Category Archives: Random

Passport Hell Part II

I left off by telling you that I was missing my “long form” birth certificate (if you missed it click here). How was I going to get it? I was going to have to beg, borrow and steal, that’s how. Or just write a check.

I was born in New Jersey. Which means that I had to apply to the State of New Jersey Vital Statistics. I applied on February 14 and had to pay $47 to get something that belongs to me. But I guess that’s my punishment for forgetting to put the original back in the safety box. Either that or that is some expensive paper right there.

After receiving emails informing me of my birth certificate’s every step (Confirmation, In Progress, Ready To Mail Out and Completed), I finally received it on March 18.

I now had 16 days until we leave for our trip. My laid-back, “eh, we have plenty of time” attitude turned into full-on panic. I looked online (thank you Internet for being born — just don’t lose your b.c.) and found the number for the nearest Passport Office, which happens to only be an hour away.

Everything was automated. And I was told by Roberta Robot to come in on March 25 at 9:30am for my appointment. Now, when they say “appointment” I pictured a nice lady in a business suit behind a desk with a bun in her hair and black rimmed glasses on her face. I would sit down at her desk and she would ask me questions that I may or may not be able to answer and we’d be done.

I’m not really sure what world I live in.

Just so you know, in order to get a Passport expedited, you have to pay an additional 60 bucks. So far I am $232+ in the hole. Add in my time and wear and tear on my car and fuhgetaboutit.

After waiting in line to get through the metal detector and finding out that I needed to fill out yet another form, I had to get in line #2. This line had one of those rope things you see when you want to catch a ride on Magic Mountain. Except without the magic. And the mountain.

There were three windows but only one was open. A family of seven was at the single window. I was pretty sure they were ready to bust out some wine and cheese because it looked like they were going to be there for a while.

I was sandwiched between two guys. One had so much dog hair on the back of his sweatshirt that I was afraid to inhale too deeply for fear of getting a hairball and the other was mumbling, “this is bullshit” to himself over and over again. I was half expecting him to go “postal” any minute.

After standing in line for 40 minutes, I was given a ticket with a number and had to go wait in the pen with the rest of the poor passport-less people. The only difference is, I already had a processing passport. So, I had a different number than most everyone else. I just had to show the powers that be my $47 birth certificate. Easy peasy.

I sat down at 10:17. My number was called at 11:11. I almost missed it because I was texting DH, bitching about my experience and that I had a fear of not hearing my number being called.

By chance I looked up from my phone and a guy behind one of the six out of twelve windows that was opened was staring at me. Glaring at me like I was a sixteen year old girl. I wish I could say I was flattered, but I wasn’t.

I gathered my crap and ran up before he gave my spot away. After explaining the whole deal, he said, “give me a few minutes to find your paperwork. Sit where I can see you.”

Even though it only took him a couple of minutes and I was sitting in a chair right outside of his little window like he told me to, he started looking around the room for me. I ran up again, before he gave up and moved on to the next soul.

Because the thought of starting over made me want to just throw in the towel. So what if I never leave the country ever again? Who cares if I never see the Eiffel Tower? Or the Taj Mahal? Or Tahiti?

I got out my check, ready to sign over the extra 60 buckaroos to get my passport lickety-split. “Oh, no. You don’t owe any money. We are so sorry.” Yes. He apologized to me. Why? In case you missed it, in Part I I mentioned that the birth certificate I originally sent did indeed have my parents’ names on it. See where I’m going with this?

So now I’m only out $172+ (the “+” is for the processing fee that I don’t remember the cost of). The guy behind one of the six out of twelve opened windows asked me if I wanted it overnighted. Believe it or not, I said no. Because it was going to cost $15 and I’m dirt cheap. He promised me it would be at my house in three business days. He was wrong.

It only took 22 hours. passport

So, it was precisely nine weeks from the start of a journey that should not have been as painful as it was or should not have taken more than a month.

Moral of the story? Make sure you have a passport. You don’t have to have current travel plans outside of the United States. Just have one. Getting a passport because you have to, last minute, is not a good idea. Or as fun as Magic Mountain.

Plus now, you can go to Tahiti.

