Category Archives: Crazy is as Crazie Does

Standing Room Only

When I was a kid, television watching was a full contact sport.

Our black and white TV was a giant metal box that dominated our living room.  It was 50’s brown and sat on a black wire stand that allowed it to be twirled swiveled for better viewing.

In our tiny house, there were many, MANY more kids than there were seats to hold them.

Dad got priority with the wooden backed rocker as he suffered his whole life from a bad back.    He sat on his throne and ate bitter sharp cheddar cheese on saltines, or maybe an apple that he’d peel in one long strip.  On really hot summer evenings he’d have half a cantaloupe with a scoop of ice cream in the middle.  His snacks were ignored — until the ice cream came out.

Mom, relegated to doing five thousand loads of wash a day, came in and out but she had a reserved place on the couch.  Anyone sitting there must immediately vacate the position.

That left two seats on the couch and one other chair…for seven kids.  It was full-contact musical chairs, until someone invented “Saved for me.”  Don’t ask me why this worked on a bunch of wild animals, but it did.  We stood up, put our hands on the chair and shouted the magic words.

And then one day, my older sister calmly walked over to a saved chair and said, “Changes. Saved for me. No changes.”

Kapow!  That was a game changer.  Now when a kid stood up – to maybe go try for a scoop of Dad’s ice cream – the entire room held its breath.  Would the idiot leave with only saying “Saved for me”?  Sometimes they would.

I can still remember the feeling of satisfaction of being the one to claim a chair with the statement, “Changes. Save for me. No changes.”   Perhaps I can remember the feeling so well because, we still use it to this day.

 

 

 

I’m an Addict

After yesterday’s blog post, I got lots of encouragement and one great idea.  Change focus. So instead of talking about writing I’m going to talk about television.

I ‘m not much of a drinker and I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life but, I, Mayor of Crazie Town, am a Home Improvement Show addict.

Really, any kind of an improvement show will do.  Fixer Upper.  Project Runway.  Life Below Zero.  Recently I binge watched something called Building Off the Grid, or some such name.  One guy had a team build a mud house, shaped a lot like a tulip, on his remote property.  It’s not totally useless information.  I mean, I have a remote farm and now I SO want to build a tulip-shaped mud house there.

I’ve watched so many of these shows I seem to have lost the ability to follow something with an actual plot.  Husband likes detective shows so we watch those together in the evening, only nobody’s building anything so I get bored.  I’ve tried out one of those adult coloring books but am always disappointed in the results.  I scan Facebook and Twitter and Instagram but no one’s building anything there either and I get itchy for a fix.  Eventually, I sneak upstairs and and shoot up some HGTV.

I, Mayor of Crazie Town, am a Home Improvement Show addict and I’m taking it one day at a time.

 

Deaf Puppies, Firemen and Squats

Had an exciting day with my trainer – the one that I hate because he’s trying to kill me but also love because he’s trying to make me healthy.

Anyway, today — as I was pumping iron — I noticed the boxing side of the gym getting very busy.  They have a new trainer who works with people with Parkinson’s Disease and they all seemed to arrive at the same time.  And then a guy carrying camera equipment came in and joined them.  Look for a story in the Kansas City Star.

While that was going on, another trainer was trying to get an older woman up on the stair machine (even I could have told her that was a bad idea).  The woman yelled, “I’m going down!”  Someone appeared with a chair before she hit the ground, but there was no getting her up from that point.

About five minutes later, two firemen arrived.

Two minutes after that the EMTs arrived and started weaving a gurney through the weight benches.

The owner’s of the gym have just adopted a deaf puppy who tried to escape each time the door was opened so there was a lot of shouting at her, which obviously did no good.

A guy walked in an wanted a tour of the gym.

The phone rang.

Did any of this dissuade my previously gentle trainer from shouting at me to do 15 more squats?  I think you already know the answer.

 

Scrubbing Bubbles and Spiders

Today’s another day of asking myself why we bought this house.  Our original intention was to downsize.  Then our house sold on the first day and we found ourselves in an apartment that we hated and we were desperate and…I don’t know.  It must have seemed like a good idea at one point.

This house is what they call a reverse story and half, or something weird like that.  Master bedroom on first floor.  Two bedrooms and two family rooms in the basement garden level. With just Husband and I living here, we’ve tended to stake out our spaces.  I get the upstairs living room for TV watching and a corner of the kitchen for my writing desk.  I keep my areas fairly clean.  Sure, you can write your name in the dust, but there aren’t any cobwebs hanging from the ceiling.

Downstairs, that’s another matter.  For months I’ve known that the spiders were taking over down there, but I guess…I just really didn’t care.  Now, two siblings decided to stay for a weekend and something had to be done.

