Missed Connections

Craigslist has brought us some of the most memorable and shocking content of our time. People have tried to sell a piece of cheese for $100, put out ads for replacement friends, and even given away human-sized hamster wheels for free (it’s a thing, look it up).

But some of the brightest gems of Craigslist are found in the most intriguing section: Missed Connections.

This corner of the internet is the perfect place for you to search for your better weirder half. Have you ever been mesmerized by someone dressed in a sloth costume? Have you been completely smitten with the Taco Bell employee taking your order? Or have you fallen in love with a mugshot on the local news channel?

Some people have. And in pursuit of connection (or something like that), they appealed to the Missed Connections gods. For your reading pleasure, here are some of the best.

  1. I YAM IN LOVE

Okay, I can’t help but wonder how old is the OP? He mentions that the Crazy Lady is in her 50’s or 60’s, so I feel like we need some added context. Age is just a number, and love knows no bounds, yadda, yadda – but we need to know! Is this a gentleman of a similar age, or a young man making a head-tilting plea to the internet?

Knowing Craigslist, it’s probably the latter. I hope he brought enough sugar to the yam candifying party.

  1. MIXED SIGNALS

Man, what a turn we took there! I don’t know what’s better, the fact that the OP still posted the ad after completely changing his mind about finding the person he made out with, or the fact that there is a festival called “Plough and Stars” in Philadelphia.

Don’t worry, OP. We’ve all been there. At least it was ‘pretty solid.’

  1. HOLD YOUR HORSES

Even though this is a short post, there’s a lot to unpack here. OP is kind enough to post on behalf of their friend, which is the sweetest part of this whole mess. But, apparently, seeing a horse in a hotel just wasn’t enough for the friend, they had to take it one step further and find the horse’s owner!

I have even more questions than that, though. Why was the horse in the hotel in the first place? Why was the horse left unattended? Did anyone sneak him in, or did the horse sneak in himself?

Considering that the location is listed as “not sure,” the world may never know.

  1. STEALING YOUR HEART

There are just… so many things. My forehead is sore from face-palming, just from this post alone.

OP, maybe you haven’t been an accessory of a crime before, but did you honestly not expect the routine pat-down? I guarantee it was not a gesture of love, ma’am. And speaking of which, what “romantic” movies are you watching if you thought being roughly grabbed by the arm and dragged into a room was romantic?

You know what, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.

I hope that when you did do go to court, you at least pretended to support your friend while you were eyeing up your Loss Prevention Lover.

  1. EXPRESS YOUR LOVE

This ad is the best, the winner, the ultimate champion. I know that 2009 was a weird time for everyone, but this guy takes the cake.

Honestly, I give mad props to the OP. Even in the most vulnerable position known to humankind, he made smooth moves on his lady love. I’m not sure what I would have said at that moment, but “hey beautiful lady,” definitely wouldn’t have been it. And he does have a point – their relationship just advanced like, a whole year now that she’s seen him pooping. I just hope she likes Indian food too.

If you’re on the hunt for a partner who lives just on this side of stalkerdom, do yourself a favor and peruse the Craigslist missed connections. Your one true love may be searching for you too.

Just a Number

The other day someone asked me, “What’s the latest age that someone should begin to write?”

My answer to them?

When you’re dead. Then, it is definitely too late to start writing, I’m sorry to say. Unless you are reincarnated as the next Stephen King or James Patterson, in which case I suppose you’ve managed to circumvent the limitations of time anyway, which is a pretty nifty trick, if you ask me.

There should never be an age cap on writing. To be clear, there should never be an age cap on anything you love to do. I know I’ve talked about this before, but too often we convince ourselves that there are age limits or expiration dates on starting new hobbies, learning new skills, or even continuing to do things we already know and enjoy. I say to hell with that nonsense.

Remember Sergeant Roger Murtaugh in the 1987 film Lethal Weapon? You know who I mean. Sergeant Murtaugh was known for the infamous phrase, “I’m getting too old for this shit.” Any time things started going sour, he would let out a sigh from deep within his weary bones and mumble, “I’m getting too old for this shit…”  And I felt it. You felt it. We all felt it. The man had a point.

I think we all feel a little too old for this shit sometimes. I mean, I can certainly see why… *waving vaguely at everything*.  There are bound to be days when we feel too old or too weary to go about our normal routines, much less add anything else to our plates. And it’s totally okay to feel this way every once in a while.