Passport Hell Part I

I had a passport once long, long ago. I needed one to get to and from Germany. I was probably around 7 or 8. That passport expired around the same time I started to grow boobs and pop zits. And I never applied for a new one.

Until now. Why? Because I’m going to Canada in exactly 9 days. No, I didn’t wait until the last minute. I applied for it back in January, when we decided we would be taking this trip.

I swear my hair looked good in my mirror at home.

I swear my hair looked good in my mirror at home. Although my hair isn’t the biggest problem here.

I went to the local pharmacy and paid 15 bucks for the ugliest picture anyone could possibly have taken of me. An orangutan could have done a better job with his feet.

I meticulously filled out the paperwork, checked and double checked that I had all of the correct forms, proof of citizenship, a pint of my blood and first born. I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s.

I trekked my ass down to the post office. No, not any post office. It had to be a special post office that processes passports. Luckily for me, there was one in the next town.

After forking over $110 plus a processing fee that I blocked out because what difference does it make? A passport could cost $5,000. If you need a passport, you need a passport. Does the government or world or whatever have us by the cajones or what?

Umm, what was I saying? Oh right…

After forking over some moola, and spending an exorbitant amount of time in line as well as with the man behind the counter, I felt a sense of relief rush through me. It was on its way. Done. Complete. Check. Now I just had to wait the four to six weeks it would take to come in the mail. This was on January 21st. I had plenty of time.

Or so I thought. On February 13th, I received an official looking letter from the State of Connecticut. This envelope was too small to fit a passport. Although with the way technology is these days, who knows? This envelope could contain a chip. To be planted in your ear. I could only hope. I ripped it open. Eager to find out what was inside.

“The evidence of U.S. citizenship or nationality you submitted is not acceptable…the full names of your parent(s) are not listed…”

WHAT? I made a panicked phone call to my mother. Because my mother is the all-knowing, keeper of everything go-to person (I’m not kidding either. If you want her number, let me know). “OH-MY-GOD-MOTHER-MY-PASSPORT-APPLICATION-GOT-REJECTED!!!” I screamed into her ear.

Here’s a little birth certificate lesson for all of you: Apparently there are TWO types…the long form and the short form.

My dear all-knowing mother keeps a copy of everything from the receipt of a pack of gum she bought at CVS in 1994 to…you got it, all of her children’s birth certificates.

After a quick discussion with her, we figured out that I sent the short form. But guess what? The short form DID have my parents’ names listed on it because she checked. You know, on her copy. The State of Connecticut is blind. And my mother is never wrong. Plus she can read. She is not blind.

Unimportant Note: In case you are wondering why I didn’t just send the long form, it’s because I don’t have it. It got lost in a move. Or I probably took it out of our fire-safe lock box for one reason or another and didn’t put it back. I’m betting on the latter.

Most people would have called the State of Connecticut Passport Agency and demanded an explanation. But alas! I am not most people. What did I do next? Stay tuned…this is compelling stuff here. You won’t want to miss it. Or maybe you will. You be the judge.

Warning: I’m In a Bad Mood.

I suppose you’re wondering where I’ve been. Or maybe you haven’t been wondering at all. Perhaps you are happy that your email box or your Facebook timeline has been lighter.

It’s been a while. My brains are stuck on total freeze mode and cannot, will not, function. I am forgetting about appointments, or thinking I have appointments when I don’t.

I have a to-do list that is longer than Santa’s Naughty list. I have writer’s block so bad, I need a chisel. And I want to get out of bed about as much as I want to eat goat livers for breakfast.

Just the thought of the act of moving makes me want to cry. Sometimes I will sit and stare at the remote on the coffee table. Willing it to levitate in my direction. And if it doesn’t (it doesn’t)? Meh. Watching that episode of Friends when Ross whitened his teeth too much for the forty-second time won’t kill me.

My house is flooded. I have holes in my ceiling from ice damming and buckets strewn all around. It looks like one of those kiddie water parks in here but really, I live in a cave.

Please Mr. Postman, look and see...if there's any way you can MAKE IT STOP SNOWING!

Please Mr. Postman, look and see…if there’s any way you can MAKE IT STOP SNOWING!

