Friday, October 31, 2014

The Weight of Noble Acts...

If I were noble enough to work, as a nurse, treating people with Ebola in Sierra Leone , I would accept , as part of my job, to have the numerous immunization shots in order to travel there, without indignation.

If I were noble enough to work, as a nurse, treating people with Ebola, I would sign all the legal papers that Doctors without Borders would have me sign , accepting the risks, and responsibilities, without indignation.

If I were noble enough to work, as a nurse, treating people with Ebola, I would suit up, as required, in my "Hazmat suit".
I would obey rigorous decontamination procedures everyday, without indignation.

If I were noble enough to work, as a nurse, treating people with Ebola, I would understand that any virus can mutate and change it's mode of transference because science can explain only what it knows, so far.

If I were a nurse, noble enough to treat people with Ebola, I would understand that twenty one days of quarantine would be all part of the process described above, and accept it without indignation.

If I were a nurse, noble enough to do all these things, and I was clear of Ebola after my quarantine, I would be amazed how fast 21 days passed by and feel blessed I wasn't ill and that I didn't expose my loved ones or anyone else.

Nobility is often paired with obligation, it is a big weight to fully absorb and has no room for indignation.


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Monday, May 6, 2013

Misguided youth.

That's the nifty phrase I have always used to describe my times in the 70's as a teenager...less than stellar student, experimenting with drugs, shoplifting makeup...etc.

Eventually I straightened up and smelled the Starbucks. So,  now I'm a grumpy tax payer with a penchant for leather (handbags that is) and fresh kale salads.

Good grief.

Now it seems that besides being the name of an all girl rock band, misguided youth is a phrase being bandied about by an astonishing adjective challenged media to describe the Boston bombers and their accomplices.

I won't use their names, because I refuse to give them that respect.

Since when did we refer to terrorists as misguided youth? Is that a throw back to Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground? Is this is an attempt to lesson their heinous history (which begs comparisons and raises all sorts of itchy questions)  and in effect, lesson the Marathon bomber's responsibility of their own calculated actions?

What is happening?

When did we lose our ability to actually process thoughts?

Invisi-Gal finds herself happy to be invisible around such idiots, and so, will not to be counted among them.

Carry on.



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Monday, April 22, 2013

Cards, The Carpenters and the Creation of My Cool.


It was the summer of 1971, I was poolside, cross-legged on a blue and white quilt on the grass. We were getting ready for the daily after-swim-team-practice round of Hearts.

My radio was next to me, as always, blaring music interspersed with loud car commercials and the weather (81 and sunny).
I was shuffling the deck and wondering how I was so fortunate to be sitting and playing cards with the OLDER GIRLS. I was wondering if my jean shirt cover-up was faded enough to be cool and if my hoop earrings were the right size. Did the older girls like me, or was I just being tolerated because I could swim the IM ? Does this ponytail make me look immature? Immature, big Junior High word.

Should I squeeze a lemon or Sun-In on my hair to lighten it like the OLDER GIRLS were doing?  My sandals are definitely not cool, I need to ask my mom to go shopping later for some cool sandals.

Should I shoot the moon on this hand , I'm holding Aces and a ton of hearts or will the OLDER GIRLS think I'm a brat?

OLDER GIRL #1 is talking about make up and how Bonne Bell is the best and how she wants to break up with her boyfriend.
OLDER GIRL#2 concurs flashing her braces, he's a jerk because he stole one of her notes to OLDER GIRL #3 and told someone about, something about someone  who thinks someone is stuck up in her Villager clothes ...and I'm desperately trying to keep up with who is who and am I smiling too much, should I put my hair in braids, and I wish I had OLDER GIRL #2's blue eyes and braces and I'm a little annoyed that they won't use names and only use the word SOMEONE in front of me, I must not be cool, yet ... and then, there's a slight stillness...

dead air...

and like a Voice from Heaven....

straight out of my

little

black

radio...

I hear...


"Long ago, and oh, so far away...."



