Sunday, March 28, 2010

Leap of Faith

Meet Ace.

For those of you that know me well, this comes as no surprise. KISS is my favorite band.

They have been ever since I was six years old--no lie, six years old. I used to spin their albums on my Fisher Price record player. Thank goodness this six year old did not understand the lyrics! 

As I grew older, my KISS collection grew. Ace Frehley's guitar licks were awe-inspiring. When I turned 15, I bought my first electric guitar and sat for hours in my room jamming to Ace's masterpieces. I taught myself to play and suffered through sore, bleeding fingers and torn calluses. 

I actually became pretty good, but I had a problem. I would choke whenever anyone outside my immediate family would ask me to play. Someone would watch me and I'd become a bundle of nerves, hitting wrong strings and incorrect chords. It was frustrating beyond belief.

When I was in high school, my chorus class did their annual production. We had some singers that auditioned for solo spots and I didn't give myself a choice. I auditioned not only to sing, but to play my guitar for the school production.

I got the gig.

I stood in front of my entire chorus class and the entire school. This was the first time my class had even heard me sing a solo. I panicked on the first note and the first chord, but it got so much easier as I continued. I ignored the faces in the audience and mentally told myself, "This is what you have been waiting for. All those hours in your room were for something." I sang and played my heart out to The Beatles, Let It Be.

When I finished the last word and strung the last chord, there was that brief moment of silence where you close your eyes and pray for the best. My chorus class screamed, whistled and clapped as did the audience. 

Afterwards, a friend of mine approached me and I'll never forget his words. "I didn't know you could sing. I didn't even know you could play the guitar. You were amazing. Why didn't you do this sooner?" I don't know what I was so afraid of.

I took a leap of faith that day and it paid off.

Did you ever take a leap of faith and did it pay off?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Worst Job Ever

My entire family seems to be addicted to Dirty Jobs. My kids repeat, "My name is Mike Rowe and this is my job" every time the show is on the air. I have to admit, Mike does stuff I would never dream of doing. *shiver*

It got me thinking. What was the worst job I ever had? It took me all of two seconds to come up with that answer. Dietary Aide in a nursing home.

During high school, I worked in the kitchen of a nursing home. The kitchen was located in the dark and dismal basement. It wasn't so bad during the day, but night was another matter entirely.

My job was basically preparing trays and washing dishes of the patients which often consisted of purée liver, spaghetti--well, pretty much anything they could purée. It was money in my pocket. I was 16 years old and it was a job. That didn't bother me.

What did bother me was working the late shift and working it with a co-worker.

Point #1
Every night on the late shift I had to replenish the supplies for the morning staff. No big deal; however, the stock room was located at the other end of the basement. In order to get to the stock room, you had to walk down a long, darkened corridor that consisted of one ceiling light when you reached dead center. No pun intended. 

You know how you watch a horror movie and the hospital corridor is long and dark and there is a single light that flickers? Yep, that pretty much describes it.

I did the most reasonable thing that came to mind. Every night, I hauled ass down the corridor and said a silent prayer that nothing came out of the woodwork.

The stock room was enclosed in a cage. I needed keys to open it. Oh, God. Never forget the keys! The lights in the stock room were as great as the lights in the corridor. It boasted several shelves stocked with canned goods and two or three industrial-sized refrigerators.

Point #2
My co-worker was a 16 year old boy. How many 16 year old boys do you know? Can we all say immature? 

He thought it would be hysterical to scare me to death nightly. Let me see...I opened the industrial-sized refrigerator, after I hauled ass down the long, darkened corridor, only to find that he stood inside it. 

He had crawled inside an industrial-sized garbage can when I attempted to empty the trash.

He crawled in the front seat of my truck when I went to leave in a darkened parking lot. 

Point #3
Patients die. Do you want to guess where they go when they die? Heaven, you say? C'mon. Take a better guess. There--you got it! The basement. 

The deceased patient cannot be on the main floor. They are taken to the basement until the funeral home comes to take them away. Don't you worry though. They are laid out on a gurney and covered with a blanket--in the long, darkened corridor with the single ceiling light that flickers!  

I'm going to stop there. I think you get the picture.

What was the worst job you ever had?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is Chivalry Dead?

I hope that chivalry is not dead, but I'm afraid it may be true!
Look around you. I have and I'm not crazy about what I see.           