My hair is overgrown, I need a dye job. I could use a good wax to my lip. I haven’t put on makeup in so long I don’t even remember where I keep it. My shaver has rusted out from lack of use. And my butt hasn’t seen a pair of jeans in 45 days because I know they won’t go above my ankles after sitting and eating nothing but pulled pork sandwiches and Smiley fries all season.

It won’t stop snowing and the temperature doesn’t seem to want to reach 30 degrees. If it does reach 30 degrees, people are out in shorts and t-shirts like we live in the middle of the Sahara. Which just pisses me off even more.

The snow is piled so high that the simple act of walking out to fetch the mail from the mailbox takes twice as long. That is if I can even reach my mailbox.

I’m bitchy and grumpy.

Yes, I am ashamed to say that I have let this horrible winter win. It got the best of me. I have the energy of a sloth. The brains of a goldfish. And the attitude of a bi-polar Princess Aurora.

But, it is March. That means it’s a little closer to something besides winter. We put the clocks ahead an hour this weekend which translates to “there will be light.”

So, as I stare out my window, looking at the snow that is edging up to eye level, I am grateful for March. Are we getting up to 9″ of snow by Thursday? Yes. So they say. But it’s March. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I will pull my head out of my ass and will become one with humanity.

On second thought, check back with me in April. Yeah. April seems more attainable. After all, isn’t that when bears come out of hibernation?

Stop Trying To Sell Me Something Dammit!

I had to run a quick errand this afternoon. I didn’t want to. I was comfortable in my nice warm house. Outside it was snowy and cold as hell. The last thing I wanted to do was go out. Or get dressed.

I walked into Stop and Shop. I saw her in the corner of my eye. I tried to avoid her by turning toward the pineapples. My mistake was that I wasn’t fast enough. And also that I answered her.

Her: Excuse me, ma’am?

Me: (here it comes…shit. What do I do, what do I do?) Yes?

Her: Do you own a home?

Me: (I should lie. You know, tell her no.) …uh, Yes?

Her: Have you ever thought of solar panels for your house?

Me: No and I’m not interested. (I should have said I already have them, but lies always lead to more lies and before I know it she’s asking what manufacturer and I’m saying “The Solar Guys” and she’s all like umm, I don’t think there is such a thing and I’m saying you must not know your stuff and then she’s googling it to prove I’m wrong and then I’m feeling super bad and will need to stop into the local church on the way home to confess my sins.)

Her: Why?

Really? Did she just ask me why? Because I’m not, that’s why. Because I’m here for a f**king fruit basket I need to buy for a neighbor whose husband died 3 weeks ago but because my head is so far up my ass, I didn’t know so I missed all the services and I feel really bad so I’m going to say I’m sorry through apples (I’m not alone – yes, I just threw you under the bus my other 2 neighbors who also didn’t know).

I waved at her like those angry old men you see at the mall who are irritated by the teenagers playing their iPods too loudly. I heard her snicker under her breath. I have officially crossed to the other side. And I thought my wrinkles were bad?

I have to say I’m kind of tired of sales people who are put where they shouldn’t be. I get the Girl Scouts selling cookies outside of Office Max. I get the veteran’s looking for donations for the wounded soldiers outside of the market. I get salespeople. This isn’t about slamming the salesperson. These are jobs. There need to be salespeople for the world to carry on.

But the people that are set up inside of stores that have nothing to do with the store itself? Bothering the customers? Come on.

I understand that the kiosks at the mall are just running a business. So are all the other businesses there. But I don’t see some chick from Victoria’s Secret running after me with a pair of thongs promising that I will feel 30 years younger if I try them on, do I?

There’s the guy with the hair straightener. He’s coming at me so fast and furious, I swear he’s going to club me in the head with it.

There’s the lady who promises my hands and cuticles will be softer than a baby’s bottom if I buy her lotion. I actually fell for this once. It still sits in the cabinet in my bathroom. It started out blue. It is now green. And full to the brim.

The one that gets me the most is the guy pawning his e-cigarettes. What even is that? Whatever it is, please don’t assume I’m a smoker and try to sell them to me. It’s an insult.

If I’m interested in your wares, I will approach you. Otherwise, I will avoid you like the plague.

I actually have a route that I take so that I can avoid them. Which really sucks. I don’t want to have to avoid these people. I want to be able to go to the mall or the grocery store or even the gas station without being pounced on. I want to be able to shop in peace. It’s bad enough that my home phone rings all day and night. And they aren’t friends or family calling either.