OLDER GIRL#1 butts in , "Hey, your turn, play a card..."

The Voice from Heaven "I fell in love with you, before the second show"

OLDER GIRL #3 , "Hell-loooo, your turn, water in your ears?"

The Voice from Heaven "Your guitar... sounded so sweet and clear, but you're not really here..."

I am transfixed on the radio, I have never heard a voice like that before, so smooth and warm and silky, everything about the whole song was lush and blue as the sky above me. The lyrics standing out against all the juvenile jargon. It's like the world stopped spinning for a moment and all I can hear or WANT to hear is this song. I wish these OLDER GIRLS would cut the chatter, I can't hear the song...maybe if I stare at the radio harder...

In a most voluntary direct action, I interrupt,(defying all OLDER GIRL, YOUNGER GIRL protocol) ...

still holding my unplayed cards, asking pointedly, "Who, who is that singing?"

OLDER GIRL#1,  " Someone Carpenter, something, I dunno, (looking me up and down) is that your shirt or your sister's shirt ?".

I can't get up fast enough,

everything
has
changed

"Mine and who cares? I gotta go see SOMEONE about something, bye...".

I lay my Aces and trump filled hand down on the quilt and start gathering my towel and bags and jump on my bike.

I'm gone.

Outta Dodge.

The road from the pool is long and winding and a slow downhill grade with newly installed things called speed bumps ...I take my time and roll the song over and over in my head. Each bump starts a new "Long ago , and oh so far away".. I can't wait to get home to ask my mom to go shopping, not for sandals, but for a new record by this band called Someone Carpenters something...

I want to play this on my stereo and learn in on guitar and sing it over and over again. This is where I am at home with myself. I have no worries about looking, acting or dressing cool ,or who dates who or anything...I am free. This is my day, I have figured it out.

This song, Superstar, would become one of my all time favorites, and really my favorite Carpenters song. It also opened me up the world of Leon Russell, who penned this perfect song of love and longing. This song made me want to write songs.

Years later we would all joke about the Carpenters and how many times we had to hear "We've Only Just Begun " at weddings, and "Close to You " became a running gag in movies when introducing stalker characters...This group with it's brilliant arrangements by Richard Carpenter and the unsurpassed  voice of his sister, unfairly became a symbol of uncool. The 70's turned raw and irreverent and The Carpenters with all their love songs of sweetness, innocence and flat out happiness became persona -non -cool-a.  Karen Carpenter's untimely death from a then new disorder called anorexia, just skimmed the news.

Now sitting here, as I type away, so many many years beyond that sunny August day, that Voice from Heaven and that Song still transfix me. It was a gift that has filled my heart and all it's empty spaces for years.

I can only say "Thank you", and I'm sure that 's not enough.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dear Weather Channel....


Thanks for the creepy heads up on this massive storm you have named Magnus..which means 'Great" in Latin...which translates to oh, Great, here comes a massive wind storm and I have massive trees in my yard.
Magnus is also a popular name in Scandinavia, don't ask me why...it also was the name of a third century Roman usurper...I was a usurper once, but I got better.
Anyhoo, again, thanks for scaring the snot out of me, as I go to my unfinished basement to hide.

Yours truly forewarned,

Invisi-Gal

Sunday, January 27, 2013

In defense of unfinished basements...



For the most part, I grew up in a 1920's Beaux Arts stone home. You did your living upstairs, a big living room, separate dining room, sun porch and roomy kitchen...and there were servants quarters for back when servants quartered.
It was a civilized home and the basement was a basement. Not a game room, or family room, it was a basement.

The close it ever would come to being "finished" was painted block walls and a tiled floor.

It was a great place for winter storage of sports gear, patio furniture,  and tons of canned tomatoes. There were crates and boxes in our basement that I  never looked into until my mother passed away, and to my surprise, lots of orphaned Christmas decorations that didn't look at all familiar, had my mother been hoarding Christmas decorations? ...we really didn't know much about the basement and it's contents...

