had pretty much finished it before Elizabeth arrived. Then she added lime juice to the pint of vodka until the liquid was back to the level it had been before it was opened, put the cap back on and shook it up a little and was ready to go. Ice and paper cups were available at the bottle club, so she just tossed the bottle into her oversized purse.

As they drove up the highway, Elizabeth—Liz—asked, “So is the band any good at this place? And how about the men? Are there any decent ones, or are they all hound dogs?”


(If you wish to continue, the complete story is at the follow url:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2013652/returning_to_the_scene_of_the_crime.html?cat=44

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In Defense of Trailer Trash

I am here today to speak in defense of Trailer Park residents a.k.a. "trailer trash." I live in a trailer park, and I think we are getting a bad rap. Our mobile home--a bit of a misnomer, as it's 75 feet long and 16 feet wide, and thus not actually very mobile unless you drive an 18-wheeler--is very comfortable and roomy for my husband and me. Also, as we are both retired, it's a very economical choice.

While I admit there may be trailer park residents out there who could be considered "trashy," there are as many apartment dwellers and free-standing home owners who could fit that description as well. There are many beautiful, well-maintained "trailers" out there which serve as homes for people who choose that life-style because it affords them the opportunity to live within their means and enjoy vacations and restaurant visits they would have to pass up otherwise.

During the 12 years I worked in banking, I processed home equity loans for people who'd been living a life they couldn't afford courtesy of the credit card, and were now having to refinance their homes to cover that debt--sometimes as much as $70,000 credit card debt!

If living in a mobile home pretty much debt free and having the means to enjoy life without having to rely on Mastercard and Visa means I'm trailer trash, then I'll wear the label proudly!

(What brought on this tirade, you're asking yourself? I was reading a blog last night where mobile home residents were being stereo-typed as toothless wife-beaters who drove dented BMW's because they couldn't afford the deductible on their car insurance to get them repaired. Granted, it was around 1:00 a.m. and maybe it was satirical and I missed it.)

I just felt the need to let people know that I live in a trailer, and I still have my own teeth--okay maybe I'm missing one or two; my husband doesn't beat me--except for an occasional spanking, if I'm in the mood; and neither of us drives a beat up car--well, I did crack the tail light when I backed into a tree last week.

Oh, crap! I think I qualify as trailer trash!!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just Give Me the Facts, Ma'am, Just the Facts."

Before the Tonight Show was hosted by Conan O"Brien, and before Jay Leno, Johnny Carson had a 30 year run as The Tonight Show Host. Many of us stayed up late to catch his nightly monologue, if not the whole show. He was hilarious; he poked fun at politicians before it was fashionable, he performed zany skits, and parodied other television shows.

During this same era, Dragnet and Badge 714, both police detective series starring Jack Webb were big hits, so naturally, Johnny invited Jack Webb to be a guest on the Tonight Show. Dragnet, and later Badge 714, always opened with a view of Los Angeles, with Jack Webb narrating the intro with the words, "This is the city. . .my name's Friday, Joe Friday; I'm a cop." Friday's famous line when interviewing witnesses to a crime was always, "Give me the facts--just the facts."

The Tonight Show was broadcast in front of a live audience, so it was often a challenge for guests to keep from collapsing into laughter during the comedy sketches, and when appearing in a parody of Dragnet with Johnny, Jack Webb was no exception. I loved The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, so when someone sent me this video of the Dragnet sketch, I just had to put it on my blog for you to enjoy!

video

Monday, August 3, 2009

I've Had a Facelift! (I mean my blog has!)

Well, I am alll excited! My blog has a whole new look today thanks to Indie Chick Designs. I asked for something simple but different, 3 columns instead of two, and she delivered. If you need help with your blog, I highly recommend you click on the button I asked Emma to put on this page. She's great and reasonably priced. I hope you like my new "face" as much as I do.



Yesterday, I put the first few paragraphs of a story I wrote and published on the AC website with a link to take you to it, if you wanted to read the whole thing. The name of the story was "Your Place or Mine." If you haven't checked it out yet, please do. I would love some feed back. Also, there is a sequel I wrote at the same site, called "Returning to the Scene of the Crime." If you go to the first story, at the end there is a little paragraph about me. At the end of it are the words, "Complete Profile." If you click on that, it will take you to a list of all my published material on that site. Many items you may have already read, because they are republications of some of my posts here on my blog.



I am trying to write, but just when I think I've done something pretty good, I land on a blog in the SITStshood that totally blows me away, because it is so awesome, and my bubble is burst. There are such terrific writers out there, I don't know if I'll ever see anything of mine get published for real. I love reading other people's blogs. You are all so terrific. It's inspiring. So I guess I'll just have to keep plugging away.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Your Place or Mine?

The air was practically dripping of estrogen and testosterone. Both men and women studied them with appraising eyes, as Sandy followed her friend into the fray. The women appeared to be sizing up the competition, and the men, why they were just sizing them up! Surreptitiously unfastening one more button on her already dangerously open shirt, Ginger grabbed Sandy’s arm and steered her to a nearby table which still had empty chairs available. The tables were purposely large, seating ten or more people, in an effort to encourage fraternization among the patrons.
Because it was a bottle club—meaning you brought your own beverages—there were coolers of ice, beer, liquor, and mixers here and there between the tables. There appeared to be an unspoken rule that you didn’t mess with someone else’s booze, for unopened drinks were unguarded, and no one seemed to be taking advantage. There were several ‘bouncers’ mingling in the crowd, who were quick to squelch any disputes, escorting any uncooperative parties to the nearest exit!
On stage, the red-haired vocalist was belting out a ‘he done me wrong’ ballad, accompanied by a bearded, burly, electric guitar player clad in muddy brown and yellow western-style shirt, tight, faded jeans, and highly polished cowboy boots. As the singer in her brick red, cleavage-flaunting mini dress held the phallic microphone to her lips, she leaned suggestively toward the guitarist for emphasis. All around the dance floor, couples were clinging to each other, demonstrating varying degrees of intimacy and dancing ability.
“Welcome to singles night at Country Connections,” she muttered to herself. It hadn’t been her idea to come to this place, known throughout the southern part of the state to be frequented by fast- moving men and freewheeling women.
That is the beginning of a story I wrote. If you are curious to read more of it, I have it posted on the following site:
Have a great day, all!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's time to party!


Today is an occasion for celebration! I made it!
When I told my employer that I planned to retire this summer, he moved my retirement date up to April 17th--yes he can do that legally; I checked with an attorney.
My plan had been to work until I became eligible for Medicare, so I would have no gap in health insurance coverage. When I was forcecd to retire early, I was left with no health insurance from April 17th until my Medicare eligibility date, or pay $550 monthly for coverage through COBRA, which is an extended health benefit through an employer.
Since I was already losing several weeks salary that I had planned on, paying for Cobra just wasn't a very practical option financially. I decided to chance it and go naked--that is sans health insurance. My husband was very concerned, and with reason; if I had any major health issue, we would have to foot the whole bill. But that was a risk I was willing to take.
Well, today is the day. I am officially old! You become Medicare-eligible on the first day of the month in which you turn 65. My birthday is August 20th--yes, I'm a true Leo--and today is August 1st. I can now get sick, have a stroke, break a bone, or whatever, and I have health insurance. (I enrolled in a medicare advantage plan back in July, but it did not go into effect until today.)
Not that I have any bone-breaking, stroke-suffering plans, but it sure is a relief to have coverage! Is it 5:00 yet? I think I deserve a drink!