Everything has gotten out of control. Technology, although grateful for it, has gotten out of control on some level. The way we live, has gotten out of control.

I long for the easy days of corded phones and playing outside. When the only people who called were your friends or grandmother. Easy shopping and writing letters. That’s what I want.

I kind of feel bad for our kids. They don’t understand. They don’t know who Paul McCartney is and that it’s not okay to talk to strangers on the internet.

When did that happen? I don’t know. But please. Can’t we at least keep sales to the sales office? It really would make me so much happier.

And making me happy is what it’s all about, right? Did I mention that we also live in a self-absorbed world? Houston, we might have a problem.

I’m Sorry

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I need to come clean with you. I am aware that the stuff I have been writing lately is crap. No more recipe shares with you. No more shit posts. If I write something, and I wouldn’t read it, then I’m hitting the delete key. I’m no longer going to publish a post just to publish a post.

I’m sorry. I’m sorry because I’m legitimately sorry. I’m embarrassed and I apologize if I wasted your time.

I realize we had a pretty traumatic experience recently and maybe I was off my game. I lost my wit. I lost my humor. I lost my will to even want to write.

But I’m back. I slapped myself in the face, picked myself up and wrote something pretty cool last night. The link is here in case you missed it.

Thank you for your patience and for not totally losing faith in me. I love you all!!

PS – I’m too excited not to share this with you and I wasn’t going to yet, but guess what? A pretty major, mega-huge blogging site is going to publish an essay I wrote where I talk about my raw emotions after The Kid was hit by a car. It’s coming out October 16! So be on the lookout! (of course, I’ll be sharing it here)

My Writing Process: A Blog Tour 2 Months Later

I know I have undiagnosed adult ADD.  Or something close to it.  How do I know?  Because I have the attention span of a gnat, the memory of a goldfish and can be known to space out more often than Captain Kirk.

I was checking something on my momfeld Facebook page this morning and saw in the left margin a link that was shared with me from another blogger.  From May. As in March, April, May.  “Hmm,” I said to myself, “What’s this?” I saw that people left comments, so I clicked on them.  One of the people who left a comment was ME so obviously, I saw it already.  I opened the link and saw that this awesome blogger chose me to participate in a writing process blog tour.

After I read the post again, it all came flashing back.  I suddenly remembered that I was very touched and said to myself at the time, “I’ll come back to this later.”  But never did.  Because…I have adult ADD and I got distracted by something else and completely forgot about it. Out of sight, out of mind.

I REALLY need to start writing notes, reminders. Or tying a string around my finger, but I’m pretty sure that method won’t work because I will be smacking myself in the head trying to remember why the hell there is a string around my finger. And then I would have nothing but a headache and a blue phalange because of lack of circulation.

So, to Kim Ulmanis over at http://www.kimulmanis.com (she’s a really great writer and has awesome things to say, you should go check her out), thank you so much for thinking of me, but here you go. Sorry I’m 2 months late but that is the story of my life. I know you get me, girl.  No hard feelings?

blog tourWhat am I working on?  That’s a secret.  If I tell you, then I have to kill you.  And I don’t want to go to jail because jail scares me and I’ve seen far too many episodes of “Orange Is the New Black.”  Besides orange just isn’t my color.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?  I am self deprecating. Almost to a fault. I like to put it all out there, my thoughts, my behavior, my stupid craziness, the weird and the ugly. I have no problems talking about my hemorrhoids (coming soon), my bad driving abilities or what totally inappropriate thing I may have said to my kid.

Why do I write what I do?  Because all my life I thought I was funny.  Whether someone laughed at me, with me or not at all. I crack myself up. It started when I was 7 and thought my Sonny and Cher skit was dead on and would perform it in front of all my parents’ friends at every party. And because I love to make people laugh.  Or try. Also, I am just weird. And I want you all to know that. Because, why not? Why should I be the only one suffering with myself? You all should suffer me too.  You’re welcome.