Most people my age (somewhere lingering in the 50 range) grew up with that kind of basement. The basement was the laundry room, the freezer room, the work bench room. It was the garage's wealthy cousin... the best place to store wine.
The laundry room was large enough to hang unmentionables up to dry on a line,  put a big freezer up against the wall and there was room to do a cartwheel if so inclined. Hell, rollerskating in the basement was a time honored tradition among baby boomers.

Sometimes while I was waiting for the last minute or so of the dryer cycle, I would sneak over to explore the mysteries of the work bench....

Ahhh, the work bench. The one place in the house, where you could rightly create a mess and use a hammer and make loud noise without censorship...the best attempt of organization was a judicious use of peg board and there was always a faint smell of turpentine. The sharpest most deadly things in the house laid casually on the work bench, and the saw dust on the floor meant something had been fixed at some point dontcha know.

We had a cat once that lived in the basement and would never come out, the only evidence that it was alive, was a full kitty litter and food that was eaten and most important of all, the absence of rodents.

Today, the thought of not having a finished basement is harrowing to young home buyers...where do we put the kids, where do we put the bar, where do we hang the Steelers banner? They want drywall, carpeting, granite on something, recessed lighting and wainscoting somewhere next to builtin shelves plus a full bath. Well in my house, we call that "upstairs".

In our home now, we have an unfinished basement...much to the chagrin of our real estate agent who is  chomping at the bit to put our house on the market....maybe it's because we live in an old 1930's Craftsman and the basement feels like it should be A BASEMENT... I love the high wood rafters and the cinder block. I love the coolness of it in the summer and the behemoth soapstone 600 lb laundry sink, and the steps that open to big Bombay doors.

There is no rec room, no Rumpus room, no man cave, no game room, no wainscoting ...just a work bench, laundry room, a freezer and canned tomatoes.

Sound familiar? Okay Dr.Freud, yes, I have re-created the basement of my childhood into my adulthood, and I'm not sure what that means other than, heck yeah, I liked the basement of my childhood....and  maybe one of these days, I'll find that cat.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Comfort from long ago...

From our first president, a gentle reminder of our responsibilities as citizens of this great country...and why, we have such a distinctive onus to keep it great...here's an excerpt from his inaugural address...

"I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire, since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."


.

Evil In, Evil Out.

What are we putting into our minds on a daily basis? I can't help asking this after the horrific news out of Aurora Co. yesterday.

I remember a strange incident back in 2008. It was right after the release of The Dark Knight , and the death of Heath Ledger was still hanging in the air. I was driving south on a main thoroughfare, when a speeding small black car pulled up next to me with the passenger window open and a young man dressed exactly as Heath Ledger Joker. He was hanging out the window practically reaching into my car , gesturing maniacally at me...I tried not to look as unnerved as I felt. They sped down the road with him hanging out the window flailing about.
It scared the snot out of me...because it was so aggressive and direct and terroristic in it's intent.

I grew up with the TV Batman and was sad to see it go so dark. I stopped watching Batman movies because of that....then one night, watching TV alone in the den (no kids in the room) I came upon the creepy movie Joker from The Dark Knight while scrolling channels...I took about a minute of it and concluded "I don't need that rolling around in my mind..." and obviously neither did Heath Ledger.

Thank God for remote controls and off buttons.

I don't need Paranormal Activity one ,two ,three ad nausea-um , or Saw or Hostel , or The Orphan/Ring/Whatever ... any of that horrible imagery...
I also don't need the imagery of yesterday's massacre...
but maybe those images need each other, to keep the evil going.
That is something to think about.

Free speech is our right, and a great responsibility for those so inclined to step up to the microphone, keyboard, news desk,movie screen etc. Yet somewhere in the mix,we have lost our way, we have lost our moral code... we speak with the wrong tongues, to the tweaked minds and  worst of all , to our children, and the sad thing is,we don't see our hand in it.

When you fill a vessel with water without thought to the capacity of the vessel, it overflows...when you over fill a mind with evil and violent images, it has nowhere to go but out to the world.