For instance, public transportation. Love it or hate it; if you work in the city, you probably have to take it.

Every day is an adventure. I see the same faces and silently chuckle at some of their antics. Everyone will get a seat, but yet, everyone will "jockey for position." Where is the train going to pull up? Can I be the first one on even though I take the same seat every morning? Hey, I was on the platform before you, but go ahead. You can cut in front of me. 

I personally thought the women would be the worst, but no! It's actually the men. I have seen men cut in front of women and not give it a second thought. I have seen men take a seat and leave a woman to stand. I have even seen men sit and leave a pregnant woman stand. Where has the chivalry gone? I did not burn my bra!           

I have had doors slammed in my face, been elbowed in the head, been bumped and pushed without so much as an apology. If I walk through a door, I hold it for the person behind me. It's common courtesy! It doesn't matter if it's a man or a woman--hold the door! I don't understand why it is so hard.

In all fairness, I cannot say it is all men. There are a chosen few who exhibit chivalrous behavior. You know who you are!

My son is one of them. He is a little lad in training. We were coming out of Wendy's one day and a woman was following a man out the door. The man did not hold the door for her and my son was not happy. "Hey! He did not hold the door!" he said matter-of-factly. Hmmm. My son is how old and knows to hold a door? Doesn't anyone have manners anymore? 

My CP's DH still opens her car door and has her walk on the inside when they walk down a street.

A friend of mine opens the car door for his wife, stands when a woman enters the room and will not sit until a woman takes her seat. *sigh* I think I was born in the wrong century.

What about you? Do you have any stories to share of chivalrous behavior? Have you seen it and does it still exist?                        

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I couldn't wait for my kids to start talking. How wonderful it would be to have them actually tell me why they were crying or to actually tell me what was wrong. I would no longer have to guess. What a wonderful idea I had...and then they actually started to talk. What was I thinking?

I had no idea what was going to come out of their mouth next. Questions would fly out of their mouth faster than I could stop them. For instance, I'm in a restaurant and a 350+ pound man walks past our table. I think to myself, "try to distract, try to distract." Oh, no! I'm too late! My son already saw him and says, "Wow, Mom! Look at him! He is B-I-G!" Please be out of earshot. Please be out of earshot. Oh, no. The man turns and smiles politely at my son. I was too late.

I swear this has to be every parent's nightmare. I will admit; however, there are times when they do come out with some of the funniest things I ever heard. I thought I'd share some of those.

* * *
When my friend's nephew was about 4 years old, he would constantly place his hands down his pants to feel his private parts. Every time his father saw him do this, he would say, "Get your paws off of it." His son would immediately withdraw his hands. This went on for some time and it didn't matter where they were. His hands would go down the front of his pants.

One day he places his hands down the front of his pants. His father sees him and calls his name very sternly. His son replies, "Sorry, Dad. I just can't seem to keep my paws off of it."

* * *
My son was three at the time. The DH and I are in the car with the kids and my in-laws. We're going to a restaurant and it would take forever for my son to make up his mind on what he wanted to eat. We would always decide what he was going to eat before we got to the restaurant in order to alleviate a lot of frustration. We're going through the normal kid menu items. Do you want chicken nuggets? Do you want macaroni and cheese? How about grilled cheese?

He pitches an absolute fit in the car and we're sort of embarrassed. "I don't want grilled cheese!" he screams over and over. My DH and I look at each other like what the heck is wrong with him? My son is now crying and through his tears he keeps saying, "I don't want grilled cheese." We told him it's alright and he doesn't have to eat it. 

When he finally calmed down, I asked him why he didn't want grilled cheese. He wipes his tears and says, "I don't want grilled cheese. I want boy cheese." Girl cheese...

* * *
My personal favorite.

My daughter was three and a half when we brought my son home from the hospital. My DH and I knew we would have some explaining to do to her when we would change my son's diaper, but we would wait until she asks.

So one day I'm changing my son's diaper and she points to his privates. "What's that?" she asks. I calmly say, "Your brother is a boy and those are his boy parts. Just like how you are a girl and you have girl parts."

I could tell she's thinking so I ask her if she understands. She says, "I get it. My brother is little so he has little boy parts, but Daddy is big (spreading her hands apart at least two feet wide) and Daddy has big boy parts." Of course I could not help but laugh and reply, "I'm sure Daddy would be really happy to hear that."