What does my writing process look like?  Geez. My brain hurts. These are hard. I know what the process looks like in my head. These things just come to me. I write them down immediately.  Whether I am at the doctor’s office (I have been known to rip a page out of a magazine that I have written in the margin of), in my car, sleeping. Yes, ideas come to me in my sleep and force me to wake up which is really annoying because the older I get, the harder it is for me to fall back to sleep but I digress.  I keep a notepad on my bedside table. I have 12 million different drafts going on in my draft folder and it’s really messy and discombobulated and makes no sense. All this will sit and sulk and fester until I feel it’s the right time to make sense of it all and turn it into something that is something.  Boy, that makes me look like a nutcase, doesn’t it? And I’m still putting in 2 spaces after a sentence. Working on that. I swear.

Phew.  Now I’m supposed to choose my fave bloggers and spread the love except I don’t think I’m going to.  One reason is because I love way too many of you to chose just a few and I can’t make a decision worth balls. But mainly because I am late to the party and I am embarrassed. And I wouldn’t want people to roll their eyes at me and say, “What’s HER problem? This was so yesterday.” You know, kind of like my clothes.  But thanks Kim, this was fun!

 

 

Keep It In Your Pants, Son

This photo popped up on my Facebook newsfeed a couple of weeks ago:

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The Men’s Half Thong.  It’s so wrong, it’s just wrong.  I’m not quite sure what I thought when I first saw it.  I think I was a little shocked.  Which is weird for me because really, I am pretty open-minded.  It takes a lot to shock me.  And a lot to totally gross me out.  But this did it.  It both shocked and totally grossed me out.

Come on people, really?  Lordy, keep your junk hidden.  Give us something to leave to our imagination.  Would you like it if we walked around with our….oh, never mind.

Then of course, I inevitably had the next thought that I know everyone else in the free world is thinking:  How does it stay in place?

The only thing I could come up with is it has sticky stuff all up and around it.  So, it kinda works like a pasty, but instead of for boobs, it’s for penises (peen-eye?).  And even though I don’t have one, it kind of pained me to imagine ripping that stuff off my junk at the end of a long day at the beach after sweating and sea salt and who knows what else.

I shared the photo with my followers on my Facebook page (if you don’t follow me there yet, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/Momfeldcom).  I got all kinds of reactions.  Mostly everyone was disgusted.  Some had some funny things to say about it.  One follower said her friend’s mom thought it was spring loaded like ear cuffs.  Someone else said they were wondering about the amount of waxing that would be needed.  Then the conversation turned to red, white and blue.  Get it?  Red, white and BLUE?  It was all quite entertaining.  Still I needed to get to the bottom of it.  I needed to know how it stayed up.

Then a nice follower of mine shared this photo with me and shed some much needed light:

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Sorry, this pic is so small it’s hard to see. But you should be thankful.

So, it’s like a pant leg except it is missing the leg.  Well, it does have a “leg” but it’s the wrong leg.  It’s missing a lot of the material except for ahem, one little itty bitty part.  Or big part, depending on who you’re talking to.

You stick your leg through it and the string stays in place via butt crack.  Perfect.  Still not pretty.  Then random weird images ran through my mind like my dad wearing it and stuff.  Totally involuntary, by the way.  Sorry dad, I love ya, but….eww.

So, you know what guys?  Can you stick to a real bathing suit?  One that covers up a little more?  We know you have a penis.  You don’t need to prove it to us.  And I would like my lunch to stay where it was intended.  Thank you, the world at large appreciates it. 😉

 

Dropping the Funky Bomb

Jesus cursed.  Not the same kind though, huh?

I guess this isn’t exactly the same thing…

I don’t know what’s wrong with me. My potty mouth has reached epic proportions. Seriously. I’m ashamed. But not.  So what that my head has turned into a toilet?  Do you know how convenient that can be?

Lately, I’ve been dropping the funky bomb as often as I drop my iPhone.  Which is all the time.  DH has told me he doesn’t like it.  So I try to keep it clean while on the home front.  I try.

But when I’m alone in the car?  Or with friends?  Or talking to myself?  Geez. It’s like I’m on a game show called “The Wheel of Funk.”  And I’m winning by a landslide.

Sure, when I stubbed my toe on the coffee table, it kinda ticked me off.  Or the old lady who thought I wasn’t stopping at the stop sign so she flipped me the bird…that was a three effer.  This past winter was particularly bad.  Every time I bounced my car off of a snow bank, the F’s were flying.  Lordy be.