Our  new society has been raised by television and movies, we should know better than to be such lazy stewards. If your argument would be, "Hey, just 'cause there's a few crazies out there, we shouldn't have to tone it down", then it would be a good indication that you are desensitized and affected yourself.
If you can't see the unhealthy turn we have taken, then there is little I can say to you, especially if you allow your children to watch this stuff.

We have molded a new society so far removed from the dreams of our fore-fathers..to live in a safe free country with a strong moral foundation. We feed on an entertainment plate of violence, blood, foul words and garbage behavior.

Is that who we really  are?

Or are we the country who abolished slavery, defeated Hitler and cured polio?

Think about it.

What do you want as your daily diet to fuel your walk in this world?


....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don't Come Home Without a Deal


We are all trying to find ways to make the recession and the cost of gas work for us. We are using coupons, Giant Eagle fuelperks, creating recipes that last three days…etc.

So when the perfect storm of appliance breakdowns happened this month, I became Recession Master (really mistress, but it sounds so wrong). I decided to buy all things reconditioned, on sale , or scratch and dent.

First I bought a scratch and dent $1600.00 refrigerator on sale for $812.00…I did the bargain dance on that one…Sears Outlet, the most amazing assembly of appliances per square feet I have ever seen…I even eyed up a chainsaw, just because.

Next, I found a reconditioned lawn mower on the sidewalk at Lowe’s … I sent my husband to inspect it and buy it , using our fuelperks gift cards (we never purchase without them ) …we got it home and it wouldn’t start…hubby heads back to Lowe’s…they tell him since we used a Giant Eagle gift card we can only get a Lowe’s gift card in exchange for the mower….hubby does what hubby should always do in a retail pickle…

…he calls the Recession Master

…and it goes like this:

Hubby, “Hey I’m here at Lowes and they will only give me a Lowes gift card back on the mower”.

RM, “Really? Who sez?”.

Hubby, “The woman at the customer service desk”.

RM, “Do they have any mowers on sale?”

Hubby, “No…but there’s a nice..”

RM cuts him off like a bad spot on an apple…

“Well then, you go find the manager, tell him or her that the purchase with gift card return policy wasn’t explained to you and that your wife has eyed up a Craftsman mower at Sears (yes, I did) ON SALE.”

Hubby, “Okay, but… “

RM cuts him off again,

“Honey, don’t come home without a deal.”

Hubby proceeds to find the manager, wrangle him back to lawn mowers, and explain his position on gift card refunds.

The manager, a pleasant fellow named Scott, explains the refund policy, again…hubby makes it clear that it wasn’t made clear by the sales people or at purchase…

The sky parts, the rainbow appears, and the lawn mower sales guy who had been listening in, does the best drive by affirmation ever…”Wow, I didn’t know that was our policy either”.

Manager Scott gives him an I –wish-I-could-fire-you-right-here-right-now-look, then turns to my husband and says, “So what do you want to do?”

Hubby, “I want you to make me a deal on a lawn mower, and did you notice none of your mowers are on sale? My wife has already eyed up a Craftsman at Sears…”

Manager Scott, “Which one do you want?”

Hubby eyes up a nice rear propelled mower that costs well over $100 than the returned mower…”That one, what can you do on that one?”

Manager Scott, “Give me a dollar, over that return of the other mower and we’ll call it even…”

Hubby is happy and relieved, he can now go home having acquired a deal and he can’t wait to call the Recession Master to relay his story of retail victory…when Manager Scott leans in to him and says…

“And tell to your wife I don’t want her to go to Sears…”

So now, Lowes has built in brand loyalty, by showing us fairness and giving us the service of a mom and pop operation, and I am writing this for all to read….mission accomplished on all fronts.

Don’t you love when it all works out?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Better Way to Say Goodbye


The passing of Joe Paterno gives us pause for many reasons...as we try to engineer his legacy into something we can all live with, I find my self reflecting on decisions made in my own life.

Would I have done things differently and made other choices if I knew they could possibly be my last?