Of course (well, of course if you’re me) once I started cleaning I decided the layout was all wrong and spent the day moving an ancient iron bed from one room to another, exchanging it with a set of twin beds.  And of course I couldn’t just exchange the beds, I had to decorate the rooms – which required finding nails…and a hammer…and a level…and…well, that’s just how I do things.  I bite off way more than I can chew and then add a few more bits for good measure, a bit like this writing every day idea.

FYI:  In between rearranging the rooms, I DID clean.  Really.  Just ask the spiders now living in my vacuum cleaner bag.

 

SOCKS?? Noooooooo.

“SOCKS?” I shouted at Husband.

“Um…yes…socks.” He shot me a, my-wife-has-finally-gone-over-the-edge look.

“You never said anything about buying socks before I got in the car.”  I pressed my hands against my head, afraid my brain would explode. “Okay.  Okay.” I breathed in to a count of ten and then slowly out to a count of ten.  “Just give me a minute to wrap my head around socks being added.”

This is how much I hate shopping.  The original plan had been to go to the mall and buy Husband a couple of short-sleeved shirts.

I’d walked around the house all morning talking to myself to prepare.

“It’s just two shirts, Teresa.  You can do this.”  I spent ten minutes deep breathing as I visualized the two of us wandering aimlessly around the entire men’s department looking for the perfect shirt at the perfect price.  At 11:00 I told Husband I was ready to go.

Then, we got in the car and he said, “I thought we’d pick up some socks while we were there.”

I mean really, any of you would have had the same reaction right?

 

 

“Have you ever stolen anything?” the officer asked me.

Yesterday I had window washers at the house.  Within minutes the workers asked me to lock up Orlee The Giant Puppy as every time they got a window clean, she stuck her nose on it.  “Every time!” they said.

Without her attorney/my husband here to represent her, she was sent to jail.

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I feel her pain. My first real job was in an office of ten people. One day, someone stole the cash box. Guess who was responsible for the cash box? That’s right. Me.

The boss was very diplomatic and declared that everyone (except him of course) would take a lie detector test. Being the prime suspect, I was first.

I arrived at the police department and was escorted, by two burly officers, to a dark basement room. They attached several wires to me, which because of my profuse sweating, took several tries to get the pads to stay attached to my skin.  The younger officer with the lie detector was set up almost out of eyesight but not quite.

“Is your name Teresa?” the older officer sitting in front of me asked.

“Y-y-yes?” I listened to the needle scratch across the paper.

“Do you drive a 1965 Chevy Impala?”

“I? Yes?  It’s not mine though. I mean I don’t own it. I mean…” The scratching noise intensified.

“Please keep your answers to yes or no.” The young officer made a mark on the paper.

“Have you ever stolen anything?” Older officer asked.

“Have I ever…” Of course I’ve stolen some thing. As a kid I took change off dad’s dresser to buy ice cream from the truck. Did that count? I once stole a candy bar that Mom wouldn’t let me have, but she made me take it back and apologize. Did that count? “Well…I…sorta…”

“Yes or no answer please.”

“Yes.” No violent scratching from the needle.

The electrodes attached to my fingers slipped off from copious amounts of sweat. Old officer reattached them and moved in for the kill.

“Do you live in Topeka, Kansas?”

“Yes.” The needle was silent.

“Do you have a pet?”

“No.”

“Are you wearing a blue shirt?”

“Yes.”

“Are you wearing green shoes?”

“No.”

Old officer leaned in closer. “Did you steal the money?”

I heard the needle jump across the page.

“DID YOU STEAL THE MONEY?” he shouted.

“NO!” I shouted back.

He smiled and removed the sweat soaked electrodes from me. “I knew she didn’t take it before she sat down,” old one said to young one.

Robber #1Seven of us were proven innocent and two were inconclusive.

The boss refilled the cash box but filled it with blacklight powder dusted money.

I asked to be removed from cash box duty.

Welcome, My Little Lab Rats, to Writing Experiment #1

My local Kansas City Writer’s Group offers an award for one hundred rejections.  A friend in my WTF Critique group mentioned that she tried for it one year.  The only thing was, the more she wrote and submitted, the better she got.

Interesting.

I spend a lot of time avoiding my computer as I’m certain I’ve lost all ability to write.  However, it’s probably a lot like sports — not that I’d know anything about that.  Last week Husband and I played baseball with the grandkids and when he hit a ball to me I screamed and ran the other way — anyway, I’d imagine you practice and practice and practice and then you get good at it.

Welcome, my little lab rats, to Writing Experiment #1.  Posting on my blog for thirty days in a row.

 

(This counts as a blog post, right?)