I was out to lunch with a friend a few months ago.  This friend is a curser.  Like, she’s an F bomb dropper big time. But it seemed the roles were reversed that day. Because she was being so…angelic.  And me? I was letting it fly baby.  I was feeling kind of bad about it.  Kind of.

I apologized to her.  Then started wondering out loud if it was a sin.  I was raised Irish Catholic and although I don’t practice that particular religion any longer, the Catholic guilt will forever be with me.

Because I am me, I never know what my thought process will be.  But I started wondering to my friend about cursing and the really good people of the world.  Did Mother Teresa do it?  How about Gandhi?

And what about Jesus?  I mean he was a carpenter, right?  Surely, he smashed a finger or two with a hammer.  What do you think uttered from his mouth upon inflicting accidental pain upon himself?  “Oh, camel poop.”  Yeah, no.  I’m not buying it.  I’ve hit my finger with a hammer before.  Camel poop just wouldn’t cut it.  I love Jesus, and I would still love him in spite of it.  But it is possible, right?

So, I’ve decided I’m going to write to the Pope about this.  He seems liberal.  Wish me luck.  Can you imagine?  I would be able to take cursing off my sin list.  How liberating.  One down.  499 more to go.

This Isn’t Sedona But I’ll Take It

sedona

I woke up this morning at 6:30.  My mind screamed, “NO NO NO NO NO, you will NOT wake up at 6:30 on vacation.  You just drove without any help pretty much non-stop for 12 hours in a car yesterday and you deserve to sleep a little more.”  So, that’s what I did.  Somehow I eased my brain into another slumber and slept blissfully until 10am.

Ahhhh.  Much better.  So, now I lie here in my little retreat deciding what I should do next.  “Your little retreat,” you ask?  Let me tell you a bit about my little retreat.  It’s funny, but it’s been here all along.

Every summer since The Kid was a baby, my parents, The Kid and I would drive down south to visit my brothers.  Then a few years ago, the parents retired down here.  So, now just The Kid and I come down.  We leave DH at home because we typically like to stay longer than a week.  Besides, he’d be bored.

Usually we fly.  This time we drove.  Don’t ask because I’m not really sure.  Just so you know, that may be the last time I drive down.  Although The Kid will have her license by next summer so I may have a helper.  But with the way that’s going, I think I’d rather swim down the Atlantic with the sharks than let her take my life in her hands.  But that’s a story for later so stay tuned.

When we got here last night, I extracted myself from the vehicle.  It took me a while to loosen up.  My knee was throbbing.  My head was spinning.  And I was one stiff wind short of falling over.  Then my dear mother said to me, “how would you like to sleep in the RV for the week?  You know, have your own little space to escape to to write, do whatever you want?”

The RV is pretty cool.  The parents use it to travel around the country.  It has slide-outs to make it larger, a full bathroom, a kitchen, 2 flat screen televisions, a bedroom, a dining room, a couch, running water, air conditioning and heat if needed.  When not in use, they keep it in the yard all hooked up.  They have been doing this for years.

retreat

My retreat in the driveway.

Mom and dad live in an adorable 2 bedroom Cape style house when they aren’t road tripping it.  When we are visiting, they give up their master for me, The Kid gets the spare room and THEY go out to the RV.  That’s the way it has always been.  Always.

I was hesitant at first.  I don’t know why.  And then I remembered my good friend Rachel and her recent visit to a retreat.  Her retreat was in Sedona and she went there to write her book.  I was crazy mad with envy.  I wanted a retreat too.  And now, I have it.  It’s been here under my nose all this time.  This may not be Sedona but with a printout of some mountains, a little scotch tape and a fan to blow “mountain” air through my hair, I can change all that in a flash.

I woke up this morning to peace and quiet.  No one was around to bother me.  I love my family.  I love DH and The Kid, my parents and my niece and nephew.  But let’s face it, we all could use a break from time to time.  You know, from the hubbub of everyday life.  From working, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, the taxi service, cleaning.

So here I am, writing my blog.  Enjoying the mountain view (mostly in my head because I decided printing out some mountains was just not on my weekly bucket list).  I’m taking an online writer’s course.  I am also writing a book, for those of you who are unaware.  A lot of it is in my brain, some is on paper.  But by the end of my stay here, I’m hoping to have a little more on paper and less in my brain.

