Wednesday, September 27, 2006
  Slim Pickins

Fall brings us cool crisp weather, colorful leaves , and pre election campaign commercials. The state of Pennsylvania has several important races in the offing. Maybe it's me, but the quality of the television ads is of some concern.

For instance, an ad for a candidate I will call Mr. Smith, because, he wants to go to Washington. The ad features a woman reminiscing about the past. She says (this is not an exact quote) "the first time me and Mr. Smith met , he was my second grade teacher" . Me and Mr. Smith? Did Mr. Smith teach English? Was she absent the day the correct us of "me" and "I" was covered. And of course, at the end of the commercial, Mr. Smith assures us that "This ad was approved by me." Or is it I ?

A candidate for another state office has a pretty standard ad. He's the guy for change, challenging the incumbent. At the end he is seen giving a speech and he tells the crowd that his parents could never have dreamed that he would have this opportunity, but, "This is America". "And it happens like that sometimes". It happens that way sometimes? That is either the most pathetic tag line ever, and his speech writers should be fired, or it's a brilliant strategy.

Mr. Governor, what do you have to say about crime in or fair state? (or taxes, or the latest political scandal ) " It happens that way someetimes " Can't argue with that.

Saturday, September 23, 2006
  Sometimes You Want to Go Where Everyboby Knows Your Name

We checked in at the reception desk of our favorite vacation spot on Sunday, and as the desk clerk was affixing the bracelets that identified us as guests of the resort she said "Sarcasmom, Sarcasmom. I know that name. You guys were here before. Was it last year?" We told her it had actually been three years, and this was our fourth visit. She said that meant on our next visit we would get a gift from the resort. She wasn't allowed to reveal what it is, but she promised we would like it.

Bouyed by the recognition we approached another resort employee that we knew from previous vacations. Fred made a valiant attempt to feign remembering us. But as He was calling Sarcasdad John, it was obvious we didn't ring any bells there. As we were being driven by golf cart to our own bungalow on the beach, Sarcasdad , who assumes you are who you appear to be, until you prove otherwise, said that it was my unusual name that prompted the desk clerk to remember us. I, who assume that you have an ulterior motive until you prove otherwise, agreed that it was nice to be remembered, but I thought it more likely there was a note on our reservation that designated us as returning guests, and that Lucinda was just good at her job.

We dumped the luggage in the room and walked back to the bar by the pool. As we claimed our wicker stools, one of the waitstaff came over to us. "Hey, you guys have been here before. I remember your faces." she said. We talked a bit about some remodeling the resort had done since we were there last. "Welcome back" she said, as she returned to what she had been doing. "That" said Sarcasdad "was not a note on our reservation"

I had to admit it. Some times people are just that nice. And there was still one more welcome to come.

The first time we were in Aruba we were highly entertained by a pelican, whom we hung with the moniker, Pete. As we took our meals at the waters edge we watched Pete's amazing aerial acrobatics. From high above the water he would zero in on his prey and then dive with missile like speed and accuracy under the water, and then pop right back up, gulping his reward. He was a fish eating machine. Once we saw him fix on a target perilously close to a couple in an inner tube. It was like watching a train wreck about to happen, you didn't want to watch, but you couldn't turn away. It is only seconds from sighting to splashing and the couple in the water didn't have time to react. Peter drove straight and true and managed to get his prize and spare the floating vacationers. Although I am pretty sure they paddled over to the bar afterwards. The next year we returned to find that Pete had been joined by Mrs. Pete and several little re-Petes. Needless to say we were thrilled for our feathered friend.

We searched the beautiful Carribean sky earnestly at dinner on Sunday,and again at breakfast on Monday, but Pete did not appear. We were disappointed in his absence and wondered if the availability of fish in the area had changed, forcing Pete and his family to relocate..

Later that morning as we were enjoying the beach outside of our room we spotted a familiar shape in the sky, out over the ocean. It was Pete! He came all the way in to the shoreline gliding right in front of us , so low he almost touched the sand. After he passed us, he soared back up and out over the ocean.

I was truly amazed. All this time I didn't know Pete was on the payroll!

Saturday, September 16, 2006
  Vacation, All I Ever Wanted



vacacion, from Latin vacation-, vacatio freedom, exemption, from vacare1 : a respite or a time of respite from something : INTERMISSION2 a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee3 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation 4 : an act or an instance of vacating

Yes to all of the above. See you in a week.