Of course I would...and watching the Penn State scandal unfold has been one of the best lessons out there for doing the right thing.

We all look back on our own decisions in life, we all wish for do-overs, especially those that involve a lack of moral turpitude.

Unfortunately, Joe Paterno lived under the assumption that his legacy was intact and he had control over it. Yet, there are too many "free radicals" out there to ever assume such a thing.

One of them was Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno and others thought they had him under control and contained...

but you can never contain someone with an addiction, they will find a way to maintain their addiction even if it means destroying you...and that's what Sandusky did to Penn State ...and those in power were just as addicted to their own positions, which blinded them to the truth of the situation.

Paterno would have passed away a hero if he had done one simple thing from the very beginning of this mess.

He should have used his power to expunge Sandusky from the world of Penn State, rather than be part of a long time cover up that runs deep and disturbing.

His power was used many times to protect execrable players that had no right to be on the Penn State gridiron.

Paterno's powers ran deep and quite far, which some of us know all too well.

His own words "I should of done more." rang empty for me, as I know he had the power to do more and didn't.

Whistle-blowers usually come from powerless places and are crushed by the very machine they are trying to unmask. ...but in this case Paterno was the machine, he not only had the capacity to speak up, he had the efficacy to see Sandusky brought to justice.

The public at large would have hailed him a hero, for jettisoning a child molester from the grounds of Penn State.

End of story, legacy intact.

Martin Luther King Jr. said it best...“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

The beginning of the end started with the truth about Jerry Sandusky and now has ended with all of us examining the misguided silences in our own lives.

Joe Paterno leaves this life, with a conflicted ending...and most of us searching for a better way to say goodbye.


...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Odds and Evergreens.


I suppose it's time to say a few things about Christmas...Invisi-Gal loves Christmas waaay too much and most likely for all the wrong reasons.

1) It's always been a "given" that the amount of decorations adorning your yard are in direct correlation to your economic status...the less you make, the more you decorate...and now with the advent of inflatables , it's even more expensive to adorn your yard...so none ... none of this makes sense.

2) Have you noticed that the ubiquitous white holiday lights have been replaced by white hot blue lights with shooting stars? Is China deciding what color Christmas will be?

3) I saw an ol' timey retro lighted Santa on the roof of an ol' timey house and wondered who scampered up the ladder for their grandparents to do that, must be good kids.

4) Now that most of the Greatest Generation has passed, who will give out fruitcake?

5) How can I dislike Nicholas Cage yet, absolutely love The Family Man...

6) I refuse to use the words "war on Christmas"...because I refuse to acknowledge those who would disallow my joy. I shall re-word it "Victory of Christmas"... I live in victory everyday and it all began with Christmas!

7) It's okay to say "Baby Jesus" repeatedly during Christmas and not sound like Ricky Bobby.

8) Have wrapping paper sales diminished because more people give gift cards?

9) Apparently myrrh (as in 3 Kings gift list) can lower LDL levels of cholesterol ...

10) By the way, as a child , I always thought the lyrics to "We Three Kings" were: "We three kings of Orient are, tried to light a rubber cigar"...and I have NO idea where that came from.

chew on that for awhile dear reader....

.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I am 10 years old, I am Nothing.



I am ten years old....today is the worst day of my life...I am alone in this big building in a shower ...and I am being raped.

This man who treats me special and acts like my best friend is raping me, man-raping me...I can't get away , he is too big and holds me too tight, and it hurts and I am crying to God to please stop him...please let someone walk in and stop him.

I am so scared all I can do is cry.

My prayers are answered....someone is in the building, he is walking this way, oh please, please save me!

He sees us, he will save me, I see him looking right at us...Mister, please help me...

...make him stop doing this to me...save me....why are you looking at us like that, do you know this man?

no, no, no, don't walk away...please help me...Nooooo!

Why are you leaving ?

I am so ashamed, you must think I am dirty and deserve this....I am nothing to you, I am nothing to this man raping me...

I am ten years old, and this is the worst day of my life.

I am nothing.



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