Operative phrase: every once in a while. Don’t convince yourself just because you’re having an I’m-too-old-for-this-shit kind of day, that it’s going to be a permanent feeling.

Perhaps there are some things in life that are best left by the wayside when one reaches a certain age. Who knows, maybe you’d want to give up extreme-MMA fighting, or shark wrestling, or even volcano surfing – once the midlife crisis has passed, anyway. But who am I to judge? You do you. I am a firm believer that there is no “latest age” to begin anything.

Does happiness have an age limit?

Does joy have an age limit?

Do feelings of content have an age limit?

A resounding NO – a thousand times, no.  Picture yourself doing something that brings you joy. Go on, picture it! Is it baking? Painting? Horseback riding? Writing? Surfing? Moving to the wilds of the Australian Outback? That feeling that arises, that inherent sense of delight, does not have an age limit.  There’s a whole world out there, offering you a chance to feel alive and joyful – age be damned.

Don’t fall for the trap of “it’s too late.” It’s never too late. Take ownership of the life you’re living. Learn that new skill. Take that class. Visit that place you’ve always wanted to go to. Write those words. And, above all, forget your age – it’s just a number.

Essentially Annoyed

Turns out, I’m essential… who knew? As an essential worker, driving on the roads for the past few weeks during the shelter-in-place for our state was amazing. Of course now that they’re reopening the state, all hell is breaking loose. But there for a while, there was no traffic; just breeze right on into work and right on home. My gas tank was loving it, that’s for sure. Bonus: it made for a much less ‘road-ragey’ kind of experience.

But the few people that were on the roads with me were determined to undermine my “serenity now” resolve. Even though there was minimal, and I mean minimal, traffic out there, those I shared the road with weren’t exactly good at sharing. Tailgating, dangerously weaving around people to the point of being completely ridiculous, quite like the chase scene from every heist movie ever made. I guess they were taking advantage of the empty roads to live out their Vin Diesel inspired fantasies. The car ones, people. The car ones. I just don’t understand why people are in such a mad dash to get somewhere. And you know damn well they’re rushing off to get somewhere they don’t want to be in the first place. While not rage-fuel, it’s been annoying.

Speaking of being annoyed, sometimes it’s the little things that get me, you know what I mean? I’m one of those people who are very adamant about the express checkout at the grocery store. If you have 12 items or less, all is good. Hell, I can even forgive that 13th item people so often sneak in. I’ve been there myself. But sometimes, you get behind that person who has a month’s worth of grocery shopping in their cart and have the nerve to get into the express lane. In my head, I start counting and when I get up past 30, I start to see pink (yeah, yeah, I know, it’s supposed to be “I start to see red,” but really, in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t truly a “sees red” kind of a situation, so I just “see pink”).  You know that the poor cashier, who really just wants to be done with the day (and honestly, who can blame them), won’t or can’t say anything and according to my kids (killjoys that they are), it’s not my place to speak up either, but you best believe I’m giving that lady the old stink eye the whole time.

People not returning their grocery cart is something else entirely. I mean, honestly. The cart return is right there. I know I’ve ranted about this subject before, but still… I have zero remorse for cursing these “non-returners.” And I don’t mean throwing a few sentence enhancers out of my vast repertoire their way. No, I mean cursing, as in “may your errant cart roll backwards over your foot and then ding your car.”  It’s a matter of basic courtesy. You grab a cart, you use said cart, and then you return the cart so that others can use it. It’s stupid easy.

Oh, and quick question, I realize the pedestrian has the right of way. I mean, of course they do. However, is there any point at all when a car is actually moving that the pedestrian should just look at the situation and say, yeah, umm… I think I won’t walk out in front of that moving car all willy-nilly, or behind it, for that matter.

I mean, come on people. Get your shit together.

Pitfalls

I’m back! Did you miss me? Yeah, you missed me. I’ll go with that, anyway.

Having my internet restored should be a good thing. And it is, it most definitely is. I mean, the internet is a pathway to the world around us in so many ways. Unfortunately, my need to be informed conflicts greatly with the newfound peace and quiet that came with the lack of WiFi, and as you might have guessed, jumping right back into the dumpster fire that is social media these days may have been the wrong thing to do.

Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic there have been a lot of, shall we say, questionable activities finding their way to social media feeds around the globe. Idiots desperately trying to amass a following by licking toilet seats or dragging their tongue across ice cream in the store, just to place it back in the freezer section for some unsuspecting patron to buy. Hell, there are people out there who aren’t even trying to be discreet about it and straight-up spitting, sneezing, or coughing on produce in the supermarket while shouting, “You’re all going to die!” or some such nonsense. This got me thinking about how our fellow humans just downright suck in my opinion. I apologize for the negativity, but I think I’ve mentioned it before… I hate people.

Let’s talk social media groups. I don’t understand people who feel the need to join groups they have no interest in for the sole purpose of just harassing the other members. For instance, your typical obnoxiously vocal misogynist joining a feminist group so he can harangue the female members. Or an alt-right conservative in a human rights group. Or an atheist in a Christian book club. Or a devoted meat eater seeking out a vegan group to espouse the virtues of his or her carnivorous diet. Or vice versa… a devoted vegan joining a group dedicated to hunting or BBQ recipes just to shame the people who partake in such things. I mean, I could go on and on. The thing is, most of these people are doing it just to amuse themselves as they read and reread their own ‘hilarious’ commentary, and bear witness to the anger and hurt left in their wake.  Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like they have more time on their hands than sense.

Facebook has to be among the worst for this type of behavior. At one time, Facebook was used as a way to pump up your image, to project a perfect life or a perfect marriage or a perfect home or perfect kids. And yeah, some people still use it for that. But now, it seems that along with many other aspects of our society, and social media as a whole, Facebook has become a pit of negativity, abuse, harassment, and conspiracy theories. People wear their stupidity like it’s a badge of honor.

With these so-called trolls, the sky’s the limit to what they can and will get into, and the very real damage they can cause. Even before our current state of pandemic, where too many seem to have more than enough time to engage in hate, we, as a society, were spiraling downwards. It just seems like we’ve slid completely down into the pit rather too quickly for my taste.

 

Unpaid Talent

I realized recently that I am truly good at so many things… and get paid for absolutely none of them.

For instance, I’m excellent at choosing the wrong line. Oh, some people may be skilled at this particular ability while visiting the grocery store to which I say: amateur!  Me, on the other hand, well, not to toot my own horn, but here lays remarkable talent, I tell you. I’m on top of my game in all sorts of venues — the grocery store, the gas station, the library check-out, the carnival ride, the train, the cab kiosk, even the McDonald’s. Yes, the McDonald’s.

Our McDonald’s has a new double lane drive-thru… and I kid you not, it makes no difference which lane I pull into, something, anything, will cause it to be delayed. The car in front of me may be purchasing 20 of everything off the menu, but not stating their demand in any sort of order whatsoever or with any sense of hurry. Hell, sometimes they have to phone home just to confirm they’ve got it right. “Hey, I’m here at the McDonald’s now. You want onions on that McDouble? No? You sure?  Oh no, no rush, it’s not like people are waiting in line or anything. Take your time. It’s an important decision.”

Or perhaps the person taking the order decided to take a break. They say “I’ll be right with you,” but then they never are; probably they’re distracted by indoor customers or the constant barrage of impossible multi-tasking that’s required in their position. Or maybe they’re new. Or there are technical problems with the computer system and they can’t get the order to come up just right. It makes no difference. The end result is the same. It’s no longer fast food.  I don’t blame the workers, their life is hard enough, and I don’t envy them their jobs. At. All.

It’s me. I’m the line delayer. That’s my job. And I’m good at my job.  Damn good.

 

 

Finding Your Voice in the Silence

As you know, I normally don’t post anything political here. My blog brings happiness… at least I hope it does, lighthearted fun, and the occasional rant.  But watching the news the past few days has been heartbreaking, and I felt the need to say something. Let me back up for a minute though, as that first sentence is not quite right… I’m still not going to post anything political, because the anguish of unjust killings and the heartbreak of deep-seated racial injustice is a human rights issue, not a political one. I will not presume to speak on behalf of the black community, but I just wish to express my solidarity, for whatever that’s worth. Enough is enough. Hell, enough was more than enough 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 200 years ago. We need to do better. We must do better. There are more eloquent writers than me tackling the issues of oppression and the marginalization of our fellow humans and sharing their words with the world right now – we need to listen. We need to change. We need to fight for change. When our fellow humans are hurting – and dying – from offenses against human rights, it falls on all of us to fight for change. When we see injustices so great that our silence implies support, we need to speak out. Find your voice and use it.