Today I saw a woman riding a Segway across one of the more "well-heeled" intersections of Philadelphia. I watched her make her way across the streets and then pull into a parking space behind a car. Is that where you leave it? I am sure there is a Segway etiquette. It's the first time I have seen one in person, and though intrigued I didn't want to stare. But as Sarcasmo pointed out when I told her about it, that may have been the ruder thing to do. Being stared at was possibly the actual motivation of the choice of transportation in the first place.

Friday, September 15, 2006
  Let The Mad Dash Begin

In typical Sarcasmom fashion I took tomorrow off from work so I could have a nice leisurely day to get ready for vacation. Sort of destress and ease into it. Then I put off everything I need to do until Saturday, because, you know, I have that whole extra day.

But the important thing is that when I punch that time card this afternoon I AM ON VACATION! And I can handle all that needs doing on Saturday. Because on Sunday, I can grab a nap on the beach.

Monday, September 11, 2006
  How Was It For You?

Now that Sarcassis & family are back home and living 6 minutes from me, it is easy to forget sometimes that she was once so far away. For six years she lived on foreign soil, courtesy of the US military. (Her husband was enlisted, she was a civilian employee) So sometimes I'll say" remember when," and she doesn't', because she wasn't here for that particular neighbor moving or local news event. A lot can happen in 6 years. Just the other day she commented on the sudden crush of people in the stores and traffic on the street, and I realized she had forgotten the annul summer exodus that takes place in the city. Where everyone who can escapes to the shore or the mountains to avoid the "it's not the heat , it's the humidity" season in Phiiladelphia, until Labor Day and school bells call them back.There are just some experiences we didn't share.

I wasn't going to post about 911. What could I say that someone else wouldn't have already posted? With all the media coverage it is impossible not to think back to that day, that moment, and where you were and what you were doing. I was at work, and my first news came from a strange man who came into the store to buy a money order and was babbling about a plane crashing in New York. My co-worker and I shrugged him off as someone who should be in the local mental ward. Shortly after my boss came past telling us a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We both pictured a little private plane, terribly off course, hitting the building and crashing to the streets below. Of course, as events unfolded we soon learned that was not the case.

Whenever there is a breaking news story, or if I hear sirens late in the night, I do a mental checklist of where my family is. I think every mother does. Usually, this exercise is reassuring. Not so much this time. One daughter living as an American in a foreign country, One daughter visiting the other in her apartment in Center City Philadelphia, literally a stone's throw from national monuments such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.And a broher-in -law who was working in the Pentagon. I didn't know who to worry about first. I just wanted to gather them all as close to me as I could.

You have to understand that we who were working were relying on second hand news flashes from people who came in from the outside. We had no television to watch as business was still being transacted. There is very little in life that stops the sale of groceries. I wouldn't be surprised if in the case of nuclear annihilation the only things to survive would be cockroaches and supermarkets. Miraculously, Sarcassis was able to get through on the insanely busy phone lines. She was worried about us,, and about her Uncle . She repeated to me what she was hearing on the television in Germnay, the reports if I remember correctly from British news sources. That's was when it hit me. The magnitude of what was happening. The globleness of it.

So we shared that experience that day, thousands of miles apart, by phone. It just hit me today of how different her memories are than mine. Sarcassis, if you have time would you care to share?

: Read Sarcassis's response

Sunday, September 03, 2006

I am sure you all share my concern about the latest consumer alert manufactured highlighted by the media. Apparently, your old cell phone can reveal all of your secrets. Text messages on discarded phones have caused the breakup of marriages and the loss of employment. Company secrets have fallen into the wrong hands. Even if you think you have erased all of your personal information, it can be resurrected easily with a little know how and some cheap internet software.

This is a timely revelation for me. I only have a couple of months to get my phone to a point where I can trade it in with confidence. I know you are shocked,but I freely admit it. While I deeply regret the time it will take away from you, dear internet, it can't be helped.

Can someone tell me how to download porn onto my phone? Because I don't have any. The only pictures I have on my phone are of my grandson. It took me two days to retrieve and open it the first one because I didn't know I could get pictures and I thought the voice mail icon was stuck on my LCD display.

I don't have any bank account records or passwords saved on my phone. If you scroll through the numbers I have stored, you will find the name of one man who is not a family member. Should you call Vince, please tell him you got his number from me. Maybe he'll give me a discount on exterminating

I have to start sending some racier text messages. Unless the person who pries into my secret phone life thinks that "how are you love mom" is code for "the coast is clear. meet me at 8", it will be painfully obvious that I have nothing to hide. Can I send one to you? You'll know it's from me, because I don't know how to get capital letters or punctuation, but I do spell out the whole word.

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