Now that I’m up and have showered in my own private bath on my retreat, I have to go.  I have lots to do here.  Sedona….err, the RV is calling.

Look At Me When You Text

text and walkThere is this chick in my neighborhood who walks every single day.  Up this humongous hill that I have walked up (even run up in the day I was able to…sniff, sniff), but not without losing a lung.  She goes up and down over and over again.  This chick is in pretty good shape.  Walking up the hill of death would do that to you, I guess.

Anyway, we all know exercise can be rough.  It kinda sucks.  I do it because I really need my ass to stay as close to its original birthplace for as long as I can possibly keep it there and I also really hate the sound of my thighs rubbing together.  It’s a necessity at my age.

I carry one thing with me on my walk: my iPhone.  This is for a couple of reasons:

1) In the event I need to dial “911” in case some kook tries to steal me (because who wouldn’t want this, right?) or in case a coyote finds me delicious.  Yes, I actually imagine myself in an emergency situation and wonder how I would dial my phone while being eaten alive by wildlife.  In my brain, it doesn’t seem easy.  I also wonder if I would be able to climb a tree to get away.  This thought is followed up by another thought:  would this animal be able to also climb said tree?  Such a problem.  Wait…why do I exercise again?  Oh right, ass.

2) I cannot do an ounce of exercise without my beloved playlist playing through my earbuds. It just makes it that much less painful.  But I do not text and walk.  Okay, so that’s a lie.  I did last week.  Once.  Because once was enough after I realized that I cannot walk, look down and text at the same time without veering off into the middle of the street.  My walk quickly turned into a good game of “Chicken.”

So, anyway, my point was that this humongous-hill-exercising chick texts.  She does.  No, I do not stalk her.  I know this because every time I go out in my car and see her walking, she is looking down and texting on her phone.  EVERY FREAKING TIME, I KID YOU NOT.  Now, this woman is not real young.  She looks to be at least in her fifties.  Not that that makes much of a difference, but she should know better.  Don’t text and drive should also be a motto for walkers.  I don’t mean to judge her.  Maybe I’m just jealous because it’s quite obvious that I cannot do the two at once.  Maybe, also, I would like to know who she’s texting and what they are talking about.  It’s got to be intriguing, right?

Yesterday, The Kid and I ran into DSW and we noticed a young girl texting and walking through the parking lot.  I see this all the time.  The Kid actually pointed it out.  “Look mom, look at that girl texting while she is walking through the parking lot.”  “Pfffssh, can you imagine?”  I said to myself.  “Kid, who are you kidding?  Sometimes I feel like I need a chisel to get that little device out of your hands.”  Right.  Whatever.

I am in my late forties, okay?  I was brought up in an era where if we needed to get a message to someone, we had to use smoke signals.  No, no, just kidding.  But we did have two options:  a pay phone, or a phone that was attached to the wall in the kitchen with a 30 foot long curly cord that would reach down the hall and into the bathroom so that you could have privacy.  That’s it.

So, what happened to me?  Today, I find myself behaving like some of these kids.  The family could be sitting around watching HGTV and there I am.  Texting someone, checking Facebook or my junk email (because I only get junk email, can someone send me something legit?  Please?).  DH often asks me what I’m doing and if I can put my phone down please?  I sometimes even get a headache from it.  It’s so stupid.

This post has gone a bit off kilter here (what else is new?).  I’m trying to say that we are missing so much around us.  I know this isn’t new.  I’ve seen the Facebook status’ and memes and videos about it.  Everything that is going on around us is being missed because we can’t get our heads out of our phones.  It’s a problem.  For some, it’s worse than others.  I know the friends who don’t do it. Those are the ones who you text and it takes them 13 days to get back to you.  (Gawd, don’t they just annoy you???  I mean, who do they think they?  Having a life?)

So, I stand (or sit) here and declare that I am going to put my phone away.  I don’t want to miss anything else.  Especially what house they picked on House Hunters.  If you text me and I don’t get back to you right away, that’s why.  But if I do get back to you right away?  Well, it’s because I  just happened to have my phone on the table next to me by accident.