Some Gave All

This year our Memorial Day celebrations are looking a little different here in the U.S. But then again, this “holiday” has never been about a weekend at the beach or sales at the mall… it’s not even about the fireworks and fanfare. Memorial Day is about giving thanks to our nation’s heroes as we honor those who have fallen in their service to our country. So I implore you to remember the dedicated men and women of our military who never made it home.  May their steadfast service to their country – and their fellow man – serve as inspiration to the rest of us.

“The way they all lived, in service to one another, should be our road map in the months ahead.” – Barack Obama (Memorial Day 2020)

“At its core, the nobility and the majesty of Memorial Day can be found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for the most simple of reasons: They loved their country so deeply, so profoundly, that they were willing to give their lives to keep it safe and free.” – Barack Obama (Memorial Day 2010)

 

Long Story Short

I think we’ve all been in the position where there’s something incredibly simple that we’ve needed from someone, but we loathe asking for it. Oh, not because you fear the person will reject your request, quite the opposite in fact… they are often eager to help. You just dread the long and drawn out interaction that you know is going to go with that simple ask.

For instance, you need that recipe from a co-worker… you know, the one for that dish everyone was raving over at lunch last month. You jotted it down but misplaced the napkin you sketched it on. In all probability, you forgot you had made the note in the first place, duly wiped your mouth, and threw the napkin away. So what do you do? Call up your pal, except she’s one of those people who will literally talk your ear off. It doesn’t matter though; you promised some friends that you would make the best tapenade that they ever had and damn it, that’s what you’re going to do. So, you begrudgingly make the call, knowing you’ll be on the phone for hours for a piece of information that would take a normal person no more than a few minutes to repeat.  And… you were right. Because before you know it, you’ve learned that 3 generations of men in her family have done their time in the military, but not Henry, oh no, not good-for-nothing Henry, and little Janie is getting straight A’s in school (thanks to the tutor that her hairdresser recommended), her husband got a promotion, which was long overdue, because allegedly he could perform the job better than his boss could have, in his sleep mind you! And finally, little Billy is all grown up, and off to college, so after an hour and a half of story time, and 20 minutes of sobbing into the phone, I’m now equipped with the knowledge to prepare that banging tapenade from the pot-luck lunch we had a few weeks ago. Next time I need a recipe, I think I’ll just google it.

My mother has a neighbor that will talk about nothing for three hours. She’ll get off the phone with this woman and I’ll ask, how’s Marion, what did you talk about for five hours? And my mother has no idea. Of course, she wasn’t the one doing the talking, so there’s that. We’ve all known someone like Marion. For instance, I didn’t even know there was lecture-length material out there on the history of bowling balls, but growing up, my friend had an Uncle Randy, and he could talk to you about bowling for a full day and not repeat himself. True story.

Another pet peeve of mine is people that take the long way around to tell a simple story. And I mean, the scenic route. Especially if I’m in a hurry or already trying to do something. Or when the story starts out sounding like it’s kind of important.

“Hey, don’t freak out, but I was in a car accident.”

“What? Are you ok!? What happened?!”

“I’m fine. But get this… so I was at the grocery store, right? They had this crazy sale on Milkbones and I was like, wow, that’s a really good deal…”

“That’s great, but the accident? What happened!? Are you okay??”

“I was getting to that, but you didn’t let me finish. Geez! So anyway, I got the Milk-Bones and I remembered that you said you had that thing for work coming up…”

Yeah, you get the idea, 40 minutes later you find out that the guy who rear-ended her used to be her husband’s old co-worker who got drunk at a work party once and ate a box of Milk-Bones.

I’m telling you, even kids notice.

“Mom, do we have to go to Aunt Karen’s?  All she does is talk about her Pomeranians.”

“I know sweetie, but it’s her birthday. Just pretend you never heard any of it before.”

“How am I supposed to do that when I could write a book on Pomeranians just on what I remember from last week’s visit?”

Don’t get me wrong, I can gossip and shoot the bull with the best of them, and I’m sure I’ve talked someone’s ear off a time or two. Especially when I’m riled up about something. I’m sure we all have. It’s just that some people seem to have the uncanny ability to do it often and do it well. Too well if you ask me.

 

 

Metaphysical Menu

In my near constant perusal of the interwebs, I came across this gem:

I get the idea behind the sentiment, it’s kind of like that old saying, “you are what you eat,” just on a metaphysical level.  But what does that really mean exactly? Besides me being a total cheesecake. (Ha! See what I did there? Cause I love cheesecake… therefore, I am cheese – oh, never mind).

I guess you could simplify it even further and say if you only eat veggies, you’re a vegetarian. But what about those kids that only eat French fries or what if you only eat ramen noodles and pop-tarts? What are you then? No. Don’t answer that.

I know, I know. The reference here is that if you eat healthier, you live healthier. Live by junk food, die by junk food. Something like that. But honestly though, it’s not an all-inclusive statement… unlike that resort I kinda sorta remember in the Caribbean (hey, they had excellent margaritas!)

Then again, people often misunderstand old sayings. Maybe you’re familiar with the phrase “nip it in the bud.” Referring to rooting-out a problem before it starts. I’ve heard people say “nip it in the butt” more frequently than you’d think possible. Yeah, I don’t know, people are odd.

It goes with song lyrics too. Have you ever wondered why Jimmy Hendrix said, “excuse me while I kiss this guy” in Purple Haze? If you’re at all familiar with the song, I’d hope you’ve learned the actual lyric is “excuse me while I kiss the sky.” This was one of the highest voted misheard song lyrics of all time. No, really, it was. Along with “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap” by AC/DC, poorly translated to “dirty deeds done to sheep.” Which makes one wonder, if that’s what you really thought it was, what the hell are you doing with your life? I mean, come on people.

Okay, so I digress… I want to get back to the quote in question.

“You are the books you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the conversations you engage in. Choose wisely what you feed your mind.”

Let’s take this in order, shall we?

I love horror movies and Stephen King books. So, does that paint me as a secretive sadistic serial killer in clown make-up? Or am I the paranormal investigator seeking the truth of an otherworldly existence? Or maybe a member of a cult just waiting to run off and join a bunch of fanatic – if not homicidal – youths in a corn field somewhere, waiting for the perfect human sacrificial lambs to wander by with car trouble so that we can offer them up to our demonic deity for a bountiful harvest. (Children of the Corn if you miss the reference – the original, thank you very much.  But alas, I am too old now to join their little hellfire club. I would instead be the Linda Hamilton character in this movie… which is cool, if you ask me. Not the whole almost being sacrificed to a demon in a cornfield thing, but just being Linda Hamilton.)

Don’t even get me started on music. I’ve had the Ipana Toothpaste song stuck in my head for days. Days! And, it’s not the first time.

As for people, I tend to stick to myself. I suppose my mind is starving in this regard. Unless you count the very patient librarian who routinely processes my out-of-system book requests. You won’t find me mingling at the hottest dance clubs every night or bar hopping across town. Remember the show Cheers? When those guys walked in, the whole bar knew who they were. “Hey Norm!”- “Hey Sam!” Yeah, no thanks. I prefer to sneak in undetected and go about my drinking in peace.

That brings me to the conversations that I engage in. Well if that isn’t the final nail in the coffin. You know how you have that friend, or friends that you can talk however too. You can say the grossest stuff, or dirtiest thoughts, or share the stupidest jokes. Thankfully, I am blessed with friends like that. Oh sure, we might discuss something like A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, but then again, we can get just as worked up arguing whether cereal should be considered soup… or discussing at length the perks of having a special place in Hell awaiting us or even the age old question: “are birds afraid of heights.”

Choose wisely what you feed your mind.

Welp. Maybe I am rather well-suited for those cornfield shenanigans after all. Huh. Who knew? But then again, maybe I’m reading into this quote all wrong. Maybe it’s saying I’d be more of a sleuth, equipped with the knowledge needed to deal with strange situations. Sort of like Sam and Dean on Supernatural or Scooby-Doo. Unmasking the monsters and ridding the world of rogue archangels. That could be it… yeah, we’ll go with that one.  Seems better than joining a cult that worships some sort of harvest demon. I hate farming anyway.

“It was old man Jenkins all along!” Ha! Just practicing.

Kitchen Mishaps

I blame my mother. I’ve written before about this truly amazing yet possibly deceptive chef I have for a mother. Trying desperately to duplicate her mouth-watering recipes is what surely brought the demon spawn down (or is that up?) into my humble abode. It’s okay though, he’s not so bad as far as demons go, and the cats seem to like him. I can’t quite catch what they’re saying, since they’ve been commiserating quietly in the corner since he poofed in (seemingly quite confused at this turn of events, I might add), but from the looks of it, he might be a long-lost relative.

And while I haven’t yet caught Mom out in her kitchen-y lies, I will. Oh, you can be sure, I will. Eventually.